Does life have value?

It wasn't long ago when this question wasn't even discussed in the culture in which I lived because most people shared the belief that life was intrinsically valuable simply because God had given it.

This conviction has been challenged from many directions during my lifetime. Some on the assumption that earth cannot sustain everyone and therefore that the human family must be "culled." Legalizing suicide, sometimes termed euthanasia, is promoted by some.  Others insist a woman may choose to eliminate the life growing within her either because it's not really human or because, even if it is, she has no responsibility to her pre-born baby. Many don't want to know in fact what abortion is and does.

If you are a promoter of the unencumbered 'right to choose,' please click here.

 

Holocaust mass grave

Emphatically, I too would much rather forget.

But I cannot, we must not.

The discussion was, for a season during my lifetime, hotly contested. Now there are more widely efforts to suppress this foundational discussion by those claiming the "pro-choice" side has won the day and therefore the debate should be ended. The concept of "intellectual freedom" - the hallmark value of many generations (before and after the so-called "Enlightenment") - has been increasingly suppressed. My observation is that the purpose of science has in this context been increasingly changed from seeking objective truth, to an subjective tool for political power. 

As such the argument for the value of human life is being waged on two fronts: the philosophical and practical.

  1. The philosophical discussion is rooted in the question of worldview: i.e. "What is the place, value and meaning of humanity in the cosmos? If the conclusion is "nothing," then of course no argument can be made for the sanctity of life. Followers of Christ of course declare all life to be a gift from God and never to be spurned. Please see an excellent expression of this truth in the San Jose Articles.

  2. The practical discussion is at some levels an easier one in that it is evident that life in the womb is growing, has feelings, and is wonderfully complex carrying the very image of God - but one soon learns from those rejecting the value of life that "the heart has reasons the mind knows not."

For example, evidence that public policy funding abortion - rather than improving - actually undermines maternal and infant health. This fact, discovered when governments changed their liberal abortion policies, is however ignored by those who distain discussion of the consequences of the behaviour they promote.

And these consequences are powerful and real.

Where to? Simply faithfulness to the God who gives life, and to the life God gives.

This will often put us in opposition to those who deny the sanctity of human life. And - as those who valued human life against the Nazi ideology regarding Jews, the mentally challenged etc. found - this can be a costly stand. But it is the stand of love and that of the Cross.