Given my recent preoccupation with "life" issues generally and with the pro-life / pro-choice debate generally, I thought it might be advisable to reprint this column from several years ago for the sake of the statistics it contains about the incidence of spontaneous abortions / miscarriages worldwide, and the theological implications of these numbers. Debates about abortion tend to get lost in the intricacies of theologies and ideologies at the expense of appeal to actual hard data. My intent in reprinting this "Skeptic's Collection" column is not to ridicule pro-life people or their religious convictions. Rather, my intent is simply to make possible an appeal to empirical evidence vis a vis various theological reflections on abortion. Facts matter.
Back in February of 2014, I publishe...
I have been closely following the history of the hyper-restrictive – grossly over-restrictive, in my estimation – abortion laws and bills, including the so-called “heartbeat” laws / bills. As a result, I have become convinced that the biggest problem with the abortion debate – both pro-choice and pro-life -- is that both parties assume they know one helluva lot more than they actually do, in fact, one helluva lot more than anybody knows about what a fetus in a womb actually is, “ontologically”. In fact, both parties assume that they know one helluva lot more than anyone can know, even in principle.
First, we need to define some terminology. Consider the word “phenotype”. “Phenotype” refers to those characteristics of a biological organism that are naked-eye, empirically,
Over the centuries since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 and the Bill of Rights in 1791, the principle of States’ powers and States' rights – that States enjoy certain rights and prerogatives upon which the Federal government may not intrude – has gained a bad reputation. One could reasonably date the origin of this bad association from 1948, when Strom Thurmond accepted the presidential nomination of the break-away Democrats constituting the States’ Rights Party (“Dixiecrats”). The Dixiecrats were tainted because they advocated a radical doctrine of States’ rights and powers in opposition to a Federal government they viewed as bent on coercive nationwide racial integration, in violation, they argued, of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution. To this day,