The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

Baby Magic

April 24, 2006 | 43 Comments

Babies gurgle and coo, but only the self-deluded would think that they’re self-conscious. It would be more of a crime to throw Tickle-Me-Elmo in a dumpster — although he also has no idea of what he’s saying, at least he can talk. But Kevin T. Keith of Sufficient Scruples, usually sensibly pro-choice, engages in some magical thinking to justify burdening society with the care of useless heaps of post-natal protoplasm:

There may be a strong moral reason for treating infants as moral persons even though they’re not: many people have strong attachments to infants (even other people’s), and regard their mistreatment as a horrible act; for this reason, we shouldn’t allow them to be mistreated even though they’re not moral persons. (From this perspective, killing an infant would be similar to desecrating a church or burning a flag: something many people think is a grave trespass even though the physical object in question cannot itself suffer harm.) For another, we may just wish to erect protection for infants as a fail-safe, or to avoid the difficulty of distinguishing those infants who are moral persons from those who are not yet so.

This is the sort of extreme anti-choice, anti-infanticide reasoning that threatens all of our civil liberties. It’s bad enough that he proposes to appease a bunch of sentimental, superstitious, flag-waving Godidiots by forbidding us to burn their symbols — now we’re going to have to extend that respect to bawling clumps of cells that symbolize nothing at all? Sure, it becomes a slippery slope once a few years have passed, but then there are Standard Aptitude Tests to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Comments

43 Responses to “Baby Magic”

  1. Mookie
    April 24th, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

    Sometimes its hard to tell what point RA is trying to make. If I had to take a guess, I would say that he is trying to convince us that this person is pro-abortion, and horrible for being so. He then includes a small paragraph, OUT OF CONTEXT, as evidence. Mr. Keith seems like a smart, collected, cool guy, not at all the villian he makes him out to be.

    RA,

    If you had a tumor growing in your guts, and it happened to achieve the likeness and function of a human fetus, would you have it removed? Or, for the sake of the unique odds of it being formed, would you keep it alive, foreign body though it is?

    You can dismiss the hypothetical on the grounds that it is near impossible. But the point was that you would have to deal with something growing inside of you, something you may not want cramping your lifestyle. You’re a male, so its easy for you to tell women what to do with their bodies because it does not affect you:

    “You need to spend, at a minimum, about 2 million dollars over the next 20 years or so; experience countless sleepless nights, and several embarrassing, nerve-wracking, emotionally-draining situations; and drastically alter your routine and priorities, JUST to take care of a little clump of cells that is growing inside of you because the odds of that thing being the way it is makes it magical and special.

    That goes for you, Ms. Crack Addict. Just because your baby will be horribly deformed and a drain on society for its entire life, doesn’t mean you get off the hook!

    And for you, teenage mother. Just because you had plans for college and a rewarding career doesn’t mean you can remove the result of an ill-planned, hormone- and alcohol-induced encounter with your high school sweetheart.

    And for you, rape victim. It is your fault for being so attractive to that meth-head. The object that represents a brutal violation of your person needs to remain inside of you. You need to take care of a creature that bears the face of the person who ravaged you, so that every time you see it, you can be reminded of that asshole, and relive the horrible event over and over again.”

  2. Thorngod
    April 24th, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    In my all-to-human and tentative judgement, the U.S. Supreme Court has so far decided abortion cases justly and optimally. The “fail safe” point of birth, as it was characterized in the satirical quote, does provide a point certain beyond which a parent should not be entitled to make a life/death decision. The Court, of course, has wisely, and humanely, set the exclusive parental prerogative at a much earlier point, permitting third trimester abortion only for severest circumstances. These parameters are too strict in the opinions of a few, too lenient in the opinions of many others, and an abomination to a sizable plurality. Which is why, in the absence of a real and decisive God, a Supreme Court, though imperfect, is indispensible. -Thorngod.

  3. Viole
    April 24th, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    Y’know, this blog is a prime example of a classical tragedy, even though I’d consider it more of a farce.

  4. Thorngod
    April 24th, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

    Let’s see now. The thing specified is definitely A, but you consider it to be B. Uh-huh. I’ve run into that before.

  5. Brad
    April 24th, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

    Just so I’m clear. You would rather see harm done to an infant then a Tickle-me elmo? Even as a satircal joke that’s just stupid, and otherwise it’s not only stupid, but insane. But brushing aside your probable love of dead baby jokes (and who could blame you), you seem to be of the opinion that infants are “bawling clumps of cells that symbolize nothing at all”. Which is fairly accurate I suppose, but they are conscious enough to feel pain and such. I’m all for being pro-choice and that good stuff, but once the little shit-machine is able to see the world with it’s own eyes, I think the time to abort the pregnancy may have reached it’s limit.

  6. Dada Saves
    April 24th, 2006 @ 5:20 pm

    Finally, TRA comes ’round! But why draw the line at babies? And why do we need a cut-off point for the right-to-life anyway? Or a right to life at all, for that matter? Slippery slopes are for chumps. Babies are delicious.

  7. Mister Swill
    April 24th, 2006 @ 11:40 pm

    See, this I don’t mind. Two people with indefensible positions going at it and their opinions being confined to the insular world of weblogs doesn’t bother me one bit. So as long as RA spends his time engaging in pointless debates with other absolutists and not, say, volunteering his legal services to help outlaw abortion, I have no objection. Nor do I mind the fact that my questions will go forever unanswered.

  8. PanAtheist
    April 25th, 2006 @ 4:44 am

    Viole said >> Y’know, this blog is a prime example of a classical tragedy, even though I’d consider it more of a farce.

    :-)

    This is more kindergarten than theatre!
    RA is a kid throwing paint about everywhere.
    And RA is looking very splattered now!
    *VERY* splattered!

  9. EK
    April 25th, 2006 @ 5:07 am

    Mookie,

    You seem to have a strong opinion when it comes to abortions of convenience. I was wondering if you have an opinion on life that exists outside of a uterus. Do you feel that mothers who choose to kill their children later in life are wrong to do so?

    As for the “You’re a male, so its easy for you to tell women what to do with their bodies” remark:
    I don’t think RA cares what women do with their bodies, but what they do with their children’s bodies (I don’t mean to speak for him).

    It is true, men don’t have wombs. It is also true that most men do not own mansions. Are we to stand idly by as a millionare kills her party guests? Are you suggesting that only women should be involved in writing laws regarding life?

    I haven’t read all of your comments on this site, I apologize if you have covered this already.

  10. Thorngod
    April 25th, 2006 @ 7:55 am

    Mookie, I’ll let you have at him first. I can’t stop LOL.

  11. USMC0311
    April 25th, 2006 @ 8:35 am

    Everybody is guarantied the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This includes your unborn child.
    So that me get this right. All babies in the woman are nothing more then a clump of cells that can be discarded like your finger nails hair and the shit that comes out your ass. (Did your heart come out there too?) Your hair and nails will never amount to more then the extra protein your body does not need. A fetus will become more if you death dealers would allow it. Just because you don’t want the baby does not mean you can kill it. If my grandmother is no longer wanted can I kill her? The baby is not your body, it just develops in it. What gives you the right to decide if the baby lives or dies before it can make that choice on its own? Half that baby is the man’s anyway. Doesn’t he get a say? Where is his right to choose? It’s his child too.
    One more thing. It is alright for you to kill your child but not yourself under our laws. You can’t chop off your own hand with out being though insane. If you believe in the right to choose the death of your baby then you have to support the right to kill yourself. If you believe in the right to kill a baby then do me the favor and go kill yourself. I won’t get in your way to choose death.
    If you believe in the right to do with you body as you wish then why can’t to consenting people have sex with each other? Father and daughter, bother and sister, father and son, and cousins. If these people are of the right age why can’t they have sex with each other? We are a pro choice society after all.
    Everybody is guarantied the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This includes your unborn child.

  12. hermesten
    April 25th, 2006 @ 9:32 am

    Jarhead: ” A fetus will become more if you death dealers would allow it.”

    About the funniest comment I’ve seen on here, well, ever. But, sadly, just unintentional irony. An Anthony Swofford this guy is not.

    Jarhead: “If you believe in the right to do with you body as you wish then why can’t to consenting people have sex with each other? Father and daughter, bother and sister, father and son, and cousins. If these people are of the right age why can’t they have sex with each other?”

    Too much James Taylor?

    Oh, Father, and Mother,
    Sister and Brother,
    If it feels right,
    Than dont think twice,
    Just shower the people you love with love,

    From “Shower the People,” by James Taylor

    Jarhead: “Half that baby is the man’s anyway.”

    I thought Solomon already sorted this out?

    Jarhead: “You can’t chop off your own hand with out being though insane.”

    Well, unless you are someplace like, say, Verdun, Vietnam, Iraq, or Iran (coming soon to a Faux News broadcast near you).

    Jarhead: “If you believe in the right to choose the death of your baby then you have to support the right to kill yourself.”

    A right that, no doubt, even most of our fascists –your bosses– support. In fact, I’d bet that nearly all thinking people, as opposed to empty vessels of received opinion (Jarheads), believe it is their right to kill themselves. However, it’s a right that requires no support, since it is a right the State is, in most cases, powerless to abrogate.

    “Everybody is guarantied the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This includes your unborn child.”

    Really? Who guarantees these rights? Pre-Chimp, the US government took at stab at it now and then, but what about now? Do these rights apply even to Chinese women protesting Chinese totalitarians on US soil? If so, you’d better inform your Commander-in-Chief, Marine. Does “everybody” include the people on the following list? Iraqis, Iranians, Muslims, Hindus, those who aren’t American citizens, and all the brown-skinned people of the world? If so, Jarhead, what, no more “Get Some?” Time to jump The Suck?

    Jarhead0311 is the perfect illustration of why Marines are called “Jarheads,” and the benefits of an all volunteer military. Good God, if you start letting thinking people into the Marine Corps, how are we going to stop Saddam from having WMD’s (just look how the draft undermined unthinking obedience in Vietnam).

    Old Joke

    Question: What sound does s-hit make when it hits the fan?

    Answer: Gy-reeeeeeeeeeen.

  13. Thorngod
    April 25th, 2006 @ 10:47 am

    I concur in every criticism you make there, Hermesten. Still, as a one-time Jarhead, I can look back with a degree of self-foregiveness for my unreflective gung-ho self. And I have to admit that I’m glad to have those gutsy guys keeping all those hungry hordes from invading my space and snitching my hors d’oevres. -Thorngod.

  14. Mookie
    April 25th, 2006 @ 11:12 am

    EK,

    “Do you feel that mothers who choose to kill their children later in life are wrong to do so?”

    If a 45 year old woman wants to get an abortion, her age should not be the preventing factor. What a silly question.

    “I don’t think RA cares what women do with their bodies…”
    I think he does. He cares that they make a choice to remove a parasite growing within them. He has yet to answer questions regarding sentencing and punishment for what he considers to be murder.

    “Are we to stand idly by as a millionare kills her party guests? Are you suggesting that only women should be involved in writing laws regarding life?”

    I don’t even see how the first questions relates to this discussion. As to the second… I re-read my post several times but could not find where you got this idea, so I’m going to leave it there in bewilderment.

    Oh, and just so we know, the male supplies only about 15% of the genetic code. Not only that, but the female carries the kid to term and has to have it rupture out of her vagina. I think this grants women the most say in this situation.

    It sounds romantic and beautiful to think of a little magical lifeform growing in the womb of the woman, but we should not let this cloud our vision. Real people have real effects on this world, and every kid born in America is likely to turn into a consumer whore, which means that they cause 10 to 15 times the damage to the world than do people living in non-industrialised countries. Not only that, but to be a boon and not a drain to society, substantial investment both in financial and temporal terms must be applied to the individual. An “oops” pregnancy is more often than not an “how do we pay for this” as opposed to a “wow, its good we have a bunch of money and time so we can cultivate this child”.

    Let’s compare costs:

    1 condom = $.50
    1 abortion = $2500 – $5000
    1 kid = $2,000,000

    It is easier and cheaper to not have a kid.

  15. hermesten
    April 25th, 2006 @ 11:21 am

    Well Thorngod, I am also in possession of an honorable discharge from the USMC. I was also gung-ho and nearly insane with false patriotism, so I know what it’s like to be a dupe (but I was lucky that the Vietnam war had just ended). And I was a slow learner: I swallowed a lot of the nationalistic claptrap that makes unnecessary war possible. I’d just like to see the ideals of the Corps moved back a little closer to what they were under FDR, rather than what they have become under the Chimp-in-Chief. I wasn’t an Anthony Swofford either –to my everlasting shame. I watch a movie like “Jarhead” today and I have to live with the knowledge that I would have been one of the clueless, not one of the Kruger’s (the Lucas Black character).

  16. USMC0311
    April 25th, 2006 @ 11:44 am

    hermesten good replies with no substance. If you don’t know all marines think. If we didn’t we could not improvise adapt and overcome.
    Your reply to Sex has no point. Do you agree or disagree?
    Your rights are guaranteed in the constitution the last time I looked.
    These rights are for all people in every country. Hum that is one reason we are at war. To protect these rights you take for granted.

    Mookie. “I don’t think RA cares what women do with their bodies…”I think he does. He cares that they make a choice to remove a parasite growing within them. He has yet to answer questions regarding sentencing and punishment for what he considers to be murder.
    What. A baby is a parasite. Wrong. I parasite is a foreign animal of a different species. Tape worms and such. If we use your broad thinking then all people on welfare are parasites on the system and need to be terminated.
    Oh, and just so we know, the male supplies only about 15% of the genetic code. Not only that, but the female carries the kid to term and has to have it rupture out of her vagina. I think this grants women the most say in this situation.
    Welcome to being a female mammal on the planet earth. This happens to every mammal. So does a rabbit have the right to kill its babies? This is the cycle of life. The pain is to stop you from popping out baby after baby. If you don’t want to have babies keep your pants on.

    Let’s compare costs:

    1 condom = $.50
    1 abortion = $2500 – $5000
    1 kid = $2,000,000

    It is easier and cheaper to not have a kid.
    I agree it is cheaper not to have a kid. Keep your pants on.

  17. EK
    April 25th, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

    First of all, I would like to thank you for responding in full and so thoughtfully.

    “If a 45 year old woman wants to get an abortion, her age should not be the preventing factor. What a silly question.”

    I should have worded that differently. I meant later in the child’s life. Example: Andrea Yates.

    “I think he does. He cares that they make a choice to remove a parasite growing within them. He has yet to answer questions regarding sentencing and punishment for what he considers to be murder.”

    Can a parasite can be of the same species as it’s host? Just curious. Also, can a parasite be created by it’s host?

    “I don’t even see how the first questions relates to this discussion. As to the second… I re-read my post several times but could not find where you got this idea, so I’m going to leave it there in bewilderment.

    Oh, and just so we know, the male supplies only about 15% of the genetic code. Not only that, but the female carries the kid to term and has to have it rupture out of her vagina. I think this grants women the most say in this situation.”

    The first question was an attempt to make an analogy. What I was trying to point out was that killing someone on your property is still just killing someone, regardless of your desire to have them there. In retrospect I should have said “invited party guests”.

    You somewhat answered the second part by saying women have “the most say” but I feel I must ask for more. Should women comprise 85% of the vote to coincide with the genetic material %’s, or more because they carry the kid to term?

    “It sounds romantic and beautiful to think of a little magical lifeform growing in the womb of the woman, but we should not let this cloud our vision. Real people have real effects on this world, and every kid born in America is likely to turn into a consumer whore, which means that they cause 10 to 15 times the damage to the world than do people living in non-industrialised countries. Not only that, but to be a boon and not a drain to society, substantial investment both in financial and temporal terms must be applied to the individual. An “oops” pregnancy is more often than not an “how do we pay for this” as opposed to a “wow, its good we have a bunch of money and time so we can cultivate this child”.”

    I don’t subscribe to beauty and romance when thinking about subjects such as these. If a woman decides to have sexual intercourse she is deciding to take part in the reproductive process. Hoping that a child won’t be conceived is like shooting a gun into a crowd and hoping you won’t hit anyone. You don’t have to shoot the gun.

    Yes, sex feels great. No, I don’t think any consenting adult should be limited in, or punished for their sexuality. But sex is a reproductive act and failure to recall that fact in the heat of the moment is not the resulting child’s fault. The ability to take a life creates responsibility, as does the ability to create it.

    “Let’s compare costs:

    1 condom = $.50
    1 abortion = $2500 – $5000
    1 kid = $2,000,000

    It is easier and cheaper to not have a kid.”

    It’s easier and cheaper to use the condom. It’s easier and cheaper not to have sex. It’s easier and cheaper to kill one’s self than it is to complain about others draining society. If all we did was look for the easiest and cheapest thing to do nobody would get out of bed, eat, drive, speak, or do anything. I hate the U.S.’s consumption rates just as much as you, but I’m not willing to kill for it.

    And Thorngod, I hope you were laughing at me. I also hope you would let me know why. I agree that the Supreme Court is indispensible, but I don’t always agree with anything and everything they come up with.

  18. Mookie
    April 25th, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

    I’ll re-write my post to agree with you, Jarhead:

    “I” baby is a parasite so should be killed, along with all other parasites, like welfare recipients and military personnel.

    A female rabbit is a mammal, which grants her the “right” to kill her babies.

    I’m such a ho-rny sl-ut, I just love leaving my pants off so I can be impregnated.

    There, now we can agree on what I said.

  19. Kate
    April 25th, 2006 @ 12:12 pm

    USMC rep asked: “So does a rabbit have the right to kill its babies?”

    Yup. And eat them. Lucky rabbit.

  20. Kate
    April 25th, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

    Eat them raw, I might add.

  21. benjamin
    April 25th, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

    The baby is not “half his” or all hers. It is entirely its own. Parents do not own their children. They are, however, responsible for taking care of their children. Thus it is more like the baby owns its parents. If you object to this, it is a very simple matter to keep from getting pregnant.

  22. Mookie
    April 25th, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

    Rape:

    1. The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.

    Is known to lead to pregnancy. Knew a girl in school that was raped whilst riding her bike through the neighbourhood. Abortion was not an option so she drank, smoked, and drugged herself stupid to kill the thing. She survived, but was not a happy camper thereafter.

  23. Mister Swill
    April 25th, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

    Guys, would it be too much to ask to knock off the “body parasite” argument? Or at least to find a biologist who is willing to argue that one could call a fetus a parasite without making the definition of parasite so broad as to strip it of the negative connotation you clearly intend it to have?

    Look, I understand that people on both sides of this issue want there to be a simple, definitive, correct answer which can be arrived at logically, but I’m afraid that such an answer does not exist. We humans observe and understand the world around us by dividing it into “things” and classifying these things according to abstract concepts. (That is a “tree.” A tree is a “plant.”) This system works well enough for the most part, but we run up against its limitations when we are forced to examine closely the areas around our conceptual dividing lines (are algae plants?).

    In the abortion debate, we’re being forced to look at the dividing line of perhaps our most revered abstract concept: Personhood. And we come face to face with the limitations of such a line. To classify a one week old baby as a person and classify an 8 month old fetus as something else entirely seems ridiculous. Yet it also seems ridiculous to classify a just-conceived embryo as a person and grant it all of the emotional attachment wrapped up in that distinction, particularly at the expense of someone we already call a person. And we find no moment between conception and birth where a line can be drawn that would unambiguously separate “person” from “something else.” And so the debate remains unclear, the water further muddied by our attempts to clarify the issue with additional concepts: “Potentiality.” “Viability.” “Reproductive freedom.”

    So what’s my point, you may ask? That we should bury our heads in the sand and stop arguing about this? Not at all. But perhaps we should take a deep breath, come to terms with the ambiguity of the issue, and can the incredulity.

  24. Viole
    April 25th, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

    This is more kindergarten than theatre! RA is a kid throwing paint about everywhere. And RA is looking very splattered now! *VERY* splattered!

    Well, when I said classical tragedy, I meant classical. As in, fall of a great man, not necessarily sad. Though in this case, sad, as in pathetic, might just work. I’m also reluctant to call our host a great man.

    Welcome, everyone, to the Raving Proto-Theist!

  25. ek
    April 25th, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

    Mister Swill, #22 may be the most intelligent comment made here on this topic.

  26. benjamin
    April 25th, 2006 @ 1:21 pm

    Mookie, I’m glad that you agree with me. I take it that if we make an exception for rape you’ll have no objection to outlawing abortion.

  27. EK
    April 25th, 2006 @ 1:26 pm

    Sorry Mookie, I tried posting a reply to #14 a couple of hours ago but it didn’t show up. I kept it clean and above the belt, does anyone know why it would be censored? Length?

  28. Mookie
    April 25th, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

    ben,

    No, abortion should not be outlawed. Restricted and limited, yes, discouraged (use a condom instead), yes, but not completely outlawed. I don’t to get into my efficiency reasons because I’ve been over them before, and I would prefer that people do their own research. Suffice it say my arguments are not based on mere sentiments.

    EK,

    I understand. TRA employs Chris the Shitty Moderator, some schmuck who holds “suspicious” comments until it is “convenient” for them to be posted. It is never convenient.

  29. Mookie
    April 25th, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

    *inserts “want” appropriately*

  30. Aethernon
    April 25th, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

    I knew people who have died from bad pregnancy, and I know people that have totally wasted their lives so they can contribute to our growing population problems. Fact is, a fetus is not self-aware, not intelligent, it is a clump of cells. Of course you don’t kill your children, that’s just sick. In answer to your reply, yes, there is a difference between killing a baby and “killing” a fetus, for reasons already stated. A baby can feel pain and, despite what was mentioned in the post, is intelligent, they just need to be taught these things

    Oh, and query: Why is it that RA never posts on his own comments page?

  31. hermesten
    April 25th, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

    “These rights are for all people in every country. Hum that is one reason we are at war. To protect these rights you take for granted.”

    Wake up Marine, before it’s too late. Why don’t we just give the Iraqis our Constitution, we’re not using it? Think about what’s going on in the world. Your President just apologized to a totalitarian Chinese thug because a woman from China excercised her free-speech rights. He wasn’t embarassed by Hu –Bush loves and welcomes thugs– he was embarassed by a powerless woman attempting to do nothing more than protest what Hu stands for. This woman was arrested, and will probably spend several months in jail. But hey, we’re free ’cause when you speak out here you only spend a few months in jail, and in China they’d put her in jail for a few years. Is this one of the rights you’re “fighting” for –the right to arrest and imprison people who protest against thugs from a country that kills dissidents and bans religious groups they don’t like?

    Wake up Marine, Iraq has absolutely nothing to do either with protecting Americans, our rights, or even the freedom of Iraqis. Listen to Kruger in “Jarhead.” Saddam was our ally. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. We’re there for four main reasons, and they have nothing to do with “freedom.” 1. US global hegemony. 2. To build and occupy permanent bases for military control of the Middle East. 3. Oil, oil, oil. 4. Profit, profit, profit. Go to the website for PNAC (Project for a New American Century). It’s all spelled out by the people who are now in charge. They had Iraq in their sights ever since papa Bush stopped short in the first Gulf War. Nowhere are they more explicit than when they say, back in 1999, that we need a “Pearl Harbor” like event to justify an invasion of Iraq. Where’s Osama, Marine? Pakistan? Whoa, isn’t Pakistan our ally? Read “War is a Racket,” by Marine General Smedly Butler.

    Just what kind of “rights” do you think you’re protecting? The right to “free speech” in government authorized zones? The right to be arrested for wearing a T-shirt with the “wrong” political slogan? The right to be banned from air travel when you write things the current administration doesn’t approve of? The right to travel? Americans can travel to China, but not Cuba, is that “freedom?” Our rights are all under attack, as is the entire concept of the rule of law, and by the guy you work for, not by Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians, or even the mythical “terrorists.”

    Down in south Texas there are bands of people from Mexico, quite possibly Mexican federal troops, in plain clothes, crusing the highways in unmarked military vehicles and pickup trucks, and armed with fully automatic weapons. They have killed several US law enforcement officers. The local police, even the state police, can’t touch them because they are very heavily armed. Not a single arrest has been made. They escort drug convoys and they go in and out of Mexico with complete impunity. How come there aren’t any Marines intercepting them at the border, or preventing them from recrossing back into Mexico? How come our feds are so unconcerned? If there is really a “war on terrorism,” shouldn’t border security be a priority? Don’t you think that groups of foreign nationals armed with automatic weapons driving around on US territory should merit some attention by the US military? They had US military personnel at Waco, for Christ’s sake, to deal with Americans –but not on the border to deal with heavily armed foreigners?

    And tell me something Marine, if you will. I’m curious. Did you take a test that asked questions like, would you obey orders to fire on your fellow Americans?

  32. Graham
    April 25th, 2006 @ 6:54 pm

    I have to agree that Swill’s comment (#22) is about the most rational plea for sanity on this issue that I’ve seen on this site.

  33. Adam
    April 25th, 2006 @ 7:18 pm

    You say “magical thinking” as if it’s an insult. Most people use magical thinking all the time, most likely including yourself. Fighting it is silly and probably futile. Just recognize it when you use it and realize its limitations.

  34. "Q" the Enchanter
    April 26th, 2006 @ 8:02 am

    A baby born thus enters the human lifeworld and human relationships. It is sentient. It can laugh and cry. It responds to smiling faces. It bonds in myriad ways with its mother.

    In these respects, a blastocyst has about as much in common with a baby as with a bowl of cereal.

  35. "Q" the Enchanter
    April 26th, 2006 @ 8:02 am

    A baby born thus enters the human lifeworld and human relationships. It is sentient. It can laugh and cry. It responds to smiling faces. It bonds in myriad ways with its mother.

    In these respects, a blastocyst has about as much in common with a baby as with a bowl of cereal.

  36. "Q" the Enchanter
    April 26th, 2006 @ 8:02 am

    A baby born thus enters the human lifeworld and human relationships. It is sentient. It can laugh and cry. It responds to smiling faces. It bonds in myriad ways with its mother.

    In these respects, a blastocyst has about as much in common with a baby as with a bowl of cereal.

  37. benjamin
    April 26th, 2006 @ 8:45 am

    Uh Oh. I was feeling grumpy this morning, and I wasn’t responding to smiling faces. Nor have I talked to my mother in weeks. I guess I have reverted to something sub-human, and I no longer have the right to life, right Q?

  38. Dada Saves
    April 26th, 2006 @ 11:00 am

    Ah, but you were “feeling grumpy,” benj. Only a human can do that. You get to live to fight another day …

  39. Mookie
    April 26th, 2006 @ 12:43 pm

    I keep seeing a lot of retarded arguments.

  40. monkey
    April 26th, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

    If something seems to be retarded there are two possibilities.

    1. It is retarded.
    2. The person looking at it is retarded.

  41. "Q" the Enchanter
    April 29th, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

    Benjamin, a sleeping person has the present ability to wake and engage in the kind of meaningful human activity I outlined; a blastocyst, I’m sure you’ll agree, does not.

    Now you might want to respond by arguing that an “ability” is just a “potential,” and since blastocysts have “potential” just like normal adult humans, they should be accorded the same value. But ability is distinct from potential: For example, I have the potential to be a nuclear physicist, but I don’t have the ability to do nuclear physics. And I think it’s the *ability* to engage in meaningful human experience (rather than the mere potential to do so) that I think is the morally relevant issue.

    Incidentally, I didn’t say anything about human blastocysts being “subhuman.” Human blastocysts certainly are human.

  42. "Q" the Enchanter
    April 29th, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

    Benjamin, a sleeping person has the present ability to wake and engage in the kind of meaningful human activity I outlined; a blastocyst, I’m sure you’ll agree, does not.

    Now you might want to respond by arguing that an “ability” is just a “potential,” and since blastocysts have “potential” just like normal adult humans, they should be accorded the same value. But ability is distinct from potential: For example, I have the potential to be a nuclear physicist, but I don’t have the ability to do nuclear physics. And I think it’s the *ability* to engage in meaningful human experience (rather than the mere potential to do so) that I think is the morally relevant issue.

    Incidentally, I didn’t say anything about human blastocysts being “subhuman.” Human blastocysts certainly are human.

  43. "Q" the Enchanter
    April 29th, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

    Benjamin, a sleeping person has the present ability to wake and engage in the kind of meaningful human activity I outlined; a blastocyst, I’m sure you’ll agree, does not.

    Now you might want to respond by arguing that an “ability” is just a “potential,” and since blastocysts have “potential” just like normal adult humans, they should be accorded the same value. But ability is distinct from potential: For example, I have the potential to be a nuclear physicist, but I don’t have the ability to do nuclear physics. And I think it’s the *ability* to engage in meaningful human experience (rather than the mere potential to do so) that I think is the morally relevant issue.

    Incidentally, I didn’t say anything about human blastocysts being “subhuman.” Human blastocysts certainly are human.

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