For years pro-lifers have argued that if it's acceptable to kill a baby in the womb, it's acceptable to kill a baby outside the womb. And because it's clearly not acceptable to kill a baby outside the womb, we shouldn't kill a baby inside the womb. Now a university professor has turned this argument on its head, arguing that since it is acceptable to kill a baby inside the womb, it's acceptable to kill one outside the womb.
Such is the cold, deadly logic of Professor Jerry Coyne, who teaches in the department of ecology and human evolution at the University of Chicago. In his words, "If you are allowed to abort a fetus that has a severe genetic defect, microcephaly, spina bifida or so on, then why aren't you able to euthanize that same fetus just after it's born?"
But why stop there, Professor Coyne? If you are allowed to kill a baby in the womb because you didn't plan to have it or because it's not the gender of your choosing or because you don't think you can adequately care for it, then why not kill it once it's born? Where is the moral divide?
Surely Dr. Kermit Gosnell would agree with this kind of logic. And surely a strict application of Darwinian naturalism would agree with this too. Doesn't it all come down to survival of the fittest?
Some humans are just more fit than others, and if the least fit have to be eliminated, so be it. And did I mention that Coyne published these thoughts on his blogsite "Why Evolution Is True"?
But Professor Coyne feels he has strong reasons to support infanticide: "After all, newborn babies aren't aware of death, aren't nearly as sentient as an older child or adult, and have no rational faculties to make judgments (and if there's severe mental disability, would never develop such faculties). It makes little sense to keep alive a suffering child who is doomed to die or suffer life in a vegetative or horribly painful state."
This is moral madness, and it is chilling to imagine where this kind of thinking leads.
Let me paraphrase the professor's argument: "Since newborn babies are the picture of innocence and dependence, since they can't figure out anything for themselves, and since they might suffer a lot in the days or months or years they have, let's slaughter them now. The sooner the better. After all, once they're a little older, they might be frightened when they see us take a knife to their throats."
Note also Coyne's reference to a baby with a "severe mental disability" who "would never develop [rational] faculties." Perhaps such a baby could be killed as a child? Or maybe as a teen or an adult? Really now, how much can they really understand?
As for his reference to "a suffering child who is doomed to die," note that he speaks here of a child rather than a baby, reminding us of how easy it is to extend his time frame for euthanasia. How old is too old? As for being doomed to die, that is the fate of every human being who enters this world. Why kill a newborn if it might live only six months? Again, who draws the line?
Professor Coyne, however, is sensitive to the inevitable charge of eugenics, and he tries to parry off the criticism before it is lodged. He writes, "As for the 'slippery slope' argument—that this will lead to Nazi-like eugenics—well, this hasn't come to pass in places where assisted suicide or euthanasia of adults is legal."
But once again, it is his own words that condemn him.
First, the moment you start killing babies outside the womb, you have already taken a deep plunge down that slope.
Second, Coyne's kind of logic did lead to Nazi-like eugenics in Nazi Germany, where some were deemed more fit to live than others. Exterminate the rest!
Third, Coyne's strict evolutionary paradigm does not provide him with an adequate framework for morality. (Ultimately, what makes something right or wrong, ethical or unethical?)
Fourth, countries like Holland are seeing lots of abuses in their pro-euthanasia system, while, "Politicians in the Netherlands are discussing the possibility of legalizing euthanasia for healthy people." ("The proposed 'Completed Life Bill' would allow any person age 75 or over who decides their life is 'complete' to receive euthanasia. It doesn't matter if they are otherwise perfectly healthy.")
The bottom line is that when you take God out of the picture and deny that humans are created in his image, the human race becomes little different than the animal kingdom. And if it's OK to kill an animal, it's OK to kill a human. (For more on this, see the chapters, "Created in the Image of God" and "From the Walking Dead to a Culture of Life" in Saving a Sick America.)
To quote Coyne once more, "The reason we don't allow euthanasia of newborns is because humans are seen as special, and I think this comes from religion—in particular, the view that humans, unlike animals, are endowed with a soul."
Endowed with a soul we are, endowed by the One who created us and endowed by the One who gave us life. Leaving Him out, we quickly destroy ourselves, beginning with the most vulnerable and innocent.
May Professor Jerry Coyne have a life-changing encounter with the God He does not know, and may his deadly ideas be exposed for what they are.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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