Debate w Atheist on Contraception, Abortion, & Sex Ed

Debate w Atheist on Contraception, Abortion, & Sex Ed March 15, 2021

Jon Curry is an atheist I’ve known for many years, and have met in person many times (along with his atheist friends), since he lives in metro Detroit. His words will be in blue. We had this discussion on another Facebook page.

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[expressed to someone else] By the same token maybe you “couldn’t help liking” Josef Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler on a personal level and overlook the fact that they had this annoying shortcoming: believing killing Jews was okay?

What is the difference of principle? Biden and Harris support legal abortion through all nine months. In effect, they could stand by and watch those children being butchered and murdered and give their stamp of approval to it being legal.
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But you can’t help liking them. Sorry, I can’t “like” a person with a view like that. I can love them, as part of loving all human beings and desiring their best. But not this touchy-feely affectionate bit.
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If you can do it with them I don’t see what is so different compared to Goebbels and Himmler, Stalin, Pol Pot and other butchering tyrants. They all advocated murdering helpless and innocent people.
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But I don’t see how you could say you like them, too. I don’t believe there is any way out of this logical dilemma (other than ceasing to say such people are “nice” and likable). To even have to point out such obvious analogies is only made necessary by the moral insanity of liberal advocacy of childkilling. . . .
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So you think people who tolerate and allow murder are “nice people”? I could say, “I think I am in favor of allowing euthanasia” or “I favor gangs killing young people in Chicago because that’s their choice” and you will say I am a nice guy?
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It’s still moral insanity. You don’t get out of the moral dilemma this way. Biden and Harris are [arguably] a little better than Himmler but not by much. In fact, by biblical standards they are worse, by the principle, “to whom much is given, much is required.”
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I struggle to make sense of pro-life people who see abortion as this amazing monstrosity on the order of what Hitler did but at the same time don’t advocate sex ed and ease of access to birth control. It seems it’s one or the other, I get that birth control is sinful for Catholics, but there are mortal sins and venial sins. If you see abortion as a holocaust then obviously birth control is preferable. Maybe I’m mistaken but it seems to me another form of toleration of murder. [posted a link to an article]
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Of course, contraception is a grave, mortal sin in Catholic teaching.
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Which is exactly why I didn’t say it isn’t a grave sin or isn’t a mortal sin. I said it “is not so grave a sin AS COMPARED TO ABORTION.” You compare abortion to a holocaust. Pre marital sex is not a holocaust.
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You made a direct association of contraception with the mortal vs venial sin issue (“I get that birth control is sinful for Catholics, but there are mortal sins and venial sins”), so I made the obvious Catholic reply. Now you try to revise what you yourself stated, as if you didn’t. This is a constant problem in attempting debate with you. You massively contradict yourself and you are a slippery fish: ever changing and denying what you already argued. Your thinking is thoroughly inconsistent and incoherent.
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I advocate a morally traditional sex education, control of one’s sexual drive (I would say with God’s necessary grace), and Natural Family Planning where applicable. If you don’t want a child at any given time, don’t hop into bed with the opposite sex. Duh! Be morally responsible. This used to be instinctive, self-evident knowledge. Now it’s some sort of novelty and is as inexplicable to the average secularist or liberal as quantum mechanics.
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If you make a mistake or fall into passion and don’t want a resulting child, then be loving and give them up for adoption; not brutal and merciless and selfish, allowing them to be tortured and murdered by some scumbag abortionist in it for profits only: simply because of the circumstance of their conception.
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You yourself used to understand these things. But as you went atheist and moved so far left you are almost right, it seems you have forsaken the most innocent and defenseless among us, too. It’s beyond tragic, to reject God, Christianity, and also the fundamental right to life of all human beings.
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If you follow my link you will find data that show if you propose your solutions in lieu of sex ed and contraception availability you will create conditions that lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of additional innocent babies every year.
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I don’t understand the lack of urgency on this. If you see this as a holocaust, but you accept it in lieu of teaching sex ed, it just seems it’s not being prioritized in the way a holocaust should be. Do you really view it as a holocaust? If so you support sex ed. Pre-marital sex is not so grave a sin as compared to abortion.
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Fornication is also a grave, mortal sin in Catholic teaching.
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What’s instinctive Dave is sex. There’s nothing more instinctive. The drive for sex. People are going to have sex before they are married. Not in every case, but in many cases. That’s a given. With that knowledge we have to make decisions about whether we want to take steps to prevent possible abortions or not. The pro-life position has to be support for the steps that reduce the number of abortions. Sex ed and contraception is the pro-life position.
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Teaching God’s plan for the purpose of sex and Natural Family Planning is the pro-life position. Take that away and we have the catastrophe we see today all around us. All of Pope St. Paul VI’s dire predictions in 1968 in his encyclical Humanae Vitae have come true and then some.
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It’s hard for me to understand how behavior that increases the number of abortions can be pro-life behavior. My position is the pro-life position because I support action that reduces the number of abortions.
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[to someone else] I agree pre-marital sex and more promiscuity are related to the increase in abortion, . . . I know that less stigma and more sex outside of marriage correlates with more abortion. 
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You make many idiotic statements. It’s plain as the nose on your face that increased contraception doesn’t decrease abortion. It was precisely when the Pill became available in 1960 that the sexual revolution exploded and guess what? Abortion (desire for it and increased legal availability) exponentially increased.
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And it does either because people use contraception wrongly or don’t bother to use it at all. It increases because the notion of “sex without responsibility” makes people engage in sex before marriage or married sex (when the woman is fertile) while not desiring a child all the more. More sex, more babies, more abortion: whether contraception is known about or encouraged or not. I’d say it’s almost self-evident and simply common sense to grasp this correlation. But leftism and moral anti-traditionalism is anything but common sense.
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In any event, it’s undeniable that increased availability of contraception (particularly the Pill) did not decrease abortion; it encouraged more of it. Laws against contraception were shot down in 1965 in Griswold v. Connecticut, which was precisely the legal background for the “right to privacy” that was the (emptyheaded) rationale for Roe v. Wade.
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 The pro-abort Guttmacher Institute backs up my statement as to the US:
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In seven countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Turkey, Tunisia and Switzerland—abortion incidence declined as prevalence of modern contraceptive use rose. In six others—Cuba, Denmark, Netherlands, the United States, Singapore and the Republic of Korea—levels of abortion and contraceptive use rose simultaneously. [source]
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Then they go into reasons, but the result was that contraception and abortion both rose in the US: as is indeed blindingly obvious to anyone without blinders on.
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It was precisely when the Pill became available in 1960 that the sexual revolution exploded and guess what?
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This is now my third time conceding this. The pill allows more promiscuity, which leads to abortion. I accept that. Where I differ from you and Greg is that I think that you must address abortion WITHIN EXISTING CONDITIONS. This is not the 1600s. The pill is not going away. A pro-life person considers strategies for reducing abortion based on existing conditions. That’s what I’m doing. This I argue is the pro-life approach. Preaching at people like it’s 1645 is not effective.
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We know this because conservatives have had the opportunity to preach abstinence only WITHIN EXISTING CONDITIONS and the data prove that it DID NOT reduce the incidence of abortion. Therefore following this approach WITHIN EXISTING CONDITIONS increases the number of abortions in America. By a large amount. On the level of hundreds of thousands of dead babies every year.
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1-I certainly think a person can be in favor of euthanasia and be a nice guy. I think euthanasia is morally acceptable.
2-No, I don’t think nice guys can be in favor of murderers just killing people in Chicago randomly.
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And how is the Chicago analogy not apt? The analogy is “allowing” abortion as other people’s choices and “allowing” Chicago gangs to kill others by their choice. The only difference is that you hold (I believe) that the preborn child is not a person or not a human being; therefore can be slaughtered at will, whereas the poor Chicago kids are born (as if that makes any difference); therefore human and persons. But “new” / leftist / Democrat pro-lifers do not believe that, so they have to find another way to get out of the horns of the dilemma.

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You contradict yourself (a not uncommon occurrence). You say: “With that knowledge we have to make decisions about whether we want to take steps to prevent possible abortions or not. The pro-life position has to be support for the steps that reduce the number of abortions. Sex ed and contraception is the pro-life position.”
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So here you say [if grammar and logic are what they are] that contraception [along with sex ed] is tied to “prevent[ing] possible abortions”. But then you say, “This is now my third time conceding this. The pill allows more promiscuity, which leads to abortion. I accept that.”
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So which is it: does greater availability of contraception increase or decrease abortion? You say both simultaneously, so your argument is incoherent and I have no idea what you’re even arguing, after this utter contradiction.
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There is no contradiction. It would be like the invention of cars. Did the invention of cars lead to an increase in deaths on the road? Yes. You are saying cars should be banned. It’s not in the cards, cars exist, they are not going away. Now we must ask what we are going to do about the fact that cars kill people WITHIN EXISTING CONDITIONS. Should we add seat belts, should we add air bags? You don’t like cars, you think people just shouldn’t drive them, just like the Pope predicted, if you have cars you’ll have traffic accidents. Yeah, so what? Cars aren’t going away. We need to decide if we are going to continue to see so many people die in cars or improve cars and reduce the death. The pro-life position is to reduce the death.
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I am not opposed to teaching about sex: I just want it done in a morally traditional way. All education inherently has a moral framework, whether it is acknowledged or not. It’s either gonna be secularism or some sort of moral traditionalism (usually Christianity, Judaism, Islam). Nor is the Catholic against all family planning, which is why we believe in Natural Family Planning, which is not contraception when understood and applied properly.
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So this is not doing nothing. It’s simply an approach that you can’t handle or accept because it’s traditional and religious-based: though it is also based on the data of social science, as to long-term happiness, stable marriages and families, etc.
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Secular social science backs up the notion that Christian observance leads to better marriages, stable families, and even (irony of ironies!) better sex in marriage. But let’s not confuse anyone with the facts of science . . .
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you hold (I believe) that the preborn child is not a person or not a human being.
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Honestly this is a tough issue for me, I won’t lie. You haven’t heard me say the pre-born is not a person and not a human being, that is not my view.
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When you talk about whether someone is a nice guy though it’s very important to step into their shoes. Take on their assumptions. So I suppose [“new” pro-lifers] would answer and say that yes, he regards the fetus as a person, but [they] can understand how a reasonable person might think differently and he can see that from their perspective they are not murderers.
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I suppose you know I am vegan, right? Honestly when I think about it too much it kills me what we do to pigs and cows and fish. And even chickens. People are deluding themselves and acting like it’s no big deal, like they don’t have feelings, like their pain doesn’t matter, like their emotions don’t matter. But people eat meat, I get that, I used to do the same. And so I don’t just say everyone that eats meat is terrible. And so I hate the meat industry, but I don’t hate the people who don’t know better. And that’s how it is with abortion. People are coming from a different place from you, you have to recognize that and therefore recognize that the moral implications for them supporting abortion vs you are different.

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I see, so you place human preborn babies on the level of “pigs and cows and fish. And even chickens”. It “kills” you: what we do to them. And you say, “People are deluding themselves and acting like it’s no big deal, like they don’t have feelings, like their pain doesn’t matter, like their emotions don’t matter.”
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Precisely! Note how you wax eloquently about the treatment of animals, yet won’t make the same statement about what happens in abortion to human beings, even though you say, “You haven’t heard me say the pre-born is not a person and not a human being, that is not my view.” You’re all over the ballpark, logically and morally. I wish this gave us hope that you could actually modify your positions to humane and morally progressive ones, but sadly, the evolution of your views over the last 10-15 years gives no one such hope.
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You make a direct analogy between eating meat and murdering children in abortion, as if there is any such analogy. It’s outrageous and preposterous: but completely par for the course for immoral and evil and unjust secularist views.
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I am against all the death, all the suffering. How is that all over the ball park?
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I explained how you were, but you never get it. It’s like this every time we try to dialogue. The most charitable take is that you simply don’t understand the rules of classical logic. I’m not trying to be insulting. Logic is a field of knowledge that people have to learn, just as with anything else.
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You try to make out that you are so compassionate about life. I commend you for your stand on veganism (while not holding it to be morally imperative for all). If you care so much about the abortion issue, too, however, you would simply continue to say you were pro-life and let it go at that. But you don’t. You refuse to say that a preborn human being has an inherent right to life, and on humanitarian grounds: just as you argue with regard to the animals.
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I’m interested in reducing animal death. I’m interested in reducing human death, including abortion.
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I don’t deny that. But the way to do it is to OPPOSE ABORTION itself. You want to reduce abortions (thus implying that you think they are wrong to some degree, anyway). Yet you won’t oppose the thing itself. You wouldn’t want to reduce it if you didn’t (down deep or whatever) regard it as wrong in the first place. You’re not trying to reduce people going to ball games or eating ice cream or riding a Ferris wheel.
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It’s like saying, “I oppose rape, but I don’t favor any laws against it” or “I oppose sexual harassment of women, but the harassers ought to have the right to choose. Who am I to oppose their natural inclinations? So I want to reduce the incidence of these outrages, but not make them illegal or punishable by law.”
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Any number of other analogies could be brought to bear. They show by analogy the logical absurdity and moral insanity of your position. So-called “pro-choice” has always been a morally outrageous, logically incoherent position, and will continue to be for all eternity.
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This is why I support sex ed and access to contraceptives. I’m not for “traditional” sex ed because it doesn’t work, it doesn’t save lives. This is why I’m against Republicans who oppose Medicare for All and paid maternity leave. These are policies that make the choice of life easier on women. Republicans are less pro-life than I am.
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I replied to this argument above and have written probably 20 articles about this business of how to make abortion less prevalent. It has to be based on moral principle, truth, and facts.
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I did talk about venial and mortal sin, but I was careful not to say pre-marital sex is a venial sin because I know it isn’t. So even though I made the association I was only raising the concept of major sin vs minor sin.
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It was yet another instance of you being confused in your presentation. The point is not that abortion is not more evil than fornication or contraception. It undeniably is, and the Church says so. We have no disagreement there. You specifically bought up the mortal / venial sin distinction, which implied that you were unaware that contraception was a mortal sin, not venial. If you didn’t actually mean that, then you were guilty of muddled, confused presentation. It happens all the time in debates with you. Again, I’m not trying to be mean, but only expressing how frustrating it is to go through these things again and again. Most muddled debating flows from folks being over-emotional about their topic.
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You’re calling abortion a holocaust, yet you are supporting a policy that prioritizes preventing pre-marital sex over preventing a holocaust.
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I never actually used the word, and actually try my best not to do so in connection to abortion. I do call it a genocide, though. The original comparison was a reductio ad absurdum, which noted that if Biden and Harris (childkilling advocates) are to be regarded as nice and likable, then by the same token, Goebbels and Himmler ought to be as well: nice folks who simply have a blind spot of wanting to kill Jews. Both want to kill people who don’t want to be killed and have an inherent right not to be. We are to love them (as Christians love all people), but to have an affection for them as “nice people” is beyond the pale. That’s not required for the Christian.
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Then [Name] tried to get out of that by saying that they forced the murders, whereas Biden & Harris only allow it: to which I replied with the analogy of allowing gangs in Chicago to kill children. If we “allow” abortion, we ought to allow the gangs to murder as well. There is no ethical distinction whatever (not for one who opposes abortion itself).
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Both are mortal sins, I get that, but one is still more grave.
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Dealt with above. Now you know more than you did. Good for you.
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I would like to see you actually address this point rather than arguing over what label should be applied to what sin. Why are you prioritizing pre-marital sex over a holocaust?
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I’ve made extensive arguments, which you blow off as if I hadn’t even made them (another annoying tendency in your style).
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Similarly with my point about veganism. The point is not to put humans and animals on the same level.
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You did exactly that. If you think not, then okay: I directly challenge you to apply what you said about animals to preborn human beings: “Honestly when I think about it too much it kills me what we do to pigs and cows and fish. And even chickens. People are deluding themselves and acting like it’s no big deal, like they don’t have feelings, like their pain doesn’t matter, like their emotions don’t matter.”
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Will you do so? If you don’t, then yes: you are placing them on the same level: which is altogether typical of atheist thought and not in the least surprising.
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The point is to get you to recognize that we judge a person’s niceness based on understanding their behaviors from their own perspective, with their own moral assumptions. I would be interested in your thoughts on that.
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I already gave them. I never said Biden and Harris were totally evil and possessed no good traits whatever. I argued that if we can regard them as nice and likable, given their advocacy of abortion through all nine months, then logically we ought to do the same as regards Goebbels and Himmler. But no one ever does that.
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[Name] gave a weak reply, and I came back with the analogy of Chicago gangs killing people. If we “allow” abortion” and that’s fine and dandy and allow people to still be nice and likable who do so, or advocate legal availability of same, then we ought to “like” people who think Chicago gang murders should be allowed, because “they will happen anyway, no matter what we do.”
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Whoever promotes and makes possible abortion (legally and politically) is up to their necks in blood just as the abortionists are. It wouldn’t be here if politicians and judges hadn’t allowed it to be. And so they bear blame as well. They’re not removed from the guilt of childkilling.
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I directly challenge you to apply what you said about animals to preborn human beings:
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Are you aware of what animals go through? Are you aware that cows are forcibly raped, and then their calf as soon as it is born is taken from them. They literally sob. There’s an article you can read about a dairy farmer who breaks down recounting it, saying the cow will cry for days. Cows have been known to try to hide their calves from farmers, because guess what? It doesn’t happen once. It is done again and again and again. They know it’s coming. Can you imagine this? They love their calf like you love your newborn. And we strip away their child and steal the milk meant for the baby. Then repeat the process. And what do you think we do when the cow is used up and can’t make milk any more? It’s broken body is shipped to the slaughter house. I’m not saying how I feel is right or wrong, I’m just being honest, this is horrifying. And we do it why? Not for health reasons. We don’t need beef, we don’t need milk, we just like it. And so all that suffering, we don’t even think about it. And it goes on at such a mass scale. And by the way a lot of the milk is deliberately destroyed anyway as part of the way our government manages milk prices. All that suffering and sadness for nothing.
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I don’t like abortion, but at least it is quick, at least the fetus isn’t conscious, one fetus doesn’t go through it again and again and again. I would rather be an aborted human than be a dairy cow. If there is a God I would thank God that he did not make me a dairy cow, just a fetus that was killed when I wasn’t conscious and so I could just not experience that life. And so it is more sad to me, I admit it, it may be wrong headed but it’s just my feeling.
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Exactly as suspected. Rather than be morally consistent and take up my challenge, you provide a 16-line lament about cows (which I agree with, as I have told you in the past) and six lines about the slaughter of babies, including an express statement that what cows go through is worse than the abortion of human beings: “I would rather be an aborted human than be a dairy cow. If there is a God I would thank God that he did not make me a dairy cow, just a fetus that was killed . . . “ You don’t “like” it, but at least it’s “quick.” You literally sound like a Nazi commander of a concentration camp. But you reiterate that you have at best placed the two scenarios on an equal plane or (quite arguably) consider the treatment of cows as worse than that of aborted children (precisely as I charged you with).

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Plenty of aborted babies are conscious and can feel the pain of their own murder. You want to pretend that none do.
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It’s absolutely grotesque and chilling; morally outrageous. If you have that much feeling about cows (that — again — I agree with) then all the more reason for you come to grips with reality and moral sanity and utterly condemn abortion. But you can’t do that because it would require  people to actually control their genitalia, rather than being animals with no self-will or moral sense sufficient to understand that:
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1) if you don’t want a child, don’t do the things that bring them into existence,
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and
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2) such a conceived child has an inherent right to life, which is self-evident in all of us being alive.
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We like being alive; we should then extend that right to preborn children, by the Golden Rule: an ethical standard virtually all people at all times (including atheists) agree with.
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God help us all . . . Thank God there is a heaven that these poor babies can experience: having been deprived of their entire post-born earthly existence.
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You keep saying I’m being inconsistent. I keep arguing against it. And you just move on and don’t respond to what I say. It’s totally consistent to be against human death and animal death. What could be more consistent than that? It is totally consistent to recognize that birth control has led to more abortions and at the same time use birth control as a means to reduce the incidence of abortion because that deals with the world as it actually exists. I request that you show me what the inconsistency you allege is. Don’t say abstractly that you’ve answered it somewhere else.
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This is my problem with what you are saying. You say “if you don’t want a child, don’t do the things that bring them into existence”. This is like saying “I have an idea, instead of going to war let’s all just love each other.” It doesn’t face the world as it actually is. It doesn’t fix a problem. It’s a utopian expression of an ideal world, it is not a realistic assessment of the world we live in. This is where we disagree. I want to see abortion eliminated. To do that I say you must eliminate the conditions that give rise to abortion. This is lack of education, this is lack of access to contraceptives. This is financial hardship, this is lack of access to affordable health care. This is a real world response to abortion, one that I think you should consider as I think it is more authentically pro-life. That’s my opinion anyway, but I may be crazy.
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I give up. I have systematically answered, only to have you do your usual methodology and claim I haven’t answered at all. Yes, you’re morally crazy, and your “logic” is not any that I am familiar with.
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Photo credit: BlackRiv (8-24-16) [PixabayPixabay License]
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