We all have control over Life And Death. We all inflict degrees of brutality. We all develop reasons why brutality is justifiable. The very right to life collides with the right to Freedom Of Choice. The sanctity of all life is contrary to Schweitzer’s reverence for life.Schweitzer’s philosophy: We are life that wills to live midst life that wills to love. To take life in any context is a sign of fallibility. We can do better.

Most of us assent to freedom of choice having precedence over the right to life. Most assent to the right to euthanize animals under certain conditions.

Most assent to the consumption of foods that derive from the killing of animals, fish and other creatures. The universality of brutality toward the living is clear.

Dealing with our imperfections

Solving the problems our brutality toward the living creates is imperfect. Binary logic is applied in virtually every situation where death is in essence decreed by our acts and consents. Binary logic is itself inadequate – it takes something with more than one side and collapses it into simplistic terms. All difficult problems require triadic thinking. A look beyond the binary box is necessary.

Abortion conundrums

If the matter is to have an abortion or not, we correctly make the mother the decider. But merely because this is right does not make it a perfect decision or even much more than a binary one when there is conflict. Even when there is no conflict and all agree, the rights of the living are not honored.

If the sign is the rights of an embryo, ethics suggest that there are indeed rights involved.

Rights exist whether acknowledged or not. Ironically abortion may be the most justified when the decision is the most wrenching.

When freedom is brutal

But it may be most correct to say that exercising freedom of choice is brutal. That the brutality of abortion falls more on a woman than a man is an evil in itself. That the pains and even the sufferings of pregnancy and abortion or childbirth fall on the woman is not just.

To speak of women as bearing more burdens than men do is increasingly the case.

Intense emotions tragic endings

We must acknowledge and accept the intense emotional volatility around this subject. The many ways we draw lines about life and death demand addressing.

The right to life should not be seen as a license. Both women and men should be able to fully and safely avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Miles to go

We are many miles from a solution to the matter of euthanizing animals. We are many miles from a solution to the cruelty and brutality inherent in all phases of food production involving life.

Science should make the reduction of brutality a fundamental priority.