Thursday, January 31, 2013

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My fingers are firmly pressing the black, smooth keys that have been used by thousands of people since this keyboard was first plugged in to this computer. Countless emails have been sent. To whom? About what? perhaps some of the messages were expressions of sincere condolences at the loss of a loved one. Maybe another was an intense, dramatic story being told to a friend in order to catch up with another. Many of them have been sent to teachers, advisors, and the occasional dean. This keyboard has about as unique a story as each of the people who hammered away at it.

I think a lot about the micro-dramas that each person goes through each day. These emotionally charged plot lines are all each of us have, and what we call our lives. Subjectively some might be better than others, or at least more entertaining. But can these dramas be weighed objectively? Of course they can, that just depends on which lens you look through. Surely one can understand that I am worth less to society than a bio-chemist, and as such the decision of whose life is more important becomes easy. His. An environmentalist might have a lower carbon foot print than me, and could be seen to have a greater right to life than me, because he/she is a better person. 

At the base level though, are we all equal? Certainly if we were to create a list of objective ways to measure the value of a human and put everyone through this objective rating, we could see which people are better. We could tell which humans are literally worthless and which humans are the keystones of modern society. Unfortunately all of this is based upon the present status or past contributions/behaviors. It is impossible to tell what a person might do in the future. The blank slate of each persons future puts them on equal terms. Perhaps a Nobel Peace Prize laureate might some day become so infuriated by human nature that he goes on a shooting spree, thus canceling out his/her contribution to society. 

This argument makes the abortion issue make more sense to me. Within our genetic codes lies our fates. Predispositions to diseases, behavior patterns, interests, passions, work ethic, intelligence, and innumerable other characteristics of humans are essentially fated from the moment that sperm touches egg. Of course, there is no way of using this to accurately predict what a person might become based on their genetics, but each person has a right to life. The embryo that is 2 weeks old is just as much a human as the 27 year old girl in the abortion clinic. They are equal biological entities, just separated by vast amounts of time and conditioning. 

I think that through the course of this argument I have convinced myself to be Pro-Life. However there are exceptions to what I consider to otherwise be an absolute: abortions should be used if and only if having the baby would ultimately result in the death of the mother and in cases of rape and incest.  Looking forward, my first exception to this rule might be closed by science. If the embryo could be safely separated from the mother and brought to life by another vessel, without the risk of serious defects, this should be done and the human that is fated to exist should go on existing. 

At the end of the day abortion as a method of population control should not be allowed and should be considered murder. A human is a specific combination of  DNA, whether or not all of the genes have come to be expressed and that human has reached it's biologically actualized state or not should not be a part of the abortion argument, and that is why I am now, on this day, exceptionally pro life.