I stood and watched the decision making process unfold. The two little boys had received just enough money for each to have an amusement ride at the mall. Given the opportunity to choose first between the two options, the older boy’s eyes darted back and forth from the race car to the horse. Impulsively, he chose the horse and hopped on, while his younger brother then jumped in the race car. Mom dropped the quarters in and the rides began. As the horse started to move, the older boy’s eyes grew wide with excitement. What a ride! After a few seconds of pure bliss, however, the look in his eyes changed. The display of flashing lights and cool noises coming from the race car was too much for him to bear; his brother had chosen the better ride. He cried foul as he slid off of the horse, demanding another coin. Unfortunately for him, the deal was done. By the time he was able to grasp this, the horse had stopped, mocking him in its stillness.
What had gone wrong? Well, the first boy had made his choice impulsively. As people, we react so easily to stimuli. Our eyes grow wide with excitement, or teary with sympathy. We want to be a part of an exciting or beautiful story. We want people to get what they want. We want to get what we want.
When we make decisions in life, we implicitly eliminate the alternatives. At least that’s the way it works logically. For instance, if I decide to become a hit-man for the mob, I can’t sincerely affirm a pacifist statement of faith.
I couldn’t have it both ways.
Recently, the magazine Cosmopolitan has been using their platform to fight for women’s abortion rights. This includes campaigning for pro-abortion political candidates, pushing back against state legislation, and even defending late-term abortions. So far, the magazine seems pretty consistent. That is until you read two articles, with two very different viewpoints, posted online by the magazine, on the very same day.
The first article is a beautiful piece that celebrates the modelling career of Madeline Stuart. She is a delightful young lady from Australia who also happens to have Down syndrome. The second piece is exasperated in tone. The writer seems dismayed that the State of Indiana has passed a new bill that would ban abortions “sought because a fetus has been diagnosed with a disability (such as Down syndrome).”
Now, this isn’t a blog post primarily about abortion per se (though I strongly urge you to think that through), but it is about thinking things through. Cosmopolitan has unwittingly provided us with an illustration of how inconsistently many folks in our society actually think. Our worldviews get tangled up easily enough on their own. We don’t need to make things worse by taking a stand about any issue before thinking it through. Much like the boy, we need to realize that our decisions have consequences. So before you impulsively jump on the horse, make sure that you consider the race car too.
You can’t have both.
Check out this week’s podcast episode on Thursday where the Apologetics Canada Team will discuss this at more length.
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