An abortion routine from Reginald Hunter, a comedian, has been making the rounds lately on social media lately. He’s asking a relevant question: are pro-lifers hypocrites if they think it is sometimes okay to take human life? However, his flawed argument fails to do justice to the issue.
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“Fundamentalist conservative Christians believe that an embryo in a woman’s body is sacred, and no one should harm it.”
“Fundamentalist, conservative Christian” usually drags up mental images of uneducated, angry, bigoted hypocrites. Rhetorically, it’s a great way to get people on your side. Logically, it’s both irrelevant and inaccurate. There are secular pro-lifers as well as pro-life supporters from many other religions.
I assume “sacred” was chosen to make it seem like solely a religious issue. It’s not. Yes, religious people believe there is a religious perspective on the question of abortion, but it’s only one of several components that make up a unified, cumulative case argument for why abortion ends the life of a human being.
“But they don’t believe that the same embryo, once it leaves the woman’s body, should be exempt from execution.”
Plenty of people (including many pro-lifers) are opposed to the death penalty for a variety of reasons, but one thing is certain: people eligible for the death penalty are not the innocent human beings they were before they were born.
Those who commit capital crimes have chosen an action that invites a response. To those who support the death penalty, the criminal’s willful taking of human life is now proper justification for a punishment that mirrors the crime. You may not agree with them, but supporting the death penalty is not inconsistent with believing the innocent unborn should not be killed.*
“Or going off to war and killing other embryos, as long as they are foreign.”
Once again, the question of proper justification is important. Just War Theory has been cited for millennia by the religious and non-religious alike as a way of deciding whether or not war can be justified. It has nothing to do with embryos being foreign…