Friday, November 6, 2015

Liberty, Equality, and Life

Graphic via Online for Life
[Today's guest post by B. T. S. Agnomen is part of our paid blogging program.]

Liberty and equality: our democratic republic was founded on these twin principles. Yet even before and ever since, individuals have posed this perennial question: "Are liberty and equality consistent one with the other, or are they in conflict?"[1]

Like two sides of a coin, liberty and equality are not only consistent with each other, they are inseparable. For who can be truly free if she is not recognized as an equal among her peers? On the other side of the coin, who can be truly equal if he is not free
at libertyto pursue his life like all others?

All coins are alloyed to some degree or another with impurities. Throughout its history, the coin of American promise has been alloyed with various impurities; we have never fully lived up to the ideals in our founding documents. In fits and starts, Americans have eliminated many of those impurities, through the successes of the abolitionist movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement, and many more.

Yet impurities remain, and today, the greatest of these is abortion, which denies equality and liberty to an entire class of human beings: preborn children.

For what are the preborn but a distinct class of human beings? As the biological progeny of two separate human beings, the preborn possess their own DNA—their own unique genetic fingerprint, and thus they are nothing less than human beings themselves. This is a basic application of the Law of Biogenesis.

Opponents of prenatal human rights must concede the biological facts. Instead, they attempt to make a distinction between “humanity” and “personhood.” But again, like both sides of a coin, humanity and personhood are inseparable.  That is, they are ontologically indistinguishable. "Being a human with unalienable rights is bound up with being a person. One can't be separated from the other. All human beings… are valuable persons."[2] The preborn are not potential persons; rather, they are persons with great potential.[3]

This potential, however, will never be realized if preborn children are systematically deprived of their fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And what right is more fundamental than the right to life? Happiness cannot be pursued without the liberty to do so, nor can liberty be obtained without life. Deprive a person of the right to life, and you deprive that person of all their rights. What individual’s liberty, then, can outweigh another’s right to life?

[1] Milton and Rose Friedman, "Free To Choose," 1980
[2] Greg Koukl, "Precious Unborn Human Persons," 1999
[3] Francis Beckwith, "Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights," 1993

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