Note: I wrote this in 1996, back when my favorite hobby was arguing with Sproul plaza preachers. I've mellowed out a bit, and now consider it totally pointless to proselytize atheism, since my morality doesn't dictate that I am required to advise someone else that they are an imbecile, and it isn't worth my time to try to figure out how to explain reality to a christian just so that he stops feeling all that guilt. Since Chuck is back on campus, though, I thought I should put this online again.
The Bible is not "Pro-Life"
Many people use the sixth commandment to say abortion is wrong, but what does the bible really say about abortion?
Nothing. Abortion is never mentioned in the bible. That being so, we must look for other clues as to what the writers of the bible would have said about abortion. The bible clearly specifies death as the punishment for many minor offenses, including: failing to honor the Sabbath, disobedience to parents and, of course, murder. Exodus 21:22 says that if a man hurts a pregnant woman and causes her to have a miscarriage, he shall be punished according to what the woman's husband determines, and will be fined as the judges determine. Clearly, if the Israelites considered this murder, he should have been killed, therefore, causing a miscarriage is not murder.
Several times, the bible defines life as "breath." This seems to imply that life begins at birth, with the first breath. Clearly, a fetus is not breathing, and so aborting it is not murder.
The bible does not say abortion is wrong, and seems to imply that there is nothing at all wrong with it, but even if the bible said abortion is wrong, this is not a theocracy, and abortion is a religious question, protected by the first amendment.
For more information, you may want to go to http://freethought.tamu.edu/org/ffrf/nontracts/abortion.html If you are interested in discussing issues like this with people who have not pithed themselves with bibles, I recommend going to meetings of SANE - Students for A Non-religious Ethos.
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Last updated 12 February 2001.