Thoughts from a prolife (former) athiest

Steve Kellmeyer writes in a guest post on The Dawn Patrol:

I wanted to be a scientist, be someone important, discover something new, be an adult. But, as number four in a family of eight children, my mother had taught me something very important very early on: babies were wonderful. Throughout my studies into genetics, biology, chemistry, I never knew if there was a God in heaven, but I knew there was a baby in the womb.

Atheists are not renowned for their logical consistency, and as a pro-life atheist, I certainly missed some points early on. At first, I was fine with fornication and contraception, but opposed to abortion, except in cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormality. I argued the points with others constantly.

An atheist history professor whom I greatly admired, and who had been trained by Jesuits as a teen, pointed out the inconsistency in my position. If a child exists from conception, then what difference should rape, incest or abnormality make?

He thought he had me.

He did.

Three days later, after long thought, I told him that I agreed with him. I couldn’t hold both positions at the same time. “So,” I concluded, “abortion for rape, incest or fetal abnormality is also unacceptable, and I now oppose that as well.” He wasn’t pleased.

I don’t intend to comment on the religious content, but that’s a pretty honest take on the logical inconsistency of exceptions to elective abortion.

As I argued the abortion position, I became aware of many other logical inconsistencies as well.

For instance, I began to realize that the assertion, “I can have sex without wanting a child” was logically absurd. It’s like saying, “I can eat ice cream all day without wanting to get fat.” Sure, you can. But what does your “want” have to do with it? The biological reality was going to hit you either way.

I thought it was a good analogy, but I quickly discovered a flaw. Having sex was different from eating cupcakes all day. Every time I ate a cupcake, I added calories to my body. Every time. But it is not the case that every act of sex creates a child. The analogy wasn’t perfect.

I gnawed on that for awhile.

And I began to see… something

Something I didn’t expect.

Kellmeyer started by explaining how he’d turned away from faith as a child, and finishes by explaining how that ‘something he didn’t expect’ led him back. You can read the whole post to get that story.

But the “I can have sex without wanting a child” is important too. It taps into our recent discussions about contraception. Whatever your views, to truly understand that abortion is wrong changes the way you look at sex. A view of sex without consequences doesn’t work, because (news flash) babies are often a consequence of sex. The desire for sex without babies sets up a demand for abortion as a “solution.”

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  1. […] Moral compromises are a problem though — that makes the pro-life position seem incoherent, inconsistent, or makes a person seem hypocritical. But where legal abortion is the status quo, sometimes political compromise is necessary to move forward. […]

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