The Sanctity of Life
Tracey Lin Miller
On the Path to Understanding
December 24, 2012
Throughout the world of living beings, life is the most cherished possession of all. Within the majority of religious and philosophical belief systems, there are admonishments against taking life, except as a sacrifice to the gods, literally and figuratively. In the natural world, everything from the smallest amoeba to the gigantic redwood trees, there are built in genetic messages to do what is necessary to sustain the life of every living thing. Hence, in observing nature, we learn that all beings struggle to sustain and propagate life, by any and all means. Yet, human beings seem to be divided and torn regarding this basic principle of perpetuation and sustaining life.
Humankind, following the laws of nature, since the beginning of time, allowed those who were strong enough to survive to do so. Those who did not have the genetic propensity for survival were left to die. It is common knowledge that the Spartans left weak infants upon the barren cliffs to die. As children grew older, they were constantly tested for strength in order to create a culture and race which has proven to be one of the strongest in history during Sparta’s thirty year military dominance of all opponents. Yet, in the end, even they were conquered by their enemies.
The biological laws of natural selection in all species manifest a natural culling of those who are not strong enough to compete for food and space to live. In most species, when the population becomes to large to be supported by the environment there is a dying off due to insufficient resources or, as in the case of the lemming and shrew, mass suicides which again, deplete the population to smaller numbers so that those who are strongest, might survive and continue the species.
Often, diseases are the cause of decreased population, and of course, mankind’s fear and greed have caused many species to become extinct, endangered or in other cases, created super resistant bacterial and viral species. The fear of disease, along with the greed of pharmaceutical and chemical companies in pushing the products manufactured, are sometimes causing problems much greater then if the cycle of parasitic had been allowed to continue their processes unchecked.
Excessive antibiotics have been linked to viral and bacterial mutations which have created the super bugs. DDT, an agricultural pesticide, was poisoning not only the targeted vermin, but residing in the fatty tissues of animals that ate the agricultural products and those of the fish as the pesticides ran into the water tables around the world. It was only after a universal agreement to discontinue the use DDT that this particular pesticide was banned worldwide, which allowed the chemical to dissipate within the bodies of animal food sources that we saw a decrease of the pesticide in the fatty tissues of animals. This is only two of the multitudes of sins manifested by the pharmaceutical and chemical companies. The threats still manifest at an alarming rate in the micro level of the environment.
From a macro perspective, humans have been and are murdering each other at an alarming rate. While medical technology is working to develop more ways to extend life, individuals, groups and countries, in the form of murder, execution and war are culling the population in the names of greed, anger and ignorance. Passion, gang wars, and the determination to acquire the minerals of a country and/or a show of strength are the reasons which demand the necessity of life taking on a regular basis. Children and adults kill to prove their right to belong to a group. The insane motivations of some demand that they walk into a public building and kill arbitrarily with no rhyme or reason that is understood. Countries decide that they must interfere in the problems of other countries or desire their resources and start or escalate wars. Stronger countries choose sides in civil wars, playing one side against the other as though in a game of chess. When they leave these smaller countries, they leave behind armaments, such as land mines, which continue to mutilate and murder the citizens of these lands. Modern military technology has devised means to murder entire populations, with minimal or no loss of personnel. Humans have devised more means to murder one another then they have to live in peace with each other. All of this in the name of peace without regard for the sanctity of life.
Long ago, when the United States determined that there should be a separation of church and state, perhaps this was part of a long term plan to allow the country to go against the basic tenants of religious decrees in order that much of the violations of those decrees would not be determined, not only undesirable, but also, allow the ungodly processes which are obviously unchecked. Although there are tenets in most religions against killing, although there are laws against murder, apparently, both have loopholes that allow for these events to happen without consequences.
As a child, I attended parochial schools. During one religious class when we were studying the religious crusades, I questioned the rightness of this by stating that the Ten Commandments states, though shalt not kill and that if this was God’s law, how could the crusades be a righteous act? I guess that at such a young and tender age, I was not aware of the fine print that said, except in God’s name.
In a similar way, government has exceptions to the rules against murders. Apparently, it is okay to kill in self-defense, to protect your property and family, and a lesser crime if it is one of passion or no crime at all if in times of war. Furthermore, in the field of medicine, if a person signs a wavier (which is mandatory in most hospitals) stating that the hospital and/or doctors have the right to use whatever methods they deem necessary to treat an ailment and inadvertently, the person being treated dies, there is no recourse against anyone in the medical profession, even if it is due to their incompetence, unless that incompetence can be proven without a doubt.
There have been a number of studies regarding bias in medical treatment. These studies have shown that minorities, in particular, non white Americans, do not receive equal and fair treatment, given all the same variables except that of skin color, even as recent as August, 2012, in a study by the University of Texas Austin (http://www.utexas.edu/news/2012/04/23/bias_african_american_health/ ).
In one study by a number of years ago (not the one by The University of Texas at Austin) it showed that black males and white males, with the same educational, familial circumstances, work history, insurance coverage, economic status and disease, were not given the same treatment as white males with the same variables. The doctors, who were subsequently interviewed, stated that they did not have any bias in their practice of medicine. When shown the information regarding the actual prescriptive recommendations to the different races, some were actually surprised that they had behaved in this manner. One might wonder what long term unconscious conditioning has created such a situation as to manifest this deep seated bias which determines their response based upon skin color.
The study and implementation of eugenics manifested as a result of a desire to limit the reproduction rights of minorities. From this came the founding of American Eugenics Society (AES), Planned Parenthood, although Planned Parenthood denies that its founder, Margaret Sanger, who was a member of the American Eugenics Society followed AES’s goal to utilize Planned Parenthood as a tool of genocide in the African American community. Although this organization came about as a means of genocide, those who were targeted are not only unaware of the reason for the founding of these organization, but are its most valiant warriors for the right to utilize its resources in order to perform the exact act for which it was created; to decrease the population of minorities, especial blacks.
InIndia, “In the course of one year, eight million sterilizations were recorded: 6.2 million vasectomies and 2.05 million tubectomies. Sterilization was performed upon thousands of unaware natives for a gift of transistor radios. InAustralia, aboriginals were sterilized as children. The same holds true for Native Americans and others around the world. In alignment with this process is the ungoverned, unsanctioned medical test performed worldwide upon minorities and people of color.” (http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_shameful_history_of_population_control)
During Hitler’s regime inGermany, every kind of inhumane atrocity possible was executed. Human skin, of Hitler’s victims, was tanned in the same way as animals and used to make lampshades, amongst other things.
In thirteenth centuryJapan, there are records of human meat being served without public awareness, as is possible and sometimes, probable in every country. The atrocities humankind has performed are too numerous to list; all of these going against the religious and secular laws of upholding the sanctity of life.
Our history is replete with much evidence that is contrary of the basic belief systems which opposes and abhors such behaviors, yet they are executed constantly in every culture around the world from crimes of passion to cannibalism. My question is this; where does it end and when will we truly act on the belief that all life is sacred and we should embrace its sanctity in all of its forms? Each of us can make a conscious choice to uphold the sanctity of life.