Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


IN DEFENCE OF ABORTION RIGHTS

Many today feel that the unborn child if not wanted by the mother is there against her will so she has the right to end its life to be free.  If a parasite person hooked on to your body you have the right to maybe kill that person in self-defence even though your own life is not at risk.  You treat the person as part of you even though they are not when they are attached to you against your will.  They give you the right to treat them as if they were a limb or part of your body.  Legally then and morally the unborn child though biologically not part of the mother is part of the mother.  The argument that abortion destroys somebody else's body is invalid and untrue. The law is about regulation not morality so the law cannot protect a baby in the womb at any stage of pregnancy.  It is not its place when the argument we have made is a reasonable one.

 
In 1971, Judith Jarvis Thomson wrote A Defense of Abortion. She believed that the baby in the womb had a right to life. But she thought it was too simple to conclude that this meant the mother didnít have the right to end the pregnancy by aborting the baby. 

Does the baby deserve to live?  The problem is the baby deserves nothing for deserving implies you have used your ability to earn.  Even murderers have the right to life.  But even those who think the death penalty is wrong argue that they don't deserve to live.  Does deserving to live trump the right to live?  Or vice versa?  These are hard questions.

Let us examine what Thomson wrote.

She argued that if you were kidnapped and plugged up to a violinist to keep him alive for nine months so that both of you could be safely freed at the end of the time then to get on with your lives, that you have the right to unplug yourself from the violinist even if it means he will die as soon as you find yourself tied up to him. From this she concluded that abortion is ethical because the baby grows in the womanís body and it is her body so she can have an abortion if she wants to. Critics of the argument see abortion being a different situation from the example she describes. But most of them concur that the argument justifies abortion in the case of rape only and certainly when the motherís life is in danger from the pregnancy.
 
But it is clear it allows abortion when the woman has an intense wish to have an abortion. Pregnancy is worse than being hooked up to the violinist. We must conclude then that it must allow a lot more than abortion only for rape or to save the mother from death. Also the less developed an embryo is the less resemblance it has to the case of the violinist who is a grown-up. If it is acceptable to cause the violinistís death by extricating yourself from him how much more is it acceptable to abort the embryo. There must be more cases in which aborting the embryo is acceptable.
 
What if you are friends with a man and woman and you know the woman is going to abort his baby without telling him? Should you tell him? To argue that you should mind your own business and say nothing is to tacitly approve of Thomson's argument. The woman's right to control her own body overrides any rights the man has over the baby. The Catholic would argue that if telling may enable the man to get a chance to talk her out of it then one should tell so that the life of the baby might be saved.
 
There have been a number of challenges made to the argument that its a woman's body and so she has the right to have the baby terminated. None of them can manage to stand against the fact that the most important thing is a woman's right to control her own body. The woman has complete ownership of her body. It may be replied that if she has then she can cut off her legs to get disability payments from the state if she wants. But if she does that she is not treating herself as if she owns herself. She is treating herself as if she were nothing, a thing not an owner.

So?
 
Though the violinist isnít the best example, that doesnít mean her point is wrong.
 
Letís change it as follows.
 
Suppose there was a machine that could grow babies to full term. Girls are forced to contribute eggs to it. Your egg was fertilised by mistake and now the baby will be aborted so that another baby can be brought to full term in the system instead. Unless your baby is implanted in you, it will die. It will die by being pulled to bits by the machine. Is it your duty to allow this to be done to you and save your babyís life? What if the baby was genetically designed to be the most compassionate doctor possible?
 
Thomson was right. Getting pregnant, even on purpose, doesnít give the mother the duty to keep the child alive. She can have an abortion if she wishes.
 
If you believe that an aborted baby will go to Heavenly bliss then it is obvious that the mother was right to kill it. Letting it live would have been the greater injustice for it might sin and lose Heaven where God will make it morally perfect and perfectly happy.
 
A fetus will have an increased right to life the longer it is in the womb. It is insulting to the fetus to say that a fetus has an equal right to life to a fetus that is considerably less developed than it. It means that time is wasted on saving babies that are not people yet while babies that are aborted and shouldnít be die. Though a woman conceivably might not have the right to take the life of a fetus in the sixth month just because she doesnít want to be pregnant, she might have the right to abort if it is only say the second or third month for the same reason or even for a trivial reason.
 
Even the most extreme-pro life people do not insist that frozen embryos should be implanted in their mothers. If the babyís life comes first then clearly this should be done by force if necessary. This case plainly shows that Thomson was right.
 
Opposition to abortion shows tremendous insolence and disregard and lack of thought for womenís rights. Paradoxically, it is not impressive in its alleged concern for babies at all. Roman Catholicism for instance would see a baby dying without baptism as worse than a baby simply dying. It worries more about its assumption that baptism is necessary than the babyís life.
 
Abortion like anything can be abused. It is manipulative how most anti-abortion people condemn it because of the abuse. But its not the fault of the legalisation of abortion if it is abused.

Thomson was right. Getting pregnant, even on purpose, doesnít give the mother the duty to keep the child alive despite the child having a right to life. She can have an abortion if she wishes.

Even if Thomson is wrong, there is enough merit in her argument to show that abortion even if wrong and horrific cannot mean that the person having an abortion is intending or doing great evil. If abortion has no justification then it is bad. If it has some but not enough its bad but not bad enough to make it illegal or to condemn the person who has an abortion. It can be better for a surgeon to do an operation imperfectly up to a point than for him not to perform it at all. Same logic!

Abortion rights can be based on a pro-life view but pro-life and pro-existence are two different things.  The latter is what suffers the most from  her argument
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
Abortion The Great Injustice, HP Dunn, Irish Messenger Publications, Dublin, 1979
Abortion, John R Rice Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1971
Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, Uta Ranke Heinmann, Penguin, London, 1991
Human Life is Sacred, Irish Bishops Pastoral, Veritas Dublin 1975
Is Abortion Sinful? Mike Willis, Guardian of Truth Publications, KY
Practical Ethics, Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, England, 1994
Questions of Life and Death, Christian Faith and Medical Intervention, Richard Harries, SPCK, London, 2010
Reason and Religion, Anthony Kenny, Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, 1987
The Catholic Church and Abortion, Catholic Press and Information Office Dublin, Irish Messenger Publications, Dublin, 1983
The Doctor's Dilemmas, Donal Murray, Veritas, Dublin, 1988
Vicars of Christ, Peter de Rosa, Corgi, London, 1993

BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
 
The Amplified Bible