re-thinking guns and god

For the longest time, I have been vehemently against the death penalty. This piece was born of my disdain for it: 

The Blood and Sins of This Generation

The Blood and Sins of This Generation. Prints are available for sale. Click on the image for details.

Lately I’ve been caught up in some debates about gun laws.  I’m even more vehement about my right to own and carry a gun.

In the past, I have believed that:

  • I have the right to shoot and kill an intruder / attacker, in order to protect myself and my loved ones
  • Capital punishment has enough flaws in the system that it is morally indefensible
  • I believe that a woman should have the right to have an abortion, under certain stringent circumstances.
  • Late term abortions are wrong
  • It’s okay to “pull the plug” on someone who is on life support terminally and shows no signs of brain activity

If I’m okay with shooting & killing an intruder, why then should I be against aborting a fetus that is 13,458 days old under certain circumstances?

If I have the right to shoot and kill an attacker / intruder, should that society should also be allowed to kill a murderer?

What are the implications for things like euthanasia?

Late term abortions?

When is it okay for a person to impose death on another being?

I have not come to a conclusion. I’m kind of back to the drawing board on this issue. Obviously, my “conclusions” have not all been philosophically congruent, and being congruent is the goal. 

In other news…

The other day I railed on the pro-gay groups that were railing on Dan Cathy of Chick Fil A. I accused them of being hypocritical for failing to give Dan Cathy the same amount of deference that they themselves demand. 

For the longest time, I have criticized religionists for being addicted to certainty.  I’ve fancied myself to be a “principled, committed agnostic”.  Agnosticism can become an addiction to certainty, in a way, too. Perhaps I have been unduly committed to this paradigm.  I’m questioning my own agnosticism.  I think I HAVE to, if I’m to be really truly honest with myself. That’s all I have to say about that right now.

Paul Duane

Paul Duane is a photographer, writer, and talk show host based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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