A Physicist Extols Human Exceptionalism

by Wesley J. Smith

Many in the life sciences attack human exceptionalism as necessarily predicated on religion–it can be but it’s also not–and as reflecting an unwarranted hubris.

To many of these, we are just another animal in the forest, while other see us as the vermin species destroying Gaia.

That’s why it was refreshing to see a physicist remark on our exceptional natures in a column otherwise about the importance of the discovery of gravity waves. From, “Finding Beauty in the Darkness,” by Lawrence M. Krauss:

Every child has wondered at some time where we came from and how we got here. That we can try and answer such questions by building devises like LIGO to peer out into the cosmos stands as a testament to the persistent curiosity and ingenuity of humankind–the qualities that we should most celebrate about being human.

So rare to hear a call for “celebrating” being human these days, and in the chronically anti-human exceptionalist New York Times

Oh Boy! It’s Euthanasia Week!

by Wesley J. Smith

Euthanasia hardly seems a subject for celebrating–even if one supports its legalization.

But the death obsessers at the Netherlands Voluntary Euthanasia Society are so excited at the 15th anniversary of formal legalization in that country (which has actually had wide-open euthanasia for more than forty years). 

Yes, it is “Euthanasia Week”! The celebratory activities will include films, lectures, and other fascinating presentations: From the Website (Google translation):

The reputation of the Euthanasia Week is increasing every year. More and more organizations and media this theme week to express their views on euthanasia.

So NPO 2 transmits on Monday, February 15th at 20.25 a documentary about the work of the End of Life Clinic. After this documentary follows a discussion on the topic.

The congress of the federation KNMG doctors [Dutch Medical Association] found Friday, February 19th place, is entitled “Not all can do.”

Saturday, February 20 finally organizing Right to Die Europe with CineBergen a day-long debate on euthanasia in the Black Barn in Bergen.

Oh boy! Reminds me of US assisted suicide fanatics who hold conventions that display various manner of suicide contraptions.

But why a voluntary euthanasia association in the Netherlands, you ask? After all, the country has one of the most medicalized killing regimes in the world.

Because there can never be enough euthanasia:

The NVVE is for anyone who wants to die with dignity.

We want to ensure optimal implementation of the euthanasia law, especially for groups who do not get help in practice, such as those with dementia, chronic psychiatric patients and elderly people who feel that their life is complete.

The Advice of the NVVE is always there for its members. You can call us for an interview or to make an appointment. You can contact us with general questions, but also with care needs stemming from a crisis.

Well, aren’t they special?


Canada’s Death Courts

by Wesley J. Smith

Until Canada’s radical Supreme Court ruling imposing a positive right to euthanasia on the entire country goes into effect, suicidal ill and disabled people can apply to a court for a license to be killed.

Death courts.

From the “Practice Advisory” published by the Ontario court:

Commencement of Application

An application to the Superior Court of Justice for authorization for a physician assisted death shall be commenced by notice of application under Rule 14 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and be in accordance with this Practice Advisory.

Content of Notice of Application

The notice of application shall state that the application shall be heard by a judge on a date to be fixed by the registrar at the place of hearing, such date not being earlier than fifteen days after the application is commenced and not being later than thirty days after the application is commenced. Depending upon the circumstances, certain applications may be heard sooner on an emergency basis. The nature of the relief sought on the application must be brought to the attention of the registrar by the applicant at the time of filing so that a hearing date within these time periods, or sooner, can be fixed.

This is just stunning. A judge is going to dispassionately review an application to be killed, and then, rule thumbs up or down.

I doubt there will be many refusals. The Supreme Court’s ruling is so broad and radical that virtually any medical condition beyond a tooth ache can qualify for euthanasia.

And once the ruling goes into effect, even this minor impediment to death will be erased.

This from a country that considers itself too enlightened to countenance a death penalty.

Poor Canada. We hardly knew ye.

Euthanasia Archives Destroyed?

by Wesley J. Smith

Historian Ian Dowbiggin wrote a splendid history of the euthanasia movement back in 2003. It was thorough, detailed, and objective.

The movement cooperated with Dowbiggin by making its archives available for his use. But now, they may have been destroyed. From, “A Scandal in the Euthanasia Archives:”

Imagine for a moment that reporters broke the news that the Vatican had destroyed the bulk of its archival records.

Researchers around the world justifiably might accuse the Roman Catholic Church of a deliberate cover-up.

Well, the Vatican has done no such thing. But it appears as if the right-to-die movement has. If so, one might well ask; why did people in the movement do it? Are they trying to hide something about their past?

One thing is clear: if the euthanasia movement’s records have indeed been destroyed, a lot of history has vanished, Orwell-like, down a cavernous memory hole. And with it, information the right-to-die movement doesn’t want you to know.

What is the evidence?

About five years after the book’s publication, I was contacted by a US graduate student researching the history of euthanasia. She told me that in trying to track down the ESA records she had been informed that the collection had been intentionally destroyed. Just this year another US graduate student got in touch with me, also trying to locate the ESA archives.

She too has been told the records no longer exist, although she is still investigating. Of course, it might be that the ESA records are sitting somewhere safe and sound. Yet why do groups like Compassion and Choices ignore my own requests for information? Why, when a published scholar in the history of medicine enquires about the whereabouts of this important archive, is there a resounding silence?

What might they want to erase:

Not only did these activists urge governments to permit voluntary mercy-killing and physician-assisted suicide, many also supported the involuntary mercy-killing of handicapped people. For example, despite his knowledge of widespread Nazi murder of people with disabilities, in 1943 the ESA’s president thought it was a good idea to legalize euthanasia in time for returning veterans who suffered from mental and physical wounds.

The euthanasia movement spent more than one hundred years looking for the right words and impetus to convince people to follow their dark calling. They think they have found it in “compassssssionnnn.”

That is part of it, in a twisted way. But there is so much more to it than that–a malign side–and that is what the modern euthanasiaists may not want people to see.

Dolphin Females Forced into Gang Intercourse

by Wesley J. Smith

One of the distinctions between humans and animals is that we are a moral species. Only we create moral codes through rational means–which is one reason they differ from society to society.

Animals are amoral. Whatever morality they appear to show–often anthropomorphized by observers–comes from instinct, not rational discourse and deliberation worked out and changeable over time.

With that in mind, dolphins are often romanticized as gentle sweethearts. But males force females into situations of gang forced intercourse, and may kill unrelated young. From the BBC story:

Small teams of males were usually part of larger “super-alliances” of up to 14 males.

It is also clear that the females are not particularly willing participants. “Male aggression toward a consort included chasing, hitting with the tail, head-jerks, charging, biting, or slamming bodily into the female,” Connor and colleagues wrote in their 1992 paper.

The females frequently “bolted”, but only managed to escape the males once in every four attempts. “Over the course of the year, a female will be herded by lots of different alliances over many different months,” wrote Connor and colleagues

The males also apparently kill the young:

During 1996 and 1997, 37 young bottlenose dolphins washed up on beaches in Virginia. Superficially, there appeared to be nothing wrong with them, but necropsy revealed evidence of “severe blunt-force trauma”.

The injuries were mainly to the head and chest, “and multiple rib fractures, lung lacerations, and soft tissue contusions were prominent,” according to a study published in 2002. There was lots of evidence that adult dolphins were responsible for the deaths.

Notice I didn’t use the term “rape.” That is because an animal cannot commit rape, which is a crime that involves moral turpitude.

The dolphins forcing themselves onto unwilling females, and killing the young isn’t wrong. It is merely dolphins being dolphins.  

Of course, when humans do such thing, they are judged rightly as monsters. That is because we are exceptional.