If you are able to set your email software to use html instead of text, you
can get the colors I have.
From: Lucy Masters [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2002 3:50 PM
Subject: [Fwd: RE: Darwinism/Compassion]
Adrian: I love your email system and wish I could "do" colors the way you
do. But I can't (to differentiate my responses), so I'll have to just
bundle everything up here.
(1) I don't have a problem arguing that human death is **NOT** evil. Ask
some of our patients who are stuck in hospital beds in severe pain or stuck
in wheelchairs paralyzed from the neck down - sometimes even worse than
that. To them, death would be the greatest of God's blessings.
[AT] If I understand you correctly, the logical implication is that some
lives are just not worth living. Christians, since the earliest days have
accepted suffering as part of living in obedience, and many have even
embraced suffering as a sure road to sanctification. God describes Himself
as LIFE itself, not a God of the dead. I honestly don't see how one can
reconcile this belief that death is not evil with the work of Christ. He
came that we may have life, that death, the last enemy, would be conquered.
If it is in fact true that there are some types of lives that are not worth
living, then I guess we have to say that people who are downright miserable
have a right to end their own lives, and we should not interfere, and that
God is even pleased with people doing such acts. To me, this doesn't seem to
be consistent with the Gospel message.
(2) Unfortunately, death rates do not go up as populations expand. This is
how we ended up with 6.5 billion people on the planet.
[AT] Let me clarify. Number of deaths will go up as population increases,
but just not at the same rate as population growth. So, yes, we would expect
to see more people dying just because there are more people around. Another
thing is that we cannot be sure if the increase in mortality rate is due to
external intervention or some other factors. One cannot infer causation from
(3) Yes..we can and did predict outcomes. The United Nations is chock full
of thousands of reports from numerous scientific sources foretelling the
population disaster we would create if we began feeding programs in third
world countries **in the absence of a quid pro quo.** That is to say, in
the absence of birth control. We (scientists) also predicted the crisis
that would be brought on by the mass utilization of antibiotics, the
building of the Aswan High Dam, and any number of other interventions
designed to respond to an "immediate" need.
[AT] Let's not forget political and economic forces that are at work also.
The United States alone produces enough food to feed most third world
nations over and above its own people. It is not that we have too many
lives, it is that we have too many lives that have no access to the
resources controlled by the powerful. To therefore conclude that these lives
should not have been brought about in the first place is to misplace the
problem. The problem is injustice and the lack of charity, not the presence
(4) "Non-intervention in the face of reason" is exactly what I'm talking
about. In the name of God, Christianity, kindness, and so on, we intervene
in situations with predictable crisis-level outcomes. Now why would we
knowingly create hell on earth in the name of God?
[AT] Only in this case that you have brought up, I think it is unreasonable
not to intervene. Our call is to protect the weak and the needy, not to
decide in advance if certain types of lives are not worth living. The right
exercise of reason requires that we seek the goods of humans, and avoid
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