Why We Disagree on Moral Issues

Why We Disagree on Moral Issues July 1, 2016

Christianity moral issues

Why do liberals and conservatives argue so much about morality? Don’t we all have a common sense of right and wrong?

Yes and no. For the common examples given by Christian apologists (torturing babies, for example), we’re all on the same page, but it’s more complicated than that. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt has brought the amorphous domain of morality into focus to reveal five separate categories. It’s a simple idea that explains much and can help us get past our differences—or at least understand them better.

From his TED video, here are Haidt’s five components of morality.

  1. Care/harm. We’ve evolved to feel (and dislike) pain. This isn’t just true for ourselves; we also sense and dislike pain in others. From this comes kindness, nurturing, empathy, and so on.
  2. Fairness/reciprocity. This is related to reciprocal altruism. From this foundation comes justice, rights, autonomy, and the Golden Rule.
  3. Ingroup/loyalty. We have a long history as tribal creatures able to adapt to shifting coalitions. This foundation underlies patriotism, selflessness, and self-sacrifice for the group. It is active anytime people feel that it’s one for all, and all for one.
  4. Authority/respect. As primates, we understand hierarchical social interactions. This foundation underlies the virtues of leadership and followership, including deference to legitimate authority and respect for traditions.
  5. Purity/sanctity. This is shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination. Being repulsed by things that look or smell bad can keep us from eating unsafe food. It also underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, and more noble way.

Haidt theorizes that the rise of civilization may have needed all five of the morality categories.

Make love, not war

Here’s the interesting bit: when people from different viewpoints are tested against these five categories, everyone strongly endorses #1 (care/harm) and #2 (fairness/reciprocity).
As Haidt’s drawing shows, Americans across the political spectrum strongly endorse the foundations of Care/Harm and Fairness. Not so for the next three. The conservative says “go team,” while the liberal says “celebrate diversity” (#3). The conservative says, “respect authority,” while the liberal says, “question authority” (#4). The conservative says, “life is sacred” (while the liberal says, “women have the right to choose”) and “Men kissing? Eww!” (while the liberal says, “Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t have one.”), category #5.

That’s a caricature, of course. Liberals like the team, authority, and purity as well; it’s just that they are likelier than conservatives to fear these good ideas taken to an extreme.

Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed, and they’ll risk chaos for the benefits of change. Conservatives speak for institutions and traditions, and they’ll risk injustice to those at the bottom for the benefits of order.

Haidt observes that in Eastern thought, it’s not the zero-sum game that it is in the West. While there are opposites (yin and yang, for example), they aren’t enemies. Each is recognized as having value. Brahma is the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. Each has a role.

This insight that morality is composed of different components has been helpful to me in making clear how those who disagree with me aren’t evil or insane but simply see morality differently. We value the same moral foundations but rank them differently.


See also: Understanding Morality—It’s Really Not that Hard


Are we at an impasse?

Let me think aloud for a bit.

Social liberals and conservatives will see issues like abortion and same-sex marriage differently. The liberal acknowledges the differences and wants each person to be minimally constrained. You need an abortion? Up to a point, it’s your choice. You’re going to get gay married? Congratulations!

Alternatively, if you don’t like abortion or gay marriage, then don’t get one. If you want to argue against them, the First Amendment allows that.

The conservative typically wants minimal government intrusion but makes an exception here because the stakes are so high. Life is too important to permit abortion. Marriage is too important in the traditional sense to expand the definition. Government is tasked to impose the correct approach on everyone.

Where does this put us as a society? Are we destined to struggle? Or are there larger social trends pushing us in one direction or the other where, like slavery and civil rights, one side will prevail and the debate will seem inconceivable decades from now?

Never let your sense of morals 
prevent you from doing what is right. 

— Isaac Asimov, Foundation

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 5/29/13.)

Image credit: Wikimedia

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • busterggi

    Until we separate into the Morlocks and Eloi this will continue.

  • eldermusician

    What??!! You are trying to tell me that those who argue against my position AREN’T insane ??? Darn. I’ll have to ponder that one. g

    • Korou

      Of course they are. How else could it be? Otherwise, the whole world would be crazy.

  • RichardSRussell

    Bob says that conservatives contend that Marriage is too important in the traditional sense to expand the definition., and thus they oppose gay marriage. But, in doing so, they are flying squarely in the face of reality, because what they think of as “traditional marriage” isn’t traditional at all! Their own favorite holy book is absolutely riddled with counter-examples. Any claim that their bigotry is based on “tradition” is simply re-mouthing of the lying propaganda they’ve been fed and have accepted without question.

    Apropos of which, I find it curious that nowhere in Haidt’s analysis do we find anything remotely smacking of “honesty” or “respect for truth”. Aren’t those moral concerns as well?

    • DanD

      Tradition is whatever someone grew up doing. It doesn’t actually reach any further back than that.

      • Cygnus

        Traditions are made to be broken.

    • Berlzebub

      Personally, there’s only three things that I could rank. Harm, fairness, and honesty. Even then, I’d have a difficult time prioritizing them, because I find all very important.

      Authority, in-group, and purity fall completely off my list. Authority too often leads to abuse, in-group leads to ostracizing the out-group, and the “ick factor” associated with purity is too often the reason for bias.

      • Greg G.

        I think honesty is part of fairness. I don’t think making a false statement is necessarily wrong, like a joke, for instance or telling someone they are looking good, even when they are not. But completely true statements can be used deceptively to take advantage of someone which I think is just as wrong as telling lies to take advantage of them.

      • Ignorant Amos

        I prefer the term esprit de corps rather than “in-group” and as an ex-military person I can appreciate its usefulness.

  • epicurus

    Based on conversations I’ve had over the years I found that some people are afraid to concede something may be right or wrong because doing so would but them in agreement with a group they otherwise despise and disagree with in many other areas, and maybe they are afraid that would lead to a slippery slope and they would be pulled into further agreement with the despised group. I guess that would be a variation of Haidt’s point #3 – Ingroup/Loyalty.

    One example would be my devout christian mother who felt some sympathy towards animal and environmental rights but could never bring herself to actually come out and support them, because doing so would, in her mind, lump her in with people, who “Well, you know, they don’t really believe in God.”

  • smrnda

    From having been there, I don’t think there’s less conflict along these axis in the the eastern world because of a better balance, but just since, in many ways, even people who might be seen as ‘liberals’ within east Asian societies are probably still more in favor of authority, tradition and such than western liberals since, in some ways, western liberals and their rejection of tradition and authority was a product of Enlightenment thought, and the rejection of tradition is tied in with the rejection of religious hegemony. Western political thought is also heavily influenced by issues like immigration and multiculturalism, which probably causes the idea of ‘tradition’ or ‘authority’ or ‘purity’ to break down. There are diverse populations in India, but yet there’s still strong Hindu nationalism (kind of like Christian nationalism in the USA.) So there, issues that could fall under the heading of ‘multiculturalism’ aren’t the product of some recent influx of immigrants, but of diverse populations which have existed in particular places (with different groups being dominant) for a long time.

    The recent polarization seems to have happened as conservatives in the USA have become a party for ideological purity regardless of consequences. If you look way back, before the 1980s, conservatives were saying things like ‘even if the intentions of socialism are good, it’s not getting results that market economies are getting.’ A pragmatic argument – no system of government was intrinsically right, just some worked better. These were commonly made before I was born by self-identified conservatives. But later, it’s become ‘government intervention into the economy is intrinsically wrong, consequences are irrelevant.’ So, if cutting taxes and government benefits results in widespread poverty, it’s still the right thing to do. It’s as if consequences, harm, benefit, ceased to even matter to conservatives. My take is that it’s the union (in the USA) of conservatism with particular strains of Christianity, Randroids, and media personalities who, unlike politicians, don’t have to deliver positive results if ‘elected’ and so they can rant on about ideological purity. When the conservative politicians fail, it’s because they were not ideologically pure enough.

    With the left, I think authority and purity went out the window over issues about human sexuality. Once people get over that sort of ‘purity’ I don’t think there’s much left under ‘purity’ that they’ll be able to care about. It’s just look like arbitrary taboos disconnected from real world concerns.

    • Cygnus

      “When the conservative politicians fail, it’s because they were not ideologically pure enough.”
      ===
      Nah, they fall because what they want to conserve is stupidity.

  • Berlzebub

    By that graph, conservatives consider fairness (equality) as the lowest priority. That explains a great deal.

    • Rudy R

      The Conservative attitude is that I got mine and if you want yours, you better pull yourself up by your own bootstraps or it sucks to be you. And of course, that position is endorsed by Jeebus.

  • gusbovona

    My atheist group read Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind” which includes the 5 components of morality. While Haidt’s analysis and typology is very good, and explains a lot, he makes the case in the book for valuing the conservative ones. To me, as a liberal, I don’t value the purity component much at all.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Purity is useful when applied to objects…not so much to other people, which is a perversion of it IMHO.

      • gusbovona

        Possibly. The other problem is also when it’s applied to a concept (patriotism, for instance).

        • Cygnus

          Patriotism is for politics what is faith for Christianity.

        • Rudy R

          Never trust anyone who proclaims themselves a patriot. It usually results in someone getting screwed.

        • Cygnus

          Never trust anyone who proclaims themselves a Christian. It usually results not only in someone getting screwed, but in many people getting screwed.
          At least a patriot would die for his/her country (remember those English movies where young patriots boy were willing to die for England), but a Christian will fuck up people with his/her one of myriads kinds of Christianity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Never trust anyone who proclaims themselves a Christian. It usually results not only in someone getting screwed, but in many people getting screwed.

          …but a Christian will fuck up people with his/her one of myriads kinds of Christianity.

          Here you go again with this fucking bigoted bullshit.

          Most of my family and friends proclaim themselves a Christian you fuckin’ moron. I’m going to go out on a limb and claim I’m not alone on this either.

          I can only assume you have been emotionally or mentally damaged by a Christian/Christians at some stage to hold such hatred of all Christians, but stop with the generalisations already.

          You are beginning to become a bit of an embarrassment with all your erroneous anti-Christian bigoted claptrap.

        • mobathome

          At least a patriot would die for his/her country …

          A patriot is someone willing for you to die for their country.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s a coward…yeah, a get the sarcasm, but still.

          I’ve known a number of patriots that have died for their country.

        • Cygnus

          Apparently you’re a fucking bigot regarding atheists.
          I am totally free to call Christians I know as morons, idiots, mentally retarded and totally fucks up.

          I don’t know about your fucking Christians and I don’t care about them because for now I know what kind of religion you are defending. Is some clan behind you that support your inane observations and that gives you a reason to attack me personally?

          Don’t you get that when I say “fuck up Christians” I am not talking about people but the moronic religion that drive them? If some people do good, they are good, but if they are good and call themselves “Christians”, they are stupid fuckers. I was a Christian and I know Christianity. I am not bigoted against good people, I like you even when you write dumb things, and I am not anymore a Christian.

        • Susan

          Don’t you get that when I say “fuck up Christians” I am not talking about people but the moronic religion that drive them?

          Of course not. The language you use says exactly the opposite.

          if they are good and call themselves “Christians”, they are stupid fuckers.

          No. The only case you can make is that there is no support for their position. You certainly can’t make the case that they are “stupid fuckers”. You would be an idiot to think you can make that case given the number of highly intelligent people who call themselves Christians.

          I was a Christian and I know Christianity.

          Many others here can say the same.

          I am not any more a Christian.

          Neither am I. I didn’t miraculously go from being a stupid fucker to not a stupid fucker when I stopped being a Christian.

        • Cygnus

          Christian(s) is (are) the idea(s) that drives people to call themselves “Christians”.
          It’s so simple, yet so hard for you to understand.

          I am no more Christian in the sense that Christian ideas doesn’t fuck up my mind.

          I hope you didn’t go from being a stupid Christian fucker to just a simply stupid fucker.

        • Susan

          No. Christianity is the idea.

          Christians are people. Many of them are far more intelligent than you or I are. That’s obvious. That doesn’t mean they are correct about their belief on this subject.

          I am no more Christian in the sense that Christian ideas doesn’t fuck up my mind.

          Good. That’s one less thing to fuck up your mind.

          I hope you didn’t go from being a stupid Christian fucker to just a simply stupid fucker.

          Thank you for your good wishes.

          I can’t tell you how stupid or smart I was. I have no idea. I can’t tell you how stupid or smart I am now. Again, no idea.

          I repeat. I didn’t go from being a stupid fucker to not a stupid fucker because I stopped believing christian claims.

          You need to read more and write less.

        • Cygnus

          Christian ideas. If you believe Christian ideas you may call yourself a Christian, but but I call Christian as stupid because people would still be people.
          Christianity is the name of the religion.

        • Cygnus

          “Christians are people”
          ===
          Bullshit you say.
          People who believe Christian ideas don’t became “Christian”. Sometime even “Christians” try to be “Christian” at not avail, the Christian idea is still an idiotic idea. See history of practiced Christianity.
          I know that Christian or muslim religious leaders brainwash the masses that they are Christians because you happened to be born in a totalitarian Christian state, or Muslim because you were born in an Islamist state.
          Jews went further, you’re a Jew because you happened to be born from a Jewish vagina no matter where said vagina happened to be born in the world. The penis religion doesn’t count and it is called ethno-religion. Christians tried to do “Christian” ethnoreligion in Europe, but people realized how stupid Christian is compared with Jew.

        • MNb

          Like the good squeaking swan you are the more words you use the less sense you make.

        • Cygnus

          People are people, idiot. I have nothing with them.
          When I call you an idiot is about your idiotic thinking.
          You are such a retard that when you think you are smart, you believe you’er smart.

        • MNb

          Good – then according to you I’m not a retard nor an idiot, because I actually don’t think I’m smart.

          “People are people”
          Another pearl of profound wisdom coming from Squeaking Swan. How many years did it take you to reach this brilliant conclusion?

        • Cygnus

          Boy, oh boy! I told you’re retard, that’s why you say idiocies. It’s not your fault, you are retard, and I am speaking medically. Surely some retards may think they are smart, you seem to make an effort toward looking smart. Don’t be such a pessimist thinking that “I actually don’t think I’m smart”, some retards get a fair high IQ.

        • MNb

          “Christian(s) is (are) the idea(s) that drives people to call themselves “Christians”.”
          It may be simple, it also sucks. In a proper definition of a word you can’t use that word itself. I already learned that when I was 13.
          In this example it’s even worse. According to you “Christian” is both the idea and the people that hold them.

          “I hope you didn’t go from being a stupid Christian fucker to just a simply stupid fucker.”
          Don’t worry, the only one on this blog who did is you, Squeaking Swan.

        • Cygnus

          What, me worry?

        • MNb

          Dunno. I’m not a mind reader. I just pointed out that your hope is superfluous – similar to hoping that water in rivers will flow to the sea.

        • Cygnus

          You should’ve stopped at “Dunno” and quit while you were ahead.

        • Ignorant Amos

          At least Cygnus serves as an example to Luke that kicking back against asininity is not all about the theist/atheist dynamic. Which he doesn’t acknowledge even when pointed out as he requested.

        • Which he doesn’t acknowledge even when pointed out as he requested.

          This is false. Here’s how I dealt with the example you pointed out:

          LB: That’s better than nothing, but it’s pretty weak sauce. Especially given:

          IA: As long as Christians can leave their woo-woo at the door when they put on their lab coat, then there is no problem.

          In other words, religion might be arbitrarily despicable, but at least it doesn’t completely hamstring Christians such that they cannot make significant contributions to science. So… you’ve slightly weakened my point, but only slightly.

          This discussion here is a much better example than the one you initially provided.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Okay…correction to halfheartedly acknowledged…is that better?

          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/halfheartedly

        • Ignorant Amos

          Apparently you’re a fucking bigot regarding atheists.

          Which goes to show you haven’t a clue what you are talking about. You obviously don’t know the meaning of the word “bigot” and you obviously know fuck all about me.

          I am totally free to call Christians I know as morons, idiots, mentally retarded and totally fucks up.

          Yeah, but you didn’t qualify your bigotry with “Christians I know” in the first place. You generalised. Now you are shifting the goalposts. I don’t know the Christians you know, I could imagine that they might be all, “morons, idiots, mentally retarded and totally fuck ups if you are a metric of your social circle…but I doubt very much, given your comment history, that you are reporting accurately on this.

          I don’t know about your fucking Christians and I don’t care about them…

          I know ya don’t, that’s why I’m trying to educate you. They are not “morons, idiots, mentally retarded and totally fucks ups” and I doubt very much that all the Christians you know ae either, it is just your bigotry at work.

          …because for now I know what kind of religion you are defending.

          You know fuckin’ squat and the regulars here can see that from the asinine nonsense you spew. I have at no point defended Christianity and if you can get your reading comprehension up to par, you’ll do better at understanding that detail.

          Is some clan behind you that support your inane observations and that gives you a reason to attack me personally?

          You sound like Luke Breuer. Cygnus, you can’t just come out with unsubstantiated nonsense and not expect to be challenged. This is not one of those echo-chambers where you get to say what ever you like. Making idiotic statements will raise hackles. I’ve explained all this to you already. It will get personal when you kick back with your idiocy and personal attacks and not address the complaint.

          Don’t you get that when I say “fuck up Christians” I am not talking about people but the moronic religion that drive them?

          You need to pick your terms better. I’ve already been in a ruck with a theist on this site defending your misappropriation of terms. But some of the things you come out with are difficult to interpret in any other way than the words you use. This is given away by the likes of your comment…”I am totally free to call Christians I know as morons, idiots, mentally retarded and totally fucks up.”…this is hard to see as an attack on the religion, not the person. There are other examples too. When you kick back without clarification all you are doing is compounding the problem.

          If some people do good, they are good, but if they are good and call themselves “Christians”, they are stupid fuckers.

          Sigh…then we get back to the usual fuckwittery you spew that just confims what I’ve been saying.

          I was a Christian and I know Christianity.

          And what? Do you want a star on yer arse or something…a Blue Peter Badge? Losing your Christianity hasn’t helped much with your losing your stupid fuckwittery, that seems quite abundant.

          I am not bigoted against good people,

          So you are a bigot. Just all others including good people that call themselves “Christian”, right, gotcha…good ta know.

          I like you even when you write dumb things,..

          Well at the moment, I don’t accept that I write dumb things on your countenance, given the dumb things you write, which I’ve refuted and to which you have not yet successfully rebutted. There are plenty here that I will accept from, that I’ve written a dumb thing, and I will revise my position accordingly, but you are not one of them yet and the way things are going, yer hardly likely to be at this rate either.

          ..and I am not anymore a Christian.

          No shit Sherlock!

          There’s nothing like stating the obvious, is there?

          Many of us were once Christians, but not anymore a Christian, You don’t have some special insight into the mind of the Christians, hence the reason I am calling out some of your nonsense about them.

        • Cygnus

          “I know ya don’t, that’s why I’m trying to educate you.”
          ===
          Wha…? About what? Christianity? Fuck you.

        • MNb

          I agree. Attempts to educate Squeaking Swan about anything are a total waste of time and effort.

        • Cygnus

          Actually I replied to an insult with another insult. But I don’t not expect you to understand.

        • Susan

          a bit of an embarassment

          That phrase shows uncharacteristic restraint on your part, IA, and here, where restraint seems inappropriate.

          He’s been a heel-digging arse since he got here. He has occasional moments of lucidity but has shown no evidence that he’s interested in checking his work, ever.

          I chose to ignore him a long while back because engaging him has been pointless. Greg G. has been more successful because he has more patience.

          I chose to engage with his last tirade because the things he’s pissed out are a HUGE embarassment and have nothing to do with the problems with theism. (Which are that their claims are incoherent and unevidenced.)

        • Ignorant Amos

          That phrase shows uncharacteristic restraint on your part, IA, and here, where restraint seems inappropriate.

          Anno…such a change from the gud’ole days all those years ago when I had zero tolerance for buffoon’s. It must be an age thing.

          In my defence, I was still holding out the rapidly withering olive branch that is language and comm’s breakdown, but that’s well gone now. Cygnus is just another fucking idiot that suffers badly from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

          I think you had the right idea by ignoring him…a skill I’ve yet to master, though arseholes like Cygnus are assisting me in mastering that skill.

        • MNb

          Hey, I agree!
          I even apply this principle to the tribe called atheists ….

        • Cygnus

          Huh?

        • MNb

          Hah!

        • Cygnus

          That’s all your explanation of your idiotic application of a smart thought ?
          “tribe called atheists…” WTF? Are you really retard?

        • Kodie

          Hey, do you know any other words? When someone, in your opinion, says stupid things, you’d do better to articulate what you mean than just call them ableist epithets. You go on long rambling opinion pieces and rants that make almost no sense. I’m sure you think you’re pretty smart, but then you go on getting all uptight and lash out calling people “retards” when you disagree with them instead of say smart things to argue against them.

          I don’t know your first language, and I’m not sure if this is the first time it’s brought to your attention, but I don’t think you’re that intelligent in any language, but I would never call you a retard. You seem to think you’re better than other people and just call them derogatory terms, but that means you don’t have the intelligence to express a thought, and when you do, you don’t say a lot that sounds like it comes from planet earth.

        • Cygnus

          I use “retard”, you use “stupid”. When someone is retard, he/she has an excuse, but when you’re stupid, you don’t have any excuse.

        • Kodie

          Thanks for admitting you’re stupid. Too stupid to speak intelligently, too stupid to articulate, too lazy to adjust your language or understand why it’s not cool to call people retards, over and over and over and over again. like it’s the only fucking word you know to call people when you disagree with them. Go turn off the computer and go back to shouting nonsense at your tv.

        • Cygnus

          You must be stupid to read an admission of stupidity. If you’re retard you’d have an excuse.
          Now calm down.

        • Kodie

          You’re pointless, but what else is new.

        • Cygnus

          So, you are so dense you don’t understand what’s the difference between a retard and a stupid?
          When I call someone a “retard” I give him/her an excuse. but when you’re stupid you don’t have an excuse. So I don’t like to call people stupid.

        • Kodie

          Don’t care about your personal rationale. It’s a rude word like the n-word, and you just fling it about in place of making a literate argument. It’s like you don’t care about substance, you just get angry and yell names at people. Who gives any shits whether you think they have an excuse or not? Your opinion here doesn’t weigh what you think it does.

        • Cygnus

          Your opinion here doesn’t weigh what you think it does.
          Now lets hear from your acolytes supporting your opinion so making you having faith that you’re right.

        • MNb

          Kodie’s opinion still weighs more than yours, something you just admitted yourself by using the term “acolytes”.
          Squeaking Swan strikes again.
          I must compliment you. Nobody, not even creationists, descends into utter stupidity as fast as you do.

        • Cygnus

          Meh

        • MNb

          Sheep says beh.

        • Cygnus

          say it

        • MNb

          Here you go.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-KJWz-5n0g

          I hope it’s not above your intellectual level.

        • Cygnus

          “I hope it’s not above your intellectual level”
          ===
          No, I understand very well that Jesus is your shepherd.

        • MNb

          Who needs an excuse from Squeaking Swan?

        • Cygnus

          You. And I am helping you by not calling you stupid.

        • MNb

          Eeehhh …. you are the one who got so worked up by my answer to your question “Hah!” that you had to use the terms idiotic and retard.

        • Cygnus

          How else could I categorize an answer like “Hah!” when the ‘Huh?” was simply a request for more explanation you were incapable to expand.

        • MNb

          No.
          Hah! is my answer to your “Huh?”

        • Cygnus

          I think you found someone who made a sense out of your answer. You need another upvote then I believe you said something that made sense. (I hope you’ll see the sarcasm)

  • Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.
    — Anon.

    “Anon”?

    Unless you know an example of this quote from before 1944, it is from Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

    • Correction made, thanks.

      • Cygnus

        “When in doubt, just copy the quote and paste it in the Google search engine.” ~ Anon.

        • mobathome

          “Google launches a special search engine for quick copy-paste” from fakingnews.firstpost.com/2013/09/google-launches-a-special-search-engine-for-quick-copy-paste

        • Cygnus

          Thanks G for that!

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Dunno…I see that kind of conservatism as hypocrisy: “Small gov’t unless it’s important to ME to force others to my will”

    • TheNuszAbides

      Haidt’s book was revised with further feedback/study after that TED talk, adding a Liberty component.

  • Michael Neville

    One reason why conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, see authority as the highest moral component is that they hold God to be the ultimate authority and God is the source of morality. Therefore authority is the most important part of morality.

    • The OT certainly makes a big deal out of being loyal to Yahweh and not worshipping the other guys.

      • Cygnus

        The NT certainly makes a big deal out of being loyal to Christ and not worshiping the other guys.
        (Stepping in the big shoes of my master 🙂 but I wrote correctly “worshiping”)

      • Rudy R

        But Conservatives are mostly Evangelical and we know the OT is the old covenant and doesn’t hold much value. And we know Jesus said, render unto Ceasar…

  • Cygnus

    Nobody has copyrights on morality, not liberals nor conservatives. Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

    Morals are an overrated incentive to behave well. The incentive is that when you die you will have a large group of meaty virgins you can screw for all eternity, or if you don’t believe that, then you’ll play hide and seek with Jesus for eternity.

    Morals are only available to hard line religious fundamentalists because atheists believe that Athe, the atheist GOD, does not let them into heaven. However, GOD teaches us not to seek vengeance, but to pray for those like you all.

    The morals are growing in time, from the biblical times when slavery was divinely moral up to Christian immorality of love it or else.

    • Michael Neville

      While much of evolutionary psychology is dubious, to say the least, one thing I think the evolutionary psychologists have got right is that humans evolved morality. It helps groups of people exist without too much friction. While there are vast differences between what certain groups consider moral and immoral behavior. the concept of morality is pretty much universal. We even have a name for those who don’t abide by morality: sociopaths.

      • Cygnus

        “We even have a name for those who don’t abide by morality: sociopaths.”
        ===
        Sociopathy and morality have absolutely nothing in common. As I said: Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

        You don’t like me, then you throw something like : “You’re immoral”, because I don’t abide by what *you* consider “moral”. And if you find some acolytes to support your “morality” then your morality is written in stone.

        You may call me immoral when I say that those who link Evolutionary Psychology and Morality are totally imbeciles. For:

        – Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain useful mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, i.e., as the functional products of natural selection.

        – Morality principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior

        The graphic above was just a joke you didn’t get.

        • Michael Neville

          Sociopathy and morality have absolutely nothing in common.

          Au contraire (that’s furrin for nope). As I said, and you failed to refute, morality is part of what lets people function in society. DSM-5 defines antisocial personality disorder as
          “characterized by a lack of regard for the moral or legal standards in the local culture. There is a marked inability to get along with others or abide by societal rules. Individuals with this disorder are sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths.”

          As I said: Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

          Immoral behavior might, that’s might, be so defined but you fail to account for moral behavior. So that’s at best only half a definition.

          You may call me immoral when I say that those who link Evolutionary Psychology and Morality are totally imbeciles.

          I don’t call you immoral, I call you superficial and silly.

          The graphic above was just a joke you didn’t get.

          Two things about that graphic:

          1. I glanced at it and saw there were no units so I knew it was eminently ignorable.

          2. It was a joke? Here’s a hint, if you want to post jokes try to make them funny. The graphic fails in this respect.

      • TheNuszAbides

        While much of evolutionary psychology is dubious, to say the least,

        Carrier gave it a good poke here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/9141

        • Michael Neville

          Thanks for the link to Carrier’s post. It’s a good critique of evopsych.

  • TheNuszAbides

    due to feedback (particularly from yourmorals.org), Haidt revised The Righteous Mind to include a sixth factor, Liberty.

  • Rudy R

    It’s dumbfounding that theists believe morality is god-given and objective and at the sane time, feel it necessary to codify their moral values through legislatation, because they don’t trust their morals are well comminicated by their god and don’t have the conviction to allow for willful obediance.

    • Otto

      This is a great point.

      Also we are told God tells us what is right but does not force us to DO what is right because that would be taking away our free will…but then the religious turn around and want to legislate morals (theirs) thereby taking away a certain amount of free will.

  • Explorer

    It ca be problematic when using an incomplete or even incorrect theory to analyze a situation, especially when a more complete and better model is available.

    Something worth keeping in mind about Haidt’s revision of Shalom Schwartz’s work is that Haidt eliminated an entire quadrant from Schwartz’s model.

    Haidt:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Three_Political_Camps_in_6D_Moral_Foundation_Space.png

    Schwartz:

    http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/files/2016/04/duval.png

    Haidt seems to have made the deliberate decision to eliminate the entire quandrant dealing with openness (new ideas, experiences, people) from his Moral Foundations theory because its existence undermines some of his assertions. My feeling is that he wants to show conservatives in a good light, and therefore he has to eliminate areas where rational thought is concentrated: the sciences, and also in accepting those who are not part of the in-group.

    Those two examples would tend to show, at least using the US as the exemplars as his work does, that there are negatives that he wants to avoid acknowledging. There is, of course, the fight against using science to come to scientific conclusions, which he manages to sidestep, and the fight to prevent allowing those in out-groups (LGBT marriage rights and transgender bathroom laws) from becoming part of the in-group. Both of those subjects are being championed by those who are squarely in the openness quadrant.

    It’s a hard sell to say that gathering data and formulating theories is part of “caring,” and yet one can easily see that those doing research, as opposed to those who are just working lab jobs like chemistry, are usually not fundamentalists and often not politically conservative. Facts and learning to do solid research break the hold of appeals to authority and tradition.

    Anyway, if anyone is interested in reading up on the sources which Haidt condensed/edited, one would do well to read up on the sources upon which Moral Foundation theory is based. MFT was developed as a conservative reaction to developmental rationalist theories, and tends to focus on politics and religion instead of including the whole spectrum of human priorities. Even there though, as with my two specific examples of science and openness and welcomeness to outsiders, Haidt’s abridged theory, show that Haidt is skirting a subject and just hoping no one notices.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_foundations_theory

    Those interested in engaging in apologetics for Haidt’s crippled/curtailed model should have to give a compelling argument about why the openness quadrant is not necessary in examining these ideas, especially in the two counterexamples I provided. Otherwise, it’s like embracing geocentrism over heliocentrism just because the earth *must* be at the center, and explanations must rationalize that position regardless of all the available evidence which must be discarded.

    • My feeling is that he wants to show conservatives in a good light, and therefore he has to eliminate areas where rational thought is concentrated: the sciences, and also in accepting those who are not part of the in-group.

      Do you have any additional evidence of this assertion about Haidt’s motives? This is an extremely serious charge; were Haidt found guilty of what you claim, how would he note be excommunicated from science? Falsifying/​distorting data is pretty close to an unforgiveable sin in science.

      • Ignorant Amos

        A “feeling” is neither an “assertion” nor an “extremely serious charge” requiring the need for “additional evidence”.

        Ya know the one…

        Feeling: often unreasoned opinion or belief

      • Explorer

        “My feeling is that he wants to show conservatives in a good light, and therefore he has to eliminate areas where rational thought is concentrated: the sciences, and also in accepting those who are not part of the in-group.”

        “Do you have any additional evidence of this assertion about Haidt’s motives? This is an extremely serious charge; were Haidt found guilty of what you claim, how would he not be excommunicated from science? Falsifying/​distorting data is pretty close to an unforgivable sin in science.”

        You seem to be confused.

        First off, Haidt acknowledges that he used the Schwartz model as a basis for his crippled Moral Foundation theory. The fact that he decided to discard a quadrant of that original model, thus reducing the model’s explicative power, isn’t up for debate.

        Secondly, that leads to questions, at least for those who pursue knowledge (something Haidt eliminated from his model) about why such a change would come about when it does have a negative effect on the model’s usefulness. The only possible benefit which is extremely obvious is the fact that the eliminated quadrant is definitely one wherein a lot of values reside in which conservatives fall short in ways which have negative impacts on the world, as in the two examples I gave.

        That leads to my personal feeling that there isn’t another reason, which is where you went off the rails. I have proof of those being my feelings because I am the expert in my own internal life, especially about my own thinking and conclusions.

        Now, since you feel I’m putiing forth something which is such a bombshell… do you have an opinion, using the evidence of course of the Haidt and Schwartz models, of why the crippled Haidt model *gains* in explicative power by eliminating the quadrant? That would help refute my claim, which is how you show my position is unreasonable.

        • I’m not aware enough of the details of the Schwartz model to say which is more powerful, and in which domains. You’ve clearly investigated this much more than I have. (I have read The Righteous Mind.) Now, can you be absolutely clear on whether your charges, if valid, would result in Haidt being censured if not booted from science?

        • Explorer

          You seem to have a strange, and unsupported, conception of science having bodies of authority which decide if someone should be “booted.”

          If someone posits an idea, and that idea manages to pass muster, then others build on it. If the idea is passed by because there are better ideas, then it fades.

          Occasionally, there are ideas which don’t manage to surpass other ideas when considering all the evidence, but which are kept alive because some have an outlook which is supported by those ideas. Creationism/intelligent design is a big example of such. The idea is kept alive by those who embrace it because it is in opposition to the theory of evolution, which doesn’t require an intelligeence to lead to different species.

          Creationists haven’t been “booted” from science. The only consequence is that their ideas are criticized, with the massive weaknesses pointed out, and their credibility is impacted.

          In this case, Moral Foundation theory is a reaction to previous theories, while simultaneously weighting the scale in a way favorable to certain portions of the political spectrum.

          You’re talking about falsifying data, which would definitely have an effect if one was engaging in a study. Instead, this is like the creationists who ignore vast portions of the evidence available because it contradicts their claims. Yes, they’re cherry picking, making bad arguments and basically ruining their credibility with those who are aware of the facts, but there is no Supreme Scientific Authority Council which now says they can no longer engage in Scientism.

          Can you give a parallel example showiing how a bad or flawed explanation is a form of falsifying and/or distorting data rising to the point of censure?

        • You seem to have a strange, and unsupported, conception of science having bodies of authority which decide if someone should be “booted.”

          Straw man. I suggest a read of WP: Scientific misconduct. You could take a look at § Notable individual cases and see how often the scientist loses his/her job for falsifying data. There is The Office of Research Integrity, but misconduct is punished in many other ways as well.

          Can you give a parallel example showiing how a bad or flawed explanation is a form of falsifying and/or distorting data rising to the point of censure?

          Rotterdam Marketing Psychologist Resigns After University Investigates His Data

        • adam

          “You could take a look at § Notable individual cases and see how often the scientist loses his/her job for falsifying data. ”

          How does this compare with, say bankers who falsify data???

          Cashiers?

          Cops?

        • Explorer

          You didn’t give an example of someone “booted” or censured for giving a bad or biased explanation/hypothesis for a given data set. You gave an example of someone manipulating the data set itself.

          I’m doubtful you will find an example of how having a bad or flawed explanation for data, even if motivated by an agenda, is treated the same as falsifying the data itself. However, I’m open to learning that I’m wrong, so I welcome any actual examples.

        • You didn’t give an example of someone “booted” or censured for giving a bad or biased explanation/hypothesis for a given data set. You gave an example of someone manipulating the data set itself.

          I took you to be accusing Haidt of cherry-picking his data. Was this an incorrect inference?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I took you to be accusing Haidt of cherry-picking his data.

          Cherry-picking happens quite regularly, you should know that, but it is not the same thing as taking the actual data and changing it to make it say something it originally didn’t or putting false data in to begin with.

          Falsifying data and being selective about what data to use are two different animals.

          Probably the worst example of this falsifying data is the MMR scandal and the falsifying of data by Andrew Wakefield in a now infamous paper published in Lancet which caused such a furore leading to Wakefield being professionally pariaha and ostracised.

          http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347

        • Explorer

          He definitely decided to ignore a large part of the available evidence.

          To give a parallel example, you feel that openness, which explains Einstein, Hawking, and accepting information which would create acceptance of LGBT individuals, has nothing to do with and no influence on moral choices and values. I feel that one can even use the rise of Christianity as an example of openness overcoming authoritarian and conservative tendencies, especially if one believes the persecution stories before it was a majority religion.

          Now, does your viewpoint on openness rise to the level of falsehood? I don’t think that’s the case. Do you?

        • He definitely decided to ignore a large part of the available evidence.

          If you read Rotterdam Marketing Psychologist Resigns After University Investigates His Data, you’ll see that cherry-picking was part of the charges.

          Now, can you cite a single peer-reviewed work which picks out this evidence you refer to and somehow indicates that it belongs to the set of data Haidt uses to study morality? I’m pretty sure that the interest groups behind LGBT affairs have plenty of money to give to scientists to show that Haidt is a bigot who perverts science in the service of hateful conservatism. Casting that kind of doubt on the research of someone as popular as Haidt would also be incredibly career-boosting to a young scientist. If you cannot point to any such peer-reviewed research, then your contentions are cast in severe doubt.

          To give a parallel example, you feel that openness, which explains Einstein, Hawking, and accepting information which would create acceptance of LGBT individuals, has nothing to do with and no influence on moral choices and values.

          I suspect I wouldn’t be the only one who’d be thrown off by you including the science of Einstein and Hawking in the same sentence as the moral toleration/​affirmation of LGBT folks. Science is generally understood as being quite morally neutral, out of the very precise things required to do science (like honesty). The Nazis could do science and the Soviets could do science. Indeed, the four greatest powers have all experimented on humans: Unit 731, Project MKUltra, Nazi human experimentation, and the Soviet poison laboratory.

          I feel that one can even use the rise of Christianity as an example of openness overcoming authoritarian and conservative tendencies, especially if one believes the persecution stories before it was a majority religion.

          Are you getting at a time dimension of moral thinking which IIRC doesn’t show up in Haidt’s studies? (Adding a time dimension makes the research much more complicated, and more expensive.)

          Now, does your viewpoint on openness rise to the level of falsehood? I don’t think that’s the case. Do you?

          “cherry-picking data” = “manipulating data”
          “manipulating data” = “spreading falsehood”

        • Explorer

          I gave two example (LGBT acceptance//discrimination and Christianity acceptance/rejection) of how openness to new information, the quadrant eliminated by Haidt, is relevant to moral stances. I chose them because they are simple to understand and either support or refute. I think I also mentioned slavery earlier, wherein abolitionists had to be open to the idea that the humans held in slavery were as deserving of freedom as everyone lse.

          If you wish to argue that openness to new values and ideas has nothing to do with considering new values and ideas, I’m open to hearing your objections. Otherwise, I don’t see why one should oppose the characteristic of openness to neww ideas wouldn’t be the direct opposite, and necessary for a better explanation, than classifying that openness under “caring.”

          And again, I don’t think you’re engaging in falsehood for believing that openness isn’t a better explanation, or for wanting to eliminate it from the discussion, just wrong, in the same way I think Haidt is. That’s why I’m curious to learn why *you* think openness is not the best explicative factor to place opposite authority when exploring that spectrum.

        • Why do you continue to dodge this very simple question:

          LB: Now, can you cite a single peer-reviewed work which picks out this evidence you refer to and somehow indicates that it belongs to the set of data Haidt uses to study morality?

          ? You seem to want to assign positive or negative beliefs to me when actually, I’m just not aware of compelling evidence either way. I understand you have your pet theories hypotheses ideas feelings, but feelings frequently aren’t enough to convince another person.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I understand you have your pet theories hypotheses ideas feelings, but feelings frequently aren’t enough to convince another person.

          Like “objective morality” ya mean too, Luke?

        • Explorer

          You want a peer reviewed study to validate the available information and evidence about how defining otherness in relations with the slaves, with Jews, with the LGBT, with Muslim Americans, led to moral stances which negatively impacted those groups?

          Or a peer reviewed study to validate such to show how openness led to moral stances which positively impacted those groups?

          It seems like there isn’t really a need for such a study, since the evidence of the consequences of such moral stances is hard to deny. The labeling of Japanese Americans, and their spouses if not Japanese and their chikdren, as “other,” and their consequent internment, would seem to be an obvious place where openness and closedness can be observed.

          Things like the moral fight against LGBT rights happened on a macro scale. You can easily find mention of it in the public record.

          Incidentally, I’m much amused that you’re really pressing for proof of something which has quite of bit of observable evidence, yet seem to simultaneously argue about life beginning at conception without being able to offer the same amount.

        • It seems like there isn’t really a need for such a study, since the evidence of the consequences of such moral stances is hard to deny.

          Yup, you just revealed yourself for a hack. You start off spouting how terrible Haidt is being in distorting science for his personal agenda. You make it sound like a wonderful opportunity for a young academic, perhaps sympathetic to the LGBT cause (there are plenty), to make a name for himself/​herself by doing research and publishing research which shows Haidt’s moral foundations theory to be weak sauce. And then you say that it’s just so obvious that no such study would be worth it. What a let-down.

          Incidentally, I’m much amused that you’re really pressing for proof of something which has quite of bit of observable evidence, yet seem to simultaneously argue about life beginning at conception without being able to offer the same amount.

          Go ahead and be amused that one cannot offer empirical evidence for matters of morality and jurisprudence. While you’re at it, please indicate how you’ve completely transcended the fact/​value dichotomy.

          P.S. Life objectively begins at conception. You are probably looking for ‘legal personhood’. A matter which is utterly predicated on preference†, according to our host. (“It’s just my preference.”)

          † But science can throw up some hypothetical imperatives we can subjectively pick from.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Life objectively begins at conception.

          No, I don’t think it does.

          Is the sperm and egg not living before conception?

          From a metabolic perspective (i.e., cellular activity such as respiration), life is fairly easy to define. A cell is either functioning or it isn’t (ignoring “dormant” cells and exotic organised chemical processes for now). This has profound consequences for the definition of “life” because taking this view there is, in a very real sense, no one point when life can be said to begin. Both the sperm cells and the egg cells are alive prior to conception in the same sense as any other single or multicellular organism. Indeed, cellular life – and the metabolic processes performed by this – can continue to occur long after an organism can said to be dead. It’s said that fresh (uncooked) sausages contain enough live cells to clone the pig(s) from which they came. Hence, from this cellular metabolic point of view, life begins when the gametes are formed from loose chemicals and ends when every bodily cell has ceased to be active.

          Life begins at conception seems a bit simplistic to me.

          Life began along time before there was any conception was going on. Of course I’m being facetious there.

          When discussing the philosophical and/or ethical issues surrounding the start of life, the desire for science to provide a clear cut human/non human boundary is very understandable. We need to be able to define this because it is important in our laws and our understandings. However, even from the brief descriptions given above, it is clear that there is no simple answer that science can give. It may well be that reality doesn’t have an answer for us, and that “when does life begin?” is, in fact, a meaningless question.

          From RationalWiki…you’ll prefer the “genetics” definition…a wee bit…well, the first sentence only perhaps.

          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/When_does_life_begin%3F

        • Ignorant Amos

          If you read Rotterdam Marketing Psychologist Resigns After University Investigates His Data, you’ll see that cherry-picking was part of the charges.

          If you’d read the report you linked linked to, you’d see yet again, that it doesn’t support your position.

          Smeesters conceded to employing the so-called “blue-dot technique,” in which subjects who have apparently not read study instructions carefully are identified and excluded from analysis if it helps bolster the outcome. According to the report, Smeesters said this type of massaging was nothing out of the ordinary. He “repeatedly indicates that the culture in his field and his department is such that he does not feel personally responsible, and is convinced that in the area of marketing and (to a lesser extent) social psychology, many consciously leave out data to reach significance without saying so.”

          The cherry-picking bit known here as the “blue dot technique”. But in the very next paragraph we read…

          But the university panel goes on to say that it can’t determine whether the numbers Smeesters says he massaged existed at all. He could not supply raw data for the three problematic experiments; they had been stored on a computer at his home that had crashed in September 2011 and whose data his brother-in-law had assured him were irretrievable. In addition, the “paper-and-pencil data” had also been lost when Smeesters moved his office at the school. The panel says it cannot establish Smeesters committed fraud, but says he is responsible for the loss of the raw data and their massaging.

          So was it the crime of cherry-picking which Smeesters admitted to and which isn’t so much a crime at all, or was it the possibility he invented the data he couldn’t produce to prove he was in fact, only cherry-picking?

          In any case, Smeesters wasn’t censured for anything in the end, he resigned.

        • adam

          ” Now, can you be absolutely clear on whether your charges, if valid,
          would result in Haidt being censured if not booted from science?”

          Don’t you really want to know if Haidt can claim victimization like you do?

          Will his RELIGION make a martyr out of him for misrepresenting science?

          Here is another REAL victim of religion…

        • since you feel I’m putiing forth something which is such a bombshell

          If you’re not, then I also misunderstand your position. I thought you were saying that Haidt tweaked Schwartz’s model in service of an agenda rather than truth.

        • Explorer

          I absolutely stated that I feel he eliminated that portion in pursuit of an agenda.

          I also stated that one would have to provide a good rationale as to why the crippled model was superior to the one which had been cropped.

          What I’m also stating is that I can’t imagine a mechanism by which bias leads to some official body casting someone out of science. The only real consequence is that someone loses credibility when they champion something in science which is lacking.

          I’m open to evidence against either of those claims I just stated (Haidt has crippled the Schwartz model in a way which reduces its power, and there is no authority or mechanism to “censure” Haidt for doing so other than the hit to his credibility).

        • I also stated that one would have to provide a good rationale as to why the crippled model was superior to the one which had been cropped.

          Do you know of peer-reviewed research which demonstrates that Shalom Schwartz’s work is superior? Or, can you point to any body of evidence which is clearly better modeled by Schwartz’s work than Haidt’s?

        • Explorer

          Your last question is pretty easy to answer.

          Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are two people who have been very curious, and who have gone great distances in attempting to satisfy their curiosity.

          Under the Schwartz model, those pursuits fall under stimulation. self direction and openness to change (because the evidence might lead somewhere one doesn’t expect).

          Under the Haidt model, there is no such quadrant, nothing which would be considered at the opposite end to submission to authority, loyalty to tradition, and so on.

          Instead, the self direction, curiosity, and willingness to reject authority if it turns out to be wrong seems to be piled under… caring.

          I’m happy to hear how the individual characteristics which led to the work of Einstein and Hawking are better categorized under the Haidt model than the Schwartz model. In addition, we can throw Galileo and Copernicus in to the mix as well, and have you explain what in “caring” is sufficiently in opposition to “loyalty, authority and sanctity” to warrant how authority went after their ideas.

        • Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking are two people who have been very curious, and who have gone great distances in attempting to satisfy their curiosity.

          Why is this a moral issue?

          Instead, the self direction, curiosity, and willingness to reject authority if it turns out to be wrong seems to be piled under… caring.

          Can you cite support for this claim? You said this earlier:

          E: It’s a hard sell to say that gathering data and formulating theories is part of “caring,” […]

          —but that doesn’t seem like ‘morality’.

        • Explorer

          To turn it to a moral matter: If gender differences and sexual preference have some basis in genetics, then the openness to new information would have a direct effect on the authorities often used to justify moral stances against LGBT persons. Further, the researchers don’t have to have “caring” on their list of motivations. Simple curiosity would be opposed to assuming authority was right in its assertions.

          Again, I’ll note that MFT eliminates a quadrant of the Schwartz model which gave a superior explanation for not *just* moral stances, but even more, and included factors which make people change their minds/morality which Haidt eliminates. It has superior explicative power for the moral and political matters which Haidt is also seeking to address.

          Openness to evidence is not the same as caring.

        • It has superior explicative power for the moral and political matters which Haidt is also seeking to address.

          Do you have a single peer-reviewed article to support this contention?

        • adam

          “Do you have a single peer-reviewed article to support this contention?”

          http://www.custom-essays.org/samples/Moral_Difference_Between_Hitting_a_Computer_and_Hitting_a_Person.html

  • Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed, and they’ll risk chaos for the benefits of change. Conservatives speak for institutions and traditions, and they’ll risk injustice to those at the bottom for the benefits of order.

    Are unborn humans “at the bottom”, or are they magically off the scale? This is an incredibly charged statement you’ve made, here. It also seems like you’ve misattributed the source of the drive for order:

    The left, by and large, understands that all social order is precarious. It generally failed to understand that, just because of this precariousness, societies will react with almost instinctive violence to any fundamental or long-lasting threat to their order. (Facing Up to Modernity, xv)

    I think we’re seeing this this from liberals these days; see for example How Marcuse made today’s students less tolerant than their parents.

    • “Unborn humans”? Do you mean the single cell at the beginning of the gestation process? Yes, they’re off the scale. They’re not persons.

      If your point is that conservatives imagine that they’re helping the little guy, I suppose they do. But they’ll point to the “precious children” (read: single cells) they’re concerned about, not the immigrants or minorities or women who are pointing out inequality or unfairness.

      • “Unborn humans”? Do you mean the single cell at the beginning of the gestation process? Yes, they’re off the scale. They’re not persons.

        By “unborn humans”, I mean a human who has not yet been born. This would cover fertilized single cells all the way up to fetuses about to take their first breath (or be D&Xed—which is not considered murder). I’ll note here that Blacks in the antebellum South were also not considered ‘persons’, by many slaveholders, according to the [legal] usage of ‘person’ you are employing here.

        If your point is that conservatives imagine that they’re helping the little guy, I suppose they do. But they’ll point to the “precious children” (read: single cells) they’re concerned about, not the immigrants or minorities or women who are pointing out inequality or unfairness.

        You have a good point. But if we go by the top graph at WP: Poverty in the United States, the US has failed to materially impact poverty for the last 50 years. Does that mean that liberals are merely “imagining” that they’re helping the little guy? Another indication that we’re doing worse at helping the little guy shows up in Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, where Robert D. Putnam argues that social mobility in the US is decreasing.

        One might also ask if your tendentious rendering of conservatives’ interests is conducive to the decline in Americans trusting each other in the US, from 56% in 1968 → 33% in 2014. It is as if you have little belief that conservatives have much to offer. Contrast that viewpoint to what we find in The Backstory of the AEI-Brookings Poverty Report, where conservatives and liberals (or perhaps: the Right and the Left) team up to fight poverty, with each’s strengths complementing the other’s.

        • By “unborn humans”, I mean a human who has not yet been born.

          I call them persons when they’re persons, not when they’re just a single cell.

          And you? What term do you use to differentiate between the single cell and the newborn? That is, what property does the newborn have that the single cell doesn’t? “A newborn is a ___, but the single cell 9 months earlier wasn’t.”

          I’ll note here that Blacks in the antebellum South were also not considered ‘persons’, by many slaveholders, according to the [legal] usage of ‘person’ you are employing here.

          African-American single cells are also not persons. This isn’t a race thing.

          But if we go by the top graph at WP: Poverty in the United States, the US has failed to materially impact poverty for the last 50 years.

          Interesting chart, thanks.

          Does that mean that liberals are merely “imagining” that they’re helping the little guy?

          The Republicans hold the purse strings—ask them. They seem to be able to do nothing more than say No.

          Robert D. Putnam argues that social mobility in the US is decreasing.

          My favorite concept in this domain is the GINI index (higher means greater difference between haves and have-nots).
          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/01/Gini_since_WWII.svg/720px-Gini_since_WWII.svg.png

          It is as if you have little belief that conservatives have much to offer.

          I know—weird, right?

        • And you? What term do you use to differentiate between the single cell and the newborn? That is, what property does the newborn have that the single cell doesn’t? “A newborn is a ___, but the single cell 9 months earlier wasn’t.”

          The property of being born. To fill in your blank, you could use ‘air-breather’.

          African-American single cells are also not persons. This isn’t a race thing.

          No, it’s an arbitrary thing. Peter Singer demonstrates this quite well with his defense of infanticide. You implied that liberals care more about “the little guy” than conservatives; I pointed out that this only works if you are very careful about how you define ‘little guy’.

          The Republicans hold the purse strings—ask them. They seem to be able to do nothing more than say No.

          They’ve held the purse strings for the last 50 years? I don’t think so. Are you going to tell me that the majority of the downward trends on poverty were the result of Democratic action, while the majority of the upward trends were the result of Republican action? I don’t really care about examining only the current dysfunctional Congress. Do you really think more blaming of ‘the other’ is the solution to this dysfunction? For the sake of our nation I hope not.

          I know—weird, right?

          What’s weird is the apparent lack of a factual basis, from someone who ostensibly slavishly links his empirical beliefs to the data. Let’s review:

          BS: If your point is that conservatives imagine that they’re helping the little guy, I suppose they do.

          LB: You have a good point. But if we go by the top graph at WP: Poverty in the United States, the US has failed to materially impact poverty for the last 50 years. Does that mean that liberals are merely “imagining” that they’re helping the little guy?

          You failed to answer the question, a question which would cast doubt on your view of what the Left has contributed vs. the Right. (I have been advised to say ‘Left’ instead of ‘liberal’, but it’s a habit which dies hard.)

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScGPRsHSkaE

          The property of being born. To fill in your blank, you could use ‘air-breather’.

          You remind me of a bit in a Three Stooges movie.

          Curly: I can’t see! I can’t see!
          Moe: What’s the matter?
          Curly: I got my eyes closed!

          If you don’t want to engage with the topics at the adult table, just say so so that I don’t waste my time.

          There is no spectrum of air breathing here. Surely English, with its many words to distinguish subtle differences between categories of children, is powerful to describe what a newborn (or 8-mo fetus, if that makes the challenge clearer to you) has that the single cell doesn’t.

          No, it’s an arbitrary thing. Peter Singer demonstrates this quite well with his defense of infanticide.

          Which does what to argue that the single cell is morally identical to a newborn?

          Are you going to tell me that the majority of the downward trends on poverty were the result of Democratic action, while the majority of the upward trends were the resu lt of Republican action?

          Are you telling me that in the last few decades, conservative political platforms have been more concerned about helping the disadvantaged than those of the liberals?

        • Surely English, with its many words to distinguish subtle differences between categories of children, is powerful to describe what a newborn (or 8-mo fetus, if that makes the challenge clearer to you) has that the single cell doesn’t.

          IIRC fetuses can feel pain by 8 months, so we could use that as something to differentiate. Obviously you’re driving at the word ‘person’, and I’m resisting. I’m not sure why we’re playing this little game.

          Which does what to argue that the single cell is morally identical to a newborn?

          It problematizes the idea that personhood sets in at birth (or first ability to feel pain) instead of sometime later. For example, we might scientifically examine when a human starts being capable of fearing death, subtract a safety margin from that age, and say it’s ok to terminate humans younger than the result. Why would that be wrong, according to you?

          Are you telling me that in the last few decades, conservative political platforms have been more concerned about helping the disadvantaged than those of the liberals?

          That would be a straw man. I’d still like an accounting for those five decades of not-overall-decreasing poverty. You made a serious charge against conservatives, and I acknowledged that you had a point. But when I made a serious charge against those on the Left, with data, you’ve deflected instead of dealing with it head-on.

        • IIRC fetuses can feel pain by 8 months, so we could use that as something to differentiate.

          “An 8-month-old fetus is a pain-feeler, while the single cell isn’t”? Doesn’t really roll off the tongue.

          Obviously you’re driving at the word ‘person’, and I’m resisting. I’m not sure why we’re playing this little game.

          To make you publicly resist and encourage everyone to wonder why you’re resisting. Does this “little game” cause you discomfort? I don’t know why it should … unless you’re resisting going to an obvious conclusion.

          We have lots of words after birth: newborn, baby, infant, toddler, 1-year-old, and so on. Can’t we have a word that highlights the difference between newborn and something you need a microscope to see? I say that the newborn is a person, the single cell is not, and the 9 months’ gestation period is a spectrum of personhood. But you know me—I’m an easygoing guy. If you have another word that’s better or equivalent, that’s fine. What do you suggest?

          The difference between a 1-year-old and a newborn is trivial compared to that between the newborn and the single cell. Surely you can find a word that labels this spectrum.

          It problematizes the idea that personhood sets in at birth (or first ability to feel pain) instead of sometime later.

          I’m saying that personhood (or whatever word you suggest that’s equivalent) is a spectrum. That’s it.

          Why would that be wrong, according to you?

          It’s just my preference.

          ”Are you telling me that in the last few decades, conservative political platforms have been more concerned about helping the disadvantaged than those of the liberals?”
          That would be a straw man. I’d still like an accounting for those five decades of not-overall-decreasing poverty. You made a serious charge against conservatives, and I acknowledged that you had a point.

          Then what are we talking about?

          I thought it was pretty obvious that conservatives’ and liberals’ political platforms are different. Do we not agree how they differ on their focus on big/small government, treatment of business, and treatment of minorities/disadvantaged?

        • Does this “little game” cause you discomfort?

          If tedium is a kind of discomfort, yes.

          Can’t we have a word that highlights the difference between newborn and something you need a microscope to see? I say that the newborn is a person, the single cell is not, and the 9 months’ gestation period is a spectrum of personhood. But you know me—I’m an easygoing guy. If you have another word that’s better or equivalent, that’s fine. What do you suggest?

          Why does the word choice matter? You’re going to tie law to whatever the word is, and you’re going to rely on a spectrum from fertilization to birth (or perhaps somewhat before birth).

          I’m saying that personhood (or whatever word you suggest that’s equivalent) is a spectrum. That’s it.

          Out of curiosity, when is a human being 3/5 of a full person?

          It’s just my preference.

          Which was my point.

          I thought it was pretty obvious that conservatives’ and liberals’ political platforms are different. Do we not agree how they differ on their focus on big/​small government, treatment of business, and treatment of minorities/​disadvantaged?

          The words they sputter are clearly very different.

        • “Does this “little game” cause you discomfort?”
          If tedium is a kind of discomfort, yes.

          I’m calling bullshit on that one: we’ve had maybe 2 back-and-forths here.

          You’re the king of long, involved discussion threads.

          “Can’t we have a word that highlights the difference between newborn and something you need a microscope to see? I say that the newborn is a person, the single cell is not, and the 9 months’ gestation period is a spectrum of personhood. But you know me—I’m an easygoing guy. If you have another word that’s better or equivalent, that’s fine. What do you suggest?”
          Why does the word choice matter?

          Just give me a word, accept “person,” or admit that you can’t offer anything reasonable because to do so would be to admit that there is an enormous and very meaningful difference between a newborn and the single cell.

          you’re going to rely on a spectrum from fertilization to birth (or perhaps somewhat before birth).

          … but there is a spectrum from single cell to birth. Surely something is happening when it goes from 1 cell to 1,000,000,000,000.

          Out of curiosity, when is a human being 3/5 of a full person?

          Don’t know. Don’t much care. Somewhere between single cell (0%) and newborn (100%).

          “It’s just my preference.”
          Which was my point.

          Help me out. If that point is relevant to anything, you’ll have to make that explicit for me.

          The words they sputter are clearly very different.

          Then I’ll double call you on your whining about my tediously long discussions (above). After all this blather, you’ve taken us on a long circular trip so that we’re back to agreeing. Hallelujah.

        • I’m calling bullshit on that one: we’ve had maybe 2 back-and-forths here.

          I see, we’re back to you thinking you better know what’s going on in my head than I do? (Hint: I’ve been around the block quite a lot on the abortion issue.)

          Just give me a word, accept “person,” or admit that you can’t offer anything reasonable because to do so would be to admit that there is an enormous and very meaningful difference between a newborn and the single cell.

          Your use of ‘meaningful’ is quite loaded. I actually quite like my use of “air-breather” as a way to distinguish between a newborn and single cell, but in a way that doesn’t acknowledge that “very meaningful difference”. What you’re really looking for is a term that communicates, “human being I prefer to have rights, a preference I wish you to share”. We could say r-human for human with rights, t-human for human it’s perfectly fine to terminate, and maybe pick a term for in the middle. Or I can just mentally replace every single one of your uses of ‘person’, appropriately.

          Surely something is happening when it goes from 1 cell to 1,000,000,000,000.

          Potential is actualized. Note that it is possible to morally harm the potential of a human being. One example is a pregnant woman ingesting alcohol or taking illegal drugs. Another is when a child’s education is neglected: the child may not consciously suffer at all in the moment, but his/her potential is nevertheless damaged and incurring this damage is still cruel.

          Don’t know. Don’t much care. Somewhere between single cell (0%) and newborn (100%).

          Whoosh!

          Help me out. If that point is relevant to anything, you’ll have to make that explicit for me.

          You’re asking me for a term which will allow you to make an arbitrary, subjective decision. It’s as if you want me to provide implicit buy-in. And you’re going to wait until I come up with a term you like.

          Then I’ll double call you on your whining about my tediously long discussions (above). After all this blather, you’ve taken us on a long circular trip so that we’re back to agreeing. Hallelujah.

          Surely you think that it is important to note whether the words match up with actions? After all, weren’t you getting at precisely a word-deed mismatch with the following:

          BS: If your point is that conservatives imagine that they’re helping the little guy, I suppose they do.

          ?

        • I see, we’re back to you thinking you better know what’s going on in my head than I do?

          When the Prince of Gab calls a brief conversation tedious, I’ll point that out. It’s what I do.

          I actually quite like my use of “air-breather” as a way to distinguish between a newborn and single cell

          It doesn’t help us with an 8-month-old. Or a 7. Or 6. Or address the spectrum of something-hood that increases from 1 cell to 1 trillion.

          What you’re really looking for is a term that communicates, “human being I prefer to have rights, a preference I wish you to share”.

          Nice try. We can worry about moral evaluation later; right now, I’m simply pointing out to anyone who will listen (perhaps just the lurkers) the obvious fact that there’s a vast, vast difference between a single cell and a trillion individuated cells following a plan. Between a newborn with arms and legs, eyes and ears, brain and nervous system, and so on and a single cell with … well, just a single cell.

          It’s a gradual spectrum. Dang—if we could just find a term that describes that progression, the property that the single cell doesn’t have but the newborn does …

          I curse my limited vocabulary!

          Potential is actualized.

          That’s true. What some of my pro-life antagonists have argued is that the single cell ain’t much now, but it will be in 9 months. In other words, the Argument from Potential.

          It will indeed become something inherently important, but it isn’t that now.

          You’re asking me for a term which will allow you to make an arbitrary, subjective decision.

          Of course not. Have you totally lost track of the conversation?

          Where to draw the line beyond which abortion should be illegal is not arbitrary—it’s based on evidence and much thought. And given the evidence, it’s no longer subjective, either.

          It’s as if you want me to provide implicit buy-in.

          I’m talking about a spectrum. What I want is for you to acknowledge it and address my really tedious question instead of dancing away from the issue.

          And you’re going to wait until I come up with a term you like.

          The word I like is “person.” Sorry—I guess I should’ve filled you in earlier.

          Surely you think that it is important to note whether the words match up with actions? After all, weren’t you getting at precisely a word-deed mismatch

          We’ve been talking about politicians and abortion. 2 topics. The long journey to agreement on Breuer Bus Lines was about the politicians.

        • It doesn’t help us with an 8-month-old. Or a 7. Or 6.

          True. Here’s the original discussion where I suggested the term:

          BS: And you? What term do you use to differentiate between the single cell and the newborn? That is, what property does the newborn have that the single cell doesn’t? “A newborn is a ___, but the single cell 9 months earlier wasn’t.”

          LB: The property of being born. To fill in your blank, you could use ‘air-breather’.

          BS: You remind me of a bit in a Three Stooges movie.
          […]
          If you don’t want to engage with the topics at the adult table, just say so so that I don’t waste my time.

          There is no spectrum of air breathing here. Surely English, with its many words to distinguish subtle differences between categories of children, is powerful to describe what a newborn (or 8-mo fetus, if that makes the challenge clearer to you) has that the single cell doesn’t.

          Let me point out that you made no mention of “spectrum” in your initial question. When I gave you something which worked for your question but which failed the “spectrum” test, you started spouting nonsense about the adult table. You didn’t just make the challenge “clearer” to me with the modification of “8-mo fetus”, you entirely changed the challenge. Ockham’s razor applied to the initial version demands a non-spectrum response.

          Now, I really don’t know what it means for someone to be 1/2 of a person or 3/5 of a person. How does that legally work out? In my mind, someone either is a person or isn’t a person. Any sense of being less than 1/1 of a person makes me think of slavery, whether the 3/5 compromise or the Code of Hammurabi, whereby punishments for slaves harming nobles was much higher than nobles harming slaves. I exclude such possibilities of a “spectrum” as inhumane. I’m left with the null set for good spectrum-words which would work for you and would would get my buy-in.

          Nice Try. We can worry about moral evaluation later;

          I don’t understand language as being built piece-wise as you [seemingly] do. There is an important holistic element and I claim it’s necessary for the current discussion. Nor do I think that a moral, evaluative dimension can always just be slapped on to a preestablished empirical, descriptive dimension. The two are often deeply entangled, and I think that’s precisely what is going on here, with your desire for a spectrum-word.

          right now, I’m simply pointing out to anyone who will listen (perhaps just the lurkers) the obvious fact that there’s a vast, vast difference between a single cell and a trillion individuated cells following a plan.

          “vast, vast difference” ⇏ morally relevant “spectrum”

          Where to draw the line beyond which abortion should be illegal is not arbitrary—it’s based on evidence and much thought. And given the evidence, it’s no longer subjective, either.

          The evidence only gives you a set of hypothetical imperatives; what values you inject are arbitrary and let you get many different possible outputs. So while there are some restrictions—maybe not every point in the range can be achieved by turning knobs on the domain—there are still a lot of choices, which are completely arbitrary (on your view, since you see morality as a matter of utter subjectivity).

          The word I like is “person.” Sorry—I guess I should’ve filled you in earlier.

          No, I was pretty sure that’s what you’re after. It’s just that when I imagine 1/2 of a person, I think of a victim of a bombing, not an unborn human. But I’m happy to hammer out a translation, so that when you say “person”, I understand it as “_____”.

          We’ve been talking about politicians and abortion. 2 topics. The long journey to agreement on Breuer Bus Lines was about the politicians.

          Uhhh, ok? You accused the Right of saying they care and failing to bear that out in actions; I accused the Left of saying they care and failing to bear that out in actions. Despite this symmetry, I’m guessing you still hold to the following:

          LB: It is as if you have little belief that conservatives have much to offer.

          BS: I know—weird, right?

          Perhaps you are consistent and believe that neither the Right nor the Left has much to offer?

        • Otto

          Now, I really don’t know what it means for someone to be 1/2 of a person or 3/5 of a person.

          An infant has less rights than a 14 year old legally. A 18 year old has less rights than a 21 year old. I am not sure why this concept should be foreign to you. Legally persons get more rights as they grow older.

        • An infant has less rights than a 14 year old legally. A 18 year old has less rights than a 21 year old. I am not sure why this concept should be foreign to you. Legally persons get more rights as they grow older.

          What ‘rights’ are you talking about? Are we stalking about the ‘right’ to smoke, the ‘right’ to drive, the ‘right’ to vote? Suppose we call these ‘rights’. We understand that they are packaged with responsibilities. The person has the ‘right’ when [s]he can properly handle the responsibility.

          The above paradigm has absolutely nothing to do with other rights, like the right to life. There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be murdered. There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be sexually abused. You really seem to be talking about apples and oranges, here.

        • adam

          “There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be murdered.”

          Not even responsibility to ones “God”?

        • Kodie

          Even then, we don’t see so much of that as a justified killing of lots of people, which isn’t even called murder. We justify killing people from other countries we are at war with, even if they aren’t aiming missiles or guns at our military or anyone else. We apparently are ok when our police kill a black person who didn’t do anything. We are pretty ok with killing, as long as we can find a loophole where killing isn’t murder.

          What does Luke think about that? Well, grown adults and the communities they belong to can speak for themselves, while fetuses generally cannot, and there is a physical, biological reason they cannot. They cannot envision or imagine life outside the womb, have no neural system, no brain, no language faculties. Yes, I understand that these categorizations, at least some at any time, are equivalent to some humans’ current conditions, but they were already sentient, they were already cherished by someone, and if those people choose to extend their life absent any sign of returning, that’s up to them, just like any parent who wants to extend the life of her fetus to achieve the outcome of birth. We’re very superstitious about life, although not all cultures are. Being alive is a technicality, but everyone dies. Deciding who should and shouldn’t get a shot is a decision people find mysterious and sentimental and err on the side of life often enough for it to be a “thing” but it being such a “thing” shouldn’t color one’s decision to make a different choice. If someone is unconscious and you decide unplugging them is better than postponing what you think at the time is inevitable, who is really the wiser?

          I know, you’re talking about going by the bible and killing whom god considers sinning expendable people, and the bible justifies it a lot. The “unborn” is a category of human life that doesn’t know and doesn’t care. The only reason to save them is you want to have a child, or you are superstitious and know nothing about biology. If you didn’t want to be pregnant, there is no rational reason to overthink it and martyr yourself instead of making the choice to terminate, including adoption. People do what they want to do and everyone else butt the hell out.

        • adam

          “What does Luke think about that? ”

          Probably that it is all his “God’s” plan…

          Afterall, belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man…

        • adam

          ” Yes, I understand that these categorizations, at least some at any time, are equivalent to some humans’ current conditions,”

          So according to Luke, this is all his “God’s” doing.

          IF only his “God” could have made his man procreate in some way that babies werent dependent on mothers to gestate…..

          but then again, look at the world Luke wants to claim is created by his ‘God’

        • Kodie

          Not sure how down I am with the ethical issues concerning AI either. They are machines, but then you give them feelings. What the fuck for. I am a human being, and I try sometimes really hard to care about animals I want to eat and wear, but it’s difficult to get disgusted with me when I’m hungry or see a nice pair of sandals. That just tells me anyway, I’m kind of disgusting parasite, and my life and my death won’t really amount to much at the end of things, or for even a couple extra decades. We get really wrapped up in murder as though it steals something so very precious, well, nobody’s going to live forever anyway, and nobody’s going to remember what happened to themselves immediately. We say it’s wrong to take someone from a parking lot, shove them into a van, take them to the woods, rape them, kill them, rape them again, dismember them, eat the evidence, etc. I watch these things on tv when they have, like, the 48 Hours or stuff, and it’s grisly and gross and we hope it doesn’t happen to us or someone we love, but overall, what’s the difference between someone who is raped, killed, raped again, dismembered, and eaten by their killer, and someone who reads a lot and has gotten a tattoo to remember every trip taken, and once met Freddie Mercury? Wow, what a fantastic awesome life, you might say, but where does that memory go when you die anyway?

          Depriving someone of a lifetime of fantastic awesome experiences really doesn’t count in the end. What counts is that if you do such a thing, you are punished and taken out of society. I mean, Whitey Bulger. I did not grow up in Massachusetts with this legend killer guy performing his will on other townspeople. I’m a little nervous even writing his name, as locals might have said (don’t know if they still say, now that he’s a convict), he has eyes and ears all over, still. I see on the news about family members of victims wanting this screw-up jailed for life, he really almost made it, but got caught. This is what objective morality is really about. Some killer killed 19 people or so, or had them killed, and justice is finally served. 50 years from now, nothing. Nobody alive will remember him or the people he killed. They’ll hear stories, like I do, but were those people living life to the fullest, or just deprived of the fantasy? People do miss them now, that’s the meaning, but there will be nobody to miss them once they’d be dead anyway.

          If you can’t remember your life after you die, why do we care so much about the cruel or untimely deaths, the years that could have been spent toiling or enjoying, or some balance of the two, if it’s going to end anyway in addition to anyone who would personally remember anything about them? I remember my grandma one way, and it rings pretty true what my parents say about her, but who am I going to tell about her? She was a wacky fun grandma to me, but apparently extremely racist as well. I don’t dispute it, but it’s not even my experience of her. How far, deep, or long does her legend reverberate, personally? She was part of a generation, and I’d say the culture of her times was responsible, but that’s not a person you can punish to hell. If my grandma had died young and I didn’t exist, what would be the marked difference? Everyone is somewhat a product of their times, and can live or die individually, so what if I had never been born? What difference would it make if I die? Not that I’m ready or working on a project, but if we think all human lives matter to the extreme of protecting single-celled ones, and say we all deserve to “experience” life. What if the experience is going to be harsh? What is the real issue with unplugging a coma patient? We might like to have them back in our lives, but can’t we imagine a life without them, and move on? Do we have to save everyone?

          I don’t know about this. I mean, I think it is a personal choice to hope, and change everything in your life to wait on your comatose brother or wife, etc. That becomes what you mean by living life to the fullest, but it’s not for everyone. So it’s a chore, and we’re supposed to feel guilty if we consider any precious moment reading a book aloud to your coma relative as “wasted” when we could be out skydiving and going to concerts and going to Maine for lobster, even if it’s a two-hour drive. Most of us are too stuck to do any of that anyway, and that’s without having our own children to buy shoes for and drive to gymnastics lessons and saving up for college and getting in a huge fight because they don’t want to go to college.

          How is all that supposed to work with AI? We can’t even figure out that a non-sentient lump of cells that can’t envision a future self doesn’t give a shit if you scrape it out. If an AI cares to live rather than die, is it still a machine?

        • adam

          “We get really wrapped up in murder as though it steals something so very
          precious,”

          It does for those who survive, of course not for the dead.

          “Depriving someone of a lifetime of fantastic awesome experiences really doesn’t count in the end. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/117448c4b9b2b4120584e24df01c3638c101e851250621fc620dd96cb610ea28.jpg

          Neither does a lifetime of pain, suffering, starvation and early death.

          So it seems a wash.

          ” If an AI cares to live rather than die, is it still a machine?”

          Well if people like Luke are going to spell out what ‘life’ is by it’s sensory input or its consiousness, then AI would have the ‘moral’ right to life from the time it is ‘conceived’.

        • Kodie

          I know it sounds kind of cold but the suffering survivors will die someday too. I’m a kind of “life is for the living” kind of person, at least deep inside, and although it’s not for me to judge, in some cases, people let the rest of their lives be sucked into a vortex to care for the body of a person who is never coming back, or even in grief for a person who has died. Maybe they feel guilty if they have too much fun and the deceased cannot. Clearly, by the cartoon strip, most people find it easy enough to not feel guilty for having fun while suffering people are alive and suffering or dying needlessly, as long as it’s not their personal friend or relative. The point is, now matter how you choose to spend your life, you’re going to die, and it won’t matter. Even the people who might judge you for wasting your life will die, but spend at least part of their lives regretting on your behalf all the activities you deprived yourself of, while caring for a person who never even knew you were there. You never got to go up in a hot air balloon or take a trip to Europe like on that Rick Steves program you like – is that a shame? It actually doesn’t matter. I know this is like the religious argument that you might as well blow everyone up, life is pointless. It’s not pointless, you just choose how you want to spend it. Some people have no or very little choice, and to me, that’s the bigger tragedy. Being forced to be born is one of them. Whatever happens and how you deal with it, and whether you even choose to be responsible, does have repercussions among other people, and the choices you make early (when you’re not as apt to listen to the advice, e.g. stay off drugs, stay in school, go to college among them) can impact the availability of later choices. Who you fuck and whether a child is born can affect your later choices too, not just the fetus who may be forced to be born. Either way, suffering is suffering, I think that’s what buddhists say: life is suffering. It’s not suffering on purpose like a martyr unless you like that sort of shit, but that it can be meaningful and will be relatively brief. A flower grows in spring and dies by the end of summer, and was its life “worth it”? It can be appreciated, and never know how much. It can be cut down in the prime of life and given as a token or gift. It doesn’t regret being born yellow as though it were meant to be born red. It’s not the only one ever, it’s not the only one this year, and it’s not even the only one in its immediate surroundings. You can cut one and the garden is still a garden. You can cut them all because you decided to plant red flowers. It’s not the end of flowers, and yet, we perceive these flowers as though they can be meaningful. They are and they aren’t, and either choice is a choice that has no ultimate outcome. Flowers can be meaningful and then die. You know what I mean? I don’t think people are essentially more meaningful than flowers, except when some person is your favorite flower. Eventually you won’t be able to sense their absence in your life. Most of us don’t sense their absence anyway.

        • adam

          ” I’m a kind of “life is for the living” kind of person,”

          I understand that. THAT is the reality of life itself.

          “Flowers can be meaningful and then die. You know what I mean?.”

          I do, I have quite a bit of Taoism as my philosophy.

          ” I don’t
          think people are essentially more meaningful than flowers, except when
          some person is your favorite flower”

          Meaning is applied, not implied.

        • adam

          “There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be murdered.”

          Not even responsibility to ones “God”??

        • adam

          “There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be murdered.”

          Not even responsibility to ones “God”???

        • adam

          “There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be sexually abused. “

        • adam

          “There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be sexually abused. “.

        • adam

          There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be murdered….

        • Otto

          No you are talking apples and oranges. Does a 2 year old have the right to force another person to medically support their continued life by making that person give them a kidney? No of course not. But what you are arguing is a person (that is not even legally a person) can force another person to support their life through the use of their body. You are granting rights to a fetus that even an infant does not have.

        • Disanalogous: the mother is never without both kidneys. In contrast, a kidney transplant leaves a person with one kidney, forever.

          It is also the case that humans always have responsibility for dependents. What is special about this case is that the responsibility cannot be pawned off on someone else. For your argument to really go through, you have to allow for every human spontaneously deciding to not give a shit about orphans. That should be perfectly A-OK according to your logic. After all, orphans are a drain on people’s resources. And yet, this is obviously absurd. Some people can shun their responsibility only because others will pick up the slack. Once there is nobody to pick up the slack, we realize shunning responsibility for what it truly is. Well, unless you terminate the dependent human being.

        • Otto

          It does not matter whether the mother ends up with both kidneys, that is not the point. An infant could not force another person to give them a blood transfusion either.

          A fetus is not legally a dependent.

          An orphan is a born person and is granted rights a fetus does not have.

          Again you are trying to give special rights to a fetus that no other person has.

        • A fetus is not legally a dependent.

          If we were going by what is currently law, the conversation would have been over before it started. Fortunately, we recognize that extant law might not be the best law.

          Again you are trying to give special rights to a fetus that no other person has.

          They have needs that no other healthy person has.

        • Otto

          Fortunately, we recognize that extant law might not be the best law.”

          What is really recognized is that morality cannot and should not be legislated. There are times they overlap but one does not necessarily follow the other and for good reasons.

          “They have needs that no other healthy person has.”

          A person who needs a blood transfusion has needs healthy persons don’t. So what? That in no way addresses the point.

        • What is really recognized is that morality cannot and should not be legislated. There are times they overlap but one does not necessarily follow the other and for good reasons.

          I take issue with the phrasing of your first sentence, but probably agree with the second.

          A person who needs a blood transfusion has needs healthy persons don’t. So what? That in no way addresses the point.

          The point is that you first reason about the normal situation (healthy people), and then deal with the exceptions. A fetus in need of its mother’s body is an entirely normal situation. It is not like someone who is in need of a heart transplant because of disease or accident.

        • Otto

          No, the law has to deal with situations where rights come in conflict and how to deal with those conflicts and that has nothing to do with “normal situations”. The current law is clear that a person is free to decide how their body can be used when it comes to supporting the life of another. You may want to change that but you have yet to come up with a solid argument as to why a person’s bodily autonomy should be overruled and that right should be expunged.

        • We simply disagree on the comparability of a healthy infant requiring its mother to grow to independence, and a sickly person requiring a blood transfusion or organ transplant to live.

          P.S. “right should be expunged” is a straw man.

        • adam

          “We simply disagree on the comparability of a healthy infant requiring its mother to grow to independence, and a sickly person requiring a blood transfusion or organ transplant to live.”

          Infants dont require it mother, orphans dont have mothers.

        • Otto

          Legally there is no difference. And that is the point. I have no problem with you and others attempting to win hearts and minds on the issue but if you want to win the issue legally you are gonna have to do much better than that.

        • Kodie

          You take for granted or have very little awareness what the fetus takes from its host, if you think it’s “normal”. A woman’s body is biologically equipped for the task in theory, but a lot happens that you seem to think is just magical, and just because it’s pretty trendy to create a baby on purpose and be mystified and wondermented about it, as though it were some kind of miracle, it’s actually pretty destructive to women’s bodies during the process, and a lot of women die in childbirth than you might think. To you, it’s marry fuck wait miracle birth happy occasion.

          A lot of people are aware what it takes for the baby to be eventually able to live on the outside, and that’s not even getting to dedicated time and finances. You seem to be entirely oblivious to it. It’s not a miracle, it’s science, and if you knew about science, you wouldn’t feel sorry for one unwanted pregnancy since it’s not even yours, unless it was forced to term by one of you sentimental hoarding assholes.

        • adam

          “They have needs that no other healthy person has.”

          So do “God” worshipers

        • Kodie

          They aren’t a person with needs. They are a thing that needs a lot of biological contribution to become a person. Not the same. How do you really think babies are made? Not the sex part, the part where they aren’t a baby yet, and potentially grow into one? It’s the mother’s blood and tissue and all that shit. If someone was depleting your healthy body to become something it’s not, it’s not that thing yet, is it? IT has needs like a parasite.

        • Myna A.

          you have to allow for every human spontaneously deciding to not give a shit about orphans.

          Until very recently, society didn’t. The history of the treatment of children, orphans or otherwise, is rather gruesome. Abuse and abandonment is now considered an aberration, at least in the West, but it was historically commonplace and that’s the ugly, bone-chilling truth of it.

          Legal abortion is a matter of women’s health. Making it illegal again will not stop women from terminating a pregnancy; it never has, it never will. You may hold your own philosophy, which is your right to do, but that is where it ends on the question of women’s personal health decisions.

        • Legal abortion is a matter of women’s health.

          For someone who is pro-life, abortion is also about a human being’s life. We humans are acquainted with establishing precedences between various rights.

          Making it illegal again will not stop women from terminating a pregnancy; it never has, it never will.

          Making rape illegal does not stop all rape, either. We can realize that a great deal of behavior is conditioned not by laws, but by culture. Taking this into account, we can take actions conducive to fewer unplanned pregnancies, as well as provide more resources and inculcate more desire for raising children. However, this will push against a pillar of the Left: letting your desires have maximally free reign in your ‘private life’. But I think the result will be better: more children will grow up more deeply loved.

        • Otto

          “We humans are acquainted with establishing precedence between various rights.”

          Yes and the precedence is that a person does not have the right to force another person to use their body to support that person’s body even if it means that person will die without the use of it.

        • Do orphans have a right to be taken care of, to force some people to abridge their liberty (and probably health—taking care of kids isn’t always easy and can lead to stress- and/or exhaustion-induced sickness) so that they’ll have a good shot at life?

        • Otto

          Not by law specifically. No one is forced to support an orphan by law.

          And again, orphan’s cannot force other people to use their body to support theirs. Actually no one can do that…but you are arguing a fetus should be granted the right to use another person’s body.

        • Not by law specifically.

          Relevance? I thought we were talking about ideal rights, not currently extant rights. If we were only talking about the latter, how would we be having a conversation right now?

          And again, orphan’s cannot force other people to use their body to support theirs. Actually no one can do that…but you are arguing a fetus should be granted the right to use another person’s body.

          I can only repeat the following:

          LB: It is also the case that humans always have responsibility for dependents. What is special about this case is that the responsibility cannot be pawned off on someone else. For your argument to really go through, you have to allow for every human spontaneously deciding to not give a shit about orphans. That should be perfectly A-OK according to your logic. After all, orphans are a drain on people’s resources. And yet, this is obviously absurd. Some people can shun their responsibility only because others will pick up the slack. Once there is nobody to pick up the slack, we realize shunning responsibility for what it truly is. Well, unless you terminate the dependent human being.

          Your reasoning only works because we trust society to pick up the slack. Were we in a small tribe somewhere, your reasoning would fail, because it would be obvious that someone has to take care of orphans, unless we want to dismiss them as not full legal persons. With huge societies with social systems, we can assert the full legal personhood of orphans and conveniently forget about our responsibility to them when it comes to any given individual.

          Do we do anything other than look down on parents who decide to prefer their own liberty to providing for their children? After all, if a society were to give up this valuation, it would probably soon implode. (Some giving up can be tolerated on the edges, as has always been the case.)

        • Otto

          “I thought we were talking about ideal rights, not currently extant rights.”

          That is YOUR ideal right, not mine and not many people’s view. You think your idea of ideal rights should be put into law and that is what we are talking about.

          You can look down on anyone you want, the question is should certain things be legal. You seem to conflate morality with legality, or you think legality should follow morality, and I do not agree.

        • That is YOUR ideal right, not mine and not many people’s view. You think your idea of ideal rights should be put into law and that is what we are talking about.

          Actually, I’m trying to have a discussion about what each of us thinks are ideal rights. Your second sentence is uncalled for, as you want the mother’s right to choose to be put into law (or in this case, to stay in law). When talking about ideals, the incumbent position doesn’t get a free pass.

          You can look down on anyone you want, the question is should certain things be legal. You seem to conflate morality with legality, or you think legality should follow morality, and I do not agree.

          I hesitate on merely calling abortion immoral, on the same basis that we don’t just call murder immoral, but we also legislate against it. The idea that I conflate morality with legality is a straw man.

        • adam

          “The idea that I conflate morality with legality is a straw man.”

          Yes, that must be why you keep couching morality in legal terms…

        • Otto

          Your second sentence is uncalled for, as you want the mother’s right to
          choose to be put into law (or in this case, to stay in law). When
          talking about ideals, the incumbent position doesn’t get a free pass.

          You are right, and as to your first sentence here I have provided a clear piece of reasoning as applied to other case law and also logically argued why it is a superior position. As to your second sentence at no time have I stated it should remain so because that is where the law is now. That is a strawman.

          Murder is not illegal because it is immoral, murder is illegal because it is one person subverting the rights of another without justification. In the case of abortion ending the potential life is justified because the fetus is dependent on the body of another and we have determined for good reason that the bodily rights of the host supersedes the rights of the fetus.

        • LB: I thought we were talking about ideal rights, not currently extant rights.

          O: That is YOUR ideal right, not mine and not many people’s view. You think your idea of ideal rights should be put into law and that is what we are talking about.

          LB: Actually, I’m trying to have a discussion about what each of us thinks are ideal rights. Your second sentence is uncalled for, as you want the mother’s right to choose to be put into law (or in this case, to stay in law). When talking about ideals, the incumbent position doesn’t get a free pass.

          O: You are right, and as to your first sentence here I have provided a clear piece of reasoning as applied to other case law and also logically argued why it is a superior position. As to your second sentence at no time have I stated it should remain so because that is where the law is now. That is a strawman.

          The note about “incumbent position” was merely a guess as to why you might think that I’m being imperialistic with my idea of ideal rights, instead of having a discusison where everyone’s idea of ideal rights are on the table. You’re welcome to offer an alternative explanation for why you made the first comment I’ve blockquoted, here.

          Murder is not illegal because it is immoral, murder is illegal because it is one person subverting the rights of another without justification.

          Ahhh, are ‘rights’ orthogonal to ‘morality’, in your view?

          In the case of abortion ending the potential life is justified because the fetus is dependent on the body of another and we have determined for good reason that the bodily rights of the host supersedes the rights of the fetus.

          Nice imperialistic use of “we”, there. First, it sounds like I’m supposed to be included, and am somehow wrong for not. Suppose that is wrong. Second, it sounds like it was a legislated decision, where the majority determined it. But we know that is wrong. Third, the fact is that this right was conjured by SCOTUS. I’m pretty sure most subsequent legal analysis shows it to be terrible legal reasoning, even by people who support pro-choice.

        • Otto

          “You’re welcome to offer an alternative explanation for why you made the first comment I’ve blockquoted, here.

          I made the comment pointing out what you think are ideal rights (fetus rights first) are not my view of ideal rights (the right to bodily autonomy). I have no idea why you have an issue there.

          “Ahhh, are ‘rights’ orthogonal to ‘morality’, in your view?”

          I am not sure what you mean, but rights are granted under the law, and morality should not be legislated as it is far too subjective to be able to ground law in.

          As to your issue of the use of “we”…too bad. That is the state of the issue currently. i.e. WE elect the president even though you or I may not agree with the choice “we” as a collective make. For you to take that as some sort of personal slight is just playing victim, get over yourself.

          To your “second” point…the majority determined that the interpretation of the constitution would be in the hands of the SCOTUS ultimately, so while the majority did not make the actual decision, the majority does give that responsibility to them.

          To your third point…you don’t agree with it but you have offered no actual reasoning as to why it is terrible legal reasoning, or that the right was ‘conjured’, other than you say you are ‘pretty sure’ that is the case. I am pretty sure that does not even come close to a rebuttal. Additionally the SCOTUS continues to uphold that decision even though they have had ample opportunities to overturn it. You are just coming off as butthurt here.

        • I made the comment pointing out what you think are ideal rights (fetus rights first) are not my view of ideal rights (the right to bodily autonomy). I have no idea why you have an issue there.

          The clear implication was that I was shoving my morality† on you, but you were doing nothing of the kind back to me. One reason I surmised you might think this is that the incumbent position (extant law) can be mistakenly treated as a default position.

          † Or whatever term you want to use for your conception of rights. I wanted the phrase to be recognizable.

          I am not sure what you mean, but rights are granted under the law, and morality should not be legislated as it is far too subjective to be able to ground law in.

          So when we talk about which things should be ‘rights’, we’re not talking morality. That’s not entirely standard, but I’m happy to run with it. I suspect the idea here is that what is encoded into law is supposed to be something like an overlapping consensus of various people’s moralities/​values. Anyhow, we can talk about what should be a ‘right’, and the precedences between conflicting rights.

          As to your issue of the use of “we”…too bad. That is the state of the issue currently. i.e. WE elect the president even though you or I may not agree with the choice “we” as a collective make. For you to take that as some sort of personal slight is just playing victim, get over yourself.

          Personal slight? I’m pretty sure I’m not the only pro-lifer in the world. But I get it: if you can construe what I say as “playing victim”, that’s a get-out-of-rationally-arguing-free card.

          To your “second” point…the majority determined that the interpretation of the constitution would be in the hands of the SCOTUS ultimately, so while the majority did not make the actual decision, the majority does give that responsibility to them.

          The majority did not give SCOTUS the right to make law, nor to conjure rights.

          To your third point…you don’t agree with it but you have offered no actual reasoning as to why it is terrible legal reasoning, or that the right was ‘conjured’, other than you say you are ‘pretty sure’ that is the case.

          You can start with WP: Roe v. Wade § Legal.

          You are just coming off as butthurt here.

          Can we stop it with the psychologizing? It’s like you don’t think you have a good enough rational argument, and thus must engage in arational/​irrational tactics.

        • Otto

          No that is not what I was implying. What I was implying is that your view of ideal rights is not the same as mine. I felt you were implying that ‘ideal rights’ are along the same lines as objective morality, so that your view of ideal rights is somehow objective and I was just pointing out they are not objective, neither of ours are.

          Our rights are spelled out in the Bill of Rights, SCOTUS interprets those rights on a case by case basis. You can point out which rights that are spelled out that you disagree with or you can take issue with a specific case. Morality never comes into play other than the idea that we are equal under the law.

          “The majority did not give SCOTUS the right to make law, nor to conjure rights.”

          Yes every time a person does not like a ruling they play the ‘SCOTUS is making up laws’ card. If that was actually the case then it should not be that hard to have the newer courts overturn this ruling especially since the court had a majority of Catholics on it until very recently. The Court obviously disagrees with your assertion. If it wasn’t based on case law and precedents its foundation should be so shaky it should be easy to overcome.

          Pointing out that your lack any real legal argument for your assertion and I am therefore perceiving your lack of an argument as based in emotion rather than reason is not psychoanalyzing you.

        • I felt you were implying that ‘ideal rights’ are along the same lines as objective morality […]

          Ahh, that makes sense. I wasn’t, but that was a reasonable inference.

          Yes every time a person does not like a ruling they play the ‘SCOTUS is making up laws’ card.

          So? That doesn’t mean they’ve never done so.

          If that was actually the case then it should not be that hard to have the newer courts overturn this ruling especially since the court had a majority of Catholics on it until very recently. The Court obviously disagrees with your assertion. If it wasn’t based on case law and precedents its foundation should be so shaky it should be easy to overcome.

          Consider that if the decision were made badly, the bad mechanisms of justification would not simply vanish into thin air. Furthermore, sufficiently many people with sufficiently much power liked the conjured right, and so it has stuck. They may have disagreed with the means, but they liked the end.

          LB: Third, the fact is that this right was conjured by SCOTUS. I’m pretty sure most subsequent legal analysis shows it to be terrible legal reasoning, even by people who support pro-choice.

          O: To your third point…you don’t agree with it but you have offered no actual reasoning as to why it is terrible legal reasoning, or that the right was ‘conjured’, other than you say you are ‘pretty sure’ that is the case. I am pretty sure that does not even come close to a rebuttal. Additionally the SCOTUS continues to uphold that decision even though they have had ample opportunities to overturn it. You are just coming off as butthurt here.

          LB: You can start with WP: Roe v. Wade § Legal.

          O: Pointing out that your lack any real legal argument for your assertion and I am therefore perceiving your lack of an argument as based in emotion rather than reason is not psychoanalyzing you.

          In what world of reason does saying “I’m pretty sure «factual claim here»” qualify as “based in emotion”? Again, I suggest all psychologizing be dropped unless the evidence strongly warrants it. For example, you could have asked me to support my recollection. You really don’t want me to cite from Wayne C. Booth’s Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent on how psychologizing is terrible for rational discussion in a pluralistic democracy.

        • Otto

          “So? That doesn’t mean they’ve never done so.”

          It also does not mean that is the case here.

        • Michael Neville

          In what world of reason does saying “I’m pretty sure «factual claim here»” qualify as “based in emotion”?

          Considering you’ve given zip point shit logical or rational arguments for your claim that:

          I’m pretty sure most subsequent legal analysis shows it to be terrible legal reasoning

          then it’s reasonable to assume your claim is based on emotion. So show Otto and me that you actually have a non-emotional reason for claiming that Roe v Wade is “terrible legal reasoning”.

        • Considering you’ve given zip point shit logical or rational arguments for your claim […]

          Yeah it’s not like I linked to them. Twice.

          So show Otto and me that you actually have a non-emotional reason for claiming that Roe v Wade is “terrible legal reasoning”.

          Here, I’ll do it a third time: WP: Roe v. Wade § Legal. Do I actually need to copy/​paste from that link?

          P.S. I just love that the default is “emotional reason”. So rational of you two!

        • Otto

          What you linked to was general criticisms of the ruling that were all over the spectrum. The same type of wide criticisms that are levied against most controversial rulings. I do not see how that proves your point.

        • You want to characterize the following—

          And Edward Lazarus, a former Blackmun clerk who “loved Roe’s author like a grandfather,” wrote: “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible…. Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the almost 30 years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.”[91] (WP: Roe v. Wade § Legal)

          —as standard for controversial SCOTUS rulings?

        • Otto

          C’mon….You provided a link where the opinions were all over the place…which I commented on. Now you pick one specific opinion about the ruling as if that should hold sway. That is more than a little disingenuous.

        • Susan

          .You provided a link where the opinions were all over the place…which I commented on. Now you pick one specific opinion about the ruling as if that should hold sway.

          How are you enjoying your stroll down Luke Lane?

          That is more than a little disingenous.

          Defamation.

        • Otto

          I could say I was surprised, but that would not be honest.

        • MNb

          Isn’t it funny how literally everyone arrives as that same conclusion sooner or later?
          But Lukieboy doesn’t care. He’s the Holder of Moral Truth, so the rest of the world always is wrong.

        • You didn’t just comment on them, you said that the spread one finds in that article is standard for controversial SCOTUS rulings. I then asked you if a given example properly fits that model. What’s disingenuous about that? Either your claim is falsifiable or it is not.

          It sounds like the burden of proof you will require for my comment† would take hours if not tens of hours to muster. Is that the case?

          † For reference:

          LB: Third, the fact is that this right was conjured by SCOTUS. I’m pretty sure most subsequent legal analysis shows it to be terrible legal reasoning, even by people who support pro-choice.

        • Otto

          The SCOTUS has been accused of legislating from the bench (and at times have) in many instances. One perfect example is the Miranda case where the bench made a prescriptive declaration to law enforcement that they had to do certain things (reading people that rights upon arrest) to not run afoul of the constitution. The rights Miranda was based on was not conjured, the prescriptive element of Miranda was.

          So yes that example fits the model of criticism of Supreme Court decisions that are controversial, Roe is not the egregious example you think it is.

          You have not shown there was a right that Roe was based on that was conjured, or that Roe was conjured. Having certain people claim otherwise does no prove that point.

        • You have not shown there was a right that Roe was based on that was conjured, or that Roe was conjured. Having certain people claim otherwise does no prove that point.

          In that case, I need to know your philosophy of jurisprudence, to know how one can correctly and incorrectly derive rights from the Constitution. Are you willing to articulate this philosophy of yours? Or is it just correct when you say it is, incorrect when you say it is, and that is that?

        • Otto

          Maybe I should just copy and paste links that kind of point to what I think instead of giving you my opinion…after all that is what you do.

          P.S. my position on the issue has nothing to do with you not answering my question.

          What right that Roe was based on was conjured? You don’t need my philosophy on law to answer that question.

        • What starts out as a hyperlink can always be expanded in the combox. But with an interlocutor who won’t reveal his own position, it is hard to discuss. How can I convince someone who won’t give me the required information for knowing what would possibly convince him? After all, while some people might be convinced that Roe v. Wade has problems, you don’t. Well, that’s fine, but until I can figure out why, I’ll be forced to make guesses. I’d rather not do that—I’d rather you either be forthright about what you believe or indicate that you will not or cannot do so.

        • adam

          You mean he is using a Breuerism…

          “But with an interlocutor who won’t reveal his own position, it is hard to discuss.”

        • Otto

          I asked you a straightforward question. You made an assertion, I asked you a question regarding that assertion. It DOES NOT matter what my position is…I am asking you for YOURS. If you don’t want to back up your assertions and answer questions regarding them…don’t make the assertions.

          I will ask you a third time. What right that Roe was based on was conjured? If you cannot answer a simple question then just don’t respond at all.

        • It DOES NOT matter what my position is…

          It does if I’m supposed to convince you of anything.

          I will ask you a third time. What right that Roe was based on was conjured?

          After you tell me the difference between deriving and conjuring. Clearly I must use your definition of ‘derive’ and ‘conjure’, given:

          O: You have not shown there was a right that Roe was based on that was conjured, or that Roe was conjured. Having certain people claim otherwise does no prove that point.

          Clearly, what works for some people doesn’t work for you. In order to know what works for you, I need to know how you reason. If you don’t want to expose how you reason (if, for example, you prefer to criticize other’s positions instead of let your own be criticized—because criticizing is frequently much easier than defending), just let me know and we can end this charade.

        • Otto

          This isn’t about convincing me. If you want to know why I don’t think this was conjured I will tell you (and all ready have essentially in other posts). If you don’t have a basis for your claim just admit it. What it sounds like is you have heard others say it was conjured and you just bought in without any understanding of why. I could be wrong in that perception but that is what it smells like.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Didn’t ya already know that was coming?

          You are supposed to read Luke’s links, book’s cited, paper’s referenced and find the bit he is relying on to support his argument yerself.

          Another Breuerism don’t ya know?

        • adam

          “That is more than a little disingenuous.”

          Yes, it is DISHONEST, but THAT just demonstrates what Luke’s ‘morals’ actually are in practice.

        • Michael Neville

          No, I saw nothing rational about your claim that Row v Wade is bad law. You don’t like abortion because you don’t like abortion, a purely emotional reason for you not to like abortion.

          When people like you claim judges “make law” what you’re really saying is “this judge or SCOTUS made a decision I don’t like.” Nothing rational about that. Having watched you for the past several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that you think whining is rational.

        • adam

          “Having watched you for the past several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that you think whining is rational.”

          Whining, is after all, THE VERY BEST that his ‘faith’ provides for him to support his biblical view point.

        • No, I saw nothing rational about your claim that Row v Wade is bad law. You don’t like abortion because you don’t like abortion, a purely emotional reason for you not to like abortion.

          I increasingly suspect that those who criticize me for believing things based on emotion are themselves the more emotional ones, and are engaging in the traditional human pastime of projecting. After all, it was you who got “extremely angry” after a perceived insult from a random person on the internet not in your in-group. It was you who couldn’t help engaging in verbal diarrhea such as:

          MN: you motherfucking sack of dogfeces

          MN: a supercilious, pompous, condescending asswipe like you

          MN: narcissitic twit

          MN: supercilious dolt

          I understand that you see yourself as so much more righteous and rational than me that anytime I disagree with you, I’m being dogmatic, emotional, etc. (I can’t recall a single instance where you thought I was right and you were wrong.) This is a wonderful, unfalsifiable narrative. But I suggest engaging in more self-control over your own emotions, if you want to properly maintain that aura in your interactions with other human beings. Otherwise, you come out rather looking like a hypocrite.

          When people like you claim judges “make law” what you’re really saying is “this judge or SCOTUS made a decision I don’t like.”

          I have no doubt that this is often the case. As far as I can tell though, you’re engaging in “some” ⇒ “all” reasoning. If you were to lay out what is and what is not true legislating from the bench, we could have a rational discussion. But I doubt you’ll actually do that. Instead, you will find ways to avoid rational engagement, such as:

          Having watched you for the past several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that you think whining is rational.

          That’s just a glorious way to dismiss the arguments of your interlocutor. I predict you’ll even describe this paragraph of mine as “whining”. You have a beautiful, unfalsifiable system of ideology it seems. But perhaps I’m wrong—perhaps you’ll surprise me and be rational instead of emotional.

        • Michael Neville

          After all, it was you who got “extremely angry” after a perceived insult from a random person on the internet not in your in-group.

          No, asswipe, I didn’t get angry with a “random person on the internet not in my in-group”, I got angry with you because you called me a liar, something you finally admitted. You could have been my bestest buddy and I would still have got angry with you if you called me a liar. What really got me angry though was your effort to victim blame me by your repeated pretension that I was merely “misinterpreting” you.

          But there’s no point in rehashing this again. You’ve convinced yourself that you’re the aggrieved party here and everyone is just dumping on poor, pitiful you.

          I understand that you see yourself as so much more righteous and rational than me that anytime I disagree with you

          Not just when we disagree. I may not be more righteous than you but I’m a whole lot more rational than you. As I told you before, often when you’re contradicted or corrected you go into six-year-old whiner mode. That’s hardly rational.

          I can’t recall a single instance where you thought I was right and you were wrong.

          I can’t either. That’s because you have a habit of being wrong. It’s not my fault that you’re not as intelligent and knowledgeable as you think you are.

          Otherwise, you come out rather looking like a hypocrite.

          You’re hardly the one to throw accusations of hypocrisy around, considering how after you finally apologized to me for calling me a liar you decided that it was my fault that you did so.

          If you were to lay out what is and what is not true legislating from the bench, we could have a rational discussion.

          A rational discussion with you? Okay but here’s some ground rules:

          * NO WHINING! If I say you’re wrong and give reasons for saying so then you don’t make up excuses that I’ve “misinterpreted” you or that I doing it for sheer spite.

          * Don’t repeat your arguments or link to them more than twice. If I don’t accept your rebuttal after the second time then I’m not going to accept it after a third repetition.

          * Stop accusing me of being emotional when I bring out facts to contradict you. That’s already covered under NO WHINING! but I thought it needed emphasizing. You get quite emotional when you’re accusing others of being emotional.

          So-called “legislating from the bench” will be covered in a separate post.

        • As I told you before, often when you’re contradicted or corrected you go into six-year-old whiner mode.

          I realize you believe this, very deeply. It’s just that the facts don’t bear it up. If they did, you’d be able to excerpt and link them. Instead, you and others chant this like a mantra—kind of like the children in the Star Trek TOS episode Miri. But at least you dialed back the plausible “always” of “your biggest fault is your refusal to accept criticism or correction” to an “often”, here. Maybe we’ll move you to “sometimes”, then “rarely”. Probably I occasionally whine; I bet we all do.

          You’re hardly the one to throw accusations of hypocrisy around, considering how after you finally [lie #1:] apologized to me for calling me a liar you [lie #2:] decided that it was my fault that you did so.

          I fixed that for you. Summary of your [related] nonsense.

          A rational discussion with you? Okay but here’s some ground rules:

          When you stop flagrantly distorting what I’ve said and erecting egregious straw men, I’d be happy to talk about how I could adjust my behavior when writing comments in reply to you. (You get no say over comments I write to other people. If you jump into a conversation, you get to deal.)

          * Stop accusing me of being emotional when I bring out facts to contradict you.

          Where have I ever done this? Here, you reasoned to “emotional” from an absence of facts, and here, I was characterizing namecalling outbursts as “emotional”, not you bringing facts out. I don’t recall using the term “emotional” with you in any other situation, except perhaps in reference to Descartes’ Error. Dare I say that if you have no actual facts to back up this “Have you stopped beating your wife?”-esque command, it could be the result of emotions and not reason?

          You get quite emotional when you’re accusing others of being emotional.

          Evidence, please.

        • Michael Neville

          You just cannot keep whining at me “Michael, you’re being mean to me by not accepting my opinion that you’re the one to blame for me calling you a liar.” Forget it, asswipe, it’s your fuckup and you should own it.

        • You just cannot keep whining at me “Michael, you’re being mean to me by not accepting my opinion that you’re the one to blame for me calling you a liar.”

          Repeating this straw man doesn’t reduce the concentration of straw. It does start making you a habitual liar, because you know there isn’t a single comment of mine which can be construed to support what I have underlined. And as I said before:

          MN: This is particularly perplexing […]

          LB: I take no responsibility for you being perplexed due to straw men you erected.

          The facts are clear. I took responsibility for what I did. You have maintained a death-grip on an exaggerated version of the offense to support your extreme emotional response (and/or to avoid admitting that you overreacted). I have consistently rejected the exaggeration.

        • adam

          “because you know there isn’t a single comment of mine which can be construed to support what I have underlined.”

          Funny, I dont know that

          Seems to me that is exactly what you DO.
          Blame others for your own need to lie and be deceptive.

          WAAAAAAAA
          WAAAAAAAAAAAAA
          WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

        • adam

          “I realize you believe this, very deeply.”

          Who here, that has been watching you constantly going into your whiner mode, can’t see that FACT?

        • Kodie

          Luke, you’re either in denial or don’t care about your personality defects. You think it doesn’t show? You think everyone is coming to the same conclusion because you’re a Christian? No. You really do suck. You really do whine, you really are a fucking chore. It’s not your arguments that suck, it’s actually you.

        • adam

          “I realize you believe this, very deeply. It’s just that the facts don’t bear it up.”

          Yes, the fact DO bear it up….

        • Kodie

          Have a bit more self-awareness. You come off like a rude piece of shit when you don’t get your way, which is all the time, because people can see your nonsense coming and going and getting all over the place. We have weeks worth of posts of yours, where you get persnickety, uptight, and totally delusional, hundreds and hundreds of them, long, tedious, dishonest, you couldn’t get to the point of an arrow. You live in fantasy LukeLand, where everything is the way you think it is, but it’s a horror show from the outside of your head, in every direction. You’ve been told, you deny it every single time. There’s no evidence? Your motherfucking posting history is all the evidence anyone needs. The post of yours that I’m responding to is evidence. You’re an emotional, egotistical, delusional, lying turd of a human being. What other evidence are you expecting? Nobody likes you, on your own merits, not by sharing some “in-group” status. You are a terrible human being and everyone can see it from every post that you make. Everyone with eyes, literacy, brains, can just see it and know. By choring us all to find evidence and not just “defamation” is to expose your total absolute denial of who you are and what you are like, and it’s an insult to people who can read, that you believe we don’t think for ourselves but must be blindly agreeing with rumors and gossip. How fucking dare you.

          I hope Bob bans you soon.

        • Michael Neville

          The term “legislating from the bench” is frequently used but rarely explained. It’s hard to get any traction from someone using the term. It often means “some judge made a decision I don’t like.”

          “Legislating from the bench” implies a justice system comprised of two types of judges: those who merely interpret law and those with political agendas who create law. This distinction covers up the fact that vague language and political and societal change necessitate that law be created through legal interpretation. Ambiguous phrases found in the Constitution such as due process of law, equal protection of law, and cruel and unusual punishment require interpretation to be applied. The interpretations of these phrases must change as unforeseeable circumstances arise, making the courts an avenue for interpretation to substantially affect law. Accordingly, the phrase “legislating from the bench” is at best misleading, and analysis of its historical application reveals its necessity.

          In 1954 the Warren court decided Brown v Board of Education This was controversial at the time, but actually represented popular American belief. After World War II, there was a sense of justice in the country, exemplified in lobbying for the rights of minorities and women. The courts did not seek cases involving rights, instead citizens brought them forward. When one looks back at the history of the civil rights movement, it becomes clear how necessary the courts were. African Americans had no one to represent them in the legislative branch precisely because they were barred from voting, so they had to appeal to the courts.

          The Constitution gives the courts the duty of interpreting laws. So the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, will evaluate laws. In a bipartisan country, there will always be dissent considering what is right or just. There will be those who will disagree with what the courts decide and they raise the cry of “legislating from the bench.”

        • I’ll understand conservatives’ complaining about “legislating from the bench” when I see them make that charge about a decision that they like.

        • The term “legislating from the bench” is frequently used but rarely explained. It’s hard to get any traction from someone using the term. It often means “some judge made a decision I don’t like.”

          Surely we can establish a difference between legislation and interpretation? I really don’t care if some people refuse to try to articulate a difference between these two things; what matters is what happens between the people participating in this conversation on Bob’s blog. We could talk about how rights are derived, and what the difference might look like between valid and invalid derivation.

          “Legislating from the bench” implies a justice system comprised of two types of judges: those who merely interpret law and those with political agendas who create law. This distinction covers up the fact that vague language and political and societal change necessitate that law be created through legal interpretation.

          Do you think the same argument applies to figuring out what is a right and what is not a right?

          In 1954 the Warren court decided Brown v Board of Education This was controversial at the time, but actually represented popular American belief.

          Why should popular belief matter when it comes to interpreting law? It should matter when it comes to legislating law.

          African Americans had no one to represent them in the legislative branch precisely because they were barred from voting, so they had to appeal to the courts.

          This is an argument for the courts veering into legislation land under perverse conditions. I can posit all sorts of crazy things the government would need to do under various perverse conditions. Anyone who knows anything knows that extreme cases make bad law.

          The Constitution gives the courts the duty of interpreting laws. So the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, will evaluate laws. In a bipartisan country, there will always be dissent considering what is right or just. There will be those who will disagree with what the courts decide and they raise the cry of “legislating from the bench.”

          This is called poisoning the well. Instead, you could have actually discussed the difference between interpretation and legislation—and I’m 100% happy to allow that it’s not a nice, clean separation. Clearly, what some think is implicit in a law, others will not think is implicit. That the distinction is hard to make doesn’t mean we should just impossibly blur it. I refuse to accept such defeatist stances.

        • Michael Neville

          This is called poisoning the well.

          You were doing fine until you got to this sentence. I was not “poisoning the well”, I was describing how you conservatives (and yes, I know you’re a conservative) react when the courts make a decision you don’t like. “I don’t like that decision, those judges are legislating from the bench!” I’ve seen this so many times from conservatives that I know it’s not an occasional quirk. Almost all the conservative pundits screamed “legislating from the bench” after Obergefell v Hodges was decided, allowing same-sex marriage.

          So once again you’re whining, which I said I wouldn’t put up with. Accusing me of doing something I didn’t do is whining. So obviously you’re not interested in having a rational discussion. Too bad, it could have been interesting.

        • I was not “poisoning the well”, I was describing how you conservatives (and yes, I know you’re a conservative) react when the courts make a decision you don’t like.

          Thanks for stereotyping me. I’m sure that’s precisely what makes pluralistic democracies work (instead of implode).

          Almost all the conservative pundits screamed “legislating from the bench” after Obergefell v Hodges was decided, allowing same-sex marriage.

          Actually, I think that civil unions should be civil, and marriage should be religious. The whole marriage of church and Caesar was a problem from the get-go.

          So once again you’re whining, which I said I wouldn’t put up with. Accusing me of doing something I didn’t do is whining.

          That’s an odd [partial] definition of “whining”, but I’ll work with it. Here’s an example of you “whining”:

          MN: Why are you still trying to make me responsible for your fuckup?

          After all, I never did such a thing. You have never excerpted and linked me doing such a thing because you can’t. Here’s you making the same claim and another to boot; I’ve inserted indications of where you did it:

          You’re hardly the one to throw accusations of hypocrisy around, considering how after you finally [lie #1:] apologized to me for calling me a liar you [lie #2:] decided that it was my fault that you did so.

          You might be careful in how you define your terms; the definitions might come back and bite you.

        • Michael Neville

          You spout several conservative viewpoints and whine that I’m stereotyping you? Damn, boy (notice that’s “boy” with a small “b”), you just love whining when ever an adult corrects you.

          I’m not going to rehash your failed attempt to blame me for you calling me a liar. We both know you did it (as shown by the FACT that after much prodding you grudgingly apologized for it) and we both know that you hated having to make that admission.

        • You spout several conservative viewpoints […]

          List them. Let’s see how you define “several”.

          I’m not going to rehash your failed attempt to blame me for you calling me a liar.

          Because there’s no evidence of it. So you’ll continue pretending. I think it’s fair to call you a habitual liar at this point.

          We both know you did it (as shown by the FACT that after much prodding you grudgingly apologized for it) and we both know that you hated having to make that admission.

          It seems that you are in need of review:

          MN: Each repetition of your bullshit tells everyone that you’re obsessed with being right, even when you’re not.

          LB: I’m obsessed with the truth, which is that:

          (T) I chose my words poorly.

          Not:

          (F) The only plausible interpretation of my words entailed that you are a liar.

          For some reason, you don’t see how I can accept responsibility for what I actually did, but not accept responsibility for what I did not do. Apparently, you think I must either affirm (T) and (F) as true, or deny the truth of both (T) and (F). I disagree; I think (T) is true and (F) is false.

          The “much prodding” is dubious; you did claim that I called you a liar multiple times before I apologized; it was only when PBL presented me with evidence that I acknowledged it (ten minutes later) and apologized (nine minutes after that). When I’m presented with solid evidence I turn on a dime.

          The “grudgingly” is false, as is the “hated having to make that admission”. You’re engaging in pure defamation of character at this point.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When I’m presented with solid evidence I turn on a dime.

          Ha!

        • Kodie

          You manipulative turd of an attention whore. You’re the one who is obsessed, and tear everyone down so you can be a shining shiny shiny attention getting turd!

        • MNb

          “I think that civil unions should be civil, and marriage should be religious”
          Bah, just more boring semantics. The French after their Revolution decided to call it a civil marriage, in contrast to religious marriage, which since then doesn’t have any legal meaning anymore. Giving the beast another name doesn’t change the beast in the least. Millions of Europeans are not going to change a label just because a whining believer with a way too big ego thinks it necessary.
          Of course that’s your big point – you want marriage to remain a religious, perhaps even christian privilege. Or are you OK with this?

          http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-35112484

        • adam

          “Thanks for stereotyping me.”

          Thanks for being so stereotypical….

          WHINER….

          WAAAAAAAAAA
          WAAAAAAAAAAAAA
          WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

        • adam

          “Actually, I think that civil unions should be civil, and marriage should be religious.”

          I am going to agree with you here,
          All civil unions will have the protection of law and all tax breaks that goes with the civil contract

          Religious marriages will have no such protection of law and therefore no tax breaks, being outside the legal system and not under the contract.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Actually, I think that civil unions should be civil, and marriage should be religious. The whole marriage of church and Caesar was a problem from the get-go.

          That is the solution my nerd-table came up with during lunch room debates in Junior year of High School.

          Take the ‘religious’ aspect out of whatever the state does – issue civil unions to any two consenting adults who ask for them, re-write tax code with a [Find & Replace] on “marriage/husband & wife” => “civil union/partners”.

        • Kodie

          I upvoted you even including the last sentence, but I don’t think it could have ever been interesting.

        • adam

          I agree.

          IMO, If Luke was limited to rational thought and honesty, he wouldnt be able to converse.

        • What is your position on same-sex marriage?

        • I just said this to @michaelneville:disqus:

          LB: Actually, I think that civil unions should be civil, and marriage should be religious. The whole marriage of church and Caesar was a problem from the get-go.

        • Isn’t that how it works already? It’s already in 2 parts.

          In my daughter’s case, they actually signed the papers with the notary before the wedding. So they were married before the wedding started.

        • Forcing someone to bake a cake for your religious ceremony is to force someone to participate in your religion. Just asking them to bake a cake (say, for a birthday party) is not forcing them to participate in your religion. Given that the former was upheld in US courts, the two are not as separate as you might think.

        • Forcing someone to bake a cake for your religious ceremony is to force someone to participate in your religion.

          If you’re a baker in that situation, then it sucks to be you. You don’t get to say, “We don’t serve your kind here.” Go back to the South of the ’50s.

          Here’s a tip: your argument would be stronger if you found a gay baker refusing to bake a cake for a straight wedding.

          the former was upheld in US courts

          Like I give a shit? My ol’ buddy Luke told me that judges legislate from the bench all the time. Give me an honest judgment, and then I’ll consider it.

        • Otto

          Part of me thinks we should let bakers discriminate, I think they would end up hanging themselves with their own rope.

        • That would be the Libertarian approach.

          One justification that I like is: the taxpayers (society) paid for the roads, utilities, etc. that Mr. Baker needs to run his business and have customers have easy access. Therefore, the taxpayers can dictate that Mr. Baker serve them all.

        • Otto

          Oh I agree with that as well. And I have asked the question do we want to live in a society that allows businesses to discriminate, generally I think it is a bad idea. Especially since I think it is all or nothing. Either we allow every business to discriminate or we don’t allow it at all.

          What frustrates me is many Christians who side with the bakers who want to discriminate would be appalled if landlords were allowed to openly discriminate based on color, etc.

          I do agree that running a public business in this country should come with responsibilities of following the rules like driving a car does. I just would find it entertainingly ironic if the bigoted business owners were allowed to do as they please and they suffered financially for it. I think they would find there is less support for their position than they realize.

        • I just fear that in some parts of the country, you’d have the Chick-fil-A syndrome, where the bigots flock to the establishment to support their righteous stand against the tide of sodomy. Or something.

        • Otto

          That is my concern as well. I think over all the bigots would lose and I think there would be pocket areas that would be rather unsafe. I would be pretty messy.

        • If you’re a baker in that situation, then it sucks to be you. You don’t get to say, “We don’t serve your kind here.” Go back to the South of the ’50s.

          Disanalogous. What you’d be saying is that you refuse to participate in certain religious ceremonies. But if the person wants a birthday cake, or a cake with no religious symbols on it (including certain text), then you’re all for baking it.

          Here’s a tip: your argument would be stronger if you found a gay baker refusing to bake a cake for a straight wedding.

          Actually, I presented the argument at a conference at Stanford, The New Politics of Church/​State Relations. Nobody objected to it; in fact it ended the conversation about the cake baker. Knowing some of the participants there, if the objections you indicate here were considered valid, they would most certainly have been offered.

          My ol’ buddy Luke told me that judges legislate from the bench all the time.

          False. (You simply will not be able to find evidence of this. What you will find is people imputing that view to me. Gossip works.)

        • adam

          “Actually, I presented the argument at a conference at Stanford, The New Politics of Church/​State Relations. ”

          THIS doesnt link to your argument.

          or to any indication that it ended the conversation about the cake baker….

          And with your history of lies and deceptions…..

        • What you’d be saying is that you refuse to participate in certain religious ceremonies.

          Mr. Baker bakes a cake. His customer picks it up and then does whatever he wants with it. I wonder why Mr. Baker isn’t worried about it being used for a Satanic ceremony. Or maybe a straight couple will do sodomy where the cake can see them. Why does he single out the gay wedding?

          The customer puts whatever cake topper they want. Mr. Baker doesn’t even get an invitation to the wedding. Where is this “participation”? And this power you imagine Mr. Baker having—he can pick and choose the uses to which his cake will be put—seems very ad hoc. You defend him when he spits on a gay customer. Can he spit on straight customers instead? Divorced persons remarrying? Give me the rules.

          But if the person wants a birthday cake, or a cake with no religious symbols on it (including certain text), then you’re all for baking it.

          What I’m saying is actually quite simply: you don’t get to say, “We don’t serve your kind here.” Crazy idea, or can you get behind that?

          ”Here’s a tip: your argument would be stronger if you found a gay baker refusing to bake a cake for a straight wedding.”
          Actually, I presented the argument at a conference at Stanford, The New Politics of Church/State Relations. Nobody objected to it

          Then lead with that. Make clear what rules you propose and show how they are Constitutional.

          Knowing some of the participants there, if the objections you indicate here were considered valid, they would most certainly have been offered.

          “Luke’s friends give Luke’s thinking 2 thumbs up!!”

          Color me unconvinced.

          ”My ol’ buddy Luke told me that judges legislate from the bench all the time.”
          False. (You simply will not be able to find evidence of this. What you will find is people imputing that view to me. Gossip works.)

          What a shame. I was hoping to actually understand Luke’s position. But no, darn it. I guess it’s a secret.

        • I wonder why Mr. Baker isn’t worried about it being used for a Satanic ceremony.

          He doesn’t need to, because his concern is whether he is affirming the religious ceremony. If he doesn’t know what the cake is being used for, then he cannot possibly do any such affirming.

          Why does he single out the gay wedding?

          Because he was forced to know that the cake would be for a religious ceremony with which he disagrees. He’s not discriminating against people, he’s discriminating against religion with which he disagrees.

          The customer puts whatever cake topper they want.

          This is a great way to keep Mr. Baker ignorant of the purpose of the cake and thus does not force him to participate in any religious ceremony. If instead Mr. Baker is forced to write text on the cake which makes it clear that this is for a specific religious ceremony where he disagrees with the religion, then he has grounds to object.

          Where is this “participation”?

          Oh c’mon, it’s obvious that the gay couple wanted not just toleration of their religion but affirmation. Forcing others to dance to your tune is a great way to condition society into affirming you.

          And this power you imagine Mr. Baker having—he can pick and choose the uses to which his cake will be put—seems very ad hoc.

          Do you believe that providers of goods and services are not already allowed to pick and choose the uses to which their goods and services can be legally put?

          You defend him when he spits on a gay customer. Can he spit on straight customers instead? Divorced persons remarrying? Give me the rules.

          There you go, associating the choice not to participate in another’s religion as “spitting”. This is a glorious way to obscure the fact that you want the other person’s religion to be affirmed, not merely tolerated. You simply have to portray non-affirmation as intolerance and voila, objective achieved.

          The rules are that you don’t get to force another person to knowingly participate in your religious ceremonies, whether directly or indirectly. This is known as “the freedom of religion”, and it includes not just religious belief, but also religious practice. Fully explicating what this looks like is probably not the most simple thing, but I’m pretty sure it could be done. Companies are already refusing to print Confederate flags on their cakes. Why? Because they refuse to take part in certain religion, or “promotion of a certain conception of what is good”, if you prefer. Are these companies wrong?

          What I’m saying is actually quite simply: you don’t get to say, “We don’t serve your kind here.” Crazy idea, or can you get behind that?

          I agree: one can say “I won’t celebrate your religion with you”, but one cannot say “I won’t serve your kind”.

          “Luke’s friends give Luke’s thinking 2 thumbs up!!”

          Uhhhh, wut? I had never met anyone at that conference before I attended. I’m not an academic. I have no formal training in any matter touching on politics or church/​state relations. I knew the relevant people would object because I had heard them be contentious in the relevant ways during the conference.

          BS: My ol’ buddy Luke told me that judges legislate from the bench all the time.

          LB: False. (You simply will not be able to find evidence of this. What you will find is people imputing that view to me. Gossip works.)

          BS: What a shame. I was hoping to actually understand Luke’s position. But no, darn it. I guess it’s a secret.

          If you wanted to understand my actual position, you’d apologize for promoting a flagrant straw man which is quite denigrating to my intellectual if not moral character. Seriously, do you regularly interact with people by supposing they hold a really shitty view?

        • adam

          “Because he was forced to know that the cake would be for a religious
          ceremony with which he disagrees. He’s not discriminating against
          people, he’s discriminating against religion with which he disagrees.”

          Sorry, but religion doesnt order cakes people do, so INDEED he’s discriminated against people.

        • He doesn’t need to, because his concern is whether he is affirming the religious ceremony. If he doesn’t know what the cake is being used for, then he cannot possibly do any such affirming.

          But then how does he know it’s for a gay wedding? Is he entitled to ask questions? Can he have an Affirmation of Purpose that customers must sign, verifying that it meets Mr. Baker’s religious beliefs?

          Because he was forced to know that the cake would be for a religious ceremony with which he disagrees.

          Equal access. Life’s a bitch, ain’t it?

          He’s not discriminating against people, he’s discriminating against religion with which he disagrees.

          Yeah, he’s discriminating against people. Try using that argument in a court.

          This is a great way to keep Mr. Baker ignorant of the purpose of the cake and thus does not force him to participate in any religious ceremony.

          Is Mr. Baker rolling his own, or is this in concert with what God wants? Because if it’s the latter, I think Mr. Baker is being quite lax.

          You’re actually saying that ignorance is relevant here? If he doesn’t know the nefarious purpose, that’s only because he didn’t dig to find out. “Sorry, God. I didn’t know that it would be used for the Girl Scouts! Ya gotta trust me on this one!” You think that’ll work with the god who killed the guy for righting the Ark of the Covenant?

          If instead Mr. Baker is forced to write text on the cake which makes it clear that this is for a specific religious ceremony where he disagrees with the religion, then he has grounds to object.

          Wrong again. Equal access. Can’t deny it if you’re a hotel; can’t deny it if you’re a bakery.

          Oh c’mon, it’s obvious that the gay couple wanted not just toleration of their religion but affirmation.

          Oh, c’mon, Mr. Baker has no obligation to affirm anything. He was simply asked to bake a fucking cake for a fucking wedding! You really need to look at the PR consequences of the things you hate.

          Forcing others to dance to your tune is a great way to condition society into affirming you.

          Imagine my life—I’ve got to pay taxes to make up for the tax benefits churches get. I’m very much forced to affirm Christianity. But your heart bleeds for poor Mr. Baker having to pen the hateful words, “Happily ever after, Frank and Bill”?

          Do you believe that providers of goods and services are not already allowed to pick and choose the uses to which their goods and services can be legally put?

          We’re talking about equal access. If they can’t deny blacks, they can’t deny gays (though I believe this doesn’t apply in all states).

          There you go, associating the choice not to participate in another’s religion as “spitting”.

          Yup! “We don’t serve your kind” is the verbal equivalent of spitting. It can be said with a smile, but it’s still hateful.

          I wonder what Jesus would think.

          This is a glorious way to obscure the fact that you want the other person’s religion to be affirmed, not merely tolerated.

          Wrong again. Mr. Baker could be a Hindu baking for a Christian wedding; he could be a hateful fundamentalist Christian baking for a gay wedding. No one expects Mr. Hindu Baker to convert to Christianity.

          You simply have to portray non-affirmation as intolerance and voila, objective achieved.

          Check out the law. Voila.

          Companies are already refusing to print Confederate flags on their cakes. Why?

          Who cares? Yet another red herring. Convert this example to a “We don’t serve your kind” (where “your kind” is a protected class) and I’ll see the parallel. And (bonus!) I’ll be on your side.

          Until then, you’re farting in the wind. Again.

          I agree: one can say “I won’t celebrate your religion with you”, but one cannot say “I won’t serve your kind”.

          Then one wonders what all the bloviating above was in support of.

          If you wanted to understand my actual position, you’d apologize for promoting a flagrant straw man which is quite denigrating to my intellectual if not moral character.

          Wow—I guess it is a secret. I only meant that jokingly.

          I honestly thought you were concerned about judges legislating from the bench? Did I get it wrong? The correct me. Or not, if you’re embarrassed by your position.

        • LB: Companies are already refusing to print Confederate flags on their cakes. Why?

          BS: Who cares? Yet another red herring. Convert this example to a “We don’t serve your kind” (where “your kind” is a protected class) and I’ll see the parallel. And (bonus!) I’ll be on your side.

          This is really quite revealing. Let’s see: “cake with Confederate flag affirms a way of life” ~ “cake with text affirms a way of life”.

          What’s ironic is that you don’t immediately see the refusal to bake Confederate flag cakes as an example of “We don’t serve your kind”, even though some people in the South would instantly see this as a refusal to serve “their kind”.

          Your use of “protected class” is ridiculous, because you can simply encode in law the classes you like, and not the classes you don’t like. This becomes a discussion not about principles, but about preferences. Or has this always been purely a discussion of preferences, from your point of view?

          You really need to look at the PR consequences of the things you hate.

          What’s up with the gratuitous straw men? I don’t hate gays. Neither do I hate gay marriage. Can you really not argue in an intellectually and morally honest way? Can you only win your arguments by throwing shit at your interlocutors and hope that nobody noticed what you did?

          BS: My ol’ buddy Luke told me that judges legislate from the bench all the time.

          LB: False. (You simply will not be able to find evidence of this. What you will find is people imputing that view to me. Gossip works.)

          BS: What a shame. I was hoping to actually understand Luke’s position. But no, darn it. I guess it’s a secret.

          LB: If you wanted to understand my actual position, you’d apologize for promoting a flagrant straw man which is quite denigrating to my intellectual if not moral character. Seriously, do you regularly interact with people by supposing they hold a really shitty view?

          BS: Wow—I guess it is a secret. I only meant that jokingly.

          I honestly thought you were concerned about judges legislating from the bench? Did I get it wrong? The correct me. Or not, if you’re embarrassed by your position.

          What you got wrong is precisely what I said you got wrong. (Hint: it has nothing to do with your comment #2.) I’m under no obligation to correct your straw men; for me to do that is to invite you to constantly straw man me. That’s a bullshit, manipulative debating tactic. To employ it is to be an enemy of pluralistic democracy.

        • “BS: Who cares? Yet another red herring. Convert this example to a “We don’t serve you r kind” (where “your kind” is a protected class) and I’ll see the parallel. And (bonus!) I’ll be on your side.”

          What’s ironic is that you don’t immediately see the refusal to bake Confederate flag cakes as an example of “We don’t serve your kind”, even though some people in the South would instantly see this as a refusal to serve “their kind”.

          And “your kind” is a protected class?

          Why must having a conversation with you be so slow? Two steps forward and one back …

          Your use of “protected class” is ridiculous, because you can simply encode in law the classes you like, and not the classes you don’t like.

          In Bob-topica, that’s true. For better or worse, in this country, Bob isn’t the lawmaker. Protected classes are defined by the legislature.

          Are you ignorant, stupid, just pretending to be stupid—what? Let’s move this conversation along. I’m getting bored.

          Or has this always been purely a discussion of preferences, from your point of view?

          Not Bob-topica, remember?

          “You really need to look at the PR consequences of the things you hate.”
          What’s up with the gratuitous straw men? I don’t hate gays. Neither do I hate gay marriage.

          That’s sweet.

          I’m making an (admittedly tangential) observation about what your actions look like. Wedding cakes are seriously in your top-100 things to worry about??

          Can you really not argue in an intellectually and morally honest way? Can you only win your arguments by throwing shit at your interlocutors and hope that nobody noticed what you did?

          That’s a fun charge! Make sense of it.

          I was making a tangential observation of how hateful your position looks.

          (Hint: …

          I’m going to pursue your hints?? You could make clear your point. You won’t. OK–it’s a secret. Never mind.

        • Why must having a conversation with you be so slow? Two steps forward and one back …

          Maybe because you are bad at charitably interpreting what I write and I am bad at charitably interpreting what you write. Surely you know that straw men slow things down? But it seems you care more about constructing straw men (and never backing down from them) than having a faster discussion.

          Protected classes are defined by the legislature.

          Are you ignorant, stupid, just pretending to be stupid—what? Let’s move this conversation along. I’m getting bored.

          I happen to think that one can have less principled and more principled ‘preferences’. And I happen to think that what is currently legislated shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of discussion about legal matters.

          If you want to move the conversation along, I suggest that you try to actually take what I say seriously, and not constantly press-fit it into your own understanding of reality. Let the two ways we understand things diverge somewhat, and don’t insist that yours is necessarily right, every step of the way. Stop it with the straw men.

          LB: Or has this always been purely a discussion of preferences, from your point of view?

          BS: Not Bob-topica, remember?

          s/Bob’s preferences/society’s preferences/

          I’m making an (admittedly tangential) observation about what your actions look like.

          I was making a tangential observation of how hateful your position looks.

          What you’re doing is expressing Leftist bigotry and stereotyping.

          Wedding cakes are seriously in your top-100 things to worry about??

          Current events frequently make interesting case studies for discussions.

        • I’m done with this merry-go-round.

        • MNb

          You might have made that decision when he compared your attempts to convince other people of your morality with a virus and later could not imagine you using other means of convincing than using violence.

        • busterggi

          Welcome back to the land of the living.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I think I’ll join you guys if ya don’t mind?

        • Susan

          I think I’ll join you guys if ya don’t mind?

          Deal me in.

        • adam

          “If you want to move the conversation along, I suggest that you try to actually take what I say seriously, ”

          Sorry, but your history of deception and ducking questions makes that an UNREASONABLE ‘suggestion’.

          We who have taken you seriously have been lied to and feed down innumerable rabbit holes of anti-conversational gibberish.

        • adam

          “I happen to think that one can have less principled and more principled ‘preferences’.”

          One can, but we are after all under the rule of law, by real people and not by imaginary characters.

        • adam

          “Can you really not argue in an intellectually and morally honest way?”

          You’ve clearly demonstrated that Luke can’t.

        • Kodie

          So you’re saying, as a hypothetical baker offering services to the general public, I would be within my rights to refuse to sell a birthday cake for a child’s birthday party with a rendering of Noah’s Ark on it? I could refuse to participate in the religious ceremony of a Christian couple who wanted their cake decorated with crosses?

          Because I don’t serve your kind.

        • Susan

          I honestly thought you were concerned about judges legislating from the bench? Did I get it wrong?

          He only hates when the judges who don’t have access to objective morality legislate from the bench.

          That is, if they disagree with Luke and his version of imaginary Yahwehjesus which objectively aligns with Luke’s opinions.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yip…Bob already made that observation…well we all did, but the point has now been made at least twice in comments. Good work.

        • As an aside, this same-sex marriage thing will be boring and accepted 20 years from now. Christians are actually quite easygoing about dropping their undroppable objections to things. Or those Christians just die.

          This may be an unprincipled (though practical) suggestion, but you might just anticipate this and gradually move over to the winning position. Christians do it all the time.

        • I’m not arguing about same-sex marriage, I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion, and what it looks like to refuse to participate in others’ religions. If symbols didn’t have social power, there wouldn’t be laws against selling Nazi memorabilia in parts of Europe. If symbols didn’t have social power, there wouldn’t be companies refusing to put Confederate flags on cakes.

          The desire to suppress the current conversation can easily be explained by a desire to keep hidden the means by which you deploy symbolic power—or prevent it from being deployed. It’s a matter of who gets to influence culture and how. I include “who”, because there was no uproar when European lethal injection medicine suppliers started refusing to sell their product to US states, even though that’s a violation of the principle that businesses don’t get to choose their customers on a moral basis. If your morality is shared by enough important people (such as the international intelligentsia), you get to do things others do not.

        • Greg G.

          I’m not arguing about same-sex marriage, I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion, and what it looks like to refuse to participate in others’ religions.

          Your freedom to swing your fist ends at the next person’s nose. Your freedom to practice your religion ends where you begin to practice it on someone else.

        • adam

          “I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion,”

          What does it mean, Luke:

        • adam

          “I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion,”.

          What does it mean, Luke:

        • adam

          “I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion,”,

          What does it mean, Luke:

        • adam

          “I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion,”‘

          What does it mean, Luke:

        • adam

          “I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion,”

          What does it mean, Luke:

        • I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion, and what it looks like to refuse to participate in others’ religions.

          I already understood. “We don’t serve your kind” doesn’t work if “your kind” is a protected class. We’ve been over this.

          You’re welcome to take any offense you want. Personally, I’m offended by your breath, and that’s imaginary because I’ve never met you. But if you or I want to sit at the adult table where laws apply, we need to follow those laws.

          If symbols didn’t have social power

          Symbols have power. Yes, we understand. And that does what to help your case?

          Mr. “God Hates Fags!” Baker can be offended by who/whatever the heck he wants. But remember what happens when he wants to sit at the adult table.

          The desire to suppress the current conversation can easily be explained by a desire to keep hidden the means by which you deploy symbolic power—or prevent it from being deployed.

          No, the only suppression of the current conversation is your changing the subject.

          Next time someone gets pissed at you and you say, “What? Whad I do? I didn’t do nuthin’,” remember this conversation. Tap dancing to avoid the topic gets pretty annoying.

          there was no uproar when European lethal injection medicine suppliers started refusing to sell their product to US states, even though that’s a violation of the principle that businesses don’t get to choose their customers on a moral basis.

          Wow—this public accommodation and protected class thing really has you flummoxed, doesn’t it? Take a break for a couple of days and then come back if you can avoid tying yourself up in knots (deliberately or inadvertently). If you’re determined to remain in this quagmire of confusion, you can sit there by yourself.

        • I already understood. “We don’t serve your kind” doesn’t work if “your kind” is a protected class. We’ve been over this.

          “People seeking to celebrate religious ceremony X” are not a “protected class”.

        • adam

          MNb

          Civil marriages are not religious ceremonies.

        • Kodie

          Really try to get it through your skull one of these times: weddings are not religious ceremonies. Though the couple may choose to perform their wedding as a religious ceremony, it is not valid unless it is validated with a marriage license issued by and filed with the state. When it is legal to get married with such a marriage license, you calling gay marriage a “religious ceremony [you] disagree with” doesn’t make it a religious ceremony. On the other hand, protected class is based on age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. You disagree with Hinduism, I gather, you disagree with Judaism, I gather, you disagree with atheism, so would you refuse all those ceremonies (identically civil at base) your cake?

          Secondly, I keep having to mention, cake is for the reception, not the ceremony. If you’re not invited as a guest, and you’re not officiating, nothing you have or do or give is “participating in the ceremony” WHICH IS CIVIL. You don’t celebrate Hannukah, and you don’t celebrate Jason’s 12th birthday, you’re not participating in the celebration of Hannukah, you’re not participating in Jason’s 12th birthday. If you sell pumpkin pies, and a gay couple wants one for their Thanksgiving Day dinner, are you going to refuse, because you feel very strongly, religiously, superstitiously, against “endorsing” a gay couple’s Thanksgiving dinner? You are up your own ass with the persistent attitude that a cake baker “participates” in the occasions he bakes cakes for, and sells for profit in his shop, and also that wedding of a gay couple is a religious ceremony with which you disagree. You disagree with a lot of religious ceremonies, but that’s the only one, that’s the particularly upsetting one, to you and the baker. Stick it, Luke. You have zero basis for your claims and refusals.

        • Kodie

          Symbols have power.

          But not magical power. I mean, if we’re talking about icing, it’s icing in one shape as opposed to another. If you eat it, you don’t become gay, you don’t become racist. I think it’s a little irrational to refuse to eat something just because you don’t like the way the icing is arranged, as though it has power to taste worse than it would in another shape. This is part of what I’m talking about superstition of the baker. He gets some kind of irrational reaction where he cannot perform his job if the people who eat it are going to a wedding for a gay couple. He fears in some physical, psychological way that doing something he was going to do that day anyway, or every other day, just because it was for a gay couple’s wedding instead of some other occasion, was magically going to transmit to god of his endorsement of the wedding, so much that he claims to be participating in a religious ceremony by doing so. That is absurd. I know some people feel very attached to their art forms, and it’s hard to make fancy cakes, so he does have a special talent, but it’s absurd to say I’m crafting this piece of art that is meant to be eaten, so I can withhold the service or good based on who will be eating it and why.

          Now let’s say it wasn’t a cake but a shirt. You know how wedding parties sometimes get these shirts printed up for the rehearsal? Shirts have a little more power, but essentially that’s because people wear shirts to advertise to others what they like and how they think. It’s not just a practical garment, but essentially that’s all it is too. Could a t-shirt maker, under the same idea as the cake baker, refuse to make shirts for the rehearsal of a gay couple’s wedding? It’s not the ceremony, it’s not official, and they probably won’t even be worn again. See, these are gimmicky t-shirts though. But what if they went fancy instead, and it wasn’t obvious from the clothing that it was for the gay wedding rehearsal, see that’s not gimmicky, but would the equivalent clothing retailer refuse to “endorse” a wedding rehearsal? What about a wedding gift? I want to buy a wedding gift for Mark and Brian, could a retailer refuse to endorse a wedding by selling a gift, perhaps it’s hand-made, refuse to hand-make a one-of-a-kind item meant to celebrate the wedding of Mark and Brian? What if they don’t have to suffer making something special, you know, sell their soul basically, they just sell me an item that is on the shelf, box it up and wrap it for me, is that too much of an endorsement? What about a realtor refusing to help Mark and Brian look for a house to move in together? What about a driveway paver refusing to blacktop Mark and Brian’s driveway? What about a plumber refusing to come inside and fix the sink?

          Christians pretty much have to suck it up. There are too many ways they can refuse to do service with gay married couples, or gay people, once they test it out with wedding cakes.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s when fundie religious members of the emergency services get the idea that they can play up for Luke’s asinine reasons that the problems will begin.

        • But not magical power.

          On occasion, I’ve trying to reach some agreement by saying, “Look at Hinduism, for example. It’s all made up, right? It’s just imagination. There is no elephant-boy god Ganesh.” They sometime will say that Ganesh might very well exist—he might be a demon in disguise.

          I don’t give symbols magic power, but it doesn’t seem beyond some Christians to give anything magic power.

          He gets some kind of irrational reaction where he cannot perform his job if the people who eat it are going to a wedding for a gay couple.

          I marvel that Luke wants to defend the baker who imagines that he’s slapping God in the face by writing, “Love forever, Adam and Steve.” Or maybe God has many kinds of weaknesses, like the many kinds of kryptonite that have different negative effects on Superman. Gay cake icing is like lavender kryptonite for God.

          And Christians wonder why some people see them as hateful.

          Could a t-shirt maker, under the same idea as the cake baker, refuse to make shirts for the rehearsal of a gay couple’s wedding?

          Don’t underestimate the power of the kryptonite.

          could a retailer refuse to endorse a wedding … What about a realtor … driveway paver … a plumber

          Great examples.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wow—this public accommodation and protected class thing really has you flummoxed, doesn’t it?

          Oh it really has, big time.

        • adam

          ” I include “who”, because there was no uproar when European lethal injection medicine suppliers started refusing to sell their product to US states, even though that’s a violation of the principle that businesses don’t get to choose their customers on a moral basis.”

          European lethal injection medicine suppliers

          You do understand that they dont fall under US law, doncha?

        • MNb

          “I’m arguing about what it means to be free to practice your religion”
          And you say that discrimination should be part of it.

        • Kodie

          What the devil are you rambling on about?

        • Ignorant Amos

          If symbols didn’t have social power, there wouldn’t be laws against selling Nazi memorabilia in parts of Europe.

          Yet again, a link that doesn’t support your point, sigh, how tedious.

          Having lived in West Germany/Germany a number of years on a number of occasions, I’m not totally ignorant on the subject.

          What parts of Europe is it illegal to sell Nazi memorabilia Luke?

          I think ya might be getting a bit confused. It is illegal to import, manufacture, publicly display or wear Nazi objects with Nazi insignia in a couple of countries in Europe…Germany and Austria for example, but selling Nazi pruck is not illegal. Some groups dislike the idea, but that’s a different argument.

          In Germany it’s completely legal to purchase and own objects from the Nazi period – as long as all Nazi symbols are neatly taped off and covered. After all, wearing or publically showing Nazi symbols is forbidden in Germany. In Italy, England and the United States Nazi symbols don’t have to be covered.

          According to paragraph 86 ff of the German criminal code, it is forbidden to import or manufacture Nazi objects. Nevertheless, the trade of Nazi objects in Germany is flourishing and historic medals, uniforms, weapons or books can be found at flea markets, on the Internet or at so-called militaria auctions. Most of the items are from Poland.

          http://www.dw.com/en/the-right-approach-to-nazi-memorabilia/a-17573542

          Like lots of things, context is everything…look at what the law says…

          The law text does not name the individual symbols to be outlawed, and there is no official exhaustive list. A symbol may be a flag, emblem, uniform, or a motto or greeting formula. The prohibition is not tied to the symbol itself but to its use in a context suggestive of association with outlawed organizations. Thus, the Swastika is outlawed if used in a context of völkisch ideology, while it is legitimate if used as a symbol of religious faith, particularly any South Eastern or East Asian religions. Similarly, the Wolfsangel is outlawed if used in the context of the Junge Front but not in other contexts such as heraldry, or as the emblem of “landscape poet” Hermann Löns. Due to the law, German Neo-Nazis took to displaying modified symbols similar but not identical with those outlawed. In 1994, such symbols were declared equivalent to the ones they imitate (Verbrechensbekämpfungsgesetz Abs. 2).

          Read what the law says…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strafgesetzbuch_section_86a

          Now, after all of that, it is irrelevant to your case for the reasons given in the law. You might as well have said selling ivory of a certain age is illegal in some..a lot of countries…for that all that matter.

        • Kodie

          Because he was forced to know that the cake would be for a religious ceremony with which he disagrees. He’s not discriminating against people, he’s discriminating against religion with which he disagrees.

          Bears stating again, but marriage is a civil matter. Does the baker also refuse to bake cakes for bar/bat mitzvahs? In a religious ceremony that celebrates a boy of 13 being recognized as a man in the Jewish faith, while the state doesn’t recognize him as a man until his 18th birthday. Do you agree or disagree with the religious belief and refuse the cake or not?

          Birthdays are a basically private but civil matter, as in, your birth certificate is a civil document as is your social security number, used on a number of occasions when one must produce proof of age and/or citizenship. Once a passport or driver’s license is obtained using a birth certificate, they can be used instead for most purposes. So, having a birthday party with a religious theme, i.e. turning from a boy into a man at 13 years of age doesn’t change the legal age of majority in the state. Being Catholic or Christian doesn’t make a marriage more valid than anyone else’s marriage. Plenty of heterosexual couples get married with different religious beliefs than your baker. The state now recognizes gay couples’ marriages as valid, why does your baker suddenly get all twisted? It’s not a religious belief or ceremony, it’s a motherfucking cake. It’s ingredients you buy at the store, mix into batter and bake into a cake. It’s not a motherfucking magical officiating religious cake. The baker is a person in business, a person like a gay man is a person, a person who knows how to bake cakes so much that he opened his business to the public, signing up to follow certain laws, like keep his kitchen clean, and not use wood shavings to fill up his cake, to pay his employees at least minimum wage, and offer them benefits. He’s not allowed to deny an applicant a job based on age, sex, religion, or race. That means if a gay person wanted to work for him, he would have to consider hiring them, or a Muslim. I mean, “Help Wanted” at the homophobic Christian bakery, and all the applicants are either gay or Muslim or both. He has to, by law, as per his contract to do business, hire one of them.

          So really, what is the deal with baking a cake, do your job, sell that fucking cake to the two dudes. If you’re so worried about offending god, if you got it in your superstitious head that baking a cake and trading it for money constitutes endorsement, then you don’t belong in business, you might not even be a good Christian, and you’re certainly a shitty American who doesn’t believe in the founding principles of this country. Being hired to bake a cake does not violate your religious freedoms either. You’re being an economic law-breaking, freedom-hating bully who narcissistically contends that gays do not deserve as much freedom as you do. It’s bigotry. If you believe it’s wrong to be gay, you believe it throughout, not just for legal state-endorsed wedding ceremonies. That means you religious dickheads would deprive goods and services from gay people in every area you could. You don’t approve on religious grounds for a gay couple to buy a bucket of paint at your hardware store to paint their bedroom. Horrors! You don’t approve on religious grounds to sell a t-shirt to a woman who is buying a present to her new baby grandson, recently adopted by her gay son and his husband.

          I wish you would all just exile yourself, you are horrible twisted and selfish people, all over a superstitious belief that how you participate in your community will hurt your imaginary friend’s feelings and he will damn you to hell, and you just refuse to take that chance. You don’t sound like a rational person. The baker does not sound rational, he sounds like a toddler afraid there’s a monster under his bed, and baking a cake for a gay wedding is like letting his foot out of the blanket and dangle over the edge. Frightened and selfish over literally nothing, and you expect the rest of the world and the law to respect that delusion.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Luke needs to hold onto the “religious ceremony” fuckwits angle to keep his hole riddled case afloat.

          The real life example I cited, which needed hand waving off, was all about prejudicial homophobic bigotry on religious grounds with no “religious ceremony” involvement.

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/why_we_disagree_on_moral_issues_42/#comment-2772498154

          The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland brought the case against Ashers Bakery on behalf of gay rights activist Gareth Lee whose order was refused.

          The family-run bakery, which delivers across the UK and Ireland, turned down the request for a cake with an image of Sesame Street puppets Bert and Ernie below the motto Support Gay Marriage.

          It had been ordered for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia last May.

          Making the ruling Judge Brownlie said: “The defendants have unlawfully discriminated against the plaintiff on grounds of sexual discrimination.

          “This is direct discrimination for which there is no justification.”

          Evidence in the landmark ruling, which generated headlines around the world and divide opinion across Northern Ireland, was heard over three days in March.

          It began when Mr Lee placed the order at the Belfast branch of Ashers’ he paid in full and said he was left stunned when two days later the company phoned to say it could not be processed.

          In his evidence, Mr Lee claimed to have been left feeling like a lesser person.

          http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/ashers-bakery-lose-gay-cake-case-we-will-not-be-closing-down-we-have-not-done-anything-wrong-says-boss-31233797.html

          Luke’s excuses are worse than fuckin’ pathetic. He is nothing but a bigoted homophobic prick.

        • MNb

          “Luke needs to hold onto the “religious ceremony” fuckwits angle to keep his hole riddled case afloat.”
          He admitted it himself when he expressed his wish to reserve the word marriage for religious ceremonies and civil unions for non-religious ones. Too bad for him the French revolutionaries at the end of the 18th century didn’t receive his memo.
          Thought experiment: let’s assume the French revolutionaries had fulfilled Lukieboy’s wish, had abolished marriage (making it the responsibility of religious authorities) and called “civil marriage” “civil union” instead. Now assume that many countries last 15 years would have opened those “civil unions” for same gender couples. Would he now oppose bakers refusing to serve those couples?
          Of course not.
          What he wants is religious marriage being recognized by law, a situation corrected in Suriname just ten years ago. And even then he’s not out of the religious woods yet. Were he consistent he would be OK with pastafarian marriages recognized as legally binding, like in New Zealand.
          He’s better at hiding it than our average apologist, but in the end all he produces is ad hoc arguing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There was a time when the ceremony of marriage was not even permitted inside the confines of the church.

          For much of the history of the Catholic Church, no specific ritual was therefore prescribed for celebrating a marriage – at least not until the late medieval period: “Marriage vows did not have to be exchanged in a church, nor was a priest’s presence required. A couple could exchange consent anywhere, anytime.”

        • Paul B. Lot

          Actually, I presented the argument at a conference at Stanford, The New Politics of Church/​State Relations. Nobody objected to it; in fact it ended the conversation about the cake baker. Knowing some of the participants there, if the objections you indicate here were considered valid, they would most certainly have been offered.

          Wow. That anecdote is air-tight. I can’t even imagine any other reasons why no one would’ve engaged you to object. It is impossible that anyone would find you so loathsome, and interacting with you so onerous so as to not be worth the trouble, particularly over an issue of minute importance.

          You win again.

        • adam

          “Actually, I presented the argument at a conference at Stanford, The New Politics of Church/​State Relations.

          Why doesnt your name show up on the program?

          http://newpoliticschurchstaterelations.weebly.com/program.html

        • Kodie

          I suspect he was the lunatic on the corner outside holding up a sign, and he did “present the argument” albeit not formally, but for anyone who would stop. Nobody did, so he didn’t get as many objections as you might expect.

        • adam

          Typical Luke,

          Makes a claim, provides a link that doesnt support his claim and declares victory, when called on it, he declares victim.

          Pure christianity.and theological ethics.

        • Susan

          Why doesn’t your name show up on the program?

          A perfectly straightforward question that allows for all sorts of reasonable answers that might be consistent with LB’s claim to have “presented” the argument at Stanford.

          No answer. Nothing.

          I doubt your question will make it into Luke’s archive of favourite blue-linked hits.

        • MNb

          No doubt Lukieboy has deduced from his Objective Morality that not answering is the right thing to do.

        • adam

          It is just like apparently most of Lukes references, it doesnt demonstrate what he claims, but demonstrates the DISHONESTY he has to use to justify believing in an IMAGINARY “God”.

          It also demonstrates what kind of ‘objective morality’ Luke’s “God” is made of, where dishonesty is the primary mode of communication.

        • Myna A.

          It reminds me a bit of the infamous George Watson, who claimed, if I recall, to be retired, yet often kept in touch with the who’s who in the academic world of science and philosophy.

          For LB, it’s merely a part of conversation, of course: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/thesecularoutpost/atheist_8216safe_zones8217_a_solution_in_search_of_a_problem/#comment-2773444503

          It’s maddening, but I don’t think they can help themselves.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m reminded of the line from the Wizard of Oz:

          I, your Wizard, per ardua ad alta, am about to embark upon a hazardous and technically unexplainable journey into the outer stratosphere…to confer, converse, and otherwise hobnob with my brother wizards.

        • Myna A.

          Indeed!

        • Myna A.

          Oh my.

          Looks like we, will not be able to find evidence of this, Monsieur Breuer.

          And I suspect none of the actual speakers would have the time or inclination to argue online with such astonishing frequency as LB either.

        • MNb

          Look like somebody got caught with his trousers on his ankles.

        • Myna A.

          An ordinary liar would run for the hills once exposed, but LB apparently has no such shame.

          “Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings, and quaint fancies.” — Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

        • Ignorant Amos

          Like I give a shit? My ol’ buddy Luke told me that judges legislate from the bench all the time.

          That’s the BINGO moment youse were talking about earlier. Luke showing his hypocrisy a tad, as in he’ll take it when it suits him and reject it when it don’t.

        • Ah, but now you’ve trodden on Luke’s toes, just like me. Turns out that he never said anything of the kind, is royally and justifiably enraged, and demands an apology and public humiliation from me. So stop spreading lies about Luke, accurate or inaccurate.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don’t give a shit about Luke, the dickhead is all about the Luke Breuer show and never considers alternatives, except when it suits HIM.

          Turns out that he never said anything of the kind,

          Am feckin’ sure he did mention it….here it is here….

          I have no doubt that this is often the case. As far as I can tell though, you’re engaging in “some” ⇒ “all” reasoning. If you were to lay out what is and what is not true legislating from the bench, we could have a rational discussion.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/07/why-we-disagree-on-moral-issues-2/#comment-2770831418

          Is he pulling a Breuerism in that he didn’t specifically say it in a comment to YOU?

        • Kodie

          It seems “you’ll never find it” means “I never said it” to Luke. He piles on so much shit every day, it would be difficult but not impossible to find his comments, and you soon give up because what are you doing with your afternoon looking for this stupid shithead’s stupid comment just to put his nose in it, for him to respond “straw man” and “defamation of character”!

          Pull the plug on that loser.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Pull the plug on that loser.

          Aye…he thinks we are all evil anyway.

        • Is Luke hoist by his own blue-link petard?

        • adam

          “Forcing someone to bake a cake for your religious ceremony is to force someone to participate in your religion. “

        • Paul B. Lot

          One of my facebook friends wrote an apt post on this topic a while ago, which I here-reproduce in part:

          The term to bear in mind here is “Public Accommodation”. The idea behind Public Accommodation is that if you offer a product or service on the open market, you have to offer it to all qualified customers — “qualified” meaning someone who can afford it and is legally allowed to purchase it. That’s a much better angle to view this issue from, as it gives you a clearer and broader view of the whole. Musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and others who are cancelling their shows in NC are following the principle of Public Accommodation by taking their services off of the market entirely. They aren’t barring certain people from attending while only welcoming others, they’re just refusing to perform at all. That’s the key difference here. The defining aspect here isn’t principles and motivations, it’s actions and real-world effects — what is actually being done. What are their personal convictions leading them to do? Providing products and services to certain people groups while denying them to others for any reason apart from qualification is simply discrimination. The motivation, the conviction, is immaterial. The action is what counts. We decided this discrimination was bad practice in 1964, when we passed the Civil Rights Act. But there’s good news: if it goes against your conscience to provide goods and/or services to certain people — gay people, Muslims, whoever — no one’s forcing you to. But you also have to play fair. You have two options: either take your services off the market entirely, or swallow your pride and serve everyone equally. You can’t pick and choose. But either way, don’t complain about being forced to go against your beliefs. That’s not what’s happening.

        • Must companies make cakes with Confederate flags on them, if they offer cakes with customer-designed artwork?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Are you asking me what the law currently states?

          If so, the answer is: “I don’t know.”

          Are you asking me what I think is equitable/in line with the comment I posted above?

          If so, the answer is: “Yes.”

        • Ok; do you think what the law currently states actually requires bakers to knowingly make cakes for gay weddings? My guess is that the cake in question had lettering on it which indicated it was for a gay wedding. I don’t see a material difference between such lettering and the Confederate flag.

          I actually disagree with the comment, for I think it should be perfectly acceptable for a company to (i) allow user-provided artwork; (ii) refuse to produce e.g. Nazi symbols. Producers in the economy should have some right to choose, here. But they should be forced to provide the basic needs (this expressly excludes religious ceremonies) of citizens. Freedom to practice religion also means freedom from practicing religion.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I actually disagree with the comment, for I think it should be perfectly acceptable for a company to (i) allow user-provided artwork; (ii) refuse to produce e.g. Nazi symbols. Producers in the economy should have some right to choose, here. But they should be forced to provide the basic needs (this expressly excludes religious ceremonies) of citizens. Freedom to practice religion also means freedom from practicing religion.

          You have given me no confidence that you understand the comment well enough to disagree with it.

          If you don’t want to put Nazi symbols on cakes: fine. Then refrain from providing the service of putting *any political symbols* on cakes. Problem solved. Producer given choice.

          If the baker doesn’t want to provide the service of writing words and/or reproducing symbols which make him or her feel like they are practicing something against their religions: fine. Refuse those services to all. Problem solved. Producer given choice.

        • I simply disagree. You’re requiring a kind of neutrality to matters of ‘the good’ (which are expressed by religious ceremonies and symbols) on the part of companies I think is unnecessary for pluralistic democracy to thrive. Indeed, I suspect that it is actually antithetical to long-term thriving of nontrivial pluralism, although that is still a matter I am researching.

        • Paul B. Lot

          for I think it should be perfectly acceptable for a company to (i) allow user-provided artwork; (ii) refuse to produce e.g. Nazi symbols. Producers in the economy should have some right to choose, here.

          Your disagreement was instantiated in a specific example – a specific example which does not at all conflict with the comment you say you disagree with.

          Therefore I doubt that you understand what it is you think you disagree with.

          As I believe ‘understanding’ is a causally necessary prerequisite for ‘disagreement’, I reiterate that I don’t have confidence in your assertion of disagreement. Even if you tell me that you simply do.

          You’re requiring a kind of neutrality to matters of ‘the good’

          This is false. The principle being described is simply: if you want to offer goods on the open market, you must offer the same public accommodation to all qualified customers.

          No one is preventing you from setting up a private-cake-club. No one is preventing you from not-selling-cakes. No one is preventing you from not-selling-cakes-with-custom-designs. No one is preventing you from not-selling-cakes-with-political-symbols-on-them.

          Indeed, I suspect that it is actually antithetical to long-term thriving of nontrivial pluralism, although that is still a matter I am researching.

          It is my experience that your guesses are quite often irrelevant, let alone incorrect.

        • Your disagreement was instantiated in a specific example – a specific example which does not at all conflict with the comment you say you disagree with.

          That’s news to me. So a website that allows you to custom-design arm patches can deny anything that looks like Nazi memorabilia? After all, that’s an example of “(ii) refuse to produce e.g. Nazi symbols”. You surely know that the economy is moving toward allowing users to custom-design whatever they want. What I suspect is that you’re conveniently ignoring this, or quite happy to have the only real sources of moral norms be the individual and the State. (That is, I suspect you think there is nothing wrong with some European states banning the selling of Nazi memorabilia.) You can deny this in word, while being happy that society is being more and more dominated by the economic, such that members of society are called ‘consumers’, not ‘citizens’. The de facto result will be only two sources of moral norms: the atomized individual and the increasingly powerful State.

          Therefore I doubt that you understand what it is you think you disagree with.

          When you straw man the other and refuse to acknowledge that the bullshit conception came from your own head, it is quite logical to think that the other head is full of bullshit. It’s irrational, but it is logical.

          LB: You’re requiring a kind of neutrality to matters of ‘the good’

          PBL: This is false. The principle being described is simply: if you want to offer goods on the open market, you must offer the same public accommodation to all qualified customers.

          No one is preventing you from setting up a private-cake-club. No one is preventing you from not-selling-cakes. No one is preventing you from not-selling-cakes-with-custom-designs. No one is preventing you from not-selling-cakes-with-political-symbols-on-them.

          You’re replying as if I did not include “a kind of”. There’s an example of you straw manning. You are awfully good though, at lighting a match to your straw men.

        • Paul B. Lot

          That’s news to me.

          Which part of what I said surprises you?

          So a website that allows you to custom-design arm patches can deny anything that looks like Nazi memorabilia? After all, that’s an example of “(ii) refuse to produce e.g. Nazi symbols”.

          And?

          If a company wants to market goods to the public they must accommodate everyone.

          Simple.

          If, in the course of running an arm-patch-production-company, one were to be given an order for Waffen SS patches and be motivated to refuse* fulfillment of that order, then one should refuse all customers who request military insignia.

          If providing service xzy to group abc is onerous to your sensibilities, cease providing service xyz to all groups.

          Simple.

          *Why refuse the order? It’s not as if there aren’t legitimate non-bigoted uses for such things.

          What I suspect is that you’re conveniently ignoring this, or quite happy to have the only real sources of moral norms be the individual and the State.

          PB:It is my experience that your guesses are quite often irrelevant, let alone incorrect.

          I suspect you think there is nothing wrong with some European states banning the selling of Nazi memorabilia.

          I do think there is something wrong with banning the sale of Nazi memorabilia.

          Also:

          PB:It is my experience that your guesses are quite often irrelevant, let alone incorrect.

          You can deny this in word, while being happy that society is being more and more dominated by the economic, such that members of society are called ‘consumers’, not ‘citizens’. The de facto result will be only two sources of moral norms: the atomized individual and the increasingly powerful State.

          Gibberish.

          When you straw man the other and refuse to acknowledge that the bullshit conception came from your own head, it is quite logical to think that the other head is full of bullshit.

          Reading your complaint here has done nothing to alleviate my doubt. C’est la vie.

          It’s irrational, but it is logical.

          ir·ra·tion·al
          i(r)ˈraSH(ə)nəl/
          adjective
          1.
          not logical or reasonable.

          You’re replying as if I did not include “a kind of”. There’s an example of you straw manning.

          Disagree, on both counts. I’m requiring “neutrality” on nothing except this: you must provide your services to all qualified customers. If that is what you mean by the phrase “neutrality to matters of ‘the good'”, then I apologize. You are correct, and I can only plead misunderstanding arising from your terrible writing.

          The fact, however, that my position would also entail “neutrality to matters of ‘the bad'” and “neutrality to matters of ‘the purple'” and “neutrality to all qualified customers” …. leads me to believe that your phrasing, shitty though it was, did not apply to me for reasons other than poor word choice.

          You are awfully good though

          People are always telling me I need to learn to take compliments better, so: thank you.

        • adam

          “I don’t see a material difference between such lettering and the Confederate flag.”

          Not surprising…..

        • Kodie

          I find it really difficult for people to care so much about what the sugar looks like.

        • I went to a Kinko’s with a printing job that had an image of Micky Mouse. They refused. The rule is: no copyright violations.

          This was a little surprising, because knowing the nuance of copyright law (how old is that image? has the copyright been renewed?) is tricky. But anyway, that’s an example of a justified refusal to do a job. Note that it doesn’t violate Public Accommodation.

        • Greg G.

          Homosexuality is a protected class because people are born that way. The Confederate flag represents racism, which is not protected by the Constitution.

        • Paul B. Lot

          racism, which is not protected by the Constitution.

          I think that is incorrect in practice and, if it is not, I believe it should be incorrect in theory.

          Racism, as speech, should be protected.

          If the bakers don’t want to put a Confederate flag on cakes, but they want to sell cakes on the open market: fine.

          Don’t offer custom decorations.

          or

          Refuse to do any/all custom decorations which have a flag in them.

        • The Confederate flag represents racism, which is not protected by the Constitution.

          So much for free speech.

        • Greg G.

          Hate speech is not free speech. You must be the kind of guy who walks into a crowded fire house and shouts, “MOVIE!”

        • Paul B. Lot

          Hate speech is not free speech.

          Bah. Sure it is.

          You must be the kind of guy who walks into a crowded fire house and shouts, “MOVIE!”

          Film, Film, Film!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyoOfRog1EM

        • Ignorant Amos

          Depends where ya live,

          Here in Northern Ireland hate speech is not free speech.

          It carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment or a fine or both.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech_laws_in_the_United_Kingdom

          https://prezi.com/riwwvdicyao1/hate-speech-in-northern-ireland/

        • Hate speech is not free speech.

          I side with the authors of various little blurbs in the recent Spiked article Hate Speech Is Free Speech. Jonathan Haidt has a good diagram explaining two rival views, with his preferred being that protected speech is “Speech that my side agrees with” and hate speech is “Speech that my side disagrees with”. He notes that when you examine real life (instead of pretty little conceptual systems), hate speech rules “are never limited to nasty racist rants. Hate-speech rules always creep and expand to cover any speech that is offensive to the ideological group that wants to control language.”

          One of the core objections secularists had in what Christian Smith calls “the secular revolution” in America, between the 1870s and early 1900s, is that of censorship by religious parties. This was inimical to academic freedom. And yet, you’re advocating a new censorship. On US college campuses, it’s reaching feverish pitches. We’re becoming a nation which can be easily offended, not one which is open-minded. Or rather, ‘open-minded’ is being properly ‘[in]tolerant’.

          If you, in public, can be [edit: so] hurt by free speech†, then our democracy is a sham.

          Defamation is still against the law.

        • adam

          “Hate-speech rules always creep and expand to cover any speech that is offensive to the ideological group that wants to control language.””

          Yes, christianity has demonstrated that they do that when they have POWER…

        • Kodie

          Are you one of those dopes who think everyone, everywhere, has to listen to you, otherwise it’s censorship? The government can’t arrest you for free speech. Everyone else can tell you to shut the fuck up and get out.

        • adam

          “So much for free speech.”

          How so?

        • Kodie

          You’re free to be a racist and speak racist, but I’m pretty sure the government does not protect your right to speech when I have to speak on your behalf. Let’s say I leave the cake blank, you can draw a swastika on it if you want to.

        • adam

          Haters gonna hate:

        • (It would’ve helped if I’d used the correct term.)

          I wonder why this is challenging for Luke. Why does he make an argument that has the immediate rebuttal, “Can you say, ‘Public Accommodation’?”

        • adam

          “Forcing someone to bake a cake for your religious ceremony is to force someone to participate in your religion.”

        • Nice one. And yet Luke (and all his little Christian friends) lose no sleep over answering to God for gun violence.

        • Greg G.

          Exodus 22:2 (NRSV)2  If a thief is found breaking in, and is beaten to death, no bloodguilt is incurred;

          Beating someone to death with bullets is OK, too.

        • MNb

          Civil marriages are not religious ceremonies.
          When I married a muslima back in 1991 I explicitly refused any religious ceremony.
          Same gender marriages in Europe all are civil. Churches are free to refuse religious ceremonies.
          So your argument is simply irrelevant. Or should bakers ask couples what kind of marriage they are going to have?

        • adam

          “Civil marriages are not religious ceremonies.:”

        • Kodie

          Marriage is a civil matter. Religious clergy are granted civic responsibilities to sign civil declarations and licenses of civil marriages, which constitutes 100% of them. Unless you want that right take away and all marriages legally performed at city hall, and your religious ceremonies to be only for show.

          Asking someone to bake a cake is not asking them to participate in your religion, you stupid fuckhead. It’s asking them to do their job for the amount they charge to do that job. I’m sure uptight asshole Christians would bake a cake for a Hindu wedding, is that asking them to participate in Hinduism, just because the betrothed are heterosexual? No. Go fuck yourself. Go please get the fuck out with your idiotic religious sermonizing. Don’t bother to call it a straw man, you’re sermonizing and not in touch with reality. You’re bleating your religious sheep doctrine, i.e. sermonizing.

        • adam

          “Go please get the fuck out with your idiotic religious sermonizing.”

          Interesting how much sermonizing he does with dishonesty, it is like the only way for him to represent Jesus is through his own dishonestly.

        • Kodie

          Weddings aren’t religious. That’s a vanity element of the religious, but it’s not valid in the state unless licensed by the state. Your failing to recognize the validity of marriages of gay couples doesn’t magically turn their wedding ceremony into a religion you don’t subscribe to. Baking a cake is just a cake. Just like religion is a vanity element, so technically is cake. The state isn’t going to invalidate a marriage ceremony if there is no cake – they have never ever done so. Cake is at the reception, a party, just like a birthday party – or would you deny a cake for the birthday of a child with two daddies?

        • adam

          “Actually, I think that civil unions should be civil, and marriage should be religious.”

          I am going to agree with you here,
          All civil unions will have the protection of law and all tax breaks that goes with the civil contract

          Religious marriages will have no such protection of law and therefore no tax breaks, being outside the legal system and not under the contract.

        • Kodie

          Marriage or wedding are no more religious concepts or terms than love or good or beauty. Union means marriage, and marriages are civil, they are recorded and validated by the state. Religious personnel are often “vested with the power of the state of _____” to officiate and sign off on the civil document, the marriage license, without which, the marriage isn’t valid, according to the state. Just like gay couples used to perform ceremonies and host lavish receptions that were still not valid, it was at least what they could do to declare a permanent commitment. Religious people are free to perform the same invalid ceremonies amongst themselves without validating it with a marriage license. If it counts in their superstition in the eyes of god, the state won’t mind, but won’t count it as valid.

          So, as it stands, valid marriages create benefits for the couple and their family, and non-valid marriages do not. The marriage of a gay couple in one state who were not granted the same rights and benefits as a couple in another state is what created the need for federal law. A committed partner ought to be able to visit their sick partner in hospital and make decisions for their care. If religious people want to make a stand, go ahead and deny their relationships’ validity and forgo the civil documentation. Marriage isn’t a religious matter.

        • Greg G.

          Actually, I think that civil unions should be civil, and marriage should be religious.

          Why not just have marriage be civil and something like “holy matrimony” be religious?

          The whole marriage of church and Caesar was a problem from the get-go.

          Agreed.

        • Michael Neville

          In France legal marriages are performed by civil authorities. If one wants to have a religious ceremony that’s permissible but has no legal effect.

        • Kodie

          So you’re ok with gay marriage as long as the church they go to allows it. I mean, for centuries, marriages have been equivalent to civil unions, since all marriages performed in churches are not legal until filed with the state, and the officiant is given privilege to sign off on marriages on marriage licenses that are only legal marriages, according to the state. It means you religious hos are allowed to go to church on Sunday and get married, but the marriages will not be recorded or recognized without a license. That means an imaginary person blesses your marriages, while the state considers you cohabiting unmarried fornicators. Your church marriages don’t fucking matter if you don’t get and sign a license with the state. But you want to own the term anyway, even if it’s unofficial, you want to let the state handle “civil unions” instead. Go fuck yourself, you don’t own the legal concept of marriage, and calling it something else doesn’t change what it actually is and how official it is.

        • adam

          “you don’t own the legal concept of marriage,”

          Problem is that Luke is not being a ‘faithful witness’ to the bible:

        • Myna A.

          And adopting children by same-sex couples?

        • adam

          “Why should popular belief matter when it comes to interpreting law?”

          Because the law is supposed to be for the populace….

        • Kodie

          Do you have an implicit right to not be held hostage? To not be used as a slave? Can those rights be derived from the US Constitution?

        • adam

          “We could talk about how rights are derived, and what the difference might look like between valid and invalid derivation.”

          You’ve been here for months.

          Woulda, coulda, shoulda…

          You’ve chosen to use your hospitality here to be deceptive to avoid answering the tough questions, instead of using of using it as holiness with honesty up front, and you’ve used your ethics here to be overly verbose unnecessarily to obfuscate truth rather than being concise and meaningful to seek truth, then just to whimper “victim” instead of standing up like a MAN with virtue actually seeking the truth.

          To be honest, Luke, you are not being a ‘faithful witness’ to your Jesus, unless you believe your Jesus was just as dishonest and evasive as you have been and are being.

        • adam

          “I increasingly suspect that those who criticize me for believing things based on emotion are themselves the more emotional ones, and are engaging in the traditional human pastime of projecting.”

          So now you are projecting that others are projecting.

          Poor baby

          WAAAAAAAAA
          WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
          WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

        • Kodie

          You deserve to be called all those names because of your behavior and terrible arguments. Can’t stand the labels, stop being such a piece of shit to deal with.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You really don’t want me to cite from Wayne C. Booth’s Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent on how psychologizing is terrible for rational discussion in a pluralistic democracy.

          Why not?

          Isn’t that what shrinks do all the time in order to get a measure of what they are dealing with?

          Cite away. I can see why you like the stuff Booth writes, but why do you think threatening to cite your man is so frightening?

          What does Booth say on why “psychologizing” is terrible for rational discussion and aren’t you guilty of this very same “crime”?

          Wasn’t it “psychologizing” you were doing right from the get-go with the Strange Notions banning scandal?

          You are the one that wants to psychoanalyse every word and turn of phrase to extract a favourable result for your position.

          Seems to be a big thing with Americans from what I’ve read. Any excuse to get onto the couch and spill the life’s story to find the root cause of ones issues.

          Btw, isn’t Booth a literary critic?

          From a book review…

          Dogma 5: The purpose of argument, the purpose of changing minds, is to win. This is a crucial part of the chapter, as the more visible fracturing of discourse communities (or, perhaps better, communities of belief) plays out in spaces like Facebook or comment sections in news stories. No one is being convinced there, or even open to it. People in those spaces are seeking to beat the other person whose beliefs they don’t hold. That is, of course, if they’re still talking (77).

          Booth closes this chapter by bringing it back to the binary “self-righteous authoritarians of the right and to their spiritual brothers who use violence to attack the ‘rational establishment’ on the left” (85), showing how both are under the sway of the modern dogma that reason–protest with the mind–can’t be used for anything that matters.

          The beauty of this, of course, is that Booth is seeking to revive rhetoric, a rhetoric of the open hand. The drawback, on the other side, is that he’s still not brought an understanding of unequal power into the equation. Writing as he is in the early 70s, he’s following the tack of those who wanted to understand those “irrational” white students or the Black Power movement who resort to body rhetorics. What happens, though, when a movement reaches the limits of what the public mind will allow–i.e. full political participation and economic self-determination for Black people–and must decide how to achieve its ends in a climate that will not suffer its rhetorical appeals? Here, we need Fanon, or at least the acknowledgment of power. Don’t we (who’s we, white man?)?

          https://timrdoc.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/booth-wayne-modern-dogmas-and-the-rhetoric-of-assent/

          As a one-time member of the military I can appreciate the usefulness of “psychologizing” the other in discussions, not least for the benefit of the lives it it will save, or the situations it has the potential to defuse. It is used a lot in diplomacy. But what do I know, I’ve only used it effectively in the past.

        • adam

          “So? That doesn’t mean they’ve never done so.”

          So where is your peer reviewed study that demonstrates so?

        • Michael Neville

          Third, the fact is that this right was conjured by SCOTUS.

          The 9th Amendment covers that:

          The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

          In The Federalist 84 Alexander Hamilton argued against a Bill of Rights because he felt that if certain rights were listed in the Constitution then some people would claim those were the only rights given. So the 9th Amendment was included to say that other rights besides the ones in the first eight amendments existed.

          Furthermore, certain rights to privacy are in other amendments in the Bill of Rights, such as the privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the 5th Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination, which provides protection for the privacy of personal information.

          SCOTUS did not “conjure” the right to privacy. It’s been there all along.

        • SCOTUS did not “conjure” the right to privacy. It’s been there all along.

          Way to beg the question. I wonder how many other rights are buried in the Constitution, waiting to be ‘discovered’. (I’d be happy with them being legislated.)

        • Michael Neville

          Like I said, Hamilton didn’t want a Bill of Rights because he knew idiots like you would pretend there were no other rights besides those listed in the Constitution. As a result, the Constitution plainly says in the 9th Amendment that there are other rights. If you don’t like it then lobby your congresscritter to have the 9th Amendment repealed. Good luck with that.

        • So is the right to bodily autonomy (including terminating [some?] unborn human beings) derivable from the US Constitution, or isn’t it? If it’s derivable, then your argument here is largely irrelevant (“conjuring” ⇏ “deriving”). If it isn’t derivable, then from whence did it come?

        • Michael Neville

          That’s what the Supreme Court has already decided. Read Justice Blackmun’s decision in Roe v Wade for how that right was derived. Why you think that makes my argument irrelevant is something that only you could determine since “conjuring” has nothing to do with “deriving”.

        • How about you explain how the right to do what you want with your own body (sans things like vaccination) translates to having the right to do whatever you want to a body growing inside of you?

          Our country was clearly founded upon liberty, including personal liberty. We can simplify for the moment and say that the government shouldn’t interfere with matters of what you do unless someone else’s liberty is at stake. But that’s precisely the matter at stake!

          Perhaps this would help. Could you explain why Peter Singer’s infanticide proposal cannot work with the US Constitution? Does it insist that a human being be a legal ‘person’ immediately upon birth? If not, can we sort of wriggle around with that definition, just like we can wriggle around with other ‘rights’?

        • Michael Neville

          Because the woman has the right to decide what happens with her body. If she doesn’t give you a kidney and you die, oh well, them’s the breaks. So why does the clump of cells have more rights than you?

          But that’s precisely the matter at stake!

          So a non-sentient clump of cells has more rights than an adult woman. Why don’t you anti-abortion people respect the rights of the woman to decide what to do with her body? Is the clump of cells that much more important than an intelligent adult?

          Could you explain why Peter Singer’s infanticide proposal cannot work with the US Constitution?

          You accused me of poisoning the well. Now it’s your turn. Does the expression “red herring” mean anything to you?

        • So why does the clump of cells have more rights than you?

          Because the healthiest of clumps of cells unborn humans before viability needs something that healthy born humans do not require. Comparing healthy fetuses to ill people in need of transplants is simply a terrible analogy.

          Why don’t you anti-abortion people respect the rights of the woman to decide what to do with her body?

          I respect the rights of a woman to do what she wants with her body; I simply think that this doesn’t extend to a human body living and growing inside of her. One way to understand this is to see how it is morally wrong for a pregnant woman to get wasted. We are ok with people getting wasted when it doesn’t adversely impact another human being, but when it materially harms another human bieng.

          You accused me of poisoning the well. Now it’s your turn. Does the expression “red herring” mean anything to you?

          I’m pointing to ambiguity of who is a legal person, per the US Constitution. Do you claim there is absolutely zero ambiguity? We’re talking about who has a right to life; if an unborn human does not, why a recently-born human? The US Constitution doesn’t tell us precisely when to consider a human being a legal person.

        • Comparing healthy fetuses to ill people in need of transplants is simply a terrible analogy.

          This isn’t a free ride. The needs and desires of the person providing life support enters into the equation. If she decides at the 1-cell stage that this isn’t what she signed up for, she has the moral right to pull the plug.

        • Outside of rape, the sign-up procedure is pretty explicit. It is a probabilistic procedure, but there is much in life which is probabilistic.

        • What’s that mean? She’s made her bed, so she must lie in it?

          You don’t say that to the idiot who shot himself accidentally. You patch him up, often at society’s cost. Let’s do the same for the accidentally pregnant.

        • I don’t see a problem with society helping the pregnant woman give birth to a healthy child and subsequently take care of it. We can also take actions conducive to fewer unplanned pregnancies. One of those would be inculcating in people a mindset of responsible planning for the future, a mindset which operates all the time. Maybe such a mindset would help us better deal with impending catastrophic climate change. The world wouldn’t revolve around you; you’d have responsibilities to others and the world.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t see a problem with society helping the pregnant woman give birth to a healthy child and subsequently take care of it.

          But do you see a problem with forcing the pregnant woman to give birth?

        • I see a greater problem with human-caused, arbitrary termination of human life. It’s not like I’m gleeful about a woman being required to carry an unwanted human to term. Dealing with unintended consequences of one’s actions can royally suck. We’re probably going to learn that with catastrophic climate change.

        • adam

          “I see a greater problem with human-caused, arbitrary termination of human life.”

          You mean like the Crusades, Inquisitions and witch burnings?

          Or Noah’s ‘flood’?

          OR even Armaggeddon?

          What is arbitrary about abortion?

        • adam

          “What determines arbitrariness or lack thereof? I should think that conscious human choice is a way to introduce non-arbitrariness,”

        • Greg G.

          I see a greater problem with human-caused, arbitrary termination of human life. It’s not like I’m gleeful about a woman being required to carry an unwanted human to term.

          There might be a way to have it both ways in the future.

          Surgery Could Give Men Wombs of Their Own Within 5 Years

          If this is possible, it should eventually be possible to transfer an unwanted pregnancy to a willing host. Will you be signing up?

        • Michael Neville

          I see a greater problem with human-caused, arbitrary termination of human life.

          So I take it you are a pacifist who would be a conscientious objector if called upon to fight in a war.

        • Given the kinds of wars the US has gotten into recently, I think I would have to be a conscientious objector. Things would be different if another WWII-type situation were to arise. I also think the West had a responsibility to stem the genocide in Rwanda, to use a small amount of violence to prevent a much greater amount. Of course, the West also sowed the seeds to the genocide by increasing tensions between the Hutus and Tutsis. But there should be a way to act to reduce such tensions and thus head toward stronger and stronger pacifism.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I also think the West had a responsibility to stem the genocide in Rwanda, to use a small amount of violence to prevent a much greater amount. Of course, the West also sowed the seeds to the genocide by increasing tensions between the Hutus and Tutsis.

          Yeah, you have a chip on yer shoulder about the Rwandan Genocide. It seems to be a pet peeve of yours that the West, whoever that is, didn’t do a lot more?

          What about religions complicitness in the genocide? You don’t do much denigrating of your Christianity’s involvement in the whole debacle, do you?

          The Vatican’s reluctance to confront the murderers in its midst is rooted in its refusal to face up to the church’s complicity in mass murder. But as Rwanda marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide, the time has come for Pope Francis to follow his own lead on paedophile priests and apologise for the part played by the clergy in turning churches into extermination centres. The Vatican should accompany a plea for forgiveness with a calling to account of priests complicit in the killing.

          Archbishop Vincent Nsengiyumva was so closely attached to the Hutu power structure that for nearly 15 years he sat in the ruling party’s central committee as it implemented the policies of discrimination and demonisation that laid the ground for genocide. His political affiliations left him well placed to at least try to urge the regime to stop the killing in 1994 and to have been a strong moral voice in public against the slaughter. Instead, he was incapable even of calling the massacres a genocide let alone condemning the politicians and military officers leading them. The archbishop became so compromised that witnesses said he stood by as Tutsi priests, monks and a nun were taken to be murdered.

          Many of Nsengiyumva’s bishops and priests were apologists for the killers by falsely trying to pin blame for the massacres on Paul Kagame’s mostly Tutsi rebel army. That sent a message to the murderers that the church was not going to judge them. Some openly said that God had abandoned the Tutsis.

          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/08/catholic-church-apologise-failure-rwanda-genocide-vatican

          Why don’t ya get yer own house in order before blaming others in their failings?

        • Michael Neville

          So you have no problem with the “human-caused, arbitrary termination of human life” if you think the cause is just.

          Personally I agree with you about the wars the US has fought in the past fifty years. I’m a Vietnam veteran who still doesn’t know why the US wasted prestige, treasure and lives trying to prop up a corrupt, distasteful dictatorship. I work with someone who was in Iraq. She doesn’t know why the US wasted prestige, treasure and lives trying to replace a corrupt, distasteful dictatorship with a different corrupt, distasteful dictatorship.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Personally I agree with you about the wars the US has fought in the past fifty years. I’m a Vietnam veteran who still doesn’t know why the US wasted prestige, treasure and lives trying to prop up a corrupt, distasteful dictatorship. I work with someone who was in Iraq. She doesn’t know why the US wasted prestige, treasure and lives trying to replace a corrupt, distasteful dictatorship with a different corrupt, distasteful dictatorship.

          I guess with hindsight, foresight would be a wonderful thing.

          Who knows how history would’ve/will pan out if Vietnam and Afghanistan hadn’t have happened, for good or bad.

        • MNb

          Not me, but some conclusions can be drawn.
          When Vietnam finally was reunited Domino Theory was falsified.
          Hadn’t the USA invaded Iraq a second time it would have had a better chance to keep the respect of the Arab populations (who generally supported the invasion of Afghanistan at that moment).

        • MNb

          What always has baffled me (Cuba, Vietnam, 2nd time Iraq, even Angola) is how conservative idealism so often went against direct American interests. That said European realism (up to at least 1945) hasn’t exactly a clean track record either, so you can just disregard this criticism.

        • Michael Neville

          British historian Correlli Barnett has argued that the British Empire was actually a drag on Britain. For instance in the second half of the 19th Century Britain had approximately 10,000 university graduates per year. 2,000 of them went to govern the empire, particularly India. So Britain suffered a “brain drain” from the home country.

        • So you have no problem with the “human-caused, arbitrary termination of human life” if you think the cause is just.

          Just war is, by definition, not arbitrary. Now, I see the “you think” you snuck in there. Is this supposed to function in any way other than to say that any termination of human life is “arbitrary”, necessarily? One might argue that even “self-defense” is becoming iffy, with the US justifying its extrajudicial killing of Anwar al-Awlaki as national self-defense.

        • adam

          “But do you see a problem with forcing the pregnant woman to give birth?”

          Then RUNNING from the mother and child who subsequently need assistance to keep both the mother and child healthy.

          You know Pro-birth vs Pro-life…

        • Kodie

          You mean like birth control options, cheap and available, including education how to use these options without shaming people when they do use them, at the age when people start thinking and feeling on their own that they have natural sexual needs?

          Or is it that all women should be punished with the risk of consequences after doing the “sign-up procedure”?

        • Kodie

          Sexual intercourse isn’t permission to be pregnant, or men would also get pregnant. Sexual intercourse isn’t permission to be pregnant, or birth control wouldn’t exist or be possible. Sexual intercourse isn’t permission to be pregnant and take over the responsibilities of pregnancy for 9 months, and be forced to give birth and parent a child or offer it for adoption (what it’s really ultimately about – exploitation), or sexual intercourse would 100% result in pregnancy.

          The “sign-up procedure” is something other than the thing you’re against, isn’t it? Aren’t you trying to protest women who don’t want to have a baby but must be forced to? You’re not against the “sign-up procedure” too, are you? You foul misogynist pig asshole. Why not look at what a fertilized egg actually is instead of leaping to the conclusion that all the rights of a person should be afforded to it, just like the rights of a person are afforded to toenails and cancer tumors. I mean, look at what is really at stake instead of asserting what you wish were actually at stake, you fucking turd.

        • Michael Neville

          So you do think that a non-sentient clump of cells has more rights than an adult woman. Your need to control other peoples’ lives is a benchmark of conservativism. “No, you can’t have an abortion because I say so” is just conservative patriarchy in action.

        • MNb

          Exactly. In some situations I would say “you shouldn’t” as well, but for me that doesn’t mean “she can’t”. However Lukieboy being the Holder of Objective Moral Truth is OK with violently imposing on others what “he says so”.

        • Let’s see if you can, based on evidence instead of stereotype, bigotry, or fancy, find another example of my alleged “need to control other people’s lives”.

          Perhaps you could play fair and tell us all whether a baker ought to be forced to participate in another person’s religious ceremony. I’m not talking about the baker having no idea what his/her cake is being used for, and I’m not talking about the baker merely selling to LGBT folks. I’m talking about the baker being forced to either participate in a religious ceremony with which [s]he disagrees, pay a very large fine, or exit the commercial realm. If you won’t engage this scenario, then I will suspect you also feel such a need, but simply feel righteous about it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Perhaps you could play fair and tell us all whether a baker ought to be forced to participate in another person’s religious ceremony… I’m talking about the baker being forced to either participate in a religious ceremony with which [s]he disagrees, pay a very large fine, or exit the commercial realm.

          Do you have an example of such?

          I’m not talking about the baker having no idea what his/her cake is being used for, and I’m not talking about the baker merely selling to LGBT folks.

          But this seems to be the issue, not what you are stating about being forced to partake in a religious ceremony. At least here, where I live, it is against the law to apply ones personal bigoted views against a customer when one is engaged in operating a for-profit business to the whole community.

          “My finding is that the defendants cancelled this order as they oppose same-sex marriage for the reason that they regard it as sinful and contrary to their genuinely-held religious beliefs.

          “Same-sex marriage is inextricably linked to sexual relations between same-sex couples, which is a union of persons having a particular sexual orientation. The plaintiff did not share the particular religious and political opinion which confines marriage to heterosexual orientation.”

          “The defendants are not a religious organisation. They are conducting a business for profit and, notwithstanding their genuine religious beliefs, there are no exceptions available under the 2006 regulations which apply to this case.”

          “As much as I acknowledge their religious beliefs this is a business to provide service to all. The law says they must do that.”

          http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/ashers-bakery-lose-gay-cake-case-we-will-not-be-closing-down-we-have-not-done-anything-wrong-says-boss-31233797.html

        • adam

          “Let’s see if you can, based on evidence instead of stereotype, bigotry, or fancy, find another example of my alleged “need to control other people’s lives”.”

          Why?
          Isnt the one example plenty?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Anti-abortion and same sex marriage is two!

        • adam

          “Perhaps you could play fair and tell us all whether a baker ought to be forced to participate in another person’s religious ceremony.”

          You mean like christian prayers in government which is supposed to represent all?

          OR like leading prayer in a PUBLIC school?

          Or like have “God” on government money?

          Or maybe just the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans by christians?

          What your are really talking about is Christian Privilege.

          If you won’t engage this scenario, then I will suspect you also feel such a need, but simply feel righteous about it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What your are really talking about is Christian Privilege.

          Of course, what else? Good list of examples that show Luke’s need to control other peoples lives, allegedly. Luke will come back and claim those kind of Christians are not his kind of Christians of course.

          If you won’t engage this scenario, then I will suspect you also feel such a need, but simply feel righteous about it.

          Indeed.

        • Kodie

          Perhaps you could play fair and tell us all whether a baker ought to be forced to participate in another person’s religious ceremony.

          Who asked any baker to participate in any person’s religious ceremony? Marriage is a civil issue, for one. Secondly, cake is at the reception which is aside from the ceremony. It’s a party, it’s a cake for a party. Are they going to deny cakes for parties celebrating things they feel shouldn’t be celebrated? How about the corporation that makes cookies or potato chips or tape, specifying what kinds of parties those items can be used at? Or just in general. Are you on board with merchants in general denying goods and services, like a gay man gets to the grocery store and isn’t allowed to buy food? Or at a hardware store, or a shoe store, or a gas station?

          You seem to be building an idea in your head that makes sense, but only to religious people who think weddings are religious and selling what you make endorses what you personally oppose. The state you live in allows gay couples to marry just like they let 16-year-olds get married. In NH, it’s 13. Public merchants are beholden to laws to maintain their business. You can’t judge people who aren’t breaking any laws, you’re not in business to do that. You’re not forced to marry a man, or have sex with a man, or watch two gay people have sex, and you’re not invited to a wedding of two gay people. You sell cakes. Don’t get all fucking twisted about who is going to eat it. It will make as much of a turd for gay weddings as for straight weddings.

        • adam

          “The US Constitution doesn’t tell us precisely when to consider a human being a legal person.”

          So what does?

        • adam

          “I’m pointing to ambiguity of who is a legal person, per the US Constitution.”

          What ambiguity, Roe v Wade has been settled already?

          You are grasping at Straw Men…

        • Kodie

          I respect the rights of a woman to do what she wants with her body; I simply think that this doesn’t extend to a human body living and growing inside of her. One way to understand this is to see how it is morally
          wrong for a pregnant woman to get wasted. We are ok with people getting wasted when it doesn’t adversely impact another human being, but when it materially harms another human bieng.

          There is a huge difference. We are (and I suspect it is mostly a wedge from the pro-life folks) not ok with the maltreatment of an unborn if it will eventually be born, as that has a great effect on the life it will be forced to live. Terminating the same thing has no such lingering effect. Forcing it to be born has a different lingering effect that is unwanted, for why an abortion is chosen.

          Whatever you wish seems to come true in Luke logic, but it is clear you’re not in touch with reality, where Luke logic does not apply.

        • adam

          “Because the healthiest of clumps of cells unborn humans before viability needs something that healthy born humans do not require.”

        • Michael Neville

          I respect the rights of a woman to do what she wants with her body; I simply think that this doesn’t extend to a human body living and growing inside of her.

          No, you don’t respect the woman’s rights because if you did then you wouldn’t insist that a non-sentient clump of cells has more rights than she does.

        • That’s not a rational argument. At best, it’s a contentious definition of “respect”. Note that said woman had precisely the same rights when she hadn’t yet been born. Things are much more fair than you would have people believe.

        • Michael Neville

          It’s a perfectly rational statement. You refuse to grant women the right to do what they want with their bodies because of “da littul babbies”. I didn’t accuse you of misogyny (although your hatred of women is shown by your denial of rights), I just said that you think a non-sentient clump of cells is more important than an adult woman.

        • It’s a perfectly rational argument. You refuse to grant women the right to do what they want with their bodies because of “da littul babbies”.

          The first thing you say after claiming a “perfectly rational argument” is to engage in a straw man which paints me as an ignorant redneck (or some equivalent). Do you see how your second sentence might be seen as undermining your first?

          I didn’t accuse you of misogyny (although your hatred of women is shown by your denial of rights) […]

          So…: “I didn’t accuse you of misogyny, but now I do exactly that”? This, despite every woman having had precisely the same rights when she was in the womb?

          […] I just said that you think a non-sentient clump of cells is more important than an adult woman.

          If you supply a perverse definition for “more important than”, of course! You can always destroy language to make your point. You did it with “respect” above (explanation), and now you’re doing it with “important”.

        • Kodie

          You really are an ignorant redneck of some sort. You also beg the question on the presumption that a woman had any rights when she was in the womb. She wasn’t a woman in there, either, false equivalence. Her mother, depending on what year she was born, had a choice and made it. If she didn’t have a choice, that error was corrected by Roe v. Wade. You’re trying to equate a woman with the fetus she had been at one time, and granting her retroactive “right to be born” when no such right did she ever have.

          You have the right to not be pregnant, for another example of how idiotic your arguments are and have been and are expected to remain.

        • Michael Neville

          a straw man which paints me as an ignorant redneck

          You are an ignorant redneck. You believe that a clump of cells has more rights than an adult woman. That’s not a strawman, that’s a simple truth. You don’t respect women because you would deny women the right to make decisions concerning their own bodies. Explain how that isn’t hatred of women.

          Luke, the more I’m exposed to you the more I’m convinced you’re an immature, self-centered, bombastic, pompous, hate-filled ass. I do know that you’re not even close to being as intelligent and knowledgeable as you think you are.

        • You are an ignorant redneck.

          Actually I’m a Yankee, so you’re wrong on that count. As to “ignorant”, I sure am not interested in your opinion on that. You can’t even understand how a secondary definition works in the dictionary. I’ll bet a good number of rednecks would get that one right.

          You don’t respect women because you would deny women the right to make decisions concerning their own bodies. Explain how that isn’t hatred of women.

          In your parlance, it is refusal to hate potential persons, aka unborn humans. In my parlance, it is respect for all human life, not just the human life you happen to like. When another human life isn’t involved, I’m happy for women to do whatever with their bodies. Where I step in is when there is a potential someone who has zero ability to defend himself/herself from death. But women can always take precautions against getting pregnant (sans rape, and I’m not pushing to ban abortions of rape victims). These aren’t always fun precautions, but neither are many precautions which protect the weak.

          Luke, the more I’m exposed to you the more I’m convinced you’re an immature, self-centered, bombastic, pompous, hate-filled ass.

          Sure, and when you evaluate another person this way, a neutral observer knows that at least one of the two people is well-matched by such adjectives. Whether it’s a matter of projection, accurate perception, or something in between is a matter for empirical investigation.

          What appears to be the case is that you don’t think you can actually win arguments without attacking the other person. If you only want to convince people like yourself, that’s not necessarily a problem. But if you want people to see you as rational, and mean something remotely like the dictionary definition of the word, you might want to rethink your strategy.

          I do know that you’re not even close to being as intelligent and knowledgeable as you think you are.

          I doubt you have any clue as to how intelligent/​knowledgeable I think I am. Here’s a hint: my spending time interacting with people like you would be pretty silly if I weren’t expecting to learn anything. It’s not like I have a bunch of people in the peanut gallery, upvoting my every comment. But I am being silly here: were you rational, you would already have deduced this; were you not rational, using logic like this would be fruitless.

        • Michael Neville

          Thank you for showing your ignorance. Despite your belief, rednecks are found in other places besides the American South. Here in New England they’re sometimes called Swamp Yankees but they’re rednecks all the same. In Australia Queenslanders are called rednecks, “They drink enough of it but they can’t even spell BEER!” I’ve come across genuine rednecks in Northern California and if you think Cliven Bundy and his buddies aren’t rednecks then you’re even more ignorant than I previously thought.

          Any further discussion between us about abortion would be fruitless. You’ve decided that a clump of cells is more important than an adult woman and that women can’t be trusted to make decisions affecting themselves. I obviously disagree, but then I actually do have respect for women, unlike you.

          If you don’t like my opinion of you then there’s two things you can do.
          Either ignore it or stop being an immature, self-centered, bombastic,
          pompous, hate-filled ass. Your choice.

        • Thank you for showing your ignorance. Despite your belief, rednecks are found in other places besides the American South. Here in New England they’re sometimes called Swamp Yankees but they’re rednecks all the same.

          I neither said nor entailed that straw man. Given what you wrote, there is this:

          Swamp Yankee is a colloquial pejorative for rural Yankees or WASPs (northeasterners with English colonial ancestry). Whereas the term “Yankee” connotes urbane industriousness, the term “Swamp Yankee” signifies a more countrified, stubborn, independent, and less refined subtype. It is an old fashioned term from the 1930s through the early 1960s, and often has little meaning today.

          I’ve underlined the relevant bit. This is a nice demonstration that you’re more interested in making your interlocutor look bad than the truth. I’ll bet you’d hate to be stereotyped yourself. Regardless, you clearly have no problem wagging around the redneck stereotype when it suits your interests.

          You’ve decided that a clump of cells is more important than an adult woman

          False, except on a very tendentious definition of “important”. As I said before, an unborn human has no rights that his/her mother did not have when she was unborn. Likewise, children have certain protections which go away when they become adults. Are children more important than adults? Of course not: egalitarianism rules.

          and that women can’t be trusted to make decisions affecting themselves.

          A gross, distorting exaggeration. (Apparently you can’t make good enough arguments without them?)

        • MNb

          “his/her mother did not have when she was unborn”
          Stupid? Dishonest? Both.
          I quote MN:

          “You’ve decided that a clump of cells is more important than an adult woman.”
          Adult women typically aren’t unborn. So you’re not even wrong anymore.

        • Michael Neville

          the term “Yankee” connotes urbane industriousness

          No, the term “Yankee” connotes someone from the North, often someone from New England. See, you’re still ignorant even when you pretend you’re not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’ve decided that a clump of cells is more important than an adult woman and that women can’t be trusted to make decisions affecting themselves.

          But not all clumps of cells mind, Luke reserves the right to withhold rights to certain categories of clumps of cells…only on his terms mind. He would be funny only for the fact he is so pathetic.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When another human life isn’t involved, I’m happy for women to do whatever with their bodies. Where I step in is when there is a potential someone who has zero ability to defend himself/herself from death. But women can always take precautions against getting pregnant (sans rape, and I’m not pushing to ban abortions of rape victims).

          So now it’s ectopic pregnancies and rape victim pregnancies that get a pass for abortion…you are on the slippery slope there Luke. What happened to your defending potentials in those cases then? Does’n’t the innocent life in those cases count just quite as much as the innocent life in any other reason for termination? All of a sudden the rights of the mother takes precedence.

          You have left a chink in your armour Luke. You are a hypocrite. It is all about your preferences after all. You are indeed a misogynist knobhead.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When another human life isn’t involved, I’m happy for women to do whatever with their bodies. Where I step in is when there is a potential someone who has zero ability to defend himself/herself from death. But women can always take precautions against getting pregnant (sans rape, and I’m not pushing to ban abortions of rape victims).

          So now it’s ectopic pregnancies and rape victim pregnancies that get a pass for abortion…you are on the slippery slope there Luke. What happened to your defending potentials in those cases then? Does’n’t the innocent life in those cases count just quite as much as the innocent life in any other reason for termination? All of a sudden the rights of the mother takes precedence.

          You have left a chink in your armour Luke. You are a hypocrite. It is all about your preferences after all. You are indeed a misogynist knobhead.

        • adam

          “You are a hypocrite.”

        • Myna A.

          I give you and others a lot of credit for engaging with this Luke Breuer. Curious, I wondered about any stated agenda on his part, and found it here: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/randalrauser/andy_bannister_on_god_human_beings_and_intrinsic_value/#comment-2773149613

        • Michael Neville

          Nothing in those comments surprised me. Thank you for digging them out.

        • Myna A.

          Not surprising, I must agree, but at least you know where you stand as one who is evil.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well used to it…Luke has equated me to being his personal Satan…along with PBL, so am in decent company.

        • Kodie

          Why do you imagine the woman had the same right? Her mother, if she had a choice in the matter, made it. If she didn’t have a choice, well, we fixed that, didn’t we? We got rational about it. We looked inside the womb and found there wasn’t a tiny little soul fully formed embryonic baby, but a non-sentient clump of cells that one could easily foresee may be a big problem down the road, physically leaching nutrients and tissue from the woman held hostage to birth it, and financially, and time, nobody considers how much time it takes to raise a baby, forgoing nearly everything else unless you also have plenty of money.

          Why do you imagine that just because someone was born it was because they initially had the right to be born?

        • Susan

          How about you explain how the right to do what you want with your own body (sans things like vaccination) translates to having the right to do whatever you want to a body growing inside of you?

          It seems fairly straightforward. The right to do what you want with your own body means the right to not having something grow inside you.

          Peter Singer’s infanticide proposal

          What does Peter Singer have to say about infanticide? In your own words, please.

        • It seems fairly straightforward. The right to do what you want with your own body means the right to not having something grow inside you.

          If it’s a something, like cancer, then I’m all for removing it. Things change if it’s a [potential] someone. I’ve noticed a tendency in the US to grammatically refer to human beings as things instead of always as living beings—”that” and “which” instead of “who” and “whom”. I wonder if that results in subtle changes, making it a little easier to treat other humans as means to an end insetad of ends in themselves.

          What does Peter Singer have to say about infanticide?

          While I’ve read parts of his Practical Ethics, at this point in time I have nothing to add to WP: Peter Singer § Abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide.

          In your own words, please.

          I see no need to dance to suit your whims. After all, you’ve shown zero interest in my own whims.

        • Susan

          things change if it’s a [potential] someone.

          You haven’t even shown how things change if it’s an actual someone. Am I allowed to feed off of your body with you assuming all the health risks (including potential death) that that encumbers?

          Nor have you shown that a single cell is a someone. What makes a someone a someone?

          I have nothing to add to (predictable blue link)

          You have nothing to say about it. It’s very thoughtful, agree with it or not. You are using it as a cheap bit of rhetoric, implying that Peter Singer is making a “Yay, infanticide!” argument when he’s doing nothing of the sort. If you’re not going to address what he actually says, don’t bother bringing him up.

          I see no need to dance to suit your whims.

          You feel no responsibility to address the argument but are happy enough to use a reference to it for rhetorical purposes. .

        • You haven’t even shown how things change if it’s an actual someone. Am I allowed to feed off of your body with you assuming all the health risks (including potential death) that that encumbers?

          This is disanalogous. A healthy fetus needs his/her mother up to the point of viability. A healthy human does not need to feed off of another human.

          Nor have you shown that a single cell is a someone. What makes a someone a someone?

          See: “[potential] someone”. I’m treating human beings as someones, but allowing a distinction between potentiality and actuality.

          You are using it as a cheap bit of rhetoric, implying that Peter Singer is making a “Yay, infanticide!” argument when he’s doing nothing of the sort.

          Nice straw man. What is factual is that Singer argues that we can’t make a sharp moral line between abortion and infanticide. From Practical Ethics:

          My comparison of abortion and infanticide was prompted by the objection that the position I have taken on abortion also justifies infanticide. I have admitted this charge—without regarding the admission as fatal to my position—to the extent that the intrinsic wrongness of killing the late fetus and the intrinsic wrongness of killing the newborn infant are not markedly different. (173)

          We can compare this to what I actually said (vs. your straw man):

          LB: Perhaps this would help. Could you explain why Peter Singer’s infanticide proposal cannot work with the US Constitution? Does it insist that a human being be a legal ‘person’ immediately upon birth? If not, can we sort of wriggle around with that definition, just like we can wriggle around with other ‘rights’?

          Nowhere does “Yay, infanticide!” make sense.

          You feel no responsibility to address the argument but are happy enough to use a reference to it for rhetorical purposes.

          Please neither project, nor stereotype.

        • Susan

          This is disanalogous.

          Of course, it isn’t. You are claiming that a person is at least morally (probably legally)obligated to contribute their body to the health of another person. It’s thoroughly analogous to the argument you’re attempting to make. You’re ignoring the personhood of the incubator.

          I’m treating human beings as someones.

          You’re treating clumps of human DNA down to a single cell as someones. Why are they a someone? Are clumps of human DNA a someone? How do you get to skip over the entire philosophical subject of personhood and declare someoneness where you haven’t made a case?

          I asked you what makes someone a someone. I’ll ignore your attempts to proceed on no work until you do some actual work.

          Nice strawman.

          Oh fuck off, Luke. No strawman. You haven’t addressed his argument.

          I see that under pressure (You are exhausting. Duane Gish pales in comparison.) you have cherry-picked a single quote:

          My comparison of abortion and infanticide was prompted by the objection that the position I have taken on abortion also justifies infanticide. I have admitted this charge—without regarding the admission as fatal to my position—to the extent that the intrinsic wrongness of killing the late fetus and the intrinsic wrongness of killing the newborn infant are not markedly different. (173)

          What are the arguments he makes for this case? What are your responses to those arguments?

          Please neither project nor stereotype.

          That’s, rich coming from a soldier against Satan.

          I am not projecting, Luke Breuer. I am addressing you.

          I am not stereotyping, Luke Breuer. I am addressing you.

        • You haven’t addressed his argument.

          You failed to make an argument; you made an assertion:

          S: You are using it as a cheap bit of rhetoric, implying that Peter Singer is making a “Yay, infanticide!” argument when he’s doing nothing of the sort.

          You’ve provided zero rationale for how that would possibly make sense in my argument. What I suspect is that you are well-aware that a great way to discredit someone is to attribute ridiculous straw man after ridiculous straw to him/her. I’m not going to tolerate that from you, at least not any longer. You can either justify what I say are straw men or retract them and apologize, or I’ll no longer feel any obligation to respond to you.

        • Susan

          You haven’t made an argument.

          You referred to Peter Singer’s argument and you haven’t addressed it. That was my immediate point and it is still my point. Either address it or drop it.

          You’ve provided zero rationale for how that would possibly make sense in my argument.

          You haven’t made an argument. You haven’t addressed Peter Singer’s argument. So, it makes more than zero sense to suggest that your reference to Peter Singer is a cheap piece of rhetoric.

          So far, that’s all it seems to be.

          What I suspect is that you are well-aware that a great way to discredit someone is to attribute ridiculous straw man after ridiculous straw to him/her.

          I have simply asked you to address an argument you referred to as a cheap, rhetorical point. In all our exchanges on the subject, you have failed to do that.

          You’ve also failed to make a case for personhood and you’ve failed to make a moral argument that one person is morally responsible to risk their health and life for another person even IF you did any work to argue for personhood.

          Where are the strawmen?

          or I’ll no longer feel any obligation to respond to you

          That doesn’t surprise me nor does it concern me.

        • Ahh, this argument: “Unless you perform according to my specifications, I get to label you or your argument as X.” That’s bullshit and you know it. Once again:

          S: You are using it as a cheap bit of rhetoric, implying that Peter Singer is making a “Yay, infanticide!” argument when he’s doing nothing of the sort.

          LB: You’ve provided zero rationale for how that would possibly make sense in my argument. What I suspect is that you are well-aware that a great way to discredit someone is to attribute ridiculous straw man after ridiculous straw to him/her.

          You have a very simple choice right now. You can retract and apologize for “Yay, infanticide!” Then, I’ll do more to explain why I think that Singer’s argument is relevant. Or you can continue to engage in the manipulative tactic you embarked on with “Yay, infanticide!” I will decline to be manipulated that way. It’s such a small price to retract & apologize, but I suspect that would be disastrous to your argumentative strategy. I would like to be wrong on this.

        • Susan

          “Unless you perform according to my specifications, I get to label you or your argument as X.”

          They are not my specifications. If you are going to address someone’s argument, address it. Do not invoke it unless you are going to address it.

          Now, back to the subject.

          i) What makes someone a someone?

          ii) What makes a person morally and/or legally obligated to risk their health/life to sustain a potential “person”?

          As to the rest of your comment, you are not a victim Luke.

          I am not manipulating you, Luke Breuer.

          Answer the questions or don’t.

        • I see you’ve made your choice. Whelp, this is quite telling about what is most important to you—engaging in rational discussion vs. painting an evil/​stupid picture of your interlocutor. I know, I know, I brought it on myself. That justification has never been used before…

        • adam

          “I know, I know, I brought it on myself. That justification has never been used before…”

          Of course it has, virtually all of understand that your dishonesty and deceptions are the result of your religious zealotry trying to defend a dishonest “God”

        • Susan

          I see you’ve made your choice.

          I have chosen to insist that you engage in Singer’s argument if you’re going to raise it. I have chosen to insist that you demonstrate personhood when you make claims of personhood. I have chosen to insist that you can justify that someone be forced to use their body to sustain another body.

          engaging in rational discussion vs. painting an evil/stupid picture of your interlocutor.

          You are not a victim, Luke. You have done none of these three things:

          i) Demonstrate personhood
          ii) Justify the use of an individual’s body against their will.
          iii) Address Singer’s argument.

          That is, you are avoiding rational argument and replacing it with claims of victimhood.

          I did not say or imply you were evil or stupid. It doesn’t matter. You will accuse me of doing so anyway.

          It’s a standard squirrel you point at when people attempt to engage you rationally.

        • […] when people attempt to engage you rationally.

          You delude yourself if you think that “Yay, infanticide!” was an instance of “engage [me] rationally”. I desperately want more rational argumentation and less irrational straw-manning. But I know from experience that the more I let straw men go unchallenged, the more they act as gossip that other people start believing. Case in point:

          BS: My ol’ buddy Luke told me that judges legislate from the bench all the time.

          I’m very intentionally pressing this point and letting the substantive conversation lay dormant in order to determine how much you value your straw men. The answer, it seems, is “Very much!” That is, you seem unwilling or unable to engage in rational argument without throwing in straw men. Perhaps you think your arguments are too weak without the straw men, perhaps you think I won’t talk about the relevant things without straw men, perhaps you have rationalized them away as not being straw men. At this point, I don’t really care.

          You have a very simple action you could take to cut out this obnoxious metadiscussion and get back to substantive discussion. But you won’t take it. That indicates to me that future conversations with you would involve more of the same, and I don’t think I want to deal with that.

        • Susan

          substantive discussion

          i) Demonstrate personhood.
          ii) Justify the use of an individual’s body against their will.
          iii) Engage Singer’s argument.

          You have a very simple action you could take.

          I have. As soon as you address Singer’s cherry-picked quote for what it is, I would be happy to respond.

          Until then, your offense is meaningless to me.

        • Until then, your offense is meaningless to me.

          You flatter yourself, although this was useful to know for sure. You have to earn the right to offend me, and you haven’t. I’m simply not going to reward manipulative tactics like yours. It makes the world a worse place to do so, and it incurs additional time-cost on my part. I leave you with this reminder:

          LB: You have a very simple choice right now. You can retract and apologize for “Yay, infanticide!” Then, I’ll do more to explain why I think that Singer’s argument is relevant.

          There is no time limit for doing this.

        • Susan

          I’m simply not going to reward manipulative tactics like yours.

          i) Demonstrate personhood.
          ii) Justify the use of an individual’s body against their will.
          iii) Engage Singer’s argument.

          If that’s manipulative, then I’m afraid I’m out of ideas for engaging rationally in the arguments you chose on your own.

          You flatter yourself.

          Meh.

          It makes the world a worse place…

          Meh. Every excuse to avoid the issues. I have no confidence in your assessment of what makes the world a worse place.

        • If that’s manipulative, then I’m afraid I’m out of ideas for engaging rationally in the arguments you chose on your own.

          Another straw man. Now there are two:

          LB‘: You have a very simple choice right now. You can retract and apologize for “Yay, infanticide!” and “[i)–iii)] If that’s manipulative” Then, I’ll do more to explain why I think that Singer’s argument is relevant.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You flatter yourself, although this was useful to know for sure. You have to earn the right to offend me, and you haven’t.

          Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…so funny.

          What a fucking arrogant dork. You were offended alright.

          Ya see you don’t get to decide how Susan uses the term, I thought that you would know that as it is your schtick when it fuckin’ suits ya.

          Offence:- annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles.

          Everyone else see’s it, even if you don’t.

        • Kodie

          There is a back-order on irony meters.

        • Susan

          There is no time limit for doing this.

          Ignore me all you like Luke. The fact remains that you have in all your discussions with anyone here failed to:

          i) Demonstrate personhood.
          ii) Justify the use of an individual’s body against their will.
          iii) Show any signs of having read Singer’s argument.

          You can blame me if you’d like for your lack of response on these basic points in discussion with me.

          But it’s glaringly obvious that you have failed to respond on those points in any substantial way to anyone here.

        • But it’s glaringly obvious that you have failed to respond on those points in any substantial way to anyone here me.

          After correcting this, I completely agree. I tried to make it clear:

          LB: I’m very intentionally pressing this point and letting the substantive conversation lay dormant in order to determine how much you value your straw men. The answer, it seems, is “Very much!” That is, you seem unwilling or unable to engage in rational argument without throwing in straw men.

          The reason I made that correction is that I’m having a fine conversation with @disqus_K3l83uMZuy:disqus (currently terminating here) on substantive issues. Unlike you, it seems that he can have a rational argument without resorting to egregious straw men.

        • MNb

          “After correcting this, I completely agree.”
          Your correction only demonstrates your misplaced arrogance, Lukieboy.
          You haven’t demonstrated personhood to Otto either.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s what I call a Breuerism.

        • Susan

          I’ve read the discussion, Luke.

          You have not demonstrated personhood. Nor have you justified using someone’s body against their will.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m very intentionally pressing this point and letting the substantive conversation lay dormant in order to determine how much you value your straw men.

          Yes, we all know that you are using that ploy to avoid the substantive conversation, its what you do. You have accused just about everyone here that has engaged you of the straw man fallacy at some stage, so what ta fuck are you still doing here? Or are you employing that double standard you so despise?

          Why don’t you just gather up yer ball and fuck off home, we are all fed up with you wanting to be captain and run things your way all the time.

          The answer, it seems, is “Very much!” That is, you seem unwilling or unable to engage in rational argument without throwing in straw men. Perhaps you think your arguments are too weak without the straw men, perhaps you think I won’t talk about the relevant things without straw men, perhaps you have rationalized them away as not being straw men. At this point, I don’t really care.

          Yawn!!!…bore ta fuck off.

          You have a very simple action you could take to cut out this obnoxious metadiscussion and get back to substantive discussion. But you won’t take it. That indicates to me that future conversations with you would involve more of the same, and I don’t think I want to deal with that.

          I can feel the banhammer looming Luke, You have out stayed your welcome and serve no useful purpose here any longer. Your arguments are old and jaded and you have failed to support a single one, preferring to finf any excuse to engage in the kind of whinging nonsense we find you at here. You have taken over Bob’s blog and turned it into the Luke Breuer Show. It’s what you do. Like some insipid virus you overrun the host. You have form for it.

          You have a very simple action you could take to cut out this obnoxious metadiscussion and get back to substantive discussion.

          Fuck me sideways, if that doesn’t win the irony award of the year.

          But you won’t take it. That indicates to me that future conversations with you would involve more of the same, and I don’t think I want to deal with that.

          Susan better not take it, though I’m sure I know it’ll be a cold day in hell when Susan grovelled to you for doing fuck all wrong ya toss bag.

          At some stage you will have gone through every interlocutor here until there is none left to cry off dealing with.. I hope Bob has the good presence of mind and fortitude to shove yer sorry arse into file 13 before that happens.

        • Kodie

          There are no substantive discussions to be had with you, Luke Breuer. It’s not a straw man, whatever the fuck gives you the idea that you can act like such an asshole and not take any responsibility?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Luke is at the auld, “It’s my ball and I’m going to take my ball and go home” Malarkey.

          http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=I%27m%20going%20to%20take%20my%20ball%20and%20go%20home%21&defid=4420016

        • Kodie

          I would stop calling yourself an “interlocutor” while you’re at it.

          a person who takes part in a conversation or dialogue.

          That’s not what you do, that’s not who you are. You are a cement block with a computer.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are a cement block with a computer.

          Spuuuttter!

          Funniest thing I’ve read in a while.

          That’s a keyboard am owed Kodie.

        • adam

          “Answer the questions or don’t. ”

          Answering these kinds of questions could demonstrate how shallow Luke’s “God” really is.

          Not answering these kinds of questions demonstrates how shallow Luke is.

        • Kodie

          Is “demanding little fucker” a kind of troll? Luke seems to think when he engages with us, we’re under some kind of contract to respond at all, but especially with the same frequency and labor, or he thinks and says nasty opinions of us, as though anyone would care what demanding little fucker Luke thinks of them.

        • MNb

          I don’t think he’s a troll, but I do think he exemplifies how fucked up Objective Moral Truth can become. Somehow he has deluded himself that indeed we are obliged to answer everything he brings up but he is justified to neglect stuff we bring up that doesn’t suit him. Ironically that’s very subjective.

        • adam

          “Is “demanding little fucker” a kind of troll? ”

          Can be

          ” Luke seems to think when he engages with us, we’re under some kind of contract to respond at all,”

          Once you understand that Luke’s “God” is ONLY the god of the juncture of the gaps, it all makes sense.

          Luke is so sure his “God” exists (it does, but only in his head) that he has looked everywhere and cant find it.

          That he IMAGINES that his “God” must be in the pseudo philosophical vocabulary of language, so he twists the language in pretzels then claims these are signs from “God”, you know like aliens who have the technology to transverse galaxies think the best form of communication would be crop circles.

          Pitiful, but it demonstrates how TINY and petty Luke thinks his “God” really is.

          But since it is the very best that ‘faith’ provides him to demonstrate his “God” he clings like a nursing baby only to cry like a baby when it is demonstrated that he is just sucking his thumb and not nursing at his “God’s” breast.

          He is stereotypical conservative, a 5 year old pissing his pants in a sandbox throwing the sand at people who point out how stinky he is. WAILING about how victimized he is..

          INHO

        • Otto

          You always have a reason why you won’t answer a question don’t ya Luke.

        • MNb

          That’s what he’s the Holder of the Objective Moral Truth for.

        • adam

          “You always have a reason why you won’t answer a question don’t ya Luke.”

          Same as all the rest of the apologists – DISHONESTY.

        • Do you not always have a reason for why you won’t answer a question? Do you sometimes just refuse, arationally/​irrationally?

        • Otto

          I work hard to try and answer honestly, even if that means admitting I don’t know. You on the other hand have a history of dodging questions usually by requiring something of the questioner before you claim you will answer, seemingly to give yourself an out to not answer at all.

          I tell you what, I would be more impressed with an honest answer that I don’t agree with than that type of deflection.

        • I work hard to try and answer honestly, even if that means admitting I don’t know.

          Except when you don’t:

          LB: In that case, I need to know your philosophy of jurisprudence, to know how one can correctly and incorrectly derive rights from the Constitution. Are you willing to articulate this philosophy of yours?

          O: P.S. my position on the issue has nothing to do with you not answering my question.

          Clearly, you think that some questions/​requests can be irrelevant, and thus this is a data point in favor of you also “always hav[ing] a reason why you won’t answer a question[/​request]”.

          You on the other hand have a history of dodging questions usually by requiring something of the questioner before you claim you will answer, seemingly to give yourself an out to not answer at all.

          It would be interesting to see what such a “history” would look like. Getting to know your interlocutor’s position so that you can effectively communicate with him/her seems like a pretty rational thing to do. The only way this could be construed as “an out to not answer at all” is if somehow I know my interlocutor has no interest in articulating his/her own position. But I don’t know this, and try not to assume it. What I do know is that it’s much harder to defend a position than critique it. Sometimes I do deny my interlocutor that convenient asymmetry. If you don’t like it, that says something about you.

          I tell you what, I would be more impressed with an honest answer that I don’t agree with than that type of deflection.

          What you’re asking me to do is to take something I’ve heard but not investigated thoroughly, and investigate it thoroughly & then present you with a nice little report. That’s a significant time investment. If I would get something out of it—like gaining insight into someone else’s philosophy of jurisprudence as pertains to deriving rights from the US Constitution—then it’d probably be worth it. But if your only actual interest is to critique and prove me wrong, then I’ll be much less interested.

          I’m all for a shared intellectual effort. It’s not clear that you are. Without you exposing some vulnerability by articulating your position, I know that you and others will jump all over anything that falls short of a thorough investigation. That’s simply the way of internet discussions like these—there is really no expectation that one’s own position will be proven wrong, and thus the only goal is to disprove the other. It turns out that in anything other than a thorough investigation, you can almost always poke holes.

        • Otto

          I did not answer that question for a couple of reasons.

          1) It had no bearing on your ability to answer my question. What my view is on jurisprudence has nothing to do with yours. I am versed and educated enough to comprehend positions I don’t agree with and that includes their grounding. You do not need my position to explain yours.

          2) I felt you are just deflecting and looking for reasons to not answer my question. I don’t feel like you are issuing that question in good faith and because of that I choose not to play your manipulative game.

          Ask me a question in good faith and I will answer it.

          What you’re asking me to do is to take something I’ve heard but not
          investigated thoroughly, and investigate it thoroughly & then
          present you with a nice little report.

          So basically you admit that your assertion and personal belief that the right of legalized abortion was ‘conjured’ out of thin air lacks any kind of grounding on your part and that you are just going by what others have said.

          It was pretty basic Luke, you said the right was conjured…I asked why you thought that, and what rights were conjured. You could answer this in a number of ways that I may not agree with but at least would understand the position better.

          I haven’t thoroughly investigated all my positions on issues, it is an on going process. I CAN give you my current reasoning for my positions however. That is all I was asking of you on this one. When you finally decide to explain why you think the right was conjured you can let me know.

        • adam

          “Ask me a question in good faith and I will answer it.”

          Ahh, I see what you did there, another Breuerism.

          You can then nitpick word for work and claim its not in ‘good faith’, change the subject and avoid asking it JUST LIKE LIL LUKIE….

          Brilliant!

        • I’ll just adapt what you said:

          O‘: You always have a reason why you won’t answer a question don’t ya Luke Otto.

          As to your use of “good faith”, I don’t feel like working my way back from whatever deficit you’ve imagined for me.

          It was pretty basic Luke, you said the right was conjured…I asked why you thought that, and what rights were conjured.

          The de facto right to terminate [certain] unborn human life was conjured. Before Roe v. Wade, it was left undetermined whether unborn humans have a right to “life” (they don’t have much “liberty”, but at least it’s warm and cozy). After, any such right was automagically trumped via a de facto right to bodily autonomy. Ostensibly this arises by a right to privacy. Somehow. What were the drafters of the Fourteenth Amemdment thinking, with “36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion” at the time it was adopted?

          Notably, unborn humans are not ‘life’, but ‘potential life’, according to the decision. This is clearly a rationalization, because there is an association between ‘liberty’ & ‘privacy’ and ‘life’. An unborn human is not just a potential person, but ‘potential life’.

          Until you reveal the relevant aspects of your philosophy of jurisprudence related to deriving rights from the US Constitution, I may choose to let this be my last comment on the matter with you. You or others are too likely to disagree with the above and challenge me to defend a stance while not defending any stance yourself. I’m not interested in such a discussion—I won’t get enough out of it.

        • Kodie

          I hope you decide to end all your ideas of discussion. Nobody is getting anything out of it when you’re involved.

        • Otto

          Hey you answered and I will reciprocate.

          As the 14th Amendment points out, it applies to people that are ‘born’. As you correctly point out the rights of a fetus before Roe were undecided, so according to your rational either decision, for or against, regarding the rights of a fetus would have been conjured.

          As such the court in my opinion (and theirs apparently) has to look at the issue from the standpoint of as to who the Constitution applies, i.e. the pregnant woman. Does she have a right to decide what is best for her medically and privately without the intervention of the gov’t? They have correctly determined she does. A fetus by its very nature does not have legal standing. You are going at this bass akwards by trying to apply rights to something that has never had them, the unborn, and even if they did have some an adult woman has much more and her rights have to be considered first. I am not saying the court has to automatically rule in her favor, I am saying her rights have to be considered before any rights can be applied to a ‘legally’ non-person.

          Additionally if rights are given to a fetus there is going to have to be considerable intrusion into the private life of a woman. She would have to register every pregnancy like a birth certificate and then if it was terminated for whatever reason, even of natural causes, it would have to be investigated to be sure a murder did not take place. That would be an incredible amount of wasted time and resources.

          My view of Constitutional law is that the document was intentionally created to be simple and uncomplicated so that the SCOTUS could interpret it to the ever changing situation to the best of their abilities.

        • As the 14th Amendment points out, it applies to people that are ‘born’.

          Hmmm, let’s examine the text:

          Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. [A] No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; [B] nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

          The first clause I’ve labeled, [A], applies only to citizens, where ‘citizen’ ≡ “persons born or naturalized in the United States”. The second clause I’ve labeled, [B], applies to “any person”. Or are you claiming that [B] applies only to ‘citizens’?

          A fetus by its very nature does not have legal standing.

          How does this not beg the question? One of the great traditions of our country is that we continually recognize rights of those who were previously denied them. But you want to exclude unborn humans. What is the rationale? It might help to note that Aristotle argued for slavery using the “by its very nature” approach.

          My view of Constitutional law is that the document was intentionally created to be simple and uncomplicated so that the SCOTUS could interpret it to the ever changing situation to the best of their abilities.

          Can you cite original intentions which stated that the original intentions were not meant to be binding (or altered by legislative action)?

          One thing I find very interesting here is that if intentions are respected, law serves in a predictive way “This law will be good.”, such that badness in the law must be dealt with by “the People” and learned from. In contrast, if the language can be constantly re-interpreted, the resultant flexibility can be extreme. We would seem to learn less from such flexibility; imagine how little one could learn from science if scientists were allowed to be so sloppy with their equations and terminology!

        • Otto

          [B] Does not necessarily just include citizen’s, but it is limited to person’s. You would have to legally redefine a person to include a fetus which to this point has not happened. The funny thing is you are the one trying to conjure rights in this case to include something it never has. But even if you did there is still the issue of the woman’s rights and how they would apply in such a conflict.

          How does it beg the question? What are you talking about? A fetus has never had legal standing and I have no idea why pointing that out ‘begs the question’.

          Secondly, the Constitution applies to gov’t actions. The gov’t isn’t denying life to a fetus that does not have life yet legally. Nor is it denying anything anyway, the woman is taking the action, not the gov’t.

          “Can you cite original intentions which stated that the original intentions were not meant to be binding (or altered by legislative action)?

          Who said the original intentions were not binding? What is interpreted is how the original intentions apply to new situations. That is what the Supreme Court does.

          Legislative actions can alter the Constitution, it is a far more complicated process than just passing a law though.

          Your last paragraph does not make a lot of sense, you can re-state it to clarify, but suffice it to say Law is not science.

        • [B] Does not necessarily just include citizen’s, but it is limited to person’s. You would have to legally redefine a person to include a fetus which to this point has not happened.

          Wait a second. Let’s revisit:

          O: As the 14th Amendment points out, it applies to people that are ‘born’.

          Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

          This doesn’t define persons as being born, it defines citizens as persons born [or naturalized]. No legal redefinition would be required. The text is utterly ambiguous as to whether a human being must be born in order to be a ‘person’.

          The funny thing is you are the one trying to conjure rights in this case to include something it never has.

          I am? Let’s revisit what I wrote:

          LB: Before Roe v. Wade, it was left undetermined whether unborn humans have a right to “life” (they don’t have much “liberty”, but at least it’s warm and cozy).

          We can also review the Ninth Amendment:

          The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

          So on what basis can you say that unborn humans have hever had the right to life?

          A fetus has never had legal standing and I have no idea why pointing that out ‘begs the question’.

          Perhaps you are unaware that some laws have the termination of an unborn human qualifying as homicide? You could also indicate whether the Thirteenth Amendment ‘created’ or ‘recognized’ rights of Negroes.

          Secondly, the Constitution applies to gov’t actions.

          So? If a fetus is a legal person, then the Fourteenth Amendment applies. The state can have an interest in protecting the rights of a person, and this sometimes means abridging others’ rights.

          Who said the original intentions were not binding?

          Then shall we consider the anti-abortion laws which were in effect when the Fourteenth Amendment was passed?

          Your last paragraph does not make a lot of sense, you can re-state it to clarify, but suffice it to say Law is not science.

          So the making of a law doesn’t entail any sort of prediction which can be tested in the future?

        • Otto

          Where did I say this amendment defines what a person is? All I pointed out was that this amendment applies to person’s and a fetus is not defined as a person. The SCOTUS defines what a person is and to this point a fetus has not been defined as one.

          So on what basis can you say that unborn humans have never had the right to life?

          Its not just life, the unborn are legally not persons at this point and therefore have no rights under the Constitution. The SCOTUS could define a fetus as a person but have not done that to this point.

          Perhaps you are unaware that some laws have the termination of an unborn human qualifying as homicide?

          Yes I am aware that those laws have been put in place, they were put in place in an attempt by pro-life legislators to get the legal standing that I have been pointing out is a problem. It was a legal maneuver but as of yet has not changed the minds of the SCOTUS regarding what a person is defined as.

          “So? If a fetus is a legal person, then the Fourteenth Amendment applies.”

          It is possible it applies but it still only applies to gov’t action. As an example if your speech is censored here at Patheos the Constitution does not apply because it was not the gov’t who censored your speech, it was a private company.

          “Then shall we consider the anti-abortion laws which were in effect when the Fourteenth Amendment was passed?”

          What happened to the laws? Why are they NOT in effect? Did the SCOTUS deem them unconstitutional? If Roe vs. Wade wiped them out then the SCOTUS deemed the right of a woman to over ride them. That is what the SCOTUS does. It applies the Constitution to our laws to determine their constitutionality. If those laws were wiped with Roe then the SCOTUS has made its ruling and would have to change its mind.

          “So the making of a law doesn’t entail any sort of prediction which can be tested in the future?”

          Huh? I still do not understand. What is it you want to test?

        • All I pointed out was that this amendment applies to person’s and a fetus is not defined as a person.

          Is a fetus defined as not-a-person by the US Constitution, or is that left ambiguous?

          Its not just life, the unborn are legally not persons at this point and therefore have no rights under the Constitution.

          Well, obviously they are not persons “at this point”; that was made true by Roe v. Wade. The fetus is the personal property of the mother, probably until birth. (State interests can override that right to personal property near the time of birth.) But we’re not talking about “at this point”, we’re talking about the time when Roe v. Wade was being decided.

          It is possible it applies but it still only applies to gov’t action.

          That’s the only place it would need to apply, for Roe v. Wade to be rendered invalid. The only reason extant abortion laws were overturned is that it was deemed there was no right which could counteract the woman’s “right to privacy”, during early pregnancy.

          What happened to the laws? Why are they NOT in effect? Did the SCOTUS deem them unconstitutional? If Roe vs. Wade wiped them out then the SCOTUS deemed the right of a woman to over ride them. That is what the SCOTUS does. It applies the Constitution to our laws to determine their constitutionality. If those laws were wiped with Roe then the SCOTUS has made its ruling and would have to change its mind.

          One way to understand intent of an Amendment is to understand whether its drafters and those who ratified it considered it in tension with extant law. Let us recall that you wrote, “Who said the original intentions were not binding?” While you strictly speaking left your stance on this ambiguous, surely it is valid to infer that you want to lend some interpretive authority to original intentions.

          LB: So the making of a law doesn’t entail any sort of prediction which can be tested in the future?

          O: Huh? I still do not understand. What is it you want to test?

          I asked the question to help you understand. To rephrase, do you think it is the case that when people come together to make a law, they envision it having some sort of causal influence on the future? If so, does this include some sort of normative result? (I hinted at this with “This law will be good.”)

        • Otto

          “Is a fetus defined as not-a-person by the US Constitution, or is that left ambiguous?”

          JFC…The SCOTUS defines what a person is as it applies to the Constitution, I think I have said that 3 times now.

          At the time Roe was decided I do not believe the SCOTUS had ever made a decision regarding whether fetuses were persons.

          “To rephrase, do you think it is the case that when people come together to make a law, they envision it having some sort of causal influence on the future? If so, does this include some sort of normative result? (I hinted at this with “This law will be good.”)”

          Good is a relative term. I am sure the lawmakers consider the laws that they make to be good for the purpose that they are trying to effect. That does not mean they are necessarily good laws. In the late 90’s lawmakers created and rescinded laws that ‘helped’ banks, they ended up screwing almost everyone, including the banks themselves. I still don’t know what point you are trying to make.

        • JFC…The SCOTUS defines what a person is as it applies to the Constitution, I think I have said that 3 times now.

          Forgive me; I was considerably thrown off by your “As the 14th Amendment points out, it applies to people that are ‘born’.”

          At the time Roe was decided I do not believe the SCOTUS had ever made a decision regarding whether fetuses were persons.

          Ok, so in deciding that unborn humans are not persons, SCOTUS took a state of ambiguity and decided that unborn humans are the property of their mothers. Perhaps I was wrong, perhaps it is better to say that SCOTUS conjured an anti-right. Where a fetus could have been a person, they declared it not-a-person. But on what reasoning? I don’t see any.

          Good is a relative term. I am sure the lawmakers consider the laws that they make to be good for the purpose that they are trying to effect. That does not mean they are necessarily good laws. In the late 90’s lawmakers created and rescinded laws that ‘helped’ banks, they ended up screwing almost everyone, including the banks themselves. I still don’t know what point you are trying to make.

          You made the point for me. What was thought to be good as shown to be bad. Prediction, falsification.

        • adam

          “Ok, so in deciding that unborn humans are not persons,SCOTUS”

          Where did they make such a decision?

          “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States,
          and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United
          States and of the State wherein they reside. ”

          Where did SCOTUS insert born into the 14th Amendment?

          LIAR…

        • Otto

          “Forgive me; I was considerably thrown off by your “As the 14th Amendment points out, it applies to people that are ‘born’.”

          It does only apply to the born…but I misspoke when I pointed to that as if it was where the definition of what a person is. So then you asked if it defined ‘persons’ as only being born and I said no, so I feel like I clarified my position and you made your point . The 14th Amendment does not define what a person it. But it DOES apply only to the born. Has it ever been applied to a fetus? Has any part of the Constitution ever been applied to a fetus as if a fetus has any Constitutional rights?

          I think SCOTUS just ignored the whole issue of what a fetus is legally, they neither defined it as a person or a non-person and instead focused their decision on the woman.

          “Perhaps I was wrong, perhaps it is better to say that SCOTUS conjured an anti-right.”

          No, they focused their decision on the rights of the person who actually HAS been defined as having rights, and as I have pointed out even if a fetus is defined as a person at some point that is still part of the equation your side is going to have to deal with (something you have completely ignored to this point). Why should the gov’t be able to force a person to use their body to sustain the life of another? Where are you going to derive the justification for that from?

          “You made the point for me. What was thought to be good as shown to be bad. Prediction, falsification.”

          Yeah, when laws are shown to be on the whole to be not good in the grand scale hopefully they get changed. What is your point? You have not shown allowing a person to choose how their body is used medically to be bad.

        • The 14th Amendment does not define what a person it. But it DOES apply only to the born.

          This was only decided after Roe v. Wade. If you’re going to explain how it was decided, you don’t get to depend on the results of that decision.

          Has it ever been applied to a fetus? Has any part of the Constitution ever been applied to a fetus as if a fetus has any Constitutional rights?

          I’m not sure there was a reason to before Roe v. Wade. In many circumstances, the fetus is protected by protecting the mother. Only when you set fetus against mother does it become an issue. Again, I will note that the Ninth Amendment indicates that we cannot conclude that absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

          I think SCOTUS just ignored the whole issue of what a fetus is legally, they neither defined it as a person or a non-person and instead focused their decision on the woman.

          No, it didn’t ignore the whole issue, it made a very clear ruling: the fetus has no rights. This is clearly implied by the decision. The state can have legally relevant interests, the doctor can have relevant interests, and the pregnant woman can. The fetus has no such interests. Whereas things were ambiguous before (the fetus could easily have had rights), things were not, after.

          No, they focused their decision on the rights of the person who actually HAS been defined as having rights […]

          Of what relevance is this, given the Ninth Amendment?

          […] and as I have pointed out even if a fetus is defined as a person at some point that is still part of the equation your side is going to have to deal with (something you have completely ignored to this point).

          Do I need to find out where I didn’t “completely ignore” that? The tl;dr is that self-defense is a perfectly legitimate way to overcome the fetus’ right to life. I’ve talked about precedence of rights before as well.

          Why should the gov’t be able to force a person to use their body to sustain the life of another? Where are you going to derive the justification for that from?

          The government can have an interest in human life, at the very least under healthy conditions. You already find this in Justice Blackmun’s decision. You can find that Blackmun thinks this is outweighed by the interests of the doctor and [pregnant] patient.

          What is your point?

          Well, first I must overturn your “suffice it to say Law is not science.” Have I done that with “Prediction, falsification.”? If so, we can go back to the original response of mine:

          O: My view of Constitutional law is that the document was intentionally created to be simple and uncomplicated so that the SCOTUS could interpret it to the ever changing situation to the best of their abilities.

          LB: One thing I find very interesting here is that if intentions are respected, law serves in a predictive way “This law will be good.”, such that badness in the law must be dealt with by “the People” and learned from. In contrast, if the language can be constantly re-interpreted, the resultant flexibility can be extreme. We would seem to learn less from such flexibility; imagine how little one could learn from science if scientists were allowed to be so sloppy with their equations and terminology!

          We can consider whether the original intentions of the Constitution probably pointed either way—toward fetuses having life, or not. But this only matters if their original intentions matter.

          We can also consider whether the existence of rights of the fetus is the kind of thing that SCOTUS should decide, or whether it is the kind of thing Congress should decide. The less we care about original interpretation, the more I should think we would want to turn over to Congress. Otherwise, we give the courts a lot of leeway to adapt law, which makes law seem more like rule by men than rule by law. Possibly enough people would have voted that fetuses do not have the kinds of rights which can stop abortion; do you want to allow for the possibility that they would actually decide otherwise?

        • Otto

          “This was only decided after Roe v. Wade.”

          The point is flying right over your head. It was never ‘decided’, the constitution has never applied to a fetus. You might as well be pointing out that the Constitution does not apply to a chair and then saying it was decided not to do so.

          “In many circumstances, the fetus is protected by protecting the mother.”

          By legislation a fetus has been protected by law but to my knowledge those laws have never been challenged. In other words the courts still have not ever given Constitutional protection to a fetus as if it is a person.

          “Of what relevance is this, given the Ninth Amendment?”

          What does the 9th amendment have to do with my point about the court addressing the rights of the woman?

          “The tl;dr is that self-defense is a perfectly legitimate way to overcome
          the fetus’ right to life. I’ve talked about precedence of rights before
          as well.”

          Self defense has nothing to do with the Constitution. There is no precedence that a fetus has Constitutional rights. Do you understand that legislative laws and the Constitution are 2 separate types of law?

          “We can consider whether the original intentions of the Constitution
          probably pointed either way—toward fetuses having life, or not. But this
          only matters if their original intentions matter.

          I don’t think there is any way to say what the original intentions of the Constitution was regarding fetuses, that would be like asking what the original intentions of the Constitution was regarding helicopters or atomic bombs. I don’t think it was a consideration at all and I have no idea how you would claim otherwise.

          “We can also consider whether the existence of rights of the fetus is the
          kind of thing that SCOTUS should decide, or whether it is the kind of
          thing Congress should decide.

          The Supreme Court makes all decisions regarding how the Constitution applies AS IT IS WRITTEN NOW to all laws Congress passes. Congress could move to pass a Constitutional amendment that specifically addresses the rights of fetuses but any standard law would have to pass Constitutional muster as it is now. Somehow I get the feeling you don’t understand how Congressional laws and the Constitution interact.

        • Michael Neville

          We can consider whether the original intentions of the Constitution probably pointed either way—toward fetuses having life, or not. But this only matters if their original intentions matter.

          The Founding Fathers were a contentious bunch who agreed on very little. It is well documented that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are compromises: few agreed wholeheartedly with any particular part. Thus looking to the founders for “original intent” is silly: it will vary amongst them. Not to mention that “original intent” is just as open to interpretation as the Constitution itself because while there is lots of explicit data, it’s from many contradictory sources.

        • Otto

          I agree completely but Luke here thinks there is some grand specific intent, as if the framers thought about all our current complexities and it is wour job to figure out what they were from a few words.

        • Susan

          It seems more likely (and consistent with his general pattern) that rather than provide any support for his position, he is shifting the burden.

          That is,he is making it your burden to prove that there wasn’t some grand specific intent.

          In all of his thousands of comments, Luke has done nothing to make a case for an agent that exists behind all things, nor for the objective morality that somehow is emitted from that unevidenced agent, nor to support the Jesus character as a manifestation of that agent, nor for any sort of objective morality at all.

          Nor for the personhood of a fetus. Nor that there’s a moral obligation to surrender your body to someone else’s wellbeing.

          Luke hasn’t made any sort of case at all.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • MNb

          What is a believer without the Argument from Tradition?

        • The point is flying right over your head. It was never ‘decided’, the constitution has never applied to a fetus. You might as well be pointing out that the Constitution does not apply to a chair and then saying it was decided not to do so.

          The US Constitution was applied to a fetus the instant Roe v. Wade was decided. The fetus was implicitly declared to have no rights which could meaningfully conflict with the mother’s “right to privacy”. Recall the Ninth Amendment: there are rights other than what is explicitly listed in the Constitution. But certain decisions rule out possibilities in this unarticulated realm. Roe v. Wade did that, for fetuses. How can you fail to recognize this and think that the Ninth Amendment means anything?

          In other words the courts still have not ever given Constitutional protection to a fetus as if it is a person.

          How could they, after Roe v. Wade? Either it would have to be overturned, or a constitutional amendment would be required.

          What does the 9th amendment have to do with my point about the court addressing the rights of the woman?

          I’ve been applying it to the pre-Roe v. Wade potential rights of the fetus, not to the rights of the woman. The potential rights of the fetus are very important re: the rights of the woman, because what you’re really focused on is whether the rights of the woman end up having precedence. (Who cares if the fetus has rights if the woman’s always trumps it?)

          O: […] and as I have pointed out even if a fetus is defined as a person at some point that is still part of the equation your side is going to have to deal with (something you have completely ignored to this point).

          LB: Do I need to find out where I didn’t “completely ignore” that? The tl;dr is that self-defense is a perfectly legitimate way to overcome the fetus’ right to life. I’ve talked about precedence of rights before as well.

          O: Self defense has nothing to do with the Constitution. There is no precedence that a fetus has Constitutional rights. Do you understand that legislative laws and the Constitution are 2 separate types of law?

          You made a claim about what I had allegedly failed to deal with. Do you maintain that claim (do I need to go through my comment history?), or do you retract it? As I think you have seen, I do not like being straw-manned. You’ve been much better than most up to this point; I’d like to see that track record continue.

          I don’t think there is any way to say what the original intentions of the Constitution was regarding fetuses […]

          Well, we can definitely branch the conversation off into both possibilities. For now, suppose that you are correct. Let’s return to the time just before Roe v. Wade and ask, how do we apply the Ninth Amendment to fetuses?

          The Supreme Court makes all decisions regarding how the Constitution applies AS IT IS WRITTEN NOW to all laws Congress passes.

          Ok, but suppose that the original intentions were neutral to fetuses. Then how do we figure out this “AS IT IS WRITTEN NOW”, where “NOW” = 1972?

          Somehow I get the feeling you don’t understand how Congressional laws and the Constitution interact.

          I doubt you have enough textual evidence to make this case, and I don’t see how it would benefit you to pursue this argument with me and require me to defend myself. I will, and it’ll probably get ugly because I’ll do a lot of quoting of who said what, etc. etc. We could, instead, try to continue discussing in good faith.

        • Kodie

          The US Constitution was applied to a fetus the instant Roe v. Wade was decided. The fetus was implicitly declared to have no rights which could meaningfully conflict with the mother’s “right to privacy”.

          That’s the opposite of the US Constitution applying to a fetus.

        • Michael Neville

          I’ve been applying it to the pre-Roe v. Wade potential rights of the fetus, not to the rights of the woman.

          That’s because you don’t give a rat’s ass about the rights of the woman. Fetus über alles!

          We could, instead, try to continue discussing in good faith.

          When did you ever try discussing anything in good faith? Every time someone brings an argument you can’t answer you cry “strawman” or “poisoning the well” or some other nonsense in an attempt to divert the discussion away from the point you find uncomfortable.

        • adam

          “When did you ever try discussing anything in good faith?”

          Apparently, never here.

          But what does one expect from apologetics?

        • That’s because you don’t give a rat’s ass about the rights of the woman. Fetus über alles!

          Are you saying/​implying I have never argued that the woman’s right to life can trump the fetus’ right to life?

          When did you ever try discussing anything in good faith?

          Based on our previous discussions (evidence), I unfortunately have some doubt that you know what “in good faith” means. It would not surprise me if you argued the same thing back at me (probably without citing evidence, though). So what I suggest is that you proceed, full steam ahead, with what you consider “in good faith” to be. I’ll do the same, and then maybe at some later date, we can compare & contrast how the two different concepts function.

          Every time someone brings an argument you can’t answer you cry “strawman” or “poisoning the well” or some other nonsense in an attempt to divert the discussion away from the point you find uncomfortable.

          As is usual, you don’t support your attempt at character assassination with a shred of evidence. Ostensibly, you think this behavior of yours makes the world a better place. For the life of me I don’t understand how.

        • Kodie

          Are you saying/​implying I have never argued that the woman’s right to life can trump the fetus’ right to life?

          You only think the woman has a right over the fetus if she has an ectopic pregnancy or has gotten pregnant from rape. Those aren’t really good reasons. What is an excellent reason for a woman’s rights to trump the fetus’s right is that the fetus isn’t a person or it wouldn’t be a fetus. It needs her body to turn from a single cell embryo into a person. It doesn’t just need a cozy little home, it enslaves the woman for nine months by using material from her actual body. It’s not a person yet, or it wouldn’t be in there – it would be out here.

          The only reason a fetus should come to term is if the mother chooses her body to be used that way. You have zero good points and only emotional, ignorant ones. It’s obvious you consider pregnancy to be a punishment for women who “deserve” according to Luke (who the fuck are you to judge?) to dedicate her body and life to forming a human being from a blob of non-sentient cells.

          Have you demonstrated personhood yet? You are avoiding it. We’re waiting and waiting, but it’s obvious your argument boils down to hatred of women.

        • adam

          “Based on our previous discussions (evidence), I unfortunately have some doubt that you know what “in good faith” means.”

          Yes, based on previous discussions, it is OBVIOUS that Luke wont have good faith discussions.

          But we understand how your ‘faith’ is tainted with MAGIC and the Supernatural, like Harry Potter…

        • Michael Neville

          Reading your question very carefully, I see you’re using weasle words. You’re saying that “the woman’s right to life” isn’t superceded by the fetus’ “right to life“. Of course I wasn’t talking about right to life for either. I’m talking about the woman’s right to control her body.

          As I said, when have you ever argued in good faith? You’re not doing so in this instance.

        • MN: That’s because you don’t give a rat’s ass about the rights of the woman. Fetus über alles!

          LB: Are you saying/​implying I have never argued that the woman’s right to life can trump the fetus’ right to life?

          MN: Reading your question very carefully, I see you’re using weasle words. You’re saying that “the woman’s right to life” isn’t superceded by the fetus’ “right to life“. Of course I wasn’t talking about right to life for either. I’m talking about the woman’s right to control her body.

          Oh, so when you said “the rights of the woman”, you meant to exclude “the woman’s right to life? Perhaps you don’t understand that “über Allesmeans “above everything else”. I’ll let the reader figure out who is actually using weasel words (intentionally or not).

          As I said, when have you ever argued in good faith? You’re not doing so in this instance.

          It would definitely appear that I’m not arguing according to @michaelneville:disqus-‘good faith’. I am doing my best to argue according to @LukeBreuer:disqus-‘good faith’. And so, I ask you to review my second paragraph.

        • Kodie

          Luke Breuer’s brand of “good faith” argument is nobody else’s definition.

          You don’t answer questions and you make baseless assertions as your arguments. When you don’t know what else to say, you resort to accusing your “interlocutor” of straw man arguments or defamation of your character, in complete obliviousness to your responsibility. You simply ignore “good faith” and just do “Luke Breuer.”

        • adam

          “You simply ignore “good faith” and just do “Luke Breuer.””

          You mean lies and deception, the VERY BEST that Luke’s ‘faith’ allows him to demonstrate his “God”

        • Myna A.

          You don’t answer questions…and just do “Luke Breuer.”

          Amen to that. Every word, from beginning to end.

          When the comment sidebar too frequently holds 3/4 Luke Breuer, you know the painted pony is going round and round and round. It’s the old adage of not wanting to look at the train-wreck…and yet one turns and looks.

        • adam

          ” It’s the old adage of not wanting to look at the train-wreck…and yet one turns and looks.”

          Yes, we understand how Looney Tunes Luke is, and we are all waiting for reality to come crashing down on Luke.
          But he keeps ignoring reality for Lukeshit, telling everyone how yummy and frangrant Lukeshit is.

          A 5 year old pissing in the sandbox, throwing the piss sand at everyone while crying ‘victim’, ‘victim’, ‘victim’.

        • MNb

          “I’ll let the reader figure out who …”
          I am the reader and are happy to accept this invitation.
          Answer: you.

        • Susan

          Answer: you

          Yes. Still endless burden shifting. Still no argument for personhood, though he’s happy to appeal to personhood. And still no argument that justifies using a person’s body against their will.

          My prediction is that another dozen/hundred/thousand comments will be emitted and they will all be as empty.

        • Michael Neville

          Still more weasling from you. I was talking about a different right and you’re trying to drag the conversation to where you can make me look either hypocritical or stupid. No, fuckwit, I am not excluding a woman’s right to life for the simple reason I wasn’t talking about it.

          You insist that the fetus has more rights than the woman so for you it is actually, truly Fetus über alles! And yes, asswipe, I do know what über alles means. Unlike you when I use a word or phrase I know its meaning.

          Luke Breuer “good faith” means that you’re a dishonest, bombastic debater. But we both know that already, don’t we, Luke?

        • I was talking about a different right […]

          Right, singular? Hmmm:

          MN: That’s because you don’t give a rat’s ass about the rights of the woman. Fetus über alles!

          Note two things:

               (1) the plural use of “rights
               (2) “über allesmeans “above everything else”

          Given this, it was entirely reasonable to suspect that what you meant by your exclamation was:

          MN‘: The Fetus’s rights über alles the woman’s rights!

          For you to describe this reasonable interpretation as “more weasling” is, according to @LukeBreuer:disqus-‘good faith’, bad faith.

          You are obviously alluding to “Deutschland über alles“, specifically the idea propounded by the Allies and still in public consciousness today: a German has more of a right to live than a non-German. This is precisely what I have denied, when I said that a pregnant woman has the right to kill her fetus in self-defense. What you’re trying to do, here, is pretend that “über alles” doesn’t have this connotation, while very much taking advantage of that connotation.

          Given that you say “Unlike you when I use a word or phrase I know its meaning.”, I can only conclude that here, you are being deceptive, by the primary definition. This, apparently, is what it means to argue in @michaelneville:disqus-‘good faith’.

          Luke Breuer “good faith” means that you’re a dishonest, bombastic debater. But we both know that already, don’t we, Luke?

          You’re so good at not including evidence to support your claims! Instead, you make use of the gossip mechanic, whereby if you say something enough times, people will start believing it. Evidence? That’s for uncool people.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re so good at not including evidence to support your claims!

          Tell me again about the definition of “deception”. That’s all the evidence I need to show you’re not a good faith debater.

        • Merriam Webster: deceptive:
          : intended to make someone believe something that is not true
          : likely to make someone believe something that is not true

          OED: deceive:
          (Of a person) cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage:
          ‘I didn’t intend to deceive people into thinking it was French champagne’

          Here’s how that example sentence goes if the primary definition is necessary:

          ‘I didn’t intend to deceive intend to mislead people into thinking it was French champagne’

          Odd… who says “intend to intend to X”?

        • adam

          “: intended to make someone believe something that is not true”

          You mean like posting references that dont reference what you claim, or actually telling LIES…I mean telling Lukies…

        • Michael Neville

          See, that’s evidence to support my claim that you don’t debate in true faith. You’re still trying to blame me for you calling me a liar, even after you grudgingly admitted that you did so.

          Luke, you make me feel tired all over. It’s time to block your dumb ass again.

        • [A] You’re still trying to blame me for [B] you calling me a liar, even after [C] you grudgingly admitted that you did so.

          [A], [B], and [C] are false.

          It’s time to block your dumb ass again.

          I would appreciate that. I’m getting tired of @michaelneville:disqus-‘good faith’.

        • Michael Neville

          Yes, Luke, I know that über alles means “above everything”. I used that phrase precisely because you how you view the unevidenced “rights” of the fetus over the actual rights of the woman.

        • Are we back to using the plural, “rights“, again? So… all the rights except the one that makes all the difference when it comes to über alles?

        • Kodie

          There isn’t a person here who can’t see your shittiness for themselves with their own eyes and thinking with their own brains. You have such a delusional ego to think that despisement of you is due to gossip. It’s insulting your “interlocutors” to imply that we can’t think of you how you are, how you be. Why don’t you get a fucking clue already?

        • adam

          “Luke Breuer “good faith” means that you’re a dishonest, bombastic masterbater.”

          ftfy

        • adam

          “Ostensibly, you think this behavior of yours makes the world a better place. ”

          Dishonesty is why religion is failing in all but the most ignorant and superstitious of places..

        • Otto

          “You made a claim about what I had allegedly failed to deal with. Do you
          maintain that claim (do I need to go through my comment history?), or do
          you retract it?”

          No…my point stands. You deal with a woman’s rights as an afterthought (if at all) as if in your mind it should be a foregone conclusion that the woman’s rights are a distant second. The point I am trying to get across to you is that until you deal with them with the importance that the court gives them your side is doing itself a disservice. The court thinks a woman’s rights are VERY important and you seem to think they are trivial. Why should a fetus rights trump a woman’s? Why should a fetus be able to force another person to sustain its life (especially since you agree that in some circumstances a woman should not have to). Your argument to this point has bee that a fetus is ‘special’. That is pretty weak.

          “Let’s return to the time just before Roe v. Wade and ask, how do we apply the Ninth Amendment to fetuses?”

          I thought a bit about the 14th amendment and our discussion about “born”. You are right that that clause does not define what a person is, but it does define in that specific instance when those Constitutional rights start, and they start when ‘born’. The line concerning the beginning of rights was drawn. I don’t agree with your view of trying to divine original intent but if you are going to use that, it is a pretty clear indication of when they intended certain rights to start. A woman can’t just be pregnant on US soil for them to apply, the child has to be born. Before you say that isn’t necessarily all encompassing, i would agree it may not be, but it is a definite line of demarcation that was intentionally used.

          “Ok, but suppose that the original intentions were neutral to fetuses.

          Per the above I don’t think we can say the original intentions were completely neutral regarding fetuses.

          “I doubt you have enough textual evidence to make this case”

          I am not really trying to make that case. It is just that some things you have said have made me scratch my head. I have assumed you do understand (and I still think you probably do), it is just that some comments have made me wonder.

        • You deal with a woman’s rights as an afterthought (if at all) as if in your mind it should be a foregone conclusion that the woman’s rights are a distant second.

          How is that possibly true, if I say that the woman can kill her fetus in self-defense?

          The point I am trying to get across to you is that until you deal with them with the importance that the court gives them your side is doing itself a disservice.

          How can I “deal with them” without capitulating? That is, it seems like your use of “deal with them” implies capitulation, and nothing less. As far as I can tell: if I don’t capitulate, I have failed to “deal with them”. Perhaps I can acknowledge that sometimes, by the time that the pregnant woman is in a life-threatening situation, sometimes it is too late for her to kill her fetus in self-defense? Perhaps there is an argument that avoiding pregnancy is simply too onerous? Such a thing could then be broken down into matters of material availability, percentage efficacy, as well as aspects of psychological self-control. (Perhaps the self-control is empirically impossible?)

          The court thinks a woman’s rights are VERY important and you seem to think they are trivial.

          This is true if the fetus’ rights are trivial. For a trivial right to take precedence over another right means that other right is necessarily trivial. But what if the fetus’ rights are not trivial? Then your “trivial” isn’t.

          Why should a fetus rights trump a woman’s? Why should a fetus be able to force another person to sustain its life (especially since you agree that in some circumstances a woman should not have to). Your argument to this point has bee that a fetus is ‘special’. That is pretty weak.

          Your question is too vague. A fetus’ right to life does not trump a woman’s right to life. AFAIK this has long been recognized in abortion law. Instead, a fetus’ right to life trumps lesser rights of the woman. Do you want another reason for this? Here’s one: every single person in existence had such rights during his/her own time in a womb. The very ability you have to argue this issue is predicated upon your right to life having not been violated.

          I thought a bit about the 14th amendment and our discussion about “born”. You are right that that clause does not define what a person is, but it does define in that specific instance when those Constitutional rights start, and they start when ‘born’.

          How does it do that? The only reason “born” is important in Section 1 is to define ‘citizen’. You already agreed that “[B] Does not necessarily just include citizen’s, but it is limited to person’s.” Non-citizens still have protections under the US Constitution. (That, by the way, is one of the great things about our country.)

          Per the above I don’t think we can say the original intentions were completely neutral regarding fetuses.

          Just to clarify, you’re reversing your earlier position—

          O: I don’t think there is any way to say what the original intentions of the Constitution was regarding fetuses […]

          —? I just don’t want to repeat my earlier mistake (“Forgive me; I was considerably thrown off by …”).

          I have assumed you do understand (and I still think you probably do), it is just that some comments have made me wonder.

          Ok, what do you think can only be plausibly interpreted as me failing to “understand how Congressional laws and the Constitution interact”? For the record, the only ways I know to give fetuses more rights now is to either add a new constitutional amendment, or overturn Roe v. Wade.

        • Kodie

          Here’s one: every single person in existence had such rights during his/her own time in a womb. The very ability you have to argue this issue is predicated upon your right to life having not been violated.

          Dammit, Luke, this is not true, so your argument is full bullshit, just saying. If this is the premise you want to keep repeating, we don’t have to argue, you’re simply wrong. Nobody had the right to be born, our mothers ideally had a choice. In unideal times, she did not have a choice, but that was corrected under Roe v. Wade.

        • Otto

          “How is that possibly true, if I say that the woman can kill her fetus in self-defense?”

          Self Defense is not a Constitutional question. It is a legal question, just not a Constitutional one. My point is you are not dealing with a woman’s Constitutional rights in any meaningful way.

          “That is, it seems like your use of “deal with them” implies capitulation, and nothing less.”

          I don’t think you have to capitulate on the issue to deal with them. You can answer why her right to medical privacy doesn’t apply or shouldn’t apply. You can explain why a fetus does have the right to force another person to sustain its potential life when no one else has that right, you can explain why that special category should be Constitutionally created for fetuses why by all intents and purposes they have not had any rights under the Constitution to this point.

          “Here’s one: every single person in existence had such rights during his/her own time in a womb.”

          Any such right was granted by the mother not the government. We are talking about Constitutional rights and as such your statement here is not true.

          “How does it do that? The only reason “born” is important in Section 1 is to define ‘citizen’.”

          The point is that more rights are granted when a person is actually ‘born’. The framers demonstrably did view that there is a considerable difference between ‘born’ and ‘not born’. In the situation where a woman who is in this country pregnant and leaves before giving birth (and is not herself a citizen) the fetus is not granted certain rights whereas if she does give birth substantially more rights are granted. I am pointing out it is a metric that was used by the framers and the point of conception was never used as a metric for granting rights.

          One quote that made me wonder about whether you understood Congressional laws as they apply to the Constitution is this one…

          “We can also consider whether the existence of rights of the fetus is the kind of thing that SCOTUS should decide, or whether it is the kind of thing Congress should decide.

          SCOTUS does not determine what rights are spelled out in the Constitution, they determine how the rights that ARE there apply. Congress along with the States actually decide what rights are in the Constitution. Now I am pretty sure you will say that SCOTUS did decide in Roe that a fetus did not have rights… whereas I would say SCOTUS applied the Constitutional rights to the woman… and did not apply any to the fetus because there is no Constitutional precedence for a fetus ever having Constitutional rights.

          I would agree that it will take an Amendment to change that, or it is possible it could be done in a ruling overturning Roe.

        • Self Defense is not a Constitutional question. It is a legal question, just not a Constitutional one. My point is you are not dealing with a woman’s Constitutional rights in any meaningful way.

          The right to life is a Constitutional right. To talk about self-defense is to talk about how conflicting Constitutional rights get adjudicated. Yes, I’m talking about application of the Constitution, but one cannot know the meaning of a word, or an idea, without understanding how it functions in its relevant domain. The fact that I think self-defense is quite relevant means that it is utterly false that I think “that the woman’s rights are a distant second”. What is true is that I’m arguing that some of the fetus’ rights trump some of the woman’s rights. That’s a very different statement than yours. It is always the case that some of a person’s rights trump some of another person’s rights. That’s just how rights work.

          You can explain why a fetus does have the right to force another person to sustain its potential life when no one else has that right […]

          I’ve already said that all humans either had the right to life or had that right. (N.B. I’ve made an exception for rape.) You would not be here if your right to life in the womb had been violated. I’m not asking you, or any other born human, to respect rights that [s]he did not at one time have.

          […] you can explain why that special category should be Constitutionally created for fetuses when by all intents and purposes they have not had any rights under the Constitution to this point.

          I just don’t understand how you can speak this way when we have the Ninth Amendment. Until abortion became sufficiently safe, protecting the life of the fetus was covered by protecting the life of the mother. There simply wasn’t a need to disambiguate.

          Any such right was granted by the mother not the government. We are talking about Constitutional rights and as such your statement here is not true.

          We just disagree. Humans do not grant rights, they recognize rights (or they deny them). Otherwise, we’re merely arguing on the level of preferences. Were we to argue on that level, I would prefer all life to be protected, while you would prefer that only some life be protected.

          The point is that more rights are granted when a person is actually ‘born’.

          This is entirely different from what you said before.

          The framers demonstrably did view that there is a considerable difference between ‘born’ and ‘not born’.

          Nonsense. The reason for ‘born’ is that the US has the peculiar law that you can become a citizen just by being born in the US. Under jus sanguinis, the Fourteenth Amendment would not need to include the word ‘born’.

          In the situation where a woman who is in this country pregnant and leaves before giving birth (and is not herself a citizen) the fetus is not granted certain rights whereas if she does give birth substantially more rights are granted. I am pointing out it is a metric that was used by the framers and the point of conception was never used as a metric for granting rights.

          How about you tell me how judges in 1789 would figure out whether the person was conceived in Canada or the US. Compare that to how hard it is to figure out where the person was born.

          SCOTUS does not determine what rights are spelled out in the Constitution, they determine how the rights that ARE there apply.

          Really? From Blackmun’s opinion: “The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy.” Furthermore, your comment here threatens to nullify the Ninth Amendment. If a non-“spelled out”-right cannot be protected by the Constitution, then of what relevance is it? SCOTUS could simply find, in gradual ways, how the rights which are in the Constitution slowly expand to fit all available ‘rights-space’, such that nothing is left for the Ninth Amendment to apply to.

        • adam

          “The right to life is a Constitutional right.”

          ONLY after BIRTH, dishonest one…

          “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. “

        • Ignorant Amos

          All terminations are a self defence of one sort or another. What you want to do is remove the right of the woman to make the decision on what self defence to take for her own good.

        • Otto

          “You would not be here if your right to life in the womb had been violated.”

          This I think sums up where you and I are having some problem with this discussion. The Constitution does not guarantee a right to life. It guarantees a right to not have our life taken by government action without due process. The Constitution only applies to government actions. When an abortion happens it is not the gov’t taking action.

          What is true is that I’m arguing that some of the fetus’ rights trump some of the woman’s rights.

          Constitutionally a fetus does not, nor has it ever, had rights. You are arguing a fetus should have rights where none currently exist Constitutionally.

          I just don’t understand how you can speak this way when we have the
          Ninth Amendment. Until abortion became sufficiently safe, protecting the life of the fetus was covered by protecting the life of the mother.
          There simply wasn’t a need to disambiguate.

          Really? Abortions have been happening for thousands of years, obviously the 9th Amendment was never used to protect fetuses before Roe for that purpose. I think you are over reaching there by a long way.

          “We just disagree. Humans do not grant rights, they recognize rights (or they deny them).”

          Rights are granted by recognizing them as rights. It sounds like you are trying to make this about Objective rights like theists try and claim there is an Objective morality that exists external from humanity. If our gov’t did not recognize the right to free speech we would not have a right to free speech, it would not exist. We could argue it should exist but to say we HAVE a right to free speech would be ridiculous. Humans created rights through the creation of societies and there is no evidence or reason to think otherwise.

          “This is entirely different from what you said before.

          Before we were talking about the Constitution and/or SCOTUS defining what a person is. I brought this up to point out the original framers drew a line of demarcation regarding being born and the granting of certain rights, it is not the same thing, nor is it me going back on anything. You may not like it but it is a valid point.

          “The reason for ‘born’ is that the US has the peculiar law that you can become a citizen just by being born in the US.

          And therefore being born gives a considerable more amount of rights under the Constitution. My point stands.

          “How about you tell me how judges in 1789 would figure out whether the person was conceived in Canada or the US. Compare that to how hard it is to figure out where the person was born.”

          Conception has never been a line of demarcation for anything regarding what is considered a new, separate person. That is why birthdays are lauded. Judges literally would not have cared about the point of conception, it had nothing to do with how hard it was to figure out. A fetus is nothing without the will and the granting of the mother and
          if the mother does not grant it, a fetus is then literally nothing.

          “”The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy.”

          It’s pretty straightforward. There is a right to privacy. Why?
          Because the government isn’t specifically given the power to violate
          your privacy. That’s what the 10th Amendment is all about – government is strictly limited to doing those activities which are specifically authorized to it by the Constitution. Everything else is left to “the States, respectively, or to the People.“

          Additionally it can be inferred from the freedom to be free from searches and seizures without a warrant, etc. The right to privacy from the gov’t is not even slightly controversial.

        • This I think sums up where you and I are having some problem with this discussion. The Constitution does not guarantee a right to life. It guarantees a right to not have our life taken by government action without due process. The Constitution only applies to government actions. When an abortion happens it is not the gov’t taking action.

          Ummm, the government can also make laws to protect the rights enumerated in the US Constitution. These laws can protect individuals from other individuals attempting to violate those rights. Without this, the political philosophy of Locke would make no sense. At least some of the abortion laws in 1972 could be construed as protecting the rights of fetuses. What SCOTUS did was decide that actually, fetuses have no [relevant] rights, and because the US Constitution protects the “right to privacy”, said abortion laws violated the rights of pregnant women.

          Constitutionally a fetus does not, nor has it ever, had rights. You are arguing a fetus should have rights where none currently exist Constitutionally.

          Can you be explicit about how the Ninth Amendment is or is not relevant to these two sentences?

          Really? Abortions have been happening for thousands of years, obviously the 9th Amendment was never used to protect fetuses before Roe for that purpose. I think you are over reaching there by a long way.

          Murders have also been happening for thousands of years. As to the Ninth Amendment not being used to protect fetuses before 1973, you might be right. But were there any opportunities for it to?

          Rights are granted by recognizing them as rights. It sounds like you are trying to make this about Objective rights like theists try and claim there is an Objective morality that exists external from humanity.

          It’s more that I want to force the issue about how rights come about. If we simply grant them when we want to, then why must they apply to all born people? A standard response to this is that we must heed certain principles we’ve all agreed to, which disallow preferences to have that kind of control. Whether or not our honing of these principles seems to approach some absolute is perhaps a topic for another time.

          And therefore being born gives a considerable more amount of rights under the Constitution. My point stands.

          Ok, but now you’ve limited that to “certain rights”. Excluded from that set is: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”, my [B]. Those are very substantial rights which are not restricted to citizens (≡ “persons born or naturalized in the United States”). Given that such substantial rights are granted to non-citizens, why the focus on “persons born”?

          Conception has never been a line of demarcation for anything regarding what is considered a new, separate person. […] Judges literally would not have cared about the point of conception, it had nothing to do with how hard it was to figure out.

          But why? One reason is yours. Another is that proving when & where conception happened is difficult and an extremely private affair.

          That is why birthdays are lauded.

          Uhhhh, no. No normal child wants to spend time considering the day of his/her conception. No normal child wants to think of his/her parents getting down and dirty.

          O: SCOTUS does not determine what rights are spelled out in the Constitution, they determine how the rights that ARE there apply.

          LB: Really? From Blackmun’s opinion: “The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy.”

          O: It’s pretty straightforward. There is a right to privacy. Why? Because the government isn’t specifically given the power to violate your privacy.

          First, Blackmun did determine “what rights are spelled out in the Constitution”, and the ‘right to privacy’ isn’t one of them. Contrast “spelled out” to “explicitly mention”. Now, we can fuzz out the part of your comment I objected to and ask, “Is that how the ‘right to privacy’ was actually derived?” Have you looked at the history of how SCOTUS articulated that right?

          Additionally it can be inferred from the freedom to be free from searches and seizures without a warrant, etc. The right to privacy from the gov’t is not even slightly controversial.

          The generic right to privacy is very different, in my mind, from the right to terminate a human life growing inside of you. Surely you can imagine people in the 1700s and 1800s talking about the right to be free from government intrusion, with no intention of also covering the right of women to have their would-be-children from being exterminated?

        • adam

          “Ummm, the government can also make laws to protect the rights enumerated in the US Constitution.”

          You mean the rights of the ‘born’

          “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. “

        • Kodie

          It should be trivial for you to demonstrate personhood.

          The way I see it, and it’s your job to argue against, is that it’s not a person. That’s what a fertilized egg is doing inside a womb – becoming, but not yet, a person. You must see it that way too, if you’re unable to demonstrate personhood deserving of rights granted persons by the US Constitution.

          And then, when you can demonstrate personhood, which we all know you cannot, you have to then argue why you think it has the right to enslave a woman and use her body to survive long enough to be born. Not you, because you are speaking on its behalf, but why it has extra rights that no other person has.

          Many many times, you assert the baseless claim that ALL OF US HAD THAT EXTRA RIGHT GRANTED AT ONE TIME, which implies we lost it at birth: the right to become a person, the right to be born. Where is any of that in the US Constitution? It’s not. It is not a right any of us had before. Being born does not constitute a right to be born, a right to enslave some woman to make non-sentient pre-uses into able-to-be-born sentient human creatures. Please argue the fucking point and stop belaboring your fantasy argument. It sucks and it’s ignorant of the law, of biology, and adding extra rights onto fetuses that the rest of us don’t fucking have. There’s a reason you’re not a Supreme Court Justice, and nobody who warps the US Constitution to mean what you wish was written in it but isn’t should be appointed.

          Appointment calls for knowledge, literacy, and thoughtful interpretation of the words already written within it. It does not call for making shit up and trying to pass a bunch of fantastical bullshit over on the rest of us, who aren’t Justices either. We keep asking, in good faith, what is normally considered “good faith”, for you to demonstrate personhood, and what we get instead is Luke Breuer wanking off on his fantasy of what the US Constitution would say if the founding fathers were time travelers and could ask him what else to put in it at the time. That’s fucked up. Learn some science and check your fucking ego before you judge women and hate them because they dare to rule their own lives before consulting you.

        • adam

          “We keep asking, in good faith, what is normally considered “good faith”, for you to demonstrate personhood, and what we get instead is Luke Breuer deception. ”

          ftfy

        • Myna A.

          Surely you can imagine people in the 1700s and 1800s talking about the right to be free from government intrusion, with no intention of also covering the right of women to have their would-be-children from being exterminated?

          And speaking of abortion and the attitude historically, I feel compelled to add a couple of informative links:

          “The Puritans brought their laws on abortion from merry old England, where the procedure was also legal until quickening. Although the Puritans changed much of England’s legal system when they established their “city upon a hill,” they kept abortion as a part of Puritan family life, allowing women to choose when and if they would become mothers—whether for the first time or the fifth time.”

          https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2013/08/08/71893/scarlet-letters-getting-the-history-of-abortion-and-contraception-right/

          “Colonial home medical guides gave recipes for “bringing on the menses” with herbs that could be grown in one’s garden or easily found in the woods. By the mid eighteenth century commercial preparations were so widely available that they had inspired their own euphemism (“taking the trade”). Unfortunately, these drugs were often fatal. The first statutes regulating abortion, passed in the 1820s and 1830s, were actually poison-control laws: the sale of commercial abortifacients was banned, but abortion per se was not. The laws made little difference. By the 1840s the abortion business — including the sale of illegal drugs, which were widely advertised in the popular press — was booming. The most famous practitioner, Madame Restell, openly provided abortion services for thirty-five years, with offices in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia and traveling salespeople touting her “Female Monthly Pills.”

          http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/05/abortion-in-american-history/376851/

          Apparently you cannot grasp the reasoning behind the critical necessity of present laws, and that the focus must be on women’s health first and foremost.

        • Those were quite informative; thank you. I would love to see those on the Left and Right battle out competing narratives on the issue, establishing which facts both agree on, which facts they simply disagree on, how they interpret the facts differently, etc. I suspect that the truth actually lies between the kinds of accounts one gets from each side.

          In all this, we must keep in mind that notions of equality in the 1700s and 1800s were quite primitive in comparison to today. Many were deprived of rights. (Or, on a subjective view, the powers that be did not prefer to grant rights to many.) Suppose, for example, that there wasn’t much talk of giving women the right to vote in 1825. That shouldn’t be surprising, and we should be much more interested in paying attention to however few did talk that way. I would apply the same reasoning to understanding fetuses as having rights. We might also ask why the point of quickening was chosen as a line of demarcation. Is that frequently because the fetus was seen as inanimate matter beforehand? If so, we now know that is not the case.

          One thing is for sure. Comments such as “Fetus über alles!” thwart dialogue instead of enhance it. If we cannot describe the other’s position in a way they would agree with (even if we disagree with that phrasing), then ‘reason’ becomes a farce. (At best, ‘reason’ becomes what Nietzsche and Foucault articulated: an implement of domination.)

          Apparently, you cannot grasp the reasoning behind the critical necessity of present laws and that the focus must be on women’s health first and foremost.

          What? It’s obvious: if the fetus is merely the property of the pregnant woman, she can clearly do whatever she wants. Add the West’s incredible focus on individual autonomy, and it will indeed be perceived as incredibly important that the woman do whatever she wants with her body, with her property.

          Now allow me to try to make you uneasy. Is there anything wrong with commercially selling smoothies based on blended, seasoned, aborted fetuses? How about encasing the results of abortion in epoxy and selling them? We can require that the fetuses not have had the ability to feel pain, or some other similar marker. If the aborted fetus (and perhaps embryo) only has rights if the mother grants them, then surely the mother can decide that these things are acceptable? I personally find them repulsive, but I have been trained by society (IRL and online) that what I find repulsive is 100% irrelevant. However, I have found that sometimes, what others find repulsive does have legitimacy in argument. And so, I shall treat what I find as repulsive as irrelevant, but what you find as repulsive as possibly relevant.

        • Myna A.

          Now allow me to try to make you uneasy. Is there anything wrong with
          commercially selling smoothies based on blended, seasoned, aborted
          fetuses? How about encasing the results of abortion in epoxy and selling
          them? We can require that the fetuses not have had the ability to feel
          pain, or some other similar marker. If the aborted fetus (and perhaps
          embryo) only has rights if the mother grants them, then surely the
          mother can decide that these things are acceptable?

          This type of conjured shit is not even worthy of a response.

        • Kodie

          There’s nothing essentially wrong with any of it.

          Eight things you didn’t know you could do with human sperm
          Top 10 thigs you can do with placenta

          Luke is having a hemorrhage. The main issue people would have would be the same reason we don’t eat bugs – we think it’s gross. Other cultures eat bugs and don’t gag. Other cultures eat dogs and don’t gag. We put 5 chickens worth of thighs in a package and don’t (most of us) gag about any carnage or grossness. When those of us who donate blood do so, we don’t imagine there is someone who wants to drink it. We don’t think of drinking human blood the way some people love a bloody steak. It seems icky because it’s a cultural response, not because it’s cannibalism. Mothers eat their newborn’s placenta and most people who are probably pro-life wouldn’t go for that, and it’s just tissue, not cannibalism. How many bite their nails or chew their cuticles? Even the most enthusiastic cuticle-chewers don’t want to chew your cuticles! There is nothing about a fetus that is logically or rationally beyond another use, say, stem-cell research or whatever.

          Luke is trying to make the argument that using fetuses amounts to cannibalism, which is why we oppose usage of aborted fetuses. I don’t oppose it. I’m also not one of those pro-choicers who wishes abortions occurred less frequently than they do. I think there’s nothing at all ethically wrong that should make anyone in that position think twice, but using other methods in order to reduce the number or frequency of abortion increases the stigma for women who are stuck in that position. If someone has 10 abortions, I don’t care. I think birth control might be more convenient, but there is no ethical difference to me, and I don’t think anyone should be made to feel bad about it. Given that, I am not sure she should have a choice about how the aborted material is used. That’s a courtesy given to living humans, like when I had one of my cats euthanized. She had a massive heart event (more than 10 years ago, so I’m not really still sad about it). The vet where I took her asked my permission to do an autopsy for research on my cat, who would be returned to me cremated (which was my request). I gave permission, and then she was given a shot, and she fell dead sooner than I expected. The vet asked me if I wanted a moment alone with her, and I said no. As soon as life left her, she was different and sitting with her body felt weird. I was sad to lose my cat, but the experience of being with the dead body didn’t feel authentic. A lot of people are attached emotionally, so maybe giving a courtesy to a pregnant woman like my vet gave with the cat, but otherwise, it’s really out of your hands.

          I had an abortion and I felt no need to stare at a jar of 7.5 week old blob and mourn. If they used it for anything, they didn’t ask me. To me, it’s like asking you if you mind if they collect your poop and do research with it – most poop researchers don’t come in your house and tap your shoulder while you’re doing your business. People don’t eat poop, but we do use urea, some product related to urine, in commercially available products. Luke is really fucked up about cannibalism, but it’s really not like that, is it. If we don’t eat bugs and we don’t eat poop, why would we eat aborted fetuses or use them, but if a use was made for them, why not? Cure cancer for fuck’s sake. Restore organs and limbs and brain cells or whatever from stem cells, go for it. Luke is horrified, so his argument is from horrification. Rational people aren’t horrified. We’re concerned maybe if there is an ethical issue asking a woman if she permits research on her aborted fetus as though it’s her property, or if she wants it totally flushed and not used for anything else. We give similar courtesy to dead humans! If you don’t want to donate your heart or kidneys or retinas and you want useful portions of your dead body to be buried with you, we let you be selfish. Our culture is not typically against organ donation or blood donation, etc. Why is Luke burdened with the disgust he feels for how he imagines you might feel about aborted fetuses used for many useful things? The reasons most people don’t want to are not rational compared to what we do use.

        • I’m a regular blood and platelet donor. Society sees the donation as a noble thing and the receipt of blood products just part of the messy process of the operating room. But that’s just us.

          I’d imagine a society for which operations weren’t common (either one more primitive than ours or one far more advanced that had better ways to replace lost blood) would find it disgusting. “You mean stick a needle into my vein and put someone else’s blood into me? Why don’t I just open my mouth so they can pee in me, too??”

        • Greg G.

          Why don’t I just open my mouth so they can pee in me, too??

          I was thinking about becoming a vegetarian until I found out that they grow those things in dirt mixed with cow manure.

        • adam

          ” Rational people aren’t horrified. ”

          Explains why Luke is so horrified…

        • Myna A.

          That LB has demonstrated a centric bias in worldview over the space of his myriad bleatings is inarguable, but it is the miserable strategy of manipulation he employs not only in general, but in this particular instance, unworthy of a response on my end and in my own view.

          The man refuses to comprehend the critical component not only of a woman’s self-determination, but the physical and psychological health of women that the subject of abortion entails.

          …if there is an ethical issue asking a woman if she permits research on her aborted fetus as though it’s her property, or if she wants it totally flushed and not used for anything else.

          Also an important element, yes.

        • Greg G.
        • Yes they were, and so very easy to find.

          Extremely ideologically neutral, as well! No posibility of substantial bias.

          This type of conjured shit is not even worthy of a response.

          Do you fear that it would expose contradictions in how you think of unborn humans? Perhaps on the one hand, they must be property for women to be able to abort them, yet it also feels deeply wrong to either ingest that property or put it on permanent display?

        • Myna A.

          Do you fear that it would expose contradictions in how you think of unborn humans?

          My position has been, is and will be, the physical health and psychological well-being of women. There is no contradiction in that. I’ve stated it numerous times. The information provided you was based on your, again, ill-informed speculations of historical context.

          Fini.

        • Kodie

          Why do you feel deeply wrong about it? Why do you think feeling a certain way about something indicates “personhood”? Oh, it doesn’t. You haven’t indicated personhood and now reaching for the absurd examples. I think there’s nothing wrong with a lot of things people feel deeply wrong about – people get squeamish or feel something is culturally inappropriate, but deeply there is no wrongness they can articulate about it. Does that mean we should listen to them? I find it absurd for people to get upset over stuff they shouldn’t and then not feel squeamish about denying women their rights. Slush up a clump of cells that came out of a human’s body, and that “feels” wrong, but deny her rights and punish her with the consequences for “the sign-up procedure” and that doesn’t bother you, because you’re fucking feeling about and arguing for the rights of toenails to continue growing, and against people to cut them off.

        • Kodie

          Is that frequently because the fetus was seen as inanimate matter beforehand? If so, we now know that is not the case.

          What do you know about fetuses? There’s a lot going on inside the womb during pregnancy that we’ve learned more recently, but you really don’t sound like you know exactly what.

        • Myna A.

          What does that man know about anything? He argues purely on impulse. He will scratch through any evidence provided, even his own reference links, to find the most minuscule opening he imagines might support his opinion.

          One might succumb to emotion given any particular topic one feels strongly about, but Jesus Christ on a broomstick how desperate does one have to be to come up with some of the deranged reasoning that he does come up with?

        • adam

          “how desperate does one have to be to come up with some of the deranged reasoning that he does come up with?”

          Think about it this way, you’ve devoted your whole life to a “God” that you’ve FINALLY figured out is most like IMAGINARY. All you have now are unbelievably small gaps in human knowledge where this “God” MIGHT reside, the only other place is in the philosophical use of human language.

          This is all that Luke has left of a Mighty and Powerful “God” described by the bible…..wisps of smoke and the ambiguity of the written language.

        • Myna A.

          Quote: “…you’ve devoted your whole life to a “God” that you’ve FINALLY figured out is most like IMAGINARY. All you have now are unbelievably small gaps in human knowledge where this “God” MIGHT reside, the only other place is in the philosophical use of human language.

          This is all that Luke has left of a Mighty and Powerful “God” described by the bible…..wisps of smoke and the ambiguity of the written language.

          It’s tragedy is exposed…almost Shakespearean in concept.
          You put that very well, Adam.

        • Myna A.
        • If I were in that position, I’d be forced to acknowledge my losses, like in a chess game. If I lost a bishop, I wouldn’t then be saying, “Look out, Chester! I’m putting some heat on your pawn!”

          Just from my perspective, this seems a common Christian thing. They’ll lose a major tenet of an argument, ignore that, and then move on with some smaller point that they think they still have a chance with.

          They’re like the black knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. “‘Tis but a scratch!”

          I suppose you might want to put a brave face on things, but in your mind, mustn’t you acknowledge your losses?

        • adam

          “but in your mind, mustn’t you acknowledge your losses?”

          Honorable people would.

        • adam

          ” Is there anything wrong with commercially selling smoothies based on blended, seasoned, aborted fetuses?”

          You mean like balut smooothies?

        • adam

          “Is there anything wrong with commercially selling smoothies based on blended, seasoned, aborted fetuses?”

          You mean like Kuru type diseases?

          transmissible spongiform encephalopathy?

        • adam

          ” How about encasing the results of abortion in epoxy and selling them? ”

          Is there really a market for these?

        • adam

          “Apparently you cannot (or refuse to) grasp the reasoning behind the critical necessity of present laws, and that the focus must be on women’s health first and foremost.”

          Because Jesus….

          Women are DESIGNED by Luke’s “God” to be property…not human beings.

        • Otto

          “What SCOTUS did was decide that actually, fetuses have no [relevant]
          rights, and because the US Constitution protects the “right to privacy”,
          said abortion laws violated the rights of pregnant women.

          But you yourself have admitted that fetuses were protected previously Constitutionally only through protecting the mother, and I can infer that you are admitting that a fetus did not have Constitutional protections in and of themselves.

          “Can you be explicit about how the Ninth Amendment is or is not relevant to these two sentences?”

          Legally speaking a fetus has never been defined as a person. Since the 9th amendment applies to ‘people’ fetuses are not included.

          “The generic right to privacy is very different, in my mind, from the right to terminate a human life growing inside of you.

          Pregnancy is a medical condition, to make terminating a pregnancy illegal we would have to coerce pregnant woman divulge their medical condition to the government each and time every time they become pregnant AND then the government would have to get involved in decisions woman make concerning their pregnancy. I would say that process would substantially compromise a woman’s right to privacy.

        • But you yourself have admitted that fetuses were protected previously Constitutionally only through protecting the mother, and I can infer that you are admitting that a fetus did not have Constitutional protections in and of themselves.

          This seems to be a matter of needing three-valued logic: ‘true’, ‘false’, and ‘unknown’. What I’m saying is that before 1973, the right to life of a fetus was ‘unknown’. The Ninth Amendment can be taken to explicitly state that there are rights in the ‘unknown’ category. This allows SCOTUS the necessary wiggle-room to derive new rights. Here, I mean ‘wiggle-room’ non-pejoratively. The current set of recognized rights needs to be non-exhaustive in order to be open to modification or articulation of what was implicit at the time the Constitution was ratified.

          Legally speaking a fetus has never been defined as a person. Since the 9th amendment applies to ‘people’ fetuses are not included.

          Prior to 1973, had the fetus been defined as not-a-person? Or is this another example of ‘unknown’?

          Pregnancy is a medical condition, to make terminating a pregnancy illegal we would have to coerce pregnant woman divulge their medical condition to the government each and time every time they become pregnant AND then the government would have to get involved in decisions woman make concerning their pregnancy. I would say that process would substantially compromise a woman’s right to privacy.

          I don’t see why this is necessarily required if we want to prohibit abortion. In comparison, the ban on illegal drugs is not accomplished by anyone and everyone being searched. We recognize that there is a balance between prohibiting bad thing X and the right that citizens have to privacy. Another analogy would be the protection of children against abuse. This is a very important thing to do, but the government is not allowed to just barge in on any random home without proper reasons for suspicion (e.g. certain bruising patterns noticed by teachers at school).

        • Kodie

          Why would you recognize a fetus as a person? Here’s your chance to demonstrate personhood.

        • Susan

          Here’s your chance to demonstrate personhood.

          Crickets. Imagine.

          That won’t stop him from conferring personhood on a clump on non-sentient cells.

          Keep asking, though.

          As far as I know, he hasn’t put you on his official “I won’t respond because you” list.

        • Kodie

          He threatened me a couple weeks ago, so I’m pretty sure he silently moved my name to the not even reading my responses pile.

        • Greg G.

          As far as I know, he hasn’t put you on his official “I won’t respond because you” list.

          There’s an aspiration we should all pursue.

        • Ignorant Amos

          As far as I know, he hasn’t put you on his official “I won’t respond because you” list.

          It won’t be long though if she keeps asking awkward searching questions that makes Luke look foolish.

          The sooner everyone is on his “shit list” the sooner some sort of normality can be regained around here.

        • adam

          “What I’m saying is that before 1973, the right to life of a fetus was ‘unknown’.”

          But it has already been established that this is a LIE, that you keep repeating.

          Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of
          life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

          Born….

          Born….

          Born…

        • Otto

          “I don’t see why this is necessarily required if we want to prohibit abortion.”

          Your aim is to make every fetus a legal person correct? If so it would necessary if you want to legally define a fetus as a person, a person with constitutional rights and afforded the status of person-hood. Abortion would be murder and in order to establish a murder took place we would have to establish that there was in fact a person that was murdered and where that person came from. Additionally a pregnant woman would have responsibilities and duties to that dependent. If she malnourished herself or neglected the fetus in any way she would have to be held responsible. I think it should be plainly obvious that if you want to elevate a fetus to a legal person each and every conception would have to be reported just like we are required to report births.

          Then we can start locking up woman who even attempt to perform a self abortion (attempted murder), or who drink while pregnant (contributing alcohol to a minor, neglect and abuse as it is essentially poison to a fetus). We have to be able to enforce laws related to abuse and neglect of another person so reporting conceptions would be extremely important.

        • If she malnourished herself or neglected the fetus in any way she would have to be held responsible.

          Suppose a women decides to give birth. Is she then morally responsible if, during her pregnancy, she malnourished herself or neglected the fetus in any way? According to a UK court of appeal, the answer is “no”:

          The primary reason CP’s suit was dismissed, however, was that the harm her mother caused occurred while CP was in utero. The unborn are not considered “persons” separate from their mothers in a legal sense; legal persons are accorded rights and protections by the state. “It is well established that a fetus is not a ‘person’; rather it is a sui generis organism,” the ruling stated. During pregnancy, then, CP could not be considered a separate legal entity from EQ. Thus EQ’s drinking didn’t harm a specific person. (Court Says Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Isn’t a Crime)

          But we can ask whether this ruling makes sense. Suppose, for example, that in the future a couple attempts to genetically alter a child, but instead of turning out to be a genius Julian Bashir, [s]he turns out to be disabled, as is portrayed in the Star Trek DS9 episode Statistical Probabilities. Will the child have no legal recourse because the damage was done in the womb? (Let’s suppose it was, instead of what was done to Julian.)

          It seems to me that a tension is set up here: if we allow the child to obtain damages from negligent parents for harm done in utero, we threaten to make the fetus a person. But surely we ought to acknowledge the actual harm which can be done to a person, regardless of whether it is done in utero or after birth?

          I think it should be plainly obvious that if you want to elevate a fetus to a legal person each and every conception would have to be reported just like we are required to report births.

          No, I don’t think it’s “plainly obvious”. I explained above that we don’t take analogous measures to prevent child abuse.

        • adam

          “No, I don’t think it’s “plainly obvious”. I explained above that we don’t take analogous measures to prevent child abuse.”

          “I think it should be plainly obvious that if you want to elevate a fetus to a legal person each and every conception would have to be reported just like we are required to report births”

          It is plainly obvious….
          Logically obvious
          And obviously stated.

          Only your honesty is at question…

        • Otto

          “Suppose a women decides to give birth. Is she then morally responsible
          if, during her pregnancy, she malnourished herself or neglected the
          fetus in any way? According to a UK court of appeal, the answer is “no””

          The question is…is she legally responsible. The court does not decide issues of morality. I would agree with the UK court. You would not apparently.

          “No, I don’t think it’s “plainly obvious”. I explained above that we don’t take analogous measures to prevent child abuse.”

          This isn’t an issue of prevention. It is an issue of legally identifying ‘people’ so that after the fact the party responsible for the illegal action can adjudicated. Otherwise we are allowing murder and abuse to happen without consequence. If you want to treat a fetus as a separate person with legal rights and protections this would be necessary.

        • Otherwise we are allowing murder and abuse to happen without consequence.

          No, I don’t think this follows at all. Some crime has to be allowed and even go undetected if this is not to be a police state.

        • Otto

          So you want to give a fetus the status of person-hood that does not include minimal protections that even an infant gets…but you want to give a fetus more rights then that same infant regarding forcing another person to sustain its life through the use of their body regardless of their consent.

          And you don’t see that using the State to force a person to use their body in a way they do not choose to is not a type of Police State? If you are willing to allow for injustice to happen for the sake of a more free society why is it so all important that safe availability to abortion be stricken completely? You do understand what will be created is that the rich and well off will still be able to get safe abortions and the poor will be relegated to ‘coat hanger’ abortions right? Isn’t that a systemic injustice as well?

          Do you see how this seems rather contradictory?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Careful now…Luke’s head will be spinning right about this moment…the spiral out of control has to be making him giddy. But he will never admit his hypocrisy and the contradictions in his position are mounting.

        • MNb

          Your prophecy has come true ….. just look underneath.

        • So you want to give a fetus the status of person-hood that does not include minimal protections that even an infant gets…

          Really, you’re saying that birth certificates offer meaningful protection? If an infant goes missing and is never found, can his/her parent(s) be prosecuted if there is no evidence of negligence or foul play?

          but you want to give a fetus more rights then that same infant regarding forcing another person to sustain its life through the use of their body regardless of their consent.

          As I’ve said before, an infant has a protected right to life; a major difference between an infant and a fetus is that a fetus requires a particular person to sacrifice personal resources, while an infant requires some person to sacrifice personal resources. It is true that bringing a fetus to term generally drains health sigificantly more than taking care of an infant. But every person alive benefited from such a health drain and these people can provide pregnant women with the appropriate goods, services, and care to counter this additional cost.

          And you don’t see that using the State to force a person to use their body in a way they do not choose to is not a type of Police State?

          The State would not be forcing the woman to get pregnant; on the contrary, it would (in my scenario) be giving the woman the resources necessary to avoid getting pregnant. So the more correct formulation would be that the state forces certain choices to commit one to certain responsibilities. This is not uncommon in civil society.

          If you are willing to allow for injustice to happen for the sake of a more free society why is it so all important that safe availability to abortion be stricken completely?

          Your tendentious rendering (“injustice”) would appear to make any response of mine irrelevant.

          You do understand what will be created is that the rich and well off will still be able to get safe abortions and the poor will be relegated to ‘coat hanger’ abortions right?

          Will fewer humans die, overall? I will also note that your alarmism about illegal, unsafe abortions needs to be brought up-to-date with all the technology we have to avoid pregnancy. Unless you are saying that men and women simply don’t have the requisite self-control to take the appropriate measures?

          As to the specific argument about asymmetry between the rich and poor, does that apply in other domains? Does that mean we should strike down the laws in those domains as well?

          Perhaps you will object to the above on the grounds that birth control is not perfect, even when utilized perfectly? In this case, what the State could do is provide the resources for a healthy pregnancy, as well as taking care of the child after birth if [s]he is not given up for adoption. It is my understanding that these two things are not done particularly well, in the US, these days. That would clearly drive up the demand for abortions.

        • adam

          “Really, you’re saying that birth certificates offer meaningful protection? ”

          Duh, YES

          Amendment XIV

          Section 1.

          All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due
          process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

        • Ignorant Amos

          My daughter was born in Germany. I had to register her birth with the British consulate otherwise she would’ve been eligible for German national service at 18 years of age. I am a British citizen, we are leaving the EU, but because of my birth certificate I am also an Irish citizen, which means I also have an Irish passport, which means I’m also still a citizen of the EU with all the rights that goes with it.

          Luke is just being silly pants if he thinks birth certificates don’t offer any meaningful protection.

        • MNb

          Many Surinamese women near the border of French Guyana understand this better than Lukieboy. They cross the border river to give birth in St. Laurent.

        • Myna A.

          Prior to 1973, had the fetus been defined as not-a-person? Or is this another example of ‘unknown’?

          It was not a matter of ‘unknown’. Below is a link to a brief overview of the legal and advocacy history of abortion. Why in the hell don’t you look these things up.

          http://family.findlaw.com/reproductive-rights/abortion-and-the-law-background.html

          …is necessarily required if we want to prohibit abortion.

          Who are the “we”. If you mean anti-choice organizations, then make this clear.

          Regardless of any organized religious effort to ban abortion in the U.S. mid-19th century (or even presently) and regardless of the motivations behind the male dominated AMA of that era that succeeded in its efforts to enact the ban or, the political backlash against the WSM during the time; the right, indeed the necessity, of a woman’s self determination has been hard won and is here to stay.

          Should all women be forced to cover their hair because it might offend the sensibility of another’s religion not to do so? Should clinics cease blood donation drives because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in transfusions? Where does it end? What part of secular and science do you not understand?

        • Myna for president!

        • It was not a matter of ‘unknown’. Below is a link to a brief overview of the legal and advocacy history of abortion. Why in the hell don’t you look these things up.

          What if I possibly think that the sources you’re going to find might be a bit skewed to support what you already want to believe?

          […] the right, indeed the necessity, of a woman’s self determination has been hard won and is here to stay.

          In other words, you couldn’t be wrong?

        • Ignorant Amos

          What if I possibly think that the sources you’re going to find might be a bit skewed to support what you already want to believe?

          Have at it then and demonstrate this assertion.

          It doesn’t matter a damn what you might possibly think about sources used to support what another person wants to believe, it is whether you can demonstrate whether they are in fact skewed. There are others on here interested in these arguments, it’s not ALL about The Luke Breuer Show.

          Now, even if they are skewed, and I’m not saying they are, it would still be an improvement on many of your sources, which are definitely skewed, or in no way support what you believe they do at all, or in the worse cases, support your adversary interlocutors position.

          Carry on.

        • Myna A.

          What if I possibly think that the sources you’re going to find might be a bit skewed to support what you already want to believe?

          A FindLaw site biased? All righty, then. History? It is what it was.

          In other words, you couldn’t be wrong?

          About women’s right to health and well-being? Nope.

          Do the cows never come home from the pasture on your planet, Luke Breuer?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fca5be17c44f236e9abf53a2227715f46eabe5d94e966d4cd22fbf824156c194.jpg

        • adam

          “What I’m saying is that before 1973, the right to life of a fetus was ‘unknown’. ”

          But this LIE has already been exposed:

          Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person oflife, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

        • adam

          ” What is true is that I’m arguing that some of the fetus’ rights trump some of the woman’s rights.”

          Yes, it is true that you are UNSUCCESSFULLY arguing that, like you are unsuccessful in your theological arguments.

        • adam

          “You would not be here if your right to life in the womb had been violated.”

          Specifically, what right to life in the womb are you talking about?

        • Kodie

          Another example would be in immigration law. I’m not an immigrant or a lawyer, but I gather the issue here that would be relevant is “anchor babies,” pregnant women who cross the border into the US and give birth in the US as a means of creating a citizenship for the child allowing the parent to remain with their child until they can legitimate their own citizenship, rather than going about it by other means.

          The fetus in those cases does not have any rights, nor does the parent. The mother can be deported if pregnant and give birth back in her home country, no damage done or rights taken from, but no rights given to a fetus just for existing inside of a woman who is located within the US border. The baby who is born within the US border is a citizen of the US and granted rights at birth. Otherwise, it could be born in another country and be a citizen of that country instead, and whatever rights that country grants to citizens born within its border. If a fetus from a non-citizen doesn’t have any rights, neither does a fetus from a citizen automatically have any rights until born.

        • Interesting point. If a fetus is a person from day 1, then presumably it’s also an American person (dare I say citizen?) from day 1. The pregnant woman who is here illegally already has her anchor baby.

          I wonder if pro-lifers anticipate this consequence of their stand. Heck–they are probably fine with it. They love life and people of all kinds, right?

        • Myna A.

          Damn, but you, Luke Breuer, are like a barnacle on the bottom of a ship. When will the ship sail, I wonder? Is there ever a moment when it becomes painfully obvious, even to you, that your argument has convinced no one on this landing nor is likely to anytime soon? Do you not ever come to a point where you must concede and agree to disagree? Or, do you argue simply to argue?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnTmBjk-M0c

        • MNb

          He doesn’t care. He only cares about Truth and he’s the Holder of it.

        • Myna A.

          The man would drive St. Francis to the bottle. It makes one want to almost summon a measure of pity for the guy, if he just weren’t so annoying. He’s like the self-hypnotized man standing at the podium with tomato splats on his lapel, unaware the audience has left the room and those who remain have begun to snore.

        • I don’t think @disqus_K3l83uMZuy:disqus and I have fully isolated how and why we disagree. There have been plenty of occasions where I reached such a point and “agreed to disagree”. Usually not someone with your paucity of patience, though.

        • adam

          “I don’t think”

          Yes, we know…

        • Kodie

          I don’t think you should speak for Otto.

        • Myna A.

          My paucity of patience is only outmatched by your inveterate resistance to perceive the landscape beyond your own ego-sphere. You really are the human pretzel, the way you twist and turn any stitch of opposing reality to tailor your ill-fitted suit. It is clear Otto has a sharper grasp of Constitutional Law and of understanding context than your (apparent) pathological need to re-script that simple reality. It’s no wonder others have jumped off the carousel.

        • Would you be willing to jump off the carousel as well?

        • Myna A.

          I already have, you dolt.

        • adam

          “Would you be willing to jump off the carousel as well?”

          Of course the real question is why apologetics HAS TO BE such a carnival ride?

          The most probably answer:

        • adam

          ” If you’re going to explain how it was decided, you don’t get to depend on the results of that decision.”

          There is no need to depend on SCOTUS

          “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. “

        • Kodie

          Where a fetus could have been a person, they declared it not-a-person. But on what reasoning? I don’t see any.

          If you want to reason it is a “person,” you have to deal with its imposition on another human being. In reality, biologically, just knowing what’s in there, it doesn’t even begin to have anything like a brain by 15 weeks. Just because gestating a blob of cells into a baby-shaped blob of cells doesn’t make it a person. But if you insist on calling it a person with rights, so the woman has rights to not be pregnant and have this parasite leaching her blood and tissue to build itself like any other tumor. Its needs in there are not the same as out here.

          So far, you’re refusing to declare what makes it a person when it doesn’t have a brain, and why it deserves to be protected at great physical and financial and emotional cost to a single person you’d force to carry it. You wouldn’t force it on a rape victim, so apparently, you recognize pregnancy and birth as suffering and punishment, and you’re attempting to legislate from your armchair to slutty slutty sluts who got pregnant from consensual sex.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So? If a fetus is a legal person, then the Fourteenth Amendment applies. The state can have an interest in protecting the rights of a person, and this sometimes means abridging others’ rights.

          With some Breuercratic caveats, right?

        • Ignorant Amos

          How does this not beg the question? One of the great traditions of our country is that we continually recognize rights of those who were previously denied them.

          Except for the rights of ectopic and rape victim fetuses, their rights can go to hell. Right? No Double-standard there Luke.

          But you want to exclude unborn humans. What is the rationale?

          So do you, but just the ones you decide have no rights. You want to play at being your god after all. Why do you get to decide but the woman whose rights you want to trample all over doesn’t? Hypocrite.

          It might help to note that Aristotle argued for slavery using the “by its very nature” approach.

          Nope…no help at all…contrary to the beliefs of some. Aristotle got lot’s of stuff wrong.

        • Kodie

          It would be interesting to see what such a “history” would look like. Getting to know your interlocutor’s position so that you can effectively communicate with him/her seems like a pretty rational thing to do. The only way this could be construed as “an out to not answer at all” is if somehow I know my interlocutor has no interest in articulating his/her own position. But I don’t know this, and try not to assume it. What I do know is that it’s much harder to defend a position than critique it. Sometimes I do deny my interlocutor that convenient asymmetry. If you don’t like it, that says something about you.

          What you imagine is happening, what you imagine your role here is producing, is pure delusion. The best is how many people tell you the same way you are, and you continue to believe that it’s just defamation of your character. Your character is a bloviating asshole. It’s an obvious conclusion after dealing with you only a little bit.

        • adam

          “I tell you what, I would be more impressed with an honest answer that I don’t agree with than that type of deflection.”

          but DISHONESTY and deflection are the VERY BEST tools that ‘faith’ provides lil Luke to defend his IMAGINARY ‘God’

        • Kodie

          It’s not irrational or arational to avoid getting sucked into your anti-productive ego-driven delusion of a discussion. There is no point to responding to you, since it goes nowhere, and you ask for more and more and more. The more people give you that you asked of them, the less satisfied you are with their effort, and nitpick on points that don’t fucking matter as a way of evading discussion.

          Can you possibly stop being so shitty? The reason for not answering your questions is always and totally that you suck, Luke. As easy and fun as it is to tell you that, it takes a lot of time. You’re not considerate of anyone’s patience or time, you are an absolute fucking chore. That’s a reason. That it always goes nowhere is a better reason. If someone wished to spend a lot more time on you, the discussion would end in the same place as if their answer was “fuck you, Luke,” and they’d have time to do other stuff.

        • Kodie

          Luke, you have nothing up your sleeve. You are a bully and a whiner, but you have no substance.

        • adam

          ” I will decline to be manipulated that way. It’s such a small price to
          retract & apologize, but I suspect that would be disastrous to your
          argumentative strategy. ”

          Own a mirror, Luke?

        • MNb

          You never had that obligation anyway, so this is just another part of the Lukieboy Show.

        • Kodie

          Your shitty “straw man” obstructions are just obstructions in your mind, and in total denial of what’s being said. You just can’t seem to handle arguments, and cry “straw man” when you don’t have a valid argument. Nobody is obligated to respond to your alien behavior, but they do. Your only shelter is fallacious “straw man” accusations.

        • See: “[potential] someone”. I’m treating human beings as someones, but allowing a distinction between potentiality and actuality.

          Huh?? How does that work? Didn’t you say that it’s a person/human at the 1-cell stage? How/why does potentiality enter into it?

        • Once sperm fertilizes egg, you’ve got yourself a new human being. That’s simple scientific fact. When it comes to personhood, you’ve also got a potential person. Now, at the one-cell stage, virtually nothing about the person has been actualized. At the one-year-old stage, there is still much that has yet to be actualized. One way to recognize the importance of the potentiality/​actuality distinction is that one can harm the potential of a human being. A pregnant mother getting wasted or shooting up can harm the potential of her future child, without it being immediately felt as pain by the fetus. Likewise, I can damage a child’s education, such that the person either never consciously suffers, or only suffers at a much later date. This is another way to harm the potential of a person.

        • Andy_Schueler

          Once sperm fertilizes egg, you’ve got yourself a new human being. That’s simple scientific fact.

          Nope. “Human being” is extremely ambiguous and not a scientific term. To quote wikipedia:
          “Being is an extremely broad concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence.
          Anything that partakes in being is also called a “being”, though often
          this use is limited to entities that have subjectivity
          (as in the
          expression “human being”). ”
          “Human being”, per one very common usage of the term, would most emphatically not be appropriate for a human zygote.

          Now, at the one-cell stage, virtually nothing about the person has been
          actualized. At the one-year-old stage, there is still much that has yet
          to be actualized. One way to recognize the importance of the potentiality/​actuality
          distinction is that one can harm the potential of a human being.

          True. However, there is no good reason to start this continuum at the zygote stage. Why not start at the unfertilized (but mature) egg? Why not start with the immature egg? The exact same is true then – virtually nothing (well, actually precisely nothing) about the potential person has yet been actualized. So, why don’t you consider the harm that you cause to “potential persons” every time you choose to not have unprotected sex with a fertile woman?

        • To quote wikipedia:
          “Being is an extremely broad concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence. Anything that partakes in being is also called a “being”, though often this use is limited to entities that have subjectivity (as in the expression “human being”). “

          There are multiple ways to restrict to entities that have subjectivity: (1) to entities which are currently exhibiting subjectivity; (2) to entities which have previously exhibited subjectivity and have the potential to do so in the future; (3) to entities which have the potential of exhibiting subjectivity; (4) to entities in a class where it is normal for members to experience subjectivity for a significant period of their lives. The text you quote does not necessarily pick out (1) or (2) over (3) or (4).

          “Human being”, per one very common usage of the term, would most emphatically not be appropriate for a human zygote.

          That’s just because there are many conversations where talking about an unborn human is not germane. When it becomes germane, things change. For example, if a mother takes actions which will harm an unborn human (such as get wasted or shoot up), we see that as a crime against the unborn human. Of course, some will only see that as a crime if the unborn human is wanted, which is a perverse way of viewing crime IMO.

          Why not start at the unfertilized (but mature) egg?

          It’s not a potential person. Likewise, a single, non-dating person is not a potential marriage. Two engaged persons are a potential marriage. Two people dating with any serious intent are perhaps a potential marriage, although it gets fuzzy here because marriage is becoming less common IIRC.

        • Andy_Schueler

          There are multiple ways to restrict to entities that have subjectivity: (1) to entities which are currently exhibiting subjectivity; (2) to entities which have previously exhibited subjectivity and have the potential to do so in the future; (3) to entities which have the potential of exhibiting subjectivity; (4) to entities in a class where it is normal for members to experience subjectivity for a significant period of their lives. The text you quote does not necessarily pick out (1) or (2) over (3) or (4).

          See, totally ambiguous, and that’s why “human being” isn’t a scientific term and why your claim is most emphatically not a scientific fact.

          That’s just because there are many conversations where talking about an unborn human is not germane.

          No, that’s rather because a zygote doesn’t have a mind in any way, shape or form.

          It’s not a potential person. Likewise, a single, non-dating person is not a potential marriage. Two engaged persons are a potential marriage. Two people dating with any serious intent are perhaps a potential marriage, although it gets fuzzy here because marriage is becoming less common IIRC.

          Your reasoning is completely arbitrary, you have no rational justification whatsoever for chosing conception as the beginning of the continuum to personhood rather than something before.
          To stay in your marriage example: if two people a) come into existence, b) see each other for the first time, c) talk to each for the first time, d) have their first date, e) consider a committed relationship, f) actually start a committed relationship, g) get engaged – then it’s completely arbitrary to only call everything after g a “potential marriage” (btw, I know people that didn’t even get engaged before getting married).

        • See, totally ambiguous, and that’s why “human being” isn’t a scientific term and why your claim is most emphatically not a scientific fact.

          Ahh, I capitulate: «term used unscientifically» cannot be deployed to indicate «scientific fact».

          No, that’s rather because a zygote doesn’t have a mind in any way, shape or form.

          Is it a crime for me to intentionally damage the zygote growing in a random woman, a zygote she intends to carry to term? Let us suppose that this damage does not materially affect her pregnancy.

          Your reasoning is completely arbitrary, you have no rational justification whatsoever for chosing conception as the beginning of the continuum to personhood rather than something before.

          What determines arbitrariness or lack thereof? I should think that conscious human choice is a way to introduce non-arbitrariness, but I can see how a belief in determinism might destroy some of those distinctions.

        • Andy_Schueler

          Is it a crime for me to intentionally damage the zygote growing in a random woman, a zygote she intends to carry to term? Let us suppose that this damage does not materially affect her pregnancy.

          If we’d assume that you have some sci-fi technology that allows you to cause genetic defects within the zygote without causing any damage to any other cell within the body of the woman, and further assume that the zygote / embryo is spontaneously aborted a few days later for reasons that have nothing to do with those genetic defects, then what you did was not legally wrong (there is no law that would prohibit using said sci-fi technology in a way that causes zero harm to the woman or her offspring (setting aside that no one could possibly know that you even used that technology without you telling them first)) and I’d say that it is morally completely neutral (you used said sci-fi technology in a manner that has morally uninteresting consequences). Would you say that it would have been morally wrong? If so, for what reasons?

          What determines arbitrariness or lack thereof? I should think that conscious human choice is a way to introduce non-arbitrariness…

          “arbitrary”: “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one’s discretion:”
          Your choices (determined or otherwise) are irrelevant, either you do have good reasons for a distinction or you do not have them – and you do not have them. Your choice to start the continuum after fertilization as opposed to some earlier moment is based on personal preference and not on any properties that the cell objectively has after fertilization but not before.

        • Would you say that it would have been morally wrong? If so, for what reasons?

          Yes, because murdering a person releases you neither from moral obligations, nor moral culpability.

          “arbitrary”: “subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one’s discretion:”

          That’s an odd definition; here’s the one Google presents to me: “based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system”. Nature is arbitrary, while humans can be rational. You would actually flip that, and make nature rational and humans arbitrary?

          Your choice to start the continuum after fertilization as opposed to some earlier moment is based on personal preference and not on any properties that the cell objectively has after fertilization but not before.

          I’m pretty sure that my choices are (i) quite relevant before fertilization; (ii) quite irrelevant after fertilization, as regards the existence of a new person and his/her inevitable development, sans defects, miscarriage, and abortion.

        • Andy_Schueler

          Yes, because murdering a person releases you neither from moral obligations, nor moral culpability.

          Please read a comment before you reply to it. In the scenario I described in the comment you replied to, you would have neither killed a person, nor would you have caused the death of a cell.

          That’s an odd definition; here’s the one Google presents to me: “based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system”.

          Please read comments before you reply to them. Your definition is in congruence with the one I copied.

          I’m pretty sure that my choices are (i) quite relevant before fertilization…

          Yes. But I accuse you of being arbitrary wrt choosing the starting point of the development of human personhood – and whether you do or don’t choose to procreate has literally nothing whatsoever to do with whether fertilization does or doesn’t indicate the beginning of the development of personhood.
          Again, please read what you are replying to.

        • Please read a comment before you reply to it. In the scenario I described in the comment you replied to, you would have neither killed a person, nor would you have caused the death of a cell.

          Person A tortures person X. Person B then kills person X. Persons A and B had no relation. Both are morally culpable. The fact that person X no longer exists is irrelevant to that moral culpability. But you are correct; person A is culpable for torture not murder, while person B is culpable for murder. (Yes, I misread this in your comment; my apologies. And I replaced “cause genetic defects” with “torture”; you can object if you must.)

          Please read comments before you reply to them. Your definition is in congruence with the one I copied.

          The terms “judgment” and “discretion” are strongly associated with “reason” and “system” in my mind. Are they not, in yours?

          Yes. But I accuse you of being arbitrary wrt choosing the starting point of the development of human personhood – and whether you do or don’t choose to procreate has literally nothing whatsoever to do with whether fertilization does or doesn’t indicate the beginning of the development of personhood.

          You go ahead and accuse me of thinking that a fertilized egg is a person, while an egg and a sperm are not. You’ve provided zero indication for what you would consider arbitrary vs. nonarbitrary in this realm; I wouldn’t be surprised if you deny the possibility of such a distinction. You’re welcome to say why, if you do so-deny.

          Again, please read what you are replying to.

          Stop thinking acting as if you’re perfect in how you write your comments.

        • Andy_Schueler

          Person A tortures person X. Person B then kills person X. Persons A and B had no relation. Both are morally culpable. The fact that person X no longer exists is irrelevant to that moral culpability.

          Has nothing to do with what I said because you cannot torture a cell. What you can do is indirectly cause harm to a sentient being a cell might develop into – but if that development is never going to happen anyway, you can’t even do that.

          The terms “judgment” and “discretion” are strongly associated with “reason” and “system” in my mind. Are they not, in yours?

          Not interested in nitpicking semantics.

          You go ahead and accuse me of thinking that a fertilized egg is a person, while an egg and a sperm are not. You’ve provided zero indication for what you would consider arbitrary vs. nonarbitrary in this realm

          I have pointed out that your position that the development of personhood begins with fertilization (as opposed to an earlier moment) is not grounded in any objective property that the cell has after fertilization and not before, and that your position is thus based on personal preference alone, hence “arbitrary”. That is not my idiosyncratic conception of “arbitrary”, that’s what the word means FFS. And I don’t have to provide any indication of what “I would consider arbitrary vs nonarbitrary” because, again, this isn’t about my idiosyncratic preferences, it is rather objectively true that you cannot ground your choice of the beginning of the development of personhood in anything that the cell objectively has after fertilization but not before.

        • Has nothing to do with what I said because you cannot torture a cell. What you can do is indirectly cause harm to a sentient being a cell might develop into – but if that development is never going to happen anyway, you can’t even do that.

          On this basis, if I permanently harm a child’s future ability to gain a good education, that doesn’t count as a crime if I then kill the child before [s]he experiences any of the ill consequences from said harm. I don’t buy this reasoning. Harm to potential is still harm.

          Not interested in nitpicking semantics.

          When those semantics are crucial as to whether a couple’s choice to have kids is arbitrary or nonarbitrary, I wouldn’t call it “nitpicking”. The idea, as far as I understand, is to pick nonarbitrary points in an otherwise continuous process. What punctuates the continuum is human choice.

          I have pointed out that your position that the development of personhood begins with fertilization (as opposed to an earlier moment) is not grounded in any objective property that the cell has after fertilization and not before, and that your position is thus based on personal preference alone, hence “arbitrary”.

          I bet you that most people I talk to would think that a fertilized egg is objectively very different from an unfertilized egg, and that this difference is very important when it comes to personhood. I wouldn’t be surprised if I could tease something like the following reasoning out of said people: “Other than the mother feeding herself, she needs to do nothing for that fertilized egg to become a human. In contrast, something very specific has to happen for an unfertilized egg to become a human.”

          And I don’t have to provide any indication of what “I would consider arbitrary vs nonarbitrary” because, again, this isn’t about my idiosyncratic preferences, […]

          I’m not asking about your idiosyncratic preferences. Ostensibly, you can separate out your idiosyncratic thoughts from those aimed toward objective analysis. I’m asking for the latter kind of thoughts.

        • Andy_Schueler

          On this basis, if I permanently harm a child’s future ability…

          Moot from the get go, there is no future ability because there won’t be a future child.

          Harm to potential is still harm

          I doubt that you actually believe this because then you’d have to agree that you are harming a person every time you choose to not have unprotected sex with a fertile woman – but you don’t. So either you yourself don’t believe what you say here or you are being inconsistent.

          When those semantics are crucial as to whether a couple’s choice to have kids is arbitrary or nonarbitrary…

          …then it would be a complete red herring wrt the subject at hand, which is when the development towards personhood begins and whether or not you are being arbitrary by picking fertilization as opposed to some earlier or later moment.

          I bet you that most people I talk to would think that a fertilized egg is objectively very different from an unfertilized egg…

          And they’d be right to think that, but as long as those objective differences don’t relate to personhood – this is another red herring.

          …and that this difference is very important when it comes to personhood

          I’m not sure how many would actually agree with that after thinking about it for a while.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if I could tease something like the following reasoning out of said people: “Other than the mother feeding herself, she needs to do nothing for that fertilized egg to become a human. In contrast, something very specific has to happen for an unfertilized egg to become a human.”

          You might be able to tease that out, but it would be a muddle-headed response for several reasons. To pick out the two most important ones:
          1. X will most likely eventually “become” a human being is not identical to “x corresponds to the first step in the development of personhood”.
          2. “Very specific” things have to happen after fertilization as well, e.g. implantation into the uterus. That those very specific things do not require the woman to actively do anything other than sustaining her body is completely uninteresing wrt when the development of personhood has begun.

          And such responses illustrate how you are being arbitrary, you grasp at any straw that looks like a difference between fertilization and other steps in the human developmental cycle, but you don’t even try to argue how said difference is in any way relevant for the question as to when personhood begins to develop.

          I’m not asking about your idiosyncratic preferences. Ostensibly, you can separate out your idiosyncratic thoughts from those aimed toward objective analysis. I’m asking for the latter kind of thoughts.

          I fail to see your problem here, all you’d have to do (hypothetically) would be to construct an argument along the line of “The human zygote has the objective differences x compared to the unfertilized human egg and those differences mark the beginning of the development of personhood because y”.
          You are being arbitrary because all you do is look for differences that distinguish your a priori chosen moment (fertilization), but you never go to the step where you would construct an argument that demonstrates how those differences are actually of any relevance wrt to the beginning of the development of personhood.

        • adam

          “So either you yourself don’t believe what you say here or you are being dishonest.”
          ftfy

        • Moot from the get go, there is no future ability because there won’t be a future child.

          Yep, we disagree on whether damaging potential is immoral.

          I doubt that you actually believe this because then you’d have to agree that you are harming a person every time you choose to not have unprotected sex with a fertile woman – but you don’t.

          I don’t think “potential person” is valid, here.

          …then it would be a complete red herring wrt the subject at hand, which is when the development towards personhood begins and whether or not you are being arbitrary by picking fertilization as opposed to some earlier or later moment.

          Unless the time-evolution of reality is punctuated by a non-arbitrary human decision.

          I’m not sure how many would actually agree with that after thinking about it for a while.

          And if you’re wrong, would they still be wrong? What we’re really dealing with here is you not giving a flying fuck about my own thoughts, which is fine—I can work only with thoughts with which others would agree. Then you can treat me as a non-person when it comes to my thoughts (you could assign all of them to the category ‘idiosyncratic’, while not treating yourself symmetrically).

          1. X will most likely eventually “become” a human being is not identical to “x corresponds to the first step in the development of personhood”.

          Straw man.

          2. “Very specific” things have to happen after fertilization as well, e.g. implantation into the uterus. That those very specific things do not require the woman to actively do anything other than sustaining her body is completely uninteresing wrt when the development of personhood has begun.

          Irrelevant.

          I fail to see your problem here, all you’d have to do (hypothetically) would be to construct an argument along the line of “The human zygote has the objective differences x compared to the unfertilized human egg and those differences mark the beginning of the development of personhood because y”.

          So am I basically supposed to present you with an ‘is’ ⇒ ‘ought’ argument?

        • Andy_Schueler

          Yep, we disagree on whether damaging potential is immoral.

          Not really, we actually agree, but when it suits you – you decide that something isn’t a potential person based on personal whim.

          I don’t think “potential person” is valid, here.

          Of course you don’t. Personal whims ftw.

          Unless the time-evolution of reality is punctuated by a non-arbitrary human decision.

          Indeed! The atmossphere pressure boiling point of water is 100°C, unless the time-evolution of reality is punctuated by a non-arbitrary human decision.
          Srsly though, put the crack pipe away.

          And if you’re wrong, would they still be wrong? What we’re really dealing with here is you not giving a flying fuck about my own thoughts…

          Yup, especially not when you are high as you seem to be now. Your thoughts don’t magically change reality, no matter how strongly you wish it were so.

          Straw man.

          Liar.

          Irrelevant.

          Liar.

          So am I basically supposed to present you with an ‘is’ ⇒ ‘ought’ argument?

          So when you browsed your collection of canned responses, the is-ought crap is the one that seemed most on topic? Despite the fact that nothing we have been talking about in this part of the thread even so much as hinted at any “ought”?
          Alright, that means you have no rational answer at all.

        • Kodie

          “Other than the mother feeding herself, she needs to do nothing for that fertilized egg to become a human. In contrast, something very specific has to happen for an unfertilized egg to become a human.”

          Do you think god does all the work in there? The fertilized egg enslaves a woman’s body to make itself into a person. It’s not a person yet, it’s a parasite. If you had any other parasite living inside you and growing because all you had to do was eat, and it was ravaging your body, you’d have it removed as soon as possible, with no regard for its life or potential. You seem to think it’s just a cozy little place for a fertilized egg to develop, and pretty much the same for the woman as not being pregnant, only she gets a little fat. And yet, in another post you made, you felt sympathy for a hypothetical rape victim, in that she shouldn’t be “made to suffer any more than she already has.”

          So, you do know what it must be like for a woman, you just don’t care. She did the fucking on her own, and she has to be “made to suffer”. That’s implied in your shitty thinking.

        • Harm to potential is still harm.

          Not relevant if you’re trying to draw a parallel to a fetus. The child today is a person. Harming the person today is bad; harming its future is also bad. Compare that to the developing human. At one cell, it isn’t a person. An abortion at this stage isn’t harm for this reason. If you wait until it’s 5 years old and then kill it, you’re killing a person.

          The single cell has nothing but potential, while a child has plenty of value, both now and in the future.

          The comparison fails.

        • We disagree; I do not think a being needs to have actualized any of its potential in order for harming its potential to be immoral and probably, criminal. Were you not interested in defending abortion, you’d have no need to add that proviso.

        • The difference is that the child is a person now. The single cell isn’t a person, so worrying about what it might be is unhelpful. That’s the enormous difference in the two things you’re trying to parallel.

          Were you not interested in defending abortion, you’d have no need to add that proviso.

          Whether or not something is a person now makes all the difference. The lustful thought has the potential to be a person–does that count? Where does it stop?

          Suggestion: raise any concern you want but don’t impose your opinions on others by law.

        • The difference is that the child is a person now. The single cell isn’t a person, so worrying about what it might be is unhelpful. That’s the enormous difference in the two things you’re trying to parallel.

          Is it anything other than an arbitrary definition that “The single cell isn’t a person”? Recall here that we’re talking about legal-person, not “human able to feel pain”, “human able to exist outside of the womb”, etc. You agree with ‘is’ ⇏ ‘ought’, right?

          Whether or not something is a person now makes all the difference. The lustful thought has the potential to be a person–does that count? Where does it stop?

          I should think it’s obvious where it stops: at fertilization. A gamete is not a potential person. A distinct human is 1+ cells, with ≈ 46 chromosomes, of different DNA than his/her parents.

          Suggestion: raise any concern you want but don’t impose your opinions on others by law.

          This wouldn’t be a problem if abortion failed to impose the opinion of one human on another human, to the latter human’s extermination. Let’s see if your view of whether a ‘distinct human’ is a person or not is actually also your opinion, shall we?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Is it anything other than an arbitrary definition that “The single cell isn’t a person”? …[going up-stream on the river of “potential”] stops: at fertilization. A gamete is not a potential person. A distinct human is 1+ cells, with ≈ 46 chromosomes, of different DNA than his/her parents.

          What happens if that single cell later on splits unusually and becomes two sets of embryos?

          Are each of the two identical twins born 3/4s of a year later .5 person?

          Does a woman who aborts those two embryos at week 6 become guilty of double-homicide?

          If those two embryos develop for a week, and then one absorbs the other….

          does the surviving fetus get charged with manslaughter when it is born?

        • Susan

          does the surviving fetus get charged with manslaughter when it is born?

          I am guessing that Luke Breuer will not respond to that question because:

          1) He is raising the stakes (punishing you) for your strawmanning addressing the consequences of your best attempts to make something of a model that Luke alludes to endlessly but does nothing to support.

          2) He has nothing but blue links that lead nowhere.

          3) You are being mean to him because you have always enjoyed the luxuries of being part of the archetypical ingroup.

          4) All of the above.

          Good question, though. Maybe someone from Luke’s ingroup will show up one day and address it.

          Then, I will take notice and respond accordingly.

        • Paul B. Lot

          🙂

        • What happens if that single cell later on splits unusually and becomes two sets of embryos?

          You have two persons. Why on earth would this scenario matter to the discussion at hand? Are you attempting to destroy distinctions and say that the only resulting option is for us to make a distinction based on preference?

          Does a woman who aborts those two embryos at week 6 become guilty of double-homicide?

          If an embryo qualifies as a legal person, obviously “yes”.

          If those two embryos develop for a week, and then one absorbs the other….

          does the surviving fetus get charged with manslaughter when it is born?

          Seeing as neither negilgence nor intent were involved, the answer would be an uniquivocal “no”. You should have known this from extant jurisprudence.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Why on earth would this scenario matter to the discussion at hand?

          I’m asking you questions to help me understand what you think constitutes a legal and/or moral “person”.

          You have two persons.

          At which point in the process does the [one person] become [two people]? At which point, specifically?

          Seeing as neither negilgence nor intent were involved, the answer would be an uniquivocal “no”.

          So the surviving fetus has committed a homicide, but it is not criminal in nature. On your view.

          Excellent, I’m making progress.

          Engaging in activities, which increase the likelihood of polyzygotic fertilizations, or increase the likelihood of monozygotic splitting, directly increase the chances of fetal death/homicide.

          Could the state, therefore, prove negligence on the mother’s part? Multifetal pregnancies have a fairly high incidence of ‘resorption’, perhaps higher than we currently know.

          Could women pregnant with twins be charged with involuntary manslaughter on the basis of negligence, then, if ‘resorption’ occurs?

          You should have known this from extant jurisprudence.

          a) I am not a lawyer. b) I am learning about your views, not the current prevailing interpretations of law.

          Are you attempting to destroy distinctions and say that the only resulting option is for us to make a distinction based on preference?

          No, I am attempting to use the Socratic method to find out what it is you actually believe, and what the implications of those beliefs are.

          Does a woman who aborts those two embryos at week 6 become guilty of double-homicide?

          If an embryo qualifies as a legal person, obviously “yes”.

          Do you believe it is important that people be brought up on charges for murder/homicide/manslaughter?

        • I’m asking you questions to help me understand what you think constitutes a legal and/or moral “person”.

          It’s no more or less acceptable to abort with the scenarios you’ve raised. Thus: what is their relevance to the discussion at hand?

          At which point in the process does the [one person] become [two people]? At which point, specifically?

          Using Bob’s terminology, it would be better to say ‘potential person’. And the answer would be when barring absorption or miscarriage, when the trajectory is set such that two humans will be born. That seems rather obvious. We very commonly speak about the regular scenario, with deviations being sometimes relevant and sometimes irrelevant.

          So the surviving fetus has committed a homicide, but it is not criminal in nature.

          No:

          OED: homicide: The deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another; murder

          No deliberation was involved (see my “no intent”). Is this where I get to accuse you of “misus[ing] words or phrases (seemingly) unknowingly yourself, or misread the words/phrases of others”, or perhaps “choos[ing] words/​phrases (seemingly) for motives other than clarity, trusting on an unusual/​esoteric/​fractionally-correct interpretation”?

          I’m going to stop there, because I find it extremely frustrating that you are so harsh on me for misusing words, when you yourself end up doing the same thing. This, especially because the kerfuffle with “deceptive” turned on intention, and I was utterly explicit about intention in this current situation. This seems like flagrant hypocrisy on multiple levels, to me. One option is that you (and others) just stop attacking my intellectual/​moral character, but it seems like this is not considered valid. As long as that’s the case, I’ll harp on (apparent) hypocrisy.

        • Paul B. Lot

          It’s no more or less acceptable to abort with the scenarios you’ve raised.

          I am not asking you about in which scenarios it is, or is not, acceptable to abort. I am asking you questions about your definition of “person”, when we have an instance of [one], when we have an instance of [two], when we have an instance of [zero]….on your view.

          Using Bob’s terminology

          I don’t care about Bob’s terminology. Bob’s terminology doesn’t bother me. Bob’s arguments and attempts at reasoning don’t bother me.

          Yours do.

          So I’m asking you questions about YOUR view.

          Given this (new?) information, would you care to elucidate on the original question? At which point in the process does the [one person] become [two people]? At which point, specifically?

          So the surviving fetus has committed a homicide, but it is not criminal in nature.

          No:

          OED: homicide: The deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another; murder

          No deliberation was involved (see my “no intent”).

          Oh dear.

          Do you not recall how recently you were peevishly chiding me for knowing “extant jurisprudence”? It was about two hours ago. My my, how quickly you like hoisting yourself on your own potatoes.

          Sigh. Let me walk you through this slowly, come on: I’ll hold your hand.

          I asked you a question a day ago:

          If those two embryos develop for a week, and then one absorbs the other….does the surviving fetus get charged with manslaughter when it is born?

          Your response to that question was:

          Seeing as neither negilgence nor intent were involved, the answer would be an uniquivocal “no”.

          So, point by point.
          1) We have two human persons.
          2) One caused the death of the other.
          3) #2 is called “homicide”. “Homicide occurs when one human being causes the death of another human being.[1]” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homicide )
          4) American jurisprudence delineates two major forms of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary.
          5) You claimed that the surviving fetus would be innocent of manslaughter chargers, voluntary or involuntary, because there would be no way to prove either intent or negligence on the surviving fetus’ part.
          6) According to tfd: “Accidental killings that do not result from the defendant’s criminal Negligence and do not occur during the commission of a crime are not criminal offenses in these jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions expressly classify accidental killings as excusable or justifiable homicides”.
          7) So while all such surviving fetuses are [not guilty of a crime], and thus are innocent of any sort of manslaughter charges, they have still commited an act of homicide.

          I should have expected better of you, given your condescending remark about jurisprudence, but, then again, I know better than to have expectations of you. 🙂

          So, no. You are wrong. Again.

          Is this where I get to accuse you

          You may feel free to accuse me of whatever you like, it won’t stop you from looking like a petulant goofball who doesn’t know when to cite [every-day definitions] vs. when to cite [legal definitions].

          I find it extremely frustrating that you are so harsh on me for misusing words, when you yourself end up doing the same thing.

          And yet you were wrong about this word as well, and so I am guilty of doing no such thing. Better luck next time, though. (Sorry you feel hurt about it.)

          This, especially because the kerfuffle with “deceptive” turned on intention, and I was utterly explicit about intention in this current situation. This seems like flagrant hypocrisy on multiple levels, to me. One option is that you (and others) just stop attacking my intellectual/​moral character, but it seems like this is not considered valid. As long as that’s the case, I’ll harp on (apparent) hypocrisy.

          You can’t know how much this pleases me.

          It’s so nice to see you do exactly what I would expect.

          A) Be wrong about something.
          B) Show no hesitation or hint of awareness that A) could be possible.
          C) Go on a self-pitying/aggrandizing rant about how mean everyone is to you and hypocrisy and poor Luke waaaaaaaaaan
          D) Goto A).

          Now that we’ve dealt with this, latest, of your examples of gross incompetence, let’s get on with the Socratic method.

          You failed to answer this question:

          Could women pregnant with twins be charged with involuntary manslaughter on the basis of negligence, then, if ‘resorption’ occurs?

          You also failed to answer this one:

          Do you believe it is important that people be brought up on charges for murder/homicide/manslaughter?

          —-

          PS. I promise you I’ll try to get around to correcting you on your still-wrong take on the @MichaelNeville/@disqus_xYWVllyPLU:disqus/me “deceptive” thing. It’s just that you are so wrong and so deeply invested/argumented in that wrongness that the effort it will take to un-fuck your bullshit is enormous.

          I didn’t have the heart to do it before now, though it’s been bothering me since you made your original statements.

          I just doubt that you can appreciate how awfully exhausting it is to deal with your near-constant incompetence. :-/

          You move so quickly from one fuckwitery to the next, and they so often compound and build on each other, that your sandcastles of wrong are more work than [my love of seeing truth/beauty/rational discourse] is worth to erode.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Am still waiting on him acknowledging the potential of the foetus when an ectopic pregnancy is aborted. Some double standards will apply.

        • Kodie

          That’s really easy. As far as he’s aware, the ectopic pregnancy has no potential. It’s exactly the same materially as a fertilized egg attached to the uterine wall, but if allowed to progress, it will kill the woman and will not itself live any further, so it definitely won’t become a person and has no potential. So to him, it is already dead. Even though it’s the same. Materially.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So to him, it is already dead. Even though it’s the same. Materially.

          And that would be fair enough in Luke World a suppose, sort of, if ALL ectopic pregnancies resulted in the end of life for either the “potential” person or woman, but given that is not so in ALL cases, Luke here, is arbitrarily ignoring a group of “potential” persons rights on his own personal whims. He has fucked his own argument right up the arse by making the caveat and because he’s Luke and hates to be seen as wrong, coupled with the fact he has no rational way out of his hypocrisy because it is out there, he must ignore references to his own moral double-standard while all the time squirming when it gets mentioned. He is hilarious to watch with his not-so-Dudley-Do-Right philosophising on the quibbles of the matter.

          Maybe Luke should’ve done a basic Google search before flapping his gums, or maybe he just thought he knew more than he does…typical D-K…either way, he warrants the destruction of human “potential” on his terms, something he withholds from mothers.

          http://www.asons.co.uk/resources/ectopic-pregnancy-not-always-a-death-sentence/

        • 3) #2 is called “homicide”. “Homicide occurs when one human being causes the death of another human being.[1]” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… )

          Oh, I see. When a dictionary disagrees with your use of a word, you just go somewhere else, where there’s a definition which works. But when I do that, it’s wrong. So for example:

          OED: deceive: (Of a person) cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage:
          ‘I didn’t intend to deceive people into thinking it was French champagne’

          There are actually three reasons to think that it doesn’t necessarily involve intent:

          (1) the use of “typically”
          (2) the example sentence would have ‘intend’ be redundant
          (3) one can gain some personal advantage without [consciously] intending to

          Or we could go here:

          dictionary.com: deceive: to mislead or falsely persuade others; practice deceit

          So actually, “to deceive” can mean “to mislead”. Fancy that. Now we can play the thesuarus game in a non-prejudiced manner:

          thesaurus.com: mislead: betray cheat deceive defraud delude dupe entice fool fudge hoodwink lie misguide misinform misrepresent tempt

          thesuarus.com: deceive: betray cheat circumvent defraud delude disappoint dupe entrap falsify fool hoodwink swindle trick victimize

          So if I had used the word “mislead”, my guess is that you’d have posted a similar list of synonyms”. After all, you could have gone here:

          dictionary.com: mislead: to be misleading; tend to deceive

          Then you could pick out ‘deceive’, and maintain your case. After all, we have this:

          dictionary.com: misleading: deceptive; tending to mislead

          So instead of allowing that a dictionary allows a plausible definition whereby I do not say that @michaelneville:disqus intentionally misled others† (that is, whereby I do not say that he lied), you find a way to simply ignore it so that you can maintain your stranglehold on meanings. I’m not going to play that game further—it’s stupid and a waste of time. You apparently care more about such matters than substantive issues.

          † I do suspect he could gain personal advantage when he uses moral language with an anti-realist meaning, with people who he knows would attribute a realist meaning—all without being explicit that he disagrees on the realism vs. anti-realism aspect. This may have been part of why I chose the word ‘deceptive’ instead of ‘misleading’.

          P.S. I’m perfectly happy to allow that the legal definition of ‘homicide’ doesn’t require intentionality, whether to cause death or harm. I made a big deal about a particular definition to make a point. Clearly, when there is an plausible alternative definition which works for what you said, you are happy to latch onto it. But I’m not allowed this right. This has been made abundantly clear with you, Susan, and @michaelneville:disqus. Perhaps Ignorant Amos as well; I no longer pay much attention to his comments.

        • Greg G.

          What happens if that single cell later on splits unusually and becomes two sets of embryos?

          You have two persons. Why on earth would this scenario matter to the discussion at hand? Are you attempting to destroy distinctions and say that the only resulting option is for us to make a distinction based on preference?

          It shows that your personhood argument is not decided at that stage. I have shown you that it can be many people (just recently, All girls! Identical quadruplets surprise, delight newlyweds) or multiple fertilized eggs can become one person.

          Personhood comes much later.

          EDIT: Also fertilized egg may end up as no person. It may have a fatal genetic disorder that prevents it from developing.

        • That’s like saying, “Because he could have died of a heart attack two minutes after he was shot, that’s relevant to whether we call it murder or not.”

        • Greg G.

          It’s nothing like that.

        • Greg G.

          If you shoot someone two minutes after the person is declared dead, it’s not murder. After the heart stops, there are still some cellular processes that continue to function. Those processes would continue after you shot the corpse.

        • That’s true, and irrelevant. My comment places the shooting before the possible, subsequent heart attack.

        • Greg G.

          So what? My comment is relevant to the issue of personhood. Yours is not.

        • Kodie

          What is it that is a person to you? Answer that question and stop avoiding answering that question.

        • adam

          “If an embryo qualifies as a legal person, obviously “yes”.”

          So your answer is obviously NO.

          “Seeing as neither negilgence nor intent were involved, ”

          Sorry, but AGAIN, you’ve failed to demonstrate this.

        • adam

          “You have two persons.”

          So you dont have a human at fertilization…

          Not yet anyway..

        • adam

          “Recall here that we’re talking about legal-person,”

          Again, the 14th Amendment spells out legal personage legally.

        • adam

          ” A distinct human is 1+ cells, with ≈ 46 chromosomes,”

          So does a guppy

          And a Chinese muntjac

        • Is it anything other than an arbitrary definition that “The single cell isn’t a person”?

          Arbitrary means, “not planned or chosen for a particular reason.” No, it’s not arbitrary.

          I see persons all the time. Seems obvious to me that something you need a microscope to see isn’t one.

          You agree with ‘is’ ⇏ ‘ought’, right?

          Sure, in an absolute sense. Not in the sense that we use the words, though.

          I should think it’s obvious where it stops: at fertilization.

          Is that anything other than an arbitrary definition?

          A gamete is not a potential person.

          Perhaps you need to go back to your textbook on human biology. Or maybe your dictionary for the definition of “potential.”

          This wouldn’t be a problem if abortion failed to impose the opinion of one human on another human, to the latter human’s extermination.

          You traffic in the conventional definition of “human” (like: those things that were killed in the Holocaust), but if “human” in this context means things you must use a microscope to see, who cares?

        • Arbitrary means, “not planned or chosen for a particular reason.” No, it’s not arbitrary.

          Sorry, I should have said something which more clearly works from ‘is’ ⇏ ‘ought’, and ask how big the non-empirical contribution is to what qualifies as a ‘person’. The sense I was going after ‘arbitrary’ is that which is true of mere ‘preference’ and mere ‘opinion’.

          I see persons all the time. Seems obvious to me that something you need a microscope to see isn’t one.

          But is this anything but a random psychological fact about your evolved brain? Your evolved moral intuitions are well-suited to tribal living; that doesn’t mean that what immediately strikes you as the case in the West today is a good way of thinking about things.

          Is that anything other than an arbitrary definition?

          A distinct human starts existing exactly at the time of fertilization. What’s arbitrary about that?

          Perhaps you need to go back to your textbook on human biology. Or maybe your dictionary for the definition of “potential.”

          The dictionary isn’t going to help much with a situation like this. You’ll need something more rigorous, like A–T metaphysics. Otherwise, you can say that at the big bang, all that exists now was ‘potential’. Such reasoning constitutes a refusal to make distinctions. I doubt that textbooks on human biology will be terribly useful, here—although they might define ‘human’ as a being with ≈ 46 chromosomes, with the potential or actual ability to reproduce. (For the nitpickers: we’d ignore genetic, developmental, and other problems which eliminate fertility.)

          You traffic in the conventional definition of “human” (like: those things that were killed in the Holocaust), but if “human” in this context means things you must use a microscope to see, who cares?

          I’ve intentionally let you have your word ‘person’; using ‘human’ is much simpler than something like ‘an instance of the organism Homo sapiens‘. As to “who cares?”, the same question could be asked of chattel slaves, women, foreigners, and the oppressed, in ages past. In those ages, many people chose not to care, and we see what kinds of worlds they built: ones where only certain humans are valued. You can continue believing in that principle; I will not.

        • adam

          “As to “who cares?”, the same question could be asked of chattel slaves,
          women, foreigners, and the oppressed, in ages past. In those ages, many
          people chose not to care, and we see what kinds of worlds they built:
          ones where only certain humans are valued. ”

          But they DID care, Luke, they CARED what bible ‘God’ commanded of them.

        • Paul B. Lot

          A distinct human starts existing exactly at the time of fertilization. What’s arbitrary about that?

          This simplistic statement bears a tenuous-at-best relationship to the facts of human conception and embryo development.

          This has been pointed out to you, repeatedly.

        • None of those developmental facts is relevant to my use of ‘distinct human’.

        • Paul B. Lot

          None of those developmental facts is relevant to my use of ‘distinct human’.

          This is false.

          A monozygotic pregnancy during which a single [distinct human starts existing exactly at the time of fertilization] can lead to more than one “distinct humans” (on your view) later down the line.

          Thus “the time of fertilization” is not the important aspect of your definition of “distinct human starts existing”.

          Thus your simplistic statement bears a tenuous relationship, at best, both to reality and your own muddy system of classification.

          You are wrong.

          Again.

        • Do tell me how your reasoning here has any additional moral import over my model. There is a wealth of interesting factual phenomena here—I don’t dispute that. What I ask is about the moral relevance, with regard to the permissibility or impermissibility of abortion.

        • Greg G.

          Moral? We are arguing “is”. You are trying to force an “ought” into it.

          When a person has a basal cell carcinoma, it is a simple procedure to remove it. The sample is sent to a lab which inspects to be sure there is healthy skin tissue around the perimeter of the cancer because if it goes to edge of the sample, it is a sign that some was missed. Is it a moral issue for you to remove healthy tissue?

        • No, I’m saying that when one integrates empirical fact into moral reasoning, not all matters of empirical fact are relevant. Some distinctions in the empirical realm are irrelevant in the moral realm.

          Why on earth would it be a moral issue to remove healthy tissue when the sole purpose is to enhance human life? The problem is when the enhancing of one human life extinguishes another.

        • Myna A.

          I’m saying that when one integrates empirical fact into moral reasoning, not all matters of empirical fact are relevant.

          Empirical fact?

        • adam

          “No, I’m saying that when one integrates empirical fact into moral reasoning”

          So you’ve FAILED on BOTH accounts…

          Repeatedly and consistently….

        • Kodie

          No, he’s admitting a fertilized egg is not a person. The empirical fact is that it is not yet a person. Yet, the superstitious moral qualms take over – it will be a person, so that is virtually the same – he is taking a stand on the morality of ending a (potential) person’s life over the empirical fact he cryptically admits that it isn’t a person. “Yet” is a big 3-letter word.

        • Ignorant Amos

          With the exception of certain Breuercratic conditions, then that “potential” and “yet” can go fuck itself.

        • Greg G.

          A fertilized egg is a cell, it is not a person. It might be a person some day or two, three, four or five. Two fertilized cells may end up as two or one single person. Or they may end up as zero people. You are counting your chickens before they are hatched. Biological life is not the same as a human person. You are stuck in equivocation.

        • FYI I’ve generally argued that an embryo and a fetus are both potential persons. That is to be distinguished from a legal person; it is my understanding that we sometimes legally protect potentiality. So a potential person could be a legal person.

        • Greg G.

          The rights of a potential person should not infringe upon the rights of an actual person, especially when it involves body autonomy.

        • Yeah, I’m clear on the fact that you and several others here believe that. Most of those who would disagree (because of threat of death) are exterminated before they can voice their disagreement. This is how it’s generally been (the voice of the oppressed is heavily suppressed), except here the suppression is perfect. And yes, I get that you probably (i) don’t care about either of these things; and/or (ii) think my phrasing trades on meanings which are invalid. My response to (ii) is that humans have long constructed imaginary moral dichotomies (I just said as much to you), and the way to break them down is precisely to trade on meanings the way I am. The claim is that which is empirically valid (in some way) is morally irrelevant.

        • MNb

          They are exterminated before they even can disagree, silly. That’s on of the main points.
          Suppose I grind a stone.

          “Most of the stones who would disagree (because of threat of death) are exterminated while they can’t voice their disagreement. This is how it’s generally been (the voice of the oppressed is heavily suppressed),”
          Exactly the same argument, exactly the same nonsense, for exactly the same reason: they are not capable of agreeing with anything.

          “that humans have long constructed imaginary moral dichotomies.”
          And you give yourself a nice example of a dichotomy (albeit not a moral one).
          iii. your arguments are not valid.

        • Michael Neville

          So you still believe that a non-sentient clump of cells overrides the rights of a sentient, adult woman. Is that because you hate women or is it just because you don’t give a rat’s ass about women?

        • Kodie

          I’m still not seeing the problem with these things needing a voice. What I see you do is keep spinning and spinning your idea as though it made any sense.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Most of those who would disagree (because of threat of death) are exterminated before they can voice their disagreement. This is how it’s generally been (the voice of the oppressed is heavily suppressed), except here the suppression is perfect.

          Show me your data on this assertion.

          Explain to us how you can possibly know that “most” of those who “would disagree [ that the rights of an actual person should not be infringed upon by the rights of potential people]” are ‘perfectly suppressed’.

          Is there a genetic test for whether or not a fertilized egg will develop to eventually support or fight against a woman’s right to choose.

          1) I was a fertilized egg once.
          2) I am glad that I am alive.
          3) Despite #2, I agree that [potential people’s rights] < [actual people's rights]. Because I think that a society that values bodily autonomy is more-worth-living in than its opposite.

          You want us to believe that YOU KNOW that a huge number of aborted embryos would have grown up to disagree with #3.

          How in the flying fuck you could possibly know that?

        • Kodie

          Most humans who are alive seem to rather be alive than not alive, but if you’re not alive, you don’t know you’re not alive anymore. Doesn’t matter if you had been aborted, died in your sleep, unplugged from life support, or even slowly tortured. If you, Paul B. Lot, happen to die… (funny how superstitious I am to list you as an example, “you’re not really going to die, just saying!), you won’t have the sensation that you were glad you had been alive.

          The thing is, the embryo has that much sensation at all. It doesn’t know it’s alive, it doesn’t know it’s about to be aborted, and it doesn’t know or care that it was aborted. It doesn’t have the sensation of a … group that feels like it’s being targeted for oppression or even murder. What must it feel like to be a young black male in the US, who will wake up every day wondering if they will accidentally cross the police in some way.

          Luke is arguing that any given embryo should have a voice like that. Saying “don’t kill me, I matter, I didn’t do anything wrong.” They have no idea, and they aren’t a “class” of people, per se, “the pre-born”. Abortions happen or are considered across all status lines, including pro-life Christians. Most of them do get to go on (I am excluding the, for me, vague percentage of pregnancies that abort themselves naturally) to become people. Most of them, I’d guess, are made on purpose, or what parents like to call “surprise” instead of “accident” or “mistake”. When you’re a living person, and whatever kind you are is, as a group, oppressed, you can notice it, feel it, feel resistant to it. If you are gay and you worry about coming out because you’re sure to be beaten or thrown out of your house, you worry it’s because of what kind of person you are. When you’re an embryo, you don’t weep and fear and challenge authority, you don’t feel like you might be next. You’re a tumor and maybe a beloved and wanted tumor.

          I watched this mini-series on PBS called “9 Months that Made You” and it’s still kind of amazing. If you are going to be born, there is something that can affect you at every moment, it seems, but the primary thing that happens to an embryo is that it takes shape. It’s like a building framework. You can’t live in it, it’s rough, it doesn’t have walls or a roof. But it’s in the shape of a house. If you’ve ever watched a building show, like “This Old House” or anything, they frame in a lot first, then fill in the guts, and at the last stages of the program, give that house its personality. Human development in utero seems to be largely the same. It’s just that on shows where a house is the ultimate result, tearing it down after the first 5 weeks of building is a shame because those people really want to live in that house. It’s a wanted house. They just can’t live in it yet. Same with most embryos, people really seem to want them and look forward to the time when they emerge and get to meet them as a person. That’s where people like Luke get upset.

          I don’t get upset, I know enough people. Most of them didn’t really need to be born, just as most houses probably didn’t need to be built. The other thing is, when people do decide to build or restore a home, there are bids and planners and plans to look over, and budgets. When you fuck and get pregnant (doesn’t matter if you’re married or unmarried or who you are), you don’t know what you’re going to get, maybe it will have his blue eyes or your brown eyes, it might be tall or short, people expect a perfectly formed infant with 10 fingers and 10 toes, who might be severely autistic, or need a wheelchair, maybe it will be gay and you don’t like that, maybe you don’t have enough money to feed it, and it will be malnourished, and you live in a bad neighborhood with the worst schools. It’s nothing like (now) how you can work with your contractors to build the house you will love. It’s a lot like moving into whatever apartment you can afford at the time and signing a lease for 10 years instead of 1. You might be lucky and get a good shower, but the windows frames are irregular, and the panes are always breaking. You might be on the 6th floor of a walkup. You might not know your neighborhood has the most prolific meth dealers in your state before you sign that lease. You could be in for a lot of unpleasant and expensive surprises. If you knew when you signed your lease that it was only for a year, and the first week you moved in, you wished you hadn’t, in normal cases, you could move in a year. If your economic situation is difficult, you know you can’t afford to move for maybe 5 years, but you end up there until you die. You might get lucky, and it’s got the biggest closets, no cockroaches, and as much room as you need but not less or overly more, quiet neighbors, ample parking, and close to conveniences. Nothing wrong with the place, you could stay here for a long time… only they jacked up the rent. Cling to a place you are happy no matter the cost, or risk it with another move?

          People who know they don’t want a child now often do want a family sometime in the future. I don’t know what’s so difficult about this. If you can’t fit a child into your life now for whatever reason, abort. Don’t need to feel anything. What if being forced to give birth now made it impossible for a woman to ever have 4 more children – not only was she prevented or emotionally blackmailed from exercising her bodily autonomy, having a child made it difficult or impossible to settle down with a man. That’s the Christian way – for seriously superstitious reasons, not considering women who have children already as valid mating material. It’s not even entirely the domain of Christians, but of our society. Single moms are “damaged” in some way, they have “baggage”. Let’s get her that abortion and finish her education or whatever, and someday meet another guy who is right for her when she’s ready, and do away with the stigma of having abortions already, so she doesn’t have to hide her past. Now she can have 4 potential human beings that she planned “someday” instead of only 1. What’s the difference, really between that one potential life we didn’t want at the time and 4 who could actually exist, if they could not or might not exist had she been forced to have the 1st one? I’m not saying single moms are forced to give up their entire future, but we’re talking about potential, might as well lay out a potential future.

          As with the home example, from what I understand with fetal development, it doesn’t have wishes or dreams or hopes or fears or anything, since it is a brainless frame in the shape of a person. The personality is the final installation before birth. Who it’s going to be as a person is not in the single cell. It doesn’t even start exist for months. Like a home build, it’s the same flair they install right before it’s cool to move in, after all the framing and machinations of a house (plumbing, electricity, etc.) that it is. A little fetus with hands and ears is similar to me as that. The heart beats, it’s a fucking machine, the heart. The hands move and grab, that’s machine. The ears hear things going on outside the womb, yeah, that’s how ears work. It’s not thinking of ice cream and tv, and puppies and soccer. It’s not thinking “I’m a girl and I like riding my bike and unicorns and might need pills to regulate my emotions someday.”

        • Paul B. Lot

          (funny how superstitious I am to list you as an example, “you’re not really going to die, just saying!)

          If I die, I’m going to be so pissed at you.

          😛

        • Kodie

          So what you’re saying is you have a superstitious attachment to your own perceptions of morality over empiricism? I mean, I don’t understand the moral or ethical problem in removing a thing from the body that can’t feel or think, that will, in time, become a baby, but is not yet that baby, and can be foreseen to create certain other problems for the person? You have yet to demonstrate personhood of that thing, and yet expect all of us to just agree there’s a moral issue here. Go ahead and finish your job here, and demonstrate personhood and that it’s not just your personal sentimental fetish.

        • MNb

          Then start integrating the empirical fact that a zygote doesn’t have the brains to agree or disagree with anything and drop your stupid argument about voicing disagreement underneath.
          Or don’t.
          Nobody takes you seriously yet anyway.

        • adam

          “What I ask is about the moral relevance, with regard to the permissibility or impermissibility of abortion.”

          Gee, without the Objective Morality that you’ve ducked since you got here, you have no room to talk about morality.

          Since your morality is what ever suits you to cover up your lies, mistakes and errors so that you dont look accountable.

        • Greg G.

          Every cell is a distinct human, then, unless you wish to argue that these quadruplets are only one distinct human.

        • That seems like a ridiculous false dichotomy. Two humans do not need different DNA to be distinct. The living cells on a hair follicle I just pulled out are not distinct humans.

        • Greg G.

          No, they are not distinct human beings because they are not human beings because a single cell is not a human being.

          DNA replication is not a perfect process so the individual cells in a hair follicle is likely to have some differences, so each would still be distinct.

        • No, they are not distinct human beings because they are not human beings because a single cell is not a human being.

          In my usage, “human”“human being”. I’m using “human” as a shortcut for “a member of the species Homo sapiens“.

          DNA replication is not a perfect process so the individual cells in a hair follicle is likely to have some differences, so each would still be distinct.

          Did I take a wrong turn and end up in Nitpicker’s Corner?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Did I take a wrong turn and end up in Nitpicker’s Corner?

          http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/simpsons/images/5/5e/Dr._Riviera.png/revision/latest?cb=20120509073411

          Hi Everybody!

          Did @LukeBreuer:disqus just now realize that he’s been pontificating and incompetently moralizing about complicated topics?!

        • Myna A.

          !!!!!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Anno….like a massive spinning moment…or sumfin like that.

        • Greg G.

          In my usage, “human” ≠ “human being”. I’m using “human” as a shortcut for “a member of the species Homo sapiens”.

          You are equivocating a newly fertilized egg that many not even be viable with a human being.

          Did I take a wrong turn and end up in Nitpicker’s Corner?

          You don’t seem to be clear about the biology of a cell and you are equivocating cellular biological life with the psychological phenomenon we call life, as in being a human being.

        • You are equivocating a newly fertilized egg that many not even be viable with a human being.

          Would you be happy if I replaced every instance of “human” with “a member of the species Homo sapiens? I continue to insist that as I use the terms, “human”“human being”. You can, however, criticize me on the basis that I’m trading on a meaning of the term which doesn’t apply to what I’m arguing. (That is, one cannot just redefine terms willy-nilly.) The response of someone who doesn’t need to trade on that meaning is to be willing to use a different term. I’m making that offer.

          You don’t seem to be clear about the biology of a cell and you are equivocating cellular biological life with the psychological phenomenon we call life, as in being a human being.

          Whether or not I’m clear on the biology of a cell is something you don’t actually know (I’m aware, for example, of human chimeras). What you do know is what I think is morally relevant. If you want to argue that more empirical details are morally relevant, feel free to make that argument.

          Your contrast between “cellular biological life” and “psychological phenomenon we call life” is clearly an attempt to maintain a morally relevant dichotomy. You do realize that this has long been done to marginalize certain “human[s]” members of the species Homo sapiens, right? Aristotle claimed a real distinction to defend slavery; Darwinian evolution was used to establish a precedence of races and justify colonialism; the very real physiological differences between males and females was used to establish a moral (or, controversially and for good reasons: role) difference. The question here is: are you just following this ignoble tradition, or do you really have a morally relevant distinction in your conceptual hands?

        • Greg G.

          No, I would be happy if you stopped equivocating a newly fertilized egg that many not even be viable with a human being.

          I can fix a lot of types of machinery with a screwdriver. Some people harm others with a screwdriver. Just because some people use a screwdriver to harm others does not keep me from using a small Phillips screwdriver to open the bottom of my laptop to add memory.

          Some people have used your argument for fertilized ova to try to keep rape victims from having an abortion. You shouldn’t stop using your argument because others have done that, you should stop using it because your argument makes no sense.

          One whisker is not a beard. Fifty thousand whiskers on one face are a beard. Just because you can’t give a specific number of whiskers for a beard does not permit you to call a single whisker a beard. But somewhere along the spectrum between one and 50,000 whiskers, it becomes a beard.

        • Kodie

          You’re whining, not making an argument. It doesn’t matter what you call it, you’re not demonstrating its value, not especially when you compare it to actual oppressed people. You’re avoiding responsibility here and just stomping your foot over and over again.

        • Kodie

          Did I take a wrong turn and end up in Nitpicker’s Corner?

          It must have been before we met.

        • MR

          “And if she bears identical twins, they shall be named one name, one name shall they be named for one person, verily, are they.
          “And if she bears identical triplets, they shall be named one name, one name shall they be named for one person, verily, they are.
          “And if she bears identical quadruplets, they shall be named one name, one name shall they be named for they are one person, verily.
          “And so, unto the number that she shall bear, so shall they one name be named.
          “Thus sayeth the Lord.” Exodus 21:40-44

        • Kodie

          As to “who cares?”, the same question could be asked of chattel slaves, women, foreigners, and the oppressed, in ages past. In those ages, many people chose not to care, and we see what kinds of worlds they built: ones where only certain humans are valued.

          We still live in that world, where you choose to value the unborn over born people, or many who believe the embryo is more valuable than a person. YOU DO BELIEVE THAT EMBRYO HAS VALUE OVER THE WOMAN IT’S GROWING FROM. See, it doesn’t exist until it takes everything it needs from the mother to create what we’d call a consequential person. You wish to enslave women who do the “sign-up procedure” as you call it, you create a world in which they are worth less than a thing that has as much personhood as your toenails. You are involved in using sentimentality and projection to oppress women who have consensual sex. How do I know? You don’t feel that way about embryos inside of women who were raped. You don’t feel for them or speak up for them as though they matter at all.

          You seem to get really sentimental and comparing a clump of cells to a living breathing crying human baby is wishful thinking. They aren’t being oppressed as a class. Plenty of people still choose to create these things on purpose, or choose not to terminate. Embryos are not an oppressed class of people; they are not people. You have yet to demonstrate that they are, and by making a comparison to some people who have hopes and dreams and cognizance of what their life would be like if it didn’t suck because of people who oppressed them, you are the one making the is/ought. “Is made of human material, is the potential of a human, ought to be considered as though fully born, aware, and treated like shit”, just like the many many poor babies you’d force to be born, and then let them be treated like they don’t matter as much. Go to fuck yourself right away.

          You can continue believing in that principle; I will not.

          You don’t have to get an abortion if you don’t want to, but you should get the fuck out of women’s business and judging and sorting women into groups who deserve abortions and groups who are monsters. You do actually believe in that principle, and by opposing abortions on superstitious reasons, YOU ARE PROUDLY STANDING RIGHT ON TOP OF THAT PRINCIPLE.

        • The sense I was going after ‘arbitrary’ is that which is true of mere ‘preference’ and mere ‘opinion’.

          “Mere” as opposed to something stronger? If we have such a thing, point it out. Failing that, we’re stuck with opinions. It ain’t much, but it’s all we’ve got.

          But is this anything but a random psychological fact about your evolved brain?

          I doubt it. That’s where words sometimes come from—we have an innate sense of something, so we give it a name. Like “justice” or “courage” or “person.”

          Your evolved moral intuitions are well-suited to tribal living; that doesn’t mean that what immediately strikes you as the case in the West today is a good way of thinking about things.

          OK. Make a case for something.

          A distinct human starts existing exactly at the time of fertilization.

          That’s right. And also not what we were talking about.

          The dictionary isn’t going to help much with a situation like this.

          And you’re still wrong with your claim, “A gamete is not a potential person.” If A is a prerequisite for B, then in some sense, A is a potential B. Example: a single living fertilized human egg cell is not a person, but it is a potential person.

          You’re concerned about arbitrary. This is precisely the problem you were concerned about: someone with an agenda saying, “I should think it’s obvious where [the sequence of personhood steps back in time] stops: at fertilization.” Don’t you hate that?

          You’ll need something more rigorous, like A–T metaphysics.

          Metaphysics? Show me how that’s been useful in solving moral conundrums in the past and I’ll consider it.

          Otherwise, you can say that at the big bang, all that exists now was ‘potential’.

          OK—you’ve convinced me. Let’s just drop all this “potential” bullshit.

          Such reasoning constitutes a refusal to make distinctions.

          Don’t look at me. You’re the one who thinks that a single cell is identical in every meaningful way to a newborn.

          I’ve intentionally let you have your word ‘person’; using ‘ human’ is much simpler than something like ‘an instance of the organism Homo sapiens’.

          You’ve just moved the problem. You’re still playing sleight of hand by using “human” (everyone thinks of big humans like they see daily) when you want to lump in microscopic cells.

          As to “who cares?”, the same question could be asked of chattel slaves, women, foreigners, and the oppressed, in ages past.

          Right—just like that. You’re using an ambiguous term: does “human” mean the big kind that I see around me, which is the common definition, or is it a technical term where “human” = “thing that has Homo sapiens DNA? Here you appeal to the big kind that we agree has rights that are sometimes violated.

          Because you are playing this game, you admit to all of us (even if not to yourself) the distinction that I’ve been making since the beginning of this conversation.

          You can continue believing in that principle; I will not.

          Ooh! Bonus points for moral indignation! Nice.

        • adam

          “This wouldn’t be a problem if abortion failed to impose the opinion of one human on another human, to the latter human’s extermination.”

        • adam

          “This wouldn’t be a problem if abortion failed to impose the opinion of one human on another human, to the latter human’s extermination.”.

        • adam

        • Ignorant Amos

          When it comes to personhood, you’ve also got a potential person.

          That’s why wanking is a mortal sin.

          “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action” (CCC# 2352).

          Because back in the day people were ignorant.

          From before biblical times to the 19th century, a man’s sperm was believed to contain human persons who were so small that they could not be seen. The only role of the woman’s body was to occasionally select one of these persons and nurture her or him until birth, much like earth nurtures a seed until it produces a tree. The roles of a woman’s ovaries, ova, and fertilization were unknown.

          But sensible people have got over that nonsense, well most sensible people, now only fuckwits see an issue with masturbation…even the Catholic Church has mellowed a wee bit on the subject of culpability. But then “must-do” is a great master.

          One way to recognize the importance of the potentiality/​actuality distinction is that one can harm the potential of a human being.

          Which applies equally to the mother. As it does to lots of other developed humans where little or no regard is offered by the Dudley-do-rights.

          A pregnant mother getting wasted or shooting up can harm the potential of her future child, without it being immediately felt as pain by the fetus.

          And yet a pregnant women is permitted to undertake numerous activities that will, or be potentially detrimental to the pregnancy…from sky diving to necking a bottle of vodka to smoking 60 a day and there is not a thing that can be done about it because it is the woman’s right to do so.

          I can damage a child’s education, such that the person either never consciously suffers, or only suffers at a much later date.

          The difference is that you are actually damaging a persons potential future, not a potential persons actual future.

          This is another way to harm the potential of a person.

          Forcing a mother to term against her will is another. Not adopting orphans is another way. There are a plethora of ways to harm a persons potential. Indoctrinating them in religion is one. Heck, doing a good deed has the potential to be detrimental to potential if we are going to dig deep. The potential argument is a load a ballix. Doesn’t your god have omniscient powers?

          Isn’t potential just arbitrary?

          Miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion and pregnancy loss…what ta fuck is going on there…all life is sacred my arse. Still birth is another doozy…what ta fuck is going on there God?

        • MNb

          Sperm and fertilized eggs also have got the potential to become a person exactly because they can fertilize an egg or get fertilized by sperm respectively.
          Given the amounts of sperm and eggs wasted, not to mention miscarriages, potentiality is not exactly a big deal.

          “This is another way to harm the potential of a person.”
          That’s not condemnable because of potentiality but because of actuality. Damaging a child’s education is harmful to that child at that very moment, not because of some unspecified future.

        • Greg G.

          Once sperm fertilizes egg, you’ve got yourself a new human being. That’s simple scientific fact. When it comes to personhood, you’ve also got a potential person.

          No, it isn’t, it is two potential people or more. Have you not heard of monozygotic twins and triplets?

          If you have two fertilized eggs, it is potentially one person. There are human genetic chimeras.

          Defining personhood at conception doesn’t make sense when the mathematics of genetics and zygotic development are considered.

        • I don’t see how this is relevant. For the sake of abortion, why does it matter if there is one or more than one potential person?

        • adam

          “I don’t see how this is relevant.”

          IF your ‘God’ is actually real, that makes it the most prolific abortionists and demonstrates that its view on the “potential”
          that you write about contradicts your own.

        • Greg G.

          Perhaps you didn’t see my post-posting addition. Many fertilizations end in spontaneous abortion. If a fertilized egg has a lethal mutation or combination of genes, it is not a potential human being, just a spontaneous abortion in the making, perhaps without the woman knowing it ever happened.

        • Otto

          Funny how the All Powerful Designer did such a shitty job in the design.

        • busterggi

          His ways are so mysterious that even omniscient he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

        • Relevance? For the record, I’m in favor of aborting ectopic pregnancies.

        • Greg G.

          A fertilized human ovum is potentially ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, or zero potential human beings. Zero might be more common than at least one potential human being. If a fertilized egg is very likely to not be a human being, then it is a poor marker for personhood.

          Do you know the difference between a human being and a potential human being? One is a human being and one is not. Your argument also fails on that point.

          If you believe a fertilized egg became ensouled at conception, the mathematics rule that out.

          Your argument fails on religious grounds as well as logical grounds.

        • Ignorant Amos

          For the record, I’m in favor of aborting ectopic pregnancies.

          Why? WTF happened to potential there Luke?

        • Otto

          What? You don’t think God could come in and perform a miracle? Where is your faith? What are you an atheist?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Luke is a murderer, his term not mine, like all the rest of us…he just likes to be more selective on which fetus he destroys.

          A very small number of ectopic pregnancies go to term.

          A 30-year-old pregnant, gravida 3, para 1, was presented to hospital at 38 weeks gestation. She suffered from abdominal pain at 16 weeks gestation. At admission, obstetrical examination and transabdominal ultrasonography revealed that it was uterine pregnancy with a single living fetus and oligohydramnios. The diagnosis of abdominal pregnancy was made till intrasurgical operation. An amniotomy was performed and a normal neonatal female was extracted as breech. A subtotal abdominal hysterectomy was conducted. No postoperative complications were observed.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17957101

          An extrauterine abdominal pregnancy secondary to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy with secondary implantation could be missed during antenatal care and continue to term with good maternal and fetal outcome. An advanced extrauterine pregnancy should not result in the automatic termination of the pregnancy.

          https://jmedicalcasereports.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1752-1947-5-531

          There are other examples, but two is sufficient for purpose.

          Abdominal pregnancy is a rare form of ectopic pregnancy with very high morbidity and mortality for both the mother and the fetus for sure, but by Luke’s logic, if one has ever survived, then all have that potential, ergo, every one of them should go to term or murder is committed.

          He has undermined his own argument.

          No god miracles required.

        • Myna A.

          For the record, I’m in favor of aborting ectopic pregnancies.

          Well, you damn well better be in favor of ending it, since an ectopic pregnancy is most certainly fatal if not treated. And it is not an abortion procedure. An ectopic pregnancy may be treated using laparoscopy if no internal bleeding is present, otherwise with open surgery. The fallopian tube is lost as well in most all instances and is devastating for many women.

          Your statement was both idiotic and ignorant. Do not speak to women’s health unless you know what you are talking about.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, you damn well better be, since an ectopic pregnancy is most certainly fatal if not treated.

          No, no, no…with that proper treatment you allude to, some ectopic pregnancies that go to term result in healthy babies…that’s all that matters according to Luke. So by his own argument, he is wrong to be in favour of aborting such pregnancies due to his “potential” bull shite. Luke isn’t a completely pro-lifer after all.

        • Myna A.

          …with that proper treatment you allude to, some ectopic pregnancies that go to term result in healthy babies

          Due to the late hour when I responded to LB’s statement, I wouldn’t put it past him to think something absurd like that, but as it is he knows the issue is a medical emergency where the only option is removal and thus his poor attempt at being clever in offering an exception to his own rule. I wonder what he’d offer about IUD failure, disease, immune disorder and a host of other complications that would result in the necessity of an abortion.

          LB appears to be under the impression that when eliminating particular medical circumstances, terminating a pregnancy is an easy, or perhaps in his mind, a flippant decision for a woman. I think he also believes that when a woman has chosen to terminate a pregnancy that, had she not made that choice, the pregnancy would have advanced without miscarriage or other complication, which, of course, is an unknown.

          Anyway, here’s a link for LBs of this world: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/the-pro-life-version-of-pregnancy-vs-science/

        • Ignorant Amos

          Very good link.

          I’ve fathered two. I have three grand we’ens and my daughter is pregnant with a wee girl. I once got a girl friend pregnant and after some consideration, travelled to London, England for a termination as, even though N.I. is part of the UK, abortion is still illegal here.

          Luke hasn’t a fucking clue what he is wittering on about and it makes him look the ignorant cretin. He needs to have a word with himself.

        • Michael Neville

          He needs to have a word with himself.

          Whatever Luke’s good qualities are, I sincerely doubt introspection is one of them.

        • Myna A.

          I would also add that since 30 to 40 percent of all conceptions end in spontaneous loss and 10 to 20 percent of recognized pregnancies end in spontaneous loss, what actually occurs when “sperm fertilizes egg” is a precarious potential of life.

        • busterggi

          Ah, and what of the genetic/developemental abnormalities that don’t spontaneously abort? Can an incomplete parasitic twin consisting of only a few body parts and having no conciousness be removed from its host to die or would that be murder? Would said parasite have a soul (because religion really is at the heart of the controversy) or just a partial one? And if god doesn’t make mistakes what are these little monsters for?

        • adam

          “Once sperm fertilizes egg, you’ve got yourself a new human being.”

          then THAT makes bible “God” the biggest abortionist EVER.

          Miscarriage is the most common complication of early pregnancy.[11] Among females who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is roughly 10% to 20% while rates among all fertilisation is around 30% to 50%.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscarriage

        • adam

          “When it comes to personhood, you’ve also got a potential person.”

          Potential?

          AI has the potential:

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3680874/Scientists-verge-creating-EMOTIONAL-computer-AI-think-like-person-bond-humans-2-years.html

        • Once sperm fertilizes egg, you’ve got yourself a new human being. That’s simple scientific fact. When it comes to personhood, you’ve also got a potential person.

          Uh, yeah. That’s what I’ve been saying.

          Now, at the one-cell stage, virtually nothing about the person has been actualized.

          Ditto.

          At the one-year-old stage, there is still much that has yet to be actualized.

          Let’s not delude ourselves. The difference between newborn and 1yo is trivial compared to newborn and 1 cell.

          One way to recognize the importance of the potentiality/actuality distinction

          Wait—now you’re schooling me on what I’ve been saying all along?

          So then where are you on the 9-month development spectrum? It seems like you’ve suddenly reverted from Mr. Hyde to a very reasonable Dr. Jekyll. Don’t tell me that we agree again.

        • Uh, yeah. That’s what I’ve been saying.

          Ok. But a person is not fully actualized at age 1. We appear to disagree there:

          Let’s not delude ourselves. The difference between newborn and 1yo is trivial compared to newborn and 1 cell.

          That depends on what measure is being used. It is important to use a relevant measure; not just any old measure will do.

          Wait—now you’re schooling me on what I’ve been saying all along?

          You could take it that way, or you could take it as me explicating my position in a way not immediately according to your framing. Surely you have reticence playing into how theists frame things, and would prefer to not play too much into their presuppositions?

          So then where are you on the 9-month development spectrum? It seems like you’ve suddenly reverted from Mr. Hyde to a very reasonable Dr. Jekyll. Don’t tell me that we agree again.

          Yep, there’s you framing the matter in a way I object to, and me resisting that framing. Let me put it this way: harming my potential future is as much a crime at age −0.6 as it is at age 5. The idea that it’s only a crime if I were wanted at age −0.6 is ridiculous.

        • ”The difference between newborn and 1yo is trivial compared to newborn and 1 cell.”
          That depends on what measure is being used. It is important to use a relevant measure; not just any old measure will do.

          I’m talking physical differences. The newborn has 1 trillion cells, all differentiated into arms, legs, eyes, ears, brain, etc. The single cell has … well, just one undifferentiated cell.

          The moral measure comes from the physical measure. You have another measure in mind?

          You could take it that way, or you could take it as me explicating my position in a way not immediately according to your framing.

          You make the Argument from Potential. Yes, I’m quite familiar with this, thank you. Not much of an argument. What it will be doesn’t change what it is now.

          Let me put it this way: harming my potential future is as much a crime at age −0.6 as it is at age 5.

          It matters whether it’s a person. If I kill a slug about to lay eggs, have I committed a crime, either killing the slug or its potential offspring? Not for a slug, yes in the equivalent situation for your pet, and very much so for a person.

          The idea that it’s only a crime if I were wanted at age −0.6 is ridiculous.

          At –0.6 years, we’re not talking about a person. At that stage, the mother is the boss. Beyond a certain point, the intrinsic value increases to the point where society steps in to make limitations.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ok. But a person is not fully actualized at age 1. We appear to disagree there:

          When does it happen and is it the same for all?

        • Kodie

          I think a 1-year-old is actualized. What is so special about living a longer life, what gets more actual than that? Learning to read is “actualized”? Getting a job is “actualized”? What means this word – “actualized”. The potential for life experience is there, but they are actualized persons, actually alive. Their brain is formed in their head, and what then actualizes them? Learning to use it? Learning stuff? We already know stuff, so what is more actualized in a new person who will experience much of the same things and learn many of the same things? If I die today and a person is born, some of the things they might know someday will be things that aren’t known yet, and I died without knowing, but does that mean I wasn’t as actualized as they are? Am I more actualized than my grandmother, who never learned to drive a car or graduated college or been on the internet, she’s more than 5 decades more actualized than I am? You make no sense with this term. A 1-year-old is plenty actualized, while a fertilized egg is not…. it’s actualized as a fertilization event, that’s it. It’s potentially going to grow up into a person, but it’s ethically not even close to a person, it’s not even close to an ant or a shrimp or a pig on the way to slaughter. You are measuring some speck of nothing as a whole person ahead of living organisms you would kill. That means you are sentimental about it, not rational. You’d step on an ant without caring, you’d eat bacon without shedding a tear. How many shrimp can you stuff in your mouth at one buffet – they still have tails on them, you cannot deny how much like a picture of a fetus they look like, and you chomp down on them by the dozen.

        • adam

          “Once sperm fertilizes egg, you’ve got yourself a new human being.”

          Nope only about half the time.

          Spontaneous abortions..

        • adam

          ” Now, at the one-cell stage, virtually nothing about the person has been actualized.”

          BUT BUT BUT

          It is potentially another pedophile priest or Pope.

        • Kodie

          You’re in denial of simple scientific fact. That’s not a new human being, that’s a projection of a human being, if the pregnant woman wishes it to be, and just because plenty of people do, it’s not a requirement. It’s not a human being, it has no life, it has no feelings, it has no desires. It has no neural impulses, it has no decisions, it has nothing. You want to force it to be born because you can see its potential future as you wish it to be, born, loved, raised well, etc. You have no conscience for a living human being, the woman you force to carry it, you force her because you shame her, you shame her because she did that “thing” that eventuated in her fetus (“sign-up procedure”), which you are now overly intrusively concerned for, sentimentally, but not rationally. What a slut, you think, what a fucking whore slut to callously delete the woo-woo precious human being now growing inside due to her careless whoreness.

          That’s what you sound like you think. It’s in total denial of scientific fact, and in total embrace of religious and irrational judgment.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Greg G. quite adroitley phrased some of the “simple scientific fact[s]” which eviscerate Luke’s point, I thought.

        • MNb

          Cancer, whether healthy or unhealthy, also needs the host to be viable. So cancer is a someone indeed?

        • Kodie

          This is disanalogous. A healthy fetus needs his/her mother up to the point of viability. A healthy human does not need to feed off of another human.

          A healthy fetus isn’t a person. That’s what you’re admitting. A healthy fetus needs a lot more than a person needs, and it needs it from only one person you’d be willing to be forced to host it until it becomes a person. A fetus needs to live and grow inside a host human person who may or may not be unwilling to perform the task or welcome the outcome. It’s not a person yet, why not eliminate the trouble?

        • adam

          “See: “[potential] someone”.”

          Why we all understand your dishonesty:

          You cant even be a faithful witness to yourself.

        • MNb

          Cancer also changes. Must I conclude that according to you cancer is a someone?

        • Kodie

          You wonder if language influences people’s decisions? Well, ask the people who refer to an embryo as though it’s a baby. A wittew tiny helpless infant, being crossed off the list at whim, WHHAAAAAAHHHHH.

          You’re in denial of basic biological facts, substituting your language derived from your fantasy.

        • Kodie

          Your whims are fucking demented. You expect and reject basically a Ph.D. thesis on your own personal whims. That’s why nobody likes you. You’re not asking for a discussion, you’re asking for every poster on this board to prepare a full-fledged legal case only that you’ll reject EVERYTHING ANYONE OFFERS, no matter how little or great detail they go into. You are basically a brick wall of denial. I hate you as a person, and I suspect there are others who agree with me. I try not to get trapped in your psychotic need to command attention like the attention whore that you undeniably are. Your idea of making a discussion are perturbed. You have a fetish. You are an attention whore. You have no desire to be educated, to learn, to share, to convince or persuade. You want to be the center of attention. That’s fucking sick and nobody should indulge you. Every time you halt discussion to request more effort, it’s a fucking trap of your demented fucking ego. No amount of effort satisfies you, and all you do is nitpick when someone (easily) gets the better of your argument with little to no effort at all. You know you suck, you know you are wrong, and you know you are twisted. Your single talent of cataloguing posts and reposting them is not enough to fool anyone that you actually know your shit. You don’t know your shit. You flim-flam your way through and expect others to keep up with your shifting, twisting, trapping ways. Fuck you and go fuck yourself, already. Your shit doesn’t amount to any valid arguments, and everyone can conclude on their own that you’re not worth the effort.

        • adam

          “After all, you’ve shown zero interest in my own whims.”

          Well we did at first, then you demonstrated what your theological ethics really consist of.

          So what interest should anyone have in your dishonest whims?

        • Kodie

          We can simplify for the moment and say that the government shouldn’t interfere with matters of what you do unless someone else’s liberty is at stake. But that’s precisely the matter at stake!

          No one else’s liberty is at stake. That’s what we’re talking about. What the fuck you are talking about is imaginary, superstitious, emotional, and sentimental. You pretend there’s a little tiny wholly functioning and realized human person stuck inside a womb for nine months, and shall not be oppressed by being discarded. Why???? Why do you think that, beyond all rational biological information, do you believe that a person’s liberty is at stake, and ignore the actual person whose liberty is at stake with your completely sentimental desire to oppress and punish her for having sex? You make zero fucking sense, your argument makes zero fucking sense. The whole lot of you are deprived of reality and rational, critical thinking.

        • adam

          “Our country was clearly founded upon liberty, including personal liberty.”

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Michael Neville

          That’s an important point. The anti-abortion people think that if abortions are outlawed then there will be no abortions. In real life, abortions will still happen but conducted by amateurs (often the women themselves) under unsanitary and unsafe conditions. The anti-abortion movement is not pro-life, it’s pro-death, which is why I refuse to call the forced-birthers “pro-life”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Women here in Ireland have to endure the trauma, inconvenience and expense of travelling to England…break the law by sourcing abortifacient drugs which carries a max penalty of life imprisonment….or risk health by obtaining an illegal abortion.

          Simpletons like Luke just don’t get it.

          https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jan/05/abortion-in-northern-ireland-women-share-their-experiences

          http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/state-s-women-face-jail-for-taking-abortion-pill-1.2598217

          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/10/irelands-abortion-law-tortures-women-amnesty-report

          Luke is just a pure unadulterated fuckwit on this subject…end of.

        • Cygnus

          Luke, you know what is unborn? God. God is unborn, theists like you are still in pains to shit one out of their brains.

        • Kodie

          Luke, you have a second, non-functional head that really messes up your… posture. A religious group strongly forbids you getting rid of the second head, but you argue that it doesn’t even have a function, so what’s it to them? Would you just make an appointment for surgery to have the second head removed, without feeling any guilt? What if the religious group denied you the right, claiming that the function of the second head had potential to make you come up with more valid arguments.

        • Otto

          Well you seem to only have problems with information being divined in some cases. The conjuring of the Christian Trinity is fine…but determining that the framers of the Constitution intended people to be free of gov’t intrusion through a person’s right to privicacy, ect. and that right extended to decisions they make about their body with their doctor is just a bridge too far for you.

        • Given that I’m not employing the Trinity to justify the extermination of certain human beings, this is disanalogous and a red herring.

        • Otto

          No it really isn’t. I am comparing 2 analogous situations and pointing out you take extreme exception to one and not the other. The fact that one is an issue of the right to terminate a pregnancy is beside the point. The issue is divining meaning from documents that do not explicitly address said meaning and such meaning is inferred.

        • You appear to be conflating “conjuring” and “deriving”.

        • Cygnus

          And you appear to be dissembling, evading, prevaricating, confounding, confusing, distracting, obscuring, and subtly misrepresenting and willfully misunderstanding.

        • Otto

          Yeah when it is something you agree with it is deriving…when it is something you don’t you use conjure. I tell you what. Explain why one is deriving and the other is conjuring and I might take you seriously.

        • Yeah when it is something you agree with it is deriving…when it is something you don’t you use conjure.

          Your evidence for this assertion? If you’re going to make shit up and impute it to me, I’m going to stop engaging you. So I’d like all the evidence you have on that claim. Let’s see if you formed it rationally or not.

        • Otto

          Yeah I already provided the evidence. You accept the Trinity though the concept was interpreted from text that did not specifically speak to such a thing. I can completely understand why it was derived though I don’t agree with the conclusion.

          You do not accept that abortion has a basis in the Constitution. Like many things abortion has to be interpreted from the rights that are spelled out. I am fine with the fact you do not agree with the conclusion but I do not understand how you take the same type of situation and claim it was conjured as if there is no basis whatsoever and it was essentially created out of thin air.

          I did not make up my conclusion, that is what I have inferred. You can tell me I am wrong but you need to explain what the difference is.

        • Kodie

          Oh, Lukebot, you are always so charming when you halt discussion because you can’t keep up. It’s up to Otto to prove something to you because you can’t handle it?

          You have personal problems we don’t give a shit about, and shouldn’t be slaves to your orders. Go read about this instead of authoritatively asserting yourself on people who have a lot better things to do than serve a fucking chore like you. You are fucked in the head, let’s start with that. Read all your posts like you didn’t write them, and imagine you disagreed with that fuckhead. Is Luke Breuer even remotely reasonable, or is he a pompous dick?

          He’s a pompous dick.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • adam

          “I wonder how many other rights are buried in the Constitution”

          Reading the Constitution might help you, I doubt it, but maybe

        • Kodie

          It’s funny how superstitious people are about ending a life, but only sometimes. They’ll end a life or support the ending of life for living, thinking humans, and most animals, but draw the line at non-sentient brain dead but previously functional humans and brainless pre-humans, and people who are currently functional but suffer a terminal illness.

          Let’s bring Osama bin Laden back to life for a thought experiment – he found out he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and 2 months to live. Should we kill him as soon as possible? If he wants to end his own life, should we prevent it (on principle) but kill him ourselves as soon as we can, even if he’s going to die soon enough? Should we say, sure let him save us the effort, but not grandma? If a guy we want dead is going to die, what’s the protocol? If he wants to end his suffering, should we prevent it and prolong his suffering? Deny him the right to get himself before we do, because it’s all about who ends the villain’s life, not whether it’s ended as soon as possible? We have this extra justice system for global criminals – kill them, but don’t let them get away and kill themselves. We don’t fret overly on the regular suicide bomber or murder-suicide type of hostage-holding rampager, I mean we don’t fret about protocol about who gets to kill the motherfucker – he’s dead. Good. But if one gets away, I mean, we don’t allow prisoners on death row the option of just killing themselves. Justice isn’t served that way. So, Osama bin Laden is confirmed to be soon dead from pancreatic cancer – what do we do about that?

        • Why use sterile procedures for the needle used for lethal injection?

        • Kodie

          Although it makes some kind of decent argument, I don’t care to grant a fetus the status of a person. If you had a real person trying to take your body and your resources, at the very best, you could transplant it onto a willing host. If you have saved someone’s life but they still need help, they don’t bring you into the ER with your sick friend and hook you up to serve them until they get well – they have ventilators and medical treatments, and if there is nothing more they can do without your help, they don’t force your as a last resort to donate a vital organ you might have a spare of. That doesn’t mean someone else isn’t willing to spare a vital organ, even if they aren’t alive, they can basically will their healthy organs out. It gets a little tricky if your family member is almost dead and will probably never wake, and some other patient needs some such organ – depending on your relationship to your patient, you may have the right to unplug them as soon as possible and donate their organs, I’m pretty sure, unless they have made a will and explicitly forbid donation of their organs.

          A fetus caught early enough should have no more ethical considerations than pulling a weed from a garden, and it’s the job of the pro-life groups to pretend that’s not true, to be horrified that anyone thinks that, and to prolong pregnancy long enough to be forced to give birth to it.

        • MNb

          There are no ideal rights just like there is no objective morality. It’s a useless concept.
          All rights are practical and too often ramshackling.

        • adam

          “I hesitate on merely calling abortion immoral”

          Of course….

        • Kodie

          Ideal rights? Every pregnant woman would have the right to be protected against guilt-mongers and pretend idealists like you. You’re not her, you can’t make the decision for her. You have no business making a decision FOR THE THING INSIDE HER WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY BIOLOGICALLY INCAPABLE OF MAKING ITS OWN DECISION, MUCH LESS CARING WHAT ITS HOST DECIDES.

          You are talking like, just because some of us don’t want to care for orphans ourselves, that nobody would, i.e., because some women want to have abortions, all women should! And that’s the way you think it would be. Some people choose to create children on purpose, or decide to keep a pregnancy to term that they had not planned, even if it would inconvenience them or they decide to give it away once born. That doesn’t determine what all of us should or will decide to do. That’s what making decisions is about. Besides which, you’re not noticing that orphans are sentient, living humans, while fetuses are not. They are blobs for most of the term, plenty of time to cut it short without regret, if only you would let them choose what’s right for them. I think all of us hope that orphans have a place to go and someone else who will take care of them. If your sister and her husband died in a car accident, would you take their children in, or send them to someone who is better equipped to handle them? A lot of people do what they think is best in that situation, but you can’t just kill them or send them to work in the mines now. There are people who do choose to personally see to it that orphans are cared for. However, it’s not ideal – for the orphan. You don’t think of it that way. Their parents are dead or they have been removed from the home permanently, and no relatives can take them in. They may have siblings, they may go to a series of foster homes… or not. They may be split up. They may age out of the system without being adopted, and struggle the rest of their lives. But they’re alive, so you can keep them barely alive and not exactly hopeful, once in a while you get someone who is determined at heart and becomes some great example of humanity, so they start with a lot of stigma and disadvantage. For most of us, it’s very sad, but it’s also not something we’re willing to, or legally forced to fix. The government, as you wish, would draft people to become parents, and call you up one day to take home an orphan and give it a better life than they can. We can and should do better, but people don’t even want jobs in non-profits if they can help it, unless they’re a good-deed-doer. Agencies hard at work to keep these orphans from I don’t even know what exactly. I don’t think your argument is a good argument as you wish it was.

          For one thing, abortions are not and should not be considered crises. You pro-forced-birth people don’t know you’re part of a mechanism to force pregnant women to carry fetuses to term so someone can adopt a fucking newborn instead of an orphan.

        • Ignorant Amos

          By Luke’s logic, there should be no orphans in the world at all. There are so many Christians vis a vis orphans, I’m wondering what ta feck is going on with all these orphans available for adoption. I wonder does Luke and all his dudley-do-right Christian friends and family all have an adopted orphan about the house and if not, why not?

        • adam

          “Do orphans have a right to be taken care of, ”

          Of course and bible “God” takes care of them…

        • Kodie

          The orphan doesn’t have a right to force me, specifically, to take care of it. I mean, if I find an orphan, I don’t have to take it in and feed it and care for it. That’s basically what you’re saying – if you’re unlucky enough to be saddled with a child you didn’t want and can’t take care of, tough shit. That’s not how it works, Luke.

        • Myna A.

          We humans are acquainted with establishing precedences between various rights.

          Again, access to legal abortion is a health issue for women. This is the bottom line.

          Making rape illegal does not stop all rape, either.

          Oh please. Do not equate access to women’s health care with aberrant behavior.

          We can realize that a great deal of behavior is conditioned not by laws, but by culture.

          Women seeking abortions crosses cultural lines. It has historically. It does presently. The access to legal abortion reduces the risk to a woman’s health. This access is not a “promiscuity” issue. It is a health issue. What part of this do you not understand?

          Taking this into account, we can take actions conducive to fewer unplanned pregnancies…

          And when we do, the proverbial puritans with their buckled shoes and black hats rise from their graves and with puffed up chests and clutched bibles denounce sexual health education in our schools.

          as well as provide more resources

          We have resources.

          and inculcate more desire for raising children.

          The personal reasons women seek out abortion are myriad. Those reasons won’t easily fit into your box.

          However, this will push against a pillar of the Left: letting your desires have maximally free reign in your ‘private life’.

          That is a ludicrous exaggeration.

          […] I think the result will be better: more children will grow up more deeply loved.

          Like they have in the idyllic past? Study your history. As pleasant as you find the sentiment, as we all might, you dream. The reality is far more complex.

          [ed.]

        • Again, access to legal abortion is a health issue for women. This is the bottom line.

          For you, that is so. Others think the right to life applies to organisms with a certain identity instead of certain abilities. They think this right to life trumps lesser rights, like the right to bodily autonomy.

          Oh please. Do not equate access to women’s health care with aberrant behavior.

          I was criticizing the argument of the form “Making X illegal does not stop all X.” You’re welcome to pick another example. I picked rape not for said equation, but because we really do wish we could abolish all rape.

          Women seeking abortions crosses cultural lines.

          You misunderstand my use of ‘culture’. It is simply that to really prevent X, you generally have to do things other than merely make X illegal.

          What part of this do you not understand?

          If you put away the straw, maybe you’ll not construct confusions out of your own mind and instead focus on what I’m saying. Perhaps you’re used to people employing devious means of arguing this issue; I try not to.

          And when we do, the proverbial puritans with their buckled shoes and black hats rise from their graves and with puffed up chests and clutched bibles denounce sexual health education in our schools.

          I wasn’t aware that what you describe is the only way to reduce unplanned pregnancies.

          The personal reasons women seek out abortion are myriad. Those reasons won’t easily fit into your box.

          Please, back away from your supply of straw.

          That is a ludicrous exaggeration.

          Each of us apparently thinks the other is ludicrious in some way. Now, is your position going to be that clearly you’re right and you don’t even need to faithfully listen to the other side?

          Like they have in the idyllic past?

          Straw man. (Sorry, ran out of cleverness.)

        • Myna A.

          Sorry, ran out of cleverness

          One cannot run out of something one hasn’t had to begin with.

          Don’t like the straw? Here’s some hay. I responded to your implications. Your argument on this issue is not unique, and my position stands. I’ve not the time nor the inclination to get caught in one of your infernal spider webs.

        • It’s just curious that you can’t manage to state your position without also employing straw men. It’s as if you don’t believe it’s strong enough without the straw.

        • Myna A.

          Now that’s clever.
          As to the rest, live with it.

        • adam

          “but because we really do wish we could abolish all rape.”

          REALLY?

          Why?

          What father couldnt use 50 pieces of silver?

        • Kodie

          For someone who is pro-life, abortion is also about a human being’s life. We humans are acquainted with establishing precedences between various rights.

          You’re basically defending the rights of toenails not to be clipped, though.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wonder does Luke take anti-biotics?

        • adam

          “For someone who is pro-life, abortion is also about a human being’s life.”

          Yes, that IS the CLAIM, (both to be pro-life, and that abortion is about a human being’s life) but you’ve not demonstrated that is actually factually true.

          Since many if not most who claim to be pro-life also support war and executions, ‘pro-life’ is a deceptive claim to begin with.

        • Kodie

          Pro-life is about generating ample amount of newborns for couples to adopt. It’s not about saving babies, it’s about providing a resource for couples who can’t make their own. The pro-life are really sympathetic to couples who can’t procreate, and the adoptees who are grateful they were born, but never to mothers forced to give birth and raise a child, or mothers pressured to carry to term and give their baby away out of guilt and some fake sense of honor and superiority over women who choose abortions. It’s obviously ostensibly about shaming women for having sex outside of a marriage, but they depend on fornication. They take every option away, if the can, for women to engage in sex, like birth control, and turn it into a high risk for pregnancy; or depriving poor people of benefits and turn them into villains who should become celibate – abstinence being the only option left that doesn’t work. Believers think it’s about saving babies and keeping poor people from taking advantage of the system and teaching by example “the right way” to live, chaste, heterosexual, married, and making their own money, as though they would be happy if everyone were like them, but all their strict rules neatly creates the opportunity to broker newborns, taken from their mothers and put into a “good” Christian home.

        • adam

          “Pro-life is about generating ample amount of newborns for couples to
          adopt. It’s not about saving babies, it’s about providing a resource for
          couples who can’t make their own. ”

          Against all common sense, I am going to disagree here.
          It seems to me that “pro-life” is about instituting and maintaining a patriarchal control system over women.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I concur…

          As is refusing women access to contraceptives is also.

          To quote the Hitch…

          “MT [Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.”

        • Kodie

          It’s like a frame within a frame. I was thinking about the idea that a man won’t marry a woman if she’s been with other men, and it used to be so culturally dominant – and it’s still rather dominant in some way or another to the extent that “a man won’t marry you if…” fill in the blank. Men’s standards overall have changed, but it’s still something girls and women are made to worry about. This translates to the idea that a baby born out of wedlock, or who has parents of two different races, or has parents who are the same sex will be outcast or comes out as homosexual, because society is judgmental, i.e. kick kids out of your own home because it’s “society” that will be harsh. We used to live in an uptight world where you forbid a child from being who they are happily, just to “protect” them, forbidding women from being who they are happily, just to ensure them a husband. Meanwhile, they maintain the structures of a culture and society where society has the right to judge who belongs and who doesn’t belong.

          The world we live in now isn’t quite so rigid, at least not everywhere, but the frame within a frame depends on the human animal to be the same. Pregnant and unmarried used to be scandalous, and if that was you, the only choice you had was adoption, not abortion, not birth control, not raising the kid on your own. If you tried, people would judge you. Men can essentially get away with having sex and not being judged for it, while women might get pregnant and no man would want them or to raise some other man’s child. I’m not looking up the birth rates, but as far as I can tell, the Christian overlords have always ordered it so, exploiting human behavior. Young women used to have sex and get pregnant and be shooed off-site where their child was forced to be born and nobody could accuse her of being a slut, once her baby was adopted out and she was reintroduced in her community as though she was still a virgin.

          It was always about lying and exploitation. Nobody knows you had sex, nobody knows you had a kid, and you can still be marketable as a marriage partner. The only way you can live with the shame they like to hand out is to hide away your sins and pretend to be pure just like “everyone else”. They system they created depends on that to happen, the patriarchal control over women is a way to control what happens to women who have sex and get pregnant, and exploit them instead of help them live in a healthy world in a healthy mindset and financial security to be able to raise their own babies as they wish. Depriving them of the option to erase their mistake with abortion, and forcing them to a corner where adoption is the only option is their business. Pregnancy crisis centers lure in young women who don’t really want an abortion and lie to them how they are strong and able to both continue their pregnancies and raise those babies on their own as a way to prolong those pregnancies, and then switcheroo on them – that they are far too young/poor/immature/irresponsible and steal those babies up for adoption.

          Yes, the patriarchal control over women serves their adoption brokerage system really well. It always has. I mean, imagine if your system only shamed women but nobody ever thought, hey, we can really exploit them for profit while we’re at it. I can’t. They’re not god’s children, they’re humans.

        • MNb

          “It’s obviously ostensibly about shaming women for having sex”
          There is a Dutch expression for this: “de gevallen vrouw”.

        • adam

          “For your argument to really go through, you have to allow for every human spontaneously deciding to not give a shit about orphans. ”

          Or just ‘believing’ in the bible “God”

        • Kodie

          Sentience seems to be a huge milestone with regard to whether harm is done to a thing or not. We extend certain rights to humans who have already experienced sentience, but in my opinion, this is merely to be on the safe side, as they may experience sentience again (except when they won’t, like brain death, but more as a courtesy to the choice of the wishful thinkers who loved that person before). We extend certain rights to beings who may or may not experience sentience ever, like cats or dogs or cows or pigs, some of us do, but pounds euthanize extra animals who have no hope of a home to make room for new ones, and slaughterhouses make leather sofas and bacon. We destroy sentience whenever it threatens us personally, like an intruder or in war situations, and I would put an unwanted fetus in that category. That is not a slave you bought, that is not a homosexual or transsexual individual from whom you deprive civil rights. That is a fingernail you cut down because it’s in the way – not able to care. FACT. Just because a lot of people want to grow their fingernails as long as they can and we call that procreation is no valid, rational reason we should consider that a necessary outcome. Just because you or someone in your family is sentimentally attached to brain-dead Aunt Vicki is no reason not to unplug her, but that’s your own choice to sustain hope. People like you seem also to be against a person’s right to choose how and when they end their own life if they are terminally ill.

          It’s not arbitrary. If someone wished to prevent a pregnancy, getting pregnant shouldn’t give anyone an emotional and physical responsibility that you prejudice upon them, unless you can dissect a fetus and find their fucking soul. It’s shaped like a person, and lots of people make these things on purpose, but that’s not important here. It matters whether someone wishes to, chooses to, achieve that outcome or not. If not, and shouldn’t be made to feel like they are oppressing human beings if they have an abortion. People like you should not worry so much about speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves if they don’t really know language or feelings. It’s really not so much an arbitrary classification of person, unless you can prove there is more there in a pre-sentient fetus than there actually, biologically is. You have zero business intruding in a live person’s choice to be not pregnant on such shallow, baseless ideas.

        • Kodie

          There is no responsibility which is coupled with the right not to be sexually abused.

          The general public would disagree with you there – it’s always the victim’s responsibility to not go out, to stay home, to not drink, to make sure they’re not wearing anything anyone can fetishize, to not flirt with anyone, to stay home from parties, to watch her own drink like a hawk, etc. Otherwise, she deserves to be sexually abused. That’s what most people think is OKAY.

        • adam

          OBVIOUSLY, through out its history The Church has removed any right not to be sexually abused.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          The concept of modesty has no value but to people who blame victims of sexual harrassment and rape “for being immodest”.

        • MNb

          Well well, you have an interesting point here. Let’s consider some other rights then.

          http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html

          Article 9 for instance. Would you apply it to a fetus? If a fetus is a person then every single imprisoned pregnant mother should released immediately – the fetus (as a person) is subjected to arbitrary detention as it has done nothing. Or do you think it acceptable imprisoning young persons arbitrarily because they don’t have the responsibility yet that goes with it?
          And what responsibility comes with food and clothing (article 25)? None? Then the fetus has a right to be clothed and feed that doesn’t depend on the mother according to you.
          That or you pulled off an ad hoc argument.

        • Kodie

          I don’t mean to be contrary here, but I haven’t been allowed to scream my head off in a grocery store in decades.

        • Otto

          Well if we are getting technical an infant does not have that right either…;)

          The store owner/manager may decide to acquiesce to the infant but it is not required.

        • Kodie

          As a culture, lots of people are pretty tolerant of people who can’t help what they do. I’m not even talking infants, but anyone under the age of 4 or 5, generally. They can’t help it, and so the rest of us think it’s ok if you are young, but are also in favor of teaching kids to stop doing things nobody likes. There are a few places where kids aren’t allowed based solely on the expectation that their behavior may be uncontrollable, and that nobody likes it. And yet, some adults defy such restrictions because their child is so special and different.

          I’ve been the awful adult at public places who makes any bare signal that the offending behavior is unpleasant, and well fuck that adult, “they’re just children!” I might as well tell the story where I got into a shouting argument with a woman whose child ran in a bookstore (maybe 10 or 11 years old, maybe older, maybe just 7 or 8 and just tall for his age), I was just about to step onto the escalator, and he ran around and ahead of me and I had the motherloving gall to roll my eyes. Well, people. It’s a sad world where I have to control my silent impulses that didn’t hurt a child’s self-esteem one fucking bit. It’s wrong, society thinks you’re a monster if you dare get irritated at the rude “uncontrollable” behaviors of any child in a public place, ever. That’s not even the only incident. I once got in line at a local fast-ish food place while a young girl played with dolls on the floor in front of the counter where her mother was in line ahead of me. Since I was carrying an unwieldy bag about 20 pounds or so over one arm, I politely spoke directly to the girl that it might not be the safest place to play, as I was afraid I might lose my balance and fall or hit her with my bag. Holy shit was her mother fucked up about that. How dare I.

          Society seems 100% equipped to go ballistic on your ass the moment you seem to mind the presence of children being children, anywhere, at any time. So it’s ok to scream your head off almost anywhere under the age of 5 or 10, hell, I don’t know, but it’s not ok for adults to have a facial expression other than “everything is just how I like it.”

        • Otto

          I could not agree with you more.

        • Greg G.

          I grew out of the screaming my head off in grocery stores stage months ago. But I understand it is acceptable and expected in department stores the day after Thanksgiving.

        • Ignorant Amos

          We’re wild for it in this part of the world ffs…mustard we are.

        • Kodie

          I didn’t grow out of it, but I regrettably had to learn that no one likes that shit so knock it off.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s just that when I imagine 1/2 of a person, I think of a victim of a bombing, not an unborn human.

          Stupid. No such thing as half a person. It’s like trying to describe half a hole. If I’m understanding Bob correctly, that’s his point. A single cell is not a person, nor is an 8 mo…one becomes a person at birth…whenever that time is.

          So you imagine “person” is based on physical percentage of body mass missing…and equate it to the example of what’s left after a bombing?

          This guy might have something to say about that, ya heel…

          https://c.o0bg.com/rf/image_1200w/Boston/2011-2020/2016/05/10/BostonGlobe.com/BigPicture/Images/2016-05-09T161301Z_74672256_S1AETDBSRTAA_RTRMADP_3_USA-INVICTUS-GAMES.jpg

          Individuals without complete bodies are as much a person as you and I, more so in many cases in my opinion.

          Edit to fix html tag and fix double negative.

        • Stupid. No such thing as half a person. It’s like trying to describe half a hole. If I’m understanding Bob correctly, that’s his point. A single cell is not a person, nor is an 8 mo…one becomes a person at birth…whenever that time is.

          LMAO:

          LB: Out of curiosity, when is a human being 3/5 of a full person?

          BS: Don’t know. Don’t much care. Somewhere between single cell (0%) and newborn (100%).

          vs.

          LB: Now, I really don’t know what it means for someone to be 1/2 of a person or 3/5 of a person. How does that legally work out? In my mind, someone either is a person or isn’t a person.

          And just to be clear:

          BS: And you? What term do you use to differentiate between the single cell and the newborn? That is, what property does the newborn have that the single cell doesn’t? “A newborn is a ___, but the single cell 9 months earlier wasn’t.”

          LB: The property of being born. To fill in your blank, you could use ‘air-breather’.

          BS: There is no spectrum of air breathing here. Surely English, with its many words to distinguish subtle differences between categories of children, is powerful to describe what a newborn (or 8-mo fetus, if that makes the challenge clearer to you) has that the single cell doesn’t.

          Bob is clearly looking for a word with a spectrum, not a word which is binary. Your animus toward me has resulted in you entirely distorting not just my view, but Bob’s as well.

          Individuals without complete bodies are as much a person as you and I, more so in many cases in my opinion.

          I wonder if maybe I agree with that:

          BS: Someone without legs? A quadriplegic? Blind? Those all sound like 99% persons to me.

          LB: They sound like 100% persons to me, with [100% of] the right not to be murdered.

          Ah.

        • MNb

          Yeah yeah, we already know that you only want to understand your favourite Messias Claimant charitably and certainy no single unbeliever.
          In BobS’ terminology a human being is not synonymous to a person. Undoubtedly you will now start off another Lukieboy show trying to semantically prove that the two expressions are and thus boring our asses from our bodies. I hope so (even if I won’t read more than one sentence of it), because it will confirm my first sentence.

        • adam

          “Undoubtedly you will now start off another Lukieboy show trying to
          semantically prove that the two expressions are and thus boring our
          asses from our bodies.”

          I could use a good nap this afternoon.

        • Ignorant Amos

          LMAO:

          I’m RATFLMAO right back at ya…Clampett.

          Ya see I employed a Breurism…on purpose…for this reason.

          IF I’m understanding Bob correctly, that’s his point.

          You see I put that in there just for you Luke.

          But anyway, let’s continue as IF I hadn’t used that IF and the rest of your comment had relevance.

          LB: Out of curiosity, when is a human being 3/5 of a full person?

          BS: Don’t know. Don’t much care. Somewhere between single cell (0%) and newborn (100%).

          I’m pretty sure Bob doesn’t consider a single cell a person. I’m pretty sure Bob doesn’t think that person fits into the spectrum between 0% – 100%. I’m pretty sure Bob is trying to coerce an answer from you so that the debate can actually get up and running. So, IF I’m correct here, Bob doesn’t care where you stick your pin, he just wants you to stick it somewhere.

          vs.

          LB: Now, I really don’t know what it means for someone to be 1/2 of a person or 3/5 of a person. How does that legally work out?

          Yeah, but you have no problem imagining 1/2 a person would be something like the victim of a bombing.

          LB: In my mind, someone either is a person or isn’t a person.

          Someone? What do you mean by someone? How does that apply to the 0% – 100% spectrum? When does the “someone” appear?

          When is this “someone” either a person, or isn’t a person? Your position, IF I’m reading you correctly, is that this incident happens pre-birth, but you won’t or can’t answer when or why?

          Nope, no clearer.

          Bob is clearly looking for a word with a spectrum, not a word which is binary.

          Bob is clearly trying to commit to your conviction, you are weaselling out of giving a clear, coherent, erudite reply.

          Your animus toward me has resulted in you entirely distorting not just my view, but Bob’s as well.

          And your rush to kick back has resulted in your entirely distorting my comment.

          Which definition of animus are you employing btw?

          BS: Someone without legs? A quadriplegic? Blind? Those all sound like 99% persons to me.

          Let’s put this bit into context.

          LB: when I imagine 1/2 of a person, I think of a victim of a bombing, not an unborn human.

          BS: I don’t. Someone without legs? A quadriplegic? Blind? Those all sound like 99% persons to me. You only can seriously undo personhood if you turn back the clock.

          It appears to me, IF I’m understanding it correctly, that Bob is being facetiously sarcastic there with the 99% person, given your 1/2 a person bomb victim. But I could be wrong, just like I could be wrong about all i’m assuming about Bob’s position.

          LB: They sound like 100% persons to me, with [100% of] the right not to be murdered.

          So by your logic then, a single cell is a person?

          So, here we are again on the precipice of another Luke Breuer excursion down the rabbit hole and all because you latched onto a single sentence in my comment, preferring to ignore the crux, because smoke & mirrors, with large dollops of “look, over there, squirrel’s” and other obfuscation’s, is much more fun in Luke Breuer world.

        • adam

          LOL

          So glad you are having so much fun at Lukes expense.

          Great job!

        • Let me point out that you made no mention of “spectrum” in your initial question.

          I should’ve. But now you know what we’re talking about?

          Now, I really don’t know what it means for someone to be 1/2 of a person or 3/5 of a person.

          What’s hard about it? Surely 1/2 is between 0 and 1. If 0 is at the 1-cell stage and 1 is at the trillion-cell newborn, surely it’s in there somewhere. We can legitimately differ on where that line is, but you and I could each take a stab at it.

          In my mind, someone either is a person or isn’t a person.

          Seems like a very simple concept to me. You might say that a Klingon is 95% a human. You might say that a chimpanzee is 50% a human.

          But again, if you don’t like “person” as the label for the spectrum of development, I’m interested in what would be better.

          Any sense of being less than 1/1 of a person makes me think of slavery

          Seems forced to me. Even the slaveowner from 1840 would agree that an African slave is far, far more like he is than a blastocyst is.

          I exclude such possibilities of a “spectrum” as inhumane. I’m left with the null set for good spectrum-words which would work for you and would would get my buy-in.

          Sounds like, “I refuse to play a game that makes me look bad.”

          And my quest for the honest, open-minded pro-life person willing to engage the issues continues …

          The two are often deeply entangled, and I think that’s precisely what is going on here, with your desire for a spectrum-word.

          It seems like you have an easygoing and comfortable relationship with English until it suits you to not.

          The evidence only gives you a set of hypothetical imperatives; what values you inject are arbitrary

          I tried to correct you before, but you’re doing it again. Arbitrary means, “not planned or chosen for a particular reason.” No one is throwing darts at possible answers here. I propose using evidence and reason.

          there are still a lot of choices, which are completely arbitrary

          and here.

          since you see morality as a matter of utter subjectivity

          Subjective and relative and related words have made a jumbled hash of the not-objective position. Let’s just say that I reject objective morality.

          when I imagine 1/2 of a person, I think of a victim of a bombing, not an unborn human.

          I don’t. Someone without legs? A quadriplegic? Blind? Those all sound like 99% persons to me. You only can seriously undo personhood if you turn back the clock.

          The development stage when we laypeople can’t distinguish the lizard embryo from the human is when we’re really dialed back the personhood.

          Perhaps you are consistent and believe that neither the Right nor the Left has much to offer?

          Alas—our concord was so short lived. I thought we agreed that the conservative and liberal political platforms are not identical, with the conservatives more eager to help businesses and shrink government than liberals and liberals more eager to create programs for the disadvantaged. No more agreement?

        • I should’ve. But now you know what we’re talking about?

          Yes. I simply suggest lightening up on that Three Stooges trigger finger of yours.

          What’s hard about it?

          What’s 1/2 of the right not to be murdered?

          Seems like a very simple concept to me. You might say that a Klingon is 95% a human. You might say that a chimpanzee is 50% a human.

          No, I wouldn’t say either of those things. But I’d be happy to say that chimps and humans share some % of common DNA.

          But again, if you don’t like “person” as the label for the spectrum of development, I’m interested in what would be better.

          I need to know what the full purpose of the word is.

          Even the slaveowner from 1840 would agree that an African slave is far, far more like he is than a blastocyst is.

          How is 3/5 of a person not much more than a balstocyst, on the slaveowner’s reasoning?

          Sounds like, “I refuse to play a game that makes me look bad.”

          You can spin whatever story you want. I already said, “But I’m happy to hammer out a translation, so that when you say “person”, I understand it as “_____”.” What more can you want? Well, you can want buy-in—moral approval. You’re probably not going to get that.

          It seems like you have an easygoing and comfortable relationship with English until it suits you to not.

          Oh good grief, do I really need to quote from a famous philosopher who justifies the existence of entanglement of fact and value in language? (Clearly my own opinion is garbage in your sight.) Do I really have to go to the mat on this issue, for you to back down from this assault on my intellectual character? Because I’m happy to. I would start with Hilary Putnam’s The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and perhaps move on to a cited work, Bernard Williams’ Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. I could go on to talk about the rejection of the fact/​value dichotomy by sociologists.

          I tried to correct you before, but you’re doing it again. Arbitrary means, “not planned or chosen for a particular reason.” No one is throwing darts at possible answers here. I propose using evidence and reason.

          Subjective preferences are not ‘arbitrary’?

          Subjective and relative and related words have made a jumbled hash of the not-objective position. Let’s just say that I reject objective morality.

          This “jumbled hash” is obvious, by your unwillingness/​inability to describe what phenomena would falsify subjective/​relative morality, as well as Greg G.’s inability.

          Someone without legs? A quadriplegic? Blind? Those all sound like 99% persons to me.

          They sound like 100% persons to me, with [100% of] the right not to be murdered.

          The development stage when we laypeople can’t distinguish the lizard embryo from the human is when we’re really dialed back the personhood.

          Why should the law care about this “can’t distinguish”? Aristotle thought he could clearly distinguish between slaves and not-slaves, and many agreed with him because they were culturally conditioned to see a distinction which relied in uneven actualization of human potential. Likewise, an early-development human being has yet to actualize much of its potential. Are we going to judge a being by how much of its potential it has actualized, or how much potential it has? Are we going to judge by identity or ability?

          I thought we agreed that the conservative and liberal political platforms are not identical, with the conservatives more eager to help businesses and shrink government than liberals and liberals more eager to create programs for the disadvantaged. No more agreement?

          And here I was, thinking we agreed that both the Left and Right imagine they’re helping the little guy. Who cares if programs are created with the claimed purpose of reducing poverty if they don’t actually reduce poverty? That’s as helpful as trickle-down economics.

        • adam

          “Oh good grief, do I really need to quote from a famous philosopher who justifies the existence of entanglement of fact and value in language?”

          Oh please do.
          Not that you could demonstrate its significance to the discussion.

          I am having trouble sleeping this afternoon.

        • What’s 1/2 of the right not to be murdered?

          You’re just determined to complexify, aren’t you?

          See the fetus in my other comment? What fraction of a person is that? I’d say less than half. But you’re an all-or-nothing kinda guy, aren’t you? If that has H. sapiens DNA, it’s 100% person—is that right? Do you demand that others see it the same way, or are you willing to allow them to have abortions?

          I need to know what the full purpose of the word is.

          Do you? I didn’t think that it much mattered. You seem determined to avoid labeling the spectrum of development as anything interesting. You’ll deny reality if it lets you avoid saying that something goes from 0% person (or some similar word) to 100%.

          How is 3/5 of a person not much more than a balstocyst, on the slaveowner’s reasoning?

          You’re so cute sometimes. “3/5 person” was a legal fiction. Persons are good for the South when it gives them federal representation but bad when it risks the slave business. Understand now?

          My statement stands: “the slaveowner from 1840 would agree that an African slave is far, far more like he is than a blastocyst is.”

          I already said, “But I’m happy to hammer out a translation, so that when you say “person”, I understand it as “_____”.” What more can you want? Well, you can want buy-in—moral approval. You’re probably not going to get that.

          I’ve made clear that I’m happy for you to suggest a word for the spectrum besides personhood. You justify walking away from the challenge by saying you don’t want to play that “game,” if I recall correctly.

          Do I really have to go to the mat on this issue, for you to back down from this assault on my intellectual character? Because I’m happy to.

          Nice! You’re in high dudgeon, and can walk away feeling good and insulted, while my challenge to name the spectrum remains unanswered. Looks like you win again.

          Subjective preferences are not ‘arbitrary’?

          I’m pretty sure we’ve been over this. Preferences that I figure out in my own mind and throwing darts at possible conclusions are different things.

          This “jumbled hash” is obvious, by your unwillingness/inability to describe what phenomena would falsify subjective/relative morality, as well as Greg G.’s inability.

          My stand is due to apologists like Greg Koukl who define “moral relativism” in a bizarre way that doesn’t describe my position. Much simpler to say that I reject objective morality.

          I’ve told you many times how objective morality would be shown, in broad terms at least: take a vexing moral issue like abortion, same-sex marriage, or capital punishment. Show that the solution is (1) objective rather than simply being widely or viscerally felt and (2) reliably accessible by we humans. What I demand is more than objective morality because of part 2. But only with part 2 would we have evidence that could be put forward to support the claim of objective morality. Otherwise, it’s just, “Trust me—my moral position on this issue is objectively true.”

          They sound like 100% persons to me, with [100% of] the right not to be murdered.

          OK, then I wonder at your position. Remember that you’re the one who said, “When I imagine 1/2 of a person, I think of a victim of a bombing, not an unborn human.”

          I said: “I don’t. Someone without legs? A quadriplegic? Blind? Those all sound like 99% persons to me.”

          You were calling bombing victims “1/2 of a person,” and I was resisting. But now you’ve taken the moral high road again? Score one more for Luke.

          Why should the law care about this “can’t distinguish”?

          Who cares? I’m not talking about the law. I’m talking about ordinary people and the spectrum of development.

          Are we going to judge a being by how much of its potential it has actualized, or how much potential it has?

          Potential is potential. It doesn’t count. If I shot you now, I wouldn’t be guilty of killing the president. I need to wait for you to become president first before that crime would be possible.

        • adam

          “You’re just determined to complexify, aren’t you?”

          The very first sign of deception.

        • adam

          “Nice! You’re in high dudgeon, and can walk away feeling good and
          insulted, while my challenge to name the spectrum remains unanswered.
          Looks like you win again.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          dudg·eon
          ˈdəjən/

          noun
          a feeling of offense or deep resentment.

          New word for me…thanks.

        • Greg G.

          Thanks for looking it up for me. It doesn’t mean what I thought it meant.

        • adam

          “Do I really have to go to the mat on this issue, for you to back down from this assault on my intellectual character?”

          Your ‘intellectual character’?

          As a cowardly liar and deceiver, it seems as if Bob is just trying to elevate your ‘character’ to something more HONEST….

        • adam

          ” Are we going to judge a being by how much of its potential it has actualized, or how much potential it has? ”

          Sounds like you are TRYING….

          But of course, HItler was a zygote at one time.
          So were the Popes

          Potential?

        • adam

          “That’s as helpful as trickle-down economics.”

          Of course….

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “What’s 1/2 of the right not to be murdered?”

          Now Luke, how many people have you murdered by not having your organs used without your informed consent by persons who would die without them?

        • Kodie

          It’s just that when I imagine 1/2 of a person, I think of a victim of a bombing, not an unborn human.

          And you want to lecture about what is and is not “humane”? Brains are us. We are our brains. We always round to zero or up to 1. There is no “half”. 3/5 of a person was the amount their vote counted compared to a white person’s vote. If they could be bought and sold, they weren’t even 1 human being. But you are trying to count whether a person with a brain missing some limbs is 1/2 a person compared to a cluster of cells with no neural network at all, but they have the appearance of 4 limbs. Fuck you and your measurement of a person.

        • Kodie

          It’s pictures like that why I wonder why everyone isn’t an atheist or at least gives up creationism or the idea that humans are god’s creatures. All I see when I look around are apes. Any time someone stuffs food in their face and digests it, I mean why need to? Why are we so similar to all the other animals? Why do we need just like animals? Oh, but a lizard has never composed a symphony! I haven’t either, have you?

        • I remember puzzling over how dogs are so good at reading human faces. They know where our eyes and mouth are, even though the structure of our faces are quite different from dogs’. If we ignore any differences between dogs and wolves and assume wolves evolved without any shaping by humans, how did this happen? How are they so smart?

          But then I realized that it’s not “Why are dogs so good at reading general faces, just like people?” but rather “We humans are good at reading faces for the same reason dogs are–because we evolved from other mammals millions of years ago that could read faces.”

          That makes humanity far less marvelous.

        • Susan

          That makes humanity far less marvelous.

          Far less special, I’d say. The whole story’s frickin’ marvelous.

          Imaginary deities who care especially about humans are human inventions.

          They were clearly created by a species that wanders around oblivious to the story of life on this planet and indifferent to everything but themselves.

        • Myna A.

          “Far less special, I’d say. The whole story’s frickin’ marvelous.

          Imaginary deities who care especially about humans are human inventions.

          They were clearly created by a species that wanders around oblivious to the story of life on this planet and indifferent to everything but themselves.”

          Ah, but to have read that on a Sunday.

        • busterggi

          I rather think it just makes other animals more marvelous than we usually give them credit for being.

        • Kodie

          The more I learn about animals, the more sure I am that atheism is correct.

        • Susan

          It’s pictures like that why I wonder why everyone isn’t an atheist or at least gives up creationism or the idea that humans are god’s creatures.

          .

          They don’t show those pictures.

        • (That image is of a 5-week-old human fetus.)

        • Susan

          Here is a picture of an elephant at eleven weeks:

          http://badcontrol.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/animals-womb-1.jpg

        • No, that’s a human! No … a lizard! No, a mouse!

          Damn these early fetuses–they all look alike.

        • Ignorant Amos

          As exemplified by evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne in his book, “Why Evolution is True”.

        • Kodie

          Here’s where I start to think weird. Humans aren’t precious as elephants. Elephants are endangered, but humans aren’t. Force all the elephant fetuses to be born, because what’s the difference to elephant mother choices? We don’t think like elephant mothers might not want to have babies. Humans are really not that important. Let’s use the example of my sister. I wanted a sister, but my mother seemed to hope for another son. So we got a person, but it was a different person than my mother seemed to assume she’d have. As it turns out, we don’t get along, me and my sister. She’s ok when she’s ok, but I have to keep on eggshells or she may rage out and feel too much. Do I miss my brother? I didn’t get another brother, I got a sister I can’t get along with if we’re being honest. I didn’t get a brother I would probably be a little distant from, since all indications, he would be such a mama’s boy and would share tons of the personal dysfunctions me and my other brother would share, but would it be as severe or less severe, or perhaps more severe? I envision a younger brother as someone who might have gone pretty bad – not just overly sensitive and critical, but culturally accessible to acting out his almost necessary excessive need for attention (like my sister, but a boy).

          Anyway, I don’t think we need that many humans. While I understand “individuals”, there seems to be type, so we have enough women who are my sister, or men who could have been my younger brother. I think a lot of people, not just religious, get like, well my sister is special, she’s my sister, but if she wasn’t born, or was born a boy instead, I wouldn’t miss her. I hardly miss her now, and I don’t get all gooey sentimental, like “my precious unique nephew wouldn’t exiiiiiiiist if my sister wasn’t born!!!” So what. I love him, but also, who needs him? What’s so necessary that he was born that the world couldn’t do without? I guess it’s sort of the same with elephants. They’re endangered, and we like how elephants are, but is the fetus in the picture very special, as far as elephants go? It’s only special because elephants are elephants, and there are so many less elephants than humans that we (some of us) are prone to protect any projection of a future elephant ahead of a human, even given the material at the time is equally expendable, in theory. In a world where humans existed without elephants, though, what’s the loss? That our children’s children might not ever see one? Elephants deserve a habitat that’s not hostile toward them, but they don’t consciously procreate or abort. It really seems our only interest in elephants is the preservation of elephants for human spectacle, and not for the elephants themselves.

        • Susan

          Humans aren’t precious as elephants.

          I’ve never understood why humans would be especially important. It’s a human fixation, one which ;even atheists assume.

          I put up with it because I find that where humans are better treated, the arguments for the well-being of non-humans do much better.

          I’ve never seen a good argument for the instrinsic value of humans. Just the assumption. As far as I can tell, arguing for the rights of humans has some benefits for the rights of non-humans.

          I roll my eyes at “They’re delicious. And I don’t have a problem with that.” (Elephants aren’t being wiped out because they’re delicious but because there are seven billion humans and habitat is being wiped out and because there is a high black market value among humans for elephant tusks. It’s the same thing as far as I’m concerned.)

          The rest of your post addresses “potential persons” and I agree. It’s just a silly, empty argument desperately trying to make a case for souls in a world where there is no evidence for souls.

          Potential souls are not a moral issue and the efforts of people to push it forward as though it were a central issue are ridiculous and deeply harmful to actual beings,.

        • Kodie

          I didn’t even get into the kinds of species humans don’t want around and are prone to kill, genocide-style. When I look at human behaviors, I really just see animals. Animals who talk and make up new ways not to be bored, but opportunistic. I mean, if you talk about stuff like cockroaches and mice and stuff, they are really just looking for food and a place to live and raise a family, they’re not thinking, how much of a pest can I make of myself intruding on the living space of another species. They don’t gross us out on purpose. Humans are just as oblivious when finding food and making homes. We don’t do it to deplete the habitats of other species, but then we’re really the only species who can know that’s what we’re doing when we do it – some of us try to care, and others think, who gives a fuck, that’s the perk of being the dominant species. Soulless as a cockroach.

        • pennyroyal

          I hate when human life is somehow privileged over other life. It’s grotesque that humans breed all out of proportion to the planet’s ability to support us, let alone other animals.

          If you want to talk about an unnecessary ‘abortion’ of real living beings, look at the two sons of one Donald Trump. They were trophy hunters in Africa, slaughtering dozens of large animals (giraffes, lions, hippos, ostrich, even elephants). It’s time we hold sacred all life, or if you are a humanist/buddhist like me, a compassion for all sentient beings.

        • adam

          ” Any sense of being less than 1/1 of a person makes me think of slavery, ”

          And just what is wrong with slavery, Luke?

          Dont tell us you have better morals than your own “God”?

        • pennyroyal

          May I extend your point. Forcing a woman to continue a pregnancy and give birth is equivalent to enslaving her. Women, even in the USA, who have been prosecuted, and even imprisoned, simply because they had an incomplete miscarriage.

          If you criminalize women who miscarry, you need to look to god who ’causes’ 50% of conceptions to miscarry and pass out of the vagina during the next menses. This is medical fact.

        • adam

          “Let me point out that you made no mention of “spectrum” in your initial question.”

          Why should he have to?

        • adam

          “Note that it is possible to morally harm the potential of a human being. ”

          Which is why the church is all for pedophilia and against masterbation…

        • adam

          “You’re the king of long, involved NON-discussion threads.”

          ftfy

        • Ignorant Amos

          For example, we might scientifically examine when a human starts being capable of fearing death, subtract a safety margin from that age, and say it’s ok to terminate humans younger than the result. Why would that be wrong, according to you?

          Slight problem, not all people fear death.

          Religiosity can be a factor in thanatophobia or death anxiety. But I suppose it depends on the religion.

          https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254319806_Religiosity_and_fear_of_death_A_three-nation_comparison

          I’m curious as to when you started to fear death and why?

          Aren’t you Christians going to a better place? Shouldn’t ya’ll be ecstatic at the prospect of death?

          According to the Bible, you are doing it all wrong if you fear death.

          1 John 4:17-18 This is how love has been perfected among us: we will have confidence on the day of judgment because, during our time in this world, we are just like him. There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.

          Philippians 1:21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

          2 Corinthians 5:6-8 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

          Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

          Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

          Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.

          Seems irrational to me that a genuine believer should fear death at all.

        • adam

          ” I’d still like an accounting for those five decades of not-overall-decreasing poverty.”

          Conservatives….

        • adam

          “It is as if you have little belief that conservatives have much to offer.”

          So far you havent…

          You’ve mostly played the victim:

        • pennyroyal

          my reading of this schema is that conservatives are denying, excusing, and blaming everyone but themselves. Just look at what Trump is like. He cries victim every time he doesn’t get his way. He bullies people into submission. Now he has the most far right conservative VP candidate ever in the GOP.

          Women are saying to themselves that they have to be able to make decisions regarding their bodies, own their bodies as theirs (autonomy) and take responsibility for the consequences. Those consequences may be regret or guilt but overwhelmingly women do not say they experience this. That it was necessary, though sad and difficult.

        • pennyroyal

          The goal of the religious right is to dominate and control women’s lives, make sure they remain docile and compliant, so women never can question male (supposed) superiority.

          Look up Catholics for Choice online and on FB. These are Catholics who say they don’t want women dominated in their name. They, IMHO, are the ‘real’ Catholics. They retain the decency that groups like the US Bishops have lost in the hierarchy’s push to dominate our democracy with by writing Catholic doctrine into US law.

        • The goal of the religious right is to dominate and control women’s lives, make sure they remain docile and compliant, so women never can question male (supposed) superiority.

          I do not agree with the Religious Right on a great number of things. This is one of them.

        • MNb

          Outlawing abortion is a way to dominate and control women’s lives.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But sure Luke gets around that by not being a total arse and permitting the idea that the few abortions occasioned due to ectopic and rape pregnancies are reasonable. Except that that blows his a fetus is a person with rights nonsense clean out of the water.

          Luke has completely undermined his own argument by agreeing to any caveats in the choice argument. End of.

        • Yes, rape does present this problem. In order to justify abortion in rape, one has to either make the embryo/​fetus less than a person, or elevate the crime of rape to be as bad as murder. I would be inclined to do the latter. Furthermore, the murder of the embryo/​fetus—if this is chosen by the woman—would be on the head of the rapist.

          I have no idea why you bring in ectopic pregnancies. I’m pretty sure there’s no way to bring that embryo to term.

        • adam

          “In order to justify abortion in rape, one has to either make the
          embryo/​fetus less than a person, or elevate the crime of rape to be as
          bad as murder. I would be inclined to do the latter. ”

          It is obvious which way bible “God” came down on this:

        • Furthermore, the murder of the embryo/​fetus—if this is chosen by the woman—would be on the head of the rapist.

          Huh? How does the woman who callously goes into an abortion clinic to get an abortion get off crime-free?? Is the fetus a person or not?

          Simpler: say that personhood is a spectrum from not a person (1 cell) to person (newborn). All the logic points that way.

          Another tip: don’t imagine that you’ve got it all figured out so that you’re justified in imposing your moral view (illegal abortions) on the rest of the country by law.

        • It’d be a deal made with the devil to save the vast majority of embryos and fetuses.
          I maintain that I don’t know what 50% of a person is.

        • adam

          “It’d be a deal made with the devil to save the vast majority of embryos and fetuses. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f3cc7021ec8dcd0c759d3cd19222574c6329049c2938e014785f5f7b21d

        • You’re saying that you couldn’t look at a series of 40 pictures, weekly snapshots of the development process, and give a percentage of personhood for each from 0 to 100%? Or do you still want to go with “Golly–I can’t tell a microscopic cell from a trillion-cell newborn; they look identical in every meaningful way to me”?

        • We’ve been over this: I need to know all the uses you require of the spectrum-word. After all, you believe that is ⇏ ought, right? So mere empirical description could be morally and legally irrelevant.

        • Another invented obstacle! Impressive. Boy, when you don’t want to make progress, everything is in your way.

          Someone who actually wanted to push the conversation forward would advance a definition of spectrum (I can see no nuance here, so I wouldn’t be able to help), answer any open questions, and then respond to my 40-week challenge.

          Or you could just be a timid bunny and just sit there, helpless and adorable. That’s my prediction.

        • Someone who actually wanted to push the conversation forward would advance a definition of spectrum (I can see no nuance here, so I wouldn’t be able to help), answer any open questions, and then respond to my 40-week challenge.

          Why is the onus on me to “advance a definition of spectrum&#