Mapping the Terrain—Abortion & Infanticide
Western civilization has been founded on the Judeo-Christian conviction that all members of the human species are simultaneously members of the moral community, that is, recipients of equal moral consideration.
More recently, American slavery and the Jewish holocaust have been horrific exceptions to this rule, serving to underscore the fact that every member of the human species—from conception to natural death—possesses special dignity and deserves moral respect:1 namely, the right not to be harmed unnecessarily.2
Another notable exception to this basic premise of civilization has been abortion on demand, the thin end of a wedge that has led inexorably to other threats to human lives made in the image of God.
So-called “abortion rights” require that unborn human beings be excluded from membership in the moral community and denied the ethical respect afforded other members of our species. The philosophical tool used to discriminate against unborn humans is the notion of “personhood.” According to some philosophers, a living entity might be a human being and yet not be regarded as a “person.” This “depersonalization” of the unborn has led to horrendous consequences.3
Under this category, Kairos Journal seeks to expound the biblical doctrine of the sanctity of every human life, no matter how young, how frail, or how unwanted. Historical accounts of the consequences of depersonalizing members of our species are offered, so that we might avoid this sin in the future. Finally, contemporary examples of the encroaching “culture of death”4 are exposed, and heroic examples of a “culture of life” are affirmed and celebrated.