TO THE EDITOR:
C.S. Lewis proposed a rule for those in his study group holding the subjectivist theory of reality (i.e., everything is a matter of opinion). After every adjective or adverb, they would have been required to add the words “to me.” So a person couldn’t simply assert that it was a nice day but only that it was nice day to him or her. Following such a rule would probably have driven those holding this theory batty or at least caused them to consider abandoning such a silly (and self-contradictory) theory. As you would expect, the proposed rule didn’t pass.
Many describing themselves as “pro-choice” would abandon their view if they complied with a simple rule: every time someone says that they support a women’s right to choose they must describe the reality of the abortion option in the choice to which they refer non-euphemistically, e.g., ‘I support a woman’s right to choose to burn, behead, dismember, starve, crush, poison, heart-stop or brain suction a pre-born human being.’ We shouldn’t, of course, be optimistic that such a rule would be followed any time soon. Denial of the violent nature of abortion is widespread.
I think Aquinas would say something like this: the will doesn’t choose an evil directly but chooses some other (apparent) good. If there was ever a good example of this, it is the abortion choice. Instead of a focus on what an abortion actually is (a violent act), the will gets redirected toward goods such as human autonomy (choice) or women’s rights. Notice that those who say that they are pro-choice change the subject or attempt to silence or attack those who don’t agree with them but rarely do they actually talk about abortion per se, i.e., what an abortion is. Pro-lifers should be disciplined in staying on topic.
William P. McKenna, Cranston