procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Monday, February 25, 2008

something worse than abortion (again)

i've been falsely referring people to this post, thinking i said what i'd been thinking.

as it appears this is not the case, rather simply my background thinking; and considering i've had discussions with people over this subject in the last couple of weeks, i thought i should post more fully my thoughts.

as mentioned in the background post, the foundation for looking at this question is the idea of Retrieval Ethics. that is, considering the twisted nature of this current existence, with suffering, death and sin, how can we hope to retrieve some good in a circumstance. in some ways, it is choosing the lesser of two evils.

and i think, in my humble, correctable opinion, that this framework for ethics can be applied to the issue of abortion. and i believe this for several reasons, but also with many caveats.
  1. abortion should never be the norm. God is a God who loves life, who creates life, who sustains life. life is a good thing, thus abortion should never be thought of as simplistically as "an option".
  2. lying outside of the couple of standard deviation points of the normal scenario, there will always be circumstances that are unusual, that are not to be seen as normalising or precedent setting - yet definitely suggest a need to seek the better be retrieved from an already awful situation.
  3. (and this is the icky one) the time in a womb is not to be undervalued - to say the only true value in life is found in having a full four-score years, ticking all the appropriate boxes (wife, kids, grandkids, house, holiday home, overseas ski holiday, rewarding career), is to place a false descriptor on true wealth. true wealth, for the Christian (and for the non-Christian too, in a Christian's perspective!), is to be loved by God. that this is of less value in the time spent in the womb is to put up a false benchmark.

in light of this, i can forsee times, places, situations, where Jesus' words in Luke 23:29 will be real for some people in the here and now, For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
and this time may be closer, or even current for some people in the here and now. i indeed know of people, situations, where for their child to be born, could be the beginning of a horrific life, for child, for mother, for family.

now i want to say again, that this is not the norm. nor could this ever be normalising.
but my point is that this could be - and is. and to retrieve good out of the situation, abortion may be the better thing.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh - the danger of the retrieval ethic (seen here in all its glory) is that it fails to provide sufficient boundary markers in the pursuit of "the most good". Not only that - but there is the tendency (in all of us I think) to take the exceptional circumstance and make it the rule.
Is there a situation where abortion is "the most good"? Yes (possibly) - when the life of the mother is in serious jeopardy the life of the child might be forfeited in a "lose one or lose both" scenario. In this instance abortion is the only option.
I would struggle to see (in other instances) when abortion might be the "most good" - when other viable options (such as adoption) present themselves.

10:27 am  
Blogger psychodougie said...

i guess my question is whether there is a place for viewing such a thing in terms of a "regrettable" option

setting up this "good" v "evil" dichotomy CAN (again, never the normal case) create climates where doctors who give abortions are murdered.
and in such environs this is the preferred alternative to fostering loving communities where people in a bad place (eg with an unwanted pregnancy) are cared for, loved, made to feel that the impossible, with their help, is possible.

BUT AGAIN this is not the case i'm looking at.

it's more the process by which we arrive at our rights and wrongs - in doing this in the wrong way there are situations where the "most best" is even then too ethically confronting, the guilt for choosing such an option can destroy someone, even if they've made the decision for good reasons.

hope that's clearer-ish!

9:20 pm  

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