It’s a Girl – Kill It!

While doing some research on a completely different subject, I found a site that was and continues to be overwhelming to the senses. It advertises a new documentary coming out entitled, “It’s a Girl!”

Baby Clip Art

I have never personally met a parent that did not wait with joy to hear those words, or words equally as poignant, “It’s a Boy!” All the parents I have met have been thankful that a safe delivery has been made and they will now begin the transition of raising that little one whether it is a boy or a girl.

This documentary begins with a culture that in many ways I cannot fathom, yet, I should because it is not really that far removed from the culture in which we live here in the West. The first words heard in short trailer for the documentary notes, “Today, India and China eliminate more girls than the number of girls born in America every year!”

One interviewee notes, “But what this is, is an entire system, a social machinery that says, ‘We don’t want females.’”

A distraught couple are shown speaking about the birth of their new baby and the father describing the marks around the little girl’s neck. She had been strangled!

In stark contrast, a short few seconds later, one smiling mother from India is shown and tells the camera while seeming to laugh, “I killed eight girl children!”

To our polite, cultured, civilized Western minds, our souls recoil at such brutality. Where are the police to stop these savage killers? Why doesn’t the government step in to address the wholesale mass murders of approximately 1.5-3 million babies EVERY year?
Why such numbers? Simply because the baby was a girl.

To seek to put this into perspective, a document published a few years ago by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces stated,

The number of the ‘missing’ women, killed for gender-related reasons, is of the same order of magnitude as the estimated 191 million human beings who have lost their lives directly or indirectly as a result of all the conflicts and wars of the 20th century—which was, with two world wars and numerous other murderous conflicts, the most violent period in human history so far.

A sustained demographic ‘deficit’ of 100-200 million women implies that each year 1.5-3 million girls and women are killed through gender related violence. In comparison: each year, some 2.8 million people die of AIDS, 1.27 million of malaria. Or, put in the most horrible terms: violence against women causes every 2-4 years a mountain of corpses equal to the Jewish Holocaust.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? In our minds, they are brutal savages. They do not deserve to be parents. The bile rises in our throats as we consider the above quote from the Geneva Centre document. Do they not realize the truth of Scripture? Psalm 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Ps. 127:3 continues, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”

Planned Parenthood and several United Nations groups have long sought to provide “equal” treatment of women around the world. They have touted the desire for all women to have the freedom of choice and to be given the power to make decisions for themselves. They continue to remind us that we should have the lofty goals of raising these women out of the dark ages to a life of enlightenment. Have we really empowered them to live a life of great ideals based on these goals?

As a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that false religion and lack of biblical knowledge has created a depraved and warped view of women. Only in and because of Christ will people find freedom from bigotry, hatred, and gender discrimination.

This documentary “It’s a girl!” will find many up in arms. It will generate a firestorm of hatred against such brutality. The movie will probably accomplish very little in places like China and India though where it will like the baby girls killed each year never see the light of day. Some will clamor for our government to intervene in some way. Maybe we can withhold foreign aid until they stop all of the senseless killing. What if we rescind their seat on the Human Rights Committee’s in the United Nations until the Chinese and Indian governments step up to the plate and assume the responsibility of saving the lives of these helpless, defenseless little girls that nobody seems to want?

AMERICA, how about if we STOP WITH THE HYPOCRISY!!

Why should our stomachs revolt in horror at this unknown holocaust? Who are we as Americans to try and police the human rights abuses around the world? What gives us the right to throw condemnation on India and China as though we are a self-righteous nation of Christians seeking to ensure that women in their countries have the same benefits as women in America have?

What about us as true believers? Does this not make us weep as we think of all the parents who would love to adopt a little girl into their family, but struggle to do so? Do we not have great concern for the physical, mental, and spiritual health of these women who murder their baby girls year after year?

Yes, I have no doubt that we do weep, and I have no doubt that we have great concern for them and the 1.5-3 million little ones being murdered every year simply because the doctor says, “IT’S A GIRL!”

But, we are hypocrites. Americans are two-faced cowards who refuse to face reality. Since 1973, Americans have killed approximately 50 million babies by means of legalized abortion, more commonly known by God as MURDER! This equates to almost 1.3 million per year!

Excuses here include: “I’m just not ready for a child.” Or, “I want the pleasures of a sexual relationship but not the responsibilities.” Or, “Well, the doctor says it MIGHT be deformed in some way!” The reality is that what women of this country are saying is, “God, You have no right to be the Giver of Life. I want to be, and MUST be, in total control of everything about me including my body!”

Our land is polluted with the blood of innocent victims just as greatly as the lands of China and India. The main difference is that we stand in greater judgment for we have the precious Word of God. Our people have heard and know the truth, yet choose to ignore it. Many of our churches have bought into the idea that women have the freedom to do whatever they wish with their bodies. Pastors no longer preach “Thus says the Lord.” Churches do not practice discipline against those who would allow an abortion to take place. Instead, we have allowed our government to dictate policy to us, and we have also endorsed the idea that there can be exceptions allowed for killing a baby, for example, in the case of rape. So, for the sins of the father, our churches are telling us that God will turn a blind eye while we commit another sin. We are informed that murder is justifiable in such cases!

True believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is time that we returned to our knees and asked God for mercy. It is past time that we stand up in defiance at the wholesale bloodshed being perpetrated on 1.3 million boys and girls every year in America. It is time that our churches and pastors return to preaching the entire counsel of God, no matter what it costs. The matter of abortion is NOT a political issue, but a moral issue and therefore a spiritual matter. It is out of the heart that depravity spills forth out of the mouth and in the actions of the body.

This in no way is meant to demean the gravity of the situation in India and China. I have no thoughts that the world will ever read this blogpost, and it is not meant for them anyway. It is for we who know and claim the name of Jesus Christ. We must share the good news of the gospel even with those around us for they are just as savage and pagan as the countries to which we send missionaries.

One final note, God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son into the world. The reason is because of sin. We must learn to love those who sin. We must be willing to share the truth of God’s Word in such a way that they will see the difference Jesus Christ makes in the life. To condemn is easy, but to love is painfully difficult. That woman who killed her eight precious little girls needs to hear about Jesus Christ, just as the woman who lives next door to you here in America and killed her baby through legalized abortion does. Whether they admit it or not, hearts are scarred and only Jesus Christ can bring true healing.

Yes, God’s Word makes it clear that killing baby girls in India or China is MURDER. But, His Word also makes abundantly clear that abortion of any kind and for any reason is also MURDER. May God have mercy on us.

75 thoughts on “It’s a Girl – Kill It!

  1. Abortion…and murder in all aspects makes me ill. Oh how I wish they would give those girls up for adoption and allow others to give them a good home if they don’t want (or aren’t *allowed*) to have them!!! Yes, yes…they need to hear the gospel and we need to pray that they come to a realization of how precious these children are!

  2. Pete says:

    I don’t think it’s quite as black and white as that. I’m against abortion for the most part – certainly for those who simply don’t want the responsibility or who don’t think they’re ready.

    But, if a young girl is raped I think she should be given the choice. You can’t use God as a reason not to abort – because not everyone believes in a God / your God. Atheists for example would not take any religious argument seriously, I know I wouldn’t. Trying to say abortion is wrong because God says so to an atheist is imposing your beliefs on them.

    Also – people have varying ideas of when life begins, and so destroying it before they think it’s alive is not murder to them.

    Unless you can demonstrate that life begins at a certain point, you can’t demonstrate that abortion before that point is murder.

  3. You be in error, Pete. As my former congressman, Dick Armey discovered: He went to Texas A&M and asked a highly respected biology professor to work backward from birth and document the moment in fetal development where the human stopped being a human. There is no such moment. From the instant the egg is fertilized, the human genome is present. There is no chance anything other than a human being will be born. The form doesn’t determine the make-up or identity. And yes – the bottom line is God is the Author of life, even of those who hate Him and claim He doesn’t exist. And that is THE reason we don’t murder – because our Creator said not to murder those He makes in His image.

  4. Pete, let me ask you in return. At what point would killing the baby no longer be acceptable to your sense of morality?

    Would you find it acceptable for a baby to be killed 1 minute AFTER the birth?
    Would you find it acceptable for a baby to be killed as it is being born?
    Would you find it acceptable for a baby to be killed/aborted 1 minute BEFORE the birth?
    What about 10 minutes before?
    What about 1 day before the baby is due?
    What about 10 days?
    At what point exactly does your morality find it to be deemed murder versus “abortion”?

    Judges, courts, lawyers, and doctors have deemed that we can legally rip a baby from the only from of life support it has available, hold the baby’s deformed remains up to the world and say, “See, it was NOT viable outside of the womb, therefore, abortion is NOT murder!”

    What hypocrisy! By the way, your arguments worked very well for Nazi Germany until they lost the war! It also worked well for the Roman Empire until the Empire collapsed.

  5. 072591 says:

    Pete: You said, “Also – people have varying ideas of when life begins, and so destroying it before they think it’s alive is not murder to them.

    Unless you can demonstrate that life begins at a certain point, you can’t demonstrate that abortion before that point is murder.”

    Let’s use your logic for a minute. Assuming that we don’t know when exactly life begins – a false assumption, but let’s play with it for a minute – wouldn’t it be more prudent to err on the side of not killing an innocent person?

    As for the exception of rape, I can sympathize with a woman who was done wrong and now gets a reminder for the next nine months of that horrid act. But – and this is the big but here – the baby did nothing wrong. The baby was innocent of the crime. Killing him doesn’t make the woman unraped. Killing him for what his father did is no better than Freddie Krueger’s hunting down the children of Elm Street for their parents’ vigilante actions.

  6. Ky gal says:

    The minute you announce “I’m having a baby!” is when life begins. When was the last time you heard a woman say, ” I’m pregnant with something, but we are still waiting when it becomes human.”

    That is a ridiculous argument. Say you are pro abortion, but do not say you don’t know when life begins. When your wife announced she was having a baby, did you tell her she couldn’t possibly know when it was human? What woman announces we are having a…thing? Fetus? Embryo? Fungus? If you and your wife are going to have any more kids, the next time she announces she’s pregnant, say, “Big deal. You don’t even know when this life began. It could be dead now for all you know.” Better yet, say it to a friends wife. Or your sister. Or ask a woman how she even knows she’s pregnant. Are you sure it’s not some dead thing inside of you making you throw up? Have headaches? Gain weight?

    I’ve got news for you. Black, white, polka dot or green, that baby was MINE from the first moment I knew I was pregnant. Alien, blob of fetal tissue, whatever, that child was beginning.

    You struck a nerve here. Abortion I have a problem with. But I would have more respect for someone who quit using that lame old argument of when life begins.

  7. Ky gal says:

    Sorry, tongue in cheek doesn’t translate well online. I know that it does, but I was being facetious. Mea culpa.

  8. Pete says:

    @Manfred:
    Why does there being no chance of anything other than a person being born mean that it is alive at that point? And most atheists in my experience do not claim to hate that which they do not believe in – it’s like saying I hate the tooth fairy – it’s nonsensical.

    @thejunglemissionary:
    I would not find it acceptable to kill a baby any time during or after birth – or even months before. The only time I would say it is morally acceptable to me, is not too long after conception – and only in extreme circumstances like rape.

    @072591:
    Good point – well made.

    @Manfred and @Ky gal:
    The developing baby/foetus/embryo is human, but that doesn’t mean it is alive yet.

    @theresa:
    Thanks I’ll have a look.

  9. Pete,

    It saddens me that you would murder a baby for the sins of the father. Rape is a horrible thing…but the baby is still a life and it didn’t have any part in it. Adoption is always an option. Murder should never be.

    Kindly,
    Katy

  10. Ky gal says:

    Oh, good grief. You can have an ultrasound at 6 weeks pregnant and watch the heart beating! Does that make baby alive enough? Or does it have to beat a certain rhythm to mean its alive?

  11. I have a friend who was raped and chose to keep the child that resulted from the rape. She never considered abortion and has been blessed beyond measure because of the precious relationship she has with her child.

    What was meant for evil, God meant for good (Gen. 50:20).

  12. Pete – the Bible declares that men who deny God are at war with Him and that they hate Him. That’s why I said atheists hate God – because He said it.

    Then an egg is fertilized, it becomes something else – no? That is the early stages of a human being (NOT a replay of Darwin’s theory). Read the descriptions on this page to see how early human development actually takes place: http://www.secondlookproject.org/tslp_fetal.html

  13. I never ceased to amaze at the hypocrisy of the world and non-believers when it comes to the matter of when does life begin. We have laws on the books that protect animals and birds BEFORE they reach the point where they would be able to sustain life outside the egg or their mother’s womb! Yet, even those who claim to believe in evolution and who claim that we are but another species of animal, these people do NOT give (NOR do they want to give) respect and protection to the unborn child.

    Why is this? Why are unborn eagles IN THE EGG protected by federal law (for example), but babies in the womb are not?? Why are there laws protecting us from taking animals (like horses or dogs), sedating them, then slicing them open and ripping out the little ones developing inside them – BUT, those laws are NOT applicable to humans?? No, our corrupt, evil, abominable government and court system can pass laws allowing doctors to do this to human women and shred the life of a baby in some places to the 3rd trimester!

    I believe the answer is because if we can separate the truth of when life begins from our daily lives, it will allow us the freedom to live how we want without being worried about a Creator God. You see, if we are right based on what the personal views of some doctors and scientists are, then God is nothing but a myth. Nothing would suit the world any better than to continue to think such a thing. We would remain as but animals evolving into a better human species over the next million years.

    However, if a baby is fearfully and wonderfully made (evolution being totally and completely impossible to design such a creation), then the Word of God is true. If the Word of God is true, then God is true. If God is true, then man is wrong in their assumptions and will have to pay the penalty for their rank arrogance.

  14. Pete says:

    I would say a human is not alive until it has at least developed a brain and a nervous system – which by the way are not fully developed until after the heart starts beating. The heart is only a pump don’t forget.

    Try to look at this next question from a non-religious perspective; how can a human be alive if they have no brain and therefore no thought, no nervous system and therefore no feeling?

    @Manfred:
    I don’t think you grasp that I believe a developing human being is not the same as an alive human being. You do, and I understand that, but I don’t – understand?

    @Yvonne:
    I’m sure there are plenty of people like the one you’ve mentioned, but there are probably others who regret it, and others who have had an abortion and are happy.

  15. Pete – you will stand before your maker one day understand.

    Oh – the purpose of life is NOT for one to be happy. There are people who rape and murder who are happy with their lives. They will be called to account to God on Judgment Day.

    Repent and believe on the risen Lord Jesus, Who is the Christ.

  16. Pete, still looking for a reply to my comments as well. There are local, state, and federal laws that protect eagles, horses, and dogs in the egg or in the womb. They are protected BEFORE they get a full brain, they have no thoughts that we are aware of, very little nervous system to speak of, and definitely have no feelings to our knowledge. Why are they protected and this is acceptable, BUT a baby is NOT??

    A rape, then a murder (which actually makes up VERY few abortions) – Two wrongs NEVER make a right.

    One final point – looking at that link AND using your definition of when a human is alive, that should put them (even in your estimation) as a live human being at no less than 21 days. Therefore, could we assume that you would take a stand against an abortion of any live human after a pregnancy is 3 weeks along??

  17. Pete,
    You claim “I would say a human is not alive until it has at least developed a brain and a nervous system” – thankfully, it isn’t up to you. Your opinion is just that, which is man’s ‘wisdom’ based on what he believes to be true. However, the Bible teaches that the human mind is deceitful, full of trickery, sickened with sin {Jer. 17:9}. How can any good thoughts come from such a mind?

    That is why the Bible is the only source of truth, regardless of man’s ‘opinion’, which means nothing to the God who created man. As for when is a baby considered ‘human’, Every culture’s view of when human life begins changes as society’s values, moral standards, and knowledge
    about the process of embryonic development change. Prior to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed abortion on demand, developing embryos were considered unborn persons.
    The average age of an aborted baby is 9.5 weeks; at four weeks the heart and blood vessels continue to develop. And the lungs, stomach, and liver start to develop. At eight weeks, the baby is now a little over half an inch in size. Eyelids and ears are forming, and the tip of the nose is visible. The arms and legs are well formed. The fingers and toes grow longer and more distinct.
    At twelve weeks, the baby measures about 2 inches and starts to make its own movements. The doctor may hear the baby’s heartbeat with special instruments. The sex organs of the baby should start to become clear. All this is in the first three months, and you argue this baby isn’t considered a human life? You fail to understand, at conception babies aren’t fully developed, but that does not mean they aren’t growing and developing. When children grow from toddler stages into young men and women, is that not a growing process as well? Would you consider a toddler a human life, even though that toddler is not fully developed mentally and physically?
    There are zero references in the Bible as babies being referred to as fetuses, or anything other than a human being. In your quest to deny God, you will go so far as to deny a tiny human being their right to be called a human being? How sad.

  18. michael henry says:

    The president says abortion allows women to reach their full potential. A leading abortion rights advocate says abortion is “as American as apple pie”. Those two bookends from the top of our country to the battle lines pretty much frames the attitude of the culture of death.
    As every abortion argument for it has been reduced to rubble by logic and science, it has now even come down to the argument that abortion, although evil, is the lesser of two evils since violating a woman’s choice is the greater evil. To that I would ask, since 50% of now universally accepted as human (even by abortion proponents) fetuses are female, how much of a choice is it for them?
    Abortion is evil, pure and simple. Every argument for abortion seeks the horizontal acceptance of being right through social acceptance, rather than through the vertical, of God’s law and grace versus what sinful mankind wants.

  19. Ky gal says:

    *smacks forehead

    Let’s say a woman finds out she’s pregnant. She wants an ultrasound because she wants to make sure she is not having twins ( I was concerned, ok?) At 4 weeks pregnant, you can have an ultrasound and SEE the heartbeat. Is that alive?

    Goodness gracious, can I skip over rules of engagement and name call? I live in a household of men and I know they have thick skulls, but I am having some trouble here. Please Mr. or Ms. Moderator? Just one. It’s not even that bad, honest. (facetious tone)

  20. DWR says:

    A good resource to show those who deny the humanness or life of the baby in the womb:

    http://www.ehd.org/movies-index.php

    The development during weeks 4-6 and 6-8 are especially remarkable as this is the time frame when most women first realize that they are pregnant. Notice the heart is already beating and the brain is already rapidly growing by this time.

  21. Pete says:

    @thejunglemissionaty:
    I guess they are protected because they are in danger of going extinct, or if not I don’t know. It’s not really comparable anyway – I mean think about it – those laws are about humans destroying non-humans… is there a law about a mother eagle not being able to destroy her eggs?

    Let’s turn this argument around – why are you focussing on abortion when there are far worse atrocities going on in the world? Some in the name of religion! For example, Christian mothers in Nigeria beating/torturing/killing their children because they think the children are possessed. Muslim people blowing many innocent people up because they think they are doing what God wants. Catholics in Ireland killing young unarmed soldiers.

    Yes abortion (in most cases – my opinion) is morally wrong. But I think any of the above murders are morally worse.

    @lyn:
    Actually it is up to me. Me and the rest of society – after all we make the laws that dictate whether and when a baby can be aborted. That is exactly why we should take it seriously and treat each case of a wanted abortion individually – and not a black and white yes or no.

    We should consider the reasons and implications of aborting/not aborting and the length of time after conception in each case individually, and come to an informed decision without referring to some old copied, translated text written by men. After all, should we make a different decision based on the religion of the mother?

    @Manfred:
    I will meet my maker one day will I? It’s about as likely as meeting Elvis on a flying unicorn. I, and you, will probably just die instead.

  22. Pete, quite an interesting comment. You said that you “think any of the above murders are morally worse.”

    What would give you the ability to make such a moral decision? Why would you even distinguish such a moral distinction? We are not and have not overlooked other atrocities in this depraved world. It is just that this blog happens to be about abortion and the killing of baby girls.

    Re: the mother eagle, you are correct in that there are no laws forbidding her from destroying her eggs. But, we are not speaking about a creature with a conscience like we are with humans. Wow, another difference between us and the animal/bird kingdom. We are different. We have a system of morality that is found in EVERY single society and culture in the world. As a side note, this could not have just evolved for it would also be found in the animal or bird kingdom to some degree, but it is not.

    As for making a different decision based on the religion of the mother, again we refer to Nazi Germany. The decision they made for Jewish women was based solely on who they were which was ultimately based on their religion.

    Again, I ask at what point do YOU believe life begins? We offered several options. Life cannot begin for one baby at 9 months, another at 5 months, another at 5 weeks, another at 21 days, and another at the moment of conception. So, when does it begin? If morals are to be accepted in our society, there has to be a standard to which all are somehow bound. For example, you would not dare say that stealing is wrong but ONLY if you steal more than $50, or $500, or $5,000. Either it is stealing or it is not. You would not say that killing is wrong but ONLY if you kill more than 3 people in your lifetime, or 13, or 30. No, either killing is wrong or it is not. And by what moral standards do you make such a call or distinction?

  23. Pete says:

    @thejunglemissionary:
    Actually morality is something that we have evolved and is quite easily explainable by evolution. There’s no reason whatsoever to think that moral absolutes exist.

    Take a look at this page that refutes your claim on several levels. Do you have any response to the points made?

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB411.html

    Also an important point that I think needs mentioning is that morally questionable actions are not necessarily purely motivated by one’s morality. For example – you mention Nazi Germany, who’s actions were clearly immoral to most if not all humans. But there were many other factors that influenced their actions – not just morality.

    Is it immoral to kill someone in self defence? Wouldn’t moral absolutes suggest that it would be immoral?

    As I’ve mentioned I believe a human becomes alive in the sense that killing them would be murder sometime after the brain and nervous system have been developed. When exactly I do not know.

    Your comparison to stealing is flawed… no you would not say it is wrong based on the monetary amount being stolen – but you would say it is wrong based on intent. For example: Someone stealing money because he does not want to work for it, is clearly in the wrong (based on my personal morals – not moral absolutes). Someone who steals money from someone else who does not need it, because they have no other way to get it and they need it to survive, is not morally wrong.

    Pete

  24. Pete,

    Self defence is not murder.

    The height of hypocrisy is that an organization such as Planned Parenthood would claim to advocate for women’s rights when it systematically subjugates the young, poor, and underprivileged in promoting abortion (rather than adoption) as the best option based on economics, etc. The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was herself a proponent of eugenics.

  25. Pete,

    As Manfred stated the proper meaning is “do not murder” in contradistinction from “kill”. Abortion is murder – murder of the innocent not-yet-born.

  26. Horrifying article, but I comment now because I must give you a HUGE thumbs-up for not only pointing out the horrors of this situation, but in the same breath announcing the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s death on the Cross for those that are guilty of such things. So often in Christian writings the sin is highlighted and the message of grace is withheld. THANK YOU for presenting both law AND gospel in this piece!

  27. The Master's Slave says:

    For anyone, especially a “Christian” to say that a woman has the right to terminate a baby is ludicrous. You are forgetting/ignoring the simple, yet plain fact that our bodies, reproductive systems and the fruit of those systems do not belong to us. They belong to God. He gives life, it is only His right to take it as well. To decide to end a life like this is to say that you are God and you have the right to extinguish what God lit.

  28. I’ve read all the comments and I guess I’m not understanding why a person would consider that a baby in the womb at any time is not even alive or a non-being until a certain point. That being said begs the question to be asked ‘Why don’t we just kill all these non creatures in the womb then? After all, if they are not really alive and they are just things, what difference would it make?’ The reality is that even those who support the choice of the woman and support abortion KNOW that if every one of these babies were killed in the womb that would eliminate all of mankind. No babies would be left in this world and life for humans would only continue until each one died! So then the next question is, ‘Are they humans or are they not?’ If they are humans then you are murdering a human being, if they are not then why bother and let’s just have it done with. Maybe the babies will magically appear in our arms! Just saying….

    An honest answer would be to say, “Yes, they are babies but I am selfish and don’t want to have to deal with my sin so let me kill this human that is in my way.” Of course then you have to deal with the results of being honest and saying you actually murdered a human being but that might be too hard on the conscience so I guess it’s easier to believe that those precious babies are non-beings or not really alive. How does that saying go? “There is none so blind as those who do not want to see…” Still, we, as a nation, will have a lot to answer for when we stand before God in judgment!

  29. Pete says:

    I understand that to Christians it would seem like murder, but that is because you believe life begins at conception, because I presume, the bible indicates that God says so.

    For people who do not think there’s any reason to believe in such a being, we have to try and take in as much information as possible on the subject, and make an informed opinion, based on our own judgement and morals.

    So, when does life begin? All of the arguments I’ve read so far appear to say that because a baby is human immediately after conception, it is alive. This seems ridiculous to me – if I pluck a hair from my head it is still human, but clearly not alive. Also, the sperm and egg are human before conception; they both come from humans; they cannot and will not make anything else. So like I said before, something can be human and not be alive. “Human” and “alive” are 2 completely different things.

    So again to the question, when does life begin? Don’t forget we need to define this for many people, not just Christians… people from all kinds of faith, or no faith, or people who are unsure or do not wish to think about such things.

    The word “alive” needs to be defined. Capable of thought? Able to move independently and spontaneously? Self-aware? I think something along these lines would be reasonable don’t you?

    For all of these a brain and nervous system will need to be developed.

    Now do you understand where I’m coming from?

    Kind regards,
    Pete

  30. Pete,

    I’ll have a go at answering your question. I’ll use a seed as an (admittedly inexact) analogy, and for a specific example I’ll use an apple seed. A caveat: I’m no horticulturist or biologist so go easy on me.

    An apple seed by itself unplanted is not alive until planted and nourished by the requisite amount of soil, water, etc. Assuming a stable environment with the required amount of nourishment continuing, an apple tree will result. Removing the seed from this environment will result in the death of what would have been an apple tree.

    Is the seed an apple tree? Of course not, but the only result from an apple seed nourished as (crudely) explained above is an apple tree.

    In a very similar way an individual sperm and individual egg are not yet ‘alive’ until united (conception/fertilization) and subsequently nourished in the womb of the mother as the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. Assuming the conditions remain stable (in the womb) and continued nourishment (from the mother) a human baby will result. Removing the fertilized egg (including its continuing life as a zygote, fetus, etc.) from this environment (womb) will result in death of what would have been a human baby.

    At the point of conception is the fertilized egg a fully formed human infant? Of course not, but the only result from a fertilized egg nourished as explained above (again, crudely) is a human baby.

  31. Pete says:

    Hi Craig, thanks for your response – I understand. Basically you are saying (roughly speaking) at the point where only continued nourishment is needed, it is alive. You come to this conclusion because if nothing is done – the end result is a living baby, if something is done (abortion) the end result is not a living baby.

    To me this demonstrates that the baby is alive at some point between conception and birth. Not at conception.

    Using your example of an apple tree – by your own logic, while holding a seed in your hand it is not alive, but as soon as you plant it, it is alive. Would that be an accurate description of your belief?

    What I am saying is that it becomes alive at some point between planting it and it sprouting. Same for humans; some point between conception and birth.

    Could you define “alive” for me, in a secular manner?

  32. Pete,

    Thanks for continuing the discussion. I will clarify. First, apparently there is not universal agreement on just when ‘conception’ occurs within the scientific community. My definition is that conception occurs at fertilization for it is at this point in which the process begins. Prior to this point we have separate eggs and separate sperm which are not viable for a human life in and of themselves.

    This is roughly analogous to the apple seed which is only viable for a time as potential to become an apple tree because after a time outside a nourishing environment it will no longer be viable. However, once the still-viable apple seed is put into the ground and nourished, just as the fertilized egg is nourished in the mother’s womb, the conclusion will be an apple tree in the case of the apple seed or a living baby in the case of the fertilized egg. In either case, if at any point you take away the nourishment you’ve aborted the process; on the other hand, if nourishment is continued you will have an apple tree or a living baby.

  33. Pete, let’s refocus this discussion for a moment. In a previous comment, you said that there must be brain activity for it to be considered as a human being. It has already been brought up that this takes places sometime around 21 days after conception. This brings us back to the question which we asked and I don’t think you have responded to yet?

    At what point, since you don’t believe life begins at conception, do believe it to be acceptable to kill/abort/murder an infant in the womb? Please give us an acceptable time from your own moral perspectives. Will it be ok to terminate the life at 22 days, 2 months, 5 months?

  34. Pete says:

    @thejunglemissionary:
    Just to clarify: “there must be brain activity for it to be considered as a [living] human being”. The very important word “living” was missing in your recap of my comments.

    I have answered – twice I think! Here’s a snippet to save you searching through…

    “As I’ve mentioned I believe a human becomes alive in the sense that killing them would be murder sometime after the brain and nervous system have been developed. When exactly I do not know.”

    So if after 22 days the brain and nervous system have not been fully developed I would say for circumstances such as rape – the mother should have the choice to abort at this time.

    Does that answer your question?

    By the way from my previous response to your post do you understand now how morality *could* have evolved?

  35. joan says:

    Life begins somewhere. Everything begins somewhere. Atheists can never explain beginnings very well, instead, they tend to use fractal reasoning that denies the existence of absolute answers, only recognizing as valid answers that are themselves questions. Most atheists (and agnostics) seem to like science and scientific “proof”.

    Here are some questions for Pete, who seems likely to be either an atheist or an agnostic. With apologies for the length.

    1. If I pull a weed by it’s roots and burn it or compost it, did I kill it? Was it alive before/during/after the process? When did it become dead? Is it an act of killing to chop a weed up in pieces or spray it with roundup? What about if I poison the ground over the dormant roots and ungerminated seed so that when they emerge and/or germinate in the spring they will not be able to survive the emerging process? Is poisoning the ground to prevent the survival of dormant weeds or the germination of seeds and act of “killing” the weeds?

    2. Is a seed alive even though it requires special circumstances, food, water, and air to turn into a plant?
    (hint, yes, seeds are widely known to be alive, you may find the below link respectable enough)

    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/bio99/bio99334.htm

    3. How is the explanation of why a seed is alive different from why life begins at conception?
    What makes it not ending life to dismember and burn with acid a rapidly developing baby inside it’s mother’s womb, but does make it ending life to cut a dormant seed in half, or roast it in the oven, or chemically burn it.

    4. Why is your opinion that humans are not alive until they have developed a beating heart and brain/nervous system more valid than my opinion that humans are alive as long as there is the possibility of more life if the human is allowed to keep living and not deliberately harmed or have harm deliberately done to its short-term life support.

    The last two question groups no atheist and/or pro-abortion choice person have ever been able to answer. It always comes back to attacking me with the idea that I’m out to punish rape victims or deny women control over their bodies by forcing them to supply life support to a human they do not want to exist. Sometimes their answers flail at overpopulation, or religious fundamentalism, or even welfare recipients.. as if those things have anything to do with how life is defined. Sometimes they weakly say that the complexity of human development makes the question of viability less clear than that of a simple plant, ignoring the science.

    If you take political and anti-religious bigotry out of the question and honestly look at the science, it is clear that a fertilized egg at 1 hour post fertilization is if anything “more alive” by the parameters of how life is defined than a dormant but viable seed. If something is alive, it can be killed. If that something is human, and the killing is intentional, and done for convenience or money, then killing it is murder.

    I submit to you that life begins when the possibility of further life is realized, when the cells start dividing and when everyone knows that if you don’t do something drastic, a human baby will be born approximately 9 months later.

    The fertilized egg that has it’s own DNA and is feverishly replicating all the cells it will need to emerge from the womb and further it’s development is certainly no less alive than a dormant but viable seed. Both contain the possibility of longer life. Killing either of them is killing. However, it is not morally wrong to roast and eat a seed. It is not even wrong to roast and eat a mature plant. Deliberately killing another human of any age for financial gain or convenience is undoubtedly morally wrong. However you define morals, or believe they have evolved, it’s clear that deliberately killing another human for financial gain or because they are a personal inconvenience is morally wrong.

    You have said yourself that an unborn child is human and cannot be considered anything else. Just as a seed cannot grow into a duck, a human is a human and nothing else. If a seed is scientifically proven to be alive, then I don’t see how you can deny that a fertilized egg is a developing but living human.

  36. Merville says:

    In my total ignorance of what “being alive” really means I can only ask Pete how he arrives at the conclusion that in order to be alive “there must be brain activity for it to be considered as a [living] human being” but than surely a plant can then never be considered as being alive? Now of course Pete does add “[living] human being” but I’d respond and suggest to Pete that by his own contentions he is speaking about “being alive” and not about being a “live human” or a “live plant”. In other words he is attempting to define ‘when live begins” period not what that “being alive” produces.
    So Pete would you try and assist me by. redefining when live begins without reference to what apparently only exists in animal life? Thereby we can all get onto the same page.
    Oh Yes, I am well aware that in transplants Medics begin the transplant process from the donor when brain activity ceases, but that’s another debate best not entered into here.

  37. Pete says:

    @Merville and Joan,

    I think being “alive” has 2 very distinct meanings:

    1. Alive biologically – any living thing; animals, plants, bacteria, etc.
    2. Conciousness – most (all?) animals.

    I understand most here wont agree – but it was probably some evolutionary divide long ago when conciousness came into play.

    I do not consider it morally wrong to end life that is purely biological, for example destroying a plant or pouring Bleach down my toilet.

    I do consider it morally wrong to end a life that has conciousness, self awareness, feels pain, can think, etc.

    Does that clear things up?

    What your thoughts on “natural abortions”. Those times where conceptions don’t bind and never come to be without any human intervention? Does that mean God aborts these “alive” babies.

    Pete

  38. Joan says:

    @ Pete, taking your two points separately. Again, apologies for the length.

    As a woman, and a mother, I am well aware of what a miscarriage is, and also the more specifically termed “natural abortion”. I’ll assume we are both referring to the process that a mother’s body uses to ensure that only one pregnancy is sustained at one time. The process is mimicked by the drug Progestin, which makes the lining of the womb unable to sustain a second pregnancy. That action is somewhat different than what is normally referred to as a miscarriage, but we’ll both agree that either is entirely outside of the mother’s control, with no “choice” implied. Both miscarriage and “natural abortions” are when a human child with distinct DNA die of natural causes without outside interference.

    I’ll also assume that you understand the dynamics of action, versus inability to act, in terms of culpability for harm to another person. If I have had a miscarriage, through no action of my will, I am not responsible for the ending of that life. The death of the child is attributed to nature, God, random chance, or whatever you want to blame. However, if I am bearing a child that is inconvenient to me, and decide to hire someone to dismember it, burn it with acid, and inject it with drugs intended to cause death.. then I have intentionally caused a death of another human being.

    If you are my neighbor, and die of a heart attack but never called out for help, so I don’t learn about your death until it’s too late.. I am not guilty of withholding assistance, even if I am a heart surgeon. The difference is the will to harm. Death happens either way, but on the one hand you have deliberate killing of human life, and the other you have ignorance of a need for help. We are not all-knowing, so there is no blame or shame from a death of a fertilized egg that is unable to implant due to normal bodily functions. The morning after pill, on the other hand, implies choice, will to destroy, determination to end life. Those are the requirements for murder… motive, opportunity and and the will to destroy life.

    You have a clear point that while a human is clearly conscious, a seed or a weed (or bacteria) is not sentient. On the other hand, nobody actually knows when awareness is begun after conception. The scientists whose jobs it is to determine this are only guessing, and the issue of awareness and life is hugely debatable, with little agreement in the scientific community (outside of a generalized defense of abortion no matter what, but we are leaving the social politics aside for the moment). Pregnancy is notoriously hard to predict and confirm in the early stages, and very difficult to measure until the 10-12 week, when by your standards the child is “viable” and shouldn’t be killed. With clear proof that unborn babies DO feel pain, that they DO sense their surroundings, and that they are indeed human, why should a sophisticated society decide when it is ok to kill them? Is it because you perceive that there is a true need to kill babies before they are born? Are you putting such a high priority on your perception of a there being a valid need to destroy human lives that you ignore the obvious ethical issue of murder for convenience and profit? If ethics and respect for human life is a valid goal for medicine, then why base the act of murdering human children on the political and societal perception that some children should be murdered before birth?

    Would you allow me to murder if I said I wasn’t sure the person was conscious because they were asleep, and I claimed to believe that people don’t feel pain in their sleep? What about a short-term coma? Is murder acceptable if the person is inconvenient to society if the person has fainted? How long should someone be unconscious before they are determined to be killable by your moral guidelines? 2 weeks? 10 weeks? a year? How long do they have to prove their ability to live independently? Do you kill off old people because they require adult diapers, need to drink through a straw and can’t eat solids anymore? Where do you draw the line? IS there a line?

    The issue of life and death is complex. We do not KNOW when consciousness happens, because we do not understand what makes sentient life in the first place, from a biological perspective (obviously, Christians believe God created life in all forms). Without true knowledge, the only ethical decision is to refrain from killing what is probably an aware human being.

    To recap..
    1. there is no way to consistently ensure pregnancies are accurately measured in terms of gestation time.
    2. there is no way to prove that consciousness begins with a fully developed nervous system, indeed people have been born alive with partially developed nervous systems and been conscious.
    3. Unborn babies have been scientifically proven to feel pain, to be aware of their surroundings even prior to being able to move, and there is no way to determine at what point awareness begins and ends because scientists do not understand what makes humans self-aware in the first place. Call it soul, or awareness, or whatever.. we don’t understand it, so why pretend there is a cutoff point that is unprovable? You wouldn’t allow a “guess” as a defense in a murder trial, why make it public policy to “guess” at when it’s ok to murder human children.
    4. Abortion is and has always been about the perceived need to murder an unborn human life. It has never been about how human the child is, how aware the child is, or how ethical it is to murder a defenseless human being.
    5. Defending abortion by saying the unborn are not alive uses horrendously faulty logic. Defending abortion by saying the unborn might be alive but not conscious also demonstrates lack of reasoning, since the same science also proves the inability to accurately measure consciousness in the first place, even in fully mature adult humans.
    6. The only honest defense of abortion is the truth. Defend abortion by saying you believe that mothers have the right to kill their children if the child is unwanted, inconveniently timed, or malformed. Be honest that your reasoning can’t defend a cut-off date, so you choose the gestation time that seems easiest to defend, not easiest to prove valid.
    7. I disagree with all defenses of deliberate abortion. For those mothers who have had miscarriage, your implication that a natural miscarriage is the same as the decision to have a doctor burn with acid, dismember and poison your child is so clearly insane, that it doesn’t really bear addressing. You can’t defend abortion with that argument, it only makes your logic more ludicrous.
    8. Try being honest about why you believe abortion is a viable “choice” for the mother, even though it obviously denies “choice” to the murdered child.

  39. Pete says:

    @Joan

    I wasn’t implying abortion and miscarriage are the same. I was wondering (and still am) what a Christian’s point of view is on miscarriages and god.

    Just because we don’t know when conciousness begins – doesn’t mean we should assume that it has begun. We should suspend judgement until we find out. This means that we cannot say abortion (when the baby is unknown to be conscious) is murder.

    Being asleep is an altered state of consciousness.

    Is it morally right to kill someone in a coma or who’s fainted? No because they are (probably) only temporarily unconscious. This is not comparable to destroying an embryo or foetus because in these cases the consciousness does not yet, and has never existed.

  40. Joan says:

    Pete, if you are guessing either way… why guess that it’s ok to kill, instead of guessing that it’s not ok to kill?

    Saying “I guess” doesn’t seem like sufficient cause to decide to violently end a human life. It does seem like sufficient reason to ban abortion, on the grounds that “a guess” isn’t sufficient moral justification for violently killing a human child with unique DNA who was once very much alive, and after the abortion procedures is very much dead.

    When “Pro-Choice” people justify abortion on the grounds of rape, harm to the mother, economic disadvantage to the mother, population control, under-aged pregnancy, diseased babies with medical problems, etc, etc, etc… what they are really saying is that under some circumstances which they feel qualified to judge.. it is ok to kill a human being who has never harmed another, who is innocent, and who is guilty only of immaturity, not of potential. The logic is flawed, the hypocrisy is blatant, and science does not support the idea that we can know without “guessing” just when ending a human babies life in the womb is morally “ok” and when it is murder.

    Pro-Choice means deciding that it is not immoral to kill human babies, period. There is no doubt that the babies are human, that they are alive, and that it is killing to end their lives. So, the only thing for Pro Choice people to decide is if they are ultimately in favor of a society that allows parents and medical professionals to kill babies. That’s the choice.. to kill, murder, poison, dismember and mutilate human babies with their own unique DNA code. All for the cause of convenience, profit and irresponsibility.

    It is no mystery why abortion is associated with euthanasia. Both degrade the value of human lives, and both enable serial killers of human beings to be publicly rewarded for their actions. That the doctors, nurses and parents who practice abortion are doing so in a culture that accepts abortion as a necessary evil is no less horrifying than if they were practicing abortion in a culture that revered the specialness of human life and potential. Perhaps it is more appalling that these people are deceived by their culture, tricked into perpetrating evil on themselves and others.

    Slavery is widely considered evil not only for the harm it does to the disenfranchised slaves, but even more evil for the harm it does to the societies who tolerated it. I believe the same is true of abortion.

  41. Pete says:

    Joan,

    I agree with you that we should err on the side of caution for most cases – but for some extreme cases, rape for example, as I’ve said – I think we should suspend judgement until we know more.

    To guess that the unborn baby is conscious and living beyond pure biological life, and therefore not allow abortion, would be inflicting pain and suffering on the mother, who we know is conscious and living beyond pure biological life.

    To say that you know it is living and therefore it is murder because of personal religious belief is intellectually dishonest at best and vindictive at worst. Not accusing you Joan – more of a general comment because I know a lot of people do say that.

  42. Ky gal says:

    And of course, having an abortion is not inflicting pain and suffering on the mother. An abortion is simply a medical procedure in which the mother experiences no discomfort or trauma. Ever experienced an abortion with a girl? The pain? The callous attitude of the nurses who laugh when you get sick? The cold attitude of the doctor who can’t be bothered giving you pain relievers because he’s got 20 more just like you waiting outside the door, and that cuts into his profit.

    Vindictive because of personal religious beliefs? Who is Joan being vindictive against? Women who choose abortions? Are you kidding?

    Out of the 15 women that I know that have had abortions, none were the product of rape. 4 were married. Several already had children. The one person that I know that did become pregnant through rape kept the baby.

    What on earth do you think an abortion is? Forget how the baby feels a moment. What do you think is going through the mothers’s head? This is not some warm, fuzzy moment taking place here. It’s lying on a cold sterile table. It’s taking a vacuum and shoving it where sun doesn’t shine.

    Where does the garbage go, Pete? The garbage that was inside of you? What of the horror of the baby surviving the abortion? What do you do with it then? How do you write that on the birth certificate? One doctor had to scratch out abortion and write live birth, because the girl survived.

    You know nothing. Having an abortion is traumatic, painful and every woman I know that has had one suffered from depression, anxiety, PTSD. It’s an awful experience and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I have nothing but love for women that have had abortions. You may think in terms of scientific “consciousness” and the like, but the experience for the woman remains the same, whether baby was conscious or not.

  43. Pete says:

    Ky gal,

    You need to read my comments more carefully – because I never accused Joan of anything, and even explicitly mentioned that.

    I admit you have a point about the pain and suffering of a woman that has had an abortion, and my ignorance on the experience of the procedure and how it affects the women.

    I’ve always maintained that abortion should not be an option for most of the reasons it’s currently performed for. Only for extreme cases – and the mother should be fully informed on the procedures, statistics, maybe talk to people who’ve had an abortion previously.

    These cases you cite of live babies being scraped out and surviving, are I expect extremely rare, and only show that the procedure wasn’t performed correctly, not that it shouldn’t have been done.

  44. Ky gal says:

    Obviously the procedure wasn’t done correctly! Duh! Abortion terminates a heartbeat.

    Illinois passed Infant Born Alive protection act that says a baby born alive is indeed a person and you can’t kill it. Another Duh! From me.

    What did you think happened when a baby is born alive in spite of an abortion? The kindly nurse and doctor wrap up baby and hand him over? I don’t think so. Current practice is to murder baby. Who is going to say otherwise?

    I know, I know, you are going to say that’s different, that’s murder and they should be punished.

    Do me a favor, Pete. Go home and hug your wife and children. Thank the God you don’t believe in that you have people that love you. And hope that your next experience with an abortion is not your daughter’s.

  45. Pete says:

    @Ky gal:
    Condescend much? I will do no such thing I’m afraid – thanking god and prayer in my opinion are a waste of time (because I don’t think there is a god) and frankly, quite narcissistic.

    What are your thoughts on miscarriages and God? Are they part of his “plan”?

  46. Kygal says:

    I think miscarriages are tragic, but unfortunately a part of life, like many things. God can use anything for his purpose, so I believe he could use a miscarriage for something good, even though it was not good.

  47. Pete says:

    So you believe that God can break his own rules. You believe that it is absolutely immoral when people murder, but not immoral when God murders.

    That kind of (il)logic just strengthens my current position and belief in no god I’m afraid. But thank you because it does help me understand your beliefs.

  48. Pete,

    Death, like birth, is part of life. God is continually both birthing new life and taking existing life. It’s only by God’s grace that anyone of us has life in the first place. God can choose to end any life at any time of His choosing. You and I are both here by His sovereignty. And each of us will die by this same sovereignty.

  49. Kygal says:

    So if I have an abortion, it is not murder, because we can’t know when baby came alive consciously, but if I have a miscarriage, then God comitted murder. Is this correct?

  50. Pete says:

    If you have an abortion early enough – we cannot say that it IS murder, but also we cannot say it IS NOT murder. We have to say we don’t know.

    I do not believe there is a god and therefore any beliefs regarding his actions would be contradictory. I have a picture from this discussion of your beliefs, which suggest you believe god murders unborn babies all the time.

    Whatever you say (see Craig’s comment) to try and justify this, to non-believers like me it just sounds silly and the same kind of crazy talk that allows people to sincerely believe that blowing up families will get them into paradise.

    We have to accept people have different beliefs, but I do think there is a reasonable case for having to justify that belief with evidence if it means you are affecting other peoples lives.

  51. Ky gal says:

    Ok, I am left scratching my head here.

    A miscarriage is God murdering babies, but an abortion is maybe not if you catch the pregnancy early enough. So a Being you don’t believe in is murdering babies that don’t really exist. And I can’t justify it, because then it sounds silly to you.

    Okey dokey.

  52. Pete says:

    Ky gal,

    I am saying that miscarriage FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW is murder. Because as YOU have stated life begins at conception. So YOU would say God is a murderer and that’s okay.

    Am I wrong there?

    From MY POINT OF VIEW miscarriage is not murder because the baby is not alive at that point. And MY OPINION is that there is no god.

    Sorry for the caps but do you understand where I am coming from now?

    Pete

  53. Nick says:

    “I will do no such thing I’m afraid – thanking god and prayer in my opinion are a waste of time (because I don’t think there is a god) and frankly, quite narcissistic.” – Pete
    I found this statement to be so ironic, I couldn’t resist responding.
    Going back to your original post, and judging from your subsequent posts, it seems that your main argument is that, while abortion is wrong from the Christian standpoint, it could be seen as alright from those who come from a different set of beliefs and values. I don’t understand the purpose of you coming to this site to make this argument.
    Obviously, every time we make a statement regarding any kind of moral choice, it is naturally going to be based upon the value system that the person making the statement adheres to.
    It’s true- conservative Christian values and the increasingly popular mainstream American/secular values are different, and often times completely at odds. And yes, most if not everyone on this site who is against abortion is likely against it because they adhere to Christian values. I will go ahead and admit that you are right in all of your arguments, assuming that we all adhere to the same values that you do. Yes, if we take it as a given that terminating a pregnancy is only wrong if it is ending a “life,” and we only define “life” as when the organism is “conscious,” then you’re right! Abortion isn’t “wrong” by your definition of what is “wrong.”
    So yes, you’ve established that you have a different set of values and definitions that we do- but it’s not like we didn’t already know that.
    So going back to what I find ironic; you, an atheist, have come to a Christian site knowing full-well that our values and definitions are different than yours to do, what, exactly? Enlighten us as to the existence of other worldviews that we already knew existed? Play word games with us regarding the definitions of “murder” and “miscarriage” to show us how stupid we are? Who is the narcissistic one here?

  54. Pete says:

    @Kygal:
    So why don’t you think miscarriage is murder when you do think the baby is alive at that point?

    @Nick:
    I like the site – that’s why I’m here. I like listening to other peoples views and offering mine. The way I see it is if I don’t listen to other peoples points of view I can’t be objective about my own.

    I originally came here for another article regarding the evolution of the giraffe – and then read a few others and made some comments.

    I don’t think I am more intelligent than anyone on this site – why would you think that?

    I don’t understand how any of what I’ve said leads you to think I am narcissistic. Hoping that an omnipotent being will listen and maybe act on your personal prayers, when prayers of those such as Elizabeth Fritzl, who was held prisoner by her own father, assaulted and raped (resulting in 7 children) over 24 years, went unanswered, is I think narcissistic, or simply ignorant.

    I don’t mean to cause offence by that statement – just don’t understand how any reasonable person could truly believe that prayer has an effect other than placebo.

  55. Nick says:

    Pete said: ” I don’t think I am more intelligent than anyone on this site – why would you think that?”

    Pete, I never said that I did think you were more intelligent than anyone on this site- why do you think I thought that?
    What I did say was that your postings have struck me as narcissistic, so I will attempt to clarify.
    1.) You know that the vast majority of the people on this site are coming from a Christian/Biblical point of view- if you’ve posted on this site before, I’m sure you must know that.
    2.) You argue in your first post that abortion can be considered alright because there are others out there who do not have a Christian viewpoint, which again, is something that is so obvious as to strike me as something of a completely pointless post (no offense).
    3.) You’ve made it clear that your point of view is an atheistic one. You state in your first post that “you can’t use God as a reason not to abort because not everyone believes in God,” basically dismissing the entire belief system of the people you are communicating with.

    In other words, you come onto a site knowing full-well that everyone’s going to disagree with you. You make the argument which seems to me to amount to basically “other people have a different belief system than you.” You then subsequently dismiss the arguments of the people responding to your post by completely dismissing their entire belief system. You are basically arguing that the people on this site are wrong because they do not adhere to YOUR moral values/ moral framework/ moral definitions (Sorry for the caps, I would’ve just italicized if that were possible) and are saying that our arguments don’t work because YOU don’t believe in them. What do you expect us to say or argue in response? Surely you must know that Christians place the idea and existence of God and Jesus Christ central to their lives. Obviously, if you take away the entire foundation that the majority of the people on this site use as the basis of their morality, then we can’t really argue back, can we?
    You seem to want us to respond to your arguments using secular arguments when you know full well that our arguments are religious/Christian in nature.
    It would be similar to me going onto an atheist site, then telling them that they are all wrong about abortion, and then saying that all their arguments are wrong out of hand because they don’t adhere to MY values (ie, belief in God).
    I do think it is a bit narcissistic to go onto a website and do such a thing, and the irony of calling Christians narcissistic for praying is what compelled me to comment. No offense intended, and hope that clarifies things.

  56. Kygal says:

    Pete,
    A miscarriage is a naturally occurring death. We all live, then we die. God decides when that is, not me. A murderer could make the argument that since his victim was going to die at some point anyway, he just speeded up the process.

    And wait a minute! I just caught the part about no reasonable person could believe in prayer. Is that saying I’m unreasonable because I believe in prayer?

  57. Pete says:

    @Kygal:
    Maybe regarding prayer your beliefs are not reasonable – but that is not what I said. I said I do not understand HOW a reasonable person could believe such things. So if you are reasonable maybe the ignorance is in my understanding – but that’s what I am trying to find out.

    Do you actually believe that there is a being listening to our thoughts? That the being intervenes according to said thoughts? If so, how could the case I referred to (Fritzl) have happened?

    @Nick:
    Fair point – and I don’t mean to dismiss the religious argument so much as to understand it, or more accurately understand how / why people believe it. Regarding the original post my point was that a large number of the people having abortions are not religious – so a religious argument cannot be used to convince them of anything unless you first convince them that your religious views are true. Simply saying that abortion is murder will not be taken seriously be such people – because it will sit as part of your religious viewpoint.

    If it could be demonstrated that concious life begins at conception then there would be a compelling case to all religious and non-religious people that all abortion should cease.

  58. Kygal says:

    There is a lot of suffering in this world, but Jesus said in this world we would have trouble. I believe He answers prayers according to his will, but not like a genie in the sky. I think this where people go wrong in their view of God. If He doesn’t answer according to my beliefs, then He doesn’t exist.

    I don’t understand why so much pain and suffering, nor do I pretend to agree with ever decision that He makes. I figure God can handle my anger, so I express it. But I am limited in my view, as are my children. They don’t understand why I make the decisions I do for them, they think I’m out to get them. But I’m not. I see so clearly where they are headed. Sometimes I have to say no to what seems like a reasonable request. God knows things that I don’t.

  59. Nick says:

    Pete,
    I understand what you’re saying. A few points, however.
    The idea or belief that life begins at conception is not an inherently Christian/religious one. So one does not have to convince a person having an abortion that Christianity is true, merely that life begins at conception and abortion is wrong because it is wrong to take a human life, or that abortion is wrong for some other reason. When I said in my previous post that most of the arguments on this site would be from a Christian viewpoint (what else would you expect from a Christian website?) I did not mean that there were no secular arguments against abortion. In fact, atheists do exist who are against abortion for whatever reason, including the “life begins at conception” argument, though they don’t get much attention from the media. However, you can find plenty through a quick google search.
    However, if we start to argue for or against abortion from a purely secular morality standpoint and take the religious aspect out of it, then at the end of the day, it really is just a matter of opinion since secular morality is inherently subjective (not necessarily meant to be a criticism, just a fact).
    In your last post, you state, “If it could be demonstrated that conscious life begins at conception then there would be a compelling case to all religious and non-religious people that all abortion should cease.” For one thing, why is it that only a conscious life is one that should not be taken? And why is that even necessarily wrong? A pregnant mother could always argue that the embryo, even if conscious, is still not a fully human since it cannot live on its own or whatever other reason and thus, is not privy to any laws protecting it. Absolutely anything can be justified depending on the definitions we use and the values we have. This is why, I think, people like to bring up the Holocaust to compare to abortion; the eradication of Jews is a completely rational and logical thing to do provided that you base your moral arguments from the standpoint “Jews are less human than other people” the opinion of which is inherently subjective, and dependent on how you define human. You may argue that any reasonable person would define Jews as human, but I would say that the fact of the Holocaust shows this is clearly not the case.
    This is where we start going around in circles, because again, it all depends on how each person defines life, and it all depends on peoples’ values; ultimately, does the person place value on the human embryo or does he not? From a secular moral standpoint, this is completely subjective and dependent on the individual. Some, like you, might only place value on it if they think it is conscious; but what if I place value on an embryo because I think it has all the genetic potential of a full human being and is already in the process of development? Who are you to tell me that my value judgment is wrong and yours is right? Again, from a secular moral standpoint, this is completely subjective and neither of us is objectively right. It all depends on what the majority believe. And regardless of whether or not my opinion is the result of a Christian worldview, if I can persuade others to make that same value judgment of placing value in human embryos (whether from Christian arguments or secular ones such as embryos having full genetic potential or whatever other reason) then abortion would be wrong not just from a Christian standpoint, but a secular one, which again, is subjective and dependent on what the majority in a society adhere to.
    So to summarize, yes, abortion is currently not illegal and morally acceptable in the USA from a purely secular standpoint.
    However, based on the subjectivity of secular morality, Christians feel compelled to make the attempt to change this secular acceptability by attempting to persuade others to make the same value judgment of placing value in embryos that we already make as a result of our worldview (using either secular or religious reasons).

  60. Pete says:

    @Nick:
    Thanks Nick that does make sense… I think you’ve summed things up very well, and I agree with you. Although I of course think that morality has evolved – and yes therefore it is subjective – otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion! It’s because of how slowly and gradually evolution works that peoples morality is similar (relatively speaking). Before someone brings up the Nazis – there were many other contributing factors that led to the things they did, it wasn’t their lack of morals that let them murder innocent people (but that’s another debate!).

    @Kygal:
    Thanks for your explanation. I’m not one for quoting the bible usually, but here are some snippets about prayer:

    Matthew 17:20
    “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
    Mark 11:24
    “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
    John 14:14
    “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

    Now these do not seem figurative or ambiguous / open to interpretation. Apparently if you have faith and ask for it you shall get it.

    I refer back to the Elizabeth Fritzl case, or the victims of the Nazis, or the millions of people with faith who pray for their sick family members to get better, but don’t. Don’t these directly conflict with the above bible verses?

  61. Pete, “coincidentally” I wrote on John 14:14 today, a few hours before you wrote this. These verses are not at all saying what you are taking them to say. Prayer doesn’t make God our slave who has to do what we say. That is a gross mis-statement of what prayer is according to the Bible. I understand why you make it, because a lot of Christians (and a lot of people who call themselves Christians) have read it almost exactly the way you are. So it’s not necessarily your fault, but that just isn’t what these verses mean. http://mindrenewers.com/2012/03/12/a-proverb-for-today-proverbs-1024-part-two/

    I’m not expecting you to necessarily agree, but Christians have no basis for expecting God to just give us whatever pops into our brain to ask for, and it is misunderstanding the verses you have cited to suggest that. The Christian faith is not here to give us some kind of magic wand with which to wave away all of this life’s problems. It is here to resolve the problem that we’ve sinned against a holy God, and that needs to be addressed both for this life and especially the next.

  62. Good and fair question, Pete. And the answer is that I honestly don’t know what God will and will not do. He sees many things I do not see, knows the thoughts of all and how “innocent” any innocent victims are. He knows what they would have done if bad things hadn’t happened to them.

    It is easy to say God should have stopped Hitler, but how many other Hitlers just as bad, or worse, did Adolf’s actions kill or stop? Does anyone except God know? It is easy to say God should have protected Elizabeth Fritzl, but how many young girls will now have protection they wouldn’t have had, due to her suffering? Does that mean it is “fair” that she suffered? Would it have been “fair” if she hadn’t and many others did suffer as a result? You can’t assess bad without assessing the greater bad it prevented, or the good that came out of it.

    The only way you can really assess a person’s actions is if you have all the information on which that person made his decision. None of us have even a tiny fraction of the information on which God acts.

    And that discussion just blips over the brevity of this life, and God’s actions are based on eternal considerations, as well they should be. Suffering in this life, within the Christian faith, is a pretty minor thing. You’re alive on this earth a short time, and dead to this life a long time. I recognise that you may not have that perspective, but that is the Christian philosophical mindset.

    Finally, this whole question ignores the fact that we are not fit to assess God’s actions or judge what He should do. This is hard for us to accept, because we tend to be proud enough to assume that we have the answers in morality and everything else, that we have the right to make such judgments.

    That view isn’t entirely without basis. God tells us that He is good, so He expects us to have some understanding of what “good” is, and expect good from Him. But it would be silly of us to expect that we’ve got a complete handle on “good”, so if He does things that don’t match up to our thinking on it, then we are left to acknowledge that the flaw is in us.

    That answer may not be satisfying to a skeptic, but it is entirely logical within a presupposition of faith. We don’t know what God would or should do unless He has told us specifically in His Word. Even then, we have to be humble enough to admit that we don’t always understand His Word and how it fits specific instances as well as we would like.

  63. Pete says:

    Thanks for your answer Jon – sorry for the late response.

    I do understand what you’re saying. It’s kinda like when a child drops a lollipop in the sand and acts like it’s the end of the world – but we as parents know it’s really not that bad.

    The problem I have with this idea is that it suggests that everything bad that happens is actually for the greater good – and that if it could be prevented without reducing the “net good in the world” then God would have already made it so (because he is perfectly good). Kind of points out that asking for something in prayer is pointless – because if it could be done it would already be so.

    Also free will conflicts with this. If you believe that we have free will then if God has planned something to be so – we can change his plans with our free will. In which case you could say that it is because of our free will that bad things happen – but that would mean God does not intervene to reduce suffering when he clearly could.

  64. I think a Christian, to be consistent, would say that God brings good out of everything. Does that mean everything is for the greater good? Maybe, though the Bible doesn’t exactly state it that way.

    Prayer is an interesting topic. God tells Christians He has predestined us to be like Jesus, so that means He has a plan. He also tells us to pray and to ask for things. How do those two work? I don’t know, really. The best answer I can give without writing pages is that God is infinite in regards to time as well as space, and so there is a lot we can’t really fully understand.

    The Bible never says “free will”, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means I can’t define it Biblically. I think, putting all the Biblical evidence together, that there are limitations, that our will isn’t quite as free as we like to think — but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are robots.

    Better theologians than me (and non-religious philosophers, for that matter) have struggled to figure out just exactly how much freedom our wills have. I think the answer is “not none, but not unlimited either.”

    ***
    I’ll not be able to answer all your questions entirely satisfactorily, because God is infinite and I’m finite. At some point, you’ll have enough evidence to make a decision — can I take the rest on faith, or not? Christianity is credible, but the very term “credibility” implies you are going to trust at some point. No one will ever prove it to you — if it could be proven, it wouldn’t be faith. What you’ll have to decide is whether it is credible enough to believe, to trust it.

    It’s sort of like marriage. When i married my wife, I trusted her that she would be true to me. I couldn’t have proved it, but there was enough evidence that she was credible for me to take the rest on faith. I still can’t prove she’ll never betray me, but her credibility keeps growing.

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