Central Argument • The central argument is whether or not the unborn are fully human or not.
SLED Argument • Size • Level of Development • Environment • Degree of Dependency
Size • Embryos are smaller than newborns and adults by why is that relevant? Men are generally larger than women but does that make them more human? Size does not equal value.
Level of Development • Embryos and fetuses are less developed than you and I. Four year olds less developed than 14 year olds. • Newborns do not have self awareness. People with diseases such as Alzheimer’s do not have self awareness.
Environment • Where you are has no bearing on who you are.
Degree of Dependency • Degree of dependency does not make one less human. Many depend on insulin, artificial respirators, medicine etc for survival but that does not make them less human.
Trot Out the Toddler • Would this justification of killing the unborn work for killing a toddler?
What is the Unborn? • Human embryos are not creatures different in kind from human beings. They are human beings – distinct living members of the species.
Did I Change? • You did not come from an embryo. You once were an embryo. At no point in your prenatal development did you undergo a substantial change or change of nature. You began as a human being and will remain so until death.
Distinct, Living, and Whole • Embryos are not mature human beings. • Distinct, living, whole members of the human species • Just like infants, toddlers, teenagers
Embryo is Unique • Unique chromosomal structure. Different blood type and different internal organs than the mom or dad.
Embryo is Living • Irritability • Metabolism • Cellular reproduction. Exhibits all of these in a way that is conducive to its own survival.
Humans Produce Humans • Human parents produce human offspring. • Embryo is a complete or whole human organism rather than part of another living entity.
Six Common Objections • Twinning • Embryos can split up to 14 days after conception. Therefore some claim that they cannot be unique individuals before then • Through cloning, a twin can be formed from any of us. That does not mean we do not have a right to life.
Miscarriage • Just because miscarriages are common, it does not mean that the embryos do not have a right to live. • There are high infant mortality rates in third world nations. It does not follow that their lives are less valuable.
Burning Research Lab • Suppose a lab full of embryos was burning. Who would you save first, the embryos or a two year old? • Of course you would save the two year old first. If my son was in the building I might save him before others but that does not make him more human than the rest.
Burning Research Lab Continued.. • Debate is not who we are going to save, its who we are going to kill. • Huck Finn Argument • At one time the majority of people would have said you should always save a white person before a black person but that does not make it correct.
The Sperm and the Egg are Alive • The embryo is a whole human organism, sperm and egg are merely parts of larger human organisms. • The embryo has the capacity to develop into all stages of human existence without anything external. The sperm and the egg do not.
Ignorance • Some say that since we don’t know the exact time when the sperm and the egg unite, we can’t say when life begins. • Just because we don’t know exactly when it begins we can identify it after it already happened. That is enough to preserve the life of the embryo.
Human Being is Too Hard to Define • That is simply false. • Humans produce humans so the embryo and fetus are human
What Makes Humans Valuable • Humans have value simply because they are human. If you deny this, it’s difficult to account for fundamental human equality for all.
Christians – We are endowed by our Creator with unalienable right to life. • Pro Abortion – This fundamental right does not exist
Embryo and Brain Dead Person are Not Alike • Embryos function as living organisms and brain dead people do not. • Embryos brain is “not yet” while the brain dead person is “no more.”
Human Exceptionalism • Is a man who kills his dog to feed his son any different than the man who kills his son to feed his dog? • OF COURSE!!
The Religion Thing All Pro Life and Pro Choice arguments are based on our natural rights. If a woman has a “right to choose”, where did that right come from. If it is purely a legal right than if the state outlaws abortion she no longer can claim that right. If it is a God given right, don’t claim that only one side is using a religious argument.
Modern Legal Decisions • Power, raw political power determines who is and who is not a human being with rights.
Modern Legal Decisions Continued • Two Foundational Truths Forgotten • The purpose of government is not to create rights but to secure rights given by God • One cannot speak seriously of things that are truly rightful or of human rights in general without assuming moral realism • If there is no moral law then law becomes a system of political power accountable to no one.