Gospel Disproof #18: Free will and abortion

Looks like some of my FTBlogfellows are picking up the topic of free will, so I thought I’d toss in a couple cents worth on how it relates to abortion and the pro-life movement. Most believers don’t stop to think about it, but there’s a major conflict there, in that a God who is pro-free-will is necessarily a pro-choice God.

Look at the story of Adam and Eve, back in Genesis 3. The dramatic climax of the chapter is when the serpent tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Hit the pause button right there. How is this story going to look from God’s perspective? He’s omniscient, so He knows what’s going on, the moment it happens. That means He knows that Eve is facing a choice that will mean life or death for her offspring, depending on how she chooses. What’s more, because God is omniscient, He knows she’s going to make a choice that will result in the (eventual) death of her offspring, and of their offspring, and of their offsprings’ offspring, etc., etc., and even of Eve herself.

At this point, God Himself faces a choice between two alternatives. The pro-life alternative is to intervene, to snatch the fruit out of Eve’s hand before she can eat it, and to thus save the lives of Eve and all her descendants. The pro-choice alternative is to respect Eve’s free will, and not to interfere, even though it means ultimate death for herself and all her descendants.

I’m sure you remember the rest of the story: God prefers the pro-choice alternative. He supports the woman’s right to choose regardless of the life-and-death consequences for her offspring. In other words, as the Bible clearly describes, God is solidly pro-choice.

You may say, “Hang on, respecting Eve’s free will is not the same as supporting a woman’s right to choose an abortion.” And you’re right, it isn’t: abortion only ends the physical life of the fetus, whereas the choice that God supported is one that, according to the Gospel, meant that most of Eve’s descendants would burn in Hell for all eternity (think about that the next time a pro-lifer tells you that saline abortions are painful). God’s support for a woman’s freedom of choice goes far beyond what any feminist would even dream of asking for, because He puts freedom of choice, not just above mere mortal life, but above the eternal salvation of billions of souls.

And it all comes down to free will. God has to be pro-choice so that Christians can use the “free will” excuse to rationalize the existence of evil and suffering in the world. It’s a question of God’s own survival: if God diminishes His support for freedom of choice, then the undeniable existence of evil and suffering calls His very existence into question. Thinking Christians might lose faith.

So the next time you see a pro-life protest, give them a good cheer. “Way to deny God, guys!” By saying that life is more important than free will, they’re condemning their own God as immoral.


  1. Thorne says

    Lovely! I like your reasoning. I imagine they’ll find some way around this, of course. They always do. But it’s a good point to make in any future ‘discussions’ I may have. Thanks for this, and for all the Gospel Disproofs. I love them!

  2. Mark says

    I can’t handle this reasoning.
    If God were real, why would her standards be our standards?
    It’s like me catching my kids watching an R-rated movie, and telling them it’s not good for them to watch it, and then them calling me a hypocrite for watching it later. I’m not a hypocrite, there’s just a different standard of movie appropriateness between children and parents.
    In a similar sense, if God were real, she could be as “pro-choice” as she wanted regarding her own actions, and still demand that her peons be pro-life.

    • Thorne says

      But according the definitions of God by the pro-lifers, we are made in His image, no? Therefore, we should be just like him. Aren’t they always saying they want to be more God-like? (THERE’S a scary thought!)

      At any rate, there doesn’t seem to be any biblical evidence for their pro-life stance anyway. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    • Deacon Duncan says

      There’s a couple of gotchas there. First, it’s not God who is actually sinning against Eve’s offspring, He is just tempting/enabling her to sin against them. In the eyes of the anti-choice movement, when you support a woman’s right to choose, you are enabling her to sin, and are thus an accessory to it. Even if God had a different standard of sin, it’s still Eve’s sin that He’s making Himself an accessory to, so He’s still guilty. A similar analogy would be for you to forbid your kids to watch an R-rated movie and then go and rent it for them.

      Second gotcha is that there isn’t any revelation from God that says life begins at conception and that Christians are supposed to deny a woman her right to choose. This doctrine comes from men and women who take verses out of context and warp them to support their pro-life agenda (thus incidentally playing into the hands of political schemers who could care less about abortion and are just manipulating them to harvest their vote).

      • rapiddominance says

        @Deacon Duncan

        Your defense of biblical scripture against Christians “who take verses out of context and warp them” was an unexpected pleasure.

        In similar fashion, it was on Greta’s blog about 2 days ago that I took to task the notion that the Skepticon Sign was appropriately categorized as a “shocking attack against atheism.” Most accurately, I argued it should be remembered most accurately as an emotive retalitory response by one individual to what he perceived as ridicule of his faith during one particular atheistic event.

        Anyhow, I understood your point in the post (though I’m unsure of any helpful application–a brain exercise, perhaps). This probably isn’t going to ever be one of the more popular stumbling blocks to Christian faith. But then I’m not sure you weren’t just clowning around.

        Thanks for another enjoyable read.

  3. frankb says

    (thus incidentally playing into the hands of political schemers who could care less about abortion and are just manipulating them to harvest their vote).

    Just a bit OT but this is what really bugs me about Pat Buchanan and his pro-life stance. He is so nasty to anyone who disagrees with him that his concern for fetuses seems so phony.

  4. MikeB says

    I enjoy these articles.

    The Eve thing is fascinating to read, but it relies on the Christian interpretation of the story of Eden.

    Where does it say in Genesis that all that God has created is immortal? “Be fruitful and multipy,” God says. If these multipliers were originally created to be immortal, wouldn’t God know the earth would soon be overflowing with flesh?

    When LORD God “planted” Eden, why did he put a “Tree of Life” there? Doesn’t this suggest that his creations are mortal, for what immortal being even needs a Tree of Life?

    Also, LORD God’s prohibition to Adam says: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” If Adam were created not to die, wouldn’t he say, “LORD, what does that mean, to die?”

    And Adam didn’t die when he ate the fruit. The serpent, actually, was right when he said: “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

    The serpent is the hero of the story. Too bad he didn’t tell them to eat from the Tree of Life FIRST. Then LORD God really would have been fucked!

    The whole Christian gloss on the story–that Eve introduced death into Eden when she ate the fruit–is manifest bullshit.

    (But that’s what happens when one applies logic to tales.)

  5. John Morales says


    I note that any god that’s omniscient cannot also have free will, since it can only choose what it already knows what it will have chosen (should it choose otherwise, it would not be omniscient).

  6. Tex says

    Actually thinking back on it the story of Adam and Eve in the garden is biblical proof that god is not actually omniscient. When god came back to the garden he didnt know they had eaten the apple, and he had to ask why they had covered themselves w/ fig leafs before he figured it out.

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