I am afraid your correspondent Donald Gale has dragged the abortion debate into Monty Python territory by his startling assertion that "personhood... extends back in time, even before conception" (Write Back, August 10).
He goes on to assert that "God recognises human lives in advance by His foreknowledge".
This is a very dangerous argument, since it necessarily means that human beings are little better than puppets dangling on strings pulled by God the puppet-master. If one accepts the existence of an all-powerful God who knows everything in advance, then what was God's purpose in creating Adam and Eve, knowing that they would eat the forbidden fruit? Where is the transgression when the action is known in advance and the transgressors have no control over their actions? Why taunt Adam and Eve with the delights of Eden, knowing that they will be banished? Why create a being designed to fail?
Mr Gale might also reflect on the plight of Judas Iscariot, universally reviled as the betrayer of Jesus, an act of treachery which led to the Crucifixion.
Without the Crucifixion, there would be no Christian religion. Therefore, Judas had to betray Jesus. Applying Mr Gale's logic, God obviously knew what Judas would do even before Judas was conceived. Judas was born to betray Jesus and had no choice in the matter.
Therefore, should Judas not be adored by Christians, instead of being reviled? As the facilitator of the Crucifixion, is he in Heaven or burning in Hell for the betrayal which destiny forced upon him?
For my part, I am entirely satisfied that I am not living my life as a passenger on a train which is hurtling along a fixed set of tracks towards a known destination.
On the contrary, I am the driver of my car, free to choose which roads to drive along, with an ultimate destination which is both unknown and unknowable, because the future is not written.