Monday, December 24, 2012
Abortion and Christianity
What's moral in an abundant, empty land overflowing with trees and streams and plains is different from what's moral in a lifeboat.
Christianity enshrines the human race's instinctive urges to "be fruitful and multiply." Those urges made sense until the abundant land that Earth once was turned into a lifeboat with no rescue in sight and more people on the boat than supplies to sustain them.
Today it would take at least two planet Earths to sustain even the people we now have in the circumstances they now live in, yet we only have 1.0 Earths, and humanity's numbers are currently swelling at the rate of 140 more people total every single minute.
For example, within this century the world's coral reefs will be extinct, along with the rich ecosystem that depends on them, thus denying the main protein source for many millions of people who live in the tropics. This is because the oceans are becoming acidic, due to all the C02 humans are producing. With the coral reefs all the oceans' shellfish will also go extinct from the same cauise, denying us another important food source. And there's almost certainly nothing we can do to reverse this process at this point.
Already many millions of people don't have access to potable water. They drink filthy water and get terrible diseases as a consequence. China is running out of water, pumping its wells dry, and so it will dam the Mekong River that today sustains Vietnam. This will turn much of Vietnam into something close to a desert. Futurists predict that the next major wars will be over water, since so many rivers flow from one country into another. We already did that to Mexico when we dammed the Colorado and destroyed Mexican agriculture in the Colorado delta.
The price of staple foods is soaring all around the world. Anyone who shops for their family has noticed it, but we can absorb the price jumps. In the third world many can't, and consequently more and more people are moving into the "food-insecure" category.
The world had a billion people in 1804. It has 7 billion now, and that is double what it was just a few decades ago.
The agricultural production revolution of the 1970s moved the cliff farther away, but humanity didn't use the respite to mend its ways. Now the cliff is getting nearer and nearer, and there won't be another tech revolution to save us this time, wishful thinking notwithstanding.
So talk about abortion must take place in the lifeboat, not in the Eden, and what was moral and even desirable in Eden is a very different matter in the lifeboat.
Christianity thus far has totally refused to face this. Understandably. Because it entails agonizing choices that go directly against instincts honed over millions of years. But it is intellectual and spiritual cowardice not to face things as they are.
Christianity thus far is acting like someone who's been told they have cancer. You know the drill: denial, rage, bargaining, grieving, acceptance.
Christianity is still at "denial." (along with every other major religion of course)