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Ancient and modern

Assisted dying? Ancient religion was all for it

Death was certainly not welcome. But control was

12 July 2014

9:00 AM

12 July 2014

9:00 AM

There is something mildly unexpected about religious groups’ hostility to euthanasia. After all, in the ancient world one of the major differences between e.g. Christians and pagans was that Christians were renowned for welcoming, indeed rejoicing at, death. Pagans found this incomprehensible.

Not that pagans feared the afterlife. Although, in the absence of sacred texts, there were no received views on the matter, Greeks reckoned that if the gods were displeased with you, they would demonstrate it in this life rather than the next.

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