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#724: God vs. an Atheist: Abortion


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  • 3 months later...

I listened and I have to say that I'm disappointed with the conclusion of the speaker in the main portion. Why must it go hand in hand that to reject God is to embrace abortion?


As an agnostic I turn to science for my answers, and science makes it quite clear that an unborn fetus is biologically as human as any of us, with the same inherent capacity to develop into a mature human adult that an infant possesses. In fact, the only real difference between a fetus and an infant is its size, its level of development, its location and its degree of dependency. None of these factors are morally relevant to assigning personhood, and the differences cannot justify ending their lives, simply because they have not attained a certain level of independence or development.


The speaker states that as an atheist his morality is based on "reason, compassion and responsibility". I'd expected to hear reasoned answers that would enable a civilized society to not operate in a might-makes-right paradigm wherein the stronger and bigger have the right to squash the weaker and smaller. I'd hoped to hear a plea for compassion for impoverished women and an increase in social services or minimum wage alongside better laws that make it possible for a woman to have a child and not have to choose between her child and her career. I had also hoped that compassion for the unborn human might enter into the equation as well.


As to responsibility, does not abortion allow someone to NOT face the responsibility for their choices? With exception to a woman who was raped, a woman who becomes pregnant can no more argue that she should not be held responsible to support her offspring than I could argue that I consented to playing baseball and not to breaking my neighbour's window. Choices have consequences, and killing our weakest and smallest offspring is not taking responsibility. It's avoiding it entirely.


Not all atheists are in favour of abortion. I agree with the speaker that more sex education and family planning are necessary to decreasing the numbers of unintended pregnancies, but I disagree that taking out the failure of these on the resulting humans is the reasoned, responsible, or compassionate answer.

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