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What does the Bible say about abortion

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

Postby Regnis Numis » Sun May 20, 2018 4:43 pm

> 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.

I assume you're referring to the fact that certain situations are less morally clear than others, correct? When you see people trapped in a burning building, deciding whether to rescue them is a fairly black-and-white scenario. However, heavy decisions like the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War 2 are much more morally gray. Am I understanding you correctly?

> 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.

Unlike our five senses, I don't think abstract notions like value or dignity can be "endowed" into mankind. To grace our lives with "value", isn't God essentially instructing His creations to respect human life? Doesn't this suggest that when someone says we should respect human life because "life is sacred", it means we must respect human life because God told us to? When someone states aborting children to secure their salvation is wrong because "life is sacred", isn't he/she saying we shouldn't abort children because God doesn't want us to? To me, this almost sounds like a conflict of interest if it wasn't for the fact that salvation remains open for one's children as they grow up. After all, isn't violating the dignity of unborn children a small price to pay for their eternal salvation? Why honor the value of life when the value of salvation all but guarantees a positive outcome?

Personally, I'd be more inclined to view every abortion as the erasure of an entire branch of descendants, entailing less human diversity on the New Earth. Abortion stifles unborn children from growing up and realizing their full potential, depriving the New Earth of otherwise unique individuals.
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby jimwalton » Sun May 20, 2018 4:49 pm

> I assume you're referring to the fact that certain situations are less morally clear than others, correct? ... Am I understanding you correctly?

Yes.

> Unlike our five senses, I don't think abstract notions like value or dignity can be "endowed" into mankind.

I'm glad to hear you say that. Many people do. They argue that humans have value because we have chosen to see value in our lives. But I think you're right, because if we're just an agglomeration of chemicals, we have no more value than a rock or a bucket of water.

> To grace our lives with "value", isn't God essentially instructing His creations to respect human life? Doesn't this suggest that when someone says we should respect human life because "life is sacred", it means we must respect human life because God told us to?

No, it's because we have intrinsic value. If God exists, and he creates something in his image, that creation has value because of its nature, not because of any instruction. Therefore this is false: "When someone states aborting children to secure their salvation is wrong because "life is sacred", isn't he/she saying we shouldn't abort children because God doesn't want us to?"
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby Regnis Numis » Sun May 20, 2018 9:16 pm

> No, it's because we have intrinsic value. If God exists, and he creates something in his image, that creation has value because of its nature, not because of any instruction. Therefore this is false: "When someone states aborting children to secure their salvation is wrong because "life is sacred", isn't he/she saying we shouldn't abort children because God doesn't want us to?"

But what is the meaning of "value" itself? Is "value" not a mere abstract attribution of the mind towards any perceivable person or object? For example, while some people may regard an antique artifact with "value", I see this as little more than a situation where people experience internal feelings of reverence towards an artifact that lasted for centuries, from a strictly objective standpoint. In the case of creation, the objective fact is that God designed mankind in His image. Whether mankind has any "value" depends on how much value God assigns to us. After all, how else could God "endow" mankind with dignity and value if not by instruction? Moreover, why honor the value of life when the value of salvation all but guarantees a positive outcome? Or rather, why try to honor both values when it places the value of salvation at risk? Why risk a negative outcome at all?
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Re: Is abortion really the worst you can do to a child?

Postby jimwalton » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:58 pm

> But what is the meaning of "value" itself? Is "value" not a mere abstract attribution of the mind towards any perceivable person or object?

The Bible says that we have value as human beings. Nothing needs to be ascribed to us artificially (this locket has value to me because it was my grandmother's), nothing about it is a cultural judgment (a diamond has value because of its beauty and hardness—when it's chemically just a rock), and nothing about it is a social construct (we survive better as a species when we attribute value to human life). The Bible says we have value because we have the breath of life that God invested in us (Gn. 9.6). We have a spiritual substance, so to speak, that gives us genuine value.

> Whether mankind has any "value" depends on how much value God assigns to us.

Not exactly. God didn't have to assign value, it was part and parcel of the process and therefore our nature. God is life, and anything that shares His life has intrinsic value.

> After all, how else could God "endow" mankind with dignity and value if not by instruction?

By investing us with his breath (Gn. 2.7). God is our life-force, and so we have intrinsic value as sharers of his breath. "Breath" in Gn. 2.7 is the Hebrew word *nesama* refers to our personhood—an element that is not solely human. In our human nature we share something of the divine life. We're not divine (that's a Hindu theology), but we have the breath of God in us so that we have value.

> Moreover, why honor the value of life when the value of salvation all but guarantees a positive outcome?

As I mentioned, salvation is not the only value. Righteousness, life, holiness, salvation, justice, et al. are all values in God's economy. It is contrary to God's intent, and the very fabric of life, to kill everyone at birth to secure salvation. We would have lasted only one generation if humanity thought (1) that's what God wanted, or (2) murder was the best way to salvation. God wants us to live life, not take it.

As far as our eternal destiny, not all Christians, you should know, believe in the traditional concept of hell. There are theories about reconcilationism, semi-restorationism, modified eternalism, and annihilationism, all with some kind of scriptural backing. In other words, hell isn't necessarily eternal for all who enter it. It may only be eternal for those who absolutely, stubbornly, and persistently refuse to be reconciled. It's very possible that there truly is value in living life and not slaughtering all children to attain instant salvation.


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