Abortion, summarized

So, I wanted to get this down in summary form so I can post links to it on facebook rather than writing it out over and over.

One of the things that makes the least sense to me is that Christians, who claim to believe that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, are anti-abortion. Surely a all-powerful and all-knowing entity can arrange to only have souls connected to the bodies that are actually going to be extant? Being anti-abortion is the same as professing a profound lack of faith in God’s abilities.

Now, I have a different perspective. My first observation is that you aren’t dealing with a self-aware life form until certain things happen in the mind of the fetus. These can’t possibly happen until at a minimum the neural network develops whatever the minimum number of connections for self-awareness is. We don’t know what that is, but we can safely say based on the fact that we have no problem killing cows that if the fetus has less neurons than a cow, it’s not a person by our definitions.

It also seems likely that self-awareness and free will are something you ‘catch’ from other people. In the 1950s, a attempt to make a more efficient orphanage resulted in a number of children not getting held, talked to, cuddled, etc. The result was that most of them died. Neural networks are event-driven, and it seems likely that it takes a certain number of incoming events to make a person a person, because absent events, there is nothing to drive the connecting-the-neural-dots process that turns us from a collection of cells into a individual.

In any case, the same people who are pro-life are often the people pushing for laws and rules and social norms that will make that life as miserable as possible. They certainly aren’t volunteering to take care of the children in question. I don’t think it’s actually a defensible position from a religious standpoint, unless your religion is built on the idea of a incompetent God.

One Response to “Abortion, summarized”

  1. Swipes Says:

    Have your ideas on this expanded since Dobbs? At this point, you might be tired of all my anger and thoughts on the subject.

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