Maine is now the 8th state to legalize "assisted suicide".

Maine is now the 8th state to legalize "assisted suicide". Is anyone surprised? Remember, it was Maine Catholics who put these people in power.

From the recent National Catholic Register interview with Wesley J. Smith, an attorney who has written extensively on, among other things, assisted suicide (my emphasis):

Human exceptionalism is more than just the sanctity of human life… [I]t isn’t our opposable thumb that gives us unique value. That’s not a moral difference; that is a biological difference… Only [humans] have an understanding of right versus wrong — what we ought to do and what we ought not to do. Consequently, we have obligations and duties to each other and to our posterity. That said, we also have a duty to treat animals humanely; they are not rocks or inanimate objects; they have emotions and can feel pain. We also have a duty to treat the environment in the proper way; but that isn’t the same thing as giving rights to animals or to nature.

A mother rat may take care of her litter, or she may eat them, depending on circumstances. Either way, we do not cast judgment on the rat, for there is no morality in her world, just survival. A cat may play with an injured bird before she kills it, but again, the is no rightness or wrongness in the cat’s world. The world simply is, and the cat simply functions within it.

Human exceptionalism is not a new idea, in fact it is the foundation of human civilization throughout all recorded history: humans – people -have an awareness that there is right, and there is wrong. Animals have no such awareness. Humans inhabit a moral universe. Animals do not. This makes everything different for us vis a vis animals. Throughout human history, the struggle has been for us as exceptional animals – animals different in a fundamental way from all other animals by our awareness of the moral universe outside of ourselves – to incorporate this moral universe into our world, our civilizations, our societies. Animals do not exist in a moral universe, so they don’t need to worry about this stuff.

As we discussed here, Maine is leading the way in rejecting the notion of a moral universe. These questions – “assisted suicide”, abortion, all the rest – are far more than mere political questions, although they are being played out in the political realm. They are, in fact, fundamental questions about what a human being is. Do we – human beings - exist in a moral universe, or do we not? We are obligated to understand this stuff. If we do not understand that we are exceptional because we, unlike other animals, inhabit a moral universe we will have rejected our exceptionalism and will be, in fact, no different from other animals. We can nurture our young and support our old and our ill, or we can eat them, as is our desire at the moment.

Fast and furious.

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