I pretend to teach how I perused public opinion and caused social conflicts when I was a political propagandist. I will not do this anymore. I am repented. Our mind displays three fundamental operations, which could be called, for the sake of simplicity, “unions”, “separations” and “comparisons”. These mental movements carry two paradigms, namely: monism and atomism.
Monism asserts the world was forged by using a simple substance, from whence each thing is derived. This paradigm is based on “separations”, by which one can discern distinct objects. The ground of monist separations, I think, is the pure concept of form.
Atomism states the world was compounded by different substances, that is, by some elements. Each thing, so, could be something original, unique. This paradigm is raised from “unions”, which require a genius to knit analogies, metaphors. From these two paradigms four unavoidable questions are hoisted, videlicet:
1) are things simple or united objects?;
2) are there spatial and temporal limits settled by nature?;
3) are these forms, or objects, and these elements, existing under laws or in a free state?;
4) did a god create that substance and these elements?
Such questions, or rather antinomies, are unconsciously worded by every man. These questions represent, as Kant taught through his Critique of Pure Reason, a “natural antithetic” (the German text says “natürliche Antithetik”). A propagandist can infer, therefore, how public opinion is bifurcated by the afore-mentioned paradigms, which strongly work when a social problem is offered to the mouth of citizens.
We would like to offer an instance of this to our readers, and to knit it we could think about “abortion”, and admit the definition of this word that the Merrian-Webster gives us. In order to simplify it, we say that abortion is the interruption of the process of a fetus.
As the first antinomy indicates, things are either simple or compounded. If I believe my life is just a line derived from a primaeval point, then the fetus, or rather the process I bear, is a mere derived line too, and this will move me to think I am an authority to check that process. But if I believe my life is not that line, but another primaeval point, then such a fetus is not something derived, but a new origin, and this will move me to think I am not an authority to hinder the process of a new line.
A part of public opinion, in accordance with the above-said Kantian concepts, tends to believe there are spatial and temporal limits imposed by nature. In our abortive case, the idea of “time” is useful to explain the bifurcation of the concept of “fetus”. If nature puts temporal limits, then the fetus I have is just matter without a soul for some days, weeks or months, and a soul with a body from the end of these periods to the end of his life.
By believing this I may conjecture I have a right to curb the fetus’ process during those periods, but none during the second one. On the other hand, if nature does not put such limits, then I can not know when the fetus has already a soul, and thus it will be a sacred, an untouchable and potential being. The former section of this opiniatrety is conformed by those who call themselves “friends of science”, and the latter by those who feign to applaud religious creeds.
Another antinomy discussed by Kant establishes the question whether we are living beneath unavoidable rules or in a plain liberty. If I suppose the fetus is existing under laws, then my body is the group of conditions that make them possible, and so my body will be regarded as a machinery of new beings. This body, if I wish, could produce one, two, three fetuses. But if I suppose the fetus is a free entity, then my body is a mere accidental vehicle for it, and each fetus will not be represented as a number or a quantity, but as a quality beyond any arithmetical series.
To conclude this simple logical examination, we must peruse the antinomy represented by the idea of God. If I belong to the section of public opinion which admits the existence of some creator and primaeval being, I will think the world is a system whose boundaries are perfectly traced. Within such a system, I have a mission because the aforesaid creator is great… to me. Thus, I fall into the walls of the idea of destiny, and probably I will believe my life, or rather the important charge I should fulfill, can not be molested by a soulless piece of accidental derived matter. Abortion, therefore, in front of my eyes will be a legal and deserved deed.
But if I think there is no creator, then all is chaos, and I have no special mission, and my body is an instrument that matter uses to multiply its sons. My readers are noting that the first case shows an egoistic person hidden behind an obscure religious conception, and that the second shows a humble psychology without an individual orientation.
The first group we call “dogmatics”, and the second “skeptics”. Propagandists, whose four main labours are to obscure reality, offer an arbitrary worldview, impair the clear meaning of our words, and applaud the annihilation of our real “self”, here and there are justifying abortion by saying a fetus is an obstacle against our destiny, a soulless derived matter within an infinite series of possible new fetuses, and simultaneously they are abhorring it by affirming we are divine instruments of God, selected vehicles useful to raise singular, sacred new human beings.
Both stances, as we see, are working as “mere regulative heuristic fictions” (“als bloss heuristisch und regulative”, as the Kantian German says), and not as solid hypotheses based on deeds. These stances have their roots in our more profound mental paradigms, which are irreconcilable when proved in reality. In the first case, individualism is the pillar of human dignity, but in the second case collectivism is such a support. Both perspectives have, it is true, a valid moral argument.
But wranglings, disputes, misunderstanding will be endless owing to these fallacious, antinomic theses, which intelligently encouraged by the mediums of communication will earn blind votes to legitimate the perfidious desires of politicians. This was what I learnt from the dens of propagandists.-