Aborting Aristotle, by Dave Sterrett. St Augustine’s Press, 2015, 121 pp, $17.
a review by Edd Doerr
This odd little opus, a review copy of which arrived in my mailbox unsolicited, is an anti-abortion screed extruded by an evangelical publisher and concocted by a youngish Southern Evangelical Seminary grad who evidently dwells in a rickety Ivory Tower somewhere in the Twilight Zone beyond Cloud Nine. It dwells at length on Plato and Aristotle, as if they were relevant to the subject today, mentions Augustine and Aquinas, neither of whom believed that human personhood begins at conception, and, while abortion is a response to problem pregnancies incurred by the female half of the human population, says not a word about women, women’s rights of conscience, women’s religious freedom, or women’s health. Indeed, no woman is even quoted or referred to in the book. (Has he ever really talked to a live woman?) Nor does the evangelical author discuss the Bible, which does not condemn abortion and actually tends to support the view that personhood begins at birth (see Genesis and 2:7) or modern science, which is clear that the functions of personhood are not possible until brain development permits consciousness, sometime after 28-32 weeks of gestation. This opus minimus grandly pontificates on its last page, rather like the mouse with an erection floating down the river on his back yelling “Raise the drawbridge!”: “These classical truths could help progressive [huh?] ethicists who are blinded by an incoherent naturalistic worldview, become more open-minded about the dignity and personhood of unborn human beings.” And to think that real trees were cut down to produce this, uh, book.