BREAKING DOWN CARL SAGAN’S LOGIC ON ABORTION Part 29 “Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women” (My 1995 correspondence with Sagan) SCHAEFFER IMPACT:This move toward local control was a result of Reagan Revolution and Francis Schaeffer energizing Pro-life community to protect human life!

_

Adrian Rogers pictured above.


Carl Sagan pictured below:

_________

. _

Recently I have been revisiting my correspondence in 1995 with the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who I had the privilege to correspond with in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 1996 I had a chance to respond to his December 5, 1995letter on January 10, 1996 and I never heard back from him again since his cancer returned and he passed away later in 1996. Below is what Carl Sagan wrote to me in his December 5, 1995 letter:

Thanks for your recent letter about evolution and abortion. The correlation is hardly one to one; there are evolutionists who are anti-abortion and anti-evolutionists who are pro-abortion.You argue that God exists because otherwise we could not understand the world in our consciousness. But if you think God is necessary to understand the world, then why do you not ask the next question of where God came from? And if you say “God was always here,” why not say that the universe was always here? On abortion, my views are contained in the enclosed article (Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan {1990}, “The Question of Abortion,” Parade Magazine, April 22.)

I was introduced to Carl Sagan when reading a book by Francis Schaeffer called HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT written in 1968. 

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

I was blessed with the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Sagan, and in his December 5, 1995 letter Dr. Sagan went on to tell me that he was enclosing his article “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. I am going to respond to several points made in that article. Here is a portion of Sagan’s article (here is a link to the whole article):

Image result for adrian rogers
(Both Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer mentioned Carl Sagan in their books and that prompted me to write Sagan and expose him to their views.)

__

Image result for carl sagan ann

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan pictured above

 “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”

by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You’d think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition. Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes. The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences. Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Opinions are polarized. Minds are closed.

 

Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? Always? Sometimes? Never? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both. Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical. If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us–we’re trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.

In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what’s behind the opposing arguments. (This is partly why such confrontations are avoided.) And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another? Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom? What does it mean to be human?

Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held–especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions–that there are only two: “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” This is what the two principal warring camps like to call themselves, and that’s what we’ll call them here. In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere. And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names–pro-choice and pro-life–were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life. Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict.

Let’s consider these two absolutist positions in turn. A newborn baby is surely the same being it was just before birth. There ‘s good evidence that a late-term fetus responds to sound–including music, but especially its mother’s voice. It can suck its thumb or do a somersault. Occasionally, it generates adult brain-wave patterns. Some people claim to remember being born, or even the uterine environment. Perhaps there is thought in the womb. It’s hard to maintain that a transformation to full personhood happens abruptly at the moment of birth. Why, then, should it be murder to kill an infant the day after it was born but not the day before?

As a practical matter, this isn’t very important: Less than 1 percent of all tabulated abortions in the United States are listed in the last three months of pregnancy (and, on closer investigation, most such reports turn out to be due to miscarriage or miscalculation). But third-trimester abortions provide a test of the limits of the pro-choice point of view. Does a woman’s “innate right to control her own body” encompass the right to kill a near-term fetus who is, for all intents and purposes, identical to a newborn child?

We believe that many supporters of reproductive freedom are troubled at least occasionally by this question. But they are reluctant to raise it because it is the beginning of a slippery slope. If it is impermissible to abort a pregnancy in the ninth month, what about the eighth, seventh, sixth … ? Once we acknowledge that the state can interfere at any time in the pregnancy, doesn’t it follow that the state can interfere at all times?

Abortion and the slippery slope argument above

This conjures up the specter of predominantly male, predominantly affluent legislators telling poor women they must bear and raise alone children they cannot afford to bring up; forcing teenagers to bear children they are not emotionally prepared to deal with; saying to women who wish for a career that they must give up their dreams, stay home, and bring up babies; and, worst of all, condemning victims of rape and incest to carry and nurture the offspring of their assailants. Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women…

And yet, by consensus, all of us think it proper that there be prohibitions against, and penalties exacted for, murder. It would be a flimsy defense if the murderer pleads that this is just between him and his victim and none of the government’s business. If killing a fetus is truly killing a human being, is it not the duty of the state to prevent it? Indeed, one of the chief functions of government is to protect the weak from the strong.

If we do not oppose abortion at some stage of pregnancy, is there not a danger of dismissing an entire category of human beings as unworthy of our protection and respect? And isn’t that dismissal the hallmark of sexism, racism, nationalism, and religious fanaticism? Shouldn’t those dedicated to fighting such injustices be scrupulously careful not to embrace another?

Why do we set humans above animals?

There is no right to life in any society on Earth today, nor has there been at any former time… : We raise farm animals for slaughter; destroy forests; pollute rivers and lakes until no fish can live there; kill deer and elk for sport, leopards for the pelts, and whales for fertilizer; entrap dolphins, gasping and writhing, in great tuna nets; club seal pups to death; and render a species extinct every day. All these beasts and vegetables are as alive as we. What is (allegedly) protected is not life, but human life.

Adrian Rogers sermon on the Bible and Animal Rights is a perfect answer to Sagan!!

And even with that protection, casual murder is an urban commonplace, and we wage “conventional” wars with tolls so terrible that we are, most of us, afraid to consider them very deeply… That protection, that right to life, eludes the 40,000 children under five who die on our planet each day from preventable starvation, dehydration, disease, and neglect.

Those who assert a “right to life” are for (at most) not just any kind of life, but for–particularly and uniquely—human life. So they too, like pro-choicers, must decide what distinguishes a human being from other animals and when, during gestation, the uniquely human qualities–whatever they are–emerge.

The Bible talks about the differences between humans and animals

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.

In some animals, an egg develops into a healthy adult without benefit of a sperm cell. But not, so far as we know, among humans. A sperm and an unfertilized egg jointly comprise the full genetic blueprint for a human being. Under certain circumstances, after fertilization, they can develop into a baby. But most fertilized eggs are spontaneously miscarried. Development into a baby is by no means guaranteed. Neither a sperm and egg separately, nor a fertilized egg, is more than a potential baby or a potential adult. So if a sperm and egg are as human as the fertilized egg produced by their union, and if it is murder to destroy a fertilized egg–despite the fact that it’s only potentially a baby–why isn’t it murder to destroy a sperm or an egg?

Hundreds of millions of sperm cells (top speed with tails lashing: five inches per hour) are produced in an average human ejaculation. A healthy young man can produce in a week or two enough spermatozoa to double the human population of the Earth. So is masturbation mass murder? How about nocturnal emissions or just plain sex? When the unfertilized egg is expelled each month, has someone died? Should we mourn all those spontaneous miscarriages? Many lower animals can be grown in a laboratory from a single body cell. Human cells can be cloned… In light of such cloning technology, would we be committing mass murder by destroying any potentially clonable cells? By shedding a drop of blood?

For the complete text, including illustrations, introductory quote, footnotes, and commentary on the reaction to the originally published article see Billions and Billions.

——

carl Sagan asserted, “Legislative prohibitions on abortion arouse the suspicion that their real intent is to control the independence and sexuality of women.”

A popular argument is if these young women should avoid having these “unwanted” children then we would have less child abuse, but really it comes down to our respect for life!!!

Image result for c. everett koop

220 × 278Images may be subject to copyright. Learn More

Child abuse has been rising dramatically in the last forty years.

In 1972 there were 60,000 reported child-abuse incidents in the U.S.  In
1976, the number had soared to over 500,000!  Child Abuse is now the fifth most frequent cause of death among children.  (Francis Shaeffer and Dr.  C.  Everett Koop, “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?”, Crossway Books, Westchester, IL.)

In the film and book Whatever Happened to the Human Race? you will see Dr. C. Everett Koop make this comment (in 1979):

.There are those who try and justify abortions by saying that abortions get rid of unwanted children and therefore will cut down on child abuse, but consider this, since 1973 there have been 6 million abortions in the USA and there are therefore 6 million fewer children than there would have been without the liberal abortion ruling and yet child abuse has increased in incidents year by year from that date.

There was push back after the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision because Francis Schaeffer energizes the evangelicals in the USA! 

https://albertmohler.com/2016/10/27/will-live-now-francis-schaeffers-live-40-years/

Great summary article

ARTICLE

How Will We Live Now? Francis Schaeffer’s “How Should We Then Live” After 40 Years

The year 1976, the very year that many Americans came to know that evangelicals even existed, continues to reverberate throughout evangelical Christianity. The towering giants of the evangelical world at that time seemed to see our world in increasingly hopeful terms. The urgent cultural crises of the 1960s appeared to be in recession.

As we now know, it was not really so. In 1973 the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand nationwide. Larger intellectual currents were setting the stage for a massive shift in the culture. Evangelicals were wearing “I Found It” buttons and building massive megachurches, but the culture was shifting toward a hostile secularism that would not be fully apparent for a generation.

Still, some saw it coming. I turned 17 years old in 1976, facing my last year of high school and trying to figure out the world around me. An apologetic crisis had troubled me for a couple of years by then, and I needed help. I was already facing some of the issues and questions that would explode onto the American scene in coming decades.

Thankfully, I did get help, and from multiple sources. D. James Kennedy introduced me to the writings of Francis Schaeffer. I devoured He Is There and He Is Not Silent and Escape from Reason and The God Who Is There. At that point, I had not met Francis Schaeffer, but his writings were a form of theological rescue for me. I did not fully grasp all that Schaeffer presented in his books, but I did get his main points, and they gave me a way of understanding how the Christian faith related to and answered the questions of the world around me.

I was asking huge questions. At the same time, I was captivated by a world that had opened to me through two British television series, both like nothing that had been presented in that medium before. I watched every minute of Lord Kenneth Clark’s magnificent series Civilisation and then Jacob Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man. Bronowski’s telling of the human story and the rise of modern science was fascinating to me, but I knew that much of what he was presenting flatly contradicted Christianity.

Civilisation, on the other hand, raised no such alarm. I was hanging on every word and image as Kenneth Clark told the story of Western civilization and illustrated every epoch with his masterful explanation of painting and architecture, literature and music. I was hooked, and I wanted to see the cathedrals and abbeys and museums and libraries that Lord Clark showed me on television for the very first time.

But Kenneth Clark was also telling a story — a story with art and aesthetic values at the center. I knew of the Protestant Reformation, but I did not know enough to understand that Lord Clark was telling the story of the civilization and culture of the West from a humanistic worldview.

In 1976 Francis Schaeffer released How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, and I bought one of the first copies. I read it from cover to cover with intensity, knowing that Schaeffer was telling the story of Western civilization as well.

How Should We Then Live? was both a book and a multi-episode video project, just like Lord Clark’s Civilisation. This was not a coincidence. Schaeffer was deliberately answering both Bronowski and Clark in his project, but Clark most directly. He was telling a very different story.

The subtitle of the book made that clear — The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. That was virtually the opposite of Lord Clark’s story. Schaeffer did not disagree with every argument of Clark’s Civilisation, but he did disagree with many of Clark’s arguments and, more importantly, with a humanistic interpretation of the main story.

The main title of the book struck me as odd. It still does. It is correct, in terms of English usage, but I found it an odd way to ask the question. Then again, Schaeffer was odd. He famously dressed as if he had come down from the Swiss mountains in a previous century. In one sense he had. Francis Schaeffer and his wife, Edith, had founded and then directed L’Abri Fellowship, a ministry in the Swiss mountains, drawing disaffected and confused young people from around the world, mostly the United States, and presenting them with the gospel of Christ and, strangely and wonderfully enough, answering their questions with a rational and demonstrative apologetic for biblical Christianity. While other leaders were building the evangelical empire, the Schaeffers took in scores of long-haired and intellectually agitated young people, engaging their minds and interpreting the culture.

I read How Should We Then Live? cover to cover in the first weeks of my senior year of high school. According to my library log, started when I was 13, this was the 80th book I had bought with my own money. At $12.95, back then it seemed to cost a fortune. I knew it was worth the price, but Schaeffer’s book troubled me. Who was right about the main story of Western civilization, Francis Schaeffer or Lord Kenneth Clark? I wasn’t sure when I first read the book. Lord Clark pointed to the continual rise of the culture over centuries, right down to the present. Schaeffer saw modern culture as overwhelmingly opposed to God and disintegrating, cut off from any ability to make transcendent judgments or truth claims. He saw the looming humanism as a direct challenge to Christianity. I realized then that Lord Clark believed the same, and yet he saw the new humanism as a liberation from ancient but persistent religious beliefs. To my chagrin, I had not realized the presuppositions behind Kenneth Clark’s story of civilization.

The collision between Kenneth Clark and Francis Schaeffer, confronted in my first reading of How Should We Then Live?, introduced me to the great collision of worldviews that became such a central interest and urgency of my life. On the one hand, I felt embarrassed that I had not recognized the problems with Lord Clark’s storyline. On the other hand, I knew that I desperately wanted to understand the intersection of ideas, morality, art, culture, architecture, music, science, philosophy, and biblical Christianity.

Schaeffer did not tell the story perfectly. Some of his generalizations were too broad and some crucial details were missing. Later critics would target Francis Schaeffer as the architect of an unsustainable effort to rebuild evangelical Christianity in a recovery of Reformation theology and biblical authority. More liberal critics have argued that Schaeffer established a dead end from which evangelicalism has not yet recovered.

I see the truth as very different from that assessment. Later generations of evangelical scholars have accomplished far more than Francis Schaeffer in terms of academic scholarship and influence in many disciplines within the academy. But Francis Schaeffer was both asking and answering the most urgent questions long before the renaissance of modern evangelical scholarship.

Years before words like “worldviews” and “truth claims” entered the common evangelical vocabulary, Schaeffer was introducing the terms and stressing their importance. He knew that the great conflict of worldviews was underway, and he cared deeply about a generation of young people who were even then deciding between Christianity or intellectual revolution.

Schaeffer also believed that our worldview inevitably determines our moral judgments and understanding of reality. He was right when he challenged Lord Kenneth Clark to an intellectual duel, even if Lord Clark might scarcely have cared if Francis Schaeffer existed. Schaeffer did not set out to convince Lord Clark that he was wrong about the trajectory of civilization in the West; he wanted Christians to understand what was at stake.

Schaeffer was absolutely right when he began How Should We Then Live? with these words: “There is a flow to history and culture.” Yes, there is such a flow, and Christians had better know which way the culture is flowing.

“People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of those presuppositions than even they themselves may realize,” Schaeffer wrote, and he was talking this way when most evangelicals were unaware of the storm of worldviews that was coming. He perceived the presuppositions of the looming humanistic and secular worldview as showing up first in art and high culture. He was right. While most evangelicals were watching Gunsmoke and taking their kids to the newly opened Walt Disney World, Schaeffer was listening and watching as a new worldview was taking hold of the larger culture.

He was also right that the greatest threats to evangelical faithfulness were the promise of personal peace and affluence. He was prophetic in criticizing the Christian church for a legacy of racism and the abuse of economic abundance. He was right when he looked to developments like Roe v. Wade and knew that something seismic had shifted in the culture, and that bigger shocks were yet to come.

He was also asking precisely the right question: How should we then live? That question which troubled Schaeffer so much in 1976 troubles all of us now. We are about to find out if Christians in this generation are going to believe and to live authentic biblical Christianity. How will we live now?

Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) I shared my correspondence with Carl Sagan with Dr Rogers and the fact that many of my letters to Sagan contained material from Rogers.

.

.

Copyrighted PhotographCopyrighted PhotographCopyrighted Photograph

Are you a materialist? Materialism (the philosophy) suggests that “physical matter is the only reality, and that everything-including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can all be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.”

Or perhaps you prefer the term naturalist. You believe that all can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws. Nothing has moral, spiritual, or supernatural significance.

Carl Sagan once said: “The cosmos is all there is, or was, or ever will be.”

Douglas Futuyma in Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, says:

“Some shrink from the conclusion that the human species was not designed, has no purpose, and is the product of mere mechanical mechanisms—but this seems to be the message of evolution.”

Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker:

“Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a mater watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”`

Francis Crick in The Astonishing Hypothesis:

Copyrighted Photograph

“The Astonishing Hypothesis is that you—your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules”

What if all this is true? What if the cosmos and the chemicals and the particles really are all that there is, and all that we are?

“If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.”

—Francis Schaeffer in The God Who Is There

“Eventually materialist philosophy undermines the reliability of the mind itself-and hence even the basis for science. The true foundation of rationality is not found in particles and impersonal laws, but in the mind of the Creator who formed us in His image.”

—Phillip E. Johnson,
Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds

“Can man live without God? Of course he can, in a physical sense. Can he live without God in a reasonable way? The answer to that is No!”

—Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God

If you are an atheist, a materialist, a pantheist, or a naturalist, try to answer the following 11 questions:

  1. “If all of life is meaningless, and ultimately absurd , why bother to march straight forward, why stand in the queue as though life as a whole makes sense?” —Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There

  2. If everyone completely passes out of existence when they die, what ultimate meaning has life? Even if a man’s life is important because of his influence on others or by his effect on the course of history, of what ultimate significance is that if there is no immortality and all other lives, events, and even history itself is ultimately meaningless?

  3. Suppose the universe had never existed. Apart form God, what ultimate difference would that make?

  4. In a universe without God or immortality, how is mankind ultimately different from a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs?

  5. What viable basis exists for justice or law if man is nothing but a sophisticated, programmed machine?

  6. Why does research, discovery, diplomacy, art, music, sacrifice, compassion, feelings of love, or affectionate and caring relationships mean anything if it all ultimately comes to naught anyway?

  7. Without absolute morals, what ultimate difference is there between Saddam Hussein and Billy Graham?

  8. If there is no immortality, why shouldn’t all things be permitted?(Dostoyevsky)

  9. If morality is only a relative social construct, on what basis could or should anyone ever move to interfere with cultures that practice apartheid, female circumcision, cannibalism, or ethnic cleansing?

  10. If there is no God, on what basis is there any meaning or hope for fairness, comfort, or better times?

  11. Without a personal Creator-God, how are you anything other than the coincidental, purposeless miscarriage of nature, spinning round and round on a lonely planet in the blackness of space for just a little while before you and all memory of your futile, pointless, meaningless life finally blinks out forever in the endless darkness?

Sources

Many, but not all, of the preceding questions are paraphrased versions of those posed by William Lane Craig in his book Reasonable Faith, chapter 2, “The Absurdity of Life Without God.”

Author: Daryl E. Witmer of AIIA Institute.

Related posts:

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part F “Carl Sagan’s views on how God should try and contact us” includes film “The Basis for Human Dignity”

April 8, 2013 – 7:07 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferProlife | Edit | Comments (0)

Carl Sagan v. Nancy Pearcey

March 18, 2013 – 9:11 am

On March 17, 2013 at our worship service at Fellowship Bible Church, Ben Parkinson who is one of our teaching pastors spoke on Genesis 1. He spoke about an issue that I was very interested in. Ben started the sermon by reading the following scripture: Genesis 1-2:3 English Standard Version (ESV) The Creation of the […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists ConfrontedCurrent Events | TaggedBen ParkinsonCarl Sagan | Edit | Comments (0)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)

May 24, 2012 – 1:47 am

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 5 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog _______________________ I got this from a blogger in April of 2008 concerning candidate Obama’s view on evolution: Q: York County was recently in the news […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedCurrent EventsPresident Obama | EditComments (0)

_

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: