The “miracle” of life my ass

I hear this phrase used over and over in arguments about topics like abortion. Please, don’t get me wrong–while I’m pro-choice, there are plenty of valid philosophical arguments that one can make against abortion. But please, stop using the “miracle of life” or the “sanctity of life” phrases.

Whenever I hear anyone use the phrase “miracle of life,” whether it be an expectant mother or a pro-lifer, I’m instantly reminded of the character from The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya, when he says, “I do not think that word means what you think it means…” I find it really bizarre that people would refer to anything that has literally occurred billions of times, and continues to occur everyday, the world over, as a miracle. It’s not a miracle. It’s a completely normal biological process that 99% of everyone on the planet is capable of, so get over it.

And my eyes roll back into my head at the “sanctimony of life” argument. First of all, what these people are really talking about is the sanctimony of human life–I’m sure these people think nothing of all the animals that are raised with the express purpose of being slaughtered for a dinner plate. But more to the point, the phrase would be more accurate if it was, “the sanctimony of certain life.” If you truly believe human life is sacred, then I assume you’re also a pacifist who’s against capital punishment. Otherwise, all you’re really saying is that fetuses are sacred, and then once you’re born you’re on your own.

I appreciate legitimate, thoughtful discussions on the morality or ethics of topics like abortion. But “the miracle of life” or “the sanctity of life” are merely loaded phrases designed to make an emotional appeal that circumvents rational, logical arguments.


3 thoughts on “The “miracle” of life my ass

  1. Religious logic…isn’t.

    Pro choice here as well. I find it interesting that people get hung up on sound bytes, or phrases, without taking a moment to think it through. Pro Life, in many cases means having a child regardless of whether or not that child has any hope of being raised in a drug free, violence free, or even love free environment. It means having the child even it is a result of rape. It means having a child that has been diagnosed with a condition that will not allow it to live outside of a medical care facility, if it has hope of living at all. It means letting the mother die if the fetus is killing her, and the fetus is going to die anyway.

    I don’t know how anyone in the so called Pro Life camp can sleep at night.

  2. I agree that many pro-lifers make appeals to emotion rather than engage in philosophical debate to argue the issue. However, I disagree that just because something is common it must not be special, important, sanctified, or miraculous. To humans living on a finite planet, how common something is may be only one factor in determining how valuable something is. We might be living in one of an infinite number of universes, but I don’t believe that makes our particular universe not special or miraculous or important.

    Value is something assigned by a sentient being. To determine whether an unborn life is valuable and whether it is important that the life be born into this world, we must consult all sentient beings that care to assign value. If we believe that human consciousness is the only consciousness existing and able to assign value, and no humans involved with the unborn life assign it value, then we can conclude the life has no value and nothing is lost through abortion. If, however, human consciousness is not the only consciousness aware of the life, and another consciousness assigns each and every life value and importance, then something of value is lost through abortion.

    So I would say that to answer the question of whether or not every life is valuable we don’t need to look at how common life is. We need to look at who is looking and what value do they assign it.

    1. I guess I just have problems with the semantics. You’re right about the value part. If you want to call pregnancy and childbirth “meaningful” or “fulfilling” or something else along those lines more power to ya. But miraculous? Shouldn’t words like that be reserved for truly remarkable events? Otherwise the entire concept just loses meaning if anything can be considered miraculous by the sheer virtue that it’s seen as valuable by a majority of people.

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