Abortion: An Atheist’s Take (Part III)


“You will know them by their fruits.” Matt. 7:16

If you raise a child to accept your religion, the likelihood that they’ll bail on you later in life is much, much lower. To capitalize on this, many religions (notably Islam and Catholicism) have been playing a numbers game: Encourage your parishioners to have as many babies as they possibly can, then take control of the child’s education.

A big part of this religious control of the youth has been a war on both birth control and abortion. When you’re breeding a new army, you can’t have science offering a way out of the baby factories. To this end, every religion tries to control sex through marriage (making sure every new baby is theirs), then demonizes anyone who even hints at the idea that the in vitro life might not be an independent, innocent adherent in need of protection. It’s a game that religions have been playing for a long while. The problem is, it’s not a game.

Like Creationism, the argument over abortion rests on abstract unknowables. Do I ‘know’ for a fact that a fetus or embryo is not a living human being? No. But neither does any abortion doctor or (though they are loath to say it) the Pro-Lifers. For most people (on either side of the debate) what they believe about abortion rests on hyperbole, not knowledge. And here’s the kicker: It doesn’t matter.
The world’s population reached 7 billion this week. When I was born, it was 3.3 billion; less than half of what it is now. By 2050 it’s projected to reach at least 10 billion if left unchecked. It doesn’t matter where you want to draw the line for what is unsustainable, the human race is going to hit and exceed it sooner or later. (In my opinion, we’re closer than most of us think.)

The real problem our species faces is that sex is fun. In an impoverished nation it’s often the only fun you get in lifetime. Globally, teenagers will always will sneak away and have sex despite the best advice of parents. Men always have and always will buy time with prostitutes. Lonely women will take bad lovers, and screwed-up idiots will always commit rape. It’s the planet we’re on, and thousands of years of religious teaching has done nothing to change these facts of life. The end result is a constant: Women will continue to get pregnant and not be able to care for the child. And when we hit that inevitable population saturation that we are headed for, the child is going to be more unwanted than ever before.

You see, we will not hit that population breaking-point kindly. No amount of sermons or righteous indignation is going to stop the abortionists if food and water become scarce. Roadways, power grids, water supplies, and sewage are already pushed to the limit now, and there’s no political will to upgrade them to accommodate the three billion more humans we know will be on this planet by 2050. In a world where food is scarce and overcrowding is rampant, no one is going to mourn the loss of an unborn child. In a society where every new mouth takes food from your own family, even the most ardent Pro-Lifer will eventually learn to keep quiet and just hope to be able to take care of their own.

This is where I think the abortion debate is really heading. Over-population is going to mute opposition to abortion. Already ideas have been floated to introduce birth-control to public drinking water. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and we are definitely headed straight for some pretty desperate times.  Still, the Pope is out there as a harbinger of it, making sure that no birth control is used, no abortions performed, and every child they can squeeze out of their parishioners is healthy and ready for a pew. It’s dangerous. It’s irresponsible. And it’s pushing us ever-closer to a fate we all wish weren’t going to happen. But he’s betting the Catholics come out on top of the numbers game before it all goes to Hell.

Written by Wm. Hopper,

author of “The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions”

Not for Sheep


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