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Discursive Essay on Abortion

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Jennifer Bal 9/11/02 Discursive on Abortion Host: Hello! I'd like to start off by introducing my guests here today; Jane is a pro-choice feminist, Alan is a pro-choice Christian and Steve is a pro-life Christian. They're all university students from Nottingham. First of all, Alan, would you like to explain to our viewers the differences between a pro-lifer and a pro-choicer? Alan: Well, the term 'pro' means in favour of the motion. Pro-choice itself is a ridiculous use of English. The sides were originally 'anti-abortion' and 'pro-abortion', but they were changed, because people felt pro-abortion made them sound bad. Jane: So, pro-lifers are against abortion, and pro-choicers are for the choice to have an abortion if you feel you need one. Host: How does Christianity relate to abortion? Steve: Christianity corresponds to the way life really is and includes reason, logic, and moral objectivism, all of which stand on their own yet make up an integral part of the Christian worldview. As Christians, Alan and I may have an internal discussion using the Bible, but we are not limited to arguing that way on public issues like abortion. Jane: Wait a minute! What's this "moral objectivism?" Just because something is wrong for you - like abortion - can you say it is wrong for everyone? Host: Don't you think there are certain moral principles that always apply to everyone, Ilene? Jane: No, I think morality is relative. ...read more.


Steve: What's your point? Alan: If Jesus did not condemn abortion, how can it be immoral? Steve: Now answer this question. Are slavery, child sacrifice, and drunken driving morally permissible? Alan: Well, no. Steve: Then your argument doesn't stand, because Jesus did not speak of a lot of issues that we know to be immoral. The biblical principles were quite clear - human life at all stages of development was considered sacred. He stated that killing is forbidden even of a child forming in the womb because "the fruit is always present in the seed." Host: Speaking of "seed," how do you equate a human embryo with a human being. I say it is only a potential human being. After all, an acorn is not an oak tree! Steve: To use your analogy, it's true that an acorn is not an oak tree. But that just shows that an infant is not an adult. An acorn has all the genetic structure to become a great oak. It happens to be an immature oak, but it is an oak; it never becomes an oak. All living things go through changes. An acorn becomes a seedling, a sapling, and a mature tree. A foetus becomes an infant, an adolescent, and an adult. Living things change and develop; they go through several stages. But as they change in size, shape, and appearance, they always remain what they are. ...read more.


So if the unborn child is actually in her rightful place - the womb - then doesn't she have a rightful claim to her mother's body? And if the unborn is a fully human person, as your teacher concedes, doesn't the mother have a moral obligation to nurture this person, this child, just as any mother has the moral duty to care for her dependent children? Otherwise, by your teacher's argument, one can have no quarrel with Susan Smith who strapped her boys into a car and pushed it into a lake. After all, these children were trespassing on her life! Jane: I see your point. Alan: This is all getting too deep for me. Perhaps it's better that we live by faith in grace. I don't think I need all this philosophy stuff. Host: Alan and Steve, you are both Christians, yet he doesn't share your view. Why not? Steve: Frankly, I don't think he has really thought this issue through. A number of Christian philosophers and thinkers have come to the fore in the marketplace of ideas, ably debating important issues like abortion and making the case for the Christian worldview. Jane: Well, Steve, I must say I've never heard the pro-life position so well articulated. You've answered all my objections so far. Being a reasonable person, I'm struggling with the only conclusion I can see - your syllogism works. I've got to rethink my position. Host: Thanks, Jane, Alan and Steve, for taking the time to join us today. Jane: My pleasure. Alan: It's been... interesting. Steve: Yes, we should do this again sometime. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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