Pro-life Photography

It has been a long time since I began photography. There have been many, many images, some of which I think are beautiful, some not. Over time, however, the satisfaction of taking images has waned considerably. Along with other aspects of my life, my photography began to feel empty. I felt that the only things that weren’t empty for me were those that were created with some form of love. Essentially, superficial beauty had lost its appeal for me. Around this time I had a major medical crisis, which brought me back to the catholic church, and my life seemed to get back on course for a while. Being part of church and taking the sacraments helped me immensely. I then had another crisis, which made me hit rock bottom, and I once again drifted away from the church. That was 5 years ago. The good news is that I am currently well again, and my old self has returned somewhat. I am back at church again, taking the sacraments, and once again, I feel that God has helped lift me out of my despair. I don’t want to follow the same path that I previously traveled. This time I want there to be purpose to all of my actions. Of course, I’m sure I will make mistakes, but I am hoping to turn over a new leaf. How does this relate to photography? Well, while I have some spare time, I would like to dedicate my photography to a cause. That is the only way I feel that it is acceptable to pursue it. And so I have been looking at something I feel very strongly about: abortion. I know this is a very contentious topic (especially so at the moment), but I feel that I have to speak up and engage in the debate. I am, as the title of this post would imply, pro-life. There are many bible quotes that suggest that life begins in the womb. (See Top 10 Pro-life Bible Verses However, the trouble is that atheists do not believe in God. In this sense, it is possible that other arguments may also help to persuade. Now, I do not pretend to be an authority on the matter, but I feel that there is a prominent argument which is being largely neglected by people, and that is that science has been unable to prove how consciousness, and in particular, phenomenal consciousness forms. The presiding view seems to be that it arises from the brain. But I would argue that this is materialist. Materialism is the belief that there is nothing beyond matter and this reality. It is a deterministic perspective. If we hold that the Big Bang is true (that is, that the whole universe was born at a specific point in the past) then the materialist perspective implies that every choice we make was already pre-destined at the point of the Big Bang. In other words materialism implies that choice (free will), is actually an illusion. When you really consider it, this is an absurd position. So, if choice and agency (free will) does exist, as the majority of us are wont to believe, and free will implies consciousness (since we need to experience something in order to make a choice), then we can start to draw some conclusions. Consciousness must, at least in part, be attributable to a force exterior to reality, ie. a soul. At this point we must consider the question of when ensoulment of this exterior force takes place. It is possible that this is from conception. It is possible that it takes place, for instance, once the brain is ready. But if we are considering a force outside of measurable reality, then we are really talking about God. Then, if belief in the Christian God is correct (as I believe), then the Bible passages relating to the pre-born are important, namely, "you knit me together in my mother's womb". If God is knitting us together in the womb, then he clearly has plans for us. Furthermore, it doesn't say you knit my body together, but "me", implying that the person is already present. This would imply the case that the soul is present from conception. So, if we believe in free will, then we must have a soul present, probably at conception, and perhaps also consciousness. This implies that abortion is a heinous action. For those that remain unconvinced, we can then consider a thought experiment: Consider a man who has been asked to demolish a house. He knows there may be people inside. In fact, he has been told so. He demolishes the house without checking for people. I think we can see from the thought experiment that the attitude to abortion is not consistent with attitudes to killing elsewhere. There are also those that are pro-abortion purely due to a political stance. To those people, I would say please consider that perhaps the political system is broken, with neither left nor right, or even center, holding a position that is consistently for life in all its aspects. The Catholic Church can certainly not be placed on the political spectrum, as Pope Francis has alluded to. Finally, the picture that I have attached to this post is my first photograph that attempts to be pro-life, and is called, “Entwined”. Entwined Project Description There is an entwined relationship between two souls in pregnancy, beginning with conception and ending in death, a relationship characterized by love, beauty, and pain. The entwined roses represent this relationship. I hope to make more pro-life photography in future. But in the meantime, if you would like to also contribute some pro-life photography to the world, then I have created a pro-life photography group here. I would like to hope that others are also willing to share images that they hope will serve to remind people of the beauty that comes with pregnancy and children.