Should compassion be circumscribed by religious dogma? To those with the necessary intestinal fortitude to uphold that view, could one ask for their rationale? Indeed, is it possible to claim to be human while denying a fellow-human freedom from terrible pain which has not (repeat, has not) been alleviated by the best of palliative care?

What does it mean to be human? While mankind is the most developed member of the animal kingdom, displaying greed, aggression and brutality of the highest order in matters material, and great cunning in matters social and religious, there are many exceptional humans displaying an intuitive spirituality. This is manifest in the welfare of fellow human beings, at both a personal and community level, and without regard to ethnicity or socio-economic values.

Regrettably, the dogma of institutional religions, which has the effect of keeping divided and relatively intolerant many of the flocks of these religions, has been exploited by political leaders to grant certain religious leaders power over the policies of the whole nation, believers and unbelievers included. Ultimately, it is all a matter of control; a claimed shared faith in a sole universal Creator is merely myth, maya or mirage. The implicit devaluation of democracy is also undeniable.

Was it not the Buddha who sought to have his fellow-Hindus express adequate compassion towards fellow-humans? With what success? Indeed, do the major institutional religions have a credible track record over the centuries of fostering mutual tolerance and acceptance between the sects within each religion, and between the religions?

Is it then surprising that it is modern official Christianity which currently denies a secular Australian nation a necessary compassion; and that this stance reflects a regrettable priest-made dogma coined within a minority sect?

What sort of logic drives the following conundrum? When the leaders of a minority Christian sect seek to expand the political (and electoral) clout of that sect by having their adherents stay home and multiply (a minimum of 4 children per couple was the requirement until feminism and economic parity with the ‘Prods and Masons’ over-rode fecundity), with birth control and abortion a moral (if not mortal) sin, why then insist that all residents in the nation be denied contraception and abortion? Would this reduce the theological and political competition?

An apt comparison is this: if my people are not allowed to eat durians, than no one else shall eat durians (that smelly but apparently delicious tropical fruit).

Because of a highly interactive and contributory life (as an adult) over more than 6 decades in his adopted nation, this author can vouch for the socio-historical accuracy of the views he expresses in this article. He can testify to the practice in earlier times of the adherents of this minority sect being kept away by their priests from the competition, the home-maker women being the most discriminatory.

Now that the levers of political and administrative control are in the hands of followers of this sect, it is not surprising that dogma-infused national social policies deny necessary compassion. The temptation to kill one’s elders, and the threat of being forced onto some moral ‘slippery slope,’ infuse a so-called dialogue in the political arena on this issue. What happened to human compassion?

Since it has already been demonstrated overseas that much-needed compassion provided in official policies for those in unalleviated and enduring severe pain, with no remedy available, can be legislatively safeguarded, those who are attracted by the Buddha’s core teaching can only despair. Does not Christ’s core teaching also stress love for one’s fellow humans? What then is the foundation for the dogma denying this form of compassion?

The issue is voluntary (repeat, voluntary) euthanasia; that is, medico-assisted gradual death – not killing, not suicide. Is this that difficult to grasp? However, such a distinction is probably beyond the conceptual competence of the steeped-in-dogma lovers of God. Can they not accept that, as co-creations of God, in whose image we were created, we should care for one another – irrespective of the great diversity of religious faiths which sustains most of us?

All religious roads can ultimately lead to only one destination. There can surely be no chosen people in the eye of God, no chosen paths to His Celestial Abode, no chosen entry doors to this Abode, no chosen residences in this Hereafter – unlike mankind’s cemeteries! Could ever-lasting life be ever available to those lacking adequate compassion for fellow-humans in severe distress?

By yanam49

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