The influence of relativism and the abortion issue


From: Gabriel Bickerstaff

Is abortion ethical or not? This highly sensational issue has been debated extensively. Activists on both sides use science to try to back their opinions, with abortion supporters like Bill Nye pointing out that not every fertilized egg becomes a fetus, and pro-lifers like Ben Shapiro pointing to the unborn’s development as evidence of its personhood. One of the effects of applying science to so controversial an issue is that abortion supporters can point to the ensuing confusion and claim that because it isn’t clear whether a fetus is a person or not, the decision should be left to women. This however, is a very relativistic view, and is not a reasonable approach to an issue that potentially involves life and death.

Regardless of the clear window into the development of the unborn that science has provided, abortion supporters still claim that a fetus is not an individual. They tend to promote uncertainty by asking questions such as “When does life begin?” But even if there is uncertainty, and this question hasn’t been adequately answered, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the choice of abortion should be left to the individual woman.

To say that due to uncertainty regarding whether a fetus is a person, the decision of whether it should live or not should be made by the woman is unreasonable. It would suggest that whether the abortion is ethical or not is based on the woman’s personal feelings and moral code. This is fallacious because it is tainted by relativism, which Chris Stefanick reveals to be a self-destructing principle.

I suggest that because there is debate on the personhood of a fetus, in order to remain on the safe side, our lawmakers work to protect what can be argued to be a human individual. Just as a hunter doesn’t shoot at anything that moves in the forest when he is aware that there could be children playing, but waits to be certain that it is an animal, we must be conscientious, and value human life to the point of inconveniencing ourselves if there is doubt.

Thus, as science has not proved that a fetus is not a human person, abortion is unethical.


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