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October 6, 2019 / Congau

A Potential Child

Nothing is valuable in itself. (Well, except happiness). That means that the things we appreciate are cherished not for what they are at the moment, but for whatever potential they may have, or in other words, what they may become in the future. If our very lives have value, it is because we expect to be alive tomorrow.

The present is a fleeting instant, immediately gone, passing into what will be. It hardly is, if at all, and that makes the act of becoming all the more important. Don’t throw away what is not yet. It will be.

In a becoming mother’s womb there is nothing, not yet. If there is a human being there, it is not human as we think of it. It is not a thinking, rational, self-conscious thing. It is nothing, but it will be.

Everything is just potential. Does it matter much if a person got killed who only had hours left to live? Probably not.

Does it matter if something gets destroyed that soon would have been valuable?

Value is only in the future. Imagine you possessed a currency that had not yet come into circulation, freshly printed dollar bills that would only be valid nine months from now. Would you throw them away? Of course not. If other people also new that they soon would be valid, you could probably start using them already. People would accept the bills since the knowledge of future value is identical to present value.

If the fetus were known as the child it would have become, it would not have been aborted. But one can imagine. A mother-to-be may imagine the thing inside her as the child it will be, and then it would break her heart if it died. Or she avoids imagining and its disappearance is nothing to her.

Value is in our imagination. It is real.

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