RE: [asa] (euthanasia) morals/ethics

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Thu Oct 22 2009 - 15:41:17 EDT

Hi George- I know you meant that "not every answer is in chapter and verse" but that "the Bible generally gives us direction."  So my question, what direction???

I just read your article.  And your answer is that there is no answer.  (And yes, I see the 'direction' or hints for deciding the issue that you are providing.)

Oh, so what's left? Reason.  Oh, now you are at the same place as the atheist. both relying on reason.  And the result: one Christian may agree with an atheist in pulling the plug, and another Christian may agree with another atheist in prolonging life every second possible.

So why didn't God tell someone? He doesn't care?  Because this issue isn't as important as abortion or hom.ose-xuality (which the Bible does seem to directly address)?  And I don't think this is a modern problem.  Look at how King Saul died, by suicide.  King Saul's "good Samaritan" finished him off as Saul pleaded, yet David had this guy killed.  Seems to me like David was in the wrong there (David should be guilty of murder, in my opinion, for having this guy killed).  Do you agree?

2 Samuel 1
David Hears of Saul's Death
 1 After the death of Saul, David returned from defeating the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days. 2 On the third day a man arrived from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and with dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.
 3 "Where have you come from?" David asked him.
      He answered, "I have escaped from the Israelite camp."
 4 "What happened?" David asked. "Tell me."
      He said, "The men fled from the battle. Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead."
 5 Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?"
 6 "I happened to be on Mount Gilboa," the young man said, "and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and riders almost upon him. 7 When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, 'What can I do?'
 8 "He asked me, 'Who are you?'
      " 'An Amalekite,' I answered.
 9 "Then he said to me, 'Stand over me and kill me! I am in the throes of death, but I'm still alive.'
 10 "So I stood over him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord."
 11 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.
 13 David said to the young man who brought him the report, "Where are you from?"
      "I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite," he answered.
 14 David asked him, "Why were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?"
 15 Then David called one of his men and said, "Go, strike him down!" So he struck him down, and he died. 16 For David had said to him, "Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, 'I killed the LORD's anointed.' "


From: George Murphy []
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:35 AM
To: Dehler, Bernie; ASA
Subject: Re: [asa] (euthanasia) morals/ethics

Your characterization of my position is quite inaccurate.  What I have said is that the God in whom Christians believe provides a basis for ethics.  I have never said that the Bible gives us the answers for all ethical & moral questions that arise.  In discussing the 10 Commandments with 8th graders for confirmation I always made a point of giving them a few mini-case studies in which the demands of 2 or more commandments were, at least superficially, in conflict.  That is precisely because I didn't want them to think that all the problems they'd be faced with could be dealt with by pulling out an appropriate Bible verse.  In other words, welcome to the real world.
A brief article of mine that deals with euthanasia & related matters, "Death in a High-Tech Age", is at .

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dehler, Bernie" <>
To: "ASA" <>
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 12:16 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] (euthanasia) morals/ethics

> For those who think like George, that morals come from God and can be discovered from the Bible, how do you find the right position on euthanasia, or 'mercy killing?'
> Even as a Christian, I saw nothing wrong with a person taking their life if they had some disease that they would just eventually waste away anyway.  (As the argument goes, if we can kill an animal out of mercy, why not so much more a human?)  I've had relatives that died that way- slipping into coma and eventually dying or going through a long period of ever worsening dementia before dying. 
> I think the simpleton approach, likely the Catholic approach, is to say that it is wrong to take one's life in all cases; no exceptions.  Maybe we could even argue that this Catholic position is immoral, as it prolongs needless suffering (it is ironic how there is such an emphasis on clinging to life as if this is the only life there is; but Catholics should think of death as a 'coming home party' if they believe in an afterlife, and not fear it.)
> Some may be worried about the slippery slope; allow euthanasia in a good case, then what about other trivial cases, like when a teenager has a bad day at school and wants to end it all?  To me that is akin to saying driving licenses shouldn't be given out because children may want one or incompetent people may want one.  Solution: making reasonable rules.  (Note, "reasonable" comes from "reason.")
> So what is the right Christian stance on euthanasia? How can it be discovered?  How does God tell us?  And if God doesn't tell us, why not?  And if He doesn't tell us on this one, why does He tell us on others?  For example, is the gay issue more important, so God tells us about that one; but euthanasia isn't as important?
> I'm just saying lets see how the rubber meets the road.  If the Bible or God is our source for morals, what is this source saying? And how can we discover it?
> And beware the 'no true scotsman' fallacy where you might say only the 'true' Christians have the right answer ('true' meaning the sect you belong to):
> ...Bernie

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Received on Thu Oct 22 15:41:29 2009

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