Pro-life radio


I happened to tune in to Christian talk radio during the drive home last night, and they were all abuzz about the Royal Baby. Apparently, the British and American press have been referring to it as the Royal Baby since before it was born. And that’s supposed to prove that it’s always been a baby, and not a fetus, or zygote, or fertilized egg.

The call-in guest was a faculty member at some conservative Christian college, and he’d just written a book (go figure, eh?), and he and the talk show host kept circling around and around the same point: that a lot of people called it a baby, and therefore it was a baby. They didn’t seem to have much more to say than that, so they just kept repeating the idea phrased in different ways, interspersed with listing all the people and organizations they could think of who also called it a baby. They did neglect to mention any of the people who referred to it as a baby before Kate was even pregnant.

It made me wonder: how many people would have to call Jesus a pedophile before Jesus actually became a pedophile? If you’re going to buy into the idea that you can change what something is just by changing what you call it, then we could make Jesus be whatever we want, right?

Noticeably absent from the Christian talk radio show was any discussion of what a zygote and fetus really are. They didn’t indulge in even the most trivial examination of what the characteristics of a fertilized egg are, and what the characteristics of a person are, and why it might be more accurate to describe an unformed child as the former rather than the latter. The whole discussion was centered on the contents of people’s minds, where people decide, subjectively, what they want to name things.

And that, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with the pro-life movement. They ignore the physically-real characteristics that are most relevant to the discussion (including the fact that, hello, there’s a woman here who is a real person with real human rights). They make moral decisions, which they impose on others, on the basis of personal subjective preferences.

In a free society, the rights of the individual person must be given priority over the rights of the subjective preferences of others. Merely deciding to call something by a certain name doesn’t give you the right to treat people as criminals just because they don’t treat your names as infallibly true. If a careful and accurate examination of the facts gives you a basis for your laws, that’s one thing. But to condemn people over an arbitrary name, while ignoring the relevant facts, is bigoted and unjust.

Comments

  1. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Article: Wikipedia – Reality-based community

    The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.

  2. Corvus illustris says

    … people decide, subjectively, what they want to name things.

    Hey, are you one of these people who thinks the earth (which feels solid to most sane people) turns around, somehow, every day? We always say the sun rises in the east, moves across the sky, and sets in the west, and anybody can see that, so it must be true. It’s the same way with babies. We always say somebody’s going to have a baby, and when it comes out, that’s what it is. How could it be something else?

    /enddespair

  3. Subtract Hominem says

    We always say the sun rises in the east, moves across the sky, and sets in the west, and anybody can see that, so it must be true. It’s the same way with babies.

    It must be an interesting planet where babies rise in the east, move across the sky, and set in the west every day.

  4. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Subtract Hominem #3:

    It must be an interesting planet where babies rise in the east, move across the sky, and set in the west every day.

    Something like this?

  5. Mike S. says

    I was in a relationship with a girlfriend a long time ago that was getting pretty serious. We discussed having a child, and even picked out a name and planned out how we were going to raise her. But, before any of it came to pass, we broke up.

    Perhaps these christian talk radio blatherers would therefore accuse us of “murdering” this baby. You know, since we had discussed her and made plans for her and all, she must be real.

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