Why is it Always Men Advancing the Pro-Life Position?

Pro-life menLook at the pro-life lineup of speakers and authors, and you’ll see far more men than women. Doesn’t it seem unfair that the gender that isn’t personally inconvenienced by pregnancy is the one pushing the restrictions?

I’m not saying that men should be silent, but I would prefer to see participants in the conversation in proportion to how it impacts their lives directly. The woman who’s pregnant? Of course. The man who will help support and nurture the child? Yep. Some self-important blowhard in a pulpit or on a stage or behind a microphone a thousand miles away? Not so much.

The moral debate

I remember a podcast by a popular Christian apologist during which a woman caller asked this question. The apologist (a man) seemed annoyed. He said that murder was murder. (I disagree, but that’s a tangent.)

More to the point, he said that his moral opinion was relevant regardless of his gender. I’ll agree with that, as far as it goes. But I think that the woman had an important point that is rarely acknowledged, since only a woman can have an abortion.

Let me try to turn the tables. This apologist is of the age where he might have been in the draft pool during the Vietnam War. Let’s suppose it’s 1970, and this guy returns from a tour fighting in Vietnam. Readjusting to life in America is tough, and he has nightmares and other symptoms of what we now call PTSD. His wife is sympathetic and, after some prodding, he shares the problem with her.

“Oh, you should go see Dr. Franklin about that,” she says. “I’m part of a community of veterans’ wives, and I’ve heard all about that problem. He does wonders with returning soldiers, and he’ll fix you up in no time.”

Our hero hesitates, not comfortable discussing his demons with a stranger. “I don’t think so.”

“No, really. I’ve heard a lot about this, and that treatment should work for you.”

Tension increases as they go back and forth. Finally, he says, “Honey, I really appreciate your sympathy. I know you want to help. But you must understand that you will never, ever understand what I’ve been through. Put in 18 months in Vietnam and then we’ll have something to talk about. Until then, you don’t get it, and you never will.”

Similarly, our 60-something male apologist will never, ever completely understand what it’s like to be 15 and pregnant, faced with disapproving parents and ridicule from classmates, seeing her life plans crumbling around her, dealing with pro-lifers shouting “murder!” at the suggestion of an abortion, and wondering how she’s ever going to get her life back on track.

If the male apologist wants to comment on the topic, that’s fine, but a big dose of humility (and sympathy) would make his opinion easier to take.

The Portman Effect

About a year ago, I wrote about Republican Senator Rob Portman’s dramatic public reversal on the issue of same-sex marriage after his son came out as gay several years earlier. Bravo, Senator, for taking a politically difficult stand, but why did it take a gay son to bring about this turnaround? You couldn’t figure the issue out by thinking about other people’s gay children? You couldn’t get there by musing, “Gee … what if my son turned out to be gay?” Or even, “What if I’d been gay?”

As clever as humans are about imagining situations and learning from them, Sen. Portman’s experience says that sometimes it does take your own son being gay to make you get it.

Maybe the Portman Effect is what we’re seeing with male pro-lifers. They’re not going to get pregnant, so it’s easy to be pro-life. Any downsides from continuing an unwanted pregnancy don’t directly affect them. Like Portman, they can’t put themselves in the shoes of someone going through this unless it actually happens to them. As men, it never will.

Perhaps they would see things differently if their own 15-year-old daughter got pregnant. (That’d be a great study: look at pro-life parents of teen girls with an unwanted pregnancy and see how many insisted that the same rules applied to their kid vs. how many rationalized that an exception was necessary, just in this case.)

Until that happens, gentlemen, please show a little humility.

Related post: 20 Arguments Against Abortion, Rebutted

Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in Hell.
The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on Earth
and you should save it for someone you love.  
— Butch Hancock

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 1/22/12.)

Ray Comfort’s Anti-Abortion Video “180”
“I Do Abortions Because I Am a Christian”
5 Recommendations to the Pro-Life Movement
Response to My Position on Abortion
About Bob Seidensticker
  • Y. A. Warren

    Let any man who has never had unprotected sex, without prior information, resources, and consideration of the life-long commitment of parenthood, throw the first stone

    • Castilliano

      Umm…I’d be careful there.
      I knew quite a few virginal males who were fundie zealots. (Minority, but still notable, and somewhat esteemed for it.)
      Frankly, these “paragons of virtue” are the last people I’d want to weigh in any sexual or feminist issue, much less be given freedom to start a stoning.

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

        Yeah, but priests are OK, right? I realize that they often have no personal experience with sex or marriage, but it’s OK for them to give advice and be zealots about things about which they know very little, right?

        • Y. A. Warren

          As long as we consider the source and ignore it.

        • Castilliano

          Oh, no, they fit under the same banner of vaunted ignorance.
          Reminds me of that “all-star” panel on reproductive rights…all male that is.
          Ridiculous.
          As Hitchens touted many times, giving equal voices to women is paramount for society to flourish.

      • Y. A. Warren

        Many of them are not virginal by choice ,and this really gets them going against women. They’d better be willing to have the stones thrown back at them once they start the war.

        • Castilliano

          True, maybe even most, given the “True Christian” women they “should” be dating (some not even kissing before engagement).
          But most aren’t hypocritical, they practice what they preach. They’re just extremely ignorant (and happily so), much like Santorum preaching a naive “ideal” that is hardly viable, much less desirable.
          They (and their allies) have already thrown the first barrage of stones (and second, and third,…), and while we’ve thrown back, we’re only beginning to match them in firepower.
          Cheers.

  • http://batman-news.com Anton

    Truth to tell, I see a lot of women defending the pro-life position on blogs like Secular Pro-Life Perspectives, and initially that seems odd.

    But pro-life is a hate group, and its female members tout the rights of the fetus in order to give themselves permission to dehumanize and harass women who have sex for pleasure and not procreation. The most misogynistic people I’ve seen on pro-life blogs have been women.

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

      I haven’t noticed that, but that’s an interesting perspective.

    • purr

      I know the ones of which you speak. And they claim to be the only *true* feminists in the debate. I just read a comment from a woman on Person hood USA who claimed to be pro-choice until she realized that: PP just wants to make money killing 20 babies a day, and that abortion forces women to be like men because it permits women to deny their woman-ness and enjoy sex without consequences.

      Yes. That is a real feminist viewpoint for sure…

    • JT Rager

      Of course! And many anti-choicer have the audacity to say it is the pro-choice side that actually hates women. The most outrageous argument I’ve seen is that abortion prevents women from experiencing “true womanhood”. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around that one.

      • purr

        Yes, and abortion AND contraception allow women to have consequence free sex like men!! Which is a dis-service to women!!

        I guess that the only way we can truly honour women is to keep them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, eh?

        And we better deny that women are sexual beings with any sexual interest at all!

        Again, it usually comes down to *sex*.

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

          Again, it usually comes down to *sex*.

          Which is also their argument against same-sex marriage–marriage can’t be about commitment and sharing burdens and love and all that. No, it’s just about makin’ babies (and the gays can’t do that).

        • Ella Warnock

          I’ve seen firsthand the evidence that it isn’t about “innocent babies,” but rather sexual and reproductive autonomy, especially on behalf of women. Most of the conservative, christian folk who are aware of my tubal slash & burn and my husband’s vasectomy are disapproving and, frankly, shocked that we (well, me, actually) would so thoroughly reject “god’s blessings” and (my, specifically) biology as destiny.

          The offense is that I made AND acted on the choice to opt out. It has nothing to do with any actual children at all.

      • http://batman-news.com Anton

        The most outrageous argument I’ve seen is that abortion prevents women from experiencing “true womanhood”.

        There’s a lot of new ones. I’m disgusted with the way the pro-lifers have appropriated the language of victimhood and applied them to fetuses, as if “born” people are discriminating against the unborn the way whites discriminate against nonwhites.

        I’ve also heard pro-lifers complaining that abortion is a tool that predatory men use to keep women sexually available and to avoid the consequences, demonstrating the pro-lifers’ ability to up the ante both on mendacity and on infantilizing women.

        • purr

          It’s a common tactic of oppressors to claim victimhood in order to turn the tables on the oppressed.

          Take, for instance, the billionaires who are now, literally, whining that they feel just like black slaves about to be ‘lynched’ all because ebil libtards want to raise their taxes!!

          And just look at the Duck Dynasty fiasco…Phil Robertson is being *oppressed* because he compared gay people to animals and said that blacks looooved slavery.

      • Miss_Beara

        I saw a billboard down the street from a clinic, not Planned Parenthood, that made me do a double take.

        In it there is a white male with a healthy white definitely not newborn baby. The writing said “Real Men Love Babies.”

        Now, there are a lot of reasons why that is an awful billboard. The “real men/real women” is insulting in it of itself. Once again there is no woman represented in this, only a man with a healthy white infant. They minimize or ignore the woman’s role in pregnancy. An “inconvenience” they say.

    • Kodie

      It’s something you might not realize, but sometimes, women hate women just as much as men do. Some people cannot relate to another person’s circumstances and judge from the sidelines – what they should have done, what they would do, and the martyry “if I choose to do things the hard way, so should everyone else”.

      • http://batman-news.com Anton

        Right, it’s a chilling lack of empathy.

        Not to suggest that there aren’t, as Bob points out, plenty of men involved in the crusade to let women know that insensate fetuses have more value to society than the women do. The way pro-life men talk about the mother being a vague location that the “child” inhabits early in its life journey is the dictionary definition of dehumanization.

      • Miss_Beara

        Or “it worked for my sister thus it MUST WORK FOR EVERYONE!!!!”

  • Mudhammutt (DaveUcannotta)

    Let’s not leave out Sarah Palin, but other than a few such women who have enough in the balls department to bring their gender into question, I must agree. I never quite understood why some men think themselves so important that they can decide that for women, and I have never considered it any of my business as a man to weigh in on an issue which would not confront me. It isn’t I that may have to endure what is not only inconvenient and expensive, but also very painful, may cause permanent physical and medical damage, post-partum depression, and in some cases even death! Would I tolerate all of the above when it was caused by a stranger who had raped me? Don’t think so! On rapists – now there’s another example of a much too self-important piece of garbage! I never thought too highly of them, and I never thought too highly of the men who preach religious fundamentalism either!

  • angharad

    I think perhaps a lot of men who live in cultures which don’t encourage them to connect with women in an emotional way, or in which men and women lead very separate lives just don’t see most of the discomfort and inconvenience of pregnancy. To them sex = magical wonderful baby, with almost nothing in between.
    For me personally (as a cis woman), actual experience of pregnancy did away with the last shreds of the pro-life beliefs I was raised with.

  • Gregory Stacey

    Hello! I’d like to make the friendly suggestion that the above article’s point is really not very helpful, since a case can be constructed opposite to the one given which is just as plausible. Put simply, perhaps lots of women support abortion because giving birth is intrinsically painful, and often difficult because of wider circumstances. None of this need have much bearing on what conservatives see as the most important questions relating to abortion, viz. i) Should the fetus enjoy the moral status of an adult human and hence, ii) under what circumstance does the mother have any right to take the fetus’ life (if any)?

    Put differently if abortion really is the moral equivalent of “murder, then the physical discomfort of childbirth is likely (or at least, conceivably) not a good reason for making abortion legal. Still, it’s completely understandable that men and women might both see abortion as convenient relative to childbirth in certain circumstances, and thus endorse abortion in an act of moral cowardice, kidding themselves and others that the antecedent is false.

    Finally, note that even the Vietnam example above similarly suggests that those blinded by passion or traumatic experience can make judgements which are not in the best interests of themselves or those around them (consider whether or not you think the veteran going to the doctor will is on average more or less likely to help than sitting at home and suffering silently).

    In short, the pro-life response to this article should be “tu quoque”. Admittedly, this doesn’t show that pro-lifers aren’t biased as described, since that would be to commit the fallacy of the same name, but it does show that male pro-life voices are not intrinsically more biased or less useful to attend to than female pro-choice commentators.

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

      Gregory: Thanks for your input.

      As I hope I made clear, I’m happy to have conservatives and liberals, men and women giving their opinions publicly on the abortion issue. I would, however, like to see the occasionally acknowledgement that a middle-aged man (say) won’t–indeed, can’t–experience the difficulties of pregnancy like the person on which he wishes to impose mandatory pregnancy.

      No, I don’t think the the physical discomfort of childbirth or pregnancy is the real issue.

      Doing the right thing for the mother and the potential child isn’t cowardice in my book. No, it’s not murder. See my spectrum argument for more on that.

      You propose that the pro-life response be a logical fallacy? That won’t get you too far, I’m afraid.

      Not only do I rarely if ever see pro-life pundits give a caveat that their prescription could never inconvenience them, I’m a little surprised to see that you don’t acknowledge it yourself.

      I guess it remains an issue.

      • Kodie

        I really just think the righteousness of the pro-life position has nothing to do with whether one can relate. They so often bring up slavery and the holocaust, and murder actually is murder. As they see it, something bad is happening all around us and somebody ought to speak up.

        Put this into the slavery scenario (when slavery was current) – you get a black person saying we have to end slavery, and the plantation owner saying, “you just can’t relate to my circumstances”. It’s hard to run a plantation successfully without an abundance of free labor. How do you expect him to turn out his crops with a profit if he has to pay his workers? Fetuses can’t speak for themselves, but anyone who lives was once a fetus – they generally approve of being alive! They aren’t trying to relate to the women, they are speaking on behalf of the murder victims who are so callously and lazily and conveniently erased.

        I am not saying slavery and abortion are in the same category, but pro-lifers often compare the two. If you are witness to a horror, do you care about the victims or do you try to relate to the perpetrators? In cases of rape, another societal horror, a lot of the same people who favor the zef as victim also try to relate to rapists while blaming the victims, where rapists become victims of being blamed, charged, arrested and/or convicted of rape. It ruins their whole lives! Why should a single sexual incident have to ruin their future?

        Isn’t that kind of curious. What’s even more sort of curious is it’s very popular to concede abortion in the case of rape victims, but make so many rationalizations that only a violent attack by a stranger is really rape, and even then, if she was walking alone at night, or jogging alone in a deserted park at 5am, for example, she should have known better and the zef shouldn’t have to suffer her poor judgment. I know I am going off on a tangent, but one of these days, I wish someone would call some politician on their abortion in rape cases exception, and ask them what they mean by rape. They are both controversial issues, but I think we get stuck on “what about rape makes it ok then to kill a zef, when it’s not ok otherwise? Is it then not a human life?” Rape always comes up in a separate context where men usually get excused and women get blamed or not believed.

        I also think, if they now suspect a lot of rape accusations to be lies, what would really happen if they had their way and abortion was banned except in cases of rape.

        You know it and I know it – they hate and distrust women. But when you make a post like, what could a middle-aged male preacher have to say about what the woman is going through – they aren’t. They are talking from the perspective of her zef. They are standing up against what they perceive is another horror perpetrated by women, ruining everyone’s lives. Women having loose sex and not paying the consequences. The “system” was set up just such a way a long, long time ago for exactly that reason – becoming pregnant was relatively inevitable, and marriage is a form of birth control, and her virginity is as much of a guarantee any man can hope for not to raise some other man’s child. Women always know their children are theirs, men are less secure in that fact. They don’t like a woman to have agency to have sex with whomever she wants or to get an abortion without anyone ever knowing she was pregnant. Just like she could have sex with another man whose child her husband might raise, she also has control over the family planning, and as unfair as it is for women to have to bear children and men don’t, it also seems to give her more control (especially in the modern age), and men don’t like that. They don’t like wondering who they consider their property is off having sex with and disposing of the evidence before anyone’s the wiser.

        • purr

          I have ‘gotcha’d’ some anti-abortionists on the rape exception, after they have admitted that abortion = murder, and the best rationalization that they can come up with is: “I just want to have the best moral outcome for all with the least pain”

          “But I’m not a slut-shamer!!”

          (he then went on to say that pro-choicers too must really be upset with the young sluts who have lots of sex and just kill their numerous unborn babies as an afterthought)

        • Kodie

          I would like to see less of pro-choicers semi-”admitting” there is something morally bad about abortion by suggesting it’s a “last resort” and should be rare. Of course, contraceptives are easier and more cost-effective. I think rarer abortions only makes women who make that choice to be labeled even more negatively than they already are. I would like to see choosing to have an abortion as not that difficult or sentimental a choice to make in the circumstances, and fewer women being demanded to shed tears over the oh-so-difficult, irreversible decision. I don’t think having an abortion is such a convenience at all, not nearly as convenient as contraceptive options. I do not like to see it as necessarily emotional, and would like to see people being more realistic. Let’s be obvious – it is a last resort because it takes place last chronologically.

          If there’s nothing morally wrong with abortion, then it should not weigh more than preventing pregnancy, emotionally, either for the woman who is pregnant, or anyone who says they approve of her right to make the choice to have an abortion. If you don’t want to have a baby, being pregnant shouldn’t affect your decision to prevent yourself from having one.

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

          fewer women being demanded to shed tears over the oh-so-difficult, irreversible decision.

          Speaking of irreversible decisions, that goes both ways. Carrying the fetus to term and keeping the baby is irreversible.

          it is a last resort because it takes place last chronologically.

          Interesting point.

        • Kodie

          Having an abortion is essentially reversible by getting pregnant again. Having a baby is, I agree, irreversible.

        • purr

          I agree. Our side has made the mistake of agreeing that abortion is somehow something awful.

          And certain well known pro-choice leaders have come out and said: “we know that we are killing a baby, but we do it anyway, and I still do abortions, and i admit that I am killing a baby.”

          I mean why?? All it does is give anti-choicers ammunition to paint us as psycho killers.

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

          If the anti-choicer wants to go down the “killing” road, it’s all the more important that any abortions are done ASAP. Killing at 1 day must be far better in their mind that at 2 months.

          Conclusion: they should be removing obstacles so that any abortions are done as soon as possible.

        • purr

          I spent a couple of days over at Personhood USA and one of the bloggers (I think it was the site owner) told me that women whose zygotes *don’t even implant* are the mothers of *dead babies* because it would be wrong to lie to the women and pretend that they are not the parents of dead children.

          It’s just nuts.

          And in the same breath he says that if zygotes are given personhood status, that IVF, some forms of birth control, and miscarriages will not be illegal/investigated.

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          I would like to see less of pro-choicers semi-”admitting” there is something morally bad about abortion by suggesting it’s a “last resort” and should be rare.

          I’m not sure about morally bad, but it is surgery, after all. I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong with heart disease either, but I think we should strive to make open-heart surgery as rare as possible.

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

          “Chemical abortion” works up to 63 days of gestational age. It’s not always surgery.

          Wikipedia

        • Kodie

          1st of all, it’s not always surgery. Secondly, I did say it was inconvenient, probably most inconvenient of all possible methods of preventing a birth. If we could imagine you could use any method prior to a sexual encounter, it wouldn’t be anyone’s top 5 choices of birth control. It may or may not come in higher than abstinence, depends on the day and the dude, probably. It’s a last resort, because what else can you do by then (until time travel is a reality)? You can’t use any of the other methods. If you act early enough and don’t delay because of being emotionally conflicted, you can take a pill or series of pills. My point was that, if you are not conflicted about preventing pregnancy before the fact, you should not be conflicted with abortion. The conflict seems also to arise from the fascinating message that people who want to have a baby can’t wait to find out that they are pregnant, and henceforth consider “it” a baby, because they want it. Not having the same reaction is socially horrific and must be hidden. Pro-forced-birth people don’t want people to be allowed to hide their sexuality. They want to brand people, they want to brand them with babies they can’t afford, or they want to brand them with emotionally heavy regret, at the very least. It isn’t really that they don’t want these precious little indications to be erased, it’s that they want to know, like it’s their business at all, who has been doing what, so they can judge them. It’s not that they can’t stand all the “murders,” it’s that women get to have private sex lives and not be stoned to death or at least burdened with a child, to teach her not to be so careless.

      • Gregory Stacey

        Thanks for responding, and I’m glad to hear you reaffirm that everyone can voice an opinion on abortion and not just be dismissed because of who they are. I’ll deal with the last point first- here’s an admission from me – I can’t get pregnant myself, and this might make me more likely to be pro-life than were I female.

        What I’d like to hear in return, though, is admission that my parallel case is as valid. Having children can be seriously inconvenient/distressing/really difficult etc. in a huge variety of ways, particularly sans adoption. But aren’t women who can or might fall pregnant unplanned likely to think that this is a good reason to have an abortion and thus secure its legality? I wasn’t just trying to allude to physical discomfort above, as lots of comments seem to be assuming, but the murder argument clearly seems to be the major issue pro-lifers have with abortion, and if that’s what should be under discussion then the above fear/empathy of/with unplanned pregnancy is ;bias rather than helpful knowledge. Won’t you now admit that women are likely to be biased in the same way, as I’ve admitted my bias? Perhaps, in fact, boyfriends/husbands can share a similar bias through fear of what an unplanned pregnancy might do to their lives? Do you disavow all such bias?

        Finally (as I tried to say above), “tu quoque” would be a fallacy here were I trying to prove that your post above is completely misguided, and that I have no bias. My aim is rather to show that women who can bear children are (arguably) similarly biased, and thus I commit no fallacy.

        I rather think that the remaining “issue” lies with the lack of reflection that bias may cut both ways.

        PS. As none of my post argued *for* the pro-life position I shall not defend it here.

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

          I’m glad to hear you reaffirm that everyone can voice an opinion on abortion and not just be dismissed because of who they are.

          I’m asking for understanding and humility from men, not silence.

          I can’t get pregnant myself, and this might make me more likely to be pro-life than were I female.

          OK, thanks for that openness.

          But aren’t women who can or might fall pregnant unplanned likely to think that this is a good reason to have an abortion and thus secure its legality?

          Yes, women may be more likely to be pro-choice. Since they’re in a better position to understand the issue, perhaps we men might want to consider what that says. If that’s surprising, maybe we should wonder what we’re missing. Maybe even ask pro-choice women where they’re coming from.

          I’m trying to think of a parallel example to yours. Here’s the best that I can come up with. Say that you like salted butter on your toast. Sure, you can buy unsalted, but it just doesn’t have that zip. Heck, why do they even sell unsalted butter? If it were all salted, that’d avoid the problem of customers picking the wrong kind by accident.

          Then you talk to the bakers who take the unsalted butter and they explain why. Ah—maybe others have valid perspectives, too.

          Yes, I realize that this doesn’t match up on all points. A big one is that prohibiting abortion has far, far greater consequences than butter selection. You mess with someone’s life and it’ll get more emotional as well.

          I wasn’t just trying to allude to physical discomfort above

          You seemed to suggest that I thought that discomfort/pain was a big issue for me. It’s minor compared to a woman’s life going down a completely different path.

          the murder argument clearly seems to be the major issue pro-lifers have with abortion

          See my spectrum argument for my response to the murder issue.

          Won’t you now admit that women are likely to be biased in the same wa y, as I’ ve admitted my bias?

          Sorry, I don’t see it as bias; I see it as superior knowledge.

          You know the difference between sympathy and empathy? Take a difficult ailment that you haven’t had. When a friend explains what he’s going through, you can have sympathy. You understand pain—you’ve experienced pain before. But you haven’t experienced this pain. When you have, that’s empathy.

          You can I can have sympathy for the 15-yo girl who just found out that she’s pregnant and sees all her hopes and dreams running down the drain. But we can’t have empathy.

          Finally (as I tried to say above), “tu quoque” would be a fallacy here

          Both sides in a valid “tu quoque” challenge are guilty. Is that what you’re trying to say?

          PS. As none of my post argued *for* the pro-life position I shall not defend it here.

          That’s fine. That’s a rat hole we can avoid. However, you did make the murder charge above. As a result, I give my rebuttal (with the spectrum argument, also above).

        • Gregory Stacey

          To sum up- here’s the rub. If the main issue to be contested is that of the murder charge and competing rights of the two individuals (whatever its rectitude/lack of), then I doubt very much that experiential knowledge of “just what it is to be pregnant [either simpliciter, or under some particular circumstance] ” is very relevant to that issue.

          I wonder if you’re assuming some kind of utilitarian ethical framework which pro-lifers tend to reject?

        • purr

          Word salad.

        • Kodie

          You seem to have a flawed idea that pro-choice is some kind of desperate scramble to hide the body before anyone finds out, or to turn a blind eye, and that a detached but interested observer will be naturally upset that something evil is afoot…. but, what?

          It seems you can’t rest until all the women are locked up in chastity belts, but you won’t say why.

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

          I’m proposing that, in many cases, pro-lifers don’t get it. Or rationalize the facts to hold their position against inconvenient facts.

          Have you read about pro-life women picketers who have unwanted pregnancies? They slip in the back door, get the abortion, and then they’re back on the picket lines a week later. And why not? They had a good excuse–the condom broke, things just got a little crazy, or whatever. It’s those other women who are sluts who have no excuse.

        • Kodie

          Having children can be seriously inconvenient/distressing/really
          difficult etc. in a huge variety of ways, particularly sans adoption.
          But aren’t women who can or might fall pregnant unplanned likely to
          think that this is a good reason to have an abortion and thus secure its
          legality?

          You mean, “How dare women be so selfish! Men, who can’t be biased by these reasons, obviously have the clarity of mind here, and should determine women’s roles, when ‘life’ begins, and prevent those overly emotional women from going as far as murdering their own children, for whom they ought to have not partook to create, or ought to be overtaken by their natural nurturing instincts!”

          Thanks to a clear-headed man’s interference, no women can make such horrible mistakes! We will always be grateful to having our roles and lives defined by men! Why are we so silly and spoiled all the time, when men are around to save us from our predominant desires?

          So you say you’re not a slut-shamer….

        • purr

          I am enjoying the mental gymnastics that he is employing to slut shame while trying to make it sound like something else.

        • Gregory Stacey

          Erm, no, that’s obviously not what I meant. I specifically stated that *both* parties are biased with regard to this issue, and that in any case the relevant question with regard to abortion is an ethical one, which either party can approach if they’ve done some thinking about morality.

        • Kodie

          That’s obviously what you didn’t mean to imply, but that’s the only way to interpret what you said. What you call “bias” against a thing you refuse to talk about because it’s not only inconvenient to carry to term and to raise, but to talk about, is what I call “being realistic” and “not being sentimental”. It has nothing to do with morality the way you’re, again, implying, as if we see eye to eye on the thing you refuse to go to the whole trouble to talk about why we all should be interfering in people’s lives and futures, for “morality’s” and “ethics’” sake, as if that is the impartial point of view. It’s not.

          Describe and define away what you’re too busy to talk about.

        • Kodie

          PS. As none of my post argued *for* the pro-life position I shall not defend it here.

          PS. As none of your post argued *for* the pro-life position, you have put all your efforts toward the anti-woman position. FYI!

    • katiehippie

      I think the type of guy that assumes that women are fragile and can’t handle pain are the ones that think that physical discomfort is the reason for abortion.

      • Baby_Raptor

        It’s not like abortions *save lives* or anything. My doctor must have been lying to me about that. He just knew that us vagina owners can’t handle pain.

      • purr

        I get really sick of the continual refrain:

        “It’s just a minor inconvenience’

        “It’s just a slight loss of comfort’

        “a little hardship to save a life”

        And then they point out statistics – ONLY 300k women die per year worldwide from pregnancy so eh…and that’s ONLY in third world countries..

        Yeah well, even fewer people die from sky-diving accidents – doesn’t mean we can force people to jump out of a plane.

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

          Those arguments would be meaningful only if adoption was the end result. But only 2% of all births to unmarried women ended in an
          adoption.

        • KarlUdy

          And then they point out statistics – ONLY 300k women die per year worldwide from pregnancy so eh…and that’s ONLY in third world countries..

          I’m not sure what your point of noting global maternal mortality statistics are. One could note that Ireland has an incredibly low maternal mortality rate (less than 1/3 of the US) despite abortion not being readily available, so abortion is obviously not a solution to the possibility of death from pregnancy. Even further clouding the issue is that deaths following abortion are generally not measured and are either included in the maternal mortality rate or not especially recorded.

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

          The mortality rate from abortion is 1/10 that from an ordinary delivery.

        • KarlUdy

          I presume that these are both “on the operating table” mortality rates. Or are you aware that published maternal mortality rates include deaths in the 42 days following a live birth? Understandably comparative figures following abortion are hard to get.

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

          “The pregnancy-associated mortality rate among women who delivered live neonates was 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. The mortality rate related to induced abortion was 0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortions.”

          Source: “The comparative safety of legal induced abortion and childbirth in the United States,” 2012.

        • purr

          I wouldn’t trust Ireland on that. They let a woman die a year ago because the fetus had a heartbeat. Even though they knew the pregnancy was doomed. It’s easy to put ‘died of sepsis’ on the death certificate, vs, ‘died of miscarriage that could have been removed from her body, only the fetus still had a heartbeat so we just let the rotting thing stay inside her until it killed her’

          And I wouldn’t trust a country that up until very recently still did THIS to pregnant women, without consent:

          http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/symphysiotomy-survivors-to-meet-over-government-plans-1.1621032

          During birth, a woman’s pubic bone was literally SAWED IN HALF WITH A HACKSAW (without painkillers) to enable an easier birth – since Irish women were not permitted to use contraception. And too many c-sections were dangerous. So the only way to make sure that a good Irish woman could birth 20 babies was to saw her pubic bones in half.

          This only ended in 1992.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphysiotomy

        • Kodie

          What the fuck. This begs the question why didn’t everyone leave Ireland. Tell me again, Steve, how this isn’t about controlling women.

        • KarlUdy

          I’m not approving of those practices.

          And yet the chances of a woman dying during pregnancy in Ireland are among the lowest in the world, and considerably lower than the US. So your point about maternal death rate means what exactly?

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

          That abortion is far safer than full-term deliveries?

          (But perhaps I’m not following the conversation …)

        • purr

          http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=19075

          “However, Krysia Lynch of AIMSI told irishhealth.com
          that if the criteria for defining maternal deaths were widened, as was
          currently occurring in the UK, the real figure in Ireland could be at
          least 10 deaths per 100,000 births.”

          Also, close to 6,000 women per year leave Ireland to get abortions in the UK or in Northern Ireland, where such abortions are permitted. If those women were to stay in Ireland, and experience health problems (and in fact, many of these women are over 35, which likely means they already have health problems which makes pregnancy unsafe) they would not get the needed abortion and rates of death would rise.

          http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/terminal-3/2012/11/20/the-shocking-story-behind-ireland%E2%80%99s-low-maternal-deaths/

    • Baby_Raptor

      When a male body can carry a fetus to term, people in male bodies can have a say about abortion.

      That, more than anything else, is what matters in this debate. People who will never, EVER have to bear the risks of pregnancy wanting to dictate what the people who do have to do about it. To say that this point is useless is to dehumanize the pregnant person and give their oppressors power they do not deserve to have.

      Male voices in this debate are automatically more biased, because they suffer no consequences, and most of the time lack even a basic knowledge of how pregnancy works (as do most pro-forced birthers.) It’s *really* easy to be against something when it doesn’t affect you.

      Instead of guessing why people support abortions (and picking a reason you can easily handwave as trivial and insufficient) why don’t you try *asking those of us who’ve had abortions* why we did it? Downplaying the reasons people get an abortion is a tactic of the pro-forced birthers to paint people who’ve had the procedure as immoral, whimsical beings. It’s disgusting and dishonest.

      Oh, and could you answer me a question? why is pregnancy the only case where it’s okay to force a person to give up their bodily autonomy and their body functions/fluids to another “person”?

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

        Downplaying the reasons people get an abortion is a tactic of the pro-forced birthers to paint people who’ve had the procedure as immoral, whimsical beings.

        Heck—they don’t downplay them, they dismiss them! They imagine that it’s murder. So what if your life is turned upside down—how could that ever trump murder?

      • Gregory Stacey

        Raptor- people who aren’t troubled by issues certainly have a right to discuss them. Or can no men even be pro-choice? Even the article above doesn’t seek to defend that view. And why, precisely, does disagreeing about what someone should do with their own body (which isn’t even the only relevant body with regard to abortion), mean that the person in question is de-humanised?

        Sorry, but why, precisely are women who are worried that in the future they might have an inconvenient unplanned pregnancy *less* “biased” about wanting to ensure the opportunity to have an abortion. Surely *more* vested interest means *more* bias!?! You might be right about knowledge of “how pregnancy works”, but I said nothing about knowledge in my comment, nor was it mentioned in the article.

        I perhaps phrased my article poorly- I meant only to suggest a possible reason people might be pro-choice rather than an actual one. But, hey, tu quoque. Why don’t you and the author of the article ask men *why they are pro life*? And I said nothing about the reasons why people get abortions whatsoever.

        Finally, non of my comment was arguing for the truth of the pro-life case (in fact, I’m not sure that much of what you’ve stated engages with my point), so this last question hardly seems apposite. Still, there is clearly an answer- most people don’t voluntarily engage in activity which leaves them in a situation where another might come to depend on the former’s bodily fluids for their continued existence through no fault of their (the latter’s) own! So, mostly (always?), we don’t force people to continue to provide bodily fluids for others, as they don’t initiate such situations.

        • purr

          most people don’t voluntarily engage in activity which leaves them in a
          situation where another might come to depend on the former’s bodily
          fluids for their continued existence through no fault of their (the
          latter’s) own!

          If you injure someone in a car accident should you be forced, by law, to provide them with any blood/organs/tissue that they may need to live?

          What if it’s a no-fault accident?

          Secondly, no, the people who have sex do not forcefully ‘put’ an ‘innocent life’ in a position of helplessness. The sperm, the egg, the zygote are all *autonomous*. The woman cannot *will* herself to get pregnant. She cannot will feritlization, she cannot will the egg’s journey down the fallopian tube, and she cannot force the egg to implant inside her uterus. It is an automatic biological/chemical process upon which the woman has ZERO control.

        • Gregory Stacey

          Firstly, yes, perhaps, if the accident was the driver’s responsibility. Tell me why I shouldn’t think that.

          Secondly, the latter point is obviously false. The woman puts herself in a position where she might conceive by having sex, and so initiates a circumstance where another might come to depend upon her which she has the ability to completely veto from the get-go. That intermediary causes are involved and indeterministic seems irrelevant, and where our moral actions which involve such causes, they are normally regarded as such.

        • purr

          Firstly, yes, perhaps, if the accident was the driver’s responsibility. Tell me why I shouldn’t think that.

          What if it is the driver’s fault…technically…but the driver was still driving safely for conditions? And just happened to hit a patch of oil and run into someone? What then?

          The woman puts herself in a position where she might conceive by having sex

          And every time you go driving, you put yourself into a position where you might injure or kill someone simply by something known as *bad luck*.

          And sex, amongst humans, is not primarily a reproductive act. If it was, humans would have sex like polar bears or dogs – they would go into estrus, mate until the female is likely pregnant, and then go their separate ways.

          Sex evolved in humans as a reproductive strategy to increase the social bonds between parents. This is also why gay people and infertile couples can enjoy sex – social bonding!! Human children require * a lot * of resources. Compared to other animals, pregnancy in human females is incredibly draining, and the children are born oh so helpless and require years to raise. A frog can expel hundreds of tadpoles and walk away, ‘knowing’ that a few will survive (R-strategy reproduction). Not so in humans. Everything rests on that one kid. So, social bonding evolved as an aspect of human sexuality to encourage K-strategy reproduction.

          Having sex, for purposes of social bonding, without the intention of procreating, is perfectly natural in humans.

          Also, your entire premise rests on the fact that you believe a zygote is a person…something which has not yet been proven. And even if it was…this leads back to my question. Do you think that people who injure others in a no-fault accident should be forced to donate blood/tissue/organs?

        • Gregory Stacey

          Well, there’s a very important disanalogy with cases where the driver isn’t to blame, since in that the pedestrian is at least as responsible for the accident as the driver. Surely this changes the way in which we see the driver as responsible for the injuries of the pedestrian and thus liable to have his/her rights removed/suspended? The fetus is in no manner similarly responsible.

          I think that most of the other points above are irrelevant to my case, I’m afraid- I didn’t speculate on the purpose of sexual intercourse. Why mention it? Clearly, some sexual acts DO include the possibility of conception, though, which is all that is relevant to my case.

        • purr

          Well, there’s a very important disanalogy with cases where the driver
          isn’t to blame, since in that the pedestrian is at least as responsible
          for the accident as the driver

          You are dodging the question. It is entirely possible, and my analogy made this clear, to be driving as safe as can be, and to hit someone, who is also operating safely. Shit happens. You are no doubt familiar with this saying.

          What you appear to be saying, that when a woman has sex, that she is the equivalent of a criminally negligent driver, and therefore must pay the price.

          But, you never did answer…

          1) should a person who causes an accident through no fault of their own, simply bad luck, be forced to donate blood/tissue/organs to save the life of the person they injured?

          2) should a criminally negligent driver, such as someone who is speeding on black ice, be legally obligated to donate blood/tissue/organs to the person they injured?

        • Gregory Stacey

          No, I’m not dodging the question. To re-cap, then;
          1) No, if the responsibility for the accident is shared with the injured party. In this case, the personal responsibility on the latter’s part means that responsibility for the accident is shared, and thus the injured person has no particular claim over the driver.

          2) Yes, if there’s no alternative and the organs aren’t vital ones, etc.

        • purr

          Thank you for answering, I appreciate it.

          One last question.

          Should fathers also be held responsible for the innocent life that they have put in harm’s way?

          Should the woman fall ill during pregnancy and require blood/organs/tissue, should the man who had a hand in creating the helpless innocent unborn baby be legally obligated to donate whatever is needed to preserve fetal life?

          How about *after* the child is born? Should he also be held responsible (in terms of blood/tissue/organ) donation, for it’s life? Since he had a hand in creating it?

        • Gregory Stacey

          Possibly, yes to the first points, though perhaps the father could say that he wasn’t responsible for a situation of dependence on HIM.

          Secondly, we do certainly require that parents vitiate many of their liberties to preserve and support their children- this point should count for, rather than against my intuitions. I suspect that the link between simply producing a child and its needing an organ transplant is usually too tenuous to warrant such responsibility on the parent’s part, so I’m less inclined to accept this latter case, though perhaps there are exceptions.

        • purr

          So this is a roundabout way of saying that since the father isn’t as intimately biologically connected to the fetus as a woman that he can just walk away?

        • Gregory Stacey

          No, he certainly has lots of responsibilities to the child. Maybe even biological ones- I hadn’t considered this last point in detail.

          Presumably, the above was designed to reveal my inner sexism?

        • purr

          No, it’s to find out how much you truly truly care for the child’s life.

          Well, please, think about it. If the woman, through engaging in sex, puts an innocent unborn baby into harm’s way, then the man does too…no?

          So, if she should be legally obligated to put life and limb on the line to preserve it’s life then shouldn’t the man be equally responsible, through force of law?

        • Gregory Stacey

          The point is that the actions of the parents invite a relation of dependence only on the woman’s continuing the pregnancy,, not the man’s intervention…

          Maybe you’re right, though- if so, then yes.

        • purr

          Thank you for your answer.

        • Carol Lynn

          What if the organs ARE vital ones? Are they obligated to give them anyway? Damage to vital organs is known to occur with pregnancy, after all.

        • Kodie

          What’s so hot about conception? Why can’t it be corrected at an early stage so there is no harm done? Why must people accept a huge risk and damage to the rest of their future if abortion can solve that problem?

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

          The fetus is in no manner similarly responsible.

          The fly isn’t responsible for getting into my house. That’s not a mitigating circumstance, I’m afraid.

          Show that the fetus is a person with the same rights as you. I don’t share that viewpoint.

        • Gregory Stacey

          I lack the time for discussing this last point, though thank you for the offer.

        • purr

          I brought it up because you were slut-shaming, albeit in a roundabout way:

          Still, there is clearly an answer- most people don’t voluntarily engage in activity which leaves them in a situation where another might come to depend on the former’s bodily fluids for their continued existence through no fault of their (the latter’s) own!

        • Gregory Stacey

          Sorry, why is this “slut-shaming”? I didn’t say I thought engaging in activity of that nature was bad- I rather think it quite noble in the proper circumstances…? And what did your comments have to do with that in any case?

        • purr

          Noble under what circumstances?

        • Gregory Stacey

          I’d prefer that you withdraw your unpleasant allegation as above. Circumstances where one can raise a child well, I suppose.

        • purr

          So you mean to say that sex is acceptable when the purpose is to procreate? and immoral when it is not?

        • Gregory Stacey

          I didn’t suggest that. I suggest that this discussion is moving away from what I find interesting, and that your allegation that I was “slut-shaming” should be withdrawn…

        • purr

          Well then clarify.

          Please.

        • Gregory Stacey

          I don’t want to discuss the morality of sexual pursuits in relation to pro-creation. I was just trying to say that sometimes, pro-creation is noble. Surely you believe this too!?!

          Why do you still think I’m slut-shaming?

        • Kodie

          You have to say what is noble about procreation in any circumstance. If dogs can do it, if trees can do it, if rotavirus can do it, tell us what’s so special?

        • Kodie

          I suggest that this discussion is going where you wanted it to go, but you are attempting to manipulate what people think about what you’re saying. That’s not how you win an argument. If you don’t want to talk about things you brought up, and respond to responses to things you actually did say, then stop saying things. There’s no reason to go down any path you don’t want to, should you choose to abort the discussion.

        • Gregory Stacey

          My argument was simply that an appeal to the right to bodily autonomy per se doesn’t win the argument for the pro-choice side, since RonPaul2012 (I think?) asserted something of that sort.

          The discussion on personhood of the fetus etc. is vast, and the most certain reasons I have for my position are religious ones, which means that the discussion becomes even broader, hence I feel that it would likely not be manageable here.

          If demanding that people don’t (mis)caricature my views as sexist or judgmental of people qua people is manipulative, then yep, I’m manipulating people.

        • Kodie

          “proper circumstances”, i.e., shame if not. You are judging women on their sexual activity outside of marriage and saddling them with consequences men do not have to share. You are, BASED ON WHATEVER IT IS YOU REFUSE TO TALK ABOUT, being a man judging a woman for getting “herself”- alone, without any help or encouragement, into a situation she should not as easily get herself out of, if she wants to. Having never been in that situation yourself, personally, because you are a man, you go on to talk about pro-choice men shouldn’t have a “say” in what she does either. The point is, they don’t. They step aside. They don’t intrude on what’s none of their business.

          So now you do have to talk about whatever’s so important that she has to drop her plans and tend to it, because you think she should, because the person without a uterus must get to talk.

          Go ahead Gregory.

        • Gregory Stacey

          Sorry for the late reply, so perhaps you won’t read this, but the allegation that I’m seeking to “shame” those engaging in extra-marital sex is not warranted by anything which I remember saying above- I didn’t even mention marriage. Moreover, even were I to think that extra-marital sex might not be sensible due to the possibility of unplanned pregnancies, this would not imply at all that I was trying to “shame” the people involved in such an activity (or is disapproval of actions always “shaming” or “judging” people as opposed to actions?).

          In particular, the suggestion that I would be particularly “judging” only the women involved and not likewise the men has absolutely no support in anything I’ve said. Clearly, the man involved is just as responsible for the circumstance, and also has at least some duties towards the unborn child in my view.

          Lastly, pro-choice men do not “step aside” concerning abortion. Instead, they tacitly endorse at least the following principle- “a woman has/ought to enjoy a right to bodily harm/neglect to the point of death her unborn child [in some circumstance]“. This principle should be the controversial one in discussing the legality of abortion, and since it evidently *is* a controversial principle, to claim that pro-choice men have some kind of neutral stance on the issue as a whole is wrong, even if they don’t wish to legislate concerning particular instances.

          Incidentally, of course people *with* uteruses must get to talk too- there’s no monopoly on speech in rational discourse- it seems that it’s your side of the debate which wishes to discriminate on the grounds of sex, and to stop those of a particular sex from voicing an opinion.

        • Kodie

          Lastly, pro-choice men do not “step aside” concerning abortion. Instead,
          they tacitly endorse at least the following principle- “a woman
          has/ought to enjoy a right to bodily harm/neglect to the point of death
          her unborn child [in some circumstance]“. This principle should be the
          controversial one in discussing the legality of abortion, and since it
          evidently *is* a controversial principle, to claim that pro-choice men
          have some kind of neutral stance on the issue as a whole is wrong, even
          if they don’t wish to legislate concerning particular instances.

          You’re saying it’s the controversial principle that women should be allowed by men to have human rights, or not allowed by men to have human rights?

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

          even were I to think that extra-marital sex might not be sensible due to the possibility of unplanned pregnancies …

          The marriage status of the couple has nothing to do with the planned or unplanned nature of any pregnancy. Married women get abortions, too.

          Lastly, pro-choice men do not “step aside” concerning abortion. Instead, they tacitly endorse at least the following principle- “a woman has/ought to enjoy a right to bodily harm/neglect to the point of death her unborn child [in some circumstance]“.

          A pro-choice person steps aside by definition. The zygote/fetus is in no position to use a choice, and the choice is given to the only relevant person who can use it: the pregnant woman.

          to claim that pro-choice men have some kind of neutral stance on the issue as a whole is wrong, even if they don’t wish to legislate concerning particular instances.

          I hope you’re not suggesting that there’s a symmetry or equivalence in the pro-choice and pro-life positions. Giving the woman the choice vs. removing the choice are two very different things.

          to stop those of a particular sex from voicing an opinion.

          You’re deliberately exaggerating, I hope. I’ve made clear that I welcome men’s opinions. What I demand, however, is a little humility about their inherent inability to truly get it.

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

          The woman puts herself in a position where she might conceive by having sex

          And you put yourself in a position to get injured by another driver when you get into your car. Should we tell you at the ER, “Sucks to be you.You knew what you were getting yourself into.”?

        • Gregory Stacey

          (?!?) I’m suggesting that by voluntarily placing others in a position of dependence on ourselves, we gain responsibilities towards them which might vitiate some of our rights. This seems to have nothing in common with your case above- the case RonPaul2012 and I were discussing would be the relevant parallel, not this.

        • Kodie

          When you say “others,” you mean “people”. Do you believe a blastocyst is a person? That when an egg is fertilized and implants in the uterine wall, a sexually active person has voluntarily accepted the obligation to care for the dependent person and put their own needs below this majestic event?

        • Gregory Stacey

          Yes, but I see no need to defend that contention here.

        • Kodie

          You can’t really argue as if we agree on your version of the facts without supporting those arguments. You somehow want to go around it, but I’m sorry, you cannot.

        • Gregory Stacey

          If I were trying to argue that abortion is wrong, I would have to. I happen to believe that, and I have asserted it here, but I’m not *arguing* for that position here.

        • Kodie

          You are arguing that a woman has a responsibility – to what? You have to say.

        • Gregory Stacey

          Oh, fair enough, well in that case, make my arguments contingent on an unproven premise- my point is only to argue from the premise (viz. the personhood of the fetus) not to it. I think I was just quietly assuming that the premise was not what was under discussion.

        • Norm Donnan

          To care for her child and herself,simple and natural.

        • Kodie

          I wasn’t asking you. Catch up, fool.

        • Norm Donnan

          Obviously not something you relate too

        • Kodie

          It is central to the discussion. We could instead talk about when a woman buys a gallon of milk when she can only drink a quart before it goes bad, and how terrible she is for not accepting the consequences of her purchase by drinking the whole gallon until it’s through, sour or not.

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

          by voluntarily placing others in a position of dependence on ourselves, we gain responsibilities towards them which might vitiate some of our rights.

          The mouse that I catch in my house in a glue trap has become dependent on me. Do any of my rights get abrogated in this situation?

        • Gregory Stacey

          If it were not a mouse (i.e. a morally valuable being!), they might well “get abroagted”.

        • purr

          And what pray tell makes a zygote morally valuable?

        • Gregory Stacey

          No, I’d rather not have that discussion. Perhaps it’s just a properly basic belief of mine.

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

          Thanks for avoiding a long discussion, but saying that, from your perspective, a zygote’s moral value is properly basic advances the conversation not at all.

          “That which is advanced without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Which I have now done.

        • Gregory Stacey

          I just read this, and was surprised to hear this from someone who seems to know some philosophy. The principle you quoted is patently not always true if by dismissed you mean considered defeated. This is because it might be that some beliefs, if true, can be properly basic, but others cannot. Perhaps the belief that abortion is wrong/should be illegal can be properly basic (or easily derived from some properly basic belief) if true. Yet perhaps the belief that abortion is acceptable sometimes/should be legal is not such a belief- i.e. if true, it CAN’T be properly basic (and hence, is not properly basic in any possible world, and thus isn’t actually properly basic). This seems to be the sort of thing Platinga has in mind with his EAAN.

          Indeed, this seems likely to be more than a completely abstract possibility, since as a Catholic, I can give an account of how my belief in the truth of Catholic dogma is (if true) properly basic similar to Plantinga’s wider account in WCB, and then show by inference that abortion is morally unacceptable (and probably quite easily legally unacceptable too!). Do you know of any epistemological story acceptable to naturalists on which the pro-choice position comes out as similarly properly basic?

        • Kodie

          I don’t really know what you mean by “properly basic” but I infer by that you mean “objective” or “obvious”. You don’t realize that you only have an opinion, shaped by theologians, that fits your observations.

        • Gregory Stacey

          It’s an epistemological term. A belief which is basic is one which is held to on the basis of no other beliefs (or at least, no beliefs which only also rely on them for their sole support). A properly basic belief is a belief that is appropriately held to in this way. I’m rather surprised that you haven’t encountered the term before unless you’re rather new to philosophy of religion, which might be a bit worrying if you hold strong opinions in matters related to that field!

          But my contention was claiming something like *knowledge* of the fact, rather than opinion.

        • Kodie

          It’s worrying to you that I managed to form an anti-religious view without considering piles of fiction related to and affirming what you believe? I mean, do you worry for my soul because you think I haven’t considered the deep end of the manure you’re standing up to your ears in?

        • Gregory Stacey

          Yes, that you haven’t considered what philosophy has to say about the truth or rationality of religious claims is deeply worrying if you wish to make such confident assertions about them, since philosophy of religion seems to be the only relevant field for judging such truth-claims or claims to rationality, particularly if you endorse naturalism (whether philosophy of religion is a truth-directed pursuit on naturalism is admittedly controversial).

          In other words, I REALLY hope you’re trolling here, and I hope that the other atheists here would agree that your attitude shows epistemic irresponsibility!

        • purr

          Courtier’s reply.

        • Gregory Stacey

          Just to check- you do realise that Myer’s is clearly fallacious on this….!?! The principles appealed to in most of the relevant bits of philosophy of religion (incl Plantinga, above) do not consist of propositions which are only acceptable to theists…

        • Kodie

          Let’s see, JohnH2 is the same way. He thinks Mormonism is true, and that we have to read Moroni book to set our minds in the proper exercise to accept that it is. He has told us a bunch of times that unless we read it, we are tooting out our asses how Mormonism is a crock.

          It’s a dodge. I would also agree with you that it is kind of a fallacy. We say to creationists all the time that they just haven’t read the right arguments and evidence for evolution, and that they waste their time and ours filling their heads with Discovery Institute crapola.

          But it’s a dodge. Theology doesn’t add anything interesting or compelling to your argument. It is fiction based on fiction. It analyzes a fiction and builds it up into an intellectual fantasy. I’m familiar enough with the fiction and many of the fallacious arguments and circular reasoning to demonstrate a relative confidence that it is not only untrue, but absurd that anyone is so foolish to believe it. It also is curious why the whole world has different versions of similar bullshit. I wonder why they are so certain of their beliefs without having to wade through yours. How could so many people deny something so properly basic, just because it became obvious to you? Does it occur to you that you’re the fool here? That you fell for a line, and you sunk straight into a bullshit factory?

        • Gregory Stacey

          From the above, permit me to doubt your familiarity with modern philosophy of religion. Unlike theology based on faith-principles, philosophy of religion is based on start-points usually acceptable to the non-religious, and so is not “fiction piling on fiction”.

          But if I were an atheist, I DO think I’d need to read the book of Mormon to reject Mormonism.

        • Kodie

          What is the modern philosophy of making shit up about?

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

          How about you? Do you reject Mormonism? I can’t imagine you’ve done so without not only reading the BoM but studying the history of the movement and related books and documents.

          Am I right?

        • Gregory Stacey

          No, I deliberately only wrote “if I were an atheist” (perhaps I should have said naturalist, more narrowly). I can deduce the falsity of Mormonism really easily from some of my properly basic beliefs (or, I might add, at least self-justifying doxastic practices a la W. Alston), so this isn’t worrying for me. Can you do the same?

        • Kodie

          Obviously you reject atheism really easily from your properly basic beliefs without knowing too much about it. Obviously a lot of it is going to conflict with your preconceived notions (what I call ‘properly basic beliefs’) and you are pretty much set it and forget it. I’m glad you’re being so intellectually pure as to deduce logically from your axioms and no longer feel compelled to examine the truth or falsity of your axioms, particularly why it’s important for women to drop everything and devote the rest of their lives to a single cell.

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

          Can I use simple logic to see that there is insufficient evidence behind the remarkable claims of Mormonism? To see that Mormonism is quite like the many claims that we’re both happy to label as mythology (or some other false belief)?

          Uh, yeah. But thanks for asking.

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

          The work of the theologian seems to me to be analogous to the sports fan who’s memorized the stats of his favorite teams for the last century. Impressive but useless.

        • Kodie

          So, in essence, you are deluded by the notion that abortion kills a baby is a “properly basic,” or “obvious to everyone” as saying “the sky is blue.” “Properly basic” in your theology is a catchphrase to manipulate your compliance with the organized subjugation of women. I don’t believe you really know your theology any more than I do, and you find it difficult to get outside of it and comprehend how what you believe isn’t “properly basic” to everyone. Moreso, how you immerse yourself in dogma so you can be shocked that people disagree with you, only to rationalize it’s because they haven’t been exposed to the documents and lessons and lectures and philosophy that are meant to guide and convince fools into realizing what ought to be “properly basic”.

          Christ sake, man, if you have to read a book to align your thoughts with the “properly basic,” not so basic, is it, then, just made up.

        • Gregory Stacey

          Erm, when did I state that all properly basic beliefs were universally held? And it’s really philosophy, not theology. I’m not shocked that you disagree with me, but I am shocked that you haven’t considered what reason itself (i.e. philosophy with secular premises) has to say about religious belief.

          And no, one wouldn’t have to read a book to hold a properly basic belief- just to know what one was. I really suggest that you read something about Reformed Epistemology before bothering to comment further.

          Finally, please don’t allege that I don’t know what I’m talking about here. FYI, I’m currently pursing a Masters degree in philosophical theology at a rather famous British university, having graduated from the same institution with a BA in Theology the year before…

        • Kodie

          Well, la di da. I didn’t know I was talking to a bullshit scholar. I’m not even allowed to have an opinion at you, now that I’m not as educated in your pet subject? I notice you have time to talk about this, but you still don’t have time to defend the thing that’s so important that a woman has to interrupt her life for it.

        • Gregory Stacey

          Of course you’re entitled to an opinion- but no, if your lack of a knowledge-base means that you can’t even understand the terms I’m using properly, then it’s not an opinion I’m going to take very seriously, and you should probably dismiss my opinions less glibly!

          In fact, one of the reasons why I don’t want to discuss the issue of the embryo’s personhood is that I’ve not studied the relevant ethics at university level, and I tend not to comment on things I’ve not studied at that level. But I’m pretty confident that I have a properly basic belief concerning the matter given my other studies.

        • Kodie

          But you have studied the relevant ethics of slut-shaming… at the university level.

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

          Two can play that game, my friend! I plan in the future to address all responses to you in the arcane language of alchemy.

          Prepare for a new worldview, because you’ll have no grounds by which to reject my arguments.

        • Gregory Stacey

          Ok. Here’s the difference- alchemy isn’t a relevant field of study (!). Are you seriously telling me that you don’t think atheists should study philosophy of religion?…

        • Kodie

          It’s not necessary or relevant.

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

          I’m seriously telling you that philosophy of religion is a smoke screen used by intelligent people to convince themselves that their beliefs (which they came to by mechanisms other than philosophy of religion) are justified.

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          philosophy of religion is a smoke screen used by intelligent people to convince themselves that their beliefs (which they came to by mechanisms other than philosophy of religion) are justified.

          Whereas we each arrived at our beliefs about, for instance, the age of the universe by critically assessing all the primary research and independently establishing the validity of all the complex physics that support the Big Bang model of cosmology.

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

          Not following.

          We trust the scientific consensus rather than evaluate the evidence ourselves. Science has earned that trust. Not so with religion.

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          Right. We claim knowledge without a full understanding of the method used to arrive at it, on the authority of people we don’t know who claim that other people we don’t know claim that a certain hypothesis best explains the majority of observations recorded by yet more people we don’t know.

          I’m being facetious, because I too profess belief in things like evolution by natural selection and the Big Bang. But it’s worthwhile to acknowledge how many blind men are in line between us and the alleged elephant.

          A few decades ago, after all, we’d have been touting the Solid State theory of the universe. The story keeps getting revised, which is a good thing. But it’s still storytelling.

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

          The story keeps getting revised

          Yeah, and … ? The fact remains that science has a phenomenal track record

          You seem to imagine that theories get tossed out all the time. “Whoops! That one was a loser! But we’re sure we’ve got it figured out now.” But it don’t work that way.

          (1) Science is testable, and the fruits of those tests aren’t always in the lab but are out in the field. GPS. Cell phones. Semiconductors.

          (2) When science says, “Whoops!” in some well-established field, it is rarely a clean-sheet-of-paper rewrite. Usually, it’s a tweak—relativity issues added to Newton’s law of gravitation, for example.

          You seem to imagine a parallel between our trust in science and our faith in religion. I’m not seeing it.

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          The fact remains that science has a phenomenal track record

          That’s exactly what scientists keep telling us.

          You seem to imagine that theories get tossed out all the time. “Whoops! That one was a loser! But we’re sure we’ve got it figured out now.” But it don’t work that way.

          Except, historically speaking, it does. We’re given symbolic constructs that make the universe comprehensible, and the symbolism changes every so often. Geocentrism gave way to heliocentrism. No more Newtonian universe, now it’s the quantum universe. Bye bye Solid State, hello Big Bang. Even today, the Darwinian tree of life is being revised because of what we understand about horizontal gene transfer. We can argue about how momentous these paradigm shifts are, but we should admit that’s how induction “works.” New info, new story.

          You seem to imagine a parallel between our trust in science and our faith in religion. I’m not seeing it.

          I’m not comparing the two. I just think it’s worthwhile to point out that the majority of us derive our understanding of the physical universe from anecdotes. It’s not like we’re objectively assessing evidence. We believe the things that reinforce what we already believe.

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

          That’s exactly what scientists keep telling us.

          And, darn it all, they keep coming up with evidence that validates the bold claims.

          Visit an electronics store and ask what wouldn’t have been there 20 years ago. Pretty much everything, I’m guessing.

          Geocentrism gave way to heliocentrism.

          I’m thinking of the era of modern science—say the last 200 years.

          No more Newtonian universe, now it’s the quantum universe.

          Like I said—tweaks. Indeed, it still is a Newtonian universe in our medium-sized world.

          Even today, the Darwinian tree of life is being revised because of what we understand about horizontal gene transfer.

          Wait—are you saying that evolution is about to be tossed out on its ear?

          Oh, no—I was confused. You’re only saying that evolution is being improved/modified/tweaked. Yeah. Like I said.

          In pre-scientific times, we thought that the earth was flat. Nope—it’s a sphere. And that’s wrong, too. But not completely, laughably, embarrassingly wrong—just that it’s an incomplete approximation. The earth is actually prolate. And, y’know what? Even that is incomplete. We’ve tweaked our model yet again.

          Science isn’t washing the canvas clean with turpentine and starting over again; it’s usually tweaking and adjusting.

          I’m not comparing the two.

          But since we got off on this tangent with my comment about religion, you can see how I would think that this was precisely a science/religion comparison.

          You need to work on being clearer. You say, “No, that’s not what I’m talking about” more than anyone here.

          I just think it’s worthwhile to point out that the majority of us derive our understanding of the physical universe from anecdotes. It’s not like we’re objectively assessing evidence. We believe the things that reinforce what we already believe.

          Now, that’s an interesting hodge-podge. It’s true that we can’t be on the front lines of all domains of science, both because none of us have the expertise and because we have better things to do with our time.

          As for science patting us on the head and telling us what good boys and girls we are for believing the bullshit it gives us, I think you have something besides science in mind.

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

          Is your properly basic belief binding on me?

          If not, then I think you value it far too highly.

        • Kodie

          That also kind of tells me “properly basic” is a misnomer. Why don’t you come up with a more accurate representation of your opinion? It seems to me, if you want to argue something that you don’t actually want to argue about, you’re taking liberties here, assuming nobody would care if you just skipped over your premise and argued to hold women hostage for nothing. I also want to point out, your grasp of the language is poor if you don’t know what your words sound like to other people. I mean, for a scholar.

        • purr

          Idk kodie. He has convinced me that abortion is wrong because he uses big werdz and his sentences are appropriately convoluted.

        • Kodie

          When I found out he had an important degree from a prestigious university, I realized he might have the authority to determine what women should do in certain circumstances.

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

          That degree sounds like a huge amount of work. Nevertheless, you should be able to express any useful principles or ideas so that we plebes can understand them.

          Reading more about reformed epistemology sounds like a waste of time. Am I missing something? Show us.

        • purr

          And this is what he is arguing from when he is stating that pro-choice men MUST be just as biased as pro-life men, because pro-choice men are DISPUTING the ‘properly basic’ belief that zygotes are baybeeez!!!!

          I wonder how he would feel about pro-life men, such as Robert M. Price, who feel that every zygote is a human being, but who *do not vote* based on that belief.

          What if there is a pro-life man who votes for a pro-choice liberal based on issues separate from abortion? WHAT THEN???????????????

        • http://batman-news.com Anton

          I wasn’t fully pro-choice until my kids were teenagers.

          The issues are not unrelated.

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

          Aside: this illustrates the confusion of terms. You have pro-choice, pro-life personally (don’t want to change Roe v. Wade), and pro-life globally (who do want to impose their beliefs on society and change Roe).

          We need 3 terms.

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

          I find the philosophy of religion to be highly overrated. If you can show me something useful that’s come out of that field, let me know and I’ll adjust my opinion.

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

          The principle you quoted is patently not always true if by dismissed you mean considered defeated.

          How fortunate that I said and meant “dismissed.”

          This seems to be the sort of thing Platinga has in mind with his EAAN.

          I’ve responded to that argument in this blog.

          Do you know of any epistemological story acceptable to naturalists on which the pro-choice position comes out as similarly properly basic?

          I don’t know why I should care much about properly basic beliefs. Plantinga concludes that Christian belief is properly basic. I reject Christian belief. I’m sure you see the problem.

        • Norm Donnan

          All you need to do to understand their value is wait a few weeks then you will see beyond any doubt who it is your killing.

        • purr

          Why wait a few weeks? Why does what they *will* become matter? Are they valuable as microscopic single celled organisms or not?Are they valuable for what they *actually* are, and not for what they *might* be?

        • Kodie

          Norm believes all the propaganda with the fully formed infant that fits on the tip of your finger.

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

          Norm has used the argument from potential–it ain’t much now, but just wait a few months.

          I think it was a comment from you that nicely lampooned this argument. Since a 6-year-old has the potential to drive a car, we should give them the keys now. Since an adult has the potential to be an organ donor, we should harvest them now.

        • Norm Donnan

          What “will” they become Ron ?a puppy maybe?
          What “might” they become,some weirdos imagine people.
          Lol imagine that.

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

          RP’s point stands.

          You don’t know what they will become. In a few months, they might become a newborn, a newborn with hideous birth defects, or dead.

          It may become something extremely important to their family. Very nice. The point is, however, they aren’t that now.

        • Norm Donnan

          RP’s point is a strawman and your reply is about as strong as well.
          The point is a new born,(all children for that matter)and the elderly arnt now either.They are only a drain on family and society as a whole.
          What I would like to know is why is to kill them murder and someone a few months younger at a different stage in their life any different ?

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

          RP’s point is a strawman and your reply is about as strong as well.

          ?? The question is: what is it? You can speculate all you want about what it might become on your own time. For the purposes of the abortion question, what is it now? A 3yo child? Sorry—the state protects that. A 3-day-old embryo? Abortion is allowed.

          Make up all the pretend rules you want, but what it is is the question.

          What I would like to know is why is to kill them murder and someone a few months younger at a different stage in their life any different ?

          Since I already thoroughly answered this question, you must give me a question which would not have me simply copying from that previous reply.

        • purr

          Norm’s sentences are nearly as inscrutable as Gregory’s, but for different reasons, hehe.

        • purr

          Explain, in detail, how my point is a ‘strawman’ dear Normie.

        • Norm Donnan

          Well Ron (and Bob) what you both(and most pro abortionists) think are deep and philosophical questions about what these mere blob of cells represent and will become and their value looks to you as good questions but really are as realistic and convincing as a straw-man compared to a real person.,light weight.
          So when you ask what *might*they become,I tell you to wait a while and you will answer your own question.

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

          Then I tell you to wait a while and you will get your wish: you and I will be on the same side and will insist that society must protect it.

          But until that time, things are different. It ain’t a person.

        • Norm Donnan

          So they,at this stage of their development dont look much like me eh! Thats true but neither does a new born,a bit more yes but nothing like an adult,you couldnt call them a person either,no personality thats for sure and if you put a gun to their head,well so what,they wouldnt know any difference.It would be better than being poisoned to death or cut in pieces thats for sure.
          Your only fooling yourselves!

        • Philmonomer

          Norm,

          If you wait a while, a girl will turn into a woman. So she is entitled to all the rights/protections that a woman has, regardless of her age?

        • Norm Donnan

          And I agree 100%

        • Philmonomer

          A woman has the right to get married without her parents consent. A 12 year old girl does not have that right (nor should she). So it seems to me she doesn’t have all the same rights as a woman.

          My point is that, even when there is continuous human development, we can still recognize that the two ends of the spectrum are fundamentally different, and that an individual’s rights change accordingly.

        • Norm Donnan

          So at what point in a mans development does he have the right to end the life of another person for any reason???
          and neither does a woman.
          And who has the right to deny an unborn human the right to life??

        • purr

          You have stated that abortion is cold blooded murder, Norm.

          So, you still have to tell us, and we have been waiting, what the punishment should be for sluts who murder their innocent unborn babies.

          Life in prison?

          30 years?

          Or hang the bitches by the neck until dead?

          And do try not to make excuses – it’s murder for hire. If a woman hired a hitman to shoot her 5 year old in the face, you wouldn’t say ‘go easy on her’ would you? Furthermore, a woman can now buy a pill that will kill her innocent unborn baby for her.

          So, please, answer. We would like to know what you think.

        • Norm Donnan

          I wouldnt have a clue Ron,the women I have heard speak who have had abortions and now realize just what they have done all speak with remorse.
          Same with those who were abortionists who woke up to what they were aborting.
          You can stay in denial for as long as you like but science and reason completely refute your arguments.
          Ive allways been intrigued by why does atheism constantly push the abortion and homosexual agenda when they have nothing to do with religion??
          Also why do you label women as “sluts and whores” who have abortions?
          All the women that i know who have had abortions have all been nice people who fell un expectantly pregnant.

        • purr

          I wouldnt have a clue Ron,the women I have heard speak who have had
          abortions and now realize just what they have done all speak with
          remorse.

          imnotsorry.net

          http://www.ansirh.org/research/turnaway.php

          Irrelevant, because for every woman who feels remorse, you will find a woman who feel relief.

          People also feel regret and remorse after having sex – should sex be illegal in that case?

          You can stay in denial for as long as you like but science and reason completely refute your arguments.

          You have not demonstrated any science or reason to back up your conclusions, Norm. All that you have done is to proclaim that a zygote is a person, which is just a baseless assertion without evidence.

          So, where is that evidence? Back up your claims, sweetie.

          Ive allways been intrigued by why does atheism constantly push the
          abortion and homosexual agenda when they have nothing to do with
          religion??

          Because it is religion that seeks to control people’s sex lives?

          Also why do you label women as “sluts and whores” who have abortions?

          Norm, do you offer a rape exception, and if so, why?

          All the women that i know who have had abortions have all been nice people who fell un expectantly pregnant.

          And they have also been murderers, right? You did say that abortion IS murder – in fact, science and reason back up this assertion of yours. So, you still have to tell us, please, what kind of prison sentence should women receive for MURDERING their unborn baby?

        • Norm Donnan

          1) its not irrelevant its just that the others still believe the lie.
          2) People feel regret after eating chocolate as well Ron.
          3)A zygote is simply a term given to name a stage of development,nothing more.A fetus is another,a toddler is another.
          You think by you deciding at what point of development in a persons life it is ok to kill them is morally shameful.
          Even spell check underlines the word “personhood” as wrong and so is your
          4)Clearly its not against the law to murder your unborn child,that doesnt make it right.
          Just like not long ago coloured people werent given “personhood” in their day and could be abused without recourse,as jews were legally rounded up and Im sure you can think of a dozen more examples.So no I wont be giving you a sentence on women any more than those doing the killing and those like you supporting murder.
          But like us all we will stand before a just and righteous God and give account of our lives,but thats another discussion for another day.

        • purr

          1) So you think that women who feel relief after an abortion are just stupid women who believe a lie?

          2) Are you arguing that chocolate should be illegal?

          3) NO, a zygote is *fundamentally* different from a born child. It is LITERALLY a genetic plan. The zygote does NOT grow up into a bigger zygote. It is in fact a completely different organism than what comes out at the end of 9 months.

          It is acceptable to deny a zygote the right to life because a zygote is a non-person and it has no right to life.

          4) So, once you get your wish and it IS against the law to murder your unborn child, what kind of punishment should the murderous women receive?

          “Coloured’ people are not much different from non-coloured people. Because you’re a little slow, I will use photos:

          a) http://onlyhdwallpapers.com/thumbnail/black_models_fashion_naomi_campbell_british_model_desktop_1024x654_hd-wallpaper-931637.jpg

          b) http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_bDSaYmCzA20/TRrabY2BljI/AAAAAAAACQc/6t_iyzafKNU/s320/Yuvna+Kim+sexy78.jpg

          c) http://www.embryology.ch/images/eimgvorimplant/01furchung/e1p_j1_zygote.jpg

          ———-

          Which one of these is not like the others Norm? a? b? c?

          But like us all we will stand before a just and righteous God and give account of our lives,but thats another discussion for another day.

          Do you think that women should go to prison for murdering their 3 year olds, or should they be allowed to walk free like abortion killers and be judged before god instead of going to jail?

        • Norm Donnan

          I bet you yell at the computer when your typing dont you Ron??
          Oh of the 3 people pictured they all look quite different to me,but then again we are all individuals arnt we? Just the way God made us.

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

          Yeah, good call. I’ve met people like #3 (just a couple of cells) at parties.

          I think. (Or perhaps I dreamed that.)

        • purr

          a) = supermodel Naomi Campbell

          b) = an Indian woman

          c) a microscopic zygote

          Tell me Norm, which one doesn’t ‘belong’ with the others?

          It’s not that hard!!

        • Norm Donnan

          They were all zygotes Ronnie,maybe #3 would have invented the cure for cancer but we will never know.

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

          So you’re saying that we should have as many kids as biologically possible, just in case?

        • purr

          I see that you have received a response from one Clinton Wilcox…lol

          Anyways, should you decide to respond, all I can say is:

          Numbers 5

          http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/num/5.html

          Christians say it isn’t abortion, but obviously it is. The rotting grain taken from the temple floor (and grain was a common sacrifice back then) often contained ergot, which was an abortifacient. And, because people back then believed that sex = pregnancy, and that once a woman had sex with one man, she would *always * have babies by him (which is why a woman was thought to be ‘ruined’ after rape) it’s pretty damn clear that the *proof* of her infidelity would be a miscarriage! And the ‘bitter water’ proves exactly that.

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

          Accurate paternity trumps the “sanctity of life.”

        • Norm Donnan

          Just in case of what Bob??
          Have as many as you like I say,how many do you have Bob??

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

          Just in case one of those 15 kids would cure cancer or create cheap, abundant energy for all. (Seems an odd question, since I was playing off your example.)

          I have two kids. We could’ve had many more but we deliberately took steps to prevent that. Does that make me a monster? Should I lie awake at night to lament the dozen or so kids we didn’t have?

        • Norm Donnan

          Lol no,I just assumed that you were gay.
          We also had two and deliberately took steps as well.

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

          So not bringing to fruition those souls that we didn’t have as children meets with your approval?

          I don’t seem much difference between the twinkle in my eye from which they started and the single fertilized egg cell.

        • purr

          Why did you assume that bob was gay?

        • purr

          And maybe #3 could have been the next Hitler…your point is irrelevant

          But, since you seem to be saying that a and b are equal to c, then it follows that you consider c to be the moral equivalent of a grown woman soo…

          Why do you say that women who murder their zygotes should not face *any* jail time whatsoever for the heinous crime of murder?

        • Norm Donnan

          What I think is irrelevant Ron,I dont make the law but I will continue to voice my disapproval of the barbarity of abortion and hope future generations will look back and say,”how could they have been so ignorant” in the same way as we do on slavery now.
          So Ron,what jail sentence should a slave owner get???

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

          I would think that owning a slave isn’t hardly as bad as murder. No?

        • Kodie

          I think slave owners should be executed; fetuses are essentially slave owners.

        • purr

          No, Kodie. Women are the slaveowners! Because they created an innocent person and put it in harm’s way! But but…the folks at LAN have spoken, and they said that women who ‘murder’ their innocent unborn children should not go to jail because, after the civil war, the slaveowners were *forgiven* for their crimes, and even given money as reparation for the now free slaves!

          OH, almost forgot, women have been brainwashed for 40+ years to believe that abortion is ok, so, we can’t just turn around then throw them in jail can we? It’d be like making rape illegal in India and then actually punishing rapists for their crimes! They’ve been raping for thousands of years without punishment, so why punish them once rape is illegal?

          mmm pro-life logic, what’s not to love?

        • Kodie

          I have my own philosophy about how much crimes should weigh and what punishments are worse. Being alive but without freedom is worse to me than being dead. Being alive and feeling that pain for a long time is worse than being dead and not feeling it. Life without parole is worse than execution. Most people are conditioned to think the life they have is the most valuable and to lose it is the worst thing. To have life and not have it at the same time is to suffer and know it every day. Death ends suffering and you can’t know or feel grief for your lost life when you die.

          We have been conditioned to think a lot of harms against people are minor compared to killing them, like on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being to kill them, how high is owning them, or torturing them, or raping them, or stealing all their money, educational opportunities, and determining the rest of their future should be centered around you? Well, if they’re still alive, you didn’t take everything they have, right? You can leave them to dust and as long as they’re still alive, maybe they can turn it around for themselves and overcome it, but that’s exhausting.

          People who choose to be parents are really, ideally, doing that for themselves. They want to invest in another generation of themselves and spend whatever is necessary (at least or even more) to ensure the production of people. They may be naive. It is a very high cost financially and emotionally to care for children until they can manage on their own, and people seem to overwhelmingly choose that. We’re also conditioned to feel worse about a child dying (by any cause) than an adult. Children are sacred culturally so that if they die, it’s fucking tragic, but if an adult dies, it’s just sad. If an old person dies, it’s “oh well, at least they got to live a long time”. I think it’s weird. But “pro-life” logic is that, if it’s sad when a 15-year-old dies, it’s even sadder if a 10-year-old dies. So it’s sadder when a 5-year-old dies, and even sadder if a 3-year-old dies, and much sadder if an infant below the age of 1 dies, well, how much sadder if they weren’t even born yet? Yes, miscarriages are sad. But going by the logic, the younger someone is, the sadder it is they died. And if you have taken their life by your own hand! Monster!

          The life they have all lost is one they will never miss – only they are missed by other people. To murder someone isn’t just about taking their life, their so-called most precious asset, the one thing without which we could not have time to recover from everything else and still have it. (Why people call suicide “the easy way out” or “cowardly”). To kill someone is to take them away from everyone else permanently as kidnapping, but at least there’s not the lifelong agony of hope they’ll be returned. I am not saying parents should have the right to kill their own born children if they’re the only ones who will miss them. But it never hurts me in the guts like everybody else when they do. The embryo is not even a person. It’s not a very young infant. It’s like when you mix two colors of paint and they’re in the pot. You haven’t made anything with that paint yet, you haven’t got any creation to lose, screw up, give away or admire. And paint is pretty cheap unless you’re royalty (even that is debatable).

          ———————-
          But like, the keyboard I’m using is super messed up, space bar is stuck especially, very slow to type, misses letters, go back, fix it, some keys make it scroll all the way to the bottom, or jump someplace inside my post and delete words. I’ll be around when I get it fixed.

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

          But going by the logic, the younger someone is, the sadder it is they died

          It’s the homeopathic interpretation of personhood.

        • purr

          So far I have come across an interesting range of opinions from various pro-lifers:

          1) even if an embryo only ever lives out it’s life in a petri dish, at least it had the chance to *live*

          2) a pseudo-intellectual asshat by the name of acyutananda over on TFA made the compelling argument that an embryo has more of a right to life than even a newborn because it is *younger*, and therefore has longer to live. He also made the argument that women were getting ‘special’ treatment in regards to legal abortion, because female equality = a win by default

          3) I am discussing penalties for abortion with a fellow right now who has told me that a) all life is equally valuable but b) the penalty for murdering an 8wk embryo should be only 5 years in jail whereas c) the penalty for murdering a newborn should be 25 years in jail d) because the 8wk embryo is not yet ‘viable’

          So, let’s review #3…

          All life is equally valuable
          We must not discriminate based on age or size
          However, human development discriminates on age or size.
          Therefore, murder of an 8wk embryo should only be punishable by 5 years in jail, 6 months, 10 years in jail, 8 months, 25 years in jail, born, 30+ years in jail…
          So, he DOES appear to be discriminating on gestational age yes? Ok so, all life is equal. In fact, it is so equal and important that an 8wk embryo should be *entitled* to a woman’s body…but, it’s not so equal that the punishment for killing an 8k embryo should be equal to that for killing a newborn???

          If he truly believed that an embryo had the same value as a newborn he would say that 1st degree murder should apply in both cases. So he doesn’t truly believe it. However, he still believes that women are worth less than that 8wk embryo. The misogyny is quite vile.

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

          Thought experiments like your question about punishments are helpful for sniffing out people’s true feelings. I’ve been surprised at the responses: either they refuse to participate (knowing that the results will be embarrassing to their position, I assume) or they have a million questions to better understand the experiment.

          These are the same people who would happily participate in the trolley experiment, but when it gets close to home, the rules change.

        • purr

          Refuse to participate is the usual result. I mean, just look at the problems we’ve been having with Normie here. One guy even told me that he couldn’t give me his thoughts on the subject, because there are always ‘mitigating circumstances’ – and he refused to go into any detail.

          As for the trolley thing, I find it interesting that they appear to have no qualms about ‘letting someone die’ even *if* you are the *only* person in the world who can save them, but, if that person happens to be living inside your body, you can’t remove them if it will kill them because then that’s MURDER. They will say ‘but you put them in a place of need’ *however* they also apply this rule to rape victims. And, generally speaking, they don’t think fathers should be forced to preserve fetal life if it infringes on their bodily autonomy. Only sometimes will they begrudgingly admit that fathers should be legally obligated to have their bodies used as life support, but I don’t think they’d ever vote for such a thing in practise.

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

          I’m happy with them having beliefs that, to me, seem nutty. It’s their eagerness to use the government to force their beliefs on the rest of us that is the real problem.

        • Norm Donnan

          Maybe you should ask the slave Bob.
          So how does a slave trader stack up,they had a low percentage of captured slaves actually survived the trip.
          To me they would be on par with an abortionist.

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

          I was talking about a slave owner. You’re talking about a slave trader.

          The slave trader (who lost roughly 10% of his slaves on the trip) killed people. A single cell isn’t a person, and it doesn’t grow to become a person until where it’s illegal to have an abortion. So no, the slave trader is worse.

        • purr

          So should a slave trader not be punished by the law and simply have to ‘answer before God’ instead?

        • purr

          Abortion is so barbarous, yet you don’t think women should go to jail for it?

          Tell me Norm, if a woman dismembers her 3 year old toddler, she should also answer to God and serve NO jail time?

        • Norm Donnan

          “As above” Ronni.
          Tell me Ron,hows the slave trade?

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

          The women that you’ve heard speak? Are they at a pro-life conference? Perhaps that explains why they are of one mind.

          A recent study said that, a week after the decision to either abort or not abort, the women who had chosen abortion were happier. Just one data point, but I think that if you cast your net wider, you’ll find that many woman find abortion the lesser of two evils.

          Yes, it is curious that there’s a strong correlation between atheism and pro-choice rights and gay rights. Drop the religious arguments, I guess, and the logic behind the conservative positions falls away.

        • Norm Donnan

          1)Ive never been to a pro life meeting,2 were in church and 3 were social gatherings.
          2)With each of these individual women it wasnt until a few years later and in one case many years later that the comprehended or as one put it “admitted to myself” what it was Ide actually done.”I should have a 14yo son/daughter as well as an 8yo”.
          3)I have 5 relatives who claim to be atheist,they are all 100% anti homosexual to the point I myself would say homophobic or even bigots,”utterly un-natural” as one put it.
          I dont know where they all stand on abortion except for one who summed her view with”what the hell is it these people dont get that they are pregnant with a child… their own child”
          So I dont think she was pro abortion,not a religious argument to be heard.

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

          That the people you chat with think like you is hardly surprising. Hang out in different circles and you’ll find different opinions.

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

          Sorry, Norm–I can’t find anything coherent in there to respond to.

          Are you lamenting that men can’t get pregnant? Yes, that’s a shame. I guess.

        • purr

          So I was reading LAN today and lo and behold, you have dipped your toe into the lake of…idiocy?

          If you are ever curious about some more sophisticated anti-abortion arguments, you might want to check out this site:

          http://blog.secularprolife.org/2014/01/the-argument-from-identity.html#disqus_thread

          The bulk of their arguments are basically just a fancy way of saying ‘every zygote has a soul’

          The current one, that I linked to, is basically stating that personhood is *inherent* in the zygote, because it has *human DNA* – all persons have human DNA, a zygote has human DNA, therefore, it is a person!! And the zygote has the capacity for personhood, you just can’t see it yet! But trust us, it’s there! It’s in the DNA! The brain/the identity, it’s all in the DNA!

          They like to lecture us on embryology, but they don’t understand the subject at all. And I have a very light understanding of embryology/epigenetics and even I have a better handle on the subject than they do.

          They do acknowledge, in the comments, that it is possible to get *different* future versions, if you will, of the potential ‘person’ that will eventually, or, rather, inexorably (as they like to say) arise from that single celled zygote. However, they work backwards from the solid identity that exists NOW and apply it to that zygote. So, whatever the zygote has the potential to develop into, is identical to that zygote, if and when it gains that identity!! Mental gymnastics indeed!

          In another article they are actually trying to compare FGM to pro-choice by saying that FGM and pro-choice = patriarchy, and therefore both are misogynistic and evil and must be wiped out!! This is the same strategy that they use when they try to co-opt slavery, or even ‘check your born privilege’ to try to convince us that zygotes should have civil rights.

          p.s. Mary Lee is cute, she’s all ‘abortion is misogynist; forcing women to give birth is feminist’

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

          Someone gave me the link because of the Valerie Tarico reference.

          Yeah–pretty bizarre. I rarely get into a site that’s so lopsided away from my position. But it’s interesting.

          The good thing about the DNA thing is that they at least admit that that’s what their argument devolves into. But of course, this means that they’re just getting misty-eyed at the thought of the single cell’s DNA. If that’s their thing, fine, but to imagine that that bizarre fascination must be imposed on the world is amazing.

          Thanks for the insights.

        • purr

          Yeah, I check those sites regularly but do not post. I just like to be up to speed on the arguments, even though it gives me a terrible headache.

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

          Are there interesting arguments? I heard nothing.

        • purr

          No. Just semantic arguments that all try to prove, through ‘science’ that every zygote has a soul. And that potentiality IS actuality.

          Not unsurprisingly, mane of these so-called ‘secular’ arguments are in fact written by…Christians! They say that we must take them seriously, because they are not invoking religion…it’s all about the science in this case! But, they are biased towards ‘souls’ right out of the gate because of their religious beliefs. There is no escaping it. Hence the logic pretzels and mental gymnastics that they employ to try and prove that every zygote is a *viable* individual, who is *destined* to be born.

        • purr

          OH, as for LAN, they just make shit up. They do the same stuff as the secular pro-lifers, only they aren’t afraid to mention religion.

          They also invent fake stories about how loving families were *overjoyed* to be given the gift of a Down Syndrome child, or of how a pro-choicer killed 10000000 baybeez in his lifetime as an abortion doc, but became so disgusted by it all that he had to quit and become pro-life! All very ‘religious’ in nature, don’t you think? The religious *conversion* story! Born Again!

          LAN, Lifesite, Operation Rescue are all propaganda sites, nothing more. At least Secular Pro-Life *tries* to be better, but as Anton said, they are just another hate group, when you peel away the curtain.

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

          One wonders what the best approach is. My guess is that by spending a day there and exploring my arguments, some of the lurkers might’ve gotten some new information. Or, maybe it just innoculated them and it was a few wasted hours.

        • purr

          Nothing wrong with getting the info out there for lurkers.

          Sometimes logic works, other times emotion is the way to go.

          You handled yourself well, though. They were going batshit crazy, and you responded with wit and humour:P

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

          It is tempting to stay in there and beat down the idiotic lies, but there’s only so many hours in the day.

        • purr

          Oh, btw..you mentioned Plan B over there…

          Well, Plan B *prevents* ovulation. If a woman has already ovulated, she can still get pregnant even with Plan B.

          Ru-486 is the abortion pill – it will induce a miscarriage.

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

          OK, thanks. I thought they were different names for the same thing.

        • Norm Donnan

          No surprises there Bob

        • Philmonomer

          So at what point in a mans development does he have the right to end the life of another person for any reason???

          I don’t understand the question.

          I view the “baby’s” right to life as essentially zero at the moment of conception, with it increasing until it becomes essentially 100 percent at birth.

          I view the woman’s right to her own bodily autonomy as essentially 100 percent at conception, with it decreasing to essentially zero at birth (or, more accurately before birth).

          Where the two rights cross is the tricky part, and reasonable people can disagree.

          So it is a question of competing rights, not the “right to deny an unborn human the right to life.”

          A question, can you shoot and kill an unarmed intruder in your house? Aren’t you denying his right to life?

        • Norm Donnan

          Phil this is purely and simply your personal view on a very serious issue.
          It sounds logical on the surface like,”do i buy a new car or a 3yo car?Well a new one will last longer but a second hand one is cheaper,what should i do?”
          We are talking about,”should I kill this person or let them live?Well if i let them live it will seriously affect my social/work life but it will also make me a better person in so many ways,what should i do ?”
          Should you be allowed to shoot an un armed intruder? In Australia you would most likely be charged with manslaughter and i would agree with that.

        • Philmonomer

          Phil this is purely and simply your personal view on a very serious issue.

          Ok.
          But in my defense 1) I think a lot of people hold this view and 2) you
          too are giving your personal view (how can we do anything else?).

          It sounds logical on the surface

          I think so too.

          We are talking about,”should I kill this person or let them live?

          I don’t think a zygote is a person.

          Well if i let them live it will seriously affect my social/work life but
          it will also make me a better person in so many ways,what should i do
          ?”

          I am not sure what to make of this. It seems to seriously misunderstand the thought processes of pregnant women (if that was even what you were going for).

          Should you be allowed to shoot an un armed intruder? In Australia you
          would most likely be charged with manslaughter and i would agree with
          that.

          You would not be charged with manslaughter if you
          have reason to believe the intruder might harm you (even in
          Australia). Then it is ok to kill. Can we at least agree that abortion
          is ok when the life of the mother might be harmed?

        • Norm Donnan

          The mistake I believe is the stage of development of a human being is irrelivent.
          A zygote is a medical term and “personhood” is another made up term used by pro abortionists to justify to themselves the killing of another human being who doesnt meet their criteria.
          In the same way that coloured people wernt considered fully human compared to white people and that justified slavery.
          On the intruder frount,you would be charged and would then have to go to court and make your case of why you feared for you life.
          The argument of the threat to a womans life is usually a red herring,or strawman if you like.
          In countries where you can have an abortion you can also get medical help as well.
          2 friends of mine were told to abort for this reason and both went on to have no problems as they were under supervision and now have awesome children they would have otherwise killed.
          My own wife was suffering cronic fatigue when she fell un expectantly pregnant and was told she should abort by the doctor.
          Thank goodness she didnt or we wouldnt have my fantastic son or grandaughter,these are the real victims of abortion,they are real people,not zygotes.

        • purr

          The stage of development is entirely relevant because you believe that a woman should be subjugated to a clump of DNA. In fact, you don’t even believe that DNA is a person yourself, otherwise you wouldn’t say that women who abort their unborn babies shouldn’t have to go jail.

          Personhood is not a made up term unless of course you think it would be acceptable to murder Spock because he isn’t human. Well Norm? Would it be acceptable to blow Spock’s brains out simply because he is an intelligent alien and not an intelligent human?

          Black people and white people are the same, with nothing more than some superficial differences. Zygotes have nothing in common either black people or white people, and are fundamentally DIFFERENT from both.

          Pregnancy is inherently dangerous. Did you know that 300k women die per year worldwide from pregnancy? That pregnancy is the #2 killer of women of reproductive age worldwide? That 40% of pregnancies are a significant health risk, and that 15% are near death? That if the pain of labour and birth were induced by other means that it would be considered torture and assault? If you don’t think having a cantaloupe shoved violently up your asshole is assault I don’t know what to tell you Normie…and don’t even bring up c-section, it is MAJOR surgery, and having your abdomen opened up with a knife is not a mere trifle…

          So you value your kids more than your wife’s life and health? How charming…

        • Norm Donnan

          A lot of waffel Ronni my friend.
          Of the 300kwoman why dont they just go to the hospital down the road,mmmm?
          Because there isnt one.Death from pregnancy is a very un common occurrence in the west,where the vast majority of abortions are preformed..

        • purr

          1.7 million women are permanently disabled as a result of pregnancy.

          2 die per day from pregnancy in the USA alone

          The fact is, if it’s not your body, you cannot decide for others how much risk they should take on.

          Norm, should you be forced to jump out of a plane if it meant someone’s life could be saved? The rates of death from skyjumping are lower than from pregnancy. So surely, you would agree with me, that forcing you out of a plane to save a life would be the right thing to do, yes?

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

          (Fistula is one particularly unpleasant condition that can occur. In the third world, getting the operation to fix it is often not an option.)

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

          A zygote is a medical term and “personhood” is another made up term used by pro abortionists to justify to themselves the killing of another human being who doesnt meet their criteria.

          What is your term for what a newborn is that a single cell is not? I use the term “person.” And you?

        • Norm Donnan

          Hard question Bob,but a good one. I’m going to go with homo sapien….human being if you like.

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

          So the single cell is not human but the newborn is? I can accept that.

        • purr

          Should a woman be allowed to shoot someone who is using her body and genitals against her will, causing her personal and often permanent injury, in addition to threatening her life?

        • Norm Donnan

          Oh Ron this is just embarrassing for you.

        • purr

          Answer the question. This is the second one you have refused to answer Norm.

        • Kodie

          You are biased in your beliefs that:

          -Having a baby merely “affects” someone’s social or work life. It affects people’s lives, financially and emotionally, not a light burden.

          -Having a baby makes someone a better person than aborting.

          -That is the dilemma.

          ——

          There is no ethical problem ending something without a brain. It’s not “someone” until it does. It can’t know thoughts, plans, self, or pain, just like when you get your hair cut or shave your face. Oooh, keeping it will affect your social/work life, but it will make you a better person!

          Having a child brings always burdens with whatever joy someone chooses to add to it. All your arguments are purely emotional and nonsensical. Your comparisons to a car are purely stupid and just stupid. Anyone who regrets having an abortion should just get pregnant again. They have been emotionally blackmailed into torturing themselves over nothing – I hope you’re proud of all the lives you actively ruin because you think making other people’s practical decisions for them means you care more than an abortion doctor.

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

          Kodie: This is off topic, but seeing your name reminds me that the WordPress summary for 2013 says that you were the top commenter. Greg G. was next. Then Karl.

          (Thanks everyone!)

        • Kodie

          Hi Bob. Thanks for letting us know who posts too much! Lol. I am using an old crusty keyboard with keys that stick on my laptop until I replace the keyboard on it… had a small spill. Probably won’t post too much (missing a lot of recent topics) until I get the part fixed.

        • purr

          i really enjoy your posts Kodie. I have learned a lot from just reading your replies, especially in regards to abortion. You have an interesting take on things…

          And I loved it when you wtfpwned Albert.

        • Norm Donnan

          Again Kodie,you think that this person,human being if you like must meet Kodies criteria of having reached a point in their development to pass your test,at which point Kodie throws you a life line and says,”little girl/boy you may now live”
          But other random people say,”no I say they must be able to be viable outside the womb,so 25 weeks is it”
          Oh no,no.Not if they need life support,its birth or nothing for me”.
          Or like pro Peter Singer says,1 month after birth,noone should be forced to raise a child”.
          Again what makes you right and who are you to argue against others views?
          Because I dont know what a child feels,thinks makes plans about,Im going to side with one who does,the one who “knew you before you were born”,and”knit you together in your mothers womb”.

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

          Yes, people have different views on where to draw the line on abortion. And … ?

          50 legislatures have wrestled with the question and figured it out. They’ve also decided what crimes get the death penalty. Or life imprisonment. Or a myriad other punishments, each with big consequences.

          Tough questions each, but the questions can be resolved.

        • purr

          Have you actually read Peter Singer Norm?

          And fyi, basing your opposition to abortion on ‘god said so’ is weak at best.

          BTW, abortion is condoned in the bible. I suggest you read Numbers 5 sometime. A woman suspected of adultery is given a bitter drink that contains ergot from the temple floor. Ergot induces a miscarriage. If the woman was sleeping around, and the husband wanted to verify it, the ergot would cause her to miscarry, killing your precious fetus.

          Anyways, it’s clear that you don’t consider abortion to be MURDER, because if you did, you would agree that every woman who aborts deserves to go to prison for LIFE.

          I mean, if we asked you if a woman who shoots her 5 year old in the face should go to prison for life you wouldn’t say ‘she should ONLY answer to god, no prison time’ now would you? Yet you say so for abortions…

          tsk tsk

          You are inconsistent, honey poos.

        • Kodie

          I don’t see an ethical dilemma here. If it doesn’t have any feelings or thoughts, it has as much substance as a toenail, and will never mind being eliminated, if that is what the woman wants or needs to do for her own future. It is people who want to have babies who project future qualities on the early pregnancy – and even then, they call it an “it”.

        • Norm Donnan

          Again,just Kodies justification for her abortions,the question you need to be honest enough to answer is in a few months what w ill your toenails look like,now how has your fetus/embryo/baby changed??
          Too me it is people to afraid to take responsibility for their actions who deny the qualities of the person they carry that they refer to their child as an “it”.
          So what do you think when it is more personalized?

        • Kodie

          To you, it’s an emotional argument ignoring the facts so you can harass women and insist that they regret deeply over your fact-ignoring emotional opinion. Abortion is a sensible and responsible reaction to pregnancy – before anyone gets hurt.

        • purr

          kodie,you are giving Norm too much credit by including ‘argument’ in your description

          Better just leave it at ‘emotional’

        • Kodie

          Well, he thinks he is making a valid argument. What he is instead doing is being sentimental. He equates DNA to a live human being, he thinks that’s just obvious and transfers concern for a born person to that one living inside the womb – especially since he is emotionally persuaded by propaganda of the miniature sized fully formed babies that are the size of a fingertip. If the pro-life movement had a valid argument, they wouldn’t need to spread lies. What they do instead is use embryos resembling infants to lead dummies like Norm to organize in large numbers to oppress women and make them slaves to their anatomy. .

          He is not similarly sentimental over a toenail. Just cut it off, what’s the big deal? There is no pro-toenail movement to squeal in horror over the big nothing that’s happening. A person is their brain. Yes, brain dead people are also just shells and are for all intents and purposes dead. There is no one there to hang onto, it’s just expensive and maybe a person wants to spend the money to keep them in a hospital bed attached to machines to beat their heart for them. It’s superstition attached to what “life” means. A meaningful life is one spent aware, able to receive input and process it. It is not lying in a bed -we call them vegetables for a reason. It is a lot like taking a carrot and racking up the bills to keep it as your companion. Norm just sees “DNA, DNA, DNA!” We can’t extinguish their DNA! That’s god’s job! But you can take your broken window pane and replace it with a new piece of glass. The broken window still has its material, but it no longer functions as a proper window. We’re not sentimental about garbage, waste, or spending a lot of money (a lot less money than a child costs) keeping things that are a detriment in our lives. People who do are labeled mentally ill with some kind of OCD and are called hoarders. I call pro-life people “hoarders” also. They have attached meaning to a form of garbage, an increasingly expensive pending health and financial concern. You throw out the trash when the bin is full or starts to smell or attract pests. You don’t normally wait for it to take over your whole house, when it is more difficult to remove, and sets back your own personal functioning.

        • purr

          What they do instead is use embryos resembling infants to lead dummies
          like Norm to organize in large numbers to oppress women and make them
          slaves to their anatomy. .

          What they are doing now is saying that if infanticide is wrong, so is abortion, because even though infants lack self-awareness, and thus the capacity for ‘personhood’ we don’t kill them because we know that they have the potential for personhood. Well, every zygote also has the potential for personhood, right? So if killing an infant is infanticide, then so is killing a zygote!

        • Kodie

          Who says infants lack self-awareness? It may not be fully developed, but who cries when they’re hungry or frightened? My complaint is usually that once babies are born, people tend to think they’re fucking stupid. They’re collecting knowledge to develop. They don’t just one day at the right moment comprehend their ABCs. They don’t just one day at the right moment develop gestures to relay more accurately what they want or recognize their mother every time she comes back. Every block they need to build the ability to do so is absorbed through their senses to their brains – all the time, every day.

          Without a brain, you can’t do any of that. I would say brains aren’t relatively “in place” until shortly before you’re born, and even then only so much as your head can be a size small enough not to kill your own mother on the way out – which can happen if the mother is too young or the baby grows too large after all, etc… you’re the one who collects all that medical danger facts on childbirth. But infanticide is “wrong” because outside of its mother, it’s a person in its own right. I find a few things philosophically debatable about that, but it’s what society generally agrees with.

          I think what Norm says about abortion being a crime only between a woman and god, this is where pro-forced-birth movement pushes for a lot of soul-searching, heavy decision-making, and regret at the “wrong” – as they say – choice. They want to make a woman take too much time and decide what the “right” choice is, while it’s getting to the point of no return. Having a baby seven months into the future, it is not too difficult to know what changes and difficulties that will bring to a person who doesn’t want to or can’t handle that. If you want to argue from the “potentiality” argument, that embryo has the potential to become a dangerous and financial and emotional burden. If we can think about it that way, sooner you nip that in the bud, so to speak, the better it is all around. Only superstitious people are against positive outcomes in favor of martyrdom. It’s all about sexism and not at all about babies. It’s all about pleasing god by not interfering in one single aspect of our humanity – life and death. We MAKE life, we have sex. God doesn’t make life. When a tree makes life, we can pull out the sapling when it grows too close to the house. We can foresee that its root system will ruin the foundation, and sewer and all that, so we pull that fucker out right the fuck now. We don’t wait. We end life arbitrarily all the time, every thing we eat, and every where we live, drive, and work. Human life is “sacred” and immoral to strike where only god may. Driving your car into a crowd is “bad” but bombing a village if we are at war with a politically enemy is “good”. Putting a sick dog out of its misery is “good” but letting a sick person take a high dosage of painkillers is “offensive”. Pulling weeds so your lawn looks nice is “just fine” but aborting a fetus so you can finish college is “monstrous.”

          It’s only because we are people and people tend to prioritize people. Cosmically, none of this shit matters. If we kill everyone and pollute the planet and decimate all the species, the universe will not give a fuck. That’s kind of how I land, philosophically, on infanticide. I think it’s pointless to be an asshole on purpose, but the universe does not punish anyone – we punish each other based on human values. That human value says it’s wrong to kill infants.

          Is it also wrong to, for example, deny an infant heroic medical intervention if they are never going to have a quality of life? People like Norm depend on science in the Anton brand of wishful science that he accuses us of. Norm would say we have to keep this infant alive because someday, there may be an easy cure – let’s say “brain transplant”. That sounds plausible. I mean, if another child dies and they can give a newborn a heart transplant to save it, and then everything is ok, why not a brain transplant? Ethically, that is fucked up. That brain is the dead child. Maybe the sick child has to grow old with a disease and kept alive with no quality of life until someday, there’s a cure. Or god intervenes. Or so its parents can have a shell of a child and be grateful for keeping a ragdoll around. Why inflict that on anyone? Why because “someday”? Because we’ve made a lot of technical and medical advances so far? How many people lived and died without really living because of emotional things like “hope”? That’s up to the parents also. What I was thinking about the brain dead patient kept alive, it’s like hanging on to a picture of that person. Snapshots are mementos, human beings are not. It is cruel.

          Pro-life is cruel. Norm is cruel. Norm is in favor of letting god hang people up in cruelty against one another on a single human value. We interfere in god’s plans and creations all the time, otherwise, and we have no reservations about doing so, and often rely on god’s endorsement for that! God gave us brains to think of stuff and cure stuff and make new things and taller buildings, and more convenient communications and more efficient technology, to tear the planet apart for our own short-sighted survival and business habits, meanwhile using our god to judge and condemn others. We don’t care about human life, we’re abusive as hell to each other. We not only go to war, we compete with others for resources and judge them for not being born the right color or not working hard enough to rape the planet for our own selfish short-sighted plans. Too late! Nobody who is pro-life really gives a damn about humans, only themselves.

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

          Maybe the sick child has to grow old with a
          disease and kept alive with no quality of life until someday, there’s a cure.
          Or god intervenes. Or so its parents can have a shell of a child and be
          grateful f or keepi ng a ragdoll around.

          I read an article about something like this. A baby was born with only the part of the brain that handles the autonomous functions–heart, and so on. I don’t remember the name of the condition or have the link.

          This infant was like your rag doll example. If a family wants to take care of this infant for years or see it as a gift from God or put the best spin on it, that’s their business, but to impose that on someone else (“no abortion for birth defects”) is barbaric.

        • purr

          It’s anencephaly.

          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Anencephaly.jpg

          The only functioning part of the brain is the brain stem. This is why prenates can respond reflexively to noxious stimuli and ‘practise breathing’ and so on – the brainstem keeps those very basic functions in operation. But, with no cortex, these babies are little more than a shell.

          I read LAN from time to time, and time for a bad werd, but the fucktards there have actually argued that 1) no brainless baby should be aborted because they MIGHT feel pain (again, confusing the reflexive reaction to noxious stimuli with actual conscious awareness of pain) 2) they should be allowed to experience life, no matter how short

          A good god fearing family actually made a video about how they were blessed by god to have an anencephalic baby that died a couple of days after birth. They videotaped the whole ordeal (I mean, party) and shared it with all of their friends, who offered heartfelt platitudes about how full of love everyone was by praising god for the braindead baby.

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

          With that attitude, the God hypothesis can’t fail.

        • Kodie

          That’s one thing- abortion, but we’re not allowed to euthanize if an infant is born with such a condition. Other defects become more apparent or can be the result of an accident. Pro-lifers like to talk about when is it ok to kill (remove life support) from someone or just stop giving them medicine that only prolongs their life. They think the person is in the body and the still-beating heart. If a person is brain-damaged to the point where they can’t function without a lot of help, I mean, we try to rehabilitate, but short of that, we just sustain them. If you had a son who was well until barely surviving an accident at the age of 17, who is your son? If he is paralyzed completely but has his mental faculties, he is the same person. If instead, he has sustained dramatic brain damage, he is a stranger. You still care for the body of your child, but I mean, what can you do to bring him back if he is permanently gone? Most people say it is who they are now and you should still love this person, right? If your son that you had always assumed to be a man confronted you with his reality, inside he feels like he is a woman and wants a sex change, that is who he has always been, and heretofore presenting you with a stranger you’ve gotten used to. To me, that is obviously different than, say, a person who was doing well until they decided to get hooked on meth, or fell into a cult or whatever obsessive new person you could transform your personality into that your loved ones no longer recognize. What you want is for your loved one to recover from a dangerous transformation. If your child is an underachieving unathletic whining turd of a person in the first place, you kind of hope they get some transforming obsession like running and money.

          I don’t know what to say. Some brain damages are more severe and debilitating than others. A person may still be in there unable to communicate or be recognized. A person may be able to rehabilitate or just get used to being a different person than they used to be. The situations are not black and white – you can’t kill a person just because their brain is so fucked up they can’t live independently, you can only pull the plug if they are attached to a machine that does their brain’s functions for them. And if they are brain damaged, they are to be under another person’s care, not allowed to make decisions for themselves, like to end their own life – if they could even think of such a thing, and if such a thing were legal.

          The pro-life contingent is so afraid that we’re just going to kill people who are inconvenient to us, who are no longer mentally able. Ethically, it’s a strange place. What if they can be cured someday, hundred or so years from now? What if it’s tomorrow? The person is still “that person” with their body that you know until their heart stops beating. It doesn’t seem to be ok to kill an Alzheimer’s patient, even if that’s what they wanted, since before they had Alzheimer’s. Just like “nobody really knows” what happens when two people have sex but one of them claims they didn’t want to, maybe the Alzheimer’s is masking their change of mind – like, they do want to live in a world where they might accidentally set fire to the home and don’t know who their children are. It’s holes in the brain – normal associations and recognition are no longer taking place. The bridge is out and washed down the river. It’s so compassionate to keep them alive in these circumstances, right? Just in case. But it could all be made up! The grown child just hates his father and, in a fit of outrage, put poison in his tea so he could be relieved of the burden – he has to martyr himself to the bitter end! That’s what everyone should do, it’s compassion for the beating heart.

        • purr

          That’s what everyone should do, it’s compassion for the beating heart.

          Exactly. Which is why they *always* talk about the beating heart in a 6wk embryo.

          And un-surprisingly, these are the same people who oppose voluntary euthanasia. Even if the person is suffering terribly and just wants to die. No! You must live! And then they go on and on about death panels. There really is, I think, at the heart of it. a fear of death. Of non-existence. Is it any real surprise that many pro-lifers are also religious? That they cling to life after death? That they believe that life only has meaning if there is a god? That in the face of a horrible tragedy where millions die they thank god for saving 2 people? Oh thank ye god, you killed millions but save 2 people, you truly are a loving god!

          There is a documentary on the subject, which I still have to watch, but the subject of terror management theory is interesting stuff: http://www.tmt.missouri.edu/

          And then you have the people who attack abortion through disability! That you can’t EVER abort a disabled fetus, because that will somehow translate to discrimination against the disabled who are already born. Because certain high functioning disabled folks, who have not lived their life sitting in their own shit and piss 24/7 in a group home, *identify* with their deafness, or their blindness. So, by choosing not to bring to term a DS child, or an anencephalic child, you are telling *all* disabled that their lives are not worth living! I often ask the people who make the ‘identity’ argument if they are unhappy that a vaccine for polio was invented. That doctors are working to eradicate polio around the world. Just think of all the children who will miss the chance to have a wonderful identity centered around not being able to walk???

          Scientists today are working on gene therapy to cure DS in the womb. And the fear is that we are ‘playing god’ and that the world will be denied hugs from wonderful loving DS children! I even heard one guy make the argument on another patheos blog that DS is not a disability – it is no different than having different colored eyes or hair! These people are living in denial, which is fine, but why force the rest of us to live by their rules?

        • Kodie

          Right the death panels. They are afraid that if people are allowed to choose to die, that someone might just take advantage and kill their sick relative, or make a plot to make them sick and then get them the medicine to end it quickly, or something like that. When right-to-die was going up for a vote (it failed) in Massachusetts, the ads against it were:
          1) a pharmacist violating his personal beliefs
          2) a young mother whose husband lived 18 months longer than the doctors said he would, giving their children 2 years with their father instead of 6 months.

          The legal end of it was, you had to have less than 6 months to live – would that guy have taken advantage of it?

          You couldn’t be depressed; you had to have your full mind about you – so no Alzheimer’s or “whimsical” suicides (because life just sucks). If you were depressed because you had cancer and were going to be lying in a hospital bed the rest of your short life, either. You had to get therapy for it instead.

          You have to promise not to do it in a public place!

          You don’t have to tell your family, who may go to great lengths to prevent you from doing what you want.

          3) at least one ad referred to the last point – people don’t like their relatives dying alone, or something. They liked to make it so that if mother says she wants to die, her loved ones might like to be around at the end, not make it sound like if mother says she wants to die, why can’t I step in and talk some superstition into her and force her to linger?

        • purr

          And then they make up more lies, just as they do with abortion, to bolster their position.

          My favourite is that ALL DOCTORS will be forced to MURDER THEIR PATIENTS.

          /FACEPALM

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

          It’s a slippery slope, my friend. That is the inevitable result of Roe.

        • purr

          Yeah, and the inevitable result of gay marriage is bestiality!

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

          Dang! I should’ve mentioned that. Good catch.

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

          This is a tangent, but I remember a controversy over cochlear implants (which, when put into an infant, can give a good approximation of hearing). Some in the deaf community said that this was an operation on a perfectly fine baby; they should leave it alone.

          That’s drinking the Kool-Aid a little too much, IMO.

        • Kodie

          Hearing is better than not hearing. If you can’t hear, make the best of it, like, try to get an operation so you can hear. WTF.

        • purr

          I had a good chat with my bf about this, and he came up with the best explanation. That it’s a coping mechanism. That it really really hurts to think of yourself as ‘defective’ in some way. And that it helps to think of your disability as something that *makes you special*. Which, again, is fine! Many disabled people lead good lives and their disability makes them stronger and all that bullshit…they achieve great things and so on. BUT, in order to cope, and to remain consistent in that belief, they have to make sure that no one else can escape that disability either! Because then it threatens their coping mechanism!

          I mean, Bob, if we look at religion, isn’t something similar going on? Non-believers threaten believers. That if you do not believe exactly as I do this means that my belief might not be correct and we can’t have that!!!eleventy!!!! So you get religious wars…and culture wars…

          BTW, I think you made a mistake singling out Kodie for top commenter. Look at the good convo we are having today? You really should thank Norm for his most valuable contributions:P /snark

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

          I heard a Greta Chrstina lecture giving a good comparison between gay rights and atheist rights. Since Stonewall was long ago, we could see how it might play out for atheists as well as avoid problems along the way.

          Along with many similarities between the two groups, there’s at least this important difference: when someone comes out as gay, he’s not saying that non-gays are wrong or flawed in some way. But an atheist is, at least inadvertently. That does make things a little trickier.

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

          Yes, Norm (and Wlad, the pro-life vuvuzela) have tossed out a lot of chum. Much of it is a waste of time, but I do think that wrestling with ideas, even for the 10th time, does have some upside.

          (You’re probably not confused on this point, but just to be clear, the commenting numbers came from WordPress, which, while not as infallible as Jesus, is still pretty infallible.)

        • purr

          They are funny:P I always enjoy the conversations here.

          And I have been loving the ‘debate’ with wlad about Christianity vs. evolution. Man. Good stuff.

        • purr

          Who says infants lack self-awareness? It may not be fully developed, but who cries when they’re hungry or frightened?

          They fail the mirror test, and are not capable of passing it until they are at least 2 years old I think. But you’re right. They still *have* a brain. They might not yet exhibit rational thought, but they can still interact with the world. They can feel. They can experience life. They aren’t just a body floating in an amniotic sac.

          you’re the one who collects all that medical danger facts on childbirth.

          Only superstitious people are against positive outcomes in favor of
          martyrdom. It’s all about sexism and not at all about babies.

          Yes, and it is amazing how many pro-lifers – atheist and religious – who say, when presented with the risks, that the woman volunteered for it by spreading her legs. That even in the case of a *wanted* pregnancy, that she should be allowed to die with fetus, in the case of Savita Halappanavar, because choosing to have sex = choosing to die. They don’t even care that she might live to have more babies. They care about this fetus right NAOW, and don’t you do anything to end it’s life, even if it’s going to die once the woman dies. I really think that these attitudes come from an extreme hatred of women. That women truly are disposable baby makers. And that if they fail at their god given role as baby makers, that they should just die for that sin.

          Nobody who is pro-life really gives a damn about humans, only themselves.

          Exactly. And the ‘sanctity of human life’ thing is really quite sickening. Along with the belief that, simply by being human, we all have an intrinsic right to life. You brought it up once, by saying that a tiger doesn’t care about your right to life. It just sees food! Hurricanes and polar vortexes don’t care if you get washed away or freeze to death! Morality and the ‘right to life’ are merely human constructs so that we can get along with each other. But, this ‘getting along’ really only exists for our own tribe. Which is why so many pro-lifers really don’t give a shit about brown babies dying in Iraq. Or even about ‘the ebil poor’ suffering from cuts to the SNAP program and headstart. Like wlad, they only care about *quantity of life* and not quantity.

          Another thing, and Libby Anne talked about this a few years ago in Why I Lost Faith In The Pro Life Movement. Anti-choicers blithely dismiss the lives lost from defective embryos. When, if you truly believe that every zygote/embryo is a little baby, then where is the effort to cure them of their illnesses? Take SIDS. SIDS has recently been discovered to be caused by a specific genetic defect. So scientists are working on a way to at least locate this defect, and potentially, cure it. So why not do that for the little zygotes that get rejected by the uterus? If they really really really are babies, where are the tears? And for the most part, they aren’t very concerned about all of the embryos that are languishing in IVF freezers. It’s only once the embryo is inside a woman that it becomes a sacred thing!

          But again, in their warped thinking, they believe it is ok to let someone die through inaction – as long as it isn’t active killing, it’s ok. Because it’s god’s will! Taking your life into your own hands is seen as a corruption of god’s will and something not to be tolerated. I find that even the atheist pro-lifers make similar arguments. They don’t come right out and say it, however. But when it comes to pregnancy, ‘only then is human intervention a big no no! I often ask them about an imaginary car accident. That if you injure someone in a no-fault accident, should you be forced to donate your body so that the injured person may survive. They say no. They do say, however, that if you are speeding, and you hurt someone, that you should be legally obligated to donate blood/tissue etc to save their lives. So, the lesson here, is that if a woman chooses to have non-procreative sex, that she is the equivalent of a criminally negligent driver. Which ties into the belief that ‘you had teh sex, now you gotta pay for it by accepting all of those risks, some of which might kill and maim you.’ ALL FOR HAVING SEX? Seriously? Is female sexuality THAT EVIL.

          Of course, they don’t take this line of thinking to it’s logical conclusion. What IF you are driving, and you kill someone. In which case, you never did get the opportunity to donate your body to preserve their life. What then? Are you still guilty of homicide? By that logic..if a woman has sex, and she ‘places an innocent human being in need’ – then isn’t she also guilty of homicide if it miscarries or fails to develop properly? No, that’s god’s will! See, it’s only a ‘crime’ if the woman chooses to make her own reproductive choices.

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

          choosing to have sex = choosing to die.

          I’d like to see that thinking applied to car accidents.

          they aren’t very concerned about all of the embryos that are languishing in IVF freezers

          Well, there is that whole “snowflake baby” movement. At least in this one instance, they’re not trying to impose their beliefs on others by law.

        • purr

          Well, there is that whole “snowflake baby” movement. At least in this
          one instance, they’re not trying to impose their beliefs on others by
          law.

          Yeah, and good for them, in that case. It’s just that they make the argument ‘if you put someone in a place of need, you are required to help them, otherwise it’s homicide’.

          Ok. so then the people who create 50 ivf embryos, and only ever implant a few are guilty of mass murder, right? Yet you don’t see Personhood USA crying crocodile tears over IVF. In fact, they promise that IVF wont’ be affected at all.

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

          And one more data point: the Catholic church is, bizarrely, against IVF.

          4M more souls to win for Christ and they’re unhappy? Weird.

        • purr

          1) Controlling people’s lives, specifically their sex lives. Everyone has sex, what better way to control them than through an urge that people just have to itch?

          2) Dogma. That whole thing about being wrong and having to reverse your position. Doesn’t look good, as far as infallibility.

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

          I like the hoarder analogy. Human DNA by itself is no more intrinsically valuable than yesterday’s junk mail.

        • purr

          And you would be wrong about that! I just explained, to a dude over at Personhod USA, that a zygote literally *is* nothing more than a genetic blueprint. A tiny snippet of DNA surrounded by a cytoplasm.

          His response: “””I agree. The DNA is the blueprint. A zygote though is a complete human being.””

          Uhm, no, it isn’t. By his logic, you could take a white blood cell, which has the full complement of 46 chromosomes, place it inside the empty nucleus of an egg cell, and voila, you’ve got yourself a zygote! Does that mean that the white blood cell is a human being just because it’s now been placed in an ovum? NO! All the ovum does is provide the right environment for the genetic blueprint to start to create the blastocyst, embryo, and so on. In many ways, the egg acts like a chicken egg – it provides the initial nutrients, the engine, if you will, for the cells to start multiplying.

          Here is another great one:

          “”I would also add a systems and telenomical POV one could argue we are self assembling embodied persons, so that early stages of development would still include ‘personhood’ even if latent. Think of self assembling car that started as a box. Even if it cannot be driven at
          that stage its design and functionality is as a self assembling car at all stages.””

          ^Big words make stupid ideas sound more intelligent than they really are, right? Basically, he is saying that because gestation is a *mindless biochemical process* that this somehow magically means that a zygote has personal autonomy? What are these guys smoking! I mean, by that logic, cat embryos are people too! Because they are also ‘self-assembling!

          Here’s some more bullshit:

          “”You aren’t considering the teleonomy of the system or the implications of SELF assembling systems that have a internal template that is expressed in the environment and continues to develop through interaction of others of its own kind. As I said I don’t consider humans
          as ontological persons. Our species is a complex adaptive system replicator with relatively sophisticated cognitive abilities that develop partly genetically and partly socially in an group/species setting. We aren’t stand alone organisms based purely on our DNA but nor are we purely persons or minds for that matter.”‘

          Yeah. So? I think he’s talking about epigenetics here, and making the point that even *if* a zygote can potentially have an infinite number of identities, every identity will be tied to the genetics in the original blueprint! That’s like saying that the block of marble in the ground has the same identity as the infinite number of statues that you could carve from it. The ingredients are NOT the pie. The beginning is not the same as the end. He also seems to be making an ‘appeal to human specialness’ – that personhood is *inherent* in human DNA, because homo sapiens is capable of rational thought!

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

          You’ve got a lot of energy for this topic. And I thought I was tilting at windmills.

          Do you get blocked or posts deleted when you hang out at those sites?

          BTW, I will be periodically revisiting the abortion question. If you have any thoughts on pro-choice arguments or pro-life arguments that I’ve overlooked in my several posts on abortion, let me know.

          My 4-part 20 Arguments Against Abortion, Rebutted is where most of my content is.

          No worries if you don’t have the time.

        • purr

          Do you get blocked or posts deleted when you hang out at those sites?

          I visited LAN about 6 months ago and a friend and I were both banned after a couple of days. And this was when I *behaved* myself and didn’t insult people or use bad werdz:P They don’t like facts.

          I mainly just do it for fun and to sharpen my debate skills. I dropped out for a while and played WoW for a few years, and that was *all* that I did. No books, no tv, just WoW. I swear I got DUMBER. Since I started debating and reading up on arguments and sciencey stuff, my writing and my brainpower have improved:P I still don’t have the critical thinking skills that I used to have, but hopefully I am getting there. Amazing how the brain just withers away when you don’t use it eh?

          If you have any thoughts on pro-choice arguments or pro-life arguments
          that I’ve overlooked in my several posts on abortion, let me know.

          Will do. I am always reading secular pro-life, and it would be great to debunk some of their silly (secretly religion) based arguments.

          BTW, how do you quote statements in HTML here? I can do italics, bold and underline, but duno the command for quote

          EDIT: and my grammar. My writing style is stilted at best. I still have problems constructing a coherent sentence. That’s what years of typing in half thoughts gets you!

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

          Your quotes are working fine, but the proper way is “blockquote” and “/blockquote” with angle brackets (y’know–less than and greater than).

        • purr

          Your quotes are working fine, but the proper way is “blockquote” and
          “/blockquote” with angle brackets (y’know–less than and greater than).

          Test!

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

          And then there’s the Edit button in case you make a mistake. I often do.

        • purr

          I edit constantly due to my poor writing skillz:P

          I always think of the *proper* way to express a point *after* I have hit submit and walked away from the pc for a half hour!!

          *shakes fist*

        • purr

          Hm, two of my latest comments are under moderation. Does it look like I am spamming?

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

          I also see that comments are being moderated. I didn’t make the change and am working to get this fixed ASAP.

          Sorry, everyone.

        • MNb

          “Since I started debating and reading up on arguments and sciencey stuff, my writing and my brainpower have improved”
          Yes, I must give (mainly Dutch) creacrappers one huge credit: due to them I had to learn more about Evolution Theory then I otherwise would have learned.

        • purr

          creation crapper?

          Learn a new word every day!

        • MNb

          I didn’t invent it!

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

          I see a lot of nutty exports from the good ol’ U.S. of A. Is this another one, or is Creationism a homegrown thing in the Netherlands?

        • MNb

          Definitely homegrown. Never forget that The Netherlands have their Bible Belt too.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_Belt_(Netherlands)

          You can’t read this,

          http://www.few.vu.nl/~flipse/publicaties/Flipse-Diepe-Wortels-Creationisme.pdf

          but the important point here is that already in 1926 creationism played a role in a heated orthodox-reformed dispute regarding the Fall and the Flood (Geelkerken suggested not to take it literally and was excommunicated).

          Of course Dutch orthodox christians (some catholics as well) look with eagle eyes to American creacrap publications. In this sense they have benefited from nutty imports indeed.

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

          Fascinating.

          It’s nice to hear that not just Americans can be nuts. I guess.

        • MNb

          You haven’t mentioned the “a zygote is a potential human being argument”. This is founded on Thomas of Aquino’s and Aristoteles’ teleologies. It’s also the foundation of Edward Feser’s nonsense (if you feel like being disgusted by intellectual stupidity I recommend you his site).
          The RCC is rather consistent on this point. It’s why (among other reasons) they don’t like gays etc., contraception, masturbation and IVF (you mentioned this). All that semen wasted!
          Of course when semen fails to fertilize an egg after coitus (also called a good fuck) it’s God’s will – I don’t claim the RCC being rational.

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

          The argument from human potential, to me, is throwing in the towel. They’re agreeing to the spectrum argument–it will be a person, but it ain’t much now.

          Which isn’t to say that, when you point that out, they necessarily understand, agree, or in any other way act rationally.

        • purr

          They argue that it’s a person simply by being a member of the human species. Because if what makes humans special, ‘rationality’ is only evident in persons who are able to exhibit that rationality, then that means that toddlers can be killed…which is wrong. But, if we simply say that ‘sentience’ is enough, then we might have to let animals become persons too! So, clearly, since ‘rationality’ is what makes humans special, then it’s what makes ALL humans special, including human DNA!

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

          Did you change your name from RP2012 to Defamate?

        • purr

          Yeah. I was temporarily banned from a site that I regularly posted at for making a sarcastic comment with the nym RonPaul2012…

          The nym helps to be accepted on right wing sites, but not so much on liberal sites lol. People jump to conclusions.

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

          I don’t think your comments are showing up in moderation. Is that what you see, too?

        • purr

          The two that I made last night – with the prolifetraining and SLED links – both went immediately to moderation

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

          ?? That’s weird. Did that tie in to when you made the name change?

          But the problem is fixed now, right?

        • purr

          No, they were immediately moderated last night, and I just changed my nym 2 minutes ago.

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

          Thoughts on what caused the moderation?

          If the problem is gone, that takes the pressure off. But I’ll ask on this end what caused it.

        • purr

          No idea.

          BTW, is saying that pregnancy is 14x more dangerous than abortion an ecological fallacy?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_fallacy

          The thing is, there is still a risk to pregnancy. A greater risk than from abortion. And only the person taking the risk can decide how much risk they want to take on.

          How is that an ecological fallacy? The argument is that ‘though pregnancy in aggregate may be more dangerous than abortion, you cannot apply that to your individual pregnancy *until* you get sick’.

          The problem with the above, of course, is that any pregnancy, no matter how healthy, can go disastrously wrong at any minute. Heck, the woman can suffer the *worst* problems at birth – and you can’t predict it. She could die from blood loss after the baby is out! Of course, that is an ‘argument from potential’ which, in this case, pro-lifers say we are not allowed to use. Until you are ACTUALLY dying from the pregnancy, you can’t seek to end it!

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

          Saying that delivery at term is far more dangerous than an abortion defeats the argument that “abortion is really dangerous,” since the only alternative to abortion is far more dangerous.

        • purr

          They then say ‘c-section’ which they think is a great counter-argument. However a c-section is major surgery,and has it’s own set of deadly risks. It is also not safer for the baby or the mother. I asked a nurse about it:

          “”A C-section is major abdominal surgery with its attendent risks (see the stats on mortality rates from surgery – currently the 3rd leading cause of death in the US); epidurals stop the contractions so the baby then is birthed by the peristalsis of the uterine contraction but has to be PULLED out causing trauma to both mother and child.
          Episiotomies are “knife cuts” and take a long time to heal (similar to when you cut your hand – the straight cut takes longer than a jagged cut) plus episiotomies increase the chance of tearing and scaring.The difference between a uterus that hasn’s held a child to term and birthed it, and a uterus that has is the amount of scar tissue – after birth – LOTS of scar tissue.””

          —————-

          The c-section defense is often used by people who don’t know a single thing about pregnancy. Usually men! And too many c-sections over a woman’s lifetime can kill her.

          Furthermore, it’s a given that the earlier the abortion, the safer it is, since vacuuming out the contents of one’s uterus, or taking a pill to cause a miscarriage, is way way way safer than pregnancy. Of course, pro-lifers lie and say that abortion, as a whole, kills more women, but that abortionists ‘lie’ and ‘say that ‘blood loss killed her’ and leave out ‘from abortion.’

          There is no winning vs people who lie about everything.

        • purr

          I change my ‘nym periodically but you’ll always know it’s me because ‘how jejune’ is in my disqus info.

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

          Did you post here as Jejune?

          That guy was saying that, after mixing it up with that nutty Joseph (“Mr. Thesaurus”) guy, he took on that name.

        • purr

          Yes. I posted here for a while as jejune and osiote. I was mocking Joseph O Polanco.

        • MNb

          “If the pro-life movement had a valid argument, they wouldn’t need to spread lies.”
          That’s in general an excellent criterium to find out which side we should take in a debate. The irony is that Norm hints at the only possible valid argument and still fails to deliver:

          “in a few months what will your toenails look like”
          Indeed a zygote is a potential human being (for the sake of clarity: I think it’s not good enough for outlawing abortion). Then Norm gives us this:

          “the qualities of the person they carry”
          No, zygotes don’t have those qualities yet. That’s the whole point of the argument from “a zygote is a potential human being”.

        • purr

          Norm and his brethren are trying to claim that a zygote is a person now because it has the potential personhood sometime in the future:P

          It’s the ‘humans are special’ argument, which is based on the belief that “the very essence of humanity is in our ability for rational thought, this is what separates us from animals, therefore, since zygotes will have the capacity for rational thought someday, they have it now because they are a human organism!!”

          In other words, all zygotes have a soul!

        • MNb

          No, strictly speaking it’s not the ‘humans are special’ argument, though it’s certainly related. They also claim that a canine zygote is a potential dog. That’s how teleological thinking works.

        • purr

          Ok thanks. The “special” is in there because only the human zygote is important enough not to be killed. So even if a dog zygote is a dog, the human zygote is more than human – it is a “person”. And thus sacred.

        • purr

          I was talking about the Argument from Inherent Capacity which is listed as an actual argument on secular pro-life.

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

          Just a fancier name for “Argument from Potential”?

        • purr

          This one:

          “”They argue that it’s a person simply by being a member of the human species. Because if what makes humans special, ‘rationality’ is only evident in persons who are able to exhibit that rationality, then that means that toddlers can be killed…which is wrong. But, if we simply say that ‘sentience’ is enough, then we might have to let animals become persons too! So, clearly, since ‘rationality’ is what makes humans special, then it’s what makes ALL humans special, including human DNA!””

        • purr

          Basically, it’s a twist on that argument. The human species is rational. Therefore, zygotes are rational. You just can’t see it yet..but it’s there.

          Take a kodak photo. Would you rip the photo up as it’s developing? NO! Because the picture is there, even if you can’t see it yet! A zygote is no different!

          This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of fetal development…and a belief that *everything* – personality, destiny, is in the DNA at the moment of conception.

        • purr

          Speaking of which…it looks like you have made the annals of Secular Pro-life Perspectives

          And regarding that ‘argument from inherent capacity’ it is made here..

          http://blog.secularprolife.org/2014/01/a-response-to-spectrum-argument.html#comment-1211118544

          I think that anencephalic fetuses (hereafter AF) and braindead humans (hereafter BD) are people for the same reason — all human beings have inherent capacities that ground their value as human beings, the capacity for rationality. Now whereas a healthy fetus will develop the presently-exercisable capacity for rationality in due time, the AF is not any less of a human or less of a person because he/she will not actualize that capacity. He/she still has that capacity, it just won’t be realized.

          Of course, we can’t tell whether or not a fetus is healthy until it’s born, and a ‘healthy’ fetus can go ‘unhealthy’ any moment, and completely fail to complete the process of construction.

          Furthermore, by his logic, a grain of sand on the beach has the inherent capacity to be a CPU – it’ just hasn’t been realised yet!

          A hundred years ago, if someone lost their sight they would never regain it.

          If your computer breaks down, you can fix it, because it’s *already a computer*. That handful of sand is not yet a computer and might never be!

          Pro-lifers don’t understand the meaning of ‘capacity’ either. Or potential. They think that if you are not using an ability, that you *currently lack the capacity* to use it. Therefore, if you are asleep and not ‘using the capacity to walk around’ then clearly, the zygote is no different from you, because it too is currently not ‘using it’s capacity to walk around.’

          It’s a misuse of language, pure and simple. Your computer doesn’t cease being a computer just because you put it on standby. Your car doesn’t lose it’s capacity for locomotion because you’ve turned it off!

          And this one just kills me:

          http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/s720x720/407034_510991962299492_1422113857_n.jpg

          Racist much? Disneyland pocahontas, really! And it ignores the fact that Native American women are often victims of rape and incest on the reservations and due to their low status as ‘non-people’ do not have access to abortion or even contraception in far too many cases!

          http://itvs.org/films/young-lakota

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

          Thanks for the tip about the post. I hadn’t seen that.

          It’s bizarre and cruel to say that AFs are no more or less a person than a healthy fetus. And presumably they would demand that one be carried to term?

          The other issue with the Pocahontas image is that, when it looks vaguely person-like, it’s already pretty far along (10 weeks?).

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

          Thanks for the tip. I’ll give it a read.

        • purr

          And yes, they would demand that the AF be born, so that it can ‘experience life’

          That is what one of the idiots over at LAN said…some of the idiots who are currently talking about how dumb *you* are…

          The idiots who, when given the opportunity, failed to 1) come debate you on your turf 2) also failed to debate atheist pro-life on TFA ( a few showed up, but not for long)

          If they have such bulletproof arguments, why do they rarely stray far from home, and leave in a huff if things don’t go their way?

        • Norm Donnan

          To me killing someone is a moral issue that I get emotional over .I dont harass anyone,and yes it is a sensible reaction financially and socially just appalling morally-”Before anyone gets hurt” ! arnt you forgetting someone???

        • purr

          A zygote can’t feel pain. And it isn’t a ‘someone’. You have yet to prove that it is other than to claim, without evidence, that human DNA = a human being.

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

          Yeah, me too. But this isn’t a “someone.”

          There’s a spectrum of life. A zygote or a mosquito or a rat don’t make the grade. Killing them isn’t murder.

        • Norm Donnan

          And this is why I call atheists denialists.
          Look at your own children Bob,they are someone very special to you.They were never going to be anyone or anything other than who they are today.
          If your wife chose to abort them all those years ago,the person you look at now would not exist now.
          Call that emotional if you like,its a fact.Science proves they were never going to be a rat,only who you know them to be today.

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

          And this is why I call atheists denialists.

          The only denying that I’m seeing is your denying the obvious spectrum of value from rat to pig to dog to boy. That’s part of a PETA slogan where they deny the spectrum that is obviously there.

          If your wife chose to abort them all those years ago,the person you look at now would not exist now.

          And … ?

          My wife and I could’ve had 5 kids. But we didn’t. That’s three loving faces that don’t exist because of our callous, selfish actions. And you know what? I sleep like a baby. Doesn’t trouble me at all. I guess atheists are just monsters.

          There’s not much difference between the twinkle in my eye and a single fertilized egg cell. Each is unrealized potential. Neither is a person.

        • Norm Donnan

          Oh dear Bob the twinkle in your eye is an emotion,potentially nothing,on the other hand the human being at whatever stage of development you name is a physical fact.All an abortion achieves is to end its existence.

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

          There are lots of steps in the process, going back to that single cell and before. Cut it off at any of them, and you get no baby.

          You want to say that a microscopic cell is identical in all meaningful ways to you? That’s great. I object, however, when you want to impose that view on the rest of us.

        • Norm Donnan

          How is Having a view imposing it on you ?
          My view is not only morally and spiritually based but scientifically fact.This microscopic cell will only ever be a person,but your right,if you kill them at any stage you wont get a baby like if you kill a baby you wont get an adult.
          A fact of science.

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

          Since you’re eager to embrace facts, let’s look at another one: your use of the future tense.

          This microscopic cell will only ever be a person

          Why the future tense? Because it’s also a scientific fact that the cell isn’t yet a person. It might be, if you continue with the pregnancy and God, the Great Abortionist®, doesn’t terminate the pregnancy, as he does with half.

          Your use of the future tense is telling.

        • purr

          How is Having a view imposing it on you ?

          Because you want abortion to be illegal and any woman who murders her innocent unborn zygote to be sent to jail for life for the crime of unborn baby killling…right?

        • Kodie

          No, I’m not forgetting someone, you are calling something a someone and hoarding it. I don’t care if you find that morally appalling, since that is merely an emotional appeal. It is not someone except superstitiously. Like you are afraid of washing your lucky shirt. Nobody gets hurt when your wife puts it in the laundry, even though a lot of germs get boiled and disinfected. Unless you beat your wife over it, nobody gets hurt, I mean.

        • Norm Donnan

          It is someone scientifically.As you all know a human fetus is never going to be anything other.

        • purr

          DNA is not a someone. And a zygote, if you look at it under a microscope, is just dna. This is scientific fact. This dna also contains instructions for the placenta. You, norm, are not dna with instructions to create a placenta. Science is on my side and you are wrong as usual.

        • Norm Donnan

          Hooray Ron you are finally right about something and not the dummie you keep showing me you are,DNA is not a somebody.
          Trouble is thats where it ends because if you look at you under a microscope your just DNA aswell.
          So when you and other dummies like Kodie liken a zygote to a toenail,well its just embarrassing.

        • Kodie

          It’s just embarrassing for you. Let’s say you are going on a long trip. When you get to the end of the driveway, you change your mind and go back inside. If you’ve made it to the airport, you can still change your mind. Once the plane takes off, you are officially on a trip. You can still turn around and take a flight home immediately once you get there, but the trip has been taken. But if it hasn’t become what it will be, then it isn’t yet, so who’s the dummie? You agree, but you’re too stupid to notice.

        • Norm Donnan

          You compare pregnancy to a trip,and you call me stupid. Its no wonder you see your children as disposable, how sad.

        • Kodie

          I am trying to demonstrate TIME to you. If something hasn’t become what it will be, then it isn’t yet, so what is the ethical fucking problem. But instead, you answer me with blah blah blah and ho ho ho. You got nothing but judgment clouded by emotions.

        • Norm Donnan

          The ethical problem is the person that your disposing of whilst you compare them to a holiday and a picture of what we might make one day.No judgment or emotion here,just fact.

        • Kodie

          When you look under a microscope, DNA. So what? That’s not a person.

        • Norm Donnan

          Like we are made of DNA,so is an unborn person.
          The only difference is you havent granted them your gift of “personhood”.

        • Kodie

          Every living thing has DNA. What is so rare or exquisite about human DNA? Why can’t we discard it before it becomes an expensive problem?

        • Norm Donnan

          Your only DNA,so is your brain for that matter,nothing rare there.
          Why would it be wrong to discard you when you are no longer useful to society ?
          And what is it with the brain?Most abortions occur between 7-9 weeks,at the stage the brain is well under way.

        • purr

          That is because people have brains. Zygotes do not. Dna is not a person, only a blueprint.

        • Norm Donnan

          You have swallowed the lie Ron.
          A blue print is a picture of what you intend to build or make. And if that is all a zygote was then I would be with you on this one,scrap it and start again or roll it up and file it.
          Not so with the child,its well on the way,no fileing it until the economy picks up.
          In a matter of weeks the person you deny exists is crying for your attention.

        • Kodie

          Do you understand how time works? If something is a plan, in a matter of months it will be a child, BUT IT IS NOT YET THROW IT OUT.

          crying for your attention

          = pure appeal to emotion
          Persistent failue to understand the direction of time is not helping your argument.

        • Norm Donnan

          Its getting late over there,how was your week end? Do you have a busy week ahead.?

        • Kodie

          Change the subject to get out of answering questions

        • Norm Donnan

          Not at all,you were just getting emotional and judgmental so i thought you sounded tired.So how was your weekend?

        • purr

          You are the emotional one. Its all you’ve got. you can’t even shed a tear for the horrors of childbirth.

        • Norm Donnan

          Been there done that Ron,It was awesome.

        • purr

          Of course you would think that female suffering is awesome. You will never suffer from pregnancy.

        • Kodie

          Dodge the questions again.

        • Norm Donnan

          sorry whats the question

        • purr

          Yes and you ignored my question about little Normie’s lack of empathy for the suffering that pregnnt wonen undergo. Normie isn’t arguing honestly. Pathetic. Won’t even try to put himself in another persons shoes.

        • purr

          Normie is a pro-life time lord.

        • Norm Donnan

          Thx Ron xx

        • purr

          Yes and it is a genetic blueprint. A plan. Nothing more. And close to 80% of zygotes miscarry, so no, they are not all destined to be babies

        • Norm Donnan

          Time will prove you wrong young Ronald

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

          In
          a matter of weeks the person you deny exists is crying for your attention.

          So it’s a person after many weeks? That’s what I’ve been saying all along. Welcome to rationality.

        • Norm Donnan

          Ah no sorry Bob,the person is now crying because they are born not because with their birth certificate they have now been handed their “personhood” certificate.They are the same person they were 9 months earlier.

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

          Then what did you mean by “in a matter of weeks”? If nothing important changes, and it’s different only in insignificant matters, why did you bring up the time element?

        • Norm Donnan

          A typical pregnancy is 40 weeks,thats all,a lot changes in that time just like 40 weeks after baby Bob is born your life as you knew it has forever changed(or should)

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

          A typical pregnancy is 40 weeks,thats all,a lot changes in that time

          Yes, indeed. A lot does change in that time. Which is why if you get an abortion at the beginning of that time, it’s not a big deal. At week 39, a much bigger deal.

          We’re on the same page. Embrace that fact.

        • purr

          Really? I thought that it was a baby from the moment of conception?

        • purr

          A zygote does not have a brain. Furthermore, the genetic plan within the zygote is most emphatically not your destiny. Nurture, not nature, plays a greater role than the initial genetic complement. You are woefully ignorant and it shows.

        • Norm Donnan

          Your emphatically dreaming,you tell the woman in abject poverty its her nurturing not nature that causes her child to continue to grow,ignorant indeed you are.

        • purr

          “Nurture” is environment, and gene expression is profoundly affected by environmental factors. Dumbass.

        • angharad

          So, technically, is anything alive. Made of DNA, that is. Including that ant you just stepped on, and the lettuce you ate for lunch.

          (Actually, technically, nothing is made of DNA but genes. The rest of us is made of proteins.)

        • purr

          Dna does not have a brain. I am much more than mere dna as are you. We can experience the world and interact with it. Dna cannot. A zygote is nothing more than dna. BTW, you can take that toenail, isolate a single cell from it, stick it in the empty nucleus of an ovum and voila you have a zygote. Which is just dna. Like the toenail. All 46 chromosomes. And that toenail cell can become a person if you stick it in a uterus. You are wrong about the science and the facts as usual.

        • Norm Donnan

          Wow so thats how IVF works is it Ron,gee wizz and I thought they took a mans sperm and injected the womans egg.
          Maybe they do have a factory somewhere making people for spare parts.
          Hey that would make a good plot for a movie right there.

        • purr

          Btw, you’re a dumbass and you should be embarrassed. Trying to lecture people on a subject that you know nothing about.

        • Norm Donnan

          As one dumbass to another,well spank me lol

        • MNb

          Norm arguing that the total is not more than the sum of the parts? Now that is not very christian.

        • Kodie

          But it’s not yet, so no big deal.

        • purr

          Because, we are not talking about what it may or may not be. We are talking about what it IS. You have the potential to be dead of old age. It doesn’t mean we can put you in the ground now. A zygote has the potential to be a person, that doesn’t mean it is a person NOW.

        • purr

          Hey Norm, if someone punches you in the stomach for 6-72 hours and then violently shoves a melon up your ass in order to save their own life, would you agree that it would be wrong to kill them in self-defense?

          The right to life overrides your right not to be tortured, cupcake.

        • Norm Donnan

          Oh please,are you a14yo Ron

        • purr

          Actually norm it is a very serious question. That is what the pain of childbirth feels like. If you wouldn’t undergo the torture and humiliation to save a life then why should women? Its really really easy to be an anti choice male – you will never have to put your life and limb on the line. I can’t say that your reaction surprises me however. You lack empathy for women. To you they are like cows. You only care about microscopic embryos. You expend so much mental energy worrying about how a microscopic cell will suffer ( it won’t) that you completely erase the woman and pretend that her suffering is nonexistent. You won’t even play a simple thought experiment to try to understand how a forced pregnancy is a violation. You only care about yourself and zygotes. You are a reprehensible human being and all of your professed love for zygotes won’t change facts. You hate women and you have just proven it. Hope you are proud of your misogyny.

        • purr

          And the girl should be allowed to drink, drive, vote and have as much underage sex as she wants because potential = actual.

        • purr

          1) a newborn does not live off another person’s body, injuring them. no newborn has ever killed a woman, derp

          2) a newborn is capable of sentience, at least.

          3) a zygote/embryo/fetus is still only a *potential* child because there is no guarantee that that zygote will EVER become a child. Once the child is born…well…duh..it’s a child!!! It is for all intents and purposes, ‘complete’ – it just has to grow. Whereas there is no guarantee what so ever that the blueprints in the zygote will be correctly read/interpreted/expressed to make a fully formed baby.

          asshat

        • Norm Donnan

          1) So,they are more demanding after birth than before by far.
          2)And ?Why does that justify their existence ?
          3)A zygote or human being at any stage of development in life is never a potential,they have no potential to be anything other than human.
          Yes they may die at any stage of life for a million reasons but at no stage have you the right to kill them, Thats murder.

        • purr

          OK Norm.

          Abortion at any stage is murder, you say.

          Then tell us, what should the penalty be for women who procure an abortion and/or consume an abortifacient to end their pregnancies?

          30 years in prison?

          Life in prison?

          EDIT: or hang the murderous sluts by the neck until dead

          What do you say Normie?

        • Norm Donnan

          So when a government of any country decides in ethnic cleansing for example,thats all good and well for you, after all they make the laws,who are we to judge ?We shouldnt be enforcing our morals and values on another culture now should we.
          Maybe thats why the United Nations soldiers all stood back in Rwanda and watched the genocide there,good on em says Ron

        • MNb

          Nice combination of a non-sequitur (“so when ….”) and poisoning the well, Norm aka just another christian who isn’t capable of a serious discussion. Of course a honest person would just answer RP’s questions.
          Once again the believer himself is the best antipropaganda for his belief system.

        • purr

          Please answer the question. What should the penalty be for women who murder their innocent unborn babies?

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

          What’s wrong with the death penalty? A single cell has a right to life (duh!), but let’s not get all bleeding heart here, dude. Woman kills a “person”? Death must be on the table.

          I’m sure Norm can give me an Amen on this one.

        • purr

          1) I suggest you re-read Norm. No baby has ever killed or maimed a woman. Embryos and fetuses do that. When it is inside the woman’s body it is DANGEROUS to her health.

          2) Because a zygote/embryo/fetus is nothing more than a low level animal. It’s a body, nothing more. And no non-person should have more rights to a person’s body than a person. The human brain is what sets humans apart from other animals. This is why we give ‘personhood’ status to people, and not animals. A fetus doesn’t even have the capacities of my pet cat. My pet cat is smarter, and she can suffer. The ONLY thing that a fetus has is potential, and human DNA.

          3) And every cell in your body is nothing but human. Again, you are basing your beliefs on the idea that a zygote is a human being because of DNA alone. Well, every cell in your body, by that reasoning, is a human being.

          And I suggest you stop talking about what the zygote has the POTENTIAL to be, and talk about what it is NOW.

          Tell us Norm, does this http://www.ehd.org/images/gasserbook/Gasser_Fig1-2gs.jpg
          have more value than the woman in which it resides?

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

          So they,at this stage of their development dont look much like me eh! Thats true but neither does a new born,a bit more yes but nothing like an adult

          Seriously? This is your argument? That you’re about as similar to a newborn baby as you are to a microscopic cell?

          Your only fooling yourselves!

          There’s a lot of that going around.

        • Kodie

          What is not morally valuable about a mouse that is morally valuable about a fertilized egg? There are people who aren’t vegans or PETA advocates or anything like that, who would even argue that glue traps are cruel, even for something as shitty to have in your house as mice. Snap traps are the way to go. Just because you are bigger and mightier and like a clean home doesn’t mean that mice don’t love and care for their families. They’re not shitting behind the refrigerator to spite you. They’re not breeding every 3 weeks because they are at war with you.

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

          Show us that a single microscopic cell (or some other stage of human development) is more important than a mouse.

          If the single cell is no more important, killing the mouse or killing the cell aren’t morally problematic.

        • Sue Blue

          Okay, then! Rage against the biological fact that your input into my pregnancy ends at the tip of your penis. How about that old saying “possession is 9/10ths of the law”? Whatever is in my body, whether it’s a half-digested donut, a tumor, a turd, or a zygote, is mine to do with as I please. And please don’t veer off into the “zygotes are people” crap again. We’ve covered that ad infinitum. If forced birthers are so worried about all the little “people” getting flushed out of their warm, comfy wombs, why aren’t they getting upset at the fact that up to 80% of all conceptions are spontaneously miscarried before the woman even suspects she’s pregnant? Why don’t all the frothy Zygote Zealots condemn fate, chance, or God for that? Or are the cells accidentally oozing out onto a sanitary napkin less important than the ones a woman flushes out deliberately with misoprostol?

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

          why, precisely are women who are worried that in the future they might have an inconvenient unplanned pregnancy *less* “biased” about wanting to ensure the opportunity to have an abortion.

          It’s not that the women involved are less biased; it’s that
          they’re in the best position to understand the issues.

        • Gregory Stacey

          That doesn’t sound quite like what your article was arguing. But surely the most relevant issues of all concern the moral status of the child and the balance of competing rights to physical autonomy vs.life (or some other such issues of moral philosophy)? And those are not issues which women have an intrinsic disposition to understand better. (NB. Admittedly, if abortion is legal, clearly a given woman is in the best position to decide if an abortion is “best” for her, but the issue of its legality in general, rather than specific decisions given that abortion is legal/acceptable).

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

          The issue is a biggie. This post was very narrowly focused.

          surely the most relevant issues of all concern the moral status of the child

          And (stop me if I’ve said this before) I’ve gone into detail about my critique of this issue with my spectrum argument.

          those are not issues which women have an intrinsic disposition to understand better.

          Agreed. But not a problem–a microscopic cell isn’t the equivalent of a trillion-cell newborn.

          Let’s put this issue behind us since the moral question has been resolved.

        • Gregory Stacey

          So what was the post trying to argue, then? Not that pro-life men are unusually biased in the debate, nor that they’re less informed, but that…? Perhaps just that they’ll practically be less changed by policy? This latter point doesn’t seem like a huge worry- the Senate won’t be affected by Obamacare, but, with respect, I’d rather hear informed public debate by white wealthy men than uninformed comment by poor people who the policy might well help.

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

          So what was the post trying to argue, then?

          Is my writing actually that poor?

          Not that pro-life men are unusually biased in the debate, nor that they’re less informed, but that…?

          That men should come into the conversation knowing and publicly acknowledging that they won’t ever be in the same position to evaluate the issue. A little humility, please.

          I’d rather hear informed public debate by white wealthy men than uninformed comment by poor people who the policy might well help.

          I’d rather hear informed debate, period. And that’s the issue here, after all.

        • purr

          Is my writing actually that poor?

          Made me LOL irl, Bob.

          You have a good sense of humour.

          Ok, enough of kissing-the-blog-owners-ass.

          :P

        • Baby_Raptor

          Yes, males can be pro-choice. And don’t get me wrong, I appreciate their support. But until they can actually get pregnant, they shouldn’t be establishing laws for hat can and cannot happen during pregnancy.

          Look, you did it again. An “inconvenient” unplanned pregnancy? Something that could kill you, and at the very least is guaranteed to damage your body and upset your entire life for at least 10 months, is not “inconvenient.” You continue to dehumanize pregnant people by choosing this language.

          Do you consider yourself biased when you make informed medical choices so as to stay healthy? Would it be bias if you had a heart condition, and you advocated for the cures to that condition staying legal?

          You used a common theme amongst pro-forced birthers, and used the exact wording employed. And you did it again when called on it. That wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t poor phrasing.

          And why should anyone care the reasons behind males being pro-forced birth? It’s not those males who are affected.

          Lastly, consent to sex does not mean consent to getting pregnant. Why does it not surprise me that you don’t understand consent?

          You can claim to not be advocating anti-abortion all you want, but you’re hitting every one of their talking points. It’s obvious.

      • Carmen

        I wish I could upvote this a million times.

    • purr

      It’s like a white guy explaining that slavery of black people was actually a good thing, cuz ‘reasons’.

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

        (Cuz Yahweh gives it two thumbs up was a biggie.)

      • Kodie

        Well, mostly, it’s because slaves don’t understand what a good deal they have. Without the slavery, they wouldn’t have a place to live or a job to do. It’s not in their best interest to be free, even if it looks that way from their limited perspective.

        • purr

          And abolitionists were clearly biased because they wanted to impose their *will* on the slave owners!

          Hey, this sounds familiar…I am remembering wlad…

        • Kodie

          Yes, everyone assumes freedom will be better by looking at the free people. Free people own businesses, they hold property, they travel at will, etc. They think, “when I’m free, that’s what my life will be like.” They forget to take into account the systemic oppression by their former captors.

  • avalpert

    “Doesn’t it seem unfair that the gender that isn’t personally inconvenienced by pregnancy is the one pushing the restrictions?”

    What are you talking about, I was definitely inconvenienced by my wife’s pregnancies.

    • Niemand

      How much did your risk of a life threatening blood clot go up when your wife was pregnant? How low did your hematocrit go during her second trimester? How much did you bleed when she delivered? How high did your blood sugar go when the fetus started parasitizing her pancreas? How badly did your immune system take the invasion of her body? In short, how can you compare your “inconvenience” with her risk of death?

      • avalpert

        “How much did your risk of a life threatening blood clot go up when your wife was pregnant? ”

        Probably fairly significantly from a percentage perspective – at least based on my understanding of the link between stress and that risk

        “How low did your hematocrit go during her second trimester? How high did your blood sugar go when the fetus started parasitizing her pancreas? ” No clue, didn’t measure it.

        “How much did you bleed when she delivered?” Not much, she barely broke my skin

        “How badly did your immune system take the invasion of her body?” Pretty badly

        “In short, how can you compare your “inconvenience” with her risk of death?” So my inconvenience only matters if it greatly increases my risk of death? Hm, how selfish of you.

        • Niemand

          Um…no. Psychological stress doesn’t cause blood clots. Try again. You might have a hint of a point with the immune system, but not much of one because I doubt that your endogenous steroids really went up enough to be immunologically important due to someone else’s pregnancy. You experienced some nebulous “inconvenience”. She experienced a risk of death due to the pregnancy you forced on her. I am unimpressed by your claims of martyrdom.

        • avalpert

          “Um…no. Psychological stress doesn’t cause blood clots.”

          Um, I’m not sure the research agrees with you – it may be more complicated than a linear relationship but it is definitely the case that psychological stress can be linked to the risk of blood clots: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11485106

          “She experienced a risk of death due to the pregnancy you forced on her”

          Wow, you aren’t the least bit concerned you may be assuming a bit too much – talk about unimpressed with your martyrdom. Great to know you are capable of reasoned conversation…

        • Niemand

          Missing from the article you linked: Any evidence that the parameters they measured led to increased risk of VTE. Also, they were discussing chronic, severe stressors like high stress jobs or poverty. Not, “Oh, my wife’s so hormonal when she’s pregnant, I’m in such danger **yuck, yuck**.”

          Also, seriously, Psychosomatic Medicine is your source? Ok, it’s a step up from the average pro-lifer that you could actually find something in PubMed, but some of the pubs that made it into PubMed are, shall we say, lightly peer reviewed?

        • avalpert

          Weird, when I read them discussing acute mental stress and chronic stress I took that to mean they weren’t limiting their discussion to chronic stress – but hey, I’m sure your blinded glasses are much better for reading than mine.

          Like I said, you assume too much and are very quick to reveal yourself as incapable of rational discussion but very good at emotional overreactions.

          For the record, I’m not pro-life and you aren’t very bright.

    • Carmen

      I don’t know if this is an attempt at sarcasm, but if so, it’s not coming through very well. If not, then your post is really astonishing.

  • KarlUdy

    Bob, I have a suspicion that the cause of your original complaint is actually the gender imbalance of speakers in general, not specifically on the subject of abortion.

    This page has a list of US Pro-Life activists. I counted 41 out of 127 who are women, or over 30%. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_pro-life_activists The comparative lists for Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and France all have an even higher percentage of women. The list for New Zealand actually has more women than men.

    The more I look, the more your post is looking like a beat-up.

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

      The worst that you can say is that this is much ado about nothing. That I’m quibbling about a statistic that doesn’t exist. Even if pro-life activists were mostly women, my point about the male activists would remain.

      My own experience is, obviously, limited. The pro-lifers that I come across are overwhelmingly male. But thanks for the data point. However, I’ll need more information (number of words, posts, books, podcasts, etc. done by each camp) to conclude that the difference in the male vs. female impact is negligible in America.

      I’m sure you’ve seen what I have, that the Christian public leadership (apologists, etc.) are trying to redress their gender imbalance. It could be that (somehow) the pro-life group is made up of completely different people, but I see a lot of overlap. That’s another clue that my concern has some merit.

      • KarlUdy

        Even if pro-life activists were mostly women, my point about the male activists would remain.

        You are working on the assumption that this is an issue that is almost exclusively a “women’s issue” and should be left entirely up to them.

        I think this is a little disingenuous as if you have had any engagement with pro-life activists you will know that a major part of the argument against abortion is the rights of the unborn.

        What is more, the unborn are not able to speak up for themselves, and so it must fall on others to speak up for them. Why must it be only a certain segment of society who can speak up for a group that has no voice of their own? Surely the onus is on every member of society to speak up for those who have no voice.

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

          Do you speak up for mice as well?

          What if a single human cell had the moral worth of a mouse–not something the death of which you’d take lightly but is still far less important than a person?

        • KarlUdy

          What if a single human cell had the moral worth of a mouse–not something the death of which you’d take lightly but is still far less important than a person?

          Are all cells equal? Obviously not. We’ve been around this before, but I think it suffices to say that I believe a human with brain activity qualifies as a person, whereas a mouse (or a human skin cell) does not.

        • purr

          Define ‘brain activity’, please. In detail.

        • KarlUdy

          I’m no expert, but I do know that there is discussion about when during pregnancy what could be variously termed “brain activity”, “thought”, or “consciousness” begin. I do know that there is a point beyond which most would agree these are present.

          There are two points to be made here. One is that the moral ground for abortion is very shaky beyond the point where there is general agreement that these are present. And the second is that a principle of prudence would argue against abortion after any point where we suspect these may be present.

        • Kodie

          Sounds like the spectrum argument to me.

          “Brain activity” would require something, let’s call it a “brain”. Sure, once there is a brain, it will, unless something has gone wrong, be active. I don’t think a brain is like a cold oven that, only after you can call it a brain, turns on. I will defer to RonPaul2012, who obviously has the research, but I would even go so far as the involuntary… what’s the word I’m trying to think of. “Stuff”. The involuntary stuff that happens all over the developing embryo is part pre-brain. It’s the impulses that generate all that growth activity. Just like your own brain is the conductor of all your involuntary stuff.

          “Consciousness” is a different thing. This is, as far as I understand it, the longest wait. Take something else, like a mold or such. We don’t think the mold is conscious, but it follows certain impulses regardless. Trees know, somehow, when to turn their leaves in the fall, and when to grown them back in the spring. We don’t detect “brain” activity, but obviously, it responds to stimuli – shortening and lengthening periods of sunlight, apparently, and not the temperature as most would assume. Consciousness is what? It can’t just be sensory information, like being warm or wet, when it’s always been as warm and as wet. Where does a pregnant women get her cravings from? All this involuntary stuff is going on in there, and suddenly, she wants to eat something disgusting, or spicy, or whatever, because somehow the forming fetus is transmitting some need… or what? It can’t possibly know about the local taqueria.

          But consciousness is obviously a thing we regard, that we have. How can we distinguish from a nonverbal alien with limited experience if it’s being conscious or just sensory. Some might say that if it can respond to being poked, then it’s conscious, but a tree responds to sensory input as well. At some point, and I don’t know when that is, but I suspect it’s later rather than sooner, a fetus has thoughts. I don’t know what about, since their sensory input isn’t that varied. At the point when they can be born, the difference is the amount of sensory input must affect them. It just seems to me, one isn’t lounging in the womb making all sorts of thoughts, the point is, by the time they’re born, their brain is as ready as it has to be for their head to fit through a vagina, and get some input from the exterior world.

          This is another thing to consider – many people think after they’re born, babies are perfectly stupid. They don’t see or hear or feel or notice or remember anything, so anything goes. All that’s for them is their development toward milestones of “intelligence”, as if all they can think about is boobs, pooping, and working up to recognizing their mom and the strength to hold up their own giant head. Their giant heads are holding relatively giant brains that have to piece together the puzzle of what this land is, the language pieces, and all that. I have a hypothesis that toddlers ask so many questions not because they suddenly reach an age of curiosity, but because they’ve been storing them up since way before they became verbal. I really wonder. So, why do people think babies are so fucking stupid and simple and ignorant about all the sensory input around them, but when they’ve got a pulse of brain activity in the womb, they’re plotting their future, and all they’d be deprived of if they happen to be unplanned, unwanted, and aborted? Adults are plotting their future and projecting thoughts and plans onto them they’re absolutely incapable of having.

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

          This is the spectrum argument. Welcome, friend.

        • purr

          A friend of mine wrote this, she is a neuroscientist, and she does a great job of explaining fetal brain development. Bear in mind, these studies, and the results from them, have only been confirmed over the last 20+ years:

          “”A brain-dead person with a functioning heart/lungs/brain stem will still show electrical activity in the brain, but they won’t show the particular “brainwaves” that are characteristic of the higher cortical functions of cognition. So the whole EEG isn’t “flat”, just the part of the EEG profile that shows a thinking person is using that brain tissue.

          (A better description would be the more scientific exactitude of “clinical significant electrical brain activity” to avoid confusion.)

          At this point no “person” with sentience or awareness is present in the body, and it is legal to discontinue life support, and harvest organs for transplant, as without a functioning brain the body is just a collection of tissue.

          People who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead are routinely disconnected from life support and used to provide the organs for transplantations (no murder charges have ever been filled for this and none ever will be) A fetus does not have the bilaterally synchronous electroencephalographic patterns in the cortical area of the brain to be considered alive until 26-30 weeks of gestation, exactly like those who are diagnosed as clinically brain dead by physicians.

          People who are considered clinically brain-dead, have brainwaves (and sometimes even a beating heart), just not in the part of the brain that means that they are still alive. At this point doctors can start organ harvesting or turn off life support, no murder charges have ever, or will ever be been filed.

          A fetus younger then 26-30 weeks does not have all the brain structure (cortex) or the synapse, neurons etc in place to show more brain activity then a person who is clinically brain dead, as measured with the same machine (EEG) The heart might beat, but nobody is home.

          No embryo or fetus has ever been found to have “brain
          waves,” before 26-30 weeks gestation, although extensive EEG studies have been done on premature babies.

          In fact a fetus does not have a functional cortex before
          20-24 weeks gestation, no neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them are physically present. (Pretty hard to show activity in a structure that is not even present yet)

          Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record the clinical significant electrical brain activity indicative of any form sentience and awareness prior to 20-24 weeks. (at that point the cerebral cortex can display some small intermittent non synchronous activity (“stutter”) This is not surprising since it is pretty hard to show activity in a brain structure that is not even present yet.

          Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns, bilaterally synchronous electroencephalograpic are ONLY seen at a minimum of 26 to 29 weeks gestation.

          Studies used are;
          -Hamlin,H. (1964), “Life or Death by EEG,”Journal of the American Medical Association, October 12,113
          -J. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Jour. of Med., Aug. 26, 1982, p. 564
          -K.J.S. Anand, a leading researcher on pain in newborns, and P.R. Hickey, published in NEJM””

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

          You could be right. But then I hear you endorsing the spectrum idea–that a single human cell has far less inherent worth than a fetus that is close to self-sufficiency.

        • KarlUdy

          I don’t think what I said qualifies as endorsing the spectrum idea (or disagreeing with it either). You could put it this way, would you place equal value on a hair cell and a brain cell?

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

          Then I completely misunderstood your point.

          You talked about “a human with brain activity,” in obvious contrast to a human without brain activity. You’re talking about a scale of value within the 9 months of human development leading to a newborn. Amen, brother.

          Yes, in the absence of any other context or clues, I’d give a hair cell and a brain cell equal value. (Though I have no idea what you’re getting at.)

        • fiona64

          Personhood is a legal status, not a medical one … and it confers at birth. The minute you assign rights to a fetus, you have abrogated the rights of an actual person: the born woman. When you abrogate someone’s rights, you have enslaved them.

        • Norm Donnan

          The reason spell check underlines “personhood” is that it is a made up term used by pro abortionists to justify killing an un born baby.
          At no time does a person have the right to kill another innocent person before or after birth.

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

          Does it also underline “baby” when you use it to reference a single cell?

        • fiona64


          The reason spell check underlines “personhood” is that it is a made up
          term used by pro abortionists to justify killing an un born baby.

          Once again, for the terminally obtuse, personhood is a legal status and has nothing to do with medicine, pregnancy, or anything else. I’m sorry you’re unable to recognize that, but it’s really not my problem.

        • Kodie

          Some people do speak up for mice. In the morality argument, as you say, a person has a moral priority over mice – this is not a “given”, it is obviously from a human perspective. Mice arguably like a comfortable place to live and raise their offspring, and plenty to eat. They seem to be wary of humans to some extent, and lurk at night when it’s still. But it can’t be argued that they are living in our walls and behind our stoves to fuck with humans. But if they invade our homes, we gain the right to crush their homes, destroy their families, and send them out into the cold to figure it out.

          Most people with any experience with glue traps will say they are sadistic and cruel. I hate the shit out of mice, let me be clear, but I don’t take extreme measures to make sure to rid them in the cruelest manner possible, just because I can. I do think a mouse has more moral worth than a human embryo – there is nothing you can do to that embryo that will incur a lengthy period of dread and suffering. Some may argue that mice don’t have any feelings either, and it’s perfectly ok, in the war against rodents, to allow them to struggle for freedom as they slowly die of internal injuries and hunger, when they could just as easily be snapped quickly to permanent death, individually. There will still be mice behind the wall, finding and chewing holes to gain access. Killing a mouse or several feels like triumph either way, but often one finds a struggling mouse on a glue trap and have to then do something gross, like smash it with a heavy object.

          I don’t think there is anything you can do to an embryo that compares with the suffering of a mouse on a glue trap. It has all the awareness of any other tumor or toenail. It has the moral worth of a weed or a stone in your garden. Someone might wage a war against moles or rabbits, because we want what we want, and they want what they want, but the fertilized egg is not a being in the sense that it can be killed or get the message and retreat to look for food elsewhere.

          People don’t tend to have any moral conflict about picking up a rock and moving it, and how the rock feels or suffers not standing where it belongs, or how their toenails are denied any prospects by clipping them. People (some people) do have compassion for animals, even animals they hate, animals they actively exterminate, and even animals they eat or wear, at least a little bit. Other people have no feelings for those lowly animals and take cruel pleasure in taunting people who do care, as well as torturing them when other methods are available, because they can, and they still hold the fertilized egg as the exceptional creature of all time, which shall never be interrupted, and if you do, you’re a literal monster. We will antibiotic the shit out of an infection, but the comparable human stage has some quality of being that effecting its end is considered violent and torturous.

          It makes no sense to me.

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

          Some people do speak up for mice.

          Good point. PETA has a slogan, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” If it’s got a heartbeat, it’s got a right to a decent life.

          But, of course, the typical pro-lifer would reject this collapsing of the spectrum. No, a rat is not a boy. I wonder then how they don’t see the problem with collapsing the spectrum when they say “A zygote is a baby.”

          It has the moral worth of a weed or a stone in your garden.

          This is what trips up many pro-lifers. A single cell or zygote doesn’t have much inherent worth—that is, worth that society must defend. A person is welcome to value that cell as highly as they want. The problem is when a busybody takes this one view (which is valid for that one person) and wants to apply it to society by law.

          Not a hard concept. I don’t know why it’s so tough to get around.

      • Sue Blue

        Ironic, isn’t it, that the people arguing here against your premise of that more men than women seem to be “pro-life” are all men?

        In my experience, there may be a lot of women (usually older, very religious) out on the picket lines at Planned Parenthood, but its always been the men who are the most vitriolic, outspoken, and immovable on the subject. I also notice that women aren’t bombing clinics or shooting doctors.

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

          Ironic, isn’t it, that the people arguing here against your premise of that more men than women seem to be “pro-life” are all men?

          Good observation. Seems like they feel backed into a corner, and they’re lashing out in response.

          As I think I’ve made clear in my comments here, I could be wrong. It might be that the public impact of the pro-life movement is (say) 60/40 women to men. But I await the data. There’s a lot of bluster on the other side for them not having that data.

        • Jennifer Starr

          There are some women who have been quite violent, though–Shelley Shannon, Cheryl Sullenger and Jennifer Sperle come immediately to mind.

    • Niemand

      Actually, your post makes Bob’s point. 30% is nowhere near what the number would be if women were equally active in the “pro-life” movement as men. Women are, overall, about 51% of the US population. 30%<<51%. Bob never claimed that there were no women involved in the "pro-life" movement.

      • KarlUdy

        Did you read what I wrote? What percentage of speakers/activists do women make for other issues (eg poverty, human trafficking, sexuality, workplace safety, etc)? I actually think 30% is quite low too, but many other countries have much more equal representation. As I said before, I suspect that the problem is that women are under-represented in public life in the US overall, not just in discussing abortion.

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

          I suspect that the problem is that women are under-represented in public life in the US overall

          The reason for the discrepancy isn’t the issue.

  • Leyla1001nights

    This has always annoyed me to no end. And if a man truly believes this, he’d better have had a vasectomy!

    • MNb

      Well, as I’m anti-abortion in my private life (and don’t think sterilizaton of women or they swallowing the pill for 30 years or more a particular good idea either) I had one 15 years ago, when I was sure I didn’t want to conceive any more descendants. It’s quite popular among Dutch men.
      Also yes, if my female counterpart would have been pregnant of me and not willing to keep it because of say “I don’t want to raise another child” (which is a morally legitimate reason in my eyes) or something like this I would have offered to raise it myself (in fact I have raised my son after our divorce, but that has nothing to do with the issue).
      So yes, you have a good point. Pro-lifers should promote anti-conception methods and vasectomy plus fathers taking responsibility for raising kids, including things like changing diapers (damn, did those of my son smell) and getting up in the middle of the night when you have to work next morning. I do!

      Disclaimer: I still don’t want abortion to be illegal. In fact it must be legal if we want to decrease the amount of abortions:

      http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0922117.html
      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/health/story/2012-01-18/Higher-abortion-rates-where-its-illegal/52641546/1

      If you are seriously pro-life (ie preventing zygotes from getting “killed”) you support legalization of abortion, solid sex education and easy access to anti-conception for teenagers.

  • lucky21

    You know if this was some other issue saying that women shouldn’t concerned with men issues it would be labeled as sexist. Actually that argument that men shouldn’t get involved in abortion because its a woman’s issue is just stupid. What about men who are pro-choice should they step out because they are deciding what stand they take. I guess not its only pro-life men that should shut up. There is a double standard fallacy in all these arguments.

    • purr

      Uhhh…no.

      It’s that pro-life men are lecturing women on how wonderful pregnancy is…when they’ll never have a clue about what it’s like.

      Whereas pro-choice men are like ‘women, have your freedom, I won’t judge, it’s all up to you’

      BIG difference.

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

      Pro-choice men vs. pro-life men? Hardly a simple symmetry there as you seem to imagine.

      One says, “You are in the best position to understand, so you decide.” The other says, “I know best. We’re doing it my way.”

      See the difference?

      • Gregory Stacey

        Well, no, actually (to all of the above comments). The important symmetry is as follows; both pro-choice and pro-life men take a stand (explicitly or implicitly) on at least the following statement- “a woman has/should have the moral/legal right to bodily harm/neglect to death their unborn child”. Only IF this (highly controversial!) statement is ENDORSED, can the circumstance arise where the woman is “in the best position to understand” what the right decision is arise.

        So pro-choice men take a stand similar to that of pro-life men, it’s just the the pro-choice decision doesn’t change what any particular woman must do with her child. Still, the pertinent question up for debate is normally the question of whether abortion qua abortion is wrong or should be illegal, rather than as to whether it would be practically advantageous for woman/child “x”.

        • Kodie

          See the part where you assume pro-choice agrees with your sentiment about the zygote/embryo/fetus because you don’t want to have to argue about it, and how that colors your opinion of what is and what isn’t symmetry?

          Let’s do another: A woman wants to eat an apple, so she gets her wallet and heads out the door to go buy an apple. The man hates apples and thinks she should buy an orange instead, so blocks the door. He even volunteers to go to the store to buy the orange for her. What a considerate gesture! Now if the man would buy her all the oranges she can eat, when all she wanted was an apple, she can go out and get one, but he won’t let her. Oranges are great, though. Some people really like oranges, she even likes oranges, but not right now, it’s not what she wants. So he goes to the store and brings home oranges, and if she wants to eat a piece of fruit, it has to be oranges. If she doesn’t want to eat the oranges, he gets mad at her for wanting something else, when he gave her what he thought she should have. He takes away her money and her car keys, and all of her shoes, just so she won’t leave to get an apple. He thinks oranges are best, and that’s all there is to eat, end of story, the man has gone out of his way to make sure she can’t get any apples.

          Now, of course, this isn’t a long-term plan. He can’t trap her in the home forever. So he goes to arrange with all the neighbors not to give her one of their apples. He even argues the merits of oranges with them, door-to-door, and how disgusting apples are, and not to bring any home for the girls and women to eat. The neighbors form an association to keep local stores from stocking apples, and only sell oranges to women looking to buy apples. If you go asking for apples, just about everyone will sell you only oranges, and tell you what a bad person you are if you even consider eating an apple. If you’re hungry for fruit, an orange is fruit, it’s all we have in stock, sorry, you cannot get an apple anywhere for miles around. You have been given the semblance of freedom to roam around buying fruit as you wish, ma’am, as far as men have seen to allow it, but they have taken away your choices of what you can do to your body by determining the only fruit you can get is oranges, if it is fruit you wish to buy..

          Now, in this other town, 100 miles away, women can eat apples or oranges, or donuts or meatballs, and nobody interferes in whatever she likes to eat, whatever she puts in her shopping cart and in her body. Some people hate apples there, too, but they pick something else to eat. Some people buy a lot of oranges, a 5lb. bag at a time, but there is no restriction on apples. A woman can go to the store every day and buy whatever fruit she likes and nobody demands she only come home with oranges, or just stay home without any fruit until a man buys it for her.

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

          A clever analogy. Thanks.

        • Gregory Stacey

          That was quite a long post! A quick rebuttal-
          i) No, I don’t think that the pro-choice person agrees regarding the rights and/or moral status of the embryo (given your very apparent desire to debate this with me, this would be a very odd thing to think!).

          But that’s just what I’m trying to say- both parties are NOT neutral on (at least) this issue, which seems to me to be the most important area of debate in the abortion discussion (a view which your many demands that I justify my position to you suggest you may agree with).

          ii) The example just seems to show that in one town, people prohibit certain actions, and in others they don’t make them illegal, but leave the decision up to the (allegedly) “relevant” party. But I wasn’t arguing that this isn’t (obviously) true with abortion. Rather, I was stating (according to the analogy) that both towns have equally taken (different) stands on the following issue- “we should allow people/women to eat apples”. Neither town is neutral in this respect, therefore. Analogously, pro-choice men are NOT completely neutral as regards some important ethical/legal arguments in the debate, although admittedly they don’t coerce anyone into performing a given action.

        • Kodie

          How do you figure neither town is neutral? One town has banned the sale or consumption of apples altogether, and the other town isn’t forcing people to eat apples.

          Your suggestion or definition of just what the controversy is, to you, strongly implies that you think everyone agrees generally as to the moral status of a zygote, but that desperate people are overcome with a strong urge to ignore it, and as I gather, you think your side has very good reasons and remain objective and level-headed while wild sluts voluntarily enter contracts to protect helpless innocent children, which they intentionally breach by murdering them to avoid pushing a watermelon out of a hole the size of a kiwi.

          I know pro-life likes to see their side as very caring and nurturing and reassuring to women who fear the prospects of childbearing, but that is anti-woman racket also. As I said earlier to Steve, women do not need your patronizing bullshit about their maternal instincts kicking in or getting what they bargained for and owing it to “anyone” to stay the course.

          And by “anyone”, I mean a zygote has no actual value. The value is if you want to have a baby, which many people do, and you find out you’re pregnant, then that zygote gets a list of names and a car seat, and all that shit that people like to do to get ready. It’s a projection.

        • Gregory Stacey

          I’ll try again. Neither town is neutral (assuming the issue has been considered in both) with regard to the principle “women should have the right to eat apples” or the principle “we have no moral obligation to stop women eating apples”. So I’ve now clearly outlined (several times!) the way in which neither side is neutral.

          But this isn’t just what I claim the controversy is, since the arguments advanced for the claim that abortion ought to be il/legal almost always seem to turn on whether or not i) the fetus is a human person worthy of certain rights and ii) this negates the rights of the pregnant woman to bodily autonomy.

          I submit that if people agreed on these issues one way or the other, it would be really quite unlikely that there would be ANY debate at all. In other words, your observation that people disagree on the moral status of an embryo is not something I’m denying at all- in fact, I think it’s REALLY important- without this disagreement, this thread likely wouldn’t exist.

        • Kodie

          I would say that one town has over-reacted because some man hated apples so much, he caused a movement to keep not only his own wife, but all the other women in town, from eating apples. They’re freakin’ apples. The other town has a natural behavior around apples. It’s not everyone’s favorite, but they’re not stopping anyone from getting all the apples they want, nor are they forcing everyone to eat apples they don’t want.

          I would also say you missed the overall metaphor of the post.

          I would also say that until you provide your argument over what’s so abominable about apples that she should accept all the oranges she gets trying to get apples, then that’s as deep as the conversation can go. Trying to say “but pro-choice are interfering in people’s choices equally as much as pro-life” is nonsense, otherwise.

        • Gregory Stacey

          So the point is this- both sides are clearly NOT neutral on the issue I mentioned (which was the point I was making before the rather unhelpful example above was introduced).

          Has the town ACTUALLY over-reacted? Well, that depends on the actual moral status of the embryo, which I’m not going to discuss.

          Still, my point is that it’s not as if one group of people are automatically behaving neutrally or failing to take an important and controversial moral stance, which seems to be a point suggested by several people above.

        • Kodie

          If you think there’s really something wrong with apples, you have to say what it is. From my perspective, my properly basic perspective, people don’t organize an effort to remove an item from all the grocery merchants in town without making a good case. You’re not making a good case for controlling or curtailing the behavior or reaction of women who have sex outside “the right circumstances” or find out they’re pregnant without the aid of the impartial man to steer her back to her moral obligations. With all your education and vocabulary, you are just making a lot of noise over “oranges are right and apples are wrong”. With all your philosophy, you can’t see that, and you continue to insist that pro-choice men are interfering in people’s right to make a choice just as much as pro-life men are interfering in people’s rights by preventing them from having any choices.

          Does your school start with a ‘K’ and end with a ‘lown’?

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

          Uh, that’s not a “school” but a “Kollege.”

          Please … have some respect.

    • Mudhammutt (DaveUcannotta)

      Lucky, I’ve never heard of any women objecting when a man wants to get into knitting, baking cookies, or anything else that would not involve the strenuous use of their bodies for 9 months. There is no double-standard here, but this doltish and fallacious garbage of yours is embarrassing to the image of the American male! Just how low are you willing to stoop, and how small-dick petty are you willing to get just to pretend that you’ve any moral ground to stand on here?

    • Kodie

      They do step out. Everyone who is pro-choice essentially does step out of making a woman’s decision for her, including men. People who are pro-life, including men, want to run women’s lives for them and make their choice for them, and make laws that take their choices away.

      You got a basic choice, we generally refer to as preferences. You like what you like, but you don’t meddle in other people’s preferences. You don’t feel a need to tell people what kind of underwear to wear, because of your own preference. A person can be pro-choice, as in letting people use their personal experience to guide them without also making that choice if facing similar circumstances. When it’s up to you, it’s your turn to make a choice, and when it has nothing to do with you, you let the other person decide for themselves, even if what they do is different from what you would do. That’s what choice means. Pro-life position has none of that.

    • MNb

      “it would be labeled as sexist”
      Why? I would be quite surprised if my female counterpart would advise me about the optimal shaving technique.

  • Norm Donnan

    You really need to get out more.Women are thoroughly involved in all aspects of the pro-life cause.
    The fact that men are appalled as much as women by abortion(and it would be weird if they weren’t) should be a normal response in any society.
    Being prepared to stand up for the murder of innocent people will always be the only fitting reaction from decent human beings.

    • http://avengah.wordpress.com Matt Davis

      It’s not murder if it’s legal. The definition of murder is an unlawful killing. Since abortion is legal, it can’t possibly be murder. Every time someone calls abortion murder, it shows they are ignorant of basic definitions of words.

      • Gregory Stacey

        Just to point out, what Norm is doubtless trying to say is that the law should be different, since in actual (as opposed to legal) fact, the fetus deserves certain rights since it (objectively as opposed to subjectively) enjoys a moral status equivalent to that of adult persons. In other words, the law broken is a moral as opposed to societal one. The statement is perfectly intelligible.

        • purr

          And why pray tell does a zygote *Objectively* have the same moral status as an adult?

          Human DNA?

          The soul!?

        • Kodie

          In “actual fact”? Go ahead, Gregory, we’ve been waiting.

        • MNb

          I think Pakistani and Jemenite civilians, even if they support Sharia, deserve certain rights as well – like not getting killed by American drones.
          If Norm and you Norm are consistent you should call the entire American political system a band of murderers, responsible as they are for killing civilians.Weird – I never hear pro-lifers making that argument.

        • purr

          But zygotes are innocent!

          As soon as you’re born, you’re no longer innocent! And even less so if you’re brown!

          Actually, to give a zygote the same rights as an adult, that would mean it forfeits it’s right to live when it *assaults* someone. Pro-lifers want to give zygotes *more* rights than adults!

        • Gregory Stacey

          You evidently aren’t aware that not all pro-lifers support drone attacks! Indeed, I for one condemn them and consider the killing of civilians by drones as something tantamount to murder (or at least, culpable manslaughter).

    • http://batman-news.com Anton

      Being prepared to stand up for the murder of innocent people will always be the only fitting reaction from decent human beings.

      In addition to what Matt said, I think you’re playing a rhetorical game by using the term “murder” to describe a process whereby a human being is prevented from being born in the first place. And you only call first-trimester fetuses “people” because you’re ignoring the fact that they’re still developing inside an adult female’s body and they don’t feel pain.

      Calling the fetus “innocent” is a handy way to show that this entire crusade isn’t for the benefit of the children, it’s so you can be one of the “decent” people who do nothing more strenuous than go online to tout your virtue and revile the (presumably “guilty”) females who have sex for pleasure and not procreation.

      I guess punishing women for having sex is what you consider a worthy cause. Forcing a woman to undergo pregnancy and childbirth against her will doesn’t seem like something “decent human beings” would advocate, but it’s a funny world.

    • purr

      First you have to prove that a single cell organism is a ‘person’. So far all you can do to bolster that position is to claim that it will be a baby in some ‘weeks’ (no, months, dipshit).

      • Steve

        What really sold me on your point was when you called the guy a dipshit. Flawless arguing skills.

        • Kodie

          With all due respect, Norm is a dipshit. If you can be more articulate and factual, put up or shut up.

        • purr

          With all due respect, I suggest you educate yourself:

          http://plover.net/~bonds/adhominem.html

    • Steve

      I love how nobody here is actually addressing his main point. Instead, they go off on a tangent about whether or not abortion is murder, which let’s face it, no movement is going to occur on that front. Norm is entirely right. Women are entirely involved in the pro-life movement. You people don’t want to admit that, so you distract from his point.
      Downvote away.

      • Kodie

        Hey, I addressed it! Don’t say nobody addressed it, Steve.

        • Steve

          I was talking about Norm’s post. You didn’t respond to Norm’s post. I was talking about RonPaul, Anton, Matt Davis.

        • Kodie

          Norm is a fool saying foolish things, and I “love” it how you’ve made 3 or 4 cheers for Norm in about the last two minutes without actually saying anything.

        • purr

          Yes, and if you bother to read to the end you will see that we addressed pro life women too.

      • Kodie

        Also, Norm is not entirely right. I addressed that too. It’s an anti-woman stance, and women can be as judgmental or more of other women, and not compassionate or sympathetic.

        • Steve

          Are you serious? Is this a joke? Have you ever listened to a pro-lifer? Have you ever actually thought about what they have to say? This is such a fundamentally absurd strawman. You think our motivations are anti-women? Why do you people always ignore our actual positions? So we’re against abortion because we’re anti-women. Sure, we do this just do be evil. In between our actions to oppose abortion, we also spend our time by kicking dogs and tying innocent maidens to railroads (preferably with a mustache to twirl). We are against abortion because we are against the destruction of human life that occurs, not because we just randomly want to make women suffer, which is what I know you would like to believe, because it makes things so much easier and simpler for you. Not compassionate or sympathetic? I could say the same of a movement that proudly stands upon a mound of shredded flesh and gore.

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

          a mound of shredded flesh and gore.

          Huh? How did this turn into a debate in favor of vegetarianism?

          Oh … wait a minute. My bad. You’re referring to abortion! OK, now I get it.

          Fair enough: show that a zygote is inherently more morally valuable than a full-grown cow and I’ll see your point.

        • Steve

          A zygote is a human being. Human life is more valuable than animal life.
          Although I find it quietly hilarious that you’re arguing for objective morality and concepts of rights as an atheist. Those are empirically unproven metaphysical concepts, just like God.

        • Kodie

          You have any supporting arguments, or just baseless assertions?

        • Steve

          A zygote is a human being. That is a biological fact. Not a monkey, not a cow. Check the DNA, and it’s human DNA.

        • purr

          Except human DNA does not = human *being*

          If ‘human DNA’ is the ONLY marker that you are using as to what is and is not a ‘human being’ (ie person) then by that marker alone, every cell in your body, certain cancers, and molar pregnancies all qualify as ‘human beings’.

        • Steve

          However, a zygote is a unique and entire human life, much unlike a skin cell. So your point kind of falls apart.

        • purr

          So is a hydatidiform mole.

          And a blighted ovum.

          And certain cancers.

          And no, a zygote is not an *entire* human life, it is, technically, a blueprint. It even contains the instructions for the creation of the placenta. How many complete human beings contain the genetic instructions for a placenta or are even part placenta hmm?

        • Steve

          No, those are like the skin cell. They are not a separate or unique life at all.

        • purr

          Actually, they are separate and unique lives.

          There are three types of hydatidiform mole, and they are all unique human DNA.

          Cancer is quite unique, and it is alive.

          And there is nothing stopping a skin cell from becoming a baby. It has the full completment of DNA. It just has to be placed into an empty ovum and implanted in a uterus. Embryos have been created this way.

          And ‘uinque’ is not an argument, as many things are unique. Try again.

        • Steve

          These are just small pieces of an entire person. The same cannot be said of a zygote.

        • Kodie

          If it’s a person, why does it have to live inside another person or die?

        • Steve

          The life is unique and individual. That does not mean independent. Hardly any lives, born or unborn, are actually independent.

        • purr

          It’s not that it’s dependent. We are all dependent in some way upon others.

          It’s that the zygote/embryo/fetus is not VIABLE without the use of another person’s body to perform the most basic of life functions for it. In fact, it is not viable without a placenta. The placenta is actually *part* of the zef’s body, and is more important than any other organ. Without the placenta, the zef dies. The placenta, and the woman’s body, perform all of the life functions necessary to sustain the life of the zef.

          Even if you put the ZEF inside an artificial womb, it would still not be VIABLE until very close to birth because it cannot survive 1) without the placenta 2) as an autonomous organism

        • Kodie

          It is not just dependent, it literally builds itself out of blood and tissue from its host, like a tumor does. It doesn’t know that’s what it’s doing, because it has no consciousness of the process. So you have to say another way why this thing is a valuable thing.

        • purr

          1) a zygote is literally a piece of DNA, with *instructions* for the creation of a human being.

          2) you don’t even know what a hydatidiform mole is, do you?

          Your scientific ignorance is impressive, quite impressive. Indeed.

        • Steve

          Wrong. A zygote is a cell.
          I don’t. Care to explain to the class so instead of gloating about your knowledge of skin diseases?

        • purr

          Yes, it is a cell. A SINGLE cell. it is not tissue. It is a cell, that is nothing more than DNA, and that DNA contains the *instructions* for the creation of an embryo…that’s it!!

          A hydatidiform mole is not a skin cancer, dipshit. It is a fertilized egg with extra chromosomes.

        • Steve

          Sorry, I’m not putting up with your name calling. You guys are such perfect stereotypes of everything bad people think about atheists. I’m fucking leaving.

        • purr

          Perhaps if you had come here to tried to discuss the situation like an adult instead of aggressively attacking everyone.

          And smooth move, you’re allowed to swear at Kodie and tell her to STFU because she ‘irritates’ you, yet no one is allowed to get annoyed with you? He who doesn’t even know what he is talking about, but instead just continues to make baseless assertions and thinks that stomping his feet will prove that he is right?

          And isn’t it convenient, you can cry about your hurt fee-fees and run away from the debate when your ignorance has been highlighted for all to see.

          I would be embarrassed if I was you.

        • Kodie

          Your emotion-based argument is noted.

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

          So then you agree with RP2012′s point that human DNA in the cell is not actually that big a deal. Right?

        • Kodie

          Where did it go to school?

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

          Since the only common factor (aside from their all being eukaryotes) as you go back in time to the single human cell is the H. sapiens DNA. That pro-lifers get misty-eyed at this baffles me.

          Yeah, it’s human DNA all the way back. So what?

        • Kodie

          Oh my god, I forgot all about the DNA! Human DNA, an irreplaceable resource. How could I be so…. wait a second. What? That’s your argument?

        • MNb

          Here we have another human being according to Steve:

          http://www.abc.net.au/science/photos/humangenome/photo01.htm

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

          A zygote is a human being. Human life is more valuable than animal life.

          I think I’ve found the problem with your argument.

          Although I find it quietly hilarious that you’re arguing for objective morality and concepts of rights as an atheist.

          Wrong again.

        • Steve

          Sure, you don’t actually need to explain anything, you can just stand there, shrug your shoulders, and explain that I immediately know what you’re talking about.

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

          Was I too terse? You may be right. Here’s the extended version.

          1. You said, “A zygote is a human being. Human life is more valuable than animal life.” We could define “human being” that way. The real problem is the bald assertion that human life (at any stage of development) is more important that any and all examples of (other) animal life.

          You actually have to make an argument. An assertion doesn’t cut it.

          2. No, I don’t argue for objective morality. I’ve seen no examples, and you haven’t provided any. Does it exist? Show me.

        • JohnH2

          “We could define “human being” that way.”

          It would be havoc on the census.

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

          Good call!

        • purr

          Human life is more valuable than animal life.

          What makes human life more valuable than animal life?

        • JohnH2

          Bob never argues for objective morality, he just uses phrases to in order to primarily confuse those that believe there is objective morality.

          Also, Not all atheists claim to be radical empiricists.

        • Kodie

          If you are confused about subjective morality, that’s your own fault. Lol. If someone is explaining something to you as often and as deliberately as Bob does, and you not only do not agree, but you describe these efforts as primarily to confuse you and not to explain his position clearly, then you might have a preconceived notion about morality.

        • Niemand

          A zygote is a human being.

          Unsupported assertion. What is your definition of “human being” and how does a zygote meet it?

        • Sue Blue

          Actually, humans ARE animals. Primates, to be exact. And if a zygote is a human being, is a sperm or ova also human? Sperm and ova are haploid – they’ve only got half the chromosomes your somatic cells have, whereas every single nucleated cell in your body is diploid and has a complete copy of your DNA. It could theoretically be cloned to create a whole new “you”. Every time you take a dump you shed millions of intestinal cells down the crapper. Every time you blow your nose or cough or sneeze, perfectly viable, genetically-complete cells are spewed out into the void to die a cold and lonely death. Where’s the concern for those bits of “human” life? So…when is a zygote, embryo or fetus qualitatively different from a skin cell or a tumor? How about when it can live and breathe on its own?

        • JohnH2

          “How did this turn into a debate in favor of vegetarianism?”

          Solylent Green is PEOPLE!!!

        • Kodie

          Yes, I have, and if you would have a case, you wouldn’t have to lie about it. I know, you’re emotionally drawn, just like Norm is, to the fully formed human baby the size of a pencil eraser. I addressed this in one of my earliest posts in this thread. You don’t even regard women, you have a fantasy about a baby. If something horrific was going on, I would tend to agree with you, but I don’t have the same warped perspective you do. It is ALL about controlling women, and not at all to care for the life of a baby. That “baby” is a pawn, a mechanism, a propaganda piece to control YOU to organize to control WOMEN.

        • Steve

          This is just fucking stupid. You assume that I don’t even care about the mothers. You assume that I have some bizzare control fantasy (who the FUCK would group together and spend millions on a socio-political cause for some bizarre control fantasy? that doesn’t even make any sense. I’m sure their are more efficient ways to control people)
          And I mean, what the hell, you really do believe that pro-lifers are just card-carrying villains. Maybe I should change my username to Steve Snidely and say “Blast!” throughout my posts.
          So In short Kodie, Shut up when you claim to know what we think , and when you pretend to read our minds. You don’t know what we think. And at the rate you’re going, you probably never will.

        • Kodie

          Steve, you’re just bluster, you haven’t said anything yet. You’re defensive when I accuse your movement of what is perfectly clear when you get down to it (to me, it is). If it is a case that we’re all misunderstanding you, why don’t you actually say something? You choose to put all your effort into saying nobody has addressed this, and we’re all stupid in the head and misinformed. Oh, light to brighten the night, inform us! I have a clue that you might be even dumber than Norm, which is hard to do, but prove us wrong, Steve, prove all of us really, really wrong.

        • Steve

          I have said things. List:
          -Many women are in the pro-life movement, casting its supposed misogyny into serious doubt.
          -Zygote is a human being
          -The motivation of pro-lifers is to end destruction of human lives.
          I’m sorry, but you know the stereotype of how atheists are a bunch of insulting pricks who like to hang out on websites like Reddit and talk about how much smarter they are? You guys are so fulfilling that stereotype now. I’ve gotten into debates/arguments on several different sections of Patheos, but the atheist is the only one where people with unpopular opinions will be called stupid or dipshit.

        • Kodie

          I know that you are basing your opinion on what women should do with their bodies on lies because you don’t have facts.

        • Steve

          What thorough and well thought out argume… oh wait no it wasn’t. Just “baseless accusations” again.
          But seriously, great job on being an insulting stereotype of yourself. You should be proud.

        • Kodie

          Your motivations are no secret. It’s not like we haven’t had this discussion with other people before, even in this thread already!

        • Steve

          And yet you still read my motivations wrongly. Fascinating.

        • Kodie

          Your motivation is to stomp your feet and defend Norm against people misunderstanding completely. We’ve all met Norm before, he’s literally a moron. You might want to attach yourself to Gregory, at least, who can put something together that doesn’t sound like it was expressed in the medium of drool.

          Your assertion is that people are more important than anything else, period, and that life starts at conception and shall not be interrupted. Do you have anything to support those assertions, or do you assume we’re all on the same page about that?

        • purr

          And many women support the Burka and agree with men that adulterous women should be stoned to death.

          I guess that means Islam is not a misogynist religion at all right? Because women support it!!!

        • Steve

          The hell if I know. Go argue about it on the Muslim blogs.

        • purr

          I guess that point went over your head like a 747?

          Arguing that a viewpoint is NOT misogynistic because *some* women support it does not mean that the belief is not anti-woman.

        • Kodie

          Funny how you have the superiority over women in our culture, as every precious strand of human DNA and every little fertilized egg does, but you won’t go so far as to dictate to men in other cultures and how they treat women. Funny how you will fight for the right of a speck of DNA to hold a woman hostage the rest of her life, physically, economically, and emotionally, but you won’t stand up and fight for the rights of women Muslims under Sharia law because you don’t have to get involved or informed or interfere. It’s not horrific enough to you to save lives, is it, when it’s just women.

          And you call me a mind-reader, when you’re that upfront about how you really feel about women?

        • Kodie

          I do know that about 100 other posts have been made and reasoned on this page alone, and you think you know everything you need to know by reading a handful of responses to Norm’s post. Feel free to abuse everyone and the arguments you assume we’re making, just go right on ahead with your own assumptions and accuse us of twisting your assertions!

        • Steve

          I’ve been abusing the arguments? Seriously? Coming from the mind-reader here. I have nothing to say to this post, because there is nothing worth saying.

        • purr

          You are all bluster and baseless assertions.

        • Kodie

          You read a handful of posts in this thread, accused all of us of not addressing something, and of being mind-readers. Do you know what you’re talking about? I don’t think you do. I think you ignore the facts and replace them with emotional lies – you are a pawn, and that makes you angry at the wrong people.

        • Steve

          I was discussing norm’s post, which people disregarded the main point of, and expressed my displeasure when you started claiming to know what my real motivations were for opposing abortion, again, like a mind-reader.

        • Kodie

          Well, it is disrespectful to make the assertions you made, based on the handful of responses to Norm without reading the article or any other posts in this thread, or articulating your own point of view. You want to latch onto Norm, prepare to get bested. He has the weakest arguments I’ve ever seen. You just want to agree with Norm, and take all of us to task for not responding to his “very good and right” points, why don’t you reiterate what those points might be, and also where they come from in you, and then we can discuss your thoughts and motivations transparently, and I don’t have to cast any more aspersions!

          Norm is the walking definition of a pro-life pawn against women’s rights, just to warn you.

        • Kodie

          There isn’t really very far for a pro-life proponent to go, believe it or not. So far, your claims are that nobody addressed Norm’s points, which I would argue that you have moved the goalposts, since I had addressed them prior. He could have addressed my post, but decided also to forgo reading and go straight to stating his opinion.

          So, it’s pretty lame that you want to backtrack to the point where you had something to say and didn’t just come here to attack people for ignoring Norm and being horrible people who kill babies.

          Your later claim about humans at every microscopic stage being more important than any other living organism was not supported by anything but DNA. And then what, Steve? Every living thing has DNA, you have to go so far as to demonstrate what is so special about human DNA that it has to be preserved while we go on a murderous extermination of any other living things we find inconvenient, fatal, or yummy to us. Before you, yet another man, even open your mouth, women end up with the burdens of having a uterus demands of their life and slavery to a single-celled human DNA carrier. There is no sidestepping or accusations of mind-reading necessary. You think you have a more intellectual and articulate, and still factual, argument, just try. So far, you have been below par, below even Norm.

          There is no realistic denial that this places whole-formed women below a concept, and determines women to be slaves and martyrs, as you believe they should be.

        • JohnH2

          ” the atheist is the only one where people with unpopular opinions will be called stupid or dipshit.”

          It is possible to get these insults used in other portions of patheos, but it takes a lot more work then just holding a differing opinion, which is in many cases all that is needed on the atheist section.

        • Surprise123

          You write: “-Many women are in the pro-life movement, casting its supposed misogyny into serious doubt.” Isn’t it true that, at times, human beings can passionately advocate for policies that are against their rational INDIVIDUAL best interests? I DEFINITELY think that’s the case regarding female anti-abortion advocates.

          I mean, women and abortion….come on! The position of female anti-abortion activists is just not rational, at least at the level of the individual: pregnancy is a severe physical burden which carries a 30% risk of a serious health complication (heart attack or stroke or hemmoraging (sp?) or endometriosis or anal tearing or vaginal tearing or ectopic pregnancy or an invasive abdominal wound due to a C-section or RH factor poisoning or sepsis, etc.), a 0.025 % chance of death even in developed countries, and you want to throw away your decision – making power, your agency vis-à-vis the procedure and your own body?

          You also write: “-The motivation of pro-lifers is to end destruction of human lives.” That may be ONE of the motivations for some anti-abortion advocates, but, their laser-like focus on the welfare of human zygotes, embryos, and fetuses, viewed against their neglect of the welfare of pregnant women (pregnancy – related deaths have risen in the U.S. in the past 10 years), the plague of deaths associated with overuse of analgesics, affordable health care for pregnant women and children, and people unjustly sentenced to death in our society, paints another picture. The overarching Pro-Life ethos, whether within the womb or without, is just not there.
          That’s why I insist on calling people belonging to that movement “anti-abortion advocates.”

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

          I wonder at the anti-choice proportion in not women, but women who are, right now, able to conceive (participating in a sexual relationship, the right age, no signs of infertility, etc.).

          I’m not saying (necessarily) that they should be the only ones voting, but it would be interesting to know. An anti-choice vote would affect them directly (and they’re the only ones for whom an anti-choice vote could affect directly).

          I wonder what an anonymous survey would say …

        • Surprise123

          Don’t know, Bob. But, I do know at least one “conceivable” conservative Christian woman who is at least open to the idea of keeping abortion legal, at least in the case of horribly diseased fetuses. She’s seen those around her experience multiple devastating miscarriages and give birth to babies with serious genetic problems.
          Only one data point, of course, and not scientific at all, but interesting, nevertheless.

        • purr

          What really sold me on your point was when you typed FUCK and told Kodie to Shut up. Flawless arguing skills.

        • Steve

          People do get irritated when you claim to read their minds.

        • purr

          Yeah, so you got on my case for using a bad word, but then you go ahead and use a bad word AND tell Kodie to STFU

          Hypocrite much?

        • Steve

          I pointed out you were name-calling, which I found pathetic. I used profanity, not name-calling.

        • purr

          Oh, and your behaviour is somehow better?

        • Steve

          Than yours? Yes, but to be honest that is setting the standard incredibly low.

        • purr

          So telling someone to ‘shut up’ is superior to calling them a dipshit?

          lulz

        • Kodie

          You called me a mind-reader, so I would agree with RonPaul2012 – you are a hypocrite. You charged into a tiny part of this thread and read all of our minds and accused us of not acknowledging Norm’s “points”, and then when I said that I already did, your defensive position was but it had to be in the replies to Norm or it doesn’t count.

          You continue to argue a straw man against atheism and not pro-choice, without having read the article or the rest of the thread.

          So thanks for all your help, maybe Norm needs it, but nobody else does.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Yeah, I get a mite irritated too when pro-life men tell me that I don’t actually need the birth control pills I take so that I’m not doubling over in pain for hours each month–that ‘why don’t I just take an extra aspirin’? I also get irritated when I go to the clinic for a pap smear or checkup and i have total strangers telling me that they can ‘save’ my non-existent baby.

        • Kodie

          You assume that I have some bizzare control fantasy (who the FUCK would
          group together and spend millions on a socio-political cause for some
          bizarre control fantasy? that doesn’t even make any sense. I’m sure
          their are more efficient ways to control people)

          I don’t accuse you of having some bizarre control fantasy, just that you can’t see the writing on the wall. When every argument boils down to what a woman should do or should want, and is defined not just by men but other women, on behalf of a thing with the moral equivalence of a jagged toenail and the burden of a life sentence of financial and emotional servitude, you are just a pawn, and the embryo is just a pawn to emotionally hook you. This movement is afraid of women having freedom and power that men assume and enjoy. This movement works to define and degrade women’s roles to submitting to the destiny of having a uterus, and punish them for having any desire to mitigate the eventuality of becoming pregnant.

          Sexism comes in two (at least) forms – the kind where you punish women and put them down directly, and the kind where you think it’s flattering to glorify their sacred responsibility to allow the rest of their life and their future to be determined by a speck that you regard as more important than she is. A speck without feelings. You would step on an ant, you would slaughter a pig, but this speck is emotional to you. Because it has DNA. So does she, asshole.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Just a tad testy there, Steve.

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

          Wait … human development does start with a microscopic baby with arms and legs and eyes and a smile, right? And then it just gets bigger?

        • Kodie

          Within a few days, it already has a heartbeat, and as soon as you can see the eyes and the hands, it’s like a miniature baby with all its parts. Who knows why it needs to incubate much longer than that. I don’t have any idea.

        • Norm Donnan

          Or you could look at a newborn(or a 3yo for that matter) they are still little parasites living off their mothers.

        • purr

          No, because they are not *living inside someone else’s body*

          How many times do we have to explain this to your pea-brained self?

        • Norm Donnan

          You really dont need to explain anything here Ronnie, inside/outside they still only take with nothing to give.

        • Kodie

          Not if they’re aborted.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Any person can take care of a baby once it’s born. But only the woman can be pregnant.

        • purr

          And fyi, when they talk about ‘brainwaves’ at 6 weeks, that’s just the very primitive parts of the brain – like the brain stem – and it means nothing. Just random neuronal firing. Beating heart cadavers can have a functional brain stem, and the neuronal firing will be on the level of a 6 week fetus so yeah…claiming ‘brain activity’ at 6 weeks without talking about what KIND of brain activity it is exactly is misleading…which is the point, I guess.

        • Niemand

          I don’t know of any legitimate, peer reviewed articles that have documented even primitive “brainwaves” in 6 week old embryos. Which is not surprising given that 6 week old embryos don’t have stationary neurons yet. In short, you’re giving them too much credit.

        • purr

          Yeah. They talk that way too about the ‘heart’ when it ‘starts to beat’. At that point, it’s nothing more than a hollow tube…

          But they pretend that since the organs have all *started* to form, that they are *somehow fully formed just smaller versions of a complete brain/etc*

        • Sue Blue

          Yeah, this. Single cardiac muscle cells can “beat” all by themselves. When placed in a petrie dish together, several cells will synchronize their beats. It’s a property of cardiac muscle cells. Nothing miraculous or sacred or unique to human cells about it. It certainly doesn’t signify the beginning of anything other than cell differentiation into more specialized tissue.

        • purr

          I totally forgot about about that. There is so much to learn. I have to keep it all straight.

        • purr

          So I was debating a right winger, who claims to be an embryologist, and he had this to say:

          “”A 13 week fetus unlike a brain dead person certainly has brain wave functions, those brain waves are detectable via positron emission topology almost as soon as the neural tube closes around week 5 by week
          12 a fetus has low level reflexes.

          Now whether or not those waves functions support sentience, that is another question”‘

          “”No, in clinically defined brain death there is no activity in the brain stem. breathing at that point is depended on mechanical ventilation and cardiac functions are independent of neural activity.

          In a 5 week fetus the precursors to delta and beta waves are present they are not “bursts”

          Again I dont pretend to know about sentience. I do believe in person hood at that point though””

          ————–

          He is arguing that brain death is ONLY ever present if the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead, and that these beta delta wave ‘precursors’ are somehow meaningful.

          I was under the impression, from a neuroscientist friend of mine, that the earliest brain waves originated from the brainstem, and that all this ‘brainwaves at 6 weeks’ stuff was not meaningful at all.

          What’s your take on this? Is he talking out of his ass?

          EDIT: turns out the guy is a nurse at a catholic hospital, and a born again xtian

        • Norm Donnan

          All you need to do Bob is look at an 8wo fetus (the vast majority of abortions are between 7-9weeks)and you tell me they are a “clump of cells”.You are simply in denial.

        • purr

          Yeah dude…

          http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls6w7phG8f1qi68z9.jpg

          http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-tools/articles/how-big-is-baby.aspx?MsdVisit=1

          It’s the size of a raspberry at 8 weeks…

          And has very very primitive brain function

          It doesn’t even have limbs, just limb buds, and the head is more alien like than human like

        • Norm Donnan

          Not the 8wo im looking at.

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

          Never said it was. What I said was that the single cell at one end of the spectrum doesn’t have much inherent worth that society must protect. At the other end, the newborn has much inherent worth.

          Do you acknowledge the spectrum?

        • Norm Donnan

          Why does a new born have one bit more “inherent” worth ?
          So is a 3yo more valuable ?How do they compare to the elderly ?or the handicapped,or the unemployed for that matter?

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

          By “inherent,” I’m referring to the worth from a societal standpoint. A parent (or parent-to-be) can assign whatever higher worth they want.

          If you can’t see the fundamental difference between a trillion-cell newborn with arms and legs, eyes and ears, brain and nervous system, stomach and digestive system, heart and circulatory system and a single cell with none of that, then I confess that I don’t have any more ways to illustrate it.

          The difference between a 3yo (or you) and a newborn is negligible compared to that between that newborn and the single cell it came from.

        • fiona64

          They all seem very fond of the (long-ago debunked) homunculus theory of human development, don’t they?

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

          Well, yeah. If you look through a microscope, you’ll see a teeny weeny little person waving at you.

          (Or, at least so I’ve been told.)

          http://scm-l3.technorati.com/11/10/27/55025/zygote.jpg

        • purr

          It’s undressing me with it’s eyes!

        • purr

          Yeah, your motivations ARE anti-woman. When you deign to talk about the woman at all..

          When you do talk about her..it is to remind us that, if she doesn’t want to have the baby because it will destroy her health, and her life, she is just being selfish.

          If she is permanently disabled from the pregnancy…too bad…she spread her legs..

          If she loses her job or gets kicked out of school or ends up homeless and in debt from the pregnancy with huge medical bills well…she shouldn’t have spread her legs!!

          If she thinks that her right not to be permanently injured overrides that of a zygotes right to become baby well then she is a selfish slut! Should have thought about that before spreading her legs!!

          Heck, if she even wants to *survive* the pregnancy, she should have thought about that before having sex! (yeah, there is not a small subset of pro-lifers who believe that women should just DIE from pregnancy, just look at catholic hospitals who refuse to treat women for ectopic pregnancies, or savita halappanavar)

          And look, no one requires that anyone else, especially men, put life, job, and health on the line to save another. ONLY women. Because SHE spread those skanky legs!!!

          And when I often ask pro-life males if they agree that the men should also risk losing their health/life/job to save the fetus they suddenly change their tune and say that to force men to donate organs etc to save the fetus is to objectify men, and that would be wrong!!

          Yet all you pro-lifers do is objectify women, and reduce them to little more than baby factories. And you try to shame women into having the baby by calling them cowards for refusing to destroy their lives, by telling them they are selfish sluts who should ‘accept the consequences of their actions’. All things that you do not demand of a man. You tell them that as women it is their *destiny* to incubate, because women *are* incubators, and incubators better STFU because that’s what they were made for!!

          Yeah, you’re just pro-baby…right.

          I could say the same of a movement that proudly stands upon a mound of shredded flesh and gore.

          Thank you for the histrionics. The average abortion is at roughly 9-10 weeks, and looks like this:

          http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls6w7phG8f1qi68z9.jpg

        • Niemand

          Have you ever listened to a pro-lifer?

          Yep. And talked to them too. And I’ve yet to meet one that expressed concern about embryos and fetuses dying, only about them being “murdered”. Inevitably, at some point in the discussion, the “pro-life” person will blow off miscarriage as “natural” and not worth exploring, while decrying women who take plan B as “murderers”.

          So I’ll ask you: Miscarriage, including failed implantation, is the end result of up to 80% of conceptions. If all concepti are babies, why is this not a public health emergency?

        • Surprise123

          Excellent point: where is all the concern over all those naturally miscarried fertilized ova?
          I also love to ask anti-abortion advocates who feel that the procedure is murder at all stages of development, from the moment of conception to birth, the following question: If abortion is ALWAYS murder, shouldn’t you be advocating that women who have abortions receive the same punishment as murderer of a two-year old toddler, a young person graduating from High School, or a grannie – 20 years in prison, 45 years in prison, a life sentence, the death penalty?

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

        I think the spectrum argument could move people off of the “abortion is murder” position.

        Or are you saying that no intellectual effort is going into this debate from the pro-life side, so don’t bother?

      • http://avengah.wordpress.com Matt Davis

        Read Love, Joy, Feminism’s viral blog post entitled “How I Lost Faith in the Pro-Life Movement”: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html and you’ll understand why it really is anti-woman, not pro-baby.

    • Carmen

      I’m quite enjoying the debate among the men here. Proves the point a bit, no?

      • Norm Donnan

        Not really,this blog has more male followers i would say.Now if you were on Love,Joy,Feminism you would have an amazing female response.

    • fiona64

      I see you still haven’t learned to use words properly. Murder is the unlawful (illegal) taking of a person’s life with malice aforethough. Abortion is legal and therefore not unlawful. A fetus is not a person.

      How many times must I explain this to you, Norm?

      • Norm Donnan

        And I see you still dont get basic truth.
        Why are people put on trial for war crimes when those in charge whether politicians or commanders instructed things to be done?
        This currant state of the world that allows abortion,like used to condone slavery is unlawful against the most basic laws of nature and God.
        Oh and if a murderer feels no”malice aforethought “,and goes on happily with their life,can the be charged with murder?

        • purr

          Did you know that rape and the forced pregnancy that results IS a war crime?

          Did you know that forced pregnancy WAS integral to slavery?

          Anyways, you are talking out of your ass as usual, because for all of the bluster about how abortion is SLAVERY, abortion is MURDER, abortion is NAZIS, you wont put your money where your big fat mouth is and tell us that women should be hanged by the neck until dead like Nazi war criminals. Instead you just spout off some worthless platitudes about forgiveness by God.

          We all know you wouldn’t say that a woman should be ‘forgiven’ for dismembering her 5 year old. It’s clear that you don’t really believe that embryos are people, and that you are just talking out of your ass as usual and using any shitty argument that you can find to back up your non-existent logic on the subject.

          Lastly, it isn’t lost on *any* of us that you are incapable of answering inconvenient questions when they are asked of you.

          Try arguing honestly for a change, and like an adult, and maybe you’ll get more respect around here, pumpkin.

        • Norm Donnan

          Kiss my curvy butt Def.
          Ask a worthwhile question like an adult instead of a 16yo schoolboy and I might be bothered looking your way.
          Your respect is irrelevant to me.

        • purr

          It *is* worthwhile. We are talking about what makes human life valuable. This is what the entire abortion debate is centered around. And this is a thought experiment that will enable us to get closer to the truth.

          I can’t help but notice that every time that I have asked you to take part in a thought experiment, or to answer a question that is inconvenient that you stamp your little feet and throw a temper tantrum like a spoiled 2 year old.

          Are you interested in honest intellectual debate Norm? Are you interested in challenging your beliefs and strengthening your logic? Or do you just want to be coddled like a widdle baby? (I am guessing the latter, but feel free to prove me wrong, and man up and answer the question).

        • Kodie

          You are not at peace unless you are terrorizing women to feel the way you want them to feel. “Forgiven”? Forgiven by whom? You love it when women have abortions and then feel distressed over it, so you can congratulate yourself that your messages are getting through. You love it so you can say “women are emotional”. You don’t like it when women have abortions and feel great. You want them to feel shame and horror, you want them to feel punished, so you can cure them with forgiveness. http://bastardlogic.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/asshole.png%3Fw%3D479

        • Norm Donnan

          Getting a little emotional there K,I can imagine you spitting while you say this rant,the dutch side is showing through,settle petal.

        • purr

          At least she doesn’t throw temper tantrums like a developmentally disabled toddler I know named Norm Doonan:P

          You do know that we all mock you, right? That everyone thinks you’re kind of sloooow, right?

        • Kodie

          So, your answer is that you think I’m being emotional? That just nails it. You hate women, and you think I should be nicer to you, since you hate women all the time, and you want them to feel bad, so you can feel righteous. Read the sign again.

        • Norm Donnan

          Your def an emotional roller coaster Kodes,but hey,we are who we are.
          I love women(1 in particular who is awesome,often a real pain in the arse with dutch heritage too boot)but yes I would rather you were nicer,sorry if what i argue makes you feel bad but thats something you need to own up to yourself with truth and honesty.The church is full of pimps and prostitutes who know the love of God,Im one of them who is here only by the grace of God so it could be easy for you.

        • Kodie

          Do you listen to yourself? First you want to pat me on the head, then you want to proselytize? Condescending to women, infantilizing them, belittling them, and pretending to be in complete admiration of them while keeping them under control is a major and prevalent form of sexism.

          However, I address repeatedly your problem where you accuse women of their circumstances, and seek to shame them into regrets over things they should have no regrets over, so they fit into your worldview and prop your beliefs and justify your insistent intrusions into their business…. you have the gall to come back to me with an advertisement for god. IRRELEVANT. Your testimony is irrelevant. Being religious has made you a worse person (I’m half sure). What do you keep patting me on the head, it’s irrelevant! And super fucking annoying and belittling, all the qualities I already know about you. You hate women.

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

          Hey–he didn’t call you “little lady.” What are you complaining about?

        • Norm Donnan

          To me its quite simple,a woman is pregnant,”with child” they often say.You want the right to kill said child,I say no.
          Calling it condesending,control,sexism or slavery is irrelevant to me,I love children,I love women,I love people.End of story

        • purr

          If you loved women you would not:

          1) belittle them when they disagree with you

          2) consider them to be of less value than a single cell

          You honestly believe, in your heart of hearts, that Kodie is of less value than a microscopic single celled organism, don’t you?

        • Norm Donnan

          Def ,mate your being a dick

        • purr

          I am? Then here’s an idea:

          1) Don’t belittle women and talk down to them simply because they don’t have a penis like you do

          2) Answer questions honestly, instead of insulting people because you don’t have an answer

          Ez PZ!

        • purr

          You are neither truthful nor honest Mr I am too cowardly to answer difficult questions. Clean up your own backyard before you criticize others.

        • MNb

          “against the most basic laws of … God.”
          Sorry for your god. I don’t give a Surinamese dollar for the laws of your god, including the most basic ones.

          As for the most basic laws of nature:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy
          You keep on failing to deliver, Norm.

        • Norm Donnan

          Or you fail to understand the most basic principals :)

        • MNb

          Yeah, it’s completely impossible to understand the so called most basic principles of your god and to reject them.
          You’re silly.

        • fiona64

          My favorite principal was Mr. Flenner, in my elementary school.

          Perhaps you meant principles?

        • Norm Donnan

          Yes your right Fi but you really need to get a job,you have too much time on your hands.

        • fiona64

          You’re such a cute little chauvinist pig, Normie …

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

          That would be a chauvanist piglet.

        • purr

          You talk down to women whose IQ’s are twice what yours is. And you feel that you have a right to belittle them because you have a penis and they do not. Ponder that, if you have the brain cells.

        • fiona64

          Norm, sweetie, the reason that not all homicides are murders is that sometimes there is no malice aforethought. That’s why we have charges like manslaughter.

          And even with manslaughter, there must be an actual born *person* involved for the charge to work.

          Abortion has been going on since the beginning of recorded time, Norm. And if you want to bring your personal version of God into it, I suggest you hustle your arse back to the Bible and read Numbers 5, in which a woman is forced to consume an abortifacient as a test of her fidelity.

          Go back to slapping paint on houses; you’re far more qualified to do that than discuss medicine, law, or even your own religion, that’s for sure.

  • purr

    So I was reading a right-wing-nut blog the other day, and someone made *this* argument against abortion:

    “”In his autobiography-of-sorts Ecce Homo, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:

    ‘Emancipation of woman’ – this is the instinctual hatred of the botched,
    i.e. infertile woman against the woman who turned out well – the
    struggle against ‘men’ is always just a means, a pretext, a tactic. By
    raising themselves up – as ‘woman in herself’, as ‘higher woman’, as ‘idealist’ of a woman – they want to bring down to the general level of woman’s standing: nothing is more guaranteed to achieve this than high-school education, trousers, and the right to vote like political cattle. The emancipated ones are basically the anarchists in the world of the ‘eternal feminine’, the ones who turned out badly, whose nethermost instinct is for revenge.’

    “” Whatever else Nietzsche might have been right or wrong about, I think he has gone a long ways here towards explaining feminism and its demand that women be allowed to kill their children so that they can be free to act like men.””

    ——————

    ^Yeah, not like it’s about controlling women at all, eh guys? And I love how he chose an anti-woman’s suffrage quote by Nietzsche to prove his point.

    • http://batman-news.com Anton

      “I say unto you: ye have chaos yet within you. And incidentally, ye have to have an invasive ultrasound before ye can abort the chaos.”

  • Niemand

    I’ve made this suggestion before, possibly here, but since it’s on topic I’ll make it again: I have an idea of how men could have a fair–well, fairish–right to make pronouncements about abortion:

    First, we set up a registry. Any man who wants abortion to be illegal can register his opinion there. If more than 50% of men register, then abortion becomes illegal. However, each time a woman becomes pregnant and experiences a side effect–be it pregnancy related nausea or death–one man in the registry is randomly selected and the same effect is simulated in him. That is, if she gets nausea, he takes a little of a pro-emetic drug, maybe a little low dose chemotherapy, to simulate the effect, titrated to the same level of nausea, of course. If she becomes anemic, he gives blood until he has a similar level of anemia. He is forbidden to take any medical treatment that is forbidden to pregnant women and is not allowed to smoke, drink, or eat raw milk products. And so on. Up to and including, if she dies he is executed in a manner simulating her death.

    Men can leave the registry at any time except after they have been chosen as a match to a pregnant woman. He is not allowed to change his mind and withdraw at that point until she delivers. And, of course, if too many men leave then abortion becomes legal again.

    So, how about it, men? How many of you are willing to put your lives on the lines for “babies”? How many of you are willing to do what you are gleefully forcing women to do?

    • Miss_Beara

      Someone needs to write a novel with this concept.

      • Niemand

        That’s a thought…I’m deeply disappointed though: No rush of pro-life men saying that they’d immediately sign up for such a registry. Almost as though they don’t want to risk their own lives (small a risk though it would be) and comfort (big risk there-few pregnancies are actually comfortable) for “babies”.

        • MNb

          To your comfort: in my personal life I am (was) against abortion. As one consequence I had vasectomy some 15 years ago. And yes, I probably would have been willing to go through my ex-wifes suffering during her pregnancy for my son. In any case I have changed more stinking diapers than I like to remember. After our divorce I raised him.
          But I don’t count as I don’t want to force my views on other people (and no Kodie, this doesn’t mean I see or saw my ex-wife as non-human). Thus I think abortion must be legal.

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

          Works for me. Thanks for the insights.

        • Niemand

          I see your position as a fairly classical ethical pro-life position: taking steps to reduce your personal risk of being involved in an unwanted pregnancy without forcing your views or acts on anyone else.

    • MNb

      Fun idea, but in my eyes it’s still wrong to punish women if the majority of men are stupid assholes. Not that it will be a problem in practice though – never will you find 50% to register. That’s your point of course.

  • Theo

    I like this post, but I’m unsure how appropriate it is to have a trans man with a wanted baby as the picture of this piece. It seems inappropriate to do. I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make with the picture, but its pairing with this article makes me distinctly uncomfortable. Maybe you could explain why you chose it.

    • Kodie

      That’s not what it is:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/tsand/3390475468/

      Gestational Surrogate

      Many of you will ask WHY? And this is my only reason:

      @benkunz: I’m really digging this phrase: *gestational surrogate.* Gonna try to work it in to conversation today.

      @tsand: @benkunz Once, back in college, I attempted to be a gestational surrogate. Turns out, I’m not qualified.

      @benkunz: I was thinking of hiring @tsand to be my gestational surrogate, but I fear he may just photoshop in the baby.

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

      It’s not a trans man. It’s a pregnant cis man.

      You say that’s impossible? That’s the point. When it is possible, perhaps men will have more warrant to weigh in.

      • Niemand

        Well, it might be possible. Might. There are examples of ectopic pregnancies where the pregnancy implants on the intestinal lining and can be brought to term and delivered by c-section. Men have intestinal lining. One could try implanting a fertilized egg there, giving some hormonal manipulation and maybe being able to deliver the man 9 months or so later. Maybe. Assuming that the metabolic load, immunosuppression, and hypercoaguability didn’t kill him first. I’d worry about the restrictive lung disease too, though maybe given the slow progression of it from pregnancy that would be ok. But if it worked, that would be another way to “rescue” “snowflake babies” who are at risk of dying in liquid nitrogen (which doesn’t preserve embryos forever). Yet, once again, no “pro-life” men are seem willing to volunteer for such an experiment and I’ve yet to see a wealthy “pro-life” man like, say, the founder of Domino’s, offer to fund such an experiment. Again, almost as though “saving babies” wasn’t really their first priority…

    • purr

      I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make with the picture

      masturbation

    • Jennifer Starr

      Why exactly is it inappropriate?

  • SteveP

    Bernard Nathanson, MD, the obstetrician involved in the Roe v Wade. Admitted to performing 60,000 abortions did an about face & called abortion murder. A pro-choice man became a pro-life activist.
    Here’s more info for your consideration (rather than copy & paste), see
    http://www.abort73.com/abortion/medical_testimony/

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

      OK, but what are you saying with this? This isn’t an argument.

      If you want to argue that abortion is wrong, go for it, but you need to give arguments and reasons. I suggest that you start with my rebuttal of arguments against choice. Or my spectrum argument.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Yes, we know about Bernard Nathanson, and have for some time. Your point?

  • Janine Doe

    I have seen this assumption made a lot: “Look at the pro-life lineup of speakers and authors, and you’ll see far more men than women.” Do you have any actual studies about gendered differences in the pro-life movement? The entire article rests on the assumption that this first line is true, and I am not convinced it is true at all. And I won’t accept cherry-picked pro-life faces as evidence because that is not evidence– it is cherry picking.

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

      No, I have seen no quantitative analysis of the impact of men vs. women within the pro-life movement.

      You’re pretty certain that it’s not true? Or what?

      • Janine Doe

        I doubt the claim because I have not been given any reason to believe the claim. I don’t think it’s helpful for any movement to make claims without evidence. What would be more worthwhile, I think, would be to actually do some research. According to Gallup polls, there is no significant gendered difference between pro-choice and pro-life supporters, so I don’t understand why there would be a mostly male “face” for the pro-life movement. It is possible that your own biases simply make you more aware of the male pro-lifers. It is also possible that there really are a greater number of prominent male figures in the pro-life movement. But we shouldn’t just assume the answer before looking at the facts. There are three main questions that need to be answered: (1) who are the biggest names in the pro-life movement? (2) of those people, how many are male & how many are female? (3) why is the gender make-up as it is for this specific group? what does the gender make-up of the pro-life’s biggest names tell us about the pro-life movement?

        We might ask similar questions about the pro-choice side.

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

          I don’t understand why there would be a mostly male “face” for the pro-life movement.

          The 50/50 gender split in the population and the set of voters is pretty much inherent. No similar constraints exist on the pundits.

          It is possible that your own biases simply make you more aware of the male pro-lifers.

          I think the gender disparity in talking heads is widely felt on all sides of the issue. Yes, it would be nice to put some numbers to that feeling. No, I don’t think that’s mandatory to talk about men’s role in speaking on the issue.

        • Janine Doe

          I get where you are coming from, but it would make your argument much more persuasive if you based it off of research and facts instead of assumptions and feelings.

          Based on your publication history, I would think you would appreciate a good argument based on research. A claim without evidence is empty and unpersuasive.

        • purr

          “”For the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), it was a good day in the U.S. House of Representatives, when the all-male Subcommittee on the Constitution gave the bishops’ current top lobbyist
          and former anti-choice spokesperson the chance to express their support on Thursday for a sweeping anti-abortion bill that would, among other obstructionist measures, single out for tax penalties women who exercised their Constitutional right to end a pregnancy.””

          “”Forbidden to testify, despite the request of ranking member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), was Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in the House. Because HR 7 would permanently bar
          the district from using revenue collected through local, not federal, taxes to fund abortions for poor women (an option that remains open to the states), Norton had asked to address the committee for five minutes.
          Instead, she was left to sit in the audience while the men on the committee argued over whether House rules permit her testimony.”

          ————-

          Thankfully it was a majority of men who were tasked with making this decision, and that woman was not allowed to testify in opposition to the bill.

          http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/01/09/catholic-bishops-allies-dominate-hearing-on-sweeping-anti-choice-bill/

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

          Sounds like we’re on the same page. If you come across any such research or even commentary, let me know.

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

          What does “pro-life” even mean? Some people are pro-life personally but want Roe to stand. But if you’re interested in stats, I’ve included one below.

          But back to the point: I’m looking for the face of the pro-life movement. Seems to me that it’s more male than female. Your article is about the person on the street. That’s important information, but it’s irrelevant for this issue.

          http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BU717_ROEVWA_G_20130121173011.jpg

    • Frankie Addiego

      Gee, no one here but us 67-year-old men. Oh wait.

      http://www.lifenews.com/about/

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

        Ouch! Got me!

        Oh wait. I wasn’t saying that there were no women in the conversation. My bad.

  • Frankie Addiego

    1) This lame argument is fighting imagined sexism with real sexism. Honestly, it’s like saying a blind citizen has no right to weigh in on putting in a traffic light at an intersection or raising/lowering the speed limit because they can’t drive. I know self-effacing males think saying this absolves you of the sin of sexism, but no not really.

    2) There are plenty of women “advancing the pro-life position.” I mean, there’s almost as many female writers on Lifenews.com and if you actually get a load of a pro-life rally, there’s often lots of women. This story shows polls showing there are many women who are pro-life, and there’s a growing number of women who, yes, have had abortions, and later became pro-lifers.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2013/11/04/polling-data-consistently-shows-women-are-pro-life-on-abortion/

    3) I like how you keep calling those of us who believe in the fundamental right to life as “apologists,” when you’re the ones who have spent 40 years trying to… sorry, 41 years… trying to turn a wrong into a right.

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

      it’s like saying a blind citizen has no right to weigh in on putting in a traffic light at an intersection or raising/lowering the speed limit because they can’t drive.

      Perhaps you should read the post? I said, “I’m not saying that men should be silent, but …”

      There are plenty of women “advancing the pro-life position.”

      You’re right. I said, “Look at the pro-life lineup of speakers and authors, and you’ll see far more men than women.” You’re saying that the public face of the pro-life movement is not predominantly men? That surprises me, but I have no study to back up my position. With your obvious energy for the subject, perhaps you have more.

      I like how you keep calling those of us who believe in the fundamental right to life as “apologists,”

      Did I? Where was this?

      The podcast I referred to was by Greg Koukl. He’s a professional Christian apologist. So I thought I’d, y’know, address him by his title.

      trying to turn a wrong into a right.

      Sounds like you can see the holes in my argument. Make these errors clear to those of us too blind to see.

      • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

        “You’re saying that the public face of the pro-life movement is not predominantly men? That surprises me, but I have no study to back up my position.”

        I’ve been watching this debate for a while, and couldn’t help but be struck by the disconnect between this admission of yours and how much you invest in a line of argument predicated on basically no evidence. So if I may interject, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling some illuminating facts on the subject: http://liveactionnews.org/pro-aborts-love-women-so-much-they-pretend-not-to-see-them-when-theyre-pro-life/

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

          how much you invest in a line of argument predicated on basically no evidence.

          If you read the post, you’ll see that the position that I’m investing in is a plea to men to have a little more humility on a subject that they will inherently never fully understand. Does that sound reasonable?

          On the question of the male face of the pro-life movement (or not), that’s certainly my impression. It’s not yours, you say? Great–then show me the evidence. Help me avoid embarrassing myself by making the facts clear.

          I had high hopes for your blog post, but they didn’t last long. First, you list lots of women pro-life bloggers and leaders. Not surprising, but this doesn’t help me see that the face of the pro-life movement is predominantly female.

          Next, it’s on to show that the typical pro-life citizen is about as likely to be female as male. Not surprising, but this doesn’t help me see that the face of the pro-life movement is predominantly female.

          Finally, a look at pro-life politicians, which you seem to admit are mostly men. This also doesn’t help me see that the face of the pro-life movement is predominantly female.

          Did I miss something in that post? If so, point that out.

          I’ll repeat: if my perception is wrong, correct me so I avoid saying that in the future. However, you’ve done nothing so far to point out the error.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          a plea to men to have a little more humility on a subject that they will inherently never fully understand.

          I grant that men will never fully understand the experience of pregnancy, but (a) your “reasonable” plea condescendingly implies that pro-life men aren’t already sufficiently sensitive to that fact — which is also a claim you give no evidence for — and (b) just because a man can’t fully understand the experience of pregnancy is doesn’t mean a man can’t fully understand the rights of the unborn or the injustice of abortion. For more, see my Part 2: http://liveactionnews.org/dismantling-the-excuses-for-shaming-men-out-of-the-abortion-debate/

          that’s certainly my impression. It’s not yours, you say? Great–then show me the evidence.

          Wait a minute. You’re the one to make the claim, construct an entire critique around it, and spend hundreds of comments defending it, but that claim has no burden of proof? You have no obligation to back it up? Is “it’s my impression” now a get-out-of-jail-free card for any accusation somebody wants to make? I promise you, my editors at Live Action wouldn’t let any of us get away with that. I thought atheists were all supposed to be about facts and truth, but to you they seem like afterthoughts.

          As for your “high hopes”: I listed off my own website – one of the most popular pro-life blogs on the web – and showed that it was female-led (by a woman whose frequency on TV certainly qualifies her as one of the movement’s “faces”), plus that women clearly outnumber the men.

          I showed that women lead nearly every major national pro-life organization — y’know, the groups that set priorities and agendas, lobby and rate lawmakers, organize activists and messaging, et cetera — yet for some reason, you don’t consider them “the face.”

          I list various high-profile pro-life activists and commentators, also regulars on the cable news circuit, many of whom are more popular than their male colleagues — yet apparently you don’t consider them “the face,” either.

          I point out that the actual body of the pro-life movement has just as many women as men — yet you recognize no implications of that for “the face.”

          I point out that the male dominance in elected office is more a function of incumbency than pro-life failing, and that many in the GOP establishment said incumbents answer to would just as soon see pro-lifers disappear — yet you see no significance in that for your “impression” either.

          It seems the entirety of your defense consists of being intentionally vague about what counts as “the face” of the movement. Mighty suspicious for a man who supposedly values objectivity……so it’s time to put up or shut up: what’s “the face” of the pro-life movement, and what about it outweighs justifies your desire to ignore the fact that the pro-life movement’s leadership and membership aren’t even close to what you describe?

          “Why is it Always Men Advancing the Pro-Life Position?” you ask. As I showed, it isn’t. Even close.

          “pro-life lineup of speakers and authors, and you’ll see far more men than women.’ I don’t. It’s not my impression. At all.

          “I would prefer to see participants in the conversation in proportion to how it impacts their lives directly.” Well, I showed you. But you seem not to care.

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

          your “reasonable” plea condescendingly implies that pro-life men aren’t already sufficiently sensitive to that fact

          I’ll know that they’re sufficiently sensitive when I see their anti-choice demands peppered with caveats like, “OK, I’ll grant you that this will likely completely and irrevocably change the life of this young woman.”

          When they start with clear evidence that they understand the situation they’re imposing, I’ll have more respect for their position. Until that time, what else can I suspect but that they don’t get it?

          just because a man can’t fully understand the experience of pregnancy is doesn’t mean a man can’t fully understand the rights of the unborn or the injustice of abortion.

          High five–that’s precisely what I said in the post above. But you’ll already know that.

          You’re the one to make the claim, construct an entire critique around it, and spend hundreds of comments defending it, but that claim has no burden of proof?

          Apparently. And apparently that burden only applies to me. You get to argue the opposite claim without evidence.

          Is “it’s my impression” now a get-out-of-jail-free card for any accusation somebody wants to make?

          ?? Show me how we’re not on the same page here or that you’re saying anything interesting.

          I say that this seems obvious to me. But I have no studies/surveys to back it up. You say that I’m wrong? Cool—show me the evidence.

          What’s that? You say you don’t have any? OK—we can still have a conversation, but you might want to get off your high horse if you don’t have study results either.

          I thought atheists were all supposed to be about facts and truth, but to you they seem like afterthoughts.

          Nope. No atheists care about facts or truth.

          I listed off my own website

          Do I just gotta repeat my challenge? You’re repeating the same anecdotes that didn’t make your case before.

          Your claim is that the public face of the pro-life movement (pundits, bloggers, columnists, politicians, and the like) is predominantly female. And, heck—you could be right. But you’re not doing much of a job in making your case.

          I showed that women lead nearly every major national pro-life organization

          OK—I missed that. I thought you simply listed women in pro-life organizations. Where’s the ranked survey?

          I list various high-profile pro-life activists and commentators

          Where’s the survey?? Yeah, you’ve got anecdotes. Great. That doesn’t make your case.

          I point out that the male dominance in elected office is more a function of incumbency than pro-life failing

          And this makes your case how, exactly? Don’t give me an excuse, show me that the public face of the movement is mostly female.

          Remember your challenge to me: “It truly is remarkable to see how much pro-choice thought consists of pure fabrication.” Your response has been to say, “Well, look—there’s lots of women over here. And don’t forget the ones over there.” Yes, granted, but you do see that this doesn’t make your case, right?

          It seems the entirety of your defense consists of being intentionally vague about what counts as “the face” of the movement.

          Have I made it clear enough now? No, I’m not talking about the mix of the pro-life citizenry. No, you don’t make your case by listing female names in power.

          ignore the fact that the pro-life movement’s leadership and membership aren’t even close to what you describe?

          (1) You’ve not made your case about the leadership. That’s what I’m waiting for. (I fear that it’s not coming.)

          (2) I’m not talking about the membership.

          It’s not my impression. At all.

          Oh dear. You’ve sunk to my level, talking just about impressions.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Sadly, your response consist almost entirely of lying about the evidence I gave you and continuing to hide behind the farce that none of it constitutes “the face” of the pro-life movement — which you still refuse to define. These tell me all I need to know about you, and prove that no matter how many hours I toiled over compiling more and more evidence, custom-tailoring it to satisfy your moving goalposts would be a waste. You’d just fabricate a new lie about us, move the goalposts somewhere else, conjure up an even sillier excuse for why it “doesn’t count.”

          All you’ve proven here is that ethics play no role in your analysis, and that you really don’t care whether anything you say is true, just that it’s a useful part of your chosen narrative — your pro-choice mythology. I trust whatever objective readers happen across this comment thread to judge the evidence for themselves.

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

          your response consist almost entirely of lying about the evidence I gave you and continuing to hide behind the farce that none of it constitutes “the face” of the pro-life movement — which you still refuse to define.

          Wow—judge, jury, and executioner, aren’t you? The lying sounds a bit harsh—but I’m sure you’ve considered and rejected all other possibilities and this is all that’s left. I’ll just have to live with this harsh truth.

          I guess I was expecting more of a point-by-point response so that I could see precisely where I made my error(s). But no, just a clear statement of my conviction. Thank you.

          Naturally, my first inclination is to respond to your concerns, but that would be simply repeating what I said last time, and I’m certain that you’ve already given them whatever weight they deserved (not much, probably).

          Ah well, perhaps I’ll have another go. I’ve wasted this much time, what’s a few more minutes, right?

          We’ve established long ago that I don’t have a survey to support my claim. It’s instead an impression that I’ve gotten and that I’ve heard from many others. Since you were outraged at the claim, I felt sure that you did have the survey data to support the opposite contention. Sadly, I was disappointed. You have just anecdote.

          Yes, I can see that there are women in leadership positions. That is compelling evidence that the public face of the pro-life movement (pundits, bloggers, columnists, politicians, and the like) is not 100% male, but it doesn’t show us that it is predominantly female, which was your goal.

          And you say that you have no idea what the topic is? I’m amazed that you spent this much time here. The topic is given in the previous paragraph, though I’m sure that’s much too late.

          Hey, I know what would be fun! You and I should discuss the abortion question itself. I’m sure we’ll make lots of progress.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          And you say that you have no idea what the topic is?

          See, it’s absurd misrepresentations of my words like this that convince me you’re not worth my time. I attribute it to intentional dishonesty on your part because I find it implausible that you could really be stupid enough to not comprehend my words. And because of your insistence on groundlessly presuming male pro-lifers guilty until proven innocent on our sensitivity to pregnant women unless we preemptively bend over backwards to appease your prejudices about us.

          Because you’ve repeatedly proven to me your responses will not work from accurate depictions of my points, I have no basis to expect a productive debate.

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

          you’re not worth my time.

          Excellent!

          I attribute it to intentional dishonesty on your part because I find it implausible that you could really be stupid enough to not comprehend my words.

          You give me far too much credit. There’s been no intentional lying on my part. I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and accept that I’m stupid, since that is the only conceivable alternative. Thank you for bringing this harsh truth to my attention.

          And because of your insistence on groundlessly presuming male pro-lifers guilty until proven innocent on our sensitivity to pregnant women unless we preemptively bend over backwards to appease your prejudices about us.

          Yeah, see, this is the problem. You dig in your heels and dismiss my points completely. There’s not a scrap of anything of value in them, and you just flush them down the toilet.

          One explanation for this, of course, is that they do indeed have absolutely nothing of value in them. Nothing to learn; nothing even to consider, evaluate, and then dismiss with good reasons.

          The other explanation is that you’re determined to find nothing of value, whether there is or not.

          I have no basis to expect a productive debate.

          And I’m certain that we won’t have a productive debate.

        • purr

          You’re doing great Calvin.

          You get a gold star! Well done!

          http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PPyV0MNCjAM/SwTdDvH-g5I/AAAAAAAAASk/ATbMRsNFgs0/s400/goldstar.jpg

          BTW, if you really enjoyed honest debate, you wouldn’t have banned most of RH Reality Check from LiveActionNews and then complained about how we are all too wimpy to come debate you:P

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          That’s the revisionist history you cultists have settled on? Yawn. Somehow, I’m not terribly inclined to take seriously the complaints of someone who insinuates that I think of women as “bitches.”

          The correlation between murder apologists and the complete absence of anything resembling honesty remains as strong as ever.

        • purr

          That’s the revisionist history you cultists have settled on?

          Yeah? Is that why Jennifer tried to comment the other day to find out that she is *still* banned from 6 months ago?

          Somehow, I’m not terribly inclined to take seriously the complaints of someone who insinuates that I think of women as “bitches.”

          My bad. I apologise. Perhaps you just think of them as subhuman incubators?

          Calvin wrote:

          I’m sorry guys can’t get pregnant, but your quarrel is with biology, not some patriarchal boogeyman. The fact that liberals have devolved feminism into a perpetual temper tantrum about nature’s unequal distribution of reproductive processes isn’t a good enough reason to ignore the unborn life at stake

          Yeah. And we can’t *ever* stop biological processes, now can we? Heart attack – too bad, no health care for you, your quarrel is with biology! Mosquito biting you! Too bad, you can’t swat it off, that’s biology in action!

          And quite cute, how you equate the struggle for equal rights to a tempter tantrum. Tell me, do you also think that gay people are guilty of wanting ‘special treatment’ as well?

          The more I think about it, ‘bitches’ does indeed sum up your attitude towards women.

          The correlation between murder apologists and the complete absence of anything resembling honesty remains as strong as ever.

          So If abortion is murder, what should the penalty be for women who kill their unborn babies? Life in prison? 30 years?

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Ah, the indignant anger of a fanatic, on full display……

        • purr

          That the best you can do?

          Aw well then, because you’ve been trying so hard…

          I will give you a kitty dressed as a fairy this time…for your thoughts:)

          http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/16000000/Cute-Kitten-Wallpaper-kittens-16094693-1280-800.jpg

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Not the best I can do, but the most you’re worth. (Hint: I don’t waste time trying to enlighten the Stormfront crowd for pretty much the same reasons.)

        • Kodie

          You don’t have anything enlightening to say. Why do you delete posts on your site that disagree with you? Because you’re so obviously right? You know you can’t delete the rest of the internet, don’t you?

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Why do you delete posts on your site that disagree with you?

          I don’t. I’ve never made “disagreeing” with me grounds for deletion or banning — as anyone who actually follows LAN comment threads would know from seeing how we let clowns like Sharon and Wendy blather on.

          Every banning has been for gratuitous profanity, advocating violence (that is, other than the violence you all advocate toward the unborn), or repeated instances of specific, intentional dishonesty, usually in the form of a malicious personal smear against another commenter. I know that’s not the spin you’ll get from a sham like Defamate, but it’s the truth.

        • Jennifer Starr

          You’ll delete most posts that carry facts that don’t fit your particular opinions, like you did with Fiona64 and with Defamate as well. They didn’t do any of the things listed above on your board. And neither did I.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          You’re lying, and I’m not going to waste time pretending you, Fiona, and Defamate don’t know it, but on the remote chance any reasonably intelligent, intellectually honest readers happen across this thread and want to decide for themselves, I trust them to judge the actual conversations competently and accurately:

          http://liveactionnews.org/the-ten-dumbest-things-said-in-defense-of-abortion/
          http://liveactionnews.org/rh-reality-check-we-need-abortion-because-pregnancy-makes-you-fat/

          Give my regards to the rest of the babykiller brigade at RHRC.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Yes, I remember the threads. And I don’t see anything by any one of us that violates the TOS as you’ve stated them.

        • fiona64

          No, Calvin. YOU are the liar here. You delete fact-based posts that don’t fit into your little echo chamber, and then pretend that the people you’ve banned have “run away like cowards” (your exact words about me when someone said something about me not replying). You are the real coward here, because you don’t want anyone to post something that makes you look like the dishonest poltroon that you so clearly are.

          And no TOS violations in either of those threads. You’ve just proved OUR point, not yours.

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          “Give my regards to the rest of the babykiller brigade at RHRC.” Do it yourself!

        • fiona64

          I’ve never made “disagreeing” with me grounds for deletion or banning

          Liar.

        • Jennifer Starr

          I was banned from LifeSiteNews within the span of about an hour and a half, all but two of my posts deleted and unable to post any more. I posted nothing with profanity, nothing that advocated violence, and no malicious personal smears. In fact, I was very civil and I got more than a few upvotes, yet they still banned me.

        • purr

          Every banning has been for gratuitous profanity, advocating violence (that is, other than the violence you all advocate toward the unborn), or repeated instances of specific, intentional dishonesty, usually in the form of a malicious personal smear against another commenter.

          So far, you have accused me of being a:

          Liar

          Fanatic

          Murder apologist

          + Godwin

          So, let’s look at the kind of comments that you do condone on your site, from your regular commenters:

          As an aside, while it might be spiteful and totally a personal attack…

          Anyone else look at Sharon’s picture, and have to look at it a few times to make a distinction between which is her and which is the dog?

          Maybe it’s just me.

          ———–

          Honestly, based on his argument and how it’s been lambasted, I’m just going to call him Sideshow Bob from now on. Seems appropriate.

          http://liveactionnews.org/female-law-professor-testifies-abortions-not-a-social-good-worth-taxpayer-funds/#comment-1211732511

          http://liveactionnews.org/pro-aborts-love-women-so-much-they-pretend-not-to-see-them-when-theyre-pro-life/#comment-1208759340

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          Or if we don’t agree with you “Mr. man.” I see how this works.

        • purr

          Malicious personal smears again! This time, directed at Bob, for merely presenting his argument! And look at how nice Bob has been to you – on his blog and LAN.

          Let’s review shall we?

          Calvin wrote:

          Good grief, Bob. You argue like a four-year old. And an awfully self-entitled one at that.

          It seems I’m STILL over-estimating your reading comprehension and critical-thinking skills.

          Actually, I was more inclined to attribute your evasions and misreadings to willful deceptiveness, but I admit, the more you talk, the more plausible stupidity becomes.

          It’s like talking to a brick wall. A snotty, arrogant brick wall with a worldview he has no idea is incredibly sheltered.

          Bob’s response to you:

          Yep, we’re quickly reached the inevitable condescension phase. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect it quite so fast. No chance for reasoned debate now.

          If you or any of the lurkers ever want to have a civil debate (with astupid adversary), drop by Cross Examined and we can try again. This isn’t one.

          Bye. (You can declare victory now.)

          http://liveactionnews.org/smashing-the-spectrum-of-preborn-personhood-denial/#comment-1223015129

          Yeah. Bob’s the asshole. Bob has treated you with nothing but respect – and all you have done is talk down to him and accuse him of being a dishonest, stupid, arrogant, snotty brick wall!

          So you flagrantly violate your own terms of service, all because Bob had the temerity to disagree with you?

          Glass houses bro, glass houses.

          Gonna ban him next? That will really show him, and anyone who happens across this post!

          Keep up the good work Calvin, the moral high ground needs you!

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

          Much appreciated! I guess they’re determined to shout off any opposing opinions.

          It must be cool being like Calvin, y’know, being clairvoyant and all.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          I’m gonna make this real simple for you, one more time: when I called out your smear about me thinking of women as “bitches,” that should have been an extremely low bar for a fair-minded person to clear. Had you admitted you were wrong, it would have opened up the possibility that I misjudged you on LAN. (Same if any of your RHRC pals had the decency to recognize that you crossed a line.)

          But you were the one who chose to make up an absurd and malicious excuse for your pathetic smear. That told me more than enough about the content of your character. That told me you’d never accept responsibility for your lies and smears and hatred no matter how overwhelmingly I exposed it, that you’d choose to misrepresent any and every interaction I’m involved in from here on out.

          So by all means, have fun posturing with your fellow hypocrites about your pretend high-ground. But if you think any of that posturing is actually changing minds, think again.

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

          Hey, it’s great to hear from you again, Calvin.

          One of these days you must give me the reason for the hope that is in you. I’ve seen your gentle Christian love in action at LAN, and I gotta get me some of that. This Christ fellow that you’re following must be a powerful role model to have shaped you into the gentle and loving leader you are. “Winsome” doesn’t begin to describe it.

          So by all means, have fun posturing with your fellow hypocrites about your pretend high-ground.

          Totally! Don’t you hate it when people do that?

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          Why would anyone take YOU seriously? Your voice exists in the echo chamber of anti-choice forced-birthers fanatics at LAN.

        • Lindsey Leigh Phillips

          Freakburger speaks!

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

          I appreciate criticism that shows flaws in my arguments. We struck out on this exchange, but perhaps we’ll have better luck next time with another topic and a clean slate.

        • Jennifer Starr

          It’s rather strange how you would link a photo of a kitten with a hate group like Stormfront. Incidentally, I donate money to the SPLC.

        • purr
        • Jennifer Starr

          Good Lord, but that’s disturbing.

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

          Rule 35: if it exists, there is a Godwin’s Law version of it??

        • purr

          I had to look up Rule 35 to get the joke. haha.

          http://drawception.com/pub/panels/2012/3-30/ceyERQyEzT-10.png

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

          Well, rule 34, actually …

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          I’m speechless.

        • purr

          Calvin imagines us to be just like Storm front neo Nazis. He said as much last night after his mature commentariat pasted links to our site on extreme right wing blogs + trolled us behind sock puppets. Then laffed about it on LAN.

          Glass houses, right?

        • Jennifer Starr

          He can dish it out, but he sure can’t take it.

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          Because your too busy yelling and bullying women outside clinics?

        • Kodie

          Ah, the blowharded blowhardedness of a blowhard, on full display.

        • fiona64

          Funny, that’s how I describe LieSiteNews and LieActionNetwork.

          Poor widdle Calvin … are your feewings hurt by people revealing you for the coward that you are?

          You banned me from LSN and LAN for *posting facts with references.* Not once did I violate TOS. I guess you can’t handle cognitive dissonance.

          Learn to deal with the disappointment.

        • fiona64

          I tried to comment yesterday; I’m still banned as well.

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

          But surely Calvin is eager to show that LSN is open to all input and will reinstate you. No?

        • Jennifer Starr

          Somehow I don’t think so–he gets quite a lot of mileage by pretending that we’re somehow afraid to post over there.

        • Niemand

          If you were afraid to post there–and I’m not saying that you are, but if you were–that would mean what? People in the “pro-life” movement regularly shoot people involved in providing abortion, blow up clinics, harass people involved in the pro-choice movement, and threaten their families. I’d say a certain caution around that sort of person is entirely reasonable.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Oh, yeah—I once had a woman with a history of harassing pro-choicers and posting their personal information try to follow me on twitter–I looked up her history and promptly blocked her. Caution is definitely very reasonable.

        • fiona64

          I doubt it very seriously. After all, he would no longer be able to pretend that we’re “too cowardly” to show up again if he did so.

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          Or maybe he thinks of women as broodmares, or chattel. He sounds like a whinny brat.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Thanks for volunteering even more examples of the kind of slander I’m talking about. That none of my critics apparently have the decency to condemn it only proves my point even more.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Sorry, but no–that’s not slander. Even if it were a spoken statement it wouldn’t be slanderous.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Thank you. You clowns just demonstrated that you don’t have a problem with intentionally lying about how someone else sees women. But it doesn’t occur to you how doing so discredits your claims that there was nothing unethical about the conduct that got you banned. I rest my case.

        • purr

          And referring to us as baby killing Nazi fanatics is somehow better? You are not very self- aware are you?

        • Jennifer Starr

          No, but he’s thin-skinned.

        • purr

          Be careful Jenn. That is slander. He might just take you to court for defamate! *wink*

        • Jennifer Starr

          He’d have to be able to fit his head through his front door first :)

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Yeah. My assessment was accurate and honest. But then, you’d have to have a conscience to understand the difference.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Bollocks. Your statement was your opinion and a personal attack, nothing more. Just like our statements are our opinions.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          The difference is that mine are supported by the evidence. Yours are smears from a pre-scripted narrative which no competent reader acting in good faith could credibly believe.

        • purr

          Yeah, like your fake studies that say that 1) abortion causes breast cancer 2) 80-90% of women who get an ultrasound are dissuaded from abortion

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

          The difference is that [my opinions] are supported by the evidence.

          You get an A in vehemence. Not so good on actually backing up your claims, however, if our interchange is representative.

        • Kodie

          The difference is that mine are supported by the evidence propaganda and lies.

          Fixed that for you.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Yawn. Your relativism is boring.

        • Jennifer Starr

          And your arrogance in thinking that your personal opinions are tantamount to facts and truth is absolutely hilarious. Predictable, but hilarious.

        • purr

          I really didn’t think it was possible for someone to be this lacking in self-awareness. I was wrong.

          BTW, isn’t it slightly embarrassing to even be remotely associated with this? It’s like high school all over again.

          ::shudder::

        • Jennifer Starr

          Shudder indeed–I have the strange feeling he’s never moved beyond that level, though.

        • Kodie

          I have enough activity just posting to and catching up on a single blog lately. I wouldn’t go to his because I assume I would be up to my ears in bullshit and nonsense. If that is his own blog, and he is in charge of it, and comes here with what he’s come here with, I have a pretty good sense that his commenters are mostly Norms and Wlads. I have done nothing wrong, so I won’t punish myself by doing that.

        • purr

          And what has Bob ever done to deserve both Wlad and Norm?

          They don’t appear to post anywhere else, not really.

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

          Like Paul, God has given me a thorn in my side …

        • purr
        • Kodie

          It’s just hyperbole, it’s not accurate or honest.

        • MNb

          “you’re not worth my time” – a few days ago.
          So why are you still around? Let me guess – you’re another christian “pro-life” (in my dictionary you people are anti-life) troll.

        • Jennifer Starr

          I pointed out what the legal definition of slander was, and that the statement above did not meet that definition. It doesn’t even fall under the definition of libel. Someone giving their written opinion of what your views or motives might be is not slanderous nor is it libelous. You might want to calm down a bit, because you actually are whining.

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          Never claimed to be talking about the legal definition, simply referring to repeated statements that are deliberate, malicious lies. NOT Sincere assessment of views or motives.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Like calling someone a Nazi or a cultist or a baby killer?

        • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

          I said the intellect and temperament of your conduct is Stormfront-like and cultlike — which they are. Not that any of you were literally Nazis. And “baby killing” is abortion, genius.

        • Jennifer Starr

          So you think that your opinions are facts while our opinions are slander–again,bollocks.

        • purr

          Yeah, after *your* commentariat:

          1) posted links to RHRC on hardcore rightwing sites, knowing we’d get deluged with angry trolls

          2) created sockpuppets to troll us

          3) laughed about it on LAN

          You really think this gives you guys *any* sort of credibility?

          And right off the bat, you accused Bob of being stupid *and* a liar…

          I must say…

        • Jennifer Starr

          Ahh, but to Cal , who thinks his opinions are fact, calling Bob names is a ‘sincere assessment’. But if Bob calls him names, he’ll stamp his little feet and scream ‘slander!’ till his little throat is sore.

        • purr

          Here is the link, for anyone that might be interested:

          http://liveactionnews.org/how-to-ensure-roe-v-wade-doesnt-last-another-41-years/

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

          Sorry–what article is this one again? Is there a context that makes it interesting?

        • purr

          Since calvin believes that all claims should be backed up – and I agree – I felt that I should link to where his commentariat ‘libels’ and ‘slanders’ us. I don’t wanna be making baseless claims like some people you know;p

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

          I expected it to link to a comment, but it linked to just the post itself. So it was the post that supports your point, not a particular comment?

        • purr

          There are too many comments to list, so I just linked to the main page.

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          “A real knee-slapper” What decade is he living in? Wonder if he realizes it’s 2014.

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          What about your conduct Calvin? Any answer to Defamate’s post? You come across as a pompous wind-bag who knows nothing. You should take some responsibility.

          No abortion is not “baby killing.” Women who have abortions are not murders. If you think that then you are surrounded by murders.

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

          I haven’t been banned at your site, though perhaps the kinds of things I’d talk about would be seen as suitably offensive.

          I know nothing about this issue of banning people at your site. Do you have a plainly stated code of conduct that you hold people on both sides of the conversation to?

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          Yes, your statements sound like you’re whining and you can’t get your way.

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

          I think you have a glass houses/throwing stones problem.

          I can see how you may not be keen on the charge that you call women “bitches.” And yet you blithely and cluelessly suggest that Defamate is A-OK with murder. Oh yeah–and is also a liar.

          Life’s a mirror, pal.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Sorry, but no. It’s not revisionist history. It’s actually quite true.

        • http://ifightbullies.blogspot.com/ expect resistance

          Then why is it that misogynistic statements come out of your mouth?

        • Lindsey Leigh Phillips

          I’m banned!

          Must be for my bitchy temper tantrums.

          Maybe it’s cuz I referred to “god” as a limp-dicked creep.

          Maybe it’s just because they’re a bunch of fetus fetish, slut denouncing, thin skinned cretins with less than no interest in science or logic.

        • purr

          That’s because Calvin is paid to be stupid.

        • fiona64

          Apparently. And apparently that burden only applies to me. You get to argue the opposite claim without evidence.

          That’s Calvin’s stock-in-trade; “because I said so” is all the evidence he ever needs.

  • fiona64

    Maybe the Portman Effect is what we’re seeing with male pro-lifers.
    They’re not going to get pregnant, so it’s easy to be pro-life. Any
    downsides from continuing an unwanted pregnancy don’t directly affect
    them. Like Portman, they can’t put themselves in the shoes of someone
    going through this unless it actually happens to them. As men, it never
    will.

    This, so very much.

    I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve pointed out over the years that it is very easy to be an anti-choice male. Men are never the ones who risk life and limb gestating pregnancy (wanted or unwanted). Yet, the preponderance of the anti-choice movement (protestors, pundits, legislators, etc.) does appear to be male. One need only examine the fact that women were excluded from discussions on contraception under the ACA to be aware that the anti-choice movement is inherently misogynist.

  • Niemand

    It’d be interesting to see how often women “pro-life” leaders are premenopausal. In other words, how many people in the actual at-risk population are in favor of forcing women to be incubators at risk to their lives and health.

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

      An interesting subset is those women who are actively pro-life, then have an unwanted pregnancy, then get a discrete abortion, and then jump back into the pro-life project.

      They have easy rationalizations. It’s the other women who are sluts. In her case, the condom broke or things got a bit out of hand or whatever. She had a good excuse, but that doesn’t preclude her from imagining no good excuses for those other women.

      • fiona64

        They have easy rationalizations. It’s the other women who are sluts.

        Exactly. The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion is rife with just such stories.

        • Niemand

          The stories in the link really demonstrate, once again, how little the anti-choice movement is about “babies”. The quotes where women (and mothers of girls who are pregnant) talk about how their abortion is ok because they used birth control but it failed or their “situation” justified the procedure…it’s not about the fetuses, it’s about punishing (other) pregnant women.

      • pennyroyal

        or the anti-abortion mothers who just after Row-v-Wade brought their pregnant daughters in to clinic for an abortion. “My daughter is going to get an education” they’d say.

  • Catherine Elizabeth

    Hi :) I’d just like to add my two cents to this discussion, even though it seems to have been a while since anyone else commented. I’m a 21-year-old woman and most of the people I know in the pro-life movement are female. No, I don’t have any data for that, because I’m not in the habit of conscripting polling companies to gather information about my life. But I have found that women are often the one’s most passionate about the cause (as they seem to be on the pro-choice side as well). I think it is largely because much of the media portrays the pro-choice movement as representative of all or most women, when it’s far from the truth.

    And though I can’t show proof of my association with female pro-life activists, I did dig up this nugget- http://www.gallup.com/poll/162374/americans-abortion-views-steady-amid-gosnell-trial.aspx – If you look here, it shows that 37% of women think that abortion should only be legal in a few circumstances, and 20% of women think that abortion should be illegal in ALL circumstances. (An interesting side-note, both the 18-34 and the 35-54 age ranges post similar percentages. A poster below was wondering about pro-life leaders being pre-menopausal. I wonder, has he/she heard of Lila Rose?)

    I am 99% sure that I won’t be back to this blog. I was just passing through, and I don’t have tons of time for arguing with strangers on the internet. My sister-in-law is 7 months pregnant, and I’d rather save her some trouble by helping out with my niece and nephew than engage in the kind of comment skirmishes I’ve seen here.

    I really hope you have a nice day!

    Sincerely,
    Catherine

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

      Thanks for the input.

  • Britt

    I’m definitely pro-life, but what I cannot seem to put together is how men would allegedly be more pro-life if they are not as involved as parents on a general whole. I can only speculate that it has a lot to do with how disenfranchised they are as parents overall. Feminism is the prime supporter of both putting men down and abortion. Assuming that a man’s feelings and experiences about his own child are somehow less relevant because he doesn’t deal with the physical aspect of pregnancy like a woman does is quite obtuse. Not only that I personally know of more pro-life women than men. I can honestly say that I have been what people would call a “slut”, but I believe in the power and mercy of Christ to heal me, restore my dignity, and make me whole again. I have not had an abortion because I simply couldn’t handle the emotional trauma and I am very much opposed to ending the life of an innocent little human being just because of the failure of one or both parents to be sexually responsible. I also find it very sad that men are treated as obsolete in the parenting world. They need emotional support as well as women do, in different ways, but still it is necessary that both men and women are geared up toward the possibility of parenthood. I have experienced a lot of bigotry from the pro-choice side too-along with hate speech, hazing, and so on. I see that hate comes from both sides but not quite so much from the pro-life side in comparison to the pro-choice side.
    Calling us “anti-choice” is a fallacy as well. The one terminating the life of an individual who has not been given the choice is anti-choice.

    • purr

      You are anti choice aka forced birth because you believe that once the egg is fertilized that the woman should be legally compelled to gestate against her will. That is akin to slavery..
      If she dies from the pregnancy, you will have essentially sentenced her to death for the “crime” of having non procreative sex. Doesn’t such a penalty seem a little harsh to you?

      Oh, and all known methods of contraception including sterilization have known failure rates.

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

      I’m definitely pro-life, but what I cannot seem to put together is how men would allegedly be more pro-life if they are not as involved as parents on a general whole.

      Controlling sex (and things associated with it) is a kind of power that the church reserves for itself. Also, the fact that the men aren’t doing the birthing is a factor. Someone quipped that if men had the babies, the right to an abortion would be enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

      I personally know of more pro-life women than men

      My point is that it’s far more men than women in the leadership/politics of it. The face of the pro-life movement is predominantly male. But, yes, there are obviously many pro-life women.

      I can honestly say that I have been what people would call a “slut”

      That’s a word with a definition. The definition can be changed. You could be a slut now and not-a-slut in five minutes after we change the definition. What’s more interesting are things that can’t be changed with a definition: “forced sex is bad,” for example.

      I have not had an abortion because I simply couldn’t handle the emotional trauma

      Here again, how much of that trauma is invented vs. how much is deserved?

      One argument against mixed-race marriages was that society made it hard on such couples, so we should keep it illegal for their protection. Hey—how about fixing the actual problem and changing society? Same thing here—if you reject abortion as an option simply because it’ll make Jesus cry or some other arbitrary (that is, not grounded in reality) reason, that attitude needs to be changed within society.

      I am very much opposed to ending the life of an innocent little human being just because of the failure of one or both parents to be sexually responsible.

      So you want that choice? I respect that. But respect other people’s ability to make the correct choice for them.

      As for sexual responsibility, many abortions are done by married women who took appropriate precautions. Contraception isn’t 100% reliable.

      I have experienced a lot of bigotry from the pro-choice side too-along with hate speech, hazing, and so on.

      That’s a shame. I will not surprisingly put the blame on the leaders who want to take away convenient access to an abortion. They see abortion as a political football. Real people are being hurt while they play political games.

      I see that hate comes from both sides but not quite so much from the pro-life side in comparison to the pro-choice side.

      Leave other people alone then. The world would be a better place.

      Calling us “anti-choice” is a fallacy as well. The one terminating the life of an individual who has not been given the choice is anti-choice.

      The fallacy is imagining a single cell is a person with the same rights as the mother. Not the case. If you want more on this question, I’ve written about the spectrum of life here.

      As the kitteh below notes, removing the option of abortion is forced pregnancy.

  • Margaret Whitestone

    It’s about maintaining patriarchy and misogyny. It’s about controlling women.

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

    Yes, I’ve come across this one, too. SLED = Size, Level of development, Environment (where it is), degree of Dependency.

    The main error that I see is applying human-sized things (from newborn on up) to the entire spectrum starting with a single cell. The rules that make sense for the former are a poor fit when applied to the latter.

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

    I’ll respond to a statement from that site:

    Is the unborn a member of the human family? If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong.

    Why?? You’ve expanded the definition of “human” to include a single frikkin’ cell. That’s fine, but don’t expect that the rules that we apply at the macro scale will apply there.

  • purr

    Yeah. Like dependency. And viability. A *born* person with malfunctioning lungs etc. is not at *all* comparable to a single cell zygote. A born person, even if ill, is still an *autonomous* individual that is capable of surviving outside the womb – with assistance.

    You can’t take a zygote out of the womb and hook it up to a machine and say ‘function as an autonomous individual!’

    And the point, which someone made on a great site, which made me rethink viability, is this:

    “”

    Modern technology allows prematurely born babies (legally persons) to survive (be ‘viable’); therefore abortions should be prohibited for unborn humans that become viable per technical means, since they could
    be forcibly born and thereby immediately acquire legal person status.” FALSE, mostly because the definition of “birth” can become extremely distorted as technology continues to improve.

    For example, artificial wombs are being seriously researched. When perfected, it would then be possible to conduct fertilization in a petri dish, and move the zygote directly to the artificial womb, which could
    also be called an “ultimate incubator”. Well, when exactly is this human considered to be “born”, relevant to the 14th Amendment? When it is “viable” enough to no longer need that artificial-womb environment, such
    as typically occurs 9 months after fertilization, when a typical natural womb is involved? Then, doesn’t that mean that “viability” should logically be defined such that no technical assistance is required, for a developing human to survive?

    Meanwhile, viability alone is insufficient to grant personhood to an unborn human, during a pregnancy. Measurably animal-level are the minds that an unborn human has, even if the pregnancy stretches for ten full months after conception! Because, remember, infant humans also can’t pass any scientific unprejudiced species-independent personhood tests, for several whole months after birth.””

  • purr

    And it benefits a woman to not have her life ruined by an un-planned pregnancy?

    Notice how they frame it to sound like the killing of fetuses is only occurring so chicks can get…lots of free sex, I guess? And that’s immoral!

    They want to make martyrs out of women for the sin/crime of engaging in non-procreative sex.


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