Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Abortion: Philosophical and Political

For those wanting to update their perspective on the abortion debate, we heartily and SWNIDishly recommend Union University Professor Micah Watson's primer at

With admirably clarity, Watson argues that the philosophical debate on abortion has reached a state of utter clarity:

[E]ither human beings as such have a right to life, or some human beings have a right to life and are thus persons, and some are not and are thus expendable.

We expect most gentle readers to understand this difference and to affirm the first position. We urge, however, that such persons not immediately ridicule the second position as unthinkable. It is patently obvious that many people do think this very thing and will persist doing so. It may not be right, it may not be Christian (which doesn't matter to a lot of folks, probably including many Christians), but it isn't as absurd as 2 + 2 = 5.

Which observation brings us to Watson's second contribution: the need for effective political discourse on the part of those who affirm the first position. He recommends persisting in political efforts that limit the availability of abortion, cultural efforts to engage in debate in ways that are appealing, and patience is pursuing incremental strategies that change minds and hearts: "hitting for singles and doubles has proven to be a more effective strategy than swinging for the home run that would be the repeal of Roe v. Wade."

In the middle of all this is a recommendation for a book which we have not read. We'll assume that one as erudite as Watson is on the the rest of the matter can be relied on to know a good book when he reads it.

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