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Monday, November 4, 2013

But he didn't think it was a person!

Here's a story about a guy and his friend out hunting Bigfoot in Oklahoma.

OK, that's already a comical combination of words, I know.

So what happened is this. They were out hunting, and were apparently not very close to each other. The one guy hears barking noises, turns around, and fires -- and shoots his buddy in the back. The buddy survived but clearly when a hunter shoots at his prey, his intention is to kill the thing he's shooting at.

I am not saying he wanted to kill his friend. I am just saying that shooting is an act ordered to killing, and he shot at something that happened to be his friend.

He has been arrested and charged with reckless conduct with a firearm for the shooting. It seems he should have known that what he was trying to kill was a human being.

It seems to me, though, that being out in the woods of Oklahoma, that it could have been many, many things bedsides a human. It could have been a deer, or a bear, or a wolf, a bush, or even maybe Bigfoot. Still, I happen to agree, he should have positively ruled out that it was a human being before shooting. In fact, he should have also ruled out that it was any out-of-season animal. But primarily, he needed to be certain it was not a human being. And he wasn't certain -- because it was a human being.

An argument in support of abortion is that what is growing and living inside a woman's uterus is not a human being. Or, that we can't know for sure that it is.

We can know for sure what it isn't. It isn't Bigfoot. It definitely isn't a bear or wolf or deer or shrub. We know that for certain.

And yet, do we not have the same moral obligation as the hunter? To rule out with certainty that it isn't a human being?

Now, the shooter could claim that HE was certain it wasn't his friend or any other person when he fired. But we know from later on that it was, and he knows now he was mistaken. Therefore, he didn't know well enough and his certitude was based on insufficient evidence. Had he waited for more evidence, he would have gotten the certitude that he needed.

Yet with abortion, the standard of evidence is all topsy-turvy. The less we know, the more certain we are it's not a human being, the more we can do the procedure without any moral difficulty.

We know, if we doubt it to be a member of the human species, that it certainly cannot be a member of any other species, either. We know it has some relation to the human species in some way, because of the way it came into existence. We know it is alive, or else an abortion would not be necessary. We know if an abortion is not performed, and everything goes normally, a human baby will be born, or else there would be no need for abortion.

That is the whole point of abortion - to prevent the last thing said - the eventual birth of a human baby - from happening. Say what you want about abortion, that is what it boils down to: An abortion is "necessary" because without one a human baby will be born. The object of destruction is that future human baby, as much as the undeveloped contents of the woman's uterus.

And yet, "we don't know when personhood occurs" is a defense of abortion. Ignorance justifies the procedure.

But ignorance is precisely the crime that the hunter who shot his friend is guilty of.

That's the world we live in.

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