Well, apparently my colleagues have abandoned our little project. No matter, I have plenty of things to say.
There is a problem in human civilization. Virtually all of it. Actually I think it’s more of a problem with humans. It could be our fear of death being projected onto our fellows. I’m not sure when or how it began. I’m speaking of that decision that shall not be named: the decision when and how to end our existence.
In virtually every country, culture, and society on earth suicide is considered a sin, mental illness, or just plain broken. In a great many cases it should be. There are measurable dysfunctions of the brain that cause deficiencies in at least 2 neurotransmitters scientifically established in being responsible for “happiness”, an upbeat mood or however you want to describe the state of emotion. And of course “modern” psychiatry has a smorgasbord of psychopharmatueticals that target these deficiencies. SSRI’s, tricyclics, etc. But this stuff is basically modern alchemy. Carpet bombing when a GPS guided missile is needed. But happiness, whatever that is to different people, is not the definitive answer to whether EVERYONE feels their life is satisfying, useful, or productive. Some of us take measure of our lives on those grounds. We’re not all just content to populate this overpopulated planet while contributing nothing to our species.
There are other cases however where it’s not as clear cut. While we all are grateful for professor Steven Hawking’s living approximately 50 years beyond the 2 he was given, it not only highlights his determination, but the ludicrous things doctors believe and say. But that’s not my point. In cases of legitimately terminal illness (which aside from Hawking, motor neuron disease nearly always is; the man sets a new world record every day he’s alive), and cases where quality of life puts quantity in a downright tortuous light, most countries still outlaw even physician assisted suicide.
The “pro-life” crowd cares deeply, oh so deeply, about the sanctity of your life. Right up until the moment you’re born. So ignore them for this argument. My argument is that everyone has the fundamental human right to end their lives on their terms and at a time of their choosing. Yes, even the so-called mentally ill. Very few mental illnesses can even be identified as problems with the brain. Actually I can think of only 2: schizophrenia and autism. The rest are constructs of a field of medicine trying desparately to justify its own existence and purpose. I’m very libertarian *shudder* about my body and my life. I can think of a hundred types of people and/or life circumstances that would be necessary, even laudable for ending one’s life. From terminal illness to simply reaching the determination that one’s life has reached its logical conclusion. Including my own.
It’s time for people’s fear of their own mortality to buzz off and stop forcing majority rule on those who feel quite ready to conclude their lives. Get the government out of our lives completely. From whether or not our mothers choose to create us, to what we consume, who we share our lives with, to how and when we end them. I hope this post at least generates discussion. Or trolling. I’m in need of a good troll.
UPDATE: I am no way arguing for a Logan’s Run type of society. I said the word “choose” several times. This is just my philosophy. However, at our current rate of population explosion (about 1.5 billion added per year, exponentially soaring above that), it may come to that in a couple hundred years.