Saturday, 11 February 2012

A debate in Tokyo - and the pro death lobby won!

A current post on Stuart's excellent blog has focused, again, on the abortion issue and one of the commentators could not see why, as the foetus does not feel pain, one should have qualms about destroying that young life. The commentator also made reference to his/her abhorrence of shooting animals for sport.

It brought back memories of a night in Tokyo many years ago......I wrote it up at the time (before blogs were even thought of) and here it is.

It is far from orginal in its basis or clever in its slant,but the two debates that transpired were not engineered by me in any way other than to get the group debating and enlivened.

Here it is:-

One evening in Tokyo

The year was 1994 and I was leading a small group of politicians and captains of industry around Japan.
Seven days previously we had commenced our tour in Osaka, moving on to a series of wall to wall meetings, presentations and speeches over the course of several days in and around Hiroshima, then Okayama and then, finally, Tokyo.

The party comprised Lord Parry, a Labour Peer, Captain Bill Phillips, a Grandee of the Tory party, Chris Jones, CEO of the West Wales Training and Enterprise Council, Yutaka Nakano, a Japanese entrepreneur and myself.

We were all a shade exhausted by the time we arrived in Tokyo and, in reality, we were a little tired of each other’s company.

 However, we went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant near our hotel and, in order to bring the group to some sort of order I suggested that we hold a debate.

 All agreed (were too tired not to agree) and I told them that the subject of the debate was the issue of human abortion.

Of course, I immediately found myself acting not only as chairman but also as the sole voice in the Pro Life camp.

All were adamant, that abortion was not a nice thing but it was the right of the mother, the individual, to choose whether to end the life in her womb or not as the case may be.
I argued long and hard that abortion was an unacceptable act and that it was, undoubtedly, murder. I was accused of being blinded by my religion and a user of dramatic language in order to make my point.
Eventually, it went to the vote and, quite naturally, I lost by 4 votes to one. All wanted abortion on demand.

They agreed that it had been a good and diverting debate which had enlivened all spirits, they were sorry that I had lost but a good time had been had by all and it had taken up at least two hours of our time together.

By this time our meal was over and we sat with coffee or Chinese tea, glad of the diversion the debate had given us.
It was then that I proposed a second debate. This was not pre planned on my part, it just seemed a good thing to do as all had apparently enjoyed the first debate.

After a little thought they agreed; after all, the evening still stretched out in front of us and none of us could face returning to the hotel quite so early.

I then announced the subject for the second debate; it was to be Fox hunting; right or wrong?
It transpired that all of them (except Mr Nakano) were avid animal lovers and Mr Nakano, whilst not having any great regard for animals, harboured a belief that traditional English country pursuits were probably long overdue to be legislated against.
This debate became even more heated than the first. The constant cry was that it was barbarous and should be outlawed. I put the case that it was really up to the individual to decide whether they hunted foxes or not and had absolutely nothing to do with Government. I was shouted down and eventually had to admit defeat yet again.

Whilst they were congratulating themselves on being great debaters and making patronising comments in my direction I posed the final question:

“If you say that, in the case of abortion, individual choice is essential, why will you not allow individual choice when it comes to foxhunting?”



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  2. Telling.

    I fear you could have a word for word experience in any traditional catholic country with all present baptized catholics.

  3. Excellent one, Richard!

    Might I suggest another point in the pro-life kitty...there is new, growing branch of science called 'Fetal Origins'. It basically dwells upon the learning and intuit intelligence of an unborn child while still in the womb. Learning and intelligence are characteristics of an individual being not a bunch of tissues as the pro-abortionist camp would say.

    check out the video in the article: