This is a delicate issue, one I consider to be related to the issue of euthanasia. Debating euthanasia, the question is: Is it better to allow great suffering to continue, or to end it by ending a life? Debating this issue, the question is: Is it better (or, less evil) to cause great suffering, or end life (and suffering)? The two questions are joined, and much of the controversy of one applies to the other. I have no firm answer to either, myself, but counterarguments to what has been said here need to be aired in order that anyone who cares to read may make more informed opinions. The best answer I can express is: "There is no meaningful answer".
Think about it: saying "rape is worse than murder" is the same as saying "rape is a fate worse than death", which is the same as saying "you would have been better off dead".
Rape can cause a lot of pain
. Once this point is concede
d, the question is exactly the same as that of euthanasia: is it worth living through such great pain? Much of what is written here, "One thing I know would have made it infinitely harder is if the people around me had said, or even secretly thought
to themselves, that what happened to me was as bad as, or worse than (death)", "Life is full of possibilities: death is just death", applies to euthanasia just about as easily as it applies to this issue. It is, to a degree, the difference between minimising (potential
good) and maximising (potential) boon
She also writes:
Sexual assault can only "ruin" a woman if she's valued principally as a brood mare.
I beg to differ. Sexual assault can only "ruin" a woman, from an external point of view,
if she's valued principally as a brood mare
- this much may be true. But there is more to ruin than a pretty label
pasted on a person from outside by the shallow
er-thinking members of society
. Many times, sexual assault can cause
quite severe depression
. Depression is, without a doubt, ruinous
- from the internal
point of view. In fact, to state that the only harm which can result
from a rape is the external type, is to trivialise
the internal harm; though, I am sure this was not her intent
One of the most telling sentences in consumagenerica's writeup is:
And it is far, far, far better to be alive and a bit scarred than dead.
That is good to hear. In your case, then, the value of life with pain was (and is) greater than the value of ending the pain. I am glad your experience did not scar you to the point of choosing death. But keep in mind that what applies for you need not apply universally
. Of course, most would agree that where possible, the person who is being considered for euthanasia should be consult
ed, asked whether he or she would prefer
to be euthanised or not. But even that approach has loophole
s: there are many ways in which a person may be unable to respond
, or unable to respond in a way which is the result of demonstrably sound mind
I have been arguing hard against the title of this node. However, as I said, I am not going to place myself on either side of the fence. I think the idea that there is a clear division to be made in the first place may be flawed. Compare the killing of an incapacitated 100-year-old who has lost the capability to move, think, or experience any sensation, to a troop of rapists who sexually assault a prisoner 23 out of 24 hours for the rest of his life. Rape "worse" than murder? Compare a torture, multilation, and eventual murder after a week, to a single-instance attempted (but thwarted) sexual assault. Murder "worse" than rape?
One more thing: The negation of "Rape is not as bad as murder" is not "Rape is as bad as murder". The negation of "Rape is not as bad as murder" is "Rape can be as bad as murder". In other words, a person who argues against "Rape is not as bad as murder" is not necessarily arguing for "Rape is not as bad as murder". And vice-versa.