On the religion front

by Neil Rickert

A few comments and links on families, atheism and abortion.

Biblical families

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has said that his business supports biblical families.  So Fred Clark has come out with some examples of biblical families.  Perhaps those families were considered normal in biblical times, but today we would consider them dysfunctional.

Fred’s first example is the family of Lot.  Read it at:

His second example was the family of Jephthah:

Atheism is a religion

Jerry Coyne has responded to Michael Ruse, who apparently claims that atheism is a religion.  I am never sure where that idea (that atheism is a religion) comes from.  Fundamentalists often bring that up.  It is stranger to see Ruse, himself an atheist, making that argument.

Sure, some people like traditions.  And some people like to get together with others.  But neither of those is sufficient to characterize religion.

On abortion

Eric MacDonald has a good discussion of the abortion issue at:

Personally, I would consider myself opposed to abortion, but pro-choice.  The religious activists say that makes me pro-abortion.  But that accusation is simply dishonest.

I have no personal experience of people choosing abortion.  I have read accounts  (and Eric mentions one in his post), where it is a difficult decision.  When a woman is faced with such a decision she needs support, not condemnation.

On Eric’s question, of whether a fœtus is human, I think there is no easy answer.  Our word “human” is used in many different ways.  In some of the ways that we use “human”, I would see even a newly born infant as not yet fully human.  In other ways of using “human”, the cell that I destroyed when I nicked myself while shaving, was already human.

Unfortunately, some of the public abortion debate has been about giving simplistic answers to very difficult and complex questions.

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