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I started off the day praising one of my favorite science bloggers, PZ Myers, about his hysterical take on the "anti-choice" movement's rhetoric of idiocy.
The argument is never about whether some state is alive or not. Your appendix and tonsils are great masses of living cells, but if the organ becomes inflamed, doctors will cut them out and throw them away. Every time you poop, about a third of that mass that you excrete and flush away consists of living bacterial cells, yet no one hesitates and feels regret at the tragic loss of life when their hand is on the handle.
The argument is about whether that living thing is a person requiring extensive legal and moral protection, and it’s entirely clear that 'life' is not a sufficient criterion, or people would be lobbying for the protection of turds and tonsils. We are not absolutists about protecting all life; we can’t be.
I posted this story on my facebook page for a little promotion and commentary. I added that someone recently suggested to me that a fetus should be considered alive because it has DNA. My reply was, "So does my cum, but it doesn't deserve a name," a response once delivered by comedy legend, George Carlin.
At this point, one of my Christian friends on Facebook, with whom I've debated a time or two, chose to offer his take.
I argue against abortion based on the potential human life lost, not based on the actual tissue's life (which is obvious).
You must agree that if the abortion doesn't happen there will eventually come from it a child, who will then grow into an adult - and if you beleive killing him or her is okay, why shouldn't we also kill people who are already adults?
I believe the whole argument undermines the original purpose of the United States, which was to offer each person 'Equal Opportunity to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.' - and I believe this to be a worthy goal, something which the whole world should pursue, rather than throwing it away in the arms of semantically defended foolishness.
As for your semen, on their own they have no ability to form a human being, meaning they don't have any opportunity, so arguing that their opportunity must be 'equal' is absurd. If one meets the correct egg, however, then combined they do have an opportunity to become a human being, and that opportunity should be protected by government and by each individuals as surely as your own life should be.
I always welcome opposing opinions, so let's play ball. No, I won't agree that, absent abortion, a fetus will necessarily grow into an adult. Sometimes decisions to abort are the logical conclusion when your doctor tells you that your baby probably won't grow up to be an adult. I'm sure you know birth defects happen and are often detectable early in the development cycle. Are you in favor of forcing women to give birth to infants that may not survive and grow up healthy? Are you in favor of letting tax dollars go toward relieving the medical expenses of such births? That is another little contradiction I've noted. The Christian conservatives have a problem with abortion, meaning that women must give birth, even if the fetus is determined to be medically impaired and will cost the parents countless dollars in treatment atop the child never having a normal life. However, universal health care that may help to alleviate this problem is "too socialist" for them.
If a birth defect is determined and the doctor is compelled to believe the infant won't survive or not be healthy, the opportunity to pursue life, liberty, and happiness may already be gone with or without abortion. The question at that point is whether the mother deserves her right to choose on her unborn child's behalf. My answer is a resounding, "yes!" Does the government have the right to choose for her? My answering is an equally resounding, "Go screw yourself, political pigs!"
On another note, I didn't argue that my semen deserves equal opportunity or even consideration. I said that the presence of DNA as the criterion for moral consideration is absurd, which is why I used an absurd analogy. PZ Myers made a similar point when he said that life is not a good criterion for doing so, because this would apply to lots of things for which we have no compassion despite them being alive (i.e. your tonsils, appendix, and fecal wastes).
The bottom line is that the government needs to stay out of it and let simple human decency do its thing. I don't want the government protecting me or my children on most issues, because the government is incompetent on too many issues as well as largely indifferent regarding what would happen to me. They do not care, thus I do not want them to pretend to care while being paid with my tax dollars.
I don't know if you're willing to go down this road or not, but just in case, I'm going to barricade it now. The likelihood that some women may abuse legalized abortion so that they can be more promiscuous makes zero difference to me. This class of people should certainly be shunned by the rest of us for their lack of decency. However, making abortion illegal is an unnecessary restriction on women's rights and an inhumane burden on decent women who deserve to have a choice when fate (or God) deals them a shitty hand. At present, that is all the reason I require.
This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.comments powered by Disqus