Abortion Is Murder

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Abortion is Murder Eric M Brown

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Schema:   

  P1. Every murder is intrinsically evil.    P2. Every elective abortion is murder.    Sub.C: Every elective abortion is intrinsically evil.    C. Abortion is always morally impermissible.                                 

  Abortion Abortion is always morally impermissible. This proposition is proven from the following argument. Every murder is intrinsically evil. Every elective abortion is murder. Therefore, every elective abortion is intrinsically evil. Consequently, abortion, as is commonly and politically understood, is always morally impermissible. To prove that every murder is intrinsically evil requires some definitions of the terms involved. Let murder be defined as the intentional killing of an innocent human person. “Intentional killing” means the human act of killing willed as an end or a means to another end. The word “innocent” must be understood, as objectively innocent, for it is not murder to kill a maniac in self-defense. Therefore, innocent human life is to be defined objectively as human life that is consistent with the common good of political society. Next let an intrinsically evil act be defined as a human action, which due to its object is morally evil. An intrinsically evil act is a human action that is morally evil irrespective of any circumstances or intention involved. The promoters of situation ethics, moral relativists, and most if not all utilitarians deny the reality of intrinsically evil acts. However, by proving that every murder is intrinsically evil; situation ethics, moral relativism, and utilitarian theories that deny the reality of any intrinsically evil act are proven to be false in this respect. Human life is a natural good which every human being, in so far as they are an animate being, is naturally inclined to preserve. Therefore, by reason of this natural inclination, innocent human life, i.e. human life consistent with the common good of political society, is therefore an inviolable natural good and thus an inviolable natural right. Therefore to intentionally kill innocent human life is a human action, which due to

its very object, intentionally killing innocent human life, is morally evil. Therefore, every intentional killing of an innocent human person is intrinsically evil. Every murder is an intentional killing of an innocent human person by definition. Consequently, premise one of this paper has been proven, which is that every murder is intrinsically evil. To prove that every elective abortion is murder requires the definition of an elective abortion. Also opposition to this second premise that every elective abortion is murder will be examined. An elective abortion, as distinguished from either a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) or an indirect abortion, is an induced termination of pregnancy intended as an end to itself or as a means to another end. In order to prove that every elective abortion is murder, it is necessary to prove that every life of each human person begins at conception. This subconclusion will be proven using the biology of genetics, embryology, and the nature of the human person. Many, of course, deny the theory that every life of each human person begins at conception. First of all, this position is denied by those who claim that the being killed at abortion is not even a human being, let alone a human person. This position is also denied by those who grant that the being killed by abortion is a human being or member of the human species, but who contend that such a human being is not a human person and therefore not subject to rights. Still others adopt one or another variant of the gradualist view, which holds that at some point during gestation the entity that was conceived becomes human and personal in nature. The first objection to the proposition that every life of each human person begins at conception is that the being killed at abortion is not even a human being. This is evidently refuted from genetics and embryology. Robert H. Bork summarizes the question at hand and its answer.

“In thinking about abortion, it is necessary to address two questions. Is abortion always the killing of a human being? If it is, is that killing done simply for convenience? I think there can be no doubt that the answer to the first question is yes; and the answer to the second is almost always. … The question of whether abortion is the termination of a human life is a relatively simple one. It has been described as a question requiring no more than a knowledge of high school biology. … The male sperm and the female egg each contains twenty-three chromosomes. Upon fertilization, a single cell results containing forty-six chromosomes, which is what all humans have, including, of course, the mother and the father. But the new organism’s forty-six chromosomes are in a different combination from those of either parent; the new organism is unique. It is not an organ of the mother’s body but a different individual. … The cell will multiply and develop, in accordance with its individual chromosomes, … . From single cell fertilized egg to baby to teenager to adult to old age to death is a single process of one individual, not a series of different individuals replacing each other. It is impossible to draw a line anywhere after the moment of fertilization and say that before this point the creature is not human but after this point it is. It has all the attributes of a human from the beginning, and those attributes were in the forty-six chromosomes with which it began. … Such a creature is not a blob of tissue or, as the Roe opinion so infelicitously put it, a ‘potential life’. … It is impossible to say that the killing of the organism at any moment after it originated is not the killing of a human being.”1 The only essential change that occurs in human gestation is that which occurs at the instant of conception. At the instant of conception the male and female gametes fuse to create a zygote. Both the male and female gametes are haploid human cells. Haploid human cells are cells with a single set of twenty-three unpaired chromosomes. These are strictly reproductive cells and thus are not members of the human species. However at the instant of conception, the zygote is created and is a diploid cell. Diploid human cells are cells with twice the haploid number of twenty-three chromosomes, totaling forty-six chromosomes, characteristic of the human species. Consequently, necessarily at the instant of conception, there is the first moment of existence for each member of the human species and there is no essential change afterwards. Therefore, the idea that the pregnancy of the mother is a blob of tissue conceals rather than reveals the specifically                                                          1 Robert H. Bork. Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. New York, NY: ReganBooks, 1996, pgs.174-175. 

human nature of the result of human procreation. Further, the idea that a woman’s pregnancy is a part of the mother’s body is a complete fiction invented early in the twentieth century, not by a biologist, but by the sexologist Havelock Ellis in his Studies in the Psychology of Sex (New York: 1924) 6.607. This myth has become an ideological tenet of most modern feminists. This is evidently false in view of the biological fact that every zygote cell that comes in existence at fertilization is genetically different, while remaining human, from every cell of the mother. Another argument along this line of objection is that the result of human procreation does not look human. Robert Bork correctly analyzes the problem with this argument, which extends to life at every stage of human gestation. “ I suspect that appearance is made an issue because the more recognizably a baby the fetus becomes the more our emotions reject the idea of destroying it. But those are uninstructed emotions, not emotions based on a recognition of what the fetus is from the beginning.”2 In fact this argument is based on the false theory of knowledge that is empiricism, which limits intellectual judgment to sense appearances as distinguished from the nature of things. The life of each human person is a substantial reality that is not determined by sense appearances. The appearances of an entity are irrelevant to whether or not such entity has the substantial reality of human life. Therefore it has been proven that the first instant of existence of each member of the human species is at conception. Thus zygote, embryo, fetus, infant, etc. are simply stages in the development of each one’s individual human life. The second objection to the proposition that every life of each human person begins at conception is that the being killed by abortion is a human being or member of                                                          2 Robert H. Bork. Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline, pgs.175-176. 

the human species, but who contend that such a human being is not a human person. Bork answers this objection. “Other common arguments are that the embryo or fetus is not fully sentient, or that it can not live outside the mother’s womb, or that the fetus is not fully a person unless it is valued by its mother. These seem utterly insubstantial arguments. A newborn is not fully sentient, nor is a person in an advance stage of Alzheimer’s disease. … Equally irrelevant to the discussion is the fact that the fetus cannot survive outside the womb. Neither can a baby survive without the nurture of others, usually the parents. Why dependency, which lasts for years after birth, should justify terminating life is unexplainable.” 3

The basis of the objection that affirms human life begins at conception but denies person hood to the preborn result of procreation is that of seriously erroneous theories of the human person. These theories affirm one of three positions. The first position affirms that personhood requires exercisable cognitive abilities. The second position affirms that personhood is dependent on sense organs and a brain. The third position asserts that the personhood of the preborn begins when the mother decides to accept and want the pregnancy. This position asserts that if the mother does not accept the pregnancy and decides to abort, then that human life must be regarded as not a human person, for personhood has not been bestowed on the pregnancy by the mother. All of these positions are erroneous because they violate the nature of each human person that is the individual substantial reality of a rational nature. Thus, the reality of the human person is independent of the possession or privation of accidental perfections such as consciousness, the use of reason, or any sense organs including the brain. Therefore, in order to be a human person, all that is necessary and sufficient is to be a member of the human species. The third position is extremely egregious because it is completely                                                          3 Robert H. Bork. Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline, pg.176. 

subjective and absurd in as much as such a theory would entail that the pregnancy could change from being a human person to a nonperson if the mother ceases to want the pregnancy after having previously wanted it. Bioethics must be based on biological facts and not subjective theories. Having refuted all objections to the proposition that every life of each human person begins at conception, a summary of the argument proving this proposition can be presented. Every human life begins at conception. Every member of the human species is a human person. Every human life is a member of the human species. Therefore every human life is a human person, and thus every life of each human person begins at conception. Now this paper is in a position to prove that every elective abortion is murder. Since every life of each human person begins at conception and every human person prior to birth is objectively innocent4, every induced intentional termination of pregnancy is the intentional killing of an innocent human person. By definition of elective abortion, every elective abortion is the induced intentional termination of pregnancy. Therefore every elective abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human person. Next by definition of murder, every intentional killing of an innocent human person is murder. Consequently, restating the argument, every intentional killing of an innocent human person is murder and every elective abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human person. Therefore, every elective abortion is murder. Consequently, the second premise of the main argument intended to prove that every elective abortion is intrinsically evil, has been proven. Thus, every murder is intrinsically                                                          4 Remembering that by objectively innocent is meant that their life is consistent with the common 

good of political society. It is preposterous to claim, as some feminists do, that the preborn child is an  aggressor against the mother and is thus not innocent. Diseases that affect the mother are not caused  by the child, but are only complications due to pregnancy. The preborn child is completely  defenseless and innocent. 

evil, is proven premise one, and every elective abortion is murder, is proven premise two. Consequently, that every elective abortion is intrinsically evil is the proven conclusion. As a result, that abortion is always morally impermissible must be necessarily concluded. In conclusion, Robert H. Bork describes the reality behind the pro-abortion movement. “ Many who favor the abortion right understand that humans are being killed. Certainly the doctors who perform and nurses who assist at abortions know that. So do non-professionals. Otherwise abortion would not be smothered in euphemisms. Thus, we hear the language of ‘choice’, ‘reproductive rights’, and ‘medical procedures’. Those are oddly inadequate terms to describe the right to end the life of a human being. It has been remarked that ‘pro-choice’ is an odd term since the individual whose life is at stake has no choice in the matter. These are ways of talking around the point that hide the truth from others and, perhaps, from oneself.” 5

                                                         5 Robert H. Bork. Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline, pgs.178-179.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Robert H. Bork. Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. New York, NY: ReganBooks, 1996.

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