Does this set a record for smug nastiness?

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Tony Nicklinson died today. His appalling suffering is now at an end, no thanks whatsoever to our judges or our parliament. Obviously all decent people will feel glad for him, but I would add sorry that he failed to win a precedent that might benefit others. Indeed, it was precisely the fear of such a precedent that motivated the High Court to hand down its callous judgment. Let’s continue his fight for a more humane approach to the right to die.


In pursuing that fight, we need to take full measure of the opposition, where it is coming from, and in some cases the sheer depth of its unpleasantness. The article posted below was written before Tony Nicklinson’s death but after the High Court turned down his request to be allowed to die. The author, Richard Carvath, describes himself as a British Conservative political activist. I have never met him and have no wish to do so, nor had I previously heard of him. But I think his article could perform a useful service in laying out, clearly and relentlessly, the full extent of the nastiness of which people of his persuasion – we inevitably get to the love of Jesus before we are through – are capable. As often on the Internet today, you have to wonder whether it is satire, but on balance I am persuaded that this one isn’t. This is the real McCoy. Read it and marvel at the depths to which the human mind can sink, when its moral sense is sufficiently disabled by religion.

Richard Dawkins


For the Love of Tony Nicklinson

Richard Carvath

Poor old Tony Nicklinson.  His wife wants to kill him, his family want to kill him, his barrister wants to kill him, the mainstream media want to kill him, the euthanasia lobby want to kill him and a vociferous mob of Twitter followers want to kill him.  It’s enough to depress anyone to the point of despair.  In a recent tweet, Cheryl Baker (yes, she of 1981 Eurovision Bucks Fizz fame) seemed to sum up the general attitude of the misguided ‘Kill Tony’ mob when she wrote: “My heart cries for Tony Nicklinson.  If he was a dog there would be no ethical or moral decision to be made, just whatever is best for him.”  But Tony is not a dog.  Tony is a human being.  Last week, thankfully, Tony failed in his attempt to change the law which serves to protect us all from murder.  The upholding of the law was applauded by champions of justice and pro-life defenders of the disabled – and rightly so.  Tony Nicklinson isn’t terminally ill; he is severely physically disabled but he is not dying; Tony has a life to live.

There are many forms of human suffering and we each suffer something at least once in our lives: severe illness; injustice; betrayal; loneliness; poverty; unemployment; crime; childbirth; bereavement; unfair discrimination etcetera.  Sometimes our suffering is our own fault and sometimes it’s the fault of others.  Suffering is inevitable and what matters is how we respond to suffering.  Do we help ourselves or are we our own worst enemy?  Do we wallow in self-pity or do we resolve to think positively? 

Written By: Richard Dawkins – Richard Carvath
continue to source article at carvath.wordpress.com

118 COMMENTS

  1. I see reposted nonsense often here, though usually it’s much shorter than Carvath’s 2,600+ words. I’ll do my typical line-by-line debunking later, if I get a chance. For now, I’d like to point out that Nicklinson’s death, which according to Wikipedia occurred this morning at 10 am, was a product of self-inflicted starvation. Refusing food appears to be the only legal recourse would-be diers have after our courts refuse them kinder releases. That Nicklinson’s pain is over is a good thing, of course, but I can’t sanction the unnecessarily unpleasant manner by which he was forced to effect it. That that option is always available, and in patients such as Nicklinson takes under a week to achieve, only shows how pointless banning a painless injection really is. And imagine if we lived in a world where, although we agreed sick pets should be “put down”, the only method we allowed to manage that was to starve them. It’s odd that the “humans are best” attitude in this area leads us to treat them worse than we would treat other life.

  2. I can’t help but to think that if this poor fellow were in USA, he would have been force-fed through a tube. It is sad that you cannot maintain control of your own body because of someone else’s opinion. Where is the freedom of choice for able minded, good people such as Tony? A man in Akron, Ohio shot his wife out of “deep love”. He is being charged with murder… although he did shoot her in a hospital. I think this should be a issue societies should vote on.

  3. Carvath is my new hero. I’d also like to tell people who are permanently and totally incapacited to buck up their ideas. The thing is, however hard I try, I just can’t do it. Carvath is quite a guy!

  4.  Wow… just wow.  Unbelievable.  That’s a lot of words to use to say “I don’t care what you want, you’ll do what we tell you” with no concept of or respect for our own freedoms.  Religion – ruining people’s lives for far, far too long now.

  5. I am a 63 year old woman who’s lived with AIDS for 21 years.  I ‘m so grateful that I reside in the State of Oregon, USA, where one does have the ‘right to die’.  RIP Tony Nicklinson. 

     

  6. That level of warped thinking must have taken years of indoctrination to accomplish.  Either that, or Mr. Carvath is simply a sociopath.  Not as distasteful as the guys who throw acid in the faces of women, but Mr. Carvath is a pretty smug and distateful creature. 

  7. I am sickened by the trauma that families endure thanks to legal issues due to needing help with dying. Torturing those who are dying by denying food and water is inhumane and yet it continues.

    Wherever we live on the planet the religious continue to interfere in government policy preventing laws to be modernized and humanized. It is up to each of us to speak up and have the law changed.

    There is no slippery slope on this issue, that is another myth spread by the religious who seen to enjoy watching others suffer. Not one of us has to opt out of life against our wishes but unless you make your intentions known, legally, then this can continue. Here in Ontario we have Living Wills, which are part of our Will preparation.

  8. Nicklinson’s family and the NY Times are reporting that the cause of death was pneumonia.  Regardless of whether he starved or suffocated from pneumonia, I am in agreement that completely avoidable and needless suffering preceded his death.  The argument that people are as deserving of a compassionate, pain-free, and dignified death as our pets (with voluntary choice of timing on the part of the patient as the only difference) was a persuasive one here in Washington state, where the Death with Dignity law finally passed.  As far as I can tell, the only people who can’t see the reasoning behind this argument are the religious idiots.

  9. I was nauseated midway through the text, but when our loving Jesus pops up… oh boy!

    It amazes me how these kinds of people in so many issues (gay marriage, for instance, was a hot topic in my country and the arguments very similar to those here) always seem to think that allowing one thing (dying with dignity for those who explicitly state so; two same sex persons getting married) necessarily entails imposing this thing to others who do not want that: murdering disabled people who do not want to die; the destruction of “traditional” marriage…

    I just do not get it. You don’t want to be put out of your misery, good for you. You don’t want this or that for yourself (like gay sex or drinking alcohol if you are a muslim), good for you. But who gives you the right to prevent others, freely consenting adults, from doing that? Ah, ok, it’s our Lord Jesus, end of story.
    We have a saying in Spanish for those who “do not eat and do not let others eat either”.

  10. The poor bloke had a stroke – this means he was ok one moment and paralyzed the next.

    That’s terrifying as it could happen to anyone at any time – no slow attrition but ‘bang’ that’s it.
    Maybe we should all put it in writing that we would want the right to die if this happened to us – the idea of being immobile in that way is my idea of a living hell.

  11. Why am I not surprised the foul Carvath doesn’t allow comments on his blog? I couldn’t read the entire post; it made me feel physically sick to see such smug callousness. And to see him conclude ” So for Tony’s sake somebody really ought to tell Tony about Jesus” made my blood boil.

    The equally obnoxious Peter Saunders hasn’t commented on the case directly, but he’s been posting factually inaccurate scaremongering articles on euthanasia as well. He’s a political lobbyist for the evangelical control freaks. Nadine Dorries has him as an adviser, apparently. http://pjsaunders.blogspot.com

  12. I can’t believe the ridiculous way that Mr. Carvath repeatedly refers to what would be the most merciful thing to do as murder. Saying that Tony just had to “embrace life”. What life does he have to embrace exactly? Not being able to move or speak but with full awareness of what he could no longer do? That’s just plain cruel.
    This Mr. Carvath needs a lesson or two in ethics. I wouldn’t wish locked-in syndrome on anyone but I’m sure that if Mr. Carvath were suffering the same way Tony did, he’d want to be given the right to die as well.
    Also, a note to Mr. Carvath: if you are trying to sway intelligent, freethinking people to your point of view, you would do well to not spend the final paragraph of your diatribe espousing the alleged virtues of a conman from 2000 years ago.
    RIP Tony Nicklinson. You deserve it.

  13. Too bad Richard Carvath doesn’t allow commenting on his blog.  I went over there to give him a piece of my mind directly, but, like a lot of conservative, Christian bloggers, he seems to prefer  living in an echo chamber where he doesn’t have to deal with blowback on his “opinions”.  Apparently, he’s guilty not just of yellow journalism but of being yellow-bellied as well.

    I wonder how his thoughts on the fantastic Meaning of Life and how great it always is and Jesus’ Wonderful Love For Us and God’s Sacred Plan would change if he had to sit in Tony Nicklinson’s chair – paralyzed, speechless, and helpless – for even a day.

  14. Carvath provides us with a good example why it is wrong to claim that religious people are more compassionate and caring.

    Religion may offer a dubious “incentive” to follow its rules, some of which may indeed be beneficial to a society. But more than that, it also means a shift in priorities.
    Perhaps Richard Carvath does care about Tony Nicklinson. It is, however, obvious that he cares far more about religious dogma.

    Instead of human wellbeing and suffering, he worries about the will of god. That may make him appear compassionate, when the will of god tells him to love his neighbour.
    And it makes him look heartless, repulsive and cynical when his god tells him to stand and watch a man, begging for the right to die, continue to suffer.

    Because when god comes first, humans come second. And I’m not willing to let a single human suffer to please any number of gods.

  15. Any judge who can refuse a plea for release from intense suffering as in this case must either be dull-witted and unimaginative or else very callous indeed. 

    The title of the 1972 play by Brian Clark sums up the issue quite well: ‘Who’s Life is it Anyway?

    The idea that a court ruling might unleash a ‘holocaust’ of murders against disabled people is a cruel cynical scare tactic. This is about the wishes of the patient, not of relatives or anyone else.

    Carvath says:   ‘Tony Nicklinson has no hope without Jesus.’

    So ; believe in Jesus or else…

    Oo-err.  Scary.

  16. What a disgusting specimen – thank Bob he has not actually managed to worm his way into the corridors of power. A disgrace he was even a candidate! 

    Apparently Tony is now rotting in hell being tortured by his god because he was a ‘coward’…. Again thank something I don’t believe in the same horrible bullshit.

  17. A more nauseating diatribe it would be hard to find,the insinuations against the closest people around tony nicklinson are an abomination given the care and devotion they have shown,furthermore the allegations of murder thrown around at all and sundry  is hypocracy of the highest order coming from a jesus loon considering the historical past of religion where I suppose the little event recently of 100,000 Iraqi people were killed in shock and awe at instigation of converted catholic Blair and christian accolyte Bush does not feature in the catalogue of the right to life according to the followers of Jesus.

  18. I’ve decided against my usual response format, because in Carvath’s case it would be unduly repetitive, which may be part of what inspired Professor Dawkins’s suggestion it was uniquely extensive in its smug nastiness. His points may be summarised as thus: if a person could legally obtain permission to die, others would be made to die against their will; that we are unable to exercise rights after death implies we don’t have a right to death; and that certain things are true because the Bible says so. And every one of those claims is obviously wrong; they are invalid inferences. He also seems to miss the fact that Nicklinson had no hope of ever living a pleasurable life; Carvath’s 5-week experience was with a curable problem, which breaks down any attempt at comparing it to what Nicklinson endured.

  19. Isn’t doctor assisted euthanasia legal in some of the more liberal European countries or even in Oregon or Washington in the US? Why didn’t he go to one of those places?

    BTW, I don’t mean that as an argument against changing the law, its barbaric to prolong suffering like this. 

  20. This foul specimen of humanity provides us with an appropriate comment himself in the article “What a horrible, nasty little man Richard Carvath must be to say Tony Nicklinson is selfish, cowardly and dishonourable”.

    Garbage like this needs to be fought hard and defeated.

  21. I’m not sure I want to go on living now either. Not in a world that has such a poisonous little narcissist as Richard Carvath in it. I feel ashamed to share a species with the man. Hell, I feel ashamed to share the same three physical dimensions as the man.

    Two and a half thousand words, all of it utter tripe, and never once the merest glimmering of empathy or the smallest attempt to put himself in someone else’s shoes. I am seriously concerned that Richard Carvath is a sociopath.

  22. For goodness sake, it is not _that_ nasty! I’m not religious at all and I’m relieved that doctor’s have been spared the inevitable pressures they would have faced to perform euthenasias if it had been allowed.
    Amid the over the top rhetoric of Mr. Carvath is mention of a desire to protect vulnerable people who are genuinely concerned about involuntary euthenasia.There are also cases of people who were seeking assisted suicide, but who have, with encouragement found new purpose in life and are choosing to live.
    We would not believe a confession to a crime obtained under torture , but we are very ready to believe a wish to die under torture.  Why the double standard?I’m glad Mr. Nicklinson has got the escape he wanted, and getting it the way he did was no doubt very difficult and painful, for which he has my sympathy, but I think it ought not to be too easy!

  23. What an absolute horror of a person. To casually lump in this man’s suffering with things like unemployment and loneliness for the purpose of reinforcing his warped ethical viewpoint. To dismiss the distressing complexities that both he and his loved must have faced and to then manipulate the true context of the situation by suggesting they wanted him killed. They didn’t want to want him dead did they? It was obviously out of kindness and love that his family agreed to his request to be euthanised. 
    My spirits plummet when it comes to light that such irresponsible, reactionary, manipulative minds exist.

  24. Self righteous, patronizing, pompous, callous moron! Do ‘we’ think positively or wallow in self pity?!! That depends very much on what ‘we’ are experiencing and how it affects the quality of our lives. How can someone be so completely lacking in empathy? And had he been on first name terms with Mr Nicklinson? I doubt it.
    We are individuals and only the individual may judge what does or does not make their life worth living. I am somewhat physically disabled by a painful neurological condition but my life is still worth living because my passion is for historical research which I am still able to do. If my memory or concentration were damaged or my pain increase, I may well feel my life were not worth living and I would be the only authority on that.
    I am disgusted by this stupid individual and his lack of empathy for a fellow human being and sickened by the mocking, gloating tone he takes to express it.

  25. This guy is a real piece of work.I stopped reading once we got to the jeebus drivel, but what this cretin seems to miss is what Tony Nicklinson wanted, was precisely what his disability took away…. Choice, you fucking idiot, Choice!!!!!!! What the court and parliament are denying him in saying it is their choice, when it should be his. Surely through all the brain-addled nonsense of religion you can still vaguely make out the concept?

  26. ” I’m not religious at all and I’m relieved that doctor’s have been spared the inevitable pressures they would have faced to perform euthenasias if it had been allowed.”

    Yes, much better to have their patient suffer endlessly both from his disease and from the torture or starving himself to death rather than stress out a doctor. 

    “We would not believe a confession to a crime obtained under torture , but we are very ready to believe a wish to die under torture.  Why the double standard?”

    Are you serious?

  27. As an atheist and humanist I share the views here about the smug nastiness of Carvath’s diatribe.  He appears to have no real compassion or empathy for Tony’s predicament.  However, it mistaken to believe that it is only religious believers who have reservations about relaxing the law to allow assisted suicide – I do too.  As a former Samaritan I have encountered many people who find life unbearable and say they wish to die.  Very often just being able to talk through their emotions is therapeutic and there are many people alive today who look back and are glad that they did not go ahead with suicide. Nevertheless there are some who have made up their mind, and Samaritans rightly recognises their right to make their own decisions.  I understand that Tony has expressed the view that all he wanted was the option to be available, even though he might not have wanted to use it. However, killing oneself is one thing – getting someone else to do it is another. It rather places some degree of responsibility onto that third party.  It thus raises all sorts of practical issues – who will do it, what happens if any member of the family or someone close to the person is uncomfortable with the decision, what if the person changes their mind, what if they lose their capacity to make a decision, how do you ensure that vulnerable people don’t feel pressurised into making the decision etc? The latter is a particular concern as suicidal thoughts are common in people with low self-esteem who might even think they deserve to die or that they are a burden and owe it to their families.  In addition, even Tony recognised that after making the decision ‘in principle’ there may need to be a cooling off period to ensure that people don’t change their minds, but when is the right time?  There may be days when things are particularly hard but other days when things seem a bit better.  Tony was capable of communicating albeit using a computer and could share a joke. Paradoxically, he also gained meaning in his last days through his campaigning work – other people in similar situations might find meaning in other campaigns or activities.  Drafting a law that can steer itself around all these obstacles might be a tall order, with considerable risks.  The certainty of the current law might be seen as a form of protection for the vulnerable and for Richard to brand it as cruel and callous is not helpful.

  28. Jos Gibbons  

    You can line-by-line debunk this if you want, but after a moment’s thought, I decided not to do so. Although Carvath does not allow comments, his email address is accessible and so I sent him the following:                   

    >”Only Jesus can save, heal and strengthen Tony.”

    But he didn’t now, did he? Lazarus is dead.

    Since my own field of practice involves moral decisions, and since this
    subject interests me a great deal, I started to write a rejoinder to your piece,
    voicing my own opinion. Instead, I decided to short-cut the process by giving
    you another of my opinions:

    You are a very stupid man.

    JHJ

    PS

    Clivehill

    >We would not believe a confession to a crime obtained under torture , but we are very ready to believe a wish to die under torture. Why the double standard?

    If you can even ask this question, you would never understand the answer.

  29. It’s not often that we can catch a glimpse of such undescribable nastiness as Carvath shows.

    The picture of Mr. Nicklinson crying after hearing the decision of the judges is simply heartwrenching and unforgettable. Only coldhearted idiots or brainwashed religionists could fail to be unmoved.

  30. “Nobody murders another person they claim to love and are committed to caring for.”
    Is this person sure he understands the basic tennent of christianity? That christ died on the cross because his father demanded it?

    Though in Carvath’s defense, there is something (else) Tony Nicklinson could have lived for, something aside from an ernist desire to change the law. Though Mr Carvath probably wouldn’t like it any more than euthanasia, assuming he was knowlegable enough to think of it: Agressive medical testing of computer brain interfaces.

    That could probably have given Tony an arm back, briefly, before the CBI killed him, which the current ones tend to after a couple of months.

    If I was in Tony’s situation, I can easily imagine wanting to die, but if possible I’d also like to make one last contribution to science & engineering on the way out.

  31. What a horrid horrid man. He calls what Tony asking for murder, ha says everyone wanted to murder Tony yet refuses to acknowledge that it was Tony himself who was asking to die.

     And as for comparing his stay in hospital, paralysed for 30 odd days, knowing he would one day walk again, with what Tony was going through, paralysed, unable to communicate except by blinking, knowing that this was what he would have to endure for many years, that was sick!

    And now Tony has died, and if the reports are true, he took the only action that was left to him, he refused food and starved to death. How can we claim to be civilised when we force people to act in this way, when we refuse to give them any dignity and treat them worse than a dog? No one is trying to force those who want to live to end their lives, but those who do want to do so should  be allowed to and should be given help if they need it.

    Yet another instance of the religious forcing their odious views onto those who don’t agree with them.

    Goodbye Tony, you were a brave man and I wish the government of this country would be as brave as you were.

  32. Oh, what a brave little soldier he was!

    All comparisons are odious, but this long-winded, boastful, self indulgent, self-serving tripe takes the ticket.

    This chap chose to go climbing, Nicklinson had no choice, he was struck down, and was never going to recover.

  33. I think the record still stands, but here is some stiff competition from another Jesus-lover, filled with Christian charity. I had tweeted in response to his death that Tony Nicklinson’s suffering is now over. John (@Isaiah58one:disqus  replied

    most likely his suffering just started. See Luke 16:19-31″

    The verses from Luke are a graphic description of the suffering of the damned in hell

  34. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so utterly disgusting. Carvath feels he knows something of the suffering because he spent some time in hospital? He knows nothing of it!  “I don’t know when Tony last laughed.” No Mr C, you don’t. It seems you actually know nothing. How does the hymn go? “God is love, His the care, tending each, everywhere?” Except on Earth apparently. 
    Mentally vomiting

  35. Wow. It got worse and worse as I read on. Apparently, the supporters of a “right to die” are an angry village mob with pitchforks heading to the house of the next disabled person they want to murder.

    I think there’s legitimate discussion to be had about the nuances of a “right to die” law – and I would support it – but this was just absurd. And the Jesus nonsense sort of came out of nowhere I thought(although I did only scan-read it)…

  36. Usually the anti-euthanasia argument rests on a slippery slope fallacy, which is that legalizing it would unavoidably lead to killing certain disabled or elderly people in order to save money. This argument is somewhat rational and reminds us that caution is called for and clear rules for ethical euthanasia need to be legislated. Which isn’t an impossible legal task.

    But once again, the religious mind manages to rise to such levels of arrogance that rational argument in hardly needed. This personal friend of JC spent six weeks incapacitated and claims having insight into Nicklinson’s agony. He’s doesn’t even settle for that, he elevates himself above all that by declaring himself courageous and Nicklinson a coward. Words fail me.

    However polite you try to be with the religious people, you always hit the same wall: they have no shame, no moral or intellectual humility. Whatever the ethical argument, faith-heads claim the moral high ground by fiat. However arrogant, inhuman and repugnant they get, they stand for love, ethics, goodness and humanity. The secular position is reduced to cold politics, economics, selfishness, efficiency. 

    While I’m glad to live in a country where these people are a small minority, the basic mind set is all too familiar. And it particularly raises its ugly head in matters like euthanasia. The religious hijack the word “ethics” to be distorted as they please, and our societies let them get away with it. And since this religious, irrational opposition exists, people like Nicklinson are left to die passively by starvation, dehydration or some comparatively merciful infection.

  37. What a repulsive specimen of humanity Richard Carvath is!  This man freely blogs his hatred of people yet is too craven a coward to allow anyone else to comment on it.  He tells us of his own experience with paralysis following an accident then argues more or less that if he could overcome everything and live his life as a believer of religious superstition then everyone else should do the same.

    I despair that Homo sapiens is losing touch with its biology.  All the fuss that’s made about removal of organs post mortem, the niceities of never discussing ‘unpleasant’ consequences of illness and disability and many other examples are symptomatic of a species increasingly in denial or biological reality.  But for Carvath to spew his loathsome detestation of another person, one he doesn’t even know personally, based purely on his blind faith in what his mummy and daddy probably told him as a child, takes the despicable side of christianity to a new height.

  38.  I have never found “slippery slope” arguments at all convincing. The “slippery slope” is just another logical fallacy.

    Because there is no “slipping”. Our moral intuitions don’t work that way. We assess cases on their merits and act according to the way reality presents itself. We act on consequences, not on nebulous considerations about the premises of action.

    We can tell when we have reached the right place, because we can assess the results. The idea that a “slippery slope” argument is a reasonable moral argument is unavoidably predicated on the premise that we lack a moral decision-making ability and are incapable of analysing our ethics in a rational way.

  39. Absolute dribble. I gave this man the respect of reading his ignorant article, which was way more respect than he showed Tony. Just because you pretend to know more about whats good for people, doesn’t mean you actually do. Tony knew what was good for Tony.

  40. Given that Tony finally decided to end his life himself, I can see where you are coming from, although fighting for a cause might have kept Tony going longer than might otherwise have been the case.  Either way, this doesn’t invalidate my concerns about how, exactly, to legislate in a way that safeguards vulnerable people.  Hard cases make bad law.  I am just urging caution here and saying this is not necessarily a religious versus rationalist debate.  I hope that there are many religious believers who are equally horrified by the way Carvath thinks.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  41.  Someone, earlier in the comments, seemed to wish Carvath should be crippled from the neck down … this is an unworthy sentiment – and is also quite unnecessary:  the man is obviously already crippled from the neck up!

  42. In the few dissenting comments here I’ve noticed a trend, and I think it applies to many other discussions about government restricting the rights of citizens (e.g. abortion, drugs). People who favor making these things illegal don’t see the distinction between saying “X should be legal” and “X should be encouraged by society” The first statement doesn’t in any way imply the second. 

    So in this case making doctor assisted suicide an option for people with terminal illness doesn’t mean we start encouraging people to kill themselves or that we stop encouraging them to find every option to deal with pain and grief short of ending their life. It just means that in the worst situations when someone choses to end their life they don’t have to resort to a gun or overdose but can do it in a dignified way with support of their family, friends, and doctor. 

  43.  He claimed that his 36 days: in which he had a good idea that he would be able to make a more or less full recovery, equates to knowledge of a permanent inability to move.  It was the combination of the suffering and the lack of a forseeable recovery that led to his decision to die.

  44. Professor Dawkins warning was not enough to settle the bile that rose during the reading of this filth.  The sick fuck.  Jesus this, jesus that, new perfect body in heaven.  And all that is required is to suffer quietly.  During my previous career as a mental health nurse, I worked with many older people with progressive conditions such as alzheimers and multi infarct dementia.  The pointless suffering en mass of these people was heart wrenching, many who had no visitors except on ‘guilt days’ (xmas and birthday).  When the visitors did arrive, they were not recognised.  Every morning at 7am, dignity destroyed, ass wiped, genitals roughly wiped by undereducated, unmotivated staff.  Any reasonable objection obliterated by psychotropic drugs, as the vegetable that was a human being is sustained by every possible means.  A sick and twisted outcome which debase the very notion of humanity.  Fuck you Richard Carvath, and your bullshit doctrine of delusion.  Religion poisons everything.

  45. In 2009, Keir Starmer, the head of the Crown Prosecution Service determined that asisted suicide law will apply to deaths both in Britain and abroad. Since Parliament has still not undertaken any action at all since then I assume that still goes.

  46. I haven’t seen that film, but I can recommend The Diving Bell and the Butterfly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T…, another harrowing yet ultimately uplifting true story about locked-in syndrome and human courage.

    Carvath doesn’t allow comments on his blog but he does have a Twitter account: http://twitter.com/RichardCarv… and a total of 7, count ‘em, 7 people who have chosen to follow him, which by my reckoning is 377 fewer than the number of people who wanted him as their Member of Parliament in Salford and Eccles in 2010; but only 5 shy of the number of acoltyes his pal JC could claim.
    So chin up, Richard, you’re getting there.

    As often on the Internet today, you have to wonder whether it is satire, but on balance I am persuaded that this one isn’t. This is the real McCoy…(the nice Richard)

    I suspect that Richard Carvath may be part of that relatively new modern phenomenon, the Professional Internet Trolls (or PITS), people who express horrible, illiberal opinions through their blogs or on Twitter in the hope of parlaying the public’s revulsion into some measure of fame.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Carvath sitting at the Question Time table sometime in the next series of that. I’m sure that’s certainly his dream.

    Edit: Sorry, I’m an idiot: he actually has 29 followers and is himself following 7 people.

  47. I’ve never read anything that invokes thoughts of actual physical violence on someone before, until now. Well done Carvath! I hope there is an eternal hell for you to go to, and if so I’ll see you there!

  48. Condescending, patronising bastard. At the root of everything he has written is cowardice; he simply cannot believe that some people do not fear death, (that is, the oblivion of real death, not the christian fairy-story) as much as he does – enough to prostitute his reason to a pack of religious lies.

    Rest in peace, Tony Nicklinson. If only self-satified jerks like this did not have influence, you could have died peacefully, painlessly and at a time of your own choosing.

  49. Speaking as one of those NHS murderers who are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of an orgy of legal killing once euthanasia is legalised, I can tell you that this man is vocalising testicles (talking bollocks).  If someone wants to do something but their capacity to make that decision is in doubt, there are processes in place to assess this.  The default position is always to not change things unless there is reason to.  We are not going to respond to a relative, or even the person themselves, saying “just bump off Granny(me) for us will you?” with “Uh, OK”.
    I’m surprised that this idiot has not been detained under the Mental Health Act, but also pleased that I will not have to be “professional” towards him. 

  50. I wouldn’t have believed he could sink any lower, but look at this Twitter exchange:

    Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkinsBHA lawyers now seek someone with similar case to the tragic Tony Nicklinson to continue the fight. Hear Andrew Copson: http://bit.ly/NlxFez  

    Richard Carvath ‏@RichardCarvath@RichardDawkins He isn’t yet cold in the grave and you are already after your next victim. Proof he was a pawn to you and nothing more.

  51. Being this depraved is its own punishment. Somehow his mind has become this small and ugly thing, his potential as a conscious being utterly wasted. It’s just another human tragedy, though he’ll never realize it. Hopefully, one beautiful day,moral and religious delusions will be treated psychologically, as a matter of course. Until then we need to protect ourselves from their influence, but so far we’re not doing a very good job at it.

  52. There is a moral lesson to be learned here by all the RDF teenagers and young people who
    have just read the despicable Mr Carvath’s essay. Re-read the entire article
    again and realise the ‘spiritual’ and ethical importance of Prof Dawkins
    riposte. And that is, not to be be afraid to confront and shame a callous
    sociopath like Carvath who has smugly, and with no sense of empathy, tried to
    vilify the Nicklinson family. Go watch the BBC video “Hardtalk”(2011), recorded
    in Mr Nicklinson’s home. Be moved by Mrs Nicklinson’s dignified and human
    manner, under direct questioning by the BBC reporter.
    Listen to Mrs Nicklinson – “Tony’s life is hell . . . . . . and he’s being forced to live it”. “Its a form of torture you could say”. Learn from that video that the quality of life is much more important than a so called ‘life’ – suffering in constant physical and psychological pain.
    The English philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, “Remember your humanity, forget the rest”.
    Most of you teenagers have probably heard your mums ‘n dads talking about a “Ponzi scheme” – named after a fraudster called Ponzi – who was jailed for stealing town-folks savings. May I sincerely suggest a new adjectival label? “Carvatholic”: adj. a style of particularly nasty and inhuman essay, written by a sanctimonious, deluded ‘divine’.

  53. You know, the only thing I can say to this is I hope he ends up in this condition. I hate to wish anything on anyone, no matter how stupid or mean and nasty they are, but he’ll never understand unless in that situation.

  54. The only good that can be stated from Carvath’s swill is confirmation of the hypocracy and dissonance of people that claim this form of ‘morality’. He does his cause great justice; we see it for what it really is. You could not ask for a better spokesperson to allow clarity on this position. If there ever was a definition of evil, thank you Mr. Carvath, for showing us not only what it looks like, but where it comes from.

  55. It’s a pedantic and mooty point, but Carvath may be misrepresenting himself on his Twitter account and on his blog. In both he describes himself as a ‘British Conservative political activist’.
    That’s Conservative with a capital C.

    If he stood against the official Tory candidate in the 2010 general election, then he can’t have done so while remaining a member of the Conservative and Unionist Party. They would have rescinded his membership.
    So unless he reapplied and was accepted, his continuing to claim to be affiliated with the Tories could be construed as misleading.
    Or I suppose he could lay claim to being a big-C Conservative without actually being a member of the Conservative party.

    I don’t know anymore, but one thing is for certain: Richard Carvath is himself a massive C.

  56. It’s astounding how blatantly false this Richard Carvath is – it’s not the “pro-euthanasia lobby” that want Tony dead, it’s just that they respect his wishes. He himself wants to end his life. And that is far braver than regurgitating medieval falsehoods.

  57. Cartomancer - 

    Sorry, but I fail to understand how your response is relevant to my original point. The word ”fallacy” means by definition that the argument is flawed. But even a fallacious argument can be considered somewhat rational in comparison with arguments solely based on indoctrinated emotions, delusions and ancient dogmas. 

    There is a genuine fear that legalizing assisted suicide might lead into some shady cases where the debilitated victim is somehow persuaded or even coerced into opting for a suicide. This argument is rational and the moral behind it could be called consequentalist. However, I do find this a fallacious slippery slope argument, since one thing (allowing Nicklinson to be helped to die as he wishes) doesn’t automatically lead to another (rampant killing of the disabled). 

    I call this argument, although flawed in my opinion, still ”somewhat rational” because we need to establish a system whereby the will of the victim can be found to be truly voluntary and uncoerced. Certainly such a system could be legally established, and the possible negative side effects would be negligible compared to the immense agony this present situation causes to victims of a terminal condition.

    My main point was that a reasonable moral and political dialogue could be had about this subject and ethical legislation could be advanced, if the air wasn’t so filled with such repugnant religious arrogance as Carvath’s. 

  58. I was not trying to suggest that a reasonable moral and political dialogue couldn’t be had, or that Carvath’s self-serving miasma of nastiness wasn’t a significant barrier to that.

    I was just trying to point out that far too many people accept the validity of “slippery slope” arguments (i.e. believe that there can, in principle, be a “slippery slope”, not necessarily that this particular one exists), when I can find no reason to credit them as anything more than a fallacy. I think this is a part of what you mention – that the ground is habitually conceded, and unnecessarily, thanks to the irrationality of some of the nastier combatants. It strikes me that, when the dialogue is had, our position should not be “this particular slippery slope doesn’t exist”, but the far stronger “the whole notion of slippery slopes is flawed”.

  59. I’ve just read Carvath’s diatribe. There aren’t words to describe how repulsive it is. It demonstrates only one thing: how we need euthanasia legalised, and in Carvath’s case, made retrospective.

    Laurie Fraser

  60. I consider myself to be a conservative atheist (yes, they do exist).  Carvath could have argued his case in a  reasonable way – even if one doesn’t agree with it, which I don’t.  I suspect that I might have agreed with him on some other issues, but the nastiness of his argument here makes it highly unlikely that I’ll give his views any further attention.

  61. At the risk of giving this bigot the attention he craves, it should be noted that his odious views are such that  even the Tory party have dispensed with his services (http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2011

    Carvath was unceremoniously booted from the nasty party back in 2008, after annoucing his opposition to Stonewall, and publically declaring “Allah is actually Satan“. Ever since, he’s taken to the internet with gusto, becoming a lean, mean, tweeting, blogging machine. After a brief flirtation with Islamophobia, the hardline Christian turned his attentions to homosexuality, and hasn’t looked back since.

    Naturally he’s a homophobe too. Click this at your peril – http://carvath.blogspot.co.uk/… . To be honest, I thought Carvath’s pieces were a parody of right wing Christians, so bizarrely poisonous are they. Who could bear to associate with such a hateful person? Not even the Conservatives, apparently.

  62.   Tony isn’t a martyr: nobody has persecuted him or put him to death
    for his beliefs.  And Tony certainly isn’t a  human rights hero or a positive role model for the severely disabled either.  Tony is selfish: he is concerned for no one other than himself.  Tony is cowardly: he lacks the courage to live with dignity.  Tony is dishonourable: he seeks
    murder and despises his own life.  Make no mistake: however much Tony is being manipulated by the media, the pro-euthanasia lobby and even his own family, Tony is guilty of pursuing the legalisation of murder, which, if he ever achieves his aim, would inevitably lead to the murder by doctors of hundreds of vulnerable disabled, incapacitated or elderly
    patients in an NHS holocaust of involuntary euthanasia.  So however much pity Tony’s suffering evokes, is he some sweet innocent ‘Mr Nice Guy’ we should all feel terribly sorry for?  I don’t think so: whilst I have every sympathy for Tony, suffering as he does, I do not forget that this is a guy who is campaigning to legalize murder and who doesn’t care
    that countless disabled people will be bumped off in NHS hospitals and care homes if the law is weakened to please his personal whim.

    This is the thin end of the wedge argument extended to ridiculous lengths by mean bigotry and irrational whimsicality, which is then projected on to others by the deluded mind!

    Is this idiot so illiterate that he does not know that “murder”, is defined as “illegal killing”, so “legalising murder” is a question-begging oxymoron!

    There is a distinction to be drawn between the man and what he stands for: I love the man and I sympathise with his suffering,

    Lying deluded swine!  This is the “love” of the inquisitors who burned people at the stake to save their imaginary souls!

    but I oppose his murderous attitude and agenda.  The good news is that Tony doesn’t have to remain in his present state of selfishness, cowardice and dishonour. 
    Where there’s life, there’s hope – and Tony is quite capable of a radical change of heart at any moment.
    Many people may be thinking: “What a horrible, nasty little man Richard Carvath must be to say Tony Nicklinson is selfish, cowardly and dishonourable.”

    Yep!  Sport on!  What a horrible, nasty selfish, cowardly and dishonourable little man Richard Carvath must be, to say such things about a human suffering badly!

    These are the same people who want Tony dead; these are the people with murder in mind.

    Oh! The “murder parrot” assertively spouts on, with nothing of value to say!

    I love Tony Nicklinson and I recognise just how precious his life is, whereas my opponents have nothing but contempt for his life.

    No you don’t you lying hypocrite!  You love your wooist dogma, and don’t give a damn about Tony Nichlinson’s suffering or the quality of his life! 

    The contempt of others, is properly directed at the bigoted, wooist hypocrisy, of people like  Richard Carvath.

  63. Pro-life = pro-death and pro-torture! When a pregnant girl needs chemotherapy, let´s murder her. Those who WANT to  die must live and  suffer! 
    So Tony Nicklinson was “selfish” and he suffers in Hell?  Keep your torture fantasies in bed-room, with the WILLING partners!  Well, in truth he is in peace now, and no, I have no ill will toward this morally bankrupt, pathologically  selfish lot  who wanted him to suffer.  I just hope that the law would be changed and euthanasia would be choice everywhere.

  64. The ethics of this man defy belief. On what basis is there  a ‘life to live’. Once you’ve read and watched telly for a couple hours. What then? Daily journeys into the beautiful rocky mountains or being wheeled about the game reserves of Africa watching life and death at its most majestic. NO. chained up in a body most of the time staring at the four , sorry three walls going insane as you watch your loved ones try to live their lives around you. 
    I’d like to see him try it for a month. 

  65. Ideally, fallacies shouldn’t convince anyone and simply recognizing an argument as a known logical fallacy should be enough to defeat it. But fallacies often seem quite convincing on the surface, otherwise they wouldn’t exist. Simply calling them out as logical fallacies is often considered bookish, at least by the general electorate.

    In my desperate attempt to try to understand the conservative mind, of which the slippery slopes seem to be a significant part of, I find it sometimes difficult to distinguish a slippery slope fallacy from sensible consequentalist reasoning, especially in a heated debate. However, this anti-euthanasia “holocaust” argument is an undeniable slippery slope and therefore fallacious.

  66. When my friend David Lewis took his own life in the last stages of AIDS  circa 1992, he appointed me to be his public spokesperson. This is when I came to hate Christians.  Prior to that I thought of them as an ignorant lower form of life who had a bee in their bonnets about harassing gays.  They did not give a hoot about David. They pontificated about him and his situation without ever meeting him or knowing any details. They surrounded the house.  They had absolutely no compassion. They were like robots with their fanatical desire to follow some arbitrary rule.  
    They felt they were far more qualified to make such decisions than David.  Their arrogance made me apoplectic.
    This old fight has boiled up again with the success of the Gloria Taylor BC Supreme court case that overthrew the no-physical assisted suicide law. 
    The Kelowa Right to Life Society has dedicated itself to ensure she escapes not a second of the misery of the terminal stages of ALS.  My friend Jeff Sirois died of ALS.  You have idea how relentless and horrible it is, with gradual deterioration losing every capability.  I wrote an essay a couple of hours after he died which is posted on my website.  One of the daily  newspapers published it, so at least as sliver of opposition to the Christians hit the public mind.  I made them agree not to edit it.

  67. Steve Casey: “On what basis is there a ‘life to live’? Once you’ve read and watched
    telly for a couple hours. What then?”

    You’re basically making the same mistake Carvath is making. For Nicklinson death was
    preferable, and of course he should have the right to die, but you don’t get to make generalizations.  It’s not for you or any of us to say whether a life with locked-in syndrome is worth living or not. People are resilient. Yes, there are people who have this condition and still manage to enjoy life. We don’t want to lose sight of that.
    http://youtu.be/A3uEMyVnThI
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/hungr

  68. Whatever the motivator for the mindset Carvath holds, it relies on a total disregard for the wellbeing of the individual and / or, their right to choose. How arrogant and controlling to impose one’s own warped views onto others. I recently posted a comment titled “Suffering” on this website. Religious health workers and policy makers have free reign to apply their dangerous and callous beliefs on the most vulnerable members of many societies. During my career, I have witnessed the shocking undermining of comfort care and the prolongation of suffering by those who Carvath would be proud to number amongst his peers. Carvath is a sadistic and dangerous individual and it is frightening that he is so proud and confident of his stance.

  69. Those who object to a persons right to die clearly don’t fully understand what it is like to live such an agonising existence.  It may indeed be difficult for a healthy person who has never experienced that level of suffering to fully comprehend what it feels like both mentally and physically.  To be in constant physical pain, to be unable to move, to be so depressed that death is not a fear but a hope.  To have no hope.  To be in total and utter despair.  It must feel like torture.  In fact, I would say that to force someone to live against their will under such circumstances is torture.

    I’ll bet that those who object to the right to die also object to torture, which in my opinion is contradictory. 

    I’d be interested to see some polling done on the following two questions:

    Do you you think people should have the right to die?

    Do you agree with unecessary torture?

    I think that the results would show a clear contradiction with those that object to the right to die also objecting to unecessary torture.

  70. Richard Carvath is proof that some people enjoy being controversial and will seek out more and more extreme ways of peddling this garbage to suggest that a law helping Tony Nicklinson to die would have made us all liable to be murdered just shows the crass stupidity of this man and of course he thinks that this is all part of the game.

  71. If he had been a young Jehovas Witness who wanted to live, he could have been killed by his parents refusing the blood transfusion that would have saved him. Religion always wins.

    Euthanasia should be legal and easily available, after counselling and due consideration.

      

  72. I think that we need to raise conciousness that if one does not support the right to die they are effectively allowing torture.  Why?  People such as Tony Nicklinson are by no exaggeration of the word leading a tortured existence. 

    Of course allowing people such as Mr Nicklinson to die is not a nice thing either but it is by far the lesser of two evils.

  73. You guys are rough. Real rough. These harsh comments regarding a person who disagrees with your viewpoint on assisted suicide, or if you prefer, the right to die, are appalling to a casual reader who may not have strong opinions either way on the issue.  I read the man’s (Carvath’s) piece and I thought it was effective argument, at least ’til the last two paragraphs, where it descended into religious gibberish. 

    It is frightening to me that the supposedly self-liberated people who have shed the weight of rigid religious precepts and replaced those philosophies with rationality, can be as smugly bigoted and unwavering in their dogmas as those they deplore.

  74. lcdlover
    You guys are rough. Real rough. These harsh comments regarding a person who
    disagrees with your viewpoint on assisted suicide, or if you prefer, the right to die,

    I have no problem with being rough in rebutting the nonsense of patronising, hypocritical, uncaring individuals who put their bigotry before other people’s suffering!  I am not very sympathetic to the casually indifferent, apathetic either.

    .. … are appalling to a casual reader who may not have strong opinions either way on the issue.  I read the man’s (Carvath’s) piece and I thought it was effective argument,

    Perhaps you should work some more on your empathy for your fellow man and your interpretive and reasoning skills!

    at least ’til the last two paragraphs, where it descended into religious gibberish.

    … …Got the point in the end!

    It is frightening to me that the supposedly self-liberated people who
    have shed the weight of rigid religious precepts and replaced those philosophies with rationality, can be as smugly bigoted and unwavering in their dogmas as those they deplore.

    Dogma????? You really missed ALL the reasoned key points, and the info on the links???

  75. It is, of course, heartbreaking to witness the suffering of people like the late Mr Nicklinson, and it is thoroughly understandable why there is a clamour for a change in the law to allow assisted suicide.

    However, the law is not a device to make allowance for one person’s tragic dilemma, but is a principle that will have an effect on our entire culture and way of thinking.  This has profound implications, not only for those like Mr Nicklinson, but for a much larger category of people, who may express a desire to die, but for reasons that are not necessarily entirely consistent with their full and free consent.  I work with the elderly, and I know a number of people who regularly express the desire to die, but who are not terminally ill, but are simply expressing frustration at the limitations and pain that old age has bestowed on them.  There are vulnerable elderly people who feel they are a burden to their relatives (and some relatives may subtly encourage the idea), and, of course, there are those who are mentally ill who may express a wish to die, but is this genuine, or just an expression of their own illness?

    Clearly a law that is designed to cater for people like Mr Nicklinson needs the most severe checks and balances, to ascertain that the patient is genuinely giving consent, and is not merely a vulnerable person being manipulated by others. It is not a matter of cold-hearted smugness that there are those who are concerned about the possible effects of such a law. It is a matter of sober reality.

    On the subject of “religion” (whatever that nebulous, ill-defined and contentious term actually means) versus atheism: I must admit that I do find it rather ironic that those who adhere to the philosophy of naturalism should be championing the idea of “consent”.  Where exactly is “free will” on the necessarily deterministic material cause and effect continuum of the closed system of nature?  If we are really nothing more than our genes, or environment, then any decision has been, in some way, determined by some other factor. So how can anyone truly give their consent to anything?  Anyone venture to clarify that point?

  76. On the subject of “religion” (whatever that nebulous, ill-defined and
    contentious term actually means) versus atheism: I must admit that I do
    find it rather ironic that those who adhere to the philosophy of
    naturalism should be championing the idea of “consent”.  Where exactly
    is “free will” on the necessarily deterministic material cause and
    effect continuum of the closed system of nature?  If we are really
    nothing more than our genes, or environment, then any decision has been,
    in some way, determined by some other factor.

    Understanding natural neurological and psychological thought processes  v supernatural claims, makes no difference to the fact that people make decisions, no matter what claims they make about the processes. – So this is a bit of a red-herring.

    So how can anyone truly
    give their consent to anything?  Anyone venture to clarify that point?

    People give their consent to many medical treatments, not to mention some religious cults refusing consent for treatment to themselves and their children.  The laws of many countries already recognise these issues.  The matter of consent is not new.

    Clearly a law that is designed to cater for people like Mr Nicklinson
    needs the most severe checks and balances, to ascertain that the patient
    is genuinely giving consent, and is not merely a vulnerable person
    being manipulated by others.

    Indeed it does, and this should be part of the service. ( – as it is to some extent where assisted suicide is legal)

    It is not a matter of cold-hearted smugness
    that there are those who are concerned about the possible effects of
    such a law. It is a matter of sober reality.

    The bigoted smugness is in those uncaring people, who mindlessly try to inflict dogma on others.  This is quite different to those who genuinely consider the welfare, wishes and rights of patients.

    Tony Nicklinson had persevered with his condition for seven years, and then came to a rational conclusion.  Judges are supposed to be able to recognise “natural justice”, to rule on conflicts between laws governing human rights and laws imposing prohibitions.

  77.  When you are dying slowly and in pain that never ends for years?  You call that too easy?  Apparently you do not suffer from a Chronic Condition or know anyone who has for that matter.  You need to realize that for some of us, living is torture and we need access to drugs and not have our families punished due to (suicide) laws and health insurance companies who will not pay at end the suffering.  I do suffer from Chronic Illness and Pain.  My country has seen fit to deny me medications that would reduce my level of pain due to fear of me becoming addicted.  Yet, they also will not allow release from my torture.  No, doctors should do no harm, and that includes unneeded pain and constant suffering.

  78.  Being suicidal is completely different than being in so much pain one wishes to end their suffering.  Suicide happens when a person has become depressed or is in a short term position that they want out of and cannot find an alternate route immediately.  These people do need help.   Chronically Ill Patients who have lived in pain and sought help to no avail is not suicide.  It is relief from torture!

  79. Like it or not, there is an issue around why some people are able to have perfectly meaningful – even vibrant - lives even with the most debilitating impairments, and others simply want to “off themselves” - apparently aided and abetted – sometimes disquietingly enthusiastically by their family, pals and humanists.

    Instead of resorting to posturing and polemic about the right to live or the right to die wouldn’t it be better for contributors to this site to be arguing for reasonable scientific / psychological study into what makes some people more prone to  wanting to die so vehemently and others to seek to embrace life even more tenaciously? So’s at the very least we can have more light shed on the issue than just the sad / angry / uninformed and reactionary polemic of the pro-life & anti-Jesus squawkers who essentially, one suspects, know ” the square root of sweet F.A.”?

    Not sure whether it’s as simple as The Nicklinson vs Hawking  “scenario” as some might suggest, but I think it is perhaps interesting that there may be a number of factors at play here which are surely at the very least worthy of study so as to help people make better decisions about their lives and the lives of others – and to help the “kill me” members of society at least understand more fully why it is they want to die so badly and get the rest of society involved… And if other members of society (doctors, nurses, death-emnablers etc are being asked to help in the process, that they TOO have a fully informed and explored opinion of what the reasons for euthanasia are, or what the alternatives might be. 

    Factors worthy of more study? – Age at which debilitating disease struck.  Time for the “victim” to have to adjust.  mental flexibility and moral outlook of the sufferer… Personal value placed on physical vs intellectual sense of self worth.  Ability to accept a greater sense of purpose than the one which is currently under physical attack.  Ability to accept the care of others.  Finances.  The willingness of family members to see you as an asset and not a burden. Do people in the family have a vested interest in seeing the sufferer dead etc etc?

     On another matter …. In terms of some of the level of debating skills employed by many of the contributors to this site, I don’t think simply attacking Jesus’ motives and morality (through the veil of your own prejudices) is a particular triumph for science and reasonability – not least since neither Mr Carvath nor Jen Kelly and like-minded individuals can possibly predict with any real certainty what Jesus would or would not have said about such a case.  His lack of predictably in challenging perceived / established wisdoms, laws and social conventions seems – in part – to have been what annoyed so many of the “establishment” figures in iron age middle eastern society. 

    Actually, at another level one could reasonably argue that Jesus of Nazarath – whether you like some of his views or not - seems to have been a fairly open proponent of free speech, critical thinking and positive action (since he appears to have said he hadn’t come to condemn anybody), and that true democrats and liberals the world over should be defending his fabulous track record of getting up the noses of the stinking rich, the brutally powerful and the mean-spirited and corrupt?  And he was prepared to die for it.  The fact that he was nailed up for speaking his mind probably shows that the society he lived in was worthy of a good verbal kicking!

    Dismissing him as a “conman” seems a bit wide of the mark since, if his reported words and actions  are remotely accurate, a hallmark of his teachings was pretty much an uncompromising, unequivocal set of values and principles which were in fact only hidden from those too dim or too lazy to try to unravel the nuances of his parables. In what sense that is “conning people” is slightly mystifying.  A man who nailed his colours quite openly to the mast, so to speak, I would have said.

    One suspects Jesus would have been a strong advocate for personal choice with the caveat that you are also responsible for your decisions / actions and don’t just have “rights.”  

    One might argue also that since human beings cannot at any level pretend to know what the ultimate consequences of their actions are, they cannot really argue without fear of fault, for any particular course of action.  In fact one could argue that on the universal scale of things you probably don’t have any real rights at all…. Only those humanity agrees – in its infinitessimal tiny-ness – to allow you to have…. 

    There’s a lot of talk about rights on this website, and not much about respnsibilities….  A true reflection of the endless bourgois wittering of the modern western world, it seems?

  80. Nobody needs to risk anything.  Just give the sufferers a machine they can opearte to kill themsleves.  That’s no worse or personally damnin than having a car in the garage and a length of hose-pipe, whatever your model of the universe.

    I still think a lot of the humanists who want someone else to put them out of their misery would be less keen if they had to do it themselves.  Cowardice exists everywhere. 

    Hmm, perhaps you really do want to do the killing? 

  81. Tony Nicklinson had his right to act as a free thinking and autonomous individual taken from him by a community which feels that it has the monopoly on moral actions. To argue the issue of euthanasia with people who are bound by religious ideology does not allow for any advancement of society. They have removed themselves from the ability to strive for the most objectionable of viewpoints, and quite honestly, I believe in doing so they have forfeited the right to participate in discussions of such nature.

  82. I don’t think the fact he’s against euthanasia is the problem. it’s the way he puts himself forward.The way he puts over his ramblings without any logical arguments.
    I don’t support euthanasia my self. But can put out logical arguments to back up my reasons.
    And I am not religious like Mr. Carvath.

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