Friday, July 20, 2007

Line of Demarkation

Recently, a commenter insinuated that there's no moral difference between abortion and capital punishment. I thought I'd take the opportunity to address this bizarre notion at more length.

As I've said elsewhere, the distinction between the two is the same as the difference between my going next door and shooting my neighbor in the head as he watches tv, versus shooting the man who just broke into my house and attempted to rape my wife and kill us both. In other words, the incongruity between them is stark. They are separated by the line drawn between innocence and guilt. With the unborn child, we're talking about someone who is innocent--whose innocence isn't even in question. There's no moral equivalency, here. Capital punishment occurs after a suspect has been accused of a crime and tried in front of a jury of his peers with representation. He has been found guilty and sentenced. He has exhausted the appeals process. So unless you believe that all human life is of equal value--from Mao-tse-Tung to Mother Theresa--with no exceptions whatsoever, following the logic shouldn't prove difficult. If you understand the distinction between innocence and guilt, the difference between abortion and capital punishment becomes apparent. If you don't comprehend the difference, I cannot imagine what a bewildering series of conundrums life must present for you.

Besides moral confusion explaining this mindset, the other possibility is intellectual dishonesty: the person making the argument knows, subconsciously at least, that his conflation of these two is nonsensical; but he remains adamant, due to his devotion to the pro-abortion agenda--an agenda which often questions the consistency of those who support the death penalty, but decry baby killing. Of course, as I have illustrated, no inconsistency exists. It also strikes me as a form of macabre humor that someone who believes women should have the legal right to butcher their unborn children would take members of the pro-life movement to task on morality--whether consistent, or otherwise.

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