A different idea on pro-life abortion
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30-03-2014, 08:20 PM (This post was last modified: 30-03-2014 08:23 PM by Tartarus Sauce.)
A different idea on pro-life abortion
I know this is a topic done to death, but this a thought that just occurred to me.

First of all, I just want to clarify that I am specifically talking about the typical fundamentalist-Christian segment of pro-lifers; I am aware that non-religious pro-lifers are out there as well.

We all know that the "sanctity of life" argument is ad hoc bullshit. For starters, they don't treat it as the universal rule its nature entails, since truly holding life as sacred would inevitably lead to anti-war, pro-environment, and anti-death penalty viewpoints as well. None of these are typically the case for fundamentalist Christians claiming "pro-life." Secondly, I'm not sure on this one, but I don't think it's actually a biblically supported statement. In fact, the Bible is pretty explicit in humanity's dominion over life, and there are plenty of justifications given for taking the life of even our fellow species, therefore negating the whole "sanctity" aspect.

The transparency with this faux argument is usually summed up with "it's an attempt to control women's bodies" although I think it's actually a bit more encompassing than that. It is, of course, obvious that fundamentalist Christianity is a patriarchal system, so control over women is a given, but this made me realize that abortion is actually not just an affront to the patriarchy present in Christianity, but is also an attack on the foundational reasoning of the patriarchy itself.

The most commonly accepted theory is that patriarchy rose to prominence with the introduction of ownership that was brought about by the sedentary, surplus-rich societies induced by agriculture and domestication. When we were simply bands of hunter-gatherers---which we have been for the vast majority of our specie's existence---it's believed that it was more advantageous for promiscuity to be the norm. Since the men wouldn't know who their children were, they ended up caring for each one as if it was their own rather than trying to secure as much of the scant resources as possible for their offspring, which would have led to severe internal conflict.

Of course, this all changed when agriculture and domestication led to resource surpluses. This led to unequally distributed, clearly defined allocations of resources and wealth, hence leading to the creation of property and possessions as legal concepts. Since property was the insurance of the socio-economic prosperity and security of one's genetic lineage, it all of the sudden became important to know who your children were so they could inherit your assets. The mothers would obviously always know who their children were, but since this was before paternity tests existed, there was only one way for the father to have access to such knowledge: complete control over their partner's sexual activities.

Therefore, within patriarchal systems, all the benefits of lineage are under dominion of the father. So in patriarchal systems such as that within Christianity, the act of an abortion is a two-fold subversion. First, it undermines the general control of men over their partner's, but even more importantly, it is the woman denying the father's access to his lineage (and all the benefits it brings him) via destruction of his potential offspring. Since, according to the common theory, producing a successful lineage is the main reason for instituting a patriarchy to begin with, performing an abortion is the ultimate sin within such systems.

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31-03-2014, 02:11 AM
RE: A different idea on pro-life abortion
What a wonderful and novel approach within these threads.

I fully agree with your argument and conclusion; it also supports women's history on reproduction and patriarchy.

No arguments from me.

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31-03-2014, 03:16 AM
RE: A different idea on pro-life abortion
Interesting! I'd never thought of it this way. Love the way you think! Thumbsup

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01-04-2014, 08:03 AM
RE: A different idea on pro-life abortion
(30-03-2014 08:20 PM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  Of course, this all changed when agriculture and domestication led to resource surpluses. This led to unequally distributed, clearly defined allocations of resources and wealth, hence leading to the creation of property and possessions as legal concepts. Since property was the insurance of the socio-economic prosperity and security of one's genetic lineage, it all of the sudden became important to know who your children were so they could inherit your assets. The mothers would obviously always know who their children were, but since this was before paternity tests existed, there was only one way for the father to have access to such knowledge: complete control over their partner's sexual activities.

Therefore, within patriarchal systems, all the benefits of lineage are under dominion of the father. So in patriarchal systems such as that within Christianity, the act of an abortion is a two-fold subversion. First, it undermines the general control of men over their partner's, but even more importantly, it is the woman denying the father's access to his lineage (and all the benefits it brings him) via destruction of his potential offspring. Since, according to the common theory, producing a successful lineage is the main reason for instituting a patriarchy to begin with, performing an abortion is the ultimate sin within such systems.

This does make a lot of sense, and in this context, the super creepy virginity/marriage/rape laws in Deuteronomy make more sense. Women have to be virgins when married. If they're not, they can be killed. Kill adulterers. If a betrothed virgin sleeps with someone, she is to be killed (unless raped outside the city. If it's in the city, she wanted it because she didn't scream). If a non-betrothed virgin gets raped, she married the rapist, because otherwise she's stuck living with her parents now that no one will marry her.

All of those laws would protect lineage, except the last one. The last one is a bizarre side-effect of the virgin fetish inherent in their system.
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04-04-2014, 06:46 AM
RE: A different idea on pro-life abortion
(30-03-2014 08:20 PM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  We all know that the "sanctity of life" argument is ad hoc bullshit. For starters, they don't treat it as the universal rule its nature entails, since truly holding life as sacred would inevitably lead to anti-war, pro-environment, and anti-death penalty viewpoints as well. None of these are typically the case for fundamentalist Christians claiming "pro-life." Secondly, I'm not sure on this one, but I don't think it's actually a biblically supported statement. In fact, the Bible is pretty explicit in humanity's dominion over life, and there are plenty of justifications given for taking the life of even our fellow species, therefore negating the whole "sanctity" aspect.

You just PERFECTLY explained exactly why I had to choose to be either pro-life, or Christian. I don't think it is possible to be both.

I do think that many pro-life Christians have a good heart, but they have not read the book they claim to believe. Their actions seem to be irrelevant to their beliefs.

My current project is explaining why many things in this world are irrelevant to me.
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