I see this argument thrown around occasionally, especially by atheist pro-choice people. It's not a serious objection. It's merely meant to trap religious pro-life people. The argument goes like this: If babies who are aborted go to Heaven, then why do you oppose abortion if those babies are going to a better place? I've even seen one atheist pro-life person assert that if she was religious, she wouldn't have any reason to oppose abortion because they went to Heaven. She'd find some other cause to join because abortion wouldn't be that bad. Needless to say, there is absolutely no substance to this argument at all.
It's not absolutely clear in Scripture that children go to Heaven. I believe that they do, because I believe that God is just and I feel it would be unjust to hold someone accountable for their actions if they were incapable of understanding right from wrong. Also, after David's seven-day-old child died, he was confident that he would one day see his child again (see 2 Samuel 12). And we know that Jesus loves children, even to the point of telling us that the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as them (Matthew 19:14). I think there is good Biblical support that children go to Heaven, but there are those who disagree. The problem is it's just not explicitly spelled out in Scripture, so we can't take a dogmatic position on it. At least not one in which we should feel confident enough in having an abortion because of where we think the child will end up.
God has also commanded us not to murder. This surely includes those who are bound for Heaven. In fact, if this was a good argument, why not take it a step further and say that as soon as someone converts to Christianity, we should kill them to speed their journey along, or to make sure they don't fall away? We are not justified in murdering someone to get them to Heaven.
We are to stand up for those without a voice (Proverbs 31:8). It's the right thing to do. Jesus even said that we have an obligation to be the "good Samaritan," to help those who cannot help themselves, even if other people think that their personal business is more important (Luke 10:25-37).
This is one of those arguments that someone who is seriously invested in the abortion issue wouldn't make. It's as bad as some of the other ones we hear, like "why don't pro-lifers adopt all the unwanted children." Not only is it unsubstantive, but it's also a red herring. Abortion is wrong because an innocent human being is killed. That is reason alone to oppose it.
When we do sidewalk counseling near abortion clinics, the number 2 rebuttal we hear is something like, "My baby won't have a good life. I know it will be better for both of us if I have an abortion." Point being, saying that "all babies go to heaven" is a theological statement found nowhere in the Bible, and is also something that can have real consequences. (It would also mean the overwhelming percentage of the human population in heaven is the unborn, if one believes in the exclusive claims of Jesus.)ReplyDelete
I don't find a problem with that. I made an argument in the article, and it wouldn't be proven wrong if the implication is that the majority of people there were aborted children. I understand it's not found in the Bible, which is why I said we can't be dogmatic about it. But I believe it's most reasonable to believe that all aborted children are in Heaven (because a just God wouldn't hold them accountable for sins they can't understand, or really haven't even committed yet). I fully admit this is not found in the Scriptures, but it is a conclusion I have reached based on my understanding of the grace and mercy of God.Delete
"It's merely meant to trap religious pro-life people. The argument goes like this: If babies who are aborted go to Heaven, then why do you oppose abortion if those babies are going to a better place? I've even seen one atheist pro-life person assert that if she was religious, she wouldn't have any reason to oppose abortion because they went to Heaven. She'd find some other cause to join because abortion wouldn't be that bad. Needless to say, there is absolutely no substance to this argument at all."ReplyDelete
You are right in that is a meant to trap religious pro-life people. It was a trap I once fell for. I know that this argument is a trap that could also be used to trap an atheist pro-lifer too. They could argue: "What is wrong with killing someone if they won't exist after death?".
I have reason to think that these pro-choicers don't actually believe the things they are saying. Those who did would be committing mass suicide and genocide constantly. I do believe that there is a will to live that still wins even over the reasoning over a brain filled with false information.
I am very grateful that you took the time to write about this subject. While the argument is ridiculous, I do think it has just enough substance to work against the weak pro-lifer. This is why I wanted to bring it to attention for the purpose of crushing it.
Yeah, the atheist pro-life advocate would likely have a different response. In fact, an atheist pro-life philosopher, Don Marquis, formulated an argument that even though someone ceases to exist after death (as per the atheist belief), what grounds the wrongness of killing someone is that you are robbing them of their entire future of valuable experiences.Delete
That is how I see it. It is like someone who kills a tree when it is young. It means that birds, insects, squirrels, and monkeys will never have that tree in the future.Delete
I don't know if trees feel pain like animals or not, but I am sure that you understand the comparison. The future of what happens a long time after I am dead WILL be affected by my actions now. In this way, my life is connected with those came before me and those who will come after me.
I don't think that my reasoning is related to atheism, but it simply developed after the heaven idea vanished. I think that it is also a good way that Christians can think about life on this planet because it does not conflict with belief in God or heaven. It simply explains the relevance of life on earth.