Anti-Choicers’ Misfire on the Fertility Clinic Hypothetical: a Response

Who knew that anti-choice advocates could go off the rails so inventively in response to a brief hypothetical argument posed in a series of tweets?

A few weeks ago, Patrick Tomlinson tweeted a scenario that I first wrote about over five years ago and that he says he’s been using for over ten years. In short, if a fertility clinic were on fire and you could save either a five-year-old child or a canister with a thousand human embryos, which would you save? Read the original in this Friendly Atheist post.

“An embryo is a child” is the foundational moral claim for many in the anti-choice* community, and the fertility clinic thought experiment nicely shows that, no it isn’t, even to them. Someone once observed, there’s nothing like a life-or-death predicament to help you get your priorities straight. You can pontificate at leisure about how things ought to be, but when you have seconds to decide between a child who would suffer unimaginable agony and a can of cells that not only won’t but can’t, you quickly realize what’s important.

Rebuttal

In what is the most impressive “Yes, but” tap dancing that I’ve seen in a long time, anti-choice advocates have a lot to say in response. I’ll look at three high-profile responses, by Matt Walsh (blogger), Ben Shapiro (editor of The Daily Wire, a conservative website), and Greg Koukl (Christian radio host).

Walsh and Shapiro admit up front that they would save the child, while Koukl won’t.

The next item on the agenda is the obligatory changing of the subject. Each author raises all manner of tangential topics, some interesting but some seemingly deliberate misdirections.

Before I give examples, let’s take a step back to remember the point of this exercise. Many anti-choicers tell us that an embryo is equivalent to a child. That is, they declare that the definition of “child” goes from, say, eight years old and goes all the way down to –9 months. It’s a child at eight years old, as a newborn, as a fetus, as a frozen embryo (which is a blastocyst with roughly 100 cells), and even as a single cell.

That’s the claim, but by saving the hypothetical child they’ve admitted that this claim is false. No, a child is much more valuable than a single cell. End of argument. There’s nothing more to say.

That’s where the “Yes, but” arguments come in. They want to change the subject. They want to have the last word. But the argument is over. It had the sole goal of undercutting their moral argument, and it succeeded. QED.

 


See also: Five Intuitive Pro-Choice Arguments


 

Change the subject

But for completeness and to illustrate the games they play, I want to list some of their arguments.

  • Walsh: “Yes, I would save the kid. No, that does not prove that the embryos have no value.” No one said it did.
  • Walsh: Leaving the embryos behind isn’t the same as killing them intentionally, and it doesn’t show that abortion is moral. The hypothetical argument doesn’t claim to prove that abortion is moral, just that “embryo = child” is false.
  • Shapiro: “Let’s say that it was your five-year-old in the room, and next door were 1,000 actual full-grown human adults. Your instinct would probably be to save your five-year-old. Mine would be. Does that make me right, or the 1,000 humans no longer human?” If “human” means “has Homo sapiens DNA,” then of course they’re human, but that’s off topic. You’ve already agreed that embryos aren’t children—that’s the point.
  • Shapiro: “We can agree with Tomlinson that one ought to save the five-year-old rather than the box of embryos and still not admit that embryonic life is meaningless.” Huh? Who said it was meaningless?
  • Koukl: “Moral dilemmas, by design, make us choose. But the choice doesn’t rebut the argument for the intrinsic value of embryonic human beings.” No, it rebuts the claim that embryos are children.
  • Koukl: “The fact that Sophie, in the film Sophie’s Choice, made the choice to save her son didn’t mean she thought her daughter wasn’t a valuable human being.” This is yet another change of subject. The subject is: embryos aren’t children.

Notice the word games in several of these. Keeping things simple doesn’t seem to be the goal, so we take “child” from the original challenge and add “human” and “human being” to the mix. Throw in Homo sapiens and “person,” and we’ve got a nice selection of terms that may or may not be synonyms. For some apologists, there’s nothing they like better than spending hours fileting the definition of a word to keep the debate away from an embarrassing area.

Concluded in part 2.

The mystery is how people can follow a religion
whose central theme from beginning to end is:
“Deity angry. Something gotta die.”
— commenter Lark 62

* Normally, I refer to the two camps as pro-life and pro-choice, but the obnoxious response by one author used “pro-abortion.” In fact, I am pro-abortion in the same way that I’m pro-amputation: no one enjoys a medical procedure, but sometimes they’re necessary. Nevertheless, that article encouraged me to use “anti-choice” as the reciprocal term for their side of the argument.

Image credit: Bailiwick Studios, flickr, CC

 

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  • RoverSerton

    One of my guilty pleasures is listening to the drivel on EWTN radio. One person there dismissed this challenge saying it would never happen so no choice is needed. So well reasoned (for her)/s. I will use the pro-amputation analogy in the future,

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

      Glad to help.

      They have posters showing that abortion is gross, ignoring that fact that pretty much any operation is gross.

      • RoverSerton

        Yea, I tried to use my colonoscopy pictures for Christmas one year. A terrible idea btw. Just as an asside, I just got wacked at HPE. I hope you never had to pleasure to work there.

        • Greg G.

          Yeah, butt I just wanted to point out that the gross pictures of a colonoscopy is no reason to not get one.

        • Herald Newman

          Yeah, butt

          I saw what you did there!

        • Greg G.

          It was just keeping the theme that RoverSexton started with “asside”.

        • Kodie

          Deep.

        • MR

          Not just one, you should get them regularly. Follow whatever schedule your doctor suggests and don’t fall behind.

        • Greg G.

          ISWYDT

        • Greg G.

          The last time I got one, my wife was driving me home. A nurse from the dermatologist said the skin sample I had done the previous week was abnormal and told me what I needed to have done. The next day, I remembered getting the phone call and that everything I was told made perfect sense to me but I couldn’t remember anything she said. Even though my head seemed perfectly clear for short term memory, my ability to form long term memory was impaired. There was no way to tell until I tried to recall what should have been remembered. I can only hope that I didn’t check my lottery ticket, found I hit the jackpot, and put it somewhere for safe keeping.

          Coincidentally, it turned out that the procedure that the skin doctor set up for me was right across the hall from the office where I had the colonoscopy.

        • Lark62

          No pun intended?

        • Greg G.

          It is a cheeky pun cascade.

        • MR

          A regular assessment of one’s health is no laughing matter, Lark.

        • Lark62

          Yes. No butts about it.

        • Kodie

          No pun bun intended?

          FTFY. Don’t break the streak.

        • MR

          Streak.

          Double upvote. You’re on a roll.

        • Kodie

          Eat your fiber or you’ll be headed for a wipe-out.

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

          That reminds me of a passage from the Good Book: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” And yet, oddly, pastors don’t talk about the genocide and slavery passages and I (for one) would like.

          Maybe the same is true for Christmas photos–you’d think that they’d all serve nicely, especially one so personal, but maybe not.

  • Tommy

    Here are some questions to ask anti-choicers:

    1a.) If a pregnant woman went to a clinic to have an abortion, should she be charged with murder? 1.b) Should any anti-choice women who’ve at least one abortion in the past be charged with murder?

    2.) If I burned down a fertility clinic that housed thousands of embryos, should I be charged with mass murder?

    • vaiyt

      3.) If abortion is murder, does it mean every woman who’ve had an embryo fail to implant will be charged with involuntary manslaughter?

      • Tommy

        Good one.

      • Joe

        At the very least, they should be investigated for potential manslaughter. I can think of no better way to use the unlimited resources that law enforcement has.

        • Michael Neville

          In El Salvador women have been imprisoned for having miscarriages and still births. [LINK]

          Vasquez is one of several women in El Salvador who have been sentenced to as long as 50 years behind bars — not for having an abortion, which is illegal in the country, but as a result of miscarriages or stillborn births. In these cases, prosecutors have accused the women of causing the death of their fetus or infant.

        • vaiyt

          That’s pretty much what I was thinking of when I asked the question.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Assuming they did something that might cause this, it is a possibility. From what I recall it has already occurred somewhere in the US.

        • Pofarmer

          It occurs in some South American countries regularly.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          So I’ve read.

    • Joe

      4.) Should couples who know they face a difficult conception be prevented from trying?

      5.) Should pregnant women be forcibly prevented from smoking and drinking etc.? (they’d probably agree to this, as impractical to enforce as it is).

    • RichardSRussell

      6.) Since about 1 out of every 3 pregnancies ends in a spontaneous miscarriage, should God be charged with murder?

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        No, God can kill anyone he likes. Don’t you know that, like a medieval king, he’s above the law?

  • Lisa Macpherson

    I think you’ll find that “forced birthers” is the appropriate name for these wretched people. They actually don’t give a crap about anything except exerting control over women’s choice and autonomy, because both of those things get their panties in a major bunch. They’re sick, sad people desperately clinging to their “god” raft, precisely because it USED to give them that control and they cannot bear the fact that “but jeebus” no longer works… tell you what, talibangelicals, I won’t tell you what magic spells to listen to in church and you stay out of everyone else’s lives?

    • Herald Newman

      If they actually gave a damn about the life they supposedly cared about, I might give them an ounce of credit for their position. In general, I don’t think they do give a shit about women. All of their rhetoric seems to be more in line with making people suffer the consequences of having sex, rather than “protecting innocent life.”

      If they gave a damn about innocent life there would be no children waiting in adoption agencies, and we’d have far better social support for mothers.

      • Kodie

        Everything adds up to “pawns for the adoption industry”.

      • vaiyt

        Almost. It’s more like, making women, and only women, suffer for the crime of being sexually active.

        • MR

          Compare slut vs. stud.

        • Bob Jase

          You can go into any hardware store and get a stud finder but you can’t get a slut finder.

        • RoverSerton

          Remember the story in the Bible: “The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; …” How the hell do you catch a woman but not the man? These villages were 100-500 people. Everyone would know everyone…

          Yup, punish the woman only for having sex.

        • katiehippie

          Exactly.

        • adam

          Look if you cant blame the victim, what good is it having Trump as a President?

          Donald Trump slams women accusing him of sexual assault as ‘horrible people, horrible liars’

          http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-blames-media-widespread-sexual-assault-allegations-article-1.2829457

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

      Have you read Valerie Tarico’s article on what anti-abortion people could do to cut abortions by 90%? That they refuse to do this makes clear that the “abortion is murder” or “abortion is a Holocaust” claims are bullshit. They can’t have teens actually having safe sex, y’know.

      https://valerietarico.com/2015/09/11/if-the-anti-abortion-frenzy-were-actually-about-abortion-what-a-serious-anti-abortion-movement-would-actually-look-like/

      • Otto

        I have used that argument many times…I have had Catholics respond by saying that contraception actually increases abortions. Of course they have no evidence for that claim and they ignore the actual evidence I supply. Additionally I have heard some people say that there should be a consequence for sex… thereby making the child a punishment.

        • Susan

          Of course they have no evidence for that claim and they ignore the actual evidence I supply.

          Um… that’s why there are still catholics.

        • Otto

          Yep…and why I am not…;)

        • RichardSRussell

          “If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.” —Dr. Gregory House, TV doctor

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

          They’re welcome to have whatever harebrained ideas they want, but they can’t imposed religious ideas on the public as law. That’s where it becomes a problem.

        • Pofarmer

          but they can’t imposed religious ideas on the public as law

          Yeah, the problem is, actually they can.

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

          Good point. I should’ve said that they oughtn’t, if they had any respect for the Constitution, not that they can’t.

        • Herald Newman

          have had Catholics respond by saying that contraception actually increases abortions.

          I don’t even understand how that’s plausible.

          Additionally I have heard some people say that there should be a consequence for sex

          From my reading of the Catechism, this seems to be the reason that the Catholic church is against artificial birth control. Of course, they don’t say it in those words, they use terms like “natural order”, and “inherently disordered”, but it comes back to “there must be consequences to people having sex.”

        • adam
        • Otto

          >>>”I don’t even understand how that’s plausible.”

          The argument that is made is that contraception allows people to have more sex, contraception has a certain failure rate and therefore when it fails abortions happen. Of course this is nonsense and they have no evidence to back up their claims…but when has that ever been a problem?

        • Herald Newman

          Wow. Lots of assumptions there. The ones that stick out are:
          1. That people who use contraception have more sex than those who don’t.
          2. That the amount of extra sex they are having is enough to offset the failure rate of their contraception.
          3. That those who use contraception, and end up getting pregnant, are themselves more likely to have an abortion and those who don’t use contraception.

          I don’t know that any of these assumptions is actually true.

        • Pofarmer

          1) This is shown to be false in numerous studies.

          2) A woman who is having sex and not on birth control has an 85% chance of being pregnant within a year. That would be a LOT of extra sex for any decent birth control method. I don’t care enough to attempt to figure it.

          3) is also un-evidenced. I think they assume that if you are on contraception you are not “open to life” so you will automatically abort.

          So, yeah, I’d say none of them are true. Just like pretty much everything about Catholicism. It’s a ginormous sham.

        • Otto

          evidence…smevidence

        • Pofarmer

          Dammit, you beat me to it.

        • Greg G.

          Condoms cause AIDS. That’s what they told Africa.

        • Pofarmer

          Pope Francis actually threated to sanction a Catholic group which was distributing condoms to SEX SLAVES.

        • eric

          The problem comes with a biased and unfairly applied definition of failure. When considering contraception, fundies consider ‘user error’ as part of the failure rate. The calculated failure rate of condoms, for example, typically includes when people use them wrong plus incidents when condom-users skip using them ‘just this once.’ But when considering abstinence, fundies don’t count user error. This is IMO a fundamental problem that skews all of their social analysis, as the reason why abstinence as a social strategy fails obviously has to do with abstinence users skipping the use of abstinence ‘just this once.’ Thus as a social policy, it has a non-zero failure rate…in fact one probably worse than most other forms of BC.

        • Kodie

          Is that what they really think? I thought it was because they believe certain contraceptives technically abort a fertilized egg by making it impossible for it to attach. Of course, abortion is a valid form of birth control. It’s like a superstitious regard against it vs. other forms of not being pregnant.

        • Pofarmer

          There’s that too, although the whole an egg not implanting is abortion argument is fairly new.

        • Otto

          They do believe certain contraceptives are abortifants … but for the ones that don’t ’cause’ abortion they need an argument against the fact that contraceptives reduce abortion numbers significantly because otherwise they would have to admit that contraceptives should be promoted.

        • Kodie

          I think, philosophically, if you don’t want to be pregnant, it makes sense if your birth control fails, getting an abortion is a logical, natural, and ostensibly easy enough step, and you might be careless enough to forget often enough, although I think people prefer the convenience of birth control (if not the side effects or sensation issues). In reality, their campaign to stigmatize abortion particularly seems somewhat successful. Even if you know it’s not a good time to have a baby for you, or you don’t want to parent (first or again), there is still this social stigma that, if you end up pregnant, you have to stay pregnant and deal with it, or it’s a sign, or think, whatever, might as well. At least that’s how it looks to me. Maybe because that’s how it is on tv. Women suffer miscarriages every once in a while on tv, but usually they go for being pregnant and having a baby. The few times you see anyone contemplating abortion, they usually have a crisis of conscience or have a miscarriage, or they are waiting in the clinic for the boyfriend to show up and make a lot of promises before it’s too late. It’s the thing nobody talks about, and even someone on tv who is portrayed as mean, nasty, irresponsible, selfish, etc., would eventually rather choose to parent than be the woman on tv who had an abortion.

          I guess there are statistics online but what people honestly feel about, how the pro-forced-birth people make a big deal that having an abortion is an irreversible decision that needs time and emotional appeals on behalf of a clump of cells to make sure that women who eventually have abortions are in tears and regrets the rest of their lives over this one thing that they’re culturally mandated to love and care for because that’s all women are seen as – incubators and nurturers who will feel so empty without that particular “child”, who can never be forgotten or replaced with any other children that woman may choose to have later. It’s the other way around, having a baby is irreversible.

          Anyway, my impression of things is that using birth control doesn’t make women more likely to get abortion when it fails or they forget. I think they should think harder about their future with a child before they get swayed by all that propaganda, but it also seems to turn out that women who go ahead with it compound the emotional appeals, little Joe wouldn’t exist, and my life is so much more rewarding than I ever dreamed, etc. It’s almost like having kids is some kind of virus that they want to make sure they infect everyone else to validate themselves, and make sure all other women aren’t “missing out” on this exhausting chore. Almost like that.

        • Pofarmer

          I wish there was more in the abortion discussion about how being a young single mother is the number one indicator of poverty. Those women are more likely to have low educational achievement and remain locked in that cycle of poverty. How about how kids raised in poverty are more likely to drop out of school, more likely to commit violent crimes, more likely to wind up in prison? By all means, be anti-contraception and pro-forced birth, but at least be honest with yourself and others about the consequences.

        • adam

          ” By all means, be anti-contraception and pro-forced birth, but at least
          be honest with yourself and others about the consequences.”

        • Susan

          Is that what they really think?

          Yes. The RCC is against any “artificial” form of birth control.

          They’re not just against the right to have an abortion. They’re against pregnancy prevention.

        • Kodie

          So, but they’re not apparently against using artificial ways to calculate when to have sex during a woman’s cycle so she doesn’t get pregnant. Using the barrier of time, and the instruments of temperature and whatnot, preventing pregnancies is something they seem to condone. That’s while a man can enjoy having sex with his wife when she’s just not that excited, and hates the kids he has already enough to deny her when she’s under the spell of her own hormones. But that’s not lust, right, having married sex has nothing to do with lust, and is a “gift” that’s all about welcoming children, especially when it’s a woman’s duty to be available for her husband, lest denying him sends him to cheat, which is men are men, what are you gonna do.

          I also think marriage is so obviously an artificial form of birth control – not preventing pregnancies but organizing them better. Animals don’t need marriage, some mate for life, but humans created a social order that makes it more difficult for a woman to manage alone with a child. I’m not talking about the biological lot of being the ones with the uterus, while men can fuck and leave in the wind. Yes, we call it a stable household where two parents are usually required to keep a home where a child can be raised, but we made it that way and stick with it. Marriage isn’t a sacred institution, but the creative solution that worked at the time. I’m not just saying it forces the man to stick around and rear his own children, but we invented that having a baby is a weakness, that women are weak, that sex isn’t something women should do unless protected by a man over the inevitable outcome of having a baby. I get this now, it’s not the woman they are protecting, but the “future life” is so very precious and we can’t trust women to do a very good job of it herself, especially when society rejects her for having sex without having a husband first, or that a child born without a father has no lineage. It’s changing, but there’s still a lot of stigma around it.

          So, yeah, I get that people love each other and want to commit to being together, but it’s not the only way. I do believe it takes at least two people to raise a child, because earning money and maintaining a home and being a full-time parent is too much work for one person to do without hiring someone to help them do part of it. That’s why men get married, I don’t know why women do.

        • Pofarmer

          Ya know, that’s an interesting way of looking at it. My understanding is that there are societies where the women pretty much communally raise the young, and that the relationships within those societies are pretty fluid, but I’ll have to admit that I haven’t really read a whole lot about them other than just small snippets here or there.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          The argument that is made is that contraception allows people to have more sex, contraception has a certain failure rate and therefore when it fails abortions happen.

          How much more sex do they think will happen?

          Let’s take something with a high failure rate: condoms. It’s something like a 10% failure rate (per year) for whatever reason.

          So in order to get more unwanted pregnancies when using a condom, given the 10% failure rate, that means that people need to have sex more than 10 times more often than they do without!

          So if they are currently having sex once a week, it needs to be 10 times a week!!!!

          And for something like the pill, you are talking a 3% failure rate, so 30 times as much sex!

          I wish birth control were that effective….at getting people to have sex.

        • Pofarmer

          Catholics think that if women have contraceptives, they’ll have more sex, which will lead to more pregnancies when contraceptives fail, which will lead to more abortions.

          The takeaway is that Catholics suck at contraception.

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

          Then we agree on the solution: more effective birth control! Isn’t it great when believers and atheists can come together on an issue?

          The birth control implant (Nexplanon) and new IUD are almost perfect–certainly far better than condom and the Pill. And there’s nothing for you to remember to do.

          https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-implant-implanon
          https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/iud

        • Kevin K

          I have a friend who was on the implant. She had it removed and BANG! Preggers. He’s a cute little bugger.

        • Michael Neville

          Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae specifically condemned the use of artificial birth control because a celibate bachelor thought that procreation was the major reason to have sex.

        • Pofarmer

          A 50 hear old celibate bachelor should not be writing ANYTHING about sex.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Additionally I have heard some people say that there should be a consequence for sex…

          I have heard that type of response from evangelical creationists, but they become careful about avoiding making that argument a second time.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve had Catholics on facebook argue that the girls can just go get birth control. Everybody knows where it is. Ya, right. Every major study says the exact opposite.

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

          Great! The Catholics sound eager to make birth control easily accessible. I’m sure they’re getting right on that.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, yeah, about that……….

    • RichardSRussell

      I’ve always contended that “prolife” is just short for “proliferators”.

    • Lark62

      Yep. Their tax plan will actually make adoption more difficult.

      If it weren’t for double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

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

        :-)

  • Joe

    Go and read the comments in the Friendly Atheist blog, if you want to give yourself an aneurysm. It’s thousands of comments worth of deflection.

    If you can’t answer a simple hypothetical, no matter how uncomfortable, then you need to re-address your way of thinking.

  • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

    What they seem to be saying is that a born child is more valuable than an embryo. That is a concession, but it doesn’t mean they are inconsistent. One can oppose abortion at the same time. However, it does require abandoning the idea they are equally valuable. They can simply say too that with abortion the choice is not between an embryo and born child.

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

      Another concession: they’ll outline the Argument from Potential (it’s not a person now, but it will be) but then not own the consequences.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Which consequences?

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

          That the Argument from Potential says that the fetus might be a person in the future, but it isn’t now.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          They seem not to feel it matters. Do any of these actually make that argument?

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

          Sure. That’s their response to the argument that the single cell is really, really different from a newborn, and yet they want to use the same word (person, say) for both.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Well, potential is not actual.

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

          Good luck getting them to understand.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Walsh should, since the Catholics are very big on that distinction. I know he won’t though.

        • Greg G.

          Have you followed any of Ameribear’s arguments when he is not defending Catholic priests? He got it from somewhere and he argues it in this forum.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I don’t think I’ve seen them.

        • Greg G.

          Here’s a recent one:

          http://disq.us/p/1niyavp

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          It’s just the same potential therefore actual argument as usual.

        • Greg G.

          Ameribear has nothing but Catholic apologetics.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          It’s easy to see his leanings from the avatar. Again you’d expect he would get that these are distinct, given how much Catholic philosophy puts on them, but no…

        • Joe

          I always thought Ameribear was a “she”?

        • Greg G.

          I don’t know for sure. I don’t think I have ever had an indication of gender. What this language needs is non-gender specific singular pronouns.

        • Kodie

          When accused of hating women, he said he had a wife and daughters, I said that doesn’t mean you don’t hate women.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor
        • Greg G.

          How is the verb “to be” conjugated for the singular?

          I have learned a little Vietnamese. I like the way some Asian languages don’t make a distinction between plural and singular so they don’t have to conjugate the verbs. But the pronouns are mostly still gender-based.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Same way you’d do for any other use of “they” “them” or “their”.

    • Pofarmer

      This is actually more topical than you think, because a majority of women having abortions already have children, so, in essence, they are choosing between the embryo and the children they already have.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        I know, but they would say the children’s lives are not literally at stake, so it’s different.

        • Judgeforyourself37

          Not if she might die having this other child.
          Not if she cannot afford another child.
          Not if that fetus has serious anomalies that would change the entire family dynamic, and strap them financially.
          Leave that decision to the woman. As a man, if you are a male, you will never become pregnant/

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Well, they generally make an exception if the mother would die. As for the rest, they don’t feel that justifies killing. Personally as I am pro-choice, I’ll leave it to the woman anyway. There are plenty of women who oppose abortion though, so simply saying we men can’t talk about it won’t get very far.

  • eric

    I very much like the point about the 5-year-old vs. N adults. Unfortunately for the pro-lifers this variant just undercuts their case even more, because it shows the high value most of us place on children.

    Of course we could think of a third variant; a canister with one zygote vs. N adults. In that case I’d save the N adults, as I think would most people. So ironically these excursions into variants of the argument show that not only do we value the zygote differently and less than a child, we value them differently and less than an adult.

  • Otto

    If the choice was a puppy or or a thousand human embryo’s…I would choose the puppy.

    • Susan

      I would choose the puppy

      I remember making the same point to Trent Horn.

      He disappeared from that site and showed up here much later, hitting the reset button.

      The belief in imaginary souls (and the industry that results from that) wreaks havoc on the real experience of sentient beings.

      • Pofarmer

        I’d love to see a link to that thread. I must have missed it.

        • Susan

          I’d love to see a link to that thread.

          I’m almost certain it was on Estranged Notions a very long time ago. I have no idea how to find the link.

          Nothing special. Just Trent dropping in (as is his custom) to repeat the same canards, fail to engage in any real discussion on the subject and head to Croydon.

          He’s done the same thing here. That he makes a living doing it is annoying.

          But that’s how RCC apologetics roll.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, yes, any criticism is summarily dismissed and away you go.

    • Bob Jase

      Now what if it was a puppy or a kitten?

      • Herald Newman

        “Nonsense, dogs are idiots. Think about it Bob. If I came into your house and started sniffing at your crotch and slobbering all over your face, what would you say?”

        • http://humanistchaplainjourney.blogspot.com/ Mark Landes

          I would say thank you and HELLO!

        • Kuno

          “Is it Tuesday again already?”

      • Otto

        kitten would win every time. I have a full grown cat now and a kitten…the kitten plays fetch..:)

        • BlackMamba44

          My youngest cat has been playing fetch since she was a little kitten! She will even bring me her favorite toy mouse and drop it at my feet, sit down and stare at me.

          I can even throw it up in the air. She’ll jump up, catch it with her paws, shove it in her mouth and land on all fours.

        • Joe

          On an unrelated note: Being a fairly-recent cat owner, I’m astonished at their mental capacities. They understand basic concepts (like when we’re going to work and when we aren’t), know causal relationships (clawing at the carpet gets our attention), have object permanence and even invent simplistic games!

          I laugh even harder now when some theists claim that animals have no “souls” or don’t think.

        • Judgeforyourself37

          They have more of a moral compass than some people

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Or at least the animals tend to be less malignant.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, it’s also useful in the fight against dualistic concepts of intelligence. Obviously, animals are intelligent too, so……….? They typically don’t want to go there.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Exactly. Oh, I don’t think a cat is going to think on exactly the same level as a human, you’re not going to find cats sitting around a pile of catnip debating the meaning of life or anything, but they definitely have some complex processes going on in there.

          Gracie knows the doorknobs open the doors. She’s a few inches short of being able to actually touch the knobs, but she tries when she really wants out.

          Cat tax:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f63756d3de0a7105c2ddef0b14ba3faff5bb274cbfaa4eb18e833faa0423d382.jpg

        • Sonyaj

          Anyone who thinks that cats don’t have pretty complex emotions and feelings has obviously never owned a cat. My grey tuxie, Nelson, is 16 1/2, and he’s very attuned to everything that is going on around him. He’s very sensitive and sulks when he knows I’m getting ready to leave for work, esp. if the man-unit happens to be gone as well. We recently came to the reluctant conclusion that it’s too stressful at his age to bring him on future RV trips. He would go on walks with us on trails, dirt roads, or in desert washes – with no leash.

          And, even at his advanced age, he still plays with his toy mice, fetches, and brings them up and down the stairs and onto the bed. He is the love of my life.

          Here he is, canyoneering in Valley of the Gods, at age 14:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0acb80be4600107a0a3dab992b08f97195907de1913016efb1720b0acd333ed7.jpg

          Cats are fucking awesome.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Oh, he’s a handsome boy!

        • Otto

          That is the best…lol.

        • MR

          My cat plays fetch, too! All day long she’s, like, “Fetch me some treats…, Fetch that toy down, will ya…, Fetch me my nap blankie…, Don’t just stand there, boy! Fetch, fetch, fetch…!”

        • Greg G.

          You need a twelve step program for your addiction to purring.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Good hoomin!

      • Joe

        Kitten.

        See, we can answer even difficult questions honestly if we aren’t held to a predisposed viewpoint.

    • Pofarmer

      Oh HELL YES.

    • Gary Whittenberger

      That’s interesting. Why would you make that choice?

      • Otto

        Because the puppy has the capability of suffering needlessly

        • Gary Whittenberger

          But two thousand adults who produced the embryos and intend to use them will suffer needlessly if the puppy is saved instead of the embryos. Isn’t the suffering of these persons worse?

        • Kodie

          Oh well.

        • Pofarmer

          No. They can get more embryos. And it isn’t even close to the same type of suffering. Burned alive vs not getting an implanted embryo? I keep thinking you can’t really be this daft.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You just undermined our chance to have a good discussion because you made an ad hominem attack in your last sentence — totally uncalled for! Could you make your claims and ask your questions without making uncivil remarks?

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t think my noting you tend to be a chucklehead would be considered an ad hominem by most on this board. I could be mistaken. And, even then, it’s not an ad hominem, because I’m not using it to dismiss your argument. I’m dealing with the argument separately. I’ll be uncivil if I wish. I’ll give your comments the amount of respect, derision, and civility I think they deserve

        • adam

          “I don’t think my noting you tend to be a chucklehead would be considered an ad hominem by most on this board. ”

          Certainly not by me.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          “Other people don’t think I’m doing anything wrong” is not a valid excuse.

          “I’ll do whatever I want” is also not a valid excuse.

          “You’re using a definition of ‘ad hominem’ which I don’t like” is also not a valid excuse.

          Here you are just making more personal attacks and trying, lamely, to justify the one you already made. Could you make your claims and ask your questions without making uncivil remarks? Could you? Will you?

        • Kodie

          Can you ever get through a conversation honestly without needing to derail it for your pet peeves? You really have nothing going on but your petty complaints like a fucking crybaby – you’re the hostile fucker here. Dismissing Pofarmer’s comment to label him uncivil IS THE AD HOMINEM HERE.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Can you ever get through a conversation without making an uncivil remark, making lame excuses for the ones you’ve already made, or enabling others to do the same? From your pattern, I surmise that you can’t.

          Therefore, I am not going to read or respond to your posts in the future. I’ll spend my time with people able and willing to engage in civil rational discussion.

        • Kodie

          You’re really delusional if you think you’re that interesting.

        • MNb

          People able and willing to engage in civil rational discussions quickly learn that such activities are impossible as soon as you get involved. You do nothing but repeating your dogmas ad nauseam.
          The answer to your question is: yes, she can, just not with you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          This is the classic lame excuse ““Incivility is inevitable.” You are self-fulfilling your own prophesy.

          You don’t like it when I point out personal attacks and other uncivil remarks? Too bad.

        • adam
        • MNb

          Unfortunately you are the one who fulfills the prophecy, not me. I know this from my own experience and recognize your exactly the same uncivil attitude here.

          You don’t like it when I point that out? Your problem, not mine.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Your problem is making personal attacks and enabling others to do the same.

        • adam

          “Your problem is making personal attacks and enabling others to do the same.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/68d5eb4933179c192f95adabc4dfcc3a0815dbf0052e0514c35559067ca4e128.png

        • MNb

          Someone with your uncivil attitude isn’t qualified to be the judge of what my problem is.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          That is a classic lame excuse for misbehavior.

        • MNb

          You’re still unqualified to be the judge of that.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You’re still making a classic lame excuse for misbehavior.

        • MNb

          And you’re still unqualified to be the judge of that.

        • Max Doubt

          “You’re still making a classic lame excuse for misbehavior.”

          Flagged you for tone trolling, asshole.

          And here, go get some fuckin’ help, will ya?

          Behavioral Health Solutions – 2898 Mahan Dr – 850-552-0691

        • Kodie

          Your problem is you are an attention whore.

        • Max Doubt

          “This is the classic lame excuse ““Incivility is inevitable.” You are self-fulfilling your own prophesy.”

          Flagged for your persistent tone trolling incivility. It’s not everyone else, Gary. It’s you. You are the uncivil one here. You’re a tone troll. You’re trying to manipulate the discussion. You can’t stand the fact that you’re unable to rally some agreement on your typically shitty reasoning, so you accuse everyone else of being uncivil. You’re being dishonest, and that makes you an asshole.

          “You don’t like it when I point out personal attacks and other uncivil remarks? Too bad.”

          You are not the mommy here. Go play house with your own kid, why don’t ya?

        • Pofarmer

          You’re making my point for me. Don’t be a pedantic tone troll.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are just making a new personal attack here. You are getting the discussion further off track and wasting our time. Try to get back to the points of the essay.

          To the charge “you are a pedantic tone troll” I plead “not guilty.” Instead, I acknowledge that I am a civility protector.

          “A civility protector is a person who participates in online discussions and debates and who at least occasionally but sometimes frequently monitors, identifies, and/or criticizes uncivil remarks or communications by other participants. This person defends victims of uncivil remarks and sometimes educates others on how incivility can be changed to civility. He/she is usually a volunteer, but might be a paid employee of a blog owner. Civility protectors are often the subject of scorn and derision from those who first make the uncivil remarks and their advocates.”

        • adam

          ” Instead, I acknowledge that I am a civility protector.”

          No, you are just trolling, being an asshole, AGAIN

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are making another personal attack. Totally uncalled for on a forum like this. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Can you make your points and ask questions without making personal attacks. Will you? I’ll wait and see.

        • adam

          “Be part of the solution, not the problem.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb4c2dd302a61d022368bd0b4663a7caa9eb57354da9947f37578b685f4d8115.jpg

          You ARE the problem in this conversation, Gary

        • Pofarmer

          Oh fuck you you dumbass. We don’t need a “civility protector.” What we need are people who will engage in HONEST dialogue.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          There is sufficient evidence that you either lack the ability or the willingness to refrain from personal attacks or other uncivil remarks. So I’m not going to waste my time with you anymore. I’m going to engage with people who have the ability and willingness to be civil and rational at the same time. There are a few left in this discussion.

          I will no longer read, study, or reply to your posts.

        • adam

          ” I’m going to engage with people who have the ability and willingness to be civil and rational at the same time.”

          That would be virtually everybody here, EXCEPT you, asshole.

        • Pofarmer

          I object to you being a controlling douche, which both your behavior and your replies indicate you are.

        • Max Doubt

          “There is sufficient evidence that you either lack the ability or the willingness to refrain from personal attacks or other uncivil remarks. So I’m not going to waste my time with you anymore. I’m going to engage with people who have the ability and willingness to be civil and rational at the same time. There are a few left in this discussion.”

          Your uncivil attacks have simply become spam.

          “I will no longer read, study, or reply to your posts.”

          Your willful ignorance to protect yourself form acknowledging you’re a dismal failure, noted.

        • Max Doubt

          “You are just making a new personal attack here. “

          You’re just inappropriately tone trolling. Flagged for your persistent uncivil spamming. Nobody invited you to be mommy civility protector here. Are you too stupid to start your own blog?

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

          Gary: comments here can be frank. My suggestion is to notice what is being complained about. If your compliant is simply in the tone of comments, by complaining about that, you’re just going to get more of the same.

          Focus on the intellectual subject. Make on-target comments (pro or con, it doesn’t matter) and ignore the insults. When your comments are solely about the subject, you’ll find that the insulting comments will wane.

          I am a civility protector.

          My suggestion then is to stop criticizing the tone of comments and respond exclusively to the intellectual content. I think this will be the best way to achieve your goal.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          BS2: Gary: comments here can be frank.

          GW2: I have no problem with frankness.

          BS2: My suggestion is to notice what is being complained about. If your compliant is simply in the tone of comments, by complaining about that, you’re just going to get more of the same.

          GW2: I don’t complain about “tone.” I complain about uncivil remarks including ad hominems, personal attacks, threats, and vulgar language, you know, the kinds of things Donald Trump or some fundamentalist Christians frequently say.

          BS2: Focus on the intellectual subject. Make on-target comments (pro or con, it doesn’t matter) and ignore the insults. When your comments are solely about the subject, you’ll find that the insulting comments will wane.

          GW2: I always focus on the intellectual subject, unless/until somebody makes a personal attack or other uncivil remark against me or another person in the discussion, and then I point it out. It is not surprising that people get irritated even when they are called out for good reason. I’ll consider your recommendation, and also make one to you – play a more active role in moderating your forum. If you would make greater use of reprimands, warnings, block outs, and suspensions, I think you’d find that the uncivil comments would wane in short order. The standards you set can have a profound effect. I think you should set them high.

          GW1: I am a civility protector.

          BS2: My suggestion then is to stop criticizing the tone of comments and respond exclusively to the intellectual content. I think this will be the best way to achieve your goal.

          GW2: Again, I’ll consider your suggestion, but I’m skeptical about it. I hope that you’ll consider my suggestion too. See above.

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

          play a more active role in moderating your forum. If you would make greater use of reprimands, warnings, block outs, and suspensions, I think you’d find that the uncivil comments would wane in short order. The standards you set can have a profound effect. I think you should set them high.

          I disagree. My policy is to be largely hands off.

          If my suggestions aren’t helpful, then you’re free to ignore them.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Suggestions made. Suggestions considered.

        • Max Doubt

          “Suggestions made. Suggestions considered.”

          You could, you know, start your own blog. It only takes the intellectual prowess of an average junior high school kid. Sure it might be a challenge for you, but I got confidence in ya, buddy. I bet you can do it.

        • adam

          ” If you would make greater use of reprimands, warnings, block outs, and
          suspensions, I think you’d find that the uncivil comments would wane in
          short order. ”

          Well DUH, you would have been banned already and any ‘uncivil’ comments wouldnt have been needed

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/07824589a0c19a489075d14af8df9dab192d3726c9f7ac5dd6d378441406fc71.jpg

        • Otto

          >>>”GW2: I have no problem with frankness.”

          Bullshit…and I have proof

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I have no problem with frankness when it does not include a personal attack or other uncivil remark, but I have a problem with frankness when it does include that.

          Frankly, Otto, on this point you are mistaken.

        • Otto

          Frankly you are full of shit…and stating that you are full of shit when I can cite an example of you calling me uncivil for a comment that had zero incivility is not uncivil…it is frank.

          http://disq.us/p/1n8yqzn

        • Gary Whittenberger

          See your post here is an excellent example of frankness including a personal attack. Are you able and willing to be frank without making a personal attack? I will wait and see.

        • Otto

          I will wait and see if you ever respond to the evidence in my accusation or if you are just going to continue to hide behind your tone trolling…which is itself uncivil and dishonest.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          That is a classic lame response of people who make uncivil remarks — making new counter-accusations.

          I am not a tone troller. I am a civility protector.

          “A civility protector is a person who participates in online discussions and debates and who at least occasionally but sometimes frequently monitors, identifies, and/or criticizes uncivil remarks or communications by other participants. This person defends victims of uncivil remarks and sometimes educates others on how incivility can be changed to civility. He/she is usually a volunteer, but might be a paid employee of a blog owner. Civility protectors are often the subject of scorn and derision from those who first make the uncivil remarks and their advocates.”

        • Otto

          Self appointing yourself as the voice of civility does not make it so…it just makes you look like a douche.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Hey, Otto? Would you kindly inform Gary that “lame” is an ableist term? Thank you!

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You just made another personal attack. Try to say on topic without making uncivil remarks.

        • Kodie

          But it’s a fact. Sorry you don’t like to hear the truth about your imposition. We have a moderator, his name is Bob Seidensticker. You can’t tell him how to run his blog, and you’re making a menace of yourself dictating to everyone else here how to behave. If you don’t like being called a name for your behavior, change your fucking behavior, dummy. This is so easy. But you’re not against incivility, you have just appointed yourself “civility protector” to avoid conversations and disrupt blogs. That makes you a tone troll, whether you like it or not. I’ve also heard it called “mini-modding”, attempting to moderate a blog you don’t control and aren’t an appointed mod for. It’s rude, YOU ARE RUDE.

        • Otto

          Save it for someone who buys your shtick

        • BlackMamba44
        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are just making a uncivil remark which is irrelevant, unnecessary, disrespectful, and counter-productive.

        • BlackMamba44

          Waaaahhhhhh!

        • MNb

          “by other participants”
          in your case this definition is incomplete.
          You should have added “and never accepts any criticism regarding his own rude attitude”.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I disagree. The definition is complete and accurate, just as it is.

        • Michael Neville

          I am not a tone troller. I am a civility protector.

          As usual, you’re wrong. You’re a tone-trolling asshole with delusions of adequacy.

        • Kodie

          No, you’re an asshole.

        • Max Doubt
        • MNb

          You probably can wait until Easter and Pentecost are celebrated on the same day.

        • Max Doubt

          “I will wait and see if you ever respond to the evidence in my accusation…”

          Not going to happen.

        • Max Doubt

          “I have no problem with frankness when it does not include a personal attack or other uncivil remark, but I have a problem with frankness when it does include that.”

          You’re a liar. I can link to conversations that show I’m correct.

          “Frankly, Otto, on this point you are mistaken.”

          Frankly, Gary, you’ve objectively demonstrated many times that you’re a liar. When your silly conjectures are shown to be wrong you redefine words so you don’t have to admit you’re wrong. Otto isn’t “mistaken”. You’re just being an ignorant a dick.

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t complain about “tone.” I complain about uncivil remarks including ad hominems, personal attacks, threats, and vulgar language

          So you don’t even know what “tone” is. You’ve given a great definition in your next sentence, except that like many Christians you don’t understand what ad hominem actually is.

        • Kodie

          Why do you think you can dictate to the blog owner how he should moderate to suit you? Get your own fucking blog and have all the tyrannical control you like. Nobody gives a shit what you want. We like it here, we like it the way Bob keeps it, and YOU CAN GO FUCK OFF IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT. I really wish you would be able to take a hint, but you are only in it for the attention.

        • adam

          “My suggestion then is to stop criticizing the tone of comments and
          respond exclusively to the intellectual content. I think this will be
          the best way to achieve your goal.”

          If only his arguments could stand on the merits, he wouldnt need to be trolling.

        • Kodie

          Bob, Gary’s goal is to disrupt your blog and get a lot of attention for being an asshole. He cannot support his arguments, and doesn’t even try. So, exactly what he is doing seems to be the best way to achieve his goal.

        • Max Doubt

          “My suggestion then is to stop criticizing the tone of comments and respond exclusively to the intellectual content.”

          Gary has now blocked what appears to be most of the regular users here. He won’t listen to replies that don’t agree with him no matter how sweet and polite. His crying about people treating him badly is absolutely a dishonest way of ignoring replies that don’t indulge his fantasies.

          I generally have a pretty minimum concern for people’s modes of behavior on the blogs, but Gary is almost literally stuffing his fingers in his ears and hollering how he won’t even read anything from pretty much anyone else in the discussion. A pulpit is the right place for that. A blog designed for interaction is not.

          I wouldn’t even ban most of the hardest core, most abusive Christian trolls. I think I only have one person blocked in all my years. But I would ban someone who more or less declares this will be his pulpit for one-way communication regardless of how anyone else here feels about it.

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

          Thanks for the feedback.

        • Otto

          Does being a civil protector include accusing people of incivility where there is none as you do? Because that in itself is uncivil.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          The correct term is “civility protector” not “civil protector.”

          The civility protectors trained by me rarely make errors.

        • Kodie

          You excel at changing the subject to how civil you think you are. You’re actually the worst.

        • Susan

          You’re actually the worst.

          I would take Ameribear any day (who just asserts things about fields and makes no effort to learn anything about the fields he refers to and then challenges people to “refute it” and calls them names when they do and hits the reset button and doe-see-do) who is pretty bad.

          But at least he doesn’t have the audacity to pretend he’s an authority on civil discussion when he does so.

        • Susan

          The civility protectors trained by me rarely make errors.

          How do you know?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I have watched then in action. They do very well.

        • Max Doubt

          “The civility protectors trained by me rarely make errors.”

          Are they the same kind of arrogant intrusive dickheads as you?

          Oh, flagged you for your incivility.

        • Max Doubt

          “Here you are just making more personal attacks and trying, lamely, to justify the one you already made. Could you make your claims and ask your questions without making uncivil remarks? Could you? Will you?”

          Your tone trolling is uncivil. Flagged.

        • Kodie

          Go fuck yourself, Gary. You’re so fucking immature, it’s unbelievable. Really go fuck yourself today, right now, don’t wait. Nobody wants to have this conversation with you so badly as to kiss your ass for the opportunity.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are making no relevant points. You are just ranting with a barrage of uncivil remarks.

        • adam

          “You are making no relevant points.”

          But she is:

          ‘You’re so fucking immature, it’s unbelievable.’

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Adam, you are now enabling personal attacks by others. Please try to stick to the subject of the original essay. Be a part of the solution instead of the problem.

        • adam

          ” Be a part of the solution instead of the problem.”

          Follow your own advice and quit being so fucking immature.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Now you are making a personal attack — totally uncalled for. Try to stick to the subject of the original essay. You’re getting us further off track.

        • adam

          “Now you are making a personal attack — totally uncalled for.”

          I disagree, it was totally called for.

          Now:
          Follow your own advice and quit being so fucking immature.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          “You/he deserved it” is the most common lame excuse given for making a personal attack.

          Now you are doubling down on your uncivil remarks. Can you possibly make your points and ask questions without making uncivil remarks? I’ll wait a little longer.

        • Michael Neville

          Just for your information, you immature asswipe, tone trolling will not win you any points here. Quite the contrary, in fact.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Just for your information, making personal attacks will not win you any points anywhere. Quite the contrary, in fact,… unless the points are demerits.

        • Michael Neville

          Pardon me, sirrah, you must have mistaken me for someone who gives a shit if I win points from your Christian ass.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are mistaken. I’m an atheist. What are you?

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t believe you for an instant. In case you hadn’t noticed, other people join me in this disbelief.

        • adam

          “Just for your information, making personal attacks will not win you any points anywhere.”

          And you are personally attacking MIchael, why?

        • Max Doubt

          “Just for your information, making personal attacks will not win you any points anywhere. Quite the contrary, in fact,… unless the points are demerits.”

          Flagged for tone trolling and general uncivil assholiness.

        • adam

          “Now you are doubling down on your uncivil remarks”

          Then let me triple down, dawg

          Follow your own advice and quit being so fucking immature.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          There is plenty of evidence, Adam, that you either lack the ability or willingness to refrain from personal attacks and other uncivil remarks. I am not going to waste my time with you, but instead engage with those who have both the ability and willingness for civil rational discussion.

          I will not read, study, think about, or respond to any of your posts.

          Blacklisted.

        • adam

          “There is plenty of evidence,”

          Yes, of YOU being an ASSHOLE>

          “but instead engage with those who have both the ability and willingness for civil rational discussion.”

          That is virtually everybody here, EXCEPT YOU, asshole

          “Blacklisted.”

          Another LOSER who cant handle the truth.

          What a LOSER Snowflake…..

        • Pofarmer

          It’s rather precious that Gary is coming to someone else’s blog and blacklisting everybody. I don’t think that’s how this works.

        • adam

          I think it works fine to demonstrate what Gary’s real goal is here.

          And it is not discussion.

        • Ignorant Amos

          We should rename the dickhead Raymond Reddington.

        • Kodie

          When someone like you complains that every remark is insulting to you, threaten not to interact with them, and block them, I just have to wonder how important you think your input is here. You think we’re all dying to talk to you? Nobody gives a shit. Block all of us, it’s called go fuck yourself.

        • MNb

          When will blacklist me, piece of shit?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Now is an excellent time!

          Because you continue to make personal attacks against me, to make lame excuses for your misbehavior, to fail to take responsibility for your misconduct, and/or to enable others to do the same, I’m not going to waste my time with you any longer. In the future I will not read, think about, or respond to your posts. I will devote my time to others who are both able and willing to have a civil and rational discussion of controversial subjects. You are blacklisted and blocked.

        • Max Doubt

          “Because you continue to make personal attacks against me, to make lame excuses for your misbehavior, to fail to take responsibility for your misconduct, and/or to enable others to do the same, I’m not going to waste my time with you any longer.”

          Oh, badass Gary. You going to tell mommy, too, like you did when Kodie told you to go fuck yourself?

          “In the future I will not read, think about, or respond to your posts. I will devote my time to others who are both able and willing to have a civil and rational discussion of controversial subjects. You are blacklisted and blocked.”

          You won’t even listen to replies that don’t agree with you no matter how sweet and polite. You’ve blocked virtually every regular participant here, and you’re trying to effectively turn this into a place for you to preach but where you refuse to defend what you preach. You’re a piece of shit, Gary. It’s time we actively work to have you banned from this forum. I would encourage everyone, on every comment you make about anyone’s style of delivery, to flag your posts as the uncivil dishonest manipulative spam they are.

        • Max Doubt

          “Now you are doubling down…”

          Flagged for incivility.

        • Max Doubt

          “… totally uncalled for.”

          Your persistent tone trolling is uncivil and totally uncalled for. Flagged for incivility.

        • MNb

          Adam understands very well (like me) that you are the problem. Neither of us has any intention to become part of you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Another lame defense of offenders who make uncivil remarks. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

        • adam

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3d4151a9338feda9e29378bb89d23d2cd3350447a8b305233f1c76b45a4a471.jpg

          Why is it that you only act Snowflake when you cant support your positions rationally?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I don’t accept the premise of your question.

          You are using another classic lame excuse for making personal attacks — the “you are overly sensitive” excuse. If you punched a guy in the nose and he called the police on you, would you say “This guy is just oversensitive. He’s a snowflake”?

        • adam

          “I don’t accept the premise of your question.”

          Of course you dont, asshole

          “f you punched a guy in the nose and he called the police on you, would
          you say “This guy is just oversensitive. He’s a snowflake”?”

          Of course not IDiot, he would actually have something valid to complain about.

          You being offended by being an asshole, is pretty much the definition of Snowflake.

        • Max Doubt

          “You are using another classic lame excuse for making personal attacks — the “you are overly sensitive” excuse.”

          You are overly sensitive.

          “If you punched a guy in the nose and he called the police on you, would you say “This guy is just oversensitive. He’s a snowflake”?”

          Nobody punched you in the face, ya fuckin’ cry-baby. Nobody is persecuting you. When you fail to make a point, usually because it’s a stupid, indefensible point, you whip out the persecuted baby routine and wave it in front of you like a shield. Hey, Gary, I’ve got news for you. Your shield is imaginary. People here are gooing to continue to engage as adults regardless of your disapproval, and people are still going to criticize you even when you throw your little tantrums.

        • Kodie

          Pofarmer gave you a decent response, and then asked “you can’t be this daft, can you?” Instead of be able to handle it like a trooper, you start wailing about civility, and derail the entire discussion while you make it all about you. Fuck you! You’re actually the problem here. Go fuck yourself, that’s what I’ll say every time you act like this.

        • MNb

          See my previous comment.
          And thanks for confirming that you are the problem.
          Of course given my previous experience with you, which demonstrated that you are a lame offender, you are totally unqualified to be the judge of what constitutes “lame” and “offender”.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Incivility is just a mask worn by persons frustrated with their own lack of an argument.

        • MNb

          Exactly.
          Now only you have to realize how much this applies to yourself.
          See, I remember very well how you lacked any argument and hence endlessly kept on repeating your decree. That attitude of yours is more rude than any name you got called. And I have told you this before. It only adds to your incivility that you neglect it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I totally disagree with you on the point you are making here.

        • Max Doubt

          “I totally disagree with you on the point you are making here.”

          Of course you do, but it would be more accurate and more honest for you to admit you don’t understand the criticism you’ve earned. But that would require you to engage in some honest self reflection. And since you are neither capable of taking responsibility for your own failures nor being honest, you are likely to continue to misunderstand the criticism you’re earning.

        • MNb

          Quelle surprise.

          Later addition: neither is it a surprise that you display the very same rude attitude here once again – just decreeing, never arguing.

        • Max Doubt

          “Incivility is just a mask worn by persons frustrated with their own lack of an argument.”

          Your incivility appears to rear its ugly dishonest assholy head when you try to defend your indefensible positions, but seriously, we’re adults here. Go volunteer to be a Brownie Scout leader. With your juvenile prudish sensitivity and your crabby mommy mode, you’d be a shoo in.

        • Max Doubt

          “Another lame defense of offenders who make uncivil remarks. Be part of the solution, not the problem.”

          Flagged again for spamming your childish off-topic tone trolling.

        • katiehippie

          Guess what, you are a sea lion. An entire comic written about you. Congratulations.
          https://i.redd.it/7dpfvq0dmr6y.png

        • Max Doubt

          “Another lame defense of offenders who make uncivil remarks. Be part of the solution, not the problem.”

          The solution is for you to stop acting like such a fucking narcissistic cry-baby. Be a part of the solution? Pretty much everyone here is trying to tell you it’s uncivil for you to sashay in here and try to play mommy to a bunch of adults. We’re doing our part. The only part of the solution missing would be for you to pull your head out of your ass, grow up, and start participating here like an honest adult.

          Or better yet, start your own blog where you can jack off all day long to your own happy little Sunday school kid civility standards. Oh, and try not to get any on ya.

          Oh, yeah, flagged again, spammer.

        • Michael Neville

          Gary, if you haven’t figured this out by now, you are not held in great esteem by several of the regulars on this blog. Now be a good boy and fuck yourself like Kodie told you to do.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Michael, you’ve just jumped on the band wagon of uncivil remarks.

          Incivility is just a mask worn by persons frustrated with their own lack of an argument.

        • Michael Neville

          Gary, I’ll type this slowly so perhaps you can understand what I’m trying to tell you. You are not responding to the arguments that people are making against your quite stupid arguments. Instead, you’re whining (yes, you’re a whiner) about civility. That tells me that you can’t respond to the legitimate arguments made against your dumb comments.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are just mistaken. I can and do give excellent civil and rational replies to all the arguments that people are making against my excellent civil and rational arguments, but I choose not to do so WHEN people mix their substantive points with all their uncivil garbage.

          Why not say “Gary, I disagree with your claim” rather than call my claims “quite stupid” or “dumb”? What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to persuade me that I am mistaken? If so, then you are working against yourself.

          It would help if you did a little whining (persistent complaining) about incivility, but instead you tend to enable it.

        • Michael Neville

          I call your claim stupid and dumb for a very simple reason that even a stupid and dumb person like your stupid and dumb ass could understand. You make stupid and dumb comments and then, instead of arguing against the rebuttals, you whine about how “uncivil” everyone is. That, you stupid and dumb person, is both stupid and dumb.

          I can and do give excellent civil and rational replies

          You’re not only stupid and dumb, you’re self-deluding as well.

          It would help if you did a little whining (persistent complaining) about incivility, but instead you tend to enable it.

          See, this is exactly what I’m talking about. I tell you to stop tone trolling and instead of saying “okay, I’ll stop whining about people being uncivil” you try to get me to join you in your tone trolling. That, you stupid and dumb shit for brains, is both stupid and dumb.

        • Pofarmer

          You are just mistaken. I can and do give excellent civil and rational replies to all the arguments that people are making

          Has to be a Trump voter.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are making personal attacks and making lame excuses for doing so.

        • Michael Neville

          The simple point that everyone is piling on you and nobody is rushing to your defense should tell you something about how people here feel about you. But you’re too arrogant and self-centered to realize this point.

        • Max Doubt

          “You are making personal attacks and making lame excuses for doing so.”

          You are being an uncivil, tone trolling piece of shit. As usual. Flagged.

        • Max Doubt

          “You are just mistaken. I can and do give excellent civil and rational replies to all the arguments that people are making against my excellent civil and rational arguments, but I choose not to do so WHEN people mix their substantive points with all their uncivil garbage.”

          You’re tone trolling. That’s uncivil.

          “Why not say “Gary, I disagree with your claim” rather than call my claims “quite stupid” or “dumb”? What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to persuade me that I am mistaken? If so, then you are working against yourself.”

          In an adult conversation, people will respond to the content and disregard the tone. You, on the other hand, do not know how to engage in an adult conversation. You’re acting like a child, responding to the tone and ignoring the content. You do it on purpose to keep form having to acknowledge when people shred your ill conceived, unreasonable claims.

          “It would help if you did a little whining (persistent complaining) about incivility, but instead you tend to enable it.”

          It would really help if you would just act like an adult and/or shut the hell up, but I predict you’ll continue to harp away at people’s tones while ignoring the substance of their comments because you can’t defend your silly positions against what they’re saying in their comments.

        • Max Doubt
        • Max Doubt

          “Adam, you are now enabling personal attacks by others.”

          Your continued incivility is noted. Flagged for tone trolling.

        • Kodie

          Your shitty habit of derailing a conversation to wail about uncivil remarks IS THE AD HOMINEM HERE. You are not innocent, you are not civil, you are an attention whore. I made a lot of good comments, you chose to be a sensitive crybaby instead of consider the comments. You called Pofarmer uncivil because he called you a little name, and you’re actually not worth having conversations with – too fucking high-maintenance. It’s fine to have a discussion, but you are incapable of it.

        • Bob Jase

          Are you claiming you have ever made a relevant point on this thread?

        • MNb

          For Gary the fucking creep who wants to get a call when some random female stranger contemplates abortion every decree he issues is not only a relevant point, but a decisive one.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Yes. All my points have been relevant. Most my points are relevant to the issues raised in the original essay, but some of my points are relevant to uncivil remarks made by others. If I spot a personal attack on another (sometimes it is me), then I often point it out. You should too.

        • adam

          Why should point it out?
          It is less relevant than your defense of your position.

          and we arent delicate Snowflakes here either

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3d4151a9338feda9e29378bb89d23d2cd3350447a8b305233f1c76b45a4a471.jpg

        • adam
        • Max Doubt

          “… but some of my points are relevant to uncivil remarks made by others.”

          Your notion of incivility seems to end just before it gets to your lying and your tone trolling and your redefining terms in order to assure you’re unassailable and your dishonest effort to guide the discussion so it swings in your favor.

          “If I spot a personal attack on another (sometimes it is me), then I often point it out. You should too.”

          I’m pointing out your incivility, and you’re being flagged for spamming your moronic Sunday school tone trolling.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Bob Seidensticker: Kodie is out of line here, and I believe he should be sanctioned for this kind of drivel.

        • Kodie

          Hey, you’re supposed to go fuck yourself. Are you a five-year-old? Does your mommy know you’re fucking around on the internet while you’re supposed to be taking a nap?

        • Max Doubt

          “Bob Seidensticker: Kodie is out of line here, and I believe he should be sanctioned for this kind of drivel.”

          Gary: You appear to be mentally ill. Seriously. Being the sort of civil, generous person I am, I’m offering to help you locate some competent mental health professionals in your area. I’ll help you find local public services to get you financing for some therapy if that’s what you need. Really. You’ve completely lost it, dude. You’re nuts. You need help.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Gary must have escaped Vault 108 again. *sigh*

          https://youtu.be/ejvSVuelB4o

        • Kodie

          I know I’m not the one who derailed the whole thread because someone called me “daft”. Gary has some clear delusions, among them that people are actually sorry if they undermine the chance to have a “good” discussion with him. There is no such thing.

        • Max Doubt

          “Gary has some clear delusions, among them that people are actually sorry if they undermine the chance to have a “good” discussion with him. There is no such thing.”

          My first encounter with Gary was back in June. He claimed he could prove that gods, a god, upper case “G’ god, some god or other doesn’t exist. He gave it his typical dishonest best. He defined a god with characteristics that included its vulnerability to his “proof”, asserted that people who believe gods exist do accept his definition, then kicked his god’s straw ass. He was giddy about it, proudly proclaiming success like a kid after his first successful potty experience.

          I, and several others, repeatedly pointed out the failures of his silly “proof”. He lied and lied and lied, insisting that we hadn’t. He devolved into a blithering, tantrum throwing, lying cry-baby about it, displaying some of the most uncivil behavior we ever encounter in these forums. And he’s been the same piece of shit with the same mental health issues ever since.

          Anyone who thinks Gary is still reading their posts, copy and paste this post of mine for him. Here’s the contact information for a mental health clinic within a couple miles of his home. If he has a shred of sanity left he’ll be glad to have this…

          Behavioral Health Solutions – 2898 Mahan Dr – 850-552-0691

          Tell him we’re all rooting for his speedy recovery.

        • Kodie

          Oh yeah, that guy. I had a break over July and didn’t really catch up until September? and totally forgot all about that guy or remember what his name was, especially since a couple others like james and Fred showed up since then.

        • Greg G.

          That was not an ad hominem attack. An ad hominem is a fallacious reply to a logical argument like “your argument is wrong because you are stupid” without actually showing how the argument is wrong. An argument presented by a stupid person still needs to be shown to be invalid. He merely insulted you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          To avoid confusion and be accurate I’m going to call it “a personal attack.” It’s still unethical, unwise, unhelpful and counter-productive.

          Both civility and rationality are becoming more rare today, even on “atheist” blogs.

        • Max Doubt

          “To avoid confusion and be accurate I’m going to call it “a personal attack.” It’s still unethical, unwise, unhelpful and counter-productive.”

          The criticism you work so hard to receive isn’t a person attack. It’s criticism. Did you raise your daughter to be the kind of wussy cry baby whiner as you are? Would you be proud to think your daughter would piss and moan about being criticized and utterly ignore her responsibility to correct her dishonesty and incivility the way you do?

          “Both civility and rationality are becoming more rare today, even on “atheist” blogs.”

          You could, if you had the intellect of a middle school child, start your own blog. But here? At this blog? Here you’re tone trolling. That’s uncivil.

        • Michael Neville

          Like many fundamentalist Christians (no, I don’t believe for an instant that you’re a skeptical atheist), you fail to understand what an ad hominem is. “You’re wrong because you’re an idiot” is an ad hominem. “You’re wrong because of fact A, you idiot” is a non-fallacious response with an insult added. Pofarmer responded to your silly comment about thousands of adults needlessly suffering with a reasonable response. There was also, at no cost to you, an observation that your “suffering” comment was really stupid (a sentiment with which I agree).

          I see that Greg G. made the same comment I just did.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          “You’re wrong because of fact A, you idiot” is still a personal attack, totally uncalled for in a forum like this. Nitpicking is a lame defense.

          Ok, you disagree with my conclusion about the “suffering.” Calling it “really stupid” is not an argument. It is just an inflammatory remark to express your anger and make you feel better.

        • Michael Neville

          Why do you Christian fundamentalists always think we’re angry? I’m not angry with you, you stupid fuck. You’re an annoyance, nothing more. You haven’t even made the grade of being irritating. The only reason you’re an annoyance, other than your persistent lying about being an atheist but we’re used to Christians playing that game, is your incessant tone trolling. If you paid attention to what people say to your dumb ass instead of how they say it, you’d stop being an annoyance and raise yourself to merely being exasperating.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Because you continue to make personal attacks against me, to make lame excuses for your misbehavior, and to enable others to do the same, I’m not going to waste my time with you any longer. I will no longer read, think about, or respond to your posts. I will devote my time to others who are both able and willing to have a civil and rational discussion of controversial subjects. You are blacklisted.

        • Michael Neville

          Yawn.

        • Kodie

          Nitpicking is a lame defense.

          Did you really say that? You, the one who screeched the discussion to a halt over the word “daft” and called me uncivil for calling you sexist objectifier of women? You can’t seem to handle having conversations at all. So —- go fuck yourself! Today! Right now! Don’t wait!

        • MNb

          “Calling it “really stupid” is not an argument.”
          That’s exactly what MN just wrote, stupid.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Now you are making another personal attack.

        • Max Doubt

          “Now you are making another personal attack.”

          You’re being a tone trolling cry-baby. Flagged ya again.

        • Greg G.

          “You’re wrong because of fact A, you idiot” is still a personal attack

          Of course, depending on the applicability of fact A, that is a valid response to an argument. Only the “you idiot” is a personal attack which has nothing to do with the argument..

        • Pofarmer

          Are we still arguing over the fact that douchendorf here doesn’t understand what an ad hominem is?

        • Greg G.

          He seems to think that he is so smart that he cannot possibly be wrong. Once he gets an idea in his head, it cannot be wrong.

        • Susan

          Once he gets an idea in his head, it cannot be wrong.

          Well, we have to prove him wrong before he supports that idea. Or at least, say why we disagree with his loaded claims.

          And no one can respond negatively. Or he will ignore the rsubstance of the esponses and chastise that person for not following his classroom rules.

          He shows up on blogs that he hasn’t put any work into, makes statements that we are supposed to discuss on his terms and ignores substantial responses if they include a single word that he finds offensive.

          I attempted to engage him without using a single term that he found offensive and he failed to engage anyway.

          It’s like some stranger wandering into a classroom, claiming the earth is flat, inisisting that everyone explain where their disagreement lies, chastising those who find it obnoxious if they even mildly express that reaction and asking the teacher to change the rules. Without justifying a single step of their behaviour or showing expertise in the slightest.

          Also, the rules can be changed at any moment if they work against him.

          Where he sees incivility, I have seen mostly (though not complete) restraint.

          Gary has no business teaching anyone anything about civil discussion.

        • Otto

          >>>”I attempted to engage him without using a single term that he found offensive and he failed to engage anyway.”

          I literally had a back and forth with him where I did not use any incivility, it was my first experience with him and I had no reason to use it at that point…he STILL accused me of making uncivil remarks. It is a smoke screen.

        • Susan

          he STILL accused me of making uncivil remarks. It is a smoke screen.

          I know. I saw that/

          He can lie about you by accusing you of doing something you clearly didn’t do, but if you point out he is being dishonest, he will accuse you of using personal attacks, therefore, being uncivil.

          It’s appalling.

        • MNb

          To my joy I just learned that he blocked me after I called him a piece of shit, after I read how he blocked Adam (!). I can recommend everyone who gets tired of him to do the same. It would be nice if he had to block everyone.

        • Otto

          It’s completely passive aggressive…and heavily on the aggressive side.

        • MNb

          Believe it or not, in the one and only back and forth I tried to have with him (on the a priori probability of “there is a god”) I was so polite even he couldn’t accuse me. He neglected everything I brought up and just found a gazillion variations on “that a priori probability is 0,5 because that’s reasonable”.

        • Joe

          That’s the thread I was trying to recall!

          We all tried, politely, to explain how he was wrong, but it fell on deaf ears. That’s when I realised he was a lost cause.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think we are in agreement on this point.

          I believe that uncivil remarks are very often false (they can even be true), but that’s not the reason they are unethical. They are unethical because they are irrelevant, unnecessary, unhelpful, counter-productive, selfish expressions of anger, hostility, or hatred, aimed to intimidate.

        • Otto

          >>>”…aimed to intimidate.”

          Quit acting like your accusations of incivility are not an attempt to put your opposition in a discussion on the defensive, i.e. intimidate them. Please…we aren’t that stupid. Your behavior is condescending, patronizing and downright galling.

        • Max Doubt

          “Quit acting like your accusations of incivility are not an attempt to put your opposition in a discussion on the defensive, i.e. intimidate them. Please…we aren’t that stupid. Your behavior is condescending, patronizing and downright galling.”

          Abso-fucking-lutely.

        • Max Doubt

          “I believe that uncivil remarks are very often false (they can even be true), but that’s not the reason they are unethical. They are unethical because they are irrelevant, unnecessary, unhelpful, counter-productive, selfish expressions of anger, hostility, or hatred, aimed to intimidate.”

          If a comment, argument, position on an issue is true, it’s not unethical. But I see you want to redefine unethical so it suits your need so you don’t have to admit you’re wrong. You’re a real piece of work, Gary. An immature dishonest uncivil piece of shit. You’ve been asked to leave your crybaby tone trolling at home – even reminded by the owner of this blog that your intrusion is unwelcome. And you’re still picking at it. You have a problem. Call the people at this place. It’s only a mile or two down the road from you…

          Behavioral Health Solutions – 2898 Mahan Dr – 850-552-0691

        • Kodie

          Take some responsibility! You undermine entire blogs because you want to force everyone to listen to you whine!

        • Otto

          Nope

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Please explain why you think not.

        • Otto

          That is not a direct or imminent type of suffering for those people, they are not going to personally burn. Their suffering is emotional and ostensibly the harm can be overcome by replacing their embryo.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          When these people find out that their frozen embryos have been destroyed, their suffering will be immediate and direct. It’s called grief, sadness, disappointment, and helplessness.

          The suffering to the puppy would also be immediate and direct, but of a different type. It would be pain. However, its suffering won’t last as long as the suffering of the people who lose their embryos. Also, the puppy can be replaced also, much easier than a thousand embryos can be replaced.

          So far, I am not persuaded that the proper response would be to save the puppy rather than the 1000 frozen embryos, but I’m open to hearing more.

        • Otto

          I don’t care whether you are persuaded or not…I stated what I would do after you asked me why. I answered. Also I am not persuaded that when these people find out they will suffer in the way you are claiming they will.

          …and just out of curiosity is this the part of the show where you compliment me for having a civil conversation, but then one post later accuse me of
          ‘engaging in uncivil communications and then making excuses for it
          … out of the blue?

          I am just wondering when the bait and switch is coming…

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Well then, we just disagree on the ways people and animals suffer.

          On your latter concern, it depends on what you say, Otto.

        • Otto

          No, we disagree on what is more imperative.

          >>>”On your latter concern, it depends on what you say, Otto.”

          point being it did not depend on what I said…because I didn’t say anything that warranted that response.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          It WOULD depend on what you say.

        • Pofarmer

          How can you disagree on the way people and animals suffer? Are you are WLC acolyte who believes that because animals aren’t exactly as intelligent as humans that they don’t suffer? Because, honestly, that makes you a horrid person.

        • adam

          “However, its suffering won’t last as long as the suffering of the people who lose their embryos.”

          How do you KNOW this?

        • Pofarmer

          The suffering to the puppy would also be immediate and direct, but of a
          different type. It would be pain. However, its suffering won’t last as
          long as the suffering of the people who lose their embryos. Also, the
          puppy can be replaced also, much easier than a thousand embryos can be
          replaced.

          What an absolute fucking douche. “Just burn the puppy to death and replace it.” Holy shit. Now you know how the Catholics used to burn people to death for heresy. “They don’t really feel, they’re heretics, they aren’t really people.” Holy shit. Asshole.

        • adam

          “they aren’t really people.”

          Of course not, they BELIEF themselves to be Gods.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c34fc7352daf9a5a303932581c1d6fdf6df8670ef3e0dd882dbba5653cdd2368.png

        • Bob Jase

          Nope, they have no relationship with the non-persons the embryos are and they can always make more.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Those are two false claims. The relationship is one of ownership of valued properties which have the potential to become persons later. Maybe the owners can or cannot make more, but that is irrelevant. The owners have an emotional, fiscal, and time investment in the frozen embryos.

          Of course, the owner of the puppy can always get another one.

        • adam

          “Of course, the owner of the puppy can always get another one.”

          So, since it is obvious that life is not precious, what is the real problem with abortion?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are the one who made the argument “they can always get another one.” I just showed you that the same argument can be applied to the puppy. So, it is not a good argument for you to value the puppy over the 1000 frozen embryos.

          Care to try again to justify your choice?

        • adam

          “You are the one who made the argument “they can always get another one.””

          No I’m not, douchebag.

          ” I just showed you that the same argument can be applied to the puppy.”

          Ok, so like I said, ASSHOLE

          So, since it is obvious that life is not precious, what is the real problem with abortion?

        • Pofarmer

          He can’t even keep track of statement he made?

        • adam

          He doesnt care as long as he is lying for Jesus.
          THAT appears to be his primary goal.

        • MadScientist1023

          I always find it a little hard to be sympathetic to people who go through such extreme measures to have kids like that when there are plenty of children already here in need of homes. I’d probably save the puppy too. If it meant those couples had to give up on having “their” kid and adopt, even better.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I don’t think that is a persuasive argument. If the choice were between one puppy and one child would you choose the puppy since the parents of the child should just go out and adopt one of the many other children who need homes?

          If it were a choice between one puppy and one frozen embryo being saved by a couple who already have two healthy children, then I might opt for the puppy, but that kind of information would probably not be readily available in an emergency situation like the one described.

        • MadScientist1023

          Obviously not. An actual living human being would trump all. An embryo is little more than a hope of a person. I’d take a real person, or a real puppy, over the hope of a someday person any day.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          So, you’d still save a puppy rather than save a thousand frozen embryos, while knowing nothing more about either of their owners? Keep in mind that the owners are real persons too!

        • MadScientist1023

          Yeah, pretty much. I would save the following from the hypothetical fire in this order:

          my child,
          child of friend or family,
          child I’ve never met,
          husband,
          self,
          family member,
          disabled stranger,
          able bodied stranger,
          person I hate,
          one of my pets,
          pet of someone I know,
          any other domestic animal,
          family/friend’s valuables/sentimental objects,
          my valuables/sentimental objects,
          stranger’s valuables/sentimental objects.

          Those are my priorities. I make absolutely no apologies for them. An unimplanted embryo ultimately falls to the bottom of the list.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Please don’t make an apology for your choices (yet). So far, I don’t think you’ve given a good justification for saving one of your pets (or any of the five things below that on your list) over a thousand frozen embryos. Do you have another reason?

        • MadScientist1023

          Yes, I would pick a pet over the embryos of strangers. As I’ve said, I don’t agree with in vitro fertilization. If you want to be a parent and are biologically incapable, adopt a kid. That’s what I plan on doing. If you want to do in vitro, that’s you prerogative, but I’m not going to sacrifice a member of my family for someone who doesn’t think they can love a kid who doesn’t share 99.9% of their DNA. If that makes me a heartless bastard, so be it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          That’s it? That is the only reason you would save your pet over the thousand frozen embryos? If so, I am neither impressed nor persuaded. I don’t think you are a “heartless bastard.” I just think you are ethically mistaken.

        • MadScientist1023

          I don’t particularly care. I had no intention of persuading anyone of anything in this thread.
          Out of curiosity, what would you let burn to save embryos of strangers?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Ok, I’ll assume that you have given the only reason. I’m still neither impressed nor persuaded, regardless of your intentions.

          What would I let burn to save a thousand embryos of strangers? Too many things to list, but certainly not your puppy. If you want to ask about specific things, I’ll try to answer.

        • MadScientist1023

          “Too many things to list, but certainly not your puppy.”

          You just criticised me for opting to save my pet over a thousand embryoes of strangers, and yet you would not let a puppy burn to save said embryoes? Make up your mind, man.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Your question was “What would you let burn to save embryos of strangers.”

          I just made an error in my answer. I would let your puppy burn (and a lot of other things) to save the embryos of strangers.

        • MadScientist1023

          What thing would give you the most hesitation if given the choice between it and embryoes?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Oh, probably a chimp or a dolphin. There is considerable debate about their similarity to human beings.

          What would give you the most hesitation?

        • MadScientist1023

          I get where you’re coming from. An arguably sentient animal deserves more consideration. But can we just take a moment and picture the mechanics of saving a dolphin from a fire? Lol.

          To answer your question, I doubt a container of embryos would even register for me as something that should be saved. They’re pieces of other people’s property, most of which will go to waste anyway. Embryos get implanted over a dozen at a time. Maybe one or two actually take. Multiple embryos can fuse into the same individual, split into multiple ones, or just not work entirely. Then there’s the fact that most embryos in mass storage like that are going to be leftovers that will never get implanted. Add in the fact that the only people making embryos would be well off couples who got insurance to pay for this in the first place and who will probably be compensated for their financial loss, and you get something I can’t really muster concern over.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          MS1: I get where you’re coming from. An arguably sentient animal deserves more consideration. But can we just take a moment and picture the mechanics of saving a dolphin from a fire? Lol.

          GW1: That is a funny image.

          MS1: To answer your question, I doubt a container of embryos would even register for me as something that should be saved. They’re pieces of other people’s property, most of which will go to waste anyway. Embryos get implanted over a dozen at a time. Maybe one or two actually take. Multiple embryos can fuse into the same individual, split into multiple ones, or just not work entirely. Then there’s the fact that most embryos in mass storage like that are going to be leftovers that will never get implanted. Add in the fact that the only people making embryos would be well off couples who got insurance to pay for this in the first place and who will probably be compensated for their financial loss, and you get something I can’t really muster concern over.

          GW1: I think there is some truth in what you write here, but nevertheless there will be substantial loss for some of the two thousand owners of the embryos. I don’t agree with your choice of saving the puppy over the embryos, and I am not convinced by the reasons you gave for your decision.

        • MadScientist1023

          Just as I am not convinced by your reasons. I can understand them, I just can’t agree with that set of valuation. I guess we will just have agree to disagree on this.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Agreed.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor
        • Kodie

          You have to keep in mind THE BUILDING IS ON FIRE and you don’t have time to interview all the people involved to make an informed decision, nor should you need to. The puppy will itself suffer, but the embryos will not. I don’t have to know that every single one of those embryos, if able to be born, would be the single greatest collection of world problem-solvers ever to fail to exist, or that the puppy’s owner voted for Trump to still pick the puppy. After someone joked they would choose a candy bar over the embryos, I put up the thought experiment of saving no one but yourself or grabbing as many embryos as you could before you had to get out, and I still think most people would save themselves and not think of frozen embryos any more than they would save an office chair or rescue a case of staplers from the supply room.

        • Susan

          ou’d still save a puppy rather than save a thousand frozen embryos, while knowing nothing more about either of their owners? Keep in mind that the owners are real persons too!

          Would you save a toddler? Knowing all of that?

          Your empty promises that if people just explained what they disagreed with about your loaded statements (your shifting of the burden) are as empty as I thought they would be.

          You continue to shift the burden.

          If I could save anything, I would save a living being capable of suffering.

          What would you do in the case of a toddler vs. the thousand frozen embryos that are the property of two thousand or more invested people able to come up with the money to perpetuate their genes?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          S: Would you save a toddler? Knowing all of that?

          GW: I already answered that Q. Yes.

          S: Your empty promises that if people just explained what they disagreed with about your loaded statements (your shifting of the burden) are as empty as I thought they would be.

          GW: I’ve made no empty promises. I have no idea what you are talking about here. People can fully explain their decisions to me (and they should if I ask them), but this doesn’t not mean that I will agree with their judgement.

          S: You continue to shift the burden.

          GW: The burden is to say what choice you would make, give one specific scenario, and then explain, defend, and justify your choice. The burden is the same for everyone in this discussion.

          S: If I could save anything, I would save a living being capable of suffering.

          GW: Rather than saving one thousand frozen embryos. Ok, why?

          S: What would you do in the case of a toddler vs. the thousand frozen embryos that are the property of two thousand or more invested people able to come up with the money to perpetuate their genes?

          GW: See my earlier responses for the answer, but in short, yes.

        • Kodie

          Me too. I don’t know how many frozen embryos people usually try to have on hand, like in the example I used before, where a young person is faced with some critical disease which will take away their ability to produce or bear children in the future. Lots of people face infertility, or never meet the right someone, life doesn’t guarantee anything. They never loved or met each of, say, 30 embryos, they certainly never were going to meet all of them in any case. So, all 30 are lost in a fire, they get their insurance settlement, and that’s not a child, that’s not your own biological child, but there are people who put a lot into IVF and get nothing. Just like fucking normally, clinics don’t get involved with whether or not you should be a parent, but adoption poses hurdles that maybe a lot of people can’t pass. Lots of people want infants, and the reason that isn’t the option for many is that abortion just foils their plans too. Not a lot of perfect newborns, which I’m imagining is most people’s second choice to their own biological offspring. Rather than take someone who is already born and in need of parents and a home, they’ll wait for someone who isn’t even pregnant yet to get herself in a jam, and harass her with guilt trips and poverty, etc., to get what kind of child they want.

          To adopt someone from another country, or an older child, or a child of a different race than the rest of the family – kids who aren’t newborns have almost necessarily been displaced from a difficult home or their parents have died. It’s not the kind of parenting most people envision for themselves, and I think it’s probably just as difficult to adopt a kid in this category as it is to adopt a healthy white infant snatched from a teenager, because you’ll be screened by some outside authority who knows and judges whether or not you should be a parent. Nobody is screening anyone at the clinic, even if they are buying someone else’s eggs and/or sperm. It’s these people who are screening the donors, based entirely on whatever the donor says. The clinic isn’t doing background checks to make sure they have an Ivy League education or if their eyes are even naturally blue, much less for hereditary diseases or mental health issues.

        • Joe

          But two thousand adults who produced the embryos and intend to use them will suffer needlessly if the puppy is saved instead of the embryos. Isn’t the suffering of these persons worse?

          The possible, limited mental anguish of unknown strangers or the literal agony of a puppy that you’ve recently witnessed?

          I’d say the puppy had it worse.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          The anguish of the owners of the embryos would not be just “possible” but would be highly probable (at least for most of them). The owner of the dog is unknown just as the owners of the embryos are unknown. The intensity of the suffering of the dog would be greater than the intensity of the suffering of any one owner of an embryo. But the duration of suffering of any owner of an embryo would be longer than the suffering of the dog.

          So to put it in the balance: On one side we have the death of one dog vs the destruction of one thousand valued pieces of property which could become persons. On one side we have the highly intense yet brief suffering of the dog along with the moderately intense but prolonged suffering of the dog’s owner, and on the other side we have the moderately intense but prolonged suffering of two thousand donors who are real persons.

          Based on this assessment of the likely outcomes, I think I’d save the thousand frozen embryos.

        • MadScientist1023

          Ah, finally we get to the crux of the issue. The embryos are more expensive, thus you value them more. You value money over living things. That explains your responses.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          No, that is not the crux of the issue; monetary value is just one factor to consider among many factors. Look at all the factors I mentioned.

        • Joe

          Then you’re an asshole who I hope doesn’t own any pets.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You just made a personal attack against me.

          Uncivil remarks are very often false (they can even be true), but that’s not the reason they are unethical. They are unethical because they are irrelevant, unnecessary, unhelpful, counter-productive, selfish expressions of anger, hostility, or hatred, aimed to intimidate.

        • Joe

          Not just me, either. We’ve all seen through your ridiculous ways.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Yeah, I blocked his stupid ass, because I do not have the time or the energy to deal with that shit.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          That’s another classic lame excuse of the type “Others are doing the same thing, so it must be morally correct.” I’ve heard that hundreds of times from inmates in prison.

        • Joe

          Was that after they told you they were going to be your daddy?

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Would you please let Gary know that “lame” is an ableist term, and it’s highly uncivil to use it? Thank you!

        • Susan

          Would you please let Gary know that “lame” is an ableist term, and it’s highly uncivil to use it?

          I’ll pass your message along, WMDKitty.

          Just out of curiosity, did he block you or do you just find it pointless to engage with him?

          Either way, join either club.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          I blocked his boring, repetitive tone-trolling ass.

        • Max Doubt

          “Just out of curiosity, did he block you or do you just find it pointless to engage with him?”

          Gary has blocked at least 6 or 8 people who have attempted to have honest reasoned discussions with him. He won’t even acknowledge most of the regular contributors here because they’ve disagreed with him. He doesn’t want a conversation. He wants a pulpit, so he’s manipulating his participation in this forum in a way that he can preach without having to see any disagreement. Willful ignorance to the max. He’s treating everyone here like shit, the ones he’s blocked and the ones he threatens with blocking if they don’t behave according to his Sunday school sensibilities.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          There you go again — making another personal attack. Are you able and willing to carry on a conversation without making personal attacks? If so, will you make a commitment to do that?

        • Joe

          Are you able and willing to carry on a conversation without making personal attacks?

          Able, yes. Willing? Not until you show interest in carrying on a conversation.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Ok, then I guess we have no basis for carrying on a conversation since you have already made personal attacks against me and you are unwilling to cease.

        • MNb

          Of course Gary never ever is to blame for undermining such a basis. Because he is Gary, the self declared Protector of CIvility.

        • adam
        • Max Doubt

          “There you go again — making another personal attack. Are you able and willing to carry on a conversation without making personal attacks? If so, will you make a commitment to do that?”

          You’re being a tone trolling cry baby. That’s dishonest and uncivil. Knock it off.

        • adam
        • Susan

          I’ve heard that hundreds of times from inmates in prison.

          You’re not the judge and juty of civil behaviour.

          So, that’s a crappy analogy.

        • Susan

          That’s another classic lame excuse

          WMDKitty would like me to pass on this message:

          “please let Gary know that lame is an ableist term and it’s highly uncivil to use it.”

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Unlike you (Susan), WMDKitty made a barrage of personal attacks against me, and for that reason I blacklisted and blocked her. She was either unable or unwilling to control her anger and be civil. So, sorry, I won’t comment on her comment. Also, if you relay another message from her, I’ll just ignore it.

          You and I have had an excellent civil and rational discussion up to this point. I hope we can continue it for awhile.

        • Max Doubt

          “Unlike you (Susan), WMDKitty made a barrage of personal attacks against me, and for that reason I blacklisted and blocked her. She was either unable or unwilling to control her anger and be civil. So, sorry, I won’t comment on her comment. Also, if you relay another message from her, I’ll just ignore it.”

          Gary, you’re sick. Get some help. Call these people. Really.

          Behavioral Health Solutions – 2898 Mahan Dr – 850-552-0691

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          He’s fucking lying, again. I blocked him, he’s just trying to claim it as a victory.

        • Max Doubt

          “That’s another classic lame excuse of the type “Others are doing the same thing, so it must be morally correct.” I’ve heard that hundreds of times from inmates in prison.”

          There is only one person here who is dishonestly attempting to maneuver the conversation a particular direction, and only one person here who is actually censoring by willful ignorance. That person is you, Gary. You’re a lying, tone trolling piece of shit. Knock it off.

        • adam
        • Max Doubt

          “You just made a personal attack against me.”

          Cry baby.

          “Uncivil remarks are very often false (they can even be true), but that’s not the reason they are unethical.”

          This is not your forum.

          “They are unethical because they are irrelevant, unnecessary, unhelpful, counter-productive, selfish expressions of anger, hostility, or hatred, aimed to intimidate.”

          You have been attempting to use your feigned little boy sensitivity to try to manipulate every conversation you get involved in. You’re a lying, dishonest, manipulative piece of shit. Knock it off.

        • adam
        • Susan

          On one side we have the highly intense yet brief suffering of the dog along with the moderately intense but prolonged suffering of the dog’s owner, and on the other side we have the moderately intense but prolonged suffering of two thousand donors who are real persons.

          And when you replace “puppy” with five-year old, how do you do your calculations?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          On the one side, we have the boy who is a real person, and on the other side we have the thousand embryos who are property but not real persons.

          On the one side, we have the boy who would experience severe suffering for a short period of time and his parents, family, and friends who would probably suffer intensely for a short period of time and moderately for a long period of time, and on the other side we have the embryos who would not suffer at all and the owners of the embryos who would suffer moderately for a long period of time.

          On the one side, we have the embryos whose monetary value may be $20K X 1000, and on the other side we have the boy whose value is so high to his parents, family, and friends that it is hardly measurable in dollars. (However, there are estimates of the monetary value of a life of a person, based on court cases.)

          So, given all these factors (there may be more that I haven’t thought of) I’d save the boy. Can you think of other factors which I have not considered?

        • Susan

          On the one side, we have the embryos whose monetary value may be $20K X 1000, and on the other side we have the boy whose value is so high to his parents, family, and friends that it is hardly measurable in dollars.

          And if the child were the only child of a single mother whose family lived in another country and didn’t know the child existed because she was too ashamed of having a child out of wedlock to tell them. And the mother was in the building at the time of the fire and couldn’t be saved….

          And the dog was a beloved pet that visited nursing homes and brought joy to countless residents?

          Here’s another scenario:

          If a homeless man that lived as a loner has organs that could save six people who need them.

          All six people are surgeons who save lives on a daily basis.

          All six are wonderful and loving parents to many children, and beloved members of extended families.

          All six have many friends who value them immensely.

          The homeless man can be put to sleep painlessly without even knowing it’s coming.

          Would you harvest his organs?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          S: And if the child were the only child of a single mother whose family lived in another country and didn’t know the child existed because she was too ashamed of having a child out of wedlock to tell them. And the mother was in the building at the time of the fire and couldn’t be saved….

          GW: I think I’d save any real child instead of a thousand frozen embryos. How about you?

          S: And the dog was a beloved pet that visited nursing homes and brought joy to countless residents?

          GW: I think I’d save a thousand frozen embryos than any dog. How about you?

          S: Here’s another scenario:
          If a homeless man that lived as a loner has organs that could save six people who need them.
          All six people are surgeons who save lives on a daily basis.
          All six are wonderful and loving parents to many children, and beloved members of extended families.
          All six have many friends who value them immensely.
          The homeless man can be put to sleep painlessly without even knowing it’s coming.
          Would you harvest his organs?

          GW: I’ve heard of a similar scenario before, and that is a tough one. I’ve been thinking about many scenarios like this recently. One important distinction to be made is the difference between “would” and “should.” “Would you?” and “Should you?” might require different answers. For example, even if I had the skills, I’d probably never perform an abortion, even though I probably should in some circumstances. Do you appreciate the distinction I’m making?

          GW: Another thing which you do not address in your scenario is what would be the consequences to me if I chose to harvest the guy’s organs.

          GW: If I asked the guy first for his permission and he said Yes and if I would suffer no adverse consequences, then Yes, I would and should harvest his organs. What would and should you do, and why?

          GW: What would you do? What should you do?

        • Susan

          I think I’d save any real child instead of a thousand frozen embryos. How about you?

          Yep.

          Why? What about all those suffering embryo holders? Doesn’t their pain exceed the intense but short pain of the child?

          I think I’d save a thousand frozen embryos than any dog. How about you?

          Nope. Not a chance. The dog every time.

          Because it can and would suffer immensely. Fear, terror, pain, agony…

          The embryos wouldn’t..

          No. The guy wouldn’t see it coming. He’d have no choice and feel no pain nor fear. . No one would miss him. Lots of people would miss the organ recipients.

          I wouldn’t harvest his organs.

          Would you?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW2: Once again, Susan, I thank you for being civil in this discussion of controversial topics.

          GW1: I think I’d save any real child instead of a thousand frozen embryos. How about you?

          S2: Yep.

          GW2: So we are in agreement on our choice in that set of scenarios. Good.

          S2: Why? What about all those suffering embryo holders? Doesn’t their pain exceed the intense but short pain of the child?

          GW2: Yes, in totality it probably does, but that fact is outweighed by a real human being vs. property. What is the reason/s for your choice?

          GW1: I think I’d save a thousand frozen embryos than any dog. How about you?

          S2: Nope. Not a chance. The dog every time. Because it can and would suffer immensely. Fear, terror, pain, agony…The embryos wouldn’t..

          GW2: I disagree with you choice. Maybe you would save the dog, but I believe you shouldn’t. Unlike the boy, the dog is not a human person. I think you should go to the second level and consider the anguish of the parents of the embryos.

          S2: No. The guy wouldn’t see it coming. He’d have no choice and feel no pain nor fear. . No one would miss him. Lots of people would miss the organ recipients.
          I wouldn’t harvest his organs.

          GW2: And why would you not harvest his organs? Sacrificing one human person (an unproductive citizen) to save five human persons (all productive citizens) sounds reasonable.

          GW2: As I said, I would ask the guy before doing anything, but it sounds like you don’t wish to give me that option. So I will just assume this specific unnecessary and unrealistic restriction on the scenario.

          S2: Would you?

          GW2: That is a really difficult question which I have thought a lot about recently. My position is not settled, but I’ll share an overview of my thinking about it. I probably wouldn’t do it, but think that I and anyone else should do it. This is the difference I talked about earlier between “would” and “should.” We human persons do not always do or would do what we should do.

          GW2: If you were asked to sacrifice yourself to save those five physicians, would you consent? Should you consent? I’m guessing that you probably wouldn’t consent, but I kind of think you should consent. (Same for me) You are going to die anyway sooner or later. Wouldn’t it be better for humanity if you died by saving five physicians than by a heart attack, cancer, the ravages of old age, etc.? I kind of think it would. It is like dying for a “higher cause,” like soldiers fighting for the Allies in WWII thought. So, I kind of think you have a moral duty to sacrifice yourself in order to save the five physicians. (This goes to a similar question of who owns you? Do you own you or does humanity own you or do both own you?) Then it is a short step from that moral duty to a moral duty of the state (representing all of humanity in this case) to force you to perform your moral duty. As I said, these are preliminary thoughts and I am not settled on them, but I’d be pleased to hear your reflections.

          GW2: Here is an analogy which might help. I think we all have a moral duty to pay taxes to the state for the common good. But what if somebody refuses? I think the state then has a moral duty to compel the tax resistor to pay his taxes. I think I am implying that we don’t completely own ourselves, but that we are jointly owned by ourselves and humanity at large. Do you understand what I am saying? Do you agree? If not, why not?

        • Susan

          Once again, Susan, I thank you for being civil in this discussion of controversial topics.

          Stop that, Gary. It’s patronizing, passive/agressive and takes up far too much comment space for the contributions you make to discussion.

          In short, it’s uncivil

          I disagree with your choice. Maybe you would save the dog, but I believe you shouldn’t. Unlike the boy, the dog is not a human person.

          So? It can trust, fear, panic, suffer and die in agony. Which your canisters of embryoes can’t.

          I’ve made it through Gary’s thirteen hoops of arbitrary civility standards and that’s the best you can do?

          I’ve passed your personal, vague standards and you’ve provided a circular position? Just begged the question?

          You might as well block me. Please do. If I type out the letters to spell “fuck”, will that suffice?

          Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

          Shit.

          This is the difference I talked about earlier between “would” and “should.” We human persons do not always do or would do what we should do.

          How fucking pedantic. Most people here (many of whom you’ve blocked) understand that that’s basic in moral discussion.

          GW2: If you were asked to sacrifice yourself to save those physicians, would you consent?

          That is not the question The question is should my consent be taken away by law?

          Here is an analogy which might help. I think we all have a moral duty to pay taxes to the state for the common good. But what if somebody refuses? I think the state then has a moral duty to compel the tax resistor to pay his taxes

          We have consented to do so. By contractually participating in the state. We also have a right to negotiate with the state about the nature of those taxes.

          But we have wandered far fucking afield from that shit about puppies and motherfucking canisters.

          You think you’re here to teach us a fucking lesson about motherfucking civility and to explain the difference between shitfuckasshole shoulds and fuckingasshole woulds.

          But you’ve taught us nothing and learned nothing.

          So that you know, I conduct myself civilly by my own standards. Because I’ve watched you dismiss and block a thoughtful, ex-soldier from Northern Ireland who respectfully addressed your comment but used “fuck” and “shit”.

          He didn’t personally insult you but you ignored him because he used words that (if we were talking in Spanish, would be nothing to a civil Spaniard but highly offensive to a polite Mexican).

          You blocked, chastised, whined to the moderator , shifted the burden to the few of us remaining, all in order to reward us with your opinion based on circular reasoning.

          And then brought up “should” and “would”.

          The people who know me here (before you dropped in to educate us) know that I’ve done more swearing in this single comment than I’ve done in a lifetime of commenting.

          Fuck you and the ship you sailed in on.

          You’ve treated many good people badly, ignored the explanations for the negative responses you’ve received (even from the moderator of this blog who did all the work to build it and maintain it) failed to act like a grownup , patronized the few us you deigned to engage and in the end rewarded us with…

          your personal opinion, which is inconsistent with your original justifications for your personal opinion.

          You may fucking block me now.

          =====

          Edit: To get Gary’s name right. Apologies for that, Gary.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          We had a good discussion going and then you ruined it by your uncivil remarks. Just because I was disagreeing with you, your anger built to the point where you could or would no longer control it and you lashed out in incivility. What a disappointment.

          I will oblige you. Because you continue to make personal attacks against me, to make irrational excuses for your misbehavior, to fail to take responsibility for your misconduct, and/or to enable others to do the same, I’m not going to waste my time with you any longer. In the future I will not read, think about, or respond to your posts. I will devote my time to others who are both able and willing to have a civil and rational discussion of controversial subjects. You are blacklisted and blocked.

        • adam
        • Susan

          We had a good discussion going.

          I disagree. You came up with all sorts of justifications for a position and when those justifications were removed, just blurted out your opinion with no further justification.

          This, after clogging up the discussion with your childish chastising and blocking countless people who DO contriute to good discussion.

          Just because I disagree with you

          That is false. Lots of people disagree with me..And I’ve never responded like that.

          your anger built to the point where you could no longer control it and you lashed out

          Again, that is false. You’re annoying but not worth building up anger over.

          I explained very clearly why you were a waste of time and then I added streams of profanity to make two points.

          1) You will ignore the content of my response (and you did) if I use words that do no harm.

          2) To make it clear that I prefer you block me than indulge your over-inflated ego.

          I am with MNb. Everyone should respond to you with a substantial comment and say “shit” or “fuck” at least once while doing so so you will block everyone and be left with no one who can waste their time on your high maintenance/low standard contributions.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In the future I will not read, think about, or respond to your posts. I will devote my time to others who are both able and willing to have a civil and rational discussion of controversial subjects. You are blacklisted and blocked.

          Who here do you imagine gives a shite what you do?

          You are a toss-bag and the sooner your asinine arse gets the banhammer the better. Susan, and others, are picking your fuckwittery apart and you don’t like it. So your only refuge is to tone troll and play the victim card like the big gurning cry bay ya are and nobody here cares a jot. Susan’s replies to your clownish remarks will continue to be read by those she regards that matter. I’ve news for you, I don’t think you are on that list.

          As for rational discussion…don’t kid yerself sunshine, you are a contrary bastard just for the sake of it. You appear to revel in being disliked. Blacklisting and blocking an individual only means you can’t see what that person writes, the rest of us can still read their pulling apart of your bullshit crapola. When you’ve banned everyone that crosses your sensitivities, you will find yerself in an environment that appears to be an empty place to you, but we can all still poke fun at your fuckwittery until you eventually get the hint and pish off.

        • Kodie

          I can’t believe what an asshole you are.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Oh, he gets worse…

        • Ignorant Amos

          Based on this assessment of the likely outcomes, I think I’d save the thousand frozen embryos.

          That’s because you are one monumental cock.

        • adam

          “That’s because you are one monumental cock.”

          And a puppy burning tool.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Because you continue to make personal attacks against me, to make irrational excuses for your misbehavior, to fail to take responsibility for your misconduct, and/or to enable others to do the same, I’m not going to waste my time with you any longer. In the future I will not read, think about, or respond to your posts. I will devote my time to others who are both able and willing to have a civil and rational discussion of controversial subjects. You are blacklisted and blocked.

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          Fuck aff,….ya useless cunt….no one here gives a shite about yer arseholiness any longer.

    • Joe

      If my choice was 1000 embryos or a Snickers bar, I’d save the snickers bar.

      • Otto

        Snickers satisfies

      • Kodie

        I wonder how many people would grab cases of embryos if they could, or just run out of the building. I mean, this is the crazy idea that when there’s a fire in the building, you have time to decide what you’re taking with you first, especially if you don’t have time to get out with a child AND a case of embryos, I think in a case of fire, very few people would even consider the embryos at all, and just file out as quickly as they could. I’ve been in a fire, and the smoke detector in the hall of the building went off, then another, so I nonchalantly put on pants (it was the middle of the night), shoes and by the time I was pulling on my parka, the apartment was filling with smoke and my neighbor came in through the center (like, there’s a hole through the core of the building looking down from the top, and ledges connecting apartments but no way out) and we had to escape through my window on the 2nd floor of my building. I didn’t have time to even save a cat, as they hid under the bed, and neither did my neighbor bring his cats with him. I mean, if the fire isn’t licking at you, you think you have time to grab some stuff, but it didn’t take a whole minute to turn for the worse. If the fire is licking at you, don’t even hesitate.

        • Joe

          I’d imagine there would be extremely good fire defense and disaster mitigation for embryo storage.

          Of course, that has to do with their monetary value, and not because of any personal considerations for the well being of the embryos themselves.

        • Kodie

          I really don’t know what these clinics are like. Are they actually storing thousands and thousands of frozen embryos? In the case that perhaps someone has, say, cancer, or some other reason they have their eggs purged and mixed in a dish with their mate’s sperm or some donor’s sperm, I would guess most cases get used right away, and not that many are kept in storage for some later use. I mean, it seems like people who may not be able to have kids later would have embryos on ice, so the monetary value matters for insurance – what value can you place on a couple dozen of the only biological children you were saving until someday later, purposely because your ability to have children was compromised by some kind of illness or surgical procedure? You bet they must be insured, but I don’t know what kind of fire cases they’re kept in either. Then again, lots of people don’t have children and then it’s too late to try.

        • Joe

          From what I’ve seen on TV they have a few liquid nitrogen cooled storage receptacles. You don’t need a lot of space to store thousands of eggs.

          You’re right, I forgot about that type of application (storing eggs prior to cancer treatment or for insurance) so they do have a different kind of value in addition to monetary.

          Still, they aren’t treated like people, there’s a lot of wastage and no guarantee of success.

        • TheNuszAbides

          You don’t need a lot of space to store thousands of eggs.

          i think you do if there’s a reason to distinguish/market them by haplotype; but of course, thousands of eggs from the same donor in a single receptacle shouldn’t be an issue in any case. (apparently about a dozen per ‘donation’ is typical?)

        • Joe

          I’m surprised they put them all in one basket.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i would hope that the less ‘cut-rate’ organizations keep each extraction [from the same donor] discrete from the next. note for next Quora question!

        • Joe

          Were your cats safe?

        • Kodie

          Well, yeah. The side of the building I was on had smoke damage, so they were hiding behind the stove when I was able to go back inside. On the other side of the hall, burnt burnt burnt. The building was boarded up and condemned, I think some of my shit got looted, and if you are ever in a fire, you might think it’s lucky to get to go back to find you can keep your belongings, but as shitty as moving is when you plan, it’s even shittier to move without having time to pack, in the winter, basically in a dark apartment with no electricity, and of course, narrow spiral stairs that may or may not collapse.

          I had to put my 2 cats in a shelter until I could figure out what I was going to do, but after one week, they can’t keep them from being put up for adoption, so I got them out, and ended up going back to my parents house with my cats, who brought fleas with them from the shelter, and tape worm. After that got cleared up finally, they each lived approximately another 10 years.

  • skl

    “Many anti-choicers tell us that an embryo is equivalent to
    a child. That is, they declare that the definition of “child” goes from, say,
    eight years old and goes all the way down to –9 months. It’s a child at eight
    years old, as a newborn, as a fetus, as a frozen embryo (which is a blastocyst
    with roughly 100 cells), and even as a single cell…
    embryos aren’t children—that’s the point.”

    An embryo isn’t a child, it’s an embryo.

    And a fetus isn’t a child, it’s a fetus.
    And a teenager isn’t a child, it’s a teenager.
    And a senior citizen isn’t a child, it’s a senior citizen.

    Obviously, the question is: But are they all human persons?

    (And maybe we’ll go off to the personhood races again, like on the mammoth thread here:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/07/spectrum-argument-for-abortion-revisited-2/)

    The hypothetical flaming fertility clinic scenario could be
    likened to something such as an inflamed ICU where a healthy five year old
    child is next to a patient on life support with a grim prognosis. Both are
    people worth caring for, but the immediate situation dictates that only one can
    be saved from the fire. Choosing to save the five year old person doesn’t mean
    that the one on life support isn’t also a person. That choice is just made
    easier by the fact that the one on life support, like the embryo in the canister,
    has a much less rosy prognosis for what could be called a normal life.

    • Halbe

      Also carefully avoiding to answer the question I see. Your deflections have already been addressed and dismissed in the OP. The proposed dilemma is simple: 1000 frozen embryos vs. 1 five year old child. What is your choice? (and why?)

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

        I can imagine skl in the burning building stroking his chin thoughtfully, weighing the alternatives and asking his Socratic questions. “Well, on the one hand …”

        • Bob Jase

          I can imagine him running out of the building without saving anyone else with the excuse that its all in god’s hands.

        • Joe

          “Is the building on fire, or if the fire on building“?

      • skl

        “Your deflections have already been addressed and dismissed
        in the OP. The proposed dilemma is simple: 1000 frozen embryos vs. 1 five year old child. What is your choice? (and why?)”

        1,000 or 10,000 or 2 or 1. That’s a numbers game which is of
        no consequence to the heart of the issue at hand.

        I gave my choice, and the reasoning for it, above.

        • Halbe

          No, you presented another hypothetical and didn’t even give a clear answer on that one. Why do you go to such lengths to avoid answering this simple question: 1000 frozen embryo’s vs. 1 5yr old child, what do you choose?

          We all know why you won’t answer the question: because that would force you to admit that you also value one living and breathing human being over a thousand clumps of cells. And to admit that would severely limit your ability to use gratuitous forced-birthing talking points in discussions like these.

    • ThaneOfDrones

      Obviously, the question is: But are they all human persons?

      Why do you consider this question to be obvious? Is the answer informative and relevant?

      Is the pregnant woman also a ‘human person’?

      Do all ‘human persons’ have the same rights? Are 5-year-old children allowed to vote? To drive? To drink?

      but the immediate situation dictates that only one can be saved from the fire.

      That’s in your fake scenario. In the fake scenario which is the subject of this thread, it’s one life versus 1000 lives. This is just your attempt to move the goalposts.

      • Gary Whittenberger

        It’s not a “fake scenario.” It’s a hypothetical situation.

        “it’s one life versus 1000 lives” is just your attempt to move the goalposts.

        What is your answer to the hypothetical situation?

      • skl

        “Do all ‘human persons’ have the same rights? Are 5-year-old children allowed to vote? To drive? To drink?”

        No, all persons do not have the same age-contingent rights. But I think they all may have the right to not be killed for convenience before they can reach the age to exercise those other rights.

        but the immediate situation dictates that only one
        can be saved from the fire.

        “That’s in your fake scenario. In the fake scenario which is the subject of this thread, it’s one life versus 1000 lives. This is just your attempt to move the goalposts.”

        Both my fake scenario and the author’s fake scenario say that only one can be saved from the fire – either the five year old child or the “other subject.” Whether the “other subject” is 1,000 embryos on a portable tray or just 1 person on a portable bed is a numbers game
        which is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

        • Susan

          I think they all may have the right to not be killed

          Someone not consenting to donating their organs to something does not constitute killing something.

          Why would a cell have a right to anything? If you mean further on in the spectrum, see above.

          for convenience

          For convenience? What do you mean? Be specific. It’s such an editorial term. You make it sound like women who choose not to gestate a celll and go through labour only choose not to because it might mean they can’t visit their house on the Riviera as frequently and that it might cut into their pedicure budget.

          But maybe that’s not what you meant. What exactly do you mean?

          Both my fake scenario and the author’s fake scenario say that only one can be saved from the fire

          No. The fake scenario (thought experiment) directly addresses the equivocation of
          “embryo”|with “child”.

          This is addressing the rhetoric of forced-birth thinking.

          If you consider an embryo a child, then it’s obvious that saving a thousand embryos is a thousand times better than saving a single child.

          That’s why Bob S. wrote the article, explained the claim that the question was specifically aimed at, and throughout, showed that they wouldn’t answer the obvious question.

          Rather than address that moral problem, they ignore it and invent a question that isn’t aimed at the very specific equivocation of “embryo” and “child”.

          Which is exactly what you’vre trying to do. .

          skl….

        • Kevin K

          Invoking “age-contingent rights” is a pretty slippery slope, you know. Why, it even argues forcefully that the older has more rights than the younger — exactly like a woman of child-bearing age (14 to 40 years, approximately) has far-more rights than an embryo.

          The “age-contingent” right of a woman is to have an abortion if she so chooses.

    • Pofarmer
      • Gary Whittenberger

        Excellent primer on the concept of personhood.

        • Judgeforyourself37

          No, a bunch of nonsense. If a pregnant woman dies, and is three and a half months pregnant can that fetus live? NO. Abortion is a woman’s right, if she so chooses. I laugh when I see men even weighing in on this subject. Until men can become pregnant, they should opt out.
          As for anti choice women, you are a traitor to your gender.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          J1: No, a bunch of nonsense.

          GW1: I disagree. It is an outstanding overview of several positions on personhood.

          J1: If a pregnant woman dies, and is three and a half months pregnant can that fetus live? NO.

          GW1: Three and a half months pregnant roughly equates to 15 week old fetus. No, even with present supportive technology that fetus is almost certain to die. But what does this have to do with personhood?

          J1: Abortion is a woman’s right, if she so chooses.

          GW1: Abortion is not an absolute right of any woman. It is morally wrong for the pregnant woman to kill the fetal person inside her, unless it is to protect her from death or permanent physical harm.

          J1: I laugh when I see men even weighing in on this subject.

          GW1: Your amusement is not an argument. It’s just an emotional reaction. It has nothing to do with personhood.

          J1: Until men can become pregnant, they should opt out.

          GW1: All persons, regardless of gender, should weigh in on the issue. And hopefully, they will be pro-person rather than pro-choice or pro-life.

          J1: As for anti choice women, you are a traitor to your gender.

          GW1: As for pro-person women, you are a credit to your humanity.

        • Pofarmer

          “Abortion is not an absolute right of any woman. It is morally wrong for the pregnant woman to kill the fetal person inside her, unless it is to protect her from death or permanent physical harm.“

          Why?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          My claim is a complex one. I don’t know which part you wish for me to justify. Please be more specific.

        • Pofarmer

          How about adressing what I quoted?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          How about being more specific?

          Identify the parts you disagree with and I will justify them.

        • Susan

          Identify the parts you disagree with and I will justify them.

          You made the claim. Why not just explain how you justify it?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          In the interests of efficiency, why don’t you identify the parts you disagree with and I will justify them.

        • Kodie

          Why do you think everyone wants to have a conversation with you so badly that you can direct everyone what to do and how to say things? Go fuck yourself.

        • Susan

          In the interest of efficiency,

          There is no reason to think your method would be more efficient.

          My agreement or disagreement is irrelevant.

          You made the claim. Support it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I disagree. There is good reason to think my method would be more efficient. There is no need for me to justify what we already agree on. That is a waste of my time and yours.

          You made the request. Now prune it.

        • adam

          “There is good reason to think my method would be more efficient.”

          No there isnt, and you are being an asshole again.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are making a personal attack again. For the last time, can you and will you make your points and ask questions in discussion with me WITHOUT making personal attacks and other uncivil remarks?

        • adam

          “For the last time, can you and will you make your points and ask
          questions in discussion with me WITHOUT making personal attacks and
          other uncivil remarks?”

          We’ve already covered this Gary, quit being an asshole, and you wont be called an asshole.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3017e5a72eb334b91e052dcd1031b2af510c8d6b8f8fdb0e5fd05dd53c9d8e0b.jpg

        • Max Doubt

          “You are making a personal attack again. For the last time, can you and will you make your points and ask questions in discussion with me WITHOUT making personal attacks and other uncivil remarks?”

          Flagged you for tone trolling again, ya poor little persecuted crybaby. Come on, Gary, you’re not fooling anyone here. You’re being a dick because you’re losing, you’re failing, you’re not making a cogent argument for your position. When you keep insisting everyone who disagrees with you is being uncivil, that’s you being uncivil. Nobody asked you to come into these forums and play mommy. You want to be someone’s parent? You have Amy. Don’t do it here.

        • Kodie

          I consider your silly interruptions the most uncivil of all. What you keep failing to recognize is that you don’t have the power here, and nobody cares enough about this discussion to treat you with any dignity. You don’t deserve it, because you’re constantly harassing everyone for no reason, calling us names, and lying.

          What’s civil about that? You can just go, but you won’t, you’ll keep whining and tattling to Bob that nobody is being nice to you. You’re just an attention whoring tone troll with nothing interesting to say on any subject.

          As I said earlier, go fuck yourself already.

        • MNb

          You know, if one person calls you a piece of shit that person has a problem.
          If six or more people call you a piece of shit for exactly the same reason the problem is you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I totally disagree with you on these points. Everyone who makes a personal attack has the problem. You are just trying to make lame excuses for them and thereby enable more of the misconduct.

          If six or more Nazis call Jews “pieces of shit” or “rats” the problem is not with the Jews; the problem is with the Nazis.

        • Max Doubt

          “I totally disagree with you on these points. Everyone who makes a personal attack has the problem. You are just trying to make lame excuses for them and thereby enable more of the misconduct.”

          You’re still being a tone trolling asshole. Flagged.

        • Susan

          There is no need for me to justify what we already agree on.

          If we agree, we could both be wrong.

          It’s obvious that you are unwilling and/or unable to support your statement that:

          It is morally wrong for the pregnant woman to kill the fetal person inside her, unless it is to protect her from death or permanent physical harm.“

          Civil requests that you do so are not effective.

          So, we can dismiss it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          If we agree on a point and others think we are wrong, they will probably let us know.

          Since you don’t care if you waste my time, I can dismiss your question. Specify the parts of my complex statement that you disagree with and I will justify my position.

        • Susan

          If we agree on a point and others think we are wrong, they will probably let us know.

          I see. Civil discussion involves making bald assertions and refusing to support them when called on to do so.

          And complaining about the incivility of others.

          Since you don’t care if you waste my time

          Asking you to support your assertion was an invitation to participate honestly in discussion. You seem to have time to do anything but.

          You haven’t shown your statement to be anything but baseless.

          I;ll explain for a second time that it can be dismissed as empty assertion until you can provide a reason it shouldn’t be.

          Specify the parts of my complex statement that you disagree with and I will justify my position.

          No. IT is your responsibility to support claims you make.

          Clearly, you don’t care if you waste everyone else’s time.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Sorry, Susan, it appears that we are not going to come to an agreement on who has the responsibility to do what.

        • Susan

          it appears that we are not going to come to an agreement on who has the responsibility to do what.

          You don’t get to agree to disagree on this one, Gary.

          You made the claim. You have the burden.

          Or your claim can be dismissed.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Your question can be dismissed. I disagree with you about the responsibilities entailed here. I think you disagree with me. Therefore, we are in agreement that we will disagree with each other on this issue.

        • adam

          “Sorry, Susan, it appears that we are not going to come to an agreement on who has the responsibility to do what.”
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/985a5751f80f8ad4bd2222e9654e72cba0e42734f9a2a5b1fdb2fce31e439766.jpg

        • Pofarmer

          What in the actual fuck is wrong with this guy?

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          His high horse is so far up there that the oxygen is extremely thin.

        • Kodie

          You know what’s not efficient? Stalling until you get your way.

        • epeeist

          Replying to you given that I am reasonably sure that Gary would reject these. The “negative persuasion rules” from Walton’s Informal Logic

          Confrontation Stage
          1. Unlicensed attempts to change the agenda are not allowed

          2. Refusal to agree to a specific agenda of dialogue prohibits continuing to the argumentation stage

          Argumentation Stage
          1. Not making a serious effort to fulfil an obligation is a bad strategy. Notable here are failures to meet a burden of proof or to defend a commitment when challenged.

          2. Trying to shift the burden of proof to the other party, or otherwise alter the burden of proof illicitly is not allowed.

          3. Purporting to carry out an internal proof by using premises that have not been conceded by the other party is not allowed.

          4. Appealing to external sources of proof with backing up your argument can be subject to objection.

          5. Failure of relevance can include providing the wrong thesis, wandering away from the point to be proved, or answering the wrong question in a dialogue.

          6. Failing to ask questions that are appropriate for a given stage of dialogue should be prohibited, along with asking questions that are inappropriate.

          7. Failing to reply appropriately to questions should not be allowed, including replies that are unduly evasive.

          8. Failing to define, clarify or justify the meaning or definition of a significant term used in an argument, in accord with standards of precision appropriate to the discussion is a violation, if the use of this term is challenged by another participant.

          Closing Stage
          1. A participant must not try to force the premature closure of a dialogue until it is properly closed, either by mutual agreement or by fulfilment of the goal of the dialogue.

          How many of these does he break?

        • Pofarmer

          How many of these does he break?

          It would be much easier to list the ones he doesn’t.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          All of them.

        • TheNuszAbides

          including replies that are unduly evasive.

          Gary could probably write a book on what is duly evasive.

        • Max Doubt

          “You made the claim. Support it.”

          That deflection of the burden of proof is part of Gary’s shtick, just another tool in his kit. He truly doesn’t understand the scientific process, or critical thinking, or for that matter, how to engage in a reasonable, honest discussion among adults. I keep offering to help him find a middle school science tutor to bring him up to speed, maybe help him understand why he’s such a consistent failure. He’s not taking me up on it. It seems like he actually wants to be as stupid as he acts. If I ever get that far detached from honest, objective reality, do me a favor and recommend I get some professional mental health attention, will ya? Thanks.

        • Susan

          That deflection of the burden of proof is part of Gary’s shtick

          I know. It’s overtly dishonest and really annoying.

          Which can provoke negative reactions in others who are interested in an honest, grownup discussions.

          They sometimes even use curse words. Then, Gary wastes half the thread complaining about that instead of carrying his burden.

          That combination seems to be his whole schtick.

        • Pofarmer

          Abortion is not an absolute right of any woman.

          ????

          It is morally wrong for the pregnant woman to kill the fetal person
          inside her, unless it is to protect her from death or permanent physical
          harm.“

          ??????

          It’s your fucking words, for Pete’s sake.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Can you ask a question without making an uncivil remark? I’ll wait and see.

        • adam

          “Can you ask a question without making an uncivil remark?”

          Just check his posting history, and quit being an asshole.

        • Pofarmer

          Can you not be a dipshit, and clarify what you mean?

          Participate or fuck off. The choice is yours.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You continue to make wanton personal attacks against me. It appears that you either lack the ability or the willingness to control your anger, hostility, or hatred in a way which would enable civil rational discussion.

        • Max Doubt

          “You continue to make wanton personal attacks against me.”

          Flagged again for being a tone trolling dick. Cry all you want, Gary, but you continue to earn every bit of ridicule and derision you receive.

          “It appears that you either lack the ability or the willingness to control your anger, hostility, or hatred in a way which would enable civil rational discussion.”

          It appears certain that you are a narcissistic, immature, lying, manipulative, control freak. If you want a discussion where people busting you all the time for being an asshole, stop being an asshole for Pete’s sake.

        • Max Doubt

          “Can you ask a question without making an uncivil remark? I’ll wait and see.”

          Flagged again. Can’t you just shut the fuck up instead of projectile vomiting your unwanted tone trolling all over the place?

        • katiehippie

          I do like you, Max.

        • Max Doubt

          “Can you ask a question without making an uncivil remark? I’ll wait and see.”

          Flagged for spamming your uncivil tone trolling.

        • Halbe

          No, living and breathing persons have an absolute right to bodily autonomy, and it is morally wrong to force a woman to carry a ZEF to term against her will, since that is an extremely serious violation of her bodily autonomy.

        • Halbe

          Sorry, meant to reply to Gary’s comment… copied and reposted.

        • Halbe

          No, living and breathing persons have an absolute right to bodily autonomy, and it is morally wrong to force a woman to carry a ZEF to term against her will, since that is an extremely serious violation of her bodily autonomy.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Is a ZEF a “zygote, embryo, or fetus”?

          Is it morally wrong for a woman with a right to bodily autonomy to kill a fetus inside her, if/when the fetus is a person with a right to life? Please explain your answer.

        • Halbe

          A zygote or embryo has no rights apart from the woman carrying it. The “right to life” of the fetus comes into consideration first when it (1) can feel pain and (2) can survive outside the womb. And then still decisions regarding the life of the fetus are to be made by the woman and her doctor, nobody else.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW: Thanks for being civil in this post. It’s becoming a rarity in controversial discussions like this one.

          H: A zygote or embryo has no rights apart from the woman carrying it.

          GW: I’d go one step further. The zygote or embryo has no rights AT ALL! The host woman has property rights regarding the zygote or embryo inside her.

          H: The “right to life” of the fetus comes into consideration first when it (1) can feel pain and (2) can survive outside the womb.

          GW: I partly agree and disagree with you here. I believe the right to life should be assigned to the fetus when it becomes a person. Is feeling pain necessary and sufficient for personhood?

          GW: The ability to survive outside the womb is dependent on technology and this ability has changed considerably in the past hundred years. The day will probably come when a zygote can be completely raised in an artificial womb for nine months or more. If this is the case, then will the zygote, embryo, or fetus in this super incubator be a person from the start and anyone who kills it should be charged with murder? I really don’t see why personhood should be dependent on viability.

          H: And then still decisions regarding the life of the fetus are to be made by the woman and her doctor, nobody else.

          GW: I totally disagree with you on this point. If/when the fetus becomes a person, then the state has an interest (even a duty) to act to protect it. All persons have a right to life. If the host woman’s right to bodily autonomy clashes with the fetus’ right to life, then the state must resolve the conflict.

        • Halbe

          The point of viability has actually not changed that much over the past 100 years, only the survival rate has, and then still only (often) at the cost of severe life-long complications and handicaps. Abortions past the pain+viability boundary are always purely medical procedures related to the health of the woman and/or the fetus, and I see no reason for the state or anyone else to interfere with the medical decisions that the doctor and the patient make together in these cases.

          ETA: A zygote/embryo of course does have rights, but they are 100% derived from the rights of the woman carrying it, and therefore the woman has a 100% right to a no-questions-asked and safe abortion, which is a medical procedure that should be covered by insurance.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: Again, thank you for your civility. Many people cannot discuss abortion without becoming verbally aggressive.

          H1: The point of viability has actually not changed that much over the past 100 years, only the survival rate has, and then still only (often) at the cost of severe life-long complications and handicaps.

          GW1: Viability, survival rate, and technology are all interconnected, and I don’t really see how they are related to personhood. A five-week-old embryo kept alive in an artificial incubator would not be a person, would it?

          H1: Abortions past the pain+viability boundary are always purely medical procedures related to the health of the woman and/or the fetus, and I see no reason for the state or anyone else to interfere with the medical decisions that the doctor and the patient make together in these cases.

          GW1: Abortions are medical procedures always, not just in the later stages of pregnancy. Maybe you don’t see it yet, but I see a good reason for the state to prohibit an abortion of a fetal person for a bad reason. The state has the moral duty to protect the lives of persons, and so if the fetus in the later stages of pregnancy is a person (even by your own two criteria), the state must act as its advocate. For example, the state should object to a woman with a 30-week fetus who says “I changed my mind. I want an abortion because I’ve decided that I want to return to college and having a baby now would interfere with my goal.” Surely, you don’t believe this abortion should be allowed?

          H1: ETA: A zygote/embryo of course does have rights, but they are 100% derived from the rights of the woman carrying it, and therefore the woman has a 100% right to a no-questions-asked and safe abortion, which is a medical procedure that should be covered by insurance.

          GW1: What is “ETA”?

          GW1: I partly agree and disagree with you on this last point. The zygote or embryo has no rights at all. They are property of the pregnant woman (maybe the sperm donor too, but that is a discussion for another day). The pregnant woman has property rights over the ZEFs inside her until the fetus becomes a person. I do agree that the pregnant woman has a right to a safe and “free” abortion, no questions asked, up till the time the fetus becomes a person. After that, abortion rights should be limited by the state because the state has a duty to advocate for and protect the right to life of all persons, including under-developed or handicapped persons.

        • lady_black

          A five week old embryo in an artificial incubator, or inside the normal incubator is not a person and has no rights. A woman can absolutely end a 30 week pregnancy. I ended a pregnancy at 35 weeks. But that is called a delivery, Buttercup. Not an abortion.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Please do not call me “buttercup.” That is disrespectful. Call me “Gary,” “Mr. Whittenberger,” “Dr. Whittenberger,” or “sir” or no name at all, but don’t call me “buttercup.”

          We’ve been having a good civil discussion of a very difficult subject, and I hope that you do not turn to making uncivil remarks.

        • lady_black

          I don’t care if you think it’s disrespectful. I think it’s disrespectful to treat a person like a machine that exists to serve the needs of others.
          There is no abortion at 30 weeks, or 35 weeks. That is a delivery. You have some very odd beliefs about what is and isn’t possible. I’m trying to educate you. Sadly, I don’t think that will be possible.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Please call me by my proper name and I will listen to you and respond to your points and questions.

        • Kodie

          Your participation in this discussion doesn’t have as much value as you think it does – it’s 90% complaining, and the rest is bullshit and dishonesty. You threatening not to talk with someone is hilarious.

        • MNb

          When I called you by your proper name when I tried to discuss another topic with you you didn’t listen and respond to my points at all – you totally neglected them.

        • Susan

          Please call me by my proper name and I will listen to you and respond to your points and questions.

          You said in your previous comment that it was acceptable if she used no name. In her response, she used no name.

          So, you’ve changed the rules.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are correct. New rule: Please call me by my proper name or no name, and don’t try to make excuses or rationalizations for having called my by some other name, and then I will listen to you and respond to your points and questions.

          “I don’t care if you think it’s disrespectful” doesn’t cut it.

          You could help by encouraging lady black to avoid names like “buttercup.”

        • Max Doubt

          “You are correct. New rule: Please call me by my proper name or no name, and don’t try to make excuses or rationalizations for having called my by some other name, and then I will listen to you and respond to your points and questions.”

          Go start your own blog, asshole. Your mental illness is making you think this blog is yours. It’s not. Go get some help. Here’s a resource within walking distance of your house. Go see these people…

          Behavioral Health Solutions – 2898 Mahan Dr – 850-552-0691

        • Max Doubt

          “Please call me by my proper name and I will listen to you and respond to your points and questions.”

          Well, aren’t you special? Wait, I’ve got this one. No, you’re not special. You’re being the manipulative prick. Flagged.

        • adam

          ” If/when the fetus becomes a person, then the state has an interest (even a duty) to act to protect it. ”

          And the state has declared that to be at BIRTH, but you know that already, right asshole…

        • Pofarmer

          If/when the fetus becomes a person, then the state has an interest (even a duty) to act to protect it.

          There’s absolutely no end to this line of reasoning. That way lies tyranny.

        • lady_black

          Nobody has the “right” to use anyone else’s bodily tissues, blood, organs, etc. EVER!!!! Such “rights” simply do not exist.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Actually, this right does exist and should exist. Roe v. Wade and some state laws have already codified such a right.

          Nowhere in the US may a woman legally kill the fetal person inside her for an arbitrary or bad reason.

        • lady_black

          No. Such a right DOES NOT EXIST. And, you do not get to decide what reasons are acceptable.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I disagree with you on both points.

          Why shouldn’t a fetal person inside a woman have the right to to use the body for sustaining ifs life when the woman already had the opportunity to kill it before it was a person?

        • lady_black

          No woman is obligated to host fetal life, even if there is NO present danger to her life or health, and even if you aren’t OK with it. That is YOUR misfortune.
          As I have already explained to you, certainly YOU are a person. If there is something you need to sustain your life, and that something is inside the body of another person you are NOT entitled to it.
          Not a unit of someone else’s blood, not 30 ml of bone marrow, not an organ, not a skin graft. Not from a parent. Not from a relative. Not from a stranger. Too BAD if you die without it. Nobody can legally be forced to fork it over for your use. That included the use of a uterus for you to gestate in. Now why on Earth would you think otherwise?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: You are expressing the radical pro-choice position. I don’t agree with it or with the radical pro-life position. Instead, I support the pro-person position.

          LB1: No woman is obligated to host fetal life, even if there is NO present danger to her life or health, and even if you aren’t OK with it. That is YOUR misfortune.

          GW1: If you don’t agree with my position, that is YOUR misfortune. A woman is morally obligated to host a fetal person (not a “fetal life”) inside her when there is no present danger of death or permanent injury to her if the pregnancy is continued. Why do you believe the woman’s right to bodily autonomy should trump the fetal person’s right to life?

          LB1: As I have already explained to you, certainly YOU are a person. If there is something you need to sustain your life, and that something is inside the body of another person you are NOT entitled to it.

          GW1: I agree with you, unless person F is inside person W and W already consented for F to be there. In that case person F is entitled to the sustenance of W.

          LB1: Not a unit of someone else’s blood, not 30 ml of bone marrow, not an organ, not a skin graft. Not from a parent. Not from a relative. Not from a stranger. Too BAD if you die without it. Nobody can legally be forced to fork it over for your use. That included the use of a uterus for you to gestate in. Now why on Earth would you think otherwise?

          GW1: I would think otherwise under the condition I specified: person F is inside person W and W already consented for F to be there. Why on Earth would you think otherwise?

        • lady_black

          Consent can be withdrawn. That’s the part you aren’t grasping.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Consent cannot be arbitrarily withdrawn. It can be withdrawn only for two good reasons. For example, the reason cannot be “I’ve decided to go back to college.” If you disagree, please explain why.

        • lady_black

          Consent can be withdrawn for any damn reason you please.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Why do you think so?

        • lady_black

          Because it belongs to you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          No, consent does not belong to you. Once you give consent, you have made an agreement or contract with another party. You are morally obligated to keep your agreements or contracts in almost all cases, with a few exceptions.

        • lady_black

          My body belongs to me. The consent for the use of my body belongs to ME. Consent does NOT carry a requirement to follow through to the satisfaction of another person.
          For example, if consent is given for sex, it can be withdrawn at any time prior to the completion of the act. And every second that you do not stop when told to stop is the commission of a rape.
          One cannot make contracts with another for parts of one’s body (or the whole) that can be enforced against one’s will. That’s slavery. In other words, if I say I will donate a piece of my liver to you, and I change my mind before the surgery, you’re shit out of luck. Look for another donor.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          LB: My body belongs to me. The consent for the use of my body belongs to ME. Consent does NOT carry a requirement to follow through to the satisfaction of another person.

          GW: I think it does in the circumstances we are discussing. The contract between the parent and child is a unique and important one.

          LB: For example, if consent is given for sex, it can be withdrawn at any time prior to the completion of the act. And every second that you do not stop when told to stop is the commission of a rape.

          GW: I agree with you on these circumstances but they are much different from the ones we have been discussing. The main one is that your sex partner will not die if you withdraw consent. The other is that your sex partner is not your own child.

          LB: One cannot make contracts with another for parts of one’s body (or the whole) that can be enforced against one’s will.

          GW: That is currently false in one circumstance — the third trimester of pregnancy when the woman does not have a good reason for abortion.

          LB: That’s slavery. In other words, if I say I will donate a piece of my liver to you, and I change my mind before the surgery, you’re shit out of luck. Look for another donor.

          GW: Your example here is irrelevant since I am neither a fetal person inside you nor your born child. The irrevocable contract is very specific and limited. In the former case you would have had 24 weeks to abort your fetus, but by continuing your pregnancy you enter into an implied contract, based on informed consent, to allow the use of your body by the fetal person inside you! This contract can be voided only under two conditions — an imminent risk of death or permanent injury to you. Otherwise, it is a valid, irrevocable, ethical, and legal contract. In my opinion, this implied contract should be made explicit by presenting a written document to the pregnant woman in the 23rd week.

        • lady_black

          There is no such thing as third trimester “abortion.” That is a delivery, and not against the law.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Yes, there is such a thing as third trimester abortion, and it is against the law in nearly every state, unless it is performed for one of two good reasons.

          Also, you are overlooking the still occasional occurrences of abortions performed in the third trimester by women themselves and or by medically unqualified persons for any reason besides the two. These are dangerous, immoral, and illegal abortions.

        • lady_black

          No, there is not. A third trimester pregnancy cannot be aborted. It can only be delivered. Ending a pregnancy in the third trimester is called a C-section, or an induced delivery. They are legal.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think you are mistaken on this because you are conflating and confusing the method of removal with the goals, purposes, and circumstances of delivery. They aren’t the same thing.

          In an abortion, the removal of the fetus is medically unnecessary for the FETUS, regardless of the method of the removal.

        • lady_black

          The purpose and goals of delivery are to end the pregnancy. It doesn’t become an abortion because the fetus won’t or can’t survive.
          Don’t take my word for it. Look it up in a medical dictionary.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          The third trimester covers the last thirteen weeks of a thirty-nine week pregnancy, agreed? Whether the fetus survives if removed during this period depends on 1) when it is removed, 2) the development and strength of the fetus, and 3) the use of technology, agreed? During the third trimester, removal may occur by natural delivery, induced delivery, or C-section, correct? The removal may be considered an abortion or not, correct?

        • lady_black

          No, it’s always considered a delivery. The fetus may or may not survive. The fetus may already be demised at the time of delivery. That is irrelevant to whether or not it’s a delivery. What makes the difference is pre or post 20 weeks gestation. Pre 20 weeks, abortion. Post 20 weeks, delivery.
          Of course, NO 20 or 21 week fetus will survive outside the woman’s body, so it’s premature preterm. But STILL a delivery.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are still confusing the method of removal with the goals, purposes, circumstances, and risks of removal. In an abortion the removal of the fetus is not medically necessary to the survival and health of the fetus! In fact, the opposite is the case with abortion — removal of the fetus is dangerous to the survival and health of the fetus.

          We’ve been over this same issue several times, and we just have not come to any agreement. Agree to disagree.

        • lady_black

          Well it may well BE “dangerous to the health and survival of the fetus.” But when the membranes rupture, the pregnancy is over. Regardless of when that happens, delivery must follow.
          THAT DOESN’T TRANSFORM A DELIVERY INTO AN ABORTION! She still has to pass the fetus (give birth). If that happens prior to 20 weeks, it’s an abortion. Which part of “gestational age” is confusing to you? You keep bringing up “method of removal” which hasn’t got one damn thing to do with it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You keep bringing up method of removal, as if that is a defining feature for removal via abortion vs. removal not via abortion. It’s not.

          “Abortion is the intentional removal of an embryo/fetus from a pregnant woman when the removal is medically unnecessary to protect the embryo/fetus from death or permanent injury and is, in fact, very likely to result in death or permanent injury to the embryo/fetus, and the pregnant woman is indifferent to or desirous of the death of the embryo/fetus and/or has not authorized medical intervention for the removed embryo/fetus.”

          By this accurate definition, the age of the fetus has nothing to do with whether a removal is an abortion or not. It has to do with intentions, risks, and circumstances.

          Abortions can occur in the third trimester. Abortions can be dangerously performed by the woman herself. Abortions can be performed by medically unqualified persons or qualified ones. Abortions can be moral or immoral. And abortions can be legal or illegal.

        • lady_black

          I told you what the “defining feature” is. At least five different times. It is GESTATIONAL AGE, and ONLY gestational age.
          Go tell someone who delivered a stillborn that they had an abortion. And bring along a bag for your teeth.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I gave you a sound definition of “abortion.” with all the defining features. The removal of a stillborn does not fit the definition.

          So far, you have not presented a clear, precise, specific, and comprehensive definition of “abortion.”

        • lady_black

          Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, prior to 20 weeks gestation, by spontaneous or induced means.
          Specific enough for you?

        • Ignorant Amos

          “Gary the Fuckwit” doesn’t do evidence based comments.

          “Expulsion from the uterus an embryo or fetus prior to the stage of viability (20 weeks’ gestation or fetal weight <500g). A distinction made between [abortion] and premature birth: premature infants are those born after the stage of viability but prior to 37 weeks.” Stedman’s Medical Dictionary

        • lady_black

          I didn’t need a medical dictionary. I am giving him the definition I was taught in nursing school. Except back then, the definition contained the fuzzy word “viability” so it has since been tightened up to distinguish between what we would call a spontaneous (or induced) abortion and a pre-term delivery (also, whether spontaneous or induced).
          Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with the life status of the fetus at the time, or whether or not delivery is live. Delivery doesn’t denote a live birth. Most of the time, it will be. Sometimes, delivery will not be live. The fetus is already demised, or dies during the delivery process.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course…a quick look at Wiki would’ve told him that, and saved all the egg he continually gets his face splattered with, but as I said, all the supporting evidence one can muster still has no effect on DK Gary.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          That is specific enough, but it is inaccurate and misleading.

          Abortion can occur at any time in the pregnancy, even before 20 weeks. In fact, most abortions are performed before 20 weeks.

          Abortion is always an intentional removal of the fetus and never a “spontaneous” event.

          Until you use sound definitions of all the relevant terms, I don’t think we can proceed with a discussion of the morality of abortion.

        • lady_black

          No it is NOT “inaccurate and misleading.” It’s the definition I was given in nursing school, AND the one you would find in any medical dictionary.
          And NO, it is NOT “always” the intentional removal of a fetus. It’s ANY removal of a fetus, prior to 20 weeks. After that, it’s called a premature birth.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I disagree with your definition. If you learned it in nursing school, it is now obsolete. It is not correct from the scientific, philosophical, or legal perspective.

          I recommend that you use this definition:
          “Abortion is the intentional removal of an embryo/fetus from a pregnant woman when the removal is medically unnecessary to protect the embryo/fetus from death or permanent injury and is, in fact, very likely to result in death or permanent injury to the embryo/fetus, and the pregnant woman is indifferent to or desirous of the death of the embryo/fetus and/or has not authorized medical intervention for the removed embryo/fetus.”
          This fits all cases of abortion, as we know it today.

        • lady_black

          Who cares what you “disagree with.” Someone else posted a nearly identical definition from a medical dictionary.
          Reality doesn’t care if you disagree with it. My second pregnancy was terminated at 35 weeks, and NOT for the benefit of the fetus. For MY benefit. It was a delivery (birth), no matter how much you stamp your little feet and insist otherwise.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Who cares what YOU disagree with?

          “Someone else”? Please present a quote of a medical definition of “abortion” which you agree with and we can debate it.

          Good definitions describe reality better than bad definitions.

          1. Did the fetus die?
          2. Did the fetus live but sustain permanent injury?
          3. Did you authorize medical intervention after the fetus was delivered?
          4. Did you want the fetus to die?
          5. Were you indifferent to the fact the fetus might die?
          6. Where you indifferent to the fact the fetus might be permanently injured?
          7. Was the early removal of the fetus necessary to protect you from death or permanent injury?
          8. Was the removal ethical?
          9. Was the removal legal?
          10. Would you do the same thing again under similar circumstances?
          11. Why do you agree to the early removal of the fetus?
          12. Was the removal accomplished by competent medical persons?
          13. How much did you end up paying out of pocket? Who paid the rest?

          My feet aren’t little, and I am not angry with you.

        • lady_black

          No, I already did provide you with the medical definition. Too bad if 1) you don’t like it, or 2) don’t agree with it. It IS the medical definition.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Please provide quote, citation, and link for the medical definition of “abortion.” I think you are either making things up out of thin air or maybe your memory is inadequate. Let’s see the actual evidence.

        • lady_black

          I’m giving you the definition I was taught in nursing school. My memory? It’s near photographic. There are medical dictionaries available. Look it up your goddamn self. You can’t afford my rates for tutoring.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          When asked to present evidence to support a claim, you have the ethical responsibility to present it. I am asking for a quote, a citation, and a link.

          Also, you are now making a personal attack against me which is totally out of line.

        • Kodie

          If you’re an asshole, how is that out of line?

        • MNb

          Ah, you are applying for the Banned by GaryW club. Know that you are welcome! But first be ready for some serious pomposity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why should she bother? You ignore evidence when it shows you erroneous, dickhead.

        • lady_black

          P.S. The fetus always dies in an abortion, whether spontaneous or induced, if the fetus isn’t dead already. That’s because the fetus is not fit for living outside the uterus.
          As for why I agreed to the C-section (not abortion), for multiple reasons. The main one being that there is an early expiration date on ruptured membranes. I think I already told you that. That was done for MY benefit. Pre-term deliveries are hardly EVER done for the benefit of the fetus, because the best interest of the fetus is to stay in utero until term. That is often not possible. Because it isn’t done for the benefit of the fetus, or the fetus doesn’t survive doesn’t magically transform a delivery into an abortion. It’s a delivery, regardless of whether the fetus is alive at the end.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          LB: The fetus always dies in an abortion, whether spontaneous or induced, if the fetus isn’t dead already. That’s because the fetus is not fit for living outside the uterus.

          GW: That’s almost correct. Not “always,” but almost always. Remember “partial birth abortion” which was the subject of a new law? However, as I said, in abortion the woman either is indifferent to or desirous of the death of the fetus. Abortion is never “spontaneous.” If it is late in the pregnancy the fetus may actually be “fit for living,” i.e. viable.

          LB: As for why I agreed to the C-section (not abortion), for multiple reasons. The main one being that there is an early expiration date on ruptured membranes. I think I already told you that. That was done for MY benefit. Pre-term deliveries are hardly EVER done for the benefit of the fetus, because the best interest of the fetus is to stay in utero until term. That is often not possible. Because it isn’t done for the benefit of the fetus, or the fetus doesn’t survive doesn’t magically transform a delivery into an abortion. It’s a delivery, regardless of whether the fetus is alive at the end.

          GW: Thanks for answering some of the questions, but you didn’t come close to answering all.

        • lady_black

          There is no such medical procedure as “partial birth abortion.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          We must remember, Gary is a MAN.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          There is a procedure which has been named “partial birth abortion” and it has been outlawed.

        • lady_black

          Not exactly.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Yes, exactly.

        • lady_black

          Intact D&X can still be done. If the fetus is dead. Nobody cares. AND… the alternative to intact dilation and extraction is dilation and extraction in pieces. That’s what they do to the live fetuses.
          Congratulations.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Congratulations for what?

        • lady_black

          For your “win.” The doctor must now remove the fetus in pieces, rather than whole.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          What “win?” What are you talking about?

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

          Do a little research and find out what the adults call it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Some adults call it “partial birth abortion.”

        • Kodie

          Some adults call the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” even though it’s Romneycare. They also like to stick the word “gate” on scandals because (Link): that makes total fucking sense.

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

          I say let’s just call it Trump-care or GOP-care so they can imagine some ownership of it, take credit for it, and move on to fuck up something else and leave health care alone.

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

          What I hear you saying is that if there is to be an abortion, let’s get information to the woman ASAP so that she can make an informed choice and any abortion can be done as early in the development process as possible. Is that right?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I agree with that recommendation. However, I also believe that 1) abortion after the fetus becomes a person (with two exceptions) is immoral and should be illegal, 2) that the fetus becomes a person when it acquires the capacity for consciousness at approximately the end of the 24th week after conception, and 3) that pro-life and pro-choice positions in their most popular forms are both mistaken.

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

          Expand on #3. What errors do you see?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Errors of the pro-life advocates:
          1. A majority believes that personhood begins at conception.
          2. A majority believes that abortion is immoral except in cases of rape, incest, and saving the pregnant woman.
          3. A majority believes that abortion should be illegal except for a few exceptions.
          4. A majority believes that a god inserts a soul into the human organism during development.
          5. A majority believes that a god mostly disapproves of abortion.
          6. A majority is not open-minded to changing position.
          7. Almost none believe that personhood begins with the acquisition of consciousness.
          8. A majority believes that doctors should be punished for performing abortions after 20 weeks, other than exceptions listed earlier.
          9. Many believe that the prevalence of abortion in the US indicates “the American Holocaust.”
          10. A majority opposes the funding of abortions through the government and taxes.

          Errors of the pro-choice advocates:
          1. A majority believes that personhood begins at birth.
          2. A majority believes that abortion is morally correct whenever a pregnant woman wants one.
          3. A majority believes that abortion should be legal for all cases in which a pregnant woman wants one.
          4. Many believe that personhood is dependent on viability.
          5. Most believe that the philosophical and scientific foundations of Roe v. Wade were correct.
          6. Almost none believe that personhood begins with the acquisition of consciousness.
          7. A majority is not open-minded to changing position.
          8. A majority believes doctors should not be punished for performing immoral abortions in the last 15 weeks.

          Those are the ones I can think of in 5 minutes, but there are probably more.

          Ok, your turn: Please summarize your position on personhood, abortion, and abortion rights.

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

          Personhood isn’t binary; it’s a spectrum. The OK/not-OK dividing line for when abortion is allowable is decided by courts and legislatures, and I don’t have much of an opinion here.

        • lady_black

          Who paid for my delivery is none of your goddamn business.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Now, you are letting your anger get the best of you.

        • lady_black

          Anger? NO. But anger is appropriate. It’s none of your goddamn business.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are seething in anger. Anger is not appropriate in this situation, and neither is your lashing out. All you needed to do is politely say “I’d rather not share that information.” I’m not going to push you further for an answer to that Q.

          Now what about the other questions? Are you going to answer them? Please go down the list.

        • lady_black

          Yes, anger is appropriate when people ask questions they are not entitled to the answer to. I’m not a polite person. I will tell you flat out to go pound sand.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I disagree. Neither anger nor lashing out is a proportionate response to the question. Maybe you could become more polite in your responses. Telling people to “go pound sand” is a tad more polite than saying “It’s none of your goddamn business,” but “I’d rather not share that information” would be much better.

        • lady_black

          Fuck you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You just proved my point for me.

          You have slid into the gutter of uncivil remarks.

        • lady_black

          GOOD.

        • Michael Neville

          Our buddy Gary is a tone troll. If he thinks you’re being rude to him (and let’s admit it, saying fuck you could be interpreted as being rude) then he’ll whine at you for not playing the game by his rules.

        • lady_black

          I don’t play that game.

        • Kodie

          Hey, delusional asswipe. You haven’t gone fucked yourself yet like I told you over a week ago!

        • Ignorant Amos

          He won’t have seen that definition as he has me blocked.

        • lady_black

          He thinks he knows more than a person educated in the subject.

        • BlackMamba44

          You have quotes around that definition. I cannot find the source. Maybe you can provide it. I’m curious as to where you got it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I am quoting myself. I have used that definition for quite a long time. I don’t know where I first used it in print.

          If you disagree with the definition, please tell us why. If you believe that you have a better definition, then please present it.

        • BlackMamba44

          You’ve already been given the correct definitions. No need for me to repeat.

          You’re quoting yourself? Bwahahahaha!!

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Yes, I’m quoting myself. Nothing wrong with that.

          I’ve already given you the correct definition:
          “Abortion is the intentional removal of an embryo/fetus from a pregnant woman when the removal is medically unnecessary to protect the embryo/fetus from death or permanent injury and is, in fact, very likely to result in death or permanent injury to the embryo/fetus, and the pregnant woman is indifferent to or desirous of the death of the embryo/fetus and/or has not authorized medical intervention for the removed embryo/fetus.”

          As I said, If you disagree with this definition, please tell us why.

          I’ve told you why lady black’s definition is mistaken.

        • BlackMamba44

          No, you’ve given your personal definition. An opinion, nothing more.

          I’ll stick with the medical experts on the subject. You are not.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Lady black gave an opinion too. Our opinions differ. My definition is the better of the two.

          Neither you nor lady black have actually quoted any medical expert on the definition of “abortion,” so I am unable to compare their so-called “expert definition” with my expert definition. I am an expert in psychology, philosophy, and ethics. Furthermore, you have not presented your own definition of “abortion” or explained why you think mine falls short. And so, you are randomly firing blanks in the dark.

        • BlackMamba44

          Sure, whatever you say, Gary.

          I’ll stick with the basic medical definition.

          If you want to tack your feefees and conceit into the definition, go right ahead. Nobody cares.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You haven’t quoted any “medical definition.”

          Are you conceited because you think your definition is correct or better?

          It is neither ethical nor prudent to make negative inferences about others’ personalities because they disagree with you.

        • BlackMamba44

          How about you just fuck off.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          That’s a totally unethical personal attack.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Ignorant Amos

          Pulled from his arsehole….he does that a lot….Gary needs help….professional help. Max has attempted to steer him in the right direction, but his narcissistic DK persona is blocking him.

        • BlackMamba44

          He’s got the best definition. There’s no definition better than his.

          Is he out there, trying to convince the medical community, that he’s got the bestest, most accurate definition of abortion? Is he trying to change their minds with his “expertise”?

          No. He’s in an atheist forum on the internet, getting upset because a bunch of strangers are being mean to him and won’t agree with him.

          We’re just a bunch of meanies.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          DK?

        • Max Doubt

          “No, consent does not belong to you.”

          Well, of course it does.

          “Once you give consent, you have made an agreement or contract with another party.”

          If I change my mind, tough shit for you, eh?

          “You are morally obligated to keep your agreements or contracts in almost all cases, with a few exceptions.”

          You need to get over that notion that you’re the arbiter of morality. Call these people. They’re only a mile or two from where you live…

          Behavioral Health Solutions – 2898 Mahan Dr – 850-552-0691

        • Max Doubt

          “Consent cannot be arbitrarily withdrawn.”

          Sure it can. Let’s say I consent to give you my kidney – although I wouldn’t, because clearly the world would be a better place with fewer people like you. Let’s say we arrive at the hospital on denotation day. Let’s say I woke up this morning and decided not to give you my kidney. I don’t need a reason. I arbitrarily withdraw my consent, and you’re shit out of luck.

          “It can be withdrawn only for two good reasons. For example, the reason cannot be “I’ve decided to go back to college.” If you disagree, please explain why.”

          I can withdraw my consent any time I like for any reason I want or for no reason at all because decisions about my actions are exclusively mine. And I have no obligation to explain my reasons to you or anyone else.

    • Gary Whittenberger

      On terminology, what do you think about these?

      Is the zygote an offspring?
      Is the pregnant woman a mother?
      Is the sperm donor a father?

      • skl

        Off the top of my head, I’d say
        1) Yes.
        2) Possibly, contingent on whether the woman is pregnant with her own fertilized egg.
        3) Possibly, contingent on whether the man’s sperm fertilized an egg.

        • Halbe

          Interesting answers, purely grounded in old-fashioned ‘natural theology’ I see. Some follow-up questions:
          Regarding 2): The woman gives birth and then raises the child, even though it was not her own egg. Is this woman a mother? If not, why not?
          Regarding 3): An infertile man raises the child that has been conceived with the help of a sperm donor. Is this man a father? If not, why not?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          It is certainly accurate to use the terms “mother” and “father” to refer to long-time legal caretakers, but that isn’t really what I was getting at.

          Is it appropriate to call the egg donor a “mother” at all stages of the development of the organism? Ditto for “father.”

        • Pofarmer

          Not if she doesn’t want to be.

          And even the convention is “Oh, you’re going to be a mommy” indicating you aren’t yet. Did you know around colonial times, childhood mortality was so high, that it was customary not to even name children until they were 2? Think they would have a different outlook?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          “Not if she doesn’t want to be.”

          Could what she wants to be called be mistaken?

          “And even the convention is “Oh, you’re going to be a mommy” indicating you aren’t yet. Did you know around colonial times, childhood mortality was so high, that it was customary not to even name children until they were 2? Think they would have a different outlook?”

          From this response it sounds like you do not think it is appropriate or accurate to call the egg donor a “mother” at all stages of the development of the organism. If that is the case, then at what stage do you think it would become so?

        • Pofarmer

          Could what she wants to be called be mistaken?

          Doesn’t matter, not my call.

          If that is the case, then at what stage do you think it would become so?

          The traditional point is birth.

          Just like the traditional point to call someone a bride is at the wedding.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: Could what she wants to be called be mistaken?

          P2: Doesn’t matter, not my call.

          GW2: It does matter! We are all entitled to make a call.

          GW1: If that is the case, then at what stage do you think it would become so?

          P2: The traditional point is birth.

          GW2: So you think that the egg donor should not be called a “mother” until the fetus is born. Besides “egg donor” is there anything else it is accurate to call her?

        • Kodie

          I call her “woman”. I call you sexist objectifier of women.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Another personal attack.

        • Kodie

          You’re objectifying women. That’s exactly what you’re trying to get at. What should we call the object carrying an embryo inside her uterus. What is she if not a mother? She has no other possible identity, no autonomy, you are all about control and insult. How can anyone have a conversation with you? Why do you think everyone is suffering if you won’t have a conversation with them?

          It’s awesome when you leave!

        • MNb

          When coming from Kodie you usually deserve it.

        • Kodie

          Gary seems to think it’s vitally important, and most efficient, and very civil, to nail down what to call a pregnant woman (if not a mother) before proceeding, and if anyone calls him on any shit, he is quick to call it a personal attack. I am not shy to say I think I really hate Gary Whittenberger. He is an overly sensitive, passive-aggressive, attention-whoring, dishonest turd pile, but that doesn’t make him wrong. He can’t keep up a conversation without interrupting it himself, has the nerve to whine about how others talk to him, and threatens to stop talking to people who upset him. Boo hoo, nobody gives a shit Gary. But I didn’t personally attach Gary this time. He wants to know what to call a woman, in a recent post, he even referred to her as an “it”. Why not just call her an oven, Gary, why not a cow? Who is insulting or attacking whom here? When men like Gary attack women by objectifying and dehumanizing them, do they retain the right to complain about what kind of answers that will get them?

        • adam

          “When men like Gary attack women by objectifying and dehumanizing them,
          do they retain the right to complain about what kind of answers that
          will get them?”

          Only in Trump Universe, not in reality.

        • lady_black

          I would tell him very bluntly, to look deeper. I am ME, and I don’t wish to be defined by my relationship to anyone else. Those are only small pieces of who I am.

        • MNb

          Especially not when it’s an internet “relationship”.

        • MNb

          When a personal attack is defined as any objection you throw at someone (even something like “you are totally wrong”) then it was one.
          However then most personal attacks are not logical fallacies.
          1. If a personal attack is just an expression of what you think of someone (like “I think I really hate GW”) then it’s not an ad hominem.
          2. If a personal attack is backed up by evidence (“you wrote X, that is objectifying and dehumanizing women and hence you’re a sexist”) then it’s not an ad hominem.
          3. If a personal attack is relevant for the topic of discussion (“you’re a member of a neo-nazi club and hence you’re a sexist”) then it’s not an ad hominem.
          There are more examples, but the website I got them from is gone unfortunately and I don’t know them by heart.
          This ” he is quick to call it a personal attack” is of course the main characteristic of a tone troll.

        • adam

          Awww, another apologetic Snowflake….

          Who would have guessed?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Another lame defense of offenders who make personal attacks.

        • adam
        • Max Doubt

          “Another lame defense of offenders who make personal attacks.”

          Flagged for tone trolling. You’ve been asked many times to knock it off. Don’t you see the hypocrisy in your steadfast willful ignorance of other people’s requests for you to engage civilly while the whole time you’re being such a dick about criticizing them for being uncivil?

        • Pofarmer

          Don’t you see the hypocrisy in your steadfast willful ignorance of other people’s requests for you to engage civilly

          My guess, is no.

        • Max Doubt

          “Another lame defense of offenders who make personal attacks.”

          Flagged for spamming your childish off-topic tone trolling.

        • Max Doubt

          “Another personal attack.”

          Flagged for tone trolling again, Gary. Tone trolling is an immature and dishonest game to play. Grow the fuck up, boy.

        • adam

          ” Tone trolling is an immature and dishonest game to play. Grow the fuck up, boy.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca9775db9e9cd1970bf86b87154c7eefb1c8db8ce2eaba244aeb12366eb5f5c9.jpg

        • adam

          “So you think that the egg donor should not be called a “mother” until the fetus is born.”

          Is an egg donor to a fertility clinic THE ‘mother’ to the child born of another woman?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think it is possible for a child to have two or more mothers, don’t you?

        • adam

          In what definition?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          We have the egg donor. We have the woman giving birth. We have a long-time care-taker woman. She may have a lesbian partner. They may all be different persons. Are they all mothers? What do you think?

        • adam

          “Are they all mothers? ”

          By what definition of mother?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Are they all mothers by your definition of “mother”? What is your definition?

        • adam

          “Are they all mothers? ”

          By what definition of mother?

        • Max Doubt

          “In what definition?”

          By whatever definition Gary thinks makes him right – at the moment – subject to change at his whim.

        • adam

          Well of course, but that is how dishonest apologetics are made.

        • lady_black

          No.

        • lady_black

          I don’t think egg donors are ever mothers.

        • Kodie

          Gary is stupidly trying to figure out what to call a pregnant woman if you can’t call the fetus a person, so you would objectify and dehumanize her by calling her the egg donor.

        • lady_black

          I’ve been pregnant and given birth three times. I have NEVER been an egg donor. I don’t think that means what HE thinks it means.
          Egg donors, um… donate or give away the ovum for the use of someone else. That doesn’t apply to most pregnant women, and isn’t synonymous with genetic contributor.

        • Kodie

          I know what an egg donor is, he is considering maybe “egg contributor”. Since we’re talking about it, egg seller is more accurate, unless it is someone like a sister donating her eggs so her sister can have a genetically similar baby to the one she would have had if she had her own healthy eggs, in which case, nobody is probably paying her to undergo the procedure for strangers to choose and pay the clinic for her eggs.

          What the gist of this train wreck of a conversation is, is that Gary seems to be trying to trap people into calling a pregnant woman “mother” even if she doesn’t want to be pregnant or become a parent, or if she does, but the ZEF is too early to be what would be considered a person. I always say pregnant people who want to have a baby are projecting. If you take 2 women, both 7 weeks pregnant, and you have one who already has a name picked out and her nursery furniture flagged in the catalog, and the other one walking in to PP for her abortion appointment, is the 2nd woman a total monster for ending her pregnancy because the 1st one calls it her “baby”, “child,” “little Penelope or Joel”, and herself “mommy”, and her first child “big brother”? Let’s throw a miscarriage in here – tragic for the 1st woman, who had all the hopes and plans. Is it, like, women shouldn’t get abortions because some women want to have babies and think of them as though they are persons when they are not, and feel as emotional as they would if they lost a child who was already born? Does choosing abortion once mean you’re not allowed to grieve a miscarriage later? No, it’s a matter of perspective, and just because many women choose eventually to be parents doesn’t mean every woman at any time has to be emotionally committed to following through with motherhood any time she gets pregnant.

          So if a woman is pregnant, and we’re talking about her rights to have an abortion, well, she’s not a mother, we have to stay away from that word even if a lot of people use it when they want to be or choose to stay pregnant, so I think he is calling her the egg donor, because we have to dehumanize and objectify her, and refer to her only by labels of her usefulness to the ZEF – he even called her “it” – is she a mother or just an egg donor (contributor)?

          I can’t figure out how it fits into context to talk about a woman who went to a clinic to sell her eggs, for someday a different woman to choose them for her IVF treatments if she doesn’t have her own healthy eggs. That makes no sense to the conversation, unless he’s going the very long way to get to some kind of point.

        • Pofarmer

          It does matter! We are all entitled to make a call.

          Only one of us is Pregnant.

          Besides “egg donor” is there anything else it is accurate to call her?

          Pregnant?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: It does matter! We are all entitled to make a call.

          P2: Only one of us is Pregnant.

          GW2: But all of us in this discussion are human persons who should have an interest in the well being of others.

          GW1: Besides “egg donor” is there anything else it is accurate to call her?

          P2: Pregnant?

          GW2: Ok, sometimes the egg donor may be a pregnant woman, but not always.

        • Pofarmer

          GW2: But all of us in this discussion are human persons who should have an interest in the well being of others.

          This is not going well for the concept of personal freedom.

          “But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will
          within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not
          add “within the limits of the law” because law is often but the tyrant’s
          will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

          Thomas Jefferson

          “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden
          people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest
          grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious
          leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

          -Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.”

          Let’s do away with the moral busy bodiness, ok?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Not ok. This is mainly a moral issue. The laws should follow sound moral reasoning.

        • lady_black

          Your morals = your problem. I don’t get to keep you from buying a lottery ticket because I believe gambling to be immoral, and because I have great reasons for thinking that. That means I DON’T buy a lottery ticket.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I believe killing another human person for no good reason is morally wrong, but I don’t believe gambling is morally wrong. I believe you, I, and everyone else have a moral duty to protect the lives of other human persons from unjustified killing. If you disagree, please explain yourself.

        • Pofarmer

          Dude, not everyone believes that a fertilized egg is morally a person. Sorry, you don’t get to legislate that belief.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Plus, we were fertilized eggs. It would be horrifying to learn that the chain of events that lead to us included enslavement of other people (repeat when many of us and our descendents become pregnant).

        • lady_black

          Human being, human person and z/e/f are not the same thing. Of course it will die if removed from it’s host. THAT DOESN’T MEAN I AM OBLIGATED TO USE MY BODY TO HOST IT!!!
          My BORN children are entitled to absolutely nothing from my body. And the fetal versions of them were similarly unentitled. I do not have to do so much as bleed into a bag to save your life, or anyone else’s life. That isn’t to say I would refuse. I am saying I CAN refuse. And there is nothing you can do about it. Even if it means the person dies.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: Human being, human person and z/e/f are not the same thing.

          LB2: Of course it will die if removed from it’s host. THAT DOESN’T MEAN I AM OBLIGATED TO USE MY BODY TO HOST IT!!!

          GW2: I partly disagree. It does mean that you ARE obligated to host it AFTER it becomes a PERSON, unless either of two exceptions apply.

          LB2: My BORN children are entitled to absolutely nothing from my body.

          GW2: Your BORN children are entitled to your proper treatment of them as long as they are in your custody. The state has a moral and legal duty to protect those children from your neglect or abuse of them.

          LB2: And the fetal versions of them were similarly unentitled.

          GW2: The fetal person inside you is entitled to your hosting, except for either of two conditions. The state has a moral and legal duty to protect a fetal person from being killed by you, except for either of two reasons.

          LB2: I do not have to do so much as bleed into a bag to save your life, or anyone else’s life. That isn’t to say I would refuse. I am saying I CAN refuse. And there is nothing you can do about it. Even if it means the person dies.

          GW2: That may be true for all persons except for the fetal person inside of you. However, just to push this issue a little further, I think there should be a law which would require you to donate an organ to your born child to save its life, as long as there is no harm to you, e.g. donate a kidney. I’d vote for a law like that. I think parents have special moral obligations to their children that they don’t have to other people.

        • lady_black

          After it becomes a person, I am no longer hosting it. Also, I am under no obligation to take it home and care for it.
          Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it, SFB!

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          SFB?

        • lady_black

          Shyte For Brains.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Ah.

        • Sonyaj

          I didn’t know either ;).

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Now you are getting frustrated because I have been disagreeing with you, and so you are slipping into uncivil remarks. This is a bad sign.

        • Max Doubt

          “Now you are getting frustrated because I have been disagreeing with you, and so you are slipping into uncivil remarks. This is a bad sign.”

          You’re being a tone trolling prick again, Gary, an utter asshole. Knock it off.

        • lady_black

          You think there oughta be a law requiring organ donations to your children, huh? Well, there is no such law, and there NEVER WILL BE.
          First, parents are often not the best match for potential donations. For example, I could only donate blood to one of my children. One child, neither parent could donate blood to. Siblings are often a better match, but they cannot be compelled either.
          Second? I happen to be using my organs right now. ALL OF THEM!!! Nobody is entitled to them without my consent, even after I have departed this mortal coil. I do, however, intend to make an anatomical gift of any useable body tissues. But while I am still using them, NOBODY gets them! Got it? GOOD!

        • Gary Whittenberger

          LB: You think there oughta be a law requiring organ donations to your children, huh? Well, there is no such law, and there NEVER WILL BE.

          GW: I disagree. I think there should be and one day there will be.

          LB: First, parents are often not the best match for potential donations. For example, I could only donate blood to one of my children. One child, neither parent could donate blood to. Siblings are often a better match, but they cannot be compelled either.

          GW: Of course, the moral requirement would not be applicable if the parent who would be the donor wasn’t compatible with the need of the child.

          LB: Second? I happen to be using my organs right now. ALL OF THEM!!! Nobody is entitled to them without my consent, even after I have departed this mortal coil.

          GW: You might be using all your organs, but you might survive quite well without some of them, e.g. one kidney. I think your child is morally entitled to any body part of yours which you don’t need to survive but it needs to survive. I predict that one day this will become law. This is because of the special relationship and implied contract between a parent and child.

          LB: I do, however, intend to make an anatomical gift of any useable body tissues. But while I am still using them, NOBODY gets them! Got it? GOOD!

          GW: On the first part, that is commendable, but if you would not give a kidney that you don’t need to your own child who would die without it, that is morally wrong.

        • lady_black

          My kidneys belong to me. I do not owe one of them to anyone, and will not be paying one of them to anyone. It is MY decision, alone, whether another person gets one of my kidneys. I do not CARE what you think. YOU donate a kidney! No one will stop you.
          But I would kill you before I allowed you to take one by force.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          I’m with lady_black on this one. You can pry my organs and other tissues from my cold dead body, but you ain’t getting shit as long as I draw breath.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Your kidneys do belong to you, but I think you owe one of them to your child in the circumstances I described.

          I predict that one day the law will require you to provide a kidney under the circumstances which I described.

        • lady_black

          No I do not. My child is supposed to be using his or her OWN kidneys. They got to use mine for 9 months. The lease is now up. And there isn’t THING ONE you can do about that!
          And no, that isn’t how law operates here in the USA. The thought of stealing unwilling flesh is morally abhorrent here. That amounts to involuntary servitude. There is something WRONG with you.
          Here’s the thing, Dummy… When I die, I won’t need ANY kidneys. That doesn’t entitle YOU to steal them from my corpse. That I don’t need them is irrelevant. You cannot have them. PERIOD!

        • Gary Whittenberger

          LB: No I do not. My child is supposed to be using his or her OWN kidneys. They got to use mine for 9 months. The lease is now up. And there isn’t THING ONE you can do about that!

          GW: In these times you should voluntarily give up your kidney to your child in the described circumstances, but sometime in the future (probably after we are both dead), other mothers in the same situation will be required to do this by the state.

          LB: And no, that isn’t how law operates here in the USA. The thought of stealing unwilling flesh is morally abhorrent here. That amounts to involuntary servitude. There is something WRONG with you.

          GW: Of course, the law doesn’t currently operate that way in the US; that’s what I said! Your last comment here is a personal attack. As on a previous occasion, when I continued to disagree with you, you began to make personal attacks. This is inappropriate by you. We were having such a good conversation on the topic.

          LB: Here’s the thing, Dummy… When I die, I won’t need ANY kidneys. That doesn’t entitle YOU to steal them from my corpse. That I don’t need them is irrelevant. You cannot have them. PERIOD!

          GW: There you go again — making another personal attack. You must be getting tired and frustrated because you are selfishly expressing your anger, hostility, or hatred towards me when you could refrain from doing that. Maybe we should end the discussion now, ok?

        • lady_black

          You cannot think. You are incapable of thinking. No law will EVER require a parent to fork over an organ to a child. That isn’t how transplants work. There IS something wrong with you. What if a parent needs their organs? I need mine. Children are not superior beings, entitled to anything and everything. And sometimes, children die. That’s life.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You start your post here with a personal attack. Are you able and willing to make your points and ask questions without doing that? You are gradually slipping into an old habit.

        • Sonyaj

          You might be using all your organs, but you might survive quite well without some of them, e.g. one kidney. I think your child is morally entitled to any body part of yours which you don’t need to survive but it needs to survive. I predict that one day this will become law. This is because of the special relationship and implied contract between a parent and child.

          Holy fucking shit – are you kidding me??

          NO. HELL NO! That will never happen, and if it does, it means this country has gone down a path that would make it absolutely untenable to live in. Your idea has “Handmaids Tale” written all over it. It’s a really gross concept, TBH. I wouldn’t be sharing that idea with co-workers or during casual dinner conversations if I were you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: You might be using all your organs, but you might survive quite well without some of them, e.g. one kidney. I think your child is morally entitled to any body part of yours which you don’t need to survive but it needs to survive. I predict that one day this will become law. This is because of the special relationship and implied contract between a parent and child.

          S2: Holy fucking shit – are you kidding me??

          GW2: No, I’m not kidding you. Your emotional response is not an argument.

          S2: NO. HELL NO! That will never happen, and if it does, it means this country has gone down a path that would make it absolutely untenable to live in.

          GW2: Yes, I predict that it will happen. If the parent does not need the one kidney to live, but their child does need that one kidney to live, doesn’t the parent have a moral duty to provide the kidney? If you think not, then explain and defend your position.

          S2: Your idea has “Handmaids Tale” written all over it.

          GW2: Oh, I disagree with you. HMT goes way beyond what I’m suggesting.

          S2: It’s a really gross concept, TBH.

          GW2: Abortion is a gross concept also, but abortion is the morally correct thing to do in many circumstances. You can’t judge moral correctness by grossness.

          S2: I wouldn’t be sharing that idea with co-workers or during casual dinner conversations if I were you.

          GW2: I would and will. Try making an argument against it rather than just ranting.

        • Susan

          I believe killing another human person for no good reason is morally wrong

          Who doesn’t? But you have to establish “personhood” and “good reason” vs. “no good reason”.

          For instance, Nazis didn’t consider Jews “persons” and they thought they had “good reasons” for killing them.

          I believe you and I, and everyone else have a moral duty to protect the lives of other humans persons from unjustified killing.

          Who doesn’t?

          If you disagree, please explain yourself.

          No one disagrees. You loaded it with language that can be used to justify anything.

        • MR

          It’s interesting that he has to force “human” person.

        • Susan

          It’s interesting that he has to force “human” person.

          Sort of, but mostly boring.

          The same way he forces for no “good reason”.

          And “unjustified killing”.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Susan, thank you for your civility.

          GW1: I believe killing another human person for no good reason is morally wrong

          S2: Who doesn’t? But you have to establish “personhood” and “good reason” vs. “no good reason”.

          GW2: Yes, I agree that these things have to be discussed, debated, and decided. So, excuse me if I’ve already asked you, but in your opinion when does the fetus become a person? In my opinion, one good reason to kill another human person is as a last resort to save the life of oneself or another human person. What do you think is another good reason?

          S2: For instance, Nazis didn’t consider Jews “persons” and they thought they had “good reasons” for killing them.

          GW2: I think we’d disagree with the Nazis on both points. I think the consensus of a group of rational thinkers would agree with us.

          GW1: I believe you and I, and everyone else have a moral duty to protect the lives of other humans persons from unjustified killing.

          S2: Who doesn’t?

          GW2: Psychopaths.

          GW1: If you disagree, please explain yourself.

          S2: No one disagrees. You loaded it with language that can be used to justify anything.

          GW2: It is just a principle to start from, and as you say, these terms have to be specified: human person, justified, good reason, bad reason. That’s why we have discussions and debates like these.

        • Sonyaj

          What is a “good reason” to ever kill someone? And by “someone”, of course I’m talking about an actual person, not a damn fetus.

          Was it okay when the religious wingnuts shot and killed abortion providers? Is capital punishment a “good” reason to kill someone (in certain cases, I say “absolutely!”).

          I believe you, I, and everyone else have a moral duty to protect the lives of other human persons from unjustified killing.

          So, from this statement, can we infer that you are voting for candidates that are trying to enact gun control legislation, and are for a single-payer health care system? Or, do you just vote for whomever the “pro-life” candidate is, or whomever gives lip service to lowering your taxes?

          The difference between most progressive-left liberals and most right-wing conservatives is that liberals actually ARE trying to protect and save lives: we believe all people should have a right to at least basic health care, food, and shelter; this is a big way to help people “not die”. Placing some major restrictions on the purchase of firearms would go a long way towards “…a moral duty to protect the lives of other human persons…”. Republicans, OTOH, have made it abundantly clear they don’t really give a shit about anyone who isn’t, in their eyes, a worthy member of society. So, screw the inner city poor people, single women with kids and deadbeat dads who don’t pay child support, anyone working minimum wage or for a small, locally-owned company that doesn’t offer health insurance, and can’t afford the astronomical rates.

          If you vote for people (“white christian men”, more accurately) who aren’t pushing to stop the sales of AR-15 assault rifles, bump stocks, or otherwise are trying to make it harder for people to use firearms to kill innocent people, you’re a hypocrite, plain and simple. A single person killed – purposely or accidentally – by a handgun is worse than all the 3rd trimester abortions that have ever been performed in this country.

          If you don’t see this obvious fact, you should really sit down and reflect on your values and moral beliefs, and how they came to being. No one can help you with that.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          S2: What is a “good reason” to ever kill someone? And by “someone”, of course I’m talking about an actual person, not a damn fetus.

          GW2: Why do you call it “a damn fetus”? One good reason to kill an actual person is as a last resort to save the life of another person. Do you agree? Do you think there is another good reason? If so, what is it?

          S2: Was it okay when the religious wingnuts shot and killed abortion providers? Is capital punishment a “good” reason to kill someone (in certain cases, I say “absolutely!”).

          GW2: NO on the first, NO on the second.

          GW1: I believe you, I, and everyone else have a moral duty to protect the lives of other human persons from unjustified killing.

          S2: So, from this statement, can we infer that you are voting for candidates that are trying to enact gun control legislation, and are for a single-payer health care system? Or, do you just vote for whomever the “pro-life” candidate is, or whomever gives lip service to lowering your taxes?

          GW1: YES on the first, NO on the second. My position is neither pro-life nor pro-choice; it is pro-person.

          S2: The difference between most progressive-left liberals and most right-wing conservatives is that liberals actually ARE trying to protect and save lives: we believe all people should have a right to at least basic health care, food, and shelter; this is a big way to help people “not die”. Placing some major restrictions on the purchase of firearms would go a long way towards “…a moral duty to protect the lives of other human persons…”. Republicans, OTOH, have made it abundantly clear they don’t really give a shit about anyone who isn’t, in their eyes, a worthy member of society. So, screw the inner city poor people, single women with kids and deadbeat dads who don’t pay child support, anyone working minimum wage or for a small, locally-owned company that doesn’t offer health insurance, and can’t afford the astronomical rates.

          GW2: You are going off on a tangent here, but I think we are pretty much in agreement on these issues. I think the federal government should provide four things: a job (where none has been found in the private sector), education (from age two through two years of college or trade school), comprehensive health care, and contraceptives, ALL paid for through progressive taxation!

          S2: If you vote for people (“white christian men”, more accurately) who aren’t pushing to stop the sales of AR-15 assault rifles, bump stocks, or otherwise are trying to make it harder for people to use firearms to kill innocent people, you’re a hypocrite, plain and simple. A single person killed – purposely or accidentally – by a handgun is worse than all the 3rd trimester abortions that have ever been performed in this country.

          GW2: Of course I favor strict gun control, probably greater than you imagine.

          S2: If you don’t see this obvious fact, you should really sit down and reflect on your values and moral beliefs, and how they came to being. No one can help you with that.

          GW2: Well, that’s kind of a snarky remark, so I’ll raise you one. If you don’t adopt the pro-person position, you should really sit down and reflect on your values and moral beliefs, and how they came into being. I can help you with that.

        • Sonyaj

          If you don’t adopt the pro-person position, you should really sit down and reflect on your values and moral beliefs, and how they came into being. I can help you with that.

          Well, I don’t adopt YOUR version of “pro-personhood”. To me, it’s simple: if it is a living, breathing human that has body autonomy and legal personhood, it’s a life worth protecting. A fetus doesn’t have body autonomy, it doesn’t have legal personhood, and therefore, I’m not going to worry about it if the pregnant woman wants to terminate it. That’s really all there is to that story. Based on what other people are saying here in the comments, I’m pretty sure most agree with this basic premise.

          You keep asking everyone here the same questions, and repeating the same line of “logic”, and it’s not going anywhere. You have not altered my opinions on abortion at all, and I’m afraid that you haven’t even given me anything new to think about. When you veered off on the idea of laws being created to force a woman to donate a kidney to her kid, you sailed off into some waters that aren’t worth further consideration.

          There are just so many other issues that are so much more pressing in our world – like the impact of human-caused climate change, habitat destruction and species extinction. I’m more concerned with racist and homophobic bigots trying to take over the country than I am about 3rd trimester abortions. I’m more concerned about gun control and having clean air and water and preserving our public lands than I am about 3rd trimester abortions. There are 7 billion people on this planet, which is far more than the resources of our planet can handle, so, honestly, I think whatever we can do to cut down on the number of humans being born is good for everyone involved…and abortion is one of those means, albeit far from the best choice. I’ve lived up to my own personal morals by choosing NOT to have children, and my moral code is the only thing that matters TO ME.

          Good luck trying to convince people of your POV. However, I’m done.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: If you don’t adopt the pro-person position, you should really sit down and reflect on your values and moral beliefs, and how they came into being. I can help you with that.

          S2: Well, I don’t adopt YOUR version of “pro-personhood”. To me, it’s simple: if it is a living, breathing human that has body autonomy and legal personhood, it’s a life worth protecting.

          GW2: To me, it’s simple: The fetus becomes a person before it breathes. Personhood does not depend on lung development; it depends on brain development.

          S2: A fetus doesn’t have body autonomy, it doesn’t have legal personhood, and therefore, I’m not going to worry about it if the pregnant woman wants to terminate it. That’s really all there is to that story.

          GW2: Here you are putting the cart before the horse. The legal position should follow or depend on the correct scientific and philosophical position, not the other way around.

          S2: Based on what other people are saying here in the comments, I’m pretty sure most agree with this basic premise.

          GW2: I’m pretty sure most people are mistaken. Most people now fall into one of two camps – pro-life or pro-choice. I’m in the smallest of three camps – the pro-person camp, based on a relatively new understanding of personhood. I invite you to join us.

          S2: You keep asking everyone here the same questions, and repeating the same line of “logic”, and it’s not going anywhere.

          GW2: Unfortunately, some people are so entrenched in their positions, mainly because of habit, tradition, or peer influence, that they are unable to open their minds to new ideas about personhood and abortion. My line of logic is sound. My questions are relevant and significant.

          S2: You have not altered my opinions on abortion at all, and I’m afraid that you haven’t even given me anything new to think about.

          GW2: Even if you have not altered you opinions (unfortunate), I’ve given you plenty new to think about regarding when personhood begins.

          S2: When you veered off on the idea of laws being created to force a woman to donate a kidney to her kid, you sailed off into some waters that aren’t worth further consideration.

          GW2: I did not initiate that veering off. I responded to somebody else’s tangential question. The kidney donation issue is only indirectly related to the abortion question, but I think my position is correct on it too. If you think not, then explain.

          S2: There are just so many other issues that are so much more pressing in our world – like the impact of human-caused climate change, habitat destruction and species extinction. I’m more concerned with racist and homophobic bigots trying to take over the country than I am about 3rd trimester abortions. I’m more concerned about gun control and having clean air and water and preserving our public lands than I am about 3rd trimester abortions. There are 7 billion people on this planet, which is far more than the resources of our planet can handle, so, honestly, I think whatever we can do to cut down on the number of humans being born is good for everyone involved…and abortion is one of those means, albeit far from the best choice. I’ve lived up to my own personal morals by choosing NOT to have children, and my moral code is the only thing that matters TO ME.

          GW2: Now YOU are attempting to veer. While I agree with you on most of these issues, they are really off-topic. The only relevant point is related to population control. Yes, “to control population” is a perfectly legitimate reason to get an abortion before the fetus becomes a person, but it does not address the issue of WHEN the fetus becomes a person.

          S2: Good luck trying to convince people of your POV. However, I’m done.

          GW2: Various points for the beginning of personhood have been suggested: conception, advent of heart beat, quickening, insertion of a soul, viability, separation and breathing. However, all of these have major problems. I believe that the fetus’s acquisition of the capacity for consciousness is the best marker for personhood, as I have explained.

          GW2: Thank you for your wish of good luck for me and for a civil rational discussion of this controversial subject.

        • adam

          ” I can help you with that.”

          HOW can you help her, when you cant help anyone here?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb97553d2d2a8e6901e53496487962cb03ca5a35989c33de1b52884d8160680d.jpg

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Dear Gary,

          STOP HELPING!

          Sincerely,

          Everyone else

        • Ignorant Amos

          I was intrigued when I read that one of his favoured ways of being addressed is as Dr. Whittenberger.

          Doctor of what? Is my curiosity.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          He claims to be a retired psych-something. Claims.

        • Ignorant Amos

          One flew over the cuckoo’s nest springs to mind.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          What he is is an angry old white man who’s pissy because the world is changing and he doesn’t like it.

        • Otto

          Legislation from morality is a terrible idea. Laws should be (and most are) based on rights.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          All legislation is from morality. Morality is about what people should and shouldn’t do. Rights are just a subset of morality.

        • Otto

          That is not true. Don’t confuse what is legal for what is moral. Lots of things are legal and not moral…and many are moral but not legal.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          It certainly is true. I am not confused at all. You are confusing “moral” with “morality.” Maybe a better way of saying this is “All legislation is moralistic.” A law stipulates how people should or should not behave, and in that sense it is moralistic. A law, however, may be morally correct or incorrect.

        • Otto

          All you are doing is falsely equivocating ‘behavior’ with morality. Behavior can be moral, immoral or amoral, and that goes for both legal and illegal behavior. You are the one that said… “This is mainly a moral issue. The laws should follow sound moral reasoning.”

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I agree with you that behavior can be moral, immoral, or amoral.

          Making uncivil remarks on a forum like this is immoral.
          Killing a fetal person inside a woman is immoral, except in two circumstances.

          The first behavior is not illegal.
          The second behavior is illegal in most states in the US.

        • Michael Neville

          Making uncivil remarks on a forum like this is immoral.

          Yet another stupid remark from our resident dumbass. There is nothing immoral about telling you that you’re a shitstain on the panties of life.

        • Otto

          Another sidestep of the actual issue addressed. And now you have elevated yourself to not only the “voice of civility”, but morality too…douchebag squared.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Because you continue to make personal attacks against me, to make lame excuses for your misbehavior, to fail to take responsibility for your misconduct, and/or to enable others to do the same, I’m not going to waste my time with you any longer. In the future I will not read, think about, or respond to your posts. I will devote my time to others who are both able and willing to have a civil and rational discussion of controversial subjects. You are blacklisted and blocked.

        • Otto

          Quit kidding yourself that you are civil, you are actually one of the least civil people I have engaged with. You wield you civility as a weapon…and that is just downright shitty.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It comes to something when ones perceived own sense of ‘civility’ makes them one feckin’ hateful pariah.

        • Max Doubt

          “Because you continue to make personal attacks against me, […] You are blacklisted and blocked.”

          Awwwww, you poor little fuckin’ cry-baby. Tone trolling, preaching, trying to own the forum. Flagged.

        • Max Doubt

          “Making uncivil remarks on a forum like this is immoral.”

          Yet as much as you harp about civility in others, you are an uncivil lying piece of crap. Seems your sense of morality puts you in the seat of judgement, but without taking responsibility for your own shitty behavior. You’re a dishonest tone troll. You’ve been politely asked to knock it off many times. It would make one wonder why you persist on making uncivil remarks on a forum like this while dishonestly accusing other people of the very behavior you’re guilty of. You’re a hypocritical asshole, Gary.

        • MNb

          “We are all entitled to make a call.”
          No way, creep. When my female counterpart is pregnant from me you don’t get to make any call. Neither do Pofarmer, Kodie and Susan.
          The only one who gets to make a call is I myself. As soon as we agree what we decide gets to be done. As long as we disagree law must determine who gets to decide what should be done. As Po already pointed out the only fair choice is that it will be the one who is pregnant. As soon as I am pregnant I will have the last word. In every single case it’s none of your fucking business.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You made two uncivil remarks in one post! Totally uncalled for. Can you make your points without doing that. I’ll wait and see.

        • Max Doubt

          “You made two uncivil remarks in one post! Totally uncalled for. Can you make your points without doing that. I’ll wait and see.”

          Flagged for tone trolling. You’re not everyone’s mother. Whassa matter, Gary, when Amy moved out you don’t get to be someone’s momma anymore? What a sad little mother hen you are. How about you see if your baby can pop out a few grandchillin for ya. Then you can be doting gramma in real life, and you can stop coming around here trying to get everyone to play your little game of indulging Gary’s prudish sensibilities.

        • MNb

          Given your uncivil attitude to many regulars on this very site (including me) I’ll wait first until you change your attitude.

        • BlackMamba44
        • lady_black

          You are entitled to call me exactly what I tell you to call me. Your opinion doesn’t matter. The pregnant woman is a woman, and unless she already has a child (biological or adopted) she is not yet a mother. And it doesn’t matter what you think she is. You do not get to define her, PERIOD.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          So, you can offer a definition of “mother” but I can’t? Why would you have a double standard like that?

          If a woman has a week-old embryo inside her and she calls herself a “mother,” is she correct or incorrect?

          So in your opinion, if the pregnant woman has never given birth to a baby in the past, then she is not a mother before she gives birth in the current case. Is that your view?

        • adam

          “So, you can offer a definition of “mother” but I can’t?”

          You havent, Gary, you are being dishonest.

          Remember, I already asked you for a definition:
          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/anti_choicers_misfire_on_the_fertility_clinic_hypothetical_a_response/#comment-3608426095

          And all you did was dishonestly dance around the question, like the asshole you are.

        • lady_black

          She can define herself however she wants. It doesn’t mean I agree, but at least she’s defining herself.
          YOU do not define her.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think the problem here is that we are using different definitions of “define.” You are talking about people defining themselves. I am talking about defining words. And so, we are using different meanings of the word “define.”

          Not too long ago there was a woman who defined herself (in your sense) as black, but it was discovered that she was lying. Taken the standard accepted definition of “black” she had misapplied the term on purpose.

        • lady_black

          You pretty much define people as they define themselves. Unless you’re an asshole.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Unless you’re an asshole.

          Ah ha…you’ve met Gary I see.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          We are just using different definitions of “define” as I suspected.

        • Max Doubt

          “We are just using different definitions of “define” as I suspected.”

          Part of your shtick is to make silly bold assertions, and when called on your inability to support those assertions, you redefine the words of your claim, or often as not, you redefine the words other people are using, and you’re doing that to avoid admitting you’re wrong. It’s a shitty tactic, Gary. Juvenile, dishonest, manipulative, and rude. You’re treating all these other people like shit while you sit there neck deep in your own dishonesty. You’re an uncivil lying piece of shit.

        • lady_black

          I will tell you, my sister had at least half a dozen miscarriages, and one surgical abortion. AND, she will tell you she is a mother to three children. The ones who were born alive. I agree. She wasn’t a mother until the first child made it out into the world.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think it depends on how far along she was in her pregnancies. If any fetus had become a person, then she was a mother to that fetal person.

        • lady_black

          A fetus becomes a person at birth. So, obviously, since miscarriage is a loss of pregnancy prior to 20 weeks, NO.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Why do you believe that a fetus becomes a person at birth rather than when it acquires the capacity for consciousness?

        • Pofarmer

          You do not get to define her, PERIOD.

          This concept seems hard for Gary.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Just like the traditional point to call someone a bride is at the wedding.

          Yep…until the words “you may kiss the bride”, she is a bride-to-be….like until the baby is born, a pregnant woman is a mother-to-be….and a woman who donates an egg is nothing but an egg donor.

          https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bride-to-be

          https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mother-to-be

          Gary is a contrary fuckwit. We are to blame for pandering to his fuckwittery.

        • lady_black

          I don’t think the biological context is the number one thought that comes to mind when someone says “mother.” After all, women who adopt are also mother. Mother is more a verb than a noun.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          “Mother” is both a noun and a verb.

          How would you define “mother” (the noun) to take into account all these different but legitimate instances?

        • lady_black

          The person who mothers.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think the woman who carries and provides sustenance to a fetal person inside her for 15 weeks “mothers” (the verb).

        • lady_black

          No.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          And why do you think not?

        • Halbe

          Ah, now I see. You’re hoping to score cheap points by equivocating several different meanings of the words “mother” and “father”. Sorry, too transparent, not playing.

        • Max Doubt

          “You’re hoping to score cheap points by conflating several different meanings of the words “mother” and “father”.”

          Yep, equivocation is one of Gary’s dishonest tactics. It’s to be expected. He doesn’t seem to have any honest ones.

        • adam

          “Is it appropriate to call the egg donor a “mother” at all stages of the development of the organism? Ditto for “father.””

          Is the woman who donates eggs to a reproduction clinic the babies ‘mother’ when it is born?
          Ditto for the ‘father’ who was a sperm donator to the same clinic?

        • Kodie

          I believe numbnuts is trying to find a more accurate word than “woman” for the walking incubator whose own egg contributed to the embryo inside of her uterus. Dehumanizing and objectifying!

        • adam

          Well of course, he is doing apologetics, dont be surprised at any dishonesty, apologetics is after all embodied dishonesty.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Yes, I think the woman who donates the egg is the baby’s mother when it is born. Ditto for father. But what about before it is born? When does the egg donor become a mother or is it always a mother?

        • Kodie

          When does the egg donor become a mother or is it always a mother?

          Objectifying and dehumanizing.

        • adam

          Of course, the first rule of religious indoctrination.

        • Max Doubt

          “Objectifying and dehumanizing.”

          There is no credible evidence to suggest Gary isn’t a fundamentalist Christian playing a dishonest game of pretend-atheist, and much evidence to suggest he is. Any way about it, he’s an asshole troll of the first degree.

        • adam

          “Yes, I think the woman who donates the egg is the baby’s mother when it is born.”

          Is that reflected in the ‘birth certificate’?

          “When does the egg donor become a mother or is it always a mother?”

          Ok, when does?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: “Yes, I think the woman who donates the egg is the baby’s mother when it is born.”

          A2: Is that reflected in the ‘birth certificate’?

          GW2: It may or may not be. The woman who donates the egg might not be the same as the woman who gives birth.

          GW1: “When does the egg donor become a mother or is it always a mother?”

          A2: Ok, when does?

          GW2: My question wasn’t a rhetorical question. It was a direct question to you. When do you believe the egg donor becomes a mother or is it always a mother?

        • adam

          “GW2: It may or may not be. The woman who donates the egg might not be the same as the woman who gives birth.”

          Let’s say the donor is not the one who gives birth.

          “When do you believe the egg donor becomes a mother or is it always a mother?”

          by what definition of ‘mother’?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I started this thread to find out what peoples’ concepts of “mother” are. What is yours? I’ll give my view once I’ve collected a good sample of others’ opinions.

        • lady_black

          Mother is a verb and a noun. Mostly a verb. Your “real” parents are those that raise you.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          What? The woman who gave birth to you, regardless if she raised you, is not your “real mother”? If you think she is not, then please explain your position.

        • lady_black

          No, the woman who gave birth to you isn’t your “real mother” if she gave you up. She relinquished that relationship.
          The woman who adopts and raises the child is the real mother.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I disagree. The biological mother and the care-taking mother are both real mothers.

        • adam

          “I started this thread to find out what peoples’ concepts of “mother” are.”

          Then, THAT is where you should have started, and maybe you would not have had to be such an asshole.

          ” I’ll give my view once I’ve collected a good sample of others’ opinions.”

          And I will give mine when you actually answer my question and stop being an asshole.

        • Sonyaj

          Really? I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of agreement on that, TBH. “Egg donor” is all the original woman was. She did not do anything other than donate a single cell of her body to the process. She would no more be a mother than a sperm donor would be the father.

          It’s one thing to have a biological mother and an adoptive mother, by which the biological mother incubated and gave birth to the baby, but didn’t otherwise have anything to do with raising it.

          Also, I guess I’m missing the point of your line of questioning. Do you think that the mere act of being pregnant makes a woman a mother? I most definitely was NOT a mother during the 6 weeks of my unwanted/unplanned pregnancy, I can tell you that much.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think I’ve collected enough opinions on the issue I brought up that it is now appropriate to express some of my opinions on it.

          Given a pregnant woman, I believe that she becomes a mother (or it is proper to call her “a mother”) when the fetus inside her becomes a person! What do you think about that?

        • Sonyaj

          Well, for starters, I never said you couldn’t express an opinion on it (although as someone who will never experience what it is like to be pregnant, your opinion on what should happen with any woman’s unwanted pregnancy is completely irrelevant); I merely pointed out you wouldn’t get agreement about an egg donor = mother.

          So, you’ve basically contradicted yourself and said that the woman that is incubating the embryo-through-fetus is the mother once the baby is born. I agree. She is the birth mother, but that’s it.

          What we are not in agreement on is that any part of the human development process that occurs inside a woman’s uterus before the fetus at least 24 weeks along (and can therefore potentially survive if removed) is equal to “baby” or “person”, or otherwise has rights that supersede the mother’s choice to terminate it.

        • lady_black

          Or even after 24 weeks if medically indicated.

        • Sonyaj

          Exactly. I used the 24 weeks thing because according to stats I found on google, prior to 24 weeks, the fetus has a minimal chance of surviving outside of the womb. That data was no doubt collected from premature births, which aren’t uncommon, so I’m sure the statistics are pretty accurate.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          S1: Well, for starters, I never said you couldn’t express an opinion on it (although as someone who will never experience what it is like to be pregnant, your opinion on what should happen with any woman’s unwanted pregnancy is completely irrelevant); I merely pointed out you wouldn’t get agreement about an egg donor = mother.

          GW1: As a citizen with interest in the well being of others, my opinion is certainly relevant. On the other hand, some people think that an egg donor is a mother and some do not.

          S1: So, you’ve basically contradicted yourself and said that the woman that is incubating the embryo-through-fetus is the mother once the baby is born. I agree. She is the birth mother, but that’s it.

          GW1: No, you have misstated my position, and I have not contradicted myself. I said the woman incubating the embryo-through-fetus should be considered a mother ONLY AFTER the fetus becomes a person, not “once the baby is born” as you said. Please get it straight.

          S1: What we are not in agreement on is that any part of the human development process that occurs inside a woman’s uterus before the fetus at least 24 weeks along (and can therefore potentially survive if removed) is equal to “baby” or “person”, or otherwise has rights that supersede the mother’s choice to terminate it.

          GW1: I agree with you that the human organism inside the woman is not a “baby.” The fetus becomes a baby when it is living outside the woman. I also agree with you that the fetus is not a person and should not be assigned rights before approximately the 24th week. Before it is a person, the woman should be able to kill it for any reason at all.

          GW1: Where we disagree and where I think your position is mistaken is what should happen after the fetus becomes a person at approximately the 24th week. The fetal person’s right to life should supercede the woman’s right to bodily autonomy, unless continuing the pregnancy will likely cause death or permanent physical harm to the woman. To make this clear, let’s look at two different scenarios: Scenario #1: The fetus is 26 weeks old. The pregnant woman says “I want an abortion an abortion now. I have changed my mind about wanting a baby. I want to go back to college instead of being a mother.” Scenario #2: The fetus is 26 weeks old. After careful assessment two physicians have told the pregnant woman that if she continues the pregnancy she is likely to die. The woman says “I don’t want to die. I want an abortion now.” In my opinion, the abortion in #2 should be allowed and performed, but the one in #2 should not be allowed or performed. If you disagree, please explain your answer.

        • Sonyaj

          Yes, I think the woman who donates the egg is the baby’s mother when it is born

          This was cut and pasted from your earlier email, and to me, it reads as though the egg donor is the actual mother. Below that, you said something totally different that the woman incubating the fetus would be the mother, which I agreed with. I agree with Joe’s descriptor of “biological mother” for the woman incubating the DNA packet.

          Fetus becoming a person = when fetus is no longer inside mother and is now a baby: trust me, I’ve got everything straight. It doesn’t get assigned any personhood rights until it is no longer inside the mother. You seem to agree with this.

          In regards to your last statement, no we actually aren’t in disagreement there. At the point of fetal viability, I think the woman should have a compelling reason why she should terminate the pregnancy if her life or health aren’t in danger, and the abortion provider has every right to refuse to perform the procedure at that point. The thing is, this actual scenario is incredibly, incredibly rare, and it’s not a good platform to base banning abortions on. Ninety-one percent of abortions are performed during the first trimester; believe me, most of us who find ourselves in the unfortunate position of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy want it terminated ASAP so we can get on with our life. The remaining 9% are overwhelmingly done because of fetal inviability or to save the mother’s life. There might be a couple of cases where a woman wants an elective abortion after fetal viability is established, but I’m betting it’s not more than a couple of cases a year.

          For many pro-choice people, abortion isn’t necessarily a black and white issue, like it is for so many forced-birthers. Instead of arguing about the very rare/hypothetical scenarios about elective 3rd trimester abortions, I prefer to focus on making sure women (and men) have easy and affordable (preferably free) access to birth control and sterilization: those are the best ways to cut down on the number of abortions performed each year.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Sonyaj, thank you for being civil in this discussion of a every controversial subject. Many people are not.

          “Yes, I think the woman who donates the egg is the baby’s mother when it is born”

          S1: This was cut and pasted from your earlier email, and to me, it reads as though the egg donor is the actual mother. Below that, you said something totally different that the woman incubating the fetus would be the mother, which I agreed with. I agree with Joe’s descriptor of “biological mother” for the woman incubating the DNA packet.

          GW1: If I said that, then I think that I’ve changed my mind in the course of discussion.

          S1: Fetus becoming a person = when fetus is no longer inside mother and is now a baby: trust me, I’ve got everything straight. It doesn’t get assigned any personhood rights until it is no longer inside the mother. You seem to agree with this.
          GW1: No, I don’t agree with that. I believe the fetus becomes a person when it acquires the capacity for consciousness which occurs around the 24th week after conception. It is at that point that the fetus should be assigned rights. If you disagree, please explain why.

          S1: In regards to your last statement, no we actually aren’t in disagreement there. At the point of fetal viability, I think the woman should have a compelling reason why she should terminate the pregnancy if her life or health aren’t in danger, and the abortion provider has every right to refuse to perform the procedure at that point.

          GW1: Actually, we are in substantial disagreement here. I don’t think the “point of fetal viability” should have anything to do with personhood or rights. I think the point of fetal consciousness should be the definitive marker. I think that after this point the abortion provider has more than a right to refuse, he/she has a duty to refuse unless there is a good reason, and that the only good reasons are to protect the woman from death and permanent injury.

          S1: The thing is, this actual scenario is incredibly, incredibly rare, and it’s not a good platform to base banning abortions on.

          GW1: I agree that it is incredibly rare, but the line must be drawn somewhere, and it should be drawn rationally, not irrationally. The frequency of the behavior, i.e. “rare,” should have nothing to do with the morality of the behavior.
          S1: Ninety-one percent of abortions are performed during the first trimester; believe me, most of us who find ourselves in the unfortunate position of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy want it terminated ASAP so we can get on with our life. The remaining 9% are overwhelmingly done because of fetal inviability or to save the mother’s life. There might be a couple of cases where a woman wants an elective abortion after fetal viability is established, but I’m betting it’s not more than a couple of cases a year.

          GW1: Then in those cases, abortion would be immoral and illegal, even by your definition. In practice, I think our positions line up quite well. It is just that I have a different philosophical justification than you do.

          S1: For many pro-choice people, abortion isn’t necessarily a black and white issue, like it is for so many forced-birthers. Instead of arguing about the very rare/hypothetical scenarios about elective 3rd trimester abortions, I prefer to focus on making sure women (and men) have easy and affordable (preferably free) access to birth control and sterilization: those are the best ways to cut down on the number of abortions performed each year.
          GW1: My position is neither pro-choice nor pro-life; it is pro-person. However, as we have seen it overlaps quite well with your position. The real advantage of my position over yours is that it has a stronger moral, philosophical, and scientific basis which can be used to oppose the pro-life advocates. I certainly agree with you that birth control, sterilization, and also sex education are our best tools for lowering unwanted pregnancies.

          GW1: Another related issue: There are many states which are trying to push the line down to 20 weeks because that is when “pain perception” begins. This is not scientifically valid.

        • Max Doubt

          “Sonyaj, thank you for being civil in this discussion of a every controversial subject. Many people are not.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8584e9699835300b5cfac987c3af16856c52f4b5b6ac834122c051053c91097a.gif

        • Sonyaj

          I don’t think the “point of fetal viability” should have anything to do with personhood or rights. I think the point of fetal consciousness should be the definitive marker.

          I have never, ever come across a study that pretends to suggest that there is such a thing as “fetal consciousness”; if you’re going bring a term like that into the discussion, you’ll need to provide some objective scientific study that shows such a thing even exists.

          I’m pretty positive it doesn’t; if it did people would be able to have some memory of their time in utero. Most people – certainly myself as an example – have absolutely no memory of my life before I was probably a bratty toddler, certainly not as a newborn, and let alone as a fetus. So, a fetus being terminated is certainly not going to have any awareness that it is going to cease to exist because it didn’t have any memory or consciousness to begin with.

          At any rate, even if there was such a thing as “fetal consciousness”, fetal viability would trump that anyway: if it hasn’t developed to the point where it can live outside of the mother’s body, it’s not a person, it has no personhood rights, so, yes, that is where I’m happy to draw my line in the sand. I also don’t assign morals to anyone else’s decision to terminate their pregnancy; it’s just never going to be something that affects me. My comment above about the woman “…having a compelling reason to terminate after fetal viability” is really more about accountability than any moral issue I have. But, as a former physician and surgeon, I do respect the right of the provider to refuse to perform that procedure if he or she has issues with it; I’ve certainly refused to do surgery on patients for one reason or another.

          I also agree with lady_black downthread when she says that a pregnant woman does not become a mother until she’s either pushed the living critter out of her, or it’s surgically removed.

          I was once pregnant for 6 weeks before having it scraped out, and at no point was I a mother. I am CFBC, so that status never changed.

          In terms of consciousness, have you ever undergone general anesthesia? I have, once, for my hysterectomy about 1 1/2 years ago, and it’s a fascinating experience: once the induction agent of propofol hits your vein, you are in a sedated state, and you don’t remember anything. Medicines are then given to place you into a deeper hypnotic state, so the pain reflex disappears, you are given succinylcholine to paralyze your skeletal muscles, and you are intubated so you don’t suffocate. I figure that’s pretty much what death is like…except you just never wake up, and therefore, will be unaware of your actual death. The fetus has never been awake, never experienced consciousness, and therefore, will be unaware of its death as well.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW1: I don’t think the “point of fetal viability” should have anything to do with personhood or rights. I think the point of fetal consciousness should be the definitive marker.

          S2: I have never, ever come across a study that pretends to suggest that there is such a thing as “fetal consciousness”; if you’re going bring a term like that into the discussion, you’ll need to provide some objective scientific study that shows such a thing even exists.

          GW2: Of course it exists! Please answer these questions:
          1. Consciousness in human organisms exists, agreed?
          2. A zygote has not acquired the capacity for consciousness, agreed?
          3. A newborn baby has acquired the capacity for consciousness, agreed?
          4. At what point in development of the fetus do you believe it acquires the capacity for consciousness?

          S2: I’m pretty positive it doesn’t; if it did people would be able to have some memory of their tim e in utero. Most people – certainly myself as an example – have absolutely no memory of my life before I was probably a bratty toddler, certainly not as a newborn, and let alone as a fetus. So, a fetus being terminated is certainly not going to have any awareness that it is going to cease to exist because it didn’t have any memory or consciousness to begin with.

          GW2: You are confusing consciousness with memory. In general, people do not have long-term memories of much that happened before the age of two.

          S2: At any rate, even if there was such a thing as “fetal consciousness”, fetal viability would trump that anyway: if it hasn’t developed to the point where it can live outside of the mother’s body, it’s not a person, it has no personhood rights, so, yes, that is where I’m happy to draw my line in the sand.

          GW2: I totally disagree. The claim that personhood begins when the fetus becomes viable leads to unsurmountable difficulties. First, we don’t know if any given fetus is viable unless it is removed from the womb, and so only guesses can be made beforehand. Secondly, viability depends on technology. At the present time a small percentage of fetuses as young as 20 weeks taken from the womb have been saved with technology. Are we to believe that they are persons merely because they were saved and thus were viable, but others removed at 20 weeks who died even with the use of technology were not persons? Furthermore, as technology advances it will probably be possible one day to take a one-week old embryo out of the woman’s body, place it in an artificial womb, and nurture it for nine months. So, in a sense this embryo would be viable at one week, with technology! At that point is the embryo therefore a person with a right to life? Can the two persons who produced this embryo not kill it for any reason? This seems ridiculous. Lastly, if viability is to be considered without technology, then this leads to the conclusion that personhood begins when the lungs have matured enough for the fetus to breathe air. This usually occurs only in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Why should personhood be tied to lung development rather than brain development? We recognize persons as competent in basic mental activities not in breathing activities. In conclusion, personhood does not and should not depend on viability.

          S2: I also don’t assign morals to anyone else’s decision to terminate their pregnancy; it’s just never going to be something that affects me.

          GW2: I disagree with you, and believe you are mistaken on this point. Morality is essentially a set of rules about how persons should and should not behave. If the fetus is a person inside the womb at some point, as I believe, then morality certainly applies to how the host woman treats the fetus.

          S2: My comment above about the woman “…having a compelling reason to terminate after fetal viability” is really more about accountability than any moral issue I have. But, as a former physician and surgeon, I do respect the right of the provider to refuse to perform that procedure if he or she has issues with it; I’ve certainly refused to do surgery on patients for one reason or another.

          GW2: That’s what I thought you meant, but a moral rule against abortion under certain circumstances goes beyond that. Not only CAN the physician refuse to perform an abortion, he/she SHOULD refuse to do so for moral or legal reasons under certain circumstances. For example, if the host woman wants to abort the 26-week-old fetus because she wants to go back to college, the physician should refuse to perform the abortion. Don’t you agree?

          S2: I also agree with lady_black downthread when she says that a pregnant woman does not become a mother until she’s either pushed the living critter out of her, or it’s surgically removed.
          I was once pregnant for 6 weeks before having it scraped out, and at no point was I a mother. I am CFBC, so that status never changed.

          GW2: I agree with you halfway here. I believe the host woman becomes a mother when the fetus becomes a person.

          S2: In terms of consciousness, have you ever undergone general anesthesia? I have, once, for my hysterectomy about 1 1/2 years ago, and it’s a fascinating experience: once the induction agent of propofol hits your vein, you are in a sedated state, and you don’t remember anything. Medicines are then given to place you into a deeper hypnotic state, so the pain reflex disappears, you are given succinylcholine to paralyze your skeletal muscles, and you are intubated so you don’t suffocate. I figure that’s pretty much what death is like…except you just never wake up, and therefore, will be unaware of your actual death. The fetus has never been awake, never experienced consciousness, and therefore, will be unaware of its death as well.

          GW2: Yes, I have undergone general anesthesia probably three or four times. Nevertheless, the fetus has been awake and conscious during the last 15 weeks of pregnancy, but it will not have any understanding of death if it is killed.

        • adam

          “3. A newborn baby has acquired the capacity for consciousness, agreed?”

          Citation needed

          Not demonstrated

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          Like, has he even seen a newborn? They’re a lot of things, but “conscious” isn’t a word I’d use to describe them.

        • adam

          “Given a pregnant woman, I believe that she becomes a mother (or it is
          proper to call her “a mother”) when the fetus inside her becomes a
          person!Given a pregnant woman, I believe that she becomes a mother (or it is
          proper to call her “a mother”) when the fetus inside her becomes a
          person!”

          So at birth.

          Took you this long to figure that out, what a vacuous asshole.

        • Pofarmer

          vacuous is a good word.

        • Joe

          I believe that she becomes a mother (or it is proper to call her “a mother”) when the fetus inside her becomes a person

          Biological mother, yes.

          That important distinction should have been made earlier.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I agree with you on this point. She may not necessarily become the eventual “caretaking mother.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Let me help ya out again Gary the contrarian…

          https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/mother-to-be

        • TheNuszAbides

          Gary, Gary, quite contrary,
          how does your garden grow?
          “With tone-troll smells,
          and cock-eyed yells,
          and goalposts all but in a row.”

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

          There once was an old man named Gary
          Of whom other posters are wary
          For when he would talk
          T’was only to balk
          At “tone” with his attitude airy

        • Greg G.

          “Mother” is a multi-functional term. Under normal circumstances, a mother provides the genetic material and the mitochondria with the egg, then gestates the fertilized egg and delivers it, nurses it as an infant, cares for it as grows while teaching it language among many other things, and more, including helping with the grandchildren.

          To choose one aspect requires that you specify the context, such as genetics, pre-natal development, emotional attachment, and care and feeding.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Good to hear from you again, Greg G, one voice of civility.

          I’m not sure any longer that the mere provider of the egg should be called a “mother.” I am leaning towards this definition:

          “A mother is a female human person who either 1) carries and sustains a fetal person inside her which may or may not result from her egg, or 2) cares for, provides for, protects, and educates a child for a long period of time. The former is known as the “biological mother” whereas the latter is known as the “caretaking mother.” One person can be both.”

        • lady_black

          She doesn’t. An egg donor is JUST an egg donor. A sperm donor is JUST a sperm donor. At no point are they mother or father.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I partly agree and partly disagree. Let’s just focus on the woman. If she is an egg donor, she may become a mother of the fetal person which results from her egg.

          Try out this definition:
          “A mother is a female human person who either 1) carries and sustains a fetal person inside her which may or may not result from her egg, or 2) cares for, provides for, protects, and educates a child for a long period of time. The former is known as the “biological mother” whereas the latter is known as the “caretaking mother.” One person can be both.”

        • lady_black

          If she donates the ovum, she donates it. PERIOD. It’s gone. Out of her body. Not hers any more. Someone else may or may not use it. But they cannot replace it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Part of the problem here is that we are using the word “donate” in different ways. You are thinking of it in the narrow sense of “produce it and give it to another,” whereas I am thinking of it in the broader sense of “produce it and give it to oneself or another.”

          But anyway, that is not the main point now. What do you think of the definition I just presented for “mother”?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          In #2 and #3, set aside pregnancy for now. The zygote is the result of the union of a sperm and an egg. Is the egg donor the mother of the zygote? Is the sperm donor the father of the zygote. Is it proper to use the terms “mother” and “father” in these contexts? If not, why not?

        • lady_black

          The fact is, you are neither a mother or a father until you have offspring (that means live-born). A zygote is not an offspring, and it is not a child. Flash-freezing children tends to have dreadful results. A zygote is a single, totipotent cell.

      • Erp

        1. Potential offspring
        2. Potential biological mother (though if her fetus is from her egg she would also be the potential genetic mother).

        3. Potential genetic father

        Mother and father can also refer to the people who actually bring the child up at their own (e.g., adoptive or foster parents).

        • Gary Whittenberger

          But what makes the three “potential” rather than “actual”?

        • lady_black

          Because at that point, there is no actual. Just like a blueprint isn’t an actual house. It contains instructions for building one, but a provider of materials is still needed. That provider of materials is the pregnant woman.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I was hoping that Erp would reply to my question.

          Your house construction analogy works in some cases to explain the distinction between potential and actual, but not in all cases.

          Something is actualized when it meets a set of criteria right now, but it has potential when it is likely to meet the criteria later, if conditions are met.

          A fetus after sufficient brain development occurring at approximately 24 weeks has met the criteria to be a person right now. It is no longer a potential person, but it is an actual person. It is a potential baby, however.

        • lady_black

          What a zygote meets in criteria is a SINGLE totipotent human cell. I am not talking about a fetus that could be delivered. That would be a house ready to move into, not blueprint. When it is delivered, it will be a person. As a single cell, not so much!
          As for 24 weeks, that isn’t some magical gestational line. Half will not make it.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          LB: What a zygote meets in criteria is a SINGLE totipotent human cell.

          GW: I agree with you as far as you go here. A zygote is a one-celled and early-stage living human organism.

          LB: I am not talking about a fetus that could be delivered. That would be a house ready to move into, not blueprint. When it is delivered, it will be a person. As a single cell, not so much!

          GW: The zygote is analogous to the blueprints and the foundation together. The late-stage fetus is analogous to the blueprints and the house without the electrical fixtures.

          LB: As for 24 weeks, that isn’t some magical gestational line. Half will not make it.

          GW: I agree it is not some magical line. It is a rationally determined line. After 24 weeks nearly all fetuses have brains so developed that they have acquired consciousness which is or should be the marker for personhood. The percentage that will or will not “make it” is irrelevant to determining personhood, and it depends on technology, insurance, and the will of participants.

        • Erp

          Live birth (i.e. breathing). Offspring aren’t offspring until they’ve sprung off. Note this doesn’t mean the fetus and the earlier stages aren’t without value and the potential parents who have a miscarriage or still birth will likely grieve (in the case of a very early miscarriage they might not be aware of the pregnancy).

        • Gary Whittenberger

          You are talking here just about #1. That’s an interesting idea. My initial reaction to it is favorable, but I’ll have to think about it.

        • Erp

          Its reciprocal, one isn’t a parent until one has offspring (whether by giving birth or by adopting/fostering). The idea of breath being significant is quite Biblical (Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed
          into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being) though it does have some issues.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I make a distinction between offspring vs child or baby or person.

          I don’t recognize the Bible as a credible authority.

    • Joe

      But are they all human persons?

      No.

      Choosing to save the five year old person doesn’t mean
      that the one on life support isn’t also a person.

      No, but even so, they aren’t seen as having equal worth.

    • eric

      Choosing to save the five year old person doesn’t mean that the one on life support isn’t also a person. That choice is just made easier by the fact that the one on life support

      IMO your analogy fails because the though process going on here is not a triage-like decision where limited resources are allocated between people based on chance of survival. And in fact i think I can demonstrate this, by considering a variant scenario where a triage-like though process would favor the embryos and ask what people would choose then. Let’s say that the 1,000 embryos are held in a perfect canister and that they have a 100% likelihood of viability – if the canister is saved. Let’s further say that the 5-year-old has already suffered sever burns and only has a 50% chance of survival. Which do you save, ski?

      I’d pick the 5-year-old. I’m guessing most people would. Because your sidebar about life support is essentially irrelevant. People are not picking the 5-year-old out of some though process that resembles a triage decision. They are picking the 5-year-old because they value the 5-year-old more.

      • Joe

        There’s another analogy: Imagine a magical being appears and says “I can cast a spell that will see all 1000 embryos become people in the future.” I would still save the five year old.

      • skl

        My name is SKL.

        • Susan

          My name is SKL.

          That you chose a name that looks like “ski” is your problem. eric had the decency to respond to your post and, as usual, you chose to ignore the substance.

          .

          Deal with the discussion. If you had corrected his misreading of your name and then addressed the substance of his comment, it would be one thing.

          But to use type that is easily misread and choose to ignore the points someone respectfully makes to you because you chose a username that is easily misread is transparently weaselly.

          He made an effort to address your comment (which is far more than you’ve ever done).

          You’re not fooling anyone.

        • eric

          Goody for you. Which do you save, skl? The guaranteed-viable embryos or the badly burned kindergartner?

        • skl

          First, in the hypothetical scenario presented by the author, I’ve indicated why I would save the healthy five year old. (I just expanded on my rationale in part 2: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/11/anti-choicers-misfire-on-the-fertility-clinic-hypothetical-a-response-2-of-2/#disqus_thread)

          “Let’s say that the 1,000 embryos are held in a perfect
          canister and that they have a 100% likelihood of viability – if
          the canister is saved. Let’s further say that the 5-year-old has already
          suffered sever burns and only has a 50% chance of survival. Which do you save, ski? I’d pick the 5-year-old.”

          In your scenario of perfection, where the embryos will be
          healthy babies, 100% certain, I’d pick the embryos.

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

          So this is an Argument from Potential for you–they aren’t children … but they will be.

          I’m afraid I don’t think much of that argument.

        • skl

          No, I don’t think it’s an argument from potential for me.
          But it may be an argument from potential for eric.

          I was taking into account the word eric used, namely, “viability”
          – a term used by many pro-choice people as a benchmark of personhood. Another word for a new human life with “viability” is “baby”.

          In eric’s perfect world, these embryos will be
          healthy babies with 100% certainty. In his scenario, they’re
          effectively babies now. Analogously, if eric is not a millionaire today but he will be given $100 million dollars tomorrow with 100% certainty, eric is effectively a millionaire now.

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

          No, eric is not a millionaire today in your example. Effectively so, sure, as you note. But then you’re back to the Argument from Potential: eric isn’t a millionaire … but he will be.

        • eric

          It is difficult to capture my point using skl’s millionaire analogy. But fertility clinics can charge a lot, they’re busy, and they pay sperm donors, so I think it’s reasonable to assume there would be a ‘demand pull’ for the hypothetical canister of viable embryos in the burning clinic. IIRC most fertility treatments use 10+ eggs to try and ensure one fertilized one successfully implants. So let’s reasonably assume there are 100 women who want those embryos, and that between 10 and 100 of them use the recovered embryos, successfully, for IVF.

          So my follow-up question for skl would be: okay yes, let’s do assume there is an extremely good chance that saving the canister will result in 10+ actual future adults, while saving the 5-year-old will result in only one actual future adult. Maybe not a magical 100% chance, but let’s say that you-as-decision-maker and I-as-decision-maker agree that for purposes of the argument, the number of birthed humans resulting from saving the cansiter will be at least 2 and almost certainly more. Would you then save the canister over the 5-year-old? I wouldn’t. I’d still save the 5-year-old.

        • eric

          By viability I meant that should they be (1) saved from the fire, (2) and then a woman wanted to implant one of them, (3) and then that one was implanted, then (4) it would in due time and given normal biological support develop normally. By saying they are all viable, I meant that this sequence could conceivably happen to each of them. I did not mean (and didn’t think anyone would be ridiculous enough to assume!) that the person making the save decision had some magical way of either foretelling or guaranteeing those future acts would come to pass for each and every zygote in the canister. The only part of that chain of events the decision-maker has control over is #1. The decision-maker must make the save decision not knowing how many embryos will proceed through steps 2, 3, and 4. Could be zero. Could be all thousand. Could be any number in between. Just like in real life, the person running in to save the canister/child would not know what the future holds for them. He or she just knows that that’s a well-built canister that he can trust works to keep the embryos “ready for deployment.”

          So with that in mind, would you save the 5-year-old or the canister? 5-year-old all the way, for me.

        • skl

          “By viability I meant that should they be (1) saved from the fire, (2) and then a woman wanted to implant one of them, (3) and then that one was implanted, then (4) it would in due time and given normal biological support develop normally.”

          So, very different from what I previously assumed about your “viability”. Given this clarification, my decision changes. I save the child.

          “I did not mean (and didn’t think anyone would be ridiculous
          enough to assume!) that the person making the save decision had some magical way of either foretelling or guaranteeing those future acts would come to pass for each and every zygote in the canister.”

          But maybe not so ridiculous in a magical hypothetical kingdom with perfect things, and 100% likelihoods.

          “The only part of that chain of events the decision-maker has control over is #1. The decision-maker must make the save decision not knowing how many embryos will proceed through steps 2, 3, and 4. Could be zero.”

          Yes. That’s why I save the five year old child.

        • eric

          But maybe not so ridiculous in a magical hypothetical kingdom with perfect things, and 100% likelihoods.

          I said the canister is perfect and that all the embryos are viable. This seems like a pretty easily understood hypothetical, and it doesn’t involve the canister having any power to guarantee everything in it would then go into wombs and be born. It just means the stuff in the canister is guaranteed not to be harmed by the fire before the save decision is made; that the person making the decision can be guaranteed not to be ‘wasting their time’ by grabbing a container that turns out later to have been breached or cooked.

          How you leapt from that to “eric said they all become children” is beyond me. But that’s certainly not what I meant, or the literal words that I used.

          Be that as it may, thank you for your answer. I think Pierce would point out that on a pragmatic basis, these scenarios seem to indicate that you don’t value zygotes like 5-year-olds any more than we do.

        • skl

          “This seems like a pretty easily understood hypothetical, and it doesn’t involve the canister having any power to guarantee everything in it would then go into wombs and be born. It just means the stuff in the canister is guaranteed not to be harmed by the fire before the save decision is made”

          That was already assumed in the author’s original hypothetical. I assumed the same, at a minimum, for yours. But then you added some words.

          “I think Pierce would point out that on a pragmatic basis, these scenarios seem to indicate that you don’t value
          zygotes like 5-year-olds any more than we do.”

          I don’t know who Pierce is. As to the last, I already gave an instance where I would save the zygotes but not the five year old.

          Here’s the final hypothetical and
          final meaningless question and conclusion:

          The clinic’s burning down with two people inside – your spouse whom you dearly love, and a complete stranger.

          If you can save only one, which one do you save?

          Obviously, you don’t value strangers like spouses.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No it isn’t SKL, it is skl…if it was SKL, eric is a lot less likely to mistake it for ski, which is an actual name, where skl isn’t. Regardless of the ‘look over there, squirrels’ attempt.

    • Kevin K

      Answer: No. A fetus is not a “person”. Glad I could clear that up for you.

  • Lark62

    You quoted me! I’m blushing. Thanks

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

      My pleasure.

    • ColdFusion8

      Great quote… consider it stolen!

      • RichardSRussell

        I agree. Much more succinct than this one from a better known source about how Yahweh’s followers have followed his bad example: “The doctrine which, from the very first origin of religious dissensions, has been held by bigots of all sects, when condensed into a few words and stripped of rhetorical disguise, is simply this: I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the stronger, you ought to tolerate me, for it is your duty to tolerate truth; but when I am the stronger, I shall persecute you, for it is my duty to persecute error.” —Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) poet, historian, and politician

  • Bob Jase

    I still say the proper response is to drive the trolley into the 5 year old.

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

      That’s perhaps a little too much thinking outside the box.

  • Pofarmer

    I didn’t know that Ben Shapiro picked up the sword. That is one smug, condescending asshole right there.

    • Aram

      And his voice, holy shit.

      • Pofarmer

        Not exactly “dulcet tones” is it?

        • Aram

          (Great new word, thanks! :)

  • Gary Whittenberger

    Another excellent essay, Bob. Can’t wait for the next part.

    I think that we should classify the human zygote as a human organism, but not as a child, baby, person, or even human being. It is an early stage living human organism.

    • Joe

      Nobody has any problem with that classification. It’s just that some people seem to think the argument ends there.

      • Gary Whittenberger

        Yes they do, but it only begins there.

    • Kevin K

      It is an early stage living human organism.

      Not if it’s frozen in liquid nitrogen, it isn’t…just sayin’.

      • Gary Whittenberger

        I see what you mean. It is “early stage” and “human organism,” but not currently living. It is not dead either, correct?

        So could we say that it is an early stage human organism with the potential to be alive if conditions are right?

        • adam

          “So could we say that it is an early stage human organism with the potential to be alive if conditions are right?”

          In the same fashion that a sperm is an early state human organism with the potential to be alive if conditions are right

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think I disagree with you on the latter. I think the sperm is alive but is not a human organism. It does not have the full DNA complement of a human organism. It has the potential to become a human organism if it unites with an egg.

        • adam

          “I think I disagree with you on the latter. I think the sperm is alive but is not a human organism.”

          Your apologetics dishonesty is showing.

          Not what I said at all.

          “In the same fashion that a sperm is an early state human organism with the potential to be alive if conditions are right”

        • adam

          ” I think the sperm is alive ”

          So why then is abortion an issue and killing alive sperm is not?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          So you do agree that the sperm is alive. Good.

          A sperm is not a person, right? And so, killing a alive sperm is not a controversial issue.

        • adam

          A fetus is not a person either.

          So why then is abortion an issue and killing alive sperm is not?

        • Kevin K

          That would probably be technically accurate. But most certainly not “alive”, since metabolic activity is one of the pre-requisites for “life”. Certainly not the only one, but it’s a biggie.

          He-La cells are considered to be alive, though, so the concept of “life” is not even synonymous with the concept of a complete organism. The argument that a blastocyte/zygote/fetus is “alive” doesn’t really gain any traction with me, because a liver tumor is “alive” as well.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          I think we are in agreement. So, let’s focus on the live ones.

          The zygote, blastocyst, embryo, and fetus are early stage living human organisms (ESLHOs). I’m not saying that a fetus is a human person through all development.

        • Kevin K

          I was thinking about whether a zygote qualifies; you could argue that until implantation, it’s not yet fully “alive”. But as you point out, that designation doesn’t really say anything about “personhood”, so it doesn’t really add to the discussion.

          It’s probably the reason why the US Supreme Court in its abortion decisions very specifically avoided the discussion — in fact declared that they wouldn’t comment on “when does life begin” precisely because the definition of “life” was vague and there was no scientific consensus.

        • lady_black

          It’s alive, as were the sperm and ova that formed it. So what?

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Kevin K, thank you for your civility in this discussion.

          You raise an interesting issue — is the zygote alive before implantation? Since there may be no consumption of nutrients, excretion, metabolism, or growth, perhaps it is not alive. If that is the case, then the popular claim of the pro-lifers that they intend to protect life from the moment of conception may just be FALSE.

          I think there is now probably a consensus on when the life of an individual human organism begins, i.e. when the zygote or blastocyst implants. But that is really not the most important issue in the debate anyway. I think the crucial question is “When does the fetus become a person such that it should be assigned human rights?”

        • lady_black

          At live birth.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          Thanks for giving a clear-cut answer. Why do you think so?

        • Susan

          Why do you think so?

          No, Gary. By your rules, you have to explain what you disagree with before lady_black has to say anything.

          Your double standard is noted.

        • lady_black

          Because then you are a legal person with a separate, unique identity. “Mrs. Jones’s pregnancy” doesn’t make the cut. Baby Boy Jones does (which is the identity used before the official naming, and after birth).
          You get a birth certificate, not a conception certificate.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          The fetus is a person before it is born and is assigned a birth certificate. The human organism, however, is not a person at conception, and I think we agree on that point.

          Are you familiar with these cases where a pregnant woman and her fetus are murdered and the offender is charged with double homicide? This indicates that the fetus is a “legal person.”

        • lady_black

          NO. Person is a legal term. Until it’s born, it is NOT a person.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          “Person” is not only a legal term, but also a moral, philosophical, and psychological term.

          You did not address the scenario I presented to you.

        • lady_black

          It’s a legal term as I am using it. YOU are using it as a synonym for “human being” which isn’t entirely accurate.

        • Gary Whittenberger

          It’s a legal, moral, philosophical, and/or psychological term, as I am using it.

          I try to avoid the term “human being” because it has two meanings which promote confusion and distortion in discussions like this.

        • Kodie

          Leave it to bonehead Gary Whittenberger to drop some hearsay legal bullshit without looking up actual references.
          Citation: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-homicide-state-laws.aspx
          Summary: States disagree.

        • Kevin K

          Right. I think the issue that is clouded in my mind is that there is cell division going on, so there is metabolic activity. But whether that stage of development is commonly agreed upon by scientists as being “life” or that the organism is not “alive” is probably more of a semantic issue than anything else. The cells in question have only about a 60% chance (roughly speaking) of implanting and becoming a viable fetus. The rest are flushed out before implantation and the woman never even knows about it, or there is a miscarriage.

          The whole point is that because there is so much fuzziness in the definition of “life”, the Supreme Court punted on it entirely, and focused on the rights of the developing fetus against the rights of the pregnant woman. Without answering the question (and deliberately so) of “when does life begin”?

        • Pofarmer

          Life/alive/human being/person aren’t really scientific questions, but more philosophical ones.

          Steven Pinker argues that for something to be worthy of moral consideration, it needs to also be able to give it. By definition then a zygote, embryo, fetus, deserves no moral consideration.

          Peter Singer The moral status of the Embryo
          https://philosophy.tamucc.edu/readings/ethics/singer-creating-embryos

          University of MO, ethics of Personhood.
          http://ethics.missouri.edu/personhood.html

        • Gary Whittenberger

          GW: Kevin, thanks for discussing this controversial issue in a civil manner. Many are unable or unwilling to do that.

          KK: Right. I think the issue that is clouded in my mind is that there is cell division going on, so there is metabolic activity. But whether that stage of development is commonly agreed upon by scientists as being “life” or that the organism is not “alive” is probably more of a semantic issue than anything else. The cells in question have only about a 60% chance (roughly speaking) of implanting and becoming a viable fetus. The rest are flushed out before implantation and the woman never even knows about it, or there is a miscarriage.

          GW: I don’t agree that is “probably more of a semantic issue than anything else.” I think it is a serious conceptual, philosophical, and/or legal issue. Yes, I see that cell division or growth might be considered to be one of several life activities, but by itself, I don’t think it meets muster. Your citation of the stats seems accurate to me.

          KK: The whole point is that because there is so much fuzziness in the definition of “life”, the Supreme Court punted on it entirely, and focused on the rights of the developing fetus against the rights of the pregnant woman. Without answering the question (and deliberately so) of “when does life begin”?

          GW: Yes, you are correct about the SCOTUS punting, but still I don’t think the important question is “when does life begin” bur rather “when does the person begin.”

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Is an acorn alive? If so, is it an oak tree? If not, at what point after you plant it does it become alive?

          If an acorn is alive, then it shows that just because it is alive and can turn into a tree, that doesn’t make it a tree. And if it isn’t alive, well….

        • Kevin K

          I could be mistaken, but I would think that any seed that is unplanted would not be considered “alive”, because there’s no biochemistry going on, and that’s a quality associated with “life”. I have bags of grass seed in my garage — they do nothing until I put them on the lawn and water them. Of course, some seeds fail to germinate, so are considered “dead”…it’s a tricky question.

          But animals are not plants, and seeds are not zygotes, so I don’t think the analogy holds. As soon as an animal egg is fertilized, there is ongoing biochemical activity leading to the eventual appearance of a new organism (generally speaking, there are probably a lot of exceptions). With seeds, there is the “dormant” phase between the time pollination (aka, plant sperm) occurrs and the resultant seed gets planted and starts to take root — that phase doesn’t seem to be to be compatible with a definition of “alive”.

        • PhiloKGB

          This dichotomy might have difficulty with true cryptobionts — tardigrades, brine shrimp, bakers’ yeast — that are able to achieve complete metabolic cessation.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          As soon as an animal egg is fertilized, there is ongoing biochemical activity

          Is that true for embryos in deep freeze in a fertility clinic? I’m pretty sure they are in a state of stasis, and need to be implanted in order for all that biochemical activity to kick into gear.

          But once it is planted, when does a seed/seedling become a tree? Is it a tree if a shoot has not come out of the ground, even though it has begun to root?

          I think the analogy holds well, and the “animals are not plants and seeds are not zygotes” is merely special pleading.

          Seeds are proto-trees. When planted, they can turn into trees. No different from embryos.

        • Kevin K

          In a deep freeze, all biological activity stops.

          The only way the analogy holds is if you limit it to “frozen” embryos. Under normal conditions, there is no “seedlike” state of statis.

          And, of course, trees send out billions upon billions upon billions of seeds into their environment, and few actually become trees. Most of those seeds become food for squirrels and bears and such.

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

          That’s another in the long list of differences between the embryos and the child. Children can’t be frozen and live.

        • Kevin K

          Ha! True that.

        • Bob Jase

          I’m working on it.

          I’ll get it right yet.

        • Pofarmer
        • lady_black

          Alive and human don’t impress me. That doesn’t mean they are people and deserve rights.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    The “Anti Choice” people are really anti women. The Pro Life folks are more Pro Birth than Pro Life.
    As for whom to save, the five year old or the can of embryos? Please use some common sense, the child is alive, the embryos need uteri and nine months and maybe, just maybe they will they will be babies.
    The question is too foolish to even ponder upon.

    • lady_black

      On another forum, some anti-choicer asked “What if the 5 yr old had Tay Sachs?” I said I would STILL save the five year old, because he has a mind, and the embryos don’t. End of discussion.

  • Chuck Johnson

    The religionists who are obsessed with the humanness of a newly-fertilized egg are promoting blind obedience to authority.
    They need an indisputable, simpleminded signal that a human life with a newborn human soul was just created.
    Biological science has provided them with the information needed to create their “God-given” definition of human life.

    It works to keep the gullible enslaved to religion.
    It fails in just about every other way.
    These religious ideas were never meant to help people to understand anything, only to obey.

    Bob points out how stupid and dishonest the arguments are.
    That’s because these ideas were never meant to be thought about. – – – They were meant to prevent thinking.

  • Phil

    You could just pray and delegate the problem to god. Then it wouldn’t be your fault when child and embryos are destroyed.

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

      That’s true, though then they’d be burdened with the guilt of seeing them all die when God took action (or didn’t).

      And fellow Christians would look at this example … and then walk away, determined not to learn anything from it.

  • wolffie

    The Right to Life is the Right to Hell.
    The above exercise misses the point. Let them all die. Unborn souls go to Heaven. If any are allowed to live, they must run the gauntlet of Life and risk Hell. Only the unlucky born souls get to sin and go to Hell.
    If you believe that God denies Heaven to these unborn souls for some reason (they were not baptized; they didn’t get to know Jesus or Allah…), then you have to exlain why you worship this guy.
    I don’t know why we don’t hear this argument more often. Nice little dilemma.
    Also pertinent: the fate of the unborn soul is the fate of over half of us ever created (if scientists are correct and the spontaneous abortion rate is over 50% of conceptions; the miscarriage rate of about 10% is uncontroversial). Does the unborn soul care who kills it?
    If we have a soul whose life begines at conception, it would make sense to build huge biotech in-vitro fertilization factories producing millions of zygotes/conceptions/fetuses per hour. Then kill them. Millions of souls straight to Heaven, every day. This would almost immediately surpass the success of all missionary activities in history.

    Follow the logic of amlost any religious belief, and it will lead you to a similar conundrum. That is one reason abortion is such a hot-button issue. Another is thet is was deliberately fomented as a Republican wedge issue by Paul Weyrich.

    • Greg G.

      If any are allowed to live, they must run the gauntlet of Life and risk Hell. Only the unlucky born souls get to sin and go to Hell.

      Excellent point!

      If a couple is using IVF, then they cannot be good Catholics by Catholic standards so a Catholic should let them all go to heaven then and there rather than risk them going to hell because they are unlikely to be raised by good Catholics.

      A fundamentalist type could figure that the fact that God didn’t answer their prayers for natural conception, they must lack faith, and should let the embryos die so their souls would get to go to heaven.

      If any of them had faith, they would just pray the fire out. But none do that.