Re: The Curse - Upon All Creation or Just Mankind?

From: jack syme <drsyme@cablespeed.com>
Date: Fri Sep 24 2004 - 18:32:45 EDT

I am a Christian physician, a neurologist to be exact. I also chair a couple of hospital ethics committees, and have a lot of training specifically in medical ethics.

As a neurologist, I deal with end of life decisions frequently, and, even more interestingly, with what the definition of death is, and what consciousness is.

But I rarely feel "adrift". I have worked through most of these issues long ago. I think the answer to: " is human death inherently evil", is clearly no. But I dont know if that really has anything to do with my clarity about decisions in this matter, as much as it has to do with societal and ultimately Christian values, of autonomy , beneficence, and non maleficence.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jim Armstrong
  Cc: ASA
  Sent: Friday, September 24, 2004 4:27 PM
  Subject: Re: The Curse - Upon All Creation or Just Mankind?

  That's an important question to examine because the conclusions have such a strong practical bearing on biggie discussions on important stuff like end-of-life matters and stem cell research (for starters). It's a daunting question to explore in an environment where some are all too ready to leap to their feet with an instant affirmative answer. But I think the answer is "no". In any case, a thoughtful exploration of this question is appropriate and timely and very important.

  Just to mention one issue, the present fairly widespread opinion (embodying the "yes" answer to your question) seems to leave Christian doctors and families who face life or death decisions pretty much adrift in a special kind of isolation with their decision(s). And, faced with making some kind of decision, all too often any choice made will be wrong to some very well-meaning people. Something seems to be amiss.

  I think the answer (which took a long time to get to), "no". I touched on some of the rationale in a previous post or two.
  An excellent question you pose. But there is one embedded question that asks whether death by old age is really different in any significant way from death by identifiable, treatable disease? Still, an excellent question.

  Or so it seemeth to me... JimA

  Sheila Wilson wrote:

    One of the four options presented by David Campbell, aka Uncle Joe, says: "Death of animals is not inherently a moral evil." This leads me to the following question: is the physical death of man inherently evil? (Assuming death by old age, of course.) I believe this is the most correct option of the four given.

    Sheila

    bivalve <bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com> wrote:
> The real question is whether death occurred before the fall. The Bible doesn't say. Inferring that death didn't occur because God said His creation was good is probably wrong. Death is often referred to as a good thing; for example, a seed must be buried in the ground and die before a new plant is grown and we must die to self (crucify our flesh) in order to be obedient to God. Inferring that nothing ever died before the fall is also false because God promised seed time and harvest will never cease as long as the earth endures (Genesis 8:22).
>
> What is the answer? Can we even discover the answer in this age?

      Paleontological evidence clearly indicates the death of animals (including predation) long before the existence of humans.

      At least four explanations exist:

      Paleontological evidence is incorrect.

      Death of animals is not inh erently a moral evil.

      Satan's fall was allowed to affect animals.

      The state of the world reflected humanity's future fall (cf. salvation of OT believers before Jesus' earthly life).

      Dr. David Campbell
      Old Seashells
      University of Alabama
      Biodiversity & Systematics
      Dept. Biological Sciences
      Box 870345
      Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
      bivalve@mail.davidson.alumlink.com

      That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at Droitgate Spa

    Sheila McGinty Wilson
    sheila-wilson@sbcglobal.net
Received on Fri Sep 24 18:54:59 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Sep 24 2004 - 18:55:00 EDT