Current Events

The Right to Kill

In hindsight, I came off sounding ignorant and devoid of a few important points in this post. Here in “To Elaborate More on Abortion” I dive deeper and adopt a friendlier and more considerate tone. And in “To Elaborate More on the Bible and the Roman Catholic Faith” I clarify myself further. I apologize if there were any of you who were angered or offended!

I felt astounded. It was rare for me to be mad at an article especially when it’s about a controversial topic. I usually consider all points of view before forming my own opinion. But this was way too opinionated, the writer seemingly misinfomed and deceptively open-minded. Let me tell you about what made this article different from the rest.

Abortion has always been a hot topic with a sweeping amount of opinions, the number swelling because of the Roman Catholic Church’s constant homilies and statements deriding this practice. Look to social media and influential American figures for the other side of the debate, where women’s rights is the focal point of their defense.

Take note that this was the first article with even a single paragraph of a writer’s point of view that I read about this issue. I can’t imagine what would happen if there were hundreds or even thousands more. The article was about a scientist’s thoughts on the abortion debate based solely on facts. Now there wasn’t anything wrong with his statements, it was just the writer saying that abortion should be legalized because “Women should have the right to do what they want with their bodies.”

Now I know we’ve both heard that line said many times, but isn’t a fetus already a living, breathing organism? Does that make it just a part of the mother’s body? I don’t know if there are laws that give unborn children rights, but in the present state of things, I don’t think there are many.

I’m a Catholic myself, but I don’t blindly follow orders from anybody. That’s not the goal of my religion. What I do know is there’s a thing called conscience that every person must have, and that for a mother, even if you don’t want the genes in your child or don’t think you can raise one yet, can anyone have the capacity to end a child’s life? Isn’t that something only heartless, soulless people do?

Humans have a responsibility to protect and support each other, but sadly the term doesn’t sound as integral in present times. We feel happy just dwelling on our selfish needs and not the greater good. I don’t know. Maybe it’s all the technology that has taken that chunk of humanity away from us.

It makes me sad that a mother could only think of herself and not take the sacrifice so that another may live. And I know there are terrible situations where the line between good and bad is blurred, but killing an unborn child over a dream or escape from financial ruin is clearly evil, no matter how hard the decision was.

The scientist meanwhile expressed disbelief in how Catholics take facts from a 5,000-year old book over modern science on the topic of how life is initially conceived. It’s true there are many inconsistencies in the bible. And it’s hard for nonbelievers to take it seriously when clear explanations are lacking.

The bible is partly made of accounts of prophets who saw things differently from each other, so there are bound to be inconsistencies. God is said to work in mysterious ways, and that rings true to the Catholic faith. We believe in a Holy Trinity yet there’s only one God. In one gospel, Jesus told his apostles to cut their arm and foot (also one eye) if they caused them to sin. Many things won’t make any sense and will require great understanding. But trust me, it all makes sense when you prioritize spiritual well-being over earthly pleasures. It’s a big jump that brings clarity to an otherwise confusing book.

You’ll learn that not every teaching there is based on conventional logic, or more importantly, that God’s word doesn’t need facts to back them up and that their allure spans generation after generation, unlike science. Which leads us back to that comment on conception. If we only know about 5% of the universe (or even half of it), then how can anyone be sure this God who’s been here through his now billions of people for millennia is wrong? The great thing is that’s what he might end up being, but it might also just be one of his great mysteries, never to be solved.

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5 thoughts on “The Right to Kill

  1. Malkuthe Highwind says:

    Women, and for that matter, -anyone- should have the right to do what they want with their bodies. Their bodies are theirs, after all, subject only to their own consent their choices.

    You imply that a conceived child is already a living, breathing organism—when in fact, it is only one of those things. A child in the womb does not breathe. Its lungs are filled with amniotic fluid. Sure, the child is perhaps -living-, but that doesn’t carry any inherent benefit. A tick is living. A leech is living. A parasitic wasp that lays eggs in the heads of spiders is living.

    So if there is a living, breathing organism there, it has no inherent right to life. If, however, you then claim to say that the fetus is, from conception, human, I would have to ask you what you define to mean human. For 16 days after conception, the fertilized egg possesses no neural interfaces whatsoever. It is only after these 16 days that the rudimentary nervous system—the neural plate—forms. It cannot think, and if thinking is what defines a human, then surely, for those 16 days, the fetus is not human and can and should be aborted if the mother chooses to do so.

    So what is it that defines a human, then? Is it the presence of human cells in the body? Is it being made up of human cells entirely? Let me address those two questions separately. First, if to be human means being made of human cells entirely, then sadly, only newborn children can be considered human. Neither you nor I could be considered human in that regard. Our gastrointestinal tracts are filled with other microorganisms that are vital for our survival. Non-human cells.

    If it is the mere presence of human cells in the body, then yes, you and I are human. So is a child. But so is a rat that is growing a human ear on its back. One that was not grafted there, but the result of genetic engineering. So what, then, defines being human, and does that definition extend to an unborn child? Perhaps one would say a creature born to two human parents, but even that may be questionable in the cases of extremely disfigured stillbirths.

    So, no. I still see no reason to extend any rights to fertilized eggs early on in pregnancy. Later pregnancy, perhaps, when the child has developed certain faculties. That is a bit more morally ambiguous, but that is not my concern. Late-term abortions are already exceptions in abortion legislation, often not being performed unless there were very serious indications of complications in the mother.

    By definition, early trimester fetuses -are- parts of their mothers bodies. Fetuses that have not developed cognition, on the other hand, fall well into the definition of a parasite. Granted, the more stringent ecological definition of parasite is between two different species. However, the conventional meaning of the term, an organism living on or within another organism that benefits by deriving nutrients from its host at its hosts expense, applies.

    But that’s beyond the point. You are painting a hypothetical. Is it not morally evil to not take the sacrifice to let another live? You act as though choosing to abort is not already a tough enough decision for a mother. It is one of the most difficult choices a mother ever has to make, and it disgusts me that people only ever focus on the children in the cases of these debates.

    Yeah? Ending the ‘life’ of a clump of cells is evil no matter how difficult the circumstances are or how difficult the choice was? I don’t think so. Since we’re always working with hypotheticals on the matter of abortion, and “pro-lifers” always say ‘what if this one aborted child would have been the one to cure cancer’, let me present to you a few hypotheticals myself: What if the woman that had not chosen to abort, had found herself stripped of finances, home, and family, ended up homeless and on the streets with nothing to support her and her child, became alcoholic and abusive, and committed suicide because no one cared enough to support her after they yelled and screamed at her that she -had- to carry the child to term because otherwise it would have been evil, would have been the one to cure cancer if only she had had the choice to terminate the pregnancy that she never wanted?

    Even more striking, and even more evidence to the fact that hypotheticals should not be used lightly as arguments, what if the woman that slipped into utter financial devastation would have later on lived a more comfortable life, one better suited for a new human being. Would you rather a woman who was unprepared bring a child into a world of squalor and lacking rather than a world where their needs could be provided for?

    There is no absolute morality, and morality changes from situation to situation. You cannot make a sweeping statement about the evil of abortion without considering every situation. Abortion is not unquestionably evil, it is justifiable in a lot of times. It is much better to bring a child into a world with less suffering than into a world with more just because it is “less wrong” to carry a child to term.

    Onto your second point. Inconsistencies in the Bible? That is a lame way of saying it. The Bible contradicts itself at best, and is -immoral- at worst. You say that the only way the Bible can be understood only by putting spiritual matters first, but the only reason a person would do that is if they believed that there was anything more than the present world. Even then, I was pretty spiritually enlightened when I lived in the Philippines and went to CSA, but when I -actually- took the time to read the Bible, I was -appalled- by what I read.

    Do you know the story of Jephtha and his daughter? The man who prayed to god for victory for his people in exchange for him offering as a burnt sacrifice the first thing that greeted him upon his return home? It was his daughter. Did god stop him like he stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac? No.

    Do you know the story of Elisha and the young boys that mocked him for having a bald head? Elisha prayed to god for intercession and god sent two female bears that mauled 42 of the children to death.

    Do you know the story of Moses and the pharaoh Rameses? Of course you do. Everyone always thinks that the reason Egypt was punished was because Rameses hardened his heart and never let the people of Israel go. Historical inaccuracy aside, do you know what actually happened there, in the text of the Bible? Let me show you, from the King James Version of the Bible: “And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.” Exodus 4:21. It was god’s hand all along that ensured the punishment of Egypt, and the genocide of the Egypt’s firstborn.

    Do you know Leviticus? Where it is often quoted that a man must not lie with a man as he does with a woman because it is an abomination? Your god also sees eating shellfish as abomination. Wearing clothes of two different cloths is also an abomination. If your daughter gets raped, well, her rapist gets to buy her from you and marry her for fifty gold pieces. You can also sell your daughter into marriage for a small price. Forget her own choice in the matter!

    “Oh, but Malkuthe,” you say, “the Catholic church teaches that we don’t have to follow the Old Testament anymore, now that the new covenant is around,” conveniently ignoring the fact that Jesus himself did not think that the 613 laws of Moses were to be ignored. Matthew 5:18 from the New International Version: ” For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” the Law, here, pertaining to the Law of Moses.

    No, we cannot say that for sure your god is wrong, or doesn’t exist, but it is equally as likely that any of the many many thousands of gods that have ever been in the history of humanity is correct and does exist. What would you do if it turned out the creator was Allah? Or maybe Zeus? Or Odin? Or Ahura Mazda? Or some god we haven’t even conceived of yet?

    What we can say for certain is that there is no good reason to believe. There is no evidence for the existence of god, and apparently no way to prove it, so there is no reason to believe in something that is invisible and unprovable. Just like there is no reason to believe that there is a tiny teapot floating out in space, orbiting the sun between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Or a walrus juggling flaming skulls in the heart of Neptune, under all the clouds that swirl around its surface.

    There’s only one reason that religion maintains its appeal through the generations. That’s because there’s an established religious institution that has a vested interest in keeping the new generations from flocking to science, because science destroys the elaborately constructed mythology of religion, reveals it to be flawed, and weakens the power that its leaders hold over the people.

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    • I think this goes beyond just rights. It’s about what’s left of our humanity. Yes, I said “living, breathing” but I meant alive, like in some articles where even video game cities are called that. Yes, even small things like ants are “living, breathing” too, but how far a comparison is a tick, etc. to an actual human being? Humans have rights, leeches and other similar creatures don’t. Humanity goes beyond having human cells or the capacity to think, it always has. It’s about goodness and the upholding of life. That’s why human rights exist. A fetus is already human because it’s alive, with a beating heart. If it’s a living person, which it undoubtedly is, shouldn’t people who kill them be punished too? I wrote somewhere in there how hard some situations involving abortion might be.

      Of course, it’s the reality and the right thing. Who should you save with your body in a mass shooting, the kid or the parent?

      Yes, a thing’s evil even if it was performed in hard circumstances like, if a teenaged kid is being bullied everyday and starts bullying lesser ones to stop it.

      Don’t you see the difference in your example? If that was what happened she still killed a child and that led her to her prosperity. If you were robbed of money would you rather rob too to make up for it?

      Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, always. But I wrote this article to paint the bigger picture.

      Abortion is not 100% evil, many times people believe they’re doing good by killing the fetus. And I’m sure I’ve made my point in the post and this reply on why it’s not justifiable most of the time. I never said anything about fertilized eggs having rights.

      I said inconsistencies, not “some” or “a few” ones. Yes, there are tons of shocking things God says and I said that too in my post. But my point was that it’s made not to be analyzed logically but by its underlying message and lessons. That’s why we have bible study sessions and sermons (the proper ones).

      I didn’t say that’s the only way. People can still prioritize spiritual well-being while only believing in the present world. Lots of people claim that. You do know that God has always been mysterious, right? Contradicting what people expect, dividing instead of uniting the people, etc. But he does the most unexpected, beautiful things like forgiving the most evil people. Us Catholics believe God is in control, and he has his mysterious, seemingly contradictory ways. And so logic doesn’t have a place in many scriptures. I’m sure you know the difference between the old and new testaments, where God’s approach to his people differed. Make no mistake: God is here to give us a shock, to make us uneasy in order to find who’s worthy and who’s not. Who knows, he might have forgiven some of the Bible’s famous sinners. No one knows for sure.

      Can you really compare God with any of the other ones throughout history like you did with fetuses and tiny creatures? There’s proof Jesus lived, there’s proof with all the unexplained miracles that even led distinguished scientists into converting. There’s proof because people BELIEVE He is real. You know how people back then believed covering yourself with a blanket would help with fevers? Science, maybe everything is down to what you will believe, because anything can change at any time. But what’s real right now is we, all 1 billion of us, believe in God and his mysterious ways. Do you hope? You do that, right? Even if there’s no guarantee, no proof that things will go the way you want them to. I don’t think the church has any ability to counter science anymore. Things are way more open now. But people by the billions still believe, years and years after the digital revolution.

      Is Malkuthe your name? You didn’t seem to read the entirety my post and just skimmed through some of it. There’s lots of statements you made about things I didn’t even say. I also said I’m not the type of Catholic that just blindly follows anyone. Still you seem to have some preconceptions towards me. God did say don’t take anything away from his Word, but I don’t know why some call to disregard the old testament.

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      • Malkuthe Highwind says:

        Except a fetus -isn’t- undoubtedly alive. It’s a cluster of cells that’s entirely dependent on the existence of a host. The fetus is not even a -person- yet. As far as I know, murder only applies to -persons-. A fetus has not had experiences, has had no memories, has had -no- taste of what it means to live like a human being -at all-. There is simply -no- equivalence between a person and an unborn child, and no justification as why the latter should be prioritized over the former. As far as I and my philosophical framework are concerned, a child does not become a person and does not automatically possess the rights of a person at the moment of conception. A child becomes a person and comes into possession of all the rights associated with personhood at the moment of birth.

        I do not see the difference in my example. Better a person have an abortion and go on to attain a prosperous life where a child will get all the love and care that it deserves than to not have an abortion and bring a child into a world that only seems to care about it being born, and not giving a fuck about what happens to it after it is born. If you really think that there exists a system that supports the children of unwanted pregnancies, then I suggest you reconsider, because if that was the case, then mothers that didn’t want to be mothers wouldn’t be impoverished, and children that were not wanted would not be brought up in abusive homes and instead given resources that benefit them. There are no social systems in -any- countries that outlaw abortion to help impoverished mothers, and as far as I am concerned, the greater evil is -knowingly- bringing a child into the world only for it to suffer rather than sparing it that pain and working hard to bring the next into a better world.

        No. “Underlying message” and “lessons?” What possible lesson could there be in your god not only permitting, but actually condoning the slaughter of 200 Philistines by David for their foreskins in order to, essentially, purchase a wife? And pray, tell, what are “proper” sermons and bible studies? Ones conducted by priests? The people with a vested interest in maintaining the power of religion over the people and therefore are immediately unsatisfactorily biased toward the promotion of said religion? The only proper way to study such a thing is from an objective and unbiased point of view, especially considering the fact that I myself went to a Catholic school for 9 years of my life.

        Belief is not proof. I cannot fathom how you could even conflate the two. Belief is precisely the opposite. Belief is confidence in something -without- proof.

        Sure, there is a near-consensus among historical scholars that Jesus was a historical figure. However, that is proof of nothing. If anything, said consensus is only for the existence of Jesus as a historical figure, and nothing more. If you look into the matter, there are -many- plausible Jesuses, and none of them more compelling than the others. Even if Jesus existed as a historical figure, there is no reason to believe that he was divine. If anything, he is as equally divine as the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, and the Persian god-king Xerxes. These people are real historical figures, but does that mean that they are automatically divine as well, simply because they existed as men?

        I do hope, but hope does not equate to belief. Hope is the desire to have something go your way, not the utterly deranged belief that things -will- go your way.

        Logic does have a place in the scriptures, and that is because logic discredits them. “God works in mysterious ways” is an utterly psychotic statement to make. As though mystery justifies genocidal rampages, human sacrifice, and condoning slavery. Not to mention, the Christian belief is that god is immutable and unchanging. Therefore, there is no reason to consider the god of the New Testament any better than the god of the Old Testament, both are as bloodthirsty and immoral as the text of the Old Testament indicates.

        Yes billions of people believe each year, and people believe because that is what they are brought up to believe. Answer me, truly. Which god do you think you would believe in if you were born into an Indian family? Shiva? Brahman? How about an Arabic one. Allah? Would you be so utterly convinced of the existence of Amaterasu if you had been born into a Japanese family? Thor, if you had been born during the Nordic times? Zeus if you had been born in Hellenic Greece? Ahura Mazda if you had been born in ancient Phoenicia? Bathala had you been born in the pre-Christian Philippine era?

        Every year millions of children are born, and the vast majority of them are immediately told “Christian/Muslim/Hindu/Jew/etc. this is what you are.” Belief in religion is not due to some ‘appeal’ of faith. Belief in religion is a function of socio-economic status and ethnicity.

        And a note on the matter of miracles: haven’t you ever noticed how the number of miracles has declined ever since the globalization of the world? And haven’t you ever noticed how the number of miracles discredited has continued to rise since the invention of the portable camera?

        Malkuthe is not my name, though it might as well be. In fact, I know you, Lorenzo Eleazar. You got into trouble with the Discipline Coordinator at CSA-Bn, along with Elcid Bersamina, and ended up with a massive bruise on one of your arms during the 6th grade, I believe it was. I was your Features Editor on the Augustinian Herald during High School, and Mr. DSSPC 2010. You know me, I’m certain. And I know that you know that I was once as devout as you.

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      • Again with that mentality. Humanity goes beyond that definition. Yes, a fetus has had no memories and no taste of what it means to live like a human being you say, but doesn’t a baby too? The baby won’t even remember, and it won’t know what life in his/her infancy was like. Fetuses are the same. Fetuses, while inside the womb, can inspire love between the parents and child the way a baby does. Parents and the fetus experience these magical moments when it’s first seen, or felt. On why fetuses, and children, should be prioritized over adults, I think I’ve answered that in my post and previous reply.

        Unborn children shouldn’t be aborted because it’s just that, killing a small human being. If that’s your statement, why not kill all the African people suffering over there in the poorest of countries? The high possibility of suffering in the future doesn’t guarantee that it will happen, or that it won’t end. If there is no system, you can trust the people to find a way. All the non-profit organizations, etc.

        You should listen to some sermons nowadays. Every scripture has one of what you’re looking for. I already stated how God does shocking/seemingly nonsensical things and that logic isn’t a priority. I explained that more in my first reply. I said “proper” because of course the only improper sermons are the ones you just said. First the “living, breathing” thing and now this?

        The elaborate more, I cannot deny the issues the church is facing now and you know that by now. Many priests are just narrow-minded and biased. That’s why I said proper ones. I choose to listen to those types of priests because they make sense. I think it might be because of the generation gap. I know some old people who say you’re going to hell because you’re agnostic or gay.

        Try to spend some time with normal people these days! (Not literally) You think so scientifically when I’m just politely replying even with your long comments. You curse sometimes, use harsh words, and I took a peek at the end but I’m gonna save that for later. Calm down a little! Belief is kind of proof enough these days, no? It’s down to which presidential candidate you’ll believe, which scientific theory you’ll believe for the next few decades, which unproven health trend you’ll include in your daily routine. Not everything needs proof to be “real”.

        Of course that only proves he’s a historical figure! And that’s what I said before. Again with these portions of my text that you fail to read fully. You must have forgotten that He’s believed to be divine because of the Bible.

        I already explained my comparison between hope and belief and never did I say they’re the same. Hmmm, so you’re not a fan of believing? How can a relationship last without that? You know, believing that your husband or girlfriend will be loyal?

        That’s the point. God will inspire disbelief and discomfort…I’ve said this so many times lol. God is always there, that’s the teaching. I can’t imagine innocents that suffer or die won’t be rewarded. I think you’ve read the Bible, so you already know the poor, etc. he likes. I mean if you love God you’d die for Him, right? And that’s what many people do for their loved ones. Unchanging? Yet another inconsistency you noticed I know. And again, I’ve said already previously it’s the message and lesson, not logic and science. Remember the rainbow after the flood? God I think actually softened a lot in the new one, became more human and I believe that’s more relatable than God the Father.

        Come on, you know the digital revolution’s well in play, the world’s the most free it’s ever been. Don’t you expect there to have been a mass exodus already? And I would believe first in the religion I was born. That’s unavoidable. But in my adult years? Right now I know about different beliefs, read and considered a lot of opinions but the most appealing is mine. Has some goosebump-inducing moments for sure.

        I do believe Catholics pray less now, become involved less because it’s the digital age. I’m sure a slice (maybe even a big one) of documented miracles are hoaxes. They can’t be all real, right? But I believe many are real. I know some that made even the biggest skeptics convert.

        Woah, you seem to be angry. And making things personal? Please don’t. We’re just debating on a relevant topic, sharing our opinions because this is a free world. No need to act like that.

        You’ve been on a tear with these comments, with the preconceptions and skimming/not reading fully. Do you know the real story behind that incident and the numerous others? There’s one post hidden in this blog that has some clues.

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  2. I’m also deleting any further comments from the blogger above. Too many statements about things I didn’t even say and harsh words and cursing when in fact we were only discussing our respective points of view. Plus mentioning personal details cannot be tolerated.

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