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Discussion (31)¬

  1. Chiaroscuro says:

    Clever, just the right answer to the question… whats so bad about religions?.

  2. Matt Oxley says:

    Suffer not an atheist to live!

  3. ron says:

    you hit the nail right on the head with that one, hope you didn’t kill it.

  4. khan says:

    That about sums it up.

  5. Jerry w says:

    Misery loves company?
    No, it demands it.

  6. fra says:

    and to think Jesus allowed others to take his life to fulfill the prophecy!!!!

  7. Simon Bishop says:

    I wish this site had a PayPal Donate button.

  8. daoloth says:

    I can’t think of many religions that allow self-ownership. In some way you are held to belong to something else and that shows itself in your lack of a right to go to hell in whatever way you choose. Its hard to see how a liberal sensibility can ever be squared with this. Its not central or necessary buts its easy to see how attitudes to slavery, abortion, drug use etc all fall from this “yuo do not own yourself” mind set. Islam evens means “submission”.

  9. JohnnieCanuck says:

    As the barmaid implies, euthanasia is not the only topic where the religious meddle with others’ lives.

    If religionists don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, even if they love each other, then they don’t have to. Why then force others to not marry whomever they love?

    And before someone else brings it up, yes, homosexual couples should be allowed
    to suffer marriage, just like heterosexuals. That’s not misogynist, is it?

  10. JohnnieCanuck says:

    The internally consistent logic is, “My god has made rules for its subjects. My god is the only god. Therefore my god’s rules apply to everyone and I have a duty to meddle.”

  11. Oddtwang says:

    It’s not even just that – there’s also an edge of “I’m doing them a favour by saving them from eternal torment and fiery damnnation” to it, even if they’ve already written off the unbeliever for not beleiving.
    Forcing someone to go on living when they don’t want to (provided they’re of sound enough mind to make that decision, or made it when they were – if there’s any religious nutters in your family, write a living will, people!) amounts to torture in my book.

  12. Stuart says:

    Well, they do say the real reason the Puritans banned bear-baiting had nothing to do with cruelty to bears but everything to do with the worry that someone, somewhere might be having fun

  13. JMo says:

    That poor woman in Florida had to show the world just how ridiculous some people can be about “merciful” death. Her and Kavorikian, I just know when its my time I hope I have a strong friend to help me pass…..

  14. JoJo says:

    Well this has to be a touchy subject for the religious, doesn’t it? They preach an afterlife of paradise. Pretty soon even the sort of ignorant peasants most attracted by religious indoctrination will think “Hang on a minute, my life utter shit. I’ll take my paradise now, thanks – pass the cyanide, dear.” That’s not good for numbers, which at the end of the day is what it’s all about. So they have to go right over the top in prohibiting suicide under ANY circumstances. No excesptions. Well, unless it counts as martydom, as Mo can no doubt rationalise somehow.. SO people who couldn’t give a monkey’s about religion, who don’t expect paradise, but just an end to pain are tortured for the sake of maintaining this nutty dogma. Bastards.

  15. cruzeiro says:

    LOL!!
    Fantastic observation!
    Can I borrow this piece for my blog some time?
    I’m sure it’ll be applicable in the Malaysian context where there new fatwas on gays, yoga, celebrations etc etc

  16. pikeamus says:

    I find it hard to be particularly hateful of the meddling aspect of religion. If someone honestly believes that doing something will send you to hell then I can’t blame them for wanting to convince you to not do it. In the same way I’d say my belief that religion is significantly harmful on a global scale in some sense requires me to speak out against it when the subject arises.
    I do think that when legislation is based on dogma then we have a problem and equally I obviously wouldn’t want any legislation banning religious worship. I guess what I’m saying is you can be offended by the methods used but don’t let that make you be offended by the intentions (unless the intentions are also evil, in which case its time to really start fighting back).

  17. Poor Richard says:

    As PR has many times pointed out, there is a real but unrecognized danger in turning over to authority — church or government especially — any number of personal matters — abortion, suicide, opinions, relationships. The citizen not only turns over his/her right on some particular matter but also the right to control the use of that particular in unexpected ways. Oviously the power to outlaw abortion or suicide implies the power to require it. We WILL see that day, and given the rate of our species’ increase, it’s probably not far off. Moreover, I cannot
    think of any institutions less suited to make such decisions of life and death than legislatures and churches. One simply loathes the idea of superstition governing his personal rights.

    I have all my life reserved the right to suicide. As Poor Richard says, “I have health insurance by Smith and Wesson.” Of course, as one of PR’s wiser friends pointed out, “But you have to remember what it is and where you put it.” Oh. Yeah. Well.

  18. Don says:

    @pikeamus

    You can’t blame them for attempting to CONVINCE you, no. But, they have no right to DECIDE for you and no right to offer more than an opinion.

    As far as intentions go, I have about as much respect for those who meddle with religiously defined “good intentions” (ie to save my soul) as I do for the guy that forwards me a spam email in the hope that Ronald McDonald will dance across his monitor.

  19. JoJo says:

    You don’t need to send spam email to get Ronald Macdonald to dance across your monitor.. you just have to BELIEVE!!!

  20. r00db00y says:

    I may be wrong here, but why does this little folly of a cartoon exist if not to change the minds of the faithful? Or is it now seen as logical to preach only to the converted? You know that would effectively make this collective….The People’s Front of Judea? :-D

  21. JoJo says:

    SPLITTER!!!!!

  22. Toast in the machine says:

    I’m not sure of your point r00db00y – are you saying every publication of any kind must have as its avowed mission statement the intention to cause people who initially disagree with it to change their minds?

    That may be a desirable aim in this case, but it would be pretty unrealistic to imagine that any one website is likely to de-religionise waves of god-lovers and drive them clear-eyed and rational out of the churches and mosques.

    Just as it would be unlikely to imagine a dyed-in-the-wool Telegraph reader tearing up his Tory party membership card after reading a copy of the Guardian.

    The work of satire and lampoonery is – I hope in this case – death by a thousand cuts, not a single blinding revelation. Keep chipping away, and every now and then the cumulative absurdity – exposed through satire – will resonate with one believer here, one there, and they will find themselves doubting their hitherto deeply held, and unquestioned, beliefs.

    In the meantime, it makes we enlightened ones laugh. (Albeit in the case of this strip, slightly bitterly).

  23. “If someone honestly believes that doing something will send you to hell then I can’t blame them for wanting to convince you to not do it.”

    Sure you can. Or at least you can hold them responsible, which is more useful than blaming. Believing something for no good reason is blameworthy or irresponsible. We have no right to just believe any old thing, especially when we’re going to act on it and impose it on others.

  24. Aphra says:

    Well, I’ll be blowed! I never imagined I’d want to take issue with point made here by Author!

    OK, so denying suicide, assisted or otherwise, on the grounds of eternal damnation is clearly bonkers but it is not the only reason for doing it. Lots of non-religious types, atheists and antitheists have secular moral reasons for denying it (whether those reasons are good or not is another question).

    A reductio for you: the bible says “Thou shalt not kill” so is it OK for me to wreak bloody havoc because I’m not a believer? I think not!

  25. But Author doesn’t specify religious beliefs. Author (or Barmaid) makes a different case. The issue isn’t one of ‘denying’ suicide but of forbidding it, which is a rather different matter. Barmaid says if you think it’s wrong by all means don’t do it, but you want to forbid everyone else to do it too. The idea is that their reasons are not strong enough to justify that – so ‘whether those reasons are good or not’ is actually not another question, it is precisely the question.

  26. Toast in the machine says:

    Whilst I support – in principle – anyone’s right to end their life when they choose, making euthanasia legal does worry me. The elderly are already looked down on and seen as inconvenient, irrelevant or worthless. 60% of Britons already end their lives in hospitals, and the deaths of thousands of old people a year are already hastened by hospital staff, with or without their consent. Making euthanasia a legal choice for the elderly or sick would result in it being ‘chosen’ for far more than it already is by those supposed to be caring for them.

  27. How do you know that?

  28. Toast in the machine says:

    Hi Ophelia. I must admit I’m a little shaky on the exact number, but the figures came from a documentary I saw about 3 years ago, I think on Channel 4, about typical death in Britain. I’m pretty sure about the 60% figure, but I didn’t want to rely on my memory of the number who die with ‘assistance’ – I think chiefly through administration of excess amounts of drugs, or sometimes by lack of administration or treatment where it could have extended lives. I remembered it as 30,000 per year but that seemed very large. Perhaps I added a zero, and you may well ask how they could estimate such a figure anyway. I’m afraid I don’t remember, but even if my memory did multiply it by ten it’s still quite significant. At the same time, these are very elderly people whose minds and bodies have in most cases failed quite badly, and may well have wished a quick end. I will have a dig around on C4’s website and see if I can find any references. It wasn’t much fun to watch, I’m sure you can imagine.

  29. Toast in the machine says:

    I posted a short update at 1.45am yesterday, but it vanished when I clicked Submit. I’ve not found any page for the C4 documentary, but I did find a BBC2 documentary aired in March 2006, presented by Esther Rantzen, called How to have a good death (bbc.co.uk/health/tv_and_radio/how_to_have_a_good_death/). I also found a link to a media site from a few weeks prior to that, referring to documentaries about death due to be aired shortly on both BBC2 and C4, which I guess was the one I had in mind. C4’s website does not have a very comprehensive archive though. So I can’t reference the statistic, but I’m sure I remember a figure of that kind, and as this is the only life that I and people I care about are going to get I don’t want to make it easy for inconvenient elderly people to be encouraged or hastened off the end of it.

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