05 June 2007

Quality of Life is More Important Than Life Except When Quality of Life is Less Important Than Life

In tonight's Republican debate, the hopefuls were asked about the most pressing moral problem: other than Ron Paul, all singled out the reverence for life, a reference to anti-abortion. The quality of the life of the mother deserves no consideration if pursuit of that threatens the life of a fetus.

Ron Paul, however, was just rude. He claimed that the most pressing moral problem was that his fellow Republicans wouldn't rule out a preemptive nuclear strike against a country that was no direct threat to us.

There are, last I heard, children in these countries we have bombed and would be willing to bomb. Why do we accept this "collateral damage" in the execution of war? Because we feel that people in these countries deserve freedom and deserve economic prosperity. That is, quality of life is more important than life itself.

If you can crack the code on that one, you might have a future as a Republican candidate.


Anonymous said...

Well I would rather die than live in a war zone my whole life. I mean- you can't enjoy anything in that state of mind. It's just endless suffering.

Fetuses- well people ought to ensure that their environment is controlled when they are carrying because it causes long term damage to any organism on many levels when a certain degree of violence is normalized. By damage, I mean instinct injury and a perpetuation of violence.

But nuclear energy misused is dangerous to everyone. We can never, ever afford be that nihilistic and contemptuous of life.

Anonymous said...

What is the most pressing moral question in federal government?

Ron Paul could have mentioned torture, or abortion or the use of force on citizens, but focused on the criteria for going to war. War should not be taken lightly. War kills people. For Ron Paul, war kills individuals. For Ron Paul, war should not be entered based on emotions, but decided only under limitations that are decided ahead of time.

Children are not a showcase. They are not flowers in one's garden, to be trimmed and weeded to create a pretty image. They are not cute decorations. To Ron Paul each child is valuable. Each person is valuable.

That, of course, is not incompatible with using limiting guidelines in declaring war.

Ron Paul is consistent in his moral stance.

Anonymous said...

I've been where emotions ran high and I always delayed any long term strategy at that time, even if I had no alternative but to react defensively in order to evade attack.

Look at divorce and custody battles, for example. These are behaviors carried through from the height of emotion, and perpetuated over an extended period of time. Totally irrational behavior, and yet still fashionable behavior in Western pop culture. So much focus is given to conflict diversion, that it has become a parasitic cultural force.

I am able to set aside grudges, and form a long term strategy which benefits even the person with whom I am in conflict, without harming their interests. I believe I show this in my persistence, and integral acts.

But it takes a lot of emotional maturity and an unflinching commitment to the big picture as a positive one, and also a generous show of trust, in order to get there with me. A true optimism. This is something we learn through spiritual or religious conditioning. Science is rational but it cannot provide that warmth necessary for the nurture which allows us to follow through in behaving constructively, and with compassion. Science is neutral, and, like the atom bomb, can be employed for harm or good. It is not inherently correct in any given situation, and thus, it is not any more or less vaid than the abstractions of spirituality which cannot yet be scientifically illustrated, and which can direct us in our decisions as to how we apply our science in our lives.

Perhaps it is the female principal, this quality I speak of. And it has to be respected if it is to function unhindered, and balance the male aspect. It's place is not pre-defined. It goes where it is needed in order to create balance and prosperity. Sometimes, it directs itself towards the actions of the male principal in doing so, because this is in obvious need of correction. Intelligence is an understanding that all humans are flawed and a receptivity to the opinions and sentiments of others whom we deem worthy of our time, whether or not these are savory, or appealing.

A good analogy would be the addiction to sweets. If we require the opposite party to be pleasant without fail, this is like a steady diet of sugar, which will eventually destroy our capacity to taste and appreciate other flavors.

I think that it is people who are trying to take advantage of us who will opt to ply us always with sugary treats. It is the simplest way to take wihout giving back, and leave someone depleted.

If Ron is able to understand this, then he sounds like an intelligent person. If he is too consumed by his own weakness to see it, then he is only hurting his own interests as he discovers that eventually in life, we _need_ to have trust and compassion around us- unconditionally so- in all it's flavors and colors. He will never learn that it takes all flavors to build a true appreciation of the sweetness in life.

Anonymous said...

I've never quite understood why respect for life doesn't mean things like a living wage, health care, and a clean environment. There's more people in this world than just fetuses, after all.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, perhaps the assertion of the pre-natal right, is an extension of the need for standards of behavior, and respect for the reproductive cycle, and the way in which our approach to it is integral to our success as a society and a civilization.

Perhaps we respect the fetus in it's context to our attitudes towards procreation, the same way we do the seed which grows into our crops, which sustain us. We do not yell and scream at one another because we dropped a seed, do we? We merely take stock of what we have lost, and adapt.

We are so desensitized, and removed from the functionality of our traditions, that we are unable to grasp the nature of these meditative abstractions in relation to the functionality of forgiveness, and flexibility, built into the Christian faith as a clear understanding that human nature does lead us from the ideal path to salvation and comfort.

It is because these tenets were misrepresented that we have grown distrustful of them, but it was the messenger and not the message which was in need of correction. It is such a flexible and vibrant belief system, that we are able to update it merely by reinterpretation. I think this has been my point all along.

Catholic or not, when we see Sun's rays being channeled into the very structure of the Vatican, we know that we can rest for a while, and that we have been heard in ways that will last so long as we keep a promise in our heart to be true to the ideals which ultimately bring us salvation, and remember the value of forgiveness not as a surrender, but as an empowerment to change.