Friday, August 22, 2008

Confusion on a fundamental matter

If Sen. Obama is making a poor judgment by claiming not know when life begins and permitting unlimited abortions anyway, then Sen McCain, in addition to not knowing how many houses he and his wife own, or the difference between Shi'a and Sunnis, is just as confused. When answering the same question, asked by Pastor Rick Warren, that Sen. Obama said was above his pay grade, McCain boldly asserted that life begins at conception. My question here is, If life begins at conception, then how can you support embryonic stem cell research?

Michael Sean Winters, writing over on America magazine's In All Things blog observes:
"So, if he truly believes that human beings acquire rights at conception, he is evidently willing to overlook the rights of some unborn children on behalf of research to assist other already born adults. And, let us be clear here. The right he is overlooking is the right to life which he purports to be championing."
If conscience is acting with knowledge, when it comes to life issues, it seems that Sen. Obama needs to do some research and Sen. McCain needs to act consistently on the basis of his correct judgment about when life begins. These observations are appropriate on a day in which the lead-in to the intecessions for Lauds begins: "We trust in God's concern for every person he has created and redeemed through his Son."


  1. "Moral issues are always terribly complex...for someone without principles"
    -G.K. Chesterton

    I have a hard time believing that McCain doesn't recognize the inconsistency in his position. He is too smart not to. Even if he isn't, surely someone by now has pointed it out to him. I feel he is trying to rationalize a middle ground in order to obtain votes. In other words, he is compromising his principles, which makes me nervous, because that's the moment I begin to lose trust in someone.

    I would just love, for once, to have the opportunity to vote for a political candidate who is completely uncompromising in his or her principles. Of course, I would like to share in those principles as well.

  2. Steve:

    Wouldn't that be nice? I'd settle for a candidate who was consistent in her or his positions and who drew logical conclusions from statements, like "I believe that life begins at conception".

    As a Catholic I think that what sets us apart, or enpowers us to think more clearly, are our axiomatic beliefs, such as life begins at conception. Nonetheless, it is axiomatic for a reason; because it is rooted in a judgment made from reason and only secondarily from revelation. In other words, we fully accept that the so-called "moment of conception" can be tricky to to nail down precisely. We say, based on reliable scientfic data, that that moment happens somehere around the time a sperm and an egg join, implant on the uterine wall, and begin rapid cell division. We humbly admit that, while we can speculate, we do not know when exactly when ensoulment occurs. We look to science to unlock the mysteries of human life in utereo and conclude from first principles, and these investigations and technological advances (i.e., imaging technology) that is seems pretty clear that life begins before birth and draw consistent conclusions on these bases among others.

    It sounds complicated, but it isn't. It is far less complicated than stating that since you do not know when life begins, elective abortion is okay. Or, that life begins at conception, but sometimes we may do evil that good may come of it. Can I kill you for a kidney, a heart, eyes, etc?

    Such a state is nothing more than subjectivist, emotivist pandering in which everything gets reduced to an opinion, a preference. How a about a candidate who could educate the electorate on elementary logic by employing it, instead of the spin-meisters controlling him/her with such inconsistent poll-driven statments?

    Personally, I tend to blame the two-party system. Give me the messiness of the parlimentary system any day. I'd love to be a back-bench MP from the Christian Democratic Party.

  3. I'll be brief since I'm posting from my phone.

    I recently engaged an atheist on orthometer about this topic (you can scroll down to a post about john voigt if you want to read it).

    Regarding people who support the right to abortion because they don't know when life begins...well, if you kill a human person because you were ignorant that what you were killing actually was a human person, you are at least guilty of criminal negligence.

    I will stop there as this is a lot of work from my phone.

  4. Exactly. I like the Chesterton quote, too. The difficulty with morality lies not so much in determining good from evil as it does in doing what is good and avoiding what is evil. Why? Because being the fallen creatures that we are, sometimes we actively desire to do evil.


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