As mentioned before, the purpose of this series is to provide non-traditional argumentation for the Pro-Life position, without turning to/appealing to the Christian scriptural cannon.

In the previous post – the issue of ‘Dehumanization, Incurred by Relational Convenience’ was discussed. In this post – I am referencing the philosophy of Emanuel Levinas – a philosopher in the Phenomenological Interpretive Tradition.

In a nutshell, Levinas survived the Holocaust & the brutality of the Nazis. He saw and understood that Fascism was really just another ‘modernist’ invention – and he knew very well that it had been trumped by the best and brightest minds from around the world, along with its many ideological tenents such as Eugenics, Darwinism, the the superiority of Statist Political systems.

He knew that a world that had given birth to Fascism, would give birth to other equally dysfunctional ‘isms’ – and that hope was abating for any sense to come to the world.

So he endeavored to formulate a ‘first philosophy’ – or a guiding principle that preceded Religion, Politics, or other assumed, interpretive frameworks of thought.

Levinas chose the face.

He argued that intrinsic to the face of the other, we find an infinity that cannot be fully absolved into meaningless objectivity. We are always confronted with the Other – and they are not us. They are someone different from us, ourselves – and their ‘infinity’ or otherness, is something that can serve as a vanguard against their dehumanization, objectification, and consequential destruction.

When you look into the face of an unborn child – what do you see? Do you see a child? Do you see a person? Or do you merely see a blob of tissue?

In each case, where man has systematically opressed and killed another group of men – they first stripped them of their humanity. If we can agree that within the face of another – there is humanity, then we are given pause in our plans to change how we related to them – if they become inconvenient to us.

Below is a formal essay that talks about Levinas.