For years now there has been something that bothers me about the abortion argument. Yes I agree that there are far too many abortions. I, however, tend to view it as a symptom of a larger problem caused by the entitlement culture devaluing life, its meaning, getting rid of virtue based ethics, offering incentives for short term thinking. Abortion isn’t the problem it’s the government spending and rules that encourage it that are. So I find the near obsession with abortion to be a distraction from the real cause. But what’s worse is that in the desperation to win, social conservatives are giving progressives every bit of ammunition they need to further wreck society. I have noticed for the last few years a disturbing trend—and that trend is the biggest problem I have with the social conservative movement, they have given in to the leftist materialism.
Here is the problem with the modern anti-abortion movement: they hold as gospel truth the idea that life begins at conception. They maintain this because somehow just because a sperm cell and egg cell join together then you have a full genetic code and the modern anti-abortion movement is based on this idea that if you have a full genetic code then you’re a human being. Thus every single embryo frozen in fertility clinics is a human being—I’m sorry but this is certainly one of the dumbest, and certainly in the running for the dumbest, idea I have ever heard. A human being is something far more than just a genetic code. But the modern abortion movement in its desperation to oppose all abortion and prove that abortion at any time, for any reason, under any circumstance, for any purpose, in any place, by any person, in any manner, way, shape or form is evil has given into the leftist materialism. They hold that human life is nothing but genetics. That it is our genetics that make us special. That the complexity of genes somehow puts us above all other forms of life. You know that .1% that sets us off from a chimp can’t be the source of our uniqueness in the universe. (Nor can even the 30% of our DNA we don’t share with the sea sponge). I’m sorry this is wrong, this is as wrong as wrong can be. What makes a human life have value has nothing, not a single thing, to do with DNA. It has to do with having a soul; the human soul is what makes a human being have value…so unless you can PROVE that the human soul enters the embryo at conception then you have no case that human life begins at conception. None. Now from my New Ager perspective I can point to several concepts where the soul does not enter the body until the third trimester…but social conservatives (and I do mean the very vocal, very powerful, Santorum-esque fringe here, I think it’s too large a fringe, but it is not everyone who simply calls themselves a social conservative…I just mean the people who only vote on this issue with blinders on to all others) will not even entertain what I consider evidence so it’s really not relevant to this conversation. You could argue that it’s still living cells but that doesn’t work because if you remove my kidney for a transplant it’s still a living clump of cells, but it does not have rights in and of itself because the soul is not directly attached to the kidney.
Now why have social conservative done this? They didn’t use to hold this line. But I think they got tired of having to argue a spiritual point with people who aren’t very spiritual…and you can’t really prove when the soul enters the body (at least not from a traditional Judeo-Christian viewpoint)…and then there is that problem that as far as I remember the Bible only ever associates the soul with breath (as was the common metaphor in the ancient world), which kind of has that problem of suggesting the soul only enters upon birth. Of course that would at least suggest a far more logical God than the idiot that the modern abortion movement implies—an idiot who despite infinite prescient knowledge will stick a soul into a frozen embryo that could sit there for years (think of that soul’s existence, that’s about as close to Hell as you could possibly get if God is really that dumb). I refuse to believe in an idiot God. God does not follow arbitrary rules for the sake of following reason, because to do so would mean that God does not believe in reason. And if that is the case, then God is not God.
But instead they chose to go with a simple scientific argument and completely ignore the soul. You can get people in the middle with a purely scientific argument. You can get them to more than agree to ban 2nd trimester abortions and put even more regulations on first trimester abortions if you’re just making the argument that life begins at conception because of genetics. Yeah, they could prove that the soul is there before hand if you turned to modern science and studies on life after death and reincarnation, or just to modern psychology which shows that children learn even in the womb…but none of that evidence goes back to conception, and remember that the unwavering goal of social conservatism is that ALL abortion must be outlawed. THERE MUST BE NO EXCEPTION, the goal is that all abortions will eventually be banned (as if you can stop black markets, but let’s ignore economics here). And all other points of policy, philosophy and goals are secondary to abortion when it comes to social conservatives. Since social conservatives can only win with the genetic argument that life is nothing but a full genetic code and living cells, the soul and its importance gets left behind.
And this is where it gets dangerous. What have we seen in history? We have seen, time and time and time again that when the soul is not valued, that when religion or spirituality does not have a place in society, that when government and society say that human life is merely a pack of genes and a group of cells then you see the value of a human being fall apart. Why? Because genes are chemicals. They have no intrinsic value except what you can use them for, what you can get out of them. They become merely a means to an end, and cease being the end in itself. You see ethics fall aside and utilitarianism prevail. You see eugenics or transhumanism say these genes aren’t any good or aren’t good enough, let’s get rid of them and replace them with something we deem better (who deems what is good is only guided by utilitary value, because if human life had intrinsic value you’d never go down this road). You see the argument of let’s get rid of these people because they are of no value and aren’t getting rid of themselves fast enough on their own. You see this or that group is deemed inferior because they do not serve the utilitarian needs of those in power. Let us sterilize and put them off to the side because we can get nothing from them…you see tyranny, fascism, communism. The argument of that life is just being living cells, an argument detached from the soul, leads to a mind-set based in materialism. I would be foolish to claim all atheists are unethical, but history has shown that when society embraces that kind of materialism that denies the soul (1930’s Germany, Russia, China) you get that kind of mass genocide, without exception. You could say that religious people could never lead us down the path where the soul isn’t valued, but look to every time that religion has gone insane, it is always in the name of dogma and policy on Earth that leads to religious bloodbaths—it never comes from a side that believes that the soul, by virtue of being a human soul, has value. The places that believe people are equal throughout history (from an early version of this ideal in the Hellenistic Era, to Poland not giving into Europe’s anti-Semitism, to the spread of religious liberties seen during parts of the Enlightenment, to America stating “that all men are created equal”*), when people value human life because of the soul (whether that’s the word they use or not) you see prosperity…when they don’t you see misery. Without exception.
It is the eagerness of social conservatives to win on this one little issue of abortion that affects a miniscule amount of society that is giving this kind of materialism the long range tools of philosophy to devalue all life. They have given progressives the inroad to destroy the true value of human life. They devalue life with their argument and they perpetuate it…sure we don’t see a lot of it now (although caring more about body counts than liberty when it comes to foreign action, when a country doesn’t go into full on demands for heads to roll when some asks “what difference does it make” to the administration aiding and abetting murder, where people care only about their right to put poison into their body more than the need to fix the system…you could say we’re already seeing the devaluation of human life, but maybe I’m reading too much into that). And to save lives they have given their enemies the greatest tool to destroy life. And I am seriously worried that in the desperation to win the abortion argument by giving up the religious based argument and going for gross materialism social conservatives are actually sowing the seeds for a worse blood bath than the one they believe they are stopping. And all for bans on 2nd term abortions. What a bargain!
What profit social conservatives should they gain abortion but lose liberty?
*Yes, none of these are perfect examples and you will always be able to point to people or groups or policies that contradict the value of the soul. It’s because people and society are a mass of contradictions, but in the eras I list they were more dominated by valuing the soul than not.