Not the human species’ greatest idea, but given world population levels, a better one than being born-again every time you go bankrupt or suffer a career setback. A couple of years ago dying B.C. resident Sue Rodriguez, suffering from ALS, went to the Canadian Supreme Court seeking a ruling in favour of assisted suicide. Instead she received a theological dissertation officially denying her permission, in the name of “the sacredness of life”, to experience a death that had a few shreds of dignity. Not to suggest that life isn’t sacred in this country, but there are some mornings when it looks like the ancient Greeks, who muttered “Best of all not to have been born”, got it right. The courts telling people like Sue Rodriguez to have a nice day qualifes as what the Greeks called “hubris”, or excessive pride in one’s understanding of things.

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