The 'greatest good' is the priority
I defend KA Benfell's right to write numerous letters to the Whanganui Chronicle but I object strongly to his assertion that the Government is "trampling on the rights of New Zealanders unnecessarily" by imposing level 3 on Auckland and level 2 on the rest of the country (Letters, August 14).
I am grateful that we have government able and willing to make hard decisions that will help to keep us safe in this pandemic.
I am also grateful that compassion and practical and financial help has been shown and given.
Compare this with the land of President Trump who still appears to regard Covid-19 as fake news, or Victoria, Australia, where little leadership in controlling the pandemic was shown until far too late.
We live in a democracy and sometimes "rights" of individuals have to take second place to the needs and welfare of the wider society in which we live.
The greatest good of the greatest number has to apply in situations like now. Would those who prize their individual rights above those of the rest of the population refuse their right to have free medical treatment if they were unlucky enough to be infected by the virus? I think not.
The meaning of pro-life
In this coming election, people will have the choice of voting for either pro-life or pro-death candidates.
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The Bible and high-school science remind us that for humans to thrive on Earth, the soils, waterways, fish, forests, plants, worms, insects, birds and large animals had to be created first. Then with the support of those soils, waterways, fish, forests etc, etc, humans went about multiplying to fill the Earth, and by the middle of the last century the Earth was indeed filled, with more than 2 billion human souls.
But instead of limiting the size of families, the rich decided they could get even richer by encouraging large families, large cities, large-scale "development" and large-scale devastation to produce a very profitable population explosion. And explosions destroy lives, as the recent Beirut event demonstrated graphically.
Our still-exploding human population is eroding lifegiving soils, polluting lifegiving waterways, replacing the fish in our oceans with plastic junk, bulldozing or burning down our climate-controlling forests and poisoning our pollinating insects, all in the name of "economic development". The uncontrolled growth of concrete cities, concrete motorways and fuming cow farms is a cancer destroying the natural world that supports our human life.
The effects of global warming are now increasing at an exponential rate, even up here on the volcanic plateau. Twelve years ago Ruapehu in mid-winter was wedding-cake smooth under 4m of snow, and two years ago skiers still had 2m. But looking out of my window today, I can see a scraggly skifield on a mountainside still speckled with black rocks.
Some political candidates are promising more tourism, more dairy farms, more motorways, more economic development, while also claiming to be "pro-life" because they are going to stop babies being aborted. However their pro-death policies would kill those babies, and those policies are already killing millions elsewhere, as drought, famine and warfare become commonplace.
Being pro-life is not just denying abortions for hapless teenagers; it is a lifetime of self-denial for us voters also, as the Bible reminds us in Matthew 7:5.