Pro-abortion advocates’ mantra has long been, framed from a woman’s point of view, “My body, my choice.” But the sincerity of this argument is again being called into question, this time by a phenomenon on college campuses whereby increasing numbers of students accept “post-birth abortion.”
Yes, that’s the murder of a child after he is born.
The College Fix’s Mairead McArdle has the story, writing:
Anecdotal evidence by leaders of prolife groups such as Created Equal and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust said in interviews that not only do they see more college students willing to say they support post-birth abortion, but some students even suggest children up to 4 or 5-years-old can also be killed, because they are not yet “self aware.”
“We encounter people who think it is morally acceptable to kill babies after birth on a regular basis at almost every campus we visit,” said Mark Harrington, director of Created Equal. “While this viewpoint is still seen as shocking by most people, it is becoming increasingly popular.”
The observation that there’s growing acceptance of infanticide among college students has also been made by Kristina Garza, a spokeswoman for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, which is involved in pro-life activism at West Coast campuses. And she believes she can explain the phenomenon:
It’s what students are being taught.
As McArdle writes:
[T]he arguments put forth by Peter Singer and other philosophers who support infanticide are given as reading assignments to college students.
Singer wrote in 1979 that “human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons ... [therefore] the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”
The only explanation for the last shocking sentence is that Singer shares the belief of those asserting that self-awareness is not unique to man. Marc Bekoff, cognitive ethologist and emeritus professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, made this claim last year at LiveScience.com. Quoting Charles Darwin he wrote:
Darwin did believe that animals had some sense of self, and also championed the notion of evolutionary continuity, leading him to ... write, "Nevertheless, the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind." Thus, there are shades of gray and not black-and-white differences between humans and other animals in cognitive abilities. So, while animals might not ponder life and death the way humans do, they still may have some sense of self.
If it is true that animals have degrees of self-awareness, however, can it then be said that this quality is the thing separating man from beast? Or are we to believe that animals have degrees of “humanness”? Or is a better way of framing this to say that people, as the highly evolved animals evolutionists claim they are, merely have a more highly developed sense of self-awareness? Will the Peter Singer acolytes now say that a child doesn’t become human until he’s “fully” self-aware?
But when might this be? Conception is a seminal point, and if a woman is pregnant we know it has occurred. But even if the Singer acolytes were correct in their humanness theory, the fact remains that they don’t even know when self-awareness manifests on average, only claiming to have the range narrowed down to one-year (four or five years old). And then what of individual variation? Mozart wrote his first piece of music when he was 4; golfer Tiger Woods broke 50 on 9 holes at age 2. What about the self-awareness prodigy?
The point is that the Singer acolytes couldn’t really say when a given individual “becomes” human. This being the case, can they claim to be reliable arbiters of when terminating a life is moral? As with Barack Obama — who himself has described a newborn as a “fetus ... outside of the mother’s womb” — they have admitted (tacitly in their case) that the matter of when human life begins is above their pay grade.
And some would say philosophy is as well. While I have little idea what degree of self-awareness, if any, a given animal possesses, I am quite sure a child develops self-awareness well before age four. But I also know that the notion that self-awareness is what makes us human is simply a doctrine of a certain secular faith. Even more significantly, however, this argument about what makes a being human obscures a more fundamental question:
Why is it wrong to kill a human?
Not everyone thinks it is, you know. In 2012, for instance, The New American’s Alex Newman cited “ethicists” Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini, who, in a paper titled “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” stated “Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.” Yet while the two “ethicists” believe that when “a ‘potential person’ becomes a ‘person’ with a right to life should be settled by psychologists and neurologists,” it “was not clear at what age the authors believe exterminating the lives of children should no longer be allowed,” wrote Newman. Of course not. Because they have not yet faced up to the implications of their deepest beliefs, to the ultimate reality here.
This is the phenomenon that causes “execution creep,” which as Newman wrote is explained thus:
[W]hen the defense of life is based on arbitrary points in time — first or second trimester of pregnancy, for example — the reasoning will eventually lead to conclusions such as the one reached by the authors [the “ethicists”] in question: that infanticide should be legal.
“Connect the dots. If it’s good enough to take the life of an unborn child, it’s good enough to take the life of [a] newborn for some [unspecified] period of time,” noted Dave Andrusko with National Right to Life. “And having raced through that stop light, it’s on to the next category of victims.”
In other words, if it’s alright to kill a child one second before birth, why not one second after? And what about one second after that? And then there’s another second, and another — tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.... And the seconds only end with death.
As for the “stop lights,” they are rationalizations masquerading as intellectualism, emotional stumbling blocks on the way to future tick-tocks. So ethicists tick and say it’s okay to terminate an “unviable” fetus, then tock and claim you may kill a supposedly un-self-aware child, as they avoid that ultimate reality. And it is this:
If there is no God, no spirit, nothing beyond this material fold, then we are just material things. Then with people being merely “objects that perceive,” as botanist Lawrence Trevanion puts it, there is no reason not to objectify them. For, absent souls, we are then just organic robots — some pounds of chemicals and water — and what could be wrong with terminating a robot’s function? Why, we can’t even appreciate these material things as gifts from God; we can’t even say it’s wrong to wantonly destroy them because, absent Absolute Truth, there is no right or wrong, just the perceiving objects’ “perspectives.” And then the perspective of a sociopath, articulated by a man I know of who said, “Murder isn’t wrong; it’s just that society says it is,” is the only position recognizing this ultimate reality. Mind you, psychologists tell us that sociopaths believe they’re smarter than everyone else, as they don’t entertain illusions about morality or even “values.” And in thinking things through and coming to a conclusion, they are certainly smarter than “ethicists,” selectively relativistic undergraduates, and other assorted half-baked intellectuals. The sociopath has no stop lights and found a shortcut, the Devil’s wormhole to atheism’s dark terminus.
This is why the only true and abiding respect for human life is born of the conviction that man was made in God’s image and likeness, reflecting his Creator in his possession of intellect and free will; and in the obedience to the Commandment “Thou shalt do no murder.”
All else is the vanity of reckless drivers who mistake stop lights for enlightenment, as they steer us toward that precipice of civilizations past.