Thursday, March 01, 2012

When is Killing Your Baby Okay?

I had a hard time just writing the title to this article. It's being written just after I read a piece from The Telegraph titled "Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say." If these "experts" were only making a statement, I would tend to agree, being that I am pro-life and believe that life begins at conception. But that is not what they are saying.

These authors, linked to the prestigious Oxford University, are actually laying out the argument that parents should have the right to have their baby killed after he or she is born  and that this "should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” Their article was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Sadly, this is not new and I'm not surprised. The ethic espoused here was promoted by Peter Singer and others long ago. In fact, you can trace the philosophical underpinnings of their position back to some of the philosophers of the 19th century. Singer, later of Princeton University, wrote, in 1979, that “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons”; therefore, “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”

It is philosophers and so-called "ethicists" like these who have been the architects of what has been called the "culture of death." While most people find their views reprehensible and morally repugnant, we don't stop long enough to think about why they believe what they believe and what they are saying about society as a whole.

We, as a society, have made the decision that children in the womb are not human, and therefore not worthy of our protection. They have simply extended that logic a little bit further, stating that “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.” What we are now seeing and hearing is the result of our selfishness being taken to its logical conclusion.

A woman is pregnant, but it's not a good time in her life to have a child, so we tell her that it's not human until it's born, so it's okay to abort. We, in Canada anyway, have extended that "right" to legal abortion up until the moment the child fully emerges from her mother's womb. We don't talk about it, we don't think about it. It's uncomfortable. Anyone trying to shed light on what abortion is really like is shouted down in the public square. Right to life groups are routinely denied permission to state their case on college campuses. It's just easier for us to say that babies in the womb are not human. We know, scientifically, that is not true; we know morally that is not true, but we choose to suppress that knowledge for the sake of a "right to choose."

Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, the article's authors, have called society's bluff. They have thrown down the gauntlet, if you like. Here, in essence, is what they are saying. “We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.” One of these authors has written another article promoting euthenasia, another natural step down the same road. Because we, as a society, have denied the sanctity of human life and have arbitrarily removed the barrier preventing us from taking the life of the unborn, these authors have simply picked up the barrier and moved it again.

Here's a question, who are we to say that they are wrong? On what basis do we disagree - that we simply don't like what they are saying? That's not good enough. What is it that makes human life important? Is it simply because we say so? Are people only valuable as long as they can contribute something to society?

As much as I disagree with his philosophy, I do have to recognize the honesty of atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who stated that "God is dead and we have killed him." In his Parable of the Madman and other writings he described what society would be like after we purged it of belief in God. Many of his predictions have come true. I've included a video below featuring Ravi Zacharias quoting Nietzsche's famous parable.

It was Charles Colson who said, "The 'devaluation of all values' is what the death of God has meant to politics. Dictinctions between right and wrong, justice and injustice have become meaningless. No objective guide is left to choose between 'all men are created equal' and 'the weak to the wall.'"

It is into this debate we once again declare what Konrad Adenauer, chancellor of Germany after World War II said to Billy Graham: “Outside of the resurrection of Jesus Christ I know of no other hope for mankind.” The issue is the heart. Nothing has more of a bearing on our moral choices than belief or disbelief in God. The Biblical worldview provides the foundation upon which to build, not only our individual lives, but society as well. As G.K. Chesterton rightly said, "The danger when men stop believing in God is not thaty they will believe in nothing, but that they will believe in anything."  Well - as you can see, in today's world, anything goes.

Related Articles:
Worldview - Part 1 - Origin
Worldview: Part 2 - Meaning
Worldview - Part 3 - Morality
Worldview - Part 4 - Destiny
"Gendercide" - A Deeper Look

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