Pro-Life Blogs and a Pro-Life-Friendly Blog Post

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I was wondering why I've been getting so much traffic from Pro-Life Blogs. I guess it's because there are only twelve blogs in it so far. I had assumed it had been publicized fairly well, but I guess not, so I'm doing my share.

Their requirements for membership:

1. Have a weblog or pro-life web site.

2. Subscribe to the sanctity of human life and pro-life principles (human life is precious and life begins at conception).

3. Blog, at least in part, on pro-life related issues such as abortion, adoption, embryonic stem cell research, or euthanasia. The theme of your blog can be politics, social issues, theology, etc. as long as there is some expression of your pro-life stand. Naturally, your blog cannot contain any objectionable material, such as calls to violence, racism or profanity.

4. Promote ProLifeBlogs and/or a ProLifeBlogs web site [see the site for more specifics on this].

While we're on the topic, check out Volokh's surprisingly pro-life-friendly post this morning. I have to disagree with him on one thing. Seeing abortion as the moral equivalent of muder doesn't require attacking abortion clinics or giving women who have abortions the death penalty, because it's not legally murder, and many pro-life people are Christians who believe in submitting to the laws of their government even if they disagree with them. Also, many pro-life people realize that abortion is often heartlessly pushed on young women by their parents and boyfriends or in some cases by what they expect those people would do or say. The rest of Volokh's comments are worth heeding, particularly if you're Andrew Sullivan. I'm seriously contemplating removing my link to him, not for the first time.

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Sam and Jeremy Pierce are about to present their next co-production to the world at large. What is it with bloggers and reproduction anyway? (Dear God, no.) Read More

Welcome to all who have joined ProLifeBlogs and who blog on behalf of the pre-born! There are presently 24 sites on our Blogroll and almost the same number in the aggregator that displays our member's new entries on the homepage.... Read More


I simply don't know when a bunch of cells becomes a person. And I don't think anyone can make this determination objectively. Either it is, or is not, a person at conception or at some later date.

Since the two positions disagree on this point, and the two positions are mutually exclusive, (Shrodinger's cat not withstanding) one side is wrong.

If the Pro-Lifers are wrong, a baby gets born. If the Pro-Choicer are wrong, they are committing murder. When the question is fundamentally indeterminable in this manner, one has to err on the side that does the least damage. So that defaults me to the Pro-Life side.

I would say it's not interdeterminable. Person is a synonymn for human being. Biologically speaking, a human being's life begins at conception, just like any other species has its life begin at conception. (As far as I know, no respected scientist disputes that. The dispute, rather, is over what rights attach at whatever stage of life.) Moreover, if the Bible is your authority, as it is mine, the Bible is clear that life begins at conception.

Jason, the sticking point is in supporting your first two statements. The rest of what you say is really irrelevant to that. I agree with you, but it's not easy to argue for. That's why Ben gives the argument he gives for presuming against abortion, which I think is a good argument.

I read this story today and GWB just lost my vote:
In the winter of 1971 George W. Bush was dating a woman named Robin Lowman (now Robin Garner). Miss Lowman became pregnant by GWB and he arranged for her to have an abortion - which in the great state of Texas in 1971 was very illegal! Not to mention that George W. is running as a pro-life candidate for the presidency.
The source of this story, was a friend of Robin Lowman's and the girlfriend of the man who arranged the abortion. His name is Robert Carl Chandler. Chandler is a Bush friend and supporter from way back and he made the arrangements for Miss Lowman's abortion at the Twelve Oaks Hospital in Houston, TX (now the Bayou City Medical Center). The source overheard the call by Mr. Chandler to arrange the abortion and the source visited Robin Lowman at the Twelve Oaks Hospital after the procedure.
The source meanwhile, is afraid of coming forward, saying that she was threatened by Chandler and another Bush friend and supporter named Jim Bath. Bath has longstanding intelligence connections, and played a role in the BCCI scandal. Robin Lowman (now Garner) is married to Jerry Lee Garner who is an FBI agent.
I am dismayed at this story and do not know what to believe. I know the president had a 'past', but could not imagine anything worse than this.

I plan to stay home on Nov 2nd in protest.


'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'
Bible, Mark 10:14

So what would you do if it were someone else who had done this as a young man but then converted to evangelical Christianity much later, had a resultant change of views including opposition to abortion, and then sought political office according to those views?

I don't know if these charges are true. I have no idea. The testimony of someone who may for all I know just hate the guy doesn't seem to me to be good enough grounds not to vote for him, even apart from the fact that it's mere hearsay that she's the one saying it. Also, a vote for Bush in 2004 isn't a vote for Bush in 1971. Staying home to protest something the guy did in his 20s after all that's changed about him doesn't seem to accord much with a biblical attitude:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (I Cor 6:9-11, ESV)

Behold the Oak Tree
A single oak tree produces how many acorns every year? Who knows? Hundreds? Thousands?

Each of those acorns is capable of producing a new oak tree, but how many do? One or two a year, maybe, depending on where the squirrels bury them and what happens after that. Only those that Mother Nature* decides she wants. The rest simply rot away. Just look at all that potential life gone to waste! Somehow, I don't hear anyone decrying the loss of "life" of all those baby oak trees.

A human fertility clinic produces how many embryos every year? Who knows? Hundreds? Thousands?

Each of those embryos is capable of producing a new human being, but how many do? Only those that human mothers decide they want. The rest simply get thrown away. No one decries that loss either. It's only when there is a possibility that these otherwise useless clumps of cells might be put to good use that some start raising the roof.

Protesting the use of leftover human embryos for the purpose of saving and enhancing the lives of already existing, real-live human beings is as logical as protesting the use by Mother Nature of leftover acorns for enriching the soil, feeding the squirrels and the microbes, and whatever else she chooses.

But, they say, there is a difference. These are potential human lives. That's right. They are potential human lives, but that potential will never be realized. Why not use their other potentials? Let acorns feed the lives of the squirrels and the microbes. Let these embryos feed the lives and health of the sick and injured, in whatever way they can. Mother Nature never wastes anything. Why should we?

No, you've misrepresented the argument. The claim is not that they're potential human lives. They are biologically alive, plain and simple. There's no questioning that. According to any understanding of biological life I'm aware of, human embryos are alive. They won't live very long without implantation once unfrozen, but they are alive. They are also human. They have human DNA, so they are human, just as my little toe is human because of its human DNA. So they are human life, just as my little toe is human life. But there's one further difference. They have their own DNA. That means they're their own organisms. That means they are living human organisms. The claim is that killing a living human organism is wrong, or at least that there's a strong presumption against killing anything in that category.

I happen to think that statement is true. How strong the presumption is may depend on elements particular to that living human organism, and some have argued that if there is no nervous system then there's a much weaker presumption. I can accept that only if moral hedonism is true. If the only things of intrinsic value are pleasure and pain, then there should be a very weak presumption against killing empbryos. I just think that moral claim is false. Other things affect whether an outcome is good and bad, and things besides good and bad consequences affect right and wrong. One of them is the constraint against taking human life, which is very strong indeed.

The only other argument I've ever seen is circular. It argues that it's morally wrong to kill something only if it's a person (or only if it has enough characteristics like personhood). Then it defines personhood in terms of what would be necessary to make embryos non-persons. Voila, now we have no moral prohibition against killing embryos! It's no surprise that this account of personhood came about because of the abortion issue. The first time it ever appears, to my knowledge, is in the abortion literature. It's the biggest example of theoretical bootstrapping within moral philosophy of the last century.

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