Why am I not surprised

… that anti-abortion terrorist Scott Roeder isn’t exactly doing his sentence for the murder of Dr. George Tiller “standing on his head” (to use the vernacular of the incarcerated)?

Boohoohoo.  Well, what the hell, eh?  I wonder what he expected, after committing a murder and following it up by demonstrating a complete lack of remorse, and even self-righteousness, in court.  This is the drool-spattered depravity of the mental defectives who believe that something they call “God’s Law” supercedes the “laws of man”:  the Psychology of Theocracy.  And they walk among us.  I’m not necessarily saying Be Afraid, but definitely Be Aware.

77 Responses to “Why am I not surprised”


  1. 1 Brian Friday, April 23, 2010 at 11:22 am

    This is the drool-spattered depravity of the mental defectives who believe that something they call “God’s Law” supersedes the “laws of man.”

       Oh poppycock!  This position that you deride with that observation is the exact position that most of the founders of the United States held, as well as the vast majority of historical figures of the West.

       Not so many hold that position as have previously, but the number is still large.

       If holding that position is synonymous with the depravity of Scott Roeder, there would be far, far more of this sort of incident.

       Plus, he’s not a terrorist, he’s a murderer of the plain sort, although his crime was aggravated first degree murder.  When you murder someone to accomplish some secondary goal (witness silencing, preventing them writing a new will, etc.) that is an aggravating feature.  Killing someone to stop their work qualifies as aggravation — murder as a tool.

       Terrorists attack targets unrelated to their cause to inspire terror, and achieve political ends.  Roeder’s target was directly related to his “cause.”  Do not presume that I am meaning to lessen the severity of what he did;  I’m only seeking to categorize it accurately.

       Holding the position that the belief that God’s law supersedes man’s law leads to this kind of action leaves you with no explanation for why so many well-known voices of fundamentalist Christianity denounced Roeder’s actions immediately and without qualification.

       This taking one (or even two or three) bad actors who claim membership in a given group, and saying “this is what that group is like” is ridiculous.  It would be like taking the actions of Timothy McVeigh and saying that’s what Americans are like.  Or the Unabomber, and saying that that is what academics are like.  It’s a “observation” utterly devoid of merit.

  2. 2 brebis noire Friday, April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am

    “This position that you deride with that observation is the exact position that most of the founders of the United States held, as well as the vast majority of historical figures of the West.”

    Brian, the founders of the United States believed a lot of things a majority of people don’t agree with today, such as the inferior position of women and people of other races. Many of them were slave-holders. I mean, even for the era, that was pretty hard to defend.

    Every time the teabagger parties get together and lionise the founding fathers, this should be mentioned, loudly.

    As for Roeder, he obviously believed somehow that there was going to be clemency or exceptionalism for his actions – otherwise what could have prompted him to carry out the murder in broad daylight, in a church? That places him in a rather special category of murderer, imho. In addition, it’s well-established that he had the support and sympathy of many anti-abortion groups.

  3. 3 JJ Friday, April 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Brian – The goal of terrorism is to achieve one’s goals (ie. banning abortion) by inspiring fear.

    If less doctors choose to provide abortion services because they’re afraid of getting their heads blown off, it limits access. Limiting access is the next best thing to changing the law: the end result is almost the same.

    Scott Roeder, Eric Rudolph and all the rest of the anti-abortion bombers and shooters are the very definition of terrorists. They can’t achieve their goal through legitimate political means, so they try to do it by provoking so much fear that abortion becomes less available. I don’t see how a rational person can deny that.

    This taking one (or even two or three) bad actors who claim membership in a given group, and saying “this is what that group is like” is ridiculous.

    I can’t see where I’ve done that. I’m not talking about the average “pro-lifer”, I’m talking about the drooling creeps like Roeder, Randall Terry etc. FWIW, I have no problem with anyone being against abortion — in fact, I would fight for their right to hold that opinion. But not to force it on others.

  4. 4 Brian Friday, April 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    …the founders of the US believed a lot of things a majority of people don’t agree with today.

    Of course they did. Everybody (virtually) did. (eg, George Washington most likely died of strep throat, for which they bled him in an attempt to cure him.) But the founders were substantially more enlightened than the general populace of that time, or many of the other leaders around the world. But the point was that they did not go around murdering people who disagreed with them, or others who took actions the founders found deplorable, even though they held that God’s law supersedes man’s law.

     

    … Roeder … obviously believed somehow that there was going to be clemency or exceptionalism for his actions…

    So he was deluded, deranged, not in his right mind. That’s not the case with the vast, vast majority of those who hold God’s law higher than man’s law. You may disagree with them, but that is a political dispute, not a sign of derangement.

     

    …otherwise what could have prompted him to carry out the murder in broad daylight, in a church?

    A quest for self-imposed “martyrdom” (which is not martyrdom at all, in fact)? Who knows? He was deranged, after all. Deranged people take actions that do not lend themselves to rational analysis. My mom has Alzheimer’s, my dad is an alcoholic and my mother-in-law has progressive-stage multiple sclerosis. I have far more contact with deranged people than I would like.

     

    In addition, it’s well-established that he had the support and sympathy of many anti-abortion groups.

    I’m skeptical. He might have had some support from radical anti-abortion groups on the fringe, but that is the same issue as I wrote about originally: characterizing an entire group in light of the actions of fringe elements. Remember, the plural of “anecdote” is not “data.” Would you be willing to document a little of that support (some of the better examples)? I would be interested in looking at that. It can be useful to keep an eye on the lunatics.

  5. 5 Brian Friday, April 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I can’t see where I’ve done that.

    It appears to me that \you have done that by linking a position with an action.

    Position: … the mental defectives who believe that something they call “God’s Law” supercedes the “laws of man”: the Psychology of Theocracy.

    You could read that as “within the group of [those who believe that something they call “God’s Law” supercedes the “laws of man”] those who are mental defectives.”

    You also can read it as a series of decriptions of the same group: 1) those who believe that something they call “God’s Law” supercedes the “laws of man”; 2) mental defectives; 3) adherents to the Psychology of Theocracy, treating these three as synonyms.

    The action: Murdering without remorse, and so on.

  6. 7 JJ Friday, April 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Do you want me to fix those blockquotes for you?

  7. 8 psa Friday, April 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    a good number of the founders were deists and they specifically enshrined the separation of church and state in the american constitution to underline the idea that whatever passes for gawd’s law does not supersede the civil laws of the land. roeder’s act was indeed a terroristic act as it was intended to intimidate health care providers, clinic escorts, pro-choice politicians and the general public. the message he was sending was not local or limited to the one victim. to pretend that this vile act occurred outside of the larger context of the intimidation tactics, the other murders, assaults, bombings, vandalism and arson that are indicative of the supposedly gawd loving anti-choice zealots is just a lie. and you know what uncle gawd says about lyin’ brian. off to your penance hole for self flagellation and begging for forgiveness.

  8. 10 Torontonian Friday, April 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Life’s a bitch and now Roeder’s somebody’s bitch
    behind bars.

    My . . .it comes full circle.

    Roeder is in his early 50s and he should
    have on average another 7000 to 10000
    more days of prison life before his natureal
    lifetime is up.

    Talk about being in for the long haul.

  9. 11 Brian Friday, April 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    a good number of the founders were deists

    Yeah, a few. But not as many as we are often led to believe.

    …they specifically enshrined the separation of church and state…

    They did not “specifically enshrine the separation of church & state in the American Constitution.” They enshrined freedom of religion, partly through forbidding the congress creating a state religion (and thereby criminalizing all others), and forbidding additionally infringing on the free exercise of religion. At that time there was at least one of the states that had a state church, and this was not regarded as a violation of the Constitution.

    …to underline the idea that whatever passes for gawd’s law does not supersede the civil laws of the land.

    This is simply inaccurate. Their purpose was to prevent religious persecution by the state (as was going on in England). It was not to curtail or restrict the behavior of the public with respect to their conscience. In fact, they banked on the people opposing intrusions by the state, rejecting man’s laws if the people found them unrighteous.

    [R]oeder’s act was indeed a terroristic act as it was intended to intimidate

    And you know this how? I mean, it might have been, but I am unaware of his saying that. I thought his act was intended to kill the Dr.

    [T]he message he was sending was not local or limited to the one victim.

    Perhaps. Perhaps not. We all send messages all the time that are not intentional. Even if he did send out the message you describe, that alone does not make it true that he was trying to send that message.

    …that are indicative of the supposedly gawd loving anti-choice zealots…

    Oh puh leeze!!! The vast majority of those who you sneer at here denounce the very acts you describe.

    …you know what uncle gawd says about lyin’ [B]rian. [O]ff to your penance hole for self flagellation and begging for forgiveness.

    Asceticism merits no favor with God. No one can “buy” forgiveness, whether in whole or in part. Forgiveness is not granted on the basis of begging sufficiently. It also is not based of repentance, nor on living right. It is only granted on the basis of placing the hope for one’s future on the substitutionary payment that Jesus paid on the cross — and His payment was not His suffering, it was His death. (The wages of sin is death.)

    But I’m not lyin’, so this is offered strictly academically.

  10. 12 Reality.Bites Friday, April 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Some actual good news from the United States!

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OKLAHOMA_ABORTION_VETO?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry vetoed two abortion bills Friday that he said are an unconstitutional attempt by the Legislature to insert government into the private lives and decisions of citizens.

    One measure would have required women to undergo an intrusive ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting abortions. Henry said that legislation is flawed because it does not allow rape and incest victims to be exempted.

    Lawmakers who supported the vetoed measures promised an override vote in the House and Senate as early as next week. A national abortion rights group has said the ultrasound bill would have been among the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country if it had been signed into law.

    Henry said “it would be unconscionable to subject rape and incest victims to such treatment” because it would victimize a victim a second time.

    “State policymakers should never mandate that a citizen be forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will, especially when such a procedure could cause physical or mental trauma. To do so amounts to an unconstitutional invasion of privacy,” he said.

    Under the ultrasound legislation, doctors would have been required to use a vaginal probe in cases where it would provide a clearer picture of the fetus than a regular ultrasound. Doctors have said this is usually the case early in pregnancies, when most abortions are done.

    Henry vetoed similar legislation in 2008 but was overridden by lawmakers. The bill was struck down by an Oklahoma County judge before it went into effect on the grounds that it contained multiple subjects in violation of the state Constitution.

    The second abortion bill that the governor vetoed Friday was one that would have prohibited pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold important information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy. Supporters of that measure said it was an attempt to keep pregnant women from discriminating against fetuses with disabilities.

  11. 13 Bina Friday, April 23, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Roeder DID have support, and plenty of it:

    http://current.com/1jrmu4c

    And yes, he IS a terrorist. His murderous tendencies were specifically geared to scaring doctors out of performing abortions, and women out of getting them. Terrorism, by definition.

  12. 14 The Arbourist Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 6:44 am

    his position that you deride with that observation is the exact position that most of the founders of the United States held, as well as the vast majority of historical figures of the West.

    Just because many people believe it, does not make it right. Some of the more enlightened founding fathers did get it correct though.

    The whole religious Founding fathers nonsense meme just won’t die. When I first started blogging someone proposed a similar argument.

    “Hmmm…lets take a quick peek at some of what the founding fathers have said –

    Thomas Jefferson:

    “Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error
    all over the earth.” – Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 363.)

    John Adams:

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” – (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 – signed by President John Adams.)

    James Madison:

    “During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” – James Madison (Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments, 1785.)

    Thomas Paine:

    “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.” – Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason, 1794-1795.)

    The founding fathers deserve to be commended they managed to construct a rational society despite the prescriptive delusional inanity that was prevalent at the time.

  13. 15 Dr. Prole Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Roeder = terrorist.

    USA = nation with lots of Christians, but NOT a Christian nation.

  14. 16 psa Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Brian, Roeder murdered a doctor in a church and threatened others in that congregation. Had his goal simply been to murder Tiller he could have done so far more discreetly and with far less risk to himself. He chose his act and his method in keeping with his motive for the express purpose of terrorizing the community of persons who believe in the right to self determination and personal autonomy. He attempted to turn his trial into a propagandist exercise and he was hooked in with the anti-choice movement in a significant manner.

    You and the deluded fantasists that defer to imaginary creatures in the sky can lie to yourselves and pretend that the violence of your brethren is somehow aberrant to the norm of your community. The truth is that there are far more frequent incidents of christianist violence in North America then there are islamist acts of terroristic violence. Both groups share similar heritage and goals, both groups seem to have no lack of will to commit violence to achieve political and social goals. Both groups would see their religious laws imposed on secular society, repressing women and suppressing free will and choice. Your soggy and self-serving interpretations of America’s constitution and your flatulent take on the intent f the founders is refuted by the generations of scholarly and judicial interpretation of that document. The constitution establishes the separation of church and state.

    Evidently it was possible to hold personal faith and still be rational in terms of the secular state. Quite a trick. You and the delusional liars and religious cranks are the ones that are simply wrong. There is no gawd’s law. There is no gawd. There’s no shortage of zealots. Shame that.

  15. 17 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Bina, that’s not much in the way of support. I already allowed that he might have had some support of the fringes. Surely, if the Daily KOS has had better examples, they are the source I would expect to use them.

    “Just because many people believe it, does not make it right.”

    Absolutely. But that has nothing to do with my point. My point was, if having this position makes you a murderer, then we should see more of that, and since we don’t that is probably not an accurate linkage. THAT was my point.

    Your quote from Jefferson is why he opposed the government establishing a church. It had nothing to do with anything even as involved as proselytization. But that is not news. The founders were against state establishment of an official church.

    Adams was saying that the US is not an implementation of a religion as such. And that, too, is not news. he was saying that the president is not like another pope.

    Madison was talking about “the legal establishment of Christianity.” He said so himself. This has no bearing on whether he would think it right to ignore a law of man if he found it morally repugnant, or in opposition to God’s law. He’s not addressing that issue…

    And Thomas Paine was pretty anti-Bible. That does not say much for the Founders, as a group. Yet I do believe Paine would have stood his ground against any law he felt was immoral. Yet he did not go around murdering people who acted against his sense of morals.

  16. 18 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Of course the US is a Christian nation, Dr. Prole! It is not a theocracy, true; but there are indeed a lot of Christians. In a like manner, Turkey is not a theocracy, but it is certainly a Muslim nation.

  17. 19 Janus Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Brian, you’re so full of shit, I’ll bet your eyes are brown.

  18. 20 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    psa,

    “He chose his act and his method in keeping with his motive for the express purpose of terrorizing the community of …” Perhaps.

    I am not deluded, and I do not believe in imaginary creatures (nor imaginary creators…) in the sky, nor elsewhere.

    “The truth is that there are far more frequent incidents of Christianist violence in North America then there are Islamist acts of terroristic violence.” Now I am doubting your ability to think rationally. That’s just insane.

    “He attempted to turn his trial into a propagandist exercise…”

    Exploiting a situation — even a trial — for propagandizing is not terroristic, per se. Terrorists do this, fanatics do this, and activists do this. That act does not equal terrorism.

    “…he was hooked in with the anti-choice movement in a significant manner.” But he was by no means a “leader” of the pro-life movement.

    “Both groups share similar heritage and goals.” You simply don’t know what you’re talking about on either of these assertions.

    “Both groups would see their religious laws imposed on secular society.” You simply don’t know what you’re talking about. You might want to read some testimonies of people who have lived under sharia [sp?]. It could help you avoid such wildly inaccurate characterizations in the future.

    The Constitution does not establish the separation of church and state. It prohibits state interference in the church. It says absolutely nothing — not one word — regarding the influence of the church on the state. Again, you just don’t know what you’re talk1ng about.

    The phrase, “Wall of separation between church and state” was from a correspondence by Jefferson assuring the reader that the state was not going to ride roughshod over his church. It has not corollary regarding the influence of the church over the state, and it is not in the constitution (nor even the Declaration of Independence).

    Look at you with your name calling. You, in just one post, have called me deluded, a pretender, violent, a misogynist, self-serving, a liar, a zealot and a crank.

    I have said that you make it hard to take you seriously, tying that to a specific statement that you had made.
    I have stated that you do not know what you are talking about on specific items you have said. I have not made a blanket statement such as “you are stupid,” or anything like that.

    If you want some shame, maybe you could start there, flame-throwering the character of someone you don’t even know. I would expect that you even think of yourself as tolerant…

  19. 21 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    They’re green Janus.

    Are you ever going to reveal to me your reasoning that leads you to deny that I am a Christian?

  20. 22 deBeauxOs Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Brian, fyi, I have been reading your posts and I agree with what psa wrote.

    I also noticed that you did not reply to the substance of the arguments he makes but you create a diversion by claiming he called you names.

    He didn’t. He named actions and beliefs that you support.

  21. 23 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    You’re right, I didn’t reply to the substance, because they were arguments that did not address what I had initially said, though they were offered as such. Were I to reply to the substance of psa’s points, this thread would no longer be on the same topic. The impression would be that psa had skewered what I had initially said, though what I had said was never actually answered.

    claiming he called me names?!?

    Maybe you should have another look. “Stupid, idiot liars like you” is a way that you call someone stupid, an idiot and a liar.

    “You and the deluded fantasists that defer to imaginary creatures in the sky” calls me deluded. That calls me a fantasist. If you can’t see that, then I don’t know what more I can say to you. I mean, I would have no confidence that you would be able to understand what I might write. I can see you finding it no issue that I had been called names, but to disagree that that even took place? sheesh…

  22. 24 Luna Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Henry said “it would be unconscionable to subject rape and incest victims to such treatment” because it would victimize a victim a second time.

    Thank you, God, for sensible humans. I needed this today. I had a knock-down drag out fight with my two ridiculously stupid bio-sisters today about abortion. They’re actually in favour of forcing women who are rape victims to birth their rapists’ babies, unless of course, they want to rot in jail for murder. *shudder*

  23. 25 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Luna,

    I don’t want to add to the difficulty of your day. Yet I feel I need to once again point out that pro-lifers, anti-abortionists — whatever term you prefer — see the product of conception as a human being, albeit a young one. One ramification of that belief is that it leads to finding killing it the killing of a human being.

    The new human life is just that, a human life, no matter if the fertilization took place through artificial insemination, consensual intercourse, rape, incest, or any other means. That means that killing it for no good reason is seen as murder.

    Since all beings, human or otherwise, have an inherent right to defend their life against another who might harm it or end it, a mother has a right to kill the baby within her if its continued growth will likely kill her (e.g., an ectopic pregnancy), or will be likely to cause her serious harm — by which I do not mean something like depression. Just as we cannot kill our spouse if they make us depressed we cannot kill our children if they make us depressed.

    That means, from this perspective, that the result of a rape is a human-being-who-is-not-guilty-of-that-rape, growing inside the woman. This is why some even feel that the progeny of rape being aborted is murder. The baby is an innocent party, and it would be wrong to kill an innocent party. Those who hold that view see the situation as equal to killing the offspring of rape after birth.

     

     

    This girl in Mexico I would say is likely to be killed by this baby’s growth. That means that even those holding the viewpoint I laid out above, though being grieved over the death of this baby, would recognize that in this case it is most likely the right thing to do. (Though as I was reading this to my wife — who is an R.N. — she told me that in many countries it is not all that uncommon for 7 & 8 year-olds to successfully give birth.)

    A central requirement for reaching agreement with one another is understanding the position of those with whom we disagree. Understanding might not do the trick, but without understanding there is no hope.

    My hope is that, even though you do not agree, this explanation at least makes the pro-life position a little more understandable.

  24. 26 brebis noire Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 6:30 am

    “she told me that in many countries it is not all that uncommon for 7 & 8 year-olds to successfully give birth”

    Er, I don’t want to question your wife’s RN cred, but this is highly unlikely – to be blunt, it’s pure BS. In the first place, no matter where you are speaking about in the world, it is highly uncommon for 7 and 8 yr olds to be pubertal. I mean, come on, that’s basic biology. It’s pretty rare even in countries where children get the kind of nutrition that pushes them in to puberty at a younger average age. Look it up: the cases can be counted on one hand. That’s what you call common?

    So in the very uncommon cases where 7 and 8 yr olds actually become pregnant, the likelihood is high that it will cause serious and irreparable damage, including death.

    I wonder if your RN wife has ever heard of obstetric fistulas. Those are what is known as common, unlike 7-yr old mothers.

    I’m sure your wife meant to say 17 and 18 yr olds…

  25. 27 fern hill Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 6:41 am

    This is how common children giving birth is.

    In my most recent post, there is a link to ‘precocious puberty’.

  26. 28 The Arbourist Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 8:30 am

    The new human life is just that, a human life, no matter if the fertilization took place through artificial insemination, consensual intercourse, rape, incest, or any other means. That means that killing it for no good reason is seen as murder.

    If a mother does not want a free rider growing insider her body, that is a reason that is ‘good enough’.

    Since all beings, human or otherwise, have an inherent right to defend their life against another who might harm it or end it,

    So if cattle going to the slaughter house, or chickens going to processing plant manage to rise up and start actively defending themselves you would side with the rogue cows and chickens.

    Inherent rights are things like bodily autonomy. Either a woman has it or she does not. Clouding the issue with self-defense does nothing to further your argumentation.

    a mother has a right to kill the baby within her if its continued growth will likely kill her (e.g., an ectopic pregnancy)

    Almost right.

    or will be likely to cause her serious harm — by which I do not mean something like depression.

    I see, so now you proscribe what is a serious condition and what is not. Damn those womez getting all hysterical and depressed. We definitely need authoritarians (an assumption based on the argumentation you put forth)like yourself to tell us what is wrong and right with us and how we should use our bodies.

    Those who hold that view see the situation as equal to killing the offspring of rape after birth.

    And this view is wrong.

    A central requirement for reaching agreement with one another is understanding the position of those with whom we disagree.

    Absolutely. However, more importantly, as a aspect of critical thinking is the ability to admit that the position you take is wrong.

    Adults and fetuses are not equivalent beings, ascribing them the same rights and moral status is dishonest argumentation.

    Just as we cannot kill our spouse if they make us depressed we cannot kill our children if they make us depressed.

    But then you falsely equivocate a fetus with a fully formed human being which clearly a fetus is not. Unless of course your spouse happens to be living in your womb, eating your nutrients, breathing your oxygen and excreting through your excretory system. Apples and oranges.

    That means, from this perspective, that the result of a rape is a human-being-who-is-not-guilty-of-that-rape, growing inside the woman. This is why some even feel that the progeny of rape being aborted is murder

    Wow, so after getting raped you get he consolation prize of bearing the rapists baby. The pernicious gift that keeps on giving after you have been violated. What a fine reinforcer of your absolute lack of power and control over your own body. What perfectly horrible argumentative stance to take.

  27. 29 The Arbourist Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 10:10 am

    We really need to do away with the wrong assumption that the US was founded as a christian nation. Browsing Pharyngula I saw this video makes a case for the secular nature of the founding fathers while of course poking fun at the teabaggers, but that is picking low hanging fruit IMHO.

  28. 30 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 10:34 am

    If a mother does not want a free rider growing insider her body, that is a reason that is ‘good enough.’ 

    Pro-lifers would see this as a murder for that reason. That would seem extremist the pro-lifers. (Just explaining the position…)

     

    So if cattle going to the slaughter house, or chickens going to processing plant manage to rise up & start actively defending themselves you would side with the rogue cows & chickens.

    I wouldn’t “side with them,” but I wouldn’t fault them for it. They still will die, but no one could legitimately be astonished at their hubris for trying to escape.

    Or better, if the farm dog was harassing a cow, and the cow killed the dog, the cow would have been acting reasonably. It is up to the farmer to prevent such episodes, not to the cow to not protect itself.

     

    Inherent rights are things like bodily autonomy. Either a woman has it or she does not.

    This is reductionistic, I’m afraid. Suicide is against the law. It is against the law to put certain chemicals into yourself. Some choices of apparel put onto ones body are not permitted in public, though no one is compelled to look at others irrespective of their dress. Most bodily choices are autonomous, but not all.

    When your choice takes the life of another, it no longer is a simple “my body, my choice” proposition. There is another person involved.

     

    [S]o now you proscribe what is a serious condition & what is not.

    This is not so unusual. Courts decide things like “material harm” (as opposed to incidental harm) and “compelling interest” all the time. If I step on someone’s foot, their reaction is excessive at a point that would no longer be considered excessive if I grab them by the front of their shirt and shove them out of my way. Decisions regarding degree take place all the time.

     

    …to tell us what is wrong & right with us, & how we should use our bodies.

    (See above.) The baby is not “your body” in the view of pro-lifers, it is a distinct person. I know you (and many others) see it otherwise, but my focus here is explaining the perspective of pro-lifers to promote understanding, and pro-lifers do not see the growing person as “your body.”

     

    … so now you proscribe what is a serious condition and what is not. Damn those womenz getting all hysterical and depressed.

    Consider whether it would be considered legal for an adult woman to use heroin, if she were to make the case that she would suffer substantial depression if she were to stop. I am confident that that woman would not be able to get any court to rule on her side. Depression is not a serious enough situation to set aside the laws against heroin use.

    If, on the other hand, her habit was such that she would die if the heroin were taken away without a wean, I believe a medical facility could get a court ruling to allow administering heroin in a taper program.

    Becoming depressed is not as serious an issue as becoming dead.
    Becoming depressed is not as serious an issue as becoming bed-ridden for the next 3 years. Most people (I think) would agree with that. recognizing degrees of severity is not authoritarian, per se Authoritarians do so, as do those who are not authoritarians.

     

    And this view is wrong.

    Well, I know that you hold that view. But if you recognize that pro-lifers hold the view that is wrong, if you understand their view point, then perhaps you will be better enabled to formulate a discussion that addresses that point, and so engage those you disagree with. Of course, asserting “You’re wrong!” rarely avails much in reaching others. Often that just triggers “Did to!” “Did not!” “Did to!” “Did not!”

    It is not possible for bot sides of that one point to be right, and sound reasoning might bring both sides closer to being on the same side of the table. I am not here attempting to give reasons, sound or otherwise, but just to explain the view point.

     

    Adults and fetuses are not equivalent beings, ascribing them the same rights & moral status is dishonest argumentation.

    And I don’t know of anyone who thinks that adults and fetuses are equivalent beings in every respect or that they should have all of the same rights or moral status.

    Adults and teenagers, too, are not equivalent beings, and should not be ascribed the same rights & moral status. Yet both adults & teenagers share the right to not be killed without due process.

    Adults, teenagers, children, infants & fetuses share some common traits. At the very, very far end of the spectrum, they all exist, for one. Then as you move along the spectrum away from that end point, at different points different groups fall away from agreement.

    Pro-lifers find the fetus to be a person — which is not to say they find the fetus to be an adult… You’re right, it would be false to attribute all of an adults rights to a fetus, or even to a 3-year-old.

     

    But then you falsely [equate] a fetus with a fully formed human being.

    No, actually, I didn’t. But I did point out that pro-lifers do equate a fetus with being a minimally formed human being, and that is the crux of the disagreement. (Again, striving to explain so as to promote earnest dialog, permitted through legitimate recognition of what the pro-life position is.) To argue against what I said as equating adults and fetuses in toto is therefore a straw man.

     

    … your spouse happens to be living in your womb, eating your nutrients, breathing your oxygen & excreting through your excretory system. Apples & oranges.

    My daughter consumes my food, uses my electricity, makes demands on my time, and so on. (Anyone with kids knows that list is a lot longer!) This does not give me the freedom to abandon her. let alone kill her. The point is that it does not seal the deal that the fetus relies upon the mother. There are examples of dependent relationships, some quite burdensome, that individuals do not have the freedom to eliminate.

    BTW, as I understand it, the fetus doesn’t excrete through the mothers voiding apparatus. The amniotic fluid has urine in it, and the fetus does not have bowel movements, for the most part.

    But the point was only what freedoms might be confered upon you by another individual causing you depression. That specific point is not so much apples & oranges.

     

    [S]o after getting raped, you get he consolation prize of bearing the rapists baby. The pernicious gift that keeps on giving after you have been violated.

    Consider this vignette: Suppose someone lived in a very, very remote area. Thugs (banditos, militia, whatever) descend upon this homestead, beat the residents, take their accumulated cash store, violate the women, put graffiti everywhere, and leave behind one of the thugs’ kids, stealing the homestead’s only means of transportation with which they might offload this kid. They’re stuck with the kid.

    They can, of course, refuse to give the kid any of their food, or even allow the kid to stay in their violated home.

    But, unless feeding the kid means that for sure they will all starve to death, it is a moral requirement for them to care for this kid — even though she’s a constant reminder of their having been violated — until such time as they can hand her off to the proper authorities, or someone else who would be willing to care for her (another family, an orphanage, whatever).

    No one that I know of would assert that the rape victim need raise the child. But that is kind of the opposite end of the range of options from killing the baby.

     

    What a fine reinforcer of your absolute lack of power & control over your own body.

    No, not “absolute lack of control,” but “lack of absolute control” (as treated above). Plus, the pro-life position, again, is that what is growing inside the woman is a distinct person, a human being (though not an adult). Understanding that one point is probably the most important to understanding the source of almost the entirety of disagreement between the two sides. One side holds that the fetus is a person, the other denies that it is a person.

  29. 31 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Er, I don’t want to question your wife’s RN cred, but this is highly unlikely – to be blunt, it’s pure BS.

    I’m going to interview her about this. I don’t have confidence in WIKI as final source, though I love going there. My wife worked as a surgical assistant on the Ivory Coast, and as a relief worker in Somalia. Her focus is really on Africa, and the Wiki link hardly contained any references to events there.

    By common, I mostly meant common enough that it doesn’t astonish there as much as this Mexican case astonishes here. Common was not a good word choice — it was late, and I was distracted.

  30. 32 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

    “teabaggers,” “low hanging fruit.” That’s funny (if a little crude)!

  31. 33 The Arbourist Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Arb:Inherent rights are things like bodily autonomy. Either a woman has it or she does not.

    B:This is reductionistic, I’m afraid. Suicide is against the law.[…] Most bodily choices are autonomous, but not all.

    So then this argument is indeed about the rights of women. We can leave any discussion of the fetus out of this.

    You are right this is reductionistic because it is at the very base of what is being argued. A woman’s body is either her own, or it is not.

    Brian said:When your choice takes the life of another, it no longer is a simple “my body, my choice” proposition. There is another person involved.

    The fetus is not a person. The premise is false.

    My daughter consumes my food, uses my electricity, makes demands on my time, and so on. (Anyone with kids knows that list is a lot longer!) This does not give me the freedom to abandon her. let alone kill her.

    Absolutely. But again, your daughter is not in the womb. So why continue to attempt to connect fetus = person meme?

    But, unless feeding the kid means that for sure they will all starve to death, it is a moral requirement for them to care for this kid — even though she’s a constant reminder of their having been violated

    Again, the assumption that fetus = person. The assumption is false, and therefore the argument based on it, also false.

    One side holds that the fetus is a person, the other denies that it is a person.

    Women’s rights are intrinsically entwined with reproductive freedom. One side wishes to remove reproductive freedom and the other fights for or attempts to maintain it. The issue is not about the alleged personhood of the fetus it is all about control of women and their bodies.

  32. 34 brebis noire Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    “By common, I mostly meant common enough that it doesn’t astonish there as much as this Mexican case astonishes here.”

    The Mexican case appears to have astonished the Mexicans. Just as the Brazilian case astonished the Brazilians.
    And in Africa, malnutrition and food insecurity are so relatively common that I find it extremely difficult to believe that any 7 or 8-year-olds are pubertal, except for some pretty exceptional exceptions.
    Sorry, but having a choice, I believe wiki over your wife. They’re pretty good at documenting facts and events.

  33. 35 The Arbourist Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:36 am

    On a similar note, what I also find particularly inconsistent about the pro-life argument is that on one hand they claim personhood for the unborn but then will not act consistently on the claim that they fight for life. (See this neat paper on the Scourge for a detailed examination this aspect of reproductive ethics)

    3000+ actual children day per day of disease, malnutrition and lack of clean water. One would think they if they are committed to save life they would do something about these children dying everday. To use their vernacular, a person is a person whether inside the uterus or not.

    My question would be, are the people in other countries considered to have less than full personhood status simply because they are far away? Why should the deaths of their children be any less than the aborted ‘babies’ over here? If you wanted the most bang for your buck you could save thousands of children everyday with the simple investment of mosquito nets for families. If the pro life position was actually about saving life, would it not be logical to try to do the most good with the limited resources available? So are they really about saving life, or is it something else?

    So why do we not see the pro-life campaign for mosquito netting, or vaccinations or vitamin doses or even something as basic as access to clean water? All which would safe an enormous amount of life, which they claim to be representing and fighting for.

    The answer is quite simple, it is because they are not about being pro-life, but rather about being anti-choice. Forget about killing ‘babies’, about when personhood starts, when life beings at conception… it is all window dressing.

    The so called representatives of ‘life’ choose to spend their time, energy and resources battling to strip women of their bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom.

    Malaria nets and salt tablets are inexpensive, I would hypothesize the anti-choice lobby could save lives and continue their campaign against women and reproductive rights. Most anti-choice organizations do not do both, because this is not about saving life, it is about denying women choice.

  34. 36 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    So then this argument is indeed about the rights of women. We can leave any discussion of the fetus out of this.

    No, I was merely answering that one point.

    You’re right this is reductionistic because it is at the very base of what is being argued. A woman’s body is either her own, or it is not.

    Though that is true, her body is her own (even if that is somewhat of an analogous statement), the question is where the line is for what is or is not “her body.” Pro-lifers would say that the baby, being an individual, is not her body, nor any part thereof. That is where the point of contention lies.

    The fetus is not a person.

    This is indeed the pro-abortion position. The pro-life position is that it is a person.

    And again, just saying so, as you did just triggers “Did to!” “Did not!” “Did to!” “Did not!” types of discussion. I am not, in this thread, arguing that the fetus is a person, though that is what I believe. I am herein asserting that this is the pro-life belief, it is the opposite of the pro-abortion belief, and is therefore where the rub lies.

    To tell someone who believes that killing the fetus is killing a person something like “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one!” is exactly synonymous — synonymous to them, I say — to saying “Opposed to infanticide? Don’t kill your own baby, but don’t tell me what to do with my child!” The idea that you might change someone’s mind in that way would be dreaming, right? The argument needs to be 1st in the arena of the personhood of the fetus, because all other issues are trumped by that one. If it is a person, what we may or may not do to it differ from those if it is not a person.

    So why continue to attempt to connect fetus = person meme?

    Because that is the core issue — practically the sole issue — driving the debate!

    Women’s rights are intrinsically entwined with reproductive freedom. One side wishes to remove reproductive freedom and the other fights for or attempts to maintain it. The issue is not about the alleged personhood of the fetus it is all about control of women and their bodies.

    Holding this inaccurate position, you will not be able to understand the debate.
    Holding this position, you have no hope of engaging any pro-lifers so as to convert them from being your opponent to joining your side. You have the right to misunderstand and mis-characterize pro-lifers, of course; knock yourself out, as they say.

  35. 37 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    On a similar note, … (See this neat paper on the Scourge …)

    Most anti-choice organizations do not do both, because this is not about saving life, it is about denying women choice.

    I find this whole line of argument — the one in “The Scourge” and the one that is repeated in the discussion of cases of malnutrition, mosquito nets, vitamins, and so forth — specious (meaning hollow, baseless, fallacious, etc.).

    If not addressing these issue of nutrition, water, mosquito nets, et al., is indicative that those not acting don’t care about children or human life, then that would apply to pro-abortionists who don’t act as well. After all, both groups recognize post-born children as humans, right?

    There is a world of difference between opposing institutionalized, legalized infanticide, and any actions one might take to save the lives of others, whether those others are at risk from heart attack, geriatric attack (old age), drug overdosing, mal-nutrition, and all the other myriad possible causes of death.

    Just because a person does not put forth Herculean efforts where you think they should does not make the case that their position is illegitimate.

    Just as one example, even an active alcoholic can make an accurate case against drinking. The actions of the person speaking do not make nor break their case. The words they use, and their accuracy does.

    As I read The Scourge (yes, I read it) I was constantly struck that the writer was merely showing off, crowing about being the “smartest person in the room.” It is one thing to try as best you can to make a sophisticated case for something you believe in. It is different to merely show of. Any level of sophistication will be called showing off by some (think of the scene between the mother and the teacher in Pay It Forward, where she tells him, “Would you mind not rubbing my nose in it?” when all he’s doing is talking). But the writing of The Scourge felt like the showing off kind to me.

    I had a Gunnery Sergeant who used to say, “You know if there’s one, there’s got to be two.” Of course, a person was likely to agree with that. Then he would say, “If there’s two there’s got be at least four.” And he would of course parlay that into bigger numbers. He would take a premise (one that actually was questionable; there could be just one), and carry it to preposterous extremes, thrilled with himself that he was being so clever. The Scourge just struck me the same way.

     

     

    One would think they if they are committed to save life they would do something about these children dying everyday.

    They do. Pro-lifers contribute a lot to agencies that address these very problems, agencies much better equipped to spread the resources effectively than individuals would be.

    My wife personally went to Somalia to establish feeding centers and clinics. The clinics were only able to dispense aspirin and wrap wounds when she arrived. 6 months later they were set up to do some surgeries, had a medical records system, and were making out-reach to far flung villages. She additionally trained local individuals in keeping the place running, so that when she left the clinics would continue to provide quality service. Her brother is in Benin right now; has been for almost a decade.

  36. 38 Cornelius T. Zen Monday, April 26, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Good morrow, all!
    In keeping with the spirit of brevity:
    If a fetus is a person, does that mean that its mother is not?
    If a fetus is granted full protection under the law, does that mean that its mother gives up any protection?
    Do the rights of the fetus fully supercede those of the mother?
    If women have all the same rights as men, should they not have these rights at all times, under all circumstances?
    Just wondering – CTZen

  37. 39 toujoursdan Monday, April 26, 2010 at 7:34 am

    For most of Christian history a foetus wasn’t considered a person until its “quickening”. In Jewish theology it isn’t a person until its takes its first breath because according to Jewish belief breath equals life (God created Adam and he didn’t become a person until God breathed into him.)

    The so-called pro-life position is a modern one.

  38. 40 Janus Monday, April 26, 2010 at 11:13 am

    “Inherent rights are things like bodily autonomy. Either a woman has it or she does not.”

    “This is reductionistic…”

    Tough. That’s the way it is. It is accurate. Learn to live with it.

    “Suicide is against the law.”

    No it’s not.

    “When your choice takes the life of another, it no longer is a simple “my body, my choice” proposition. There is another person involved.”

    Wrong. Your basic assumption that a fetus is a person is wrong; therefore your entire argument is wrong. There is no “other person” involved!

    “The baby is not ‘your body’ in the view of pro-lifers, it is a distinct person. I know you (and many others) see it otherwise, but my focus here is explaining the perspective of pro-lifers to promote understanding, and pro-lifers do not see the growing person as ‘your body.'”

    Okay, bub…you can back it right up and start over. There is no “baby.” There is a fetus. If it is in my body without my permission, it is an alien invader, and I will get rid of it. When I say I have the right to determine what happens to my body, I am talking about MY BODY — not a fetus that does not have my permission to be there! Your perspective is wrong. Your focus is wrong. You do not speak for me or anyone else. And your anti-choicers have no goddam business “seeing” anything at all that does not belong to them!

    “But, unless feeding the kid means that for sure they will all starve to death, it is a moral requirement for them to care for this kid…”

    Bad analogy. Not everyone subscribes to the same “moral requirements.” Not everyone even recognizes their existence — if they do exist — as being valid.

  39. 41 Janus Monday, April 26, 2010 at 11:31 am

    “Pro-lifers would say that the baby, being an individual, is not her body, nor any part thereof. That is where the point of contention lies.”

    Even if that were true — and it’s not — a woman must be allowed to give or withhold specific permission for something else to be allowed to use her body as a growth medium!

    I am not a petri dish. I will eject any invaders. Tell your anti-choice friends that if they want it, they can line up to catch it after I’ve gotten rid of it. That should give them something to think about.

    “The fetus is not a person.”

    “This is indeed the pro-abortion position. The pro-life position is that it is a person.”

    There is no “pro-abortion” position. And the anti-choice position does not matter to me.

    “So why continue to attempt to connect fetus = person meme?”

    “Because that is the core issue — practically the sole issue — driving the debate!”

    No it’s not. It’s not a “core” issue — it’s a diversion. The core issue is whether or not I get the final say in the dispostion of my own body no matter what anyone else thinks.

    I keeping hearing from the anti-choice crowd that you cannot exercise your choice if it means imposing your own will on another “person” — by which they mean a fetus. However, in saying that, they have no problem at all in attempting to impose their will on me!

    “Holding this position, you have no hope of engaging any pro-lifers so as to convert them from being your opponent to joining your side.”

    Who wants to convert them? Who needs them to “join?” For myself, all I want them to do is shut the fuck up and leave me alone to live my life according to my own plans!

  40. 42 Brian Monday, April 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    If a fetus is a person, does that mean that its mother is not?

    Well, that’s just looney.  I mean, what on earth could lead you to ask a question like that?

    If a fetus is granted full protection under the law, does that mean that its mother gives up any protection?

    “full protection,” “gives up any” — the sorts of overstatements that straw men are built from.  The pro-life position for the vast majority of pro-lifers is that if carrying the baby will kill the mother — or even do her grievous harm — the baby can– and should be killed instead.  How that can be parlayed into the mother giving up all protection…

    Do the rights of the fetus fully supersede those of the mother?

    No, the right of the fetus to life supersedes the woman’s right to unfettered freedom — temporarily.  But that’s not unprecedented.  For instance, the birth of my daughter ended some of my freedom — and for far longer than just 9 months.  I cannot legally walk away from my responsibilities to her.  My earning is not mine-and-mine-alone, and so on.  But these are not violations of my rights, they are legal restrictions on them.

    If women have all the same rights as men, should they not have these rights at all times, under all circumstances?

    See the previous response just a few lines above.  And if you are for full equality as one who supports women having the choice to abort — even when the dad wants the child, should then men have the right to command abortion when the woman wants to keep the baby?  After all, the men do have a stake inasmuch as they will be required to pay almost 2 decades of child support.

    No?  The positions of the man and the woman are not strictly parallel?

  41. 43 Brian Monday, April 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    For most of Christian history a foetus wasn’t considered a person until its ‘quickening.’

    Am i to understand that you want to turn to theologians for authoritative answers then?  (I don’t guess so…)

    But this was not a theological answer, it was an answer for the “medical” understanding of that time.

    The so-called pro-life position is a modern one.

    No, it is an ancient one.  What has changed is the understanding of the process of gestation.  The position has always been that what is inside the mother is a person, and has the right to life — a point you made with your pointing out what the earlier Christians said.

    But let’s say it was a modern position: would it be a wrong position for that reason?  No, of course not.  The argument turns on a different set of hinges than that.

  42. 44 Brian Monday, April 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Tough. That’s the way it is. It is accurate.

    Apparently you missed the point. Reductionism is fallacy. If that’s the way it is (and you said yourself that it is), that alone means that it is not accurate. Learn to live with it.

    “Suicide is against the law.”

    No it’s not.

    No, not everywhere anymore. But it still is in many places.

    Your basic assumption that a fetus is a person is wrong; therefore your entire argument is wrong

    “Hellooo!   You who!   Hellooo!”  The point has been all along to highlight what the pro=life position is, to foster dialog, and understanding.

    But I will at this point make an assertion. The fetus is a person, unqualifiedly.  The fetus has globally (probably even universally) unique DNA, a globally unique personality, and according to some is already gay, if that is what they turn out to be.  Just as the only thing necessary for a teenager to grow into an adult is food, hydration, oxygen, shelter and time, and the only thing necessary for an infant to grow into an adult is food, hydration, oxygen, shelter and time, the only thing necessary for a fetus to grow into an adult is food, hydration, oxygen, shelter and time.  “Viability” is a contrived line of demarcation (though even if this line were used a lot of abortions would be banned).  That line moves as technology improves, so it is not a property of the baby in any sense, but is a property of the medical environment into which they might be delivered.

    No it’s not. It’s not a “core” issue — it’s a diversion.

    If this is what you think, then you have missed where the problem lies.  But you haven’t actually missed that point, you just want it not to be so.  Your earlier arguments show the centrality of that one point.  If it is a person, the other questions cease to have merit.

    I keeping hearing from the anti-choice crowd that you cannot exercise your choice if it means imposing your own will on another ‘person’ 

    What they are saying, and you don’t choose to hear, is that “you cannot exercise your choice if it means imposing your will on whether another person is robbed of their life.”  None of us get to choose with complete freedom whether others get to live or die.  Under some circumstances we do (self defense), and in most cases we do not.

    they have no problem at all in attempting to impose their will on me!

    No one is telling you that you have to get pregnant.  But once you do, there is another person involved.  Plus, it is not “imposing their will on you” as if they were choosing your hair color for you.  It is exercising legitimate force to protect those who cannot protect themselves, which is one of the roles of society.  It is why we, as a society, impose our will on whether adults can abuse children, as just one example among myriad examples — animal protection is another.  We protect the weak and defenseless.

    Who wants to convert them? Who needs them to ‘join?’ For myself, all I want them to do is shut … up and leave me alone to live my life according to my own plans!

    That would represent a fundamental change in their position, a type of conversion.  So you say, you don’t want to convert them, you only want to convert them!  You don’t want them to join you, you only want them to adopt your position.

    Are you ever going to tell me the reason(s) you say I am not a Christian, or was that just a tantrum on your part?

  43. 45 Janus Monday, April 26, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    “Are you ever going to tell me the reason(s) you say I am not a Christian, or was that just a tantrum on your part?”

    ‘Cause according to several Christians, you’re not. And I know them personally and I trust what they say.

    Wanna prove otherwise?

  44. 46 Brian Monday, April 26, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Sure.

        What would it take? You would appear to not really have a good handle on the topic, because you are relying on others. You apparently are not going to take solely my word for it. This seems a hard nut to crack.

        What do you propose? Will you take proof out of the Bible, or is that not suitable? Let me know.

        And, if you wouldn’t mind, and if you can, can you tell me how these others who you do see as Christians heard about me, what they heard, and how it is that what they heard disqualified me? It would be helpful to have an understanding of what has transpired.

        Please do not take anything I just said as sarcastic or snide. For this topic I will play it as sober as I possibly can, and there is no intent of that sort of thing in the questions and observations above.

        Thank you for finally taking this topic up.

  45. 47 Cornelius T. Zen Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Good morrow, all!
    In hoc signo vicennes – By this sign shalt thou conquer.
    Christianity did not take its hold on the Roman Empire until Constantine “saw” that “burning cross” in the heavens.
    “Eureka! I’ll make Christianity legal!”
    And they came out of the catacombs and said, “Bout bloody time!”
    Then, in 999, the pope decided to take the show on the road, reclaim Jerusalem from the heathen Musselman, and slaughter a few Orthodox (Latin for “not really Christian anyway”) on the way. Thus, the Crusades.
    Then, Martin Luther said, “Whoa, I smell a scam!” and Christian became another word for “not a Catholic”. We all know how well that turned out, since nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
    And all those Buddhists and Hindus that conducted the Showa, and sought a final solution to the Jewish problem? All those Christians who spoke up against that must have been deafening. Right?
    Brian, what exactly makes *you* a Christian? What exactly do you do on a daily basis that makes you believe that God always liked you best? Tell us all about it, chapter and verse, if you will. And remember: vanity is one of the seven deadly sins. Even Jesus said: Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
    Quote the Bible, if you must, but tell us how that applies to you. Tell us what you do that would make Jesus smile.
    I was born and raised a Catholic. I have nothing but respect for those who live their faith. And I have nothing but contempt for those who use their “faith” to justify their stupidity, greed, malice and rapacity.
    Christian is as Christian does. Am I wrong? – CTZen

  46. 48 Brian Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Well, yeah, you are wrong (or not exactly right, to be more accurate).   A Christian’s reputation (often called a “testimony”) is as he does.   But whether one is a Christian is a different matter.

    I wrote a much longer answer, addressing your questions, and I have saved it on my computer.   But I am going to wait to hear from Janus, first, before I post it.

  47. 50 Rob F Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Historically, as far as the abortion debate goes, the idea that a fetus is a person is a modern one. Historically, in societies that prohibited abortion, the reasons used were generally about insuring that a woman’s child was her husband’s.

    In societies, there are six recorded ways lineage, family, and descent can be traced. The of interest here is patrilineal descent. In patrilineal descent, ancestry and family membership is determined through the male line only. Hence, unless your parents are a certain type of cousin, your mother is not literally a member of your family but rather an in-law; if you are a man you pass on your property to your sons when you die; if you are a woman you pass on your property to your brother(s)’ sons when you die; and your mother is, in social terms, not an ancestor.

    Consider pre-modern societies. In them, maternity is (almost) always known. But what about paternity? Remember patrilineal descent? Knowing paternity is important in patrilineal societies. For this reason, patrilineal societies almost always strongly prohibit and punish acts of premarital and extramarital sex, especially amongst women. This is the only way in a pre-modern society to ensure that paternity is known. These societies’ opposition to abortion arises out of abortion allowing women to “escape” punishment for premarital and extramarital sex. (the punishment can range from shaming and social ostracism, to gang rape or worse.) In addition, opposition to abortion allows husbands to ensure that they have an heir. Those two factors are the root of opposition to abortion in pre-modern societies. No known pre-modern society has literally considered a fetus a person from the moment of conception, partly because until quickening it was impossible to be certain that a woman with a swollen abdomen was pregnant, as opposed to being sick with some infection that would eventually kill her.

    As a matter of fact, despite patrilineal societies’ opposition to abortion, abortion was still present (It should be noted that the punishments in the previous paragraph provide powerful incentives for abortion!); indeed, the anthropologist George Devereux examined a sample of 250 non-industrial societies and found that induced abortion was “[A]n absolutely universal phenomenon”, regardless of those societies’ attitudes towards it.

  48. 51 Brian Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Janus,

       I don’t want to dis-incline you to answer.  I am keenly interested in hearing what the categories were, and where it is that those you spoke with say that I missed the mark.  I am significantly more interested in hearing what you have to say than what CTZen has to say, at least until you have had your say.  I am loath to go off on a tangent before I hear from you.  I am not trying to be melodramatic, I just want the waters to be relatively calm.

       I also want to have the discussion CTZen brought up, but not until I have heard from you.

  49. 52 The Arbourist Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Arb said: Most anti-choice organizations do not do both, because this is not about saving life, it is about denying women choice.

    Brian said: I find this whole line of argument — the one in “The Scourge” and the one that is repeated in the discussion of cases of malnutrition, mosquito nets, vitamins, and so forth — specious (meaning hollow, baseless, fallacious, etc.).

    Brian: just because a person does not put forth Herculean efforts where you think they should does not make the case that their position is illegitimate.

    Of course not. My intent, by pointing out why pro-lifers are not putting forth the minimal effort to save children’s lives is quite simple. It is because the issue is not about saving life, it is about dictating to women about their autonomy.

    I would not consider donating $15 dollars a herculean effort by any stretch of the imagination. The point of the argument is that these are easy actions to take that would save the life of thousands of children every year.

    To consistently make the claim that the anti-choice care about life, you would need to address this small gap. A simple utilitarian analysis would point to if saving life was your goal, would it not be logical to apply your resources where it is doing the most good?

    Janus:“Tough. That’s the way it is. It is accurate.”

    Brian:Apparently you missed the point. Reductionism is fallacy.

    Apparently you also missed the point, because Reductionism is not a formal or informal fallacy. It is a epistemological methodology, that admittedly has some serious short comings, but not inherently fallacious.

  50. 53 The Arbourist Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Janus:“they have no problem at all in attempting to impose their will on me!”

    Brian:No one is telling you that you have to get pregnant.

    Shorter version: Just keep your legs shut, slut.

    Ahhh, thank you for mansplaining the concept to us. We should just listen to you and shut our pretty mouths as you share your privileged knowledge about the pressures women face.

    You know *nothing* about the situation women face when it comes to sex and becoming pregnant.

    The fetus is a person, unqualifiedly. The fetus has globally (probably even universally) unique DNA, a globally unique personality,…

    Cancer cells have unique DNA and a definite personality (rapid growth and expansion). We have no qualms removing those from our body.

    just as the only thing necessary for a teenager to grow into an adult is food, hydration, oxygen, shelter and time, and the only thing necessary for an infant to grow into an adult is food, hydration, oxygen, shelter and time, the only thing necessary for a fetus to grow into an adult is food, hydration, oxygen, shelter and time.

    You missed the consent of the mother in your list. Potentiality is a not a particular useful line of reasoning, as clearly a fetus is not a baby, nor it is a person. A similar analogy is that an acorn is not a oak tree, nor should it be treated as one.

    Brian :What they are saying, and you don’t choose to hear, is that “you cannot exercise your choice if it means imposing your will on whether another person is robbed of their life.” None of us get to choose with complete freedom whether others get to live or die. Under some circumstances we do (self defense), and in most cases we do not.

    It is not another person, so this argument is baseless. Another person does not need the organic equipment of another to autonomously survive.

  51. 54 Janus Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    “I don’t want to dis-incline you to answer.”

    Relax about it, then. My disinclination has nothing whatever to do with you. Go ahead and talk to whoever.

  52. 55 Brian Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    My intent, by pointing out why pro-lifers are not putting forth the minimal effort…

    But they are putting out “the minimal” effort, and then some, so any point resting on that premise doesn’t have one. They might not be putting out the effort that some like to accuse them of not putting out, but they are doing a lot. Groups like World Concern, and so on, are funded in large part by pro-lifers. My wife went to Somalia to set up feeding stations, and her personal support came almost entirely from pro-lifers, and the funds the organization she went under also get a substantial part of their support from pro-lifers — and not a mere $15 a month, either. Far more charity is provided by conservatives than liberal, and a higher proportion of conservatives are pro-life than the proportion of liberals that are pro-life.

    Shorter version: Just keep your legs shut, slut.

    I never said any such thing, and I never intended any such meaning. I am only saying that most pregnancy derives from voluntary action. If you want to have a chip on your shoulder and see me as having nothing but your suppression on my mind, that is not my responsibility.

    Cancer cells have unique DNA and a definite personality

    Cancer cells do not have personality, they have behavior. Though personality drives behavior, distinct behavior is not necessarily personality. Cancer cells will not grow into a person (human nor otherwise) given time, nutrition, etc., they have no differentiation of function within the tumor, and so on.

    You missed the consent of the mother in your list.

    No, I really didn’t. From a physiological perspective, the consent of the mother contributes nothing materially, nothing instrumental. A person on life support need the consent of the medical personnel to keep living, but they clearly are a person (I am not talking about someone in a vegetative state, just someone relying on machines). The necessity of the actions of other so as to keep living, actions which could be withdrawn, does not speak to their personhood, and the analogous position of the fetus does not speak to her personhood either.

    Potentiality is a not a particular useful line of reasoning…

    It is in this particular case, that of assessing when life begins from a developmental perspective. The point is that there are no lines of demarcation with respect to when life begins along this continuum from fertilization to death-from-old age. In contrast, fertilization is a distinct line of demarcation.

    …as clearly a fetus is not a baby, nor it is a person.

    Pro-lifers see that as neither clear nor accurate. Pro-choicers assert that the fetus is not a person, but the reasons given to support that position — at least the ones that I’ve heard — fall short of making the case. Issues like brain waves are brought up, with no reason to see brain wave activity as the sine qua non of being a person. And so it is with other items, such as viability, ability to feel pain, etc.

  53. 56 Brian Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    It is not another person, so this argument is baseless. Another person does not need the organic equipment of another to autonomously survive.

    This begs the question.

  54. 57 Brian Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    OK CTZen:

    What made (not makes; it is an event, not a proces) me a Christian is the same thing that made anyone else who is a Christian one.

    A Christian is one who:

    · Believes that sin causes condemnation, and that this is not a proportionality issue. One who has sinned, but stops sinning (as if!) would still have an unpaid sin debt bringing condemnation.
    · Believes that Jesus never sinned, and so was not under condemnation of the previous point.
    · Believes that God is willing to accept substitute payment. This was originally found in the kinsman-redeemer tenets of the Mosaic Law—that is, the concept was revealed there.
    · Believes that Jesus, having no debt from sin, need not have died, but voluntarily chose to give his physical life as a substitutionary payment for others.
    · Rests their case for forgiveness solely on the payment Jesus made by dieing on the Cross. They steadfastly hold that, should it ever come to it taking place (it won’t, but were it to) that God should ask them to “make their case” for forgiveness, their reply would be nothing but “Jesus has paid my debt.” Not “I have tried to live a good life, plus Jesus paid my debt,” Not “I’m better than some, plus Jesus paid my debt” To add anything to “Jesus paid my debt” turns Jesus’ payment into a portion of your case. The remaining portion can never be 100%, so the sum of the proportion that Jesus paid, plus your own shortfalling payment doesn’t equal 100% of the debt; the debt remains unpaid.

    This resting their fate on the payment of another is what is meant by “believing in Jesus.” There are 3 meanings of “believe in,” and the meanings are quite different.

    There is believing in as in whether something exists or not.

    There is the believing in as in being “for” something, e.g., “I don’t believe in violence.” The person who says this surely believes that violence exists. This is a different meaning.

    Then there is the meaning that connotes faith. Consider little Johnny who is terrified at his first piano recital. His mother says, “You go out there and show them; I believe in you!” This is not the mom saying that she believes Johnny exists, and it is not her saying I stand for Johnny rather than opposed to him. No, she is saying that by virtue of what she knows about him from past experience, she projects trust in him into the future, which is what biblical faith is (rather than a blind leap across a dark chasm).

    At the moment a human exerts faith of that kind in Jesus — from what they know about Him, they project trust for their future in Him — they become recipients of eternal life, they are no longer guilty for their sin (the debt has been paid), and they receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Eternal life, from a biblical perspective is not an issue of duration, but of quality. The Bible clearly indicates that unbelievers will continue to exist throughout eternity, just as those with eternal life will.

    The result of that is a kind of gratitude that’s life changing. Note that salvation does not stem from a changed life, a changed life stems from the gratitude that follows salvation.

    This describes me, and so I am a Christian.

  55. 58 Cornelius T. Zen Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Good morrow, all!
    So, Brian, becoming a Christian is a one time, one call does it all event. Woo-hoo, I’m a no-maintenance person and God likes me best!
    *ptui* In any other endeavour, that would be regarded as abnegation of responsibility.
    The Christians of my acquaintance regard their Christianity as a 24/7, devil in the details kind of life. To make that simple for you, salvation may be given, but the price is an ongoing process of walking the walk.
    I learned this growing up as a Catholic. You are not what you do, you do what you are. Doing illustrates being.
    I did not ask what you believed, I asked what you DO, since what you DO tells the world what you ARE.
    Christian IS as Christian DOES. Jesus got angry, and anger is a sin. He knew this, which is why he did His best to walk the walk, and taught his followers to let go of fear, or anger of hate, in order to embrace love.
    Anytime you are afraid, it’s because you lack trust. Oh ye of little faith. If you trust your God, and your God will not let you down, you have nothing to fear. Not even God.
    Trust overpowers fear. Trust is another name for faith. However, I see very little of that trust in your arguments, as though God NEEDS you to defend what you believe He wants.
    I trust Him. Therefore, I do not fear Him. Nor need I fear anything else. The very fact that I am still alive, in spite of myself, tells me that He has plans for me. Okay. I can live with that.
    Good night, and may your God go with you – CTZen

  56. 59 The Arbourist Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Arb:“Shorter version: Just keep your legs shut, slut.”

    I never said any such thing, and I never intended any such meaning. I am only saying that most pregnancy derives from voluntary action. If you want to have a chip on your shoulder and see me as having nothing but your suppression on my mind, that is not my responsibility.

    No, you just implied it.

    I am only saying that most pregnancy derives from voluntary action.

    And I am saying that claim is factually erroneous.

    If you want to have a chip on your shoulder and see me as having nothing but your suppression on my mind, that is not my responsibility.

    You can deny your privilege but it does not change the fact that you have it and that is present for you and the rest of your ilk.

    In contrast, fertilization is a distinct line of demarcation.

    Wrong again.Conception is a complex multi modal process that we have arbitrarily defined.

    From a physiological perspective, the consent of the mother contributes nothing materially, nothing instrumental.

    How ghastly an assertion is this? Only the psychological well being of the mother is at stake, her stress and the physiological effects stress has on a person is directly related to her health and the ordeal of pregnancy. Of course if you wish to view women as mere birthing vessels of the state then the original assertion stands.

    Never mind the fact that access to reproductive services saves actual livesand produces better outcomes for families. That seems to be irrelevant at least when it comes to persuading you.

    Arb: “It is not another person, so this argument is baseless. Another person does not need the organic equipment of another to autonomously survive.”

    Brian: This begs the question.

    At least you got this fallacy right. But more to the point, I am pretty sure we are not going to agree on the any of our initial premises, nor do I think that you came to the table being able to change your view on the matter (see inane christian delusional behaviour).

    So then, what was the point? I mean other than highlighting how monstrous and anti-woman the ‘pro-life’ positions actually are, not much was accomplished. It has been established (see the earlier link to the Ethiopia study) that reproductive health services, including abortion, saves womens lives. The position you put forth is against abortion and therefore also against saving womens lives.

    Of course your argumentation squares with the partriarchally approved 2000 year old wisdom of semi-literate sheepherders (I mean who can argue with burning bushes and talking snakes, afterall). So then your views and your purported religion come down on the wrong side of the debate.

    At the very least you are consistent.

  57. 60 Cornelius T. Zen Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Good morrow, all!
    The entire question of reproductive control, whether it is contraception or abortion, is a question of who controls whom. Men seek to control women, because men fear women.
    Men. Fear. Women. This fear is not restricted to any one type of society. Fear leads to anger, which leads to hate, which leads to violence, which leads to bloodshed. And conservatives are those who live by this fear, all day long. Women. Gays. Asiatics. Africans. All inspire fear, which leads down that merry slippery slope.
    The struggle for human progress is the struggle to overcome fear. And those who seek to control progress, fear progress.
    You see, in mythology, any attempts at progress are punished severely. Prometheus brought fire to Mankind, and was chained, by order of Zeus, to the mountainside, to have a great vulture rip out his liver every day. Lucifer brought knowledge to Mankind, and was cast into Hell, which God created just for such an event. Interesting that the current Christian view of God so closely resembles Zeus. Or Ares. You know, a vengeful, punishing kind of bipolar sociopath. Ya never know if you’re gonna catch Him on a good day. But, I digress…
    Men. Fear. Women. Yeah, I know it sounds simplistic, but it explains just about everything. Rape. Domestic violence. Psychological abuse. Lower rates of pay for same or equivalent work. Masculine contempt for anything feminine, including gays.
    I must be gay, since I do not fear women. My best friend is a woman. I keep in touch with my Mom. I love hearing k.d. lang sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Sinead O’Connor (or the Rankin sisters) singing in Gaelic sends shivers up my spine.
    Mankind will grow up when men learn to not fear women.
    I will not hold my breath – CTZen

  58. 61 Brian Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 10:30 am

    So, Brian, becoming a Christian is a one time, one call does it all event.

    You are confusing (deliberately, I’m sure, for the sport that provides) becoming with being. This is like confusing “when” and “while“.

    You had asked:

    “Brian, what exactly makes *you* a Christian? What exactly do you do on a daily basis that makes you believe that God always liked you best?”

    which is a category violation. God does not “like” us because of what we do on a daily basis. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,” you will recall.

    I only answered your first question in that set, because it really is the more important. If I were going to give a comprehensive answer, I would have to type the New Testament into this little box…

    Yes. this is called being born again, being converted, or being saved. Salvation cannot be lost, so it is a one time event, which need not be repeated.

    The Christians of my acquaintance regard their Christianity as a 24/7, devil in the details kind of life. To make that simple for you, salvation may be given, but the price is an ongoing process of walking the walk.

    Think of marriage. You become married once, and that is until death do you part. Cynics could say, “That’s great! I can run around all I want, because this vow is till death!” But that is not how it works out for the most part, and in those cases where it does work out that way do not really make the institution itself a sham.

    No, when another person is willing to make a vow like that with regard to you, it is so marvelous that you protect that marriage, loving honoring and cherishing someone who would be willing to make a promise like that.

    Christians live differently for many, many reasons, two of which are the gratitude at being forgiven a debt they never could pay, and the presence of the Holy Spirit within them. I did mention that in my post, though my post was really focused on the becoming aspect (since it is a requisite, and permanent), and only briefly mentioned the being part.

    You are not what you do, you do what you are. Doing illustrates being.

    EXACTLY!! That is what I have been saying. This is the opposite of the implication of your question “What exactly do you do on a daily basis that makes you believe that God always liked you best?” I act differently on a daily basis because I came to realize that God loves me, the Jesus died in my stead because He loved me, because of the love I have for God for saving me, and because of the presence of the Spirit within me. But these are not causative, they are resultant.

    Christian IS as Christian DOES. Jesus got angry, and anger is a sin.

    No it isn’t — what in the world would lead you to believe such a thing?!? What a burden to live under!

    Ephesians 4:26: “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, …”

    James 1:19: “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;” (emph. added for focus).

    Being wrathful is a sin. Using anger as an excuse for failing to love your neighbor as yourself is a sin. There is a lot of sin associated with anger, but it is not a sin to be angry, in and of itself.

    Jesus was without sin.

    Hebrews 4:15–16: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, …”

    That contrasts the Mosaic Law which had priests who were sinners, like everyone else. Hebrews repeatedly compares the Mosaic Law to salvation following the crucifixion of Jesus.

    2 Cor 5:21 (with amplifications by me in brackets): “He [God the Father] made Him who knew no sin [Jesus] to be sin on our behalf [substitution] …”

    Heb 7:26 (with amplifications by me in brackets): “For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest [ie, Jesus], holy, innocent [without sin], undefiled [without sin], …”

    He [Jesus] knew this [that He had sinned or that anger was a sin?], which is why he did His best to walk the walk, and taught his followers to let go of fear, or anger of hate, in order to embrace love.

    Jesus didn’t “do His best,” He accomplished perfection.

    I trust Him. Therefore, I do not fear Him.” (etc., etc.)

    You really are making up your own religion. What you are saying, though really upbeat, contradicts what God has said.

    Trust overpowers fear

    Yes, it does. Misplaced trust does this just as effectively as legitimate trust. The presence of trust is not conclusive. Trust is only as valuable as the object of that trust; place your trust in a broken airplane to carry you safely, and you will lift off without fear on your way to dieing, for example.

    …as though God NEEDS you to defend what you believe He wants.

    Whoa! Dial back the aggression! I was answering your questions.

    But see 2 Corinthians 5:18–20: “… God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
    20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

    The very fact that I am still alive, in spite of myself, tells me that He has plans for me.

    I get from this specific assertion the general observation that those who are still alive are still alive because God has a plan for them. This would therefore apply to everyone who is still alive, and any point that that holds. So any manner of megalomaniacal thug — dictators, world conquerors, mass murderers, even child molesters and politicians — could stay any accusations against them by saying, “The very fact that I am still alive, in spite of myself, tells me that He has plans for me.” Though I have no doubt that you have the trust of which you speak, I nonetheless recognize it to be misplaced trust.

  59. 62 brebis noire Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Holy long post, Batman.

    Brian, in the light of your first few sentences, how would you explain predestination (which is what the previous poster was hinting at)? That is kind of an indication, or a doctrine, that God loved you first, better than others. And if you don’t believe in predestination, then I don’t see you could believe that salvation is a one-time thing, and cannot be lost. Or if you can square those two beliefs (no predestination, no loss of salvation) then you are pretty much winging it.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The wrong comes (imho) from believing that others are destined for hell, for not being as you are.

    And not all Christians agree with your interpretation of Scripture, even on what you would consider some pretty basic points.

  60. 63 Brian Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 11:52 am

    The Arbourist,

    No, you just implied it.

    No, you inferred it. I already told you that I neither said nor intended that. It would be nice if you would take me at my word.

    “[I am only saying that most pregnancy derives from voluntary action.]
    And I am saying that claim is factually erroneous.

    Well, that’s just crazy. of course most pregnancy derives from consensual sex.

    How ghastly an assertion is this?

    It is not ghastly at all. Look into the distinctions between formal causes, instrumental causes, effective causes, and so on. The point focused solely on the necessities for continued development. You keep wanting to bring the whole discussion into every single point I make. Cases are built from smaller items. If you cannot, or will not, look at specific areas, you will not be able to participate fruitfully. There is no place in the examination of what point life begins at for the feelings of the mother. The mother’s feelings do not bear on what point life begins. That does not say that her feelings are of no consequence, or even of lesser consequence, only that her feelings do not inform the question of when it is that life begins. Don’t look now, but your hair’s on fire.

    Never mind the fact that access to reproductive services saves actual lives.

    Access to abortion services only saves lives if you ignore the baby who gets slaughtered. I have no argument whatsoever with any reproductive services that are not abortive. Condoms? no problem. Birth control pills? no problem. Education on pregnancy avoidance? no problem.

    … better outcomes for families. That seems to be irrelevant at least when it comes to persuading you.

    That’s right. If families are provided “better outcomes” by killing children, I’m against it. You ought to be able to understand my feelings on this if you consider what your feelings would be regarding bringing about better outcomes for families by offering services of killing 1-month to 19-month old children if they are causing hardship.

    Better outcomes for families by avoiding getting pregnant in the first place? Great! Let’s by all means have more of that. But I see a line drawn at abortion.

    It has been established (see the earlier link to the Ethiopia study) that reproductive health services, including abortion, saves women’s lives.

    If you allow that 50% of the babies killed are female it doesn’t.

    I mean, who can argue with burning bushes and talking snakes, after all?

    I dare say that that would get your attention, as well!

    … and your purported religion …

    What? You doubt that the religion I talk about is genuinely held by me? Have I said anything about doubting your sincerity? No, I haven’t. Perhaps that illuminates another difference between us, surrounding respect for others.

  61. 64 Brian Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I wish the posts didn’t need to be so long, but this is not a simple subject, and the audience is hostile… I am sorry though…

    The next quote is a little bit of a chop, as Eph 1:3 through 14 is one sentence. That doesn’t work in Eng. syntactically, plus I am trying to focus on one aspet to answer what you asked.

    He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, …

                  — Eph. 1:4 – 6

    The point here is that God choosing me (or anyone else) didn’t say something about me, it said something about Him. Everyone has earned condemnation (me certainly included!), but God provided a means of forgiveness, though nothing required Him to do so.

    The Bible teaches predestination again & again. No one who believes the Bible disbelieves in predestination, though what they think that means varies.

    … if you can square those two beliefs (no predestination, no loss of salvation) …

    I don’t think those 2 can be squared, unless you significantly modify the meaning of one or both.

    The wrong comes from believing that others are destined for hell for not being as you are.

    Quite so. Salvation says nothing about me as an individual, and is all about who God is. I richly deserve to go to hell — far more so than people reading me here would anticipate.

    To wit:

    Rom. 3:27: “Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.”

    Rom. 4:2: “… if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ ” (Emph. added)

    1 Cor. 4:7: “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (“received” = “gifted.” It’s not about the believer, but about God.)

    Eph. 2:8 – 9: “For by grace [unmerited favor of God] you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works [due to nothing that I have done or am], so that no one may boast.”

     

    And not all Christians agree with your interpretation of Scripture, even on what you would consider some pretty basic points.

    I know this. My understanding stems from 3 principles. 1) God’s number 1 purpose is His own glorification. (There is abundant Scripture to back that up). 2) The bible should be understood like any other piece of literature, recognizing the use of metaphor, simile, rhetorical hyperbole, and so on — literal, but not in a wooden fashion. 3) when the Bible speaks of Israel, it is speaking of the physical offspring of Jacob, or a subset within that group. Following those interpretive principles will lead anyone to the position that I hold, I am confident.

    In my opinion brebis noire, you made some really good points, well thought out, and presented with respect. Thank you so much!

  62. 65 Brian Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Stoopid block quotes!!! JJ, if you’re willing, adding the / to the closing tag would be really appreciated.

  63. 66 Janus Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    “‘Shorter version: Just keep your legs shut, slut.'”

    “I never said any such thing, and I never intended any such meaning. I am only saying that most pregnancy derives from voluntary action. If you want to have a chip on your shoulder and see me as having nothing but your suppression on my mind, that is not my responsibility.”

    You may not ahve said it, but that’s precisely what you mean. You can have no other meaning.

    Pregnancy can derive from sexual activity, but it is not a required derivation. If sex without the intention of creating a pregnancy results in an unintended pregnancy, the woman has every right to correct that mistake. And if it is not your responsibility, neither is it your privilege.

    “‘You missed the consent of the mother in your list.'”

    “No, I really didn’t. From a physiological perspective, the consent of the mother contributes nothing materially, nothing instrumental.”

    Yes, you really did. From a biological perspective, the consent of the woman to incubate the fetus is absolutely essential. Without her VOLUNTARILY giving the use of HER BODY to the process, there will be no future child. Consent is paramount.

  64. 67 deBeauxOs Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Save your (saviour?) breath, Janus.

    Brian believes his patriarchal religion’s party line: when it comes to sex, women in his mind are sluts if they’re doing it for fun and breeders if they’re not.

    Either way, consent is moot.

  65. 68 Janus Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    No, deBeauxOs, consent is not moot, and I refuse to accomodate, aid, or abet the thought that it is.

    Consent is Prime. I don’t much care who thinks it’s not. I’m not backing down on this one iota. If someone wants to make an issue of it, they can bring it to me and I’ll tie it to their tail and send them home yelping.

  66. 69 deBeauxOs Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Consent, as a concept and a basic right for all aspects of human self-determination, is essential to the core of my feminism.

    Janus, I was pointing out that for Brian, it’s not a consideration in his theocratic belief system.

    Brian complains that he’s preaching to a hostile audience. Why? Is it part of his religion’s requirement, for him to troll the internet, looking for missionary work?

  67. 70 fern hill Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Ya know, I love JJ’s. I love her posts, her hospitality, her smarty-pants commenters.

    I do not get why the good people of JJ’s place are engaging the annoying and amazingly long-winded christianist, Brian. Who has taken to bibble-verse quoting it seems from my cursory zoom past his verbiage.

    This post was about anti-choice terrorist/crybaby Scott Roeder in prison. And now it’s about Brian.

    As deBeauxOs pointed out, he is preaching to a hostile audience. Why the hell are the hostiles giving him any kind of audience at all?

    Just askin’.

  68. 71 Janus Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    “Janus, I was pointing out that for Brian…”

    I know, and I was answering in the same tone. Sorry if I sounded like I was taking a swing at you…that’s not how I meant it.

  69. 72 Brian Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Look, fern hill, CTZen said, “quote form the Bible if you must.” So I did. I have not quoted from the Bible one single time on an issue not related specifically to Christianity. The Bible is the source document for Christianity.

    Why the hell are the hostiles giving him any kind of audience at all?

    You just gotta love any example you come across of “Diversity is our strength…”

    You may not have said it, but that’s precisely what you mean. You can have no other meaning.

    Well, if it thrills you so to think so your going to. But I didn’t, despite all that.

    …the consent of the woman to incubate the fetus is absolutely essential. Without her VOLUNTARILY giving the use of HER BODY to the process, there will be no future child.

    Functionally it is not. This is not saying women should have no say, nor is it saying that women should have a say. The statement that the woman’s consent contributes nothing was intended as, and continues to be, an assertion regarding physiology. Consent contributes nothing physiologically. In other words, it contributes no oxygen, heat, nutrition — nothing physical. Without consent the mother might withdraw something that is required physiologically, but that is a different component of the topic. It is an important component, but not a physiological one.

    women in his mind are sluts if they’re doing it for fun and breeders if they’re not.

    What a hateful, rotten thing to say! You have no idea whatsoever as to what you are talking about, and should avoid making such statements about people you don’t know — just as I right now am avoiding saying to you the things I am thinking. Apparently you have no qualms about assassinating the character of people you don’t know; how dishonorable.

    Categorically:
      I do not think women are sluts.
      I do not think women are sluts when having sex for the fun of it.
      I have no desire for anyone to be a “breeder.”

    This whole line stems from me feeling that if one’s actions lead to consequences — even unintended consequences — then they are responsible for those consequences. One way to avoid the potential consequence of an action are to eschew the action.

    I do not go driving to hit other cars. If I do happen to accidentally hit another car, I am responsible for that consequence, even if it was not intended.
    If I have no insurance, though I love to drive, don’t have accidents, and have no intention of hitting another car, I don’t drive. I don’t therefore think other drivers are sluts.

  70. 73 Janus Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    “Consent contributes nothing physiologically.”

    Without consent, nothing else matters.

    “One way to avoid the potential consequence of an action are to eschew the action.”

    Wrong direction. When an unwanted pregnancy manifests, it’s too late to avoid it. Being responsible does NOT mean giving your life over to a mistake. Being responsible means doing whatever needs to be done to regain equilibrium. If that’s an abortion, that’s the responsible thing to do.

  71. 74 Brian Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Without consent, nothing else matters.

    Perhaps. But consent was brought up as a disagreement with whether time, shelter and nutrition were or were not what it takes for an embryo to develop into an adult. Without consent in our current legal environment the things that are necessary will be withdrawn. But that is a formal issue, not an efficient nor instrumental issue. That means that consent is not germane to determining when life begins, it is only germane to whether it will either be allowed to begin, or continue to exist.

    Being responsible does NOT mean giving your life over to a mistake.

    Sometimes making a mistake does mean giving your life over (accidentally killing someone during a crime, for instance). Sometimes it means giving over treasure, as in a fine or restitution.

    … whatever needs to be done …

    Yes, you do what is ethical, legal and possible to regain equilibrium. Some mobsters will seek to regain “equilibrium” by killing witnesses.

    As I keep saying, if abortion is infanticide, then abortion is not a responsible thing at all. This is why the question keeps coming back to whether that is a human being with a right to life within you or not. It is such a significant issue, that it pushes other issues quite far back. I know, I know: “It’s not!” That has been repeated repeatedly. The point I am making is that if one believes it to be a live human being, the other arguments become attenuated. That is not about control, or telling other what to do for the sake of telling them what to do, but exerting “control” to protect an innocent which is too weak to protect itself.

    You can say that that is about control till you’re blue in the face, and it will fall on deaf ears — it is a bogus charge. I don’t give a rat’s behind what you (or anyone else) does. Screw yourself around the block until you collapse in an orgasm-induced coma if you like. I might suggest to you that it is unhealthy in private, but I will make zero attempts to compell you to stop.

    But that all changes when there is a defenseless baby involved.

  72. 76 JJ Friday, April 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Brian, you are one loquacious dude.


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