Matty

In Response to Jeannine

I appreciate the comment Jeannine Scott.
We indeed greatly disagree on this subject, neighbour.
1. I can’t help but notice your philosophical slight-of-hand:
“I think it’s less important to factor in what is life vs what isn’t life, but rather readiness for such life. “
Up front, you simply side-step the fundamental question in the debate- whether the life in the womb is a whole human life with intrinsic value, or not- in order to launch into an argument that relies upon the assumption that the child only has extrinsic (outside) value. That’s question begging at its finest. The fundamental question in the debate is whether, or not the unborn is a child with inherent human dignity and intrinsic value, because if it is then you can’t simply disregard it as a morally insignificant entity within the debate, and you most certainly can’t destroy it.
Also, “readiness for such life” -which I will here on out use as your standard for determining personhood- is a hopelessly subjective standard for the valuation of life, and as your standard ought to be consistently applied throughout the span of life. For, I’m sure you would agree readiness of care, can and does change throughout life. Therefore, by what standard can we determine “readiness of care?” Does this change depending upon cultural circumstances? Instead of thoroughly refuting no this presupposed standard on the outset I will address it in your applications below.
Now that I’ve addressed the fundamental fault in your argument, I’ll press on.
2. “I think these unborn lives actually hold a lot of weight and importance in this world, I value these lives, which is the reason I am pro-choice.”
Given the fact that you’ve already essentially set aside the unborn as a morally significant, whole human life, your words ring hollow. Your valuation of life is extrinsic, which means the unborn baby actually doesn’t have value in and of itself, but only the value placed upon it by an outside agent. In this case, I’ll take you at your word that you value the unborn human life personally, but the unborn human life doesn’t actually value inherently.
What’s more loving than letting them live? Letting them develop, seeking to care for them whether that means keeping them or giving them up for adoption. I guess, your answer would be killing them…
3. “Babies take a ton of responsibility, love, and care.”
With this comment there is no debate.
However, with these comments there are:
“When brought into the world unwanted, or when someone isn’t ready, it can pose a bigger problem for that life.”
Again, by rooting your argument in your assumed premise you then apply that logic to a scenario.
[You realize you entirely ignore the moral responsibility of the parties engaged in sexual activity to prior to engaging in such acts be prepared for whatever consequences may arise. As a nurse, you full well know that no contraception is 100% effective. Also, STI’s are an unfortunate side-effect of engaging in sexual activity, and with some of those (herpes, HIV etc.) there is no aborting the symptoms. That’s why anyone engaging in a sexual act ought to be prepared for the consequences. Actions have consequences and using abortion as a means to skirt consequences is immoral].
 A bigger problem for that life? Let me see what problems you find bigger than the wanton killing of a unborn baby:
“That person is brought into a world and is often faced with neglect, abandonment and abuse which almost always leads to increase(d) risk of mental illness, personality disorders, addiction and suicide.”
According to you, Things that are worse than being killed in your mother’s womb are being neglected, abandonment, abuse leading to mental illness, personality disorders, addiction, and suicide. Not only is this a brash assumption of the outcome of a human life, but it totally and utterly ignoring the scores and scores of humans who have overcome such great odds, or suffering and have lived productive lives (I know of many people who have, and I’m sure you do as well).
Also, I absolutely reject the notion that ending the life of the baby is better than the baby dealing with the things you’ve listed. None of those scenarios is a death sentence, abortion is. You’re utterly removing the choice of the life in the womb to decide its own outcomes based on an assumption of suffering. Not to mention for it be a valid argument you’re basing human dignity on the utility of a human being, which is again assuming that human beings don’t possess value in and of themselves.
Concerning abandonment, abuse, and neglect -having worked in orphanages in Kyrgyzstan- I know first hand the amount of pain and suffering that can be caused by the unreadiness for children. However, I’ve also seen an organization of fewer than 10 people be able to change more than twice that many lives through the love and care of these children with very little funding.
If “readiness for such life” is our standard, ought we be better off to kill these unwanted children rather than care for them? After all, according to you, it’d be better off if they hadn’t been born and we could be saving them from a life of pain and suffering. If you’re to use your standard consistently, what happens to the newborn infant whose mother post-birth realizes she isn’t ready for pregnancy? What about applying that standard to the end of life? If the primary caregiver of an elderly person isn’t “ready” to care for them, would it be ok to kill them? Who makes that decision? By what standard?
The fact of the matter is the lives of those children have inherent value thus are worthy of care and affection. Just think of what the estimated $75 million/annually (nation-wide) don’t on abortion paid by the coercion is taxpayers) could do to aid organizations who dedicate their lives to helping the most vulnerable among us.
Are people with mental illness, personality disorders, and addictions any less human? Are those not things that are possible outcomes for any human life brought into this world? In fact, studies show rates of addiction, mental illness, and suicide are just as high, if not higher, amongst affluent people. For, this to be a criterium for determination of the value of human life, I’m afraid we all would fail the test, and abortion would be permissible under all circumstances.
Also, why is abuse bad? I’m assuming you’d answer “because inflicting harm on another distinct, whole human life which is immoral” (or something like that, correct me if I’m wrong). But, wait a second… apply that logic to abortion and oops.
Also, according to your standard of “readiness for life” why would suicide be a problem? You’re literally asserting death is better than suffering so… it’s disingenuous to use suicide to strengthen your point while simultaneously arguing for its legitimacy.
4. “Not to mention the mother may not take care of her cell/embryo/fetus/baby (whatever you want to call it) in the womb which can lead to FAS or other developmental disorders. Frequently people with these disorders show up to hospitals with suicide attempts, or with so much pain that they no longer want to be on this earth, and, unfortunately, they often lack the developmental capacity to recover or get better.”
According to your standard, Is this bad? Why shouldn’t the mother have the choice to use her body in the way she sees fit? Or, are you asserting the mother has a responsibility to care for the life in her womb?
You’re aware you are saying -while assuming the pre-born child is not a moral entity worthy of protection- that the ASSUMED immoral acts of the caregiver is justification for the slaughter of the innocent baby in the womb, right?
Not to mention, are you subtly implying a life with FAS, or any developmental disorder, is subhuman? That’s logic that would be right at home in the Nazi Third Reich.
I doubt you in fact mean that (while subtly suggesting it) so I’ll assume you are suggesting that the lack of care for children is a serious problem. We are most definitely in agreement on this point, however, your solution is the extermination of the life mine is the societal responsibility to care for the less fortunate.
I’m actually currently mentoring an eight-year-old boy with FAS named Andrew. I’m very familiar with the challenges that gave him. I’m aware that he does not possess a high level of executive function within his brain, but to subtly suggest this is a death sentence, a subhuman existence would be to relegate Andrew’s dignity to “lesser than” and simply overlook the amount of progress in care for those with developmental disorders. This progress in care allows many with FAS and be productive in society. I know as a nurse you see the worst case scenarios, but you cannot overlook the many cases that you never end up dealing with because of proper effective care.
“So as I stare down at my baby sleeping on my chest, I cannot fathom subjecting him to that type of life. “
You can’t fathom subjecting him to a life of suffering, yet you can fathom a doctor dismembering him, disemboweling him, then pricing the body back together on the tray and then the doctor scraping your uterus to make sure they’ve removed all the pieces? Or, perhaps being torn to pieces by a vacuum like he was an unwanted dust bunny behind your nightstand? Can you fathom the doctor crushing his head in their forceps? Can you also fathom burning the him inside and out through a saline injection then delivering his shriveled lifeless body?
“I believe it is better to give people the choice to make a responsible decision for themselves, and not allow people to feel shamed or wrong for making a choice.”
Again, your denial of the unborn as a moral entity comes out in this argumentation. While you sidestep the argument at the beginning you then rely on the presupposition you’ve made concerning the value and dignity of the human life later. For instance…
What about the choice of the child? See, you assume the pre-born child is not a moral entity and a life worthy of protection to even be able to make this argument. I think you now see the point I was trying to make in 1.
Is the feeling shame always bad? Is that not a natural consequence of the consciences functioning ability? Should the rapist feel shame, should the adulterer feel shame, should the murder fell shame? If one does not feel shame for doing something wrong or immoral that person is rightly considered a psychopath. Again, your question begging, namely, that abortion is right, good, and moral is the presupposition that lays the foundation for your assertion.
5. “Because (in) reality is people don’t always step up and take responsibility for that little human, life often doesn’t work that way.  People become frustrated upset and act on emotion and cause more harm to that baby, then simply not allowing it to exist in the first place.”
With your final comments, I’ve already dealt with. Your argumentation on this point is extraordinarily weak. When pondering ethical questions your not dealing with the descriptive, but the prescriptive. Here you are merely describing a reality (an “is”), while the debate surrounding abortion is an ethical debate (an “ought”).
Not to mention, you’re fundamentally, though perhaps unwittingly, suggesting because parents don’t take responsibility for their children, they “ought” to be allowed to kill them.
Why not apply this logic to the infant as I suggested earlier? Instead of foster care, and adoption, social workers can simply assist the parent in the execution of the unwanted child. The arbitrary nature of your standard of life is shown in your unwillingness to apply that standard consistently.
Conclusion: I can’t help but notice your subtle assertion that there is indeed “Lebensunwertes Leben” (life unworthy of life). While I believe this is a natural outcome of basing human value and dignity extrinsic to the human being itself it also the very slogan the Nazi’s used to justify the Holocaust. It’s the very logic behind eugenics. It’s also the logic behind chattel slavery.
[I know they look like humans, but they are Jews, so we can kill them. I know they look like humans, but they are negros, so we can own them (and in many instances kill them). I know it looks like a human (and genetically speaking it is), but it’s just a “fetus”, so we can kill it.]
Based on the subjective standards of those societies they determined the value of human life extrinsically and it led to all sorts of atrocities.
I believe that every human life has an intrinsic value from the moment of conception thus is worthy of protection care, love, and rights, most importantly the right to life. Rights, values, and dignity are not something that is placed on us by society, individuals, or even parents, it’s intrinsic and inalienable.
Given your argumentation, you can’t assert the same with consistency. In fact, you are asserting that the life in the womb only has as much value as the mother deems based on her “readiness” for parenthood. Apply that standard to the life outside the womb and you’ll see how hopelessly subjective it is.
I think we can both agree that “unwanted children” are a horrible thing. But, our conclusions are drastically different.
Your solution is killing them, my solution is both in the parents, responsibility both ethically and legally to care for their children, and the appropriateness of others to step in and fill the gap where that care is not being met.
Again, I think you see where the slight of hand exhibited in the beginning becomes problematic because at the end of the day, the question remains is the life in the womb a distinct, whole human life with inalienable rights, and worthy of protection and dignity.
Frankly, your answer is “No,” mine is “yes.”

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