Skip to comments.Do we know what’s human? We’ve been wrong before
Posted on 05/01/2012 4:18:24 PM PDT by wagglebee
May 1, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Last month marked the 147th anniversary of Abraham Lincolns assassination. On the evening of April 14th, 1865 he was shot in the head and succumbed to the wound on the morning of April 15th.
I finished reading a 700-page biography of this man, this heroic character who fought so hard for the end of slavery in America. And I was reminded of that political struggle on Thursday evening as I listened to the House of Commons debate over MP Stephen Woodworths Motion 312.
Mr. Woodworth stood on Thursday afternoon to present his motion to the House. He argued passionately that any law that says some human beings are not human beings is unjust. He called for a committee to re-evaluate our current law that says humans only become human at the moment they completely exit their mothers birth canal. That definition, he states, is based on medical evidence that is 400 years old.
All other speakers during the hour-long debate (with the exception of Mr. Albrecht, who stood on a point of order) spoke against the motion, including the Honourable Mr. Gordon OConnor, government whip. It was his statements that reminded me of the American political discussions over slavery during the rise and reign of President Lincoln.
Mr. OConnor spoke strongly against the motion, arguing that the House of Commons is not a laboratory, it is not a house of faith, an academic setting or a hospital. It is a legislature, and a legislature deals with law. This statement is confusing to me: does our legislature create laws out of nothing? Dream them up out of thin air? On what, if anything, do we base our policy? If not science or moral ethics, then what? On the will of the Prime Minister?
Mr. OConnor also stated, whether one accepts it or not, abortion is and always will be part of society abortion cannot be eliminated. It is part of the human condition. The same can be said about theft, assault and even murder. The same was said about slavery. Slavery has always existed, so stop trying to end it. Both Democrats (who were for slavery) and Republicans (who were split on the issue) argued this. And even Abraham Lincoln struggled with this. It wasnt until mid-way through the civil war that he finally took a strong stance against slavery when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Finally, OConnor stated, I cannot understand why those who are adamantly opposed to abortion want to impose their beliefs on others by way of the Criminal Code. There is no law that says that a woman must have an abortion. No one is forcing those who oppose abortion to have one. Again, this type of argument has been used before: Lincoln and his supporters were told, No one is forcing you to own slaves. If you dont like slavery, dont buy a slave! But the slaves I own are my property. Keep your morality off of my property!
Both arguments have this fatal assumption: that there is no inherent worth in the victimized human being, the slave or the unborn child. Both statements assume that because the law says they are not human or not a person, that it is therefore true.
I would suggest that when a court or law states that a living human being is not a human being in law, that we assume they are wrong. History certainly supports this:
I would encourage Stephen Woodworth, an honourable Member of Parliament, to continue striving for this most necessary discussion. Just because the law says that some humans are not human, it does not mean we ought to accept that proposition. It is time to have this discussion; weve certainly been wrong before.
André Schutten is legal counsel for the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada.
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Abraham Lincoln did not fight to end slavery , he fought to sustain the Union.
Slavery was a side issue.
Thank you for reminding us that when we say some people aren’t people, we’re in the same category as defenders of slavery and Nazis.
If I may postulate something a little different.
All homo sapiens are included in the animal kingdom. Therefore all homo sapiens are animals. Some homo sapiens transcend that and become human. In my opinion being human means knowing the difference between right and wrong, having a conscience and having compassion for others.
This is not to mean that those who have not become human are less intelligent.
Drawing a line and saying one side is human and the other is animal is nearly impossible. Hindsight sometimes is easier, psychopaths are obvious, those who feel that the rules/laws are for others and not them.
It is my contention that some are not human and when so identified should be treated as an animal.
Note; I am drawing a difference between homo sapiens and human in order to make the argument
I cannot agree with you here.
Even the worst and most evil humans are still humans and need to be treated as such. A man-eating bear needs to be shot or relocated to an area where it won't have contact with humans. Human beings, unlike animals, are capable of knowing better and should be held to higher standards than animals which are simply acting in accord with their instincts.
Charles Manson, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and other horrible people are still created in the image of God. As such, they deserve fair trials of the facts in civilian cases, or to be treated according to the laws of war which in the West are based on Judeo-Christian principles.
A human is not an animal. Inhumane treatment for humans who act like animals doesn't show respect for truth; it simply debases the judges, police, and society as a whole down to the level of animals.
Bottom line: Yes, punish evildoers, but remember that an evil human is still a human and deserves punishment for not acting like a human should act.