Cries from a moral swamp 10

Of course we acknowledge that there is sometimes a good reason why a human pregnancy should be terminated even though it means the ending of a child’s life.

But we cannot lightly accept that more than 58,000,000 human lives have been legally ended in their earliest stage, in the United States, between January 22, 1973 – the date when the  Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court legalized abortion in all fifty states at any stage of a pregnancy and for any reason throughout pregnancy – and July 2015. In this year, 2015, there have already been over 637,000 in the US, and one is added every few seconds. See the running clocks here.

It takes a sociological mind, a collectivist mind, to be at ease with mass murder. Individualists, such as ourselves, ask: How much enrichment of the nation have we lost? How many inventors, scientists, physicians, mathematicians, musicians, writers, athletes, wits, visionaries, explorers, discoverers …  have we lost among the 58,000,000? And among the children they might have had? (And sure there would also have been criminals and fools and lunatics.)

The collectivists – which is to say the Left – do not like the human race. In their Environmentalist expression, they demand reduction of the world’s population. Some “Greens”, and accusers of Man as a Polluter and Heater of the earth, even demand the total elimination of humanity so as to have a nice clean planet. To them human life has no value. They do not understand that in a universe without human beings, nothing has value.

In support of our own opinion, we quote the whole of an article by George Will at the Washington Post – where it is in opposition to editorial opinion: 

Executives of Planned Parenthood’s federally subsidized meat markets — your tax dollars at work — lack the courage of their convictions. They should drop the pretense of conducting a complex moral calculus about the organs they harvest from the babies they kill.

First came the video showing a salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned Parenthood official explaining how “I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above” whatever organ (“heart, lung, liver”) is being harvested. Then the president of a Planned Parenthood chapter explained the happy side of harvesting: “For a lot of the women participating in the fetal tissue donation program, they’re having a procedure that may be a very difficult decision for them and this is a way for them to feel that something positive is coming from . . . a very difficult time.” “Having a procedure” — stopping the beating of a human heart — can indeed be a difficult decision for the woman involved. But it never is difficult for Planned Parenthood’s abortionists administering the “procedure.”

The abortion industry’s premise is: At no point in the gestation of a human infant does this living being have a trace of personhood that must be respected. Never does it have a moral standing superior to a tumor or a hamburger in the mother’s stomach.

In 1973, the Supreme Court, simultaneously frivolous and arrogant, discovered constitutional significance in the fact that the number nine is divisible by three. It decreed that the status of pre-born human life changes with pregnancy’s trimesters. (What would abortion law be if the number of months of gestation were a prime number — seven or 11?) The court followed this preposterous assertion with faux humility, insisting it could not say when life begins. Then, swerving back to breathtaking vanity, it declared when “meaningful” life begins — “viability,” when the fetus is “potentially able” to survive outside the womb.

When life begins is a scientific, not a philosophic or theological, question: Life begins when the chromosomes of the sperm fuse with those of the ovum, forming a distinctive DNA complex that controls the new organism’s growth. This growth process continues unless a natural accident interrupts it or it is ended by the sort of deliberate violence Planned Parenthood sells.

Another video shows the craftsmanship of Planned Parenthood’s abortionists — tiny limbs and hands from dismembered babies. To the craftsmen, however, these fragments are considered mere organic stuff. People who proclaim themselves both pro-choice and appalled by the videos are flinching from the logic of their extremism.

Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, apologizes for the “tone” of her operatives’ chatter about crushing babies. But the tone flows from Planned Parenthood’s premise: Why be solemn about meat?

Even partial-birth abortion is — must be — a sacrament in the Church of “Choice”. This sect knows that its entire edifice depends on not yielding an inch on its insistence that what an abortion kills never possesses a scintilla of moral significance.

In partial-birth abortion, a near-term baby is pulled by the legs almost out of the birth canal, until the base of the skull is exposed so the abortionist can suck out its contents. During Senate debates on this procedure, three Democrats were asked: Suppose a baby’s head slips out of the birth canal — the baby is born — before the abortionist can kill it. Does the baby then have a right to live? Two of the Democrats refused to answer. The third said the baby acquires a right to life when it leaves the hospital.

The nonnegotiable tenet in today’s Democratic Party catechism is not opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline or support for a $15 minimum wage. These are evanescent fevers. As the decades roll by, the single unshakable commitment is opposition to any restriction on the right to inflict violence on pre-born babies. So today there is a limitless right to kill, and distribute fragments of, babies that intrauterine medicine can increasingly treat as patients.

We are wallowing in this moral swamp because the Supreme Court accelerated the desensitization of the nation by using words and categories about abortion the way infants use knives and forks — with gusto, but sloppily. Because Planned Parenthood’s snout is deep in the federal trough, decent taxpayers find themselves complicit in the organization’s vileness.

What kind of a government disdains the deepest convictions of citizens by forcing them to finance what they see in videos — Planned Parenthood operatives chattering about bloody human fragments? “Taxes,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., “are what we pay for civilized society.” Today they finance barbarism.

Posted under Environmentalism, Leftism, liberalism, Progressivism, Race, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 1, 2015

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Only once 5

Many people had begun queuing up for free tickets to Hawking’s 8:00 p.m lecture, titled “The Origin of the Universe,” 12 hours earlier. By 6:00 p.m. local time, the line was about a quarter-mile long.

People want to know How All That Is Came To Be. They burn to know – and always have. Needing a theory, and knowing nothing, they invented creator gods.

NBC News reports:

Our universe didn’t need any divine help to burst into being … Stephen Hawking told a packed house … at the California Institute of Technology [April 16, 2013]. …

A second auditorium and a Jumbotron*-equipped lawn, which itself was jammed with an estimated 1,000 viewers, were needed to handle the crowd. At least one person was observed offering $1,000 for a ticket, with no success.

Stephen Hawking [said] that many people still seek a divine solution to counter the theories of curious physicists, and at one point, he quipped, “What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?”

… Hawking gave a quick review of [several] scientific cosmological explanations, including Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold’s steady-state theory. This idea hypothesizes that there is no beginning and no end and that galaxies continue to form from spontaneously created matter.

Hawking said this theory and several other ideas don’t hold up, citing recent observations by space telescopes and other instruments.

This report is very much for the non-scientist. But many of us non-scientists could stand a little more science.**  What observations? How did they demolish the steady-state theory? Hawking must have said how, but either NBC couldn’t follow the explanation or thinks its audience couldn’t.

Go here and here (eg) for the real thing. (Hawking’s A Brief History of Time;  and, intriguingly titled, The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of, important writings of great scientists collected by Hawking.)

The NBC report of the lecture continues:

After giving a brief historical background on relativistic physics and cosmology, Hawking discussed the idea of a repeating Big Bang. He noted that in the 1980s, he and physicist Roger Penrose proved the universe could not “bounce” when it contracted, as had been theorized.

Therefore, time began at the moment of singularity, and this has likely occurred only once, Hawking said. The age of the universe — now believed to be about 13.8 billion years — fits that model, as the number and maturity of observed galaxies seem to fit in the general scheme.

Hawking noted that in the 1980s, around the time he released a paper discussing the moment the universe was born, Pope John Paul II admonished the scientific establishment against studying the moment of creation, as it was holy.

“I was glad not to be thrown into an inquisition,” Hawking joked.

He closed by outlining “M-theory,” which is based partly on ideas put forward years ago by another famed physicist, Caltech’s Richard Feynman. Hawking sees that theory as the only big idea that really explains what he has observed.

M-theory posits that multiple universes are created out of nothing, Hawking explained, with many possible histories and many possible states of existence. In only a few of these states would life be possible, and in fewer still could something like humanity exist.

(There seems to be a contradiction between “M-theory” and the “moment of singularity” which “likely occurred only once”, in both of which Hawking is said to believe. This is probably a result of poor reporting. And the word “created” must be a mistake.)

Hawking mentioned that he felt fortunate to be living in this state of existence.

And that is a remarkable statement, considering how hard his life has been, afflicted for 50 years by a motor neurone disease which keeps him confined to a wheel-chair and has deprived  him of the ability to speak so that he communicates through a speech-generating machine. It prompts us to add a footnote to this post:

There’s a one and one only chance of coming into existence for each human being. So we think it deplorable that in the US, since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, some 56,000,ooo conceived individuals have been aborted. We are not wholly against abortion, but we think it should be rare, performed early in the period of gestation – preferably before 16 weeks – and only for good reason, such as: the pregnancy is the result of rape; the mother’s life is in danger because of the pregnancy and the baby cannot be saved; the child will undoubtedly be born to incurable suffering. And that “undoubtedly” sets an almost insuperable barrier to judgment, in the light of Stephen Hawking’s case.


*From Wikipedia: A Jumbotron (sometimes called “Jumbovision”) is a large-screen television using technology developed by Sony, typically used in sports stadiums and concert venues to show close up shots of the event.

** A little more science is to be found in a 2010 NBC report, discussing Hawking’s book The Grand Design, here. The reporter seems unimpressed and unconvinced. We suspect him of being a believer in the supernatural.