I have been closely following the history of the hyper-restrictive – grossly over-restrictive, in my estimation – abortion laws and bills, including the so-called “heartbeat” laws / bills. As a result, I have become convinced that the biggest problem with the abortion debate – both pro-choice and pro-life -- is that both parties assume they know one helluva lot more than they actually do, in fact, one helluva lot more than anybody knows about what a fetus in a womb actually is, “ontologically”. In fact, both parties assume that they know one helluva lot more than anyone can know, even in principle.
First, we need to define some terminology. Consider the word “phenotype”. “Phenotype” refers to those characteristics of a biological organism that are naked-eye, empirically,
I like Pope Francis I.
His openness to sexual-orientation minorities and his solicitude toward the poor are in marked contrast to the hard-line intransigence more characteristic of past Pontiffs. Church teachings about abortion, birth control – the “life” issues generally – and such matters as women’s ordination and same-sex marriage remain substantially unchanged. (I say “substantially” because, even on some of these issues, the Pope’s recent statements have been interestingly nuanced. God – so to speak – is in the details.) Bill Maher often says he strongly suspects that Pope Francis – “Pope Frank” as Maher sometimes calls him – is actually a closet atheist. (I think Maher is only half serious about such statements. But the operative word is “half”: I do think Maher is half s
The questions I will ask in this post will all be "800-lb-gorilla" questions -- pretty obvious but usually unaddressed -- that apply to any theistic religious believer, irrespective of their stance on the abortion issue. But it does apply especially – though, I repeat, not exclusively -- to people who self-describe as “pro-life” and therefore presumably “anti-abortion”. For it seems that there is a certain … what should I call it? … cognitive dissonance, a certain conceptual disconnect between the “pro-life” opposition to abortion, on the one hand, and the theology that undergirds that position, on the other: vis a vis the abortion issue, it is difficult to see how theology supports a categorical and unqualified “pro-life” ethic. In fact, I believe a stronger case can be made that an ortho