“Emotional” < “Analytical”
Jennifer Senior writes in a New York Magazine article about how pro-choice our nation isn’t,
The pro-choice movement has always had the harder job. The choice argument is an analytical one, grounded in theories of privacy and the rights of the mother; the pro-life side has the case with instant visceral and emotional appeal: This is life we’re talking about.
Really? The pro-choice argument boils down to “I want what’s best for myself.” Sounds pretty visceral to me. If the pro-choice side has analytical theories supporting it, those are less analyses than they are rationalizations. The value of life inside the womb is something you can’t not know at some level—though it’s a truth you can suppress (Rom. 1:18).
The pro-life side for its part does rest on analytical theories and human rights constructs. The Christian pro-life side is on an infinitely firmer foundation, grounded as it is on the bedrock of God’s image in man (Gen. 9:6).
But something else in Senior’s argument struck me. She assumes that analytical arguments are superior to emotional ones. The Bible says that both reason and emotion are bent by the fall; neither is completely trustworthy. On the flip side, either may at times correct the other (ideally they will work in harmony).
Our nation’s collective gut-feeling, as Senior’s article admits, is that there’s something wrong with elective abortion. Sometimes emotions reveal truths that rationalization has obscured.
For more on the interplay of emotion, intellect, will, and other human faculties, see John Frame’s Doctrine of the Christian Life, where I’ve found real help here.