Saturday, July 12, 2014

Carey, Carey, quite contrary

His Grace has reflected.

He has concluded, with regret, that the Rt Rev'd Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, not only bears false witness; he bullies those with whom he disagrees. This is not only His Grace's observation: it has been corroborated by two peers, a very senior MP and sundry church officials. And his chaplain, Canon Rosie Harper, unable to defend her views on 'Assisted Dying' theologically (or reasonably), is content to defame and spread untruths about those who have the audacity to challenge her opinion. Both the Bishop and his chaplain hold positions of authority within the Church of England, and yet are content to use distortions, exaggerations, dishonest straw men and personal defamation to undermine the Church's doctrine and the authority of the House of Bishops.

It is not His Grace who needs to reflect. Perhaps the Bishop might consider that tweeting lies is not an edifying Christian witness and is manifestly incompatible with his role as a leader and shepherd. And Canon Harper might meditate on whether or not she can worship a God who required "the most extreme suffering" of His Son on a cross. After all, God is sovereign and has no need to shore up that sovereignty. Anachronisms and cultural constraints aside, surely He could have arranged a swift, merciful and compassionate beheading for Jesus, as he did for St Paul, instead of "requiring (him) to suffer extreme agony on behalf of (His) own conscience"?

How 'moral' or 'Christian' was it of God to 'require' the 'extreme agony' of crucifixion?

Now, to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, who has today come out in favour of 'Assisted Dying'.

His Grace has long admired, respected and supported the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr George Carey. Since being made a peer in his own right (as opposed to ex officio), he has made some bold interventions for truth on behalf of Anglican traditionalists. But he is now retired: as cross-bench peer, he speaks on behalf of no constituency but himself, and certainly not on behalf of the Established Church. The bombshell he drops today, while the General Synod is gathered in York and (most likely) about to declare a unified position on the future of women's ministry, is unfortunate, to say the least.

While the current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby writes boldly in The Times that Lord Falconer's Bill is "mistaken and dangerous", Lord Carey unhelpfully tells us via the Daily Mail that "The old philosophical certainties have collapsed in the face of the reality of needless suffering".

"Had I been putting doctrine before compassion, dogma before human dignity?" he asks, making the precise allegation recently deployed by Canon Harper against His Grace.

The inference is that ++Justin, who tragically lost a young daughter and has surely tasted grief, is "putting doctrine before compassion". For Canon Harper, his opposition to Lord Falconer's Bill is "neither moral nor Christian". And so, on this matter at least, Lord Carey is perceived by the world as enlightened and progressive, and ++Justin is seen as obstructive and lacking in compassion.

Now Bishop Alan of Buckingham and his chaplain Canon Rosie Harper find themselves in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with a homophobic bigot.

Still, at least he's not a troll.   


Blogger dav phi said...

The silence and humility of the Pope Emeritus is to be greatly admired.

12 July 2014 at 09:04  
Blogger MFH said...

Welcome back.

12 July 2014 at 09:23  
Blogger Solly Gratia said...

Welcome back Your Grace, nice to see some of the spirit of John the Baptist in your posting.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5.20

solly gratia

12 July 2014 at 09:29  
Blogger Maalaistollo said...

Welcome back indeed, YG.

Lord Denning was considered a great judge in his day, yet in his dotage he made some pronouncements that were considered ill-befitting a retired judge and which did him little credit until, it seems, he was spoken to and he then fell silent.

I'm not sure where Lord Carey, when he was in his prime, should be ranked among ABCs, but when I read his article I marvelled that it had been produced by someone who had once been principal of a theological college and whom I had believed to be a conservative evangelical.

Is there anyone left in a position of influence in the CofE who has neither been bought nor lost their marbles?

12 July 2014 at 10:11  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Hello again, Your Grace. Five days was a long time to leave your sheep unfed, if I may say so, but it’s most heartening to observe that you have been putting your time to excellent use, sharpening your knives. Congratulations!

12 July 2014 at 10:39  
Blogger Ps John Waller said...

Was it only five days? It felt like weeks.

Carey's contribution to the nation's escalating moral insanity reminds us of how important blogs like this are

"Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another" (Mal 3:16)

12 July 2014 at 11:29  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Today we are reminded why some senior positions (though regrettably not the House of Lords) have an upper age limit. You see, around this age, and often sadly before in some cases, the mind is not what it was. The intellect that took them to those heights impaired.

Let us not condemn Carey for his unfortunate, but remember him as a safe pair of hands when he was in office. For his part if he is still with us in the sense that counts, Carey may wish to announce his immediate retirement from public life. Then we can grant him immunity as such from his last intervention. A small concession to reward an honourable man as was in term.

Humanism, with it’s preoccupation with the so called rights of man, whatever they are, is an attractive alternative to Christianity. That cannot be denied. But Christianity it ain’t. As it stands, it would be of benefit to the church if it conducted a survey amongst it clerics to see how far the one has compromised the other. In other words, how deep is the rot.

Damn good post today Cranmer. Welcome back old chap...

12 July 2014 at 11:32  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

After recognising the potential pit-falls involved in hastening a death for other than relief of suffering I would still wish to have that choice.

I have a living will that makes my position clear should I be faced with artificially prolonging life in my body after I can no longer`influence the quality of that life.

I believe that God or gods do not exist and the prospect of being dead holds no fear or expectation to me than did being not-born. If I was once a conscious 'soul' before that event I would surely be aware of it as naturally as breathing, without the need for others to instill it in to me.

I enjoy life but accept that my experience of it is finite.

The illusion of 'life' after death is meaningless at best; terrifying, corruptive scaremongering at worst. It's the trump card of all the religious bullying that demands belief in the unbelievable.

I do however find it very odd for clerics to seemingly be able to set aside life-long moral convictions, (if that is what this is all about) - unless of course they have come to the realisation that compassion to end suffering is a more worthy interpretation of the intentions of a god of love.

Men injured in war have begged friends or strangers to end their unbearable suffering with a swift bullet to the head. The intention and act is moral: not murder, but a act of love and compassion. Some would regard this as immoral or against the will of God, but I would ask them why their God stood by and failed to intervene by granting mankind better methods of conflict resolution.

That said, how would they even know that God was not actually pleased at the outcome of such a Sophie's Choice scenario?

12 July 2014 at 11:48  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Good show Dreadnaught. An elegant contribution. As one has said before, we lack quality atheists on this site. Perhaps newby Sidney Deane can take inspiration from you and see how it’s done effectively and correctly...

12 July 2014 at 11:57  
Blogger Nick said...

Glad you've picked up on this issue YG. I was dismayed to hear Carey's comments, especially as he has been very supportive of these who opposed gay "marriage". But these inconsistencies are very unhelpful for an ailing church. He is of course entitled to his opinions, and to freely express them. The question is, is he speaking as an individual, or on behalf of Christians? I certainly do not agree with him. What is more, we are seeing the CofE increasingly bending to the ways of secularism. Those who hate the church must be delighted to see such prominent people surrendering to their ways. This makes it not only disheartening to be a member of the CofE, but also makes being a Christian and an Anglican increasingly irreconcilable

12 July 2014 at 12:04  
Blogger ukFred said...

Wilson and Harper are two examples of the reason why I see the Church of England as not a church but a synagogue of Satan.

I really wonder about Dr. Carey. I, too, used to think highly of him. My own mother died of secondary cancer and was in great pain for the last three weeks of her life. I wanted her to have her pain eased as much as possible, to the extent that I prayed that God would take her sooner rather than later, but no way would I have tried to shorten her life. I do accept that a high dose of an opiate analgesic does depress the carotid reflex, but oI have seen, up close and very very personally, that it is possible to control even extremepain in the dying so that they are not distressed.

12 July 2014 at 12:04  
Blogger Brian West said...

I understand that the signature of two doctors would be needed before an assisted suicide could be approved. And that's supposed to reassure us!


12 July 2014 at 12:12  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Dreadnaught
The "illusion" of life after death is meaningless at best.

How precisely do you know that.

I believed with a degree of firmness that that was not so. Since having an NDE I believe it in an adamantine and joyful assurance. The thing is that you cannot be at all certain as you have not seen beyond death. Those who have are certain that life goes on, though in a way that makes this life seem faded by comparison.

Why not go on youtube and hear some of the others who have experienced NDEs today? It is after all interesting whatever you believe, and some like Ian McCormack were atheists before.

I think that the way in which we die and enter eternity is important. And despair is not the best gateway, at all.

However I think that the main arguments still remain:
1) That pain relief which is effective for overwhelming pain does exist and already as a by product hastens death, so this is not necessary with competent doctors.
2) For those who disagree with me on the above two stopping eating is possible, and death soon follows. In fact I know of someone who took that route.
3) The times when relations influencing those who are feeling weak and a burden on others. would not be obviated by those people being required to sign a piece of paper saying no one had influenced them as a) this is not how life works; we are constantly being influenced by others , and some hold draconian sway over others to the extent that they virtually unhealthily "possess" the other person, and b) Anyone who is in a state of despair and has made that decision will think nothing of signing that.

So this is both not necessary and unhelpful.

I wished that I could find the piece of film with the hidden cameras of a daughter trying to persuade her mother to end it which the TV companies showed a lot in the early 80s and so i tried a dozen different combinations for the search engines but to no avail. Can anyone find it? Or what has happened to it? Sometimes things go missing and that in itself can be interesting and indicative.

Wonderful to see His Grace back and in fighting form.

12 July 2014 at 12:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Archbishop Cranmer, Happy Jack repeats the Inspectors words:

"Damn good post today Cranmer. Welcome back old chap."

Not too sure about the old - do ashes age?

12 July 2014 at 12:27  
Blogger Solly Gratia said...

Brian, 12 July 2014 12:12

Yes, how could it go wrong. After all, you need signatures for an abortion, and that system isn't abused is it?

12 July 2014 at 12:27  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Your Grace,
Glad your back but where is the new Blog?

This Carey business is a shame. he says that it is un Christian to cause more pain to individuals wishing to die. He fails to considers the inevitable pressure on thousands of elderly whose relatives want rid of them. As to Brian's comment about two doctors; there was supposed to be two doctors for abortions I believe. Now they just pre-sign a pile of consents to use at will.

We have our medical system to 'blame' for elderly being kept alive and living so long. Decades ago people would have just died much sooner from their ailments. That's not bad but it does create a dilemma.

Seems like the Church needs a big clear out. I have great respect though for the 'The hoary head is a crown of glory head'. Youngsters just don't cut it when it comes to wisdom.

12 July 2014 at 12:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

HG has Tweeted:

"Carey, Carey, quite contrary"

Happy Jack calls on communicates to compose a limerick befitting this situation.


"There was a old bishop called Carey
Poor, Carey, Carey to hold views so damned contrary"

12 July 2014 at 12:57  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Jack, one feels it would be more appropriate to wonder in silence what went wrong rather than mock the man.

12 July 2014 at 13:04  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Why thank you Inspector - no doubt your period around the reflective waters of the Lakes has imbued you with the same sense of peace and tranquility - too kind Squire!

Lucy, I use the word illusion because nothing I have read or experienced has convinced me to think otherwise.

I am of the firm belief that God is made in the image of 'man' and not the other way round.

12 July 2014 at 13:17  
Blogger Solly Gratia said...

There once was a bishop called Carey
Whose theology of suffering was scary
He thought it okay
To do people away
With no thought he was thus contrary.

12 July 2014 at 13:27  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ dreadnaught.

" or experienced has convinced me to think otherwise."

Well there are heaps who have said similar and are now ardent Christians, some through NDEs some through other experiences or reading.

You come on a blog like this people will pray for you, which puts you directly in the danger zone!!! Watch out!

As for the ex AB of C I prescribe a crate of Agatha Christie novels for light holiday reading, or settling down to watch Poirot or Miss Marple at work on film. A nice relaxing holiday interspersed with some salient truths about how mean, venal, acquisitive and murderous relations can be where a will is involved should re-change his mind. Christie harboured no illusions about unredeemed human nature, and she was all too right. (Her clergy are realistic too, which makes a nice change!)

12 July 2014 at 13:32  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Jack disagrees.

Carey, like so many others, in all the Churches, including our own, is falling under the influence of those spreading a false gospel about a god made in their own human image. A cuddly god who just luuves everybody.

These people and their *bleeding heart liberal compassion* that ignores God's Laws, have to be exposed. What awaits them and others if they don't see the error of their ways is far more terrifying than a bit of mockery.

Sure you'll agree.

Solly Gratia, a most excellent start! Jack suggests the last two lines need a little more work.

12 July 2014 at 13:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught @ 11:48 makes excellent points.

To respond to just three of them:

1."be aware of it as naturally as breathing". The Christian explanation is that this was once the case, but is so no longer. The natural link between God and humanity has been severed, and must be individually re-connected.

2. Speculation about life after death. The historical evidence for the Resurrection makes it more than simple guesswork.

3. Would God be pleased by suffering? As Christ said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." To know what God's nature is like, look at Christ's nature. Did Christ enjoy human suffering? Perhaps "Jesus wept" is the most decisive answer.

12 July 2014 at 13:42  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

I regret to report that BBC news has seen fit to allow air time for Canon Rosie Harper to express her views on the Assisted Dying Bill and undermine Justin Welby in the process.
According to her, Welby's strong emotive language was scaremongering. When the interviewer pressed her about the dangers of a slippery slope and undue influence by relatives, she wrote that off as scaremongering too, because it was “looking at the problem through the wrong end of a telescope”.

The BBC did not see fit to interview anyone holding an opposing viewpoint. Apart from the disgraceful lack of impartiality it suggests that forces are at work deliberately shaping public opinion towards acceptance of assisted suicide.

12 July 2014 at 13:47  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Jay Bee,
You mean like they did with SSM?

12 July 2014 at 13:51  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Having relations in terminal states it seems to me you need to pray for healing in three separate ways.

One is for the healing of the body, and God's power to heal physically, and mentally is awesome. Electric and beyond.

Another is healing via death.

And the third is for the healing of the spirit, and for the freedom of the individual from various forces- including unforgiveness, rancour and depression in order to allow death to occur, as a friendly transitional thing.

Many people experience an uplift, and a sudden clarity before they die and I think this is likely in many cases to be due to the presence of Angels who are present to help them through into the next life.

12 July 2014 at 13:55  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

You come on a blog like this people will pray for you, which puts you directly in the danger zone!!! Watch out!

And I believe their intentions would be truly well intended and sincere. I would have no desire to ridicule or spurn their concerns. What would concern me though is whether they themselves would be equally compassionate for ending my suffering in this life because of a belief in God - but this could be straying a little off topic.

12 July 2014 at 14:01  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

As HG has suggested, if this bill doesn't pass, the issue will keep being raised until the 'right' answer is given. Then there will be 'interpretation' and de facto extension

While the shade of Dr Shipman looks on.

I once heard a GP in drink on a conference defend Shipman ....'ahead of his time....he has saved the NHS £MILLIONS!!!'

12 July 2014 at 14:07  
Blogger Martin said...

It seems to me that Carey has the wrong authorities in his arsenal. To say that something is required by 'tradition' is not a sufficient excuse for it can be countered by "see how they are suffering".

The real authority, the one Satan attacked with his "Has God said", it the Bible, what God has said. The Bible clearly teaches that it is wrong to murder, whatever the motive.

As to the opinions of archbishops & bishops, if they don't fit in with Scripture they are worthless. So what are archbishops & bishops, and even canons, for?

As to Alan Wilson, his understanding of Scripture seem limited, he uses the same arguments Atheists do.

Oh, and welcome back Cranmer. Carborundum sir.

12 July 2014 at 14:08  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy Jack at 12:57

When Robert Runcie retired as Archbishop of Canterbury the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, encouraged by her former Parliamentary Private Secretary, Michael Alison MP, put Carey's name forward to the Queen for appointment. The religious correspondent for The Times, Clifford Longley, commented that "Mrs Thatcher's known impatience with theological and moral woolliness ... will have been a factor."

—From the Wikipedia entry under George Carey.

My thanks to Maggie Thatcher, now deceased,
For picking me to be the Queen’s archpriest.
But after Denis died, if you recall,
She was never quite the same again at all.
She went a little bonkers, did she not?
Senility set in. She lost the plot.
When they brought her early morning tea,
They could have quietly slipped her an O.D.
Mercy killing’s obviously no sin.
Not to put too fine a point on it,
I’d say such scruples are a load of shit.
If she was still alive, I’d do her in.

12 July 2014 at 14:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The destructive aspect of this argument by Carey is that objective principle can be overwhelmed by subjective feeling. Some things it seems are just 'too hard.' But what disagreeable result of faithfulness could not be set aside by such logic? What action could not be justified? That is how abortion is justified. And deserting one's wife. And abandoning one's children. "It's too hard" is the battle cry of the self-indulgent.

One expects such arguments from a culture so self-absorbed that it defines the purpose of life in terms of happiness. One expects more from leaders in the church who are pledged to oppose such selfishness.


12 July 2014 at 14:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

It's Saturday, and Cranmer has posted. Right order is restored the blogging world.


12 July 2014 at 14:27  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Jay Bee @ 13:47

I agree that persuading the viewing public to accept assisted suicide is the next big media drive.

The dream of the State taking care of you from cradle to grave (well, termination) can at last come literally true.

The State will determine who will be born. The State will determine who will die. And, in between, the State will be watching you.

The most prophetic bits of 'Brave New World' and '1984' are set to combine.

12 July 2014 at 14:29  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 July 2014 at 14:35  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Like SSM and a lot more besides. (eg. Pro-Palestinian regarding civilian casualties yet failing to denounce indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli civilians as a war crime.)

Very perceptive. Couldn't have put it better.

12 July 2014 at 14:37  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Draft two:

There is an old bishop called Carey
Whose theological views are quite contrary;
Today he thinks it okay
To help people on their way;
Really, his views are so airy-fairy.

12 July 2014 at 14:40  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...


I read somewhere a fascinating account of a near death experience that happened to an American "fire-and-brimstone" preacher a few years ago, the gentleman involved apparently had a total change of heart subsequently, and described the whole experience as "Jesus Christ told me, in the kindest possible way, just what a complete idiot I had been all my life". Must try to find the link.

Welcome home, Your Grace. :)

12 July 2014 at 14:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Archbishop Cranmer

while the General Synod is gathered in York and (most likely) about to declare a unified position on the future of women's ministry...

Yeh. As in "You will vote for unification and cease resisting change or we will force you to cease resisting change. Otherwise Parliament will come and take away our place." And then the new harvest of heterodox bishops will be brought into the HoB. More enforced unity. But wait! There is a Code of Practice and an ombudsman. Thus did Israel lean upon the slender reed of Egypt. Fools trust to foolish devices.

Were I a member of Reform, I would do the following as soon as unity has been imposed. I would leave my credentials in my hotel room. I would depart at the first invisible opportunity. I would never again participate in this sham of synodical gov't. I would stop answering the bishop's phone calls. He'd figure it out when the check failed to arrive.


12 July 2014 at 14:44  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Carl jacobs

I find it galling too that he has been influenced by a man and does not speak of listening to God in prayer.

Surely to goodness we are required to ask whether someone is in line with revelation or speaking out of the flesh before we allow them to so influence us that we change our minds.

There is so much mystery here. Is it not possible that prolonged but at times painful life here is not necessary for those acts of forgiving all those who have wronged us before God can forgive and welcome us home? How do we know that the person is not hindered from dying because essential processes of "letting go" have not been done? Why would we ask doctors to abandon their Hippocratic oath on these individual stories, which are spun in the telling to support suicide? And how would that change the calibre of those going forward to be doctors if they are given such death/life powers? Yes these powers appeal to some, but they are the wrong sort. Already doctors, nurses, and butchers have the highest % of murderers amongst their midst. Meanwhile the right sort might be put off. Scary stuff indeed.

Has the Almighty now no longer "set his canon 'gainst self-slaughter" despite the universal and ubiquitous witness of generations of Christians through two millenia?

What new revelation was there that I missed?

There are no possible misinterpretations of scripture. None at all.

12 July 2014 at 14:44  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Excellent post Your Grace.

Brian West
“I understand that the signature of two doctors would be needed before an assisted suicide could be approved. And that's supposed to reassure us!”
12 July 2014 12:12

In theory and in an NHS that had more staff and time for patients it would, but in reality in a very busy and privatised NHS where targets and money are involved, human nature being what it is, this would soon go out of the window. Doctors would be signing off patients to die without seeing them or knowing much about their cases. We just need look at the way abortions have gone, two doctors sign the papers but don't even see the patients. Assembly line abortions and so assembly line death would evolve.

12 July 2014 at 14:47  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Appleseed, on the subject of Shipman, no one ever found out why he did, but one’s own GP gave the Inspector a possible insight...

“I frequently have the aged calling in for a chat. You soon get to recognise the same old faces in the waiting room, and it’s a heart sink moment when you make eye contact with them. It's frustrating for me. I can do no more for them, and yet I have to hear them out. What they say never varies. I will hear the very same from them as I did the previous month”

12 July 2014 at 14:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lucy: "The thing is that you cannot be at all certain as you have not seen beyond death. Those who have are certain that life goes on, though in a way that makes this life seem faded by comparison."

Curiously, people seem to see quite different things. It's a bit like people who have a personal relationship with a god, they report different things from actually having conversations, through having some sort of feelings of a presence of their god, to just having feelings that their god exists.

12 July 2014 at 14:48  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Inspector, my mother (a retired Gp) would tell your doctor that he or she can do something for them, and is doing something for them, just by listening to them for ten minutes - yet again. And not to underestimate the effect of that ten minutes of listening on their mental health, even if little can be done for their physical health.

12 July 2014 at 14:52  
Blogger Albert said...

Excellent to have you back, Dr C.

I find myself wondering why it matters what George Carey thinks. Why is his opinion more significant than anyone else's? An Archbishop's opinion is not significant in itself. He's just a man - and evidently one who has studied little moral theology. The reason one asks his opinion is because, as an Archbishop, he can tell you what Christian teaching is. Once Bishops give up on that job, they become irrelevant.

The next time Justin is interviewed and gives his view, someone will say "But George Carey says the opposite." So who to believe? It all comes down to private judgement which one follows. But if I would happy to trust private judgement then, frankly, I'd sooner just trust my own fallibility, rather applying my own fallibility to judge someone else's.

The damage done is greater than the damage done to the sanctity of life and those whom this kind of legislation would make more vulnerable.

12 July 2014 at 15:02  
Blogger Albert said...

and (most likely) about to declare a unified position on the future of women's ministry

How can there be a unified position when a substantial minority of Anglicans don't accept women's ordained ministry?

This doesn't sound terribly honest.

12 July 2014 at 15:04  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Sister Tibs, you are somewhat missing the point. It was Shipman’s mental health this man was alluding to. Any medic will tell you that the specialities are subject to feast and famine. Geriatric medicine is a famine area, along with Accident and Emergency and Paediatrics, though the latter is showing some improvement. Just think of those eager young types who become GPs in their twenties only to find much of their time consumed by worn out moaning old biddies, as the Inspector would have referred to them when he was that age.

12 July 2014 at 15:06  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Danjo

You are right that the statistics matter. There are those who have analysed the statistics academically,(and they have used the best academic verification methods available to weed a few out) and they come out with identifiable strands that are consistently reported. Dr. Long is amongst them.

You are also right that in many cases people will fit their experiences into categories that pre-exist within their minds, but that is what we do all the time I think.

In Ian McCormack's case he says he experienced things which he LATER discovered in the Bible, e.g that St John had encountered the same in one case. This is so for a number where they experience something, then later discover the text describing it. Not just in NDEs but I have also seen Muslims who converted through visions and who could then place what they had seen further in context when they finally read a New Testament.

12 July 2014 at 15:09  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert, Albert, Albert

How can there be a unified position when a substantial minority of Anglicans don't accept women's ordained ministry?

It's really quite simple. Once you drive out the resistance, you achieve unity. It's a journey AND a destination.

"Behold, you will be assimilated or you will be no more.". This is called 'allowing conservative evangelicals and Anglo Catholics to flourish.'


12 July 2014 at 15:15  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I hear what you're saying, Inspector. And I would agree that geriatric medicine has been the red headed step child of the NHS for many years.

Not sure how many "eager young GPS" are going into the profession anyway at present, I think general practice is not going through one of its better times. :)

12 July 2014 at 15:16  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

After Shipman or overheard in a doctor’s surgery, a year or two from now...

“You again ! Look, I know you’re in pain and it’s difficult for you, but you’ll just have to bear it, even if you are unable to grin. Now, there’s been a change in the law. We can put an end to your suffering this week if you want, I have the forms here in front of me. In other words, if you come here again without good reason, I’ll take that as your tacit approval in favour of your euthanizing. Good day to you madam.”

12 July 2014 at 15:21  
Blogger Albert said...

How foolish of me Carl not to have seen that!

Actually, I think it is worse than that. Those who were going to leave have already left. Those who remain will not be removed, they will be give space, but the space will not be adequate.

If we look back to the various reports and proposals over the question of women bishops in the CofE, it has come down to this: a bishop is a universal minister. S/he is that or s/he is not a bishop. Thus you cannot have women bishops in a Church which officially says you can be a part of the CofE and be opposed. It isn't logically possible. Either the women won't be exercising an episcopal ministry, or the opponents will be accepting what they think is heretical. And this obvious logical problem will be covered up by shroud of dishonesty.

If Dr C or any other readers have a vote on this, they might like to reflect on that. Making women bishops on a dishonest platform is not good for anyone. This isn't about whether one is in favour of women bishops or not. It is about whether one is in favour of truthfulness or not.

12 July 2014 at 15:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


worn out moaning old biddies

You mean isolated and lonely people who are starved for human contact by a secular culture that loathes and fears the specter of old age. Woe to the aged in a culture that believes men progress. What purpose the wisdom of age when that wisdom is obsolete?

We fret on this thread about old people being put down. Do you wonder why some might in despair wish to go that route? When they have been cast aside like a worn shoe? This isn't just about abstract principle.


12 July 2014 at 15:23  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

“Tell you what, I’ll get Rosie Harper to hold your hand as you ascend to that piss smelling early morning post office queue in the sky”

12 July 2014 at 15:27  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Yes Carl the very same. And the Inspector agrees with you whole heartedly. But you must see them from a twenty something medic's view who is probably full of themselves and has a nurse on each arm...

12 July 2014 at 15:30  
Blogger Born Again Agnostic said...

It is curious how our modern society – and the benefits wrought from a welfare state and universal health service (in the UK) are somehow seen as the sole property and preserve of Christians: as if the latter created the former. It is often forgotten that when the churches were full and the Bible well known, human life was cheap – for the lower classes especially. Remember it was a Christian society that had no problem hanging children for petty offences until well into the 19th century. Even a cursory glance through history tells us that although Christianity may have had an ideological claim to the sanctity of life, the reality has been less than perfect. Before I am bored with the usual retort that ‘Christians brought about social reform...’ Let us remember the society these ‘Christians’ were reforming was Christian at the time (and had been for well over a 1,000 years) and that for the most part (excepting Wilberforce and Shaftsbury) many reformers were non-conformists (Unitarians and Quakers in particular); the Established Church was slow to embrace reform (indeed some opposed it!).

Alas there are too few people who join in the debate on assisted dying who have actually wiped another adult’s bottom. They make their pronouncements from the luxury of health and the arrogance of pity. I am no fan of assisted dying myself, but the patronising arguments put forward by some of our Christian friends on the topic cause me to question my own position, rather than strengthen it. I have worked for several years as a health care assistant with severely disabled people; I have worked as a social worker in palliative care for many years. I hear the cry that ‘we don’t have a right to play God’; yet doctors play God all the time – if nature were allowed to take its course many who now languish in the hinterland between life and death, would have had a peaceful end a long time ago. Medicine played God, thwarting death (God’s will?) and it is some poor soul ‘locked in’ who has to live with the consequences, while do-gooders tell them that they should accept their lot: carrying a burden those of us who are well should give thanks every day that we do not have to carry ourselves.

Medicine has brought/will bring many of us to old age and through illnesses that a century ago would have carried most of us off before we reached three score years and ten. It has also made our ends more dignified and pain free: work in a hospice for a few years (as I have done) and ponder what would people’s ends be without analgesia and sedatives: the lot of mankind has often been a painful end until the discovery of opiates in the late 18th century.

We need to think a little more carefully about the morality of medicine: not just fixating on the ability of medicine to end life, we should be thinking about the right of medicine to extend life, often beyond its natural span. Technology and advances in science have meant that those who would have died a few decades ago as a result of a stroke or heart attack or TRA are now sometimes in the situation of facing an imposed extended life of severe disability.

Lord Cary is right to question the current simplistic idea that ending life is wrong. The fact many of those stating it is wrong have not had firsthand experience of working with or caring for a severely disabled and/or chronically sick person tells us all we really need to know! It is time to question the right of medicine to play God, cheating death which Scripture tells us occurs through His will. Extending or continuing life via the ministrations of medicine can also be seen as morally wrong in some circumstances.

12 July 2014 at 15:34  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Aurora, goddess of the dawn, asked for eternal life for Tithonus: but forgot to ask for eternal youth.

Modern medicine has turned that old myth into part reality.

12 July 2014 at 15:43  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Inspector General in Ordinary said...

“Tell you what, I’ll get Rosie Harper to hold your hand as you ascend to that piss smelling early morning post office queue in the sky”

12 July 2014 15:27

Thank you, Inspector, that's most thoughtful of you. But don't I get a choice? Please remember that, like you, I'm a Catholic. With your kind permission, I'd rather have my hand held by a co-religionist. Like, maybe, Claudia Cardinale?

12 July 2014 at 15:46  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Agnostic. People are helped on their way daily. We just don’t need it in print, because once ‘the guidelines’ are in place, then our Satanic lawyers will be straight on the case.

Our society is in great danger from these people, who have given us abortion on demand. This is not a drill.

12 July 2014 at 15:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Not if the 20-something GP had been properly raised by his 50-something parents. Not if that 20-something GP had seen right behavior modeled when his conscience was formed. It doesn't have to be that way.

My Mom took care of a mean cheap selfish woman for twenty years because that is what she had been raised to do. The woman wad my dad's aunt, and Mom was raised to take care of family. This woman treated my Mom like a servant. She wouldn't even reimburse Mom for sales tax when Mom bought her groceries. Of her my dad said "Her money was her god and her bible was her checkbook." I saw all this. I didn't like this woman. I would have preferred that Mom had done nothing for her. But I was a child and even so I watched.

Now I tell my mother that the value of that experience was found in the fact that her children saw her do it. Selflessly. Day after day after night. For twenty years. I am no longer a child. And now I understand.


12 July 2014 at 15:52  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Brian, the Inspector would like his end to be a solitary one, save for the presence of his life long friends Mr Guinness on one side of the bed and John Barleycorn the other. (Or should that be ‘Jock’ Barleycorn ?)

12 July 2014 at 15:54  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Born again agnostic

So you are saying that anyone who has wiped someone's bottom has the right to persuade them that life is so grotty that they should have an injection and stop being a burden on the NHS?

It is not a simplistic notion that ending life is wrong. "Ending life" of another person has always been called murder or manslaughter and thank God it is called wrong. There is nothing cool in suicide; it is downright horrid unless it is in the course of saving another, in which case it is not really suicide.

There have also been areas of the country where teenage suicides have got out of hand. Unfortunately it seem these are often triggered by plays which purport to discuss suicide but seem to contain triggers towards suicide, which can be increased by various techniques of suggestion.

Unpleasant forces at work who sometimes know all too well what they are doing. I wonder if George Carey has looked into the further reaches of eugenicists and what they plan. Easy to find your self in league accidentally with the downright unpleasant whils t unaware of what is going on.

As for the bottom wiping, how about a robotic loo that automatically does this, or a bidet loo? Machines don't moan or belittle the recipient.

12 July 2014 at 15:55  
Blogger genghis said...

I accept that this sad old world is almost uniformly commercial, as well as mainly capitalistic; but is it not an advert too far for His Grace to host a strongly-worded quest to gain signatures FOR the assisted dying crowd at the top mof his esteemed site?

For my own take on this true abortion of a Bill, I would point readers towards a site where I post, and have expressed my opinions within; at

12 July 2014 at 16:21  
Blogger ukFred said...

Of course there are forces at work deliberately shaping public opinion towards the acceptance of assisted suicide. The same forces are telling us that we should see the killing of unborn children as a right,just as we ought to celebrate perversion and be prosecuted if we refuse to join in with its celebration and allow the state rights over children which supersede those of parents. All one needs to do to realise this is to consider the aims of the Frankfurt school of marxism.

12 July 2014 at 16:21  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Me deciding when I die. Great idea: what's the problem?

The problem is other people deciding when you die: and for reasons you might not regard as valid. Not inevitable; but to discount the possibility is to place greater trust in one's fellow humans than I, for one, have found borne out by experience.

12 July 2014 at 16:43  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Explorer

I am not sure about even the first premiss.

But even if I began to be when is "me" "me" even. The assumption that person a is always and invariably, whilst appearing sane totally in control of person a is a very dangerous one in these circumstances. What McALL called, I believe, the possession of the living by the living is a real phenomenon, when person A can do nothing without the say so of person B who effectively is in control of the will of that person. It may only be that person A can hear what person B would say inside their head. If person B is very domineering that is all that is necessary. Then there are the cases where that is half accomplished by person B. This is very very dangerous territory and very murky water indeed and I note that Anglican Mainstream is hosting a plea by a previously pro- assisted suicide Dutch professor who has changed his mind after seeing the effects of it urging us all not to make the same mistake his country made.

12 July 2014 at 16:59  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I think its wrong to focus only on the aged as I think they are not the primary focus of the Bill.

There is genuine fear now of being able to liver longer but not necessarily better lives. I don't think this Bill goes anywhere near the aspirations of people who wish to end their lives effectively and painlessly. The persons affected by this new legislation will have to be already dying and wishing to hasten a prolonged conclusion by their own hand.

The main beneficiaries will be the doctors freed from accusation and clarity within law. It may even end the odious practice of causing death by omission whereby some patients are being sedated sufficiently to allow themselves to die from dehydration or starvation.

It is nothing remotely connected to 1920s style eugenics, nor in my opinion does it go far enough to give sane people total control of their own lives.

12 July 2014 at 17:11  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Lucy @ 16:59

Did you genuinely think that I was serious about the first premiss?

What's your take on Swift's 'A Modest Proposal'?

12 July 2014 at 17:18  
Blogger The Explorer said...


If you were simply making the point that the first premiss is faulty (for the reasons you give), then my apologies.

12 July 2014 at 17:27  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ The Explorer

Sorry- hot day!! Grovel!

And with Carey messing around with landmarks one can lose bearings a bit as to who is what!! Did he not read those passages about not removing your neighbours' landmarks?

Landmark removal seems to be a thriving business and whilst some were fakes needing removal they are very much in the minority and we need some large bolts to puncture the tyres of their removal lorries and set the land back in order!! Perhaps Avi will reverse his truck into a few and run them off the road!!

Yes I know Swift's "Modest Proposal". I did since you mention it once come across a well-regarded youth worker who wrote a book in which he cited the proposal as evidence of Protestant ill will towards Catholics!! One of those so awful it is awesome in its awfulness moments. I hope I didn't get that bad.

12 July 2014 at 17:33  
Blogger 4thwatch said...

Maybe our friend Carey will follow your example when faced with the ultimate moment and hold out his hand to the flames to renounce his bending to the humanist creed.

12 July 2014 at 17:54  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Lucy @ 17:33

Be at peace, dear heart. No comparison at all!

12 July 2014 at 18:00  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, during your last hours you should be clear headed and sober.

My father had a "good" death. He had cancer and suffered for 2 years. It came on shortly after my sister electrocuted herself at age 40 years using an electric lawn mower one Spring. The one and only time I witnessed him cry was at her Funeral Mass. A father's grief for a lost child is boundless.

In the weeks preceding his agonising death - pain with every laboured breath - he became very close with an aging Monsignor. They spent many hours talking. He was ex-Army too and it was clear from his homily at Dad's funeral he came to know him very closely. Dad made his peace with God during those last days and one has faith he was received by a loving and compassionate Christ and his suffering was not in vain.

The night before he died before I had just for home 300 miles away, his last words to me: "Look after your mother, Peter. She'll need taking care of. And your brothers." That was a pledge I kept. In his pain and last moments he was thinking of others.

My Dad refused the machine where you self administer pain relief and insisted on taking this orally. He didn't want the temptation of over-dosing. My mother and he received truly wonderful help around the clock from a team of MacMillan nurses. He received many visitors during his final weeks, was always cheerful and never once complained about his suffering.

That is what I see as a "good" and "Christian" death. My sister's was easy, in a strange sort of way - quick, sudden and pain free - except for those stunned by her going.

God decides the circumstances of each of our deaths - we decide whether to accept or reject this - a final obedience or a final rebellion.

12 July 2014 at 18:01  
Blogger Dionysius the Areopagite said...

Your Grace
I am not sure that I agree with your views on Assisted Dying.
However, it does seem curious that your efforts for simony have been taken by a group that oppose your views, ie Dignity in Dying. A step too far?

12 July 2014 at 19:15  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Negative interest rates in Spain. Apologies for going off topic.
Anyone with money in a Spanish bank account needs to know that there is now going to be a 0.003% blanket taxation charge on all bank account deposits in a move that is aimed at harmonising regional tax regimes and generating revenues for the country's cash-strapped autonomous communities says an article in

12 July 2014 at 19:23  
Blogger Shadrach said...

On a Blog like this the adverts you see are related to the sites that you have been recently been viewing. So if you have been looking at such as Dignity in Dying, then it is highly likely that you will see adverts relating to the same. Be warned, if you have been looking at inappropriate sites, then they are very likely to follow you.

12 July 2014 at 20:03  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Your Grace,
I had to take the Grandchildren and the dogs to the beach today. I was siting next to an older couple an a bench and I thought I would do a little survey and asked them what they thought about assisted suicide. I was somewhat surprised to hear the man say that he was in favour of euthanasia. They both had Rheumatoid Arthritis and had difficulties and it was likely to get worse. I asked did they not think that old people would be pressurised in to 'signing their life away'. That did not seem to bother them.

So from a very scientific survey of two, I conclude that most people don't have a clue about the reality of the situation.

12 July 2014 at 20:11  
Blogger Albert said...


Well done on working in palliative care. It’s hugely important work. However, I have a lot to say about the rest of your comment. To keep it fairly brief, I will stick simply to the history:

Remember it was a Christian society that had no problem hanging children for petty offences until well into the 19th century.

I don't know about the execution of children, but my book on the history of the death penalty, shows that simply to be false.

Firstly, the death penalty was rather late to be accepted at all. Pope St Gregory the Great, for example said:

Since I fear God, I shrink from having anything whatsoever to do with the death of anyone.

While Pope Nicholas I said

You should save from death not only the innocent but also criminals, because Christ has saved you from the death of the soul.

St John Chrysostom says that when the hungry steal, they are not stealing, because, by natural law, what they take belongs to them already. Those who steal, according to Chysostom, are those who do not give. This point is echoed by Aquinas, if memory serves.

Peter the Chanter had this to say:

Why is it that in the Old Testament, adultery was punished by death, but theft was not, while today we hang a petty thief but not an adulterer?

I could go on with more evidence, but I suspect I have demonstrated already that your claim is not in fact correct.

So why was there execution for theft, when it was plainly contrary to scripture, reason and the teaching of the Church? Peter the Chanter gives us to the clue: laws were not made by the Church, but by the king, and to a king, theft was a pain, but adultery was a pleasure.

So where did the death penalty for theft come from? It came from the pre-Christian pagan law codes. In other words, the death penalty was permitted for theft, not because society was Christian, but because it wasn't Christian enough.

Now, under the present circumstances (in which, contrary to scripture, reason and the teaching of the Church, killing the innocent is being called for), that ought to give us all pause for thought.

12 July 2014 at 20:13  
Blogger Sister Julian said...

Welcome back YG! I've just read my way through all the posts and something right near the begining struck me; the coment about Canon Rosie and her possible attitude to Christ's crucifixion. There are "Christians" - well at least members of the Anglican Communion in the USA who consider the crucifixion as "cosmic child abuse" And I think it was Gene Robinson who said that he could not believe in a God (god?) who could do that to his child. So is it any surprise that weird ideas are crossing over here? I was sad to read Lord Carey's piece in the Mail today; I always thought of him as solid evangelical. If his opinions have changed because of witnessing painful, difficult death then the quote: 'hard cases make bad law' is surely relevant. 2 years ago my husband of 42 years had a bleed on the brain while washing up after breakfast. I got him to hospital and after surgery, leaving with stitches up the side of his head and a bolt in his skull he lived for 3 weeks without regaining consciousness. When the doctor told me he was dying I called the abott of the OSC and he came to the hospital, we prayed together and he anointed my husband before committing him into God's hands. To say that I miss him doesn't even begin to describe the loss I feel but it was still up to God to decide what would happen. Man did what he could but God in his infinite wisdom took him home to glory and the fact that I know whgere he is comforts me. How would it feel to wonder where a loved one was because because he had either taken his own life (a sin) or allowed someone to take it for him (also a sin)?
It would (will)? be a step on yet another slippery slope and lead the church further away from God

12 July 2014 at 20:53  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

why was there execution for theft, when it was plainly contrary to scripture

But ok for printing an understandable bible or the 'crime' of rejecting the God of Love - nice touch!

12 July 2014 at 21:06  
Blogger Dionysius the Areopagite said...

Thanks Shadrach but this was the first time I had seen it - I had to Google the site to see whether it was for or against!I am v grateful for your concern; just as well it wasn't porn or the AA...

12 July 2014 at 21:08  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Julian, sorry to hear about your dear husband's death but there is consolation in faith.

For Jack, the most theologically obscene aspect of Ms Harper's argument for what she terms "assisted death" (i.e. conspiracy to self-murder) was suggesting Jesus' death had a suicidal dimension. She clearly does no know the difference between a selfless act of sacrifice and an essentially selfish act of suicide.

It's demonic and theologically illiterate to call the Crucifixion "cosmic child abuse" is beyond the pale. They forget God in One and He gave Himself in the Person of the Son.

These cutting words of HG sum up the perversity of it:

"And Canon Harper might meditate on whether or not she can worship a God who required "the most extreme suffering" of His Son on a cross. After all, God is sovereign and has no need to shore up that sovereignty. Anachronisms and cultural constraints aside, surely He could have arranged a swift, merciful and compassionate beheading for Jesus, as he did for St Paul, instead of "requiring (him) to suffer extreme agony on behalf of (His) own conscience"?

"How 'moral' or 'Christian' was it of God to 'require' the 'extreme agony' of crucifixion?"

12 July 2014 at 21:28  
Blogger Martin said...


Let me assure you that there are people in the UK who refer to the Crucifixion as 'cosmic child abuse', namely Steve Chalke.

It clearly shows a level of ignorance on the Trinity that would be shameful in a member of the congregation.

12 July 2014 at 21:39  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Another trip-wire in this ethical minefield is Lasting Power of Attorney.

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) introduced new rights for people who lose the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves including Personal Welfare LPAs, which give the attorney(s) the power to make decisions about everyday health and welfare, including medical treatment.

You don't need much imagination to see how this could be exploited by attorney(s) who stand to benefit from the patients estate. Individuals can decide to limit the power that their attorney(s) will be given and if the Assisted Dying Bill was passed they would do well to examine the terms of any existing PWLPA that applies to them.

12 July 2014 at 22:08  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 July 2014 at 22:42  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"Now @rosieswiss has blocked His Grace from following her. Astonishingly childish and un-Christian response."

As Jesus said to Saul on the road to Damascus: “It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”

Saul was converted. Of course, he couldn't block Christ on Twitter - or get one of his Sanhedrin chums to call Him a Troll.

12 July 2014 at 22:42  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 July 2014 at 22:42  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Looks like there's another bishop to put in his place. Tutu has joined the debate now!

12 July 2014 at 22:58  
Blogger Martin said...


Like it.

12 July 2014 at 23:39  
Blogger Martin said...


As I've said before, what is the point of these bishops?

12 July 2014 at 23:40  
Blogger Martin Marprelate said...

I wonder if anyone has observed that suffering is actually a spiritual gift.

Phil. 2:29. 'For to you it has been granted [or 'gifted.' Gk. charizomai] on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him.'

The context is obviously suffering for the sake of the Gospel, but an illness or disability courageously borne can be a powerful witness for Christ.

12 July 2014 at 23:56  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Martin, Happy Jack is rather troubled by some of our good naturedly exchanges of late.

This will not do at all given our exact and radically different theologies! There is no middle way for the true Roman Catholic or Calvinist when it comes to the dogmatic of faith concerning His nature and plan of redemption. One must be offensive God.

Still, you are a man of moral conviction and a follower of Christ, in the only way you know. Jack can admire that. And we broadly agree on Christian morality - the protestant-capitalist ethic aside.

Now, if only you could be encouraged not to resist the Holy Spirit's efforts to break through that heretical shield you carry.

13 July 2014 at 00:29  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Rosie was on the national news tonight. Dreadful woman. The Inspector cannot quite grasp how her one experience of self suicide, albeit done ‘in the best possible taste’ as Kenny Everett would have had it has so driven her to influence the law of the land as she is doing. One can only come to the conclusion that women make rotten priests, a sentiment that we can see that Jesus agreed with in his choice of men to spread the word.

13 July 2014 at 00:32  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Best make that 'assisted suicide'

Been a long day, you know...

13 July 2014 at 00:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Martin, now here's an example of what Jack meant:

"As I've said before, what is the point of these bishops?2

The bishop who leads his flock astray is betraying Christ. It does not follow that because some bishops do this that all bishops will do so.

Apostolic succession, with an ordained, male priesthood to guard the faith and administer the Sacraments, is a 2000 year old orthodox, catholic practice and belief. And Christ never promised there wouldn't be periods of scandal and apostasy. He promised that His Church would withstand all this until His return.

13 July 2014 at 00:40  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Jack saw that too and thoroughly agrees.

Btw - it's "assisted dying", not "assisted suicide". Suicide, you see, is still a sinful act. Rather, this is helping a loved one to die so they do not suffer but go out with good music, fine wine and their nearest and dearest celebrating their passing.

Don't you see the subtle difference? No! Well, to be honest, neither can Jack. Frankly, it's a crock.

13 July 2014 at 00:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


As I've said before, what is the point of these bishops?

Why, Martin, I'm surprised at you. What would we do with all those sticks without the heads of bishops to mount upon them?

Note to Jack. That was a joke.

13 July 2014 at 01:24  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Apostolic succession, with an ordained, male priesthood to guard the faith and administer the Sacraments

If only those bishops had guarded the faith instead of condemning it at Trent.


13 July 2014 at 01:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...


Oh, but they did; they did. And it was all according to the Divine purpose and foreknowledge of God.

13 July 2014 at 01:36  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Trent understood that faith, as a freely given gift from God, is available to all and the Church's function is to help prepare the ground for the Holy Spirit and tend the crops. The individual has to accept, then preserve and strengthen this gift of faith too.

Introduce faith "alone" as an irresistible force and it all becomes an entirely different matter. The gift is entirely in the Hand of God, who gives it to those He chose before creation.

13 July 2014 at 01:59  
Blogger Father David said...

Don't forget that well before Dr. Harold Shipman there was Dr. Bodkin-Adams of Eastbourne doing much the same thing for his own personal benefit by getting his elderly ladies to sign wills making him the sole beneficiary. Surely a salutary lesson against what Rosie-Posie and Unwary-Carey propose!

13 July 2014 at 05:50  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Jack at 00.29

I wish you would stop trying to turn every thread into an opportunity to promote your sect.

Why not start your own papist blog? You can link to it from your profile (as I do to my creationist site) so anyone who wants to discuss Rome can go there by clicking on your name?

If there is a specific RC line on assisted suicide, lets hear it, as others here put atheist, Jewish, liberal and other views on the matter in open debate. Thread hijacking is a form of trolling.


13 July 2014 at 06:25  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Dr Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship has posted some very useful reflections on assisted suicide, Lord Carey etc on his blog.

At a recent CMF conference he tallked about the demographic time bomb and the missing 8 million who were never born because of abortion. Now their parents'generation is getting old and perhaps the heavily indebted young may not feel able to support them.

So as Dr Saunders said 'The generation that killed its children may be killed by its children'. Of course we are assured that assisted suicide will be safeguarded, just as abortion was to be for 'hard cases' not routine birth control.

May I coin the phrase 'death control'? Words are important and the revolutionary left have always been good at their skilful and emotive use.

I commend the Christian Medical Fellowship web site and Dr Saunders' blog .

13 July 2014 at 06:39  
Blogger Papaman said...

The Bishop and his curate should remember this. When Steele's abortion act passed onto the statute book it was only intended to allow abortion to save the life of the mother etc and needed two doctors to certify to that fact. We now have abortion on demand and for the most selfish reasons including gender preference. Mission creep! If assisted dying becomes Law we will undoubtedly witness consequences never intended by its proponents.

13 July 2014 at 07:15  
Blogger Mike Stallard said...

Can you see now why I left the CofE and became a Catholic?

13 July 2014 at 07:44  
Blogger Martin said...


I assure you the one attacking my shield with his darts is not the Holy Spirit!

The point of bishop/overseer is that he is one with elder & to be appointed in each church. They are answerable to the great High Priest, not to any exalted fellow or sovereign.

The apostles ceased with the completion of Scripture, there is no succession and there is no requirement for a male priesthood for all the redeemed are priests and all may partake in the feast of remembrance.

A local church stands or falls on its relationship to the Saviour, as is clearly described in Revelation. If there is scandal the Bible is sufficient to withstand it and bring the church in line or close it forever.

God is the one who prepares the ground and prunes the vine, not any church, and He gives faith to whom He wills. God is entirely sovereign, He alone has true free will, and He will save whom He chooses to save.

13 July 2014 at 08:37  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...


What the Steele bill and its supporters SAID and what they INTENDED may have been, indeed 2 quite different things. Some people unhappily tell whopping great lies to deceive the unwary and getcthrir own way. The practice is mentioned several times in the Bible, from Genesis 3 onwards.

You are right, there will be 'mission creep' once death control is available on the NHS.

It may be that this is what a sizeable minority want and if we are but evolved pond slime, alone and autonomous in a pointless universe which is entropically decaying towards heat death, then painless termination of malfunctioning carbon units is rational.

Its only if we survive the death of our bodies and have to give account to a holy creator God that there is a problem other than purely administrative with suicide, assisted or no.

I see this going thtough. Time to concentrate on a conscience clause? For what it will be worth...

13 July 2014 at 08:47  
Blogger Martin said...

I see, following the Tutu comments, that Michael Sadgrove has put his oar in on Twitter. Seems he has no confidence in Scripture which would give him certainty.

13 July 2014 at 09:06  
Blogger Martin said...


And of course, once the floodgates are opened & death on demand comes, as has abortion on demand, it will be the cash strapped NHS that will pay for it.

Are there not better things to spend HEALTH service money on than killing people?

13 July 2014 at 09:09  
Blogger Martin Marprelate said...

Mike Stallard.

I can very well see why you left the Church of England, but not conceivably why you would want to join the Church of Rome. You have simply left one apostate hierarchy for another.

'Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a continuing city, but we seek the one to come.'

Outside the camp, outside of Archbishops and cardinals and priests and all that ragbag of placemen and hangers-on and into the pilgrim church, the gathered church, where Jesus Christ is in the midst and no one comes between Him and His people.

13 July 2014 at 09:31  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin Marprelate,

Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a continuing city, but we seek the one to come.'

I think your ecclesiological application of Hebrews there, is rather confused. Not least because only a couple of verses later, we read:

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.

13 July 2014 at 11:25  
Blogger Albert said...


The illusion of 'life' after death is meaningless at best

In saying "at best", I think you commit yourself to this claim. What's meaningless about it, then?

I believe that God or gods do not exist and the prospect of being dead holds no fear or expectation to me than did being not-born.

A point which makes no difference to the issue of assisted suicide.

It's the trump card of all the religious bullying that demands belief in the unbelievable.

It's a bit odd to describe it as unbelievable, given that many, probably most, do believe it. And is it bullying? Not if it's true, and then there's Dostoyevsky:

If there is no immortality, there is no virtue.

You say,

If I was once a conscious 'soul' before that event I would surely be aware of it as naturally as breathing, without the need for others to instill it in to me.

I wonder if you would defend that claim, as I cannot see how it follows.

13 July 2014 at 11:33  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...


Poison e.g. barbiturate is cheap, keeping highly dependent sick old people alive is expensive.

Shipmanising the sick would save the NHS much money. Of course the proponents of a change in the law deny that this is a consideration. Well they would, wouldn't they?

13 July 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Time for a remake of Soylent Green.

13 July 2014 at 11:41  
Blogger Albert said...

BTW Dreadnaught,

I think you are misusing the word "compassion". You make it sound as if compassion only applies in situations of pain. But I can be compassionate towards someone not in pain - such as someone in a coma. This is because compassion actually requires recognition of the value of a person. Pain does not occur except in someone. The reason I care about other people's pain is that I first care about them (hence I can have compassion for someone not in pain).

And it seems to me, that this is one of several contradictions of people who support euthanasia: they support killing a person because of their pain. But there can be no concern for their pain, without first having concern for their person. Whereas if you are concerned about the person, then logically you cannot take his life to stop his pain.

13 July 2014 at 11:41  
Blogger Born Again Agnostic said...

@ Lucy Mullen – ah the problems of the written word... I am saying no such thing. I am saying too few people who comment on the issue of assisted dying (and social care in general for that matter) have actually had hands on experience of the reality of living with severe disability. Where you get your strange take on what I’ve written, God only knows...

13 July 2014 at 11:54  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


Re 'Compassion' 'euthanasia' etc.

I made my point yesterday @11.48

13 July 2014 at 12:11  
Blogger Albert said...


I cannot see how your post @1148 resolves the contradiction, on the contrary, it seemed to expose it.

13 July 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


Compassion etc - I made my point yesterday @11.48

13 July 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Okay, so I'm just left feeling your position is contradictory.

13 July 2014 at 12:14  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace

There are clear and as yet unexplored equality issues with the move towards involuntary euthanasia. It should be obvious, but isn't, that only the poor need be liquidated during their infirmity in order to spare an ungrateful nation from the cost of keeping them alive. The rich, who can either afford their own health insurance or who can self insure, will stay alive as long as they or their children want.

Talking of children, and grandchildren, what of the Monarch? Will it ever be a case of, 'Okay, Mummy, so you won't abdicate but do take your medicine, both your doctors say you must.'?

The proposal by the CofE to revisit involuntary euthanasia tells us that Welby has been rolled by the progressives like Bishops Alan and Pete. Terrible times.

13 July 2014 at 12:33  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ born again agnostic

Well I consider that it is a mite patronising to assume that no one here has hands on experience of physically dealing with the terminally ill and disabled, or has never watched and agonised over one in pain. You can count me out on that one, and several here have detailed their experiences.

It is unfair to assert that someone is being simplistic without backing up your assertion with illustration and reason. Otherwise it just floats at the level of assertion and proves nothing.

Your history is also up the spout and I can only suppose you have never studied it formally very much. You need a basic awareness of how and in what order things unfolded.

13 July 2014 at 12:45  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...


Thanks for (as the Inspector I believe noted) a coherent, respectful (ish) and meaningful post yesterday at 11.48.

As I have posted earlier, your conclusions are reasonable, even honourable, given your premises. The premise of materialism is however not one I find reasonable given the evidence for God in Creation and Scripture especially the prophecies and witness accounts for the miracles and Resurrection of Jesus.

And that is at the heart of the disagreement. Talk of 'compassion' is highly subjective.

Re living wills-fair play. My wife and I both know the other does not wish to be kept alive artificially if hope of recovery is gone.

I think it is likely that either this time or next time that death control will be legalised. I hope that materialist like yourself may acknowledge that religionists however deluded you believe us to be have at least forced our liberal rulers to acknowledge the dangers of mission creep and the right to die becoming the duty to die.

Time for lunch. Regards.

13 July 2014 at 12:54  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

PS I have been at a few death beds and on at least 2 occasions I remember clearly, did not attempt to resuscitate.

13 July 2014 at 12:56  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


The illusion of 'life' after death is meaningless at best...

In saying "at best", I think you commit yourself to this claim. What's meaningless about it, then?

Not at all. Religion bases its authority on the foundation of the absolute certainty of the existence of a metaphysical environment for which there is no material evidence: I say this is meaningless in a material world. The promise of a life after death is another foundational clam and likewise unproven. The latter may be of some comfort to the dying ‘at best’ or simply terrifying, unless certain conditions have been met which is blackmail or bullying; either way its coercion of the vulnerable.

I believe that God or gods do not exist and the prospect of being dead holds no fear or expectation to me than did being not-born.

A point which makes no difference to the issue of assisted suicide.

Really? You attach much currency to the right of a creator to determine the time and manner of the end of a life - Do you think the people who jumped from the Twin Towers were committing suicide or cheating death in another form? Was that unknown manner of death pre-ordained?

It's the trump card of all the religious bullying that demands belief in the unbelievable.

It's a bit odd to describe it as unbelievable, given that to many, probably most, do believe it. And is it bullying? Not if it's true, and then there's Dostoyevsky:

Not at all odd – A billion Muslims believe Mohammad had a flying horse on which he visited Heaven – well in a dream anyway; which is obviously the next best thing.

As for ‘Dostoyevsky’ – the fact that you can quote a dead Russian writer of fiction somehow doesn’t make your counter-arguments superior. I think it is rather a lazy clichéd conceit of appeal to authority.

BTW - Fisking is a very labourious drudge to which I will not be responding in future - life's too short!

13 July 2014 at 13:02  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


A very considered post which I will re-read later.Off out now. Enjoy your lunch - apple-pie for pud? :-)

13 July 2014 at 13:04  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ dreadnaught

I am pondering your "for which there is no material evidence".

Can you tell me what would count for you as evidence that would be feasible, granted that those who pass over and come back cannot take video cameras with them?

I am also a little perplexed at your stating that this world is solely a material world, as this is - quite genuinely- not the only way that I experience the world, and I would guess that is so for many others.

Do you explain abstract nouns- love, joy, peace, anger, stillness, and so on merely as chemical impulses?

Have you ever had an experience which some might describe as spiritual or belonging to the numinous, or that you cannot explain, like the appearance of a ghost, for instance?

13 July 2014 at 14:09  
Blogger Albert said...


Religion bases its authority on the foundation of the absolute certainty of the existence of a metaphysical environment for which there is no material evidence:


I say this is meaningless in a material world.

A metaphysical claim, for which there can be no material evidence.

The promise of a life after death is another foundational clam and likewise unproven.

Even the physical world is itself unprovable, if you want to raise the bar.

unless certain conditions have been met which is blackmail or bullying; either way its coercion of the vulnerable.

So on grounds of justice, you prefer a world without ultimate justice.

You attach much currency to the right of a creator to determine the time and manner of the end of a life

My point was simply that you could be opposed to all forms of euthanasia without believing in God. Moreover, the only arguments I have given have been philosophical. Therefore, the fact that you don't believe in God makes no impact on the case against euthanasia.

Was that unknown manner of death pre-ordained?

If you mean did God will that they kill themselves and others in that way, then the question does not merit an answer.

A billion Muslims believe Mohammad had a flying horse on which he visited Heaven

Clearly you think belief in life after death is irrational. That wasn't my point, my point was that you think it is unbelievable, which it demonstrably isn't.

As for ‘Dostoyevsky’ – the fact that you can quote a dead Russian writer of fiction somehow doesn’t make your counter-arguments superior.

Have you read it? The point is that if all there is is matter (as you claim) then necessarily, there is no such thing as virtue. Since virtue is not material.

Fisking is a very labourious drudge

I find it rather quick!

13 July 2014 at 14:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Appleseed: "Shipmanising the sick would save the NHS much money. Of course the proponents of a change in the law deny that this is a consideration. Well they would, wouldn't they?"

There are drugs available which in some cases of terminal disease can extend life by some months. Some patients cling to life and want those drugs but I understand that NICE will not authorise payment for them. If some patients want drugs to shorten their terminal disease but healthcare costs ought not to be an issue in giving permission then perhaps healthcare costs ought not to be an issue in giving permission to extend one's terminal disease.

13 July 2014 at 15:00  
Blogger IanCad said...

Good to see you back YG.

We get closer to the abyss.
This one is going through.

Other battles. Other times.

Silence is consent.

13 July 2014 at 15:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Appleseed: "I hope that materialist like yourself may acknowledge that religionists however deluded you believe us to be have at least forced our liberal rulers to acknowledge the dangers of mission creep and the right to die becoming the duty to die."

On the positive side, at least Christians themselves will not feel they have a duty to die whatever the rest of us decide.

13 July 2014 at 15:09  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Danjo

Your argument seems flawless enough to me.

Of course on is then reminded of all those stories we all have all heard of "the Doctor only gave me x months to live but here I am enjoying a full and happy life..."

Now if one of those poor sods was convinced by the doctor and went for assisted suicide on that basis...

Terminal illness is not terminal except in hindsight. I think it might have been in "The Spectator" where s.o. pointed that out. Good article with one or two very interesting comments there recently. In one of the comments a man described how relations had moved a very rich relation of his out to a terminal illness pkace when she was in good health, and neglect and overheated environment had done their worst.

It would be even easier for mean and venal relations if this passed, and however much some might like to think that everyone is basically decent it just is not so, esp. where money is involved.

13 July 2014 at 15:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lucy: "Your argument seems flawless enough to me."

Of course the monetary cost is not the only consideration, or the primary consideration, so it's just a supplementary point.

"Of course on is then reminded of all those stories we all have all heard of "the Doctor only gave me x months to live but here I am enjoying a full and happy life...""

If I end up with a terminal disease then I hope I have the peace of mind to give up life gracefully. I won't be doing it when I have an acceptable quality of life though, which is where your comment loses traction. In principle, I'd like to have the option to shorten the process when the disease becomes too much of a burden. That said, I don't think I support the bill myself even though I agree in principle.

13 July 2014 at 15:31  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Thanks Danjo

There is a really big issue about very expensive drugs that can preserve life. For example ipilimumab at £80,000 a course which typically extends the life of terminal melanoma cancer patients by 13 weeks. Some live 2 years, others die immediately due to toxic side effects.

I personally don't see how we can afford drugs like this, nor does NICE but due to skilful campaigning somehow the money is found. But as there is no more money, it comes away from somewhere else, like leg ulcer clinics.

Ipilimumab cost so much as its a monoclonal antibody made from the purified blood of genetically modified mice. If I had terminal melanoma I wouldn't want it, but then I have had quite a good, life my back and other joints won't stop hurting, am sick of lies and looking forward to my new body and getting finally clean of my sin nature through the merits of Jesus.

A fascinating diversion, but I don't see how it affects my argument that maybe, just maybe, once death control is introduced, the cash savings on elderly care it undoubtedly offers may commend it to certain persons.

Of course, autonomy and compassion are more persuasive 'arguments' for assisted suicide than utility and health economics. But the economy remains bankrupted.

Wonder why the MSM avoids mentioning Saudi funding of ISIS? In case they call in our debts. Economy's stuffed, got to make savings somewhere.

13 July 2014 at 16:07  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Rambling Steve

I suspect you are right about the economy being stuffed and the NHS anxiety about funds.

My friendly tip to all is to avoid doctors and hospitals as far as lies within you, and prepare for the time when all the antibiotics fed to livestock has so depleted antibiotic efficiency without new ones coming to market that you owe it to yourself to be the first port of call for your own health. Part of this is understanding about natural antibiotics, natural antivirals, and even natural anti-fungals which you can get at little notice before anything has a hold on you.

The internet, properly sifted, is a great medical friend.

Sante ( with an acute accent!)

13 July 2014 at 16:20  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

My futurist kindle novel 'Darwin's Adders' set in 2089 envisages a post apocalyptic neo-mediaeval England in which village witches (the new GPs) routinely dispense (usually voluntary) euthanasia by herbal remedies 'Hecate's goodnight herbs'.

13 July 2014 at 16:20  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...


Agreed, I use the web constantly for medical education including my own skin cancer blog at, but one has to sift carefully......

.......not everything you read on line is true you know!

13 July 2014 at 16:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Appleseed: "Wonder why the MSM avoids mentioning Saudi funding of ISIS? In case they call in our debts. Economy's stuffed, got to make savings somewhere"

I saw that on the Independent today.

13 July 2014 at 16:26  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Rambling Steve

"...not everything you read online is true you know!"

I thought I covered that with "properly sifted"!!! I would have been definitely severely and possibly terminally ill were none of it true.

I am not into snake oil, or even homeopathy.

I will look up your skin cancer blog with interest as at present have some suspicious looking small red patches which I smear with the liquid from peach or apricot kernels mixed with peach or apricot juice for vit. C, and sometimes COQ10 containing creams and they go down. Let me see what you suggest!

13 July 2014 at 16:42  
Blogger Len said...

I haven`t commented on this earlier because to be perfectly honest I can see both sides of the argument..
But I suppose the deciding factor must be the comparison with ' the right to end ones life 'and the 'right to an abortion' (which started out only to be used in the most extreme of cases.)
One suspects there is ulterior motive in making it' acceptable' to end ones life..There will be a new word created to make ending ones life seems more pleasant and natural..'termination 'was used for abortion how about something like 'transition' or something similar and within a few years everyone will be wondering what all the fuss was about?.
And of course there is the financial advantage of relieving the' burden' upon the state?.
This may sound cynical but there is already talk of 'the burden' the elderly are putting on Society and some people are just living too long(according to Government financial experts anyway)
How a society treats it elderly its infirm and its disadvantaged is a mark of the true status of a society but as we seem to have discarded Christianity with its message of love and care we can hardly be surprised if evolutionary thinking with its survival of the fittest mentality is taking hold?.

13 July 2014 at 17:49  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Twin Tower victims...Was that unknown manner of death pre-ordained?

If you mean did God will that they kill themselves and others in that way, then the question does not merit an answer.

That was not the question I posed,as well you know; you say suicide is a sin don't you - I think it at least deserves a response if only for being relevant to the issues surrouding the OP.

13 July 2014 at 18:15  
Blogger Albert said...


That was not the question I posed,as well you know

No I don't know. I genuinely do not know what you mean.

13 July 2014 at 18:31  
Blogger Albert said...


I think it at least deserves a response if only for being relevant to the issues surrouding the OP.

If you want a response, you will have clarify the comment. Perhaps I'm being particularly dim this evening, but I don't even know what OP stands for, in this context.

13 July 2014 at 18:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Original post


13 July 2014 at 18:36  
Blogger Albert said...

Sorry Carl, that's opaque to me as well!

13 July 2014 at 18:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Its a reference to Cranmer's original post to which this thread is attached.


13 July 2014 at 18:54  
Blogger Albert said...

Penny drops - thank you Carl!

13 July 2014 at 19:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...


Is it moral for a man to jump from a burning building to his death or should he accept his fate and wait to be burnt alive?

We covered this before in connection with "double-effect" a while back. As Jack recalls, Old Jim got in a bit of a muddle over it.

Carl, Jack remembers you saying one time it was okay to shoot such a person as they were "dead already" and it would avoid them suffering.

Other questions:

- ending a dying soldiers life on a battlefield to save him unnecessary pain - moral?

- a spy taking a cyanide capsule, placed by his superiors, to avoid torture - moral?

How do these differ from "assisted suicide" in seeking to avoid pain and suffering?

13 July 2014 at 20:14  
Blogger Martin said...


I'm sure they'd find a way to make it expensive!

Re soylent green:
Please don't give them ideas!

13 July 2014 at 20:37  
Blogger Martin said...

OK, so why would doing the right thing be dependent upon having cared for a person in their last hours. Indeed the question arises, could not such an experience cloud the mind to the real principles behind the question? What we do in pain and anguishes is not necessarily what we would do with a clear mind.

It's a bit like someone saying, if you haven't a womb you can have no opinion on abortion.

13 July 2014 at 20:41  
Blogger Martin said...


When you can demonstrate the physical presence of information, then you can say there is nothing but the physical.

Then you can say there is nothing after life, except that you know God exists.

You cannot even provide a process by which the life we see could come into existence so you can say nothing about what is after death.

13 July 2014 at 20:52  
Blogger Albert said...

Well said, Martin.

13 July 2014 at 20:53  
Blogger Albert said...

I was referring to the first of Martin's comments.

13 July 2014 at 20:54  
Blogger Albert said...

Happy Jack,

Is it moral for a man to jump from a burning building to his death or should he accept his fate and wait to be burnt alive?

Probably double-effect, provided the other things are present, which they could be.

13 July 2014 at 20:56  
Blogger Martin said...


May I point out that I have nothing against the protestantism in the CoE, it is dregs of popery I object to. ;-)

13 July 2014 at 21:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


That statement was conditioned. The cause of death has to be observable, immediate, and certain. That's an almost impossible threshold to achieve. The example I used was men trapped on the roof of a burning hotel in the 1906 San Francisco fire.


13 July 2014 at 21:12  
Blogger The Explorer said...

HJ @ 20:14

Remember that Isaac Asimov story? Robot programmed to a) not let itself be damaged, b) not let a human come to harm.

Situation arises in which only way to rescue humans is by putting itself in danger of harm. Deadlock.

Solution: re-programme so that one imperative is stronger than the other.

On this principle,

1. Jump from burning building, moral? Yes: choice of the lesser evil.

2. End a dying soldier's life? Yes, if the death is inevitable, and the alternative is the prolongation of suffering.

3. Take a cyanide pill? Yes, if the torture might reveal information that would result in deaths of others. "Greater love hath no man than this."

The prohibition against suicide, as I understand it, is not biblical in origin. It comes from Cicero's 'Dream of Scipio': a sentry must not desert his post; the soul must not desert its body.

13 July 2014 at 21:28  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Tyndale was strangled before he was burned.

What was the motive for doing this of those who executed him|?

13 July 2014 at 21:49  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Glad to see you back Your Grace.

13 July 2014 at 22:25  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, you have an excellent memory!

"The cause of death has to be observable, immediate, and certain. That's an almost impossible threshold to achieve."

But what moral principle is involved if the threshold is achieved? Is it absolute?

Explorer, the Biblical prohibition against killing and suicide comes from the commandment “You shall not kill" because "God made man in his own image" and has sovereignty over us all. Both euthanasia and suicide are considered to violate this.

The difficulty in assisting someone to self-murder, or taking the initiative in killing them to end suffering, is that it is not necessarily driven by malice and hatred to the person concerned - but it can be compassion. Nevertheless, it is still considered to be a moral evil.

Jack does not see jumping from a burning building as a choice of the lesser evil. It could be 'double-effect' where the intention is to flee from the flames and certain death and take one's chances by leaping.

By ending a soldier's life whose death is inevitable, to avoid the prolongation of suffering, you are, in effect, in agreement with assisted dying. Where's the difference between this and a person certified as terminally ill in great pain?

Agreed about the cyanide, if the intention in taking the pill is to protect the lives of others. This is an act of sacrifice and not a suicide for personal reasons.

13 July 2014 at 23:20  
Blogger The Explorer said...

HJ @ 23:20

1. If it's our duty to try and stay alive, then jumping is better than to stay and burn.

2. With the dying soldier, I think motive must come into it. If compassion is the reason, I'm in favour. But what if it's because it's the sergeant, and you don't like him?

3. Something that puzzles me (and an issue for Calvinists). a. If God determines when we die, is a murderer obeying the will of God, or successfully thwarting the will of God?

b. What about the surgeon who saved my life? In an earlier era, without his intervention, I would have died. Or was it God's will that I should have been alive at this period in time? (Not requiring an answer, here: just musing on difficult issues.)

14 July 2014 at 08:30  
Blogger Martin said...


For a Calvinist, God has decreed the time of death, the murderer doesn't change that.

The murderer is clearly breaking God's law, by a) placing himself in God's place, and b) failing to love their neighbour.

14 July 2014 at 08:44  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Martin @ 08:44


Nevertheless, without the action of the murderer, the victim would still be alive: unless dead by another means.

It's the sort of stuff that makes my head swim, but Augustine said something to the effect of, "Those who will not be God's sons become His tools." There's a lot in that.

14 July 2014 at 08:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...


My own tentative position on assisted suicide.

1. Where compassion is the motive, I support it.

2. However, I also believe in Original Sin. Therefore, altruistic high mindedness is likely to be corrupted by baser considerations.

3. On balance, therefore, I oppose it, because it seems to presuppose the natural goodness of humanity: a false basis on which to proceed.

14 July 2014 at 09:10  
Blogger Martin said...


The point is surely, God knows the time, He has decreed it & allowed the means of the death. The murderer remains a murderer since he follows his nature. If it were not to happen God would not have decreed it.

14 July 2014 at 10:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, translation:

"I trust myself to act out of compassion but not society at large."

Essentially, Jack would say this is usurping God and taking into your own hands decisions about life - regardless of motive.

Your position is decriminalisation by stealth, judging each situation on its merits, and is the approach currently used by the CPS.

Where a Catholic differs from a Calvinist is that we believe He foreknows rather than predetermines the 'future' (which is all 'now' to Him). He permits evil. So 'history' has been 'written' but we each play our individual and unique part in it. God dispenses sufficient grace to all but it does not translate into efficacious grace for all.

The line between a Calvinist and a Catholic on this issue of predestination is thin - the implications for salvation, for free will, and for the role of the Church is massive.

14 July 2014 at 11:05  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

While you lot are out dancing with the fairies among the daisies, or playing a self indulgent game of pseudo-philosophical biggest-willy, some poor sods are still suffering unspeakable anguish and being denied the right to self determination because of your unsolicited interfering - Shame on all of you!

14 July 2014 at 11:10  
Blogger Albert said...


As I have said already, your compassion is unformed because it only attends to one part of the concept, while denying the other. Shame on you!

14 July 2014 at 11:18  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


Touched a nerve I have!

14 July 2014 at 11:36  
Blogger The Explorer said...


I don't trust myself, or society.

14 July 2014 at 12:50  
Blogger Albert said...


Mistaken you are!

14 July 2014 at 13:08  

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