Monday, December 13, 2021

Pleading the science. . .

If it were not so tragic, it might be humorous.  The joke is how we treat science.  When it suits our moral purpose, we are all for science but when it conflicts with our moral purpose, we refuse the science.  We have all heard the endless litany of begging to listen to science and follow the science when it comes to the corona virus and its various vaccines.  Whether on the news or in conversation, there seems to be a universal chant to follow the science.  But, of course, on other topics of even greater moral urgency, science is the last voice to which you pay attention. 

The science of gender dysphoria conflicts with the modern push to listen to the feelings of the moment when defining gender -- instead of paying any attention to the body.  Science can prove nothing of gender reassignment because it is a psychological problem and not a biological one.  But no one is listening to science when it comes to gender confusion.  Instead, the science is largely thrown out the window and the scientists deemed unreliable or uninformed.  The person is the authority.  The judgment of that person is the truth.  Strangely enough, it is child abuse not to have your child vaccinated but it is also child abuse not to allow your child to take hormones that will prevent the onset of puberty.  Again, the selective use of science follows the conclusion already arrived at by the people.

Then there is the science with respect to abortion.  The original SCOTUS ruling relied significantly upon the science of 1973 when it came to the viability of the child in the womb and what we knew of the feelings and prescience of that child in the womb.  But we do not live in 1973 and the science has changed.  Science now knows that the child is viable much earlier than was true 50 years ago, that the child in the womb from the first day after conception is identifiable as an individual human being on a molecular level, feels pain, and that the child has measurable brain waves, sucks his thumb, has fingerprints, etc., all within the first month to six weeks after conception.  But science does not support the my body my choice mantra of feminism and society's judgment so the science for this issue is ignored.  Not to mention, whatever happened to the my body my choice principle when it comes to deciding whether or not to be vaccinated?

My point is this.  Though we say we believe that the child in the womb is a fully human person deserving of all the protections we afford them after they are born, this is not strictly a religious conclusion.  It is science.  Science will distinguish the stages of life but renders no judgment on when that child in the womb is a life worthy of protections.  That is a moral judgment and, just as once the jurists listened to science, it is time that we all listened to science again.  The real question in the abortion debate is not what we think or what we believe but whether or not our society will give the protection of law to the life indisputably human that already was begun at conception and lives for now within the womb of his or her mother.  Abortion is not strictly a religious debate but a moral debate within a society in which justice for those most vulnerable is a cardinal principle of law and truth and virtue.

The job of the Church in this debate is to be the conscience of a nation that has closed its ears to the voice of conscience, to call the nation to the science that supports the pro-life claims, and to provide a safety net for the children and their mothers who believe they have not choice but to abort.  If we get this right, then we will not impede the progress now slowly being made that has begun to challenge the wisdom of feelings over truth, conviction over science, and rights over justice with respect to the unborn.  And if we get this right, we might have some influence in swaying the judgment that life belongs to the individual and that individual can, at some point in life, define when life is not worth living and expect society and medicine to hasten their painless departure.  None of this will happen, however, as long as we frame our position as one of faith alone. 

Some of our politicians, especially those who try to walk the fine line of personally opposed but unwilling to impose their beliefs upon others, need to be called out for the fallacy and hypocrisy of such a statement.  It is is nothing less than the surrender of science to the politically expedient task of re-election and the choice to affirm an unjust ruling of the court that every year has killed many more than COVID has over its nearly two year run.

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