Monday, March 27, 2017

Science and Economics of Life

Our local Tea Party recently visited the local office of our state senator to let him know what bills we were following, and what we are encouraging him to do. The biannual legislative session is underway in Austin, so we met with the staffer.

Normally a staffer is pretty circumspect about saying where the legislator stands on any given issue. But we have a conservative state senator who is generally in agreement with us. He had already authored or signed on as a co-author on most of the Senate bills we were looking at, so we just wanted to thank him. Some had already passed through the Senate and had been sent to the House. A few others hadn’t been moving, so we encouraged paying attention to those. Then there were a few House bills we wanted him to be aware of for when they pass through the House and reach the Senate.

So the staffer was friendly and comfortable with us. He said it was like a breath of fresh air to meet with people like us (people who weren’t hostile or complaining, I’m assuming). He said last week he had Planned Parenthood visit him, from the clinic here in Houston that was filmed selling baby parts.* The Senator represents them as well, so the staffer’s job is to listen politely and let them know he’ll pass along their views to the Senator.

But he shared with us that one of their points was that we should be in favor of abortion, because that would mean fewer people, and that would mean a lower tax burden. So it would be fiscally conservative to favor abortion. The staffer told us they said this with a straight face.

It’s a good idea to try to understand how people with differing opinions think. So I thought I’d explore this belief. It requires some surmising on my part, but this is what I think is their though process:

·         They know our state senator has an excellent long record of being all about lowering the tax burden on his constituents (he used to the be county tax assessor, and was outspoken about making sure homeowners got every property tax advantage they could get). Therefore, a lower tax argument must get his attention.
·         They believe, because he favors lower taxes, he will favor them above any other issue, including abortion.
·         They believe he doesn’t actually value life of the unborn when weighed against money issues.
·         They believe more people mean more tax burden. That must also be true of immigration, and emigration from other states into ours as well.
So a person who is pro-abortion is making some negative and erroneous assumptions, about life in general, and about those of us who disagree with them.

All the while the governor (a conservative) is attempting to attract businesses to the state, and we’re generally pleased about being a state that’s growing. That growth includes children. But there’s an assumption among conservatives that parents take care of their children. There are school costs, but the parents’ taxes plus their neighbors’ taxes cover that so that we have productive adults in the rising generation.

That pro-abortion lobby is assuming babies are nothing but a burden—of money, energy, life.

That’s an unbridgeable divide.

This morning on Glenn Beck’s radio show he referred to a 2013 Melissa Harris-Perry news clip, in which she denies the science that a human fertilized egg is human life. She was holding a model of a fertilized egg and said,
Glenn Beck shows antique zygote models
screen shot from here

[T]he very idea that this would constitute a person, right? And that some set of constitutional rights should come to this.  Look, I get that that is a particular kind of faith claim. It’s not associated with science. But the reality is that if this turns into a person, right, there are economic consequences, right? The cost to raise a child, $10,000 a year up to $20,000 a year. When you’re talking about what it actually costs to have this thing turn into a human, why not allow women to make the best choices that we can with as many resources and options instead of trying to come in and regulate this process?
Glenn Beck also had, in his studio, some antique models of the developing fertilized egg—which were used to teach the science of human development.

The thing is, there isn’t anything a fertilized human egg can turn into except a human fetus, and eventually a full-grown human being. There isn’t any point from the moment of egg and sperm coming together that this “thing” is either “non-living” or “non-human.” That is scientific fact, not “faith,” as she claims. Melissa Harris-Perry is a science denier.

And, like the Planned Parenthood lobbyists at the state senator’s office last week, she is making the economic claim—that life is not worth protecting if a person deems it not economically worthwhile.
By that argument, who besides the not-yet-born human should it be legal to kill?

·         The already born child, if the parent doesn’t want to bear the expense of raising him/her.
·         The elderly, who are no longer contributing economically.
·         The chronically ill or disabled, who are not contributing economically.
·         The mentally ill, or disabled, such as Down’s Syndrome children, who cost more economically than they contribute.
·         Prisoners on death row or life imprisonment, who cost more economically than they contribute.
·         Anybody receiving government support long-term, costing more economically than they contribute.
·         Anybody costing another person economically—tough competitors in the marketplace, unsatisfying employees, dependent spouses and children, doctors and other service providers who charge too much for their services, etc.
What is the purpose of earning wealth? To provide for our lives—our shelter, food, clothing, and other needs and wants. Money is not the goal; it is the tool. It is to be used to support life, not measure its worth and deem it disposable.

Now, I don’t actually believe most on the pro-abortion side are in favor of murder in any other cases. I think they are not deep thinkers; they simply want what they want—sex without consequences—and believe if they keep insisting loudly enough, the entire culture will capitulate.
fetus at 20 weeks
image from here

But as science advances—so that human life is recognized earlier, and is shown more clearly, and the age of viability is lower—more people come to recognize their error. 

It will be the science deniers who hold out the longest. At some point it’s not just a difference of opinion; it is people who rebel against truth. As clear thinker Ezekiel put it millennia ago, “thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.” [Ezekiel12:2


* The journalists in this case were later exonerated.

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