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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why I'm an atheist who's pro-life

[Today's post is written by Delroy Dyer, a pro-life atheist at Carleton University in Ottawa.  This article was originally posted by Campaign Life Coalition, and is reprinted with permission.]

Delroy Dyer
Throughout life, one goes through changes. As time goes on, you’re supposed to be changing for the better. You’re older, and supposed to be wiser. Of the changes that I have made in my life, two stand out. I used to be a regular church-going Pentecostal. Every Sunday morning I could be found in the church. I also used to believe that abortion was a woman’s decision, and nobody else’s. Today, I am writing from the perspective of a pro-life atheist.

When people talk about abortion, they often tend to frame it in the light of religion vs. secularity. Only “religious whack jobs” wanting to impose their moral values on innocent women were against the so-called “right” to abortion. That’s the most common refrain of the pro-abort lobby. I, however, am living, breathing proof that this is a far cry from the truth.

I habitually question facts and beliefs, and it was through that process that the idea of there being a God made less and less sense. How can we have both free will and a pre-determined set of actions that this Almighty being knows will happen? How can we have some unknown entity deciding what is right and what is wrong? Are we as human beings not capable of deciding such things for ourselves? I do realize that most readers of [the Campaign Life Coalition blog] are probably religious and strongly disagree with me on this, but my questioning nature is pertinent to why I became pro-life.

So why pro-life? Why not let women do whatever they want and abort their children if it doesn’t fit in their life? To ask that question is to answer it. There is no right to take the life of those who cannot object. The fetus in the womb is guilty of no crime, so why should they be punished for what someone else did? Most abortions are carried out not because of a medical emergency, but because somebody sees that child as not currently fitting into their life pattern. I almost was one of those victims.

My parents are young. My father was heading off to university when my mother got pregnant. Like many others contemplating abortion, he was thinking solely about his life situation and having a child would not have worked out in his life plans. Like so many other men who were not yet ready to own up and accept responsibility for their actions, he gave my mother two options: abortion or he leaves. It’s obvious which choice she made, but many other women would have taken the opposite position. Of course after finally growing up, he returned, but had my mother chosen to abort, that option would not have been available to him any longer.

Abortion is not solely a women’s issue as many pro-abortion feminists like to make it seem. It takes two to create a life, and men need to be much readier to accept their roles as co-creators of a life with lots of potential. Being pro-choice is taking the easy way out. A real man is going to be there to support the woman he is with, and take care of that child. Many young men are faced with the three scariest words for the unprepared: “Honey, I’m pregnant.” True men of character are going to be there for their future offspring, from conception to death. This is simply the right thing to do and you don’t need a God to tell you that!

14 comments:

Jules said...

Bravo! Thank you for posting this!

ThinkerofThoughts said...

If more men thought like you, the world would be a better place! Thanks for sharing!

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Anonymous said...

Great post. I would be interested to hear more from him (or someone else), from an atheist perspective, on why he (still) believes human life begins when it does. He writes, "The fetus in the womb is guilty of no crime, so why should they be punished for what someone else did?" I completely agree that it IS, indeed, a human - that life begins at conception! (Both science and faith point to this truth.) However, when discussing with pro-choicers (whether religious, agnostic or atheist), the issue of when a life begins -- or at least begins to matter -- is a hard one to philosophically engage. They often believe that it's a mass of cells at the early stages - not a living being - and that a women's "right" outweighs the "rights" of said mass. I would love to read well thought out retort to this.

Eric Miller said...

I'd agree that you don't need God to tell you what is right, but it seems clear to me that God is the necessary "ground" for objective moral values and duties. However, since Delroy is an atheist, I'm wondering why he believes that it is objectively wrong for a woman to have an abortion and not just subjectively wrong. What compels a woman to give birth to her child if she does not wish to? Who are you to say she should give birth? Where does your moral authority come from?

Christian said...

A very emotional perspective.

Tell me, what do you think the laws surrounding abortions should be?

TheOnion said...

I read the whole story but it's clearly pushing an agenda, so I ignored it.

Delroy Dyer said...

Thanks for your comments everyone!

Feel free to add me to Facebook for more discussions on this and other issues. facebook.com/delroydyer

Delroy Dyer said...

The woman getting pregnant was her own decisions. There is no such thing as an accidental pregnancy. You chose to engage in sexual intercourse, and in doing so accepted all the risks associated with it. Even if you use birth control, there still is no 100% effective form available so there is always a chance of pregnancy. That said, if you decide to abort, you are deciding to punish someone for your own mistakes and it is accepted that you punishing the wrong person is wrong all of the time. That is what makes it objective and not subjective.

I am surprised I haven't seen the "except because of rape" argument, so I'll preemptively deal with that as well. The child conceived of rape did not commit the rape. They did not violate the woman, so why should they be forced to suffer the consequences of that person's actions? It may be traumatizing on the woman to have to come to terms with the action, but the abortion creates a double victim as that woman is also deprived of someone who could have enriched her life, not to mention the psychological trauma that comes about post-abortion. So again, it remains wrong to abort the child.

Anonymous said...

Keep the science perspective. That "mass of cells" has a unique set of DNA; DNA that has never before and will never again exist. Size does not matter; I am a 6 foot, 190lbs "mass of cells". (This is not a full retort, but a good base to work from.)

Anonymous said...

Delroy - thank you for sharing. I work with a pro-life college student group at a public university. My background and the background of the group in general is religious (Roman Catholic). The group is in the process of stepping away from that identity, not because it is flawed, but because we want to be able to have a dialog with a wide portion of the students on campus.

The students on campus come from a wide range of perspectives (religious, non-religious, men, women, conservative, liberal, race). In my experience, the abortion debate cuts across all of these categories. There are pro-lifers and pro-choosers in all of these groups. We need to meet the students (or anyone else) where they are and show them the truth in whatever terms they will understand.

Your post has allowed me a greater understanding of a view I do not personally hold. This will help me in the work we all share. Thank you.

vincyeconomist said...

the great dyer

Molly Rene said...

" Why not let women do whatever they want and abort their children if it doesn’t fit in their life?" and "Most abortions are carried out not because of a medical emergency, but because somebody sees that child as not currently fitting into their life pattern."

Do you have any citations to back up the assertions that women are choosing to have abortions merely for the convenience?

Anonymous said...

in a lot of cases (teen pregnancies for example) raising the child without the proper education and resources could turn out to be a bigger punishment to the child than simply terminating the pregnancy.