Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Life !

A discussion has been brewing on Ek Cup Coffee about abortion for a couple of weeks now.

Meeta, Sarat, DC, Radha and a host of others (not necessarily online) at our daily coffee roundup have come down on the side of favouring abortion. Considering that we're all academics used to a liberal life and open to discussion, I thought that my personal views about being pro-life would have been appreciated as being different and at best a point of interesting discussion...but what a rude shock I got from a variety of people...somehow this another issue (that of my hatred for tomatoes...but that's another post in itself) showed me human characteristics that I have never experienced before.

At an earlier point in my life, I might have been what some consider pro-choice as well. I was all for the couple making the choice and it seemed logical enough for me. But certain incidents in life (and quite earth shattering to put it mildly...but won't go into the details here...hopefully the readers appreciate my sense of privacy) made me respect life...human life...a great deal. This is the reason why I against euthanasia, capital punishment, abortion, suicide, murder, etc. In my opinion, the only reasons for killing other individuals, is self-defence, and the only reason to perform an abortion, is if the mother's life is at risk. And these are emotions I feel about strongly...and they often been brought to the forefront from time to time, as in the Terry Schiavo case, as in the cases of the death penalties that have been handed out around the country and the world, and also in the raging pro-life and pro-choice debates.

I have noticed that many people take it personally when I air these views...in the community that I am in at present, I can safely vouch for the fact that I am in the abject minority ! But then again, at a university, we all think that we should be liberal and against the establishment, etc. And the fact that pro-life proponents are usually religious, right-wing fanatics who believe they are doing good due to a higher calling, does not help my case. Interestingly, I have never mentioned that any of these views or ideas should be enforced upon people...what most people forget in the heat of the moment, is that I have always stated that these are my opinions and ideas and I don't intend to impose them on people. Every single time, folks feel like they have to try to mend the errors of my ways and convert me to their thinking ! And the funny part is, most times, these are the very people who claim that individual choice is supreme and oppose religious conversions vehemently ! This dichitomy of thought astonishes me at times...and leads me into an angry spiral...one from which I cannot extricate myself easily at times. And the funny part is, I am not always angry at the people or their views...but at my inability to make them understand my position and the fact that I am not imposing my views upon them. I always prefix the words, "in my opinion..." before I make such statements, and yet these are conveniently ignored. People repeat the same arguments over and over to try to convince me, even if I have replied to these arguments multiple times before...perhaps in anger, we are all one...there are no sides...all of us go into a downward spiral and can't extricate ourselves !

Somehow people don't seem to take up the reasons why I have taken such a position. I have stated that I hold human life sacred...they refuse to take this explanation and launch into derogatory retorts...
"it is not his body...how can he know ?"
...or...
"he is just a fundamentalist !"
and so on...this also astonishes me. If I have just stated that I value life, then why is there a doubt about my intentions ?

So in the case of abortion, instead of replying with answers such as...
"I believe that the child growing inside a woman's body is human and alive, and it can dream and feel pain. I also believe that it is more than just an appendature of the woman's body...it is more than that...it is another individual that cannot defend/speak for itself and we are extinguishing its rights..."
if I had said...
"You are murdering a defenceless baby by hacking it to pieces or smashing its skull !"
would that have been a fitting reply ? Would that have forced a drastic image on my detractors and made them keep quiet ? Perhaps ! But that is not what I want...I do not want them to "shut up" or change their views or anything...I do not mind having a logical discussion, until the very moment that someone crosses that line and takes it personal (but that is for another post entirely !)...

There are other arguments that are made for abortion...
"if the woman was ready to have an abortion, then she never really wanted the kid and it would prevent unwanted children from being born and reduce crime, etc..."
For this I have just one response...CRAP ! If someone does not want the child, then they could put it up for abortion, or give it to foster homes and the myriad other options that there are available in a country like the US, where you know that they will make a serious attempt to care for the children. In the same vein, we can just state that we execute deformed, sick, elderly individuals as well as the criminals...after all, they're a burden for society right ? How about orphans ? Well, they would grow up to become criminals and gangsters and the kind...this train of thought has only one logical conclusion...and many others have wandered down that path...A certain Adolf Hilter comes to mind !

So, I would like to end with a statement by the great Isaac Asimov that sums up quite a bit of what I think...
"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent."
This captures the essence of my thoughts...we are performing violent acts against those unborn children, against the people on death row and the people whom we take off life support ! Just because it is state-sponsored, or allowed by law, doesn't mean that it is right...

3 comments:

The Confessionator said...

I definitely agree with you about being pro-life. It always surprises me when liberals in academia always talk about how openness to new beliefs, tolerance, and diversity are the most important things in life. Then, when they hear an opinion that is different than their own, it is as if they've thrown everything they stood for out the window.

Venky said...

I am with you Sibin when you say "I value life". And when I say that I mean "life" and not "human life".
Since we(selfish humans) are treating this planet like our bitch and are perpetrating the death of birth, I am ready to stand on a limb and say that we really should not take what we don't want! and definitely not add to "the big suck" if we don't intend to - so I'm not suporting the "kill 'em all" but I do support abortion.
-Venky

Sib said...

Actually Venky, I do have great respect for life in all respects...I just stuck to the "human life" part in this post, 'cos I didn't want to confuse issues...just thought it would be easier to be focussed on the topic at hand, if I narrow things down a bit...