Where you are does not determine what you are
Despite what critics say, a simple change in location from inside the womb to outside the womb doesn’t change your essential nature.
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 Hello everyone. Welcome to the Case for Life podcast. I’m Scott Klusendorf, president of Life Training Institute, and I hope you’ll take a minute to connect with us on social media. We have resources there to help you engage others on the pro life issue who don’t share your worldview. And that’s what we’re here for is to try to direct you to arguments, to resources, for example, like the new edition of the Case for Life, which came out this week.

Very thick book loaded with information on helping you defend your pro life views. That will, that’s what we want to do here on this show. We’re not here just to do a promo for us, we want to equip you to make a difference where God has placed you. We’ve been talking for, uh, the last couple of weeks about the acronym SLED, S L E D, and how it’s a useful tool for defending your pro life views.

And I want to take a moment to continue that discussion. Uh, one of the things that happens to pro lifers is they don’t press their critics enough to say why a certain trait or characteristic matters in the first place. So, for example, you’re talking to a friend and a friend says, well, you know what?

That fetus isn’t even self aware yet. It doesn’t have a right to life. And typically, again, what happens is the pro lifer starts doing things like thinking of fetal development charts. Well, wait a minute. By week eight, we’ve got brain development that can support dreaming in the womb or whatever they come up with.

These are not good responses, and here’s the principal reason why they’re not a good response. You just bought the premise that that particular trait is what gives us value. You should push back on it, challenge it, and say to your critic, Why do I have to be self aware not to be killed? Or why is self awareness value giving in the first place?

And today we want to look at another trait that’s often asserted. and seldom pushed back on by pro lifers and needs to be pushed back on, and that is the whole trait of environment, where you happen to be. Now we’ve already looked at why size isn’t a relevant factor for her, for determining who lives or dies.

Level of development isn’t. either, because it’s not true that more developed humans have a greater right to life than less. What does that do to human equality? But today we want to look at another trait that’s asserted, and it’s that letter E in the SLED acronym, which stands for environment, which simply means where are you located?

And of course, the typical argument is that until the child is out of the womb, it has no rights. That as long as it resides in the mother’s body. It is not a subject that we are obliged to protect legally, and there’s no moral reason why it would be wrong to have an abortion. That’s the argument. What we want to do now is see why that doesn’t really work.

When somebody brings up the idea to me that a child in the womb is substantially different in some measure, my first question is, How does where I am determine what I am? That’s what my critic needs to explain. How does my location determine my ontology, meaning the kind of being that I am? If I move from, uh, the kitchen up to this office up here, I change location.

I don’t stop being me. And if that’s true, how does a journey from inside the womb to outside the womb change the essential nature of the unborn? That’s what our critics need to zero in on. That’s what we need to force them to explain to us. And it’s sad to me when too often pro lifers just buy the premise and they’ll say things like, well, That child in the womb is actually helping a mother if she happens to have MS.

The chemical reaction helps the mother. That’s true, but it’s not really helpful. We should challenge the premise of why location matters in the first place. So let me give you some thoughts on this. Again, we’re talking about the letter E in that slud acronym, environment. Where we are does not determine what we are.

To give you an example, they are now doing fetal surgery on children that are still in utero. In fact, there was a recent press article, I, I meant to bring it with me today and I forgot it, but the headline read this. being born twice. And it was about children that are born twice, because what happens is these children have defects and the surgeon will operate on them while they are still in the middle of the pregnancy or while the mothers are still in the middle of the pregnancy.

So what will happen is the child will be removed from the womb, The surgery will be done to repair whatever defect, often a herniated diaphragm or the like, and then the child will be placed back in the mother’s womb and be born at the normal time around 39 to 40 weeks. And so my question for critics is this, if location is what determines our humanity, does that child that’s being operated on go from being a non human just prior to the surgery while it’s still in the womb to briefly becoming human while it’s outside the womb and having surgery and then go back to being non human again simply because it’s back in the womb if they really believe that location determines our our status our value our humanity They have an absurd problem on their hands.

They literally have to say, Yeah, that child goes from being non human to human, back to being human again. Well, that’s just stupid. But that’s the follow what comes from this idea that where we are determines what we are. And it simply doesn’t seem to work that that’s going to be a good explanation for the pro abortion view.

So we need to push back on this. Where we are, does not determine what we are. You did not stop being you when you walked from your house to your car today. If a journey of 70 feet didn’t change you from one kind of thing to another as you move from your house to your car, how does a journey of seven inches down the birth canal suddenly transform you from non human, non valuable thing we can kill, to valuable human being that we cannot?

And the answer is, if you weren’t already human and valuable, you don’t get there just by changing your address. That’s the simple truth of the matter. We need to press that home on our critics. Again, I talk about this in great detail in the new edition of The Case for Life. I encourage you to get this.

You can get this at Amazon or Crossway or wherever you buy books. This book gives you a very robust game plan for defending your pro life view, but you can also get help by visiting our social media sites. Like I mentioned earlier, that’s a place we can help you engage with the best arguments that are out there.

And we look forward to doing that. Look forward to seeing you next time.