Saturday, February 5, 2011

Right to Die vs Right to Life

The abortion issue revived my memory of the ridiculous battle over the living corpse called Terri Schiavo.   To refresh your memory, Terri Schiavo was a pretty woman married to a loving husband.  According to the religious ceremony she probably had to submit to, she was "given away" by her father.  From that point on she belonged to her husband and his family (as the Book of Ruth demonstrates by example).

...until she entered a persistent vegetative state, with only her brain stem working and not all that well at that.  Hubby wanted to pull the plug, erm, feeding tube, because supposedly, Terri would never have wanted to be kept alive as a blind, paralyzed, fat, stupid-looking stalk of broccoli in a hospital where her mewling parents could delude themselves into believing every drop of drool was some loving utterance.

...and then the stupid Christian dolts who believe "every life is sacred" (until it isn't) decided that this was wrong.  They had nothing to go on other than the Ten Commandments, which were written thousands of years before electricity and feeding tubes were invented.

Sadly, the shell continued breathing on its own, and this is where I still have to facepalm occasionally:  one of the Christians interviewed on the telly said that the soul resides in the breath.  The picture to the left shows a horse thief that has been stoned to death.  His soul is a teensy human body being regurgitated out of his mouth then rising to heaven.

Now, if only they and their cretin followers had the insight to know how ridiculous that was.

...and if only they knew that they were arguing for abortion with that statement!

If the Catholic Church believes that the soul resides in the breath, then any fetus that has not taken a breath has no soul and therefore killing it is equal to killing an animal (they also believe that animals have no soul, as evidenced by the belief that a horse thief can get into heaven).

To be consistent, the Church's position should be that euthanasia of a human body shell or abortion of a fetus does not involve the separation of a soul from a body and is therefore not murder.  They should have envisioned Terri Schiavo coughing up a Barbie Doll version of herself, which would be hauled up to heaven by angels or saints or something.  The silly court battle over who had the right to decide what to do with the shell, the husband or parents, could have been prevented.  Congress could have done the people's business instead of interfering with these peoples' business, and the president could worry about how he could stop killing thousands of muslims instead of how he could prevent the death of one Christian.

Yeah, this issue still pisses me off.  What a colossal waste of time, money, and angst.  Christians should really worry about more important things, like being kind and taking care of poor people and shit.
Anywho, I always love the expression on theists' faces when we have this exchange:

Theist:  so you're an atheist?  Then where do you go when you die?
Me:  I don't believe in the concept of a soul so that question is irrelevant to me.
Theist:  [blank stare]


krissthesexyatheist said...

" (be)..kind and taking care of poor people and shit." I'm-a-gonna quote you on that one. So awesome.


B.R. said...

I agree with this. If I ever end up paralyzed, or in a irreversible coma, I want to die, because it's not like I'll even notice, and in that position all I'd be doing is dragging my family into bills larger than they'd ever be able to pay off.

Never Was An Arrow II said...

AT LEAST Terri's family loved her. Cherished her, even in her diminished state.

Michael Schiavo was just an all-round loser, of course, trying to justify culture of death values.

In the end, her president, her governor, the American legal system, and her community failed her.

'Course that's nothing new for the disabled.

LadyAtheist said...

Arrow, that's exactly the kind of irrational bullshit that makes atheists wonder if you have to be brain-dead to be a Christian. What part of "vegetative state" don't you understand? She had NO brain function other than her brain stem.

That's not disabled, that's dead. There was zero hope of a recovery, and how on earth can a family love a shell of a person? They loved the fantasy that the person they knew was still in there. They were in denial and so were the idiots (like you) who supported them.

Her husband loved her more than they did because he did what *she* would have wanted. If they'd really thought about her feelings (though of course she had none at the time) they would have pulled the plug without a second thought.

B.R. said...

@Lady Atheist;

Why even bother? People like her have no sense of priorities or a working concept of ethics. It's funny how Christians pretend that the Magic Sky Zombie is going to sweep them off to Happymagicplayland when they bite it, yet they desperately cling to life, even when there's no chance of recovery. Whats the matter? Does faith in mindless dogma lose it's comfort when faced with the void? Eh?

Aren't atheists the ones who are supposed to be afraid of death, and try and prolong their own existence for as long as possible? Eh?


LadyAtheist said...

Good point, B.R.

And if parents worry about their children going to hell shouldn't they kill them immediately after baptism to ensure they'd never commit a sin?

Chuck said...

Good points her LA.

I recently spoke to a friend about the psychology of believers in regards to "Right to Life" rhetoric and illustrated how their appeals to emotion are defeated by their unwillingness to allow and individual to determine what death means for them. The "Right to Life" rhetoric fights for the Libertarian authority of each individual and their thwarted opportunity to pursue that joy due to abortion but then fights with vehemence in reverse when "Right to Die" philosophy asks what a person might do for themselves when defining their life, its end and suffering.

Also, the Schiavos ignored their Christian doctrine by denying the cleaved relationship Michael had with Terri. But that is systematic theology for you. When a logical approach to applying it comes in conflict with the fear and emotionalism derived from Divine Command Theory then the believers go scurrying like abused little kids when Daddy takes off his belt.

It would be nice to discuss the meaning of person-hood relative to modern medical discoveries without credulous people relying on Ancient Near Eastern legends and their Dark Age interpretations as a viable meta-ethic.

Never Was An Arrow II said...

Well, Lady Atheist I can only really respond to the statements you made, since some of the knuckle-draggers that howled out a response…weren't that coherent and they should probably go back to drawing pictographs.

"She had NO brain function other than her brain stem."

I disagree. I watched several films of her and she was quite capable of responding to AND expressing rudimentary types of affection to her parents. That was STILL their little girl. Only an atheist could use terminology to build up a construct that separates reality from experience. She was not dead, not even close. She certainly wasn't terminally ill.

Judge George W. Greer was just more of the liberal garbage, normal human beings have to contend with. Fortunately the Southern Baptists removed him from their church membership. In reality Greer should be hung from the nearest tree. Sen. Bush should have sent in the National Guard, neither Greer or Michael Schiavo were acting in the best interest of Terri.

Obviously, Michael wasn't up to the task of being a responsible husband. Obviously, something important was missing in his personal make-up. Apparently he loved her in the good times…and Hitler was really good with children and dogs! So what? Historically, they're both monsters. He should have initiated a civil divorce and allowed Terri's family to do, what they've always done—love their daughter in the good times, and the bad. But he had to have her dead. I'm surprised no one from the family ever took out the garbage~

LadyAtheist said...

Arrow, those videos were carefully edited to show only the random movements that appeared to be intentional. It was carefully orchestrated to influence people like you, who have no interest in learning about the brain and what it can and can't do.

If Michael Schiavo hadn't been a "responsible" husband, he wouldn't have foregone any insurance or inheritance money and resisted filing for divorce in order to carry out her wishes.

The parents were in denial and were willing to throw out their "Christian" values regarding marriage when it became inconvenient. You, too.

B.R. said...

Never Was An Arrow II;
hey, by all means, call us whatever you want to, since you're too stupid and gutless to even dream of making an intelligent response to our comments.

LadyAtheist said...

Arrow, how's this for intelligent?

Marriage is a holy sacrament.
A father gives his daughter away in the marriage ceremony.
A husband's rights trump the parents rights, which have been "given away."

Terri Schiavo had no brain function. NONE.
Terri Schiavo was not going to recover. EVER.

Terri Schiavo's parents were desperate to believe she would recover but they were WRONG. TOTALLY WRONG.
Post-mortem examination proved the brain had shrunk to half its size and could not perform any human functions. EVER.

The medical examiner found: "Terri Schiavo suffered severe, irreversible brain damage that left that organ discolored and scarred, shriveled to half its normal size, and damaged in nearly all its regions, including the one responsible for vision"

...and "A review of Schiavo's records confirmed that she was "not a candidate for oral hydration or nutrition," and could not take enough by mouth to sustain life, Thogmartin said"

Arrow, your basis is watching the heavily edited films the parents released. The medical examiner is an EXPERT and examined her BRAIN, without interference from the parents.

Your information is WRONG. Sometimes people are wrong. It's okay to be wrong. That's what makes us human - learning when we're wrong.

There was no possible reason to keep that poor woman's shell going except to have the parents treat her like an infant again.

If you wish to be kept alive as a stalk of broccoli, you should tell people. MRS. Schiavo apparently told her HUSBAND, who knew her better than her parents, so he did the right thing.

GearHedEd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GearHedEd said...

Just a lillte extra something.

Here's a Cat scan of Terry Schiavo's brain on the right, compared to a normal scan on the left.

And when L.A. quoted the doctors here:

"...and "A review of Schiavo's records confirmed that she was "not a candidate for oral hydration or nutrition," and could not take enough by mouth to sustain life, Thogmartin said""

it doesn't really do justice to the problem. Terry Schiavo could not swallow. If they had tried to feed her through her mouth, they would have drowned her.

Never Was An Arrow II said...

Brain death NOT actual death.

But hey everybody…thanks for coming out.

'Course, there are others, almost as sharp as me, who ALSO came to that very conclusion:

B.R. said...

@Never Was An Arrow II;

"Brain death NOT actual death."

There is no difference. When the brain dies, moron, the body dies, unless the organs are kept going by life-support machines. Only an ignorant peon of epic proportions would contend that there's a distinction between brain death and "actual" death. Duh. And those religious fuckwits that wrote your worthless links? Pure B.S. When the brain is dead, the person is gone. They can't speak, see, hear, feel, or comprehend. Keeping them alive for some vague goody reason is an abomination.

Furthermore, these articles give no sources of evidence for their claims about flat waves not being required to declare a patient brain-dead. LadyAtheist, you really need to read these links; they're nauseating.

Never Was An Arrow II said...

BR you said,

"Only an ignorant peon of epic proportions would contend that there's a distinction between brain death and "actual" death.

Intelligence…is all about making distinctions~

Hope you know it, hope you find it…

B.R. said...

"Hurp derp, can't refute what you said, so I'll opt for gibberish instead."

Why am I not surprised? I blew your B.S. out of the water, and you can't even make an intelligent response.