Letter of the Day: Are we any better than Hitler, other despots?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The article written by Peter Espeut titled 'We have a problem', which appeared in The Gleaner of Friday, November 13, 2015, has hit the bullseye.
Plain and simple, hypocrisy is rampant in our society at all levels when we discuss the value of life. We get all upset over the 19 neonates who unfortunately died in our hospitals - and we have every reason to be - but yet, on the other hand, we bat not even an eyelash over the 20,000 foetuses allegedly "killed each year in Jamaica after about 15 weeks in the womb".
We send mixed signals to our people, especially our youth, that life is allowed to exist based upon our individual preference and intention, which is basically determined by the pleasure principle that is rampant in the society.
Deacon Espeut rightly invites us to probe life in all phases, not at the level of religion, but rather in the arena of philosophy and logical thinking. In that way, all - religious or atheist alike - can enter into a common, rational dialogue, the objective of which is critical understanding of life, the quality of life, and whether the present modus vivendi is leading us down the pathway of destruction.
Could it be that the breakdown in society with no respect for life is the result of our picking and choosing which lives should get the thumbs up, and which should be disposable? How are we different from Hitler and other despots of history, including ISIS?
One of the reasons we get caught in this hypocrisy in respect of life is that we always look for the easy way out. Interestingly, in that same edition of The Gleaner, Chancellor Edward Seaga of the University of Technology warns the graduates about choosing the easy way.
THE EASY WAY
The easy way leads to lack of due diligence regarding the life of neonates; the easy way leads to the taking of life, whether in the womb or some other stage of existence (e.g., the 'non-productive' aged being discarded).
Deacon Espeut's article says that logical thinking ought to have us weighing the pros and cons in order to see if our actions lead to what is noble, what is helpful and uplifting for the society. This critical and logical thinking we must choose!
Mere subjective feelings and the pleasure principle that have nurtured the hypocritical way of life are not working in birthing a civilisation of love and care for one another. The integrity of life in all stages must be respected!
DONALD J. REECE
Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston
Acting Pastor, St Richard's Church