Saturday, April 20, 2019

Abortion and demographics

People who accept traditional understandings of these monotheistic religions have a greater tendency to oppose abortion that those who are, say, religious skeptics. But the arguments on both sides of the issue rarely mention God or the Bible directly. 

17 comments:

SomeRandomGuy said...

That is because the views on abortion are largely related to your worldview which hinge heavily on how you view God and his relation to mankind. If you believe that all people are made in the image of God, then you are likely going to have strong feelings about how all humans are treated. If you think that people are just collections of cells with the illusion of free will, then you are likely going to not really care about what someone does with a random blob of cells that looks vaguely like a tadpole.

The argument against abortion centers on humans rights and what it means to be human. Many people these days do not consciously connect human rights to being made in the image of God, but people do recognize that human right are intrinsic to humans and don't magically vanish when you fall asleep(not conscious), are disabled(lose the ability to reason), etc.

IE. The arguments are based on belief in God, but are constructed to be persuasive to people of all beliefs.

oozzielionel said...

Intelligent debate utilizes arguments that are meaningful to those who you are addressing. It is not usually effective in a political discussion to appeal to authority, especially religious authority unless your audience agrees with the religious authority. However, the absence of the argument does not concede the moral implications of the religious worldview; only the strategy of arguing based of other considerations.

Starhopper said...

I agree with oozzie on this one. I can come up with scriptural arguments against abortion with one hand (figuratively) tied behind my back, but they would convince no one who did not first accept the authority of scripture.

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
I agree with oozzie on this one. I can come up with scriptural arguments against abortion with one hand (figuratively) tied behind my back, but they would convince no one who did not first accept the authority of scripture.

Of course, there are also the Scriptural arguments in favor of abortion, and they do not convince people who accept the authority of Scripture.

Starhopper said...

"there are also the Scriptural arguments in favor of abortion"

I'm curious. I've never seen one of these. Could you direct me toward one, or lay one out yourself?

One Brow said...

Two basic lines of argument:
1) In Scripture, life is associated with breathing. God doesn't start Adam's heart to bring him alive, he breathes life into him. More discussion from actual Christians:
http://www.thechristianleftblog.org/blog-home/the-bible-tells-us-when-a-fetus-becomes-a-living-being

2) Numbers 5:11-31, while not an abortion procedure in and of itself, describes something that would result in an abortion if the unfaithful woman were pregnant, and is not forbidden to pregnant women.

Legion of Logic said...

https://carm.org/does-numbers-5-11-31-proscribe-abortion-drugs-in-cases-of-adultery

A lengthy discussion of the Numbers passage.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic,

Indeed a lengthy discussion, but one which did not address my point. The procedure is not forbidden when the woman in question is pregnant, and would result in an abortion.

bmiller said...

Indeed a lengthy discussion, but one which did not address my point.

Yes it does:
According to the ancient Jewish tradition recorded in the Mishnah, a woman who was pregnant or was nursing a child was not to undergo the ordeal at all!1

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
According to the ancient Jewish tradition recorded in the Mishnah, ...

Do you feel the Mishnah is the definitive source on the interpretation of the Torah, or is it just convenient in this instance?

We were discussing Scriptural arguments. Is the Mishnah Scripture?

bmiller said...

Hey, you claimed the article didn't address your point. I just pointed out that it in fact did.

But I would consider the Mishnah good historical evidence for how Jews interpreted the practice. What counter evidence would you provide?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Hey, you claimed the article didn't address your point. I just pointed out that it in fact did.

My point was that there was nothing in Scripture that required the woman not be pregnant. What did the article find in Scripture that said otherwise?

But I would consider the Mishnah good historical evidence for how Jews interpreted the practice. What counter evidence would you provide?

What am I supposed to need to counter? After all, you don't consider the opinions of the Jews to have any authority, any more than I do.

bmiller said...

One Brow,

My point was that there was nothing in Scripture that required the woman not be pregnant. What did the article find in Scripture that said otherwise?

Of course the passage in Numbers did not discuss abortion at all, but to assert that since it is not discussed therefore it allows for an abortion would be an instance of an argument from ignorance. But even then, one would have to have ignored the very first paragraph of the article that describes ancient Jewish and Christian attitudes against abortion.

What am I supposed to need to counter? After all, you don't consider the opinions of the Jews to have any authority, any more than I do.

I most certainly do consider the opinions of ancient Jews writing about ancient Jewish practices as authentic descriptions of those practices. Much more so than someone unfamiliar with ancient Jewish practices, millenia after the practice ceased and probably pushing a personal agenda.

Starhopper said...

" In Scripture, life is associated with breathing. God doesn't start Adam's heart to bring him alive, he breathes life into him."

I came across this passage in Ecclesiastes this morning:

"Just as you know not how the breath of life fashions the human frame in the mother's womb, so you know not the work of the Lord which He is accomplishing in the universe."
(Ecclesiastes 11:5)

Seems that God isn't waiting for a baby to take his first breath before breathing life into him, while still in the womb.

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
Seems that God isn't waiting for a baby to take his first breath before breathing life into him, while still in the womb.

So, that would be happening sometime after implantation, right?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
I most certainly do consider the opinions of ancient Jews writing about ancient Jewish practices as authentic descriptions of those practices. Much more so than someone unfamiliar with ancient Jewish practices, millenia after the practice ceased and probably pushing a personal agenda.

You are talking about the opinions of Jews writing about ancient Jewish practices centuries after the practice ceased and pushing their personal agenda.

oozzielionel said...

That opinionated attempt at a summary reveals a personal agenda