6/12/12 at 02:20 PM 0 Comments

180 and the Art of Reasoning with the Unreasonable

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Recently my family and I watched a you-tube video called "180" which takes some "people off the street" and askes them about their knowledge of history - specifically WWII and the war crimes of Nazi Germany under Hitler, and then applies the morality of Hitler's thinking to abortion. It is quite facinating how the various people interviewed were quite certain of their beliefs and convictions in the early part of the interview and then how they are forced to look at what they believe in light of a new point of view - i.e. - if it was NOT OK for Hitler to define who was human and kill without mercy for the "good" of his people then does it make logical sense that we do the same thing, just as legally, in our sytem when we kill babies in the womb for the "good" of an individual? Who gets to decide who is human? If there is any doubt - which there certainly is by the reality of various laws concerning abortion which conflict tremendously where some identify "life" after three months and other don't - then is it still ok to take the action which might kill an innocent life?

The surprising thing for me during these interviews was the honesty of the various people being asked to really speak their values out loud in front of everyone. Not everyone took the easy road. In fact, I think most were really expressing their fundamental views on the subjects even when they admitted that they would do something cowardly and shabby - even despicable - to save themselves. And yet on fundamental issues of life and death they held strongly expressed views which had obviously never been seriously challenged. And what they discovered - what anyone watching this series of interviews might discover - is that too often we do not reason to our beliefs as much as we adopt them from an emotional setting. Most people do not want to see other people get hurt or have to suffer - and thus the position that can offer the most prosperity to the greatest number wins - even if it is a lie because the lie is never examined closely. We get comfortable with quick and easy propaganda and we don't want to go into the deep discussions involved in thinking out where our thinking will lead us if we follow it through to its natual conclusion.

Hitler managed to convince a whole nation that the Jews and anyone else who opposed him had to die for the good of their nation. They put millions to death and millions were killed in the ensuing war but that did not change the minds of many of the Germans because, though they lived there, they did not really see the horror that Hitler was inflicting on countless innocent human beings - at least they didn't see it untill they were forced to visit the concentration camps, by law, after the war ended so that they might never forget and repeat the horror.

Abraham Lincoln once said that those who believe in slavery ought to have it tried on them and then see how they feel. Obviously the same logic cannot apply to abortion but I do think a reality check is in order. It makes sense that any person who wants abortion to stand as a legal right in our country, should see what it is all about. They should see the bodies of the dead babies; dismembered and burned to death with chemicals and they should hear the witness of countless women who were not free to choose at all but were pressured into abortions centers by those who believe that murder will solve a problem.

The claim that the "right to choose" is a woman's right and thus she can end an unwanted pregnancy stands today as almost a "no-brainer". But most science today can prove undeniably that a living baby is being killed by the act. So where are we then? We have the legal right to kill the unwanted baby? How about the unwanted handcapped person? Or the helpless old person?

There is a story about a Native American boy who was watching his father make a basket by the sea and he asked his father what he was doing and the father said "I am making a basket to put your grandfather out to sea for he is old and is no longer useful to our people." The boy looked at his father and and thought about his old grandfather and then he nodded his head in agreement. "Alright, I see your logic, but just remember, save the basket."

We will reap what we sow.

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