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Switch to Forum Live View Trying to figure something out about Christianity (abortion debate)
3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 2:02AM #1
BelindaCatchings
Posts: 8
It seems that about 80% of Christian pro-lifers tend to echo "only when the mother's life is in danger" - but I have hit a roadblock trying to explain this to myself; I know in Jewish law it is forbidden to take an innocent person's life to save your own (although you can kill a guilty person trying to kill you, say an enemy soldier). But by Jewish law, if your car is headed towards a tree (that will kill you) and the only alternative is to swerve into a little girl on the playground (killing her), you are NOT allowed to kill the innocent person to save your own life.

Now, I do not know the Christian faith very well, but I am curious if there is any justification for this apparent change? Something scriptural or by the church or something? I know much of the Jewish law does not apply because Paul said something about how "the cross took away the law"...but is it accepted in (some parts of?) Christianity that it IS acceptable to take an innocent human life to reduce the risk of imminent harm to yourself?

I hope somebody will be able to clear this up for me, thank you.

Also, I apologise, I am not trying to be passive-aggressive or start an abortion flamewar - this is just a genuine need for me right now.
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 2:21AM #2
Dostojevsky
Posts: 7,868

I doubt there is a clear respone to suit. All people are different of any religion or the lack of it.  I don't think any Christian Church goes around making million rules - a person is not ruled by a Church. It is between them and the law of the country and between them and their conscience or the lack of it.



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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 2:35AM #3
BelindaCatchings
Posts: 8

I am not expecting all sub-denominations of Christianity to have the SAME rules - but Christians do still have rules governing moral behavior, do they not? I mean, "you are not allowed to commit adultery" or "you are not allowed to have pre-marital sex" are rules - even if some  people take their own opinion on them, from my understanding most churches would tell you that the religion does have a rule about it.



I'm trying to understand whether Christianity changed the Jewish rule about taking innocent life to  protect your own; I do not know - I assume from the fact anti-abortion Christians always seem to say "except when the mother's life is in danger" that they changed the rule and it is okay? But I am curious when, or why, or who - was there a papal edict that changed it, or something in the protestant reformation - maybe a theologian or something in Christianity delineated the reasons or occasions where it is allowable to take a human life in exchange for your own?

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 5:46AM #4
Iwantamotto
Posts: 8,505

BelindaCatching:  But by Jewish law, if your car is headed towards a tree (that will kill you) and the only alternative is to swerve into a little girl on the playground (killing her), you are NOT allowed to kill the innocent person to save your own life.


The thing is, this law is irrelevant.  Equating an embryo or fetus, which is still inside the mother, with a schoolgirl doesn't make any sense.


1.  A more relevant law to analyze is the one where killing a fetus will net you a fine while killing the mother will get you the death penalty.


2.  The bible seems to take, as does our laws, the position that you have to be born (and take your first breath) to "count".  (Our US Constitution does NOT say "People CONCEIEVED in the US are citizens."  It says "BORN".)


3.  Not that it matters, because if God tells you to kill women, children, pets, imaginary friends, etc ... you must do so or God will kill you.  :)


I'm trying to understand whether Christianity changed the Jewish rule about taking innocent life to  protect your own; I do not know


Again, the rule was not changed.  You are analyzing an irrelevant rule, as the OT is not what PL'ers make it out to be.  I've read the Abortion Debate boards long enough to know PL'ers can't come up with one scientific or biblically theological relevant quote.  Not killing what can have pain makes no sense, since we eat to live.  If a single cell can be a person, are we killing trillions of "people" with antibiotics and our natural immune system?  If a single embryo splits into multiples, are those one "person" or many?  Why are you simply fined for injuring/killing a fetus in the bible and given the death penalty for killing the mother?  Why is Adam and Eve not considered alive until they are breathing and functioning?  Why is abortion given as a test for an unfaithful woman?  In the bible you name your kid after several days (a practical thing to do in a world of high infant mortality), or at least do some sort of ritual that asserts you are now holding a person.  If "the bible" says embryos are innocent people (it doesn't), why does Christianity claim all people are sinners, inheriting Original Sin?  You're either innocent or not, right?

Knock and the door shall open.  It's not my fault if you don't like the decor.
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 9:14AM #5
BelindaCatchings
Posts: 8

90% of your response is unfortunately...not a response to the question, it is kneejerk grandstanding about abortion. I am not debating the merits of abortion - I am trying to understand the THEORY behind those Christians who get on television or in front of the population and DO believe that "every unborn child is a real and legitimate person" and "abortion is murder" -- I am not saying they are right or wrong -- I am asking how is the argument theologically structured.



Jewish law most definitely forbids the taking of an innocent life to protect your own, ASSUMING that a fetus is an innocent human life as claimed, how is it justified to allow a dying woman to elect to abort the innocent human life to protect her own?



Again, "embryos are not human" may or may not be true, but is irrelevant to my question - I am not looking to discuss whether abortion is right or wrong. I am trying to understand, ASSUMING the personhood is true, the theological backing - and at what point it changed from Jewish law.

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 9:30AM #6
Webers_Home
Posts: 922

.

Jan 5, 2012 -- 2:02AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:

It seems that about 80% of Christian pro-lifers tend to echo only when the mother's life is in danger


There are times when people are forced to play God and that is one of them. Personally I would choose to save the mother because I am not comfortable with bringing a child into the world without its mommy.



Jan 5, 2012 -- 2:02AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:

if your car is headed towards a tree (that will kill you) and the only alternative is to swerve into a little girl on the playground (killing her), you are NOT allowed to kill the innocent person to save your own life.


I'm an old gas bag going on 68 years old. I've lived my life; so I'm not about to rob that little girl of a chance to live hers just so I can survive to a ripe old age.


But supposing I was a teen-ager with my whole life ahead me? Would I hit the girl or the tree? The tree: no contest. I don't need a rule to tell me that; but if there's one thing no Christian should ever be guilty of: it's selfishness.


†. Mtt 7:12 . . So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


Christians who fear death to the point of taking innocent lives just to save their own skins; don't deserve to wear the label.


Cliff
/

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 9:54AM #7
Kwinters
Posts: 22,913

Jan 5, 2012 -- 2:02AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:

Now, I do not know the Christian faith very well, but I am curious if there is any justification for this apparent change? Something scriptural or by the church or something? I know much of the Jewish law does not apply because Paul said something about how "the cross took away the law"...but is it accepted in (some parts of?) Christianity that it IS acceptable to take an innocent human life to reduce the risk of imminent harm to yourself?



If Christians confine themselves to the texts the use as their official documents, this is one of a  many moral questions that is not answered directly.


Christians would then have to turn to the Hebrew scriptures, but I can't think of any guidence on your life and death scenerio.


It is the case, though, that Jewish law does not equate the death of a fetus with a death of a human being.  It is considered lost property:


"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.''

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 10:03AM #8
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488

I think there are two ways to look at the question:


1. Does Jewish law -- the written law -- have a definitive rule regarding whether a fetus is a person? The prohibition against taking an innocent life to save one's own life would not apply to abortion (to save the mother's life) if a fetus is not considered a person.


2. If there is no "black-letter law" defining the personhood or non-personhood of a fetus, does the assembled rabbinical commentaries on the law -- the Talmud -- offer any guidance on this issue?


i do not know the answer to either of these questions; we must defer here to a scholar in the Jewish law. Then, depending on what answer is given, it may be possible to say whether or not a change occurred that makes allowance for abortion to save the mother's life.


The only thing I can say is that the Bible will not provide a clear answer: there are passages that suggest that the unborn still matter to God, but there are also passages in which God himself is portrayed as committing infanticide.

I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 10:04AM #9
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

Jan 5, 2012 -- 9:14AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:


90% of your response is unfortunately...not a response to the question, it is kneejerk grandstanding about abortion. I am not debating the merits of abortion - I am trying to understand the THEORY behind those Christians who get on television or in front of the population and DO believe that "every unborn child is a real and legitimate person" and "abortion is murder" -- I am not saying they are right or wrong -- I am asking how is the argument theologically structured.





And she answered you. The theory is faulty. Just because you don't like her answer doesn't make her answer any less valid.

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2012 - 10:34AM #10
lope
Posts: 11,796

Jan 5, 2012 -- 2:02AM, BelindaCatchings wrote:

It seems that about 80% of Christian pro-lifers tend to echo "only when the mother's life is in danger" - but I have hit a roadblock trying to explain this to myself; I know in Jewish law it is forbidden to take an innocent person's life to save your own (although you can kill a guilty person trying to kill you, say an enemy soldier). But by Jewish law, if your car is headed towards a tree (that will kill you) and the only alternative is to swerve into a little girl on the playground (killing her), you are NOT allowed to kill the innocent person to save your own life.

Now, I do not know the Christian faith very well, but I am curious if there is any justification for this apparent change? Something scriptural or by the church or something? I know much of the Jewish law does not apply because Paul said something about how "the cross took away the law"...but is it accepted in (some parts of?) Christianity that it IS acceptable to take an innocent human life to reduce the risk of imminent harm to yourself?

I hope somebody will be able to clear this up for me, thank you.

Also, I apologise, I am not trying to be passive-aggressive or start an abortion flamewar - this is just a genuine need for me right now.




Many Christians, including me, agree with your take and do not think abortion is always the same as killing someone.

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