An Akron area school, Mount Union University, in an attempt to find common ground in the abortion debate, presented the play “Keely and Du.” The producers organized a panel discussion after the production to foster community discussion on this divisive issue. The plot of the play was quite biased against the pro-life side of the argument, but of course they made up for that by putting together a panel with six pro-abortionists and one pro-lifer.
Fortunately the audience was an integral part of this community discussion. One participant in the audience asked a question that goes to the heart of the whole abortion debate. The answers to his question reveal the truth underlying the great divisiveness of the issue and in American society in general.
This gentleman simply asked the question, “is there an absolute truth.”
One panel member answered, “yes, but man cannot know it.”
Another answered saying, “in America you have a representative government to determine what is right and wrong, in England we have the parliamentary process to determine what is good and evil. We all have different methods for deciding what is right and wrong.”
One audience member answered with a simple and blunt, “no.”
The chairman of the philosophy department at Mount Union University was taken back by the question. He revealed that he usually has to deal with the opposite question from his students. They most often deny that anything is right or wrong.
These answers, along with the inference behind the original question, reveal why it is impossible to find common ground in the abortion debate. The belief that there is no absolute truth, or man cannot know what that truth is, or, as the philosophy professor later stated, “the one who believes there is absolute truth is dangerous” leads to the logical conclusion that no man can tell another that his beliefs are wrong.
If there is an absolute truth, it does not come from within man. Absolute truth can only come from infinite knowledge, and goodness. Absolute truth can only come from God. If indeed God revealed that truth to man, it is incumbent on man to understand and believe it.
It is probable that everyone in the pro-life movement has a misunderstanding of God's truths at some point. He does however believe in absolute truth and he is trying to understand His truth correctly. The pro-abortion movement denies that there is absolute truth, which of course is an assertion of an absolute truth, but that is a subject for another paper at another time.
Those, like the producer of “Keely and Du” at Mount Union University, who wish to find compromise on every issue every where, please tell how it is possible to find common ground in the abortion debate when the two sides hold these divergent foundations. The chasm is not due to the abortion issue. The chasm exists because of the irreconcilable presuppositions of the adherents of each side of this argument.
Common ground will be reached in American society when men accept that truth exists outside of themselves. If each person has the ability to determine truth for himself then there really is no truth and no possibility of common ground. Common ground is only possible within the realm of absolute truth which transcends man.