Thursday, August 28, 2008

Life or Death.

It is the most important philosophical, political issue of our time, and yet terminology, catchphrases, and arguments have relegated it into a “merely” religious issue that takes the back burner to things such as economic prosperity and national security. Sure, those and other issues are important too, just not as fundamentally crucial to our culture.

Pro-choice vs. Anti-abortion… or is it Pro-abortion vs. Pro-life? The argument has become asinine. Everyone says, “I am not pro-abortion, but I do not have the right to impose my morals on anyone else. I am pro-choice.” Even on the conservative side of the argument, people have abandoned the pro-life idea. The argument now is that Roe vs. Wade should be abolished so that individual states can decide whether or not to allow legal abortions. Nonsense.

The reasons that abortion is the single most important issue of our day are two: individual rights and the cultural attitude toward life.

The Declaration of Independence of the United States, upon which the founders of that country based their right to form their government, states that all people have the unalienable right to life, and that governments are instituted to protect this right. The rights of an individual to live should not be abandoned simply because the person cannot yet protest or defend itself. In the relation between a woman and her doctor a third individual is being forgotten.

The other issue has even greater implications. Will we maintain a culture of life or evolve into a culture of death? Once decisions are made by governments as to who deserves protection in one segment of society, why stop? Should mentally retarded people be allowed to live? What about the handicapped? Or the old and terminally ill? Why preserve life in cases where society cannot imagine that life to be fulfilling? Why pay to keep people alive if they are simply going to die anyway?

Once government starts to decide what a “good life” is and eliminate those suffering a less than ideal one, there is no intellectually honest reason to stop. Science has tried before to declare certain segments of society more worthy of life than others and it was recognized as evil then. When will society come to its senses now? Will it?

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