It is tempting to think that the right to life is absolute, at least if you come from one of the cultures close to mine, UK, white, Christian. But maybe this is questionable in that for many cultures life itself, as in dead or alive, is not the issue, it is living that is more important, and the difference is maybe not subtle.
The Concordia did not get in the press because 3 people died. That is tragic for those people and their families and friends. But all over the Christmas period we had murders in the UK and they reached nothing like those front page headlines, even when children were the victims.
The Concordia got mainstream news because the pictures were dramatic, and the event was, well, odd, and, at the level of visual oddity, laughable.
We also like to laugh at the comeuppance of the mighty, and this was one of the mighty ships coming a cropper.
I have just watched the film The Reader, a story about a prison guard at Auschwitz. Odd that I mentioned it in a recent post. It is a very challenging film. Life and death decisions, sometimes made with logical ease, but later huge discomfort.
The right to birth is clearly an issue in the Republican candidates manifestos, with declarations of the right to life from conception. The problem with that is that you then need to somehow relate to billions of deaths from unknown conceptions that the body naturally terminates, all dead children it seems.
Then we have new thinking in the UK about the possibility of doctor assisted end of life. As my mother was assisted to die nearly 50 years ago I have always thought this was reasonable. Thank you dear Doctor, no longer alive, I am sure.
The problem as I see it is that the overemphasis on life itself devalues living, so many people think that being alive is more important than living, and then when this becomes so clearly dysfunctional, anxiety, depression, and even suicide or murder. Other cultures than mine seem to understand this much better than I do.
So I would like to start a campaign for pro living instead of pro life. It would seek to ask all those people who exercise power over others, to what extent is this enhancing the living of others? To what extent are the people who work for you, who are your family and friends, to what extent are they living more?
The UK Government has gone for the idea of Happiness. This is about living level 1!
I want living level 5, or more.
Want to join me?