When a Professor Justifies Infanticide

It's chilling to imagine where this kind of thinking leads.

By Michael Brown Published on July 21, 2017

For years pro-lifers have argued that if it’s okay to kill a baby in the womb, it’s okay to kill a baby outside the womb. And because it’s clearly not okay to kill a baby outside the womb, we shouldn’t kill a baby inside the womb. Now a university professor has turned this argument on its head. He argues that since it is acceptable to kill a baby inside the womb, it’s acceptable to kill one outside the womb.

Why Not Kill the Baby “Just After It’s Born?”

Such is the cold, deadly logic of Prof. Jerry Coyne, who teaches in the department of ecology and human evolution at the University of Chicago. In his words, “If you are allowed to abort a fetus that has a severe genetic defect, microcephaly, spina bifida, or so on, then why aren’t you able to euthanize that same fetus just after it’s born?”

But why stop there, Prof. Coyne? If you are allowed to kill a baby in the womb because you didn’t plan to have it or because it’s not the gender of your choosing or because you don’t think you can adequately care for it, then why not kill it once it’s born? Where is the moral divide?

Did I mention that Coyne published these thoughts on his blogsite “Why Evolution Is True”? Prof. Coyne’s creed is Darwinian materialism. Doesn’t it all come down to survival of the fittest? Some humans are just more fit than others. If the least fit have to be eliminated, so be it.

Survival of the Fittest

But Prof. Coyne feels he has strong reasons to support infanticide:

After all, newborn babies aren’t aware of death, aren’t nearly as sentient as an older child or adult, and have no rational faculties to make judgments (and if there’s severe mental disability, would never develop such faculties). It makes little sense to keep alive a suffering child who is doomed to die or suffer life in a vegetative or horribly painful state.

This is moral madness, and it is chilling to imagine where this kind of thinking leads.

Let me paraphrase the professor’s argument: “Since newborn babies are the picture of innocence and dependence, since they can’t figure out anything for themselves, and since they might suffer a lot in the days or months or years they have, let’s slaughter them now. The sooner the better. After all, once they’re a little older, they might be frightened when they see us take a knife to their throats.”

Leaving God out, we quickly destroy ourselves, beginning with the most vulnerable and innocent.

Note also Coyne’s reference to a baby with a “severe mental disability” who “would never develop [rational] faculties.” Perhaps such a baby could be killed as a child? Or maybe as a teen or an adult? Really now, how much can they understand?

Note his reference to “a suffering child who is doomed to die.” He speaks here of a child rather than a baby, reminding us of how easy it is to extend his time frame for euthanasia. How old is too old? As for being doomed to die, that is the fate of every human being who enters this world. Why kill a newborn if it might live only six months? Again, who draws the line?

Eugenics, Anyone?

Prof. Coyne, however, is sensitive to the inevitable charge of eugenics. He tries to parry off the criticism before it is lodged. “As for the ‘slippery slope’ argument — that this will lead to Nazi-like eugenics,” he writes, “well, this hasn’t come to pass in places where assisted suicide or euthanasia of adults is legal.”

But once again, his own words damn him.

First, the moment you start killing babies outside the womb you’ve already taken a deep plunge down that slope.

Second, Coyne’s logic did lead to eugenics in Nazi Germany, where some were deemed more fit to live than others. Those deemed less fit were exterminated.

Third, Coyne’s strict Darwinian paradigm does not provide him with an adequate framework for morality. (Ultimately, what makes something right or wrong, ethical or unethical?)

Fourth, pro-euthanasia countries like Holland are seeing lots of abuses. “Politicians in the Netherlands are discussing the possibility of legalizing euthanasia for healthy people.” (“The proposed ‘Completed Life Bill’ would allow any person age 75 or over who decides their life is ‘complete’ to receive euthanasia. It doesn’t matter if they are otherwise perfectly healthy.”)

When We Leave God Out, We Destroy Ourselves

The bottom line is that when you take God out of the picture and deny that humans are created in his image, the human race becomes little different than animals. And if it’s OK to kill an animal, it’s OK to kill a human. (For more on this, see the chapters, “Created in the Image of God” and “From the Walking Dead to a Culture of Life” in Saving a Sick America.)

To quote Coyne once more, “The reason we don’t allow euthanasia of newborns is because humans are seen as special, and I think this comes from religion — in particular, the view that humans, unlike animals, are endowed with a soul.”

Indeed. When we leave God out, and forget that we are made in His image, we quickly destroy ourselves, beginning with the most vulnerable and innocent.

May Prof. Jerry Coyne have a life-changing encounter with the God He does not know, and may his deadly ideas be exposed for what they are.

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