Recent reports indicate there may be a danger of a fatal infection after taking the abortion pill. The question has not been settled scientifically yet, but advance reactions were almost as predictable as the rising of the sun in the East. This from the New York Times, November 23, 2005:
"Wendy Wright, executive vice president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group, said that the latest news about deaths involving Mifeprex proved that the drug was unsafe. Ms. Wright also speculated that more women were dying after using the drug but that their deaths were going unreported.
. . .
Dr. Scott J. Spear, chairman of the national medical committee of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation's largest provider of abortions, said there was no evidence that the vaginal administration of misoprostol increased the risks of bacterial infections."
Hmmmmmm. An anti-abortion group thinks that the uncertain, tentative, problematic report proves that the abortion pill is unsafe, while a group that thinks abortion is a moral option for women is sure that it is safe.
What shall we make of this? Nothing contributes to understanding more than the doctrine of original sin. Here it means that individuals and groups tend to favor interpretations favorable to their own ideology or self-interests.
Note that the doctrine of OS applies to everybody, everybody. These are not evil people. They are people who believe their cause is right and good. Yet both leap on an uncertainty, an unsettled question, with certain conclusions supportive of their beliefs.
What is so clearly illustrated here could be demonstrated in a thousand cases where uncertainties become certainties favorable to interests and outlooks.
So next time you confront conflicting interpretations of this sort, remember the old doctrine of original sin. Hardly anything is more helpful in providing understanding of current events, and it is the easiest of all religious doctrines to practice.