Monday, 28 March 2016

Ex 21:22-24 abortion

Abortion is a good example of wearing Bible Goggles. The Bible says one thing, but people read it as the opposite.

The idea that the Bible is anti abortion is younger than the Happy Meal. Allegedly. Personally I hate abortion, but the Bible does seem to support it.:

Genesis 6:6 if you regret conception then apparently it's OK to terminate the result at any stage. I don't go this far, but the lord-god in Genesis does. (Note that the lord-god is not the same as God. See the page on the documentary hypothesis fiasco for details.)

Leviticus 24:17 says a life for a life, but this does not apply to the fetus (Exodus 21:22-24), implying that the fetus is not alive.

Leviticus 27:1-7 sets out various monetary amounts depending on age. babies are only considered after one month old (presumably because dying at or near birth was so common anciently?)

Numbers 5:20-22: This is probably the clearest support for abortion in the Bible. It uses some euphemisms, but scholars agree that verse 22 is talking about drinking something that causes miscarriage.

Jeremiah 1:5: one of a number of scriptures about God's foreknowledge, which of course extends before conception. However, Jeremiah apparently does not consider man "formed" until he comes out of the womb.

And of course, the conception of Jesus. Mary could have been stoned to death for premarital sex (Deuteronomy 22:21). Premarital sex often results in pregnancy, and the law allows for not only termination of the fetus but the mother as well.

The teaching appears to be based on evidence. That is, it is scientific. In ancient times they had no experience of a very early birth surviving, so had no reason to see it as a separate person. Though note Luke 1:41 - Luke is well known for exaggerating (that's another topic) but this at least reminds us that it is common for unborn babies to kick):
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
So, according to the evidence, it would be reasonable to say that the Bible teaches the baby is formed during pregnancy: not a separate person, and not having any "rights" at first, but being very nearly a full person toward the end.

So that is what the Bible says. It is also the evidence of science. It was a normal Christian belief until very recently. It is also worth noting that the Didache (a popular list of Christian rules from around AD 100) condemns paying for abortion, in between references to love potions and infanticide:
 thou shalt not use philtres; thou shalt not procure abortion, nor commit infanticide; 
This seems to be condemning men who would drug a woman into having sex and then pay for an abortion. Pretty much any reasonable person can see that such practices are harmful to the woman and to society as a whole.

So, based on science, the Bible, and Christian tradition. a reasonable person who respects life would not have a big problem with early term abortion, but would grow more and more disturbed by the practice as the pregnancy goes on. They would also oppose forcing  awoman to do something she does not want to do.

There may of course be other reasons to oppose abortion, but science, the Bible, and Christian history seem to say the same thing. Yet if you Google the words "Bible" and "Abortion" then you will see endless web sites proclaiming the opposite. The Bible says one thing, but people read the opposite. Here are Bible Goggles at work.

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