John C. Wright's wrote a piece titled "The Watchtowers of Atlantis Tremble" in which he responds to Terry Pratchett's pro-euthanasia documentary which was recently aired on BBC.
Say one thing about Wright, say the man doesn't shy away from controversy. Here's an extract from his article:
What if Hitler had been happy?
What if he had told a few jokes and smiled a few smiles? The world would have let him kill far more than he killed, and to this day we would be using some less judgmental word than ‘genocide’ to describe the horror.
We are accustomed to viewing evil, the pure, desperate, hellish evil that kills countless innocents and corrupts whatever it touches, as something angry and vile and violent. An angry man is easy to spot.
But most evil is more subtle, more seductive, and comes along as gentle as a sheep. I had occasion to hear speak in public a writer whom I admire if not adore. The man is witty and wise, genial and gentle, and has the knack to raise a laugh. And what a charming accent! With merely a word or a lift of his eyebrow, he can raise a smile from an audience, or a robust laugh, or bring a tear to the eye. I have never met anyone more likable.
And he is a man without God, who takes a very practical view of euthanasia.
The genial writer did not bother to defend his deed. He did not think it necessary. He acted as if his evil were unremarkable or perhaps mildly admirable, and the audience merely nodded, lulled by his voice, led by their love for him and his works to give him the benefit of the doubt. Or, being prone to pity or open to pragmatic considerations, perhaps they did not think the question worthy of dispute. It would have been rude to disagree, a sour note in the choir of self-congratulation.
The genial writer did not bother to defend his deed. He merely told a joke or two instead, and the crowd laughed and applauded, and their hearts were moved toward him, and they nodded.
He did not call it suicide, of course. That would have been politically inconvenient and incorrect, which is another way of saying, it would have been honest.
He said we should use a different word. I forget what foolish Orwellian euphemism he used. The point is to make the nature of the deed less obvious, and to aid the already titanic human capacity for self-deception to reach super-titanic magnitude. Not all evils are obvious. Not all sins seem sinister. Some rest on appeals to pity, or practicality, or are defended not with a syllogism but with a witticism.
He talked a soul into Hell. And the room gave him a standing ovation.
Not all civilizations are created equal. Civilization is not made of wheels and gears and tricks of technology, or the cunning of roads and coined money and elegance in art. Civilization is spirit. The spirit of the West respects and reveres human life, and our laws are designed to respect the rights of those lives because we respect those lives. The Culture of Death has no respect for life, none for man, none for the individual. The weak baby in the womb or the suffering crone in the wheelchair they seek efficiently to expunge from life, even while seeking to remove from the public view that cross of the God who protects the weak and infirm, and gives the hopeless hope to live, both now and in eternity to come.
Civilization is Christianity. Christianity is civilization.
Examine carefully, O zealous agnostic, what you are throwing on the smoldering ashheap when you tell yourself all you are casting away is the hypocrisy and judgmentalism and intolerance of the Christian superstition. Some things are nailed to the crucifix which you must and will trample when you trample the crucifix underfoot to prove to the great Sultan of the underworld your loyalty to his creed of correctness, non-judgment, and toleration of abomination.
In addition to abstractions like democracy and scientific progress, very concrete things like legal protection of your rights and your right to life are nailed to the Cross of God, and came into the history of the West, and the history of the World, because of that Cross and they grew like seeds from the life-giving blood shed there.
So I felt, listening to the sweet applause my fellow men gave to a vile crime, adoring it: and they saluted suicide and called it a civil right, and called brave the procurer pimping for the cause of suicide.
On the day I heard the genial writer speak, and urge the earth toward euthanasia, and heard the room applaud, on that day I felt the world slide downward an inch toward the eager fires below. One more inch.