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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, March 28, 2005

Within a short time, from the point of view of my consciousness, the body of Terri Schaivo will be so deprived of water and food that it will no longer be a fit instrument for the soul, and her soul will depart to be with, as her husband puts it, "Jesus."

The post is not concerned about the question of the immortality of the soul [which I accept], although it is a related issue.

The basic question that has concerned the world over the past weeks is the question of consciousness. Michael Schaivo's lawyer, who sits on the board of the hospice that "cares" for her, is a self-proclaimed "right-to-die" activist and has argued, along with his "experts," that she is in a state of "euphoria." He also argues that she is not conscious. That raises a problem for if "euphoria" is a sense of well being and Terri Schaivo is in such a state, how does she know that she is in such a state? If she is not conscious then she is not aware of anything. So how could she feel ok? Is this some kind of voodoo? Slight of hand mumbo jumbo?

From a scientific viewpoint, we do not even know what consciousness is. Is there such a thing? Are there various states of consciousness, and have the courts of the United States been snookered into establishing an eastern religious view of consciousness in order to justify the mercy-killing of Terri Schaivo?

Can one be conscious without sensory perception? Is consciousness simply the sum total of the signals that the body sends us, which the brain sorts out? Are dreams a form of non-sensory consciousness? How is consiciousness unified, so that the dog that runs toward us is perceived to be the same dog that we later see running away from us, which we think of as the same dog we saw yesterday. Is the woman I went to bed with the same one I woke up with? How do I know?

How can it possibly be moral to kill someone's body, as in the case of Terri Schaivo, when we do not know whether or not she is consicious, and we cannot know whether she is conscious unless we know what constitutes the relationship between the sensory perception and consciousness, or if there is even one at all, or even if there is such a thing as consciousness as we commonly think of it? How do you even know that this is the same article that you started to read a few minutes ago?

If a person can be conscious without sensory perception, then how do we know that Terri Schaivo has not been conscious? How do we measure it? Did she know she was being starved to death while not feeling it?

Is it justified to murder people if they don't feel anything? If so, building bigger bombs might be a most humane solution to many of the world's problems. Ovens and other "final solutions" might be imagined that would give many low quality lives a sense of euphoria while their bodies are consumed.

Do angels and demons exist? If so, how do they relate to the sensory world if they have no bodies? With no bodies, how could they emit brain waves or speak? Can human beings be conscious without their bodies? Are spirits just electromagnetic or some other collection of electrical charges that can be vacuumed up and filed away in the basement of Ghostbusters, Inc.?

This writer maintains [admittedly on Christian grounds] that a person is alive as long as the soul resides in the body. Consciousness is something apart from the body and may exist apart from the body, though it is closely connected to the body while the body lives. See my article on "Where Is the Soul." Click

The murder of Terri Schaivo is the natural and logical result of a mechanical and materialistic view of reality that denies spirituality except in terms of materialistic principles. Science does not accept the existence of anything that cannot be measured by the senses. The same principles that operate through out the culture of death which is the abortion industry are exactly the same ones that operate in the right-to-die industry.

I suppose the partial-birth victim also experiences euphoria while his little body is being torn apart and ripped from his mother's womb. Who are these monsters among us?

Unless science can demonstrate what consciousness is and that a person ceases to exist when the body dies, then the killing of Terri Schaivo is not justified. Who are these people who presume to know that she is not conscious of what people are doing to her? Do gods again walk among us?

Mt 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Luke 15:22-24 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

It is God who determines the value of a life, whether of a rich man or a begger covered with sores. He will judge both Terri Schaivo and her tormentors.
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