Is a Baby Human?

Written by Dr. Everett Piper

Do we still believe in science? Do we believe in biology? Do we believe in the objective reality of the human being, or do we believe that those in power have the right to subjectively impose their definition of human life on the powerless?

These are the fundamental questions that are before the supreme court as we await its imminent decision concerning Dobbs v. Jackson.

The answers to all these questions serve as the necessary predicate for everything else.

Defining the human being is the starting point for all that follows. Failing at this “First Thing” only serves to impede any meaningful quest for justice, righteousness, meaning, human worth and happiness.

Getting these answers wrong is akin to lying to ourselves. M. Scott Peck called it the “diabolical human mind.” Graham Walker calls it the “pathology of the intellect,” and St. Augustine warned us of what he termed “fantastica fornicatio” — the prostitution of the mind.

The biggest deception of our time is that the strong have the right to define the weak and to tell them they are less than human. This is the “fantastica fornication” of the 21st century.

Like all other words, the word “human” means something. It has a definition. It has clarity. No man has the right to tell another man he is not a man. Humanity is not yours or mine to define. This definition is God’s and God’s alone.

History teaches that when any civilization ignores such a definition that such a civilization is lost. Antebellum slave owners defined Black individuals as less than human. Hitler’s Third Reich said non-Aryans were unworthy of life. Radical Islam teaches its children that Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs. This dehumanization of the human being is the sin that leads to all others. It is the height of arrogance. It is the original sin of claiming the status of God.

In my book, “Grow Up! Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good,” I offer the following:

“Words must mean something. A pony can’t be a fish, and a fish can’t be a chicken. The meaning of words must be objective, predictable, and enduring. If they are not, you couldn’t read this sentence and have any hope of understanding what it says. The very nature of speaking, reading, and writing assumes definitional clarity; otherwise, normal daily communication would become as impossible as trying to play football without a field or ball.”

“When it comes to a dictionary, facts matter, not your feelings. You might feel like red is a number. But it’s not. You might feel like two plus two equals green. But it doesn’t. You might feel that dogs are quarter horses and that your Labrador Retriever lays eggs. But she won’t. In all of these examples, none of your feelings change the facts of what truly is.”

Definitions matter. Our delusions don’t.

We can pretend that a living baby is akin to a wart or a mole, but that doesn’t make it so. We can tell ourselves that an infant sucking its thumb, responding to light and recoiling from pain is little more than a cancerous tumor, but that doesn’t make such lies become truth. We can act as if a functioning brain and beating heart don’t matter, but our denial doesn’t change the facts: A human being is a human being. If it walks like a duck, it’s a duck. Pretending a beautiful thoroughbred is a hog for the slaughter is evidence of insanity, not wisdom.

The left’s hellbent determination to ignore the humanity of a fully functioning child is simply evil. It is arrogant. It is selfish. It is sinful at its core. It is insane. It is butchery for the sake of convenience. None of this is about a woman’s right to “choose.” All of this is about a child being a human being and having the right to live.

If Christ’s parable of building on sand or rock tells us anything, it tells us that foundations matter. Definitions make a difference. A stable foundation holds true. Shifting sands crumble. Jesus was very clear — our lives must be built on the solid rock of enduring definitions: his, not ours, of what it means to be human.

A culture of shifting sand and moving targets will collapse and fail. Especially one that is arrogant enough to claim it has to right to decide who is human and who is not. Being human has a definition, and we can’t change it just because we feel like it.

At the end of the day, this isn’t about Roe v. Wade. It is about good versus evil.

“[Definitions] — so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become, in the hands of one who knows how to [manipulate] them!” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Dr. Everett Piper (, @dreverettpiper), is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” and Grow Up! Life Isn’t Safe But It’s Good, both published by Regnery. This article was originally published by The Washington Times.

Dr. Piper has been a featured speaker in dozens of venues including the Values Voter Summit, the Council for National Policy, the Young American Foundation, the National Congress for Families, and the inaugural ceremony for the United States Department of Health and Human Service’s and Office of Civil Rights creation of a new division for religious freedom. Go here to listen and watch these and/or for more info.