Response to Bob Fish

Bob Fish stated that life begins when the fetus is able to survive outside the womb without artificial support and that he objects to having a religious view imposed on him.  Both statements are worthy of examination and discussion, but I would like to address the latter statement first.

The short answer is, “I agree,” for I object strongly to anyone imposing their religious beliefs on me.  Including Bob Fish. The broader answer requires an examination of what do we mean when we use the word ‘religion?’  I think that the following will suffice, “A religion is a belief system, based upon a set of presuppositions, that an individual holds without proof and believes that they address the basic questions that comprise his worldview.”  It is impossible for an individual to answer any question regarding the basic questions of existence including questions of ethics and morality in a fashion that is not informed by his presuppositions unless and only unless it can be demonstrated that his worldview does not reflect reality.  Then his presuppositional system collapses and must be reformulated to account for a new understanding of reality, i.e. a new worldview.

You asked, “Who said life begins at conception” and I suggested yesterday (8/19/2014) that the question should be stated, “Why do I believe that life begins at conception?” Let me address that briefly but we can expand the discussion as needed:

As Amy Hamblett said earlier this evening–the Word of God.  
Gen 1:26 states that man is made in the image of God
Psalm 139:13 states that I was knitted together in my mother’s womb
Psalm 139:16 points out that God had determined me in toto from before the beginning of time.
I conclude from this and other Scriptures that I was a completely determined being from the moment of conception

The evidence of science.
Science has determined that there was a unique DNA formed as part of the process of conception, confirming Ps 139:13, 16
Advances in neonatal care have significantly pushed back the age of viability closer and closer to conception.

The question of support
Yes, the womb is the ideal environment for the baby to develop to the point at which it can survive after birth.
The mother supplies nutrients and oxygen but the baby has its own unique blood supply. Yes, there is a marvelous transformation that takes place during birth as the child ‘switched’ over to another source of nutrients and oxygen. But it is a change in source not in the child’s ability to utilize the necessities of life.

A brief statement in support of my belief that life begins at conception.  You do not have to accept it but you do have to answer the antithesis, “Why do you believe that life does not begin until natural child birth occurs?” 

Based on the above definitions, Bob, your statement regarding the beginning of life is based on the religion of Scientism, and defined most succinctly by its high priest, Carl Sagan, “The Cosmos, all that ever was, all that is and all that ever will be.” This leads to the belief that if I cannot measure something, or taste it or see it or feel it or.. , it does not exist.  It also leads to a belief that all came from chaos and will return to chaos.  We are the product of a purely random process.  This presupposition also leads to the eugenics of Margaret Sanger.  That was foundational for the National Socialist Party of pre-WWII to impose the ‘final solution’ upon your people.

You do not have the right to impose your beliefs on me but I must allow you the right to speak regarding those issues, including the beginning of life, that are of significance to our society.  

I demand the same from you.  I can no more separate my opinions from my belief system than you can from yours.

Now let’s look at your belief that life exists only if it can survive without artificial support.  I suggest that this is an incomplete and hence unsatisfactory definition of life.
  You cannot survive in a hostile environment without outside support.  Some time ago in an earlier discussion, I posed the thought experiment that an adult male be dropped in the middle of the Green Mountain National Forest on a typical January night with nothing except what he had immediately after birth–no socks or shoes, no clothing, no food, no shelter, nothing.  He would fail your test for life before morning.  Don’t  reject the example as being too extreme, any worldview must be able to stand up to a test of reduction to the absurd.

You rejected my citing my own lack of ability to survive without insulin as too big a jump.  Is it?  I wish you could ask my father who, as a young boy, watched his mother die from diabetes because insulin had not been discovered. She had become a non-person by your definition. Her life was precious to him but the artificial means of supporting that life did not exist.  In the same area, is my 63 year-old sister a non-person because she cannot live without dialysis while awaiting a kidney transplant?

Sandy Nunnikhoven, a granddaughter who will have her 21st birthday on August 29.  Was she a non-person that night her mother experienced a premature delivery and Sandy was placed on life supporting equipment for a significant period of time.  She is now a beautiful and talented young lady.  At what point did she become a life and worthy of being allowed to live?

I suggest that your worldview does not reflect reality and needs to be rethought.  It is time to consider that the presupposition that life begins at conception, is precious and worthy of protection until natural death is valid and reflects reality.  However, I am not forcing you to believe that, I can’t.

Published in: on August 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday 4/21 Cancellation

The class has been canceled to give everybody time for storm cleanup. See you next Saturday.

Published in: on April 20, 2007 at 9:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Class notes updated

All class notes and powerpoints through 4/14 have been posted to:

Published in: on April 15, 2007 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

New site

The class is being moved to the Old Red Brick Church in North Clarendon, same time — 10AM on Satudays

Published in: on March 28, 2007 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday 3/17 Cancelation

The class scheduled for Saturday, March 17th has been canceled due to the winter storm warning posted for Rutland and Windsor counties.

Published in: on March 15, 2007 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reading Lists moved to new site

Unfortunately this blog site is not suited to posting long documents, I have therefore set up a website that will serve our purposes at:

Let me know if you have any problems downloading this material. It should be strightforward.

Published in: on March 12, 2007 at 7:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Class notes moved to new site

Unfortunately this blog site is not suited to posting long documents, I have therefore set up a website that will serve our purposes at:

Let me know if you have any problems downloading this material. It should be strightforward.

Published in: on March 12, 2007 at 7:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Who are we?

Introduce yourselves as comments to this topic.

Please include your e-mail address, a short bio and some comments on your expectations from this course.

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 9:22 pm  Comments (1)  

Course Schedule

The course will meet from 10AM until 12PM on Saturdays, beginning on March 10th in the Stafford Technical Center and conclude on April 28th. We will make an effort to begin and end promptly.

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Course Content

We will begin with a discussion of worldview and how it plays a central role in our life. We will examine the component parts of a WV in order to why various segments of our culture respond as they do to various questions.

Our primary focus will be to gain an understanding of the foundations of a Biblical Worldview and to learn how to apply those foundations to our life as disciples of Jesus Christ.

The latter part of the course will focus on helping us learn how to resolve many of the issues that face us today. We will examine issues such as bioethics to establish a Biblically sound position and to carry that position into our culture in ways that are understandable and winsome.

We will conclude by mutually assisting each other in searching for areas that the Lord may be calling each of us to work in.

The basic format of the course will lectures with class interruptions encouraged and expected.

The basic text will be How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey. Readings will assigned each week. There is a list of books posted in the files section, that provide valuable resources for additional research and reading in this subject.

The lecture notes will be posted each week in the files for those who were unable to make it to a session.

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment