Here I plan on taking you through horrifying thought experiments comparing worlds for the purpose of displaying the Objective Goodness of advocating for the rights of those human beings within the womb through a society’s laws. I will wrap it up with a common sense response to the externalities of fighting for unborn children’s lives.
What I am not attempting to do here is to argue that a child in the womb is a human being equal to other human beings, that an abortion is a tragedy, or that every human being should have the choice to live in this world even with the possibility of horrid, unjust, and unpredictable suffering. I will be taking as a given that those statements are true. If you want to debate those subjects, you are more than welcome to do that but just not here.
Detective Rust Cohle’s Two Worlds
Let us say that there are two worlds nearly identical and absolutely fanatical. These two worlds have accepted whole heartedly the doctrines of Post-Natalism and actively abort every child conceived in an attempt to end humanity through annihilation of the next generation before it escapes the womb. Let us imagine it’s even worse in that these two worlds believe in zero contraceptives and maintain excessive sexual regiment, getting pregnant as often as possible and aborting every time without exception across both worlds. So maximum number of pregnancies and abortions.
The difference between these two worlds is that on one of these worlds, the abortions are done completely legally and in the other world they are completely illegal. The fanaticism makes the outcome to be exactly the same on both worlds, but one of the worlds has a legal system that insists that the unborn have no rights, and the other world codifies that the unborn do have rights.
With this set up in mind, which law of the two worlds is objectively more moral than the other even if it is by the smallest of margins?
You could easily say that the world with the legal system that allows abortion is more virtuous as they are true to themselves, but the goal here is not to be true to one’s self by not breaking the law, but to judge the law as to whether it is an objective good. Obviously breaking an objectively bad law is objectively good as much as breaking an objectively good law is objectively bad.
I propose that the laws of the world where abortion is prohibited are objectively more moral even though it is within a state of total failure because the law within itself is built to mitigate tragedy of abortion within the bonds of society. Formulated in another way: laws are made within society in order to mitigate tragedy by condemning wrongs within the public notice, abortion is tragedy that results in the wrongness of loss of innocent human life, conclusion those laws are truer to themselves and their purpose when they admit that abortion is a tragedy that can be mitigated. Comparing the law systems of our two worlds, it is clear that even when the outcomes are the same that a law that calls a tragedy a tragedy is truer to its objective purpose of laws and thusly more objectively moral than laws who do not.
We will continue this line of thought in our next horrifying scenario.
Two Worlds with Cubon Mother Syndrome
Let us now imagine two worlds who are identically tragic but with one legal variance. These two worlds have developed a syndrome that every last human woman dies within the process of childbirth. Let’s worsen the tragedy still further by imagining that these two worlds are gripped with the grim and determined belief that this syndrome will not be cured within their generation but likely many generations thus prompting every woman on these two planets to dedicate themselves to accomplishing what they can till they reach the edge of their fertility then they will become pregnant and die, giving birth to new but dwindling generations. Every measure of contraceptive and health care is available to these women throughout their lives, and there are no laws requiring them to make this sacrifice, but without fail, every woman takes on the burden in these two worlds and passes away.
The one legal variance between the two worlds is that once again one of the worlds it is legal to have abortions and on the other abortion is illegal.
With this set up in mind, which law of the two worlds is objectively more moral than the other?
You could say that the world where abortion is legal is more noble because even on the very edge of the deadly birth the mother has the choice to save their own lives through abortion, but they choose to lay down their lives instead, but that same choice is available for the woman on the world where it is illegal; it just would be illegal to the laws of society. We are here to judge the nobility of the law, not the noble women in the scenario.
I propose that the laws of the world that prohibits abortion is more moral and noble because they fulfill the duties of the laws to protect those who could not be protected outside laws and regulations of society. When we congregate into societies, we give up the wild freedom we would have by ourselves for the express purpose of mutual defense we could not have by ourselves. We extend that protection to everyone in society even without their consent (consider how our laws use force to stop suicides) because you being part of society and it’s laws means that protection should extend to you.
How much truer and nobler the laws of a society that are dedicated to the protection and preservation of the next generation are to have established that protection within the womb as opposed to the society that does not?
We shall continue these thoughts into the next frightful scenario.
Department of Unborn Healthcare
Let us imagine a government over a society that continuously observes everything that every citizen does or says, and has the power and wherewithal to respond to each action made and word uttered. Imagine further that one of the departments of that government was dedicated to responding every time when a citizen mentioned abortion in peculiar and opposite ways. Every time a citizen says anything close to “abortion should be illegal”, the department would facilitate the ending of pregnancy for a willing woman who was carrying an unborn child. Every time a citizen said anything close to “abortion should remain legal”, the department would forcefully keep a woman pregnant till the baby was capable of surviving independently and then safely extract that baby.
With this set up, is it better to not talk about ending abortion or to advocate for change in the governments laws?
You could say that going by the “party line” of “abortion should remain legal” would save more unborn lives, but this is only done by both sacrificing the truth and the future. For every unborn child you’d save today may mean thousands more dead tomorrow or tens of millions more dead further into the future.
If the goal is to limit the number of abortions (it being the tragic loss of an innocent human life), then the advocacy for stopping the loss should be holistic, be on every level of society, and be both public and private. Being privately against tragedy does well to mitigate a tragedy within your own life, but it does nothing to help mitigate it in others’ lives.
Let us make an example within our example. If the government decided that suicide is strictly a choice for the individual to make, and they will do nothing to mitigate suicide or suicide attempts, the maximum number of lives you would save by believing “Well, I wouldn’t personally commit suicide” would be 1. If you worked to change the laws of the government to take suicide as a serious tragedy, then the numbers of lives saved tomorrow and into the future may be countless as governments don’t change by holding an idea within your heart and wishing the best. They change only through action and advocacy.
In the same way, you can save a number of lives by not going through the tragedy of aborting unborn children yourself, but that will only affect the future or the present number of innocent children tragically ended in the womb as much as you are capable of influencing your own actions. You are not morally responsible for other people’s actions, inactions, or government policy through your own personal inaction, but if the goal is to mitigate the tragedy of abortion, then only action will affect the present and the future. Or in other words, “there’s a difference between doing nothing and everything you can.”
The next section will be about the externalities that come with action and advocacy for mitigating the tragedy of abortion.
So You’re Ordering at a Restaurant
So you’re ordering at a restaurant. There is a sub sandwich you very much desire, but the sides that it comes with you would rather do without. You now can decide to get the sub sandwich by four means: one, getting everything as is and don’t eat the sides; two, ordering the restaurant to change sides that the sub sandwich comes with; three, move to new restaurant that will get you the sub and the sides you want; or four, starting your own restaurant that will get your sub sandwich and sides right. The option that leads you to not having a sub sandwich is giving up on the sub all together because of the sides that are optional.
In the same way, giving up on the project of mitigating the tragedy of abortion through government means because you don’t like the other policy on the platform of a party is like giving up on the sub sandwich because you conflated the sides with the sandwich. There are always options.
- Cheyne T. Willingham
Pro Life Man Contributer