Tearing Apart Our Intentions
January 7, 2009 § 34 Comments
Proposition 1: You cannot deliberately tear the body of an unborn child to pieces using surgical instruments without intending to kill her.
Proposition 2: You cannot deliberately blow the body of an innocent civilian to pieces with a bomb without intending to kill her.
Catholics who think that it is – in any circumstances whatsoever – morally licit to blow up civilians with a bomb, as long as the end goal is to get the bad guys, have to explain why Proposition 1 is true and at the same time Proposition 2 is false.
We know that Proposition 1 is true, because there is no “life of the mother” exception to the moral prohibition of abortion; and more specifically that procedures like salpingotomy, which crushes the body of the unborn child in the fallopian tube as a method of resolving ectopic pregnancy, are never morally acceptable procedures.
So those who think it is morally licit to drop a bomb on a known mix of innocent civilians and terrorists in order to get the terrorists need to explain why it is never morally acceptable to tear the body of a living unborn child to bits, but it is sometimes morally acceptable to tear the body of a living born child to bits.
This raises the further interesting questions:
If there are any pregnant women in the crowd does the bombing become illicit?
If we could construct a tiny bomb, insert it into the fallopian tube, and use it to blow the embryo to bits, would that be a morally licit method of treating ectopic pregnancy?