Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pitiful Thinking

I first saw this article linked, with another, on the Justice for All? blog. It is a good demonstration of both the frightening evil that honest pro-abortion types will admit to, as well as to the pitiful thought processes of a great number of the supposedly educated in our society. The first part of the article deals with the origin of our moral code (according to the author) . While it describes a particular world-view, it does nothing to actually support that view; rather, the author just makes one assertion after another, hoping that the reader will question nothing.

I am responding here to the latter part of the article, in which the author attempts, through use of an analogy, to justify abortion:

Legal abortions, as well as armed madmen, are both, perhaps the unintended, but entirely consistent consequences of our rights-based democratic moral gestalt. Let me use a variation of an analogy used by Judith Jarvis Thompson to make the point. If it is a hot day and I leave the front door of my house open to cool it off, and I then go upstairs to take a nap, if an intruder has moved in during my nap I have the right to evict him even though I was a fool for leaving open my door. After all it is my house and no one has the right to move into my house without my explicit permission to serve as a contract. In other words, if I have not entered into some variety of a contract with this interloper he has no claim against my right to my property and my liberty. Out he goes. And, if he will not leave of his own volition, I can call the police to evict him. And even if he dies during that eviction his unfortunate death is not my moral responsibility.

Now, imagine again, I leave my door open and this time someone moves in during my nap, and he has attached himself to my piano with an odd variety of explosive collar that cannot be removed for nine months. If I, or anyone else, remove the collar prior to nine months in order to evict him the collar will explode, blow his head off, and make a terrible mess of my living room in the process. So, do I have the right to evict him? To do so will certainly mean he will be killed, and my home will be damaged, even if only slightly. This is analogous to an abortion. The fetus must die and the mother may be harmed. If only I had not listened to my natural inclination to be cooled off when I was so hot none of this would have happened. If only I had not been such a fool. But I did, and I was, and now he is attached to my piano. Can I evict him now? Well the answer is certainly yes, based on my natural rights: yes I can evict him even though he will die. Too bad, so sad, oh what a mess. His death and my suffering are both unintended consequences of my enforcement of my inalienable rights to liberty and property. My intent was never to kill him, but merely to have my home back to myself.

Those who would argue my stupidity would in some fashion require I leave him attached to my piano for nine months, would be stuck with the position of saying stupid people lose their rights to liberty and property. Remember, I did not ask him to come in; so I have no contractual obligation to him once he has. But no one, who embraces a rights-based moral gestalt, would accept that. If my car is stolen because I leave it running while I amble into the convenience store, that remains grand theft auto despite the fact that I am simultaneously a grand fool.



A grand fool indeed. This is a very logical sounding arguement, if you don't look at it too carefully. Few would argue with the rights of a property owner to protect their property by evicting a trespasser, even if it cost the trespasser his/her life. But a few simple comparisons show this to be a false analogy.

First, is the very action that gets the intruder into the home. Yes, an intruder entering uninvited does not belong. However, a baby is neither an intruder nor uninvited. In fact, the baby does not get into the womb except by the EXPLICIT ACT of the man and woman. The woman who finds herself pregnant did not simply wake up from a nap with a baby in her womb. She participated in the act of creating that baby in her womb! Therefore, she is responsbile for the innocent human life that she has created.

Which brings us to the second point of comparison, the moral character of the action that brought the intruder into the home. Clearly, a person entering uninvited is in the moral wrong. They have actively violated someone else's space. However, this is not true of the child in the woman. The child's presence is not a violation, but just the opposite. The woman has created the child in the womb; therefore, the child is doing exactly what the woman's act intended. This is why the act of abortion requires so much force, because the woman's womb will fight to stay closed and hold her baby within. This is why our language calls a uterus that is medically incapable of holding a baby "incompetent".

The final comparison is more subtly wrong, but dangerous nonetheless. That is the comparison of our bodies to personal property. This is where the rubber really hits the road. You will either embrace a view of the human, as being made "in the image and likeness of God", or you will view the human as mere matter. If we are made in the image and likeness of God, then we can't even begin to make comparisons of our bodies to a mere house. If, as in the author's analogy, we are mere matter, we had better be very aware of the possibility that our matter can be viewed as property. And once something can be seen as property, then it can be bought and sold, like any other property. Human history is full of examples of what happens next.

If go and read the whole article, you will find the most ironic ending to that article. After spending a number of paragraphs attempting to assert that we can invent morality for ourselves, and then further attempting to justify abortion, the author then complains that he does not want his tax dollars going to fund the woman's "debauchery". Apparently it's ok to kill the baby, just pay for it yourself.

2 Comments:

Blogger SUZANNE said...

Another point: we don't shoot innocent babies for intruding on our property. Could you imagine the outcry if some property-rights type shot a toddler for invading his space?

Rights cannot be divorced from morality.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Aurora Dies Incommodum said...

Hi Suzanne,

You're absolutely right! A further show of the ridiculous lengths some people are willing to go to in order to justify these murders.

We all have the right to life. God gives it to us, and the state does not have the authority to take it away.

1:13 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home