Friday, May 27, 2005

Don't Read This It's Depressing

I assumed my questioned would pass unnoticed, or people would just answer it as is. I most definitely did not intend to start an abortion debate. I did not want one on my blog. However, one has arisen, and now my comment is too long for a comment, and has become another blog.
Wouldn't it be convenient if things that were wrong in theory could be right in practise? Unfortunately, if a thing is wrong in theory, it is also wrong in practise, otherwise it would not be wrong at all. I think we can agree that a person becomes a person when they are conceived. Thus, any argument applied to a person fully developed applies to a person not yet developed (otherwise, it would be fine to murder a baby after it had been born, and before it fully developed...). I further think that we can agree that the only time when it is considered right (and I use this term carefully) to kill a person is in self defence. Thus, unless the unborn person is directly threatening another person's life, it cannot be considered right to kill that person. The only flaw in this argument, as I see it, is if you disagreed about an unborn person being a person - which, as far as I can tell, is a logical impossibility.

Furthermore, it would be untrue to say that you can't know if something is right or wrong if you haven't DONE it however, since we know that murder is wrong without murdering, and theft is wrong without stealing etc etc etc.

Although it is, of course, important to come up with Christian arguments for things (since something can't be wrong just because Christians think it's wrong) I am primarily concerned with arguments that are secular. This is because we currently inhabit a secular world, and only arguments that can be logical according to accepted fact will have any wash. Abortion is a wrong that needs to be corrected, it is an inconsistency in our laws. I want an argument to help me change them. Do you see what I mean? (and here I agree with Shawn) I see this as being different from doctrine, although I value doctrine.

Finally, although I have full sympathy for the pain of those victims of rape and incest mentioned, neither of those situations alter the realities of right and wrong. It would be so hard to carry a baby who reminds you of the pain you suffered, but this is a person you are talking about, and one wrong is not helped by another. It will not make the situation better long term by adding a wrong to the one already committed. Emotion clouds judgment, but it does not change the rights and wrongs. My friend had an abortion not so long ago because she was raped, and I never attempted to change her mind. As long as I live I will regret that, and so does she. I knew it was wrong, and so did she, and yet neither of us had the courage of our convictions. Of course it makes it harder to act rightly, but the harder road is often the right one and how we wish we had taken it.

Abortion is such an emotive issue, and not one I want to get into on this blog. As I see it, the laws of the land are unlikely to change. Abortion is seen as a solution to a problem, and we live, after all, in a problem solving society. In the long term, I am sure, we will find out that abortion is not a solution at all, but rather a problem in itself. It is, in some ways, a product of our sick society, where convenience is our first concern, and perfection worshipped.

The worst thing is that I really have no intention of doing anything about this. What can I do? The 60's and 70's have passed, people do not protest any more. We used to think we had a voice, now we know we don't. If I am truly honest, what I really want is to be right. This sickens me. I wish I were different, but I am not. So self righteous I am, railing against the apathetic masses, but I myself am one of them. God, make me different.


Karen said...

My heart is very heavy right now. You were right - this post was depressing but I think another part of the healing process for so many people. Six years ago I was the last person that someone close to me spoke to before going and killing their little baby girl. She was 21 weeks pregnant, had had a scan and found out the sex, seen the baby kicking and moving around. She was feeling kicks every day and the extended family/friends all knew about the pregnancy (it was very obvious). To begin with I cannot believe that they allowed an abortion to take place this late in pregnancy and as I type this now I am still so angry and am crying my eyes out this very minute. This decision to terminate the pregnancy has affected so many people in so many deep ways. I still grieve for this little girl called Sarah that I never got to meet. I live with the fact that I feel that I should have stopped it happening but I truely believed that they did not perform them at this late stage of pregnancy so brushed her threats off. If I had known that this could occur I would have rushed around to her flat and stayed with her night and day in order to save Sarah's life. Thanks for making me cry so much Sharyn! I don't know if I will ever think of her without crying for the injustice that occured that day. Thank you for letting me share this cos often these are burdens we carry alone.

Iain said...

Belief-vs-action, doctrine-vs-practice certainly are tricky balances.

I guess I would say, as the complement of what Sharyn said, that a belief that doesn't work in practice isn't really good doctrine in the first place.

To Shawn, (and Sharyn?)
If I believe that something is wrong because God says so then it doesn't mean that I'm wrong just because I shouldn't explain it in those terms to my non-christian friend, Mike. It just means that I have to use other language to describe my belief to him.

And that's what you're searching for, the secular explanation. Bear in mind that this must be the secular explanation of a God-inclusive perspective (even if Mike doesn't know it), because I don't think there IS any secular argument against abortion from a perspective that ignores God all the way down to underlying presuppositions. Without God, its a whole different ballgame of relativism, utilitarianism etc.

Besides, using secular language to describe a universe with Godless underlying fundamental ideas is pointless. Our universe isn't Godless, so it would only end up being a misleading hypothetical :D

p.s. to prevent myself appearing like a pushy jerk any more than I already might (as I'm not sure if people appreciate my perspective on all this) I won't reply again on this general thread-topic unless somebody suggests I do otherwise in their own reply. Have fun, I'll be reading ;)

Shawn said...

It's not a matter of being wrong.
What the Bible / God says is perfect and right, there's no way it could be wrong.

The issue is that if you tell your non-christian friend "This is wrong because God said so" then that is a stupid argument. There must be something they will respect to back it up.

James said...

You all ought to get out more