Saturday, June 04, 2005

The great inconsistency of moral relativism

In a thoughtful piece, William F. Buckley reflects on the court-ordered execution of Terri Schiavo:
"What caused the political commotion was the sense that we were presiding over an execution. Terri Schiavo remained 'alive' until we stopped feeding her. Then she began a fall through a trapdoor descending toward death. She was being committed to a death of an agonizing kind, surely? One that began with the removal of the tubes, and would continue until starvation and dehydration brought on the end of the heartbeat.

"Some years ago, in a forum on euthanasia, my guest was the Rev. Robert L. Barry, who had studied the subject extensively. Father Barry argued that the deprivation of food and water brings on physical pain whatever else the human condition. Was the court system in Florida, then, acquiescing in death by pain for Mrs. Schiavo?

A doctor consulted by one television analyst brushed aside the question, in language not readily transcribed by a layman. He seemed to be saying that Mrs. Schiavo would not suffer pain as the term is commonly understood. But that question was not directly accosted by the judge, who said only that Terri's rights had not been abrogated."
Americans believe that God gives each of us the rights to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" and that these are not to be taken unjustly.

Where is the justice in killing an innocent and helpless woman?

Would those who advocated Ms. Schiavo's death by deprivation support the same punishment for convicted rapists, child molestors, terrorists, or other murderers?

If not, why not? Surely those atrocities are infinitely more deserving of such a end.