Patterico's Pontifications

3/13/2006

Chef Quits “South Park” Because They Mock Scientology

Filed under: Scum — Patterico @ 9:08 pm



I didn’t know that South Park’s Chef is played by a Scientologist. It seems that Issac Hayes has quit the show because, he says, he is tired of the show’s religious bigotry (h/t Captain Ed):

“There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins,” the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said.

And that place is where you make fun of Scientology:

Last November, “South Park” targeted the Church of Scientology and its celebrity followers, including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, in a top-rated episode called “Trapped in the Closet.” In the episode, Stan, one of the show’s four mischievous fourth graders, is hailed as a reluctant savior by Scientology leaders, while a cartoon Cruise locks himself in a closet and won’t come out.

Stone told The AP he and co-creator Trey Parker “never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin.”

Hayes claims that his hatred for the show’s religious intolerance is generalized, and not specific to Scientology:

“Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored,” he continued. “As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.”

What Hayes fails to mention is that he is full of it. For example: if he truly meant this, he probably wouldn’t have taken money for the episode in which Chef boxes Jesus and knocks him out with a single blow.

Anyway, I have faith that Matt Stone and Trey Parker will handle Chef’s departure with their customary aplomb. Look to see Chef die a particularly bloody, horrible, and painful death.

45 Responses to “Chef Quits “South Park” Because They Mock Scientology”

  1. “South Park” co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply in an interview with The Associated Press Monday, saying, “This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology… He has no problem — and he’s cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians.”

    So, yeah, basically.

    Angry Clam (137b42)

  2. Look to see Chef die a particularly bloody, horrible, and painful death.

    It would probably be funnier if they had it as a running gag that Chef has come completely under the influence of the Scientologists. They can still have him appear on the show, but he would no longer speak, deferring instead to his Scientologist handlers who would be ever present. It would be a poke in the eye to Issac Hayes too to have the character that is totally identifiable with him (I saw Hayes play a show a few years ago and practically everyone under 30 only knew him only for “Chocolate Salty Balls”) just stand there mute.

    JVW (d667c9)

  3. Isaac Hayes Quits South Park Over Religion

    Isaac Hayes has quit “South Park,” claiming that the show has become intolerant of religion.
    “There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of o…

    Outside The Beltway | OTB (30d6b6)

  4. Isaac Hayes Quits South Park Over Religion

    Isaac Hayes has quit “South Park,” claiming that the show has become intolerant of religion.
    “There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of …

    Gone Hollywood (30d6b6)

  5. Geez,
    I wonder if organized religion is worth all of this crap. My first reaction to this Scientology stuff is to laugh. The guy [L.Ron Hubbard] was a pulp science fiction writer who has snowed the gullible Hollywood Intelligentsia [There’s an oxymoron for ya’]
    I’ve seen more hurt and pain come from religion than I ‘ve ever seen comfort and succor.
    Murder, Pedophilia, Lynching, Genocide and Mass Suicide are a few of the earthly joys brought to the world by ‘men of god.’
    I maintain an earlier posts position. Religious and sexual Preferences should be kept to oneself and practiced in the company of like minded people. Also, that Freedom of Speech does not imply that satirists have any taste. So, you may expect that your religion or sexual preference may become the source of ridicule someday. Get over it. Move on.

    paul (3370f7)

  6. Chef Leaves South Park

    Isaac Hayes, the voice of Chef, has quit South Park over an episode from last season making fun of Tom Cruise and Scientology:

    “There is …

    The Political Pit Bull (ebbe67)

  7. the idea that anyone is hurt when scientology is mocked is pretty ridiculous to begin with.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  8. paul, Murder, Pedophilia, Lynching, Genocide and Mass Suicide are a few of the earthly joys brought to the world by ‘men of god.’

    Unfortunately, these things come from people. As an evangelical Christian, I would argue that we are all sinners, capable of the full range of human behavior, from the best to the worst. As far as Christian beliefs go, failure to live a “Christlike life” really says very little about Christ and very much about our frailty as moral human agents and our unwillingness or inability to follow the beliefs we proclaim as well as the bad choices we make.

    I’m truly sorry your experience is such that you’ve …seen more hurt and pain come from religion than … comfort and succor. But there is a Mother Theresa side of this coin as well. I would also suggest that on balance more positive than negative has come from the last 2,000 years of sinners trying to emulate Christ.

    South Park is, well, South Park. They make no pretense of taking much of anything seriously. They mock everyone and everything. They are often very funny, just as often very insulting, and virtually always say something worth saying. They spare no one their acerbic wit, particularly Christians. And yet they are often also profound. Honestly, I often laugh all the way through most episodes even when enduring an occasional sting.

    I would argue that the Scientology show was tame compared to what they recently did to Mel Gibson and his Passion of the Christ. Personally, I thought both were excellent satire. The Gibson episode in particular dealt very convincingly with the historical sensitivity of the Jewish people to the Passion play and their horrendous and wrong treatment at the hands of nominal Christians throughout the centuries. It also very clearly taught the lesson that each of us is responsible for our actions. Cartman as a Hitler wannabe was sobering.

    The purpose of good satire, after all, is to make us uncomfortable and cause us to ask questions. I would certainly agree with your main point that we Christians in particular often take ourselves far too seriously. I would add “lighten up” to “get over it” and “move on”.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  9. Harry Arthur,
    I was taking a broader view of Religion than just Christianity. The wars fought over Muslim vs Christians, Jew vs Muslim ad nauseum throughout history is the scope of my comment/philosophy.
    Society must endure hundreds of years of abuse in the name of a religion [not in the name of G-d]
    before we enjoy the beauty of a Mother Teresa, Buddha or Christ.
    I am left to wonder if we were to eschew organized religion would G-d still grant us visitation by a Christ or a Buddha?
    Marxs’ quote about religion being the opiate of the masses should clue us in a little to use such a powerful belief sparingly and with careful application across social and political lines.

    paul (3370f7)

  10. The more nutty the belief system, the more vigorously it must be defended. Belief systems depend on faith, and faith can be rather fragile. Questions can and mockery does undermine faith, and if the faithful can’t answer or ignore upsetting initiatives, they withdraw into the warm embrace of other true believers. Isolation from the infidels is a defense mechanism for the spiritually challenged.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  11. Hey, paul, how about extending the ban on expressing religious preferences to your own anti-religious viewpoint?

    eddie haskell (51058c)

  12. This is probably good for South Park anyway, Chef tended to annoy more than most other characters and typically just wasn’t funny. This makes more sense now, given Hayes’ apparent lack of humor.

    Oh well. Parker and Stone were exactly right, when they commented that Hayes didn’t seem to mind when they were making fun of Christians.

    Joel B. (a256da)

  13. Evangelicals ended slavery, paul. Did you have that on your scorecard?

    In recent times, though, the most accomplished mass murderers weren’t religious but secular killers – Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler. The Islamists may one day be slotted with these folks but in recent times if you were a victim of genocide religion probably wasn’t the primary driver.

    Sweetie (f6fb72)

  14. Eddie,
    Hey, paul, how about extending the ban on expressing religious preferences to your own anti-religious viewpoint?
    You’ve missed the nuance. I’m speaking of organized religion. Not atheism. The problems stem from the entry of religion into politics and vice versa.

    Sweetie,
    Evangelicals ended slavery, paul. Did you have that on your scorecard?
    Don’t think the point is served if we try to go ‘tit for tat.’ But, how many years did slavery endure before we enjoyed the beauty of the evangelical opposition of slavery? And how many sermons were preached in other denominations supporting slavery?
    Now Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler were not religiously inspired murderers. But in a broader historical context which would include The Crusades, colonization of North America and almost
    the entire history of the Middle East [to name just a few periods in history] millions have been murdered and oppressed in the name of religion.
    What I am advocating is not the elimination of all organized religion. Rather a paradigm change which would have people holding those special relations with their G-d as a personal matter. Not withdrawing from society, but holding what can be a beautiful spirituality to themselves.
    Sharing it in a respectful manner with those who seek something like it.
    Mother Teresa never hit people over the head with a cross or the gospel, rather she used them to help shade the needy from the harsh light of suffering.

    paul (3370f7)

  15. Paul: there was a time in my life when I thought that the entry of religion into politics was a bad thing. But on deeper reflection, it strikes me as being an unattainable goal – not to mention a goal which requires people to abandon themselves in order to participate in politics.

    I am not saying that atheists have abandoned themselves. I am saying that for a religious person to attempt to completely divorce their religious beliefs from the rest of their lives is for them to abandon the basic elements of themselves. How can something which affects you so profoundly be locked away in a box and hidden from view? And why should we expect that it be?

    I have serious problems when people attempt to justify state policy with religious grounds; and I’m very nervous about the danger that the power of the state may be used to coerce people into adopting or pretending to adopt certain religious viewpoints, or to discriminate in favor of or against certain religious viewpoints. But I also think that to insist that anyone involved in politics disclaim any religious motivation and/or seperate their religious ideas from their political ones is quixotic.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  16. Gee, paul, it wasn’t very hard to get you to reveal your double standard – and that’s exactly what it is, even though you try to label it “nuance.”

    eddie haskell (51058c)

  17. Eddie – in my experience, and this includes my experience of myself when I was an atheist, the fact that atheism is a religious point of view is not obvious to many atheists; after all, atheism is supposed to be the absence of religion.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  18. I agree with aphrael, religious expression or absence thereof is both larger and more personal than anything we can begin to regulate. To divorce religious values from policy and government is necessary, and it is enough.

    But, Paul, were you saying that atheists should be free to express their atheism in a way that believers in religion would not? If you were, it seems like a double standard, but my impression was that both atheists and the religious would be restrained in exhibitng their beliefs.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  19. I never said that a religious person should be exempt from political life or political pursuit.
    What I am saying is, that religion is so fundimentally a part of ones personal make-up that many people have mistaken their personal rise to power as a verification or sanctification of their religion as the one true way. That’s where we almost always go astray in history.
    In order to avoid that a paradigm shift is needed. To hold ones spirituality as a private matter.
    In the venue of politcal life and service we should be identifying ourselves by our politcal stance on governance not our private preferences on Loving G-d.

    paul (3370f7)

  20. Or not to love G-d. [just read biwahs comment.]

    paul (3370f7)

  21. (Sarcasm on) Well we all know from South Park that the only TRUE religion is Mormonism:

    “Hell Director: For those of you who are a little confused, uh, you are dead, and this is hell, so, abandon all hope and uh yada yada yada. Uh, we are now going to start the orientation process, which will last about-
    Man 4: Hey, wait a minute, I shouldn’t be here. I wa a totally strict and devout Protestant! I thought we went to heaven!
    Hell Director: Yes, well I’m afraid you were wrong.
    Soldier: I was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. Uh, you picked the wrong religion as well.
    Man 5: Well, who was right? Who gets into heaven?
    Hell Director: I’m afraid it was the Mormons. Yes, the Mormons were the correct answer.

    C Student (59bfb8)

  22. Overview of Christian Urban Legends (CULs) http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_cul2.htm

    If Hell is just under the earth, as described in the Hebrew Scriptures, then deep holes drilled into the earth’s crust should have produced some evidence of its existence.

    The hell hole: The story seems to have been broadcast on three episodes of a Trinity Broadcasting Network program in the early 1990s. Trinity also published an article on their Internet mailing list. It was allegedly translated from the original Finnish newspaper Ammennusastia. The story involves a team of geologists in Siberia who were drilling a well 14.4 kilometers (9 miles) into the earth to study the makeup of the earth’s crust. They lowered microphones into the hole and were stunned to hear the screams of people suffering in horrible agony. They could only assume that they had reached Hell and were listening to the suffering of countless billions of people being tortured without any hope of relief or mercy. Project leader Dr. Azzacov allegedly said: “The deep center of the earth is hollow!… Temperatures of 1,100 degrees C (2,000 degrees F) were reported…we could hear thousands, perhaps millions, in the background, of suffering souls screaming.” The information we are gathering is so surprising, that we are sincerely afraid of what we might find down there.” Half of the scientists allegedly refused to continue drilling. A newspaper article in Finland added more details: A luminous gas shot up from the drill hole. A brilliant being with bat wings then coalesced, with the words in Russian: “I have conquered” visible against the sky. 5 The Ship of Fools website personnel traced the story back through a series of letters to editors and various Christian newsletters. The originator of the “bat out of hell” addition admitted that it was a fabrication, intended as a joke to prove how some religious folk will accept a totally outrageous story without checking it out. The Biblical Archeology Review printed a story about the Well to Hell story, intending it to be humorous. They figured that the story was so outrageous that nobody would treat it seriously. But many of their readers did. Of course, there was no deep well to Hell, and no sounds of the damned. However, you can hear an online recording that is claimed to contain the screams of the inhabitants of Hell.
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_cul4.htm

    Urban Legend (d8235b)

  23. aphrael, …atheism is a religious point of view… Excellent. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone orders their lives on a particular set of beliefs about reality and the meaning of life. And without exception everyone worships a god.

    CS, I believe you have cracked the satirical code. Apparently you’ve also chosen a screen name that understates your true academic talent.

    paul, fair enough. I did not mean to insinuate otherwise but I only felt comfortable critiquing my belief system and answering your post from my perspective alone. I felt that limitation appropriate because of my respect for the right of others to hold whatever beliefs they have come to, though in most cases I have strong disagreements with the other major religions.

    Since the primary topic was South Park and satire I didn’t want to stray too far from the topic and take the thread into some long disertation on comparative religion. It also seems to me that South Park most often mocks Christians so it was appropriate to comment from that perspective. I have no particular problem with South Park unless, of course, we start showing episodes to captive audiences in public school classrooms.

    Having said all that, I believe there is a continuum between suggesting that public people confine their religious beliefs solely to the private realm and using their public position to substantiate their beliefs. At least that’s where it appears to me that you’re going with your comments. While I would agree that one’s beliefs are private, they also inform one’s public actions (or should, e.g., honesty, integrity, etc), so it’s often difficult to make the separation. In sum, it seems to me that only balance and mutual respect are called for.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  24. Well, Harry, socialism is a pretty widespread religion, much like atheism in some aspects, but more like scientology than pantheism, and it’s certainly more acceptable in polite society. Dems, Libs, and Progressives, as well as MSM’s wordsmiths are all pretty much confirmed adherents. The academy is full of them. Socialism may be the largest church in America.

    Unique among the world’s great religions, socialism’s true believers can actually retain their membership in the church and simultaneously deny any personal participation. Similar to Bill Clinton’s great statement about smoking pot: he tried it, but didn’t inhale. And, socialism’s adherents can be in their churches, down on their knees worshiping collectivism, and be loudly denouncing competing religions all the while.

    Socialism is the opiate of the demagogues.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  25. Socialism is the opiate of the demagogues.

    What babble.

    I never notice Republican retirees bemoaning the $259/year, no-deductible Mexican health care system while they fill clinic waiting rooms.

    steve (2ae2f5)

  26. Scientology. It is considered a religion, and has charity status here; but its charity status is questioned and denied in UK and Canada.

    It entertains ideas of past lifes, but it follows its own piper, where it distinguishes between new and very mature adherents, making teachings to mature adherents, secret and strictly not available to public or new adherents.

    It is a secret religion [ at advanced level] , unlike other religions that espouse past lifes teachings.

    It keeps materials of adherents through its purported scientific practice, ‘central practice’ of scientology, where , it measures skin response to willing adherents’ responses , so that it will detect their responses to traumatic events [ this life time or past life times].

    Of concern is private and confidential communication obtained that are kept by the Church’s trained practitioner, and how they are kept and whether these are open to abuse or subtle abuse.

    One wonders whether Hayes had his ‘treasure trove’ from such sessions, subtly hanging over his head, when he decided to quit, after 10 years and 150 episodes of South Park, before scientology came to be played, and for which he then rationalised and decided to quit.

    I am not a scientologist, and do not know how the scientologists document the private personal information, on tape? On DVD? In written notes? While the court [1971] has decided this is not mental health treatment [ thus scientologists say it is for spiritual purposes] and thus they need not be licensed, the information obtained and how they are documented and kept raises concern.

    Yi-Ling (6152b9)

  27. Errr, that bit about Mormons was from a Rowan Atkinson skit, not South Park.

    Mike (67b5fb)

  28. Mike, you’re wrong; that bit appeared in a South Park episode, though for all I know they may have ripped it off from Rowan Atkinson or vice-versa.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  29. The Rowan Atkinson bit is one of my all time favorites, but the quotes I put up came directly from the South Park episode. BTW the Rowan Atkinson bit is very difficult to find, but I didn’t manage to see a copy of the video at the Museum of Television here in LA.

    C Student (59bfb8)

  30. I spoke too soon. Gotta love Amazon, seems they sell Rowan Atkinson Live (i think from 1991). Gonna have to go buy it.

    C Student (59bfb8)

  31. Paul,

    What I am advocating is not the elimination of all organized religion. Rather a paradigm change which would have people holding those special relations with their G-d as a personal matter. Not withdrawing from society, but holding what can be a beautiful spirituality to themselves.
    Sharing it in a respectful manner with those who seek something like it.

    I would agree with that. If my vote counts, I would like to be counted for your head count on this.

    In order to avoid that a paradigm shift is needed. To hold ones spirituality as a private matter.
    In the venue of politcal life and service we should be identifying ourselves by our politcal stance on governance not our private preferences on Loving G-d.

    This is a bit difficult. It requires a labyrinth of complex fine details to work this distinction out in real life. The big question is how to translate it to life. At the personal level, it is workable. At the level of the organization, I find it difficult. If you have given thought to the organizational level, tell me …. For instance, organization level, there are amicus briefs to the US Supreme Court on the organizational views. http://pewforum.org/religion-schools/pledge/docs/Bailey.pdf.

    Murder, Pedophilia, Lynching, Genocide and Mass Suicide are a few of the earthly joys brought to the world by ‘men of god.’

    I gather you are referring to the recent pedophilia of the RC priests here. I think the recent sex scandals is part of the play out of the history of celibacy in the Catholic Church. I think to a large extent, the celibacy issue can largely resolved one day and with that the prospect of pedophilia. It is also possible that even if celibacy is resolved , for married priests in RC; there could still be errant RC priests who trip over the sex issue with children.
    A Brief History of Celibacy in the
    Catholic Church http://www.futurechurch.org/fpm/history.htm from Peter’s time to today. Celibacy was not the original priestly state but it became a norm after 1139 and translated to practice some time after 1139. One wonders whether the scandals could have been avoided if celibacy is not the prevailing rule. That is an issue that the RC would have to consider and the current Pope who has just taken office is unlikely to agree to non celibacy.

    Having addressed one specific flaw in the RC, I should also add one of its specific strength.

    I find great value in the organization of the Roman Catholic Church, because they are then able to fund full time priests to be full time scientists. There are priests who are full time cosmologists in Tucson, Arizona http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/vatican_science.html and in the Vatican Observatory in Italy http://clavius.as.arizona.edu/vo/R1024/VO.html . There are full time archaelogists, and thus they are able to advise the Holy Father on developments of science.

    Catholicism unlike Buddhism, is very much more engaged with secular studies whether science economics. Buddhism is more other-worldly , where their finest are in forests or temples , meditating to pursue the path to enlightenment. That is the forte, of Catholicism. In contrast the Protestant religion lacking the RC type of funding and centralized hierarchy to be able currently to fund their reverends and pastors in full time secular studies to Ph.D levels and sustain them in such secular full time jobs in their own institutions . Individually they have funds and if aggregated, who knows it could exceed that of RC, but because there is no centralized hierarchy, there is no unanimity of use of these funds for science research and science based jobs. Thus I think , the end result is that their views on science are more limited than that of the Catholic church, because primarily of funding issue through a centralized hierarchy. There are always many sides of a coin, not just two, and there are strengths and weaknesses inherent in organization, as the divide since 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicea [ when organization came very much into play] will testify, when, amongst others, the debate between the nature of Jesus Christ was sealed at a council convened by the first Roman Emperor, Constantine and shortly after Constantine became Emperor, Christianity became legitimized where before Christians were persecuted.

    Yi-Ling (ef78b3)

  32. Yi-ling,
    I couldn’t imagine trying to get this at an organizational level. I was rather idealizing what could be changed if each individual would shift is/her paradigm on religion.
    One could hope.

    paul (f64e3d)

  33. Paul,

    I couldn’t imagine trying to get this at an organizational level. I was rather idealizing what could be changed if each individual would shift is/her paradigm on religion.
    One could hope.

    What is your code of conduct on ethical moral religious issues, on the personal issue you so hope for, given that you draw a distinction between private and organizational level, but in real life, for many, there could be an area of overlap, when we are members of a religious organization, and agree with the organization on their public pulpit stand, or disagree with parts of it; so I can see if I can subscribe to it.

    Do you mean :-

    1. when dealing with others, do not gush out on them, dogma of my religion. You should not do this because my religion says this cannot be done. Do not abort because it is sinful according to my religion. How then does one deal with others? It’s a moral decision for them to decide, but if it were me, I would follow the rule in my religion which is …. But they are not bound by it since it is not their religion, and even if it, is an issue ultimately between them and God, and I am not to judge.

    2. when dealing with my organization, if I am part of that organization, I can pen my name to any petition that my organization subscribes to eg the amicus brief by some religious groups, priests, pastors, reverends. In other words, as a member of a particular organization, I would espouse publicly the stand and views my organization adheres to, provided that, if I disagree with certain of their views, I would dissociate from those views or stand. I could then say, on the matter of xyz, I agree with my religious organization stand as follows… but on the matter of abc, I disagree with their stand as follows …. for the following reason.

    3. any other distinctions …

    4. any other nuances…..

    Yi-Ling (ef78b3)

  34. I guess my only question is….who cares??
    trey parker and matt stone are semi-unique simply because they don’t care who they offend, which is also their most common description…”they aren’t afraid to offend anyone” I think we loose track though, it’s not THEM that is doing the offending. words are spoken day in and day out by people all over the world, if you are offended by anything that is said, it is you who are the weak minded, have some confidence in what you believe, if you truley believe what say you believe, then you shouldn’t care what any other individual thinks. besides…isn’t scientology based on research or something? didn’t anyone in there research the nature of pride and egos before getting upset about what someone says?
    also I think the episode that deals wtih chef’s departure will be classic! (not like I didn’t have more than one lunch lady in school)

    RobG (d51faa)

  35. Yi-ling,
    when dealing with others, do not gush out on them, dogma of my religion. You should not do this because my religion says this cannot be done. Do not abort because it is sinful according to my religion. How then does one deal with others? It’s a moral decision for them to decide, but if it were me, I would follow the rule in my religion which is …. But they are not bound by it since it is not their religion, and even if it, is an issue ultimately between them and God, and I am not to judge.
    You pretty much nailed the paradigm I am hoping for right there.
    From there, your behavior in the secular world may be informed by your religious positions. But How your positions and actions on weighty moral issues are informed are your business. Keep the machination to yourself and just state your position. e.g. you are against abortion. Period. I am not interested why. You just are. Good. If you want to display factual evidence to your position great, but you have to assume those that do not hold your position do not have the same moral construct and that YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT. Thats where everyone gets pissed. That they can’t change someones moral construct. Best you can do is work for a majority position and make it the law of the land.

    paul (464e99)

  36. From there, your behavior in the secular world may be informed by your religious positions. But How your positions and actions on weighty moral issues are informed are your business. Keep the machination to yourself and just state your position. e.g. you are against abortion. Period. I am not interested why. You just are. Good. If you want to display factual evidence to your position great, but you have to assume those that do not hold your position do not have the same moral construct and that YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT. Thats where everyone gets pissed. That they can’t change someones moral construct. Best you can do is work for a majority position and make it the law of the land.

    Paul,

    I must confess I do not have the luxury of time to plough through the full amicus brief [ by John Rawls, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Robert Nozick, Ronald Dworkin, T. M. Scanlon, Thomas Nagel : six moral philosophers ] here http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1237 but their summary catches my eye.

    Summary:

    These cases do not invite or require the Court to make moral, ethical, or religious judgments about how people should approach or confront their death or about when it is ethically appropriate to hasten one’s own death or to ask others for help in doing so. On the contrary, they ask the Court to recognize that individuals have a constitutionally protected interest in making those grave judgments for themselves, free from the imposition of any religious or philosophical orthodoxy by court or legislature. States have a constitutionally legitimate interest in protecting individuals from irrational, ill-informed, pressured, or unstable decisions to hasten their own death. To that end, states may regulate and limit the assistance that doctors may give individuals who express a wish to die. But states may not deny people in the position of the patient-plaintiffs in these cases the opportunity to demonstrate, through whatever reasonable procedures the state might institute—even procedures that err on the side of caution—that their decision to die is indeed informed, stable, and fully free. Denying that opportunity to terminally ill patients who are in agonizing pain or otherwise doomed to an existence they regard as intolerable could only be justified on the basis of a religious or ethical conviction about the value or meaning of life itself. Our Constitution forbids government to impose such convictions on its citizens.

    Petitioners [i.e., the state authorities of Washington and New York] and the amici who support them offer two contradictory arguments. Some deny that the patient-plaintiffs have any constitutionally protected liberty interest in hastening their own deaths. But that liberty interest flows directly from this Court’s previous decisions. It flows from the right of people to make their own decisions about matters “involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy.” Planned Parenthoodv. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992).

    The Solicitor General, urging reversal in support of Petitioners, recognizes that the patient-plaintiffs do have a constitutional liberty interest at stake in these cases. See Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae Supporting Petitioners at 12, Washingtonv. Vacco [hereinafter Brief for the United States] (“The term ‘liberty’ in the Due Process Clause…is broad enough to encompass an interest on the part of terminally ill, mentally competent adults in obtaining relief from the kind of suffering experienced by the plaintiffs in this case, which includes not only severe physical pain, but also the despair and distress that comes from physical deterioration and the inability to control basic bodily functions.”); see also id. at 13 (“Cruzan…supports the conclusion that a liberty interest is at stake in this case.”).

    The Solicitor General nevertheless argues that Washington and New York properly ignored this profound interest when they required the patient-plaintiffs to live on in circumstances they found intolerable. He argues that a state may simply declare that it is unable to devise a regulatory scheme that would adequately protect pa-tients whose desire to die might be ill-informed or unstable or foolish or not fully free, and that a state may therefore fall back on a blanket prohibition. This Court has never accepted that patently dangerous rationale for denying protection altogether to a conceded fundamental constitutional interest. It would be a serious mistake to do so now. If that rationale were accepted, an interest acknowledged to be constitutionally protected would be rendered empty.

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1237

    I have a question, Paul. Based on your response above, is this your end point? In other words, do you agree with these six moral philosophers’ conclusion and their arguments in their amicus brief?

    Some other points in the analysis [ by Ronald Dworkin —February 27, 1997 ] of that brief caught my eye and I would be interested to see what you have to say of each of these interesting analysis below? If you could spare the time, that is,… Thanks.

    The theoretical version of the argument denies that any principled line can be drawn between cases in which proponents say a right of assisted suicide is appropriate and those in which they concede that it is not. The circuit courts recognized only a right for competent patients already dying in great physical pain to have pills prescribed that they could take themselves. Several justices asked on what grounds the right once granted could be so severely limited. Why should it be denied to dying patients who are so feeble or paralyzed that they cannot take pills themselves and who beg a doctor to inject a lethal drug into them? Or to patients who are not dying but face years of intolerable physical or emotional pain, or crippling paralysis or dependence? But if the right were extended that far, on what ground could it be denied to anyone who had formed a desire to die—to a sixteen-year-old suffering from a severe case of unrequited love, for example?

    The philosophers’ brief answers these questions in two steps. First, it defines a very general moral and constitutional principle—that every competent person has the right to make momentous personal decisions which invoke fundamental religious or philosophical convictions about life’s value for himself. Second, it recognizes that people may make such momentous decisions impulsively or out of emotional depression, when their act does not reflect their enduring convictions; and it therefore allows that in some circumstances a state has the constitutional power to override that right in order to protect citizens from mistaken but irrevocable acts of self-destruction. States may be allowed to prevent assisted suicide by people who—it is plausible to think—would later be grateful if they were prevented from dying.

    The practical version of the slippery slope argument is more complex. If assisted suicide were permitted in principle, every state would presumably adopt regulations to insure that a patient’s decision for suicide is informed, competent, and free. But many people fear that such regulations could not be adequately enforced, and that particularly vulnerable patients—poor patients dying in overcrowded hospitals that had scarce resources, for example—might be pressured or hustled into a decision for death they would not otherwise make. The evidence suggests, however, that such patients might be better rather than less well protected if assisted suicide were legalized with appropriate safeguards.

    For example, in a recent study in the state of Washington, which guaranteed respondents anonymity, 26 percent of doctors surveyed said they had received explicit requests for help in dying, and had provided, overall, lethal prescriptions to 24 percent of patients requesting them.[5] In other studies, 40 percent of Michigan oncologists surveyed reported that patients had initiated requests for death, 18 percent said they had participated in assisted suicide, and 4 percent in “active euthanasia”—injecting lethal drugs themselves. In San Francisco, 53 percent of the 1,995 responding physicians said they had granted an AIDS patient’s request for suicide assistance at least once.[6] These statistics approach the rates at which doctors help patients die in Holland, where assisted suicide is in effect legal.

    Yi-Ling (519cc9)

  37. Yi-ling,
    You’ve slipped off to the euthenasia thread here. I was simply opining that ones religion should be kept a private matter and that Isaac Hayes needs to understand that everyone gets a turn in the satirists gunsights and in the end result he needs to get over it.
    And while I am slowly turning into a law hobbyist [?], thanks to this blog, I do not recognise amicus briefs or the decisions of precedent cases in my formulation of my position on religion.

    paul (b73d40)

  38. Paul,

    You’ve slipped off to the euthenasia thread here.

    Admittedly that is true, but if allowed to explain the slip off: It is a carry of discussion on Infant Euthanasia, where the issue of conduct of discussion on religious matters on infant euthanasia arose. Since the issue of conduct you hoped for, is one of the peak points of the infant euthanasia, thus the issue of adult euthanasia as an example. The only difference between infant and adult euthanasia, is the consent of the infant is often or as a general rule not possible, as they have yet to acquire language skills in the Chanou and other cases cited under the discussion of Beautiful Infanticide.

    I was simply opining that ones religion should be kept a private matter and that Isaac Hayes needs to understand that everyone gets a turn in the satirists gunsights and in the end result he needs to get over it.

    This issue of conduct of parties, is revisited in yet another form. This time it moves from private discussion on forums or in person to person meeting, to the television media, where satirists gun down each religion in turn over 10 years and 150 episodes. Hayes has a right to step off the show, and what reason he gives, is his reason, which reason can be evaluated against his conduct in the show over the many years it was aired. I think unless he files a law suit, he has gotten over it, by stepping off the show, for whatever reason he has so chosen, and whether it is the same as his stated reason is another factor, that we can all independently evaluate.

    And while I am slowly turning into a law hobbyist [?], thanks to this blog, I do not recognise amicus briefs or the decisions of precedent cases in my formulation of my position on religion.

    I would respect whatever position you take on your religion, but, there is a twilight zone, where your decision, would practically or theoretically come to the public arena. At that point of transition, if it has not yet arrived, your position would take on legal cloak and constitutional cloak. If you give each person a moral right to decide for themselves on issues of infant euthanasia [ assuming they are parents in Chanou like case] would you also give them the constitutional or legal right to act on their moral right? What then is moral right absent the constitutional legal right? It cannot be exercised on pain of penalty of a charge and conviction for murder for the parents of the infant like Chanou, and the care givers like doctors and nurses etcetra.

    Yi-Ling (519cc9)

  39. News Item:
    Hollywood Rumor Mill says that Matt and Trey are speaking with rapper Ludicris about a replacement character for Chef!

    Jonniedee (2115a0)

  40. CHEF IS DEAD!!!!!!

    Person (5a6bdd)

  41. Lets not forget that Scientology was actually a $1 bet between Hubbard and Heinlein. They were discussing the fastest way to make a million dollars so Hubbard created Scientology.

    rinehart (0fb51f)

  42. This guy says no.

    Patterico (59bfb8)

  43. But all the other ‘testimony’ about making a buck, that doesn’t shed harsh light on the real ‘revelation’ of Scientology? C’mon folks, wake up or else you’re gonna end up in a weird sweatsuit with a purple sheet over your face waiting L.Ron to come back…

    paul (464e99)

  44. […] Did anyone see the latest South Park? My prediction that Chef would die a bloody, horrible, and painful death came true . . . sort of. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » The Return of Chef (421107)


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