In my quest to understand modern liberalism, I have discovered that for the secular left, the worst thing in life is suffering or potential suffering. Not sin, not evil, not even death. It is suffering that must be avoided at all costs.
Here’s what I have seen recently that backs up my theory:
1) Peter Singer, the esteemed bioethicist at Princeton (whom I blogged about here), believes that if bearing and raising a disabled child will cause his parents to suffer, the child should be put to death, even long after birth. As he and his many supporters see it, this killing is a way to end the suffering and potential suffering of both the child and the parents:
When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Therefore, if killing the haemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him.
2) We have heard from liberal bloggers again and again (commenting on this blog and their own) that it is often better for an unborn child to die by abortion than to live, due to the potential for suffering. For example, Mai said:
Religious Right policies on abortion sound good in theory, but are a disaster when applied to real life. Take for example children born to parent(s) (often the father is absent) who are poor or unwilling to care for a child, let alone be healthy enough to maintain a healthy pregnancy.Presumably, the "disaster" is that the child or the mother might suffer.
And Sophie recently stated:
I believe that abortion is the right choice in some situations, such as certain cases of teen pregnancy. Don't you agree it is better for both mother and embryo to lose the fetus and continue living as a teenager than it is to be possibly disowned, homeless, and susceptible to disease?The very possibility of suffering, of being disowned, homeless and susceptible to disease (a possibility in any life, mine and yours included) is enough to justify an abortion.
3) Then there are the accusations against Mother Teresa. Until I did a little research, I had no idea that hating on Mother T. was a cottage industry among those on the secular left! The attacks echo a remark I saw this week, written by a proud abortion supporter:
I would most definitely have said [f*** you] to Mother Theresa. She was a fanatic. A marketing tool for the church, and simply a fraud. She never opposed poverty, but thought the suffering of the poor was something noble, a god-given blessing that humanity should be thankful for. She never treated the suffering patients she had in Calcutta with the millions she made, she kept them there suffering, reading fairy tales, and receiving non-professional medical assistance to keep them in their state.
(Emphasis mine, and yes, this person went on and on some more, but I think you get the gist....)
4) Finally, many of us saw the shocking video a couple of days ago of a British advice columnist being interviewed for a TV segment called, “Can abortion be a kindness?” Be sure to watch the clip (your jaw will drop), but here’s an excerpt:
Miss Ironside said: ‘If a baby’s going to be born severely disabled or totally unwanted, surely an abortion is the act of a loving mother.’
She added: ‘If I were the mother of a suffering child – I mean a deeply suffering child – I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face… If it was a child I really loved, who was in agony, I think any good mother would.’
I was consoled to see that the two other ladies on the set were as appalled as I was. However, Miss Ironside seemed thoroughly confused to learn that most good mothers would not smother their own suffering children.
(By the way, does anyone else see a contradiction in her assertion that a "totally unwanted" baby could have a "loving mother"? How does that work, exactly? It's sort of like if I said to my husband, "You are totally unwanted! Aren't I a loving wife?" But I digress...)
These are just a few recent examples I found with little effort. If you are skeptical that liberals really feel this way, keep your eyes and ears open. Read what those on the secular left are saying every day. Watch their news shows, read their articles and blogs. Pay special attention when they start talking about "quality of life." You will find the same theme again and again: Evil isn't the biggest evil, suffering is. Death isn't the biggest evil, suffering is. Suffering is the one thing we must not tolerate, even if it means we (or others) must die (or be killed) to avoid it.
Liberals, if I am misrepresenting you, please show me where I am wrong. You know you will be uncensored here.
And, stay tuned, because soon I will present a very different view of human suffering -- the Christian view.