Thursday, March 29, 2007

Do They Have An "If..." [Bob]

Some of my friends have registered a little surprise and uneasiness with a comment I made elsewhere regarding The Lost Tomb of Jesus. Apparently it made some cringe when I said that "if ... James Cameron and company prove to be correct in the assertions they make in this documentary, I will reject Christianity tomorrow. I would be a fool not to."

Along the same lines, Scott is famous, in his debates with pro-abortionists, for his promise to to concede that "elective abortion requires no more justification than having a tooth pulled"
if ... the unborn are not human.

In both cases the biggest word in the sentence is "if."

In both cases the "if" puts all the emphasis on the centrality of the issue in question. If James Cameron is correct and Christ was not resurrected, the Christian faith is nothing but a giant effort in futility based on nothing but a hoax. Likewise, if the unborn are not human the pro-life position disintegrates for lack of a moral center.

So what is the pro-abortionist's "if"? What is the foundational issue on which they would concede their position as being indefensible?

Perhaps some would admit defeat if they were offered proof of the humanity of the unborn. I'm not sure what proof they require that has not already been offered. It seems to me that intellectual honesty would demand that, where any doubt exists about the status of the humanity of the unborn, we would err on the side of protecting it. I suppose that holding to such a position displays a moral bias that a relativized society does not share or acknowledge. But lacking that, the issue on the pro-abortion side can only seem to center on an emotional appeal that is the exact opposite of the component of moral outrage Jay has been addressing. Instead it seems to be an emotional stubbornness grounded solely in the supremacy of personal autonomy.

If this is true, we need to be more intentional about calling them on it by pointing out the fact that, while we are willing to concede a point where our argument is unsustainable, they are not.

I am relatively new to this debate so maybe my position betrays my naivety but it is staggering to me that there seems to be no "if" on the pro-abortion side. If there is one, I would like to know what it is.

1 comment:

  1. What is the best way to convince ones that bodily autonomy and integrity only go so far?

    I try to show that somethings can justly impose on our autonomy and integrity, so you can't say that it is because pregnancy imposes on autonomy that a woman isn't obliged to continue her pregnancy. Most of course point out that, yes a cavity search can be justifiable, but pregnancy is much more severe. So the severity seems to make it unjustifiable, but is this so? I argue the obligation to make up for the need and the parental obligation, the potential loss of the mother vs the potential loss of the child all mitigate this severity.


All comments are moderated. We reject all comments containing obscenity. We reserve the right to reject any and all comments that are considered inappropriate or off-topic without explanation.