John Beversluis, "The Gospel According to Whom? A Nonbeliever Looks at The New Testament and its Contemporary Defenders" 3

0 comments
Beversluis%2BMeme
I'm posthumously posting six chapters from an unfinished book sent to me for comment in 2008 by the late John Beversluis (see Tag below). Here is chapter three on "The Genealogies of Matthew and Luke." Do not skip this chapter! It's the most thorough taken-down of the inconsistent, inaccurate, absurd genealogies you will find. It deserves to be studied! I highlighted a few awesome statements of his.

How To Avoid Definitional Apologetics

0 comments
I see Ben Watkins joined Jeffery Lowder and Johno Pearce [The Tippling Philosopher] in calling himself a "Philosopher." I have resisted calling myself a philosopher because I have held to a higher standard. No more. I am a philosopher. You can call me that. If they are then I am. If my degreed educational credentials and years of college teaching and published books on philosophical issues doesn't call for it then something's wrong. I don't say this to demean them. I say this to join them, especially when it comes to any and all disagreements on the PoR that we may have between us [See Lowder Ignorance Tag below]. In fairness, a lot of philosophers disagree with me on the value of PoR and the use of Bayes Theorem, so I'm not asking for agreement, only a discussion between philosophers in addressing what I say. I think internet atheists who are addressing PoR questions should stop what they're doing until they read my book Unapologetic: Why Philosophy of Religion Must End. Full Stop. 
My case in point today concerns how to avoid Definitional Apologetics.
Over the last decade I have found that one bastion for Christian apologists has been philosophy, especially the philosophy of religion. The scholars have honed their definitional apologetics in such a fine-tuned manner that when engaging them in this discipline, it’s like trying to catch a greased pig. Or, to switch metaphors, trying to chase them down the rabbit’s hole in an endless and ultimately fruitless quest for definitions. What’s an extraordinary claim? What constitutes evidence? What’s the definition of supernatural? What’s the scientific method? What’s a miracle? What’s a basic belief? What’s a veridical religious experience? What’s evil? They do this just like others have done over questions like, “What is the definition of pornography?” And then they gerrymander around the plain simple facts of experience. I would rather deal in concrete examples like a virgin who supposedly had a baby and a man who supposedly was raised from the dead. [From Unapologetic: Why Philosophy of Religion Must End, p. 28]

Theology Inflation and the Disappearance of Jesus

0 comments

The Gospels are a big part of the problem



[This is the text of my presentation to the eConference on The Historical Jesus held 24-25 July 2021, sponsored by the Global Center for Religious Research.]

 

Yesterday we heard John W. Loftus’ presentation, “The Jesus We Find in the Gospels Never Existed.” [Some of the highlights here.] In it he mentioned the skepticism that would greet any golfer who bragged that he just made 18 holes-in-one in a row, and had flown like superman from one hole to the next. No one would believe him. That’s not how the world works. Yet many of the people who would laugh off such bragging accept fantasy stories in the gospels: Jesus healing blindness using spit and mud, feeding thousands with a few scraps of bread and fish, raising the dead, changing water into wine. 

 

Loftus’ point is that this Jesus in the gospels certainly didn’t exist—no matter if there was a real Jesus. How did we end up with the exaggerated, fantasy gospel-Jesus?

Where Was God When This Happened? Part 14

0 comments

The scandal of divine negligence


In the face of massive human and animal suffering, Christian apologists offer tired clichés:

·      God works in mysterious ways

·      God has a larger plan that we cannot see or know about

·      To preserve our free will, God chooses not to interfere

Yet no hard evidence is offered to back up these speculations to exonerate God. They are mediocre theological responses to crises in the real world.

John Beversluis, "The Gospel According to Whom? A Nonbeliever Looks at The New Testament and its Contemporary Defenders" 2

0 comments

I'm posthumously posting six chapters from an unfinished book sent to me for comment in 2008 by the late John Beversluis (see Tag below). Here is chapter two. As you will read, John conclusively shows that the gospels were not written by eyewitnesses. This alone destroys the credibility of Christianity and its miracle claims due to the fact that miracles, by definition, require more than mere hearsay testimonial evidence.

God and Horrendous Suffering

0 comments
This is a helpful post for readers deciding whether to get my anthology on god and horrendous suffering. It should be available early to mid-November. Please share. Link to it. Thank you!

The Case against Miracles

0 comments

This is a helpful post for readers deciding whether to get my anthology on miracles. Be Kind. Please Share. Link to it. Click on the Tag. Thank you!

On Promoting "The Case against Miracles"

0 comments
As of this writing all of the typos have finally been fixed in The Case Against Miracles, thanks not to Hypatia Press but to William Kelly, a 42 year old who lives in South Carolina, self-described as a "Vegangelical Atheist who loves science and philosophy." As you might guess at this point I do not recommend Hypatia Press. Things might change with the upcoming anthology Varieties of Jesus Mythicism, so we'll see.
Kelly as you might guess, is a fan of my work. I recently thanked him profusely for his efforts and sent him the corrected PDF of the book as a way of saying thanks. [On July 20th I asked Hypatia Press when buyers can expect to get the corrected version, but I still haven't heard back as of today.] 
Kelly wrote back, saying:

My Talk at the GCRR e-Conference on the Historical Jesus

0 comments
The conference was fantastic! You should attend other virtual eConferences put on by the GCRR! You should also help support what it does by becoming a member.
Below is the first part of my talk, in note form. The rest of my talk was a summation of why reasonable people shouldn't believe any of the miracles in the Bible. Hint: There's no objective evidence for any of them.

The On-Going Reliance on Razzle-Dazzle

0 comments

Too many crutches for faith


I think we all—including devout Christians, by the way—sympathize with doubting Thomas depicted in John 20. The other disciples had told Thomas that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to them, but he was skeptical. He wanted evidence: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) So indeed, Jesus showed up again with Thomas present: “Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you, ’” (20:26) and he obliged Thomas’ request for evidence: “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” (20:27-28)

This Weekend is the GCRR e-Conference on the Historical Jesus

0 comments

Hear the biggest names in Jesus mythicism speak on the historical Jesus this weekend, July 24-25. Both Dr. David Madison and I will be doing so in this virtual conference that you can watch wherever you live! It's only $15 to attend the 2-day academic conference! Please consider becoming an Academic Society Member with a 25% off incentive! To see the full schedule and to get tickets click here!

Where Was God When This Happened? Part 13

0 comments
The scandal of divine negligence

In the face of massive human and animal suffering, Christian apologists offer tired clichés:

·      God works in mysterious ways

·      God has a larger plan that we cannot see or know about

·      To preserve our free will, God chooses not to interfere

Yet no hard evidence is offered to back up these speculations to exonerate God. They are mediocre theological responses to crises in the real world. 

In fact, Christian theology itself undermines any credible concept of a good, competent God. God is watching carefully, i.e., Christianity is totalitarian monotheism. 

Nothing we do escapes his notice: “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

Moreover, prayer works because God can even read our minds. Christians believe in, love, worship, and sing songs to this God who pays such close attention to every human being.

Christian “Truth” in Shreds: Epic Takedown 2

0 comments


Picking the wrong holy hero



These are two of the biggest con jobs pulled off by the church. (1) Convincing its followers that Jesus was (is) the finest, greatest man who ever lived, which is not at all what we find in the gospels. (2) Fooling everyone about the gospels themselves, that they are the greatest story ever told. Anyone who reads them without faith bias can see this isn’t true. 

 

But can the con jobs last forever? Maybe people are catching on. This past Monday, John Loftus posted here the link to James A. Haught’s article, Christianity Is Collapsing, showing the data published by Gallup: “Tall-steeple ‘mainline’ Protestant faiths—once the pillar of WASP respectability—suffered worse, dropping so severely they’re dubbed ‘flatline’ Protestantism. Born-again churches followed. Southern Baptists lost two million members since 2006…Sincere people don’t claim to know supernatural things that nobody can know. They reject religion’s magic claims that lack any evidence.”

Where Was God When This Happened? Part 12

0 comments

The scandal of divine negligence

In the face of massive human and animal suffering, Christian apologists offer tired clichés:

·      God works in mysterious ways

·      God has a larger plan that we cannot see or know about

·      To preserve our free will, God chooses not to interfere

Yet no hard evidence is offered to back up these speculations to exonerate God. They are mediocre theological responses to crises in the real world.

Christianity is Collapsing!

0 comments
This is extremely welcomed news!! LINK.

John Beversluis, "The Gospel According to Whom? A Nonbeliever Looks at The New Testament and its Contemporary Defenders" 1:2

0 comments
I'm posthumously posting six chapters from an unfinished book sent to me for comment in 2008 by the late John Beversluis (see Tag below). The first chapter is the largest one by far at 10,809 words! It was sent to me in two parts so I mistakenly thought I had seven chapters.

There are five parts to it: 1. New Testament Criticism; 2. The Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible; 3. Verbal and Plenary Inspiration: A Semantic Nightmare; 4. What Inspiration Guarantees and Does Not Guarantee; and 5. Back to Thomas Paine. In this installment I'm posting parts 4-5. The "contemporary defenders" he criticizes are Norman Geisler and Josh McDowell.

John Beversluis, "The Gospel According to Whom? A Nonbeliever Looks at The New Testament and its Contemporary Defenders" 1:1

0 comments
I'm posthumously posting six chapters from an unfinished book sent to me for comment in 2008 by the late John Beversluis (see Tag below). The first chapter is the largest one by far at 10,809 words! It was sent to me in two parts so I mistakenly thought I had seven chapters.

There are five parts to it: 1. New Testament Criticism; 2. The Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible; 3. Verbal and Plenary Inspiration: A Semantic Nightmare; 4. What Inspiration Guarantees and Does Not Guarantee; and 5. Back to Thomas Paine. In this installment I'm posting parts 1-3. The "contemporary defenders" he criticizes are Norman Geisler and Josh McDowell.

Christian “Truth” in Shreds: Epic Takedown 1

0 comments

Collateral Damage Everywhere

When a religion is big business—actually a colossal business, with worldwide brand recognition—it’s hard for the CEO to be honest. I’ve always thought it would be smart for Pope Francis to hold a weekly Vatican news conference, to announce the steps taken every week to stop priests from raping children, e.g., this is how many pedophile priests have been handed over to the police; this is how many bishops have been defrocked and excommunicated for covering up the problem, for transferring offending priests to other parishes.

John Beversluis Required One Textbook in the Philosophy of Religion for 42 Years!

0 comments
I'm posthumously posting a few chapters from the late John Beversluis (see Tag below). As I was re-reading his first chapter I found a gem from him on teaching philosophy of religion students. Which book had he recommended to them for 42 years? This one!
If you use Thomas Paines's The Age of Reason as a required textbook in a Philosophy of Religion course, as I have done for many years, your students will not eagerly devour its contents and shower you with tears of gratitude for providing them with this eye-opening experience of what is really in the book they revere as the inspired Word of God. Nor will they be shamed by the astonishingly detailed knowledge of both the Old and New Testaments that Paine and Jefferson possessed. On the contrary, when such students are required to read The Age of Reason and to discuss it in class, they become (by degrees) irritated, belligerent, and finally downright angry. Inter-Varsity and Campus Crusade for Christ types are the most vocal and the most argumentative. I welcome (and even solicit) their objections. Having heard them out, my response is always the same: “I didn’t write The Age of Reason; Thomas Paine did. Is he wrong? Did he misrepresent what the Bible says? I don’t think so. But don’t take my word for it. Go home and read your own Bibles. Check him out. If you can find a single passage that he has misquoted or manufactured or misinterpreted, write an essay in which you convincingly demonstrate his error(s) and I will give you a grade of “A” for the course and urge you to submit your essay for publication in a reputable philosophical or religious journal with my enthusiastic recommendation.” I have been teaching philosophy for 42 years and during that time no Paine-incensed student has ever submitted such an essay. The reason is clear: The Age of Reason is accurate and his documentation is irrefutable.

Dr. William A. Zingrone: SCIENCE vs. “Other ways of knowing” Hint: There are none.

0 comments
Teaser quote: Literature, art, and mythology did not get us any of the things science has--better crops, clean water, chemistry, biology, computers, smartphones, physics, psychology, anthropology, vaccines, cancer cures, heart surgery, antibiotics, MRI, cleaner air, sanitation, lasers, and on and on and on. They produce no knowledge on their own. They are not ways of knowing or discovering anything. They may be enjoyable, moving, and very wonderful emotional past-times-incredibly important aspects of human culture that we have enjoyed for millennia--but that's it. It is no diminishment of their import to the human condition to recognize they are not science, not ways of knowing. LINK

Where Was God When This Happened? Part 11

0 comments


The scandal of divine negligence

In the face of massive human and animal suffering, Christian apologists offer tired clichés:

·      God works in mysterious ways

·      God has a larger plan that we cannot see or know about

·      To preserve our free will, God chooses not to interfere

Yet no hard evidence is offered to back up these speculations to exonerate God. They are mediocre theological responses to crises in the real world.

And the Beat Goes On: More Bluffing and Lying for Jesus

0 comments

The misfortune of a flat learning curve  

In my article here two weeks ago, Three Christian Gods Missing in Action, and last week, Bluffing, Talking Piffle and Lying About Jesus, I did not discuss Jesus mythicism, i.e., the arguments made by some scholars that Jesus was a mythical figure. Our resident troll, Don Camp, responded at length to the first article, and my rebuttal was the second. When he jumped back in to continue the conversation, he commented, “Everyone here seems to have bought into the Jesus myth myth.” Which can be done, he pointed out, by “writing off the textual evidence for the Jesus event.” 

 

Strange, my topic wasn’t Jesus mythicism, and I doubt very much that “everyone here” at the DC Blog accepts it, but this was Mr. Camp’s attention grabber. He doesn’t seem to grasp that many of us accept that there might have been a Galilean peasant preacher, but whoever and whatever he was has been hopelessly obscured by the layers of myth, folklore, fantasy, and magical thinking piled on by the gospel writers. A real Jesus could have become mythicized. Virgin birth and resurrection, for example, are symptoms of that. In the Wikipedia article on resurrection beliefs in the ancient world, we find this:

Preface and Introduction to "The Gospel According to Whom?" by Dr. John Beversluis

0 comments
[See the Tag below for my introduction to these series of posts]. When I looked again at the book files that the late John Beversluis sent me in 2008, he included a Preface, an Introduction, and not six but seven chapters. Here for the first time are his Preface and Introduction. What he wrote is as good as I remembered! It's also more timely today than it was thirteen years ago.

Where Was God When This Happened? Part 10

0 comments

The scandal of divine negligence



Christianity is totalitarian monotheism: God is watching carefully.

Nothing we do escapes his notice: “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

Moreover, prayer works because God can even read our minds. Christians believe in, love, worship, and sing songs to this God who pays such close attention to every human being.

John Beversluis Has Died at the Age of 86, But He Will Speak from the Grave!

0 comments

John Beversluis was 86 years old when he recently died. His life was lived between these two days, November 10, 1934 and May 22, 2021. From his obituary we read:
John received his Ph.D from Indiana University and his Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College. He taught Philosophy and Ethics at Butler University (Indianapolis, IN), Emory University (Atlanta, GA), California State University, Fresno, Clovis Community College, Monterey Peninsula College, the University of the South (Sewanee, TN), and Grand Valley State College (Allendale MI). He participated in three National Endowment for the Humanities seminars for College Teachers: at the University of Illinois (Urbana, IL), the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Texas. He presented papers at the American Philosophical Association, various universities in the United States, and at Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom. While at Oxford he also presented several papers to the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society. His publications include works in the areas of Ancient Greek Philosophy (focusing on Socrates and Plato), the Philosophy of Religion, Kantian Ethics, and Philosophy and Literature. SOURCE.

In 2008 I got to know John in an exchange of emails. I had contacted him about his masterful book, C.S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion: Revised and Updated, which had just been published by Prometheus Books (PB) on November 29, 2007. I had bought it and loved it. Let me tell you this interesting story.

Bluffing, Talking Piffle and Lying for Jesus

0 comments

 How to make a mess defending Christianity 


In my article here last week, Three Christian Gods Missing in Action, in which I discussed a few of the more incoherent aspects of Christian theology, I concluded with this paragraph:

“Our request to theologians: please tell us where we can find reliable, verifiable, objective data about god(s)—we need to dispel all this incoherence. Theologians themselves, I suspect, also wish they had data. Making things up, century after century, is a chore. And it’s such a nuisance that theologians can’t agree: they argue endlessly about what they’ve made up.”

Where Was God When This Happened? Part 9

0 comments

The scandal of divine negligence


Christianity is totalitarian monotheism: God is watching carefully.

Nothing we do escapes his notice: “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

Moreover, prayer works because God can even read our minds. Christians believe in, love, worship, and sing songs to this God who pays such close attention to every human being.

Dr. Josh Bowen's Book, "The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament: Volume 1" Promises to Be Very Good!

0 comments

Here's what we're told about Dr. Bowen's academic credentials:
Dr. Joshua Bowen graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 2017, with a Ph.D. in Assyriology. As well as his Ph.D., Josh holds a B.S. in Religion from Liberty University, a Th.M. in the Old Testament from Capital Bible Seminary, and a M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from the Johns Hopkins University.
That's some pretty impressive stuff! Josh also hosts the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East (HeBANE) podcast, and co-hosts the Digital Hammurabi podcast and YouTube channel with his wife, Megan Lewis. From the title we know he's an atheist and that this is the first of at least two works. Also impressive is that he can explain to the rest of us his scholarly knowledge of the subject at hand! I've downloaded the sample on Amazon and I love it. I've even added his book to my Amazon Wish List. Others are recommending this book as well. It's hot of the press. Go get'cha your copy. Let us know what you think of it!

Five One Chapter Summaries of My Case Against Christianity

0 comments
Over the years I have written several summaries of my case against Christianity. The first one was based on my magnum opus, Why I Became an Atheist. It was written in 2008 called Why I Am Not a Christian: A Summary of My Case Against Christianity. The second one is found in my anthology, The End of Christianity, in a chapter titled Christianity is Wildly Improbable in 2011 (pp. 75-104). My third one is found in chapter 9 of my book The Outsider Test for Faith in 2013, titled Debating Christianity Based on the Test (pp.171-205). The fourth one can be found in a chapter for my book, How To Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist, that summarizes the kind of arguments wannabe apologists should be forewarned about in their quest to be apologists. It's titled Realize in Advance the Monumental Challenges (pp. 39-51). I just finalized the fifth summary for my anthology, The Incompatibility of God and Horrendous Suffering, set to come out at Halloween. Boo! It's has nearly 15 thousand words in it and titled, "In Defense of Hitchens's Razor." In it I make two main points. 1) The Christian Faith Has No Objective Evidence On Its Behalf, and 2) The Christian Faith Makes No Sense At All. None of my summaries stress the same exact things. But they seem to keep getting better and better.

Three Christian Gods Missing in Action

0 comments

The underperformance of the trinity 

 


In the Methodist church where I grew up, the processional hymn at Sunday morning worship was usually Holy, Holy, Holy, written in 1861 by Anglican bishop Reginald Heber; it includes the words, “Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty, God in three persons blessed Trinity.”

 

Christian theologians have been busy for a long time explaining the roles of these “three persons,” father, son, and holy ghost—or, perhaps, to render it less creepy, holy spirit. This is the gist of it: Creator, Savior, and on-going Meddler in Human Affairs. We have reason—many reasons actually—for suspecting that “merciful and mighty” is an exaggeration. These adjectives are an aspect of the theobabble in which preachers—and hymn writers—usually indulge. I was exposed to this hype from a very early age. But how do these “three persons” rate after careful reflection on history and the human condition?

Where Was God When This Happened? Part 8

0 comments

The scandal of divine negligence

Christianity is totalitarian monotheism: God is watching carefully.

Nothing we do escapes his notice: “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

Moreover, prayer works because God can even read our minds. Christians believe in, love, worship, and sing songs to this God who pays such close attention to every human being.

From Tom Flynn's Review of "The Case against Miracles"

0 comments
Tom Flynn is the Senior Editor of Free Inquiry magazine. He just published a review of my anthology The Case against Miracles. In it he wrote:
In 2008, John W. Loftus launched what would become a definitive series of anti-apologetic works. The Case against Miracles is the capstone volume of this astonishing output, and it's an impressive achievement. Any thoughtful Christian whose conviction rests on the evidence of miracles who reads this book with an open mind will be hard pressed not to abandon--or at least profoundly rethink--his or her beliefs. Of course, true believers seldom approach works critical of their faiths with an open mind, which is why The Case against Miracles will probably be of greater value to secular students of religion and especially to those drawn to the challenges of anti-apologetics.
He joins others in recommending this anthology that includes an amazing group of accomplished authors, which can be seen here. So let me guess, this is a good book. ;-) If you value what reviewers are saying about it, get it. Read it. Help spread the word!

What Apologetics And Counter-Apologetics Books Do I Recommend?

0 comments
I was asked for books I might recommend that would fall into the category of "best arguments for God/Christianity" and "best arguments against Christianity." I was asked because "I know you read and analyze these books fairly often, so I want to see the best both sides have to offer." My response follows. You may be surprised by it!

Announcing the GCRR International eConference on the Historicity of Jesus

0 comments
Richard Carrier announces the GCRR International eConference on the historicity of Jesus next month on July 24th to 25th. You ought to sign-up! LINK.

The Biggest Christian Obfuscation of Them All, On Faith, Destroyed by Tweets

0 comments
Here is the biggest Christian obfuscation of them all about--you guessed it--faith. It's stated and destroyed in a few short back-and-forth Tweets! 

Christian Belief: “How Weird It All Was”

0 comments

An ex-vangelical star on TikTok


For a while, after my book was published in 2016, its Facebook page attracted attention—and elicited comments—from Christians. Much of it was on the hate/rage end of the spectrum, with predictions that I’m headed for hell. But one of the most common reactions was that I never really had been a Christian, despite my upbringing by in a conservative Methodist home and my nine-year stint as pastor of two parishes.

What About High Profile Conservative Right Leaning Atheists?

0 comments
Given some high profile atheists who have conservative right leaning moral and political positions I have to agree with this quote--seen below--even though I am still of the strong opinion that an atheist cannot justify these conservative right leaning positions from the adoption of science and reason, the very things leading reasonable atheists to non-belief in the first place.

Another way to think of it is to ask what atheists in the distant past might have concluded about these same moral and political positions, as well as what todays atheists in places like Iran, China, Africa, and South America might conclude.

Surely atheists have a wide diversity of opinions on everything except our agreement that there are probably no Supreme Being(s), gods, goddesses, demons, angels, or supernatural religions with their miracle claims.

That seems like a factual statement as far as I know.

Furthermore, even though I'm a Bernie Sanders progressive democrat and support everything he says, I'm not going to disassociate myself from any conservative right leaning atheist who has different views than me on moral and political positions, so long as they help me reach believers, my target audience. Discuss. 

Where Was God When This Happened? Part 7

0 comments

The scandal of divine negligence


Christianity is totalitarian monotheism: God is watching carefully.

Nothing we do escapes his notice: “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

Moreover, prayer works because God can even read our minds. Christians believe in, love, worship, and sing songs to this God who pays such close attention to every human being.

Abortion and "The Christian Abuse of the Sanctity of Life"

0 comments
There is a very informational and very heated debate about abortion taking place between commenters at DC right here. One thing that strikes me is the inconsistency of claiming abortion should be considered murder with a pro-life position. If abortion is murder, then why shouldn't a mother who pays for an abortion be charged with accessory to murder, just like someone who hires a hit man to kill someone? Also, why shouldn't the abortion provider be charged with first degree murder? If the pro-lifer reduces the penalties for murder due the fact that it's a controversial issue to specify the exact moment when a fetus is to be granted personhood, and that there is no black and white answer to what kind of penalties should be given, then why not just let the woman decide and be done with it all, by making abortion legal on demand? I think women can decide for themselves. I think women should decide for themselves. One cannot hide behind what the laws stipulate on this point since the pro-lifer needs to either defend the laws, or get them changed.