Re: abortion; the Divine Comedy
Jan 13, 1995 04:42 PM
> > The Theosophical view point must be one which places the decision
> > upon the woman, and her child, and *their* Karma. Otherwise *we*
> > are interfering with an individual's natural course of evolution
> > and personal soul devolopement. This is not good Karma for the
> > "outsider" to accept upon themself. Unless we are in a true
> > state of Universal Consciousness there is no way we can judge
> > what is truly happening and is "Good".
> There are no "outsiders". Nor are there any totally independent
> beings on this globe. Mutual dependence is, in fact, the rule.
JRC> Or is it mutual *interdependence*, a _very_ different thing
than dependence. And the whole argument depends on which scale
you wish to use. At the most macro scale, of course there are no
"outsiders" on the globe, but that is simply a logical trick...as
the moment something came to the globe it obsiously could no
longer be not on the globe. It is a far cry from this, however,
to the position of saying that everyone has a full right to
impose their opinion on everyone else.
> If we logically extend this popular notion held by many today,
> (not just Mr. Mead) not only would no one ever control another,
> but no one would influence or even help somebody else.
JRC>Well, I don't know, how about this as a "logical" extension:
Since I am simply not able to claim universal awareness, nor am I
able to claim perfect knowledge of anyone else's motives,
intentions, past, or karmic web...nor do I, or can I, have
perfect knowledge of the totality of anyone's current life, or
what they perceive as their current life, I therefore would never
presume to judge the actions of that other person that do not
affect me, and I claim the right to work out my own understanding
of the nature of the good without *the imposition* of anyone
else's opinions. My own opinions change, and over my life have
certainly evolved greatly in all sorts of areas...and I presume
they will continue to do so...so how could a take my opinion *at
any given moment*, and make the claim that it is so compellingly
correct that I would feel justified in imposing it on everyone
else? What unmitigated arrogance! I have no problem discoursing
with people...attempting to make a strong case for my ideas, and
listening to strong cases made by others...and I am occaisionally
compelled by a powerfull argument to make fundamental changes in
my perspectives of issues...BUT! that is different than
*involuntary* changes in behaviour imposed by an outside source.
And, I find no contradiction between this attitude and a desire
to serve others....in fact, it causes a refinement of what the
word "service" means.
The vast majority of what is called "service" in this world is
composed of *a person or group who has achieved success in some
way and according to some standard, and who then offers the
service of helping others to achieve the same sort of success*,
that is, it is rendered to those who accept the standards of the
server as being correct. How rare it is to find a person or a
group that will actually help someone achieve what the person
themselves wishes to achieve...even if it is at great odds with
the standards of the server.
Finally, I think what John Mead was saying makes a valid
point...let's take your argument and extend *it* logically. you
say we are all dependent on one another, and that this gives "us"
(whoever that is) a claim to impose behaviours on (others?
ourselves? those who disagree with "us"?)...does that not then
mean that while you have a right to impose your notion of the
right on a pregnant woman, you also then have a responsibility to
feed, clothe, and protect both that woman and that child (if she
was considering abortion because of financial hardship and an
abusive husband for instance)? That is, according to your logic,
you claim the right to involuntarily impose, but does this not
also compell you to serve in ways that you may not want to? Or is
there no link between rights and responsibilities? But is not the
"law of karma" itself founded upon the link between action and
reaction, between rights and responsibilities? Do you think you
can delibrately impose a behaviour on another and then karmically
have no responsibility for the effects of that imposition of that
> Theosophy and its ethical standards (which virtually all cultures
> share) were tested and found true and beneficial aeons ago. Who
> are we to look askance at milleniums of spiritual progress, for
> individuals and societies, based on those traditional virtues?
> Whence comes this craving for each person to reinvent the ethical
JRC>And you are alledging that one side of the abortion debate is
fully in line with the apparently universal virtues, whilst the
other is an affront to milleniums of spiritual progress? That
from now on no one should even claim the right to question, for
themselves, what is right and what is wrong, but should simply
behave according to these "traditional" virtues? Well, did not
that spiritual progress *come from* people who each, in their own
time, reinvented the ethical wheel? And pray tell, where are
these supposed universal virtues you imply are beyond question?
China, the largest nation in the world, holding close to
one-fifth of the world's population, virtually imposes abortion,
and does so on what it considers the grounds of the "good".
Even further, tell when in the history of those universal virtues
was there ever a set on conditions where *the exponential
population growth of our species poses a clear and powerful
threat to the vast majority of other life forms on the planet*.
The growth rate of _species extinction_ is higher than the growth
rate of abortions. This is a situation that *forces* a complete
reavaluation of the ethical standards of the past, because the
underlying assumptions have altered in a literally unprecedented
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