Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sanctity of Life

As ya'll know, I'm a bit obsessed with Doctor Who. It's influenced me heavily, both as a person and as a writer.

First, let me take a moment to do something very brave, and explain that I am very, very much a pacifist.  I cannot justify any war, any where, or for any cause to myself. I don't usually talk about it; it's my own conviction. So it was unusual for me to start a thread on the subject on my favorite fantasy writing forum.

The Doctor  is not exactly free from innocent blood. He's responsible for the deaths of millions. He kills when he has to. He's committed genocide multiple times. Almost every episode deals with death is some form. And that is exactly what makes the show so powerful; because he grieves over every single life. Bad guy, good guy, friend or enemy, it doesn't matter. Whether it's thousands who perish as a result of him saving the world, or just a single being he grieves over it. He may not see much, but it never goes unnoticed or unmentioned. Everything comes at a price, and the makers of DW make that price abundantly clear to us.

One night Netflix vanished on me, so I settled down to watch another show you've heard me mention, Stargate. I realized my worldview had changed. Whenever they save the world, there's a price. Shoot and run, leaving a trail of dead enemy soldiers behind you. It never occurred to me to question that before; it's not a deep philosophical show about death. But how many books have you read and how many movies have you watched where random people randomly die for random reasons and no one mentions it again?

No one cares. Even when there are regrets, it tends to be an offhand "For what it's worth, I'm sorry I had to kill him." No one grieves. Not even in real life.

Every day across the sea people die. American troops, yes. Innocents caught in the crossfire. The enemy. We pray for our troops, but is that all you can do? What happened to the sanctity of human life? That any option is better then mass slaughter? Every single human life is sacred. Everyone, guilty or not guilty, saved or unsaved, is a miracle. Every death is a tragedy so great it should never be forgotten.

Starting the thread on this subject led to a three page discussion with views from all over the spectrum, and the end result was a five part series I wrote for the Holy Worlds Blog on the subject of the Sanctity of Human Life. I addressed every topic I'd ever pondered about from torture to suicide and back again. I want my own readers to be able to read these as well, so here are the links to the original articles for your browsing pleasure.

Part One: Torture
Part Two: Suicide
Part Three: Sacrifice
Part Four: Killing
Part Five: Conclusion

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed seeing some of the questions you raised in this article.
    And as for the Doctor...I have a drabble brewing where he has to sit down in a room with every person he's ever killed/had die on his watch and look into their eyes and see exactly what they think of him.
    Personally, I think something like that was in his room in God Complex. Because all the deaths he's caused just keep weighing him down.