Euthanasia

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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:40 pm

What JT..? Shall we play "who's parents are more fucking pitiful..?" Is that what we shall do..? Then whoever's ma or pa is the bigger fucking trainwreck can have the last goddamn word.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby tentative » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:06 am

I said done is done. Leave it lay.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:58 pm

I see that for a few of you guys euthanasia and matters of death are very close to you at the moment, I wish you all the best for that. I didn't want to address any personal issues because I knew that's how it can get (you'll notice in the debate too I did everything hypothetically...Tab's more personal approach was also very effective!).

But we still have to settle this debate. So bloody well do a vote. Base it on the power of argument mainly, try not to be biased in your approach folks, read it as if you're a teacher!

I make it 1-0 to myself so far I think, but it's first to 10 so...

VOTE!

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=174254
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Only_Humean » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:25 am

Interesting debate, and good points on both sides. What I missed was any discussion about the systems as they are already implemented - in Holland and Switzerland, at least, it's possible to arrange it with the necessary safeguards.

I disagree with cheegster insofar as trusting state appointees with the power of life and death over citizens. And I disagree with Tab that no child should have to choose to kill their parent. Well, not with that, but with the converse; that nobody should have the right to end their loved ones' suffering under any circumstance.

The current state of affairs in the UK and most of the US is that a veterinarian would be prosecuted and struck off for cruelty if found keeping an animal alive in the conditions that a doctor is legally obliged to keep a human alive. There's something there that doesn't seem right. On the other hand, I think personal choice over one's own living is a fundamental ingredient to a good life, and neither of the positions seemed to back that. So I'd have to split my vote down the middle, or withhold it altogether.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:01 pm

Awesome, yeah a trick was missed with the vetenarian, it's a good clear analogy - particularly when I was fighting solely for the reduction of suffering.

Cheers OH, Your comments appreciated as always.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:08 pm

Cheers OH.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Xunzian » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:47 pm

Medical students in most parts of the world no longer take the Hippocratic Oath since, amongst other things, it forbids surgery.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:53 pm

Xunzian wrote:Medical students in most parts of the world no longer take the Hippocratic Oath since, amongst other things, it forbids surgery.


Could that be construed as a tacit vote for myself? Hmmm... :-k
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:52 pm

Last chance to vote before this (so far) sham of a ballot ceases guys. Any input? Whatsoever?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:00 pm

As the closest thing to a veteran of these debates Mr. C, this is probably as good as it gets.

Forget the score, the writing and the thinking are the thing, if you put your heart into your argument, then you did good.

Looks like it was 1-and-a-cryptic-maybe to nothing in your favour anyway. Well done.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:17 am

It makes me not want to debate again to be honest. We put a good 4000 words each in there. I'm reluctant to take a win by such a small and dubious margin.

Anyway, I think we both did real real good. O:)
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Blurry » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:25 am

My input is this -- I disagree with Tab on a personal level, and his argument didn't change my mind.

Tab, you know how fond I am of you, but I have to cast a vote for the cheegs, if they're still being accepted.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Xunzian » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:21 am

Sorry Tab.

I didn't want to vote.

But I will.

I'll throw it to C.

Tab's arguments, while well structured, tended to argue the difficulties of implementing euthanasia as opposed to arguing against euthanasia. Normally, I'm pretty sympatico with that sort of reasoning, sure, it is a fine idea but we can't really implement it, so let's not. But the debate wasn't about that so from the get the argument was pretty much ceded. If the subject had been, "Should <country X> enact a Eugenics program?" Tab's arguments would have been incredibly strong. If he had pandered and argued that Eugenics represent a lack filial piety. Something.

But overall C presented the better argument given the topic. Tab's objections were either irrelevant or countered. The same doesn't apply in the other direction.

Sorry tab.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:57 am

I'll read it on Thursday night and render a judgment if you guys are willing to wait.

I read it two days ago, actually, and was thinking about judging it, but I wanted to have it be somewhat detailed, so was waiting until I had a free hour or so.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby cheegster » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:38 pm

Thanks guys. Some interesting comments too.

Pav, of course you can take as much time as you want.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:15 pm

No biggies people. Trouble with this one is, the right to end your life when you want, as you want, is to me pretty much a given. It is our life after all. So I was forced to play the 'emotional appeal' card along with the 'unfeasable in practice' card, to have any hope at all.

Would have worked with any other audience, but ILP's a tough crowd, emotionally speaking.

I still see a huge difference, morality-wise, between the DIY solution of suicide, and the forced complicity of a second party with euthanasia, but then it seems that's just me. Oh well.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Xunzian » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:28 pm

See, I don't think that is a given more importantly, to just cede that from the get-go means you've got a pretty big problem from the standpoint of the debate, you know?

Good arguments though. I liked the wanting to kill the parents bit. Very effective.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:46 pm

to just cede that from the get-go means you've got a pretty big problem from the standpoint of the debate, you know?


I'm ceding it here, not there - and the debate's over so, what's the harm..?

From that thread:

Xunzian wrote:The permissibility of suicide depends on the culture, but the overall prohibition exists because life is a social, rather than individual, good. As such, any given life is not owned by any one individual (that would be slavery) but rather it is shared by a community. Suicide that does not express the values of said community is therefore wrong. The other forms of death you mentioned are in keeping with the values of the community from which they stem. That would be the distinction.


Hmm. Dubious. In the question of ownership, if nothing else, I own my body, and whatever investments may have been made by interested parties during its construction and maintainance... Were all done without legally binding contracts. And the question of legality is moot anyway - you may repossess my car, but removing my physicality from the possession of my consciousness would prove somewhat harder.

A grey area perhaps. Ownership to me must involve adequate defence. You do not truly own that which another can take from you or destroy. If I was enslaved, then to some extent the 'ownership' of my body would pass to another and presumably they would act to defend against my theft by another slaver, however, they would fall down on the "or destroy" clause, as I could still successfully assault my own body, with a high likelihood of complete destruction, at whatever time I wished. They only own me for as long as I remain unwilling to employ the final veto.

I suppose a suicidal slave could be prevented from killing themselves forcibly, through immobilisation and intravenous nutrition, but that would negate their worth economically, which could be counted again as a 'win' for the slave regarding ownership. The ultimate 'power of goodbye' to quote Madonna once more.

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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Xunzian » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:20 pm

I dunno. It just felt in the argument that you were ceding territory from the get-go. Territory that could have effectively been fought over.

And, no. Your life is not your own. Your friends, family, nation, community, work, and all that all have a stake in it.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:35 pm

Your friends, family, nation, community, work, and all that all have a stake in it.


Aye, but it's less than 51%. If I bankrupt the company, they can reclaim their losses after I go into receivership. Shylock would understand.
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Xunzian » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:52 pm

I disagree.

Why do you think it is less than 51%?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Tab » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:07 am

Why do you think it is more..? Are you strangelooping on me..?
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:12 am

Thank you for your patience.

I'm going to try to render a fairly detailed judgment, though it is not as detailed as I would like for a Debate. I overestimated how much time I had to spend on this tonight, and it turns out I only have about forty-five minutes, including the re-read.

Anyway, it doesn't seem like this was intended to be an exceptionally formal Debate, and what few grammatical mistakes I observed from re-reading the posts are negligible (and mostly nit-picky) anyway.

Therefore, I have decided to adjudicate this Debate based entirely on the arguments presented. The format that I will use in judging this Debate will be such that I will start each individual with 15 points and deduct one-fourth of a point to one point for each error in argument that I determine exists. In the end, the individual with whom I am (generally speaking) most convinced by will also receive one point back on his score.

I will address errors in the order that they occurred:

NOTE:

The following quote is quite central and will come up later:

Cheegster wrote:1. I am not arguing that involuntary euthanasia is permissible when the act can unequivocally be seen as not in the best interests of the individual in question. Of course, many ideas attached to this are subjective ones (and what are up for debate here), but generally it is pretty clear that you shouldn’t kill somebody because they are a different race. You just need a basic grasp of what is conventionally ‘moral’ to follow that one.


CHEEGSTER's OPENING ARGUMENT

I'm going to deduct 1/4th of a point from Cheegster for bringing up, "Significantly mind altering," diseases in his opening. (Second Paragraph under "Voluntary Euthanasia")

He gives a brief mention to such diseases and then states, "However, in the vast majority of cases those who are diagnosed with a terminal illness still possess unadulterated thought, and their autonomy should be respected." Basically, Cheegster presents his opponent with a potential argument against his position (if one's mind is altered, then they are not of a disposition to make the choice) and then essentially admits that he has no counter-argument for it other than it's not the case the majority of the time.

Cheegster's "Non-Voluntary Euthanasia," section is rock-solid, as far as openings go.

In Cheegster's, "Involuntary Euthanasia," section, I find particular fault with:

Although that person may be in terrible pain, they may also be scared of death and thus unwilling to voluntarily give up their life. But is it worth allowing that person to go through this unbearable pain because they are scared of their doctor? Certainly not.


That's in reference to a person with Alzheimer's Disease. The first problem that I have is the suggestion that the person in question is, "Scared of (his/her) doctor," when, even within the context of the sentence, the person is scared of death. I think this directly counters Cheegster's earlier statement that, "I am not arguing that involuntary euthanasia is permissible when the act can unequivocally be seen as not in the best interests of the individual in question." The statement, "I don't want to die," is quite clear and unambiguous (unequivocal) so I would suggest that if a person outwardly wants to live (regardless of mental state) then allowing that person to live is unequivocally in that person's best interest.

Besides, Cheegster's statement here basically assumes that, "Unbearable pain," is such that it be more unbearable than the thought of dying. However, it is clear that if a person experiencing the pain still would not rather be dead, then the thought of death is clearly the more unbearable of the two.

Given that this was the conclusion to Cheegster's opening post, I find no alternative but to deduct a full point.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
TAB's OPENING ARGUMENT

I think that Tab does a good job expressing the sheer quantity of Religious adherents in the World in an effort to make his Religion-Based argument relevant, unfortunately, it still isn't. A few other items (that are currently legal, at least in U.S.) that the vast majority of the world's religions do not believe in is drunkeness, divorce and abortion. I find that merely because something is legal does not necessarily mean that an individual has to participate in it; it is simply an option for an individual who has no moral problem with the thing in question.

Ultimately, I find Tab's section on Religion, in and of itself, without merit and deduct a full point.

Tab's Economical argument read like an argument in favor of Euthanasia, until he reached the point which mentioned the potential for abuse for personal gain. That's the first real chink Tab took out of Cheegster's armor, and I do not believe Cheegster countered in the best way possible (though it wasn't bad) as will be described later.

Ironically, given Tab's Religious argument, he later stated, "Those that disapproved would simply not euthanize their relatives." Of course, there's no additional deduction for that, I just thought it was ironic given my critique of his Religious section.

As far as an opening is concerned, I find that the, "Economical," section of Tab's opening was solid.

THIS:

I forget which book I read it in, but there was a story about a Sociology professor who sent 6 of his students to sanitoriums and had them try to get admitted as schitzophrenic - he gave them a list of symptoms to exhibit. Anyway, they all got themselves successfully committed. Then he told them to revert back to their normal selves, and try to convince the staff at those sanitoriums that they were fine, and should be released. None of them were. In the end the prof. had to go and spring them himself.


Was excellent.

While Tab's sections (with exception to Religion) were exceptional in and of themselves, it must be acknowledged that Tab only fully addressed Involuntary Euthanasia...and maybe...if construed in just the right way...Non-Voluntary Euthanasia. With all due respect, I cannot help but conclude that Tab failed to address Voluntary Euthanasia in any appreciable way whatsoever in his opening, and many might assume that to be the most common form of Euthanasia. I suppose it was briefly covered in the Religious part, but again, that part is dismissed as being inapplicable.

However, it is without doubt that Tab Attempted to address Voluntary Euthanasia, albeit only in the Religious part, therefore, I will only deduct a half of a point.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CHEEGSTER'S REBUTTAL:

Cheegster immediately attacks the Religious portion of Tab's argument. In fact, no less than 60% of Cheegster's rebuttal is an attack on the Religious (weakest) portion of Tab's opening argument. It is true that every argument by an opponent should be addressed, but Tab's Religious argument could have been addressed with nothing more than a cursory dismissal and it would have been fine. The part about people of Religion being, "Stupider," is also mildly offensive, and I'm not Religious!

Ultimately, the part about it being mildly offensive doesn't matter, and Tab's Religious argument (to the extent that it could be considered relevant) was countered fairly well. However, given the unnecessary attention given to said counter in comparison with Tab's (two) better arguments that should have (individually) received as much or more attention, I'm going to deduct half a point.

In relation to greed taking over and someone offing a relative for financial gain, the thrust of Cheegster's initial argument is, "But just because somebody may have this urge in order to cash in on said relative’s savings, it doesn’t mean it will always happen." That's basically the same thing as me stating that it's fine to jump off a building, because a person jumping off of a building isn't going to die every time. In fact, Cheegster basically already stated (in his long assault on the Religious aspect of Tab's post) that it won't always happen which is clear because the Religious people will not do it. Briefly, arguing something will not, "Always," happen is simply an argument that it will happen less than 100% of the time, which incorporates 80% of the time, 90% of the time, 99.99999% of the time...etc. It's a non-argument, and warrants (in my humble opinion) a half point deduction.

The rest of Cheegster's argument can be summarized with, "But whilst I understand that we can’t let mental cold blooded buffoons take matters into their own hands when it comes to matters of euthanasia, I also think that we can put our trust in certain individuals and a rigorous system to do case by case analysis of proposed euthanasia with basic guidelines." I think that even absent an independent counter-argument, Cheegster should have realized that, "Certain individuals," operating under a, "Rigorous system," will result in a back-log of people who want to die (much like Courts are behind in cases) and that eventually it will reach a point where, despite application, the people are dying on their own faster anyway! I'm only going to deduct a quarter-point for this though, I think that perhaps he should have said that it be left up to the individual's doctor as to whether or not to approve.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
SIDE NOTE:

Actually, I think the best counter-argument against Tab's position in that particular situation is something of a power-of-attorney argument in combination with something on the medical record (taken when an individual is of sound mind and body and able to make a rational, independent, decision) that authorizes an individual to make that decision on the person's behalf, or specifically states that only the person themselves can make that decision. Even more specifically, a person might have a medical option available to them to put on the record such as, "Do not euthanize under any circumstances."

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
TAB's REBUTTAL:

The first part of Tab's rebuttal seems to address the concept of Voluntary Euthanasia by first stating that there might be ways to alleviate pain by essentially turning off or dialing down the parts of an individual's brain that cause said individual to be experiencing pain. Finding no fault with that argument, I will move on to the second paragraph.

The second paragraph focuses on Cheegster's use of the words, "Unadulterated thought," and counters said use by stating that the agony that the person experinces adulterates that person's thought. I do not find particular fault with that statement, in and of itself, but when applied to Euthanasia (presumably to end the agony) it seems that the level of pain would necessarily factor into an individual's decision. Simply stated, were it not for the pain, the individual would theoretically not be in a position where he is considering doctor-assisted suicide to begin with, therefore, the pain is (necessarily) inseperable from the consideration anyway. The ultimate result, in my opinion, is a non-argument because the experience of agony vs. death is what is being decided, therefore, that which is being decided should not be used as a basis for determining that the person should not decide upon it. Because (with exception to the possibility presented in the first paragraph) the two are inseperable the argument is a non-argument, thus, I deduct half a point.

Tab's argument that someone could simply commit suicide the good old fashioned way is quite logical and well-founded. I suppose the only way this argument could be assailed is for Cheegster to mention that some people are physically incapable of committing suicide (literally), but it does not seem that Cheegster does, at least not in direct response, so that's actually going to be a negative half-point to Cheegster.

Tab addresses Cheegster's Counter-Religious-Argument by stating that Cheegster's statistically-backed opinion that Religious people are stupid is not going to help push through legislation. While I do not dispute the validity of this position, it does not seem to relate in any way as to whether or not Euthanasia should or should not be legal, just whether or not it would be voted for. However, this is a minor point, so I'm only going to deduct one-fourth of a point.

Given that both participants have largely ignored the possiblity that an individual could make whether or not he is to be euthanized a formal part of his medical record, Tab makes an incredibly sound argument (particularly in the first paragraph under the picture, and the paragraph above the picture) against Utilitarianism.

The remainder of the post is largely an emotional appeal which will not be addressed either way.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
CHEEGSTER's CONCLUSION:

Cheegster opens with a strong contra-counter argument to Tab's Utilitarianism counter-argument. He basically re-emphasizes that he stated right off the bat that Euthanasia is meant to be in the best interests of the individual in question rather than society-at-large, and that Euthanasia would hardly become a default position as Tab seems to imply. He essentially accuses Tab of exaggerating the issue, which is probably true, but made for a terrific counter-argument in Tab's Rebuttal.

The Utilitarian argument concludes at basically a dead-lock.

Cheegster then re-emphasizes the rigorousness of the system that would be in place, apparently still not realizing that if the system becomes too rigorous it will defeat its own intended purpose, so I'm going to knock off a quarter of a point for that.

Cheegster eventually hints at the possiblity of a vote, "if it can be decided by a community..." Again, I'm uncertain where the need for a vote (or any discussion thereof) is relevant to the matter at hand which is essentially a should or should not, as opposed to a would or would not, sort of thing.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
TAB's CONCLUSION:

Tab's conclusion brought substantial new argument into the Debate which Cheegster was unable to counter given that he had no posts remaining, therefore, I will directly counter all new argument and address it that way.

Tab first cites the Hippocratic Oath which (allegedly) states:

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan


However, the Modern Hippocratic Oath (Dr. Louis Lasagna) (in wider use) states:

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.


Simply put, the Modern Hippocratic Oath does not absolutely prohibit the taking of a life, but rather states that it be done with humbleness and awareness. For example, many Doctors put death row inmates to death as it stands now, and their ethical justification for doing so is that they are individuals who are knowledgeable in the correct way to do things, therefore, they can prevent anything from going substantially wrong in that the subject will be executed correctly.

Euthanasia would work the same way in this sense. The individual would be dying because he/she wants to die not because the individual's doctor wants him/her to die. In fact, if the Euthanasia doctor and the primary care Physician were one in the same, then the Doctor would actually have an economic interest in keeping the patient alive!

Were Tab's misapplication of the Hippocratic Oath willful, I would deduct a full point. However, I can only assume that it's an oversight, so I will deduct one-half of a point.

Given the above fact, the next couple paragraphs of Tab's post are irrelevant as no separate entity to administer Euthanasia involving individuals who are not doctors would be required.

Tab brings up the argument that an individual might bring suit to prevent a family member from being Voluntarily Euthanized, but I consider this a non-position. First of all, lacking explicit power-of-attorney, that individual has absolutely no say in what the other person does. Secondly, I do not believe that a person could move, post facto, to have an individual declared mentally unable to make that decision. By post facto, I mean, the fact is the person has already made the decision to be Euthanized prior to be declared mentally unfit to make the decision. To declare the person unfit to make a decision that they have already made just doesn't seem to make much sense. I deduct one-fourth of a point.

Tab's concluding sentence is good, and he makes the argument, in a round-about way that not only does the person die while waiting for the Court proceedings to hammer out, but they also sacrifice what remanining dignity and positive familial relations they had in the process. This basically works strongly against Cheegster's "Rigorous standards," argument to the extent that said argument is rendered a nullity. In short, if it can't be done quick, then it can't be done at all.

The Power-of-Attorney argument would have helped Cheegster's position, but he never made it.

SCORE: Cheegster: 11.75 Tab: 12

Given the scoring system outlined above, it would come down to whose argument I found the most compelling. Ultimately, I found both arguments equally compelling because I didn't have much of a stance in the first place and I don't have much of a stance now. I believe that both combatants advanced a few really strong arguments, that both advanced a few good counter-arguments and that both missed a couple of solid opportunities.

It was an enjoyable Debate, the only major error (which was mutual) was getting away from the subject of this Debate, which is, whether or not Euthanasia should be legalized. Feasibility was discussed which has nothing (directly) to do with the should/should not question, and so was the question of whether or not people would vote for it which has nothing to do with the should or should not question.

Almost all Debates in this format get away from the direct subject on occasion, though, so it's to be expected.

So much for forty-five minutes...
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Only_Humean » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:33 am

Tab wrote:Why do you think it is more..? Are you strangelooping on me..?


I think it's a basic value, not something to be debated. Ultimately, it comes down to what sort of society you want to live in. Which is in turn very dependent on what your experiences were in the one you grew up in.

There's a very interesting classification system for cultures, Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions (see http://www.geert-hofstede.com/) - one of the cardinal dimensions is Individualism/Collectivism.
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Only_Humean
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Re: Euthanasia

Postby Xunzian » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:32 pm

I don't even think we need to go that far. Then again, Ames correctly pointed out that Western ethnocentricism displays itself by universalizing the Western experience and I admittedly such a disposition does affect me.

But in another thread, you (Tab) pointed out that it wasn't your own death that you feared but that of friends and loved ones. This suggests, to me, that you are in fact aware of the underlying truth that we are more invested in others than we are in ourselves as others are more invested in us than they are in themselves.

It isn't that you don't have a stake in it, but that stake is certainly less than 51%.
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