Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Aborted foetuses used to heat UK hospitals.


"When the Carthaginians were prevailed upon to cease sacrificing their babies, at least the place vacated by Baal reminded them that they should seek the divine above themselves; we offer up our babies to "my" freedom of choice, to "me." No society's moral vision has ever, surely, been more degenerate than that."
David Bentley Hart - Christ and Nothing

Monday, March 17, 2014

Quote: D.B. Hart

 “Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call 'after-birth abortion' (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

Abstract from "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?" by Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva

“... the autistic or Down syndrome or otherwise disabled child, for instance, for whom the world can remain a perpetual perplexity, which can too often cause pain but perhaps only vaguely and fleetingly charm or delight; the derelict or wretched or broken man or woman who has wasted his or her life away; the homeless, the utterly impoverished, the diseased, the mentally ill, the physically disabled; exiles, refugees, fugitives; even criminals and reprobates. To reject, turn away from, or kill any or all of them would be, in a very real sense, the most purely practical of impulses. To be able, however , to see in them not only something of worth but indeed something potentially godlike, to be cherished and adored, is the rarest and most ennoblingly unrealistic capacity ever bred within human souls.

David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and its Fashionable Enemies

I Believe in Miracles. So where ya from?

A common objection to the possibility of miracles is the following:

“If we consider miracles as a possible explanation, then doing science will become impossible, because it’s always possible that God might be miraculously interfering with the results of the experiments.”

One commenter named "tildeb" (with whom I discussed abortion here) has recently, along these lines, accused Christians of "denying science" by believing in the Resurrection.

Consider two potential miracles:

1. You leave a cake with blue icing on the table. You go out of the room. You come back in and see your four-year-old child with crumbs and blue smudges around their mouth. The child says “An angel told me that God has miraculously destroyed the cake.”

2. A man claims that God will miraculously levitate the Sydney Opera House 100 metres into the sky in one month’s time. 10,000 eyewitnesses report that the Opera House did indeed levitate.

Now, some might say that we could never ultimately be epistemically justified in postulating a miracle in either situation. But I think most people would recognise that, in the 1st situation, it certainly is less likely that a miracle has occurred. Why? Because of our background knowledge. If somebody said “I’ve only set my oven to 200 degrees Celsius, but my thermometer says that it’s 210 degrees inside the oven. It must be a miracle!” I think I would rightly reject that explanation, not because it is miraculous, but because it is contrived. Even if we allow for the possibility of miracles, we are still able to examine each case on its own merits.

Thus, a person can indeed consistently affirm the results of modern science concerning cell biology, the carbon cycle, etc. without necessarily excluding miracles from their possible pool of explanations.

Unless he's been convinced by this post, I'd like to cordially invite tildeb to show (in the comments section of this post) what he thinks the implicit contradiction(s) between these two propositions are:

1. We have very good reasons, drawn from modern medical science, to believe that a human body cannot return to life via the processes which normally operate in our world.

2. Jesus rose from the dead, by a miraculous act of God.