amara126, in a comment on my LJ version of my last post said the following: “k, good post and it basically puts you in a nut shell.. I’d take the orgasm tangent and make it seperate from the art section… AND on the question about abortion and christianity.. Abortion it self is not mentioned in the bible, but murder is, and I guess that is were the question remains.. is abortion murder?? I persoanlly would never have an abortion, I do believe that life exists from the moment of conception, so in that belief I guess I would have to sway on the abortion= murder side, however I also feel it is the womans right to decide whether or not to carry her child. With that said there are alot of tangents I could go down re the subject of abortion, but I think the belief that abortion = murder is the line were some christians believe it is wrong.”
I was going to respond there, but apparently LJ’s maximum comment length is about half the length of what I had to say:
Well, and here’s where in a casual discussion with ‘normal’ people I tend to try to remain silent: I support euthanasia. I don’t believe all forms of life are the same, I don’t believe there’s any real reason to consider the killing of non-humans (animals, insects, plants, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, virii, et cetera) in the same way that one considers the killing of humans. I also don’t believe that everything that comes out of a human is a human. Babies born without brains are the easiest example for me to pick on, yet there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people in this country who adamantly believe that a baby born literally without a brain is still human, so it’s become a controversial point somehow. Personally, I would tend to go so far as to say that prior to developing (or after losing) the ability to comprehend not only that one is a self, separate from others (who are also selves) and that one’s actions effect others in the world now and in the future — that is, until one’s perception of the world is at least advanced enough to know that the basic structure of their life is one among many and that their choices, their actions have effects, one cannot reasonably be considered human. I might even go further (though before doing so in a more declarative way will require some additional research and thought, so I will leave it as something my mind is currently aware of and open to the possibility of) and allow that such a definition could include a great many “functional” people and “criminals” in the world today, and that when people can be clearly identified to not possess a basic comprehension of this vital part of the nature of the world they live in, they ought not be considered to be human, and ought not necessarily be granted the same rights and privileges as humans. Whereas on the other hand, some animals (and hopefully, eventually some software) ought to be.
Believing that a single-celled zygote is a human life seems extremely counter-intuitive to me, and that it needs to be protected (especially via laws) seems doubly so. Some pharmacists, for example, will not fill prescriptions for the “morning after pill” because they believe that very thing. But the biological processes that allow that pill to be effective are ones that exist naturally in most women’s bodies and that might happen to happen anyway. If we need to protect the potential zygotes from being prevented (by the drug) from fulfilling their potential, don’t we need to protect them from being prevented (by natural biological processes) from fulfilling that same potential? And what real difference is there between a single-celled not-yet-viable potential human and a single-celled viable actual organism (say, paramecium) except that one is viable where the other is not, and one has the potential to become a human and the other does not? I suppose it’s the potential for turning into a human that would change a water sanitation plant to a mass-murder death camp / graveyard, right? If paramecium had the potential to become human, you wouldn’t drink water, and you’d believe that water sanitation (well, ‘inhumane’ methods of it, anyway) was wrong? Just wondering. Is killing a caterpillar that could potentially become a butterfly more wrong than killing a caterpillar that could potentially become a moth? What about unfertilized eggs? It is wrong to eat eggs because they were potential chickens? Isn’t that as wrong as veal? Those calves could potentially have walked around in their own filth for a few more months (but potentially in sunlight!) if only we didn’t keep them from … potentially … frolicking… wait, cows don’t frolic!
I just don’t get it. And the bible doesn’t mention it. The US Constitution doesn’t mention it. Not the line between human and non-human, not abortion, nothing. The closest thing in the Constitution is that slaves aren’t considered to be fully human, but 3/5 human. My sources indicate that abortion wasn’t even banned anywhere in the US until the 20th century (though I’ll be glad to be corrected if I’m wrong), and wasn’t even an issue in the public’s consciousness until the 1960’s. It was certainly going on. Historical records indicate that it has been performed since prior to the introduction of the written word; if God had wanted it to be illegal or considered a sin, you’d think He’d have at least mentioned it somewhere along the line to Moses or Aaron or someone when they were taking down the books of the law.
I haven’t done a thorough search (I recently went through every word of the Bible, cover to cover, just to be sure on my own that it didn’t mention anything related to abortion or protecting fetuses or considering unborn children human. I will eventually read it through for this next issue:), but as far as I am aware, the Bible doesn’t seem to really explicitly state that humans have free will at all. It talks a lot about God knowing what will happen, about things being pre-ordained, about the future even being somewhat knowable to humans (except where it says no man shall know…), but it doesn’t seem to say that we have a choice in what we do. And maybe I missed it, maybe you can point me in the right direction, but as I said, that has not yet been my focus on a walk through the Bible yet. And if the Bible says God knows what will happen, God planned it, God willed it, and in some cases that one’s future cannot be avoided, but does not mention free will or human choice, then if God doesn’t want an abortion to happen it won’t happen and (and I know this sort of sentence upsets a lot of people for me to say, but it follows:) if an abortion happens, it is because it was part of God’s plan, part of God’s Will, something God knew about before He created the universe! Half of that stays true, even if we DO have free will.
More interesting to me is that I am confident, absolutely sure, that every being in the universe knows right from wrong. When I say this, I seem to get a lot of confusion from people, a lot of leaping to conclusions about what I mean being different from the words I am using. I mean that each being knows right from wrong. Not that they all do right, or want to do right, just that when they know what right is, and they know what wrong is. I’m not even saying that every being thinks about right and wrong, that they consider it at all, only that if they did think about it, if they did consider it, they would know what was right and what was wrong automatically. Try it. You know the answer. Not to a strange question like “is abortion murder” or even like “is abortion right or wrong”, but think about a particular instance, a particular situation you know ALL the details of because YOU are the one making the decision, the choice, and “is this choice right or wrong?” You know the answer.
Now … are you going to do what is right, or what is wrong? And is your doing wrong part of God’s Will? And what about all the things (most things in life) which are neither right nor wrong, like whether to have skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk or whether to wear your blue blouse with your tan shorts or your white blouse with your tan shorts? And what if, in the far future, religious fanatics with access to time travel and deep space travel (so there’s places to house all of them) and so on go back to the moment before every abortion ever happens and extracts the potential human (incubating them, I guess, with some sort of futuristic artificial womb) and replaces it with non-human tissue for the purpose of continuity, and then they raise them and give them a place/life to live, and that’s why abortions are allowed to appear to happen within God’s Will; he knows they’ll be given life by religious fanatics in the future? And what about the fact that 100% of non-Jesus humans are sinful and fall short of the glory of God, and what about forgiveness?