Category: Politics

Not unlike the “secular” community, Evangelicals often have just as many areas of division, contention and discord. As an Evangelical myself, I can admit that sometimes it is easier and more tempting to forego controversy by remaining silent on politics and social issues. To unite as one body under the Christian flag is ultimately the goal and because “worldly” things threaten to tear asunder this union, we, or perhaps more accurately I, at times, try to remove myself as much as possible and reflect on the heavenly kingdom. I once heard it said that although the Bible isn’t a political text, it is impossible or very difficult to have a relationship with the Lord and not care about the state of one’s nation, and to believe while we are in the world that the two are mutually exclusive is far from being a sound biblical teaching. In other words, the Holy Spirit impresses upon us care for our fellow man, our families, and the world around us, which logically manifests in a concern for our nations. If not articulated, this principle is understood by most Evangelicals to the point that it would be like arguing against the necessity of family structure, the absence of which we know empirically can be very devastating. So too can it be said of having no political concerns and remaining completely apolitical.

So it with a heavy heart as a evangelical that I write this to critique some of my brothers and sisters. Also, let it be known, that this writing doesn’t come from the desk of a righteous man or a person who is anywhere near where I would like to be in my walk with the Lord. I feel this is important to mention that I might retain some form of humility in writing this. Let the reader also be aware that I quite distinguish between critiquing a particular choice a person may make and judging a person fully on that choice. It almost represents a difference between a critique and a criticism, if you will, if that it be allowed that a critique would refer to a decision, while a criticism would refer to a person in more a general sense. The last isn’t what I want to do. These might seem like interchangeable concepts, and perhaps at one time they were, but in today’s world a tiny fraction of a person or their views is enough to warrant the mobs of “cancel culture” to mobilize. I desire not to do that in any fashion to those I critique today.

I should keep this brief though, so now, I will quickly move into my brief point. I am voting for Trump in this current election cycle and there are numerous reasons for that. The real challenge I saw that moved me beyond doubt, was a challenge I saw in a Facebook discussion, if we can call it that. The challenge was to make a case for Biden without mentioning Trump. A challenge I saw again and again unanswered. Now, I won’t say that I was completely neutral and wasn’t leaning Trump already, but I did try to keep myself open somewhat, particularly for a third party candidate. I also voted for Trump back in 2016, but that was because Hillary terrified me. I celebrated that night, but woke up the next morning going, “Oh no. Trump?!?” What did we just do? Yet, he has exceeded my expectations.

There are several reasons I agree with Trump in his running of the country, and there are some I disagree with, and even more I haven’t formed a strong opinion on other than just questioning them. I suppose that would be the case with any leader though. More so, there are several reasons that I agree with Trump when it comes to issues that concern us evangelicals. Being pro-life is obviously a big one, and a cause that many churches have been praying over for years. Another large one, Trump has been big on protecting religious liberty, particularly calling out abuses toward the Christian church, at home and abroad. Third, Trump keeps brokering peace with Israel, their neighbors, and even relatively more foreign nations. Along with his moving of the embassy to Jerusalem began a trend that other nations followed in suit. We Christians have been praying for these things, no doubt, and Trump being able to bring these to fruition, at least in a large degree, is something all Christians should be thankful for, because it wasn’t Trump who did it alone. That might want to make some people vomit reading that, because of the strong division between us, but is it really biblically that odd that our Lord would use imperfect people for His purposes? Not only is that a biblically sound statement, if all man is inherently sinful, then it is a logical statement.

This is my point and my encouragement to the Church. I saw that Trump went to a church and many were offended and it caused division, and that isn’t what the church should be to my knowledge. I recall churches all over praying for Obama, and if he had walked into my church and asked for prayer, you better believe I am going to pray for him. That shouldn’t be controversial at all. When we look at the New Testament we find that one of the faults with the Jews at the time (some of them) was that they were waiting for a political messiah which Jesus Christ turned out to be anything but. He had no political ambition, no political power, and surrounded Himself with the poor and destitute rather than the rich and powerful. One of the reasons Christ was rejected is because He brought no political power with Him and didn’t match up with the views at the time, or the prominent view, that the Messiah would be a true king of Israel rather than the Savior of Man and King of Heaven. (Please note I am not comparing Trump with Jesus Christ!)

In a sense, times haven’t changed that much. We are still looking for a political messiah which is an aim that is not going to serve us anymore than it served the Pharisees. We have prayed time and time again over the practice of abortion, persecution, the nation of Israel, appointment of conservative and originalist judges on the Supreme Court, and these things are and have been coming to pass, but because the leader that has brought them, Trump, isn’t the political messiah we seek, we fail to see what God has done. God’s works on our behalf. We forget to praise Him and too effortlessly abandon the means by which the Lord has used to achieve it. Now Trump isn’t beyond criticism, I find his bombast annoying to be honest. That might be a shallow criticism, but it is true nonetheless. However, should his insults and this extreme bombast exclude him from being improved by God or God using him to serve good? Absolutely not and I think God using him is an ongoing thing. Can’t this argument be applied to Biden? Sure, I suppose it could be, but then we have to ask the question if a person is anointed if it will represent itself in some way? I argue it can, and a person who was in office for 47 years and as Vice President had no issue with Israel and the Jews being overlooked in favor of their enemies, and uses Catholicism as it helps him, and has hardly mentioned Jesus at all or gave glory to him, doesn’t have the anointed spirit. A man who speaks in favor of Israel, brokers deals on their behalf to bring peace as well as opening up trade, a person who is pro-life, a person who speaks out in defense of Christians, appoints a devout Christian as his Vice President and running mate; all these things impart to us a semblance of anointing. Now, does this all mean Trump saved? That question is a little beyond my scope of knowledge and pay grade I am afraid, but at the same time I don’t consider it out the realm of possibility.

I mention the criticism of Biden because I want to point out a difference between a Christian not voting Trump and voting Biden and a Christian not voting Trump and voting for some third-party candidate. In the latter, I have no qualms with you and no critique to offer because other than basic understanding of the third-party candidates, I am not really up to speed. You may be very well justified in your vote for a third-party instead of Biden because your morals, ethics, and political philosophy regarding voting are intact, while some who vote Trump cannot (as you may conclude) say the same. That is fine, but if you are looking for a political messiah, you have no more reason to vote Biden than Trump. As I see it anyway, but I am open to discussion.

Ultimately, again, this whole entry was a entreaty to not focus so much on whether we have a political Messiah, but rather reflect on what the Lord is trying to do. One thing we can be sure of is that our Lord is not trying to do is sow division in His church, and so with those brief observations do not let the spirit of politics disrupt the Spirt of God.

God bless.

On Ideas; Not People

“I attack ideas, I don’t attack people – and some very good people have some very bad ideas.” –Supreme Court Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia

Recently, Governor Cuomo of the state of New York signed into law the so-called “Up-To-Birth” abortion bill and in its wake, Alabama and Georgia have voted to ban the practice of abortion. Although the subject of abortion has never left us and continues to be a volatile dividing topic which threatens to fracture, or perhaps, completely destroy friendships and other relationships, the controversy surrounding the issue has been pushed to the forefront of the public consciousness by these events. It has also revealed that within the pro-choice camp there are, indeed, varying degrees of permissibility, with these degrees usually separated by trimester (i.e., abortion is permissible if done within the first, or second trimesters, etc.). In fact, it seems, there are those who are pro-choice who are quite squeamish about the law signed by Cuomo, and it as at least on this foundation the two opposing sides can, perhaps, find a bit of common ground on an issue which generally allows for none. At the same time, there are pro-life people hesitant on bills like the one Alabama and Georgia have passed and other states are considering.

The signing of the Reproductive Health Act, January 2019.

No doubt about it, it is a divisive issue, and in beginning, to make this essay perhaps a bit more agreeable to the critic, I would like to begin by highlighting a couple of things I am seeking to do in my examination of it. I assure the reader that it is my intention to examine the issue and not people. Being pro-life means a lot of challenges are thrown your way, some more valid than others, and I would be quite dishonest with myself and with whoever might take up this essay to say that I haven’t found myself sympathetic to a person’s plight in some circumstances. Truly, there are individual issues, (which I will address), where it might be easier, or rather, quite certainly, it is easier, to critique the issue than to be actively confronted with it. If my exploration of abortion or any resulting subjects that arise from it seem cold, let me assure the reader it is not the case, and I would implore those interested to remember that I am exploring in a philosophical way the issue itself and not the people. I have absolutely no interest in going after people on a personal level. After all, concerning those who have had an abortion, it is a course of action that cannot be changed, for it has already occurred, and all change must reside in the present and future. This is why I am much more interested in ideas themselves than the people who may hold those ideas and making them a target. Of course, it can be hard to separate the person from the idea because it is people who hold the ideas. Regardless, it is my goal to achieve this, as much as possible, in this work.

There are many ways in which people justify their positions, but not all are applicable. I recall a TV show in which a character expresses that she is pro-life and is answered by another saying that they had no idea she was the religious sort. She denies this and asks if you have to be religious to believe that an unborn child represents a life? He responds by saying there is a correlation. This, I would agree, is accurate to some extent, but as the show points out it is not necessarily the case. The point is, not all people are religious, so when approaching the issue to the general public, one finds an appeal to religion to be lacking. Simply, a non-religious person is not going to be swayed by any religious argument and might be put off instead.

Also, one cannot claim to be objective and not look at the side which holds their position. In doing so, it isn’t as if there haven’t been atrocities committed in the name of the pro-life movement. First off, if you walk into an abortion clinic and murder people, either the patients or the practitioners, you have absolutely no business applying the term “pro-life” to yourself. You are anything but and represent a direct and horrific contradiction of the pro-life view. We also need to perhaps question our methodology in promoting the pro-life position.

download (10)

Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear Jr.

Is this to say it should be accepted by pro-lifers? Should we just sit on the sidelines and remain silent then? I would hope it is obvious that this is not what I intend to do. In an effort to refute the challenges and ideas to the pro-life view, I hope to show by addressing the critics that there is a rational basis for the pro-life position, which may produce a bit more good than screaming insults at people in or outside a clinic, merely waving a sign, or trying to block people from entering. I don’t wish to devalue anyone protesting or their passion for the cause, but in my understanding, going after an idea is like a vaccine to a particular action, and it is to here we should start, for it is much more efficient than just fighting the symptoms of a disease that is already caught. You aren’t going to be able to stop the tide by merely setting up a breakwater.

Alderney Breakwater Feb 2016

On The Fringe

Simply addressing the challenges to the pro-life position isn’t enough to produce a case for it. The view needs to stand on its own rational foundation, and I will get into that, but I find that the challenges represent some of the greatest hindrances to accepting the pro-life view. Again, I will address these, and perhaps others I hear during the process of writing this, but here are some examples that are cited to the pro-lifer as a challenge:

A.) Rape

B.) Incest

C.) Birth Defect

D.) Life of Mother

E.) If Outlawed . . .

F.) It’s my body

G.) Bundle of cells

H.). None of your business

Conservative speaker Ben Shapiro pointed out at a Q and A session that these represent fringe issues of the whole and don’t represent the majority of abortions. This is true, but does that mean it is a sound rebuttal? Well, that might be a little more complicated.

The father of the discipline of logic, Aristotle, proposed the principle of non-contradiction. This law, in short, says that anytime a contradiction is present, this represents a falsehood or fallacy within the whole of the argument.

Ayn Rand sums it up eloquently and concisely:

“To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.” –Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand Reader, p. 260.

“Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.” –Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, p. 152.


This is likely the view that is taken by pro-choice people when they offer these challenges, that is, they attempt to show a contradiction somewhere in the thinking of the pro-lifer and thus, by necessity, prove that it is false. It certainly might seem to work, for if the pro-lifer says that abortion is not permissible, but admits that it might be so in some other case, in the critic’s mind, it represents a contradiction and it invalidates the whole pro-life argument. So, in that case, and according to that point-of-view, no, it isn’t a good rebuttal.

download (13)

Yet, how a pro-lifer may regard it is a bit different, and in this sense, it is a sound rebuttal. In truth, contradiction is much harder to prove then one might suspect, particularly on a philosophical level. Yes, there are simple forms, like when one contradicts their statements in an account or personal anecdote, then we can easily determine they are lying, but in issues like this, it becomes more problematic. The reason why is that in order for a contradiction to exist and be applicable, the particulars need to be virtually identical. One of the ways the charge of contradiction is overcome is to show error on the part of those making the charge that the circumstances are similar or the same. Simply pointing out major differences in situation A from situation B is often enough to validly and soundly counter the charge of contradiction.

download (2)

It is on these grounds that Ben Shapiro’s rebuttal was sound, that these are differing circumstances, and are so individual and relatively rare that they represent fringe issues that don’t reflect the vastness of the real circumstances surrounding the majority of the practice. Shapiro addressed this by asking the woman bringing the question if she would agree that in the majority of cases it was wrong, to which she would not agree because she wasn’t willing to limit abortion to the exception to the rule. Therefore, Shapiro reasoned, her line of questioning was simply an excuse. So, in a very real way, how effective this answer by Shapiro is, and those who utilize it, really comes down to your own personal philosophy on contradiction and its relation to truth. However, I seek to build a case for the pro-life view by appealing to both, so I will too address the individual cases which are often cited by pro-choice people, as well as admit that when we talk about abortion, these represent minute fringe circumstances which do not appeal to the whole and don’t represent a contradiction to the pro-life position.

On “In The Case of…”

This is probably the area that gets the pro-lifer in the most amount of trouble and gets the most ire directed their way. To be completely honest, it would be much easier to take the position like I discussed in the last section and write off these fringe examples as inadequate to justifying the whole practice, because some of these can be quite uncomfortable to discuss in both a philosophical way and as a sympathetic human being (by the way I am not suggesting that this was what Shapiro was doing, for I believe he has answered the individual circumstances in other cases). Truly, the pro-life view isn’t unfeeling, for if they were, we would have to ask why these “fringe” examples are so often pressed towards pro-lifers? I suggest part of the reason is because it does make us uncomfortable, and pro-choice people know it does, and if it makes us uncomfortable and invokes feelings, then just like others, we are not unsympathetic to these challenges. What the pro-lifer position believes though is that just because we are sympathetic to someone, or something, it doesn’t mean that a resulting action is justified or right. No, just like law and morality, we need to admit that emotion and rationality are not always in sync. It seems clear that emotion and action can indeed be opposed to each other. This is not said to so much a devalue an emotional response, but rather it is the question of whether it is rational that the emotional response is carried out in action? Either rationality is reined in by emotion, or emotion is by rationality.

download (14)

Concerning this, it is rationality that should have authority over emotion. We see the dangers and unreliability of emotion all around us, and even in our personal lives, we can think of times where emotions have got the better of us or led us astray, or where we regret an action that was promoted or prompted by emotion. Again, this is not saying they don’t have value, or even that emotions always imply error, only that to rely on them solely is a mistake. Yet, don’t people also make mistakes being adherent to strict rationality? Absolutely, but this is because rational people make mistakes in determining what is rational, for while we can identify mistakes in the pursuit of what is rational (i.e., as Rand said, we can have a faulty premise), with emotion we cannot. We can only identify it when it hurts us, others, or doesn’t produce the end we desire or anticipate. Thus, while mistakes can be found in determining rationality, it is not the rational that is at fault, but our misunderstanding of it and our own miscalculated errors. Emotion, on the other hand, can be inherently dishonest and wrong. At times.

So it is on the basis of rationality that we appeal. To do otherwise is generally because the view can’t be defended on rational grounds. If you can’t provide a defense on rational grounds, then often it is the case that the next method of justification is to shift the burden of proof and where it lies.

On Defense and Building a Case

download (3)

M. C. Escher, “Bond of Union,” 1956.

When offering a defense of a particular viewpoint or issue, or attempting to construct a proof of that view, there are numerous methods that one can appeal to or exercise. The first is what can be referred to as the classical. This defense simply seeks to first determine a proof for an element upon which all other subsequent issues rest. Yet, there are other ways proofs are constructed.

There is the evidential, which seeks to prove something on the basis of pure, empirical evidence.

There is the experiential, which seeks to prove based on someone’s experience. However, it must be remembered that philosophically this approach is generally considered unreliable and represents what’s called the anecdotal fallacy.

There is the historical, which seeks to prove a case based on the historicity of a particular subject.

There is the presuppositional, which seeks to prove based on first making the assumption a view is true and then pointing out either its flaws or its validity. This is also called systematic consistency presuppositionalism. In the science of logic, we can refer to this as a form of indirect proof.

Now, certainly, I think all these will find their place in the construction of my argument, but if I had to classify my attempt, I would classify it as classical and henceforth, we should start with the element upon which many of the others rest. This is presenting a case that the unborn is a life. It should be noted too that these constructs and methods are used on the pro-choice side as well.

On The Life Inside

I was reading a debate online one time and, as I recall, a pro-choice woman was defending her pro-abortion stance, and ended up saying something like the following: “I didn’t give this thing permission, it is merely a parasite stealing my nutrients.” To the pro-lifer, this would almost be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. I don’t recall if the pro-life person offered the fact that even a parasite is a living thing, but regardless it represents how some pro-choice people view that life inside. A parasite. Indeed, I have seen this argument a number of times on Facebook and message boards. We see in that such a statement, great efforts are made to not only avoid referring to it as a life (“thing”), but also deny its value (“parasite”). It may be argued that some people who have abortions fear this “thing” will continue to be parasitic once it is born, not biologically, but to their lives in some degree. It isn’t a powerless and dependent child, but a mere parasite.


Crepidostomum cooperi

It is the case that biological, familial, or social dependency doesn’t equate to something being parasitic. For one, parasites are invading creatures, living creatures, that do not share the same biological makeup of the host. You do have creatures that can absorb another of its species, I believe there is an angler fish that does this, but in these cases it is an independent being prior and then becomes biologically dependent, even losing some of its organs and mobility in the process. It is not a growing, developing thing, but something being enveloped into another. A baby is a growing developing being, which when carried to term will become independent, in a biological sense, and continue to increase in independence. As much as anything can become independent anyway, for we are all dependent beings in some regard.

download (15)

8 weeks

Now that we got the idea of a fetus being a parasite out of the way, let’s move on to offering proof of life. In order to do this, we have to ask the question: What is life? There are a number of ways people approach this question, there is both the scientific and the philosophical. I read a work by one woman doctor, who was pro-choice, that made the admission that it appears by science that life begins at conception, but said it wasn’t that easy, that what determines a life is based on what a person believes is a life, or it represents a philosophical question and not a biological one. While reading it, I must admit that I was almost impressed with her candor on the subject. Many scientific works have been written to support the idea of life at conception, or life approximate to conception.

The American College of Pediatricians stated in 2004:

“The American College of Pediatricians concurs with the body of scientific evidence that human life begins at conception–fertilization….Scientific and medical discoveries over the past three decades have only verified and solidified this age-old truth. At the completion of the process of fertilization, the human creature emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species of homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and its zygotic stage is not one of personhood but of development. The Mission of the American College of Pediatricians is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being from the moment of conception.”When Human Life Begins, American College of Pediatricians, March 2004.


“In that fraction of a second when the chromosomes form pairs, the sex of the new child will be determined, hereditary characteristics received from each parent will be set, and a new life will have begun.” –G. & M. Kaluger, Human Development: The Span of Life, p. 28-29, 1974.

download (16)

We see in the earlier example, the woman who declared the unborn to be both a thing and a parasite, that this both deny the personhood of the unborn, but also devalues it at the same time while removing its humanity and or personhood. It could be said that the even more basic foundation of the pro-life view is that all life is valuable. It doesn’t devalue but promotes value. In fact, in the pro-life position, pure living existence is beyond worth. I am not saying that we do not attribute value to lives based on the actions of a person, I am saying that the condition of living in and of itself is immeasurably valuable. This is applicable here because of the different philosophical ideas on what defines a life, and in order to address these differences as a whole, we will need to appeal to a life’s value, and on this, we will build the case based on potentiality and actuality.

Yet, on a biological basis, the pro-choice doctor is hard-pressed to, by biology alone, science alone, disprove that life isn’t exhibited in the developing body. As a National Geographic video entitled “The Biology of Prenatal Development” declared:

“Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.”

Young chicken in the chicken coop on the farm

The critic, or those undecided on the issue, may ask about the development and if this presents a challenge? When asked what a life is, one word that is thrown around, is that in order for something to be a life, it needs to be a sentient being. I’ve seen many pro-choice debates and arguments which state that sentience must be achieved before the term life can be applied to it. This condition, analytically, or definitionally, suggests the following:

1) Independence

2) The ability to perceive or sense

3) The state of being self-aware

4) The desire for self-preservation

5) Intellectual capability

6) Mobility

As we can see, to refer to something as a “sentient life” would be a bit of a tautology in this context. Sentience implies life. So, if one asks what makes a child a life, and the answer is life (aka. Sentience), well, that doesn’t really answer much. It sounds better in a rhetorical sense, rather than providing insight into what life is. Yet, in it, they suggest that these sentient characteristics aren’t found in the developing life of a child. We should address each of these to see if this is a worthwhile response to the question of what is life?

download (4)

1. Independence I believe is something we have already touched on. Whether something is independent or dependent isn’t quite enough to determine if it is a life or not, simply because, to some degree, all things are dependent. The philosopher William Rowe came to the conclusion that there were at least three forms of being. There were impossible things (things that couldn’t exist because of the law of non-contradiction, i.e., a triangle with four sides), there were cogent things (things that can either be thought to exist or thought not to exist; possible things), and finally necessary things (a thing that must be). In the latter case, you leave the realm of strict philosophy and more into theology and for this reason, we won’t get into that, but needless to say, the cogent thing, the category of which we all belong, does imply dependency. Only a necessary thing can be completely independent. A true sentient being cannot be completely independent, but rather must be dependent, as the other characteristics of the condition show. For instance, much of our intellectual capabilities exist a posteriori, that is derived from experience, and therefore even our knowledge is dependent, to a vast degree, on experience and the world around us.

What about it being biological independence that is implied? Several years ago, I was unfortunate enough to get very sick and I wound up on dialysis due to the shutting down of my renal function. Would this unpleasant experience, in which by use of an umbilical and machine filtered my blood, have made me any less of a life? Certainly, we might ponder how such a frequent treatment might affect one’s life, but we can’t say they cease to be less of a life than anyone else who isn’t dependent on that treatment. Conditions for life, don’t negate the condition of life.

download (18)

Earlier in the essay, we also touched on whether a living thing can exist within another living thing, and it is clear it can. Much of what we discuss in this aspect is not so much life but mobility and how that mobility suggests life. To use myself as an example, when I was ill I spent a number of weeks immobile and unconscious. This didn’t negate my life or its value proper, nor would it anyone else. In fact, doctors and nurses work tirelessly to preserve life in such circumstances rather than abandon it. I hope the reader can see that I don’t mean these as direct comparisons, but mean them to show that dependency is a condition of life, and in some circumstances, necessary for it. Rather than independence suggesting life, it often seems that the more dependent a living thing is, the closer to pure being that life exists. Knowledge, wisdom, and experience are the things that we pile onto the tabla rasa of pure being or life proper.

download (19)

2. The ability to perceive or have sense perception has been long acknowledged by the scientific community and a number of studies have been done which provide some startling proof of the unborn’s ability to sense and perceive. In fact, it has been long held that frequent reading or certain types of music can be beneficial to the development of the unborn. This is a prime example of some pretty well-known facts about the perception and sense that is found in the life in the womb. Yet, again, we find instances where an inability doesn’t negate life. A person in a comatose state, for instance, isn’t declared a non-life, rather we do all we can to preserve it. This critic might say though, that like the angler fish, it was at first sentient and then lost its independence, and it is desirable that it be restored to the state it already achieved. However, I hope the reader can discern that I am making the argument that an unborn child is analytically and empirically sentient.

download (5)

3. The state of being self-aware is labeled as number 3 is almost interchangeable with number 4, that is the desire for self-preservation. The reason why is because when a being is self-aware, self-preservation is often evidence of that awareness. I believe it may be a whole other long topic to discuss the levels and degrees of self-awareness, but in a general sense, these two things go hand and hand. While we understand the basic principle of self-preservation, it remains the case that preservation is not an independent condition achieved by self, but often a dependent condition by which other things are utilized to achieve preservation.

download (20)

4. The desire for self-preservation. There have been many people that have been pro-choice and shifted their views to either pro-life, or in some cases, come to admit that the subject isn’t as black-and-white, or cut-and-dry, as they first made it out to be. Often times these shifts are experiential. An avid opposer of Planned Parenthood, the organization that performs the most abortions per year in the United States, changed her opinion on abortion after watching one being performed. Her account says that while sitting in on the procedure and watching it on the monitor, she was quite struck when the unborn child drew back from the instruments that were being used to dismember it, as if in fear and pain. This account has been parroted by several ex-practitioners of abortion, who have come to denounce it. This provides some anecdotal evidence that the unborn are self-aware, have an instinct for self-preservation, and indeed, sense and perceive.

download (21)

5. Intellectual capability is often an attribute used to characterize a quality or value of life, rather than life itself, or life proper. In this way, it is often used in a relative sense, but, again, it doesn’t say something is not a life because of a lesser capability, but only assigns a primarily subjective value to it. In the vast majority of cases, a need for self-preservation, and sense, or perception, are used as evidence to denote an intellectual property to being, or a being. However, this is not always the case, as many may say that a tree or plant lacks intelligence, but does seem to be geared towards self-preservation. Yet, in this case, nobody really concludes that botanical things don’t represent life either. One thing we can be reasonably sure about is that intellectual capability isn’t only revealed by what something knows, but the ability to attain knowledge. As the experiments with music and reading, and the whole process of living life show, in fact, is that our intellectual faculties are understood by our ability to learn rather than anything else. That a sentient life must have intellectual capability only means that it have the ability to learn, and this is certainly the case, especially during the latter portions of carrying the child to term.

download (22)

6. Mobility also seems to be implied by those arguing sentience. Yet, along with some of the other characteristics, the state of being immobile only applies to a quality of life, rather than life itself. Many people and things are hindered in their mobility, but live fulfilling lives, and this certainly wouldn’t be the case if they ceased to be a life altogether. In fact, one could be justified in saying, in general, young age and old age are both characterized by a lack of mobility. This doesn’t mean that it is invaluable or ceases to be, rather we teach the young to walk, and we seek to prolong the mobility of those who are becoming feeble. It is the case, again especially in later portions of pregnancy, that the life inside becomes increasingly mobile and active, much to the mixed delight and, honestly, the discomfort of the mother. The child’s mobility eventually outgrows the womb.

You may notice that I am now referencing portions of pregnancy rather than as a whole, but again I have shown that these characteristics, or rather the lack of them, don’t negate life, but at the same time, we do associate life with them. That is why even in the pro-life group, the nearer to term a child is aborted, the more horrendous it becomes. With the signing of Cuomo’s “Up-To-Birth” abortion bill and the blocking of the bill which would make mandatory medical care for a child of a botched or unsuccessful abortion, it becomes actually harmful to the arguments of the pro-choice camp. Indeed, it seems like most of them are completely thrown out the window. A mere choice cannot empirically shift life to a non-life, or a non-life to life. All the choices we make in life are not judged simply on the choice, but how these choices correspond to reality. Choice doesn’t change reality, you’re either correct or you’re not. I find it increasingly true that those backing this bill, and opposing the mandatory medical care for those who survive abortions, is to toss aside the arguments that the pro-choice group has spent years, decades, in fact, formulating.

For these reasons, when a person says that an unborn child, or fetus, or whatever you would like to label it, must be sentient to be considered life, I think it is quite reasonable to conclude that it is sentient, and thus, by their own measure, a life.

On Scientific Backing

Although I have quite railed against independence being necessary for something to be considered life, one cannot help also appeal to these definitions, that is, to both debunk in adherence to, and apart from. To explain further, I find it to be faulty on the basis of the general (i.e., independence isn’t a condition of or for life) and the specific (i.e., it can be shown that independence is applicable to the unborn). For those who might critique me and say that am contradicting myself, I should point out that the former, the general, is a classical or evidential answer, while the latter is a presuppositional form. I would also direct the reader to my previous section on building a case to explain the paradox.

So, in order to further clarify, we should make a distinction between the quality of independence and being individual. These are two different things. A thing can be a singular, individual (not necessarily a person), but be dependent at the same time. This goes to show that individuality doesn’t equate to independence, and dependence doesn’t equate to non-individuality. Certainly, an individual life has certain characteristics which distinguish it from other lives. Of these, we can apply form and mass, and matter, or can appeal to more scientific evidence for individuality, particularly when it comes to living organisms, like genetic makeup, and DNA. Also, when concerning the more complex organisms, organs, skeletal structure, and cellular composition. In addition, individuality can be shown in causality, that is cause and effect. For instance, that which may affect the mother might not affect the newborn, and that which may affect the newborn might not affect the mother.


If one suggests that individuality must be exhibited in order for something to be independent or be life, then this is both shown on the philosophical level, and on the scientific level. It is immediately at or approximate to conception that the unborn has its own individual genetic code and DNA.

“The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”National Geographic, “In The Womb” (Video).

It is a matter of 5 ½ to 6 weeks when the child’s heartbeat can be detected.

download (24)

Sure, we can distinguish life apart from such complex organs, but they are certainly attributed to human life, and it is this life which quickly becomes apparent. It is an interesting subject because in a world so devout to science and the pursuit of it, in certain areas, it becomes chiefly ignored for the sake of things like “choice.” However, I recall I said that I would refrain from making this about people and just about the issue itself, so I will depart from this particular train of thought because I perceive it might lead up into the opposite.

On Arguments Against The Pro-Life Position


Julio Ruelas, “Critica“, 1907.

I suppose it is difficult to address the whole of these opposing sides, pro-choice and pro-life, in such general terms. One must recognize that it is likely that people of the pro-life view, and the pro-choice view, disagree with certain aspects of those arguments which are used by the side that they are aligned or associated with. As I said, it is sometimes hard to address people and ideas separately, and I really don’t like having to paint a whole group of people with one broad brush stroke. So, if I have characterized anyone who reads this and they are thinking, “This isn’t me at all,” I could only ask for your patience and to share your individual thinking with me in the comments, but I only ask that you might be respectful as I have tried to be.

It would be quite unsound for me to think or say that I believe I am going to answer every argument out there against the pro-life position. I am not that prideful, nor delusional. I have heard many clever arguments against the pro-life position, but I believe that the ones I offer here are the most applicable. What I mean is that is quite often those clever examples are reducible to these issues which I will address, but, again, to make the suggestion that these are all the arguments out there would be quite a gullible and suggestion. If anyone has any further arguments, I would be most open to hearing them.

download (6)

Once more, before we get into it, I understand how easy it is for me to sit at a keyboard and talk on these topics without ever having set foot in the shoes of those who have endured these oft brought up examples. My sympathies, in a number of these examples, are quite profound. Further, I must mention that an exploration of these issues kind of surprised me, in that the ones I thought were going to be easy to refute, became quite difficult, and the ones I thought would be difficult, ended up being a little less complex than I had imagined. All and all an exploration of these issues brought a few surprises.

On The Case of Rape


It should be evident to the reader by now that I won’t adhere to the “fringe circumstance” argument that Shapiro used to address one of his questions. I do believe it has some validity, but this is primarily to ones who have already been convinced on the soundness of the pro-life argument. To those not convinced, these are issues that need to be addressed. Out of these, the case of rape is a large and looming one.

I was somewhat pro-choice at one time but held that it shouldn’t be used as a form of birth control. I haven’t completely abandoned that position, in that, I have ideas that have carried over from one side to the other. I recall and still hold to the idea that the consequences of the committed abortion would fall greatly upon the rapist rather than the victim. For instance, I believe those found guilty of rape are punished way too lightly for us to be called a “civilized” society. Not only do I want increased punishment for rapists, but if a pregnancy resulted, I think they should be punished twice over. I bring this up because I hope that it goes to show that I am not completely unsympathetic to the plight and torment that such victims may have to go through. Far from it.

Indeed, the impregnated victim of rape could perceivably consider that child an unwanted token of a horrific event in their lives, and would not, therefore, be treated as wonderfully as a child deserves. This is at least one argument I have heard regarding this tragic example, and in it are a number of elements I think might be the case, but notice that implicit in it is the idea that children deserve to be treated in a moral way. The argument goes beyond this, of course, but it is interesting to note that it admits to the value and worth of a child in declaring that it deserves to be treated in a certain way.

Yet, this is only one aspect. Another says, that because the child was conceived during an unwilling, and unlawful, and traumatic event, the victim is justified in terminating the pregnancy through means of abortion. This is chiefly an appeal to emotion. Why this is the case is that it implores us to understand the decision by appealing to our sympathies. Yet, in our emotional understanding of the decision, does this mean the decision is rational? It does not.

Here is where the classical proof comes into play and it comes down to the following. If the unborn represents a life, then it is not rational and, sorry to say, unjustifiable. If it does not represent life, then, well, frankly, most abortion is justifiable. I sought to show, albeit in brief, that on both a scientific and philosophical basis, it is reasonable to conclude that the unborn are analytically alive. Thus, it would be unjustifiable. Allow me to explain further.

Given that the unborn represents a life, it has a certain intrinsic value, this is why the rape victim is a victim, because her life too has intrinsic value and it is not just the body that is harmed when someone is raped, but all elements of their lives. It is their future that is victimized and I, again, would like much stricter penalties on those who commit rape than we currently have. A brief period of time in prison, a release with flyers going out to the community doesn’t seem like enough, and I think this is an issue where we could all agree. That being said, an attack on an innocent party doesn’t facilitate or rationally excuse another. In the case of these examples, you wind up with, essentially, three parties. The rapist, the victim, and the unborn. That the woman is victimized doesn’t justify the harming and victimization of another innocent party. The stealing of one parties innocence doesn’t necessitate or excuse the trespassing of another.

I think we have a pretty moral understanding of this. We make concessions when a victim attacks the perpetrator who victimized them, but we don’t when it is an outside and innocent party. A woman whose life is victimized by a rapist, going after her rapist and taking his life, sorry to say, I am not going to be too sympathetic toward him on that one, but if she murders his children, well then I am going to say that is not justifiable in any sense. It just comes down to this, if you are a victim then you deserve all the sympathy and all the help in the world, but it doesn’t give you the justification nor right to harm innocent life. What to do about the child once it is born? Well, those are issues that raise some difficulty, but difficulties don’t allow for the harming of innocent lives. They need to be tackled on their own and I would suggest that the issue of what one does with a child, an unwanted child, is an issue that extends past abortion, but to suggest abortion is the only avenue is quite disingenuous.

It also isn’t universal that women who have been raped abort their children. Now, this can’t be considered a pro-life argument per se, it’s an anecdotal fallacy, but it does show that support, advice, guidance, and help to those in such a terrible situation may be available, and practical, to those who need and may benefit from it.

On The Case of Incest

download (26)

In all likelihood, and for good reason, the following this one will make most people squeamish. Yet, it is worth addressing because, not only does it include a couple other of the arguments we will visit, but also, its a subject that has been increasingly popping up due to the “love is love” movement, if you will, becoming increasingly prominent in today’s society, which, I hope makes the reader just as squeamish. No, I am not talking about LGBT or how they may use the term, but people who have taken it to justify great perverse examples which I would prefer not to get into here. Yes, they do make me that squeamish.

This argument is actually an amalgamation of other arguments. For one, in cases of incest, rape is often considered as its cause by those who are proponents of this argument. The other is from birth defect, and as we have addressed the first, the second one is where it gets tricky. I will save some of it for addressing birth defects as a singular issue, but there is no doubt that incest can produce birth defects. Yes, no doubt. I once heard a law professor speaking about how it was some sort of rumor or falsehood that incest can produce such deformities. I don’t know how studying law makes someone an expert on such things (by the way I am not an expert either), but it flies in the face of genetics and history.

Indeed, when one looks over the monarchy governments over the course of history, it becomes apparent that some were deformed by the close intermarrying of bloodlines, many monarchies believing that the bloodlines needed to be as pure as possibles, which led to deformities both in body and mind. This seems to be the focal point of the incest argument, that of physical or mental deformities. I will seek to show that these don’t justify abortion on their own, but neither does the cause. It may seem grotesque to some, but the product of intermarrying or otherwise, still remains a life, and the extinguishing is unjustifiable. Yes, that life still has value. Yes, it is still a life. Thus, it is not justifiable to terminate it because of source, victimhood, or condition. We get into some of these deeper in the next section.

On The Case of Birth Defect

download (29)

Recently, a mentally handicapped man sat before the Senate and testified passionately that his life was worth living. It is sad that a handicapped man had to testify to that, to remind people, to show people, to inform them that his life, despite his handicap, had value. That he was not worthless. That he enjoyed his life and contributed to the life of others. This is echoed by actor John C. McGinley known most famously for his roles in the movie Office Space and his role on the TV show Scrubs. Though his mission is different, namely, the removal of a certain offensive term from the public lexicon. He hasn’t expressed an opinion on abortion, but his love for his mentally handicapped son is shared by many families in his circumstance. His mission is a good one, and one I have changed my view on over the years. Simply, I used to have a “words don’t hurt” mentality when it came to such things, and I justified it through scholastic adherence, but I have since then shifted my thoughts on it. I may write on it someday.

This is the danger we reach when we see birth defects and determine that that life has a lesser value or absolutely no value. Many families who have children who are handicapped, while they admit the challenge, also declare their love for their special needs sons or daughters. Challenge and difficulty don’t negate value, sometimes it actually does the opposite. I find slippery slope arguments sometimes to be fallacious but we do need to ask if this is permissible and allowed, then where does it end? This represents a problem I have reached with trying to iron out the pro-choice view, in that it is incredibly blurry. This permissibility of the hazy can lead to things beyond the pro-choice argumentation. We literally have people advocating now for the death of sentient, independent, and individual, living beings. Again, this completely does away with the arguments we are examining.

Not to get too far off track, when we say or allow that a deformity means that something doesn’t have a right to live, that is very dangerous territory, and in my mind, quite wrong. Since “sentience” has no place anymore in determining whether some live or die, at what age outside the womb is the permissible? Although we are getting quite good, that is science is, at detecting birth defects inside the womb, what about if one only becomes apparent at birth? Is it justifiable then?

I just find it hard to look at someone handicapped either mentally or physically and think their life isn’t worth living. Yet, in the case of abortion, when it is justified because of this line of reasoning, that is exactly what we are doing, we are predetermining that their life has a lesser value than those without handicap, and then it needs to be asked, where the line is drawn? In addition, how is it affecting those who are handicapped now when we argue on this basis that it is better that they should not have been born?

On The Life of The Mother

As I have revealed, there were a few surprises when examining the individual issues raised against the pro-life view. This is one of them. I, for some reason that I can’t honestly articulate, thought this would be an easy one to address on a philosophical level, but it turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought. Particularly, because one needs to show that a contradiction doesn’t exist in their view when included within a whole argument. Further, it raised some philosophical issues which I didn’t expect. That being said, let’s move into it.

In the strictest sense of the term, here is one condition where I am “pro-choice.” I want to make this clear because I have heard some pro-life arguments which declare that it is not permissible to abort in such a circumstance. I am pro-choice on this issue because of the reasons I will share, but also because I can’t say that a mother in unjustified or wrong in giving up her life for her unborn child as some mothers have done. I recently read about a mother who denied herself chemotherapy because it would terminate the pregnancy, but in doing so was giving herself a death sentence. Such loving sacrifice I couldn’t ever say was wrong, it is the ultimate and I can’t help but find it honorable and find it worthy of the highest accolades.

Yet, should the life of the mother, if threatened, be bound to die because of the life of their unborn child? This is where it gets tricky, and I believe we will present another element to this question later when we discuss potentiality and actuality, but here we will just appeal to ideals. I must admit to the reader that by ideals I mean an idealism. I am somewhat of an idealist in that I do think morality is objective. I also share in the views of some of the more famous idealists like Martin Luther King Jr. who I cite because of his idealism concerning the inherent rights of man, which are applicable in this discussion and it is here where I would like to begin on answering the question concerning the life of the mother.

When I began to examine this question I felt like I was in sort of a stalling tailspin for a while in that I didn’t know what direction I would go, except into confusion. Yet, eventually I found my footing and some even ground concerning the intrinsic rights of man, or as some may say, all living things. What are these intrinsic rights of man that idealists frequently cite? Further, what rights are exhibited in behavior like self-preservation? As you may recall, we touched on this already when discussing sentience. The most basic right that life has, which it strives to grasp hold, is the right to live. The right to life. This is indeed the most basic right to any living creature. The conflict, of course, comes in when the right of one thing to live conflicts with the right of another.

This is exactly what we find happening in the case of where the mother’s life is threatened by the life inside. We find that the mother’s right to life is in conflict with the unborn’s right to life. What do we do in such situations? How do we determine which one has the greater right to life? We should face the facts and realize that we all probably encounter this conflict more than we would like to admit. In the foods we eat is one example of how we experience in our normal everyday lives this right to life. It is when pondering the general rules which govern such right to life interaction where things become difficult. There are general principles, but no real rule, which allows for the pro-choice position in this circumstance. In fact, if we consider the one anecdote I provided, then it seems to add more credibility to this principle.

This principle may seem silly in how simplistic it is, but often right to life decisions are governed by principles relating to chronological order. Simply, if a thing has a long-established right to life, then when in conflict with another right to life, the former takes precedence over it. This is not always the case, however, and other elements come into play. For instance, the greatness of a thing might overpower the right to life of another, which in other circumstances may have a presiding right to life. A younger lion may overtake an older gazelle because of might rather than any right to life, not that the animal kingdom would have any concept of that. Despite this, I believe there are certain principles at work in the world, in general, which are metaphysical and which, when analyzed, can provide insight into human behavior and ethical questions.

Even Darwin denoted these metaphysical principles, in his Origin of The Species, and his exploration of the survival of the fittest. Yes, in his view, it was fitness, aka. greatness and might that precipitated his survival of the fittest principle. Also, but not always, what is more fit to protect its life is often more developed, in which age can be a factor. So what governs conflicts between rights of life is fitness and chronological factors. In these aspects, the mother is justified in preserving her life, but only in as far as she is living, not the condition of her life. The anecdotal evidence which I brought forth, shows that if a woman believed her life wouldn’t extend much past the child, then she is justified in viewing the child’s right to life above her own.

In the end, making difficult decisions in these circumstances is justifiable because the mother’s right to life preexists the one of the unborn and, as heart-wrenching as it is, should be given the choice to prolong her life in such a tragic situation. To some degree, I think this might surpass the abortion argument though. I mean, really, how many of these situations take place at a Planned Parenthood rather than at a hospital? I can’t say it never happened, but I am willing to bet that these incidents don’t occur at Planned Parenthood.

On The “It’s My Body…” Argument

download (31).jpg

This argument isn’t a particularly good one. I would hope that this answer to the pro-life movement is less literal and more figurative, in a sense saying just, “it’s my choice.” Though this argument too is not a very valid reason for terminating a life, it at least attempts to make the morality of such a position relative, while the former “it’s my body, my choice” argument is tainted by absurdity. This is easily rebuked by utilizing principles of identity. From the pro-life perspective and the view that the child represents a life, it is the life of the child that is terminated and not the life of the mother. This alone indicates that there are separate lives, or if you prefer, bodies which should be regarded.

One way to approach this is to address the issue while appealing to philosophical theories concerning the nature of form and of identity, or how we can differentiate between individual forms. One way we do this is by noting the differences between one form and another. It is the case, of course, that pregnancy does affect the nature of the whole, i.e. the mother, but this doesn’t necessitate that both the child and the mother are made up of the same substance regarding body and form.

Let us say, for example, that one wishes to demolish a wall inside their house to expand a room. Well, the demolishing of that wall, although changing the overall layout of the house, doesn’t cease to make it a home. It is an individual structure, which, given that there is sound construction, doesn’t negate the house itself. So, yes, while pregnancy does affect the body of the woman who is pregnant, this doesn’t mean that the child is a part of that body alone.

In fact, how often is it the case that women can produce children without any sexual contact? If pregnancy is a manifestation of the body of the mother and is not merely a cause of effect to the mother’s body, then we might be justified in asking whether or not virgin births and pregnancies should be more commonplace?

The bodies are certainly linked, and the critic might approach this and ask why if the bodies are not one and the same then why the death of one can bring about the death of another? Doesn’t this, given my train of thought, imply that the bodies are one and the same because of the sharing of effects? To take the home and wall example again (as poor as it might be), to knock out a wall from inside the home can indeed be often done, but one must take into account the construction. If one knocks out the wrong wall, which is internally necessary for the house’s sound construction, then the home might become unstable and collapse. Still, just because an effect is similarly shared, doesn’t mean that the wall and the home are one.

Obviously, too, there are structural differences between a wall and a house which provide distinguishing characteristics to imply that one isn’t the other. This is too the case when it comes to child and mother. The child has its own internal organs, its own DNA, its own chromosomes, and various other differences which distinguish it as an individual from the mother. To suggest otherwise is quite a twist on sound logic, biology, and science as a whole. Yes, the body of the child exists within a body, but it is not equitable to that body in which it exists. Both have separate identities. In short, it is not the body of the mother which one is addressing, but that individual body which is being terminated. If mother and child shared the same exact substance, then both would be terminated by the abortion.

On a Business That is None of Yours

download (32)

This one has been refuted by the pro-choice movement itself and organizations like Planned Parenthood which while saying its none of anyone’s business other than the mother’s and their doctor’s (abortionist), at the same time they demand taxpayer-funded support, which pulls just about every taxpayer into the debate. While many might support or not care where their tax dollars go, it does justify the opponent of abortion to join in the conversation. To say it is none of anyone’s business doesn’t negate the fact that we are demanded to pay for it, and until each person has to cover their own expenses, or people can opt out of having their tax dollars to go to such a cause, this argument is a strongly invalid one.

Let us suppose this is the case though, that our tax dollars are not used and you can opt out completely of anything that supports or goes to the cause, would it still be none of anyone’s business, particularly the business of men? That men can’t make judgments on the practice is said as a method to silence opposition, but its not particularly a good argument, since boys too are terminated in the womb, and men are paying for it, and have an active part in the creation of a child. If it is none of the business of men to make judgments on abortion, then the child is none of our business at all. To follow this to its logical end would mean the end of all child support being paid by men and all responsibility would fall on the woman. Of course, we would not dare say such a thing or suggest this course of action, because men share in the responsibility for children and it very much is our business.

We also have to ask whether or not we can approach any moral question if we are not directly involved? This is akin to cultural relativism or ethical relativism except in hyperdrive. These questions usually concern cultures and civilizations far removed from us and then ask if the actions they take or the ideas they have can be judged by another culture? For instance, do people in the United States have a right to judge practices like female genital mutilation as is done in areas within the Middle East? If we don’t then are we justified in granting asylum because of such practices? If we are cultural relativists then we would either need to practice stringent isolationism or embrace lawlessness and anarchy on both an international and domestic scale.

Yet, the “none of your business” argument suggests a cultural relativism within one’s own culture. This is why it’s a hyper-cultural-relativism and denies the existence of objective morals whatsoever, which is wholly unrealistic. When we follow these principles to their logical and eventual end, we find that we certainly wouldn’t want to live in a world where this is the case. We want men to not be “deadbeat dads” (there would be no such thing in an ethically relative world), we want them paying child support and taking care of their offspring, we want a world where we can question morality objectively that we may apply laws, which would not exist if we didn’t believe in such objectivity. No, as a non-aborted citizen, we do have a right and responsibility to make moral questions and examine these questions as they confront us. Therefore, it is on these grounds that this is a paper thing argument which falls apart under the lightest of scrutiny. It really doesn’t have any more logical weight than just telling someone to shut up.

On The Right To Judge

A wooden judge gavel and soundboard isolated on white background

This argument is strongly related to the last but has at least one more distinction. It assumes that one can have their own moral beliefs, but even in the presence of these views, one cannot pass judgment on a person who does otherwise. It is somewhat self-defeating though.

For instance, a person who declares that a person is wrong in daring to judge another for a particular practice is doing the same thing they’ve declared shouldn’t be done. Pretty much in the same breath. Simply, to say one is wrong to pass judgment is judgment and indicates the absurdity of this statement even on a very subjective level.

On “A Bunch of Cells”

download (33)

One of the questions that concerns both science and philosophy is the question of identity, and there are numerous ideas concerning the complexities of life and matter and how it is manifest within a singular identity. In the strictest of terms, for instance, life within the womb is a bunch of cells, but then again, so are all living things. Not only this, but we can even go beyond this and say that all living things are made up of energy. An analysis of the matter of which life forms are comprised, to the quantum level, is indeed scientifically useful, and philosophically useful, but it doesn’t negate life. Life is a complex unity of energy, cells, genes, chromosomes, DNA, chemicals, elements, all working in unison to allow life to thrive. To say a person is a just a composition of cells and the genetic code isn’t necessarily untrue, but it is an examination of the particulars of which make up life, not of the definition of it.

In fact, I would suppose that to say we are just an amalgamation of cells is a bit of an analytical statement, and is presupposed in the definition of life. This is not to say that all form is living because it is made up of cells, for such a statement would be quite ridiculous. It is to say that cellular structure and composition is a necessary part of life, so it doesn’t really add anything to the argument at all, since “bundles of cells” can be both living and nonliving. It amounts to that the child is not a life, which is already the argument anyway, and it ignores the other particulars, DNA, chromosomes, genes, organ development, and others which present further evidence of life.

As a side note, we do know that certain forms of life represent colonial organisms, or ones that are considered a singular being, like the so-called flying spaghetti monster (Bathyphysa conifers), a siphonophore, which is an organism made up of a cluster of individual organisms called zooids. A more famous example is the Portuguese man o’war. One would be forgiven for considering this creature to be a jellyfish, but a jellyfish represents a single multicellular organism, while a siphonophore, is an organism made up of a colony of individual organisms. All this just is mentioned to show that a “cell-cluster” is both to be expected in a life form, and isn’t enough to negate the presence of life. A general principle of life within biology and science is that life is multicellular, this usually only applies to the more complex forms of life, but there are even singular cells which represent life, called unicellular organisms (single-celled organisms). They are considered by science to be the oldest form of life and contains things like algae and plankton. It is quite obvious that we cannot compare human life to algae or a zooid, but one cannot say that based on a cellular cluster it doesn’t represent life, nor, even, a single-celled organism.

download (34)

Bathyphysa conifers

In relation to this the 6th edition of Patten’s Foundations of Embryology says:

“Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.” –Bruce M. Carlson, Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 1996.

On Assuming The Negative


When we look at abortion from a broad perspective, one is often challenged with the question, “When does life begin?” This is a reasonable question and in argumentation, it is used to either defend one’s position or argue against the other side’s position. In other words, it is both used on the offensive and the defensive side of the argument. Yet, we all use it to solidify our own position on the issue because it is so integral an element and by asking it we agree that this is more than a relative issue, but an objective one. Now, again, there are few places where there is room for compromise on abortion, but one that we find often is found here. When it comes down to it, many simply say they do not know where life begins, and as pro-life as I may be, at least this is an honest answer. None of us are truly omniscient, nor can we remember the exact moment upon which life or consciousness was given unto us.

This is the question we reach with this line of thought: Is it reasonable then, that since we do not know where life begins in the womb exactly, that we should, therefore, not consider it to be life, and treat it as non-life? To me, this is quite an unreasonable approach. As a whole, when we say we do not know when life begins, is to open ourselves up to the possibility that it may be a life, as opposed to those who flatly deny it. Since we all know the value of life, and the possibility of life is there, then why would we assume the negative rather than the positive? It seems to me that if you value life, then you would at least want to side on the side of caution that you may be, indeed, terminating a life, rather than since you cannot know, decide that it is worth discarding or terminating. Indeed, it could be said, if we were to even accept that it does not represent life, that life is so valuable that even a developing life deserves to be protected.

On The Positive and Absolute Value of Choice

download (36)

At this point, one may argue that it is choice that is the deciding factor, but this too falls apart under scrutiny. Just because someone has a choice to do something, doesn’t make the choice correct, moral, or rational. Driving down a two-lane highway, I have the choice to veer off into the oncoming lane and hit another car, to both end my life and take many others with me. I give this example, not as a direct comparison of abortion, but rather to show that it is not choice that presents us with absolute freedom and a positive value upon making any choice, but rather the context of that choice and the situation within which it is regarded and applicable. The truth value, moral value, and rational value doesn’t exist in the presence of choice itself, but in the choice taken. Yet, in the pro-choice movement, there is present the presupposition that the presence of choice indicates a positive absolute value in the expression of it. Yet, our common life experience empirically shows that this is not the case and saying a choice is correct simply because of the presence of choice is a poor one. Though I do believe there are those on the pro-choice side that understand this and use other means to make a case for abortion, at the same time, it is presented as a general companion to the movement, rather than a necessary component of it.

On Pure Being Through Causality

download (37)

Throughout this essay, we have touched on some of the scientific backing behind life and its origins, but there too is the philosophical side to address when it comes to life being manifest in the womb. This part represents more the metaphysical principles behind the science and more general philosophical categories, but it may be of some use to those who aren’t so quick to dismiss philosophical elements and argumentation.

It is not in dispute that those who have life generally have the ability to create life. This too, is a principle of causality, that an effect of a cause will, in some part, have semblance with that cause. An effect will resemble the cause, and this applies to things like life. Two living things coming together to create an effect, that living nature is presented onto that effect. This is all that is meant when it is said that life begets life. No matter what your cosmological viewpoint, this cannot be denied, and although some might question whether it is a necessary principle, the fact that it is such a looming one is beyond dispute.

Well, what does this have to do with proving life is in the womb? Well, it cannot be deductively and without room for doubt be deemed true (deductive logic being hypothesized to be only represented in pure mathematics and pure propositional logic), but it can be used in the inductive toolkit for defending the pro-life position, that the child within the womb represents a life because the child’s causes are life, and that life is communicated unto the unborn.

This does present us with a snowball effect of philosophical issues. For instance, that not every time man embarks on creating an effect, if you will, does it end in expressing life. If I build a chair, I am not creating life, but only form. If I make a clock, I am only creating form and function. I may produce something that makes movement, or in the case of robotics, even mimics life, but it is not life. Further, sometimes the desire and actions that bring life, for various reasons aren’t enough to actually bring it into being, nor is the life always carried to term. Yet, in the latter case does that mean it never existed at all?

Briefly, so why don’t a chair or clock resemble life by these philosophical theories? Notice, they aren’t the product of natural processes, like child-creation, for instance, rather they are produced by the mind and by action and in this way they really do have a semblance. They have an aesthetical resemblance and one that fits our desires for function and use. They resemble our plans, our ambitions, and what we find aesthetically pleasing. In this way, they do take on a resemblance, but we are quite unable to impart life unto these things, unlike in the case of a child, upon which we impart life.

On Potentiality, Actuality, and The “Unanswerable” Argument

download (39)

A few months ago, I was presented with a pro-choice argument that was touted to be unanswerable by anyone who has a pro-life position. I am not the only one in this regard that when approached by someone who says they had something “unanswerable,” it immediately piques our interest and we immediately embark on seeing it is really the case. Sometimes they aren’t very interesting or challenging, and sometimes very, and sometimes you learn new things, and sometimes you don’t. While in particular, this one was very creative and clever, it wasn’t particularly difficult, but, in my case, it actually helped me iron out a pro-life position.

Many of you have probably seen it so I would like to paraphrase a bit here, but leave all the rational parts intact. Suppose you were a pro-life person and were caught in a burning building. In one room there was a two-year-old girl and in another, there is a room full of a thousand zygotes and both are of equal distance away. You only have time to run and grab one before the building collapses taking everything inside with it. Which one do you go get? The zygotes or the child?

Clever, right? I will admit it. It is. Yet, this doesn’t mean it’s correct. First, it represents a kind of logical fallacy called argument from consequences. In it, a hypothetical scenario is introduced where both consequences are undesirable (i.e., if one leaves the child then the zygotes are burned up, if one leaves the zygotes then the child is burned up). Then those offering the scenario ask the person to make a judgment call based upon it. Further, the scenario is perfectly structured for one to make a singular choice, in that both are of equal distance apart, you can only grab one, so on and so forth.

We put this in another context with the same logical operators and we see it’s not particularly rationally effective. Suppose you were a pro-animal person (who isn’t?) and were caught in a burning building. In one room there is a kitten and in another room there is a puppy and both are exactly the same distance away from you. You only have time to run and grab one before the building collapses taking everything inside with it. Which one do you go get? The kitten or the puppy.

download (41)

Obviously, this differs in that the kitten and puppy both represent life, while the pro-choice person is trying to argue life. However, this shows another element though, that the original scenario is also fallacious in that it is an appeal to emotion. It also becomes apparent in what it seeks to do. For instance, if one says, “I would grab the kitten,” then the person offering the challenge could declare “Aha! Then you hate puppies!” Just because one pushes for a judgment between consequences both undesirable doesn’t really show the exact reason why either is undesirable.

Unlike the kitten and puppy though, which may have a bigger judgment call element, this one does seem more obvious. Obviously, we would all grab the child. Due to this, the critic says, “Aha! Then you agree that zygotes don’t represent life.” This is the thing that helped me iron out my position, and let me explain.

I noticed that it is zygotes alone. It’s not women impregnated who have this stage, all thousand of them or whatever you would like to say. There is indeed a dependency of life on the mother at the zygote stage and that cannot be denied, nor has any pro-life person, as far as I know, tried to deny it. This goes back to the beginning of the essay, if dependency negates life. It does not. If you take a dependent thing and demand it be independent, it’s going to die. The greater the dependency the more fragile it is in independence. So how does it apply here?

It applies because it presented into my mind a distinction between potentiality and actuality. In the scenario, when we are confronted with the young child, that represents both actuality and greater independence. A zygote shows a potentiality in that without being within the womb of a mother, it cannot continue to develop.

J. Clark says:

“Each human begins life as a combination of two cells, a female ovum, and a much smaller sperm. This tiny unit, no bigger than a period on this page, contains all the information needed to enable it to grow into a complex…structure of the human body. The mother has only to provide nutrition and protection.” –J. Clark, The Nervous System: Circuits of Communication in The Human Body, p. 99, 1985.

If left to its own devices, if not protected, then it is a death sentence. Therefore, it is dependent on the mother, and since the mother isn’t there, it is a thing that represents a potentiality relatively more than the actuality found within the child.

Yet, as I have stated, both consequences are regrettable and tragic. Due to this, then, we can see that even if, to go back to the section Assuming The Negative, potentiality deserves to be protected. For instance, if you are to ask the pro-life person if it was him in a burning building with zygotes if he or she would grab them, you may find more people opting to do so (I refrain from saying this absolutely because of the judgment call, for one’s own life is still to be taken into account within such a situation and I can’t speak for everyone). It shows that there at the very least there is a value in protecting the potentiality for life as well as it’s actuality, thereby, to assume the negative isn’t rational.

So yes, while clever, and I actually have to give some respect to the question, it doesn’t do what it seeks to do, and it helped me iron out my own position, not just concerning the challenge itself, but my pro-life stance in general.

download (42)

On The Charge of Sexism

download (44)

The charge that abortion is symptomatic of sexism doesn’t stand up either. The reasons for this are, first off, that there are pro-life women too and it actually is quite demeaning to say that women who are pro-life are only so because they have given in to the power of men. This, while not sexist (because you can’t be sexist towards your own gender right?), it is demeaning to say that because someone doesn’t agree with your viewpoint, they are weak, can’t think for themselves, ignorant, or stupid. In that regard, with that kind of treatment, it’s hard for me to see how such a charge champions for women. It can’t. The process of tearing down will never lift up.

Yet, let’s for a moment even assume that is true. Let us just give that to the pro-choice position. Does it still hold that there is proof of sexism? No, because the pro-choice side, if you will notice, doesn’t push to only save male children, but wishes to do so despite gender, from both female and male pro-lifers. It is not a sexist position, but a rational and moral one which no gender can claim hold of.

On The Pro-Life View Being a Religious Position

download (45)

Yes, I had to touch on religion eventually, but I will keep this argument in context. This is an attempt to label pro-life people as religious in order to give it sort of a mythical quality to the non-religious pro-choice group. See the problem there? This one is refuted because there are religious people who are pro-choice. There are groups that don’t believe in religion and are pro-life. Among these are groups like SPL (“secular pro-life”), which is of the greater atheistic pro-life movement, as well as even pagan pro-life, the latter only being mentioned because a lot of those who argue that pro-lifers are religious are referring to Judeo-Christian theology. Yet, while it is the case that many religious people are pro-life, that in itself doesn’t make it an irrational position, andy more than people declaring murder should be made legal because the religious believe it shouldn’t be.

The fact that it is not religious is exhibited by the wide range of beliefs and views of individuals who hold to the pro-life position. Some, of which, I have been privileged to talk to. The other reason that people push the religious angle to discredit pro-life, is because if they can put a religious label on it, it is easier to evoke the separation of church and state and say that it is unconstitutional to impose restrictions on abortion on the grounds that it would be imposing something religious, like it is some mystical religious practice or something to believe an unborn child represents a life and should be protected as such. Questions of morality, choice, life, what constitutes life and what protections it should receive is in no way religious, as I hope this whole essay is evidence of.

On The Women Seeking Abortion Will Be Injured or Die

download (46)

This oft-repeated argument goes as follows: If abortion is made illegal, then it would force women who want abortions to do so through illegal means, which are less safe and can lead to injury or even death. While this is certainly a sad consequence of banning abortion across the board, it sidesteps the fact that these things happen with current abortions. Interestingly, it is hard to get numbers on such incidents because it is not legally required that abortion clinics provide them, whether it be death or complications. In addition, when a death occurs it is characterized as maternal death and not one necessarily resulting from abortion. Some deaths are caused by the anesthesia, medical conditions, and the surgical procedure itself. In addition, the risk of cancer is said to increase. states:

“Approximately 10% of women undergoing elective abortion will suffer immediate complications, of which approximately one-fifth (2%) are considered life-threatening. The nine most common major complications which can occur at the time of abortion are: infection, excessive bleeding, embolism, ripping or perforation of the uterus, anesthesia complications, convulsions, hemorrhage, cervical injury, and endotoxic shock. The most common ‘minor’ complications include: infection, bleeding, fever, second-degree burns, chronic abdominal pain, vomiting, gastrointestinal disturbances, and Rh sensitization.” –David C. Reardon, Ph.D., says there is even danger in the abortion pill:

“22 women who took the abortion pill have died since 2000. Women who have had surgical abortions have died also. Just to name a few: Antonesha Ross died on May 8, 2009, in Chicago of untreated respiratory complications that should have prevented her from having an abortion in the first place. Ying Chen died on July 28, 2009, in California after an anesthesia reaction that went unnoticed. Karnamaya Mongar died in November of 2009 in Philadelphia after unlicensed personnel administered her sedation medications and oversedated her. Jennifer Morbelli died on February 7, 2013, in Maryland because of an amniotic fluid embolism. Tonya Reeves hemorrhaged to death in Chicago in July of 2012. On February 13, 2013, Maria Santiago died in Maryland of sedation complications. Given the reasons . . . for underreporting, these cases represent an unknown but small fraction of actual complications or deaths related to abortion.” –, 2018.

Indeed, it seems that even deaths which have been caused or contributed to by abortion or labeled as “maternal” rather than referencing the abortion itself as a cause, just as the CDC monitors deaths under the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System any specifically related to abortion. Further, there are a number of studies that I invite the reader to look up about the psychological effects of abortion in the long-term. I don’t mention these things to indicate that there is no difference between the abortions of yesteryear (illegal) and currently (legal), for I am certain the former was much more dangerous, but we cannot say that abortion is 100% safe either, or without consequence.

Whatever you think about the numbers and findings, it still doesn’t mean that the argument for the health of women seeking an abortion through illicit means is a good one. Whether abortion is safe isn’t that much of a consideration if it is immoral. Let us simplify this argument for the sake of time. If the developing child, or whatever you want to call it, represents a life, then taking that life is wrong (the cases of the life of the mother being threatened by the pregnancy alone notwithstanding). It amounts to infanticide. If it does not represent life, then it is justifiable. However, if it is a life, and is therefore morally wrong, then the fact that someone gets hurt or maims themselves, or dies in the pursuit of doing wrong, isn’t a good rationale for the legalization and approval of that wrong.

On Only The Rich Will Only Have Access to Abortion

download (47)

I just heard this one and needed to include it to answer it briefly. I don’t think it will take as much time as any of the other challenges because it falls apart pretty quickly. It says that if we make abortion illegal, only the rich can afford it. I may, I hope, not have to explain why this is a bad argument for too long. Let’s put it in another context. We may all disagree on whether drugs should be made legal, but for the sake of illustration, let’s put it this way: Let us suppose that meth is the most expensive drug on the planet (you can probably already see where I am going with this). Therefore only the rich and upper classes can afford to do meth. Thus, it follows, that we should legalize meth on the grounds that it is more affordable for everyone and everyone can do meth. Again, not a direct comparison, but one that emphasizes that if something is wrong, how much someone pays for that wrong, and how much people can’t afford that wrong, is a bad foundation upon which to give your support.

On Progression, Regression, and The Political Pendulum


Abortion has always been a mainstay in the public dialogue, but within my life, I have to say, I haven’t seen it like this before. This is why I decided to write somewhat extensively on it and present all the arguments. One large reason that it has come to the forefront of the political and social discourse is because of how far one side was willing to go, advocating unequivocally for what amounted to infanticide. One thing we notice about society and the political spectrum is that when we press for progression too far, or try to regress into the past too far as well, the political pendulum will sometimes violently swing the other direction. This swing, which is always in motion, can occur over a gradual period of time, or at other times it can be rather abrupt. Due to the fact that it was pushed so far one direction, that children out of the womb, who were independent, or actual and sentient, were subject to choice, not only negated all the arguments pro-choice people were making for years but also shocked those who were in the middle on the abortion issue. If you think about it, that isn’t too surprising. To say that you can slaughter a child born out of the womb because choice overcomes its life is shocking, and that it was testified too and freely admitted, was, in another sense, confirmation of what some of those pro-lifers who advocated for slippery-slope arguments were saying.

There is something to be aware of here for the pro-life group. As I said, this pendulum is always in motion, so it is to likely swing the other way, and may already be starting to as of this moment.

On Whether Can You Be Pro-Life if You Were Once Part of or Exercised a Pro-Choice Viewpoint?

download (48)

Yes! Indeed, many have switched between views, degrees of those views, and jumped back and forth over their lives, and this won’t change. Why this is a question included, is because sometimes people invest so much in a particular view that its either frightening to get away from or they feel hypocritical for moving from one end of the spectrum to another. We often have friends, family, or colleagues we fear we may disappoint or may disagree with us and we are afraid we might lose them. Certainly, it is a fear of mine in writing this. Yet, this isn’t always the case, nor should it be. These views, pro-life and pro-choice, don’t seem to be exclusive ones at all.

I’ll leave it with this thought and paraphrase author C. S. Lewis by doing so, that it is the case that people adhere to progressivism simply because of its appeal that it is progressive. Yet, there is nothing more regressive and stagnant then not recognizing a mistake and refusing to turn around. When one embarks on a journey toward a particular destination, it is not progressive to make a wrong turn and keep going, it leads you only further away, and the only way to really progress is to turn again and proceed back toward your intended goal. If your goal is the truth then don’t let your mistakes keep you from progressing forward.

Thank you all for reading and I hope at the very least this work might present you with the understanding that the pro-life position isn’t arbitrarily foolish, but thought out, explored, and despite the challenges (some of which are gut-wrenching), still stands in the light of its challenges.

Also, I welcome any comments, but because within my studies I have found those who insult, express uncontrolled rage, hatred, and threats to be the most irrational and convincing, all such comments will be ignored. However, I welcome any further challenges or thoughts that I may have not considered and would love to hear your thoughts on these issues.

Again, I thank you.


“In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” -Romans 1:27

by Kevin Tuma

Paul, in the previous verse, mentions women first as being perpetrators of grotesque sexual sin, presumably with animals, and then tells of men having relations with other men. This emphasizes the lengths of debauchery that was going on in Rome and elsewhere in Paul’s time, and, indeed, it is still with us today.

By use of the term, “likewise,” or, “in the same way” in verse 27, it indicates to us that men lusting after another man is near on par with the woman’s sexual deviance and sin against nature. Due to these sins they reserved in themselves the due penalty for their error as the scripture tells us.

In today’s society there is a push for the church to become more liberal or progressive. Some have, tragically, fallen prey to this and I know of at least one Episcopalian church that features a homosexual minister.

Numerous homosexuals tell us the bible says nothing about their actions being wrong, but in reality that viewpoint is so difficult to provide biblical evidence for that its shocking that idea is so prevalent.

Does this mean homosexuals are void of coming to Christ for repentance and forgiveness? No, they are offered salvation just as everyone, but their attempt to change doctrine has nothing to do with rationality, but rather they want all areas of life to condone and adhere to their lifestyle choices, even if its God. It is especially interesting when one considers the topic of homosexuality, for those who have, through faith, repented of homosexuality are then viciously assaulted in word and action by the homosexual community. This is a common trait in liberalism, that society should bend to accept a persons actions which make them comfortable and anyone who disagrees should be attacked mercilessly. Often in such liberalistic thinking, it is void of any rational contemplation, but rather based on emotion and the desire to alleviate the responsibility behind one’s actions.

I obviously don’t know the philosophical ideals of every Christian or liberal in the world, so my next statement should be taken as a generality. It seems reasonable to conclude that most liberals who demand tolerance, but at the same time conformity by those who disagree with their particular school of thought, indeed would consider themselves atheists. The odd thing about this is that extreme liberalism has such a hold in the world, but yet is made up of relatively few people. In fact, a Gallup poll in 2007 suggested that atheism represented only 4 percent of the American public, which supposedly, according to author Paul Copan, is the exact same percentage when a similar poll was taken in 1944. He states in his book, “Is God a Moral Monster?” –

“Rumors of God’s death have been greatly exaggerated. And when we look at the non-Western world, people are becoming Christians in record numbers. The Christian faith is the fastest-growing movement around, often accompanied by signs and wonders.”


If this is the case, then how do we account for liberalism’s prominence in the world? Perhaps, if Gallup and Copan are correct, it may be that the liberal community has been playing a game of chess for some time, by strategically placing liberal individuals in places like politics, media and universities. It could also mean that Christians have been somewhat silent when it comes to refuting such liberal world views. It seems there is a hesitance about getting on the bad side of the liberal community due to their propensity for anger, public insults, and quarreling. Christians should realize one general truth about those angry liberals, which may play a part in our aversion in debate. Again, Copan says:

“True, they (liberals) effectively utilize a combination of emotion and verbal rhetoric, but they aren’t known for logically carrying thoughts through from beginning to end. Their arguments against God’s existence aren’t intellectually rigorous – although they want to give that impression. Yes, they’ll raise some important questions concerning, for example, the problem of evil, but again, their arguments are a collage of rhetorical barbs that don’t really form a coherent argument. I’ve observed that while these men do have expertise in certain fields (biology and evolutionary theory in the case of Dawkins and Dennett), they turn out to be fairly disappointing when arguing against God’s existence or Christian doctrine.”


Paul Copan

We followers of Christ are called to love even the most detestable, for we know at one time, we lived under sin and the Law, and due to our vile sin, God’s wrath. Thus, we need to remind people that just because we disagree with someone’s actions, that it in no way necessarily leads or equates to hate. If they have this view, which honestly they may have no matter what, it severely hinders our ability to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is something we need to point out, as is commonly said, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Remember that when someone responds to you in anger, its usually because you have won the argument. Intelligent debate doesn’t need to get nasty. It’s incredibly silly and against all logic and intelligence that Christians and even Christ are referred to as haters, just because of a disagreement or clashing viewpoint. Its based on ignorance of what the Bible actually tells us, and how it tells us to act. Imagine if all disagreements were treated in such a way? Would we have anyone? Would we even have Christ?

%d bloggers like this: