Tag Archives: Human

“Is It True That Science Had No Consensus on the Beginning of Human Life in 1973?”

Not at all.

I urge you to check out the Blood Money website and blog.  The latest post addresses the seemingly willful ignorance of scientific facts that were well-known in 1973 when the Roe v. Wade decision was made.

We still have science deniers today who insist that they just don’t know when new human beings are created.  Ironically, most of these are in the science-worshiping camp that likes to pretend that Christians are anti-science and live by the circular reasoning that we can only trust what comes from science or that science trumps all other ways of gathering information.

Read the post for a clear and thorough recap of scientific knowledge about when life begins.  The Roe v. Wade decision was based on bad ideology and politics, not science.

During his majority opinion during the Roe v Wade trial of 1973, Justice Harry Blackmun said,

The judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to… resolve the difficult question of when life begins… since those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus.” (Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113. 1973)

The science had been “settled” for a long time and what we have learned since then just reaffirms that.  Just a couple of the many facts noted:

In the 1860′s, a movement was led by medical doctors(not religious enthusiasts) to take the common law a step futher. These doctors declared that that unborn children at anystage were human. In fact, as early as 1857, the American Medical Association stated, “the independent and actual existence of the child before birth as a living being is a matter of objective science.” As a result of this movement, laws were passed in all 50 states prohibiting abortions. These were the laws on the books that were challenged at a federal level in 1973 by the Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton decisions.

. . .

Did you catch that final entry? They had already cracked the genetic code 12 years before Roe V Wade! They already knew that a human embryo contained a uniquegenetic signature, never to be repeated. They knew the embryo was self-propelling, containing all of the information it would need to grow into an adult human being. They knew the genetic information in the embryo was not the same as the genome of the mother–in other words, they knew that the embryo was not the mother’s body, since every cell in her body carries exclusively her own DNA.

And, of course, even if Blackmun & Co. had not been so (deliberately?) mistaken they still should have erred on the side of life.  After all, if you aren’t sure if a medical procedure kills an innocent human being but realize it is a possibility, shouldn’t that make you think twice?

I’m too pro-science to be pro-choice.

Easy responses to those dismissing your political views because they align with your religious views

Congress shall make no law .... abridging the ...
Image by gnuckx via Flickr

You will often find skeptics and theological Liberals trying to dismiss your views because they are driven by or merely align with your religious views.  They invoke the oft-misunderstood “separation of church and state” notion (for the 237th time, that phrase is not in the Constitution).  But the 1st Amendment protects religious speech, it doesn’t restrict it.

Aside from that, here are some quick and easy replies when people try to dismiss your pro-life, pro-real marriage, etc. views.  You are simply pointing out that the issue isn’t religious views, it is them being unwilling to argue the issues on their merits.  They are trying to dismiss your views without having to respond to them.

1. “Do I  have to vote opposite of my religious views or be silent about them?   Christianity teaches me not to kill atheists and steal their stuff.  So am I “forcing my religious beliefs on you” if I support laws against theft and murder?”

This argument shows how they are just dismissing your views because they disagree with them.  They have no issue with your religious views in principle, just the ones they disagree with – which means religion isn’t the issue.

2. “Do you protest the religious speech of theological Liberals?  I can point you to countless false teachers and religious types who insist that God is pro-abortion, pro-gay theology, pro-open borders, pro-wealth redistribution, etc.  Can you show me where you are just as active in dismissing their religious views as you are mine?”

This points out their hypocrisy in claiming to oppose religious views when they really just oppose religious views they disagree with.  Again, it shows that religion isn’t the issue.  I’ve yet to find one person crying “separation” against theological Liberals.

3. “My arguments (for pro-life, pro-real marriage, etc. positions) didn’t even mention religion.  But if you want to bring Jesus into this I’ll be glad to.”

I can and do argue for many of these issues without using “religion.”  I save the biblical arguments for those claiming to be Christian, or I am at least very careful in keeping the arguments separate.  For example, to advance the pro-life view I just need the irrefutable scientific fact that  the unborn are unique, living human beings from conception and some simple philosophy (we shouldn’t destroy innocent human beings for 99% of the reasons given for abortion).

When opponents will reflexively use the anti-religion card I have fun pointing out that I haven’t used religious arguments.  But hey, if they want to talk religion that would be great!  This argument shows them that they are mired in stereotype-land and are just trying to dismiss opposing views without doing the hard work of responding based on facts and logic.

—–

Have fun with these!  Use them gently.

Pro-life responses: Easier than you think.

This pro-abortion site reflexively
used three transparently false arguments. You’ll hear them
from many pro-choicers, even those who (sadly) claim the name of
Christ. Either they know they are false and use them anyway, or
they have used them without thinking critically. Here are
some simple but accurate responses to use when you hear them. 1.
“Pro-lifers oppose the bodily autonomy of women” –
That ignores the bodily autonomy of the human being that is going
to be crushed and dismembered.
The argument plays on
the emotional “conservatives want to control women!” theme.
It would only work if it wasn’t a scientific
fact
that the unborn are human beings from conception.
The “personhood” argument used to
de-humanize the unborn is a heaping does of philosophical FAIL, but
even if it wasn’t it commits another fallacy by equivocating
between body and personhood. 2. “Pro-lifers oppose
reproductive rights” — Uh, but abortions occur when they have
already reproduced a human
being
(there’s that pesky scientific fact
again). We don’t oppose women exercising their right to
reproduce. We oppose the destruction of the human beings they
have already reproduced. 3. “Pro-lifers have a fetus
fetish,” which is a variant of the
pro-lifers don’t care about kids
after they are
born

fallacy.
Simply ask the person making that claim,
“Do you have to be willing to take complete responsibility for
human beings you are trying to protect? Can you protest the
abuse of the homeless, spouses, children or pets without having to
provide unlimited care for them all?” As noted in the link,
pro-lifers do a great deal with their own time and money to help
women and families in need. Also, unless the pro-choicers
are advocating forced abortions, the same burden to care for the
babies allowed to live falls on them. But the pro-choice
argument fails even if we didn’t help out.

Deadly equivocations

According to the good folks at Dictionary.com, and equivocation is a fallacy based on the use of the same term in different senses.  Sometimes these are used in comical ways, but other times people use them to twist the meaning of something important.

An abortionist who killed over 20,000 human beings used this sleight of tongue this way:

He calls himself an “abortionist” and says, “I am destroying life.”

But he also feels he’s giving life: He calls his patients “born again.”

“When you end what the woman considers a disastrous pregnancy, she has literally been given her life back,” he says….

Did you notice how the definition of “life” shifted?  When he concedes that he destroys life it was in a literal sense.  That’s what abortion does.  It is a scientific fact that it kills an innocent human being.

But in the next sentence he changes the definition.  He didn’t give these people life in the same sense.  They were already alive.  He just meant that he (seemingly) liberated them from a problem they had.  Having an unplanned child doesn’t kill you.

Now I realize that most readers realize the shift from literal to figurative.  My point is that it is deadly how people let him get away with it.

I know someone who claimed to be pro-life who used the same type of language to rationalize abortion.  He said, “It is better to destroy one life than three.”  The implication was that if the pregnancy was allowed to continue that the lives of the mother, father and child would all be “destroyed.”  But that is an extreme exaggeration.

Yes, there are consequences to actions, and babies are a rather significant consequence of sex.  But it doesn’t automatically cause irreparable harm to three lives if you don’t hurry up and have an abortion, and it certainly doesn’t crush and dismember all three.

But if you have an abortion it really does destroy the one life.

If you ever participated in an abortion, please know that forgiveness and healing are possible through Jesus.

Whether you participated in one or not, don’t use sloppy language to rationalize abortion.  It is the greatest moral issue of our time and it would be illegal if it weren’t for all the uninformed and/or lazy and / or wimpy Christians ignoring the topic.

Worst pro-legalized abortion argument ever: The unborn are parasites!

Some pro-legalized abortions take the view that technically speaking the unborn are parasites and that they are fair game for destruction because they are dependent on the mother and consume some of her resources.  As weird as that argument is I actually like when they present it.  I think that middle grounders will immediately realize what a horribly wrong attempt it is to de-humanize the unborn.

A commenter on another blog wrote this as a defense:

What that means is, if you give someone permission to touch your body, that permission can be withdrawn at any time

Here’s a good question to pose to those advancing the parasite argument:

As transparently deficient as the parasite argument is (two humans don’t create a non-human parasite that later becomes a human), when do you propose that abortions be illegal, if ever?

Please answer this with a yes/no: If a baby has been delivered but the umbilical cord has not been cut — i.e., that awful, awful parasite of “unknown” origin is still greedily sucking nutrients from the defenseless mother — is it OK to kill the baby?

Do you know of any other parasites that change into humans?

Previous informaton on the parasite argument

As usual, pro-life apologist extraordinaire Theobromophile provided an excellent response (emphasis added).  This one is a keeper to use when you see this argument pop up at other sites.

By that line of reasoning, a woman would be totally justified in killing her baby a day before its due date.

That absurdity aside, their analysis fails (at least legally, if not morally). While you are never responsible for keeping someone else alive, you are responsible for doing so if you created the situation in which they are dependent upon you. The classic example is a person who is drowning in the ocean. You, as a boater with a life preserver, are under no obligation to help them out of the water. If, however, you were the one who chucked her overboard, then watched her drown, you can bet that a jury would convict your immoral butt for murder, not for ruining her clothes by getting her wet.

Likewise, you are under no obligation to give a dying person a kidney to save his life, but, if you ripped his kidneys out of his body, you would be charged with murder if he died from those injuries. If the only way to avoid his death is to give him your kidneys, you can bet that your options are to fork over an organ or be charged with murder.

Just saying.

Pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born?

baby1.jpgOne of the most common sound bites / jokes that pro-choicers make about pro-lifers is that we are infatuated with the fetus but don’t care about kids after they are born.   The message is that if we don’t adopt all unwanted children then we have no right to complain about abortion.  It is an important sound bite to be able to address, because it is very common and even pro-lifers I know are not only intimidated by it but they have used it themselves as a reason to remain silent about abortion.

The “Pro-lifers don’t care about kids after they are born” line is one of my favorite arguments to rebut.  I teach people how to do it in pro-life training sessions in a two step approach.  The tone of the conversation is important.  These arguments are powerful and quite effective if they are laid out in a calm, reasoned approach.  You probably won’t convert the rabid pro-choicers, but most of the middle-grounders will get the point.

First, show that pointing out a moral wrong does not obligate you to take responsibility for the situation.

If your neighbor is beating his wife, you call the police.  The police don’t say, “Hey, buddy, unless you are willing to marry her yourself then we aren’t going to stop him from beating her.”  You can use child or animal abuse as examples as well.  Most people get the point pretty quickly.

Or just use this response: “Can one oppose infanticide without having to raise the unwanted children to adulthood?”  That would be a a good segue to the “trot out the toddler” approach promoted by Stand to Reason and ask if it would be acceptable to object to murdering a toddler even if you aren’t willing to adopt her.  Of course, the pro-choicer will always recognize the moral good to protest toddler-killing.  Then you can point out that killing innocent human beings is immoral and that the unborn are human beings.  So pointing out this moral wrong does not obligate us to do anything further.

Or ask the pro-choicer what they would do if the government decided to reduce the number of homeless people by killing them.  Could he protest that without having to house and feed them all himself?

Or ask if you can protest Michael Vick without adopting all the pit bulls.  So many good choices!

Second, explain that while we aren’t morally obligated to help after the babies are born to be able to speak out against abortion, Christians do many things with their time and money anyway – orphanages, Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), food pantries, etc.

When I’m teaching CPC volunteers I remind them of all that they and the center do: Pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, food, clothes, diapers, life skill training, parenting training, post-abortion counseling and more – all for free!  And, of course, we share the Gospel with the clients if they are interested (Saving lives now and for eternity!).

The workers are mostly volunteers and the leaders make below-market wages because they believe in the cause.  Most centers receive no government funding, so all the money comes from donations.  There are far more Crisis Pregnancy Centers than there are abortion clinics.

When I tell people about CPCs the typical reaction is, “I had no idea.”  Most people aren’t aware of all the good being done there.  In theory, CPCs are something pro-choicers could support as well.  After all, if women choose to keep their child this is a great way to help them.  But Planned Parenthood et al consider them public enemy #1 because we take away some of their business.

You can also ask pro-choicers what Planned Parenthood and the like do for hurting women once the babies are born.  It is a really, really short list.  Do they provide free post-abortion counseling? (Of course not, because who would need that, right?)  Do they give diapers, formula, etc.?  Hey, they don’t even give free abortions (though they would love for your tax dollars to fund some).

Having said all that, I do think the church can and should be doing even more in the area of adoptions and support for orphans.  Not because having pro-life views requires that, but because it is the right thing to do regardless of whether abortion is legal or illegal.  Sponsoring a child from World Vision or a similar organization is a great way to start: For only $28 per month you can feed, clothe, educate and correspond with a needy child.

Here’s a bonus argument: A recent Stand to Reason Podcast brought up another good point that I hadn’t thought of.  Here’s an additional response to use: Unless someone concedes to being truly pro-abortion (i.e., they expect women to always have abortions or raise the children with no help from the public), then the pro-choicers are obligated to adopt the children as well.  Either that, or give up espousing their pro-choice views.  After all, if you claim to be pro-choice and the women choose life, then the same care giving obligation falls on you.

Think about it.  It may seem subtle at first, but it is a completely consistent argument.  Pro-lifers don’t think it should be an option to kill the unborn, so pro-choicers use the false logic that we can’t complain about abortion if we won’t adopt all the kids and raise them to adulthood.  But if the woman decides to choose life, then the pro-choicer would have the same moral obligation to raise the kids.

Here’s how I played this out in this comment thread:

Pro-legalized abortion commenter: Hard decisions belong between a pregnant woman and her caregivers, not “holier than thou” intruders, unless they personally are willing to raise, including medical care, education, and life care, all those fertilized eggs.

My response: Another canard.

Answer me this: Let’s say the government decides to solve the problem of homelessness by killing homeless people. Can you protest this without being willing to house them yourself?

You can also substitute other examples (Can you call the police if your neighbor is abusing his wife and children without having to marry her and adopt the kids?).

It is a simple question designed to point out the primary error of your argument: You don’t have to take ownership of a situation just because you protest a moral evil.

And even though I don’t have to raise those human beings (the ones you like to call fertilized eggs) just because I protest the evil of abortion, I actually do a lot with my own time and money via CareNet Pregnancy Center.

And by the way, unless you are truly pro-abortion, then you are obligated to help as well. After all, if you claim to be pro-choice and the women choose life, then the same caregiving obligation falls on you.

So that argument self-destructs in at least three ways.

Finally, consider if the child was outside the womb. Do the women and her caregivers get to decide if the toddler lives or dies? Of course not. So the only question is whether the unborn is a human being. Since it is a scientific fact that she is, then people shouldn’t get to decide whether to kill her. And Christians especially shouldn’t support anyone’s right to kill her.

Other commenter: BTW, half of fertilized eggs don’t implant in the uterus, so is it illegal for a woman to have mensus?

My response: Are you seriously claiming that you don’t see the difference between the following?

1. Human being dies of natural causes.

2. Human being is crushed and dismembered by another human being.

I think most people can see the difference, whether 1 and 2 occur inside or outside the womb.

I’ve heard all the pro-legalized abortion sound bites many times and will be glad to debunk more for you. I hope that you are intellectually honest and reconsider your position on this crucial issue.

In summary, pointing out the moral evil of abortion does not obligate one to adopt all the babies.  But pro-lifers do help anyway.  A lot.  And they do it with their own time and money, not their neighbors’.

When pro-legalized abortion people try to put you on the defensive by asking how many kids you have adopted, use the reasons above to respond.  Also, you can ask how many they adopt from orphages.   If they haven’t adopted any, then according to their logic they couldn’t protest their destruction.

Big hat tip: Stand to Reason pro-life training materials