What determines right from wrong? What are sins against nature? Who has the authority to determine what is good and what is not? Hopefully, these questions will be sufficiently addressed to help us think about our position on the subject, and drive us further to pursue additional information on where we stand. We need to ask ourselves and decide…what is really ours to decide?
Right and Wrong, Good and Bad, Love and Hate…they are concepts that really repel the other, like positive and negative. Does a legal system decide what is right and wrong? Does law determine morality? It can decide what is good and bad for its survival. It can make illegal, those things that it feels will disrupt its society. However, these are not moral judgements, they are judgements of expediency, of usefulness, of appropriateness. And these decisions are based on what will help society survive and prosper. Laws, as we have seen in the past, can be overturned, can even be declared unconstitutional. Laws after all, are made by men.
Natural law has been described as a law whose content is set by nature and therefore has validity everywhere. Because of its extension, because of its origination, to go against it would be wrong, immoral.
<>Some examples of the implications of natural law would be:
• Drunkenness goes against natural law because it is bad for one’s health, and worse, it destroys one’s ability to reason. This ability to reason is fundamental to man as a rational animal. To throw it away is to go against his very nature. (self preservation). As such, it is wrong.
• Stealing attacks social relationships, and man is by nature a social animal (man is societal by nature). This tears at, and breaks down the bonds of society. It goes against the very things that man requires for his existence. As such, it is wrong.
• On the current oil spill in the Gulf, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew says, “…we also have a responsibility not only to pray, but also to declare that to mistreat the natural environment is to sin against humanity, against all living things, and against our creator God.” (self preservation).

So who then, determines whether something is sinful or not? In the case for sobriety, I would prefer that it not be left up to the person inclined to drink him or herself into oblivion. So too, the thief should not get the privilege of determining if his stealing from others is good or bad. The oil spill was just an accident, how could there be immorality involved there. How many of us have turned our heads away from social and ecological responsibilities. How many have profited from the raping of our planet Earth.Oh yes, immorality is involved here as well. It is just not as obvious to discern.
This brings us to Pro Life, Pro Choice. These also seem to repel each other, like positive and negative. But here, we have a slight distinction. On the one hand, the Pro Life side is saying that the life of the infant takes precedence over all other considerations. The Pro Choice side, to strengthen its position of choosing for the mother, denies that what is aborted is a human life at all. Thus, for them there is no consequence to their actions. They are merely flicking off some dust that has gathered on their clothes. Here too, we have a person with a vested interest, trying to decide for us, what is right and what is wrong.
In the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas, using Aristotle’s theories, concluded that the rational human soul is not present, in the first few weeks of pregnancy. But he still rejected abortion as gravely wrong at every stage, observing that it is a sin “against nature” to reject God’s gift of a new life.
From the American Medical Association, Report on Criminal Abortion, 1871, it states “…no other doctrine appears to be consistent with reason or physiology but that which admits the embryo to possess vitality from the very moment of conception”. Life exists at the moment of conception. Pretty hard to dispute what is meant here.
And today, modern science continues to confirm that the life of each individual of the human species begins with the earliest embryo.
We do have a right to decide where we will stand. On which side we will position our beliefs is our right, our God-given right of Free Will. We can choose for the unborn, or we can choose for the mother. We have a right to choose what we want. But we do not have the right to say that Pro Choice does not harm anyone. We cannot hold ourselves blameless, if we choose to abort. A life is being extinguished because he or she does not fit into our plans. We don’t want the responsibilities that go with our pleasures, but we still want the pleasures, is that it? What are the consequences of snuffing out a life? You don’t get to choose that. God does.
Links/References:
Huffington Post article on Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
http://catholicdestination.com positions on abortion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law article on Natural Law

Advertisements