Not Good Enough, But Why?

Previously I had put a question out there to those who profess to be pro-choice on the issue of abortion.  I wanted to know if (in the opinion of someone who is pro-choice) there was ever a reason a woman offered for why she would want an abortion that was simply not a good reason.  Regardless of the background information of her personal situation, is there a reason in and of itself, that is just not a good enough reason to justify an abortion?

Right away I noticed a trend which required me to add a disclaimer.  Pro-choice advocates responded with defenses of abortion.  They responded by asking me if I understood what the pro-choice position really is.  Of course I know what the pro-choice position is.  And I know that being pro-choice does not mean you want every pregnancy to end in abortion.  I get it.

What I was hoping to achieve was to get respondents to see what I believe is an inconsistency in their view. As one blogger had the intellectual honesty to admit in the comment section of his own post on the abortion debate:

  • I believe abortion is inherently morally wrong.  No, I do not believe that every reason a woman uses to choose abortion is valid. [citation]
  • I agree that abortion is a scourge on our society. [citation]
  • I understand all too well that we are talking about human lives. [citation]
  • So we are clear, I acknowledge that abortion kills babies.  I’m not going to dance around that issue. [citation]

There were at least two things I was looking to have happen.  First I wanted those offering bad reasons to think about why they were bad reasons.  What made it a bad reason?  Because not every reason is good enough to end a pregnancy, which takes the life of a human being.  Second, I was hoping someone would make my argument for me.  And someone finally did.

  •  Abortion is not immoral, so there are no moral reasons that would make the choise [sic] bad. [citation]

I would argue that if abortion does not take the life of an innocent human being, then there is no need to defend the decision to abort.  If abortion does not take the life of an innocent human being, abortion is not a moral issue.  However, if abortion does take the life of an innocent human being, then no justification is even possible, save for the life of the mother.

The fact that a poor reason exists to justify abortion suggests that ending a pregnancy is not simply a mere medical procedure.  Deep down I think everyone knows this, and this is evident when someone recognizes that there are some reasons which do not justify an abortion.

I find it entirely inconsistent for someone to think abortion is wrong on any level, but supports its legality. For consistency’s sake, elective abortion should require no justification what so ever, or as the commenter noted, every reason should suffice.

So I re-urge those who are pro-choice to think about this: if you believe there are reasons that would not justify an abortion, think about why.  Why is that a bad reason?  If abortion is not immoral, is a bad reason even possible?

Comments

  1. I knew where you were going with the argument, John. Just like my response to your previous post, you simply avow your moral righteousness towards any rebuttal and then conclude that we should all just acknowledge that “deep down we know it’s wrong”. We could say the same for the death penalty, but we make excuses and exceptions for that.

    If we are all to agree, as you suggest, that abortion is morally wrong on any level, how do you personally justify the abortions committed by your deity? If abortion is immoral, is a good reason even possible?

    • Do you really think I couldn’t make a case for the Author of life to be justified in taking it, or permitting it to be lost without intervention?

      The fact remains that at the point of conception there is a unique human life created. It is morally wrong to intentionally take that life without proper justification.

      If someone believes abortion is not immoral, then there should exist no bad reason to not have one.

      If abortion does not take a human life, there is no need to justify it.

      • John, let’s be honest here – Christians often speak on behalf of their deity. Don’t get shy now. How do YOU reconcile the immoral behavior? (“Oh well, I guess he must have a good reason…”)

        No, the fact remains that a zygote is created at conception, you just fail to understand the biology of animal development.

        Correct.

        Correct.

        If you’re so against taking a human life, how do you justify any behavior that takes a human life? Is that subjective?

        • Zygote is a stage in development, just like infant, toddler, adolescent, adult, etc. Its a human being. Perhaps you’ll fare better if you don’t look up so glowingly to PZ Myers.

          If you want to discuss further the difference between justified and unjustified taking of life, bring it over to “One of these things is not lik the others” where I mark the difference.

        • Aside from these differences in definitions, I’d still be interested to address your casual dismissal of accepting the immoral behavior of your deity.

          You are so adamant in making the point that abortion is immoral, period.
          Why do you worship a god who is obviously immoral?

          • You are so adament in taking these discussions off topic. I did not mention God or religion in the post, why did you? Can you not address the issue I raised that you need to deflect elsewhere?

        • Typical, John – now you’re accusing me of going off-topic.

          Your post addresses the morality of abortion, does it not?
          Your view is that abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being, is it not?
          Your conclusion is that abortion is immoral, is it not?

          Since you imply that your morality is based on religious principles, is it not fair to address the contradiction of your belief system with your own argument?

          I conclude that your argument using morality is empty unless you’re willing to entertain the immoral behavior of a deity who commits the same action.

          • Am I to take from this that you do not believe taking the life of an innocent human being is wrong? So before we continue, you believe it is ok to take the life of an innocent human being, is that right?

        • I do not consider a fertilized egg a human being.

        • sure, I’ll play along… I agree it’s wrong to kill an innocent human being.

        • So that’s it then, is it?

          You’ve made your stand. A fertilized egg is an innocent human being and it’s wrong to take it…

          Never mind that all pregnancies don’t result in birth.
          Never mind the reasons one may have for terminating a pregnancy. Chances are it’s just selfishness.

          So, even if we were to successfully prevent any pregnancy from being terminated, what then?
          Would you care as much for these innocent human beings once their born?

          • “[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.” — Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

            “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.” — Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8

            From 2 modern embryology text books. a new living human being is created at the point of conception.

            Second, whether all pregnancies carry to term is irrelevant to whether it is morally permissible to intentionally kill an innocent human being.

            Third, if we cannot kill a 3 year old for the same reasons someone gets an abortion, then you are being inconsistent, since a 3 year old is not more human than an embryo, just more developed. And unless youre going to argue that the less developed a human is, the less valuable that human is. At which point you’d be arguing someone who intentionally kills an infant is less culpable than someone who intentionally kills an adult.

            Fourth, I or you dont need to care for the babies once born in order to take a stand against the wrongness of abortion; any more than you need to be willing to marry battered women in order to advocate against domestic violence. Or advocate against murdering 3 yearolds unless you are willing to adopt them.

        • Throw selective sections of biological writing at me all you wish; science doesn’t make an emotional issue of cellular development like you want it to.

          Second, successful birth rates are certainly relevant if you wish to impose a faith-based morality standard to “an innocent human being”.

          Third, there is an obvious difference between a 3 year old and an embryo and you know that. You don’t have your “conception date” on your birth certificate. You also aren’t recognized as part of any population until your birth. I’m not aware of any fetus that’s been categorized as a dependent or in possession of a social security number.

          Fourth, I find it disturbing that you scream about the rights of the unborn, yet lose any interest in their existence after their born. I guess they’re just not innocent to you anymore and that’s a legitimate point.

          When you boil it all down, it just comes down to your emotional attachment to the self-importance of human beings. I see human beings as members of the animal kingdom, whereas you think humans are not. Whether you acknowledge the religious overtones of advocates against abortion or not, the premise is still based on the arrogance of the importance of man. Your emotional bias has influenced your ability to objectively look at life on this planet.

          So, now that we’ve sorted that out, I’m guessing you still wish to avoid addressing the immoral nature of your god?

          • Maybe you can find an embryology text book which contradicts those?

            Second, thats like justifying murder because the death rate of people is 100%.

            Third, the only difference between the 3 year old and the three minute old, is level of development. The nature is the same, and neither will become more human. At conception the full genetic make up is present and will never become more human biologically or genetically. Also, there is an obvious difference between a 3 year old and a 30 year old. So? What difference does a SSN or tax dependency status carry as far as being a human being? Remember Scott Peterson? He killed his pregnant wife and was charged and convicted of 2 murders, now what?

            Forth, I expect you to be silent on starving children if you arent willing to feed them all. I expect you to remain silent on domestic violence until youre prepared to marry all those women. I expect you to remain silent on child rape until you’re ready to adopt them all. This is the silliest argument pro-choicers have.

            Lastly, If you do not distinguish between the value of man and the value of worms, I recommend you get help. Seriously. There is no talking to someone who does not think human beings have value above the rest of life on Earth. Sorry. Come back when you believe you are worth something.

        • http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/serpentine-edge09/wolpert_vid.html

          I doubt you’ll watch it…

          To say that there is no difference between a 3 year old and 3 minute old is asinine.

          The comparisons to starving children, domestic violence and child rape have nothing to do with this discussion and I wonder why you keep making references to them. Your belief is that abortion is murder, plain and simple, yet you don’t wish to have anything to do with the results if you had your way of making it go away. Quite frankly, the topics of starving children, domestic violence and child rape don’t bode well for your argument of an all-loving god either, but I’m sure you have excuses for that. I’m still waiting for you to reconcile your god’s immorality regarding abortion.

          I value my life, John, as well as all of nature around me. I have to admit, though, it’s difficult to have compassion for pompous folk who believe they’re god’s gift to the planet.

        • I expect you to be silent on starving children if you arent willing to feed them all. I expect you to remain silent on domestic violence until youre prepared to marry all those women. I expect you to remain silent on child rape until you’re ready to adopt them all. This is the silliest argument pro-choicers have.

          This is why I continue to argue that analogies do not work in the abortion debate, John. How do we address child hunger? We have school breakfast programs, we have food stamps, we have child tax credits (in Canada), we control the price of essential goods, we set up support systems like Child Services.
          How do we address spousal abuse? We have women’s shelters, advertising campaigns, support networks, anti-stalking laws, and free counseling.
          How do we address child rape? We create support systems, accessible reporting procedures, child services, counseling, and procedural and evidence laws that insulate the victim from further harm.

          In the case of each of these things, we are not dealing with competing rights. Yet in each case we go out of our way to create a support system that dissipates the frequency of the moral wrong in conjunction with the prohibition. In the case of abortion, the prohibition is not there because of a competing (and reasonable or not) moral imperative. These examples are not analogous to abortion because there is no competing moral imperative- whether or not you agree with the weight each right is given.

          • George,
            In each case we see it as obvious that intervene on behalf of someone being deprived of some right.

            We feed the starving child, why? Because that child is worthy of being fed.
            We provide womens shelters and lock up abusers, why? Because women are worthy of being protected.
            We create support systems and counselling for abused children, and lock up abusers, why? Because children are worthy of protection from abusers.

            Do we ever take into consideration the mothers of the victims? What do we think of mothers who might get in the way of help? What do we think of a mother who refuses to let someone feed her starving child? What do we think of a mother who threatens to intervene with someone who wants to save an abused woman? What do we think of a mother who resists helping her abused child?

            Now why do we all of a sudden find it acceptable to allow a woman to kill her child, as long as it’s still in her womb? The reason we protect the others is because they are valuable human beings. Why are they valuable? is it because they are outside the womb? When we ask someone why are people valuable, I have never gotten the response “because they are outside the womb” You know why? Because it is an inherent value, regardless of where the child is located.

            Sure the mother’s body is being used, but that is the natural environment for a growing child. It’s not like the child is out of place. Parents have a wholly different responsibility to protect theor children that strangers do not.

            There was nothing wrong with the analogy. It is asinine to argue that unless I am willing to adopt and care for someone else’s child, I cannot be opposed to the mother killing it. Like I said, it is the stupidest argument that pro-choicers have, and I am disappointed you have.

        • There was nothing wrong with the analogy. It is asinine to argue that unless I am willing to adopt and care for someone else’s child, I cannot be opposed to the mother killing it. Like I said, it is the stupidest argument that pro-choicers have, and I am disappointed you have.

          John, that whole paragraph stinks of desperation. The argument is not that you can’t oppose abortion, it’s that you can’t set up a society in which you place little value on a human life and then turn around and insist that the person most affected by that life value it more than society. And that is not even at the heart of my pro-choice stand, it is just a potential solution for those who wish to do something about it. You are diverting the argument away from the fact that there is someone else involved in a pregnancy other than a child.

          To give you a better analogy that you might want to chew on- I am arguing that we live in a society that has classes in how to demean women, people slapping their wives in every window, policies that set up men’s rights only, and a society that thinks beating women is normal…..and you are saying the solution is to make beating women in public illegal- and nothing else. Except that you have to imagine that there is something inherently beneficial about allowing men to continue to beat their wives.
          You are insisting that you cannot understand why a U.S. Senate resolution condemning Israeli attacks on Palestine didn’t end the Arab/Israeli conflict.

          I hate these stupid analogies. Check out my latest post.

          • That analogy makes absolutely no sense to me. Could you re-write it with the comparative aspects of how you understand my view in parentheses? For example in describing the debt problem, if my wife spends a lot of money (govt spending irresponsibly) and I dont make enough to cover her spending (not enough tax revenue) then we dont have an income problem (we’re not under taxed), we have a spending problem (we over spend, because Democrats eat babies and are stupid)

            Do you know what I mean? I am just not seeing where my view is analogously expressed in your analogy. I’m not saying it isnt comparable, I just don’t get it, sorry.

        • Using your family analogy, I think what George is trying to address is the fact that you need to generate more income if you insist on imposing the laws of your house that result in your wife spending more to cover the expenses of your actions.

          You are upset because you feel abortion kills the life of a human being, yet you don’t feel any societal responsibility toward the repercussion of keeping that human life.

          In relationship to the bigger picture, the analogy of your house is irrelevant. The fact is there are many irresponsible behaviors regarding reproduction in our society, but it is highly unlikely that Christ would simply choose to turn a blind eye to any obligation as a result of this behavior. The answer lies in education about the behavior in the first place.

          • Lets use the Z method of reduction. You think then “you take care of my kids, I didn’t want em, I wanted to kill them, so you should care for them” is that right?

        • Yep.

          “So they could be with my Father”, says Jesus

          Seriously, what does that say of you if you’re willing to turn your back to “an innocent” if they are born to a mother who was forced by your law to have them in the first place? I know I’m casting the mother in a horrible light, but it’s to expose an attitude far from that of Christ.

      • See, John?
        You and I agree on at least one point:

        The fact remains that at the point of conception there is a unique human life created. It is morally wrong to intentionally take that life without proper justification.

        Agreed!

        Just to play devil’s advocate to your next point though- and to give you some indication of what Oscar and others are saying (possibly without knowing it), consider this:
        If someone believes that going to see a movie is not immoral, then there should exist no bad reason to go to the movies.
        Now what if someone blew off their custody arrangement with their children to go see that movie? Would going to the movies be an immoral act?

        Think about this. Your answer is going to be that the immoral act was not spending time with your children when they expected it, not going to the movie. But to a pro-choice advocate the immoral act is holding women’s liberty hostage by taking control away from them to lord over their reproductive system.
        So in Oscar’s case, if he thinks abortion is morally neutral, he can come up with many reasons that are poor to have an abortion- and they will all have a differently moral dimension. Your argument makes no sense.

        • I see what you are saying, Which is why I thought I parsed it correctly. In your example, blowing off a custody arrangement, is itself a bad thing in itself, like you said. But it could be the bad reason for any number of morally benign things. I was looking for a bad reason specifically for abortion, not necessarily for other things. So that being what I was looking for Rautakyy I thought was the most consistent in his response. And really should have been Oscar’s response given his opinion of the amorality of abortion. But it looks like he was just trying to play by the rules. I was asking for a bad reason, so he tried to give one. Granted if he thought “no bad reason should exist due to the amorality…” he probably would have given that answer.

          I really theink the “personhood” defense for abortion is contrived and arbitrary, and I think it is the least genuine response for the reasons I gave Oscar.

  2. Do you think it’s wrong to lie? Is honesty a moral issue? Is lying an act that takes a human life? Should telling a lie be illegal?

    You are mixing up concepts, using them as though they are synonymous when they are not even as related as you assume.

    • Immorality per se should not necessarily be illegal. Plenty of immoral behaviors should not be criminalized.

      But taking an innocent human life should be. Don’t you think?

  3. John,

    There are a few things that I wish to say:

    I concur with the assertion that abortion is not immoral. Specifically, abortion is morally neutral. As I said on George’s post (which, I’m kinda bummed he still hasn’t responded to me yet…), morality is only applicable to persons. Up to a certain point during the developmental process, a fetus is not a person – it has no emotion, no sensation, not even the capacity for experience or perception. It just is.

    In my comment on your last post, I provided what I felt was a bad reason for abortion not because I thought it was immoral, but because it reflects poorly on the expectant mother (I apologize for not following-up to your secondary questions. Life is really hectic right now). I cited ‘inconvenience’, not because I think it is immoral to abort a fetus, but because this selfishness is counter-intuitive to what society is built upon. I cited ‘inconvenience’ as a bad reason to abort not on behalf of the fetus, but on behalf of society. I know this point wasn’t really clear, but you were being really stringent with what you were allowing and I didn’t want to deviate too far off topic.

    I didn’t read the thread of comments, but I’m staring at something you said, John, that I would like to respond to:

    “Plenty of immoral behaviors should not be criminalized. But taking an innocent human life should be. Don’t you think?

    Not necessarily. Again, there must be a distinction between human and person. I would even say ‘not necessarily’ in the case of the innocent human, as well. Else, how would one justify abortion when the mother’s life is at stake?

    • Oh Oscar,

      Are you then ok with the smothering of coma patients? By your reasoning, it’s ok to kill the victim of an accident who is unresponsive.

      If morality only applies to persons, then the authorities are mistaken to protect animals from abuse?

      Personhood is an argument developed by abortion advocates out of necessity because all others have eventually failed. Abortion used to be permissable because the thing was just a clump of cells and not human, like a blood clot. Eventually science caught up and we know it is more than just a clump of cells, that it was genetically unique and human. Then abortion was permissable because we didn’t know when the life began. Then science caught up and we know life begins at conception.

      Now it is down to personhood. The pro-choice side is doing everything it can to deaden the conscience of women and society and convince them to deny the inate drive to protect their child. Imagine that. Don’t you find it odd that abortion advocates oppose every effort for women to be more informed about their “choice”. They oppose sonograms so they don’t have to see the human form of the baby. They oppose ultrasounds so they dont have to hear a heart beat. They oppose doctors telling them that abortion ends the life of a human being.

      IWhy are pro-abortion advocates in favor of women being less informed?

      • “Are you then ok with the smothering of coma patients? By your reasoning, it’s ok to kill the victim of an accident who is unresponsive.”

        I’m not exactly sure where you got this from. Coma patients still have the capacity to experience. Coma patients can still perceive minimal stimuli. In what way are they less than a person? Because they are not conscious? I didn’t cite consciousness as a criterion. If I did, this would render people who are sleeping without moral standing. With regards to the unresponsive victim, you’re going to have to be a bit less ambiguous what you mean by ‘unresponsive’.

        Everything else you wrote didn’t actually address my argument.

        “Don’t you find it odd that abortion advocates oppose every effort for women to be more informed about their “choice”. They oppose sonograms so they don’t have to see the human form of the baby. They oppose ultrasounds so they dont have to hear a heart beat. They oppose doctors telling them that abortion ends the life of a human being.

        IWhy are pro-abortion advocates in favor of women being less informed?”

        Yeah, I do find it strange. What does that have to do with my argument, though? While it may be “down to person-hood”, until science determines that a cluster of cells has the capacity to perceive, experience, etc., or until someone informs me why my position is wrong. I’ll still hold to it.

        “If morality only applies to persons, then the authorities are mistaken to protect animals from abuse?”

        Now whose going off-topic? I thought you wanted to restrict the discussion to abortion? Do you really want to make this discussion so that it encompasses morality in general?

        • Have you ever heard of “silent scream”? Very early on a developing fetus can feel and respond to stimuli.

          Here’s the problem with the personhood debate. What can you possibly use to measure personhood? Does it develop? By what physical meas does it do so? Where is the gene for personhood? And the most important question–Who gets to determines the properties of personhood, why are those properties correct, and by what authority is this decided upon? The problem is it is entirely subjective. The qualities can be changed any time the abortion advocate needs it changed. On the other hand, whether a thing is alive is testable. Whether a thing is human is testable. Whether a thing is a person is at the whim of the one arguing for abortion.

          I didn’t think my question about animal abuse was off topic. Maybe I didn’t flesh it out. You said “morality is only applicable to persons. Up to a certain point during the developmental process, a fetus is not a person”

          My point then is, if it is ok to kill a human being that isn’t a person, then it is ok to abuse an animal who isn’t a person, right? By extension, a human can perform any act on anything with out any moral culpability. So since morality only applies to persons, then animal abuse is morally neutral, correct? I am trying to get you to see that “morality is only applicable to persons” is obviously false.

          BTW, I fully expect a defense of your assertion that personhood develops, and the means by which it develops. Please.

          Also, what is so special about personhood that a non-person human can be dispached with moral immunity?

    • Oscar, I replied to your comment this morning. I still think you hold to the right outcome for all the wrong reasons, but I look forward to meting it out with you.
      Just to ask you a question here, you said:

      I cited ‘inconvenience’, not because I think it is immoral to abort a fetus, but because this selfishness is counter-intuitive to what society is built upon. I cited ‘inconvenience’ as a bad reason to abort not on behalf of the fetus, but on behalf of society.

      What is selfish about doing something that causes no harm to anyone, as you claim in your stand that a fetus is not a person? If there is no real person affected, then an action cannot be selfish, just gratifying.

      I’m perplexed as to why you see nothing wrong with that position.

  4. John, I am very disappointed. Did you really just trod out a propaganda video on par with Stein’s “Expelled”?

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/PPFA/Facts_Speak_Louder_than_the_Silent_Scream_03-02.pdf

    “What can you possibly use to measure personhood? Does it develop? By what physical meas does it do so? Where is the gene for personhood? And the most important question–Who gets to determines the properties of personhood, why are those properties correct, and by what authority is this decided upon? The problem is it is entirely subjective.”

    I have not even implied that ‘personhood’ is one thing, so your asking for genetic makeup of personhood, as well as its rate of development is disingenuous at best, purposefully deceitful at worst. I know you, John, so I know that you’re not being purposefully deceitful and I have to think that you’re merely not really thinking through my comments at all and are simply haphazardly responding. There is one good question that you asked, though: how does one determine personhood?

    From wiki:

    “A person (plural: persons or people; from Latin: persona, meaning “mask”)is a human being, or an entity that has certain capacities or attributes associated with personhood, for example in a particular moral or legal context. Such capacities or attributes can include agency, self-awareness, a notion of the past and future, and the possession of rights and duties, among others.

    This is a bit simplistic, but it provides a good starting point. I ask you, does a fetus at all fit the above description of what a person is? Does it have self-awareness? Agency? Capacity to perceive? Anything that most people would regard as fundamental attributes of a person? What we see in a fetus is, at most, reflex responses to stimuli. I find it very hard to believe that even you cannot see that a fetus – in no way, shape or form (well, maybe shape) – does not embody at least one attribute to what is considered fundamental to be a ‘person’. I cannot give you a full thesis at what time the various qualities are present in a human because a) it is rather dependent on fetal development and, as such, there is no strict delineation and b) I have left behind my studies of neuroscience from my pre-med days and have essentially repressed all my memories from those two years. I would refer you to a neuroscience textbook for such criteria as ‘capacity to experience’, self-awareness, agency, etc.

    “The problem is it is entirely subjective. The qualities can be changed any time the abortion advocate needs it changed. On the other hand, whether a thing is alive is testable. Whether a thing is human is testable. Whether a thing is a person is at the whim of the one arguing for abortion.”

    Careful. You’re dependence on testability may lead you down a path you don’t want to go. :P

    Out of curiosity, has there been a major shift in thinking on what constitutes a person? Genuine question.

    I will admit that I do not have a clear-cut understanding of what constitutes a person, but you have failed to provide me with how a fetus at all fits into the description. Furthermore, if science were to determine that a fetus is self-aware starting at 10 weeks, then I would obviously reassess my stance, but the facts do not corroborate your view, John.

    Your questions about non-human entities is besides the point because we are talking about human morality, not morality in general (yes, I do think morality is different for entities of higher conscious states. and yes, i’m aware of the implications this would have on entities with higher conscious states than humans. but, again, this is all besides the point.)

    • You keep begging the question on why personhood is the key. Why is self awareness the standard? How is that not arbitrary? Wouldn’t it also put someone in the position to somehow lose their personhood if we use your definition? Or does it only apply to human beings in the womb?

      I know you havent said personhood is a physical thing. And I think thats the liability, its a concept. And concepts can be adjusted at the will of the one making an argument.

      A baby 30 seconds outside of the womb doesnt have more self awareness than one 30 seconds from outside the womb. As I see it, many brain dead people lack your criteria. And to argue “capacity” or perhaps normativity, that all applies to a yet-to-be-born child, no?

      I guess in the end, I find the personhood defense the most disingenuous. Not necessarily you, but it is obviously a completely subjective argument, and it’s meant to be; it’s meant to the final gainsay. The standards are wholly arbitrary and are adjustable to suit. And that’s on purpose. Because theres nothing to combat it with anything measurable. Its unfalsifiable.

  5. John, I noticed you ignored and sidestepped the question that points out that YOU believe it’s okay to kill innocent babies, IF your God commands it. Probably you believe it is okay IF there is a war going on, if you’re like most war-supporters.

    You yourself make exceptions to the “it is wrong to kill innocent people/babies” rule. On what moral basis, then, would you say, “When I think an exception is okay, it’s okay, but when others think it’s okay, it’s not okay”?

    • First, God does not command individuals to go on killing sprees. In the OT the nation of Israel was commanded to eliminate morbidly depraved societies from the regions, but I am not part of the OT nation of Israel, nor am I a part of OT theocratic Israel. I will not be commanded to do any such thing. So If I heard a voice telling me to do so, I’d seek help. Since you don’t believe God would command Israel to wipe out a depraved nation (even though it says it plain as day, its one of your hand picked hyperbole sections) you don’t believe God as the author of life can take it whenever and by whatever meas He choses. From God’s perspective no one is innocent, we all have sinned.

      War has unfortunate casualties. God commanded Israel to go to war. There are just wars and I’m not going to discuss it. Nice job taking this to the topic of war, you should have made this comment on the post where I discuss this. But unfortunately, you have used your last straw. Find someone else to annoy.

      • Do you not see the hypocrisy in your own statement, John?

        In the first sentence you state that god doesn’t command individuals to kill (how would you claim to know this anyway?) and then in the very next sentence you state god’s command of a nation of individuals to kill. Then you conveniently separate yourself from the atrocity by stating you’re not a member of that nation.

        You’ve somehow reconciled belief in a creator how kills at his own discretion without questioning the morality you so righteously claim.

        If no one is innocent, why do you make an emotional plea regarding “innocent human beings”?

        • I know you like to try to reduce things until they dont make sense, but, there is a difference between commanding an individual, John the blogger to kill. And commanding a nation made up of individuals to kill. For example, when Congress delcares war, it essentially commands the U.S. Military to kill the enemy. It is not necessarily commanding Pvt. Johnson, Cpl. Smith, Lt. Brown, etc. So no there is a problem with the reader of my comment, not the comment.

          Innocent from God’s perspective and innocent from our perspective are two different things. Even in the Bible God does not allow man to just kill anyone because they are not technecally innocent. Perhaps George will spend the time to explain it to you, because you keep offering the same complaints based on the same misunderstandings of Biblical theology.

        • Ohhhhh, I see.

          So, by your logic, if the nation of Iran was commanded by god to kill infidels you’d be ok with that. You’d probably claim they were mistaken, though – I guess it’s all up to interpretation and how you wish to define things.

          There you go again, asserting the position from your deity’s perspective. How could you, John Barron Jr., assume to know exactly what god’s perspective is?

          As far as reducing things in concerned, yes, that’s what I do. I wade through all the bs to get to the root of the belief and expose it for what it is.

        • “Perhaps George will spend the time to explain it to you, because you keep offering the same complaints based on the same misunderstandings of Biblical theology.”

          Hey John…..
          Thanks for “throwing me under the bus”….LOL. If I explain it, you won’t like it- so why make the invitation?

          Back on topic, I think we can all agree that whatever it is that is sitting in the womb of a pregnant woman (be it a blastocyst, “cluster of cells”, fetus, or human being)- it is innocent. Whether you believe that it is innocent the way a rock that flew threw a window is innocent or the way an emaciated child that is literally starving to death is innocent- whatever sense you want to use that word in- it/he/she is innocent. It is not a point of contention here, so why use the term with rhetorical abandon?

          • I say you can explain it because even if you dont believe it to be true, I assume you still know the explanation. Hearing it from a skeptic carries more weight that a “Christian defending turf”. But, yes, it is a digression.

            I use the term innocent specifically because I believe there are justifiable reasons to take someone’s life. Not every taking of human life is morally wrong. However it is never morally justifiable to intentionally take the life of an innocent. It isn’t a rhetorical device attempting to tug at the heart strings, it is a distinction.

        • Just like your distinction between juvenile and adult no doubt.

          So, by your definition, when is an innocent not innocent anymore?

        • Just merely not innocent

          • Sure, any intentional wrong committed. From the very first time you did something you knew was wrong, you were no longer innocent. But merely innocent does not warrant death. So it’s pretty irrelevant.

        • I still don’t quite understand the ambiguity though…

          So you’re saying it has to do with the awareness of “right” and “wrong” behavior?
          At what age do you reckon that takes place?

        • So a crying baby is committing a “wrong”?

        • John, you’ve got to understand the problem with discussing ANYTHING with you.

          You have your own definitions for words and terminology. It’s important to understand just what it is you’re trying to say.

          Why use the word “innocent” if were not discussing a court case? If “innocent” means up to the age where an individual should know the difference between “right” and “wrong” that should be defined, as well as the subjectivity of what is deemed “right” and “wrong”.

          If it’s all the same to you, maybe you should avoid using the word at all…

          • Even with a legal definition of innocent, babies have not committed any crime worthy of capital punishment. It seems in your attempts to “boil things down” you intentionally exclude any distinctions of concepts and definitions. Either be straight forward or keep to yourself. Either discuss the actual post (and not religion or God or the Bible, since I never brought it up) or keep to yourself.

        • No one is using the word here in a legal sense. I just wanted to know your definition, that’s all.
          Stop being so hostile and pretend to be more Christian please.

  6. Or, to put it in the words of your post…

    if [war-making; following a god’s orders] does take the life of an innocent human being, then no justification is even possible, save for the life of the mother.

    The fact that a poor reason exists to justify [war-making, following a god’s orders] suggests that ending an [innocent life] is not simply a mere [legitimate decision].

  7. John,

    Please allow me some time to draft a response. There is much that I want to cover, but I have two finals and a paper due all in the next couple of days and I don’t think I can devote that much time in my response just yet.

  8. Terrance H. says:

    You do a great job defending life, John.

    I may have changed my general politics, but I’ll never compromise my pro-life views.

    Good job, buddy.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the most pressing concerns for a woman contemplating leaving their husband and reporting abuse.  As John Barron points out, we do this because women are worthy of being protected.  So why do we not offer infrastructure to […]

Any Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: