Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You're A Bad Person And Cal Thomas Likes Jim Carrey Movies About God

I love when commentators try to use movies, mediocre movies even better, to prove a point. The wonderful Cal Thomas in his syndicated column today writes:
"In an age when we think we should be free of burdens -- a notion that contributes to our superficiality and makes us morally obtuse -- getting rid of granny might seem perfectly rational, even defensible. But by doing so, we assume an even greater burden: the role of God in deciding who gets to live and who must die. Anyone who has seen the film "Bruce Almighty" senses how difficult it is to play God."
The work of Jim Carrey can teach so much. For those who have not had the "pleasure" of Bruce Almighty here is the synopsis from IMBD:
"Bruce Nolan, a television reporter in Buffalo, N.Y., is discontented with almost everything in life despite his popularity and the love of his girlfriend Grace. At the end of the worst day of his life, Bruce angrily ridicules and rages against God and God responds. God appears in human form and, endowing Bruce with divine powers, challenges Bruce to take on the big job to see if he can do it any better."
Cal's point is that being god is tough. So don't try. I think that is good advice.

Enough of the jokes. Cal Thomas believes that people who don't believe in god want to kill people. Thomas writes:
"Few from the 'endowed rights' side are saying that a 100-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor should be given extraordinary and expensive care to keep the heart pumping, even after brain waves have gone flat. But there is a big difference between 'letting go' and 'snuffing out.' The unnatural progression for many on the secular left is to see such a person as a 'burden.' In an age when we think we should be free of burdens -- a notion that contributes to our superficiality and makes us morally obtuse -- getting rid of granny might seem perfectly rational, even defensible."
Secularists, as Thomas calls them, would rather "snuff out" older sick people just to be rid of a burden while the "endowed rights" people value life let go of old people. I don’t understand his distinction between letting go and snuffing out. The result is the same only the demonization is different.

Earlier in his essay Thomas asks, “Are we now assigning worth to human life?” I think that is an interesting question. Don’t tell Cal that we have been doing that for years. Stanford economists say it is about $129,000. An interesting conversation of philosophy could be had if you were not talking to someone who believes in god. Thomas says that life has “its own predetermined value, irrespective of race, class, IQ or disability?” That is non-starter in the conversation but also not the point when it comes to health care, the issue that Thomas is trying to address.

The question that needs to be asked is not what is life worth instead what is the priority for scarce health resources worth? Should we distribute the resources to people with dim prognosis such as the “100-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor” or Terry Schiavo at the expense of a sick person with a positive prognosis? That is the question we need to answer. To confuse this important question with ideas about god and the false profundity of “god made us and also makes the rules about our existence” only delays the answers to these questions.

This is an economics issue not a god issue. Even though “it's on the money…In God We Trust” does not mean that god creates the money.

P.S. Cal, please reconcile the contradiction between all life is valuable and the death penalty.

P.S.S. Cal you still ignore suffering of ill people. Why do you do that you big pious lug?

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Anonymous said...

I agree totally - but I have just one question. If a five year old has cancer and is going to die unless we treat it for 250000$, would not the same logic say we should let the baby die, and make a new one? I'm actually curious.

dudleysharp said...

How does the death penalty indicate that life is valued?

For all criminal sanctions, we take away that which is valued.

For some crimes we fine people, because money is valued.

For others, there is community service, because we value labor and freedom.

For others, we lock them up, because we value freedon so much.

And, so it is when we execute murderers.

A sanction is only a sanction if you take away something which is valued.

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