As you may have gathered from my blog yesterday, I have fairly strong opinions regarding the issue of abortion.  Today I want to lay down the TKO toward the pro-choice position.  I’m going to do this by first considering a world in which God exists (the actual world), and then a world in which God does not exist (a hypothetical world).

If God exists, Herb Silverman has noted that He must be omnirational.  That is, a God who knows everything (is omniscient) will also be all-reasonable.  This is a matter of God’s nature.  This fact works in favor of Divine Command Theory both ontologically and epistemically.

From an epistemic perspective, whatever else we want our moral choices to be, we want them to be rational.  An omnirational God would certainly know how to make such rational choices far better than we humans who are prone to fallacy.  In such a situation, we might not know what the grounding of morality is, but we would know whatever that grounding God ultimately knows the most moral choice to make.  Thus, His commands would be based on the best possible reasons for acting a certain way, and we would be justified in following such commands.

As a matter of ontology, I believe this solves the Euthyphro Dilemma that has long plagued Divine Command Theory.  God is, by His nature, omnirational.  To be omnirational prohibits being arbitrary.  That is, God could not command one set of rules for one region of the country, and another set of rules for another region.  He cannot contradict Himself, because to do so would be to cease being omnirational and therefore to cease being God.  God commands what is good, and it is good precisely in virtue of according perfectly with His all-rational nature.  Thus, God’s nature is the ontological grounding of morality, and God’s commands the perfect expression of that morality.

In this world, if God prohibits something like abortion, we can rest assured that abortion is immoral.  Anyone who believes in a theistic God who has so revealed His will is morally justified in also holding that abortion is wrong.

But many people deny precisely this point, namely, that the theistic God exists.  What should we do about such people?  What argument may be offered?

Well if God does not exist, our world is essentially physical.  Everything reduces to matter.  Humans are material beings, without a spiritual component.  This is true of humans in any place, and of any age group.

As it turns out, the baby in the fetus is a material being.  It is matter just like other humans, and it does not take a significant period of time for the fetus to develop material characteristics of a human, such as brain matter and organs.

In virtue of this, a strong argument can be made that an unborn fetus, being a material thing just like other humans, also has the same rights as other humans.  Among these rights is the right to life.  Therefore, abortion would be wrong on materialist grounds.

This does not solve every hypothetical scenario, such as “what if the mother’s life is in danger?” or something like that.  But it is a starting point for talking about abortion.  There are good reasons to believe abortion is immoral, the squeals of radical feminists notwithstanding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s