Sunday, November 18, 2007

Abortion and Torture: Call it Both Ways

I assert that if a fetus at a given time is a human person then it is morally reprehensible to abort it at that time. Such an act would literally constitute murder. The circumstances of the pregnancy are irrelevant to the morality of the abortion.

Think about it the following way. What are the possible major effects of rape? I assert 1. physical harm, 2. emotional harm, and 3. an unwanted pregnancy. Now imagine a woman is dealt these things another way: a man assaults her on the street, thereby causing physical and emotional damage, and then he places his own newborn infant in her arms and leaves. Is it morally acceptible for that woman to kill that baby, since she doesn't want it, and was wronged in the process of receiving it?

If you say no, and it is true that a fetus at a certain time is a human person, then it is morally reprehensible for even a rape victim to abort her fetus at such time (what would be the difference between the woman who killed the unwanted baby and the woman who killed the unwanted baby inside her?). The circumstances don't alter the morality of something that is inherently, fundamentally evil (that is, if and only if there is a such thing as "persons", and "morality", and the aborted fetus was in fact a person at the time of its death).

But what does this have to do with torture? Here is the crux of my comparison: if an "interrogation technique" is inherently, fundamentally morally wrong then the circumstances cannot change that fact.

It doesn't matter who did what. If a behavior or intention is inherently wrong, then it is wrong. I am not claiming anything too revolutionary here - I am simply calling for logical coherency.

I call our Executive branch to transparency (at the very least to its Congress) regarding its interrogation techniques. Some entity other than the one carrying out the interrogations needs to thoroughly evaluate each and every practice and properly decide whether each constitutes a behavior that is inherently morally wrong. And such a conclusion ought to be relevant, precise, concise, clear, complete, and actually binding.

Watch this informational waterboarding video <--click there.


  1. word. i had never thought about the concept of someone raping a woman and subsequently handing off a child. that makes a lot of sense.

  2. The Raper handing off a child is a great example. I think its pretty impossible for anyone to go through life without something crappy happening to them. We are still called to do the right thing no matter the circumstance.


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