Monday, September 29, 2008

Price or value?

A British churchman stated the opinion that pregnancy termination cheapens human life. I think he's completely right. If a child can be cut off from the living because the natural parents (or one of them) don't want that child to be born, the idea is that people are only allowed to live if someone else has a use for them. That idea can actually be a threat to everyone. If you believe that life is sacrosanct, then you would not assume the right to terminate the life of the unborn, or anyone else either. To accept the idea that it's okay to kill the unborn is to say that a life can only continue with the approval of others. From that point on it is value judgement who lives and who does not. Think about it. If you claim the right to end a life at all, then rather than seeing life as sacred in principle, you're imposing a valuation on it. Some can live, some cannot, depending on the approval of others. And that view of life can carry over into a loss of respect for human life generally.
Some years ago it made the national news when a crowd of street gang hoods bashed up a female jogger and nearly killed her. One of the gang, under arrest, said: "So what? She weren't nothing." He saw no value in that woman, so he had no remorse for attacking her. That is the bad attitude, whoever the woman was. In fact,she was a professional with skills and eductation, but she didn't matter to him. And the point is NOT that she mattered more for being a skilled professional, but that she is human and should not be treated that way. You could safely bet your life that gangster would care if someone he cared about was attacked. Whoever he values or cares about should be protected. And that is the problem. That is a classic example. He could risk killing someone he saw as "nothin'", while caring about his own. Life only mattered in some cases, not all. That attitude is reflected in saying that a child can be snuffed out because others do not accept their right to life.
I do know that pregnancy can cause shocking distress to the mother. The woman I love most in the world suffered through pregnancy, physically from sickness and emotionally from depression. And that is even in an intact marriage when the children were loved and wanted. It must be far worse when the pregnancy is not wanted. Right. So there are reasons why a woman could wish that it would end. I respect peoples' right to their feelings. But it is still true to say, sometimes a principle has to be suffered for. I could claim that I've done that myself. And the truth is not just what suits us anyway. So there we have it. If life is not inviolable, then there will be times when it will be taken by those who do not see the wrong in doing so. Killing the unborn because it suits others to do so is saying that life can be ended for the sake of others. If you go down that road, and it becomes the general attitude of a society, then the day could come when someone decides to kill you because they do not accept your absolute right to live. Talking of gang culture, one gang had as its condition of membership: 'Take a life, make a life.' To be in the gang the member had to kill someone and get a girl pregnant. The attitude is that you can put someone else out of the world and replace them with someone of your own 'making', in a sense. A world where too much of that happened would be a nightmare of murder and carnage. That extreme example is the same in principle as saying that some children may be born and others not.
There is the case of self-defence. But killing in self-defence is a desperate last resort, not a calculated decision to attack and slay someone else. Also in that situation the person who needs to be defended against is the cause of the problem for attacking in the first place. It is not the same as ending the life of someone helpless.
There is the case of euthenasia. I could understand why a person may wish to die if they are terminally ill and in pain and distress. If that is their decision I can't argue. The point there is, they are not imposing on anyone else. What they want to do applies to them only.
Who presumes the right to take away the life of anyone else? And if you claim that right, might someone claim it against you?
A human being has an identity right from conception. From that point on their gender is decided, as is their physical appearance and the inborn parts of their character. It is too self-serving to say they are not human because they have not been born. Life has started, and a lack of concern for its right to continue can carry over into a lack of respect for life of anyone at any time or place.
I respect the rights of others to their views. But that is how it seems, inescapeably, to me.


Randi Jo :) said...

AWESOME arguments. well written, well thought out. I don't know how anybody can argue against this.

I have been thinking a lot about how we get our value from other people - and this is the most extreme & first example of that. we DO look for our value in others... and we have taken on the role of creator. we are each others idols. we worship others. my post today was on this exact thing. what a danger it is when we take on the role of our creator who is the one and only who has the right to say when a life begins & ends.

hope you're having a great day! :) great post!

Marshall Art said...

One of the first posts of my blog was on how our culture has allowed abortion without first settling the question of the personhood of the conceived. Apparently it is up to the mother. But anyone who gets pregnant when not prepared for it is hardly prepared to make such a decision regarding the value of the conceived. People engage in the act of procreation and then act surprised should a pregnancy occur.

The problem is in their self-serving desire for sexual self-gratification. It has led to this abhorent attitude that suggests that maybe that growing life within its mother isn't yet a person endowed by its Creator with the inalienable right to life. "If we pretend that we can't know when the conceived becomes a person, then we can destroy at our whim."

But how can it possibly NOT be a human just like us, but at the first stages of development? It exists because the parents engaged in the act designed by nature or nature's God for procreation. It won't become any other creature, if allowed to gestate and live. It is a person because that's all it can possibly be. It is an out and out lie to say otherwise and there exists no evidence whatsoever to say otherwise. There is only subjective barrel scraping put forth to allow for this pathetic and dispicable abdication of responsibility.

If I were king, I would have the parents of each aborted child sterilized. Since they weren't mature enough to deal with their urges in an honorable manner, they would forfeit their ability to have a child later.

We're all horny. We all must act like mature adults and control ourselves or do the honorable thing when a pregnancy occurs.

Excellent post.

Amber said...

Wow! Great post!

Farrah said...

Good post, Andrew! This is an issue that I have had some heated debates over. The problem isn't just caused by selfish, careless people with unbridled sexual appetites. It is also the money-making abortion industry. Outlaw abortion, and you take away lots of jobs. They try to make it out to be about women's rights, but it is mainly about their love of money.

It's silly, because there is such a small percentage of unwanted pregnancies caused by rape and very few in which the mother's health is compromised. The vast number of abortions are a form of birth control. And believe me, if these mass murder centers had their way, our taxes would be helping pay for it. It irritates them to no end that women can't get more government assistance for it. Actually, I don't know how it is where you are. Here it is hard for a woman to get financial help for having an abortion.

Tanya said...

Thank you so much for coming to my blog. I totally understand about schools for our children. I am impressed with your post. See, I am a director of the Pregnancy Center here in our small town. I am blessed that most of my clients do not choose to abort as much as wanting to get pregnant to have someone to love them. I see that parents in this town are so absorb in there own life that they forget the children that they need to raise. It is sad, and you are right when you say that the sanctity of human life is gone. People do not respect each other like they used to. It seems like it is so easy to rid oneself of things, I wonder if this is not the thinking of most women about babies? I am not sure. But it will take people like you and me and people who read our blogs and agree to stand against the thinking in this world. Thanks again for your post and comment on my blog. Sincerely Tanya Ross

Tanya said...

Andrew, I know that you have visited my homeschool blog, but I have a personnal blog, also, Thank you again for visiting my blog. Tanya

*Star*Spangled*Eyes* said...

Hi, first, thank you for visiting my little blog :)I thought I would return the favor and check out what yours was about. I went to college as a history major and currently tutor English, essay writing and social studies online, so that was an interesting thing to read in your bio. As far as this post goes, have you read Reagan's little book, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation? I bought that on Ebay awhile back and reread it just a couple weeks ago. He brings into the discussion not just the points you made, but also the point of quality of life over sanctity of life. This crosses over into things like euthansia. Your post speaks about the validation of that little life in the womb, but he also speaks about not terminating that life because that child may have a medical issue. Also, it ties into not terminating an older person's life, or a person like Terry Shiavo's life, because she doesn't have the quality of life we believe she should have. That is God's decision to make there. Even in old age, even though I understand that the difference you are making is that the person is making that choice, it's not being made for them. However, if we continue down a slipperly slope like that, it won't be that person choosing anymore. It will be others deciding on their quality of life and whether they are valuable enough to keep around. I agree with your post though, I just thought I'd add that too.