"You aim at a devout life, dear Philothea, because as a Christian you know that such devotion is most acceptable to God's Divine Majesty," says St. Francis de Sales in his book "Introduction to the Devout Life".
And we can all be Philotheas, as St. Francis notes: "I have made use of a name suitable to all who seek the devout life, Philothea meaning one who loves God."
I’m engaged in a
conversation of sorts with someone who doesn’t share my views at all! I figured
I might as well take some time to figure out what the “liberal” mind thinks,
and this person seems to think rather
It may end up being a kind of "Occupy" meets "pro-life" moment, but I'll give it a shot.
Anyway...this individual told me that he did have
some thoughts on absolute rights and wrongs, and listed these:
believe it's wrong to put one's desires over someone else's needs. I believe
it's wrong to treat others in a way that you don't want to be treated. I
believe it's wrong to coerce others; though coercion itself is tricky -- for
example it is okay to restrain someone (a coercion) to prevent them hurting or
killing someone else (which is itself a coercion). I believe it is wrong to
cause harm or destroy. I believe it's wrong to be dishonest.
Those sound like things I
can agree with, but they are a bit nebulous; so I asked him how his thoughts play
out on specific issues, such as abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.
About abortion he said (my emphasis):
it has human DNA, in my view it is a human fetus, not a human person, and no
more deserving of individual consideration than any other collection of human
cells. As the fetus develops it becomes more capable of feeling and living on
its own, and becomes more deserving of individual consideration. By the time it
can survive on its own outside the womb it seems like it's become enough of a
human being in its own right to warrant protection. Exactly when that point is seems like a good point for debate, and
as technology for keeping fetuses alive improves that point may move closer to
Even on an intuitive level,
it seems difficult to determine when a person becomes a person. Dr. Seuss had
it right, I think:
The videos below highlight the
continuity of human development. The first was mentioned on LifeSiteNews, and is a simulation of
prenatal development from conception to birth. The first few minutes are a discussion
of the technology, then you see the actual video. I particularly like the way
he was able to portray the birth of a baby using both “real” footage and
The second video is an
incredible condensation of the development of a little girl from birth to age
12 years. (H/T The
Deacon’s Bench blog)
Watch...and think about it: is the question "when does the fetus become a person?" or is it "When was this person not a person?"