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The Law And Occam's Razor

The most difficult moral lines to toe are those that have no clear "right or wrong" answer.

In these cases, I tend to default to traditional views as a means of applying the dreaded Occam's Razor to a moral dilemma.  If you are not familiar with the Razor, it says simply that given a set of problems, the answer with the fewest assumptions is likely the correct one.

Before moving along, we should also define de facto law and de jure law.  In the case of de facto law (also known as the "color of law"),  a legal precedent exists because it is allowed to exist and to propagate, regardless of the letter of the law.  In a de jure system, institutions follow the "letter and spirit" of the law, and can be judged objectively as doing so when the law is read and interpreted by a "reasonable man."  Thus, someone who seizes power and is followed out of fear or compulsion would be a de facto leader, while someone who follows the lawful means of taking office would be a de jure leader.

So it is that we come to the headline du jour: a Belgian teen (17 years old and a legal minor) was euthanized to provide a 'dignified death' to a child suffering from a terminal illness.  The linked article states:
"Since 2014, when its euthanasia legislation was amended, Belgium has been the only country in the world that allows terminally-ill children of any age to choose to end their suffering -- as long as they are conscious and capable of making rational decisions."

As far as I know, most legal definitions recognize the fact that a minor child is incapable of making "rational decisions," and is therefore under the guidance of majority-age adults, like parents or legal guardians.  The article tells us:
"Any request for euthanasia must be made by the minor, be studied by a team of doctors and an independent psychiatrist or psychologist, and have parental consent."

The only part of that statement I find acceptable is the "parental consent," but we will leave that for now.

The article goes on to talk about paralympian  Marieke Vervoort, who has been "granted" the right to kill herself due to 'unbearable physical pain,' yet is not ready at this time because she wants to enjoy 'every little bit of life she can.'

Here's my problem with all this: the State has taken upon itself the de facto power of life and death.  Note that the athlete has her 'permission slip' to die when she is ready, and that the minor in the article's subject line had to be evaluated by teams of doctors and phsychiatrists, as well as a Euthanasia Board, all of whom are selected by some process as having more knowledge of the subject than the minor child his/her self, and even that the parental consent is listed last on a list of barriers to taking one's own life.

All of this is predicated on the de facto right of the State to declare who may and may not die.  Furthermore, this case is noted to establish 'precedent' in law, meaning that the interpretation of a law in one jurisdiction may be applied in another, despite differing sensibilities and cultural mores.  In this way, un-elected and unaccountable bureaucrats have been granted the power of life and death.

In my mind, this and similar cases establish a form of "mission creep," in which the original intent of law is slowly increased in scope until it encompasses vast numbers of people who may or may not agree with its practice or establishing arguments.  This leads to de facto law, through the use of broad definitions and precedence, to apply the sensibilities of one group on the society as a whole.

Once upon a time, the words "community" and "peer" meant people with whom one had daily physical contact.  Over time, those concepts have been expanded to mean 'anyone of similar outlook,' regardless of physical proximity.  In other words, 'associations' surplanted the idea of 'community' and a peer became anyone with similar characteristics in any part of the world, regardless of other philosophical or moral differences.

In effect, these sorts of de facto decrees force widely differing communities to accept "laws" which they find abhorrent to their moral and ethical sensibilities, and thus transfer guilt to an entire jurisdiction regardless of whether a majority of those people accept it or not.  By the State assuming the legal power to decide the life or death of the minor child in question, the State has effectively distributed the guilt and consequences of that decision upon every human being within its jurisdiction without regard to their sensibilities.

Under the precepts of 'precedent' and the expanded definitions of 'community' and 'peer,' government has become increasingly centralized and the law has become increasingly distant from the social and physical communities which must abide by them.  This is done under the guise of 'diversity,' where every community must accept the dictates of a distant bureaucracy over the moral and ethical objections of the physical groups, who naturally decide what is best for themselves and their living conditions.  This, in fact, is not diversity, but tyranny.  It defies the natural right of people to associate and decide what is best for their community, which is why most nations have national, regional, county, and municipal governments.  These divisions imply that there is a de jure system of governance that begins at the local/community level, with certain powers being delegated up the chain.  At each level, government has been given certain powers that larger and larger numbers of people agree belong at those levels, but the most immediate rights and powers are reserved for those in physical communities, and under de jure forms of law cannot have moral and ethical decisions dictated to them by broader levels of government.

Thus, 'diversity' is defined as the right of local physical communities to decide for themselves what is permissible or not within their jurisdictions.  It is not defined as national governments declaring that certain behaviors must be allowed against the will and desire of the community.

In the end, laws which require communities to accept euthanasia, abortion, non-gendered toilets, gay marriage, or any other behavior that the peers within the community find offensive are by definition de facto law and tyrannical.  They are the dictates of a system which has assumed upon itself powers not naturally granted to it by peers in communities, and which are enforced at the point of a gun or incarceration, or other grievous bodily harm and usurpation of Natural rights.  They are certainly NOT enforced by the sensibilities and mores of those living in communities of peers.

Returning to the issue of the euthanized minor, the decision to kill the child is one that should have rightly rested on the community of peers of the parents, not Boards and teams of un-elected 'experts.'  If the child's parents, family and friends decided together that allowing the child to die was the best possible decision, then the perceived guilt and/or responsibility would have fallen on those who knew the child and the family best and could defend the decision.  However, the bureaucrats are immune from the consequences of their decision and cannot possibly know the mind of the child or his parents in the way that their peers do.  Further, by making the decision at the State level, the system has placed the moral and ethical consequences on every member of that nation, regardless of what the individual's sensibilities are.

It is vital that we, the people, take back these moral and ethical decisions.  The accelerating trend towards greater centralization of government places each of us in greater moral and ethical hazard, as we are asked to assume more and more guilt for the actions of fewer and fewer 'leaders.'

Despite what we are told, this is not diversity, this is tyranny, and the philosophical advancements that have been made since the Enlightenment are being grossly undermined.  No longer is the individual empowered to make his or her own moral choices, they are now being made my nameless, faceless Boards of bureaucrats in our names.

In a de jure system of law, the most powerful entity is the household, which then delegates certain of its powers to larger organizations, based on the community's sensibilities, with national governments holding only those powers on which all can agree.  And there should never be anything higher than a national government that has any power over the household.

This is a recipe for harmony and peace, in which every individual lives according to his or her conscience within a community of peers.  When we apply Occam's Razor, we see that this concept has the fewest number of assumptions for the greatest number of people, and thus we should default to self-rule above all else.

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