Conference wrestles with origin of human rights and whether they apply to pre-born humans



July 25, 2017
Two ARPA staff members were in Winnipeg earlier this month for what was billed as the Understanding and Answering Summit on Human Rights, sponsored by Ravi Zacharias Ministries. Director Mike Schouten was there, and he says one of the highlights was a debate in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights between a Christian – Dr. Andy Bannister – and an atheist – Dr. Christopher DiCarlo – on the source and origin of human rights. “Whenever I watch these debates, and listen to them, I always have a sense of sorrow… for the atheist who is trying to make the case for human rights, for origins, based on the science. You could see throughout the debate how his understanding was constantly moving every time it was challenged. He had an understanding of right and wrong, but he didn’t know how to articulate where that came from.”

After the debate, there was opportunity for more conversation in a more intimate setting. Schouten told us that “the subject of artificial selection in utero came up.” Artificial selection is where a pre-born child is terminated based on sex or ability. Dr. DiCarlo, a close friend of the infamous abortionist Henry Morgentaler, acknowledged that this selection still occurs today. DiCarlo referred to it as “systemic selection”. When pressed as to whether this was right or wrong Dr. DiCarlo expertly made the case for how, at the point of fertilization, a new life has begun, and that to allow the life to develop was his preference. In fact, his words were, “Just leave it alone”. Schouten says, ‘I thought I was listening to a pro-life apologist! He was speaking truth about pre-born children! That is, until he said, ‘But it is still a woman’s choice.’”

When the inconsistency of his position was pointed out, DiCarlo again emphasized a woman’s choice. Schouten argues, “The logical extension of this [position] is that because society has agreed that abortion is a woman’s choice then it must be that way.” However, DiCarlo’s response to “just leave [the embryo] alone” was “a response that revealed his heart.” Schouten blogged about his experience at the conference.

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