Taking on Ark Times bloggers about abortion on the 40th anniversary date of Roe v. Wade (Part 5) “Slavery issue compared to rights of unborn child”

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary)

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer: What Ever Happened to the Human Race? (Full-Length Documentary)

Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

 

Over the years I have taken on the Ark Times liberal bloggers over and over and over concerning the issue of abortion. I asked over and over again for one liberal blogger to come forward and tell me when they thought an unborn baby should be protected by our government and finally I got someone to do that. In fact, several stepped forward.

On 1-24-13 I took on the child abuse argument put forth by Ark Times Blogger “Deathbyinches,” and the day before I pointed out that because the unborn baby has all the genetic code at  the time of conception that they will have for the rest of their life many scientists were pro-life. I have also answered some of the questions that pro-abortion bloggers have asked me such as what should be the punishment for doctors that perform abortions if abortion is outlawed and I also answered questions concerning the movie “The Cider House Rules” and I now have discussed the PBS film series “The Abolitionists” and how that relates to this issue of abortion.

Francis Schaeffer pictured above._________

 On the 1-25-13 Arkansas Times Blog, “Outlier” asked:

Saline, you STILL have not answered my question. What should the criminal charge be for the woman having the abortion and the doctor performing it?

I replied:

I read in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette the other day  about George Cage of Pine Bluff that killed his wife and is charged with one count of murder. Then a few days later on 1-24-13 I see on the news that his wife was 13 weeks pregnant and now he is charged with two counts of murder. “Outlier” do you think it was proper that he was charged with two counts of murder?

I pointed out in an earlier post my postion concerning what range of possible homicide charges could be brought upon someone who takes the life of an unborn child and you will have to refer to that because I am not trained as a lawyer and can’t get more specific than that. If I do find some more material on this issue and develop my views further then I will be glad to get back to you. Thank you for discussing this issue in a respectful way. I do consider Max Brantley and many of his liberal friends on this blog to be excellent representatives of the liberal view and I respect them for their educational studies as well.

Again I come back to this issue of when life begins. Recently I have enjoyed watching the series “The Abolitionists” on PBS and I noticed that the key leaders in this movement were Christians. I read this piece below by Al Mohler that mentions the abolition movement:

As a philosopher, Beckwith takes both words and arguments with deadly seriousness. Thus, he recognizes the inherent contradiction that marks the position held by millions of Americans. They argue that abortion is morally wrong, and recognize that it is the taking of innocent human life. At the same time, they argue that it would be wrong to impose this moral principle upon women and defend a legal right to abortion as the most appropriate public policy. Insightfully, Beckwith raises the issue of slavery, demonstrating conclusively that the application of this same argument to the question of slavery would never have led to abolition. Beckwith argues that Americans would react in anger to a politician who said, “I am personally opposed to owning a slave and torturing my spouse, but it would be wrong for me to try to force my personal beliefs on someone who felt it consistent with his deeply held beliefs to engage in such behaviors.” This politician would be considered “a moral monster,” Beckwith argues–yet this very pattern of argument is precisely what millions of Americans propose as their own highly moral position.

The pro-life movement had better get back to contending for the inherent humanity and dignity of the fetus, Beckwith argues, or the argument against abortion will be lost. Americans must be shown that “if fetuses are human persons, one cannot be pro-choice on abortion, just as one cannot be pro-choice on slavery and at the same time maintain that slaves are human persons.”

_______________

Below is the newsreport from KATV Channel 7

UPDATE: Jefferson Co. woman reportedly killed by husband was pregnant

Posted: Jan 19, 2013 4:01 PM CST Updated: Jan 25, 2013 10:22 AM

JEFFERSON COUNTY –

PINE BLUFF (KATV) – A Jefferson County man who reportedly admitted to killing his wife was charged with murder count Thursday because his wife was pregnant.

George Cage, 31, reportedly called Jefferson County deputies and told them he killed his wife, Mendi Bell, on Saturday in the 9700 block of Huntley Trail. The State Crime Lab confirmed Thursday that Bell was 13 weeks pregnant.

Investigators told Channel 7 News Bell’s son was inside the home at the time of the murder and saw it happen.

Bell reportedly told deputies he had shot his wife but when they arrived, they found Bell had been stabbed several times. She later died at an area hospital.

Below is the complete article from Al Mohler:

The Strongest Argument Against Abortion–the Fetus

How should we make the case against abortion? Over thirty years after Roe v. Wade, pro-life advocates remain divided on the central issue of argument and strategy. This vital debate was highlighted in the January/February addition of Touchstone magazine, and it deserves the attention of all those who contend for the sanctity of human life and seek to bring an end to the scourge of abortion.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

How should we make the case against abortion? Over thirty years after Roe v. Wade, pro-life advocates remain divided on the central issue of argument and strategy. This vital debate was highlighted in the January/February addition of Touchstone magazine, and it deserves the attention of all those who contend for the sanctity of human life and seek to bring an end to the scourge of abortion.

In the magazine’s lead article, philosopher Francis J. Beckwith takes on what he describes as the “new rhetorical strategy” now commonly advocated by some pro-life activists. This new strategy is based on the conviction that the older line of argument–which focused on the indisputable humanity of the fetus–has failed to sustain a compelling social movement against abortion. Instead of focusing on the fetus, advocates of the new strategy suggest that the pro-life movement should redirect its argument to “the alleged harm abortion does to women.”

Beckwith, a professor of church-state studies at Baylor University, argues that the “new rhetorical strategy” is fatally flawed and will actually serve to support the pro-abortion worldview. Beckwith points to the fact that, though a vast majority of Americans believe abortion to be a moral evil, these same people do not believe abortion to be so inherently immoral that it should be made illegal. “Even though the vast majority of Americans see abortion to be morally wrong and believe that it is the taking of a human life,” Beckwith explains, “many in that majority do not consider it a serious moral wrong (i.e. unjustified homicide).”

Beckwith is on to something here. A wealth of statistical data indicates that Americans see abortion as morally wrong. As a matter of fact, a majority of women seeking abortion indicate that they know that what they are doing is morally wrong or, at the very least, is “deviant behavior.” On this basis, advocates of the new strategy suggest that pro-lifers should move on to a new argument. Beckwith sees this as a serious mistake. Where advocates of the new strategy argue that Americans already know that the killing of a fetus is morally wrong, Beckwith counters that Americans obviously do not believe that abortion is sufficiently immoral to be made illegal. “Until the American populous judges abortion to be a serious moral wrong rather than a mere moral wrong,” Beckwith asserts, “their opinion on the legal status of abortion will not likely shift in a pro-life direction.”

Advocates of the new rhetorical strategy have argued that since the vast majority of Americans already believe that the fetus is human, and nonetheless support abortion as a legal right, the obvious alternative is to shift the argument to the negative effect of abortion on the women involved. Beckwith resolutely refuses to shift his argument from the moral status of the fetus. Those who argue that abortion should be legal even as they acknowledge that the fetus is human are, as Beckwith suggest, either sociopaths who simply permit and support what they know to be moral evil, or individuals who are morally immature and fail to see the logic of their own presuppositions.

Beckwith’s critique is devastating. As he suggests, the argument that abortion is a negative experience for women fails to take in to account the fact that many women consider abortion to be the easiest way out of a very difficult situation. Once the moral status of the fetus is no longer the ground of argument, women are free to calculate the moral status of their abortion choices without reference to the fact that abortion kills an innocent human life. As Beckwith explains, that argument could lend support to infanticide and other moral atrocities. Pro-life advocates must return to a moral focus on the fetus and must base our argument on the fact that abortion is the taking of innocent human life. The fact that Americans seem to be supporting a form of moral schizophrenia indicates that most Americans do not have a full understanding of why the fetus must be recognized as fully human and thus deserving of moral protection.

Those who advocate a new rhetorical strategy are simply mistaken, Beckwith argues, for “pregnant women seeking abortions generally do not see their fetuses on the same moral plane as they see either themselves or their already born children.”

The distinction between a baby and a fetus is central to the moral confusion that marks the American mind on the question of abortion. Clearly, a majority of Americans believe that a fetus is human, but they deny that the unborn child should be granted the same right to life as a baby living outside the womb. Beckwith zeros in on the central issue in the pro-life argument, and asserts that “the pro-life argument is not that abortion in wrong because it kills a baby, but rather, that abortion is morally wrong because it kills a human person who is not yet a baby–a label we ordinarily assign to newborns, not preborns–but still a fully human person.” Since so many Americans have convinced themselves that a fetus is not a baby, “a woman seeking an abortion can, thanks to this argument, have the abortion without believing she is killing a bonafide member of the human community.”

Thus, the woman is fully aware that she is killing something, but she is not convinced that this preborn life is a baby.

As a philosopher, Beckwith takes both words and arguments with deadly seriousness. Thus, he recognizes the inherent contradiction that marks the position held by millions of Americans. They argue that abortion is morally wrong, and recognize that it is the taking of innocent human life. At the same time, they argue that it would be wrong to impose this moral principle upon women and defend a legal right to abortion as the most appropriate public policy. Insightfully, Beckwith raises the issue of slavery, demonstrating conclusively that the application of this same argument to the question of slavery would never have led to abolition. Beckwith argues that Americans would react in anger to a politician who said, “I am personally opposed to owning a slave and torturing my spouse, but it would be wrong for me to try to force my personal beliefs on someone who felt it consistent with his deeply held beliefs to engage in such behaviors.” This politician would be considered “a moral monster,” Beckwith argues–yet this very pattern of argument is precisely what millions of Americans propose as their own highly moral position.

The pro-life movement had better get back to contending for the inherent humanity and dignity of the fetus, Beckwith argues, or the argument against abortion will be lost. Americans must be shown that “if fetuses are human persons, one cannot be pro-choice on abortion, just as one cannot be pro-choice on slavery and at the same time maintain that slaves are human persons.” As Beckwith summarizes his argument: “In other words, the pro-life movement must convince the vast majority of the public that abortion is a serious moral wrong and not a mere moral wrong.” America’s current policy concerning abortion–established in Roe v. Wade and later court decisions–is thus not morally neutral in any sense. The government’s policy is based in the presupposition that the fetus does not possess the same right to life as a baby living outside the womb. This is not neutrality Beckwith insists, but hostility toward the fetus.

In articles responding to Beckwith, other pro-life advocates consider his arguments. Terry Schlossberg, executive director of Presbyterians Pro-Life, supports Beckwith’s case and points out that the pro-life argument must now be extended to the issues of cloning and embryo research. Schlossberg argues that the pro-life argument will only be won when the vast majority of Americans experience something like a moral conversion. “Ultimately settling this question,” she argues, “lies in recognizing every human being as neighbor, and that is a moral settlement.”

A defender of the new rhetorical strategy also responded to Beckwith’s article. Frederica Mathewes-Green, an influential writer and pro-live advocate, concedes much of Beckwith’s case, but argues that millions of Americans have simply lost the capacity for serous moral reasoning. “They could agree that the unborn is a living human baby,” she explains, “and yet shrug off the conclusion that it should not be killed.” This inconsistency, troubling as it is, is what prompted advocates of the new rhetorical strategy to attempt a new argument.

David Mills, Touchstone’s editor, admits that the new rhetorical strategy does look attractive. Nevertheless, Mills sided with Beckwith. “It is a matter of our ultimate goal or end. Saving the lives of unborn children is a great thing, and getting pro-choice media to let pro-life voices be heard is a very good thing, but our ultimate end is changing–converting–the hearts and minds of the people…” Pointing to the negative consequences of abortion in the life of the mother is all well and good, Mills allows, but in the end the only compelling argument that matters is centered in the inherent humanity of the fetus and thus the tremendous moral evil involved in killing unborn human life. “We want a culture in which unborn children survive to birth,” Mills concludes, “but we need one in which they survive not because people think abortion is painful, but because they know it is wrong.”

The Touchstone debate makes for compelling reading, and should serve as a catalyst for the refining of pro-life strategy and argument. Beckwith’s case against the new rhetorical strategy is absolutely conclusive, and his arguments should serve as a corrective for pro-life advocates who are growing weary of arguing on behalf of the fetus. Those who oppose abortion–and especially those on the front line counseling women who may be seeking abortion–should use every honest argument in the pro-life arsenal. Women should be confronted with the pain and other negative effects that will follow their choice for abortion. Nevertheless, in the end, the non-negotiable argument that stands at the center of the argument against abortion is the moral status of the fetus and the horrible moral wrong that abortion represents.

In the end, the pro-life argument stands or falls, not on the question of lifestyle, but on the question of life itself.

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