My argument is simple. My argument is clear. If we can kill babies in the womb, and babies are human persons, then we can kill anyone, anytime, anywhere for the same reasons we kill them. If we cannot kill anyone, anytime, and anywhere for those reasons, then we cannot kill babies in the womb, it is that simple. We now seem to believe that our personal desires are more important than even the life of another human, and if it will not stop with the unborn, then it will not ultimately stop with the born, for all human life is threatened when we threaten one unborn human life.
Are human beings worth protecting? Our society still seems to think so, as we still have laws against murder of human beings, and the violence done against them. And more importantly God seems to think so as well.
The two ideas we need to grapple with are: human personhood and human genetic identity. For the sake of argument I will accept the idea that we humans share two aspects of our identity, personhood and genetics.
Where our society is schizophrenic, is precisely at this point, attempting to separate our identity between the two as if we can be human genetically but not a human person, but I will play along for a moment to show that even the attempt to separate the two fails to prove what they want to prove.
Here is the rub for those who want to separate the two, science can tell us when a human being begins genetically, but it cannot tell us when human personhood begins for two reasons, one is that human personhood has no consensus in definition, and is by nature immaterial (science can only study the material universe). The truth of the matter is, everyone agrees, we don’t know exactly when personhood starts scientifically, although many want to use some scientific arguments to narrow the timeframe down, there is no singular point that under a microscope we can see personhood begin.
Another question I have is, why would a human person have protection, when we don’t know really when it begins, and the genetic existence as a human not have protection even though we know when it begins? Either way it doesn’t matter in the end, for no matter how you slice it, we shouldn’t be killing any babies in the womb and here is why.
We all seem to agree, for now, that human persons deserve protection, and, for now, we agree that humans persons outside of the womb deserve protection no matter what their family’s desires are. That is, no mother can have her 3 year old child killed for her convenience, although in our current legal system she can do that to her 3 week old child in the womb. What is the difference? Practically speaking and in fact literally speaking the only difference between the 3 year old and 3 week old is a few inches outside the mother’s body and the level of physical development, for both are genetically human.
Why cannot the mother kill her 3 year old child, and yet kill the 3 week old? Because that 3 year old child is considered a protected human person, while the 3 week old isn’t, but both are equally human, genetically speaking. Interesting that we and our laws know for sure that the 3 week old isn’t yet a human person worthy of our protection, and the 3 year old is, when we have no idea when human personhood actually begins. Why are we looking for reasons to kill humans instead of seeking reasons to save more lives? What if human personhood began at 2 week 6 days, and we killed a 3 week old in the womb? Wouldn’t that mean we actually murdered a human person? That one day may matter very much and here is why.
If we don’t know when human personhood starts, are we sure we know when it ends? Common sense and most of human history will tell us that human personhood begins sometime in the womb, and ends upon death, but are we so sure about that? If we feel free to wiggle around with dating the start of human personhood why can we not wiggle around with the end timing as well?
Here is the real problem with trying to use personhood as the only means of rationale in protecting human life, we have no idea when it starts, and for the types of reasons we give in trying to find a starting time, we can actually justify ending personhood of a human before they actually die. Why are babies in the womb not a person before a certain time and a person after a certain time? Is it developmental? If it is, then the same type of developmental logic and reasons can apply to the elderly and injured. If we decide that human personhood happens after a child reaches a certain point in development and we apply specifics to it, like brain activity, sensory experiences, autonomy of movement, etc. then why can’t we apply the same disappearance of such things to the loss of personhood, which then gives us the justification to kill any human who looses personhood for the same types of reasons we kill the very young: convenience.
I am not for the killing of the elderly or the injured no matter where on the scale of degrading development they are for the reason or any reasons around the concept of convenience, so let’s get that straight. My point is that the logically slippery slope we find ourselves is simply that if we do not know when human personhood begins, then perhaps we don’t know when it ends, and if we think we can monkey with trying to time something’s beginning, then we will eventually come to monkey with the timing of its end. And if the idea of killing people just because they are losing their level of development is hideous to you, then the idea of killing people before they reach that same level should similarly be as hideous, let alone frightening for at some point in your own life you too may reach the level of development where, according to that view, you may be killed conveniently as well.
If this line of reasoning doesn’t persuade you then let us consider another. If you don’t know when something as precious as a human person begins, then shouldn’t you do everything in your power to protect that human? If human life is precious, then the reasons we kill humans in the womb are not valid reasons for killing humans ever, anywhere, anytime, and in any stage of development, period.
People talk as if the baby in the womb is simply a “potential” human, but they have no idea when the baby goes from “potential” to “actual” human, and yet at the same time they want to say it is ok to kill the baby at point “A” but not point “B”. Does anyone else see how insane that sounds? What they are saying is: “we do not know when this baby goes from being a blob of tissue to the most precious life form on the planet, but we know it is ok to kill it at this point in its development because we know for sure right now it isn’t the most precious life form yet.” Do you see the contradiction, in the same breath they both say that they do not know when this tissue goes from cells to precious life, but they do know it isn’t precious at the moment they want to kill it, how convenient, and rationally dishonest. Why risk it? Why not just make the safe assumption that life and personhood begins at conception? We know that genetic existence and human life begins at conception, so why not take the safe (and logically consistent) assumption that personhood does too?
If human persons are worth protecting, then they are worth protecting at any point along their developmental cycle, and if you cannot with scientific certainty demonstrate any time after conception or before death, the beginning and ending of human personhood (and no one can scientifically nor, I think, philosophically), then you are obligated to take the safest, the simplest, and the most consistent position to practice that: human personhood begins at conception and ends in death (as far as we as a society are concerned). This means that we ought not kill anything in the mother’s womb that is genetically human for it may already be a person, and we ought not kill anyone outside of the womb too (for the same kinds of reasons).
Likewise, if human persons are not worth protecting in the womb, then they are not worth protecting anywhere they are, no matter their level of development. These are, as I see it, the only two logically consistent positions we can hold: either humans are worth protecting and we must protect them no matter where they are, no matter their size, no matter their level of development, or humans are not worth protecting no matter where they are, no matter their size, no matter their level of development, period. Are you willing to risk the murder of precious humans for the reasons people give for almost every Abortion considering how little science can tell us about personhood?
Personally I think Abortion represents one of our greatest rebellions against God. We have so idolized our own desires above other’s well being, that we are willing to destroy them, and even their lives, if it only helps us achieve what we think we want. No longer are we willing to live in a world that has consequences for our actions. We are seeking to remake it where we can do whatever we want, and we get to write the outcome, no matter what harm we do to others. No matter how much we ignore the truth that there are consequences for our actions it will eventually be as obvious as the laws of physics guiding gravity, that every single action we do will bring a consequence upon our heads.
Jesus said there were only two things we really needed to do: love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves, in Abortion we are breaking both of these in the most heinous way: in murdering the unborn we are doing the equivalent of smearing refuse on the masterpiece of God’s creation and stomping on it in the mud, while giving God the finger of offense we focus all our love inwardly to the expense of all others. God said love, yet we hate with the utmost violence and we do not stop there but actually prevent the violence from being stopped while demanding people enthusiastically celebrate the bloodshed.
We have an obligation as a society to protect human beings (no matter what we think about their personhood), because what you destroy for sure, no matter the stage of development, is a living human being, and since personhood cannot be defined or determined scientifically, we should either assume it exists at the same time as human life does, and simply consider human life is worth protecting in its own right. God commands us to protect human life, but even if you don’t believe in God, you should protect human life because in doing so you protect your own life and everyone else you love, and without it not only will society not exist, but all of us too.
As for me I think we should protect all human life everywhere no matter how small in the womb or large outside, because God made us in His image and declared life precious and of the highest thing to protect. We owe God our lives, and thus we should do with life as He commanded: help if flourish, not end.
Abortion – the murder of helpless human baby persons – must end now for the consequences for not doing so vastly outweigh the consequences that will happen when it does end.