Controversial Ideas 2022, 2(2), 3; doi: 10.35995/jci02020003
The Afterlife Dilemma: A Problem for the Christian Pro-Life Movement
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Received: 10 Jul 2021 / Revised: 10 Sep 2022 / Accepted: 15 Sep 2022 / Published: 31 Oct 2022
Many “pro-life” or anti-abortion advocates are Christians who believe that (1) there exists an all-powerful, all-knowing, and morally perfect god who created our universe; (2) restricting abortion ought to be a top social and political priority; and (3) embryos and fetuses that die all go to hell or they all go to heaven. This paper seeks to establish that Christian pro-life advocates with these beliefs face the Afterlife Dilemma. On the one hand, if all embryos and fetuses that die go to hell, they need to abandon their belief in the morally perfect god of traditional Christianity. On the other hand, if all embryos and fetuses that die go to heaven, a plausible triage principle suggests that they must abandon their view that restricting abortions ought to be a top priority. Either way, this popular Christian pro-life view is untenable. The Afterlife Dilemma implies that many pro-life Christians must abandon some aspect of their current beliefs about God, the afterlife, or the comparative moral importance of abortion.
Keywords: abortion; pro-life; fetus; embryo; Christian; afterlife
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Kerring, M. The Afterlife Dilemma: A Problem for the Christian Pro-Life Movement. Controversial_Ideas 2022, 2, 3.
Kerring M. The Afterlife Dilemma: A Problem for the Christian Pro-Life Movement. Journal of Controversial Ideas. 2022; 2(2):3.
Kerring, Marlowe. 2022. "The Afterlife Dilemma: A Problem for the Christian Pro-Life Movement." Controversial_Ideas 2, no. 2: 3.