Abortion ‘after birth’? Medical ‘ethicists’ promote infanticide
Published: 8 March 2012(GMT+10)
‘Ethicists’ say that this baby may be killed.
We have often provided evidence for the full humanity of the unborn child right from conception (i.e. fertilization of egg by sperm). And while still in the womb, children develop the ability to feel pain and even to plan their future, and are considered to be patients. Individual life is a continuum from conception to natural death. Birth changes nothing intrinsically about the nature of that life, just location and mode of respiration (from placenta to lungs).
This is one vital matter on which to decide the abortion issue, because murder applies only to human victims, not to the removal of a tumor or wart. The evidence for the humanity of the unborn has thus convinced many that abortion is wrong, since they disapprove of murder.1 For the same reason, most pro-abortion politicians don’t even dare to admit that the baby is human; they lie about it being a ‘blob of cells’, or obfuscate about it with feigned ignorance about the nature of the unborn, and quips that the question of where life begins is ‘above my pay grade.’ Never mind that the onus of proof is on the pro-abortionists to show that it’s not human life. If we didn’t know whether a body was live or dead, we would never bury it—we would give the benefit of the doubt to life.
But the reason many people still oppose murder is ultimately due to God’s command, “Do not murder.” Even many people who disbelieve in God have still been influenced by the Judeo-Christian world view of the culture they were raised in, and oppose murder. That is, while their atheistic world view can’t provide a basis for ethics, they hijack what is to them a foreign world view.
Baby Steps video from American Life League: Using 4D ultrasounds, the film shows the baby in the womb from 8 weeks through to birth.
Consistent atheists and pagans
However, an increasing number of atheists are becoming more consistent. That is, they share with pro-lifers the correct belief that there is no real difference between born and unborn children. But their consistency moves in the opposite direction. Their callousness towards unborn life is extended to children already born. This should not be surprising for those who have abandoned the Judeo-Christian view of sanctity of innocent2 human life, and replaced it with an evolutionary ‘ethic’, if such a term is even meaningful.
Their advocacy of infanticide is hardly anything new. We have already written about the atheistic evolutionary philosopher Peter Singer. He is explicit:
On abortion, suicide, and voluntary euthanasia … we may think as we do because we have grown up in a society that was, for two thousand years, dominated by the Christian religion.3
On abortion, suicide, and voluntary euthanasia … we may think as we do because we have grown up in a society that was, for two thousand years, dominated by the Christian religion.—Peter Singer
We have also pointed out that the Nazi regime shared this evolution-inspired disregard for human life, and went horribly down the same slippery slope. Dr Leo Alexander (1905–1985) was a chief medical adviser at some of the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. Alexander pointed out that the eugenics and euthanasia policies had “small beginnings … the acceptance of the attitude … that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived.” But after the camel had managed to get its nose into the tent, it wasn’t long before its whole body was in, and the human displaced. Alexander continued:
Gradually, the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans. But it is important to realize that the infinitely small wedged-in lever from which this entire trend of mind received its impetus was the attitude toward the nonrehabilitable sick.4
Nazism was not just evolutionism, but also had a strong element of Teutonic paganism, although there were certainly plenty of overt atheists in the high echelons of the party (e.g. Martin Bormann, Baldur von Schirach, Alfred Rosenberg). Dr. A.J. Pennings wrote that Nazism grew out of “a deeply held mystical paganism … strengthened by the teachings of Darwinism and the pseudo-science of eugenics.”5 And one disturbing feature of their love for infanticide, as the late D. James Kennedy points out, was that:
“It was a dangerous thing for a baby to be conceived in classical Rome or Greece, just as it is becoming dangerous once more under the influence of the modern pagan. In those days abortion was rampant. Abandonment was commonplace: it was common for infirm babies or unwanted little ones to be taken out into the forest or the mountainside, to be consumed by wild animals or to starve or to be picked up by rather strange people who crept around at night, and then would use them for whatever perverted purposes they had in mind. Parents abandoned virtually all deformed babies. Many parents abandoned babies if they were poor. They often abandoned female babies because women were considered inferior.
Christianity expressly forbade infanticide, and prohibited Christian husbands from forcing their wives to kill their babies either by abortion or infanticide.
“To make matters worse, those children who outlived infancy—approximately two-thirds of those born—were the property of their father: he could kill them at his whim. Only about half of the children born lived beyond the age of eight, in part because of widespread infanticide, with famine and illness also being factors. Infanticide was not only legal: it was applauded.”6,7
The Spartans and Romans were notorious for infanticide. The Romans also had the practice of paterfamilias, where fathers had the power of life and death over their children. Christianity expressly forbade infanticide, and prohibited Christian husbands from forcing their wives to kill their babies either by abortion or infanticide.
Back in biblical times, the pagan nations surrounding the new nation of Israel were vile idolators who sacrificed babies by fire to their god Moloch (Leviticus 18:21, 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31, 19:2–6).
Only the Judeo-Christian sanctity of life ethic overcame all such abominations, which these latter-day pagans seem to want to revive.
Recently, we saw two more soi-disant ethicists argue for infanticide, again venturing on the same slippery slope as Singer, Obama, and the Nazis. Alberto Giubilini of Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) and Francesca Minerva of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics (UK),8 published a paper entitled, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” And it was in the (grossly misnamed?) Journal of Medical Ethics. The abstract reads:
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.9
The ethical man knows he shouldn’t cheat on his wife, whereas the moral man actually wouldn’t.—Dr ‘Ducky’ Mallard, NCIS
One must wonder what passes for ‘ethics’ these days. In one of my favorite TV series NCIS, the character Dr Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard (played by David McCallum) is asked to give, “In your own words, the difference between ethics and morals.” Ducky answers, “Well the ethical man knows he shouldn’t cheat on his wife, whereas the moral man actually wouldn’t.”10 But he evidently hadn’t met these ‘ethicists’, who, if they were consistent with their evolutionary world view, would not even have any basis for thinking they shouldn’t.
Similarly, moral and legal likewise don’t mean the same thing. Abortion is legal in most Western countries; killing the chronically disabled was legal in Nazi Germany (to say nothing of the state-sanctioned genocide of the Jews), but neither are moral. In the antebellum USA, the notorious US Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) upheld slavery and white supremacy as legal, justifying it by declaring that black people:
Vocal atheist and prominent evolutionist, P.Z. Myers.
had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.11
Let’s take each of their three reasons in turn.
1. The ‘personhood’ argument. I’ve noted before in an article critiquing legalized cloning that pro-abortionists are usually the ones who avoid the science, preferring instead vague quasi-religious comments about when, for example, a ‘person’ begins. Yet of course they “blast opposition to abortion as ‘religious’ (although it is in the sense that science can’t tell us it’s wrong to murder) when they are the ones appealing to religious concepts, while the pro-lifers point out scientific facts.”
Similarly, these ‘ethicists’ have decreed that somehow newborns are less than persons. So has the vocal atheopathic12 evolutionist P.Z. Myers, whom we have refuted before, saying:
Nope, birth is also arbitrary, and it has not been even a cultural universal that newborns are regarded as fully human. I’ve had a few. They weren’t.— P.Z. Myers, prominent evolutionist.
“Nope, birth is also arbitrary, and it has not been even a cultural universal that newborns are regarded as fully human. I’ve had a few. They weren’t.13”
Once again, he is being a consistent atheist, and also yearning for pagan times that regarded babies as disposable.
“The alleged right of individuals (such as fetuses and newborns) to develop their potentiality, which someone defends, is over-ridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence. Actual people’s well-being could be threatened by the new (even if healthy) child requiring energy, money and care which the family might happen to be in short supply of. Sometimes this situation can be prevented through an abortion, but in some other cases this is not possible.”
Once again, slippery slope. Many of Nazi Germany’s arguments for euthanasia are very similar, as I’ve pointed out before:
Both Hitler and these ‘ethicists’ exhibit the same disregard for human life, because both accept the premise that there is such a thing as human ‘life not worthy of life’, which was the root of the Holocaust.
One book written four years before Mein Kampf (1924) and very much part of the German cultural milieu was Allowing the Annihilation of Life Unworthy of Life (Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens) 1920 by two evolutionists, lawyer Karl Binding (1841–1920) and psychiatrist Alfred Hoche (1865–1943). So it’s not surprising that Hitler’s tome said about such annihilation of unworthy life:
It will spare millions of unfortunates undeserved sufferings, and consequently will lead to a rising improvement of health as a whole.
There must be no half-measures. It is a half-measure to let incurably sick people steadily contaminate the remaining healthy ones. This is in keeping with the humanitarianism which, to avoid hurting one individual, lets a hundred others perish.
This is far from a “reductio ad Hitlerum” fallacy, although the infanticide defenders hate to see the comparison exposed. Rather, both Hitler and these ‘ethicists’ exhibit the same disregard for human life, because both accept the premise that there is such a thing as human ‘life not worthy of life’, which as Dr Leo Alexander said (see above) was the root of the Holocaust. Their only difference is which humans fall into this category.
2. Irrelevance of personhood: The ‘ethicists’ explain further:
Rebecca Kiessling: conceived by a brutal rape, and grateful that she was not executed for her father’s crime while in her mother’s womb; see her website.
“Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal.”
Of course, pro-lifers have long reversed this argument using the same premises, as explained above. Because we don’t allow the execution of innocent life after birth, and there is nothing that intrinsically changes at birth, we should not allow it before birth. The same argument can be applied to opposing use of embryonic stem cells, but not ‘adult’ or somatic stem cells, which both avoid destroying tiny humans and actually produce cures.14 These ‘ethicists’ are going down the same slippery slope as the Nazis: because we allow some killing of human beings, we should allow more of the same.
Now with capital punishment, pro-lifers often receive comments like, “You are so hypocritical: you believe in sanctity of life before birth, but not after birth, because you don’t oppose war or capital punishment.” Actually, some pro-lifers do oppose these. But the main point is that the argument can be turned around on them: ‘You’re so hypocritical: you oppose the death penalty for the foulest mass murderers and killing to defend one’s life and country during war, but you support the death penalty for being ‘unwanted’ in your declared war on the unborn.’ Or as Rebecca Kiessling, conceived by a violent rape, asks, “Did I deserve the death penalty?” (for the crime of her father, who is even not subject to the death penalty in any state of the USA).
3. “Adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people”. Well, it’s certainly better for the baby than being torn apart in the mother’s womb or scalded with concentrated salt solution, or butchered after birth. There is also a good chance that the baby will be loved by two married parents and raised to be a productive member of society.
But these ‘ethicists’ don’t care about that. What they mean is that adoption is not necessarily the best option for the birth-mother, so it is sometimes preferable to kill the child. But this is actually a glaring contradiction of what has long been regarded as the epitome of wisdom, illustrating the great wisdom God had granted King Solomon at his selfless request (1 Kings 3:8–15).
The historical account continues (1 Kings 3:16–28) by explaining how two prostitutes came before the young king. They roomed together, and both gave birth to a son a few days apart. Unfortunately, one of them had accidentally laid on her baby and smothered him. The woman who discovered the dead child then claimed that it wasn’t hers, and must have been switched with her living child when she was asleep. All Solomon could see is two women fighting over one child.
His shocking solution was to order a sword, and say, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” The response:
“Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, ‘Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.’ But the other said, ‘He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.’ Then the king answered and said, ‘Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.’ And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.”
Solomon knew that any decent mother would rather give up her child for a sort of adoption than see him killed. But these latter-day philosophers, ostensibly ‘lovers of wisdom’15, have basically said that Solomon, and all his admirers throughout the ages, was wrong here: a mother would rather see her child killed than given up for adoption, the very characteristic of the false mother in the account. If the word hadn’t already been taken, I would have renamed ‘philosophers’ to ‘sophomores’, for the original meaning ‘wise fool’.16
Unable to quit while they’re behind, the infanticide-lovers have now been defended by their editor Julian Savulescu. He accused opponents of being “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”, a threat to “academic discussion and freedom”, and practising “hate speech” and having “hostile, abusive, threatening responses”.17
But this should not be surprising; Savulescu is a former student of Peter Singer, so not surprisingly shares his utilitarian views. We have previously noted that Savulescu supports cloning babies for their body parts and aborting babies if the parents don’t like the sex (which ironically for pro-abort feminists, has resulted in far more baby girls killed than boys). He supports a number of other repugnant things:
- “Breeding perfect babies”,18 i.e. eugenics, another direct fruit of Darwinism.
- He argues that more evidence for the consciousness of patients in a “persistent vegetative state” means less reason to keep them alive.19
- Consider how he advocates dealing with the very mentally disturbed patients suffering from the condition apotemnophilia, a desire to amputate perfectly healthy limbs. Instead of treating this hopefully temporary condition, he argues that amputation “might be desirable”, although permanently disabling.20
Savulescu has basically abandoned his utilitarian ethics to make a moral argument for the right to defend baby-butchery, and against criticism. And of course, the critics were exercising their free speech rights, which he doesn’t like.
Savulescu justifies his latest tirade against dissenters by saying that the pro-infanticide ideas “are not largely new” (as shown, this is not news to us either), and that “infanticide is practised in the Netherlands” (as it was in Sparta and Canaan—but that is not a reflection of how wonderful infanticide is, but how debased these nations are/were in this regard).
The irony apparently escapes him. He has basically abandoned his utilitarian ethics to make a moral argument for the right to defend baby-butchery, and against criticism. And of course, the critics were exercising their free speech rights, which Savulescu doesn’t like. It’s not the first time that those of his ilk really believe in ‘free speech for me but not for thee’—see The hypocrisy of intolerant tolerance.
This recent promotion of infanticide is just a logical outcome of an evolutionary world view. Far from being a progressive step forward, it’s really a regression to the world view of the Nazis and of the most debased pagans of antiquity—debasements cured by the Gospel. And such twisted ‘ethicists’ even lack the ability to think straight: they attack opponents as ‘threats to free speech’ when in reality they are merely exercising this right!
- See some dramatic examples of this in the new online video 180, produced by Ray Comfort, available from 180movie.com. Return to text.
- Here used in the original Latin sense of in-nocens = not harming, and thus not contrary to the doctrine of original sin. Return to text.
- Singer, P., Ethics and Intuitions, Journal of Ethics, 9:331–352, 2005; quote on p. 345. Return to text.
- Alexander, L., Medical science under dictatorship, New England Journal of Medicine 241(2):39–47, 1949 | doi:10.1056/NEJM194907142410201. Return to text.
- Pennings, Evening Post (8 March 1994), feature article. Dr Pennings lectures in Communications at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Return to text.
- Kennedy, D.J., What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? 1994. Return to text.
- See also Muehlenberg, B., Worldviews and Baby-Killing, billmuehlenberg.com, 1 March 2012. Return to text.
- Both are from Italy, and recently obtained Ph.D.s in bioethics/philosophy from different Italian universities. Return to text.
- Giubilini, A. and Minerva, F., After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? Journal of Medical Ethics, published online 23 February 2012, doi: 10.1136/medethics-2011-100411. Return to text.
- NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, sound clips, moviesoundclips.net/sound.php?id=114. Return to text.
- en.wikisource.org/wiki/Dred_Scott_v._Sandford/Opinion_of_the_Court. Return to text.
- Leading misotheist (God-hater) Richard Dawkins often calls theistic religion a ‘virus of the mind’, which would make it a kind of disease or pathology, and parents who teach it to their kids are, in Dawkins’ view, supposedly practising mental child abuse. But the sorts of criteria Dawkins applies makes one wonder whether his own fanatical antitheism itself could be a mental pathology—hence, ‘atheopath’. Return to text.
- Newborn babies: not persons, and not fully human—P.Z. Myers, uncommondescent.com, 16 January 2011. Return to text.
- Sarfati, J., Stem cells and Genesis, Journal of Creation 15(3):19–26, 2001. Return to text.
- From Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), philosophy, from φιλέω (phileō), love (verb) and σοφία (sophia), wisdom. Return to text.
- From Greek σοφός (sophos), wise + μωρός (mōros), fool; whence we derive the word “moron”. Return to text.
- Muehlenberg, B., Opposing Baby-Killing Is Now ‘Hate Speech’, billmuehlenberg.com, 29 February 2012. Return to text.
- Muehlenberg, B., Those Unethical Ethicists, billmuehlenberg.com, 18 November 2008. Return to text.
- Kahane, G., and Savulescu, J., Brain Damage and the Moral Significance of Consciousness, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33:1–22, February 2009. Return to text.
- Cited in Cook, M., Time to throw in the towel, mercatornet.com, 8 September 2008. He rates Savulescu as even worse than his former teacher Singer, “leaving him in the dust.” Return to text.
This is truly dreadful and must surely be a sign of the times. I wonder how many people who are involved in murder realise what their end will be if unrepentant? Rev 21:8 says:
“But to the fearful and unbelieving, and sinners , and those who make themselves abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; which is the second death" (Darby translation)
Thank you Jonathan. Sometimes we just need someone with a platform like yours to express what we think and feel and to get straight to the real truth. Thank you and I pray you are blessed deeply by our Lord!
Great article, I agree 100%.
However, in Exodus 21:22 it says:
"When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine." [RSV]
So if there is a miscarriage the one responsible should merely pay a fine; as if the value of the unborn child is less than of the mother. The passage goes on to say that, if the mother suffers any harm, the one causing the miscarriage should be punished - even including the death penalty if the woman dies as a result.
I would be grateful for your thoughts on this as it has puzzled me for some time. The only explanation I can think of is that the value of a baby to society is less than that of an adult (as with the value of different ages and genders in Leviticus 27:1–7). Also, in Exodus 21:22, the person causing the miscarriage would not have intended to do so. Thus, unlike deliberate abortion, it could not be classed as murder.
Glad the article was helpful.
Indeed, that verse has often been misused by churchians who want to justify abortion. But here is the English Standard Version’s rendering of Exodus 21:22–25:
“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
The relevant Hebrew phrase is וְיָצְאוּ יְלָדֶיהָ (weyātse’û yelādeyāh). The root of the second is yeled (plural yelādîm), the normal word for a child up to the age of 12, but also used of unborn children. The first word is based on yātsā, with the broad meaning “to come forth”, but is also the normal word for live childbirth, e.g.
“Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. And afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob.” Genesis 25:25–26.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
There was a perfectly good word for “miscarry”, nephel, as should be clear from:
“Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, as infants that never saw light.” Job 3:16
“If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things, and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, ‘Better the miscarriage than he, for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity.’” Ecclesiastes. 6:3–4
So what we are seeing is two men fighting, and a pregnant woman is struck in the process, inducing premature labour, and but no permanent damage is done to either mother or child, there will be a fine. That’s as it should be, striking an innocent woman and risking the dangers of prematurity long before there was modern medicine to take care of them. Note also that the striking was accidental; the men were fighting each other not the woman. But if either party is injured, mother or child, then the Old Testament lex talionis applies (from Latin lex/legis law, talio alike, a limitation on private vendettas so they are not disproportionate).
The late Gleason Archer, who was Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, concludes in his Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (1982):
“There is no ambiguity here, whatever. What is required is that if there should be an injury either to the mother or to her children, the injury shall be avenged by a like injury to the assailant. If it involves the life (nepeš [נֶפֶשׁnephesh]) of the premature baby, then the assailant shall pay for it with his life. There is no second-class status attached to the fetus under this rule; he is avenged just as if he were a normally delivered child or an older person: life for life. Or if the injury is less, but not serious enough to involve inflicting a like injury on the offender, then he may offer compensation in monetary damages …
Hope this helps.
Regards, Jonathan Sarfati
“In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 17:6
This is a truly a disturbing article. I think all Christians who read this article should e-mail it to their friends and church members.
It’s a very scary thought that the atheists/evolutionists are becoming more consistent with their world-view. Even Christians who have succumbed to theistic evolution have no room to disagree with the atheists.
So atheists ‘protect’ children from being ‘brain-washed’ but they have no problem with scrambling a baby’s brain!
Dear Dr. Sarfati,
Thanks again for your usual incisive and Biblically sound analysis of this atrocious paper. I wrote a rather brief commentary for ABR [http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2012/03/05/Secular-Ethicists-Endorse-After-Birth-Abortion.aspx] and have added your excellent article as a reference. This modern day child sacrifice to the god of secularism is essentially the same as the barbaric practices mentioned in the OT and unearthed at Carthage. We pray your efforts, and ours, will help shine the light of truth on modern day infanticide.
For the little ones,
Associates for Biblical Research
I might point out that most people in the Western Civilization who get abortions are Christians. I doubt you would find any greater percentage of Pagans or Atheists using abortion than among the Christian population,and the Christian population is far lager than the Pagan population. I am sorry but lying in the name of Jesus is evil and does not make God happy at all.
Where is your evidence? Maybe some claim to be Christians, but that’s a far cry from actually being Christians. They are certainly not acting like Christians, but more like atheists.
And under paganism or atheism, why is lying ‘evil’? One atheistic evolutionist is on record saying that it's OK to deceive students to believe in evolutio.
The happiness and suffering of other human beings matter such that we should all seek, whenever possible, to increase their happiness and decrease their suffering. Morality is required for human social structures and human communities to survive. Neither the presence nor the absence of any god can change this. Morals were in place long before the Judeo-Christian beliefs came into being. While religious theists may find that their beliefs impact their moral decisions, they cannot claim that their beliefs are prerequisites for making moral decisions. That is called the Appeal to Belief fallacy. Nor can they claim that being an atheist prohibits the employment of moral thoughts, acting in a moral way, and/or making moral decisions. That too is fallacious and known as Ad Hominem.
If you want to present an argument about the morality of abortion, please, by all means, do so. It is a valid argument. One that I struggle with, as do many "believers" that I know. But to generalize about atheists at the level you have and to use both the Ad Hominem and Appeal to Belief fallacies removes your credibility. Adding fuel to fear tactics is also very unappealing.
I am very familiar with logical fallacies—see my paper Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation.
But you have misunderstood our “moral argument”, which is further explained in Bomb-building vs. the biblical foundation:
Our argument is not that atheists cannot live ‘good’ lives, but that there is no objective basis for their goodness if we are just rearranged pond scum.
Also, from a biblical perspective, morals predated societies. God gave Adam a command when he was the only man alive. Cain committed the first murder, then afterwards built the first city.
Also, in What is ‘good’? (Answering the Euthyphro Dilemma), I've asked:
The Euthyphro Dilemma can be turned around on atheists: Do you approve of an action because it is good, or is it good because you approve of it? If the latter, then your moral standard seems to be subjective and arbitrary, so you complain about God’s alleged arbitrariness. And if the former, then you are back to explaining where this objective moral standard comes from. As shown above, evolution can’t provide this, so the above Divine Nature Theory is back on the table.
Similarly for social theories of good—is something good because society makes a rule about it, or does society make a rule about it because it’s good?
The above Logic paper also presented a sound argument against abortion.
By using “in-nocens” as “not harming” aren't you saying that an unborn child whose presence inside the woman’s body is endangering her life, thus the child is “harming” her, is not innocent?
I would really appreciate an answers to this as it has bothered me for some time.
The baby has no intent to harm the mother, whose body is designed to carry the baby. Also, you might find the following article to help you with your question: What about abortion to save the mother’s life?
I think it is very interesting that atheists, and many people who don't profess to be atheist, but also don't hold to Christian views will advocate abortions, infanticide and euthanasia, but, I don't think I have ever heard Stephen Hawkings talk about these things. I guess if society as a whole approved of euthanasia, we would have to do Stephen in too. Now wouldn’t that be a dilemma. Do we take Mr. Hawkings out of society to save us the money to look after him, or do we keep him, because his research is so valuable. Even though his research and world view may prove him to be unsuitable.
I wonder about that. See Hawking’s ‘master race’ vision?, explained further in Hawking atheopathy: Famous physicist goes beyond the evidence.
I may be wrong but I do not think that the common moral value in the US has degraded so far as to accept infanticide or "after birth abortion" as morally acceptable. This being the case I think we, as Christians and pro-life advocates, can use this argument by these two ethicists as a strong case against abortion. How does the pro-choice advocate who believes infanticide to be wrong argue against these ethicists?
Abortion and eugenics is the work of the New World Order. The global elite have been working on a consistent campaign to devalue the family, christianity, morals and legalise euthanasia and abortion through the use of utilitarian arguments. When will the church wake up to the reality of human-assisted evil and confront it? It’s not enough to provide scientific proofs to assist an argument in favour of moral principals. The church as a whole should be confronting the bought-and-paid-for media in their nations and afflict their political representatives with the threat of relentless opposition if they continue to sell out to the global elitests.
Thank you for your comments. It's actually not necessary to postulate a conscious global conspiracy. It is sufficient to show that there is a shared evolutionary world view behind this widespread devaluation of life.
These folks who sanction the murder of not only newly born children but also abortion which is a kind word for murder, are an example of the truth of God's word! These folks don't have an intellectual problem—these folks have a heart problem! Out of the mouth comes what's in the heart - Matthew 15:18-20. These folks are an example of I Corinthians 1:18 “The preaching of the gospel is to those who are perishing foolishness.” And 2:14 “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them for these things are spiritually discerned. A natural man is a spiritual dead man And are children of wrath!” Ephesians 2:1-3. They are prime examples of what Paul speaks about in Romans ch.1 v. 22 “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” v.25 “they exchanged the truth of God for a lie.” V.28 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting.” v. 29 “Being filled with all unrighteousness …” see through v 32. “Fulfilling the works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-21 “Those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Also further evidence for the truthfulness of God's word! II Timothy 3:1 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come!” When one purposely rejects the truth regarding creation by God and substitute it with the lie of evolution, life becomes meaningless and with no God comes no morals or restrictions of any kind. The next thing will be euthanasia. The little "g" “god of this age has blinded their minds!” II Corinthisna ch.11. With a debased mind from a spiritually dead man all restraints are lifted and there is nothing that would check his wicked heart from doing whatever wickedness he desires to do to prove his hatred for the one true God! I truly believe we are seeing the last of the last days first hand!
Indeed so. Just note that in the Bible, the “heart” in the Bible is normally a metaphor for the intellect or mind, e.g. Genesis 6:5 refers to the “thoughts of his heart”. See also Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation.
I might add further comment—I have read how the atheist evolutionists who reject God's word and refuse to acknowledge the truths of scripture regarding sin and the fall. These folks on the other hand accuse God as being cruel for allowing suffering and yet these are the very ones who cause the most suffering! Look at the Hitlers of the world and look at the ones who are the propagators of abortion! When these folks talk about cruelty, they are obviously referring to themselves! There are non blinder than those who will not see. Truly—Psalm 14:1 “Only a fool says in his heart there is no God!”
CMI, thank you for bringing a Biblical perspective to these important issues. Abortion is an issue that is very dear to my heart. I am adopted, but was never considered for abortion. However, one of my friends is also adopted. Her birth mother accidentally called an adoption center instead of an abortion center. It is truly a sad day when not only is the supposedly safest place for a child, the mother's womb, able to be violated and destroyed with imputiny, but now they are not even seen as protected after birth, a distinction that used to be protected.
Thank you for your ministry.
Hope J. (age 17)
But god is quite happy with abortion both before and after birth.
There are numerous passages where god calls for the killing of all within a town, including pregnant women and animals.
As for post birth abortion, what was the great flood, if not abortion on a massive scale?
It would be nice if our critics read our website before changing the subject. We have amply addressed such questions in other articles. For example, about the flood, we wrote in ‘Christian’ vs evolutionary atrocities:
It was not wrong; you are making a category mistake. God commanded us, as creatures, not to take innocent human life because it is made in His image. But God is Creator, not creature, so has the right to take the life He created in the first place. The normal atheopathic ‘argument from outrage’ also ignores ancient corporate responsibility, where everyone shared the consequences for the deeds of those in dominion over them. Why should atheists care anyway, since they believe we got here by survival of the fittest, involving the death of millions of innocent animals?
The first objection was answered in Is the Bible an immoral book?
The second is based on a false premise: that God routinely orders killing, and for arbitrary reasons. In fact, God’s orders for killing are comparatively rare in the Old Testament, and non-existent in the New. But one fundamental principle is overlooked by the atheists: God as the Creator of life has the right to take it. Humans are not, therefore can take life only if delegated this duty by the One who owns life. Failure to understand the Creator/Creature distinction underlies a lot of atheistic fallacies, so it’s important for Christians to understand it. Furthermore God has sentenced all of us to death, first as descendants of Adam (see Romans 5:12 21: Paul’s view of literal Adam), and secondly because we deserve it for our sin, and He even took on human nature to suffer this penalty on our behalf (see The Incarnation: Why did God become Man?)
There are two relevant scenarios here: the first is in the course of the conquest of the holy land where they were commanded to go into the land and kill the inhabitants. But the Bible teaches that the people had lost their right to the land because of centuries of sin (remember, he told Abraham that the people in the land hadn’t committed enough sin to be driven out—‘the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete’ (Genesis 15:16)). Remember that Israel itself was exiled when the nation failed to keep the covenant God made with them as a condition for their inhabiting the land.
I suggest also consulting How can the bloodshed inflicted upon the Israelites’ enemies in the OT be reconciled with an all-good God? What about slavery? Or atrocities committed by professing Christians?
Nazi Being a Pagan belief. Don't Think so.
Adolf Hitler was a Catholic and his (and the Nazis’) views was Aryan Christianity. In Mein Kampf He wrote:
Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.
The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God’s will, and actually fulfill God’s will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God’s will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord’s creation, the divine will.
Doesn't sound like paganism to me. Sounds more like statements on some Right-wing Christian sites than paganism.
Another critic who trots out boring old atheist canards without reading our responses.
First, you ignore the documentation in the article for Nazism’s pagan and evolutionary underpinnings, and the overt atheism of a number of leading Nazis.
Second, such quotations were addressed in the article Refutation ofNew Scientist’s Evolution: 24 myths and misconceptions—The Darwin–Hitler connection:
Of course, Hitler was a master political opportunist who would say anything to get into power, and he even said so in Mein Kampf. But any ‘religion’ of the Nazis was paganism. This is why Hitler loved the music of Richard Wagner, who turned much Teutonic mythology into opera. Indeed, the swastika was an ancient pagan symbol, and many Nazi ceremonies resembled pagan rituals. …
But as for Christianity, biographer Bullock wrote that Hitler:
‘had no time at all for Catholic teaching, regarding it as a religion fit only for slaves and detesting its ethics.’
Indian-born American author Dinesh D’Souza (1961– ) writes:
‘In his multi-volume history of the Third Reich, historian Richard Evans writes that “the Nazis regarded the churches as the strongest and toughest reservoirs of ideological opposition to the principles they believed in.” Once Hitler and the Nazis came to power, they launched a ruthless drive to subdue and weaken the Christian churches in Germany. Evans points out that after 1937 the policies of Hitler’s government became increasingly anti-religious.
The Nazis stopped celebrating Christmas, and the Hitler Youth recited a prayer thanking the Fuhrer rather than God for their blessings. Clergy regarded as “troublemakers” were ordered not to preach, hundreds of them were imprisoned, and many were simply murdered. Churches were under constant Gestapo surveillance. The Nazis closed religious schools, forced Christian organizations to disband, dismissed civil servants who were practicing Christians, confiscated church property, and censored religious newspapers. Poor Sam Harris [atheist propagandist] cannot explain how an ideology that Hitler and his associates perceived as a repudiation of Christianity can be portrayed as a “culmination” of Christianity.
Indeed, the Nuremberg prosecutor, General William Donovan, documented copious proof that the Nazis planned to exterminate Christianity.
Thank you so much for this well reasoned article. We are pro-life activists and such material is a tool for us. You might be interested to know that the Editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics has said that he would consider publishing an article opposing the "abortion after birth" view. See extract below from the BMJ Medical Ethics Journal website:
As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.
The novel contribution of this paper is not an argument in favour of infanticide—the paper repeats the arguments made famous by Tooley and Singer—but rather their application in consideration of maternal and family interests. The paper also draws attention to the fact that infanticide is practised in the Netherlands.
Many people will and have disagreed with these arguments. However, the goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises. The authors provocatively argue that there is no moral difference between a fetus and a newborn. Their capacities are relevantly similar. If abortion is permissible, infanticide should be permissible. The authors proceed logically from premises which many people accept to a conclusion that many of those people would reject.
Of course, many people will argue that on this basis abortion should be recriminalised. Those arguments can be well made and the Journal would publish a paper than made such a case coherently, originally and with application to issues of public or medical concern. The Journal does not specifically support substantive moral views, ideologies, theories, dogmas or moral outlooks, over others. It supports sound rational argument. Moreover, it supports freedom of ethical expression. The Journal welcomes reasoned coherent responses to After-Birth Abortion. Or indeed on any topic relevant to medical ethics.
We would be so delighted if you were able to get your article published in the Journal!!!
Just a little background information: According to the BMA Medical Ethics website, Journal Editor Julian Savelescu (of Oxford) is a member of the BMA Medical Ethics Committee. Also on this committee is Evan Harris, former MP for Oxford (West) and Abingdon. He is one of three Vice Chairs of the Liberal Democratic Party's Federal Policy Committee. He applies political pressure to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to push Prime Minister David Cameron to set in motion the liberal, secularist, atheistic agenda. He is a thorn in the flesh to the Truth being implemented in the current UK coalition government and is constantly politically active to undermine morals, the church etc. He is a humanist and is Vice President of the British Humanist Association and also the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association. More about him can be found by googling Wikipedia (not sure how truthful wikipedia would be about him since he probably wrote most of it himself!) He cunningly keeps a low profile where his controversial ethical politics are concerned. Also part of the Oxford humanist scene is, of course, Richard Dawkins. Praise God that He is mightier than mere mortals such as these!
Thank you for your good and inspiring work.
June and Tony C.
PrayOxfordshire, United Kingdom
This article horrified and appalled both me and my husband. He himself is totally blind, and we have a son who has partial sight, and another who needed heart surgery for a hole in the heart. How awful that parents could even consider going down such a path as to destroy their own children! We love our four children immensely and are very proud of what they have become. To go down this as you called it, slippery slope, would bring about even worse things! Maybe the death of all those over a certain age? Thank you for alerting people to this disturbing information.
It is extremely important to realise that this was borne from one persons study. It is certainly not a widely held or respected view. I know alot of atheists but every single one of them thought this concept was disgraceful.
It is a fringe theory, dont be tricked into thinking it is a widely supported belief.
It would be nice if you were right. But Peter Singer has a personal chair at Princeton, and wrote the Encyclopaedia Britannica article on ethics. This would suggest that these views are more mainstream than you think, especially when they are basically shared by the current US President.
And as shown in the article, it’s unfortunately a very logical one given their premises. The alternative would be like atheist Nat Hentoff, he likewise heard Peter Singer point out that there is no real difference between babies before and after birth, but went the opposite way: since it’s wrong to kill babies after birth, it must also be wrong to kill them before birth.
P.Z.Myers congratulations that your parents didn't considered and saw a potential in you......of some sort. If you have children it wouldn't matter for you when your baby is torn up by a dog, it hasen't got any 'life-credits', it's only a condensated baby blobber...yes?
Mr. By Chance, how do you feel to know that God knit even you together in your mother's womb and that you were fearfully and wonderfully made? Does it hurt? There is a Non Harm Agreement between mother and new life.
You can have this attitude now because there is no danger anymore for you to be aborted.
6 years ago my daughter chose to have an abortion. She felt at that time it was ‘inconvenient’ and as the child was conceived in questionable circumstances, she would have no support from the father. He pushed her to this end and paid the costs. … However, she has never stopped regretting her act and continues to suffer daily for her choices. Now approaching her mid 30s she realises her ‘body clock’ is ticking and she is still single.
From my perspective ALL life is sacred as we are made in Gods image, to be in right relationship with him, though Christ. On conception, a women is pregnant with a CHILD. This has never been questioned, that I am aware. please correct me if wrong, but when is a human being NOT a human being?
Thank you Jonathan and CMI for your biblical and truthful insights and for those many comments herein that expound the atrosities now being re introduced by the evil amongst us. Stand firm in all fights against the truth and justice of God. May He bless each of you as you, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:12.
In closing l would like to say,
I miss my lost grandchild every day. I know these little ones are with the Lord Jesus and we will be reunited in His time. Amen
Some couples stuggle to concieve, and the minute it happens, it is “a baby” but an unwanted pregnancy is a fetus?
At twelve weeks gestation, our son was not expected to survive to birth. Doctors told us that, if he did, he would likely be profoundly disabled or die shortly after being born. We were offered the ‘opportunity’ to ‘terminate the pregnancy’, which we resolutely declined, and so began six months of fortnightly ultrasounds to monitor our developing baby’s condition.
During this time, we were asked again and again whether we wanted to abort him, and each time we were adamant: we would not murder our son. We found it disturbing that, even though we had communicated our decision to keep our baby, clearly and firmly, from the outset, and this had been well documented in our medical notes, we had to reaffirm this at almost every one of our appointments.
I wonder how many scared, shell-shocked and grieving parents who, lacking the understanding or conviction or strength or support to not give up on their unborn child in scenarios similar to ours, have tragically allowed themselves to be coaxed into having their baby butchered. The ‘ethicists’ argue for ‘people’s best interests’ and conveniently deny an unborn baby’s person-hood. The doctors make certain they cover themselves legally by ‘presenting parents the options’ but, as our experience demonstrates, the presentation as totally skewed in favour of death.
Our society has steadily cultivated a culture that devalues human life and is defeatist in the face of suffering, embracing death as the solution. This is logically consistent with the prevailing belief that we evolved from nothing and will return to nothing, and it is a consequence of people's rejection of Jesus Christ; who is Life.
The issue of infanticide may be, at present, only promoted by the odd godless academic, but people shouldn’t comfort themselves with the notion it couldn’t and won’t become a reality in our own medical system. The foundation for it already exists. Our son was only eight weeks shy of his due date when the specialist asked for the final time whether or not we wanted to ‘proceed with the pregnancy’.
In our opinion, the legalising of infanticide in Australia is far from an impossibility, and it is not necessarily that far away. And it’s not inconceivable that, in time, parents like us could be denied the option to choose life for our children who suffer complications, before or after they are born.
Postscript: Our beautiful boy was born on 5th September 2008. He did not die, he lived! And he will declare the works of the Lord. (Psalm 118:17) We named him ‘Elias Victor’. Elias means ‘The Lord is my God’ and Victor means ‘Victorious conqueror’. “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Eli, as he is affectionately known, has been diagnosed with a rare congenital connective tissue disorder which affects his upper and lower limbs. He has very limited mobility and requires a lot of painful physiotherapy. But he has a keen mind, a sweet disposition and is full of joy. He is also remarkably healthy.
People often marvel at Eli and note that, in spite of his physical limitations, he has so much potential. We agree he does, and we gently make the point that Eli’s worth doesn’t lie in his potential, perceived or realised, but in the fact that he was created by Jesus in His own image, and he is precious in His sight; so precious Jesus gave His life for Eli so Eli could live in Him.
In response to Rachelle and Stewart, How I admire your faith, love and committment to your faith which you are clearly showing in your actions. It would have taken great courage and strength from the Lord to stand firm in the face of so much critisism and ongoing life challenges. Eli is most certainly an amazing miracle of life and I know God will continue to give you strength to parent him.
To Jonathan, thank you for such an excellent and clear article. I was trying to explain the same thing to ladies in my Bible study group and now I am able to send them a link to this and they can get the indepth answer! I received an email highlighting Two ethicists working with Australian universities, Alberto Giubilini with Monash University in Melbourne and Francesca Minerva at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne, arguing that in “circumstances occur[ing] after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.” This is happening in Australia right now!!! Our young people are sitting in their lectures!!! They are the next generation of doctors, nurses, politicians, policy makers etc etc. You are right on in your predictions.
The abortion law now in Victoria, does not even allow a concsience vote, it is frightening to think what the next 20 years will bring, now that the 'slippery slope' has been stepped on. Keep doing to important work of educationg people to the 'fruits' of ingoring God and his Word in our society.
Thank you Jonathan Sarfati for a very informative article, alerting us to the horrors which can be expected as logical outcomes of wrong premises.
I am delighted to note the inter-activity of readers' responses and editorial comment. I liked Bob J's comments. With reference to the Word, he emphasised some of the implications and dangers involved.
This article has touched a nerve and demonstrates what happens if man is without a moral standard—if his life is not anchored on the rock of the Word (Matthew 7:24–27).
These men malign the truth (2 Peter 2). They are immoral and licentious (2 Peter 2:2 and Jude 4). They live without God (2 Peter 2:5 & 6 and Jude 4, 15 & 18). They reject our only Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, who freed us from the slavery of our sinful desires (2 Peter 2:1 and Jude 4). They despise God’s authority over their lives (2 Peter 2:10 and Jude 8).
They are governed by their sinful, natural desires, not by the Spirit of God (Jude 19). They are tossed around by the whims of society, by the fashion of the day, wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars … (Jude 13).
They promise freedom but are themselves slaves of corruption (2 Peter 2:19).
And, if such teachers of false doctrine were allowed to preach unchecked, they would entice and seduce unstable souls (2 Peter 2:14 & 18).
This is disturbing. You people are all disturbing.
Thank you for a wonderful article. I have 5 wonderful children who are all healthy and love the lord.
When I fell pregnant with one of them and contacted the hospital to make an appointment I was asked did I want to get rid of it. I was stunned and horrified that a simple phone call to make an appointment to see a doctor to confirm my pregnancy would bring a question like this. That was over 25 years ago and I still get chills when I think of it. Obviously I hung up and contacted another doctor.
Even though I have 5 healthy children I did lose one while I was pregnant and the atmosphere in the hospital was disgusting as the baby was only 3 months old so not even human in their eyes and nothing to even think about let alone be upset about. Life then was not seen as important and probably even more so now.
Thanks again for bringing truth to our society through your articles and God bless you.
Absolutely shocking what the world is coming to but clearly prophecies are being fulfilled.
I want to briefly tell of a couple’s sad news many years ago but also of the wonderful end. I worked with a lady some 15 years ago who was overjoyed when she became pregnant with their 1st child. A little way into the pregnancy she and her husband was given the terrible news that the baby had no brain whatsoever. Now, this couple were (and are as far as I know still …) believing Christians. They were also given the option of termination of the pregnancy which they declined very strongly. They started praying constantly. They got their church, family and friends and anybody else they could think of to start praying for this developing little child. The doctors were astounded (some time later) to see that a brain was beginning to form but were still sure that it would never be complete (time to short) and offered a ‘termination’ again but still the answer was “no thank you”. They, and everybody involved, just kept on praying for the little girl (by now they knew that much). The brain kept on developing and this baby girls was born with a fully formed, fully functioning brain and a milder case of spina bifida. No brain defects, no paralyses but a problem with bladder control. From no brain to a problem with bladder control (which was controllable after one or a few, no sure, operations). How great is our God!!! Their faith saved their child but a doctor (who took the oath of “cause no harm”) offered the ‘removal of a defective fetus’.
To me this is a wonderful testimony of what our wonderful Lord and then our own faith can do if given the chance. What scares me silly is how fast we are loosing our right of choice in these matters but I will stand firm in my faith, will continue to pray and praise my Creator’s Name for ever more.
Dr Jonathan, thank you very much for the amazing work you (and the rest of CMI) do. Your constant faith and your continuous clear discussion of everything that comes you way. May our Lord bless you, your family and your work richly!
Thank you for this article and for giving people the opportunity to share ideas/debate on this subject.
When the eldest of our 6 daughters asked me what this article was about—and I explained this idea/proposal of Post-birth Abortion—she was visibly disturbed and said that knowing this could happen in the future made her “feel sick”.
Children understand the value of life—without being taught to. If only we’d all have the same reaction as my daughter.
In light of the fertility problems couples face today; I wonder, if these unwanted babies were taken onto the maternity wards before being killed, and were offered freely to the new parents there, how many would 'need' to be lethally injected afterwards?
God bless all who read this article, (whatever your beliefs).
Great article—I am against abortion. But I was describing to a person that people were killing a baby because it had its own DNA as a human being. The argument doesn’t follow down in ‘early weeks’ abortions. I have looked for some articles on your site but I haven’t seen any concerning this issue. If the argument for abortion being wrong is that the baby has its own unique DNA, than the argument fails if the baby doesn’t have its own DNA in the first 7 weeks.
What exactly happens in the first 7 weeks?
This pro-abort argument is bizarre. Both the sperm and egg cells are haploid—they contain half the DNA information content of the father and mother. At conception/fertilization, these halves come together to produce the zygote or fertilized egg, which is diploid—the information is paired. Thus right from conception, the embryo has this unique new DNA combination. From this beginning, life is continuous until death.