Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life 3

The numerous arguments for abortion, many of which may be found on websites such as and, mostly boil down to the convenience of the mother, as opposed to the life of the unborn child. One such argument claims that a fetus is no more than a potential human and not a human at all; and therefore has no legitimate claim to life if its mother does not want it. Abortion continues as convenience appeals to ignorance during the controversy over theories of when a fetus becomes a child, or if it is a child.
However, a fetus cannot be simply a “potential human” (see Life 2). Consider in this context the all-wise Word of God from Psalm 139:13-15. The Psalmist David says, “For you [God] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.” The implication we can draw from the fact that he said “I” and “me” rather than “a piece of my future human body” is obvious: that since he was conceived, even before he was born it was still him, David; and that point at which nothingness becomes what we call a fetus is conception. The amount of words he spent on this subject is also telling; human life, whenever it begins, is a miracle.
There are many different ideas about when an unborn child is to be called such. The famous “wager” of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) reasoned that if God exists, and you follow Him, then you will receive the richest reward of heaven when you die; and if He doesn't, when you die you will simply return to dust, yet will not have lost anything by believing in a nonexistent God. In Pascal's own words, “If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.” But if you don't believe in God, and it turns out when you die that He actually does exist, you're in trouble. This argument may be applied to the controversy on when a fetus can rightly be considered a child. If upon conception a fetus is not really a child (which no one has proved), what have we to lose, save more or less convenience, by preventing its abortion? Because if a fetus actually is a child, and we permit his or her abortion, the blood of a human being clings unabsolved to our hands; we have sacrificed the life of a child to the idol of convenience.

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