Nov 10, 2017 in Ethics

Duty to Die

Death is reflected differently among cultures. Some cultures cultivate the duty to die, while in others death itself is unacceptable according to the moral rules and religious views. Often duty to die is closely tight with economical and social issues and even with the family relationships. Nevertheless, the topic has many contradictions. According to Hardwig, to live to one’s “cowardice, rationalization, or failure of resolve is an egregious immoral act; particularly if one has already had one’s “share of the good things life offers”.

There are few criteria to determine that some individual has a duty to die. Usually duty to die is enchained to an obligation. In modern world this obligation can be related to the existential idea of small tribes. These small congregations believe that elderly need to go out of the tribe, because they have no more power and strength to care about them. Other standpoint claims that duty to die, from the perspective of the obligation, has deadly ill people. Though, this decision can be evaluated as a stampede from responsibility and decision to continue the living, on one hand. On the other hand, the deep feeling of incapability to live and help the family and the relatives hang as a sword of Damocles.

Other thing is when people try to take responsibility for the decisions they make. The responsibility is the factor that indicates the maturity. Erich Fromm points out that responsibility is the ability to respond on things, thoughts and deeds around. So the idea is that there is a duty to die and it has the place in the situation, when person is responsible for his/her deeds. Despite everything “we cannot have any moral worth if we act out of feeling, emotions, inclinations or self-interest”.

In the army every soldier makes an oath of allegiance to his country and people. After the oath was proclaimed his life is not his anymore. In case of military action he is the first one, who will face the troops of the enemy and, what is important, will act according to the words he said. So the duty is closely connected with the death, as a made choice.

Another interesting, but not less important fact is the age factor. It was mentioned above that compression of the duty to die is chained to the maturity of the person and personality. Though, this can not be the only factor to make decisions. Other factors can be social issues (war, conflicts), people and their understanding of reality and, of course, time. Everything that happens has causes, which influence our decisions.

Everyone who is coming in our life is not just an occasional person. People we meet are part of us, as we are part of them. Despite everything, relationship is the most important thing . The people help to rediscover and achieve. They teach us how to let go. If this happens the main lesson we should learn is “to let somebody go”. We often hear about deadlines, but the main deadline is the cemetery. Sooner or later we all will be there and there is no need to be in a hurry. If there is an affirmation to die, why a few still continue to claim that there are reason to live? According to Shaw, “rational beings recognize their moral worth; as such they would never to be used as entities possessing worth only as means to an end”.

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