Soundbite of the Week: Lethal Force to Protect Born Children but Not Unborn?

Greg answers a caller's question on why it's morally permissible to protect a born child using lethal force, but it's not morally permissible to protect an unborn child using lethal force.


0:00 I just have a question on how to respond to a

0:03 challenge in the pro-life

0:05 discussion.

0:06 Yeah. It goes something like this: If

0:09 you believe that it would be morally

0:11 justified to use lethal force in

0:13 defending a born child in order to

0:16 protect them,

0:17 why do you not believe in using lethal force

0:19 to defend an unborn child in order to protect them?

0:22 Right, okay, this is a

0:26 fairly common challenge that is offered

0:28 to the pro-life view, and all I'll give a

0:31 response to it. I'm not going to

0:33 guarantee that the response is going to be

0:34 satisfying to people, but I want you

0:38 to see that no matter what response that

0:41 I give, and whether the response is

0:44 satisfying or not, it has no bearing on

0:50 the fundamental question of whether

0:52 abortion takes the life of an innocent

0:55 human being without proper justification.

0:58 All this question does is it shows, if

1:04 anything, if a person is not satisfied

1:06 with the answer, all it's going to do is

1:09 demonstrate that the pro-lifer is

1:11 inconsistent. That's all it can possibly do.

1:16 "You're being inconsistent." Okay, so what?

1:18 Let's just say that's the truth of the

1:20 matter. I'm being inconsistent. How does

1:23 my inconsistency somehow inveigh against

1:26 the case that we make regarding abortion?

1:30 Because our argument is very simple, so

1:33 I'm just going to go over it again

1:34 before I go to this. I think this is a

1:36 red herring.

1:37 I think this is something to drag

1:39 people off the track, so let me just make

1:41 clear what the track is first before I

1:43 go there. Our argument is very

1:47 straightforward. It is wrong to take the

1:50 life of an innocent human being without

1:52 proper justification. Second, abortion

1:57 takes the life of an innocent human

1:59 being without proper justification. That

2:02 is, the reasons people give for abortions

2:04 are not the reasons that we justify

2:06 taking any other human life for.

2:08 Therefore, abortion is wrong.

2:10 Okay, now that is a valid argument,

2:13 and what I mean by that is the

2:14 conclusion follows from the premises if

2:16 the premises are true.

2:18 Okay? That's where the action is.

2:20 Premise 1, which is a moral claim, and

2:23 premise 2 which is a factual claim. The

2:26 factual claim is secured by science that

2:28 abortion kills something that's alive,

2:30 and the thing that it kills is an

2:32 innocent human being. And so then

2:36 the question is whether the first

2:37 premise is true, which it seems to me to

2:39 be self-evidently so, though

2:42 people try to get around that with

2:43 personhood language, etc. If a person

2:46 wants to upend our point of view, rebut,

2:50 or deal with our point of view, they have

2:53 to deal with the argument proper. They

2:55 can't go to kind of psychologically

2:58 satisfying objections that point to the

3:00 inconsistencies that pro-lifers might be

3:04 guilty of,

3:05 Okay? So now that I've made that point,

3:08 let's go to the the challenge itself.

3:11 I do not think that it would be

3:13 appropriate,

3:14 it would be moral, to use lethal force to

3:17 protect an unborn child,

3:19 okay? And we are careful in our STR

3:23 abortion violence statement that can be

3:26 found on the website to

3:28 explain our reason for this. We

3:33 think it's always wrong to take human

3:35 life without proper justification. This

3:36 is tied to our argument against abortion,

3:38 and that's why abortion is wrong,

3:41 okay. Therefore, we should be

3:45 campaigning against abortion because of

3:47 what it does, but in opposing that evil, a

3:51 person is only justified in using the

3:53 degree of force necessary to stop the

3:57 harm that is within that person's

4:01 power to prevent. And therefore,

4:05 one is never justified in using lethal

4:07 force when other measures are available,

4:09 okay? Now what we have to take into

4:14 consideration in this particular

4:15 circumstance is the big picture. And the

4:20 big picture is abortion. Whenever

4:26 somebody's life is taken who's involved

4:28 in the abortion business, this

4:33 results in more babies dying. It doesn't

4:38 stop anybody from killing the baby that's

4:42 scheduled for abortion.

4:43 It just takes another life. And

4:49 arguably, at least, it sets sets back the

4:51 cause because of

4:55 the capital that is made from the

4:59 event by the so-called pro-choice

5:03 side. And so this is why we argue

5:07 there's no circumstances in which lethal

5:10 force is the only means available to end

5:12 the harm of abortion, which is what we're

5:15 after. And therefore, lethal means are

5:17 never really justified.

5:19 Okay. So you can find the detail there

5:22 an STR abortion violence statement.

5:25 Great. And it's the reason that we

5:27 don't condone violence and the harm of

5:29 abortion. And we don't knowingly

5:31 associate with those who do that. We're

5:33 against that. But if somebody says, "Well, I

5:36 think your point of view,

5:37 that's that's inconsistent. That doesn't

5:40 satisfy me." Okay, well, it doesn't satisfy

5:42 you. Fine. Then you're not satisfied with

5:44 my response.

5:45 You don't have to be satisfied.

5:47 The fact that you're not satisfied with

5:49 my response does not nullify the

5:52 argument that we offer against abortion

5:54 itself, which is skillfully avoided in

5:57 this kind of charge. All that you can

6:00 show is that that pro-lifers are

6:02 inconsistent.

6:04 Okay. So what? It doesn't make abortion

6:06 right.

video |
Greg Koukl