Archive for May 2009
Anthony Esolen makes the case against using the term “unintended pregnancy” except in cases of rape. In the same article, he also doesn’t hold with saying unwanted pregnancy, when it is the child that is not wanted.
The above link is to an excerpt at Wittingshire. The full Esolen post is here.
While we’re on Vocabulary Watch, in the Summer 2009 LifeDate (a Lutherans for Life publication), there’s an article on abortion laws in history, which mentions that ‘Iowa’s 1868 abortion statute was titled “An Act to Prohibit Foeticide”.’ I’d say that’s a bit more clear than “abortion”, which has been peddled as a medical procedure. Is there a standard, modern spelling for foeticide, I wonder?
CatholicVote.org has released another video in its Life: Imagine the Potential campaign.
Barb at SFO Mom has some suggested online reading.
Feel free to let us know of other good links in the comments. Thanks.
Nor can such absolutists blind themselves to the traps set by the current discourse, steeped as it is in consequentialist parameters. In any discussion over embryonic stem-cell research, for example, one will inevitably hear an informed and articulate pro-lifer mention the lack of cures that such research has yet yielded. But what defense will remain if, tomorrow, embryonic stem-cell research were to produce a bevy of cures for terminal diseases? Even if the pro-research consequentialist were to accept the above premise, and change his position based on the supposed futility of this research, the victory is a pyrrhic one. For the rules of engagement have shifted onto a pragmatic playing-field, where any moral standard now lies susceptible to a more pressing need. When we compromise even the slightest on intrinsic evils, entertaining effects and trying to use them in our favor, we can hardly be surprised when recourse to first principles no longer carries weight in the great conversations of our day.
In a time when the distinction between can and should has become increasingly blurred, and when fundamental moral norms are under unprecedented attack, the principle of intrinsic evil requires and deserves a staunch defense. The threat of utilitarianism is hardly new; after all, it was the calculating Caiaphas who asserted it was better for one man to die than the whole nation to perish. In the face of public demand for expediency and results—with little or no regard for what seem to be ethical niceties—the pressure of pragmatism can test the purest of consciences. At times the price for holding fast to these absolutes can be very high indeed. But ours is not to count the cost. For these moral norms are not our own; rather, they point always beyond us to a law that we did not invent, a law that we cannot change.
An objective morality naturally bespeaks an objective truth, and in an age of ascendant relativism such allegiance should stand as a sign of contradiction. It ought to lead others to ask a question, or at least a different question: not Does it work?, but Is it right? Without a steadfast adherence to the primacy of that latter question, there is no limit on the brute horrors that wait to be unleashed. The past century is nothing if not a stark lesson in how easily utilitarian calculations can, in the name of some greater good, strike at the very roots of human dignity. Such a conviction as to intrinsic wrongs formed a first line of defense in Mockaitis’ pursuit of justice. For the rest of us, it forms a last line of defense against the triumph of moral anarchy.
Read the whole article: Today’s Practical Problem (First Things, May 8, 2009).
hat tip: The Anchoress
Via Amy Welborn, Julia Duin has written an article headlined Choosing not to abort babies with disabilities (Washington Times, May 10, 2009), with info on supportive organizations, websites, blogs, and books, amongst other things.
Feel free to add to that resource list here in the comments. Thanks.
Scott Klusendorf, president of the Life Training Institute, has a new book out, called The Case for Life. He was interviewed at length by Greg Koukl on STR Radio on May 3, 2009. About half an hour into the interview, they discuss the use – and misuse – of graphic images, something I know is a matter of contention. In the interview, they also talk about various other pro-life tactics, like trotting out the toddler.
For those of you looking to add to your to-read list, Klusendorf recently listed some of his favorites in the “books aspiring pro-life apologists should read” category.