Blog Archive

Followers

Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the www.comereason.org Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.

Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Abortion and the S.L.E.D. Argument



Tomorrow is Sanctity of Life Sunday and I can think of no better post for today than to quote Scott Klusendorf's S.L.E.D. argument answering those who would promote abortion. Abortion is one of the greatest evils in our day and there is no justification for it. There is no greater definition of evil than when a human being is killed simply so other will not be inconvenienced. Here's how Klusendorf lays out his argument:
Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant in the way that abortion advocates need them to be. The simple acronym SLED can be used to illustrate these non-essential differences:

Size: True, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more valuable than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value.

Level of development: True, embryos and fetuses are less developed than you and I. But again, why is this relevant? Four year-old girls are less developed than 14 year-old ones. Should older children have more rights than their younger siblings? Some people say that the immediate capacity for self-awareness and a desire to go on living makes one valuable. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings. Infants do not acquire distinct self-awareness and memory until several months after birth. (Best case scenario, infants acquire limited self-awareness three months after birth, when the synapse connections increase from 56 trillion to 1,000 trillion.) As abortion advocate and philosopher Dean Stretton writes, “Any plausible pro-choice theory will have to deny newborns a full right to life. That’s counterintuitive.”

Environment: Where you are has no bearing on who you are. Does your value change when you cross the street or roll over in bed? If not, how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-human to human? If the unborn are not already valuable human beings, merely changing their location can’t make them so.

Degree of Dependency: If viability bestows human value, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.

In short, although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal (and valuable) because they all have the same human nature.1
1.Klusendorf, Scott. "Five Bad Ways to Argue About Abortion." Life Training Institute. Life Training Institute, n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2016. http://prolifetraining.com/resources/five-bad-ways/
Image courtesy lunar caustic - Embryo, CC BY 2.0

4 comments:

  1. A frustrating one I run up against is from Christians that argue that abortion happens because people need the gospel and because women are oppressed. Change that and the need for abortion goes away. The whole time claiming they are prolife.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent points made here!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have always appreciated Klusendorf's SLED argument, but I've never seen it in writing before. Thanks for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I heard a reply of Lenny's that went essentially: "we can all agree that: killing babies or young children for recreation or sport is wrong." If we all agree to that statement, doesn't it perfectly follow that abortion is exactly: killing babies for recreation and sport?

    ReplyDelete

Come Reason brandmark Convincing Christianity
An invaluable addition to the realm of Christian apologetics

Mary Jo Sharp:

"Lenny Esposito's work at Come Reason Ministries is an invaluable addition to the realm of Christian apologetics. He is as knowledgeable as he is gracious. I highly recommend booking Lenny as a speaker for your next conference or workshop!"
Check out more X