Would You Commit Euthanasia?

Socrates asked a lot of questions. That spelled his doom – and ensured his immortality. No less philosophically, Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman chalked up a hit single with Someday We’ll Know while giving us food for thought. I, for one, don’t know if the captain of the Titanic cried, or why Samson loved Delilah.

But questions are meant to be answered, right? Of course not all – most, actually – of them don’t have one, but that’s beside the point. Then there are questions that ignite your intellect and unnerve your entire being.

Allow me to share some of human nature’s tricky moral dilemmas in a Q-&-A format, with paraphrased queries based on The Book of Questions (© Workman Publishing, NY) by Gregory Stock, Ph.D., who says:

“Whether you use it as a tool for self-discovery or as a provocative way to stimulate conversation, this books constantly challenges attitudes, morals, beliefs – and it challenges you.”

Q. A beloved person, who is paralyzed, suffering extreme pain and will die within the month, begs you to poison him to end his agonies. Would you it?

A. Yes, I would. I believe in the inherent sanctity of life, but my belief is not absolute. I would rather suffer from the guilt of killing him outright than the guilt of watching his agonies, and not doing anything about it.

Q. Can you live in a different country with the one you love most, even if it means never again seeing your friends and family?

A. Yes, because true love is the sweetest pleasure imaginable, and also because this is the perfect time to say Yes. We now live in an era of unprecedented global communication, and being homesick has become a matter of choice.

Q. Would you choose to be a spectacularly successful professional but a lonely person, or a mediocre professional but a happy man?

A. I would take my chances on being the latter, recognizing that loneliness is part of being human, and that success enables you to make a positive contribution to the world. In the end, what matters is not whether you’ve been happy or sad, but whether or not you’ve been helpful and productive.

Q. If God appeared to you in your dreams and told you to sacrifice your child to inherit His Kingdom, what would you do?

A. I would seize those opportunities to question Him about the wisdom of such drastic actions. “Surely,” I would tell Him, “if Thou can create the universe, then Thou can communicate in a level I can understand.” I have faith that God is wise enough to appreciate conundrums.

Q. Your brother has AIDS. Would you avoid him?

A. Of course not! I’m an advocate of safe sex, and if there is anything I know about HIV-AIDS, is that it’s not transmitted through non-sexual physical contact.

Q. You and your beloved are locked in separate rooms. You both must push a specific button in your rooms within 60 seconds. The first one to press the button will save the other but will be executed. What would you do?

A. As soon as they bring me to my compartment, I would press the button. One of the things I’ve always puzzled about myself is that I never felt the fear of death. I would cross over the Other Side knowing that my last act was to save a life, and that alone would’ve made everything worth it. The fact that the person I saved is the one I loved most doubles and solidifies my sense of peace.

Q. Would you agree if friends and relatives will tell you exactly what they think of you, no-holds-barred?

A. Yes, I would; in fact, I would embrace such honesty whole-heartedly. If they say negative things about me, I would use it an opportunity to tell my side of the story, so to speak. If they begin to see and my actions in a different light, then praise God; if not, then so be it. I do not chase after applause, but it is important for me to let people know exactly where I stand.

Q. Do you judge people with a standard that is higher than yours?

A. No, that’s because it’s hypocrisy. I think the word judge has a negative connotation in this context, but we all form definite ideas about other people’s characters. In that sense, I always use the same yardstick I apply to myself. Just to give you an idea: I get disappointed by a greedy person because I know – and have proven to myself several times – that I am not like that.

Q. Do you think your soul will be able to rest in peace if your mortal body has been left to rot in the wilderness?

A. It will not bother me, if that answers your question. My belief about the afterlife is more Buddhist-oriented: I believe in reincarnation, ergo, I don’t invest emotionally on the Christian concept of Heaven. What will happen to my soul depends upon my actions on my present and past lifetimes, and not whether my body received a decent burial.

Q. You’re a Born-Again pastor. Would you stay for 90 minutes in a nudist beach?

A. Yes. I would even swim. Hallelujah!

Q. If you found out that your best friend leads a double life as a hired killer, what would you do?

A. First: I will not condemn him personally, but I’ll tell him straight that I do not approve of his actions without using emotional blackmail. Second: I’ll tell him that I would not snitch on him, but he can never use my house as a refuge from the law. In other words, I would not treat my friend as an enemy, but I would not be with partner-in-crime either.

Socrates photo courtesy of DangerousCreation. See the video and lyrics of "Someday We'll Know"

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Comments

Mathdelane said…
You have a pretty clever writing style. If this is your kind of personal blog then I congratulate you. You have a wide vocabulary though I'd suggest that if you wish to target a wider audience, you may also want to consider the vernaculars and be more cautious in handling sensitive topics-e.g. religion, politics, etc. but otherwise, you're good!
TJ said…
I like the way you write!! But man! What difficult questions!! I'm such an indecisive person hahaha...I will consider the pro's and the con's and then make a list and then again the pro's and the con's *sighs*...it's endless.

No seriously, I can be indecisive sometimes (more food related hehe), but in the end it's all about how you look at the matters of life and what values you stand for. So perhaps making a choice won't be as difficult.

Cool blog! Keep it up!!
Ingrid said…
Those were pretty hard questions.. but you answered a lot of them just like I would answer them.


Keep on writing,

Ingrid
PixelShots said…
Hi friend.. glad to meet you, a person who is a writer and who can have sharp thoughts..Thanx for visiting my site and leaving the comment...

The matter is not only with Abdul Kasab friend.. He was just a tool who got brainstormed to do the massacre.In a way kasab also turned out to be a victim of these poisonous thoughts.Just another youth fell into the hands of those jihadi thinkers.. the real deals are somewhere else still working in the factories to make new Abdul Kasabs...



hope we can visit ech other in times.. keep goin with your passion, good luck
JonathanAquino said…
To you Mathdelane: Thank you so much, your positive feedback envigorates me, and also keeps me on my toes -- because it really is dangerous to get caried away. Was I too sensitive about certain topics? I hope not; I try not to be -- and I will try harder in the future. I really want to target a wider audience -- basically the people who read Reader's Digest. Is that asking too much?
JonathanAquino said…
To you TJ: You're an artist, and while decision-making serves everyone in good stead, you're not really expected to have the mind of a CEO. The reason I chose the hardest question is because I want other people to contemplate about them as well. You, for example -- Would YOU secretly perform mercy killing?
JonathanAquino said…
To you Ingrid: I'm glad -- There's hope for this world after all ;)
JonathanAquino said…
To you Pixel: I just know that I'll be a regular in your site, just wait and see
JonathanAquino said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
JonathanAquino said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
TJ said…
Aah you just wanted to see me running around trying to decide what to do...didn't you????

Haha kidding, to this answer I have a clear answer and that is: Yes. I've seen what it does with an individual who suffers and are is so much pain...that it's just unbearable to watch. In the Netherlands it's already a possibility for terminal ill patients, to end their lives. If the last station already is death, why should we prolong the pain & suffering of this individual? I know we aren't suppose to play God and to end lives, but in some situations, euthanasia, is the best way to end someone's pain and suffering and give him/her some rest.
JonathanAquino said…
I agree, TJ, 100%. Cheers for the Dutch, but as you know, for most countries, this is a moral dilemma. I don't believe that the world is divided by black and white -- I think that the greater part of the spectrum of human experience falls in the gray area in between. "If they say Why, Why," says Michael, "tell them that it's human nature..."
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