Monday, September 10, 2012

Abortion and the Bogus Arguments from Gender Entitlement and Body Autonomy

I begin with the obvious:
         Gender is not a qualification for having an opinion or for making a valid argument.  Whether or not you have a vagina (or a penis) does not make your view either insightful or erroneous.  The quality of your case, not the nature of your genitalia, determines whether or not what you say is valid and true.  There is no gender entitlement regarding reason or morality.  Women have been known sometimes to be right and sometimes to be wrong.  So, exactly, have men.  The validity and truthfulness of their views was not determined by their gender, but by the quality of their case.  Gender entitlement to morality and to logic is a fallacy, as is gender disqualification.
         No responsible textbook in logic teaches you to check the gender of the arguer in order to determine the validity of the argument.  If two persons make the same argument, it is equally valid or equally true in both cases, regardless if, in the first instance, a male made it and if, in the second, a female did so.  The arguer is not the point; the argument is.
         Yet, in the face of all reason, some pro-abortionists say that only a woman is entitled to determine if abortion is right or wrong, even though gender is no guarantee of validity, truth, or goodness.  Just because you are a woman, it does not mean you are right.  That view is indefensible.  After all, if being a woman means that you are right, and if one woman says that abortion is an issue to be decided only by a woman and another woman says it is an issue to be decided by males as well, they both cannot be right.  Reason precludes it.  One woman, or both, made a mistake.  Neither being correct nor being moral is a function of having the right chromosomes.
         And don’t say that you can do whatever you want with your body or to your body, and that merely because it is your body that your choices regarding it are right.  The fact that you make a choice regarding your body does not grant morality to your action or validity to your case, especially if your choice is to use your body to kill another body, as is always -- always -- the case in abortion.  In abortion another body dies.  Autonomy is not morality, and body autonomy is an awful error.  You cannot do whatever you wish either to your body or by your body and then assume, simply because it was yours, that you were right.
         An action can be self-chosen and evil, just as it can be coerced and good.   The fact that your body is involved does not alter that point in the least.  For example, that the government compels you to drive slowly in a school zone does not make driving slowly in a school zone wrong, even though it is your body doing the driving and you say that what you do with your body is solely up to you and is therefore right because it is your body.  The fact that you freely choose to drive 70 mph in a school zone does not make it moral, even though your own body did the driving and even if the government permits it.
         Morality does not depend upon your gender, freedom, or body autonomy, but on the character of your action and the reason, if any, for your choice.   And it does your case no good to claim that body autonomy is not the controlling factor in school zone speed limits because other bodies are involved.  As a pro-choicer, you rejected that very notion regarding abortion and the other living bodies that are always involved.  Regarding speed limits in school zones, you suspended invoking body autonomy when another living human body is involved, but now, in the face of all logical consistency, you invoke body autonomy with regard to abortion.  If body autonomy is suspended when the life and safety of other human bodies is involved, then that is the case both with school zone speed limits and with abortion.   In both cases, other human bodies, not just your own, are involved.
         Further, even if no other body’s health and safety were involved, it would not mean that your choice or your action were correct.  In the case of suicide, killing your own body is to deprive your parents of a son or daughter, your spouse of a husband or wife, your children of a mother or father, your neighbors of a friend, or your co-workers of an ally and an aid.  You are not entitled to kill other folks’ children, spouse, parent, neighbor, friend, or ally, even if it is you.  Suicide is immoral, alleged body autonomy notwithstanding.  Just because you claim it is your body, it does not mean you can do with it or to it whatever you wish.
         Not only is the body autonomy crowd illogical and inconsistent, they also are question beggars.  They simply assume that the body they have is theirs.  Regarding who owns the body, they just assume that they do.  But that is not how they operate in the rest of life.  In the rest of life, regarding property rights, they think like this:  If a woman makes something, say, a little red wagon, it is hers.  She made it.  It is hers by creation, and no one is entitled to take it from her.   They also think that if a woman purchased an item, again, a little red wagon, it is hers.  It is hers by purchase.  Once she has paid for it, others must not take it.  They think as well that we must not needlessly bespoil a woman of her domicile, even if she is a squatter or a pioneer.  It’s hers by occupation.  She occupies it; she made it a home.
         Like that woman, God too has property prerogatives.   He made your body.  It is His by creation.  He bought you back from your bondage to sin and evil at the high price of the death of his own Son so that the body can participate in the Resurrection.  You are His both by creation and purchase.  Further, the Holy Spirit lives within you.  You are His domicile.  You are triply God’s -- by creation, by purchase, and by occupation.  You are not your own, neither is “your” body.  You and it are God’s, and you cannot do with God’s things whatever you wish, even if human law permits it.  As a justification for abortion, body autonomy is out of court because neither you nor what you call your body are really yours. 
         On the fundamentally important question of “Is God relevant to ownership of this body?” the body autonomy crowd simply assumes He is not.  They beg the question.  They begin by assuming the body in question is theirs.  If it is not, and I have just argued here that it is not, then the entire body autonomy presupposition upon which pro-choicers base their right to an abortion falls to the ground.  If you want to discover if God has prerogatives over the things He made, purchased, and occupies, then you might wish to read carefully (1) both Testaments, (2) the history of apologetics regarding those Testaments, and (3) academically responsible theological essays on the body, like that from the late pope, John Paul II, and those by others.  

1 comment:

Ilíon said...

The word you need to be using isn't 'gender', it is 'sex'.