This week’s winner (in a landslide) of our Jonathan Swift award for most ridiculous pro-abortion argument goes to Michel Read. He was born with a skin abnormality that caused some disfigurement. His looks have since been fixed by plastic surgery and he openly admits that he has a good life. However, he is haunted by the fact that some people made fun of his mother when he as a child and caused her emotional discomfort and pain and he claims that if she had an abortion, everything would have been much better.
Some years ago I was asked by a financial supporter of the Right
to Life movement whether I would give to their cause. After all,
out of adversity I had achieved more than many physically normal
people. My answer was clear and unequivocal. My life in many ways
has been a wonderful experience, but it has been achieved through
the suffering of my mother. It would have been better for her had
she aborted me. After all, my life then would never have been, and
logically, I could not have regretted not living it, but my mother
would almost certainly have had a better one.
Even if we leave our the fact that it is not at all certain that his mother would have had a better one, particularly since she would have had to live it knowing she had killed her child, the logic here is chilling. If causing pain to others is the criteria for forfeiting ones own existence, than should anyone be allowed to live? Certainly we have all caused some degree of pain to another human, whether intentionally or not. If that means we would be better off dead, let’s nuke the planet, or at least sterilize everyone on it so that humans can no longer reproduce and cause any more pain.
This is clearly a ridiculous argument but it is to be expected from people who start out with the presupposition that this life is all there is. If we cease to exist after our bodies die, than the removal of pain from this meaningless existence naturally becomes a top priority, even to the point of abolishing bodily life itself.