Question For Posters Who Are Pro-Choice

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by gatorplank, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    I think there are points I have raised that do address your concern about dependence on the mother. The right to life is the foundation of all other rights. Without the right to life other rights simply have no foundation.

    For example, if the government declares that everyone has the right to free speech, but then the government does not recognize the right to life of those who would exercise their right to free speech, then what good is the right to free speech? As you can see, if people are allowed to kill other people, then that trivializes the entire concept of human rights.

    Additionally, the entire concept of human rights is also built on the foundation that human rights are universal. If our constitution says that free speech is a human right, then that means that said right is applied to all human beings. If we say group X has the right to life, and group Y does not have the right to life (and group Y has done nothing to abdicate that right), then we are not really arguing that life is a human right. Human rights by their very definition have to apply to everyone equally in a society. If we don't apply them equally to everyone, then they cease to be human rights. What we are really talking about is not human rights but favoritism given to group X on the basis of some sort of discrimination to the exclusion of group Y.

    The way I see it there is no foundation for you to argue that murder is a human rights violation. If you really want to say that a woman has the right to choose, then you have to accept the consequences of that position by saying that there is no right to life.

    And then there is the entire of issue that you do not recognize a pre-born woman's right to control her own body. So this so called "right" really isn't a right. It is favoritism shown towards a specific group while discriminating and excluding another group from the benefits of that favoritism.

    So in the end abortion violates both the right to life and a female's right to control her own body.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
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  2. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    Az, another point worth considering is this: If total dependence is the criteria that allows people to kill other people, then does that apply to people who are totally dependent on the government?
  3. AzCatFan
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    AzCatFan Well-Known Member

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    Rights have limitations when they interfere with another's rights. For example, you cannot yell fire for no reason in a crowded theater.

    I agree humans have the right to life, but is a fetus a human? I submit the complete dependence on a single individual to survive causing potential competing rights calls a fetus as human into question. Sure, there are other instances of humans being completely dependant, but care can be parsed out of necessary. My 10 week old is completely dependant, but plenty of caretakers, including my wife, other family, daycare, me, etc.

    Yes, a fetus has the potential to become human, but for 22 weeks, there is complete dependence. And I don't think you, nor anyone else has the right to tell a woman what she can do with her uterus. Even if that means the termination of a life.
  4. AzCatFan
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    AzCatFan Well-Known Member

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    Total dependence on a single, specific individual versus government, which is theoretically made up of all of us. 1 versus several hundred million.
  5. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    And this is ultimately what the abortion argument stands on. Many of the worst human rights violations in the history of the world all go off the premise that group X has less humanity than group Y. For example, Islamic radicals read in their holy text straight from the mouth of their prophet these words: "Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind." They read those words in the Koran every single time they flip to Surah 3:110. And many Islamic radicals also are taught from a young age that Jews are apes and pigs.

    Slavery was justified the exact same way. The holocaust was justified the same way. The whole idea of eugenics (that some human beings are higher on the evolutionary ladder than other human beings) was the justification in the mind of the nazis that allowed them to kill countless numbers of Jews.

    And we see that abortionists do the same thing. Pre-born babies are talked of in a way that purposefully marginalizes their humanity. The common word that serves this end is "fetus." I've also seen people call the pre-born "blobs of tissue" and "parasites." The latter two labels are more vicious and blatant ways of accomplishing this same end.

    If we even have to ask the question, "Is group X, as fully human as everyone else?" then we should assume the full humanity of the group in question until there is a 100% consensus on the matter. Otherwise there is a very good chance that we will end up on the same side of history as other people who assumed the opposite like jihadists, the nazis, slave owners, and other perpetrators of genocide and/or violence that discriminated against certain people by not considering them as fully human as everyone else.
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  6. AzCatFan
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    AzCatFan Well-Known Member

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    Again, fetuses are different than all other living humans in that a fetus is wholly dependent on a single, specific individual for life. All other cases are different. Therefore the justification in this case is different. With eugenics and slavery, it's the opinion that one human is different than another. But there is no science behind it. With abortion, the fetus is obviously biologically different than all other fully born humans. And that difference again, is the fact it's dependent on a specific, single individual.

    And you are still not addressing this important difference other than you believe the right the fetus has to life outweighs the rights of the mother. I understand and respect that opinion. But I differ because I do not believe we should put anyone in a position not to be able to choose what they can or cannot do with their bodies. Especially in yes, the most extreme cases, where a woman gets pregnant not by choice, but by force. I do not believe we have a right to tell a woman that even though she didn't choose to have sex, for the next nine months, her uterus and her body now belongs to the fetus, and not herself. And if a pregnant woman who was raped has the right to choose, then I believe all women do.
  7. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    Right, so your criteria for discrimination is total dependence on another individual. That seems like an arbitrary characteristic to draw the line on. It certainly isolates the group that abortion discriminates against, but other than that I don't see why that should be the defining characteristic that puts up the fence between human and non-human.
  8. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    I want to interject for discussion a possibly little known fact concerning the ethics of abortion for pregnancies that occur from rape, non-consensual incest, or that might be regarded as needed to save the life of the pregnant woman. The hard line evangelical Christianity takes against abortion hasn't always been as firm as it is today.

    Some of us believe there should be no exceptions as all life is sacred, no matter the circumstances surrounding conception. Others believe abortion is morally permissible when the 3 previously mentioned exceptions are a factor. This latter view was more widely and generously accepted 40 years ago than it is today.

    Consider the words of Bruce Watke, "God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul."

    Watke, at that time a Reformed Theology professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Dallas Theological Seminary, penned those words for a 1968 Christianity Today special issue on contraception and abortion. His was not an isolated view.

    What has changed? Jonathan Dudley, an evangelical Christian, a resident in medicine at Massachusetts General, graduate of Johns Hopkins Medical School, with a post graduate ethics degree from Yale's theology program, has written extensively on the changing attitude towards abortion in the United States.

    Dudley traces the change in attitude to Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority.
    A snippet from Dudley's book.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/03...iveASIN=0385525265&linkCode=as2&tag=lojofe-20
    Read these links in the order posted for clarity:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/30/my-take-when-evangelicals-were-pro-choice/
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct...o-choice-another-fake-history.html?paging=off
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonat...that-life-begins-at-conception_b_2072716.html
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slackt...lical-view-thats-younger-than-the-happy-meal/
  9. AzCatFan
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    AzCatFan Well-Known Member

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    The line drawn at complete dependence on one specific individual is sufficient. Only happens in two cases. Power of attorney and abortion. All other cases, no question that life wins out. It's really that simple, unless anyone can think of another instance where a life is dependant only on one, specific person with a conscience choice.
  10. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    Lacuna, I don't think Exodus 21:22-24 is talking about abortion. The Hebrew word שָׁכֹל, which is transliterated as shakol , is the Hebrew word for abortion or miscarriage. That word is blatantly absent in that text. For this reason I believe the passage to be talking about causing a premature birth.
  11. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to abortion, I think the closest condemnation of it are passages that condemn infanticide. I think Exodus 21:22-23 is a good start, but I also think that Exodus 22:18 is another good verse to examine as well. An explanation of why Exodus 22:18 is a condemnation of infanticide is in the video below:

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  12. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    So why put limitations on the right to life, when an equally legitimate argument can be made to place limitations on a woman's right to control her own body? I just don't understand why all other rights must yield to this one supposed right. Why shouldn't all other rights have to yield to the right to life?
  13. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    I agree the verses are not talking about abortion. They speak to the value of a pre-born child.

    I am interested in your thoughts on how the the attitude towards abortion has changed since Watke wrote what I quoted in my previous post. Did you know that abortion was not a front line issue with evangelicals 40 years ago like it is today?
  14. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    Going back to your original question on this thread, if the more relaxed attitude toward abortion prior to 1970 was still effectual, I would say aborting a baby that would be homosexual would probably be more common than not among evangelicals. Many parents are so horrified upon learning their adult child is gay they sever all contact with him or her and families are shattered.

    In those circles a pre-born baby identified with a 'gay gene' might be a thought to have a 'severe handicap' or might be a source of 'extreme emotional stress' to the mother. Prior to 1970 both were considered to be legitimate reasons to abort. I think there are some who would exercise that option if they were certain the baby carried a definitive 'gay gene.'
  15. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    I was not aware that the evangelical community had softened its stance on abortion 40 years ago. I was aware some time ago that neo-orthodoxy had gained a foothold in Southern Baptist seminaries. I think that connection is a very important one to make. These sorts of positions are not made in a vacuum. They are an outgrowth of the theology of the time. So I think that people such as Packer, Geisler, and Graham were influenced by their seminary professors. I did a quick search and there was a conservative resurgence that probably had something to do with this turn around.

    Also 40 years ago Roe vs. Wade hadn't happened yet. The 1 million+ babies dying every year from abortions probably had something to do with the issue becoming a much greater concern among evangelicals. To give you an analogy, pedophelia is not a frontline issue in the church at this moment in time, but it would become a huge deal if it ever became legal.
  16. gatorplank
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    gatorplank Well-Known Member

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    I think the evangelical community would still oppose it. The idea that fallen man is still made in God's image is just too central of a doctrine for evangelicals to just kill a pre-born child. It is also just so against the entire idea of the gospel to just kill a sinner for sins that are never actually committed. I would also argue that Jesus' remark in Matthew 19:12 seems to include a design and calling for people who do not experience heterosexual attractions. In my mind I do not equate "not attracted to the opposite sex" with homosexual. Some people simply are not made for marriage and have a different path to follow. So maybe what we categorize as "homosexual" Jesus simply saw as "eunuch from birth."
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  17. Gatormb
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    Gatormb Well-Known Member

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    : 41 And when Elizabeth
    heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she
    exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this
    granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to
    my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of
    what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Lk 1.41-45).

    Un-viable tissue masses leaping with joy? Just saying.
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