Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Death and the Meaning of Life

The larger issue is "death" -- and how it can be done humanely, and even morally at times.  When a person is condemned to a life they do not wish to live -- such as a lifetime imprisonment, or with a deteriorating, painful and hopeless (health) condition, can we terminate that life in a humane manner -- or inflexibly require that one has to commit their own suicide, or as the medical/state presently allows, starvation and dehydration under medical supervision -- rather than a quick and painless eternal rest. 

Many people in the future -- as is already happening now, will be faced with these dilemmas -- of having their lives prolonged indefinitely with no quality of life that makes it meaningful, purposeful and necessary to sustain -- other than our own denial that death is the ultimate fate of everyone -- and how we meet it, can be an intelligent, rational and peaceful choice -- instead of an absolute evil, that we just don't want to deal with, but our caregivers inevitably will, which we hope will be the state with its unlimited resources to prolong our lives in an indefinite vegetative state -- forever.

This runs into the "death with dignity" issue that will benefit from the decision of people like Mr. Haugen who chooses to be a volunteer in facing death with dignity and as little psychological trauma about the issue of death -- that many commenting here, are obviously mentally disturbed by.

A somewhat related issue on the other hand, is the prohibition of the use of "performance enhancing drugs" by volunteers in athletic competitions that certainly would be vastly helpful in improving and enhancing life in those stages and conditions in which there is hopeless deterioration and decline that we only hope to slow those impacts -- because we have determined that no money and research should go to improving lives in this profoundly significant way.

A person wasting away, is not "cheating" if they take these performance enhancing aids to resurrect themselves, but would be the intelligent choice -- if that option was widely and legally known.  Life, as well as death, could be made much greater, more meaningful and purposeful if we expanded the human experience, choices and knowledge by these pioneers -- that every human has a right to be -- in whatever condition and circumstances they are in.

That is how life is made greater for everyone.  That is the meaning of life.


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