The abortion debate is moving into a new and deadly new fanaticism. We have tried many times to clarify the issues, entirely in vain. The entire spectrum of religious theology, rightist ideology and secular humanism has proven inadequate to the debate.
Let me note at the start that the right, a bunch of genocidal killers, suddenly expresses concern over the fetus, while secular humanists befuddle the issue with a reductionist and inadequate conceptions of ‘man’ and his nature. Women are more often compassionate, yet charged with abortion as murder. Their instincts are right: the nature of procreation cannot be subject to external control, by the state or by men. Here the legacy of Christianity has proven pernicious because it claims that man has a soul and then confuses that with reproductive function. Here the Kantian critique of metaphysics enters to insure the hopeless muddle of both sides. The ‘soul’ is real, but we can’t have direct perception of its reality and indulge the reverse metaphysics of denial.
Christianity is a poor guide on these questions. A better guide would be Buddhism, with its consideration of reincarnation and the independence of ‘soul’ from physical issues. Christians and enemies of abortion confuse this point: the soul of man has no material basis affected by abortion one way or the other. We are doomed and have to critique both scientific fanatics who absolutely deny the soul and the Pope and christian theologians here, but assuredly they are total idiots to have so derailed this question with the inadequate theology of christianity scientific physics which can explain human psychology. The Buddhist insight is open to challenge but it could help to calm the hopeless debate here. We cannot resolve the abortion issue on any religious grounds related to Christianity. The soul of man exists in multiple senses, but the basic issue is that human psychology is a larger framework than space-time and has a larger reality than his overt psychology. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, amazingly, confirms this directly and behind its strange jargon seems to suggest that the outer psychology of man fails to survive death but that a larger soul framework which stands beyond existence is unaffected by death, carries latent aspect of its sequence of lives and moves to enter new limited body frame in the cycle of the ‘bardos’. We approach the key to the issue. But the chances of getting through to anyone here are not promising: we must denounce christian confusions and beat secular humanists over the head on the grounds of being idiots. Note that Buddhists negate the soul, but that is misleading given their view of reincarnation. These are simply inconsistent terminologies. We could retreat to the Hindu view of self as ‘atman’ instead of the essentially identical buddhist terminology.
There is also a tradition of soul in a different sense, stil present in the realm of sufism, and springing from greater antiquity. It is perhaps not relevant here: we have what we need: abortion is not a form of murder the ‘self’ in all its ambiguity as its samples bodies over millennia.
As we enter a secular age, we should wary of secular humanism, but it is all we have, can be dead wrong as here, and move beyond the pernicious distortions of Christianity.
In any case, the issue of reproduction puts women in the core nexus of nature and their instincts on the issues of abortion carry the correct weight.
The abortion issue is completely confused on both sides. Christian theology never got straight on the issue of the soul, and modern secular humanists deny the reality of ‘soul’ altogether. That’s not a good stance for humanism, and it echoes the scientism of false science. And it creates endless antagonism. But the Christian obsession with conception and soul is surely incorrect. The problem is that the ‘soul’ factor is never affected by conception, fetus’ and the implication of some kind of murder. The soul question is complex and the major religions have not really clarified the issues, save the Buddhist (and Hindu) conceptions, up to a point.A Buddhist view of reincarnation would seem closer to the truth: sentient entities are anchored beyond space-time and their entry into birth cycles has no effect on that one way or the other. Abortion would then merely terminate a transient connection with a rebirth cycle. The issue of the soul is complex indeed but pertains in part to the efforts made by an individual in his life to realize actions of value by a determination not always clear to us. And in another legacy still present in sufism, but I think not Islam there is a concrete path to soul creation in a different sense via the injection of a soul seed plexus ‘stuff’. The spiritual path of the person in question helps to grow this ‘soul’ factor in this sense. Note that the ‘soul’ complex in our ‘buddhist’ take is not the reincarntion of the psychological person, as such, but of the overall complex of the man/woman.
Source: soul questions, and abortion…// the right thinks nothing of genocide but protests abortion sanity – 1848+: The End(s) of History