Sunday, April 08, 2007

Innocent life

Miranda Sawyer grapples with the morality of abortion, and decides that:

In the end, I have to agree that life begins at conception. So yes, abortion is ending that life. But perhaps the fact of life isn't what is important. It's whether that life has grown enough to take on human characteristics, to start becoming a person.

In its early stages, the foetus clearly hasn't, so I have no problems with early abortions. In fact, I think they should be given on demand, as they are in France, rather than the UK system which forces women to get two different doctors' signatures in order to get an abortion.

But once an embryo has developed enough to feel pain, or begin a personality, then it has moved from cell life into the first stages of being a human. Then, for me, ending that life is wrong.
Which is to engage in an unconvincing piece of sophistry - prior to an unspecified stage of development, an embryo is alive but not a person - to avoid the reality that as a supporter of abortion, she is in favour, under some circumstances, of killing. That isn't a criticism. I am too.

But Sawyer is mired so deeply in the pathology of the left that she is unable to face this simple truth with honesty. And she can write things like this:
The anti-abortion groups say it is wrong to take innocent life - though they often support the death penalty.
Yes, Miranda. The operative word is "innocent".

And this:
Other philosophers argue that abortion is OK, and that infanticide is fine too, because foetuses and little children aren't fully human: they can't look after themselves and they have no concept of death.
No, Miranda. "Philosopher" is not the right word for people who advocate child murder.

For the record, I am in favour of abortion being freely available on demand up to the point of viability, at which point I'd make it a criminal offence.

I'm against the death penalty, though I'm wavering on this in some instances. The life-long incarceration of a small number of people who are undoubtedly guilty, will never be released, and spend their days trying to kill themselves is much crueller than a bullet in the back of the head. The years of anxious waiting to see whether the murderer of your child will be released is something I'd spare the families of victims.

As an atheist, I don't think life is sacred and, on both counts, I'm trying to find the stance of least evil.

No comments: