Life — Don’t Talk to me About Life

While writing the post on contraception and such my computer hiccupped and I lost half of what I had written and I had to go back and recreate it and in doing so, forgot a thoughts.  Which is fine, always need another reason to write again.

It seems to me that the Catholic Church™, Inc. and many Christians lose the distinction between “Life” and specific lives.  I’ll try to explain what I mean by this, but bear with me until I get through the entire explanation before you decide whether or not you agree with me or what the weaknesses of my argument might be.

Let’s start with a garden.  Anyone who has ever gardened knows that “life” does not need any help.  Just rake up some soil and it will be covered with green stuff pretty quickly.   Life is profligate, the problem in gardening, most times, is not getting things to grow, but rather getting rid of the “life” you don’t want.

Now, seeds are definitely important to your garden, but they also represent an unknown.  You never know which ones will sprout.  Some of them might actually be weed seeds.  They might not grow true to type.  This does not mean you don’t care about your seeds,  but you realize that a seed is not worth as much as fully grown plant.  OK, you can clearly see what I am getting at here.

Potential life is not fully equivalent to developed life.  You see this throughout nature.  Oak trees drop thousands maybe millions of acorns for every oak tree that grows.  The examples in nature are just too numerous to mention.  Even in humans, studies show that somewhere between a quarter and a third of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortions.  “Life” may start at conception, but frankly, and keep in mind it is not me saying it, it is nature, life is cheap.

Nature really does say (and that must be god’s voice if you are a creationist) that life is cheap.  DNA combines all the time, you pretty much can’t stop it.  So, “life” is almost nothing.  Meaningful life on the other hand is a completely different matter.  Would you really cut down a healthy mature oak to save an acorn?

My problem with the “pro-life” movement is two fold.  First they confuse potential with actuality, which weakens their so called moral argument.  And secondly they seem to feel that more “life” wherever and whenever and however is a moral good in and of itself.  Whether we are speaking of humans or all other life, I think it can be safely said that life doesn’t need any help.  We don’t “need” any more people.

Being a parent myself I understand the drive to bring children into the world and I would not deny anyone the right to do that.  But I also support the right of people not to bring more children into this world.  And to nurture the ones we already have.


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