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December 13, 2011


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I think the option should be made available.

Oregon sounds like a very progressive state. The laws in most countries in europe are positively backward on this, you have to go to switzerland and pay a small fortune, its a lot of rubbish.

When an animal is suffering, everyone knows the humane thing to do is to put it down to prevent suffering - why should it be any different for a human being?

Brian, talking about documentaries made in oregon, I suppose you have seen "What the Bleep do we know?"

But find out IF the people going to die are 'allowed' to be able to have psychedelics or MDMA? I am guessing not? But I would be interested to find out

You are right about the film. I'm pretty much your age and in good health, but it is transformational. In November I had a chance to see it as part of a philosophy department event at Sacramento State University in California. My new book What You Wish For also covers this ground in the form of a family saga, a family grappling with the death of loved ones, while not all agreeing on how the person's wishes should be respected. Anyone interested can learn more about it at http://tinyurl.com/bp-booksite

George, I did indeed see "What the Bleep Do We Know?" Here's a blog post where I talk about it some:

Like I said, the quantum spirituality in the movie is 99% bullshit and 1% science. Better than traditional religion, I guess, but not much.

yeah, this clip does a pretty good job of bullshit detection:

Had a laugh at around minute 6:00 where he shows the grizzly and asks is it a bunny rabbit.

Ppl are mad. the worst thing about these new age things is they have understood just enough about QM to be truly dangerous, which means they've actually understood nothing.

They take an element of truth and then stretch it to fit their own particular beliefs or premise. Chopra is another who is a complete charlatan.

The best book of this type was what started it all off, the tao of physics, by capra, whose training in physics allowed him to write pretty good opening chapters on QM and mysticism, but then in his 3rd chapter he makes his leap by trying to stretch and marry these ideas, as if science is old hat.

What I want to know is why can't the mystics make a straightforward claim to knowledge? Why is it that QM is only used to support new age bullshit? Why cant mystics make a claim about the world, which science has not yet discovered? If science is only the tip of the iceberg compared to mysticism, where is all this great mystical knowledge and why is it not widely available?

Science says here is my claim and the evidence for it, open to the public to check for bullshit, go ahead and prove me wrong. Mysticism says the complete opposite, its all a big secret, its all about vagueness, mystery and being hidden, why? Why not make their claims about the world open for all to validate and test?

I watched the film. I think that people should have this option...even if not terminal. I have non-malignant chronic pain. Non-malignant is a misnomer because it will almost certainly eventually kill me. I'd appreciate the choice to have a hospice like assistance when it reaches that point. I do believe in God and was sad to watch the christian protestors fight that wonderful woman who was (and did!)trying to keep her promise to her dying husband to not let others have to suffer like he was forced to but have the choice to die with dignity. Religion is the problem not God. Anyway, if the gov't is going to continue its war on chronic pain victims and the physicians who try to help us they should at least help us opt out.

Jesus didn't get to "opt out" of the suffering, why should we? And what if it's all part of the intended process?

M, why should anyone care what Jesus supposedly did? There's no proof that what the Bible says about Jesus is true. And whether Jesus existed or not, why should any person base his/her life on someone else's life? Would you buy a car simply because some famous person says, "Buy this car!"

We should live our own life, following our own values, than copy someone else's life. Also, I'm curious why you don't cite Buddha, Muhammed, Moses, Lao Tzu, or Krishna as exemplars we should emulate. Why Jesus? Maybe these other guys have more to teach us than Jesus. Or, not.

Although I have not seen the movie, I was with you on this post until the very end. Your idea of god being an illusion is, for lack of a better way to put it, wrong. Allow me to explain.
First of all, 'god' is highly subjective. God could be a giant living on a cloud, or god could be the sun, or god could be multiple gods and goddesses, or god could be energy, all depending on who you talk to.
Secondly, even if god was something that appears to be highly unlikely to you, that same something could appear highly likely to someone else. Therefore, regardless of if god is not real in your mind, god could be entirely real to someone else.
Although I do agree with the idea that personal religion should not be used to impact the lives of others with differing views, it seems to me that saying "God almost certainly is an illusion...illusions can't be allowed to overrule reality" is dangerously close to "that person's religious beliefs are wrong and we can't allow that". Please keep on the road of open mindedness, too many it seems are easily swayed to one extreme or the other.

Melissa, I'm very open-minded about God and the supernatural. And I have no problem with people believing in whatever they want to believe in.

What I object to is people mistaking subjectivity for objectivity. Like you said, a god could be anything at all. Or, more likely, nothing at all.

I'm under no obligation to support anyone's subjective beliefs if they claim those beliefs reflect an objective reality. It's entirely appropriate to say "You're wrong" in such a circumstance.

If someone yelled at me, "Rap music is the best music in the world and you should like it!" I'd reply, "You're wrong." Ditto if someone tells me that his/her vision of god is true, and I should believe it. I'd also say "You're wrong."

If god isn't an illusion, show me some proof. Since no one can, this leaves god in the realm of subjective opinion. Thus the religious believers shown in this movie who wanted to prevent other people from dying as they wanted to also have to be told "You're wrong."

God has no place in deciding social policy. Fantasies shouldn't determine our laws. Reason, rationality, and commonly held values should. One of those values, hopefully, is individual autonomy at the end of life. Religion wants to interfere with that, which is one reason I don't like religion.


Maybe, one way to put it is,

While God is subjective and a possible illusion, we all are not qualified to say that God absolutely doesn't exist. We just don't know the existence and non-existence.
This issue is one big mystery.

This is why the atheist is not/should not create a belief system in the non-existence of God.

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