In saying we work for human rights, we basically proclaim that each and every human life is valuable and worthy of protection, and if we act contrariwise, we undermine our work in any given field of human rights and cannot really claim to protect human rights at all.
Our value is quite intrinsic: our value lies in our humanity itself. It is because human beings are personal beings that we can even relate to such ethics, and each and every human being is conceived with this same capacity. And in this we see that not even the worst of actions could deprive us of this nature as human. Our humanity is part of our essence, not of circumstance, age, ability, usefulness or innocence.
This value is unchangeable, it is not an opinion to be ignored by dictators or thrown out by lazy politicians. We are human in our nature and this humanity is what makes us of the utmost value and worthy of the greatest protections. It is why we have hundreds of thousands of human rights organizations the world over – we see the value reflected in others, and we want to ensure that each and every human being has the rights he or she deserves.
Consistency is demanded in this work, yet we see double-standards on all sides, from every perspective.
Consider: the child in the womb has the potential to become also soldier on the battlefield, a child caught behind enemy lines, a wrongly or rightly convicted prisoner on death row, or a teen growing up in poverty. Therefore, we have the responsibility to value his or her life at all stages. This is not because they are innocent, or useful, but because they are human.
Likewise, the prisoner on death row was at one point a preborn human being, might one day be the elderly, and could have been a soldier captured and shipped to Guantanamo. If we defend his life at this moment while facing the death penalty, but not at the others, then we have only a false regard for him and not an honest care for his life and dignity.
Both sides of the political spectrum suffer from a two-faced ethical theory that is more of a “choose who you like and pat yourself on the back for supporting “human rights”” kind of philosophy. This exclusivist mindset does not really honor the human person, but chooses who is valuable at what point, for what reason. If we truly claimed to respect human rights and desire the good of humanity, we would be consistent in our defense of human life and would not neglect any human being at any point from our consideration and protection.
The ethical statement I would then put forth would be [to follow Germain Grisez’s ethics: in that the ultimate goal of ethics and of the life pursuit is the full flourishing of the human person, and therefore] that “we must never directly kill any human life.” [This, of course, leaves room for the principle of double effect, and self-defense is provided for under these terms.] This ensures that we do not dehumanize the preborn nor the enemy soldier, not the prisoner on death row nor the aged disabled, and that we will properly respect each and every instance of the basic human goods of life.
Have you heard of Life/Peace/Justice: A Conference on Life Issues yet?
”We want to start a conference - hopefully annual - but definitely impactful. We want to ensure that young people are talking about the issues that matter most to the endurance of society: Life. Peace. Justice.That means getting conference space, arranging for speakers to give amazing presentations, and organizing outreach and attendance. For the scope of what we hope to achieve, this is no small feat.
But this conference is not just the work of Life Matters Journal; it is the fruit of collaboration, the hopes of many young people and many in the old guard to see their generation confront the injustices of our time: abortion, unjust war, euthanasia, capital punishment, embryonic stem-cell research, human trafficking, suicide, abuse, torture, and others.
These acts may not all be equal but they speak to the same foundational attitude in our society that disregards and desecrates the dignity of human life.
We believe that a culture of peace is built upon the respect for the life and dignity of each and every human being. We believe being pro-life doesn’t end at birth, and being pro-peace doesn’t mean only standing against war: we seek to bring together people from all sides of the political and religious spectrums to discuss and work together for peace and all life. And we want our communities to talk about the issues of violence that we face in our modern world, to educate their peers and colleagues, and to ignite change.” ~ Life/Peace/Justice FB page
We at Life Matters Journal are teaming up with other organizations to make this comprehensive conference on life issues a reality! Join in the discourse, and help make our culture one for peace & ALL life!
My choice is to not support abortion, except in cases of a clear-cut choice between the lives of the mother and child. A child conceived through incest or rape is innocent and deserves the right to be born.
Gosnell employee: ‘It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place’
Massof began “helping move patients around” from one area of the clinic to the next. Later he began doing first trimester procedures and eventually took on the “second tris,” testifying that he saw more than 100 babies born alive who had their necks snipped in what he said was “literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.”
During busy times, when the women were given drugs to induce contractions all at once, Massof told the court that “it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.”
“I felt like a firemen in Hell,” he said. “I couldn’t put out all the fires.”
abortion is murder and “a death sentence for the unborn” (Pope Francis)