Thursday, May 2, 2013

What was that thing you said about "valuing life"?

You're against abortion. You believe "life" begins at conception.

Okay, cool. Riddle me this:

Why do you support war (of any kind)? Why do you support the death penalty? Why do you own a gun? Why do you eat meat? Why do you take antibiotics? Why do you enjoy violent movies, television, and videogames? Why do you occasionally hit your children? Why do you sometimes yell and scream when you're angry, or sad, or happy?

What is your earliest memory? What is your favorite memory? What is your saddest memory?

How are you feeling?

What we've just explored is a slim portion of the peaks and valleys of human experience. Life is dense, rich, and confusing.

Life is not simple. It doesn't matter how much you wish it were, or how many times you belt along to the chorus of "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. No matter how monotonous and banal you've managed to make your own existence, you've got some complicated shit to deal with.

Imagine someone who completely and utterly lacks the ability to comprehend any of the above. They may have something very generally describable as feelings, but only if we're willing to call a plant experiencing photosynthesis "emotional." More realistically, they have biochemical reactions to stimulation.

Granted, we all have biochemical reactions to stimulation, but we experience ours in the form of a complex menagerie of subjective feeling. An unborn fetus has none of this, but yes, it's alive.

You may now protest: "But wait, you're reducing life to its mere components! Life is so much more. It's a miracle!"

But you only value a human fetus purely on the basis of its being alive. Don't get me wrong, I can see the appeal. You see it as perfect and innocent. It has done no wrong, so why shouldn't it deserve to live? Perhaps because life is neither perfect nor innocent.

Consider the many questions above. How often are you willing to accept death as a natural consequence of life in your answers to such questions? How willing are you to kill an imperfect, impure human being? What about an imperfect, impure non-human being? It's alive just the same!

Do you think the goal of  love and marriage is to have children?

Really? And you wonder why so many pregnancies are ultimately unwanted. Have you considered that maybe not everyone should be having children? You might be tempted to preach abstinence-only sex education. Have you considered that the states where this method is employed have the highest number of teen pregnancies?

But gays can't get married, because they cannot bear offspring. Never mind that plenty of straight parents are horrendous parents. Never mind overpopulation.

But yeah, have babies, because you can. And because life is a miracle.

I'm sorry, who is reducing life to mere components, again?

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