Two identical outcomes for two completely different reasons with completely different justifications. One is justified because it is believed that life does not yet exist, and the other because it is believed the victim has lost his/her right to life. Interestingly enough, the stereotypical trend of these positions usually goes like this:
Republicans: Pro-Life and Pro Death Penalty
Democrats: Pro-Choice and Anti Death Penalty
Very interesting indeed…
Both of these issues are incredibly sensitive, perhaps the most emotionally charged realm of politics, and I respect both sides. Each position certainly brings persuasive arguments to the table… But here is what I have to say about it.
Whenever we deal with a debate which involves some form of life, I believe we immediately enter the domain of philosophy. Granted, philosophy is intertwined with almost all of government/politics, but these debates usually bring out the purest form of philosophy when compared to other topics in politics. Questions like “When does life begin?” and “Who decides who lives and who dies?” are always the philosophical centerpieces. Which means these questions will never be completely answered; there will never be a universal acceptance for one decision. The debate will rage on for decades, centuries, all of mankind. Everybody has a different idea of right vs. wrong, making the resolution of this issue virtually impossible. With the topic of life and philosophy in mind, let’s continue.
I’ll start with my general opinion on life: I think it is precious. Do I believe a killer is precious? No, I abhor who he/she is and what they have done, but in my opinion one’s life is indeed precious; as in nobody should be able to take that away from him or her. Many people use the Bible or another religious doctrine as justification, which is great – I just don’t think religious texts are always right… Instead, I prefer to operate on the Constitution and what feels right in my heart and my head:
Abortion? I’m morally against practically every abortion.
Even victims of rape, who I feel an overwhelming amount of compassion for. I would personally expect those children (who are extreme rarities, the outliers of outliers) to be put up for adoption because of the trauma the rape victim may experience. And if that were the case, I would understand completely. But at least that child would be able to live, which is what the abortion debate comes down to for me. The only exception to my view on abortion is when the mother is in extreme danger due to her pregnancy. If the unborn child may take the mother’s life then it will be an extremely difficult, but I have no qualms with allowing operations to abort the unborn child in order to protect the mother. There is no sense is losing two lives when one can be protected. This is the only situation in which I believe it is morally just for mankind to decide who lives and who dies.
Naturally, birth control and condoms and other forms of contraception should be used by everyone who has sex and does not want to have a child. But contraception does not give one the privilege to be irresponsible. One should always act responsibly when it comes to sex and be fully aware of the potential consequences, no matter how small the percentages may be. They may be 99% effective, but there is always that 1%. Have people draw from 100 straws and someone is bound to get the short one eventually, aren’t they?
Some people will say that life doesn’t begin at conception, but I don’t agree. I may agree that whatever is in the womb at the time of conception isn’t exactly a human, per se… But it is indeed alive, and it will indeed become a human if it survives the natural processes that are a part of childbirth. And that’s good enough for me. You can’t say that about any other cell in your body, can you?
Capital Punishment? I’m morally against killing people.
I could have said “I’m morally against killing people” for abortion as well, but I wanted to be specific. In my mind you cannot justify taking a life from a person based solely on his/her actions in this world. They may be the scum of all scum, but who are you to say “Let’s kill him”?. It also falls under “Cruel and unusual punishment” for me, but I don’t even need an Amendment to help me find an answer to this topic. The Amendment argument obviously does not hold solid ground in this debate, or we would not have capital punishment to begin with.
I believe capital punishment is even more emotional than abortion because of the deep seeded hatred and love which are usually present in the situation. A murderer, much like Holmes who attacked Aurora Theater in Colorado recently, will take the lives of somebody’s loved one(s). Now that somebody must deal with the incredible pain of an untimely end, as well as the absolute rage/resentment projected towards the criminal. When your world gets shattered and you know who threw the rock, you instinctively want to throw one back at all costs. But life isn’t up for debate, in my opinion. Not even the worst of crimes should give you that kind of power, as unjust and painful as that may feel.
So there you have it. I kept it simple and to the point. What are your views? How do you feel about mine? Questions?
Leave a comment and I’ll try to get back to you. Thanks for reading!