Is there an “Abortion Paradox”?

Pro-Lifers:

  • Against killing the unborn child, but tend to favor capital punishment

Pro-Choice Advocates:

  • Okay with killing an unborn child, but tend to oppose capital punishment

Some would say that these are paradoxes.  What do you think?

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15 Responses to Is there an “Abortion Paradox”?

  1. sulochanosho says:

    We have to beat and hit the ‘root’, instead of beating around the bushes – if we are really sincere and want to address the issue.

    ‘Abortion’ phase or stage comes due to our reckless sex drive. We dont want responsible sex. Practise and educate responsible sex. After all this sex joy is a means for reproduction and to give birth to a new human soul.

  2. Kelsey says:

    I agree that the paradox exists. I’ve heard a lot of pro-lifers say they favor the death penalty because it actually demonstrates the value of life. As in, this person has violated the value of life by murdering a fellow human being, so they must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. To me, this is extremely flawed logic. Life is life, whether we’re talking about that of an unborn child or that of a murderer. The death penalty does not make up for lost life, but only perpetuates loss. Personally, I could never be pro-life and pro-death penalty, because being pro-life means valuing ALL life.

  3. Tim Farley says:

    Kelsey:

    I think the logic of each side goes like this:

    Pro-Life Advocates – “We protect the weak and innocent (the unborn child), while we are okay with taking the life of a criminal who has forfeited his/her life based upon chosen action.”

    Pro-Choice Advocates – “We are okay with taking the life of an unborn child because it does not count as a life until it is outside of the body and living independently from the mother, but we are not okay with taking the life of a criminal because it is wrong to take the life of a person.”

  4. aaron says:

    This is a good one. I never understod this either. I think it is okay to execute if you are without sin. I think I read someone said somehting like this before.

    The Bible often says it does not recognize a child until it is a month old. You heard me! Also, it gives word as to when abortion is okay, yes, you heard me correctly. Also, you are not alive until you have your first breath.

    – Leviticus 27:6 A monetary value was placed on children, but not until they reached one month old (any younger had no value).

    – Ezekiel 37:8-10 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

    Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

    -Numbers 3:15 “Count the Levites by their families and clans. Count every male a month old or more.”

    -Genesis 2:7
    the LORD God formed the man [a] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    -Genesis 38:24 About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.”
    Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!”

    -Job 10:18-19 “Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me.
    If only I had never come into being, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!

    -Ecclesiastes 4:1-3
    Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.”

    -Ecclesiastes 6:3-5
    If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things, and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, `Better the miscarriage than he, for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he

    -Hosea 9:14 Give them, O LORD—
    what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry and breasts that are dry.

  5. layrenewal says:

    aaron: I think you are doing a bit of verse pulling out of context. Not exactly the proper use of Scripture…

    Please consider these Bible verses too:

    Exodus 21: 22-23: “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,

    Genesis 1:28: God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number…”

    Psalm 139:13-15: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…

    Also see Isaiah 44:2, 24; Psalm 22:9-10; Job 31:15; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; and Luke 1:15

    And last, but certainly not least, Judges 13:6-7: Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will conceive and give birth to a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from BIRTH until the day of his death.’ ” (emp. added)

  6. Tim Farley says:

    Aaron and Layrenewal:

    I agree that Aaron has really misunderstood these verses (and taken them out of context). I will post a follow-up to his post shortly, but I just do not have the time to do it right now.

    Thanks to both of you for your thoughts.

  7. aaron says:

    Layrenewal did the same thing. Point being, an argument can be made in either direction. None of the your quotes say condem abortion. Exodus 21: 22-23 is close, it says that fighting men are responsible for a woman’s unborn if they make her miscarry.

    What is out of context. Often people claim this, including myself, but context is 100% subjective. I promise how a robber, a victim, a witness and a cop see a crime can be different, although they speak of the exact same event. Their juxapositon, motivation, life circumstance all have play. Context is subjective, this is why we have courts.

    We can not decided on what our forefathers contaxt was when they wrote the Constitution, and it was written recently, in our language, and we have their letters and diaries. No imagine a book written a fwe hundred years after its said events, in a language not common anymore, re-dtermined by a ruler. how can anyone really account for context?

  8. layrenewal says:

    aaron: You are correct that I took verses out of context. I should have prefaced it with stating that these are quotes stating that God (Creator) values life. This is the consistent refrain of Scripture.

    I’m not trying to be insulting in any way. The verses you took out of Scripture to say abortion is ok simply don’t state that.

    For example, the verse in Leviticus has to do with vows and dedicating a person to the Lord. To state that this reflects the child has no value is simply twisting Scripture. See 1 Samuel 1 for an example of Hannah weaning Samuel before she took him to the temple.

    Ezekiel 37 is prophetic imagery of dead adult bones. What does this have to do with abortion? The child in the womb breathes THROUGH the mother. This is something that science has proven.

    OK – to the biggest questions:

    Is context important? Yes. Obviously you believe it is or you wouldn’t have attempted to use the verses you did to “prove” abortion is acceptable. You can’t have it both ways.

    Is context subjective? Well, that depends on your understanding of 2 Timothy 3:16. The Bible is “God-breathed” and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training. God-breathed in evangelical understanding means that it was written through the inspiration of God. Therefore, while it was indeed written by those who witnessed, researched and recorded or were simply “told” by the Spirit what happened, then it is not subjective.

  9. Tim Farley says:

    Aaron:

    Here are the passages you listed and an explanation of their meaning. While it may be true that some passages of the Bible are dificult to understand, it does not mean that we can throw any meaning we wish into the text. There is still a context that each passage fits into that must be considered if we are going to gain an accurate understanding. You will not find a Bible scholar, believer or non-believer, who would ascribe the meanings you do the passages referenced, which tells me that maybe we can have an objective understanding more often than you suggest.

    Leviticus 27:6 – has nothing to do with the value of a person. This passage is about those who either vow themselves or a family member to service in the sanctuary. If the person is to redeem the one avowed, there was a price to do so. It seems that one could not make a vow concerning one under a month old.

    Ezekiel 37:8-10 – Layrenewal beat me to it, but this has nothing to do with children at all. Your emphasis on the word “breath” is probably too strong, since the passage is using poetic language to describe the fact that God restores the nation of Israel (which is in exile) from “dry bones” (signifying their spiritual deadness). The passage is very figurative. The interpretation of the passage is in vv. 11-14.

    Numbers 3:15 – again, this has nothing to do with the value of a person. This passage is about the men in the tribe of Levi who are separated to work in the sanctuary. They are separated in place of all first-born males of Israel (see Numbers 3:40 for the numbering of first-born males). Why did you fail to mention that only males were counted? This passage is not making a statement about the value of life.

    Genesis 2:7 – even if I agree with you on the meaning, which I do not, your logic does not work. As Layrenewal mentioned, babies in the womb do breathe. They do not take in oxygen through their nose or mouth, but they require oxygen in their bloodstream, which they get through the umbilical cord. So, they are “breathing.” Or are you focusing on the “nostrils” in this passage and saying that only those breathing through their nostrils are considered alive?

    I think the point of the passage is to say that God gave them life, not to focus on the word “breath” – which, by the way, is the same Hebrew word for “wind” and “spirit”. And yes, I studied Hebrew for 2 1/2 years while in seminary. The transliterated Hebrew word is “ruach”.

    Genesis 38:24 – if you read the rest of the story, Judah is shown to be in the wrong in his judgement on Tamar.

    Job 10:18-19 – The point is to show the anguish that Job is in because of his circumstances. He feels he would have been better off to have never been born. How does this justify abortion? Again, if you read the rest of Job, his attitude changes at the end when his focus is corrected by God.

    Ecclesiates (both references) – the entire book is about how vain life is if it is not lived for God. It is not worth living because it is meaningless. If there is no God, there is no reason for life and it is better to have never been born. I guess if you are an unbeliever this could justify abortion.

    Hosea 9:14 – again, poetic/figurative language that tells of the chief sin in the Book of Hosea, which is Baal worship. Baal was the weather-god who had control over agriculture and fertility, rainfall and productivity. This verse asks God to give them the opposite in response to what they worship Baal, a false god, for.

    The passage that Layrenewal brings up (Exodus 21:22-23) is not about abortion either, but it does tell us that the unborn child was thought to have value.

  10. Tracie Wilkins says:

    On a strictly non-scriptural approach… Abortion is wrong because babies are living beings. Until you men have had this experience, you cannot understand. Two of my four children I ‘felt’ before the test ever came back with two lines. Dead beings do not grow or move. And what they grow into as contributors to society will never be known without their being allowed to grow into adults.

    I once read a ‘comic’ that asked God why hasn’t He created someone to cure cancer. The response was that He did, but that person was aborted.

    Things that make you go hmmmmm…..

    And although I do believe in the death penalty, I believe that if we had harsher penalties for wrong doing (not spa prisons and slaps on the wrist) there would be less who choose the path that could lead them there. I am more of the mind that we have failed those who are on death row. And i do believe that some of those on death row should not be there. I know that sounds argumentative with my original stand… it is because it is. I am torn because I do respect life. I believe in second chances. I believe in transformation. I believe in repentance. I believe in human error. I believe there is a power of money that can be played in justice. I believe that some people will never change. I believe that some people just don’t care. All of these beliefs are contradicting on some level. So, although I believe there are instances where someone has been caught horribly torturing a child… they have no moral capacity and have chosen their adult path and should be put to death.

    On the other hand, Jesus says those that have sinned not, cast the first stone. So, I feel somewhat wrong in that. I know ultimately that Jesus sits in the judgment seat but in instances like that, I struggle. What are your thoughts on capital punishment Tim?

    Neat thread Tim. I have enjoyed reading it. Very thought provoking.

  11. Tim Farley says:

    Tracie:

    Thanks for commenting! I am happy to see that you came across my blog. I appreciate your comments concerning your personal experience of being a mother. I know that when my wife was pregnant, we loved to sit and feel Sarah moving around inside her. There were times when she was very active and other times when she was very still based upon her sleep cyle. Things that are not alive do not have sleep cylces.

    I also remember the ultrasounds and seeing Sarah sucking her thumb while in the womb. You could see and hear her heart beating and watch the blood flowing through her body. She was alive long before she was delivered at the hospital.

    How do I feel about capital punishment? I have been intentionally vague in this area because I was waiting for others to share their views. I will share my thoughts now that you asked, but let me preface what I write by saying that there are many Christians who take the opposite view. I think the reason that there is so much disagreement in this area is because of the very nature of the topic. We are talking about taking the life of a person. We should be very hesistant to do so.

    As Christians, we believe in the sanctity of human life. People are made in God’s image and likeness, so if we are going to take life away from a person, we must be careful to only do so in cases specifically mentioned by God, who is the only one with the authority to make this judgement. That being said, the Bible does give us some clear guidelines about the matter. In Genesis 9:3-6, permission was given for killing animals for food, but murdering a human meant forfeiting one’s own life. It is important to realize that this is a part of the covenant established between God and Noah (not Moses). This is important because it tells us of provisions that were not limited to one specific nation for a certain period of time (like the Mosaic Covenant). These laws were given at the time of the new beginning of human society after the flood and were for all of mankind and the commands remain perpetually valid.

    Some argue that we should never take a human life based upon the sanctity of life, but this seems to be in contradiction to Ezekiel 13:19, where God condemns not only the killing of the innocent, but also allowing those who should die to live. It is not inconsistent to believe in the sanctity of life and also support capital punishment.

    The New Testament also supports capital punishment in Romans 13:1-7. Here, Paul argues that civil authorities are in place because God has put them there and they have the authority to carry out his judgements. Paul condmens personal retaliation in Romans 12:19, but sees no contradiction in allowing for civil authorities to punish wrongdoers.

    So capital punishment is justified as long as we follow the specific guidelines that God has given us (for those who unjustifiably take the life of another) and as long as it is administered through the civil authorities (we are not to take personal vengence).

  12. aaron says:

    Tracie and Tim,

    A few points, Tim, I do not think you have it correectly on Ezekiel 13:19. I think it was in reference to prophets or sorcerers that made people believe that they could destroy or preserve life, not that God said you could.

    If you are a Christian, and not an “Old Testimoniem” asI like to call it, then you follow first the actual words Christ spoke. Please show me where Christ said to kill someone. John 8:7 is very clear about this. Here, it seems Christ corrected Mosaic law.

    Tracie, I agree with you, as a male, I can have little input on abortion as I will never carry a child, but the argument is that if unborn, is it a baby, or a potential baby? Second, only people to ever have abortions have been women, and they do understand about carrying. Your comment on curing cancer has always be countered with, “Hitler’s mother was prevented from having an abortion.”

    Tim quotes Romans 13:1-7 is about civil law, our civil law says abortion is legal. Choice means you can decide to follow your faith and never have an abortion. You are allowed to practive your religion here.

    What I am really against is people that want to change the laws of this country due to their faith, but then decide they have amendments to it. If you fell abortion is wrong and should never be practiced, then I say okay, but this must include children to be born with disabilities, labor should go forward even when the mother is at high or eminent risk, and even in cases of rape. You either are for or against abortion.

  13. Tim Farley says:

    Aaron:

    “If you are a Christian, and not an “Old Testimoniem” asI like to call it, then you follow first the actual words Christ spoke. Please show me where Christ said to kill someone.”

    If you are going to use Scripture to show a Christian how they have misunderstood, you have to understand how Christians view Scripture. It is ALL God’s word. Jesus Christ is God. Therefore, it is ALL the word of Christ. You seem to believe that passages from Romans are not as relevant as ones found in the four Gospels. You need to convince me why Christians should think the way you do because we do not. The rest of the New Testament continues to clarify the teachings of Christ and the relation of the Old Testament in light of the new covenant.

    “Tim quotes Romans 13:1-7 is about civil law, our civil law says abortion is legal. Choice means you can decide to follow your faith and never have an abortion. You are allowed to practive your religion here.”

    I do not think anyone is arguing that this is a violation of religious liberty. The argument is that abortion is morally wrong. Whether or not is is legal by our civil law is irrelevant. Pro-life people argue that life begins at conception, not birth. There are scientific reasons to believe that a baby is alive before it leaves the womb (breathing, eating, sleeping, moving, sucking thumbs, growing, heartbeat, bloodflow, etc.).

    “What I am really against is people that want to change the laws of this country due to their faith, but then decide they have amendments to it. If you fell abortion is wrong and should never be practiced, then I say okay, but this must include children to be born with disabilities, labor should go forward even when the mother is at high or eminent risk, and even in cases of rape. You either are for or against abortion.”

    I am sure there are exceptions, but I think the majority of pro-life people would agree with you here. I suggest you read the blog post below written by Dr. Craig Carter, a seminary professor in Canada. He is professor of ethics and theology at Tyndale University and while I do not know him personally, he brings up some interesting points about abortion and its ethical implications.

    Here is the link: http://politicsofthecrossresurrected.blogspot.com/2009/05/12-reasons-why-abortion-is.html

  14. aaron says:

    Tim,

    You said:

    “If you are going to use Scripture to show a Christian how they have misunderstood, you have to understand how Christians view Scripture. It is ALL God’s word. Jesus Christ is God. Therefore, it is ALL the word of Christ.”

    First, it does not matter how Christians view scripture, it matters what scripture really means. The problem with your argument is that it allows for people to understand the word on their terms. Sort of like whne people read that paying taxes is a “voluntary” act. People can read that many ways, but it does not mean you have a choice on paying taxes.

    I hope you agree Mosaic law and civil laws during the “times of the bible” are not alwyas God’s word. Most of the bible is an account of actions and quotes from various people. the reaosn Christ was born was to correct the church and the way people praised, or didn’t praise God. The actions of King Salomon is not the word of God.

    There is no reason for Christ ot have been a prophet if the completed and correct interpretation of God’s word had already exsisted. If you follow Christ then yes, you do have to give sppecial consideration to the actual words Christ spoke, and when Christ said ‘THESE are the MOST important things to follow, you MUST believe that Christ is correct and honest in his statement. By him saying that, it shows that some laws/word are of higher value.

  15. Tim Farley says:

    Aaron:

    You confuse the words of God with the interpretation of those words. I do not argue that interpretation is inspired. I argue that the words of Scripture are.

    You also presuppose that the rest of Scripture is at odds with Jesus’ words. Christians do not believe that to be true. We believe that the rest of the New Testament further explains the ramifications of Christ’s incarnation and his teaching.

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