New answers tagged

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First things first... Faith (in the most prosaic sense of the word) is intrinsic to human nature. We all have to believe that an assortment of things are true, because without such belief we cannot establish a consistent worldview — a systematic model of our environment — and the world becomes terrifyingly random. Imagine having the thought in your head that ...


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This depends on what you mean by "atheism" - and what I see here is that people on both sides tend to disingenuously equivocate on the meaning of the term. There is the idea that "atheism is simply a lack of a belief in deities". In this case, it cannot be a "faith-based" position because it is not a position, but the absence of one. This, of course, is ...


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This is an utilitarian-rational answer, which might not reflect the truth (actually, I don't agree with it). I just want to point out that under that paradigm, the ordering is "rational". Assume the current value of an individual' utility of being alive ("happiness"), denoted by U, is given by the sum of the expected value of every period t's happiness, u_t,...


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I think you are wrong that "atheists support euthanasia". (taken as a large general group). Instead, atheists support the right to self-determination of ones own fate, which includes euthanasia. The situation is not merely living in agony, it is being forced to live in agony without hope of recovery within ones own body, against ones own will. I don't ...


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Your example of anesthesia during surgery is a good one. For most people, the trade off between the suffering incurred during surgery versus giving up a few hours of consciousness is an easy one: they take the anesthetic. This is a rational choice that people are making that non-experience is better than a bad experience. So you could naively continue this ...


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The foundation of the basis of euthanasia views is that a patient should have a right to decide on his own medical sustenance or his assisted end of life, if he is incapacitated while suffering an incurable condition which promises them an agonizing or miserable end to their life. The foundation of the view is not that suffering is better or worse that ...


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I don't know if anyone can really justify their relative level of fear of death and pain. But since we're looking at this from an atheist viewpoint, we should consider the effect of evolution. There's nothing intrinsically scary about the concept of nothingness, or a big spider, or the roar of a tiger. Whether we find them scary or not is probably based on ...


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No one who has ever experienced intractable pain could ever ask this question. Beyond a certain point, pain is in fact unbearable. I would never suggest that anyone undergo torture voluntarily or otherwise, but the fact is people experiencing continuous torture will in fact beg for death. The question really has nothing to do with any theist viewpoint. ...


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I think the idea of "infinite nothingness" does not make sense. It's quite reasonable given what we know, to assume that we are algorithms processing information. Despite all the unknowns about what consciousness really is and how the brain gives rise to it, it's reasonable to assume that it's the processing of information that gives rise to all our ...


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This is my second answer. A man is dying and all the higher ups want is philosophy. I think there should be no philosophical conflict if both sides can come up with medication that puts people to into a coma where they feel no pain. Euthanaisa proponents get to end the pain while they are in coma. Opponents to euthanasia still have their loved ones living ...


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In addition to some excellent answers I would question a fundamental part of your question that assumes there is a hierarchy from the atheistic point of view. Death is not seen ubiquitously as better than suffering but that individuals are granted the choice free from judgement or punishment. The theistic point of view, in some religions, may state ...


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These are my neccessary and sufficient conditions for suicide. I'm a two-pronged atheist (Any Holy Books are non-predictive, inconsistent nonsense; the Standard Model is the best description of reality so far - there is no God effect). Warning: Absolute honesty is required. My life is unacceptably bad. There is insufficient (or No) hope of improvement. I ...


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This is a situation most pet owners face. Eventually a pet reaches a point where it cannot enjoy its life due to injury or illness, and the choice universally is to euthanise it. Not only is this standard for pet ownership, but failing to euthanise a suffering pet is directly considered animal abuse. Animals are incapable of long-term thought and abstract ...


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I think it's important to note that in cases where this is considered, death is already approaching. It isn't a choice between life and death. It's a choice between dying now or going through a few months of agony and then dying. To most people those months of agony are quite undesirable, where they will be in terrible pain and without hope of recovery. ...


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Atheists supporting euthanasia might argue the following: Death is inevitable. Living simply for the sake of trying to avoid death is illogical. Death is timeless / infinite. Dying tomorrow instead of today wouldn't "extend" the nothingness after death. When you die everything just stops. Death is neutral. There is no joy or suffering in nothingness. At ...


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Animal Suffering If you were walking through the forest, and you came upon a wild animal that was seriously injured but might not die for several days, do you think it is ethically superior to euthanize the animal right then and there, or let it live out its last days in agony and terror? What options do you think the animal might prefer, if it could ...


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Death is inevitable. Dying in indignity and pain is not. If you have never experienced the indignity of lingering, painful death I understand why you would not see what is wrong with your relative value equation for some people. If you really want to understand more volunteer to visit a terminal hospice to do good things like read to the people or ...


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I upvoted niels nielsen's answer, but I'd like to expand on it. Yes, death is an individual choice! I, too, have known people who have been forced to suffer for years with problems that could only have been cured by miracles (which never happened). Death is inevitable. Therefore, whatever follows is inevitable, whether it's an eternity of shopping in some ...


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Where's the illogic in preferring (1) not to exist to (2) existing and suffering in agony? It's true, from an atheist standpoint, that after euthanasia I will not know that that I have ceased to exist and that I am no longer suffering in agony. But again, where's the illogic in preferring (3) not knowing that that I have ceased to exist and that I am no ...


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I think you have the logic of this backwards. In theism (and some other religious doctrines) life continues after the death of the physical body. They believe euthanasia is a negative act that can impact that ongoing spiritual life in unpleasant ways, so they have a motivation to endure even the worst suffering during their physical lives. Atheists do not ...


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I have personally known two friends who, when faced with incurable cancer, elected to end their own lives at a time and in circumstances of their own choosing. Both made this choice when it was abundantly obvious that death was near and inescapable, and their suffering had become unbearable. In one case, the victim's pain was so great that the sheer ...


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After having read a lot of Dawkins, I would put the following gloss on the big overarching argument he has developed over the entirety of his oeuvre: P1 - The only argument for God worth taking seriously is as the intelligent designer of the complexities of life. P2 - The complexities of life are better explained by evolution than by God. C - Therefore ...


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I'm not particularly a fan of Dawkins, but it's worth the time to consider his position fairly. His argument boils down to this: Complex things are developed from (and thus come after) simple things God (should God exist) would seem to be an exceptionally complex thing Therefore, God cannot come before the less complicated things that compose the universe. ...


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You're missing his point: which is that scientific explanations of intelligent life are better explanations than 'God'. So when you say I'm really curious as to what exactly the area of statistics can say about the existence of God You've glossed the statistical probability of 'evolution' -- and his claim that "complicated things" need to be explained ...


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