The question of when life begins is a sticky one: in all honesty, it's unlikely that any two people have quite the same answer, and if they do, it could well be for vastly different reasons. But chances are if you're reading this article, we could probably agree that life distinctly and certainly does not begin at conception. For our more conservative friends, however, this is one of their most vehemently held beliefs: as soon as Mr. Sperm and Mrs. Egg finish their sweet lovemaking, God rubs his jibbly bits all over that fertilized pre-zygote and hands it a soul, making it the same as every other human. I was wondering today where it was this idea came from. Has it always been held by the Church, or other religious institutions, or is it a contemporary viewpoint?
I looked to my favorite fairy tale, the Bible, for answers. Leviticus 27:6 was no help, because despite approximating the worth of almost every human as an arbitrary amount, there's not even a mention of people under one month of age. Could it be that they have no worth at all, when even senior citizens, who were the Biblical dead weight, are worth fifteen shekels? Exodus 21:22-24 wasn't any help, either. Despite the implicit assumption of women as property, you can reasonably punch a baby out right up until the moment its mother was due and get away with nothing but a fine. In Ezekiel 37:8-10, God's zombie warriors weren't alive until they took their first breath and moved on their own. My search continued in Job...but imagine my surprise when, in Job 10:18-19, the man himself wishes he had been aborted. Then I began seeing things everywhere! Ecclesiastes 4:1-3, where Solomon ponders the morality and necessity of abortion! Genesis 2:7, where Adam isn't alive until he begins breathing, and later in the same book, where a woman sentenced to die by burning is given no consideration for her unborn child! Why, in Numbers 3:15, the Jews themselves take a census, and they do not even deign to consider anyone less than a month of age as a person. It seems we've got some catching up to do.
|What does Wrestlemania have to do with it? You'll find out soon enough.|