Naturalists disagree on various aspects of this issue, but for them it can only be decided by scientific facts and shared human values. Accordingly, the most widely accepted and defensible position among naturalists is that elective late term abortion is immoral (to some degree) because it destroys a human mind (as at that stage a complex cerebral cortex, which generates human personality and consciousness, has formed and begun early stages of operation), but before that point there is no "person" yet to destroy. There is a person under construction, hence a potential person. But potential persons can only have potential rights, while it is actual persons who have actual rights. Rights are conferred by human convention, and should serve the interests of promoting every individual's pursuit of happiness, placing actual people before potential people, and respecting the realities they face. Decisions about abortion (personally and politically) should reflect these facts.
Does your faith or worldview have a specific stance on abortion? What is it?
The Bible condemns the killing of human beings (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Matthew 5:21; Mark 10:19, etc) when it is done without the express permission or command of God Himself.
For example, governments have God's permission to execute murderers and certain other types of criminals (Genesis 9:6; Numbers 35:17; Leviticus 20:2, 24:14, 24:16; Deuteronomy 13:10; Romans 13:4) and to wage wars against nations under certain circumstances (Numbers 31:7; Joshua 8; 1 Samuel 15:18). These types of killings are acceptable because God has told us they are officially approved exceptions to the general rule not to kill humans.
However, nowhere in scripture has God made an exception to the sixth commandment, "You shall not murder", to permit abortion.
The early Christian community, perhaps even the apostles themselves, developed a document known as the "Didache". While it is not considered scripture, it is an accurate representation of many teachings of the early Christian church. The Didache states in chapter two, included in a list of dos and don'ts:
"you shall not murder a child by abortion".
The Bible teaches that not only abortionists and murderers, but rather EVERYONE has disobeyed God's perfect rules (Romans 3:23) and we are ALL deserving of punishment, but God has chosen to offer us forgiveness instead (Romans 6:23). To receive this gift of forgiveness, God has informed us that we must sincerely confess that Jesus is our only Lord and truly believe that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9).
Can non-Christian views be internally consistent?
A religious friend declined an invitation to a coworker's going away party because he feared there would be drinking there. Does the bible not encourage moderate consumption of wine?
Why does the creator of the entire universe get the value of pi wrong (2 Chron 4: 2)?
Why are books of faith, such as the Bible or Koran, seething with so much violence? Do you think that there is a relationship between the violence that has been perpetrated in the name of religion and the books of faith?
Answers: Atheist, Christian
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