Abortion Destroys More Than Just A Baby

Abortion is a cancer that makes our society sick on every level. It destroys us individually – one baby at a time; it erodes the essential institution of fatherhood by removing fathers from the most basic decision regarding their children; and, ultimately, it creates unstable consequences that damage our nation and our world. And rather than being a necessary industry that protects the weakest and neediest among us, it is in fact a holocaust among the very groups of people we claim to be trying to save.

First of all, abortion clearly results in the death of a child. Do the math: if your beloved mommy had decided to have an abortion during her pregnancy with you, you would not have been born. More specifically, you would have died. Mommy would have killed you. The same you who was once a teen ager, once a toddler, once an infant, was also once a fetus, once an embryo, and once a zygote. Killing you at any point during that continuum would have rendered you every bit as dead. If you don’t believe me, look at your brother or sister; a different egg and sperm produce a totally different child every time. Even in the case of identical twins – where a zygote divides – we end up with two different children. Abortion destroys a child.

But when the Supreme Court looked down from Mount Olympus and divined in the Constitution a woman’s right to choose abortion, it did something else: it destroyed the rights of fathers, and undermined the traditional family structure.

Think about it: if a mother exercises her “right to choose” abortion, it presupposes a duty upon the father of that child to idly sit by while his child is killed. While mommy beams down at her little bundle of joy and says, “I could have chosen to kill you, but let you live because I wanted a baby, daddy is outside somewhere saying, “Well, mommy didn’t decide to kill it, so I guess I’m a father. How can anyone who claims to have an IQ above that of the baby that abortion kills not see how radically abortion undermines the role of the father?

Conversely, if daddy dearest is a “pro-choicer” who doesn’t want anything to do with his child and would very much like to choose death for it, he may well be subjectively compelled by the courts to pay child support. A woman can kill her child at will during pregnancy. That is her right. But if she subjectively decides to keep her baby, the courts impose the burden on a father to support that child whether he wants it or not. That is his duty. Where’s daddy’s “right to choose”? He has no rights at all, only duties selectively imposed upon him by the granting of this bizarre woman’s right. So much for equal rights; so much for equal protection under the law. If daddy desperately wants his child and mommy wants to abort, too bad, so sad, dad. If daddy doesn’t want to be responsible for his kid but mommy wants to keep it, to bad, so sad, dad. Abortion is not only murder, it is also patently unfair by any meaningful standard.

In their infinite wisdom, the courts decided that fatherhood amounted to nothing more than donating sperm and writing checks. A woman kills her child and is regarded as making a choice with all the moral consequence of choosing whether to buy a particular blouse. A father walks away from a liftime commitment of supporting that same kid that momma could have had chopped into little pieces and he becomes a “deadbeat dad.” And the same courts that made all this possible – after creating the chaotic disaster of “no-fault divorce” – have also nearly unanimously decided that fathers shouldn’t get custody of their kids. They’re lucky if they get joint custody! Being a father means being pretty low on the totem poll. And of course, in recent years, we have lesbians actually taking advantage of the latest science to bypass daddy altogether. So much for dads.

Incredibly, the same secular humanists who utterly failed to see the consequences of their utter contempt for fathers have for going on forty years continued to fail to see the clear cause-effect relationship between abortion and the declining participation by fathers. But suprise, suprise. Fathers by the millions recognized and internalized the utter meaninglessness that society clearly impugned upon them and simply walked away. Duties without rights, plus criticism without recognition, is no way to attract men to embrace fatherhood. And, for that matter, rights without duties is no way to attract women to embrace motherhood.

The statistics are overwhelming and inexorable. Abortion. Fatherlessness. Out of wedlock births. Single parent households. Crime. Drugs. Gangs. Prison. Chronic dysfunction. Studies galore support the death of the family with the rise of a sociopathic youth culture. In many major cities, 65% of babies are born to unmarried women. Nationally, 70% of the long-term inmates in prisons who have committed the most violent crimes grew up without fathers. INTERPOL statistics have likewise revealed that single parenthood ratios were strongly correlated with violent crimes. Studies of juvenile offenders have shown that family structure significantly predicts delinquency. Children born out of wedlock are three times more likely to drop out of school than children in two parent households, and they are far more likely to end up on welfare. And study after study has demonstrated that children without fathers are far more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, far more likely to be sexually, physically, and emotionally abused, far more likely to become obese, and far more likely to perpetuate the vicious cycle by having out of wedlock children themselves. And there is no connective link – NONE! – that more determines poverty than single parenthood.

You want to turn this tide around? Criminalize abortion. The problem isn’t too many children being born; the problem is fatherlessness! Stop the insane double standard. If fathers should have any duty whatsoever to support their children, surely mothers have at the very least the duty to allow their children to live! Hey, guess what? This isn’t a meaningless fetus; it is a precious, valuable human being, and BOTH mother and father have a duty to care for their child. Dad, you brought this little mouth into the world, and you have an obligation to provide for your baby; mom, you conceived this little bundle of joy, and you have an obligation to nurture your baby. But only a fool decrees that mother gets to decide whether a child should count enough to live, and that a father must somehow be duty-bound to completely respect and honor whatever her choice is. That is insane, and it is evil.

If we as a society begin to respect life enough that we begin to recognize that it is worth nurturing, worth, providing for, worth loving, and worth sacrificing for, then we will finally begin to see a turnaround in our society. Decades of terrible statistics will begin to improve as the society that demands that fathers recognize their children itself fundamentally recognizes children.

Abortion by its very design and by its very nature removes fathers from the equation of life. It is time to bring them back.

When fatherhood is trivialized, ignored, and removed as a factor by abortion, chaos follows. That’s what all the trends tell us. And that chaos has had a terribly detrimental impact upon society. The liberals who decry the United States’ involvement in the five-year old Iraq war may well have a point in noting the trillion-dollar debt that the war will cost American society; but they will not for a single nanosecond consider the multi-, multi-, multi-, multi-trillion dollar cost of abortion upon our society as it triggered massive fundamental philosophical and sociological degredations of human life. It is frankly incredible that so many supposedly intelligent people failed to see that the stupid logic that you are human only if you are wanted would not have massive unintended consequences.

And we will increasingly see the result of the international aspect of abortion as well. A June 13, 2007 news story (Infanticide, Abortion Responsible for 60 Million Girls Missing in Asia) begins as follows:

There is a little-known battle for survival going in some parts of the world. Those at risk are baby girls, and the casualties are in the millions each year. The weapons being used against them are prenatal sex selection, abortion and female infanticide — the systematic killing of girls soon after they are born.

According to a recent United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World Population Report, these practices, combined with neglect, have resulted in at least 60 million “missing” girls in Asia, creating gender imbalances and other serious problems that experts say will have far reaching consequences for years to come.

“Twenty-five million men in China currently can’t find brides because there is a shortage of women,” said Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute in Washington, D.C. “The young men emigrate overseas to find brides.”

The imbalances are also giving rise to a commercial sex trade; the 2005 report states that up to 800,000 people being trafficked across borders each year, and as many as 80 percent are women and girls, most of whom are exploited.

“Women are trafficked from North Korea, Burma and Vietnam and sold into sexual slavery or to the highest bidder,” Mosher said.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,281722,00.html

Here we have a clearly established link between abortion and sex selection, as well as clear correspondence between abortion and sex slavery as well as a link between abortion and an unstable and unsustainable societal dilemma in a nuclear state. What will be the long-term psychological state of an already rogue nation as hundreds of millions of men begin to come onto the scene who cannot possibly marry or ever enjoy a normal relationship with a woman?

I still recall Senator Hillar Clinton going to a women’s conference in China and lecturing the Chinese on abortion. In her view, although it is perfectly legitimate for American women to abort their progeny out of whatever subjective preference that entered their minds, as long as it is a woman’s “choice.” However, it is immoral for a nation-state to attempt – out of what they perceived as a direct threat to their national survival (i.e. a one child per family edict to control overpopulation) – to control the number of children born. This view is particualarly hypocritical coming from a liberal Democrat who generally favors big government bureaucratic solutions over individual free market ones. If her reasoning process wasn’t already twisted enough, she then proceeded to undermine her whole “abortion is wonderful as long as women choose to do it” by lecturing the Chinese on sex selective abortions, which are done not only in China but in much of the developing world out of long-standing cultural practices that value sons over daughters. In Senator Clinton’s reasoning, abortion is fine as long as it is a woman’s choice, as long as she doesn’t choose to abort her girls.

Sex selective abortions routinely take place throughout Asia, and is also a rampant practice in India and much of Latin America. In a bizarre but talionic twist, “a woman’s right to choose” has resulted in a literal holocaust against women.

And it is not only women who fall prey to the abortion mills. While so many liberals who claim to champion civil rights laud abortion, the fact remains that abortion has cut a terrible swath among black Americans. There is a clear prima facia case to be made that abortion seems to selectively favor the weakest, the poorest, and the most vulnerable members of society. If liberals had a functioning moral compass, they would be troubled by the ramifications of their ideologies. They don’t, and they aren’t.

Last month UCLA students had an actor call Planned Parenthood development centers in seven states asking whether his donation could be specifically targeted to “lower the number of black people.” Each branch agreed to process the racially earmarked donation. None expressed concern about the clearly expressed racist motives for the donation, and some staffers explicitly agreed with the racist reasoning. Planned Parenthood issued a statement that attempted to redirect attention from its profoundly racist staffers. We should likewise forget that 79% of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities are in minority neighborhoods, or that the founder of Planned Parenthood was a prodoundly racist proponent of eugenics. From its inception, Planned Parenthood has readily agreed with the statement, “the less black kids out there, the better,” which was uttered by the UCLA actor in his recorded conversation with Planned Parenthood’s Autumn Kersey. She called his position “understandable,” and indicated her excitement to process the donation. He was acting; the Director of Development at the Idaho Planned Parenthood office was not.

The Rev. Johnny Hunter has bemoaned the plight of black Americans, who are killing themselves off at an incredible rate, and has pointed out that abortion has killed far more blacks than the Klu Klux Klan. Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the famed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has used the same analogy, saying, “The great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of.” She quoted her uncle as having said, “It’s time that we remember the sacrifices of men like my father and my uncle who worked and died so that our children could live.” And she said, “It’s time to stop killing the future and keep their dream alive.”

The numbers are simply staggering. Dr. Alveda King says that a full one quarter of the black population is missing from the abortion genocide. “15 million black people have been denied their most basic civil right, the right to life,” she says. Out of 42 million total abortions in the United States, 15 million (35.7%) have been black. Black women are three times more likely than white women to have an abortion, and a nearly half of all black pregnancies are ending in abortion!

If conservatives championed a campaign that would inevitably come to result in the termination of women and blacks in massive numbers, one can only imagine the rhetoric of disgust and righteous outrage that would flood the media ink and airwaves. But the central plank of both liberalism and the Democratic Party has clearly done exactly that, and there is nothing but stony silence.

And may I point out (again) that abortion – which removes fathers from the equation and thus trivializes fatherhood – has anhiliated black fatherhood every bit as much as it has anhiliated their babies. When we look at the shocking statistics regarding black crime, drug use, incarceration, and dysfunction on virtually every level we need to realize that abortion is not the cure, but the disease.

Finally, let me discuss the relationship of abortion with the impending Social Security meltdown. By 2017, Social Security be greater than what it takes in (the definition of bankruptcy, by the way), and the trust fund will be completely emptied by 2041.

In 1950, there were 16 workers for every recipient of Social Security. Today there are only three workers for every recipient. And given current trends, within a few decades there will only be two. There are obviously other factors to account both for this trend and for the overall problems with Social Security in general, but no problem is greater than the fact that we have killed off more than 42 million potential workers since the 1970s. Grandpa’s generation did not exterminate themselves, you see (and all the wars from the Revolutionary War to the war in Iraq haven’t begun to kill off Americans the way abortion has!), and so there are a lot of people to support, and way too few to support them.

Medicare is in even worse shape. By 2014, payroll tax revenue will cover just over half of Medicare’s budget, and the program’s trust fund – which pays for critical medicare care – will be exhausted by 2019. Something dramatic will have to be done to save the program, and liberals’ promises to pump more government money into health care amount to what one of my professors – commenting on students who wrote lengthy answers to exam questions that somehow never arrived at an answer – called “pumping sunshine.” By the time the bickering parties and entrenched interest groups get around to seriously trying to turn around this Titanic, it will be too late to cut benefits, and workers will revolt on a level not seen since the early 1930s if they are called upon to pay the taxes necessary to keep the entitlement programs alive.

My fear is that the younger generation and the government bureaucrats will apply the same twisted reasoning as the thinking that brought us the abortion mills that caused so much of this growing disaster in the first place. If you can kill a baby before it has a chance to be born and become potential burdens upon society, why not kill the elderly before they have a chance to become guaranteed burdens on society? Watch out, grandpa! Because the generation that survived abortion will almost surely come after you!

Liberals despise the Bible, so let me end by quoting it. Proverbs 8:32-26, urging readers to pursue godly wisdom, says, “And now, o sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

Abortion is the love of death, and the pursuit of death over the pursuit of life. And the end of a culture that loves death is death.

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13 Responses to “Abortion Destroys More Than Just A Baby”

  1. Joshua Says:

    Man, this logic is twisted.

    “First of all, abortion clearly results in the death of a child. Do the math: if your beloved mommy had decided to have an abortion during her pregnancy with you, you would not have been born.”

    If my mother had abstained from sex, I would not have been born. But abstinence doesn’t result in the death of a child, does it?

    “The same you who was once a teen ager, once a toddler, once an infant, was also once a fetus, once an embryo, and once a zygote.”

    I was also once in two parts – a sperm and an egg. But masturbation doesn’t kill children, does it?

    “In their infinite wisdom, the courts decided that fatherhood amounted to nothing more than donating sperm and writing checks.”

    Until fathers can become pregnant and go through the pain of childbirth, that is likely to remain the case. Frankly, I’m thankful I’m male.

    “This isn’t a meaningless fetus; it is a precious, valuable human being”

    Unsubstantiated assertion. Nothing in this diatribe indicates that is the case.

    “It is immoral for a nation-state to attempt […] to control the number of children born.”

    Perhaps. By extension, it is also immoral for a nation-state to control what sort of child people should have. If people want to have a baby of a particular gender, the state should let them. Only a severe problem, such as obvious overpopulation or obvious gender imbalances (the actual problem, not just a ‘possible risk’ of the problem), could justify the state infringing on reproductive freedom.

    “15 million black people have been denied their most basic civil right, the right to life”

    Again, this is only valid if it is true that an embryo/foetus has civil rights – precisely the point debates by any sensible pro-choice advocate.

    “If you can kill a baby before it has a chance to be born and become potential burdens upon society, why not kill the elderly before they have a chance to become guaranteed burdens on society?”

    This is nothing like the ‘twisted logic’ used in the case of abortion. Abortion is acceptable not because a child could be a burden, but because an embryo/foetus is not actually a person yet. So, until they can argue that seniors are no longer people, there will be killing of the elderly.

    Conservatives despise using their own brain, so perhaps re-read my above comments to benefit from the fact that people like myself use theirs.

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    For all your rather smarmy rhetoric, I submit that you nonetheless need to go back to the drawing board in terms of using your brain. Allow me to be equally smarmy with you and give you some quick examples of genuine “twisted logic.”

    First, abstinence doesn’t produce a child. Who ever said it did? It doesn’t create any kind of living thing at all (which every stage in the development of a child clearly is). That which is never created clearly cannot be killed. If something never existed, how do you kill it? You are making a fool’s point.

    Second, neither a sperm nor an egg by itself constitutes a zygote. Read a book. You were never “two parts – a sperm and an egg.” A zygote – and hence a living being – is the joining of egg and sperm, when a mother and a father combine to create a new life. Let me put it this way: how many sperm cells grew up and got jobs? Zero. Again, you are attacking a straw man in a frankly asinine way. I conclude your problem may very well be way too much masturbation and not enough thinking.

    Third, being pregnant has nothing whatsoever to do with being a father. But only the truly thoughtless would use such a trivial realization to then argue that fathers should have no rights, which you proceed to do. You did not bother to respond to my argument that if women should have the “right to choose,” so also should fathers (to chose to either keep his child or choose to walk away). I contended that fathers deserve the same rights as mothers; your silence on this central point is rather astonishing.

    I could go on, but I think I’ve demonstrated which side “despises using their own brain” here.

    FWIW, I develop the defense of life view more in my article titled “In Defense of Life.”

    As to your final point (offered as an assertion with no justifying evidence, I noticed) that the fetus is not a person yet, let me point out that a lot of evil has been done by such arbitrary declarations of “non-personhood.” Slavery, the Holocaust, that sort of thing. It is tragic that you so blithely make such unjustified conclusions when that very conclusion has led to the greatest travesties in history. A zygote is a being by virtue of the fact that it is a living thing; it is human by virtue of its parents; it is a HUMAN BEING. Further, by the classification system of all living things, that zygote is classified as homo sapiens, again, a HUMAN BEING. You have to establish what the difference is between “a human being” and “a person.” Good luck with that.

    But thank you for reading my article, and for your comments.

  3. Joshua Says:

    Honestly, you are merely reaffirming what you said without any real substance. But I apologise for the tone of my comments.

    I know very well that neither a sperm nor an egg constitute a zygote. But they are both living cells, just like a zygote. You haven’t shown my why only the zygote constitutes a new life. Many sperm and egg have gone on to become a zygote, and many zygotes have gone on to get jobs 20 years later. So, it appears that sperm and eggs have the potential to become a person, so if your parents had not had sex, then that potential person would have been killed – just like if the zygote was destroyed. Fortunately for us, potential people aren’t real people, so destroying potential people isn’t morally wrong.

    Fathers do not deserve the same right as mothers, because it is not their body which is being used by the foetus. The right to control one’s own body is the real right of pregnant women. The right to decide whether to have a child or not is exercised by accepting/refusing unprotected sexual intercourse. After that, its about whether to be pregnant or not – and seeing as men don’t get pregnant (yet), the father has no rights to use (people have no right to another’s body).

    The mere fact that others have used a similar argument in the pursuit of evil does not negate my own point. Others have quoted the Bible to do evil, but I would be wrong to say this negated anything therein.

    A zygote is human, I accept that of course. But a human egg, a human sperm cell and a human kidney are also human (and alive). But none of those are human BEINGS. They are not sentient, which I believe is what sets a being apart from a mere organism. I agree with you that beings deserve protection, but not all living things are beings. Trees are not beings, though they are living things (so you can still chop down trees).

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I shall look at the article you recommend.

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    In a court of law, we are not tried for killing potential humans. We are killed for killing actual humans. A sperm could potentially develop into a person were it to be joined with an egg; it could not ever actually develop into a person if it were not joined with an egg.

    This might be a good time to introduce your point that a human kidney is NOT a human; it is a part of a human. People have them removed and continue to live. In the very same way, a sperm is not a human; it is a part of a human. It does not become a human being until it is joined with an egg.

    Both a man and a woman have the right – in fact the duty – not to engage in sexual intercourse unless they are willing to accept the consequences. To place that burden only upon a man, and not on a woman is both sexist and illogical. Both are adults capable of making moral choices.

    I am going to call upon you to defend the claim that a man should be obligated to provide for child support if he does not want the baby by your own logic. At the time it is conceived, according to you, it is not a person. It will not become a person for some unspecified length of time. So by your own reasoning a man should have the right to go his way. He engaged in a sex act, and – by your own criteria – nothing meaningful was created. That would be a man’s “right to choose.”

    And it would amount to society plunging into chaos, which is why it is not the case. SOMEBODY has to be tagged with the duty to raise a child. Irrationally, western nations decide that only the father must be responsible.

    In the same vein, let us imagine that a woman decides to keep her “baby” (that’s what everyone calls it if she decides to keep it, after all). It is valuable for one reason and for one reason alone; mother decides to keep it. Please tell me why – since it is deemed valuable by mother’s subjective choice alone – why it should be important to anyone else.

    If I decide to start gut-punching every pregnant woman I come across, what am I guilty of? A simple act of assault. She’ll recover. And the fetus in her womb is of no account. It’s not like I killed anybody, right? To bad, if mom and dad had desperately been trying to have that child for the last five years. I killed it (or whatever you want to argue that I did) before it mattered.

    And why shouldn’t the state (such as China) be able to decree whether a woman has an abortion? Who the heck are you to tell a billion Chinese how to live? The fact of the matter is that nations ROUTINELY tell people what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Given the fact that abortion is not a morally repugnant act, and given that the decision as to whether a child should “matter” or not is entirely subjective, why shouldn’t the state be allowed to compel it if it decides that abortion is in its interests?

    And why shouldn’t mother have the right to take whatever drugs, alcohol, etc. during her pregnancy. The fact of the matter is, while the zygote, the embryo, the fetus is developing in the womb, she isn’t harming any human beings, right? She should have the right to her own body! Party hardy! But, then, when that child is born and it IS all messed up (because it turns out that there truly is continuity between the zygote and the baby, contrary to your claims), society has to pick up a massive tab for a developmentally disabled child.

    Unless you go the Singer route, and off the child, of course.

    But if the argument were put like this to the overwhelming majority of people, we wouldn’t have abortion.

    The bottom line is that abortion is morally twisted. It creates bizarre rights for a mother (the right to kill her own baby, and the right to decide whether or not her “fetus” should count as a person) and simultaneously creates an even more bizarre duty for a father (the duty to stand idly by while his child is killed). It creates a Kafkaesque situation in which a woman subjectively chooses whether or not her fetus qualifies as a person, while the father stands by helplessly condemned to whatever decision she makes. Will she decide to kill the child he desperately wants? Or will she decide to keep a child he doesn’t want, compelling him to toil for 18 years paying for a single sex act? The courts step in and arbitrarily decide that fathers merit no rights but only duties and mothers merit only rights but no duties. And of course a court steps in if a mother is abusing her fetus when at the same time it refuses to recognize the status of the fetus as something that should not be abused.

    Abortion is morally insane. It has resulted in nearly 50,000,000 dead workers in America, such that today fewer and fewer workers are alive to support more and more retirees. And one day, you wait and see – the generation that survived abortion is going to go after those retirees. The same amoral pragmatism that justifies abortion for a woman’s convenience is going to be applied to justify euthanasia for a society’s welfare (health care budget).

  5. Joshua Says:

    Of course kidneys are not human beings (even though they are alive and human). They are not sentient. The only part of the human body that can be sentient is the brain – arguably, the human brain is a human being in and of itself. Consciousness, probably the defining character of a human brain in comparison to other animals, only develops a year or so after birth.

    The man should have a right to choose. Say if his sperm is used to conceive a human embryo via IVF, but that embryo was not in a woman. In that case, the father DOES have a right over whether to have a child – the woman should require his permission to implant that zygote. But once it is in the woman’s body, only her right to bodily autonomy can be used to remove it from her. Punching her in the stomach to cause a miscarriage violates her right to bodily autonomy, just like a rape does, so should be punished accordingly.

    If a mother drinks during pregnancy, she is harming her child. The harm doesn’t count until consciousness appears, but when that happens it is real harm. Just as a bullet only harms somebody a microsecond after leaving the gun, drinking during pregnancy harms a child in a years time. Harming a child (without causing a benefit to make up for it. Vaccination hurts a child, but in the long run is beneficial) is wrong to that child. And yes, killing the infant after it is born does avoid harming the child, just as Singer would argue.

    And no, we won’t kill those retirees – we will build robots to look after them . Just like they are doing in Japan ;)

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    I do hope you are right about retirees and robots. But I have fears. Seniors consume billions of dollars in health care in the final year of their lives. There is a certain logic of offing them and saving money.

    Consciousness truly IS a slippery slope. We don’t fully understand what it is, or when it develops (other than by subjective highly debatable criterion that no two experts agree upon). And again, tonight, when you go to sleep, you will not be conscious by Singer’s own criterion. If you take the view, “But I will wake up,” then I will respond, “And yes, the child will emerge from the womb.”
    Just to make sure you understood my point about punching the pregnant woman, I’m not arguing that I shouldn’t be tried for assault; I’m arguing that based on your view I haven’t killed anybody and therefore shouldn’t be tried for anything beyond assault. Millions of couples desperately want children, but when they’re in the womb, they are fair game for slaughter (on your view).

    I also want to present a problem you have with your view of autonomy with regard to atheism (which you have if you follow Singer). The problem is that atheistic ethicists nearly universally acknowledge that there IS no such thing as autonomy. There is no such thing as free will. If in fact your brain developed purely as a result of random chance plus mutation, then you think and believe whatever you do merely because the molecules in your brain happen to have arranged themselves the way they did. Free will is impossible to establish on evolutionary premise.

    I deny you the use of autonomy (I get to call upon it because I embrace a God who endowed me with it). But you must establish why you should be able to claim it. And I mean with rigorous argument, not your opinion. You have called upon me to prove one thing after another. Time to turn the tables.

    Then when we come to your answer to mother drinking during her pregnancy, I find another case where you are hung on your own petard. You say that the harm done will result later on, and thus a real wrong occurs. But if you won’t allow me to say that that baby in the womb has real future potentiality, why on earth should I give you the future harm “when consciousness appears”?

    I think I tried to argue in one of these two articles that there really IS something about potential. If I take a gun and shoot you to death, what have I done? I haven’t taken away your past, because it already happened. I haven’t taken away your future, because it doesn’t exist yet (or as you refer to it, it’s only “potential” and thus doesn’t matter). So all that I actually take from you is about two seconds of immediate conscious awareness – which really isn’t all that big of a deal. It is the fact that when I kill you, I take away your potential that makes murder terrible. Same with a baby in the womb. It had a future which was taken away when it was killed.

    That thing you say about “killing an infant after it is born does avoid harming the child” sounds really scary to me. It reminds me of the slogan “pro-child, pro-choice,” by which people claim that killing a baby in the womb is an act of mercy for that child. No one would ever apply that rationale in other circumstances (e.g. rape victims, homeless people, mental patients, etc.)…. or would they?

    In Nazi German, there were Mercy wagons that came and took away children with various ailments – and euthanized them. Why? Because of a slogan – Lebensunwertes Leben – “life unworthy of life.” This Nazi slogan is identical to the logic of abortion today. These unborn are deemed life unworthy of life and therefore fit for destruction.

    Realize that these Nazi murderers believed what they were doing was right. They didn’t think they were murdering human beings. They thought they were merely euthanizing inferiors. Inhuman Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and the like.

    Are you really so certain that abortion doesn’t kill a human being? Or even a person? Those Nazi SS murderers would have said that THEY were sure. And the people who owned African slaves in an earlier time would have said that THEY were sure that blacks weren’t fully human.

    It ultimately comes down to whether you want to stand on the side of life, or on the side of death. And when in doubt, will you choose life? Or death?

  7. Joshua Says:

    I’m fairly sure that people who are in favour of abortion do not consider the foetus to be a person, but do consider the elderly to be people. Therefore, I can’t really see your concerns about killing the elderly, because of this difference.

    My point about sleep was not only that “I will wake up”, but more “I was just sleeping”. This implies that I was awake before then, and will be awake after then. The embryo, however, has never been ‘awake’. I hope that distinction is clear.

    I don’t think that a person who causes a miscarriage should be tried for murder/manslaughter. Deprivation of liberty, assault and grievous bodily harm are all that can be justified.

    Free will and autonomy are outside this discussion, and though I do agree with Singer and others that free will is only an illusion, I do not think this is the place to discuss it – it will need to be an in-depth argument, and it will diverge significantly from the topic at hand.

    To shoot somebody is wrong because you are ending a consciousness – preventing the further existence of a conscious entity. You are also taking away the past, in the form of memories and an acquired personality. As I have said before, to prevent a conscious entity from existing in the first place can not be wrong, or else any abstaining from unprotected sex with a member of the opposite sex would be wrong.

    I do not think that an infant or person with a disability is unworthy of life. The only exception would be one suffering severe pain, where life would be unbearably cruel. In fact, I have argued on my blog that people who want to have deaf babies should be allowed that choice. But I think the judgement about what sort of child to have should be left to parents – those are the ones who chose to have a child, chose with whom to have that child and chose when to have that child. It is only logical that they should be the ones given the choice of what sort of child to have. Any choice (excepting for the exception I gave above) should be afforded to them.

    Moral viewpoints have become more sophisticated in the past few centuries and even decades. Science has also advanced to inform our morals. The combination has led us to realize that other races of humans are not significantly different from ourselves, and importantly are equally conscious entities. Those in centuries past who killed other humans either did not have these facts, due to their state of primitive science, or were inculcated into not taking those facts seriously, due to cultural attitudes and propaganda (same reasons as people today ignore the science behind global warming and evolution).

    I am certain that abortion isn’t wrong (at least as certain as I am about the scientific facts on which my argument rests). I do not know whether the term ‘human being’ would be valid, but I do know that abortion does not kill a conscious entity. The preservation of conscious entities is a given moral responsibility (at least in any sensible ethical worldview), and hence I can say that killing your average human adult is murder, but that abortion is not.

  8. Michael Eden Says:

    Let me begin with where you end. I think you are calling your philosphy science, and I think you are calling the science that I have presented philosophy. What science have you presented, Joshua? If anyone has presented science, it is me: I’m the one that provided the rigorous system of scientific classification by which we recognize human fetuses as “homo sapiens” same as any other human. I’m the one who has mentioned EEG readings of brains and argued that people who were deemed brain dead by physicians HAVE recovered. Things like that. I have also been the one to point to the limitation of science: google “scientific consensus on human consciousness” and see what you get. Butkus. There isn’t anything of the sort. Consciousness is an almost impossible field for physics to study; and most scientists readily acknowledge that fact.

    One of our most fundamental disagreements is over the issue as to whether someone who once had consciousness (but doesn’t right now, as in the example of the sleeping or medicated adult) has moral value, versus the human being who has not yet manifested consciousness (by some scientific measurement, which – and again I mention the lack of anything even close to a consensus on consciousness – is fairly insignificant anyway). You argue that the unconscious adult has moral value because he at one time can be verified to have had consciousness; whereas the fetus has no moral worth because it can not be documented to have been conscious. I argue that your distinction is trivial. Until you build a time machine and take me back to the past, I am completely correct to argue that the past no longer exists, and does not provide a significant criterion to dictate who lives and who dies. And I offer a human corpse who USED to have consciousness in the past, but doesn’t and won’t ever again, as an example of how trivial this distinction really is. Let us be frank: by a rigid application of your ultimate criterion for consciousness, if someone does not demonstrate consciousness RIGHT NOW, they should not be accorded moral worth. And by that standard, the sleeping or medicated human being becomes a nonperson. And you are further willing to write off the lives of 1 1/2 year old children because they don’t meet your incredibly arbitrary and subjective criterion for consciousness. That isn’t science. Don’t try to tell anyone it is.

    Consciousness – whatever it is and however it is studied or measured – is something unique to human beings. A fetus has the inherent natural capacity to unfold every capacity that identifies us all as human. And, let me bring bring back the dead from my previous example: the developing fetus has the innate natural inherent capacity to bring on the functioning of consciousness; the corpse does not. To argue that the fetus and the corpse belong in the same moral category is simply foolish.

    As to “free will and consciousness being beyond this discussion,” it certainly is NOT when you depend on it for most of your points to have any validity – particularly when you yourself “agree with Singer and others that free will is only an illusion.”

    If free will is an illusion, then “a woman’s right to choose” is itself fundamentally based on an illusion, and virtually every argument you make falls flat on its face. All the stuff you presented about a woman’s autonomy over her own body falls by the wayside. I dare say that – by your view – NONE of us have any genuine consciousness or moral worth (we’re just meat robots) – and ALL of us are fair game for euthanasia. If you are right, abortion is perfectly valid simply because NONE of us have any genuine value apart from the most arbitary and subjective claims (for instance, I love my dog, and would sacrifice to save it, but you probably don’t give a rip about my dog. My dog is subjectively valuable only to me).

    I end with this. I hope that anyone who ever reads through these arguments can see that Joshua simply cannot offer a definitive proof that abortion doesn’t kill a morally valuable human being. What if he’s wrong, and it DOES?

    If there is a God (who doesn’t have a brain, but who does have consciousness, same as angels), then we have an immaterial human soul, and the argument for abortion is over. Let me offer the Nazis: does God not judge them as guilty because – as certain as they were – it turns out that they were wrong? I think they are in the lowest level of well-deserved hell right now. By the same measure, let me offer that if abortion results in the death of a morally valuable human being, then the person who advocates it is fully meriting of eternal divine wrath for killing innocent little lives. Don’t think “I didn’t know” is a valid moral excuse – because most historians believe Hitler thought HE was right. Throughout human history, new life in mommy’s womb has been greeted by culture after culture as a joyful, wonderful thing.

    I doubt that Joshua accepts the possibility of God, although I clearly hope that he one day does. But anyone reading this, if you thing there even MIGHT be a God, please take a moment and soberly evaluate whether you want to embrace abortion.

  9. Joshua Says:

    One can label a foetus, a kidney, a tumour cell – any of them – as human. But not necessarily ‘a human being’. Certainly you can tell a sperm cell from a Homo sapiens from a Pan troglodytes – you can tell a human sperm from chimp sperm. The real question we should be arguing is not taxonomy, but whether a foetus is a member of the human species (and what characteristics a member of the human species must have in order to deserve the rights of personhood).

    It is true that using consciousness as a criterion for personhood is not a scientific fact, because personhood is a moral issue not a factual one. I accept that. In my moral view, we are required to preserve consciousness. In a dead individual, it is impossible for that consciousness to be preserved, because it will never return. In a foetus, it is impossible for consciousness to be preserved because it hasn’t existed. In a sleeping human, consciousness has existed and will return, and hence can be preserved.

    Consciousness is not necessarily unique to human beings, though we are the species who presents the most advanced form of consciousness known. Apes are conscious – even more so than a human infant. An ape can recognise itself in the mirror, whereas a human infant (like most animals) thinks it is looking at a separate entity.

    People probably don’t have freedom of choice due to way the brain works, but that does not give anyone a right to impose upon somebody else’s brain’s choices. We can have both personal liberty (not being interfered with by others) but still not have cognitive liberty (the ability to have freedom of will).

    It is entirely possible that there is a God, but we do not have a soul. After all, most people think there is a God and that flies do not have souls. How do we know that a God gave us a soul and not some alien life on another world? It is also entirely possible that God exists, and that ‘ensoulment’ only occurs at 18 months of age.

  10. Michael Eden Says:

    Come on, Johsua: it is the scientific classification system that acknowledges that the fetus is a human being, but that a sperm cell is not. You need to get with the program on this. The sperm cell does not have the attributes to qualify as “homo sapiens” because it is not a complete genetic individual representative of homo sapiens; the fetus does, and is. Case closed by a fundamental field of science. The day you see a sperm cell with the capacity to walk around and carry out a conversation with you, let me know. Until then, this is frankly a trivial line of reasoning.

    Your view that personhood is “a moral issue not a factual one” is the distinction of a Nazi. Moral laws ARE facts. You need to realize something: your denial of human free will (from one of your other posts), your denial of the transcendent, and now your denial of objective morality are quite literally the central presepts of FASCISM. (Please realize that I am not saying you are a Nazi, or that you want the end results that the Nazis wanted. What I am saying is that too many of your ideas are identical with theirs, and the logical extension of such ideas becomes the same end we have seen before.)

    You openly acknowledge that the criterion of consciousness is not something that is “scientific fact,” and then you proceed to tell me that unborn humans don’t have it as though it IS a scientific fact that they don’t have it! You openly contradict yourself. Animals have souls (read my last response on the ‘In defense of life’ post for more on that), but clearly human souls are ontologically and categorically different from animal souls: human souls have capacities that animal souls will never have. Your monkey aint building a rocket ship any time soon, and it sure aint typing out the works of Shakespeare.

    Again, your denial of free will, combined with your defense of free choice, is self-referentially absurd. I would argue that cattle doesn’t have free will, which is why I don’t mind having one for lunch! Again, read about fascist thought, and learn how they thought EXACTLY what you think; consider how that thinking progressed in what at the time was the most educated and technically-advanced society on earth at the time; and then contemplate how they would come to justify their actions on the basis of this thought. Then go to Marxism, and see how they similarly (like yourself) denied the transcendent, denied human freedom, and then systematically oppressed the human freedom they had trivialized.

    Again, please understand, Joshua, I’m not implying you “a Nazi.” What I am claiming is that your ideas are harmonious with Nazi ideology. Nor am I trying to say that you share the desires of the Nazis. Rather, I am saying that ideas have consequences, and that there is a logic that need only be realized in your thought, just as it came to be in Nazi thought. Nazi ideology did not originate with Hitler; it emerged from the minds of intellectuals, until it obtained sufficient explanatory power over the culture for a Hitler to capture the mind of a nation.

    My short answer to your last paragraph is: God is an immaterial soul; God created us ‘Imago Dei’ in His image; it is the soul which provides volition, animation, and consciousness; therefore we have a soul. Read my latest post to the “In defense of life” article for more. And the passages I cite in that article clearly reveal that God formed a soul in the womb.

    The word “formed” (Hebrew “yah-tzar”, Strong # 3335) in JER 1:5 is the SAME word used in Gen 2:7,8 to describe Adam, (“then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground). And there are a number of Hebrew words for “form.” God didn’t merely ADD something to Adam; he formed him in his essence from scratch. Your argument falls apart.

  11. Joshua Says:

    Hey, a sperm cell is haploid, yes, but it still contains a single copy of every gene in the human genome (so, it is a human sperm. Classified as such based on its genes). It may soon prove to be possible to make a sperm cell, or an egg, form into life. There is no reason why it couldn’t happen.

    Moral laws are not facts. There is no way they can be determined. You can’t just look at something and then say “clearly, murder is always bad” or “murder is bad, unless the person deserved it”. All we can say, factually, is that this person thinks this way and this other person thinks a different way.

    I did say that using consciousness as a basis for moral laws is not a scientific fact (see above – morals aren’t facts), but it is a fact that embryos are not conscious.

    Cattle do have free will, in the limited sense we do. They are not as conscious, so that limits their freedom of thought and action, but they certainly can make choices. My acceptance of beef comes from their lack of consciousness.

    God didn’t specify how long it took him to form Adam. It could have taken him an hour or so. Maybe it was a metaphor for evolution, and therefore took him 4 billion years. Regardless, Jer 1:5 doesn’t tell us at what stage during pregnancy God finished his process, only that it was before birth.

  12. Michael Eden Says:

    Your link to the “egg” thing doesn’t go anywhere.

    How do you have free will in a limited sense?

    How do you get life or consciousness by rearranging material “BBs” which in themselves are lifeless and conscious-less?

    If matter (i.e. brains) came first, and then intelligence, how did we get to intelligence? Let me put it this way: if all matter combined by mere chance, unguided by any Intelligence, then it necessarily follows that the molecules of the human brain are also the product of mere chance. In other words, we think the way we do simply because the atoms and molecules of our brain tissue happen to have combined the way they have, totally without transcendental guidance or control. So then all of our philosophies, our systems of logic, and all our approaches to reality, are the result of blind random fortuity. We think the way we do simply because the atoms in our brains happen to have combined in the way they have.

    You can’t argue for “limited free will” or any kind of free will at all based on your own presuppositions. That’s why intelligence, or the soul, MUST be prior to the brain.

    The bottom line is this: if you are right in the premises we have disagreed over, abortion is perfectly fine. But so is treating ALL human beings like cattle apart from purely subjective speculation. Abortion isn’t a crime in this case, but neither is the killing of any homo sapiens (in the sense of ‘animal’); we merely arbitrarily decide to declare ourselves valuable.

    And frankly, the VERY FACT that we can “decide” to “declare” ourselves valuable proves that we are NOT the kind of thing you say we are, but rather the kind of thing God says we are.

  13. Joshua Says:

    I meant to link to this story. In case my html doesn’t work, the url is this: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=korean-cloned-human-cells

    The free will argument (and the cosmological argument for God) seems irrelevant here. I don’t think we have free will, but we do have a will (determined ultimately by molecular interactions in our brain, and outside stimuli). One of the accepted premises of liberty is that we cannot impose our will (free or not) on someone else (free or not), without good reason.

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