About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Archbishop of Canterbury on physician assisted suicide

This post relates to another article that I'm linking to mainly for future reference. In it, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, sets out his case against physician assisted suicide. Check it out by all means, and see whether he convinces you. The man is obviously intelligent, as you'll see, but this never-ending battle by religious leaders and organisations gets tiring and annoying. So, of course, does their self-serving rhetoric, such as the usual claim that they and their communities have "a profound sense of compassion." Give me a break!

Most importantly, religious leaders have no particular authority - intellectual, moral, or otherwise - with issues that relate to decisions at the beginning and end of life. Religious leaders such as Welby are, of course, experts on the doctrines of their respective organisations, but that sort of expertise should cut no ice whatsoever with the rest of us as citizens (who are perfectly free to reject any and all religious doctrines) or with government officials who are charged with formulating and administering the secular law.

I'm planning to write a longer response to Welby's article over on the Cogito blog, so stay tuned for that. Once it's written, I'll link to it here for those readers who tend to look here first.

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