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Disposal of the body is not the same thing as disposal of one's life, becuase life as man qua man is more than a beating heart.

The owner of the heart may legitimately take actions to make it stop beating. You have said, “There is nothing ethically wrong for a man to want to die and even for him to want someone else to do it. But in the abscence of an emergency, it is morally wrong for anyone else to execute that wish. Anyone who does so defaults on his own right to life.” First of all, who gets to decide whether it is an emergency? More importantly, you are caught in a contradiction. If Smith kills himself (presumably with his own permission), he has not violated anyone’s rights. Therefore if Jones kills Smith (with Smith’s permission), he has taken the same action that it was legitimate for Smith to commit. A legal system cannot punish one man for doing the same thing that another is legally permitted to do.

No, they aren't!  How will take the consciousness out of man's body while keeping both intact?  If you separate them, they will both die.  Removing parts of a body, especially replenishable parts such as blood and marrow, or redundant organs is not the same thing as telling someone its OK to kill you.

They are conceptually separable. If consciousness is one and the same as the body, then donating a body part, say, a kidney, would be the same donating a part of one’s consciousness. Having donated blood and undergone operations to remove neoplasms, I can state without fear of contradiction that my consciousness was not in the least diminished by the procedures. Ergo, consciousness and body are not identical. The consciousness rules the body and is the proper owner of it. As owner, the consciousness is within its rights to destroy the body.

What if he injects the chemical and you change your mind?  What you cannot give up or stop is the ability to change your mind!

A typo.  I meant to say "you do not posses the right not be killed by yourself.

What if you want to donate a kidney and change you mind after the operation? If the irreversibility of a procedure makes it illegitimate, then there would be very few actions that a surgeon could perform.

The right to life gives one the right to property, which in turn gives one the right to execute a trade. So, if one trades away the right to life, one has traded away the right to property, and the right to execute a trade over that property -- including one's body. It is self-contradictory to attempt to trade one's life, because one's life makes trade possible.

So if a man contracts to have his life ended, then he “has traded away the right to property, and the right to execute a trade over that property -- including one's body.” In that case, if an assisted suicide attempt should fail or be interrupted, the body of the would-be suicide would no longer belong to him. Who would be the new owner? The state? The first one to come along and claim finders-keepers rights? Furthermore, if someone assists another person in a suicide that succeeds, how could the assistant be charged with murder? You have stated that the one who trades away his right to life has traded away rights over his body. How is it the killing a crime if no rights are violated?

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A man's life is not money.  It can never be the object of trade, or there is slavery

Do not confuse a man's life with his right to his life. The former can be traded; the latter cannot.

Denying a man to trade his life amounts to denying his right to his life. It's HIS life, not yours, so HE decides what is to happen with it, and not you.

The right to life in particular is fundamental, and is the only fundamental right.  All other rights are its consequences or corollaries.

So can you see why denying a man to trade his life implies a denial to trade his money, his labor, etc.? If you object to the fundamental, then by virtue of that objection you are also objecting to its consequences and corollaries as well.

Agreeing to be employed in a particular job is a decision over one's life. A good career decision can improve and lengthen your life, while a bad career move can ruin and shorten it--if it is a dangerous job, it can shorten it quite drastically (read: kill you). If your life were not yours to trade, all voluntary employment would be illegal as a consequence.

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If a person were able to give up their right to life and the contract were enforcable at that instant before death, then the contract also ceases to become enforcable at the same instant, because the person no longer has a right to any such contract.

Ever heard of wills?

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Do not confuse a man's life with his right to his life.

Correct, which is why I said there is no ethical problem for a man to want to die. But it cannot be the object of trade without cancelling the right to trade in the first place.

Agreeing to be employed presupposes the right to life, but not does cancel it. It is not the same thing. Agreeing to be killed both presupposes and cancels the right to life at the same instant, and is a contradiction.

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Ever heard of wills?

A will does not say "kill me and take my stuff". It says "take my stuff after I'm gone". A will does not effectively cancel one's right to one's life the moment it is made as a contract to be killed would. A will is not enforceable before death , nor is it the instrument of death. Death must occur prior to enforcement.

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The owner of the heart may legitimately take actions to make it stop beating.

Correct. But it is wrong for someone else to take that action into his own hands.

First of all, who gets to decide whether it is an emergency?
Reality does. Only an objective individual can make the judgement.

More importantly, you are caught in a contradiction.  If Smith kills himself (presumably with his own permission), he has not violated anyone’s rights.  Therefore if Jones kills Smith (with Smith’s permission), he has taken the same action that it was legitimate for Smith to commit.  A legal system cannot punish one man for doing the same thing that another is legally permitted to do.

I am hardly in a contradiction; this is hardly the same thing. Killing oneself is not the same as killing someone else.

They are conceptually separable. If consciousness is one and the same as the body, then donating a body part, say, a kidney, would be the same donating a part of one’s consciousness.

No. Kidneys do not contain consciousness. At least none I've ever come across.

Having donated blood and undergone operations to remove neoplasms, I can state without fear of contradiction that my consciousness was not in the least diminished by the procedures. Ergo, consciousness and body are not identical.  The consciousness rules the body and is the proper owner of it.  As owner, the consciousness is within its rights to destroy the body.
Yes. You cannot however, take someone else's life, even if they have agreed that its OK to do so.

What if you want to donate a kidney and change you mind after the operation?  If the irreversibility of a procedure makes it illegitimate, then there

would be very few actions that a surgeon could perform.

It is not the irreversibility of the procedure to which I refer, but the fundamental aspect of it. Life is the fundmental that makes donating a kidney possible. You can have life without a kidney, but you cannot have life without life.

So if a man contracts to have his life ended, then he “has traded away the right to property, and the right to execute a trade over that property -- including one's body.” In that case, if an assisted suicide attempt should fail or be interrupted, the body of the would-be suicide would no longer belong to him.

Yes, it would. His contract is for assistance, not for death itself. He must commit suicide -- he is not being killed. He is only being helped to do it, and once the help is rendered, the contract is fullfilled, whether the attempt was successful or not. There is no surrending of one's life to the helper in an assisted suicide.

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OK, we're finally talking business.

A contract is an obligation. You cannot exercise your rights in contradiction to a contract you voluntarily signed.

If an employer hires you, he cannot exercise his right to his property by deciding he doesn't want to pay you after all. Once he promised to pay you (and you did the job), you are due the money. The last time he can change his mind is the moment before he signs the contract; it is then that he has to weigh the consequences because he will have to live with them whether he likes them or not. Once the contract is signed, he can practically consider the money to be out of his wallet, provided that the employee lives up to his part of the contract.

It is the same with the fool who enters a deathmatch contract. Once he signs, he is a dead man walking, unless he defeats his fellow fool.

Under the law, specific performance is rarely enforced. Usually, abrogation of a contract entails damages. Of course, even damages presupposes that there is a valid contract in the first place, which isn't the case with the death-match. An inherently irrational "contract," such as a death-match, doesn't meet the minimum qualifying elements for validity. And, yes, I realize this is legal doctrine (rather than theoretical ethics/politics), but I think it is important to be aware of current doctrine because there are often (though admittedly many times there aren't) good reasons for its existence.

Edited by Gabriel_S

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There is nothing ethically wrong for a man to want to die and even for him to want someone else to do it.

Really? There isn't anything ethically wrong for a man to want to die? I don't see you've qualified your statement. Does that mean under any and all circumstances suicide is always moral?

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Correct.  But it is wrong for someone else to take that action into his own hands.

But someone acting under my instructions is performing actions on my behalf.

Reality does.  Only an objective individual can make the judgement.

So you would forbid only the suicides of non-objective individuals? And how would you punish those non-objective individuals who attempted suicide and did not succeed?

I am hardly in a contradiction; this is hardly the same thing.  Killing oneself is not the same as killing someone else.

You cannot punish Jones for taking the same action that you would allow to Smith. If Smith’s taking his own life does not violate any rights, then no rights are violated when Jones acts on Smith’s instructions to end Smith’s life. No rights violation, no crime.

No.  Kidneys do not contain consciousness.  At least none I've ever come across.

Then we agree that the body and consciousness are separate things.

Yes.  You cannot however, take someone else's life, even if they have agreed that its OK to do so.

If ending Smith’s life is morally wrong (a rights violation), then it would be just as wrong for Smith himself to do it as Jones. If we punish Jones for assisting in suicide, then we would have to punish Smith for attempting his own suicide.

It is not the irreversibility of the procedure to which I refer, but the fundamental aspect of it.  Life is the fundmental that makes donating a kidney possible.  You can have life without a kidney, but you cannot have life without life.

On April 29 you wrote, “What if he injects the chemical and you change your mind?” Now if you are concerned about the subject changing his mind once an assisted suicide has commenced, why would you not be similarly concerned about a kidney donor changing his mind once the surgery to remove it has commenced? The problem of irreversibility is the same in both cases. As for not having life without life -- who said otherwise? The point is that the consciousness ruling a body may not want life anymore -- and it is his right as owner of that body (or that life) to end it.

Yes, it would.  His contract is for assistance, not for death itself.  He must commit suicide -- he is not being killed.

If I have the right to take an action with regard to my own property, then I can transfer the right to take that action to another party. There is no rights violation if a medical professional under the instructions of the subject takes every step necessary to inject the subject with a lethal dose of adrenaline.

He is only being helped to do it, and once the help is rendered, the contract is fullfilled, whether the attempt was successful or not.  There is no surrending of one's life to the helper in an assisted suicide.

Good. So we would reject the statement, “So, if one trades away the right to life, one has traded away the right to property, and the right to execute a trade over that property -- including one's body.” A suicide contract does not result in loss of property rights, including the rights over one’s body.

Edited by Tom Robinson

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Oh, so now are you saying that assisted suicide is permissible but unassisted suicide is impermissible?

No. I am saying suicide is a man's choice, but murder isn't.

So you would forbid only the suicides of non-objective individuals?  And how would you punish those non-objective individuals who attempted suicide and did not succeed?
I wouldn't; they have done nothing to injure anyone else. Punishment is for those who would injure others.

You cannot punish Jones for taking the same action that you would allow to Smith.  If Smith’s taking his own life does not violate any rights, then no rights are violated when Jones acts on Smith’s instructions to end Smith’s life.  No rights violation, no crime.

It is not the same action. For Jones to kill himself is one action, named "suicide". For Smith to kill Jones, regardless of agreement, is a different action entirely, named "murder". Again, I am not talking about an emergent situation, but a normal, healthy Jones.

Then we agree that the body and consciousness are separate things.
No, we don't. I make no extrapolation from "kidney" or "blood" to "body". That is uniquely your error here.

If ending Smith’s life is morally wrong (a rights violation), then it would be just as wrong for Smith himself to do it as Jones.

The morality being questioned is not whether the ending of Smith's life is wrong. The morality being questioned is: who is doing the ending, and how does the person doing the ending know the decision is consistent with reality?

Again, there is no such thing as a right to oneself. Rights only exist in a social context, and in the case of a man committing suicide, there is no social context. Only the man himself -- thus, no concepts of a right ever enters the picture.

On April 29 you wrote, “What if he injects the chemical and you change your mind?”  Now if you are concerned about the subject changing his mind once an assisted suicide has commenced
This is not how assisted suicides are done. The helper may set up an apparatus to inject a chemical, but it is the person who is to be killed that physically causes the injection to occur -- not the helper. If the person wishing to die cannot physically push a button, then the helper cannot do it for him as no suicide is possible.

why would you not be similarly concerned about a kidney donor changing his mind once the surgery to remove it has commenced?  The problem of irreversibility is the same in both cases.

I don't know why you are stuck on "irreversibility", I said my argument had nothing to do with that, but rather fundamental nature of "life" as opposed to the non-fundamental nature of "kidney".

There is no rights violation if a medical professional under the instructions of the subject takes every step necessary to inject the subject with a lethal dose of adrenaline.
Yes, there is. The medical professional may set it up such that the subject may inject themselves, but they must not inject the subject themselves. That is murder. Or, by your illustration of using a "medical professional", are you really talking about an emergent situation? Because THAT is different, and wholly outside the context of this thread.

Good.  So we would reject the statement, “So, if one trades away the right to life, one has traded away the right to property, and the right to execute a trade over that property -- including one's body.”  A suicide contract does not result in loss of property rights, including the rights over one’s body.

I have no idea what the above nonsense means. It has no bearing on my statement to which it apparently was attempting to refer. A contract for assistance in suicide is not a contract for killing someone. I don't see how we can reject the statement of hierarchy which makes all rights possible based on a false equivocation between "suicide" and "murder".

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TomL:

No. I am saying suicide is a man's choice, but murder isn't.

Robinson:

If Smith’s taking his life by his own free will is not murder, neither is Jones’s taking of Smith’s life by Smith’s permission murder.

TomL:

I wouldn't; they have done nothing to injure anyone else. Punishment is for those who would injure others.

Robinson:

So following what you wrote before, “Only an objective individual can make the judgement” to commit suicide, we would add that non-objective individuals can also make the choice to commit suicide.

TomL:

It is not the same action. For Jones to kill himself is one action, named "suicide". For Smith to kill Jones, regardless of agreement, is a different action entirely, named "murder". Again, I am not talking about an emergent situation, but a normal, healthy Jones.

Robinson:

If we would punish Jones for taking Smith’s life with Smith’s permission, to be consistent we would have to punish Smith (if he survives the attempt) for doing the same thing that we would punish Jones for.

TomL:

No, we don't. I make no extrapolation from "kidney" or "blood" to "body". That is uniquely your error here.

Robinson:

Very well, if body and consciousness are not separate things, then a double amputee would have less consciousness than a man with all of his limbs.

TomL:

The morality being questioned is not whether the ending of Smith's life is wrong. The morality being questioned is: who is doing the ending, and how does the person doing the ending know the decision is consistent with reality?

Robinson:

If Smith contracts with Jones for Robinson’s murder (and Robinson does not wish to die), then both Smith and Jones should be charged with murder (or attempted murder). Following your argument, we would have to say that if Smith contracts with Jones for Smith’s own death, then the police would have to charge both Smith and Jones with attempted murder.

TomL:

Again, there is no such thing as a right to oneself. Rights only exist in a social context, and in the case of a man committing suicide, there is no social context. Only the man himself -- thus, no concepts of a right ever enters the picture.

Robinson:

Then a woman could not sell her kidney or blood or hair because she would have no property right in those things.

TomL:

This is not how assisted suicides are done. The helper may set up an apparatus to inject a chemical, but it is the person who is to be killed that physically causes the injection to occur -- not the helper. If the person wishing to die cannot physically push a button, then the helper cannot do it for him as no suicide is possible.

Robinson:

Just as I can confer on another person the power to sign my checks, I can confer upon him the full power to conduct the termination of my life. I need not be physically involved at all to have it occur with my consent.

TomL:

I don't know why you are stuck on "irreversibility", I said my argument had nothing to do with that, but rather fundamental nature of "life" as opposed to the non-fundamental nature of "kidney".

Robinson:

You are the one who introduced the objection: what if the subject changes his mind.

TomL:

Yes, there is. The medical professional may set it up such that the subject may inject themselves, but they must not inject the subject themselves. That is murder. Or, by your illustration of using a "medical professional", are you really talking about an emergent situation? Because THAT is different, and wholly outside the context of this thread.

Robinson:

If we are speaking of current law, no assisted suicides in any manner are permitted in the United States. If we are speaking of a society of contract, in which each person is given full exercise of his rights, then there is nothing immoral (rights violating) about an individual assigning an agent to take all steps necessary to end the person’s life.

TomL:

I have no idea what the above nonsense means. It has no bearing on my statement to which it apparently was attempting to refer. A contract for assistance in suicide is not a contract for killing someone. I don't see how we can reject the statement of hierarchy which makes all rights possible based on a false equivocation between "suicide" and "murder".

Robinson:

Good. If a “contract for assistance in suicide is not a contract for killing someone,” then Jones should not be arrested for following Smith’s orders to give him a lethal injection of adrenaline.

Edited by Tom Robinson

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If we would punish Jones for taking Smith’s life with Smith’s permission, to be consistent we would have to punish Smith (if he survives the attempt) for doing the same thing that we would punish Jones for.
But it is not the same thing for one man to kill himself, as it is for one man to kill another man, no matter how many times you say that it is. It has the same end result, but it is not the same action. Actions are not the same as the effects of those actions.

Then a woman could not sell her kidney or blood or hair because she would have no property right in those things.

Yes she can, because removal of one kidney or blood or her hair is not removal of her life, and thus does not negate her rights.

Just as I can confer on another person the power to sign my checks, I can confer upon him the full power to conduct the termination of my life.  I need not be physically involved at all to have it occur with my consent.
Perhaps legally in our current system, but I find the practice morally wrong and abhorrent.

You are the one who introduced the objection: what if the subject changes his mind.

The point being that his mind, which is what gives rise to the right to life in the first place, is still there -- and still giving rise to that same right.

Good. If a “contract for assistance in suicide is not a contract for killing someone,” then Jones should not be arrested for following Smith’s orders to give him a lethal injection of adrenaline.

And by my previous explanation, that is not a contract for assistance in suicide, but something else entirely.

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But it is not the same thing for one man to kill himself, as it is for one man to kill another man, no matter how many times you say that it is.  It has the same end result, but it is not the same action.  Actions are not the same as the effects of those actions.

You might as well say that it is not the same thing for a man to draw his own blood (or remove his warts) as it is for another man to draw his blood (or remove his warts), and that therefore the former is legitimate and the latter is illegitimate. In order to prove the contention that self-induced death is permissible but contracted death is impermissible, you will have to demonstrate that the only one who can morally perform actions on a person’s body is the person himself. If I cut my wart out, it’s okay; if you cut it out it’s assault and battery!

Yes she can, because removal of one kidney or blood or her hair is not removal of her life, and thus does not negate her rights.

Then contrary to your post earlier today, there is indeed such a “thing as a right to oneself.” If a woman owns her body parts, then she may rightfully sell them. If she owns her heart, she may rightfully sell it. If she wishes, she may also rightfully donate her heart to her son with a heart defect. She may also instruct her doctor to remove her heart and insert it into her son’s chest. If she does all of this by her own volition, then none of her rights have been negated. And if no one’s rights have been negated, then no one may be charged with murder or any other rights violation.

Perhaps legally in our current system, but I find the practice morally wrong and abhorrent.

Then accordingly, you should find the practice of mowing one’s own lawn acceptable, but mowing someone else’s lawn morally wrong and abhorrent.

The point being that his mind, which is what gives rise to the right to life in the first place, is still there -- and still giving rise to that same right.

Okay then, what if the subject injects himself with a lethal dose and then suddenly changes his mind? Any objections you apply to contractual death would also have to apply to self-induced death.

And by my previous explanation, that is not a contract for assistance in suicide, but something else entirely.

Let me quote your words in their entirety: “I have no idea what the above nonsense means. It has no bearing on my statement to which it apparently was attempting to refer. A contract for assistance in suicide is not a contract for killing someone. I don't see how we can reject the statement of hierarchy which makes all rights possible based on a false equivocation between ‘suicide’ and ‘murder’.”

I replied, “If a ‘contract for assistance in suicide is not a contract for killing someone,’ then Jones should not be arrested for following Smith’s orders to give him a lethal injection of adrenaline.”

Do we agree?

Edited by Tom Robinson

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You might as well say that it is not the same thing for a man to draw his own blood (or remove his warts) as it is for another man to draw his blood (or remove his warts), and that therefore the former is legitimate and the latter is illegitimate.

No I wouldn't, because warts and blood are not a fundamental component of the concept "right", and are not presupposed by it. One does not need "blood" or "warts" in order to have "rights". One needs "reason" & "volition".

In order to prove the contention that self-induced death is permissible but contracted death is impermissible, you will have to demonstrate that the only one who can morally perform actions on a person’s body is the person himself.
No, I won't. Performing actions on a person's body is not the same thing as killing them.

Then contrary to your post earlier today, there is indeed such a “thing as a right to oneself.”

In a social context only. On a deserted island, there is no such thing.

If she does all of this by her own volition, then none of her rights have been negated.  And if no one’s rights have been negated, then no one may be charged with murder or any other rights violation.

Only if she blows her own brains out before transplant surgery starts. If the doctors kill her to take out the heart, they are murderers.

Then accordingly, you should find the practice of mowing one’s own lawn acceptable, but mowing someone else’s lawn morally wrong and abhorrent.
How are mowing a lawn and killing someone the same thing? The mind boggles at this ridiculous comparison.

Okay then, what if the subject injects himself with a lethal dose and then suddenly changes his mind?  Any objections you apply to contractual death would also have to apply to self-induced death.

He's screwed, but there's no one to blame but himself. Next!

I replied, “If a ‘contract for assistance in suicide is not a contract for killing someone,’ then Jones should not be arrested for following Smith’s orders to give him a lethal injection of adrenaline.” 

Do we agree?

Hell, no. In the case of Jones killing Smith, the contract is not one of assisted suicide, but of "consensual murder". Jones is still a murderer, and goes to the death chamber for it. Assisted suicide, as I've already painfully described, does not involve death being induced by the other person. The contract is for Jones to help Smith, but Jones cannot actually physically KILL Smith. Smith must kill himself.

You have repeatedly ignored my explanations of: the definition of "rights", "assisted suicide", equivocation of body parts with life itself, and numerous other things -- and continued to use your own flawed definitions and erroneous logic without explaining what you think is wrong with mine or explaining why yours are correct. I have repeated myself so many times its making my head swim. This is out of control, and no new material has been brought in for several posts. You are just repeating the same old, tired things. I'm done.

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TomL, please give us your definition of "murder."

Murder: The action taken by one man which is definitive in depriving another man of his life, where the man who dies still possesses a right to his life, and to whom life as man qua man is still possible.

The last phrase excepts emergent situations, such as a euthanising a fatally injured man in pain on a battlefield who cannot kill himself. It is not an out for one man to claim that life as man qua man is no longer possible to him -- it is evident through facts of reality. If he has a body that can survive, and a mind that can think, then life as man qua man is possible to him, regardless of what he says or how he feels at the moment.

The Terry Schiavo's of the world do not have a right to life because they do not possess the faculties of reason or volition -- they are pets and cannot be "murdered" by anyone.

Edited by TomL

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Murder:  The action taken by one man which is definitive in depriving another man of his life, where the man who dies still possesses a right to his life, and to whom life as man qua man is still possible.

(Chuckle) Clever. The killed man has a right to his life and the action takes away his life--therefore, his rights must have been violated, mustn't they.

But then let me ask you how you would define "deprive." That is a key word in your definition and it is not a legal term with a clear-cut meaning.

Another interesting thing about your clever :P definition is that the genus is simply "action," rather than crime. Is it your position that murder is necessarily a crime? If yes--and if we accept your above definition--what is it that makes it so? Who is the victim?

(BTW, murder is the crime of killing an innocent person with premeditated malice. Malice implies a lack of consent.)

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Actually, murder is a specific legal term defined as: the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Murder is a legal term that defines the crime of killing another person. Very close to CF's definition, but with the added distinction of that element that makes the act of murder necessarily a crime.

The malice aforethought element is essential in making the act of killing a person murder as opposed to manslaughter.

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Another interesting thing about your clever :P definition is that the genus is simply "action," rather than crime. Is it your position that murder is necessarily a crime? If yes--and if we accept your above definition--what is it that makes it so? Who is the victim?

And purposely so. I don't care to debate a legal definition without first establishing the morality -- because law should be founded in morality. I don't care what the current legal definition is in our current system. I am only concerned with what it ought to be.

I probably could have found a better word than "deprived". How about "terminates" or some such. Morally, it is murder to take an action which causes a man to lose his faculties of reason and/or volition, even if the body continues on.

Edited by TomL

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By that definition, any act of killing is an act of murder. However, there are many justifiable killings such as self defense, and just wars.

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By that definition, any act of killing is an act of murder. However, there are many justifiable killings such as self defense, and just wars.

No. Note the prase "where the man who dies still possesses a right to his life". There is a way to forfeit that right, and it is to kill someone else. This is what makes self-defense acceptable. However, now I have something else to think about, and it may be that the definition needs a little more work.

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Thanks to this discussion I now understand the concept of rights much better, I think. I am grateful for that, but I still have some questions concerning people who do not posess a normal rational faculty, i.e. especially persons who are mentally disabled in a heavy manner or persons who have Alzheimer's disease. What about them? Their rational faculty is heavily impaired, so that they cannot decide for themselves.

And another quite critical question in connection with that:

Assume there is a mentally disabled person, who still posesses consciousness and rationality in a very basic manner (i.e. who is not a vegetable like Terry Schiavo was), and who nonetheless cannot care for himself but depends on special medical machines, which are only available in an expensive hospital, in order to sustain his life. Assume now, that all his property was already exceeded in order to pay for his treatment and that absolutely no-one is willing to continue paying for the machines necessary to sustain his life. Would it be morally justifiable to turn off the machines and let him die because he can no-longer afford to pay for them?

Personally, I am not quite sure about it, but following the basic principle that no-one must live parasitically at the expense of others, this would be the conclusion to be drawn, I think. Or am I wrong here?

Edited by SaschaSettegast

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TomL:

No I wouldn't, because warts and blood are not a fundamental component of the concept "right", and are not presupposed by it. One does not need "blood" or "warts" in order to have "rights". One needs "reason" & "volition".

Robinson:

Good, if “one does not need ‘blood’ or ‘warts’ in order to have ‘rights,’” then Jones can draw all of Smith’s blood out of his body and Smith will still have his rights.

TomL:

No, I won't. Performing actions on a person's body is not the same thing as killing them.

Robinson:

If "performing actions on a person’s body is not the same as killing them,” then Jones could, with Smith’s permission, inject Smith with lethal dose of adrenaline and still be innocent of murder.

TomL:

In a social context only. On a deserted island, there is no such thing.

Robinson:

Yes, in asocial context one has ownership over his body. Therefore, in a social context, an owner can destroy his own property -- or contract another to do it for him.

TomL:

Only if she blows her own brains out before transplant surgery starts. If the doctors kill her to take out the heart, they are murderers.

Robinson:

If a doctor removes a person’s kidney without the kidney owner’s permission, he should be charged with assault and battery. If he removes the kidney with the owner’s permission, he is acting as the owner’s agent and has done no wrong. Similarly, if Dr. Jones ends Smith life with Smith’s permission, the doctor has acted as the owner’s agent and has done no wrong.

TomL:

How are mowing a lawn and killing someone the same thing? The mind boggles at this ridiculous comparison.

Robinson:

Who said murder and assisted suicide are the same thing? The mind reels at the confusion between these distinct ideas.

TomL:

He's screwed, but there's no one to blame but himself. Next!

Robinson:

When Jones follows Smith’s instructions and injects Smith with a lethal dose of adrenaline, there’s no one to blame but Smith himself. Next!

TomL:

Hell, no. In the case of Jones killing Smith, the contract is not one of assisted suicide, but of "consensual murder".

Robinson:

Consensual murder is a contradiction in terms and therefore invalid. Stick it in the same category of nonsense as consensual rape or consensual kidnapping.

TomL:

Jones is still a murderer, and goes to the death chamber for it. Assisted suicide, as I've already painfully described, does not involve death being induced by the other person.

Robinson:

So the person doing the assisting in assisted suicude should not fill the syringe with anything lethal -- otherwise it would be “consensual murder.”

TomL:

The contract is for Jones to help Smith, but Jones cannot actually physically KILL Smith. Smith must kill himself.

Robinson:

If someone helps a hit-man load his gun and take aim at an innocent target, shouldn’t the assistant be charged with murder along with the trigger man? How is it justifiable to help in one killing, but not another?

TomL:

You have repeatedly ignored my explanations of: the definition of "rights", "assisted suicide", equivocation of body parts with life itself, and numerous other things -- and continued to use your own flawed definitions and erroneous logic without explaining what you think is wrong with mine or explaining why yours are correct. I have repeated myself so many times its making my head swim. This is out of control, and no new material has been brought in for several posts. You are just repeating the same old, tired things. I'm done.

Robinson:

Gee, leaving so soon? I was just starting to have fun.

Edited by Tom Robinson

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