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This post is not focused on abortion, I promise

Posted by Chance on February 21, 2007

I think I’ve said enough about that topic for a while, but I wanted to touch on bioethics in general. I’ve done a little bit of surfing on prolifeblogs.com and I’ve noticed that many of the contributors are anti-contraception, and that a significant number of pro-lifers are anti-contraception. Now, if they want to make it illegal, that is not clear, but many regard it as immoral.

I myself have no moral issues with artificial contraception, but I have entertained some of the arguments against it. One of the arguments is that one is “playing God” by using birth control. But that’s where things get confusing. Is using birth control worse than simply using natural family planning (planning times of intercourse throughout the month)? What about sex that doesn’t involve intercourse? Doesn’t that produce the same affect?

This “playing God” argument is indeed fascinating, and it is taking on more weight as science advances in the area of cloning, and especially as gender selection becomes more possible ( I did a Google News search and no articles seemed to stand out, although I thought I recalled seeing a commercial where they say this is now possible). We are gaining new ability to control human life.

Here is my theory. I don’t want to say I believe it is a law of nature, as one may be able to point out exceptions, but here goes. I believe that God will prevent or discourage us from doing things one of two ways, and this application is most notable in the area of biotechnology. 1) He will make it scientifically impossible, or 2) Tell us not to do it through His Word. In other words, God provides scientific laws and moral laws. We cannot travel through time because of scientific laws, and we should not, for instance, use science to torture or kill people because of God’s moral law.

With this theory, we can cut through a lot of confusion. At what point do we “play God”? Look to the Bible. (I am talking about the morality of science, not the legality ) If the philosophical argument against a certain area of technology has a foundation in the Bible, then it is legitimate. I believe the Word can provide clear boundaries of where we should and shouldn’t go in science. If one cannot find a scriptural admonition, then I believe we can go as far as God will physically allow us in the realm of science.

That is why I have the opinions on birth control and abortion that I do. I believe abortion is immoral because it ends a life. I am okay with birth control because it does not end a life, and I don’t think people have a moral obligation to take a chance at creating life every time they have sex. People have used the Bible to produce credible and reasonable arguments against birth control, but they are not sufficient in my view.

What about issues such as cloning and gender selection? The idea that we can create another being seems to undermine the role of our Supreme Creator. I think this is an instance where we will actually be limited by science. I believe God intended for life to only be produced by the union of man and woman (even if it is reduced to groups of cells as in the case of sperm-donors), and I am not sure it will be possible for humans to create another human being on their own. What about gender selection? It is something that personally bothers me, and my personal moral sense is opposed. However, I don’t see anything in the Bible giving us limitations. This is an instance of where the principle may take us on paths we may not like. I can’t oppose something simply because of my own personal feelings.

So, in short, when it comes to science, I believe God provides either scientific or moral boundaries on where we should go.

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3 Responses to “This post is not focused on abortion, I promise”

  1. Michael Westmoreland-White said

    In the case of Catholicism, the case against birth control came before the concern about abortion. Ever since Augustine, procreation was seen as the only legitimate purpose of (even married) sex. So, any sex act which did not have the POSSIBILITY of pregnancy was considered mortally sinful. This led to such Medieval judgments as the claim that masturbation was worse than rape because “at least” in rape there was the possibility of pregnancy!!

    The conservative Protestant antagonism to artificial birth control is far more recent. It is a result of the close association of conservative Protestants with Catholics in pro-life organizations. They have begun to buy the argument that condoms or birth control pills are “the same as” early abortions–which is sheer nonsense.

  2. Josh said

    You know, maybe this is a weak topic of mine, but I’ve never got the big deal about this debate.

  3. Chance said

    What debate is that? The one on birth control, or abortion?

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