Is the concept of 'Sanctity of Life' justified?

  • Thread starter Another God
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In summary: Now, if we take a closer look at this, we can see that this right is not given to all humans equally. It is given to those which are beneficial to society. Now, let us ask ourselves, what is beneficial to society?It would appear, that the definition of 'beneficial' is subjective. What might be beneficial to one person, might not be beneficial to another person. This, I believe, is the main flaw in the concept of a 'Right to life'. It is not objective. It is not based on anything objective. It is based purely on an organisms relation to society. Now, if we were to take a closer look at the concept of 'Sanctity
  • #1
Another God
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I am about to present a view that many people will not like for various reasons, and may even find downright disgusting. I believe, nonetheless, that what I am claiming is fundamentally true and unerlies everything our society does. Gut reactions and beliefs will not have any sway in this thread, I am writting this, because I want someone to tell me where my reasoning lacks, or else accept the truth that I now believe.

The Claims
The fundamental claims that I am making are
1. There is no such thing as 'Sanctity of Life'
2. 'Right to life' etc is purely determined by an organisms relation to 'our' society and as such isn't really a 'right' at all, but a designation.

With these claims in mind, I also wish to argue that arguments based on the 'right to life' and the 'sanctity of life' are bunk from the outset.

The Reasoning
Sanctity of life, from nature
I will say it out right: To live, is to be sentenced to death. To live, is to kill other life. It is self contradictory to call life sanctimonious when in its very nature it destroys its own sanctity.

Life is not special above and beyond the specialness of an atom. It is more complex, more impressive etc, but it is no more sacred, or santimonious than molecules. There is nothing that life does, which cannot be done with chemicals. Life is chemical. Chemicals aren't sanctimonious, neither is life. There is no sharp line between life and non-life. Life is not special.

Sanctity of Life, from society
People preach about the sanctity most of their life, never seeing their hypocrisy. Save this animal, save that tree, save whatever fad organism you want, but make sure you wash your hands after you go to the bathroom. To live, is to kill. Kill or be killed. If we wish to stay alive (maintaining our 'right to life' :wink:), we have to eat. We eat cows, we eat sheep, we eat carrots, we eat to keep our ever so important right to life alive.

Oh sure, become a vegetarian... how righteous thou art...so what? We stil have to do our best to kill ever viral infection we encounter, ever bacterial infection we get, every mosquito which carries Malaria... and we do all of that without ever realising that we are contradicting our own 'Sanctit of Life' ideals. They are all threatening to kill us...not because they are evil, or because they 'Aren't enlightened to the sanctity of life principle', but simply because this is how life works. Life, just it. It is a chemical, reacting. Following the path of least resistance through the swamps of evolution. There is only one rule when it comes to 'Right to life', and that is '"MY" life is more important than anything.'

There is no such thing as Sanctity of Life.

Recap
Notice, that the above two sections are only arguing against the conception of a 'Sanctity of life', and I have not said anything about how we 'Should' interact without environment, and other life. I am merely trying to make my point that the higher order importance placed upon life over everything else in this universe is unjustified, and essentially false. Life is not special. It's just like everything else.

(edited to improve ease of reading. Broken into two primary points.)
 
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  • #2
The mistake of 'Right to Life'
This concept of right to life is mistakenly linked to the falacious concept of sanctity of life. The hypocrisy within the actions of any 'Right to life' causes are reason enough to see this (save...protohumans (embryos, fetuses) for example, but kill rats when they infest our homes (as a possible example)), but I think the mistake of associating 'Right to Life' with 'Sanctity of life' can more clearly be seen when we look at what it is exactly that is lucky enough to get the status of 'Right to live'...

From the point of view of Society at large, an organism, or a race, or an individual human/animal (etc) is placed on a sliding scale of value to society. At one end you have anything which is entirely detrimental to society, at the other end you have anything which is entirely beneficial to society, and in the middle, you have things which are inconsequential to society. It is the aim of society to surround itself with things that are between 'Inconsequential' and 'beneficial', while completely removing things that are entierly detrimental. Society must do this to maintain itself. Society wishes to maintain itself, so that the members of that society may be happy. The members of that society wish to be happy, and so it shall be done.

Now, Humans have a 'right to life'. This is given, because Humans are the units of society. What is unsaid though, is that 'Any human which is not detrimental to our society, has a right to life.' This fact allows us to kill foreigners who we are at war with, mass murderers, etc without regret. We don't kill everyone who does something bad for a couple of reasons. Firstly, killing isn't the only answer to things that are detrimental to society, and something that is currently detrimental may change in time. Since humans are known to change, it may be beneficial to society to reform detrimental units and reintigrate them with society. Each human has afterall had a lof of time, money, food etc (beneficial value) spent on them to get them to the functional stage. If they then go bad, then all that was wasted.

I don't want to get too bogged down in each individual case and example yet, so let me skip to a few more examples, cover them briefly, then await replies:

Group these examples together for consideration at the end...\/
Cows: We kill and eat cows because it is beneficial for society to do so.

Dogs: We don't kill dogs, because it is more beneficial to keep them as pets, friendly, guarding, helpful animals which have much more value alive than dead.

Forests: We cut them down because we needed the wood and the growth space etc. As soon as we started realising the devastating effects that those actions could have, we started to question whether we had the 'right' to cut down all those trees etc.. Our actions are based entirely on what we percieve as good for us at any given time.

^ Considering these threee examples, I need to bring in my final point.

Mistaking 'beneficial for society' with 'Sanctity which grants a 'right' to life...'
We kill and eat cows because it is beneficial to do so. Many people claim that is is wrong to eat cows etc because they also have a right to life, and it is wrong to kill them. We have no right to kill them.

The reason we still eat them, is because it is beneficial for our society to do so (it is perceived as beneficial). 'Sanctity of life' has nothing to do with it. The people who claim that it is wrong to eat cows etc, miss the point. There is no sanctity of life which they are attempting to preserve. The irony is that the 'Sanctity of Life' concept is something manufactured by humans, to create an convincing arguments that defend 'Organism x' which they wish to save for whatever reason is beneficial for them.

The point I am trying to make, is that We don't 'Not kill fetuses because they have a right to life like everyone else'... we refrain from killing fetuses because it has a perceived detrimental effect larger than the perceived beneficial effect.

Well, I should correct something there: We SHOULD, (and for most of the point, do) But then there are all these antagonists arguing from the 'Santity of life' point, which should hold no sway at all. Unfortunately, so many people believe in sanctity of life, that it does still hold sway.

As such, using embryonic stem cells should be an easy choice since the perceived benefits are huge, while the detriments are minimal. When you disillusion yourself out of the 'Sanctity of Life' world, you see how things really work, and how choices should be made.

Closing
As usual, i feel I started really well with my structure, but then as my case grew, it got a little confused. Hopefully at least my arguments against the illusion of Santitiy of Life are convincing.

If we can admit that sanctity of life has no meaning, then asking if we have the right to kill is as meaningful as asking whether we have the right to stand up, or have the right to lean over, or whether we have the right to wear shoes.

It all depends on what it is exactly that you want to achieve.

one day everyone will understand what ethics really are.
 
  • #3
so if there's no such thing as sanctity of life, then if one day your swimming in the sea and shark tries eating you, then don't start moaning cos in its opinion your designated as FOOD! chow
 
  • #4
Yepp, you're right, 'Right to life' is business agreement - you don't kill me, I don't kill you. Instead, we'll kill him.
'Sanctity of Life' is religion to justify agreement.

But its badly needed, as best part of any religion meant to keep masses under control. Without such religion, society falls apart into chaos of murder. You can imagine 'society' where human life is cheaper than the bullet to terminate it.

As always, no extreme is perfect. There is balance between necessary kill and unnecessary. Animals don't kill for fun. Humans do. This religion is in place to reduce unnecessary kills to minimum.
 
  • #5
Originally posted by Another God
"Sanctity of Life"
Unfotunetly, that statement's realistic
implications appear to equate life to
ONLY human life.
Too bad...
Aren't there too many of us already ? :frown:

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #6
Originally posted by drag
Unfotunetly, that statement's realistic
implications appear to equate life to
ONLY human life.
This is the final point that I was trying to make (and I know I did badly with it). Sanctity of Life gets applied primarily to Human Life simply because humans are the most important part of our society... The reason human life has been deemed sanctimonious is because it is the most beneficial towards society, and so we need to protect it. We protect it by making up this mysterious clasification 'Sacred'.

It is just unfortunate how people have swallowed this completely, and actually believe that life, either human or animal or any other kind, actually is sacred...


I don't think we need religion anymore to keep society together. In fact, the very idea behind our society now (western) is that the state does not rely on religious ideals or beliefs. State and church seperate... We don't need to call life sacred to make people follow certain laws, we just need to start understanding the truth of any situation, and we will act properly.


And Dr Death, I will moan if a shark tries to eat me. If it tried to eat you I would probably even try to stop it...If it tried to eat a fish... I wouldn't give a crap. Why? Because u are part of our society, I am "me", the most important thing anywhere to me, and a fish is inconsequential to either me, our society, and our happiness.

But notice, in all three options, not once do I need to bring the question of 'Sanctity' into the equation. I can explain why either option is preferable, without resorting to mysterious religious style beliefs that have no meaning.
 
  • #7
Greetings !
Originally posted by Another God
It is just unfortunate how people have swallowed
this completely, and actually believe that life,
either human or animal or any other kind,
actually is sacred...
Such people only really believe that their
life is sacred (whatever sacred means). Human
ego has no bounderies.
Originally posted by Another God
And Dr Death, I will moan if a shark tries to eat me.
If it tried to eat you I would probably even try to
stop it...If it tried to eat a fish... I wouldn't
give a crap. Why? Because u are part of our society,
I am "me", the most important thing anywhere to me,
and a fish is inconsequential to either me, our
society, and our happiness.
Death is an essential and inescapable part of life.
The destruction of a life can lead to more life.
Plants are eaten to give life, plant-eaters
are eaten to give life. That is the food-chain.
It is a necessary and basic part of nature and
deeming life sacred (whatever that means, again)
is an attempt to undermine or make forget this
simple fact in the minds of the more foolish
individuals who actually fall for it, in order
to help maintain social order.

Peace and long life.
 
  • #8
Sanctity of life, eh? I don't know about yours, but my life is pretty damn precious!
 
  • #9
Originally posted by drag

Death is an essential and inescapable part of life.
For now. We'll get over it eventually.
 
  • #10
Originally posted by Adam
We'll get over it eventually.
Optimistic, aren't we ? :smile:
 
  • #11
Well, if we stop thinking about ourselves as actual individuals, then death makes about as much sense as life. (I'm implying that neither make any sense...)

And it is my life goal (at the moment) to find a cure for death. But that's another story.

I still have issues though, with people who argue that we can't conduct embryo stem research because of the sanctity of human life. It frustrates me.
 
  • #12
Originally posted by Another God
And it is my life goal (at the moment) to
find a cure for death.
It would mean a disaster for mankind at this
time if you do. Of course, you could only
let me in on it...:wink:
 
  • #13
Originally posted by drag
It would mean a disaster for mankind at this
time if you do. Of course, you could only
let me in on it...:wink:
Damn you people who think this! Man is its own disaster already. At elast if we had the prospects of eternal youth we would start considering the consequences of our actions!

Eternal Youth is a good thing.

Sanctit of life still doesn't exist. Why don't people ever debate my topics with me? Do I present that solid an argument? DO I come up with things that others see as really obvious? Or What?
 
  • #14
Originally posted by Another God
At elast if we had the prospects of eternal
youth we would start considering the
consequences of our actions!
Or we could just overpopulate the planet...:wink:
 

What does "Sanctity of life, my arse" mean?

"Sanctity of life, my arse" is a phrase commonly used to express frustration or disbelief with the idea that all human life is inherently valuable and should be protected at all costs.

Is the concept of "Sanctity of life" a scientific concept?

No, the concept of "Sanctity of life" is not a scientific concept. It is a philosophical and ethical concept that is often debated and discussed in various fields, including religion, law, and bioethics.

Why do some people use the phrase "Sanctity of life, my arse"?

Some people use this phrase to challenge the idea that all human life is sacred and should be protected, especially in cases where it may conflict with other values or moral principles.

Does the phrase "Sanctity of life, my arse" promote disrespect for human life?

No, the phrase itself does not promote disrespect for human life. It is often used as a way to express frustration or dissent with the concept of "Sanctity of life" and does not necessarily reflect an individual's true beliefs about the value of human life.

What are some common arguments against the concept of "Sanctity of life"?

Some common arguments against the concept of "Sanctity of life" include the belief that it is arbitrary and subjective, that it does not take into account the quality of life or individual autonomy, and that it can lead to harmful or oppressive policies.

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