Sunday, April 18, 2010

How NOT to Argue Pro-Choice

The following is an example of how you do not want to argue for abortion. This is excerpted from my interactions with an atheist named "Jim" on Facebook:

Jim's initial question:
FOR PROLIFE CHRISTIANS, ANTIABORTION BELIEVERS: I have a question for all the so called Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion folks out there: If abortion is murder of a human being then should the woman who have abortions be given the death penalty? If you think it's necessary to go to that extreme, then, what about life in prision . . .

My initial response:
According to Romans 13:1-5 and Genesis 9:6, *anyone* should face the death penalty if they have committed premeditated murder of human beings, whether abortive mothers or otherwise.

The bible doesn't even say anything about abortion nor condemn it. Where in Romans does it say the unborn fetus is human? If abortion is a big concern, then why hasn't Moses, Jesus or Paul make any mention of it? So you think woman who have the the free choice to end their pregnancies should be given the death penalty?

The Bible also doesn't say anything about pedophilia nor condemn it. Where in Romans does it say the pedophilia is evil? If pedophilia is a big concern, then why hasn't Moses, Jesus, or Paul make any mention of if? So you think people who have the free choice to fondle toddlers for fun should be given the death penalty?

Now for the serious answer:

P-1. If the unborn is human then abortion is murder.

P-2. The unborn is human (Ex. 22:22-24; Ps. 51:5; 139:13ff).

C - Therefore, abortion is murder.

Hey Dustin, If you want to use your bible to justify abortion is murder of a human being then you better go back and look at what it actually says regarding priorities and penalties etc.
"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

"And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth . . ."—Ex. 21:22-25

If you look at these scriptures you will see for yourself that it orders the death penalty for a human being, not an unborn fetus .... If you want to use pedophilia as a comparison, then neither is there anything mentioned in the bible about smoking marijuana either. ....


1. The fetus is included in the "life for life" part of Exodus 21:22-25. You're begging the question by assuming that it's not. The text reads otherwise and the word used for "fruit" is the same word used for born children in the Hebrew text of the OT. On your standards, we could kill them too.

2. According to you, when does the unborn become a human being worthy of protection under the law?

Dustin, If you look in those passages the death penalty is not required punishment for the fetus but it is for a human being outside the womb. According to your bible a human being is when they take their first breathe at birth. So to answer your # 2 question, no. A human being outside the womb is protected by the law. So if you kill a baby outside the womb you have committed murder.

1. Jim, I've not only looked at those passages but have preached and taught from them from the original language. You're wrong about Exodus 21:22-25, period. Please go, take up and read here for some good exegesis of this passage:

Oh, and what happened to the personal pronouns used by David of himself when he was a preborn child? He didn't call himself an "it", he referred to himself with personal pronouns indicating that he was considered a human being:... See More

Psalm 139:13-16, "For You formed MY inward parts, you wove ME in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. MY frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen MY unformed . . ."

Thus, since David, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit referred to himself as a preborn person, it stands to reason that killing a preborn child is murder in God's sight. Again,

P1 - If the preborn is human, then abortion is murder.

P2 - God said the preborn is human.

C - Therefore, abortion is murder.

2. Jim, if a born baby is what constitutes protection under the law; what's the difference between a baby that is in the process of being born yet is *still* on the other side of the birth canal versus the baby that just exited the birth canal?

According to your standard (". . . if you kill a baby outside the womb you have committed murder.") the 2 sec. old newborn is worthy of protection but the 2 minute old preborn is game for killing.

So what's the real difference Jim?

More of your desperate attempts at propping up the false notion that a fetus is on the same level as a human being outside the womb. An unborn fetus cannot speak as you seem to be asserting here. The bible is not prolife because God brutally destroys innocent children: "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."—Psalm 137:9

Hosea 13:16 ''their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.''

Your God is far from prolife. He seems to get his jollies off kiling innocent, helpless babies and children. He even used wild bears to kill 42 children: 2 Kings 2:23-24

'' For, behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the womb that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. " –Luke 23:29

''The teachings and contradictions of the bible show that antiabortionists do not have a "scriptural base" for their claim that their deity is "pro-life." Spontaneous abortions occur more often than medical abortions. Gynecology textbooks conservatively cite a 15% miscarriage rate, with one medical study finding a spontaneous abortion rate of almost 90% in very early pregnancy. That would make a deity in charge of nature the greatest abortionist in history!'' Dan Barker


You have only made mere assertions in response to the exegesis I linked and offered no arguments to refute the second premise of my initial argument offered for the humanity of the preborn. Mere assertions do not count for rational argumentation.

I am not asserting that a preborn child can speak, only that the *adult* King David's used personal pronouns in Psalm 139 to refer to his preborn "unformed substance" thus demonstrating his essential humanity before birth. Thus premise two holds per the exegesis of not only Exodus 21 but also Psalm 139.

There is no contradiction in the Scripture on this issue (or any other), regardless of what Dan Barker says. The Bible is pro-life in the sense that God does not allow *people* to take life apart from His clear directive to do so under specific circumstances (cf. Gen. 9:6; Romans 13:1-5). However, God (not man) is pro-choice in the sense that He can give and take life when He wants, how He wants, and from whomever He wants for His own purposes. We do not have that authority, and to arrogate such to ourselves is to assume that which only belongs to God. Thus, abortion is murder. What is proper, right, and good for God to do may not necessarily be so for people because we are not God.

I find it interesting that you are pro-choice yet you don't want God to be. By arguing this way you expose your hypocrisy since you want the right to do the very thing that you don't want the Creator to have the right to do.

God is the Sovereign Creator, and by virtue of His ownership of the creation He gets to give life and take life when He wants to, how He wants, to and from whomever He wants to. This includes miscarriages, aborted children, and children dashed against the rocks as a form of divine judgment against the Babylonians or Canaanites. By virtue of our sinful nature and our voluntary sin, judgment is exactly what we deserve (according to God) and that's exactly what most people will receive and have received in Hell.

Given your atheism, you cannot and will not be able to provide any justification for morally objecting to the God of the Bible giving and taking life for His own purposes. You can only object because you don't like it, but your anger at God doesn't constitute a rational argument against Him.

God knows better than all of us, and if He wants to have Babylonian babies dashed against the rocks, then He has a perfectly good reason for doing so by virtue of the fact that He is God and you are not.

Give me a break. I don't have to NOT want God to NOT be ProLife. He isn't. He's a mass murder and the bible is clear on that. The bible is not prolife. If anything it is blatantly pro death and soaked in the blood of innocent children. Your in denial and you know it. As an atheist I have enough intelligence to not only object to the God in the bible but to reject such a sorry excuse for a morally bankrupt being. A being that isn't even a real God in the first place. It's the reflection and the invention of the barbarians who created him in their own superstitious, ignorant and barbaric image. I bet you gloated when Dr Tiller was brutally murdered in his church last year by your fellow nutjob, heartless so called proDeath bro in Christ too eh?

''The antiabortion position does not demonstrate love for humanity, or compassion for real human beings. Worldwatch Institute statistics show that 50% of abortions worldwide are illegal, and that at least 200,000 women die every year--and thousands more are hurt and maimed--from illegal or self-induced abortions. Unwanted pregnancies and complications from multiple pregnancies are a leading killer of women. Why do antiabortionists want North American women to join these ghastly mortality statistics? Every day around the world more than 40,000 people, mostly children, die from starvation or malnutrition. We must protect and cherish the right to life of the already-born.''

If there is anyone who is the hypocrite it is you Dustin. You are Anti-Woman. Your mentality goes back to the Dark Ages.


You said,

"Your in denial and you know it."

Really? I *clearly* stated that God kills people for His own sovereign purposes, including preborn and born children. How does that constitute being "in denial"?

Your responses to my argumentation have been nothing more than ad hominem attacks against my character and straw man argumentation against God's character.

You may not like Christians or their God; but if you want thinking Christians to take you seriously, then you will have to stop engaging them with informal logical fallacies because they will recognize very early on that you are not a person that is interested in rational dialogue, but only in making bare-naked assertions, name calling and insult hurling.

As a result, my interaction with you in this thread will end here since you have proven that you are not an individual interested in engaging in rational discussion.

Proverbs 14:6, "A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none; but truth is easy to one who has understanding."


Jim continued making irrelevant statements, hurled more ad hominems, and refused to interact in any meaningful way with my argument. He is typical of most Pro-Choicers I've interacted with. So, if you want to murder pre-born children, don't make your case like Jim.


  1. Hi Dusman,

    Good job. My guess is that most Christians would have caved under Jim's ferocious onslaught. Most Christian folks are befuddled (and I don't blame them) and have a deer-in-the-headlights look when confronted by anti-Christian Pro-Choicers who are "making bare-naked assertions, name calling and insult hurling."

  2. Wowee, talk about red herring after red herring, when he starts saying that God is not pro-life! How do people not feel ashamed when they argue so badly?

  3. Dusman makes many good points. I would add that the pro-life interpretation of the Bible didn't originate in modern times. Ancient Jews and Christians drew some of the same conclusions from scripture that pro-life Christians are advocating today. See here. The Biblical evidence against abortion is strong by itself, but when the early Jewish and Christian affirmations of a pro-life reading of the Bible are added to the Biblical data itself, the case is even stronger. A pro-choice reading of scripture makes about as much sense as a pro-homosexual reading. There's good reason why neither interpretation was popularized until modern times.

  4. To build further upon what Jason noted, a really good read is

    Michael J. Gorman, Abortion & the Early Church: Christian, Jewish, & Pagan Attitudes in the Greco-Roman World, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1982.

  5. I think Dusman would agree that the taking of unborn human life wasn't ALWAYS a sin, even if it is now. In fact, the action was even commanded and blessed on several occasions.

    Hosea 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

    Perhaps the rules will change again at some point and abortion will once again become a "holy thing".

    What do you think?

  6. I think you should stop conflating divine judgment with voluntary human action.

  7. Hey look! Rob's here with his one trick pony again.

  8. Ok well now I'm would you go about making a biblical case against pedophilia?

  9. I'd start with the laws against incest, that covers a lot of it. There are also the laws related to the rights of the father over his daughter's marriage. Because any sexual activity outside of marriage is forbidden by the moral law, then if the girl is not of marriageable age, it's per se illegal and immoral (and punishable civilly and criminally).

    One thing I'd like to see us get back to here in the USA is restitution to the parents of child abuse victims (assuming the parents weren't the ones doing the abusing).

  10. Jonah writes: "Because any sexual activity outside of marriage is forbidden by the moral law, then if the girl is not of marriageable age ... "

    What's "marriageable age", according to Scripture?

    Many girls are physically developed and can conceive by 12 or 13.

    Beyond that, I see no recognition of a female "age of consent" in Scripture. The practice of fathers giving their 13-year-old daughters in marriage (to men they had no interest in) was probably not that uncommon.

  11. You are correct, the law didn't say "thou shalt not marry until age x". But that doesn't affect the morality of the act. We apply the moral aspect to whatever social customs exist at the time. In modern American society, the marriageable age is a lot older.

    And we are still talking about marriage, not illicit sexual relations. If a given state passes a law that says you must be of a certain age to marry, we must abide by that law because it does not violate God's law. Conversely, as far as I know "statutory rape" laws don't apply where the couple is married.

    In ancient Israel, if a man defiled another's daughter, or if he committed an illicit sex act, he would be punished under the law. The pedophile would be committing both crimes.

  12. Jonah writes: "We apply the moral aspect to whatever social customs exist at the time. In modern American society, the marriageable age is a lot older."

    I'm not sure I understand. Are you suggesting that morals are defined purely by the winds of popular cultural opinions and taboos?

    Think if it this way: if adult men marrying 12-year-old girls somehow became "fashionable" again, would it suddenly become "moral" too?

    BTW, I'm not suggesting that I have a definitive answer on this.

    Some cultural taboos develop for good reason, though: a 40-year-old male marrying a 12-year-old girl will almost always involve predatory or coercive behavior.

  13. "I'm not sure I understand. Are you suggesting that morals are defined purely by the winds of popular cultural opinions and taboos?"

    You're really not suggesting that if *particular applications* of moral laws vary from culture to culture, then that means the *moral laws* vary from culture to culture, with a straight face, are you Rob? Perhaps you can tell us by what magic you transform that non sequitur into a logical inference?

  14. Rob, I think you're still overlaying your 21st century ideas onto a culture that existed thousands of years ago.

    It wasn't that 40 year old men were marrying 12 year old girls. It was that 15 year old boys were marrying girls their own age. In ancient Israel the age of majority was 13 (still is among Orthodox Jewish groups).

  15. Is Yahweh a Moral Monster? deals with some of this.

    I have had an extended debate with a militant "agnostic" who was adamant that Leviticus (and by extension the Law) did not forbid father-daughter incest, due to the lack of an explicit proscription, as if forbidding sexual relations btwn any near of kin and specifically with the daughter did not forbid it, (Lv. 18:6,9)while Dt. 22:30 also states that "A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt."

    But it seemed he was committed to seeing God as morally inferior to himself, and would not be convinced contrary to that.

    There was also the charge of Divinely sanctioned rape, sex slaves etc. etc, which manifested the same mind, and how the Bible can be distorted when we want to conform it to our carnal mind, which cannot be made subject to God.

    After other debates I came to the conclusion that he was at war with a God he professed unbelief in, and thus could not allow objective analysis or any conclusion than the one that justified his rejection.