There has never been a better time to outlaw abortion. In fact, it may be necessary for our survival.
Confession: should God exist, and I believe this is so, and should God care, and I believe this is also so, my two great fears re godly retribution — not just for me, but humanity — will come from our gruesome, emotionally distant and utterly dollar-based treatment of the animals we eat, and our flippant embrace of abortion: for convenience.
I know, I know, this is crazy talk, it will never happen, if I got a young woman pregnant I would encourage her to get an abortion, I don’t want to be responsible for round-the-clock care of a fully disabled young life, our bodies, our choice, all the excuses, I am aware of these all and sympathetic to each.
But the science is clear.
We know what a four-month-old human fetus looks like, feels like. Our machines reveal to us how it is impacted by the mother’s various physical and emotional inputs. It’s size and gender and the many physical and electrical signals it puts out now avail themselves to us.
And this is why the issue is so pressing.
We are now actively seeking to hack mortality, to extend human life beyond 100 years, 150 years, maybe longer, some believe as long as 1,000 years, and even some exploring methods to digitize “consciousness” — even while we can’t fully define the term — and thereby remove ourselves from the bodily realm, except: we don’t know yet how to achieve any of this and are unable to fully test these theories of human usurpation upon ourselves. Yet we are moments away from using those ((humans)) that come next — human DNA, fertilized eggs, fetuses — as our test pattern, our use case. We are editing genes, striking out offending DNA, experimenting on flesh and its components to create an improved form, stronger, smarter, taller, prettier, happier, longer-lived. But for all those who fail to meet our expectations?
Tossed into the dustbin of countless mortal failures.
Ours is the age of destruction, which is frightening, yes, but also exhilarating, as we are moving at technological scale and speed to create new realities and alter our place within them and our interactions over them.
But we must not abandon our humanity.
We must also never allow humanity to be abandoned.
We are tinkering with human life with the explicit goal of lasting transformation and we simultaneously and very literally do not know what is right or best, so let us declare now and forever: all failures, as we define them at the time, along with all successes, similarly defined, must be honored, accepted, cared for, and endowed with the same rights and potentials as each of us, just as each of us must retain the very same rights and potentials as all those who follow.
As the past slips from our understanding, we cannot allow it to be expunged from our compassion.
We are and must always remain the totality of all which has come before.
Smarter, stronger, better, we believe ourselves to be this and more compared to those that came before, but true or not, we retain pieces of them just as we retain pieces of the cosmos. Never forget.
“Amused but real in thought we fled from the sea whole.”
In 1973, following the release of several groundbreaking and very popular albums, Yes released their boastful opus, Tales From Topographic Oceans.
2 LPs, 4 sides, 80 minutes, insufferable, much too long, full of hubris, but also brilliant at times, soaring in places, uplifting, enlightening, an earnest musical foray into thought, gods, the beginnings of life and that which it makes whole, a dense pop music exploration that challenged convention all while taking the listener on a journey close to the edge of what could come next in music, only to collapse into the abyss.
Side 1, wonderful.
Sides 2-4, tolerable, but only just, and only for those who, like me, love 1970s progressive rock and honor Yes’ place amongst the greats.
“Young Christians see it from the beginning
Old people feel it, that’s what they’re saying
Move over glory to sons of old fighters past”
This is worth a listen.
We are blithely, blindly tinkering with actual human form — not values, not ideas, not building tools, not altering how we live or where, nor even how long — but actual human form.
There will be successes, of course, amongst the shocking horrors, but as you stare into that deep, dark truthful mirror, remember now to look out, there you see all the cravenness, the ills and suffering, the lies and desires, and you know, despite our potential, despite all the effort and money from the rich, from the genius-crazy, from the evil, and from the hopeful, that our only hope going forward is strict adherence to the honor and preservation of life.
That comes first, always.
Not improvements, not abandonments, not potential.
“What happened to wonders we once knew so well?
Did we forget what happened? Surely we can tell.
We must have waited all our lives for this, moment.”