Abortion is not an option when in doubt

>> Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hello all!

Some of you may recall a post of mine from a while back (relying heavily on an article by E. Christian Brugger) titled “Public Discourse: The Ethics of Fetal Pain”. The most basic premise of my comments and Mr. Brugger’s article could be summed up something like this. “When in doubt don’t kill or torture the fetus, otherwise known as a baby, because there is no justification for abortion in the face of doubt”.

I found another article today, titled “A Chance Worth Fighting For” by Timothy Dalrymple, in which the author cites Erwin Schrödinger’s “Copenhagen" interpretation of quantum mechanics to draw the following conclusion that would affirm mine and Mr. Brugger’s contention:

I present this thought experiment because my most fundamental question concerning abortion is: whether or when abortion is the destruction of a human life? Yet I cannot find a definitive answer to the question of when human life begins in the womb, and I suspect many on both sides, if honest, would confess the same. What do we mean by human and life? What if human life does not begin at any discrete moment, or when is a life sufficiently human to claim special moral value?

I sympathize with the distraught young woman who stands before the trials of motherhood, and it is difficult to contend that she should face them for a six-week-old fertilized embryo. Yet I cannot see the dismembered bodies of late-aborted fetuses, or the videos of fetal activity in the midst of abortion procedures, without feeling as though we have gone horribly wrong. If no leaf changes without the silent knowledge of the tree (Kahlil Gibran), we are all responsible for the least of these.

Yet the "indeterminacy" of the beginning of life works in favor of pro-lifers. The mere chance that abortion is the destruction of human life, or of nascent human life of high moral worth, is enough to stand against it. Why should we accept in the mysterious confines of the human body what we would not allow in front of our eyes?

I won’t lie. I find abortion appalling and believe God does as well. However, I don’t view all people who believe abortion as acceptable and/or that it should be legal in the same light. Some people are honestly convinced that a “fetus” is not human, a view particularly common among products of a thoroughly humanist educational system. I believe this view to be horribly misguided scientifically and logically, and I would do my utmost to persuade them of their error. However, this is a human mistake common in our deceived times, and I would be slow to condemn these people too quickly or too harshly.

There is another category though. This one is comprised of people who are not convinced of the soundness of abortion scientifically, morally or logically, but because society allows it and it is convenient they are willing to support abortion. This group is tragically and reprehensibly confused, beguiled and assuaged by a deadly combination of self indulgence and willful ignorance.

Is there a defense for such individuals?

Ironically, I don’t see why an abortion advocate from the first category mentioned in this post would disagree with my premise.

Advocates of abortion tout “women’s freedom” and “reproductive rights” as grounds for legalized abortion, but this view is justifiable only if you believe an unborn child is simply a “fetus”. If you are not convinced of this, what justification is there for abortion? Are “reproductive rights” in anyway comparable to life itself when the two are weighed against each other?

I believe they most certainly are not which is why, in part, I so strongly believe that the presence of even the slightest doubt concerning whether or not a fetus is a human should take the “option” of abortion completely off the table for a person with a sound moral compass.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!


Flaws are no cause for rejection

>> Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hello all,

I came across an excellent “common sense” article today by Thomas Kidd titled “The Tea Party, Fundamentalism, and the Founding”. In it, he responses to several attacks on the Tea Party leveled by Jill Lepore in her new book “The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle over American History”. It’s an interesting read (and not long) so I recommend that you take a few minutes for reading it.

For the purposes of this post I would like to highlight the final paragraph of Mr. Kidd’s article:

But Lepore wants us to stare the hard facts in the face: the Founders denied the basic rights of citizenship to the majority of Americans, especially slaves. She implies that because the Founders were flawed people, bound by their place and time, we can learn almost nothing from them. "Thank goodness, the eighteenth century is over," Lepore says in her acknowledgements. Surely we all agree that the leaders of our Revolution were products of a culture that was morally faulty, just as our own society is. But entirely dismissing the wisdom of that age throws out the very principles -- especially the notion that "all men are created equal" -- that helped us move past the limitations of the Founding. Thinking that you can learn something from the past does not make you a fundamentalist.”

I think his point is very important. To reject outright the collective and individual wisdom of a world changing generation on the basis that they were immensely flawed human beings is to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. People are always products of their times and need to be evaluated in that light.

Our Founding Fathers were extraordinary people in many respects. They are largely (if not primarily) responsible for changing the world for the better by adopting a new philosophy, theology and worldview of government and social structure. However, they were deeply flawed. They did not live out their own ideas and principles as well as they could have or should have. Nonetheless, they laid a foundation and planted seeds that would effectively move future generations in a direction that would more fully realize the noble principles pioneered by our Founding Fathers and Mothers.

For that, we should honor them, and thank them, but we also must realistically evaluate them in light of their imperfections and times. I for one have no problem saying on one hand “Our Founding Fathers planted the tree of freedom and pioneered an unrivaled political and social philosophy and I honor them for that” and on the other hand proclaiming “Our Founding Fathers unjustly enslaved and stripped of their full due dignity thousands upon thousands of their fellow man”. That is no contradiction; that is realistically acknowledging mans capacity to work great good while also engaging in great evil and differentiating between the two.

History is full of such man and women. I marvel at how much good can be accomplished by flawed human beings and take great comfort in knowing that God can use an imperfect vessel to accomplish His good will.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!


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