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Non-violence can be derived from any ethical position that views others as equal to yourself in all ways.
Actually, I don't think I agree with this. If everyone is equal and there are a limited amount of resources, why isn't everyone allowed to compete (or fight if necessary) for those resources? To the victor go the spoils? On the contrary, I think it is only when we have some sense of the dignity of the human person or a sense of self-sacrifice for another "equal" that we could hope for non-violence. Not all ethical positions contain a sense of this dignity. Certainly not all contain a sense of self-sacrifice. Ayn Rand's objectivism is all about self-interest. When the interests of the totally self-interested collide with one another, violence is possible and probable. What ethical systems teach self-sacrificial concern (or might I even proffer the word love) for others?
Evidence: Cats don't ask other cats for evidence of their dignity or debate the nature of it in public discussion forums.
Human dignity isn't results based. It doesn't depend on whether someone recovers or not. It also isn't dependent on how someone is treated. When someone is mistreated, we understand that it's mistreatment *because* of their inherent dignity. Nobody can take away that dignity - they can only respect or ignore it.
How we treat the suffering and dying has importance and implications for the rest of us too, not just those suffering. It affects how *we* view and treat everyone else and how we view the gift of life and the human person in general. Ditto for the treatment of the unborn.
Suffering can be redemptive. Even if you don't believe in any religious significance, it's clear that suffering can radically change a person's outlook on their life and the purpose of life and the relationships in their life. Those things are important. To them and us.
It's interesting that someone who's supposedly so concerned about the sufferings of a person can wish a slow and painful death on someone else. Nobody who believes in and fights for the dignity of the human person *wishes* for your dad to suffer, Scott. Don't let your sorrow and grief turn into hatred and malice.
So Adams must have mentioned tea in more than one body of work, which isn't too surprising for an Englishman.
BTW, editors, it's Douglas Adams' birthday, not Douglas Adam's birthday. Although, according to infinite improbability, there is probably a Douglas Adam whose birthday it is today as well. Oh dear...
In fact, I suggest we all write to Mark Zuckerberg right now and complain...