The Raving Theist

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Horrified, Horrified, Horrifed

March 5, 2009 | 99 Comments

Abortion clinic owner Belkis Gonzlalez was arrested yesterday for throwing away a newborn. The mother had given birth at 23 weeks because the abortionist,  Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique, arrived too late to earn his full fee. Belkis won’t be charged with murder — just the unlicensed practice of medicine and evidence tampering – because prosecutors can’t prove that the baby would have survived.

Pro-choice blog Jezebel shed some crocodile tears over this incident last month. “[T]here aren’t really words to describe how we feel about this story,” said Jez, inconsolable that the baby had been suffocated in a medical waste bag rather than chopped up in the womb two minutes before being stuffed into a medical waste bag. “I doubt that there are any pro-choice women who aren’t horrified by the actions of the doctor and the clinic owner.” Horrified, again, that the baby was suffocated in a medical waste bag rather than chopped up in the womb two minutes before being stuffed into a medical waste bag.  After an obligatory (and somewhat irrelevant) defense of Obama’s abortion record, Jezebel identifies what she really finds so tragic about this case:

Gonzalez’s actions are exactly the sort of thing the anti-abortion movement accuses clinic workers of all the time — operating “abortion mills” without regards for the women they care for or the “pre-born children” they are supposedly destroying.

If Williams’ [the mother] cooperation with the anti-abortion movement is any indication, Renelique and Gonzalez have created yet another woman like Norma McCorvey who, although once pro-choice, is now a staunch and somewhat effective anti-abortion advocate. Unlike McCorvey, however, Williams will come complete with a story of how she watched her living infant slaughtered in front of her by an “abortionist” with no regard for her or her child. And although the pro-choice movement is going to have to take this one lying down, we’re all horrified on her behalf.

Horrifying – another anti-abortion advocate needlessly created by letting her actually see what abortion is all about. If only the abortionist had just shown his “regard” for the child by chopping it up in the womb before bagging it, the mother might have been a dues-paying member of NARAL. The commenters dutifully echo this  theme:

That is so sad.
I am pro-choice, but I could understand how seeing a baby thrown into a plastic bag might scar someone for life.
This is just another example of how one bad egg can ruin it and make people think all abortions are horrific.

                                                                  *   *   *

a)  This is horrific. Anyone, pro-choice or not, can see how terrible and traumatic this is.
b)  I’m afraid this will be picked up as ammo by anti-choicers. In fact, I’m sure of it.

                                                                  *   *   *

Way to give doctors who aren’t disgusting examples of humanity a bad name and give the rabid pro-lifers a bone to chew on.

                                                                   *   *   *
Oh, Christ. This is a HORRIBLE story and something that the crazy conservatives will throw in our pro-choice faces.

God damn it. I am gonna flay this doctor alive. Does he have any idea what he’s done? Not only has he shown blatant disregard for human life and ignored his obligations as a health care provider, he has damaged the collective reputation of professionals in his field and the movement for women’s reproductive rights.
Goddamnit.

 

First prize, however, must go to commenter PilgrimSoul, who argues that . . . that . . . that . . . well, just read it:

By the by, folks, incompetent doctors like this going into abortions is precisely what happens when abortion is publicly described as a “shameful” practice (so no young bougie [sic] people want to touch it with a ten foot pole) and when it is, moreover, actually dangerous to be a doctor who engages in the practice. So f**k you, pro-lifers, for making hay out of this, because in a society that didn’t shame women about this, that didn’t make it a rationally indefensible choice for a bright young doctor to go into this, this would NEVER happen. The dudes with the coat hangers and the doctors who don’t know what they’re doing is what we have left.

Comments

99 Responses to “Horrified, Horrified, Horrifed”

  1. Neil
    March 5th, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

    They really ought to rehearse their “Oh, the humanity!” speeches more first. Let’s just say that consistency isn’t their strong suit in this case.

  2. Jeney
    March 5th, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

    I can’t even be mad about this. There is just so much brokenness on display here – it’s heartbreaking. The mother, the baby, the doctor, the pro-choice voices. Nobody gets away without damages.

    It’s just that one of them paid a lot more.

  3. Margaret Catherine
    March 5th, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

    No, they’re being pretty consistent in their response, in the examples given. Half the horror of it is that word got out, and they can’t have *that* happening.

  4. Jeney
    March 5th, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

    And

    God, help us.

    Seriously. Help us.

  5. Louise
    March 6th, 2009 @ 2:23 am

    One gets the distinct impression some days that pro-choicers are just plain stupid.

    I could understand how seeing a baby thrown into a plastic bag might scar someone for life.

    Well, duh.

    Poor woman and her baby.

    I just love how pro-lifers are blamed for the “doctor’s” incompetence. Classic.

    Oh and yes, I am anti-abortion as it happens. Why do people call us “anti-abortionists” as though we ought to be ashamed of the fact. Being anti-abortion is about as shameful as being “anti-murder.”

  6. Louise
    March 6th, 2009 @ 2:59 am

    [T]here aren’t really words to describe how we feel about this story,

    Because it’s all about their feelings.

  7. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 7:12 am

    I wish this were an isolated story, but it’s not. I’m sure Christina’s site has pages of these clowns.

    You’ll notice there is not one iota of horror about what actually happened only about the ramifications for their sacred cow, abortion.

    Can you even imagine if this was a pro rape group, complaining that this dang rapist had spoiled it for everybody else by chopping his victim into pieces?

    “Great, now plain old rapists are going to get a bad rap, and anti rapists are going to have fuel for their fodder! Why couldn’t the guy just rape her and be done with it! No, he had to go and stuff her in a garbage bag!”

    Or how about:

    By the by, folks, incompetent rapists like this going into rape is precisely what happens when rape is publicly described as a “shameful” practice (so no young bougie [sic] people want to touch it with a ten foot pole) and when it is, moreover, actually dangerous to be a rapist who engages in the practice. So f**k you, anti-rapists, for making hay out of this, because in a society that didn’t shame women about this, that didn’t make it a rationally indefensible choice for a bright young rapist to go into this, this would NEVER happen. The dudes with the coat hangers and the rapists who don’t know what they’re doing is what we have left.

    Pure lunacy! And half of America thinks this way!

  8. Lily
    March 6th, 2009 @ 7:33 am

    I went out to read the story in full and see if even a single commenter had gotten it right but couldn’t find the comments. The story was there but not any comments. How very odd.

  9. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 9:51 am

    Abortion at 23 weeks should make anyone squeamish. Thank goodness it is so relatively rare (and thus not really “what abortion is all about”).

    Of course it’s relatively even more rare when you bring into the mix abortions divinely given.

  10. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 10:01 am

    Of course it’s relatively even more rare when you bring into the mix abortions divinely given.

    Yeah, sort of like the difference between Richard Speck and how every one eventually dies…

    Intentionally killing…natural causes…intentional killing…natural causes…

    Abortion at 23 weeks should make anyone squeamish. Thank goodness it is so relatively rare (and thus not really “what abortion is all about”).

    the Guttmacher Institute estimated the number of abortions in the U.S. past 24 weeks to be 0.08%, or approximately 1,032 per year.

    Let’s see, that 1,032 X 35 years….hmmmmm…36,120 just in the US…yeah, rare.

  11. Cindy (FarmgirlCyn)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 10:23 am

    Read it and weep.

  12. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 11:16 am

    “that 1,032 X 35 years….hmmmmm…36,120 just in the US…yeah, rare.”

    And if you multiply it by a billion, why, the number is even bigger.

    But why stop there? If multiplying random coefficients by arbitrary numbers to yield irrelevant absolute numbers is your bag, I say reach for the stars.

  13. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    Geez Michael…I assumed you’d know that 35 was the number of years that this type of “procedure” was legally allowed in the US…you know, Roe V Wade/Doe v Bolton…?

  14. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    MK, your assumption was correct, but simply adds to the irrelevancies you’ve adduced.

  15. Lily
    March 6th, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

    You are a rare thinker, Michael. I don’t think I have read another like you. Since I don’t get your thinking I will go ahead and say that contemplating 1,032 late term abortions per year makes me much more than “squeamish”. But then, you weren’t really serious about that were you? Obviously, these late term abortions don’t bother you at all. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have dismissed the total performed in the last 35 years as irrelevant, would you have?

  16. Adam
    March 6th, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

    Hey RT, your first link is broken.

  17. JoAnna
    March 6th, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    So, Michael Drake — if I’m understanding you correctly, then I should be able to legally kill my 82-year-old grandmother. After all, nature kills people younger than her every day! And it would make my life so much more convenient; I could really use that inheritance money.

    RA — I don’t understand why they couldn’t prove that Shanice could have have survived. There’s at least one documented case of a baby that was born before 22 weeks and survived.

  18. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

    “if I’m understanding you correctly”

    Apparently, that is a big “if.”

    Lily, it was “irrelevant” as a response to my contention that the number is relatively rare. This does not strike me as a subtle point, and it would be a shame were it only the “rare thinker” who could grasp it.

    Also, I regret that nausea by your lights is not a strong enough response to this grotesquerie, but understand, we pro-death types do the best we can.

  19. Lily
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

    Now, now, JoAnna! Your assumption is correct, but simply adds to the irrelevancies you’ve adduced. ;)

    Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet
    The unexpected death of some old lady
    Or gentleman of seventy years complete,
    Who’ve made ‘us youth’ wait too–too long already
    For an estate, or cash, or country seat,…
    Don Juan (Canto I, CXXV), Lord Byron

  20. Lily
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

    Ah, but it isn’t relatively rare, in anything but mathematical terms, is it? Most of us know that even a small pile of dead babies in any hospital’s dumpster is unacceptable. I rather imagine your mother might derive no comfort from the rarity of dead babies in her trash can, too, if she finds so much as one there in her entire life.

    Rare is a funny term and does depend on what is being counted, doesn’t it?

  21. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

    Abortion at 23 weeks should make anyone squeamish. Thank goodness it is so relatively rare (and thus not really “what abortion is all about”).

    I suppose if I had read the rest of that more carefully I wouldn’t have bothered to comment on the first part at all. Clearly, this “mike person” is unclear as to what abortion IS all about.

    Perhaps he could enlighten us. I could have sworn that abortion was ALL ABOUT the killing of unwanted babies. I’ll be thrilled to know I am wrong and can now stop spending my Saturday mornings standing outside of abortion clinics, as clearly except for the RARE cases, abortion has nothing to do with killing the unborn…who knew.

  22. JoAnna
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

    All right, Michael Drake, please enlighten me.

    If abortion can be justified because babies die naturally via miscarriage, why can’t I kill my grandmother when other elderly people die of old age every day?

    In other words, what am I not understanding about your argument? You didn’t really clarify.

  23. A Botched Argument : The Raving Theist
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

    […] 6, 2009 Writing about the recent Florida botched abortion case, Gary Stein of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel tearfully pleads for common ground: Don’t […]

  24. Richard Norris
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29515505/ But don’t let the story make you feel too bad, it was just a nine year old girl who had lost a huge portion of her childhood to a monster. She could have stood another nine months of remembering the horrific circumstances surrounding her too-young pregnancy. When an issue is as black and white as abortion, there are no exceptions.

  25. Lauren
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

    Richard. She was being molested by her stepfather. Had abortion been as simple as going down to the local planned parenthood, he could have taken her in early and continued to molest her.

    Guess abortion doesn’t so simply cure things either.

  26. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

    Yes, Richard, it makes so much sense to kill those two little unborn children…after all they deserved it.

    Perhaps we should kill the mothers of children who get cancer…what? The mothers have nothing to do with the kid getting cancer? Crazy sounding, isn’t it? Punishing someone for something they had nothing to do with?

    It is TRAGIC that this little girl was raped by her father. Her mother should be burnt alive, her father should be shot, brought back to life and shot again…but tell me, what exactly did the unborn babies do to deserve death? And do you really think that this little 9 year old is going to benefit, let alone heal, going through the rest of her life knowing that she killed her own two children? Yeah, cuz that’s not gonna leave a mark!

  27. JoAnna
    March 6th, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

    In addition to the excellent points already made, Richard, the case you mention accounts for .1% of abortions, if that. 99% of abortions are not due to rape, incest, or life of the mother. Do you favor making abortion illegal 99% of the time? If your only argument for making abortion legal is the rape/incest dilemma, then I think you should favor banning it for the 99% of “convenience” abortions.

  28. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

    “Rare is a funny term and does depend on what is being counted, doesn’t it?”

    Um, no actually. It pretty much just means rare.

    As for the “dead babies” rhetoric, please. A quarter of all “babies” conceived in the U.S. will be excreted into a toilet or a maxipad. If “pro-life” parents believed these were “babies,” we’d expect about half as many funerals. There aren’t.

  29. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

    “All right, Michael Drake, please enlighten me.”

    I don’t think that’s possible.

    And I didn’t say that “abortion can be justified because babies die naturally via miscarriage.”

  30. Lily
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

    Michael Drake: If you are going to comment here, it would be much appreciated if you would comment like a thinking adult. To equate natural death with deliberate killing is moral reasoning on a plane so low, we need a shovel to dig a place for you to sink to.

    Moreover, since you are apparently unaware of it, there are funerals for miscarriages and burial sites for them too. I know. A friend buried her 22 week old unborn son, a few months back.

    Wanna try again?

  31. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

    “I could have sworn that abortion was ALL ABOUT the killing of unwanted babies.”

    And you still can, if you like.

  32. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:40 pm

    Lily,

    I neither “equate[d] natural death with deliberate killing” nor implied that there are no funerals for miscarriages.

    There’s little more to be said.

  33. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

    And I didn’t say that “abortion can be justified because babies die naturally via miscarriage.”.

    And I didn’t say that you did.

    “All right, Michael Drake, please enlighten me.”

    I don’t think that’s possible. </i.

    Well I knew that from your reasoning. It was a rhetorical statement. I could tell from your posts that you were incapable of saying anything that made any rational sense.

  34. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

    Um, no actually. It pretty much just means rare..

    Yes Michael. If you say so.

  35. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

    “I could tell from your posts that you were incapable of saying anything that made any rational sense.”

    You see right through me, MK.

  36. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:05 pm

    As for the “dead babies” rhetoric, please. A quarter of all “babies” conceived in the U.S. will be excreted into a toilet or a maxipad. If “pro-life” parents believed these were “babies,” we’d expect about half as many funerals. There aren’t.

    Well Michael, Catholic Hospitals are required to bury all miscarriages on sacred ground. Catholic Hospitals being pro life. If a woman knows that she has lost a child, and she goes to a Catholic Hospital ALL of the miscarriages will be buried. Some hospitals even give you the option of a private burial no matter WHAT the age of the child is…as early as 6 weeks.

  37. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:07 pm

    You see right through me, MK.

    Yeah, well, it’s a gift.
    and a curse.

  38. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

    As for the “dead babies” rhetoric, please. A quarter of all “babies” conceived in the U.S. will be excreted into a toilet or a maxipad. If “pro-life” parents believed these were “babies,” we’d expect about half as many funerals. There aren’t.
    Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

    Abortion at 23 weeks should make anyone squeamish. Thank goodness it is so relatively rare (and thus not really “what abortion is all about”).

    Of course it’s relatively even more rare when you bring into the mix abortions divinely given.
    Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 9:51 am

    OH, that must have been the OTHER Michael Drake. You can see how we might get confused.

    Not only are your arguments weak, you can’t even remember making them! sheesh!

  39. Christina
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

    I too am bewildered by prochoice horror. The baby was supposed to die. She ended up dead. Isn’t that a happy ending? How does the fact that she died of suffocation in a biohazard bag make it more horrifying than had she died because somebody had jammed a scissors into her skull and sucked her brains out less than a minute earlier?

    If what happened to Shanice is horrifying, then so is WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN TO SHANICE.

  40. Christina
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

    For those defending abortions at (and past) 23 weeks on the grounds that they’re so “rare” —

    There were about 250 women dying a year from all abortions — legal, illegal, and quasi-legal — in the US in the years leading up to Roe. But those deaths were far too many to tolerate. As rare as they were, they were intolerable.

    There are four times as many babies like Shanice being deliberately killed every year right now than there were mothers accidentally killed prior to Roe. The maternal deaths were not so rare as to be negligible. Then the deaths of these children out not to be so rare as to be negligible.

  41. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

    MK, anyone with reading comprehension above that of a kumquat should be able to see that the statements you quote are very far from “equat[ing] natural death with deliberate killing.” The last word is yours, if you want it.

  42. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

    I want to back up and say something nice about TRA’s post, because I didn’t acknowledge what’s right about it, viz., that it successfully limns the psychic resistance many “pro-choicers” exert against acknowledging the moral ambiguity that confronts anyone who wishes to think seriously about the moral status of unborn human beings at different stages of development. TRA’s reference to the upset caused by the fact that “the baby was suffocated in a medical waste bag rather than chopped up in the womb two minutes before being stuffed into a medical waste bag” powerfully makes the point (however illegitimately it trades on a proprietary semantics of the key term ‘baby’).

    Now, I would love to have a serious discussion about this issue, and TRA himself certainly seems capable of having one. But my sense is that participants in the thread have persisted in tiresome, stingy misreadings of my arguments, and my patience is wearing as thin as my welcome. (Which, for all I know, may be the intended effect.)

    In any case, if TRA substantially (if not completely) agrees with me, I take it he will pipe up and chasten other commenters to improve their game. I’ll take the alternative as an invitation to desist in further comment.

  43. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

    (“TRA” being of course short for The Raving Acolyte.)

  44. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

    Michael,

    I neither “equate[d] natural death with deliberate killing” nor implied that there are no funerals for miscarriages.

    As for the “dead babies” rhetoric, please. A quarter of all “babies” conceived in the U.S. will be excreted into a toilet or a maxipad. If “pro-life” parents believed these were “babies,” we’d expect about half as many funerals. There aren’t.
    Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

    Perhaps you should spend some time with kumquats…you might learn something.

  45. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

    Michael,

    Sometimes players on these forums “feel each other out”. Many of the things you said were contradictory or flat out illogical.

    Perhaps we did come down to hard on you, and unfairly ganged up on you.

    It’s hard to distinguish between genuine contributors are hit and run bomb droppers. You have stayed the course.

    If I truly upset you, I apologize. It was done in the spirit of “bantering” and not really meant to offend. I live with 6 men and often forget that not every one considers insults and trading barbs as conversational.

    Mea culpa.

    But I still say, that rare is a relative term, even one is too many. Baby is a term for a who, fetus is a term for a gestational age. If you prefer, I will use unborn human being, but I will not use fetus as that does not tell us what type of fetus. Many thousands of miscarriages are buried. And there is nothing horrifying about this story unless you concede that ALL abortion is horrifying.

  46. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

    MK, barbs I can take (and, as you’ll have noticed, give); I just can’t take being misunderstood. Anyway, I appreciate the spirit of rapprochement in your comment; it is (speaking of rare) a rare quality.

    So let’s start from the last remark you quoted, and see if we can move on from there (I’ll also touch on your closing claim, which is semi-related). The point about spontaneous abortion is not to “equate” it with induced abortion. Rather, it is supposed illustrate our revealed attitudes toward the death of the very young unborn. With very few (any?) exceptions, human beings do not feel that the spontaneous death of a four week old fetus as anywhere near the tragedy the spontaneous death of a four year old is. This at least suggests that we do not (deep down, intuitively) feel that four week olds have the same moral status as four year olds.

    Fair enough? (Disagree by all means; I just want to make sure you, and anyone else reading, understands the point.)

    As to your remark that “there is nothing horrifying about this story unless you concede that ALL abortion is horrifying”: This claim presupposes that the death of a 22 week old and the death of a 2 week old (say) are morally indistinguishable. But from my remarks above, you’ll know that I disagree with that assumption. More importantly, I think that most people’s natural reactions reveal that the assumption is at least prima facie false. Now, maybe our emotional reactions mislead us, and we actually ought to treat the death of all human beings at any stage of development — from 1 day old to 1 week old to 1 month old to 1 year old — as morally indistinguishable. But I think this has to be shown and argued for, rather than merely presupposed.

  47. Jen
    March 6th, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

    Michael,
    After reading this very lengthy thread of comments, I have to say you seem very pleased with yourself. I won’t attempt to match wits with you, since clearly you have it all figured out. So indulge me a moment while I give my two cents’.
    It isn’t semantics to call the child a baby, it’s simply fact. It was never a rock, or a cucumber, or a frog, but always, from cell #1, a human being. Why does the stage of development have any bearing on the intrinsic nature of the new life? If it is more palatable to pro-aborts to call the new life a “fetus” or an “embryo” rather than a baby, doesn’t that tell you that abortion is wrong? We all start out the same way. When did you become a baby… only when your mother decided to give you birth rather than kill you in the womb? No… women do not have the authority or the right to decide whether the life in the womb may live or not. The baby is a separate, unique individual with the same human rights as you and I.

    Christina is absolutely right in saying the pro-aborts have no right to their hollow sense of horror at the baby being suffocated in a plastic bag. The child was supposed to die, so what’s the problem? Why does the location of the murder make any difference? The end result is the same. The supposed horror they feel about this tragedy is self-serving and hypocritical. Their pain is not for the innocent life lost, since innocent life has no value for them in the first place.

    What kind of hardness of heart does it take to stand so firmly in the camp of defending the killing of babies in the womb? I can’t fathom it, Michael. Our country is overflowing with people so wrapped up in their own selfishness and irresponsibility that they must kill a child so they can continue to live the way they want. How depraved.

  48. Michael Drake
    March 6th, 2009 @ 7:49 pm

    “It isn’t semantics to call the child a baby, it’s simply fact.”

    Jen, of course it’s semantics, and it’s a semantics that doesn’t follow our usual usage in other contexts. We don’t call a fertilized chicken egg a “chick.” We don’t call a germinating oak root a “shrub.” And so forth. (NB: This is not to “equate” the developing human with the developing chicken or oak; it is to point to general semantic practice in more neutral contexts as a gentle way of pointing out that the way we ought to use ‘baby’ in this debate is a non-neutral, semantic question.)

  49. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

    Michael,

    In some other thread the topic of emotion being equal to reason is being or has been discussed. I am of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what one feels. The issue of whether or not something is moral cannot, should not, MUST not be based on emotion. It must be based on reason. Emotion is subjective. (think of the word rare, lol)

    Now, either the unborn is a human being or it is not. I say that it is. Science seems to concur. If it IS a human being, then we must ask ourselves why it is okay to kill this particular human being. If we can justify killing this human being because it is in the wrong place at the wrong time, unwanted, inconvenient or dependent upon another person for it’s very life, then we must extend that criteria to ALL human beings. This would mean that each of us is vulnerable. “someone” is deciding that this human being’s life is not worth what other human beings lives are worth, most notably the human being in which it resides.

    If we follow this to it’s logical conclusion we see that some human beings, in some circumstances may decide that other human beings may be put to death because of various reasons, none of which is the result of merit.

    Therefore, you, or I, or anyone else, could at some time be deemed to fit into one or the other of these categories by someone else, and also be put to death.

    If a human being in the womb can be killed because it is unwanted, then so can ANY person.

    For now, the rules are that the person must be occupying another persons body. But tomorrow it could be that they are occupying a hospital bed. Or costing more than they produce. This is not how civilized people behave. Either ALL human life is sacred, (and I’m talking about INNOCENT human life, not those that are guilty of serious crimes), or NONE is. Because you always come back to the question…

    Who Decides?

  50. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 7:57 pm

    Michael,

    Jen, of course it’s semantics, and it’s a semantics that doesn’t follow our usual usage in other contexts. We don’t call a fertilized chicken egg a “chick.” We don’t call a germinating oak root a “shrub.” And so forth. (NB: This is not to “equate” the developing human with the developing chicken or oak; it is to point to general semantic practice in more neutral contexts as a gentle way of pointing out that the way we ought to use ‘baby’ in this debate is a non-neutral, semantic question.)

    The term fetus does NOT describe a who OR a what. It simply tells us the age of whatever we are discussing.

    A fetus could be a meerkat, a squirrel or a wombat. We are talking about HUMAN fetuses, and human fetuses are called babies. No one, that I know of anyway, throws a fetal shower, or says they are expecting a fetus.

    The only reason we use the term fetus these days at all, is to dehumanize what is growing inside of a woman. It’s a ploy. You are right, it IS semantics. But it is being manipulated by the pro choice side, not the pro life side.

    Before 1973 NO ONE used the word fetus in every day conversations.

  51. Lily
    March 6th, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

    Michael might have some promise, as a participant here but so far he appears to be a troll. He has this annoying habit of making careless, barbed remarks that are not, in fact, helpful nor are they germane.

    Still,he did just make one assertion that might be a genuine attempt at conversation, i.e.:

    With very few (any?) exceptions, human beings do not feel that the spontaneous death of a four week old fetus as anywhere near the tragedy the spontaneous death of a four year old is. This at least suggests that we do not (deep down, intuitively) feel that four week olds have the same moral status as four year olds.

    I believe that you are mistaken. There are more than a few women who mourn the loss of a pregnancy at any stage, if they know about it. Most women do not know that they are pregnant that early on. Whether they are a mere 4 weeks of gestational age or 4 years out of the birth canal, humans have the same moral status. What they do not have is the same developmental status.

    One of the silliest conversations I was ever in with a proabortion atheist was the one in which he posited the following scenario: There is a fire in a medical facility. I can save either one 3 month old baby or a dish full of dozens of blastocytes. Absolutely certain that he had stumped me, he demanded that I tell him which I would save from the flames. It is hard to take moral “thinking” at this level seriously. Of course, it is possible that he was a teenager and will eventually learn to form better arguments– who can tell on the web?

    He was quite surprised that I didn’t find the scenario morally problematic. Are you?

  52. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

    Michael,

    Do you suppose if I called Papa Johns and ordered an Olea europaea, Engraulis encrasicolus, Agaricus bisporus pizza with extra mozarre bufala, that I’d actually receive an olive, anchovy, mushroom pizza with extra cheese??? Do you think the guy would care that these are the “Technical” names???

    A rose is a rose is a rose…

  53. JoAnna
    March 6th, 2009 @ 8:41 pm

    Michael,

    My husband and I had a funeral for the baby we lost to miscarriage. We discovered via ultrasound at 12 weeks’ gestation that our baby was only measuring 8 weeks and had no heartbeat. I had a D&C a few days later, and a few days after that the hospital released the baby’s remains to a funeral home. A few days after that, we had a lovely graveside service and a memorial Mass. S/he is buried in a Catholic cemetery in our hometown, and has a grave marker (nor is s/he the only miscarried baby buried in that cemetery). I have pictures of the grave marker, if you’d like proof.

    I’m sure many parents who’ve lost children to miscarriage have a funeral or some kind of memorial service. They’re just not announced in the papers nor open to the public, so I’m willing to bet that’s why you seem to think they rarely happen.

  54. Lily
    March 6th, 2009 @ 8:57 pm

    JoAnna,
    I am so terribly sorry for your loss. It is amazingly hard. The friend I alluded to who lost her son at around 22 weeks had no idea that it was possible to have a funeral for him. Only after asking her priest (she was a new Catholic at the time) what she could do to mark his death did she find out that she could have a funeral.

    It amazes me how many people don’t understand how painful (emotionally) miscarriage at any stage is. I hear people make remarks to women that just make me shake my head. They don’t mean to be cruel but they are clueless. I hope you have been surrounded with understanding friends and family.

  55. JoAnna
    March 6th, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

    Thank you, Lily. My miscarriage was December 2006, so I’ve had time to heal. I became pregnant with my son about six months afterwards, and he is a joy and a delight. So God really did bring tremendous good out of a painful situation. (Incidentally, I just found out on Monday that we are expecting our fourth child (third here on Earth). Prayers for a healthy pregnancy would be appreciated, if you don’t mind.) :)

    The first thing my husband did when we found out we’d lost our baby was to call our priest, and it was our priest who recommended the funeral home and conducted both the graveside service and the memorial Mass. Both the funeral home and the cemetery gave us their services free of charge, since we were in a pretty tenuous financial situation at the time. Even now, the thought of their generosity makes me tear up.

    I do think it’s a shame that more mothers don’t realize they have that option, and I make sure to tell my baby’s story whenever I can to increase awareness.

  56. frustrated (mk)
    March 6th, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

    JoAnne,

    You can count on me for prayers also. My son’s girlfriend miscarried this New Years Ever. I still have his little picture on my refrigerator. He was just my son’s child, he was my grandchild and childrens nephew, a little person.

    Someone at the hospital came in and told me that we had the option of a private burial or a mass grave…that’s how I found out that Catholics hospitals must bury ALL miscarriages. God is good. It’s also why I have always insisted on going to a Catholic Hospital ANY time an unborn baby is involved. Non Catholic hospitals refer to the child as the product of conceptus. Makes me want to scream!

    God bless that funeral home and the cemetery. What a blessing!

  57. Lily
    March 6th, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

    Congratulations, JoAnna! What joyful news you have shared. You may be very sure that I will gladly add you and your baby’s health and well-being to my prayer intentions. You are doing a real service to spread the word– my poor young friend was devastated by how few (seemingly) people seemed to understand what she was going through.

  58. Neil T.
    March 6th, 2009 @ 11:46 pm

    @Lily #51:

    I am curious…you didn’t bother to give your answer to the problem. You asserted your moral superiority, mocked the questioner and the question, but I didn’t catch an answer…

  59. JoAnna
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:12 am

    Neil — I’m not Lily, but this article might help answer your question.

  60. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    “Before 1973 NO ONE used the word fetus in every day conversations.”

    Untrue, besides being irrelevant — I didn’t suggest we need to use the term ‘fetus.’

    As to your argument from referential generality, the terms ‘baby’, ‘infant’ and so on are also completely general. (For we speak of “baby elephants” and “infant chimpanzees,” and so forth.)

  61. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 10:55 am

    “The issue of whether or not something is moral cannot, should not, MUST not be based on emotion. It must be based on reason.”

    I believe it would be the view of 99 percent of contemporary ethical theorists (including most theist ones) that a perfectly reasoning automaton or zombie would not be able to reason its way to anything we’d recognize as morality. At the very least, any reasonable moral theory has to take into account our emotions, moral sentiments and empathic capacity. And of course once we do that, the claim that “we must extend [the same] criteria to ALL human beings” is seen (in light of the specific sociological considerations I adumbrated above) as merely arguable, and at least prima facie highly dubious.

  62. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 11:02 am

    As to your argument from referential generality, the terms ‘baby’, ‘infant’ and so on are also completely general. (For we speak of “baby elephants” and “infant chimpanzees,” and so forth.)

    Yes, we do, which is why I suggested that we call it an unborn human being, since we are discussing whether or not it is right to kill innocent human beings…unborn or otherwise.

    Is there some phrase/term that you would be more comfortable with? You are the one claiming this is a game of semantics. As long as we are clear that whatever term you choose, we are discussing an unborn human being, I’ll probably be okay with it.

  63. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 11:11 am

    Michael,

    I believe it would be the view of 99 percent of contemporary ethical theorists (including most theist ones) that a perfectly reasoning automaton or zombie would not be able to reason its way to anything we’d recognize as morality. At the very least, any reasonable moral theory has to take into account our emotions, moral sentiments and empathic capacity. And of course once we do that, the claim that “we must extend [the same] criteria to ALL human beings” is seen (in light of the specific sociological considerations I adumbrated above) as merely arguable, and at least prima facie highly dubious.

    And I would beg to differ. A reasonable moral theory does not need to take into consideration any emotions whatsoever. We do not kill each other, because to do so opens the door to killing everybody for whatever reason is the flavor of the day. No emotions whatsoever. We have an innate compunction to live, and killing each other goes against that. Therefore, we protect our right to live by making laws that forbid one human being from taking another human beings life.

    If you are a person of faith, you will use other reasons, but for the sake of a purely secular argument, this will do.

    As to a moral theory taking into account our moral sentiments, that seems redundant to me. Our moral sentiments, can be achieved by reason as well.

    And as to empathy…what is empathy except seeing things through anothers eyes? I know that you do not wish to die, because I do not wish to die. If I am wrong, then it is because you are an aberration, not the norm. In the end, am I not only protecting my own self interests? Am I not able to see through your eyes, only because I am the same?

    I have a multitude of reasons that killing the unborn is morally wrong, most of which you would dismiss because they invoke the name and belief of God. But it is enough to say that I believe killing the unborn is wrong, because I am protecting my own right to life.

    First, we need to establish what morality is. Is it objective, something to be discovered? Or is it subjective, something to be determined?

  64. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 11:13 am

    “He has this annoying habit of making careless, barbed remarks that are not, in fact, helpful nor are they germane.”

    To the contrary, my barbs are very careful, and most (though admittedly not all) of them embrace or implicate a pertinent argument. Which is more than the barbs directed at me have done.

    In any case, and again, the claim that “[t]here are more than a few women who mourn the loss of a pregnancy at any stage” is completely nonresponsive the point it purports to respond to, which was that “human beings do not feel that the spontaneous death of a four week old fetus as anywhere near the tragedy the spontaneous death of a four year old is.” Yes, some (but what percentage?) mourn. But my claim was: Not nearly as much. I know many people who have knowingly miscarried, and none of them reacted with anywhere near the grief I’ve seen elicited by the death of a child. At all events, anecdotes are anecdotes, and in general we see almost nothing in the way of historical traditions that mark the passing of a “miscarrying womb” with anything like the intensity and gravity with which they mark the passing of those who have been born into the world. (As far as I know, e.g., there are no traditional Jewish or Christian liturgies of miscarriage.)

  65. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 11:21 am

    “Our moral sentiments, can be achieved by reason as well.”

    But the zombie (like the psychopath) simply replies, “So what?” A conspicuous difference between psychopaths and normal persons, e.g., is that psychopaths lack empathy. But psychopaths are every bit as rational as normal persons. If rationality were sufficient for moral reasoning, there wouldn’t be a systematic difference in moral attitudes between psychopaths and normal persons. Yet it would appear that psychopaths come to somewhat different moral conclusions, no?

  66. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    “Is there some phrase/term that you would be more comfortable with? You are the one claiming this is a game of semantics.”

    I’m comfortable with any term — we can call a human blastocyst ‘sweet cuddly babycakes’ for all I care. What matters is that all acknowledge that the choice is a semantic choice, and not a premise from which to argue.

  67. JoAnna
    March 7th, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    Not nearly as much. I know many people who have knowingly miscarried, and none of them reacted with anywhere near the grief I’ve seen elicited by the death of a child.

    So because the passing of a child you’ve known and loved outside the womb is harder to deal with than the passing of a child in the womb, it should be okay to kill all unborn children? By that logic, I should be able to legally kill anyone I don’t personally know because I won’t grieve for them afterwards.

    Catholics, at least, do have a liturgy for miscarried babies, but it’s no different than the liturgy for anyone else who has died. Usually the only difference is that it is gender neutral and sometimes the deceased wasn’t given a name. (I did name my baby; we call him/her Noel.)

  68. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

    (As far as I know, e.g., there are no traditional Jewish or Christian liturgies of miscarriage.)

    We don’t have specific rites for old people, or tall people either. People are people. The same rite is used for all.

  69. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    human beings do not feel that the spontaneous death of a four week old fetus as anywhere near the tragedy the spontaneous death of a four year old is.

    And this is the danger of basing morals on emotions. It doesn’t matter what one feels about the deaths, the deaths are objectively the same. I didn’t say we don’t have emotions. I only said that they should not define our morality. I would not feel the same about the death of a man in Japan that I have never met as I would about the death of my husband. Does this mean, objectively speaking, that my husbands death/life mattered more than the strangers?

  70. Lily
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    Neil C– lol! The article that JoAnna pointed to did a good but slightly verbose job of answering the question. The issue is very similar to triage. Nurses and other medical people are trained to weigh emergency situations and help those with the best chance of survival first. I am told that walking past those screaming for help but who are too badly injured to survive is the hardest thing they have to do and I can believe it!

    In the “fire in the clinic” scenario the fully developed 3 month old has a far better chance of survival than the blastocytes which may die before they progress further, may never be implanted, or may be deliberately destroyed.

  71. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

    But psychopaths are every bit as rational as normal persons. If rationality were sufficient for moral reasoning, there wouldn’t be a systematic difference in moral attitudes between psychopaths and normal persons.

    Which is why I asked you if we are talking about OBJECTIVE morality which must be discovered, or SUBJECTIVE morality which must be determined.

    A psychopath can reason his way to objective morality. He cannot reason his way to subjective morality. He can create a subjective morality, based on his own desires and needs.

    This is what abortion does. It ignores the possibility that abortion is objectively wrong, and bases it wrongness/rightness on the selfish desire of the person seeking the abortion. It is “right” for “me”.

    Objectively speaking, a psychopath can indeed reason that if he takes the life of another human being, then another human being might take his life, therefore it would be in his best interest to refrain from arbitrarily taking other people’s lives. If this were not true then sociopaths would routinely kill anyone that got in the way of their desires. But they don’t. Murderous sociopaths are “relatively rare”…(I just had to say that…)

  72. Lily
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

    mk– you are the best. And rare. Rarer than rare. And there is nothing subjective about that! :)

  73. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

    Lily,

    I can’t tell you how many times I have thought the same thing about you…lol. Awwwww…group hug!

  74. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    “Catholics, at least, do have a liturgy for miscarried babies, but it’s no different than the liturgy for anyone else who has died.”

    That’s misleading: “[A] miscarried baby may receive a Catholic funeral, though a family is not required to formally bury a miscarried child. If a more developed unborn child dies and is delivered intact, parents often choose to bury the child. Otherwise, hospitals typically remove the remains as they do with human organs or bodily tissue removed during surgery.” Source.

  75. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

    “Murderous sociopaths are “relatively rare.”

    Just so — the exception that proves the rule.

  76. Lily
    March 7th, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    Group hug? Well, ok. But Michael Drake is going to have to repent of his inabilty to define “baby” and “rare” first!

  77. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

    “Murderous sociopaths are “relatively rare.”

    All this proves is that sociopaths, while aware of the moral code, choose to ignore it. As I said, there is a world of difference between knowing the moral code, and following it. Non sociopaths, are just as capable of committing immoral acts as sociopaths.

  78. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

    hospitals typically remove the remains as they do with human organs or bodily tissue removed during surgery.

    And where do they put these remain???? In sacred ground.

  79. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 1:12 pm

    Group hug? Well, ok. But Michael Drake is going to have to repent of his inabilty to define “baby” and “rare” first!

    Ohhhh now Lily, hug first, define later…. ;)

  80. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    “And where do they put these remain???? In sacred ground.”

    Perhaps, but again beside the point, which was that “we see almost nothing in the way of historical traditions that mark the passing of a ‘miscarrying womb‘ with anything like the intensity and gravity with which they mark the passing of those who have been born into the world.” The Church generally requires funereal proceedings and burial (or, modernly, cremation) for the dead, but does not so require it for the miscarried.

  81. Lily
    March 7th, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

    Again, Michael, as was pointed out quite clearly earlier, the intensity of the emotion suffered is beside the point. This distinction doesn’t strike me as hard to grasp. So help me out. What does it have to do with anything?

  82. JoAnna
    March 7th, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

    Actually, Michael, I would argue that the pro-abrotion movement is one of the reasons a lot of women are reluctant to have funerals or memorial services for miscarried babies. The pro-abortion movement encourages women to believe that unless you lose your baby after the magic age of viability (as arbitrary as that is), it’s not a person, it’s just a “thing” or a clump of cells or a ball of non-viable tissue or a “potential human being.” It’s not that women typically think of their miscarried babies as non-human and thus not worthy of burial; is that they’ve been told that for the past 40 years by the pro-abortion movement.

    I’ve talked to a LOT of women who’ve had miscarriages, Michael. I’m willing to bet more than you have. And almost every single one of them wishes they could have had some sort of memorial service for their baby, but either didn’t know it was an option or was wary of the social stigma and backlash from fellow pro-abortionists.

  83. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

    Lily, the point was responded to — ” any reasonable moral theory has to take into account our emotions, moral sentiments and empathic capacity.” Your mileage may vary, but if so, it varies from what I believe is a pretty robust consensus among moral theorists.

    Joanna, besides being purely conjectural, your empirical claim wouldn’t explain why the Catholic Church treats the death of the unborn according to a different standard.

    Note too that the Catholic Church is probably an outlier with regard to the institutional attention that it gives to miscarriage. Longstanding traditions in Jewish and Christian sects, not to mention those in non-Judeo-Christian religions, either ignore miscarriage or mark it with a attenuated degree of ceremony.

  84. JoAnna
    March 7th, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

    The only reason that the Catholic Church doesn’t require burial of miscarried babies is because of logistics. Many women aren’t at a hospital when they miscarry. I was “lucky,” so to speak, that my baby’s passing was discovered via ultrasound and my OB recommended surgery since my body wasn’t expelling the body on its own. This, my husband and I had several days to come to grips about what had happened and think about what we wanted to do with the baby’s remains.

    But when the baby is expelled spontaneously, often the mothers are not in a state of mind to try and preserve the remains for burial.

    If every women miscarried in a hospital, it’d be a different story, but that doesn’t often happen. The Catholic Church recognizes this and thus doesn’t require taht miscarried babies are buried, but it is encouraged if logistically possible.

  85. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

    “The only reason that the Catholic Church doesn’t require burial of miscarried babies is because of logistics.”

    This simply ignores what I posted at 74.

  86. Lily
    March 7th, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

    Your “source” doesn’t support your contention (which is what? That people don’t grieve for miscarried children? That they don’t bury them or have services for them? That is laughable. Every woman here knows differently– some from personal experience). Of course, I didn’t poke around the site looking for the quote. I simply read the description on the page that came up. Where does your quote come from and how is it relevant to the discussion here?

  87. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

    “Your “source” doesn’t support your contention (which is what?”

    If you don’t know what my contention is (and it’s clear that you don’t), how can you claim my source doesn’t support it?

    I think I’ll submit, folks. Thanks.

  88. JoAnna
    March 7th, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

    Michael, even YOU didn’t read your own source.

    Here are a few paragraphs:

    In the midst of grieving for what would have been their fourth child, Chris battled the hospital and the obstetrician to ensure that the remains of his and Aziza’s child would be respected. He told the doctor, “We are Catholic. We believe that life begins at conception and that our baby had a soul. It’s important to us that the remains be dealt with respectfully, rather than be discarded as medical waste. I need your help.”

    The doctor’s incredulous response was, “It’s just a miscarriage.”

    Chris’s natural grief for this child intensified as he called upon assistance from the hospital, funeral home and, finally, his pastor in an effort to dignify the short life of this tiny soul.

  89. Lily
    March 7th, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

    You need to express yourself clearly, if you are able to. You are all over the board. Your “quote” doesn’t appear in the page you linked to … what more is there to say beyond the fact that your constant attempts to marry insults with wit fail? Maybe you should acquire a shotgun in order to bring that match off. You simply aren’t as clever as you think you are.

    Frankly, you jumped the snark several messages ago. Maybe mk will continue to play with you. She is as patient as Job. Me? Not so much.

  90. Lily
    March 7th, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

    My last message was for Drake– I see Joanna nailed his irrelevance, too.

  91. Michael Drake
    March 7th, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

    Obviously I pasted the wrong link. The source of the quotation is here.

  92. frustrated (mk)
    March 7th, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

    Okay, I just got back…now what’s all the ruckus about?

    Michael,

    It seems that you are hung up on babies being given funeral rites.

    Let me try this. I’ve asked you a number of times now whether or not you believe in OBJECTIVE MORAL TRUTH. If you do, as I do, and as the Church does, then you will understand that a funeral rite has nothing to do with whether a person is a full human being. The site you link to says this:

    The different ways of laying the child’s body to rest in no way imply that a fetus at an earlier point of gestation is less than a person or less deserving of respect. Every human life is sacred, “from the moment of conception until death” (Catechism, no. 2319; cf. no. 2258).

    The same guidelines for funerals and burials of unbaptized children would apply to aborted babies. The Church recognizes the personhood of every unborn child (cf. Catechism, nos. 2270–75). She prays for the souls of miscarried and aborted babies, and commends them to the mercy of God (cf. Catechism, no. 1261)..

    If we should neglect to bury our children lost through miscarriage or abortion, it has no bearing on the dignity of the child.

    Their “personhood” exists OBJECTIVELY, and does not require any action from us.

    If it were possible to bury every miscarried or aborted child, then we would. Logistics does play a role. If we can, we do. If we can’t, we don’t. But either way, the dignity of the human life that was lost is in no way either diminished or glorified. It is independent of us.

    All you are showing is that WE, not the children, are lacking, in our ability to perceive the whole person. We are not perfect. Our emotions might not match reality. That’s a given and I concede. But it doesn’t change the fact that the child is a FULL PERSON. It speaks to OUR shortcomings, NOT the child’s. Do you see?

    No one is arguing that some people don’t FEEL the same about a 3 week old unborn baby as they do about a 6 year old kindergartner. Except for the parents and possibly other close family members, you are right. Often these children are missed on the radar blip. But again, this is the danger of using our emotions to gauge our morality.

    We should not rely on our feelings to determine who is considered a person and who is not. It didn’t work with slaves, it didn’t work with women, it didn’t work with the Jews and it won’t work with the unborn. Our inability to RECOGNIZE these human beings as full persons is OUR shortcoming, and has no bearing whatsoever on the reality of the personhood of blacks, women, Jews or the unborn.

  93. JoAnna
    March 8th, 2009 @ 12:25 am

    Very well said, mk. Thank you.

  94. Michael Drake
    March 8th, 2009 @ 11:25 am

    MK, my personal ethical views, besides being irrelevant to the arguments I’ve been making, are complex and turn on highly technical distinctions. Given my apparent inability to communicate even the simplest concepts and arguments here, no good will come from entering into a new line of discussion. So, as I said, I’ll just submit on what I’ve written. Thanks.

  95. Lily
    March 8th, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

    Wow! I think this is a first– someone who is so much smarter than the rest of us that there is no way he can possibly make himself understood. How well I know that feeling …

    LOL!!!

    I have to remember this message the next time I get in a tight spot.

  96. frustrated (mk)
    March 8th, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    Michael,

    I didn’t so much want to discuss whether there is objective truth as to clarify where you were coming from. If you believe that there IS Objective Moral Truth then we could have continued. But if not, then you’re right, we would have come to a stale mate.

    I’ve actually been enjoying our conversation, so if you want to continue, I’m game. If not, I understand. Either way, it was nice to meet you.

  97. Michael Drake
    March 9th, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    MK, I’d be happy to carry on with you away from the adolescent piling on. My email is strange doctrines at g mail dot com (no spaces), if you care to continue there…

  98. JoAnna
    March 9th, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

    I’d be happy to carry on with you away from the adolescent piling on.

    Sorry you feel that way, Michael Drake. My sincere apologies if you felt I was attempting to “dogpile” you, adolescently or otherwise; that was not my intent.

    I hope you and mk have a fruitful discussion.

  99. frustrated (mk)
    March 9th, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

    Michael,

    That is so thoughtful. Okay, I’ll email you…also, if you want you can check out my blog (I share it with another girl) It is Catholic, Pro life and conservative, BUT, more than half of the people on there are atheist/agnostic, pro choice and liberal. We are very cordial.

    2secondsfaster.com

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