Monday, January 23, 2012
I doubt anyone who carries such placards is aware of the irony of what they're doing. Especially since nearly all of them would call themselves conservatives.
Conserve-ative. Someone who's centered on conserving.
All this is a tribute to the fact that some of our noblest instincts, instincts that evolved on a planet radically different from the one we live on today, are now instincts that betray us.
And it's a tribute to the fact that most people's reasoning abilities aren't much better than that of an adult crow.
If you hang a treat from a branch on a string, most adult crows can figure out what to do to get the treat without having to experiment. They look at the setup, fly up to the branch, and pull the string up with their claws and beak, and soon have the treat.
But if you toss the string over a higher branch, so the crow would have to pull down on the string to bring the treat up towards them, they can't handle that kind of two-step logic.
Likewise, these people who want to "defend life" see sonograms of a fetus that certainly looks like a human being, and they want to save it.
But tell them that the human race is expanding at the rate of over 140 people a minute (after deaths are subtracted), on a planet that isn't expanding, and whose ability to sustain us is actually shrinking, so that only by supporting Communist China's One Child policy and promoting its adoption worldwide can we even start to stave off world disaster...you can see their eyes glaze over.
You might as well show a spreadsheet to a chimpanzee and expect them to understand it.
We developed the instincts the "defend life" people express when the human race had shrunk to around 1,600 fertile females plus probably an equivalent number of males, after a Sumatran volcano explosion 80,000 years ago had pumped so much guck into the atmosphere that photosynthesis nearly stopped for several years and the world's animal life was starving to death.
Back then we needed a fierce will to survive and have kids and protect them against all odds.
Today's situation demands that we deny these powerful instincts.
But most people don't even try. They deny that there's an overpopulation problem, or that it applies to us, or that if there is magical new technology will solve it, or if it won't, God will reach down and solve it, and if He won't it doesn't matter because Earth doesn't matter--only Heaven. And God told us to stop abortion--it's right there in the Bible!
Actually the Bible only confers any rights at all on children when they're a month old--thus OK'ing not just abortion but infanticide. But that's in the Old Testament. In the New Testament...nothing about abortion. Just stuff about being nice to people, which anti-abortionistas assume includes fetuses, which no one in biblical times would have imagined. It's applying contemporary ideas to biblical terms.
Elaborate justification of anti-abortionism abound, of course. You can read one here. And you can read a detailed debunking of such stuff here. Starting with the easily verifiable fact that the word "abortion" appears nowhere in the Bible.
This isn't a problem for Catholics, because they don't use the Bible as their final word on God's instructions for us. They use the Pope's official pronouncements, which routinely override what's in the Bible. What's remarkable is how they persuaded Christian fundamentalists to accept the Pope's pronouncements.
Bottom line: when I see people like the two nice young ladies in the photo holding their Knights of Columbus "Defend Life" signs, I see a pair of very nice crows unintentionally--but effectively--promoting the destruction of the only place in the entire Universe that's available to the human race for life (along with the animals and plants we share this planet with).