Feb 11

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How do we as Americans determine a “moral standard” for this nation?” America has been debating this question for years! There are two basic thoughts: 1) mankind will make their own moral standard; and 2) “the teaching of Christ” is the only true moral standard! Here we recall the words from the first article: “Consistency—the absence of contradictions—has sometimes been called the hallmark of ethics. Ethics is supposed to provide us with a guide for moral living, and to do so it must be rational, and to be rational it must be free of contradictions.” The truth is, “mankind” is incapable of making such a “moral standard” that is “consistent!”
Let us take up two concurrent subjects of debate: 1) assisted suicide and 2) euthanasia. It is necessary to understand these two words; therefore, let us do so! These have been debated from two standpoints: 1) from the medical field and 2) from the ethical view! In this debate, there are those who assert that: 1) both assisted suicide and euthanasia are morally wrong and should not be provided. Those on the other side: 2) hold that assisted suicide and euthanasia should, and maybe, must be, allowed. This is true, regardless of the circumstances of the case! Then, 3) others hold that assisted suicide or euthanasia are ethically legitimate in rare and exceptional cases; there is the inconsistency of some! Is euthanasia ethically right, or is it ethically wrong; is assisted suicide ethically correct, or is it ethically incorrect? Yet, it is also stated: 4) “but that professional standards and the law should not be changed to authorize either practice.” Speak of inconsistency; here it is in full view! But, the debate does not stop here; 5) “Finally, some advocate that assisted suicide, or both assisted suicide and euthanasia, should be recognized as legally and morally acceptable options in the care of dying or severely ill patients.” (Ethics Education of Military Leaders A Edward Major, Esq).
Early in man’s history, God said through Moses: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Gen. 9:6). This principle is then clearly stated in “the teaching of Christ,” which makes it the responsibility of civil government: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (2) Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: (4) For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Rom 13:1-4). First, the word “Let,” expresses a command; 2) the words “for he beareth not the sword in vain” is capital punishment; and 3) then notice that these words are followed with: “for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil!” Clearly, the “higher powers” as used here, refer to civil government and it is the God given responsibility of civil government as the “minister of God” to fulfil this responsibility. Here we have “consistency!”
It remains to answer the questions: 1) is assisted suicide, and 2) euthanasia, murder? Here is a good place to recall the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” First, the laws of this Nation; “West’s Encyclopedia of American Law states that “a ‘mercy killing’ or euthanasia is generally considered to be a criminal homicide” and is normally used as a synonym of homicide committed at a request made by the patient.” Next, it is necessary to understand the word “homicide:” “The judicial sense of the term ‘homicide’ includes any intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, even to relieve intractable suffering.” Without doubt “mercy killing” and “euthanasia” fall within the words “criminal homicide!”
It is a common practice used by those who desire to do something illegal, immoral, to dress it up with nice sounding words: 1) “mercy” and 2) “euthanasia.” Euthanasia means: “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy and comes from the Greek word “euthanatos” which mean: “easy death,” but the use of sweet words do not change the nature of it; it is still murder! Here is a good place to give meaning to the word “murder;” The definition of murder has evolved over several centuries. Under most modern statutes in the United States, murder comes in four varieties: (1) intentional murder; (2) a killing that resulted from the intent to do serious bodily injury; (3) a killing that resulted from a depraved heart or extreme recklessness; and (4) murder committed by an Accomplice during the commission of, attempt of, or flight from certain felonies. (The Free Dictionary)
Therefore, “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” This is what happens when “mankind” tries to write his own “moral standard!” It becomes an immoral standard and those who follow it, are “a menace to society,” which falls short of consistency! Consistency being the hallmark of a truly moral standard and this moral standard is “the teaching of Christ!”

Frank R. Williams

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