Skip to comments.Nobody owns his life: an integral defense of life
Posted on 05/31/2012 4:03:51 PM PDT by wagglebee
Note: The following comments were adapted from a speech given on May 12, 2012 as part of Italys March for Life weekend celebration.
In the defense of life, it is absolutely essential that we are committed to the abolition of all laws and judicial decisions that would permit even a single abortion. But we have to look further ahead to protect in an integral way the whole of human life from its biological beginnings until natural death. The same logic of dominion over life that leads to abortion serves as justification for euthanasia, assisted suicide, as well as contraception and artificial means of fertilization. If a person is capable of deciding on the life or death of the baby in the womb, that person could also make these same decisions over the life of a dying or disabled person under his or her legal care.
Nobody owns his life; no one has the right to euthanasia or assisted suicide. No one has the right to judge if the life of a human person is not worthy of being lived and should thus be eliminated.
Behind an apparently compassionate approach to the sufferings of a person that is dying, there is often a strong economic motivation to save society of the expenses of keeping alive a person whose condition has been deemed terminal. Life is the property of the Creator, so only He may decide the time of its beginning and the time of its conclusion; thus neither abortion or euthanasia, suicide, assisted suicide nor any form of artificial conception where human persons decide the time of the beginning or the end of life are permissible.
We have to protect the family which is the cradle of life and encourage generosity with life at a time of demographic winter. We should do everything possible to guarantee children their natural right of being born in a stable family, constituted by a man and woman, and their right to be conceived in natural fashion and not artificially.
The struggle to protect life is closely related to the acceptance or the rejection of the fullness of the Way, the Truth and Life that was brought to the world through the incarnation of the Eternal Word. John Paul II in Centesimus annus, demonstrates that a society cannot live without God in the emptiness of atheism. He finishes this analysis indicating how the Kingdom of God has to have a concrete effect in the life of society, enlightening it and penetrating it with the energies of grace. In light of these principles we can understand the gravity of Italian Law 194 of May 22, 1978 that legalized abortion and of the Law 40 of February 19, 2004 that legalized artificial fertilization. We cannot be in agreement with those that are of the view that Law 194 has to be applied in a correct way as a means of limiting the number of abortions. The first article of this law is totally ambiguous. It states that, The Republic . Protects human life from its beginning. But right away we can ask: who between the partisans of this law is ready to define the beginning of life as its biological beginning? We can try to limit the damages caused by this law applying article 73 of Evangelium vitae, but we can never accept the ideological foundations of the Italian abortion law.
The Italian law that legalizes artificial fertilization is the consequence of view of life in which men think everything he wants to do is licit. Some see this as a consequence of the Enlightenment, but really behind it we have the old demonic temptation that led our first parents to think they could be like God and become the Lords of everything created, instead of accepting that man is only a temporary administrator of a spiritual and material reality that has been entrusted to him during his life on this earth.
Behind this law there is a view in which children are not seen as a gift from God but as a right. This frame of mind of dominion over life is a grave evil in itself, but we also have to be keenly aware of its immediate consequences, which are the death of thousands of newly conceived babies, because many are rejected at implantation in the womb of the mother due to the unnatural means of implantation. There are sources that indicate that in this way more than eighty percent of the embryos produced artificially die before being born.
There is a connection that can never be taken away between the unitive and procreative meanings of the sexual act; this connection should not be broken by man. Artificial fertilization separates procreation from sexuality, and in certain way there is a relation between a contraceptive frame of mind and artificial fertility because we can say it is the reverse.
The defense of life is a fundamental part of building up the common good of society, as John Paul II taught us:
To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Then John Paul II adds with sober realism, There can be no true democracy without a recognition of every persons dignity and without respect for his rights.
A central element of the common good is the active protection of life as part of a commitment to establish a just and well-organized society under the Social Kingship of Christ, where Faith would be lived with a deep love of the truth, and as a consequence all the social and economic resources should be properly managed to assure a social and economic growth in real terms. A fundamental element in this struggle to establish the common good is generosity with life, because selfishness with life is the consequence of the lack of hope, which is in turn due to a lack faith. This lack of faith and hope leads directly or indirectly to abortion, euthanasia and all sorts of aggressions against the family. This happens also because without a hopeful and strong view of the future grounded in the faith it is difficult to make the permanent commitment which is the essence of marriage. A lived faith would encourage the generosity of families with life and a healthy socioeconomic policy would give them the necessary material security to carry forward their mission.
In the missionary presentation of the faith we should make a courageous and integral effort to communicate the teachings of the Church on life and family, demonstrating how all of them are bound together, and the abandonment of one of them leads to an attack on the others. These teachings are strongly opposed by a world dominated by relativism and hedonism, but without these it impossible to lead a happy and well integrated life. These obstacles should not discourage us, because nothing is impossible with God who always wishes our salvation.
Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro is the executive director of Human Life Internationals Rome office. This article reprinted with permission from hliworldwatch.org
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I have a relative that lives near Dr. Kirvorkian ... aka "Doctor Death." That relative told me that "Most people think that Kervorkian is wrong, but no one wants to see him punished."
Excellent article. Pro-life is more than just anti-abortion. It encompasses life in its entirety.
Sorry, folks, but as a small-l libertarian I believe that I own my own life. If I want to end it or extend it through artificial means, that’s my own business. Self-ownership is fundamental, and non-negotiable for us.
To accept this libertarian precept one must reject the tenets of the Declaration of Independence.
God grants us UNALIENABLE rights, the libertarian rejection of the right to life requires the belief that a person can alienate that which is unalienable.
Self-ownership is fundamental, and non-negotiable for us.
This is exactly the same logic that has been used to justify the murder of over 53 MILLION innocent Americans -- the "self-ownership" notion that a woman can murder her child.
I’ve been arguing this for years. There cannot be a property right vested in a person’s self; otherwise he is free to dispose of himself in any way he sees fit, including selling himself into slavery. We are warders of ourselves, not owners.
>>Sorry, folks, but as a small-l libertarian I believe that I own my own life. If I want to end it or extend it through artificial means, thats my own business. Self-ownership is fundamental, and non-negotiable for us.<<
I have to agree with you. To me that me I will not accept organs or mechanical devices to extend my life. When the Lord decides my days on earth are done I will not attempt to betray his wishes.
So, you reject the Declaration of Independence?
The basis of much of libertarianism is simply understanding that men are power oriented and greedy and one has to arrange things to restrain their natural appetites in order not to become a serf.
So, libertarianism is based on selfishness rather that God-given rights?
There is no right or wrong here just a recognition of what a predatory and vicious creature the homo sapient is and that if you let him he will be a tyrant as it just comes naturally from our old reptile brain.
I see, the leftist "no right or wrong" precept of moral relativism.
Thank you for the brilliant reminder that libertarians have far more in common with hard-core liberals than they do with conservatives.
To me that means ....
Why are you here?
Where does this article state that you must do otherwise?
I agree too.
To say that one does not own his own life is to abdicate responsibility of what one does with his life, which is to surrender the God given right to freedom.
“If I want to end it or extend it through artificial means, thats my own business.”
Can you offer a link?
Where is that in the article at hand?
Unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor:
I replied to BlazingArizona @ Post #7
If you were living by yourself in a cave with no living relatives, MAYBE you'd have a case.
Problem is, no man is an island. It is not only your own business if you choose to end your life. It does and will have an impact on those around you and those you leave behind to pick up the pieces of their lives.
I've noticed a tremendous inability for libertarians to think of others than themselves. They are some of the most immature, self-centered, self-absorbed people going. *It's all about me* is their motto. Everyone else be damned.
I don't worship a lot platitudes concocted by some bright fellows a couple hundred years ago. Some are really hilarious such as fixing the blame for slavery on Great Britain while that eminent theorist of liberty and slaveholder Thomas Jefferson penned the words.
I have never been able to consult the Almighty on whether he bestowed anything on humanity. It strikes me as odd that it took until the 18th century for mortals to suddenly discover this remarkable bequest. If rights there be we won them fair and square by beating our Sovereign monarch Geo II with the big time assistance of those friends of liberty the Bourbon monarchs of France and Spain.
Politics is nothing more than a fight over the distribution of power and wealth.
Making it some sanctified or sanctimonious operation is just sugar coating the turd beneath.
And conversely, my claim of ownership on my own life means that I cannot claim ownership of anyone else’s life. If you think I’m only talking about chattel slavery when I say this, read the rest of this thread.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men..." -- America's founders
Wow. What a comparison.
I'll stick with the founders, thanks.
You’re on an HOA board, aren’t you?
Spend some time at the next session of your state legislature. See which description seems more appropriate.
Men are not my plumb line.
“On the 2d of July, 1776, the old Continental Congress, to the dismay of the lovers of ease, and the worshippers of property, clothed that dreadful idea with all the authority of national sanction. They did so in the form of a resolution; and as we seldom hit upon resolutions, drawn up in our day, whose transparency is at all equal to this, it may refresh your minds and help my story if I read it.
Resolved, That these united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, dissolved.
Citizens, your fathers Made good that resolution. They succeeded; and today you reap the fruits of their success. The freedom gained is yours; and you, therefore, may properly celebrate this anniversary. The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history-the very ring-bolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny.
Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the RINGBOLT to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in. all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.
From the round top of your ship of state, dark and threatening clouds may be seen. Heavy billows, like mountains in the distance, disclose to the leeward huge forms of flinty rocks! That bolt drawn, that chain, broken, and all is lost. Cling to this day-cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.”
— Frederick Douglass, ‘What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?’ July 5, 1852
The assertion that our rights come from God, not from men, and that they are therefore unalienable, is the basis for our form of government, and for our claim to liberty.
Sam Adams and the Committees of Correspondence came to the exact same conclusions, thereby helping form the basis for our separation from Great Britain and the creation of this free republic.
Without this assertion of self-evident, plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face truth, just government, self-government, is not possible. All you’re left with is the ‘might makes right’ whims of men, in other words, the exact sort of tyranny that has crushed most of mankind under its boot heel throughout history.
I’m sorry you choose to remain ignorant of what America is.
“It is not only your own business if you choose to end your life. It does and will have an impact on those around you and those you leave behind to pick up the pieces of their lives.
I’ve noticed a tremendous inability for libertarians to think of others than themselves. They are some of the most immature, self-centered, self-absorbed people going. *It’s all about me* is their motto.
All in one post you contradicted yourself. You clearly stated someone else’s life is about you, yet, you decry self-centered behaviors. Narcissists usually do that.
This is complete, unadulterated, utter BS. My life is my own. It belongs to no potentate, king, priest, government, or invisible man in the sky.
It is mine, and mine alone. As long as I do no direct harm to another person, unless in defense of my own life or property, no one has the right to tell me how to live or when or how to die.
The author of this piece is a weak minded fraud worthy only of ridicule by free human beings.
“no one has the right to euthanasia or assisted suicide”
I do and no one has any right to stop me!
So according to the idiot who wrote this drivel a Marine who throws how own body on a grenade, or charges a machine gun nest to save his comrades is committing a mortal sign because he didn’t die “naturally”.
Mind your own business, priest and leave grown ups alone to conduct their own affairs.
Again, I agree. We own, and are responsible for our own lives.
“Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
Wow. Just, WOW. Amazing stuff.
Yes, I can see where an atheist is completely at odds with the concept of God-given rights.
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
-- John Adams
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
-- John Adams
You see, once the atheist rejects the fundamental belief that our rights come from God, he is left with only two choices:
1. That our rights come from government, which means that the government can also take them away. This eliminates freedom.
2. That each person creates their own rights and can decide at any moment that his rights supersede the rights of everyone else. This creates anarchy.
It is mine, and mine alone.
If your life is yours alone, WHO gave it to you? Did you somehow create yourself?
The author of this piece is a weak minded fraud worthy only of ridicule by free human beings.
Given the choice between a Christian who believes in the fundamental right to life and the atheist belief that each person decides their own rights, I will always choose the former.
Libertarian beliefs NEVER create freedom, they can only end in tyranny or anarchy.
As opposed to a vast amount of bloviating self congratulatory simplistic DE-moralizing godless anarchic Libertarian rhetoric, right?
I do and no one has any right to stop me!
Certainly most people have the ABILITY to commit suicide, but that doesn't make it a right any more than the ability to commit murder makes it a right.
As for assisted suicide, you may have the ABILITY to help another person commit suicide, but this isn't a right either and you certainly don't have any right to have another person assist you in committing suicide.
And then we have euthanasia. What possibly makes you believe that you have the right to take another person's life based on their state of health? This is the thinking that ALWAYS leads to death panels.
The ability to make distinctions is one of the marks of the sane person.
I’m always struck by the Libertarian inability to make the crucial distinction between rights and power.
This is quite possibly the most absurd thing I've ever read on FR.
NOBODY has EVER suggested that dying in combat or defending others is sinful.
At its core, libertarianism to rooted in selfishness and the total rejection of authority, this is why libertarianism will ALWAYS result in anarchy if it is allowed. Libertarians have convinced themselves that a desire is the same thing as a right.
“Libertarian beliefs NEVER create freedom, they can only end in tyranny or anarchy. “
That is quite possibly THE BEST summary of libertarianism I have ever read! Thanks!
The integral nature of God’s ownership of each of our bodies, is why—though admittedly NOT a life-&-death issue—tattoos should be considered wrong.
The definition of graffiti is writing or art done on SOMEONE ELSE’S property. Usually, but not always, graffiti is scribed on public property—but essential to its definition—is that the “tagger” didn’t have permission to do it. This is why it is primarily the habit of adolescents—as it is a form of rebellion—even theft, easily gotten away with.
When graffiti is allowed in designated areas (say, on a construction fence, or by a (real) artist on the wall of a city building—or as the case here in Charlotte recently, on a public overpass/bridge—really, it ceases to be graffiti, and becomes legitimate public art. When done that way, with approval (since it pleases certain authorities) it loses a lot of its edge...and, in actuality ceases to BE graffiti.
Typically too, graffiti is of passing artistic style...in the same way that album-cover art is (or used to be, yes I am dating myself). Also, graffiti (like much of contemporary art) is highly subjective and personal—with passing emotional significance.
In all these ways, tattoos are as well:
1) On someone else’s property (since our body is God’s)
2) Without the permission of the owner
3) Of passing artistic style...
4) Highly subjective and personal, with passing emotional significance.
The first two points alone, for a Christian, should be enough to dissuade him or her from tattoos.
“...do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (St. Paul in I Corinthians 6:19, 20)