Monday, October 6, 2014

Kill Off The Zombies

This opinion piece from CNN is talking about the Ebola Crisis:

"It raises an interesting legal and moral question, one any fan of the zombie genre has wondered about: If one of our citizens is living but fatally infected, and will harm others if allowed to live out their doomed life, does the state's broad authority include authority to terminate the infected? At what point would we be comfortable with that? In the zombie movies, it's a no-brainer: generally, as soon as the group knows someone's infected, execution follows. And it's not always humane. Don't think we're above that in the real world. If the life of one threatens millions, does the state's police power authorize the pre-emptive taking of that one life?"

This un-useful extremist theorizing plays on fears and nightmares, but does show an important underlying error that is not uncommon in Western society.  That is, that Ethics is only about maximizing.  A modern person, devoid of underlying transcendental philosophical foundations, can only work with legal concepts such as personal rights and freedoms when considering ethical dilemmas.  So it becomes a matter for the lawyers and the accountants to add up the particular points on one side and the other and see who has more at the end:  more lives, more freedoms.  At the same time, the modern person knows that this cannot possibly be all there is.  But fearing that this line of reasoning will lead to something embarrassing such as a belief in God, she suppresses it.  

So, modern thinker, listen up:  you do not have to limit your mind and heart in this way.  Allow your reason to explore this area.  Is this an adequate way to look at the complexity of the world, the value of life, the beauty of creation?  Is the reason you cannot answer this question evidence of a spiritual reality?  In your heart you know that there will be a reckoning one day.  There must be a power, a source of ethics that is more than what the statisticians can calculate.

In the mean time, do not let fear and anxiety lead your heart and mind.  The Ebola crisis can be fought and is being fought by brave men and women, primarily African, on the ground in West Africa.  If you want to help, send some money to one of the NGO's.  Or volunteer yourself if you are in the medical field or logistics.  But don't just get attention for yourself by useless articles promoting more fear.

1 comment:

Dr. Rick Sams said...

Wow this is brave, genuine and good. You speak with the rightful authority as someone who is there. And you are! This should be posted on CNN as a comment. I'm proud to call you my friend, Paul Bunge!