Last night was awful. I don’t think I have never felt more alone in my life than I did last night.
I got two hours or less of sleep and spent almost all of the time I was awake lying still in bed, staring at the wall in the dark, thinking of every fear about the future I could possibly have and every single regret.
I am exhausted. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. And I wish, with all my heart, to be a kid again.
Everyone, at some point or another, wants to be the bearer of bad news. It is a truth about humans I find both disgusting and ironically funny. You either pretend like this isn’t true (maybe because you simply can’t fathom the idea of you being guilty of holding such a desire or perhaps you see this as a case of cynicism) or you actually aren’t aware of how often you demonstrate this claim. Nevertheless, your hands, whether it is made known to you or not, are painted the boldest red. All of our hands are red.
Here's a philosophical paper I wrote on morally permissible abortions. If you couldn't tell already, I actually really enjoy writing these papers. Note: The arguments made in this paper do not mean that I personally believe these are the only circumstances one is allowed to have an abortion. I am actually pro-choice. This is simply for the sake of philosophical argument.
March 30, 2011
Abortion Can be Morally Permissible
There are circumstances that allow for morally permissible abortions to occur; what these particular circumstances have in common is the danger they present to the woman either before the pregnancy or after, and a subsequent heavy importance placed on restoring and ensuring the safety of the woman. In these circumstances, it must be morally permissible for the woman to have an abortion because her emotional and/or physical health would severely be impacted by childbirth.
The focus of my argument will be placed on the two scenarios which I believe society generally accepts to be valid reasons for having an abortion: situations in which giving birth to her child may lead to a woman’s death and situations in which a woman’s pregnancy is the result of her being raped. I believe that in these circumstances, it is unquestionable that having an abortion is morally permissible. One reason to believe this, among many other reasons, is that though a woman’s life is not necessarily more important than the fetus inside her, it would generally be seen as a greater tragedy by most if a woman lost her life through childbirth, as opposed to the death of an unborn child, because the woman presumably had a family already and ambitions and desires she hoped to fulfill one day, as is expected for any healthy human being old enough to have such thoughts and cognitions.
Before I begin explaining the aforementioned examples of what I believe to be situations suitable for allowing an abortion, two clarifications must be made. First, for the purpose of this argument and to avoid unnecessary discussion, I will accept that a fetus is a life and that it has rights. Second, although I am arguing that there are two particular circumstances that give obvious reason enough to declare an abortion morally permissible, I am not in any way saying that these are the only circumstances that allow for morally permissible abortions.
Let us take the simple example of a woman who is told before she goes into labor that because of various medical conditions surrounding her and her child, giving birth to her child will lead to her own death while the child on the other hand will survive. The doctor performing the delivery will undoubtedly have the first instinct to want to save the mother, as unfortunate as it is to lose the child. One must ask here why it is so that a person’s first instinct would be to abort the child. The answer of course lies in the fact that this is an unfortunate situation that was not brought about by the mother, but rather, is happening to her, and her life has already built memories and relationships and desires that should be saved. The child, on the other hand, has no memory at this point, no substantial relationships with those around him or her, and no awareness of what it means to die. The mother, however, will realize, before the abortion, the terrible truth of what she would be leaving behind if she did go through with the pregnancy. Thus, in this circumstance, it is morally permissible, if not morally obligatory, for the mother to have an abortion.
The second example for my argument is the case of an eighteen year-old girl who becomes pregnant after being raped by her stepfather. Rape often leaves a long-lasting psychological impact on the victim. Here, we have a case in which not only is it terrible that the girl has been raped and is now pregnant, but she is also young and most likely very unprepared to take care of a child. The girl in this scenario is most definitely mentally and emotionally unstable after the rape, especially after being violated by her own stepfather, a man she has to come into contact with on a regular basis. Now, it would then most likely follow that the girl, whether she strongly believes so during her pregnancy or not, will experience a great deal of psychological trauma after childbirth for various reasons, such as the child being a constant reminder of the rape, or the feeling of disgust and loneliness as she compares herself to other girls her age who are preparing for college, and so on. Having a child will alter the girl’s life forever and most likely in a negative way. Here, it only seems natural to agree that it would be morally permissible for the girl to have an abortion.
A possible objection to my argument and specifically, the first example, could be that it cannot be the case that both the woman and the fetus have a right to life and also be the case that the only right thing to do is to save the mother and abort the fetus, ignoring the fetus’s right to life. Furthermore, an opponent will say that it is impossible to know what kind of life the child would have had, had it been allowed to carry out its life naturally, and all of the various experiences, especially the potential positive experiences, the child could have had. Therefore, by choosing to place more importance on the woman’s life, an innocent being is being punished and stripped of the possibility of a great life. If an opponent of my argument chose to argue against the rape case, the major objection that would most likely be made would attack the idea that the only way for the victim of rape to find relief in her life after becoming pregnant would be to abort her child; an opponent would then claim that the girl can go through with the pregnancy and give her child up for adoption, thereby avoiding having to face the child everyday. The first objection I mentioned is not what I believe to be a strong argument against my case for the simple reason that it is a highly counter-intuitive statement to accept. In other words, I believe that it is without question that most people would have the first instinct to save the mother and abort the child because the mother’s life already has, what I would like to call, outside value attached to it in addition to the value it already has being a living entity. The child, on the other hand, has no outside value placed on it, meaning, the child is not losing objects and desires and relationships already obtained that he or she values. Therefore, the safety of the mother should be made a priority over the child’s if her life is at risk. The second objection to my argument is only slightly stronger than the first objection because people do indeed give up their children for adoption if they cannot handle keeping them. My response to this objection is that giving up the child for adoption can be just as traumatic as keeping the child; often, women are left with terrible feelings of guilt and regret after giving up the child and even sometimes find trouble ever letting go of the decision they once made. If feelings of regret and guilt are common feelings experienced by women who put their children up for adoption, it must naturally be the case then that a woman or girl who is raped may be affected in an even worse manner by giving up the child due to the likelihood that the she is already experiencing a mental disorder, whether mild or severe, like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, the best option, the option that would probably make the rape victim most comfortable, would be to have an abortion, which would be a morally permissible action.
In summary, there are circumstances that exist which make it morally permissible to have an abortion due to the clear danger they present towards the mother’s life on physical, emotional, and mental levels.
“Knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze blowing wind through my hair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair
Sunrise there’s a fire in the sky
Never been so happy
Never felt so high
And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise”—"Knee Deep" - Zac Brown Band feat. Jimmy Buffett
So, I started out my day by waking up at 9:30 (after a perfect 9 hours of sleep) and doing pilates. I love how I feel right now and I think this is something I really need to do every day. Positively refreshing.
Mother, don’t worry, I killed the last snake that lived in the creek bed
Mother, don’t worry, I’ve got some money I saved for the weekend
Mother, remember being so stern with that girl who was with me?
Mother, remember the blink of an eye when I breathed through your body?
So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons are like birds, flying upward over the mountain
Mother, I made it up from the bruise on the floor of this prison
Mother, I lost it, all of the fear of the Lord I was given
Mother, forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to
Mother, forgive me, I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you
So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons could be birds, taken broken up to the mountain
Mother, don’t worry, I’ve got a coat and some friends on the corner
Mother, don’t worry, she’s got a garden we’re planting together
Mother, remember the night that the dog had her pups in the pantry?
Blood on the floor, fleas on their paws,
And you cried ‘til the morning
So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons are like birds, flying always over the mountain
"Upward Over the Mountain" - Iron & Wine
This song fills me with so much sadness and hope all at the same time.
So, yesterday, I successfully engaged in lucid dreaming. I wasn’t trying this time. I kinda gave up/forgot about that a while back. It just happened. I woke up in the morning from this good dream and I was still tired so I didn’t want to get out of bed just yet and I kind of closed my eyes wishing, as we often do, that the good dream would just pick up where it left off. That’s usually near impossible for anyone without the individual actually twisting the story in the way he or she wants to once consciously aware of what he or she was just dreaming about. Anyway, my dream continued and I didn’t even sway it or anything! And then I woke up a little, and then remembered that you’re not supposed to open your eyes and look around and really engage with reality so that the dream can continue (but by that time, I had already opened my eyes a little and then quickly shut them) and then the dream eventually picked up again and I just sat there with my eyes closed, so content in my accidental achievement.
"Be Back Soon" by the always soulful Justin Nozuka
I’m tired of getting postcards and tired of paying long distance bills. Baby, be back soon. I’m tired of dreaming of sex and tired of not being able to show my skills. Baby, be back soon. Over and over I hear you in the halls. Over and over I wake up with my pillows in my arms. Aw, baby when you comin’ home? A day without you is a day without the sun. I’ve been missing out on your love and your shadows. And I can’t wait much longer babe. Without you near, I’m going crazy. Be back, be back soon.
I guess I do have important strengths. I really do. But the problem seems to be that I only notice them in bits and pieces every now and then and then the weaknesses end up seeming to outweigh the strengths. But it isn’t true. I just don’t give myself enough credit sometimes. And that’s not right.
Happy 31st Anniversary to my wonderful parents. You are both so incredibly important to my happiness. You mean everything to me - saying I love you doesn't even suffice. But here's to another 31 years. It shouldn't be much of a feat with a love like yours.