Originally posted by Jezz in the thread No Christian can, with intellectual and spiritual integrity, support or abet abortion on May 16th 2005:
Apple, I am responding to you on the assumption that you are a Christian. If you are not, then you are not supposed to be posting in this thread - so if this is the case, I will simply bid you good day and move on.
Originally posted by apple
Yes, we classify things using logic. But the whole problem is that pro-abortionist "reasoning" is not logical. It relies on emotional blackmail, word games, equivocation and selfishness - but not on logical argument. Your post is a textbook example of the sort of sophistry and selfishness which we rationally-minded people have come to expect to see masquerading as "logic" in a pro-abortionist argument.
No. People are not truly people unless they are in a community with other people and with God. Individualism is the curse of our modern age, and it is fundamentally un-Christian. It is the result of a selfish attitude towards the world and to others. When people talk about "individual rights", what they really
mean is not individuals in general, but their
own rights - and the rights of other individuals be damned.
The problem with asserting an individual's rights is that it always ends up denying rights to another. For example, asserting that I have the right to live means asserting that no other individual has the right to kill me.
When a pregnant woman is sent to jail we send the fetus, also. Do we send an innocent person to jail along with a guilty one? Surely the fetus’s representative has a case for not sending the fetus to jail if a fetus is a person. What kind of society do we live in that sends an innocent person to jail along with a guilty one?
We live in a terrible
society which dehumanises the unborn and denies them basic human rights. That's my entire point, and you pointing out that our society is terrible does little to support your argument. Indeed it seems to me you are committing an Audiatur et altera pars
error - where your unstated assumption is that our society does not contain fundamental flaws.
Indeed, it seems that your argument is this:
1. A just society does not send innocent humans to jail along with the guilty.
2. We live in a just society.
3. We send women to jail along with their unborn children.
4. If the unborn child is a human, clearly he is an innocent human.
5. Therefore, it would be unjust to send the unborn child to jail if he were human.
6. From 1 & 2, this means the unborn child cannot be human.
I completely disagree with 2 (as noted above) and I think that 1 is oversimplified.
What are the consequences of your argument for children who live with their mothers in jail? According to this page
: "In the UK over 60 percent of women prisoners have young children... Only three percent of women have a child in prison with them." Does this mean that those 3% of children who live with their mothers in prison are actually not human? Of course not. What about those pregnant mothers who give birth while in prison? Are their children born inhuman?
Indeed, note that in the above article they are arguing precisely the opposite
to you - that children should not be separated from the mothers who are in prison, and that it in fact cruel not to do so.
Fortunately, in the case of sending a mother or young child to prison, the fetus suffers very little if at all. So long as the mother is kept in good health, the fetus will be too. It makes no difference to the fetus one way or the other, so it can hardly be seen as a punishment if we send the fetus to prison with his mother. Indeed, given that the alternative would be to try to separate the fetus from his mother, which would very likely kill him, jail seems like a pretty good option - at least until the child has stopped breastfeeding.
If a woman needs an operation and requires anesthesia the fetus is anesthetized, as well. Do we anesthetize someone not requiring an operation?
When one of a pair of conjoined twins needs a general anaesthetic, we anaesthetise his/her twin. If your argument were valid, it would mean that his twin isn't human.
Do you believe that conjoined twins are two human beings?
If a woman’s life/health is in jeopardy because of her faulty body and is having difficulty carrying a fetus most people believe she should have the right to an abortion. Kill an innocent human being because of the faulty body of another? Is that the kind of society we live in?
"Kill an innocent human being because of the faulty body of another?". This is known as a "loaded question" or "fallacy of interrogation" (see here
). The force of your "argument" lies in the way that you framed the question.
In such situations, we are not killing an innocent human being merely because of the faulty body of another. We are killing them because the alternative is that another innocent human being (ie, the mother) will die. And if the mother dies, then the original human being will likely die too.
The choice we are faced with in such situations is not the death or survival of an innocent human being. If only that were the case, then the decision would be a no-brainer (ie, don't kill the innocent human being). But in the case you are describing, the horrible choice that we are faced with is between the death of both
innocent human beings, or the death of one only. And, as much as it would sadden me, if I was faced with the choice between the death of two innocents and the death of one only, I would go for the latter every time.
Human beings are individual entities. Not just having unique DNA but individuals, unattached to any other human being. Our laws, our culture, our society are all based on that understanding. Each human being is separate from any other human being and until and unless that occurs there is no human being.
What you have described may be true of our current culture, but this is the very opposite of the Christian worldview. The society you have described - where each human being is completely independent of every other human being - is hell, not heaven. The problems in our world are the result
of such selfish, inward thinking.
The highest human virtue is selfless love. You cannot love selflessly as an individual - you can only love selflessly in community with others
. If we conceive of human beings as "individual entities", then we deny them the capability for their greatest virtue - the selfless love of others.
Your argument also dissolves into a sea of self-contradiction as soon as conjoined twins are thrown into the mix. Your would have us believe that conjoined twins, like fetuses, aren't human - because they can't be physically separated from another human being without risking their life.
To classify a fetus as a human being requires throwing out the basic premise upon which our society is built. Individual rights and responsibilities. A right to not be thrown in jail because of someone else’s crime, a right to not be anesthetized because someone else is having an operation, a right to not be killed because someone else has a faulty body.
To classify a fetus as a human being is merely to acknowledge a biological fact. It is not any other kind of animal. This may indeed require throwing out a basic premise upon which our society is built. It's happened before (Roman society was built on slavery). The fact that our society is built on it doesn't make it right
To recognise that this means individual rights are sometimes violated in the process is merely to acknowledge another fact of life. It is often possible that when we exercise our so-called rights we violate the rights of others. This is an inevitable consequence of the fact that we live in a community, and our actions affect others in the community (for good or for bad). This is a fact.
There is a fundamental difference between a woman and a fetus and that difference is individuality. A woman is an individual.
This is a "fundamental difference"? Let me clue you in on what a "fundamental difference" means: it means a difference that cannot be easily overcome, if at all. Yet, in the case of a female fetus, the only difference is that of age. Within 20 years, a female fetus will inevitably
turn into a female adult (ie, a woman) - unless they die or are killed in the meantime. Clearly, the difference is not that
fundamental at all.
Trying to classify a fetus as a person is an insidious attack on every human being.
Those who were pro-slavery once said the same thing about classifying slaves as persons.
It undermines the basic rights and freedoms of every person on the face of the earth. It requires exceptions to what it means to be a person, a human being, an individual.
You have it 100% backwards. It is the pro-abortionist position that requires an exception to what it means to be a human being, and undermines the basic rights and freedoms of the weakest and most vulnerable human beings on the face of the earth. It is you who requires that unless a human being is physically separate from another, they are not human. Conjoined twins all around the world are no doubt horrified at the thought that you might not consider them human beings on account of their physical attachment to another human.
To err on the side of caution, as you state, means to deny a human being basic rights to their own body. There is no place for that sentiment in a just society.
This is just false. I do not deny the woman any rights to her own body (within limits - ultimately, her body is God's - not hers exclusively). I do
however, deny her rights to someone else's
body. She shouldn't have the right to kill someone else. And that's the fundamental point at issue here: is the fetus a separate body or is it part of the mother?
That is is
a separate body is trivially true, biologically speaking. A single human body cannot have two different sets of DNA. It cannot have two different genders. It cannot have two different blood types. It cannot have two different and independent hearts, two different and independent brains, etc. Even conjoined twins have their DNA, blood type, gender and sometimes even heart in common - and yet, few would deny that they are two individual human beings despite being physically conjoined.
So tell me, does a conjoined twin have the right to murder his twin brother? Would you deny him that right?