“Where do you find your proof for Jesus being bisexual, or not heterosexual?”
I think Terrence was pointing out that Jesus – the biblical character – was likely heterosexual as there is no contrary evidence in the stories.
“And Jesus wouldn’t impregnate someone because that would simply just not work.”
I don’t understand. Was Jesus infertile? Or are you saying that Jesus would take precautions before intercourse? At times, the story paints him as very wise and responsible. But even so, accidents can happen.
It’s necessary if you’re one who asks “WWJD?”. If the story of Jesus was clear that he was shooting blanks, then the question would be pointless. But as far as I know, the story states he was a male human being who could have had sexual encounters with women (or is there evidence in the stories that he lived his entire life practicing abstinence?).
So would Jesus support his lover if she wanted to abort her pregnancy?
Well, the evidence in the story, such as it is, and by “the story” I mean the New Testament as a whole, and the ancient mainstream traditions of Christianity and the church, is that Jesus was/is without sin. There is no evidence that Jesus was married — although there is also no evidence that he was not married, just an assumption. The assumption is that sex outside marriage is sinful. Ergo, the assumption is that he did not have sex.
All of that aside, I’m not a WWJD person, but I think that, given a preponderance of the hearsay, Jesus would counsel his mate not to have an abortion, because Jesus loved life so much he gave his own for it; but if she chose to have one, he would love her and support her for the same reason.
And that curiously, is the same attitude I would have if my own 22-yo daughter were to face the decision. Yes, i can be eerily Jesusy. :-)
“Let’s say in Jesus’ culture it is against the law to abort. Would Jesus defend his wife from prosecution as best he can? That is, would Jesus support his wife’s choice?”
“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” seems to suggest that he wouldn’t stop whatever legal consequences might result from her actions. The same thing is demonstrated with the woman who was about to be stoned: Jesus technically didn’t stop them. Nevertheless, I think his argument would be the same: you who are without sin cast the first stone.
To clarify your argument a bit: supporting a choice implies agreement with that choice. However, you can support/defend someone’s right to make a choice (or right to live despite their choice) without supporting/defending the choice they make.
In other words: I don’t own/control you, but I also don’t agree with you.
The problem is, a lot of this is fine for philosophical/abstract thought, but a society cannot simply say “we don’t support all choices, but there will be no consequences for whatever choice you do make.”
Re, “Would Jesus defend his wife from prosecution as best he can? That is, would Jesus support his wife’s choice?”
I’d guess not. Given your scenario, she would be breaking the law. To support a person is not to agree with his or her actions. And to love one most certainly does not mean shield from prosecution — or even defend one’s actions during a prosecution.
Back to my daughter: I love her, no matter what. But I might be grieved by her actions. A corrolary: God, they say, sees every sparrow as it falls — and loves it as it hits the ground.
Society can say (through law), “We support the right for women to choose abortion during the early stage of their pregnancy.” The result of this would be very real, not abstract.
Then, “sin” isn’t even a consideration. During the early stages of pregnancy, an embryo/fetus lacks the mental requisites to even make the decision a moral one.
Perhaps a reasonable and conscionable law would be one that ends the automatic right to abort a pregnancy after the first trimester. I would favor time up to birth, but such a law would at least balance the needs of most. I certainly wouldn’t advocate for countries that already allow abortion up to birth regress to earlier stages.
Eric, would you agree? Would anyone reading this agree?
Sorry, I should have been more clear. When I moved to talk about abstract discussions vs. concrete needs of society, I was being … well … abstract. I wasn’t saying that in terms of abortion specifically, but rather the law in general: a society must have laws that set what is permissible and what is not, and consequences for violations. I wasn’t placing abortion in either camp.
And though it’s tempting, I think I’ll refrain from the nearly unwinnable battle over abortion. I was just chiming in for the WWJD thought-exercise!
Eric, how would you describe abortion law implemented in a way such that you would consider it a “win”? (Regardless if you felt your words wouldn’t have any substantial impact – I would just like to know what you think)
I think your proposal (a law “that ends the automatic right to abort a pregnancy after the first trimester”) is probably as close as we (as a society) can get for now to a compromise that will anger the smallest number of people.
I agree. Those who get angry typically hold the view that conception is when the life/death ethics of the aborted human being become meaningful.
Obviously, determining an _exact_ point in time when the ethical question has significance is not possible, but the embryonic stage of human life is clearly off the mark. The human being isn’t even a person yet.
Putting aside WWJD, what are your thoughts on abortion law? If you determined what the law said pregnant women could choose to do, how much choice would you give them? That is, roughly (or exactly) where would you draw the line and why would you draw it there?
I think abortion is wrong. I don’t think that not wanting to have or raise a child is necessarily wrong, but I view life as beginning at conception. Even the sperm and all that stuff, those are functioning organisms as well.
There are other options besides abortion. Either don’t have sex, or use protection, or simply put the baby up for adoption. I would never legislate against sex between a couple, that’s something private. But when it involves another functioning lifeform (regardless of maturity) I think that something should be done.
To me, and this may be a generalization, but abortion seems like a way to get out of responsibility. Everyone knows that sex is what makes a baby. If you don’t want to have the responsibility of a baby, then why have sex? Or if you want to, just use protection of some kind?
Regarding my point about the sperm, and “functioning organisms” part of that stems from my belief (which is a whole other topic) that life is created by God. To me, the sperm, the eggs, and all the other biological ingredients that help make a human being form are examples of life to me. It seems such a waste to just end the process, when it was us (or the couple who have sex) who started the process.
Now when I say, I would never legislate against sex between a couple, there are some things, such as rape, or underage sex, or sexual harassment, that I feel should definitely be punished. But for legal adults in some sort of relationship who desire to have sex (straight/gay) I don’t think we need to worry about it. Yes I believe that homosexual acts are sin, and FOR CHRISTIANS I don’t think we should be involved in that.
But for the non-believer, the non-Christian, I have no place to legislate against such actions. I may not like it, but I can’t make them do anything, and I shouldn’t.
And regarding the last quote of mine that you asked about, I was trying to say that when a matter involves two consenting adults, I’m not going to make a big deal out of it. But when there is an embryo, a baby, or any other term for a living, functioning organism, I’m going to take action against that.
“abortion seems like a way to get out of responsibility”
Abortion is a way to end a pregnancy. Whether it is avoiding responsibility or taking responsibility is dependent upon the case at hand.
“But for the non-believer, the non-Christian, I have no place to legislate against [homosexuality]. I may not like it, but I can’t make them do anything, and I shouldn’t.”
So you don’t think that your religious beliefs should control others who don’t hold similar religious beliefs? That’s good.
“But when there is an embryo, a baby, or any other term for a living, functioning organism, I’m going to take action against [abortion].”
This is where there appears to be a contradiction. You stated earlier that your view on abortion “stems from my belief [...] that life is created by God.“. Why is it you feel you should project your religious beliefs on others in regard to abortion yet take a each-to-their-own approach when it comes to homosexual sex?
Well to me it isn’t a contradiction, but I’ll try to make this a simple as possible haha.
To me, both homosexuality and abortion are sins, and I’ll never be convinced otherwise. I’ll be honest with people when they ask me about it, but you won’t see me yelling at people on the street corner about their sins.
The problem for me is that abortion takes it to another level from my perspective in the fact that it’s ending another person’s life. If you start making the baby why end it? I completely understand that there maybe extenuating circumstances or the mother’s life is in danger, and that’s where it becomes a tough call for me.
But abortion takes it to another level. What about the baby’s right to live? Who are we to determine it’s fate?
I’m not going to use this next phrase as a cop-out from part of this discussion. But I honestly can say, that I don’t know everything about medical stuff, and biology, and how the different stages of pregnancy work, so although I still think an embryo deserves the right to grow, I can’t really continue arguing that part of this discussion. Haha.
Yeah, sometimes it’s a tough call for me. If during a pregnancy the mother’s life is in danger due to the baby or some other problem, I’m not sure who I would save. In my mind both deserve an equal chance. But gosh it’s a tough call.
Regarding your last quote. As a Christian, I’m called to defend the innocent, and based on Biblical scripture, God makes no distinction between unborn and born in terms of a baby. So any type of abortion is murder in my mind.
You “think an embryo deserves the right to grow” because “based on Biblical scripture [...] God makes no distinction between unborn and born in terms of a baby.”
Does the Bible specifically command that no distinction be made or is it only that such a distinction is never brought up in scripture itself?
So let’s say you “defend” embryos with your “Biblical” way by lobbying and successfully changing (or keeping if the case may be) the law to have those who abort be charged with a crime. What would be the minimum sentence you would recommend handing down on the woman who chose (and/or the doctor who performed) the abortion?
Unfortunately the Bible does not say, “Thou shalt not abort thy baby,” but reading between the lines, I’m 100% sure God would says such a thing.
I have no idea about how our sentences work for crime, but in my mind, I would say the minimum would be 10 years in jail. Some might say the death penalty, arguing that since they took someone else’s life, they should receive the same. I’m not sold on the death penalty. So as of now I’d just say time in jail.
I guess I’ll bring in the other side of the spectrum. I support a woman’s right to choose. I believe that abortion is a personal moral issue, and not necessarily a religious one. People from the same religion have differing views. I honestly don’t know what the major figures in my religion, Judaism, believe, but I know what I myself believe.
Before the first trimester, the embryo is not fully developed, so I have no problem with an abortion, as long as it is thought through. It would be impossible to tell that, but I’m fine assuming it is. After the first trimester, I see it as a cop-out out of responsibility. The woman should know by the end of the first trimester what’s going on with this baby. If they haven’t decided to abort the baby by the end of the first trimester, I would assume that they’ve decided to carry it to full term.
I’m hesitant to suggest legislation though. I don’t think it is necessary. Also, if a court is willing to ban post-first-trimester abortions, some might see it as a step towards a full ban on abortion, which I think would be horrible.
**Disclaimer: I am fifteen years old, and there is a lot that I don’t know.
Hannah, I think your questioning of the necessity of any anti-abortion law is interesting.
Typically, there are at least 2 actors involved in carrying out an abortion. Perhaps a solution involves your suggestion of not having any law at all against the woman while at the same time, have a law that could be used to prosecute doctor(s) who do late term abortions without consultation. Perhaps a license suspension? Or maybe no law like that should even exist. I’m not sure.
Ricky, while your advice to do what you can to avoid unwanted pregnancy is practical, that is a related but different matter. Such advice doesn’t deal with the issue of those who are pregnant and don’t want to be. We need to deal with what is as well as what should be.
You’ve already stated that women should get at least 10 years in jail. What do you think a doctor should receive if they help a woman abort? The same? More?
Well,I think a doctor would know better. Doctors already have so many people screaming malpractice at them, I don’t think I would want to add another law. If a doctor is performing a late-term abortion, which if I understand correctly is extremely dangerous, then there is most likely something else he can be busted for already.
And yes, I completely agree that people should know what they’re doing when they’re having sex. Protection should be used. However, I don’t want to punish people for a malfunction or just plain stupidity/innocence.
Then comes in rape. If a woman is raped and the attacker does not use protection, and she gets pregnant, she should NOT have to carry that baby. That would be cruel.
I don’t believe that a law against abortion would discourage kids or anyone from having sex, protected or not. It would only force abortion clinics underground. Sex education should start with the parents. More focus should be on helping parents talk to their kids first.
“Then comes in rape. If a woman is raped and the attacker does not use protection, and she gets pregnant, she should NOT have to carry that baby. That would be cruel.”
Thank you for finally bringing that to the conversation Hannah.
“Either don’t have sex, or use protection, or simply put the baby up for adoption.”
Abstinence is certainly a way to prevent a pregnancy (although not a very probable one). Protection is the best way to prevent a pregnancy (unless you’re a member of a religion that prevents it’s use, in which case you’re probably not having an abortion anyways). However, adoption is not quite that easy.
Especially in the case of rape, can you actually expect a women who is raped to carry that child to full term? I cannot imagine the psychological damage that could do to the woman, let alone the child if it were to eventually discover it’s heritage.
Abortion is un-natural, but so are fertility drugs. Should we also make in-vitro fertilization illegal? Septuplets do not occur naturally in human reproduction. If the argument religions have against arguing abortion is the natural (the way God intended) creation of life, isn’t this every bit as immoral?
“Especially in the case of rape, can you actually expect a women who is raped to carry that child to full term?”
Honestly I would say yes. While rape is a horrible thing, and I would never seek to lessen the impact that it has on a person, I’m positive that when they see the little child’s face after birth, they’ll be happy or at least happier than before. Now, if they can’t support the child (which I would definitely understand) then they should ward the child over to the state, or give him to an adoption agency, or something of the sort.
Does the true, emotional pain of rape outweigh the baby’s right to be born? I would say no.
Depending on the age of the child of course I would tell him/her the truth. If they were young, I’d say, “your Dad did some bad things a long time ago, so he can’t be with us right now.” If they were older I’d be somewhat more specific.
It’s hard to say what the effect would be on the child. It depends.
“[My desire is that] we would be as repulsed by the idea of abortion as we are by a man who keeps his daughter as a sex slave for decades.”
I don’t understand. I am repulsed by slavery because it is the abuse of another person. Abusing another person is wrong. Please explain why an abortion should elicit a “repulsion” like the one I feel toward those who force another person into slavery.
Abortion is worse, actually. A slave is still alive, and might escape of be freed. Abortino kills a human being, permanently. It’s infanticide. If we had our moral compasses properly aligned, we would react to abortion with, “How could anyone POSSIBLY do that?!?!”
If abortion proponents were consistent, they would be lobbying for the release of Susan Smith (the woman who sent her car into a lake with her young sons strapped inside). The only difference between a toddler, a preschooler and a fetus level of dependence. A fetus is totally dependent on his or her mother. Tots are extremely dependent, school kids less so, but still dependent. And a very old person (or very disabled person) is also dependent on a caregiver. If you’re consistent, why shoujdl Susan Smith be jailed for homicide just because it took her a couple of years to decide to terminate her “products of conception”?
No. Abortion is the killing of an embryo/fetus. Infanticide is the killing of a baby. The two are distinctly different. See here. Sorry if I gave you the impression that I support killing babies. That’s not the case.
“The only difference between a toddler, a preschooler and a fetus [is the] level of dependence.”
Actually, there are many more differences than this, but the key one is mental development. An embryo/fetus is not a person while a toddler and preschooler both are.
“why shoujdl Susan Smith be jailed for homicide just because it took her a couple of years to decide to terminate her “products of conception”?”
Two reasons. One, her mental state may pose a serious threat to others and society should be protected. Two, her children were persons worthy of the right to live. The premeditated killing of another person against their will is wrong.
I’m still not understanding why we should view having an abortion as “repulsive”. I can understand slavery. It is wrong to force another person into slavery. But I don’t see anything wrong with a pregnant woman destroying the embryo/fetus since it is not yet a person worthy of the right to live.
“Mental development” is not a test of personhood. There are people in long-term care facilities with less mental ability than a newborn, yet they are treated as persons under the law.
From the moment of conception, the embryo is human. it can be nothing else. At that moment its unique combination of DNA is determined. Eye color, hair color, male pattern baldness, predisposition to a whole range of illnesses – all are set in that microsecond when a sperm penetrates the egg’s outer coating.
From that point, it’s just development and aging, growth and decay, the natural cycle of life. Lots of things can happen along the way. Teh embryo can fail to implant in the uterine wall. The embryo may have some fatal defect. The child may be born prematurely – and in the developed world, has a good shot at survival. How can a 27-week preemie in an Isolette be a person with rights, while a fetus of the same age still in the womb be merely a “product of conception”?
Many parents-to-be proudly display ultrasound images of their in-utero child. Many expectant parents name their children months before they are born.
I cited wikipedia, but all I really needed was to cite a dictionary. I would strongly suggest you read one considering you are under the impression that abortion is infanticide.
As well, the law could consider a zygote the king of Spain for all we care. Arguing what the law says as a defense of a moral position misses the mark. Or are you are (dangerously) trying to appeal to legal doctrine as your moral authority? Law may or may not reflect common sense and ethics, but to appeal to it as a priori proof of a moral stance is nonsense. I’m saying that an embryo/fetus is not a person – not because of what any law says, but because my reason and conscience tell me so.
If you’re interested in a discussion on personhood, you might want to jump into the comments on this post.
Thank you for your continued communication with this “confused”, “indoctrinated”, and “young friend” of yours.
Either I’m not communicating clearly or you’re *really* confused. Quite likely a combination of both. I’ve made my arguments so many times over the years that I probably leave out key bridges between A and C. I also have a severe tendency to go off on tangents, making them appear to be the main argument. Call it the curse of the wondering, wandering mind.
Laser focus: There is a difference between legal, moral, and scientific definitions.
Legal definitions are whatever the lawyers agree they are. And in the case of the legal personhood of fetuses, the law is hopelessly confused. I use those examples simply to point out that your argument that “a fetus has no rights of personhood” is a false statement.
Moral definitions are not universally accepted. Q.E.D. I can cite Psalms, you can cite Nietze, neither of us accepts the other’s appeal to authority, square one. So for a moment let’s set aside the morality issue.
The third arena is scientific. Here there is no doubt whatsoever. The dividing line between two states is bright and bold. There is no gray area, no brackish marsh between land and sea. One instant, there is an egg and a million or so sperm, a million possible combinations of human DNA, a million possible persons. The next instant, only one sperm’s DNA will ever be able to combine with the egg’s. Regardless of future events, this is an absolutely unique combination of chromosomes that have never been seen before and will never be seen again.
Scientifically, genetically, the fertilized egg is a unique human individual. It can be nothing else. Qod Est Demonstratum – it has already been proven.
The fact that the law does not recognize this fact has no bearing onth e scientific fact – for years the law held that persons of African descent could be bought and sold as property, and later, denied the privileges accorded to those of non-African descent. The law is a moot point. It may catch up with reality or not.
So we are left with morality. Morality differs from ethics in that ethics is situation-dependent, while morality refers back to a higher authority as the source for judgement.
In an ethical frame, one might make the argument that this human will have a terrible life, and so would be better off never having been born. Another ethical frame says, this human is of no value, so should be killed so as not to be a drain on society. Another says, *this* will be a burden to me, and I matter more than anything, so I will eliminate *this*.
By contrast a moral frame asks, who has the right to decide whether another human should live or die? Isn’t that your argument against capital punishment? If a confessed murderer deserves to live despite his crimes, why should an innocent child be condemned to death despite her innocence?
“There is a difference between legal, moral, and scientific definitions.”
“Moral definitions are not universally accepted. Q.E.D. I can cite Psalms, you can cite Nietze,”
I’m not citing anything. I don’t need anyone (or any book) to tell me what to think in terms of morality. I’ll listen and perhaps agree, but not follow. Regardless, I would never cite someone or some book as a moral authority to follow. That’s dangerous.
“If a confessed murderer deserves to live despite his crimes, why should an innocent child be condemned to death despite her innocence?”
I find the idea of killing a child (innocent or not) despicable. What are you talking about?
Haha I love it when Corrie tries to use science to prove his argument. If Corrie cares anything about science, why doesn’t he value science’s views on the non-existence of God?
As for the view of science, what *is* a human? A human is a symbiotic community of 10 – 50 trillion small, independent animals, aka cells. About 50 million of them die every day. Every time you shave, scratch your skin, or jerk off, you’re killing living cells. THAT is the view of science. And, by the way, “Legal definitions are whatever the lawyers agree they are” is bullshit. When it comes to abortion, to where we draw the line between when it’s okay to terminate and not okay to terminate, lawyers and politicians ask who? SCIENTISTS. They don’t decide these things in a vacuum. As usual, Corrie’s acting like he knows what he’s talking about but, trust me, when you push him for details, he folds up like a cheap tent.
> First, Jesus wouldn’t be impregnating anyone. So this is a pointless question.<
Jesus is Lord. Therefore the Lord – i.e. God – is Jesus. And He impregnated Mary. And gave birth, of course, to Himself. Why this would be necessary, of course, is an open issue. It doesn’t make sense, but then, so much of Christianity doesn’t make sense.
So – what if Mary had decided she didn’t want to give birth to God? Would He have supported her decision to have an abortion, self-induced or otherwise? Or would He have forced her to carry to term?