Friday, 23 October 2009

Practically it makes a whole load of difference...

O.K. so as Sarah and I continue to work our way through House it is inevitable that in an ideas led hospital drama the issue of abortion is never going to be too far away and sure enough we've just watched a couple of episodes dealing with the moral arguments for and against abortion.
At one point House presents the following argument to a patient he's trying to convince to have an abortion. He says that in the end we have to draw a line about abortion and that although people may quibble about trimesters ultimately the obvious line is birth. He then goes on to say this - Morally it doesn't really make much difference but practically it makes a whole load of difference.

That line has stuck with me all week because I think it's such a great summary. Ultimately lines are pretty arbitrary morally however practically where you draw the line is huge. I think what house was saying was that in practical terms aborting feels nothing like and very different to killing a baby - even though morally the only difference is time.

Now if I'm honest this has stayed with me not because of my views on abortion but because of what a brilliant summary it is of how most of us make many decisions. Let me explain.

Morally there is not much difference between downloading a film on the internet and stealing a dvd but practically there is the world of difference. Practically one feels worse than the other.
Morally there is not much difference between being lazy at work and stealing from the till but practically there is a whole load of difference.
Morally there isn't much difference between lying to someone and trying to deceive someone without actually lying but practically they feel different.

I know the temptation to do life like this is there because I tend to live life according to how it makes me feel. But surely life and morality shouldn't revolve around my feelings.
May God save us from expedient morality and help us to start doing things because they are right not simply because they don't feel wrong!

1 comment:

  1. Ben,

    I was shocked to hear on Radio 4 the other morning of what is deemed to be a late abortion. It would seem that a late abortion is anytime up to 40 weeks! Around 100 pregnancies are aborted after 35 weeks, each year! I was so shocked. Now it is true to say that the provider of this “service” may be convinced (and convince others) that there is just cause for this procedure. However, in my view it is murder. Life is sacred and God given and no-one has the right to end that life.