Welcome to part two! In part one we discussed how Christians (i.e. followers of Jesus Christ) are supposed to be unique and different from the rest of the world around them. And just ONE of the ways they do this is by what they use as their final standard for determining truth.
And that standard is simply this: if God says it’s true than it’s true. Therefore, if God says it’s sin … then it’s sin. And if God says it’s not sin … then it’s not sin.
This means Christians allow GOD to determine what truth is for them … NOT themselves, the culture, or popular opinion.
Subsequent to that, one of the other things we discussed was the current trend that seems to be unfortunately prevalent in many, many Christian circles nowadays, and that is the trend to now claim that certain sins, which God has clearly defined as “sinful,” are suddenly now okay to not just participate in, but also to give the hearty nod of approval for others to do so as well.
In other words, so called Christians are now defying God’s standard for truth and declaring that what He has decreed as unrighteous is suddenly now perfectly fine and acceptable.
And as the Prophet Isaiah stated in Isaiah 5:20, these people are now calling, “…evil good, and good evil; [and substituting] darkness for light and light for darkness.”
So in conjunction with that, one of the axiomatic truths that we saw came directly from the finger of God was this, “You shall not murder.”
And that standard and declaration of unequivocal truth straight from God Himself, led us to make three foundational truth claims which formulated the following syllogism:
Premise #1: It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
Premise #2: Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.
Premise #3: Therefore, abortion is wrong.
And what’s really important for us to recognize is: this means our discussion on the morality or immorality of abortion shouldn’t be driven by whether or not someone is “pro choice,” or “pro life.” And it won’t be driven by whether or not you think it’s okay for a woman to get to decide what she does with her “own body.”
And it won’t be driven by whether or not you agree or disagree with a particular piece of legislation, or what the government says is allowable and legal by the law of the land.
In fact, all of those things are really just superfluous, diversionary principles and statements that avoid the REAL issue. They’re just a bunch of distractions and rhetoric that don’t actually deal with the substance of what is going on and more importantly, what GOD has said about it.
o again, the platform we are building upon, and the substantive meat of the issue is predicated upon our three truth claims:
It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.
Therefore, abortion is wrong.
Therefore, if a co-worker, or neighbor, or some dude I meet at the park asks me, “Hey Marc, what are your thoughts about abortion?” I’m going to strive hard to remember to simply respond by saying, “Well, here’s what I believe. I think it is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being. I think abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being. Therefore, I think abortion is wrong.”
And here’s the reason why we are answering this question in that manner … it’s because it forces the person you are dialoguing with to have to deal with your three truth claims. And therefore, they are going to have to attack your position as it were, and one of your truth claims instead of something completely off topic.
And they really only have two options, they’ll either attempt to prove to you that intentionally killing an innocent human being ISN’T actually wrong…
Or they are going to have to prove to you that performing an abortion doesn’t actually kill an innocent human being.
Of course the former is absurd, so the later is where the rebuttal will usually come from.
So when a person starts yelling and screaming, “You’re just a misogynistic bigot! I believe every woman has the right to do what she sees fit with her own body. Who are you to tell her what she can or can’t do?”
I can just simply reply by stating, “I never said anything about allowing women to chose or not chose what they do with their own body. I simply said, ‘I think it is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being. And abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being. Therefore, I think abortion is wrong.’”
And regardless of whatever excuse or reason they retort back at you with, your reply will always be the same syllogism, “‘I think it is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being. And abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being. Therefore, I think abortion is wrong.’”
What this does, as we saw in that short video clip from last week, is force someone to come to terms with what is occurring during an actual abortion. They will have only two options to choose from:
Option A: The pre-born child in the womb is an innocent human being and you can’t kill it or…
Option B: The pre-born child in the womb is NOT an innocent human being … therefore you can do whatever you want with it.
Say the right things
But before we begin discussing some cogent rebuttals for why certain people believe the pre-born child in the womb isn’t human; let’s examine some of the really bad arguments that Christians often make in defense of these innocent lives.
For starters, even though we are Christians and we believe in God’s Word, we are going to argue for the life of a pre-born child using science and philosophy – NOT religion.
After all, our faith as Christians is not what the world often calls a “blind faith” or just whimsical, wishful thinking. No, our faith is rooted in evidence. Our faith is literally a trust based on evidence.
In other words, we don’t put our faith, hope, and trust in Jesus DESPITE the evidence … we do so BECAUSE of the evidence.
So we’re going to use science and philosophy, not religion. And here’s why: if you tell our secularly progressive culture, “Abortion is wrong because the Bible says so,” then you immediately lose the argument because their retort will simply be, “Well I don’t believe in the Bible.”
This means utilizing the Bible as the main source of your argument with the unsaved world doesn’t reinforce your argument at all – it simply invalidates it in their minds. Because religious truth claims are not REAL knowledge in their eyes –- to them they’re just personally, subjective preferences just like a host of other religious beliefs.
So stop doing that.
But here’s something else I want to throw out at you, when somebody says something like, “Well I don’t agree with your stance on abortion because it’s just religious and has to do with YOUR particular religion.”
Then we need to make sure our argument is really only TRUE … or FALSE; not religious or secular. I want to repeat that, in any discussion on the topic of abortion, we want to present an argument that is either true or false … not religious or non-religious.
But here’s the other thing, when someone calls our argument (i.e. our truth claim made up by the three premises presented previously), we they call it religious that is really like asking how tall the number four is. It’s a complete mischaracterization and misclassification of the syllogism we are presenting. Because a real argument is only true or false; whether or not it is religious should is irrelevant and completely beside the point.
So just because someone says your argument is religious, it doesn’t mean that is prima facie evidence that your argument is spuriously false.
At the end of the day, you don’t win an argument by name calling or labeling … you win an argument by proving whether it is based on sound evidence or based merely on specious error.
Which is why to disprove our syllogism and three premises someone has to prove that premise one is incorrect, or premise two is non-scientific, or premise three is nonsensical and illogical in its conclusion. So simply calling our argument “religious” does absolutely nothing to refute it.
Another way we are going to keep ourselves on message is by not arguing the pros or cons of abortion through personal stories or subjective regret. In other words we aren’t going to say, “Abortion is wrong because just listen to all of the women who have had one, who say that it was the worst thing they’ve ever done and they’ve had to live with that awful decision for the rest of their lives.”
Now, why is that a bad argument? Yes, because for every ten women you can find who is willing to tell her story about regretting having an abortion, the secular progressive is going to find another 20 women who are as happy as can be about having an abortion.
You don’t believe me, just look at this short clip. Here’s the President of NARAL (Ilyse Hogue) speaking at last year’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in front of a crowd of thousands:
If you didn’t catch it, she said right at the beginning, “I made a decision that was best FOR ME.” And I believe her. She probably did make that decision based solely on what she believed was best for HER … and NOT unfortunately, what was best for the innocent human being living inside of her.
But regardless, this is the reason we do not want to argue from a perspective of “stories” or personal regret. While it’s true that a story of regret can possibly be helpful to hear, the other truth is that for every 10-15 women you can find who are sorry they had an abortion, you’re likely going to find thousands who aren’t — and thousands who are willing to cheer loudly for themselves and others who do have abortions … like you just saw.
And this is why there is even no agreement amongst feminists themselves about the issue of abortion. A feminist and pro-abortion advocate like Naomi Wolf calls abortion a real death, and yet feminist Katha Pollitt says abortion is no different than vacuuming out your house. That’s a HUGE difference.
As a side note, just think of the incredibly inhumane statement Katha Pollitt is stating when she thinks aborting the baby inside a mother’s womb is no different than vacuuming dirt and filth out of your house!
So again, we need to stay away from just stories as being the primary focal point of our pro-life apologetic because for every woman out there who says she has regretted having an abortion, there’s a good chance you’re going to find another 10 to 20 who will scream and shout and cheer over theirs instead.
Defending Your Premise
Now that we’ve seen how to keep the argument and discussion on track, we’re also going to start looking at how to defend our syllogism from multiple avenues of verbal challenge.
But before we do so, let’s make sure we clearly define our position and here’s how I would proffer to you as one way to clearly and succinctly do that.
When somebody asks you, “Why are you against abortion?” or, “Why are you anti-choice?” or, “Why do you hate women and don’t want to allow them to decide what’s best for THEIR bodies?” Here’s what you can say:
“I am pro-life because the science of embryology teaches us that from the earliest stages of development the unborn are distinct, autonomous, and whole human beings. This means you and I didn’t come from, or evolve from, an embryo … you once were one. And there is no ethical difference between the embryo you once were, and the adult you are today, that would justifiably allow me or anyone else to kill you back then. And differences of size, your level of development, your environment, and varying degrees of dependency are not viable excuses or justified reasons for being able to end your life back then … but not now.”
And here’s what’s really important to also recognize in that kind of a statement … what is NOT said.
For instance, wow many bible verses or religiously based statements did I make in that declaration?
That’s right … none. And intentionally so.
And how many references or appeals to human emotion or feelings of regret did I make?
That’s right … none. And we’ve already discussed why not.
Now, if someone chooses to label you, come against you personally with some kind of vitriolic, Ad Hominem attack, or even just arbitrarily cast you aside as some kind of religious nut after you make that declaration … they most certainly have the right to do so; but they are NOT even remotely attempting to refute, or attempting to prove your declaration to be false if they do that.
Instead, they will now have to specifically tear apart your syllogism and/or your declaration about what science teaches us about the human embryo.
Killing human beings is wrong … yes or no?
So the first tenet they can try and argue against would be the initial premise that it is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
Now, since we live in a somewhat civilized society, I think it is safe to say that nobody is going to argue against the axiomatic truth that it is INDEED wrong, and morally unethical to kill an innocent human being.
My advice to you is this: if the person you are talking with cannot agree with you on that first premise … then run. Or find the nearest firearm you can put your hands on ‘cause you’re likely talking to a serial killer in the making.
Needless to say, something would be seriously wrong with that individual.
Abortion kills a human … yes or no?
As we close part two, we’re going to deal with the second premise in our syllogistic declaration. Can IT be argued? Do you think there is anyone out there who would disagree with your our second premise in the syllogism which states, “Abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being?”
Of course there are … there’s literally hundreds of thousands and tens of millions of them! And unless you’ve been living in a cave in the mountains of Tibet for the last forty years you know there is an entire MOVEMENT all over this nation, and all over the world that would vehemently argue with you over that very premise.
So then, how do we defend that particular assertion?
Well, one of the first ways we can defend our assertion is by simply quoting from people within the abortion industry itself … people who believe that abortion is a woman’s right and morally ethical to perform. People who are educated, are doctors, are medical personnel performing abortions, and people who are most definitely NOT anti-abortion.
Here’s what some of them have to say about whether or not an abortion is the intentional killing of a human being.
Dr. Warren Hern has been providing abortion services since 1975 from his private medical practice in Colorado aptly called: Boulder Abortion Clinic. He prides himself as being an expert in late term abortions and he has literally written a medical textbook on how to teach medical personnel to perform abortions. This guy is truly ANYTHING BUT anti-abortion.
During an interview at his clinic he once stated the following, “You can never get used to this (i.e. D & E abortions (Dilation and Evacuation)). I think we’re hardwired, biologically, to protect small, vulnerable creatures, especially babies. The fetuses may not be babies, but some of them are pretty close. You should really read an essay I wrote titled What About Us? Staff Reactions to D&E [that gives medical personnel’s accounts on how it affected them.] The anti-abortion people quote the shit out of it. [The essay] is kind of anti-abortion porn for them. But the pro-choice people don’t like it either. They don’t like it when you talk about how it really feels to do this work.”
The interviewer then asks him, “Well then why did you write it?” And he replies, “I wrote it because, A, I’m a human being, and B, I’m a writer, and C and D, I’m a physician and I’m trying to understand what we’re doing here.”
In the essay Dr. Hern describes the reactions members of his staff have when they see residue of late abortions, which include, “shock, dismay, amazement, disgust, fear and sadness.” He says the later the pregnancy is, the harder it is to accept. One assistant resented the patients for putting them through such a horrible experience. Two others described dreams where they vomited fetuses. And common coping mechanisms were denial, projection and rationalization.
The essay itself actually ends with this incredible statement, “We have reached a point in this particular technology where there is no possibility of denying an act of destruction. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current. It is the crucible of a raging controversy, the confrontation of a modern existential dilemma. The more we seem to solve the problem, the more intractable it becomes.”
This stark and honest self realization expressed by Dr. Hern, shows what decades of spending a medical career in an industry that purposefully ends the lives of millions of pre-born human beings really does to a person. And it reminded me a quote I heard once that came from one of Agatha Christie’s mystery novels titled Death on the Nile; in one part one of the characters states, “I’m not a safe person any longer. I can feel that myself … it’s so dreadfully easy—killing people. And you begin to feel that it doesn’t matter … that it’s only you that matters.”
An editorial titled A New Ethic For Medicine and Society, which was published in the medical journal titled California Medicine in 1970 says the following, “Since the old ethic has not been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intrauterine or extrauterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as, ‘anything but taking a human life,’ would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices. It is suggested that this schizophrenic sort of subterfuge is necessary because while the new ethic is being accepted the old one hasn’t [yet] been rejected.”
It used to be a, “…scientific fact which everyone really,” knew. And I would argue we all still recognize it as such, we’ve just been told a lie for so long we have now cast scientific reason aside and created a brand new “truth” completely ad hoc from the subjective lie that a pre-born child is no longer alive and human.
But it is … and it always has been. And it always will be. Just like that medical journal article just stated.
The late Ronald Dwarkin was a philosopher who traveled the world giving speeches in favor of abortion and freedom of choice. And before he died he wrote a book entitled Life’s Dominion, an argument about abortion, euthanasia, and individual freedom.
In that book he probably gave the most succinct and clear definition of abortion one could ever read. He said this, “Abortion deliberately kills a developing embryo and is a choice for death.”
The longest running President of Planned Parenthood, and the only female President since Margaret Sanger, Faye Wattleton has also made some pretty succinct statements about abortion. This is a woman who incredibly was named Humanist of the Year back in 1986 by the American Humanist Association.
She pulled no punches in an article in Ms. Magazine back in 1997 stating, “I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus.”
And here’s an example, NOT from someone within the abortion industry, but someone who is definitely pro-Abortion:
Former professor and renowned feminist, Camille Paglia wrote an article for Salon magazine back in 2008 titled Fresh Blood for the Vampire. In it she states the following, “Let’s take the issue of abortion rights, of which I am a firm supporter. As an atheist and libertarian, I believe that government must stay completely out of the sphere of personal choice. Every individual has an absolute right to control his or her body. Similarly, Bill Clinton’s support for abortion rights gave him a free pass among leading feminists for his serial exploitation of women — an abusive pattern that would scream misogyny to any neutral observer. But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand. My argument (as in my first book, “Sexual Personae,”) has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature’s fascism. Nature herself is a mass murderer, making casual, cruel experiments and condemning 10,000 to die so that one more fit will live and thrive. Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman’s body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman’s entrance into society and citizenship.”
One thing’s for sure when it comes to Camille Paglia, you don’t have to guess at what she’s trying to say … she just comes out and says it.
And as our final example for this morning, here is leading feminist, writer and famous author, Naomi Wolf – who wrote the best seller The Beauty Myth (a book which was lauded by the New York Times as one of the 70 most influential books of the 20th Century).
One could easily say that she has most definitely chimed in about the subject of abortion, and she didn’t pull any punches whatsoever. In an essay she titled Our Bodies, Our Souls, she wrote back in 1995 the following, “But we are also in danger of losing something more important than votes; we stand in jeopardy of losing what can only be called our souls. Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: callous, selfish and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life. In the following pages, I will argue for a radical shift in the pro-choice movement’s rhetoric and consciousness about abortion: I will maintain that we need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death: that there are degrees of culpability, judgment and responsibility involved in the decision to abort a pregnancy; that the best understanding of feminism involves holding women as well as men to the responsibilities that are inseparable from their rights; and that we need to be strong enough to acknowledge that America’s high rate of abortion—which ends more than a quarter of all pregnancies—can only be rightly understood as a failure.”
Just let the enormity of those statements sink in for a minute. “We stand in jeopardy of losing what can only be called our souls.” And the soul of men and women all over this great nation is indeed being sucked out of them through the mass genocide we call legalized abortion.
She warns that it can cause men and women collectively to begin to, “…share a cheapened view of human life.” And indeed it has.
And I couldn’t actually agree with her more than I already do when she says that, “…America’s high rate of abortion—can only be rightly understood as a failure.” Because indeed it is. We have failed to properly define right vs. wrong and we have most certainly failed to define life vs. non-life by the tens of millions.
Here are the four things I want you to think about and remember:
Firstly, life matters. And it doesn’t matter because I say it does, or because my boss says it does, or because the government says it does, or because popular opinion says it does. Life matters because God says it does.
And if I call myself a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ, then God’s opinion and belief on the issue is all that matters!
Secondly, when it comes to discussing and/or defending your position on the issue of abortion, don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by ideologies and statements that don’t really matter.
Stick to your syllogism and the substantive issue that REALLY matters:
Premise #1: It is wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.
Premise #2: Abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being.
Premise #3: Therefore, abortion is wrong.
Thirdly, argue for the life of a pre-born child using science and philosophy – NOT religion.
Remember that your primary audience is likely going to be non-religious and completely against God, so don’t use your Biblical, religious views as your primary platform and evidentiary foundation.
And lastly, if someone wants to argue with you that abortion DOESN’T kill an innocent human being, then you can tell them there are plenty of Pro-Abortion advocates who would disagree with them.
Advocates like Dr. Warren Hern, philosopher Ronald Dwarkin, former Planned Parenthood President, Faye Wattleton, feminist Camille Paglia, and feminist author Naomi Wolf.