Sometimes I hear things that make my head hurt. This is one. In the video below the woman’s argument in favor of abortion is – well – I call it the “Schrödinger’s Cat” argument for abortion.
She says, “But, what I think is actually among early fetuses there are two very different kinds of beings. So, James, when you were an early fetus, and Eliot, when you were an early fetus, all of us I think we already did have moral status then. But we had moral status in virtue of our futures. And future of fact that we were beginning stages of persons. But some early fetuses will die in early pregnancy due to abortion or miscarriage. And in my view that is a very different kind of entity. That’s something that doesn’t have a future as a person and it doesn’t have moral status.”
So what she’s saying is that if you are born then you had the right to be born and if you had been aborted that would not be moral because you were born. However, if you are aborted, that’s not immoral because you never would have been born and never could have had a future therefore aborting you isn’t immoral because there was never any potentiality there in the first place. The aborted fetus is a different kind of being, an aborted being without a future. It’s okay to abort an aborted being because they are a different kind of being.
Like the cat in Schrödinger’s famous box the fetus exists in two states at once. Schrödinger created the thought experiment to be intentionally absurd. He disagreed with the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, which was basically that an object can exist simultaneously in all states and only converts to one particular state when observed. Schrödinger felt that this was ridiculous (his word) and used the thought experiment as a means to illustrate just how silly the entire notion of a cat being both dead and alive at the same time was.
That’s the argument this woman is trying to make in favor of abortion. The fetus exists (she says) as two different beings, an alive one and a dead one. The alive one is the one that has a future and the dead one is the one that doesn’t. It is only immoral to end the life of the one with a future. If the mother decides to abort then that alone forces the duel being to take on a single quantum state of a dead non-future-having fetus.
So abortion is like, “wibbily wobbly timey wimey stuff”. But even admitting that potentiality in a fetus exists robs her of any argument. If a potential future can exist then it is immoral. The action of abortion is the thing that removes that potentiality and so is immoral. That’s the problem with this kind of logic, it often doubles back on itself to support the counter thesis.
For me, all humans are feral.
Her idea that it is only the future that gives a person value belies a very communist concept about self-ownership. Under her thinking a man can be a slave because he has no other future than that. Murder is not immoral because the murderer is the observer who creates a state of being in the murdered that exists as reality because of his observation and thus makes it so. Not immoral, just an observation of murder.
What I mean when I say “all humans are feral” is to say that – unlike a dog – we are not and cannot be owned. We exist perpetually in a wild state in that we are free. We can choose for ourselves the path of our lives and to have that chosen for us and forced upon us is immoral. By her own admission this woman says that abortion chooses the future for the fetus and it’s a future where that fetus doesn’t exist.
Human beings have one owner, themselves. Even most religions believe that God doesn’t own man which is why he asks men to give themselves willingly over to him. Man is a being unto himself, unique with a self-contained consciousness, which he is in possession of and no one else has the right to take that possession. He owns himself.
Her sophist argument is that because there is no future for that fetus it cannot be immoral to kill it.
Life is more than metaphysics and the worth of souls isn’t determined by the whim of a mother who doesn’t want her child.