Sanctity of Life…Why?

Photo Credit: Awsome PhotosWe in civilized western society tend to honor life. We mark life’s passage with celebrations, whether they be for the living or for the dead. We celebrate weddings and graduations and we honor those who have lived with funeral commemorations. We honor life’s passage. What then do we think about life’s not-so-honorable time-passages… those of suicide, capital punishment, and killing your enemy in war-time.

Abortion, suicide, capital punishment, and war. And I will add another one which isn’t often talked about, and that is the ‘duty to die’. This is the one applicable to the extremely infirm. These all evoke some kind of response/belief/reaction from most people. And surprisingly, most people’s reactions to these types of elective deaths, are not all the same.

For instance, wouldn’t it seem to follow that if you believed in the acts of war, that you would also believe in the ‘duty to die’; or that if you were against abortion that you would also be against capital punishment. Or that you would be for, or against, elective dying taken as a whole.

What are the alternatives to honoring the sanctity of life? We watch as the Islamic Extremist barbarians decapitate Christians and let others burn alive in their cage. Although not unique, this is abhorrent to our western beliefs and customs. The Romans fed Christians to the lions in early AD.

So if we choose to not honor life above all else, are we as barbaric as these Islamic Extremists and early Roman Emperors? Or is there something in between for elective dying? Can we look at life objectively and determine that we can honor life, and honor death, and yet be a civilized society?

Currently, as in the year 2015, we spend a lot of time arguing over the rightness or wrongness of abortion, capital punishment, and war (Iraq and Afghanistan); suicide and the ‘duty to die’ are discussed more quietly. However the passionate among us staunchly defend our positions. But our positions are based upon a core belief that we carry. And that belief is: the sanctity of life.

We believe in the sanctity of life so strongly, that extreme actions are taken in some cases. But I must ask: Why do we believe so strongly? When did we learn this? And is it a valid belief?

If we can search for meaning in a sincere way, try to put aside possible false ideas planted in our brains somewhere by someone, perhaps we can come to a place where we have meaningful beliefs. Beliefs based upon logic, reasoning, compassion, and civilization. Why do we believe in the sanctity of life?



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