Not a case of ‘like it or not’

LETTER

In his comment on my recent column “Lives or Souls?”, John Fricker says: “Normal, sane people are well able to disagree with one another, remain friends and not feel the need to resort to physical violence to get their way.”

Who could possibly disagree with that? Certainly not I, but Mr Fricker has difficulty in following his own advice over such a politically neutral topic as “happiness” without resorting to gratuitous, vacuous abuse. Here’s what he had to say about my column of April 1:

“My greatest happiness comes from rubbishing your and Bob Hughes’ left-wing progressive views. You’re both barmy and have no idea of what reality is about. All we ever hear from the pair of you is quotations of what others think laced with questionable references and an extraordinary one-eyed view of everything. Strikes me as strange that the two of you have any sense of happiness at all — couple of doom and gloom merchants I’d say.”

While normal, sane people can disagree about issues such as “happiness” and still remain friends, Mr Fricker cannot keep his temper over what I said about such an emotionally innocuous issue.

But unlike vegetarianism and speed limits, some issues can legitimately raise blood pressure. An example is when religious people try to restrict the freedom of non-believers in the case of the End of Life Choice bill.

In New Zealand the Catholic Church is doing its utmost to prevent my right to die when I want, so it is a personal matter for me and tens of thousands of others. Mr Orr is, of course, entitled to his view, but when the Catholic Church tries to restrict my personal freedom, it’s not a case of “like it or not”.

And as for accusing me of feeling the need to resort to physical violence to get my way, words fail. Doesn’t he know what a metaphor is? The axe was intended for Mr Orr’s opinions, not the man.

My advice to Mr Fricker is the same as I offered to Mr Orr: think before hitting the keyboard.

Martin Hanson, Nelson

In his comment on my recent column “Lives or Souls?”, John Fricker says: “Normal, sane people are well able to disagree with one another, remain friends and not feel the need to resort to physical violence to get their way.”

Who could possibly disagree with that? Certainly not I, but Mr Fricker has difficulty in following his own advice over such a politically neutral topic as “happiness” without resorting to gratuitous, vacuous abuse. Here’s what he had to say about my column of April 1:

“My greatest happiness comes from rubbishing your and Bob Hughes’ left-wing progressive views. You’re both barmy and have no idea of what reality is about. All we ever hear from the pair of you is quotations of what others think laced with questionable references and an extraordinary one-eyed view of everything. Strikes me as strange that the two of you have any sense of happiness at all — couple of doom and gloom merchants I’d say.”

While normal, sane people can disagree about issues such as “happiness” and still remain friends, Mr Fricker cannot keep his temper over what I said about such an emotionally innocuous issue.

But unlike vegetarianism and speed limits, some issues can legitimately raise blood pressure. An example is when religious people try to restrict the freedom of non-believers in the case of the End of Life Choice bill.

In New Zealand the Catholic Church is doing its utmost to prevent my right to die when I want, so it is a personal matter for me and tens of thousands of others. Mr Orr is, of course, entitled to his view, but when the Catholic Church tries to restrict my personal freedom, it’s not a case of “like it or not”.

And as for accusing me of feeling the need to resort to physical violence to get my way, words fail. Doesn’t he know what a metaphor is? The axe was intended for Mr Orr’s opinions, not the man.

My advice to Mr Fricker is the same as I offered to Mr Orr: think before hitting the keyboard.

Martin Hanson, Nelson

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