Archives for posts with tag: religion

The only mention made of death in our society is usually through the old saying that taxes and death are the only two certainties in life. The rest of the time it seems to be a taboo subject. The only certainty about it is that it will happen, yet for most of us the how, where and when are not only complete uncertainties but not discussed.

I’m trying to work out how long I will last, given my current age, life expectancy for my age group and restrictions such as chronic illness. This sounds really potent yet seems to be the medical name for diabetes and other common diseases which affect life expectancy. I felt really doomed when I first heard the expression, but life has gone back to normal since then!

For older people it probably makes life a bit easier if we can work out a rough, probably inaccurate time limit. It gives us a bit of a time-line for things we would like to achieve before then, such as tidying up and sorting through possessions (called rather cutely ‘downsizing’!). It doesn’t seem to work for me, having recently passed on a whole lot of books I knew I would never read to charity, then restocking with other books I thought I might read!

The other uncertainties we face are the how  and where. Most people say they would like to die at home but few do. I suspect that this could be caused by medicos trying to use their new devises and medications on us when we would prefer to just quietly leave this world.

The big problem is the current discussion we are currently having in Australia about being allowed to do have a hand in our death and allow us to advance it when medication is not currently available to so painlessly. Euthanasia has almost been a taboo topic and is often described as murder. There are quite a few countries intelligent enough to allow it under very strict conditions and it seems to work well, with the conditions imposed preventing abuse. The opponents to this practise seem to base their objections on reasoning which is not based on intelligence and knowledge. These are often the same people who oppose same-sex marriage and abortion. The problem is that although their ranks are being reduced because more people are applying reason and logic to arguments, based on modern knowledge, these groups still have a traditional influence which they inflict on all of us.

If people oppose those of us who want to be able to die to escape excruciating pain, why should this minority be allowed to dictate what we choose to do? If I still looked at the world through religious eyes I suspect I would think that if God hadn’t yet released to us the knowledge to reduce all pain to a bearable level, then why shouldn’t we use the God-given knowledge we already have to choose to end our suffering? How heartless are these people if they are prepared to force their own families to have to watch them suffer needlessly, often for weeks and months? Not my idea of a Christian, loving world in which we really care about those we love, as well as our neighbours, in its full definition.

Dying would be less of a worrying uncertainty if people didn’t have to face the possibility of unrelieved excruciating pain accompanying it. Lets at least make this a certainty.

Will this ever happen? It should be the main aim of all mankind but we seem to be becoming more and more self centered as we adopt the material god worship which took over our lives towards the end of the 20th century.

Many people who don’t embrace the Christian faith, and many like myself who left it in disgust at its hypocrisy, can see the sense and advantage of wanting peace. There are enough disasters in the world such as floods, fires, cyclones and droughts for mankind to give its full energy to without putting money into armaments.  All the latter does is to add further to the misery felt in many parts of the world as people lose their homes for all sorts of reasons and millions go hungry. The miseries of wars are triggered by a few people wanting to better their own position in life, and their own egos, by using power against others.

The Christians believe that there is an afterlife  in which they will be rewarded for their good deeds but many of them still keep an enormous part of what they own or inherit for their own use. I suspect that even the idea of a tithe was created by those for whom keeping the other nine-tenths of what they had meant that they could still live very nicely thank you. One of the advantages of ageing is that you find that it doesn’t take much money to be able to live comfortably; we realise that our need for material possessions no longer exists as our lifestyle changes. The exception to this financial comfortability seems to be with older people who don’t own their homes and have to pay exorbitant rents to people who are already probably fairly well off themselves.

So how can we contribute to achieving peace on earth? Firstly we need to replace war by dialogue. The trouble with this is that it often does little for the egos of those involved in creating war. Secondly we need to identify those around the world who have inadequate shelter and not enough food and make a concerted effort to address both problems. Any who are causing the problems need to be made to sit down together and sort out their differences. We can only achieve this if all the religions of the world unite to realise that this is the only way we can have a world of fairness to all. The problem with this is that we would also need to make the leaders of the religions sit down together and sort out their differences which prohibit the world from achieving this. What a different world we would have if the creator of the world had stipulated that the only way to gain admittance to the next world could only be through a life spent working towards a fair and peaceful world! Suddenly there would be a huge slump in the luxury goods markets! Unfortunately we have been given no such instructions and we have been left to determine our own purpose in life. I suspect it should not be to collect as many material goods as possible while others starve to death through no fault or their own. Meanwhile most people seem to think that this is the only life we have and they are going to enjoy it. The trouble is they think the latter is achieved through material possessions and find themselves in an endless loop; the more you have the more you want.

At least some people have a genuine desire for peace but we need to work together regardless of race, faith or nationality. Lets start.