The discovery of pro-life women

The Washington Post’s Lisa Miller discovered something that really seems to have surprised her, that the leaders of today’s pro-life movement are actually women, and young well-educated women at that.  She seems to have assumed that only men would be against abortion, that all women were surely on the pro-choice side of this “women’s issue.”   She gets her head around the issue:

Recent news stories about the new vitality of the antiabortion movement and its legislative achievements — more than a dozen states enacting record numbers of abortion restrictions this year — have glossed over one crucial fact. The most visible, entrepreneurial and passionate advocates for the rights of the unborn (as they would put it) are women. More to the point: They are youngish Christian working mothers with children at home.

There’s Dannenfelser. There’s her friend Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, who also has five children. There’s Penny Nance, chief executive of Concerned Women for America, with two. (“I feel like an underachiever compared to Marjorie,” she says.)

Shannon Royce, president of Chosen Families, and Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life, each have two. Lots of working women have children, of course. But these crusaders make their personal experience of motherhood part of their public lives. Sarah Palin drew attention to her strong antiabortion stance by gathering her children — including Trig, who has Down syndrome — around her on the stump. Now these leaders are taking the word “choice” away from the left. Their choice, they’re saying through example, is to have the children and work it out.

Abortion rights activists, take note. These women represent a major strategic shift in the abortion war, and not just because they are generally more likable than the old, white fathers of the antiabortion movement: Jerry Falwell, Henry Hyde, Jesse Helms and Pat Robertson, who in 1991 accused Planned Parenthood of “teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism — everything that the Bible condemns.” Their approach to working and mothering — “I’m just doing the best I can, like you” — also reverses decades of harsh judgments from such female leaders on the right as Beverly LaHaye and Phyllis Schlafly.

Most important, they are revising the terms of engagement. Antiabortion activists have traditionally focused their energies on the rights of the fetus. But on the question of women’s rights and women’s health, the old-school warriors have been more vulnerable. What is a poor woman with no support system and a bunch of kids at home to do in the event of an unwanted pregnancy? The old white men couldn’t give an answer. They came across not just as unsympathetic. They were uncomprehending. Simply put, they could not relate.

What these women offer is relatability. They converse frankly and easily about the travails of working mothers: Sometimes you’re full time, sometimes you’re part time; sometimes you’re on a deadline as kids squabble in the background. You ask husbands and mothers-in-law for help and you hire a babysitter when you have to. “I do all the things that every other mom does,” says Nance. “Soccer games and birthday parties and teacher meetings. I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s difficult.”

They are well-educated women. Dannenfelser received her undergraduate degree from Duke University; her first job out of college was in the Reagan White House. Yoest received a PhD from the University of Virginia. Religious faith undergirds their political convictions in all cases. Dannenfelser describes her conversion from the Episcopal Church to Roman Catholicism as being motivated in part by the Catholic emphasis on Mary and the “feminine genius” she represents. “The reality,” she says, “is that we are all called to serve each other.”

This is strong stuff, and it touches the abortion question at its most sensitive core: Most Americans see abortion as morally wrong, yet most also want it to be legal some of the time. And that’s because Americans see what these women’s lives don’t show — that there are imaginable occasions when a pregnancy is not, in fact, a blessing. And that we might serve the world equally well by supporting policies that care for the children who live here already.

via A feminine face for the antiabortion movement – The Washington Post.

HT:  Jackie

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Suzanne

    I think the last paragraph is the most telling. We need to not only support life, but support policies that help the kids that are already here. And I agree that most Americans aren’t thrilled with abortion, but want it to remain legal “just in case”.

  • Suzanne

    I think the last paragraph is the most telling. We need to not only support life, but support policies that help the kids that are already here. And I agree that most Americans aren’t thrilled with abortion, but want it to remain legal “just in case”.

  • Michael

    “They are well-educated women. Dannenfelser received her undergraduate degree from Duke University; her first job out of college was in the Reagan White House. Yoest received a PhD from the University of Virginia.”

    Do you suppose this is the rule or the exception? If I go into an institute of higher learning and survery all the females on abortion, what do you think the typical response will be?

  • Michael

    “They are well-educated women. Dannenfelser received her undergraduate degree from Duke University; her first job out of college was in the Reagan White House. Yoest received a PhD from the University of Virginia.”

    Do you suppose this is the rule or the exception? If I go into an institute of higher learning and survery all the females on abortion, what do you think the typical response will be?

  • Booklover

    Sigh. The pro-life cause has always been teeming with women. If Falwell, Hyde, Helms, and Robertson were “fathers of the antiabortion movement,” it is because the media declared them so. No Right to Life organization of which I am aware elected them as representatives.

    I was the director of media relations for our city’s Right to Life chapter. I know from experience that the media reported what and from whom they wanted to report. I would interview at length with a given reporter, then they would quote a man, who more fit their image of what they wanted the public to read.

    After years of making my house and my four young sons ready for a reporter’s visit, I gave it up because they would print only what they wanted the public to hear anyway. More power to these women who can raise a family and also deal with the media.

    Having said all that, it is not a male or female issue; it is an issue of the right to life for all babies, male or female, “planned” or unplanned, “wanted” or unwanted. All of God’s creations.

  • Booklover

    Sigh. The pro-life cause has always been teeming with women. If Falwell, Hyde, Helms, and Robertson were “fathers of the antiabortion movement,” it is because the media declared them so. No Right to Life organization of which I am aware elected them as representatives.

    I was the director of media relations for our city’s Right to Life chapter. I know from experience that the media reported what and from whom they wanted to report. I would interview at length with a given reporter, then they would quote a man, who more fit their image of what they wanted the public to read.

    After years of making my house and my four young sons ready for a reporter’s visit, I gave it up because they would print only what they wanted the public to hear anyway. More power to these women who can raise a family and also deal with the media.

    Having said all that, it is not a male or female issue; it is an issue of the right to life for all babies, male or female, “planned” or unplanned, “wanted” or unwanted. All of God’s creations.

  • steve

    Michael, #2, the point is not what percentage of university-educated females are pro-life but what percentage of the pro-life movement, specifically the leaders of the movement, are female. This is the important question since, as we are told, the pro-life movement is about keeping women in their place.

  • steve

    Michael, #2, the point is not what percentage of university-educated females are pro-life but what percentage of the pro-life movement, specifically the leaders of the movement, are female. This is the important question since, as we are told, the pro-life movement is about keeping women in their place.

  • Michael

    @steve@4
    “we are told, the pro-life movement is about keeping women in their place.”

    ~~~~~~

    Rather than say “keeping a woman in her place”, it would be more precise to say that it’s about promoting a traditional role for women, where the woman’s primary focus is at home and with her children.

  • Michael

    @steve@4
    “we are told, the pro-life movement is about keeping women in their place.”

    ~~~~~~

    Rather than say “keeping a woman in her place”, it would be more precise to say that it’s about promoting a traditional role for women, where the woman’s primary focus is at home and with her children.

  • Holly

    Actually, from my perspective (as a well-educated woman, though without kids and none foreseeable in the near future), I’d say the pro-life movement is about protecting human life, no matter its stage of development. My albeit limited experiences with pro-life groups have always emphasized this idea of valuing and protecting human life, not “promoting a traditional role for women.” I’m sure there is some overlap between people who want to promote traditional motherhood and people who are pro-life, but that doesn’t mean that the pro-life movement’s goals are really about the role of women and not the protection of life. I think this mischaracterization arises because pro-choicers like to emphasize empowering women and freeing them from the reproductive aspects of sex rather than emphasizing the fact that abortion requires the death of a human being (for obvious reasons); therefore they assume that pro-lifers must be primarily against this idea of empowering women, when really they are against the whole killing someone part. I’m sure pro-choicers would find it equally aggravating if their views were constantly promoted as being primarily about wanting to kill unborn children. That’s how I feel about my views being characterized as primarily promoting traditional roles for women – it’s annoying, deceptive, and in bad faith.

  • Holly

    Actually, from my perspective (as a well-educated woman, though without kids and none foreseeable in the near future), I’d say the pro-life movement is about protecting human life, no matter its stage of development. My albeit limited experiences with pro-life groups have always emphasized this idea of valuing and protecting human life, not “promoting a traditional role for women.” I’m sure there is some overlap between people who want to promote traditional motherhood and people who are pro-life, but that doesn’t mean that the pro-life movement’s goals are really about the role of women and not the protection of life. I think this mischaracterization arises because pro-choicers like to emphasize empowering women and freeing them from the reproductive aspects of sex rather than emphasizing the fact that abortion requires the death of a human being (for obvious reasons); therefore they assume that pro-lifers must be primarily against this idea of empowering women, when really they are against the whole killing someone part. I’m sure pro-choicers would find it equally aggravating if their views were constantly promoted as being primarily about wanting to kill unborn children. That’s how I feel about my views being characterized as primarily promoting traditional roles for women – it’s annoying, deceptive, and in bad faith.

  • DonS

    Phyllis Schlafly was certainly a prominent early pro-life woman, and there were others as well. However, I see the writer’s point that a much higher percentage of young adults, particularly women, are pro-life today than were in the ’70′s. We have 40 years of experience, seeing the effects on women of killing their babies, often for convenience, and even more often at the demand of the father. Abortion-on-demand was a false freedom for women — in actuality it was a way for men to duck the consequences of their irresponsibility. The women pressured to have the abortions had to live with the emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences.

    Young, articulate, pro-life advocates like Lila Rose of Live Action cannot help but cause other women to reconsider (or consider for the first time) their views on this controversial issue.

  • DonS

    Phyllis Schlafly was certainly a prominent early pro-life woman, and there were others as well. However, I see the writer’s point that a much higher percentage of young adults, particularly women, are pro-life today than were in the ’70′s. We have 40 years of experience, seeing the effects on women of killing their babies, often for convenience, and even more often at the demand of the father. Abortion-on-demand was a false freedom for women — in actuality it was a way for men to duck the consequences of their irresponsibility. The women pressured to have the abortions had to live with the emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences.

    Young, articulate, pro-life advocates like Lila Rose of Live Action cannot help but cause other women to reconsider (or consider for the first time) their views on this controversial issue.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “We have 40 years of experience, seeing the effects on women of killing their babies,”

    We have 40 years of selection.

    That is many of the people who would be pro abortion were never born because they were aborted. Those disposed toward family life were born as a higher proportion.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “We have 40 years of experience, seeing the effects on women of killing their babies,”

    We have 40 years of selection.

    That is many of the people who would be pro abortion were never born because they were aborted. Those disposed toward family life were born as a higher proportion.

  • Stephanie

    Do you suppose this is the rule or the exception? If I go into an institute of higher learning and survery all the females on abortion, what do you think the typical response will be?

    Well, in 1996 when I took an Ethics and Public Policy class in (secular) college our discussion section fell roughly 30% ‘never ok unless mother’s life in danger,’ 30% ‘only in rape/incest cases,’ 30% ‘any reason for first trimester’ and maybe 10% ‘any time for any reason.’ That was after reading Peter Singer and Mary Anne Warren and portions of the Roe decision and I don’t remember whose work we read on the pro-life side. Pro-life, college-educated women are not that rare. On the other hand, while we had these discussions in class and in section, I don’t think many of us proclaimed our views in the hallways. College is an intimidating place to be pro-life.

  • Stephanie

    Do you suppose this is the rule or the exception? If I go into an institute of higher learning and survery all the females on abortion, what do you think the typical response will be?

    Well, in 1996 when I took an Ethics and Public Policy class in (secular) college our discussion section fell roughly 30% ‘never ok unless mother’s life in danger,’ 30% ‘only in rape/incest cases,’ 30% ‘any reason for first trimester’ and maybe 10% ‘any time for any reason.’ That was after reading Peter Singer and Mary Anne Warren and portions of the Roe decision and I don’t remember whose work we read on the pro-life side. Pro-life, college-educated women are not that rare. On the other hand, while we had these discussions in class and in section, I don’t think many of us proclaimed our views in the hallways. College is an intimidating place to be pro-life.

  • Grace

    Michael @ 2

    “Do you suppose this is the rule or the exception? If I go into an institute of higher learning and survery all the females on abortion, what do you think the typical response will be?”

    I believe the answer most would give would be, pro-abortion.

    The statement made above by: – - The Washington Post’s Lisa Miller

    “The most visible, entrepreneurial and passionate advocates for the rights of the unborn (as they would put it) are women. More to the point: They are youngish Christian working mothers with children at home.”

    I’m sure this is true, … but let’s not turn a blind eye to the majority of women who are not Christians, with children, who work.

    Let’s not fool ourselves about the abortion issue – Those who are Christian women fighting against abortion are just as active as well educated.

    Education doesn’t really have anything to do with Christian values – it’s a moral issue, it’s about honoring God. Some of the ‘uneducated men and women, are more prone to God’s plan then those who fancy themseleves as the elite and educated.

    The fight for life is not over, by any stretch.

  • Grace

    Michael @ 2

    “Do you suppose this is the rule or the exception? If I go into an institute of higher learning and survery all the females on abortion, what do you think the typical response will be?”

    I believe the answer most would give would be, pro-abortion.

    The statement made above by: – - The Washington Post’s Lisa Miller

    “The most visible, entrepreneurial and passionate advocates for the rights of the unborn (as they would put it) are women. More to the point: They are youngish Christian working mothers with children at home.”

    I’m sure this is true, … but let’s not turn a blind eye to the majority of women who are not Christians, with children, who work.

    Let’s not fool ourselves about the abortion issue – Those who are Christian women fighting against abortion are just as active as well educated.

    Education doesn’t really have anything to do with Christian values – it’s a moral issue, it’s about honoring God. Some of the ‘uneducated men and women, are more prone to God’s plan then those who fancy themseleves as the elite and educated.

    The fight for life is not over, by any stretch.

  • mendicus

    40 years of experience — yes.
    40 years of selection — yes.

    Also 40 years of scientific advancement and educating of the public. Twenty-five years ago it was a given in many circles that a fetus was just a non-descript mass of cells. Now that argument is so thoroughly disproven, one rarely encounters it.

  • mendicus

    40 years of experience — yes.
    40 years of selection — yes.

    Also 40 years of scientific advancement and educating of the public. Twenty-five years ago it was a given in many circles that a fetus was just a non-descript mass of cells. Now that argument is so thoroughly disproven, one rarely encounters it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@2) asked:

    If I go into an institute of higher learning and survery all the females on abortion, what do you think the typical response will be?

    Given the way it’s phrased, I assume I’m supposed to conclude that there’s no need to actually perform this experiment, that merely posing the question has already answered it. I’d suggest otherwise. Michael, why don’t you actually go to an institute of higher learning and try polling as random a sample as you can achieve? Of course, how you phrase the question makes all the difference.

    I suggest this not so much because I would be surprised if such a poll leaned towards legal abortion, but because I suspect that, regardless of the numbers, you would be surprised by how many college-educated women oppose the abortion status quo.

    In the past couple of days on this site, most of what I’ve heard from you is a ridiculous caricature of what a pro-life person is supposed to think and be like. I really don’t think you know too many in your life. Or if you do, you’ve never talked with them. Or at the very least, never listened to them.

    Myself, I live in Portland, a rather liberal city, and nearly all my close friends are pro-choice. Interestingly, all of the (again, pro-choice) women in that group have chosen to be stay-at-home moms rather than pursue careers. Meanwhile, my wife — who has two more masters degrees than I do — works.

    All of which is just one anecdotal reason why I find your pat descriptions of pro-lifers to be ridiculously simplistic.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@2) asked:

    If I go into an institute of higher learning and survery all the females on abortion, what do you think the typical response will be?

    Given the way it’s phrased, I assume I’m supposed to conclude that there’s no need to actually perform this experiment, that merely posing the question has already answered it. I’d suggest otherwise. Michael, why don’t you actually go to an institute of higher learning and try polling as random a sample as you can achieve? Of course, how you phrase the question makes all the difference.

    I suggest this not so much because I would be surprised if such a poll leaned towards legal abortion, but because I suspect that, regardless of the numbers, you would be surprised by how many college-educated women oppose the abortion status quo.

    In the past couple of days on this site, most of what I’ve heard from you is a ridiculous caricature of what a pro-life person is supposed to think and be like. I really don’t think you know too many in your life. Or if you do, you’ve never talked with them. Or at the very least, never listened to them.

    Myself, I live in Portland, a rather liberal city, and nearly all my close friends are pro-choice. Interestingly, all of the (again, pro-choice) women in that group have chosen to be stay-at-home moms rather than pursue careers. Meanwhile, my wife — who has two more masters degrees than I do — works.

    All of which is just one anecdotal reason why I find your pat descriptions of pro-lifers to be ridiculously simplistic.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@8) said:

    Many of the people who would be pro abortion were never born because they were aborted. Those disposed toward family life were born as a higher proportion.

    I very much disagree with your tendency to see nearly everything through the lens of genetics, SG, but this particular claim seems all the more ill-founded.

    What could you possibly point to in order to substantiate your claim that views on abortion are genetically determined? What makes you think that “pro-abortion” people don’t have children? How does your genetic hypothesis explain the rise and popularization of legalized abortion in the first place?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@8) said:

    Many of the people who would be pro abortion were never born because they were aborted. Those disposed toward family life were born as a higher proportion.

    I very much disagree with your tendency to see nearly everything through the lens of genetics, SG, but this particular claim seems all the more ill-founded.

    What could you possibly point to in order to substantiate your claim that views on abortion are genetically determined? What makes you think that “pro-abortion” people don’t have children? How does your genetic hypothesis explain the rise and popularization of legalized abortion in the first place?

  • mendicus

    tODD@13 — Perhaps sg meant his comment strictly genetically, but it has wider applicability as a matter of nurture. I’ve read somewhere (I no longer have the source) that pro-choice people tend to have fewer children than pro-lifers. If that’s true, then more children are being raised in pro-life households, which contributes to the changed demographics we’re seeing. Not dissimilar from the growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

  • mendicus

    tODD@13 — Perhaps sg meant his comment strictly genetically, but it has wider applicability as a matter of nurture. I’ve read somewhere (I no longer have the source) that pro-choice people tend to have fewer children than pro-lifers. If that’s true, then more children are being raised in pro-life households, which contributes to the changed demographics we’re seeing. Not dissimilar from the growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire.

  • Grace

    mendicus @ 14

    “I’ve read somewhere (I no longer have the source) that pro-choice people tend to have fewer children than pro-lifers. If that’s true, then more children are being raised in pro-life households, which contributes to the changed demographics we’re seeing. Not dissimilar from the growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire.”

    Why don’t you see if you can find that piece of information.

  • Grace

    mendicus @ 14

    “I’ve read somewhere (I no longer have the source) that pro-choice people tend to have fewer children than pro-lifers. If that’s true, then more children are being raised in pro-life households, which contributes to the changed demographics we’re seeing. Not dissimilar from the growth of Christianity in the Roman Empire.”

    Why don’t you see if you can find that piece of information.

  • Michael

    @steve@4
    I gave some more thought to what you said, and I have to admit it’s somewhat unsettling to see any woman who isn’t pro-choice. It’s true that it’s a certain type of woman who is generally very pro-life. She is almost always very religious, not too well-educated, and believes traditional roles for women are ideal. My first cousin is very pro-life, and she actually had a baby when she got pregnant in high school. The guy dumped her within 2 years and she now works a dead-end job. Her best friend also got pregnant in high school, but she got an abortion, moved on, went to college, and is today married with a couple of kids. I can totally understand how my cousin can be resentful of her pro-choice friend. Here my cousin is at home taking care of a kid, which she’s expected to do for free. She’s working a menial job, no appreciation, while somebody else is off at college and living the life she wants. I think this resentment theme is more common than people care to admit. One reads about how some of the first black men going to college found some resentment among their peers and elders who were a little put off at their newly found privileges.

    @sg@8
    There’s so many holes in this argument. First, you don’t need to be “family-oriented” to have a bunch of kids. Think of how many kids are born in our nation’s poorer areas without a father around. Second, you don’t need to have an abortion to have fewer kids. Abstinence works just as well.

    @stephanie@9
    The question being debating is whether or not abortion is “okay”, but rather whether it should be legal. There’s a lot of people who will say abortion is wrong but want the decision to be left up to the woman.

    @Todd@12
    It’s interesting most of your friends are pro-choice. I also have no problem if a woman wants to be a stay-at-home mother or embrace an otherwise traditional role of motherhood. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. Stay at home mothers are great. I just don’t want to see motherhood choices legislated.

  • Michael

    @steve@4
    I gave some more thought to what you said, and I have to admit it’s somewhat unsettling to see any woman who isn’t pro-choice. It’s true that it’s a certain type of woman who is generally very pro-life. She is almost always very religious, not too well-educated, and believes traditional roles for women are ideal. My first cousin is very pro-life, and she actually had a baby when she got pregnant in high school. The guy dumped her within 2 years and she now works a dead-end job. Her best friend also got pregnant in high school, but she got an abortion, moved on, went to college, and is today married with a couple of kids. I can totally understand how my cousin can be resentful of her pro-choice friend. Here my cousin is at home taking care of a kid, which she’s expected to do for free. She’s working a menial job, no appreciation, while somebody else is off at college and living the life she wants. I think this resentment theme is more common than people care to admit. One reads about how some of the first black men going to college found some resentment among their peers and elders who were a little put off at their newly found privileges.

    @sg@8
    There’s so many holes in this argument. First, you don’t need to be “family-oriented” to have a bunch of kids. Think of how many kids are born in our nation’s poorer areas without a father around. Second, you don’t need to have an abortion to have fewer kids. Abstinence works just as well.

    @stephanie@9
    The question being debating is whether or not abortion is “okay”, but rather whether it should be legal. There’s a lot of people who will say abortion is wrong but want the decision to be left up to the woman.

    @Todd@12
    It’s interesting most of your friends are pro-choice. I also have no problem if a woman wants to be a stay-at-home mother or embrace an otherwise traditional role of motherhood. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. Stay at home mothers are great. I just don’t want to see motherhood choices legislated.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael, yesterday, in the discussion on “Personhood amendments”, you made the statement that:

    I don’t really think the pro-life movement is about the fetus so much as it is about the role of women. In the pro-life movement, abortion is used as a facade to discuss the role of women.

    From everything I’ve read from you over the past couple of days, it would seem that you were projecting when you wrote that.

    That is to say, you’ve shown, that I’ve seen, roughly zero interest in discussing the notion that, in an abortion, a human being is killed. I don’t know if you simply don’t understand this fact, or if you just don’t have an intelligent reply for it.

    Meanwhile, you’ve spent not a little time discussing the role of women — mainly, by painting the pro-life people here and elsewhere with a ridiculously broad brush and telling us/them what we all really believe.

    You see, it’s you that is making these discussions all about the role of women. If I were in your position, I would also be doing anything I could to avoid talking about the human that is killed in an abortion.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael, yesterday, in the discussion on “Personhood amendments”, you made the statement that:

    I don’t really think the pro-life movement is about the fetus so much as it is about the role of women. In the pro-life movement, abortion is used as a facade to discuss the role of women.

    From everything I’ve read from you over the past couple of days, it would seem that you were projecting when you wrote that.

    That is to say, you’ve shown, that I’ve seen, roughly zero interest in discussing the notion that, in an abortion, a human being is killed. I don’t know if you simply don’t understand this fact, or if you just don’t have an intelligent reply for it.

    Meanwhile, you’ve spent not a little time discussing the role of women — mainly, by painting the pro-life people here and elsewhere with a ridiculously broad brush and telling us/them what we all really believe.

    You see, it’s you that is making these discussions all about the role of women. If I were in your position, I would also be doing anything I could to avoid talking about the human that is killed in an abortion.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I very much disagree with your tendency to see nearly everything through the lens of genetics,

    I just think it is part of the picture which is often completely overlooked.

    It’s not my idea.
    http://www.gnxp.com/wp/2011/10/01/does-brain-plasticity-trump-innateness/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I very much disagree with your tendency to see nearly everything through the lens of genetics,

    I just think it is part of the picture which is often completely overlooked.

    It’s not my idea.
    http://www.gnxp.com/wp/2011/10/01/does-brain-plasticity-trump-innateness/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There’s so many holes in this argument.”

    No, there aren’t. Do you know the difference between necessary and sufficient?

    “First, you don’t need to be “family-oriented” to have a bunch of kids.”

    Yes, of course, that is true for individuals, but it is not true in the aggregate especially when people have access to birth control and abortion. Women who have ever had an abortion have fewer children on average than women who have never had an abortion.

    “Think of how many kids are born in our nation’s poorer areas without a father around.”

    Finding one or a million exceptions does not negate the overall average.

    “Second, you don’t need to have an abortion to have fewer kids. Abstinence works just as well.”

    Yes, of course. That is part of the reason that black illegitimacy was lower before birth control was available than white illegitimacy is now. People can actually control themselves. Even really poor people can do it.

    But again, that doesn’t change what the trends actually are.

    Let me repeat. It doesn’t matter how many outliers you can cite. It doesn’t change the average.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “There’s so many holes in this argument.”

    No, there aren’t. Do you know the difference between necessary and sufficient?

    “First, you don’t need to be “family-oriented” to have a bunch of kids.”

    Yes, of course, that is true for individuals, but it is not true in the aggregate especially when people have access to birth control and abortion. Women who have ever had an abortion have fewer children on average than women who have never had an abortion.

    “Think of how many kids are born in our nation’s poorer areas without a father around.”

    Finding one or a million exceptions does not negate the overall average.

    “Second, you don’t need to have an abortion to have fewer kids. Abstinence works just as well.”

    Yes, of course. That is part of the reason that black illegitimacy was lower before birth control was available than white illegitimacy is now. People can actually control themselves. Even really poor people can do it.

    But again, that doesn’t change what the trends actually are.

    Let me repeat. It doesn’t matter how many outliers you can cite. It doesn’t change the average.

  • anonymous

    @tODD on comment number 16 writes:
    “That is to say, you’ve shown, that I’ve seen, roughly zero interest in discussing the notion that, in an abortion, a human being is killed. ”

    I respond:
    Anti-abortion advocates bring the issue of personhood in bad faith. It’d be different if they only discussed late-term abortions. But anti-abortion advocates actually state the zygote is a person. This is not only nonsense, but it’s lying about their true beliefs. I doubt there is a single person alive who really believes the zygote is a person, and that includes you. Imagine if a lab were burning down, and you could either save 1 toddler, or a canister of 1000 frozen zygotes, but not both. You would save the toddler. Why? Because the toddler is a person. So you haven’t even convinced yourself that even 1000 zygotes are as valuable as 1 person. When you have an argument that will convince yourself that each of those zygotes is as valuable as the toddler, maybe you’ll be able to convince somebody else.

  • anonymous

    @tODD on comment number 16 writes:
    “That is to say, you’ve shown, that I’ve seen, roughly zero interest in discussing the notion that, in an abortion, a human being is killed. ”

    I respond:
    Anti-abortion advocates bring the issue of personhood in bad faith. It’d be different if they only discussed late-term abortions. But anti-abortion advocates actually state the zygote is a person. This is not only nonsense, but it’s lying about their true beliefs. I doubt there is a single person alive who really believes the zygote is a person, and that includes you. Imagine if a lab were burning down, and you could either save 1 toddler, or a canister of 1000 frozen zygotes, but not both. You would save the toddler. Why? Because the toddler is a person. So you haven’t even convinced yourself that even 1000 zygotes are as valuable as 1 person. When you have an argument that will convince yourself that each of those zygotes is as valuable as the toddler, maybe you’ll be able to convince somebody else.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @ Michael I would love to see you call my wife who studied to be a software engineer and now is staying home by choice to raise three kids, undereducated doing menial work.
    Your statements are so poorly informed and unrealistic I am not even sure you are worth responding to.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @ Michael I would love to see you call my wife who studied to be a software engineer and now is staying home by choice to raise three kids, undereducated doing menial work.
    Your statements are so poorly informed and unrealistic I am not even sure you are worth responding to.

  • trotk

    anonymous, that is a foolish analogy, and your idea that you know what we think or believe is ridiculous. We actually do believe that a zygote is a person. Logically, there is nothing else that it can be. It certainly isn’t a member of another species. It certainly isn’t an inanimate object. Being at a different developmental stage doesn’t make it any less human, and therefore, any less a person. Pro-lifers really do believe this.

    What makes an embryo a person is not some debatable developmental line. The existence of the embryo is the existence of the person. This is one of the reasons why lots of pro-life advocates also reject birth control – it is designed to destroy the zygote if it fails to stop the fertilization.

    I don’t know what is dumber – the fact that you believe that it is nonsense that the zygote is a person or the fact that you think you know what we believe.

  • trotk

    anonymous, that is a foolish analogy, and your idea that you know what we think or believe is ridiculous. We actually do believe that a zygote is a person. Logically, there is nothing else that it can be. It certainly isn’t a member of another species. It certainly isn’t an inanimate object. Being at a different developmental stage doesn’t make it any less human, and therefore, any less a person. Pro-lifers really do believe this.

    What makes an embryo a person is not some debatable developmental line. The existence of the embryo is the existence of the person. This is one of the reasons why lots of pro-life advocates also reject birth control – it is designed to destroy the zygote if it fails to stop the fertilization.

    I don’t know what is dumber – the fact that you believe that it is nonsense that the zygote is a person or the fact that you think you know what we believe.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@20), while you were busy changing your handle to “anonymous”, you also appear to have gained psychic skills, being able to read the minds of everyone else here.

    It’s amazing how many of your “arguments” are nothing but hypothetical situations that you toss at us while having already determined what the answer is. Is this an example of the superior rhetoric I’m supposed to expect from intelligent, college-educated pro-choicers? Is it upsetting you that I’m even trying to respond? Should I just be quiet and allow you to tell me what I believe — indeed, what we all believe?

    Anyhow, ah yes, it’s the “1000 frozen zygotes” gotcha question. You’re obviously aware that you didn’t come up with that yourself. But what’s so curious about this particular tactic is how it attempts to define personhood on the basis of emotions. No rational, subjective standard to be found in it — just a “how do you feel”. Which, of course, makes me think that this is the entire basis for what you believe constitutes personhood: a general consensus based on emotion.

    Let’s take that question back to the Civil War era, shall we? “Imagine that a barn is burning down,” we ask the average white Southerner, “and you could either save one White person, or an entire cargo-hold-full of Negroes.” What do you think they would reply? And would their answer actually give us any information on whether the black people are fully human or not?

    I do not believe that our laws should be based on emotional responses, or else they would favor the cute, the friendly, those in a position to do me good, and so on, while denying rights to the ugly, the disfigured, the rude, the bad-smelling, and so on. Toddlers are, of course, largely cute. Zygotes are not. Toddlers also have a much greater chance of developing into adults than do any particular zygote.

    But none of that tells us whether they are people or not, humans or not. Nor does it explain where you got your fabulous psychic abilities, anonymous/Michael.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@20), while you were busy changing your handle to “anonymous”, you also appear to have gained psychic skills, being able to read the minds of everyone else here.

    It’s amazing how many of your “arguments” are nothing but hypothetical situations that you toss at us while having already determined what the answer is. Is this an example of the superior rhetoric I’m supposed to expect from intelligent, college-educated pro-choicers? Is it upsetting you that I’m even trying to respond? Should I just be quiet and allow you to tell me what I believe — indeed, what we all believe?

    Anyhow, ah yes, it’s the “1000 frozen zygotes” gotcha question. You’re obviously aware that you didn’t come up with that yourself. But what’s so curious about this particular tactic is how it attempts to define personhood on the basis of emotions. No rational, subjective standard to be found in it — just a “how do you feel”. Which, of course, makes me think that this is the entire basis for what you believe constitutes personhood: a general consensus based on emotion.

    Let’s take that question back to the Civil War era, shall we? “Imagine that a barn is burning down,” we ask the average white Southerner, “and you could either save one White person, or an entire cargo-hold-full of Negroes.” What do you think they would reply? And would their answer actually give us any information on whether the black people are fully human or not?

    I do not believe that our laws should be based on emotional responses, or else they would favor the cute, the friendly, those in a position to do me good, and so on, while denying rights to the ugly, the disfigured, the rude, the bad-smelling, and so on. Toddlers are, of course, largely cute. Zygotes are not. Toddlers also have a much greater chance of developing into adults than do any particular zygote.

    But none of that tells us whether they are people or not, humans or not. Nor does it explain where you got your fabulous psychic abilities, anonymous/Michael.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Anti-abortion advocates bring the issue of personhood in bad faith.”

    To what end? What could they possibly gain by it?

    I mean when a guy is pro contraception, pro abortion, pro hookup, and laughs at abstinence, we can see what he has to gain from such an orientation.

    But what do pro lifers have to gain from a personhood law? They won’t be scoring any fun for their efforts. What am I missing?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Anti-abortion advocates bring the issue of personhood in bad faith.”

    To what end? What could they possibly gain by it?

    I mean when a guy is pro contraception, pro abortion, pro hookup, and laughs at abstinence, we can see what he has to gain from such an orientation.

    But what do pro lifers have to gain from a personhood law? They won’t be scoring any fun for their efforts. What am I missing?

  • anonymous

    tODD says:
    “Let’s take that question back to the Civil War era, shall we? “Imagine that a barn is burning down,” we ask the average white Southerner, “and you could either save one White person, or an entire cargo-hold-full of Negroes.” What do you think they would reply? And would their answer actually give us any information on whether the black people are fully human or not?”

    I respond:
    It doesn’t prove anything about black people, but if the white Southerner answers he would let hundreds of blacks die to save the one white person, it shows he BELIEVES that blacks aren’t really persons, and rather as some racists used to say “talking animals”. Similarly, because you don’t believe a zygote is a person, you’d let 1000 of them die to save 1 toddler.

    trotk says:
    “a zygote is a person. Logically, there is nothing else that it can be. It certainly isn’t a member of another species. It certainly isn’t an inanimate object. Being at a different developmental stage doesn’t make it any less human, and therefore, any less a person”

    I respond:
    And yet none of these arguments is enough to convince you to save the zygotes. You’d pick 1 toddler over 1000 zygotes. Your arguments haven’t convinced you that even 1000 zygotes are equal to a toddler. Why do you think they’ll convince me?

  • anonymous

    tODD says:
    “Let’s take that question back to the Civil War era, shall we? “Imagine that a barn is burning down,” we ask the average white Southerner, “and you could either save one White person, or an entire cargo-hold-full of Negroes.” What do you think they would reply? And would their answer actually give us any information on whether the black people are fully human or not?”

    I respond:
    It doesn’t prove anything about black people, but if the white Southerner answers he would let hundreds of blacks die to save the one white person, it shows he BELIEVES that blacks aren’t really persons, and rather as some racists used to say “talking animals”. Similarly, because you don’t believe a zygote is a person, you’d let 1000 of them die to save 1 toddler.

    trotk says:
    “a zygote is a person. Logically, there is nothing else that it can be. It certainly isn’t a member of another species. It certainly isn’t an inanimate object. Being at a different developmental stage doesn’t make it any less human, and therefore, any less a person”

    I respond:
    And yet none of these arguments is enough to convince you to save the zygotes. You’d pick 1 toddler over 1000 zygotes. Your arguments haven’t convinced you that even 1000 zygotes are equal to a toddler. Why do you think they’ll convince me?

  • SKPeterson

    What if I’m a Nazi and the zygotes are future SS troops and the toddler is a Jew?

  • SKPeterson

    What if I’m a Nazi and the zygotes are future SS troops and the toddler is a Jew?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Can you spot the false dichotomy?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Can you spot the false dichotomy?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Pro aborts use the “women’s choice” argument in bad faith. Since we know that only 40% of black kids ever see the light of day but upwards of 85% of white kids do… So, we all know, they must really want this to continue to be the case. The more money Planned Parenthood gets, the higher the black abortion rate and the lower the black birthrate. All their talk about women’s rights yada yada is just a cover for their real motives. I mean, if they can tell us what we think, we can tell them what they think.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Pro aborts use the “women’s choice” argument in bad faith. Since we know that only 40% of black kids ever see the light of day but upwards of 85% of white kids do… So, we all know, they must really want this to continue to be the case. The more money Planned Parenthood gets, the higher the black abortion rate and the lower the black birthrate. All their talk about women’s rights yada yada is just a cover for their real motives. I mean, if they can tell us what we think, we can tell them what they think.

  • trotk

    anonymous Michael -

    What you don’t see is that your analogy proves nothing. If I had to choose between saving my three children or saving one hundred strangers, I would save my children. Does that prove that I view others as less than human? Of course not. It just means I am biased towards certain humans. Whether or not that bias is a sign of my sinfulness is a separate question.

    I still think it funny that you think that your analogy proves that you know our minds better than we do. What do you think all the pro-life activists are trying to do, if not save the zygotes? You are blind. Are they working on saving the zygotes at the expense of their toddlers? I don’t know, and neither do you.

    You tell me that my arguments haven’t convinced me that 1000 zygotes are equal to a toddler.
    I tell you that a zygote is a person, and people cannot be reduced to mathematical equations like cattle. I refuse to answer stupid utilitarian ethical questions like this, because they are based on terrible assumptions.

  • trotk

    anonymous Michael -

    What you don’t see is that your analogy proves nothing. If I had to choose between saving my three children or saving one hundred strangers, I would save my children. Does that prove that I view others as less than human? Of course not. It just means I am biased towards certain humans. Whether or not that bias is a sign of my sinfulness is a separate question.

    I still think it funny that you think that your analogy proves that you know our minds better than we do. What do you think all the pro-life activists are trying to do, if not save the zygotes? You are blind. Are they working on saving the zygotes at the expense of their toddlers? I don’t know, and neither do you.

    You tell me that my arguments haven’t convinced me that 1000 zygotes are equal to a toddler.
    I tell you that a zygote is a person, and people cannot be reduced to mathematical equations like cattle. I refuse to answer stupid utilitarian ethical questions like this, because they are based on terrible assumptions.

  • BW

    I don’t really see how being pro-life means I want to legislate the domesticity of women. Not sure how the former equals the latter. Or how a stupid hypothetical scenario somehow means I don’t think zygotes are people. I mean, it isn’t really a discussion if one just just wants to make all sorts of assertions about the other side.

  • BW

    I don’t really see how being pro-life means I want to legislate the domesticity of women. Not sure how the former equals the latter. Or how a stupid hypothetical scenario somehow means I don’t think zygotes are people. I mean, it isn’t really a discussion if one just just wants to make all sorts of assertions about the other side.

  • Grace

    The information below should answer many questions some of you might have – what a miracle life is!

    - – - – - – - From Conception to birth – - – - – - –

    Day 1: fertilization: all human chromosomes are present; unique human life begins.

    Day 6: embryo begins implantation in the uterus.

    Day 22: heart begins to beat with the child’s own blood, often a different type than the mothers’.

    Week 3: By the end of third week the child’s backbone spinal column and nervous system are forming. The liver, kidneys and intestines begin to take shape.

    Week 4: By the end of week four the child is ten thousand times larger than the fertilized egg.

    Week 5: Eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop.

    Week 6: Brain waves are detectable; mouth and lips are present; fingernails are forming.

    Week 7: Eyelids, and toes form, nose distinct. The baby is kicking and swimming.

    Week 8: Every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and fingerprints begin to form. By the 8th week the baby can begin to hear.

    Weeks 9 and 10: Teeth begin to form, fingernails develop. The baby can turn his head, and frown. The baby can hiccup.

    Weeks 10 and 11: The baby can “breathe” amniotic fluid and urinate. Week 11 the baby can grasp objects placed in its hand; all organ systems are functioning. The baby has a skeletal structure, nerves, and circulation.

    Week 12: The baby has all of the parts necessary to experience pain, including nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus. Vocal cords are complete. The baby can suck its thumb.

    Week 14: At this age, the heart pumps several quarts of blood through the body every day.

    Week 15: The baby has an adult’s taste buds.

    Month 4: Bone Marrow is now beginning to form. The heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day. By the end of month 4 the baby will be 8-10 inches in length and will weigh up to half a pound.

    Week 17: The baby can have dream (REM) sleep.

    Week 19: Babies can routinely be saved at 21 to 22 weeks after fertilization, and sometimes they can be saved even younger.

    Week 20: The earliest stage at which Partial birth abortions are performed. At 20 weeks the baby recognizes its’ mothers voice

    Months 5 and 6: The baby practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into its developing lungs. The baby will grasp at the umbilical cord when it feels it. Most mothers feel an increase in movement, kicking, and hiccups from the baby. Oil and sweat glands are now functioning. The baby is now twelve inches long or more, and weighs up to one and a half pounds.

    Months 7 through 9: Eyeteeth are present. The baby opens and closes his eyes. The baby is using four of the five senses (vision, hearing, taste, and touch.) He knows the difference between waking and sleeping, and can relate to the moods of the mother. The baby’s skin begins to thicken, and a layer of fat is produced and stored beneath the skin. Antibodies are built up, and the baby’s heart begins to pump 300 gallons of blood per day. Approximately one week before the birth the baby stops growing, and “drops” usually head down into the pelvic cavity.

    http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/fetaldevelopment.html

  • Grace

    The information below should answer many questions some of you might have – what a miracle life is!

    - – - – - – - From Conception to birth – - – - – - –

    Day 1: fertilization: all human chromosomes are present; unique human life begins.

    Day 6: embryo begins implantation in the uterus.

    Day 22: heart begins to beat with the child’s own blood, often a different type than the mothers’.

    Week 3: By the end of third week the child’s backbone spinal column and nervous system are forming. The liver, kidneys and intestines begin to take shape.

    Week 4: By the end of week four the child is ten thousand times larger than the fertilized egg.

    Week 5: Eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop.

    Week 6: Brain waves are detectable; mouth and lips are present; fingernails are forming.

    Week 7: Eyelids, and toes form, nose distinct. The baby is kicking and swimming.

    Week 8: Every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and fingerprints begin to form. By the 8th week the baby can begin to hear.

    Weeks 9 and 10: Teeth begin to form, fingernails develop. The baby can turn his head, and frown. The baby can hiccup.

    Weeks 10 and 11: The baby can “breathe” amniotic fluid and urinate. Week 11 the baby can grasp objects placed in its hand; all organ systems are functioning. The baby has a skeletal structure, nerves, and circulation.

    Week 12: The baby has all of the parts necessary to experience pain, including nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus. Vocal cords are complete. The baby can suck its thumb.

    Week 14: At this age, the heart pumps several quarts of blood through the body every day.

    Week 15: The baby has an adult’s taste buds.

    Month 4: Bone Marrow is now beginning to form. The heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day. By the end of month 4 the baby will be 8-10 inches in length and will weigh up to half a pound.

    Week 17: The baby can have dream (REM) sleep.

    Week 19: Babies can routinely be saved at 21 to 22 weeks after fertilization, and sometimes they can be saved even younger.

    Week 20: The earliest stage at which Partial birth abortions are performed. At 20 weeks the baby recognizes its’ mothers voice

    Months 5 and 6: The baby practices breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into its developing lungs. The baby will grasp at the umbilical cord when it feels it. Most mothers feel an increase in movement, kicking, and hiccups from the baby. Oil and sweat glands are now functioning. The baby is now twelve inches long or more, and weighs up to one and a half pounds.

    Months 7 through 9: Eyeteeth are present. The baby opens and closes his eyes. The baby is using four of the five senses (vision, hearing, taste, and touch.) He knows the difference between waking and sleeping, and can relate to the moods of the mother. The baby’s skin begins to thicken, and a layer of fat is produced and stored beneath the skin. Antibodies are built up, and the baby’s heart begins to pump 300 gallons of blood per day. Approximately one week before the birth the baby stops growing, and “drops” usually head down into the pelvic cavity.

    http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/fetaldevelopment.html

  • nqb

    I know I’m super late to this party, but this 1,000 zygotes in a jar question looks like so much fun that I have just have to take a crack at it. We’ve had a couple of great hypotheticals offered in response but none that quite matches the magnitude of 1,000:1 in the original. And also we must keep the characters extra-personal because we don’t want those muddy maternal/paternal instincts (or even friendship) clouding the whole issue.
    So imagine that a nursing home is burning down.
    Oops, I got ahead of myself.
    Imagine you’re in an anonymous nursing home (i.e., you don’t know anyone in residence). Granted this isn’t a very nice nursing home because all the employees (every single one!) take their lunch break at the same time out on the back lawn, so only the elderly residents remain inside. And I mean elderly. These are the oldest, most dilapidated 1,000 people in America, all gathered in one place for a scientific study on aging or something. I guess this place is more like a lab. (I’m sure you can see where I’m going but I’m having a ton of fun writing this! No doubt anonymous can relate as I’m sure his/her example was just as thrilling to share.)
    Anyway, you’re the only person left in the building. Or so you thought… You turn toward a nearby entryway and through the glass of an interior door you spot a young child playing with matches. In an instant, the child drops a lit match on the floor and to your surprise the entire entrance roars ablaze! The floor wax that the custodial staff just finished applying to the entire building must be highly inflammable!
    You now face a dire decision: Rush out the door, scoop up the child, and let the flames penetrate through the interior door and consume the entire building, including the 1,000 super-duper old occupants. OR, allow the fire to burn itself out in the small, contained entryway, leaving the young child to die, admittedly by his own foolish devices.
    Mind you, your decision will dictate to me what you consider to be a human life. And if you pick the those really old people to save, I’m pretty sure you’re a big fat liar and totally lame.

  • nqb

    I know I’m super late to this party, but this 1,000 zygotes in a jar question looks like so much fun that I have just have to take a crack at it. We’ve had a couple of great hypotheticals offered in response but none that quite matches the magnitude of 1,000:1 in the original. And also we must keep the characters extra-personal because we don’t want those muddy maternal/paternal instincts (or even friendship) clouding the whole issue.
    So imagine that a nursing home is burning down.
    Oops, I got ahead of myself.
    Imagine you’re in an anonymous nursing home (i.e., you don’t know anyone in residence). Granted this isn’t a very nice nursing home because all the employees (every single one!) take their lunch break at the same time out on the back lawn, so only the elderly residents remain inside. And I mean elderly. These are the oldest, most dilapidated 1,000 people in America, all gathered in one place for a scientific study on aging or something. I guess this place is more like a lab. (I’m sure you can see where I’m going but I’m having a ton of fun writing this! No doubt anonymous can relate as I’m sure his/her example was just as thrilling to share.)
    Anyway, you’re the only person left in the building. Or so you thought… You turn toward a nearby entryway and through the glass of an interior door you spot a young child playing with matches. In an instant, the child drops a lit match on the floor and to your surprise the entire entrance roars ablaze! The floor wax that the custodial staff just finished applying to the entire building must be highly inflammable!
    You now face a dire decision: Rush out the door, scoop up the child, and let the flames penetrate through the interior door and consume the entire building, including the 1,000 super-duper old occupants. OR, allow the fire to burn itself out in the small, contained entryway, leaving the young child to die, admittedly by his own foolish devices.
    Mind you, your decision will dictate to me what you consider to be a human life. And if you pick the those really old people to save, I’m pretty sure you’re a big fat liar and totally lame.

  • Grace

    nqb @ 32

    You stated:

    “I guess this place is more like a lab. (I’m sure you can see where I’m going but I’m having a ton of fun writing this!

    It’s not a ‘lab’ – however, most CAN SEE where you’re going with this nonsense.

    Yes, nqb – you are having a time of it, but it’s all garbage, it’s all set to your music, to entertain whatever macabre scenario you wish to present here on Dr. Veith’s blog.

    Abortion has been compared with just about everything anyone can think of – yours is the worst!

  • Grace

    nqb @ 32

    You stated:

    “I guess this place is more like a lab. (I’m sure you can see where I’m going but I’m having a ton of fun writing this!

    It’s not a ‘lab’ – however, most CAN SEE where you’re going with this nonsense.

    Yes, nqb – you are having a time of it, but it’s all garbage, it’s all set to your music, to entertain whatever macabre scenario you wish to present here on Dr. Veith’s blog.

    Abortion has been compared with just about everything anyone can think of – yours is the worst!

  • nqb

    Grace @33
    I want to first say that my macabre story was in no way a comparison to abortion. It was simply to be a parallel to anonymous’s story, substituting the oldest humans for the youngest.
    But I thought at the same time I could have a bit of a laugh at the sheer garbage-ness of these kinds of completely-over-the-top hypotheticals.
    In any case, I can’t help be think that a lot of people would choose to save the child. Does this mean that they think the elderly aren’t humans?
    So just because I would probably run out of anonymous’s burning lab with the toddler doesn’t mean I’m a hypocrite when I say that human life begins at conception.

  • nqb

    Grace @33
    I want to first say that my macabre story was in no way a comparison to abortion. It was simply to be a parallel to anonymous’s story, substituting the oldest humans for the youngest.
    But I thought at the same time I could have a bit of a laugh at the sheer garbage-ness of these kinds of completely-over-the-top hypotheticals.
    In any case, I can’t help be think that a lot of people would choose to save the child. Does this mean that they think the elderly aren’t humans?
    So just because I would probably run out of anonymous’s burning lab with the toddler doesn’t mean I’m a hypocrite when I say that human life begins at conception.

  • Michael

    “Does this mean that they think the elderly aren’t humans?”

    Yes, or at least not living humans. By opening the fire-safe door, the man set a containable fire on an entire nursing home to burn alive 1000 very elderly people die to save one child. Maybe your argument is he acted rashly and didn’t know the consequences? Would he do it again if he knew the 1000 elderly patients were going to die?

    I don’t know the state of those elderly patients, but perhaps their brain function is so deteriorated that he considers them to be not alive anymore. So he believes they’re human, but dead. (The Terry Shiavo case comes to mind here.) In any event, I bet you would have a real problem with this man’s views on euthanasia.

  • Michael

    “Does this mean that they think the elderly aren’t humans?”

    Yes, or at least not living humans. By opening the fire-safe door, the man set a containable fire on an entire nursing home to burn alive 1000 very elderly people die to save one child. Maybe your argument is he acted rashly and didn’t know the consequences? Would he do it again if he knew the 1000 elderly patients were going to die?

    I don’t know the state of those elderly patients, but perhaps their brain function is so deteriorated that he considers them to be not alive anymore. So he believes they’re human, but dead. (The Terry Shiavo case comes to mind here.) In any event, I bet you would have a real problem with this man’s views on euthanasia.

  • nqb

    Michael @35
    I don’t think it’s as cut-and-dry as you’re making it out to be. The situation is so ridiculous that I think a person could assert that all the characters are indeed living humans but still make a rational argument for both sides. You say save the elderly; maybe anonymous says save the child.
    It’s not a question of euthanasia. Euthanasia is a total red herring.

  • nqb

    Michael @35
    I don’t think it’s as cut-and-dry as you’re making it out to be. The situation is so ridiculous that I think a person could assert that all the characters are indeed living humans but still make a rational argument for both sides. You say save the elderly; maybe anonymous says save the child.
    It’s not a question of euthanasia. Euthanasia is a total red herring.

  • Grace

    nqb @ 36

    As you address: Michael @35

    “It’s not a question of euthanasia. Euthanasia is a total red herring.”

    No….. “Euthanasia” is not a red herring – it’s one subject that stood out like a sore thumb, as you blew up your nonsensical scenario @ 32.

    Then you TOOTED: “Mind you, your decision will dictate to me what you consider to be a human life. And if you pick the those really old people to save, I’m pretty sure you’re a big fat liar and totally lame.

    The minute you posted @ 32, you brought up euthanasia!

  • Grace

    nqb @ 36

    As you address: Michael @35

    “It’s not a question of euthanasia. Euthanasia is a total red herring.”

    No….. “Euthanasia” is not a red herring – it’s one subject that stood out like a sore thumb, as you blew up your nonsensical scenario @ 32.

    Then you TOOTED: “Mind you, your decision will dictate to me what you consider to be a human life. And if you pick the those really old people to save, I’m pretty sure you’re a big fat liar and totally lame.

    The minute you posted @ 32, you brought up euthanasia!

  • nqb

    Grace @37
    First of all, that statement you quote in bold was sarcastic and only made in response to anonymous’s comment accompanying the zygote example: “You would save the toddler.” He didn’t even allow a response before saying what I (and everyone) WOULD do. At least I afforded him the some leeway by qualifying my statement with “I’m pretty sure”. As tODD said, he’s reading our minds now and using that amazing ability to defend his position that he doubts “there is a single person alive who really believes the zygote is a person, and that includes you.” That’s all I was trying to get at with my belligerent comment.

    The reason I say euthanasia is a red herring is because euthanasia is by definition “mercy killing.” I do not think that one has to resort to that sort of logic in order to justify saving the child.
    For example: “This child has his whole life ahead of him, while all these other people have lived very long lives. I will save this child in lieu of these others.” No where does this reasoning assert that the people deserve death on account of their suffering (and I don’t even know that they are suffering). No where does this reasoning suggest that I’m doing those 1,000 people a favor. In fact, I would say that their deaths are a tragedy.
    I never brought mercy killing up. I certainly didn’t bring it up explicitly and never intended for it to really be in the ring. It just adds a bunch of baggage to an already subtle issue.
    Sure someone can bring euthanasia into the picture, but that just clouds the issue of rationally

  • nqb

    Grace @37
    First of all, that statement you quote in bold was sarcastic and only made in response to anonymous’s comment accompanying the zygote example: “You would save the toddler.” He didn’t even allow a response before saying what I (and everyone) WOULD do. At least I afforded him the some leeway by qualifying my statement with “I’m pretty sure”. As tODD said, he’s reading our minds now and using that amazing ability to defend his position that he doubts “there is a single person alive who really believes the zygote is a person, and that includes you.” That’s all I was trying to get at with my belligerent comment.

    The reason I say euthanasia is a red herring is because euthanasia is by definition “mercy killing.” I do not think that one has to resort to that sort of logic in order to justify saving the child.
    For example: “This child has his whole life ahead of him, while all these other people have lived very long lives. I will save this child in lieu of these others.” No where does this reasoning assert that the people deserve death on account of their suffering (and I don’t even know that they are suffering). No where does this reasoning suggest that I’m doing those 1,000 people a favor. In fact, I would say that their deaths are a tragedy.
    I never brought mercy killing up. I certainly didn’t bring it up explicitly and never intended for it to really be in the ring. It just adds a bunch of baggage to an already subtle issue.
    Sure someone can bring euthanasia into the picture, but that just clouds the issue of rationally

  • Grace

    nqb @ 38

    Saving one person vs. 1,000 no matter what their age, is a form of euthanasia. In your scenario, anyone who is elderly is not as worthy as someone who is younger.

    WW2 is a good example regarding who should live, and who should die. Those who were ill, old, mentally handicapped were eliminated. Those who were healthy able to contribute and work stood in the ‘other line’ –

    Again, choosing to allow 1,000 individuals to die, vs. a child is heartless.

    nqb # 36 – you stated ““Mind you, your decision will dictate to me what you consider to be a human life. And if you pick the those really old people to save, I’m pretty sure you’re a big fat liar and totally lame.

    Now you give yourself a pass, by stating it’s “sarcastic”

    nqb @ 38: First of all, that statement you quote in bold was sarcastic

    Abortion is a serious subject. I’ve worked in pro-life, there is no room for sarcasm, ….. abortion is deadly, so is euthanasia, they are both un-Biblical, and sinful.

    Everyone has a right to live out their God given life, until the LORD decides their death.

  • Grace

    nqb @ 38

    Saving one person vs. 1,000 no matter what their age, is a form of euthanasia. In your scenario, anyone who is elderly is not as worthy as someone who is younger.

    WW2 is a good example regarding who should live, and who should die. Those who were ill, old, mentally handicapped were eliminated. Those who were healthy able to contribute and work stood in the ‘other line’ –

    Again, choosing to allow 1,000 individuals to die, vs. a child is heartless.

    nqb # 36 – you stated ““Mind you, your decision will dictate to me what you consider to be a human life. And if you pick the those really old people to save, I’m pretty sure you’re a big fat liar and totally lame.

    Now you give yourself a pass, by stating it’s “sarcastic”

    nqb @ 38: First of all, that statement you quote in bold was sarcastic

    Abortion is a serious subject. I’ve worked in pro-life, there is no room for sarcasm, ….. abortion is deadly, so is euthanasia, they are both un-Biblical, and sinful.

    Everyone has a right to live out their God given life, until the LORD decides their death.

  • nqb

    Grace @39
    I think we must just be working with different definitions of euthanasia. I’ve always understood euthanasia to be killing someone to supposedly benefit that same person. Now, I don’t believe a person can actually be killed for his or her own benefit. After all, death is the enemy. These days a lot of people seem to consider suffering to be the greatest enemy and death the friend who ends all suffering. That’s a sad misunderstanding.

    In any case, it turns out all of my efforts to undercut anonymous’s hypothetical are all pointless because I take it you would in fact say without hesitation that someone should save his “canister of 1000 frozen zygotes” and his whole argument basically crumbles.

    I personally struggle with the question a little more. I don’t think the answer is always simple arithmetic.

    I didn’t mean to undermine the importance of the issues here, but I don’t think that sarcasm (and/or satire) are forbidden from the realm of the serious, especially when people have already resorted to farcical hypotheticals.

    I’m glad you’re fighting for the God-given life rights of all humans.

  • nqb

    Grace @39
    I think we must just be working with different definitions of euthanasia. I’ve always understood euthanasia to be killing someone to supposedly benefit that same person. Now, I don’t believe a person can actually be killed for his or her own benefit. After all, death is the enemy. These days a lot of people seem to consider suffering to be the greatest enemy and death the friend who ends all suffering. That’s a sad misunderstanding.

    In any case, it turns out all of my efforts to undercut anonymous’s hypothetical are all pointless because I take it you would in fact say without hesitation that someone should save his “canister of 1000 frozen zygotes” and his whole argument basically crumbles.

    I personally struggle with the question a little more. I don’t think the answer is always simple arithmetic.

    I didn’t mean to undermine the importance of the issues here, but I don’t think that sarcasm (and/or satire) are forbidden from the realm of the serious, especially when people have already resorted to farcical hypotheticals.

    I’m glad you’re fighting for the God-given life rights of all humans.

  • Grace

    nqb @ 40

    You wrote: “I personally struggle with the question a little more. I don’t think the answer is always simple arithmetic.

    Here’s your scenario again – it’s about the elderly, (1,000) people who are alive, and one child playing with matches.

    @ 32 “So imagine that a nursing home is burning down.
    Oops, I got ahead of myself.
    Imagine you’re in an anonymous nursing home (i.e., you don’t know anyone in residence). Granted this isn’t a very nice nursing home because all the employees (every single one!) take their lunch break at the same time out on the back lawn, so only the elderly residents remain inside. And I mean elderly. These are the oldest, most dilapidated 1,000 people in America, all gathered in one place for a scientific study on aging or something. I guess this place is more like a lab. (I’m sure you can see where I’m going but I’m having a ton of fun writing this! No doubt anonymous can relate as I’m sure his/her example was just as thrilling to share.)
    Anyway, you’re the only person left in the building. Or so you thought… You turn toward a nearby entryway and through the glass of an interior door you spot a young child playing with matches. In an instant, the child drops a lit match on the floor and to your surprise the entire entrance roars ablaze! The floor wax that the custodial staff just finished applying to the entire building must be highly inflammable!
    You now face a dire decision: Rush out the door, scoop up the child, and let the flames penetrate through the interior door and consume the entire building, including the 1,000 super-duper old occupants. OR, allow the fire to burn itself out in the small, contained entryway, leaving the young child to die, admittedly by his own foolish devices.
    Mind you, your decision will dictate to me what you consider to be a human life. And if you pick the those really old people to save, I’m pretty sure you’re a big fat liar and totally lame.

    Your quip I’m having a ton of fun writing this! is very revealing, and sad. There are many people, including physicians
    that believe in euthenasia, they might think your comment is “fun” to read as you found it “fun writing”

    Pathetic!

  • Grace

    nqb @ 40

    You wrote: “I personally struggle with the question a little more. I don’t think the answer is always simple arithmetic.

    Here’s your scenario again – it’s about the elderly, (1,000) people who are alive, and one child playing with matches.

    @ 32 “So imagine that a nursing home is burning down.
    Oops, I got ahead of myself.
    Imagine you’re in an anonymous nursing home (i.e., you don’t know anyone in residence). Granted this isn’t a very nice nursing home because all the employees (every single one!) take their lunch break at the same time out on the back lawn, so only the elderly residents remain inside. And I mean elderly. These are the oldest, most dilapidated 1,000 people in America, all gathered in one place for a scientific study on aging or something. I guess this place is more like a lab. (I’m sure you can see where I’m going but I’m having a ton of fun writing this! No doubt anonymous can relate as I’m sure his/her example was just as thrilling to share.)
    Anyway, you’re the only person left in the building. Or so you thought… You turn toward a nearby entryway and through the glass of an interior door you spot a young child playing with matches. In an instant, the child drops a lit match on the floor and to your surprise the entire entrance roars ablaze! The floor wax that the custodial staff just finished applying to the entire building must be highly inflammable!
    You now face a dire decision: Rush out the door, scoop up the child, and let the flames penetrate through the interior door and consume the entire building, including the 1,000 super-duper old occupants. OR, allow the fire to burn itself out in the small, contained entryway, leaving the young child to die, admittedly by his own foolish devices.
    Mind you, your decision will dictate to me what you consider to be a human life. And if you pick the those really old people to save, I’m pretty sure you’re a big fat liar and totally lame.

    Your quip I’m having a ton of fun writing this! is very revealing, and sad. There are many people, including physicians
    that believe in euthenasia, they might think your comment is “fun” to read as you found it “fun writing”

    Pathetic!

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