Monday, March 23, 2009

LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

I just visited a blog at which the author claims to embrace "liberalism."

The writer seems to be a very nice person with a good sense of humor and good writing skills.

In fact, there is little to evidence "liberalism" in the traditional sense of the word, except unexplained references to abortion and homosexuals.

My own position on abortion has been made clear on this blog in the past, but I will synopsize it for this discussion.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that God (their Creator) has given (endowed) us "...certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

The right to life was one of the fundamental reasons Thomas Jefferson felt we should no longer be subject to government rule.

To be sure, TJ was referencing the taking of life without due process, a practice of Great Britain at the time.

His idea was that government should be subjected to the people, not the people to the government.

Life, being an unalienable right, needs definition.

Science comes to our rescue by defining life as that which (among other things) multiplies and/or grows, takes on nourishment, gives off waste, reacts to stimuli, etc.

The first thing that happens when human sperm enters a human egg is that it forms a life-form called scientifically, a zygote.

(I have never heard a doctor tell a woman that she is "with zygote," rather, "with child" (in the archaic, that is.)

The zygote exhibits all of the characteristics of life mentioned above.

Via its DNA, it is also distinguishable from every other life-form: chimpanzees; snakes; plants; viruses, etc. .

About 3 days after conception, the zygote consists of 16 cells and is called "a 16 cell morula" (a.k.a. pre-embryo).

Five days or so after conception, a cavity appears in the center of the morula. The grouping of cells are now called a blastocyst. It has an inner group of cells which will become the fetus and later the newborn; it has an outer shell of cells which will "become the membranes that nourish and protect the inner group of cells."

By 12 days or so after conception, the blastocyst has started to produce hormones which can be detected in the woman's urine. She can now confirm pregnancy via a medically appropriate pregnancy test.

Thirteen or fourteen days after conception a "primitive streak" appears. It will later develop into the fetus' central nervous system. The morula is now an embryo.

The woman can now confirm pregnancy with a home pregnancy test.

The embryo's heart begins to beat about 18 to 21 days after conception.

Enough biology...for now.

From this point on, the woman and her "significant other" (hopefully her husband) will NEVER refer to "our embryo," but to "our baby."

The baby is a person with personality.

Some are active, others more placid.

Most react to loud noises, some to music (differently, by the way, to different types of music), to heat, cold and other stimuli.

Soon, a sonogram will reveal the baby's features...and with full-color, 3-D sonograms, his or her skin-tone, unique markings, and much more.

The baby floats like an astronaut in a fluid inside of a very special environment.

He/she is tethered to the mother by an umbilical cord, which allows certain things, like nourishment to get to the baby.

The same cord allows other substances to be carried away from the baby...waste, toxins, etc.

By biological miracle, the two types of substances never mix! It's like magic...only magic has nothing to do with it.

In my humble, but correct, opinion, that baby has a right to life. Period.

There is no room in my open mindedness for discussion about that.

It is an unalienable right to life conferred upon it by its Creator, not by courts, governments, doctors or other individuals, including the mother.

When I was in the eighth grade, my mother was pregnant with my third sister when it became evident that things had gone terribly wrong. The baby's bio-chemical processes became imbalanced and the resulting toxins threatened to take her life, as well as the life of my mother.

With much sadness, the baby was aborted. My mother had three other children to care for, and the choice, though incredibly difficult, had to be made in their favor.

My mother died a few years ago at age 89. But before she died I had a conversation with her about our family, reminding her of how much she was loved by her three children. "Four," she quickly corrected.

That hit me right between the eyes.

As a family we had rarely spoken of our lost sister, but after all of those years, the fourth child, her daughter, was still a part of my mother's psyche.

Listen to me, people...the decision to abort a child is NEVER an isolated historical event, but perseveres in one form or another for eternity.

As a conservative, the right to life, from conception to biological death is a sacred tenet to me.

Having read all of the "liberals'" arguments about a woman's so-called "choice to do with her own body as she wishes," I have found them every one to be shallow and self-centered...something no self-respecting liberal (or human being) should ever be.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered limiting your posts to 500 words?

May be more effective in spreading your brilliance.

Z said...

This was a good post...lots of information. Thanks, Joe.

sue said...

Joe - did you check my answer to your comment on my blog? I asked you in a couple of places to be more specific. Thanks.

snaggletoothie said...

I have an argument against abortion that I, personally, find iron clad. This first occurred to me twenty or twenty-five years ago when I considered myself a liberal and a supported fairly wide abortion rights.
It crossed my mind that all zygotes and fetuses develop into humans. Why set the point at which they are respected as life at three months or four months? For years after Roe v Wade three months was accepted. But it becomes too slippery a slope. We now have a president who is comfortable with nine months, give or take. Where does it go from there? Two and a half years? fourth grade? There has been obvious sliding down the slope and all in an anti-human life direction. Enough already: a zygote is human.

Tom said...

The problem is that we have a legal definition of life, not a scientific or moral one.

A slippery slope, indeed...

Joe said...

Anonymous: O how I thank you for your input. Your wisdom is beyond my imagination. How you could come up with such a profound suggestion is amazing! What a thought...limit my posts to 500 words! WOW! Wo would have thunk it? I can't imagine that someone with your limited reading ability could even come up with such a thought. And here I had figured that the more I wrote, the more people would read, thus improving their vocabulary, their reading skills, their over-all understanding of the world and how it works. How could I have been so wrong? How? Oh, please, tell me how?

On second thought...NO.

Joe said...

Z: Thanks. Sometimes I get going and can't stop. (See Anonymous' comment above.)

Sue: Actually, I have not seen your answer yet, but will scurry on over there to read it.

Snaggletoothie: Good point!

Tom: You are so right. Slippery slope indee.....

jimmy said...

So what do all the commenters here have to say about in vitro fertilization (IVF)? Typically at least 20 fertized eggs are used to get one good one.

Somebody should speak up.

Because if you believe life begins at conception, IVF is killing a life just like a partial birth abortion.

Can't wait to hear from y'all!!!

jimmy said...

*crickets*

just as I suspected, hyppocrits and cowards.

Mark said...

My wife, who is staunchly pro-life, posed this question to me the other day:

If you had a 10 year old daughter who was raped and, as a result, became pregnant, and abortion was necessary to save your daughter's life, would you still be against abortion?

Tough question, eh?

I answered it is probably a moot point, because pregnancy from rape is extremely rare because of the trauma involved. And because most 10 year olds aren't capable of getting pregnant, anyway.

But she continued to press me for an answer, presenting the argument that IF it happened regardless, what would I do?

My stance is usually, Abortion is always wrong, even in cases of rape and incest. My reasoning is, rape and incest are morally wrong and unlawful, and psychologically damaging, but abortion punishes the innocent baby, the only sinless entity in the equation.

But what if it's necessary to save the life of the mother? I don't know. If the mother was lawfully an adult, I suppose I would have to leave the decision up to the mother, but if she's 10? I don't know. what say you?

Joe said...

Mark: I say that there is a difference between abortion for convenience and abortion to save a life.

In the philosophy of situational ethics, every moral choice depends on the situation as defined by the one in the situation.

It is a false philosophy.

In the case of a medical necesity to actually save the mother's life, abortion becomes necessary. Somebody's going to die, and in this case, the one with the lesser effect on life and family is the one who must be heartbreakingly chosen.

TAO said...

Talk about situational ethics:

"In the case of a medical necesity to actually save the mother's life, abortion becomes necessary. Somebody's going to die, and in this case, the one with the lesser effect on life and family is the one who must be heartbreakingly chosen."

You have basically claimed that a 'mother' or an adult has more effect on life and on the family. So you are claiming that one life is more valuable than another.

Not too far from the slippery slope of allowing a woman to decide if an abortion is a 'value'

Who makes the call in regards to a 'medical necessity' ?

Mark said...

Allow me to reiterate:

The odds against a 10 year old getting pregnant and getting pregnant as a result of a traumatic rape at the same time are virtually astronomical. The chances that these two scenarios would ever happen simultaneously in the same case at the same time are almost nil.

Tapline said...

When there is a question between the life of the mother or the child, ask the Catholic Church! They dictate the child over the mother, I believe, unless they have changed

Tapline said...

When there is a question between the life of the mother or the child, ask the Catholic Church! They dictate the child over the mother, I believe, unless they have changed

Joe said...

TAO: "You have basically claimed that a 'mother' or an adult has more effect on life and on the family. So you are claiming that one life is more valuable than another."

Here it is a question of upon whom the greatest responsibilities lie, the baby or the mother. It is not pleasant, but it is a necessary real-world decision that must be made.

"Who makes the call in regards to a 'medical necessity'?" (I think you meant "...with regard to...")

The call must be a cooperative decision made among the doctor, the mother and the father.

It is, in my opinion, the toughest real-world decision to be made in the entire universe.

The government has NO role to play here.

Joe said...

Jimmy: Would you please define the word "hyppocrits" for us? I don't find it in any of the dictionaries I checked.

James of Nazareth said...

Better yet, Joey, define IVF.

Define 20 lives murdered for every life gained.

Does anybody on this blog support in vitro fertilization?

If life begins at conception, what say all of you? Why are all of you ignoring the murdered bodies in the room?

Why are you silent?

Just like the German Nazi sympathizers -- silent in the face of atrocity!! Your silence condemns thousands more to death.

Are you proud of your silence in the face of this atrocity?

All of you should be ashamed if you believe in a culture of life.

Stand up! Either defend IVF or condemn it, but do not be a dumb, silent, ignorant mob.

Joe said...

James of Nazareth: Maybe the commenters on this post did not address invitro fertilization because it was OFF TOPIC.

You SEEM articulate and intelligent enough to know that when a post is about a specific subject, injecting a topic promoting ones' own agenda is inappropriate and irrelevant.

Perhaps I will addres "IVF" at a later date, at which time I will happily address your comments.

Susannah said...

Hi Joe, How are ya? (I read your rules, Joe. I know I'm supposed to address you in the comment section. Could I speak to Jimmy for a sec.?)

Jimmy, life indeed begins at conception. Just ask any woman (like myself) who "knows" when she became pregnant. (Not every woman 'knows' this. I was just blessed w/ the gift. I guess it was my head's up from God b/c pregnancy was ROUGH for me - start to finish.) I've digressed... Sounds fishy, I know, that a woman could "know" when she became pregnant. Call it a woman's intuition, life instinct or whatever. I call it LIFE, & I KNEW it when it happened - 3 times. I could point to the date & name the hour for my MD's (okay, sorry, TMI).

You raise a good question, though, which is why I have a bit of a problem w/ IVF, though I admit I don't understand it as well as you do.

However, I take exception to your assumption that everyone here is hypocritical & cowardly just b/c nobody addressed the issue (as it was not the aim of Joe's post). Any one of us would've had to simlutaneously post a comment, reading your mind, in order to avoid being the target of your unfortunate labeling.

Since that was clearly not a viable scenario, I'm of the opinion that-cha just wanted to kick around some sand...Come on Jimmy, you can do better than that!

JACQUELINE E THURSTON said...

Happiness, it seems to me, consists of two things: first, in being where you belong, and second -- and best -- in comfortably going through everyday life, that is, having had a good night's sleep and not being hurt by new shoes

BRENT KRUEGER said...

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.Yours is a nice blog.