Thursday, March 15, 2012
Are You A Person?
In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics last month two Melbourne Scientists argued that "the newborn and the fetus are morally equivalent". They are right - a baby doesn't suddenly become a person at the moment of birth. However, they proposed that a newborn is not yet a person, but merely a "potential person".
The title of the article: "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?" And so the false boundaries that humanity creates keep getting blurred. After all, if a baby can be legally killed moments before birth, why not moments after? And if it is acceptable to kill a child moments after birth, why not days, or weeks or months after? And if it is ethical to kill a baby, why not a child with an acquired brain injury, or an adult no longer able to care for themselves?
If we accept the idea of evolution, then we accept the idea that the value of a human being comes from their physical composition. If that physical composition is flawed and the person "broken", then why should they not be disposed of (if that's what you believe)?
I don't accept evolution and I don't believe that any human being has the right to determine when another human being should die, regardless of suffering. The wonderful thing about the boundaries that God sets is that they are clear and unchanging. There are no fuzzy lines. Any confusion comes from human beings trying to reason away the ten simple rules that God has given us to live by.
So what do you believe in? A world where a baby is not an "actual person" (but an animal may be considered an "actual person")? A world where the most vulnerable of all human beings have "no moral right to life"? A world where scientists philosophize away the basic value of a human being (unless they are "capable of making any aims" according to the scientists' judgement)?
Or do you believe that a person is something beyond the mere physical? Do you believe that we have a purpose?
Unless we accept God as our Creator, the definition of an "actual person" is sure to get more and more fuzzy. Each step we take away from God is another step into a morality minefield. Few of us are likely to come out the other end alive.