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If the Political Right and Left Could Agree on This?

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

I always found it interesting to hear many my Republican friends fight strongly against abortion while at the same time argue strongly for the death penalty while at the same time many of my Democratic friends battle for strong public health care and an end to the death penalty. In seeing this I cannot help but wonder if some of these advocates simply follow a whole party platform because it is their party's platform?

In considering the discrepancy between the Republican and Democratic platforms I cannot help but think of one of the most acknowledged part of the American Declaration of Independence combined with philosophy's four levels of happiness. The first line of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence reads: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is the combination of all three of these rights that contribute to something that strikes across the political platforms of both parties. This something is the Consistent Life Ethic, which lines up perfectly with all of these unalienable Rights described in the Declaration of Independence, which our American Constitution aims to protect.

The first part has to do with the right to life, specifically person's right to live his or her life. But, what is life according the the writers of the Declaration? What is life according to the Constitution? What is life according to science and philosophy? This has to be answered because of the discrepancy to the platforms from both current political parties. The renowned actor Ricardo Montalbán addressed this issue with in a fascinating way that did not include religion nor science, but simply with a question of being. Montalbán asked, "When was I ... I?" He then pondered the question and thought, "Was I ... I when I became famous, a week after I was born, the moment I was born, when my parents gave me my name, when. ...?" He then thought about it some more and said, "from the moment that little fish entered my egg I started to become I and I first began to grow. This is because every journey has to begin with a single step, a first step, and that moment when the part of my father and my mother unite I began my first step in my journey of life. So, if I die during any time during my journey in life be it while I was developing in my mother's womb or right after I was born or as I was growing from an infant into a toddler or a toddler into a child or a child into a young adult, etc. either way I stop being I at the moment of my physical death. "

Montalbán's statement makes me consider the battle of terms, which requires deliberating how these terms have been misused in a number of ways. First, let's look at Montalbán's terms along his journey of life: infant, toddler, child, young adult, and so forth. He began at the most of when his life began, the part that is often called a fetus. While many present-day English dictionaries do not want to contribute to the battle between the so called "Pro-Life" and Pro-Choice" sides, the word itself does definitely mean something very specific. It is a Latin noun which from its origin directly means, "offspring" or "young". In other words, it means the "first stage of life" from the parents like the "fruit of a plant." In understanding the etymology of the word "fetus" it means the first step of life, which is a right the Declaration of Independence declares is unalienable to all human beings at any stage.

The second term that the Declaration of Independence assures that all human beings have an unalienable Right to is that of "Liberty." Ah, but doesn't this word mean "freedom," which gives the right for one of the parents to end a "fetus" because seven Republican Supreme Court justices held that a parent, specifically the mother, has the right to be free from carrying a fetus in her womb? Well, this is what the justices argued. In doing so the justices provide that the first part of the independent human journey may be ended as the mother is pregnant. However, the moment the mother gives birth then isn't she forced to care for it and be held criminally responsible if she ended an infant's life?

How can the discrepancy be made between one stage of a person's life to another for when it is acceptable to end a person's life? At what point does a fetus choose to end its life while it is a fetus? At least this argument can be made for those choosing suicide. At least in suicide it is the person who chooses to end his or her own life.

Physicist Carl Sagan said that life is understood to begin by its" the evolutionary process rather than its chemical composition." This means that according to this definition, which is fully accepted by NASA, that life begins at the moment the "evolutionary process" initiates. For human beings the "evolutionary process" takes its first step when the spermatozoa of the father enters the unfertilized egg of the mother.

The etymology of the word "life" from which the English word derives is the Ancient Greek word liparein, which means "to persist, persevere." From this Greek term the early Germanic people adopted it and changed it to lībaną, which means "to remain, to be left." From here the later Germanic Anglo tribe changed the word to læfan, which means "to allow to remain." From these definitions beginning from the origin of the word to its first use in modern form, the word life corresponds well with "evolutionary process" accepted by NASA and many physical scientists today. This establishes that life begins at the moment of the "first step" of a journey that is "allowed to remain" in its natural "evolutionary process." Based on the etymological understanding of the word "life" it must come to be understood that life begins at the moment of conception because it is from there that the evolutionary process takes its first step.

OK, well, the the term life cannot support execution or abortion or euthanasia then at lest the term "Liberty" can counter the "Life" argument. 14th Century English first began to use the word "Liberty" in this form. It was understood to mean, "free choice, freedom to do as one chooses" by the likes of John Locke. Regardless, Locke was greatly influence by the Latin scholar Sir Francis Bacon whose political writings directly contributed to Locke's ideology of be free to evolve more fully as an independent person. Locke's writings specifically speak of a man's right to choose his destiny rather than be under the control of late medieval serfdom.

From here we have to look deeply at Sir Francis Bacon's understanding of the term "Liberty" because it from here where a part of Locke's usage of the modern term developed. Bacon depended on the Norman French and Latin understanding of the word. The earlier usages of the word is found in Norman English liberté, which means "communities being free from arbitrary, despotic, or autocratic rule or control." Interesting! The earlier version of the word which Bacon understood deals more with a community than with individuals.

As the word was carried over to the Norman French from Latin it was also adopted by the early Germanic people. They changed the pronunciation to leudh-ero-, which they understood to mean "belonging to the people." Just before the 1066 Norman French invasion of England which created the 14th Century English term Liberty, the Old English used leod which meant "nation, people."

Finally, there is the original Latin term libertatem, which means "ability to speak" as well as "Gentleman or Lady - like, courteous, considering of others." From the time of the Romans through the introduction of the term in early French and German the word from which "liberty" came means much more than the present day understanding. It is not so much about what an "individual" wants to do, but what is best for "people" beyond individual desire.

The consistent life ethic, or the consistent ethic of life is an ideology that opposes abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. Adherents oppose war, or at the very least, unjust war; some adherents go as far as full pacifism and so oppose all war.[1] The term "consistent ethic of life" was popularized in 1983 by the CatholicCardinalJoseph Bernardin to express an ideology based on the premise that all human life is sacred and should be protected by law.

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence (...) Happiness depends upon ourselves” - Aristotle

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