Monday, May 4, 2015

Civic morality and pregnancy ed 4/5/16


            Many abortions occur naturally and thus conform to civic morality. I oppose unwise abortion but urgently resist subjugation of women. Religious morals often conflict civic morality, which conforms to physics-based ethics (PBE). Religion appeals to human emotions, passions and reason to establish opinion. Physics does not react to opinion. (This is not to say that opinion does not effect events. For example, if a person opines he should punch someone in the face, laws of physics come into play that would change opinion and might reduce personal liberty.)
 
The bedrock of civic morality
         For well-being if not survival, a people need fidelity to physics, defined as energy, mass, and space-time, from which everything including opinion emerges. Physics started 13.8 billion years ago; next came cosmic chemistry, then inorganic chemistry, then organic chemistry, then biology, then life 3.8 billion years ago, then humo species perhaps 3 million years ago, then cultures[i] perhaps 100 thousand years ago and opinion. About 800 years ago English, common law focused on the individual[ii] baron and the individual priest, both in competition with the king, and an opinion-based culture respecting personal rights started evolving. Religion, a progeny of opinion, is erroneously used as the bedrock of morality. As a consequence of opinion-based ethics, a civic people has yet to emerge.[iii] A civic people collaborate for public safety and security or civic morality. They work to secure life, liberty and property in the broadest sense.
Lying emerged long ago, but a civic people don’t lie to each other, so that they can communicate. A person who lies about a civic request can trust neither his/her statement of concern nor his/her collaboration with a civic people. No civic person wants the people to respond to a civic request stated as a lie. Likewise, a red-light runner cannot trust green lights. A person’s motives to conform to physics “are derived from . . . inborn tendencies to avoid pain and annihilation, and from the accumulated [psychological] reaction of individuals to the behavior of their neighbors.”[iv] My wife, Cynthia, said, “It seems to me physics mediates disagreement about common sense.” I could not have said it better.
These opinions are mine, but I would like to collaborate among a civic people to establish civic morality—civic policy that conforms to physics. The objective of collaboration is not to impose opinion but to both establish understanding for well-grounded civic consideration of each person's experiences respecting the issue in question. For example, we undeniably understand the morning sun doesn't rise: the earth's rotation un-hides the sun. This was made ineluctably clear to humans long before satellites enabled photographing the earth in space. 
Fidelity by some adults is an undeniable election: civic consensus is not needed. The difference between opinion-based collaboration and physics-based collaboration is the potential for resolution after millennia of opinion-based competition--an un-civic habit. Moreover, by knowing discovered civic morality, people who perceive new possibilities may innovate responsibly. Responsible innovation entails possibly expanding the envelop of social normality without threatening civic morality. In this difference, "social" implies independent choice whereas "civic" implies limits due to human connections. Thus, the innovator approaches the new norm making certain not to cause real harm.

Applying PBE (physics-based ethics) respecting pregnancy 
   Through the biology and psychology of human physics, sexual intercourse may cause pregnancy in the woman’s body, from which, with two to three decades of care and personal growth, a person may emerge. A person owns her/his genealogical and psychological heritage and the opportunity to cultivate successive parenthood unto children, grandchildren, and beyond. In other words, the couple that conceived the child have the physics-based, civic obligation to be faithful to parenting, grand-parenting, great-grand-parenting and beyond. (This common-sense idea seems perhaps at least unsupported by a Bible claim that spouses leave their parents: Mark 10:7.)  A child is a person, and adult contracts, such as unprotected casual sex, surrogacy births, intentional single parenthood, and dedication of the child to an ideology threaten a child’s equality and dignity. (See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Gutmann for ideas on educating children free from parental ideologies.) Often, the conceived person's entire existence is in jeopardy due to physics errors, until natural abortion occurs. An embryo that does not attach to the mother's womb may pass out of her body unnoticed.
            Infants can’t survive without care, and children can’t discover personal authenticity without understanding that builds up with two to three decades of unfettered education, preferably by open-minded examples from the parents and grandparents. Well-grounded understanding has awareness of demonstrated evil, such as nazi control, as well as experienced virtue, such as motivation to be as perfect as personal character will allow.             Children need two mutually dedicated, family dedicated, role models: one male and one female. A child needs balanced parenting: most males “intuitively work . . . to understand and predict the system, or to invent a new one.”[v] Most females aspire “to understand, to anticipate, and to resonate with” other people, especially her family. An equal person experiences parental bonds from parents, grandparents and beyond.Thus, there is a continuing cycle of family, with fidelity to physics, self, each other, and civic connections.
Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, IMO a self-appointed god of dignity, has subordinated the dignity of a child for the benefit of adult contracts. But he cannot by personal opinion revise first principles from physics. Woe is predictable when physics is rebuked. Please note that I am writing my opinion: I do not know the objective truth. I would be happy to collaborate from someone’s opposing opinion, as long as their basis is not religion, other opinion-based ethic or the military, which has the civic monopoly on force. A civic people can confront opinion-based error, and a determined person can either reform from error or make the most of erroneous consequences. Physics has forced me to change my opinion and often people challenge me to think. For example, when I said, "I do not believe in believing, because it is dangerous," Martin N thought a few seconds and asked,"Phil, do you believe in love?" I said, "I'll have to think about it." I must say, more than love I want appreciation. I recommend appreciation.
            Ethical legislators collaborate to keep religious opinion or other emotions from subjugating a child to a life without appreciation (but many legislators are not ethical). Protection could come from education, birth-control, incentives-based family planning, collaborative autonomy, and abortion when the woman decides to end her pregnancy. Legislators who inflict on a woman civil grief--over her dreadful, sole responsibility to terminate her pregnancy--create unjustifiable woe. The people know this, yet billions of dollars per year are spent in state and federal debate, legislation, and courts over subjugation of women that should have been settled with Roe v Wade. Priests who promote this woe are without excuse; most of the time, attempted life at conception naturally fails. A woman's decision to avoid pregnancy or to terminate pregnancy is private.
            But electing abortion to satisfy sexual appetite is civically immoral and should be limited by law, but by education first. Public education should prepare youth for civic adulthood, especially for forming ethical, beneficial human relationships. Ethical males appreciate each female’s personal autonomy and fertility--her obligations to her viable ova. Authentic men contain sexual appetite and prevent unwanted obligations, such as fidelity breaches and court appointed child support. The ethical female has passion to love the man she deems worthy but must limit empathy and passion to protect lives at risk: her 400 expected ova, which become viable one-at-a-time about thirteen times a year. Ultimately, it is the man's responsibility to protect the woman's personal autonomy and obligations, because when she is convinced she has fallen in love (it is the case that he wants intimacy with no one else for life), she longs to fulfill her nature in every way. Both the woman and the man ethically protect the ova she will deliver.
            Recognizing that some men nourish appetites more than responsibilities, Congress allows the Department of Health and Human Services to cover medical expenses for abortions due to rape, incest, or the health of the mother (see Hyde Amendment, 1976). This is right and good, because male subjugation of females and their ova is egregious. It is up to a civic people to exemplify civic morality that will reduce abuse of ova. Female irresponsibility is also egregious, especially when her viable ovum is at risk. A civic people would not support repetitive irresponsibility respecting risky conceptions.
A people's failure to educate adolescents about human reproduction; physical and psychological passions; and forming beneficial human relations is also egregious. Failure to educate children is a civic immorality. Neither religions nor some parents can be relied on respecting the awesome responsibility of teaching human sexuality: often, a parent's emotions about sex prevent this essential transfer of understanding to the child. Public schools must teach both human reproduction and formation of beneficial human relations. This paragraph was motivated by the issues in "Planned Parenthood's Harvest," Wall Street Journal, Thursday, July 30, 2015.
            Abortions happen naturally. For example, a fertilized ovum does not attach to the uterus (sixth day after conception); perhaps no one knows there was a conception, so no one knows what percentage of 300 million available ova per year suffer this natural abortion. Gestation fails many ways. There are still-births. Among the reported cases, often called “spontaneous" abortion rather than "natural" abortion, studies “have shown that only 50 percent of pregnancies will be successful. A miscarriage occurs because the body recognizes that a pregnancy is not successful--the physics was erroneous. It is nature's way of assuring we develop normally.”[vi] By extension of this principle, the ultimate natural abortion is the woman’s decision not to remain pregnant. She knows how conception happened and the risks that her fetus if gestated and delivered will become a neglected, abused or unloved child. Her decision to terminate is dreadful to her. But she has that duty and responsibility, and no one should impose arbitrary misery on either her or the conception she carries. In addition to pregnancy prevention, there are benign methods of early abortion.[vii] Also,  a woman should be able to get relief without civic imposition of guilt when pregnancy threatens her happiness, as when there is unbearable morning sickness, or pregnancy threatens her life.
I oppose unjustifiable abortion but loath questioning a woman’s privacy respecting her pregnancy decisions. According to physics-based ethics, use of force respecting private decisions is against civic morality (IMO and I want to collaborate about it). Physics leaves the responsibility for either remaining pregnant or choosing abortion to the woman and it seems no man should question her decision.
Let’s collaborate on this issue: Please use the comment box below. Also, we will collaborate in a meeting on April 19, 2016, at Jones Creek Branch Library, 6222 Jones Creek Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70817 at 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM. A 45-minute PowerPoint presentation will be followed by discussion. It is a free, civic meeting.



Copyright©2015 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. Revised April 5, 2016


[i] Brian Swimme & Thomas Berry. The Universe Story. 1992. Page 269 and following.
[ii] Due process as of the Magna Carta. See www.bl.uk/magna-carta/articles/magna-carta-an-introduction .
[iv] Albert Einstein. “The Laws of Science and the Laws of Ethics.” 1941. See www.samharris.org/blog/item/my-friend-einstein .