Legalized Poisons: The New Organization of Life

What is a man
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure, He that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused. Hamlet (IV, iv, 33-39)

In a therapeutic culture that depends on the easy availability of contraception and abortion as commodities of life, man’s “godlike reason” “fusts” or grows musty from disuse. Modernity does not regard man as having possession of the “godlike reason” that Hamlet attributes to human nature. Instead of honoring man’s intelligence and “large discourse” to ponder the future and the past, medical advances offer to rescue man and woman from the onus of thinking or the discipline of self-control. Subjecting them to new medical procedures like tubal ligations, vasectomies, an assortment of contraceptives, and various types of abortion, science rescues human beings from their minds and bodies. Instead of governing themselves, man and woman submit to new masters who will exercise absolute control.

HamletThe surgical and chemical alterations of the body amount to schemes to do away with the virtues of temperance, chastity, and self-denial within man’s power and to put human beings under the rule of drugs, steroids, implants, and surgeries that accustom man to unnatural medical interventions of the body that eliminate autonomy, responsibility, and self-government. Modern man is lured to live in a therapeutic society where doctors and pills cure all problems and medical knowledge creates a “brave new world” of immediate solutions. Godlike man, “a little less than the angels”, created in the image of his maker with the gift of free will, the power of love, and right reason acquires the status of a creature dependent upon pharmaceutical companies and doctor’s prescriptions to bestow upon him life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the form of contraception, abortion, family planning, and government population control.

Man is stupid and needs experts to regulate him. Man lacks a moral sense and needs science to reinvent the meaning of good and evil. Man is out of touch with his body and needs birth control to govern his fertility, determine his family size and regulate his marriage. Man’s ability to order his own life, make wise moral decisions, and care for his own health does not lie within his power or judgment. Contraception, abortion, sterilization, and euthanasia, so the logic of the courts argue, are vital, essential, and mandatory for civilized life in 2015. One cannot live a human life of self-esteem without the constant availability of these medical services. When The Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v.Casey (1992) argued for the continued legalization of abortion, it stated that since 1973 people “have organized intimate relationships and made choices . . . on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.” As if they were the equal of air, food, and water, contraception, abortion, and sterilization are elevated to the status of daily requirements for health.

Reproductive health services now belong to the category of urgent need—one of the basic goods like clothing, shelter, gas, and health insurance that every person requires for a respectable life. Instead of organizing life in terms of good choices–deciding to be free or dependent, to nourish or poison the body, to engage in personal or exploitative relationships, or to live a human or dehumanized existence—man expects government and medicine to organize life around doctor’s prescriptions that will eliminate moral choices. In this new legal and medical reorganization of life, man surrenders his dignity, will, conscience, and “godlike reason” to pharmaceuticals that assault the integrity of the human body and violate the natural law written on the human heart. Godlike reason always knows the world of difference between noble human actions and lowly animal behavior. Supreme Court decisions do not assist persons to live orderly lives but encourage high-risk behaviors that violate both body and soul. The moral order alone offers the rational, natural organization of human life, not decisions like Roe v. Wade or Griswold v. Connecticut  that appeal to the right to privacy as the final arbiter of right and wrong.

The legal and medical consensus appears to be official: the more artificial the regulation of the body, the more organized the life of every person. The less man uses “godlike reason,” the more control and organization The Federal Drug Administration exerts, even approving as “safe” for women the abortion pill RU-486 that kills babies and has also caused the deaths of many women who have used the drug. Under the Affordable Care Act all businesses must provide insurance coverage for health-destroying, life-destroying, cancer-causing pills and abortifacients. Like medicine, government too—all wise, all-good, and all-providing—will assist hapless man in organizing his life by making available every imaginable form of contraception and legalizing abortion for any reason. The Federal Drug Agency’s approval and Supreme Court decisions somehow magically remove the burden of guilt, eliminate human dilemmas, and simplify all moral choices. Man’s “godlike reason” is no longer necessary when doctors and judges organize their lives for them.

In Hippocrates’ famous words, “First of all, do no harm”. This advice directed to physicians applies to all professions and businesses. Any occupation that withholds vital information, engages in disinformation, or dismisses serious threats to health loses all moral credibility. For example, The Federal Drug Administration approved of Norplant in 1990, but ten years later lawsuits and class action suits were filed against the pharmaceutical company of Wyeth Ayerst. The side effects of this implant pose grave dangers to both mind and body: excessive menstrual bleeding, liver dysfunction, ectopic pregnancy, headaches, blood clots, high blood pressure, depression, nervous disorders, and loss of libido. Like the Pill, Norplant gives the illusion of birth control, the suppression of ovulation, even though it also functions as an abortifacient that prevents implantation. How can the law of the land justify all this suffering in the name of “organizing” life better?

Likewise, many similar disorders accompany the side effects of abortion, ranging from post abortion stress syndrome, depression, guilt, anger, suicide, and low self-esteem to increase in the risk of breast cancer. The Pill is notorious as a cause of heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer, not to mention the  social consequences of promiscuity, cohabitation, sexually transmitted diseases, and illegitimate children unleashed by the falsehood of “safe sex” promising health, freedom, and love without moral responsibility. How can progressive laws and medical advances pretend that man gains, improves, or benefits when persons entrust the matters of life and death and right and wrong to masters who have no understanding of man’s humanity and dignity, his divine nature and godlike reason?

Man by nature, however, does live on drugs, steroids, implants, and violent interferences with natural bodily functions. Man is not made to be controlled by chemicals that alter nature, endanger life, or cause disease. Man by nature is endowed to live a life of continence, abstinence, chastity, and temperance in governing the bodily appetites and human passions. Man is not an animal with uncontrollable urges and instincts, a creature in need of government agencies to tell him how many children to have, how not to have children, and how to dispose of unwanted children. The underlying anthropology behind this mentality demeans man to a species of animal or slave with no soul, mind, will, or conscience capable of self-mastery, moral responsibility, human freedom, or a loving, fruitful marriage.

Man can enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without any of the revolutionary discoveries of pharmaceutical companies addicting him to expensive dangerous poisons and live without government policies indoctrinating population control in its many insidious forms. Man needs food, not drugs. Man needs marriage, not cohabitation. Man needs liberty, not population control by government. Man needs human dignity, not the image of a slave incapable of self-government. Man needs health, not death by doctors and drug companies prescribing pills to endanger life, prevent life, and kill life. If man entrusts his life and health to the latest drugs or the most progressive laws, he will lower his nature from “a little less than the angels” to “a beast, no more,” and he will permit ideologues and bureaucrats to organize his life instead of Mother Nature, God the Father, and his own “godlike reason.”

Mitchell Kalpakgian, Ph.D. has completed fifty years of teaching beginning as a teaching assistant at the University of Kansas, continuing as a professor of English at Simpson College in Iowa for thirty-one years, and recently teaching part-time at various schools and college in New Hampshire. As well as contributing to a number of publications, he has published seven books: The Marvelous in Fielding’s Novels, The Mysteries of Life in Children’s Literature, The Lost Arts of Modern Civilization, An Armenian Family Reunion (a collection of short stories), Modern Manners: The Poetry of Conduct and The Virtue of Civility, and The Virtues We Need Again. He has designed homeschooling literature courses for Seton Home School, and he also teaches online courses for Queen of Heaven Academy and part-time for Northeast Catholic College.
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