March 19, 2014

Complicating a Simple Issue

The following is a response to this post: One of the Challenges to Extreme Pro-Life Rhetoric

TurretinFan:
The Bible is not explicit about when exactly human life begins. Don't misunderstand me - the Bible is clear that human life begins in the womb, prior to birth. However, the Bible does not explicitly say "life begins at the instant of fertilization."
The Bible doesn't have to tell us exactly when human life begins. Simple biology (along with some common sense) will do the trick. It's an indisputable fact that life begins at conception. 
Moreover, such a view encounters some problems. One of those problems is the case of identical twins and - in rare cases - identical triplets.
Maybe I'm missing something but, even after reading TurretinFan's elaboration of this point, I still fail to see the problem. Whether you eventually end up with one, two, or thirty individual human beings, the fact is that, from the point of conception, that is exactly what we are dealing with—human life.

Thankfully, TurretinFan makes it clear that he is not attempting to throw water on the pro-life movement. Instead, he's trying to help by making a clear distinction between human life and "ensouled" human life.
. . . it makes sense for us to cautiously over-protect unborn children - perhaps even attempting to legally protect fertilized human eggs prior to any division.  Since we are not sure when exactly God gives a human soul, it makes sense conservatively to protect from the fertilized egg onward.
The problem is that his distinction just isn't that helpful. While I'm sure there are pro-lifers out there who are using arguments about souls and whatnot, many (most?) of us are simply pointing out that the unborn, from the moment of conception, is an individual human life. All this talk about souls is beside the point. The question is not, "Does the unborn have a soul?" Instead the question is, "Is human life intrinsically valuable?" If your answer to the second question is yes, then all this speculation about the point of ensoulment is unnecessary.

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