But I suppose I would a bit more if I thought that many lives depended on those things that Kevorkian did. In an indirect way, we're all better off because his ethics forced us to think about the nature of things. But directly speaking, I don't miss him.
There is a lot of that kind of attenuated concern for the elderly, and I think it is natural and appropriate for us to consider the death of the aged as less than tragic. And let us also consider the dead. I mean the billions and billions of humans who are already dead. What do we really care about them? Not much. The last time I thought about the dead billions was when the nutcase said the end of the world was near and that the dead would be raised from their graves. Dead children haunt our dreams. Dead babies wreck our lives. Dead fetuses power political movements for decades.
So there are a couple of problems, the way I look at it. One is hard edged, the other is squishy. The hard edge question is as it ever was: do human beings have the right to make life and death decisions. Since that one is hard, let it be easy. Yes. OK fine.
The squishy problem is navigating the moral gradient of society's valuation of life. IE it's definition of tragedy. Suicide is immoral to the extent that it is a tragic waste of human life. And so it is by degrees. A heroin addict, aside from their possible predations, is tragic because they are wasting their life away. It is only when we start aggregating the statistics of waste that we get involved in our civil religion and start passing statutes and propositions. We do it for the children. Don't we always?
So I am not so inclined to determine the particular merit of any ethos' stenuous arguments for or against suicide other than their basic consistency and force of conviction. But I do say that the question of the morality of suicide begs the question of who is a proper authority to choose the value of life.