Valuing Humanity in a Secular Society

by Alan Anderson

I recently had a conversation with a co-worker over lunch about abortion and its current political status in America. It was an interesting discussion but ultimately it ended up with him continually defaulting to his pro-choice position because he “just feels that way.” When asked for the justification for his position, he could not provide anything further than “that’s just how I feel.” Before long it became overwhelmingly clear that he had never heard any of the pro-life arguments that I had been putting forward. He never questioned the pro-choice status quo and couldn’t articulate a reasoned response for his position. He was caught flat-footed and unprepared so he resorted to the emotional plea, “I just feel that way.” For me, it’s incomprehensible how anyone could adamantly hold a position that allows for the destruction of innocent human life. In the end, while he still “felt that way”, he did admit that the unborn were human, abortion was the unjustified killing of an innocent human life, and the act of abortion was immoral. Regardless of these concessions, he felt that a woman should still “have the right” to choose to end the life of the innocent unborn child living within her. He didn’t know why but he “just did.”

In the brief exchange above between Christian philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig and the late atheist Christopher Hitchens concerning the value of humanity, you’ll notice that Hitchens is making the mistake that many atheists make in regardless to their perspective towards religion. It is grossly misplaced. Hitchens complains that the church is politically advocating for causes to ban things like same-sex marriage and abortion in an attempt to “gain power”. Hitchens uses Fyodor Dostoevsky’s quote, “If there is no God, all things are permitted”, but attempts to argue that it can also be said that, “With God, all things are thinkable” because, he reasons, that if God truly exists, why do Christians care what happens in the present because God would ultimately bring justice to those who perform injustices? He’s essentially implying that Christians should sit back and relax because….God’s got this. Well, that answer is much easier than you may think…

As Dr. Craig brilliantly responded, if God made us in His image and humanity has been endowed with unalienable rights and intrinsic moral value, we should value all life…

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