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What Value Does The Bible Have For A Foetus?

Christian tend to claim that human life begins at the moment of conception and that from that moment the embryo or foetus qualifies for full status as a human and deserves to be treated as a full and complete human. Is this a biblical concept? I contend that the opposite is true. The bible, contrarily, treats human foetuses as though they were mere "human waste". Please turn to Exodus 21:

22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. 26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

27 And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.

According to the above verses, which is the more egregious crime? Someone causing the lose of a tooth or someone causing the lose of a foetus?

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This bit here:

It was old Jewish custom for the victims' relatives to decide the punishment. They could choose to have the same punishment meted out to the culprit as he put on the victim or they could choose financial recompense.

That child in the womb is considered a soul in the womb, and if the fight carried on after the damage was done to the woman, then the man that caused the loss of life will be tried as a murderer; a life for life.

There's a pretty good explanation of the passage here:

http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/786-does-exodus-21-sanction-abortion

After doing some searching I can see that those who argue for abortion do use this passage. I do feel that it is a poor example though. Incidentally, the Muslims use this passage too - they put the blood-money price of a foetus as the same as that of a baby girl.

What I find puzzling is the need for the passage at all. It refers to two men fighting and the woman having a miscarriage as a result. How many pregnant women would get in the way of two men having a fight and lose their baby to warrant a law being written?

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Hey whats all these talk about beating a pregnant woman till she loses her foetus. Very barbaric action and discuss, can't we find something better to talk about. I think we should be talking on how to prevent such violence rather than discssing the punishment for it.

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I just don't know how you draw this conclusion about paying blood-money. Please, Please, Please can you explain?

Let me tell you how I understood the verses and please correct me if you think I am wrong. First off, it says that if someone were to beat a pregnant woman so badly that they lose the foetus, then the culprit MUST be punished. Notice that it does not specify the nature of punishment, which is subject to the whimps of the womans husband (presumably because the woman is the property of the man).

If nothing else happens, ie, if the only consequence of the beating was the lose of the foetus, then the punishment as defined by the husband is enough. However, if the aggressor were to cause further damage like taking a tooth, or an eye, or a hand of the woman, then these parts MUST also be taken from the aggressor.

Now, tell me, how is this related to blood-money?

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A bad example to use, Huxley.

The verse is referring to paying blood-money. The family of all murder victims were entitled to choose wether they wanted the culprit to be punished or to pay a personal fine - it is still practiced in Islam today.

By making bloody-money payable for the death of a foetus, the verse is saying that the life of an unborn child is as important as that of an adult.

Like I say: bad example. This is not a subject that I really feel strongly about (I believe in the woman's right to choose) but it wouldn't suprise me if the fundamentalists don't actually use that passage to back their stance on anti-abortion.

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