Just a simple question

Is there a substantial difference between letting someone to die, when you can easily rescue her, (without exposing yourself to any danger, or even inconvenience) and actively killing this person?

What about the slightly modified scenario, where leaving someone to die in horrible pain (eaten alive by worms) instead of administering a quick, painless death?

Try to put yourself in the place of the sufferer and apply the golden rule.

Legally yes there is a distinction, if you could save someone from dying but don’t you probably wouldn’t be tried for murder. However, if you could save someone without placing yourself in mortal danger then as a social species we do seem to have a moral obligation to try and assist in the survival of the species.

As far as this scenario goes, by actively taking steps to administer a “mercy killing” then you are technically committing murder. In that scenario you should try and assist in whatever way possible without actively killing said person.

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Yes and no. Directly killing an innocent is intrinsically evil. If you do it, you commit a mortal sin.

Letting someone die is not intrinsically evil, which is to say you can do so if you have grave reason. If you can easily save them, though, you are probably committing a mortal sin if you let them die.

Euthanasia is another thing that is considered to be inherently evil. Killing someone to prevent a lingering painful death is prohibited.

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Legally… but the question is not the legality, since legality is “fluid”. What is legal in some societies is not legal in others.

Close, but no cigar. Because “murder” is a legal term, and in some societies under some circumstances the law permits mercy killing.

My question is about your opinion. How do you, personally view someone who could do the ultimate “pain relief” but does not do it because that would be “mortal evil”. And while you contemplate, place yourself or your child in the place of the sufferer, or put your child into the role of the sufferer, and yourself in the place of the one who refuses to administer the “easy way out”.

No one would let a pet suffer when a simple mercy killing would stop the suffering. That is called a humane method. I cannot fathom how can someone allow an excruciating and lingering suffering of a child. After all a small child is just a small animal, with a slightly different DNA.

I am aware of this, even though I reject it. I am asking your personal actions if you can imagine yourself to be in such a situation. To allow someone to suffer is cruel! Do you view yourself as a cruel person?

We confess sins of COmission and sins of Omission.

Simple question #2: Would you want to answer for either?

Do you know of anyone who does not suffer?
Do you know of anyone who will not suffer?
Do you know of anyone who will not die?

So, according to your paradigm above, life is guaranteed cruelty, and human existence is devalued by suffering. If so, why does any life have meaning?

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No. A child is not just an animal. Human beings are distinct from animals by our nature. Imagine asking a dog or cat to make an ethical decision. They can’t, because they’re only animals. Humans are something different.

To kill an innocent is murder.

You are either asking if I would kill someone against their wishes or help them commit suicide. The answer is no to both.

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Up to you. :slight_smile: I am always interested. Though you are welcome to forget the “sin” part.

It was implicitly included that the stipulated suffering is NEEDLESS.

Life only has meaning if we assign meaning to our own life. I cannot assign meaning to your life, or the other way 'round. And as long as we can alleviate suffering we should. If there is no other choice, but needless suffering or a quick, painless death, then the proper choice is to give a quick, painless death.

Of course only YOU can make that decision for yourself. If you would prefer a lingering, excruciating pain, choose that. To force needless pain and suffering on others is CRUEL.

The Catholic definition of human being is a “rational animal”. And a small child is NOT rational.

Nope. A murder is an illegal killing.

Thanks for the answer. So you would condemn someone to a long and lingering suffering which will end at a “natural” death. Far be it from me to wish something similar unto you, but it might be interesting to test it, if we could have a true virtual reality.

How do you distinguish between needless suffering and “regular” suffering?

I do not need to die, and I don’t need to have an arthritic hip. And I definitely don’t see the need for even one more bout of anxiety. Those are all “needless” so to speak, yet I will endure them.

Can we escape suffering?

Could I paraphrase this question as: “How can catholics possibly object to mercy killing?”

Good question. Some suffering can lead to some “greater good”, something that is impossible without the suffering, which “good” is alleged to be of greater value. IOW, there is a logical connection between the suffering and the good outcome. Of course everything is contingent upon the available best “technology”.

There is a usual example of “whatever does not kill you, makes you stronger”. Which is major baloney. Or, if there is no adversity, one cannot develop courage. This kind of approach is usually called “sour grapes”, or “aus der Not eige Tugend machen” - which is just an attempt to explain AWAY the suffering.

And considering God’s alleged omnipotence, there can be no “necessary” suffering. With omnipotence any and all suffering can be eliminated, while keeping the good result. You know the Catholic expression: “With God everything is possible”!

Of course.

That’s a very interesting way of looking at it. Here’s another. I would rather help them deal with the lingering but temporary pain of a wasting disease (or deal with it myself) than steer them (and myself) towards a much worse and eternal kind of pain.

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You asked a question…

… But you don’t like the answers.

What would you like to accomplish in this discussion?

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There’s a scene in Last Of The Mohicans (spoiler alert) when our hero’s rival is being burnt to death as a punishment. Our hero, from a distance, takes aim with his rifle and shoots him dead to end his suffering.

Who amongst us would stand by and let a family member suffer an agonising and protracted death such as described without bringing it to an abrupt end?

Why not brush off the worms :bug:? Or pick them off or whatever.

Killing the person seems really lazy


Refusing to kill somebody is not equivalent to forcing suffering on them.

You’re playing word games. Is a mentally handicapped adult not human?
Is a mentally ill person not human because his delusions make him irrational?
Humans are bipeds - two-legged animals. Is an amputee not human?

A small child, if allowed to grow to maturity, will be capable of adult levels of rational thought.

Killing an innocent is murder, regardless of the law. Otherwise the killing of slaves in Alabama in 1863 would not be murder, because according to Confederate law it wouldn’t be.

.Killing innocents is murder. That you claim to be doing them a kindness does not change that. Refusing to kill someone because they suffer is not the same as condemning them to suffering. You must not do any evil act in hopes to produce a good result.

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This happened in a story. Something like it could happen in real life. What does it prove?

My mother suffered very protracted final illness, with much pain.
I never once considered killing her. It would have been an evil act.

Now I will wait to see whether Spaten accuses me of cruelty for not killing my mother.

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It doesn’t prove anything. It just indicates what we would personally do in such situations.

If I had the means to bring my family member’s life to “an abrupt end,” I would use those means instead to bring the lives of his torturers to an abrupt end. No, I would absolutely not kill a family member.

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