Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Right to Life Argument Based on Science and Logic

The right to life argument does not rest on any religious doctrine or text. Rather, there is a completely secular argument (based completely upon science and logic) to be made for the right to life of unborn human beings. This argument is a rational one - not a religious one, and therefore, makes a better foundation upon which to make law.

First, one must recognize that science has conclusively proven that conception results in a complete, unique and distinct human individual who has a body of his very own (i.e. his body is not simply an extension of his mother's body). Every bit of that statement is completely accurate and is not debated by any educated biologist. At the point of conception, a new, complete, unique and distinct human being comes into existence (i.e. begins to live). Of course, one's life can be divided into various arbitrary stages - beginning with the single-celled zygote and ending with elderly adult (passing continuously through such stages as embryo, fetus, infant, toddler, child, adolescent, adult, etc.). However, in each and all of these stages the individual is a complete human being, and there is no qualitative difference between an individual in one stage and one in another stage - they are all equally human. This is all based on observational science, not on opinion or anything religious.

Second, science has yet to discover any sort of magic that happens during birth which makes the individual being born any more human. Aside from being born, there is nothing special that happens to a human being during the birth process. The body of the human being is exactly the same shortly before birth as it is shortly after birth. The birth itself does not make any fundamental changes to his body. Of course, his body changes over time, but that process begins at conception and does not end until the individual becomes an adult. (Actually, it continues to change slowly after that, as well.) The point is that birth is just one event in one's life, and most certainly does not mark the beginning of one's life. Once again, this is based entirely upon science. It is not based upon any religious doctrine or text.

So let me review, according to observational science, conception results in a new human being who is just as human as any other human being, and birth is nothing more than one event in that person's life and is not the beginning of that person's life.

Therefore, since science has shown that nothing happens in the life of a human being (from the point of conception onward) which makes the individual any more human, it is only logical to conclude that all human beings (from the point of conception onward) possess the exact same inalienable right to life, regardless of value that other humans place on them. In other words, unborn human babies must possess the exact same right to life that the rest of us possess, and should therefore have the exact same legal protection.

Now, without using some religious doctrine, one may have a hard time showing that there is any such thing as an inalienable right to live. However, this argument is based solely on the logical conclusion that all human beings must have the exact same right to live as all other humans, regardless of age, gender, race, etc., and should logically therefore have the exact same legal protection. In other words, if we are going to make it illegal to kill someone who is old enough to be born, we are logically bound to provide the same legal protection to those other human beings who are not yet old enough to be born.

By the way, this does not diminish the rights of women when they become pregnant because no one (including women) have the right to kill another innocent human being, anyway. They do not have that right when they are not pregnant, and they do not acquire that right when they become pregnant. It is simply logical to conclude that their rights do not change (diminish or increase) when they become pregnant.

Moreover, the argument that the law should be changed does not mean that we wish to remove some rights that women currently have over their body. As I have already shown logically, the right to abort does not actually exist. Thus, the argument is simply that the law currently allows women to do things that they currently do not have a right to do, and so changing the law would not remove or limit any rights that actually exist now.

As you can see, it is not necessary to use religion or religious doctrine to defend the right to life position, nor to argue for the abolition of human abortion. This secular argument is based solely on observational science and rational thinking. That said, I am not maligning religion in any way. We all have certain religious beliefs. However, one does not need to resort to one's religion in order to make the right to life argument, nor to make law accordingly.


  1. No human being as rights to my body at any point or for any reason without my express and continued consent. This is the right to bodily autonomy. I can give another human being access to my body or parts of my body, but they cannot be taken from me. Forced pregnancy, just like rape and other violations of bodily integrity, are wrong.

    Women have the right to end a pregnancy because the rights of the fetus stop where my rights to my own body begin. The right we exercise is not the right to kill another person, but the right to stop them from using our bodies. They sometimes die in the process (ending a pregnancy early without killing the fetus is also a right - it would be called inducing instead of abortion), and they are sometimes killed in the process as a humanitarian move - end the life so that it doesn't suffer or end the life so that it doesn't kill the mother.

    The fetus has exactly the same right to life that every other person has: The right to seek life with the use of other people's bodies and body parts as they agree to it. If, in the future, we have a way to end a pregnancy without ending the life of the fetus (mechanical wombs,for example), then women will still have the right to end a pregnancy and the fetus will still have the same right to life as it did before. She should be able to waive all of her parental rights and hand the baby over to the state for them to care for, just like she is able to do with a full-term baby.

    A person cannot be forced to give blood or organs, even if they are the only person who matches and even if another person will die if they do not agree. The tissue from a dead person cannot be used to save a life unless the dead person agreed to it in life. A pregnant woman should have at least as much right to her own body as a dead woman.

    1. When you surrender your body to a person to inoculate yourself with sperm, you know full well the byproduct of that act can be creating another human being. Your choice begins before the sperm is put in motion.

    2. Anonymous, that is a disgusting comment: a woman never 'surrenders her body' in consensual sex, that is suggesting that bodily autonomy is removed during sex which is basically to say all sex is rape. Your implication is so repulsive I almost want a shower...

    3. Consent to sex is consent to pregnancy. This has nothing to do with giving up bodily autonomy and everything to do with being responsible for the human life we create.

    4. You have right to YOUR body. The baby has rights to HIS/HER own body. Just because HIS/HER own little body is inside the woman does not give the woman the right to kill it.

    5. Unfortunately, there are two problems with this argument. First, a two year old makes demands on his mother's body all the time. People make demands on your body when you are a child, potty training. The grocery store demands you eat one way, your finances demand you only get pedicures when you can afford them. Should you be allowed to abort the waitress who demands you wait for food? Or abort your child anytime until they turn 18, for demanding too much?

      Second, the law has laid out a rather precise evaluation of laws, and punishments based on the severity of the crime. Show me a situation where bodily inconvenience merits murder. Self defense of your own life, perhaps, where you are preventing your own murder. But in no way is 9 months of inconvenience plus creating another person equal to justifying the crime of murder.

  2. The "magic" that happens between uterus life and being born is the "magic" of a first breath. That is the only difference between being in the mother womb, fed by her life blood, and birth where life giving air enters the lungs and the process of breathing takes over.


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