Why the Argument Against Abortion is Theological
To clear away some useless straw men, let me tell you what we do not mean:
1.) We don’t care about the relevant science.
2.) We don’t use science in our arguments.
3.) You have to believe in God to think abortion is wrong.
4.) You have to convert someone for them to be persuaded abortion is wrong.
5.) It is unfaithful to argue against abortion without mentioning God.
This is what I do mean:
1.) Our foundation for ethical claims is the existence of the Christian God.
2.) All ethical theories that seek to exclude God are arbitrary.
3.) To engage meaningfully in debate, especially debate on moral questions, requires an objective moral standard.
We argue that abortion is fundamentally immoral because it is the murder of an innocent human being. The reason murder is wrong is because man is made in the image of God. Only based on the authority of God do we think the command, "thou shalt not murder," holds any weight. The reason God’s commands are relevant is that He created us and owns us. Because He owns us, He has every right to tell us what is right and what is wrong. This formulation of the wrongness of abortion deals with the two fundamental problems with secular theories of ethics. I (will?) discuss the insufficiency of secular ethics in another post.
I know from engaging some of my fellow abolitionists on Twitter that this makes many prolifers quite squeamish. They say things like, “I can’t use the Bible to show an atheist why they are wrong; they will just say they don’t believe the Bible,” or “I use science, because atheists can’t argue with science.” I understand this sentiment completely. Here are some things I think prolifers are thinking or reveal they believe when they say things like that:
1.) Argument against murdering humans is self-evident.
2.) I don’t know how to wrangle with an atheist on ethics.
3.) Invoking Christianity is not persuasive.
4.) I’m not trying to convert them, I’m just trying to change their mind on this issue.
5.) I’m not willing to do the homework necessary to meaningfully engage this person.
6.) Religion is a matter of faith, but they can’t argue against science.
7.) If I am making a theological argument, it cannot be legislated because of separation of church and state.
I want to illustrate in this blog post and one to follow that firstly, the basic atheist claims brought against us can be refuted with ease and we have no reason to fear invoking the God of the Bible as our authority for the morality we believe ought to be legislated. Secondly, I want to explain why we have no reason to fear atheists because their ethical theories that seek to exclude God are arbitrary.
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