In their recent commentaries on the abortion issue, by columnist Roger Marolt (“It’s about saving lives … and souls,” Jan. 29,) and respondent Stephanie Cybruch (“A counterpoint to Marolt column on abortion,” Feb. 5, Aspen Times), both writers speak of “saving souls.”
But assuming that the word “soul” is more than just a figure of speech for the central nervous system, or “psyche,” and instead designates an inner spiritual essence, or “life,” that transcends death, both commentaries puzzle me.
If, as religious persons believe, souls are ensnared in flesh for a period of time as a condition of their development — being, as it were metaphorically, butterflies endeavoring to emerge and take flight from their corporeal existence as caterpillars — then souls have work to do, seeking the light while dodging “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that assail the flesh. It’s not a given that more than a few will make it.
A question, therefore, for Mr. Marolt, who thinks that creating a social utopia is the only way to spare people from the kind of fear and hopelessness that impels them to abort their own offspring: How does removing the conditions for development — removing all need for such virtues as prudence, temperance and fortitude — result in said development … in growth, maturation and nobility of soul? Can there be gain without pain?
Likewise, to Ms. Cybruch, I’d ask: How does ending the development of one soul, currently in the womb, enhance the development of the second soul, whose womb it is? How does consigning one soul to darkness help the other pursue the light?
Both of you are entitled to argue for practical solutions to human unhappiness, but you should get out of the business of “saving souls.”
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In reply to Daniel Kogan’s letter (“Making the vaccine case for lift operators,” Feb. 24, The Aspen Times), it would be great if we had enough vaccine to give to everybody. I feel the need!