In the abortion debate, those of you who read my article Think Life Begins at Conception? What Are the Implications? know that I don’t believe anybody who bases their opinion on when life begins. Is an embryo alive? Does life begin at birth or conception? I don’t think it matters. People only define when life begins so they feel their opinion is based on a fact. But to me, it’s still an opinion.
That’s why I’d like to discuss the Death Penalty issue. Like abortion, the death penalty is a hotly debated issue. Unlike abortion though, there is no question whether the person is alive. Unlike the embryo, the criminal is most assuredly alive.
Here’s where it gets ironic. Many people insist that abortion is wrong because it terminates a human life. This life is valuable and deserves a chance to live. Therefore, a pregnant mother should not have the option of killing the embryo.
Of course this is just a justification that masks the opinion “I don’t like abortion and don’t want people having them”, but I’ll indulge for now.
Let’s take the logic a bit further. Is a criminal alive? Of course. Is a criminal more alive than an embryo? Of course. By that logic, every criminal, no matter how heinous, is a valuable human life. Therefore, the death penalty would be wrong, like abortion.
It doesn’t work that way though. Most people who are against abortion support the death penalty. Is it consistent? No. But again, people don’t truly oppose abortion because they believe life begins at conception, they oppose abortion because they don’t like abortion. That’s why, when a criminal is just as alive as an embryo (or more alive), the person who compares abortion to murder is happy to kill the criminal. Why? Because they don’t like criminals.
So the conservatives are clearly illogical here. They are probably writing me off as biased towards liberals or defending their inconsistencies by criticizing liberals for their inconsistency. And you know what, they’re right (not on the bias, but on the liberal inconsistencies).
Liberals support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. They argue that life doesn’t begin at birth, again as disingenuously as the conservatives. And again just to feel that their opinion is based on a fact. But deep down, they just prefer that a woman be able to kill her baby if she would prefer.
But then many liberals oppose the death penalty. It just doesn’t add up.
Why doesn’t it make sense? Because people aren’t completely forthright. They argue something they don’t believe, just because it makes their opinion appear stronger. But it’s still just an opinion.
Conservatives: You oppose abortion because the thought of killing an embryo bothers you. Not because life technically begins at conception. You support the death penalty because you want those criminals to pay. Just realize these are opinions.
Liberals: You support a woman’s right to chose because you are bothered by the thought of a woman being forced to bring a child into a bad living situation. Not because life technically does not begin until birth. You oppose the death penalty because you don’t want criminals, most often racial minorities, to be murdered.
Whether talking about the death penalty or abortion, please just be frank. If everybody debates when life technically begins, the debate will go nowhere. There’s no true answer to that question.