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« How to Help Your Students Evalute Media | Main | People of God »

October 15, 2008

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Amy, both Christian and non-Christian can quite legitimately wonder why you choose species membership (membership in Homo sapiens) to be the criterion upon which our fundamental, inalienable rights depend. This is because however you choose to define the species, you end up making our inalienable rights depend on characteristics that are, by the judgment of common sense, completely irrelevant to the question of rights. In other words, the devout Christian does well to question principles that lead to the absurd conclusion that while the small intestine has inalienable rights, the same rights are possessed neither by the Bavarian Pintupi child nor by the genetically different Indonesian Island people.

A small intestine is a piece of a member of a species--a single part, not a whole; an embryo is a whole member of a species, even though it's small. Has there ever been a case where the genetic material of a human being has directed the whole organism to develop into a single, living body part? Unless there's genetic tampering (as with embryonic stem cell research), I don't see this happening.

I have serious historical examples (and I've posted a contemporary one below). You have a small intestine, aliens, and an outlandish hypothetical tale of two groups of humans (the same species) producing offspring which are all magically of a different species that can't reproduce with other humans. (By the way, in order for your illustration to be analogous to the Wikipedia article, you would have to claim that Bavarians and Pintupis--two groups of humans--are different species, like horses and donkeys. I don't think you want to affirm that. And the children of the two species would have to be infertile hybrids, so they wouldn't be interbreeding with each other or anyone else.)

Here's the contemporary example from a PBS interview:

Professor Singer [of Princeton University] believes that what defines and gives value to a person is not his or her intrinsic nature or having been made in the image of God, but the possession of certain specific qualities. Singer says newborns are not yet rational or self-conscious enough to qualify as persons; therefore, if the parents agree, in cases of severe disability, they can be killed.

And how does he define "severe disability"?

Singer would permit infanticide in cases of spina bifida, Down's syndrome, and hemophilia. One reason Singer has reached these conclusions is that he does not accept the sanctity of human life.

Should Down's syndrome children have rights, in your opinion? If you think they should, how would you argue against Singer's position? What difference will your opinion make if he has more power and influence? If everyone had Singer's and your view of determining rights, how do you think this world would look today?

The deconstructionism that leads to these wild reasonings are also the result of a denial of the absolute-God. If one cannot reason a worldview that starts with God[as He is known to be in special revelation], it is right and proper to question such self evident propositions as these. I wonder at what point do you answer a fool in his folly and then let it go.

In the sense that if this:

Gen 1:26 "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Gen 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

is true,

it is not necessary to apologize for considering mans value a religeous issue. Just because the term "religeous" is applied, doesn't make it less true as it relates to reality. The inherent value of man is itself so self evident, that to questiion it seems quite odd. We do not need to the law to let us know the wrongness of murder--we have the law because the inherent wrongness is so evident.

The attempt to hijack knowledge from the only worldview that rightly can claim any hold on truth seems improbable, but with a people lacking wisdom, who can't spot relativism even when it slaps them in the face, it makes me wonder.

Brad B

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