The Raving Theist

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The Mourning After

March 11, 2009 | 125 Comments

The candles which once burned so brightly have flickered out. The festive fern, once so green, sits brown and dry at the curb. Next to it are bags stuffed with crumpled wrapping paper, paper which graced the sturdy boxes containing our small but meaningful gifts of gratitude. The wicker baskets no longer overflow with fruits and muffins, but are stacked and tucked away in dark cabinets.

The laughter of yesterday is gone. The vast gray sky reminds me that a long, sad year must pass before I feel that joy again.

I collapse into a chair. My face sinks into my hands. I wonder if the fleeting but precious memories of this Tuesday will sustain me for the next 364 days.

And then I cry.

Why can’t every day be National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers?

                                                  * * *

For those of you who mourn with me, I offer you this small solace. Last night I had a dream. In it, I raised my eyes and saw the soft, gently smiling face of Cecile Wattleston-Feldt, Deputy Executive Director for Public Relations of the National Abortion Federation. Brushing away my tears, she told me this story:

“One day, not long ago, I appeared in someone’s else’s dream.Walking down a lonely road, I saw a sad little boy carrying an empty basket.  He looked up at me and asked, ‘Ms. Wattleston-Feldt, why can’t every day be National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers?’

“I said, ‘little boy, National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers is not just a day on the calendar. It is a place in your heart. It is a love that is with you every day. Just like the abortion doctor, who is part of your community. He waves to you every day at the supermaket, smiles at you in the barber shop, plays with you at the block party and visits your family on special occasions. And here he is now!

“The kindly, wise old abortion doctor gave us both a big hug. The little boy beamed. ‘His breath smells just like the wine we had on National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers!’ And I said, “It smells like that every day! It smells like that in the morning, and it smells like that at night. It smells like that when he’s home, and it smells like that when he’s at the clinic.”  With that, the kind doctor cupped his hand over one of my breasts, in the reassuring manner he comforts every patient just before she awakes from anesthesia.

“Then the little boy frowned. ‘Ms. Wattleston-Feldt, National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers cannot be every day.  Because the doctor cannot be with me every day — this is just a dream! When I wake up, it will all be over.'”

“The abortion doctor patted the little boy on the head. ‘Do not worry, little boy. That will not happen, because you exist only in this dream. It is your mother’s dream, and you will never wake up, because I aborted you five years ago.'”

Comments

125 Responses to “The Mourning After”

  1. Beelzebub
    March 11th, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

    Sure, that’s really going to help.

  2. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 3:59 am


    “The abortion doctor patted the little boy on the head. ‘Do not worry, little boy. That will not happen, because you exist only in this dream. It is your mother’s dream, and you will never wake up, because I aborted you five years ago.’”

    But the little boy doesn’t even exist there — it’s the same logical error that cult of lifer’s always make. The little boy never existed — well, if he exits anywhere it’s in your own superstitious and religiously fueled imaginings. Revealingly, even in an allegorical tale you can’t help but make the same kind of disingenuous distortions. It’s all smoke and mirrors to convey the impression of loss and outrage. Why don’t you just leave it up to women to decide how they feel about this? Catholics just can’t let go of authoritarianism.

  3. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 4:52 am

    Hint: Is a packet of sugar, some butter, a packet of cocoa powder and a packet of flour a delicious chocolate cake that can be served for dessert?

  4. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 4:57 am

    2nd hint: Your position is almost this ridiculous (but I’ll admit, not quite). I walk up to a hot woman and demand sex because if she refuses she’s denying life to the potentially reulting babies.

  5. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 5:10 am

    fun facts:

    According to the WHO, ~68,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortions account for about 48% of total abortions performed worldwide according to the Lancet, and occur primarily in countries where access to abortion services is illegal.

    In the state of Victoria (Australia) before legalized abortion, unsafe abortion was the second leading cause of death among young women.

  6. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 6:02 am

    Fun Fact:

    Abortion takes the life of 42 million children worldwide, EVERY year.

    Using pro choice logic, if you don’t want an unsafe abortion, don’t get one.

    You have no way of knowing one way or the other whether or not a soul lives on after death. Absolutely no way of knowing.
    TH

    It’s all smoke and mirrors to convey the impression of loss and outrage. Why don’t you just leave it up to women to decide how they feel about this? Catholics just can’t let go of authoritarianism.

    Catholics won’t let go of the TRUTH. Not authoritarianism…the TRUTH.

    Why don’t we leave it up to women to decide how they feel?
    a.) many of them regret their abortions. Are those feelings okay?

    b.) I’d be afraid of a country where we base our morals on how we “feel”.

    c.) If it’s all smoke and mirror to claim outrage and loss, yet you want to allow women their feelings, what do we do with women that have feelings of outrage and loss after having an abortion?

    Or do you mean that those women’s feelings don’t count. Only if the woman feels nothing, should her “feelings” matter?

    The Cult of Life???? You say that like it’s a bad thing. If it was meant to be an insult, it failed. How awful to be considered someone that belongs to a group that believes life is sacred! Count me in!

  7. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 6:54 am


    Using pro choice logic, if you don’t want an unsafe abortion, don’t get one.

    But people WILL HAVE abortions, mk. You CANNOT STOP ABORTION!!!!! You can only either — create conditions that kill a large proportion of those that do — create safe conditions for them.


    You have no way of knowing one way or the other whether or not a soul lives on after death. Absolutely no way of knowing.

    YOU have no proof that that notion even has any real significance. It’s only your religion that tells you.


    Catholics won’t let go of the TRUTH. Not authoritarianism…the TRUTH.

    It’s only what you think is true. It’s not what I think is true, or that guy over there. What right do you have to tell me what to do because of something only you think is true?


    Why don’t we leave it up to women to decide how they feel?
    a.) many of them regret their abortions. Are those feelings okay?

    Just how many. Give me a number and a reference. Let’s at least frame this debate correctly.


    b.) I’d be afraid of a country where we base our morals on how we “feel”.

    But mk, this is precisely what you’re doing.


    The Cult of Life???? You say that like it’s a bad thing. If it was meant to be an insult, it failed. How awful to be considered someone that belongs to a group that believes life is sacred! Count me in!

    This is just incorrect. Almost anything can be skewed to serve ill-purpose. Every tyranny in the past thought it was doing the right thing, and many thought they were supporting “life.” ANY notion can be used for ill-purpose. Patriotism, nationalism, racial purity…all have been presented as wholesome to the gullible for coercive effect.

  8. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:07 am

    BBub,

    But people WILL HAVE abortions, mk. You CANNOT STOP ABORTION!!!!! You can only either — create conditions that kill a large proportion of those that do — create safe conditions for them.

    But people WILL murder, rape, commit incest. You CANNOT STOP them. You can only either – create conditions that incarcerate a large portion of those that do, or created safe conditions for them to murder, rape and diddle little kids…

  9. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:10 am

    B,

    This is just incorrect. Almost anything can be skewed to serve ill-purpose. Every tyranny in the past thought it was doing the right thing, and many thought they were supporting “life.” ANY notion can be used for ill-purpose. Patriotism, nationalism, racial purity…all have been presented as wholesome to the gullible for coercive effect.

    Almost anything can be skewed to serve ill-purpose. Every tyranny in the past thought it was doing the right thing, and many think that supporting “a WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE” is the RIGHT thing to do. ANY notion, including the idea that a woman has the right to do what she wants with her body, even if it means killing her unborn child, can be used for ill purpose. Abortion has been presented as wholesome to the gullible for coercive effect…

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

    B,

    b.) I’d be afraid of a country where we base our morals on how we “feel”.

    But mk, this is precisely what you’re doing.

    No I’m not. I’m basing it on reason. The unborn are human beings. I am a human being. If we allow SOME human beings to decide when OTHER human beings should be allowed to live and die, we are also in danger of being told that WE are now useless/inconvenient and must die.

    You are the one that is saying a woman shouldn’t have a child if she doesn’t WANT to. That is emotion based. Not whether it is right or wrong, objectively, but whether you FEEL it is right or wrong for you.

  11. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:16 am

    It’s only what you think is true. It’s not what I think is true, or that guy over there. What right do you have to tell me what to do because of something only you think is true

    Either there is objective truth, or there isn’t. If there is, then it is ALL of our responsibilities to FIND that truth.

    Is it or is it not true, than an unborn child is a living human being? Not whether it has rights, but whether or not it IS in fact, a living human being.

    We can’t ALL be right. Someone is wrong. Someone is right.

    What right do YOU have to tell me that my tax dollars must be used to pay for something that I think is morally reprehensible?

    What right do you have to tell Mr. X that he may not take your car? Or kill your mother? Or sleep with your wife?
    What right do ANY of us have to determine what is right or wrong, and act accordingly?

  12. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:22 am

    Wrong, I don’t have to resort to an emotional argument, or one based on feelings. There are perfectly sound arguments based strictly on personal autonomy and the right a woman has to control her body that are perfectly presentable. There are utilitarian argument based on the idea that a fetus does not have the status that a fully developed person has. There are arguments based on the incompleteness of fetal neural development, and so on. If anything you, and just about all interlocutors here, are the one-trick ponies. Just about the only thing in your bag is the one hand-delivered you by the CC. Your problem is that you’re yoked to your religion. You CAN’T stray from the party line; you’re too stone frightened to do it. Why don’t you just try, for the hell of it, to argue your case without resort to “the soul” or any of the other supernatural BS that is part and parcel to your superstition?

  13. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:28 am

    Bbub, you are proving mk is right– you are a rational (or so I suppose) person making an irrational argument. We here, and particularly mk, have made the argument for the prolife case hundreds of times without resorting to religion. She just did again in the last few comments in the “botched” thread. Yet you ignore them or don’t even recognize them.

    Why is that?

  14. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:35 am


    Is it or is it not true, than an unborn child is a living human being? Not whether it has rights, but whether or not it IS in fact, a living human being.

    It is a living human, yes. Do soldiers not kill soldiers on the field of battle? Why? Was the one soldier evil and the other good? Or was it expedient to do so? When the soldier comes home is he charged with murder? Why not.

    I’m not using any of these comment to argue a case. Right now I’m just attempting to dynamite this blog out of the base rock it’s mired in. You guys are so phucking (sorry) convinced you’re right and so fixed in your argument and so unwilling to engage ANY outside perspective. It’s pathetic, really. I tell you that criminalized abortion will cost the lives of MILLIONS of women the world over, and your response is basically SO? Pathetic.

  15. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:45 am

    Our response is that you don’t have your facts straight and you argue irrationally as well.

    I must say that I amazed at the sheer fatuity of your “argument”. You say:

    There are utilitarian argument based on the idea that a fetus does not have the status that a fully developed person has.

    Yes. There are those who have made that argument. It fails as mk demonstrated to you again, just this morning. At least, it must fail since you have attempted no rebuttal.

    There are utilitarian argument based on the idea that a fetus does not have the status that a fully developed person has.

    Yes and there are arguments that that is not a good enough criterion. They have been offered here as well as elsewhere. So?

    There are arguments based on the incompleteness of fetal neural development, and so on.

    Yes and there are arguments against that. So?

    Your problem is that you’re yoked to your religion. You CAN’T stray from the party line; you’re too stone frightened to do it.

    Frightened? What an irrational thing to say! Just exactly what are we afraid of? Slow Joe Biden claims to be a Catholic and he is proabortion. Nancy Pelosi claims to be a Catholic and she is an abortion lover. She just met with the Pope and came back with her abortion views intact and doesn’t appear afraid of anything (more’s the pity). Edward “Splash” Kennedy is an abortion lover and he claims to be Catholic. So if they are not afraid to stray publicly and loudly from the party line, why are we?

    Why don’t you just try, for the hell of it, to argue your case without resort to “the soul” or any of the other supernatural BS that is part and parcel to your superstition?

    We have done it repeatedly here and elsewhere. Why are you unable to see it? Demon possession is beginning to look more and more like an attractive explanation to me, even though I can think of other possibilities.

  16. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:54 am


    Why is that?

    Because it’s not a rational argument; It’s one from your own particular religious perspective, even if you think it isn’t. It trots out the same tired straw men that you’ve used and seen so many times you think they’re universally convincing, but they aren’t. I have cheek cells that are living human tissue; they have no moral status. Why does a 5 week old embryo have more status? Because of a soul — religion. Because it “has human potential” — ontologically irrelevant. What “will be” has not place in this argument, no more than by future babies with the hot babe. Your arguments absolutely depend on your religion, and so you don’t have a leg to stand on trying to apply them to the rest of the world, but that doesn’t seem to stop you from trying.

  17. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 7:58 am


    We have done it repeatedly here and elsewhere. Why are you unable to see it? Demon possession is beginning to look more and more like an attractive explanation to me, even though I can think of other possibilities.

    Okay, Lily, put up or shut up.

  18. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:04 am

    What will it take for you to see the obvious? A fetus doesn’t have human potential. It is human. It is a human at an early point of human development. Left alone to develop, it will be born in due course and attain other milestones of human development. It may, sadly, also die somewhere along the way.

    The cells in your cheeks will never be anything else, left undisturbed. Not ever.

    So your “argument” remains foolish. The five week old embryo is a human. It has nothing to do with having a soul. This is why atheists can be anti-abortion. You don’t have to believe in a soul to know that a 5 week old embryo is a human being.

    No amount of irrational arguing on your part will change that.

  19. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:04 am

    Other than when I was talking to Lily, I have not brought religion into this. You have.

    A cell is indeed a human tissue. This is not the same as a human being. I think you know that. The cell, left to it’s own devices will not “become” ANYTHING other than what it is. The human embryo already IS something other than the sperm cell or egg that it WAS.

    Why not lets try to answer the questions posed to you in comment #75 on the other thread:

    If the unborn are not protected because they are dependent, then what do we do with our elderly folks? Our newborns? Our 4 year olds?

    If the unborn are not protected because they are using another persons body to stay alive, then what do we do with conjoined twins?

    If the unborn are not protected because they are not sentient, then what do we do with sleeping folks? Comatose folks? People in catatonic states?

    What is YOUR criteria for a person to be considered worthy of the same protection that ALL OTHER human beings enjoy?

    If you can kill ONE member of society for these reasons then what stops us from killing ANY member of society for these reasons?

  20. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:07 am

    Put up or shut up about what?

  21. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:08 am

    You run into a burning building. There’s a five year old kid and a bunch of petri dishes with human embryos. Which do you save? So anyone who isn’t a moron the answer is obvious, without recalling Sophie’s Choice. But then perhaps I’m assuming too much.

  22. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:08 am

    It’s pathetic, really. I tell you that criminalized abortion will cost the lives of MILLIONS of women the world over, and your response is basically SO? Pathetic.

    No Bbub, our response is that right now it is costing the lives of billions of children.

    Children don’t CHOOSE to be aborted.
    Women DO CHOOSE to abort them. No one is forcing them to abort. No one is forcing them to get an unsafe abortion. But someone IS forcing the unborn to die by the billions.

    Children do not CHOOSE to be conceived.
    Women DO CHOOSE to have sex, which as everyone knows is the primary way to become pregnant. It was it meant to happen, and it does happen. By choice.

    You want us to feel badly for women who get themselves pregnant and then kill the resulting life…you want us to empathize with their plight, a plight they themselves have created. We choose to empathize with the oppressed, not the oppressors.

  23. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:11 am


    Put up or shut up about what?

    I’m just saying you’re jeering in the corner like a taunting big time wrestler. “Yes, that’s an argument, but then there’s another one against it…” Brilliant, that’s really moving things along.

  24. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:14 am


    You want us to feel badly for women who get themselves pregnant and then kill the resulting life…you want us to empathize with their plight, a plight they themselves have created. We choose to empathize with the oppressed, not the oppressors.

    So, no sympathy for the dead women. Or is it shucks, well, that’s too bad but you shouldn’t have gone against Catholics.

  25. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:15 am

    LOL!!! The burning clinic scenario!!! We just dealt with that on another thread this week. I can’t believe anyone still trots it out! See #70 in the Horrified, Horrified, Horrified thread!

  26. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:16 am


    No Bbub, our response is that right now it is costing the lives of billions of children.

    I know it’s hard for you to think outside the CC box, but remember, they do not have that status to the rest of the world.

  27. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:18 am


    LOL!!! The burning clinic scenario!!! We just dealt with that on another thread this week. I can’t believe anyone still trots it out! See #70 in the Horrified, Horrified, Horrified thread!

    Forget it. If you can’t even muster the will to type a few words why should I bother to mouse around. btw — that’s what I meant about putting up.

  28. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:18 am

    Bbub, why do I need to repeat arguments that have been made a thousand times already? That have been made in this thread already? We have already pointed out to you countless times that the age of a human does not have the slightest value in determining whether he or she should live or can be killed for our convenience. That is all your arguments (of which you are so unjustifiably proud) amount to. Can you not see that?

  29. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:21 am

    You are a troll Bebub. A troll. If you can’t be bothered to “mouse over” you are not interested in argument or conversation. You are just causing trouble.

  30. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:21 am

    I know it’s hard for you to think outside the CC box, but remember, they do not have that status to the rest of the world.

    I’d say it was pretty much split down the middle.

    At one time “the rest of the world” thought the black man did not have the same status as the rest of us. Same of women.

    The truth does not rely on the majority. It doesn’t matter if EVERYONE agrees that something is right. If it is wrong, objectively, then it is wrong no matter what people think.

    Most of Germany thought that killing Jews was a “good” thing. Were they right?

    You yourself said that ANYTHING can be skewed to look right.

    I ask you again, can we both be right? Or does one of us need to be wrong?

    Are we looking for truth, or the easy solution? I know that I am interested ONLY in the truth, wherever that may lead me. Are you?

  31. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:27 am


    You are a troll Bebub. A troll. If you can’t be bothered to “mouse over” you are not interested in argument or conversation. You are just causing trouble.

    No, it’s you, you, you, neener neener. You haven’t actually engaged any of my arguments, just jeered in the corner. By your logic, I guess that means I won all of them.

  32. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:29 am

    B,

    Forget it. If you can’t even muster the will to type a few words why should I bother to mouse around. btw — that’s what I meant about putting up.

    I can hear the anger in your voice. Do you want to shelf this for another time? Emotions can run strong when discussing this topic, and things can be said that aren’t meant. Do we need to take a cooling off period?

    I’m being sincere, not snide. I promise. I can tell that you’re getting worked up and that is not my intent.

    What do you think?

  33. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:31 am

    B,

    Here is the argument that Lily is referring to about the fire in the clinic…

    http://www.ncbcenter.org/FrTad_MSOOB_35.asp

  34. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:34 am

    You are a troll Bebub. A troll. If you can’t be bothered to “mouse over” you are not interested in argument or conversation. You are just causing trouble.

    No, it’s you, you, you, neener neener. You haven’t actually engaged any of my arguments, just jeered in the corner. By your logic, I guess that means I won all of them.

    No one is a troll…now let’s calm down. This is a really, really, really emotional topic for BOTH sides and sometimes rationality flies out the window when the two parties get worked up.

    Every body take a DEEEEEEP breath…

    B,

    Neener, neener, neener??? lol

    I know I am, but what are you?

    Have you ever heard of the PC game monkeys island?

  35. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:41 am


    At one time “the rest of the world” thought the black man did not have the same status as the rest of us. Same of women.

    false analogy and begging the question. black men and women are both fully developed human beings, the very thing being contested vis-a-vis fetuses.


    The truth does not rely on the majority. It doesn’t matter if EVERYONE agrees that something is right. If it is wrong, objectively, then it is wrong no matter what people think.

    True. The “tyranny of the majority” doesn’t imply they’re correct, just that they’re the majority.


    I ask you again, can we both be right? Or does one of us need to be wrong?

    Yes, actually, if it’s simply a normative matter not based in asolute morality. Relative to monotheism, yes, there is a right and wrong, but that is guaranteed to be the case only once you accept that religious perspective.

    If your normative morality places a premium on the individual rights of the mother and subordinates the fetus, then abortion is justified under it. (Not saying I BELIEVE this, but this is what I mean about expanding the dialog. Feels good doesn’t it?)

    You need more atheists here. This isn’t a blog; it’s an echo chamber. What did you do to the atheists??? You didn’t…

  36. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:44 am


    No one is a troll…now let’s calm down. This is a really, really, really emotional topic for BOTH sides and sometimes rationality flies out the window when the two parties get worked up.

    Mk, you’re great. And Lily, sorry if I got a bit carried away. But now I must go sleepie bye.
    -B

  37. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    Sleep tight B, talk more tomorrow!

  38. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 9:03 am

    I ask you again, can we both be right? Or does one of us need to be wrong?

    Yes, actually, if it’s simply a normative matter not based in asolute morality. Relative to monotheism, yes, there is a right and wrong, but that is guaranteed to be the case only once you accept that religious perspective.

    well, I’m assuming we are talking about the abortion issue, not cereal choices.

    On the issue of whether or not an unborn human entity is a human being…you say no, I say yes. Can we both be right? Or must one of us be wrong, and one be right, or both be wrong?

  39. Disgustipated
    March 12th, 2009 @ 10:00 am

    This Cult of Life of which you speak? Isn’t this the same cult that excommunicated members who were associated with the abortion of twins from a nine year old girl who was raped by her stepfather in Brazil? The same cult who didn’t kick out the rapist stepfather, a man who abused the trust of a child for personal sexual gratification?

    That’s some warped logic, there, boy. I’d love to hear you all defend it.

  40. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 10:07 am

    I am going to let you handle it. mk. I simply can’t take seriously someone who refuses to man up to the question of whether an objective fact depends for its factual status on whether the person is coming from a religious viewpoint or an atheist viewpoint.

    For whatever reason, Bbub refuses to admit that a fetus is a human being. This is either factually correct or it is not. No conversation is possible until that fact is dealt with honestly. His refusal puts him in troll territory– i.e. trouble maker for the fun of making trouble. Indeed, did he not announce his intentions?

    I’m not using any of these comment to argue a case. Right now I’m just attempting to dynamite this blog out of the base rock it’s mired in. You guys are so phucking (sorry) convinced you’re right and so fixed in your argument and so unwilling to engage ANY outside perspective.

    I find this sort of thing annoying as hell. Yeah, I am “phucking” convinced I am right. I haven’t heard an argument to show me that I might be wrong.

    However, I do wish we had more proabortion types here because Bbub is right that we are an echo chamber for the most part. But in order for it to do any good to have people with an opposite perspective here, they must be willing to converse; to answer the questions that are put to them. Conversation involves both sides engaging the argument. You do; he doesn’t. I stand by my assertion that he is troll. It is totally in his power to change that and I hope he will.

  41. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 10:15 am

    Disgustipated: we have discussed this at length. See comment 31 (and the following) in the comments to “A Botched Argument”. No one was “kicked out” of the Church. That is not what excommunication does/means. After you have read what we discussed, I am sure we’d be glad to answer any further questions you might have.

  42. JoAnna
    March 12th, 2009 @ 10:25 am

    Disgustipated, the issue has been discussed in GREAT detail in the comments of A Botched Argument thread. All your concerns, and more, have been addressed.

  43. JoAnna
    March 12th, 2009 @ 10:27 am

    Beezelbub,

    One think you might want to read is How I Became Pro-Life, by Jennifer over at her Conversion Diary blog. She’s a former atheist, and her story is a good one.

  44. frustrated (mk)
    March 12th, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    Dis,

    This Cult of Life of which you speak? Isn’t this the same cult that excommunicated members who were associated with the abortion of twins from a nine year old girl who was raped by her stepfather in Brazil? The same cult who didn’t kick out the rapist stepfather, a man who abused the trust of a child for personal sexual gratification?

    That’s some warped logic, there, boy. I’d love to hear you all defend it.

    lily is right. We have discussed this at length on a different thread…

    There is no disconnect between wanting the twins to live and wanting the father to rot in, well, someplace awful.

    Wanting the twins to live is being part of the culture of LIFE. Wanting the girl to live and carry the twins up until it became too dangerous, is also being part of the culture of life.

    Wanting to kill 2 babies is what we call the culture of DEATH. What do you call it?

  45. Carla
    March 12th, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    Sorry, RT that the party is over. We had quite the celebration didn’t we?? I shall never forget the parade and the fireworks…all for the abortionists. I will be counting the days until we can thank them properly again!! :)

  46. Roundup « 4Simpsons Blog - Eternity Matters
    March 12th, 2009 @ 11:50 am

    […] If you are pro-life and like sarcasm, don’t miss The Raving Theist’s (formerly the Raving Atheist) post on National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers. […]

  47. Christina
    March 12th, 2009 @ 11:58 am

    Beelzebub, why don’t you show me a self-baking cake? Then we can compare a cupboard full of ingredients to a newly-concieved organism of ANY species.

  48. Christina
    March 12th, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

    Beelzebub, you’re the most credulous person when it comes to abortion promotion “statistics”. They’ve tweaked the “70,000 abortion deaths a year” number, but they’ve never let go of it any more than they’ve let go of the thorougly discredited claims of 5,000-10,000 abortion deaths per year pre-Roe in the US.

    I remember one “prochoice” magazine that had news snippets from around the world on two facing pages.

    On one page was the lamentation that every year, worldwide, 70,000 women die from botched criminal abortions. On the facing page was the lamentation that every year, 70,000 women die from botched abortions IN BRAZIL. What were we supposed to believe? That women dying from botched abortions somehow migrate, lemminglike, to Brazil, and manage not to die on the way there?

    All of which is beside the point, because if women’s lives were really the issue, the abortion lobby would be as up in arms about the deaths of Christin Gilbert, Laura Smith, and Edrica Goode as the prolifers are. Instead, it’s a collective yawn. If you replaced those horrible illegal abortion deaths, 1:1, with legal abortion deaths, the abortion lobby wouldn’t bat an eye about deaths any more. They’d write them all off as “all surgery has risks”. It’s not the woman’s death that they are so upset about, it seems, but the fact that the guy who killed her faces prison time. Because as soon as you stop prosecuting the killers, the deaths no longer merit “prochoice” notice.

  49. Christina
    March 12th, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

    Beezlebub, you seem to be missing that abortion is about a woman doing something to SOMEBODY ELSE’S BODY.

    My right to swing my fist ends at your nose.

  50. Beelzebub
    March 12th, 2009 @ 8:25 pm

    Lily:
    “For whatever reason, Bbub refuses to admit that a fetus is a human being.”

    I already answered in the affirmative in 14. above. In that comment I also was attempting to get people to think about the fact that people kill people, or allow people to die, for all sorts of reasons and all the time. It’s not a realization you’re going to be happy with, but it is the truth.


    Christina
    “Beezlebub, you seem to be missing that abortion is about a woman doing something to SOMEBODY ELSE’S BODY.

    My right to swing my fist ends at your nose.”

    There are very good arguments that say that’s not true. One is that the principal “right” here is that of a woman to control her own body. Maybe I can bring that into closer focus with an analogy.

    Let’s say you’re gravely ill and you need a tissue transplant to survive, say a kidney or something. Hospital records determine that there’s a single person that has the right tissue type. Do you have the right to demand their kidney? I doubt anyone would say yes. Why? Because the potential donor has a fundamental right to personal autonomy of their body. I doubt you would agree that a donor must be compelled to give a kidney even if that donor is a member of your family. You may call that person selfish or a jackass, but you would still support his right to the decision. Yet you’re going to die without the kidney. What if you only need the kidney for 9 months and then you can give it back? Do you have a right to their kidney? No, not without their consent. So far the analogy is far from complete because a mother is actively involved in the creation of a fetus within her, responsible for it, while the potential donor has no obligation toward you or your illness. But let’s make one final stipulation that create a more compelling scenario. Let’s say a mother is raped and she is not responsible for her pregnancy. Now how exact is the analogy? If it isn’t clear so far, summarizing.

    fetus = you with your illness
    mother = donor

    The analogy is nearly exact. Without the mother the fetus will die, yet since the mother is not responsible for the fetus’ predicament, what obligation does she have to bring it to term?

    The interesting thing about this analogy is it tracks how many people think about abortion. The degree to which the donor is being an ass or selfish becomes more acute the further along the process goes. For instance, if you only need the kidney for a day, there is far less reason the donor should not consent than for 9 months. The further along it is, the more “wrong” we think the donor is acting. And perhaps in its way this points in a direction we should be thinking. You are justified in your opinion to think aborting mothers are being asinine, but do you have the right to compel them to carry a pregnancy? (Yes, I haven’t forgotten the rape stipulation, so generalizing this argument would take further consideration.)

    I hope this at least provokes some thoughts in this arena.

    On a more general note, I should give some explanation for why I became a little hot under the collar last night (or yesterday morning, for most of you). What I see this site becoming is not only an echo chamber where you all simply reaffirm and mire yourselves further in your own fundamentalism, but basically a pointless cycle where TRT creates demagogic hyperbole, then everyone crows over how evil “abortionists” are. This post is exemplary, a vaguely pornographic overtones of the satanic “abortionist doctor” portrayed somewhat akin to Mengele, designed purely for emotive response, not thoughtful discussion. Sorry, it just seems terribly unproductive, if not ultimately harmful.

  51. Lily
    March 12th, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

    On the question of the humanity of the fetus, if we are in agreement that the embryo and the fetus are human beings, then we have got some place to start.

    This statement is problematic, I think:

    In that comment [14] I also was attempting to get people to think about the fact that people kill people, or allow people to die, for all sorts of reasons and all the time. It’s not a realization you’re going to be happy with, but it is the truth.

    But what does it have to do with anything? Murder is against the law. So far as I know, there is no move afoot to take it off the books just because so many murders are committed. Failing to aid someone in distress is a crime in many venues and morally wrong always, if the person can be saved. So that is a non starter as a justification for abortion.

    You say:

    [re rights] One is that the principal “right” here is that of a woman to control her own body. Is that really an absolute right? We have laws against prostitution (although arguably most prostitutes are victims not criminals). You also cannot legally sell yourself into slavery. There may be other exceptions that we can think of. Moreover, of course, in the vast majority of instances, the woman willing engaged in an activity the natural outcome of which is pregnancy. Why should the new human suffer because she had sex irresponsibly. (Irresponsibly=without being ready to welcome a baby– the natural outcome of sex.)

    You say:

    Let’s say you’re gravely ill and you need a tissue transplant to survive, say a kidney or something. Hospital records determine that there’s a single person that has the right tissue type. Do you have the right to demand their kidney? I doubt anyone would say yes. Why? Because the potential donor has a fundamental right to personal autonomy of their body.

    While it is true that we all (I think) would deny such a right, it wouldn’t be on the grounds that you are suggesting. It isn’t their bodily autonomy that is the issue but, rather their bodily integrity. No one can be forced to injure himself or be forced to give up body parts, or to give up organs that he may need in the future, even if he can spare them now. Such a scenario would bespeak an amazingly utilitarian view of the human person!

    A pregnant woman gives up no body parts or organs during pregnancy. Our bodies evolved to make pregnancy in women of a certain age a natural state of being. Thus, your analogy simply doesn’t make your case.

    As far as why you got hot under the collar? It is true that most of us are very prolife/anti-abortion, so, of course, this blog must be an “echo chamber”. Given that we are talking about life and death, there isn’t much room for positions in between But you have to understand that if you come here, you will not change minds. We will be glad to tell you why we think what we think and tell you where we think your arguments are weak. You may or may not change your mind in the slightest.

    But you have to understand that we have heard it all before. There is absolutely nothing new that you can say. This debate has been going on for 40+ years. Quite a few of us were teenagers when Roe v Wade came down. Many of us have been through unwanted pregnancies. Some of us have had abortions and have bitterly regretted it. I don’t imagine that there is a single woman here who doesn’t know exactly what it is like to be pregnant or think she is pregnant at a time when it would be, seemingly, a nightmare. Some of us have given birth in circumstances that were far from ideal.

    Yet, we don’t have the slightest hesitation in saying that a baby is a baby is a baby. No one, absolutely no one, has the right to decide that some helpless, innocent person shall die because his or her life is an inconvenience.

    Beyond that I second the suggestion made by JoAnna (I think) a few messages back. Jen (of Conversion Diary) has written an amazing account of her thought process as she gradually moved from a strong pro-choice position to a strong pro-life one. Reading it might help you understand us better.

  52. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 3:56 am


    On the question of the humanity of the fetus, if we are in agreement that the embryo and the fetus are human beings, then we have got some place to start.

    I agree that they are “human.” I balk at full-status “human being.” I have a very hard time considering a single cell embryo of equal status to a grown human being. A single cell does not a man or woman make.


    But what does it have to do with anything? Murder is against the law.

    The point I was making, and which I only cursorily developed, was more along the lines of homicide, not murder. Men killed in battle are not murdered (well, my personal politics may at times argue otherwise), those executed for crime are not murdered. These are both cases of homicide. Is euthanasia murder or homicide or simply letting someone die? Your mileage may vary, depending on your philosophy. The killing of fellow human beings, or letting them die, is part of our society, however you view the consequence. But, unless you’re interested in expounding on this topic further, I’d as soon drop it, as I never intended to go anywhere with it.


    No one can be forced to injure himself or be forced to give up body parts, or to give up organs that he may need in the future, even if he can spare them now.

    This is disregarding the part in the scenario where the kidney is merely “borrowed” for 9 mos. I would also point out that in the case of the infamous 9 yr old Brazilian girl, the CC is quite willing to insist on a caesarian, which at the very least will leave a significant scar.


    A pregnant woman gives up no body parts or organs during pregnancy.

    However, and correct me if I’m wrong, but stats show that total risk to a mother throughout gestation exceeds risk of abortion, so in this way a mother is being asked to endure something more risk than she would by opting for abortion. Pregnancy can also be very risky, for instance, for diabetic mothers.

    However, I can streamline the argument significantly, and in a manner that rids it of any permanent physical invasiveness.

    It’s sufficient for me to just ask you whether I have the right to compel you to aid in saving my life? Why or why not? Let’s say I need a bone marrow transplant and you’re the only one with the correct histo-compatibility. Do I have the right to suck your bones so that I may live? I would be just as innocent in my illness and helpless to survive the ordeal on my own as any gestating baby without a mother to host it. If even that is too much for you, let me ask you this: Do I have any claim to your body AT ALL in order to save myself?

    I predict that in the end you’re going to have to concede that no, I really have no right to demand that you do anything at all. Likewise, nobody has the right to ask a mother who has been raped to carry a pregnancy to term. You may think that she SHOULD. In fact you may be very ardent in your belief that she should. But you don’t have the right to compel her to do it any more than I have a right to strap you to an operating table.

    (There’s always a chance that you will take the other option in the analogy, and that you actually believe that I DO have the right to compel you to submit to a certain medical procedure, so I might live, but the implications of that are rather dire.)

    The startling thing to realize is that you may in fact think the woman evil to not bring the pregnancy to term, yet also concede that she has the right not to do it. This is precisely why there are people who are both pro-choice and anti-abortion.

    So, to respond you the last part of your comment: You are correct, I have no hope of changing your mind regarding abortion. In fact, as long as you remain a Catholic, YOU have little choice of changing your mind about that. And, actually, I don’t want to. BUT I’m not so sure I can’t change your mind about the right to choose.

  53. frustrated (mk)
    March 13th, 2009 @ 5:40 am

    B,

    I agree that they are “human.” I balk at full-status “human being.” I have a very hard time considering a single cell embryo of equal status to a grown human being. A single cell does not a man or woman make.

    Now don’t get mad…but this is what I mean by basing your morality on subjective “feelings”…

    You have “a very hard time considering a single cell embryo…

    But does your “hard time”, do your feelings or lack of them, have anything to do with whether or not the embryo truly IS a human being?

    Which brings us back to the questions I keep asking you.

    If sentience is your criteria, then what about comatose people? You say that if they are in a vegetative state they should be killed. But people have recovered from these states. Once again, one group of people is deciding that another group of people are not worthy of life. That is a VERY scary prospect to me. The criteria could, and in some countries HAS, changed, to include all sorts of reasons that a person is not worthy of life. How about just old? Or sick? Or mentally retarded?

    ANY TIME one group of people starts making decisions about another group of peoples right to live, we have entered very dangerous territory.

    Or what about conjoined twins? What if one twin decides she is just tired of the other twin? The first twin NEEDS the second twin to live. It’s using HER body to stay alive, just as an unborn child uses the mother? Does one twin have the right to kill the other because of bodily autonomy?

    So I ask you, and I beg you to answer, what is YOUR criteria for a person to be considered a FULL HUMAN BEING with all of the same rights that you or I have?

  54. frustrated (mk)
    March 13th, 2009 @ 5:49 am

    B,

    As for your scenario with the kidney/organ donation.

    The analogy is not a good one and here is why.

    A woman that is pregnant has “something/someone” inside of her that she doesn’t want.

    No one has the right to force her to remove this someone/something from her body.

    A woman that has a kidney that is needed by another person, has something in their body that she wants. No one has the right to FORCE her to remove this something from her body.

    She can voluntarily GIVE UP her kidney. But no one can take it from her.

    So your analogy could only work if you ask does someone have the right to forcibly remove a fetus from a woman in order to save someone elses life.

    Or if you said, do I have the right to FORCE you to ACCEPT my kidney, if you need one.

    Also, a kidney is not a living human being, so you can’t compare a kidney to an unborn child. You can’t say you don’t have the right to take a non living organ from a woman, any more than you have the right to insist that she keep a living human being inside of her. Two very different things.

  55. frustrated (mk)
    March 13th, 2009 @ 6:00 am

    B,

    Also, let’s look at the organ donation thingy one more time.

    We have explained that if a woman is in imminent danger of death, the unborn child can be removed in order to save her life.

    The INTENT in this case is NOT to kill the unborn child. The child’s death is an unfortunate, and natural consequence of the saving the mother.

    INTENT matters.

    If I choose not to donate my kidney/bone marrow/whatever to save someone elses life, my intent in not to END that person’s life. If the person dies due to my unwillingness to donate my organ, that is an unfortunate and natural consequence to my decision. BUT it is NOT my intent.

    Every abortion is the result of an INTENT to kill the unborn child. EVERY SINGLE ONE. That is the sole purpose of an abortion. If there is no dead baby, then the abortion didn’t work.

    This is the difference between organ donation and abortion.

    INTENT.

    If I purposely caused the situation that required you to need my kidney, that would be a different story. Then I would INDEED be obligated to give you my organ.

    If, for instance, I kidnapped you, and took your kidney to sell in the black market, I think you could make a case that you now owed me YOUR kidney. Because your INTENT was to take my kidney. Just as it is ALWAYS the intent of an abortionist to KILL the unborn child.

    Intent matters.

  56. Lily
    March 13th, 2009 @ 6:10 am

    Bbub, you asked: : Do I have any claim to your body AT ALL in order to save myself? I answered this clearly in previous response. How much more clearly can I say “no”, than I already have?

    You are, however, mixing apples and oranges when you compare bone marrow or kidneys to pregnancies. They simply are not the same thing. Both I and mk have now laid that out clearly.

    You have got to get off your fixation with religion as the sole reason for hating abortion. I converted from atheism to Christianity in grad school, i.e. as an adult. I was “weakly” (1st trimester, in cases of rape, incest, or real harm to the mother’s health) pro abortion, then. I became a Catholic formally one year ago after a decade of thinking about it and coming to realize that I was in full accord with its teachings. You can try to write me and the others here off as “frightened” (of what, who can say? You sure haven’t), instead of people who have thought long and hard about these matters, but you are wrong.

    You will not change our minds. We will not choose violence and death.

  57. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 6:32 am


    You are, however, mixing apples and oranges when you compare bone marrow or kidneys to pregnancies. They simply are not the same thing. Both I and mk have now laid that out clearly.

    No no no, neither of you seem to understand what I’m saying. I’m not sure if you’re being delibrately obtuse or if you’re just not getting it. I’m not equating kidneys to babies. If that’s what you think then you’ve totally misconstrued me. Look, forget the kidey thing, okay. Stick to the med procedure thing. Lily says I have no right to demand that she undergo a med procedure to save me. Why is that? Because she has the right to control her body — even if that means I die because I don’t get the marrow, or anything else. Let’s just say I want to draw some blood. Do I have a right to it? No.

    So then why is it so hard for you to see that nobody has the right to demand a woman, particularly one who has been raped, to carry a pregnancy?

    Who could possibly have that right? Well, surely if anyone did, it would be the fetus. Right? But how on earth does a fetus have the right to dictate what happens to a woman’s body, when I, equally dependent on her body for my life, don’t?

  58. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 6:43 am


    So I ask you, and I beg you to answer, what is YOUR criteria for a person to be considered a FULL HUMAN BEING with all of the same rights that you or I have?

    This is a great question, and I’m not sure how well I can answer it. Ultimately it’s going to be dissatisfying because it’s going to involve brain waves and cerebral cortex development and a bunch of other things that aren’t going to have a whit of impact on you. Important, however, is to realize that this is totally IRRELEVANT to my previous comment, which pertains to the confict of human rights, and who’s takes precedent.

    I, for instance, am a full human being (!?), yet I don’t have the right to violate Lily’s right to control her body, just to maintain my “right” to life. Comprendo?

  59. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 6:44 am

    btw – if you’re still interested in my answer, I’ll be happy to attempt it, but it would seem to be superflous.

  60. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 6:50 am

    This is where things come to a head. There is no absolute right to life. It’s ridiculous to even advance it. To say that an embryo has an absolute right to life is as absurd as saying _I_ have an inviolable right to it, no matter how it impacts the rights of those around me. Thus in a crowded theater I have a right to walk over those in front of me in case of fire. I get to be put at the top of organ transplant lists. The world must stop and concentrate all its efforts on me if I become gravely ill. Your position is just logically, and I would argue, morally false.

  61. Lily
    March 13th, 2009 @ 7:14 am

    Bbub: You don’t seem to get that the right to life is the basis of every other right humans have and is the best guarantor of your own safety. I am sorry that you are unable to see what we are telling you but trust that over time you will come to a better understanding of the issues you have raised.

  62. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 7:30 am

    Lily, you’re dodging. Either rebut or concede.

  63. Lily
    March 13th, 2009 @ 8:04 am

    Oh honestly. Dodge or rebut what? Do I have to say plainly that I find your reasoning childish and your “examples” immoral? Could you not deduce that from what I said? I have rebutted your “argument” thoroughly. While it is a shame you cannot see that, (never mind agree– just see that it has been rebutted) that is not my problem. The discussion is over. Maybe mk has more to say. I do not.

  64. frustrated (mk)
    March 13th, 2009 @ 8:21 am

    To say that an embryo has an absolute right to life is as absurd as saying .

    B,

    Think about what you just said there. You claim that it is absurd to claim that anyone has the right to life….and yet…you do not find it absurd that everyone has the right to bodily autonomy????

    What is the ULTIMATE bodily autonomy, if not the right to LIVE?

    No where in our constitution does it claim that you have the right to bodily autonomy. No where.

    And yet, in our declaration we are guaranteed the RIGHT TO LIFE…

    EVERY SINGLE RIGHT hinges on that first right…the right to life.

    If there is no right to life, there is no moral or legal grounds for murder.

    We DO NOT have bodily autonomy in this country, or any other.

    We MUST wear seat belts. We MUST wear helmets when riding a motorcycle. We CANNOT commit suicide. We cannot ingest illegal drugs. We cannot smoke in certain places. We cannot stand on rail road tracks and demand that the train stop…

    I could go on, but if you honestly think we have the right to full bodily autonomy then you are mistaken.

    Also, you have not, and again I am begging you, addressed the issue of conjoined twins.

    And you have not addressed my argument that forcibly taking someones organ is not equal to voluntarily killing your own child.

    Nor have you addressed the issue of INTENT. The intent to kill the child. The INTENT, when refusing to donate an organ is NOT to kill the recipient.

    Intent.
    Conjoined twins.

    And it DOES matter whether it is a kidney or a human being.

    No life is being taken when a kidney is removed. A life is being taken in an abortion.

    You DO need to define when life begins. Because the legal “RIGHT’ to life is granted to every one, while bodily autonomy is not. That’s just the law.

  65. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 8:24 am

    I’m going to take that as a concession since you’ve made no serious attempt at rebuttal. Let me just say that I don’t normally come down this hard on people rhetorically, but in debates like this you live or die by your logical insights and/or errors — and you made some howlers. Your gravest misstep was to insist that a rape victim has no claim to the autonomy of her own body, and I’m sorry but that had to be challenged. At the very least, I think I’ve made you see that the issue isn’t as clear-cut as you thought. TRT, take notice.

  66. frustrated (mk)
    March 13th, 2009 @ 8:25 am

    And B, if you argue that the right to bodily autonomy trumps the right to life (which I think I have shown is not so), then what of the unborn childs right to autonomy. Does it not also have the right to be free to grow til it can also be autonomous? At what age will that happen? 1 year? 3 years? 21 years? When is a child considered autonomous?

    Do you see the flaws in this thinking? What is to stop me from killing anyone under the age of 5? They are not autonomous. They could not make it on their own? If their right to life does not trump the right to autonomy, then I should have the right to kill them, since they are not autonomous yet…

  67. frustrated (mk)
    March 13th, 2009 @ 8:27 am

    B,

    Who was #65 to? Because you have not made me see anything even close to what you are claiming…who said that a rape victim has no claim to autonomy?

  68. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 8:31 am

    I see there’s another worthy contender, Mk! But I’m at the end of my day. I will fight on…tomorrow.

  69. frustrated (mk)
    March 13th, 2009 @ 8:32 am

    Okay, B,

    Have a great night…

  70. Lily
    March 13th, 2009 @ 8:58 am

    LOL!!! LOL!!! LOL!!! Man, do we need smilies! Bbub, you are hilarious, simply hilarious. You don’t even know that you have been rebutted, thoroughly.

    At the very least, I think I’ve made you see that the issue isn’t as clear-cut as you thought.

    No. You haven’t. Your “argument” is as old as it is flawed.

    Try again. But you are going to have to come up with something new, if you want me to play again.

  71. Beelzebub
    March 13th, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

    Thanks mk, your willingness to debate calmly and patiently about something you quite obviously find odious is inspirational.


    And yet, in our declaration we are guaranteed the RIGHT TO LIFE…

    Yes, but don’t forget “liberty” too. Does the right to life trump other rights? Well, it’s already been established that my right to live doesn’t permit me to make claims on another person’s body, so this is a clear case where life is subordinate to the choice of another.

    “Bodily autonomy” is perhaps a poor descriptor. What I mean is the right to your own person — the right to not have someone walk up to you and cut a finger off. I think the meaning is clear. If you believe a fetus has the full right to life as an adult, does this apply to it as well? Yes, that’s why the ethical arguments for and against abortion are about conflicts of individual rights.

    The imposition of seat belts misses the mark as a disqualifier for body rights; it’s a restriction on behavior. Proscription against illegal drug use is a better point. However, those are laws saying you can’t do something to your body, not laws saying you must do something to your body, and that’s significant. (I might also add that many Libertarians are virulently against drug laws.) Are you aware of laws that say you must do something to your body? I’d like to know your examples. The most I can come up with is immunization, but I don’t think they compel immunization – only restrict things like school enrollment for the unimmunized.

    Btw – just for clarification, I never equated a fetus with a kidney, if that’s still a problem. “Borrowing a kidney” was simply my metaphor for being forced to maintain a pregnancy against one’s will.

    Your point about the intent to kill the fetus as opposed to the non-intent to kill when refusing to donate a kidney is good. I guess in this instance I’m arguing from a consequentialist school of ethics. Both scenarios end with the same consequence, a dead person. Here, of course, I’m making the conciliatory assumption that a fetus is a full person. Catholics are heavily invested in the “double effect” philosophy of Aquinas, and so place great import on intent, but it’s important to realize that this can lead you into some dark places as well. If you drive by a toddler about to crawl off a cliff are you excused because you don’t intend for it to fall?

    Whether you follow the consequence school or the “double effect” school seems to make all the difference in this case (that is, the conundrum I posed), and perhaps this is why Catholics find themselves at such discord with the rest of society. To the consequentialist “intent” is superfluous. Btw – wiki has more than you would ever want to know on the various schools of ethics.

  72. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 6:19 am

    Thanks B,

    I think it is because I am so passionate about what I believe that I am able to remain patient.

    I was not always a practicing Catholic. I have a very nasty past. Drugs, sex, alcohol…I was a pagan for 20 years. I had my first seance when I was 9. I have always been drawn to the “unknown”, the supernatural.

    My story is a long one, and if you are ever interested, I’d be happy to share, but suffice it to say, I have NOT forgotten who I was.

    I know how you feel, how you see what I believe. I remember what it was like to be “me”, before. This is why I know that you are not an evil person out to drink the blood of babies.

    Just as you are able to, for the sake of argument, see this issue through my eyes, viewing the unborn as a human being, I am able to stand in your shoes and view the unborn as a “potential” human being.

    If you truly don’t understand that the unborn are human beings, full human beings, then it would make sense to view them as having no rights.

    But of course, I believe they are full human beings, and so you can understand how horrifying it is to me/us, to think that billions of them are being slaughtered…

    You ask what other thing can be “forced” into our body.

    Immunization is a good one, because as you said, we cannot go to school unless we are immunized. This is force, in the way we are talking about it, because the consequence of not doing it is serious.

    No one is “forcing” a woman to carry her child to term (even if abortion became illegal) because as you point out, illegal abortion will always be an option. So force is not really the right word. BUT, the consequences of getting an illegal abortion would be serious, and thus it could seem like force, just as having to get immunized could seem like force.

    Then you speak of liberty. Well, what do we mean by liberty? Do we mean that we can do ANYTHING that we want? No. That would not be liberty. For many that would mean tyranny.

    What we mean, is that we should be free to pursue our own happiness, as long as it doesn’t infringe on anothers ability to pursue theirs.

    We (the Church) look at liberty, as the freedom to do the right thing. No one should be forced to do something that they consider morally wrong. (Like I shouldn’t have to pay taxes for abortions, or a doctor shouldn’t be forced to perform abortions. I should be free to practice my faith, you should be free to NOT practice any faith). We should be allowed to live rightly, according to our consciences.

    A girl on my blog, put it beautifully (btw, she is pro choice and an atheist…but she understands our view in a way that few non Catholics can). Here is what she said…

    Jess, I think that “natural law” is different from just “natural.” Especially from a religious perspective. My understanding of it is that natural law is man’s role in God’s plan, kind of. Assuming God’s plan is The Truth, then natural law is the behavior set for man to follow in accordance with that truth.

    Thus things that are “unnatural,” like life support, can still be in accordance with natural law, since, presumably, natural law dictates that humans respect and nurture human life. As such, abortion of terminally ill or genetically “imperfect” children would be the application of unnatural ends to achieve a means that is not in sync with natural law.

    So for us, liberty is the right to follow natural law, without interference from the state.

    Does that make sense?

  73. Beelzebub
    March 14th, 2009 @ 7:56 am

    We (the Church) look at liberty, as the freedom to do the right thing. No one should be forced to do something that they consider morally wrong. (Like I shouldn’t have to pay taxes for abortions, or a doctor shouldn’t be forced to perform abortions. I should be free to practice my faith, you should be free to NOT practice any faith). We should be allowed to live rightly, according to our consciences.

    I think I would agree to this, and I think I would even favor legislation that enforced this kind of arrangement if someone could figure out how to do it. For instance, it has cost me no small degree of torment to know that my tax dollars support what I consider an illegal and immoral war. If someone could figure out how to target my contributions only to those things I favor, I might like that. Of course, this moves into political territory that becomes very complex very rapidly, issues of pure and representative democracy and what that means, etc. But generally, I agree with you.

    Re: your quote from your blog:
    I don’t doubt that that’s an accurate description of Catholic and in many respects, generalized monotheistic philosophy, but it goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway) it’s not universal.

    Do you think the right to choose is even theoretically valid? As a human ethic?

    Even Possible that it’s theoretically valid?

    If not, how do you know that a person’s right to control her body must obviously be subordinate to a baby’s right to live?

    Do you think morality and legality should be the same things always?

  74. Beelzebub
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:00 am

    Couple more:

    Must God’s law always trump human law?

    What about those that are irreligious or of different religion, are they exempt from those human laws based on God’s law?

  75. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:23 am

    Here are some quotes that explain what I mean by what freedom is and what it isn’t…

    “What we call emancipation is always and of necessity simply the free choice of the soul between one set of limitations and another.” - GK Chesterton

    “Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities. GK Chesterton

    The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act, as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails today among human creatures. Abraham Lincoln

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Goethe

    “And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.”

    –The Last Battle (CS Lewis)

    So here is my long winded point…

    We cannot begin to understand what is right and what is wrong, until we first establish whether there IS a right and wrong. Until we establish what right and wrong are, we cannot hope to define liberty. To define freedom, we must first establish what we desire to be free “from” and we should be “free” to do.

    Every thing in this universe is subject to law. Nature is subject to the laws of nature. Math is subject to it’s own laws. Societies are subject to man made laws.

    We cannot truly be free, until we understand what the “rules” are.

    A painter cannot paint, until he understands the laws of art. Michaelangelo could not sculpt David until he first understood the laws of marble, the laws of the physical body…etc. Jackson Pollock would not be considered an artist, if he did not first understand the rules of art so that he could manipulate them, break them. If Jackson Pollock’s paintings were viewed with the understanding that they were mere accidents, we would call them garbage, not art. Any two year old can splash paint on a canvas, but only someone that first understands the LAWS of art, could be called an artist by splashing paint on a canvas.

    Mozart had to understand, even if only innately, the laws of music before he could compose. An orchestra can only make music, true music, if EVERYONE is following the “laws” of music.

    Gravity, speed, time…these are all laws of nature.

    But there is a law, that is not so obvious at first glance, to which every man is called to obey. We call this natural law.

    When it comes to natural law, we have three choices.

    1. it comes from outside of us.
    2. it comes from within us.
    3. there is no natural law. Morality is dictated by each individual man. That which is best for me, is best.

    I adhere to the first, but adhering to the second will bring the same result.

    Adhering to the third will only bring chaos. No society can maintain itself if every man makes his own laws.

    Only if we believe in 1 or 2, can we truly be free. Just as a man is only free to paint, compose or sculpt AFTER he has learned the “rules”, so too can man be truly free AFTER he learns the laws of HUMAN NATURE.

    In order for us to truly get to the heart of whether or not abortion is wrong, we must first establish whether or not we both adhere to the premise that there is indeed a natural law, and that only by adhering to it, can man be truly free to be “man”.

  76. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:32 am

    Do you think morality and legality should be the same things always?

    I think that they should strive to be.

    As for whether or not irreligious people can also follow Natural Law, yes. That would be choice number 2. (I realize that you asked this before I posted my last comment, so you’ve probably already figured this out).

    Must God’s law always trump human law?

    God’s law, which can also be called Human Law, or Natural Law if you are not religious, must be the same as, not trump, human law, if we are to truly be free.

    Cancer is a good example. Our bodies are meant to be healthy. When cancer begins to kill off our good cells, our body stops working as it should. This leaves us sick. We try, through science and medicine, to bring the body back to a state where it is functioning as it was MEANT to function.

    So too with morality. When the spirit, the conscience, begins to function improperly, not as it was meant to function, then our “soul” becomes sick. We must then use “medicine” of a different kind to bring it back to the state it was MEANT to be in.

    For instance, when you are in line at the grocery store, you do not cut in front of the person in front of you. This would be “wrong” or “unfair”. This sense of fairness, is what we would call Natural Law. We do not “Take” that which is not ours to take. We don’t discuss with the person in front of us, whether it is right or wrong to jump line. We simply know, that this would be “out of order”. If we were to cut in, we would most likely incur chaos, and only when “order” was put right, would the rest of us be free to stand in line.

    I am only free to be waited on in turn, because almost everyone understands the fundamental rightness of taking turns…do you see?

  77. Beelzebub
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:38 am


    3. there is no natural law. Morality is dictated by each individual man. That which is best for me, is best.

    There is an interesting school of ethics call “virtueism” that I think began with Plato that holds that the best we can do is create people with “virtue” and then let them go. What you get is what you get, and that’s the best we can do.


    In order for us to truly get to the heart of whether or not abortion is wrong, we must first establish whether or not we both adhere to the premise that there is indeed a natural law, and that only by adhering to it, can man be truly free to be “man”.

    Perhaps, but as Goethe said, if you don’t get it right, it will become the most pitiable kind of enslavement.

  78. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:39 am

    Do you think the right to choose is even theoretically valid? As a human ethic?

    The question is to “choose” what? To choose to take another’s life, for our convenience? No. That would be like jumping line. It would be unfair, not right and against Natural Law.

    Natural Law always seeks to make man be “man”. It is keeping him from reverting to a totally visceral state. It is what keeps him seperate from all other beasts.

    While dogs follow the laws of nature, only man can follow Natural Law. A dog must be a dog, must be a dog.

    Can we choose to kill our children? Of course. Is it right? Of course not. Only man can choose. That is one of the things, the very thing, that makes him “man”. Take away that right to choose, and you take away the very thing that keeps him from being a hyena. HOWEVER, it is also in mans nature to choose rightly. To seek “good”. There will always be bad choices. But freedom is being allowed to make good choices. When good men make bad choices, then laws are enacted. When bad men make bad choices, you end up with Nazi Germany. When bad men make good men make bad choices, then they have taken away the good mens right to be men, to be free.

  79. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:41 am

    There is an interesting school of ethics call “virtueism” that I think began with Plato that holds that the best we can do is create people with “virtue” and then let them go. What you get is what you get, and that’s the best we can do.

    But that’s not truly letting men do what they want, because someone has to decide what is considered virtuous. See? What is a virtue, if not the practice of “GOOD” habits. So teaching a man to be virtuous implies that you know what is “Good” and can teach it at all.

  80. Beelzebub
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:46 am


    God’s law, which can also be called Human Law, or Natural Law if you are not religious, must be the same as, not trump, human law, if we are to truly be free.

    So are you saying that with or without belief — those religious and secular — will ultimately arrive at the same ethical precepts?

    (btw — yes, I’m conducting this as a Socratic-like dialog, but I don’t have any nefarious end. I’m honestly curious where it will lead.)

  81. Beelzebub
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:49 am


    But that’s not truly letting men do what they want, because someone has to decide what is considered virtuous. See? What is a virtue, if not the practice of “GOOD” habits. So teaching a man to be virtuous implies that you know what is “Good” and can teach it at all.

    True. I presume the theory being that the lessons of virtue are limited in scope, and that true virtue manifests itself through moment to moment decisions and action in life.

  82. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:53 am

    Perhaps, but as Goethe said, if you don’t get it right, it will become the most pitiable kind of enslavement..

    I agree. And I believe that by making the choice to kill our children we are practicing license, not freedom. License being freedom without responsibility. We have chosen to satisfy our sexual desires at a great cost.

    If we feel the right to have sex whenever we want and with whomever we want, consequences be damned, then are we not really slaves to sex? Are we free any longer, to say “no” to sex, or have we become so entrenched in the belief that sex without consequences is our “right” that we have actually become enslaved?

    I have the right to drink alcohol. I have the freedom to NOT drink alcohol, because I am not an alcoholic. But an alcoholic has lost the freedom NOT to drink. He is compelled to drink. He is a slave to drink. We see this when an alcoholic begins to lie to himself in order to continue drinking. When he begins to put alcohol above everything else. When he destroys his family, loses his job…all the time crying that he is only exercising his RIGHT to drink. He is correct, in that he is free to continue drinking. But what he is not addressing is that he is not free to STOP drinking. So is he really free at all?

    We, in this culture, are no longer really able to stop having sex on a whim. We cry that it is our RIGHT and no one can take it away. And yet, I hold that we are no longer free to STOP having sex on a whim. We only think we are. The proof is the fact, that like the alcoholic, we are willing to rewrite our moral code to allow us to continue having sex. We are willing to destroy our children, our own life blood, in order to continue to have sex. This shows how desperate we have become. This is the behavior of an addict.

    We are willing to pump harmful hormones into our bodies, risk sexually transmitted diseases, die from aids, divorce, redefine marriage, kill our offspring…all the for the so called “freedom” to have sex. Does that sound like freedom, or slavery?

  83. Beelzebub
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:57 am


    The question is to “choose” what? To choose to take another’s life, for our convenience? No. That would be like jumping line. It would be unfair, not right and against Natural Law.

    What if it was something more than convenience? What if you believed it was critical for your wellbeing? or if not being able to choose might lead to your death?

  84. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 8:58 am

    So are you saying that with or without belief — those religious and secular — will ultimately arrive at the same ethical precepts?

    If they are truly seeking truth, yes. If they are seeking self fulfillment, no. If their goal is to get what they want, then they will not recognize Natural Law. They might claim to be living by it, but they are not. Because like physical laws, Natural Law is objective. It can be discovered. It cannot be changed. It is what it is.

    If men are in disagreement, then the fault lies with man and his ability to discern the Natural Law in question, and not with the law itself.

    If a man is really, honestly seeking the Truth, then yes, I believe that religious and non religious alike will come to the same conclusions. In many areas they already have. Almost every society considers murder, theft, lying, adultery to be objectively wrong. If you show me a society that does not, then I hold that that societies motives are skewed.

  85. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 9:02 am

    What if it was something more than convenience? What if you believed it was critical for your wellbeing? or if not being able to choose might lead to your death?

    This again is where intent comes in. We must always choose good, and NEVER evil.

    If a womans life is on the line, we can rightly choose the good of saving her life, even if the consequence results in the death of the child. In essence, the choice was made for us. The laws of physical nature have won out. The body must also follow the laws of nature.

    We can NOT however, choose the death of the child, as that would be choosing an evil. So we choose the good, the result of which might not be desirable, but which is unfortunately inevitable in order to procure the “good” of saving the woman’s life. After all, we did not create the circumstances whereby the womans life would be in jeopardy. We are simply making moral choices based on nature. We are choosing the most good…

  86. Beelzebub
    March 14th, 2009 @ 9:06 am


    I agree. And I believe that by making the choice to kill our children we are practicing license, not freedom. License being freedom without responsibility. We have chosen to satisfy our sexual desires at a great cost.

    But I can equally argue that because you choose to consider a fetus at full adult status you enslave yourself to a false notion and cause yourself no end of suffering. Why do I have to respect your belief and you don’t have to respect mine?

  87. Beelzebub
    March 14th, 2009 @ 9:18 am


    This again is where intent comes in. We must always choose good, and NEVER evil.
    If a womans life is on the line, we can rightly choose the good of saving her life, even if the consequence results in the death of the child. In essence, the choice was made for us. The laws of physical nature have won out. The body must also follow the laws of nature.
    We can NOT however, choose the death of the child, as that would be choosing an evil. So we choose the good, the result of which might not be desirable, but which is unfortunately inevitable in order to procure the “good” of saving the woman’s life. After all, we did not create the circumstances whereby the womans life would be in jeopardy. We are simply making moral choices based on nature. We are choosing the most good…

    This is the problem. There are a lot of “we”‘s in that. You’ve punted responsibility for making the right choice away from the party in the best position to make it, the mother. If you believe that this is a situation that must be legislated, I can only point to existing instances of life of death decision making are already relegated to kin and family. It’s something that courts support, and most people.

    But I’m out of time — and will stop by tomorrow.

  88. frustrated (mk)
    March 14th, 2009 @ 10:06 am

    Well, by we, I of course mean the Church, but I also mean “we” as all of human kind. Again, it is not about I’m right/you’re wrong or you’re right/I’m wrong. This cannot be a contest of wills. It must be about discovering the truth, discovering good.

    As soon as it digresses into a battle of desires, we lose both 1 and 2 and enter into “3” territory.

    Life or death decision making IS relegated to the family, but only after NATURE herself has taken a stand. I cannot, as a family member, decide that grandma will die simply because grandma has forgotten her name. I must wait until nature has forced me to make a choice…Only then can a family be given authority over who will live and who will die.

    And that authority came from “Somewhere”. I believe that the decision to choose between your own life and the life of the child within in you, SHOULD be made by the mother…but only after nature has forced you into making this decision. Inconvenience, of any sort, is not reason enough to make a decision that one person should die instead of another.

    Mother’s life versus child’s life is an equal playing table….2 lives, neither more important, but one is likely, or definitely, going to die anyway. Rarely, very rarely, would the child be able to continue to thrive if the mothers body was slowly shutting down. Allowing the child EVERY chance to live, is of primary importance. The child should not be removed from the mother until nature herself has removed every other option.

    A mother’s convenience versus a child’s life is NOT an equal playing table, and therefore it is NEVER right to take the child’s life under these circumstances…

    until tomorrow…have a wonderful day.

  89. Beelzebub
    March 15th, 2009 @ 4:41 am


    Well, by we, I of course mean the Church, but I also mean “we” as all of human kind. Again, it is not about I’m right/you’re wrong or you’re right/I’m wrong. This cannot be a contest of wills. It must be about discovering the truth, discovering good.

    And what if civil and criminal law and those outside the Church decide against the its view? In fighting for what you believe do you think the Church should be given plenary powers over people? Basically, are you advocating for theocracy?

    Or, on the other hand, are you just espousing a belief that eventually society will decide things more in line with Natural Law, but until they do, you will respect the decisions they make?

    Or something else…I don’t want to set up a false dichotomy.


    I must wait until nature has forced me to make a choice…Only then can a family be given authority over who will live and who will die.

    I agree with that, but it brings up another aspect of the “cult of life,” as I’ve provocatively named it. If we give sway to theocracy, there may never be a time when we decide, or can decide. I can well imagine a time (can’t you, be honest) where the Terry Shiavo’s of the world demand perpetual preservation, even to the point of financial ruin. Such is the risk of replacing civil law with theocratic dominion.

    Essentially my point is, how much power do we forfeit to the notion of life purely for life’s sake? Not a person, not sentience, but merely life? And this entire debate is very much about power and control — and who gets to tell who what do to and when. I assure you, much freedom can be lost to the unexamined notion of “life.”


    Inconvenience, of any sort, is not reason enough to make a decision that one person should die instead of another.

    This is a point that angers many women’s rights advocates. By defining all these decisions as motivated only by trivial convenience you ignore true seriousness that lack of control poses for women the world over. You must be aware that many women of the world really have no control over when or the circumstances of sex. Simple “convenience” doesn’t describe the complexity of the issue. Insisting that the reason for “choice” must be contemptuous and posing the matter as a mere antidote for sexual promiscuity is pure sophistry. Sure, you can continue to do it, but you’re simply going to convince the other side that you’re not seriously interested in the debate.


    Allowing the child EVERY chance to live, is of primary importance. The child should not be removed from the mother until nature herself has removed every other option.

    By now I guess I don’t need to comment further since you can probably predict what I’ll say. It’s not that I object to your opinion. It’s yours, and I might very well agree to it in some circumstances. The question really is — so now what? What are you going to do with your opinion? Do you advocate for virtue, trusting that your vision is objectively correct and will be recognized by all. Or do you force it by decree on all people, perhaps theocratically.

    As Mao Tse Tung said: “Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.”

  90. frustrated (mk)
    March 15th, 2009 @ 7:43 am

    And what if civil and criminal law and those outside the Church decide against the its view? In fighting for what you believe do you think the Church should be given plenary powers over people? Basically, are you advocating for theocracy?

    Absolutely NOT. This is against Church teaching and against the very Nature of God. He has given us free will, and no man can take that away.

    If a country voluntarily CHOOSES to be a theocracy, meaning all members of the country have agreed to live a certain way and by a certain set of laws, (like Malta) then that is a different story. But for one man or government to come into a country and FORCE the people to become believers is completely against God’s law.

    It would be a grave sin.

    This does NOT mean however, that the church has no right to speak her mind on matters of faith and morals. She must stand as a beacon of light in a dark world. She must stay true to God’s law. She just can’t force others to do the same.

    Or, on the other hand, are you just espousing a belief that eventually society will decide things more in line with Natural Law, but until they do, you will respect the decisions they make?

    I will respect their right to make decisions, which is not the same as respecting the decisions that they make.

    I will speak up. I will argue my side. I will cast my vote.

    When Jesus was put to death, He was under the authority of Pontius Pilate and Caesar. Being God, He could have changed history, but He obeyed. He allowed Himself to be put to death, under civil authority. This was a lesson to us.

    There are just wars, yes, wars when protecting the God given rights and safety of vulnerable people is justified, but these circumstances are rare. Hitler was a good example. Sometimes there comes a point where an evil is so great, that it must be stopped at all costs.

    But for the most part, live and let live. Just don’t do it silently.

    I can well imagine a time (can’t you, be honest) where the Terry Shiavo’s of the world demand perpetual preservation, even to the point of financial ruin. Such is the risk of replacing civil law with theocratic dominion.

    The Catholic church does not require heroic means to keep a person alive. This would be wrong. Death comes to us all and when we are called, we must go. However, ordinary means MUST be used.

    Terri was not sick. She was not on life support. She required only what all of us require. Food and water.
    To without ordinary means of survival is a grave sin.

    She wasn’t allowed to die, which would have been a good and right thing to do. She was killed, which is an evil.

    There are people that are on life support systems, with no chance of living on their own. This is a very different scenario than Terri’s.

    My own father lived in a state very much like Terris for 10 years. We fed him, and changed him and loved him. If the time came that he could no longer swallow, we would have allowed him to die. But we did not make the decision to stop feeding him. Mercifully, he died in his sleep this past October.

    The point is that we didn’t KILL him. We allowed nature to take it’s course. We allowed God to do His thing.

    Not only did my father retain his dignity til the end, but we, as a family, also retained ours. We were able to hang on the cross with my father in his time of need, just as my father was able to hang on the cross with Jesus. We united our suffering, with my fathers, and gave it back to God. This was a true blessing. Who knows how many souls were helped by these actions. I thank God for this gift of sacrifice.

    who gets to tell who what do to and when. I assure you, much freedom can be lost to the unexamined notion of “life.”

    My answer, of course, is that the Author of Life gets to make the decisions. He created the soul, He calls it home. Matters of Life and Death are not ours to control.

    EVERYONE dies. This is a fact. Telling ourselves that we can “control” ANYTHING is a lie. No matter how much “control” we tell ourselves we have, we will still die. Death skips no man. Isn’t that what control is really all about? A fear of death? An attempt to control the one thing that we can’t? Sure, sometimes we can buy more time, but ultimately, we WILL die.

    Life too, is out of our control. Despite all of our attempts to control the advent of new life, we fail. Birth control, abortion…none of it has any real impact on Life going on. Because ultimately, Life in no more in our control than death. To believe otherwise is a form of self-delusion. A lie. A magic trick.

    Sure, you can continue to do it, but you’re simply going to convince the other side that you’re not seriously interested in the debate.

    In my country, convenience is the number one reason women have abortions. It interferes with their lives. Period. We’ve already attested that if a woman’s life is at stake, the rules change. But economic, educational, even lack of freedom for nine months…to me, these all fall under the heading of inconvenience. Serious inconvenience in some cases, but none of them serious enough to end another persons life.

    In other countries, I agree, women are treated as property and end up pregnant through no choice of their own, even by their own spouses. But changes the views and hearts of these people is the way to go. Even if it takes centuries. Finding alternatives. But killing the unborn children is a lie. It does not help the women in these situations. It simply affords the men the opportunity to continue in their brutish behavior. Killing the children of these relationships is not an answer. It is just one more evil being done to an already oppressed woman. How does taking away her child change her situation?

    Do you advocate for virtue, trusting that your vision is objectively correct and will be recognized by all. Or do you force it by decree on all people, perhaps theocratically.</i

  91. frustrated (mk)
    March 15th, 2009 @ 7:49 am

    Sorry I hit the submit button accidentally…

    Do you advocate for virtue, trusting that your vision is objectively correct and will be recognized by all. Or do you force it by decree on all people, perhaps theocratically.

    If we are not allowed to make laws that protect the most vulnerable of our society, then what is the point of a society at all?

    We have laws against rape. Is this because theists got their way? We have laws against murder, pedophilia, kidnapping….are these because of a theocracy? Doesn’t have man have the right to fight for “right”. To advocate for “good”? Even if it means drastic actions?

    If one group of people in this country suddenly decided that all 6 year old should be put to death, would we be justified in fighting them, with any means possible? Would we then be considered tyrannical? Would you say that over zealous religious lunatics were trying to force their views on the rest of society?

    It doesn’t matter how many people want something. If it is wrong, it is wrong. No majority can change that.

    I hold, that taking innocent life is wrong…period. Do I not have the right to fight for laws that back me up?

    Just as you have the right to fight for laws that back you up? Are you a tyrant? Are you an atheistic zealot, forcing your views on me?

    This is what I mean by true freedom. We are ONLY truly free, if we are free to fight for what is right. To fight for what is good. If I am not allowed to fight for an end to abortion, then I am not truly free, am I?

  92. Beelzebub
    March 15th, 2009 @ 8:54 am

    Thanks mk, very thoughtful comments, and I will respond tomorrow, if you’re still engaged in the discussion.

  93. Beelzebub
    March 15th, 2009 @ 8:32 pm


    This does NOT mean however, that the church has no right to speak her mind on matters of faith and morals. She must stand as a beacon of light in a dark world. She must stay true to God’s law. She just can’t force others to do the same.

    But it seems pretty clear that there are parts of the world where the Church oversteps that by a clear margin. In the infamous Brazilian rape case it had issued a decree forbidding the abortion. Now, I’m no expert on the exact influence the CC has on Brazilian law, but the intent is certainly to meddle directly in the actions of its people. It’s hard for me to predict whether the CC would attempt something similar here, but I would doubt it.


    n my country, convenience is the number one reason women have abortions. It interferes with their lives. Period.

    I think there are many women in rather dire circumstance in this very country who would take great exception to having their choice trivialized as mere “convenience.”


    If we are not allowed to make laws that protect the most vulnerable of our society, then what is the point of a society at all?

    From a historical perspective that doesn’t hold water. There have been a number of societies through history far more numb than ours on any of these issues.

    That could also be used as a pretext to preserve the life of the insensate Shiavo’s of the world, whom many would claim are vulnerable individuals worthy of support by extraordinary means (perhaps financially, by the family, naturally).


    I hold, that taking innocent life is wrong…period. Do I not have the right to fight for laws that back me up?

    Yes, I absolutely agree. The somewhat melodramatic pledge says it all: “I might not agree with what you say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it.”

    The place both all sides must take care to avoid is overstepping advocacy and trespassing into coercion, force, or violence.

  94. frustrated (mk)
    March 16th, 2009 @ 5:40 am

    But it seems pretty clear that there are parts of the world where the Church oversteps that by a clear margin. In the infamous Brazilian rape case it had issued a decree forbidding the abortion. Now, I’m no expert on the exact influence the CC has on Brazilian law, but the intent is certainly to meddle directly in the actions of its people. It’s hard for me to predict whether the CC would attempt something similar here, but I would doubt it.

    If the mother, her mother and the father were Jewish, the Church would not have issued that decree. These are members of the Church, as well as members of Brazil. The Church has an obligation to protect it’s own. Don’t you think? These people weren’t forced to be Catholics. They volunteered. They said we WANT to be Catholics. This must mean something or what’s the point.

    And the church didn’t say they should go to jail. It said, if you want to remain “members”, in full communion with the church that YOU CHOSE to belong to, then you need to rethink what you are about to do…

    I think there are many women in rather dire circumstance in this very country who would take great exception to having their choice trivialized as mere “convenience.”

    You’d have to show me what you mean. I just don’t see it.

    # Wants to postpone childbearing: 25.5%
    # Wants no (more) children: 7.9%
    # Cannot afford a baby: 21.3%
    # Having a child will disrupt education or job: 10.8%
    # Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy: 14.1%
    # Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy: 12.2%
    # Risk to maternal health: 2.8%
    # Risk to fetal health: 3.3%
    # Other: 2.1%

    These are worldwide statistics from Guttmacher.

    We’re talkin’ 2.8% threaten the mother’s HEALTH…not life, but health. Fetal Health is not a good reason, as abortion assures one dead baby, while carrying to term gives the child a chance.

    All other reasons are for convenience. As I said, some are serious inconveniences, but not so serious that adoption wouldn’t solve them…

    That could also be used as a pretext to preserve the life of the insensate Shiavo’s of the world, whom many would claim are vulnerable individuals worthy of support by extraordinary means (perhaps financially, by the family, naturally).

    I would be one of those. For the same reasons (non religious) that I am against abortion. WHO DECIDES which human beings are fit to live.

    You’re saying that a society doesn’t have the right to protect the vulnerable, but it DOES have the right to decide whose lives are worth saving and whose are not?

    What’s wrong with that picture?

    Society can decide that Terri Schiavo is just a body, a dead thing, a worthless thing. This power you WOULD give to society.

    But the power to save, protect, and love our most vulnerable members…this you consider overstepping our bounds?

    And just because societies in the past have made poor decisions, does not mean they were in the best interests of the society.

    Look at Communist Russia. Or the US today. Yes, throughout history countries/societies have allowed all kinds of atrocities to take place. Do we point to those societies and say…”Look, they did it, so it must be right?”

    Should we be like Caligula, because Caligula was like Caligula? Do we hold up Nazi Germany as a standard to be emulated? Or do we look at societies, no matter how many there were, that condoned the killing of the unborn, and say THOSE SOCIETIES WERE WRONG!

    Look how many societies sacrificed their children to gods like Molech and Baal. Should we do the same because “There have been a number of societies through history far more numb than ours on any of these issues.“?

    Not only does a society have the “RIGHT” to protect it most vulnerable, but a good society has and “OBLIGATION” to do so.

    I didn’t ask if these societies existed. I asked “Who needs them”?

    The place both all sides must take care to avoid is overstepping advocacy and trespassing into coercion, force, or violence.,/i>

    And where has the pro life movement or the Catholic Church done any of those things?

    If anything, we the prolifers are the ones being FORCED to pay for abortions, both here at home and abroad. I’d call that overstepping, wouldn’t you? We are the ones that have to watch millions of innocent human beings be slaughtered every year in our country alone. I’d say that was overstepping. For me, that is being forced to watch VIOLENCE being perpetrated on our most innocent members of society. Our fourteen year old daughters do not need our permission to kill our grandchild. They cannot get their ears pierced without our permission, but they can kill our grandchildren. Don’t you think that is trespassing on parental rights?

    Roe v Wade was unconstitutional. Judges overstepped their bounds. They aren’t supposed to make law. They are supposed to interpret it. I call that an outright violation of my rights. Now we are experimenting on unborn children as if they were lab rats. I’d call that overstepping…

    To me, it is the cult of death that as been doing all the trespassing, coercing and violence. The cult of Life, is left holding signs, signing petitions and sporting bumber stickers. We send red envelopes and pray rosaries. I’m just not seeing much coercion there.

  95. Beelzebub
    March 16th, 2009 @ 6:32 am

    mk,
    As usual…tomorrow.

    btw – any time you want to “move on” just let me know, (or just don’t respond).

  96. Lily
    March 16th, 2009 @ 6:48 am

    Don’t you dare. This has been a great conversation! Very well done on both sides.

  97. frustrated (mk)
    March 16th, 2009 @ 6:58 am

    Thanks Lily…

    No worries Bbub…as I said, I could do this all day…have a great day/night…

  98. Ivan Walters
    March 16th, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

    Beelzebub, have you ever read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis? (since he was mentioned above). He points out that everyone, religious and secular posits that their actions are “moral”. However, unless the basis for morality comes from outside of man(kind) then there is no morality. That would be like if each member of a baseball team had the power to change the rules. There would, in that case be no rules. The rules would be completely a matter of opinion. For the theist we have no say in what the rules are. God has made them. You stated waa-aa-y up in this thread that there were perfect reasons to disallow theft or rape. Incorrect, without God. If the Nazis decide that certain people aren’t entitled to those protections, who says their opinion of what’s “moral” is more wrong than anybody else’s? (Hint: the name starts with “G”)

  99. Beelzebub
    March 17th, 2009 @ 4:49 am


    # Wants to postpone childbearing: 25.5%
    # Wants no (more) children: 7.9%
    # Cannot afford a baby: 21.3%
    # Having a child will disrupt education or job: 10.8%
    # Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy: 14.1%
    # Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy: 12.2%
    # Risk to maternal health: 2.8%
    # Risk to fetal health: 3.3%
    # Other: 2.1%

    A great deal of misery could be concealed in even those stats. “Cannot afford baby” : dire poverty, “Has relationship problems” : domestic abuse? Just to dismiss the whole lot as “convenience” borders on disingenuous or blithe obliviousness.

    “Risk to fetal health” — hard to tell all that that entails. Where’s the category for congenital malformation?, perhaps horrible malformation. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that most people think prompt abortion in those cases is more humane than keeping the pregnancy.


    I would be one of those. For the same reasons (non religious) that I am against abortion. WHO DECIDES which human beings are fit to live.
    You’re saying that a society doesn’t have the right to protect the vulnerable, but it DOES have the right to decide whose lives are worth saving and whose are not?
    What’s wrong with that picture?

    What’s wrong with that picture is you’re framing it in terms favorable to your position, at my expense. Shiavo-like people are no longer functioning “alive” human beings. They are brain dead. How do I know this? Because their doctors, together with their close family consulted and came to that conclusion. To me, they are the ones in the best position to do so, not George Bush or a politically greedy Congress — or some quack doctor viewing her from afar.

    It’s not about determining “fitness to live.” It’s about recognizing that an individual is no longer a functioning human being — and I would contend, in the case of abortion, recognizing a not-yet functioning human. However, I’d be moving the goal posts if I didn’t point out that that’s not how I’ve been arguing my case so far. I’ve been arguing strictly from a “conflicting rights” standpoint, and what I just used is an argument based on the non-status of a person. There are two ways to approach this. One is to say that a person has no unrefusable right to life preservation. This is the “kidney transplant” approach. The other is to say that the person isn’t yet, or is no longer, a person.


    Society can decide that Terri Schiavo is just a body, a dead thing, a worthless thing. This power you WOULD give to society.

    No, I would give it to her doctors and family. Strangely enough, the vast majority of people agree with me. Now, before you again remind me that majority rule doesn’t make for a moral right, true, but it does provide a hint that perhaps you are incorrect.


    Look how many societies sacrificed their children to gods like Molech and Baal. Should we do the same because “There have been a number of societies through history far more numb than ours on any of these issues.“?

    No, but that’s outside the domain of your question or my reply. I find that people in my position often lose these arguments by conceding ground in a piecemeal fashion until we’re left standing on one leg whistling Dixie. You asked me what purpose a society serves if not to protect vulnerable people and I replied that there have been plenty of brutal societies in the past, disproving the point. If you want me to agree to a point you’d better present it as a demonstrable truism.


    I didn’t ask if these societies existed. I asked “Who needs them”?

    Well, the people who lived under them probably found some use for them. But, look, I “probably” agree with your point, but you’re manipulating, whether you know it or not. It’s not my responsibility to argue your case for you, though.


    And where has the pro life movement or the Catholic Church done any of those things?

    I seem to recall a few perforated abortion doctors.


    For me, that is being forced to watch VIOLENCE being perpetrated on our most innocent members of society.

    Roe v Wade was unconstitutional. Judges overstepped their bounds. They aren’t supposed to make law. They are supposed to interpret it. I call that an outright violation of my rights.

    By now it should be clear that I’m trying out a pretty hard-line stance on this post, one of conflicting rights. However it’s a pertinent one because I think it’s the one that the courts have used and will ultimately use to decide the legality of abortion. Does a woman have the right to terminate a pregnancy? Does she have the right to control her own body (the same question) with all other things being subordinate to that? I have a feeling they will maintain that yes, they do. More than likely the “kidney transplant” paradigm, or something like it, will play a part. However, as I’ve said, that’s not my primary argument, which rests on non-full human status of the fetus.

    I feel sorry that so many people torment themselves over what they consider a holocaust transpiring in their midst. When I hear about people endlessly grieving for the 10 wk fetus that was aborted, naming it, pining for the day they will meet with that “person” in heaven, it’s truly cringe material. The question is, what person? Who is it that they think they will meet? Someone who never thought a thought or even had perception. Could not love or laugh or speak or understand a language, never could fulfill any of the functions that, on the other post, you said separated us from the rest of the animal kingdom — had less status claim to life than my cat and whose only real claim to humanity is 46 chromosomes. This is the being they’re ready and willing to existentially flagellate themselves over for the rest of their lives. To me it’s beyond a senseless wast of time and emotion.

  100. Beelzebub
    March 17th, 2009 @ 5:03 am

    Ivan,
    Yes, I’ve read MC, though I can’t quote particulars. For the most part I “got it” though. I’m quite familiar with the absolute moral law arguments, but that’s opening up a big can of worms.

    This is another place that I take a hard-line stance, and I actually mean it. To me there is no ultimate “wrong” to killing, rape or murder. I preserve the concept of morality and decency has human attributes alone. In support of my argument I can point to psychopaths, who commit many of those crimes and feel nothing. If the world was filled only with psychopaths, morality would cease. (This is why it’s so important to keep the world free of Nazi’s.) You might say that evil would still exist, but that’s because you interpose yourself and your own moral judgments into the experiment. It’s like the tree falling in the forest thing; if there’s nobody there does it make a sound?

    btw – I find that my response to this usually leaves theists sputtering; it’s because it’s a consistent position, though I will admit, galling.

  101. frustrated (mk)
    March 17th, 2009 @ 6:18 am

    B,

    A great deal of misery could be concealed in even those stats. “Cannot afford baby” : dire poverty, “Has relationship problems” : domestic abuse? Just to dismiss the whole lot as “convenience” borders on disingenuous or blithe obliviousness.

    I have acknowledged that some of these reasons could be very serious. My point is that the inconvenience would only entail 9 months of the woman’s life. That is the inconvenience. No matter how poor she is, no matter what relationship she is in, she would only have to carry the child for nine months. It is not inconvenient to be abused. It is not inconvenient to be poor. It IS inconvenient to carry the child for nine months. Adoption is the answer here. I am not asking the woman to keep the child if she is dirt poor. That would NOT be merely an inconvenience. I am not asking her to keep the child if she is not married, or needs to finish school, or is too young. That would NOT be an inconvenience. The ONLY inconvenience that I am asking the woman to endure is to carry the child for 9 months. To opt to kill the child, is to do so to avoid the inconvenience of carrying it for 9 months.

  102. frustrated (mk)
    March 17th, 2009 @ 6:27 am

    What’s wrong with that picture is you’re framing it in terms favorable to your position, at my expense. Shiavo-like people are no longer functioning “alive” human beings. They are brain dead. How do I know this? Because their doctors, together with their close family consulted and came to that conclusion. To me, they are the ones in the best position to do so, not George Bush or a politically greedy Congress — or some quack doctor viewing her from afar.

    First, her CLOSE family members did not decide this. Her ex husband did. Second, the “doctor” belonged to a group that ADVOCATED euthanasia. This does not sound like an unbiased source to me.

    But most importantly, YOU are asking that I allow George Bush or a politically greedy Congress to decide that one group of persons has the right to decide that another group of persons is FIT TO LIVE. You say that the government doesn’t have the right to say who is fit to live, but they do have the right to grant the right to OTHERS to decide who is fit to live.

    Today, it’s people in a vegetative state (something highly contested by the family and MANY doctors), tomorrow it might be that they have alzheimers, or ALS.
    What you are saying is that some people have the right to determine when a life has VALUE. That is no ones right.

    YOU place value on sentience. But many of us don’t. Many of us believe that sentience has NOTHING to do with the value of a human being. Yet you are willing to grant the government the power to make that decision. You can’t prove that Terri wasn’t sentient. You can’t prove that her soul was not aware. You can only prove that her brain was not functioning and that her soul was incapable of expressing itself through the body. You can prove that her brain was broken. You cannot prove that Terri was broken.

  103. frustrated (mk)
    March 17th, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    I’ll have to get to the rest later…sorry. Super busy day today. BTW, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  104. frustrated (mk)
    March 17th, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

    B,
    If the world was filled only with psychopaths, morality would cease.

    This is where you and I differ.

    To me, if the world was filled on with psychopaths, moral PEOPLE would cease to exist. No one would PRACTICE morality. But morality would still exist.

  105. frustrated (mk)
    March 17th, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

    B,

    One is to say that a person has no unrefusable right to life preservation. This is the “kidney transplant” approach. The other is to say that the person isn’t yet, or is no longer, a person.

    I hold that ALL living human beings, no matter what stage of life, whether they are sentient, whether they are conscious…ALL of them have both the right to live, and the right to die, and that no person has the right to decide WHEN that time will be.

    You view sentience as a physical state of being. I believe that the soul is a valid a part of a human being as their body. The soul is ALWAYS sentient. If the body breaks and can no longer physically express the soul, or if the body is not sufficiently developed enough to express the soul, this has no relevance to whether or not a “person” exists. Many people are hindered in various degrees in their ability to “use” their bodies, but this does not make them less human. The brain is just another part of the body. When the soul, of IT’S OWN VOLITION, leaves a body, that is natural death. When a body is killed, FORCING the soul to leave it’s body, this is unnatural death.

    Steven Hawkings is a perfect example. Without the computer, he would appear to be a person that was not “there” by your standards. With the aid of a computer, we can see that his mind is brilliant. His person is there, trapped inside of a body that isn’t working.

    This means that you are subjectively basing whether or not you believe a “person” exists in a given body, based on what YOU can see. I base it on what I can see AND what I can’t see. This is the difference between basing your assessment on emotion vs reason.

    I can’t remember where, but on some science show, they showed a man that virtually had NO brain, and yet he was normal in all regards except that he couldn’t stand properly. HE was in there, even tho the physical evidence said that this was impossible. Many people in what was diagnosed a vegetative state, have awoken and gone on to lead perfectly normal lives. This, to me, is evidence enough, that things are not always as the “appear” to be…

  106. frustrated (mk)
    March 17th, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

    Again, the kidney approach fails on a number of counts. One is physically removing something vs keeping something.
    One is there is not intent to kill the person by refusing your kidney, whereas there is intent to kill a person to end a pregnancy. And one is that a kidney is not a human being. We have no right to kill one human being to save another.

    As for saying he is no longer or not yet a person, we are not qualified to make that decision as we do not have enough information. We can make a guess that based on behavior, the person is no longer there, be we CANNOT KNOW that he is not. This is not reason enough to err on the side of murder.

  107. frustrated (mk)
    March 17th, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

    And where has the pro life movement or the Catholic Church done any of those things?

    I seem to recall a few perforated abortion doctors.

    Neither the Catholic Church NOR the Pro Life movement condoned this behavior. In 35 years there have been a handful of episodes, where a person, of their own volition, and representing no group, committed violent acts upon abortionists. These were loudly condemned by both the Church AND the Pro Life movement.

  108. frustrated (mk)
    March 17th, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

    No, I would give it to her doctors and family. Strangely enough, the vast majority of people agree with me. Now, before you again remind me that majority rule doesn’t make for a moral right, true, but it does provide a hint that perhaps you are incorrect.

    The VAST majority of people do not agree with you. The point is that someone would have to GIVE that power to the family and doctors. In this country, we, so far, have NOT given that right to ANYONE. Euthanasia is still illegal, and with God’s grace will remain so.

    I contend that GOOD societies make laws to protect the citizens of that society. If they make laws to protect the government of the society, then they are NOT GOOD societies.

    In this country, we make laws to protect our citizens. Any country that does NOT have laws that protect it’s citizens is not a society that most people would want to live in. The oppressors might be content, but the oppressed would, I would guess, be less than satisfied.

    The unborn, the marginalized, the sick, the weak…these are the people that I say a government has a MORAL RESPONSIBILITY to protect. Show me why this is not so.

  109. Ivan Walters
    March 17th, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

    Beelzebulb (don’t think we’ve gotten to the first intial stage. ha! ha!)

    Sorry, not sure I understand your response. As far as evil goes, in a way, the world already in a way is full of psycopaths. They think (due a disease) that what they are doing is ‘morally correct’. In the world every person argues that what they are doing is morally correct. But if that is the case then there is no such thing as morality, only opinion. You can, as a philsophical construct, hold that position, but be clear, that is the position you hold. If there is a morality, that applies to more people than you, then as Lewis pointed out much better than I can, you are inevitablity led to the conclusion that only God can be the author of morality. Otherwise it’s just opinion. Again, who decides which opinion is right? If someone decides that people who post with a name starting with ‘b’ aren’t people, who’s to say they aren’t wrong, in your philisophical worldview?

  110. Beelzebub
    March 18th, 2009 @ 3:17 am

    I agree that the Shiavo case was weird in that there was a conflict of family opinion, which separates it from the vast majority of vegetative cases like it, where the whole family comes to a consensus. If I were faced with a similar situation and just one person close to the victim objected I would have great qualms about okaying it, but probably only because of the way it would affect that person.


    To me, if the world was filled on with psychopaths, moral PEOPLE would cease to exist. No one would PRACTICE morality. But morality would still exist.

    That’s only because your formulation of morality is along the lines of Platonic Ideal Forms, it lies in perfection outside reality. To you it still exists even without any real instantiation. The problem you have is similar to Plato’s: you can’t describe where these ideals exist or why they are necessary in an objective sense (well, you can, you say they come from God, but that’s resorting to something extrinsic to the argument).


    I believe that the soul is a valid a part of a human being as their body. The soul is ALWAYS sentient.

    Yes, I know you do. To me “soul” is a fiction.


    This means that you are subjectively basing whether or not you believe a “person” exists in a given body, based on what YOU can see. I base it on what I can see AND what I can’t see. This is the difference between basing your assessment on emotion vs reason.

    No, there are actually objective neurological tests that can determine whether a person is “there” or not, even if many of their senses and motor abilities are gone.


    can’t remember where, but on some science show, they showed a man that virtually had NO brain, and yet he was normal in all regards except that he couldn’t stand properly. HE was in there, even tho the physical evidence said that this was impossible.

    If you could supply a believable reference, I would find that quite stunning.


    Many people in what was diagnosed a vegetative state, have awoken and gone on to lead perfectly normal lives. This, to me, is evidence enough, that things are not always as the “appear” to be…

    I suppose that’s possible. I’m not expert enough to discern the difference between “vegetative” or “persistent vegetative” or if there are states that are known to be 100% unrecoverable.

  111. Beelzebub
    March 18th, 2009 @ 5:29 am


    Neither the Catholic Church NOR the Pro Life movement condoned this behavior. In 35 years there have been a handful of episodes, where a person, of their own volition, and representing no group, committed violent acts upon abortionists. These were loudly condemned by both the Church AND the Pro Life movement.

    A short article I found: Pro Life isn’t quite as clean as you represent them.
    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/11/29/conflicting_rights/

  112. Beelzebub
    March 18th, 2009 @ 5:43 am


    They think (due a disease) that what they are doing is ‘morally correct’. In the world every person argues that what they are doing is morally correct. But if that is the case then there is no such thing as morality, only opinion.

    I’d object to that point about psychopaths. They don’t do things that seem wrong to us but actually appear morally correct to them. They simply lack, for whatever reason, the organic prerequisites allowing them to intuit any morality at all (in the very worst cases). Their world simply lacks moral content. They may mimic moral behavior to blend with the crowd, but they’re just going through the motions.

    Is my naturalistic morality “just opinion.” No more than you might think depression or acrophobia is “just opinion.” It may not pack the wallop of a God’s proscription, but it’s more than mere opinion.

  113. frustrated (mk)
    March 18th, 2009 @ 5:48 am

    B,

    No, there are actually objective neurological tests that can determine whether a person is “there” or not, even if many of their senses and motor abilities are gone.

    Yes. I understand that. That’s what I mean by “see”. You base a persons value on what you can detect/see/record, I base it on more than that.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290610,00.html

    French doctors are amazed that a 44-year-old civil servant with an abnormally small brain has led a normal life with a slightly lower than normal IQ, according to a report on Physorg.com.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/03/0308_060308_all_fours_2.html

    “The documentary shows a boy with no cerebellum at all who is nonetheless walking and riding a bicycle,” said Humphrey, who studied the family in Turkey.

    These are two different conditions. I hope the links don’t get me spammed…

  114. frustrated (mk)
    March 18th, 2009 @ 6:05 am

    B,

    This is why we need to always begin one of these discussions with the question, do you believe in Objective Moral Truth.

    I’ve been arguing with someone via email. The question was put to me, if I had to choose whether to kill a chicken hatchling or a fertilized chicken egg, which would I choose.

    Naturally, I chose the egg. This was taken as proof that I value the hatchling more, hoping to transfer this belief that I value a fully grown human more than an embryo.

    My response was that while I might value a hatchling more, this has no bearing on whether or not a hatchling is more valuable.

    Do you see what I am saying? I have an opinion, yes, but my opinion is subjective, and as such can be wrong. It is virtually worthless in reality.

    I of course will make decisions based on this opinion, but this doesn’t make my opinion right. (or wrong)

    Of course we are only talking about moral opinions here, not which cereal I prefer.

    The only opinion I have that matters is that “in my opinion there is Objective Moral Truth”. Past that, all other opinions are just that…opinions.

    You however, believe that your opinions determine morality. This means that your morality is fluid. It can change with your opinion. What you consider moral today, you might not consider moral tomorrow.

    I don’t determine morality. I discover it. Or try to.

    Some morality is more obvious than others. For instance, we would almost universally agree that it is “wrong” objectively to walk into a preschool and arbitrarily shoot a classroom full of four year olds. Anyone that would disagree would be looked at as if they were nuts!

    Or we almost all agree that gang raping a 90 year old woman would be morally wrong, objectively.

    I just read a discourse between a priest and an aboritonist…he addressed your kidney argument in a way that I couldn’t.

    Donating a kidney falls under the heading of charity, and while it would be “nice”, it is not morally required.

    However, the right to life, falls under the moral category of JUSTICE. Justice is ALWAYS required, while charity is not.

    “Objectively” speaking of course.

    The problem with subjective morality, or as we know it, moral relativism, is that we always come back to the question “Who decides”. If you live in a society where morality is relative, NO ONE IS SAFE. Anybody’s rights at any time can be taken away on a whim.

    The ten commandments, whether you believe they came from God or not, are universally accepted as moral objectives.

    They are the building blocks of almost all religions and societies.

    For instance, in Christianity we say “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

    In Buddhism, they say, “Do not do to anyone else what you would not like done to you”.

    In Wicca, they say “Do what ye will, harm ye none”.

    Three different ways of saying the same thing. Three VERY different religions, yet the same concept is at the heart of all three.

    Somehow, all three religions have “discovered” this moral truth. They didn’t just invent it…

    Do you see what I’m saying?

    So if you agree that Majority does not rule, using your theory of moral relativism, how do you, or a society decide what is right and moral, when each member of the society has it’s own opinion and they differ?

  115. frustrated (mk)
    March 18th, 2009 @ 6:30 am

    Re: your article on RICO.

    I know the Schiedlers very well. That case went to the Supremem Court three times and NOW LOST. Period. Joe Schiedler was exonerated.

    If you go to Pro choice sites that list the “violent” acts that they are talking about, I think you’d be shocked to see that “Picketing” is listed as a violent act.

  116. frustrated (mk)
    March 18th, 2009 @ 6:43 am

    Go here to see a list of what is called “Violent Acts”…honestly, it’s embarrassing.

    http://www.prochoice.org/pubs_research/publications/downloads/about_abortion/violence_statistics.pdf

    They list 11,000 cases of picketing, 700 of hate mail…c’mon. Don’t you think that’s skewing the numbers just a bit. But it allows them to claim that hundreds of thousands of incidences occur…

    There have been six murders since Roe V Wade, ALL of which were WRONG. But name me any other civil rights war that had so little violence associated with it. Ask any cop what he thinks of the Pro Lifers as a whole in terms of violence. It’s the easiet group they have to deal with.

    ALL violence is denounced by 99.9% of Pro Life groups. That’s a no brainer, as by definition the Pro Life group as a whole is, as you say, a CULT OF LIFE…

  117. Lily
    March 18th, 2009 @ 7:08 am

    You would never know it by what the big media reports but there have been a shocking number of violent acts (i.e. beatings) perpetrated on pro-lifers who were peacefully demonstrating– while the cops stood by in some cases! I have one particular one in Philadelphia in mind (mk do you remember the incident I mean?)

  118. frustrated (mk)
    March 18th, 2009 @ 7:49 am

    Lily,

    I don’t remember that one in particular, but if verbal abuse counts as violence, I’d have to say the pro choice side “wins” that one…

    Although I have to say that our side also dabbles in skewing the statistics. (Gotta be fair) We list all botched abortions and forced abortions as “violence” perpetrated by the pro choice side. While they are indeed violent acts, they are not done in the “name” of pro choice, anymore than Eric Rudolph worked on behalf of the pro life movement. I’m sure that the pro choice side would denounce women being forced to have abortions and incompetent (or worse) abortion doctors.

    But I can tell you from first hand experience that I have taken my share of verbal abuse…I’ve had food thrown at me, a gun pointed at me, and we actually got a cop fired for misconduct…I’ve been called things that I wouldn’t even reprint…

    I’m in no way saying that ALL prochoicers are like this. I’m just pointing out that I have NEVER been in the company of a violent act done by a pro lifer, but have seen countless (and I do mean countless) acts of “misconduct” personally done to me, by pro choicers.

  119. Lily
    March 18th, 2009 @ 9:59 am

    Are you kidding mk? You must know that the “prochoic” side does protect doctors who botch abortions.

    And yes, some subset of pro abortionists do cheer the violence. The receptionist at the clinic where Ed Snell (standing on private property no less) was assaulted and nearly killed told a reporter that he got what he deserved. (http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/1157)

    It would be nice if the big media would cover these events, so that a true picture of what is going on would emerge but this is the same crowd that actively worked to put Obama into office. Intellectual honesty simply isn’t part of their make-up.

    Lots of people, including those who are pro-choice, are honestly surprised when they learn of this.

  120. frustrated (mk)
    March 18th, 2009 @ 10:30 am

    I’m not arguing the fact that this goes on, I’m just careful not to use a broad stroke. Certainly Planned Parenthood is infamous for their dishonesty, as well as NARAL and NOW. I just wouldn’t say that being pro choice makes you a liar. See?

    Just that fact that you say those who are prochoice are surprised when they learn of this, shows that they don’t all know that it goes on…

    As I said, I’ve witnessed some really shocking stuff!

  121. Beelzebub
    March 19th, 2009 @ 4:41 am

    I read all the comments, but I’m going to switch to the thread where skeptimal is conversing since it has in common the theme of mind/brain.

  122. Beelzebub
    March 19th, 2009 @ 4:42 am

    Also, I’m not very good at arguing on multiple fronts, and things are getting pretty diffuse here.

  123. frustrated (mk)
    March 19th, 2009 @ 5:10 am

    B,

    No problem. This post will be dropped soon anyway. We can pick up as the opportunity arises…

    I think we need to discuss Objective Moral Law and stick with that until we figure out what each of us believes. I’ve stated before that if you believe in Moral Relativism, there isn’t much to be said, because it will always come down to your opinion vs my opinion. Only if we agree on the premise that there IS Objective Moral law, can we begin to discern what the truth is in regards to abortion.

    Does that make sense?

  124. Beelzebub
    March 19th, 2009 @ 6:32 am

    My opinion is that the closest we can probably come to an objective moral law is the Golden Rule. From there you can either attribute it to a mandate from on high, or simply poplar consensus. It’s so powerful because it’s the converging nexus of principles of personal rights, justice, and a workable basis for social law.

  125. Annie
    May 8th, 2011 @ 6:41 am

    I realise there’s an incredibly long discussion between three people here already, but I wanted to comment on the post itself.
    This is poorly written. I understand the tone it’s TRYING to get at, but it doesn’t get there. The addition of “all abortion providers are alcoholic rapists” is gold. That and the little boy being a foetus. Who’s dreaming. Except he’s not really there. But in the dream it’s a specific day. Because the boy’s dreams always occur chronologically in association with his life. But it’s his mum’s dream! But she’s dreaming about some dude who’s trying to write a HOSHITBROSOTRUE passage. But he falls flat in his attempt. But but but but actually the dream is a dude’s. But it’s a woman’s! She dreams this dream every abortion provider day! IT IS WHEN THE LINK TO THE SPIRIT WORLD IS MOST WEAK! BEWARE DREAMING ON ABORTION PROVIDER DAY! ON THAT DAY THE NARRATIVE GETS ALL MESSED UP BECAUSE IT’S POORLY WRITTEN!

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