So a few days ago I heard on the radio from a group of feminists who were upset by the statistical reality that due to China’s one (*now two) child policy, many female children are either abandoned or aborted entirely.
This is upsetting to me, being pro-life. But I didn’t understand why it was upsetting to these women because they were, by their own admission, pro-choice.
If you are pro-choice then you can’t be upset at Chinese women for aborting their Chinese baby girls. Excuse me, their fetuses that would have become Chinese baby girls had they reached the legal deadline that qualifies you as a human baby these days (as opposed to a less-than-human fetus, I think the legal change of status occurs somewhere around 6 months). If you are truly pro-choice, then you can’t place subjective limitations on choice. You can’t possibly claim that you support a woman’s right to choose abortion, but you do not support her right to choose to abort a female fetus. That doesn’t make sense. If you are pro-choice, then you must support every instance of a woman exercising her right to choose if you hope to retain the title. It’s like those “vegetarians” who eat chicken. You cannot claim to never eat meat, and then claim to eat chicken and still expect to qualify as a vegetarian.
And do you know how most people I’ve encountered react when I present these types of holes in their arguments or flaws in their line of reasoning? They hide behind some lame script that goes something like this “well I can see where you’re coming from (how magnanimous) but this situation is different. You just can’t judge really. Some things that are true in one situation are not always in another. Everything is subjective.”
No. No, it is not. The truth is not subjective. Being a vegetarian is not subjective.
Yet people think that this hazy, vague, shallow non-offensive world is the right sort of world to perpetuate, the right thing to progress towards as enlightened citizens. As if there was virtue in never condemning anyone or any action, as if it was an act of love to lie to people and not speak up when you believe they are wrong, because telling them the truth would hurt their feelings. It’s an argument that ultimately states that the basis of truth should be feelings devoid of reason, and I fundamentally disagree with that for a number of reasons (but that is a separate article). I also don’t like the notion that any attempt to inform a person of what you believe to be true implies hatred and moral superiority. As if me believing firmly that the definition of a vegetarian is a person who abstains from all meat is the equivalent of me saying that I hate all vegetarians who have ever eaten meat and think I am better than they are. This is how the art of debate has become something of a lost art, one that I truly miss.
More to the point, hate is never my motivation when I present what I believe to be true or when I draw attention to a logical fallacy, and that includes arguments more serious than vegetarianism, like my arguments against abortion. In fact, I believe so strongly in merciful love that I promise (here, in writing) that I will never condemn a mother who has had an abortion in word, deed or even thought. But mercy is often misunderstood. It doesn’t claim that no offense was committed and that the law was wrong/unjust/should just be done away with (because after all who cares? everything is subjective). It means that an offense of a just law can still be forgiven out of love and compassion for the offender. But my affection for the mother as my sister in Christ will not stop me from always condemning the act of abortion as a crime against humanity, and I think that’s where I differ from the world at large. One of the many ways, at least.
Because I believe in truth and truth does not (in my experience) require the sort of defensive, rampant rationalizing that characterizes arguments in favor of abortion. Whereas my argument against abortion is a sentence “life is a gift from God that humans have no right to take (even when death seems a convenient solution).” Granted it was an easier argument to make when society gave God the reverence He deserves. Those must have been the days (I wouldn’t know, I don’t think I was alive to see them…)
But back to the point, it bothers me when this subjective smorgasbord of faulty reasoning comes together into the socio-political movement that I call the new atheism. Where you can be both pro-choice and against giving women the choice to abort Chinese female fetuses at the same time and no one blinks twice at the hypocrisy. Because this is the type of thing that happens without a moral authority, you go with the capricious whims of whichever group of people is trending, whoever makes the most noise. It’s Roman, panem et circenses: bread and circuses. Keep them entertained and no one will bother about the impending tyranny.
Oh, if the Romans could see us now…