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What does the Bible say about abortion

Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby Sure Breeze » Tue May 15, 2018 4:44 pm

> I thought you were talking about natural miscarriage, not malicious miscarriage with pernicious intent to destroy a life.

I'm asking how you - from the standpoint of law enforcement - can know when it's one vs. when it's the other.
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby jimwalton » Tue May 15, 2018 4:51 pm

As you know, law enforcement is a tricky thing, if that's what you're asking. We have massive systems and histories built about evidence, the nature of evidence, the quality of evidence, arguments from evidence, and verdicts on the basis of evidence. You want some kind of generality about how I in particular would render a verdict in a situation fabricated to skirt laws. Well, in general, a woman (or any other person) who took steps to intentionally end a life in a womb, if that person succeeded, would be liable for that life. Exodus 21.22-25 deals with a similar type of casuistic hypothetical situation in which the life in a womb is ended by an accident. We see that there is moral accountability placed on a perpetrator. We read that the text supports the value of unborn human life. Am I getting closer to addressing what you are asking?
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby Sure Breeze » Wed May 16, 2018 3:08 pm

> Am I getting closer to addressing what you are asking?

No, but let me explain. Presuming you believe miscarriage is ending the life of the fetus and if a woman does this intentionally, you believe this to be murder.

Murder is unlawful killing. It's a waste of time to say this unless you're going to have laws that prosecute unlawful killing just like any other killing.

My question is that presuming these laws are on the books, then what is the plan to prosecute all women who suffer miscarriages to make sure it was a natural miscarriage as opposed to malicious one?
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby jimwalton » Wed May 16, 2018 3:19 pm

We seem to be going in an odd hypothetic direction, but I'll try to play along. All murder cases in the U.S. are tried giving consideration to various factors of intentionality, motive, conditional circumstances, and result. We have murder (first, second, and third degree), felony murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, self-defense, and vehicular manslaughter.

I'll be honest with you, but it won't take you by surprise: I'm not a criminal attorney. A court would have to try to evaluate the intent of the woman (to cause a spontaneous abortion), her state of mind, the method used, and if there were other presenting mitigating circumstances. There should be no plan to prosecute all women who suffer miscarriages, since miscarriage itself is a natural process often occurring outside of intentional interference or even desire. But if it can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that a woman (or some other perpetrating party) committed acts intended to do harm to the woman or fetus to create a spontaneous abortion, then possibly those perpetrators should suffer prosecution for their act. The problem in biological matters is showing a strong enough line of cause-and-effect to be able to claim beyond a reasonable doubt that the action of the perpetrators brought about the death of the fetus. These would obviously be extremely difficult cases to prosecute unless there were an obvious and provable malicious intent.
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby Regnis Numis » Wed May 16, 2018 4:18 pm

> When a person murders another, if we turn a blind eye to the perpetrator of such a crime we are implying that the perp's life is more valuable than the victim's. The victim is already gone, so let's treat the life of the perpetrator with dignity, honor, and respect, and not punish him for the crime. But if the victim's life is valuable, and the perpetrator has dishonored that life by an immoral act, then the recognition of the sanctity of life motivates us to punish the perpetrator by taking his life. It's a way to show that all life matters. God opposes abortion because life is sacred.

Since I generally divorce abstract sentiments like "honor" and primarily determine the morality of an action by its consequences, how would it be dishonorable if parents killed their children to secure their salvation? You've repeatedly claimed the logic behind such a course of action is warped, but I've yet to hear a sound counterargument to such reasoning.

> As to the Flood, there were no innocent lives being sacrificed. According to the biblical text, humanity had become thoroughly corrupted without hope of redemption. Even in our era we see societies collapse, where children are taught from the youngest ages to be bigots, racists, haters, and murderers. You'll need to present an analysis of the culture of the Flood to give evidence that God inappropriately took innocent lives in his actions.

Are you trying to suggest even infants less than a year old could be irreversibly corrupted?

>Your idea wasn't merely relationship, but a statement of "God's reasons for creating mankind on Earth instead of in Heaven must be related to His disapproval of abortion." Abortion has nothing to do with God's reasons for creating humankind on Earth.

I'm not sure how my statement of "God's reasons for creating mankind on Earth instead of in Heaven must be related to His disapproval of abortion" proposes anything more than a relationship. Certainly, I don't believe abortion has anything to do with God's reasons for creating mankind per say, but rather why He created us on Earth. For example, what if God couldn't create spiritual beings in Heaven that could procreate, so He designed physical beings on Earth that could? If so, then wouldn't abortion would be extremely detrimental to His plans since it stifles the production of new humans He intends to populate the New Earth with?
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby jimwalton » Wed May 16, 2018 4:43 pm

> Since I generally divorce abstract sentiments like "honor" and primarily determine the morality of an action by its consequences

If you are discussing morality, you must intellectually contend with your definitions of good and bad, right and wrong, and from where those definitions derive. Any sense of good and bad, right and wrong are not black and white categories with no nuance or variation, but always multiple points on a continuum. You can easily discern that my use of words like honor, respect, and dignity take me to the positive side of the continuum. I assume that by "consequences" you imply "human wellbeing," which has to give space to value judgments such as I used.

> how would it be dishonorable if parents killed their children to secure their salvation?

Because salvation, though of utmost importance, is not the only value in God's economy. If life, according to God, is ultimately sacred, the taking of life to secure salvation is a contradiction. God cannot approve the abrogation of one high value to secure another when the alternate choice is available that honors both values, though with an element of risk: live one's life.

> Are you trying to suggest even infants less than a year old could be irreversibly corrupted?

I am trying to suggest that infants less than a year old are already part of a culture exhibiting systemic failure. I am writing a paper on the problem of evil, and some of my contentions are the benefits of a dynamic system over a static one, the necessity of evil as part of a good state of affairs (as long as there is a greater balance of good over evil), and that "collateral damage" is a necessary part of a symbiont circle of equilibrium in life. Sometimes the good irrevocably get caught up in the systems of the bad, but their experiences can neither be ruled punishment or unjust, but rather the inevitable results of a world steeped in tragedy due to sin.

> wouldn't abortion would be extremely detrimental to His plans since it stifles the production of new humans He intends to populate the New Earth with?

Yeah, I think so. God's giving of the function to be fruitful and multiply was a blessing. God values life.
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby Sure Breeze » Wed May 16, 2018 4:47 pm

That's actually my point. That since it would be extremely difficult to prosecute these cases, saying that "ending a life prematurely is murder" is a waste of time.
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby jimwalton » Wed May 16, 2018 4:47 pm

A waste of time? You lost me. Medical abortion is a different entity than attempted intentional miscarriage. And murder is almost definable as "ending a life prematurely." Again, I must be missing what you're saying. I keep trying, though.
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby Regnis Numis » Thu May 17, 2018 8:28 pm

> If you are discussing morality, you must intellectually contend with your definitions of good and bad, right and wrong, and from where those definitions derive. Any sense of good and bad, right and wrong are not black and white categories with no nuance or variation, but always multiple points on a continuum. You can easily discern that my use of words like honor, respect, and dignity take me to the positive side of the continuum. I assume that by "consequences" you imply "human wellbeing," which has to give space to value judgments such as I used.

Multiple points on a continuum? Could you elaborate on what you mean by that?

> Because salvation, though of utmost importance, is not the only value in God's economy. If life, according to God, is ultimately sacred, the taking of life to secure salvation is a contradiction. God cannot approve the abrogation of one high value to secure another when the alternate choice is available that honors both values, though with an element of risk: live one's life.

I'll concede that the risk of allowing one's children to live earthly lives does promise a better payoff if those children grow up to become virtuous adults who successfully pass on their values to a new generation. That being said, what exactly does it mean to say "life is sacred"? That we should respect human life? If so, then wouldn't it be a tautology to claim we should respect human life because "life is sacred"? Personally, I consider human wellbeing, or in this case salvation (i.e. spiritual wellbeing), to be much more concrete and tangible to the human experience.
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby jimwalton » Thu May 17, 2018 8:38 pm

> Multiple points on a continuum? Could you elaborate on what you mean by that?

Sure. Excellent with no negatives, mostly good with minimal cons, somewhat good (benefits outweigh deficits), neutral (roughly equal number of pros and cons), somewhat lousy (but has a few things to speak in its favor), mostly bad with minimal pros, evil.

> what exactly does it mean to say "life is sacred"?

We are not just an agglomeration of chemicals resultant from impersonal processes with only the worth we arbitrarily assign to ourselves. When I say life is sacred I mean that God endowed us with purpose, meaning, personhood and dignity. We have dignity not because we choose to attribute value to our lives but because we our Creator graced us with value. Life is meaningful and valuable as not only a gift from God over which we have stewardship but also as creatures created for meaningful relationship with Him.
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