"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Friday, April 28, 2006


FRANCIS SCHAEFFER decades ago prophesied “The Party of Death” (not to be confused with the Democratic Party necessarily but practically).

The Party of Death is a loose and shifting coalition of people and organizations that are working together to redefine humanity in ways that will allow us to kill our fellow human beings without suffering any penalties, either legal or moral. So far, their targets have been human beings at either end of life's spectrum. This is the commonality that links pro-choicers with supporters of euthanasia. In both cases, a human being is killed. In both cases, the PoD is ready to assure us that we aren't really killing human beings. Less-sophisticated PoD arguments use the tried-and-true "just a clump of cells" line. More-sophisticated arguments revolve around the concept of personhood, which is essentially a philosopher's way of claiming that a human life may not be entitled to human rights. In fact, Ramesh even devotes a whole chapter to "The Politics of Personhood," in which he summarizes the inherent problems with such reasoning:
We have developed ways of talking that enable us to pretend that this point [the death of a human organism] can be blinked away. In the case of abortion and embryo research, the main technique is to suggest that there is some great mystery about "when life begins," and that this alleged question is a religious or philosophical one. Yet science has long since solved the mystery. From conception onward, what exists is a distinct organism of the human species. The philosophical question is what we make of that fact. To jumble these issues together – the essentially scientific issue of categorizing an embryo as human and living, and the moral question of whether it follows from that categorization that it has a right to life – is a logical error.

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