How is it Wrong with God, but Alright Without?

It seems to me that if there is a God who puts an immortal soul into a human being at the moment of conception, intending the resulting person to be born and live a life in “this world,” then abortion is wrong.

I pilfered this quote from a discussion on abortion over at Strange Notions. I don’t participate over there as my days are only 24 hours long while everyone else seems to have upgraded to the 48 hour day.

Here is what I do not get about such an argument. On the one hand one of its unstated premises is: if doesn’t have a soul, you can kill it. Apparently it loses an innate right once deprived of this soul. If the whole of this creature is mortal, then it is licit to kill it. But, if God made a part of us immortal, then it becomes an evil to end its life.

It is one of those “ironic” positions (at least to me) where if I were a creature from a different realm altogether and I learned of this debate, I would be perplexed that those who deny eternal life propose the ending of lives. But those that believe in eternal life hold the killing of the mortal part of life to be a black crime.

I would, coming from another realm, expect the unbeliever to wail out, “no! you’ll end its life forever, you are wiping it out of existence before it even has a chance!” Surely if this life is it, if there is nothing beyond the cessation of organic processes that start at the moment of conception to death, one would (coming from this other realm) expect the unbelievers to react with horror at such a thing.

Instead you see doctors calmly snipping spinal cords and amputating limbs, you see “mothers” calmly putting Friday night behind them as they would the recycling.

You’d expect, again coming from that other realm, the believers to, perhaps, lament such a thing but not have it cause them too much grief. After all, the victims are immortal children of God, not all is lost. It is a tragedy, but not too much. If you took it far enough, coming from that other realm, you could reason that perhaps these young children were being done a favor – they got to go home to their heavenly father that much sooner. Indeed upon looking at much of this Earth that is strange and frightening, full of pain and evil and tragedy, you can’t say for sure whether or not a favor isn’t being done for them.

But then you see that the believers are actually where you expected the unbelievers to be. They, that believe in the ultimate transitory nature of this life and the eternity of the next, they are the ones bewailing the black evil of this deed.

Now, I did snip this comment out of its entire context, but it does illustrate the base set. No God, no immortal soul – why not? How does it become right sans God and an immortal soul? Where comes the right and dignity of man if it is bestowed on us as a litmus test, a state of function to get to and maintain (by death’s grip lest they pull your plug) and not from our existence in a certain class? Where comes it if it’s bestowed by the State as such an argument must reduce to?

You see, it makes perfect sense to me that it should be twice the evil in an atheist light. But when I say Man, and they say Man, I don’t think we are talking about the same referent. I don’t think the modern atheist (and I am not merely picking on atheists because I think modern man in general is affected by the same mental parasite) means anything more significant than a chicken when he’s having this conversation – perhaps less than a chicken – perhaps an egg – unless, of course, it becomes about his life, then the false abstraction would break.


5 thoughts on “How is it Wrong with God, but Alright Without?

  1. Felix culpa. If divine ecstasy were the norm, how would you know it? How could you fully appreciate it? Life in part may be the gift of suffering to clarify one’s understanding of true glory. Knowledge of death is a suffering. Feeling one’s pain and that of others is a suffering. Acknowledging with shame the less than noble side of our nature is a suffering.

  2. Even if interpreted as a parable, I think my last comment has practical value — not with regard to some hypothetical reward in an afterlife but as a guide to cultivating a mature perspective on life in the here and now within the contexts of the human condition and one’s particular circumstances.

    1. Hey, good hearing from ya. Don’t have a lot of time right now. But I took your comment as you stated above.

      One of my strains of thought lately has been that there is something rather perverse about our pampered modern lives. Perverse as in disordered. You know I have never broken a bone? I have never felt anything but the mildest of pains (nothing more severe than the pre-diarrhea cramps (not that those are charming, mind you). The highs have always been superficial, or chemically induced.

      I am a member of that first, “meh” generation. As Lisa Simpson said so famously on The Simpsons, “We feel neither highs, nor lows.” When Homer asked how she felt about that she replied, “Meh.”

      The pampered, swaddled, Dr. Spock, affluent upbringing and general society, I think, induces this to a large degree.

      Meaning, I think there is value in suffering – just don’t quote me on that without a lot of context!

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