In Defense of Life

There are many people who oppose the abortion industry, but they generally can’t do a very good job explaining why. The Republican Party is officially pro-life in its platform, but I’ve never heard a GOP candidate offer a good reason for being pro-life. But there are excellent reasons for being pro-life, and it is way past time that society heard them.

Democrats and “pro-choice” proponents offer “a woman’s right to choose” as the primary reason to support abortion. But let us think about that for a moment: should women have “a right to choose?” Sure they should, up to a certain point. But should that right extend to anything a woman might want to do? What if she wants to drive her car through a crowd of people? What if she wants to hijack an airplane and fly it into a skyscraper? Clearly, a woman doesn’t – and shouldn’t – have a right to do anything she chooses. The first question needs therefore needs to be, “the right to choose to do what?”

If you were busily working on peeling potatoes over the kitchen sink when your oldest child came in and said, “Is it okay if I kill this?” What would you do? Would you say, “Sure! Go ahead! Since I’m not certain of the ontological status of whatever you’re considering killing, I’ll leave the decision up to you!” Or would you turn around and look to make sure your little gremlin wasn’t talking about your youngest child? (Or maybe it wouldn’t matter, because you’d figure your firstborn was exercising that sacrosanct “right to choose“?). The ability to use rhetoric to cast metaphysical doubt on the meaning of “being human” does not mean that ignorance is bliss, and one can abort at will. The fact of the matter is, we haven’t even begun to understand the miraculous – and it truly is miraculous – process of a baby forming in mommy’s womb. The age of viability has decreased dramatically; medical experts have been repeatedly proven dead wrong again and again in determining brain function in comatose patients who later recovered after being declared ‘brain dead’; the Hippocratic Oath recited by doctors for centuries explicitly banned the performing of abortions; and so on, and so on. When in doubt, why not choose life?

And there really is no doubt, once we truly consider the issues. Ever hear the argument that fetuses aren’t human beings, so it’s okay to kill them? Think again. Both science and logic assure us that – from the moment of conception – that thing in the womb of a human mother is fully a human being. Take a moment and consider the taxonomic system by which every living thing is rigorously categorized and classified. By that system a human embryo is of the kingdom Anamalia, of the phylum Chordata, of the class Mammalia, of the order Primate, of the family Pongidae, of the genus Homo, and of the species Sapiens – same as any other human being. Put even more simply, that embryo is a human by virtue of its parents, and a being by the fact that it is a living thing: it is a human being.

And then there’s that whole “It’s a woman’s body” line. That one falls rather flat as well. The fact is that that from the moment of fertilization there is a separate, distinct, unique genetic individual in the mother’s womb; every cell in its little body is different from that of its mother. Half of children are male, for goodness sake! We are clearly not talking about a woman’s body; we are talking about her child’s body.

Then there’s the notion of a woman’s rights to her own body, which views the baby in her womb as a hostile invader forcing itself upon her. Why should she carry it to term if she doesn’t want to? Well, for one thing, because it’s her child. The so-called “violinist argument” is fatally flawed from the outset by casting a woman’s child in terms of an unwanted intruder whom the woman has no moral obligation to care for. Furthermore, we would never consider that rather despicable line of moral reasoning after a child is born – when it actually requires a far greater sacrifice and burden to care for (ask a new mother whether her child required more chasing around the house before or after birth). We go from the rather passive act of “being pregnant” to the extremely active act of caring for a newborn – and that burden proceeds to continue for years as the child grows up. Leave your five year old at home and go gamble in Las Vegas for a week and see what happens when you come back home if you don’t believe me. See how far that, “But I have a right to my own body” line takes you. It ought to take you all the way to jail for abandoning your child.

If this isn’t enough to dispel the “woman’s right to her own body” argument, then let us think about the way they are using the term “rights.” We must realize that in virtually every case one person’s right presupposes someone else’s duty. One person’s right to freedom of speech imposes the duty upon the remainder of society to tolerate what might be offensive to them for the greater good of a free society. In other cases, the duty imposed is far more selective: When liberals describe the duty of the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, they are imposing a duty on a small class of people. The wealthiest 5% of Americans already pay 57% of the taxes, and the wealthiest 10% pay 68% of the tab. The top 1% earn 19% of the income but pay 37% of the taxes; meanwhile the “poorest” 50% of Americans earn 13% of the income but pay only 3% of the taxes. This introduces a legitimate question for some future discussion: just how much more should the wealthy be expected to pay? [Don’t allow the issue of taxation to distract you from my argument: I merely raise taxation as an issue in which certain advocates subjectively claim that a few should have a duty to pay more, while the majority should have a right to pay less]. But in the case of abortion, the right given to the mother presupposes the most extreme duty upon one single individual – her child – the duty to die for the convenience of its mother. On the side of the “right of a woman to choose” are not only women who suddenly find themselves pregnant and their anxious parents, but hedonistic men and women who want to abdicate any responsibility for their “sexual expression,” along with a powerful media culture that aggressively pursues the same end, a powerful abortion industry and its lobby, the stem cell research lobby, unelected judges who impose their will on society, etcetera. Who is on the side of the right of the unborn to live? The Constitution – which guarantees the right to life as preeminent over all others – but other than that, far too few allies. One side has sole access to the megaphone; the other cannot speak. If we were to stop focusing on the Constitutionally-invisible “right to choose” and focus just for a moment on the DUTY OF PARENTS to nurture and care for their children, we would have a very different discussion indeed. I cannot help but remember the slogan of the Ministry of Health vans that Nazi Germany used to haul away retarded children, epileptics, children with malformed ears, chronic bed wetters, and the like to their deaths: Lebensunwertes Leben – “Life Unworthy of Life.” Today I still see cars bearing bumper stickers with the equally oxymoronic – but far more deadly – slogan, “Pro child, Pro choice.” What a shame that so many Americans have so blithely come to champion Nazi morality.

Then there’s that, “It’s only a potential human being” pseudo-argument. First of all, I’m not even sure what it means to be “a potential human being” – and neither do those who are reciting it. I do understand what it means to be “a human being with potential.” Let us begin this discussion with the straightforward observation that had your mother decided to have an abortion during her pregnancy with you, that you would not have been born. It would NOT have been some potential you that perished; it would have been you. You would have been one of the nearly 50,000,000 babies in America alone who were killed by abortion. Just as you were once a child, once a toddler, once an infant, you were also once a fetus, once an embryo, once a zygote. Killing you while you in any of those stages would have killed you just as dead.

And let us pause for a moment to consider what murder actually does to the victim. The character Clint Eastwood played in Unforgiven put it pretty well: “When you kill a man, you take away everything he has and everything he’s ever going to have.” A human baby will naturally inherit every quality of human life unless someone steps in and unnaturally ends that life. It is simply his or her nature as a human being to do so. You merely have to contemplate your own life to consider what would have been taken away from you had you been among the abortion statistics. This idea of “potential” as some ambiguous term that allows a mother to kill her baby is as ridiculous as it is amoral. If I were to walk up to you in a parking lot as you got out of your car and shoot you to death, what would I be guilty of? I certainly didn’t take away your past, as it has already happened. And if your future – when is clearly merely “potential” – doesn’t count, all I truly deprived you of is the two or three seconds of immediate conscious awareness. And I could have deprived you of at least that much had I merely asked you for the time instead of shooting you! For murder to be a serious crime, “potential” has to be a real, tangible thing that has intrinsic, incommensurable value. To attempt to argue that an unborn baby’s potential is somehow meaningless but a born person’s matters is both a fundamentally irrational and immoral distinction that leads inevitably to a degradation in the value of human life. Tyrants have routinely made the same type of “status of humanity determined by selective criterion” distinction when they said that Jews, or blacks, or any other class of people should not matter.

Deep down, I believe that even the Democrats and other abortion advocates realize the immorality of abortion in their choice of language. They demonstrate this by reciting the new mantra, “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.” But why on earth should it be rare if it is a fundamental human right? How many other basic rights should be rare? Put “free speech,” “freedom of the press,” “the right to peaceably assemble,” or any other right that liberals hold as sacrosanct into this “____ should be safe, legal, and rare” equation and see how it flies. If abortion is a good thing, why on earth should it be rare? In point of fact, we should be encouraging more of it, not less.

During the Lincoln-Douglas presidential debates, when Douglas said that states ought to have a right to choose the institution of slavery, Lincoln famously said, “One cannot say that people have a right to do wrong.” Fortunately the country chose Lincoln’s moral reasoning over Douglas’. The Civil War was subsequently waged by a Confederacy which argued that their own rights were being systematically violated, even as they inhumanly violated the most fundamental rights of the blacks they oppressed. Apart from the fact that the party of Lincoln, the party of abolition, was the Republican Party and the party of Douglas, the party of institutionalized slavery, was the Democratic Party, I cannot help but see the parallels between the Party of Slavery and the Party of Abortion. For one thing, the Party of Abortion uses the identical arguments to justify its abominable institution that the Party of Slavery relied upon. For another, the Party of Abortion is just as insistent upon its “rights” as was the Party of Slavery, even as they systematically violate the rights of the most innocent and most helpless.

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26 Responses to “In Defense of Life”

  1. Joshua Says:

    We still have the right to remove parasites (like hookworms) from our body, even though a parasite is “separate, distinct, unique” genetically. The right to one’s one body leads to the right to an abortion once we accept the non-personhood of the embryo.

    And I have already addressed that issue in your article “Abortion Destroys More Than Just A Baby”, so I shall leave that for now.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    So a fetus is no different than a parasite for you? That is truly frightening.

    Parasites do not grow up to become human beings. The inability to recognize the difference between the two reveals shocking degree of moral idiocy.

    From the moment a child is conceived in the joining of egg and sperm, that living thing is a human being, as I demonstrated above. There is a continuity of identity between the human being in the zygote state and the human being in the adult state: if that living thing were killed at any point in its development, that person would cease to exist.

    Further, if that zygote/embryo/fetus is left alone to naturally develop and grow in the womb, it will naturally inherit the full expression of humanity as is his or her right by nature as a human being.

    The argument that one can kill a fetus before it becomes a baby is just as morally absurd as is the argument that one can kill a baby before it becomes an adult. The philosopher Peter Singer embraces the moral legitimacy of both acts on the grounds that an infant does not demonstrate humanity as he subjectively defines it. There really is a slippery slope.

    To compare precious human life to a parasite is simply terrifying.

    But thank you for reading my article, and for your interaction. The feedback and response will add to the knowledge of other readers.

  3. Joshua Says:

    I can’t see how you demonstrated that the embryo is living being. You say “a being by the fact that it is a living thing”, but parasites like hookworms are also living things. I would not call them ‘beings’, and I certainly wouldn’t protect them.

    There is also a ‘continuity of identity’ between the sperm and the eggs. If the sperm that made me had died before it got to the egg, I wouldn’t be here. So clearly, a continuity of existence is not a very useful indicator of something being a human being. You need another indicator of humanity, or else you are left with the conclusion that any act of sex kills billions more (potential) humans than it saves.

    By the way, I agree with Peter Singer on almost everything (except his vegetarianism). I certainly agree with him that consciousness is the best indicator of whether something is a ‘human being’. He’s a great thinker – one of the greatest ethicists of our time. Plus, he’s Australian like myself.

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    By the system classification that scientists use to classify every living (and even non-living) thing, a human embryo is of the kingdom Anamalia, of the phylum Chordata, of the class Mammalia, of the order Primate, of the family Pongidae, of the genus Homo, and of the species Sapiens – same as any other human being. Put even more simply, that embryo is a human by virtue of its parents, and a being by the fact that it is a living thing: it is a human being. There is no getting around it either scientifically or logically.

    My Webster’s dictionary defines “being” first as “the fact of existing; existence (as opposed to nonexistence).” A hookworm is a being by that definition. It is a living thing. It is a lesser being, in that it is not human, but it has being nonetheless. Rocks have existence, but they don’t have being.

    You raise an interesting point in recognizing that there is a continuity between the sperm and the eggs. I would submit that while it is true that it is likely that a different egg and a different sperm would result in a different being, we are talking about the distinction between potentiality and actuality. Potentially, if every single sperm joined with an egg, there would exist a human being. In reality, only those sperm that actually join with an egg become human beings. You did not exist before the sperm fertilized the egg; you DID in fact exist after the sperm fertilized the egg. And then you began to grow and develop until you began writing in blogs.

    A sperm simply cannot be a human being unless it joins with (fertilizes) an egg. So if a sperm dies, or if a whole bunch of them die, it does not result in the death of human beings. Viewed correctly, a sperm or an egg are the necessary materials for human life; but they are not in themselves human life.

    But let me address your “consciousness” criterion with this: when you go to sleep tonight, you will be unconscious (the same if you have surgery under anesthesia; and the same if you are temporarily in a coma). Will you be fair game for someone to kill you without any moral culpability? A review of the medical literature reveals that there are a number of cases in which patients who were declared brain dead made recoveries. We begin to see that consciousness is an EXTREMELY subjective criterion for personhood when we realize that we all fail to attain it on a daily basis. As another problem, we have no idea WHEN consciousness even begins, or even what it fully consists of.

    And ultimately, we get back to the question of choosing life, rather than choosing death, when there is any doubt. To give this reasoning more “oomph,” let me describe it this way: would you like a legal system in which you were guilty until proven innocent? Because the bottom line is, people advocating abortion have sentenced millions and millions of human beings to death based on the argument that they may not be “persons” (whatever the heck that even means) based on the most subjective of criteria.

  5. Joshua Says:

    A living thing that is human does not necessarily deserve our protection. Consider a tumour (or tumor, for those following Webster’s spelling). It is alive, it grows. It is also human – you could take cancer cells out of it an analyse them and you would find genes unique to humans, and a good geneticist could tell you those cells are human cells. They are also genetically distinct – they have altered DNA in areas that regulate cell cycles, causing them to grow uncontrollably. The right to one’s body allows us to remove tumours – but aren’t they “human beings”?

    “I” did NOT exist after the union of a sperm and egg. The zygote was the “necessary material” for my existence, but wasn’t actually “me.”

    I believe we have to preserve other conscious life. To preserve something, that implies that it has existed before now and can reasonably be expected to continue existing. A sleeping person has been conscious in the past, and can reasonably be expected to continue being conscious the next day. So if we have to preserve conscious life, we should not kill sleeping people.

    Now it is true that consciousness is not easily defined, but we can at least be sure that it cannot exist without a brain, and we can see certain effects of it (for example, the capacity for self-awareness). Embryos do not have a functional brain, and even human foetuses have only a primitive brain – certainly not conscious. I, like Peter Singer, think that infants, up to about 18 months, would not yet be conscious.

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    Let me start with the very last words you said: we can be sure that it cannot exist without a brain. True. But only if you are a hard-core atheist. If one even accepts the possibility of the supernatural (of God and angels), then consciousness and brain are unrelated: God is the smartest being of all, but he does not have a brain. So, for anyone else who reads this interaction, realize that.

    An unborn human being develops into a functioning person precisely because of what it essentially (in its essence) is: a person. You have mentioned parasites, bacteria, and now tumors. For you there is no difference. But for everyone else, let me just say that parasites, bacteria, and tumors do not have the essence of personhood. They are not, and can never be anything like a human person.

    I’ve made this distinction before: tumors are unwanted growths in humans. Kidneys are parts of a human. They are not and can never be “human” in themselves, and it is futile to use them to argue a similarity to a genuine human. A zygote is a fully formed human being at his or her early stage of development. No rational person is unable to differentiate a kidney from a human being. And no rational person should be unable to differentiate a kidney from a fetus. A fetus is the kind of being who develops a kidney. A kidney is not the kind of thing (it does not have its own being) that develops a fetus.

    You still are not understanding that there is a difference between a part and a whole. A sperm cannot possibly ever be anything other than a sperm. A zygote is a complete human genetic individual; a sperm is not. A zygote has something ontologically different: it is because a human being is the kind of thing that it is that it’s brain in every way facilitates consciousness, not the existence of a brain itself. Further, animals have brains, but we do not ascribe to them the status of human person. It is the kind/category of thing (and here we get back to the classification system by which a zygote IS a homo sapiens, whereas a sperm is NOT so classified) that determines what kind of activities/consciousness are appropriate and natural for that kind of thing.

    A person can be function, become nonfunctional, and then become functional again (in terms of consciousness). This means that there simply HAS to be an underlying personal unity to this individual that makes it appropriate to say that we are talking about the same person throughout. An unborn human being has an innate, natural inherent capacity of consciousness.

    Our ability to have conscious experience arises OUT OF our personhood. Thus the basic metaphysical reality of personhood precedes the unfolding of the conscious abilities inherent in that unborn human being. Animals do not and never can have that capacity.

    That inherent capacity makes unborn human beings ontologically different from every kind of thing you keep throwing at me (tumors, animals, whatever).

    Lastly, we are not talking about a “potential” unfolding of such capacities as consciousness; we are talking about a natural, inherent, capacity. It is not a matter of potential (where anything could potentially happen); it is a matter of giving an unborn human being the time to realize its potential the same way we wait for a sleeping human being to wake up and realize his/her potential.

    We are not valuable because of what we can do at any point; rather, we are valuable because of what we ARE. A human zygote has the same human nature that a fully grown human adult has.

    I’m going to say this on both articles we’ve debated: there is the issue of certainty.

    The Nazis were CERTAIN they were doing the right thing in their eugenics programs. Most people think they were shockingly morally wrong. Some STILL think the Nazis were right.

    Let me offer a form of Pascal’s wager for all readers. If there is a God, then there is a soul, and the abortion debate is over. The Nazis who stand before God will not be accorded the excuse of, “Well, we didn’t know.” God will rightfully judge them as murderers. In the same way, the person who defends abortion is morally culpable for an industry that has claimed hundreds of millions of human lives. “I didn’t know” will be no defense for murder.

    Now, if I am wrong, and there is no God, what will be my fate? I will die and be gone. But if you who argue for abortion are wrong, what will be your fate?

    Now, if you don’t accept even the possibility of God, then this argument seems trivial. But from the perspective of theism (whether Christian, Jew, or Muslim) you are stockpiling deserved judgment upon yourself. Because human civilization has known something for thousands of years that you have repudiated; that that life in mommy’s womb is a precious, priceless joy to be celebrated and loved.

    That would give me pause. I doubt if it will affect Joshua. But I hope others consider this sober note.

  7. Joshua Says:

    Even a supernaturalist must admit that the brain is doing something vital for the soul. When a person gets shot in the head, we immediately assume that person is dead because their brain is gone. Now perhaps there is a soul that didn’t die, but I don’t know anyone who would think the soul is still there. So why not think the same way on the other end of life – the beginning. The soul must only appear when the brain starts to work.

    These are just observations from our world. God is traditionally held to be beyond this world, like heaven and hell, and perhaps there souls can be disembodied (or disem-‘brained’).

    I am quite aware that bacteria, parasites and tumours are not persons. My point was that the reason they are not persons is because they are not conscious. Just as an embryo is not conscious, and never has been, so is not, and never has been, a person.

    An unborn human does have a CAPACITY for consciousness, but has never been conscious, and isn’t conscious, and if aborted will never be conscious. There is absolutely no personhood that could possibly be there at the time of abortion.

    You resort to some metaphysical argument using ontology, but metaphysics have no part in forming our laws by virtue of the fact they are not factual. You cannot prove or disprove something beyond the natural. Hence, there is an enormous realm of disagreement in metaphysics, and the only possible position is to be ‘pro-choice’.

    Perhaps this point will be more clear if I borrow a line of argument from Peter Singer. He and I would both be far more likely to ascribe qualities of personhood to an adult chimpanzee than a human neonate. It is not only “we” (humans) who are valuable for what we are – it is all life. Adult chimps are estimated to be as conscious as a three-year old human, whereas a human infant has far more reduced brain function. Because of what IS – we can come up with a measure of value to anything.

    It is as natural for a sperm and egg in a dish to fertilise and go on to form a human as it is for an embryo to go on to form a human. Both are common, and both require only to be left under the right circumstances. Any potential you can give to the embryo must also be given to sperm and eggs themselves.

    If there is a God, then there MIGHT be a soul (depending on which God turns out to be true), and that MIGHT render the abortion debate over (depending on when this soul appears). It could very well be that you are wrong AND a God exists – and that this God may be a radical feminist who condemns your point of view and rewards mine. It’s just as plausible as any other religious idea in my opinion, and so this alone negates your wager.

  8. Michael Eden Says:

    Your understanding of the soul essential being a development of the brain is simply incorrect. Let me explain why.

    As for the non-personal God/gods of Hinduism and Buddhism, they clearly suffer from the same “problem” you try to ascribe to unborn humans: They aren’t personal, or conscious. And if they don’t possess individual consciousness, we can pretty well kill them off by your own view, right? shall therefore disregard them, noting that – historically – children were viewed with favor in such places as China and India: that’s how there got to be a billion Chinese and a billion Indians.

    The personal, conscious God of all monotheistic religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity) ALL understand that God does not have a physical body. He does not have a physical brain. Yet He has personhood, intellect, consciousness, etc. If the soul is simply an outgrowth of the brain, then God cannot possibly exist. However, God is in essence a soul, an immaterial conscious entity – just as His Imago Dei creation (human beings created in His image) would likewise be.

    In Islam, btw, abortion is a crime. Physicians can only abort an unborn child to save the life of the mother (which I approve of, btw, given that the act is done only to save a mother’s life, not to kill a child). Go to Saudi Arabia and ask for the nearest abortion clinic. There aren’t any.

    You have a strictly materialist view: that is the root of most of our issues. For you, the brain MUST come first, then the soul (if there is one). But it’s the other way around: the soul comes first, then the brain. I will explain this in more detail a little later.

    There are liberal contextualizers within Judeo-Christianity and Islam who deny historically taught orthodoxy, favoring the modern liberal culture they love over the Scriptures or historic orthodoxy. But for the core teachings of ANY “sacred-text” religion, you MUST go to the texts to see what the religion teaches. And if the belief diverges from the clear meaning of the text, then it is not from that religious tradition. Let me provide you with just a tiny number of passages from the Judeo-Christian Scriptures which offer clear teaching on the status of the unborn:

    JER 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

    In other words, God formed ME in MY mother’s womb. Not a potential me; not something that at some future point would become me; but me. A precious person from the moment of conception (when sperm joined egg and a child was conceived).

    Here are some texts just from the book of Isaiah:

    ISA 44:2 Thus says the Lord who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you,’ Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

    ISA 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself, And spreading out the earth all alone,

    ISA 46:3 “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been borne by Me from birth, And have been carried from the womb;

    ISA 49:1 Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.

    ISA 49:5 And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the Lord, And My God is My strength),

    ISA 66:9 “Shall I bring to the point of birth, and not give delivery?” says the Lord. “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.

    God is clearly presented as being intimately involved with conception from the moment of conception. It is NEVER presented as a God-less process that we can simply terminate at our will without incurring divine judgment. God forms us in the womb in His image. That makes human beings sacred and valuable. That is why it a crime against God to kill precious unborn human lives.

    Your “radical feminist god” who sends the Christian, Jew, and Muslim to hell for valuing life in the womb is interesting, but exists NOWHERE in ANY religious tradition. The view of God I refer to has an abundant and ancient tradition and is embraced by billions. If you want to somehow equivocate on these views, what can I say?

    I must also beg to differ with you on your view that science alone has had any impact on our law. This is frankly nuts. Human laws have ALWAYS been recognized by EVERYBODY to have had their origin in an embrace of the religious wordview. Even radical atheist intellectuals realize this! You truly believe some weird stuff. From ancient aboriginal peoples on, our laws were based on religious doctrines and teachings, rather than “science.” And the laws of Western Civilization were based on Judeo-Christian tradition. For that matter, science itself emerged from Christian thought. It emerged from the minds of men who believed that there was a personal creator God, who created an orderly rational universe and who created man in His own image, that science was born and developed. The “scientific method,” and every single branch of science, was founded by a publicly-confessed Christian. Anyone who wants a good read on that should pick up “For the Glory of God” by Rodney Stark, who documents this exhaustively.

    Let me say a little more about the idea that the soul comes first.

    First of all, something like 99.9% of all cosmologists accept that all matter, energy, space, and time came into being at a particular point in time (the big bang). Immateriality came first, and then materiality. Further, the Big Bang demands a “Big Banger”: the universe cannot be eternal, or else THIS moment could never occur (start counting from zero and try to count back to infinity). If there was nothingness prior to the big bang, someONE had to say something such as, “Let there be light.” Intelligence came first. That position is much easier to defend both philosophically and logically than that somehow there was nothing, and then there was everything, and it just somehow just “happened.”

    As for the human soul, let me suggest that the soul comes first, and it is the soul which serves as the “driver” for the DNA “instructions.” DNA doesn’t do anything per se. It is the instructions for the cell; but something has to interpret the instructions and drive what goes where and when it goes there as the body forms. An analogy is a marching band spelling a specific message: instructions to spell the message will do no good unless
    some intelligence reads them and assigns who does what when. What does that within a cell? The soul, or essence, of the being. Every living thing has its own specific essence that contains the organizing principle of its kind. Every animate creature has a soul: the word “nephesh” is
    found in Gen 1:20, 21, 24, and most importantly, 30. EVERYTHING that has the breath of life (i.e. nephesh).

    We are chunks of meat, animated by what? We are either matter, or we are matter “plus” something. How is it that we have intellect, consciousness, will? How do you take a bunch of “material BBs” and then get self-consciousness from them? You seriously need to explain this to me. Matter and consciousness are two entirely different kinds of things: how do you get the latter from the former? It is precisly because we have a soul first that we are able to develop a brain, and consciousness. The soul forms the brain, and forms all of that self-awareness.

    Abortion destroys a human soul, which is categorically different from every animal soul by even the most atheistic standard. And that is why it is a moral crime. And the same God who says, “I formed you from the womb” will one day hold you to account for advocating this genocide. Mark my words.

  9. Joshua Says:

    Ok, on those verses none seems to indicate personhood begins before conception. It doesn’t say when during the nine months I was created – maybe the ME was only created when the brain starts to work at around 18 weeks? Or 24 weeks? Or 30 weeks?

    Who says that only the Gods written about in some religious tradition can be true? What evidence do you have for that?

    Science is really just a way of working out facts about the world. Even religions are based on some facts (only differing from science in that some of it is factual, and some of it is made up).

    We are diverging a bit here, but the Big Bang does not demand anything. It is possible that there was a Big Banger, but it is also possible there wasn’t. We don’t know whether it was caused or not, or whether it was caused by intelligence or something else.

    The brain is set up in a way that allows us to be conscious. If you hurt the brain, you lose consciousness. Strokes can cause personality changes, causing people to become psychopaths or causing people to become more altruistic. Drugs can cause people to have out of body experiences – self-awareness becomes disassociated from the body. There appears to be nothing that the soul is traditionally held to be responsible for that cannot be changed by altering the brain. So, even though we don’t know exactly how the brain produces consciousness, it is obvious to me that it does.

  10. Michael Eden Says:

    I provided some comments on the Hebrew word “formed” (yah-tzar) on my comments to the article “Abortion Destroys More than just a Child.” Apart from the fact that it is used to describe God’s act of forming Adam from the dust of the ground, the very word indicates that the “forming” of babies in the womb is a divine process.

    Further, JER 1:5 says “God formed ME in the womb.” It doesn’t say, “God formed the thing that would eventually become me in the womb, so it would have been okay to kill that thing before it became me.”

    Kill the unborn at your peril.

    As for the idea that only the Gods written about it ancient religious tradition have validity, and that the feminist god you just decided to create should be given equal treatment with them, I would offer this:

    If there is a God who created us, one would be justified in expecting that such a Creator would reach out to us and provide an answer to the human condition (violence and sin). And it is very reasonable to conclude that He would have done this a long time ago, versus just now in a comment on a blog article.

    Sorry to correct you, but the Big Bang has ALL kinds of metaphysical ramifications. The fact that the Big Bang occurred at a finite time in the past is HUGE: if there was no “cause” for the Big Bang, it would have occurred an infinite time ago – which is rendered absurd by the fact that the universe can not even possibly be infinitely old or else this moment could never have arrived. Something CAUSED the big bang to happen when it happened, because if the Big Bang event was uncaused, it would have occurred an infinite time ago. The Cause was PERSONAL because that something had to decide to initiate the event (like striking a match).
    Google “cosmological argument” (especially articles with “kalam” and see what you get. It’s actually a powerful, convincing argument.

    You never got back to me on my point that God – if he exists – MUST be an immaterial soul. Brain and soul are only related if you assume the philosophical materialism you are trying to prove (i.e. circular reasoning).

    I am not my brain. I am the kind of thing that has a brain. I remember seeing a Dateline program on a teenage girl who had a brain tumor that necessitated the removal of HALF her brain. She recovered so fully from the procedure it was unreal, although she (i.e. her SOUL) had to retrain her brain to properly think and function. She trained her brain. Had she “merely been her brain,” that could not have happened.

    Some years ago I lost a fingertip in an accident. But I am not any less of “me.” I am not my body; I am the sort of thing that HAS a body. Our bodies are merely animal bodies; it isn’t our bodies that make us valuable; it is our souls, which transcend and inform our bodies.

    If I were trapped in my car, and couldn’t get out, that would not make me my car. In the same way, just as we function by means of our brains, that does not make us our brains. As long as I am an embodied soul, I rely on my brain as the organ which responds to my soul to control my body. But when I die, my brain will cease to function, and I will still be me (if an afterlife is even possible, this must be true).

    A unicorn is something which could exist, but doesn’t; a square circle is something that could not possibly exist because an understanding of ‘square’ and an understanding of ‘circle’ are logically incompatible. I suggest that if brain and consciousness are related as you argue, it would be like the case of the square circle. We would not even be able to conceive of an immaterial, “brain-independent” existence, because an understanding of “consciousness” and “brain-free” would be logically incompatible. But I CAN imagine an immaterial existence (e.g. an angel). I CAN imagine surviving the death of my physical body. I do it all the time.

  11. Joshua Says:

    Jer 1:5 says “God formed me”, not “God instantly made me with the process of conception”. It could easily imply “God formed me, over a period of 20 weeks in the womb” meaning the ME didn’t exist until 20 weeks after conception.

    We don’t know whether the big bang had a cause. It might not, after all, the big bang represents time zero – both space and time were created at the big bang, so “before the big bang” makes as much sense as “south of the south pole”. The Kalam cosmological argument is a dismal failure, because there is no reason to rule out the big bang being an ‘uncaused event’, because there is no reason to assume that ‘everything that begins must have a cause’ is applicable to the universe as a whole.

    The brain is actually very plastic, and in fact spread over two hemispheres – you can remove one hemisphere without too many problems. Certain processes, like learning a new language or solving a Rubiks cube, may be affected though. Her brain adapted by itself – no ‘soul retraining’ needed. Now if you show me a person functioning without a brain, or even ONE function that doesn’t look like it is caused by the brain, maybe I’ll believe you that the brain isn’t needed.

    You can lose a fingertip, or any other part of your body, and YOU don’t change. But if you change, or lose, your brain, then YOU will be changed or lost. It isn’t only true that the brain responds to the ‘soul’, but it must be true also that the ‘soul’ responds to the brain. So, we have this idea of a ‘soul’ that just mirrors things in the brain. Doesn’t that seem like a completely superfluous idea? Occam’s Razor would suggest that the idea of a soul is therefore very unlikely to be true.

    I don’t see any reason to back up your premise that an immaterial consciousness is logically inconsistent, nor did I suggest it was. To me the idea of a seems to be more like the idea of a flying dragons or telekinesis or time travel – something that couldn’t exist because of known physical laws, but still makes enough sense for us to be able to imagine it to a degree if you forget/ignore physics. An immaterial soul doesn’t make sense if you know all the facts, but it does make enough sense that people can believe in it. The human brain is actually pretty good at doublethink.

  12. Michael Eden Says:

    Where your argument fails is in the very Big Bang event you yourself introduce: the universe was caused (by the bang). During the Bang event, all space, time, energy, and matter came into being.

    The cause had to be non-physical, because physicality itself came into being.

    A thing cannot be its own cause.

    So unless you think you can give birth to yourself, your whole “something that couldn’t exist because of known physical laws” point is revealed for the physicalist materialistic crap that it is. You assume what you are trying to prove, and then congratulate yourself on your accomplishment.

    The best understanding of our brains are that they are the physical organ by which our immaterial souls correspond with our bodies. I would argue that our souls actually help assemble our physical bodies.

    DNA is really nothing more than a language, or instructions. It’s like a program on a computer, in a way. But a computer program does noting by itself. It needs a driver, or it will not install and run. I would argue that DNA needs a driver, and that our souls serve a similar function with our bodies.

  13. Joshua Says:

    Could it be that the very law by which no object can cause itself came to be at the big bang? It perhaps possible that the universe as a whole can be uncaused, but that the constituent parts cannot be (that is, self-existence may be an emergent property). Anyway, it’s all very complicated and still very mysterious.

    The best understanding of our brains is that they are more complicated versions of the brains, or neural nets, present in every other animal. If the brain needs a soul, then every housefly has a soul. If DNA needs a soul, then every bacterium has a soul. But considering that it is perfectly possible to explain, using known physical laws, how DNA builds a bacterium or how a brain controls a fly, and that DNA and brains in humans work in much the same way, I see no reason to posit the existence of an immaterial entity. It just complicates things unnecessarily, like positing the existence of Zeus to help static electricity form lightning.

  14. Michael Eden Says:

    Your Zeus thing is frankly both trivial and insulting. You arrogantly, foolishly, and even stupidly trivialize the theism that has captivated countless minds such as Francis Collins – Nobel winner, Medal of Freedom recipient, and director of the Human Genome Project – into a form of pagan Zeus worship. What a pathetic understanding of the theism that has so shaped our culture you have! Such statements prove that you are completely incapable of thinking beyond the most narrow self-imposed limits, which is what quintessentially defines the ideologue. The fact that you can find a Richard Dawkins to agree with you only serves to prove that the worst form of stupidity is more a matter of the will than it is of the intellect.

    And what do you do before that frankly dumbass statement? You retreat into the most idiotic babble imaginable – “Could it be that the very law by which no object can cause itself came to be at the big bang?” You literally try to argue that things could cause themselves before there was anything that existed that could be caused! You probably thought you were clever for that one. There is simply no point in debating someone who retreats into Never-Never land thinking the moment the obvious implications of logic undermines his case. You are clearly stating your intention to believe whatever the hell you want. I simply don’t have time to deal with this level of inanity.

    As to the one point that you raise that has any legitimacy – yes, animals have souls. The Bible is very clear on that. Gen 1:20 refers to “every living creature that has life” (literally, soul, nephesh). And then vs 21 uses the term nephesh again (“every living creature that moves”). The same word “nephesh” is used of the human soul. So again, the Bible is consistent, logical, and anticipates millennia of science.

    Dogs have dog souls, insects have insect souls, and humans have human souls. It is the nature of the human soul – which produces human beings and nothing but human beings – that makes human life sacred and incommensurable.

  15. Joshua Says:

    Your Zeus thing is frankly both trivial and insulting. You arrogantly, foolishly, and even stupidly trivialize the theism that has captivated countless minds such as Francis Collins – Nobel winner, Medal of Freedom recipient, and director of the Human Genome Project – into a form of pagan Zeus worship.

    I see absolutely no difference between Greek mythology and Christianity, nor between Norse mythology and Islam, nor between Pastafarianism and Hinduism. They differ in the degree of minds they have influenced, but they are the same thing – myths.

    What reason do you have for saying that they are so different?

    You literally try to argue that things could cause themselves before there was anything that existed that could be caused!

    No, I argued that everything could cause itself to exist before the law that required things to have a cause came to exist.

    There is simply no point in debating someone who retreats into Never-Never land thinking the moment the obvious implications of logic undermines his case.

    This from the guy who thinks souls must help chemical reactions work, so that each cell or organism must have its own soul in order to undergo the chemical reactions that are ‘life’.

    As to the one point that you raise that has any legitimacy – yes, animals have souls.

    The bible seems to liken souls to a ‘vital breath’. It would seem that the Biblical soul is required to get the lungs moving, not to get the DNA functioning as you claim. For

    In addition, other animals have DNA equally in need of a souls as drivers are not considered nephesh (insects, fish, worms). Not to mention that plants and fungi, many of which have more complicated genomes than our own, would also require souls. As would bacteria, but the Bible never even mentions microbes and doesn’t class plants/fungi as ‘nephesh’.

    So again, the Bible is consistent, logical, and anticipates millennia of science.

    Need I remind you that science has never confirmed the existence of any ‘soul’.

    Not to mention that many ancient and pagan myths had exactly the same idea. The word ‘animal’ itself comes from the Latin word ‘anima’, meaning soul. I hardly think that the fact the ancient Hebrew people were able to distinguish between breathing creatures and non-breathing creatures proves that their myths are any better than those of other ancient peoples.

  16. Michael Eden Says:

    Let me begin by being equally patronizing, then.

    Sociologists routinely write as Peter Berger, who says, “The religious impulse, the quest for meaning that transcends the restricted space of empirical existence in this world, has been a perennial feature of humanity.” And it’s true: every single people group ever studied in the world came from deep religious impulse. It’s a perennial feature of humanity.

    But people like you lack that impulse. Cows and other lower life forms also lack it.

    You think your so smart, but the reality is that you are sub-human in your understanding of the human condition. Arguing with you about God is rather like arguing with a cow. Neither one of you can get it.

    You want to equate me with a Zeus worshiper? Fine. At least I’m engaging in something that is uniquely human. You, on the other hand, have the same understanding of “a perennial feature of humanity” as a cow.

    You betray such a fundamental ignorance of great thought. You know nothing of Immanuel Kant’s fundamental demonstration that there are permanent and inescapable limits to human reason, and you foolishly and trivially continue to strut around while you are intellectually naked.

    Plato likened human beings to people living in caves, shut off from the light of the sun, seeing only shadows and mistaking them for reality.Socrates regarded himself as the wisest man in Athens because he alone knew how little he knew. You are a terribly pathetic fool by Socrates’ standard.

    What Kant did was conclusively demonstrate that there was a huge FALSE assumption being made by empiricists relying on their “rational, scientific approach” to give them full access to external reality. Reason, in order to BE reasonable, has to investigate its own parameters.

    Kant pointed out that human reason raises questions that – such is the nature of human reason that – such is the nature of human reason – it is incapable of answering. Kant turned reason upon itself to prove the limitations of human reason.

    Kant asked questions that I challenge you to answer: How do we know what we claim to know is really real? How do we know that our human perception of reality corresponds to reality itself?

    He pointed out that there are primary and secondary properties. Properties are in the thing itself, secondary properties are in us. For example, when we perceive an apple, the mass and shape of the apple are primary properties in the apple itself. But the redness of the apple, its smell, and its taste are NOT in the apple, but in the person who sees and smells and tastes the apple (an alien with different visual senses might perceive it as green, for example). Therefore our knowledge of external reality comes to us from two sources: the external object and our internal perceptual apparatus. Reality does not come directly to us but is “filtered” through our senses that we ourselves bring to our perception of anything.

    Kant further pointed out that it is simply IRRATIONAL to presume that our experience of reality corresponds to reality itself. There are things in themselves – the noumenon – and of them we can know nothing. All we CAN know is the phenomenon. If you have a dog, you can know what it is like for you to hear, smell, and pet the dog. That is your phenomenal experience of the dog. But you will never understand what it is like to be a dog. That is the noumenal – the thing in itself. The dog as a thing is beyond our understanding. I remember reading a great scientific article called “What’s it like to be a bat?” that came to the same conclusion.

    Consider a tape recorder. It can capture only one mode of experience: sound. But it cannot see or touch or smell. Thus any aspect of reality that cannot be captured by sound is beyond the reach of the tape recorder. And we are like that. The same is true of human beings and their limited five senses. We can apprehend reality, but we can’t directly experience reality. Our senses place absolute limits on what reality is available to us.

    Further, the reality we apprehend is not reality in itself. It is merely our experience or “take” on reality. We have no basis to assume that our perception of reality ever resembles reality itself. Our experience of things can never penetrate to things as they really are (in the God’s eye view). Ultimate reality remains permanently hidden to us. Just how can you demonstrate that your experience of reality is any way like “reality” itself? Prove to me that you are not a brain in a vat, with alien scientists creating sensations and experiences by prodding your brain with various electrodes!

    We can compare two things and see if resemble one another. But in the case of ultimate external reality, we can make no such comparison – for we have never even seen it. All we have is our experience, and that is all we will ever have. We will never have the basis for inferring that our perception of reality and reality itself are comparable. Further, to the extent that all human beings may experience something the same way (often they don’t, or we would agree and not disagree), it is only because we have the same sensory equipment. But take a bunch of mechanical sensors and make the same change in each, and they will all give the same flawed reading. And all the test equipment we devise also must invariably fail, because it is humans reading that test equipment with their limited senses.

    Kant didn’t degrade the value of science, but he believed and proved that science should be understood as applying to the world of phenomena rather than to the noumenal (or greater reality). The noumenal world clearly exists, because it gives rise to the phenomena we experience. Our experience is an experience of SOMETHING. And there are certain facts about the world – such as morality and free will – that cannot possibly be understood without postulating a noumenal realm. There is the reality we experience, and there is reality itself – and experienced reality and reality itself are only identical for God (the God’s eye view).

    Thus the scientific empiricist begins with a presumption that is impossible to validate, and he assumes without any evidence or proof that his experiences and his “science” somehow give him magical access to reality. In equating experience and reality he is making a huge unwarranted leap – which itself amounts to a breakdown of reason. And Kant proved that 300 friggin’ years ago! The ridiculous irony is that the people who proceed in this irrational way (people like you) think of themselves as following strictly along the pathways of reason. Their outlook survives only because they are refuse to examine its terribly flawed premises.

    No one who understands the doctrines of any of the great religions should have any problem understanding Kant, because his philosophical proof is congruent with the teachings of religion. The empirical world we inhabit is not the only “world” there is; ours is a world of appearances only, a transient world that is dependent upon a higher, timeless ultimate reality. And that reality is of a completely different order from anything we know. While reason and science can point to the existence of this higher domain of reality, it has to stop there; it cannot on its own investigate or comprehend that domain. As Paul put it, “we see in a mirror dimly.” (And he went on to say that when the perfect came, we would see perfectly because God would perfect us).

    So people who think as you do are like Homer Simpson, who thinks everyone else is a fool when it is HE who is the greatest fool of all. You call yourselves “brights”; I call you “Homers.”

    Your point about science and the soul is trivial. You commit a category fallacy. Science cannot locate the soul because the soul is the sort of thing that science is not equipped to find.

    It’s like this: why does the water boil? And you talk about the interaction of molecules under heat. But that’s only a trivial part of the answer: the water is boiling because I wanted a cup of tea. The water would NOT have boiled had I not wanted that cup of tea, because I wouldn’t have put it on the stove! Science can’t ever get to that intentionality. Does that prove that intentionality does not exist (for you, maybe!). There is so much beyond what science can tell us that you in your incredible ideological narrowmindedness cannot possibly explain or understand. Your mindset makes you stupid, like the cow.

    Science was discovered only once, in the Christian Western Europe. Other religious traditions understood that there were two aspects to reality, but had nothing to connect the two together in a way that could give rise to science. But Christian thinkers in monasteries (the first universities came out of the monasteries) realized that God created the world good, and that it was not intrinsically evil. They understood that God (who had the God’s eye view) created man in His own image (AS A SOUL). They understood that God created the world for man. They realized that God gave man dominion over the world. And as they explored the world that God made for them and gave to them, they began to learn more about the wonder of creation. They celebrated His handiwork. The founder of the scientific method, and the founders of every single major branch of science, were publicly confessed Christians. Nearly every single major university – including all the Ivy League schools – were began as Christian institutions.

    Science emerged uniquely from essential religious premises and presuppositions, and could not have originated without them. You are a fool for thinking otherwise.

  17. Joshua Says:

    Sociologists routinely write as Peter Berger, who says, “The religious impulse, the quest for meaning that transcends the restricted space of empirical existence in this world, has been a perennial feature of humanity.” And it’s true: every single people group ever studied in the world came from deep religious impulse. It’s a perennial feature of humanity.

    Indeed. The religious instinct evolved. Most atheists are in agreement on this fact.

    But people like you lack that impulse. Cows and other lower life forms also lack it.

    You think your so smart, but the reality is that you are sub-human in your understanding of the human condition. Arguing with you about God is rather like arguing with a cow. Neither one of you can get it.

    Saying that I am sub-human because I do not share your desire for theism is a lot like saying that I am sub-human because I do not share your skin colour or do not agree with your political viewpoints.

    So, why do you think the Creator saw fit to create people like me who could not comprehend his mysterious ways? Does he have right to punish me for not believing in him, if I can’t?

    How do we know that our human perception of reality corresponds to reality itself?

    We don’t. Neither you nor I know. But it could be true. The fact that science seems to so accurately (in comparison to other methods, like divine revelation or astrology) make predictions that come to be true suggests that it is working.

    And the fact that religious impulses are so unreliable at working out things that we can observe suggests that they will be very unreliable for those things that cannot, in principle, be observed.

    Prove to me that you are not a brain in a vat, with alien scientists creating sensations and experiences by prodding your brain with various electrodes!

    Such a statement is, of course, unfalsifiable. And irrelevant – if this is all just a simulation, and we will never be able to know otherwise, why is it wrong to say this is actually reality?

    reason and science can point to the existence of this higher domain of reality

    It can do no such thing. It is beyond the reach of science to even point beyond this reality.

    Your point about science and the soul is trivial. You commit a category fallacy. Science cannot locate the soul because the soul is the sort of thing that science is not equipped to find.

    Yes and no.

    If the soul is indeed interacting with the physical world in a meaningful way, we should be able to detect those interactions. But if its actions on the physical world are perfectly understandable without using the hypothesis of the soul, then science cannot detect it – the entity would be doing nothing observable, and therefore may just as well not exist.

    And I am not one to believe in things that have no reason to exist and for which there is no evidence. If I did, why would I bother choosing to believe the Biblical mythology? There is no evidence available to influence my decisions, so I may as well make up my own mythology, where I go to an amazing afterlife no matter what I do.

  18. Michael Eden Says:

    Way to twist a clearly stated point.

    You want to lump me together with Zeus worshipers because of a superficial and stupid resemblance? I’m every bit as justified lumping you together with cows who similarly don’t believe in God. You don’t want me to call you a cow, don’t you equate my beliefs with stupid crap. To be frank, it’s rather cow-brained of you to take it any other way.

    I get sick of the mindnumbing arrogance of scientific materialists. I am willing to talk smack with the lot of you if you talk smack with me.

    Your “why is it wrong to say this is actually reality?” after I provided Kant’s refutation is simply amazing.

    Refer back to my “Kant” comment above. Science is good at providing physical/natural explanations about the world. It is useless at doing anything else. Anyone who offers scientific explanations as the sum total of knowledge is a trivial fool.

    Your last paragraph reveals the personality that crawls into a box and then says that nothing outside the box exists.

    Hell is undoubtedly amazing. But it most certainly will not be pleasant. I hope you come to reconsider your belief system.

  19. Joshua Says:

    You don’t want me to call you a cow, don’t you equate my beliefs with stupid crap. To be frank, it’s rather cow-brained of you to take it any other way.

    You religious folk are close to cow-brained than we atheists are.

    Human brains evolved, but they had flaws. They are more likely to attribute things to sentient actions rather than natural causes, resulting in creator gods to explain creation, lightning gods to explain lightning and river gods to explain floods. Bermuda triangle or gremlins to explain aircraft malfunctions.

    But some of us have evolved past that point, and can see reality more clearly. There is no Zeus/Thor/Baal explaining storms, no Poseidon or Hapi explaining floods, and no God explaining DNA or the Big Bang. By trying to remove as much of our own intuition from the equation as possible, science has come closer to working out how reality works than anything else.

    So, perhaps you can answer me this, what makes Christian mythology any better than Greek mythology? Why are you so offended when I say they seem to be the same thing? Why don’t you believe in Thor or Zeus?

    Hell is undoubtedly amazing. But it most certainly will not be pleasant. I hope you come to reconsider your belief system.

    You have not offered me any reason to reconsider my belief system.

    I’m more than happy to believe that certain things exist if there is evidence for their existence. But I shall not believe in Zeus simply because somebody can’t fathom how lightning works, nor shall I believe in your God simply because you can’t fathom how free will or morality can exist or how the universe could exist otherwise. It’s just made-up nonsense.

    Not that I will be going to hell, of course. Any God that would leave no evidence for her own existence would surely not want people to believe in her, so would therefore reward atheists and punish theists for their ignorance.

  20. Michael Eden Says:

    I gave you the last word, and I’m going to leave these comments at that unless someone else comments. I’m simply bored with you.

    Romans 1:18-22
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools.

  21. Joshua Says:

    Well, you’ll probably delete this comment, but let me just say that the verse in Romans there suggest that everybody knows God exists, but are punished for not honoring or thanking him.

    But I do not know that God exists. It is as far from plain and shown as can be. It is certainly not clearly perceived by me.

    The existence of God is not a suppressed truth. It is a falsehood. I may not be able to prove this to you, but surely if God does exist, she will understand why I don’t believe in her.

  22. Michael Eden Says:

    Fine. You made a typically trivial distinction. I think most readers of the text would see atheists as in the category of “suppressing the truth.” They are without excuse for their beliefs. And they engage in futile thinking and speculations. They claimed to be wise, but they were in reality fools.

    Paul knew his Bible well enough to know ALL ABOUT Psalm 14:1 when he wrote Romans 1. What does the fool say? That there is no God.

    Btw, when you said earlier that, “So, why do you think the Creator saw fit to create people like me who could not comprehend his mysterious ways? Does he have right to punish me for not believing in him, if I can’t?”

    Let me respond thus: you might blame God for making you ugly, or retarded. But you can’t blame God for making you a fool. You do that for yourself.

    And God doesn’t punish you for not believing in Him. He punishes you for violating His image in you, which means His perfect moral character. You won’t go to hell for not believing in God; you will go to hell for your sins. God provided a way to be saved, but you thought you knew better.

    The innocent pagan or savage will go to heaven. The problem is, there AREN’T any innocent pagans or savages. Rom 3:23 “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    You might think there isn’t a God, or that you have a better plan than God, but what you don’t have is your own universe. God’s universe. God’s rules.

    Now until we have something resembling the same worldview, quit bugging me. I’ve got a lot of other things to do.

  23. J.W. Wartick Says:

    “I cannot help but remember the slogan of the Ministry of Health vans that Nazi Germany used to haul away retarded children, epileptics, children with malformed ears, chronic bed wetters, and the like to their deaths: Lebensunwertes Leben – “Life Unworthy of Life.” Today I still see cars bearing bumper stickers with the equally oxymoronic – but far more deadly – slogan, “Pro child, Pro choice.” What a shame that so many Americans have so blithely come to champion Nazi morality.”

    I’m also aghast at the “Planned Parenthood” label and “Pro Family, Pro Choice” bumper sticker. How are they planning parenthood by killing children? How can one be pro-family if they are endorsing killing the children that would make a family?

    I’ve written against abortion on my own blog:

    I pray that one day this atrocity will end.

  24. Michael Eden Says:

    The sick logic of the “pro-choice” left is the same as the Nazis who went around with their Mercy wagons hauling children off to their deaths under the guise of “compassion.”

    The argument is this: these children are unwanted; better to exterminate them to spare them from further suffering. That’s what they mean by “pro-child, pro-choice.”

    Would you expect to see this attitude deployed against rape victims? Kill her to spare her further emotional anguish? Or the homeless? Or drug users and alcoholics? Or people who’ve had mental illness? Or any of a whole bunch of other people who could be determined to be better off if their “suffering” were terminated?

    Of course not. It is a morally depraved argument from the get-go.

    I read your link. It’s excellent on laying out the arguments.

    I’ve come to a further realization about abortion: it doesn’t merely destroy a child; it also destroys a family.

    If one defines a newly-conceived baby (a zygote) as a “lump of goo,” then how is a father “a father?” He didn’t create a human life; he merely created a tiny lump of goo. So why hold him responsible as “a father” when in fact he is no such thing. Carrying on with the same logic, if the mother wants to have a “child,” we’re obviously months along (by the abortionist logic) before the lump of goo magically “transforms” into a human being. She had all that time to “choose.” It is literally wrong to hold the “father” responsible in any way for that child, since there WAS no child when he rolled off the “mother.”

    But no. We have a system in which a mother has the “right” to kill her baby. If the father wants his baby to live, he is legally obligated to stand idly by while his own child is murdered if “mother” wants an abortion. If, on the other hand, he wants to be consistent with abortion ethics and say, “I didn’t father a child,” he is nevertheless compelled to support until adulthood a child he never wanted in the first place.

    Abortion is a butchery of any kind of logic whatsoever. And it has so completely alienated fathers it is unreal. They have been relegated to the role of helpless bystanders utterly dependent on the mother’s “choice” to kill (in which case it isn’t a child and never was) or allow to live (in which case it is a baby). It’s insane.

    Mothers have a duty to allow their babies to live, and to love and nurture their children. Fathers have a duty to raise their children, and support them. There’s the secret to a family unit. And the lack of that kind of clear moral thinking is why our family unit has so gone to pot in the “age of abortion.”

  25. J.W. Wartick Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for bringing up those ideas pertaining to fathers too. I think I’ve read that before somewhere, but had forgotten it. I’ll have to include that in my own attack on abortion.

    Do you mind if I link/quote you on my site?

  26. Michael Eden Says:

    My entire purpose for writing is to help get the word out, J.W. Especially when it comes to something as horrible as abortion, which is just wrong on so many different levels.

    I always feel honored when a fellow conservative cites my articles, or quotes any part of them.

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