I was talking of religion the other week and how Alex Wright, who publishes serious books on the subject, recognised that many of us believe it to be built on a ‘ludicrous fantasy’ (i.e. religion claims that not only does God exist, but to know Him too).
Anyway. One man who claims to know God (and through Him the answers to, if not quite life, the universe and everything than at least the most important stuff) is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. He knows God so well, he can say that, ‘In god’s world there is no right to die.’ What nonsense.
Like the claim to know God, God-given rights are a fantasy. Indeed, most claims to ‘rights’ are actually aspirations. For example, to claim a right to free speech is to talk nonsense as nobody really has such a total right. If this were not the case, we would not need stuff like the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union or the UN’s Universal Declaration Of Human Rights and the US wouldn’t have had to bother with it’s Bill of Rights. Having been given to us by God, whatever rights we had would surely be plain for all to see.
In truth, all rights are products of the societies in which they exist and in this debate, as in any other, God is a red herring; a distraction we could do with out. Claiming to know what God thinks takes us away from the moral challenges medical science throws up for us. Collectively, we’ll decide whether or not to grant each other a ‘right to die’ and God will have nothing to do with it.