The Chances of Car Wrecks & Abortions


#1

Hello, all. This is my first real post here, so no biting! :wink:

On the way home from work today, a non-Catholic friend of mine was debating with me about the immorality of birth control pills. One of the questions he raised was whether there was a difference in the chances a person takes while driving to work (intending to get there safely) verses the chances a person take by taking the pill (intending to avoid pregnancy).

Both have a risk of a unintentionally causing a death. Knowing that the chance is small for either scenario and not intending to cause a death in either scenario… Why is it not a grave sin to hit a slick spot on the road, swerve off the road, and kill some one on your drive to work? Why is it a grave sin to experience a failure of the conception prevention of the pill and abort a life?

Deep down, I feel that the pill isn’t the same, but I don’t know how to justify the contradicting scenarios above. Any answers?


#2

xen…

Cerainly, driving carries a risk of killing yourself or someone else. That’s why the CCC says that driving dangerously is a sin. As for hitting a slick spot: that is a calculated risk that we all take everyday. If it happens we call it an accident because it was unintended.

Abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being. It is always wrong, allways unjust, always cruel, and always a mortal sin. Artificial Birth Control is wrong for several reasons: it undermines God’s authority in his plan for a persons life, it undermines the marriage relationship, it is against marital chastity and it similar to abortion in that specific human beings are never allowed to exist. ABC failure is never an excuse to intentionally kill an innocent unborn baby.


#3

I´m just curious, did he actually have a straight face when he said that?
Does he have any notion of something called intent ?

I´m sorry to give a response like this one to your first post, but I´m having a lot of trouble being patient today. I apologize
Welcome to the forums :slight_smile:


#4

Intending to avoid pregnancy through artificial means while engaging in the sex act is a sin in and of itself, while driving is not.


#5

Catolico hit the nail on the head here. The difference is intent. If you cannot use an evil to attain a good, (and you can’t) how could you justify using an evil (ABC) to attain an evil (avoidance of procreation).

Argh, you may want to read Humanae Vitae and Theology of the Body. There is also a great tape series by Janet Smith on Humanae Vitae available at www.saintjoe.com and I think it’s Christopher West who has great stuff out on Theology of the Body (the original book is quite thick).

Sounds like it would do you and your friends some good if you get educated on the subject.

Good luck with it. I’ll keep you in prayers.

God Bless,

CARose


#6

Thanks everyone. I agree with most of what’s been said so far, but that’s not my point. My point is that this guy is asking a very particular question. He’s asking why one calculated risk is wrong while the other is not.

Driving – not dangerously, mind you, just in any case – has a risk of killing some one accidentally. The driver takes that chance every time he drives.

Using the pill also has a risk (not a certainty) of killing some one accidentally. The person using the pill’s intent to to not get pregnant in the first place – not to get pregnant and then abort the life.

In both cases, the intent is not to kill. In both cases, there is still a risk of it. Again: He’s asking why is one OK and not the other.

FYI, he’s not going to just accept the Church’s authority that one is evil since he’s not Catholic. I need to explain WHY it is such.

Edit:
I need to explain one of two things:

  1. How are the two similar situations of chances of unintentional death actually different and not comparable?

OR

  1. Why is only one of the two same situations of chances of unintentional death sinful?

#7

The sinfulness of birth control has nothing to do with potential death. For example, having sexual intercourse and then “pulling out” right before ejaculation is a mortal sin on the part of the man as well. The risk of abortions by using the pill is just an added weight to the issue.


#8

[quote=Ghosty]The sinfulness of birth control has nothing to do with potential death. For example, having sexual intercourse and then “pulling out” right before ejaculation is a mortal sin on the part of the man as well. The risk of abortions by using the pill is just an added weight to the issue.
[/quote]

So I can tell him that the situation he presents means that it’s important to consider carefully (like whether or not to drive in snowy whether) and that this element of the pill isn’t a sin. That’s not to say that using the pill isn’t sinful… Just not this aspect of it is sinful.

In anticipation of my non-Catholic friend’s next question then… What makes it sinful? Please use terminology that a person who has never read the CCC could understand. Thanks.


#9

I believe you could say that, yes. There is actually some debate about whether or not couples should abstain from sex at all when the woman must take a possible abortifacent as medication and not as a form of birthcontrol.

From what I’ve seen, if the woman is taking the birth control pill for hormone regulation, with no intention of it being birth control, the couple can still enjoy the marital union of flesh. That may change in the future, but currently there’s no official ruling on the matter to my knowledge.

In otherwords, your friend’s argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Church’s opposition to birth control.


#10

Thanks, Ghosty. That all makes sense to me.


#11

The reason it’s sinful is that it’s a perversion of a natural process that is specifically designed as a holy participation in God’s Creative plan. In Genesis, God’s first command to humanity is “be fruitful and multiply”. Sex isn’t just a fun gift (though it is fun, and SHOULD be fun) it is a divine directive to procreate. To take the fun and leave the divine mandate is at the very least haughty and arrogant. The sin in it should be pretty obvious to anyone.

Basically it boils down to the fact that, for Catholics, sex itself, by its very nature, is a pure, holy, and sacred thing. To defile it is like defiling a sacrament. Indeed, intercourse is a direct part of the Sacrament of Marriage, just as water is a part of the Sacrament of Baptism. :slight_smile:

God bless!


#12

[quote=Ghosty]…In Genesis, God’s first command to humanity is “be fruitful and multiply”. Sex isn’t just a fun gift (though it is fun, and SHOULD be fun) it is a divine directive to procreate. To take the fun and leave the divine mandate is at the very least haughty and arrogant. The sin in it should be pretty obvious to anyone…
[/quote]

I mentioned something very similar to this to him earlier today. He came back with something like, “well why do we take medication to avoid headaches, which are natural too?”

I understand that fertility isn’t something to be “treated” as a sickness would be, but he only sees it as two naturally occurring things that each have medical workarounds.


#13

It’s not that fertility is natural, it’s that it is a Divine mandate. God didn’t say “go forth and endure headaches”, and if He did, we would without taking meds. He did say “be fruitful and multiply”, however, so we don’t mess with that. In fact, He said that before He said “don’t murder”, before He said anything else to humanity. Those were His first words, and we’re not about to mess with them. :smiley:


#14

Think of it this way…driving to work you have an innocent driver who has a misfortune of hitting an oil slick and killing another innocent bystander.

Using birth control would be like if that driver got behind the wheel knowing he was drunk and drove anyway and then crashed and killed someone.

You don’t have control over the life’s oil slicks…you do have control over whether you drink and drive.


#15

His comparison is wrong. That is the crux of the problem.
We’re not talking about a comparison to somebody accidentally hitting an oil slick. We’re talking something closer to, you get blind stinking drunk,smoke a bunch of weed, get behind the wheel of a car, & then break the speed limit in a vehicle with questionable brakes.
Now, that is closer to an accurate comparison.


#16

xenocryst:
When you talk about contraception failing and an abortion resulting, do you mean the contraception itself causes the abortion or that the pregnant woman decides to abort the child after she discovers she is pregnant? If the second is true, I believe this is a better analogy:

A person who uses contraception, which fails to prevent pregnancy, and then deliberately aborts the child is equivalent to:

A person who drives drunk in a vehicle with poor steering and poor brakes. The person then hits a patch of ice, causing him to slide and hit another car. When he realizes what has happened, he goes to the other car, kills the passengers and pushes their car into the river to avoid the consequences of having to pay for the damage.

Personally, I believe contraception is wrong, but when those who use it conceive anyway, it would be a far greater wrong for them to kill their child.

God Bless!


#17

Your friend might be trying to use double effect which you can’t use when the act itself is intrinsically evil.

Also, feigned ignorance would increase the boluntary character of the sin:
scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#1859

Look at the example at:
priestsforlife.org/brochures/fruitsofsametree.htm
under the section “They are sometimes linked by being identical.”


#18

[quote=The Iambic Pen]xenocryst:
When you talk about contraception failing and an abortion resulting, do you mean the contraception itself causes the abortion or that the pregnant woman decides to abort the child after she discovers she is pregnant?

[/quote]

Many of us have driven drunk and not killed anyone. We were “lucky.” Contraception is like that. The act itself is wrong. There may not be tangible dire consequences each time, but the risk is there. Whether abortion is the greater sin depends on a woman’s knowledge of how contraception works. If she is aware that it often acts as an abortifacient…then I say the sins are equal in their gravity. Most women aren’t told how the pill really works.

I encourage people to check out the great info on this at omsoul.com/


#19

Try thiese examples:

I am giving my child a bath. I unexpectantly suffer a heart attack and die and my child then drowns. Was I liable for my child’s death?

I am giving my child a bath downstairs. I decide to leave him alone to go have sex with my wife upstairs and the child drowns. Was I liable for my child’s death?

If I am not liable for the child’s death when I suffer a heart attack then why would I be liable for the child’s death when I left him alone to go have sex with my wife?


#20

[quote=xenocryst]Hello, all. This is my first real post here, so no biting! :wink:

On the way home from work today, a non-Catholic friend of mine was debating with me about the immorality of birth control pills. One of the questions he raised was whether there was a difference in the chances a person takes while driving to work (intending to get there safely) verses the chances a person take by taking the pill (intending to avoid pregnancy).

Both have a risk of a unintentionally causing a death. Knowing that the chance is small for either scenario and not intending to cause a death in either scenario… Why is it not a grave sin to hit a slick spot on the road, swerve off the road, and kill some one on your drive to work? Why is it a grave sin to experience a failure of the conception prevention of the pill and abort a life?

Deep down, I feel that the pill isn’t the same, but I don’t know how to justify the contradicting scenarios above. Any answers?
[/quote]


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