Simple Liberty  



Is Life Valuable?

Written by Darrell Anderson.

I do not intend to discuss whether I support or reject the concept of human abortion. By abortion, I mean the voluntary termination of a pregnancy before birth.

I accept the straightforward principle of each human possessing sole rights to his or her body except when trespass occurs. Yet, I wonder in the long scheme of things whether the so-called “right to choose” is healthy with respect to abortions.

A foundational question is not whether a woman possesses a right to choose, but how much do humans collectively value life?

Humans embrace certain abstract concepts such as self, property, rights, contracts, and consent. They embrace these concepts to reduce conflict and the potential for violence.

As far as I can tell, humans are an animal species and do not have to embrace these ideas. Regardless of one’s beliefs about human origins, humans can reject these concepts. If one believes that humans evolved naturally, then humans are merely sophisticated animals that, through these concepts, try to modify certain instinctive desires that tend to improve the chances of survival. If one supports a religionist theory of origins, then humans are devolving because of a sinful nature. Yet, if one embraces such a religionist view, one must also recognize the power to choose. Thus, the subject of origins is immaterial in these discussions because humans have the ability to choose any social system they want.

If humans are to embrace a woman’s right to choose and to abort a pregnancy at any time, then why should humans embrace any social concepts at all? Why not just accept the simpler principle of biological raw acquisition, or, might makes right? Why bother with these other complicated social principles? Without those principles the entire discussion about abortion is relegated to the mere biological realm.

The entire reason for embracing these concepts is to sustain life with less conflict and violence. Seems to me that many people embracing the concept of abortion ignores those concepts.

I do not know if any woman should be allowed to abort a pregnancy, or if certain situations warrant such a decision. I believe such a decision is exceedingly personal and should be left to that realm of decision-making. Yet, if humans choose to embrace these other concepts, then I would think humans should reject the concept of abortion-at-will except in distressing situations. A blanket approval of abortion-for-convenience seems to contradict many concepts that humans currently embrace.

Either these concepts make sense or they do not. If they do not, then there is nothing “wrong” with abortion. If the concepts do make sense, then humans should value all life rather highly. That does not mean there might not be times when aborting a pregnancy is sensible, only that aborting pregnancies would seldom occur. However, many people embracing the modern abortion philosophy demonstrate that life is not valued highly. By implication then, they cannot value highly the other concepts either. Therefore, taken to a logical conclusion, the concept of self is meaningless, and humans actually are surviving by mere biological raw acquisition and might makes right. That means humans are indistinguishable from other animal species.

Because the violent philosophy of statism is so prevalent in today’s world, one has a difficult time rebutting this conclusion. People embracing the philosophy of statism reject the concept of self.


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