God, killing, and abortion

It’s my experience that many Atheists fault God for commanding the Israelites to kill peoples at His will.  As I have heard it, they believe God is quite the monster when he demands no men, women, nor children be spared.  Some Atheists have even described it as God commanding murder.  My point here isn’t to defend these commands, though it can be done.  And I’m also not picking on Atheists here exclusively either.  It’s just that I find that if one is pro-choice on the issue of abortion, they are also more likely to be an Atheist as well. In other words it’s just that the majority of Atheists are pro-choice (68%).  But this could apply to anyone who is pro-choice and finds God’s commanding the killing of rival cultures morally reprehensible.

Knowing what we do about the development of human beings, namely that from the moment of conception a new genetically complete human life is begun; and that elective abortion intentionally takes the life of an innocent human being without proper justification, where is the outcry for the victims of abortion?

Why is God’s choice to kill morally suspect, but a woman’s choice to kill her maturing child somehow a sacred right?  The hypocrisy bell is tolling loudly, it seems.

Bonus question: Why isn’t giving the baby to a family who does want one via adoption preferable to killing the baby?

Comments

  1. ‘Why is God’s choice to kill morally suspect, but a woman’s choice to kill her maturing child somehow a sacred right?”

    Because we don’t accept that a fetus at early stages is the equivalent of a human.

    And because we aren’t omnipotent, and have the ability to do anything, but choose to kill instead.

    • But if you don’t accept a fetus in early stages as a human, then you do so in complete opposition to medical science. Its not a debatable issue. That just shows you choose to ignore science in order to support abortion. Why do you ignore the science?

      • NotAScientist says:

        “But if you don’t accept a fetus in early stages as a human, then you do so in complete opposition to medical science.”

        Then I’ll have to tell that to my wife and her colleagues, who are pediatricians and neonatologists, who disagree with you.

        • I think you should. Embryology textbooks and every biology textbook I’ve seen acknowledges this. If you dispute it, it only to justify abortion, not because its a medical fact.

          I’m more inclined to think you are not being honest about the profession of your wife or you are not being honest about their opinion, or they are not being honest in their opinion.

          Its an issue which isn’t up for debate as determined by the embryological medical field. I’m not sure where she got her schooling, but I’d ask for my tuition costs back if I were her.

          • NotAScientist says:

            ” Embryology textbooks and every biology textbook I’ve seen acknowledges this.”

            Acknowledges what? That an embryo is the equivalent of a grown human? I think not.

            “I’m more inclined to think you are not being honest”

            You can think that. You’d be wrong, but you have every right to think that people who disagree with you are lying. There’s nothing strange about that.

            • Ahhh… I see your problem, you changed your statement. You originally said you don’t view a fetus in early stages as equivalent to a human. Now you say equivalent to a grown human. That’s not what’s being argued. Early fetuses are human, not fully mature. But a 3 year old is not equivalent to a full grown human either. But since when does how big someone is determine whether they have value?

              • NotAScientist says:

                “But since when does how big someone is determine whether they have value?”

                It’s not about size. It’s about how complete they are. If you have no heart, no brain, no nerves or nervous system, I don’t consider you a human yet.

            • That’s the intellectual dishonesty I’ve come to expect from abortion supporters. You’re willing to turn a blind eye just to preserve the ability to kill babies who are inconvenient.

              • NotAScientist says:

                Yes. Exactly. I look for excuses to kill babies all the time.

              • Nas, you might not consider it human, but you’d be wrong, objectively and demonstrably so.

                Z, I’m just asking you to defend your double standard that’s all. You claim its wrong for God to kill innocents on one hand and claim its a mother’s right to be able to kill innocents on the other.

  2. Yet you still worship a god who kills more babies today than humans ever could.
    Interesting…

  3. The wages of sin is death. Everyone would be killed by God if he desired to do so, because everyone sins.

    Perhaps you will find this article enlightening as to why God killed all those babies you claim he killed.
    http://christianthinktank.com/qamorite.html

  4. “Nas, you might not consider it human, but you’d be wrong, objectively and demonstrably so.”

    I think your whole argument is semantics.

    An acorn will become an oak tree. But an acorn isn’t an oak tree while it is still an acorn.

    A fetus will be come an grown human. But it isn’t necessarily a grown human while it is still a fetus.

    Unless I can freeze and store you just like fetuses can?

    • Nas, you’re right, an acorn isn’t an oak tree, but it is an oak. A tree represents a mature oak. Its the same difference between newborns, toddlers, teenagers, and adults. They represent different degrees of maturity of the same kind of thing: a human being. Just like an acorn, a sapling, and a tree represent different degrees of maturity of the same kind of thing: an oak.

      A fetus will become an adult in the same way an acorn will become a tree, but its already a human.

      • NotAScientist says:

        But it’s also not the same. And throwing away an acorn is not the same action as cutting down an oak tree, is it?

  5. It’s not a double standard at all. You are creating a dichotomy where there is none. Atheists don’t believe god exists, so how could atheists claim the actions of god wrong? Atheist are merely pointing to the reprehensible actions of the god you believe exists and then marvel in the way you find the ability to excuse it.

    Based on your position that a fertilized egg is a human worthy of defense, every pregnancy that doesn’t result in a breathing human is just another one of your god’s little abortions…

  6. NAS,
    A plant is not a human. Their stages of life are different. It is a false analogy to compare plant growth with human growth.

  7. zqtx,

    God doesn’t cause miscarriages. Those are a result of natural occurrences. God has nothing to do with it except allow nature to take its course.

    Atheists crack me up. They fight so vehemently against a God in which they don’t believe. That’s because they know in their hearts that they are wrong!

  8. “An acorn will become an oak tree. But an acorn isn’t an oak tree while it is still an acorn.

    A fetus will be come an grown human.”

    Your comparison is off in comparing a plant seed to a human embryo. However, and acorn is still the developmentally necessary beginning of a tree. If it were not, trees would produce more, fully formed trees, not seeds. All living things begin as undeveloped versions if themselves. Destroy the acorn, you destroy the “tree” within.

    The human fetus is a genetically complete individual at the moment of conception. Unless something disturbs its development, everything about that human – colour of eyes, gender, body shape, height, and even aspects of intelligence and personality – are decided. By the time it attaches to the uterine wall, significant developmental changes have occured, and well before most women even know they are pregnant, they have their own functioning brains and nervous systems, and their own hearts pumping their own blood.

    We know the fetus is an underdeveloped human being. The only difference is whether or not we acknowledge that fetus’ humanity – declare it a “person”, if you will. Instead, the pro-aborts deny the fetus its humanity, simply because of its location, declaring it is a piece of the mother, like some sort of tumour. Others are worse and declare the fetus a parasite. Either way, the unborn’s very humanity is denied, because it interferes with the desires of other humans.

    Denying people their humanity is not unusual. People justified slavery by claiming slaves weren’t really human. It was even “scientifically” proven, thanks to Darwin, that some groups were less developed on the evolutionary chain. Dark skin? Less evolved. Female? Less evolved. Poor? Less evolved. This justified denying people everything from their freedom and very lives, to voting rights to rule of law. It is no different for the human fetus. Only by denying their humanity, justified by their lack of development and their physical location, can we justify killing them.

    Yet we know – all of us – that the human fetus is an individual, unique from its mother. Why else do we tell mothers not to drink or smoke why pregnant, if it were “just a clump of cells”. We know that such things damage the development of a human individual, even if we pretend otherwise.

  9. This is good. You’re working within our frame of reference – killing is bad – and asking why our rationale is not applicable in a certain situation (abortion versus divinely-commanded genocide). I think the best answer is that a fetus doesn’t have a life. They’re living, but if a life is something that has awareness, understanding, relationships, suffering, joy, etc, then there’s no life to take.
    Not living is entirely different than being killed. Having a life taken is different than never living at all. Lots of people aren’t born every day. Nothing lost.
    Also, those who are pro-choice remember that there is a mother involved. And holding the mother hostage by forced pregnancy or simply requiring the mother to donate a year of her young life to a mentally and physically traumatic experience of carrying a child to term and giving birth, pro-choice says the mom gets to make that decisions entirely according to her own wishes. The alternative is bondage-by-pregnancy.
    And others have properly pointed out that God kills babies all the time. But we’re working here within the framework that killing is wrong and God is wrong to have visited genocide on peoples throughout the world throughout history by both direct action, indirect action, lack of action, and the natural disasters of the world He created. We’re just focusing on why it’s ok to abort a pregnancy. The reason is that the mom said so, and the mom gets to decide whether or not to bring a child into the world. That is the best way to empower women (and men for that matter) and to ensure that every child is wanted and cared for. If we were all-powerful then maybe it would be different. But at least within our limited capabilities, I think moms should get the sole vote.

    • Jason,
      As an atheist saying that killing is wrong, what is your moral standard to make that claim? What if another atheist says killing is right? What is the rule for arbitration?

      Killing is NOT always wrong. Capital punishment is certainly a valid judicial method of dealing with murderers. Self-defense is certainly justifiable.

      By the way, the “bondage of pregnancy” can be avoided by practicing contraception and – better yet – practicing abstinence. If you play with fire, you get burnt. Accept responsibility for your actions. Abortion does not make one “un-pregnant,” rather it makes them a parent of a dead child.

  10. Jason writes: “I think the best answer is that a fetus doesn’t have a life. They’re living, but if a life is something that has awareness, understanding, relationships, suffering, joy, etc, then there’s no life to take.”

    That might be your “best” answer – but it is really a quite poor answer. By your analogy, we should also allow infanticide and various forms of euthanasia. Moreover, the most controversial aspects of abortion (2nd and 3rd term) involve a fetus that DOES have some sense of pain and suffering.

  11. TerranceH says:

    NotAScientist

    Clearly.

    Because we don’t accept that a fetus at early stages is the equivalent of a human.

    Fortunately, it doesn’t matter what you accept. You may be inclined to disagree with my studious assessment that the sky is blue, but that disagreement is meaningless because the sky is blue.

    Similarly, your failure to accept that unborn children are human beings from the moment of conception is also meaningless, because they are – human beings.

    See how that works? Simple disagreement, naivete, ignorance, stupidity, ideology, or whatever your excuse, it doesn’t matter. 


    Are we clear?

    Then I’ll have to tell that to my wife and her colleagues, who are pediatricians and neonatologists, who disagree with you.

    In discussions such as this, appeal to authority is a relevant tactic for the science portion of this debate. We need the opinion of scientists in this discussion, as well as their reasoning behind that opinion, before we, as mere commoners, can reach an intelligent conclusion. I accept that.

    

I do not, however, accept your appeal to imagined authorities. I have no way of knowing whether your wife is indeed a pediatrician, or whether she’s a good one if she is, or whether she even exists.

    If you are married to a pediatrician who believes that unborn children do not qualify as human beings under the scientific definition, then I must say I wouldn’t be comfortable taking trapped mice to her for treatment.

    Acknowledges what? That an embryo is the equivalent of a grown human? I think not.

    Newborn children are not the equivalent of teenagers, and teenagers are not the equivalent of adults. Are you saying that adults are more human than newborns and teenagers?

    Since you are not a scientist (which you didn’t need to tell us because it’s glowingly obvious), perhaps you are unaware that the difference between newborns, teenagers, and adults is not level of humanity, but level of development. And since when do we base the definition of human on developmental abilities? Wouldn’t doing so be somewhat Hitlerian?

    



    It’s not about size. It’s about how complete they are. If you have no heart, no brain, no nerves or nervous system, I don’t consider you a human yet.

    So my grandmother who had one lung removed is less human? Or, what about my boss who had one kidney removed? People living dependent on a left-ventricular assist device? None are fully human, in your mind?

    And since you are not a scientist, perhaps you don’t know that the heart begins beating roughly four-weeks after conception. Knowing that, do you now consider post-four-week fetuses a little more human?

    Seriously, we can make humanity into a series of steps, sort of emulating marital arts and their belt system. Wouldn’t that be fun? Someone with a green belt is more of a master than someone with a white belt, right? So someone with two kidney’s is more of a human than someone with one, right?

    This is fun, isn’t it? Let’s try another.

    If someone starts life with two legs but loses one, we can demote them a level! For example, if solider loses a leg in battle, we can demote him a rank of humanity.

    Wouldn’t that be awesome – and logical? 



    No, listen. It makes total sense. A returning solider with one leg is not as fully human as the latte-sippin’ liberal lefty still blessed with two. The soldier’s life is no longer as valuable because he is no longer fully human. He has been demoted based on the NotAScientist/InsteadAPutz scale of humanity!

    
Excellent!

    
Yes, yes. I have a penchant for levity. But I’m merely taking your system to its logical extreme conclusion. When you start chipping away at humanity based on false perceptions of what truly defines a person, you’re ignoring everything that matters. 


    An acorn will become an oak tree. But an acorn isn’t an oak tree while it is still an acorn.

    So a newborn is not human because he or she is not an adult?

    Let’s just cut the shit and get right down to it, ‘eh?

    Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.

    Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2

    Science.

    The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.

    Sadler, T.W. Langman’s Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p. 3

    Science.

    Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)…The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.

    Carlson, Bruce M. Patten’s Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3

    Science.

    Then I’ll have to tell that to my wife and her colleagues, who are pediatricians and neonatologists, who disagree with you.

    
Not Science.

    Any opinion outside the parameters set by science is a philosophical belief and is not relevant to the issue of abortion, since philosophical beliefs are, by their very nature, arbitrary. The rights delineated in the Constitution require absolutes – and science has given us an absolute answer: unborn children are human beings the moment of conception.

    End of story.

  12. TerranceH says:

    tumeyn,

    Anti-Lifers don’t understand that their absurd arguments for justifying abortion can also be used to justify any number of disgusting, evil, morbid, Hitlerian acts.

    Any argument with a tendency toward the extreme should be reexamined, But anti-lifers are blindly ideological, and truly not worth the time. The only reason I responded is because a little bird told me the discussion might be of some interest to me, and I generally accept any opportunity to sway fence-sitters who may be reading this.

  13. TerranceH says:

    The acorn analogy is simply stupid. If you want to compare an acorn to something, compare it to the sex cells of males and females. Setting an acorn on a table will not magically produce a tree no more than an individual sex cell from a man will produce a baby. Both require something else, don’t they?

    When that something else is provided, something happens. That something is the beginning of life, for both the tree and the unborn child.

  14. TerranceH says:

    It’s because the reproduction of humans and plants are so different that any comparison is tough. My point, however, is that when development begins, life begins.

  15. TerranceH says:

    It’s not about size. It’s about how complete they are. If you have no heart, no brain, no nerves or nervous system, I don’t consider you a human yet.

    Is the existence of these organs more important to you than functionality?

    If the organ doesn’t function, it might as well not exist – right?

    Partially the reason I mentioned left-ventricular assist devices. Some people have had their hearts removed completely and live off a modified assist device, similar to the device that aided Dick Cheney. Are those people no longer human because they no longer have a human heart in their body?

    People in comas on life-support oftentimes have a brain that is only functioning at reptillian levels. Are they no longer human? If you believe that, perhaps you should test that theory by meandering through hospitals unplugging people. See how far you get before you’re not thrown in jail for murder.

    What about people with congenital insensitivity to pain? Are they no longer human because their nervous system does not function at 100% human capacity?

    You are ignoring the importance of humanity by defining it arbitrarily. None of this stuff matters.

  16. “If the organ doesn’t function, it might as well not exist – right? ”

    Wrong.

    If the organ never existed in the first place, it doesn’t exist.

    And I’m not even going to comment on whether Dick Cheney is human. (Yes, that’s meant to be a joke.)

    I’m not suggesting removing the label of ‘human’ from people who have previously had it. I’m saying that we shouldn’t give the label of ‘human’ to fertilized eggs, clumps of cells or simple embryos that aren’t formed yet.

    • Nas,

      You’re certainly entitled to your view, but I find it highly hypocritical of you, as an atheist who regularly claims believers in God believe so in the face of evidence to the contrary. The evidence as to the nature of a fertilized egg is incontrovertible, and yet you believe otherwise. In fact, it probably even goes so far as to fall into line with your definition of faith, believing something which has no evidence.

      And an fyi, the fertilized egg is properly formed in perfect relation to its stage in life. It is in no way unformed, or just a clump of cells. This is why I don’t believe you about your “wife”. I think you made an attempt to claim some authority and just didn’t realize what the medical literature reports on this issue. What a shame.

  17. The pro-aborts struggle in vain to find a winning point on this issue, but they cannot prevail except to deny the truth and the facts.

    “It’s just a clump of cells.”

    John refutes this perfectly in stating it is perfectly formed for the stage of development it is in.

    “It isn’t formed, finished or human yet.”

    It was human from the moment of conception. It is formed as it should be for its particular stage of development. A baby at 18 months isn’t “finished” yet.

  18. “It was human from the moment of conception.”

    Then you must be very mad at God for all the fertilized eggs that are naturally aborted by the female body he designed.

    • I’m not mad at God at all, we are is creation, not vice versa ( https://siftingreality.com/2011/11/20/killer-robots/). But all this point does is divert attention away from yourself. Why are you deflecting?

      • Because it is clear you don’t care about reason, only that your religion is correct. As I won’t believe your religion is correct without good evidence or reason, we are clearly at an impasse.

        • Wow

          You just spent this entire thread denying a scientific reality, and you want to accuse me of not caring about reason? Just wow.

        • I also don’t believe you that you’d believe in God if presented with good evidence since you’ve been presented with incontrovertible evidence that from fertilization a new living human being is created and you still don’t believe it. Sorry if I fail to take you seriously. Why should I believe you that you’d believe in God when presented with evidence but won’t believe in humanity when presented with evidence. You lost your credibility.

        • You’ve offered no evidence to rebut my citations of embryology text books and Congressional testimony by scientists. All you said was “my wife disagrees”. You’ve just asserted I’m wrong for agreeing with biologists and embryologists.

  19. TerranceH says:

    If the organ never existed in the first place, it doesn’t exist.

    I’m so glad you feel that way. Because in the case of unborn children, their organs exist from the moment of conception. They exist as genetic realities that do not yet function.

    And since functionality doesn’t matter to you, as you said, it seems like you now have no reason to dispute the humanity of unborn children. Wonderful. 


    I’m not suggesting removing the label of ‘human’ from people who have previously had it.

    
Why not? That’s the logical conclusion of your argument. Or, was. But since you now only care about existence rather than functionality, you have no reason to dispute the humanity of unborn children. Remember, their organs exist at the genetic level. Wonderful!

    I’m saying that we shouldn’t give the label of ‘human’ to fertilized eggs, clumps of cells or simple embryos that aren’t formed yet.

    So you shouldn’t be considered human? You’re a clump of cells. And what about people with congenital deformities? In many cases, they are not fully formed yet either. They must not be human.

    The fact is, science does not say what you want it to say.

    Yes, yes it does. I provided the evidence. From the moment of conception, unborn children are human beings. The only difference is that their stage of development is much earlier than that of adults. Adults are at a much later stage of development than teenagers. Teenagers than toddlers. Toddlers than newborns. Newborns than fetuses. See how it works? It’s very simple.

    A fertilized egg is a fully formed fertilized egg. It is not a fully formed human being.

    Newborns aren’t “fully formed” human beings either.

    



    Because it is clear you don’t care about reason, only that your religion is correct.

    
You have a lot of nerve talking about other’s lack of reason. You have been presented with fact after fact, backed up by scientific sources, and you ignore all of it. You are blindly idealogical and wholly ignorant.

    As I won’t believe your religion is correct without good evidence or reason, we are clearly at an impasse.

    Straw man. And if we are at an impasse, it’s because you continually deny indisputable scientific facts for the sake of your disgusting ideology.

    No. I spend an entire thread denying what YOU THINK is a scientific reality.

    I cited the science. Quit playing dumb. Oh, wait…Heh!

    It’s so easy responding to these clowns anymore, John. Their only tactics are to deny the cited scientific realities, contradict themselves, and set up straw men.

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