Saturday, July 11, 2009

Abortion: The Only Truly Infallible Method of Evangelism?

According to some theologies, killing someone in infancy guarantees their eternal salvation. On the other hand, if the kid grows up, he might reach the age of accountability and refuse God's saving grace, which means they will be lost. Is this an argument for abortion and infanticide, on the grounds that it is the only truly foolproof method of evangelism available???

The rebuttal to this argument is often that humans shouldn't play God. But what does that do to the argument above that a good God would not order the death of the Amalekite children? You can't criticize God for playing God.

I would just point out that it could turn out that God's having people killed may give the people who are killed the best chance of salvation. If there is an eternal life, then it may be that God is aware of eternal consequences that humans are not. Of course, on the thesis that "a tree lies as it falls," the Amalekite adults would be ushered immediately into eternal damnation.

I do think the Amalekite case, and cases like it, are somewhat more complex than ordinary human cases of genocide or infanticide.

Also, we ought to reflect a little bit on the phrase "human beings shouldn't play God." Should a thoroughgoing utilitarian who believes in God be deterred by this argument?


Chad McIntosh said...

If God has middle knowledge, He could judge the infant on the basis of what the infant would have chosen.

But even if one maintains universal infant salvation (which is still compatible with middle knowledge) the infant’s abortion would still be a vice, given that it precludes many counterfactual virtues that could have resulted from a life lived out (such as positively influencing and being loved by others).

Moreover, the intrinsic value of choosing to love God (or not) is lost when a baby is aborted. Consider Luke 15, the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son, the conclusions of which are captured in v.7:

"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."

After all, the reason God created us was so that we could choose to enter a loving relationship with Him. Abortion essentially strips an infant of that freedom. “If it is better for infants to have chosen God than not” you might object, “then isn’t it immoral for God to bring infants into heaven when they didn’t choose it?” No for two reasons.

First, see the possibility of middle knowledge above. Second, given that the infant has no choice, God graciously extends the morally preferable alternative to infants.

grand said...

Even if it was granted that Abortion is a wonderful tool of evangelism for the Arminian/Age of accountability person, could we still say Yes but if the 300 million Americans are all now for Abortion (prochoice secularists plus Pro-abortion christian evanglizers) they are still Murdering and simply exchanging their 300 mill souls by making them all murderers to only save the 45 million baby souls aborted since 1973 Roe vs. Wade ? So pragmatically it's still a net loss of souls therefore useless for Evangelism ?

Victor Reppert said...

Are you saying that abortion is the unpardonable sin? It was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit last I checked.

grand said...

Yeah I guess I do need to factor in the number of forgiven aborters! before giving Abortion evangelism an unfair hearing! Good point vic!