I have somewhat of a soft spot for retro sci-fi films.
Recently I watched the 1973 cult-classic “Soylent Green”. A slow, depressing story about an over-populated, dying earth in 2022 where the only food available to the masses are wafers made by the Soylent Corperation. The ever-so-predictable twist was that the future’s elderly were euthanaised and turned into corn chips.
What is extremely disturbing is that movie’s premise is perhaps closer to being science fact, than science fiction.
Euthanasia is the intentional ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. As of 2015, voluntary euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Assisted suicide is also now legal in many parts of the world.
Is the legalising (and therefore normalising) of voluntary euthanasia one step closer to the legalsising (and therefore normalising) of involuntary euthanasia?
Could the over-population of planet earth be reason enough to terminate the lives of those past their use-by date?
I believe so. This type of reasoning is called the slippery slope argument, meaning that if we allow something morally/ethically wrong today, we may start a trend that results in something currently unthinkable becoming accepted tomorrow.
Those who oppose this argument say that properly drafted legislation can draw a firm barrier across the slippery slope.
Here in New Zealand abortion is only legal if the pregnancy could potentially effect the mother’s mental or physical health or if the unborn child has a serious disability. In 2013 over 14.000 unborn children were aborted in NZ, 98-99% of which were approved on ‘mental health’ grounds (according to Statistics NZ).
The slippery slope… I rest my case.
It gets worse. Not only are the unborn being involuntarily euthanaised, they have been/are being used in the research of food preservatives.
Below is an excerpt from an ABC News article:
An Oklahoma bill that would ban the sale of food containing aborted human fetuses has some people wondering: What food currently contains aborted human fetuses?
The bill, introduced Jan. 18 (2012) by State Sen. Ralph Shortey, prohibits the manufacture or sale of “food or any other product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients.”
Euthanasia normalised. Human tissue being used in food products. Are we closer to Soylent Green’s nightmarish vision of the future than we realise? Is the movie more a prophetic documentary, rather than a sci-fi classic?
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born. (The Bible, Psalm 139:13-16)