Monday, September 18, 2006

Human v. Fetus

An interesting (albeit off-topic) idea has emerged in the comments of this Michael Shermer post at Amused Muse. Fundy ChristoFascist Apologetics aside, I'd like to explore the issue of when a fetus becomes a human being.


Some nutjob going by the handle "ConcernedEngineer" is doing the standard fundy conflation dance concerning abortion and infanticide to support his ChristoGestapo opinion that he should be able to make decisions for the rest of us. Nothing new.

But what about the underlying issue of "at what point does a fetus become a human being" with all the rights, privileges, and responsibility thereof? When do we say that yes, this is no longer a growth in a human, but a human in its own right?

Obviously, conception is a stupid conclusion. Otherwise carcinomas would qualify. (ok, that was a snark) But 12 years after birth is equally stupid. Science can't say anything about an immortal soul, whether it exists, when such a thing might enter a body, etc. etc. There's never been a single bit of physical evidence for such a thing, and I see no real reason to invoke invisible beings, omnipotent or otherwise.

So. At birth? What's so special about that moment?

When it's viable outside the womb? Define viable. With or without doctors and machines? With or without someone to feed it?

What about when it has discernable brain waves? Is it a human once it thinks? Once it dreams? Or when it's self-aware? Hell, I know retirees that aren't self-aware, are they not humans anymore?

I'm no expert, but I like the brainwaves idea. Kate agrees, for lack of any better ideas.


100 Eloquent Orations:

On 9/19/2006 07:25:00 AM, Blogger Lifewish waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

As far as I'm concerned, it's effectively a human once it has brain activity - it might be a rather strange, simplistic human, but them's the apples.

As such, I'd tend to go for somewhere about the point that it develops discernible neurons. That's fairly conservative, leaving a decent margin for error.

Anyone know when the cells responsible for developing into the brain stop splitting every five seconds?

 

On 9/19/2006 08:55:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

On behalf of the ChristoGestapo...
(I have to say, you are very creative in your insults... I didn't laugh out loud when I saw ChristoGestapo, but I think a smile came across my face)...

By what rationale do you declare a baby to be a human at the moment of the first detection of brainwaves? Or, to put a reverse spin on the idea, by what rationale and epistemological authority do you refuse to recognize the human person prior to that moment?

Even so, by calling it a human person when we get brain activity, am I correct that you would join me in condemning abortions that occur after that point (except perhaps in the case when a woman's life is in danger)? Or are you so committed to disagreeing with me that you would condone the killing of a being that you recognize as human? Do you condemn partial birth abortion? Or do women have the right to have their babies' brains sucked out of their little skulls in the process of being born?

It is interesting to note that this discussion is not going to be really scientific, but more philosophical. Assigning "value" to human beings is not a scientific thing to do. By science we know how the heart pumps blood around the body, how the brain works with the nervous system, etc. Thus this debate by nature is philosophical and theological. We are trying to learn something about "reality" (for I hope that we all hold that human beings really do have value), yet we have to discern reality without science.

Or do you think that it is the presence of a certain chemcial doing a certain activity that makes us valuable?

Shalom.

 

On 9/19/2006 10:27:00 AM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"I have to say, you are very creative in your insults... I didn't laugh out loud when I saw ChristoGestapo, but I think a smile came across my face"

Thanks, always happy to bring a smile.

"By what rationale do you declare a baby to be a human at the moment of the first detection of brainwaves?"

I'm not sure I do, I'm exploring the topic with this thread. It's at least as good (better, I'd say) than declaring a baby to be a human when conception occurs. I guess it comes down to defining human being, doesn't it?

"epistemological authority"

None. I presume to think for no one else, only myself. Try it sometime, you might enjoy the freedom.

"Even so, by calling it a human person when we get brain activity, am I correct that you would join me in condemning abortions that occur after that point (except perhaps in the case when a woman's life is in danger)?"

IF (and that's a very large if) we could scientifically define the moment that a fetus becomes a human being as being that moment, then yes, I WOULD condemn an abortion after that moment. Despite your cries of "if you endorse abortion, you must be a murderer" I do not condone murder. I'm just trying to figure out when the term murder would be appropriate. Did you even bother to read the above post?

"Or are you so committed to disagreeing with me that you would condone the killing of a being that you recognize as human? Do you condemn partial birth abortion? Or do women have the right to have their babies' brains sucked out of their little skulls in the process of being born?"

You can spin and slant and propagandize all you like, I'm not buying your graphic depictions as an intellectual argument. Amputation of a limb is gruesome, it doesn't make it wrong, and it doesn't make it murder.

"It is interesting to note that this discussion is not going to be really scientific, but more philosophical."

I believe I already mentioned that.

"Thus this debate by nature is philosophical and theological."

Philosophical, yes. How invisible sky daddies fit in is unclear. What part of "mythology" are you finding difficult to deal with? I'm interested in a rational discussion, Yaweh the genocidal maniac is about as relevant as Zeus or Odin the spoiled children.

"We are trying to learn something about "reality" "

Well, some of us are, others are stuck trying in vain to shore up the crumbling foundations of bronze age superstition.

"yet we have to discern reality without science."

And you propose using your book of ancient mythology and superstition instead? Oh, the irony of it all.

Do you have any idea how silly you sound?

"Or do you think that it is the presence of a certain chemcial doing a certain activity that makes us valuable?"

Actually I find that being part of this universe, being composed of StarStuff, living as a part of the grand cosmos makes us plenty valuable. I don't find it necessary to point to ancient superstitions to find my value, or the value of any other living creature. Or any other non-living thing, for that matter. (Like the pun, there?) Everything has a place, even you. Even ancient mythology.

Your gods served a purpose, once. They explained to the people of the time the universe around them. It was a satisfactory and expedient explanation for the moment. Sort of like a placeholder.

Think back to first grade, when your teacher was explaining subtraction to you. What was one of the first things that you learned about subtraction? "You can't take a big number away from a little number." It made sense. It was logical. It was a little white lie that served a purpose: to help you understand the basics of subtraction, without confusing you with the facts, with the whole story.

Later, you found out that you can, in fact, take a big number away from a little number. Thus, you gained a greater understanding of subtraction.

Gods were sort of like that on a larger scale. Once, we needed to understand the basics of the universe, before we worked on the more complicated things. Now most of us have moved on to much grander things, but some of us are still stuck on big numbers and little numbers.

For your reading pleasure,

"1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."


Whilst the underlying mythology is pretty silly, this passage from your book of woo actually has some very worthwhile philosophy buried in it.

I especially want to point out the passage marked verse 11.

"11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."


On a grand human scale, this would well describe our view of the universe. When we, as the human race, were children, we thought as children. We made up gods to fill in a bunch of blanks. Now, we are further along on the road to adulthood, and those blanks are more properly filled in with understanding. It's long since time to put away childish things, C.E.

I also find the last verse interestingly forgotten by your particular brand of mythology.

It's intesting to note that "charity" is translated from the original greek αγάπη, "altruistic love". So while your own "greatest apostle", Paul, advocated that love was in fact greater than hope or faith, your brand of mythos has spent the last two millennia promoting war and violence and hate to force faith among the unbelievers, and it's progenitor mythos did the same for millennia before.

I'm much more interested in crusading for love, in all its wonderous incarnations. The love of the sound of laughing children, the love of my fellow humans in general, the love of art and music and literature, and of course the ἔρως of My Dear Kate. In every moment, in every location, in every crack, crevice, and oriface, both figurative and literal.

THAT is something worth crusading for. THAT is something of value.

The long and the short of this is that if you want to stand above the river of immorality, you should probably get off the sands at the bottom first.

 

On 9/19/2006 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Janiebelle,

Considering our vastly different worldviews, I am moved by your decency and ... dare I say ... compassion that I detected in your last post. Does this mean that we get to be friends?

Once upon a time, I worked for the government and lived in California, and often went out to clubs with my non-Christian friends, and was often the designated driver. They knew about my faith and convictions, and we got along great.

I will say, in spite of your assertion, I am not advocating hatred of people and war for the sake of war. I am advocating a Crusade for love. I became a Christian, in large part, because when I was 16 years old, I saw in Christians, the love of God. That was proof to me. Such love is not of the world.

If I find in myself a desire that can't be met anywhere in this world, the most likely conclusion is that I was created for another world.

You say that you "don't presume to think for anyone." If you do become convinced that at some point an unborn child is, in truth, a human person with the right to life, then you will either stand up for that conviction (and therefore unfortunately be compelled to disrespect any ideas that contradict that position) or you won't stand up for that conviction (in which case you don't really own the said conviction solidly and/or you don't care enough to defend that unborn child). But if you do stand up with conviction about this, then you are assuming epistemological authority.

By condemning infanticide, we assume epistemological authority. We say that it is true that the infant is a human person with inherent value; therefore, we disrespect any creed that would contradict that idea - even if we respect the person who holds to such a creed.

This is worth pointing out. We can respect one another without respecting each other's ideas. I respect you, because you are a person created in God's image. That is beautiful. That is lovely. That is wonderful. But I disrespect any ideas that would devalue the personhood of human persons. That would be sin. Dehumanizing people is wrong. And because I am convinced that at conception that fetus is a human person, I disrespect your idea that devalues that human person. But know this, I am doing all I can to respect you as a person, while disrespecting your erroneous idea.

1 Corinthians 13 is one of my favorite passages of the Bible. I memorized it well before I became a Christian. It is beautiful.

 

On 9/19/2006 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"I'm much more interested in crusading for love, in all its wonderous incarnations. The love of the sound of laughing children, the love of my fellow humans in general, the love of art and music and literature..."

Sounds like church to me.

So, on a different topic (if you don't mind), what is the relationship between love and joy and peace and discipline and hard work and self-denial and restraint.

Having spent two years teaching, the kids from families that had a loving father and a loving mother who were united together in holy matrimony in a holy covenant and who provided affirmation and discipline, affection and structure and careful punishment to their children... these were the most healthy and happy and successful kids. Doing whatever you feel like, not being willing to live under anyone's authority, refusal to serve and submit, rebelling against all rules... this seems to lead to a destructive lifestyle. God doesn't give us rules because He is a cosmic sadist. He gives us rules, so that we could experience abundant life. So that we would be under His protection and blessing.

 

On 9/19/2006 12:35:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

This is going to take a while, bear with me in the meantime....

 

On 9/19/2006 02:19:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Four pages of furious writing about the history of christianity and war, and I'm not yet up to 1000 CE, C.E. This might take a week or more, just for a quick synopsis of all the pain and suffering inflicted on the world by the christian church.

Suffice it to say, a crusade for love does NOT in fact sound like your church, even remotely. "By their works ye shall know them", so moral authority hath thou none.

Furthermore, you are still arguing from the authority of the bible, C.E. But you have yet to give any reason whatsoever why anyone should give a rat's petutie what the bible says. I can argue from the authority of "Interview with a Vampire" that humans are nothing more than food, but that doesn't mean much of anything, because the book is (like your bible) FICTIONAL.

Can you see the logic in first establishing that your book HAS authority before arguing FROM that authority?

 

On 9/19/2006 02:28:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

On a side note, I find it interesting that in your list of "radical left wing democrats" you include Jimmy Carter. It's interesting because of all the people in all of christendom, including the pope, his is the one name that has done more to spread peace and love and care about his fellow man than any other.

While he was president, his main goal was peace in the world.

Now the man is like a million years old, and yet he's still out there banging nails, trying to help poor people to have a decent place to live.

He's not TAKING, he's GIVING. He's not TELLING me how to live, he's SHOWING.

I don't give a damn what party he's affiliated with, THAT counts more than all the sermons of self-righteousness from all the pulpits in the world combined. He is the paragon of decency, he is your Lancelot, sir.

 

On 9/19/2006 02:48:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Well, even before we proceed with this debate, I'd really like to establish mutual respect for each other - since we are both human persons.

On establishing the Bible as credible authority...
Let us say for a moment (and only for a moment) that you are the AUTHORITY (all caps) on epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. That is you not only know the TRUTH, but you are the TRUTH. You are the Authority on Reality.

Essentially, let us suppose for a second that you are God.

If you wanted someone to believe in you, how would you reveal yourself to them? If you wanted someone to know you - not just know about you, but know you, how would you go about doing that?

Let us say that you were in a room with twenty people - half believed in you and half didn't. Half believed that you really were the AUTHORITY with the TRUTH, and the others were like, "Nope... don't think so."

If anyone who believed in you gave a reason why they believed in you, and that reason was based on someone else's experience or knowledge, then one of two things has happened:

1. That other person had an experience with you and testified about it truthfully.

Or...

2. The person giving an apologetic for believing in you just exalted the other person above you by appealing to his authority.

I'm not sure if you followed me. This is pretty complex, and I don't think I'm explaining it well.

The point is this: If I gave you a "secular" reason to believe in the Bible, then I have just exalted secularism over the Bible, and if you believe me, then your faith is really resting on secularism and not the Bible itself. By doing so, I would totally defeat myself.

There are archaeological and historical pieces of evidence that make believing in the Bible reasonable... but I do not exalt archaeology and history over God. God backs up His own Word.

Check out Hebrews 6 when you get a chance. It says something like this (paraphrase), "When God had nothing greater to swear by, He swore by Himself, and said, 'I will surely bless you and cause your descendents to increase... blah blah blah.'" The point is that God appealed to His own authority and backed himself up.

Many courtroom debates become debates of authority. One expert authority evaluates effort and gives His professional opinion on the matter. And people believe him because he has all kinds of degrees and certificates and everything. Then the other side brings in an even more qualified witness, and he says the exact opposite. The jury is left there trying to decide which expert is better qualified.

The Bible speaks and backs up its own authority. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit confirms it. And the Bible confirms the Holy Spirit. Both are real and back one another up.

But again, let me reverse the argument. How do you know anything about epistemology and/or ethics? What are you believing? What are you trusting? The masses of people and their opinions? The Supreme Court? Your own opinion?

I hope after reflecting about this you eventually wake up in a cold sweat realizing that everything that you trust might not be reliable.

The best evidence of the authenticity of the Bible is God Himself, who testifies to its truthfulness.

If the Bible backed itself up with secular ideas, then it wouldn't be God's Holy Word, it would be a secular document.

Our faith is not to rest in secularism, but in God. And He really does speak.

Seek, and you shall find.

On the injustices of the church...
Let me save you time if you are trying to debunk Christianity by bringing up all the injustices done in the name of Jesus. I freely confess that much has been done in the Name of Chritianity that has been unjust. But it is well worth pointing out that for all the evil done in the name of Christianity, Jesus never endorsed any of it. "Christians" have often given Christ a bad name. But that doesn't make Christian doctrine false or evil.

YHWH is the great "I AM!"

 

On 9/19/2006 02:53:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

I think Jimmy Carter is a "nice" guy, and that is all good and well. But I think he was somewhat incompetent in how he dealt with the Iranian hostage crisis. And I think that he is unwise in his present support for the Democratic Party.

Again, by saying this, I am not endorsing the white Republican capitalistic party. I'm merely pointing out flaws with Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. And I'm not saying it to be mean and cause division, but to bring these issues to attention, so that people will vote wisely in future elections.

 

On 9/19/2006 02:58:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Ok, mutual respect I'm good with.

It's the complete lack of rationality to your argument I have an issue with.

So your whole argument can be paraphrased thus:

"The bible is True, because it says it's True, and we know that's True, because the bible is True."

Sorry, were I God, I'd simply introduce myself, rather than force my adherents to make ridiculously circular arguments to try and prove that I exist.

You rail and rail against there being a need or ability or even possibility to prove that God exists somewhere other than your imagination, and yet you endorse the Intelligent Design Creationism Hoax.

Circles, C.E. Circles.

 

On 9/19/2006 03:16:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Of course the argument is circular. Every argument from authority ends up being circular.

If you were God, you would introduce yourself. But how would you convince the person you were speaking with that you were God? Would you just say, "Hi, I'm God." What would you do if they said, "Nice to meet you; I'm the Easter Bunny." (i.e. They didn't believe you).

Would you show them your awesome presence? I think you would. In other words, you would back yourself up with your own glory.

You don't seem to realize that merely introducing yourself is embracing the idea of a circular argument.

But what you wouldn't do is this:

"Hi. I'm God."

to which the unbeliever says, "yeah right."

To which you say, "Yeah, I really am God. Don't you know anything about archaeology. Archaeological evidence shows that I revealed myself to some prophets a long time ago. Its right there written in the archaeological evidence. You can read, right?"

That wouldn't get you very far. Because you just exalted archaeological evidence of a past revelation over yourself and your own ability to reveal yourself to people.

The only way God can convince someone that He really is God is by revealing Himself to people in a convincing way. He must back His Word up with His glory and vice versa. The Word is backed up by the Spirit and the Spirit by the Word. And it is glorious!

Again, you haven't answered my question. How do you know anything - particularly anything about what is right and wrong? How do you know that infanticide is wrong?

If there is a God, then we are completely dependent on Him to reveal Himself to us - if we are to know Him. And He would have to back Himself up with His own glory.

And I'm telling you that He has done this for me.

 

On 9/19/2006 03:59:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

[sigh]

Ok, C.E.

One little bit at a time here.

"Of course the argument is circular. Every argument from authority ends up being circular."

Precisely. Which is why evidence trumps authority.

"If you were God, you would introduce yourself. But how would you convince the person you were speaking with that you were God? Would you just say, "Hi, I'm God." What would you do if they said, "Nice to meet you; I'm the Easter Bunny." (i.e. They didn't believe you)."

"You don't seem to realize that merely introducing yourself is embracing the idea of a circular argument."

You don't know me very well. When I said "introduce myself", it was a deliberate understatement.

First, I'd laugh. I'd have a sense of humor. No Hellfire, no damnation, certainly no global genocidal flood.

Second, a lightning bolt in the ass would be a good start. Not enough to hurt, just enough to grab some attention. Proof. Evidence. Not a dusty old book full of nightmarish stories of torture and death.

"Would you show them your awesome presence? I think you would. In other words, you would back yourself up with your own glory."

You're right. I would provide my driver's license, so to speak. "Here's my license, and here's what your hair would look like if it were all pink." Something your god has strikingly failed to do...EVER. (Unless you count that Madonna in the Sticky Bun... I'll pass on that, thanks. I hope you don't really take that sort of thing as evidence of anything but inanity.)

I still wouldn't kill anyone, or threaten them with eternal damnation if they didn't believe me based on my say so. Thus, I rightfully can claim the moral high ground over your fictional god.

""Hi. I'm God."

to which the unbeliever says, "yeah right."

To which you say, "Yeah, I really am God. Don't you know anything about archaeology. Archaeological evidence shows that I revealed myself to some prophets a long time ago. Its right there written in the archaeological evidence. You can read, right?"
"


Well, I would if there were actually some evidence for me in the archaeological record. Unfortunately for your sky daddy, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE of his existence. In fact, the only thing you've brought forth as "evidence" so far is a purposefully slanted translation of an anthology of writings of barely-more-than-cavemen which is self-contradictory, illogical, and can be demonstrably be proven to be false in all of its testable passages.

Oh, and your say-so.

Sorry, that counts not a whit towards evidentiary burden.

"That wouldn't get you very far. Because you just exalted archaeological evidence of a past revelation over yourself and your own ability to reveal yourself to people."

No, the reason it wouldn't get me very far is that

1. There IS NO evidence for god's existence

2. There IS a plethora of evidence that your book about god is a load of full baby diapers

THAT's why it wouldn't get me very far.

"The only way God can convince someone that He really is God is by revealing Himself to people in a convincing way."

Perfectly reasonable. Tell him to show up. Big ball of fire in the sky (unaccountable by astronomical means, of course), global vision of his holiness, hell, show up and turn my tap water into wine. It'd be SOMETHING.

"He must back His Word up with His glory and vice versa. The Word is backed up by the Spirit and the Spirit by the Word. And it is glorious!"

Ahhh... circles again. How 'bout back it up with a miracle. Something that could be studied and proven. Something completely unexplainable by natural means. Turn my puppy into a full grown dog, and then turn him back again. I'll even give him a full day in which to do it, in case he needs a little time to work.

"Again, you haven't answered my question. How do you know anything - particularly anything about what is right and wrong? How do you know that infanticide is wrong?"

Contrary to what you've ingested at the local swindling... eh... church... morality comes not from a threat of eternal damnation. It comes not from a promise of eternal reward. That's not morality, that's fear of punishment. Morality comes from altruism and empathy for those which are around you. Infanticide is wrong because it hurts someone ELSE, not because it might hurt me "after the judgement". If you really need threat and reward to not commit infanticide, then you are not moral, you are a killer who's just afraid of getting caught.

"If there is a God, then we are completely dependent on Him to reveal Himself to us - if we are to know Him. And He would have to back Himself up with His own glory.

And I'm telling you that He has done this for me."


So get with the revealing already. Tapwater into wine, puppy into dog into puppy, whatever. Show me the money.

(And no, self-induced feelings of euphoria and contentment are not evidence of god... they are evidence that somebody spiked the brownies.)

 

On 9/20/2006 06:36:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

On the personhood of the unborn...

I have said that I know that the life of the human person begins at conception. Furthermore, I am saying that as an ambassador of Christ and with His authority.

And many people agree with me.

You have said that you don't really know at what point the fetus becomes a human person. You suggested at the time that brain activity can be detected, but you don't really know.

So, you don't know, and I do.

Here's the thing: As long as people don't know, shouldn't we, as a nation, error on the conservative side? Shouldn't we stand by this fundamental rule of medicine: "First, do no harm"?

And is it really the place of the government (whether it be Congress, the President, or the Supreme Court) to make such philosophical/theological decisions for us? When there is a question about the personhood of the unborn, is it really the government's place to say, "The unborn is not a person until birth." For that matter, what is to keep the government from saying, "The infant is not a person until it is a week old and it has been determined that it is healthy." Is this not sort of a religious idea - talking about when a fetus becomes a person? As such, doesn't the First Amendment prohibit the government from making any laws that respect the establishment of religion?

So, it could be argued, especially by those who say that there should be a total separation of church and state, that the government has no place in deciding when the unborn becomes a human person.

And if we don't know when the unborn becomes a human person, then we can't draw the line concerning when an abortion is "murder" and when it is not.

Therefore, we must error conservatively. We must error on the side of life.

Thus the Roe v Wade decision is one example of out of control judicial tyranny that has become very common place in our nation. And it was a 5-4 decision.

Incidentally, at least one of the Supreme Court Justices who dissented in the Roe v Wade decision opinion essentially made this argument.

It seems to me that if we are going to allow women to kill the living matter that is in the womb, then the burden of proof is on those who support abortion to prove that that living matter is not a human person - not the other way around. But they can't prove this scientifically. It is a philosophical / theological argument, and the government has no right to say that the Christian stance is wrong. That would violate the Establishment Clause.

Checkmate.

 

On 9/20/2006 07:05:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Here is the transcript of Roe v Wade re-argument. I am still astounded that Roe won. The courts are out of control. http://www.oyez.org/oyez/resource/case/334/reargument/transcript

 

On 9/20/2006 08:37:00 AM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

I have said that I know that the life of the human person begins at conception. Furthermore, I am saying that as an ambassador of Christ and with His authority.

I have said that I know that the life of the human person begins at age 42. Furthermore, I am saying that as an ambassador of Zeus and with His authority. And Zeus is way cooler than Jesus.

Touche.

"And many people agree with me."

And many people do not.

Again, touche.

"You have said that you don't really know at what point the fetus becomes a human person. You suggested at the time that brain activity can be detected, but you don't really know.

So, you don't know, and I do."


No, you don't know, either. That makes me honest and inquisitive. It makes you ignorant and arrogant. It also makes you arrogant about your ignorance, and ignorant about your arrogance.

"Here's the thing: As long as people don't know, shouldn't we, as a nation, error on the conservative side? Shouldn't we stand by this fundamental rule of medicine: "First, do no harm"?"

First, the word you're looking for is err. Error is a noun.

Second, emergency amputation of a gangrenous or otherwise irreparably damaged limb would also violate your ridiculous extension of the Hippocratic Oath.

"And is it really the place of the government (whether it be Congress, the President, or the Supreme Court) to make such philosophical/theological decisions for us?"

Perhaps not, but it IS the place of the court to make legal decisions for us. Sorta goes with the job title.

"As such, doesn't the First Amendment prohibit the government from making any laws that respect the establishment of religion? "

Funny that an admitted theocrat would pull out the First Amendment.

Your hypocricy is on your sleeve, sir, and undermines your argument, your credibility, and your honesty.


"So, it could be argued, especially by those who say that there should be a total separation of church and state, that the government has no place in deciding when the unborn becomes a human person."

It was argued. In court. You lost.

"And if we don't know when the unborn becomes a human person, then we can't draw the line concerning when an abortion is "murder" and when it is not."

Hence, the judge. And the medical establishment. And this thread.

"Therefore, we must error conservatively. We must error on the side of life."

Says you. Is a carcinoma alive? Should we also err on the side of the life of a brain tumor?

"Thus the Roe v Wade decision is one example of out of control judicial tyranny that has become very common place in our nation. And it was a 5-4 decision."

Heard it all before. Funny how that argument only comes out when you lose. A lot like in Dover this past December.

"It seems to me that if we are going to allow women to kill the living matter that is in the womb, then the burden of proof is on those who support abortion to prove that that living matter is not a human person - not the other way around."

It seems to me that if we are going to allow men to kill the living matter that is in their brain tumors, then the burden of proof is on those who support aborting tumors to prove that living matter is not a living entity - not the other way around.

"But they can't prove this scientifically. It is a philosophical / theological argument, and the government has no right to say that the Christian stance is wrong. That would violate the Establishment Clause."

No sir. The government has no right to force ME to adhere to YOUR theological arguments. THAT would violate the Establishment Clause. No one is forcing you to believe my way, or even attempting to. It is YOU who is foisting your religious dogma and superstition on ME.

"I am still astounded that Roe won."

Given your ignorance of the Establishment Clause, I'm not surprised.

Your entire argument, indeed all of your arguments thus far, rest on the a priori assumption that your book of ridiculous mythology is the ultimate authority. You have yet to demonstrate any such authority. I could just as easily make silly arguments from "Dianetics", "The Iliad", "War And Peace", "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", "Great Expectations", "Diamonds Are Forever", or "The Cat in the Hat", and they'd be just as relevant as your arguments.

"Checkmate."

I agree. Come on back when you have an argument that doesn't rely on your book of woo and superstition and hate mongering and tyranny.

 

On 9/20/2006 10:53:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

I brought up the Establishment Clause because you hold to it, not because I do.

The way you completely turned my argument around is quite a trick of rhetoric. Very impressive. But I shall venture in to analyze your argument, and see if there are any fallacies.

First of all, your whole Zeus argument doesn't hold water for two reasons:

1. You don't really believe it, neither do any sane people.
2. Jesus is real, and Zeus is not.

You are certainly honest and inquisitive, but are you saying that anyone who knows anything and says so is "ignorant and arrogant?" Would it be arrogant for a person to say with confidence that an infant baby is a human person? Or in order to be humble and honest and inquisitive, must they suggest that the possibility exists that a human infant is not a human person?

For that matter, are there any absolutes? Is it arrogant to condemn murder of human persons as wrong? Is it arrogant to claim to know (without scientific evidence, no less) that human beings have "value?"

It seems like you are being combative, because you don't like me. Shame.

Emergency amputation is a completely different subject than abortion. Killing a brain tumor is comletely different than killing a baby. A brain tumor is not a human person - nor does it have the capacity to become a human person. A brain tumor is a living group of cells that kills human persons.

Note that my argument is not about defending "life," but defending "life of human persons."

Amputating an arm kills living human cells, but it very often saves the human person. You're smart; you should be able to see the difference.

"No one is forcing you to believe my way, or even attempting to."

I was fortunate enough to have a loving mother! I made it through the gauntlet. I had a bulls-eye on me, but once I was born, that bulls-eye was taken off of me.

I am saying that as long as a living group of cells can become a human person (if they are not already, which they are), then we ought to make sure we defend the life of the human person.

The government does not have the right to decide that an unborn baby in the 3rd trimester is not a human person. But in order to protect all human persons (because we do agree that you and I are human persons), we have to draw the line in the sand somewhere. Therefore, we should draw the line in the sand at conception. Otherwise, we might end up legalizing murder!

Let me encourage you to respond to my argument, not me. We all know you don't like me. But that is not what this thread is about.

And I don't support hate mongering. That is a slanderous comment. I support the dignity of all human persons - more than I can say for everyone who is pro-choice.

 

On 9/20/2006 11:32:00 AM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"1. You don't really believe it, neither do any sane people.
2. Jesus is real, and Zeus is not."


Jesus is exactly as real as Zeus, and vice versa. Prove otherwise.

Again, you're arguing based on an old book of mythology and using it as an authority on reality without establishing that it has anything whatsoever to do with reality.

"You are certainly honest and inquisitive, but are you saying that anyone who knows anything and says so is "ignorant and arrogant?""

No, I'm saying you don't know Jack. You believe what you say without any reason whatsoever to believe it. You ask me to go along like a sheep and not question. Your say-so is worth exactly what I just paid for it. Nothing. Give me evidence that anything you say is true. If you're going to argue about what is real or what is "True", you have to show some evidence. So far you've done nothing of the sort.

"It seems like you are being combative, because you don't like me. Shame."

Has nothing to do with whether I like you. Has to do with adherents to your particular brand of mythology attempting to redefine reality into whatever some old superstition tells them. I don't wish to turn off my brain and mindlessly follow your fantasy just because you say so.

"Emergency amputation is a completely different subject than abortion. Killing a brain tumor is comletely different than killing a baby. A brain tumor is not a human person - nor does it have the capacity to become a human person. A brain tumor is a living group of cells that kills human persons."

Again, the underlying assertion of your argument is that a fetus is a person, when you have yet to demonstrate that fact. You're skipping the foundation of your argument and attempting to force me to a priori accept your unsupported assertion.

You have to start at the foundation, before you can build the rest of your argument.

"Note that my argument is not about defending "life," but defending "life of human persons.""

See above.

"Amputating an arm kills living human cells, but it very often saves the human person."

Ditto abortion.

"You're smart; you should be able to see the difference."

Thank you, I'd like to think so. However, you have yet to show that there IS a difference.

"I was fortunate enough to have a loving mother! I made it through the gauntlet. I had a bulls-eye on me, but once I was born, that bulls-eye was taken off of me."

Non-sequiter. If you're insinuating that any woman who has an abortion is not a loving mother, than you're an arrogant pig.

"I am saying that as long as a living group of cells can become a human person (if they are not already, which they are), then we ought to make sure we defend the life of the human person."

So when you jack off, is that genocide or ethnic cleansing?

Just wonderin'.

"The government does not have the right to decide that an unborn baby in the 3rd trimester is not a human person."

Says you. I might not even disagree with you on this one, but you haven't made a case for that. It's like you've walked into a courtroom and just gave your summation.

FIRST YOU HAVE TO PRESENT A CASE.

"But in order to protect all human persons (because we do agree that you and I are human persons), we have to draw the line in the sand somewhere. Therefore, we should draw the line in the sand at conception. Otherwise, we might end up legalizing murder!"

My line is better than your line. Prove otherwise.

How 'bout this. I'm drawing the line at the parents' birth. Every time a woman ovulates, if she doesn't give birth, that's murder. After all, by your argument those cells might have become human. Every time you whack your wieney, same. Use a condom? Same. Birth control of any sort, including the rhythm method? Same. Wet dream? Second degree murder, because it was unintentional in a moment of passion.

Are you seeing how ridiculous your argument of "those cells might have become human" really is yet?

"Let me encourage you to respond to my argument, not me. We all know you don't like me. But that is not what this thread is about."

You have to MAKE an argument before I can respond to it. So far you've just argued without making an argument. I have to be honest, though. I really am liking you less and less.

"And I don't support hate mongering. That is a slanderous comment. I support the dignity of all human persons - more than I can say for everyone who is pro-choice."

It can't be slander if it's true. Your superstition is ALL ABOUT hate mongering. You only support the dignity of all human persons who submit to your silly superstition. Your superstition kills anyone who refuses. It has millennia of history of that, and continues to this day. That's not dignity, that's subjugation, and you can keep it.

As for pro-choice people and dignity, I have yet to hear of a pro-choice person blowing up a non-abortion clinic. I have yet to hear of one shooting a doctor who refuses to give abortions. I have yet to hear of one who wants to impose their religion on the rest of the country. I have yet to hear of one who wishes to force anyone else to have an abortion.

Take your book, your mythology, your superstition, your church, and your FUCKED UP IDEAS OF DIGNITY AND FREEDOM AND STICK THEM UP YOUR ASS, I DON'T WANT THEM.

Have a nice day.

 

On 9/20/2006 12:05:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

I don't need to inform you that during sexual intercourse, the vast majority of sperm die.

No reasonable people think that that is murder. A sperm without an egg isn't going to become a human person.

The point is that the law must draw the line somewhere. Yet, trying to discern when the group of living cells becomes a human person will never be able to be "proven" via science. It is not a scientific question. It can't be proven one way or another scientifically.

So, while I believe for theological reasons that the life of the human person begins at conception, and this motivates my argument, my underlining legal argument is that the group of cells might be a human person and therefore deserves to be protected. We must err conservatively in order to protect life.

And that somehow makes me tyrannical?

If you disagree with me, then where do you draw the line? When there is brain activity? What is so special about brain activity that makes the living group of cells a "person?" Why wouldn't the group of cells be a "person" before that? Clearly, you don't buy into my theological/philosophical beliefs. So, where do you draw the line? And how should the law stand? And why should your philosophical beliefs on the subject stand over my theological beliefs? Should we legalize infanticide until it can be "proven" that infants are human persons? Law, by its nature, does impose on others - both those who agree and disagree with the law. So regardless of where you decide to draw the line, it appears that either ...

a. ... you will be just as "tyrannical" as what you accuse me of being;

or (and this is worse)

b. ... you might end up supporting a law that fails to protect unborn human persons.

By the way, that tidbit I wrote about earlier ... about sucking out babies' brains during the process of birth. That is not "slanted propaganda." It is, in truth, an accurate description of one of the ways that extremely late term abortions happen. I've seen pictures of this. Pictures of babies - fully developed babies ready to be born - and then having its little brains literally being sucked out. I'm not slanting this. "Sucking" is exactly what happens. They use a device that sucks out the brain. No slant. No spin. Just the truth.

Have a nice day today.

Aren't you glad that your mother chose to give birth to you?

 

On 9/20/2006 12:28:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Logic is simply beyond your grasp, isn't it?

 

On 9/20/2006 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Jesus is exactly as real as Zeus, and vice versa. Prove otherwise."

Gladly. After you prove that human beings have value and should not be murdered.

I guess you don't believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident...."

I guess you don't believe in the soundness of any geometrical proofs, because they all hinge on Euclid's unproven postulates.

But of course, the first rule of the game is that you have to win the argument. After all, you're cuter, so you win.

 

On 9/20/2006 12:42:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Logic is simply beyond your grasp, isn't it?"

I'm sorry. Where did I commit a logical fallacy?

Do you know the difference between validity and truth?

Do you know what a syllogism is?

Do you know what a Venn Diagram is?

Do you know the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning?

You're talking to a degreed engineer who has also studied logic independently.

Presuppositions have nothing to do with the validity of an argument.

Case in point:

Presupposition: All human beings are immortal.
Minor Premise: You are a human being.
Conclusion: Therefore, you are immortal.

Or how about this:

Presupposition: All human beings are mortal.
Minor Premise: You are a human being.
Conclusion: Therefore, you are mortal.

The conclusions are opposites, but both arguments are valid. Little logic lesson for you, free of charge. However, both arguments are not sound.

Say what you want, but all honest logicians would agree with me on this one.

Have a great day.

 

On 9/20/2006 12:57:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Gladly. After you prove that human beings have value and should not be murdered."

Never made that statement, stop lying for Jesus. What I'm exploring is at what point a human fetus becomes a human being. I simply opined that I didn't believe it to be at conception.

"I guess you don't believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident...."

I guess you don't believe in the soundness of any geometrical proofs, because they all hinge on Euclid's unproven postulates."


Again, you're making false statements about my position because you can't back up yours. Lying for Jesus. How come I don't remember an exception for christians in that bearing false witness commandment? If you need to lie, you BE-lie the vacuity of your argument, and you seriously undermine your own credibility.

If you can't make your argument honestly, then at least have the decency to admit it.

"But of course, the first rule of the game is that you have to win the argument. After all, you're cuter, so you win."

No, the first rule of the game is present an informed opinion and back it up with some evidence. This is the exact same "woe is me" martyr whining that ID does when scientists won't accept their unsupported and fraudulently presented arguments.

History shows that the first rule of Christianity is:

"Argue. When you fail and no one buys the bullshit, lie. When no one buys the lie, stifle the dissent. When you still fail and no one submits, kill. Subjugate at all costs."

That sir, is why you are a wanna-be tyrant.

Your argument is without merit. Your lies are without worth.
You are without integrity.

You won't stifle me, so you can save your breath and skip that.

Will you hunt me down now? I would recommend against it. You'd be in for a bit of a shock.

I AM quite cute, though. Not that that has any real bearing on the argument, but it's at least as valid an argument as your "I say so" crap.

 

On 9/20/2006 01:08:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"I'm sorry. Where did I commit a logical fallacy?"

Where you assumed that a fetus is a human being. You have yet to prove that, or gain agreement from the parties involved.

"Presupposition: All human beings are immortal.
Minor Premise: You are a human being.
Conclusion: Therefore, you are immortal."


I dispute your presupposition. Therefore the rest of your argument is without grounds.

The difference between this and Euclid's postulates is that

1. Euclid's postulates are useful.
2. All involved parties are in agreement to accept them without proof.

"You're talking to a degreed engineer..."

Somehow I would have guessed that even without your misleading handle.

"Presupposition: All human beings are mortal.
Minor Premise: You are a human being.
Conclusion: Therefore, you are mortal."


How about this:

Presupposition: All engineers are idiots.
Minor Premise: You are an engineer.
Conclusion: Therefore, you are an idiot.

It's just as valid, which is to say, not at all.

"Say what you want..."

I shall continue to do just that, despite you and your Contagion of Stupid, and I will not lie below.

 

On 9/20/2006 01:13:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Let me make this real simple for you.

1. I draw the line at conception.

2. I do so for theological reasons.

3. There are two reasons why you should go along with this.

a. The theology is true. The Holy Spirit confirms it to all who are listening.

b. The unborn living cells might be a human person. Even if you don't buy the theological argument, we should err on the side of protecting the lives of those who might be human persons.

Three questions:

1. Where do you draw the line?

2. Why?

3. What makes your view better than mine?

 

On 9/20/2006 01:18:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

In spite of your lowly insult of myself, your argument about the idiocy of engineers is valid. But don't take my word for it. Go ask a logician that you don't already hate.

However, the argument is not sound because your presupposition is false.

There is a difference between validity and truth.

All sound arguments are valid.
Not all valid arguments are sound.

 

On 9/20/2006 01:27:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"'I'm sorry. Where did I commit a logical fallacy?'

Where you assumed that a fetus is a human being. You have yet to prove that, or gain agreement from the parties involved."

That doesn't make my argument illogical. If in fact, the unborn cells do not constitute a human person, then my presupposition is false, but my argument would remain valid - just not sound.

For a deductive argument to be sound, the argument must have a valid form AND both premises would need to be true. In this case, the conclusion would necessarily be true.

Aren't you excited to be learning something about logic? Knowledge is a wonderful thing! (Although, I hesitate to point all this out to you. Logic is a weapon, and I fear that I am empowering the enemy with a weapon. Please, in spite of how much you don't like me, use this as a constructive tool, not as a weapon).

 

On 9/20/2006 01:33:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"a. The theology is true. The Holy Spirit confirms it to all who are listening."

Is not. And if you're hearing voices of invisible people I suggest you seek immediate medical help.

"b. The unborn living cells might be a human person. Even if you don't buy the theological argument, we should err on the side of protecting the lives of those who might be human persons."

Why stop there? Go back to sperm and eggs. Conception is no more special than generation of sperm until you can prove otherwise.

1. Tentatively at the moment of the initiation of brain wave activity.
2. I have yet to hear a valid argument that would lead me to a better conclusion.
3. Nothing. But I'm not trying to force my view on you, it's vice versa.

"In spite of your lowly insult of myself, your argument about the idiocy of engineers is valid...

However, the argument is not sound because your presupposition is false.

There is a difference between validity and truth.

All sound arguments are valid.
Not all valid arguments are sound."


Fine, point conceded, but if we can get past the semantic games, the point I was making is that your presupposition is no more or less valid than mine. Stop being deliberately obtuse and address the issue.

"But don't take my word for it."

Your word is proven to be worthless, I have no intention of taking your word for anything whatever.

"your presupposition is false."

Back to this for a moment.

Yours is also false. Both your stated presupposition that all humans are immortal, and the underlying presuppositions of this discussion, that an embryo/fetus is a human being, and that your religion has any relationship at all to reality.

It's what I've been trying to get through to you for I-don't-know-how-many comments now.

You are basing your whole argument on presuppositions I don't accept. Since I do not accept your presuppositions, I needn't accept your conclusions. If you would like for me to accept your conclusions without the use of force, you must prove your presuppositions.

Get it now, logic boy?

 

On 9/20/2006 01:36:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"That doesn't make my argument illogical. If in fact, the unborn cells do not constitute a human person, then my presupposition is false, but my argument would remain valid - just not sound."

Fine. Your presupposition is false, and your argument is not sound. Happy? Quit playing word games and address the issue.

"Aren't you excited to be learning something about logic?"

Well I'm certainly learning about evasion, deception, and despotism.

 

On 9/20/2006 01:37:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Speaks volumes about your character (or lack thereof).

 

On 9/20/2006 01:44:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Gladly. After you prove that human beings have value and should not be murdered."

Never made that statement, stop lying for Jesus. What I'm exploring is at what point a human fetus becomes a human being. I simply opined that I didn't believe it to be at conception.


So, do you or do you not believe that those who are human persons have the right not to be murdered?

I fail to see how I lied. What I did do was assume that you are against the practice of human persons being murdered. And I don't believe my assumption is false. Correct me if I am wrong. Where is the lie?

"I guess you don't believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident...."

I guess you don't believe in the soundness of any geometrical proofs, because they all hinge on Euclid's unproven postulates."

Again, you're making false statements about my position because you can't back up yours. Lying for Jesus. How come I don't remember an exception for christians in that bearing false witness commandment? If you need to lie, you BE-lie the vacuity of your argument, and you seriously undermine your own credibility.


Notice how I said, "I guess...." I am not lieing; I am pointing out that postulates and axioms are taken in a sense on faith. I am suggesting that there are certain things that are true, that are knowable, and that can not be proven.

Besides, even if I didn't use the phrase, "I guess..." the sarcasm in the tone of my argument was evident. I wasn't lieing.

You sound like Al Franken - playing the lieing card when you feel like you've been backed into a corner, and you can't win the argument.

But, alas, perhaps I could be breaking the truth more lovingly and gently to you. Forgive me for my combative spirit. I am not meaning to fight you; I am meaning to defend the rights of the unborn.

 

On 9/20/2006 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"1. Tentatively at the moment of the initiation of brain wave activity.
2. I have yet to hear a valid argument that would lead me to a better conclusion.
3. Nothing. But I'm not trying to force my view on you, it's vice versa."

But see, in this case, it sounds like you wouldn't push to outlaw abortions after the fetus experiences brainwaves. How could you? To do so, you would have to make arguments that would parallel mine - except instead of using a theological argument for the basis of your opinion; it would be, "This is my opinion" argument as the basis of your opinion.

And so, as I said before, you are either going with...

a. Unborn fetuses that have brain activity are human persons, and therefore all abortions that take place after this point ought to be outlawed (in which case people will attack you and hate you the way you attack me and hate me)...

or (worse)

b. Unborn fetuses that have brain activity are human persons in your opinion, but that you will not condemn and attempt to outlaw all abortions after this point, because that would make you a Nazi-pig like that guy CE that you hate so much.

You seem to be in a tough spot.

 

On 9/20/2006 02:35:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"So, do you or do you not believe that those who are human persons have the right not to be murdered?"

I do. Never said I didn't. What I've repeatedly stated is that I do not believe a handful of cells just after conception constitutes a human person.

Do not mischaracterize my statements.

"I fail to see how I lied. What I did do was assume that you are against the practice of human persons being murdered. And I don't believe my assumption is false. Correct me if I am wrong. Where is the lie?"

You have repeatedly mischaracterized my position, as in

but are you saying that anyone who knows anything and says so is "ignorant and arrogant?"

You have insinuated that women who have abortions are not loving mothers and are deliberately targeting children for murder

I was fortunate enough to have a loving mother! I made it through the gauntlet. I had a bulls-eye on me, but once I was born, that bulls-eye was taken off of me.

You have lied about evidence

"There are archaeological and historical pieces of evidence that make believing in the Bible reasonable"

You have accused me of slander

"That is a slanderous comment."

You have slandered me along with all other people who don't subscribe to your unsupported assertions

"I support the dignity of all human persons - more than I can say for everyone who is pro-choice."

You have intimated that I would support infanticide

"Should we legalize infanticide until it can be "proven" that infants are human persons?"

You have intimated that I would support murder

"Gladly. After you prove that human beings have value and should not be murdered."

You have made a thinly veiled accusation against my patriotism

"I guess you don't believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution."

You have accused me of rigging the argument

"But of course, the first rule of the game is that you have to win the argument."

And you have weasled

"Notice how I said, "I guess...." I am not lieing;"

What you have not done is present a case for why I should accept your presuppositions that the bible has any merit or that a fetus is a human being.

"Besides, even if I didn't use the phrase, "I guess..." the sarcasm in the tone of my argument was evident. I wasn't lieing."

I call bullshit.

"You sound like Al Franken - playing the lieing card when you feel like you've been backed into a corner, and you can't win the argument."

Nope, just calling a spade a spade. I'm still waiting for an argument not based on superstition.

"But, alas, perhaps I could be breaking the truth more lovingly and gently to you."

When your fantasy becomes truth, you should seek help.

"Forgive me for my combative spirit. I am not meaning to fight you; I am meaning to defend the rights of the unborn."

The first respectable thing you've said thus far. I can see why you would get upset if you believed children were being murdered. What I can't see is why you believe children are being murdered. Or why I should believe that.

Your say-so ain't good enough. Back up your presuppositions.

Evidence.

Without it, my opinion is just as good as yours, and I'm not forcing mine on you, you are forcing yours on me.

Nevertheless, I'm willing to notch down the tone.

"But see, in this case, it sounds like you wouldn't push to outlaw abortions after the fetus experiences brainwaves."

Correct, I would not. Why? No evidence, just opinion.

"To do so, you would have to make arguments that would parallel mine - except instead of using a theological argument for the basis of your opinion; it would be, "This is my opinion" argument as the basis of your opinion."

Exactly, and I'm not so arrogant as to enforce my unsupported opinion on anyone else. Except about how cute I am. Believe that or get a kick in the shin.

"b. Unborn fetuses that have brain activity are human persons in your opinion, but that you will not condemn and attempt to outlaw all abortions after this point, because that would make you a Nazi-pig like that guy CE that you hate so much."

I choose b. It's not such a tough choice. Without evidence of a crime, I cannot convict (even morally) someone of that crime.

While Nazi-pig is perhaps politically and historically accurate, it's unnecessary and emotionally innaccurate, especially since I've agreed to tone things down.

I don't hate you, C.E., at least not yet. I'm frustrated by your repeated evasions, and underhanded tactics.

I've answered your questions, now be kind enough to answer mine.

Where is the evidence that the bible has anything to say about when a fetus becomes a human?

Where is the evidence that the bible is anything more than an anthology of stolen, corrupted, and collected myths?

Where is the evidence that a fetus/embryo is a human being at conception?

 

On 9/20/2006 02:35:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

And please excuse my blog.

Blogger has been especially wiggy lately.

 

On 9/20/2006 03:15:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

With all due respect...

"You have repeatedly mischaracterized my position, as in

but are you saying that anyone who knows anything and says so is 'ignorant and arrogant?'"


I said this after a round of debate about Jesus and Zeus. My point was not that you believe that anyone who knows anything and says so is ignorant and arrogant.

Rather, I was trying to point out to you that there postulates and axioms that are true and unknowable - both in geometry and in the realm of morality.

What I often do is catch someone making a statement ... make deductions ... come up with a conclusion that is a valid conclusion of the presuppositions, and then expose to the person who made the original statement that they don't really believe the conclusion, even though the conclusion is a valid end to a deductive argument given the initial statement made. Therefore, the person has to change or at least modify the original statement made.

I think in most of these cases where you accuse me of lieing and mischaracterizing you, that's really what happened.

Admittedly, I probably should come up with a more gentle and winsome strategy for argument, but I am asking you to understand that in all the cases where you accuse me of lieing, I was simply carrying your statements to their logical conclusions and trying to show you that those logical conclusions are not really what you are trying to say.

This is the nature of debate. And if I did it with any ferocity, I didn't mean anything personally by it. But I am convinced that abortion is America's Holocaust. I am reacting the same way that I speculate you would react if mothers were legally allowed to murder their infant babies.

b. Unborn fetuses that have brain activity are human persons in your opinion, but that you will not condemn and attempt to outlaw all abortions after this point, because that would make you a Nazi-pig like that guy CE that you hate so much."

I choose b. It's not such a tough choice. Without evidence of a crime, I cannot convict (even morally) someone of that crime.


But then, how do you condemn the murder of an infant, or a twenty year old, or anyone? What evidence is there that an infant is a human person? What evidence is there that human persons have any value and that "murder" is "wrong?"

It seems like in your mind there are two lines (I am speculating respectfully; correct me if I'm wrong).

The first line is when there is brain activity - but that's rather a soft line. You don't support that line, because by your own admission, you lack evidence that the unborn fetus is a human person at that moment.

So, then what changes at birth?

Is that the hard line so to speak? And if so, why?

Again, I'm a hardass about this, not because I hate you. Believe me; I don't. In fact, just now, I prayed for you. I bless you. Look, here's a cyber hug. ***hug***

I'm being a hardass about this, because I am convinced that the unborn child is a child. And its frustrating when you say, "Prove it" when it is knowable, but unprovable.

And you can't prove that any people have any "value" - at least not scientifically. You can't prove philosophy and theology. You either believe it or you don't.

It is the unbelief of a knowable but unprovable truth to which I am objecting.

If we can't condemn any criminal activity without evidence that criminal activity is criminal activity, then we can't have any law whatsoever. Because again, what constitutes criminal activity? What the Constitution says? Our Founding Fathers knew that they were imperfect and so they provided for a way to amend the Constitution, but in order to amend the Constitution, you have to be convinced that something about the Constitution is not just. Therefore, the Constitution is not the authority on morals and justice.

Certainly, politicians aren't the authority either.

So, how do we know anything true about the true and real but unprovable moral law?

I'm arguing that it is only by revelation of God. We know murder is wrong, because we have been created in God's image with value. My faith is in God.

Where is your faith? Your own opinion? (For most people, it is). In the opinions of the world community? In the opinions of our Founding Fathers? How do you make any moral judgments?

I'm quite confident that you don't believe in anarcy. I'm quite confident that you believe we need to have laws and that those laws must be just.

So how do you know what just is?

And what evidence do you have of that?

And how do you convince other people of that?

This is truly the debate of the ages. Most wars have been fought over these questions.

Shalom, friend. Peace to you.

 

On 9/20/2006 03:44:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Where is the evidence that the bible has anything to say about when a fetus becomes a human?"

This is tough. "Fetus" is not mentioned in the Bible.

But...
Pslam 139:13-17 - "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!"

And again in Jeremiah 1:4-5, "The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Those are a couple references. Of course, I do not discount the testimony of the Holy Spirit, and if I err, I am aiming to err on the side of protecting human persons being created in the image of God.

Where is the evidence that the bible is anything more than an anthology of stolen, corrupted, and collected myths?


I simply believe the Bible on faith. I read the Bible; God confirms the truth of it to me via His Holy Spirit. I think the Holy Spirit is showing me something; I confirm it with what the Bible says.

The Bible was written over a period of about 1500 years, written down by about 40 different authors, with one common theme - free of error and contradiction.

(yes, there are some apparent contradictions in the Bible, but upon close analysis, and keeping in mind that the Bible speaks to us as literature speaks to us, not as a lawyer or a strict logician speaks to us, the Bible is free from contradiction).

Many prophecies have been fulfilled. None have beeen proven false or wrong.

There is a guy in Denton Texas that did a 13 week series on the infallibility of the Bible. What it comes down to is faith, but there are many pieces of evidence that show that faith is reasonable.

Reason doesn't replace faith. Reason takes us so far, but eventually, you have to take a step of faith.

One of those bits of historical reasons involves the person of Jesus.

Most historians agree that a guy named Jesus existed. Here was a guy who apparently claimed to be the Son of God. What do you do with that?

If I claimed to be the Son of God, you would think I was a nutcase (well, you probably already do).

But there was something about Jesus that caused people to believe.

So, what do you do with that? Who do you suppose this guy is/was?

Lord? Liar? Lunatic?

I doubt very much he was a liar; His reputation for integrity doesn't seem to suggest that.

Lunatic? Nah... his teachings are too wise.

So, this guy was crucified by the Romans. But then the disciples go around and preach the resurrection all over the known world! They won't shut up. They are told to denounce Christ or face death, and they chose to die! Why would they die for a lie? (The Apostle John was the only one who wasn't martyred).

So, historical evidence seems to suggest that Jesus really was who He said He was. But that alone won't convince you or anyone else. It must be revealed.

Furthermore, Jesus endorsed the entire Old Testament. So, you can't hold to a high view of Jesus and a low view of the Old Testament.

There are apologists that know much more than me about this, but the bottom line is that we believers have had God reveal Himself to us, and we accept His testimony by faith.

And we declare, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts...."

 

On 9/20/2006 04:56:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

My point in the Zeus/Jesus part of the conversation was that there is just as much evidence for the existence of Zeus as there is for Jesus. Yet you arbitrarily choose one to believe in, worship even, and one to discount as myth.

Yet you fail to even address this. You simply assert that your god is real and someone else's is not, with no evidence.

Further, you are intent in bringing about a theocracy wherein I will be forced to pay homage to your god, and forbidden from worshipping any other god.

My god has a beer volcano and strippers, so he's cooler than your god, and much more deserving of my adulation. Plus your god is all about killing people, my god is all about getting drunk and having sex. Much more fun than killing people.

"What I often do is catch someone making a statement ... make deductions ... come up with a conclusion that is a valid conclusion of the presuppositions, and then expose to the person who made the original statement that they don't really believe the conclusion, even though the conclusion is a valid end to a deductive argument given the initial statement made."

And yet, when I took your "cells might become human" argument to its logical conclusion, you stuck by your agument for no apparent reason.

"But I am convinced that abortion is America's Holocaust."

And I am convinced it is not, with exactly the same amount of evidence.

As for the rest of your questions, yes, I would say the two line analogy would be accurate. Birth is a hard line. I am sure that after that point, an infant is a person. It can think, it can emote, it can feel pain. Killing a post-birth baby is definitely murder. Now, the soft line? I actually don't assign any special value to the moment of birth. It's the latest possible time of a fetus becoming a human being, a person. I'm pretty sure that personhood is probably achieved sometime before that moment.

But I don't know when that moment is, and I'm not willing to put someone in jail based on my philosophical whimsey. Thus, I must rely on experts in the relevent fields to fill in for my ignorance.

Those experts are doctors, not pastors, and not dead saints, and not characters from made-up stories.

"In fact, just now, I prayed for you."

Well, despite the fact that I think you're wasting your breath, I do appreciate the sentiment.

"And you can't prove that any people have any "value" - at least not scientifically."

Nope, can't prove it. They have value to me, and I wish them no harm. I don't need an invisible sky daddy to threaten me to not kill people. It would be nice, however, if (s)he got up off his/her lazy ass and came down and settled this "when is a fetus a person" issue. At least that would make her/him useful. As it is, (s)he is extraneous.

"It is the unbelief of a knowable but unprovable truth to which I am objecting."

But your god is NOT knowable. He was made up. Crack a history book.

"If we can't condemn any criminal activity without evidence that criminal activity is criminal activity, then we can't have any law whatsoever."

But now you're being a whack job.

Our founding fathers did a pretty good job of fleshing out the ground rules that are the basis of our society. In fact, the entire body of our founding documents can be summed up thus:

Do whatever the fuck you want, just don't interfere with anyone else doing whatever the fuck they want.

I'm good with that, and so is the rest of society. Now, we just have a sticking point on this issue as to how to define "anyone else". They had a similar issue, with black people, and eventually it was resolved with the appropriate and just decision. Not soon enough, granted, but eventually.

"Therefore, the Constitution is not the authority on morals and justice."

Actually, in this country, we've decided that it is. When an overwhelming majority of the public decides that it needs fixing, it gets fixed. When a small minority of extremists decide to impose their will on the rest of us, it stands up against them.

In fact, the Constitution was deliberately set up to make it extremely difficult to change. Why? So that whenever a different flavor of extremist wind blows, the rest of us are protected from just what you advocate - a theocracy. In fact, it was set up so that even if a band of extremist theocrats becomes a majority, it would still be difficult for them to change the Constitution. In that case, it's set up to protect the minority from the majority. It's set up to keep your church from fucking up the country too badly for too long. It's set up so that your church can't impose its will on the rest of us. It's set up to protect people like me from people like you.

"I'm arguing that it is only by revelation of God. We know murder is wrong, because we have been created in God's image with value. My faith is in God."

Yes, I'm aware that that's what you're arguing. I'm arguing that your god hasn't gotten up off his fat ass and revealed diddly shit to me. I don't know murder is wrong because we've been created in your god's image with value. I know murder is wrong because it causes suffering for other people. I don't need the threat of eternal fire or the promise of great riches to do the right thing. I do the right thing because I have no desire to harm anyone else.

Allow me to reiterate. If you need the threat of hellfire and the promise of reward to not harm anyone else, then you are just a killer afraid of getting caught. That's self-interest and cowardice, not love or compassion or righteousness.

Frankly, it's disgusting.

"Where is your faith?"

Science. Humankind. Knowlege. Love. Sex. The contagious laughter of small children in the park, and the passionate cries of my lover in orgasm.

These are the things in which I have faith.

"How do you make any moral judgments?"

Again sir, contrary to what the hucksters have been selling you, morality is not dependant on invisible masters. Indeed, history serves to tell well the story that religion and morality have little to do one with another.

I believe that last paragraph addresses the next few bits of your comment.

"This is truly the debate of the ages. Most wars have been fought over these questions."

No, read your history book. Most wars have been fought over one religion attempting to impose itself over another. In fact, a strong case can be made that your religion in particular, and in all its subtle variations, has been directly responsible for most wars in western history.

I will die fighting your religion before I will submit to your stated goal of theocracy.

"Shalom, friend. Peace to you."

An interesting and ironic choice of parting words, yet I return them, and hope you take time to consider them.

 

On 9/20/2006 05:22:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"I simply believe the Bible on faith."

Exactly, and I do not. If you wish to win me to your cause, you will have to either prove what you say about the bible, or use a different basis for your argument.

Actually there were more than 40 writers, even your own scholars say so. And most of its stories were ripped off from surrounding cultures and adapted. Look up "Epic of Gilgamesh" which predates the biblical version.

"Of course, I do not discount the testimony of the Holy Spirit"

When your ghost shows up and tells me something, you'll be the first to know. I'll send you a copy of the admission papers.

"I am aiming to err on the side of protecting human persons"

Reasonable enough without the ending caveat.

"yes, there are some apparent contradictions in the Bible, but upon close analysis, and keeping in mind that the Bible speaks to us as literature speaks to us, not as a lawyer or a strict logician speaks to us, the Bible is free from contradiction"

No, there are glaring contradictions and inaccuracies in the bible and no amount of semantic tap dancing can change that.

Try these passages on for size:

You should kill your child if he strikes you (Exod. 21:15).

If you work on the Sabbath, you should be put to death (Exod. 35:2-3).

If you curse, you should be stoned to death (Lev. 24:14-15).

Happiness is smashing children upon the rocks (Psalms 137:9).

Women should be subjugated by their husbands (1 Pet. 3:1-7).

Leviticus 11:6 states that rabbits chew their cud.

Leviticus 11:20-23 speaks of four-legged insects, including grasshoppers.

1 Chronicles 16:30 and Psalm 93:1 state that the earth is immobile; yet it not only revolves and orbits the sun but is also influenced by the gravitational pull of other bodies.

In Genesis 1, Adam is created after other animals; In Genesis 2, he appears before animals.

Matthew 1:16 and Luke 3:23 differ over Jesus's lineage.

Mark 14:72 differs from Matthew 26:74-75, Luke 22:60-61, and John 18:27 about how many times the cock crowed.

2 Samuel 24:1 and 1 Chronicles 21:1 differ over who incited David to take a census.

1 Samuel 17:23,50 and 2 Samuel 21:19 disagree about who killed Goliath.

1 Samuel 31:4-5 and 2 Samuel 1:5-10 differ over Saul's death.

The four Gospels differ about many details of Christ's death and resurrection (Barker 1990). For example, Matthew 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, and John 19:19 have different inscriptions on the cross.

Matthew 27:5-8 differs with Acts 1:18-19 about Judas's death.

Genesis 9:3 and Leviticus 11:4 differ about what is proper to eat.

Romans 3:20-28 and James 2:24 differ over faith versus deeds.

Exodus 20:5, Numbers 14:18, and Deuteronomy 5:9 disagree with Ezekiel 18:4,19-20 and John 9:3 about sins being inherited.

And that's just a quick and dirty cut and paste job from TalkOrigins

Remember your own words...

"Furthermore, Jesus endorsed the entire Old Testament. So, you can't hold to a high view of Jesus and a low view of the Old Testament."

Turns out I have a bit of unfair advantage over you when it comes to your book of fables.

My personal source spent years as a fundy studying the bible, went to a baptist high school, and even attended Bob Jones U where one of his majors was the bible. He tells me your book is "an anthology of collected bed time stories of varying literary value at best".

Sorry, I'm with him.

And we declare, "Today, if you hear His voice, seek immediate psychological assistance..."

 

On 9/20/2006 09:22:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"I will die fighting your religion before I will submit to your stated goal of theocracy."

You will not succeed in keeping Yahweh from being fully glorified.

Either you will repent of your sins and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved from eternal damnation and spend eternity in heaven - in which case God will be glorified...

OR

You will refuse to repent of your sins, die, bow your knee to Jesus Christ and confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and then be subject to the wrath of God in hell for all eternity - in which case God will be glorified.

But either way, God will be glorified. Either you will recieve His mercy or His wrath. Either way, His judgment will be just.

On the supposed contradiction between Romans and James on the nature of faith and deeds ...

It is not a contradiction. It is merely asserting that the result of real faith is a changed life. James does not assert that you are saved by works. He simply asserts that a "faith" that does not have good deeds is not saving faith.

And Paul's letters support that idea.

No contradiction. Faith and deeds - two sides of the same coin. We are not saved by works, but those who are saved will have a life full of good works. Otherwise, his faith is not real, and he is not saved.

I shall respond to your other points later - but maybe not for a week or so. I have other things in life, which I can not afford to neglect.

Shalom.

 

On 9/20/2006 11:46:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Oh, Geez.

Grow up, will ya'? Yaweh is a figment of someone's imagination, same as the Cat in the Hat. At least the Cat in the Hat wasn't plagiarized. (Look up Ahura Mazda, Saoshyant, and Ahriman, and let me know what you find out.)

Eternal damnation. Everlasting torture. Because I hurt someone? Because I committed unspeakable acts of violence?

No. Because I refuse to believe in your invisible friend without proof. So much for that love and justice thing, huh? Not to mention sanity.

Coerced conversion and submission. Nice god ya' got there. He's about as mature as a spoiled five year old who throws a fit when he doesn't get his way. Just like Zeus.

If he WERE real, I'd feel duty bound to join the forces of Satan to oppose him for the despicable despot he'd be.

Fortunately for me, he's a figment. A bedtime story to scare little children into proper behavior.

Unfortunately for me (and the rest of us freedom loving Americans), there are a lot of folks like you who still believe in your Santa Clause on meth. That makes you dangerous in a much-too-real way. Just like the psychos in Iran.

Interesting that you worship the same god, have the same speeches about serving that god, make the same bullshit statements about the love of that same god, and yet kill each other because you have a different name for that same god, and go around killing innocents in the name of that same god when they refuse to submit to your tyrrany.

You and your ilk scare me much more than your sky daddy.

Yepperdoodles, God is Love.

 

On 9/20/2006 11:48:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"I have other things in life, which I can not afford to neglect."

What? What could possibly be more important than my immortal soul?

Better get your priorities straight there Bucko, or you may be next on your god's hit list.

 

On 9/21/2006 09:31:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

You and your ilk scare me....

Glad to hear it.

It is the job of governing authorities to reward the righteous and punish the wicked. Those who do what is right should be rewarded. Those who refuse to do what is right should be afraid, because the purpose of the government is to punish the wrongdoer and so establish justice.

And of course, in this Democratic Republic that we live in, I and my ilk are among those governing authorities - since we vote.

So, just do what is right, and you should be fine. Don't murder. Don't steal. Don't have an abortion. Don't marry your own gender. Don't beat up children. Love your neighbor. Don't drink and drive. Drive safely. Just do what is right, and you have nothing to fear from me and "my ilk." Granted, you still have to answer to God for the secret sins of your heart, but I won't vote to punish you for those. I'll only vote to punish you for your wrong actions and possibly for neglect of right actions - if that neglect is obvious.

 

On 9/21/2006 10:14:00 AM, Blogger Corporal Kate waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Ok, I'm just going to ignore most of your moronic and fascist rhetoric. I joined the service to stop infections like you from taking over this country. You really are an ignorant ass, you know that?

But I have a quetion for Dein Fuhrer about this statement:

"Don't marry your own gender."

Ok, got that. But what about cohabitation? Sex? What if it's just oral sex? Does that count since there's no penetration? Can I use a strap-on anal vibrator? I mean, I wouldn't actually be doing any penetrating myself, right? What if I just look at pictures while I masturbate with my vibrator? Do you?

Please take a moment to enlighten me on the policies of the new Gestapo Government, as I wouldn't want to run afoul of the Contagion of Stupid.

Oh, and another thing. Is it OK to walk the dog at night in my own back yard if I'm naked? What about half-naked? I did that last night (it was late, I was lazy, but it was a lovely experience in the end) but I wouldn't want to get turned in by my self-righteous bastard of a peeping tom neighbor if that's not allowed. Also, which sin is greater, walking the dog half-naked, or peeping through the window to see me walk the dog half-naked with your pecker in your hand?

Just wonderin'.

Oh, and what about that whole "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" thing from Proverbs 16:8? I thought that was a sin too, but obviously not since you're so full of it... and other malodorous things. (Thanks for that line, Janie, it was a good one!) You're a very sucky christian.

Oh, and the whole "Judge not that ye be not judged"? Does that not apply to the ChristoFascist Pary members?

Here, let me refresh your memory:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

Matthew 7:1,2


So, according to your own book of woo, you're hip deep in kimshe. Wow, sucks to be you, dude.

Getting back on topic, if you're so concerned about killing that which was created in the image of god, what's up with that whole death penalty thing? And what about eternal damnation? That's like everlasting death, right? So god turns out to violate his own commandments. Now he's a genocidal psychopath and a hypocrite to boot!

Ok, maybe we need to prioritize. Let's start at the beginning. What's the first commandment?

BZZZZ.. Wrong. It ain't in Exodus, it's in Matthew.

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind . This is the first and greatest commandment."

That's your prophet/messiah guy there, so his word would seem to be the last word of authority.

You seem to be ok so far on the face of it...

"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets"

Matthew 22:36-40.


Oh, dude. All your blustering about everything else hangs "on these two commandments". And you definitely fail the second one. You are so screwed.

Looks like you need to spend less time on the internet and more time on your knees. Or you know, actually loving your neighbors. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or something. Go to work for Habitat for Humanity. Or even do both at once: get on your knees and show your neighbor just how much you really love him. He'll like that.

 

On 9/21/2006 10:33:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

When Jesus said not to judge, he wasn't saying to be naive and assume the best about all people and to throw out good judgment.

He was addressing the intentions of our hearts. Anyone who says, "You're wrong. You're going to hell. And I'm glad." Jesus was warning people about that attitude. That doesn't mean that we are not supposed to warn people about hell. It doesn't mean that we aren't to confront sin. It means that the intentions of our hearts need to be love for God and love for our neighbors.

From context it is clear that He wasn't saying that we shouldn't ever confront/instruct/correct anyone. It is all about the heart.

The greatest commandments are to love God and to love our neighbors.

I have prayed for you. In the course of our debate, I have been harsh at times. Please forgive me for that.

How can I serve you? (Of course, if you ask me to do anything that goes against God, I will refuse you.)

I certainly think you are right that I need to spend much less time on the internet, and much more time on my knees and finding ways to serve those around me. So, with those words, I shall end these thoughts.

Shalom.

 

On 9/21/2006 11:03:00 AM, Blogger MarcoConley waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

So, I'm WAY behind on this debate, but I thought I'd throw my own looney ideas to the original question into the ring.

I also must take a moment to give mad props to JanieBelle for using one of my all time favorite works of art as a user-icon. If the world had more Liliths and fewer Eves running around, it would be a better place. Plus, I have to admire the signature style of another survivor of a Christian upbringing who goes on to become a leading member of the secular humanist world conspiracy that disturbs my good friend CE so.

--

For a long time, I used to think there was a moment in development where it we could, if we had all the information, say "It's a human". Granted, we might not all be able to agree on that moment, we might have enough information to determine when that moment is, but given enough information, there probably IS such a moment.

Like Lifewish, I suspected it was probably closely linked to some critical area of brain development.
--

But, that was a long time ago. I was so much older then-- I'm younger than that now.

Now, if I had to guess, I'd say that there probably is no such moment. It's probably not a on-off light switch-- it's a dimmer. It starts out as a single cell that bears absolutely no resemblance to a human being. It ends up as an awake three- or four- year-old, who is about as human as you're going to get.

Trying to decide when it's human and when's it not may be a problem for which a solution does not exist. Maybe there's some moment in the brain where some quantum magic that enables consciousness occurs, and the entity becomes human. But maybe it's more like trying to decide a voting age.

Right now, we think it would be very wrong to deny the right to vote an 18 year old who had their birthday yesterday. Similarly, we think it would be horrible to give that same right to someone 17 years and 364 days old.

It's arbitrary. Realistically, we could pick any date. If I ran the circus, you would have the right to drink before you had the right to vote, and you would have the right to vote before or at the same time you had the right to drive a car.

If I had to pick the "abortion deadline", I'd say first trimester seems a pretty good marker. At that point, the embryo is certainly less human than the insects we kill all the time without batting an eye.

 

On 9/21/2006 11:19:00 AM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Awww... Don't go away just yet! You've only started to do your semantic gymnastics.

It only gets more fun from here.

Context, my ass.

He didn't say shit about being happy about anything.

He said "Judge not, that ye be not judged".

You are a judgemental prick, which is directly contrary to the passage in question.

And you haven't even begun to address all the other stuff.

What about that whole rabbits chewing cud thing, or the grasshoppers and other insects with four legs? What about that whole unmoving earth thing?

WHAT ABOUT THAT STRAP ON ANAL VIBRATOR!!! I NEED TO KNOW!!! Kate's making a supply trip to Priscilla's today, and I don't want to waste any money on something you've decided I'm not allowed to use. It'd make a rather unusual centerpiece on the coffee table, don't you think?

For someone who's so concerned about my immortal soul, and who and how I'm fucking, you aren't trying very hard to bring the Good Word to me.

MY IMMORTAL FUCKING SOUL IS AT STAKE HERE!!!!!

Stop being a pansy and put on that christian armor and fight the good fight. You've been commanded to do so by your prophet dude.

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

Matthew 28:19, 20"


I'm part of "all nations" ain't I? Besides, your invisible buddy is with you. He promised.

Oh, and why didn't those damned disciples baptize like they were told? In every recorded instance in your book, they only baptized in Jesus' name. Are they in Hell? Isn't that like disobeying a direct order or something? Or do they get special dispensation because they were.. y'know... stark raving mad?

Oh, wait. Now is that the inerrant version? I forget if the perfect version is the one before or after Constantine edited it to suit him.

Ahh yes, I remember now. Constantine had the text edited to ADD the trinity. The original said "in my name". Well then I guess the apostles are off the hook.

Well then why was the Celtic Church excommunicated for sticking to the original?

And why don't you guys use the original now? Shouldn't you be bitching about that? I mean, misquoting god HAS to be up there on the list of bad stuff to do, dontcha think?

And inventing the trinity out of whole cloth? Whoa. Major bad karma there, I'd tend to think.

Did you know that the only evidence for the doctrine of the trinity is found in Matthew? A book now known to have been deliberately vandalized by Constantine? That means they've all been lying to you. bummer.

That means YOU ARE A HERETIC. bigger bummer.

Better watch out for them Knights Templar guys. They burn heretics at the stake. EVEN BIGGER BUMMER.

Wow, dude. Maybe you're right. You'd better start worrying about your own soul, before you start worrying about anyone else's, you heretic you.

Have a nice day.

:)

 

On 9/21/2006 11:30:00 AM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"I also must take a moment to give mad props to JanieBelle for using one of my all time favorite works of art as a user-icon. If the world had more Liliths and fewer Eves running around, it would be a better place. Plus, I have to admire the signature style of another survivor of a Christian upbringing who goes on to become a leading member of the secular humanist world conspiracy that disturbs my good friend CE so."

OOO! Mad props! You're starting out on our good side for sure! Roses for that, and thank you.

Lillith rocks, Eve's a patsy. I agree with your sentiment on ratios, for sure. Maybe if Eve had told Adam to go yank, there'd have been a little more co-operation between the genders over the centuries, and a little more harmony. Certainly fewer sexually repressed men with control issues. Amazing what a little involuntary abstinance can accomplish.

And thanks for the thoughtful comment. Last one of those was way up there by Lifewish, one of our favorite regulars. Kisses for him, for sure.

 

On 9/21/2006 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

I just typed a reply to Marco's comment and lost it...

Marco,

You have a duty as a citizen of the United States to labor to make this place "a more perfect union" and to "establish justice."

So, you have to draw the line with good judgment, and you need to do so in a responsible manner, and then it is your duty as a citizen to force the government to do justly. That's your duty as a citizen.

If you are going to draw the line after the first trimester, I think you are drawing the line late, but at least man up and condemn all abortions after that point. Push Congress to amend the Constitution, so that all abortions after the first trimester would be outlawed.

If not, then you are essentially doing the same thing as Janiebelle - drawing a "soft line" one place and then drawing a "hard line" another place.

The "soft line" is like a line of personal conviction. The hard line is what the law should be. And that's the only line that really matters and that we should be talking about. It is the real line. The soft line doesn't really matter. At what point do we say, "This isn't only my personal conviction; this is what the law should be." Not necessarily what the law is, but what the law should be.

Unborn babies that are essentially infants ready to be born (seriously, what's the physiological differences between an unborn baby in the 9th month and an infant out of the womb for 2 minutes) are being legally murdered in this country. This isn't right. It should be outlawed.

 

On 9/21/2006 11:43:00 AM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

You have yet to make a convincing argument about anything, CE.

Just so y'know.

 

On 9/21/2006 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Janiebelle,

I'm trying to have a civil debate about religion and abortion with you. I'm trying to respect you - the person - while standing up for what I am convinced is right.

I have failed in this. I've asked for your forgiveness. I ask you again for your forgiveness.

I also am asking you to respect me - the person - one who has a real life - real feelings. I am asking you to extend kindness to me even though you disagree with me about many issues.

I'm not like al-Qaeda. I do not desire to kill all who are not of my faith. I am not trying to do anything unjust. I am trying to establish justice. I am trying to defend the rights of unborn babies who can't defend themselves. I am trying to provoke the government to establish laws that are just.

What do I do with my life? I work. I go to church. I spend time with friends. I spend time with my wife. I go minigolfing with friends on weekends once in a while. I go on camping trip with my friends. I give to charity. I seek to treat all those around me with respect. And yes, I celebrate Christmas.

And I tell people about Jesus. I tell them about a God who loves them and came and died for them.

And when I see sin and corruption in my own heart, I confess my sin and ask God to forgive me. And when I see sin and corruption in other people, I confront it - out of love for God and love for the person and love for all the people that will be influenced by that person.

I'm far from perfect.

But what about you? Marco and I disagree very much about many things. But we seem to get along. Check out my blog. Why do you feel the need to hate me, to virtually spit on me? To swear at me? To insult me? To hurt me? Why can't you treat me like a person - with a little bit of human decency?

Or do people need to worship at your altar and agree with you on everything in order for you to treat them with respect?

Shalom. Peace be with you.

 

On 9/21/2006 12:36:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Let's confront some sin, shall we?

"I'm trying to have a civil debate about religion and abortion with you. "

Liar. You're trying to force your theocracy on the rest of us.

"I'm trying to respect you - the person - while standing up for what I am convinced is right."

First part is a lie, but the second is possible.

"I have failed in this. I've asked for your forgiveness. I ask you again for your forgiveness."

All true. Good job.

"I also am asking you to respect me - the person - one who has a real life - real feelings. I am asking you to extend kindness to me even though you disagree with me about many issues."

You want kindness? And yet you also want to slap an iron collar on me like a medieval pet dog. Kindness like an 1800 slave owner is what you offer me. I am not your pet, I will not wear your collar, and I will not lie below. Go yank.

I might've done that in the beginning. We're back to that whole theocracy thing, though. I'll take it under advisement.

"I'm not like al-Qaeda."

Liar. You're EXACTLY like al-Qaeda, only without the power.

"I do not desire to kill all who are not of my faith."

Liar. Eternal Damnation is worse than killing, in your view.

"I am not trying to do anything unjust."

Liar. Theocracy is unjust by its very definition. And you support your genocidal (fictional or not, he's a sick fuck) maniac god. That makes you a collaberator, and just as guilty.

"I am trying to establish justice."

Liar. You're trying to establish a theocracy with you in charge of deciding what god has or hasn't said.

"I am trying to defend the rights of unborn babies who can't defend themselves."

Iffy, but I'll give you this one for good intentions. 'Course you know what the road to Hell is paved with, right?

"I am trying to provoke the government to establish laws that are just."

Liar. You're trying to provoke th government to establish a theocracy wherein you are in charge and the rest of us can do what you say or die.

"What do I do with my life? I work. I go to church. I spend time with friends. I spend time with my wife. I go minigolfing with friends on weekends once in a while. I go on camping trip with my friends. I give to charity."

True perhaps, but irrelevent. Word of advice, though. Get laid more. It'll do wonders for you.

"I seek to treat all those around me with respect."

Liar, you seek to forcibly impose your will on the rest of us. That's not respect.

"And yes, I celebrate Christmas."

Me too. I love pagan holidays that involve group sex and gifts. See we can agree on stuff! Wanna know what's on my Christmas wish list? (hint: It's sexual)

"And I tell people about Jesus. I tell them about a God who loves them and came and died for them."

Liar. You tell them about a god who is a megalomaniacal despot with the emotional maturity of a five year old and the spiritual equivalent of nuclear weapons.

"And when I see sin and corruption in my own heart, I confess my sin and ask God to forgive me."

Well with all that I've listed over the last several comments, you're gonna be on your knees a while. Sam's Club used to sell good kneepads for roofers. Might want to check those out first.

" And when I see sin and corruption in other people, I confront it - out of love for God and love for the person and love for all the people that will be influenced by that person."

Liar. You confront it out of an attitude of holier-than-thou arrogance, not to mention the audacity to presume to speak for an almighty gods.

"I'm far from perfect."

Ain't we all? So get with that beam before you start after the mote.

"But what about you?"

I rock. 'nuff said. I'm also a great student in bed. Ask Kate.

"Marco and I disagree very much about many things. But we seem to get along."

Yeah some of us laugh quietly. I'm more the "call you on your asininity" type.

"Check out my blog."

Did. Made my stomach turn.

"Why do you feel the need to hate me, to virtually spit on me?"

Because you feel the need to rule over me.

"To swear at me?"

Can't think of any polite words for "Cocksucking bastard with a god complex"

"To insult me?"

Amusement. You're trying to steal my freedom and destroy my country, not to mention control my every action. You really need to ask?

"To hurt me?"

Only virtually, darling, it only hurts your ego when you're exposed for what you are.

"Why can't you treat me like a person - with a little bit of human decency?"

Ummmm... do you really not see the irony of that request?

"Or do people need to worship at your altar and agree with you on everything in order for you to treat them with respect?"

Ok, now you're just funnin' me, right? Come on, even you aren't that much of a hypocritical asshole, theocracy boy. Lose the martyr complex and quit whining. I'm not planning on taking away your rights, it's the other way around. YOU sir, are the wanna be despot, so don't stand there and cry like a ninny about "persecution".

"Shalom. Peace be with you."

As long as I obey, right?

Tell ya' what. From here out, I'll try to polite as I possibly can about what a creep you are until my polite vocabulary runs dry.

You believe whatever stupid shit you want, just stop trying to foist it on the rest of the country. Oh, and you have to agree to stay at least 500 yards away from all schools and other places where children might congregate, and not ever be alone in the presence of a minor.

Oh, and an ankle bracelet would help.

How's that?

 

On 9/21/2006 12:49:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Yep...

As I said before, you are like Al Franken.

Have you considered changing your handle to Jezebel, Janiebelle?

 

On 9/21/2006 12:55:00 PM, Blogger MarcoConley waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

If you are going to draw the line after the first trimester, I think you are drawing the line late, but at least man up and condemn all abortions after that point.

The constitution doesn't require amendment. Many states have outlawed late-term abortions. Obviously, we must include an exception to protect the woman's life.

And i'm not drawing a hard like that says any abortion AFTER the first trimester is murder-- I'm saying: The first trimester is my best guess for the earliest defensible time that a ban could reasonbly be imposed.

 

On 9/21/2006 01:05:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Are you shitting me? You're JUST NOW getting it?

Right up there at the top of the intellectual pile, aintcha?

And you have yet to address any of the issues in question, and you have yet to make a substantive argument for anything at all!

Go take a quick look at your own blog. You are a publicly self proclaimed advocate of theocracy. Besides being evidence of your delusional nature, it's evidence of your dangerous nature.

If you feel like something I've said about you isn't accurate, explain why. Just do it rationally, without appeal to your invisible friend.

If your position has any merit whatsoever, you shouldn't need to appeal to your long dead prophet, your invisible sky daddy, or your creepy ghost fantasy.

You took logic, use it.

"Because I said so and I'm right" is not a valid argument, whatever semantic gymnastics you apply.

Would you care to start back at the beginning with abortion, using logic and without your delusion, or would you rather just lay the foundation for invoking your god by demonstrating that your holy book is worth diddly?

Again, I caution you against the second choice. Your chosen book is demonstrably a plaigerized fabrication, for which you have a copy of a heavily edited and slanted translation of a partial collection of fictional works by bronze age bedouins who didn't know shit from shinola. It's an uphill battle.

But you're welcome to try.

 

On 9/21/2006 01:08:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Hi Marco!

Is he always this evasive and dishonest, not to mention really bad at it?

Just wonderin'.

 

On 9/21/2006 02:18:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

You haven't accepted my two major arguments by which I support my stance that the hard line is at conception.

Recall what those two arguments were:

Abortion should be outlawed because...

1. True theology says so.
2. Better to err on the side of protecting the life of one who might be a human person than on the side of inadvertantly legalizing murder.

You have also said,

"As for the rest of your questions, yes, I would say the two line analogy would be accurate. Birth is a hard line. I am sure that after that point, an infant is a person. It can think, it can emote, it can feel pain. Killing a post-birth baby is definitely murder."

So, this is kinda fuzzy. How exactly do you know that after birth the baby is a human person? Why wouldn't it be a human person two minutes before birth?

To support your stance, you said,

"It can think."

Well, it can think well before birth. If that is the basis for "personhood" (which you have yet to prove), then you would have to go back to your soft line - if you define "thinking" as "brain activity."

It can emote.

Hmmm.... First of all, must you be able to emote to be considered human? So does that mean that someone who is in a coma is not a human? Can you prove that emoting makes someone a human person? One might argue that cows and pigs can emote somewhat. Yet they are not human persons. Killing them is not murder. Cats and dogs can emote somewhat. Killing them would be cruel, but not the same as murdering a human person.

And again, can't they emote before they are born? Or do you have to be able to see it for it to count as emoting?

But then, you come through with the clincher:

"It can feel pain."

Ahh yes. Obviously then it is a human person, right? Wait. What is it about "feeling pain" that makes it a person? Why is that a requirement for personhood? How do you know it is a requirement for personhood? Prove it.

And furthermore, if it is a requirement for personhood, again, once the nervous system is up and running, it seems like it can feel pain at that point.

You are such a hypocrite. You accuse me of not having any basis for my argument. Yet you are so completely haphazard and arbitrary in your argument.

And so what is really your basis for your argument? How is the hard line right at the moment of birth? Why not ten minutes before birth? Or a day before birth? Or a week before birth? What makes it more and less a human person at those points in time? For that matter, why not draw the line two minutes after birth? Or an hour after birth? Or a week after birth?

What about during birth? Birth, as you know, is not an instant thing. Being born takes time. So, by birth are you referring to the moment when the baby is completely departed from the mother's body or when the head first comes out? Or perhaps when the baby is repositioning itself in order to prepare to be born?

So, don't distract the discussion by attacking me personally or attacking my stance about the role of faith in government or about Christian apologetics. You have drawn a hard line. Defend it.

Seriously, who are you to oppose a woman's right to choose to kill her baby within the first week of the baby's life out of the womb? It's a person? What? Prove that!

And if you can't, then by drawing a hard line in the sand based on, "That's just what I believe is the case about reality," then you are being just as tyrannical as you accuse me of being.

Your main argument for the personhood of the infant parallels mine about the personhood of the fetus. Ultimately, it is simply your opinion and conviction that the infant is a human.

The only difference is that instead of appealing to theology, you appeal to your own opinion - as if your twisted and depraved opinion should be respected and valued.

 

On 9/21/2006 02:40:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

And...

Why not err on the side of protecting what MIGHT be a human person?

What is to be lost by prohibiting abortion after conception?

What is at stake?

Who is to be oppressed?

Who's rights are to be violated?

See...
This is where the femi-Nazis go on a rampage and totally distract the discussion from the real issue. The real issue is whether or not the unborn is a person. Period. That's it. If we don't know, then we should err on the side of protecting the life of what might be the human person.

But, the femi-Nazis, in their twisted perverse rhetoric somehow make this about women's rights.

I ask, "What is to be lost?"

Femi-Nazis, if they are honest, will respond with, "the mother's convenience."

And so they exalt the conveniences of women over the rights of the unborn human person.

Or, they'll change the issue. They'll start yelling, "Watch out for theocratic fascists!" And, "Women have the right to choose!" (Incidentally, why should this be the woman's choice? Why not involve the father? Nevermind, let's not go down that ridiculous road.) And "What about a woman's career?" And, "Those conservatives and Christians just hate us liberals because we have sex with anyone we want anytime we want!"

All distractions from the real issue.

We should err on the side of protecting what might be a human person. The burden of proof is on the pro-choice crowd to prove that the unborn fetus is not a human person. Not the other way around.

Otherwise, you must do the impossible. Prove that the infant is a human person. You can't "prove" that, because it is a philosophical/theological question - not a scientific/medical question.

You will no doubt say, "Well, why draw the line at conception?"

Thousands and thousands of sperm die after sexual intercourse. Any reasonable person will tell you that that is not murder.

I don't have to tell you about the periodic biology of woman. But every month, the period does not equate to the death of a human person. Anyone reasonable will say that.

In your heart, you agree with me on those points.

So, then the most logical place to draw the hard line is conception. Theology says so, and its best to err on the side of protecting what might be - to reasonable people - a human person.

Again, Checkmate.

 

On 9/21/2006 04:17:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Again, Checkmate."

erm, if your still playing, then the first one wasn't. This one isn't either.

You're just another data point in the negative correlation between theistic tendancies and IQ.

 

On 9/21/2006 07:40:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"You haven't accepted my two major arguments by which I support my stance that the hard line is at conception."

Correct. Both arguments lack support, therefore I don't accept either.

I've explained why, in words a child could understand. Yet, like a spoiled little child with his fingers in his ears, you come back and simply repeat the same things without supporting the arguments.

Are you any relation to AFDave?

Here it is, nice and simple again.

Theology that I don't accept is irrelevent. You've not given one single bit of evidence that your theology is any better than any other theology. "Good theology" my ass.

If you are going to err on the side of caution, and say not to kill any cells that might become human, you can't arbitrarily pick conception. You have to go back to the creation of sperm and egg. Any reasonable person can see this.

Any reasonable person can see that the clump of cells just after conception is not a human person.

After all your repetitive blathering, the difference between you and me is that I'm trying to find an answer, you are trying to push your ridiculous mythology on everyone else.

And for the record, my twisted and depraved opinion isn't responsible for the ongoing deaths of millions of people over the course of centuries, while your superstition is.

If you're so hot for a theocracy, then I suggest you jump online and find yourself a ticket to Iran. You'll be a smash hit over there, and you'll only have to translate the name of your sky daddy into Arabic.

"I don't have to tell you about the periodic biology of woman. But every month, the period does not equate to the death of a human person. Anyone reasonable will say that."

Oh please. You've already demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of reality, logic, theology, your own religion, law, feminism, ethics, and archeology. What on earth makes you think you know Jack Shit about biology? You're going to explain to ME how female reproductive biology works?

LISTEN HERE, MOTHER FUCKER. WHEN YOU SPEND A WEEK HAVING CRAMPS, MIGRAINES, BLOATING, AND EMOTIONAL WHIPLASH EVERY MONTH FOR YEARS ON END, AND YOU HAVE THE BURDEN AND RESPONSIBILITY OF AN ACCIDENTAL OR UNWANTED PREGNANCY, THEN YOU CAN OPEN YOUR FUCKING MOUTH ABOUT FEMALE BIOLOGY. UNTIL THEN SHUT YOUR GODDAMNED PIE HOLE ABOUT IT.

It's my body, including the uterus. You get no say-so on what I do with it. If I want to have 50 abortions for nothing more than convenience, then I will. The law says I can. I think I will, just to piss you off.

"In your heart, you agree with me on those points."

No, in my heart, you presumptuous prick, I think you're an absolute asshole.

Yes, it is in fact checkmate. Only what you don't get is that you have only your king on the board, you are in check, each space around you is in check, and you have lost. You can stare at the board all you like, but you've still lost. If you come back tomorrow and stare at the board, you will still have lost. If you come back in a thousand years, guess what? You will still be in checkmate, and you will still have lost.

Get over it.

 

On 9/21/2006 07:45:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Hi Rich!

"You're just another data point in the negative correlation between theistic tendancies and IQ."

Indeed. Most die-hard fundies, in fact all the ones I've ever encountered, are either hard core lying hucksters taking the rubes for all the traffic will bear, or rubes dumber than a whole box of rocks proclaiming at the top of their lungs, "Help, we're being attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of society" while they empty their pockets into the coffers.

Evolved symbiosis.

 

On 9/21/2006 09:51:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

True to form...

You can't defend your position. You have nothing - absolutely nothing - to defend your argument other than, "I'm cuter and I say so." So, left without any argument whatsoever, what do you do?

Attack your opponent. Ad hominem. Make it personal.

As I said, way back at the beginning over in the other blog.

You are an evil heretic.

And that is a rebuke; not an attack.

Angry yet? Go ahead, Jezebel. Bring out more ad hominem attacks. That's all you got. You don't have any argument to support your position. You don't answer the questions I ask. You don't speak to the argument. You can't. You got nothing.

So, go ahead. Do the only thing you Femi-Nazis know to do. Attack me. That's all you got.

Angry yet?

The Lord laughs at you. He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. He laughs at you. You are ridiculous. The depth of your foolishness actually causes God to laugh for a moment, because it is ironic for someone so ridiculous to actually take themselves seriously.

And if you don't repent, you will be punished. Hell is a reality. Deny it all you want, but you will remember these words in eternity.

May God have mercy on your soul.

 

On 9/21/2006 10:23:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Dorkmeister. It is you that came here spouting your position of absolutism. It is you who have failed to support your position. The best you could do was "I say so, and so does god."

Projection, C.E.

That is the name of your ailment. It is a common ailment among the Contagion of Stupid.

"You are an evil heretic."

No, idiot. YOU are a heretic. You don't even obey your own scripture.

"Angry yet? Go ahead, Jezebel. Bring out more ad hominem attacks. That's all you got. You don't have any argument to support your position. You don't answer the questions I ask. You don't speak to the argument. You can't. You got nothing."

I've answered your questions, I've been honest, I've admitted my lack of a solid opinion because of my lack of facts. In fact, I've repeatedly presented sentence by sentence rebuttal to all of your bullshit. You are the one who's failed to answer questions. You've been deceitful, misleading, and evasive. You are a horrible Christian, which is actually pretty typical of Fundy Christians in general.

I've addressed your argument. Why won't you address mine? Any of them?

I say back up your statements, you say "I'll pray for you".

"Angry yet?

The Lord laughs at you. He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. He laughs at you. You are ridiculous. The depth of your foolishness actually causes God to laugh for a moment, because it is ironic for someone so ridiculous to actually take themselves seriously.

And if you don't repent, you will be punished. Hell is a reality. Deny it all you want, but you will remember these words in eternity.

May God have mercy on your soul."


Angry? Nope. Amused? An understatement. It's been hilarious to watch you lie and flail about stupidly like a fish on land. God laughs at me? Doubtful, you idiot. Not only is your god and your hell fictional and plaigerized fiction at that, so am I you stupid fuck.

Can't you read? Look up there at the three profiles at the top of every single page on this blog. Which part of "fictional" don't you understand?

So now not only is the entire world aware that you are an ignorant fascist who wants to take over the world based on his religion and yet doesn't even know anything about his own religion, they are also aware that you are indeed one of the stupidest humans alive. I'm exactly as real as your god, your hell, and your brain, which is to say not at all.

CheckFuckingMate, Dipshit.

 

On 9/22/2006 10:29:00 AM, Anonymous Arden Chatfield waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Okay, I just had to ask:

'HERETIC'? How can one be a 'heretic' if they're not even Christian? Doesn't one have to at least be claiming to be Christian to qualify as a 'heretic'?

Otherwise, aren't there like 3 billion+ 'heretics' in the world?

'Jezebel'? Jeez, this is what would happen if we brought Cotton Mather back to life and gave him a computer.

Hey, C.E., did you ever see 'Crying Game'?

 

On 9/22/2006 01:22:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Actually, the root of the word "heresy" is to choose - specifically to choose to go against God.

Of course, in the mind of many, God doesn't exist, so the word heretic doesn't make much sense to them. But since God is real, and they are, in fact, choosing to rebel against Him, they do qualify as heretics.

Thus, the pro-choice crowd can appropriately be called the pro-heretic crowd. One need not claim to be Christian in order to be a heretic.

It is a bit ironic, that you say, "Jeez" to my Jezebel comments, yet are perfectly fine with the language Janiebelle has used against me. Not that I will lose any sleep over this whatsoever, but I do find it ironic.

When conservatives and Christians use offensive language, many on the left tend to get pretty upset and start pointing fingers and assassinating character, but when the left uses offensive language, those same partisan leftists tend to give their comrades a free pass.

The worst example of this is the recent comments made by the pope and the reaction of many in the Muslim world.

I suppose it kinda works both ways. Many on the right are not angels. (Actually, angels can get pretty violent - according to Scripture.) But the left seems to be much worse about this than the right is.

Not that I even consider myself in perfect harmony with "the right."

I object to all partisans.

But either I stand by my offensive language, or I withdraw it and ask for forgiveness.

I stand by the language I have made in the past several posts. I have Scriptural reasons for doing so. Moses confronted Pharaoh very harshly. David confronted Goliath - "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the Name of the LORD our God!" Elijah and Jezebel did not get along well at all. Elijah had all those prophets of Baal killed. When confronted by an unruly and dangerous crowd of young men, Elisha, "turned and looked at them," after which, bears came out of the woods and mauled about 42 of the young men. John the Baptist called the Pharisees a brood of vipers. Jesus overtuned the tables in the temple when they had turned his Father's house into a marketplace. When Stephen and Peter and Paul preached, their message certainly had some "bite" to it, and they took the message beyond the walls of the temple.

And when a person like Janiebelle speaks and acts as she/he/whatever does, then the said person ought to be put in their place. The truth is that I am probably one of the few people that stand up to this person. Most everyone else probably stays out of her way.

Proverbs says to rebuke a fool according to his folly or he will be wise in his own eyes.

Our friend Janiebelle is so arrogant that she probably still seems rather wise in her own eyes. But if everyone she knows started shooting straight with her, she would either break and become convinced of her wretched arrogance...

OR

... she would have no friends who would associate with her.

Unfortunately, most people don't deal with these kind of people the way they should, so she probably will continue thinking that she is pretty awesome. Right up to the day of judgment, at which time she will confess, "Jesus is Lord" before being cast into the lake of fire.

By confronting her, I'm probably the best friend she has ever had - not to mention a great friend to the unborn.

In truth, even if Janiebelle wanted to come to church, she shouldn't even be welcome. I'm sure most churches in the land would welcome her - because most churches in the land don't have a whole lot of conviction, discernment, or wisdom. But they really shouldn't welcome her, until she has proven that she is serious about repentance and walking in humility with faith.

Not that I think that you really wanted an explanation. But you did make the, "Jeez" comment, and I thought I'd explain.

Now watch. Janiebelle is about to attack me again. She is so pathetically predictable and arrogantly prideful. Let's see what kind of creative language she has this time.

This is the antithesis. CE vs Janiebelle. There is no confusion here. No wondering where the other one stands. The battle lines have been drawn.

To all who are on the fence, it is time to quit messing around. Get on the right side. Start contending for truth and righteousness. Start standing up for the rights of the unborn human persons that are being brutally murdered everyday. Start confronting these women with a haughty spirit. Start expelling the arrogant and the unrepentant from your churches. Start confronting sin the way the prophets of old did. Get a spine and fight the good fight of faith.

 

On 9/22/2006 01:50:00 PM, Anonymous Arden Chatfield waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

When conservatives and Christians use offensive language, many on the left tend to get pretty upset and start pointing fingers and assassinating character, but when the left uses offensive language, those same partisan leftists tend to give their comrades a free pass.

Okay, yes, you fundamentalist Christian Republicans are all very perecuted, CE. Just like Jesus.

There, there. [Pats head.]

Feel better?

Given your amazingly ignorant remarks about the 'lunatic leftists' in the Democratic party, I'm very relieved that you 'hate all partisans'.

I'll guess you haven't seen 'Crying Game'.

 

On 9/22/2006 02:04:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

My ignorant remarks?

Are any of the Democrats I mentioned pro-life?

If not, then already, my remarks were justified.

But that's not all.

Do any of them have a real plan for national security and for winning the war on terror? Or do they advocate just pulling our troops in Iraq and handing Iraq (its people and its oil) over to Iran?

I heard just yesterday that Nancy Pelosi recently said that she doesn't believe national security shoiuld be an election issue.

So, she is clearly a looney. As is anyone who agrees with her.

I haven't really defended the Republican Party - merely attacked the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, I suspect that way too many Republicans are Democrats dressed up in Republican clothing.

Equally, or perhaps even more, unfortunate is the fact that many Republicans are okay with torture.

Oh, I know... the Democrats deserve my respect because they have a socialist vision for America. After all, "It Takes A Village."

Because socialism is good.

Thanks for straightening me out. You make a very persuasive argument.

So, what about you? I can't get a straight answer out of Janiebelle. Where do you draw the line (the hard line) on abortion? And why? When do you "know" that it is a human person? How do you know?

Will you speak to my arguments or just attack me?

 

On 9/22/2006 02:31:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

It's hard to speak to your arguments, because you don't really make any...

I think watching to much Fox News has made you exciteable.

Here's my take. You're infected with a memetic virus, called religion. There's no shame, many are. Sadly (for the virus), you can't spread it here, we've all blessed with a degree of immunity due to our sharp, rational minds.

Okay, you can go hyperbolic now...

 

On 9/22/2006 02:50:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Rich,

I won't go hyperbolic. I'll just ask you a few questions?

Where do you draw the "hard line" on abortion? As in, when should killing the living matter constitute the murder of a human person? In other words, where should the law draw the line? Not where the law does draw the line, but where should the law draw the line? And why?

All Janiebelle has said to this is at birth - because after birth it thinks, it feels pain, and it emotes.

After which she ignored the rest of my questions and proceeded to attack me personally.

Now... I hate to make generalizations, but it seems fairly typical of the left to go on the attack when they can't answer questions. I've seen that happen time and time and time again.

I hope that you are not like those kind of people.

And finally (because we all already know that wherever you draw the line is simply based on your philosophical opinion about the definition of a human person), what is wrong with erring on the side of protecting what might be a human person?

These seem like reasonable questions to ask in a discussion entitled "Human vs Fetus." So, let me encourage you to stay focused and answer my reasonable questions. What say you?

 

On 9/22/2006 03:04:00 PM, Anonymous Arden Chatfield waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Now... I hate to make generalizations,

I've noticed that. But somehow you do it constantly anyway.

Shows a certain strength of will that you can so frequently do something that causes you such pain.

Brave guy.

 

On 9/22/2006 03:08:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Okay. In Humna vs. Fetus a Human would definatley win due to reach and weight advantage.

I tease.

Where do I draw the line? I don't. I think there is context and a degree of personal choice. Religion Memes are big on 'have lots of kids'. More kids = more hosts from a gene pool that is unlikley to be able to with stand it.

I see some snide remarks about the left. If anything, I would think on averag ethey are more caring. The right are big on rights for 'before birth' and after 'after brain death', but are pretty crappy on the whole, actually alive and living middle bit. Do you get as upset over the death penalty, over the 'war on terror'? What about when Janiebell strokes me of and ten trillion little swimmers come out. If that murder?

38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled [it] on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

Hmmmmm.

 

On 9/22/2006 03:11:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Arden,
Well you certainly help me out (in the making generalizations category) when instead of answering the real questions about the topic at hand, you, like so many other liberals (yeah, did you catch the generalization there?), knit pick at my rhetoric and be evasive about the real topic. Nicely done, Arden. You should be a politician.

 

On 9/22/2006 03:16:00 PM, Anonymous Arden Chatfield waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

knit pick at my rhetoric and be evasive about the real topic.

That's your name for it when someone points out your lies?

Clever, gotta remember that one!

 

On 9/22/2006 03:16:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"The right are big on rights for 'before birth' and after 'after brain death', but are pretty crappy on the whole, actually alive and living middle bit. Do you get as upset over the death penalty, over the 'war on terror'?"

The death penalty and the war on terror are completely different discussions. Stay focused. The right has its fair share of injustice and hypocrisy. I'm not a partisan. In another discussion, we can talk about terror and the death penalty and socialism/capitalism all you want. But that is not the subject of this debate.

You say that you don't draw the line. But I don't think that's not completely honest. Surely you believe that killing an infant outside of it's mother's womb is murder, don't you? If you do, then you have drawn the line somewhere! So, where did you draw the line? At birth? Two minutes before birth? Once the embilical chord is cut? At the second trimester? Let's stick with the topic and now allow ourselves to be distracted.

 

On 9/22/2006 03:20:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Ok Arden...

Honestly, I am often tempted to make generalizations - even though I shouldn't. So, part of me hates to do it (because I know its wrong), but part of me wants to do it because I see trends and it is often easier to make a generalization rather than to qualify every detail of my argument with a disclaimer.

Now, would you like to discuss the real topic?

 

On 9/22/2006 03:29:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"The death penalty and the war on terror are completely different discussions"

In your mind, maybe. Although they shouldn't be. Thou shalt not kill. Even I can agree with that one. I can also make a qualitive assesment of what constitutes human life and what doesn't and appropriate my effort accordingly.

 

On 9/22/2006 03:30:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Funny. Tooooooo funny.

I believe that you have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that your mind is so closed that you won't even READ my comments, let alone understand them.

That makes you an automaton, near as I can tell.

Please take your fingers out of your ears and listen to what Mama has to tell you before you start yellling "nuh uh".

You may comment further when you prove that you've read my comments. You do NOT have to agree with them, you do have to prove you've read them.

Until then, you are fodder for the Big Green Marker.

Kisses to Rich and Arden.

Oh, and Rich? The seed would never hit the ground.

Just so y'know.

 

On 9/22/2006 03:46:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Janiebelle,

I have read every word of your comments.

You have essentially said that you are not quite sure at which point the fetus becomes a human. You are thinking at the point of brain activity. You have essentially said that that is your "soft line." As in, it is your opinion, and that you don't think enough of your opinion to insist that it should be made law. Since you can't "prove" that the unborn fetus is a person at that point, you feel like you can't convict someone of murder for killing the fetus at that point.

Furthermore, you have said that you are fictional.

Furthermore, you have insulted me repeatedly.

Furthermore, you have said that the "hard line" is at birth. After birth, you know it is a person. You said that after birth, it can feel, it can emote, and it can feel pain. Killing an infant is definately murder.

You have said that you don't believe my theology because I have not "proven" my theology to you.

Concerning my argument about erring on the side of protecting what might be human life, you have said that taken to the logical conclusion that that would mean that anyone who masturbates is a murderer.

And you say that such a conclusion is ridiculous.

And I agree with that particular sentiment.

Other than that, we talked some about apologetics, but since this is a discussion about abortion, and since theology ultimately can't be proven, but must be revealed, I have not really reciprocated too much in going down that road.

And you have insulted me.

I have read every word you have written. What you haven't done is explain to me how you know that the infant is a human person.

Is it the ability to feel pain that makes it a human person?

Is it the ability to emote?

Is it the ability to think?

You listed all of those when you asserted your confident knowledge that a baby who has been born is a human person.

But how do you know?

What is the difference between the infant and the unborn baby 10 minutes before birth?

What is the difference between the infant and a baby a week before birth?

If a thug kidnapped a pregnant woman (in her ninth month) and cut open her womb with a knife and ripped out the baby and then killed the baby outside of the womb, and then proceeded to make sure that the mother was dead too, would that be a double homicide?

What if the thug shot a pregnant woman in the belly, and both the mother and the baby died - but the baby died in the womb? Should that be considered a double homicide?

Admittedly, I have a few new quetions here, but I have also repeated some old questions. None of which you have really answered.

So, are you going to answer my questions, or are you going to be evasive?

 

On 9/22/2006 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Boo!
What about rights for the pre-conceived, you hypocrite! That gorgeous genocodal gizz guzzling Jezebel Janiebell should be braught to justice. Forced copulation is the humane thing to do!

 

On 9/22/2006 03:52:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Rich,

The one question I am interested in is not how to handle human persons who have done or who have been suspected to have done evil acts.

The one question I am interested in is this:

At what point should the law draw the line and say, "This human lifeform is a human person."?

We don't ever need to talk about whether or not killing the lifeform is murder, manslaughter, acceptable, whatever? Before we can answer any of those questions (which I agree are important and do relate to the death penalty and the war on terror, etc), we need to be able to discern the difference between a human person and a human lifeform that is supposedly not a human person. Any reasonable person would say that this one question is the crucial question of this point of the debate.

 

On 9/22/2006 04:01:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Ok, who are you and what did you do to poor misguided C.E.? DO NOT HURT HIM.

He's a weirdo, but don't hurt him anyway. He might be cute and if I can talk some sense into him, Kate and I may invite him and his wife into our bed. It could happen.

"The one question I am interested in is this:

At what point should the law draw the line and say, "This human lifeform is a human person."?"


Ahhhh.. finally. Herein lies the crux of the matter. This sir, is finally the issue with which we began. I have admitted I don't know. You have tried to convince me that this point is at conception. You have based your argument on your religious views.

I don't accept your religious views.

Either show me proof that your religious views have merit, or base your argument on something else.

 

On 9/22/2006 04:01:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Oh, I can play this game:

We need to talk about whether we are able to discern the difference between a human person and a human lifeform that is supposedly not a human person? Before we can answer any of those questions (which I agree are important and do relate to the death penalty and the war on terror, etc), we need to be able to discern whether or not killing the lifeform is murder, manslaughter, acceptable, whatever. Any reasonable person would say that this one question is the crucial question of this point of the debate.


Cut/Paste/Tard.

 

On 9/22/2006 04:02:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Forced copulation is the humane thing to do!"

Dear sweet Rich. Force is rarely necessary, but usually enjoyed in our house.

Just so y'know.

 

On 9/22/2006 07:00:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Ok, so you've proven that you've read my comments and have thus avoided the BGM.

Now, can you read for comprehension?

 

On 9/22/2006 07:40:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Concerning my argument about erring on the side of protecting what might be human life, you have said that taken to the logical conclusion that that would mean that anyone who masturbates is a murderer.

And you say that such a conclusion is ridiculous.

And I agree with that particular sentiment. "


Then I don't understand how you don't see that this is the logical extension of your argument about erring on the side of life, as you put it.

Your argument is that if cells CAN become human then we should protect them, and if we don't it's murder. Sperm and Eggs CAN become human, so by your logic, we should protect them and if we don't, it's murder. Then you affirm that any reasonable person would say this is ridiculous. I agree. Yet it is still the logical conclusion based on your argument.

As for the moment of birth and your lie that you can't get a straight answer out of me. Start at the top with the original post. I specifically stated that I hold no special signifigance for the moment of birth. However, we as a society have said that definitely at the second after birth this bundle of joy is a human and no longer just a wad of cells. How long before that was it that this was a human being is what we're discussing.

It's why I started this thread.

It's the point.

Your opinion is worth exactly the same as mine or anyone else's until you can give a reasonable argument of support for it.

You have failed to even attempt that, and have simply voiced your unsupported opinion repeatedly.

We know your opinion. We disagree with it. We're still allowed to do that in this country. You haven't taken over yet. Until and unless you do, at which time there will be a revolution and you and your fellow theocrats will do well to survive, your unsupported opinion holds no legal weight whatever.

Again, if you'd care to try and sway anyone to your point of view, feel free. I would suggest that you not just keep repeating your unsupported opinion. It will do little more than present you as a target for justifiable ridicule.

And before you start in with the martyr complex, it would not be because you are a Christian, but rather because you are an idiot.

 

On 9/23/2006 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Janiebelle,

You and I are in partial agreement on this.

The question which we are discussing is a philosophical/theological question. (You disagree with the theological part, but you agree with the philosophical part. At least, you said so earlier).

But philosophical and theological truths are not provable. You can't prove your opinion, and I can't prove mine.

Does that mean that all philosophical/theological truths are unknowable?

Not according to our Founding Fathers (not that I care what they think). But I do happen to agree with them. There are philosophical truths that are self-evident. The Founding Fathers did not prove, nor attempt to prove, that "all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." They simply asserted that.

The way I have simply asserted my theology.

And yet you insist that I am an idiot. Were they idiots for asserting a knowable, but unprovable postulate?

So, while we sit here and think and argue, partial birth abortions are happening legally.

And those unborn babies can think, feel pain, and emote. Many of us see those cells as a human person - "a bundle of joy."

Will you back up your hardline at all? Will you back it up to conception? Will you back it up to the point of brain activity? How about a month before birth? Or a week before birth?

What is to be lost if we outlaw all abortions altogether (aside from the occasional case where the mother's life is in serious danger)?

 

On 9/23/2006 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"What is to be lost if we outlaw all abortions altogether (aside from the occasional case where the mother's life is in serious danger)? "

Would you feel that way after someone raped your wife?

 

On 9/23/2006 12:34:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

If someone raped my wife, I would be enraged.

But I would not blame the child for the crime of the father. I would protect child's right to life.

Again, this is an issue that distracts from the real issue. The real issue is at what point is the unborn lifeform to be considered a human person?

 

On 9/23/2006 12:38:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

See if you stick by the rationale that the lifeform does not deserve the same right to life that "people" do because it remains unproven that the lifeform is a "human person," then taking that to the logical extreme, you can't ever prove that any human lifeforms are human persons. Therefore, you couldn't call the killing of an "innocent" infant or child or teenager or adult "murder" for it hasn't been "proven" that these human lifeforms are, in fact, people.

It hasn't been proven; it has simply been postulated.

 

On 9/23/2006 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

You've extrapolated forward, could you please do the same backwards/

 

On 9/23/2006 02:01:00 PM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

CE, thank you for at least losing all the Jesus talk.

Rich is exactly correct. If you extrapolate your argument backwards to it's logical conclusion, than everytime your body releases sperm that do not become babies, you are a murderer.

It's just as ridiculous as saying that killing an 80 year old man isn't murder because we can't prove he's human. Conception is no more special than birth.

So. The line is somewhere in between.

The hypothetical rape and resulting pregnancy of your wife is not a distraction from this issue, it is all part and parcel of the same thing.

Would I move my "hard line" backwards? Yes. Once someone can convince me of a good reason to do so. You haven't even come close.

Philosophical arguments may not be provable, but they can be convincing. The argument you have maintained thus far is not. It is not convincing to me, it is not convincing to the majority of Americans, and most importantly, it is not convincing to the law.

I draw my hard line where the law draws the line because I have yet to find any good reason not to.

Please don't compare your argument to that of the founding fathers' assertion of self-evident rights.

Here's the difference. For one thing, they were all in agreement. They agreed that this unprovable philosophical premise was one worth taking on its face without proof.

Your argument that human life begins at conception has no such consensus. It is NOT self-evident.

The law sees murder as possible only after birth. Why? Because we as a society have reached consensus that a life post-birth is worth protecting, and that that life represents a human being. We have agreed to take it on its face without proof.

We have NOT agreed to take it on its face that life begins at conception. Since there is no consensus that that premise is true, it cannot be used for the basis of your argument.

Further, the founding fathers' aim was to protect the rights of the people from the government, a worthwhile cause. Any way you look at it, the people get the benefit of the doubt. Tie goes to the runner.

Your aim is to use the government to impinge on the rights of the people. In your case, you are trying to give the tie to the fielder... as long as the government agrees with you, of course.

The mother is a human person, by virtue of the fact that we have all reached consensus on that point, and take that on its face even though it's an unprovable philosophical argument.

The post-conception embryo has not been agreed to be a human person. Therefore, until such time as we as a society reach a general consensus as to its "personhood", you cannot use "life begins at conception" as the premise for your argument. Any rights you wish to accord a post-conception embryo are secondary to the mother's. Tie goes to the runner.

 

On 9/23/2006 07:06:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Well, I'll give you this much credit. It appears that we are at least being coherent. I dare say we have experienced half a step of progress in this debate. And I appreciate your focus on the issue in your last post. While I disagree with your argument, I appreciate that in your last post you have not changed the topic, and you have not attacked me. Bravo.

On the line being in-between - I would say that the line is in-between inclusive. (In other words, a number between 0 and 10 inclusive could include either 0 or 10).

While I apparently am not having much success in convincing you to move your hard line backwards, you have had no success in convincing me to move my hard line forwards. (Of course, you really can't have any success there, because I hold to it because of theological reasons).

But, let me attempt to convince you to at least move your line backwards somewhat.

You had earlier brought up that an infant who has been born can feel pain, emote, and think.

Is it not reasonable to say that we can be sure that any human lifeform that can feel pain, emote, and think (aka experience brain activity) should definately be considered a human person? After all, those were the reasons you had brought up before in defending an infant's right to life.

Perhaps (well, if you ask me, there is no perhaps about it), but perhaps even before it can feel pain, emote, and think, it still should be considered a human person. But once the lifeform can feel pain, emote, and think, then it definately should be considered a human person.

Inasmuch as you came up with those ideas in the defense of infants, it seems like you ought to be bound to stick to that.

So, at what point in the pregnancy is the fetus capable of feeling pain, emoting, and thinking? Someone who knows more biology than me needs to fill me in on this. I'm an engineer, not a biologist.

While, I will not be content until the law draws the hard line at conception, I would greatly rejoice at progress made if the laws were changed to defend all fetuses after the first trimester.

Certainly, I hope that you agree with me that unborn babies in the ninth month deserve the same protection as infants who have been born. I mean, some unborn babies in the ninth month are actually further developed than some infants.

One of the real hypocritical things about the law is that if a thug kills a pregnant woman - depending on the circumstances - he can be convicted of a double homicide, but if a doctor performs a surgery and kills the unborn fetus, then it is not considered a homicide.

 

On 9/23/2006 07:22:00 PM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"The post-conception embryo has not been agreed to be a human person. Therefore, until such time as we as a society reach a general consensus as to its "personhood", you cannot use "life begins at conception" as the premise for your argument. Any rights you wish to accord a post-conception embryo are secondary to the mother's. Tie goes to the runner."

This is the problem with Democracy.

What if the vast majority of society decides that black men should be considered 3/5 of a man? Or what if the vast majority of society decides that parents should have the choice to "abort" their kids lives up to the age of 3 years old? You think, "That's ridiculous." I agree. But history shows that there have been plenty of ridiculous people.

The idea that the mob ought to have the final say so on matters of philosophical epistemology is a scary thought. A mob is only as good and just and wise and disciplined as each person is good and just and wise and disciplined.

So, I would suggest that we do not look to the undisciplined mob to figure out issues of philosophical epistemology. Certainly, if we are going to be effective, then we are going to have to figure out a way to persuade the said mob, but by attempting to persuade the said mob to go a different direction than the one in which it might head at any given moment is to presume that our personal ideas about epistemology do not depend on the opinions of the masses.

And this takes us back to theology. I care nothing about the opinions of the masses. That is, I don't depend on the masses to find my own convictions. I look to God and the wisdom of His Holy Word.

To what or to whom do you look? Or do you just follow the mob?

On the tie goes to the runner argument...
Inasmuch as the life of the unborn human lifeform is on the line, while for the mother, it is merely her conveniences that are being threatened, I say that the unborn should be considered the runner. And I don't even think it is a tie. As long as the unborn lifeform might be a human person AND the mother's life is not being threatned AND neither are any of her rights, BUT only her conveniences are being threatened, then it is not even close to a tie. The unborn baby is being way too threatened; the mother is not being threatened at all. The baby is the runner, so he wins in a tie. But here, he clearly beat the throw.

Even if you don't concede that the unborn human lifeform is a human person, I still say that the life of the said lifeform is of far greater value and deserves far greater protection than the conveniences of the mother. The mother is simply not being threatened at all.

 

On 9/23/2006 10:58:00 PM, Blogger Rich Hughes waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Conception seems a bit arbitrary ( you can go back further, as we note but you wont adress).

Reductio ad absurdum, anyone?

 

On 9/25/2006 07:00:00 AM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Again, we're back to "my arbitrary line is better than your arbitrary line that actually had some thought behind it."

Indeed, Rich.

I haven't a great deal of time this morning, but I'll get back to this a bit later today.

 

On 9/26/2006 07:20:00 AM, Blogger MarcoConley waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

CE et al,

The abortion issue IS a complicated one. I can respect people on all sides of it.

To me, the 21st century human species is becoming something very new and special. We have choices that no one's every had to answer before. Questions like "Is it wrong to use birth control so I can trick my body into thinking I'm procreating?", and "Is it wrong to consciously change my own brain chemistry" and "If it wrong to remove an embryo from my body?". Soon we'll be dealing with "Is it wrong to change my own genetic makeup, or that of my future child?" and "Is it wrong to spend most of my time in a virtual world", and even "Is a piece of software a person?"

Our moral codes just aren't equipped to realistically answer these questions. So I can understand there being a lot of confusion over the abortion issue. Even the simplistic rule of "Do whatever Jesus said" won't work-- Jesus couldn't have begun to imagine the questions we're faced with, and he certainly didn't comment on them. Abortion isn't discussed in the bible. When the designer babies and the brain implants come, there will be no Deuternomy to turn to. If you believe in God, it will be up to you to guess what he wants-- and other followers of the same God aren't going to agree with you about those questions any more than they all agree about the past questions.

--

So, faced with so much uncertainty, what can we say definitively? A few things.

Is it better to err on the side of life or the side of freedom? Most people, conservatives in particular, agree that freedom is worth dying for-- what else are our troops pretending to be doing, if not acting out the age old exchange of life for freedom.

I think it's certainly worth erring on the side of freedom in this issue. Besides -- call me cold-hearted, but most unwanted embryos are probably better off not being born. If they have souls, I'm sure they'll figure something out-- a free pass into heaven, a reincarnation, whatever. I'm sure God saw this abortion thing coming, and has some plan to deal with the situation.

What else can we be certain of? As I've said before-- there's a LOT of hypocrisy on the part of the pro-life christians. They seem quite ferotious about protecting the rights of embryos and the brain dead, but priority #3 is making sure that immigrants don't get a better life, that the poor don't get free healthcare, and that public schools aren't funded enough.

Obviously-- lots of exception to that generalization, but few of those exceptions are political leaders for the christian coalition.

--

Consider this: right now, it is complete legal to evict someone from their apartment if they can't pay the bill. Why they can't pay isn't important. It doesn't matter, we don't care.

"But it's freezing outside" isn't an excuse. No one would listen. "But we have small children" will be met with laughter. In our current system, if you don't have the money, you will be tossed out onto the street, period. Doesn't matter who you are, doesn't matter if it's not safe out or if it's too cold out or if you have children. The legal system doesn't care.

And if you die from exposure, as thousands do-- no one cares about that-- or at least, no one cares enough to mandate housing be provided to everyone in need.

--

Now, I've never heard a single christian talk about this. I've never heard a single christian talk about nationalized housing for all. They aren't out there with signs protesting homelessness, they aren't trying to get a congressional amendment to mandate helping the homless.

So I have to ask:

If it's really completely okay to evict creatures who are 100% verifiably human beings from an apartment simply because they can't give you the right slips of green paper-- then surely it is okay to evict an embryo from your own uterus.

--

When we've outlawed homelessness, lack of healthcare, and lack of school funding-- maybe we can take a look this abortion issue. Until then, it's hard to take the Christians seriously. For most of them, it's not about saving lives, it's just about getting these uppity women to start wearing veils again.

 

On 9/26/2006 07:50:00 AM, Blogger MarcoConley waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

CE,

Continuing the discussion we have about the candidate Sen. George Allen-- there have been several updates.

We all know that Allen called someone "Macaca" and told him "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia". Macaca being a French word for Nigger, more or less.

Then Allen denied that he had ever heard that word, and says he just made up a "nonsense" word. But sense Allen's mother was from France, and the odds allen just happening to use a made up word that just happens to fit in perfectly with his sentence is, well, utterly improbable.

The next bruhaha came at the recent debate. It was reported recently that Allen's mother is Jewish, although Allen's denied it in the past. When Allen was mentioning the holocaust, someone asked Allen about whether his mom was jewish. Seems harmless enough.

This is where it gets weird. Allen got mad and lectured the questioner about the importance of "not making aspersions about people". Leading to the obvious question-- why does Allen feel that being part Jewish is an insult??

Allens mother IS, in fact, Jewish depsite his earlier denials. Allen says he only found out a month ago, when he read about it in a magazine article. Why is he embarassaed about being part Jewish, why lie about it?

Now, a number of Allens college football teammates have come forward confessing that he was a virulent racist in college in the late 70s-- that he used the word 'nigger' regularly, that he studied writings of the Ku Klux Klan, and that "Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place'"
--

So, we have a politician who called a man the french word for "nigger" on camera within the last two months, but hasn't admited it and apologized. We have a man who are a virulent racist with KKK ties in college. The getting mad about being called Jewish, I don't even know what to make of that.

But, CE, the election's coming up, and while I know you won't necessarily vote for any OTHER candidate, it will be realy interesting to see if you will support Allen in this.

No matter who wins, and the end of the election, we'll have us a census of who in the State of Virginia is willing to elect a racist to be Senator. We will tally the votes, that number will be published, and the whole world is going to see exactly how many virginians their are that will condone this behavior.

Will your name be counted among them?

When they ask "Sure he's a racist, but he's a republican and he claims to be a christian, so-- does it matter if he hates blacks and jews?", how will you answer.

--

See, it's funny. There aren't that many things we can do to make the race situation better. Not voting for Allen, even if you don't vote for the other guy, is one of those things.

There are 1.4 million african-americans in Virginia. And if you reach your hand out and pull the Allen lever, you're sending a message to all of them that racism is not a deal-breaker. That you can be a racist so long as you have the right attitudes on captial gains taxes and school prayer.

 

On 9/26/2006 08:47:00 AM, Blogger JanieBelle waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Marco,

"Now, I've never heard a single christian talk about this. I've never heard a single christian talk about nationalized housing for all. They aren't out there with signs protesting homelessness, they aren't trying to get a congressional amendment to mandate helping the homless.

So I have to ask:

If it's really completely okay to evict creatures who are 100% verifiably human beings from an apartment simply because they can't give you the right slips of green paper-- then surely it is okay to evict an embryo from your own uterus."


Very valid question, Marco. Which leads us back to "Why is it that fundies are so concerned about preserving the lives of the unborn and the dying, but no one in between?"

"When we've outlawed homelessness, lack of healthcare, and lack of school funding-- maybe we can take a look this abortion issue. Until then, it's hard to take the Christians seriously. For most of them, it's not about saving lives, it's just about getting these uppity women to start wearing veils again."

Well and Truly said, Marco.

Bravo and Amen.

 

On 10/02/2006 09:21:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Marco,

You are totally distracting the debate from the issue of the debate. We can and should talk about health care, social justice, race, the war, the death penalty, and everything in between. But that is not the discussion at hand. That does not answer the questions concerning the personhood of the unborn.

Christians ought to be contending for social justice on every issue of significance. But by focusing on those issues while talking about whether or not the unborn lifeform is a person is a typical tactic of the left to distract and manipulate people.

The Bible does not specifically discuss abortion, but there is all kinds of great wisdom in the Bible. By reading it and believing it and practicing it, God makes His will clear. Of course, trying to explain that to people who have committed themselves to the suppression of God's truth and deception is like trying to explain the color blue to a person born blind. You need divine revelation.

Without divine revelation, no argument about morality has any authority or foundational basis. The only basis that you have is, "This is what I think, and my opinion is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself." You might also say, "This is what the masses think," but then you are putting your trust in a mob. Mobs very often are sinful and stupid. That's why they cheered in Rome when gladiators shed each other's blood.

By standing up for the unborn, I am not compromising on freedom one bit. Freedom is not lawlessness. Freedom is found in allegiance to justice. It is not law and security OR freedom. It is freedom and security UNDER law.

And while we talk about freedom, we ought to be talking about the freedom of the unborn. That is a person who has the same rights that you and I do. This is a self-evident truth. Just as self-evident as the truth that twelve year old boys should not be murdered. If you don't see it, then it is due to your willful blindness and igonrance. You have suppressed the truth of God and exchanged the glory of God for a lie.

Marco, I will vote against Warner; that much is certain. If you don't want me to vote for Allen, I would advise you to find an alternative for me. It doesn't even have to be an alternative with much of a chance at winning. But I am determined to vote against Warner. If that means that I need to vote for Allen, then I will, and if African Americans want to call me racist, I will simply say, "I didn't have much of a choice, and there was no way I was going to vote for Warner."

Or do you condemn John Adams and Thomas Jefferson for their compromise with the Southern delegates concerning the slavery clause that was removed from the Declaration of Independence?

Very rarely will a candidate line up with me in all of the things that I think are important. So in voting against one evil candidate, I may end up voting for another evil candidate. This is the reality of politics. It is unfortunate that I feel like I won't be voting for anyone in this election, but only against the worse of two evil men.

Then again, if you find me a good candidate, I will gladly vote for him - even if that means I have effectively given half a vote to Warner. Then I would feel good about my vote, and so would you.

 

On 10/02/2006 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"When we've outlawed homelessness, lack of healthcare, and lack of school funding-- maybe we can take a look this abortion issue. Until then, it's hard to take the Christians seriously. For most of them, it's not about saving lives, it's just about getting these uppity women to start wearing veils again."

Do you include me in this list of Christians that you have a hard time taking seriously? Do you think that my motives for wanting abortion to be outlawed is to get uppity women to start wearing veils again?

Clearly, you don't know many people in my church. None of the women wear veils. People are generally friendly. They are trying to pay bills and enjoy marriages and raise children. Your sweeping generalization of the Christian community is unfair and untrue. And I would speculate that your opinion is not based on getting to know many Christians. In fact, I think that you are just trying to make Christians look bad so that you can advance your vision for agnostic socialism. Shame.

Outlawing homelessness? So, what do you do with people who are lazy and refuse to work? How do you provide motivation for them?

You really don't want people to be free and independent. You want people to be dependent on a paternalistic secular socialist government. For all your intelligence, you have missed the fundamentals of economics.

Oh, I know, you are so concerned for the poor. How much do you give? Have you started paying for health insurance for overworked and underpaid Christian school teachers yet? Do you give to charity on a regular basis? Have you taken a trip down to New Orleans to help out people who have been devestated by Katrina?

It is amazing that so many socialists give so little, while many with capitalistic leanings give so much. It is also amazing how this is the one area where secularists will appeal to Scripture. Any other area, and they start having a fit screaming, "Separation between church and state!" But, we were never expecting for leftists to be consistent. Postmodernists love talking about being reasonable, but then I have to often educate them about the differences between validity and truth.

Hardcore socialists love to pass thh buck.

By the way... I'm railing against socialism. Captitalism has its own set of evils. But since I don't perceive any fans of capitalism in this forum, I see no need to point out all the evils of captitalism.

In truth, the idea that we can't correct one injustice before all other injustices are corrected is a great recipe for never getting anything done. What is even worse is that much of Marco's plan calls for radical socialism injustice (he has spoken of raising taxes up to 75% people). So, Marco's idea of justice is incredibly unjust. The idea that we can't put an end to America's Holocaust until we give Marco and his ilk everything they want (i.e. Everyone who works gives everything to everyone who demand handouts) is just a bad idea - every way you look at it.

People in this country can succeed. Unbridled capitalism can lead to evil monopolies. But pure socialism provides no incentives for the lazy. I think that America has found a pretty good balance, but I think we should lean more toward capitalism. But Marco is encouraging the lazy in this country to demand handouts, and so he is hurting the American economy, and he is not helping the poor in this country fulfill their potential.

And I say this as a relatively poor person. I don't pass the buck. I reap what I sow. I'm poor because of my attitudes and habits, not because of my lack of opportunity. People who get up early and work hard and embrace a disciplined lifestyle and use their God-given gifts and talents to meet other peoples' ethical needs, wants, and desires will do fine in this country. People who get up at noon and flake out at work and are just pretty lazy will not do well. Don't blame the government for that.

Marco, you have successfully distracted me from the topic. I think that was your goal.

But my questions about abortion have still remained unaswered by all of you. And the bottom line is that you are doing the same thing that slaveowners did 175 years ago. You are denying the personhood of the unborn, just as they denied the personhood of black people. You disgust me.

 

On 10/03/2006 07:06:00 AM, Blogger MarcoConley waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

"Clearly, you don't know many people in my church. None of the women wear veils. "

Well, the veils I spoke of weren't literal ones-- Christianity hasn't been into that one for a long time. But do the women at your church have the same rights to speak in church? Are they ministers in your church? Could your church led by a woman-- or is that out of the question?

For far too much of Christianity, the veils are just as present, and just as confining, as they ever were.

--

"Outlawing homelessness? So, what do you do with people who are lazy and refuse to work? How do you provide motivation for them? "

First of all, there's one big misconception right there. Homeless is NOT caused by laziness. I guarantee you-- it takes a lot more work to survive as a homeless person than it does to survive as a a worker-- and certainly a LOT or more work than it requires to surive as a major stockholder (i.e. no work at all). People are usually homeless because they're psychotic. Some because they're addicted, or because they can't find a job that will pay enough for them to survive.

To me, if you are a citizen of the richest nation in the world, you deserve the same rights we give to ever single prisoner-- a small room where you won't freeze to death, enough food so you won't be malnurished, a good doctor, and whatever prescription medicine that good doctor says you need.

That's the basics that every human being is entitled to. We give it to ever prisoner, no matter what they did. If you're alive, and society has the power, you should have those basic rights.

If we give people free food, housing, and health care, how do we motivate them to work? The same way we motivate people to go to high school or college! If all you want out of life is a safe space, some food, and emergency medical care-- you don't have to go to high school-- and yet, most people do, because people DO want to make more of themselves than that.

Put another way-- what are we going to do about the problem of the children of the upper class??? If you're born to upper class parents, you don't ever have to work in your life if you don't want to? what are we going to do about those lazy people ?

When we have a solution for the people who never do an ounce of work but who have EVERYTHING-- then maybe we should take a moment to consider the infuriating possibility that people who don't work are still managing to getting enough food to eat.

---

"But by focusing on those issues while talking about whether or not the unborn lifeform is a person is a typical tactic of the left to distract and manipulate people. "

It's not just a distraction, it's a legitimate argument. If society doesn't have a duty to protect the welfare of a newborn, how can possibly be argued that society has the duty to protect the welfare of a embryo?

If you vote against universal healthcare for children, you immediate forfeit any credibility you have to argue that embryos should be protected.

--
On the Allen race:
"it doesn't even have to be an alternative with much of a chance at winning."

Well, there's always Gail Parker, the third party alternative. And of course, I believe you can do a write-in as well.

I can't fault anyone for not voting for Webb if they are pro-life. But I would hope that they say "For me, living in the 21st century, reaching out my hand and pulling a level to support a known racist simply IS not an option, under any circumstances".

I mean, it's come out now that Allen kept a NOOSE next to a confederate flag in his old law office. A noose? What message does THAT imply?

Now, when I'm hear about a man whose taken pictures with the head of the Ku Klux Klan, whose used racial slurs regularly and on-camera, who regarding "Is your mother Jewish" as an insult, and who had a haning NOOSE next to a confederate flag-- _I_ assume he's trying to say he was pro-lynching.

Now, I admit, the conclusion that I and the rest of the country are coming to could be debated. Maybe it's just a pro-death-penalty statement-- but since Virginia stopped using hanging as a death penalty in, oh, 1908, I'd say that he was trying to say that he admired the people who performed lynching.

--
"Or do you condemn John Adams and Thomas Jefferson for their compromise with the Southern delegates concerning the slavery clause that was removed from the Declaration of Independence? "

There's no doubt that if John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were running today, with their beliefs intact, I wouldn't vote for them. Adams of course made it a crime to criticize the president. Jefferson owned slaves. And you can bet that if people with those views were on the ballot, I wouldn't vote for them.

Compared to their peers, they probably were better than most. And if they had lived today, presumably they would be even more enlightened than your average 21st century citizen. But no, I absolutely do condemn them.

 

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