The “Triumph” of Our Era: Institutionalized Death

It isย  Pro-Life Sunday (which I tend to think of as every Sunday, but that is beside the point).

As such, I will post again on that massacre of our day, abortion. I have written about it in the past. I’ve presented arguments against it here, and I attacked the institutionalized death again here. In this post, I will continue to make philosophical and scientific arguments against the institution of death.

It seems that arguments in the Pro-Choice camp are continually pushed back. I will examine this in detail in a moment, but for now let me sum up what I’m saying.

1. Some argued that the fetus was not a human. That has been obviously and scientifically refuted.

2. They retreated and then argued that the fetus is part of the woman. This has also been completely destroyed by scientific and common-sensical arguments.

3. Some then denied that the fetus was not a person and as such did not have the rights of other persons. This ridiculous claim is a slippery slope that, once started down, cannot be recouped.

4. Finally, the extremists argue that one’s right to one’s body justifies infanticide.

I’m not outlining every argument made by the pro-choice side, but rather showing how much they have been forced to retreat. It went from “a fetus is not a human” => “a fetus is part of the woman” => “a fetus is not a person” => “Okay, the fetus is a human person, but my rights trump the rights of it because it is inside me”

What a society we have become when we attempt to justify killing those whom we acknowledge are the same as us in every way, but unborn! This is the “triumph” of our era: institutionalized death.

First, there was the argument that the fetus was not a human. I don’t think I need to dwell on this point much at all. Clearly, the fetus is human. It is not a whale fetus, it is not a cat, it is not a unicorn, it is a human. It is biologically a human in every way. To deny that the fetus is human is to acknowledge that one has given up any attempt at rational inquiry into truth, as this is a simple fact.

Then, the argument became that the fetus was thus a part of the mother. Just as one had an arm, a leg, or an appendix, the fetus was a part of the body of the mother. This can be refuted in a way that is almost identical. The arm, leg, or appendix are made up of cells that are genetically coded by the mother’s DNA. The fetus, however, has a unique genetic code, often a different blood type, and 50% of the time is even a different gender than the mother. Thus, it is clearly not just some part of the mother that can be cast off. But here’s what makes this argument really strange to me. Even if the fetus were classified as part of the mother, does that mean that one is allowed to do whatever one wants with “it?” Do people routinely cut off their legs or arms, rip out a kidney, or do some other kind of self-mutilation? Obviously not. So what makes the fetus different? This argument is extremely confusing to me to begin with, but the fact that is entirely based on falsehoods means I don’t see a need to delve into it further.

The next stage of argumentation was then that a fetus is obviously human but not a person. While this claim may seem completely ludicrous, it is one that is used very often in debate on the abortion issue. The challenge I lay before one making this argument is to come up with an argument that does not exclude infants, young children, the elderly (senile), people with comas (that they are likely to recover from), etc. from being persons as well. If we are to play with the definition of who a person is, we must acknowledge the ramifications of such foul play and the potential for exclusion from basic rights that it can bring to all of us. And of course this is not to mention the obvious similarities in trying to strip personhood from the fetus with the Nazi efforts to strip personhood from various portions of the population.

A recent and disturbing trend in such argumentation that I have seen, however, is to acknowledge all of these points and still be pro-choice. Someone posting on another blog I was reading stated that they did agree that the fetus was a human person with such rights, but “If the entire human race is inside my womb, I am allowed to commit genocide.” Really? Are you? Is genocide now permissible for the sake of convenience? There really doesn’t seem to be a response to this argument, as the person making such an argument has shown that they literally have no qualms about killing at will. How long before being inside someone isn’t the only way this argument can be applied? Babies rely on their mothers for nourishment and care, so they clearly could be murdered as well, for it is not my duty (on such a view) to care for someone who is not me! This is morally disgusting.

I would like to cover a few other points before I close. There are a few more common arguments that I find equally ridiculous in their attempts to justify Institutionalized Death.

1) It is unfair to bring unwanted babies into the world.

2) It is unfair to bring babies into situations that are not beneficial to them

The first argument basically claims that it is not fair to children to be born to families that do not want them. What the person making such an argument seems fully willing to ignore is that it seems a lot more unfair to kill children who are unwanted! It’s striking that once the baby is born, if the mother doesn’t want it, and say, kills it, we charge her with murder. If she abandons it, we charge her with abandonment, etc. Not being wanted does not strip someone of their rights.

The second argument is often made with such claims that it is unfair to have children born into poverty, etc. I ask in response, “What right do we have to judge the quality of someone’s life before they live it?” In America, particularly, it seems that being born into poverty isn’t such a terrible thing, considering poverty here is rich in most other places. But not only that, I must press home the question, who are we to judge whether someone should live or die based on a guess that they will live in poverty (or some other situation). It seems obvious that a great many people in poverty are quite happy (and one needs only to read the tabloids to see how happy the rich are). There is no guarantee that someone born into poverty (or another situation) will always be there, and there is no way to objectively judge how much they will or will not enjoy their life. So what right do we have to kill people because we may think their lives aren’t worth living?

There are, as always, more points to cover, but I will save those for another post. I challenge anyone who is pro-choice to come here and present their arguments to me without being ad hominem in their attempts to refute me. I challenge anyone who is pro-choice to attempt to justify their position while maintaining some kind of civility. I challenge them to think about their position, and the ramifications that the arguments they make carry.


The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author.


About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


15 thoughts on “The “Triumph” of Our Era: Institutionalized Death

  1. Hi, JW. I’m on the road right now, so I’ll be coming back to read more after I get home. I’m leaving Savannah today, been taking the rather long way home after the March for Life in DC. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted to tell you about an action alert. Obama has nominated Dawn Johnsen for Assistant Attorney General. I posted about it on the blog, with a link to a page where you can send a letter to Congress to oppose this move. I wanted to let you know since you are committed to the pro-life movement.

    I’ll be back online later. Gotta get back on the road now. Peace be with you, JW. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by Disciple | February 4, 2010, 6:24 PM
  2. Okay, after a day of everything taking longer to do than I could ever have imagined…I’m back to read your post and comment. And, as I suspected, I agree with you and I’ve had these same experiences while attempting to discuss the situation with those whose minds are already made up and no amount of proof or truth has any effect on them, none whatsoever. So frustrating.

    I definitely have noticed the arguments going through exactly those same stages you mention above. And the view that, yes, the preborn is human but not a person…well, that is precisely the view that Peter Singer propounds. According to him, since the baby cannot be socialized and cannot really *want* to live, since the baby can’t do anything so sophisticated until the age of around two years, then the baby isn’t really a person. Human, yes, person, no. So, since the baby is human but not a person, there’s really nothing stopping us from aborting babies up to two years old, right?

    :O WRONG!

    I’m so glad you’re writing about this, JW. I’m surprised there aren’t more comments already. I thought someone would have come along to defend these all too common objections to the pro-life position. But, then, maybe what you wrote made someone think about what they’ve been saying all these years. And helped them see how untenable those ideas really are. Hope springs eternal, anyway.

    Peace be with you, JW. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by Disciple | February 6, 2010, 7:10 AM
    • Thanks very much for your comments, Disciple! It is very interesting to watch the (necessary backtracking) pro-deathers have to undergo in order to push their argument in these times, when science, philosophy, and common sense contradict every claim they attempt to make.

      I’m writing something even more important than this right now about abortion, but it’s not going to be any kind of blog post. I’m hoping that posts like this will help to make people rethink their self-evidently wrong views.

      Also, thanks for the heads-up! Consider a letter sent.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | February 8, 2010, 5:12 PM
  3. I tend to think that one flaw in Singer’s argument against the personhood of unborn (and even infant) human beings) is that he confuses the inability to actualize an attribute with the possession of an attribute. He thinks an unborn human being does not possess personhood because it cannot perform the sophisticated actions of a person. I think this is a fundamental flaw in his argument.

    Comments? Objections?

    Posted by pablo | September 6, 2012, 4:16 AM


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