The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Honesty

February 9, 2006 | 68 Comments

In response to one of my posts on crisis pregnancy clinics, Jill of Feministe left a comment here (#47) regarding what she views as unethical practices at the facilities. I’ll be responding to her criticism in a series of posts over the next several weeks. Today’s installment addresses her accusation of lying:

How about helping the women who seek it instead of coercing and lying to them? When women call up CPCs and ask if they can schedule an appointment for an abortion, and the CPC receptionist says, “I’m not sure of the schedule right now, why don’t you come in and talk to us?” and proceeds to tell her a slew of BS about how abortion is universally damaging, physically dangerous, etc etc, no one is being helped. Women deserve honest information.

I consider abortion to be, in the vast majority of cases, the unjustified taking of a valuable human life. So I would never consider “helping” a woman by facilitating an elective abortion, any more than I would assist her in killing a baby, a toddler, or a husband. I simply don’t think it “helps” in any sense of the word. If what you mean is that she is “helped” by the relief she might experience upon aborting, I believe that the evil of killing far outweighs the benefit of relief. And as far as “no one being helped,” certainly the child who lives when an abortion is prevented is helped.

You yourself believe that abortion should ordinarily be illegal after viability. So I assume you believe it is also immoral after that point. If someone asked you “how helping the women who seek third trimester abortions,” or “how about helping those who seek to kill their toddlers,” your answer would be the same as mine. The difference between our positions is that I regard the unborn child as deserving of protection from conception, whereas you regard first and second trimester abortions as akin to wart removal or some other operation. Ultimately, that is all that our dispute boils down to. It’s not about tactics, or giving a woman what she “wants” or “deserves,” issues you would not raise once your viability threshold were crossed.

As I indicated in the CPC post, I do not condone lying to a women about her actual medical condition. I cannot speak to what practices other CPCs engage in, and once again urge you to volunteer to correct such wrongdoing. But as to other forms of lying, regarding the potential psychological effects of abortion, I am not particularly concerned insofar as I dislike killing more than deceit. There is no moral obligation to answer a killer truthfully when he asks where his intended victims are hiding. I also do not perceive a duty to provide full information about all options merely because they are legal. If you happen upon a baby face down in a puddle, the law does not require you to so much as flip it over on its back — but this is not something we are obligated to teach our children.

I imagine your position is similar in most respects. For example, from a previous post of your I understand that you are relying upon a NARAL Pro-Choice report for your claim that CPC volunteers lie. But that alleged information was itself obtained by misrepresentation: NARAL volunteers called up CPCs and lied that they were pregnant and lied that they needed abortions. If you can condone lying merely to determine whether others might lie, you should understand why one would condone it to prevent killing. What I can’t understand is why you would feel that lying is acceptable to stop lying, but not to stop killing. Particularly where the lying you are trying to stop is the lying that stops killing.

I would also caution that your anti-lying campaign might be more problematic that you assume. Like me, you do not believe that there is a God who punishes abortion with torture. That being the case, you should favor a law requiring abortion clinics and CPCs to inform women that Hell is not a side effect of the procedure, just as you believe that she should be truthfully advised regarding the reality of all purported risks. The fact that she was misinformed regarding Hell earlier in life, well before she reached the clinic, should be irrelevant. You would not argue that counselors should remain silent with a woman who harbors false beliefs regarding the likelihood of breast cancer, merely because she acquired them prior to the clinic visit.

Comments

68 Responses to “Honesty”

  1. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 9:20 am

    RA,
    I am genuinely astonished at how badly you argue here.
    Facetiousness is sometimes a great cover for poverty of logic. Sometimes it is not.

    Get rid of your sarky waffle – and little remains.

    You scoff at Jill’s central point that women are given false information by CPCs, while vaguely admitting you don’t condone giving out false information.
    Therefore, she has won that point.
    You get all puffed up and hoity toity about women who “lie” about needing an abortion in order to test the quality of information they are given as if this neutralizes the lies they are fed in return. But you’ve already admitted you don’t condone the second falsehood – so that’s all smoke.
    You give us the old, old inflammatory rubbish about pro-choicers regarding abortion as akin to wart removal. I think both sides agree the term is “abortion”, for very good reason.
    Then we are back to your old Hallmark-quality favorite – babies face down in puddles.
    Oh, cry me a puddle, RA.

  2. jahrta
    February 9th, 2006 @ 9:59 am

    I think RA has grown accustomed to the theists on this site giving him a group hummer every time he posts an anti-abortion thread.

    Throughout all of his sanctimonious self-righteous claptrap which is eerily reminiscent of something that a godidiot would shout out at the top of his or her lungs, he has consistently overlooked the fact that “potential” is not the same as the “actual.” Women who abort are not tried as murderers because the law (you are a lawyer, are you not?) has concluded that a fetus is not a person. This is the reason many feminists were alarmed when the Bush administration was gunning for legislation that would add another charge of manslaughter to someone’s rapsheet if they attacked a woman and she miscarried as a direct result of that attack (as it would consider a fetus to be a full-fledged person, offering a way for the fundies to attack Roe V. Wade).

  3. Pixie
    February 9th, 2006 @ 10:17 am

    I have to agree with the last two posts RA, I think you have a brilliant mind for the discussion of theism, but when you go off on your abortion tangents, I see that you can be just as illogical as the people you normally argue against. so shut your clap-trap about abortion already.

  4. Pixie
    February 9th, 2006 @ 10:20 am

    And just a humorous side note:

    The PROPER way to conduct an abortion is to pull a stick of the nearest tree and shove it up your vagina and stir it around in counter-clockwise motions to scramble the little fuckers brains.

  5. Aurelius
    February 9th, 2006 @ 10:33 am

    I have to echo some of the criticisms leveled against you. ‘Lying’ to individuals on the phone in order to gather information for a report is called ‘journalism.’ ‘Lying’ to women in order to get them into your office so you can give them both barrels of the guilt-trip shotgun when they are already in a very emotional state is another matter. If that is their policy, then they have lost a notch within the moral heirarchy.

    The issue seems to be an inclination to indulge in ‘ends justify the means’ rationalization. I believe that any organization that makes a policy of misinformation – as the anti-abortion movement does – contributes much more to the bad side of things and cannot move society towards a better world.

    Finally, imagine that after a wild night of partying in New Orleans during Mardis Gras, you awoke with a terrible pain in your side and found youself in a hospital with another man next to you sharing your kidneys is some sort of improvised dialysis. (I don’t know if that’s realistic, but roll with me.) You now have another human life that is completely dependant upon your own body. This may seem extreme, but women are drugged and taken by force all the time, putting them in the exact same situation. It is your body, and we have a much easier time dealing with consciousness believing that we have some autonomy concerning it. A fetus is a human, but a very simple one, and it cannot survive without the woman’s body. If she does not want it within her. . .

    As a creature without a uterus, my opinion on the matter ends here.

  6. benjamin
    February 9th, 2006 @ 10:49 am

    Don’t shut up about abortion RA. Keep diving into the mindset and reason of both sides of this debate. Reveal hypocrisy where you find it, just as you found it with Jill getting up in arms about lies told by people trying to defend life, and not about lies told by people trying to potentially uncover lies. Don’t let the pro-choice atheists pretend they have a monopoly on reason regarding this debate. The law may not equate a fetus with a baby, but the law is wrong and has been wrong before, like when it allowed people to own other people as slaves. You can’t own anyone, and you shouldn’t be allowed to legally own a fetus and do whatever you want with it. You should be required to treat developing human beings with respect and value that life the same as any other.

  7. Anonymous
    February 9th, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    I’m still not sure where RA gets the idea that human life is “valuable”. Is he receiving this valuation from a higher source? I don’t consider it self-evident.

  8. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 11:06 am

    But Benjamin,

    Your sainted mouthpiece DOESN’T agree with telling women whoppers about their medical condition.

    He is explicit that this is a “wrongdoing”.

    True, he mumbles this to the jury – maybe hoping they won’t hear – before he turns back with tears in his eyes about toddlers in puddles.

    But your cheers here are misplaced.

  9. Lily
    February 9th, 2006 @ 11:16 am

    Lying is reprehensible and while I don’t doubt that some prolifers, in their zeal to save a baby’s life, might do it, it is simply not the norm.

    Jahrta: Women were not prosecuted for abortion (in the days when it was illegal) because they were considered (and were) victims, just as much as the baby was. The first wave of feminists knew this and that is why the were anti-abortion. They knew and said that abortion was the most serious crime men committed against women. And they were right.

    Aurelius: It is simply preposterous to liken pregnancy to the misuse of one person by another. Pregnancy is state for which women are designed by nature. The very notion that a baby is somehow a leech is so ugly and dehumanizing– not to the baby but to the person who holds so utilitarian and mechanical a view of human beings–that I question such a person’s fitness for adult citizenship.

  10. benjamin
    February 9th, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    I never said RA or I condoned the lies. I value honest/correct information too highly. I said Jill was a hypocrite. I would never try to convince someone not to have an abortion using lies, and I condemn those that do so. The value of human life is the reason not to have an abortion, not the (false) fear of physical pain. Just as fear of hell is not the reason to act morally.

  11. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 11:31 am

    Lily,

    “Designed by nature” sounds like an advert for a hemp clothing company.

  12. Lily
    February 9th, 2006 @ 11:33 am

    lol, Jody. How about “evolved blindly to…”?

  13. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 11:46 am

    Lily asked: “How about “evolved blindly to…”?”

    Adverb abuse.

  14. Mookie
    February 9th, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    Looks like some people need to take some biology courses. The placenta surrounds and protects the baby within the mother. It keeps out things that would normally harm the baby, like its own mother! That’s right, from the moment of its inception, the mother’s body is trying to rid itself of this foreign invader. Her immune system would love nothing more than to destroy that little parasite. So much for this supposed bond between the mother and the child. If abortion is wrong because it threatens the life of the fetus, then so is being a human mother! We should arrest all pregnant women, and do all we can to prevent them from getting pregnant, that way, no fetus will ever be put in harm’s way.

    RA’s arguments regarding abortion are just so horrible. It is good that he actually does something about his beliefs, but, sadly, he is on the retarded side of the debate.

  15. Craig Ewert
    February 9th, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

    As I read RA, he does condone some lies in the interest of preventing an abortion. And, once you grant that a single cell zygote, or a twenty cell blastomere, is a person, the reasoning is straightforward to “lying to a potential killer”. Some ends really can justify some means.

    But I don’t grant that a zygote, or a blastomere, or a 5 week old fetus, is a person.

    RA, I know the reasoning that christian anti abortionists use to get to such a conclusion, but they use silly metaphysics that I doubt you hold to. So how, then, do you reason that a sperm and an egg are a person as soon as they merge?

  16. Craig Ewert
    February 9th, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

    As to biology, what Mookie said, and more. Some placentas will have overlarge blood vessels to get extra blood from the mother. Sometimes so much that the mother’s health is damaged, in the extreme cases her life lost (along with the baby’s). Why do they do it? Because if the baby survives, it’s healther and stronger for having had extra food for those nine months.

    Biology is harsh and cruel, sometimes.

  17. David M
    February 9th, 2006 @ 2:09 pm

    RA might be an atheist be he’s sure got religion – fetalism. Symptoms of this belief system include an inability to rationally integrate developmental biology into one’s understanding of abortion and the use of vacuous catch phrases like “the Culture of Death”.

  18. jahrta
    February 9th, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    Benjamin:

    “Don’t shut up about abortion RA. Keep diving into the mindset and reason of both sides of this debate. Reveal hypocrisy where you find it, just as you found it with Jill getting up in arms about lies told by people trying to defend life, and not about lies told by people trying to potentially uncover lies. Don’t let the pro-choice atheists pretend they have a monopoly on reason regarding this debate.”

    The hypocrisy is unrelenting. Why is it that a theist can say that it’s ok to lie to “defend life” when their own saviour, Jesus Bush, lied to start a war that has claimed thousands of US military personnel and thirty thousand Iraqi civilians?

    I call bullshit

  19. Lucy Muff
    February 9th, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

    why is all theists so despirate to kill babies? It is good that RA is not liking to kill babiess, but each time when he says that it be bad all same heathen start crying and saying he is using bad logics and is too wrong. If you stop making arguments based only on you hatred of Jesus and actual read what hes has said you will be able to learn that he is using the good logic and is rite. Some of atheist is sometimes seem clever, but then these topic come up and they go back to being godlessidiot. Here simple tests for you rto see what ia right way fopr life:

    Know Jesus: no baby kill, love of god and happy in family

    No Jesus: killing of baby ok, hatred of god, sinning in man bum ok. Also burn in hell

    I pity fools what don’t love Jesus. Jesus is lord

  20. SBW
    February 9th, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

    /////Aurelius said: The issue seems to be an inclination to indulge in ‘ends justify the means’ rationalization. I believe that any organization that makes a policy of misinformation – as the anti-abortion movement does – contributes much more to the bad side of things and cannot move society towards a better world.////

    This is a blatant lie. The pro-lifers believe that the truth is stranger than fiction. Why do you think that the pro-choicers don’t want a woman given all available information regarding the act of abortion before they do it? Because they know that many women will choose not to abort if they are too well-informed.

    ////Mookie said: Looks like some people need to take some biology courses. The placenta surrounds and protects the baby within the mother. It keeps out things that would normally harm the baby, like its own mother! That’s right, from the moment of its inception, the mother’s body is trying to rid itself of this foreign invader.////

    Some people that took biology courses need to re-take them. The amniotic sac surrounds and protects the baby. It acts as a barrier to prevent infection and to act as a shock absorber. From the moment of inception the mothers body is not trying to rid itself of the fetus. The mothers body in rare circumstances mistakes the fetus as a foreign body.

    ////Craig Ewert said: As to biology, what Mookie said, and more. Some placentas will have overlarge blood vessels to get extra blood from the mother. Sometimes so much that the mother’s health is damaged, in the extreme cases her life lost (along with the baby’s). Why do they do it? Because if the baby survives, it’s healther and stronger for having had extra food for those nine months./////

    Craig, before you go co-signing someone elses idiotic statement you should make sure they are right first. And this condition that you speak of, how often does this happen? One in every 10 million perhaps?

    I don’t believe that the pro-life movement needs to lie to get its point across or keep women in the dark regarding what they are really doing like the pro-choicers do. I say give the women ALL the information and show them videos of actual abortions. Then might be a nice time to let them hear the fetal heartbeat and show them an ultrasound. When the’ve finally seen all this ask them, “Cash or credit?”.

  21. Lucy Muff
    February 9th, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

    The black is rite and I is glad somehones here can tell it likes it is. No doubt some fools what don’t love JEsus will attack her for speakings of truth but that is only for to prove that she is rite. If you want sto get proof that people are embettered by love of JEsus just take test: no baby kill is prob from Jesus love, baby kill ok usual from jesus haters. QPD, jesus is love and lord and will makes human much betters.

  22. benjamin
    February 9th, 2006 @ 3:39 pm

    jahrta, First of all, I’m an atheist, so I don’t speak for theists. Secondly, I don’t believe that Bush intentionally mislead the American public, as this has not been proven to me, and if it could be proven, I expect the Democrats would have at leats tried to impeach him. Thridly, let’s not get off on a mostly unrelated topic.

  23. Lucy Muff
    February 9th, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

    benjamin, you are rite. George bush is notonly great president what has protect us from terror but he is Christian and love jesus and therefore will not be to lie to peoples. /this is even yet more and bestest proof that loving Jesus will make you better person. So, when president was lost to faith he was in with drugs and drinky and was not good man, but now he has Jesus he is no drinky nor drugs and is leader of free world! some changes huh? Mabe this knowlegde will be good to ,otivate for lovings of Jesus by foolish atheiosts no?

  24. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

    SmartBW,
    Just for once – see if you can answer simple follow-up questions without flouncing off sideways?

    What practical RIGHT is there to insist women facing an abortion should be shown medically explicit videos of this legal procedure?

    How does this differ from showing such women – in the interests of giving them “ALL” information – medically explicit videos of the results of botched, illegal abortions?

    HOW do you propose to force women to watch these films?

    I am perfectly serious. Describe the steps that need to be taken to bring this about.

  25. Lucy Muff
    February 9th, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

    black is rite. when ladies want to kill there baby they should first have to kill tiny puppy with a knife so they can undersatand what they do to bABY. video nit needeed after that. Jesus is lord and will cry for dead puppy, but it be much more sadder for to kill baby.

  26. SBW
    February 9th, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

    ////Jody Tresidder said: What practical RIGHT is there to insist women facing an abortion should be shown medically explicit videos of this legal procedure?//////

    There is no need to “insist” that they see it, but the fact that if they do see it they more than likely will not have an abortion says something about the truth of what abortion really is. If they don’t wan’t to see an ultrasound or hear the heartbeat then fine. However, they should be fully informed just like people who have other major surgeries are required to have informed consent.

    ////How does this differ from showing such women – in the interests of giving them “ALL” information – medically explicit videos of the results of botched, illegal abortions?////

    Show them those too if they want to see them.

    ////HOW do you propose to force women to watch these films?////

    I wouldn’t force them to see the videos. I would say, ” We have these videos that show exactly how we are going to extract your fetus from your uterus and you can see them if you would like to. We are also able to allow you to hear the fetus’ hearbeat and provide you with an ultrasound for a keepsake also. None of these items is required but if you would like them then we will happily provide them as a free service.” And as with all surgeries the patient is required to be practice informed consent and I would let her know exactly what the abortion consists of and tell the typical information that pre-abortive women receive. I would let her know that there is counseling afterward if she would like and that if she is not positively sure that she wants the abortion we have a counselor that can assist her with researching other options such as adoption.

  27. Jahrta
    February 9th, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

    Ben:

    “jahrta, First of all, I’m an atheist, so I don’t speak for theists. Secondly, I don’t believe that Bush intentionally mislead the American public, as this has not been proven to me, and if it could be proven, I expect the Democrats would have at leats tried to impeach him. Thridly, let’s not get off on a mostly unrelated topic.”

    It’s been established for anyone who cares to observe that Bush had always planned on invading Iraq from the get-go for a multitude of reasons (such as finishing what his dad started, as well as securing our oil interests). 9-11 provided the perfect smoke screen for him to go in and do just that, to the extent where some even claim that the president had a hand in either planning 9-11 or allowing it to happen (and indeed we do have evidence that 9-11 was allowed to occur as there were NUEMROUS instances during which our goverment had every opportunity to prevent it. These instances are listed in the official 9-11 commission and elsewhere). Georgie lied to the american people at every turn to manipulate support for his invasion of a sovereign nation, and continued to lie after it became apparent that there were no wmd’s to find, not to mention that there was never any tie between al qaeda and saddam. As far as impeachment is concerned, Barbara Boxer is one representative who has been working overtime toward that lofty goal, and I sincerely hope that america can pull its head out of its ass long enough to wake up and take notice. The problem is that the evidence DOES exist but people are either too stupid or too lazy to do anything about it, and Bush & C0. views this lackadaisical attitude as an endorsement.

    I don’t see the Iraq war as a wholely unrelated issue as I’ve framed it. We’re still talking about people losing their lives. The only difference is that where you view a medical procedure to abort an unwanted pregnancy as one of the most dispicable evils in the world, I would tend to attach that label to an unjust war which is ostensibly being waged over oil rights that has claimed the lives of MANY thousands of people and will continue to claim many thousands more. But I guess a soldier in the army dying for the stupidity of the commander in thief, or an Iraqi child who loses all his limbs and family members to an errant bomb isn’t as deserving of our sympathies as an unborn fetus. Would you mind telling us all why?

    Now, you may be an atheist, but you seem to tow the company theist line when it comes to abortion.

  28. Lucy Muff
    February 9th, 2006 @ 4:29 pm

    jahrta said

    The problem is that the evidence DOES exist but people are either too stupid or too lazy to do anything about it,

    this is true, but not how hes said it. This is true for JESUS. Evidence of jesus is all arobnd but dmb atheist too stupid or lazy to see it. Thank you jafarta for reminding all peoples that JESE IS LORD

  29. Lily
    February 9th, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

    Lucy Muff:

    I am proud to call you my sister in Christ.

  30. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

    SBW,
    Glad we cleared that up. My worry came from when you originally wrote “I say give the women ALL the information and show them videos of actual abortions”.

    NOW you are saying that the abortion providers should ONLY give the women the information that they HAVE further information, which the women may then request to see?

    In fact, you seemed to be saying originally that the question “cash or credit?” (i.e. to pay for the abortion) would only come AFTER they had seen the videos.

    Clearly, this was imprecise wording?

    So, I don’t really understand what you are suggesting.

    Women who want abortions know what an abortion is.

    But you want objective health care professionals – who presumably are quite keen to keep their jobs – to start burbling (sarcastically?) about handing out “keepsake” ultrasounds to women wanting abortions (and who it it, by the way, who pays for the non medically essential “keepsake” ultrasounds in an abortion clinic?) – just by way of “information”?

    Once consent to the procedure has been established, how do you “require” giving all this non-requisite information?

  31. tim the enchanter
    February 9th, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

    What, all this again? So let me get this straight: like any surgical procedure, abortion has some grisly details, and some women get them for reasons that don’t warrant much sympathy. Great. Now please tell us something we don’t know already.

    Perhaps SBW should take yet another look at “Freakonomics,” which she muddled in the last go around. The whole point of the discussion of abortion in that book was that according to the authors’ research, the biggest reason for the sudden reversal of a decades-long surge crime rate in the early 90’s was the delayed effect of legalizing abortion in the 70’s. The unwanted babies simply weren’t there when they would have hit the ages in which they were most likely to commit violent crimes. Hence the sudden drop in crime rates. Yes, abortion ends many a potentially promising life, but it ends a lot of potentially meaningless ones as well. Will one person’s story of an abortion contain an element of tragedy? Undeniably so. But with legal abortion, society as a whole benefits. With abortion illegal, you’ll still have plenty of individual tragedy with botched illegal abortions. Only you’ll have to add to that the costs to society of millions of unwanted children born to parents without the ability to raise them properly. Hmmm. I wonder which option looks more attractive, or at least less ugly.

  32. benjamin
    February 9th, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

    jahrta, I’m not going to write as much as you. First of all, the war was started when we thought Iraq had WMD, in order to make the enemies of Saddam safer. It was started to SAVE lives. Also, we don’t have a draft, so every person there agreed to allow politicians to put them in harms way if they determined that was the best course of action. (Something a fetus can’t do) Thirdly, hundreds of thousands of abortions happen yearly in the US. That’s millions of lives since Roe v Wade. Lastly don’t put words in my mouth.

  33. SBW
    February 9th, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

    ////tim the enchanter said: Perhaps SBW should take yet another look at “Freakonomics,” which she muddled in the last go around. The whole point of the discussion of abortion in that book was that according to the authors’ research, the biggest reason for the sudden reversal of a decades-long surge crime rate in the early 90’s was the delayed effect of legalizing abortion in the 70’s./////

    Numerous statisticians and economists have come forward since Freakonimics was released to dispute the so called connection between abortion and a reduction in crime. For instance the out of wedlock birth rate skyrocketed after roe vs wade and oow births have higher correlation with crime than abortion does. What about the fact that child abuse rates have also increased sinced roe vs wade? Please see the links below. I, for one, do not subscribe to those people that automatically accepted the findings that abortion reduced crime and there are many others agree with me.

    http://www.amconmag.com/2005_05_09/feature.html
    http://www.rightgrrl.com/carolyn/abortioncrime.html
    http://www.abortiontv.com/Glitch/AbortionAndCrime.htm

    Far too many pro-choicers are all too willingly to gladly accept anything that seems to confirm their preconceived notions that they don’t even do any fact checking to make sure that the garbage they promote is correct.

    ////But with legal abortion, society as a whole benefits. With abortion illegal, you’ll still have plenty of individual tragedy with botched illegal abortions. Only you’ll have to add to that the costs to society of millions of unwanted children born to parents without the ability to raise them properly. Hmmm. I wonder which option looks more attractive, or at least less ugly.////

    Society as a whole is not benefiting. Out of wedlock births are up and so is child abuse. Will you please tell me who is benefiting besides the abortion clinics that are making money left and right? Or the men that are now free to love em’ and leave em? What about the babies that end up in garbage cans?

    If the pro-choice crowd spent as much time and energy preventing unwanted pregnancy as they do trying to correct the situation after the fact, abortion wouldn’t be as commonplace as it is.

    But who am I kidding? It’s much easier and cheaper to urge women to get abortions under the guise of telling them it’s their choice than it is work on the underlying causes for abortion in the first place.

  34. simbol
    February 9th, 2006 @ 6:25 pm

    I’m ready to convert to prolife as soon as somebody out there can explain me how an ovum converts to a human being at the very moment it is fertilized by sperm.

    Some conditions apply:

    note that theological or moral arguments are not allowed.
    It’s required sine qua non an incontrovertible definition of “human life”
    Assumptions like potentiallity must be put on the light of technological advancements, e.g. it seems to be that nothing precludes create a human being from any of the cells that constitutes a person. For the time being is a matter of having the right technology, but I could be wrong. Show me why.

  35. Aurelius
    February 9th, 2006 @ 7:05 pm

    SWB informed me that my take on ‘ends justifying means’ and the anti-abortion sides use of misingormation is:

    ‘. . . a blatant lie. The pro-lifers believe that the truth is stranger than fiction. Why do you think that the pro-choicers don’t want a woman given all available information regarding the act of abortion before they do it? Because they know that many women will choose not to abort if they are too well-informed.’

    Well, it is true that a lot of theists are willing to believe in a ‘truth’ that is stranger than fiction.

    As for myself, I can’t claim to have any sense of pride in the fact that women choose to get abortions. I really don’t care. I assure you that none of my positions are based on a desire to see more women get abortions.

    Her last p;osted statement here seems filled with misinformation to me. I thought out of wedlock births were down? Except in the Red States. . . Men have always been free to love ‘em and leave ‘em, been doing it for thousands of years. Only in the last few generations has any notion of child support ever existed in society.

    SBW – ‘If the pro-choice crowd spent as much time and energy preventing unwanted pregnancy as they do trying to correct the situation after the fact, abortion wouldn’t be as commonplace as it is.’

    This is the problem right here. Never heard of the international gag rule? The directive that forbids anyone who gets U.S. aid money to ever mention any form of contraception other than abstinece. Abstinece-only education has been proven to not work and it is insulting to the people we push it on. Any adult in the year 2006 has the right to form whatever sexual relationships with any consenting adult partner they wish. Start handing out millions of condoms and the abortion rate will go down. But no, the religious right has a plan that involves controlling our sexuality as a means of controlling our women and us – if they really wanted to minimize abortions they’d promote contraception.

    Awesome debate you guys got going on here.

  36. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 7:35 pm

    Just testing if RA let’s ANY new comments from me through…

  37. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 7:42 pm

    RA,
    Driving me nuts here – quit vaporizing my pearls of rational wisdom every 2nd or 3rd attempt!!! (Pretty please!)

  38. Jody Tresidder
    February 9th, 2006 @ 7:52 pm

    RA,
    I don’t believe this – either this is a random SNAFU stopping my comments, or RA is enjoying this…bloody closet Christian!!
    (Thin smile…)

  39. The No God Boy
    February 9th, 2006 @ 9:54 pm

    I find it tremendously disheartening to find that the RA is a raving anti-abortion nutjob. It’s truly sad.

    This silly bullshit about what a clump of cells might be and the importance of humans must stop. Humans abort and steralize all sort of other species. Why are we so damn special.

    The reality is that we MUST get the birth rate of the human population down or soon there will be no natural resources left. Aborting unwanted and accidental non-replacement pregnancies is a good start.

    Humans are evolved animals just like all the others. The herd needs management.

  40. SBW
    February 9th, 2006 @ 11:44 pm

    /////Aurelius said: Well, it is true that a lot of theists are willing to believe in a ‘truth’ that is stranger than fiction.////

    LOL, how did we get from abortion to theism? Oh, I get it, the old “change the subject tactic”. I’m not taking the bait.

    ////Her last p;osted statement here seems filled with misinformation to me. I thought out of wedlock births were down? Except in the Red States. . . ///

    The out of wedlock birth rate has generally been increasing. I provided links. There is probably more recent/more comprehensive information than what I provided but if you really want it then I’ll leave it for you to look up.

    http://children.smartlibrary.info/NewInterface/segment.cfm?segment=1788&table_of_contents=1516
    http://www.brook.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb05.htm
    http://children.smartlibrary.info/NewInterface/segment.cfm?segment=1788&table_of_contents=1516

    ////Start handing out millions of condoms and the abortion rate will go down. But no, the religious right has a plan that involves controlling our sexuality as a means of controlling our women and us – if they really wanted to minimize abortions they’d promote contraception/////

    I disagree that handing out millions of condoms will make the abortion rate go substantially down. Contraception is already about as common as buses on city streets and the vast majority of high schools provide a sex-ed class. The states that provide the most money to sex education are the states with the highest abortion rates. Women are not getting pregnant because they don’t have access to contraception ( How does a woman have several hundred dollars and access to an abortion clinic and not have money for condoms from the corner store?), they are getting pregnant because they are not using contraception like they should. Having condoms all around you doesn’t help if your intimidated to tell your partner to use it or you and your partner think that “this time we won’t get caught up”. Lack of access is not why women are getting pregnant, its lack of self-esteem, lack of responsibility, and a culture that says sex doesn’t mean anything, its just something you do with somebody you like.

    I also disagree with the US policy of only giving money to countries that promote abstinence only education. I read about it somewhere and I think that it is completely self-defeating for us and for the countries that need the money.

  41. allonym
    February 10th, 2006 @ 3:17 am

    benjamin: “First of all, the war was started when we thought Iraq had WMD, in order to make the enemies of Saddam safer. It was started to SAVE lives. Also, we don’t have a draft, so every person there agreed to allow politicians to put them in harms way if they determined that was the best course of action.”

    “We” did not think Iraq had WMD. Bush insisted that they did, maybe you though that they did, but it was definitely not a given. And lo and behold, all of us “skeptics” turned out to be right! I think we have reasonable grounds to doubt the authenticity of the “facts” that were put out by the Bush administration.

    Also, I think you are ignoring an important point in Jahrta’s comments. Our “all-volunteer” army men and women aren’t the only ones suffering loss of life in the Iraq war. There are lots of Iraqi men, women, and children being killed quite involuntarily.

    I know this has been totally OT, but I don’t care for the abortion debate anyway.

  42. Jody Tresidder
    February 10th, 2006 @ 7:18 am

    SBK,

    You have flat out contradicted yourself.

    Let me remind you what you wrote earlier regarding making it possible for patients to watch explicit medical videos of abortions.

    “I say give the women ALL the information and show them videos of actual abortions. Then might be a nice time to let them hear the fetal heartbeat and show them an ultrasound. When the’ve finally seen all this ask them, “Cash or credit?”. ”

    Now you say: “I wouldn’t force them to see the videos.”

    Which is it?

    You want to make getting an abortion – “cash or credit?” -contingent on first force feeding patients undergoing a medically straightforward proecdure with grisly propaganda on the off-chance they change their minds.

    You want to amp up “informed consent” way beyond what is “information”.
    And if you can’t do it through fair means, you appear – in your own words – to have no problem doing it through foul.

    This is part and parcel of many anti-abortion tactics.

    Even though you wriggle and obfuscate and try to deny it.

    Seems to me you are treating women like dummies who don’t know their own minds – unlike pro-choice supporters like me.

  43. Rockingham
    February 10th, 2006 @ 8:28 am

    “I consider abortion to be, in the vast majority of cases, the unjustified taking of a valuable human life.”

    Define valuable. How can a collection of cells with no consciousness be valuable? It may have the potential of value in that if left to develop and be born as a human being it may perpetuate the species (not that we are in any danger of dying out through a lack of fertility). A fetus is a potential life. Anything else is sentiment.

  44. Jody Tresidder
    February 10th, 2006 @ 8:41 am

    No idea why my comments are being blocked, RA?

  45. Paul
    February 10th, 2006 @ 8:55 am

    Here’s some reality that not many know and which makes absolute pronouncements pretty difficult:

    “No matter where we try to draw the line between life and nonlife . . . ambiguous cases pop up to challenge our moral intuitions.”

    “Research on human reproduction shows that the ‘moment of conception’ is not a moment at all. Sometimes several sperm penetrate the outer membrane of the egg, and it takes time for the egg to eject the extra chomosomes. What and where is the soul during this interval? . . . The soul . . . may be identified with the genome[, b]ut during the next few days, as the embryo’s cells begin to divide, they can split into several embryos, which develop into identical twins, triplets, and so on. Do identical twins share a soul? . . . If not, where did the . . . extra [soul] come from? Does a multicell embryo consist of one soul per cell, and if so, where do the other souls go . . . ? And not only can one embryo become two people, but two embryos can become one person. Occasionally two fertilized eggs, which ordinarily would go on to become fraternal twins, merge into a single embryo that develops into a person who is a genetic chimera: some of her cells have one genome, others have another genome. Does her body house two souls?” (Steven Pinker, “The Blank Slate,” p. 225)

    We have to draw the line about abortion based not on some moral absolute, but by balancing opposing tendencies, playing one interest off the other, etc. Sorry, it seems that nothing is neat and tidy, as much as our insecurity would like.

  46. Craig Ewert
    February 10th, 2006 @ 11:08 am

    SQB said: “Craig, before you go co-signing someone elses idiotic statement you should make sure they are right first. And this condition that you speak of, how often does this happen? One in every 10 million perhaps?”

    Well I’m not endorsing Mooki’s conclusions, just the description of fetus-mother immune system interaction, which is accurate enough for our purposes. As to the medical condition I spoke of, I am remembering an old show from some health/science channel, so I can’t provide as much background as I’d like. It might have been Toxemia, which happens in 6-10% of all pregnancies.

    Which is all tangential to the moral issue of abortion; I’m just trying to counter the impression that pregnancy is a totally safe and healthy process. Things can and do go wrong, and the mother’s health is at risk in even the best cases.

  47. apav
    February 10th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    On the off topic: someone who expects the Democrats to try to impeach Bush doesn’t understand who controls the Congress nor do they understand that a significant pull on Democratic members is the desire to just preserve their personal jerrymandered seats. So it is a Republican (and to a much smaller degree Democratic) failing, not any merit of Bush

    On topic: Viewing videos of surgical proceedures (especially cosmetic ones) would cut down on all kinds – whether that is good or not is argueable.

    This lying thing is pretty much:
    1) a harmless trick by the pro-choicers to get information (pro-lifers just don’t like getting caught and are disingenous about it)
    2) a morally compelled choice by the pro-lifers who see a far greater evil (who today wouldn’t lie to help a slave escape to freedom).

    Control over women’s reproductive choice has taken many forms, forced abortions, forced pregnancy, forced celebacy, harems and so forth. One cannot address this issue without considering what it means to a woman.

    It is a legitimate but not exact comparison to whether one donates a kidney or even helps an injured (or destitute) person one walks by on the street. A moral but not legal obligation can be readily recognized. Forcing a woman to bear the entire burdern of an unwanted pregnacy seems unwarrented.

    So what basis do we use for determining standards of behavior? It is certainly not tradition, for Old Testament tradition has called for the murder of infants and women (Numbers 31-17). Church tradition was also that the soul entered the body at first breath. Such traditions have almost no relevance today.
    The discussion, as I see it, is what defines us as human and what are our legal and moral obligations to one another as well as to things non-human. This is a discussion that few seem to want to have. I give great weight to the fact that historically and socially, restricting all forms of reproductive choice has been mainly an act of power and control, principly over women, and I therefore support a woman’s own decision in almost all cases.

  48. benjamin
    February 10th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    apav, don’t make assumptions about what I do or do not understand. I said “try to impeach.” If the president knowingly lied to the American public, and altered or pressured others to alter the finding of our intelligence agencies, then he deserves impeachment. If this could be proven, then the Democrats could make a case to reach across the aisle to get Republicans to stand up for truth instead of with their president.

  49. Andrew
    February 10th, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

    Euphemisms like “crisis pregnancy centers” and “sidewalk counseling” sure sound a lot more defensible than “intimidating the shit out of emotionally distraught teenage girls by any means necessary,” don’t they?

  50. SBW
    February 10th, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

    ////Andrew said: Euphemisms like “crisis pregnancy centers” and “sidewalk counseling” sure sound a lot more defensible than “intimidating the shit out of emotionally distraught teenage girls by any means necessary,” don’t they?////

    I think that the fact that there are crisis pregnancy centers is a good thing. When I became became I didn’t know who I should talk to and I was feeling really confused. I called birthright over the phone and the woman that answered was very nice and sympathetic to me and told me that I could come in and talk to someone. I never went in but the fact that someone was there for me if I had needed to was a good thing. I believe these centers provide a very valuable service to women that don’t know where else to go.

  51. Lily
    February 10th, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

    Emotionally distraught teenage girls are not in a rational frame of mind and should not be making decisions that could seriously affect their physical and mental health.

    Heck, they aren’t allowed to undergo that dangerous surgical procedure, ear-piercing, without their parents permission.

    Intervention, no matter how suspect the motive, is a positive good.

  52. Mookie
    February 11th, 2006 @ 3:05 am

    SouthWesternBell

    “Some people that took biology courses need to re-take them. The amniotic sac surrounds and protects the baby. It acts as a barrier to prevent infection and to act as a shock absorber.”

    From:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placenta

    ‘This interface forms a barrier, the placental barrier, which filters out some substances which could harm the fetus.’

    “From the moment of inception the mothers body is not trying to rid itself of the fetus. The mothers body in rare circumstances mistakes the fetus as a foreign body.””

    The mother’s body cannot tell the difference, that’s why the PLACENTAL barrier is formed. Detailed instructions like “don’t kill that lump growing in me” are not included in antibodies. It sounds horrible, but its true: the mother’s body would unknowingly and indiscriminately destroy the fetus, were it not for the PLACENTAL barrier. We are very complex chemical reactions, and chemicals have no inherent morality or spirituality. There is no magical bond between mother and child.

    So, do you find the bible as worthy a source of factual information as you do a biology textbook? It seems inconsistent to spout information from a secular text yet believe in the absurdity and non-reality of ill-defined deities. If you were really all that smart, you would have figured this out already.

  53. Mary
    February 11th, 2006 @ 11:31 am

    ‘Lying’ to individuals on the phone in order to gather information for a report is called ‘journalism.’

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet. ”

    Or, in this case, that you don’t want to call a rotten egg a rotten egg doesn’t make the smell go away.

  54. SBW
    February 11th, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

    ////Mookie said: Looks like some people need to take some biology courses. The placenta surrounds and protects the baby within the mother. It keeps out things that would normally harm the baby, like its own mother! That’s right, from the moment of its inception, the mother’s body is trying to rid itself of this foreign invader.////

    ////Mookie then said:

    From:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placenta: ‘This interface forms a barrier, the placental barrier, which filters out some substances which could harm the fetus.’//////

    Conclusion: Mookie is a fool, but he tries hard not to be. What idiot would get their information from wikipedia ( that allows anyone to post information) and think that the information is automatically correct? Only a particularly special idiot thats who. You probably typed in the information at wikipedia so that you could copy and paste it here. You get an “A” for effort though. On second thought, you get an “F” because the placenta DOES NOT surround and protect the baby as I originally said.

    ////I said:”From the moment of inception the mothers body is not trying to rid itself of the fetus. The mothers body in rare circumstances mistakes the fetus as a foreign body.

    Mookie replied: The mother’s body cannot tell the difference, that’s why the PLACENTAL barrier is formed. Detailed instructions like “don’t kill that lump growing in me” are not included in antibodies. It sounds horrible, but its true: the mother’s body would unknowingly and indiscriminately destroy the fetus, were it not for the PLACENTAL barrier. We are very complex chemical reactions, and chemicals have no inherent morality or spirituality. There is no magical bond between mother and child.///

    1. The purpose of the placenta is to provide nourishment to the baby and to remove waste products NOT TO ACT AS A BARRIER. See link provided from a reputable source.

    http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/yourhealth/healthgate/getcontent.asp?URLhealthgate=%221524.html%22

    2. Humans are thinking and feeling beings. We are much more than a mass of chemical reactions which is why there are psychologists and psychiatrists.

    3. Female infants have all of the ovum that they will ever have by 18 weeks of gestation. Humans are designed to reproduce and to care for their young.

    ////So, do you find the bible as worthy a source of factual information as you do a biology textbook?/////

    A biology textbook is useful for studying biology and the bible is useful for studying religion. They are both equally respected in their designated fields.

    ///It seems inconsistent to spout information from a secular text yet believe in the absurdity and non-reality of ill-defined deities.////

    I’m not concerned with the way things “seem” to you. You have already illustrated that your ability to be able to confirm the so-called facts you spout is lacking.

    ///If you were really all that smart, you would have figured this out already.////

    If you were not a pseudo-intellectual, but an authentic one, then you would probably know what the placenta and the amniotic sac were designed for. But according you, you’re just a bundle of chemicals with no morality or spirituality and apparently little knowledge of the process of childbirth, despite that biology class you claim to have taken.

  55. Mookie
    February 12th, 2006 @ 2:40 am

    A misunderstanding of human biology, some nonsensical drivel, some ad hominem:

    “ROFLMAO. Nothing smells as good as the sweet smell of victory. When your opponent can’t even argue anymore but is using their last gasps to hurl insults it really is a beautiful thing to witness.”

    Oops.

  56. Andrew
    February 12th, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

    Lily, are you consciously aware that your arguments are so poor that you’re trying to change the subject, or are you just incompetent at constructing a logical chain of argumentation?

    The question is NOT whether teenage girls should have to seek parental consent before undergoing an abortion. Many good people are pro-parental-consent laws but opposed to the horrific practices that Christians call “sidewalk counseling.” So try again.

    The question posed by this post is whether it is ethical for guerilla commando Christians to lie to, coerce, and physically bully and intimidate young girls on their way to abortion clinics under the euphemisms “sidewalk counseling” and “crisis pregnancy centers.”

    As far as I can tell, the only defense the Ashli-ites have even tried to give for this reprehensible conduct is that since Every Blastocyst is Sacred, there’s nothing wrong with doing a little lying, bullying and intimidating for Jesus.

    Am I missing something?

  57. Lily
    February 12th, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

    Yes, you are missing something. The elephant in the middle of the room.

    See comment 9.

    There are no “horrific practices” associated with “sidewalk” counselling, though individuals may have stepped over the line.

    That does not amount to “horrific practices” by Christians. Try again.

  58. Andrew
    February 13th, 2006 @ 11:50 am

    Oh, okay, I get it. There are TWO responses to the criticism of sidewalk-counseling prayer-warriors.

    One, as I said in my last post, is the hardline utilitarianism of people like Ashli: “Yes, I browbeat emotionally unstable little girls, but I’m proud of it, because I’m doing God’s will.”

    Two, following Lily, is to lie about it. “Oh no,” cries Lily, “We Real Christians don’t lie, bully, and abuse young girls. Nuh uh. Not us.”

    Anything else I’m missing?

  59. Jivin J
    February 13th, 2006 @ 12:36 pm

    Hi Simbol,
    For years science has shown us that at conception, the life of a human being has begun. Conception is the time when parts of two other organisms come together to create a new organism which acts as a unified whole organism. This reality has been established in embryology textbooks for years. Some example below. I hope this helps:

    “Although human life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed. … The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.” (O’Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology and Teratology, 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29).

    -“Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote). … The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.” (Carlson, Bruce M., Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p.3.)

    -“Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus.” (Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993, p. 146.

    -“The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”

    [Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

  60. Lily
    February 13th, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    Yeah, Andrew. You are missing the truth. Try again.

  61. simbol
    February 13th, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

    Thanks Jivin

    I really regret you didn’t meet my sine qua non condition: an incontrovertible definition of “human” life.
    The texts you quoted assume a definition of “human” and don’t explain it. The implied definition is a controversial one, anyway. Let me tell you that there are more than five definitions, some embryological, some physiological and some religious. Let me show you 3 opinions (surely controversial):
    1) If the point of death is defined as a lack of electrical activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex one might use the same criteria to define the start of human life. One might argue that fetal life becomes human person when electrical activity commences in the cerebral cortex. Human personhood, would then start when consciousness begins and ends when consciousness irrevocably ends.
    2)According to author Richard Carrier: “…the fetus does not become truly neurologically active until the fifth month (an event we call ‘quickening.’ This activity might only be a generative one, i.e. the spontaneous nerve pulses could merely be autonomous or spontaneous reflexes aimed at stimulating and developing muscle and organ tissue. Nevertheless, it is in this month that a complex cerebral cortex, the one unique feature of human — in contrast with animal — brains, begins to develop, and is typically complete, though still growing, by the sixth month. What is actually going on mentally at that point is unknown, but the hardware is in place for a human mind to exist in at least a primitive state.”
    3) When medical ethicist Bonnie Steinbock was interviewed by Newsweek and asked the question “So when does life begin?,” she answered: “If we’re talking about life in the biological sense, eggs are alive, sperm are alive. Cancer tumors are alive. For me, what matters is this: When does it have the moral status of a human being? When does it have some kind of awareness of its surroundings? When it can feel pain, for example, because that’s one of the most brute kinds of awareness there could be. And that happens, interestingly enough, just around the time of viability. It certainly doesn’t happen with an embryo.”
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_argu.htm

    In this matter, even “living” is controversial. Some say, like Steinbock, that ova and sperm are “living” and other say they are not living entities since they don’t met the widely accepted standards of life: response to stimuli, metabolism, growth, adaptation and reproduction.

    Maybe I’m an immoral person and have a nazi gene, but for the time being I prefer to err in favor of those women who think they need to abort. Being and old man I have seen very much misery. At the same time I think a line has to be drawn at 20 weeks or less. Yes, I know this is also controversial, but for me, compromise is in order when things are no clearly black or white

    Jivin, this has been discussed in this blog one and thousand times. There is nothing new. That’s why for my part I won’t post on it any longer. As some others here, I’m feed up about this issue. Once again thanks for you answer.

  62. Jivin J
    February 14th, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    Hi Simbol,
    The texts I quoted assume the scientifically correct defintion of human. The texts you quote seem to try to use philosophy to disprove biology. Shouldn’t the question of what something is biologically be determined by biology and not philosophy?

    1. Your definition of brain death is inaccurate. Brain death isn’t defined by the “lack of electrical activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex ” – the uniform determination of death act defines death as ” (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem”

    The unborn haven’t sustained an irreversible cessation of functions of the entire brain so they certainly aren’t dead by this definition.

    2. What does neurology have to do with whether an organism is human or not? Humans certainly vary in the levels of neurological activity but since when is an organism’s genus and species determined by how developed that organism is? My brain is more developed than the brain of a newborn. Am I somehow more human the toddler? Is Stephen Hawking more human than you or I? How about intelligent apes? I’m guessing they have more neurological development than most human newborns. Are they more human than the newborn child?

    3. Ms. Stenbock is confusing parts and wholes. Sperm and egg are merely parts of larger human organisms. Zygotes, embryos, fetuses, newborns, toddlers, etc. etc. are whole human beings unto themselves.

    Sperm and eggs certainly aren’t organisms. There’s no controversy there. I doubt you could find one reputable scientist who would claim that sperm are organisms. My skin and other various parts of my body are “living” but they aren’t living human organisms like the unborn.

    Why 20 weeks? What happens at that point that changes the unborn into something that should be legally protected? Why not 18 or 19 weeks?

  63. simbol
    February 15th, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

    Jivins

    As I told you before, I don’t want to discuss this issue any longer, but courtesy obliges to answer you. The ideas in my post and yours had been disscussed here for months. Each of them. I can answer point by point your post, but then you also can answer point by point mine, and in this guise for eternity.

    Only two things: I don’t find any philosophy in my post. I’m alergic to philosophy. The quotes I used, are no philosophical but biological. Defining what is human is not a problem of philosophy but of biology and boils down to stablish the difference betwen men and the rest of animals in matter of behavior and the biological basis of this difference. As far as I know, that difference is reasonably well explained by the characteristiscs of the brain and specially the cortex that men have when compared with other animals, if you are not a believer. If you are, you have to add a gaseous entity called soul. As you can see, there is nothing about philosophy.

    One question: Is definition of death uniform for all the states?. I know there was a proposal in the 80’s named “Uniform determination of Death” whose definition you used in your post. It has been passed?. According to that definition Terry Schiavo was not death, was her?.Of course you know that prior to that act, there were several definitions. What is more, there is not a universal one and still there are important differences of opinion about this concept based in different biological approachs mixed with morals and even technological arguments (if ever it were possible to transplant a cortex, the person woul be the same?). But as I see ithe issue, once you lose your cortex, you are done for all practical matters. After that all what rests is a living corpse you have to deal with based on…. philosophy….. or morals….or religion…or resignation…or how deep is your pocket. We use to name Alzheimer’s disease “The German”. When “the german” visits me, if that occurs, I expect my relatives minimize the expenses.

    BTW your definition of death is charged with some “philosophy”:

    “The debate in the 1970s and 1980s made clear that, although there were some arguments advanced as to the ethical superiority of a whole-brain standard, the real advantage of the whole brain standard was pragmatic: it was easier to operationalize, it conservatively erred on the side of life, and it was seen as the most radical that the public would tolerate. The whole brain definition was at the outset a compromise between those who preferred a neocortical definition, and those who preferred the somatic definition. As Botkin and Post (1992) put it:

    “It is our own conviction that the whole brain death standard probably best balances the conflicting needs within our society, despite the confusion it generates. This is based largely on utilitarian considerations.” (Botkin and Post 1992)

    Not biology, as you can see.

  64. jahrta
    February 15th, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

    souls are gaseous entities, simbol? Does that mean that if i fart enough I will lose mine? I think my wife has borne unwilling witness to bouts of “soulful expression” over the years.

  65. simbol
    February 15th, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

    I depends Jahrta,

    If your farts are peaceful and inodorous is your soul, and don’t worry about it because the soul is eternal.

    If your farts are thunderous and pestilent, is the devil that is inside you and yawns when you read RA’s posts on abortion.

    If the latter is the case I recomend your wife to divorce you unless you accet to go to mass and cease reading those posts.

  66. jahrta
    February 16th, 2006 @ 9:50 am

    Ah, but there is a third category that you seemed to have glossed over … Silent But Deadly

    Mine usually fall under this category

  67. The Raving Atheist
    February 16th, 2006 @ 9:47 pm

    Coercion

    In response to one of my posts on crisis pregnancy clinics, Jill of Feministe left a comment here (#47) regarding what she views as unethical practices at the facilities. Last week I addressed her accusation of deceit by the CPCs. Today’s installment d…

  68. SBW
    February 18th, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

    Judy, sorry it took me so long to respond. I just noticed that you replied to my comment.

    ////Jody Tresidder said:
    SBK,

    You have flat out contradicted yourself.

    Let me remind you what you wrote earlier regarding making it possible for patients to watch explicit medical videos of abortions.

    “I say give the women ALL the information and show them videos of actual abortions. Then might be a nice time to let them hear the fetal heartbeat and show them an ultrasound. When the’ve finally seen all this ask them, “Cash or credit?”. ”

    Now you say: “I wouldn’t force them to see the videos.”

    Which is it?///

    Judy, nowhere in that statement did I say that I would force them to watch the videos. If they don’t what to know what they are doing to themselves and the fetus inside of them in graphic detail then so be it, but of course they still need to be made aware of basic information. If the only way that they can bring themselves to have an abortion is to remain ignorant of the brutal reality then I don’t see how they are really making a conscious choice if they don’t want to know what they are doing.

    ////You want to make getting an abortion – “cash or credit?” -contingent on first force feeding patients undergoing a medically straightforward proecdure with grisly propaganda on the off-chance they change their minds.////

    If the truth is grisly, then so be it. I don’t want to force feed them anything but they should know what they are doing.

    ////You want to amp up “informed consent” way beyond what is “information”.
    And if you can’t do it through fair means, you appear – in your own words – to have no problem doing it through foul.////

    If receiving all information regarding legal abortion is foul, then so be it.

    ///This is part and parcel of many anti-abortion tactics.////

    The truth sometimes hurts, what can I say?

    ////Even though you wriggle and obfuscate and try to deny it.///

    I’m not denying it. I don’t want to mentally torture women.

    /////Seems to me you are treating women like dummies who don’t know their own minds – unlike pro-choice supporters like me.////

    Many women who get abortions are very ignorant of what they are doing, many of them are forced into them by their partners or parents, and many of them do it because they think that it is their only option in a tough situation. Some of them are ignorant and irresponsible and some of them are just doing what everyone else told them to do.

  • Basic Assumptions

    First, there is a God.

    Continue Reading...

  • Search

  • Quote of the Day

    • Fifty Random Links

      See them all on the links page.

      • No Blogroll Links