Adam Smith & Ayan Rand’s Free Market Economy: A Critical Comparison

Adam Smith & Ayan Rand’s Free Market Economy: A Critical Comparison

Introduction                                                     

The center focus of the free market economy is that the demand and supply chain does not have the government exercising overt control. There is a strong agreement between scholars of this ideology that production should be a thing for private entities.

Definition of Free-market Economy

In definition, a free-market economy is a system where individuals have the freedom to produce goods and services as demanded by the market system with little or no government control. In a free-market structure, those who are willing to take articulated risks to respond to the market demand, offering creative inventions are highly rewarded.

Scholars’ Contribution to Free-market Economy

In contributing to this theory, different scholars have elaborated research works to broaden the scope of its study. Ayn Rand and Adam Smith are very influential among this group and are seen as one of the best crusaders of free-market thinking. Rand is a supporter of Adam Smith’s “Laissez-faire” which means to allow government remove their hands from the market; and rather play the role of a well-meaning government which is to uphold justice, law, and order.

In comparing and contrasting, both Adam Smith and Ayn Rand supported the free-market economy. For Rand, her conception of the inalienable natural rights informed her belief that private property must be protected. While for Smith, private property protections could be overridden given peculiar instances.

From the perspective of Ayn Rand, the role of government is to protect the rights of persons, therefore such – and only such should they do inadequately providing security for the property rights of individuals. She believes that the phrase every “common good” is a “meaningless concept”, she said that man is in a relationship voluntarily.

She was one who held a strong opinion of rationalism being is the only thing capitalism demands of an individual because according to her it is only rational people that get rewarded by capitalism.

The main features of Ayn Rand’s position

  1. Intrinsic; she was a believer in the notion that ‘good’ is inherent in individuals and their actions. Therefore they should be left to exhibit that intrinsic nature
  2. Subjectivism: Ayn Rand viewed all values to originate from man’s consciousness and not some involuntary relationships and actions.
  3. Objectivism: to Rand, good is an evaluation of reality by consciousness. The individual, in taking decision on what is felt to be good, basis opinion on what the conscious reality is.

Rand maintained that no other economic system apart from capitalism {free market} has profited mankind. According to her, the free market is the only morally valid socio-political system that allows people the freedom to act maximizing self-interest.

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Adam Smith Position on Free Market Economy

 Popular for his work, “Wealth of Nations”, Adam Smith opined that the central pillars of the market system are:

  1. Exchange of  processes,
  2. Privatization goods and services
  3. Economic value systems
  4. Self-interest
  5. The invisible hand
  6. Economic role of the producers, consumers, investors, and employees
  7. the sovereignty of the consumer
  8. Profit and rewards
  9. Institutionalizing business
  10. The operating principles of efficiency, productivity, and growth.

For Smith, the father of Economics, the invisible hand speaks of the division of labor and the pursuance of self-interest as the main human motivation. He opined that for the maximization of profit and goods and services, effective and efficient production is gotten through individuals working on the basis of.

Adam Smith emphasized, the sovereignty of the consumer in the free market because they have their purchasing power.

Similarities Between the Free-market Economy Postulations of Adam Smith and Ayn Rand

There is quite an obvious similarity between Adam Smith and Ayn Rand’s ideas on the subject. Some of their similarities are highly to be;

  • Their focus on the running of an economy by individuals and not the government.
  • The two parties so much believe in the ability of individuals to work out things by themselves without any form of interference. To them government meddling in production is a hitch in the economic growth of, not only an individual, but the society as large.

Difference Between Adam Smith and Ayan Rand’s viewpoint

A closer assessment of the postulations of these two scholars will reveal some dissimilarities, even though, to some great extent, they look quite the same on the surface

The difference between the two ideas is that Adam Smith based his argument on individuals building themselves economically and the government continuing to play a diminishing role until there is out rightly no role played by the government.

On the other hand, Ayn Rand dwelt more on negating the efforts of the government towards her citizens economically. She was vehemently stated that the government had nothing to offer economic wise, therefore it should take their hands off the economic life of the state.

In conclusion, the free market encourages that individuals champion the production of goods and services.


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Local Government Revenue Generation: A Critical Assessment

Local Government Revenue Generation: A Critical Assessment

Revenue generation of local government in Nigeria is principally derived from the statutory allocation “a direct share of the local government from the federation account and tax, a compulsory levy imposed by government on individuals and cooperate bodies for the various legitimate functions of the state.

Sources of Revenue

  1. The size of the Local Government Area: when the local government is large in terms of territorial and population size, diverse and rich in revenue resources, it should be allocated rich and adequate sources of revenue which enables it to cope with developmental problems of a large area.
  2. The scope of functions allocated to the local government: where the local government is allocated diverse functions, some of which are large in scope like education, the revenue sources to be provided should correspondingly be large in scope.
  3. The philosophy/policy of the national government on the role of local government towards community development

The local government has two major revenue sources :

  1. External sources of revenue
  2. Internal sources of revenue

External Sources

This refers to statutory revenue allocation, loans, and grants from the federal and state government. The external sources are classified as follows:

  1. Statutory Allocation:  it is the constitutional entitlement of the local government from the federation account.
  2. Loans and other forms of borrowing: the local government can take a loan or borrow from the state (federal government in as much as the procedure for this process is not circumvented.
  3. Grants: it is a financial aid that is given by the federal or state government and other financial institutions to enable it to discharge its donations from outsiders. There are four classes of Grant
  4. Block Grant: it is a financial assistance given by the central or state government to the local government to facilitate the execution of their projects and programs effectively.
  5. Specific Grant: this is budgeted money given to the local government by the state/central government for a specific project or service.
  6. Equalization Grant: this grant is paid as an aid to a less economically privileged local government whose revenue will not be enough to finance and maintain a particular essential service.
  7. Matching Grand: this is a percentage of money given to cover part of the total amount of a project.

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Internal Sources

Internal sources are usually referred to as internally generated revenue within the area of jurisdiction of the local government. They include:

  1. Rate: a rate is a tax levied on an individual person. Rate is an important source of internally generated revenue of the local government. Special rate is generally imposed for priority projects which the local government has inadequate funds to provide.
  2. Fees and charges: these are levies charged by the local government on certain services which it provides.
  3. Earnings and profits: it is the money realized from local government commercial ventures and industries establishment.

Problems of Revenue Generation in the Local Government System

  1. Misappropriation of funds and corruption: these mongo the local government revenue collectors deprive their local governments of a substantial amount of revenue which could have accrued them.
  2. Poverty: the local government revenue generation capacity will be abysmally poor due to people’s taxable capability.
  3. Lack of entrepreneurial and professional skills and training: the management of local government lacks foresight, innovative, and investment skills.

Strategies for enhancing Local Government Revenue Generation Capacity

  1. Good infrastructure: it is a sure criterion for increasing local government revenue generation capacity.
  2. Local government staff motivation: motivation of staff is the willingness to expend energy in order to achieve a goal.
  3. Establishment of profit yielding projects: local government should see it as a matter of necessity to establish projects like housing, agriculture, modern markets.

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The Role of Traditional Institutions in Community Development in Igboland

The Role of Traditional Institutions in Community Development in Igboland

Traditional Institutions

Traditional institutions are as ubiquitous as it is pervasive among political scientists particularly those who have written not only on the internal dynamics of pre-colonial African societies but also on the political transformations of these societies as they attempt to move away from traditionality to modernity.

1. The Traditional Ruler or the Eze

The traditional ruler or ‘Eze’ is an institution that has existed in Ibo societies even in antiquity and one does not need to bend backward over to prove this. The Eze is the titular head of his autonomous community. The ‘Eze’ is also the chief security officer of his domain. The Eze is the chief mobilizer of his people towards the goal of community development. The Eze is expected to be above board by maintaining the highest order of equity and fairness.

2. The Role of the Age Grades and Social Clubs in Community Development

The age-grade system is a very important institution in the social, economic, and public fabric of the Ibo society. The function of the age-grades in Iboland was in the area of maintenance of law and order. The age grades acted as the local police.

3. The Umuada and Community Development; The Case of Umuada Umuduruojiaku

This is a very important organ of government in Iboland which has also contributed immensely to development in the various Ibo communities. The Umuada is collectively of the daughters of the community who are married to either men in the same community or other community if inter kindred marriage is allowed by local customs. The Umuada streamline certain cultural practices and mete out negative sanctions where the established ethos or more of the communities are breached.

4. The Nze N’Ozo titleholders and Community Development

The Nze n’Ozos constitutes a very important organ of Ibo community administration. The holders of this title are the embodiment of truthfulness as they are not expected to break any compromise on things associated with the sanctity of the land. They are therefore vented able instruments in the hands of an Eze as they lend the most trustworthy support in the traditional ruler’s efforts to govern the community.

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5. The Onye Isi Ala

The Onye isi ala was the intermediary between the community and its ancestors. In spite of the incidence of Christianity, these institutions persist till date. It was (and still is) the function of the Onye Isi Ala to consult these deities and appease them when and if certain taboos offensive to the gods have been visited on the land. This way, the Onye Isi Ala contributes to community development by assisting the Eze in the maintenance of sanity in the society.

6. The Community Women Meeting and August Mass Return

The community Women August Meeting is a veritable instrument for both community governance and development. It must be stated that these women meetings which are organized in vertical formation have their crescendo in the general meeting of the entire women of the Autonomous Community. The community women meeting has metamorphosed into an institution of monumental importance in the annals of Ibo societies.

7. The Indirect or Representative Democracy of the Village Square; Ogbako Umunna

Democracy was said to have started among the ancient Greek city-states. Indeed representative democracy is said to have started in the Polis of Athens and in antiquity. The Ibos may never have used the term democracy or representative democracy but it is undeniable that what they practiced at the village square was representative democracy. In the olden days, it was customary for the first sons of each family to meet at the village square, debate, and take important decisions. Indeed the meeting of the Dioparas performed the legislative functions of the community. Issues were thoroughly debated after which decisions are taken by a simple majority of visiting.

Conclusion

In seeking to conclude this foray into the examination of Igbo traditional institutions that have played a role in the community development of the people in Iboland, one can only say that development is an ongoing process that never ends. Development should not be linear and must not be tied to a particular mindset which could have been the result of a particular historical experience that is not related to the exigencies of the contemporary times.

However, Igbo traditional institutions have played a very remarkable role in the development of communities in Igboland. Apparently, every institution has its own function and role as well as limits in every Igbo traditional activity. It is pertinent to highlight that traditional institutions serve as checks and balances among themselves to avoid excessive use of authority.


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Judicial process & political significance in post-independence African states

Judicial process & political significance in post-independence African states

The Role of judiciary in African states

The judiciary is the system of law administration; it includes all those responsible for interpreting and executing the laws of a country. It is also known as the court system.

Functions of the Judiciary

  1. Interpretation and giving meaning to the law as enacted by the legislature.
  2. Adjudication of disputes between individuals and co.
  3. The judiciary also takes an active part in the maintenance of law and order in society.
  4. Administration of oath of office.
  5. The judiciary also checks arbitrary use of government powers either by the legislature or the executive.

Types and hierarchy of courts in Nigeria

  1. The supreme court- the highest court.
  2. The appeal court (federal appeal court in Nigeria).
  3. The high court judge
  4. The magistrate court
  5. The customary court
  6. The sharia court for  (Muslims)

Independence of The Judiciary

Independence of the judiciary in most African countries is more theoretical exercise than practical. There is no gainsaying that independence of the judiciary in Nigeria and other praetorian and neo-colonial states is a farce. In Nigeria today, the President (from the Executive arm of government) gives order and even appoints any Judge of his choice, and use him thereafter to silent every of his court cases.

In order to ensure the independence of the judiciary, certain conditions must be strictly adhered to and they are selection and appointment of judges, the security of tenure of judges, and political neutrality of judges.

Selection and Appointment

Judges should be essentially be selected or appointed based on political considerations. They should be selected on neutral ground and based on merit.

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Conditions That Enhance Learning

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Security of Tenure

This means that judges hold their appointment as long as they maintain good behavior and not according to whims and caprices of the government in power. In U.S.A, judges of the supreme courts can be removed only by impeachment of congress in the case of serious offences.

Political Neutrality of Judges

Judges must be impartial once they are selected or elected. They should be immune from political pressure and interference and from the government that approve their appointment.

Types of law

  1. Administrative Law: There are the rules, regulations, orders, instructions, and guidelines of the executive to the administrative servant of the government.
  2. Statutes Law: these are the legal laws enacted by the legislature
  3. Constitutional Law: these are the legal rules defining and de-limiting the structures and powers of the institution of government.
  4. Common-Law: When these countries became independent, it continued to form the basis of their law.
  5. Civil law: It must be distinguished from the branch of law called criminal law because civil law refers to non-criminal matters in a state.

The Rule of Law

The term “rule of law ” is an ideology that the law of the state is supreme and above any other considerations within the state. Furthermore, the phrase “rule of law” means that the law is supreme, superior, and generally acceptable as the mode of determining and dispensing justice in the state.

Limitation of the Rule of Law

  1. Diplomatic Immunity: diplomats are above the law of the country in which they are serving
  2. The Existence Of Administrative Tribunal: judicial power is also a limitation to the rule of law.
  3. Trade Union And Parliamentary Immunity: There are also seen as limitations to the rule of law.
  4. Judicial Immunity: Judges are immuned against prosecution when they are in the dispensation of justice or while presiding over a case.
  5. Psychiatric Immunity: Mentally disabled patients are free from prosecution o any offense in any court of law.

Method Of Protecting Individual “Rights By Rule Of Law”.

  1. the rule of law gives all the citizens equal protection before the law.
  2. The rule of law ensures that no one is punished or made to suffer a breach of law unless established by a court of law.
  3. The rule of law ensures equality of every citizen before the law and that judges should dispense justice without fear or favor
  4. The rule of law ensures democratic principles, separation of powers, and checks and balances.

The Notion of Separation  of Powers

The notion of separation of powers was first put forward by an eighteenth-century French political thinkers known as Baron de Montesquieu in his famous book titled “Espirit des Lois” or “spirit of the laws” published in “1748”.

The phrase “separation of power” actually means that whatever or the amount of political power that may exist in any given state, should not be monopolized or concentrated in one person or group of persons. In the application of the principles of separation of powers in the parliamentary or cabinet system, there is little or no separation of power.

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Human Rights in Africa

Human rights are called the inalienable rights of people. These are rights which the people must enjoy as human beings and citizens of any state. These rights are sometimes regarded as divine rights. The people are entitled to enjoy these rights once they born.

The covenant on civil and political rights recognized the right of every human person to life, liberty, and security of person, to freedom from cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatments and from torture, etc.

Two major Schools of Thoughts

  1. The liberal school of thought: Is predicted on the private accumulation of wealth at the detriment of the majority in a given society. The liberal capitalism as a stage of development that will not be phased out.
  2. The Marxist school of thought: It expresses the interest of the working class to be protected and the intensification of class struggle to dismantle the capitalist system is inevitable
References
  1. Benemy, F.W. (1968), Constitutional government of West Africa.
  2. Finger, S.M. (1980), your man at the U.N, New York.
  3. Briely, J.L. (1963), The law of nations (6th ed.)

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Meaning and Types of Euthanasia: Right to Die or denial of Right to Life

Meaning and Types of Euthanasia: Right to Die or denial of Right to Life

The Ethics of Euthanasia

Preamble

We live in a society that is characterized by change and in order to survive in this change, the individuals have continued to adapt to this change. Making our mold to be a sophisticated one. This sophistication has to do with certain acts which mere before now considered wrong and evil are now seen as nothing and even part and parcel of life. This is consequent to the conscience diversity in our society. One of these acts confronting our generation is euthanasia, which simply put means, a good death.

The term euthanasia as a debatable issue was first debated, to be legalized in the united kingdom by a body known as, The voluntary Euthanasia Society, founded in 1935 which bill never held a once of water in the House of Lords in the UK. This debate cuts across complex and dynamic aspects, such as, philosophical, legal, ethical, religious, and political, aspects of the civilized society.

Discussions on this issue are complicated further by misunderstanding and confusion, of the terminology. Hence, I am propelled to consider the clarification of the meaning of euthanasia, types, religious and legal implications. It is therefore hoped that religious and legal implications. It is therefore hoped that this write-up will meet the approval of many people of goodwill, whose philosophical or ideological difference notwithstanding our changed generation, have nevertheless lively awareness of the rights of the human person.

Meaning of Euthanasia

Euthanasia is broadly defined as a deliberate action to ends someone’s life usually to relieve suffering. Medical practitioners sometimes carry out Euthanasia at the request by patients who are in critical pain due to terminal illness.

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However, due to the complexity in the process of performing Euthanasia, there are many factors to be considered. These factors range from the patient’s mental health, personal beliefs, related laws, and a lot more.

Types of Euthanasia

There are several types of Euthanasia namely:

  1. Assisted Suicide
  2. Active and Passive Euthanasia
  3. Voluntary and Non-voluntary Euthanasia

Assisted Suicide

Assisted Suicide is the deliberate act of assisting someone to commit suicide. It is otherwise called physician-assisted suicide (PAS). This entails that the doctor or physician is knowingly helping someone to end his/her life. Assisted suicide is usually performed when the patient suffers terribly from unending pains upon a terminally ill diagnosis. Their doctor will determine the most effective, painless approach.

In most cases, Assisted suicide is done by providing drugs to a patient to take and end his life. A good example of those drugs is a lethal dose of opioids.

But, Euthanasia gives the doctor the right to end the person’s life by painless means. For example, an injection of a lethal drug may be used.

Active vs. Passive Euthanasia

Active Euthanasia is the direct act of ending someone’s life by the doctor. Active Euthanasia could be performed by giving someone a lethal dose of sedative to take. The person takes the drugs and dies gradually in less pain.

Passive euthanasia is sometimes described as withholding or limiting life-sustaining treatments so that a person passes more quickly. A doctor may also prescribe increasingly high doses of pain-killing medication. Over time, the doses may become toxic.

However, passive Euthanasia is the indirect action of the doctor to help someone to end his life by not doing what he is supposed to do (such as not giving the person drugs as at when due) or by doing what he is supposed not to do (such as withholding or limiting life-sustaining treatments) with the intention of helping the person to end his/her life.

This makes the distinction between passive euthanasia and palliative care blurry. Palliative care focuses on keeping people as comfortable as possible at the end of their life.

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For example, a palliative care doctor might allow someone approaching death to stop taking a medication that causes unpleasant side effects. In other cases, they might allow someone to take a much higher dose of pain medication to treat severe pain. This is often a standard part of good palliative care.

Voluntary vs. Non-voluntary

If someone makes a conscious decision to seek help with ending their life, it’s considered voluntary euthanasia. The person must give their full consent and demonstrate that they fully understand what will happen.

Nonvoluntary euthanasia involves someone else making the decision to end someone’s life. A close family member usually makes the decision. This is generally done when someone is completely unconscious or permanently incapacitated. It usually involves passive euthanasia, such as withdrawing life support from someone who’s showing no signs of brain activity.

The Value of Human Life

In the study of Philosophy, one of the courses to encounter is “Religion and Human Values“. In which every student is driven through the understanding of the meaning of values, the different things people value both the positive and negative ones, and also their hierarchy. Human life of all these values ranks first in that hierarchy because it is the basis of all goods, the necessary source, and condition precedence of every human, activity.

Most people regard life as something sacred and hold that no one may dispose of it at will. Some, like believes even see in life something greater, namely; a gift of God’s love which they are called upon to preserve and make fruitful. Hence, the injunction, increase, be fruitful, and fill the earth. And this consideration has given rise to the following consequences:

  1. No one can make an attempt on the life of an innocent person without opposing God’s love for that person, without violating a fundamental right, and therefore without committing, a crime of the utmost gravity.
  2. Intentionally causing one’s own death, or suicide is therefore, equally as wrong as murder; such an action on the part of a person is to be considered as a rejection of God’s sovereignty and loving plan. Which explains why

Under the typical African setting, one who kills another is either killed or banished forever. And those who commit suicide are equally punished through denial of profane burial rites or by disposing the corps into the evil forest. Because by committing suicide, the deceased is seen to have breached that duty saddled on him by the other of creation, i.e. the duty of justice and charity owed to a neighbor and the community at large.

However for proper clarification, one must distinguish suicide from that sacrifice of one’s life whereby for a higher course, such as God’s glory, the salvation, of soul’s or the service of one’s brethren, a person offers his or her own life or put it in danger. (Jm. 15:14).

The Ethics of Euthanasia

As a way of paraphrasing the theme of our discussion, one may ask “what is euthanasia all about?” Etymologically, euthanasia comes from the Greek words, ‘EU’ meaning ‘good’ and ‘Thanatos’ meaning death. Bringing both together, it succinctly means ‘the good death’. Before now, euthanasia was seen as an easy death without severe suffering.

Today, one no longer thinks of this original meaning of the word, but rather of some intervention of medicine whereby the suffering of sickness or of the final agony is reduced. Ultimately, the word euthanasia is used, in a more particular sense, to mean “mercy killing”, for the purpose, or putting an end to extreme suffering or saving abnormal babies, the mentally ill or the incurable sick from the prolongation, perhaps for many years of a miserable life, which could impose too heavy a burden on their families.

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Legal Implication

As a result of the sacrosanct nature of life and how important it is, there has been over the time avalanche of pronouncements, both international and local which are geared towards safeguarding and preservation of life. Such pronouncements include the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. African Character on Human and People’s Rights Universal Declaration on Human Rights 1948 etc.

The constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, in section 33(1) provides, that every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence, of a count in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.

However, there are exceptions allowed by the same law on which that life can be derogated. For example, in self-defense, the police in giving effect to a lawful arrest, suppressing or quelling a riot, insurrection or mutiny or giving effect to a death sentence. See. 3. 33(2) (a-c) of the 1999 constitution (supra).

Euthanasia at machinep.com
Euthanasia

It is still germane to note that, an exception has been developed, in some jurisdictions which makes the termination of the life of an incurable ill patient crime-free, provided:

  1. It was done by a guardian or immediate family member
  2. After due consultation with an ethics committee of a hospital

There are several important cases and court decisions, together with several important acts or bills legalized in the countries mentioned which became the cornerstones in the development of euthanasia in the world. The Netherlands is the only country where euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are practiced openly.

The Royal Dutch Medical Association in 1934, stated that “Euthanasia should remain a crime”, but that physicians performing euthanasia and assisted suicide, would not be prosecuted if they met the following requirements; (1) The request by the patient must be voluntary, durable and persistent. (2) The patient was fully informed about the medical condition and the prognosis, and there was no other alternative treatment avoidable. (3) the patient had unbearable suffering, and (4) The physician had Consulted with another physician.

One challenge to the guideline for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands was the apparent ‘slippery slope’ phenomenon. This could be illustrated by the following cases.Dr. Chabot, a psychiatrist, who helped a physically fit patient with a history of depression for 20 years to commit suicide by prescribing a lethal drug in 1991. The Dutch supreme court found him guilty as changed only because he had never allowed another doctor to examine the patient.

In 1995, the District Court in Alkmaar discharged and acquitted Dr. Prins who gave a lethal injection to a baby girl born with a partly formed brain and spina bifida. Because he consulted her parents and other physicians. The right of the terminally ill act was passed by the Northern Territory parliament on 25 May 1995, which became law on 1st July 1996. Thus, making Australia the first country to pass laws allowing a physician to end the life of the terminally ill patient.

Hence, Mr. Bob Dent, a 66-year-old Darwin resident suffering from Carcinoma of the prostate, became the first person in the world to die under euthanasia legislation through the help of Dr. Philip Nietschker in 22nd September 1996. Followed by Mrs. Jenet Mills, a 52-year-old lady who suffered mycosis fungoides. But after 6 months of the first death under the act, that right was overturned by the Australian Federal Senate.

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The Notion of Justice in Philosophy

The Notion of Justice in Philosophy Introduction Justice in philosophy is the concept of the proper proportion between a person s deserts what is merited and the good and bad

Death with Dignity

Advocates of Euthanasia often begin by talking about ta right to die, that euthanasia should be a matter of voluntary choice, the right to choose a dignified death instead of a degrading and disgusting twilight life. This is evidenced by the creation of several organizations in many parts of the world which espouse euthanasia as fundamental rights.

But dignity in old age and in pain is a matter of the spirit even more than of the body. As dying can be an opportunity – a man’s last opportunity –for showing courage, nobility, and serenity. A priest once wrote a book about dying: he called it “The Last Achievement”. One has a right to die one’s own death; but, for a Christian, his own death is that willed by God at the time and in the manner He wills. He went further to say that life itself is grace. The time of one’s life is a time of God’s love and grace. It is not for us to put limits on his grace or love.

Again, dignity in old age and pain helps to determine whether one is loved or not. No one who knows he is loved ever loses dignity. It is true that long illness and helplessness impose a great strain on the love of relatives. But euthanasia existed as a possibility, the strain on the love would become unbearable, both for the relatives and for the patients. The patient, relatives, and the doctor could never have complete trust in one another.

The patient might feel he was being selfish if he did not seek death in order to relieve relatives of the hopeless burden. He might feel unwanted and suspect that relatives were silently hoping he would ask for death. Both relatives and patients would be unsure of their doctor’s attitude or the purpose of his prescriptions. Those with experience of nursing the terminally ill and old know what the fear is not with so much as being abandoned and left alone.

The fear being unloved and unwanted even more than they fear pain. Everything is bearable, even death loses terror, in the presence of those who love us. Those with experience agree that a substantial component of all pain is psychological.

A Happy Death

Extract from moral questions of the statement of Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, Dec 31, 1970. “it is trite that, the crown of a Christian life is a Christian, death. We have a traditional spirituality that looks forward to a “happy death”, by which we mean that we die at peace with God, fortified by the sacraments of the church. It is the part of a Christian to help others in their last hours and surround them with care. It is not the part of a Christian to terminate the life of another.

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”The real answer to the euthanasian mentality is for Christians, to witness, both in personal conviction and in words, but above all by example, to the faith which gives us the joyful hope that “death is swallowed up in victory (1 Cor. 15:55).  When Christians speak of a happy death, he is speaking of something much more than a death without pain. For him, death has a positive meaning as the door opening on a new life.

For Catholics, a might is a moral claim and we do not have a claim on death rather death has a claim on us. God is the only supreme who appoints the time of our birth and that of our death.

Conclusion

Having x-rayed the poignant challenges posed on our society by this quest for euthanasia, the paramount question remains whether it constitutes an infringement of the right of life when done with or without the consent of the subject. Having considered the constitutional guarantee of the right to life and the circumstances on which it could be restricted. It appears that euthanasia carried out with or without the consent of the subject is not within the permissible circumstances.

The answer to the problems currently facing us lies first and foremost in changing the attitude of the society and not in changing our laws. Euthanasia is society’s lazy way and unloming way of getting rid of the problem of pain and old age. I firmly believe that a positive approach to death by society in general, together with compassionate, competent medical care and considerate, patient-oriented nursing holds the answer to our present problem.

Finally, considering the unique position of relevance that the church occupies in the affairs of the society, it is not difficult, for the church to become the nucleus for coalescing the principle that would spearhead the realization of the true meaning of life and so come to preserve it at all cost.

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Definition, Purpose, and the Study of Religion

Definition, Purpose, and the Study of Religion

The Study of Religion

Religious studies, also known as the study of religion, is an academic field devoted to research into religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically based, and cross-cultural perspectives.

While theology attempts to understand the nature of transcendent or supernatural forces (such as deities), religious studies try to study religious behavior and belief from outside any particular religious viewpoint. Religious studies draw upon multiple disciplines and their methodologies including anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and history of religion.

Religious studies originated in the 19th century. At that time, the scholarly and historical analysis of the Bible had flourished, and Hindu and Buddhist texts were first being translated into European languages. Early influential scholars included Friedrich Max Müller in England and Cornelius P. Tiele in the Netherlands. Today religious studies are practiced by scholars worldwide. In its early years, it was known as “comparative religion” or the science of religion and, in the USA, there are those who today also know the field as the History of religion (associated with methodological traditions traced to the University of Chicago in general and in particular Mircea Eliade, from the late 1950s through to the late 1980s).

The religious studies scholar Walter Capps described the purpose of the discipline as to provide “training and practice… in directing and conducting inquiry regarding the subject of religion”. At the same time, Capps stated that its other purpose was to use “prescribed modes and techniques of inquiry to make the subject of religion intelligible.” Religious studies scholar Robert A. Segal characterized the discipline as “a subject matter” that is “open to many approaches”, and thus it “does not require either a distinctive method or a distinctive explanation to be worthy of disciplinary status.”

Different scholars operating in the field have different interests and intentions; some for instance seek to defend religion, while others seek to explain it away, and others wish to use religion as an example with which to prove a theory of their own. Some scholars of religious studies are interested in primarily studying the religion to which they belong.

In the study of religion, scholars of religion have argued that a study of the subject is useful for individuals. This is because it will provide them with the knowledge that is pertinent in inter-personal and professional contexts within an increasingly globalized world. It has also been argued that studying religion is useful in appreciating and understanding sectarian tensions and religious violence.

Definition of religion

Throughout the history of religious studies, there have been many attempts to define the term “religion” just like philosophy. Many of these have been monothetic, seeking to determine a key, essential element which all religions share, which can be used to define “religion” as a category, and which must be necessary in order for something to be classified as a “religion”.

Etymologically, The term “religion” could be traced to three ancient Greek words: Religare, Ligare, and Religere which means, to bind, to unite, and relationship. Religion is seen and understood in many ways by many different religious secs.

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There are two forms of monothetic definition; the first is substantive, seeking to identify a specific core as being at the heart of religion, such as a belief in a God or gods, or an emphasis on power. The second is functional, seeking to define “religion” in terms of what it does for humans, for instance defining it by the argument that it exists to assuage the fear of death, unite a community, or reinforce the control of one group over another. Other forms of definition are polythetic, producing a list of characteristics that are common to religion. In this definition there is no one characteristic that needs to be common in every form of religion.

Causing further complications is the fact that there are various secular world views, such as nationalism and Marxism, which bear many of the same characteristics that are commonly associated with religion, but which rarely consider themselves to be religious.

Conversely, other scholars of religious studies have argued that the discipline should reject the term “religion” altogether and cease trying to define it. In this perspective, “religion” is argued to be a Western concept that has been forced upon other cultures in an act of intellectual imperialism. According to scholar of religion Russell T. McCutcheon, “many of the peoples that we study by means of this category have no equivalent term or concept at all”. There is, for instance, no word for “religion” in languages like Sanskrit.

Purposes of Religious Education

The study of Religious Education makes a distinctive contribution to the school curriculum by developing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of religion, religious beliefs, practices, language and traditions, and their influence on individuals, communities, societies, and cultures. It enables pupils to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their own spiritual development, the development of values and attitudes, and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life.

Religious Education is an essential component of a broad and balanced education.

Religious Education is concerned with the deep meaning that individuals and groups make of their experiences and how this helps them give purpose to their lives. It provides opportunities to explore, make, and respond to the meanings of those experiences in relation to the beliefs and experiences of others as well as to one’s own experiences.

Along with the other subjects, Religious Education aims:
  • To provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and to achieve.
  • To promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and to prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of the present and the future. The Sandwell Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education has four purposes, which are parallel to the four main purposes of the National Curriculum.
  • To establish an entitlement. The Agreed Syllabus secures for all pupils, irrespective of social background, culture, race, religion, gender, differences in ability and disabilities, and entitlement to learning in Religious Education. This contributes to their developing knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes, which are necessary for their personal fulfillment and development as active and responsible citizens.
  • To establish standards. The Agreed Syllabus makes expectations for learning and attainment explicit to pupils, parents, teachers, governors, employers, and the public, and establishes standards for the performance of all pupils in Religious Education. These standards may be used to set targets for improvement and measure progress towards those targets.
  • To promote continuity and coherence. The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education contributes to a coherent curriculum that promotes continuity. It facilitates the transition of pupils between schools and phases of education. And, it can provide foundations for further study and lifelong learning.
  • To promote public understanding. The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education will increase public understanding of, and confidence in, the work of schools in RE. Through the SACRE, the religious communities of Sandwell have been involved in its development. This is part of the mission of Sandwell SACRE.

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