This Pro-Life Christian Website Has an Unusual Commenting Policy…

If you run a website like this one, you have to consider how you want to handle comments. I prefer letting my posts speak for themselves and allowing commenters to agree or criticize as they see fit. Regular readers know I welcome religious voices (or critical atheist voices, for that matter) and I remove trolls to the best of my abilities.

LifeSiteNews, a Christian website covering stories appealing to social conservatives (pro-life, anti-gay, you get the drift) has plenty of stories worth picking apart, but they’re not interested in a true dialogue. Their commenting guidelines actually state in writing how little they care about voices that disagree with them:

I’m all for thoughtful, respectful comments and I definitely understand a firm line on moderation. But I just don’t understand this:

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

That’s a fancy way of saying “Don’t comment here unless you already agree with us.” Forget banning trolls; they don’t even want to see sane, well-thought-out ideas from people who want to provide an alternative, opposing perspective.

So I just have to ask: Why bother?

What’s the point of a comment thread if the invitation is basically extended only to those who already agree with you? Why write opinion pieces if you’re not looking to start a conversation? Wouldn’t you just be better off closing comments for good?

Incidentally, this came up only because reader Dennis told me he tried to post a response to this awful article, but his comment didn’t even go into moderation. He was banned from the get-go, it seems, because he’s an atheist who is known to disagree with the site’s views.

I’ve asked LifeSiteNews why they do this. I’ll update this post if I hear back.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mitch

    I consider it simply looking for validation. They find affirmation in people voicing their agreement with the article(s).
    Sadly, it seems they don’t realize (or realize but simply refuse to acknowledge) that the concept of “free speech” is naturally going to include viewpoints from those who think differently.

  • SattaMassagana

    So not quite as restrictive as Pharyngula…

    • Nomad

      Nah man, more of a different thing altogether. Pharyngula is more mob rule and tyranny of the majority. These guys are using the traditional religious approach. Top down authoritarian.

      • DougI

        They appear to treat PZ like church goers treat their church’s leader. The man can do no wrong and is right about everything he says. Just goes to show that there are Atheists willing to bend their knee to any authority, even someone as loathsome as PZ.

        • kaydenpat

          PZ is far from loathsome. He’s strongly supportive of women, minorities, the GLBT community, etc.

      • Emmet

        So is it the “traditional religious approach” or is it actually a “traditional human approach” where power corrupts, might makes right etc?

    • Kristin

      *Sigh* I really like PZ and have enjoyed reading Pharyngula and would like to defend it…but I can’t. The people who comment there feel overly entitled to police everyone is such a caustic and obnoxious way. I commented enough to make clear that I was not even remotely a troll, then I had the eensiest, tiniest disagreement with someone and the commenter felt perfectly fine tearing into me like I was the most obnoxious troll ever. They usually treat actual asshole trolls much better, at least for awhile. The commenters are just way too…unfriendly.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        ditto

      • Tat Wadjet

        Hey they called me a rape apologist and a victim shamer… Real cute huh? Just because I don’t call myself a victim, doesn’t mean I deserve to be called a rape apologist. The screwed up thing about this mess is I have my own stories to tell… Let’s just say if I was quadriplegic, the equivalent would have been to call me an ableist. They are so far gone, they are calling people who have been raped, rape apologists…. Freaking disgusting if you ask me. And my great crime was to say that I didn’t view myself as a victim, therefore I wasn’t a victim. Yup don’t do that over there. They have this big victim mentality cesspool over there right now.

        • Emmet

          Cool. Atheism for the win. So liberating, being free of religion – now we can be the biggest dicks we feel like.

          • Pofarmer

            You certainly don’t have to be an atheist to be a dick.

            • Emmet

              Did I say you did?

              Just goes some way to showing that it’s not religion that makes people dicks either – it’s an inherent human dickishness, fostered by the worst of religion and of atheism and of ideology, selfishness, stupidity, ignorance, fear etc

        • Tainda

          Wow. Glad I don’t go over there. They wouldn’t take kindly to my “anti-feminist” rhetoric lol Anti-feminist in quotes because it’s totally not true

    • spookiewon

      I am so glad it’s not just me who feels this way about Pharyngula. I’m informed I have straight male privilege. I’m a lesbian, but apparently you don’t need to be straight or male to have straight male privilege. You just have to not believe we live in a “rape culture.”

      • Tainda

        WTF? Now I want to go over there just to see the insanity! lol

    • UWIR

      The FtB/Atheism Plus attitude is really disgusting. Greta Christina flat-out said in one her posts that the comment thread was for agreeing with her that the Zimmerman verdict was an atrocity, and anyone who even hints at disagreeing will be banned. Unfortunately, much of “feminism” is of this vein.

      • fiona64

        I don’t necessarily agree with everything you’ve written, but I can tell you from primary experience, as I know GC in real life, that her attitude is that anyone who doesn’t agree with her 100 percent on everything is perforce a moron. She’s a smart cookie, don’t get me wrong, but she kind of likes being surrounded by sycophants.

        “Much of feminism” is not in that vein, FWIW. GC represents no one but herself.

        • UWIR

          There are a lot of atheist bloggers that Meyers could have invited to post on FtB, and he chose GC, so what she says does reflect on FtB as a whole. Then there’s Atheism Plus, Shakesville, Love Joy Feminism, the poster Feminerd here, etc., etc. The whole thing of “Feminism is simply the idea that women are human beings, too” is absurd, like if you’re not a feminist, you don’t think women are people. People who think women are people are normal human beings; the fact that you feel the need to label yourself as being distinct from the general populace indicates that your views go beyond that.

  • Justin

    Outdated ideas subsist on ignorance. It’s the only way they can survive in today’s world.

  • Glasofruix

    What’s the point of a comment thread if the invitation is basically extended only to those who already agree with you?

    Stroking one’s ego…

  • Baby_Raptor

    2 words: Echo chamber.

    • Nomad

      Bah. Beat me to it.

    • Rain

      One word: “Donate”.

  • Nomad

    The answer to the point of such a commenting policy should be obvious. Perhaps that was the point, and it was a rhetorical question, but I have a tendency towards being too literal and so feel the need to say that the point is to establish an echo chamber. Duh.

    When a group such as the pro life world has collectively decided to ignore what the actual medical professionals that know something about how oral contraceptives work say and have decided to declare them “abortifactants” by fiat they make it clear that they’re not looking for dialog.

    • Emmet

      You sound like it’s a closed question as to whether or not contraceptives can be abortifacients. Seems they can.There’s some more info – check the links. http://www.1flesh.org/our-journey/

      Always looking for dialogue – bit hard when the dialogue coming the other way is along the anti-science lines of “a foetus is just a clump of cells”.

      • DavidMHart

        How is that anti-science? We are all clumps of cells, after all, but those of us who have passed a certain point of development are fantastically complicated clumps of cells which have become organised in such a way as to have consciousness, which is something that a foetus either doesn’t yet have, or has only in a very rudimentary stage.

        • Emmet

          Fair enough. So what’s with the pro-abortion argument that says, “the product of conception is just a bunch of cells, so take it out”? “Bunch of cells” here is indeed anti-science, because the matter being talked about is already a fantastically complicated bunch of cells, an entirely different being to the mother.

          In the 21st century, the idea that a human being is not residing in a pregnant woman’s womb is surely anti-science.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Incorrect. Because the question is not if the conceptus is human- it is. The question is if the conceptus is a person, and that is not a matter of scientific inquiry. Science tells us a conceptus has DNA of the homo sapiens sapiens variety and that’s about it. The metaphysical meaning of that is up to philosophy and law to decide, considering how meaningless having human DNA actually is.

            • Emmet

              Law decides metaphysics? Welcome to the brave new world of the 21-st century free-thinker.

              • Emmet

                Again: in your view, what human beings apart from foetuses are not human persons? Who decides?

                You want the legal profession to decide, at some point in the future, on whether or not you are a human being but not a human person? What if the legal profession is run by whacko theocrats who decide atheists are not human persons?

                Again: all human beings are human persons. It’s ludicrous to suggest otherwise.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Is a dead human being a person, then? Is a brain-dead human being a person? How about one who has never had brain activity? How about a teratoma- unique human DNA, started as a fertilized oocyte, but developed awry and is now a tumor? What about a tumor- unique human DNA, living organism connected to a human, innocent of any ill intent though quite capable of having ill effects.

                  What is a human being? When do they start being persons, and when do they stop?

                • Emmet

                  When they are conceived, and when they die.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  When is death? What constitutes being dead? No heartbeat? No brain activity? No brain activity outside the brainstem? Is a teratoma a person? Is a hydatidiform mole a person? Are they dead? Were they ever persons?

                  You’re simply going to have to do better than that.

                • Emmet

                  A death certificate.

                • Emmet

                  So a human being is a human being, and thus also a human person, from sometime after conception until sometime before death. Is that a split second after conception and a split second before death? Is it a week after conception and five minutes before their heart stops? Science can’t tell us, so to make sure that we treat a human as he or she should be treated, we say that human life is from conception to death.

                  Sounds reasonable to me.

              • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                Metaphysics informs law, more like. Thanks for your deliberate obtuseness, though, you nearly made me spray my tea across my keyboard.

                • Emmet

                  And shit metaphysics make shit law.

                  But again, welcome to the brave new world of the 21st century atheist “thinker”.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Shit metaphysics like:

                  All people are people; that includes women.

                  No person has the right to use another person’s body against their will; violations of bodily autonomy are violations of the self, because we are our bodies.

                  Life is important.

                  Our society has (rightly, in my opinion) elevated the bodily autonomy of people above the life of themselves or others. We respect DNRs. We do not force corpses to donate organs, because we prefer to respect the wishes and autonomy of the person when they were alive, even though this vastly restricts the organs available to still-living people.

                  Would you like to tell me why, in your view, women should have less control over their bodies than dead people? Isn’t it good metaphysics to start with a premise of equality?

                • Emmet

                  Because there’s another person involved. If it was actually a woman and her body, and only her body, then have at it. Because we’re talking about a woman and another person, and that person needs the woman to survive, the rights of the more defenceless human trump the rights of the other.

                  This is part of the grounding of a sane and healthy society. Anything else is a symptom of decay, and a cause (along with a host of other issues) of further rot.

                • fiona64

                  Because we’re talking about a woman and another person, and that person
                  needs the woman to survive, the rights of the more defenceless human
                  trump the rights of the other.

                  Nope. A fetus is not a person. The theoretical “right to life” of a fetus does NOT trump an actual born person’s right to liberty.

                  At the end of the day, only a sick bastard would do what you are doing: advocating for gestational slavery.

                • Emmet

                  I advocate for an end to killing innocent humans.
                  Again, if you want to turn that into “advocating for slavery”, that’s what you’ll do.
                  Let me say it again: I advocate for our society to stop killing innocent human beings.

                  I hesitate to return the favour you’ve done me in calling me a “sick bastard” in calling you the kind of names due to those who advocate for the murder of defenceless infants, because I’m not in the habit of casting judgements on whether people’s views are due to sickness or faulty logic or indoctrination or past hurts or selfishness or plain ordinary pig-headedness, but let me say that in any normal society, advocating for the murder of babies is sick.

                • fiona64

                  to those who advocate for the murder of defenceless infants,

                  Show me one single post where anyone has advocated infanticide. I fucking dare you.

                • Emmet

                  I might have been unclear – I was using “infant” as in “something in the very early stages of its development” – not the clearest word to use.

                • Emmet

                  And yet the same logic that says it’s OK to kill unborn babies can lead to the logic of infanticide. Because, y’know, despite what people here say, there’s not actually any difference between a baby three minutes before its born and three minutes after.

                  http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2013/05/09/on_academic_freedom_to_discuss_infantici

                • fiona64

                  You’ll have to replace my irony meter again …

              • Nancy Shrew

                You are so right. Now if you’ll excuse me I have Soma to take before I go to the feelies.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Oh look, “pro-abortion”. How cute. Seems you learned well from 1Flesh how to be disingenuous.

            • Emmet

              Good grief. Are you going to have a go now at the guy that said I was pro-rape, or the others that said I was anti-baby or anti-choice? We all know what the words mean – lets argue philosophy rather than semantics.

              • islandbrewer

                lets argue philosophy rather than semantics

                You’re the one using fucking semantic games, and it sure as fuck doesn’t endear you to anyone.

                Want to argue philosophy? If a woman had the ability to safely abort a fetus without outside help, and you legitimately thought she was going to do so, would you feel justified in tying her down to a bed for 9 months and forcing her to give birth?

                • Emmet

                  No.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Then why do you feel justified in legally tying her hands, if you won’t actually tie her hands?

                • Emmet

                  Laws help people to make good decisions, and lead to a stable society.

                  I don’t feel justified in locking someone in a room so they can’t import Class A drugs, but I do feel justified in approving laws that make it illegal for him to import drugs.

                • islandbrewer

                  If police have sufficient evidence that a crime is planned, they are more often than not justified in taking measure, including putting people into custody, in order to prevent the harm resulting from such crimes. That’s why “attempted murder” is a crime, and police don’t have to sit around and watch the bullet hit the skull before they arrest a suspect.

                  If you just want symbolic laws that aren’t enforced, then it undermines the purpose of law. You want to call abortion “murder.” Then logically, you would want an intent to have an abortion an “intent to murder.” People get locked in cells for that all the time. People conspiring to import drugs get caught in sting operation and locked up, do you not approve of that, or do you want to sit and watch them offload the heroin before calling the police?

                  So why does abortion get a free pass? Or rather, do you disagree with all those “conspiracy” and “attempt” laws?

                  Also, since you think abortion is murder, would you like to sentence women who have abortion with the same sentences that, say, a mafia hit man would get for murder?

                  If you say no, then you tacitly agree that it’s not the same thing. The only difference is that it’s a fetus, and not a person, and you undermine your premise that a fetus is a person.

                  If you won’t chain a woman to a bed for nine months and force her to endure an excruciating birth when she says “I’m going to go and abort this fetus in my uterus, right now,” then you’re giving her some sort of decision-making ability (almost as if she has a right to decide what happens to her own body) …. what’s it called again?

                • Emmet

                  Read up the thread – you agree a foetus is a person too. You said “human being” and “person” are synonymous.

                • islandbrewer

                  False, you lying shitbag. This is a prime example of your dishonesty.

                  You agree that a “human being” and a “person” are the same. Since a fetus isn’t a person, then it’s not a “human being” either, according to you.

                • Emmet

                  What? Now you’re taking the piss. A foetus is a human being. Therefore it’s a person.

                  If you want to say every human is a person, but a foetus isn’t a person therefore it’s not a human, you’re waaaay out on a bog ol’ anti-science limb there brother.

                  Come back in here where it’s safe and where people use their intellect instead of just worshipping it.

                • Emmet

                  Downvotes for pointing out the truth, that’s there in balck and white for anybody to see? What is wrong with you people?

                • Emmet

                  There is a difference between a hitman and a mother who’s had an abortion. Hitmen are paid to murder – mothers aren’t.

                  There might be a similarity between a mafia hitman who feels he has no other option than carry out a hit and a mother who feels she has no other option than have an abortion – in each case, a level of coercion lessens culpability – from a moral point-of-view if not a legal one.
                  .
                  I’m not sure about your “intent to abort” argument. I’ll have to ponder it.

                • fiona64

                  Laws exist to preserve the right of persons (you know, born entities) to be safe and secure in their property — not to “help people make good decisions.” The reason murder is illegal is not to help people “Make good decisions not to murder others,” but because a *person’s* right to safety and security was violated.

                  Gah.

                • Emmet

                  Yep, that too. So there should be laws that preserve unborn babies’ right to life.

                • fiona64

                  Affording the “right to life” to a fetus *abrogates* the born, sapient, sentient *woman’s* right to liberty. What is so hard for you to understand about this?

                  Oh, wait. I keep forgetting; you think that’s fine.

                  Do you know what it’s called when you abrogate someone else’s right to liberty? Enslavement.

                • Emmet

                  Why do you use the word sapient so much? Doesn’t it mean “wise”? Are you using it in a different sense?

          • DavidMHart

            Thing is, the anti-choice brigade always play this bait-and-switch between two very different meanings of the phrase ‘human being’. There is the sense of ‘having a unique human genome’, and there is the sense of ‘being an entity entitled to the same legal rights as fully-sentient children (or indeed adults)’. These are very, very different propositions, and it sounds like you may have been taken in by their dishonest equivocation.

            Do a sperm cell and and an egg cell that haven’t yet touched, but are ultimately going to fuse, constitute a ‘human being’? I think we can all agree they don’t. Does a post-partum baby, seeing the world for the first time, constitute a ‘human being’? I think we can all agree it does. Between these two point, most people are able to accept the idea of there being a smooth continuum between ‘not being a human being’ (in the sense of personhood as elucidated by Feminerd below) and there being one. You might analogise with building a house. There is a process by which a pile of bricks and timber gradually becomes a house, but no single point at which you could say ‘this is definitely not a house, but … wait for it … – ping! – this definitely is’.

            Personhood is an emergent property that develops gradually. The anti-choicers attempt firstly to deny this gradualness, and insist that one instant you don’t have a human, and the next, as if by magic, you do, and then secondly, they try to ram this arbitrary instant as far back in time as they possibly can, so as to minimise the possibility of women being able to have sex without facing consequences (which is very seldom the stated motivation of anti-choicers, but is very often the actual aim if you consider the policies they tend to support ). This is even weirder for Christians, since there is almost no support in the Bible for the proposition that a foetus is morally equivalent to a fully sentient person (though there is rather a lot of support in the Bible for the proposition that human sexuality, and in particular female sexuality) is inherently wrongful.

            • Emmet

              Which is why the Church says that life begins at conception. Inherent in that is the recognition that we don’t know exactly when, so let’s err on the side of caution.

              When it comes to human life, we’re normally pretty cautious.
              The safest line to draw is at conception.

              As for “anti-choicers believe next moment, by magic, you have a person” – pro-abortionists in thins thred have argued the exact same thing. Just a different line. Seems to me that “Here’s a separate sperm and egg, now they’ve jloioned, there’s a person” is a lwhole lot more sensible than “Here’s a foetus that looks exactly like a human baby but it’s not a person cause it’s still attached by an umbilical cord”.

              • DavidMHart

                Which is why the Church says that life begins at conception. Inherent in
                that is the recognition that we don’t know exactly when, so let’s err
                on the side of caution.

                Except that that’s not erring on the side of caution. Sure, we don’t know when personhood begins (because, as I explained above, it doesn’t ‘begin’; it emerges gradually over time), but the one thing we can be confident of is that it cannot begin before a conceptus has a functioning nervous system. Therefore it cannot possibly begin in the earliest stages of development.

                The church’s ‘erring on the side of caution’ is in fact ‘erring on the side of forcing women to continue an unwanted pregnancy even when we can be confident that the embryo has not yet attained any of the qualities that ought to make it an entity we should prioritize over the woman’s wishes’.

                When you add in the church’s actual policies whenever they get their hands on the levers of medical decision-making, time and time again they prefer to force women to continue an unwanted pregnancy even when it is probably going to kill them, and even when the developing embryo that will probably kill the woman would almost certainly be unviable.

                This is not ‘erring on the side of caution’ at all. This is erring on the side of maximising the adverse consequences to women for having sex, up to and including death. Which, like I said, is inconsistent with a genuine regard for sentient life, but perfectly consistent with a pathological hatred of female sexuality.

                And as regards that line in the sand, yes, sometimes we need to have a law that arbitrarily makes a line on what is in fact a smooth continuum. But, given the total absence of any possibility of consciousness in an embryo that has not yet developed a brain, there is absolutely no reason at all for that line to be the ‘moment’ of conception (which isn’t even a ‘moment’ at all, but, again, a gradual process, but let’s not get bogged down there) … and there are some very good reasons not to put it at conception (such as to allow a woman to decide whether she wants to continue the unwanted pregnancy before the conceptus becomes capable of suffering if she decides not to).

                If you think that conception should be the moment when a conceptus is afforded the full rights of a sentient human being, you’re welcome to make a cogent case for why, but you are not allowed to just say that it wins by default because the question is otherwise difficult.

              • fiona64

                The safest line to draw is at conception.

                Which is utter bullshit, because the time of conception *cannot be determined.* Products of conception regularly exit women’s vaginas at menses, because they never implanted.

                The only point at which we can identify a pregnancy is once conception occurs, because the zygote/embryo causes hormonal changes to the woman’s body when it embeds itself in the uterine wall. At that point, we can only *estimate* time of conception based on last menstrual period — and that presumes that a woman’s menstrual periods are identical to the one used to create the algorithm.

                That’s why the safest line to draw for personhood is *birth.* Even wanted pregnancies go wrong, you know. Women miscarry. Fetii develop anomalies inconsistent with life ex utero. As the old saying goes, “there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip.”

                Infants are persons; fetii are not.

                • Emmet

                  Sure – except that you don’t need to determine the exact time of conception to say “Life begins at conception”. Estimation is OK.

                  I’m not really sure what you’re getting at – you’re off on a tangent. That even wanted pregnancies go worng is neither here nor there in this argument. A woman miscarries at two or four or eight or 12 or 20 or 38 weeks – a human life dies.

                • allein

                  What she’s getting at is that sometimes when a wanted pregnancy goes wrong an abortion is the best option.

                • Emmet

                  What you’re saying is, “Sometimes when a wanted pregnancy goes wrong, killing a human being is the best option.”

                  Forgive me if I point out to you that that is messed up.

                • allein

                  If what went wrong is going to result in a stillbirth? Or an anencephalic child who will live perhaps a few painful hours? If the pregnancy damages the woman’s body enough that it might kill her if she continues it? Yes, I would say an abortion is the best option.
                  .
                  The beauty of the pro-choice position is that it is the pregnant woman who gets to decide how much risk she is willing to take on. What I am not saying is that a woman in those situations should be forced to have an abortion; I am saying she should be able to make the decision that is best for her. You are saying she should be forced to continue the pregnancy no matter how it might hurt her to do so. That is not a moral stance, if you ask me.

                • Emmet

                  I can see that it doesn’t seem a moral stance to you, but neither do I see that causing the death of an innocent human is a moral act.

                  If abortion is in fact murder, then there can’t be any exceptions – even, yes, when that means that the lives of others might be put at risk. Again, I’m fully aware that to you, that doesn’t seem moral. To me, abortion is not moral either.
                  (If it’s not murder, then there shouldn’t be any restrictions.)

                • allein

                  Murder is a legal definition. Abortion is legal therefore it is not murder.

                  And if you want to go with legal definitions, if a pregnancy is likely to severely injure or kill the mother, then terminating it is self-defense, which is perfectly legal.

                  And in the cases where the fetus will be stillborn or die shortly after birth, what possible justification is there for inflicting that kind of stress, both physical and psychological, on a woman for the sake of some “innocent baby” that will never be? It’s pointless. Some women decide to go through with it. Personally, I would not want to. Who the hell are you to say that I shouldn’t be allowed to make that decision?

                  And another thought, you said “neither do I see that causing the death of an innocent human is a moral act.”

                  Does a mother who is killed by pregnancy complications not count as an innocent human?

                • fiona64

                  So far as I can tell, Emmet has erased the woman from the picture entirely. Her sole purpose is to be a life support system for a uterus.

                • allein

                  I’ve noticed that is a common theme with his type. I’ve also noticed he hasn’t answered my last question.

                • Emmet

                  Yeah, took me a while to get back to that – see above.

                • Emmet

                  Crap. You’re definitely not keeping up if that’s what you’re seeing.

                  Her sole purpose is to live life to the full, to love the people around her, to seek truth and so on. Encouraging her to take the life of the human being in her womb gets in the way of doing those things.

                • fiona64

                  Encouraging her to take the life of the human being in her womb gets in the way of doing those things.

                  The only thing I’m encouraging any woman to do is make her own medical decisions.

                  Please tell me how anyone is “encouraging” a woman to “take the life” of *anything* by supporting her Constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy?

                • Emmet

                  Who or what causes the death? An action? Or a medical emergency?

                  Of course it would be a tragedy if a woman found herself with an unplanned pregnancy, wasn’t able to end the life of the embryonic human in her womb because abortion was illegal, and then later died of complications from the pregnancy. But a bigger tragedy would be saying, “To save your life we’ll murder another human.” That’s a tragedy for the woman, the father, the medical staff involved, the infant and wider society.

                  (This is putting aside the fact that it is completely moral to operate on a woman to save her life if she is suffering complications during a pregnancy even if an unintended result of that surgery is the death of the foetus. This isn’t abortion.)

                • allein

                  And medical science often lets us prevent those emergencies from happening. If a woman turns out to have a condition that is incompatible with pregnancy (and sometimes you don’t know that until she is actually pregnant), or the fetus has a condition that is incompatible with life, we can stop the pregnancy before it gets to a point of threatening her life. But no, that’s not acceptable to you, because the woman doesn’t matter to you. It’s all about saving the baby. And if she dies in the process, it’s less of a tragedy than if a non-viable fetus dies, no matter what her personal circumstances, no matter who she leaves behind. I think a dead fetus is less of a tragedy than a widower left with motherless children to raise alone. And a woman shouldn’t have to put her life at risk for it if she’s not willing to; it is not “moral” to force her to do so.

                  But now I’ve gotten sidetracked talking about the extreme cases. The bottom line is, it is not up to you, or some politician, to decide whether a woman should bear a child. And don’t tell me she shouldn’t have had sex, then. Things happen, despite our best efforts to prevent them, and the fact that we have the ability to do something about it before the pregnancy progresses too far is one of the good things about living when we do. A woman doesn’t have to go through a life-altering process (much more life-altering than having an early abortion, before you make that argument that abortion changes your life somehow) just because she may have made a mistake, or had her birth control fail, or whatever other circumstances may have led to her considering abortion. But it is not and will never be your decision.

                  And this conversation is getting old and repetitive, so I am done.

                • fiona64

                  And if she dies in the process, it’s less of a tragedy than if a non-viable fetus dies,

                  Yep, that’s what he says … and I’m having one helluva hard time wrapping my head around that unadulterated brand of misogyny.

                • fiona64

                  Of course it would be a tragedy if a woman found herself with an unplanned pregnancy, wasn’t able to end the life of the embryonic human in her womb because abortion was illegal, and then later died of complications from the pregnancy. But a bigger tragedy would be saying, “To save your life we’ll murder another human.”

                  Aside from the factual inaccuracies in your hyperbolic final sentence, I want you to notice what you have done. You have told a born, sapient, sentient WOMAN that her life is irrelevant in the case of a life-threatening pregnancy. That she should just go ahead and die for that embryo — which, BTW, will die with her.

                  Is anyone really this big a dumbass?

                • fiona64

                  If abortion is in fact murder, then there can’t be any exceptions –
                  even, yes, when that means that the lives of others might be put at
                  risk.

                  Murder is the unlawful (illegal) taking of a person’s life with malice aforethought. Abortion is a legal medical procedure.

                  That which is legal cannot simultaneously be unlawful, Emmet. And, has been pointed out repeatedly, a fetus is not a person. Thus, your definition fails on two levels.

                  However, let’s pretend just for a moment that you are correct. What punishment should be meted out to a woman who has an abortion? After all, you’re saying that she’s committed a felony … so what should happen to her?

                • Emmet

                  Fair question. I don’t know. I would hope the law would deal with her situation sensitively and justly. Her culpability will be greater or lesser depending on her circumstances.
                  The culpability of the medical staff involved however will be generally about the same in all situations and their sentences should be greater, I think.

                • Emmet

                  Still haven’t seen any real argument as to why a foetus is not a person. You keep asserting it, but not arguing it. Pointing it out to me is not the same as mounting an arguemnt.

                • fiona64

                  I’m not asking about the law, Emmet. I’m asking what punishment *you* think should be meted out to a woman who has an abortion.

                • Emmet

                  I haven’t thought about it. I’m not really thinking about it in terms of punishment.

                • DavidMHart

                  “Sometimes when a wanted pregnancy goes wrong, killing a human being is the best option.”

                  This is true if and only if you have already decided to define a conceptus as a ‘human being’ from the moment an egg cell and a sperm cell fuse. As you are well aware, plenty people here are challenging you to give some coherent explanation for why we should accept that, and as I already pointed out above, there is absolutely no reason why your definition should win by default if you won’t even try to defend it.

                  So here is my straightforward question to you:
                  What is your definition of a ‘human being’?

                • Emmet

                  Something like:

                  A human being is an individual substance of a rational nature which is alive and has human DNA.

                • islandbrewer

                  What is a “of a rational nature”? Something that can reason? A fetus can’t reason. Therefore it fails your standard. Unless, of course, you can write more precisely.

                • Emmet

                  But the nature of a foetus is indeed rational – a foetus is a baby human, and adult humans have a rational nature, so therefore foetuses do too. Rational doesn’t mean “can reason”, or infants would fail to be human under my definition, as would people in a vegetative state, or insane people.

                  Now, there are those who would like to be able to treat brain-dead or insane people in the same way that inconvenient foetuses are treated, using the same reasoning – that these people are not persons, but we’ve still got some civilisation left.

                • Emmet

                  People who are asleep can’t reason either.

                • allein

                  You’re still conflating “human” with “person.”

                • UWIR

                  “But the nature of a foetus is indeed rational – a foetus is a baby human,”

                  So a fetus is rational because it’s human… and it’s human because it’s rational? Do you not understand what the phrase “begging the question” means?

                • fiona64

                  So a fetus is rational because it’s human… and it’s human because it’s rational?

                  I rather imagine that he has no idea what it means. After all, he tried to demonstrate his brilliance at “Logic 101″ by taking as a given the statement he said he was proving.

                  Here, Emmet: let me help you with this gap in your education. http://www.logicalfallacies.info/presumption/begging-the-question/

                • UWIR

                  When someone asks you to define a term, defining it in terms of further undefined terms such as “individual substance” and “rational nature” really doesn’t help.

                  “What’s a zort?”
                  “It’s a troz spelled backwards.”
                  “What’s a troz?”
                  “It’s like a narf, except outside.”

                • Emmet

                  That you don’t understand those terms doesn’t mean that I can’t use them.

                  Individual substance here means substantially different to another individual – so, different to an ape or a dog or another human. This cuts out people saying, “So an arm is alive and has human DNA – why isn’t an arm a human?”

                  Rational nature here means a nature that’s not irrational – a nature that can think. The old defintion of man as “rational animal”.

                  Does that clear it up? Any objections to the defintioin now that it’s clearer?

                • fiona64

                  Given this definition: Rational nature here means a nature that’s not irrational – a nature
                  that can think. The old defintion of man as “rational animal”.

                  Please explain the though processes of a blastocyst. I’ll wait.

                • Emmet

                  Explain the thought processes of an infant. I’ll wait.

                • fiona64

                  So, no answer to the question? You’ve already said that a blastocyst is a person, and that persons can think (“rational nature – a nature that can think”). I’m merely asking for you to explain the thought processes of the blastocyst “person.”

                • UWIR

                  “That you don’t understand those terms doesn’t mean that I can’t use them.”

                  You are capable of using them, but if you are really interested in constructive dialog, you won’t couch your definitions in obfuscating terms with no clear meaning. And it’s not a matter of “understanding”; one understands concepts, not terms.

                  “This cuts out people saying, “So an arm is alive and has human DNA – why isn’t an arm a human?””

                  No, it doesn’t. An arm is different “to” [sic] a full human body.

                  “Rational nature here means a nature that’s not irrational – a nature that can think.”

                  A zygote can’t think. Also, “a nature that can think” is nonsensical. There’s no such thing as a nature that can think. People think. Their natures don’t.

                • fiona64

                  You have just defined a teratoma as a person. And a hydatidform mole.

                • Emmet

                  Is any given teratoma an individual substance – a being?
                  If any given teratoma seems to be an individual substance – some kind of parasitic twin – is it alive?

                  As for hydatidform moles, if the necessary components for human development don’t exist in an entity from the beginning, the entity is not capable of being an organism and is therefore not a human being.

                • DavidMHart

                  Okay, that’s a definition we can work with. I’d have gone for ‘sentience’ rather than ‘rationality’ myself, since your definition would seem to exclude some mentally ill people from being human, but let’s roll with it for now.

                  A foetus doesn’t have a fully functioning brain. In the early stages, it doesn’t have a brain at all. You need to have a functioning brain in order to be able to think, and you need to be able to think in order to exercise rationality. So you have effectively defined a foetus as something that could potentially acquire a rational nature in the fullness of time, but has not yet acquired it. Therefore, following the logic of your own definition, a foetus has not yet become a human being. Now will you stop trying to say that the rights of a foetus trump the rights of an unwillingly pregnant woman (who is a human being under your definition)?

                • Emmet

                  But it has a human nature – it’s a human being isn’t it? Human nature is a rational nature, so a foetus has a rational nature. It doesn’t need to think to have a rational nature. A person in a coma isn’t thinking, an infant isn’t thinking – at least, we don’t know they’re thinking – but they still have rational natures.

                  So the product of conception of human parents is a human being – how can it be anything else?

                  You’re suggesting a human egg and a human sperm produce a non-human. Have a think about that for a bit.

                • DavidMHart

                  Okay. At first when I disagreed with you I thought you were arguing in good faith, and had simply been mislead by the Church’s dishonest bait-and-switch. Now I see that you are a profoundly dishonest foetus fetishist. You have had it explained to you time and time again that if you wnt to define ‘person’ as synonymous with ‘having a unique human genome’, you will need to explain why anyone else should accept that definition, which you have not done.

                  You are also playing humpty-dumpty with the ordinary meaning of ‘rational’, since anyone seeing that word would assume that it meant ‘able to reason’, when in fact, it turns out that when you say ‘rational’, you mean ‘having a unique human genome, regardless of whether it has any thought processes at all. That is not at all what people usually mean when they say ‘rational’.

                  Thus your definition of ‘human being’ was, for all practical purposes, a lie.

                  Of course the product of conception of human parents will usually become a human being (in the usual ‘personhood’ sense) in the fullness of time. But if you want to declare that it should be afforded the full gamut of legal rights that we afford to persons from before it has any of the qualities of sentience that we usually ascribe to persons, you are still standing there baldly asserting that, and dishonestly conflating two very different meanings of ‘human’, without giving us any convincing reasons why we should accept that assertion.

                  Come back when you have discovered good reasons.

                • Emmet

                  Likewise, I’m not seeing any coherent explanation for why a conceptus becomes a human being at some other point in the womb. Why your point and not mine, is the question.

                • fiona64

                  Being deliberately obtuse does not endear you to people, Emmet.

                • Emmet

                  I’m not being deliberately obtuse. If I’m obtuse its because I’m rushed, or tired, or whatevr.

                • UWIR

                  “A woman miscarries at two or four or eight or 12 or 20 or 38 weeks – a human life dies.”

                  I have yet to get a straight answer to this question, and in fact have gotten banned for asking it. You claim that “life begins at conception”. Putting aside the fact that the gametes are clearly alive before conception, and the fact that a single-celled organism is, to anyone with any sense, not a person, how can a person’s life begin at conception, in the light of monozygotic twins? Do both of their lives start at conception? Does one start at conception, and the other start at some point in the division process?

                • Emmet

                  Sure. Sounds about right.

                • UWIR

                  Which one?

                • fiona64

                  Sure – except that you don’t need to determine the exact time of conception to say “Life begins at conception”. Estimation is OK.

                  That’s absurd prima facie. As already cited, conceptii pass out of a woman’s body without ever implanting. Do you and your wife mourn each month when she has menses, just in case there was a microscopic “person” on the tampon?

                  Get real.

                • Emmet

                  No. Were those conceptii actually conceptii, or did they not have the necessary components to actually be human?

                • fiona64

                  Conceptii are conceptii, Emmet. You argue that they’re people … which is ridiculous … but that’s your argument.

          • islandbrewer

            So what’s with the pro-abortion argument that says, “the product of conception is just a bunch of cells, so take it out”?

            Strawman. Nobody says “so take it out.” Point to one person saying that, liar. The argument is that “women get to decide what is done to their bodies, and fucking assholes like Emmet don’t decide for them.”

            • Emmet

              “We’ve decided the product of conception in my girlfriend’s womb is just a bunch of cells and not an innocent human, so we can take it out in the clinic down the road.”

              You’re saying it’s a lie that people say that?

              • islandbrewer

                See the difference between:

                “the product of conception is just a bunch of cells, so take it out”

                and

                “product of conception … is just a bunch of cells …, so we can take it out” (emphasis mine)

                Do you see what a difference that one word makes?

                If you don’t fucking realize what the difference is, you’re either a liar, or just fucking stupid. I don’t know what’s worse.

                • Emmet

                  Must be stupid then. I try very hard not to lie.
                  Mea culpa.

                  Implicit in my first comment was what I wrote in my second. My stupid writing made it hard for you to get my meaning. Forget the first and argue against the second if you like.

      • allein

        1flesh? Really? How about some actual unbiased medical sources?

        • Emmet

          Point out the faults in the citations in that article.

          If you can, I’d sincerely like to see it. If you can’t, perhaps you might like to take another tack.

          • allein

            I am at work and I can’t read the article, but I do know that 1Flesh’s whole reason for being is to push the Catholic anti-birth control agenda and everything I’ve seen from them claiming to be unbiased medical information has been disingenuous at best. So no, I don’t accept 1Flesh as a reliable source.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Oh God, it’s one of them.

        1Flesh has been shredded here and many other places, multiple times. They aren’t a reliable first source for anything, because they intentionally deceive people.

        • Emmet

          And in that one specific article I linked to? Forget about the rest of the blog – if you can show me how the citations in that one article are wrong, I’d sincerely like to know.

          • Emmet

            No? Can’t be bothered?

            • islandbrewer

              Frankly, no – you’re the type of troll who doesn’t actually think about information put in front of you, don’t answer questions honestly (or at all, most times), and if shown evidence that the sky was blue, you’d close your eyes and scream “I don’t see any blue! I don’t see any blue!”

              In short, you are not worth it. If you truly wanted to see information showing that 1flesh is wrong, it takes 5 seconds on the intarwebz.

              http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/07/01/catholic-bloggers-dangerous-new-project-warns-people-to-stop-using-contraception/

              That post is chock full of links to data and reports that show that 1flesh is full of crap.

              You could have looked that up yourself easily. That you won’t, and want others to do your homework, means that you couldn’t care less about such information.

              Again, you’re not worth it.

              You’re a dishonest troll. Worse, you encourage woman to relinquish autonomy, and encourage others to control women’s lives by robbing them of bodily autonomy.

              And worse, you think you’re moral. You are a blight on humanity. You make the world a worse place to live in.

              • Emmet

                Pull your head in. You sound like a teenager having a rant at his mum.

                • islandbrewer

                  No. Fuck off you mendacious shit. And if you allowed more than two synapses to fire at a time and thought about the responses you’re getting, and pulled your fucking head out of your ass before posting your idiocy, you wouldn’t generate half the vitriol you usually do.

                  Do you understand that it’s not because of your position that most people dislike you? It’s because you’ve proven again and again and again that you’re dishonest in conversation.

                • Emmet

                  Point out to me where I’ve been dishonest.

                  And as far as I can see, you’re the only one pouring out the vitriol. The other people here are quite civil.

                • fiona64

                  Well, there was the whole “a fetus is a person” business …

                • Emmet

                  …which you still haven’t argued against.

                • fiona64

                  Yes, actually, I have. It’s really not my fault that you’re too stupid to understand.

                  Persons are born entities. This is not only common sense, but it is the law.

                • Emmet

                  What is an unborn entity? Is that synonymous with “fucking blob of tissue”? Is a blob of tissue an entity or just a blob?

                • Emmet

                  Your comment pretty much sums up your whole approach. Insult, willful misunderstanding, obscenity, groundless accusations, avoiding the topic. I’m pretty much done here – with you anyway.

                • fiona64

                  Ah, the tone argument. Well, how people other than yourself post (subject to TOS) is just one more decision you don’t get to make.

                • Emmet

                  Reading comprehension again. My post didn’t talk about just tone but about content as well. Reading for meaning – thumbs up for that.

              • Emmet

                But thanks for the link – I’ll have a look at it later.

                Not what I asked for – by giving the one link I didn’t make any comments about the rest of the site. If you can’t be bothered pointing out the errors in the *one article* to which I linked, we’re done with this sub-thread.

      • fiona64

        A layman’s blog with an anti-choice perspective is not a sound source.

        Please, educate yourself on the matter: http://womenshealth.about.com/od/thepill/f/howpillworks.htm

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    What’s the point of a comment thread if the invitation is basically extended only to those who already agree with you?

    For the same reason they gather together every seven days. To nod at each other. Believing in invisible, non-confirmable things is difficult to keep up without frequent reinforcement. So they nod and nod at each other, “You believe this stuff, don’t you? Yes, yes, I do.” The belief booster shot is good for about a week.

    Perhaps the website owners could provide pre-written comments that visitors could easily click on in the comment box, and any of those instantly come up as their comment. No other comments actually thought out by a real person will be necessary or permitted. That would eliminate the need for someone to read and monitor the comments.

    All that would be left undone would be to eliminate the need for anyone to read the website at all.

    • grindstone

      “……and also with you.”

      /sarcasm

    • allein

      Well, I will get them started by not reading the website myself.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      I just have to play Devil’s Advocate here. Couldn’t several parts of your first paragraph be used to describe us?

      • spookiewon

        I’m pretty sure comments here aren’t removed because they disagree with ‘us.’

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Not that part. The group confirmation parts.

          Of course there are huge differences, but on the surface there are similarities that always need to be kept in mind, lest we act more like them.

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        Yes, they could. I suspect it would be classed as a persuasion resistance tactic of the “Social Validation” variety. There’s a nice though not necessarily exhaustive taxa in (doi:10.1207/S15324834BASP2502_5), if you’re curious.

        However, persuasion resistance tactics can be used to resist incoherent/incorrect/bad ideas (like “2+2=5″) as well as resist coherent/correct/good ideas (like “2+2=4″).

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          *tilts head and raises an ear* Strength in numbers?

          • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

            Badum-tish.

  • Kristin

    That site is the sort that only wants responses like, “great article–you’re the best and right about everything!” The people are so insecure/sure they are right, that even the slightest disagreement is considered unacceptable. It is an environment where authority is all that matters and noone is allowed to speak back to the supposed authorities.

    • Nomad

      I really want to tie it in to the religious power structure. Top down, with the knowledge coming from above. The top of the pyramid announces how it is, the job of everyone else is to reaffirm what is said.

      It’s the same sort of mindset that leads anti evolution types to assume that those that accept the theory of evolution view Charles Darwin as a kind of saint or god figure. It’s all about personality and authority to these people, not ideas standing or falling on their own merits.

  • randomfactor

    What’s to understand? Other viewpoints would just point out how fragile their house of cards is. Can’t have that…

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    To me the worst is “edit comments”. To my thinking, you can leave it alone, or delete it, but to edit a comment in any way is inexcusable.

    • Canadian Atheist, eh!

      Because sometimes somebody has something constructive to say but also can’t help including a stupid little troll-like or uncivil remark in there, too. I moderate a site that has nothing to do with religion or atheism that we try to keep “family friendly” and this happens more often than anyone should like. So, I sympathize, but it’s not exactly black and white.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Do you at least indicate that something has been cut? That would feel safer to me.

        • Canadian Atheist, eh!

          Sometimes. It depends. We’re also good about sending folks messages advising them when they contravene the “rules.” It’s also very rare that this happens. (Not that you will see this, given that it’s been a week — a crazy busy week.)

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Email Disqus updates FTW :-)

      • the_human_meshnet

        Its fine to censor words to maintain the decorum, but to edit it is completely unethical. fuck can be replaced with ****, but abortion should not be replaced with murder, or homosexuality with sodomy or oral sex with cannibalism.

    • Brita Dallmann

      I wasn’t even aware that anyone did this. Seriously??

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        I’ve only run across it once, and it was actually the poster’s linkback that the blog owner changed. I can see not wanting to give a troll a link to their own site, but I think better to just delete than to change it so it looks like they’re posting from “idiotsRus.com”.

        I also had one blogger substantially change the content of their post in response to my comment without responding to me directly or indicating that anything had changed. That felt like an abuse of power, and I never went back.

        It’s just that what caught my eye is them saying they reserve the right to.

      • UWIR

        Oh, it’s quite common. Shakesville actually replaces statements with “paraphrases”, for instance, if they think a statement is racist, they’ll edit your post to replace the “racist” statement with “I’m a racist”, or something similar. JREF forum moved some of my posts to another thread without any mention that the posts had been moved, and while they didn’t technically change anything in the posts, since the posts made claims regarding “this thread”, with “this thread” referring to the thread they were posted in, the mods effectively edited my posts to say something I did not, in fact, say.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Wait, you mean multiple different sites have told you that you’re saying horrible racist things, and you still think you don’t have a problem?

          • UWIR

            I mentioned that one site moved my posts, without any mention of allegations of racism, and another site made allegations of racism, without any mention of the posts being made by me, and in your usual dishonest way, you somehow read that as the sites accusing me of racism, despite that neither of the examples involve me being accused of racism. You don’t address at all the dishonesty of messing with commenters’ post, you just engage in more blaming the victims. It’s quite arrogant for Shakesville to assign themselves the right to decide for their readers whether something is racist. If it really is unquestionably racist, then they should be confident that its racism is evident to anyone who is reading it. But no, it’s not for hoi polloi to make such determinations.

            You have accused me of racism, but the accusations of racism consist of things like “Someone said there there was a study that showed racism, and you didn’t just accept that without question”, so I think it’s rather clear that I’m not the one with a problem. If you want to convince me that I have a problem, you can present a quote of mine that is actually racist, and not just something you don’t like.

            It’s really quite hypocritical how all these people are complaining about Christians being hostile to opposing points of views, and whenever I bring up atheists being hostile to opposing points of view, I get downvoted.

    • Tel

      On the forum I moderate, we do sometimes make use of post editing
      abilities for moderation purposes, but only to delete small parts of a post (e.g. a photo of the user, an email address, or a snipe at the end of a rant), never to add or change the words. Whether or not we leave a notice depends on the circumstances.

      I think that this is the only acceptable form of editing, and doing anything else will mean I do not go back to a site and will recommend that others stay away too. LifeSiteNews offers no assurance that they only do this, and I wouldn’t put it past them to sometimes add or change words instead of deleting them.

      • spookiewon

        I have no issue with removing a photo or email addy, but I consider removing pay off the comment a problem.

        • spookiewon

          part of not pay off. Damn autocorrect.

  • islandbrewer

    Wait, I’m confused. How is this any different from the actual (note, the actual, not necessarily the stated) commenting policies of Catholic blogs here on Patheos, like Public Catholic or Mark Shea?

    • UWIR

      Or Love Joy Feminism?

  • Paula M Smolik

    At least they let the subject of the article post a polite, mild rebuttal, not quite the word I was trying to think of.

  • Matthew Baker

    So do they have a half dozen sock accounts to help pat themselves on the back?

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ trivialknot

    At least in principle, I’m actually okay with websites with comment policies that restrict debates with far-end opponents. Such debates aren’t exactly known for being productive anyway, and their comment policies aren’t binding on the rest of the internet.

  • Frank Key

    Upon reviewing the 6 comments to the linked article, “Dennis” did not get his comment posted but “natcase” did. “natcase” is an atheist and author of an article in another publication about which Eric Metaxas in LifeSiteNews is responding to. “netcase” lengthy but polite and respectful rebuttal comment is posted, apparently whole and uncensored.

    In all fairness, perhaps the site is not as restrictive as it is made out to be and there may be other reasons “Dennis” is banned from posting on the site.

    • DKeane123

      Generally I am polite and civil I haven’t been censored here or on other sites like Religious Dispatches.

    • Emmet

      Whoa. Hang on, you’re going against the prevailing orthodoxy here. Dogma can’t argued with, brother, just accepted. These pro-rape websites delete atheist comments, haven’t you heard?

  • Martinrc

    Yeah thats how they control their flocks from learning about opposing viewpoints to keep them in line. I learned not to comment on any of those types of sites because once I posted a remark with sources to articles and news regarding information proving an article wrong and the moderator actually pinged my IP and started posting my employment information onto their website with my number for people to call (even though their comment box explicitly states your information will not be shared)

    • Emmet

      Mate, this is the internet. Their flocks are on the computer, in the wild west world of the internet, but only read blogs/newsites that line up with their own beliefs so they’re not exposed to other viewpoints? Really?

  • Tat Wadjet

    “Forget banning trolls”… .Uhhh they ARE the trolls…. or hadn’t you noticed? Because there is zero rules that say trolls can’t have their own blogs… :)

  • C Peterson

    The only thing “unusual” about the policy is that it’s explicitly stated. In practice, it seems to be the policy of many Christian sites, and not unusual at all.

    • Kurn

      Most right wing sites,as well.

  • ufo42

    I’ve had similar experiences with Lienews and Charisma. In both cases, they let me post sane responses to absurd anti-choice propaganda, but after a day or so, banned me from posting. Now, Lienews has this 3 comments per article policy along with pre-emptive banning of known atheists. Very telling. They are losing the argument, so want to just cut it off for fear of having any real information seeping into their bubble.

  • Jeff See

    Ego. Their belief feeds it, and by making sure there is no dissent, the community strengthens that belief. Ego is hungry, ego is jealous, ego has no room for ‘different’ or ‘other’.

    • Emmet

      See: atheist blog Pharyngula.

  • God’s Starship

    Looking to only surround yourself with people who agree with you? Couldn’t they just set up a Facebook page for that?

  • katiehippie

    Don’t they KNOW that Christians LOVE to capitalize WORDS? It means they are RIGHT!!

    • islandbrewer

      Only two exclamation points? I may have to downvote you. Quick, paste a bible quote!

      • katiehippie

        Thou SHALT not use only TWO exclamation points when being SARCASTIC!!!!!!! Book of Nonsense 2:3

        • TCC

          Yes, but which book of nonsense?

          • 3lemenope

            The right one, of course.

          • katiehippie

            SIGH!!!!!! 3rd book of nonsense.

  • DKeane123

    I now understand why they wouldn’t let me post. My worldview is already defined in the article as “impoverished”, what could I possibly have to contribute?

    • allein

      They don’t like poor people.

  • Brian

    Guess that is why its called “preaching to the choir”

    • Emmet

      See: atheist blog Pharyngula.

  • Robin Bass

    Not sure of your position on this, but anti-abortion is NOT pro-life, it is pro-fetus or pro-birth. People have to care about the born to be pro-life, and that goes a lot further than just being against abortion – especially those who are also agains birth control.

    • ShoeUnited

      You mean pro-rape.

      • Tel

        Forced pregnancy is not rape. Some positions of anti-choice people, e.g. mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds, are rape, but carrying a foetus is not a sexual act.

        • Nancy Shrew

          Perhaps not, but we can agree it’s a violation, right?

          • Tel

            Oh yes.

    • Emmet

      Many Christians do more than what you imply.
      Here’s a group of churches offering support to pregnant women and their babies:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10907316

      • TheG

        So… The Christians set up a society where fear is sex leads to unsafe sexual practices, religious slut-shaming makes them hide resulting pregnancies, “values” politicians put unreasonable societal and legal pressure on obtaining an abortion, and THEN churches jump into the situation they created and offer heavily baited help?

        Forgive me if I don’t throw you a fucking parade.

      • Robin Bass

        I don’t know the abortion politics in New Zealand, but I do know that many anti abortion groups in America are NOT pro-life because they are also against contraception that would prevent pregnancies, and do not support social policies that would help poor families. Additionally, being pro-choice means supporting a woman’s right to choose to carry her baby, and help her if she needs it, whether Christian or atheist, so one would hope Christians groups would support woman who do choose to have their babies..which doesn’t mean women who choose not to should be forced to. The bottom line is that the decision to have or not have a baby has to be the woman’s…and she needs to be supported in whatever decision she makes

        • Nancy Shrew

          From Wikipedia: Abortion in New Zealand is legal in cases where the pregnant woman faces a danger to her life, physical or mental health, or if there is a risk of the fetus being handicapped, in the event of the continuation of her pregnancy. In cases not protected by these grounds, aborting an unborn child is a crime in New Zealand as per the Crimes Act 1961. Regulations in New Zealand require that abortions after 12 weeks gestation be performed in a “licensed institution”, which is generally understood to be a hospital. Abortions must be approved by two doctors (referred to as “certifying consultants” within the legislation) — one of whom must be a gynaecologist or obstetrician. Counselling is optional if the woman desires it, but is not mandatory within current abortion law. There is no statutory definition of fetuses or embryos as an “unborn child” within New Zealand abortion law.

          • fiona64

            There is no statutory definition of fetuses or embryos as an “unborn child” within New Zealand abortion law.

            Well, there you go, Emmet. Even in your country’s anti-choice laws, a fetus is not defied as a person.

            • Emmet

              Sure. That’s messed up, right?

              • fiona64

                Messed up that your country has anti-choice laws? Indeed.

                Messed up that your country’s lawmakers know the difference between a fetus and a person? Not at all.

                • Emmet

                  Effectively , there’s abortion on demand here in NZ. You’ll be pleased to know. The laws, as they are on the books, aren’t enforced. Abortion is only meant to be made available when pregnancy will be a mental stress for the woman (i’ve forgotten the exact wording) – but it’s easy as anything to get that signed off.

                  Like I said, messed up.

  • LesterBallard

    Don’t say “pro-life”; use “pro-fetus”. That’s what they are.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I tend to use the term “pro-forced birth”. They don’t even love fetuses, they just want women forced to birth them.

      • Brita Dallmann

        Agreed. The funny thing is, though, that as soon as they’re done forcing women to give birth, they wash their hands of any responsibility of taking care of that child. Talk about hypocrisy.

        • Emmet

          Many Christians do more than what you imply.
          Here’s a group of churches offering support to pregnant women and their babies:

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10907316

          • Robin Bass

            this is a church in New Zealand..how exactly does that help women in America? And they ‘lend’ baby supplies…how exactly does that help women raise children for 18 years…this is a pitiful response to the real issue of not caring what happens to the thousands of children..wanted or not..who are born without the resources to raise them.

            • Emmet

              I didn’t say it did help people in America. The argument said: Christians don’t do anything to support pregnant women. I proved that many Christians do.
              One of those groups lend stuff, others give stuff. Lots of stuff.

      • Emmet

        No, no actually we love the foetuses and the women; the fathers too, and the wider human community also. Don’t tell me who I love or don’t love.

        • baal

          I’m not seeing right to life groups protesting republicans for cutting food stamps.

        • islandbrewer

          You love women by forcing them to be pregnant and giving birth against their will? Fuck you and your love. I hope you don’t have children, you’d might beat them within an inch of their lives “out of love.”

          • Emmet

            I do have children and I don’t beat them.
            Way to make gross, ignorant assumptions. Aren’t atheists meant to be logical thinkers?

            Love often involves helping people make the best of poor decisions, or of circumstances in their lives that are the result of others’ poor decisions.

            I do this as a teacher and as a parent. Fixing an unpleasant thing by doing another unpleasant thing doesn’t lead to human happiness.

            • islandbrewer

              … and aborting a fetus is actually a great way to help women who don’t want to be pregnant, and it doesn’t affect anyone other than the pregnant woman. The fetus is, again, not a person.

              It’s not really any more unpleasant than having a cavity filled.

              • Emmet

                Tell that to the women in Kermit Grosnell’s abortion clinic. Or rather, don’t. They, and any woman who’s had an abortion, don’t need your gross insensitivity. Come on.

                • islandbrewer

                  Insensitivity? You’re the one who lies and wants to treat women like baby machines.

                  Fucking irony.

                • Emmet

                  I lied? What the hell are you on about?

                • islandbrewer

                  I’m on about your lying, you fucking lying shit. What else would I be on about?

                • Emmet

                  What lying?

                • fiona64

                  don’t need your gross insensitivity.

                  I’m sorry, but you have broken my irony meter. It was a particularly nice one, from the Monoprix on the Champs-Elysee. So, when you replace it, none of your cheap Lidls stuff, all right?

                • Emmet

                  I wasn’t the one who said abortion is like having a tooth filled. Seriously.

                • fiona64

                  At the stage when most abortions occur, it is actually *easier* than having a tooth filled.

                  Your position is that women are too damned stupid to make their own medical decisions — which is a long chalk more insensitive than an apples to apples comparison between two minor outpatient surgeries.

                • DavidMHart

                  You know full well that Gosnell’s house of horrors is the result of policies that restrict womens’ access to hygienic, skilled and timely abortion services. No woman would ever choose to go to a clinic like Gosnell’s if she had had full access to the full normal range of family planning services that the Christian Right have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent.

                  If you make safe, legal abortion unavailable (including making it so expensive or distant that it is in practice unavailable to those who can’t afford it, or can’t afford to travel), you do not get less abortion, however much you may wish you did; what you get is more dangerous, illegal abortion, more women dying, and more late-term abortions because women have had to spend so long trying to get one in the first place. If you are genuinely worried about the suffering of foetuses, you would be struggling to ensure that any woman with an unwanted pregnancy has easy access to abortion, should she so choose, before the foetus becomes capable of suffering.

              • Emmet

                What is it then, if it’s a human being but not a human person? What is it? Can someone be a human being without being a human person? I don’t think so. How exactly do you go about arguing otherwise?

                • islandbrewer

                  Where did I call it a human “being”? It’s neither a human being nor a human person. Start over with your mendacious argument.

                  It’s a bunch of human cells. It has no more personhood than a dish of cells.

                • Emmet

                  Of course it’s a human being. Come on – this is 2013. You can’t try and pull the anti-science line that foetuses aren’t human beings. If it looks like a human and acts like a human, it’s a human.

                • islandbrewer

                  That’s your version of science? “If it looks like a human and acts like a human…”

                  Notice how quickly you slither from talking about a “person” to talking about a “human.” It’s the same dishonest semantic shell game. I’ve just sneezed. There are cells in the mucous in the tissue that are human. Is it a person to you?

                • fiona64

                  Yep, he’s all about moving the goal posts.

                • Emmet

                  No. A human being is a human person, and a human person is a human being. Basically interchangeable. Unless some humans are not persons – is that what you’re trying to say? Just in-the-womb humans, or tohers too? I’ve asked, and you’ve avoided the question, so here it is again:
                  Are there any other human beings besides foetuses that aren’t human persons?

                • fiona64

                  Asked and answered. Hardly my fault you are unable to read.

                • Emmet

                  Where – point it out to me – I can’t see it. Are any other human beings not human persons? Hit “reply” and reply.

                • fiona64

                  A human being is a human person, and a human person is a human being. Basically interchangeable.

                  Nope. Persons are born entities.

                • Emmet

                  Why? Why are unborn entities not persons? If a human entity is unborn, why is it not a human person? Any good reason, or just because you say so? And say so, and say so, and say so…

                • Emmet

                  No – becuase they don’t contain everything necessary to grow into a human. They’re human cells, but not a separate human being. A zygote is a separate being to its mother. What part of that don’t you understand?

                • islandbrewer

                  Are you being intentionally obtuse, mendacious fuckwit?

                  Now if epithelial cells separate from a donor aren’t a person, is a zygote in a dish a person? (You’re fucking going to say yes.)

                  Is a totipotent cell with cytoplasm from an egg, and DNA from a diploid somatic cell a person? It can grow into a human. (I guess you’ll hmm and haw and say yes.)

                  For the record, epithelial cells (not mucosal epithelia, afaik) can be incubated and I can transplant their DNA into a cytoplasmic environment that reverts them to totipotency. Is that a person? If a growth factor treatment was found that could transform somatic cells into totipotent embryonic stem cells, would those cells be a person? Before or after treatment?

                  Don’t give me shit about DNA – what if the zygote has a diploid genome donated from an adult human? Say the same donor as the cytoplasm donor, hmm? (I’m truly interested in your answer here.)

                  Is a blastula a person? (You’d say yes.) How many? (“One, duh!”) If you say it’s just one person, does that mean that identical twins are only one person? If not when did they become two people?

                  I can (and have) split mouse blastula into ten embryos that have been reimplanted (ok, only three were viable, but a post doc friend has gotten six embryos out of blastula stage).

                  Since it’s not unique DNA that makes it a person, is it cytoplasmic elements? If so, which ones, sir fuckworth?

                  Being separate from its mother does not make a bunch of cells a person, shit-for-brains. Why don’t you understand that?

                  Why do you answer my trivial rhetorical question, but won’t fucking answer the question I’ve asked a half dozen times?

                  Is a human blastula a person?

                  Don’t fucking answer with another question you mendacious dipshit. Also, as you’ve said that the terms “person” and “being” are the same to you, just use the word “person” from now on. No more semantic legerdemain, fuckwit.

                  Now, inferring the logical conclusion of your views, if the only way to prevent a woman from aborting a fetus is to physically restrain her, would you feel morally justified in tying her to a bed for 9 months, and forcing her to give birth against her will? If so, isn’t that worse than rape?

                • Emmet

                  You lost me with all that fucking science, but I’m going to say…. fucking yes.

                • islandbrewer

                  Ok, so you lose miserably at biology. Your understanding of developmental biology isn’t up to snuff, that’s fair. But, if you can’t play, don’t try.

                  How about this, which I’ve asked repeatedly:

                  If a woman could safely induce an abortion without any help, and you thought she was going to, would you feel morally justified tying her to a bed for 9 months and forcing her to give birth? If so, why isn’t that worse than rape?

                  These would be considered kidnapping and assault in the US, by the way. Depending on what you do during the forced birth, maybe even sexual assault.

                  If you don’t answer (not merely respond, but answer), I’ll assume you’re in favor of committing kidnapping and assault to prevent an abortion.

                • Emmet

                  I did answer that. Keep up.

                  Tying her up wouldn’t be justified.

                • fiona64

                  Except that you already replied that “fucking yes,” it was just justified.

                • Emmet

                  No – that “f-ing yes” was in response to “is a blastula a human.” Keep up.

                • fiona64

                  A blastula is not a human, sweetie. I’m sorry you didn’t understand the science-y bits.

                • Emmet

                  Why not?

                • Emmet

                  Sweetie?

                • Emmet

                  Grandma?

                • fiona64

                  Thanks for admitting that you don’t know jack shit about science; that kind of honesty is refreshing amongst your ilk.

                  Which makes any further attempts on your part to proclaim a fetus as a person even *more* nonsensical than they already were. By your own admission, you don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

                  Also, thanks for admitting that you would forcibly restrain a woman to prevent her terminating a pregnancy. That’s not only (as islandbrewer points out) tantamount to rape, but it also proves my assertion that you support gestational slavery.

                • Emmet

                  But science doesn’t talk about personhood – you said that yourself (or if not you, someone else here – Feminerd?).

                  Let me say it again, seeing as you wilfully misread the three or four times I answered quite clealry “no” to the question about forcible restraint: I wouldn’t restrain a woman to prevent her having an abortion.

                  I mean, read the words on the screen. Shit.

                • fiona64

                  If it looks like a human and acts like a human, it’s a human.

                  ROFLMAO. This is your definition of a good scientific education? By your definition, a Betsy-Wetsy doll is a human.

                  Here you go. Here are a whole slew of viviparous vertebrate embryos at similar stages of development. http://www.exploratorium.edu/exhibits/embryo/embryoflash.html

                  Let us know which one you pick as the human embryo — and be honest. Most anti-choicers just crow “the one with human parents” rather than admit that they got it wrong.

                  Most people who are honest? Admit that they picked the skink.

                • Emmet

                  If you cut a Betsy-Wetsy doll open, does it look like a human?

                  Good grief.

                  And again: so what that human and animal embryos look similar? What are you trying to prove?

                  You understand, don’t you, that although they look similar they are in fact different? Some are human and some are animal?

                • fiona64

                  So, you didn’t pick the H. sapiens embryo. I thought not.

                • Emmet

                  I didn’t look. As I said – it’s neither here nor there if animal and human embryos look similar. Proves nothing.

                • fiona64

                  Well, thanks for the refreshing honesty. You didn’t bother to look because you were afraid of being wrong.

                  You are the one who insists that embryos look like eensy-weensy infants, and that all embryos are human. I made the post to make a point: that you are wrong on both counts.

                • Emmet

                  What the hell? As I’ve said: that they look the same proves nothing? They. Are. Different. You said it yourself.

                  Where did I insist that embryos look like infants? You’re making sh!t up now.

                  Yes, all human embryos are human. Surprising huh! Who’da thought?

                • fiona64

                  Can someone be a human being without being a human person?

                  Zygotes/embryos/fetii are *human* in the sense that your kidney is human … during the time that most abortions take place, the cells are only marginally differentiated (the Z/E phases). In fact, embryos from various viviparous vertebrates at similar stages of gestation are almost indistinguishable from each other.

                  The mere fact that they are still in utero is what makes z/e/fs non-persons. The only *person* involved in a pregnancy is the born, sapient, sentient woman — whose rights you want to abrogate by taking away her liberty to make a medical decision. Do you know what it’s called when you abrogate someone’s liberty?

                  Slavery.

                  I am really sorry that your education has failed you so.

                • Emmet

                  Except that one’s kidney is not a separate human to the human in which it resides. A foetus – even a zygote – is.

                  So what if embryos from different species are indistinguishable from each other? Some are animal, and as such have certain rights, and some are human – and as such have human rights, including the right not to be killed.

                  I think your education failed you if you can’t see that.

                • fiona64

                  A foetus – even a zygote – is.

                  Not so long as it is connected via an umbilicus, it isn’t.

                  I think your education failed you if you can’t see that.

                  One can only presume you were looking in the mirror when you wrote this sentence.

                • Emmet

                  Ooh, burn. Can you pass me some aloe vera with that insult?

                  How old are you, nine?

                • Emmet

                  hat makes the umbilicus so magic that once it’s cut the thing it’s attached to turns from not-person to person?

                • UWIR

                  “Can someone be a human being without being a human person?”

                  “someone”, “human being” and “human person” are all synonyms, so you managed to be the question twice in one sentence.

                  Edit: I meant to say “you managed to beg the question”.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          The consistently negative effects you have on women, men, and children demonstrate the lack of actual love.

          • Emmet

            Me personally? The pope? The Church? Catholics in general? Who’s the “you” about whom you are speaking?

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              The first three to a high degree, the last by their insistence on supporting corruption and subjugation despite the Internet having finally, after 1700 years, made it plain to see.

        • Nancy Shrew

          To be frank, fuck your love.

          • Emmet

            To be frank, that’s fine.

      • UWIR

        “birth” is not a verb.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Actually, it is. Slightly archaic, perhaps, but the formulation “to birth a baby” is perfectly grammatical English.

    • ShoeUnited

      I use “pro-rape”. More accurate.

      • 3lemenope

        No, it isn’t. What is wrong with you?

        • ShoeUnited

          Considering most pro-life people cite how they want people who have been raped to suffer the consequences for dressing “like a slut”. There have been stated all over the internet and even quoted in this blog that they think rape victims should be forced to raise the child. Others think that you can’t get pregnant if you are raped.

          I believe I am not incorrect. These people would be happy to imprison women who have been raped, even if it’s by a member of their family. Even if the raped person is a child. I’ve encountered many in life and online that have said as such.

          No. I refuse to white-wash it. A lot of them are pro-rape and I’m inclined to call it as I see it. Does it shock you? Does it horrify you? Because it’s horrifying and shocking. And it’s the attitude a lot of them have. It’s horrible. But I’m not walking on eggshells on this issue.

          • 3lemenope

            Considering most pro-life people cite

            You went off the rails in the first six words.

            • ShoeUnited

              …people I’ve had the displeasure of speaking with cite…

              Better? Done with the fallacious nitpicking?

              • 3lemenope

                Considering that that moves your comments from applying to a hundred million or so people you’ve never met to maybe fifty people you have, I’d go with it not being an insignificant caveat.

                What on Earth makes you think that your incidental sample of people who do not support abortion rights is representative of that (vast) group as a whole?

                • ShoeUnited

                  Well more than 50. Less than a hundred million. What alternative do women who get raped in places where it’s near impossible to get to a clinic have? What about family child rape cases? Where is the vocal group of pro-lifers that support abortion for rape victims? Of that hundred million, I’ve yet to meet 50 who make contingencies for such crimes. If they’re out there, they’re not making themselves be heard. The vocal component seems to be fine with banning rape victims from getting medical abortions.

                • 3lemenope

                  All horrible. None of it “pro-rape”. You’re really reaching to make this rhetorical point, which is a clue that it’s a poor one. Perhaps better would be to tar them with their actual crimes, rather than straining to apply inaccurate names.

                • Emmet

                  Well said.

                • Emmet

                  In a nut-shell, this is how the Catholic Church sees it: doing something wrong to fix a wrong is not a moral response. If abortion is indeed the taking of innocent life, then there can be no approval, ever, for abortion.
                  (If abortion is not the taking of innocent life, then there shouldn’t be any restrictions on it at all … logic is chilling.)

                  You’re twisiting things around. It’s absurd to say that because I hold the view above, that makes me pro-rape. Any right-thinking person will see that.

                • islandbrewer

                  Here, you use the word “life” as synonymous with “person.” A fetus is not a person.

                  Further, and most importantly, you’re forcing someone to use their body to support that fetus. It’s no morally different than knocking you out and taking your kidney because someone else needed it … and that “someone else” being a blob of cells that aren’t a person.

                • Emmet

                  What is a foetus if it isn’t a person?

                • fiona64

                  Simple: a fetus. Persons are born entities.

                • Emmet

                  So a baby is a person three minutes after she comes down the birth canal but not three minutes before? That’s absurd.

                  Who was it that was disputing my comment that pro-abortion ideology is anti-science?

                • islandbrewer

                  What’s wrong with that line in the sand? Where would you arbitrarily draw it? But the argument around the right to abort is not based on the personhood of a fetus, however wrong you might be about it. It’s about a woman having bodily autonomy, and not having people like you holding her down, kicking and screaming, forcing her to endure birth.

                • islandbrewer

                  Three minutes prior to birth it’s not a baby, by the way. That’s an old and established definition.

                • Emmet

                  Is it a human being then?

                • islandbrewer

                  Define being, first. You seem to want to use a special definition. It’s human, just like the cells in the snot in the tissue.

                • fiona64

                  He’s conflating “human” with “person.” Which means that my kidney is a person.

                • islandbrewer

                  It’s a common anti-choice tactic. I think most people don’t really think about it. Emmet has had it explained again and again, so he can’t really use that little semantic trick, now.

                  He’s moved on to trying to use this vague “human being” as an intermediate obfuscater between “human” and “person.”

                • fiona64

                  Yep … which is why I call it out every. single. time.

                • Emmet

                  I din’t mean to be vague. A human being is a human person is a human. All synonymous. Is that clearer?

                • islandbrewer

                  If they’re all synonymous to you, then just use the phrase “person” and stop trying to use semantic shell games. “Human” will be interpreted as the adjective. Using “human” as noun is vague and intentionally duplicitous.

                • Emmet

                  Sure. A foetus is a person, and all persons have the right to life.

                  Happy now?

                • fiona64

                  Except that, as already pointed out to your stupid self, a fetus is NOT a person.

                • Emmet

                  Why not? Because you say so?

                • fiona64

                  Nope. Because *logic* says so.

                • Emmet

                  Gimme some of that logic then. Draw it up in a syllogism, if you please.

                • Emmet

                  Happy now?

                • fiona64

                  No, they are not. You are deliberately misusing words to suit your ridiculous, anti-choice, misogynistic agenda.

                • Emmet

                  I ilke choice. I just don’t think people should be allowed to choose to kill. Like I don’t think people should be allowed to choose to rape, or choose to own slaves, or choose to steal.

                  You have to ask: pro the choice to do what exactly?

                  I also like women, and want people to stop telling them that murder is OK.

                • Emmet

                  No. Your kidney is a human [as adjective] kidney. You are a human [noun].

                • Emmet

                  human (noun) = human being (noun)
                  human (adjective) =/= human being (noun)

                • fiona64

                  Not even remotely accurate.

                • Emmet

                  YOU’RE not even remotely accurate.

                  Again, assertions don’t equal argument.

                • fiona64

                  So a baby is a person three minutes after she comes down the birth canal but not three minutes before?

                  Three minutes prior to birth, it’s a fetus. And, as has been explained with unbelievable patience to you already, a fetus is not a person.

                • Emmet

                  :) There were a lot of assertions along those lines – no actual argument.

                  Tell me: three minutes before birth, is it a human being?

                • fiona64

                  So, now you move the goal posts. No one denies that the fetus is human, but it is *not* a person until after birth.

                  You’re not worth my time.

                • Emmet

                  Why is a human foetus the only kind of human that is not also a human person? I can’t get my head around that.

                  I’ve asked you a few times too – might have missed your answer, or you might be avoiding the question.

                  Tell me again, if I missed it?

                • islandbrewer

                  Stop using “human” as a noun. It’s your way of shoehorning something with human DNA into being a person, which you unconvincingly claim you’re not doing.

                  Your question boils down to “why is a fetus not a person?”

                  That has already been answered.

                • Emmet

                  Whaaaaat? Redefining the word “marriage” wasn’t enough for you folks, you want to have a go at the word “human” as well? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/human

                  My question hasn’t been answered. Why is a foetus not a person? All other humans – women, men, boys, girls, the disabled, the black, white and brown, the old, the young, the braindead, the ill – they’re all persons: why not foetuses?

                • fiona64

                  BTW, Skippy, marriage has been “redefined” many times across history and cultures. It was “redefined” when I was three years old, for example, with Loving v. Virginia.

                  Get over it.

                • Emmet

                  Uh huh. Is that right, Chuckles. How about that now.

                • Emmet

                  Downvoters – perhaps you can answer the question too?

                • Emmet

                  Is it a person when its head is sticking out? When its whole body apart from one foot is out? Oh that’s right, its whole body can come out but its still not a person yet – not until… magic! one snip of the umbilical cord and a non-person with no rights turns into a person.

                • Emmet

                  And a foetus is an “unborn entity”? What kind of entity? A human entity? Of course it’s a human entity. So what else is it also?

                  …And ’round we go again.

                • fiona64

                  And a foetus is an “unborn entity”? What kind of entity? A human entity? Of course it’s a human entity.

                  ROFLMAO. You do realize that fetus is the correct term for a great number of viviparous vertebrates in utero. Fetii are not automatically human. Skinks have fetii, just to name one. So do elephants. And pandas. And horses.

                  Fetus. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” /Princess Bride reference

                • Emmet

                  Good grief. I thought it was clear I was talking about a human foetus. You’re the only one talking about other animals.

                • fiona64

                  You asked me what a fetus was if it’s not human, and I answered you.

                  Do you need a tutor or something?

                • Emmet

                  Yeah, I thought you were keeping up. Thought it was clear that the word “human” was implicit in my sentence before the word “foetus”. Didn’t realise you weren’t keeping up.

                  It’s OK, I’ve explained it now. Now you can argue instead of calling names.

                • fiona64

                  So, asking if you need a tutor is “name-calling”?

                  Okay then … must be a NZ-ism with which I’m unfamiliar.

                • Emmet

                  Yep. “Need a tutor” means …

                  ugh I can’t even

                • islandbrewer

                  What is a tumor if it isn’t a person? Same answer.

                  It’s cells, sometimes organized, sometimes not, in varying undifferentiated states. A fetus has more determinative pathways shut down than most tumors. IF you want to make more people, and you’re a healthy woman, you can risk letting a fetus grow. If you don’t want to risk it, or don’t want to make more people, you shouldn’t have other people forcing you to do so.

                  Nor should you let other people decide what you should do about any tumors you might have growing.

                • Emmet

                  A tumour is a tumour. It’s a part of a person. A foetus is a foetus. It’s a different person to the person in whose womb it resides.

                • islandbrewer

                  Is a blastula a person?

                • Emmet

                  Is it a human being?

                • islandbrewer

                  It’s a human blastula. A blastula is not a “being,” unless you have a special religious definition of “being” that you want to elucidate and use consistently. Is it a person, fucktard? Stop equivocating.

                • Emmet

                  See my comment above re erring on the side of caution.

                  Feel like leaving off the insults? I’m not talking to you like that. Take a breath. I’m a human too.

                • fiona64

                  Feel like leaving off the insults?

                  … says the guy who patronizes women in every post, by saying, in so many words, that we’re too stupid to make our own medical decisions.

                • Emmet

                  Oh good grief. We can’t disagree and have an argument? That’s not different to calling someone a fucktard?

                  Good grief. You can argue that I patronise women without calling me a dumbfuck.

                  You people.

                • islandbrewer

                  And no, a fetus isn’t a person any more than a blastula is a person, or a tumor is a person, or a few stray stem cells in a dish are a person.

                • Emmet

                  What? Do you know a thing about biology? A tumour is a clump of cells of the same DNA as the person on who it grows. Clone it and you’ll get another of the same being. A foetus has different DNA to the person in whose womb it sits. Clone it and you’ll get a completely different human to the mother. A foetus is a human. A tumour is part of a human.

                • islandbrewer

                  I probably know more about biology than you do. Care to test it, fucker?

                  Tumors actually have changes in their DNA respective to their host. A fetus, if generated from a clone of the host, can have DNA identical to the person in whom it incubates. If it grows into a person, it’s still a different person, just like identical twins are different people, despite identical DNA. Even if you eliminate epigenetic factors in development, you don’t fucking get “another of the same being,” dingleberries.

                  You didn’t realize this? Your biology must be gleaned from bullet points on a website.

                  Now you, dipshit. Know what a blastula is? Go ahead and look it up. Now, is it a person (provided it’s a human blastula)? If so, how many people is it?

                • Emmet

                  You (or others) draw the line at birth, I draw it at conception. That seems the most reasonable place. Generally we err on the side of caution when it comes to killing humans.

                • fiona64

                  Not as long as it’s connected via the umbilicus, it isn’t.

                • Emmet

                  So: my daughter was born and was sitting on the table connected to my wife by umbilical cord. You’re telling me the little thing that looked just like a human being wasn’t a human being yet, becasue it was still connected by the umbilicus? The baby wasn’t a human being yet? But do the voodoo, cut the cord, and voila, it’s a human! Sounds like I should have said some magic words as well.

                  Before I start laughing at your argument, can I ask if I’ve missed something? I can’t believe that’s actually what you’re saying – seriously.

                • UWIR

                  “You’re telling me the little thing that looked just like a human being wasn’t a human being yet, becasue it was still connected by the umbilicus? The baby wasn’t a human being yet? But do the voodoo, cut the cord, and voila, it’s a human! Sounds like I should have said some magic words as well.”

                  How is “cut the cord, and voila, it’s a human being” any more absurd than “fuse the gametes, and voila, it’s a human being”? I am having trouble understanding how, apart from some religious idea of a soul appearing in the conceptus, anyone can think that fertilization changes the moral status of the egg cell.

                • Emmet

                  Because two separate sets of DNA come together and form a whole new thing. The physical status of the egg cell is irrevocably changed, never mind the “moral status”.

                  That’s a whole lot different to a severed umbilical cord changing a human being from a “non-person” to a person.

                • UWIR

                  We’re not discussing the moral status of the conceptus? I thought that was the whole issue. If that’s not the issue, then what is? Some abstract philosophical issue?

                  A conceptus is not a “whole new thing”. It’s the fusion of two previously existing things. After fertilization, the egg cell is still a single celled organism, with the same organelles as it had before fertilization. I’m not an expert on biology, but my understanding is that the only thing that changes upon fertilization is that a barrier forms to keep out further sperm and the nucleus gets 23 more chromosomes. Other than that, it’s exactly the same as before. And it’s certainly not a person. I don’t see anything about fertilization that is at all related to personhood. Personhood has to do with sentience, not DNA. I don’t find your answer at all responsive to the question of how fertilization confers personhood.

                • Stev84

                  Personhood is a legal concept. It has nothing whatsoever to do with biology.

                • Emmet

                  But being a human being has everything to do with biology. And if something is a human being, it’s also a human person. That’s Logic 101.

                • fiona64

                  Well, sweetie, you apparently failed Logic 101.

                • Emmet

                  Premise 1. All human beings are human persons.
                  Premise 2. A foetus is a human being.
                  Conclusion: Therefore a foetus is a human person.

                  So what kind of human is not also a human person? You passed Logic 101 did you? So you can tell me, by arguing against the above – what kind of human being is not also a human person?

                  I’m not holding my breath, but have a go.

                • fiona64

                  Your syllogism fails at Premise #1. Ergo, the rest of it is invalid.

                  The correct premise is that all *born* human beings are human persons.

                  Thus, your additional premise and conclusion are automatically invalidated. I guess your Logic prof didn’t tell you that you cannot take as a given the statement you are attempting to prove.

                  You’re welcome.

                • Emmet

                  Fair enough. Why are some human beings persons and some not? You’ve asserted that, but haven’t argued it.
                  Are any other human beings not human persons?

                  Inmates in California prisons, forcibly sterilised?

                  Perhaps you could use your silky smooth logic skills to let me know.

                • fiona64

                  Inmates in California prisons, forcibly sterilised?

                  Citation needed. Thanks in advance.

                  And I’ve already answered your question. Repeatedly. I ask this in all sincerity: do you have some sort of a reading disability? I’ve tried very hard to use readily-comprehensible language.

                • Emmet

                  Let me google that for you.

                  http://cironline.org/reports/female-inmates-sterilized-california-prisons-without-approval-4917

                  I was incorrect to say “forcibly” – try “coerced into agreeing”.

                  So my sentence should have read something like:

                  Are any other human beings not human persons? Female inmates in California prisons, coerced into giving consent to sterilisations?

                  Do the recent actions in California flow out of policies last century, having their roots in the same “some people are less human than others” philosophy espouse by advocates of abortion?

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

                • fiona64

                  So, your claim was false. Not that I’m surprised. You claimed inmates were being forcibly sterilized; they are not, as your own citation proves.

                  And when you make a statement of fact, it is incumbent upon you to provide the citation — not to expect others to do your homework for you.

                • Emmet

                  Thanks for that lecture. So righteous. How’s the air up there?

                  I made a false claim – sloppy – and then recanted it.

                  Fact is, people have been forcibly sterilised in the States – because they were seen as somehow lesser human persons, if not actually not human persons at all? And the recent coercions (and what is coercion if not a form of force?) in California come from the same mentality.

                • Emmet

                  Again: what other human beings are not human persons?

                • fiona64

                  Human fetii. Human zygotes. Human embryos.

                • Emmet

                  Ha ha ha. I laughed. Reading comprehension and all that. Wilfull obtuseness and the other.

                  And what other human beings besides human beings in the womb are not human persons? What is it just humans that reside in a womb that don’t achieve personhood? What are your criteria for conferring personhood on any other human being but not unborn humans?

                • fiona64

                  What is it just humans that reside in a womb that don’t achieve personhood?

                  Thank you, Emmet. Now you understand.

                • Emmet

                  Why is it just humans that reside in a womb that don’t have personhood? What are your criteria for …

                  But why am I bothering? You haven’t answered before – why would you now?

                • Emmet

                  Any others?

                • Emmet

                  Except that knocking me out and taking my kidney is a violation of natural processes. Your analogy falls over.

                  The person who needs the kidney won’t die because of my actions in refusing them a kidney. They’ll die because of their kidney ailment.
                  But a baby dies in abortion as a result of the woman refusing her womb to it, not as a result of some other process.

                  See the difference?

                  A baby growing in a woman’s womb is not a violation of natural processes. It is a natural process, things ticking along as they are designed to do. And another human, a defencless one, is involved, and we humans look after the defenceless members of our tribe.

                  Or used to, before we got all modern about things.

                • TheG

                  The Catholic Church also sees doing a right thing to fix a wrong as an immoral act the second it doesn’t serve their immediate purposes. They have hardly any ground to preach morality.

                  If they were really about morals instead of controlling or converting non Catholics, they would have confidence in their faith and leave the rest of society alone.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  You’re not pro-rape.

                  You are pro-slavery, though. You think that a woman should be enslaved to a fetus that makes its home in her body, even if that is against her will and without her consent.

                • Emmet

                  No. I’m against killing innocent humans. If you want to use nonsense words like “pro-slavery” to express my position in a way that suits your argument, I can’t stop you.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh? What constitutes innocence, to you?

                  To me, a fetus is a pretty deleterious parasite. Now, some women are very willing hosts to this parasite (and I hope to be one, someday) because it’s really the only way to make a new person, but that doesn’t mean pregnancy isn’t a very tedious, painful, dangerous process, followed by a very painful and dangerous process called labor. Doing this by choice is fine, wonderful, etc. Doing it not by choice?

                  Doing it not by choice means using the body of the woman against her will and without her consent. It means subjecting her to the horror of watching her body twist and change when she doesn’t want it to as a parasite sucks the vital nutrients out of her blood. It is slavery in the very real sense of using someone’s body and labor forcefully and against their will.

                  It’s also organ trafficking without the money. I can choose, at any time, to not donate my kidney to you. You can’t take my kidney from me. Even if you’ll die without it. A fetus, then, can’t take my uterus and blood and nutrients away from me without my permission either. I’m giving a fetus exactly as many rights as I give a person- neither may use my body without my consent.

                • Emmet

                  Is consent not given when a woman and man consent to engage in intercourse with the knowledge that a baby might be the result?

                • UWIR

                  “Is consent not given when a woman and man consent to engage in intercourse with the knowledge that a baby might be the result?”

                  So, if A might result in B, and someone consents to A, they are consenting to B? Is every woman who goes on a date consenting to sex?

                • Emmet

                  If A is designed explicitly to produce B.

                  If I pull the trigger of a pistol that has the safety catch on, I should be prepared for the possibility that a bullet might come out the barrel.
                  If I eat paracetamol, I can expect the pain in my head to lessen.

                  The design of a date isn’t, in and of itself, ordered to producing sex. It’s ordered to two people spending time together, so if a woman consents to going on a date, she consents to spending time with the person who she goes on the date with. Nothing more.

                  If a man and a woman engage in sex, they do so knowing that a baby might be the result. If they’re not ready to look after a baby, perhaps they shouldn’t have sex.

                • fiona64

                  If they’re not ready to look after a baby, perhaps they shouldn’t have sex.

                  So, there it is in a nutshell. Emmet’s position is that if women don’t want babies, they should keep their legs together. Still want to pretend this is about anything *other* than controlling women, Emmet?

                • Emmet

                  I knew you’d jump on that. Shoot me for saying that people should know the possible consequences of their actions, and adjust their behaviours accordingly.

                  God forbid that people who don’t want to or can’t afford to have babies might refrain from doing what produces babies. I mean, come on, right? This is the 21st century, where we do whatever we goddamn want, and if someone else has to pay for that, goddmn them, right? I mean, amirite?

                  God forbid we might control our urges instead of letting them control us.

                  Fact is, abortion is often a back up birth control for many couples. What have we come to, that killing babies is seen as acceptable, because “freedom from control”?

                  I do think this is about other things than controlling women. If you can’t see my views as anything else than that, the fault’s not in what I’m saying but in how you’re reading it.

                • fiona64

                  God forbid that people who don’t want to or can’t afford to have babies might refrain from doing what produces babies.

                  And here’s the anti-choice corollary: “People who don’t want or can’t afford infants should be celibate.”

                  Just one more choice you don’t get to make for others, Emmet. All known forms of contraception, including surgical sterilization, have known failure rates. And the underprivileged have less access to reliable contraception than the privileged.

                  So, the poor folks should just be celibate to satisfy you?

                  What a joke.

                • Emmet

                  You must have heard of methods like the Sympto-thermal method or the Creighton model of natural family planning which can be used to space pregnancies. They’re up to 99% effective (yes, when used correctly, as with contraceptive methods).

                  The choice isn’t between sex and no sex. I shouldn’t have to explain that to you in this day and age.

                  Keep up.

                • UWIR

                  If two people don’t want to have a child, then their sexual activity is not designed to result in pregnancy. If a man intends to have sex, then his going on a date is ordered to producing sex. If women don’t want to have sex, perhaps they shouldn’t be alone with a man. I don’t see the difference between that and what you’re saying. Or “If you don’t want to be in an accident, maybe you shouldn’t drive.”

                • Emmet

                  But it is designed to result in pregnancy – the act itself is designed to produce babies.

                  If I eat some vegetables but don’t want the nutrients to go into my system – that’s the natural result of the process of eating – I better vomit them out. But some of the minerals will get into my stomach before I vomit the veg back up.
                  That’s sex – I have to do something drastic to try and ensure it doesnt go thru to its natural conclusion, but in spite of my best efforts, the process goes as it was designed.

                  Your driving analogy fails, because when a baby happens it’s not an “accident” – the process has done what it’s designed to do. No accident. Unplanned, but “accident”, although a common word here, is inaccurate.

                  And “If women don’t want to have sex, perhaps they shouldn’t be alone with a man”? Are you listening to what you’re saying? Am I going to be the only one to call you on that?

                • UWIR

                  “But it [two people having sex without wanting to having children] is designed to result in pregnancy – the act itself is designed to produce babies.”

                  An act is designed to do what the person who performs the act intends it to do. If two people have sex, and they don’t want to have children, then obviously their act of having sex is not designed to result in pregnancy.

                  “Your driving analogy fails, because when a baby happens it’s not an “accident” – the process has done what it’s designed to do.”

                  Do you know what the phrase “begging the question” means? Yes or no? I’ve asked this before, and I insist you answer it, because if you don’t understand what “begging the question” means, and why it’s not legitimate, then there is no point in trying to have a conversation with you.

                  “And “If women don’t want to have sex, perhaps they shouldn’t be alone with a man”? Are you listening to what you’re saying? Am I going to be the only one to call you on that?”

                  Maybe no one else is “calling” me on it because they, unlike you, have enough basic reading comprehension to understand that I didn’t say that, I presented it as a statement that is analogous to yours. Hence the quote marks.

                  “Sex “is not designed to result in pregnancy”? Ludicrous!”

                  Is repeating someone’s claim and then exclaiming “Ludicrous!” a valid argument in your world?

                  “Saying that sex is not designed to result in pregnancy is like saying that a Lamborghini is not designed to drive fast if a person gets into it planning on only driving 30mph, or a cheeseburger is not designed to deliver fat to a person’s stomach if that person plans on going for a jog after eating it.”

                  A Lamborghini is designed to give its owner the option of going fast. If the driver of a Lamborghini wants to drive it at 30mph, the Lamborghini had better travel only 30 mph. If the Lamborghini travels 100 mph when its driver only wants to go 30 mph, the company is going to be in serious trouble, and if the company’s response is “Well, if you didn’t want your car to go 100 mph, you shouldn’t have gotten a Lamborghini”, they would be pilloried. When someone presses the brakes, their intent is to stop the var, so pressing the brakes is designed to stop the car, just like having sex with birth control is designed to not result in pregnancy.

                  Toyota had an issue where people were claiming that their cars were accelerating uncontrollably.Do you seriously think “Well, Toyotas are designed to travel at high speeds, so by getting in a Toyata, you are consenting to travel at high speed” would be a valid argument?

                  The intent of a cheeseburger is not to deliver fat, that is an unintended side effect.

                  “A person’s *intentions* don’t change the *design* of a man’s and woman’s bodies and reproductive systems.”

                  First, we are discussing the sex act, not the human body. Second, the human body isn’t designed, it’s evolved.

                • Emmet

                  “A Lamborghini is designed to give its owner the option of going fast. … When someone presses the brakes, their intent is to stop the var, so pressing the brakes is designed to stop the car, just like having sex with birth control is designed to not result in pregnancy.”

                  Ooh, I love arguing analogies. Push ‘em ’till they break.
                  I think I love it because you get the lolz sometimes, like here.

                  A Lamborghini is designed with brakes. Sex isn’t designed with brakes – they have to be added in, (that’s what made me chuckle – you didn’t see that flaw in your argument?) with some form of birth control. So you get in a Lamborghini, you consent to the fact that it’s designed to go fast, and that, yes, there are brakes there if you don’t want to do that. But the brakes are a prt of the system. Birth control isn’t. Don’t even try to say it is. Don’t do that to yourself.

                • Emmet

                  “Maybe no one else is “calling” me on it because they, unlike you, have enough basic reading comprehension to understand that I didn’t say that, I presented it as a statement that is analogous to yours. Hence the quote marks.” Sure. Keep going. You didn’t have quote marks in your post. Seems like you said it to me.

                • Emmet

                  “An act is designed to do what the person who performs the act intends it to do. If two people have sex, and they don’t want to have children, then obviously their act of having sex is not designed to result in pregnancy.”

                  Balls.

                  If I climb up a playground slide, it doesn’t alter the fact that the slide is designed to be slid down. I can intend whatever I like – “this slide is for running up, or jumping off halfway, or climbing in from behind” – hell, I could even take a hacksaw to the slide and cut bits off here and there so it looks nothing like a slide, but it doesn’t change the fact that the slide is designed to get on at the top and slide down to the bottom.
                  .
                  It’s not intended to result in pregnancy, sure. Are you conflating “design” and “intent”?

                  The fact that many pregnancies happen even when the couple involved intended not to produce an heir proves that the design of sex is to create children regardless of intent.

                • UWIR

                  If I climb up a playground slide, it doesn’t alter the fact that the slide is designed to be slid down.

                  In this analogy, the slide corresponds to people’s bodies, which, unlike a slide, was not designed. The act of climbing up the slide corresponds to the act of having sex with birth control. I already pointed out that sex and human bodies are different issues. By trying, yet again, to change the subject from the act of sex to the human body, you show yourself to be a dishonest asshole.

                  It’s not intended to result in pregnancy, sure. Are you conflating “design” and “intent”?

                  “Design” refers to the intent with which something was produced. If you mean something different, then you are employing the time-honored dishonest fundie tactics of making up new meanings for established words. Furthermore, if design and intent are separate, then it is intent that matters. If someone does not intend to give consent, then they haven’t given consent. Consent is not a “Gotcha!” game. You don’t get to say “Hah! You didn’t know you were giving consent, but you were!” It is impossible for someone to give consent if they don’t mean to give consent. Anyone who doesn’t view having sex as giving consent to pregnancy, is not giving consent to pregnancy by having sex.

                  Your obsession with trying to logic yourself into getting consent when someone clearly doesn’t intend to give consent is incredibly rapey. It really makes you look like a sociopath. Except that’s not really fair to sociopaths, because they don’t have a conscience that they have to assuage with bullshit rationalizations.

                  The fact that many pregnancies happen even when the couple involved intended not to produce an heir proves that the design of sex is to create children regardless of intent.

                  That is a complete non sequitur.

                  A Lamborghini is designed with brakes. Sex isn’t designed with brakes – they have to be added in, (that’s what made me chuckle – you didn’t see that flaw in your argument?)

                  That a Lamborghini isn’t exactly the same as sex is not a “flaw in my argument”, it’s simply a fact that anyone with any brains knows.

                  And you’re begging the question. Yet again. You think birth control is “unnatural”. You view it as being separate from sex. That’s your personal subjective viewpoint. The female body has mechanisms in place to shut down ovulation during pregnancy. Birth control pills activate those mechanisms in the absence of a pregnancy. So we can argue all day as to whether those mechanisms are analogous to brakes, but it’s all a ridiculous diversion from the actual issue.

                  But the brakes are a prt of the system. Birth control isn’t.

                  That’s your opinion.

                  Don’t even try to say it is. Don’t do that to yourself.

                  Don’t talk to me with that tone, you arrogant asshole.

                • Emmet

                  Sex “is not designed to result in pregnancy”? Ludicrous!
                  Any given couple not intending the sexual act to reach its conclusion? That’s a different thing.

                  Saying that sex is not designed to result in pregnancy is like saying that a Lamborghini is not designed to drive fast if a person gets into it planning on only driving 30mph, or a cheeseburger is not designed to deliver fat to a person’s stomach if that person plans on going for a jog after eating it.

                  A person’s *intentions* don’t change the *design* of a man’s and woman’s bodies and reproductive systems.

                • fiona64

                  Once again, for the terminally stupid, consent to sexual intercourse is NOT consent to pregnancy.

                • Emmet

                  Why not? Assertions don’t equal argument. If it’s a stupid argument, argue against it.

                • fiona64

                  Consent is not on-going. If I consent to p-in-v sex (for example), that is all I am consenting to. I am not automatically consenting to p-in-a — or to pregnancy.

                • Emmet

                  But p-in-v sex is the way babies are made, and a baby will quite likely be made if the man and woman are both fertile at that point and if there’s no contraception involved.

                  If a man and a woman do what makes babies, isn’t there some form or level of consent to making a baby? If neither of them want a baby, isn’t it a bit irrational to do what makes babies, and makes babies very well often despite the best efforts of all involved?

                • Emmet

                  This doesn’t require “ongoing consent” – consent to intercourse is consent to doing what makes babies there and then. No ongoing needed.

                • Emmet

                  It’s certainly not *not consenting* because any woman with any knowledge of her biology knows that pregnancy might occur.

                • fiona64

                  You are conflating embryonic life with personhood, which is ridiculous. Persons are *born entities.*

                  And zygotes/embryos/fetii are not “innocent.” Nor are they guilty. They have no conscious, so they have no conscience. When you assign “innocence” to a fetus in order to elevate its rights above those of a born, sapient, sentient woman, you are thus assigning “guilt” to that woman. The only thing she appears to be “guilty” of is wanting to have non-procreative sex — which is her right.

                  I admit that I am making assumptions from your screen name, but it is very easy to be an anti-choice male. After all, it will never be *you* whose life and health are at risk from pregnancy (wanted or unwanted). Pregnancy is not a state of wellness.

                • Emmet

                  Again, all human beings are human persons. It’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise. A foetus is a human being, therefore it’s a human person.

                  Calling a baby innocent says nothing about the mother, or father or anyone else. I used that word because we define unlawful killing as the killing of an innocent person. Pro-abortionists seek to say a foetus is either not innocent or not human in order to justify the killing of it.

                  People keep going on about the risk to life from pregnancy. I have to go, but have a look at Ireland’s mortality rates and abortion rates. If maternity was so dangerous, a country where abortion was illegal would have high maternal death rates, wouldn’t it? The figures say otherwise.

                • fiona64

                  Again, all human beings are human persons. It’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise. A foetus is a human being, therefore it’s a human person.

                  No, it is a *potential* person. If it were an actual person, it would no longer be connected to a person via an umbilicus. It would be an individual, functioning organism. It could get a job and a cute flat in a nice part of town. It is none of those things.

                  People keep going on about the risk to life from pregnancy. I have to go, but have a look at Ireland’s mortality rates and abortion rates. If maternity was so dangerous, a country where abortion was illegal would
                  have high maternal death rates, wouldn’t it? The figures say otherwise.

                  Well, I suggest you look again, sugar-plum: The USA is #50 in the developed world for maternal mortality. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/maternal-mortality-rate-infographic_n_1827427.html. Do you know why the UK is #3 (behind Japan and Greece)? Universal health care. Has nothing to do with availability of abortion, or lack thereof, and everything to do with availability of pre-natal care. You’re basically trying to compare apples and hubcaps.

                  Of course, I’d tell you to ask Savita Halappanavar how well Ireland’s anti-choice laws help save women’s lives … but you can’t. She died thanks to those laws.

                  Oh, and Afghanistan, where abortion is illegal? Highest maternal mortality rate *in the world.*

                  You’re welcome.

                • Emmet

                  “No, it is a *potential* person. If it were an actual person, it would no longer be connected to a person via an umbilicus. It would be an individual, functioning organism. It could get a job and a cute flat in a nice part of town. It is none of those things.”

                  Potential person? So personhood is conferred exactly when? What proves that to you to your satisfaction?

                • allein

                  When you’re eligible for a birth certificate. If it’s a person from the moment of conception, how come the state doesn’t issue ID papers at that point? Personhood is a legal concept and you are not a legally recognized as a person until you are born.

                • Emmet

                  Yet if you are killed in the womb (say your mother is murdered and you die too) your death can be prosecuted. How can the death of a non-person be regarded as murder?

                • Stev84

                  Because religious extremists made it so. It shouldn’t be the case, but emotion and fanaticism prevailed.

                • fiona64

                  Those laws apply as special circumstances when an *actual person* (you know, the woman whom you want to erase from the picture in your rush to afford rights to the fetus at her expense?) is harmed.

                • fiona64

                  So personhood is conferred exactly when?

                  You know, I am pretty sure I said this already Personhood, and its attendant rights, accrue at birth.

                • Emmet

                  Why?

                • Emmet

                  I mean – what proves that to you to your satisfaction?

                • DKeane123

                  I always like Fiona64′s arguments

                • fiona64

                  You’re very kind, DKeane123.

                • Emmet

                  Neither is pregnancy a state of violation.

                • fiona64

                  It is if it’s not wanted.

                • Emmet

                  No. It’s the natural result of an act designed to produce babies. How can that be a violation?

                  (The act might be a violation, in the case of rape, but the pregnancy still is not a violation.)

                • fiona64

                  No. It’s the natural result of an act designed to produce babies.

                  If that were the case, women would be like most other mammals and only be receptive when in estrus.

                  I know this will come as a shock to you, but not everyone wants to reproduce. And those people? Can and do have sex.

                  I have a 27-year-old son, and a 20-year-old tubal ligation. Should that tubal ligation fail, you may rest assured that I would obtain an abortion so fast that your ignorant head would spin right off. My husband is in complete concurrence with this plan. We are not remaining celibate on the off-chance that my tubal would fail, and on the orders of some anti-choice nutter on the internet who thinks we should do just that if we’re through having children.

                • Emmet

                  Except that women are, y’know, not like most other mammals. They’re humans, “rational animals”, and do things differently to the way animals do things.

                  Might come as a bit of a shock to you, that.

                  Is the act of sexual intercourse during a woman’s fertile period any different to the act during her fertile time?

                  No. The act is what it is – and is designed to create babies. That’s why people use contraception or sterilisation – so they can have sex without making babies.

                  Nobody expects you to remain celibate. Hell, nobody expects you to do anything. There’s other ways to plan your pregnancies than tubal ligations though.

                  Do you seriously think your choices are sterilisation or celibacy? snark free here – I’m curious. I’m thinking you mis-spoke.

                • kaydenpat

                  If that’s how the Catholic Church sees it, then only Catholics should subject themselves to those beliefs. The problem is that the Catholic Church tries to push its beliefs on non-Catholics. Keep your Catholic beliefs to yourselves.

                • Emmet

                  Except that Catholic beliefs about things like abortion aren’t just “Catholic beliefs”. They’re beliefs about what is and what isn’t; about the world around us as it actually is, not how we’d like it to be; about what is good for society and what degrades society. Basic human beliefs, that humans have forgotten over the last few generations.

                • fiona64

                  I know this will come as a shock to you, sweetie, but most people do not want to live in a theocracy of *any* ilk.

                • Emmet

                  No shock. Who’d want to live in a theocracy? Not me.

                • Emmet

                  Sweetie. How old are you – are you, like, a grandma? Generally only grandmas call me sweetie. Other women seem to find it a bit odd to use that word. But y’know, murder’s OK in your book – I guess you don’t really care what people think about you.

                • fiona64

                  No, dear. I don’t care what *you* think of me. And I dare you to show me one post where I have advocated murder. Just one.

                  Or, you can admit that you’re lying.

                  Again.

                • Emmet

                  If abortion is the killing of innocent human beings as I say it is, then it’s murder, and you advocate for it.

                  If abortion is not the killing of innocent human beings, then it’s not murder, and I’ve done you an injustice.

                • fiona64

                  Then why do you keep calling out Catholic beliefs as if they should be law?

                • Emmet

                  Laws should be reasonable. Catholic beliefs are reasonable.

      • Emmet

        Lies.

        • islandbrewer

          Defensive, Emmet? You must be pro-rape.

          • Emmet

            What?

    • DougI

      I use Anti-choice. They could care less about the fetus because they oppose universal health care that provides for prenatal care, oppose environmental legislation that would protect the health of the fetus, and they love war which happens to kill fetuses.

      The main reason to call them anti-choice is because they advocate enslaving pregnant women (who they might as well just refer to as property), and don’t tolerate things such as birth control or sex education (things that prevent abortion).

      • LesterBallard

        (who they might as well just refer to as property), Well, their favorite book does.

      • Sk3ptec

        Your statement is unbelievably off. For one, you’re jumbling all of the religious world’s various beliefs into one big ball. To speak about this topic intelligently you can’t generalize like you are. And just because you are able to use incendiary language (like “advocate enslaving pregnant women”), doesn’t actually make it true.

        Secondly, I’ve never met anyone EVER who…
        - – Loves war
        - – Advocates for enslaving women
        - – wants to see the environment deteriorate

        And rarely ever anyone who has a problem with…
        - – Birth control (I know, there are some)
        - – Sex education

        The only thing you got right is the part about opposing universal health care. But even that isn’t because “it provides health care”. It’s because it is increased governmental infringement into our personal lives, which IS a bad thing.

        It’s always amazing to see comments from people who have never ever actually stopped to considered the other side of an argument. They truly believe there are no good opposing arguments. Amazing.

        • UWIR

          “And rarely ever anyone who has a problem with…- – Birth control (I know, there are some)
          - – Sex education”
          Are you living under a rock?

          • Sk3ptec

            You’re the one living under a rock. Isolating yourself within in inbred community that cannot think through an issue to save their life. If you were to spend 5 minutes trying to actually understand anything about an apposing viewpoint, I might consider taking you seriously. (Not likely to happen though)

        • Emmet

          Well said.I started composing a comment in response to his comment but gave up in disgust. You kind of nailed it.

        • Stev84

          So you’ve never met a Republican or a fundamentalist Christian (or any religious fundamentalist for that matter). Religious fanatics everywhere have a huge problem with sex education for example.

          • Sk3ptec

            The problem that people have… (and we all know this) is not “sex education”. The problem is that it’s highly skewed misinformation and dangerous ideology being passed off as formal sex education. I don’t know anybody that has a problem with truly educating about sex.

            • 3lemenope

              I don’t know anybody that has a problem with truly educating about sex.

              Where do you live? Is there room there for all of us?

            • fiona64

              ROFLMAO. ‘Highly skewed misinformation’ describes abstinence-only teaching perfectly. And a great many anti-choicers (not necessarily you personally, mind) support *only* that type of ‘education.’

        • DougI

          Clearly you don’t get out much. You really need to meet with some Antis. Did you miss the entire Republican episode where they were slut shaming women for using birth control, demanding it not be covered under health insurance plans, etc?

          I was an an anti-war rally and Operation Rescue showed up to protest the anti-war rally. Can’t get much more pro-war than that.

          Enslaving women. What do you call it when a woman is not allowed to have autonomy over her own body? It’s slavery, look into the subject.

          These are the positions of the Antis, I suggest you get a bit more educated on the subject before trying to lecture people on a subject you admittedly know little about.

          • Sk3ptec

            I do get out much. And I clearly have a more comprehensive view of this subject than you do. And further, simply regurgitating the worn-out talking points from 10:30pm sitcoms doesn’t persuade me to offer you credibility on the subject.

            • DougI

              Typical lying Anti. You’re all the same. Obviously you couldn’t refute anything I said so you aren’t only a typical dishonest Anti, but you’re a typical moronic Anti.

              Is having a small penis the reason you hate women so much?

              • Sk3ptec

                I’m not refuting it because it’s just crap. Sorry, but your original points were just “liberal typical”, narrow-minded, bigoted, intolerant crap. I outright deny it all as being false… nothing else to refute. Period.

                • DougI

                  Awww, is someone throwing a temper tantrum because they were made to look stupid. Baby need his bottle? Damn you Antis are so pathetic.

          • Sk3ptec

            By the way… if you provide more information about the anti-war rally you were talking about, I’ll definitely look into that. It is odd that Operation Rescue would take a pro-war stance. I don’t believe it (at face value). Give me a URL or something. Thanks.

        • DougI

          Checking out your profile I now know why you don’t know anything, you’re a fucking Anti. I shouldn’t expect much intelligent conversation from you.

          • Sk3ptec

            And yet intelligent conversation is all you’re getting from me. Ironically, it’s your comment that lacks any kind of substance whatsoever. Better rethink your position.

          • Sk3ptec

            It would be interesting to have someone like you repeat back to me my original comments (above) in your own words. I bet you couldn’t even do it without completely butchering the ideas. From my experience, people like you can’t even pull yourself out of the sand long enough to understand how another viewpoint could have any merit at all. You should consider taking a critical thinking class. It may help people take you seriously in the future.

            • DougI

              Typical Anti, full of shit. I’m familiar with the terrorist viewpoint having volunteered at an abortion clinic for a few years until one of you shot the doctor in the face in his church. I noticed you couldn’t address any of my responses to your whining. I never accused Antis of being intelligent, and looks like you aren’t an exceptional case.

        • kaydenpat

          So it’s okay for millions of poor people to go without health care insurance then?

          • Sk3ptec

            A single payer health system is going to improve the quality and availability of care? If you think that, you’re dreaming.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              The cost of health care in the US is roughly double what it is per capita for other industrialized nations. And for that we get outstanding care for the very rich and for ‘edge case’ conditions. We’re really good at keeping premature babies alive. We’re really good at cutting edge cancer research and treatment. We’re not so good at basic preventative care for everyone, which leaves us well back of the rest of the industrialized world on many health care measures.

              Whatever we’re doing now, it fucking sucks. People in Canada might have to wait a bit longer for their MRI, but at least everyone can get one, and they don’t have to wait until they’re sick enough that they can go to emergency room.

              • Sk3ptec

                I agree that what we’re doing now is horribly messed up. But the system we’re moving to is going to burn everything to the ground (even the politicians that wrote it admit it). We need a solution, not a takeover.

      • kaydenpat

        Or “pro-forced birth”

      • Miss_Beara

        Don’t forget cutting programs that would help low income families live.

    • fiona64

      I use anti-choice … that’s a more accurate assessment, IMO.

      • Emmet

        What choice? The choice to terminate the lives of innocent people? Are you not against that choice too?

        “Oh, I’m against slavery personally and would never have one – but I’ll argue for another person’s right to own slaves – we should be allowed to choose.”

        • allein

          And what is it when a woman is forced to carry and birth a child against her will?

          • Emmet

            Looking after the rights of the most defenceless in our society?

            Women have rights to their bodies, sure – but the rights of the baby in a pregnant’s woman’s womb trump her rights. To be blunt.

            Civilised societies generally look after their most defenceless citizens, even when that means greatly inconveniencing others. Uncivilised societies, going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket societies, f-ed up societies, well they vacuum the most defenceless members of their societies into little bits and then chuck them in the bin.

            To be blunt.

            • allein

              No, the rights of an embryo or fetus do not trump a woman’s right to control what happens to her own body.* (Nor is a fetus in the womb a citizen.) To be blunt.

              If you think pregnancy and childbirth are nothing more than an “inconvenience” then you should educate yourself a little more.

              *This is my opinion. You have your opinion. So how does a society decide which one should be the law?

              • Emmet

                No, in America, and in NZ where I live, they don’t, you’re right.

                But they should.

                A society decides based on reason, not piss-poor thinking like that which passed for debate here in NZ around the recent redefinition of marriage act and around the issue of abortion, to name two current issues.

                And my wife and I have kids. I don’t need educating about what pregnancy and childbirth involve.

                • fiona64

                  Since you weren’t the one pregnant, I’d say that you do. Pregnancy is *not* a state of wellness, even in relatively uncomplicated cases.

                • Emmet

                  What’s a “state of wellness”? Is life a state of wellness? When I have a short night’s sleep, am I lacking a state of wellness? When I stub my toe?

                  Things hurt and you get on with it. In this valley of tears we’re rarely in a complete state of wellness – if state of wellness means being free of all pain.

                • fiona64

                  Things hurt and you get on with it. In this valley of tears we’re rarely
                  in a complete state of wellness – if state of wellness means being free
                  of all pain.

                  What a simplistic view … and a convenient one, since you’re male and will never have to risk your life and limb for a pregnancy (wanted or unwanted). Look up hyperemesis gravidarum, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, gestational diabetes (which can become permanent), gestational carpal tunnel syndrome (which can become permanent), and anemia — just for starters. Those are the most frequent complications of pregnancy — and all of them put women’s lives at risk.

                • Emmet

                  You’re taking the argument down a wormhole.

                  “Risk life and limb” – sounds so dramatic.

                  Let’s crunch some numbers:

                  In 2010 New Zealand had a maternal mortality rate of 15/100000 live births. There were 63900 live births in NZ that year, giving a figure of 10 maternal deaths. This compares to figures from 2009: Deaths from cancer: 8437.

                  Deaths on the road: 420. Deaths from self-harm: 510. Deaths from diabetes: 869.

                  http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/mortality-and-demographic-data-2009

                  http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=nz&v=2223

                  So are women really “risking life and limb” in pregnancy to the extent you make out, or is that a teensy bit dramatic here in 2013?

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Is that so? Then you think that bodily autonomy is less important, in all cases, than life?

              I will be needing your address, blood type, and other hematological factors please. You can surely afford to donate a liver lobe (it’s only major abdominal surgery, followed by a few years of not being able to drink any alcohol or take Tylenol; a minor inconvenience, really), a kidney, some bone marrow, and/or a lung, right? There’s people out there right now dying for lack of your organs. And since their life is more important than your body, you have absolutely no objections to me just going into your life and hijacking your body for major alterations without asking you first, right?

              • Emmet

                But that is an invasive process, a violation. Pregnancy is not a violation. It’s a natural process, the result of two people engaging in what is designed, and designed exceedingly well, to make babies. If a baby is indeed made, then this is an entirely natural process.

                And entirely un-analogous to your example of invasive surgery.

                • Emmet

                  To put it another way: in your example, the right to life of those people who need my organs do not trump my right not to undergo surgery.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  What about giving blood? Should people be required to donate blood?

                • Emmet

                  No.

                • fiona64

                  Obviously, you have no comprehension whatsoever of how pregnancy works. It is *inherently* invasive to a woman’s body.

                • Emmet

                  Balls. In the same way surgery is? No, and that’s what I was getting at. It’s a natural process. Take the egg here, add sperm here and away you go. Completely different to lie down there, I’ll cut here, push that organ aside there, snip that membrane there, remove that organ there.

                  If you can’t see that pregnancy and surgery are not analogous in the context of this discussion…

                • Ella Warnock

                  Hmm, worse than surgery, actually. That’s over in a few hours. I’ll take that over nine months any day.

                • fiona64

                  Pregnancy is invasive by its very nature, Emmet. Sure, it’s not invasive to you; you don’t have a uterus. However, the embryo embeds itself into the uterine wall and begins leeching nutrients away from the pregnant woman’s body *immediately.* This causes pregnant women no end of problems. I, for example, had hyperemesis gravidarum — which, before you even bother saying so, is *far* from mere morning sickness. It is 24/7 for the duration of the pregnancy. I thought I was going to vomit up *organs.* I couldn’t keep *water* down, dude. Women *die* of this stuff.

                  If you think pregnancy is as simple as “Take the egg here, add sperm here and away you go,” suffice it to say that you are an ignoramus at worst and a complete and utter dumbfuck at best.

                • Emmet

                  I already told you – my wife and I have had kids. I don’t need to be lectured on the difficulties of pregnancy.

                  My point was not that it was easy (and you’re giving me grief about reading comprehension? I mean: how is the air up there, sweetie?) but that it was a natural process. Not invasive or “unnatural” in the sense that surgery is.

            • fiona64

              Women have rights to their bodies, sure – but the rights of the baby in a pregnant’s woman’s womb trump her rights.

              Bullshit.

              To be blunt.

              • Emmet

                The alternative is that the baby’s rights don’t trump the woman’s, so we kill the baby. That’s the alternative. You’re happy with that. That’s for you and your conscience to deal with.

                Thing is, it’s not just between you and your conscience. That sort of irrationality that leads to abortion affects society.

                • fiona64

                  The alternative is that the baby’s rights don’t trump the woman’s, so we kill the baby. That’s the alternative. You’re happy with that. That’s for you and your conscience to deal with.

                  An embyro (which is the state at which most abortions take place) is not a baby — but yes, I’m perfectly satisfied to have the born, sapient, sentient woman’s right to liberty trumping the non-existent rights of a fucking blob of marginally differentiated tissue.

                • Emmet

                  If it’s just a blob of tissue, sure.

                  But science would say that the product of conception is a marvel of life, not a “fucking blob of … tissue”. Have you seen pictures of conception and all the stages that follow it? Incredible. Blobs of tissue? Nah.

                  Is an embryo a human? I can forgo calling it a baby – I’m happy to call it an embryo. But call it what it is – a human embryo and as such a human person.

                  Still waiting for
                  a) what other, besides foetuses, embryoes etc, human beings are not human persons.
                  b) why an unborn human is not a person but a born one is.

                • Emmet

                  Your list of adjectives – if a woman is born but not sapient or sentient – say she has dementia, or is in a coma, does she, in your credo, have the same rights as a blob of tissue? Or does she have the rights any person does?

        • fiona64

          I really am astonished that one must explain something so obvious. I support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices: contraception use or non-use, gestation or termination, placement for adoption, or rearing with or without the partner of her choice.

          In other words, I don’t get to make reproductive decisions for *anyone but me.*

          You’re being ridiculous, with your straw man — and I”ll tell you why. The anti-choice have much more in common with slavers than the pro-choice. You want to take away a woman’s right to bodily autonomy by reducing her to a life support system to the contents of her uterus. In other words, enslaving her to her biology.

          • Emmet

            Enslaving her? Or asking her to look after the defenceless human in her womb while it’s in her womb, and then bring it up herself, with its father, or adopt it out to someone else to bring up?

            • fiona64

              Enslaving her. When you take away her options (let’s face it, you are not “asking”), you are taking away her liberty.

              Which makes her a slave.

              • Emmet

                No.

                Society says to her, “Carrying this baby to term will greatly inconvenience you – perhaps even harm you physically. But your rights as a human are enmeshed with your responsibilities, and for your own good, for the good of the unborn baby and for the good of society, you must carry this baby to term.”

                It’s not slavery, it’s reminding a person of who and what they are. It’s looking after the most defenceless members of society.

                Again, if a baby is not a human being, then what you’re saying is quite true.
                If a baby is a human being, then it cannot be killed in the womb because it’s mother can’t or won’t bring it to term.

                • fiona64

                  You are unbelievable.

                  Carrying this baby to term will greatly inconvenience you – perhaps even harm you physically. But your rights as a human are enmeshed with your responsibilities, and for your own good, for the good of the unborn baby and for the good of society, you must carry this baby to term.”

                  Let’s look at what you’re really saying here: “We know that this is dangerous, and you could actually die. And we’re going to make you do that, for your own good.”

                  This sounds like a parent getting ready to beat a child and telling said child that it’s “for your own good, and will hurt me more than it hurts you.”

                  In other words, you’re a patronizing jackhole.

                  And yes, it bloody well is slavery. You’re telling a woman that her right to personal liberty is trumped by a goddamned *embyro,* so she should be forced to remain pregnant against her will. There’s no other word for it, wee man.

                • Emmet

                  Listen, wee lassie.

                  You’re over-egging the “pregnancy is a killer” pudding. Read my links above. Your argument at the moment is not much more than “pregnancy might kill a woman, so kill the embryo first”. You can do better, I think.

                  “For your own good” refers to both physical and mental wellbeing.

                  Again, if an embryo is not a human being with the attendant human rights, get rid of it if it’s inconvenient. If it is a human being with human rights, then there can be *no* reason to kill it.

                  And, if you’re not aware, it’s sane, reasonable and morally permissible to give a pregnant woman medical attention even if an unintended side effect is the death of the foetus or embryo in her womb. So your “pregnancy equals danger times ten, man” argument is pretty much squished.

        • kaydenpat

          Fetuses are not “innocent people”.

          • Miss_Beara

            I don’t know why this is so difficult for anti choicers to understand. You know who are really innocent people? Children living in poverty through no fault of their own. Children who are living in gang ridden communities who get shot while watching TV.

            I never hear anti choicers talk about the real innocent people in this country.

          • Emmet

            Interesting. What’s your definition of “innocent” and “people” and “innocent people”?

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          You’ve already had it explained what’s wrong with the claim you just made. It was explained, clearly, to you, ON THIS PAGE.

          Why do you insist on lying? Is your faith not strong enough to handle what words actually mean?

          • Emmet

            Sorry, go back a bit. The way the comments stack I don’t know what you’re referring to. Remind me?

    • Miss_Beara

      I wouldn’t even use “pro-fetus” because many Republicans are cutting prenatal care for low income women.

  • Red Yates

    I don’t disagree with your point or the comments saying so, but I can’t help but be tickled at the irony of multiple comments saying “echo chamber.”

    • UWIR

      Echo chamber
      chamber
      chamber

      Echo chamber
      chamber
      chamber

  • eric

    Having comments on the article adds authority in search engines. Only comments that agree reinforces the articles points to the reader. This is a smart SEO move but horrible otherwise.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed.

    How is it that they have any Christian comments with that rule?

  • DougI

    These are Antis we’re talking about, all they ever do is lie. So if someone posts a fact on their website that’s clear grounds for banning.

  • Smiles

    Only 6 comments made the cut? Either no one cares, or they are HEAVILY filtering submissions…

  • Rain

    So I just have to ask: Why bother?

    I guess you didn’t see the “Donate” button. “Follow the money”, just like the fictional Hollywood movie that made up the “Follow the money” line says, lol.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    This one might actually say it specifically, but almost all of them do it. They know their beliefs won’t stand up to real criticism and examination so they delete any that go against them.

  • Pofarmer

    Makes it no different than most of the Catholic blogs on Patheos. “great article Father, so very insightful, really made me think”

    • Emmet

      If you say so. The ones I’m reading have a lot more than that. Have another look.

      • Pofarmer

        Oh, yes, there’s the “Our fallen natures are so horrible we doubly need the sacraments of the church” comments. Beleive me, most critical or questioning comments don’t get through.

    • Stev84

      The Catholic bloggers on Patheos are batshit insane to begin with.

      • Emmet

        Because it’s a good argument to describe those you disagree with as insane instead of engaging with their comments?

        • Pofarmer

          You cannot engage, they simply won’t allow the comments. The deacons bench has comments completely disabled, even though there have been things posted there that are completely false, nobody can correct or confront it.

          • Emmet

            Sure. So it’s his choice to take no comments either from people who agree with him or from those who don’t.
            Who cares?

            As for other blogs, they seem pretty open to me.

            • Pofarmer

              They would seem open if you agree.

              • Emmet

                Fair enough.

  • the_human_meshnnet

    you should install this chrome plugin found here: http://rbutr.com/ this offers an automatic comment thread capability to any content found online, and allows argument for or against the topic, to allow people to look at both sides of the argument and make informed decisions.

  • Sara Lin Wilde

    I’ve been blocked from that website no less than six times at this point.

  • Tainda

    The one that got me the most is “Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged”

    Glad Hemant doesn’t do that or I would be in trouble

    • allein

      Well, they don’t want to encourage people to have actual conversations or anything. Someone might get someone else to think, or – horror! – change their mind.

  • Michaela Samuels

    if you agree with us, comment!

    if you don’t agree with us, get out of here!

  • UWIR

    “I remove trolls to the best of my abilities.”
    You must have a rather narrow definition of “troll”, given that people like GCT and Feminerd are allowed to post here.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      The wider definition of “troll” being “anyone who disagrees with me”?

      • UWIR

        No, the wider definition including people who make unfounded accusations of racism and repeatedly lie.

        You either knew that, and dishonestly suggested otherwise, or you didn’t know, and instead of making a good faith inquiry, simply decided to make up a straw man. Either way, you are not showing yourself to be a civil participant in this discussion.

  • UWIR

    For some reason, Kenneth James Abbott’s avatar with a poster announcing “English, Motherfucker” got through.

  • fiona64

    That’s a fancy way of saying “Don’t comment here unless you already agree with us.”

    Yep, it is. I was banned for posting actual, verifiable facts that proved commenters incorrect. I am not exaggerating. I did not swear (although I can cuss like a stevedore with Tourette’s syndrome), I did not insult … I just stated that certain assertions were factually inaccurate, and backed up my statements with references.

    Apparently, the cognitive dissonance was just a little too much for that particular echo chamber.

    • Itarion

      But but but… facts are the only possible measure of what comprises reality. Without facts we’re left with an epistemological nightmare in which the only thing that we know is that we can’t possibly know anything.

      • fiona64

        You know that, and I know that. However, remember what psychology teaches us about cognitive dissonance: when confronted with facts that contradict a deeply-held belief, there are a subset of people who will deny those facts and further entrench themselves in their position. It’s a survival mechanism, IMO, adopted by low-information types who would rather be firmly wrong than seen as “wishy-washy” by having their minds changed with new information.

  • kaydenpat

    Blogs are not democracies or free speech zones so I’m not sure it matters how this particular Christian website moderates its comments. I assume they don’t want to promote ideas that go against their belief system. While I don’t agree with that decision, it’s no different than blogs/websites which ban people for making racist, sexist or homophobic comments — a policy with which I concur.

    • Itarion

      Technically, since blogs are public forums, they should fall under the First Amendment freedom of speech clause if they physical servers are within the United States borders, and similar laws in other countries.

      On a related note, here’s a funny thought: a branch of law enforcement called the Thought Police, which browses blogs to arrest and prosecute people who DON’T think, rather than the Orwellian Thought Police.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        No. Your right to speak does not require me to listen, or to host your speech. You have the right to start your own blog if you want, but no blog has to allow you to say whatever you want, or anything.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Now, if I have a business selling blogs on a server, I wouldn’t be able to refuse to sell you a blog based on one of the protected classes of any particular jurisdictional laws, such as the Civil Right Act.

        • Itarion

          this is true. it’s open, but privately owned so the owners can do what they want.

    • UWIR

      It may be no different from a legal perspective, but there is something seriously wrong with you if you see no difference morally between banning people merely for disagreeing with you, and banning people for bigotry.

  • yogi29073

    I believe in God, but I have a real problem with organized religion, and the ultra right fundamentalist Christean are off the rails. I believe in “live and let live”, and always enjoy a good debate that is reasonable. I have, at times, wondered if there was really a “God” out there, for the more we discover about our Universe, the more we understand that our small planet is just a speck of dust in this vast thing called “Space”.
    In a lot of the blogs and forums I visit and write in (WND (sic) TPM etc, I am a NYC liberal Jew living in SC?? How the flock did that happen?) I have this question about how “Gods wrath” is going to be lowered here in the US and it goes something like this:Our planet is the third from a medium size sun in a medium size Galaxy in a Universe of basically trillions of planets and Galaxies. God, in all His/Her wisdom, is going to actually pay attention to this planet, and specifically, to this particular patch of dirt on this planet because a few of us believe in “same sex marriage” and He/She is going to “kick our ass”??
    There is a lot to be said about being a Atheist, and the above argument helps with that view point. Me. Well, I am spiritual in nature and believe that something kicked off this whole “Universe” thing and is paying attention to us and a lot of other life filled planets, I guess that’s why spiritually, we define “It” as “God”.
    I respect all sorts of view points and love a good debate, I just can’t stand the dogmatic fools who scream “If you don’t believe in God/Jesus your going to Hell”. My question to them is: “Ever talk to someone who went to Hell??” Interesting question…I’m still waiting on an answer.

  • UWIR

    Apparently, this post was originally posted as http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/09/11/this-pro-life-christian-website-has-an-unusual-commenting-policy/ and now it’s http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/09/12/this-pro-life-christian-website-has-an-unusual-commenting-policy/ which is screwing up links (links from Disqus Dashboard aren’t working). This has happened with several posts. Something to look out for.

    • islandbrewer

      It seems to happen when a post reaches a large number of comments, which isn’t uncommon on some of FA’s posts. When I try to jump back through Disqus and get the ‘error 404′, I’m typically arguing with some troll, and take as one more reason to just drop the thing altogether.


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