On fundamentalism and abortion

More often than not, I come across material to blog about on things I see posted to Facebook.  It might be on the passive side, but every now and then something shows up on the radar that is worth commenting on.  And such was the case with a blog post that another person was asked to comment on, and after being badgered to answer it here, I decided I might as well.

The piece is called “How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life Movement,” by Libby Anne, of the “Love, Joy, Feminism” blog at Patheos.  And what a piece it is.

Quotes included, it weighs in at a hefty 6200 words, which means there’s a lot of material to sift through.  In short, the blog progresses through several different arguments: First, her initial change on the issue related to the availability of birth control as related to the number of abortions; second, the arguments concerning the effects of birth control and a discussion on spontaneous abortion rates; and lastly, a discussion of the efforts of President Obama, the question of who stops the most abortions, and finally, a pronouncement upon the motivations driving the pro-life movement.

Libby Anne states that at one point she was the president of a Students for Life chapter, and has since completely changed her mind on the question of abortion and the pro-life movement.

She begins by discussing the abortion rate in different countries where it is legal or illegal.  No countries are named, but when I went to check the link to the Guttmacher Institute, that link was broken.  So I found the NYT article that triggered it all, and…didn’t find it all that earth-shattering.  Or anything new.  For starters, while it contrasts African nations with European nations, something seems amiss when the general cultural attitudes towards family size and many other factors are not discussed (or simply showing the population pyramids for differing countries, say, comparing Italy with Ethiopia).   The WHO study was not without criticism, which the article included, but the conclusion that birth control lowers abortion rates is not entirely controversial (though the implementation is).

Which raises another issue: the issue of contraception.  Pro-choicers are divided on the issue; but those who have qualms with it base their objections on different reasons–some with the ethics of the issue, and others with the safety of some forms of birth control.  Others are okay with it.  However, Libby recounts elsewhere that her stance on contraception is influenced by her upbringing regarding fertility and family size.  And so she says “The pro-life movement is anti-birth-control.”  Any quotes on that?  Any national pro-life officials or speakers or thinkers who have claimed this?

But the main issue that she raises is that the amount of available contraception lowers the number of abortions.  She expresses it so:

As I mulled this over, I realized how very obvious it was. The cause of abortions is unwanted pregnancies.

And I must confess my confusion.  Exactly why did she think women had abortions in the first place?  Sheer malice?  Ignorance?  She continues:

Simply banning abortion leaves women stuck with unwanted pregnancies. Banning abortion doesn’t make those pregnancies wanted. Many women in a situation like that will be willing to do anything to end that pregnancy, even if it means trying to induce their own abortions (say, with a coat hanger or by drinking chemicals) or seeking out illegal abortions.

Well…yes.  This is hardly a startling revelation.  And probably the main reason that sweeping legislation on abortion is currently, for all practical purposes, impossible.  But she has made an argument: if abortions will happen, then they need to be safe.  So we have two parts of the cliched trifecta: safe and legal.  And there was even a mention of coat hangers.  Question: what is wantedness?  What is the moral ‘weight’ of wantedness?  What does wantedness entail?

So she set out with a new perspective on Roe, unwanted pregnancies, and birth control.  She discusses a description of how some contraception works, as described by pro-lifers, and links to a NYT article saying that this information may be outdated.

Which actually turned out to be an interesting article, the implications of which may affect how Plan B is regarded by pro-lifers.  If the new data is correct, then the ethical issues surrounding the mechanism of contraception would be effectively obsoleted.  Question: if Plan B turns out to be ethically compatible with the pro-life view, and it becomes readily available in some form or another, would Libby be willing to place any restrictions on abortion, if the need would be significantly reduced?  If the statistics are right, some 75% of the population of the US favors at least some increased restrictions for abortion.  As regards the way birth control works, I will be interested to see how that turns out since it has a pronounced effect on the abortion controversy.

She discusses the rates of spontaneous abortion, and admits shock that this occurs at the rate that it does.  And then she launches into a fascinating argument:

The pro-life movement is not about “saving unborn babies.” It can’t be. As someone who as a child and teen really did believe that life – personhood – began at fertilization, and who really was in it to “save unborn babies,” this is baffling. If I had known all this, I would have been all for this sort of research. I would have been all for sexually active women using the pill to cut down on “deaths.” But I didn’t know any of this. The adults of the anti-abortion movement, though, and certainly the leaders, they surely must know these things. This isn’t rocket science, after all. They must know these things, and yet they are doing nothing.

Essentially, since pro-lifers know that a very high percentage (30-50%) of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, and yet do absolutely nothing to stop them, that this is a grave inconsistency on their part.  The reasoning for this is that these embryos have the same moral worth as other humans, and so pro-lifers are necessarily obligated to do something to stop this as part of the greater cause.

And right about here is where I wondered something: Did she check to see if there was any compelling pro-life answer to the accusation of inconsistency on spontaneous abortion?    Francis Beckwith spends a few pages on this very question in his book Defending Life, within a discussion of objections to the humanity of the unborn.

Not personhood, humanity: and this is something that is almost entirely missing from her post.  She mentions personhood several times, but not humanity:

I no longer believe that abortion is murder because I no longer hold that a zygote, embryo, or fetus is a “person.” I also came to realize that the focus on personhood ignores the fact that a zygote, embryo, or fetus is growing inside of another person’s body. For a variety of reasons, I see birth as the key dividing line.

I do not focus on personhood when I discuss abortion, because I consider it beside the point, for all intents and purposes.  I focus on the humanity and essential nature of our being.  As regards the potency of various arguments, I consider personhood arguments to be the weakest of all, which can be easily trumped by most arguments for bodily autonomy by abortion supporters, which in turn are weak to the substance view of humanity as the basis for all human rights.  As it stands, Libby’s personhood stance didn’t stand a chance against arguments from bodily autonomy.

What about birth ascribes moral worth to the unborn that they previously did not have?  If the zygote is a separate human being, with a distinct DNA and features, why does that alone not make her the subject of human rights?  For that matter, upon what does she base her arguments?  There is literally no discussion of pro-life moral philosophy or reasoning.  What is the moral framework for her own claims?  Since I think that people can be good without God, I’m interested in the foundation of her claims.  Are they grounded?

An obvious question arises: what is entailed by the rate of spontaneous abortion?  Is allowing natural death morally equivalent to artificially inducing it?  Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that we find a way to prevent spontaneous abortions, or at least a large percentage of them.  What then?  Considering her later discussion of the reasons that most women abort, does she in fact consider this a good that should be pursued by society?  If pro-lifers did more to affect the rate of spontaneous abortion, would she reconsider her stance on abortion?  Does it really follow that because we cannot save all, that any can be terminated for any reason until birth?  Does an infirmity in one human allow the death of another?  If not, why not also before birth?

Next she discusses the intended effects of Obamacare, and discusses the recent study by Peipert regarding short-term and long-term forms of contraception, which has gotten an awful lot of attention in Missouri, as both being ‘pro-life’ in the sense that they prevent the need for abortions en masse.

The problem pro-lifers have with the HHS mandate isn’t that it’s birth control period, it’s that they don’t want to underwrite it.  Perhaps an analogy would help illustrate the difference: it is akin to compelling every kosher deli in the country to provide pork and bacon because someone out there might want it.  I think most pro-lifers would be content to let people purchase their own birth control; they just don’t want to be the ones purchasing it (for many different reasons).

And the Peipert study that was ground into the faces of pro-lifers in Missouri?  It doesn’t say what pro-choicers want it to say.  The study doesn’t accurately depict the choices of any given woman in society; it concerned itself with a very particular group of women who were already predisposed to birth control in the first place.  (Late addendum: someone else critiqued Libby Anne’s post, specifically with the “Obama is really pro-life” argument as regards Obamacare and the Peipert study.  It’s worth a read.)

She then criticizes pro-lifers for not doing enough to care for women who cannot afford another pregnancy, but this seems an odd argument: it is as if she had never thought about why women have abortions.  Having been to an abortion clinic, and heard for myself why women were there (and the vast majority were because they could not afford the child), it seems unusual that it did not occur to her until she questioned her reasons for being pro-life.  The other question that I had when she gave this criticism was that she gave no mention of crisis pregnancy centers.  She says:

If those who oppose abortion really believes that abortion is murder, they should be supporting programs that would make it easier for poor women to afford to carry pregnancies to term. Instead, they’re doing the opposite. Overwhelmingly, those who oppose abortion also want to cut welfare and medicaid. Without these programs, the number of women who choose abortion because they cannot afford to carry a given pregnancy to term will rise. Further, they are working against things like paid maternity leave, subsidized daycare, and universal health insurance for children, programs which would likely decrease the number of women who choose abortion because they cannot afford to carry a pregnancy to term. And in this specific case, conservatives want to penalize a poor woman who chooses to carry a pregnancy to term by making it harder for her to make ends meet.

First, I would venture to guess that quite a few of the pro-lifers she criticizes donate to crisis pregnancy centers and charities that do precisely what she accuses them of not doing.  But by not mentioning other sources of care, she makes a classic leftist argument: the government is the only legitimate source of aid for people.  Government, or none else.  It is not that pro-lifers are trying to eliminate all care for pregnant women; they just think they can do a better job of it themselves at the local level.  An aside: another blogger elsewhere mentioned that she was voting for Obama because he was better at Romney at fulfilling the ministry of Jesus to the poor and disenfranchised, the ‘least of these.’  Nevermind his actual record regarding the unborn ‘least of these’ (his record on opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act is plenty evidence of his stance on the legality and appropriateness of abortion).  I oppose this particular view of the role of government because I believe in the separation of church and state–and that the state will never be as efficient or as good at caring for the ‘least of these’ as the church.  Alexis de Toqueville made an observation about American life: the local community was, by and large, the most effective and efficient way to help real people in the real world.  I think that still holds true.

She would have a point about penalizing poor women if pro-lifers did not put their money where their mouths were.  But there is something else going on: the claim that pro-lifers do not think that women (should?) act in their own self-interest, while pro-choicers think that they do.  But this is just an economic reality: everyone acts in their own self-interest.  But the question seems to me a question of moral hierarchy: does a woman’s right to her self-interest allow her to terminate the life of another human being who might affect that self-interest?

She concludes much the same way she begins: by reiterating that she thinks she was a dupe and that she thinks the goal of the pro-life movement is to control women.

But absent from all of this is any appeal to moral reasoning: What is the primary issue?  What is the unborn?  What makes us human?  When do we become human?  Does the right to an abortion precede the right to life, and if so, why?  Is there a reason other than religion to consider that abortion might not be moral?  (Hint: there are.)  How does she know that her current views on abortion are not equally as extreme as the views she held previously?  I have no qualms about calling the views she was brought up with as extreme–they don’t represent most pro-lifers.  Why should I consider that abortion should be legal on the mere basis that “it will happen anyway?”  That begs an awful lot of questions about the moral status of abortion that I’m not necessarily willing to uncritically sign off on.  If pro-lifers come around on the way that some birth control works, would she be willing to re-evaluate the good arguments that they make?

I do not want to question her motives, just her arguments.  I would have liked to see her interact with the more sophisticated pro-life arguments, such as those by Beckwith, Patrick Lee, Christopher Tollefsen, and elsewhere.

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39 thoughts on “On fundamentalism and abortion

  1. Interestingly enough, cancer cells have the same “humanity” as any cell in your body. Should we stop treating cancer? Should we use every viable cell to create a clone?

    If you want to be consistent in your pro-life paradigm, then you would have to advocate for mandatory kidney and blood donations (not to mention posthumous organ donations for everyone who has viable organs upon death). After all, are those lives not equally valuable and worthy of protection?

    • “If you want to be consistent in your pro-life paradigm, then you would have to advocate for mandatory kidney and blood donations (not to mention posthumous organ donations for everyone who has viable organs upon death). After all, are those lives not equally valuable and worthy of protection?”

      You are assuming that atheists would be in favor mandatory anything and they are not. Think before you post.

      • No, I was saying that to be consistent, pro-lifers would mandate blood and organ donations for all viable donors.

    • Hi Ayame, thanks for your comment. I wanted to get to it earlier today but wasn’t able to.

      First, I don’t think cancer cells are equivalent to the embryo or zygote; and this very question is discussed by ethicist Maureen Condic, quoted by Jay Watts recently at the LTI Blog (a great blog, by the way): “If the necessary structures (molecules, genes etc.) required for development (i.e., an organismal level of organization) do not exist in an entity from the beginning, the entity is intrinsically incapable of being an organism and is therefore not a human being.”

      Which explains why it is not consistent to regard a cancer as morally equivalent to an embryo. Which brings me to your second question, about mandating care for things like organ donations. And I think that to answer this, we have to distinguish between types of care: some is obligatory, some is optional. Organ donation is optional, while things like food and shelter are obligatory; maintaining good health and environment is required, while repairing disease is not. By happy coincidence, Serge, also of LTI, blogged on this very objection a few days ago.

      And I think he’s right. Pregnancy, by virtue of being for the most part a state of health, falls under the obligation category of parental care. Serge concludes:

      If a pregnancy is considered a state of health for the child and mother, it seems the provision of pregnancy would be obligatory. “Continuing a pregnancy” would be amenable to continuing to provide what is otherwise necessary (nutrients, oxygen, a safe environment) to support the child’s good health. If pregnancy is a disease state for mother and/or child, then the child has no right to demand the continued use of the mother’s body, and withdrawing such support through abortion would be legally permissible and consistent with other optional parental provisions.

      So really, I don’t think it’s at all inconsistent to make that distinction. I find it a confusion to be asked to consider an embryo to be morally and biologically similar to a cancer.

      • Thanks for your reply. My rejoinder:

        ( “If the necessary structures (molecules, genes etc.) required for development (i.e., an organismal level of organization) do not exist in an entity from the beginning, the entity is intrinsically incapable of being an organism and is therefore not a human being.” )

        But the embryo cannot become a human being without leeching nutrients from the women who is carrying it. So I don’t think this addresses my point.

        (Which brings me to your second question, about mandating care for things like organ donations. And I think that to answer this, we have to distinguish between types of care: some is obligatory, some is optional. Organ donation is optional, while things like food and shelter are obligatory; maintaining good health and environment is required, while repairing disease is not.)

        This seems like a rather specious distinction to me. Either way, you’re letting people die who could otherwise be saved. And why should the organs of the dead go to waste?

        (Pregnancy, by virtue of being for the most part a state of health, falls under the obligation category of parental care.)

        Does that give the embryo a greater right than the woman who has to deal with the pregnancy? I don’t see how you can consistently hold this position without also mandating blood and organ donations.

      • But the embryo cannot become a human being without leeching nutrients from the women who is carrying it. So I don’t think this addresses my point.

        That’s an interesting choice of words…what do you mean, ‘leeching?’ Exactly what do you think a uterus is for?

        This seems like a rather specious distinction to me. Either way, you’re letting people die who could otherwise be saved. And why should the organs of the dead go to waste?

        It’s simple: no one can (or should) be forced to prevent natural death. That’s a pretty big distinction between “allowing natural death” and “artificially causing death.” Now, let’s say that for the sake of argument I, as a pro-lifer, cannot save all that can possibly be saved. What conclusion logically follows that premise?

        Does that give the embryo a greater right than the woman who has to deal with the pregnancy? I don’t see how you can consistently hold this position without also mandating blood and organ donations.

        What do you mean, give the embryo a greater right than the woman? What legal obligations do you think a parent has toward a child? Let’s say we have a pair of 90-year-old twins. One has terminal cancer, the other does not. Does the condition of the sick one infer that the other can be killed for any reason? If that reasoning doesn’t work after birth, why does it suddenly work before birth?

        The dilemma you’re asking me to consider grants the very principles up for discussion: the moral worth of all human beings. In asking me to decide, you grant that both have rights. Does it really follow that just because some cannot be saved, that it means that none have an essential moral value?

  2. (That’s an interesting choice of words…what do you mean, ‘leeching?’ Exactly what do you think a uterus is for? )

    By “leeching” I meant exactly that. The zygote/embryo/fetus is a parasite that will die when removed unless it has passed the point of viability. You also seem to be implying that consenting to sex is the same as consenting to pregnancy (at least for a woman). So basically, you want to punish women for having sex with pregnancy.

    (It’s simple: no one can (or should) be forced to prevent natural death. That’s a pretty big distinction between “allowing natural death” and “artificially causing death.” Now, let’s say that for the sake of argument I, as a pro-lifer, cannot save all that can possibly be saved. What conclusion logically follows that premise?)

    I’m sure you’d change your tune if you came down with cancer or Ebola. After all, they’re very natural too.

    And the “allowing/causing” distinction never garnered any purchase with me. There’s no difference – in either case, a life is cut short that could have been saved. It’s a paper-thin distinction, usually fabricated to assuage one’s own guilt.

    If you were really pro-life, and you truly believed that all fertilised eggs are people, then you should take all necessary steps to save them, such as funding free contraception. I also think that, in your post, you underestimate the amount of assistance the government can do, especially when compassionate people with a long-term vision are in power.

    (What do you mean, give the embryo a greater right than the woman? What legal obligations do you think a parent has toward a child?)

    Should parents be obligated to donate blood, a kidney, or half their liver to save the life of their children? Because that’s what you’re advocating here with your pro-life stance.

    (Let’s say we have a pair of 90-year-old twins. One has terminal cancer, the other does not. Does the condition of the sick one infer that the other can be killed for any reason? If that reasoning doesn’t work after birth, why does it suddenly work before birth?)

    Because AFTER birth, the baby can be given to any family and be taken care of. It’s no longer leeching off another human being directly.

    (The dilemma you’re asking me to consider grants the very principles up for discussion: the moral worth of all human beings. In asking me to decide, you grant that both have rights. Does it really follow that just because some cannot be saved, that it means that none have an essential moral value?)

    Red herring. Please answer the question. Should embryos and fetuses have more rights than the women they are being a parasite to?

      • But does that mean they should be forced to stick with a pregnancy to term? You also seem to be implying that abortion in cases where the woman used protection is acceptable. Curious stance for a pro-lifer.

    • By “leeching” I meant exactly that. The zygote/embryo/fetus is a parasite that will die when removed unless it has passed the point of viability. You also seem to be implying that consenting to sex is the same as consenting to pregnancy (at least for a woman). So basically, you want to punish women for having sex with pregnancy.

      Oh, that’s a ridiculous claim. Yes, consenting to sex is consenting to pregnancy, because you cannot consent to a given action without consenting to the consequences.

      Which means that if we reverse the situation, you are suggesting that one can, against all reason and common sense, consent to an act without consenting to the consequences: in other words, wishful thinking.

      Let me make one thing absolutely clear. It is you, not I, who considers pregnancy a punishment. You, not I, who considers a particular class of human beings at a given stage of development to be less than human, to be regarded no more than a slave in the Antebellum South.

      I’m sure you’d change your tune if you came down with cancer or Ebola. After all, they’re very natural too.

      And the “allowing/causing” distinction never garnered any purchase with me. There’s no difference – in either case, a life is cut short that could have been saved. It’s a paper-thin distinction, usually fabricated to assuage one’s own guilt.

      And why should I consider your opinion over someone like a Francis Beckwith, or my friends at LTI? Why should I consider one random commenter who isn’t convinced over the science and philosophy that pro-lifers marshal?

      Oh, and that’s some cheek to accuse me of abandoning my principles at the first sign of trouble.

      If you were really pro-life, and you truly believed that all fertilised eggs are people, then you should take all necessary steps to save them, such as funding free contraception. I also think that, in your post, you underestimate the amount of assistance the government can do, especially when compassionate people with a long-term vision are in power.

      You didn’t really read my blog, did you? I don’t argue personhood. I argue humanity. Personhood allows for too many rabbit trails. Humanity and essential nature don’t.

      Now: In case you’re not familiar with embryology, there’s no such thing as a ‘fertilized egg.’ It’s either an egg or it’s a zygote or embryo.

      I do not underestimate the amount of good a government can do: I have it right on the money. It’s the compassionate people with long-term vision that I’m especially concerned about. Unless, of course, those compassionate people with long-term vision are Republicans. Then I’m all for it. (I’m kidding. I think caring for people is best left to local communities in general and churches in particular.) And I certainly have no obligation to support those who allow unfettered abortion simply because they claim to want to reduce it.

      I also don’t go for emotional appeals of “IF you were this or IF you were that,” because they are weak appeals to emotion. They also don’t cover up that you neglected to answer my questions.

      Should parents be obligated to donate blood, a kidney, or half their liver to save the life of their children? Because that’s what you’re advocating here with your pro-life stance.

      You did not answer my question.

      Because AFTER birth, the baby can be given to any family and be taken care of. It’s no longer leeching off another human being directly.

      So birth now magically makes a fetus a human? How does that work? And I’m supposed to believe I’m the superstitious one.

      Red herring. Please answer the question. Should embryos and fetuses have more rights than the women they are being a parasite to?

      Answer my questions first. It’s no red herring. It’s the foundation of the entire issue.

  3. (Yes. They should because the action itself is immoral. I just happen to have a little problem with taking innocent life.)

    So a drunk driver who causes an innocent bystander should donate a kidney and/or blood if required to save their lives? Even if it risks their life?

    I’d also be curious as to why you value a fertilised egg as equal to a grown woman.

      • It makes perfect sense. You’re just not getting it.

        If a drunk driver is responsible for another’s injuries, shouldn’t they be obligated to give up blood and/or a kidney to rectify the consequences of their reckless actions?

        That’s what your worldview implies.

      • If it was possible, I would have no problem with that, although sometimes donating blood would not be possible due to different blood types. Personally, I’d like to see some tougher penalties involved. None of that is relevant to the question of what is a human life and when does it begin.

  4. (If it was possible, I would have no problem with that, although sometimes donating blood would not be possible due to different blood types. Personally, I’d like to see some tougher penalties involved. None of that is relevant to the question of what is a human life and when does it begin.)

    I agree that it’s irrelevant to where human lives begin, but I still don’t see how that obligates women to sacrifice their bodies for an embryo.

      • (How is a woman sacrificing her body?)

        Because she would be subjugated to the parasite’s needs for nine months.

        (Furthermore, if the baby is a human life, are you saying you have a circumstance whereby it is just to kill an innocent human life?)

        In certain circumstances, yes. I unapologetically support voluntary euthanasia. I also see no difference between killing and letting die, especially since I hold to a consequentialist view of morality. I also don’t see how being human gives an embryo the right to annexe a woman’s body for nine months. I also don’t take the position that unprotected sex should be punished with pregnancy.

      • That a baby depends on the mother does not mean it is a parasite. It means the body is working the way it was meant to and the necessary nutrients are being supplied.

        With a consequentialist view, any action can be justified provided a result is deemed good, but what is this idea of goodness? What is its foundation?

  5. (Oh, that’s a ridiculous claim. Yes, consenting to sex is consenting to pregnancy, because you cannot consent to a given action without consenting to the consequences.)

    That’s ridiculous. Even unprotected sex does not always result in pregnancy. If you walk outside, do you consent to getting injured or killed in a car accident? I would say no.

    In any case, consenting to pregnancy is not the same as consenting to continue with a pregnancy.

    (Which means that if we reverse the situation, you are suggesting that one can, against all reason and common sense, consent to an act without consenting to the consequences: in other words, wishful thinking.)

    OK, are you prepared to pay higher taxes to support low-income families and mothers? Or do you want your RomneyBreaks?

    (Let me make one thing absolutely clear. It is you, not I, who considers pregnancy a punishment. You, not I, who considers a particular class of human beings at a given stage of development to be less than human, to be regarded no more than a slave in the Antebellum South.))

    Let’s take a look at the consequences of pregnancy, shall we?

    http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/landing.aspx

    Abdominal Achiness
    Abdominal Itchiness
    Appetite, Increased

    Back Pain
    Back Pain (Postpartum)
    Bloating
    Bloodshot Eyes (Postpartum)
    Bloody Show / Mucous Plug
    Breast Engorgement (Postpartum)
    Breast Tenderness and Changes
    Breasts, Leaky (Colostrum)
    Breasts, Leaky (Postpartum)

    Cervical Dilation
    Cervical Mucus Changes
    Chloasma/Mask of Pregnancy
    Clumsiness
    Constipation
    Constipation (Postpartum)
    Contractions, Braxton-Hicks
    Contractions, Labor

    Diarrhea (Prelabor)
    Diarrhea (Pregnancy)

    Edema (Swollen Ankles and Feet)
    Energy, Extra

    Faintness, Dizziness, Light-headedness
    Fatigue
    Fatigue (Postpartum)
    Fecal Incontinence (Postpartum)
    Feet, Increased Size
    Food Cravings and Aversions
    Forgetfulness

    Gas
    Gums, Bleeding

    Hair Loss (Postpartum)
    Headaches
    Heartburn or Indigestion
    Hemorrhoids

    Incision Pain (Postpartum)
    Insomnia / Difficulty Sleeping

    Leg Cramps
    Linea Nigra

    Metallic Taste (Dysgeusia)
    Migraines

    Nasal Congestion and Nosebleeds
    Nausea (Morning Sickness)
    Nipples, Sore or Cracked (Postpartum)

    Pelvic Discomfort and Pressure
    Pelvic Girdle Pain
    Perineal Soreness (Postpartum)
    Protruding Navel

    Restless Leg Syndrome

    Saliva, Excessive
    Sciatica
    Shortness of Breath
    Skin Changes
    Skin Discolorations
    Smell, Heightened
    Snoring
    Stretch Marks
    Sweating (Postpartum)
    Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction

    Tingling Hands (Carpal Tunnel)

    Urinary Incontinence
    Urinary Incontinence (Postpartum)
    Urination, Difficulties With (Postpartum)
    Urination, Frequent

    Vaginal Bleeding (Postpartum)
    Vaginal Discharge
    Vaginal Spotting or Bleeding
    Varicose Veins
    Veins, Visible
    Vision Changes

    Water Breaking

    (And why should I consider your opinion over someone like a Francis Beckwith, or my friends at LTI? Why should I consider one random commenter who isn’t convinced over the science and philosophy that pro-lifers marshal?)

    Because your science is junk and your policies drive abortion and unwanted pregnancy rates through the ceiling.

    (Oh, and that’s some cheek to accuse me of abandoning my principles at the first sign of trouble. )

    If you won’t do everything possible to extend and save lives, you’re a hypocrite. It’s that simple.

    (You didn’t really read my blog, did you? I don’t argue personhood. I argue humanity. Personhood allows for too many rabbit trails. Humanity and essential nature don’t.)

    It’s still a weak attempt at semantics.

    (Now: In case you’re not familiar with embryology, there’s no such thing as a ‘fertilized egg.’ It’s either an egg or it’s a zygote or embryo.)

    So it’s a zygote before implantation? That defies modern biology as we know it.

    (I do not underestimate the amount of good a government can do: I have it right on the money. It’s the compassionate people with long-term vision that I’m especially concerned about. Unless, of course, those compassionate people with long-term vision are Republicans. Then I’m all for it. (I’m kidding. I think caring for people is best left to local communities in general and churches in particular.) And I certainly have no obligation to support those who allow unfettered abortion simply because they claim to want to reduce it.)

    Then you’re deluding yourself and refusing to accept the facts. It seems you won’t be happy until abortion is eradicated.

    (I also don’t go for emotional appeals of “IF you were this or IF you were that,” because they are weak appeals to emotion. They also don’t cover up that you neglected to answer my questions. )

    I merely followed your rabbit trail to its logical conclusion. It’s not my fault if your position leads to uncomfortable truths you’d rather not admit to yourself.

    (You did not answer my question.)

    Yes I did. If we’re not obligated to donate blood to save lives, why should women be obligated to donate their bodies for nine months to save the fetus’ life?

    (So birth now magically makes a fetus a human? How does that work? And I’m supposed to believe I’m the superstitious one.)

    I never claimed that the fetus was not human. Your comprehension skills are sorely lacking.

    When the baby is born, it no longer requires the woman’s body. It’s that simple.

    (Answer my questions first. It’s no red herring. It’s the foundation of the entire issue.)

    Try removing your bible harness and reading my responses first.

    http://genocideforjesus.blogspot.jp/2009/07/bible-harness-in-action.html

    • That’s ridiculous. Even unprotected sex does not always result in pregnancy. If you walk outside, do you consent to getting injured or killed in a car accident? I would say no.

      Wishful thinking it is, then. Now, I would be really impressed if you got out of a traffic ticket by telling the policeman that you only consented to driving, and not to a car wreck.

      OK, are you prepared to pay higher taxes to support low-income families and mothers? Or do you want your RomneyBreaks?

      It’s not a zero-sum game. I would simply like for that support to come from sources other than the government.

      Let’s take a look at the consequences of pregnancy, shall we?

      http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/landing.aspx

      Abdominal Achiness
      Abdominal Itchiness
      Appetite, Increased

      Back Pain
      Back Pain (Postpartum)
      Bloating
      Bloodshot Eyes (Postpartum)
      Bloody Show / Mucous Plug
      Breast Engorgement (Postpartum)
      Breast Tenderness and Changes
      Breasts, Leaky (Colostrum)
      Breasts, Leaky (Postpartum)

      Cervical Dilation
      Cervical Mucus Changes
      Chloasma/Mask of Pregnancy
      Clumsiness
      Constipation
      Constipation (Postpartum)
      Contractions, Braxton-Hicks
      Contractions, Labor

      Diarrhea (Prelabor)
      Diarrhea (Pregnancy)

      Edema (Swollen Ankles and Feet)
      Energy, Extra

      Faintness, Dizziness, Light-headedness
      Fatigue
      Fatigue (Postpartum)
      Fecal Incontinence (Postpartum)
      Feet, Increased Size
      Food Cravings and Aversions
      Forgetfulness

      Gas
      Gums, Bleeding

      Hair Loss (Postpartum)
      Headaches
      Heartburn or Indigestion
      Hemorrhoids

      Incision Pain (Postpartum)
      Insomnia / Difficulty Sleeping

      Leg Cramps
      Linea Nigra

      Metallic Taste (Dysgeusia)
      Migraines

      Nasal Congestion and Nosebleeds
      Nausea (Morning Sickness)
      Nipples, Sore or Cracked (Postpartum)

      Pelvic Discomfort and Pressure
      Pelvic Girdle Pain
      Perineal Soreness (Postpartum)
      Protruding Navel

      Restless Leg Syndrome

      Saliva, Excessive
      Sciatica
      Shortness of Breath
      Skin Changes
      Skin Discolorations
      Smell, Heightened
      Snoring
      Stretch Marks
      Sweating (Postpartum)
      Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction

      Tingling Hands (Carpal Tunnel)

      Urinary Incontinence
      Urinary Incontinence (Postpartum)
      Urination, Difficulties With (Postpartum)
      Urination, Frequent

      Vaginal Bleeding (Postpartum)
      Vaginal Discharge
      Vaginal Spotting or Bleeding
      Varicose Veins
      Veins, Visible
      Vision Changes

      Water Breaking

      Oh my, what a horrible list of effects! Gas! Visible veins! Increased appetite! Excessive saliva! Frequent urination! Whatever will we do!

      On this list, I see maybe four or five that are actually serious: migraines, sciatica, and back/pelvic pain. I’m sorry, what was this list supposed to prove? I laughed so hard I got distracted.

      Because your science is junk and your policies drive abortion and unwanted pregnancy rates through the ceiling.

      And I’m the Queen of England. Nice to meet you. Why should I believe this ex-cathedra anathema, and why should I believe this unsubstantiated claim in spite of all the other material I commented on, and more importantly, linked to, showing the exact opposite?

      I am under exactly zero obligation to support a policy that allows for abortion for any means under the deluded pretense that it will lower abortion rates.

      If you won’t do everything possible to extend and save lives, you’re a hypocrite. It’s that simple.

      You have a very odd definition of hypocrisy. You really want me to believe that if someone holds that X is a good, and does everything he can to support X, but does not achieve 100% success, that that person is a hypocrite? You might as well claim that Mayor Bloomberg is a hypocrite because he did not do everything possible to save every single citizen of New York City from losing their lives from Hurricane Sandy. Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another, not saying one thing and not being able to perfectly bring it about.

      It’s still a weak attempt at semantics.

      Oh, and that settles it? Just like that? It’s no semantics: It’s the foundation of my entire pro-life philosophy.

      So it’s a zygote before implantation? That defies modern biology as we know it.

      No, “fertilized egg” defies modern biology. As does the “parasite” rhetoric. How many embryology textbooks define the unborn as a ‘parasite?’

      Then you’re deluding yourself and refusing to accept the facts. It seems you won’t be happy until abortion is eradicated.

      No, your ‘facts’ are quite up for dispute, as has been shown within the original blog post. I will be quite happy if abortion is eradicated, but I will be much happier if that comes about as a result of most Americans realizing that the unborn are subjects of human rights, and regard abortion as a direct assault on those rights and as the atrocity it is. But you could have just asked and I would have said I’d be plenty happy with abortion being eradicated. But one major roadblock stands in the way of that: the concept of unwantedness.

      I merely followed your rabbit trail to its logical conclusion. It’s not my fault if your position leads to uncomfortable truths you’d rather not admit to yourself.

      Uncomfortable truths? If this is some attempt at mind-reading, or psychoanalyzing, you’d best not quit your day job. If the unborn are the subject of human rights, is that not also an ‘uncomfortable truth?’

      But let me get this straight. If a pregnancy causes a woman discomfort, she can abort the child she is carrying. If an argument causes a pro-lifer discomfort, she has to carry it forever.

      Yes I did. If we’re not obligated to donate blood to save lives, why should women be obligated to donate their bodies for nine months to save the fetus’ life?

      Women should be obligated to regard their children as members of the human family. Just as they are obligated to regard their born children as members of the human family. If ‘wantedness’ does not rightly apply to a two-year-old, it doesn’t rightly apply to the unborn.

      I never claimed that the fetus was not human. Your comprehension skills are sorely lacking.

      Then don’t appeal to birth, if it does not affect the humanity of the unborn. Birth only changes the location of a particular human being. And no one’s rights are diminished or denied simply by where they are.

      When the baby is born, it no longer requires the woman’s body. It’s that simple.

      Um…that’s interesting. I would argue that the baby does require the woman’s body, or someone’s body, though in different ways and certainly more ways than before. A baby is no less dependent after birth than before. If that dependency does not allow for the death of that baby after birth, why should I consider birth to be the magic cutoff line for when that baby’s right absolutely must be recognized?

      Try removing your bible harness and reading my responses first.

      Oh, that’s cute. A ‘bible harness.’ Remind me–where have I appealed to the Bible?

      • I’m just looking at the list and imagining my wife saying to me something like

        “Well, I know we wanted a child, but then I realized I could start snoring, have gas, be constipated, might have a nose bleed, and my hands could tingle. I just decided that that was too much to go through for the creation of a new human life. No human being is worth that much.”

  6. (That a baby depends on the mother does not mean it is a parasite. It means the body is working the way it was meant to and the necessary nutrients are being supplied.)

    Actually, it is a parasite.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/parasite?s=t

    1.
    an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.
    2.
    a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.

    (With a consequentialist view, any action can be justified provided a result is deemed good, but what is this idea of goodness? What is its foundation?)

    The foundation is based on the reduction of suffering and the increasing of happiness, NOT the blind obedience to an authority, as your bible advocates.

    And in case you think your bible is anti-abortion:

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/says_about/abortion.html

    Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life.

    If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. — Exodus 21:22-23

    The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.

    And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. — Leviticus 27:6

    Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons.

    Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. — Numbers 3:15-16

    God sometimes approves of killing fetuses.

    And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. — Numbers 31:15-17
    (Some of the non-virgin women must have been pregnant. They would have been killed along with their unborn fetuses.)

    Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. — Hosea 9:14

    Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. — Hosea 9:16

    Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. — Hosea 13:16

    God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents.

    Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. — 2 Samuel 12:14

    God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives.

    The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. …
    And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. — Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28

    God’s law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women.

    Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. — Genesis 38:24

    • Oh boy! Great ignorance! Tell you what! Let’s go and you tell me how you exegeted these passages and I’ll tell you the methodology I used.

      “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. — Exodus 21:22-23”

      Did you read this at all? I suspect you did not. The passage talking about a mischief means if the child is born early. If that is the case, then the person is to be fined for any damages. The child is still alive. If the child dies, it is life for a life. That means that the child is a life.

      Ayame: The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.

      And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. — Leviticus 27:6

      Reply: Oh geez. do you know why this is? It’s simple. In Leviticus 12, the child was to be with his mother for a month. Hence, no child would be taken straight from the mother to the service. Good night. You should try doing some actual reading instead of just copying and pasting from SAB.

      Ayame: Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons.

      Reply: No. They’re with their mother instead for her time of purification.

      Ayame: Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. — Numbers 3:15-16

      Reply: Same thing as before. THe children were still with their mothers.

      Ayame: God sometimes approves of killing fetuses.

      And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. — Numbers 31:15-17
      (Some of the non-virgin women must have been pregnant. They would have been killed along with their unborn fetuses.)

      Reply: They must have been? How is this known? How can this be demonstrated? Also, do you know what was going on in Numbers 31? Did you read Numbers 25 prior?

      Ayame: Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. — Hosea 9:14

      Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. — Hosea 9:16

      Reply: Yeah. Did you even read the passage? The idea is a judgment passage saying that if Israel continues down this path, they will suffer the natural consequences of their action. Note also God is authorized to take life seeing as He is the only one who can restore life and grant eternal life.

      Ayame: Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. — Hosea 13:16

      Reply: Whine whine whine. This was saying that what Samaria did to others, they will have done to them, and that is exactly what Babylon did. It is not saying God is doing it. It is saying that this will be the results of their actions.

      Ayame: God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents.

      Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. — 2 Samuel 12:14

      Reply: Yes. He did. Would it have been better for the nation for the king to die? God can take life. Can you show upon what basis the source of life is not to take life?

      Ayame: God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives.

      The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. …
      And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. — Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28

      REply: This is not causing abortion. This is preventing conception. The two are different.

      Ayame: God’s law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women.

      Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. — Genesis 38:24

      Reply: Would you care to show what law in the book of Genesis prior to this is being given?

  7. (Wishful thinking it is, then. Now, I would be really impressed if you got out of a traffic ticket by telling the policeman that you only consented to driving, and not to a car wreck.)

    How does this have anything to do with my point? When people drive, they implicitly agree to follow the rules of the road.

    (It’s not a zero-sum game. I would simply like for that support to come from sources other than the government.)

    And if Republicans are elected, this support is unlikely to come from anywhere (slashing taxes on the rich helps only the rich). In such scenarios, what’s your brilliant idea?

    (Oh my, what a horrible list of effects! Gas! Visible veins! Increased appetite! Excessive saliva! Frequent urination! Whatever will we do!)

    Your compassion is overwhelming. [/sarcasm] Must be that bible of yours, you know, the one that has no sanctions against rape.

    (On this list, I see maybe four or five that are actually serious: migraines, sciatica, and back/pelvic pain. I’m sorry, what was this list supposed to prove? I laughed so hard I got distracted.)

    Don’t forget the risk of death.

    (And I’m the Queen of England. Nice to meet you. Why should I believe this ex-cathedra anathema, and why should I believe this unsubstantiated claim in spite of all the other material I commented on, and more importantly, linked to, showing the exact opposite?)

    Then why does Texas, with its abstinence-only “education” policies, have the highest teen pregnancy and unwanted pregnancy rates in your country?

    And your source is a pro-life blog, with a vested interest in oppressing women.

    (I am under exactly zero obligation to support a policy that allows for abortion for any means under the deluded pretense that it will lower abortion rates.)

    So you’d rather have women die? I guess that’s only logical, seeing as your position is anti-woman in practice.

    (You have a very odd definition of hypocrisy. You really want me to believe that if someone holds that X is a good, and does everything he can to support X, but does not achieve 100% success, that that person is a hypocrite? You might as well claim that Mayor Bloomberg is a hypocrite because he did not do everything possible to save every single citizen of New York City from losing their lives from Hurricane Sandy. Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another, not saying one thing and not being able to perfectly bring it about.)

    I never said that you had to achieve 100% success. I simply said that you need to do everything you can to achieve your goal. The fact that you aren’t campaigning for mandatory blood and organ donations exemplifies this.

    (Oh, and that settles it? Just like that? It’s no semantics: It’s the foundation of my entire pro-life philosophy.)

    So you would see no issues with standing back and starving someone to death, but you would have a major problem with someone stabbing another to death?

    (No, “fertilized egg” defies modern biology. As does the “parasite” rhetoric. How many embryology textbooks define the unborn as a ‘parasite?’)

    It’s clear that embryos and fetuses are parasites. What do they do to the woman except make her life miserable and leech off her resources?

    (No, your ‘facts’ are quite up for dispute, as has been shown within the original blog post. I will be quite happy if abortion is eradicated, but I will be much happier if that comes about as a result of most Americans realizing that the unborn are subjects of human rights, and regard abortion as a direct assault on those rights and as the atrocity it is. But you could have just asked and I would have said I’d be plenty happy with abortion being eradicated. But one major roadblock stands in the way of that: the concept of unwantedness.)

    And how will outlawing contraceptives stop people from having sex just because they fear pregnancy?

    (Uncomfortable truths? If this is some attempt at mind-reading, or psychoanalyzing, you’d best not quit your day job. If the unborn are the subject of human rights, is that not also an ‘uncomfortable truth?’)

    Why should their rights outstrip the rights of the woman?

    (But let me get this straight. If a pregnancy causes a woman discomfort, she can abort the child she is carrying. If an argument causes a pro-lifer discomfort, she has to carry it forever.)

    Easy for you to say when you’re not preggers against your will.

    (Women should be obligated to regard their children as members of the human family. Just as they are obligated to regard their born children as members of the human family. If ‘wantedness’ does not rightly apply to a two-year-old, it doesn’t rightly apply to the unborn.)

    Except that born humans are conscious and do not directly require the bodily resources of another to continue developing.

    (Then don’t appeal to birth, if it does not affect the humanity of the unborn. Birth only changes the location of a particular human being. And no one’s rights are diminished or denied simply by where they are.)

    You still haven’t addressed the bodily rights issue. Why should women surrender their bodies to an embryo for nine months? Mandating blood donations would save up to three lives each, you know. And since the woman produces 3 additional pints of blood, you could abort the pregnancy, harvest the surplus blood, and save up to 9 lives.

    (Um…that’s interesting. I would argue that the baby does require the woman’s body, or someone’s body, though in different ways and certainly more ways than before. A baby is no less dependent after birth than before. If that dependency does not allow for the death of that baby after birth, why should I consider birth to be the magic cutoff line for when that baby’s right absolutely must be recognized?)

    Because the baby is no longer dependent on only one human. It can be adopted by others.

    • How does this have anything to do with my point? When people drive, they implicitly agree to follow the rules of the road.

      It has everything to do with the question at hand. You want to say that abolishing abortion forces a woman to accept the consequences of their consented actions. But it breaks down when that ethic is applied to anything else in the real world. You cannot consent only to an action, and not consent to the consequences, even if those consequences are unwanted. My analogy proves that. No one gets out of the legal consequences of a car wreck because their car wreck was unintended.

      And if Republicans are elected, this support is unlikely to come from anywhere (slashing taxes on the rich helps only the rich). In such scenarios, what’s your brilliant idea?

      Ever heard of this institution called the church? It’s been around for a few thousand years, so they’ve got some experience at this sort of thing. I suppose you could be forgiven for being unfamiliar with how churches handle charity.

      Your compassion is overwhelming. [/sarcasm] Must be that bible of yours, you know, the one that has no sanctions against rape.

      Must be a different Bible than the one you accused me of having strapped to my face.

      Don’t forget the risk of death.

      Oh.

      Let me get this straight: pregnancy should be avoided because it might cause death.

      What a coincidence! That’s why I oppose abortion! Except it always causes death.

      Then why does Texas, with its abstinence-only “education” policies, have the highest teen pregnancy and unwanted pregnancy rates in your country?

      Maybe you missed the part where I said I’m okay with many forms of birth control? Did you miss that little discussion in my blog where I discussed where Plan B might well be ethically allowable if the mechanism is better understood?

      And your source is a pro-life blog, with a vested interest in oppressing women.

      Oh, that’s a laugh. Poison the well much? Maybe I need to make a little macro image of a person that’s blindfolded with a condom and call it a harness. Vested interest in oppressing women? My goodness, you’re as provintial as any redneck! Where I’m from, we call that ‘bias’ and ‘prejudice.’

      So you’d rather have women die? I guess that’s only logical, seeing as your position is anti-woman in practice.

      I said what I said. Not what you wanted me to say, or what you heard me say. If I don’t accuse you of wanting the unborn to die, don’t accuse me of wanting women to die. Because it’s not true.

      I never said that you had to achieve 100% success. I simply said that you need to do everything you can to achieve your goal. The fact that you aren’t campaigning for mandatory blood and organ donations exemplifies this.

      Oh please! That’s exactly what you’ve been arguing this whole time! Let’s see what you’ve said: “If you won’t do everything possible to extend and save lives, you’re a hypocrite. It’s that simple.”

      So you would see no issues with standing back and starving someone to death, but you would have a major problem with someone stabbing another to death?

      Oh, I have problems with that too. Ever hear of Terri Schiavo?

      It’s clear that embryos and fetuses are parasites. What do they do to the woman except make her life miserable and leech off her resources?

      Misrable? Leech off resources? Wouldn’t that only be the case if the child was unwanted?

      And how will outlawing contraceptives stop people from having sex just because they fear pregnancy?

      This is exactly what I mean when I say that you are not hearing what I’m saying, and instead hearing what you want me to say.

      where have I, in this discussion or elsewhere on this blog, advocated outlawing all contraceptives? Once again, did you miss my discussion of the possibilities of Plan B if it does in fact turn out not to be an abortifacient?

      I’m not asking anyone to fear pregnancy. You are. You ask them to regard the child as a parasite and a leech, couched in dehumanizing terms. No, I regard pregnancy and the new human being as a good: pregnancy with a good end, a new life as a good and with a specific moral value that must be recognized and respected.

      Pro-lifers don’t want anyone to have ‘unwanted’ children. We want wanted children just as much as anyone. We want people to act responsibly towards each other and their children. And an awful lot of pro-lifers are just fine with most forms of birth control. We just recognize that if the unborn are human beings, and therefore the subject of a certain set of inalienable rights, that those rights must be respected. And that that is nothing to fear.

      Why should their rights outstrip the rights of the woman?

      Because actions have consequences. Consent has consequences. Creating a life has consequences. I’m not asking them to go it alone, to be shunned, to be outcast. My church occasionally goes to pray in front of a local abortion clinic; whenever we go, we make sure to have contacts available within the community to be ready to help any mother that gets there and changes her mind and keeps the baby. We never ask someone to keep their child without also helping them to find support and assistance. And many times, that assistance is what saves the life of the unborn in those instances.

      Easy for you to say when you’re not preggers against your will.

      I was expecting the “You’re a guy and can’t get pregnant so shut up” line, but this will have to do instead. Guess what? It’s also easy for women who can get pregnant against their will to say.

      Except that born humans are conscious and do not directly require the bodily resources of another to continue developing.

      Until recently, that was not the case. That’s only possible thanks to modern science. I’m curious, though: why does conscience suddenly matter? I would actually argue that after birth, a child requires considerably more help, frequently the help of many individuals, to support them and care for them. Why does their neediness not count against them their lives?

      You still haven’t addressed the bodily rights issue. Why should women surrender their bodies to an embryo for nine months? Mandating blood donations would save up to three lives each, you know. And since the woman produces 3 additional pints of blood, you could abort the pregnancy, harvest the surplus blood, and save up to 9 lives.

      They don’t surrender their bodies to an embryo for nine months. They don’t ‘surrender’ their bodies in any sense of the word if the act that brought that child into existence is consensual. Pregnancy isn’t a disease. Are you asking me to compare life to life, or are you really asking me to compare the life of the child to the lifestyle of the mother? Even if there is no felt obligation to the child, that obligation is still there. Perhaps the answer of a group of feminists will suffice:

      “When women feel that a pregnant body is a body out of control, deviant, diseased, they are internalizing attitudes of low self-esteem toward the female body.” (Feminists for Life Debate Handbook)

      Oh…and ‘pregnancies’ aren’t aborted. Live human beings are aborted. Pregnancy is a condition of the mother, and pro-lifers without except desire a specific end to pregnancy–and it’s called ‘live childbirth.’

      (Not to mention that you’ve once again accused me of hypocrisy because lives could have been saved that wouldn’t otherwise be saved.)

      Because the baby is no longer dependent on only one human. It can be adopted by others.

      Splendid! Then there’s no justifiable reason for abortion on demand. ‘It?’ ‘It’ is either a he or a she–and it’s easier to kill an ‘it’ than a ‘he.’ But really, if a child happens to be a burden on more than one person, wouldn’t it be consistent to argue that there is a stronger reason to terminate the life of that child? More burden is more burden, after all.

  8. (Did you read this at all? I suspect you did not. The passage talking about a mischief means if the child is born early. If that is the case, then the person is to be fined for any damages. The child is still alive. If the child dies, it is life for a life. That means that the child is a life.)

    That’s an interesting interpretation. Got anything else to back this up beyond your pro-life agenda?

    (Oh geez. do you know why this is? It’s simple. In Leviticus 12, the child was to be with his mother for a month. Hence, no child would be taken straight from the mother to the service. Good night. You should try doing some actual reading instead of just copying and pasting from SAB.)

    Why would the service be required? Couldn’t they just jot down “Male infant – 5 shekels. Female infant – 3 shekels”?

    (No. They’re with their mother instead for her time of purification.)

    See above.

    (They must have been? How is this known? How can this be demonstrated? Also, do you know what was going on in Numbers 31? Did you read Numbers 25 prior?)

    Without modern medicine, the infants would have died even had they been past the age of viability. And who cares what happened earlier? The epitome of injustice involves punishing people for crimes that SOMEONE ELSE COMMITTED!!!

    (Yeah. Did you even read the passage? The idea is a judgment passage saying that if Israel continues down this path, they will suffer the natural consequences of their action. Note also God is authorized to take life seeing as He is the only one who can restore life and grant eternal life.)

    Might makes right. You have Stockholm Syndrome. It’s plainer than the nose on your face. Why were children such a threat to your almighty god?

    Do you think Hitler and Stalin were right to do what they did, since they had absolute power over the populace?

    (Whine whine whine. This was saying that what Samaria did to others, they will have done to them, and that is exactly what Babylon did. It is not saying God is doing it. It is saying that this will be the results of their actions.)

    Your god would still be guilty by omission. He’s omnipotent and omniscient, according to you.

    (Yes. He did. Would it have been better for the nation for the king to die? God can take life. Can you show upon what basis the source of life is not to take life?)

    So you’re not pro-life, you’re pro-power. You’d worship anyone who managed to evict your dick of a god from his throne. You’ve conceded as much.

    (Would you care to show what law in the book of Genesis prior to this is being given?)

    Why does prostitution warrant the death penalty?

    • Ayame: That’s an interesting interpretation. Got anything else to back this up beyond your pro-life agenda?

      Reply: Only the exegesis I gave looking at the passage. Can you show the exegesis is wrong or is it that a pro-abortion agenda automatically wins?

      Ayame: Why would the service be required? Couldn’t they just jot down “Male infant – 5 shekels. Female infant – 3 shekels”?

      (No. They’re with their mother instead for her time of purification.)

      See above.

      REply: No. The child was to be with their mother for a weaning period. If they wanted to be faithful to the Law, they did that, therefore no need to talk about a child under one month being given since they would by necessity be with their mothers.

      Ayame: Without modern medicine, the infants would have died even had they been past the age of viability. And who cares what happened earlier? The epitome of injustice involves punishing people for crimes that SOMEONE ELSE COMMITTED!!!

      Reply: Sorry, but this is just false. It does matter what happened earlier because that tells you who wasn’t included in the killing. If you’re not interested in the whole historical context, then there’s no point in discussing it.

      Ayame: Might makes right. You have Stockholm Syndrome. It’s plainer than the nose on your face. Why were children such a threat to your almighty god?

      Reply: No. It’s not Might makes right. It’s that if you have the power to restore life, you can take it since you can change that. We cannot. Upon what basis will you say that the source of life cannot take life?

      Ayame: Do you think Hitler and Stalin were right to do what they did, since they had absolute power over the populace?

      Reply: No. Nothing to do with my argument.

      Ayame: Your god would still be guilty by omission. He’s omnipotent and omniscient, according to you.

      Reply: And he has no moral obligation to protect those who have abandoned His covenant. If anything, if He is to honor a covenant, He does not stop them but lets them receive the payment for their actions.

      Ayame: So you’re not pro-life, you’re pro-power. You’d worship anyone who managed to evict your dick of a god from his throne. You’ve conceded as much.

      Reply: No. Straw man. You might have a case if God was only omnipotent. You ignore all other data and focus on one part. Lazy researcher.

      Ayame: Why does prostitution warrant the death penalty?

      Reply: You should consider answering the question first.

  9. (Only the exegesis I gave looking at the passage. Can you show the exegesis is wrong or is it that a pro-abortion agenda automatically wins?)

    So you’re interpreting it to suit your own goals and conclusions. How typical. A plain look at the text would indicate that your god doesn’t care about newborn infants. Unless, of course, you have other verses that indicate otherwise.

    (No. The child was to be with their mother for a weaning period. If they wanted to be faithful to the Law, they did that, therefore no need to talk about a child under one month being given since they would by necessity be with their mothers.)

    Wouldn’t keeping track of their whereabouts be important in a society that valued children?

    (Sorry, but this is just false. It does matter what happened earlier because that tells you who wasn’t included in the killing. If you’re not interested in the whole historical context, then there’s no point in discussing it.)

    How does that justify punishing people for the crimes of their ancestors?

    (No. It’s not Might makes right. It’s that if you have the power to restore life, you can take it since you can change that. We cannot. Upon what basis will you say that the source of life cannot take life?)

    It IS power-based divine command theory. By your argument, since parents gave their children life, they have the right to take it, they own their children, and you have just argued in favour of abortion.

    (No. Nothing to do with my argument.)

    But they had absolute power. Hitler was even elected. Therefore, by your own reasoning, what they did was necessarily just and right.

    (And he has no moral obligation to protect those who have abandoned His covenant. If anything, if He is to honor a covenant, He does not stop them but lets them receive the payment for their actions.)

    Even though he set things up so the covenant was doomed to fail before time began? You’re being a hypocrite when you attempt to absolve your god of responsibility for his actions.

    (No. Straw man. You might have a case if God was only omnipotent. You ignore all other data and focus on one part. Lazy researcher.)

    If he was all-knowing and all-loving, there wouldn’t be suffering. And you seem to be far too lazy to appreciate/understand analogies and counterarguments.

    (You should consider answering the question first.)

    Which one? I believe I’ve addressed everything you’ve posited to me.

    • So Wintson, I mean, Ayame, let’s get back to your nonsense:

      Ayame: (Only the exegesis I gave looking at the passage. Can you show the exegesis is wrong or is it that a pro-abortion agenda automatically wins?) So you’re interpreting it to suit your own goals and conclusions. How typical.

      Reply: Wow. So if I present an exegesis that reaches my conclusion, then I’m ipso facto twisting the text. No. The thing to do is to show that my interpretation is wrong, not that my conclusion is wrong. There’s a difference.

      Ayame: A plain look at the text would indicate that your god doesn’t care about newborn infants. Unless, of course, you have other verses that indicate otherwise.

      REply: You don’t show how a plain look shows this. I need an argument, not an assertion.

      Ayame: (No. The child was to be with their mother for a weaning period. If they wanted to be faithful to the Law, they did that, therefore no need to talk about a child under one month being given since they would by necessity be with their mothers.) Wouldn’t keeping track of their whereabouts be important in a society that valued children?

      Reply: dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb. Look. In a society where people didn’t travel much and the women would have been at home, it would be the case that the child would BE AT HOME with his mother.

      Ayame: How does that justify punishing people for the crimes of their ancestors?

      Reply: You’d have to show that they were punished for what their ancestors did.

      Ayame: It IS power-based divine command theory. By your argument, since parents gave their children life, they have the right to take it,

      Reply: No. Parents are the instrumental means of bringing about life and not the efficient means. Also, I’m not a divine command theorist. I hold to Natural Law thinking.

      Ayame: they own their children, and you have just argued in favour of abortion.

      Reply: No. Parents can be the means of bringing a new life into the world, but they cannot restore dead life by their power.

      (Ayame: But they had absolute power. Hitler was even elected. Therefore, by your own reasoning, what they did was necessarily just and right.

      Reply; You should really learn my position before you go off trying to tell me what it is Winston.

      Ayame: Even though he set things up so the covenant was doomed to fail before time began?

      Reply; And which covenant is this?

      Ayame: You’re being a hypocrite when you attempt to absolve your god of responsibility for his actions.

      Reply: No. God is responsible for His. You and I are responsible for ours.

      Ayame: If he was all-knowing and all-loving, there wouldn’t be suffering. And you seem to be far too lazy to appreciate/understand analogies and counterarguments.

      Reply: I don’t appreciate counterarguments. Let’s see. Have you dealt with Plantinga on the problem of evil? Nope. Sorry bub, but you’re too uninformed to know that atheistic philosophers agree that the logical problem of evil is dead. The emotional is used, but not the logical. There is no necessary contradiction between God existing and evil.

      Ayame: (You should consider answering the question first.) Which one? I believe I’ve addressed everything you’ve posited to me.

      Reply: No Winston. You didn’t answer what law in Genesis that was mentioned earlier Judah was pointing to. Show it.

      • (Wow. So if I present an exegesis that reaches my conclusion, then I’m ipso facto twisting the text. No. The thing to do is to show that my interpretation is wrong, not that my conclusion is wrong. There’s a difference.)

        When they won’t even count an infant in their census, and refuse to give it the same monetary consideration they’d give to a baby that’s a month old, it would imply that they don’t value the child. It’s callous, but also demonstrates the obscene infant mortality rate back then.

        (You don’t show how a plain look shows this. I need an argument, not an assertion.)

        I would have thought that not counting infants in the community would have sufficed as evidence for this.

        (dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb. Look. In a society where people didn’t travel much and the women would have been at home, it would be the case that the child would BE AT HOME with his mother.)

        Still doesn’t explain why they didn’t count them in the census.

        (You’d have to show that they were punished for what their ancestors did.)

        So slaughtering children and babies, even those of adults who practiced child sacrifice, is acceptable to you? And let’s not forget the Amalekites:

        http://www.doxa.ws/Bible/amel_problem.html

        Why did your god wait for centuries? Should we let murderers run free and kill their great-grandchildren?

        (No. Parents are the instrumental means of bringing about life and not the efficient means. Also, I’m not a divine command theorist. I hold to Natural Law thinking.)

        How does that affect the issue? And lions practice infanticide quite often. Is this acceptable in your eyes?

        (No. Parents can be the means of bringing a new life into the world, but they cannot restore dead life by their power.)

        Now you’re shifting the goalposts. The children wouldn’t exist without the parents, so by your own logic, they have the right to kill them on a whim.

        (And which covenant is this?)

        I should have said “plan.” His plan came undone in the garden of eden, and he KNEW it would end up like this. He even expresses regret after the flood. No perfect being would ever regret anything.

        (No. God is responsible for His. You and I are responsible for ours.)

        But if he’s omnipotent and omniscient, then free will is an illusion.

        (I don’t appreciate counterarguments. Let’s see. Have you dealt with Plantinga on the problem of evil? Nope. Sorry bub, but you’re too uninformed to know that atheistic philosophers agree that the logical problem of evil is dead. The emotional is used, but not the logical. There is no necessary contradiction between God existing and evil.)

        Plantinga’s a sociopath. You can’t “defeat” the problem of evil without redefining the definition of omnibenevolence. And that is enough to show how hollow and facile your position is.

        I would invite you to read the Tale of the Twelve Officers:

        http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mark_vuletic/five.html

        (You didn’t answer what law in Genesis that was mentioned earlier Judah was pointing to. Show it.)

        OK, so that’s one point. I didn’t find it particularly pertinent to the topic, so I overlooked it.

      • Ayame: (Wow. So if I present an exegesis that reaches my conclusion, then I’m ipso facto twisting the text. No. The thing to do is to show that my interpretation is wrong, not that my conclusion is wrong. There’s a difference.) When they won’t even count an infant in their census, and refuse to give it the same monetary consideration they’d give to a baby that’s a month old, it would imply that they don’t value the child. It’s callous, but also demonstrates the obscene infant mortality rate back then. (You don’t show how a plain look shows this. I need an argument, not an assertion.) I would have thought that not counting infants in the community would have sufficed as evidence for this. (dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb. Look. In a society where people didn’t travel much and the women would have been at home, it would be the case that the child would BE AT HOME with his mother.) Still doesn’t explain why they didn’t count them in the census.

        REply: This doesn’t deal with anything said and uses your bad exegesis in one part to explain bad exegesis in another. You have to look at the text and show from the text.

        Ayame: (You’d have to show that they were punished for what their ancestors did.) So slaughtering children and babies, even those of adults who practiced child sacrifice, is acceptable to you? And let’s not forget the Amalekites: http://www.doxa.ws/Bible/amel_problem.html Why did your god wait for centuries?

        Reply: To give the people time to repent. They didn’t. So when God acts immediately and has someone die, God needs to be more patient. When God gives people more time to repent and they don’t, He’s allowing evil. Note you’re also ignoring what happened in Numbers 25 and until we deal with that, there’s no point discussing the Amalekites.

        Ayame: Should we let murderers run free and kill their great-grandchildren?

        Reply: So you think the society should have been judged but complain when it is?

        Ayame: How does that affect the issue? And lions practice infanticide quite often. Is this acceptable in your eyes?

        Reply: Do you know what an instrumental cause vs. an efficient cause is? Furthermore, why should I care a bit what lions do? Last I checked, we’re not lions.

        Ayame: Now you’re shifting the goalposts. The children wouldn’t exist without the parents, so by your own logic, they have the right to kill them on a whim.

        Reply: No. The Christian view is that all life comes from God but sent through other agents.

        Ayame: I should have said “plan.” His plan came undone in the garden of eden, and he KNEW it would end up like this. He even expresses regret after the flood. No perfect being would ever regret anything.

        REply; Never heard of an anthropomorphism have you? Furthermore Winston, knowing it would fail and setting it up to fail are two different things.

        Ayame: But if he’s omnipotent and omniscient, then free will is an illusion.

        REply: This is an assertion. It must be argued.

        Ayame: Plantinga’s a sociopath. You can’t “defeat” the problem of evil without redefining the definition of omnibenevolence. And that is enough to show how hollow and facile your position is.

        REply: Then go through Plantinga and show that’s he’s wrong.

        Ayame: I would invite you to read the Tale of the Twelve Officers: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mark_vuletic/five.html

        REply; Here’s the problem. You don’t look at how two situations are the same, but how they’re different. What are the differences you see in this case?

        Ayame: OK, so that’s one point. I didn’t find it particularly pertinent to the topic, so I overlooked it.

        REply: You mean you couldn’t answer it.

  10. (This doesn’t deal with anything said and uses your bad exegesis in one part to explain bad exegesis in another. You have to look at the text and show from the text.)

    I don’t see where you got this from. As I said before, leaving the infant with the mother for a month would not preclude it from inclusion in the census. Also, the bible explicitly puts a cash value on children (more for boys, as one might expect).

    (To give the people time to repent. They didn’t. So when God acts immediately and has someone die, God needs to be more patient. When God gives people more time to repent and they don’t, He’s allowing evil. Note you’re also ignoring what happened in Numbers 25 and until we deal with that, there’s no point discussing the Amalekites.)

    Why couldn’t he punish them without resorting to genocide? The god of the OT is frequently depicted as a petulant child who whines when things don’t go his way and refuses to take responsibility for his own actions (except after the flood, when he repents and regrets having created mankind).

    Numbers 25 deals with executing those who drew the Israelites away from the “one true god”. How is that justified? Is your god so inept that he cannot convince the world? Why settle for a puny tribe of goat herders, most of which were illiterate?

    (So you think the society should have been judged but complain when it is?)

    Judgments must fit the crime. And the descendants of the Amalekites had not committed anything that warranted genocide, least of all the children.

    (Do you know what an instrumental cause vs. an efficient cause is? Furthermore, why should I care a bit what lions do? Last I checked, we’re not lions.)

    An instrumental cause refers to the action taken by an efficient cause, correct? And if you hold to natural law, how do you elect which aspects of nature are moral, good and to be adhered to?

    (No. The Christian view is that all life comes from God but sent through other agents.)

    Irrelevant. Children exist only due to their parents. You’re invoking the special pleading fallacy in an attempt to weasel out of the unpleasant consequences of your fiat-based morality.

    (Never heard of an anthropomorphism have you? Furthermore Winston, knowing it would fail and setting it up to fail are two different things.)

    What’s the difference? The end result is the same.

    (This is an assertion. It must be argued.)

    It’s also baldly obvious. If your god is omniscient and omnipotent, then he has foreseen everything. If he has seen that I will eat eggs for breakfast tomorrow, then I cannot choose to NOT eat eggs, lest his omniscience be shown to be faulty.

    (Then go through Plantinga and show that’s he’s wrong.)

    Free will is a feeble defense. Anyone who would preserve free will instead of ending child rape is evil. Anyone who sits back and does nothing while people suffer is evil.

    Also, I’d recommend this video series by David John Wellman:

    (Here’s the problem. You don’t look at how two situations are the same, but how they’re different. What are the differences you see in this case?)

    Your god’s not accountable to anyone, according to you, and we should be grateful just for existing? Is that what you’re implying?

    (You mean you couldn’t answer it.)

    Either way. Whatever makes you happy. It was an aside anyway.

    • Winston: I don’t see where you got this from. As I said before, leaving the infant with the mother for a month would not preclude it from inclusion in the census.

      Reply: Could you show which census you’re speaking of?

      Winston: Also, the bible explicitly puts a cash value on children (more for boys, as one might expect).

      Reply: Yes it does, and it does so based on the amount of work the person can do. That’s why the boys get more. They were stronger and could do more physical labor. I know this is a shock, but men and women are different and generally, boys have more upper body strength than girls.

      Winston: Why couldn’t he punish them without resorting to genocide?

      Reply: Actually, genocide was not really done. In fact, driving out was the idea. When Israel came, everyone knew they were there and they could have left. Israel was not allowed to chase them down. Those who remained were the most hardened in their ways.

      Winston: The god of the OT is frequently depicted as a petulant child who whines when things don’t go his way and refuses to take responsibility for his own actions (except after the flood, when he repents and regrets having created mankind).

      Reply: No. This is more the description of the internet atheist when God doesn’t act their way. It’s so amusing that internet atheists want God to judge evil, just like you do, and yet when he judges evil, you complain.

      Winston: Numbers 25 deals with executing those who drew the Israelites away from the “one true god”. How is that justified?

      Reply: This is simplistic. Would you care to go into detail on what happened? Who were these people? Where did they come from? Why? How far did they have to travel?

      Winston: Is your god so inept that he cannot convince the world?

      Reply: Once again, the lazy mindset. This assumes that God wants intellectual knowledge instead of the will to truth. Convincing can be done, but that convincing could only lead to more hardening.

      Winston: Why settle for a puny tribe of goat herders, most of which were illiterate?

      Reply: How long have you been a racist?

      Winston: Judgments must fit the crime. And the descendants of the Amalekites had not committed anything that warranted genocide, least of all the children.

      Reply: Really? Got a historical source that says Amalek and Israel were living in loving harmony?

      Winston: An instrumental cause refers to the action taken by an efficient cause, correct?

      Reply: Not necessarily. It doesn’t have to refer to an action. The efficient cause is that which brings about the change. The instrumental cause is that through which the change is brought about. Consider a carpenter builds a house and the tools are the means. If one was a theistic evolutionist, one can say God made everything and evolution was the means to bring about life.

      Winston: And if you hold to natural law, how do you elect which aspects of nature are moral, good and to be adhered to?

      Reply: I can only give a brief synopsis. This would be a whole book in itself. I’d recommend for a start J. Budziszewski’s “The Line Through The Heart” It starts with the study of being and all things are good insofar as they are.

      An illustration of this is recognizing that which takes away from something. If you have a garment that moths have eaten a hole in it, take away the hole and the garment is improved. If you take away the garment, well you have nothing.

      It all starts with the concept of being.

      Winston: Irrelevant. Children exist only due to their parents. You’re invoking the special pleading fallacy in an attempt to weasel out of the unpleasant consequences of your fiat-based morality.

      Reply: Morality being fiat based means that God makes it out of a whim. Having the power to enforce morality is not the same as having the power to make morality. Also, we treat agents differently. Upon what basis does God have moral obligations? Who exactly does God owe life to?

      Winston: What’s the difference? The end result is the same.

      Reply: The reason would be that God saw a greater good that could come through this methodology. Can you demonstrate that that is not the case?

      Winston: It’s also baldly obvious. If your god is omniscient and omnipotent, then he has foreseen everything. If he has seen that I will eat eggs for breakfast tomorrow, then I cannot choose to NOT eat eggs, lest his omniscience be shown to be faulty.

      Reply; This assumes His knowledge of the future is the cause of your actions. This is not demonstrated.

      Winston: Free will is a feeble defense. Anyone who would preserve free will instead of ending child rape is evil. Anyone who sits back and does nothing while people suffer is evil.

      Reply: And again, have you read Plantinga yourself or not? If you have not, why should I watch your series? Furthermore, how far does the suffering go? Must all suffering be obliterated? Why?

      Winston: Your god’s not accountable to anyone, according to you, and we should be grateful just for existing? Is that what you’re implying?

      Reply: No.

      Winston: Either way. Whatever makes you happy. It was an aside anyway.

      Reply: Q.E.D.

      I believe you also owe Rayado a response don’t you?

      • Apologies for the belated reply.

        (Could you show which census you’re speaking of?)

        The census that is mentioned in Leviticus 27:6. What other purpose would they have for counting individuals? Newborns were apparently not worthwhile to them.

        (Yes it does, and it does so based on the amount of work the person can do. That’s why the boys get more. They were stronger and could do more physical labor. I know this is a shock, but men and women are different and generally, boys have more upper body strength than girls.)

        And you don’t find the valuation of human life dehumanising or callous in any way? So much for the argument that Christianity holds individuals to be intrinsically valuable and worthy of respect.

        (Actually, genocide was not really done. In fact, driving out was the idea. When Israel came, everyone knew they were there and they could have left. Israel was not allowed to chase them down. Those who remained were the most hardened in their ways.)

        Pull the other one. Are you aware of these verses in the bible, where other tribes were offered a “choice” of being slaves or being slaughterees?

        Jeremiah 21:9-13

        God tells the Judeans to either surrender to the Babylonians and become their slaves or die. “Behold, I am against thee.”

        (No. This is more the description of the internet atheist when God doesn’t act their way. It’s so amusing that internet atheists want God to judge evil, just like you do, and yet when he judges evil, you complain.)

        I’m not complaining about judging evil in general. It’s the incommensurately unjust punishments that your gods dish out that irk me. Also the fact that Christians love judging the good deeds of their deity while glossing over and attempting to justify the myriad atrocities of your deity. Stockholm Syndrome personified.

        (This is simplistic. Would you care to go into detail on what happened? Who were these people? Where did they come from? Why? How far did they have to travel?)

        How is that relevant? Why was it acceptable in OT times to commit wholesale murder on anyone who didn’t share your religious beliefs?

        (Once again, the lazy mindset. This assumes that God wants intellectual knowledge instead of the will to truth. Convincing can be done, but that convincing could only lead to more hardening.)

        This is akin to WLC’s claim that refusal to believe in Jesus as the messiah is a spiritual problem, rather than an intellectual one. Sorry, but I don’t buy that nonsense.

        (How long have you been a racist?)

        How long do you intend to ignore the facts of those who wrote the bible you adored?

        (Really? Got a historical source that says Amalek and Israel were living in loving harmony?)

        How does not living in harmony justify genocide? Why is murder your god’s first option in any scenario? It seems much more likely to be an excuse that the Israelites concocted.

        (Not necessarily. It doesn’t have to refer to an action. The efficient cause is that which brings about the change. The instrumental cause is that through which the change is brought about. Consider a carpenter builds a house and the tools are the means. If one was a theistic evolutionist, one can say God made everything and evolution was the means to bring about life.)

        Fair enough. Thanks for clarifying.

        (I can only give a brief synopsis. This would be a whole book in itself. I’d recommend for a start J. Budziszewski’s “The Line Through The Heart” It starts with the study of being and all things are good insofar as they are.

        An illustration of this is recognizing that which takes away from something. If you have a garment that moths have eaten a hole in it, take away the hole and the garment is improved. If you take away the garment, well you have nothing.)

        Was the gist of his/her theory that the only good aspects of things are those aspects are good? How does that tautology get us anywhere? Or are you trying to say that it’s better to fix problems rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater? Because that would be something that I could get on board with.

        (Morality being fiat based means that God makes it out of a whim. Having the power to enforce morality is not the same as having the power to make morality. Also, we treat agents differently. Upon what basis does God have moral obligations? Who exactly does God owe life to?)

        What does it matter whether it’s based on a whim or not? And since you just conceded that god has no moral duties, you have also conceded that he has no obligation to send Christians to heaven or non-believers to hell. He could send everyone to hell for eternity and be perfectly moral and just, according to your own statement.

        If he expects to be worshiped, the least he could do is show love and avoid hypocrisy. But we don’t see amputees regenerating their limbs.

        (The reason would be that God saw a greater good that could come through this methodology. Can you demonstrate that that is not the case?)

        Argument from ignorance. Also, an omnipotent god could easily achieve ANY greater good without using suffering as a bridge to do so.

        (This assumes His knowledge of the future is the cause of your actions. This is not demonstrated.)

        Semantics. If a scientist releases a virus knowing that millions will die, then he is responsible through his foreknowledge.

        In the same way, your god set Adam and Eve up to fail in the garden. He tempted them with the tree of moral knowledge.

        (And again, have you read Plantinga yourself or not? If you have not, why should I watch your series? Furthermore, how far does the suffering go? Must all suffering be obliterated? Why?)

        Plantinga’s a sociopath. Anyone who can so blithely dismiss suffering like he does cannot be anything else.

        And perfect love demands the elimination of suffering. Do you believe there will be suffering in hell? I am familiar with most, if not all, theodicies trotted out by apologist hacks. They all rely on redefining omnipotence, omniscience or (most commonly) omnibenevolence. You have just redefined omnibenevolence right here yourself.

        (No.)

        So god doesn’t have moral obligations. Therefore, by your own admission, objective moral values do not exist.

      • Whining Winston: Apologies for the belated reply. (Could you show which census you’re speaking of?) The census that is mentioned in Leviticus 27:6. What other purpose would they have for counting individuals? Newborns were apparently not worthwhile to them.

        Reply: Let’s actually do something odd called looking at Leviticus 27.

        The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value, 3 set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels[a] of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel[b]; 4 for a female, set her value at thirty shekels[c]; 5 for a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels[d] and of a female at ten shekels[e]; 6 for a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels[f] of silver and that of a female at three shekels[g] of silver; 7 for a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels[h] and of a female at ten shekels. 8 If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, the person being dedicated is to be presented to the priest, who will set the value according to what the one making the vow can afford.

        Little problem. Nowhere in there is there mentioned a census. What this is about is redeeming those who have been dedicated to the Lord. Month old children would not count because they had not yet been given to the Lord since they were with their mothers.

        Not only do you have the argument wrong, you brought up a passage that was not about a census. Perhaps you should read the passage next time. Also, do your own research instead of just going to atheist web sites and spewing out what they say.

        Whining Winston: And you don’t find the valuation of human life dehumanising or callous in any way? So much for the argument that Christianity holds individuals to be intrinsically valuable and worthy of respect.

        Reply: Oh. I see! The truth is based on how you feel! Um. No. I don’t find this dehumanizing any more than I find it dehumanizing to say that men tend to have less empathy and are incapable of giving birth. Your argument assumes that any differences in ability assume differences in value. There is no necessary connection. You have a habit of quickly jumping to conclusions without realizing how you get there.

        Whining Winston: Pull the other one. Are you aware of these verses in the bible, where other tribes were offered a “choice” of being slaves or being slaughterees? Jeremiah 21:9-13 God tells the Judeans to either surrender to the Babylonians and become their slaves or die. “Behold, I am against thee.”

        Reply: Yes, because unlike you, I’ve actually read the Bible. Do you know what was going on in the time when Jeremiah was written and what the historical context was?

        Whining Winston: I’m not complaining about judging evil in general. It’s the incommensurately unjust punishments that your gods dish out that irk me. Also the fact that Christians love judging the good deeds of their deity while glossing over and attempting to justify the myriad atrocities of your deity. Stockholm Syndrome personified.

        Reply: In other words, your personal feelings dictate what is good and what isn’t. Calling it unjust is not the same as demonstrating it is unjust. I need more than an assertion. I need an actual argument, something you are quite lacking in.

        Whining Winston: How is that relevant? Why was it acceptable in OT times to commit wholesale murder on anyone who didn’t share your religious beliefs?

        Reply; If your position is correct, further research will insure it. If it is not, further research will harm it. Your avoidance of further information indicates a lack of confidence in your position. It’s amusing you think the historical context is irrelevant to a historical claim.

        Whining Winston: This is akin to WLC’s claim that refusal to believe in Jesus as the messiah is a spiritual problem, rather than an intellectual one. Sorry, but I don’t buy that nonsense.

        Reply: Not believing it is not the same as giving a reason why it’s wrong. Your inability to want to do further research indicates that your problem is not intellectual or else you’d welcome more intellectual information.

        Whining Winston: How long do you intend to ignore the facts of those who wrote the bible you adored? http://youtu.be/WMrThAMaIkU?t=8m43s

        Reply: A number of problems. First off, you choose to label them as goat herders, which is a racist way to describe them. Second, the people who wrote the Bible were not illiterate. Let me explain a difficult concept to you. Illiterate people cannot write, therefore, someone illiterate could not write the Bible. Now if the mass of people were illiterate, that is irrelevant. You deal with the educated people and their ideas.

        Whining Winston: How does not living in harmony justify genocide? Why is murder your god’s first option in any scenario? It seems much more likely to be an excuse that the Israelites concocted.

        Reply: Ah. So you want to take the account as something historical when it sides with you, that is saying that they destroyed them, but when they give their reason, you say that is not historical. What you want is historical and what you want isn’t. Also, once again, further information is relevant. Why do you get scared of the thought of more information for your claim?

        Whining Winston: Was the gist of his/her theory that the only good aspects of things are those aspects are good? How does that tautology get us anywhere? Or are you trying to say that it’s better to fix problems rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater? Because that would be something that I could get on board with.

        Reply: Um. No. He’s actually a scholar in the field so he avoids tautologies. Perhaps you should read his argument before you critique it. Once again, you hesitate to get more information for a claim, but of course the problem is not intellectual.

        Whining Winston: What does it matter whether it’s based on a whim or not? And since you just conceded that god has no moral duties, you have also conceded that he has no obligation to send Christians to heaven or non-believers to hell. He could send everyone to hell for eternity and be perfectly moral and just, according to your own statement. If he expects to be worshiped, the least he could do is show love and avoid hypocrisy. But we don’t see amputees regenerating their limbs.

        Reply: Sorry, but the claim is simply false. What morality is and what it is based on matter entirely. To say God is not a moral agent in our sense does not mean He is not a good agent. You are assuming that good and moral are absolutely the same. They are not. They are related, but not identical. For instance, “this slice of pizza is good” does not mean “this slice of pizza is moral.” To say “humanity is good in itself” does not mean “humanity is moral in itself.”

        It is because He is good that He does what He says.

        As for amputees regrowing their limbs, I suggest that once again you read “Miracles.” You are assuming this doesn’t happen, but doing so without evidence.

        Whining Winston: Argument from ignorance. Also, an omnipotent god could easily achieve ANY greater good without using suffering as a bridge to do so.

        Reply: No. The burden is on you as you are arguing there is no greater good that can come from what God has done. You have to make that case. Because I do not know a reason does not mean that there is one. It just shows that I do not know everything and if your argument was that I am not omniscient, then it is demonstrated. Also, if God wants free-will beings who choose to love Him, then no. Omnipotence cannot make forced free choices.

        Whining Winston: Semantics. If a scientist releases a virus knowing that millions will die, then he is responsible through his foreknowledge. In the same way, your god set Adam and Eve up to fail in the garden. He tempted them with the tree of moral knowledge.

        Reply: The human scientist is not omniscient and does not know all the outcomes that will come about so the analogy fails. Furthermore, there was not a set up. God didn’t tempt them. It was the serpent who did that.

        Whining Winston: Plantinga’s a sociopath. Anyone who can so blithely dismiss suffering like he does cannot be anything else. And perfect love demands the elimination of suffering. Do you believe there will be suffering in hell? I am familiar with most, if not all, theodicies trotted out by apologist hacks. They all rely on redefining omnipotence, omniscience or (most commonly) omnibenevolence. You have just redefined omnibenevolence right here yourself.

        Reply: So you haven’t read Plantinga. You regularly seem to speak about arguments you have never read. To claim someone is a sociopath is a serious charge, but let’s suppose it was true. So what? Does that make the argument wrong? You need to take Plantinga’s argument and show that it is wrong.

        Whining Winston: So god doesn’t have moral obligations. Therefore, by your own admission, objective moral values do not exist.

        Reply: No. Once again, you leap to a conclusion without understand and only embarrass yourself. God does not have moral obligations because of the kind of thing a moral obligation is.

        You really should stop leaping to conclusion. It makes you even more laughable.

  11. (It has everything to do with the question at hand. You want to say that abolishing abortion forces a woman to accept the consequences of their consented actions. But it breaks down when that ethic is applied to anything else in the real world. You cannot consent only to an action, and not consent to the consequences, even if those consequences are unwanted. My analogy proves that. No one gets out of the legal consequences of a car wreck because their car wreck was unintended.)

    So in cases where pregnancy was unintended, abortion would be acceptable to you?

    (Ever heard of this institution called the church? It’s been around for a few thousand years, so they’ve got some experience at this sort of thing. I suppose you could be forgiven for being unfamiliar with how churches handle charity.)

    I don’t see how wasting money on bibles and railing against contraception remotely approaches the concept of charity. Or compassion for that matter.

    (Must be a different Bible than the one you accused me of having strapped to my face.)

    Can you offer a single verse in your bible that condemns rape? I can offer several that would actually encourage it (especially if the object of your affections doesn’t return your “love”.

    Deuteronomy 22:23-24: If a betrothed virgin is raped in the city and doesn’t cry out loud enough, then “the men of the city shall stone her to death.”

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29: If a man rapes an unbetrothed virgin, he must pay her father 50 shekels of silver and then marry her.

    (Oh.

    Let me get this straight: pregnancy should be avoided because it might cause death.

    What a coincidence! That’s why I oppose abortion! Except it always causes death.)

    But you don’t mandate blood donations, even though they save more lives than forcing a woman to term would. Talk about hypocrisy.

    (Maybe you missed the part where I said I’m okay with many forms of birth control? Did you miss that little discussion in my blog where I discussed where Plan B might well be ethically allowable if the mechanism is better understood?)

    Good for you. So you aren’t entirely heartless and hypocritical.

    (Oh, that’s a laugh. Poison the well much? Maybe I need to make a little macro image of a person that’s blindfolded with a condom and call it a harness. Vested interest in oppressing women? My goodness, you’re as provintial as any redneck! Where I’m from, we call that ‘bias’ and ‘prejudice.’)

    You’re the one who wants embryos and fetuses to have more rights than the woman they’re leeching off, not me.

    (I said what I said. Not what you wanted me to say, or what you heard me say. If I don’t accuse you of wanting the unborn to die, don’t accuse me of wanting women to die. Because it’s not true.)

    Fair enough. You did make an exception for pregnancies that threaten the woman. But how would you prevent back-alley abortions if legal abortions were illegal?

    (Oh, I have problems with that too. Ever hear of Terri Schiavo?)

    Terri the person was dead the moment she entered a PVS. She wasn’t coming back. It would have been more humane for her family to give her an overdose of morphine.

    (Misrable? Leech off resources? Wouldn’t that only be the case if the child was unwanted?)

    I’ve never known a pregnancy where the fetus did NOT leech nutrients from the woman.

    (This is exactly what I mean when I say that you are not hearing what I’m saying, and instead hearing what you want me to say.

    where have I, in this discussion or elsewhere on this blog, advocated outlawing all contraceptives? Once again, did you miss my discussion of the possibilities of Plan B if it does in fact turn out not to be an abortifacient?)

    My apologies. It still doesn’t change the fact that many pro-lifers, including the mammoth RCC, oppose contraception. And in doing so, then end up driving abortion rates through the roof.

    (I’m not asking anyone to fear pregnancy. You are. You ask them to regard the child as a parasite and a leech, couched in dehumanizing terms. No, I regard pregnancy and the new human being as a good: pregnancy with a good end, a new life as a good and with a specific moral value that must be recognized and respected.)

    Why shouldn’t women have a realistic outlook on pregnancy, a condition that has profound consequences for their body and their lives?

    (Pro-lifers don’t want anyone to have ‘unwanted’ children. We want wanted children just as much as anyone. We want people to act responsibly towards each other and their children. And an awful lot of pro-lifers are just fine with most forms of birth control. We just recognize that if the unborn are human beings, and therefore the subject of a certain set of inalienable rights, that those rights must be respected. And that that is nothing to fear.)

    But why should the fetus have more rights than the woman? If I need a kidney, should I be allowed to conscript the first eligible donor I can and make them give it up?

    (Because actions have consequences. Consent has consequences. Creating a life has consequences. I’m not asking them to go it alone, to be shunned, to be outcast. My church occasionally goes to pray in front of a local abortion clinic; whenever we go, we make sure to have contacts available within the community to be ready to help any mother that gets there and changes her mind and keeps the baby. We never ask someone to keep their child without also helping them to find support and assistance. And many times, that assistance is what saves the life of the unborn in those instances.)

    Should parents be required to donate blood to their children to keep them alive?

    (I was expecting the “You’re a guy and can’t get pregnant so shut up” line, but this will have to do instead. Guess what? It’s also easy for women who can get pregnant against their will to say.)

    And false compassion won’t get you anywhere.

    (Until recently, that was not the case. That’s only possible thanks to modern science. I’m curious, though: why does conscience suddenly matter? I would actually argue that after birth, a child requires considerably more help, frequently the help of many individuals, to support them and care for them. Why does their neediness not count against them their lives?)

    Consciousness is the defining characteristic that qualifies beings as being worthy of moral consideration. I wouldn’t concern myself over stepping on a flower, because flowers can’t feel pain or joy. And besides, once the baby’s born, the burden can be shared, making it less cumbersome on any one individual.

    (They don’t surrender their bodies to an embryo for nine months. They don’t ‘surrender’ their bodies in any sense of the word if the act that brought that child into existence is consensual. Pregnancy isn’t a disease. Are you asking me to compare life to life, or are you really asking me to compare the life of the child to the lifestyle of the mother? Even if there is no felt obligation to the child, that obligation is still there. Perhaps the answer of a group of feminists will suffice:)

    How are they not sacrificing their body for nine months? Pregnancy isn’t a walk in the park, you know.

    (“When women feel that a pregnant body is a body out of control, deviant, diseased, they are internalizing attitudes of low self-esteem toward the female body.” (Feminists for Life Debate Handbook))

    That sounds rather simplistic for me. Don’t you have any sources outside pro-life propaganda?

    (Oh…and ‘pregnancies’ aren’t aborted. Live human beings are aborted. Pregnancy is a condition of the mother, and pro-lifers without except desire a specific end to pregnancy–and it’s called ‘live childbirth.’)

    Then fund artificial womb technology. Don’t arrogate choices that aren’t yours to make.

    (Splendid! Then there’s no justifiable reason for abortion on demand. ‘It?’ ‘It’ is either a he or a she–and it’s easier to kill an ‘it’ than a ‘he.’ But really, if a child happens to be a burden on more than one person, wouldn’t it be consistent to argue that there is a stronger reason to terminate the life of that child? More burden is more burden, after all.)

    No, because the burden can be shared once it’s born, which is not possible while the woman is pregnant.

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