Jul 162007

A crusading conservative lawyer with deeply held religious views…….. Dr Phillip Nitschke on Kevin Andrews

Yes indeed, it seems that to be a member of the Howardian cabal means also that you’re a God-fearing christian by default. A cabinet made up of Captain Catholics and those who speak out wind up like Warren Entsch. Back-benched for the duration.

Yes, harsh words indeed, and hardly an accurate assessment of the general demeanor of the cabal. However, the cabal doesn’t do a hell of a lot to dissuade we voters that it’s a whole lot different on the inside. Christians pervade all sectors of our society, that much is a given. It’s an equally sad fact that a huge majority of our elected representatives ca be said to be, or have already made claim to be, christians. I have nothing against christians, other than their religion erks me, but I can quite as openly state much the same emotional intent towards most other organised and structured religious belief systems. Religion sux, pure and simple. As Marx so aptly stated, "Religion is the opiate of the masses" and there are those – like Andrews and Abbott – who see themselves as the dealers of that opiate. Marx also named religion as the crutch for the weak-minded and that’s a description I’ve always held fast to, both from a scientific viewpoint and a philosophical viewpoint.

I’m particularly vulnerable to arguments against voluntary euthanasia today. I’ve had to make a decision in regard to a family member today which I hope that others in my family will make, or agree with my making someday in the future. My German Shepherd, Bindie was euthanised this afternoon, suffering from degenerative myelopathy. A canine form of multiple sclerosis which saw the ten year old bitch lose control of bowel, bladder and hindlegs over the past six months. Quality of life for her had rapidly disappeared to the point where she refused to eat last night. The eyes said everything there was to say.

Animals can’t talk, yet we human beings make such a big deal of ending their lives when WE think the quality has vanished. The irony being that we refuse to acknowledge that same benchmark among those of our own kind who choose to make that decision of their own volition from a standpoint of self-awareness.

As radical as Phillip Nitschke may be, I fully support his stance. Always have done and will continue to do so. We are self-determining creatures. Why then do we allow others of our species to do the determining for us when it counts most?

  One Response to “Determined to Choose”

  1. My personal inclination is that euthenasia, from a spiritual perspective, may not be the optimal way to die. But I equally have the conviction that it is indeed a decision for the individual to make, not the State. I am appalled at Kevin Andrew’s action and performance today. I’d forgotten that he is ‘deeply religious’. Makes it an even greater act of moral bastardry.
    Short version of 7.30 report:
    O’Brien: Isn’t this premeditated vindictiveness for political gain?
    Andrews: It’s legal
    Here is my understanding.
    Organised religions have their origins as systems to attain spirituality (however it be culturally defined) but are not that actual spirituality.
    Although manifold and various in abundance, the failings of organised religions are not sufficient grounds to condemn the notion of individual spiritual growth, for it is a universal tendency of humankind.
    The religious systems historically have acted in concert with the governance of the State, and so become battlefields for politics and commerce, which we are now seeing on a global scale. It is no accident that Bush’s neconservative free market US is politically dominated by apoclyptic Christians wanting to bring it on down so that the End Days will arrive, Jesus will appear, and all true believers will be raptured, youthful and whole, into the radiance of God’s heavenly realm. Equally as narcissitically insane as ‘the mad mullahs’ fighting God’s great battle to literally die by the sword, to attain 17 virgins in heaven.
    But the point is that the scriptures of both these Abrahamic religious traditions should correctly be regarded as metaphors for the personal struggle for spirituality, not a political handbook. People tend to confuse the two, especially if vulnerable to manipulation by unscrupulous leaders and politicians.
    As they say, you can’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. And these days, there’s a whole lot more bathwater than baby.
    It comes across as a bit wholesome at times, but the Compass program, The Quiet Revolution last night was interesting in this respect. Looking at some individuals’ efforts to extract the baby from the bathwater.

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