Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Relaxed about life and death

Professor Sam Berry is a geneticist, and prominent opponent of the Biblical account of creation. There's quite a lot to object to on both Biblical and factual grounds to his interview with "War Cry" magazine here, but this really sticks out:
Personally I am agnostic as to when life begins. It could be a week or a month after the egg was fertilised. But there is nothing in Scripture that says that the newly formed egg is a human being in every sense of the term. I have, therefore, no moral objections to the use of stem cells from a very early foetus.
Did you follow that?
  • He's agnostic (not sure) as to when life begins.
  • Possibly it begins a week after an egg is fertilised...
  • ... Possibly it does not.
  • So, research on stem cells might be playing games with life made in the image of God, and hence a serious sin ...
  • ... or it might not.
  • But since he's not sure, he concludes that "therefore" he need have no moral objection.


Suppose that before Professor Berry on his desk was a big red button. It's not certain what that button actually does.

If he presses it, then millions of innocent people might instantly die. He's not sure. He considers it a possibility. On the other hand, possibly, if he presses it, nothing of anything significance might happen at all. He can't prove it either way.

What should Professor Berry then do?

According to the logic he applies above and in other parts of the interview in regard of the human foetus, if you are not sure, then there is "no moral objection". You can merrily hammer away at the button. Because apparently, if you're not really really sure that the button kills millions of innocents - well, then it's OK!

Professor Berry is demonstrably not a safe and godly guide on these issues, despite his massive learning.

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