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Friday, August 3, 2012

More on Pro-Life...

The bottom line is this...this is a matter of choice.  One can choose to either support life 100% from conception to natural death or not.  It is a matter of philosophy on who one things deserves to be called a human person.  We all agree that one who is outside the womb is a human person.  However, the debate is ultimately is the one who is inside the womb a human person.  My contention is that it is.  My contention is that because life does begin at conception (it cannot be proven that it does not), that the person in the womb should be afforded the very same rights as any other human person.  That being said, there is no right for anyone, mother, doctor, nurse, father...whomever, to take that life.  To take that life is murder.  For what is the definition of murder?

To kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.

Abortion fits that description.  If you have seen the way that an abortion takes place, it is 100% undeniable.  So this becomes the glaring elephant in the room that pro-aborts do not want to discuss.  Why?  Because they cannot, no matter the rhetoric, the data, the empirical proof, determine when life does actually begin.  Again, it is my contention that life begins at conception.

I can provide site after site.  And the argument isn't a medical one, for medicine is just science.  And science is merely one way of several to prove things.  So, when a proof is offered, it must be offered in total.  Life does begin at conception, not just medically, but also philosophically, theologically and ethically.

That being said, the question becomes the following.  Why should the mother have a right to kill her child in the womb?  Some will argue that it is the woman's body and because the unborn child is dependent upon the mother's body for life, it does not assert control over himself.  That logic is faulty.  There are many times in life wherein a human person is dependent upon the mother for life.  Immediately after childbirth until such time as the child can fend for himself and survive.  That is but the most obvious, but there are others.  Catastrophic injury, infirmity, old age, and the list goes on.

So, as we can see, the abortion issue doesn't really stand up very well, except to say that it is incredibly selfish on the part of the mother to kill the unborn child in her womb.  Why is this done?  In most cases it is done for either economic or emotional reasons.  Either the mother cannot fend for the child or the mother does not feel capable of caring for the child.  Neither of these reasons are valid.

With this idea, we see that the mother really isn't making a choice, but she is pressured by society to abort the child due to influences which surround her.  This is a radical shift in thinking regarding children.  Today's world does not look at procreation as a gift or as necessary, but rather as a want or a planned action.  Also, this view espouses that the right of the man is necessarily secondary, in the vast majority of cases.  While it is true that the mother must carry the child to term, it is the responsibility of both parents to raise the child.  If life begins at conception, then this rearing should begin immediately.  The role of the father should be that of support and nurture to the woman and the unborn child through the gestation period.  So, to say that the father has no role or that it is secondary, or even to argue that the impotice should absolutely lie with the woman alone, because it is her body is an absurd one.  Because of the bond that sex has between mammals, on a biological level and the bond that sex has on a couple rationally in humans, there is a very important role to be played by the father from the moment of conception to natural death.

Often times it is argued that because one supports the idea of natural death with regard to the lives of the mother and child that he is not compassionate or that he is at a minimum dispassionate for the mother.  This could not be further from the truth.  In actuality, there should always be an attempt to save the life of both the mother and the child.  However, culpability does play a part in this line of reasoning.  If all has been done to protect the life of the mother and the unborn child and one or both die naturally during the process, then there is nothing more which can be done ethically.  However, if the child is killed to save the mother or vice versa, then there must be a moral and ethical inquiry into why that person was killed.  In short, there is nothing that we can do to prevent death, but there is something that we can do to prevent killing.  This is probably one of the most compassionate views that can be taken.  It is also morally acceptable and it is ethical in its practice.  For what is the oath that a doctor takes?

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
I will not be ashamed to say "I know not", nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, be respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Abortion does not follow from what a doctor must do.  If one argues that this oath was abandoned in the US in the 1870s, fine, however the principle remains and a shortened version is used today.

I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude which is their due;
I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
I will respect the secrets which are confided in me;
I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
My colleagues will be my brothers and sisters;
I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, gender, politics, socioeconomic standing, or sexual orientation to intervene between my duty and my patient;
I will maintain the utmost respect for human life; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity;
I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour

Abortion still doesn't follow.

Regarding contraception, the very same principles as above follow, with the addition that to knowingly contracept is ethically unsound.  The main reason being that it closes the sexual action to what it was designed to do.  It attempts, imperfectly to relegate the act of sex to that of a purely pleasurable endeavor.  This was never the intention, biologically, ethically, morally, or intellectually.  There must be a purpose to sex.  That purpose, philosophically is that sex fulfills, for the human person a complimentarity which exists on several levels.  First, it is procreative.  The main reason for sex is to perpetuate the species.  Secondly, it is a matter of fecundity.  It promotes within the female the role of being able to be fruitful.  This is a very important psychological mode for a woman.  Thirdly, it is a matter of fidelity.  It brings a couple together in a way which is wholly and completely giving on oneself to another, while continuing the bond which exists rationally.

When contraception is involved, there is a loss of one or more of these reasons of complimentarity.  Whereas, today's society doesn't necessarily accept these as being absolute, the truth behind them remains.  If the sexual action is to fulfill a purpose, any unnatural action which interrupts that is unjustifiable.

Speaking to responsibility of action leads one to understand that this is not merely an instinctual endeavor.  It is not merely rational either, but it is a compliment of both within the human person.  To corrupt one is to destroy the meaning behind it.  I am not saying that sex shouldn't be pleasurable.  It absolutely should be.  I am not saying that sex must be a negative.  To the contrary, it is a very positive and necessary thing.  However, to flip the script and accuse the proper application of sex as being negative is to misunderstand the very nature of what sex is.

Very strongly related to responsibility is the idea of abstinence.  Wherein one must be responsible in applying the sexual action, one must also realize that there is a time and a place where it is warranted and where it is not.  This is not expressly stipulated for sex, but also for any action.  To abstain from an action is not a negative, but rather in most instances it is neutral or positive.  With regard to sex though, the idea that one must abstain is often considered absurd or unattainable.  Why?  If abstinence is taught properly, it is the most viable way of preventing unwanted pregnancy, teaching proper sexual ethics, and understanding the importance of the bonds of the sexual union.  While there is most certainly a religious undertone regarding abstinence until marriage, that is part of what keeps the sexual action licit.  Marriage is, by it's very nature religious.  It isn't just Christian or Jewish or Islamic or Taoist, but it is religious.  Some view it as more sacrosanct than others, but the constant that remains is that it is a bond by which a man and woman give themselves to another.  This has perpetuated through all of history.  And the action which most properly binds that is sex.  This achieves the twofold end of marriage of which I have been speaking: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.  The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity. Abstinence fits in this because it follows with the principle of chastity.  The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end."  (Gaudium et Spes 17)

I do understand that this is not an easy task, but I also understand that it shouldn't be.  Self-mastery is a life long challenge and one which requires intimate growth and understanding.  I also understand that it can happen.  The human person is capable of accomplishing this and to simply assume that he cannot is to sell short the incomparable mind of the human person.  Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is "an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society."  Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.  While not all will embrace this ideal, that doesn't mean that one should just give up on promoting it.  If contraception can become the norm over time, why can abstinence not replace that, knowing the odds.

I'll close with this.  The negative connotation doesn't come from the pro-life movement, regardless of what some will say.  The pro-life movement has as it's agenda one thing and one thing only.  To promote life from conception to natural death.  The pro-life movement doesn't see sex as an oppressive endeavor, nor does it seek to limit those who wish to have sex.  To the contrary, the pro-life movement wants to see that sex is perpetuated.  However, the pro-life movement does support proper sexual ethics and the moral application of those ethics, as defined classically through contemporary society.  The perceived demonizing which takes place is that the pro-life movement holds accountable the actions of those who would not normally expect to be held accountable and that causes friction.  Society doesn't like to be told that it's practices need to be changed, especially when those practices lead to economic gain and control of a person's actions.

The pro-abortion movement does not seek the good of the person.  The movement advocates a morally questionable practice to limit births, to trivialize sex and to exact political and economic gain for the sole purpose of population control.  The pro-abortion movement is not looking out for the best interest of the woman, but rather the pro-abortion movement is looking to fund it's programs and it uses women to this end.  It has been said that nobody likes an abortion and that nobody wants to go through an abortion.  This comes from both sides.  If this is the case, then why does one side continue to provide them?

If contraception is not about population control, what is it about?  If contraception is not an outreach of the pro-abortion movement what is it's goal, standing alone?  If the end of sex is to procreate, how does contraception fit into that?  What is ultimately left at the end of the pro-abortion stance are questions.  What is ultimately left at the end of the pro-life stance is an answer.

I'll choose the answer.

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