Aspects of being “Pro-Life”

Peter Kreeft is the professor of philosophy at Boston University.  He is Catholic, and therefore often associated with the pro-life movement.  (He has written a Socratic assessment of the pro-life/pro-choice debate, which may contribute to the association as well.)  Recently he wrote a book based on a journal he kept, recording his general life advice for his children to read after he dies.  

In this book, called Before I Go, he describes what it means to be pro-life.  Here is what he says:

“Life” means much more than just biological survival. It means all the levels of human life, from the biological to the psychological to the interpersonal to the religious.

Therefore, to be “pro-life” means:

  1. loving and caring for your bodily health and the health of the planet that nourishes it
  2. loving and caring for play, that up-rush of life that we share with the higher animals but not with the lower (that’s why we play with dogs, not with worms)
  3. loving and caring for other human biological lives, not killing them by abortion, euthanasia, suicide, or starting wars
  4. loving and caring for other human psychological and spiritual lives as you care for your own, loving others as you love yourself
  5. loving the moral law that tells you how to do that
  6. knowing and loving nature and the nature of everything: man, woman, animals, God, and even sister death; not acting against their natures but “painting with the grain”
  7. loving the source and inventor of all life wherever He comes to you: in nature, in conscience, in the Bible, in the Mass, in children, everywhere, even in death.

He summarizes by saying, “See?  Being ‘pro-life’ is bigger than #3 alone.'”

What do you think of this account of what it means to be “pro-life”?  Is this an account of the “pro-life” perspective that makes sense to those who call themselves “pro-choice”?


One response to “Aspects of being “Pro-Life”

  1. I like this definition. It places it in a wider context of love and responsibility. It’s just a pity the average pro-lifer fixates on #3 at the expense of everything else, even the God in whose name they hold this stance.

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