“Thou Shalt Not Kill,” is a mandate of conscience, not just a tenet of religion.
That means the answer to the question whether someone can be Pro-Life without God is Yes.
I’d like to put off explaining that for just a moment, while I make this plug for Secular Pro-Life Perspectives (SecularPro-Life.org).
Next week, Kelsey Hazzard, from Secular Pro-Life, will speak at the University of Georgia on the topic “Pro-Life Without God.” Apparently, in the days leading up to this conference, the abortionists on campus took to defacing their property by tearing down advertisements posted for the event. According to their report:
The event is hosted by Students for Life UGA, whose president tells Secular Pro-Life that abortion advocates on campus have resorted to tearing down the posters advertising this event. They really do not want people hearing the secular case against abortion! But censorship won’t get us down. If anything, it is an encouragement, reaffirming for us that this speaking engagement is needed and has the potential to save lives. (Read the full article here)
I have to say, I admire your positive spirit and determination!
I think it is important to make people aware that the issue of abortion is not strictly a religious matter. It is not because of our religious beliefs that abortion should be illegal. It is simply a matter of understanding the simple truth that an abortion ends the life of a human being who has committed no crime. So by insisting that this is murder and should not be legal, no one ought to accuse me of imposing my religious views on politics. The Secular Pro-Life organization understands this very well. That’s why I’m glad they are making this statement.
So, of course, it is not necessary to believe in God in order to know that abortion is wrong. Now, I hope the fair-minded secularist will understand why I, as a religious person, want to qualify something here. From my religiously informed perspective, my response to “Pro-Life without God,” per se, has to be No, for the following reason — and this won’t detract from what I already said.
From a Christian’s perspective, God is the author of life. A reason why taking an innocent person’s life is morally wrong is that one person does not have dominion over another person’s life, because only God can have that dominion. Barring self-defense or the defense of others who cannot protect themselves (and there are reasonable limits to this), killing another person is unjustified. I would hope that someone who does not believe the way I do can at least see it from that perspective, i.e., that if one believes in the type of God I believe in, he has to come to that conclusion.
Regardless of my religious views, however, I can still see it from another logical perspective. This is not to say that if God did not exist things wouldn’t be any different. Rather, it means that as a reasonable human being, I can understand why it’s wrong to commit abortion or promote it, without having to bring my religious views to bear on the subject. That also means I believe other people, regardless of their religious views (or lack thereof) can see it that way too.
It follows that abortion is wrong based on the fact that it is scientifically proven that abortion ends a human life. Therefore it should be illegal, because no one has the right to take the life of another individual, who has committed no crime.
I’d like to be able to attend the Secular Pro-Life conference at UGA. Weather permitting — which is something we have to say here in Georgia these days — I’ll make the trip out to Athens next week to hear more about the Pro-Life cause from a secular perspective, and I’ll probably learn a few things. That’s certainly something to look forward to.
This information & perspective is needed to educate those who help serve pregnant young ladies in crisis situations ….very grateful for your follow up and all you can pass on to us in this regard
You’re welcome, Madeline. I think it is important that we live by our religious convictions and at the same time are able to communicate our moral principles to people who do not necessarily hold to our beliefs but are able to see the reasonableness behind the morality. Media and politicians have spun the issue so much that in some peoples mind this is strictly a matter of religion in the public square. There’s a lot more to it than that and in order to restore the order of justice to our society on this issue, we need to make it clear that abortion is not merely a religious issue.
Thanks for your comment!
Science has proven that human life begins at conception.
This is one of those times when science actually proves common sense.
Abortion is murder and everyone knows it.
It’s just that a woman’s right to choose death for her baby is greater than the baby’s right to live.
I just can’t see that to be entirely true. From a legal standpoint, you are right, because that is what the law of the land says, and for that matter, according to law, it is not murder. There is no disputing that.
But if you are actually admitting that it is murder, then we have a problem, because then from what you are saying, it follows that it’s just okay for a woman to choose murder.
Sorry, I can’t go with that.
In the ancient Greek tragedy “Antigone,” the character Antigone claims a law more just than the law imposed by the king.
In the story, Antigone insisted on a decent burial for her brother who had rebelled against the king.
The king had decreed that all dead rebels would be left to rot on the battlefield.
This story is about, among other things, natural law, law that applies to everyone because they are human.
Natural law is greater than the king’s law, therefore.
The right to life, a natural law, is greater than the kings law which proclaims the life of the unborn worthless and subject to the whim of murderous mothers.
I absolutely have to agree with you there! And thanks for bringing us back to the Classics. I never thought of applying Sophocles to this particular issue in this way.
I took a university class on natural law.
The professor started the course with “Antigone.”
It struck me deeply that even without the teachings of religions like Judaism and Christianity, humanity can reason itself to law that places infinite value on human life, human liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
(or do you prefer Mind?) I studied Classics as an undergrad. Majored in philosophy, had enough credits to minor in Classics. I’ll never stop loving the lessons the ancients taught us. Antigone certainly is one of the greats of World Literature. I also took some law and natural law courses during my grad studies in philosophy. It’s an intriguing field of its own.
So we are certainly on the same page there. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insights!
One great misconception I think is out there is that there’s not really anyone who is pro-abortion. There are people who believe that it should be available as a safe, accessible option, but nobody really gets excited about actually doing it. There’s no line of high fives waiting for you after you leave the clinic.
The secular viewpoint centers around the question of whether the being growing inside you has rights of its own, and I think the general secular consensus is that, when it no longer requires the parasitic biological relationship with the mother, it has those rights.
The religious perspective steps in with the view that, at some point prior to this, those rights are acquired by virtue of being or becoming human, or the acquisition of a soul. The problem here is that the various positions on when this happens don’t make much sense. If you go by conception, about a third of fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted or fail to implant, usually without the knowledge of the mother. If you go by heartbeat… why, what’s so special about flowing blood? If you go by neurological activity, then it’s questionable whether a delivered infant is considered to have rights, because they are not born with fully developed human brains.
“Safe and accessible” murder is an oxymoron.
Sure, that certainly is one of many views on the topic and it is also held by many religiously minded people. This is how many people who profess to be Catholic, or Baptist, or Jewish justify their position in favor of legal abortion. That’s not the only way people justify it though.
For instance, Peter Singer — who ain’t no dummy — takes it to a different level. He takes your argument further to justify infanticide. After all, an infant human cannot survive on its own the same way other animals can right after they are born, without any support from their mother. To what extent to we allow the definition of parasitic to hold becomes the question. Are you in line with Peter Singer and think that on these grounds infanticide is moral? I’d certainly have to disagree with you there.
Another secular perspective is the one that will be presented at this conference at UGA I mentioned in the article. If your points are not raised there, I will try to raise them if there is time allowed for questions. So, I won’t answer this now, and I’ll get back to you on it when I hear what some other secularists have to say about it. Thanks for your comment.
That is not my argument. I made sure to specify biological parasitism, whereas post partum would transition into social parasitism, which lasts until the child leaves its parents. I draw the line roughly at the beginning of the third trimester, around when independence is possible (although in an incubator), but I’m sure if people wanted to be more individually specific it could be determined.
But you do seem to be of the opinion that all abortion is immoral, possibly including contraceptives. Do you start at conception or some point after that, and how do you justify your position?
Child birth evolved as one of nature’s methods of procreation.
“Parasitism” in nature is when one type of creature gains its sustenance from the life blood, or labor of another creature.
Since the human baby is the result of human copulation it absolutely cannot be considered a parasite since giving birth to babies is what mothers do by nature.
I first want to say that it’s great that you are against third trimester abortions. This just goes to show, as I see it, there is a point at which we agree that it is wrong to terminate a life.
You suppose rightly that I think life begins at conception — of course, that’s not a religious tenet. And I don’t think you are objecting to that point anyway. My view that terminating a life once conceived is probably the point of contention. Regarding contraception, that is a separate issue, except insofar as a contraceptive method impedes the development of an already conceived individual — not allowing it to be attached to the uterus would be an example of this.
My reasons for holding this position that human life begins at conception, and once conceived, should not be terminated is based in my philosophy of the human person. Explaining that position would be a long conversation that I would be willing to undertake if you are interested in hearing me out on it.
I don’t think it would change the way you see things. There are numerous reasons why I say this, but one of the reasons is that the two of us probably see many things so differently that our views are incommensurable. It would take time even to get us on the same page as far as what we even mean when we use certain terms. And so, if we just spell it out in our own terms, we could run the risk of talking past one another, and that would be a waste of time.
If we give each other the benefit of the doubt, we should admit that our different opinions, beliefs, or way of viewing the world were not just formed by accepting blindly what we were told. We informed ourselves through critical thinking and through study. My field of study is probably different than yours, and so I will see things and express things differently than you will. In and of itself, that has nothing to do with who is right, and who is wrong in this matter. It really comes down to understanding where the other person is coming from before we can even pass judgment on their opinions.
I do believe that life begins at conception and therefore that it is wrong to terminate the life of a human being after that moment because that individual is a human person. It it ultimately comes down to what is a person. My views on what a person is are informed by religion, in part, and by what I’ve read, and studied, and determined on my own over the years. I would find it hard for a materialist to accept my views in this regard, so if you want to continue this discussion, be prepared for a long one, with long breaks in between, because, well, we also have to eat, and sleep, and all that other necessary stuff, if you know what I’m saying.
I have no problem with you believing whatever it is you wish to believe. The question is, though, how you justify it. In my experience, most people choose conception because it’s the only clear milestone that can be chosen prior to birthing. The problem with that, like I said before, is that many fertilized eggs never make it, through no fault of the mother, so I can’t see the justification for the position from a naturalistic view. The issue holds if you view it from a religious perspective – is god granting souls to all these blastocysts, one third of which are being flushed from the body? If so, then how is it that you can justify putting so much value on the life of one? If you can justify it, then I have obviously missed something. The best I can come up with is that God, being all knowing, doesn’t grant a soul to those that won’t make it. But that is super weak, because he then knows which ones will fail to implant due to contraception, and which will be aborted, and can plan accordingly. Saying otherwise is special pleading.
As far as my view on life beginning at conception, I’m a bit more nuanced than that. I say life continues. At no point does life stop and start anew. A person in my book is someone with a conscious identity, certainly not a blastocyst, and more than an infant. This is probably the view Pinker is coming from when he’s speaking of infanticide. I, however, make the distinction that things can be worthy of life without (yet) being a person. I haven’t seen any stories of him wantonly killing random small animals, so I suspect perhaps the infanticide thing (I haven’t read anything about it) was a thought experiment, and that he doesn’t disagree with me.
Also, I’m pretty sure that traditionally the soul is granted upon the first breath, and so you see mention of “the breath of life” somewhat frequently in the Bible. But I don’t really study the Bible.
As I mentioned, it isn’t simple. You obviously realize that because you raise numerous points in your response. Now, for the sake of dialogue, we need to take one point at a time. I’ll address all of your points, which will make this a long response. After that, continuing to redress all points will make the responses longer and longer. So what I suggest is that we stick to one point. You choose the point you think we should stick to.
I’ll start from the premise that life begins at conception, since that is my assumption, for the sake of argument. When a fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus the result is natural death. No one is to blame for that. So I don’t see a problem there. That is a perfectly naturalistic explanation for what happens. And the question of what God does or does not permit is neither here nor there in this discussion, if we are considering this from a naturalistic perspective, which is what the OP is about and what you propose in your comment, anyway. More on that later.
Next, my understanding of when a soul comes into existence obviously differs from yours. I would suppose that if you are an atheist you don’t believe in things like soul, so a larger discussion would need to take place in order to address that point, and I’m not sure we are prepared to discuss that. If we did, that would take this conversation on a long tangent before we got back around to the original question about the morality of abortion. Is that worth the time? If it is, then we’ll be discussing just that, not the original question, for a long time. I don’t think that was what drew you to this page in the first place. Is it?
Next, conscious identity isn’t my criterion for personal identity. I’m neither a Cartesian nor a Lockean. I think that the potentiality for human consciousness precedes its actuality and that the condition for such potentiality is human life, which is coextensive with personhood.
Regarding Peter Singer on infanticide – not Pinker – his views are well known, and it is clear that he’s not making just a thought experiment. A simple Google search could clear that up for you. But for the sake of providing a reference, here is a link to an article from a contributor on this blog: https://biltrix.com/2012/03/28/the-ethics-of-infanticide-why-should-the-baby-die/ . Here you will see that at least someone takes Singer’s position on infanticide very seriously, as in with a view toward enacting actual legislation. I’ve been following this discussion for years, it’s nothing new.
As for soul being granted upon the first breath, that’s kind of etymological – in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, soul and breath are cognates. But definition according to sound is not sound definition. That is to say, if we used etymology to define everything then we are going to come up with a lot of funky definitions. E.g., a hippopotamus is not a horse. If you find the example absurd, that kind of is my point. But again, this is neither here nor there, when the fact is that you probably don’t believe in such a thing as a soul in the first place. If you do, your understanding of a soul is probably a materialistic understanding, and one that I don’t follow when it comes to human beings. So, it’s not a point that we can easily discuss without getting sidetracked in a long, long thread of back and forth and in the end, we probably won’t come to a consensus. Not that that is a problem, but the discussion here should be about the morality of abortion, not about the nature and existence of a soul. If you want to discuss that, I’m sure there’s a post somewhere that has more to do with the nature and existence of a soul, where you can discuss that.
Now, with regard to special pleading, I’m not seeing it. Put it this way: how is God being singled out by doing what in which context such that it make him the object of special pleading? From your supposition you may have some case for it, but I don’t really follow your supposition. From what I’ve said, not what you’ve said, how is God the object of special pleading? The way you framed the problem, I cannot address it.
Here’s the problem with the way you’ve framed the issue of special pleading. You’ve constructed a straw man. To avoid that we need to stick to one line of approach only. Are we discussing this from a naturalistic perspective or a divine intervention perspective. If you want to continue, choose one of the two perspectives before we continue, because by mixing the two, you are confusing the issue immensely and causing problems that don’t exist. I hope that’s all clear.
You start with the assumption, that a single cell has rights greater than the mother, that I can’t understand how you arrived at if you’re ignoring religion and coming at this as a naturalist. Naturalism does not look at a single cell and say, “That is a person,” because a person is more than a cell. This is why sexually active women don’t hold a funeral when they get their period. I’m happy to restrict this to naturalism, materialism, and science, if you like, but the reason I pointed out religion is because I don’t see you sidelining it.
This is the thing you’ve got to back up.
Just as the acorn possess the nature of an oak tree, the fertilized egg of a woman possesses human nature.
That is true whether the fertilized egg is one cell or a thousand.
Thanks for narrowing it down, IA. Since SOM already made what I consider to be a valid point, I won’t continue to address the aspect he touched on, for now. I’ll just center on one element of your argument.
What if we continue with my assumption? It would make a hypothetical or conditional argument, if that’s acceptable. First, we would need to reframe it, because I don’t agree with your assessment, namely:
Let’s put aside the cell division and rate at which it occurs for now and ignore the fact that before a woman realizes she is pregnant, the independent organism which has an identity of its own (its own specific human DNA) has progressed well beyond the stage of being just a single cell.
Putting that aside, and assuming for a moment that we are just considering a single cell, please tell me, how exactly does this single cell have rights greater than those of her mother?
That is, according to the way you say that I assume things to be in this case.
Since you insist,
Just as the millions of cells I scrape off when I rub my nose have a human nature, and the thousands of unique cancer cells I produce every day have a human nature. If you define human nature as the genetic material that humans have, then there’s nothing terribly special about it. Nobody says you’re killing a tree when you roast an acorn. This is because a tree is not what an acorn is, it is what an acorn becomes. Likewise, a zygote has the potential to become a human, but it is not a human any more than my osteocytes are humans. Again, this is why we don’t mourn the menstruation of a sexually active woman. However, if you genuinely believe that individual lives are lost in this way, then you ought to. I doubt that you do, so it is likely that you don’t put as much value in the life of a blastocyst as a person would deserve.
You are considering a single cell, because you state that personhood, or individuality, begins upon conception, at which point, there is only one cell to be considered. This one cell/person has rights greater than the mother because it is trespassing upon her person and she has no right in your eyes to pursue eviction.
The skin cells you scrape into your morning Hispanic Cheerios wouldn’t be there without a human person.
That human person came into being at conception.
The fertilized egg is not a skin cell, neither by nature, by purpose or by function.
The atheist argument is always, and I mean always, based on a glaring logical fallacy.
The fallacy most evident here is worse then the usual atheist trying to compare apples and oranges.
You are trying to compare feces with caviar or a cheap Colorado blunt with a fine Cuban cigar.
If it were a matter of trespassing vs privacy then you would be right, but that’s not the issue. The issue here has to do with the child’s right to life, which is equal to that of the mother, not greater in this case. Even if it were also a matter of trespassing vs privacy, the only way to evict is to deliberately kill a living person (at a point which it is almost definitely no longer just a single cell, by the way). So the analogy of eviction does not quite measure up, because in an eviction, deliberate killing is never considered a viable solution. Here is the reason why the analogy does not work. It is because you are looking at it the wrong way. It’s not that one has greater rights than the other. In this case, the rights of both are equal, when it comes to their life.
By the way, I appreciate everyone keeping the conversation civil.
You’re right, the analogy was mediocre. I was focusing on the ridiculousness of a cell with rights rather than why those rights would be greater than the mother’s. However, the question of the power of one’s rights over another falls down before the question of whether a zygote is even a person at all.
You’ve still not taken any time to impress upon me why a single cell can be considered a person. You point out that, by the time it is noticed, it is a blastocyst at the least, but that is evading the point. The point is that you believe that upon conception the egg turns into a one-celled person with rights. You’ve said that it is scientifically true, but only offered up SOM’s vague assertions to support the statement.
I agree with everything you’ve said except for this: “You’ve said that [upon conception the egg turns into a one-celled person] is scientifically true, but only offered up SOM’s vague assertions to support the statement.”
First, I gave a tip of the hat to SOM for one thing that he said, just to acknowledge it, but I never used any of his assertions in support of my own. In fact, I put it aside (for now) to focus on this issue that we are discussing. You can treat us separately.
Second, I never said this: it is scientifically true that at conception the egg turns into a one-celled person. You may have inferred that, but that assertion hinges on a subtlety which would determine whether I would actually hold to that statement. In other words, you seem to be inferring a premise that I never delivered. To be sure, where did I say you can scientifically prove that anything is a person? I used the word “coextensive,” which is not a predicate of identity, at one point; that might have mislead you.
Third, you still have not adequately satisfied how I am bound to this assumption, either: that a single cell has greater rights than those of her mother.
You keep making my assumptions for me. Don’t you think I’m already aware of what my assumptions are?
In sum, as long as you insist on telling me what I think, you can keep doing that till you get it right. That’s only fair, because I really do want to make sure you understand my position before we proceed with this argument.
Human life, by your account, being coextensive with personhood, when one begins, so does another, and when one ends, so likewise does the other. Therefore, when the life begins, by your belief at conception, so does the personhood. Upon conception, that life takes the form of a single celled zygote.
Therefore, you believe that a zygote is a person, and somehow you believe it is scientifically proven. I think it is not and that you are making statements that arise from a religious or spiritual basis and trying to pass off what you feel is obvious as science.
I think we’ve safely concluded that this issue is secondary to the question of whether that single cell has any rights at all, i.e. whether it is a person or not.
Unless one of your prior stated premises were not yours, then I am right. I’m sure you are aware of your own assumptions, but perhaps you’ve not taken them to the logical conclusion, which is why you might object to accepting the claim that a zygote is a person. Alternatively, you may just be being evasive.
I can understand your thinking I’m being evasive. That is why I mentioned the my use of the term “coextensive”up front, in anticipation of that. Now that you’ve put that together, clearly, here, I’ll state my case. Personhood is not a scientific notion. It can’t be scientifically demonstrated. I’ll refer you to David Hume’s Essays Concerning Human Understanding for an atheistic proposal of doing away with the notion of personhood entirely for this very reason. And I can refer you to several more atheistic perspectives on this topic if you want, and you could do the research yourself. Google Derek Parfit or Peter Unger together with “personal identity” these are just two of several contemporary authors I can name who assume a materialistic approach the problem of identity and personhood. You see, there’s a large debate in this area and this debate has strong bearing on my assumptions.
Now, I can tell you more about this, or you could research it for yourself. Whatever you decide, this is still important: I said “it is scientifically proven that abortion ends a human life.” I also said that human life is coextensive with personhood. You cannot conclude from that that it is scientifically proven that abortion ends personhood, unless you accept the following. (1) human life and personhood are indeed coextensive (which entails that you accept the notion of personhood); (2) personhood is scientifically provable.
I reject #2. The way one defines personhood is going to determine whether one accepts or rejects #2 and even if one accepts the notion of personhood in the first place. The debate on personhood, IA, is 15 centuries old. There’s a history to it that I’m aware of. Many atheist writers and thinkers are aware of it too. Most people, however are not aware of it.
Now, that might give you a clearer idea of what could be underlying some of my assumptions. And I have to ask you at this point, do you want to continue with this debate. It could be a waste of your time. I told you at the onset, this would be a long conversation.
I’ll be up front with you about another thing. I’m not concerned with winning or losing an argument here. Dialogue isn’t a winning or losing proposition for me. It’s an open discussion, which requires openness from both sides. Both sides stand to learn, and therefore, both sides stand to win, even if each party walks away from the dialogue with the exact same position that they entered the discussion with. If you want to know what I think and why I think it, I’ll be happy to share that with you.
If you are still interested, fine. But your worldview and mine are not commensurable, as I told you before. That is why such a discussion will require patience and openness. I will grant you the same in return. If you are not interested in continuing, that’s fine too. I understand and I don’t blame you. Up until now, it’s been a pleasant discussion.
Children have been born, and survived, less than midway through the second trimester — Kenya King (b. 1985, USA) and David Elgin Gill (b. 1987, Canada), at 18 and 19 weeks fetal age, respectively (20 and 21 weeks GA). Gill’s eyes were still sealed when he was born.
Obviously, abortion is wrong, period. The person who accepts it only up to the third trimester, has to consider the examples you gave. And for me this only goes to show that there really is only one point where you can draw the line, namely, that life begins at conception. Thanks for your comment!
I can’t, because I don’t believe these things. Come to think of it, I doubt our definitions of even human life match. It seems to me that human life, to you, means human genetic material, ranging from a single cell to a whole individual. I, on the other hand, distinguish between human’s genes and a human life. Extinguishing the latter, an organism with the life functions of a human, is sad at the very least, and the former, defined only by genes, inconsequential. A good reason for there to be confusion over the subject.
So then, all I’ve got from you is a promise that finding out why you think a zygote is a person (naturalistically) will take a long time and that I won’t agree with you if we should get that far. I feel like it couldn’t possibly be any worse than all the crap we’ve gone through to get… almost nowhere. You’ve done a great job of responding to my guesses at your approach and saying that no, you don’t believe that, or no, this argument doesn’t make sense, but as far as positive statements detailing your position go, I’m not much further than my own initial assumptions. I really can’t keep this up.
The just fertilized female egg has just as much life in it as you or I.
Who are you to say different?
Do you actually think that discriminating against someone just because they don’t look like you or are as big as you is anything but raw bigotry?
Please don’t confuse the potential for a life with actual life.
Who are you to say it is so? Just some guy who likes to make bold, vague statements based upon his personal beliefs and pretend that science backs him up, while simultaneously panning science for not getting everything, ever, perfect and having to correct its own mistakes, while still simultaneously saying that science that doesn’t agree with you is wrong. You are a prime example of looking to religion for answers, and then searching for questions to apply them to. I ignore you for a reason, and that is you add nothing to a conversation.
Nope, that’s bigotry for sure. Good thing zygotes aren’t people. This is what they call a loaded question
The fertilized egg or zygote has human nature.
It’s growth and development are driven by life according to the natural order defined in the intelligent language of DNA.
Human nature is not defined, so why do you keep using it. That’s right, because you like to make bold, vague statements.
But I’ll bite: why are human zygotes, blastocysts, embryos, etc., more sacred than a plant seed? They are defined by the very same “language” of DNA. They grow, they develop. And we eat them.
It is obvious that human nature is defined.
Take your puppy dog or kitten in your arms and stand in front of the mirror.
We can see that human nature is defined simply by comparing it to any other thing.
If human, cat and dog nature had no definition, you wouldn’t see any difference between yourself and cat or dog.
Similarly, the human zygote is different from the cat or dog zygote because when it comes to term the result will be human, not cat or dog nor anything else.
That is the proof of human nature in the zygote.
The fact that the human embryo has gill slits and a frickin tail is completely overlooked by you. It’s not nearly so obvious when you look closer. I’m afraid judging by looks works against you – mammals all pretty much develop the same until the later stages of gestation.
Not really. I’m saying that the words of the books don’t have intrinsic moral value. On the other hand, your generalization is like saying that West Side Story is sacred and tearing it in half will send you to prison, but you can burn Romeo and Juliet, whiz on the ashes, and suffer no consequences.
DNA contains very specific information that programs cellular machinery to produce a particular creature.
Human DNA is unique from dog or cat or apple DNA.
Your generalization is like saying the Bible is no different from “War and Peace,” because they are written in the same language.