"The superior man is catholic and no partizan. The mean man is a partizan and not catholic." (君子周而不比、小人比而不周。) ─ Confucius, The Analects, 2.XIV, translation by James Legge.
Labels: Philosophy, The Culture of Death, The Culture of Life, The Dismal Science
posted by Iosue Andreas Sartorius at 8:54 AM (Permalink)
+JMJ+ When I was in uni, my roommate and best friend was an atheist--one who honestly didn't believe in a God and who kind of wished she did, just so she could see what I regularly made a big religious fuss over. She also saw nothing wrong with abortion. And since she was raised in Japan and I was the only Catholic she knew, I'm sure she tended to think of Catholicism as a Filipino rather than a universal thing. It made for some very interesting debates about abortion. After a year of living with her, I can say that it is possible to make the case against abortion using reason alone. In fact, there was one point at which my friend admitted that my arguments stood up so much better than hers . . . but that she still couldn't bring herself to think abortion was wrong. Well, what else can one do, right? A few years after we both graduated from uni and moved to different parts of the world, she had a "pregnancy scare" (or whatever the hint of an unplanned pregnancy is called). It put her in a very odd position. By that time, she had switched careers to midwifery and had started counseling other women with unplanned pregnancies about all their "options"--which, of course, included abortion. So she already knew all the paths open to her at that point. And she also knew--although she could not explain it--that she would never and could never have an abortion. Since then, she has had great difficulty advising women to have abortions, and will (although it is probably the "unprofessional" thing to do) try very hard to convince them to carry their children to term. Using reason, of course. She's still an atheist. =)
Excellent story. The great Nat Hentoff is probably the most famous American example of a pro-life atheist.
If one were to quibble with this, then it would be to point out that both the rational and empirical methods, and with them the whole of natural science, are in fact integral to and expressive of Augustinian illuminism, and incomprehensible apart from it. But this is still a very good start, a most welcome development.
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