Response to Question 4
The Brittany Maynard case was brought to the attention of the media back in 2014. She was a basically normal women, except for the fact that she had been diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer. Instead of going through all the pain and suffering that was expected to come, she decided to seek out euthanasia. Euthanasia in the simplest terms is physician assisted suicide. Her actions received many different reactions, and the Christian response was that her actions were morally wrong.
Christians see Brittany Maynard’s actions as morally wrong because it goes against “our nature as creatures, an unwillingness to receive life moment by moment from the hand of God without ever regarding it as simply ‘our’ possession” (Meilander 58). As Christians, we see our life God’s not ours, and by taking that life, one disregards the fact that God has given them that life. Therefore, taking one’s own life, even to prevent suffering, is morally wrong in the Christian perspective.
There are more issues in moral problem of seeking out physician assisted suicide than just whether it’s right or wrong. First, we can examine the term itself. Physician assisted suicide essentially requires a physician to prescribe death. Not only is this wrong for the patient, but if a physician prescribes this, then they are just as morally responsible for ending their life early. Meilander talks that a physician should care and only care for a patient, meaning that one should not “refuse to acknowledge death by continuing to struggle against it” or “aim to hasten the coming of death” (Meilander 62). It is not morally right to make physicians prescribe ones death, because in doing so, they would be forced to go against the Hippocratic Oath that they swore to.
Another issue that comes up is that the patient is terminally ill and will die anyways, so some might say that it is more moral to prevent them from suffering than to allow them to suffer. This can seem like a very compassionate and moral thing at first glance; however, as Christians we are not called to “minimize suffering” but to “maximize care” (Meilander 65). Euthanasia is not a form a treatment and therefore should not be seen as a form of care. Suffering is just part of human life as a result of sin, and to try to escape that removes the possibility of God to work in that situation.
As Christians, we should be compassionate for those who are terminally ill, and we should also see that euthanasia morally wrong and is simply not the way to deal with suffering. We should realize that God is in control of the situation and allow Him to work and move in his own way.
Response to Question 8
The semantic origin of the word economy comes from the Greek word oikonomia. The first part of the word, Oika, means house. The second part, Nomos, means law. Together, you get the phrase house law, which could be understood as the rules and laws that govern a certain area. In this case, it’s best understood as the rules and laws, written or unwritten, that govern trade and the exchange goods.
There are two pillars of the economy, and they are property and labor. Without these two things, an economy simply cannot exist. There must be ones with property that employ those to work on and for that property. Property can be one of two types. One being productive property, which is property that creates profit. For example, a farm that produces enough crops to provide the farmer with enough money to live on and then whatever extra; the extra being capital which could be invested back into the farm in hope to generate more profit. The other type of property is nonproductive. An example of this could be your average home, which does not generate capital, unless through accidently means. Labor is the other half of the spectrum of economy. Workers sell their labor in order to gain property, which makes the economy function as a system.
When it comes to work, there are two different descriptions of jobs; vocations and careers. The first of which, vocations, has the idea of being “called” into doing a certain job that was appointed by God. The second, careers, is more of just a job or profession that you decided to do on your own.
Usury is the act of charging interest on loans. The whole idea of it seems to take advantage of the person taking out the loan, which seems wrong when only looking at that one aspect. However, it can actually beneficial to all parties and the economy. As long as loans are able to be paid off and loaner does purposely exploit a loanee, then it can be profitable for the loaner and helpful to the loanee. Even though the most Christ-like approach to lending would be to not charge interest, it is still possible to show love by giving fair rates to those who need it.
The most apparent moral problem in the marketplace is that everyone is out to make profit, and a lot of the time that profit will come that the expense of others. The term “trickle-down economics” means that those with property will profit from workers’ labor and then somehow that money will find its way to the laborers. This idea sounds good, but it simply does not work out this way. There also is this underlying idea that producers try to convey that you as a consumer are not content. They try to produce jealousy in order to get people to compete in the marketplace.
Paul tries to address this issue of not being content with our possessions in 1 Timothy 6. Society tells is that you should seek money and gain, but Paul lets us know that only ruin and destruction comes to that. Contentment is what we should seek after in regards to our possessions, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (1 Timothy 6:7).