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Science v Faith
Posted: 08 February 2005 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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As I write this, the Pope is currently in the hospital. Bless his soul.

Irony – 2: Incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected result.

I don't mean to be disrespectful to the Pope but, why did he opt for science instead of going to a faith healer? Doesn't he know his life is on the line?

Dorian.

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Posted: 25 February 2005 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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The thought that keeps bothering me is, if they really believe in God and the afterlife, why don’t they let the poor old man go ahead and die a natural death instead of repeatedly and painfully dragging him back to life? After all, he’s 84 and has had a very full life, to put it mildly. Why force him to continue to suffer? We’re all mortal, including the Pope, and if they believe in God, shouldn’t his death be left to God’s will?

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Posted: 26 February 2005 12:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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If I live to be as old as the pope, I will never understand the public preoccupation with this person.  Seems to me that his health, life or death is a so-what to all but the most gullible.  What he says or does does not seem relevant to any world event and serves chiefly to oppress the easily-oppressed. If I understand Roman Catholic doctrine correctly, he would be put on artificial life support should it become necessary to sustain his “life”.  I am struggling with the common sense of the situation.

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Posted: 26 February 2005 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I don’t think Roman Catholic doctrine has anything in it that requires that one be on life support. A Roman Catholic is not supposed to commit suicide under any circumstances and can’t be buried in consecrated ground if suicide can be proved. However, one can refuse medical treatment to prolong one’s life. It’s the difference between an active choice (suicide) and a passive choice that leaves things up to God.

My hunch is that there are too many people clinging to power for them to allow him to die.

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Posted: 26 February 2005 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I think you stand corrected:

“If Mr. Schiavo legally succeeded in provoking the death of his wife, this would not only be tragic in itself, but it would be a serious step toward legally approving euthanasia in the United States,” Cardinal Renato Martino, the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told Vatican Radio on Thursday.

The Vatican condemns euthanasia, and Pope John Paul II has often spoken out against it. In his 1995 encyclical “Gospel of Life,” the pontiff said euthanasia was part of what he described as the “culture of death.”

Martino recalled recent words by the pope, and said “quality of life should not be interpreted as economic efficiency, beauty and physical joy, but it consists in the supreme dignity of the creature made in the image and likeness of God.”

“Nobody can be arbiter of it (life) except God himself,” said Martino.


http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/state/10992036.htm?1c

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Posted: 08 March 2005 01:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Here’s one of the weirdest true stories I’ve ever heard. This happened years ago and I don’t remember the man’s name. My husband’s family was close friends with the Episcopal Bishop of Northern Indiana. I met him a few times. He was a large man, very intellectual, very attractive. We didn’t live in Indiana, only went there to visit occasionally, so we didn’t hear about what happened to him until long afterwards.

He got into his 70s, wasn’t feeling well, and went for a checkup. The doctor discovered he had colon cancer and recommended surgery. The bishop said no, he’d had a long and successful life, and he was going to leave things up to God. If God wanted him to live, he’d live. Everybody who knew this man liked him, and the doctor was very upset, but the Bishop was adamant and went about his business. He gradually started to feel better. There was going to be a conference in England, and he decided to go. After the conference he felt fine and decided to do some traveling, so he didn’t get back to the doctor for many months. The doctor, of course, immediately did test to see how far the cancer had spread. He was amazed to find that the cancer had vanished.

So, was this a miracle? Does it only look like a miracle because this man was a bishop? I personally know of several other cases in which cancer “vanished.” Several had been misdiagnosed in the first place; one other was equally mysterious. So what’s going on?

There have always been cases of spontaneous remission and nobody knows yet why they happen. The medical outcome of diseases, when plotted statistically, forms a bell curve. Even usually lethal diseases like AIDS and plague have examples of people who succumb very early, those who follow the “normal” course of the disease, top of the bell curve, and those who recover. It doesn’t seem to matter what the belief system of those who recover happens to be. If you take examples of sites where miracles are supposed to happen, Lourdes for one, even though those “miracles” are carefully examined by medical teams before they are declared “miracles,” I’ve never been able to find any examples of these spontaneous remissions being statistically compared to the number of spontaneous remissions one would expect to find in the general population.

As for the earlier comment on euthanasia, euthanasia is a deliberate act to end suffering. In most places it is considered murder. This is quite different from refusing treatment, which anyone is entitled to do. In New York State one can sign a statement in advance requesting that, if one becomes too incapacitated to express the desire to discontinue treatment, one wishes treatment to stop. and spell out in detail the conditions under which one wishes no more treatment. This is a legal document and has to be honored.

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Posted: 09 March 2005 02:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“MJ”]
As for the earlier comment on euthanasia, euthanasia is a deliberate act to end suffering. In most places it is considered murder. This is quite different from refusing treatment, which anyone is entitled to do.

Is this a distinction without a distinction?

The end result is the same.  The end result is caused by choice.  Is there a significant difference between taking a pill of cyanide, versus not taking a pill of digitalis, etc., that would have prolonged life?  In either case your action caused your death. 

I’m not quite ready to assert that is true, but I’m not sure I see any real difference right now.

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Posted: 09 March 2005 03:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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We’re not necessarily talking about real differences. We’re talking about points of dogma. This began with a discussion of the Pope’s condition. I said that they should stop forcing the poor old man to stay alive by taking extreme measures to keep him alive and that this is within church dogma.

In Florida right now, though, we have this case of a husband trying to get permission to remove his wife’s feeding tube. Florida, of course, has GW Bush’s brother as governor, we know what the Bush religious requirements are, so this has become a continuing moral battle between the woman’s parents, the state on the side of the parents, and the husband. Just once some news program showed an X-ray of the woman’s head, and her brain has deteriorated to the point where there’s literally nothing left but what looks like a big hole filled with fluid.  There’s no chance that her condition is going to improve, no matter how much therapy her parents might get for her. There is evidence, however, that there’s enough brain left for her to be in constant pain.

The husband isn’t saying poison her; he’s saying stop artificially keeping her alive and let her die, which is what would have happened normally before we learned how to do artificial intervention. According to Catholic tradition, he’s right because there is a difference between not performing extreme interventions to sustain life, which was impossible to do until quite recently anyway, and deliberately killing the person, which is what euthanasia is.

According to the extremes of Protestant tradition, life must be sustained at any cost. This is called “vitalism” and is the same argument used against abortion. This battle over whether it’s a moral requirement to sustain life at any cost has been fought state by state in this country for many years. The cost in terms of pain and suffering has been hideous.  Frankly, I believe that there are conditions under which even euthanasia should be allowed. I don’t believe that sustaining agony has any moral value.

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Posted: 09 March 2005 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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MJ said:

The husband isn’t saying poison her; he’s saying stop artificially keeping her alive and let her die, which is what would have happened normally before we learned how to do artificial intervention. According to Catholic tradition, he’s right because there is a difference between not performing extreme interventions to sustain life, which was impossible to do until quite recently anyway, and deliberately killing the person, which is what euthanasia is.

If you are correct why is the RCC lobbying against the removal of the tubes? See my earlier post. Perhaps there is a diversion from what you see as “tradition”. Or perhaps you have misunderstood the tradition.

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Posted: 09 March 2005 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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i have not misunderstood the tradition. I think what I’ve said is clear enough for any idiot to grasp. Two conflicting religious traditions have developed. Maybe you’re just another vitalist who believes that people must be kept alive regardless? Is that what the RCC believes? Not according to Scholastic ethics. Assuming that by RCC you mean the Roman Catholic Church. It’s a sin to let anybody die (and go to heaven) if it’s possible to keep them alive?  If we’re gonna talk about sin, maybe it’s a sin to force someone in agony to continue to suffer?

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Posted: 10 March 2005 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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i have not misunderstood the tradition. I think what I’ve said is clear enough for any idiot to grasp. Two conflicting religious traditions have developed. Maybe you’re just another vitalist who believes that people must be kept alive regardless? Is that what the RCC believes? Not according to Scholastic ethics. Assuming that by RCC you mean the Roman Catholic Church. It’s a sin to let anybody die (and go to heaven) if it’s possible to keep them alive? If we’re gonna talk about sin, maybe it’s a sin to force someone in agony to continue to suffer?

Perhaps what you see as conflicting traditions could be better described as situational ethics. Philosophy aside. the RCC has taken a position againt the removal of the feeding tubes in the Schaivo case. I think this is clear enough for any idiot to understand.  When the chips are down the RCC always seems to take the anti-human position which promotes and prolongs human suffering. This position is the real tradition of the RCC.

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Posted: 16 March 2005 06:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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I received the following delicious bit of hate mail today. I assume it’s because of what I’ve posted here, so I want to share it in all its glory. The only comment I’ll make is that the president of Harvard has not been fired.

“Hey moron, you liberals are the true hypocrites.  You would have me jailed for starving a dog but you applaud a court-ordered starving of Terry Shivo.  You think euthanasia is fine and killing an unborn baby because it is inconvenient is perfectly OK.  I don’t think Jesus would have signed on for either.  Nazis though would love you philosophy.  In fact they invented them.  Your liberal thinking has gotten the president of Harvard fired for stating the fact that men and women are genetically different (liberals don’t like the truth if it doesn’t feel good).  And I am sure you are happy that the CEO of Boeing has been fired for a affair, but I’ll bet you are still defending Clinton’s actions as “his business”.  Use you brain.  Stop feeling your way and use your brain.
 
T. Roden”

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Posted: 16 March 2005 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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You guys think hate mail like this is a form of mild terrorism?

It makes people think two or three times before stating their oponion publically, which is just what the nutcases want.

So, it engenders fear in order to change behaviour in favor of certain “ideas”.

Nothing works better to scare rational people than pretending you are insane.

also MJ I dont see your email addy listed here, so maybe it isnt from this site = )

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Posted: 16 March 2005 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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The hate mail has to be from this site because I’ve never discussed anything like this anywhere else.

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Posted: 16 March 2005 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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MJ,

was this an email or a private message from this forum.  If it was the former - that is to your email address - then this forum site might be compromised and someone got your IP address (esp. if you are on broadband and leave your system on for long periods.)  Please clarify.

g

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Posted: 17 March 2005 01:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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The hate mail was a separate e-mail to my e-mail address. I have NEVER discussed these particular issues about morality anywhere but on this forum. Not in some other forum, not in public, and not in private with friends. It’s pretty clear that we have trolls visiting here. We may have a bigger problem. That’s why I posted the hate mail.

I use a dial-up connection. I am not on broadband, and disconnect as soon as I’ve answered my mail, entered a few forums, and read and maybe commented on a couple of blogs, one political and one psychological. The only forums in which I comment are this one and one for my apartment complex. It’s strictly about practical issues in our community. We’ve never discussed politics. Neither of the blogs has ever discussed the morality of abortion, etc. The hate mail was very specific to what i’ve discussed in this thread.

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