Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"I was wrong" about abortion

Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton was once on a panel discussion with Prof. Stanley Fish of Duke University. Fish was one of America's most prominent secularists and a staunch abortion advocate. When posed with the question: "Can we debate important moral issues when people proceed from deeply divergent starting points?" Fish argued that reason can never solve debates because there are no universal truths. Before the convention, Fish had pointed to abortion as a perfect example:

"A pro-life advocate sees abortion as a sin against God who infuses life at the moment of conception; a pro-choice advocate sees abortion as a decision to be made in accordance with the best scientific opinion as to when the beginning of life, as we know it, occurs. No conversation between them can ever get started because each of them starts from a different place and they could never agree as to what they were conversing about."

Prof. George responded with an essay, pointing out that one can defend the unborn without an appeal to religion. What scientific evidence tells us that at the moment of conception, a distinct, unique living being is created, with the full genetic code of a human being.

At the debate, Prof. Fish responded by saying, "Professor George is right, and he is right to correct me." Furthermore, Fish, who had been a staunch abortion rights advocate, admitted that science overwhelmingly favored the pro-life position, and condemned abortion rights advocates for ignoring such evidence.

The debate over abortion and stem cell research truly is one of science vs. ideology, except that it is actually the pro-aborts who rely on ideological arguments. Were the abortion debate to be decided by scientific evidence alone, the pro-life position would be vindicated, and an unborn child would be recognized as indistinguishable from any human person.

Here's a link to Prof. George's essay, in which he explains what science tells us about the being in the womb: http://catholiceducation.org/articles/abortion/ab0041.html

Here is an article about the debate by Chuck Colson: http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0000029.cfm

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