Monday, January 14, 2002

unborn babies

I never really get into the abortion debate.
My opinions are pretty firm about the whole thing, but time and again, bio-ethical questions just pin me down and laugh in my face.

It's hard to admit I am a philosophy major. Trained to think critically and logically, but still getting stumped by age-old questions of life and death.

Here's the latest.

Kyndall is pregnant. That's easy enough. And, let me tell you, if there was ever doubt that an 8 week old blob of bio-matter was or was not a living person, those days are long behind me.

That kid in Kyndall is a real live kid, and speaking from the heart, I could never see it any other way. That question has finally been quenched.

Here's the next one, though. When I say all people, I mean all the people on the earth. I don't mean all the dead people who have come and gone, and I don't mean all the people who are yet be.

So, it's all people. I know what I mean when I say all people. But what does Jesus mean when he says, "for all [people] have sinned and come short of the glory of God?"

Let's go ahead and truncate the glory of God. I know that a finite being would always come short of the infinite glory of our Heavenly Father.

So, let's move on to the sin part.

You mean to tell me that Jesus is saying that before my child takes her first breath of Earth's oxygen she's already sinned? Before she can make a decision on her own? Before she can open her eyes?

There's always that knee-jerk reaction. Its worth listening to, because the knee-jerk reaction is not cluttered with thinking.

My reaction was: "Of course, not. What are you crazy that an unborn child is in there coveting another baby's fancier umbilical cord? Silliness."

There's always that second reaction, too. The one that asks a few questions before it finally draws a conclusion.

Some questions just have to be asked.

If I think that a baby inside the womb has not sinned, do I also have to think that a baby one minute outside the womb has also not sinned?

You see the reasoning for inside the womb fits splendidly with the argument for the first minute also being sin-free.

So, we must consider why we think this at all.

The root of it all, to not draw things out, is because a child so undeveloped would not be capable of acutely deciphering between what is an action of good and what is an action of bad.

If I have to think a child one minute outside the womb is sin-free, do I also have to think that a baby one day outside the womb has also not sinned?

I think the answer to all of those questions is yes. If you answer yes to the former, you simply have to answer yes to the latter. It's a bummer I know.

So, let's just take a running leap at this.

Have you ever been to a nursery and seen one child get blindingly jealous of another child who has the very toy the first child just discarded? It seems ridiculous, but jealousy is sinful, right?

Jesus did not role model jealousy to us, right? No. He didn't. That's right.

So, we know kids are sinful.

Remember we are not deciding who is going to heaven and who is going to hell here. I just want to consider who has sinned and come short of the glory of God.

So, let's return to the basics. All have sinned. That's pretty clear. A newborn child is a real living person, even to the most liberal feminist.

A person has to be put into the group of all people, no getting around it.

So, what happens if we reverse the question above we were asking? If I say that a baby one minute out of the womb has (somehow) already sinned must I also say that (somehow) a child one minute before birth, still inside the womb, has also sinned?

I think, because a=b and b=c then c=a, we must also consider that because c=b and b=a then c=a. Just because it is backwards, doesn't necessarily negate it.

This is what I mean. Things like this just kill me.

It makes no sense, but it has to be because it's the way the logic flows.

Maybe you can explain to me what's going on inside there to disqualify my unborn daughter from sinlessness!

If I had to guess how to approach this, I would probably have to transcend the whole physical birth scenario and talk about the creation/birth of a soul and some kind of timeline around that.

Of course, let me end with this - all questions do not require an answer for me believe. Thinking is healthy.

1 comment:

Jerry Nixon said...

I blog about this elsewhere, but my thinking around this issue has created a distinction between sinner (guilty of sin) and sinful (poisoned by sin).

I believe the unborn are sinful, even though they most likely have not sinned. Furthermore, I also think our sinfulness is what disqualifies us in God's eyes.

Sin are simply manifestations of our inherent sinfulness. :) It's not just word games, I promise.