Theoretical Loopholes

First, I don’t mean to offend anyone with this thread. I just enjoy thinking and discussing various topics. Here are some musings on abortion and accountability:

If a woman has an abortion it makes no sense to think that the child would be punished for and act he or she did not commit.

If a woman uses this logic, she could say that she is not causing anyone harm by having an abortion, and therefore it would not be a sin.


What do you mean it makes no sense for a child to be punished for an act it didn’t commit?

Imagine that I, being a totally innocent pedestrian, am run over at a street crossing by a drunk driver who goes through a red light, and I end up paralysed as a result. In that instance I am most certainly punished for that driver’s act. Their act being one that I didn’t commit, and the punishment being my bodily paralysis.

In the same way an aborted baby certainly is punished for the choice of its mother. The baby is punished with the physical pain the abortion causes to them (you really think their death doesn’t cause them pain?) and punished with the loss of a chance at life, so it’s a double punishment.

More importantly, even if what happens to me as an innocent pedestrian and to the aborted baby is not, by some definitions, actually ‘punishment’, it most certainly is HARM done to me and that child.

Moreover, harm is ALSO done to the drunk driver, who doubtless will suffer as a result of the knowledge that they’ve harmed me, and the mother, who is harmed by the knowledge that she has killed her child.

So you feel that such a loving God will punish these children for something they did not do? If so, then the entire universe is but a mere joke.

Your whole illustration makes no sense (as noted in LilyM’s post) and is illogical…Yes, abortion is one of the five non-negotiable areas whereby when a woman procures one with the knowledge of Church teachings she is automatically excommunicated.

A theoretical loophole must contain some valid parts of which yours does not. The child is murdered without anyone to come to his or her defense. This is the ULTIMATE punishment…God Bless…teachccd

How is the lack of existence a punishment? Some people’s lives have far more suffering than good. Also, who is to say that the child will not just be born to another family?

A loving God gave this child life. It’s a hateful human that destroys this life and exhibits the epitome of selfishness. No, God will not eternally punish anyone who is murdered unless that person is in mortal sin (which an infant is in original sin and is left to the mercy of God) but on the contrary the woman is in grave danger.

God is love. Humans brought evil into this world and God permits it only to preserve the precious gift of our free will. Our actions have no bearing on the universe or the intentions of an all loving God…teachccd

According to the Roman Catholic Church, one will go to hell for masturbation (if it is not confessed). That is not even considering the rest of the sins that people commit. So, doesn’t it logically follow that most people are doomed?

Again you fail to see the heinous act of a child being torn apart in his/her mother’s womb. Again you fail to see this as murder.

So then, I propose: Should we start killing children who are born into poor families or abusive situations?? It’s your theory.

And lastly, children have unique souls that are individually created. They will not be born into another family. Once their life is taken they enter into eternal life. Catholics do not subscribe to the false notion of reincarnation…God bless…teachccd

You need some education in Catholic theology and the mercy of God. Your above quote assumes you to be God…teachccd

God is not punishing the child in the sense of meting out chastisement. That does not take away from the fact the child suffers pain during the killing process.

Living beings with sensory capabilities suffer when their life if violently ended. If a grasshopper can feel pain when crushed, how much more so a human cut from the womb?

Also, you make the argument in another post that perhaps it is better for the child to have not lived at all, since it may live a life filled with suffering and worthy of damnation. If that is what you truly believe, then I don’t see any way to reconcile your belief system to that of Christ’s Church. I hope you only postulated this line of reasoning for the sake of discussion.


Why? We don’t know how many opportunities and promptings God gives to each soul for repentance and salvation, especially at the point of death. But we do believe that His mercy is greater than any sin and that He desires salvation - provided the individual be willing to accept it. I’d imagine more people than not, faced with death and eternity, are receptive to His grace and His mercy.

Of course neither the Catholic Church, nor God Himself, would hold all people to the standard of sacramental confession to a priest that Catholics hold themselves to, nor is such required of Catholics who may be dying and sincerely repentant but unable to have the services of a priest.

I never said that I believe anything in my original argument. I just wanted discussion. The board was lacking tonight.

Anyway, I’m going to read some Russian Lit, but I’ll check on this thread at a later time. Sorry if I offended anyone.

This is where you don’t understand.

How can you judge what is in a persons heart…the joy and suffering they have.

Take it to the next step…what could that person that you say has no value have possibly caused others to think or do and changed others lives?

That is just one simple reason why you shouldn’t try to play God.

Only God knows what is in a heart or how relationships affect things.

The logic here is flawed. Your two stated premises are right on:

  1. The child is innocent.
  2. It would be unjust to punish an innocent child.

This is, incidentally, the rationale behind why we’re pro-life. Your use of this argument to try and prove the opposite belies two misconceptions:

  1. You’re imagining that God is the one punishing the baby. That’s incorrect. God isn’t having an abortion, and wouldn’t. The woman in this hypo is.

  2. You’re imagining that God wouldn’t allow us to cause actual harm to an innocent creature. Yet the innocent suffer for the sins of others all the time - children born with AIDS or who acquire it from blood transfusions, “collateral damage” in wars, crime victims, etc. This is Christianity, after all: we’re founded on the death of the innocent God-man for the sins of all of us. Your second assumption misunderstands Christianity.

I think that if you tried to apply your premises to any other situation, you’d realize the folly. You might as well say:

If a woman blows up a bank it makes no sense to think that the teller would be punished for and act he or she did not commit.

If a woman uses this logic, she could say that she is not causing anyone harm by blowing up the bank, and therefore it would not be a sin.

A loving God isn’t punishing them. The mother is, via her free will.

You seem to be headed towards a, “Why would God let these sorts of things happen?” discussion: theodicy. I’d suggest Peter Kreeft and C.S. Lewis for really good answers. It’s one of the hardest questions in Christianity, but I think that the answers are really good.

(1) You’re confusing “killing” with “never having been alive/created.” The Holocaust didn’t cause millions of people’s “lack of existence.” It caused their extermination. Murder is evil.
(2) Life is good, innately.
(2a) The suicide rate is incredibly low in comparison to the total size of the population, and most suicides are done in fits of despair (suggesting that, had cooler heads prevailed, even many of the successful suicides may not have done it, were they to calmly and logically examine the balance of their lives). It’s strong evidence that people realize this on some level.
(2b) Christians also have **Biblical support **as early as Genesis 1: God created us and saw that it was good. So the one actor competent of weighing the sum total of our existence pro v. con says it’s worth it.
(2c) Christians have **theological support **for this, as well. We believe in an all-good Creator. As such, He wouldn’t create something bad. An all-good God’s mere act of creating suggests that existence is better than non-existence. As a second theological support, the existence of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God suggests that existence is better than non-existence: otherwise, He wouldn’t exist.
(2d) **Natural law **recognizes the natural goodness of existence in its condemnation of murder: there’s a reason that civilizations worldwide had strong prohibitions (or at least regulations) regarding murder, before we ever had anything like globalization.
(2e) **Evolution **recognizes this: it’s virtually impossible for an individual to kill itself (without outside aid). Try and stop breathing, and once you slip into unconsciousness, your body will save you. Try and drown yourself in shallow water, and your reflexes will kick in to try to save you. You get the idea. Survival of the fittest is only logical from the starting point that existence is preferable to non-existence, and that even the smallest organisms act accordingly.

If you accept any or all of the premises in 2, then depriving someone of existence (even if you don’t want to acknowledge it as murder) violates the natural law as well as the Moral Law, and imposes our will upon God. (God thinks it’s a good idea to have a baby, we think we know better).

*(3) This isn’t really true. People tend to only see the sufferings in others (particularly physical abnormalities). A wise uncle of mine who has diabetes told me once he didn’t want to be described by his disease: he refused the label “diabetic,” because it didn’t really describe him as a person at all. I think he’s on to something pretty important.

This may seem abstract, but it’s critical. We see people, and think, “oh, how hard it must be to have x condition,” but we typically don’t see all the private beauty in their life: their family connections, their friendships, their relationship to God, etc. As a result, people with disabilities statistically rate their quality of life much higher than their non-disabled peers predict.

(4) I really like this ad to sum up my point:

(5) It is intensely arrogant to presume to know the value or worth of another person’s life, particularly a person in a vastly different social location, and particularly when you know about only one facet of a person (some specific gene, or perhaps their mother’s socioeconomic status).

I was born into a lower-middle class family, and was one of six. My half-sister was born to my mother when she was 18. Would we have been better off if you’d ‘caused us not to exist’? You can know next to nothing about how a person’s life is going to turn out by the information available at (or prior to) birth.

(6) This view assumes a static world: it denies social mobility, and the advancement of medicine. So even if we accepted your faulty premise, (effectively, that the poor and disabled’s lives aren’t worth living in the status quo), it still wouldn’t prove your eugenic conclusions. Think about the generation born with polio at the time of Salk. Prior to their birth, their lives may have looked bleak (people who write off the disabled tend to forget about people like FDR), but Salk’s cures meant they could live their lives able-bodied.

(7) This line of argumentation is terribly dangerous (which is why I may have been a bit sharp in my response): I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is what Hitler used to justify exterminating the handicapped, as well as forcing “undesirables” to have abortions. (He actually legalized abortion, but only for non-Aryans, and for just this purpose: there’s discussion on this, and the connection with Sanger, on other threads). This eugenics reasoning is what caused liberalism to devour itself. Whereas liberalism once meant caring for the poor, now it means telling the poor that they should be dead.*

(8) **Science. ** DNA is formed because of the fusion of the parent’s haploid cells. It’s mathematically impossible for two parents to even naturally have two identical haploid cells (so you’ll never have a younger sibling who is an exact clone of you).

And that’s with the same two parents. You’re suggesting “another family.” So if two Brazilians abort their child, maybe some Japanese family will give birth to a Brazilian baby?

Or maybe you’re suggesting that DNA doesn’t have anything to do with our person. That would be faulty science and theology, though. (on theology: Kreeft and others have written really good stuff about how, since we’re not mystics or Gnostics, we recognize the connections between body and soul).

(9) The Church.

(10) Logic. The global population is growing virtually exponentially (not quite, but at a rapid clip). This eliminates the possibility of reincarnation, b/c you would still need new souls. Reincarnation also doesn’t make any sense within an evolutionary model - all life began, with this model, from a handful of single cells, which reproduced asexually, split, and continued to grow. Were each cells once en-souled? And did they grow a new soul when they split asexually? Or did reincarnation start at a later point in history?

Or are you proposing some sort of hybrid reincarnation, where only aborted babies are reincarnated, for some unspeakable reason? What would be the justification for this?

(11) I feel that you’re presuming that life begins at birth throughout your posts. You’re treating abortion as different than other forms of killing. In fact, you seem to be treating the fetal child as if it were in a state of “pre-existence” (sort of a new take on the LDS doctrine).

Assume, for a moment, that this is a living baby, distinguishable from an out-of-the-womb baby by geography vis-à-vis the womb, and perhaps by development (although a 9-month old fetus is often more developed than a 7-month old premie, for example). View the abortion position from this view, and I think that the Catholic positions will make more sense.

I’m really sorry if I came off as stern or snarky in this: it’s late, and I don’t like eugenics arguments in the abortion debate. That said, I’m really glad you’re asking about these things, and tossing them out there to discuss.:thumbsup:

Playing devil’s advocate here:

Didn’t Jesus say that it would have been better for Judas to have never been born?

Just curious looking for responses. I would, however, think that I couldn’t make such a statement since I don’t know how a particular person’s life will play out.

Yes, but Jesus, as God, knew exactly what Judas would do, and that he wouldn’t repent. We obviously can’t know the fate of someone’s soul.

God Bless

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