If Pro-Lifers Got into the Car Business . . .

Have you heard of Trinity Car Company? They’re new, and they claim to have a much more sensible approach to car buying. They’ve eliminated the showroom, and you go right to the factory. A friend of mine, who I’ll call Frank, told me about his experience. For his college graduation present, Frank’s father made the down payment. Frank wasn’t sure that Trinity was the right car or that now was the right time, but he went along.

Frank was greeted in the lobby by the salesman, a clean-cut young man with a big smile.

“I’m amazed you’re so quick,” Frank said. “I just put my order in two days ago, and yet here I am.”

The salesman carried himself as if he had found his dream job. “We treat every car for the miracle it is,” he said. “‘Every Design has a Designer,’ after all.” He pointed up to the large plaque on the wall that carried the same motto.

“Well, let’s go see your baby.” The salesman ushered Frank into a large room that appeared to be empty except for a car’s engine block on the floor. It lay on a fuzzy pink blanket. The pistons hadn’t been installed, and the six shiny cylinders were empty. “There you are,” he said. “You’ve made a nice choice. She’s a beaut!”

Frank looked around. “Where?”

“Right here.” The salesman took a step closer to the engine block and pointed.

“That’s not a car.”

“It is a car.” He put his hands on his hips and smiled, looking back and forth between Frank and the block. “Well, if we’re done here, let’s go wrap up the paperwork.”

“For what?” Frank said. “It’s not finished.”

“It will be.”

“Then get back to me when it is. I’m not paying $21,000 for that.”

The salesman cocked his head to the side like a perplexed puppy. “I must say, you seem to have a cramped definition of ‘car.’ Think about how fun it’ll be to drive.”

“But it’s not a car!”

“Of course it’s a car. What else would it be? It’s not a flower. It’s not a dinosaur. It’s a car. You’re just not familiar with the development process.” He walked over to the engine and pointed to the front of the block. “And take a look at this.”

Frank walked over and knelt next to him.

“See? It even has your VIN number—it’s unique.” The salesman ran his finger gently over the small raised digits as he read out the number. “You can touch it if you want to.”

Frank stood and waved his hands. “Look, this is not what I wanted.”

The salesman said, “Getting a car is big step, I’ll grant you, but I’m sure you want to see this process through.”

“I do not.”

The salesman’s smile dissolved. “I can show you what it’ll look like next week and the week after that and so on. Let me show you the pictures.”

Frank held up his hands. “Hold on. Maybe this is my fault. To me, a ‘car’ is what it’ll be when it’s finished, but I don’t want to debate definitions. A car that won’t be finished for months simply won’t work for me. This isn’t a fit.” He took a step toward the door.

The salesman ran his hands through his hair compulsively, erasing the clean-cut façade. “You knew about this when you signed up.”

“What’s the big deal? Sell it to someone else.”

The salesman looked at Frank as if he’d vomited on himself. “That’s not the way it works here. You saw the VIN. This is your car! Do you know what happens if you don’t take it?” He paused to catch his breath. “Let me show you.” He took out a small packet of photos from his jacket pocket.

“No, that’s okay,” Frank said, stepping back.

“I insist.” The salesman stood between Frank and the door. “They come with a crane with sharp tongs. They pick it up. They drag it out.” He flipped through photos of these steps. “They put it in here.” This photo showed some sort of grinding machine with enormous teeth. “Is that what you want? Can you live with that?”

Frank feinted to one side, and the salesman blocked him. Frank dashed around the other side and ran to the door. He looked back as he yanked the door open.

The salesman was holding up the photos as if showing a cross to a vampire. “Murderer!” he said, his eyes glistening. “Murderer!”

I was not;
I was;
I am not;
I do not care.
— Epicurus’s observation on death

Photo credit: Hemmings Daily

About Bob Seidensticker
  • RichardSRussell

    Aside from your probably wanting to include the bit about the VIN, for which you needed something the size of an engine block, this would actually have been closer to the pro-lifer* argument if the salesman had shown Frank a cotter pin or a blueprint.

    ––––––
    *”Pro-lifer” is short for “proliferators”.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The analogy ain’t perfect. And that’s a good point about size.

      • wtfwjtd

        Good analogy Bob. Surprisingly, there is an actual business that uses this very model for real–a timeshare. People are promised dinners, vacations, and other amazing prizes for allowing a salesman the opportunity to show them the pitch. Oftentimes, they are taken to an empty lot, and told to imagine the fabulous resort that will someday be there…just sign on the dotted line, give us your money now, and– well, I think you get the idea.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          As with Frank in this story, I think I’d have a hard time with that resort pitch.

        • wtfwjtd

          Yes, there have been lots of folks that took the initial bait, the salesman can make it sound very enticing. Used to, they were stuck, and were obligated to pay no matter what. Then, some years back Missouri passed a law allowing people a certain amount of time after the initial contract was signed to nullify it, like 14 days. After that the rip-off horror stories dropped off, since people were allowed that time break to carefully consider their options without the pressure, and decide if it was truly right for them. Of course, I thought the law allowing the time to think about it was a great idea.

    • Highlander

      Perhaps it isn’t the size that matters, but where you start when building a car? According to pro-lifers, a human begins at a zygote. What is the equivalent in a car? Is it the raw iron ore and other minerals/petroleum as it dragged out of the ground? Probably not, since the raw materials for a zygote are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and a host of other trace elements. Is it the roll of sheet metal that will eventually be stamped, punched, pressed and folded into the various body parts? I’m going to go with not here either because a roll of sheet metal could become anything. We could go with the frame of the car, it would be the first thing that gets the unique VIN number in the car production process. The problem is, the frame is pretty recognizable as a car. The engine block with the VIN stamped onto it works much better because it’s just a hunk of metal and unless you know its the beginning of a car you could think it was something else entirely.

      • purr

        The problem with a zygote is that it is a genetic blueprint, in one sense, but, it is also the root, for lack of a better word, of an embryo, which is just a ‘smaller’ fetus.

        This is one of the best explanations I have found so far, that explains blastocyst as blueprint:

        http://www.sullydog.com/sullysites/qm/classicmeat/10-01.htm

        “You and I contain much, much more information, both
        genetic and otherwise, than a blastocyst. That’s why I can write this column and you can read it, whereas a blastocyst just.. .sits
        there. Indeed, that is the exactly the point of stem cell research:
        the stem cells in the blastocyst have not yet acquired the
        molecular programming required for differentiation, and so they
        remain pluripotent, awaiting the necessary molecular
        signals (the information) that will tell them whether
        to become nerve or muscle, skin or bone.

        Yes, once upon a time we were blastocysts, too. Nothing
        more than a little clump of cells, each of them a snippet of DNA
        surrounded by cytoplasm. But that DNA was later transcribed into RNA, and that RNA was translated into proteins. And some of those proteins were transcription factors that told other cells in the blastocyst what to do, when to divide, where to migrate. Transcription factors regulated the expression of still other transcription factors. Genes were turned on and off with clockwork precision. Some genes were methylated, so they could never be turned on again.

        In other words, the genome and the proteome of the blastocyst were changed as the embryo accumulated molecular information that the blastocyst did not have.

        The embryo became a fetus, with complex orientations of
        tissues–loaded with spatial, genetic, biochemical and mechanical
        information that simply did not exist in the embryo.

        The fetus became a child with a nervous system, and that nervous system sucked up information about the world, hard-wiring pathways for vision and movement, learning to make subtle distinctions between this and that, accumulating information that simply did not exist in the fetus.

        In other words, the blastocyst launched a genetic program that both extracted and acquired information. It didn’t start out
        as a human being. It became a human being, with a personality, feelings, attitudes and memories, by accumulating information that was not there before.

        Equating a blastocyst with a human being is like equating a brand new copy of an inexpensive spreadsheet program with the priceless databases that you’ll eventually build up with that program. It’s no less ridiculous than saying that a blueprint has the same value as a skyscraper–that it is the skycraper.

        No. They are not the same.”

        —————–

        The car analogy isn’t perfect, but it’s close. The thing is, what makes ‘you’ ‘you’ is not necessarily present in the zygote from the moment of conception. It isn’t even present in a very early embryo. As the pregnancy progresses, things change. Genes are turned on and off. Bacteria present in the womb can create, if not a different person, a different *version* of a person. Brains, organs, limbs, all manner of body parts can fail to develop. So, those who say that a zygote, or even an embyro, is a ‘whole, albeit smaller’ person, are wrong.

        It might be best to say that the blueprints to the car = zygote, and the car, at various stages = embryo/fetus. The zygote, btw, also contains instructions for the creation of the placenta. And, clearly, babies, and grown people, are not partial placenta.

        Hmm. Thinking about it some more, the fetus is essentially constructed using materials from the woman’s body. It’s not like you pour water on it, and it simply grows bigger. As just one example of this,the fetus will take calcium from the woman’s bones to build it’s own skeleton.

        I tend to look at the zygote as the frame, or, as in your example the engine block with the VIN is a better analogy. And there is no guarantee that the rest of the car will get built around that engine block. Windows might not get installed, or if they are, they could be bent, they could be opaque, etc etc. The car could end up any # of colours. And you won’t know until the thing is built in entirety, or close to it.

        So, in some ways it is similar to a car under construction, in some ways it isn’t. But, it’s really really difficult to find the perfect analogy for pregnancy and gestation.

  • smrnda

    I’ve often used an analogy to a building under construction – the exact point where a building is ‘finished’ is even more subjective than it is for cars. Is an unfinished basement ‘finished?’ Given that buildings stand for a long time and are often modified from the original plans it makes the ‘finished’ status even more subjective. Likewise on the status of no longer being fit for habitation.

  • purr

    Brilliant!

    Many pro-lifers seem to think that a zygote is simply a smaller version of said car. And that with proper ‘nutrition’ the car will grow magically bigger:P

    I came across an interesting analogy recently, for fetal personhood. Please, tell me what you think:

    “Consider the species Charaxes brutus natalensis which is a type of
    butterfly. Now, a butterfly, I think we all admit, is not a caterpillar.
    Those are clearly not the same thing. However, both a caterpillar and a
    butterfly can be Charaxes brutus natalensis, and if for some odd reason
    Charaxes brutus natalensis were to become endangered and we wanted to
    protect them by passing a law against killing them, we could not do it
    effectively by saying “no killing butterflies.” Why? Because all the
    butterfly haters out there would get around this law by stomping out all
    the caterpillars. You must pass a law protecting the species.

    Now, you might want to say “But mike I am not protecting
    Homo-sapiens, I am protecting persons.” To which I lay down the
    following challenge: give me a definition of a person that is two
    things, ontologically objective (with a corresponding third-person
    ontology) and exhaustive (that is it applies to all and only persons).
    No one has been able to do that yet, and if you are like everyone else
    and cant meet my challenge your the appeal to a distinction betweens
    human and person fails. If that fails you then have to give me an
    account of why it is wrong to kill a one month old and not an 8 month
    old still in the womb without appealing to the fallacy of special
    pleading. Appeal to the rarity of 8 month abortions wont help you
    because I am making a conceptual point about why one is ok and one is
    not. The answer is going to turn on the question of bodily integrity,
    not on weak analogies about fetuses not being human.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      give me a definition of a person that is two things, ontologically objective (with a corresponding third-person
      ontology) and exhaustive (that is it applies to all and only persons).

      I need this bit explained in more detail, if you don’t mind.

      • purr

        Me too!

        I think this person is one of those ‘look at me I am smart, I use big words and convoluted thoughts’

        😛

  • Rilian Sharp

    “To me, a ‘car’ is what it’ll be when it’s finished”.
    At what age is a human “finished”?

    • RichardSRussell

      0!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The difference between you and a newborn is negligible compared to the difference between the trillion-cell newborn and the single cell it started from. Sure, we can imagine that the spectrum continues after birth, but 99% of the fun has already happened.

  • KarlUdy

    Of course, anyone can write a one-sided analogy. Consider the abandoned masterpiece …

    Francis looked at the letter in his hand. It was an
    invitation to view the masterpiece he had commissioned. It was not finished
    yet, but he had the opportunity to see how the work was progressing.

    To be honest, he had a few misgivings about this whole process.
    It had been at a drunken party where he had commission the masterpiece and he
    was a little hazy on the details, but the letter was there in his hand, signed
    “J. M. W. Turner”.

    He turned up on the Wednesday, the date specified in the
    letter and was greeted at the door by Turner’s servant,

    “Ah, yes, the master said you’d be coming by today. I’ll let
    him know you have arrived.”

    Francis followed the servant inside to Turner’s workroom,
    and saw Turner there seated before the easel,

    “I’m sure you will love this when it is finished” said
    Turner.

    Francis looked closer. He couldn’t make out a single detail
    of what Turner was painting. It just looked like a mass of smudged and swirled
    paint. His earlier misgivings were coming back to him even stronger now, and he
    doubted that this painting would turn into anything he would want.

    “I’d been considering things” Francis said, “I’m not sure I
    want this painting after all.”

    “But I’ve already started!” Turner protested.

    “ I can see,” replied Francis, “but it’s hardly a
    masterpiece right now is it. And I’m not sure I can afford to pay for it.
    What’s more, I’m not even sure I have a space in my house to hang a painting
    like that. I’m just not prepared to rearrange things to make space for whatever
    that might turn out to be.”

    “But it will be a masterpiece” said Turner. “I’ve already
    seen it – up here” he said as he tapped his head.

    “No. I’ve made up my mind” said Francis. “I do not want
    this.” Please stop working on this right now and throw it away.”

    “If you’re so sure you don’t want it, I suppose I can find
    another patron to buy the piece when it is finished. I am sorry that you don’t
    want to continue. I am making this with you particularly in mind” said Turner
    as he looked somewhat gloomily at the floor.

    “No” said Francis. “ I want you to stop. I believe some
    money changed hands at the party” said Francis, referring to the deposit he had
    paid. “

    “But that was for my expenses and upkeep” said Turner. “I’ve
    already bought the canvas, as you can see. And I must have food to eat too.
    What’s more, you signed a contract. Surely I am already being generous to you
    in releasing you from anything beyond the deposit you have already paid?”

    Francis considered his predicament as he tried to find a
    solution. “What you have already spent, you can keep but you must refund me
    every penny you have not spent. And throw this painting away. I don’t want to
    be responsible for another day of your work. From here on in you must find a
    new patron.”

    I wonder, though, which is better, to view children as masterpieces or assembly-line productions?

    • purr

      I wonder, though, which is better, to view children as masterpieces or assembly-line productions?

      I wonder though, which is better, to view women as people, or mere baby factories?

      FTFY

      • KarlUdy

        I completely support doing what we can to redress the imbalance in responsibility, shame, etc that is attributed to men and women re abortion and unplanned pregnancies.

        There are so many aspects of our society that are biased against women. Unfortunately, abortion has the twofold result of providing a pressure point for men who want to simply use women for sex without responsibility, and also heaping the blame for that solution upon the women. Prostitution presents very similar problems.

        • purr

          Unfortunately, abortion has the twofold result of providing a pressure
          point for men who want to simply use women for sex without
          responsibility

          Oh please. Women enjoy sex too. And a woman has the right to enjoy sex *without* the fear of getting pregnant.

          You are just dressing up old-fashioned misogyny as ‘concern for women’.

          Did you know that the original arguments against *both* contraception and abortion were primarily concerned with female chastity? Yep. That if given access to contraception, women would get used by men, and men would escape from the ‘responsibility’ of a shotgun wedding! The same argument has been used with abortion. And the reality is, both men and women have the right to engage in sex for purely recreational reasons and walk away from it.

        • KarlUdy

          And the reality is, both men and women have the right to engage in sex for purely recreational reasons and walk away from it..

          I’m sorry, is this in the Bill of Human Rights, or some other document? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

        • purr

          Oh, you’re funny.

          That would fall under ‘liberty’ btw. As in, we don’t tell people how to run their *consensual* sex lives.

          This is why we no longer arrest gays for having consensual sex that we disapprove of. Or are you in favour of throwing homosexuals in jail for having sex that you disapprove of?

        • KarlUdy

          Does ‘liberty’ have any boundaries where sex is concerned?

          And how does it includes and walk away from it? It would seem that paternity laws disagree.

        • purr

          Paternity laws are for the child – once it’s born.

          Men are not forced to take on the health and financial risks of a pregnancy. Women, like men, should be able to have consensual sex without the threat of forced pregnancy hanging over their heads. It’s that simple.

        • KarlUdy

          By your logic, a man could refuse all paternity responsibility by claiming his right to engage in sex for purely recreational reasons and walk away from it.

          After all, it is as you say a basic component of ‘liberty’. A man just ain’t free if he ain’t free to be a deadbeat dad.

        • purr

          Your argument, if it can be called that, can be distilled to this: “women, if they engage in consensual sex, should be forced to remain pregnant, because a man might have to pay child support if she gives birth’.

          You are trying to say that sex should not be divorced from it’s procreational aspect by pointing out that men will have to pay child support *if* a child is born. And as I pointed out, above, child support cannot be compared to a forced *pregnancy*. Until a man takes on the health and financial risks entailed in a pregnancy, you have no room to speak.

          You also neglect to take into consideration the fact that the woman will *also* have to pay to raise the child. An women, in the end, suffer *more* than men from the unwanted pregnancy, because they have the double whammy of pregnancy/health/financial loss from pregnancy + the cost of raising the child. And no man has ever become maimed or disabled as a result of an unwanted pregnancy. No man has ever *died* from an ectopic pregnancy.

          Men can also choose to waive their parental rights, or, in many cases, move out of state and be free.

        • Niemand

          No man has ever *died* from an ectopic pregnancy.

          This may seem slightly fussy of me, but I’d like to clarify this a little: No cis man ever died of an ectopic pregnancy. Transmen can and probably have.

        • purr

          Point taken. And I am aware that transmen can get pregnant.

          However, I try to keep things simple when talking to people such as KarlUdy.

          I even feel tempted to use ‘ze’ and ‘xir’ as pronouns, but I’m not sure if the more ignorant out there will even understand what I am talking about, you know?

          So when discussing abortion, at least, I keep it to man and woman.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Maybe I’m far less informed about transgender medicine than I thought.

          Someone born XY can have a working uterus and Fallopian tubes and all that plumbing implanted? A trans man can get pregnant?

        • Niemand

          Maybe I’ve got my terms backwards. I meant someone born with XX and usual genitalia but who feels like a man not a woman. If he hasn’t had surgery he can go off hormones and get pregnant.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Or maybe I have mine backwards! OK, I see your point.

        • purr
        • tyler

          this is actually completely beside the point (you just had the terms backwards) but technically speaking you can get a genetically xy person with a working female reproductive system. the y chromosome basically tells the gestating fetus to begin producing androgens which starts male development, but certain conditions can cause the fetus and subsequent person to be immune which leads to the ‘default’ female development. i recall this causing a headache during the olympics with genetically xy athletes being barred from the women’s competitions.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My confusion was with Niemand’s comment that a “trans man” has gotten pregnant.

          Starting from XY, that sounds pretty unlikely. But I got it backwards–starting from XX, I get it.

          I guess the rule is that you use the destination gender after “trans,” not the starting gender? I can handle that.

        • tyler

          oh no i understand, i just have that particular sort of verbal incontinence that causes me to drop random trivia whenever the opportunity presents itself.

        • purr

          I am glad you did, because I had been wondering about that very thing. Had a vague recollection of hearing something along those very lines, but couldn’t place it.

        • phantomreader42

          Your wallet is not a part of your body.

        • purr

          I would hazard a bet that most men would prefer to pay child support than be forced to donate organs/blood/bone marrow to a child they created.

        • Niemand

          Men OR women who “walk away” from a child are required to either give up their rights to the child or pay child support. Men have no obligation related to pregnancy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Does ‘liberty’ have any boundaries where sex is concerned?

          If it doesn’t hurt anyone, don’t worry about it.

          Simple, right?

        • Niemand

          How much child support are men required to pay to their fetuses? Nothing. Men have no obligations in the pregnancy and can, if they so choose, walk away from it.
          But suppose they don’t. Suppose a man takes custody of his child and the woman walks away and never pays child support. Know what happens? Her wages are garnished, she is ineligible for certain government aid, etc. In short, exactly the same thing that happens to a man that walks away. No equality there.
          The current situation does not put a higher burden on men or women, except for the risk the woman takes in trying to complete a pregnancy. You’re trying to impose a higher burden.

        • Pattrsn

          Well it ain’t in the bible

        • smrnda

          Last I checked, these things were mentioned in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

        • KarlUdy

          Just read through the whole text and can’t find anything related specifically to sexual activity. There is a clause related to marriage.

          Unless you take the bizarre notion that Niemand proposed that it is a denial of essential liberty as the fetus is holding its mother in slavery, I can’t find anything.

          Interestingly if the fetus is said to be holding its mother in slavery, then this is attributing thought and intention to the fetus, which would seem to be a basic affirmation of its personhood, which would go against the grain of other defenses of abortion practice

        • purr

          Interestingly if the fetus is said to be holding its mother in slavery,
          then this is attributing thought and intention to the fetus

          Wrong. The fetus isn’t enslaving the woman – the people who are denying her the right to abort the pregnancy are forcing her into gestational slavery.

          And sexual activity falls under the ‘privacy’ clause.

          As in, the government can’t tell you how to run your fucking sex life.

        • purr

          People have the right to privacy.

          That means the government should stay out of the bedroom, and out of people’s medical decisions.

        • Niemand

          abortion has the twofold result of providing a pressure point for men
          who want to simply use women for sex without responsibility, and also
          heaping the blame for that solution upon the women.

          What’s your data for this postulate? There is quite a lot of data that demonstrate that men who are abusive of their female partners sabotage birth control to get their partners pregnant and keep them under control. So by making abortion harder to obtain you’re definitely helping abusers keep their victims under control. If that matters to you.

        • KarlUdy

          This graph shows that a significant percentage of women indicate that partner objection is the main reason for the abortion. This is likely to be an under-reported figure, for obvious reasons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AGIAbortionReasonsBarChart.png

        • purr

          Not a good reason to ban all abortion.

          You can’t deny people their right to liberty and freedom just because you think you know what is best for that ‘group’.

        • Niemand

          Why would you expect partner objection to be underreported? Also note that relationship issues and partner objection are combined, so that women having an abortion to escape an abusive relationship would likely be under this category as well as women whose partners did not want an abortion.

        • KarlUdy

          I’m sure you can imagine the situation where a man forces a woman to have an abortion, and the woman does not indicate this is the reason for fear of the man and what he may do to her.

        • purr

          And I am sure you can imagine a situation where abortion is illegal and a man sabotages a woman’s birth control by poking holes in the condom and replacing her bc pills with placebos.

          These are the men who tie women to them by knocking them. This often goes hand in hand with abuse. And a pregnant woman cannot easily leave an abusive man if she is tied to him by children.

          Fuck, rapists have parental rights in close to 30 states.

        • KarlUdy

          The possibility of your scenario does not mean that the scenario I proposed either does not happen or does not matter. And the data shows that, as I said, abortion is used by (some) men to use and abuse women.

        • purr

          People do lots of shitty things. The people who force a woman to abort are just as anti-choice as those who would deny a woman that right.

        • Pattrsn

          Wonder how that compares to the number of women who undergo forced pregnancies because of the use and abuse of women by men?

        • Niemand

          And the data shows that, as I said, abortion is used by (some) men to use and abuse women.

          Actually, the data you present show no such thing. They show that some women list relationship issues as the main reason for an abortion. In some cases, that relationship issue might be their partner forcing or coercing an abortion. Or it might be that the woman has a genuine regard for her partners’ situation and wishes and is willing to have an abortion because this is not the right time for either but especially not for him. Or she might have an abortion to make an escape from an abuser easier. Or maybe she finds it easier to “blame” her partner than to admit that she wanted an abortion. Any of these scenarios could account for the minority of women (<20% in any country listed and around 10% in the US) who cite relationship issues as the primary reason for an abortion. You are interpreting way beyond your data.

        • Pattrsn

          Ok thanks for spelling that out, the underreporting exists only in your imagination

        • Niemand

          I can imagine lots of situations. That doesn’t mean that they’re the norm or even that they exist.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, the man forcing the woman to have an abortion (she doesn’t want it) would be a bad thing. That said, I’m not sure why partner objection is always a bad reason. Unless you’re saying that there’s no problem with a woman going it alone.

        • Pattrsn

          Since the category is “Relationship issues or partner objection” the percentage would actually be lower. In the one study that allowed multiple reasons, and had separated the categories, relationship issues accounted for more than twice the percentage of partner objection. So, much lower.

        • Kodie

          This graph shows that a significant percentage of women indicate that
          partner objection is the main reason for the abortion. This is likely to
          be an under-reported figure, for obvious reasons.

          I explained all this to you months ago. Lack of support is a valid reason to get an abortion. If you ask for help and nobody can help you, you are indeed screwed, so get an abortion. The world doesn’t owe anyone a baby they can’t afford.

        • purr

          Prostitution presents very similar problems.

          Legalize it and regulate it. Don’t ban it and make criminals out of women.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I’m not sure where you want me to go with the abandoned-masterpiece story.

      Sure, in the future, the painting may be a masterpiece. But right now, it’s not.

      If your anti-abortion argument is simply one of potential, I’m sympathetic to that.

    • Niemand

      Is it more likely that every child will be considered a masterpiece in a world where women and men can chose when and how to have children, have children only when they decide the time is right, and where society supports them both financially and emotionally or one in which women are forced to have babies as a grim duty and punishment for sex, where having as many children as possible is considered “good” and where if you can’t support your children it’s your own fault if they starve? The Quiverfull assembly line puts children in the light of cheap industrial products. Women who use birth control, including abortion as a backup and have children on their terms think of their children as masterpieces.

      Incidentally, every artist I know constantly evaluates their work and often decides that a painting just isn’t working out and paints over it. I don’t know or know of any that are arrogant enough to say, “It’s a masterpiece!” before it’s done. Many paintings don’t work out. Are you sure you want to continue with this analogy?

      • purr

        Great point. Every child should be wanted.

        But we all know where karl is going with this.

        Every child is a miracle, even Hitler* was a miracle because he was given the gift of life blah blah. All Homo Sapiens are precious beings because they were created in God’s image blah blah blah.

        *I bring up Hitler because in a discussion from last week, some fella was trying to say that Hitler had the same value as, say MLK, due to the fact that Hitler is a member of the species h. sapiens.

      • KarlUdy

        Obviously you missed the opening line in my post, or you wouldn’t assume I think it is immune to criticism.

        You also seem to think that I am defending the Quiverfull movement. I’m not, and the fact you bring it up means that you are arguing against an extreme position that I don’t hold. One would think that if you had good arguments for abortion, you would use them, instead of pretending that everyone who opposes abortion being as widely available as it is now is some sort of crazy extremist.

        • Niemand

          Um…can I have some bread sticks to go with your word salad?

          Good arguments for abortion. Let’s see…
          Pregnancy is dangerous and forcing someone to take that risk is wrong.
          We don’t force people to allow the use of their bodies in any other circumstance. Why should pregnancy be different?

          What’s the difference between not allowing a woman to decide whether something goes in her vagina and whether something goes in her uterus?
          The concept of fetal pain is an extremely dubious one medically. Embryonic pain is medically impossible. There is no possibility of fetal thought until very late in the third trimester and the evidence for conscious thought in a fetus even then is minimal.
          Opposition to abortion is strongly correlated with opposition to birth control and to women having any role in society besides that of an incubator.

        • purr

          instead of pretending that everyone who opposes abortion being as
          widely available as it is now is some sort of crazy extremist.

          And what does this mean exactly? You think that you, and the pro-life politicians you vote for, should have the right to decide *which* women *deserve* an abortion?

          Let me guess..if a woman chooses to have non-procreative sex, you don’t think she *deserves* to get an abortion.

        • KarlUdy

          What makes you think you know how I vote? I am sure you have never heard of any politician I’ve voted for, or know their stance on abortion

        • purr

          It’s a good guess, given how you seem to feel that people should be forced into traditional marriages.

        • KarlUdy

          I haven’t said anything about marriage in this thread? And it was a bad guess.

        • purr

          Your opposition to recreational sex and the belief that engaging in consensual sex ‘hurts’ women is proof enough of where you stand.

        • Niemand

          pretending that everyone who opposes abortion being as widely available as it is now is some sort of crazy extremist.

          Right. Just because you’re advocating rape, slavery, and murder is no reason for you to be labelled an extremist. Got it.

        • KarlUdy

          If this is how you frame anyone who disagrees with you, it’s pointless having a discussion with you. Goodbye.

        • purr

          Jeez. You guys sure do hate it when people point out your misogynistic views.

        • KarlUdy

          No. I’m just not a masochist. Niemand obviously wasn’t interested in a real discussion, only in misrepresenting what I said. And it appears you are the same. I hope one day you can have a real discussion about this with someone where you actually listen to what they have to say. Obviously, neither of you are ready for that now.

        • Niemand

          You’re advocating forcing women to have a foreign object in their genitalia against their will. Why should I call that anything but rape? You’re advocating forcing women to allow the use of their bodies against their will solely for the benefit of others. How is that anything other than slavery? You’re forcing women to stay in dangerous situations that may kill them and which you know will kill some of them. How is that not murder?

          You’re proudly advocating rape, murder, and slavery, but you get insulted when someone points that out. Perhaps you should reconsider your views.

    • Pattrsn

      For the Forced Pregnancy Movement probably a mixture of both. An embryo is a masterpiece, assembled in the body of a baby machine.

    • Kodie

      It wasn’t even a masterpiece. Why are you considering a child a masterpiece if it’s not even finished yet? Your story makes no sense at all. It doesn’t support your argument. The patron had every right to back out at that point, and I don’t feel sorry for the painter.

  • RandomFunction2

    To Bob the broken, yet somehow fabulous, atheist,
    You don’t appear to realize the difference between the making of a thing and the biological process of development.
    A fetus grows into a newborn naturally, spontaneously, as if knowing his/her goal in advance, with no conscious help from the mother.
    A thing is not made naturally. It is people who design it consciously. There is no natural process, no law of nature, in the universe leading to the making of a television set, or a book, or a car. The laws of nature are merely compatible with them, but they don’t tend to produce them.
    So it could be argued that a fetus is not in the same class of beings as a car in the making.
    Another problem is that the newborn is no more complete than the car in your story. But people consider a baby to have the full set of human rights.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      You don’t appear to realize the difference between the making of a thing and the biological process of development.

      Perhaps I’ll surprise you. I doubt you can show me a non-parallel feature of my story above that I don’t agree with.

      So it could be argued that a fetus is not in the same class of beings as a car in the making.

      Yep.

      Another problem is that the newborn is no more complete than the car in your story. But people consider a baby to have the full set of human rights.

      No, the problem (as raised by Richard) is that I show (1) one component complete and the rest not even started and (2) this happens on Day 2. To get the scale right, his idea of starting with a cotter pin would make more sense. But problem (1) would still remain.

      The main point is that an engine block is not a car in the same way that a single cell is not a baby.

    • purr

      A fetus grows into a newborn naturally, spontaneously, as if knowing
      his/her goal in advance, with no conscious help from the mother.

      It grows by feeding off another person’s body. Essentially leeching their body of nutrients. The fetus is literally constructed by taking nutrients from the woman’s body. Women often lose teeth and develop osteoperosis as a result of pregnancy because the fetus takes calcium from her bones.

      The building/car analogy is quite apt.

      The zygote is essentially a blueprint with instructions for the creation of an embryo/fetus. The zygote also contains instructions for the creation of the placenta and umbilical cord. The placenta and umbilicus = tools used in the construction of a fetus.

      The zygote can also split into twins, recombine…split into triplets…recombine…etc etc.

      Also, during the construction of the embryo/fetus, certain genes will be turned off, others on. Sometimes organs will simply fail to develop, or, for the case of this analogy, they will fail to be constructed. Brains will be absent, as in the case of anencephaly. If the pregnant woman happens to be extremely stressed during her pregnancy, those hormones will transfer to the fetus, and you will create an extremely anxious kid. And that kid, if it grows up to have babies of it’s own, will also create extremely anxious kids. But, if the woman isn’t stressed, she will create a non-anxious child.

      During the Dutch Hunger Famine of the 1940s, near the end of WWII, the Germans chose to punish the Dutch by taking all of the grain they had harvested. Hundreds of thousands of Dutch people starved. During that time, third trimester fetii that were exposed to starving mothers ‘learned’ (their bodies learned, as the fetii were not conscious) that life outside the womb was likely to be rough, and that food was likely to be scarce. So their bodies learned to become very very efficient in regards to how they store calories. All of those third trimester fetii are now adults, and they all suffer from obesity and diabetes. Fetii that were in the first and second trimesters at that period are neither obese nor diabetic.

      All of the above just goes to show you that the e/f really is something that is *under construction* while in the womb, and that it ain’t complete until it’s complete.

      Another problem is that the newborn is no more complete than the car in your story. But people consider a baby to have the full set of human
      rights.

      The newborn is actually as complete as the car in his story. I would compare the newborn to the car simply needing a wax job, some oil and some gas. But for all intents and purposes the newborn is complete. It has the arms, the legs, the brain, the fully developed lungs -everything it will need to survive on it’s own. The newborn doesn’t require a placenta and a umbilicus to take care of all it’s bodily functions. A newborn can eat, shit and breathe on it’s own. The newborn is still malleable, but, not in the same *fundamental* way that an e/f is malleable.

      • Pattrsn

        I love this line “with no conscious help from the mother. ” How ignorant of pregnancy can one person be.

        • purr

          She’s just a walking incubator, don’t you know?

        • purr

          Ignorance works for pro-lifers because they can pretend that pregnancy is all rainbows and unicorns and conveniently erase the woman and her health and feelings from the entire equation and make it all about the fetus. It also helps to pretend that a zygote is merely a much smaller infant.

    • Pattrsn

      “with no conscious help from the mother. ”

      I think this line encapsulates a lot of the forced pregnancy movement’s attitude towards women, mindless legged wombs.

    • Niemand

      A fetus grows into a newborn naturally, spontaneously, as if knowing
      his/her goal in advance, with no conscious help from the mother

      Also, with no conscious help from the fetus. Which is a good thing since the fetus isn’t capable of conscious thought. Nor does it know its “goal”, each gene simply does what it is programmed to do under the given circumstances. In fact, it goes wrong not infrequently. How do you feel about helping those fetuses that don’t “know his/her goal”? Just let the sick ones die?

    • Kodie

      Nature led to humans evolving and building television sets. A baby is a brand-new model. A fertilized egg has none of the features of a baby. You seem to think it just grows itself. It builds itself from instructions just like a tv is made in a factory. The only difference is one you made up.

  • purr

    Just putting this here, for those who are interested:

    http://fightforsense.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/manyargs/

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      And I thought I’d seen a lot of anti-abortion arguments. Thanks.

  • wladyslaw

    Bob,
    Your car story is another way to illustrate your abortion spectrum argument–a zygote is very different from a 24 week fetus and different from a 32 week fetus (or baby).

    Why do we in our society think it is VERY wrong for a woman to take illegal drugs, or even certain legal drugs, drink alcohol, and smoke cigarettes as SOON as a woman finds out she is pregnant with a fetus?

    Very wrong to hurt the fetus throughout the WHOLE pregnancy, the whole spectrum.

    But not very wrong or illegal to kill it in an abortion.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Your car story is another way to illustrate your abortion spectrum argument–a zygote is very different from a 24 week fetus and different from a 32 week fetus (or baby).

      Yes. Someone calling an engine block a “car”? Weird, huh?

      Why do we in our society think it is VERY wrong for a woman to take illegal drugs…

      But not very wrong or illegal to kill it in an abortion.

      Is that a serious question?

      Sometimes a thing is good in one context and bad in another. This will apparently be news to you, but learning that they are pregnant is very rarely a blah kind of thing for a girl/woman. That will either be incredibly good news or incredibly bad news.

      If she wants to have a baby, then she should take care of it. If she doesn’t, then she should consider an abortion.

      • wladyslaw

        Bob,

        OK, let’s assume the woman is happy to be pregnant.

        But why do we consider it wrong for her to hurt the fetus by smoking marihuana, for instance, in VERY early pregnancy, when drug use is most dangerous.

        She is not hurting a baby, right?

        Certainly it cannot be very wrong to kill a clump of cells–like a bacteria sort of.

        • wladyslaw

          I meant:
          Certainly it cannot be very wrong to hurt a clump of cells–like a bacteria sort of.

        • purr

          She is not hurting a baby, right?

          Because, it is going to be BORN. And if something is going to be BORN, you want it to be healthy when it is BORN.

          If you are going to abort, the health of the fetus does not matter because you are not creating a future person.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          In 2004 Texas passed a law that made it a felony for a pregnant woman to smoke marihuana, with a penalty of 2-20 years.
          So a Texas officer arrests a pregnant woman smoking marihuana. In court she says “Your honor, obviously you must let me go. I never wanted the child, and as a matter of fact, was going to get an abortion in two days.”
          Do you think she would win?

        • purr

          You asked the wrong person, however, to answer your question:

          http://norml.org/news/2004/06/17/texas-mother-sentenced-on-felony-drug-delivery-charges-for-smoking-pot-while-pregnant

          They generally file charges *after* the baby is born. They do drug tests AFTER it’s born.

          “Currently there are no states that holds prenatal substance abuse as a criminal act of child abuse and neglect. But many have expanded their civil child-welfare requirements to include substance abuse during pregnancy as grounds for terminating parental rights in relation to child abuse and neglect. The laws that adress prenatal substance abuse are as follows:

          Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota’s health care providers are required to test for and report prenatal drug exposure. Kentucky health care providers are only required to test.
          Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah, Rhode Island and Virginia’s, health care providers are required to report prenatal drug exposure. Reporting and testing can be evidence used in child welfare proceedings.
          Some states consider prenatal substance abuse as part of their child welfare laws. Therefore prenatal drug exposure can provide grounds for terminating parental rights because of child abuse or neglect. These states include: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
          Some states have policies that enforce admission to an inpatient treatment program for pregnant women who use drugs. These states include: Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
          In 2004, Texas made it a felony to smoke marijuana while pregnant, resulting in a prison sentence of 2-20 years.

        • wladyslaw

          Sorry, I meant to ask Bob.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          “It’s only a clump of cells” you say louder and louder to pro-lifers. Like bacteria. Not wrong at all to eliminate them.

          If it’s OK to kill a clump of cells–potential life, it must be OK to only hurt a clump of cells– potential life. It’s OK to kill bacteria, after all. It must be OK to hurt bacteria. Bacteria, after all, can’t become something more important, right?

          Your intention does not change the reality of those cells–they are EXACTLY the same cells in either case.

        • purr

          Again, you are responding to the wrong person.

          Let’s say you don’t want to build a car. But, someone drops an engine block off in your front yard. You can do whatever you want to that engine block, because it is NOT going to become a car.

          Understand?

        • wladyslaw

          Sorry, I meant to address Bob both times.

        • purr

          Bob’s gonna give a similar answer, sweetcheeks.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Same cells; different interpretations. No, one interpretation doesn’t fit all situations.

          You struggle to point out some difficulty or contradiction, but you really need to up your game.

        • Kodie

          I think you are a stupid fucking idiot who can’t read.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Because she’s doing something counter to her stated intention.

          (Just trying to see if there really is no dumb question?)

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,

          Look, but why is it wrong to hurt the clump of cells and not wrong to kill them? You asked me if I was serious. But you keep saying to pro-lifers with exasperation that in early pregnancy it’s nothing more than a clump of cells. Like bacteria. Obviously you meant you could treat them like you do bacteria.

          It’s OK to kill bacteria, but not hurt them?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          More dumb questions, I’m afraid.

          Look, but why is it wrong to hurt the clump of cells and not wrong to kill them?

          Why is it reasonable for me to diet when there are starving people in the world? Why is it reasonable to lay outside in a bathing suit in Hawaii but not in Greenland?

          Context, my friend. It makes a difference.

          It’s OK to kill bacteria, but not hurt them?

          Because you said that the woman is happy to be pregnant.

          One of us is being stupid here.

        • purr

          One of us is being stupid here.

          Before I started to put any thought into the whole abortion debate, I asked the same question that wladyslaw is asking.

          I think that, if you really don’t *think* about it, the stupidity of the question will not be immediately obvious;)

        • wladyslaw

          And Bob,
          Pro-choice people say what counts in the INTENTION of the woman–does she intend and want the child, or does she not intend and want the child–that is most important.

          Right?
          Well, a woman can want and intend a child all she wants, or she can not want and intend a child intensely.

          Guess what–once pregnant, their INTENTIONS change absolutely nothing.

          The clumps of cells keep growing merrily along, on their way to birth.

          It doesn’t matter what she THINKS or INTENDS. Nothing changes.

          It only changes when somebody kills those cells.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Is there one objective, absolute, characterization of those cells? We’ve already been over this. To the person who counts (the woman), the cells are either “Something fantastic!” or “Something terrible!”

          See the difference? One size fits all is a ridiculous attitude to come into this conversation with.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          Yes, absolutely. One objective, absolute characterization of that clump of cells would be that if left alone, barring disease, or accident, or genetic defect, they would ALWAYS multiply and grow according to a predetermined pattern that resulted in the birth of a child. Not always healthy, but still a child. Scientifically true. Check with a biologist.

          Woman know that very well and know that killing that clump of cells will shurely stop that inexeroble process. Also objectively, scientifically, absolutely true.

          AND guess what? Those cells are absolutely the SAME cells, merrily on their way to becoming a person, no matter what a person FEELS about them. No matter how much they feel it’s “something fantastic!” or “something terrible! it does not change the REALITY of those cells. You could examine those cells and see that their feelings don’t change a single thing.

          Killing them does change them, Science.

        • purr

          Those cells are absolutely the SAME cells, merrily on their way to becoming a person, no matter what a person FEELS about them

          No, they are not the ‘same cells’ pumpkin. I suggest you pay special attention to the bolded parts.

          Here is some science:

          You and I contain much, much more information, both
          genetic and otherwise, than a blastocyst. That’s why I can write this column and you can read it, whereas a blastocyst just.. .sits there. Indeed, that is the exactly the point of stem cell research: the stem cells in the blastocyst have not yet acquired the molecular programming required for differentiation, and so they remain pluripotent, awaiting the necessary molecular signals (the information) that will tell them whether to become nerve or muscle, skin or bone.

          Yes, once upon a time we were blastocysts, too. Nothing more than a little clump of cells, each of them a snippet of DNA surrounded by cytoplasm. But that DNA was later transcribed into RNA, and that RNA was translated into proteins. And some of those proteins were transcription factors that told other cells in the blastocyst what to do, when to divide, where to migrate. Transcription factors regulated the expression of still other transcription factors. Genes were turned on and off with clockwork precision. Some genes were methylated, so they could never be turned on again.

          In other words, the genome and the proteome of the blastocyst were changed as the embryo accumulated molecular information that the blastocyst did not have.

          The embryo became a fetus, with complex orientations of
          tissues–loaded with spatial, genetic, biochemical and mechanical information that simply did not exist in the embryo.

          The fetus became a child with a nervous system, and that nervous system sucked up information about the world, hard-wiring pathways for vision and movement, learning to make subtle distinctions between this and that, accumulating information that simply did not exist in the
          fetus.

          In other words, the blastocyst launched a genetic program that both extracted and acquired information. It didn’t start out as a human being. It became a human being, with a personality, feelings, attitudes and memories, by accumulating information that was not there before.

          Equating a blastocyst with a human being is like equating a brand new copy of an inexpensive spreadsheet program with the priceless databases that you’ll eventually build up with that program. It’s no less ridiculous than saying that a blueprint has the same value as a skyscraper–that it is the skycraper.

          No. They are not the same.”

          John Sullivan md phd

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Good point. When I talk about the spectrum, I note that the fact that the newborn has a trillion cells is just the beginning of the difference between it and the single cell it started out as. The newborn isn’t just a Petri dish of a trillion totipotent cells, but those cells are specialized and interconnected in a marvelously complicated way.

        • purr

          Yep.

          The pluripotent stem cells might be the sheet metal, the paint, or even the raw silica used to make glass in your analogy.

        • wladyslaw

          I don’t understand why you continue to respond to my comments.

        • purr

          Because you’re wrong.

          And besides, there are people reading other than you :)

          I will continue to respond to your comments and point out the error in your thinking.

          Have a good day.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, absolutely. One objective, absolute characterization of that clump of cells would be that if left alone, barring disease, or accident, or genetic defect, they would ALWAYS multiply and grow according to a predetermined pattern that resulted in the birth of a child.

          Wrong. God, the Ultimate Abortionist® kills half of all conceptions. Clearly, this doesn’t bother the Big Man. Why should it bother you?

          You just gonna ignore my point about context? That taking a certain action might be wise in one context but not in another?

          Wlad, I don’t know if you’re bringing your A game or if you’re just winging it here, but I wish you’d think about this stuff more thoroughly before you post. Silly comments make you look silly and annoy the rest of us.

        • purr

          I will point out that:

          1) these cells are not simply ‘left alone’. If they were ‘left alone’ they wouldn’t grow. They are constructed by taking nutrients and various minerals and sugars from the woman’s body. The embryo suppresses the woman’s immune system in order to do this, and to extract the majority of the sugar from her blood before she can use it for her own energy needs.

          2) the ‘barring disease accient or genetic defect’ thing is bullshit because there is NO GUARANTEE, as I outlined below, that the fetus will even grow all of the necessary organs. It ain’t complete until it’s complete.

          Silly comments make you look silly and annoy the rest of us.

          This is why he is no longer responding to Kodie and I. We were big meanies for pointing this out.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob.
          By genetic defect I meant spontaneos abortions that we do not know the reason of. Those cells, barring the conditions I mentioned, will ALWAYS grow to a child.

          My absolute characterization of those clumps of cells still stands.

          You may not believe that truth about the clump of cells. But guess what.

          Women certainly do.

          Women would NEVER have an abortion if they did NOT believe the science–that if that clump of cells is not killed, that clump of cells will inexorably lead to a child that they do not want. Their feelings won’t stop the growth of a child. They know the science.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Those cells, barring the conditions I
          mentioned, will ALWAYS grow to a child.

          So: those cells that will always grow into a child, will
          always grow into a child.

          That’s a tautology, but OK. Thanks for that. I’m not sure how that informs the conversation, but whatever.

        • purr

          y genetic defect I meant spontaneos abortions that we do not know the
          reason of. Those cells, barring the conditions I mentioned, will ALWAYS
          grow to a child.

          You don’t know that they will grow into a child until they do.

          And I have already shown you the science.

          You are WRONG.

        • Niemand

          By genetic defect I meant spontaneos abortions that we do not know the reason of

          If we don’t know the reason for the abortion, then we don’t know that there was any genetic defect at all. It could quite easily have been an acquired issue: teratogenic exposure, maternal viral exposure, autoimmune phenomena, and many, many other issues. Biology is messy and it does not all come down to genes.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Biology
          is messy and it does not all come down to genes.

          It’s almost like there’s no benevolent supernatural designer after all …

        • Niemand

          I occasionally like to claim that looking at biology there’s no way to justify a designer because no one in their right mind would make something this messy and prone to breaking with the slightest provocation on purpose. Then I think…Microsoft.

        • Niemand

          (I bring the Microsoft example up when I’m in the mood to get myself into trouble with believers and atheists simultaneously. In fact, it’s a false equivalence: Microsoft products show clear evidence of design, if sometimes faulty design whereas biology shows every evidence of no design…except, of course, when it is designed, i.e. domesticated animals.)

        • wladyslaw

          “You just gonna ignore my point about context? That taking a certain action might be wise in one context but not in another?

          Does context ALWAYS matter?

          Sometimes context matters, and what you say is true, that something could be wise in one case and not in another.

          Sometimes it does NOT matter.

          No context justifies rape. If you know of one, please let me know.

          BEFORE you get into rape-abortion context comparisons, we first need to establish if context ALWAYS matters.

          So, if you have one, please let me know what context would justify rape.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Does context ALWAYS matter?

          ?? It does in the situation at hand. We could puzzle about
          some esoteric situation that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about, but why? This conversation is already far too random.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          “It (context) does (matter) in the situation at hand.”

          I have heard you say–fine, abortion may be wrong for you, but don’t force your values on me. Moral relativism–context always matters in important moral decisions–it depends on the situation, not for all, not for all situations.

          In absolute moral values–context never matters. Always, in every situation, doesn’t depend on anything..

          Even though you speak the moral relativist language-wrong for you but not necesarily wrong for me–I don’t think you realy live it.

          I believe, and I think you do also, that today rape is always and everywhere, for all men and women, wrong. Wrong for you personally. But also wrong for me. Wrong for the Moslem whose Qoran says that in some cases it’s not rape (like in marriage). I believe you think it is wrong in every situation–no context justifies it. “Personally believe otherwise” does not count!

          You could possibly come up with an esoteric context justification for rape, but in the real world, you believe it is always wrong.

          In other words, the Moslem could say to you “Rape in marriage is wrong for thee, but not me. Rape is impossible in marriage. And that goes for me and a whole lot of my 1.6 million fellow Moslems.”

          I don’t think you would say–“you know, you’r right, I can’t force my values on you. It’s perfectly OK for you to disagree with me on this issue. I won’t rape in marriage, but you can.

          You can’t have it both ways.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          in the real world, you believe it is always wrong.

          Correct. That’s not absolute moral values.

          You can’t have it both ways.

          You seem to imagine a contradiction here. Show me.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          “in the real world, you believe it (rape) is always wrong.
          Correct. That’s not absolute moral values.”

          You believe it is always wrong, regardless of any circumstances.

          Wikipedia (not the most reliable source) says:
          Moral absolutism is an ethical
          view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of
          other circumstances such as their consequences or the intentions behind
          them.

          You believe that rape is “absolutely right or wrong, regardless of
          other circumstances such as their consequences or the intentions behind
          them.”
          But you believe it is not a moral absolute?

          A contradiction, No?

        • wladyslaw

          My above comment should have read–“Absolutely wrong.”

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You believe it is always wrong, regardless of any circumstances.

          Correct. And I’m humble enough to realize that that’s just my position. I’m not looking into God’s Big Book of Moral Truths. I don’t claim to tap into the wisdom of the universe.

          Moral absolutism is an ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong…

          Guess which word in the definition above I don’t share.

          You believe that rape is “absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other circumstances such as their consequences or the intentions behind them.”

          Wrong. False. Fail. I think we’ve been over this before.

          You really need to listen to me. It turns out that I’m the best authority about what I believe. I tell you what I believe, and you just take it.

        • wladyslaw

          Clue me in. I honestly don’t know.

          What is the actual difference between”

          “I believe rape is always wrong, regardless of any circumstances.”

          “I believe it is absolutely wrong, regardless of any circumstances.”

          And show me how does this difference matter in your consideration of rape.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Clue me in. I honestly don’t know.

          Absolute grounding is a claim for something external to me. A claim that needs evidence. A claim that I don’t make.

          What I claim is my own opinion, my own position. That’s it. It ain’t much, but it’s all I’ve got.

          “I believe rape is always wrong.” That’s what I say, and that’s all that I can say. What sort of absolute or objective or transcendental grounding could I point to? Probably the same that you’ve pointed to, which is nothing.

        • wladyslaw

          No, we believe that humans have an INHERINT human dignity that would be absolutely violated by rape.

          Should I believe rape is wrong because you think so, or because rape is “inherintly wrong” as you said in an other comment.

          And why did you say “inherintly” wrong?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The issue is: is morality grounded outside of humans or not?

          Wm. Lane Craig defined objective morality as: “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not.” I see no evidence for this. What about you?

        • wladyslaw

          I avoided saying I believe that the killing of an embryo and the killing of an infant were both equally horrible murder. After many prompts from you, I answered and said . I said it.

          You said rape is in herintly wrong.

          Why?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ve already explained my position on absolute moral values (and not) many times. I’m sure that there’s nothing more I can say.

        • Kodie

          It’s probably ok to rape a goat.

        • Niemand

          Wrong for the Moslem whose Qoran says that in some cases it’s not rape (like in marriage)

          Wrong for the Christian whose Bible says that in some cases (like in forced marriage or slavery) it’s not rape?

        • Niemand

          rape is always and everywhere,

          So why are you advocating legalizing rape? If you prohibit abortion then you are attempting to force women to keep an unwanted object in her genitalia. That’s rape, whether you want to pretend otherwise or not.

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand,
          Try that argument on someboedy else.

        • purr

          What is wrong with that argument?

          Birth involves penetration, without the woman’s consent. Often very very painful penetration. The kind that can rip a woman’s vagina apart, and cause her pelvic floor to collapse.

        • Niemand

          Why? Just because you can’t come up with any good counterargument? The technical term for what you’re doing is “denial”. But closing your eyes to the reality won’t make it go away.

        • purr

          If the human race was on the verge of extinction, does wladyslaw think it would be acceptable to rape women and force them to create more humans?

        • wladyslaw

          Jejune,
          I take you seriously. I think some of your comments are very good, well thought out, and even researched– and some are pretty weak.

          Why do you keep commenting on my comments, and even on some comments addressed to Bob (“Bob would answer you the same way as me”)? You spend a lot of time writing long complicated answers, do research, paste your findings–on comments to me. Why waste serious your time on someone you do not consider serious?

          I read your comments anyway, and would love to respond to them. They’re good. But would you respond to me if I said I did not take you seriously and called you cupcake? I don’t think you would bother.

        • purr

          Why waste serious your time on someone you do not consider serious?

          Because, I can still point out faulty logic and bad reasoning. And the comment that your arguments are ‘silly’ is just that. That’s what Bob said, too. Gonna ignore Bob too?

        • wladyslaw

          Bob can certainly believe that some of my arguments are silly. I believe some of his arguments are silly. He points out if he thinks they are silly. I chose not to point that out to him or to you or any other commenter.

          Looking back, I believe that some of my comments are silly. Yet Bob pretty much tries to answer respectfully. Probably with a sigh.
          Bob may, or may not, appreciate that often my comments generate a lot of comments and visits to his posts, more than usual, as silly as those comments sometimes are.

        • purr

          I apologize earlier for saying that I didn’t take you seriously.

          However, it is within my rights to consider your arguments to be silly, and to point that out 😉

          And do keep one thing in mind – if you do get negative pushback, it is from non-males who are *offended* by your views. People tend to get angry when they are told that their moral values lies between their legs. That their only worth on this earth is as a walking incubator for a precious microscopic zygote. That they are LESS THAN a zygote.

          Imaging having a debate as to whether or not slavery is all that bad? Hmm, we should reopen the slavery debate. Perhaps slaves aren’t real people after all…

          When you talk about restricting abortion, you are talking about enslaving women to their biological functions. Turning them into gestational slaves. And people are, rightly I think, offended by that.

        • wladyslaw

          Thanks Jejune.
          I replied to one of your comments above.

        • Ron

          No context justifies rape

          Not according to the Bible:

          Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.” Num. 31:17-18

          If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.” Deut. 25:5

          Yahweh not only condones rape, he commands it.

        • purr

          Hey, we both got thumbs down by apparent Christians who don’t like the fact that there is rape in the bible?

          /facepalm

        • Ron

          Strange, isn’t it? I guess they don’t like their Middle Eastern tribal god’s moral edicts as much as they profess.

        • wladyslaw

          Ron,

          I was asking if there was any context that Bob (or YOU or anyone else alive right now) could produce that would ever justify rape for you or anyone else alive right now.

          Do YOU right now believe that a context exists that could justifies rape for you, or for any other human being alive.

          I’m not asking if the Bible thousands of years ago, or a Moslem today justifies it in some circumstances.

          Can YOU NOW say “rape is OK in the following context?”
          And show me the context.

          Or do you believe it is always wrong in all circumstances.?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I was asking if there was any context that
          Bob (or YOU or anyone else alive right now) could produce that would ever justify rape for you or anyone else alive right now.

          OK, I think you misspoke here. I think what you meant to say to Ron was, “Wow. You got me there. I said that no context justified rape, and you showed me a rather embarrassing pro-rape passage in my own Bible. My bad.”

          You forgot to wrap that up and instead tried to sweep that
          under the rug and hope we didn’t notice.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          I did NOT ask you if the Bible justifies rape, or a Moslem, or a psychopath.
          You, and Ron, and Jejune, pointed to the Bible.
          Gotcha! Right?

          Well, maybe my question was not clear enough.

          I did NOT ask if any one ever in history came up with a context for ever justifying rape. It’s in the old testament, a lot of Moslems, and psychopaths, college kids–she was drunk, etc.

          I said that I believe that you, Bob, TODAY, (and I think Ron and Jejune too–I’m not sure about them)–would say that rape is never justified under any circumstances. You and they could possibly eke out an esoteric and incredibly implausible context, but in the real world, no context

          I think YOU believe that it is always wrong, not just personally for you, but also for me, the Moslem, the psychopath, and the college kid. No context, no exceptions.

          No wrong for me and not thee– No “don’t force your morality on me.” Wrong for me and thee. Always.

          An absolute moral standard, no?

        • purr

          If an evil person has threatened to destroy the world, and the only way to save the world is to rape a stadium full of people, would the rapes be justified if it is in service of a greater good?

        • wladyslaw

          Jejune,

          Absolutely not.

          Evil is NEVER justified in the service of a greater good. The most atrocious deeds possible have been done for that reason. We can’t torture a suspected terrorist to save innocent lives.

        • purr

          So you’re saying that it is wrong to enslave people, even if it will save lives?

        • wladyslaw

          Jejune,
          It is never permissable to do an evil thing for a good intention.

          The greatest evils in the 20 centuries were not possible because people liked evil. The greatest evil was possible because evil things were permitted for good intentions.

        • Kodie

          It is never permissable to do an evil thing for a good intention.

          The greatest evils in the 20 centuries were not possible because
          people liked evil. The greatest evil was possible because evil things
          were permitted for good intentions.

          Then explain your god is good and most of the bible.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I did NOT ask you if the Bible justifies rape, or a Moslem, or a psychopath.

          You, and Ron, and Jejune, pointed to the Bible.

          Gotcha! Right?

          Right! And your response is … ?

          I did NOT ask if any one ever in history came up with a context for ever justifying rape.

          The Old Testament claims of a justifiable context for rape is ridiculous. You don’t accept it, do you?

          Or are you saying that morals are relative?

          I said that I believe that you, Bob, TODAY … would say that rape is never justified under any circumstances.

          Yes, I would. That’s my opinion, not absolute moral truth.

          An absolute moral standard, no?

          No! You haven’t heard my summary of objective (or not) morality often enough? Look it up on this blog for many posts on that topic.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          I don’t know how to find your views on this topic on this blog.

          “I said that I believe that you, Bob, TODAY … would say that rape is never justified under any circumstances.

          Yes, I would. That’s my opinion, not absolute moral truth.”

          I don’ think that in confronting any rapist –Moslem, college kid, psychopath–you would say–“my opinion is that what you are doing is wrong, l and please stop. It IS my opinion.

          Rapist–I am entitled to my opinion, right?

          Rapist–Your opinion is not binding on me–my opinion is that what I am doing is OK, and your opinion doesn’t bind me in any way.

          You Bob–My opinion is that it IS binding on me and you and everybody.

          Rapist–just an opinion.

          Rapis

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          (You can click on Edit to correct any errors in a comment, by the way.)

          I don’t know how to find your views on this topic on this blog.

          Scroll to the top of any page. The Search button is along the right side.

          Rapist–I am entitled to my opinion, right?

          “Sure. And I’m entitled to mine.” And then I’d intervene.

          Rapist–Your opinion is not binding on me

          “No, you’re not bound to accept my opinion as your own. Seems like an odd point to make, since it’s irrelevant. I still disagree with your opinion, and I’ll still intervene.”

          (We’ve already had this discussion many times, have we not? You don’t have a medical issue that prevents the forming of new memories, do you?)

          And you just gonna let that whole rape-is-commanded-in-the-Bible thing just hang there? It’s making you look bad. You need to respond to it.

        • purr

          Do you believe that rape is justifiable if the human population were to drop to very low levels, thanks to say, an asteroid impact.

          And humans desperately needed more babies. Would it be acceptable to rape every female when she reaches puberty?

        • wladyslaw

          Jejune,

          I thought I made it perfectly clear. Rape is never justified.

          Even if the human population were to drop to very low levels. It used to be very low once, remember?

        • purr

          Why don’t you think rape is ever justified?

          What if it’s to save a life?

          What if the ONLY way to prevent a woman from killing the embryo inside her is to rape her?

        • wladyslaw

          Jejune,
          It is NEVER permitted to do an evil deed for a good intention.

          NEVER.
          No matter how many lives you may save, torture of a terrorist is never justified.

        • purr

          By that logic, a fetus should not be permitted to use a woman’s body against her will.

          The side effects of pregnancy are not pleasant. In many ways, its worse than rape. Putting a person through the below qualifies as torture:

          Normal, frequent
          or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:

          exhaustion (weariness
          common from first weeks)

          altered appetite
          and senses of taste and smell

          nausea and vomiting
          (50% of women, first trimester)

          heartburn and indigestion

          constipation

          weight gain

          dizziness and light-headedness

          bloating, swelling,
          fluid retention

          hemmorhoids

          abdominal cramps

          yeast infections

          congested, bloody
          nose

          acne and mild skin
          disorders

          skin discoloration
          (chloasma, face and abdomen)

          mild to severe backache
          and strain

          increased headaches

          difficulty sleeping,
          and discomfort while sleeping

          increased urination
          and incontinence

          bleeding gums

          pica

          breast pain and
          discharge

          swelling of joints,
          leg cramps, joint pain

          difficulty sitting,
          standing in later pregnancy

          inability to take
          regular medications

          shortness of breath

          higher blood pressure

          hair loss

          tendency to anemia

          curtailment of ability
          to participate in some sports and activities

          infection
          including from serious and potentially fatal disease

          (pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with
          non-pregnant women, and
          are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)

          extreme pain on
          delivery

          hormonal mood changes,
          including normal post-partum depression

          continued post-partum
          exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section
          — major surgery — is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to
          fully recover)

          Normal, expectable,
          or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:

          stretch marks (worse
          in younger women)

          loose skin

          permanent weight
          gain or redistribution

          abdominal and vaginal
          muscle weakness

          pelvic floor disorder
          (occurring in as many as 35% of middle-aged former child-bearers
          and 50% of elderly former child-bearers, associated with urinary and rectal
          incontinence, discomfort and reduced quality of life — aka prolapsed utuerus,
          the malady sometimes badly fixed by the transvaginal mesh)

          changes to breasts

          varicose veins

          scarring from episiotomy
          or c-section

          other permanent
          aesthetic changes to the body (all of these are downplayed
          by women, because the culture values youth and beauty)

          increased proclivity
          for hemmorhoids

          loss of dental and
          bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

          higher lifetime risk of developing Altzheimer’s

          newer research indicates
          microchimeric cells, other bi-directional exchanges of DNA, chromosomes, and other bodily material between fetus and
          mother (including with “unrelated” gestational surrogates)

          Occasional complications
          and side effects:

          complications of episiotomy

          spousal/partner
          abuse

          hyperemesis gravidarum

          temporary and permanent
          injury to back

          severe
          scarring
          requiring later surgery
          (especially after additional pregnancies)

          dropped (prolapsed)
          uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other
          pelvic floor weaknesses — 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele,
          and enterocele)

          pre-eclampsia
          (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated
          with eclampsia, and affecting 7 – 10% of pregnancies)

          eclampsia (convulsions,
          coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)

          gestational diabetes

          placenta previa

          anemia (which
          can be life-threatening)

          thrombocytopenic
          purpura

          severe cramping

          embolism
          (blood clots)

          medical disability
          requiring full bed rest (frequently ordered during part of
          many pregnancies varying from days to months for health of either mother
          or baby)

          diastasis recti,
          also torn abdominal muscles

          mitral valve stenosis
          (most common cardiac complication)

          serious infection
          and disease (e.g. increased risk of tuberculosis)

          hormonal imbalance

          ectopic pregnancy
          (risk of death)

          broken bones (ribcage,
          “tail bone”)

          hemorrhage
          and

          numerous other complications
          of delivery

          refractory gastroesophageal
          reflux disease

          aggravation of pre-pregnancy
          diseases and conditions (e.g. epilepsy is present in .5%
          of pregnant women, and the pregnancy alters drug metabolism and treatment
          prospects all the while it increases the number and frequency of seizures)

          severe post-partum
          depression and psychosis

          research now indicates
          a possible link between ovarian cancer and female fertility treatments,
          including “egg harvesting” from infertile women and donors

          research also now
          indicates correlations between lower breast cancer survival rates and proximity
          in time to onset of cancer of last pregnancy

          research also indicates
          a correlation between having six or more pregnancies and a risk of coronary
          and cardiovascular disease

          Less common (but
          serious) complications:

          peripartum cardiomyopathy

          cardiopulmonary
          arrest

          magnesium toxicity

          severe hypoxemia/acidosis

          massive embolism

          increased intracranial
          pressure, brainstem infarction

          molar pregnancy,
          gestational trophoblastic disease
          (like a pregnancy-induced
          cancer)

          malignant arrhythmia

          circulatory collapse

          placental abruption

          obstetric fistula

          More
          permanent side effects:

          future infertility

          permanent disability

          death.

        • wladyslaw

          Women
          Stop having babies! Entirely too dangerous!
          I know, it’s sarcastic, but I couldn’t help myself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Never? The example that always comes from Christian apologists is you lying to the Nazis about the Jews you have hidden in your attic. They’d disagree with you (assuming lying is evil).

        • Ron

          With all due respect, you asked Bob:

          “So, if you have one, please let me know what context would justify rape.”

          I provided you with two instances where such context is given in the Bible — a book which over a billion people on this planet claim to follow.

        • Niemand

          In his defense, neither example was a situation where I would consider rape justified. But then again I don’t even claim to follow the Bible.

        • wladyslaw

          Ron,
          I explained in a long subsequent comment that I knew what the Old Testament said, I knew what a lot of Moslems believe, I knew what some psychopaths believe, I know what some drunk or not so drunk college kids say.
          Bob, said that he personally believed that rape is always wrong in all circumstances, and I wondered if he could think of any possible context that would justify rape for HIM, because it seemed that context for him could possible change the nature of a mora act.

          He allowed that esoterically, it was possible, but in the real world, no context could make it moral for him.

        • purr

          When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will
          not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.
          (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

          Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2
          NAB)

          (Deuteronomy
          20:10-14)
          As you approach a town to attack it, first offer
          its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the
          LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

          (Numbers 31:7-18 NLT)
          They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded
          Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived. After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

          Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD’s people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.

          (Judges 21:10-24 NLT)
          So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.” Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

          The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives. But there were not enough women for all of them. The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel. So the Israelite leaders asked, “How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead? There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever. But we cannot give them our own
          daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God’s curse.”

          Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD
          held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem. They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, “Go and hide in the vineyards. When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife! And when their fathers and brothers come to us in
          protest, we will tell them, ‘Please be understanding. Let them have your daughters, for we didn’t find enough wives for them when we destroyed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.'” So the men of Benjamin did as they were told. They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried
          them off to the land of their own inheritance. Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them. So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.

          —————

          Your precious Yahweh loved him some rape and pillage. Forced pregnancy was part of that.

        • TurelieTelcontar

          One objective, absolute characterization of that clump of cells would be
          that if left alone, barring disease, or accident, or genetic defect,
          they would ALWAYS multiply and grow according to a predetermined pattern
          that resulted in the birth of a child.

          Additionally to Bob’s point, you are wrong in another way. Left alone, it will do nothing. Because it actually needs to take te sustaenance out of the mother’s body. The pill to abort doesn’t kill the cells that “ALWAYS multiply and grow […] resulting in the birth of a child”. The pill makes sure the cells are out of the woman’s body, and can’t get her body to give up the nutrients to it. And, oh miracle, it doesn’t result in a child.

        • purr

          yeah to be more precise, most early abortions remove the embryo WHOLE

          so, it is simply separated from the woman’s body and ‘left alone’

        • wladyslaw

          By left alone, I meant with no conscious intervention of the mother (or abortionist or angry male, etc.)

        • purr

          Immaterial.

          It isn’t ‘left alone’

          And without ‘conscious intervention’ of the mother, the woman is likely to become maimed/die and lose bone density and develop other health problems due to lack of proper nutrition, amongst other things.

          If a woman starves herself during pregnancy, and the fetus dies as a result, would you consider that to be murder?

        • Kodie

          It’s not left alone if it’s left inside of someone, you dolt.

        • Niemand

          One objective, absolute characterization of that clump of cells would be
          that if left alone, barring disease, or accident, or genetic defect,
          they would ALWAYS multiply and grow according to a predetermined pattern
          that resulted in the birth of a child.

          In that case, why aren’t the freezers of IVF clinics full of babies and children? They’re being left alone and presumably at least some are free of disease and genetic defects.

        • wladyslaw

          Freezers of IVF clinics ARE full of human life.

          Humans intervened to hold that human life in suspended animation. They are still alive, not dead. If they were dead they could never be used for an infertile woman to bear a child.

        • purr

          Only a tiny minority of IVF embryos are donated to other infertile couples.

          The majority of IVF embryos die of freezer burn, are incinerated, or used for stem cell research.

          And if they don’t die of freezer burn right away, the freezing process does harm them.

          You believe that embryos = infants.

          Would you put an infant in a freezer? That would be CHILD ABUSE.

        • wladyslaw

          Jejune,
          I couldn’t resist.
          Of course freezing an infant is child abuse.

          As a Catholic I and the Church believe that IFV is absolutely wrong, and obviously the freezing of embryos.

        • Niemand

          So you’re against giving children born from IVF a chance to live? Only children who you find convenient have a right to life?

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand

          No, if a baby is born from IFV, of course I wouldn’t kill it.
          As a Catholic I believe IFV is very wrong and would work for legislation to make it illegal.

        • Niemand

          So you’d just regret that the child ever existed. And work to make sure that no other such children ever exist. Because you’re only in favor of SOME children existing.

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand,
          I would bless any child that was born, even through immoral means–premarital sex, adultery, rape, IVF.

          But I think the ABSOLUTE best possible way, and only moral way, for a child to be conceived is through the voluntary sexual union of a man and woman committed to each other and to their children for life.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re against IVF as well? Is that just because the Catholic church told you, or is there some other reason?

          I’d have thought that you’d see IVF as a precious gift of life. (But maybe that’s just unwanted pregnancies I’m thinking of.)

        • wladyslaw

          We believe that the best way of bringing children into the world is between the sexual union of a man and a woman committed to each other and to their children for life.

          I read yesterday how a person born that way was desperately wanting to know his father. Unfortunately, all they could tell him was–his name is donor.

          A sperm donor fathers 35children, maybe many more in the future–they don’t know him, he bears no responsibility.

          People are traveling to India to pay women to carry their embryos. Children becoming commodities, women being abused. Prospecting parents abandoning the pregnant women, or changing their mind and demanding an abortion.

          And I read today: IVF babies 90% more likely to develop a form of brain cancer.

          http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/projects/human/epfaq/ep.html

        • purr

          Adoption mills also treat children like commodities. Yet the pro-life mantra…just have the baby and give it up for adoption.

        • Kodie

          Catholics are all about adoption. Adoption is to bless parents with babies, not the other way around. If they can’t have natural children, they will oppose birth control, abortion, (and IVF) just so people will inevitably get pregnant and have no other solution to their dilemma. They are in favor of artificial means of procuring a child, no matter what they say. NFP is artificial, even if it has “Natural” in the name. It’s unnatural to time out when you plan to have sex with your spouse, using thermometers and all, plotting it on a calendar grid, and avoiding having sex when you’re most likely to want to. Marriage is also artificial. Humans made it up as a way to tell people when it’s ok to have sex and when it’s soiling your virtue. Virtue is also artificial. Religion is also artificial.

          I don’t know what else to say. Adopting a baby is for parents to feel whole, not to selflessly give this homeless infant a place to stay. They are not helping a woman figure out what to do. Putting your name on a list and coordinating with “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” who shame women out of keeping their own babies, after drawing them in with false promises. False means artificial. And to go back to wladyslaw’s claim that it’s never ok to do a bad thing for good intentions, then why is it ok for Christians to lie about what happens in an abortion to keep them from happening?

          It’s because it’s a front for the adoption brokerages.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I know a Christian couple who, with difficulty, got pregnant through IVF. I saw her on Wednesday. She’s probably in her third trimester now.

          You gonna piss on that parade as well?

        • wladyslaw

          The child is here, and I would bless it and pray that the parents be the best possible parents.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “… though, in my opinion, this is an outrageous slap in God’s face, and, if I were boss, this kind of thing would be illegal.”

          Is that right?

        • wladyslaw

          If I were boss– I would make it illegal, just how I would outlaw abortion.

          I read today that someone either got or applied for an application for inheritable traits analizer–color of eyes, etc.
          He said to alarmed people “Don’t worry, it won’t be used for designer babies.”

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wlad: Can you stay on topic? You bring up worrisome issues from all over the map. For some of them, yes, I agree that they’re a problem. So what? How does this bring us any closer to agreement on the morality of abortion?

        • wladyslaw

          I did not bring up the issue of IFV.
          No one anticipated the problems with legalizing IVF, or Roe v Wade, (or inheritable traits analyzer)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The problems with IVF? Hmm … infertile couples (about 10% of married couples have some sort of fertility problem, if I recall correctly) are now getting the gift of life. And you’re not happy about it.

          Wow–you’re a tough guy to please. Maybe you’re not worth pleasing.

        • tyler

          my cousin-in-law has been trying to get pregnant for something like half a decade now via IVF. it costs her and my cousin like ~$5,000 per attempt, and they’ve now made three attempts, each one unsuccessful. and they are still trying.

          i’m really not sure why people want to deny a loving couple like that the joys of pregnancy and childbirth. mostly i just have to assume such deniers are probably evil.

        • Niemand

          I presume then you’re also against adoption. Quite a lot of adopted children are anxious to know something about their birth parents only to be told that their names are anonymous and anonymous.

          As for brain cancer and IVF, Pubmed is not supportive of the correlation. The only peer reviewed source I could find on the subject was a case report of a single child who had developed brain cancer after being conceived by IVF. In other words, exactly the same level of evidence as caused the cell phone/brain cancer hysteria.

        • Niemand

          Why? Rape is an obvious evil, but why is sex better than IVF? For that matter, why a man and a woman? Studies have shown that children raised by gay or lesbian couples do as well or better in every measurable way than children raised by straight couples, so why call that way “second best”?

        • purr

          Should those who pay for IVF and their doctors be charged with child abuse?

        • wladyslaw

          Some moral laws could never be made law, punishable in the criminal court. I believe that pre-marital sex is wrong. I believe adultery is wrong. I believe acting out homosexually is wrong. All seriously wrong. But all impossible to legislate and enforce. And I would not obviously criminilze them.

        • purr

          Should someone who abuses their newborn, by sticking it in a freezer (just to torture it) be punished for child abuse? Or should we just wag our finger and say ‘that isn’t right, it’s morally wrong.’

        • wladyslaw

          Some morally wrong things and legally unenforceable–adultery,premarital sex, privately drinking to excess.

          Some things are morally wrong and enforceable–child abuse, torture, kidnapping, etc.

        • purr

          So? Just because something is legally unenforceable doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be illegal.

          Certain classes of drug are currently legally unenforceable. Because they haven’t yet been classified as dangerous substances. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be illegal.

          And parents who homeschool their children are able to abuse them – behind closed doors. Often, no one will know that the child is being abused – not unless the child escapes. Yet that is illegal, why? It is behind closed doors, so it can’t be enforced :)

          I am sure that pregnancy abuse *could* be legally enforceable. At least, the state could *try* to prevent embryo abuse.

          In Romania, in the 1960s, Romanian dictator Nicolas Ceaucescu introduced Decree 770, which forced all fertile women to have at least 4 children in their lifetime. Women had to go for monthly pregnancy checkups. There was a pregnancy police force.

          It should be easy enough, if you really do value embryos as much as babies, to create a pregnancy police force, and test all fertile women for pregnancy on a regular basis. And test them for other things such as drug use, malnutrition etc. Basically, if the woman is doing *anything* that can harm the zef, she should be arrested for child abuse.

          And female athletes, specifically, should be watched for zef abuse. Female athletes take performance enhancing drugs, and often have very low body fat. The same goes for models. These women, due to their malnourished state, can inadvertently cause miscarriages – which is manslaughter. And since consent to sex is consent to pregnancy..women should basically be considered ‘pregnant’ at all times.

        • wladyslaw

          And how does this pertain to our discussion?
          You brought up the subject of moral law and criminal law.
          Please exolain.

        • purr

          The point is, it is possible, to some degree, to protect zygotes embryos and fetii from child abuse.

          If pregnancy can be made mandatory, and women can be forced to take pregnancy tests, then it follows that every woman can be treated like she is pregnant, and prevented from engaging in activities that could hurt the ZEF.

          If it was possible in Romania, it should be possible in any modern developed country. And remember, abortion is also something that can be done ‘in private’, yet that is still illegal in many places.

        • Kodie

          Hey, you’re being inconsistent!

        • Ella Warnock

          That actually happened. Guy put his 6-week old in the freezer to make her stop crying.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/28/tyler-deutsch-man-baby-freezer-attempted-murder_n_3346508.html

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Consensual premarital sex and homosexuality don’t have to hurt anyone. Adultery pretty much always does.

          I let harm show me the way. What shows you the way? Just a hodge podge of Bible verses and teachings from respected authorities?

        • wladyslaw

          All three cause harm.
          Check the black area of Chicago (WEST SIDE?) and what happened to black males. I read yesterday that one out of every three black male will be incarcerated in their lifetime.
          Would support of Catholic teaching of no sex outside a committed marriage relationship help this awful situation?
          You tell me.

          Even President Obama, certainly no authority on morals for me, seems to be leading in that direction.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          All three cause harm.

          No: all three can cause harm.

          I’m unimpressed. Drinking too much water can cause harm.

          I’m talking about inherent harm. Doing something to someone against their will or harming them causes harm. Not good. Whether God is offended or not is irrelevant—that’s not harm.

          Show me that premarital sex and homosexuality are inherently harmful, like rape, murder, or adultery.

        • wladyslaw

          What do you mean “inherently” harmful?

        • wladyslaw

          Inherent harm–your definition–

          Harming them causes harm? Tautology.

          or,

          Doing something against their will? Jailing somebody? Definition needs to be a little more specific.

          Bob–“Rape, murder, and adultery are inherently harmful.”‘ (statement above).

          I quoted you saying all three CAUSE harm.

          Your corrected me and said,

          “No: all three CAN cause harm.” (emphasis yours).

          OK, please show me where any of the above do not cause harm.

        • Kodie

          Bob–“Rape, murder, and adultery are inherently harmful.”‘ (statement above).

          I quoted you saying all three CAUSE harm.

          You quoted nothing. You remembered wrong and you read carelessly.

          It was premarital sex, homosexuality, and adultery. YOU BROUGHT UP THAT LIST, NOT BOB.

          Bob said:

          Show me that premarital sex and homosexuality are inherently harmful, like rape, murder, or adultery.

        • wladyslaw

          EXACTLY!

          Bob said: (Not I Wladyslaw, but BOB said

          Show me that premarital sex and homosexuality are inherently harmful, like rape, murder, or adultery.

          Bob AGREED with me that rape, murder, and adultery were inherently harmful.

          He asked me to show him that premarital sex and homosexuality were also inherently harmful.

          I was surprised that he said rape, murder and adultery were inherently harmful and asked him why they were inherrently wrong.
          He said, because they cause harm.

          Check the record please!

        • Kodie

          Inherently harmful= causes harm. You might call it a sophisticated term like ‘tautology’ but that’s because you’re slow. Wladyslaw= slow, also a tautology.

          It seems you are totally confused… wladyslaw=confused …. about what absolute means and what inherent means.

          Harm is harm. Pinching is not inherently harmful. I could pinch myself. I could pinch salt. No harm. Well, I mean, I could pinch myself so hard that it hurts, but I wouldn’t say that I’ve harmed myself – although self-harm is a thing. I could pinch too much salt and ruin the dish. Is the dish harmed? No, people who have to eat it are. If I pinch you, you’re going to be harmed.

          Rape, murder, and adultery are not self-contained or harmless. These are not acts that people are neutral about. The harm is inherent, i.e. part of the act necessarily includes a victim. Why you confuse that with a tautology or confuse that with “absolute” or “objective” or “moral law”. or “natural law,” is because you are slow. If I take a big butcher knife and threaten you, where is the harm if I haven’t yet stabbed you? Hypothetical married couple: If I’m cooking dinner, and I just happen to say “you’d better take out the garbage,” while holding a large knife, nobody is going to look at this scene and say I was threatening you with a knife that you felt your life was in danger. It is probably not the best time to admit your adulterous affair.

          But you are confused because you think inherent means absolute. How could you be confused when a person is stabbing another person that harm is not bound inherently to that act? Is it absolutely immoral? It cannot be absolutely immoral. There are good reasons I could have to stab you that are moral (as society has deemed) yet still harmful to you. Oh well. Immorality and harm are not the same thing. Absolute and inherent are not the same thing.

          One cannot easily make as good a case for rape or adultery, i.e., one does not generally commit a rape or adultery to defend their own life, because what you do in that situation is kill back first. If your leg is mangled and needs to be amputated, rape or adultery will not help you the way a knife will. Just because I can’t think of a valid moral reason doesn’t mean there isn’t one. At best, I can just barely justify rape or adultery to save the species after a calamity, but then, not really, it doesn’t work for me – but is it absolute? It might just be a hang-up. Rape and adultery are about sex in a way there is a victim, and you know, humans have a lot of hang-ups. I’m not sure we shouldn’t be more relaxed about what needs to be done; however, I would probably guess a lot more consensual but unpleasant, incompatible, and less-than-ideal sex, and grudging acceptance of polygamy rather than call this rape and adultery. Either that, or a new excuse for people to be barbaric and cruel “to save the species.” It’s my opinion that it’s still wrong for me, and I don’t care about saving the species, but it might not bother everyone, and they’d live any way they had to, just like if you had to lose your leg to save your life.

          It’s still harm, but it’s not absolutely immoral. It violates no natural law, it only violates our human sensibilities. If people are willing to accept a certain amount of harm to save their lives, it can’t be absolutely immoral. They have effectively consented to live with harm rather than die out.

          —————————

          Premarital sex and homosexuality do not inherently include a victim. But let’s say rape can be a subset of premarital sex if neither the rapist nor the victim are married. Adultery can be a subset of homosexuality in which a married spouse cheats with a homosexual lover. But if there are no victims, i.e. consensual, there is no harm. These acts are not themselves harmful, unless they contain some harmful element and there is a victim. If there is no harm, how is it immoral? Where is the absolute outside law that says these things are wrong if people want to do them and nobody is harmed?

          In what way are premarital sex and homosexuality objectively immoral or inherently harmful?

          You still haven’t explained this.

        • Kodie

          Let’s also examine the biblical concept of rape and decide whether it is objectively wrong or inherently harmful:

          1. If a man seizes a married woman outside the city, he is to be put to death, and she has done nothing wrong, since she cried for help (it’s assumed) and no one could hear her.

          But,

          2. If a man seizes an unmarried virgin, he has to pay her father for the damage to his property and marry her, since no one else will (because she has been damaged).

          But,

          3. If a man seizes a married virgin, both of them have to die, since she did not scream for help. (???)

          The bible describes rape as damage to someone’s property and not to the woman herself. Rape, as biblically explained, is a wrong committed to a man by another man, just as a man might take a hammer to your car and smash the windows, except you don’t blame your car, and the smasher does have to pay for damages, perhaps even be jailed, but does not get to take ownership of your car. You still like your car and want to see it repaired in a way that, in the bible, a woman is irreparable and considered garbage.

          In any sense, in the bible, a woman victim of a rape is less concerned with the violent act towards her body than the destruction of her value as a person. She is not grieved by the experience of attack as much as what could happen to her as a result – being stoned to death is pretty harsh, being unwelcome by her father or her husband is harsh, and not being marriageable and thought a whore by her community is harsh. How is rape wrong again? I mean, to you, is it wrong to violently attack a woman, or is the wrongness in devaluing her as a human being? To you.

          4. In situations of war, kill all the men, and save all the women, for they are your spoils of war.

          Like, if you are a pirate and you take another ship, you get to take their money, jewels, ammunition, et cetera. Women, in this biblical context, are again, property. Rape is not punished because there are no men left to pay damages to. In a war, you are in the right to murder every man, and take their property to keep, or have and then throw away. You don’t have to, as in #2, pay anyone’s father, nor marry her to save her from the streets, or the shame of her community. You can drink all the wine, smash all the bottles, fuck all the women, and then leave them behind, just as you would leave a settlement burned to the ground as a mark of your conquest.

          So, how is this objectively wrong to you? Is it because no matter what, you shouldn’t violate people sexually, or is it because it sucks to be on the losing end of a war and have perfectly good women used up and unable to carry on without shame (or men?) Or is it perfectly fair, in fact, since the bible condones this type of rape. Is it perfectly fair to you if the bible says the winner can do anything they want – once all the men are dead, this is essentially a victimless act? I mean, if you kill someone, they won’t mind at all if you burn down their house and steal all their jewelry, so why not fuck their wife and daughters?

          I mean, in our society, it would be wrong to just out murder a man, then burn his house down, steal his stuff and rape his family, since at first, killing the man is wrong, but all of these things are crimes even if you don’t kill the man of the house. The bible says it’s ok if it’s war. What’s your opinion? I mean, does it matter what side of the war is right? Is it right if your team does it, but wrong if the other team does it to you, I’m guessing. Nobody likes to lose a war!

        • wladyslaw

          BTW, you did say “All three cause harm.” Not can.

        • tyler

          i had premarital homosexual sex last night. i appear to not be in jail yet, and my baby eating count is holding steady at zero.

          do i get a prize for two out of three?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You think Kodie feels bound by what I said? Guess again. I’m no authority here.

          Convince me that discussing morality with you isn’t a waste of time.

        • purr

          I think that not discriminating against black males would help this situation.

        • wladyslaw

          It would help.
          Having fathers committed to their sons for life would address the problem a whole lot more. Even ask Obama.

        • Kodie

          You don’t really understand the source of crime or poverty.

        • Niemand

          Would support of Catholic teaching of no sex outside a committed marriage relationship help this awful situation?

          No. Less inequality of income, better schools, less harassment by police, and less racism in general would help this awful situation. More pressure to not do one of the few pleasurable things available to them would just make life even more miserable and exacerbate the situation.

          Your approach is very American. Poor? It’s your own fault. Just have less sex and everything will be fine! No, it won’t.

        • Kodie

          Some moral laws could never be made law, punishable in the criminal
          court. I believe that pre-marital sex is wrong. I believe adultery is
          wrong. I believe acting out homosexually is wrong. All seriously
          wrong. But all impossible to legislate and enforce. And I would not
          obviously criminilze them.

          You would not obviously criminalize them? What actually happens is social stigma. Religious people wield the judgment of god upon the people of the land. That is how you unobviously criminalize them.

        • purr

          He just said he’d allow a ‘little bit of infanticide’ if it meant fewer abortions.

          Wow. Just. Wow.

        • Kodie

          Math is obviously not his strong subject. And we know it isn’t reading. Or remembering. He had also said it was absolutely never ok to do something bad for the greater good. Does anyone else remember wladyslaw going several rounds to insist on that point?

        • wladyslaw

          Where did I say it is OK to do something evil for a good reason? Please show me,

        • Kodie

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/10/if-pro-lifers-got-into-the-car-business/#comment-1071852222

          Look, the abolition of abortion is an incremental process.

          Feminists are very upset at the erosion of abortion rights and the closing of more and more abortion clinics.

          A little bit of infanticide would be an incredible advancement.

        • purr

          I love that he typed all of that with a straight face.

        • wladyslaw

          “A little bit of infanticide would be an incredible advancement.”

          A little bit of abortion would be an incredible advancement.

          Show me how I am doing evil to do good.

        • Kodie

          Because you see no qualitative difference between a blastocyst and a live human infant, you have decided a few infanticides is better than many abortions. You have decided that it is better to kill live human infants to lower the abortion rate. Like, it is better to outlaw abortion and leave people with the option of infanticide. It is better for everyone all around, including everything jejune and others described about what pregnancy entails for the incubator – I mean woman, to sustain all these pregnancies that would have been aborted early on but kill them once they’re born, because you believe fewer people will resort to that option. Because you think abortion is worse than infanticide on sheer numbers.

          You sick fuck. Your religion has turned you into one sick fuck.

        • purr

          Amen.

        • wladyslaw

          I did NOT say allow.
          I said that if we oultawed abortion in China there would still be infandticide, but far less than the eight million abortions last year. A good first step. We obviously are still fighting sex-selected abortions, unlike pro-abortion people.

          We pro-lifers are fighting the battle incrementally. I think our movement closed soemething like 34 abortion clinics nationwide. We accept all progress.

        • purr

          Semantics.

          You are in favour of letting a little bit of infanticide slip through if you could outlaw abortion.

        • purr

          And here’s the thing.

          What you don’t seem to understand is that female infanticide was popular in China LONG BEFORE the one child policy.

          Female infanticide has existed in China long before there even was a China to speak of.

          Girls, in certain cultures, simply do not have any value – regardless of whether or not the family is allowed to have lots of kids.

        • Niemand

          Whether you consider the frozen embryos human life or not, they are NOT full of living, breathing babies. Because, in fact, they don’t develop if “left alone”. You made the claim that zygotes develop into babies if “left alone”? Well, you can’t get much more “left alone” than being suspended in liquid nitrogen. Why aren’t they babies yet?

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand,
          Human embryos CANNOT develop to be born, if they are killed or put into a state of suspended animation.
          Simple science.

          If the embryos die in that suspended animation, they’re dead.
          Science.

          If they are alive after taken out of the freezer, and implanted in a woman’s womb, the woman, with all her heart, hopes that the freezing did not affect the cell and that it would implant safely in her uterus, and truly develop to be born. Science

        • purr

          If it is child abuse to freeze a newborn, then it is child abuse to keep an ivf embryo in suspended animation.

          Freezing causes harm.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          A single cell is not at all identical to a newborn baby.

          Science.

        • purr

          I have always found it interesting that many religious folks, especially creationists, reject science except when it suits them.

          My favourite was the interview with the ‘physicist’ from the Creation Museum, who had scientific *proof* that God created the universe.

          It’s kind of off-putting to read arguments where the creationists are using string theory and the theory of relativity to ‘prove’ that God exists. Hurts my brain, and I often don’t understand any of it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My favorite example is Wm. Lane Craig, who points to science when it suits him (Big Bang) but rejects it when it doesn’t (evolution). You’d think a smart guy would have a harder time doing that tap dance.

        • Niemand

          I thought creationists rejected the big bang too.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Young-earth Creationists reject the Big Bang. Old earthers don’t. They share a common hatred for evolution (hence the “Creationist”).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          (They fight among themselves, which is pretty hilarious.)

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,

          “A single cell is not at all identical to a newborn baby.
          Science.

          Not only science but common sense.

          But both have human life. Both are alive. And if either survives, both may ending up living to a ripe old age.

        • Niemand

          both have human life. Both are alive.

          Ok, I’ll ask. By what criteria are you claiming fertilized eggs are “human life”?

        • wladyslaw

          Well, they are alive, and they are human. They’re certainly aren’t alive bear eggs.

          Alive and human.

        • Niemand

          Well, they are alive, and they are human.They’re certainly aren’t alive bear eggs.

          Unfertilized (human) eggs are also alive and human. Are they independent human beings? Is menstruation murder? Especially if the menstruation happened because you did something evil which denied the egg the chance to be fertilized like, oh, say, abstinence? Same with sperm, except that it’s an every 4 day cycle. Don’t even bother not ejaculating, you’ll just reabsorb the poor little babies anyway.

          Cancer cells are human, if it’s a human cancer. And alive. Frighteningly alive. Is chemotherapy murder? Are HeLa cells being murdered by the trillions* on labs across the world every day?

          Every cell in your body is living and human. Including the intestinal lining that sloughs off and you digest every day. Is digestion murder-and cannibalism? And you did WHAT with the remains?

          Your definition is over inclusive.

          *Extremely conservative estimate.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And now we’re back to the “potential” argument. Yes, I appreciate that point. But the single cell hasn’t realized its potential–that’s the key thing.

          I wonder what is behind this passionate and resolute position of yours. Any thoughts?

        • w

          I was an agnostic for fifteen years. I had a life-changing experience that led me to re-examine the truths of Catholicism that addressed my particular situation. I then expanded my re-examination of other Catholic teachings– and here I am.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Was this experience of yours something that any of us would find compelling?

        • wladyslaw

          I think so, but it is so personal I wouldn’t want to share it for the world, possibly for ever

        • Niemand

          Human embryos CANNOT develop to be born, if they are killed or put into a state of suspended animation.

          So you do understand that being “left alone” is not enough. Embryos need the proper environment and nutrients for growth and development. Very good, except that it leaves the fact that you’re obviously lying, at least to yourself, when you say that embryos will develop if “left alone”.

          And stop saying “science”. It sounds rather ridiculous and isn’t what you mean at all.

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand,
          Wow! I can’t believe that you thought that “left alone.” meant the mother somehow consciously stopping nutrients to the baby. I think I clarified that to another person who asked about it. I said “left alone” meant “no CONSCIOUS intervention by the mother or any other person.”

          Supplying nutrients is not conscious intervention.

        • purr

          What if a woman wants to be thin, so she doesn’t eat enough food? And becomes malnourished as a result.

          And the fetus dies, because there are not enough nutrients in her body to sustain it’s life.

          Is she guilty of manslaughter? murder?

        • wladyslaw

          If she diets to purposefully abort a child, it would not be any different than plan B or an abortion, or a can of rat poison.

          But she is morally wrong to hurt her health.

        • purr

          What if she is dieting, and doesn’t know she is pregnant?

          And the fetus dies because her body is *incapable* of providing the nutrients needed for the fetus to grow?

          I thought, if ‘left alone’ the zef would grow, with no *conscious* intervention on the woman’s part?

        • wladyslaw

          If she doesn’t know she is pregnant ,she is only morally wrong for hurting her health.

        • purr

          You are not answering the question.

          I thought, if left alone, the zef would ‘grow’ on it’s own.

          As my example illustrates, no, it simply won’t ‘grow own it’s own if left alone’ because the health of the zef is tied to the health of the woman.

        • wladyslaw

          You really won’t let go of by “left alone.’
          Seeing the confusion it has wrought, I should have used a more comprehensive use of words. I won’t use those words again. Promise.

        • purr

          Let me explain it to you. Why women menstruate, by biologist PZ Myers:

          A new paper by Emera, Romero, and Wagner suggests an interesting new idea. They turn the question around: menstruation isn’t the phenomenon to be explained, decidualization, the production of a thickened endometrial lining, is the key process.

          All mammals prepare a specialized membrane for embryo implantation, the difference is that most mammals exhibit triggered decidualization, where the fertilized embryo itself instigates the thickening, while most primates have spontaneous decidualization (SD), which occurs even in the absence of a fertilized embryo. You can, for instance, induce menstruation in mice. By scratching the mouse endometrium, they will go through a pseudopregnancy
          and build up a thickened endometrial lining that will be shed when progesterone levels drop. So the reason mice don’t menstruate isn’t thatthey lack a mechanism for shedding the endometrial lining…it’s that they don’t build it up in the first place unless they’re actually going
          to use it.

          So the question is, why do humans have spontaneous decidualization?

          The answer that Emera suggests is entirely evolutionary, and involves maternal-fetal conflict. The mother and fetus have an adversarial relationship: mom’s best interest is to survive pregnancy to bearchildren again, and so her body tries to conserve resources for the long haul. The fetus, on the other hand, benefits from wresting as much from mom as it can, sometimes to the mother’s detriment. The fetus, for instance, manipulates the mother’s hormones to weaken the insulin response, so less sugar is taken up by mom’s cells, making more available for the fetus.

          Within the mammals, there is variation in how deeply the fetus sinks its placental teeth into the uterus. Some species are epithelochorial; the connection is entirely superficial. Others are endotheliochorial, in
          which the placenta pierces the uterine epithelium. And others, the most invasive, are hemochorial, and actually breach maternal blood vessels.
          Humans are hemochorial. All of the mammalian species that menstruate arealso hemochorial.

          That’s a hint. Menstruation is a consequence of self-defense. Femalesbuild up that thickened uterine lining to protect and insulate themselves from the greedy embryo and its selfish placenta. In species
          with especially invasive embryos, it’s too late to wait for the moment of implantation — instead, they build up the wall pre-emptively, before and in case of fertilization. Then, if fertilization doesn’t occur, the universal process of responding to declining progesterone levels by sloughing off the lining occurs.

        • wladyslaw

          Some people believe that evolution can explain EVERYTHING.

          Why people are afraid of spiders that kill them, but not of cars which kill them–because we haven’t been exposed to cars long enough to have that fear develop.

          http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/projects/human/epfaq/ep.html

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, evolution is fabulous.

        • purr

          Ok?

        • wladyslaw

          Exactly.

          I don’t believe PZ Meyers.

        • wladyslaw

          And she made a conscious decision to diet. Her body did not leave the zef alone. Her body starved the zef.

          If I locked you in the closet and starved you, I couldn’t say–“Officer I did nothing. I left him alone.” Officer says, “hey buddy. You didn’t leave him alone–that’s legal. You starved him.”

        • purr

          And she made a conscious decision to diet.

          “without conscious intervention” means, specifically, that a woman purposely did something to terminate the pregnancy.

          in this case, the woman doesn’t know she is pregnant, and is exercising and eating very little because she wants to take part in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. The embryo dies because it isn’t getting enough nutrition from the woman’s body.

          The point I am making is that there is no such thing as ‘left alone’. Just about anything a woman does can cause a miscarriage. Horseback riding. Illness. Drinking wine. Lifting weights or running too strenuously. Stress.

          There is no such thing as ‘left alone’. Even tiny dietary changes can kill your precious embryo. The ZEF is intimately tied to the woman, and it depends on her body for literally *everything*.

        • Niemand

          “No conscious intervention from the mother” is a…nonstandard…definition of “left alone”.

        • Kodie

          That’s not left alone. You put a thing inside of someone and with all her “heart” and “hopes”, you invoke science to demonstrate how exactly it cannot be left alone. How can you tell a story that involves a live woman and still manage to forget she’s there too?????????????

        • Pattrsn

          Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy
          It’s not very complicated.

        • wladyslaw

          Is bodily autonomy in the abortion issue an absolute moral value, so that in EVERY instance when discussing abortion, in EVERY case. for WHATEVER reason, for ALL women, bodily autonomy ALWAYS trumps ANY other consideration?

          Before legalization, pro-abortion people said abortion is OK in cases of rape. incest, or health of the mother–and in very short order health of the mother was broadened to be practically meaningless–I want to go to college, and it would really bother me, etc. The majority of today’s cases fall in this category. Relatively few are for rape or incest.

          Now pro-abortionists even will not speak out against sex- selection abortions that kill 1.5 million woman a year–oops, let’s be politically correct–kill 1.5 potential women a year.
          The world, however doesn’t know the difference.

          I just saw a recent Planned Parenthood sign that said: Abortion, for any reason. And in a recent Reproductive Health Health Check column, Amanda Marcotte said women who want an abortion for any reason should be able to do so.

          And they say this right is absolute–and their justification is bodily autonomy.

          Abortion is now absolute morally justified by bodily autonomy?

          Where does this absolute moral value come from?

          Do you believe in absolute moral values?

          Do you personally believe in absolute moral values? Where does this absolute moral value come from?

        • purr

          Yes, pre-viability, for ANY reason. You don’t get to make medical decisions for a woman based on how YOU think she should be running her life.

          and in very short order health of the mother was broadened to be practically meaningless

          Here are ‘health of the mother’ side effects that can cause a woman to lose her job, get kicked out of college, lose her house, and end up with thousands of dollars in a medical bills, homeless, and with a baby. Oh, and permanently disabled.

          Normal, frequent
          or expectable temporary side effects of pregnancy:

          exhaustion (weariness
          common from first weeks)

          altered appetite
          and senses of taste and smell

          nausea and vomiting
          (50% of women, first trimester)

          heartburn and indigestion

          constipation

          weight gain

          dizziness and light-headedness

          bloating, swelling,
          fluid retention

          hemmorhoids

          abdominal cramps

          yeast infections

          congested, bloody
          nose

          acne and mild skin
          disorders

          skin discoloration
          (chloasma, face and abdomen)

          mild to severe backache
          and strain

          increased headaches

          difficulty sleeping,
          and discomfort while sleeping

          increased urination
          and incontinence

          bleeding gums

          pica

          breast pain and
          discharge

          swelling of joints,
          leg cramps, joint pain

          difficulty sitting,
          standing in later pregnancy

          inability to take
          regular medications

          shortness of breath

          higher blood pressure

          hair loss

          tendency to anemia

          curtailment of ability
          to participate in some sports and activities

          infection
          including from serious and potentially fatal disease

          (pregnant women are immune suppressed compared with
          non-pregnant women, and
          are more susceptible to fungal and certain other diseases)

          extreme pain on
          delivery

          hormonal mood changes,
          including normal post-partum depression

          continued post-partum
          exhaustion and recovery period (exacerbated if a c-section
          — major surgery — is required, sometimes taking up to a full year to
          fully recover)

          Normal, expectable,
          or frequent PERMANENT side effects of pregnancy:

          stretch marks (worse
          in younger women)

          loose skin

          permanent weight
          gain or redistribution

          abdominal and vaginal
          muscle weakness

          pelvic floor disorder
          (occurring in as many as 35% of middle-aged former child-bearers
          and 50% of elderly former child-bearers, associated with urinary and rectal
          incontinence, discomfort and reduced quality of life — aka prolapsed utuerus,
          the malady sometimes badly fixed by the transvaginal mesh)

          changes to breasts

          varicose veins

          scarring from episiotomy
          or c-section

          other permanent
          aesthetic changes to the body (all of these are downplayed
          by women, because the culture values youth and beauty)

          increased proclivity
          for hemmorhoids

          loss of dental and
          bone calcium (cavities and osteoporosis)

          higher lifetime risk of developing Altzheimer’s

          newer research indicates
          microchimeric cells, other bi-directional exchanges of DNA, chromosomes, and other bodily material between fetus and
          mother (including with “unrelated” gestational surrogates)

          Occasional complications
          and side effects:

          complications of episiotomy

          spousal/partner
          abuse

          hyperemesis gravidarum

          temporary and permanent
          injury to back

          severe
          scarring
          requiring later surgery
          (especially after additional pregnancies)

          dropped (prolapsed)
          uterus (especially after additional pregnancies, and other
          pelvic floor weaknesses — 11% of women, including cystocele, rectocele,
          and enterocele)

          pre-eclampsia
          (edema and hypertension, the most common complication of pregnancy, associated
          with eclampsia, and affecting 7 – 10% of pregnancies)

          eclampsia (convulsions,
          coma during pregnancy or labor, high risk of death)

          gestational diabetes

          placenta previa

          anemia (which
          can be life-threatening)

          thrombocytopenic
          purpura

          severe cramping

          embolism
          (blood clots)

          medical disability
          requiring full bed rest (frequently ordered during part of
          many pregnancies varying from days to months for health of either mother
          or baby)

          diastasis recti,
          also torn abdominal muscles

          mitral valve stenosis
          (most common cardiac complication)

          serious infection
          and disease (e.g. increased risk of tuberculosis)

          hormonal imbalance

          ectopic pregnancy
          (risk of death)

          broken bones (ribcage,
          “tail bone”)

          hemorrhage
          and

          numerous other complications
          of delivery

          refractory gastroesophageal
          reflux disease

          aggravation of pre-pregnancy
          diseases and conditions (e.g. epilepsy is present in .5%
          of pregnant women, and the pregnancy alters drug metabolism and treatment
          prospects all the while it increases the number and frequency of seizures)

          severe post-partum
          depression and psychosis

          research now indicates
          a possible link between ovarian cancer and female fertility treatments,
          including “egg harvesting” from infertile women and donors

          research also now
          indicates correlations between lower breast cancer survival rates and proximity
          in time to onset of cancer of last pregnancy

          research also indicates
          a correlation between having six or more pregnancies and a risk of coronary
          and cardiovascular disease

          Less common (but
          serious) complications:

          peripartum cardiomyopathy

          cardiopulmonary
          arrest

          magnesium toxicity

          severe hypoxemia/acidosis

          massive embolism

          increased intracranial
          pressure, brainstem infarction

          molar pregnancy,
          gestational trophoblastic disease
          (like a pregnancy-induced
          cancer)

          malignant arrhythmia

          circulatory collapse

          placental abruption

          obstetric fistula

          More
          permanent side effects:

          future infertility

          permanent disability

          death.

        • wladyslaw

          Jejune,
          Moral of the story–DON’T EVER GIVE BIRTH!
          Much too dangerous!

        • purr

          And I would like to add, we don’t value ‘life’ so much that we *force* people to undergo severe physical and emotional trauma in order to preserve a life. We don’t force people to put their livelihood and future in jeopardy to save a life.

          Bodily autonomy IS the very foundation of liberty. Because without it, you’re nothing more than a slave.

          Yet you want special treatment for fetii because you think every zygote is a miracle from God.

        • Pattrsn

          Morality is something we come up with, like god, law, religion, art, literature, etc. It’s a product of the human mind.

          The question is, apart from the dictates of your personal religion, why do you think that people’s bodies can be used by others against their will?

        • wladyslaw

          Pattrsn,

          “Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy Bodily autonomy
          It’s not very complicated.”

          You did not answer my two questions.

          Do you personally believe in absolute moral values.

          Does bodily autonomy trump all other values in the abortion discussion?

        • Niemand

          Does bodily autonomy trump all other values in the abortion discussion?

          Does bodily autonomy trump all other values in the organ donation discussion?

        • purr

          Ignore, as usual, Disqus told me that you were wladyslaw.

          Sigh.

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand,

          I’ll answer your question to me, simple yes or no.

          YES, bodily autonomy trumps all other values in the organ donation discussion. I believe in ABSOLUTE values. Violating bodily autonomy is never allowed to make organ donation possible. There is a movement afoot I read yesterday by doctors who say a person does not have to be dead for taking out organs–New England Journal of Medicine,

          And now answer my question– does bodily autonomy trump all other values in the abortion discussion?
          Is that an absolute value for YOU.

        • Niemand

          If bodily autonomy trumps all else in organ donation then of course it trumps all else in abortion. What is pregnancy but a uterus donation?

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand,
          I have NEVER heard it defined that way, in any scientific, dictionary, verbal etc.

          Other than your opinion, please give references.

          BTW, I did hear of a uterus donation. It WASN’T a pregnancy. Doctors successfully transplanted a uterus, and I think the woman actually got pregnant, but not sure if baby lived.

        • Niemand

          So you don’t think that the woman’s uterus is undergoing any use during pregnancy? I know you were talking about the embryo being “just left alone” but I didn’t realize you were taking it that literally.

          In a pregnancy, the woman’s uterus is being used by the fetus for its support. She is donating its use to the embryo and fetus. What else could you call it?

          Incidentally, pregnancy is more dangerous than kidney donation using modern nephrectomy techniques, much more dangerous than bone marrow or blood donation. The constant stress of the time limited donation of pregnancy is far more dangerous than simply removing the organ for another to use.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Indeed, giving birth is far more dangerous than an abortion. The rate of death is 10× higher (U.S. statistics, I believe).

          (Error corrected in italics, above.)

        • wladyslaw

          Thank your Mom for braving the danger and choosing to have you, and not taking the safer route.

        • purr

          yeah, see, his mom CHOSE to have him

          he was a WANTED child

          that is a GOOD thing

        • wladyslaw

          Bob, it’s a weak response to your weak argument for abortion–abortion is safer than giving birth.

        • purr

          You replied to me, and not bob.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, abortion is safer to the woman than giving birth.

          Now, what’s your objection?

        • wladyslaw

          I guess I have absolutely no idea why you and Jejune brought it up. I didn’t bring it up. We should have an education drive for women like we did for cigaretts? I honestly don’t know.

        • purr

          Because Niemand brought it up.

          And forced birthers would have every woman gestate a pregnancy – at great risk.

          You act as if women who have abortions to preserve their health are selfish and lazy.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, I don’t know why people aren’t educated about reality. It might have something to do with a massive effort to suppress reality by the pro-forced-birth movement.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          From my standpoint, sure. But is this supposed to be some sort of pro-life argument? ‘Cause if it is, I’m not seeing it.

        • Niemand

          Actually, closer to 20x. Mortality from legal abortion in the US is about 0.6 per 100,000 versus about 15 per 100,000 for a completed pregnancy.

        • Niemand

          Doctors successfully transplanted a uterus, and I think the woman actually got pregnant, but not sure if baby lived.

          No go this round. It sounds pretty shaky at this point, but new technology always does.

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand,
          Four comments earlier I noted that I answered your question, but you still have to answer mine.

        • wladyslaw

          Forgive me, I didn’t notice your answer above.

        • wladyslaw

          Niemand, you notice I answered YOUR question.

          You carefully avoided answering mine

        • wladyslaw

          Oops, I guess you did in the following comment.

        • Pattrsn

          1. No

          2. Yes

          How about you, do you believe that the dictates of your religion trump all other values in the abortion discussion?

        • wladyslaw

          Pattrsn,

          2. Yes.
          If you don’t believe in absolute moral values, then you certainly CANNOT believe that ” bodily autonomy trump all other values in the abortion discussion.” That is an absolute assertion of moral values.

        • purr

          He can, because not all rights are absolute, but in certain cases, they trump other rights.

          The right to life, for instance, is not absolute. You lose your right to live if you are in the process of killing someone. The person you are attacking has the right to self-defense.

          If you are raping someone, and the only way the victim can escape is to fatally injure you, well, the victim has that right.

          Unless of course you think that the right to life is so sacrosanct that the rape victim just has to grin and bear it?

        • wladyslaw

          Fine, what higher value than bodily trumps bodily autonomy in the abortion discussion?

          I’d love to hear it.

          I might even use it in our discussions here with you.

        • purr

          I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking.

          And the first sentence…bodily what? Did you mistype?.

        • wladyslaw

          Bodily autonomy.
          In other words, does the value of bodily autonomy say that abortion is never wrong?

        • Pattrsn

          No it isn’t, it’s simply a hierarchy of moral values.

        • wladyslaw

          No, saying “bodily autonomy trumps ALL other values in the abortion discussion” IS an absolute assertion of moral values.

          “No it isn’t, it’s simply a hierarchy of moral values.”

          It’s the absolute top value in the abortion discussion for you. Nothing higher. Absolutely tops. NO exceptions.

          If it is not, please give me a HIGHER value that trumps bodily autonomy in the abortion abortion debate–you know, in the hierarchy of values.

        • Pattrsn

          Sorry but your argument it makes absolutely no sense to me at all. Perhaps I’m not understanding what you mean by “absolute moral”. Could you define that phrase for me?

        • wladyslaw

          OK,

          “Bodily autonomy trumps all other moral values in the discussion on morality.”

          Is there ANY other value, any other condition, any other argument, any other truth, is there anything that would change the truth of the above statement for you. If so, please indicate.

          If NOTHING would change the truth of that statement for you, then it is an absolute moral truth for you.

          An absolute moral value is one that is always true, regardless of ANY possible condition. Oh, and such a value is a value you regard as true for everybody, not just for yourself.

          Now, can you please explain how hierarchy of values applies in this discussion?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If NOTHING would change the truth of that statement for you, then it is an absolute moral truth for you.

          Wow. You must’ve been a terrible student. Repeating the same arguments and ignoring what’s been said is pretty annoying.

          “Absolute moral truth” is not the same thing as “personal opinion.” Perhaps you’re confusing the strength of an opinion (I’m sure we both think that rape is really, really bad) with its grounding (just in my head or outside of all people and true for all times).

          No, an immutable opinion is merely strongly held. That doesn’t make it absolute. Absolute refers to its external grounding.

        • wladyslaw

          OK,
          Should I believe that rape is bad because you think it is, or should I believe rape is bad because it is inherently wrong, a you said in a different comment?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You should not think that rape is absolutely wrong until you can show us this external grounding. Without this external grounding, it becomes just human beliefs.

          You’ve never provided evidence for this in the past. Should I hold my breath now?

        • wladyslaw

          I believe that a human being has as inherint dignity that would be absolutely violated. We believe that this truth is accessible by all people, and this truth was used in the trials at Nurenberg. No international law or positive law was available or acceptible.

          This dignity is not there because some people in power, or lots of people in democracies think so, or you think so. It is inherint in the dignity of the human person. Never to be violated.

          You said rape was wrong inherintly. Please explain.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          this truth was used in the trials at Nurenberg. No international law or positive law was available or acceptible.

          Uh, no, I’m pretty sure they used the law(s) of the Allies.
          Last time I checked, they didn’t swear in God as a witness or the librarian from Heaven’s Law Library.

        • wladyslaw

          No, they did NOT use God or the laws of Britain or the laws of Russia or the laws of the United States. They knew it wouldn’t fly. “That’s the law in your country, not ours.”

          They used natural law, used for much of history, calling upon the the inherint dignity of the human person. Every man in his own person should know that what they were asked to do was wrong. I was just following orders didn’t work.

          You said rape was inherintly wrong.
          Please explain.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob, I asked you at the end of several comments this question:You said rape in inherently wrong. I asked why. You refuse to answer. It should be an easy answer.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Why do you keep asking? Is it really all that interesting?

          How I used “inherent” was in opposition to absolute/objective. I think I’ve said before that I see no evidence for absolute or objective morality?

          Since we’re sharing so much, give me your evidence for objective morality, as defined by Wm. Lane Craig.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob, you still won’t answer me my question. Yes, it is absolutely interesting–actually CRITICAL to our discussion. You know that.

          You did NOT use it in opposition to absolute/objective.

          You said that premarital sex is not necessarily wrong. And then you followed saying rape is inherently wrong. I asked why.

          Please stop avoiding the my question–I checked– I asked at least five times.

          Please just answer “rape is inherently wrong because…

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ve answered yours; you don’t want to answer mine. OK, I get it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Natural law”? Where are the books of case history for “natural law”?

          Show me that for Nuremberg, they didn’t use any British, U.S., or French law.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob, I asked you at the end of several comments this question:
          You said rape in inherently wrong. I asked why. You refuse to answer. It should be an easy answer.

        • wladyslaw

          I think the reason you have not answered my question “why did you say rape is inherintly wrong” is because the answer is that if it is inherintly wrong, it is wrong in itself (the meaning of inherent). It is wrong no matter what your opinion, or anybody else’s is. And that’s a very difficult problem for you. Where does this inherent wrongness come from? It must have a grounding outside you and me.
          If I’m wrong, please explain.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, you’re wrong. I’ve said before that I see no evidence for any moral grounding outside of human minds. Perhaps you’ve missed my many comments that made this clear?

          Despite your apprehensions, this is not at all a problem for me. Thanks for helping me clear this up.

          Are we on the same page now? If so: show me your evidence for the existence of objective moral truth a la Wm. Lane Craig.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob, you said
          “You should not think that rape is absolutely wrong until you can show us this external grounding.”

          OK,
          I think rape is always wrong (for all people, no exceptions).
          Does this need eternal grounding?

          I think rape is absolutley wrong (for all people, no exceptions).
          Does this need external grounding?

          I think rape is inherently wrong (for all people, no eceptions).
          Does this need external grounding?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I think rape is always wrong (for all people, no exceptions).

          This is your opinion. I share it, so I don’t think you’re off base, but it’s just your opinion.

          I think rape is absolutley wrong (for all people, no exceptions).

          And, by this, I assume you point to external grounding. You tell me—you’re the one using the word.

          Again, this sounds like a Wm. Lane Craig definition of objective morality that you’re appealing to: “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not.”

          Is that your definition? If so, defend it. If not, make it clear that you reject this as I do.

        • wladyslaw

          You answered the first two, You did NOT answer the third.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          WELL, aren’t WE picky? I identified TWO categories–absolute/objective and NOT. Pick THE one into which the THIRD fits.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          Sure, either one or two.

        • wladyslaw

          If I answered ANY of the above three responses to somebody’s question –what do you Wladyslaw believe about rape–he or she would know my position exactly.

          All three categories are exactly the same.

          No one would walk away thinking I believe something different.

          They would know with no further explanations. If anyone asked them what does Wladyslaw believe about rape, they could articulate my exact belief.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Your point being … ?

        • wladyslaw

          You resist answering three because you realize it’s exactly as answer two.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Do you want to say that “inherently” means “absolutely”? Sure, we can do that.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          Forgive me, but it’s not clear to me from the above statement that YOU personally believe “inherently” and “absolutely” are the same. It just seems to allow that I think so.

          Do you Bob, think “inherently” means “absolutely?”

          Rape is absolutely wrong, for all people, no exceptions.
          Rape is inherently wrong, for all people, no exceptions.

          I think YOU think that inherently means absolutely, and that the two moral propositions are identical.

          They BOTH fit exactly fit Wm. Lane Craig’s definition of objective morality that you’ pointed out to me: “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not.”

          So, so that I don’t misunderstand you, do YOU, Bob, believe that “inherently” and absolutely” are identical?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Is that what this is all about? Are we haggling over definitions? Or are you pouncing on my misuse of a word?

          If that’s it, then you’ll have lots of fodder here. I’m not a perfect user of my mother tongue. Enjoy.

          You completely understand my position on morality. I reject Craig’s definition. And you? Don’t blunder into make a claim that you refuse to back up with evidence.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,

          You are not denying that that’s the way Craig defined absolute morality, right?
          “Again, this sounds like a Wm. Lane Craig definition of objective morality that you’re appealing to: “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not.”

          You obviously ACCEPT that Craig defines objective morality the way he does.

          You obviously reject that objective morality defined that way exists.

          And yet your moral position on rape–rape is inherently wrong, for all people, no exceptions (not depending on any person’s belief) fits his definition of objective morality

          EXACTLY.

          You KNOW what inherently wrong means.

          You said pre-marital sex does not always harm. But you said that rape is inherently wrong–it ALWAYS harms. Whether I or anybody else believes so.

          But you say that you do NOT believe it is absolutely wrong.
          You keep saying there is a difference. Please show the difference.
          Or define what YOU meant by inherently wrong, to clear the air.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I obviously reject Craig’s definition. How many times must I say it?

          I say that rape is wrong. That’s it. No objective or absolute grounding.

        • wladyslaw

          No Bob, you said more than that.
          You said rape is is inherently wrong, always, for all people, no exceptions. (If you do not like the word inherently here, please explain why you don’t–and explain what you thought it meant)

          John, my moral-relativist friend, hears you saying this and says, “Bob, that’s objective morality. I don’t believe in objective morality. Morals are relative. Wrong for thee, not for me.”

          I say abortion is inherently wrong, always, for all people, no exceptions. My atheist friend says, But Wladyslaw, that’s objective morality. I don’t believe in objective morality. Morals are relative. Wrong for thee, not for me.”

          So when I hear your describe your moral position on rape, I say, Bob, that’s objective morality…etc.

        • wladyslaw

          This is simpler to discern,

          An absolute moralist, when questioned about the morality of abortion, or sex outside marriage, homosexual acts etc.will ALWAYS say, “These are always wrong (inherently), for everyone, no exceptions. Does not depend on any situation.
          Whether you believe it or not. Wrong for thee and me.

          A moral relativist, when questioned about the morality of abortion, or any other moral question, will NEVER say “these are always wrong, for everyone, no exception.
          For them , it ALWAYS depends on the situation. Only if you personally believe it. Wrong for me and thee.

          You may be a moral relativist on a lot of moral questions, but on the morality of rape, you are a absolute moralist.

        • wladyslaw

          OOPS

          Under moral relativist…should have read, wrong for you and not me.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wlad: I reject the idea of objective moral truth, having seen no evidence.

          And the next comment that you make, repeating the same tired and pointless argument, I may edit humorously.

          You have been warned.

        • wladyslaw

          OK.
          Let’s talk then about possible grounding for absolute moral views. I believe that the grounding for such views come from
          natural law.

          Natural law, or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis), is a system of law that is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal .[1] Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature—both social and personal—and deduce binding rules of moral behavior from it.
          Wikipedia.
          Used at Nurenberg (my addition).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Uh, OK. Natural law.

          Where’s your argument for objective moral values (using Craig’s definition)?

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          You really confuse me. Please be consistent. You said:
          “I obviously reject Craig’s definition. How MANY times must I say it?”

          Whose definition should we use for the purpose of our discussing objective morals vs relative morals?

          If you reject Craig’s DEFINITION of objective moral values, please give me a definition that you accept, and don’t ask me to use Craig’s.

          Give me a working definition of absolute values that we can work with.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You’re easily confused.

          We will use Craig’s definition of objective moral values.

        • wladyslaw

          According to you–Craig’s definition of objective moral values is–“moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not.”

          My position on rape, and your position on rape fits that description EXACTLY. Both positions are valid and binding even if others do not believe. We can now agree on that.

          The question obviously is what grounds such an absolute moral position. Your consistent question to me.

          My grounding for my position is natural law:

          Natural law, or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis), is a system of law that is purportedly determined by nature, and thus UNIVERSAL .[1] Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature—both social and personal—and deduce BINDING rules of moral
          behavior from it.

          All human beings. by use of their reason, can come to the conclusion that the “inherent dignity” of the human person would rule out rape as ever being moral.

          Your grounding for it cannot be your OPINION, for then it would NOT be”valid and binding whether anybody believes

          it or not.

          And so, your grounding for your position i…

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My position on rape, and your position on rape fits that description EXACTLY.

          Right. Now show that objective moral values, using that definition, actually exist.

          The question obviously is what grounds such an absolute moral position.

          You’re like a robot with read-only memory. Can’t you adapt?

          No, the question is: Why would anyone actually think that objective moral values actually exist??

        • wladyslaw

          Because most of the people live out their whole lives with absolute moral values–for example, rape, murder, adultery, is always wrong, for everybody. Whether or not they consciously acknowledge that they believe that they hold such an absolute moral value.

          I held that rape is objectively wrong.

          You challenged me with “Where’s your argument (grounding) for objective moral values (using Craig’s definition)?”

          I responded with natural law. Human beings, using their rationality, can come to the conclusion that the “inherent human dignity” of the human person rules out rape ever being moral. No need to refer to religion or bible.

        • purr

          eh, rape is ok if it happened in the bible

          as long as God commands it

        • Niemand

          I held that rape is objectively wrong.

          I agree but can’t help but wonder how you can hold to belief in a book that promotes rape under certain circumstances as a good. You never have managed to address the passages in the bible that promote rape.

        • wladyslaw

          In ALL my numerous comments on the position that rape is always wrong, I NEVER used my bible, my pope, my religion, as a reason why I believed rape is always wrong, for everybody.

          My reason was:
          I responded with natural law. Human beings, using their rationality, can come to the conclusion that the “inherent human dignity” of the human person rules out rape ever being moral. No need to refer to religion or bible. It would not fly with atheists.

          If you believe that rape is always wrong for all people, no exceptions (you may not), please share with me why you believe it is true for all people, no exceptions.

        • Kodie

          If rape were objectively wrong, like, absolutely wrong at all times everywhere in the universe for every thing and everyone, it would actually be impossible for someone to rape someone. It would be impossible for the universe to let that happen, and if somehow, you could, wouldn’t the universe be responsible for punishing you? I mean I can’t fly in the air. If I jump off a cliff, I’m going down, because you know, gravity. And airplanes don’t go against the laws of gravity, they are bound by the law of gravity.

          But for some reason, it’s possible to rape someone and to still say rape is wrong, but get around that by saying what you did wasn’t actually rape. Humans decide that it is wrong for humans. We don’t get on ducks’ cases and put them in jail for raping other ducks. Therefore, it’s not an absolute. It is still inherent as a human judgment that rape is wrong because someone was harmed. It doesn’t matter if the rapist or anyone else is deluded and make excuses – it is the victim’s harm and the violation against them that is wrong. We all agree that rape is wrong – we just make up convenient excuses and definitions. A rapist who doesn’t think they are a rapist would not like to be raped. They know what a violation is, when it’s against them, but they are able to put the rape they commit in a different category so they can still feel like they are right and not wrong.

          How is this possible if it is absolutely wrong? It would have to be shared universally, and inviolable. It is not, it is just us humans, and then not even all of us.

        • wladyslaw

          Kodie,

          As a feminist I believe that you believe that rape is absolutely wrong, always, not matter what anybody believes.

          Craig’s definition of objective moral values (which Bob accepts) is “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in or not.”

          Obviously, objective values are not UNIVERSALLY held values.

          Objective values are values that a person (you in this case of rape), believes that they apply to everybody, whether they believe it or not.

          Relative values say rape is wrong for me, not necessarily for you. Does not hold everybody responsible. “Not my morality.”

          Absolute values say rape is wrong for thee and me.
          Holds everyone responsible. “No matter what your morality.”

          I think that in the case of rape, you do not hold the relativist view.

          I truly believe you hold the absolute view.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Craig’s definition of objective moral values (which Bob accepts) is “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in or not.”

          Let’s be clear: Craig’s definition is laughable. A guy with two doctorates blathering on like this without any evidence? I accept this definition of objective moral values, but I see no evidence for them. Nor has Wlad provided them.

          Yes, I realize that I’ve made this clear a million times, but Wlad needs a lot of handholding. Just making sure.

          Obviously, objective values are not UNIVERSALLY held values.

          So they’re objectively true, but we humans just don’t know what they are? What good are they, then?

          Relative values say rape is wrong for me, not necessarily for you.

          You’re a slow learner, aren’t you?

        • wladyslaw

          No, Craig’s definition of objective morals does not say it must be UNIVERSALLY held–his definition is “binding whether one believes them or not.

          You and I agree that it is a working definition we can work with.

          It is the definition that ALL apologists from either side use in discussing morality. It is THE dividing line between absolute and moral values.

          No one, not Craig, not the Pope, not any moral absolutist , says objective moral values (rape is always wrong) must be universally held to be binding on all. Straw man.

          Absolute values–binding on all, (not universally held by all).

          Relative values–not binding on all.

          Laughable definition? Happens to be what EVERYBODY– uses.
          So, don’t ask that absolute value have to be universally held as something we have to prove.

          All men, by use of their reason, and studying human nature, can come to understand the inherent dignity of human beings, and know that this excludes rape as ever being moral, and that it is binding on all–even if some people come to a conclusion otherwise. They don’t wait until every last human agrees.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No, Craig’s definition of objective morals does not say it must be UNIVERSALLY held

          Yes, he just says that they’re universally true.

          No one, not Craig, not the Pope, not any moral absolutist , says objective moral values (rape is always wrong) must be universally held to be binding on all. Straw man.

          Yes, it’s a straw man. So stop advancing it. I never did.

        • wladyslaw

          “No one, not Craig, not the Pope, not any moral absolutist ,
          says objective moral values (rape is always wrong) must be universally
          held to be binding on all. Straw man.

          Yes, it’s a straw man. So stop advancing it. I never did.”

          Great. We both agree that objective moral values do not have to be universally held to be binding on all.

        • wladyslaw

          “No, Craig’s definition of objective morals does not say it must be UNIVERSALLY held.”

          You said: Yes he does– he just says that they’re universally true.
          You seem to think they mean the same thing. Right? If so,

          Craig’s definition of objective moral values is “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes it or not.”

          It is Impossible for him to say the above and then say the morals to be absolute must also must be held as true by all!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I held that rape is objectively wrong.

          And I’m asking for justification for this remarkable claim.

          I responded with natural law.

          Why imagine that there’s some external natural law? Do you have evidence?

          This is particularly difficult when the explanation that we
          all come to our own moral conclusion (these are opinions) explains things completely. No need to handwave anything supernatural.

        • wladyslaw

          Why imagine that there’s some external natural law? Do you have evidence?

          This is particularly difficult when the explanation that we
          all come to our own moral conclusion (these are opinions) explains things completely. No need to handwave anything supernatural.

          Please be specific. Where did I handwave anything supernatural.

          External? As in tablets of gold? Written in the sky? Explain external.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Where did I handwave anything supernatural.

          Opinion is internal. Objective truth which would be true
          whether or not humans are here to perceive it? That’s external.

          Think before you speak, OK? Yes, some questions are stupid.

        • wladyslaw

          “Opinion is internal. Objective truth which would be true
          whether or not humans are here to perceive it? That’s external.”
          OK.

          Suppose humans are NOT here to perceive it. You are saying that even if there were no humans, only lions and tigers etc.,that objective morality (rape is absolutely wrong) would have to still exist?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Wow. I don’t know if you’re stupid or just don’t read carefully.

          Suppose humans are NOT here to perceive
          it. You are saying that even if there were no humans, only lions and tigers etc.,that objective morality (rape is absolutely wrong) would have to still exist?

          No! I see no evidence of objective morality.

        • wladyslaw

          “Opinion is internal. Objective truth which would be true
          whether or not humans are here to perceive it? That’s external.”

          I read it carefully. Outside humanity, morals make no sense. But let’s go on.

          “No! I see no evidence of objective morality.”

          Look around. Most people practice it in their daily life. Most people, believe with all their heart that murder and rape are always wrong, for everybody, no exceptions, that that moral judgement is BINDING on all. They may not be able to articulate why, but they do hold such moral values, but they agree with Craig’s definition, binding on all, regardless.

          And the reason they do hold those absolute values is “natural law.” Human beings, using their rationality,
          can come to the conclusion that the “inherent human dignity” of the human person rules out rape ever being moral, and that this conclusion is binding on all.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Most people practice it in their daily life.

          What you’re seeing is shared morality, not objective.

          Most people, believe with all their heart that murder and rape are always wrong, for everybody, no exceptions, that that moral judgement is BINDING on all.

          A wise man once stated, “No one, not Craig, not the Pope, not any moral absolutist , says objective moral values (rape is always wrong) must be universally held to be binding on all. Straw man.” Wait … wasn’t that wise man you?

          They may not be able to articulate why

          I certainly can’t articulate why objective moral truths exist, for one. And that’s because I don’t agree that objective moral truths exist.

          Don’t point to shared morals and claim that they’re objective.

          When we say that we have shared morals, what is left to be explained?

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          You did not come to the realization that rape is wrong because other people told you so–shared their opinion. They did not come to the conclusion that rape is wrong because you told the it was so–shared your opinion. You did not accept that as true because the law said so, or because people voted on it.

          Right now, if everybody in the world changed their mind about rape, you would still hold your view.

          Sharing with each other had nothing to do with WHY you believe it to be wrong.

        • wladyslaw

          Check Nurenberg Trials in Wikipedia, then check Crimes Against Humanity:

          “Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, “are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings.”[1]

        • wladyslaw

          You asked which category the third fits. You easily answered one and two. You resist with all your might to easily answer three.

        • Pattrsn

          Sure, context. For example in the case of a person in a mental crisis attempting suicide I would definitely agree with any attempt to stop them. In that case their right to bodily autonomy is irrelevant. Except of course any decisions regarding their treatment must respect their right to bodily autonomy.

          It’s entirely dependent on context, if in your definition moral absolutes are dependent on context then I guess yes it is one, but it doesn’t seem very absolute to me.

        • wladyslaw

          I don’t think you understand my question.

          The question is not “Does bodily autonomy trump all other values in all of life.”

          I never believed that you thought bodily autonomy is the highest value that trumps all other rights in ALL other areas of life.

          In the discussion on the morality of abortion is there ANY context that would say “in this case abortion is wrong.”

          Of so, please give me an example.

          If you can’t give me an example, bodily autonomy is an absolute moral principal in the area of abortion.

        • Pattrsn

          What is your point then, since just about every moral is absolute within a context?

        • wladyslaw

          Absolutely NOT.

          Lots of morals are not absolute–stealing is wrong, but if you are about to starve to death, it is moral to eat somebody else”s apple.

          The definition of an absolute value rules OUT all context.
          No absolute value accepts a context. Context would make it no longer an absolute. It would never allow a “but in this case.”

          Give me ONE example of, “in this context, in this case, abortion is wrong.”

          Just one.

        • Pattrsn

          When it’s against the will of the woman who Is pregnant.

        • wladyslaw

          The issue in your example is not if abortion wrong. The issue is whether force is wrong–can it be ever be used to force a woman to abort, or diet, or do anything else.
          l‎

        • Pattrsn

          See it’s not an absolute value if it’s dependent on context, you said so yourself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The definition of an absolute value rules
          OUT all context.

          Why? Why can’t a situation, in a particular context, have an
          absolutely correct moral resolution? For example: it is absolutely true that eating someone else’s apple, to prevent your own starvation, is morally correct.

          Give me ONE example of absolute morality (and I’ll want evidence that it’s more than just your own opinion).

        • Maxximiliann

          Perpetrating evil is always wrong. Do you disagree?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I agree. That’s my opinion, but an example of objective moral truth.

          (And that’s pretty much a tautology anyway. Not much of a moral statement.)

        • Maxximiliann

          You lost me. How is an objective moral truth not a moral statement?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You lost me. How is a tautology interesting to our conversation?

        • Maxximiliann

          I don’t follow. How does that answer my query?

        • Kodie

          Forcing someone to have an abortion would be wrong, but still not even absolutely wrong.

          Forcing a young woman to have an abortion just because she doesn’t have any money would be wrong. Strapping her down and hauling her into the abortion clinic just because she came in and applied for social services is wrong.

          Denying her social services may or may not be wrong. It totally depends on her situation and context. But they can do that.

          If, having been denied social services, this woman is out of options, having a baby would be probably the wrong thing to do – for the baby (and probably if she already has other children). Abortion is her rock and a hard place decision to make, based on all available help (none or very little). Is she “forced” to have an abortion as KarlUdy would have us all believe, or is she making her own choice based on the rational outcome of not being able to afford it, having no help.

          —————————-

          I am a little less comfortable suggesting that some women should not be mothers and should be encouraged to have an abortion, and there is a difference between doing that and forcibly abducting them to the clinic. It seems to come down to eugenics and one group making a decision that another group cannot or should not have children, and cases where people have rights over their bodily autonomy even when they don’t know what that means, for example.

          If someone would be 100% physically endangering themselves to carry and/or care for a child, but they are also a deluded pro-lifer who thinks if they pray for a miracle or accept whatever happens, I’m of the mind they can still choose to die that way if that’s what they really want.

          If someone keeps having babies and they keep getting taken by CPS… I still don’t know. People can change. I don’t know if people who keep having children taken in custody by the state are considered criminals, since the abuse would necessarily be in the past. What dictatorship are they under to stop having children if they’re only going to abuse them? Is there a limit on how many chances they have to have another child and see if they’re not abusive, and are they checked on or only wait to be reported by a concerned citizen?

          Obviously, these are situations and contexts that affect whether something is ok or not. To me, these are sort of gray areas to study, while to someone else, everyone at all times should have bodily autonomy. To another person, example A would be on the mother’s side to leave her infant motherless, and example B should merely just stop having sex, spontaneously, or stop abusing her children, spontaneously – no programs or intervention by society or the government necessary.

          Another example might be an 11-year-old girl. If she gets pregnant, who decides for her? We hear a lot of cases where she is forced to stay pregnant by her own religious values, or her parents’ or community’s religious values. Who decides that she must have an abortion? I am really uncomfortable with every answer to that question. I am uncomfortable giving her that choice as much as I am taking it away from her.

        • Pattrsn

          As far as hierarchy of values the right to bodily autonomy trumps your right to practice your religion.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          (I hope it’s OK to respond to email addressed to someone else.)

          Now pro-abortionists even will not speak out against sex- selection abortions that kill 1.5 million woman a year–oops, let’s be politically correct–kill 1.5 potential women a year.

          Good catch! You and I know that “woman” is an appropriate label for a single microscopic cell, but those politically correct pinheads are always raining on our parade.

          I just saw a recent Planned Parenthood sign that said: Abortion, for any reason.

          I just read an article by an anti-choicer. It was talking about parental autonomy—how parents’ rights trump the government teaching them about sex or religion and so on.

          And they say this right is absolute–and their justification is bodily autonomy.

          And do they justify their claim to absolute grounding? You don’t, so I doubt they would. I even wonder if they use that phrasing.

          I say it’s a right, not an absolute right (because they don’t exist).

          Where does this absolute moral value come from?

          Whaaa … ? How does it feel to be pulling your hair out at a ridiculous claim about absolute moral truth?! Shoe’s on the other foot, isn’t it?

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,

          “Good catch! You and I know that “woman” is an appropriate label for a single microscopic cell, but those politically correct pinheads are always raining on our parade.”
          I was trying to be sarcastic. I am bad at it. I won’t try again.

          “I just read an article by an anti-choicer. It was talking about parental autonomy—how parents’ rights trump the government teaching them about sex or religion and so on.”

          Absolutely correct. My parent came from Russia, and they could absolutely not teach about religion even in their own home–their kids may squeal.

          Parental autonomy in the field of EDUCATION is absolute, and it is recognized in America–homeschooling, for instance–but not recognized in Germany.

          Parental autonomy is obviously not absolute in case of life or health of the child–refusing blood transfusions.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I was trying to be sarcastic. I am bad at
          it. I won’t try again.

          You were highlighting the word “potential.” Yes, I
          understand how you see that word.

          I was highlighting the word “woman” to make clear that a
          single cell is really, really, incredibly different from a woman.

          My parent came from Russia

          Wait … so you do support parents’ rights? You want to give the benefit of the doubt to the parents and let them raise their kids the way they see fit? Then I wonder how you’re happy to trample the rights of women about their potential kids.

        • w

          Bob,

          I would absolutely oppose the woman the right to kill the child in the womb.
          Just like I would “trample” your right to kill me.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I would “trample” your right to kill me.

          Hardly surprising. You’re an adult. You’re quite a bit more important than a single cell.

          Indeed, that you can push back and the idea is ridiculous for the single cell helps make my point.

        • Niemand

          I oppose your right to kill innocent oxygen molecules by breathing. And don’t claim that they’re not human–have you ever heard of a person who didn’t have oxygen in them? I think not. Oxygen, left alone, will form life, including human life. So stop with your greedy “need” to destroy it already.

        • purr

          Now pro-abortionists even will not speak out against sex- selection abortions that kill 1.5 million woman a year–oops, let’s be politically correct–kill 1.5 potential women a year.

          And this is done in cultures where women have absolutely no value other than as homemakers, helpmeets and bay factories.

          Cultures where women are property.

          Cultures where a woman does not have the right to choose contraception or abortion for herself.

          And because of this, women are naturally viewed as worthless beings compared to boys. Because boys can grow up and get a job. What an a worthless girl do? Cost a lot of money in dowry, and become a wife that shits out more kids.

          I suggest you read this article, it explains the reasoning behind female infanticide:

          http://www.infanticide.org/history.htm

          “Despite the clear theistic prohibitions against
          child-murder by the three major Western religions, female infanticide has been forcenturies a prominent and socially acceptable event in two related areas of the world:
          India and China. Even today, the extent of the problem is measured in frighteningproportions: “at least 60 million females in Asia are missing and feared dead,victims of nothing more than their sex. Worldwide, research suggests, the number ofmissing females may top 100 million. ”

          The data is truly astounding, Estimates indicate that 30.5 million females are “missing” from China, 22.8 million in India, 3.1million in Pakistan, 1.6 million in Bangladesh, 1.7 million in West Asia, 600,000 in Egypt, and 200,000 in Nepal.

          It is clear that the onerous costs involved with the raising of a girl, end eventually providing her an appropriate marriage dowry, was thesingle most important factor in allowing social acceptance of the murder at birth in India. In China, economics also played a significant role since it is a poor country with one of the lowest rates of agricultural output per acre of arable land in the world. With an extremely high infant and child mortality rate, because of sparse food supply and medical care, a married couple needed to raise three sons in order to ensure the survival of one into adulthood. Females were only consumers and a serious financial burden to a
          poor family. They were therefore often killed at birth”

          ———–

          Denying women the right to self-determination in the form of contraception and pregnancy termination will only increase the rates of female infanticide, not decrease them. When a woman’s only value is in her ability to produce babies, she has no value other than as a farm animal.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ask an anti-choicer whether he would prefer infanticide or abortion. I’m sure he’d say that he hates them both. But if he had to choose, and he didn’t have to lose face in front of you, I’m sure he’d choose abortion, as early as possible.

          More evidence that we all see a spectrum of personhood.

        • purr

          The most stubborn of them would, unfortunately, argue that plan B is infanticide.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          I am an “anti-choicer.” If I HAD to choose between infanticide and abortion–do you mean someone is FORCING me to choose to abort my child or kill my child after birth? I would absolutely choose neither and be willing to face the consequences.

        • purr

          That isn’t what Bob was asking.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So you see no meaningful moral difference between killing a one-year old baby and a 1 day old zygote?

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,
          The moral obligation to refuse either is exactly the same.

        • purr

          If you had to choose between voting for Politician A, who makes abortion illegal, but infanticide legal, or Politician B, who makes abortion legal, but infanticide illegal, which would you choose?

          And in this thought experiment, voting is mandatory.

        • w

          You are posing an impossible to exist Politician A– a square circle.

          I can’t respond to an impossible situation.

        • purr

          It’s a thought experiment.

        • wladyslaw

          No, it’s impossible. If this can never happen, please don’t bring it up.

          The equations don’t work–infanticide is already illegal.
          Pro-abortion politician B is offering only to make make abortion legal. He can’t make infanticide illegal. It already is.

          And a pro-life politician that endorses infanticide is a square circle. And a person who thinks infanticide is legal would never make abortion illegal.
          Impossible conundrum.

        • purr

          He can’t make infanticide illegal. It already is.

          Not in our fictional world.

          And a pro-life politician that endorses infanticide is a square circle

          It is possible to be pro-life but anti-child. And in fact, it isn’t as square as you would imagine.

          There are some very Catholic villagers in rural South America. I read about them in a book by anthropologist Marvin Harris, unfortunately, I can’t recall the title. Anyways, these people are very Catholic, and very very anti-abortion. To them, abortion is the worst crime imaginable. With contraception a close second.

          So you know what they do to children they cannot afford to feed? These are people who survive by subsistence farming btw. On less than a dollar a day. They starve those children to death. Through neglect. However, they can convince themselves that it is not deliberate *murder*, like in abortion, because they are simply ‘too busy’ or ‘too distracted’ to feed the child. So it dies.

        • wladyslaw

          Voting for a pro-life politician today in America today who supports infanticide is impossible, and will never, ever happen.

          In your South American country the pro-life Catholic people may have starved their children–bit they never pushed to make it legal.

        • purr

          Thought experiment.

        • wladyslaw

          Impossible in real life. Totally useless.

        • purr

          I will amend it a bit.

          Studies have shown that, where abortion is not allowed, rates of infanticide are higher than where abortion is legal.

          Infanticide has been used as a form of population and birth control throughout most of history. This is how people have traditionally gotten rid of unwanted children.

          Female infanticide is particularly common – always has been. Girls are just worth less than boys.

          In countries such as China and India, abortion is currently used as the method by which female fetii are killed. Before the advent of abortion, female infanticide was the method. And even today, in rural China and India, those who cannot afford abortion resort to infanticide.

          So the question is, would you ban abortion in countries such as China and India, *knowing* that female infanticide rates will spike, and remain high, because abortion is no longer an option.

          And yeah, infanticide can remain illegal. Doesn’t matter. If people really don’t want a female infant, they will let it starve to death, or beat it to death out of anger. Happens all over the world.

        • wladyslaw

          Do you REALLY believe that 8 million Chinese mothers (the number aborted last year) would kill all those infants instead if they were born?

          Ban abortions in China? Yes, I would first ban sex selection
          everywhere. Feminists today are not working to ban sex-selective abortions. Abortion for any reason is their cry.

          And abortions in China is so high because of the government one child policy. Yesterday a Chinese woman was taken out of her home in the middle of the night and underwent forced abortion. It’s legal there.

        • purr

          So you find just a ‘little bit’ of infanticide to be acceptable?

          And even without a one child policy (and it’s been reversed btw) if people do not want a female child, they will abort, or commit infanticide. Especially if they can get away with the infanticide – and they can, in rural, third world countries.

        • wladyslaw

          Yesterday’s forced abortion of the Liu a woman in China a week ago that says it is not so.

          Liu’s baby was aborted under China’s One Child Policy.
          Lifesitenews.com

          Look, the abolition of abortion is an incremental process.

          Feminists are very upset at the erosion of abortion rights and the closing of more and more abortion clinics.

          A little bit of infanticide would be an incredible advancement.

        • purr

          A little bit of infanticide would be an incredible advancement.

          Wow. That settles that then.

          From Wikipedia:

          “In 2008, China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission said that the policy will remain in place for at least another decade.[12] The deputy director of the Commission stated that the policy would remain unaltered until at least 2015.[13] However, widespread criticism from officials and well-placed commentators suggests that the policy will be substantially relaxed under the new government of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang.[14] In 2010, it was announced that the majority of the citizens initially subject to the policy are no longer of reproductive age and it has been speculated that many citizens simply disregard or violate the policy in more recent years. Among several small relaxations and hints of change,
          in March 2011, the government said it would consider allowing couples to have a second child”

          And LieSiteNews isn’t a source.

        • wladyslaw

          We are seeing slight progress in China.

        • purr

          Ignoring the point.

        • wladyslaw

          Will always ignore an impossible point.

        • purr

          No, you will ignore a point that is too inconvenient for you to answer.

          I could ask ‘wlad, do you prefer unicorn or pegasus?’

          And you would reply ‘neither the unicorn nor the pegasus exist, therefore, I cannot answer your question’.

        • Kodie

          Unicorns.

        • Kodie

          What the hell is wrong with you? You answered the question, you just can’t figure it out unless someone feeds it to you correctly.

        • wladyslaw

          Kodie,
          Feel free to talk anyway you wish, I won’t answer you.
          Everybody else carries on a polite conversation.
          You may decide to talk civilly.

        • Kodie

          I perceive that your attitude throughout has been hostile stubbornness. Do you like it to be as difficult as possible to get through a conversation with? Or is it because your mom took a lot of drugs? I mean, just answer the damn questions and move on, why do we have to pull out all your damn teeth one by one?

        • wladyslaw

          goodbye Kodie,

        • wladyslaw

          Won’t engage in something useless.

        • purr

          It wasn’t useless.

          You are ignoring the point and playing semantics games.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Having a hard time responding to yes/no questions with “yes” or “no”?

          Let me help you out. Wlad says: “Yes, killing a one-year-old baby and killing a one-day-old zygote is morally equivalent. They’re both ‘murder’ equally.”

          See? Just like that.

        • wladyslaw

          Bob,

          “Yes, killing a one-year-old baby and killing a one-day-old zygote is morally equivalent. They’re both ‘murder’ equally.”

          I said it.

        • purr

          Then what kind of punishment should women receive for obtaining abortions if it is ever made illegal?

          In your OPINION

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I said it.

          Good. I don’t know why that was so hard. You should be shouting it from the rooftops, no?

          Anyway, if we can cut to the chase a little more often, that would make the conversations more efficient.

        • Niemand

          1.5 million woman a year–oops, let’s be politically correct–kill 1.5 potential women a year.

          I know this was just a typo, but it’s rather symbolic that it was “1.5 million women” when wladyslaw was thinking about embryos and suddenly down to “1.5 women” when he was thinking about actual women. Actual women and girls are made to disappear by the “pro-life” movement, both literally (as in Esperanza or Halappanavar) or metaphorically as above.

        • Kodie

          Death has no on-going effects. Abortion is a reversal of pregnancy, it’s not murdering anyone. As soon as someone chooses to harbor their parasite, it behooves them and everyone else if they don’t mess it up.

          Apparently, your mother took a lot of drugs.

        • wladyslaw

          Last I checked, death was the end of something living.

        • purr

          Yes, which means it *cannot* possibly have any ON-GOING effects.

          Pay special attention to the word ‘on-going’.

          If you’re dead, you’re not gonna get more dead. And if you’re dead, smoking, pollution and drugs aren’t going to cause you physical harm!

        • wladyslaw

          So

        • purr

          Is that the best you can do?

        • wladyslaw

          “If you’re dead, you’re not gonna get more dead. And if you’re dead,
          smoking, pollution and drugs aren’t going to cause you physical harm.”
          Yeah, it’s the best I can do.

        • Kodie

          Right, no on-going effects. Like I said the first time.

          u reed gud.

        • Maxximiliann

          A human being in utero is a parasite? A parasite?!?! Looks like you’ve been drinking too much of the paranoid, fem-Nazi, misandrist Kool-Aid that ovulation is a revolting disease and abortion-as-birth-control (murder) is nothing more than an antiparasitic medicinal.

        • purr

          The zygote actually overpowers the woman’s immune system in the same way a parasite does. Isn’t that interesting!?

          Here are some scientific findings:

          Further investigation revealed that placental NKB contained the molecule phosphocholine, which is used by the parasitic nematode worm to avoid attack by the immune system of the host in which it lives.

          During implantation, fetally derived cells (trophoblast) invade the maternal endometrium and remodel the endometrial spiral arteries into low-resistance vessels that are unable to constrict. This invasion has three consequences. First, the fetus gains direct access to its mother’s arterial blood. Therefore, a mother cannot reduce the nutrient content of blood reaching the placenta without reducing the nutrient supply to
          her own tissues. Second, the volume of blood reaching the placenta becomes largely independent of control by the local maternal vasculature. Third, the placenta is able to release hormones and other substances directly into the maternal circulation. Placental hormones, including human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and human placental lactogen (hPL), are predicted to manipulate maternal physiology for fetal benefit.

          The host-parasite relationship during pregnancy is a fascinating interaction and research in this area will improve understanding of disease pathogenesis and the various consequences of the host immune response, being host-protective, parasite protective and contributing to disease pathology. Pregnancy poses an interesting problem for the immune system of the dam as she is essentially carrying a semi-allogeneic tissue graft (the foetus) without immunological rejection taking place.

          Another role for foetal transferrin receptors on trophoblasts could be to bind maternal transferrin at the materno-foetal interface, thus frustrating maternal immunosurveillance. This is similar to a mechahism
          used by schistosomes in the host-parasite relation where host proteins are bound by the parasite to escape immunological recognition.

        • Kodie

          Oh my!

        • Maxximiliann

          You should be. For shame!

        • purr

          You were a tiny parasite once Joseph.

        • Kodie

          You’re not the judge of me, sir!

        • Maxximiliann

          You’re absolutely right. You can do whatever you want to whomever you want anytime you want. It’s not like you’re a part of society nor beholden to he who gives you the air you breathe, the food you eat, the water you drink nor the life in your veins … oh .. but .. that’s right … you came from ancestors who were … great apes … sooooo …. carry on, carry on ….

        • Niemand

          misandrist

          Ok, I get where the “Nazi” claim comes from. It’s stupid but at least there’s an internal logic. I get where the “paranoid” comes from even, though it’s clearly a bit of projection. But “misandrist”? Why? Is it because a woman who has an abortion is removing herself from the control of the man who impregnated her? So much for Karl’s claim that abortion is usually done because men insist on it.

        • Maxximiliann

          Have you read WMD’s comments? Given that she’s never met me they’re obviously misandrist projections.

        • islandbrewer

          Misandrist?

          Wait, let me get out my MRA bingo card!

          ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

          Off topic, but may as well mention it here. In honor of you, Joseph O Polanco, and your JoHo sensibilities, I’m going down to the Red Cross to donate blood, today.

          That blood (most common, A+, they’re always calling me to donate more) will be put into a stranger’s veins in order to save their life.

          It’s great! It’s one of the simplest most efficient ways to make a huge life saving impact on others’ lives.

          I encourage anyone and everyone who is capable of donating to do so, in your name, Joseph O Polanco.

          If you don’t like the Red Cross for whatever reason, there are hospital and University blood centers where you can donate, too.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m a blood donor myself, but why bring Jo into the conversation?? Yuck.

        • islandbrewer

          I just get tickled at the thought that I can do something truly good for humanity and tick off Jo at the same time.

          In another thread, I proposed a general “Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Demented Blood Drive.” I’d really be quite motivated to organize one, but I don’t think spite is quite the motivation for others as it is for me, right now.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I was at the recent Seattle premiere of “Truth Be Told,” a documentary of the difficult time people had in getting out of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’d recommend it, if you’re interested in cults.

        • Niemand

          Um…you wrote the line in response to a post by Kodie unless disqus is messed up, so I’m not sure what WMD has to do with anything.

          Kodie’s comment contained no hint of misandry.

        • Maxximiliann

          Take a look at her comment records, then. You’ll see what I mean …

        • Kodie
        • purr

          know you are defensive about your illiteracy, which is why you rely so heavily on a few obscure vocabulary words and Latin phrases to sound intelligent and well-read. However, intelligence doesn’t come from words, it comes from understanding, and understanding comes from reading
          and comprehending

          Kodie has you pegged, dumbass.

          It must really burn to be so weak.

          I almost pity you.

        • Kodie

          Dude’s paranoid.

        • purr

          Do you even know what misandrist means? Dumbass.

        • Ron

          A human being in utero is a parasite?

          Parasite

          : an organism that lives on or in a host and gets its food from or at the expense of its host (CDC)

          : an animal or plant that lives in or on another animal or plant and gets food or protection from it (Merriam-Webster)

          tl;dr

          Yes.

        • Maxximiliann

          So you view a human being in utero the same as you would a tapeworm …

          Thank you for demonstrating the evil, dehumanizing effects of Atheism …

          “Atheism certainly promotes a low view of humanity.”
          ― John Dickson

        • purr

          A tapeworm is actually more beneficial than a fetus.

          At least the tapeworm can effectively ‘cure’ certain auto-immune diseases.

          A fetus can only cause them.

        • Niemand

          To be fair, some autoimmune diseases can partially remit a bit during pregnancy…only to come roaring back, usually worse than before, post-partum.

        • purr

          Yep.

          Which means, pregnancy can’t ‘permanently cure’ auto-immune diseases, which is what myintx and others keep claiming.

        • Ron

          It’s atheism (lowercase “a”), and fetal development remains at an embryonic stage up until the ninth week of gestation. Primitive consciousness doesn’t even begin developing until well after the 21st week. [1] In other words, it’s not classified as a human being until it’s fully formed.

          Furthermore, the CDC reports that approximately 65% of all abortions are performed prior to the 9th week, 91% occur prior to the 13th week, and of the remaining 9%, less than 1.5% occur after the 20th week. [2] So even the “fetal pain” argument is without merit in over 98% of all cases.

          Sources:

          1. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16118385

          2. cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6108a1.htm?s_cid=ss6108a1_w (See Table 8)

        • Maxximiliann

          And how does any of that change the fact that you consider the in utero offspring of human beings the same as you would a tapeworm? Or that your Atheism has dehumanized you to the point of actually believing such evil?

          How have you managed to stay alive for as long as you have? Most misanthropes don’t last very long …

        • Ron

          Basically, it boils down to a disagreement over definitions.

          On the Christian worldview, “evil” is defined as that which displeases the Middle Eastern tribal god you’ve chosen to worship.

          On my worldview, “evil” is defined as that which undermines the well-being of sentient beings.

          Sperm, ova, zygotes, blastocysts, embryos and fetuses are not sentient beings. As such, destroying them can be no more evil than destroying bacteria, viruses or cancer cells.

        • Maxximiliann

          Which takes us to the crux of the issue. Are objective moral values real or not? Because, if they’re not, then all your demurral makes has as much import as arguing over the morality of eating chocolate versus strawberry ice cream.

          Now, you seem to believe in the reality of goodness, am I correct?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ron is more than able to answer the question for himself, but for me, I see no evidence of objective moral truths (as defined by Wm. Lane Craig.

        • Maxximiliann

          So you don’t believe in the reality of goodness?

        • Ron

          “Goodness” and “believe” are nebulous words. If you’re asking whether I consider certain kinds of interpersonal behavior more desirable than others, then the answer would be an unequivocal yes. However, if you’re suggesting that an immutable set of standards governing human behavior exists apart from human consciousness, then you’ll need to provide evidence in favor of that proposition. Because to date, I’ve seen nothing to validate such a conclusion, but there’s every indication that cultural standards are forged through social interaction.

          And barring some disequilibrium in supply and demand, choosing between ice cream flavors doesn’t directly affect anyone other than ourselves. The same cannot be said for raping, pillaging, or bludgeoning others to death, can it?

        • Maxximiliann

          Thing is, mankind doesn’t treat acts like ped0philia, the gunning down of innocent children, racial bigotry, sadism, genocide, gang rape and serial murder as just socially unacceptable behavior, like, say, picking your nose at the dinner table. Rather, these cause shock and horror and are treated as a moral abominations – acts of evil.

          On the flip side, love, equality and self-sacrifice are not just treated as socially advantageous acts, like, say, bringing a girl flowers on a first date, but, instead are treated as things that are truly good.

          Now, irrational beasts don’t have **objective** morals. When a lion savagely kills another it doesn’t think it’s committing murder. When a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle snatches prey away from another it doesn’t feel it’s stealing. When primates violently force themselves onto females and their young they’re not tried and convicted of rape or ped0philia. Obviously, then, we certainly didn’t “inherit” our **objective** moral sense from them.

          **Objective** morals do not come from science either because science, by it’s very nature, is morally nihilistic. Where, then, do we get our **universal objective morals** from?

        • Ron

          You’ve highlighted the word “objective” three times and “universal objective morals” once, but haven’t defined how you employ those terms. Please clarify what you mean by “objective” because the dictionary provides several definitions for that word and I’ve seen many discussions falter due to silent misunderstandings over which meaning was being referenced.

        • Pattrsn

          Not because of the effect on the fetus but the effect on the child once it’s carried to term. Abortion doesn’t affect the health of the child because there is no child. A better question is why do forced regnancy politicians cut social services to children if they are forcing women to maintain pregnancies?

        • wladyslaw

          I’m not sure. I personally would never vote for any law that would cause harm to a child.

        • purr

          Would you vote for a law that would cause harm to women?

          Why yes, you would…forced pregnancy.

        • Pattrsn

          A forced pregnancy advocate who won’t vote republican, good for you.

        • Niemand

          So you’re voting for SCHIP and the ACA, I presume. Or at least for politicians who support same. And standing with teachers when their employers try union busting or cutting their pay. To not do so would cause grave harm to many children.

        • Niemand

          Yeah, it’s probably wrong. Smoking’s dangerous. So what? I consider lots of things “wrong” without thinking that they should be illegal. I don’t like drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication: people act really stupid when they’re drunk and they can endanger others. I think Shimp was a real jerk to refuse to donate his marrow to McFall. But I recognize that my judgement of these acts and millions of others is no basis for a law. If I were her friend or her doctor I might counsel her about the risks, but beyond that, it’s none of my business.

          Incidentally, the risks of marijuana are probably not as great as you’re implying. See for example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24075896
          But I agree that it’s a bad idea. Especially in countries with prohibition and therefore no quality control on the substance.

        • purr

          Fu Disqus!!

          All of your comments were showing up as being authored by ‘wladyslaw’

          And I’m thinking…why is wladyslaw arguing AGAINST himeslf?

        • Niemand

          Weird. They’re showing up as by me to me.

        • purr

          I think it has something to do with the fact that both your names are unclickable – as your accounts were carried over from the old forums before they switched to Disqus.

    • Ron

      The same way it’s perfectly acceptable for automobile manufacturers to scrap entire vehicles before leaving the assembly plant, but not acceptable for them to smash cars already on the road.

    • Maxximiliann

      Along the same lines, why is it ok to deprive a woman of her bodily autonomy just before she is ready to give birth? http://bit.ly/1aY7qfA http://bit.ly/16tqef5

      If an abortion in the late term is first degree murder why isn’t abortion in the early term also first degree murder? http://bit.ly/1aY7qfA http://bit.ly/16tqef5

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Off topic (except if the topic is the joys and tribulations that are
    Disqus): if you put your cursor over the faint gray name of the responded-to
    person, you get hover text of the comment that it responds to. That’s handy in
    a long chain where indents don’t help tell you which of the many comments this
    is a response to. FYI.

  • Itarion

    If pro lifers got into the car business…

    They would sell you a car in nine months.
    They would sell you the schematics.
    Every car ever thought of would get sold (though not necessarily made).

  • Maxximiliann

    This analogy is flawed for a very important, and blatantly obvious, reason. A car can be built from scratch and be made to function. However, even if all the “parts” required to make a living being are assembled, it cannot be made to function. Why is that the case if we’re nothing more than just carbon based, organic machines?

    • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

      A flawed analogy is kind of like how you creatards use the watchmaker analogy to make the case for creationism. Watches are not alive, they don’t reproduce. Two watches don’t go and have sex and make a little baby watch. Watches are assembled whole, humans grow from a single cell.

      • Maxximiliann

        I don’t respond to ad homs. Try again.

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          Argumentum ad Jehovahswitnessum.

          You don’t respond period, you just cut and paste your mantra

        • Maxximiliann

          Is it my fault you debate like a child? Rephrase your question and I’ll be more than happy to rebuff it.

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          You debate worse than a child, you debate like a JoHo. Oh wait, it’s the same thing.

        • Maxximiliann

          What’s that? Another ad hom? All out of relevant arguments? Guess it’s time for you to call it a night …

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          It’s time for you to go door to door and leave the web alone. All you do is make Christians look ignorant and irrational. Even more than usual.

        • Maxximiliann

          You forgot to add “in my humble opinion.”

        • purr

          Humility isn’t something you’d know about.

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          You forgot to act humble.

        • Maxximiliann

          Since when is humility the same as pusillanimity?

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          It isn’t. Since when is being a Christian synonymous with
          superciliousness?

        • Maxximiliann

          I don’t think you’re better or more important than me. Why would you think such a thing?

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          So you think you’re better than me?

        • Maxximiliann

          No. Not at all. Why would you think such a thing?

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          Is it moral for a Christian to lie or distort facts in order to convert others to Christianity?

        • Maxximiliann

          Responderunt interrogavit. Thanks for admitting that you’re trolling and not actually interested in learning anything.

        • purr

          All you have to offer is bullshit.

        • Maxximiliann

          Insecure much?

        • http://www.atheismandthecity.com/ The Thinker

          Dealing with a JoHo like you who can’t read the bible in context? Not at all.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Rephrase your question and I’ll be more than happy to rebuff it.

          Nice! I should submit this one as an example of a Freudian Slip on urbandictionary.com.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      It’s good that you’re here to share the blatantly obvious to those of us who can’t figure it out.

      It’s news to me that living parts can’t be assembled and made to function. Show me that it’s impossible.

      • Maxximiliann

        Sure. Just have somebody rub you out, wait a day and then try and resuscitate you.

        Three guesses what’ll happen …

        • purr

          Sure. Just have somebody rub you out

          You’re such a flirt.

        • Kodie

          He’s from the 1940s, see?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And this is relevant to your previous comment how … ?

          Ball’s in your court, cupcake. Show me that it’s impossible to assemble living things to get a larger living thing.

        • Maxximiliann

          All the parts are there so, per your analogy, there should be no reason why you aren’t alive. Any simpler and I’m gonna have to break out the crayons … j jk jk jkj k :)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Meaningless.

          Thanks.

        • Maxximiliann

          No, it’s not.
          You’re welcome.

    • Niemand

      Why is that the case if we’re nothing more than just carbon based, organic machines

      Because we’re complicated carbon based organic machines. Try letting the car parts sit out in the rain for a month and then assembling them. Do they work? No. Because you’ve caused damage to the parts. Same as if you take the various organs without proper storage. They won’t work. OTOH, it should be noted that with proper care, transfer of one or more organs from one person to another is not just possible but routine…just like rebuilding a car from spare parts.

      • Maxximiliann

        Riiiight, riiight. Car parts left out in the rain can’t be refurbished and made to work like new … Looks like someone forgot to tell all the junkyards mechanics depend on for refurbished parts …

        • purr

          Can kidneys, if left out in the rain for a month, be refurbished?

          I think not.

        • Kodie

          That’s your rebuttal?

        • purr

          Sweet.

          I am talking to another anti-choicer who…surprise surprise…would prefer there was a little bit of infanticide vs. millions of abortions

          lulz

          The ironic thing…she refers to ZEF’s as ‘unborn babies’

          Yet, she doesn’t seem to care if a few thousand REAL BABIES are killed by their parents.

        • Niemand

          So there are no situations in which a car can be so damaged that it can no longer run? Parts can never corrode or be destroyed? Wow. Cars must be miracle items. But then why do junkyards even exist?

  • Tayglas

    One glaring flaw- a car is not a person.
    Perhaps this guy should not have “looked at the car” (sex) if he were not ready to buy it. Children are not things we can chose once they have been created, we can only chose whether or not to create them. If it’s not the right time to “buy a car” then don’t have sex, especially unprotected sex.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      If you’re saying that American teens aren’t well educated about sex and that society needs to do a better, I certainly agree.

      However, once the damage is done, let’s help pick up the pieces. To say, “Hey, it’s your fault. Welcome to parenthood. You’re stuck with that child” seems pretty short-sighted. We don’t do that when someone shoots himself by accident (or injures himself in some other stupid way); why not with an unwanted pregnancy?

      • Tayglas

        Well it is their fault.
        And no, that person does not have to be stuck with that child. There are many options, the least of which involves getting rid of a person (albeit an unborn one).

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sure, it’s their fault. And society handles such cases with a harm-reduction philosophy. Do we let accidental gunshot victims bleed to death outside the ER? Do we figure that that’ll teach them a good lesson?

          Not in my part of the country.

          The pro-choice approach allows the person in the best position to evaluate the information (the mother) to decide which of the options are best. Why take abortion off the table if it’s often chosen as the best option?

        • Tayglas

          “Accidental” implies that someone else (besides the victim) is at fault, so of course we do not allow them to bleed to death! No one would argue that.
          Should we not, likewise, protect those who are victims of “gunmen.”

          What does a woman lose by having a child? (in your opinion)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Accidental” implies that someone else (besides the victim) is at fault

          Nope. “Accidental gunshot” refers to an idiot who shot himself.

          … so of course we do not allow them to bleed to death! No one would argue that.

          Good. Then let’s treat someone who inadvertently got pregnant the same way as someone who inadvertently got shot.

          What does a woman lose by having a child? (in your opinion)

          You think that there are no downsides to having a child, both to the mother and to the child-to-be? If so, you need to do a little research before you go out in public insisting that your opinion be applied to the rest of the country.

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          “Well it is their fault.”

          So what? An obese person may have a heart attack, but we don’t deny him heart surgery and tell him he should have thought before eating all those Big Macs.

          And as far as what a woman loses by having a child, take your pick. If she doesn’t have the sort of job that will accommodate a pregnancy, she could lose that. If she doesn’t have the social support system a pregnant woman needs, she could end up homeless and distraught. Many pregnant women end up with diabetes or other diseases; my wife had to have surgery for a blown disc after giving birth to my son. And hundreds of women still die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth every year here in the USA. So let’s not be so cavalier about what a cakewalk it is to carry and give birth to a kid, and let’s not force women to do it against their will.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Good points. Pro-life = forced pregnancy.

          And let’s not forget about it from the child’s standpoint. If a woman is at a stage in her life where the conditions into which the child would be born are unhealthy (gangs, drugs, violence, no father, etc.), she should consider if now is the best time.

        • Tayglas

          The difference is that by having an abortion, one is taking away the potential for life! It’s not at all the same as making the mistake of eating a billion Big Macs. I don’t deny that there are downsides to pregnancy. However, if one is going to have sex they should know these and should not partake in it if they do not want to get pregnant. Because (and here’s a shocker) the primary biological purpose of sex is to have children. It being fun does not justify getting rid of an unformed child, simply because it might cause one to lose their job.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The difference is that by having an abortion, one is taking away the potential for life!

          Y’know what? Sometimes I kill a fly, and it doesn’t bother me at all. I sleep like a baby. “Potential for life” means little until we know what kind of life we’re talking about.

          (Does that make me a monster?)

          Because (and here’s a shocker) the primary biological purpose of sex is to have children.

          Tell that to the 17yo boy who sees the hot girl in the bikini. Here’s a shocker: humans have sexual drives that don’t give a damn about children. “Yeah, but evolution selected those drives because they produce children” is irrelevant. Evolution gave us eyebrows to keep sweat out of our eyes. Big deal.

        • Tayglas

          What makes someone a human then?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I would say human means having H. sapiens DNA. But “human being” would be more like a person, and that’s a spectrum (no, a single cell isn’t a human being).

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          The difference is that by having an abortion, one is taking away the potential for life! It’s not at all the same as making the mistake of eating a billion Big Macs.

          I never said it was. I only pointed out that we shouldn’t withhold medical treatment from someone just because of our moralistic disapproval of their life choices. In the case of an obese person, we wouldn’t feel justified in saying he couldn’t have a bypass. But in the case of a pregnant woman, we feel well within our rights to criticize her lifestyle and deny her an abortion. Why is that?


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