Friday, August 29, 2014

Explaining Why Abortion is Wrong While Avoiding Religious Terms



Today I would like to show how one can debate, argue, on the merits of being pro-life without using religious texts for support.

Using only science and our own Declaration of Independence we can make a solid argument against any and all abortions. First we need to understand that a person is a living human being. The online dictionary Merriam-Webster defines ‘person’ as “a human being.” Second, our Declaration of Independence tells us that all human beings have an unalienable right to life. And thirdly, we can know that a new human being begins its life at the moment of fertilization. As the same online dictionary defines‘fertilization’ as: the process of union of two gametes whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated.

There you have it. Everything you need to successfully explain your pro-life position as being well supported by science by applying the fundamental right to life for all human beings from the beginning of its life (at fertilization) to its natural end.

There’s no other conclusion possible. You see, the only objections to my position of pro-life is to argue that size, level of development, Environment or degree of dependency are points allowing for the destruction of what is growing in the womb, which science tells us that it’s a living human being.

Let’s look at these different objections to see how weak their position really is. Does size determine if someone has a right to life? No, of course not. A baby is much smaller than a teenager but that doesn’t mean that the baby doesn’t have a right to life simply because it’s smaller in size. The same goes for a newly formed human being, the zygote. It may be extremely small but it is indeed a human being and alive and therefore it has a right to life just as a baby or a teenager does. Size does not determine if one has rights.

Does the level of development determine if one has the right to life? Of course not. An adult human being is much more developed than a toddler, does that mean that the adult has a greater degree of this right to life than the toddler does? Just because the level of development might prevent a human being from ‘thinking’ or ‘feeling’ doesn’t mean that our value is based on our abilities. Some individuals , like Gabby Gingras, can’t feel pain at all but that doesn’t mean that she has no right to life.

Does ones location determine if one has a right to life? No. Just because they are living in the womb at the moment, which is in its proper location for its age, doesn’t change ones nature that they are indeed a human being and the fact that they are growing means that they are alive. All living human beings have a right to life no matter where they may be at a certain time in their lives. I have as much a right to life whether I’m in bed or at work; the same applies to the individual whether she is in the womb or in her mother’s arms.

And lastly, the level of dependency. The fact that the individual who is completely dependent on the mother for survival does not determine whether he has a right to life. If that were the case then a newborn would not have a right to life either since it is completely dependent on someone else, usually the mother for its survival. If level of dependency on another for survival determines if one has a right to life means that the killing of newborns would be morally acceptable. No rational individual would support the killing of newborns.

Again, we can plainly see that if it can be ascertained with a great amount of certainty that a new human being begins its existence at the moment of fertilization, then by virtue of believing in the right to life for all supercedes any ‘rights’ the mother may feel she has to an abortion for whatever reason. Science has determined with certainty that a human being does indeed begin its life at the moment of conception which means that a mothers ‘right’ to choose to deliberately kill her developing human being should not be allowed by law.

The right to life is to be afforded to all living human beings simply by virtue of them being human beings. And that right to life cannot be taken away because of their size, level of development, environment or dependency. They deserve this right because we believe that the founders had it right; that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights[that cannot be taken away or denied], that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”


God Bless
Nathan

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sir Richard Attenborough

Sir Richard Attenborough has passed away at age 90.  While he's been a character actor in many films, my best memory of him is as Jacob in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (a favorite of my daughter before she passed away).
Sir Richard Attenborough (Jacob) with Donny Osmond (Joseph)
Rest in peace, Sir Attenborough.

http://movies.msn.com/movies/article.aspx?news=885678

Friday, August 22, 2014

Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

Dr. Scott Hahn posted to Facebook this Open Letter to Richard Dawkins and encouraged sharing it...  I agree and am sharing...  please feel free to do the same.  I'll have a final comment after the letter....

Dear Dr. Dawkins,
Earlier this week, on Twitter, you drew attention to a troubling fact unknown to most people. You pointed out that in the United States and Europe, most children conceived with Down syndrome are aborted. You’re right. Some experts put the number as high as 90 percent. Others suggest that only 65 percent, or 70 percent, or 80 percent of children with Down syndrome are aborted. The actual number is probably very difficult to determine. You have a platform, Dr. Dawkins, an audience, and in some real way I’m very grateful that you drew attention to the pre-natal eradication of people with Down syndrome.
But you made your point about the ubiquity of Down syndrome abortion in order to defend a terrible assertion. You suggested on Twitter, Dr. Dawkins, a moral imperative to abort children conceived with Down Syndrome. You said that if a woman had the choice to abort such a child, and she failed to so, she would have acted immorally. I’m troubled by that, and, very honestly, I’m confused.
You’ve traditionally held a position of moral neutrality regarding abortion. You’ve asserted that killing animals, with the capacity to experience pain, fear, and suffering, is of greater moral significance than killing fetuses: nascently human, you assert, but without the kind of sentience that gives them moral significance. You’ve suggested that no carnivore can reasonably hold a position in opposition to abortion. You’re not alone in that position, it’s become de rigueur among most contemporary analytic ethicists.
I disagree with your position. I’ve long ago concluded that the fetus, the embryo, and in fact, the zygote are human beings—undeveloped, certainly, but possessing the dignity and the rights of sentient adults.
Despite my disagreement, I recognize that you’ve tried to apply your viewpoint with consistency across a variety of ethical situations.
Until this week. This week, you moved from presenting abortion as a morally neutral act to asserting that the abortion of some people—genetically disabled people—is a moral good. A moral imperative, in fact. You haven’t asserted a basis for this position. I suspect you believe that people with Down syndrome suffer, needlessly, and cause undue suffering to their friends and relatives. And, as a general principle, I believe you’re inclined to obviate as much human suffering as possible.
You’ve often said that people who disagree with you should “go away, and learn how to think.” I’ve tried to learn to think, over the years, but perhaps I am naive in some ways. But one of things I’ve concluded is that ethical philosophy can’t be done in a sterile environment—that our humanity, our intuition, our empathy, in fact, must be recognized as a source of ethical insight if we want to think well. Perhaps you believe that your position on abortion and down syndrome is logically valid. But I wonder if you’re kept awake at night by the revulsion that comes with being the champion of killing.
Suffering is not a moral evil to be avoided. Suffering can have meaning and value. Ask Victor Frankl. Or Mohandas Gandhi. Or Martin Luther King, Jr. Or, if you’re willing, ask my children.
I have two children with Down syndrome. They’re adopted. Their birth-parents faced the choice to abort them, and didn’t. Instead the children came to live with us. They’re delightful children. They’re beautiful. They’re happy. One is a cancer survivor, twice-over. I found that in the hospital, as she underwent chemotherapy and we suffered through agony and exhaustion, our daughter Pia was more focused on befriending nurses and stealing stethoscopes. They suffer, my children, but in the context of irrepressible joy.
I wonder, if you spent some time with them, whether you’d feel the same way about suffering, about happiness, about personal dignity. I wonder, if you danced with them in the kitchen, whether you’d think abortion was in their best interest. I wonder, if you played games with them, or shared a joke with them, whether you’d find some worth in their existence.
And so, Dr. Dawkins, I’d like to invite you to dinner. Come spend time with my children. Share a meal with them. Before you advocate their deaths, come find out what’s worthwhile in their lives. Find out if the suffering is worth the joy.
I don’t want you to come over for a debate. I don’t want to condemn you. I want you to experience the joy of children with Down syndrome. I want your heart to be moved to joy as well.
Any day next week is good for us except for Wednesday.
Sincerely yours,
JD Flynn
JD Flynn writes from Lincoln, Nebraska. 
 
For many years I taught gymnastics - and in that previous life one of my specialties was working with the Special Needs community.  Many of these children had Downs Syndrome, and each one - in their own special way - was a true gift and joy to work with.  Certainly sometimes challenging, but the rewards were always worth it.  I had the honor to coach the Special Olympics gymnastics champion for several of those years.  
 
I hope Dr. Dawkins accepts JD Flynn's invitation.  There is no way one can spend time with one of these special children without seeing the gift they bring to all around them.
 
 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sadness Over the Death of Robin Williams

On my way home from work today I heard the news of the apparent suicide of Robin Williams.  I briefly looked on Facebook and saw many of the sad posts mourning the loss of Robin Williams.  Certainly as an actor, he will be missed.  He was a man of many talents and was able to bring his audiences to tears of joy, and sometimes tears of sadness too.  What saddens me more though is, if the reports are true, that he succumbed to suicide - which is a total lack of faith, even a rejection of faith.  Only God can judge what the state of Mr. Williams soul was at the point of death - so I will not presume to judge his eternal state, but it saddens me to hear about someone who felt his or her problems were bigger than God could handle.

My prayers go out to William's family, and I do pray for his soul - may God have mercy on him.

Photograph: Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times/ContourPhotos.com

Friday, August 08, 2014

ISIS Monsters Beheading Children

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, aka ISIS, is taking "terror" to new heights.  They are beheading children simply because they are Christian.  I had thought about posting the picture of a Syrian father holding the lifeless body of his headless daughter for the shock value, but I have decided against it.  Or how about group crucifixions of Christians?  If you really want to see that morbidity, it's not hard to find in Google or Yahoo searches.  This is beyond terror, it is horror.

Meanwhile, many Americans sit at home and ponder the upcoming NFL season and/or speculate on what is in store for the NBA and NHL seasons which are not much further away.  Should the world stop and put an end to these monsters who claim to be fighting for Allah?  Or, should we just carry on as if nothing is happening, after all, it's not happening in our backyard?  How is this genocide any less horrific than Hitler's treatment of the Jews?  What is it going to take to get the world to take action against ISIS?  I know the USA is still recovering from many years at war in the region - but our pull-out was ill-timed and left a vacuum which was filled by radical factions of Islam.

Don't get me wrong here... most Muslims are not like ISIS.  I also do not support the errors of Islam, but ISIS is not representative of a majority of Islam.  While we can peacefully debate between Christianity and Islam - there is no "debating" with these radical elements.  All they know is violence and hatred of anything or anyone not like themselves.  The only thing which will end their horror will be their complete defeat in this game of war they have actively engaged themselves within.

I urge everyone reading this to pray and fast over these current events.  If an article like this is not enough to convince you, then do a Google or Yahoo images search for "beheaded children" and if that doesn't get your attention, I don't know what will... perhaps just letting the forces of ISIS continue until they really are doing these acts in your own backyard?






I am deliberately NOT "linking" the URL below so that you may be fairly warned of the graphic images you will see if you copy and paste it into your browser.
http://www.catholic.org/news/international/middle_east/story.php?id=56481

Oh, and lest any have forgotten... it HAS happened in our backyard...