Being pro-choice?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010
If you've come here based solely on that title, you will be disappointed. I mean the whole pro-choice/anti-abortion thing is more a symptom of what I'm thinking about, rather than the whole conversation.

I've been wondering lately about how a society made up of individuals who each makes their own decisions about life based strictly upon their own needs, wants, and desires, actually evolves. What directions does it grow into and who do those people become?

What happens to children who grow up and are fed a steady diet of, "You can become anything you want to become. The choice is yours!"

Or the, "Where would you like to live?" discussion.

Perhaps even more painfully obvious is the "You are free to have relationships with whomever you like, for as long as it suits you." And kicking it up a notch how about the, "You are free to marry any person, any gender, any time" choice.

Being a culture that values the individuals freedom to make their own choices has it's own pitfalls. But how does that individualistic outlook eventually effect a culture?

How is the community effected, or the family? Don't they have any say any longer in the direction individuals take?

And why don't we use the wisdom of the whole? Why don't we trust our parents to choose a spouse for us, or help us settle upon a vocation? Because that would be so against our sense of free choice that it would be at least embarrassing to mention it to our friends, and at most, a politically incorrect thing to do.

Maybe, just maybe, some choices we have today are simply too great for us to make.

The choice for us to be able to stop making babies, snip, snip.
The choice for us to take our own life.
The choice for us to take another life.

Yes I know those words are used as dynamite in some corners of the internet, but being pro individual choice as a culture places the emphasis for decision making upon the individuals of that society.

I am a self confessed individual and I've known many other individuals and I'm not sure we are the ones who should be making such weighty decisions.


  1. I understand why many would not wish to rely on the wisdom of others. While you and I have had loving parents, who would wish to guide us and see us live life to it's fullest, many have parents that are mean, twisted, selfish, abusive or simply dumb losers. And the collective wisdom of society has not been much better, wishing to force people into moulds against their will, demanding that they conform to something that doesn't fit any better than it did their parents.

    At the end of the day we are subject to the results of our actions - why, humanly speaking, would we want to carry the can for others mistakes?

    All this is entirely reasonably, right up until you factor God in and realise that we are not our own. Suddenly we are required to recognise that someone really does know better, and we'll either submit or pretend that He didn't really say what He did and still decide to do it our own way.

  2. My only thought is that I've always appreciated advice from sources I trust, but still having the freedom to make my own decision.

    I'm glad that I only had a few hard lessons as a youth before I began giving that advice more weight in my final decisions.

  3. The question of individual choice and how the church works, now that is question that I've been thinking about a lot. Good post Randall.

  4. This is one of those things that frustrates the heck out of me and at the same time makes me want to take more sociology courses. we are so a culture of individuality and we can choose to do whatever we want. besides the problem of what happens to people when they hit a wall and realize the world does not revolve around them and their choosing to do whatever they want, our society does not seem to have calculated the costs of making individualistic snap decisions. we choose what we want and we want it now, we don't think about the impact it will have down the line fifty years from now. i guess that's why living in the now is also a very popular thing. if we ever did stop to think about what effect our instant gratification choices had down the line we might decide not to make them.
    i think the future of our cultures is looking pretty bleak. it scares me to think about what life will be like when the children of today -who are told they can do and be whatever they want- grow up and start to run our world.
    choices are good, and we all need to make choices. ultimately we need to choose God or ourselves. but i believe individuality is the opposite of what the christian church looked like nineteen hundred years ago. i don't think that individuality is compatible with church body. how can we be a functioning body if everyone is a head? we need to work together as feet and toes and let Jesus be our head.
    i'm scared of what this earth will look like in fifty years, if its still here, and what the after-effects will be of our pro-choice society.


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