16 Arguments Against Abortion, with Rebuttals

What would an atheist think of Christians in favor of this?I’ve argued the pro-choice position with Christians, and I’ve gotten a lot of responses to my arguments. Here are some of the arguments I’ve heard, with my rebuttals.

1. The Bible says that abortion is wrong. As I’ve argued before, it doesn’t and God has no problem killing people, including children. The Bible is a poor justification for the argument that killing is wrong.

2. Abortion tinkers with the natural order. We have cheerfully adopted medicine and technology that “tinkers with the natural order”—antibiotics, vaccines, and anesthesia, for example—to which we don’t give a second thought. We prolong life beyond what the “natural order” would permit and allow it to happen where it otherwise wouldn’t (in vitro fertilization, for example). Abortion might be bad, but that it changes the natural order is no argument.

3. You argue that a newborn has more cells than the zygote that it started from. Is this just a size thing? What about someone who’s lost a limb? Or had tonsils, appendix, or gall bladder removed? Are they less of a person? The difference between an amputee and a newborn is trivial compared to that between the newborn and the single cell. In the long list of organs, limbs, and systems, this amputee has one fewer. Compare that with a single cell, which has none of those body parts!

We can push this thinking to the ridiculous. Imagine technology that provides life support so that a human head could survive. Is this less of a person?

Well, yeah—obviously. Someone who’s been reduced to just a head isn’t as much of a person as they were. Or consider Terry Shiavo, who was allowed to die after 15 years in a vegetative state. Was she less of a person? Her severe brain damage certainly made her less of something, and you can label this whatever you want.

4. Imagine that you’d been aborted! I wouldn’t care, would I?

5. Imagine that you had two planned kids, and then you had a child after an unplanned pregnancy. You wouldn’t want to give that child up. But if you’d aborted it, your life would be emptier. Of course I’d love my unplanned child as much as my other ones. But what do we conclude from this? That I should have not had two kids but rather three? Or five? Or fifteen? Should I expect some tsk-ing behind my back as neighbors wonder why my wife and I could have been so callous to have not has as many as biology would permit?

By similar logic, is a woman’s menstrual cycle a cause for lamentation because that was a missed opportunity for a child? It is a sign of a potential life, lost. But in any life, there are millions of paths not taken. C’est la vie.

I don’t think it’s immoral to limit the number of children you have, and I don’t see much difference between zero cells and one cell—it’s all part of the spectrum. I’ll agree that the thought “Let’s have a baby” isn’t a baby … but then neither is a single cell.

6. What’s the big deal about traveling down the birth canal? The big deal is that before that process, only the mother could support the baby. Afterwards, it breathes and eats on its own. The baby could then be taken away and never see its mother again and grow up quite healthy. Before, the mother was essential; after, she’s unnecessary.

I’m not arguing that abortion should be legal up until delivery. In fact, I’m not arguing for any definition of when abortion should become illegal. My main point has simply been that the personhood of the fetus increases from single cell through newborn, which makes abortion arguable.

7. It’s a human from conception through adulthood! The DNA doesn’t change. What else would that single cell be—a sponge? A zebra? OK, if you don’t like “human,” let’s use “person.” No—person means the same thing as human!

This name game is a common way to avoid the issue. I don’t care what you call the spectrum as long as we use names that make clear what the newborn has that the single cell doesn’t.

8. What if the mother wanted to abort because the fetus had green eyes or was female or would likely be gay? This is a red herring. How many cases are we talking about? Abortion to increase the fraction of male babies is done in India and China, but this isn’t a factor in the U.S.

Abortions for capricious or shallow reasons also aren’t the issue. Mothers-to-be have plenty of noble instincts to judge what is appropriate so that society can rest assured that the right thing will usually be done. (If you balk at the “usually,” remember that that’s how society’s laws work. They’re not perfect, and we can only hope that they’re usually on target.) We can certainly talk about the few special cases where a woman’s actions seem petty, but don’t let that change abortion rights for the majority.

The woman who aborts for some trivial reason would likely be a terrible mother. Let’s let a woman who isn’t mature enough to take care of a baby opt out.

9. Abortions are dangerous! Not really. The chance of maternal death from delivering a baby is 12 times higher than through abortion. This is just what you’d expect, since the fetus only gets bigger (and more dangerous to deliver) with time. Of course, this statistic will change if abortion is made illegal and more dangerous.

There is no indication that abortion is a risk factor for cancer or women’s mental health.

Next time: Why is it Always Men Advancing the Pro-Life Position?

Part 2: 16 Arguments Against Abortion, with Rebuttals (part 2)

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48 thoughts on “16 Arguments Against Abortion, with Rebuttals

  1. As usual, these issues are far more complex than your trivial one line dismissals of concern would indicate. And you chose the least flattering wording of each to paint those in favor of life in the most negative light possible. I will not add other comments, but will point out one article on one of your points. It is by Chuck Colson, with a web link here: http://links.mkt3980.com/servlet/MailView?ms=MjUyMTQ1NAS2&r=OTQ0MjE5NDg5S0&
    j=MzU4NzQ5OTkS1&mt=1&rt=0
    =======================================
    Sex-Selection Abortion in the U.S.
    The Myth of “Choice”

    December 23, 2011

    A few years ago, Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund of Columbia University were
    looking at data from the 2000 Census. They noticed that immigrants from
    China, Korea and India had fewer American-born daughters than you would
    expect.

    Whereas among native-born whites, the male-to-female ratio – 1.05 to 1 – was
    constant regardless of family size, that wasn’t the case in families from
    these three countries. If the oldest child was a girl, then sex ratio for
    the second child jumped to 1.17 to 1 in favor of boys. And if the first two
    children were girls, the sex ratio for third children soared to amazing 1.5
    boys for every 1 girl.

    The conclusion was inescapable: These families were practicing sex selection
    to ensure they had a son. As I have told you previously, this practice is
    common in Asia: by some estimates, there are 100 million fewer girls alive
    today than there should be. The combination of pre-natal testing and
    abortion, coupled with a strong cultural preference for sons, has created a
    shortage of females in Asia.

    Almond and Endlund’s research showed that the practice accompanied
    immigrants to the U.S. Another study of two San Francisco-area abortion
    clinics found that 89 percent of the South Asian patients carrying females
    had an abortion during the period covered by the study. For many of the
    women, it wasn’t their first sex-selection abortion.

    The reasons behind these abortions demonstrate how hollow phrases like
    “choice” and “reproductive rights” really are. Writing in Forbes magazine,
    Richard Miniter described how these women, “pregnant with daughters,
    reported incredible pressure by in-laws and husbands to produce sons and not
    daughters.”

    They were threatened with “divorce or abandonment…beaten, choked or [even
    kicked in their] abdomen in the hopes of preventing a daughter,” he wrote.
    Remember, this is happening in the Bay area, not in some Indian village. And
    the pressures that lead to sex-selection abortion are felt even by women
    with graduate or professional degrees.

    If there is one restriction on abortion the vast majority of Americans
    support, it is eliminating sex-selection abortion. Yet many of those who, in
    theory, should be most troubled by the targeting of unborn females are
    adamantly opposed to outlawing the practice.

    I’m speaking, of course, of feminists and their allies. Ironically, they
    have come out in opposition to a bill, the Prenatal Discrimination Act, or
    PRENDA, which would ban the selected abortion of females in the U.S.

    They claim that PRENDA would “stigmatize some women…from exercising their
    fundamental human right to make and implement decisions about their
    reproductive lives.”

    It’s hard to imagine a statement less-grounded in reality: The women in
    question are being kept from making and implementing these decisions right
    now. The law as it stands facilitates the coercion that forces women to
    abort their daughters. It’s easier for a husband to pressure his wife into
    aborting her unborn daughter here in the U.S. than in India or China, where
    sex-selection abortions are illegal.

    Pro-abortion forces are insisting that PRENDA is a “ploy.” Now look folks,
    the fact of the matter is that the feminist cannot live with the logic
    consequences of their own worldview. And if you can’t, what that proves is
    that worldview, the feminist worldview, is false.
    ====================================

  2. ” 1. The Bible says that abortion is wrong. As I’ve argued before, it doesn’t and God has no problem killing people, including children. The Bible is a poor justification for the argument that killing is wrong.”

    Yes it does. “That shalt not murder”. Bob refuses to differentiate between killing and murder.

    God does not murder anyone for the fun of it, or take the life of sinless people.

    All Bob’s examples are killing done in judgment against sinners. Not murder!

    Of course what do you expect? In Bobs worldview of relativity, maybe killing and murder are the same thing? Bob has no standard to differentiate between the two. Being there is no good or bad.

    Very intolerant of Bob.. I thought Bob was to be tolerant of all people and respect their views. Since there are no absolute right or wrongs? More inconsistencies.

    • “That shalt not murder”. Bob refuses to differentiate between killing and murder.

      You need to read my posts! I’ve already been over this. In the first place, “thou shalt not murder” isn’t in the V2.0 set of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 34) that wound up in the Ark of the Covenant. And “thou shalt not murder” is basically a tautology. “Thou shalt not perform illegal/immoral killing” doesn’t tell us anything about what qualifies as “murder.”

      All Bob’s examples are killing done in judgment against sinners. Not murder!

      Oh? Then tell me why the babies and fetuses of the Amalekites deserved to die.

      Wait, wait–let me guess. We are all born sinners, and it’s not that the Amalekite babies died inappropriately, it’s that God (for some bizarre reason) allows we sinners to continue living even though he has no obligation to. Is that right?!

      In Bobs worldview of relativity, maybe killing and murder are the same thing?

      This Bob likes to use the dictionary. And “thou shalt not murder” doesn’t tell us what actions are murder. It tells us nothing.

      (As I said in my post. Better go back and reread!)

      More inconsistencies.

      Show me one. Lotsa claims, zero evidence!

  3. Bob said”

    “..You need to read my posts! I’ve already been over this. In the first place, “thou shalt not murder” isn’t in the V2.0 set of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 34) that wound up in the Ark of the Covenant….”

    So Bob is making an absolute truth statement that the 2 nd set of tablets the ten commandments is not the set that wound up in the Ark.

    Well Jehovah and Moses say the complete opposite of what Bob says. In fact Bob you lied; Read and see the 2nd set is identical to the first set..Same ten commandments and where did they end up? God and Moses say the Ark

    Deuteronomy 10
    The Tablets Rewritten
    1 “At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone like the former ones, and come up to Me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood for yourself. 2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered, and you shall put them in the ark.

    Also Jesus quotes 6 of the Ten commandments that Bob says “Thou shalt not Murder is not there. And Jesus actually quotes word for word :”Thou shalt not murder.

    Jesus says in Matt:

    “There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

    Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS;”

    That is the results of relativism..Bob believes what is true to God, Moses, and Jesus. Is not true for him. The classic relativist. Bob is a walking contradiction.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Seven Things Relativists Cannot Do Without Self-Contradiction

    If a person denies the existence of absolute truth, he or she necessarily denies the existence of an objective standard for determining whether an action, condition or outcome in a given situation is correct or incorrect, acceptable or unacceptable, and whether it is better or worse than an alternative. Consequently, the postmodern relativist cannot do the following without self-contradiction:

    “Accuse others of wrongdoing

    Complain about the problem of evil

    Place blame or accept praise

    Make charges of unfairness or injustice

    [Claim to] improve their morality

    Hold meaningful moral discussions

    Promote the [moral] obligation of tolerance”

    “Virtually all relativists fall prey to what Alvin Plantinga of the University of Notre Dame calls a ‘philosophical tar baby.’ If relativists try to use certain objections against moralists, they get stuck on their own objections.”3 Examples include, “I will tolerate nothing but absolute tolerance” and “it is wrong for you to tell me I’m wrong.” The first sentiment is self-contradictory and therefore meaningless; the second is immediately hypocritical.

    More inconsistencies.

    • So Bob is making an absolute truth statement

      Stop flogging. That horse is dead.

      I don’t need to qualify my statements with “but that’s just my opinion.” Everyone understands that I make no absolute claim.

      Well Jehovah and Moses say the complete opposite of what Bob says.

      I’m just readin’ the Good Book and givin’ it the benefit of the doubt. (You’re welcome.)

      In fact Bob you lied; Read and see the 2nd set is identical to the first set..Same ten commandments

      Lied? Wow–where did that come from?

      Uh, no–the first set is listed in Ex. 20 and the second in Ex. 34. My command of English is decent, and I can tell that they differ in dramatic ways. Why not give them a read yourself and simply let the Good Book speak to you without imposing your agenda on it?

      Deuteronomy 10

      We’ve been over this–I agree with you that the Bible tells contradictory stories. I’m simply focusing on the contradiction between Ex. 20 and Ex. 34. If you’re going to respond, please respond directly to my point.

      Bob believes what is true to God, Moses, and Jesus. Is not true for him.

      Yeah, Yahweh, Shiva, Thor, and all those gods don’t have a lot to say to me. How about you?

      Bob is a walking contradiction.

      I’m pretty consistent. You’re the one who engages in special pleading for the religion you happen to favor. How about a level playing field?

      Seven Things Relativists Cannot Do Without Self-Contradiction

      Wow–what nonsense. I do all those things. And if you ever paid attention to what I write, you’ll see that there are no contradictions in my position. You need to step up your game here, Bob C. Less platitudes and more actual engagement in the argument.

      If relativists try to use certain objections against moralists, they get stuck on their own objections.”3 Examples include, “I will tolerate nothing but absolute tolerance” and “it is wrong for you to tell me I’m wrong.” The first sentiment is self-contradictory and therefore meaningless; the second is immediately hypocritical.

      I never say either statement (as I’ve made clear many, many times).

      Where’s your inconsistency now?

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  5. We seem to have started our series on abortion pretty much at the same time. Pretty cool. I think we’re pretty much on the same wavelength, at least on the questions you posted, as well as your previous entries.

    • Thanks for the tip. I’ll check out your posts on the subject. I have 3 more in my series.

      The Zero Population Growth issue doesn’t get much traction these days with the quiverful crowd. (Can you say “carrying capacity”?)

      IMO, politics has been the unhelpful addition to the conversation that has confused things.

  6. If relativists try to use certain objections against moralists, they get stuck on their own objections.”3 Examples include, “I will tolerate nothing but absolute tolerance” and “it is wrong for you to tell me I’m wrong.” The first sentiment is self-contradictory and therefore meaningless; the second is immediately hypocritical.

    Bob said:

    ” I never say either statement (as I’ve made clear many, many times)…”

    ” Where’s your inconsistency now?”

    Bob you just got some more tar on you. Your statement … “I never say either statement”… Commits the example (above) you just denied. So say ” I never say either statement.” is telling me (Bob Calvan) that I was wrong to tell you your wrong. You just told me I was wrong . Which makes you hypocritical. You can go to Home Depot and get a gallon of turpentine to get all the “tar” off.

    There is your inconsistency.

    When one abandons the idea that a set of laws applies to every human being, all that remains is subjective personal opinions You must be consistent in your relativistic worldview. You must be TOLERANT ( look it up) of everyone’s opinion and respect them. So when ever you commit any of the following 7 premises listed below I will remind you of you self-contradiction.

    If a person denies the existence of absolute truth, he or she necessarily denies the existence of an objective standard for determining whether an action, condition or outcome in a given situation is correct or incorrect, acceptable or unacceptable, and whether it is better or worse than an alternative. Consequently, the postmodern relativist cannot do the following without self-contradiction:

    “Accuse others of wrongdoing

    Complain about the problem of evil

    Place blame or accept praise

    Make charges of unfairness or injustice

    [Claim to] improve their morality

    Hold meaningful moral discussions

    Promote the [moral] obligation of tolerance”

    “Virtually all relativists fall prey to what Alvin Plantinga of the University of Notre Dame calls a ‘philosophical tar baby.’ If relativists try to use certain objections against moralists, they get stuck on their own objections.”3 Examples include, “I will tolerate nothing but absolute tolerance” and “it is wrong for you to tell me I’m wrong.” The first sentiment is self-contradictory and therefore meaningless; the second is immediately hypocritical.

    • Seems to me you are equivocating on two meanings of the word “wrong”- wrong as truth-value and wrong as moral evaluation. Saying that your claim that he said X is “wrong” means it is not true, not that it is not goodly (although one obviously can try to derive the latter from the former).

      PS I am very much anti-relativist, in case you want to start picking on what I said as well. I do believe there is a universal morality: but Christianity is not it, by far. I don’t know of any moral worldview MORE relativist than Christianity.

    • You just told me I was wrong .

      Yes, I did. I often tell you you’re wrong. Because you are (… at least in my opinion).

      Is your point that I didn’t qualify my statement with “in my opinion”? That’s true. But that’s how modern parlance works–people understand that “you’re wrong” makes no claim to be an absolutely or transcendentally correct statement but just an opinion.

      You must be TOLERANT ( look it up) of everyone’s opinion and respect them.

      I respect others’ opinions in that I don’t shoot them. I don’t respect their opinions in that I reserve the right to disagree with them.

      But this can hardly be news to anyone.

  7. Bob I remember your account for human dignity, ethics, and morals you guessed were intuitions all men had through the process of evolution. I do have a question. If all our morality and ethics are intuitive why ( in your relative world) are they different? Take this example.

    In 1885 when general Custer and his 7th cavalry went to Montana to force the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians back to their reservations. Custer and his men were cut off,surrounded by a superior force of Oglala Sioux under the legendary warrior Crazy Horse. When the battle of the Little Big Horn was over. The bodies of the slain solders were stripped and mutilated,. Scalps were taken, stomachs slit open, eardrums punctured, genitals dismembered. Custer’s brother Tom, heart was cut out and eaten, etc.

    So here we have to groups of men Custer and the 7th Cavalry and Crazy Horse and the Sioux. Both in the same generation. Why did the mutant genomes for the Sioux produce different mutant genomes than the Cavalry? What happened? Why was Custer’s people horrified by the immoral acts of the Sioux? And why did the Sioux do exactly what they believed to be moral? If what you guessed at is true that our morality is instinctive would not they be the same. Were their two sets of evolutionary processes going on here? All Salmon instinctively swim to the same place to lay their eggs and die. All Monarch butterflies are born on the same tree’s and fly 3,000 miles away to lay eggs. Etc.

    • The word “instinctive” makes more sense than “intuitive” to me, but that word could be imperfect as well.

      If all our morality and ethics are intuitive why ( in your relative world) are they different?

      It’s easy to explain from the standpoint of evolution. Evolution is a sloppy, hit-or-miss process. The challenge is yours–you have to show why there’s variation when God wrote his law on our hearts (Jer. 31:33 and elsewhere).

      Both groups of fighters in your example did what they thought was proper in that situation. Each came from a different culture that had different views about war, honor, and the treatment of enemies. This is the other source of our morals–society.

  8. Hi Francisco nice talking to you.

    Francisco said:

    “..PS I am very much anti-relativist, in case you want to start picking on what I said as well. I do believe there is a universal morality: but Christianity is not it, by far. I don’t know of any moral worldview MORE relativist than Christianity…”

    I agree morality is absolute and universal.

    How do you account for the univesitality and the absoluteness of truth and morality?

    Please explain what you mean by Christian worldview being relative? I would hold to only the Christian worldview can account for absolute truth, morality, logic. human dignity, and intelligence. I would agree with Van Til that the Triune Christian God is the precondition of intelligence by the proof of the impossibility of the contrary. The proof of the Christian God is without Him you can not prove anything.

    • “Francisco said:”
      My name is Francois, not Francisco.

      “I agree morality is absolute and universal.”
      I didn’t say it was absolute. I did say it was universal (at least insofar as humans are concerned). Whether morality is absolute or not is not within the purview of this discussion, as far as I can tell.

      “How do you account for the univesitality and the absoluteness of truth and morality?”
      I account for it through the theory of evolution. Individual behavior and social behavior evolved because individuals and groups which behave in ways which fit the requirements of their lives are more likely to survive. Acting in cooperative ways will tend to achieve such results, therefore human nature includes various instinctual prohibitions against harm, concepts of fairness, etc. We also observe these to a lesser extent in other animal species which operate in groups, including primates.

      “Please explain what you mean by Christian worldview being relative?”
      Just talking to a Christian is enough to demonstrate this. When you ask them about various moral laws in the Bible, they will invariably reply “oh that was for those people at that specific time in history, bla bla.” Just pure relativist nonsense.
      Of course, the Christian worldview is fundamentally relative in that it is based on the premise that all truth is contingent on God’s will. Based on that, there can be no objective truth, since everything is subjective to God’s will. Therefore all they have to fall back on is relativism, especially as regards to theological matters. The Holy Spirit tells you what to believe, or divine inspiration, or you have to read the Bible with an open heart, bla bla bla.

      “I would hold to only the Christian worldview can account for absolute truth, morality, logic. human dignity, and intelligence.”
      HAHAHAHAHA! A presuppositionalist, huh? We know how miserably that line of argumentation has failed in the past ten years. For one thing, it’s one gigantic argument from ignorance. On the other, it’s a failure to recognize that Christianity CANNOT, by definition, account for any objective truth.

      “I would agree with Van Til that the Triune Christian God”
      Yea yea, here we go with the mysticism again…

      “The proof of the Christian God is without Him you can not prove anything.”
      Nope, I’m a strict materialist, and so I have no reason to be epistemically anxious. The more pertinent question is, why aren’t YOU?

  9. François:

    I didn’t say it was absolute. I did say it was universal (at least insofar as humans are concerned). Whether morality is absolute or not is not within the purview of this discussion, as far as I can tell.

    Bob Calvan’s view is that morality is objective–that is, that it’s absolute or supernaturally grounded. (I believe that captures his thinking, and I’m sure he’ll correct me as necessary.)

    As for me, I’ve never seen any evidence that moral truths are objective in this sense. IMO, we see within humanity universally held moral instincts, not universal moral truths.

    I agree with your point about evolution giving us our sense of morality. It’s easy to lampoon evolution as stating nothing more than “might makes right,” but this ignores your point that cooperation can be a powerfully positive trait.

    Just talking to a Christian is enough to demonstrate this. When you ask them about various moral laws in the Bible, they will invariably reply “oh that was for those people at that specific time in history, bla bla.” Just pure relativist nonsense.

    And then they’ll talk about the Bible’s immutable definition of marriage, ignoring the tribal bias against outsiders and the polygamy.

    • I just hope this is not gonna turn into another presup fest. Seriously, it’s like their new savior or something. Everywhere you go in atheist circles there’s some Christian trying to push presuppositionalism. It’s just as preposterous and self-contradictory a tactic than it was ten years ago.

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  11. Bob said:

    “Both groups of fighters in your example did what they thought was proper in that situation. Each came from a different culture that had different views about war, honor, and the treatment of enemies. This is the other source of our morals–society.”

    So which group was “right” in your worldview? According to you and Francisco their morals are a result of evolution. So are you saying both groups are right? That would not be possible? Both can be wrong but only one can be right? So which is it? Seems Francisco said he is not a relativist but looks like he is wrong.

    Francisco said:

    “I account for it through the theory of evolution. Individual behavior and social behavior evolved because individuals and groups which behave in ways which fit the requirements of their lives are more likely to survive. Acting in cooperative ways will tend to achieve such results, therefore human nature includes various instinctual prohibitions against harm, concepts of fairness, etc…”

    Seems according to Francisco individual behavior and social behavior evolved because individuals and groups behave in ways fit for the requirements of their lives for them to survive.. One may ask Bob and Francisco why scalping and blowing out ear drums and cutting off genitals helps in the survival of this group of people? But Francisco to be consistent must be a relativist and agree both Custer and Crazy Horse are evolutionary products of their culture. And both of their morals and their views on human ethics must be “right” for each group.. Even though that would be a contradiction and illogical. That is all Bob and Francisco can say. So we can see Francisco is a moral relativist.

    Francisco also said:

    “I just hope this is not going to turn into another presup fest. Seriously, it’s like their new savior or something. Everywhere you go in atheist circles there’s some Christian trying to push presuppositionalism. It’s just as preposterous and self-contradictory a tactic than it was ten years ago.”

    Just because you state the TAG argument for the existence of God is preposterous and self-contradictory is irrelevant.. Give us evidence how this argument is preposterous and self- contradictory, Eddy Tabash, and Gordon Stien are examples how their atheistic worldview is bankrupted and leads to absurdity. When you listen to their debates against the late Greg Bahnsen using the TAG argument for the existence of the Triune God.

    • “Seems Francisco said he is not a relativist but looks like he is wrong.”
      Why… because you don’t understand my ethical stance? That’s another argument from ignorance.

      “One may ask Bob and Francisco why scalping and blowing out ear drums and cutting off genitals helps in the survival of this group of people?”
      When did I say it did? You seem to have confused my position that “morality comes from evolution” for “everything anyone does is moral.” Obviously that is nonsense, and it does not follow. I also find it quite interesting that you use an example of non-White savagery against Whites.

      “But Francisco to be consistent must be a relativist and agree both Custer and Crazy Horse are evolutionary products of their culture. And both of their morals and their views on human ethics must be “right” for each group..”
      False. There is no such thing as ethics that is “right” for a group and not for the whole. Again, you made that up because, instead of asking my opinion, you just ASSUMED, like all presups, that my position is nonsensical, because without that prejudice you have NO ARGUMENT.

      “So we can see Francisco is a moral relativist.”
      Only in your deluded imagination, my friend. But thank you for insulting me by attributing a straw man to my position instead of my actual position. That’s very Christian of you, actually, because you Christians do that ALL THE TIME.

      It’s the same story, again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again…

    • Bob C:

      According to you and Francisco their morals are a result of evolution. So are you saying both groups are right?

      This really isn’t difficult.

      Evolution gives us the visceral sense of morality–what you rely on when you instantly are repelled or attracted to something on a moral level. This is what you rely on when you leap into danger to save someone else.

      At a higher level (with fashion at the top) are culturally defined morality–what is honorable, for example. This explains why societies can define some aspects of morality so dramatically differently than others.

      And both of their morals and their views on human ethics must be “right” for each group.

      What person or group deliberately does something that it considers wrong??

      Eddy Tabash, and Gordon Stien are examples how their atheistic worldview is bankrupted and leads to absurdity.

      Oh? I’d be interested in a summary of what argument showed the atheistic worldview to be bankrupt.

      • “Oh? I’d be interested in a summary of what argument showed the atheistic worldview to be bankrupt.”

        Bob S., this is where the argument from ignorance is gonna rear its head again, I’m afraid…

  12. “Oh? I’d be interested in a summary of what argument showed the atheistic worldview to be bankrupt…”

    Relativism, arbitrariness, not absolute truths, no account for morality, logic, ethics, science. Blind unscientific faith that the universe came from nothing, matter comes from non-matter, order comes from disorder, life comes from non-life. intelligence comes from non-intelligence. To name a few.

    • Bob C., isn’t it ironic that I called Argument from Ignorance, and then you post this, one big Argument from Ignorance? You couldn’t even realize that this was happening before you posted? How whimsical.

    • Relativism? We’ve already dealt with that.

      Arbitrariness? Huh?

      Not absolute truths? Hey, absolute truths would be sweet! You have a reliable way of finding them? Stop holding out on us, bro!

      Morality? Been there, explained that.

      Logic? I’m not sure there’s much to explain, but let’s first be clear that, “Well, if you can’t explain it, I can: God dun it!!” is no explanation.

      Faith in science? No, it’s trust in science. Science delivers! As for the universe coming from nothing, that’s not the scientific consensus, so I’m not sure what you’re hot under the collar about.

      Matter from nonmatter? Matter can come from energy, if that’s what you mean. I suspect you mean “something from nothing” again. Again, it ain’t the scientific consensus (though some smart scientists have used science to explain how this is plausible).

      Life from nonlife? Yup–that’s unexplained. What’s your point? That you can say, without evidence, “God dun it!”? I’m unimpressed.

      If you want to focus on something instead of giving me a Gish Gallop, please do so.

  13. Bob would you think is would be absolutely true that it is wrong to torture babies for your own personal pleasure?

    Can you think of any situation in any place in time in any circumstance that torturing babies for your own pleasure would be ok?

    We know there are some people who think torturing babies for the fun of it is ok. And If you were a consistent relativist you would have to “tolerate” this. Because for some people torturing babies in their opinion is fine. But you know there is a standard outside ourselves that tells us there is no situation any time or any place that torturing babies for the fun of it is “Wrong”

    Is there empirical evidence of right and wrong? No. But we know there is an outside standard that tells us torturing babies for our own personal pleasure is always objectively wrong.

    • This is a meaty comment, Bob C, but unfortunately I think we’ve been over all of it before.

      Bob would you think is would be absolutely true that it is wrong to torture babies for your own personal pleasure?

      No. What would be the absolute grounding for this claim?

      If you’re asking if I really, really, really think that this is wrong, of course. But what is this absoluteness that you imagine?

      Can you think of any situation in any place in time in any circumstance that torturing babies for your own pleasure would be ok?

      No.

      And If you were a consistent relativist you would have to “tolerate” this.

      Nope. As I’ve told you many times (well, apparently, it doesn’t matter what I’ve told you since you don’t listen … so: as I’ve told all the other viewers of these comments), I will, with pleasure, tell someone when I object to their moral stance. And possibly take action to check that stance (vote for a politician on my side of the issue, for example).

      But you know there is a standard outside ourselves that tells us there is no situation any time or any place that torturing babies for the fun of it is “Wrong”

      Nope. I have my opinion, which explains the facts quite nicely. If there’s anything more than this–some sort of transcendental or supernatural grounding for morals–show me. (But you won’t. Since you’ve clearly got nothing.)

    • Bob C wrote: Can you think of any situation in any place in time in any circumstance that torturing babies for your own pleasure would be ok?

      Do you agree with Calvin that unelect babies will go to be tortured in Hell?

      In John Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion” Book 2, Ch 1, Section 8, he states: “Hence, even infants bringing their condemnation with them from their mother’s womb, suffer not for another’s, but for their own defect.”

      Also, John Calvin wrote in “Institutes of the Christian Religion” Book 3, Ch 23, Section 7 “Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it.”

      So then, according to John Calvin, it is by God’s own pleasure that He arranged for unelect babies to be tortured for an eternity in Hell.

  14. Retro asked:

    “Do you agree with Calvin that unelect babies will go to be tortured in Hell?”

    I have no idea as the bible is silent on that subject. But we do know David’s baby went to heaven.

    Retro asked:

    “Also, John Calvin wrote in “Institutes of the Christian Religion” Book 3, Ch 23, Section 7 “Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it.”

    Amen! Yup I agree!

    Retro asked:

    “So then, according to John Calvin, it is by God’s own pleasure that He arranged for unelect babies to be tortured for an eternity in Hell.”

    That is a hypothetical philosophical question. As one must first assume babies are tortured in hell. Where the Bile is silent on the issue. Except for David’s baby who went to heaven. So your question is irrelevant.

    • Bob C wrote: I have no idea as the bible is silent on that subject.

      How nice. The Bible is silent about such an important topic, while it very explicit on so many other topics, like not mixing fabrics or seeds.

      That is a hypothetical philosophical question. As one must first assume babies are tortured in hell.

      And it should also be noted that it is also hypothetical if God or Hell even exist.

      Amen! Yup I agree!

      So then you agree that God tortures people in Hell for His own pleasure?

      Why don’t you agree with John Calvin’s other quote too?

      As one must first assume babies are tortured in hell. Where the Bile is silent on the issue. Except for David’s baby who went to heaven. So your question is irrelevant.

      No, actually you must assume that babies are NOT tortured in Hell. Nice dodge.

  15. Bob said:

    “Nope. I have my opinion, which explains the facts quite nicely. If there’s anything more than this–some sort of transcendental or supernatural grounding for morals–show me. (But you won’t. Since you’ve clearly got nothing.)”

    That is a funny a question from an empirical materialist. Bob thinks all knowledge is gained from empirical, natural, material evidence. So Bob asks the Christian to produce evidence for absolute morality, absolute truth, and logic. When all these are abstract ( non-material) universal, and invariant concepts. Bob wants us to look under a rock and find the laws of logic, moral truths, and numbers. LOL. Bob commits many illogical fallacies in his question. Sorry Bob the absolute laws of logic, truth and morality are not material. So you asking for empirical evidence is absurd. That is why Gordon Stein and Eddie Tabbash got destroyed in their atheistic, natural, material worldview position against Dr Greg Bahnsen.. And the same thing happened to Dan Barker in his debates with James White and Doug Willson.

    Sorry Bob you can not “see” abstracts non-material concepts.

    • Bob C wrote: Sorry Bob you can not “see” abstracts non-material concepts.

      So what? Are you trying to argue that abstract things like mathematics and logic are not empirical?

    • That is a funny a question from an empirical materialist.

      Why? You make a claim; I ask for the evidence.

      If you’re saying that this is just your opinion, okay, then let us know that. If, on the other hand, there’s a reason for the rest of us to accept your viewpoint, okay, then show us that. Which is it?

      So Bob asks the Christian to produce evidence for absolute morality, absolute truth, and logic.

      Well, yeah. Didn’t the Christian claim that absolute morality exists?

      Bob wants us to look under a rock and find the laws of logic, moral truths, and numbers. LOL.

      Bob doesn’t want you to look under a rock to find music or love or courage or wonder. So why imagine that he wants that for morality?

      Bob commits many illogical fallacies in his question.

      That’s a relief! I was afraid that I’d committed a logical fallacy. :-)

  16. This is just tedious. Bob C. refuses to acknowledge that his argument is an argument from ignorance, in fact he’s addressing everything BUT that… because he knows that the second he does, his argument is gone. What a crock.

  17. Bob said:

    “.
    Both groups of fighters in your example did what they thought was proper in that situation. Each came from a different culture that had different views about war, honor, and the treatment of enemies. This is the other source of our morals–society.”

    I asked Bob and Francisco this question which neither one has answered. Still waiting?
    “So which group was “right” in your worldview? According to you and Francisco their morals are a result of evolution. So are you saying both groups are right? That would not be possible? Both can be wrong but only one can be right? So which is it? Seems Francisco said he is not a relativist but looks like he is wrong.”

    Was Crazy Horse and the boys right in their morals and ethics from war, or was Custer and his boys right in their morals in ethics of war? And what standard will you use when you give me your answer on which group was right?

    • “I asked Bob and Francisco this question which neither one has answered. Still waiting?
      “So which group was “right” in your worldview? According to you and Francisco their morals are a result of evolution. So are you saying both groups are right? That would not be possible? Both can be wrong but only one can be right? So which is it? Seems Francisco said he is not a relativist but looks like he is wrong.

      Was Crazy Horse and the boys right in their morals and ethics from war, or was Custer and his boys right in their morals in ethics of war?”

      I don’t know anything about this situation, so it’s very impolite for you to DEMAND an answer about something I don’t know anything about. How the hell should I know? Why don’t you start with a scenario I do know about, instead of playing games?

      But if you want to play this game, let me ask you: is the following equation of muon decay correct?
      μ− → e− + νe – vμ
      I DEMAND that you give me the correct answer or I will claim victory. Nyah nyah.
      See how dumb this game is? Now stop fucking playing games.

    • According to you and Francisco their morals are a result of evolution.

      This is, admittedly, a tiny bit complicated, so perhaps that explains why you’ve missed it. But I’m sure you’re able to grasp my point. Let’s try again.

      IMO, moral sentiment comes from two sources: moral instinct (put there by evolution) and social morality (put there by whatever society we come from). This explains the commonality across cultures at the lowest, most fundamental level as well as the differences between different societies.

      And what standard will you use when you give me your answer on which group was right?

      Francois won’t necessarily agree with me, but here’s my take. Whenever I say “X is right/wrong,” I speak from my own platform. It’s just my opinion, same as when you say the equivalent thing.

  18. Francois said:

    “I don’t know anything about this situation, so it’s very impolite for you to DEMAND an answer about something I don’t know anything about. How the hell should I know? Why don’t you start with a scenario I do know about, instead of playing games? ”

    Maybe you forgot the scenario?

    On the Jan 21. I wrote

    In 1885 when general Custer and his 7th cavalry went to Montana to force the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians back to their reservations. Custer and his men were cut off,surrounded by a superior force of Oglala Sioux under the legendary warrior Crazy Horse. When the battle of the Little Big Horn was over. The bodies of the slain solders were stripped and mutilated,. Scalps were taken, stomachs slit open, eardrums punctured, genitals dismembered. Custer’s brother Tom, heart was cut out and eaten, etc.

    So here we have to groups of men Custer and the 7th Cavalry and Crazy Horse and the Sioux. Both in the same generation. Why did the mutant genomes for the Sioux produce different mutant genomes than the Cavalry? What happened? Why was Custer’s people horrified by the immoral acts of the Sioux? And why did the Sioux do exactly what they believed to be moral? If what you guessed at is true that our morality is instinctive would not they be the same. Were their two sets of evolutionary processes going on here?

    I know you read this because you replied to it.. When you said”

    “……. I also find it quite interesting that you use an example of non-White savagery against Whites….”

    I would ask Bob the atheist to ask you to refrain from your filthy language.

    And you still failed to answer which group was right.

    Thank you.

    • I didn’t ask you to clarify, I asked you to choose a different scenario, preferably one more abstract or one which I would know more about. Furthermore, I have no interest in debating morality from the framework of a war, because war in itself presumes that ethical considerations have been thrown out of the window. So it’s just not a good scenario to use.

      You are offended by my language Big whoop. I am offended by your complete lack of logic re: argument from ignorance, which you refuse to acknowledge. So maybe Bob should tsk at you instead! What a childish attitude.

  19. Francois said:

    You are offended by my language Big whoop. I am offended by your complete lack of logic re: argument from ignorance, which you refuse to acknowledge. So maybe Bob should tsk at you instead! What a childish attitude.

    Well God will judge you for the words that come out of your mouth. I was hoping you would not use that language on this blog. Could you please explain which laws of logic I violated in my arguments?

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