” Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
I see it again and again. People think that just because Life is listed first, that it’s more important that the other two put together. Like it should read: “Life; Liberty (so long as it does not endanger life”; and the Pursuit of Happiness (so long as it does not endanger life)”
So long as you put life on a platform above all else, you can justify any amount of atrocities in protecting it. We may as well throw out the Bill of Rights because I can make a “life first” argument against ALL of them.
In fact, that’s what’s happening. It’s the “Life above all” argument that’s emaciated the Bill of Rights. Seatbelt laws abound. Why? Because the statistical likelihood of more Life (by surviving crashes) outweighs the Liberty of being able to move about unrestricted (the most basic definition of “freedom”) and the Pursuit of Happiness (if you are made very much unhappy by having your Liberty taken away, then your Pursuit of Happiness has been likewise taken away, because Happiness is no longer possible for you.) How many chemicals (chlorine, fluoride, the estrogenic-compound emitting plastics that we wrap our food in to keep it “safe” from germs, to name a few) are in our environment that, over time, accumulate into Happiness-leeching diseases because they prevent the acute loss of life? Why should you care about the Government turning your cell phone and internet records upside-down searching for “bad guys” if it could save lives?
If you believe “life above all,” then we may as well disband our military, because their job is to go out and possibly die to protect things we value; there can only be something worth dying for if you value something above life–so there’s no point defending or borders. You have to be A-OK with the NSA, and everything the FDA does, and welcome home inspections and random searches–because that’s all to protect as many lives as possible, right?–and quaint little inconveniences like “private property” and “religious freedom” all have to take a backseat to that, right?
And if you take a walk in the wild, you’ll find mothers of all species exercising their “natural right” to abandon a baby they know they can’t care for, and fathers killing off malformed offspring. And of course, egg-layers never help the kid get out of the shell, if they can’t, there’s usually a good reason. But a human baby–as soon as it’s discovered to exist–suddenly it’s got a greater right to life than the mother. That’s a most unnatural right. Life isn’t a “gift” it’s a challenge one’s supposed to meet every day. Forcing life is playing God just as much as taking it unbidden. They’re flip sides of the same coin.
P.S. The gist of this blog started out as a response to a reply to a comment I made on an article, that, ironically, held up abortion rights being a lack of “choice.” A poster by the handle of “Vigilant” attacked my argument with the predictable “defense” of: “The natural right to life trumps all others, girly.”