How to Think Like an Apologist

A few days ago, I pointed out that many or most fertilized eggs fail to implant in the uterus and die naturally. Thus, according to the Christian view that God controls the universe, God is the ultimate abortionist.

A fellow named Darrell Birkey replied, “So you slander God, blaming him for miscarriages and failures for the fertilized egg to implant in the womb. God designed the procreation process, but He doesn’t cause miscarriages,etc. You slander and demean God to claim that he does.”

I confess to be being disappointed with Birkey’s reply; I was sort of hoping he’d, you know, offer some sort of argument to back up his position. If I were a Christian apologist, I might argue something along these lines:

It is true that God controls the universe and whether an egg fertilizes and implants in the uterus. However, when God allows a fertilized egg not to implant, that is not the equivalent of an abortion. God knows before-hand whether he’s going to allow an egg to implant, and he imbues only those fertilized eggs destined for implantation with a soul. Thus, a fertilized egg that God allows to die does not have the moral status of a fertilized egg that the woman willfully aborts.

Yes, God also knows before-hand whether the mother is going to abort. However, this remains a matter of free choice for the woman. A woman is bound to obey the will of God. It is impossible for the woman to know which fertilized egg God intends to imbue with a soul. Thus, it is wrong for a woman to take any action with the intention of blocking a fertilized egg from implanting in her uterus.

But why does God allow some fertilized eggs to die in the first place? Why didn’t he create us such that all fertilized eggs implant in the uterus and successfully grow to live babies? Why do fertilized eggs fail to implant or sometimes die after they have implanted? God’s plan for the universe is too grand for us lowly mortals to fully comprehend. However, the biological facts do offer us a wonderful opportunity to live our faith in God. Some women are tempted to think that the fertilized egg she kills is the same as a fertilized egg that God allows to die. But the woman properly understands that God is in charge, and she must let his will decide the matter.

And here is my brief reply to this apologist nonsense.

First, there is no God, no proof of God, and no mystical soul with which God imbues a fertilized egg. Thus, there is no reason to think that one fertilized egg is different from any other, morally speaking. The final paragraph appeals to human ignorance, as though that resolves any paradox with the religion. Finally, if God did exist, it would be a bit nasty of him to allow some fertilized eggs to die merely so that women could face temptation to prevent implantation or get an abortion.

If anybody else has a better explanation for why God would kill more fertilized eggs than all abortion doctors combined, I’d love to hear it.

2 thoughts on “How to Think Like an Apologist”

  1. Another difficult question with the life-at-conception position is the issue of twinning, which occurs after conception, but prior to gastrulation. Personally, I believe life begins somewhere from gastrulation to the point of brain wave activity (day 10-48 after conception), but most people are not familiar with the process. Spiritually speaking, life would begin when the spirit enters the body, so the question for Christians would be “when does one become a ‘body’?” If a spirit enters at conception, then the zygote splits before implanting in the uterus, would the spirit split or would another one enter the womb? A bit of a stretch, even for a staunch pro-lifer.

    The knee-jerk pro-life response, however, typically comes from the obvious fact that life begins prior to birth, yet society refuses to acknowledge the scientific evidence and chooses the indefensible position that a child killed one day after birth is somehow vastly different from the child killed one day prior to birth.

    It seems that few on either side of the abortion debate will actually use reason, science and faith to answer the question at the root of it all: When does life begin? It’s not above our pay grade, as a society, to ask such a question, then seek out the truth regardless of where that takes us.

  2. I am truly sorry that you were disappointed by my reply. I am a Christian apologist… just not one who endorses the non-biblical views of God that the bible never endorses. You pretend to take the viewpoint of a Christian apologist, but in fact you have just built a straw man to knock down.

    There are many inaccurate views of God that are expressed by Christians, because of the personal investments many theologians have in there positions.

    The bible teaches that God created the universe, including human beings and all of the animals. He created the systems that maintain life on earth and our reproductive systems, etc.

    He designed them to function perfectly. Since he wanted a relationship with humans and wanted to be loved by them and he wanted the love to be real, he gave them a choice… to love him or hate him. To accept God or reject God.

    He intended that they would love him and that they would live forever in a world of paradise. But when humans chose to reject him, they brought death into the world. Their lives on earth would be temporary because of the effects of entropy on the human body. That same entropy eventually results in mutations, etc that cause disease and lead to earlier death.

    The bible never teaches that God micromanages the universe, the weather systems or the human body, including reproduction. He designed these systems to function… and function they do. He does not decide the path of tornadoes or which embryos implant in the uterus. He does not decide which embryos get a soul… they all do as a function of his reproductive design.

    The bible also never teaches that God exhaustively knows the future of people’s lives and decisions. The future is unknown because it hasn’t happened. The bible does present God with having future plans of what he is going to do… but we make plans as well and there is nothing mystical about following through with plans.

    The bible shows us a God who is willing to change his mind or his plans based on changing circumstances.

    When embryos miscarry, it is not an act of God or is God responsible in anyway. He is not making a decision embryo by embryo. He lets the reproduction system he designed function. Because our reproductive systems (because of entropy) are no longer perfect and our bodies and behavior is not perfect, some embryos don’t survive to grow up and grow old. Just as accidents, illness, and personal behavior can shorten or lives after we are born, they can do the same for the embryo.

    We have many choices in our lives and sometimes we make bad choices with bad consequences. This is not God’s fault.

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