Is no life better than a life of suffering?



A:

Hey, thanks for your question! It's a really important one, because we all want to minimize suffering for our fellow human beings.


If you don't mind, I'll share an illustration that I think is applicable to this question. Imagine a three-year-old girl whose parents are abusive. She can either continue living with them or be placed in foster care. Would it be more compassionate to kill her so that she doesn't have to experience the foster system? Of course not. It's pretty clear that our goal should be to eliminate the CAUSE of her suffering, not to eliminate the PERSON who is suffering. Consider homelessness: our goal should be to alleviate the suffering of homeless people by helping them get into better circumstances, not by going out into the streets and killing all the homeless people in the name of compassion. All human beings have inherent value, dignity, and worth, and their value does not change depending on their circumstances (or possible future circumstances). Why would we condone violence against an innocent unborn child just because that child might possibly experience bad circumstances later in life? Kids in foster care, for example, are just as valuable and deserving of life as everyone else. Intentionally killing any innocent human being is never more compassionate than allowing that human being the chance to live.


I hope you enjoyed this episode of Kit's Corner! There's so much more to unpack on this question, so if you'd like to discuss it further, or if you have other questions that you'd like me to write about, I'd love to hear from you! Don't hesitate to contact us on the FAQ page if you have any questions or comments.


Thanks for reading! Love, Kit

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