Then They Came for the Pastafarians…

In Russia, they have finally come for the Pastafarians.

Original caption in St. Petersburg (Russia) Times: “According to their website, Pastafarians wear sieves on their heads, worship The Flying Spaghetti Monster and believe that their religion was founded by pirates.”
Photo: Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

Seems that some Pastafarians neglected to get a parade permit before parading in Moscow over the weekend, and were ordered to walk the plank as a result.

As if pirates believe in “permits.” Pfffft! Now, if the Moscow officials would call their parade permits “letters of marque,” they’d be speaking words our Russian counterparts could understand.

Language barriers. Pirates didn’t “found” the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Apparently the Russian researchers on this piece fail to understand the difference between correlation and causation, just like the Kansas Board of Education.

 

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  • busterggi

    So glad that godless Communists have been deposed in Russia so freedom of religion is now possible.

    • Steve Willy

      But I thought atheism wasn’t a religion? Now you want the protections affored to religion? Further evidence that atheism is incoherent. And I think you all tacitly know that these douchers got exactly what they deserved. Search your heart, you know it to be true.

      • Composer 99

        Someone who has neither the gravitas nor the bad-assness of Darth Vader has no business ripping off one of his better lines.
        Just sayin’.

        • Steve Willy

          Darth Vader is a genocidal child killer. Fitting that you would embrace the character. “Without God, all things are permissible.”

          But as to the other points made here: Wow, you guys have really opened my eyes. You make some powerful points, except … let’s put the Hitchens-Dawkins Kool-Aid down for a while and look at reality: Kalaam Cosmological Argument, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality…. Your entire world view lies shattered at your feet. If you truly honor the gods of reason and critical thinking half as much as you claim, you would plant your face firmly into your hand, step away from the device, find a quiet place, and rethink your life.
          Indeed, why are you even bothering to comment at all? No atheistic position can be taken seriously until two threshold questions can coherently be answered. 1. Why is the atheist even engaging in the debate. On atheism, there is no objective basis for even ascertaining truth; there is no immaterial aspect to consciousness and all mental states are material. Therefore, everyone who ever lived and ever will live could be wrong about a thing. By what standard would that ever be ascertained on atheism? Also if atheism is true, there is no objective meaning to existence and no objective standard by which the ‘rational’ world view of atheism is more desirable, morally or otherwise, to the ‘irrational’ beliefs of religion. Ridding the world of the scourge of religion, so that humanity can ‘progress’ or outgrow it, is not a legitimate response to this because on atheism, there is no reason to expect humanity to progress or grow. We are a historical accident that should fully expect to be destroyed by the next asteriod, pandemic, or fascist atheist with a nuke. In short, if atheism is correct, there is no benefit, either on an individual or societal level, to knowing this or to spreading such ‘knowledge.’
          2. Related to this, why is the atheist debater even alive to participate. If there is no heaven, no hell, no afterlife at all, only an incredibly window of blind pitiless indifference, then the agony of struggling to exist, seeing loved ones die, and then dying yourself can never be outweighed by any benefit to existing. As rude as it way sound (and I AM NOT advocating suicide) the atheist should have a coherent explanation for why they chose to continue existing. Failure to adequately address these threshold questions should result in summary rejection of the neckbeard’s position.

          In the end, we all know you can’t answer these questions because yours is a petty, trivial, localized, earth bound philosophy, unworthy of the universe.

          Finally, is there a basement dwelling troll left in the multiverse who doesn’t drag themselves out of the primordial ooze and logged onto this site in order to announce our collective atheism towards Thor, that gardens can be beautiful without fairies (a powerful rebuttal to fairy apologetics, by the way, but it leaves a lot unanswered about the Gardener), and that we cling to Bronze Age skymen due to our fear of the dark? Let me translate that to neckbeard: you are unoriginal, you are wrong, and you are an ass.

          • Composer 99

            Darth Vader Steve Willy’s God is a genocidal child killer. Fitting that you Steve Willy would embrace the character.

            Fixed it for you, Steve.

            Darth Vader is a fictional character. I don’t believe anyone with the ability to discern reality from fiction will suggest otherwise. As a character in a narrative structure with heroic and villainous characters, as one of the villains Vader is judged on his ability to be villainous.

            By contrast, you claim to worship a deity that you assert is real. Yet the most common cited evidence for such existence is a set of texts that reveal that deity to be at least as genocidal as Darth Vader – if not more. You claim as real the entity that admits to having destroyed almost all life on Earth by flooding, that as the alleged creator of the universe is the entity that created malaria, smallpox, and other scourges of humanity.

            As such, your asserted deity, if your premise asserting its reality is accepted (for the sake of argument), is rightly judged as monstrous. And your defence of said entity, which you are convinced is real, marks you as worthy of nothing more than scorn or contempt.

          • Steve Willy

            Nice steaming pile of regurgitated neck bearded talking points. Perhaps when you are interested in real ‘free thinking’ and not pseudo-intellectual blather, you will give some real consideration to these issues.

          • Kevin R. Cross

            Unlike you, we have.

          • Baby_Raptor

            You *really* need to learn what actual Atheism is, instead of the strawman version your pastor gave you to debate against.

            And you really need to learn not to project your specific views of life and everything like it onto other people.

            Oh, and answers don’t have to pass your particular goalposts to be sufficient. You are not the ultimate arbiter of that.

            Let’s see…You can claim to know things all you want, but until you can prove that you’re doing more than typing out your ass, nobody is obligated to take you seriously.

            People can give you answers to the questions you’re carrying on about. The fact that you dismiss them out of hand DOES NOT mean that we cannot answer them, or that our answers are in any way insufficient. Quit lying.

            I could continue, but I’m wasting time. If you were looking for actual debate, you’d be trying to talk. You’re not, you’re looking for something to stroke your ego to.

          • Steve Willy

            This is exactly the type of specious, crap response we should expect to see given that atheism is, when carried to its logical conclusion, incoherent:
            http://communities.washingtont
            http://www.catholicthinker.net
            http://www.peterkreeft.com/top
            http://www.reasonsforgod.org/t

          • Loqi

            More copy pasta? You’re getting boring, Steve.

          • Baby_Raptor

            So, in other words, you have no actual answers to my points, and all you can do is yet again stubbornly insist that you’re right. But you know I have valid points, so you’re going to reinforce your own BS by pointing to others who believe it too.

            I’m not trying to be an ass here. I’m trying to actually point out the flaws in your attempts to communicate. Attacking strawmen gets you nowhere. Not being willing to really listen and change your views when you’re wrong gets you nowhere. Insulting people gets you even less than nowhere.

            As I said, if you wanted actual conversation, you’d be trying for it. You don’t. You want to come here, piss all over everyone, and leave feeling superior. I have no idea why JT hasn’t banned you yet.

          • Steve Willy

            Your call to ban me betrays your lust for lies and your desire to spread lies while suppressing opposition. Shut your butt, neck beard boy. Your teeth are showing.

          • islandbrewer

            Yo! Neckbeardical Neck beard! Take your Neck and your Beard and braid them, Neck beard! I can no longer see your neck (if ever there was one) through your beard, Neckbeardo!

          • baal

            You add precious little to the conversation Steve “Neckbeard” Willy.

          • Loqi

            I love how you just copy and paste huge walls of text every time you post. It never gets old to read the same thing over and over again from you.

          • Kevin R. Cross

            Steve, you have a strong grasp on theist positions…and no knowledge of Atheist positions at all.
            ALL of the arguments you cite have been considered, examined, and rationally rejected. The argument from morality, to be perfectly honest, is simply laughably stupid, and unworthy of any thinking person – it relies upon an assumption, that there ARE objective moral truths, an assumption simply not in evidence in any way. In short, far from my worldview being shattered, it is your weak and vacuous arguments that have crashed and burned before the walls of reason.
            As to why I am bothering to answer you, it is not because of any of the concepts you raise, and for the record, I reject outright your rather silly “requirements”. It is simply because a post such as yours filled with half-truths, misunderstandings, and uneducated fol-de-rol, should not be allowed to stand unchallenged, lest some seeker of truth come along and be fooled into believing it has value. A further reason, is, is there, in truth, no beauty? The Atheist position has that at least – and truth IS a beautiful thing. And a valuable thing, at that – it silences idiots who have claimed that earth is the centre of the universe, that extinction does not happen, that evolution is anything less than reality, and it will silence the modern morons who deny global warming and the rights of all.
            One thing you get right – there is no overarching reason to exist. We live in an uncaring, unknowing universe that will not miss us. No reason – save what WE choose for ourselves. And we do not choose your primitive godling for anything other than comedic relief. There are more important things.
            Why choose to exist? because, here, again, you are wrong – about life. There is pain in life, yes, but for most it is transient, and outweighed by joy. Joy of family, joy of friends, joy of success, of overcoming obstacles, joy in a life well lived. And even for the destitute and downtrodden, there is hope for happiness in the future. But is death, there is nought but oblivion.
            Thus, I can, indeed, answer your statements. And laugh at them.

          • Steve Willy

            If you concede that there are no objective moral truths than by what standard do you find my comments lacking? Its purely a matter of subjective preferences. So if the Russians have a subjective preference for beating the asses of Pastafarians, what coherent complaint do you have?

          • Kevin R. Cross

            I do not “concede” that there are no moral truths, since you made no argument regarding such, but instead celebrate such a lack.
            As to why I do not accept the Russian actions, it is because nour civilization is built upon some very basic principles – including the rights of the individual to communicate, to believe as they wish, and to NOT have have their asses beaten for saying so. And those principleshave proven to provide a good and effective basis for effective and responsive government – thus, I support them. And oppose the violation therof.

          • Steve Willy

            So, you just prefer civil liberties. Much like Hitler just preferred war and genocide. No real standard to say either choice is better or worse.

          • Kevin R. Cross

            No standard except, say, the golden rule, or having a reasonably socialized set of values and thus actually caring about our fellow people (you know, HUMANISM?) or just being sufficiently self aware to desire a shared set of values that doesn’t get me killed? There are plenty of sources of moral guidance that don’t rely on worthless deities. Most of them are BETTER sources of morality then worthless deities.

          • Steve Willy

            All that shit you just spouted off stands on the shoulders of the Judeo-Christian tradition while simultaneously denying that tradition. That is part of what makes your world view either incoherent or indistinguishable from national socialism. You do not want to make this argument. You want to go home and rethink your life.

          • Kevin R. Cross

            No, the Christians (leave the Jews out of this – they’re much less hypocritical) STOLE large sections of that from many, many previous philosophical schools and religions (just as the stole the nativity, most of the parables, and the virgin birth). Don’t even THINK of taking credit for the golden rule – it predates Christianity by several thousand years.
            And humanism is just the opposite of modern christianity – actually CARING about others instead of judging them and finding fault.
            My worldview is simple, and clear. Any incoherence is solely in your tiny mind. And if you can’t see the difference between what I’ve said and Mein Kampf, then you are simply a moron.

          • EvolutionKills

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Prove God does not nor cannot exist.

          • phantomreader42

            Prove that your imaginary god exists. You can’t. Your cult has been trying for centuries, but hasn’t been able to do anything but murder people who don’t swallow your shitty failed arguments.

          • Joseph O Polanco
          • phantomreader42

            Complete and utter garbage, though at least you are capable of actually presenting some of the shitty arguments Neckbeard Stevie can only chant the names of while masturbating. It still doesn’t magically make them true or persuasive.

          • Zinc Avenger

            If you think there is an objective moral truth, how come genocide can be good if God commands it?

          • Jasper

            It’s better to think of morality as being descriptive than proscriptive. Morality by decree is not morality – it’s obedience.

            Whereas, if one thinks of morality as our best understanding as to how to get along and operate a reasonably cohesive, reasonably happy society, an objective assessment of the results of different approaches can work fairly well towards that goal, in an objective reality.

            To think about it as “truths” instead of “evaluations” ultimately sabotages one’s ability to understand actual morality.

          • Jasper

            As an aside, “relative” and “absolute” are not as mutually exclusive as people may think. If one has ever worked with coordinate systems or web design, for example, the difference tends to be more about context than distinct definition.

            Element A may be absolutely positioned to Element B, but relatively positioned to Element C, at the same time.

            Similarly, to say that God establishes moral absolutes is another way of saying that the morality is relative to God… a.k.a… it’s moral because God says so.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Here’s the thing. Regardless of efforts to the contrary, all life ends. Therefore, a case could be made that maximizing one’s pleasure should be the absolute moral touchstone by which to adjudicate moral values. As a famous adherent of this philosophy candidly expressed, “The greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable ‘value judgment’ that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these ‘others’? Other human beings, with human rights? Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more to you than a hog’s life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as ‘moral’ or ‘good’ and others as ‘immoral’ or ‘bad’? In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me—after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and uninhibited self.”” -Ted Bundy

            Since this equally compelling opinion conflicts with yours, how would you show it to be objectively false and yours objectively true? That is to say, which of the two reflects reality?

      • islandbrewer

        Off with you, Neckbeard!

      • Kevin R. Cross

        No. We want the protections afforded to all INDIVIDUALS. Nothing incoherent there.

        • Steve Willy

          You have the right to believe nothing, but if you faithfully follow your gods of reason and logic, your absence of belief should leave you with an absence of things to talk about and no reason to assemble. In other words, to avoid being incoherent you have an obligation to stfu.

          • Kevin R. Cross

            Your reply shows a remarkable inability to see beyond your own prejudices. First, we worship no gods, not even metaphoric ones – reason and logic are tools to understand the universe, nothing more. Second, your argument is stupid nonsense. Do we not live in this world? Do we not share attributes and emotions in common with our fellow people? These in themselves would be reason enough to speak, purpose enough to have goals and unite towrds them – such as the goal to educate the ignorant like yourself. When you throw in the fact that the majority of people here are Atheists, Agnostics and other Freethinkers – well, If this is the strength of your arguing skills, then I would not at all respectfully suggest that you either finish third grade or shut the fuck up yourself.

          • phantomreader42

            It’s not really all that remarkable. Of course Neckbeard Steve can’t see anything beyond his own delusions. How could he possibly see with his head that far up his ass?

      • DavidMHart

        If you are unable to understand that freedom of religion, to be a right worth defending, has to include the option of choosing no religion, and that therefore a country which grants equal protection to all religious viewpoints has to include those who reject all religions under that equal protection, then you are astonishingly lacking in compassion.

        The point is that atheism is not a religion, but it is very much the kind of worldview that freedom of conscience and freedom of expression rights are meant to protect (since ‘freedom of religion’ is just a subset of more general freedom of conscience and freedom of expression rights). Therefore it is right for legal systems to treat atheism as if it were a religion, as a sort of convenient legal fiction in order to make it easy to protect the rights of atheists in the same way that the rights of members of different religions are protected.

  • Art_Vandelay

    I want that FSM! I need that FSM!

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      I’m pretty sure the photo is from Solstice Parade in Seattle.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      There’s an “I want my MTV” parody in there, somewhere.

  • baal

    From the linked article:

    However, Moscow authorities did not sanction the procession which was
    disrupted by riot police and activists with the God’s Will Orthodox
    group headed by Dmitri Enteo, according to a message by Russian
    Pastafarians on a social networking website.

    Got to love it when the religionists are commingled with the state’s police power. That doesn’t send the message that the Church is special (and maybe above the law), no, no it doesn’t. Somehow it suggests to me the problem wasn’t parading w/o a permit.

    • Baby_Raptor

      You’re not the only one who got that vibe.

      • Steve Willy

        Since the neck bearded author pretty much jammed that ‘vibe’ down your throat, regardless of whether it had any connection to reality, It’s not really a surprise that you both ‘got it.’ I thought religious people were supposed to be naive?

        • Baby_Raptor

          You sure seem really obsessed with that particular insult. Does that mental image turn you on? Or is that the only slightly offensive combination of words you know?

          • Loqi

            Steve’s given me an unfortunate mental image with his repetitious use of that phrase, along with his “Your entire worldview lies shattered at your feet” thing that he keeps pasting. It’s of him sitting in his basement in front of his computer, pants at his ankles, hand wrapped around his dick, and a list of the various arguments for god’s existence on his screen (not the arguments themselves, mind you, just the names of them). He’s reciting them slowly at first, but going faster and faster until:
            “Kalam ………. fine tuning …….. ontological …… moral ….. Kalam … fine tuning, ontological kalamfinetuningontological…NNNNECKBEARRRRDDD!”
            And he climaxes. Then he comes here and posts.

          • Zinc Avenger

            You’d think with all these worldviews lying shattered at our feet we’d notice, and probably have to put some shoes on lest we cut our feet on all those sharp worldview fragments.

          • islandbrewer

            Zinc, I think you’re actually right. I keep seeing the same crap over and over, and I’m convinced that “Steve Willy” is just a chatbot with the same four links and some weird “Neckbeard” insult programmed in.

          • Steve Willy

            This is exactly the kind of crap I would expect a demented, neck bearded mind to manufacture. Shame on you, you sociopathic megadouche. See:
            http://conservapedia.com/Atheism#Atheism_and_bestiality

          • Loqi

            Wait just a second. There’s a person out there who takes conservapedia seriously? You realize half the contributors to that site are liberals posting the craziest shit they can think of just to see if the readers are dumb enough to buy it, right? I feel bad engaging Steve in conversation at this point. It’s like boxing a toddler.

          • Steve Willy

            On atheism, there is no objective standard by which boxing a toddler could be deemed ‘wrong.’ ‘Without God, all things are permissible.’

          • Loqi

            I’m still in awe that you think conservapedia is a legit source of information.

          • Steve Willy

            I’m still in awe that you haven’t placed your face into your palm, stepped away from your device, found a quiet place, and re-thought your life.

          • Loqi

            You are? That’s a strange thing to be in awe of. Perhaps if you provided some cogent arguments or solid evidence for what you believe, you could make me do such a thing.

            I won’t hold my breath for it.

          • baal

            Steve, did you get your neckbeard caught in the blender again?

          • DavidMHart

            Trouble with that argument is that it can be just as easily turned around: with God, all things are permissible – if you believe in a god who wants you to massacre the Amalekites, say, or cut your daughter’s clitoris off, or deny your child a life-saving blood transfusion, or pilot a plane into a building full of a kaffir, then obviously those things would be not just permissible but mandatory. Since there is no way to consult God directly and get a definitive ruling on whether he actually does want you to do those things, the religious people who think that those actions are wrong cannot provide a theologically watertight answer to those who think those actions are called for.

            The only reliable way of figuring out what actions should be permissible is to honestly investigate reality, identify all those beings that are capable of wellbeing and suffering, identify which actions are more likely to enhance wellbeing and which will increase suffering and take it from there, making sure to always be on the lookout for possible improvements.

            Morality doesn’t come from on high, from a god outside the universe that we can’t even agree on the first things about, let alone his exact wishes. But it does come from the truths of biology, psychology, economics etc that determine what tends to increase wellbeing here in this life, the only life we have good reasons to think we will ever have. This is not at all an arbitrary standard, and if you think it is, you will need to explain why.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Really? Tell me, what demonstrable, quantifiable, empirical, testable, replicable evidence is there proving it’s wrong to rape a little girl to death?

            What demonstrable, quantifiable, empirical, testable, replicable evidence is there which proves you should treat others with dignity, respect and beneficence?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            For the first “question” — Hmmm…. a little girl suffers violation, pain, and death, and you want “evidence that it’s wrong?”

            HER SUFFERING IS PROOF ENOUGH!

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Here’s the thing. Regardless of efforts to the contrary, all life suffers and ends. Therefore, a case could be made that maximizing one’s pleasure should be the absolute moral touchstone by which to adjudicate moral values. As a famous adherent of this philosophy candidly expressed, “The greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable ‘value judgment’ that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these ‘others’? Other human beings, with human rights? Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more to you than a hog’s life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as ‘moral’ or ‘good’ and others as ‘immoral’ or ‘bad’? In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me—after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and uninhibited self.”” -Ted Bundy

            Since this equally compelling opinion conflicts with yours, how would you show it to be objectively false and yours objectively true? That is to say, which of the two reflects reality?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            I want food animals to be raised and slaughtered humanely, I want our companion animals treated with dignity and respect, I want humans to be treated humanely and with dignity and respect. I want world peace.

            That last isn’t likely to happen, but I believe we can work together to improve the rest.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            That’s all well and good but you still need to prove this is anything more than just arbitrary opinion or personal preference.

          • phantomreader42

            So, your alternative is to wait for the voices in your head to give you permission to slaughter the infidels and bathe in their blood, and until then you’ll jerk off in public, crowing about how moral you supposedly are because you only rape, torture, kill, and eat the people your imaginary friend tells you to.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Reducing harm and suffering is a good unto itself.

            What, you want people to suffer?

          • Joseph O Polanco

            So, injections along with a whole host of excruciatingly painful medical treatments are immoral?

          • DavidMHart

            Of course they would be immoral, if they are medically unnecessary. The morality of giving someone, say, an appendectomy, or a drug with unpleasant side effects, hinges exquisitely on whether that person has appendicitis, or a disease that that drug is an effective treatment for. If yes, then the treatment will probably prevent more suffering than it causes, and is therefore good. If not, the treatment will probably cause more suffering that it prevents, and is therefore bad. there is literally nothing controversial or difficult to understand about that.

            I was already starting to get the impression that you are pathologically incapable of arguing honestly, but this really takes the biscuit.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            So the concern is net suffering, not absolute suffering per se. I get it.

          • DavidMHart

            In this case, yes. I don’t deny that there are difficult cases, but this one isn’t a difficult case by any stretch of the imagination. Obviously if we could get rid of all suffering, we should, but in a world of limited resources and imperfect knowledge we can only do our best.

            By the way, for what it’s worth, the phrase is spelled ‘per se‘ (and if you are being pedantic it should be in italics like that) – it is the Latin for ‘by itself’.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            To what case are you referring to?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            TBH, I’d love to have my appendix removed before it decides to become a problem.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            I’d suggest you learn to read for comprehension, kiddo, because you clearly aren’t understanding a single word directed at you.

          • phantomreader42

            But reading for comprehension makes teh pwecious babby jeebus cry!!11

          • Joseph O Polanco

            I’m taking your rationale to its logical conclusion. If you don’t like it feel free to adjust your values accordingly.

          • Jennifer Starr

            And you’re just dandy with women and children doing the suffering, as long as it’s not you.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Do you honestly believe women don’t suffer the regret of having murdered their unborn children?

          • Jennifer Starr

            I think the fact that someone regrets a decision gives them no right to take it away from someone else.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            But those sharp pangs from her conscience give conspicuous testimony of the evil she’s committed …

          • Dez

            Which you do not know personally because you are not a psychic to know the feelings of a woman. You just project how you think a woman should feel and ignore the women that tell you differently.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            I’ve known plenty of women who tearfully regret murdering their child in utero and would give anything to take back that decision.

          • DavidMHart

            Wait – are you seriously suggesting that all women who have abortions regret it? Some do, sure, but the fact that some of them regret it provides no more of a justification for placing it off limits than the fact that some people regret getting married would justify banning marriage.

            And quit it with the ‘unborn children’. You have already had it explained to you that we are not fooled by your duplicitous equivocation of ‘foetus’ with ‘child in the sense of a particular stage of development’.

            And also quit it with the ‘murder’. Murder is by any reasonable definition the deliberate, unlawful killing of a person. In order for abortion to be murder, you would have to establish that

            a) abortion is unlawful (which is true in some circumstances in many jurisdiction, and true in all circumstances in a few jurisdictions, but certainly not true in all circumstances in the USA), and
            b) that an embryo or a foetus is a ‘person’. I know that there are some states that are trying to establish ‘foetal personhood’ laws (and maybe some of them already do – I don’t have the data to hand right now but I’m confident most don’t).

            Therefore (in most jurisdictions) you have to really really stretch the definition of ‘murder’ in order to shoehorn abortion into its ambit. Just don’t bother; you’ll look a lot more honest and less manipulative.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            i. Those with a conscience do, yes.

            ii. Moral reality doesn’t sway to semantic equivocalities, sorry.

            iii. Which makes the question of its morality that much more incumbent. Since legality is not synonymous with morality, what jurisdictions are moral and which are immoral?

          • Dez

            Those with a conscience and intelligence know that you are using emotional rhetoric instead of actual reality on what abortion is.

          • phantomreader42

            It’s really disturbing how many christians have to have it pointed out to them that not everyone is a sociopath like they are…

          • Joseph O Polanco

            This coming from sociopaths who see nothing wrong with the mass murder of recently and/or unborn children …

          • phantomreader42

            You’re the one who thinks genocide and human sacrifice are okay if your imaginary friend tells you to do it. And everyone knows you don’t really give a flying fuck about babies, you just think you can use fetuses as an excuse to treat women like shit, then throw them away the instant they become inconvenient.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Argumentum ad passiones. Just because your argument is riddled with profanity it doesn’t mean you actually know what you’re talking about. It means you’re a child. Try again.

          • phantomreader42

            So, you think people saying mean things about YOU is wrong, but you can’t bring yourself to see any problem with YOU lying about others and falsely accusing people of murder. I seem to recall a story about some guy who said to deal with the log in your own eye before whining about the speck in your neighbor’s. Do you have any idea who that was? Oh, never mind, must’ve just been some damn godless hippie, since we all know no True Christian™ would ever dream of saying something like that, much less living by it.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            I’m puzzled by all this inveighing. I have not accused you nor anyone else of committing murder. I’m curious, though, where’s all this guilt coming from? How many unborn children have you killed premeditatedly?

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

            1) You accused all of us who think a woman’s body and autonomy are more important than a microscopic ball of cells’ life of being murderers.

            2) None. Partly because unborn children don’t exist (they are called blastocysts or zygotes or embryos or fetuses), partly because I’m not medically trained and have never had an abortion. I fully support women and girls doing so, though.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            i. Those who use abortion callously as birth control commit the immoral and ‘premeditated killing of another human being’ and the most defenseless at that. How is it that you’re not horrified by this cruel bloodshed?

            ii. Children in utero, then. Better?

            iii. You support medically unnecessary abortions, in other words, murder. Well, at least you’re honest …

          • phantomreader42

            Ah, so now you’re denying your own statements. You’re just a worthless lying sack of shit.
            The guilt you’re imagining exists only in your delusions. Stupid liars for jeebus such as yourself annoy me, so I mock them.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            How childish and me here with this distaste for debating children …

            Feel free to come back to the debate when you’ve grown up (if you grow up …)

          • Dez

            Says the man that called women who have abortions as murderers and that anyone that disagrees with you as heartless and without a conscience. You are a hypocrite and a liar of the highest order. Thankfully we’re atheists and have better morals and intelligence than people like you.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            i. Those who use abortion as birth control most certainly are guilty of the immoral and ‘premeditated killing of another human being.’ That you don’t find that the least bit horrifying …

            ii. Atheists have better morals? Correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t Danton, Lenin, Sanger, Than Shwe, Stalin, Mengele, Mao, Kim Il Sung, Ceausescu, Honecker, Castro, Pol Pot, Broz Tito, Milosevic, Bonaparte and Mussolini oppressive, sadistic, democidal atheists who, collectively, butchered ***hundreds of millions*** of innocent men, women and children?

            “If atheism were such a blessing for humanity, Mao’s China would have been an empire of sunshine, rainbows and frolicking bunnies, instead of a countryside of cadavers.” – Anonymous

          • Dez

            On a side note, it’s truly shameful to see a black man support forced birth like the slave owners that forced black women to give birth against their will. You are repeating the same behavior with gusto. Pathetic.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            I’m not black, not that my lineage has anything to do with the morality of murdering children in utero.

          • fiona64

            You first, Joey …

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            None, because there’s no such thing as an “unborn child”.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            A child in utero, then. Better?

          • Dez

            It’s not a child until it’s born. Until then it is a fetus. Jeez read a science book.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            Semantics. A child ready to be born is still a child.

            Be human.

          • islandbrewer

            Just because your argument is riddled with profanity it doesn’t mean you actually know what you’re talking about. It means you’re a child.

            Oddly, I know no children who argue using profanity. Just adults.

            Hmm, I wonder what Stephen Fry would say:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_osQvkeNRM

          • DavidMHart

            First: who on earth is advocating the mass murder of recently-born children? I sure amn’t.
            Secondly, there is no such thing as an unborn child. A child is what you become after being born. Before birth, there is a foetus, and before that an embryo, and before that, a zygote. I am happy to concede that a foetus is probably capable of feeling some measure of pain, at least after some point in the development process. But before the brain has developed? Clearly not – if you don’t have pain nerves, you can’t have pain. Therefore aborting a foetus or embryo before sufficient brain has developed is not hurting anything capable of being hurt.

            That is why almost all secular people are quite keen that abortion and other family planning services be freely available to all women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy at an early stage so that no persons are harmed by the process – i.e. before a conceptus has developed to the point at which any non-deranged person could reasonably consider it a person.

            Of course, you’d then need to argue why, even after a foetus has developed some nervous tissue, its rights should automatically trump the rights of a woman to her own bodily autonomy, which is a different discussion, but even if you were able to persuade us that a foetus with enough brain tissue to feel some pain should always be allowed to over-ride a woman’s desire not to be pregnant, for whatever reason, that would provide a stronger reason for wanting to ensure that early-stage abortion services were freely available to those who want them, so as to minimise suffering caused to unborn foetuses.

            As regarding your hypothetical psychopath who wants to rape and murder little girls…
            Well, we need to consider the difference between what can be proven with absolutely watertight 100% certainty, and what cannot be so proven, but for which the evidence is so overwhelming that only a lunatic could entertain significant doubt.

            Yes, I cannot prove that girls under a certain age are not just mindless automata who do not feel pain, who do not have a strong desire to stay alive and to be free from sexual violence etc. It is conceivable that they merely look like sentient beings capable of suffering, and that, if you run her through a brain scan, all of the data that strongly suggest brain activity are just an illusion designed to bamboozle us. But then, it is conceivable that extraterrestrial build the pyramids, or that when the stars align, mighty Cthulhu will arise from his aeons-long slumber and devour us all. Nonetheless, it is for those who would assert those things to provide good evidence. Until then, reasonable people will continue to operate on the assumption that the pyramids were designed and built by ordinary humans, that Cthulhu is fictional, and that little girls are as capable of suffering, fear and pain as anyone else with a functioning nervous system, and therefore that subjecting them to violation and death is as cruel as it would be to subject an adult to the same treatment.

            What people usually mean by ‘morality’ is that set of behavioural maxims that will (or, that will on average) allow as many sentient beings as possible to live lives that are as happy, fulfilling and free from pain and fear as possible. If someone else thinks that ‘morality’ means striving to paint as many things red as possible, then we can safely ignore them because it’s clear that they’re talking about something else, just like chemists, who consider ‘chemistry’ to mean the search for knowledge about how atoms interact to form molecules, can safely ignore someone who thinks that ‘chemistry’ means the search for a maximally efficient way to run a postal service.

            Now, even the people who believe in a god are generally operating on the same definition of morality as everyone else … because if it is true that there exists an eternal and undefeatable deity who will reward us with eternal bliss if we do what he wants, and punish us with eternal torment if we don’t, then the moral course of action is the one that will result in as many of us as possible getting to experience eternal bliss, and as few of us as possible to experience eternal torture. This is true no matter how cruel and evil the god is – if the holy bully genuinely cannot be defeated, then the best we can hope for is for as many of us as possible to be in his good books – and if that includes raping and murdering little girls on God’s order, so be it. Just like, if it is true that Cthulhu is inevitably going to arise and devour us all, then the best we can hope for is to be eaten quickly, so whatever course of action will influence the Ancient Ones to eat as many of us as possible as fast as possible, and leave as few of us as possible to be eaten later after having had to witness the destruction of most of humanity and suffer whatever torments the Elder Gods subject us to.

            But if it is false that such a being exists, then, no matter how loving and beneficent he is hypothesized to be, the moral course of action is whatever will tend to increase wellbeing and lessen suffering in this life, the only life we have any good reasons to believe we’ve got. And the chances that the rape and murder of terrified children is compatible with those goals is so low that we can safely consider it to be statistically indistinguishable from zero.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            i. Planned Parenthood, for one: http://bit.ly/11EI1fT

            ii. What kinda sicko are you? Are you seriously telling me a child moments from being born is not a child?!?

            Thank you for demonstrating the inhumanity of Atheists …

            iii. Here’s the thing. Regardless of efforts to the contrary, all life suffers and ends. Therefore, a case could be made that maximizing one’s pleasure should be the absolute moral touchstone by which to adjudicate moral values. As a famous adherent of this philosophy candidly expressed, “The greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consists in the insupportable ‘value judgment’ that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these ‘others’? Other human beings, with human rights? Why is it more wrong to kill a human animal than any other animal, a pig or a sheep or a steer? Is your life more to you than a hog’s life to a hog? Why should I be willing to sacrifice my pleasure more for the one than for the other? Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as ‘moral’ or ‘good’ and others as ‘immoral’ or ‘bad’? In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure I might take in eating ham and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me—after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and uninhibited self.”” -Ted Bundy

            Since this equally compelling opinion conflicts with yours, how would you show it to be objectively false and yours objectively true? That is to say, which of the two reflects reality?

          • DavidMHart

            i. Planned Parenthood, for one: http://bit.ly/11EI1fT

            Well, if that is true, and not a gross distortion of Planned Parenthood’s position, then I don’t endorse the killing of viable babies after birth – but you know what gets us into that situation? Preventing women with unwanted pregnancies from having access to abortions early on in the pregnancy. Also, passing laws making it hard for women to access contraception in general and emergency contraception in particular. If you really cared about the suffering of foetuses, you would be struggling tooth and nail to make sure that there were as few unwanted pregnancies as possible, by

            1) campaigning for affordable, widely available contraception,

            2) for good, medically accurate information about how to use it, from before the age of fertility is reached (because no matter how strongly you preach abstinence to adulescents, no one has ever devised a society in all of human history where everyone actually practises it, so we need to have, as a fallback position, a demographic of youngsters who, if they’re going to have sex, know how to minimize the risks)

            3) for easy and affordable access to abortion services so that women who find themselves pregnant against their wishes can get an abortion before the foetus becomes capable of suffering,

            4) for a social security net that ensures that a woman whose decision whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term hinges on her economic position will in fact be able to rely on state assistance in bringing up the child

            … and so on. Are you doing any of those things? If not, your concern for the suffering of foetuses rings very hollow.

            ii. What kinda sicko are you? Are you seriously telling me a child moments from being born is not a child?!?

            Of course. If I’m being strictly pedantic, I should have said it’s not a child immediately after birth either. It’s a baby. A zygote becomes a blastocyst becomes an embryo becomes a foetus becomes a baby becomes a child becomes an adolescent becomes an adult.
            Just as we don’t call you an ‘adult’ until you’ve hit the age of majority, and even up to the second before that moment, you are still a minor, so we don’t call you a baby until you are born; prior to that point you are a foetus. I don’t understand what’s sick about that.

            That is, I don’t understand what’s sick about that unless you are trying to pull a dishonest bait-and-switch between two very different senses of the word ‘child’. There is the sense in which you are a child if you are older than a baby but younger than an adult (or, depending on how much of a lumper or a splitter you are, older than a toddler but younger than an adolescent), and there is the sense (synonymous with ‘offspring’) in which you always remain a child of your parents – no matter how old you get, you will always be your mother’s child. Of course a pre-birth foetus is its mother’s ‘child’ in that latter sense, but it is not a child in the first sense.

            [long rambling quote from Ted Bundy]

            I have already addressed this in my previous comment. Morality means being concerned for the wellbeing of others who are capable of experincing suffering and wellbeing (or at least, that’s what most people’s understanding of it boils down to). The fact that Ted Bundy thought that raping and killing others, being indifferent to their pain, was fine and dandy is utterly irrelevant to those who are concerned about preventing unnecessary suffering. He just didn’t get it.

            Just like my hypothetical person who thinks ‘chemistry’ means being concerned about how to run a postal service. That person may use the same word as an actual chemist, but they’d be playing humpty-dumpty with the word, just as Ted Bundy would be playing humpty-dumpty if he thought that morality was all about him satisfying his sadistic desires at others’ expense. Whatever Bundy was talking about, he wasn’t talking about what I or most people (religious or non-religious) are talking about when we talk about what is moral.

            And if you think that this is a problem for me, you must surely be aware that it is also a problem for you. If Ted Bundy’s ‘morality’ is just as valid as that of someone who really cares about minimizing the unnecessary suffering of others, then Ted Bundy’s ‘morality’ is just as valid as that of someone who really cares about obeying the commandments of your celestial tyrant. If I can’t prove that Ted Bundy’s worldview is incompatible with ethical behaviour, then neither can you, because how could you possibly prove that Bundy should, objectively, be obeying God’s commands rather than his own whims?

            Such an approach would get us nowhere. Like I said before, all we need to do is recognise that in the real world, most of us are concerned with the wellbeing of others as well as ourselves, and then use that concern as a motivating factor in honestly investingating reality and striving to figure out what behaviours do in fact promote wellbeing without causing unnecessary suffering.

            The fact that there exist some psychopaths who are unabe to care about others does not invalidate that project any more than the existence of people who are unable to hear sounds invalidates the project of music.

          • Joseph O Polanco

            i. Then the focus should be on making the host of humane anti-conception solutions available to everyone, not just the rich, instead of advocating murder as an acceptable form of birth control, don’t you think?

            ii. How does any of that change the fact that you’re still advocating the murder of unborn human beings?

            iii. And so we arrive at the crux of the matter. Per the atheistic world view, “good” and “evil” are just social conventions akin to driving on the left versus right side of the road or mere expressions of personal preference akin to having a taste for certain foods or not. If you try and claim morals are valid independently of our apprehension of them, what is their objective foundation? Moreover, if morality is just a human convention, then why should we act morally, especially when it conflicts with self-interest? Or are we in some way held accountable for our moral decisions and actions?

            More particularly, what is the basis for the value of human beings? If God does not exist, then it is difficult to see any reason to think that human beings are special or that their morality is objectively true. Withal, why think that we have any moral obligations to do anything? Who or what imposes any moral duties upon us?

            If there is no God, then any ground for regarding the herd morality evolved by humans as objectively true is purely arbitrary. After all, what is so special about human beings? They are just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved relatively recently on an infinitesimal speck of dust lost somewhere in a hostile and mindless universe and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively in a relatively short time.

            This is why the philosophy of Gnostic Atheism is so very pernicious.

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

            I wrote this above, but I wanted to make sure you saw it too. Planned Parenthood does not support infanticide. What she said was well within medically accepted norms. Alisa LaPolt Snow was speaking against a bill that would require physicians to provide care to infants born of botched abortions.

            She was asked, “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” She replied: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”

            And that’s good. That’s the right answer. That’s how it works now. The bill would require that baby to receive medical attention. Really? Even a 24 weeker? One with ~1% chance of survival and no chance of a normal life? If there’s a miscarriage at that time, doctors and parents consult to decide whether to rack up the $1 million+ NICU bill or just provide palliative care and let the wanted baby die. People decide both ways, and neither way is right or wrong. But an unwanted baby, that one is required to be kept alive and the parent(s) incurring massive medical debt against her/their will? That is what Ms. Snow was arguing against- she was saying that the babies born of botched abortions should be treated exactly the same as wanted miscarriages at that time, not as specialer snowflakes.

          • DavidMHart

            Thanks; I suspected it probably was a gross distortion, but didn’t have the time to go digging.

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

            Nodnod. These sorts of misinformation can take a lot of time to find the actual answer for- I was lucky that the article he linked actually held the answers, but there’s no way to be sure on tiny URLs.

          • phantomreader42

            I find that it’s easier to automatically assume anything a religious apologist says is a lie until proven otherwise. I can’t recall a single time this assumption has been incorrect.

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

            Actually, what she said was well within medically accepted norms. Alisa LaPolt Snow was speaking against a bill that would require physicians to provide care to infants born of botched abortions.

            She was asked, “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?” She replied: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”

            And that’s good. That’s the right answer. That’s how it works now. The bill would require that baby to receive medical attention. Really? Even a 24 weeker? One with ~1% chance of survival and no chance of a normal life? If there’s a miscarriage at that time, doctors and parents consult to decide whether to rack up the $1 million+ NICU bill or just provide palliative care and let the wanted baby die. People decide both ways, and neither way is right or wrong. But an unwanted baby, that one is required to be kept alive and the parent(s) incurring massive medical debt against her/their will? That is what Ms. Snow was arguing against- she was saying that the babies born of botched abortions should be treated exactly the same as wanted miscarriages at that time, not as specialer snowflakes. Way to be fucking misleading, dude. I thought God was supposed to make a you a good person- since when does lying for Jesus do that?

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Some nutter’s OPINION does not make for truth.

          • Dez

            Add in ignorance to those who do not know what abortion is and actually think it’s murder. Read a science book before speaking about something you obviously know nothing about.

        • baal

          State and church working hand in hand to literally beat up atheists and you’re the one fantasizing about sex toys. Who is being naive again?


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