Thursday, October 3, 2013


Yesterday, Charles Lewis published this column in the National Post. Below is my response to his final question; "What changed?"

Dear Charles,

At the conclusion of your column, published October 2nd, 2013, you asked "What changed?" with regards to our society's view of euthanasia. I feel compelled to provide my own meager answer to that question, though I also feel that you have already answered it without realizing as much.

In the middle of your column, you write "I should probably say that I have never been a libertarian and I suppose the autonomous life is part of libertarian thinking." This I think is what has changed.

For a long time we have been content to place the "good of the many" above the "good of the few" but we have borne witness to the flaws of this course of action again and again. We have seen homosexuals persecuted for their sexual orientation, allegedly because it would cause social degradation if allowed unchecked. We have seen those addicted to intoxicating drugs punished and victimized by our legal system, allegedly to serve as an example to keep our kids from drugs. Just recently we have come to realize how much each of us has been victimized; our privacy stripped away, in the name of public safety, with government surveillance programs monitoring our every communication. Indeed, even the email I am sending to your now is likely being logged by several security agencies.

Perhaps bearing witness to so many situations where individual’s needs and interests were supressed in the name of some "greater good" has made more of us realize that there can be no society without individuals, and that asking some individuals to suffer for "the good of society" is not ultimately in anyone's best interest.

Perhaps we are simply becoming more compassionate to other individuals, and thus, less willing to restrict their choices, less willing to claim that we know what is best for others.

Perhaps we are becoming more libertarian.

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