hauerwasabortionwhytheargumentsfail

hauerwasabortionwhytheargumentsfail - A Community of...

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A Community of Character Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic Stanley Hauerwas UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME PRESS Yale Divinity Ubrary New Haven, Connecdcut NOTRE DAME LONDON
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The author and publisher are grateful to the following for permis- sion to reprint: Copyright @ 1981 by University of Notre Dame Press Notre Dame. Indiana 46556 Theology Digest The Story of the Kingdom" Journal of Religious Ethics for "The Church in a Divided World: The Interpretative Power of the Christian Story,, Silver Burdett Company for "Character, Narrative, and Growth in the Christian Life" from their Toward Moral and Relisious Maturitv Library of Congress Cataloging in publication Data Hauerwas, Stanley, I940- A community of character. 1. Christian ethics. 2. Social ethics. I. Title. BJ12s1.H32s 241 80_53072 rsBN 0-268-00733-0 B._\ \z-st ll rz1(- ffi AJ,J /1Y \ Manufactured in Xhe'[inite*'States of America at -. t
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12. Abortion: Why the Arguments Fail l. Have the Arguments Failed? Essays on the morality of abortion, whether they be anti or pro, have begun to take on a ritualistic form. Each side knows the arguments and counterarguments well, but they continue to go through the motions. Neither side seems to have much hope of convincing the othir, but just as in some rituals we continue to repeat words and actions though we no longer know why, in like manner we continue to repeat arguments about why a6ortion is right, wrong, or indifferent. It is almost as though we assume that the repeti- tion of the arguments will magically break the moral and political impasse concerning the status of abortion in our society. The intractability of the debate frustrates us and our frustration gives way to shrillness. Having tried to develop good philosophical, theological, legal, and social arguments we find our opponents still unconvinced. In the heat of political exchange, both sides resort to rhetoric designed to make the-ir opponents appear stupid or immoral. Thus we are besieged by slogans affirming the "right to life" or that every woman has the ,;right-over her body"; or it seems we must choose between being ..pro_lifJ,,or ..pro_ choice." Some, concluding that there is no hope oiconducting the public debate in a manner befitting the moral nuances of the abortion issue, have withdrawn from the field of battle. Yet before anyone beats too hasty a retreat it is worth considering why the arguments seem to have failed and why we have been left with little alternative to the oversimplifications of the public debate. There may be a moral lesson to be learned from the intractable character of the debate that is as important as the morality of abortion itself. And I suspect it offers a particularly important lesson for christians. It is my contention
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hauerwasabortionwhytheargumentsfail - A Community of...

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