An Abortion Is Not the Same Thing as a Miscarriage

An Abortion Is Not the Same Thing as a Miscarriage June 1, 2018
ultrasound miscarriage Noel
This is the image from the ultrasound that diagnosed my first missed miscarriage. We named our child Noel.

The first time I heard it, I dismissed it as madness. “There are lunatics on both ends of the spectrum,” I told myself.

Then, I saw the argument propagated again… and again… and again. In fact, I saw it a number of times on assorted sites, including my own personal blog, put forward by several different people. “Rational people can’t seriously believe this,” I thought, flabbergasted. “Not in 2018 with a plethora of scientific evidence to the contrary.”

Sadly, it seems that they can. And do. Frequently. For a while I entertained the delusion that those who believe this line of reasoning are part of some radical fringe who enjoy hanging around pro-life blogs and baffling other readers with their stunning displays of ignorance, but when I participated in abortion debates regarding the repeal of Ireland’s eight amendment and kept repeatedly encountering this belief, I could only deduce that there were people who actually thought this way.

As I have encountered this mindset more and more often, I have concluded that it has become necessary to explain this very simple concept.

Are you ready? Okay, here it is:

An abortion is not the same thing as a miscarriage.

I know, it seems glaringly obvious, doesn’t it? However, there are people who think there is no difference!

Part of the confusion may stem from the fact that the literal medical term for a miscarriage is a “spontaneous abortion.” The medical field has used the term “abortion” to refer to the expulsion of a fetus from the uterus long before the word became political. However, medical terminology also distinguishes between abortions that are due to natural causes (i.e., miscarriage) and those that are due to an action on the part of an outside force. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states: “A miscarriage may also be called a ‘spontaneous abortion.’ This refers to naturally occurring events, not medical abortions or surgical abortions” (emphasis mine).

Let’s review the terminology:

Miscarriage/spontaneous abortion – unwanted and unintended death of an unborn child caused by naturally occurring events (genetic abnormalities, defect in the woman’s reproductive organs, etc.) In most cases, the child’s already deceased body is expelled naturally by the mother’s body. In other cases, the baby’s body needs to be removed via chemical or surgical intervention.

Medical abortion, aka medication abortion, aka chemical abortion – induced or procured abortion caused by ingesting specific pharmaceuticals. These pharmaceuticals kill a healthy, living child and cause its expulsion from the uterus.

Surgical abortion – induced or procured abortion caused by undergoing surgery. The surgery kills a healthy, living child whose body is then surgically removed from his or her mother’s uterus.

Are we clear on this?

Sometimes, a child dies within its mother’s womb but the mother’s body, for often unexplainable reasons, does not naturally expel the child’s body. Often, a mother does not know her child has died until an ultrasound reveals that fact.

This was my experience, three times.

Above is the image from the ultrasound that diagnosed my first missed miscarriage. We named our child Noel.

When I went to my first prenatal appointment for my second pregnancy in December 2006, my midwife ordered an ultrasound because she couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat via Doppler (I was 12 weeks along and the baby’s heartbeat should have been audible at that point). The ultrasound revealed that the baby had stopped developing around 8 weeks, and that s/he had no heartbeat. The official diagnosis was a “missed abortion,” although my midwife referred to it as a “missed miscarriage,” because she was a compassionate and caring human being and realized the pain it would cause me to refer to the loss of my much-wanted baby as an “abortion.”

My midwife and an OB both recommended that I have a D&C, as it’d been nearly 4 weeks since the baby’s death and nothing had happened naturally. I agreed and had the D&C a few days later. A D&C is the procedure used in most first-trimester surgical abortions.

Given this fact, I have had abortion proponents suggest that since the same surgical procedure is used to kill living babies and remove already-deceased ones, there is no difference between an abortion and a miscarriage.

In sum, these abortion proponents say that I killed my baby, even though s/he had been dead for four weeks before I even knew anything was wrong.

This “logic” is, of course, ludicrous. A scalpel can be used to perform life-saving surgery, but it can also be used to cause someone’s death. Does it then follow that all deaths that occurred while a scalpel was in use have the same moral weight, regardless if the doctor was struggling to save his patient or kill him?
The Catholic Church teaches that medical procedures such as D&Cs and D&Es are morally neutral. They have very legitimate uses, such as treating missed miscarriages and removing the body of an already-deceased child from his/her mother’s womb. They also have illegitimate uses, such as deliberately killing a healthy living child within his mother’s womb and then removing the body of that murdered child.

The end of the procedure – removal of a dead child from its mother’s womb – may be the same in both cases, but the means and intent are both very, very different. In the case of a missed miscarriage, the mother did not intend or will the death of her child. In the case of an induced abortion, the mother did intend or will the death of her child – or, at the very least, the abortionist did. (Sadly, many mothers don’t have proper informed consent and so don’t realize that what they are “consenting” to is the death of a child; others are forced or coerced into abortion.)

Here is another analogy I often use to illustrate how the ends don’t justify the means:

Mike knows that he is the sole heir of his wealthy, terminally ill grandmother, and he is looking forward to his inheritance. One night, Grandma dies peacefully in her sleep. Mike inherits and lives happily ever after.

versus

Mike knows that he is the sole heir of his wealthy, terminally ill grandmother, and he is looking forward to his inheritance. One night, he smothers his grandmother with a pillow. As Mike is the immediate next of kin, he declines an autopsy and no one is the wiser as to how Grandma really met her end. Mike inherits and lives happily ever after.

In Catholic circles, Mike’s killing of his grandmother is murder, despite the fact that she was about to die anyway. While the ends are the same in the two scenarios (Grandma dies and Mike inherits), the intent and means are very, very different.

In “Pro-Abortion Fantasy Land,” however, there is absolutely no difference in the two scenarios. In  their view, Grandma’s death was identical in each scenario since the ends were the same. Also, since God kills people via natural causes all the time so it was perfectly okay for Mike to kill too (in fact, taking that logic to its natural conclusion, all murder is therefore justified because people die of natural causes every day).

The secular site Very Well Family admits, “The elective ending of a pregnancy is a completely different situation than the loss of a wanted pregnancy, both medically and emotionally.” Why is this concept so hard to grasp for abortion rights advocates?

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  • 3vil5triker .

    The only time I’ve heard that before is when talking about whether or not a third party can tell the difference between a miscarriage and an abortion after the fact.

    There is no medical exam that can tell you if one happened or the other, so what ends up happening in places where abortions are illegal is for women to end up serving prison sentences for having a miscarriage.

    I’m thinking that got taken out of context, passed around and become completely distorted in the process?

  • Nope. I’ve literally had people say things like “God is an abortionist because of miscarriage.”

    Another person told me that I was guilty of abortion because I knowingly conceived children knowing that they could die.

    Etc.

  • 3vil5triker .

    I believe you’ve heard it, I was just making conjectures on where the idea might have originated from.

    Bringing God into the picture is unhelpful to having an actual conversation on the issue and that last part they told you was completely uncalled for.

  • Ame

    I have had a proabortion family member tell me that my treatment for an ectopic pregnancy, with a 7wk old baby fetus trapped where my body cannot naturally allow it to be expelled (thus bursting and potentially causing me sepsis), was a surgical abortion. Nevermind I wanted this baby to live, nevermind I spent four hours on my phone’s WiFi searching through Catholic bioethic sites and consulted 4 orthodox priests as to whether the procedure is morally allowable (it was allowable back when Ireland was a pro-life nation). Nevermind that I went to Confession anyway,p because what else can you do when you’re sorry that we something had do be done out of the principle of double effect. This relative said such a thing because that relative doesn’t like it when I post pro-life material where even that relative’s friends could see even though that relative’s friends did not friend me to allow them to see those posts. This relative will not be privileged to know any sensitive information about me ever again. In my love for family I will forgive but I will never trust this relative to be a decent human being to me.

  • Your relative was wrong. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. 🙁

  • An abortion is not the same thing as a miscarriage.

    From God’s standpoint, there was a embryo or fetus, and now there’s not. That seems like an important commonality.

  • From God’s standpoint, He claims the power over life and death- and denies that same right to humanity. That seems to be an important difference.

  • Depends upon the type of abortion. Many types of abortion used today, despite the great care taken, do damage to the womb. Not to mention the emotional damage often done to the mother, especially if she changes her mind at the last minute or if the abortion doesn’t work and the child is born alive and needs to be killed after birth to preserve the myths.

  • So might makes right? God is the boss, so he can decide who lives and who dies, and we can’t question him?

    I would’ve thought that the moral rules God imposes on us apply to him as well. No?

  • MR

    Not to mention all those times he commanded “those same rights to humanity.” I’m thinking of the genocide of whole tribes, suffering a witch not to live, stoning homosexuals, etc. Or…, maybe it’s just people putting their own justifications into the mouth of a sock puppet called God.

  • NO. He’s the creator of the universe, you are a creation who owes Him respect and honor.

  • Often the later.

  • We haven’t established that God even exists. But assuming he does, I’m trying to figure out how he fits with morality. Christians seem to be on the fence. One time they’ll say that whatever he does is morally correct, by definition. At other times, that he follows the same rules that we do, except perfectly.

  • No, you haven’t. Because you are stubborn and want to pretend that you are God. The rest of us are humble enough to know our place, but you have to have your precious fake hubris.

  • … which will make sense once you show that God exists.

  • MR

    Or only the latter.

  • Nobody can show you that God exists. Nobody can show you that gravity exists. You have to be smart enough to understand the evidence, and as long as I’ve known you, several years now, you’ve shown no sign of being that intelligent.

  • Quite possibly.

  • MR

    Yes, yes, and Superman comes from Krypton.

  • MR

    Why do you believe?

  • Like I told the other guy, I do not find athiests to be particularily intelligent nor teachable.

  • Because time exists.

  • MR

    Curious. I find most of the atheists here far more intelligent than the average person and that I’ve seen, you haven’t taught anything yet.

  • MR

    Without showing the connection, you may as well say you believe in pink fairies because the sun is yellow. Should we believe some dude on the internet just because he makes assertions without backing them up? Do you think that is a wise course of determining if something is true?

  • I find atheists to be too skeptical to incorporate new evidence into their worldview. Nothing any have said so far has disproven this. Thus they are rather boring and uncreative people incapable of learning. It is a waste of time to try to teach them anything at all.

  • MR

    M’eh, this is just a typical, silly, passive-aggressive tactic used to attempt to degrade an opponent. How about you give us evidence for your belief instead of playing games?

  • MR

    The people who are struggling with their faith right now know this is a lie. Such talk only serves to push them further away.

  • MR

    So God doesn’t want us to know him? Gravity doesn’t actively want us to know it, but at least it can be demonstrated. I can demonstrate it at any time. Can you demonstrate God on demand?

  • I’m pretty sure someone can show you that gravity exists.

    you’ve shown no sign of being that intelligent.

    That must be it. It can’t be that God doesn’t exist. Thanks for clarifying–I’ll stop demanding evidence for your remarkable claim.

  • Atheism deserves no better. It is an intellectually lazy and dishonest position that shows neither creativity nor understanding in its arguments. I have zero intellectual respect for nihilist skepticism. There is nothing an atheist can teach a theist, there is nothing a skeptic can learn.

  • Not if you’re a true skeptic- if you are a true skeptic, you will deny any evidence that is shown, so what is the use of showing evidence if it’s all just going to be denied?

  • More that YOU don’t want to Know God. And what demonstration can be done to defeat the iron clad will of the skeptic, bound and determined to deny everything?

  • You aren’t “struggling” with your faith. You’ve made a definite decision to never have any.

  • If you are not smart enough to understand the connection, then you aren’t smart enough to understand the evidence. Intellectually dishonest and lazy.

  • MR

    Is playing games what Jesus would have done? Playing games is being intellectually dishonest. Nor do I consider myself a nihilistic skeptic. Nor is it true that atheists can’t learn anything or that they can’t learn. You make a very good case for theism if all you can do is come in here and lie.

  • MR

    Since you can’t know the hearts or minds of other people you’re simply lying, again. “Thou shalt not bear false witness” comes to my mind. In no way am I bound and determined to deny everything. You tell me what demonstration could be done to defeat belief in your God and believe in the god of some other religion? If there is nothing, then it seems to me that you would be the one bound and determined to deny everything but your God. Could you be wrong?

  • MR

    The first sentence is true, I’ve gotten over the struggle part, but I’m still open to evidence. But, then, I wasn’t talking about myself. People struggle with their faith all the time. They know your comment is a lie. Some of them who might be reading this right now know you are lying. Even Mother Teresa struggled with her face. Who doesn’t know someone struggling with their faith?

    I’d just point out to the people who are and might be reading this how you and other religious people often use this shaming tactic. In no way can Theodore Seeber know someone’s heart and mind and to accuse them of being stubborn, or that they themselves are God or of fake hubris is nothing more than bearing false witness of others. Does this kind of tactic come from God? I doubt it. Shaming is what happens when someone doesn’t have sound arguments.

    The second sentence is not true. I am absolutely open to evidence. What I’ve noticed in our exchange thus far is that you’ve studiously avoided it and instead have taken a tactic of demonizing atheists. Again, is that what Jesus would do?

    How did you come to believe? Were you raised in your tradition? Did you come to believe it later in life? How does time existing (and what do you mean by it “exisiting”) demonstrate God?

  • MR

    And who are you to judge me in that way? Don’t you know your own scripture says “Judge not lest you be judged?” You don’t sound very Christian!

    You didn’t answer the question. Should someone believe someone on the internet just because they make an unfounded assertion? Plenty of Muslims and Scientologists and Pastafarians make unfounded assertions. Is this a wise course of determining that something is true? What kind of evidence should I consider before believing one of those religions is true?

  • Ah yes, judgement, another thing that atheists can’t be bothered to understand (and most Christians either, for that matter).

    They never see the second half of that sentence.

    Oh, and your questions are downright boring, because they’ve all missed the point and are really just expressions of brain dead skepticism.

  • Yeah, right, you’re still open to evidence. And yet any evidence presented to you will just get rejected.

    I’m not falling for that lie any more that there is a struggle. Yoda was right. Do or do not, there is no try. The only “struggle” is deciding if you believe enough to obey. At least Mother Theresa had it right in her “struggle”- just keep doing the right thing.

  • I know the same tired old arguments when I hear them- and the same tired old excuses for eliminating data and evidence. There’s nothing new or interesting here.

  • Specifically- he said “shake the dust off your sandals and walk away” from the likes of you. No game here. It isn’t worth the time or the argument to deal with skeptics.

  • MR

    My point is that you judge me wrongly. If God existed, I’m pretty sure he would judge you for judging me wrongly. You have no way of knowing my heart or my thoughts.

    My questions are on point because you all you’ve offered are assertions. You give us no reason to believe, you give people struggling with their faith no reason to continue believing.

  • And yet all your questions are *exactly* the same ones answered time and time again in the last 800 years of this debate, indicating that you aren’t even intellectually honest enough to do the basic research on the topic you claim to be interested in. You have already decided not to believe, and nothing I can or will say will change that path, until you correct the basic error of intellectual laziness.

  • MR

    I don’t see that I made an argument. I’m trying to determine if you believe that your simple assertions are good enough reason for someone to believe. You should be able to answer them easily if you’ve heard any of this stuff before. Why be evasive? Why should someone struggling with their faith who might be reading these words believe that you have anything?

    What demonstration could be done to defeat belief in your God and believe in the god of some other religion? Could you be wrong about your belief in God?

  • MR

    Then why aren’t you shaking and walking away? You said you’ve been coming here for years. You don’t follow your own religion’s advice. Another demonstration of not being very Christian.

    No game here.

    Dude, you’re the one who just said, “Atheism deserves no better.” You’re all over the map. I’m pretty sure you’re one of the ones referred to in “not all those who cry Lord, Lord.” Even I don’t believe that Jesus would be such a dick if he were to come on this blog.

  • MR

    Well, first of all, I’m asking for your answer. Every other answer I’ve ever heard has been that it is in fact not a good idea to believe people on unfounded assertion. So I’m thinking I shouldn’t just believe you because you say so? Do you disagree? As for the other question, I’ve never heard a religious person answer for all the research I have done. I’ve asked the question many, many times. Why do you suppose Christians don’t answer the question? What kind of evidence would you consider before determining a religion you don’t currently believe is true?

  • BlackMamba44

    Interesting. I replied to your comment with a number of links showing that a miscarriage is called “spontaneous abortion”. It was treated as spam and removed.

    Edit: Removed a sentence

  • Yep, that’s me. I just stand still because I’m skeptical that I won’t fall through the floor with a step in any direction. I also don’t breathe–because who can trust the air?

    If you don’t have convincing arguments, you could just say so instead of handwaving excuses.

  • It is not me who does not have convincing arguments. It is you who no longer has convincing questions.

  • No, you aren’t. You’re repeating questions that I’ve answered many times in the past with others, and I’m no longer playing your stupid little game. I see right through your condescension and fake questions, and I see you for what you are- just a troll attacking with NO intent at actual conversation or discussion.

  • I’m about to. I’m just taking this as far as I can to show how incredibly unreasonable your entire point of view is for any lurkers.

  • @BlackMamba44:disqus

    Your comment from 3 hours ago seems to be caught in a spam filter. Too many links, perhaps. But your argument is compelling–the experts do seem to call it a spontaneous abortion.

  • Yeah, I’m sure you don’t see questions that have been asked and answered a million times before as making an argument. Go read Summa Theologicae- all your questions were answered definitively in the 13th century, you’ve got nothing new to say.

  • Agreed.

  • I doubt I ever had a “convincing question.”

    However, I would’ve thought that “Does God exist?” would be interesting enough to respond to. Apparently, I was wrong.

  • BlackMamba44

    Just saw your other comment. So this one is being deleted (I really hate Disqus).

  • Ame

    But God reads hearts and knows intentions without a person having to speak them. So there is a difference.

  • BlackMamba44

    Thanks. I thought maybe it was too many links.

  • Ame

    No, that’s not the point. God created Nature, He allows nature to do it’s thing but sometimes intervenes to bring forth His will. He allows humans to act against His will but don’t be surprised when sin results in death and despair under the cloak of rights and freedom.

  • BlackMamba44

    There are a number of assertions in this comment. Do you have any sources or citations to back this up with?

  • MadScientist1023

    Right, because your God is a moral relativist. His rules don’t apply to certain people, like himself. Like a tyrant or a bad parent, we’re supposed to do as he says, not as he does.

  • The Guttmacher institute, a pro-choice organization, has kept the numbers on this since 1965 and is the gold standard. You have to dig, but the numbers are there, and they are not unaware of the number of women that get sent to the hospital after a supposedly “safe” abortion.

  • I think WordPress has a setting whereby comments with up to n links are allowed but more than that are flagged as spam. Perhaps that’s it.

    I know that on my blog, I’m sometimes surprised when I’m searching for a comment, can’t find it, and there it is, in the spam folder.

  • I’m an atheist, so I don’t buy claims about what God does.

    This still doesn’t answer my question about God and morality. What moral rules does God follow? Is the rule “Whatever God does is right by definition”? That’s not any definition you’d find in a dictionary. Why can’t God follow the rules he imposed on us?

  • Ame

    I have found that both atheists and theists can be intellectually and academically brilliant, but lack the emotional and intuitive creativity to behave like decent human beings. Books smarts do not necessarily correlate with creativity.

  • MR

    You haven’t answered them for me and I’m not playing games. This is an important question. If you had an honest answer, you’d just answer. I’m the one trying to have a conversation and it sure seems to me that you’re the one doing trolling and evading, otherwise, you’d…, you know, be answering the question.

  • Ame

    What if we have to learn and train to see God’s demonstrations, much like learning and training how to read or ride a bike, due to limitations of the brain’s plasticity in human development? In Catholic theology, this learning is called discernment.

  • MR

    In no way is my point of view unreasonable. Believing things that someone says without evidence is called being gullible. Do you believe what Mormons say simply because they say so? What Hinduists say? What Pastafarians say? How ridiculous would that be? Why should anyone simply believe what you say without any kind of supporting evidence? That’s not unreasonable, it only makes common sense.

  • Ame

    I do not agree with Theodore’s approach. Yes, we must speak the truth, but knowing how to be amiable it about goes a long way in making the truth accessible.

  • MR

    Except these questions haven’t been answered. And I’m specifically asking you what you believe. The Summa Theologicae can’t answer that.

    What kind of demonstration would you need to believe in the god of some other religion. Could you be wrong about your belief in God. If not, why not?

  • Why should I bother? Past history suggests that the athiest worldview is highly resistant to data and anything that might put a crack in that worldview. The questions you ask are word for word plagiarized from previous atheistic sources. They have been answered repeatedly over the last 700 to 800 years or so, and yet still the cult of atheism persists in raising them. There is no intellectual honesty in your presence on a Catholic blog, no chance of conversion. No reason to bother actually, other than to show lurkers who are actually on the fence how intellectually bankrupt your philosophy is.

    Surprise me with something new, that has never been asked before by anybody. Do your basic research into the history of the debate and the objective nature of theism. And stop asking stupid questions.

  • My answer is the same as St Thomas Aquinas. I see no reason to change it, or try to explain it to somebody who is too intellectually lazy to ask a new question.

  • MR

    [EDIT:] My apologies, Ame, I thought you were Theodore. Forgive the tone for the following questions as well. It can get a little frustrating with people like Theodore. I’ll make a few changes to dial it back:

    So you lied before about atheists not being intelligent. Why [S]hould I just take your word that atheists lack emotion or intuitive creativity? That’s not something I’ve observed in my life. Nor have you shown any Can you show a connection between such things and God. In what way does that lead anyone to belief? Is it reliable?

  • Ame

    Theodore may not be aware that in some Catholic orthodox circles, there is a distinction between the atheist who simply cannot conceive of God’s existence and the impious who would willfully reject God even if He were to appear before them. The atheist who has a limitation in incorporating knowledge of God’s existence into his worldview may not be at fault for his disbelief. I have met many atheists who want to believe but get stumped on what appears to be contradiction and paradox. Much like how some people get stumped on string theory despite having extensive practical knowledge of physics.

  • MR

    Why should we have to learn and train to see God’s demonstrations if he wants us to know him? Isn’t it also possible that he doesn’t exist? Can’t God overcome human development? Why isn’t this argument just an excuse to believe?

  • BlackMamba44

    If you are going to make claims about something, then you need to provide a link to where you got your information. I shouldn’t “have to dig”.

    I want a citation for this one: Many types of abortion used today, despite the great care taken, do damage to the womb

    This one: Not to mention the emotional damage often done to the mother, especially if she changes her mind at the last minute

    And this one. Especially this one: if the abortion doesn’t work and the child is born alive and needs to be killed after birth to preserve the myths.

  • MR

    Thank you, Ame. I appreciate your honesty.

  • Ame

    Why do we have to go to school or at least have some kind of teacher to point the way to knowledge? It’s the limitations of the brain’s plasticity in learning and development. By the time we are able to take on academic philosophy, much of our brain’s plasticity has slowed down. It’s ironic. The most plasticity occurs when we’re just learning how to use language, from birth to three years, when we cannot even conceive a thought as simple as “5 plus 5 is 10,” with the exception of savants and other gifted individuals. For Catholics, discernment is the theological math of knowing God. There are principles that have to be learned and mastered, otherwise you can very well confuse your own self delusion with God’s voice. Unfortunately, the tendancy of Protestantism to reject anything that smells Catholic has led to many Christians, including Catholics, to have little to no experience in the practice of discernment. Many haven’t even heard of the word.

  • MR

    They’re not stupid questions. They’re questions you can’t or won’t answer.

    I do apologize because I did not realize I was on a Catholic blog. I’m using Disqus and did not realize I had crossed over. I thought you were on an atheist blog.

    If, however, these questions had been answered, then people, Catholics included, wouldn’t be questioning them. People, Catholics included, do struggle with their faith, even as Mother Teresa did. It’s not simply atheists who are asking these questions or struggling with the fact that you can’t or won’t answer the questions.

  • Ame

    I said there are many who a strong in one domain but weak in another. It is not surprising to me either way. The people who are both book smart and people smart are a joy to be around with, regardless of their belief in God or lack thereof.

  • As I’ve been telling the atheists below, that’s a rather intellectually lazy point of view. And only by doing your own research, do you have a half a chance at breaking out of previous prejudices. Don’t take my word for it. Look into the Gosnell case. Look into what a D&C abortion *really* does to a womb. Look into the research Project Rachel has done with women who have been coerced into abortion. Look into the Guttmacher data. Educate yourself.

    But be warned- when I did that, it ended any ability for me to be able to see “choice” as anything other than an insurance scam to get out of paying for births and a way to destroy evidence of sexual assault.

  • MR

    So more evasion.

  • Ame

    You ask deep questions, which is good, but a comment box is just not the right kind of medium for discussing these questions in anyway that is satisfying. And I need to get back to my kiddos now that it is time to go pick them up

  • MR

    Another answer would be that there indeed are contradictions and paradoxes. I can understand such things when we’re trying to discover something we don’t yet understand, but we’re talking about an entity here that wants us to know him. I’m quite happy to know if God exists because I want to know what is true. Why would he throw apparent contradictions and paradox in our path? Could you be wrong about your belief?

  • They’re the same stupid questions- word for word- that I’ve seen asked over and over again. EXACTLY the same. NO creativity in them at all. And they’ve been answered plenty of times over the last several centuries. It’s just that atheists in general have become intellectually lazy. And that includes the Catholics on their way out of the Church who refuse to even do basic research into if anybody else has ever had that problem.
    And it’s hijacking a thread on abortion from a grieving mother who is making a point about the difference between miscarriage and abortion.

  • BlackMamba44

    I am digging on the Guttmacher site right now. I’m not finding anything even remotely related to any of your assertions. What keywords did you use to search the site to get the information above?

    And no. Intellectual laziness is making a bunch of claims and not backing them up with citations and/or references/sources. Your claims, your burden of proof.

    And now you have another one to back up: anything other than an insurance scam to get out of paying for births and a way to destroy evidence of sexual assault.

  • MR

    But this could also be believing in spite of the lack of evidence. Does God not want us to know him? You make it sound as if only the learned can come to know God. Most Catholics I know are not very learned.

  • MR

    Why do you believe?

  • MR

    Except they haven’t been answered (and you haven’t even tried). Maybe that’s why you keep seeing the same questions. Calling atheists or other Catholics intellectually lazy is just a tactic.

    Again, I thought you were on an atheist blog. If you don’t want to continue the conversation, please ignore.

  • More refusal to play your little game asking questions that mankind as a whole answered several centuries ago.

  • May I suggest looking into the keyword “injury”?

  • BlackMamba44

    Project Rachel is an obvious religious pro-life site. Got anything more neutral?

    “Look into the Gosnell case. Look into what a D&C abortion *really* does to a womb.”

    I have no plans on getting one so why would I?

  • No problem. Thanks for your comments.

    Yes, comments can be limiting. If you’re interested in hearing more about the other side of the argument, I’ve written more about abortion at my blog. For example:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/10/20-arguments-against-abortion-rebutted/

  • MR

    Again, not answered or the whole world would be Catholic. Why do Catholics struggle with their faith if these questions have been answered?

  • From my point of view- pro-life is the neutral point of view, in that it isn’t based in genocidal mania. Still, one should never eliminate data based on the source.

  • Why would somebody who created the laws of physics be a moral relativist? Just because there are different orders of beings with different responsibilities and different rules, does not make him a moral relativist. He’s not human after all. Stop anthropomorphizeing.

  • It ceased to be interesting when it was answered several centuries ago. When you can do your basic research and come up with a more interesting question, let me know.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Where do you obtain your misinformation, Ted?
    Abortion is the safest medical or surgical procedure.
    Abortion, done by a skilled practitioner, is safer than childbirth.
    When abortion is difficult to access, such as areas in our south, women often resort to DIY abortion or using a person who has not been properly trained to do this safe procedure.
    No child is born alive and then killed, no doctor would do this or he/she would lose their license!
    As for “emotional damage done to the woman,” that is poppycock. Women are relieved and the “post abortion anxiety” does not exist, unless some religious zealot tries to dump guilt on her. She will have been counseled not to accept “dumped guilt!”
    You, Ted, have a right to your own opinion, regarding abortion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
    Some would say that you should not even dare to opine, as you are a man, and men, as of now, cannot become pregnant. You, Ted, will never face a problem pregnancy!

  • BlackMamba44

    Obviously, you know where to look since you told me to check Guttmacher. How about you just provide the sources so I don’t have to search through 19 pages. I shouldn’t have to. I have gone through a number of pages and still haven’t found anything related to your comment above.

  • BlackMamba44

    Uh, yes, one can eliminate “data” based on the source if that source has a bias. And a religious, pro-life site has a huge bias.

    Your point of view is irrelevant.

  • BlackMamba44

    If men could get pregnant, abortion clinics would be like Starbucks.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Since when are you allowed to “speak for God?” Miscarriages happen and happen frequently, often before the woman knows she is pregnant. I have to laugh when men venture to opine on the subject of abortion when they will never become pregnant!
    BTW, abortion is legal, albeit, more and more difficult to access in some, backward, redneck states.

  • Once again, it comes back to intellectual honesty and doing do diligence.
    Two things that in general, modernists lack.

    Catholic kids who gain this intellectual honesty, usually find the answers to such questions between the ages of 18-28 when their brains mature enough to understand the answers.

    Catholic kids who are only “culturally Catholic” whose parents maybe, if they were lucky, introduced them to the faith at a rate of 52 hours a year with no mention of the 2000 years worth of research into such questions that exists, struggle.

    The existence of the struggle has NOTHING to do with the existence of the data.

  • No, bias is not sufficient reason to eliminate data. That’s an intellectually dishonest position based in the morally bankrupt philosophy of skepticism.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Had you not had the needed surgery to remove that ectopic pregnancy, you and the embryo would have died. If you went to a doctor when you knew that you were first pregnant no doctor would have allowed you to continue that pregnancy. If he/she did allow you to continue to be pregnant they would have lost their license.

  • Once again, unless you do the work yourself- you won’t be convinced. And if you’re going to eliminated sources based on “bias”, then you simply aren’t willing to do the work. It took me 20 years to get to what you’re asking for in a single comment. Do the work.

  • I am not impressed by propaganda designed by people to create an industry based on murder and fraud.

  • The God question was answered several centuries ago? I hadn’t heard that. But thanks for the clue–I’ll ask around for someone who can fill me in on the details.

    And I marvel that you say “Does God exist?” is a boring question. Perhaps you’re a post-evangelist, having already mastered things at the Evangelist level. Or perhaps we’re seeing the Peter Principle in action.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Why, Ted? Is because they have beliefs that do not coincide with yours? Try to remember the wonderful quote from the Dalai Lama when he was asked, “What is the best religion?” His answer was that whatever religion made you kinder, more compassionate and less judgmental was the best religion for YOU>

  • BlackMamba44

    20 years? Well, then, you should have quite of bit of data on hand to back up your assertions.

    Interesting that with all that research you’ve done, you can’t provide anything other than a pro-life, religious website.

    I’m done.

  • Since when are you allowed to “speak for God?” Miscarriages happen and happen frequently, often before the woman knows she is pregnant.

    People try to figure out what God wants all the time. And when God is A-OK with miscarriages, the “But it’s a human life!” argument fails on Christian moral grounds.

    I have to laugh when men venture to opine on the subject of abortion when they will never become pregnant!

    Agreed. Don’t get me started.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Atheists and Agnostics question what they cannot see and where there are no real answers.
    Ted, you take many things on “faith,” and do not need to see to believe.
    There is no “right” and there is no “wrong” when it comes to religion. There is only one’s own perspective regarding what is “right” or “wrong.”

  • Judgeforyourself37

    You defined Atheist very well. We, who are Atheists do not need to have a “God in the sky” or a supreme being in human form.We do believe in the spirit of God that gives strength in time of need or support in times of stress.

  • MR

    You can’t know the hearts and minds of other people, so you have no right to judge them as being intellectually dishonest. Was Mother Teresa being intellectually dishonest in her struggle with faith? You demean the struggles of Catholics (and other believers) who may be reading your words right now by calling them intellectually dishonest and or implying they’re not true Catholics or Christians. They see through that lie. If the data were truly there, there would be no struggle. I’d just ask those people to look into their hearts to see if they are being intellectually dishonest or if they consider themselves not real believers. You can’t make that call, only they can. Sure, it’s easy for you to demonize an atheist you don’t know. People who do know me, Christians who do know me, know you are wrong to call me intellectually dishonest, but more importantly, the others who are struggling with their faith know all too well that what you are saying is a lie when it comes to them. Those are the people I would turn to and say, do you see the tactics being played here? Who is being intellectually dishonest here, you or Theodore? Why should your struggles be diminished? What right does Theodore have to question your honesty or motivations?

  • MR

    i guess I missed this. I absolutely am open to evidence. You do not know me and have no basis to say otherwise. I’m not sure what you mean by “doing the right thing,” but it tells us nothing about God’s existence. Maybe she continued to do work for the poor, that doesn’t invalidate her struggle nor tell us anything about the existence of God. One doesn’t need belief in God to be a good person. If God exists, I’d like to know that. We shouldn’t even have to talk about “struggle” at all if he did. The fact that there are people out there struggling, and I personally have known many in my life, shows that the evidence simply isn’t there. It’s not about me. Demonize me all you want, but you just push those people who are still struggling further from [belief] when you invalidate what they are going through. [edit]

  • MadScientist1023

    So your god has his own set of morals that he gets to follow while forcing everyone else to follow a much more restrictive set, but he can’t be judged for it. Then how do you know your god is benevolent?

  • And with that, you’ve just proven that you’re another offtopic troll who can’t be bothered to understand basic reality or do any research into the past on your own. Goodbye.

  • 281commenter

    As far as I can tell, the idea that God is an abortionist derives from a problem with defining God. People seem to think of God as a sort of giant wizard in the sky, so if someone dies due to an “act of God” then somehow this means that God is a murderer. There are several ways to understand this attitude, I think. The first is that people don’t really understand that, although Judeo-Christian thinking posits humans as being made in the image of God, we aren’t identical to God, nor do we have the same authority over life and death as does God. That is to say, we are not actually God, individually, or collectively. In a sense, we are in a category that reflects God, that can know and love God, but we are not in the same category of being as God. So I think people who don’t get this, think, when we say that God is a “person” that, again, we mean a giant skywizard.

    A second way of understanding this attitude, which derives from the first (I think. i’m not a trained philosopher so I’m sort of practising philosophy without a license here, as it were), is that these people are struggling with the problem of why does a good God allow us to die. I think when people classify God as a murderer, that question is, in its essence, what they are worried about. As Christians, we can say, death stems from original sin. I think that the long history of the universe, and the evidence for evolution, make this a nonviable answer for many people. I understand their struggle even if I don’t agree.

  • Ame

    Ideally, a doctor would be able to spot this problem early on, but life and circumstance happens beyond what a doctor can be responsible for. Either way, I am dedicated to pro-life medical solutions and seek out doctors who at least respect my position. I don’t know what you are referring to by saying “not allow the pregnancy to continue” in the case of ectopic pregnancy. There is no medical option available at this time to allow the pregnancy to continue for most cases of ectopic pregnancy. Very few ectopic pregnancies have circumstances that allow the child to thrive and be carried to term, and even then survival at birth is a combination of medical skill and miraculous intervention. So any medical options for preventing ectopic pregnancy from bursting and causing sepsis are necessarily done out of the principle of double effect.

  • Ame

    Good morning everyone. There are a lot of questions from a lot of different people, without the organization I need to answer efficiently, without a lot of my usual resources handy, I can only dedicate a half hour today to answer them, so please be kind and reasonable. Also, so I am not familiar with any one here enough to know backgrounds and learning styles for me to appropriately answer, so I am going to consider answering according to my understanding as my 18 year old non-religious self versus my religious-self 18 years later. There is much diversity in methods of apologetics that fit within Catholic doctrine and teaching.

  • Ame

    My reply exhausted my time. I don’t think I unpacked your question enough. But could you do me a favour? Could you wait until after I answer other people’s questions before coming back to this?

  • Ame

    So going back to this. I am of the reason that human development has a large role in whether things are truly contradictions and paradoxes, that the questions and equations that cannot be solved are few in number to what is possible to know about the created word because the created world is not infinite. No matter how many equations say there should be an infinity, that infinity just doesn’t exist in the operation of the created world: there is at least an end point or beginning point in sight, sometimes both, because there are factors at play that we either lack the tools to observe at this timetim we really are incapable of seeing them. This is not the same as Scientism: the faith that science will eventually solve all things because 1) our empirical observation is limited to the created world and 2) even in science it is possible to come to a solution that appears to work only to discover it to be incomplete or flat out wrong as our knowledge of physics expands.. have you heard of the 7 millennium problems? So far, one man has been credited with solving one of them, and it’s funny to me because it involves the apparent contradiction of whether spheres can be exist as cubes. The other ones are so overwhelming for me to think about that they exist now as paradoxes and contradictions, but I feel assured that some day someone with less cognitive limitations than me can solve at least another problem. Think about how light exists as both a particle and a wave and practical physics tends to send you on divergent paths when you use one of the two characteristics to solve everyday, technological problems and Inventions. It’s not until you get to quantum mechanics that you get to observe how those two characteristics interact simultaneously.

    If humans are capable of observing the invisible and visible at once, including with the help of mathematics, then I think we would be able to solve even more of contradictions and paradoxes than is possible with observation of the visible world alone. For these reasons, I think of science as a tool, not the truth itself. And I use science as an analogy for faith and understanding metaphysics and God, with the help of the thought of other theologians, including those in a group called the Magis center. There are people with less understanding of physics, philosophy, theology, etc. There are people with greater knowledge. Their are scientists who are theists. But created world continues to exist and operate without their knowledge. Grace continues to operate with or without an individual’s knowledge. Some individuals are gifted with mathematical prowess, some are gifted with artistic expression, some are gifted with soft skills, some seem to have a greater understanding of what is pain and joy, despite cognitive impairments, some live as a sign of a possibility of innocence and our responsibility to protect that innocence. Btw, in Catholic theology there ways of knowing God without the use of human reasoning, more with intuitive connection which we call implicit faith. It is a wordless knowing, entirely a gift from God but it requires that a person undergo a sort of purgation/purification. It’s a whole other deep topic, but it is part of the explanation of how people with cognitive/developmental deficits, infants, and nonbelievers could potentially be saved despite the lack of explicit faith – it comes down to how God’s grace can act in a soul that doesn’t have willful impediments to cooperate with Him.

    Now throw in the infinite God, and we will quickly get points where the human mind can only theorize with reason at best and guess at worst. Thus the territory of mystery and only God is able to be and see all. I think of God’s omnipotence and being outside of time as we know it (time us measured by changes in matter by motion and relativity) with the analogy of the idea of a 5-dimensional being trying to explain reality, time, and motion to a 3-dimensional being. Because the 3-dimensional being is incapable of seeing the 4th and 5th simultaneously, those dimensions have to be folded into the 3rd in order for the 3D being to observe them. That Interstellar movie tried to demonstrate what that could look like with a tesseract to show time and relativity.

    So why do I believe? Well, it seems that for whatever reason, God created me with a combination of the gift (though a low dose) of intuitive connection and reasoning….more like the reasoning of Catholicism has helped me discipline my intuition, which has the tendency to want believe that all understandings of God are correct. There was a time that I wanted to believe in anything other than Christianity, I just couldn’t reconcile Christian beliefs with my personal sense of justice and love. I had to undergo a series of conversion events. I could be wrong still, but Catholicism has been the path of knowing God better and more deeply with time. Even then, there are reasons for faith that cannot be expressed.

  • MR

    At lunch at the moment, but what and when were your series of conversions?

  • (This is a reply to your previous comment. Don’t feel any rush to reply.)

    It looks to me like you use the vagueness, ambiguity, and contradiction in the Bible to your benefit to create a god in your image. He’s compassionate like you, except more so; he’s just like you, except more so; and so on.

    Another principle is that God created order and even in what appears to be chaos and random, meaningless events in the life and natural processes

    Science explains this nicely. No need for the God hypothesis.

    We do have to think about a why it is God is good and existence is good.

    Better: think about whether the evidence points to God existing or if Christianity is just another manmade religion like all the others.

    Sin is another unnecessary hypothesis.

    when we get to the point of “it’s a mystery,” we really do mean it as a reality and paradox, rather than an excuse for poor theology.

    No, “it’s a mystery” is a cop-out. It’s an admission that it makes no sense. Why follow a faith that makes no sense? That doesn’t have evidence pointing to it?

    The answer is obvious: it’s tradition. You act and believe as Catholics are supposed to act and believe. It gives you peace or comfort, I suppose. It defines who you are. That’s fine, but don’t pretend there’s evidence behind it.

  • MR

    What about prior to 18?

  • Ame

    I am not sure how that matters but I’ll indulge you since it matters enough to you to ask. It was purely intuitive connection until I got to my teens and tried to seek the truth on my own. I thought my convoluted conclusions were some superior understanding of God over those who professed religion. I needed a big dose of humility and life to see people and God more honestly. My parents are believers but they’re never sure what to believe or why and couldn’t tell me more than Jesus loves me and love is all you need. Never had religious instruction other than a brief stint in Catholic kindergarten that ended up being too cost prohibited to continue. But kindergarten focused on reading, writing, art, and oh Jesus loves you. No big questions to entertain vthen. Myself – my first passion was science despite having faith. I was the kid who said she wanted to be a scientist in the second grade. But I ended up having a better mind for the health sciences rather research.

  • Ame

    There are somethings so intimate to me that I just cannot bear to discuss them publicly or with strangers. Sorry.

  • MR

    No worries. I wasn’t looking for an in-depth analysis, simply “I grew up Methodist, went new wave in my teens, then converted to Catholicism x number of years ago,” or some such. It looks like you’ve more or less answered elsewhere.

  • MR

    So, God belief happened early. That is the “why do you believe” I am looking for. Why did you originally come to believe in God? All that talk about scientism and Catholic theology doesn’t even come into play if your belief stretches back that far. Which, for some reason, I can’t find your post where you detail all that. Since I took the trouble to respond to it, I’ll go ahead an post it here, then respond to it with my own response:

    Your Lost Post:

    So going back to this. I am of the reason that human development has a large role in whether things are truly contradictions and paradoxes, that the questions and equations that cannot be solved are few in number to what is possible to know about the created word because the created world is not infinite. No matter how many equations say there should be an infinity, that infinity just doesn’t exist in the operation of the created world: there is at least an end point or beginning point in sight, sometimes both, because there are factors at play that we either lack the tools to observe at this timetim we really are incapable of seeing them. This is not the same as Scientism: the faith that science will eventually solve all things because 1) our empirical observation is limited to the created world and 2) even in science it is possible to come to a solution that appears to work only to discover it to be incomplete or flat out wrong as our knowledge of physics expands.. have you heard of the 7 millennium problems? So far, one man has been credited with solving one of them, and it’s funny to me because it involves the apparent contradiction of whether spheres can be exist as cubes. The other ones are so overwhelming for me to think about that they exist now as paradoxes and contradictions, but I feel assured that some day someone with less cognitive limitations than me can solve at least another problem. Think about how light exists as both a particle and a wave and practical physics tends to send you on divergent paths when you use one of the two characteristics to solve everyday, technological problems and Inventions. It’s not until you get to quantum mechanics that you get to observe how those two characteristics interact simultaneously.

    If humans are capable of observing the invisible and visible at once, including with the help of mathematics, then I think we would be able to solve even more of contradictions and paradoxes than is possible with observation of the visible world alone. For these reasons, I think of science as a tool, not the truth itself. And I use science as an analogy for faith and understanding metaphysics and God, with the help of the thought of other theologians, including those in a group called the Magis center. There are people with less understanding of physics, philosophy, theology, etc. There are people with greater knowledge. Their are scientists who are theists. But created world continues to exist and operate without their knowledge. Grace continues to operate with or without an individual’s knowledge. Some individuals are gifted with mathematical prowess, some are gifted with artistic expression, some are gifted with soft skills, some seem to have a greater understanding of what is pain and joy, despite cognitive impairments, some live as a sign of a possibility of innocence and our responsibility to protect that innocence. Btw, in Catholic theology there ways of knowing God without the use of human reasoning, more with intuitive connection which we call implicit faith. It is a wordless knowing, entirely a gift from God but it requires that a person undergo a sort of purgation/purification. It’s a whole other deep topic, but it is part of the explanation of how people with cognitive/developmental deficits, infants, and nonbelievers could potentially be saved despite the lack of explicit faith – it comes down to how God’s grace can act in a soul that doesn’t have willful impediments to cooperate with Him.

    Now throw in the infinite God, and we will quickly get points where the human mind can only theorize with reason at best and guess at worst. Thus the territory of mystery and only God is able to be and see all. I think of God’s omnipotence and being outside of time as we know it (time us measured by changes in matter by motion and relativity) with the analogy of the idea of a 5-dimensional being trying to explain reality, time, and motion to a 3-dimensional being. Because the 3-dimensional being is incapable of seeing the 4th and 5th simultaneously, those dimensions have to be folded into the 3rd in order for the 3D being to observe them. That Interstellar movie tried to demonstrate what that could look like with a tesseract to show time and relativity.

    So why do I believe? Well, it seems that for whatever reason, God created me with a combination of the gift (though a low dose) of intuitive connection and reasoning….more like the reasoning of Catholicism has helped me discipline my intuition, which has the tendency to want believe that all understandings of God are correct. There was a time that I wanted to believe in anything other than Christianity, I just couldn’t reconcile Christian beliefs with my personal sense of justice and love. I had to undergo a series of conversion events. I could be wrong still, but Catholicism has been the path of knowing God better and more deeply with time. Even then, there are reasons for faith that cannot be expressed

  • MR

    My response to your lost post:

    So why do I believe?

    But, this isn’t ‘why’ you believe, these are arguments for justification for continuing to believe. You didn’t answer the question.

    I am of the reason that human development has a large role in whether things are truly contradictions and paradoxes,

    A simpler answer is that humans with different motives and beliefs over a span of time wrote conflicting stories. I don’t need to invent mysteries to come up with the most plausible answer.

    This is not the same as Scientism:

    The fact that you use the derogatory term ‘scientism’ and its made up definitions (hint: scientism doesn’t at all describe what happens in science) shows that you have bought into the lies of apologists and yourself show a clear lack of understanding of what science is about.

    You’re not giving any support for the existence of God, you’re simply arguing “God of the Gaps,” that is, “Science doesn’t have all the answers, therefore God.” That’s called an argument from ignorance and is about as fallacious as they come. Perhaps you’ve bought into this argument, but it is fallacious and by propagating it, you’re simply peddling lies. Since even I don’t believe that God (if he existed) would deal in lies, this is a clue that your argument doesn’t come from any godly source, and as near as I can tell, that God doesn’t even exist.

    Also, notice how your arguments presuppose God, and how you use fallacious arguments to justify that presuppostion. (A few examples of your presupposition: repeated use of the term “created world,” “Grace continues to operate,” ” there ways of knowing God without the use of human reasoning,” “God created me….”) Again, you’re not telling me why you believe, you’re simply justifying your all ready founded belief with justifications and fallacious arguments. I want to know how you came to believe originally.

    Btw, in Catholic theology there ways of knowing God without the use of human reasoning, more with intuitive connection which we call implicit faith. It is a wordless knowing, entirely a gift from God but it requires that a person undergo a sort of purgation/purification.

    Yes, yes, I used to believe in faith, too, and it’s pretty clear to me now that it’s just used to justify without having to justify anything. You need it to believe, but you have to believe it first. That’s a ridiculous concept. Would it make any sense to have faith that leprechauns exist so that I can believe that leprechauns exist? It tells us exactly nothing about whether leprechauns or God actually exist, but it can tell us about our own willingness to believe in something we can’t justify. Faith is a tool of indoctrination and tells us nothing about reality, as is “ways of knowing God without the use of human reasoning….” If you have to undergo a purgation/purification in order to believe or to have faith, what does that tell you? That you already believe! It’s not a vehicle for getting there, you already got there and you’re just reverse engineering your belief as a gift from God. Completely disingenuous. It’s all just self-indoctrination.

    Now throw in the infinite God, and we will quickly get points where the human mind can only theorize with reason at best and guess at worst.

    You don’t need a God to get there. It still tells us zero about whether God exists.

    Thus the territory of mystery and only God is able to be and see all. I think of God’s omnipotence and being outside of time….

    Sorry, but this all sounds like something someone in a cult would say. Again, it’s not an explanation for why you believe, or evidence of God.

    I could be wrong still

    That’s your first clue right there; because it could also be simple indoctrination and gullibility. We are, after all, steeped in God belief from childhood. We trust our parents who trusted their parents…. That, I believe, is why we believe. The rest just appears to be our minds trying to justify a belief that makes no real sense.

  • DoorknobHead

    “industry based on murder and fraud.” Like the Je$u$ industry. I agree. I’m not impressed by such propaganda either.

  • DoorknobHead

    …or all gods are myths and fake news. For example, a god that “read hearts” when ancient misinformed people thought that thoughts, emotions and intentions came from the heart and not the brain, might be very old fake news. There may be a difference between people that are trained or inculcated to believe fake news, and those that use countermeasures against human biases in order to better believe true things.

  • In some cases yes.

    In the case of the Science of Theology, no. It’s treated exactly like a science and you can examine the white papers going back about 15,000 years for yourself.

  • Ame

    Well, we’re coming at the same equation with different ways to solve it. I am not here to evangelize or to convince you or even provide evidence for God. In fact those weren’t what you asked me for, but that of the question of God’s morality and how we come to know and are subject to it. So you reply to my answers with arguments for a whole different debate. That’s not fair play fyi. In fact, I must apologize to the blogger for completely derailing our conversation from her topic. And if the power of argumentation and evidence is all you’re interested in, that’s fine, but please don’t cloud your reasoning with assumptions about whom you’re speaking with, as it will make you resemble more like our friend Theodore Seeber here than a dispassionate objectivist. I hate to have to say that I don’t have time for that, but it’s true. If you insist on this direction of absolute cold hard logic and not much humanness, then I need you to re-present your argument without declarations of vagueness and making my God in my own image, and anything else that should be irrelevant. If you wish to return to the original questions of yours, then at least meet me halfway by understanding that I am coming to my answers from a combination of knowledge of human development and Catholic theology. Why? Because I can’t speak to your questions as a representative of any other religion. I am not a professional God and religion apologist. I do not spend 40 hours a week thinking of how to prove God’s existence. Accept that you’re not going to get anything that will change your mind from me. Or move on if that’s not what you want….and now my husband is yelling at me to pay attention to my jids .*sigh*

  • Start with Thomas Aquinas, he’s the guy who thought up every possible objection to the existence of God and then wrote a book about why they were all wrong. In 23 volumes.

    Answering every one of his points is the *MINIMUM* study I’d expect from an atheist. Can’t reject God until you’ve seen a large variety of evidence for God, right?

  • Ame

    I was hoping that my answer would demonstrate how, through my example, human development and it’s increasing acquisition, as well the diversity of talents and different ways of knowing, of information matters to whether God can be known. I am sorry that I failed in that. But hey, atheists ask me all the time to read their stuff like what they say will magically convert me to unbelief and deride me when I don’t.

  • DoorknobHead

    Science of Theology is “treated exactly like a science” in the same way serious scientists treat their core science, or in the way an apologetic theologian might treat science? “Science of Theology” is an interesting assortment of words, it could mean “the study of a comic book” or it could mean something to the effect of why and how people believe aspects of fake news, often called religion and dogma, or both at the same time. Maybe I can watch some debates between Alister Edgar McGrath and Daniel Dennett or Christopher Hitchens or Peter Atkins or Susan Blackmore or David Helfand and other to determine which it is? I’m now curious what a “Science of Theology” search will produce on Google Scholar. Maybe I’ll look a few hours from now. Thanx.

  • MR

    I was hoping that my answer….

    I was hoping that your answer would answer my question! You went a long way out of your way to not answer it. I don’t think you did so intentionally, this is just what cognitive dissonance does to us.

    No, I’m not deriding you. But, I am pointing out the flaws in your argument for others. Why do we believe? Not because scientism (which is silly apologetic propaganda), not because there are mysteries that we can’t solve (and no, no one believes that science will solve all things), not because faith, not because grace, not because it’s a gift from God. We believe because people around us believe, people we trust believe and they believed people they trusted who believed people they trusted. Everything you noted was justification after the fact.

    Does a Muslim or a Mormon child have the reasoning faculties to determine whether their religion is true? Do they believe because God has in fact given them the gift of faith? Is their belief in miracles within their religious tradition based on actual miracles? Or do they believe because the people around them believe, because they’re indoctrinated to believe and they grow up to be adults viewing life through the filter of their particular religion? Why would this not be true of ourselves?

    Atheists are often derided (speaking of being derided) for taking the stance of asking for reasonable evidence. We’re often demanded “What evidence would convince you that God exists?” as if no amount of evidence would ever convince us. Well, do you believe the Mormon religion or the Muslim religion simply based on their assertions? Do you believe they are correct based on their faith? Would you buy that God gives them grace and faith just because they say so? Would you believe them if they said, “Well, I know I’m right, but you can’t know because God hasn’t shown you,” or would you need more evidence than that? What level of evidence would you need to determine that their religion is in fact the one true religion, and do you hold your own religion to that same standard?

    Or do people simply believe because they believe and deride others for not believing because that’s just human nature?

  • Since serious scientists learned the scientific method from the theologian Francis Bacon, I would have to say exactly the same way. First came the idea that God follows his own rules and that those rules are discernable by experimentation, then came the search for those rules, which are the lesser sciences. Many discoveries were made- but the most important was the theological truth that the universe is logical and that God is limited.
    Some competing theologies believe the opposite- Islam for one. And their science became stunted due to that belief.

  • Ame

    So I took some time to think about this and I get why you would conclude that belief in God happens because we want to trust in the people who do believe and have been indoctrinated by them. It’s a socialistic all/anthropological lens to view the ultimate God question, but it is entirely possible to use that same lens and conclude that we were built/evolved for belief much like we’re built/evolved for language. But that doesn’t explain how people can start off from the beginning as atheists or agnostics even in a religious environment and look at the rest of the world as though it’s crazy and no amount of indoctrination can tell them otherwise…they’ll just fake it for the cultural belonging at the most or call it all myths and fairy tales. How can you believe in something that appears contradictory and impossible, or even improbable? How can I trust these physicists who debate string theory when I simply cannot understand what they’re talking about?

    This idea of yours may have some truth in it but it does not align with my experience, my husband’s experience, or say someone like St. Edith Stein. For my husband and myself, we were not brought up religiously, church was something that other people did, although my parents were pressured to get me baptized which required a brief time of going to church but it was never explained to me, I really had nothing in way of instruction, just told that Jesus loved me and something about him being God. Well, I wasn’t sure about this Jesus dude but I had an intuitive connection of God as a person in my life. Much like sleeping in a hospital bed and realizing when a nurse enters the room before you can hear or see evidence of that person. Not really feeling, but a type of sensing. Perhaps like the sense of proprioception. Whereas, my husband was thoroughly agnostic with no religious background and spent what is still a big chunk of his adult life as a true philosopher: “I do not know either way and there is no way of knowing.” But he and I had some profound conversion experiences that abruptly entered new information that required a change in worldview. Even with my intuitive connection with God, I had come to realize errors in my conclusions about Him that only could be reconciled with Catholic theology. Again, I could be wrong, but this has been a path to deeper knowledge of Him. Then there is Edith Stein, a woman from a close-knit devout and observant Jewish family who told her devastated mother that there was no God because there was no evidence of Him, who contently declared herself an atheist while in pursuit of the truth. She became phenomenologist as a prodigy of Edmund Husserl. You should read her dissertation “On the problem of empathy.” But there was something in reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila allowed her to see past the wall of unbelief. She never explained what that was to people, just that that time was the conversion point. She contributed to the Church another work “The Science of the Cross,” which approached the God question with a combination of phenomenology , Thomistic theology, and San Juanist theology.

    So your idea isn’t sufficient for me because it doesn’t honor the complexity and diversity of human development, nor account for divergence in outcome. So I am going to continue to approach it from the lens of what I know of human development and Catholic theology. Now, please forgive me if I gave you the impression that this is about deriding you for your unbelief, that it’s about God not showing you Himself. But I do hope you can take the time to consider the possibility of God existing and grace is already acting in you, but you just cannot conceive of it in the same way as to that I cannot conceive of string theory. And this whole religion and thing is a vehicle that is meant to help us find the truth. This is just a difference between us, no deficiency, just the way we’re wired.

  • MR

    It seems to me that most of what you’ve said here is about you, not God, so I still have no answers. You continue to deal in fallacious arguments. That should bother you. Not even scientists “believe” in string theory. String theory is a possibility and people are testing that theory to see if it makes sense. You are making a false dichotomy between string theory and God. String theory and God could both be false. The difference seems to me that scientists are trying to determine if string theory is a correct theory. It would be foolish for them to just state string theory is true without evidence, yet you do precisely that with God.

    I think most believers think, when I ask them questions, that my questions are rhetorical. They are not. I really would like them answered because I believe that the truth lies in those questions. That’s why I asked you why you believe in God. So let me try again.

    Why do you believe in God? No, really this time. Not Catholic apologetics that you learned, not evasion. When did you first believe in God and why?

    Also, my other questions:

    Does a Muslim or a Mormon child have the reasoning faculties to determine whether their religion is true? (Seriously, answer each question.) Do they believe because God has in fact given them the gift of faith? (That is, do you believe that God gave them the gift of faith to believe in something contradictory to your own belief?) Is their belief in miracles within their religious tradition based on actual miracles? Or do they believe because the people around them believe, because they’re indoctrinated to believe and they grow up to be adults viewing life through the filter of their particular religion? Why would this not be true of ourselves?

    Not rhetorical questions.

    Do you believe the Mormon religion or the Muslim religion simply based on their assertions (or, like you, their intuitive feelings)? Do you believe these religions are the correct religions simply based on the faith of their followers? Would you, just because they say so, believe that God gives them grace and that their faith, as opposed to your own, is true? Would you simply believe them if they said they had an intuitive connection with God and that your intuitive connection is false and that you just cannot conceive of their faith? Would you shed your Catholicism and take up the fight of Mormonism or Islam or Satanism or pantheism simply based on someone else’s belief? Because that is what you are asking of other people. They are just as sincere in their beliefs as you are. Would you believe them if they said, “Well, I know I’m right, but you can’t know because God hasn’t shown you,” or would you need more evidence than that? What level of evidence would you need to determine that their religion is in fact the one true religion, and do you hold your own religion to that same standard?

    Please, don’t evade the questions, answer them honestly.

  • Phil

    “Answering every one of his points is the *MINIMUM* study I’d expect from an atheist.” Why? “every possible objection” that is a bold claim. Did he include “The whole idea of a god is ludicrous”?

    Reading “The god delusion” is the minimum I would expect from any religious person, but I don’t think most are up to the task.

  • Yes in fact he did. Go and read the Summa. Come back when you have written a 23 volume essay on why it is wrong.

  • Phil

    Why?

  • Until you do, I cannot consider you to have seriously considered the question at all. You’re no better than the average Catholic today who supports abortion politically because they haven’t delved deep into the question.

    I used that example on purpose- that was me between 1985 and 1999. I simply had not delved deeply enough into the question of abortion, and thus my beliefs were based on ignorance.

    Don’t base your faith on ignorance. The existence of God was asked, AND ANSWERED, several centuries ago. It took a 23 volume book to do it. Unless you have better and deeper reasoning than “it’s all bunk and I’m too lazy to read”, I have no need to talk to you.

    And since that last statement is likely what you’ll come back with, like others in this conversation, I’m done with you. If nothing else, this conversation has been great for building my list of whom I should block on disqus.

  • Velvetpage

    I think you’re misunderstanding what the pro-choice folks are saying. They’re not saying the two procedures are morally equivalent; you get to make up your own mind about that. They’re saying that, from the point of view of the effect on the mother’s body, they are the same. It’s meant to refute the suggestion that abortion causes breast cancer but miscarriages do not. That is factually incorrect; there is no connection to the outcome of a pregnancy and development of a breast cancer, or the idea that one can tell after the fact why a surgery was performed.

    I’m sorry for your losses. I know how painful that is. I doubt you’d have a similar sympathy for my abortion choice, even though it was closer to your experience than to an elective abortion.

  • MR

    A couple of Ames’ comments seem to have gone into Awaiting Moderation mode for no apparent reason (is there a cognitive dissonance flag?) which is very confusing when I draft a response, but then can’t find the post to respond to it. For a moment I thought she might be deleting them. Her posts were lengthy, but didn’t contain links, so I don’t think that was it. Are there other triggers that you don’t use on your blog that might be causing that?

  • Phil

    Wow, not a nice person are you? Until I have written a 23 volume piece of work you will not talk to me? Does that go for everyone? If so, why are you even here?
    “Don’t base your faith on ignorance” that statement in itself speaks of ignorance. I don’t have any faith in a god or gods or unicorns or whatever.
    If the existence of a god has been proved, what is the point of faith?

    You must be really proud of your blocked list. Something else I don’t have.

  • Disqus works in mysterious ways, as you know. I find that problem of vanished comments on my own blog and sometimes find those comments in either the Pending or Spam folders of Disqus. Not only is there no good reason but I don’t know of any setting to change to make it stop.

    Disqus needs a “This comment was put in the spam folder because” feature, at least for moderators.

  • Ame

    “It seems to me that most of what you’ve said here is about you, not God, so I still have no answers”

    Well let’s break it down some more. For the “you” questions I will answer in reference to my self without drawing outside examples. But don’t then interject with questions in reference to what other people believe as that. Let’s be clear about your own objectives in this conversation. Do you want evidence and proof of God, do you want to understand how some people come to know God and others don’t? I laid out the angle I was taking, you know. If you weren’t interested in that then say so. But as a person with different talents than you, understand that there is only so much adjusting I can do. There comes a point where you need to decide if it’s worth further engagement or if it’s time to move on.

    “You continue to deal in fallacious arguments.”
    Is it really fallacious arguments or is it a difference in method and style? There are different logic systems. Some of them share common rules and some appear to be antagonistic to others. Try to get a mathematician to talk to an an existentialist sometime. In geometry that it is easier to prove that something is not than that something is. In the scientific method, it’s easier to disprove a hypothesis than to prove it then eventually come to a fact by a process of elimination. In computing ity theory, it’s easier to prove that something is. But in philosophy it is harder to prove that something is not than that something is. I think a lot of atheists make errors in arguments of ignorance when they claim proof that God does not exist because there allegedly is no evidence of Him. But pointing that out quickly turns a conversation into a fighting match. Does it really serve the productivity of a conversation to nitpick arguments that appear fallacious?

    “Not even scientists “believe” in string theory. String theory is a possibility and people are testing that theory to see if it makes sense. You are making a false dichotomy between string theory and God. String theory and God could both be false. The difference seems to me that scientists are trying to determine if string theory is a correct theory. It would be foolish for them to just state string theory is true without evidence, yet you do precisely that with God.”

    Hang on now, I laid it out that I think of science as a tool and use the expanding knowledge acquired by science as an analogy for coming to the understanding of knowledge of God. Analogies are used not infrequently in philosophy and mathematics. Of course analogies breakdown at some point and fail to truly explain what something is and is not. But they help open the mind to possible solutions to problems until a proof can be found. I am of the camp that uses the principle that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So no I don’t necessarily believe scientists believe string theory is true. But I trust they either have the tools or will discover the tool that will prove or disprove string theory, that whatever they do find simply is or is not without me having to know about it.

    “I think most believers think, when I ask them questions, that my questions are rhetorical.” Perhaps what you say is true. Or perhaps they just appear that way. Are you basing your observations from in person conversations or from social media? It is harder to repair a breakdown in communication in a comment box, so we end up making deep assumptions and accusations about what we are observing without evidence or an easy way to correct errors. I try really really hard to to avoid assumptions and think of alternative explanations for what I am observing. For what it’s worth

    ” Why do you believe in God? No, really this time. Not Catholic apologetics that you learned, not evasion. When did you first believe in God and why [did you believe]?”

    Well it’s not really Catholic apologetics to have that intuitive knowing. Intuitive knowing is my term. Catholic theology just disciplines and gives me a larger vocabulary to work with in discerning this knowing. I cannot remember when I first believed just as I don’t remember when I said my first word. I don’t even remember what my parents reported as my first word. I just had a conscious awareness of God that I have carried for as long as I can remember. Perhaps there was a time that I did remember, but that memory had dissolved.

    “Does a Muslim or a Mormon child have the reasoning faculties to determine whether their religion is true?”

    Perhaps, I don’t see anything in human development that suggests it’s impossible for any child to make a determination. Either way, the Dalai Lama said something along the lines that it’s important for a person to thoroughly examine the religion of their family before deciding to convert or not, if nothing else than as a foundation to test other beliefs. I think that is a wise and fair recommendation.

    “Do they believe because God has in fact given them the gift of faith?”

    As for a belief in a creator/first agent/noncontingent being, yes. Of course there is a distinction between faith and religion. Religion is a vehicle to get one closer to God. But my testing has concluded that Catholicism gets you to God most fully and deeply because it posseses God’s revelation of Himself.
    “(That is, do you believe that God gave them the gift of faith to believe in something contradictory to your own belief?)”
    I believe they have faith, but just don’t see their theologies as the correct interpretation of the truth of God. But hey, in Catholic theology, only God can judge their hearts and how sincere their search for the truth is. If they are or will be saved, it is through a mystical connection to His Church.

    “Is their belief in miracles within their religious tradition based on actual miracles? Or do they believe [in miracles] because the people around them believe, because they’re indoctrinated to believe and they grow up to be adults viewing life through the filter of their particular religion? Why would this not be true of ourselves?”

    Perhaps those miracles truly are miracles but yes there is a possibility that they are influenced by group think. In Catholicism, miracles do go through a verification process, but even if approved, belief in such miracles are not required for faith in God. Miracles are just tools for overcoming blocks to faith. I will assume that there is good cause for their belief in those miracles but that doesn’t mean I have to believe those same miracles too.

    “Do you believe the Mormon religion or the Muslim religion simply based on their assertions (or, like you, their intuitive feelings)?” I do believe that these religions are a search of and response to God. But their maybe factors, including metaphysical ones, that lead to errors in interpretation.

    ” Do you believe these religions are the correct religions simply based on the faith of their followers? ” No. Faith and religion are the same. For example, there are atheist and agnostic Jewish people who follow
    Judaism not out of faith but out of cultural affiliation.

    “Wouldduse they say so, believe that God gives them grace and that their faith, as opposed to your own, is true?”
    God certainly gives all grace. At least substantial grace, as I have mentioned before. God desires us to know Him as best as we are able. Because faith is a gift that needs not even language to apprehend and religion is a system that does require language to transmit knowledge, I would say that their faith may be correct but their religion is not.

    “Would you simply believe them if they said they had an intuitive connection with God and that your intuitive connection is false and that you just cannot conceive of their faith?”

    Yeah, it’s possible. But have yet to prove to me that Catholicism is not true. Sure, maybe they have not yet had their religions disproven to them.

    “Would you shed your Catholicism and take up the fight of Mormonism or Islam or Satanism or pantheism simply based on someone else’s belief?”

    I think that’s a false dichotomy. 😉

    I defend freedom of religion because I believe it’s a human right. And you can’t fault people for anything they cannot conceive or comprehend.

    “Because that is what you are asking of other people. They are just as sincere in their beliefs as you are. ”

    Of course. I think it’s the fundamentalists of any religion who think evangelization requires a sword, or some kind of force. I try to assume sincerity first. But they and I and you can all be sincerely wrong too.

    “Would you believe them if they said, “Well, I know I’m right, but you can’t know because God hasn’t shown you,” or would you need more evidence than that?”

    The evidence would be needed to change my mind, but it will have to be helluva big evidence. I do wish to better understand where people are coming from, though.

    “Whatf evidence would you need to determine that their religion is in fact the one true religion, and do you hold your own religion to that same standard?”

    It’s not like a mathematical proof. The religion must have room for expanding knowledge, be comfortable with using various logic systems and have something to say that accounts for the diversity that currently exists, has some way of evaluating the world as it was, as it is, and as it is yet to come. It has to say something that correlates well with how God reveals Himself to us. But St. John of the Cross has taught me how one can still be an orthodox believer and still miss the point that religion is not God, but a way to relate to Him who is infinite mystery.

    ” Please, don’t evade the questions, answer them honestly.”
    It’s really not evasion. Sorry if I gave you that impression. I was trying a more conversational method, which does require some jump in thought and self reference to maintain context. As you can see, I have made an effort to adjust to your way of communicating.

  • MR

    My goodness, I must say you are a champion at side-stepping and handwaving! I encourage those struggling with their belief to take note of that.

    Let’s be clear about your own objectives in this conversation.

    To determione why people really believe and to determine if simply taking someone’s word without evidence is sound.

    Is it really fallacious arguments or is it a difference in method and style?

    It is fallacious. You are misrepresenting science. The science may or may not be correct, but when you misrepresent the science, well, I know you are wrong.

    Does it really serve the productivity of a conversation to nitpick arguments that appear fallacious?

    Except it’s not nitpicking. It is fallacious plain and simple. If you don’t understand the science, you can’t speak to it. The bullshit apologetics term “scientism” isn’t a real thing. Your definitions are erroneous. The argument is dishonest. I’m not saying you invented the lie, you seem to be simply regurgitating apologetics, but I find it difficult to believe that the people who developed the apologetics aren’t aware that their argument is fallacious.

    I was lamenting to my pastor once about how members in my previous church were spreading falsehoods via email and Facebook. I said understood that they didn’t invent the lies and actually believed the falsehoods they were spreading, but the things they were spreading were demonstrably false. It was something I was struggling with because I knew it was wrong, but they couldn’t see they were wrong. He said simply, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” and I realized that, yes, of course they were wrong. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know if something is false, you’re still bearing false witness. It’s not enough to claim ignorance. If we’re going to propagate information, it’s important that we know it to be true before we spread it.

    In the scientific method, it’s easier to disprove a hypothesis than to prove it then eventually come to a fact by a process of elimination.

    If you understood the scientific method you’d know that science doesn’t work that way. More false witness.

    But in philosophy it is harder to prove that something is not than that something is.

    If philosophy were to “prove” something, then it would cease to be philosophy and would simply become body of knowledge. Until it becomes body of knowledge, it’s a form of speculation.

    I think a lot of atheists make errors in arguments of ignorance when they claim proof that God does not exist because there allegedly is no evidence of Him.

    Your error is in believing what apologetics say that atheists say. It’s the same thing as science. You’re bearing false witness. Atheists don’t claim proof that God does not exist. I don’t claim proof that leprechauns don’t exist, that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in them; but please don’t insult me by saying I’ve claimed proof that they don’t exist. It’s dishonest.

    Does it really serve the productivity of a conversation to nitpick arguments that appear fallacious?

    The arguments ARE fallacious, they don’t just appear to be. They are. In fact, misrepresenting your opponent is more than fallacious; it’s dishonest.

    Analogies are used not infrequently in philosophy and mathematics. Of course analogies breakdown at some point and fail to truly explain what something is and is not.

    Your analogy broke down long before that.

    I am of the camp that uses the principle that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Sure, but that doesn’t mean you believe every incredible thing that you are told. Which is you completely missing the point of all my questions.

    So no I don’t necessarily believe scientists believe string theory is true. But I trust they either have the tools or will discover the tool that will prove or disprove string theory, that whatever they do find simply is or is not without me having to know about it.

    More of you not understanding science. I don’t care about science. Science doesn’t tell me anything about God. Why do you believe and is that a reliable way to come to know if God exists?

    All of your answers to my questions are just hand waving to the central point that none of us simply believe people because someone happen to believe in something. “Intuitive knowing” on your part does nothing for anyone else. A Satanist, a Hindu, a person who believes that aliens have taken over the planet because they intuitively tap into this knowledge somehow, are as believable as you are. People who intuitively know that God is telling them to kill their children have as much claim to being right as you do.

    The fact is, none of us believe people simply because they believe. The fact is that children believe things that adults tell them and do not have the reasoning faculties to determine whether their religion or difficult philosophical concepts are true. The fact is that we have no evidence that God gives anyone faith, much less children or that miracles are real. Phht. Protestants dismiss Catholic claims all the time and I have no doubt that Catholics eye Protestant claims with a wary eye, let alone every other religious tradition analysing all the others. To paraphrase a poem, “Throughout history, every mystery, ever solved, has turned out to be, not God.” The original was “not magic,” but the point is the same.

    When I ask you “Do you believe the Mormon religion or the Muslim religion simply based on their assertions (or, like you, their intuitive feelings)?” An honest answer would have simply been, “No.” Not dancing around so you don’t have to directly answer the question. People don’t believe people just because they make an assertion. How crazy would that be? We would all be slaves to everyone else’s belief if that were the case. You don’t conduct your life that way. I don’t conduct my life that way. No one does. This is what I mean when I say, be honest. If you can’t answer the question simply and honestly and examine what that might mean, why should I take what you tell me about your beliefs honestly?

    ” Do you believe these religions are the correct religions simply based on the faith of their followers? ” No.

    A simple honest answer! Yay! So, then, should I believe you simply based on your faith?

    God certainly gives all grace…, God desires us…, Because faith is a gift…,

    You don’t know these things. You’ve said yourself you could be wrong, so you’re simply making an assertion of something you don’t know.

    “Would you simply believe them if they said they had an intuitive connection with God and that your intuitive connection is false and that you just cannot conceive of their faith?” Yeah, it’s possible.

    Possible that they have an intuitive connection? That wasn’t the question, was it? Would you simply believe them because they say so? The point is, this is not a reliable way to know if what they believe is true. It’s not a reliable way to know if what you believe is true. We don’t believe people simply because they say so.

    “Would you shed your Catholicism and take up the fight of Mormonism or Islam or Satanism or pantheism simply based on someone else’s belief?”

    I think that’s a false dichotomy. 😉

    It’s not a false dichotomy. It’s almost like you go out of your way to miss the point. I’m asking if you would believe these things simply based on someone else’s belief.

    I defend freedom of religion because I believe it’s a human right.

    As do I. That doesn’t mean that any religion is true. I also defend people’s rights to point out when someone’s religious beliefs make no sense, or to protest unsubstantiated beliefs when they harm others.

    But they and I and you can all be sincerely wrong too.

    Yes, believing someone simply because they believe, however, sincerely, isn’t reliable. If we were to base our belief in the sincere belief of others, the 9/11 hijackers would certainly be a shining example. Someone’s belief, even sincere belief, doesn’t inform us of the veracity of their claims.

    The evidence would be needed to change my mind, but it will have to be helluva big evidence.

    Isn’t that all atheists are asking? Is it unreasonable for them, but not for you?

    The religion must have room for expanding knowledge, be comfortable with using various logic systems and have something to say that accounts for the diversity that currently exists, has some way of evaluating the world as it was, as it is, and as it is yet to come. It has to say something that correlates well with how God reveals Himself to us.

    That’s not evidence, that’s justification. All religions believe they have those things, and all religions believe that God reveals himself to them no matter how contradictory it is to other religions. C’mon, unless you believe every religion out there, what would be an example of enough evidence to determine some religion or some God that you don’t currently believe in is in fact true? If a Hindu, say, (or pick another God/religion you don’t currently believe in) walked up to you and said, “My god(s), force, greater power has/have given me the ability to give you any evidence you demand,” what evidence would you demand?

    But St. John of the Cross has taught me how one can still be an orthodox believer and still miss the point that religion is not God, but a way to relate to Him who is infinite mystery.

    Saint John may also have just been talking out of his ass.

    It’s really not evasion.

    It is.

    As you can see, I have made an effort to adjust to your way of communicating.

    Not really, you continued to bear false witness about science, you bear false witness about atheists, you present fallacious and dishonest arguments and try to strong arm me into accepting fallacious and dishonest arguments, you make assertions of things you can’t know for certain, and you evade, hand wave and dance around the questions that are uncomfortable to answer.

    It’s exhausting.

  • Ame

    MR, I use science as an analogy. I was clear about that from the beginning. You keep accusing false dichotomies and lies but…where IS THE TRUTH from you, sir? You have yet to make clear your objective to this discussion, whereas I have stated that I am interested in facilitating understanding. I am not interested in all in converting. You are fine just the way you are in that regard. Yiu never answered my questions. You chastise instead of correct my definitions. You approach debate and talk about science unlike anyone I have encountered in higher education…outside of social media that is. This is not how a real conversation works. This is bait and switch. That’s nice that you believe in bearing no false witness but you lie about what I am trying to do here with pretend civility. The truth is that you use these debates as a way to strong arm people into your belief that no one can know God or know which religion is true. If you were honest about conveying this belief of yours, you would actually contribute to the conversation by saying, ” I do not believe that and here is why.” No surprise reveals after trying to tear a hole out of someone.

  • MR

    I use science as an analogy.

    Such analogies don’t work when you misrepresent the science.

    You keep accusing false dichotomies and lies but…where IS THE TRUTH from you, sir?

    And I pointed out where your arguments were fallacious and how you’re side stepping the points I’ve made. Don’t blame me for your errors, please.

    “The Truth” as you put it, I believe lies in the questions you avoid. If I haven’t answered your questions, it’s probably because I’ve been focused on just trying to get an honest answer out of you. But I will go back through the post and answer any questions I missed:

    Let’s be clear about your own objectives in this conversation. Do you want evidence and proof of God, do you want to understand how some people come to know God and others don’t?

    This was answered.

    Is it really fallacious arguments or is it a difference in method and style?

    Answered.

    Does it really serve the productivity of a conversation to nitpick arguments that appear fallacious?

    Answered.

    Are you basing your observations from in person conversations or from social media

    My apologies, I did take this as rhetorical since it really didn’t have anything to do with the argument. My only purpose in bringing it up was to let you know I really wanted answers to those questions. If you really want an answer to this, I would say, principally, social media. People are more honest in person. When you ask them a direct question, they can’t pretend they didn’t read it or hope you won’t notice that they didn’t answer. It’s also harder for them to google a bullshit apologetic answer like “scientism.” Answers in person tend to be more straight forward and honest.

    That appears to be the only questions you asked. I’m not sure why you’re complaining I didn’t answer, since I did for all but one that doesn’t really have anything to do with the thread. I don’t think you ask as many questions as you think you do, but if there are others upstream you would like me to revisit I would be happy to.

    This is not how a real conversation works

    I agree. I don’t usually feel like I’m being given a snow job in a real conversation. People tend to answer questions straight-forward and honestly instead of with evasion. If I ask something to the effect of, should people believe something just because someone else does, an honest straight-forward answer would be, “Of course, not.” Then we can explore when it would indeed be reasonable to believe someone. That is how a real conversation works.

    That’s nice that you believe in bearing no false witness but you lie about what I am trying to do here with pretend civility.

    I have made no comment about what you are trying to do here and have lied about nothing. Yes, I believe that last paragraph I wrote and you are sensing my own frustration because I feel like I’m in a Gish Gallop here. My questions aren’t hard; I agree they’re uncomfortable; but they don’t require lengthy evasive responses.

  • Ame

    Going up against my professors on an oral dissertation on place theory versus temporal theory processing of pitch in the auditory nerve is uncomfortable brutal honesty. Yours, not so much.

    The only lie I tell you is this: yes, MR, no one knows and no one could ever know; you have enlightened me and revealed things about myself I never knew.

  • MR

    You seem to have added this after I responded, or, Disqus:

    “The truth is that you use these debates as a way to strong arm people into your belief that no one can know God or know which religion is true. If you were honest about conveying this belief of yours, you would actually contribute to the conversation by saying, ” I do not believe that and here is why.” No surprise reveals after trying to tear a hole out of someone.”

    Pointing out where your argument is fallacious is not strong arming you. I want to arrive at the truth. Please don’t put falsehoods in my mouth. Have I said that no one can know God or which religion is true? No. Obviously as an atheist I don’t believe God exists, but I cannot make the positive statement that no God exists. Nor do I believe that you can make the positive statement that one does. Is that not true?

    I don’t understand why you think I am not being honest about my belief…, wait, unless you thought I still believed because of my pastor story. I would have thought you’d have understood I no longer believe long before that, but I apologize if that led to confusion. I did believe, but bhose are the kinds of things that unraveled my belief. Things like religious people misrepresenting science unraveled my belief. (The Truth Project) Science may or may not have things right. God might exist. But lying about science does not get us to the truth. You’re chastising me for your mistake.

    I am not trying to tear a hole out of you. I’m pointing out where your argument is wrong. And not a little frustrated myself because you cling to your bad arguments and chastise me for it. If you want to arrive at truth, you should embrace having your fallacious arguments pointed out. “Oh, right, misrepresenting science is wrong. I should learn science better or drop the argument.” We don’t arrive at truth with fallacious arguments.

  • MR

    I don’t know what you’re saying, but I don’t want you to think that I think you are lying to me if that is what your underlying message is. Honest people can use someone else’s dishonest message and that is what I believe you are doing with your science argument. There’s a difference between intentional deceit and using an argument you believe to be valid that is dishonest. I would call it bearing false witness if you do not verify the truth of it, but I am not calling you a liar. If I have made a fallacious argument, correct me. But please don’t chastise me for pointing out where your arguments are fal[lacious]. And please don’t chastise me for pointing out where you have been evasive.

  • Ame

    I have honestly poured out my arguments and answers but you call them lies and evasions and false dichotomies. Lies are willful deception. You are fine to tell me I am wrong but EXPLAIN why. Demonstrate the logic.

  • Ame

    But you said you used to believe. Perhaps you believed because of your parents but what about people who never believed despite a religious background? What about people who decide they believe despite agnostic or atheist households? Your argument does not account for them. How do you know that your reasons for disbelief are representative of the disbelief of those who never believed? How is your argument not simply justification for your disbelief? How do you know that God does not exist?

  • Ame

    I have discovered a post of yours from a day ago that I was just trying to reply. But the page broke in the middle of typing it. If I had seen it sooner, there would have been much more clarity and I would have had more information to allow me to interpret your intentions more charitably and patiently. But now i can’t find it and my copy paste feature didn’t bring it up again. I cannot speak of the depths of my frustration over this. If I had seen that post sooner, I wouldn’t have said the things I just said the last few hours ago. I am sorry for that. I ask that we cede this conversation because either something about Disqus or my iPhone is not making posts appear correctly or I am hopelessly technologically impaired. Mea culpa.

  • MR

    I have honestly poured out my arguments and answers but you call them lies and evasions and false dichotomies and false witness. Lies are willful deception.

    a) I’m pretty sure that the one time I said you lied I thought you were the other poster and thought he was contradicting himself. I did not realize at the time that you were a different person. I corrected that at the time. Yes, I do believe you have evaded many questions and I think I’ve explained where you did that pretty well. Many of your answers were not honest, straight-forward answers (a non-honest, non-straightforward answer is not necessarily wilful deception, yes I understand that and already said that above; I mean, I’m the one that pointed that out, right? That doesn’t make the argument any more straight forward and honest.)

    Bearing false witness is not the same as committing errors of fact.

    (Yes I understand that and already said that above; I mean, I’m the one that pointed that out, right?) )

    You are fine to tell me I am wrong but EXPLAIN why. Demonstrate the logic.

    I believe I did that for the most part. I don’t think you wanted to hear it. You’re not going to learn science from some guy on the internet that you think is being hostile to you, so that is a lost cause right out of the gate. But, since I harped so much on it I will just point you to your use of “scientism.” If you really want to know what is wrong with that, then I strongly encourage you to go to sites other than apologetics websites to see what science and what atheists sites have to say about “scientism.” I mean, honestly, just go and re-read it yourself and I’d like to think that you would be able to understand why it is fallacious yourself. If you can’t, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to take my word for it. I can’t seem to find your original use of the word or I’d point you to it, but I suspect that is one of the posts that seems to have been swallowed by Disqus or Patheos. I don’t know. But you used it so, look at it again and think about what is wrong with it. Check those other sites to see what they have to say about its fallaciousness, then don’t take their word for it, but go back to your apologetics site to see what they say to that response, then back to the other sites to see what they say to the response to the response, and back and forth until you have a clear understanding of both sides of the argument. I’m pretty sure you’ll understand why the apologetics use of the term is fallacious. If you’re only reading apologetics sites, you’re only getting one side of the argument. If I only read atheist sites, I’d only have one side of the argument.

  • MR

    But you said you used to believe.

    I did.

    Perhaps you believed because of your parents

    I likely believed because of my parents, because of friends and other family members, because of movies and books, and stories people tell each other on the street, because of the culture in general. Just like my parents and the generations before us (except for the movies at some point).

    what about people who never believed despite a religious background? What about people who decide they believe despite agnostic or atheist households?

    Were they never exposed to God belief? I would ask them the same thing: Why do you believe?

    Your argument does not account for them.

    Uh…, what is my argument besides, why do you believe and is that reason reasonable. That sure seems to apply to anyone. My friend Susan generally phrases a similar idea with, “What do you believe and how do you support it?” I’m not really making an argument so much as asking you if you think your reason is reasonable if similar reasons were used to support something you don’t believe. Of course you think you’re being reasonable. Now apply that reasoning to Hinduism, Satanism, the Force, leprechauns, Big Foot. From what you told me, you’re initial reason for believing is lost even to you, and even you admit you could be wrong.

    How is your argument not simply justification for your disbelief?

    Is it reasonable not to believe in Hinduism, Satanism, the Force, leprechauns, Big Foot? I’m not saying they’re not true. I’m just saying I don’t have a real reason to believe. Besides, I have no reason to want to disbelieve; I want to know the truth, don’t you? If there were a God, I would want to know that. Sometimes apologists (like Theodore now that I think about it) pull the bullshit line that we claim God doesn’t exist because we hate God or deny him so that we can sin or whatever. I really, really hate that someone as despicable as Donald Trump is the President of the United States, but I don’t deny that he exists! Puh-lease. If God exists, this is something I would want to know. I mean, that would be really, really important.

    How do you know that God does not exist?

    I’m pretty sure I said I can’t know. But what are my reasons to believe? Just because other people believe? Just because millions of people believe? Which millions do I believe? Because some lady on the internet believes? What reasons would you need to believe something that you don’t currently believe and do you apply the same level to your own belief?

  • MR

    I don’t think it is you. I’ve already noticed that Disqus has eaten a couple of your own posts.

    Apology taken and my own mea culpae given. It has been frustrating for me as well and I am only human and can lose my patience as well. We can cede if you like, but I’m always open to starting again on more understanding grounds. Come visit us over at Cross Examined, though I must warn you that if you think I’m bad, it does get a quite heated over there. Sarcasm and derision can run high, but I will vouch for the honesty of the players (if my vouching for anyone means anything to you). Speak with Susan if you can. She’s awesome–and level-headed. In any case, thank you for the conversation and the bruises. 😉

    MR

  • I’ve come across this argument myself. I was stunned too. How ridiculous. Either the people who put up this argument have paltry little to stand on as an argument for abortion or they are really devoid of intelligence. I just countered this silliness on a pro-life board against a troll there who had tat very silly line of thinking. If one ever encounters this moronic argument, just succinctly put it down like this: A miscarriage is a natural death like a heart attack; an abortion is cold blooded murder like shooting someone in the head. Even a simpleton can see the ethical difference from that comparison.

  • Just like a heart attack and murder? The man was there and then he’s not. So which is not ethical?

  • RoverSerton

    on a physical level, I think Bob is superior to any god. He can lift a pencil off a table. If God is there, he should.be able to do the same. Please don’t use the “free will” argument that if you God showed himself it would take away free will to follow him. Satan knows God better than anyone and chooses not to follow.

  • RoverSerton

    upvote for bringing in the religion of the force.

  • Can Bob make a pencil out of quarks?

    God can do that. The pencil wouldn’t exist without God.

    And once again, another atheist has proven that they’ve NEVER bothered to read the basic research on the existence of God, and thus, does not have an opinion worth listening to.

  • RoverSerton

    “God can do that”. “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. Thanks Hitch.

    For giggles, Please give me one reference work for the “existence of god” that all Christians agree with? Then, I’m in. (The Bible isn’t it, I’ve read it many times, taken College classes on it, and my wife teaches it).

  • DoorknobHead

    Sounds like this brand of “scientists” of god have vastly lower standards than scientists that get published in peer reviewed publications that make advancements in the world. Have not yet seen a theological science book, where experiments are as repeatable as gravity, (what prayers or ceremonies will always get repeatable results) or predictive as evolution, or even one of the weakest sciences, sociology or psychology. It seems safe to say that in the history of history that there has not been any sufficient evidence for any god to warrant belief without first inappropriately succumbing to human biases or logical fallacies thus perverting what it means to have evidence which is worthy of robust belief. Newton wrote much more about theology than he did when he created calculus and his other contributions to science — but it is the math and science that has made an impact. What impact did all his work on theology provide for all of humanity? An insignificant amount if anything at all. Probably nothing at on in regards to theology. This pattern also applies to all other theology. Theology: the study of something that does not exist. Might as well study comic books.

  • “Sounds like this brand of “scientists” of god have vastly lower standards than scientists that get published in peer reviewed publications that make advancements in the world.”

    Wrong. There are peer reviewed journals on the topic of theology; every once in a while they get summarized into something called a Catechism for the average layman.

    There are even conferences and debates.

    And the experiments are repeatable. Maybe if you had BOTHERED TO EVEN LOOK before shooting your mouth off like an ass, you’d know something.

    Yet another DoorKnobhead to block on Disqus for me.

  • You are an idiot, again.

  • DoorknobHead

    Reminds me of, “The Truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Cutting off the heads of others that have a different perspective (reference Judaism 3.0 — Islam) won’t make mythical gods real. Sure people study their comic books diligently, regurgitating themes and making adjustments as a secular society pushes religion towards the superiority of humanism and it also can be fascinating, even for some non-believers, as there are many atheist theologians, but it’s still often just a record of how humans have continued to fail in rejecting fake-news and failing to use sound evidence to draw sound conclusions of maximal utility. Catechism definition: a summary of the principles of Christian religion in the form of questions and answers, used for the instruction of Christians. Example Catechism Question and Answer: “In how many days did God create all things? God created all things in six days.” Well, that’s neither correct nor impressive. The one thing I’ve noticed about very intelligent people, is that to justify their religious beliefs they have to submit to thinking like a child. Often they have emotional reactions like an out of control child too, because that is part of the con that aids people in maintaining belief in untrue things and dogma.

  • MR

    Ame, now that a couple days have gone by, I just wanted to say thank you again for the conversation. I know it can feel like we beat up on each other at times, but I did appreciate our exchange. Perhaps we can strike up another conversation one day on more even-keeled grounds. Thanks, again. MR

  • Ame

    Thank you. I feel there are now more pertinent topics to address now.

  • croudedOut

    I did a report for my class on College writing, on abortions the methods that they use are brutal, and the psychological shock to the mother is unreal, granted each person reacts differently one my be fine with it where as another will become depressed. and the Data that I was able to find the post Abortion suicides remain high. I am working on a double major one Psychology and the other Theology which is interesting because in some ways I can see things two ways. First the Biblical perspective. each life is a miracle and should not be taken, and the second I can see the psychological harm that it may cause the mother. Oh before I forget during my research on abortions I found out that the number one reason for an abortion “it interfered with work”

  • Actually, much higher. And they have been doing it longer- their peer reviewed journals have been published for 2000 years. Unlike your piddling little scam of a way to ripoff tuition money.

  • croudedOut

    here is a list and a description of how the Abortion is done Suction, D&C, D&E, Saline, Hysterotomy, Prostaglandin
    A: Suction Abortion, this is where a powerful suction tube is inserted to suck out the placenta and the developing fetus. With this procedure there is a risk that the uterus can be punctured during the procedure as well as the abortionist must take care and remove all the body parts and placenta as any left in the uterus can cause an infection and or a hemorrhage.
    B: Dilation and curettage or D&C for short, this method normally performed between seven and twelve weeks of pregnancy. With this, the doctor inserts a looped shaped steel knife, into the womb through the dilated cervix. As the knife scrapes the walls of the uterus the baby is cut into pieces. As with the suction abortion and infection and hemorrhage is possible. The abortionist must reassemble the baby to make sure the uterus is empty.
    C: Dilation and evacuation or D&E This method is similar to the D&C except for the abortionist twist and tears the parts of the body apart and slices the placenta away from the uterus. Bleeding is profuse. Although relatively safe the mother.
    D: Salt Poisoning: salting out is the second most common method of inducing an abortion and is usually sued after sixteen weeks. The doctor using a long needle inserts a saline solution into the fluid surrounding the baby. The baby is poisoned by swallowing the salt, and its skin is completely burned away.
    E: Hysterotomy; This is similar to the Cesarean section, the Hysterotomy abortion is a procedure where the baby is removed from the mother womb and allowed to die by neglect or killed by a direct act.
    F: Prostaglandin Abortion: This is where a chemical hormone which induces a violent labor and premature birth when injected in to the amniotic sac, the risk of a live birth from this kind of abortion is so great that its use is recommended only in hospitals and with neonatal intensive care units (pro-choice, 2008).
    Since abortion has been made legal abortion clinics lead you to believe that they are safe.
    Yes, they are a bit safer but still have several risks such as infections abdominal pain, cramping, and bleeding that is just three of the mild side effects. Since nineteen seventy-three, till two thousand and eight, there have been over four hundred women ranging from ages fifteen to forty-four that has died during the abortion.
    This is part of a research paper I did for my class
    if you do not trust it please feel free to look the information up your self

  • croudedOut

    There are so many things I could say to you, but to be honest you remind me of the Biblical character Saul who would seek out the Christians to have them put to death, the funny thing is though Saul later became Paul one of the Apostles. God has a way of taking a person or event and using it to bring Glory to him.

  • croudedOut

    allow me to ask you this. what exactly do you believe? and how did you get this way?

  • croudedOut

    funny how you compare the Bible to a comic book yet have you ever bothered to read the Bible? yes it took God six days to create everything but please explain to me how long is a day to God? think about it a common house fly’s life is on average 30 days from birth to death so to that fly we are immortal even though our days on earth are limited in age. on that basis how do we know what a day is to God? to us one of Gods day could be a million years or even a billion years.

  • DoorknobHead

    HAVE I READ THE BIBLE? YES, BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

    To me, comparing the bible to a comic book isn’t a perfect analogy, and I’m not married to it, but I still like how it conveys the arbitrary, ephemeral and fiction-based nature of theistic religious texts. (I also call the Koran, mostly, and other non-Abrahamic theist based texts comic-books). I have read the King James Version of the bible, from cover to cover, and not just passages that enforce any confirmation-biases for beliefs I want to believe, like I suspect many believers do, or no significant portion of the bible, like many more believers may do. I read the bible for context, actually, as I was reading many texts of the founding fathers and other text that made passing mentions of biblical stories for which I was not fully aware. It was after reading great literature, and then reading the bible and being unimpressed, especially compared to great literature, that I became what I might call a robust agnostic atheist or an igtheistic which I’ll explain in my next paragraph. I have also read thousands of pages of Eastern religion and philosophy from sets of volumes on those specific topics as well and general classic literature from the fifty volume set of the Harvard Classics Five-Foot shelf of books which I own and had around me all my life growing up, which includes the full text of “On the Origin of Species” and “The Voyage of the Beagle” by Charles Darwin, by the way.

    GOD-DAY, MATE
    You question of the length of a day for the “God” comic-book character is sort of silly, as a day is how long it takes a planet to make one full revolution. That length of time depends upon what cosmic body we, or god, find ourselves upon. But your point about “how do we know…[ANY characteristic of God]” interests me. In the history of history, there has been no reliable and sound evidence for ANY supernatural god (either deistic or, more so, theistic) therefore, we know nothing about the characteristics of any god, hence this is why I might consider religious texts “comic-books” and myself an “igtheist” [a definition I am recently trying on] which is the idea that the question of the existence of God is meaningless because the term god has no coherent and unambiguous definition. Igthesim may also be described as the theological position that every other theological position (including agnosticism) assumes too much about the concept of god as well as many other theological concepts (Ref: Wikipedia). For me the best explanation of “god” it is an emergent property within the mind that comes via evolution by natural selection that selects for survival, which does not necessarily require a correct understanding of the true nature of reality for that survival. Gods are creations of human minds.

  • DoorknobHead

    SOMEONE CALL 9-1-1?

    I believe there is no reason to consider anything farther than a purely natural based existence, and that secular humanism will get humanity closer down the road on a positive moral-arc than any religious supernatural-based belief shall take us.

    LUCK — OF TIME AND PLACE

    I got this way through “Luck”, that is, being born in a time and place where my non-theistic beliefs or other education could get me easily killed or otherwise coerce me into a necessary belief in order that I might survive or thrive in my immediate social surroundings (I’m not in a hyper-religious area, was raised by parents there were not very religious, and had the good fortune to go to preparatory secular public schools, and there are no “witch”-hangings nearby). I was also lucky enough to be born after the “enlightenment” and am able to stand on the shoulders of intellectual giants, and have a look-about, even though I am not an intellectual giant myself. I have had the luck to read classic works and modern texts which included secular values and humanism as well as perspectives from sundry religions, political climates, and time periods, in which after honest open-minded study, indicates secular values and humanism is the natural and most evident best practice.

    A PLANE CRASH WOKE ME UP

    Also, I was a “quiet” atheists for 30 years, and then the political climate began taking on religiously-dogmatic strategies found in fundamentalist religion and also some people crashed sound planes into some buildings, which once again made me interested in religion. This time, though, not only thinking of religion as a benign institution having no effect upon me where people are cloistered away not interfering or harming others unnecessarily, but instead as an institution that is currently causing more harm than good on humanity as a whole, and needs to be mitigated for the common good of all.

    How about you, what do you believe? and how did you get that way?

  • DoorknobHead

    The image created of me, that fits a narrative consistent with an inculcated religious worldview, does not comport with reality. This image might rightly be called pretending. I am actually a freedom of religion person (yet, freedom of religion necessarily must also consist of freedom from religion for any that would have it). I believe, as did many of the founding fathers, that all views, including religion and non religion, must battle within the free-marketplace of ideas through honest and direct discourse, and not on any battle field where citizens would be physically harmed unnecessarily. Anyone should have the right to be incorrect, as they hopefully honest try to learn as many true things and as few false things as possible. Through discourse citizens should ultimately converge towards the best ideas. Many of the founding fathers were overly optimistic, though, and did realize how much religion would overtly cheat within the free-marketplace of ideas and how strong human biases can be. Some founders thought reason might more readily prevail, but did not realize how irrational humans can be especially in regards to their most deeply held and emotion-based beliefs. They thought easily discernable as flawed would more quickly make more people deists instead of remaining theists who believe in a personal god that acts in the world. Many of the founders of the United States were Deists, and did not subscribe to Christianity and did not think any god placed any “fingerprints” upon the natural world. At best god was a hands-off creator, as that is all that they could see as reasonable with their highly educated and enlightened views. Many thought of Jesus as nothing more than a mere mortal teacher or philosopher, at best.

  • George T

    croudedOut:

    yes it took God six days to create everything but please explain to me how long is a day to God?

    Since god is a literary character, like Superman, why not ask how strong is Superman? As strong as the author needs him to be for that particular story.

    So a *god day* is however long it needs to be for you to maintain belief in the story.

  • George T

    BlackMamba44: Sounds like he’s sending you on a Snipe Hunt. Poor fella probably forgot how to find it, or misremembered where he found the information, and doesn’t want to admit his failure.

  • croudedOut

    let me get your Email and I would gladly send you the entire essay along with every resource granted I found many more but I only listed the ones I used in my report.

  • Women are people

    Except that you are the one demonstrating simpleton thinking.

    Shooting someone in the head is murder, yes. But shooting someone in the head in order to stop a rape in progress is not murder. Abortion is morally equivalent to self defense. No one has a right to use my body without my consent and it is my right to remove them, even with lethal force, to stop the intrusion.

    Whether or not you think a fetus has rights or not, the biological reality is that the fetus is inside the body and using the body of someone else. If that person does not consent, then the use of that body must stop.

    Why can a man react to someone trying to force themselves on him, but a woman who reacts to a fetus forcing itself on her cannot?

  • I’m the simpleton? That is what you call intellectual reasoning? Set aside that abortion for rapes is a fraction of a percent of the million plus abortions in the US per year, pregnancies happen because two people decided to have sex. The real analogy is that you’ve welcomed someone into your home, fed him/her, made them comfortable, and when they are asleep and unaware and helpless you murder them. The child didn’t violate your being. You knew full well having sex had the possibility of pregnancy. You consented when you had sex. Even back to the rape scenario, your analogy doesn’t work. The real analogy is that someone broke into your home with a child tagging along. He violated you and then scrammed but leaving the child behind. So then in an emotional state (I acknowledge, it’s very difficult) you decide to murder the child, even though he’s completely innocent. That’s the real analogy. Wouldn’t it be better, more humane, more in line with Christ and our Blessed Mother, if you gave up that child for adoption?

  • Hahaha, how ridiculous.

  • Women are people

    I’m not talking about abortion for rapes. (Are you saying you make an exception morally speaking for this?)

    No. Your analogy is moronic. For a number of reasons.

    First, A woman doesn’t invite a fetus in. She doesn’t control ovulation. She doesn’t control fertilization. She doesn’t control implantation. The embryo literally invaded her lining. So she didn’t orchestrate the fetus’s presence anymore than leaving your door unlocked orchestrates an intruder. Also, you have the simpleton view of gestation because you clearly believe a vast ignorance on the biological reality of it. It is a biological war, not some happy clappy feel good story you wish it was. A woman’s body literally tries to kill the embryo at every turn. Her blood tries to clot at the site of implantation to choke it off. Her immune system launches an attack on it, (this a what preeclampsia is).

    And the fetus fights her back. Like I said, it’s a war.

    2) consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if I invite you into m house. You cannot enter my body without my permission, and even if you did get my permission, I am allowed to change my mind and you need to leave. It doesn’t fucking matter if you are “comfortable” or not.

    3) women aren’t houses. We aren’t locations. We aren’t walking life support machines.

    Women are people. People with the eight to say no to their body being used, the same way you get to say no to donating your bone marrow to your own child.

    Consent to sex is only consent to sex. It doesn’t matter if pregnancy is a risk of sex, you aren’t consenting to that risk.

    Rape is a risk of being alone with a man. Are you saying that I consented to be raped if I’m consenting to be alone with a man even though there is a risk he is a rapist? And before you get your man boobs twisted, rapists don’t identify themselves to women. You can tell just by looking at a man which one is the rapist and which ones aren’t rapists. Therefore, every man has the risk of being a rapist to a woman. Rapists aren’t usually strangers lurking in the bushes. 90% of rapists are people the woman or child knows. Priests,

  • Women are people

    Hit send too early.

    Priests, pastors, uncles, teachers, and respected members of the community.

    Adoption? That’s an option for her to choose. But why does she need to risk her life with a pregnancy when she doesn’t want ?

    Why should anyone else be able to make that decision for her?

  • Women are people

    You clearly don’t understand consent.

    Consent is singular, non transferable and revokable.

    Consent is singular. Consent to kiss is only consent to kiss. It is not consent to sex even though it sometimes leads to it. Just like sex doesn’t always lead to pregnancy.

    Consent to sex is only consent to sex. Pregnancy is different action than sex. Therefore it doesn’t follow from one to another.

    2) consent is non transferable. If you believe an embryo is it’s own person, then it needs its own consent. Consent to sex with my husband is only consent to sex with him. My husband cannot transfer my consent to anyone else.

    If an embryo is a separate person, then it needs separate consent.

    3) consent is revokable. I can consent to sex and in the middle of that sex, after you’ve “gotten all comfortable”, I can revoke that consent. If it continues, it’s rape and a violation of my bodily autonomy.

    I can even consent to pregnancy, but revoke that consent if the circumstances surrounding that pregnancy has me no longer consenting to it. The pregnancy has to end or it is a violation of my autonomy.

    It’s not that hard to understand, dude.

  • Perhaps no one ever sat down and explained the birds and the bees to you, but consent to sex is consent to the possibility of pregnancy, Yes it is. You’ve got to be ignorant of the birds and the bees to think otherwise. You may not intend it. You may not want it. But it happens and to then kill the innocent being is immoral. Period. Double period. If you don’t want the possibility of getting pregnant, do not have sex, ever. Abortion is absolutely immoral. I’ve got no more to say on this, except perhaps I pray for your soul if you’ve had an abortion, pray that you won’t ever consider one, and pray you experience the love of a child. No the child is not at war with you (how absurd). Children are what makes us complete men and women.

  • Women are people

    “Perhaps no one ever sat down and explained the birds and the bees to you, but consent to sex is consent to the possibility of pregnancy, Yes it is.”

    Acknowledgment of the risk is not consent to the risk. Going out on a date with someone I don’t know that well has the risk of rape. Are you saying women who go out on dates consent to be raped? Nonsense.

    “You’ve got to be ignorant of the birds and the bees to think otherwise. You may not intend it. You may not want it. But it happens and to then kill the innocent being is immoral.”

    Consent to sex is not consent to be pregnant, or to remain pregnant. You can consent to drive a car, and get into an accident, but no one will force you to donate your bloood to the person who now needs it because of your actions.

    An embryo is not a “human being”. Being denotes birth. An embryo is human, sure, but no human has the right to use the body of other to live. Period. Double period.

    “If you don’t want the possibility of getting pregnant, do not have sex, ever.”

    Haha, no. I’m not going to be celibate just because I am done having kids. The primary purpose of sex is not reproduction. Since we are social primates, we use sex as a tool to facilitate and reinforce pair bonds with our mate. That’s why oxytocin is released during orgasm. (The bonding hormone) That’s not a coincidence.

    “Abortion is absolutely immoral. I’ve got no more to say on this, except perhaps I pray for your soul if you’ve had an abortion, pray that you won’t ever consider one, and pray you experience the love of a child.”

    That’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it. I view abortion as the most moral thing to do when you do not want to be pregnant.

    “No the child is not at war with you (how absurd).”

    I guess you only got the birds and the bees talk from uneducated nitwits. Biologically, yes, it is a war. I’m sorry to inform you but nature is not nurturing or kind. It’s ruthless and indifferent to the struggle of survival.

    “Children are what makes us complete men and women”

    Oh what nonsense. I have a child. My identity is not wrapped up in him and frankly, it’s selfish of you to put the psychological and emotional burden of meeting your needs for “completeness” on your child. It is not your child’s job to make you feel complete. It is not your child’s job to fufill your emotional void because you are too lazy to do the emotional work of meeting your own needs and too lazy to stop tying your identity into your kids. They are their own people and should not be burdened creating an identity for their parent.

    I am not complete now that I’ve had a kid because I was never incomplete without one. How sad is your life that if you didn’t have kids you wouldn’t be complete? Get the hell outta here with that psychological abuse.

  • You’re irrational. You’re a nut. You’ve bought into the lies of the sexual revolution. You’re denying human biology. You’re denying your womanhood. I pity you. You first felt compelled (probably because of your obsessive compulsions) to reply to me. I didn’t reply to you. So you get the hell out of here.

  • Women are people

    You are the one denying reality. I’m an evolutionary biologist. My job is to look at nature without being hamstrung by religious delusions.

    The lies of the sexual revolution? What lies? You mean the reality that humans are primates, and have a social sexuality with a sexual hierarchy?

    Your religion has made you blind to reality. You seem to hold sexual function on a ridiculous pedestal and it’s making you stupid and willfully ignorant to your stupidity.

    I’m sorry it bothers you that the primary purpose of sex isn’t reproduction. That’s your fucking problem. Not mine.

  • Women are people

    I’m a nut because I’m not brainwashed by religion to deny biological reality?

    Yeah ok, dude. Do you get this upset over the fact that lionesses will mate with multiple males? Or that they only copulate during esterase to reproduce? No? Then why get upset when other mammals and social primates (chimps, bonobos, and humans) copulate for social bonding? Sounds like you are the one with sexual hangups, dude.

    Life will go much easier for you when you stop getting your nose bent outta shape about other people having sex without reproducing. Mind your own sex life and stop getting pissed because other people don’t fuck for the reasons you do. If you want to put restrictions on your sex life, be my fucking guest. You won’t put *my* sex life. Get a life. Mind your own uterus.

  • John Stevens

    “First, A woman doesn’t invite a fetus in.”

    She does if she engages in the act designed to make babies.

    “She doesn’t control ovulation.”

    True.

    “She doesn’t control fertilization. She doesn’t control implantation.”

    Sure she does.

    “No.”

    You won’t end up with a baby inside of you if you do not engage in the act that puts babies inside of you.

    “The embryo literally invaded her lining”

    No, this is called “reproduction” and is not even of the same category as a home invasion. To try to analogize these two is to engage in the logical fallacy of “false equivalence.”

    “A woman’s body literally tries to kill the embryo at every turn.”

    That isn’t true. Logically, if that were true, then the human race would not exist, as its reproductive mechanism would be literally trying to prevent reproduction. The contradiction inherent in your analysis falsifies it.

    “Her immune system launches an attack on it, (this a what preeclampsia is).”

    And is a medical issue: an accident, not part of the design purpose of reproduction.

    “Women are people.”

    No argument from me.

    “People with the eight to say no to their body being used, the same way you get to say no to donating your bone marrow to your own child.”

    Another false equivalence, thus another failed argument. You fail to recognize that reproduction cannot be discussed as an INDIVIDUAL right. By definition, it can not be, as it involves three persons: mother, baby and father.

    “Consent to sex is only consent to sex.”

    Consenting to sex is consenting to the design purpose of sex: reproduction. That you attempt to use artificial means to break that relationship does not eliminate the design purpose, nor does it remove your moral obligation to take responsibility for the act or its entirely natural result.

    Your argument is like complaining about getting nourished when you eat. The purpose of eating is to nourish the body. The purpose of sex is to make babies with a man. By the very facts of human reproduction, no, you are not the only one involved, thus your rights are not the only ones implicated.

  • John Stevens

    “I’m a nut because I’m not brainwashed by religion to deny biological reality?”

    No, you ARE a nut because you have been brainwashed by a religion to deny biological reality.

  • John Stevens

    This is the fallacy of “naturalism.”

    The argument against this idiotic statement is simple: “Western medicine is science based, thus literally blind to the metaphysical aspects of reality.”

    For example: forensic scientists and investigators can determine if a homicide has occurred. They cannot, literally CAN NOT determine if a murder has taken place or not. That a homicide has occurred is a matter of physical fact, but whether or not that homicide is a moral obligation, morally licit, morally illicit, or a moral transgression lies entirely outside the competence of the natural sciences.

  • John Stevens

    “Science of Theology is “treated exactly like a science” in the same way serious scientists treat their core science, or in the way an apologetic theologian might treat science?”

    Theology is a science.

    A science is any formally organized body of knowledge.

    Use of the word “science” without a modifier speaks to some degree of ignorance. The proper title is “the natural sciences”, and by definition, the natural sciences are very severely limited in their competence. They can speak theoretically about objects in motion, but that is about all.

    Theology is the formally organized body of knowledge that speaks to the metaphysical truths.

  • John Stevens

    “Have not yet seen a theological science book, where experiments are as repeatable as gravity”

    Another demonstration of ignorance on your part.

    Clearly, you’ve never read any books of theology. Feel free to do so, and thus relieve your ignorance.

    A science is a formally organized body of knowledge. The natural sciences are a formally organized body of knowledge about indifferent objects being put into motion by indifferent forces. By this very limitation (indifference) repetition is possible. If the object or force were not indifferent, repeatability would be an irrational requirement.

    Furthermore, a science is not limited to the use of inductive reasoning. Theology uses deductive reasoning, thus is superior from the natural sciences in that, as much as a statement is a product of pure deduction, we can know that the conclusion is true, while the natural sciences, due to their reliance on inductive reasoning, can only give us theories limited in their ability to describe only a small aspect of a small number of phenomena limited to an infinitesimally small sample or reality taken over an infinitesimally small period of time.

    “It seems safe to say that in the history of history that there has not been any sufficient evidence for any god to warrant belief”

    More ignorance on your part. As early as 2,200 years ago, philosophers produced deductive proofs of the existence of God. Saint Thomas Aquinas summarizes five of them in his master work.

    “Newton wrote much more about theology than he did when he created calculus and his other contributions to science — but it is the math and science that has made an impact.”

    You are blind to the overarching importance of moral teaching and moral action. A society is not measured by its technological prowess, but by its level of moral attainment.

    Newton’s work did leave an impact: it helped create weapons of war that killed millions. In trying to measure the benefits of technology, is is a logical fallacy to fail to take into account the evils enabled by that technology.

  • John Stevens

    “How about you, what do you believe? and how did you get that way?”

    I am a convert to Catholicism.

    I converted by an act of reason. Catholicism is the only non-falsifiable, omnicompetent system of belief that demonstrates all three of the required attributes that signify truth.

    In lumping together all religions into just “religion” you engage in a logical fallacy: false equivalence. Clearly, your education is sorely lacking if you can’t tell the difference between Catholicism and Wahhabism (a type of Islam).

    In short: That one religion believes in flying airplanes into buildings does not mean that all religions believe in flying airplanes into buildings.

    Seriously, the use of the word “religion” pretty much marks you as too ignorant to be entitled to an opinion that should be given any respect. If you have made judgments based on that error, your judgement is highly suspect.

  • John Stevens

    Is suicide, an accidental death and murder all the same thing?

    Sure, they share a commonality: they all end in death.

    That fact is real, but irrelevant to the question of whether or not the death was caused, and if caused, was moral.

  • John Stevens

    “And when God is A-OK with miscarriages, the “But it’s a human life!” argument fails on Christian moral grounds.”

    No, it doesn’t. You have erected a straw man, set it on fire, and declared victory.

    You have yet to address the true Christian moral argument.

    Start with the difference between murder, and an excusable homicide, and then use your reason.

  • John Stevens

    “So might makes right?”

    No, that isn’t the argument.

    “God is the boss, so he can decide who lives and who dies, and we can’t question him?”

    Almost, but still wrong. God is not just the boss, he is. Your understanding of God is deeply flawed.

    “I would’ve thought that the moral rules God imposes on us apply to him as well. No?”

    No. God is God. We are not.

    God IS the rules. We choose whether or not to follow them. We are not in the same category as God, which is the error in your argument.

  • John Stevens

    Wow. A near perfect, but totally wrong posting.

    God has never given his rights to humanity.

    God has never committed, nor commanded genocide.

    Killing those who poison others to death is imply the death penalty, and is a morally licit act.

    Stoning homosexuals was Jewish CIVIL law, not a commandment of God.

    Seriously, either don’t post, or spend the time to learn first.

  • Women are people

    “She does if she engages in the act designed to make babies.”

    Sex isn’t designed. But putting aside that notion for a second, since 90% of all fertilized eggs fail to make it to term naturally, then that process is designed to not make babies the overwhelming majority of the time.

    People have sex, even without protection, thousands of more times than children will ever result. Since I’ve been sexually active, I have had sex no less than 2,000 times. I have 1 child.

    “She doesn’t control fertilization. She doesn’t control implantation.”
    Sure she does.”

    No, she doesn’t. She doesn’t control whether or not a spermatozoa penetrates the shell of the ovum. She doesn’t control if that ovum implants successfully. By that logic, if a woman could stop that process, then she can facilitate that process and millions of women wouldn’t spend years trying for a child.

    “You won’t end up with a baby inside of you if you do not engage in the act that puts babies inside of you.”

    A zygote is not a baby.

    “The embryo literally invaded her lining”
    “No, this is called “reproduction” and is not even of the same category as a home invasion. To try to analogize these two is to engage in the logical fallacy of “false equivalence.”

    The embryo invades the lining. I’m sorry but your tendency to wax poetic doesn’t change objective facts about biology.

    “The placental tissue from the fetus then invades the uterine wall by sending finger-like extensions into it. These projections make contact with the maternal blood supply, becoming the pipeline through which the fetus derives nutrients and oxygen, and rids itself of carbon dioxide and wastes.”

    https://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/releases/embryo

    “A woman’s body literally tries to kill the embryo at every turn.”
    That isn’t true. Logically, if that were true, then the human race would not exist, as its reproductive mechanism would be literally trying to prevent reproduction. The contradiction inherent in your analysis falsifies it”

    Nothing I said would then conclude that the human race wouldn’t exist. You understand that before modern medicine, the majority of infants died before and after childbirth right? Just because we’ve managed to have enough humans to reproduce doesn’t make that fact any less true. Same with reproduction. 90% of all fertilized ovum fail to make it to term naturally. That is a biological fact. You erroneously drawing conclusions from that fact doesn’t change that.

    By the way, your conclusion that the human race wouldn’t exist because more die during reproduction than are ever created is a logical fallacy called the argument from universalizability.

    “Her immune system launches an attack on it, (this a what preeclampsia is).”
    And is a medical issue: an accident, not part of the design purpose of reproduction.”

    Do you know how commonplace preeclampsia is? It’s not a design flaw. You are making the logical error of assuming that just because something isn’t desirable, means it’s not it’s purpose. Take off your rose colored glasses and put aside your feelings for a second. Nature doesn’t give a fuck if you desire the outcome. That doesn’t mean it is some kind of accident.

    “Another false equivalence, thus another failed argument. You fail to recognize that reproduction cannot be discussed as an INDIVIDUAL right. By definition, it can not be, as it involves three persons: mother, baby and father.”

    There is only ONE individual whose body is being used. So if it is without her consent, than it is violating her body. I have reproduced. I have a child. I am not legally required to donate any blood, tissue or organs to that child even though I reproduced.

    “Consenting to sex is consenting to the design purpose of sex: reproduction.”

    Oh my freaking god. No no and no. Again, there is no design. Second, the primary purpose of human copulation is NOT reproduction. Not even a little bit.

    If it was, then humans esterase wouldn’t be hidden. We would only copulate during esterase. Oxytocin would not be released during orgasm. fact: most sex happening right now around the world is not procreative. On the contrary, most of those getting busy at this moment would be shocked and upset to find that their joyful acrobatics have resulted in pregnancy. An intense interest in sex and eroticism is not necessarily linked to heightened interest in producing offspring. In fact, those interests are often inversely related.

    Again, For Homo sapiens, sex is primarily about establishing and maintaining relationships—relationships often characterized by love, or at least affection. Reproduction is a by-product of human sexual behavior, not its primary purpose.

    “That you attempt to use artificial means to break that relationship does not eliminate the design purpose, nor does it remove your moral obligation to take responsibility for the act or its entirely natural result.”

    I have no moral obligation to allow anyone to live inside my body or use it in ways that I do not wish to continue.

    “Your argument is like complaining about getting nourished when you eat.”

    No, it’s not.

    “The purpose of sex is to make babies with a man.”

    No, it isn’t. Again, I’ve explained this to you multiple times now. If the primary purpose of sex was to produce offspring, then Homo sapiens would only copulate during ovulation….kinda like the overwhelming majority of other mammals. The female gorilla will not copulate with the male outside of esterase. A female dog will not copulate with a male outside of her heat cycle.

    “ By the very facts of human reproduction, no, you are not the only one involved, thus your rights are not the only ones implicated.”

    Since it’s only my body being used, I have a right to say no to that.

  • John Stevens

    “What moral rules does God follow?”

    Fix your error, and the truth will follow. The rules are not separate nor separable from God. God IS “the rules”, so by definition, what God does is moral.

    “Why can’t God follow the rules he imposed on us?”

    He IS the rules, so by definition, he IS following the rules.

  • Women are people

    Science isn’t a religion. You not liking scientific facts of evolutionary biology is really not my problem, nor does it change biological reality.

  • So you’re saying that God is culpable for all those miscarriages?

  • John Stevens

    “I’m pretty sure someone can show you that gravity exists.”

    You’d be wrong.

    The same arguments for “proving gravity exists” work for God, too.

    So if you deny that there exist proofs of the existence of God, you must deny the proofs for the existence of gravity.

    “I’ll stop demanding evidence for your remarkable claim.”

    Contra Gentiles, five ways.

    Or, you could have done the simple thing: Go to Amazon, type in “proofs for the existence of God” and bought a book or two and read them.

    Contra Gentiles requires you to have enough knowledge of philosophy to properly understand the text.

    Feser’s book, on the other hand, makes an attempt to fill in those gaps. Make your choice based on your level of educational attainment.

  • John Stevens

    “The God question was answered several centuries ago?”

    At least 2,200 years ago.

    “I hadn’t heard that.”

    Which suggests that your education had some serious gaps that you need to fill in.

    Mine, too. I had to go back after college and get a liberal arts education on my own, since my college failed to provide me with one.

  • John Stevens

    “Reading “The god delusion” is the minimum I would expect from any religious person, but I don’t think most are up to the task.”

    Been there, done that, listed all the logical fallacies.

    Then some other, better, more knowledgable guys did a better job in less words.

    It takes something only a bit larger than a pamphlet to falsify three of Dawkin’s books.

    See, I was an atheist, until I realized how utterly ignorant and irrational that belief system is. I’ve read the atheist arguments. They fail.

  • John Stevens

    “Why?”

    Why read anything written by an atheist?

    Or, anybody, for that matter?

    The man who loves truth pursues it assiduously.

  • MR

    God has never…, God has never….

    While I wholeheartedly agree with you–since I don’t see the Old Stories as anything more than a bunch of old stories–nonetheless, God in the stories did in fact command the genocide of whole tribes, or have you forgotten the order to clear the Holy Land of everyone, women, children and livestock included? That’s called genocide.

    I have no idea where you’re going with the poison comment, if it’s in reference to witches, the innocent women who were caught up in the Salem trials and by the Inquisition would likely take objection to your dismissiveness, and who knows how many others over the centuries. Innocent people died because Christians believed those words to be from God and used them to justify their own atrocities. Jews and Christians for centuries have seen the verse for stoning homosexuals equally as being from God.

    You want to reinterpret that, good on you, but millions of Christians would disagree.

    You’re right, though, (which was my point) “God” never commanded any of that, the Old Stories were just that, old stories that allowed the people of the time to put their own justifications into the mouth of a sock puppet called God.

  • John Stevens

    “If the existence of a god has been proved, what is the point of faith?”

    You are misusing the word “faith.”

    Another classic mistake that atheists make.

  • John Stevens

    “So God doesn’t want us to know him?”

    God does want us to know him.

    “Gravity doesn’t actively want us to know it, but at least it can be demonstrated.”

    No, it can’t. I drop a ball. It falls toward the center of the earth, hits my foot, bounces off.

    Which of these things is gravity? The ball, the motion of the ball, my foot, or the bounce?

    Which of the five senses can detect gravity? What color is it? What does it smell like? How does it feel? What does it sound like? What does it taste like?

    There is no demonstrable proof of the existence of gravity, only effects which we attribute to gravity by a kind of act of faith: the belief that all effects have causes, thus, if something happens, then there must be a cause for that something.

    The same argument can be made for the existence of God, using exactly the same statement of faith..

    The skeptic can claim that all the effects could be caused by something other than gravity, or indeed, that they are not caused at all, they just happen.

    The same skepticism can be used to argue against the proofs of the existence of God, of course.

    Skepticism is not an argument, however, and it does not win the argument by default.

  • John Stevens

    “Why should we have to learn and train to see God’s demonstrations if he wants us to know him?”

    Free will. The difference between offering your love to someone, versus raping them.

    God wants us to not just know him, but love him. Love requires free will. Free will allows you to refuse to even acknowledge the existence of God, let alone refuse his love.

    God is not a rapist or a stalker, thus, he does not force you to know or love him.

  • John Stevens

    “I’m trying to determine if you believe that your simple assertions are good enough reason for someone to believe.”

    He didn’t make simple assertions.

    Read: Contra Gentiles. It contains five proofs of the existence of God.

    “What demonstration could be done to defeat belief in your God”

    None. What demonstration could be done to defeat your belief that 2 + 2 = 4?

    The proofs of the existence of God are deductive, not inductive. Your premise is flawed. Fix that flaw, and the question you asked becomes invalid.

    “and believe in the god of some other religion?”

    You haven’t read the proofs, clearly, or you would realize that question isn’t valid either.

    “Could you be wrong about your belief in God?”

    Could I be wrong in my belief that 2 + 2 = 4?

  • MR

    If they were proofs, the whole world would agree like we do that 2 + 2 = 4.

    You didn’t answer the question, could you be wrong about your belief in God? And you tell me, could you be wrong in your belief that 2 + 2 = 4? What would it take for you to believe that it doesn’t?

  • MR

    If God exists, I do want to know him. I want to know the truth. Free will is just a cop out to make Christians feel like they have an answer.

  • MR

    And yet, you can reliably and repeatedly demonstrate gravity. You cannot do so for God. It’s quite possible that gravity doesn’t “exist” and is the result of something else. Nonetheless, the demonstration with the ball shows that something is there. Show me something similar with God.

  • John Stevens

    “If they were proofs, the whole world would agree like we do that 2 + 2 = 4.”

    Your conclusion does not logically follow from your argument.

    An argument can be true, and people still disagree with it, deny it, not know it, not understand it or simply refuse to believe in it. In other words, you are falling prey to the “argumentum ad populum.”

    There is little to no motivation to disagree with some simple fact like 2 + 2 = 4. There are very strong motivations to disbelieve in God, even though the proofs of his existence give us certainty.

    “You didn’t answer the question, could you be wrong about your belief in God?”

    I did answer it. Read my reply again. Since the proofs of the existence of God give certainty, they can no more be wrong than the same kind of mathematical proofs.

    “You tell me, could you be wrong in your belief that 2 + 2 = 4?”

    No.

    “Belief” is a word that covers quite a few different things, but belief in this case means that one has acquired certain knowledge.

    Certain means it cannot be wrong.

    This is in advance of the study you have yet to do, but: deduction gives you certain answers. Induction can only give you a conditional theory. These are inherent limitations built right into these systems of reasoning.

  • John Stevens

    “Free will is just a cop out to make Christians feel like they have an answer.”

    So, I should accept some unsupported assertion given to me by some random person on the Internet?

    Feel free to justify your assertion. Or not, and I will dismiss it as simply a form of superstition.

    “If God exists, I do want to know him. I want to know the truth.”

    Then you are obligated to do the work.

    I did.

  • John Stevens

    “And yet, you can reliably and repeatedly demonstrate gravity.”

    No, you can’t. You seem to have failed to read my post, or you failed to understand it. You definitely failed to answer my questions.

    “You cannot do so for God.”

    Your premise is fundamentally flawed. Furthermore, that is statement of belief in opposition to extant evidence: not just a simple belief, but a belief that denies the truth.

    The proofs of the existence of God are DEDUCTIVE, not inductive, therefore “repeatedly” is not a valid nor applicable requirement.

    Would you require a mathematician to repeatedly demonstrate that 2 + 2 = 4? No, as “repeatedly” does not even apply to deductive proofs.

    I take it you’ve never studied any philosophy?

    “Nonetheless, the demonstration with the ball shows that something is there.”

    Good. Now, prove that to me. The attempt to do so should be quite instructive for you.

    Or, would you accept the same argument from me? “Nonetheless, the demonstrable fact of the creation shows that God exists.”

  • MR

    Except they don’t give us certainty. They boil down to, we don’t really have an answer therefore God. They fail in demonstrating God. Particularly one that wants me to know him. You can demonstrate 2 + 2 to me all day long, yet you flounder with God. Claiming you have certain answers is not the same as having certain answers. You believe in God, why do you believe? Were you raised in belief, or did a particular argument convince you? Why?

  • MR

    You’re the one making the claim that it’s free will. You’ve given me no reason to believe it.

    Then you are obligated to do the work.
    I did.

    And I can chase down every conspiracy out there, too. If he existed, and he wants me to know him, that is an easy thing to do. I’m here, I’m open. I even believed at one point. Even in my belief, it was as if he didn’t exist. You did your work, then why do you believe?

  • John Stevens

    “God in the stories did in fact command the genocide of whole tribes”

    No, he didn’t.

    Book, chapter and verse, please, if you wish to be taken seriously.

    Hint: Hyperbole is not a mathematical construct, and when a football player says “we killed the other team” they are not being literal.

    Furthermore, decisively and permanently defeating an enemy who has, for more than 400 years, committed atrocities against the people of God that make Hitler look like a cute and cuddly teddy bear is not genocide, it is a Just War.

    Hint: you presume the people that God commanded the Hebrews to defeat were innocent, or morally equivalent to the Jews. They weren’t. Yet more for you to learn.

    “I have no idea where you’re going with the poison comment”

    A “witch” was someone who used poison to commit murder. The definition was later expanded to include other forms of occult violence, including chemically induced abortions, induced illnesses and occult attacks on others property.

    Hint: occult does not mean only “magical.” Another meaning is “hidden” or “secret.” Prior to the ability to do a chemical analysis and detect the use of a poison, “wise women” would and could do occult evil.

    “Innocent people died because Christians believed those words to be from God and used them to justify their own atrocities.”

    There are three logical errors in just that sentence.

    If this is your reasoning, you have a lot of things to unlearn, before you can being to learn.

    A religion is not responsible for the actions of persons who are acting in opposition to that religion’s teachings. It was the Church (Christianity) that PREVENTED the burning of witches that was prevalent in PROTESTANT (a Christian heresy) countries. Amusingly enough, the Church prevented this hysteria from taking hold in the Catholic lands by use of the Inquisition: witch burners were brought before the Inquisition, tried, handed over for execution. That sent a very clear and loud message which put paid to that pretty quickly.

    By the way, the Inquisition in Spain was SECULAR. It was a government program instituted to root out those who refused to obey government edicts after Spain was taken back from the Muslims. Note that the 300 year history of the Inquisition resulted in the Spanish government putting to death a mere 3,000 individuals, and that many criminals accused of secular crimes would blaspheme or pronounce heresy in order to get their cases moved to an Inquisition court.

    You might be interested in learning WHY they did this, but it would force you to recognize at least one of the many, many goods of the Church, so fair warning, the facts will attack your cherished misinformation and prejudices.

    You cannot justify murder by using the Bible. One can present a fatally flawed argument that concludes that murder is justified, but a flawed argument is by definition not a “justification.”

    Justice is, by definition, not an atrocity, though the way in which a person chooses to punish a wrong doer may very well be both an atrocity, and lacking in justice.

    Suffice it to say, you have erected a straw man, used it to argue for your conclusion, then committed a great deal of belief to that conclusion. A religion of the worst sort, in other words.

    Reasoned argument will not work with someone who has chosen that path. Since you have prejudged Christianity and show no interest in learning the truth, I can see why Theodore gave up on you.

    If you can put your prejudices aside, I pretty much guarantee that earnest and honest study will show that you believe a great many things that are lies, in error, or where you conclusions rest on fundamentally flawed assertions.

  • MR

    Baseless assertions. You assume God and go from there. Shrug. You deduce God from those arguments, but I don’t.

    Your premise is fundamentally flawed.

    Only because you have nothing to demonstrate, which strongly points to it not existing.

    Good. Now, prove that to me. The attempt to do so should be quite instructive for you.

    You yourself can show me that there is an interaction between the ball and earth, you haven’t even gotten to the part to show that anything is there with God, let alone been able to prove it. I’m not interested in proving that “gravity” exists, something keeps me tied to the earth, that’s good enough for me to say that something keeps me tied to the earth. For God, you’ve got no such demonstration, nor a logical argument. Just assertion. That to me is remarkable for someone who wants me to know him. It’s remarkable to me that I believed the nonsense for so many years of my life.

    Or, would you accept the same argument from me?

    As if God can only be “deduced” by [de]ductive reasoning? He supposedly wants me to know him. I doubt he’s so restricted. Your argument is restricted because it provides a convenient cover for the inexplicable reason that God can’t seem to demonstrate himself. You have to hide behind philosophy when supposedly he loves me and wants me to know him. Don’t blame me if I call bullshit.

    “Nonetheless, the demonstrable fact of the creation shows that God exists.”

    Shrug. you assume it’s created and front load your argument with the term. You’ve bought into a 13-century philosophy that doesn’t really explain anything, as far I as I see, it just assumes God. You don’t give me any reason to actually believe it.

    I know why I believed. Why do you believe?

    Were you raised in belief, or did a particular argument convince you? Why?

  • John Stevens

    “Baseless assertions. You assume God and go from there.”

    Sorry, but not true. The proofs of the existence of God are not circular, nor do they beg the question.

    “You deduce God from those arguments, but I don’t.”

    Which arguments?

    “You yourself can show me that there is an interaction between the ball and earth”

    No, I didn’t. You assume that, but that wasn’t shown by the demonstration. Is that how we prove things, by simply assuming?

    I simply said that when I drop the ball, it falls. That does not prove an interaction between the earth and the ball, it simply demonstrates a change from relative motionless to relative motion. Nothing in that demonstration proves an interaction.

    “I’m not interested in proving that “gravity” exists, something keeps me tied to the earth, that’s good enough for me to say that something keeps me tied to the earth.”

    By all means, prove that something keeps you tied to the surface of the earth. Bungee cords, maybe? Feel free to take a picture of them and post it, if so.

    “For God, you’ve got no such demonstration, nor a logical argument.”

    Yes, I do. Five ways, Contra Gentiles. Or, read up on the Aristotelian argument. Or the Kalam argument.

    “As if God can only be “deduced” by inductive reasoning.”

    Sigh. Your statement is proof positive that you are ignorant of even basic philosophy. Inductive and deductive reasoning are two different systems of reasoning. One does not deduce something by inductive reasoning.

    “Shrug. you assume it’s created and front load your argument with the term.”

    Wrong. I used science and philosophy. See: The Standard Model of cosmology for starters. No assumption needed.

    “You’ve bought into a 13-century philosophy that doesn’t really explain anything, as far I as I see, it just assumes God.”

    Really? Then, by all means, quote the passage out of Contra Gentiles that “just assumes God”, please?

  • John Stevens

    “You did your work, then why do you believe?”

    My belief was an act of reason, which was founded in years of study, critical analysis, logical argument and testing. I falsified every class of religion but one, then falsified every sub-category of that class but one, then was left with only two choices, one of which was easily falsified by the simple application of logic and formal linguistics.

    Along the way I tried and discarded a lot of other belief systems, including atheism, which turned out to be deeply ignorant and radically irrational.

    After reasoning pointed the way, I expanded my belief to include practice, more study, and analysis of outcomes.

    Then, when I was ready and open to it, I experienced God directly.

    “You’re the one making the claim that it’s free will. You’ve given me no reason to believe it.”

    Love requires free will. God created us to love him, thus, he had to make us with free will, and create for us a place that gives us free choice (free will without free choice would be the most perfect form of slavery imaginable).

    So, you see, it logically follows that God has given us the chance to know him, but has left us free to deny his existence, or refuse to love him. Being forced to love someone is impossible: by definition, the use of force destroys love: the two are mutually exclusive universals.

    Now, as to God letting us know that he exists: that is what Divine Revelation is all about. God, literally speaking to us, to give us knowledge that unaided human reason applied to the creation cannot supply on its own.

  • John Stevens

    “Except they don’t give us certainty.”

    Yet another unsupported assertion?

    By all means, feel free to prove that.

    “They boil down to, we don’t really have an answer therefore God.”

    Really? Which one, where? Please provide some evidence and arguments to support your assertion?

    Hint: you’ve just proven you are ignorant of these arguments, as they never do any such thing. I know, because I’ve studied them in detail, repeatedly and with a critical eye.

    “Claiming you have certain answers is not the same as having certain answers. ”

    Agreed. That an argument provides a certain answer does not mean that I must believe it or choose to possess it, thus *I* may not “have” that certain answer.

    That, however, is my failing, and has nothing to do with the argument or the certainty of the answer it provides.

    “You believe in God, why do you believe?”

    Answered above.

    “Were you raised in belief, or did a particular argument convince you?”

    Both, and “a heck of a lot”. I was raised in a number of beliefs, tried a number of beliefs (including atheism) and finally just committed to, settled down, and did the work to find the truth.

    Amusingly enough, when I started the search, I said “God, if you exist and if there is a one true religion,and I can prove its truth, I promise I will follow it. Except for Catholicism, of course, because that would be just silly!”

    Easter 2015 and I was being confirmed in the Church, and God must’ve been rolling on the floor, laughing his ass off.

    Being highly resistant, it wasn’t one argument that convinced me, but literally hundreds of them, all piled up on me until I could no longer deny the truth. Not that I didn’t want to, of course, but the evidence was overwhelming, the arguments unassailable, and the theology provided all three signifiers that indicate truth.

  • John Stevens

    Morally culpable? No.

  • John Stevens

    “Science isn’t a religion.”

    Your argument was not scientific.

    In fact, your reply is a text book example of a non sequitur, and really big and obvious one to boot.

  • MR

    No, he didn’t [command genocide].

    1 Samual 15 2-3 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

    Also see Deuteronomy 20:16–18

    Hint: Hyperbole is not a mathematical construct, and when a football player says “we killed the other team” they are not being literal.

    “Thus saith the Lord of hosts,” and in Deut., “as the Lord your God has commanded.”

    “Oh, but they were evil…!” Yeah, yeah: “woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” That’s what I call genocide.

    Hyperbole? If you need to reinterpret that to protect your belief, that’s fine, but the verses speak for themselves.

    Furthermore, decisively and permanently defeating an enemy who has, for more than 400 years, committed atrocities against the people of God that make Hitler look like a cute and cuddly teddy bear is not genocide, it is a Just War.

    Yeah…, you pulled that out of your ass to justifying those evil actions just like they did. Israel was locked away during that time in Egypt. It’s hardly a just war when you’re living your life minding your own business and someone comes along claiming they owned this land 400 years before (those numbers vary depending on which verses you read; the Bible can’t even seem to get that right) with instructions to utterly destroy you. You and I have differening views on what is just.

    Hint: you presume the people that God commanded the Hebrews to defeat were innocent, or morally equivalent to the Jews. They weren’t. Yet more for you to learn.

    Er…, no I don’t. I presume it’s a story. Regardless, even in the story, they had nothing to do with the Israelites. God could have smited them himself, why have the Isralites do your dirty work. Sounds like justification to me.

    A “witch” was someone who used poison to commit murder….

    Poison…, yeah…, right, if you need to redefine things to bolster your belief, fine. Even in the bible a witch conjured up ghosts. Poison… okay…. If you ask me, a witch is whatever the local understanding at whatever period of time you want to choose was. Christians used the verses to justify the atrocities they committed on people they called–whatever their subjective definition, just like your subjective definition–witches. It doesn’t much matter how you or I define one, Christians killed people because of these superstitious beliefs on verses based in the Bible.

    There are three logical errors in just that sentence.

    Not at all. Innocent people died because Christians (both Protestant and Catholic) believed those words to be from God and used them to justify their own atrocities. And, please, regardless of whether the Inquisition was officially secular or not, religion was still a principal motivator. I’ve read some of the trials, and their investigations include investigations on witches. People killed people they believed to be witches because of their religion. That is the bottom line. You scramble to protect “the Church,” but the Church are those people.

    You might be interested in learning WHY they did this, but it would force you to recognize at least one of the many, many goods of the Church, so fair warning, the facts will attack your cherished misinformation and prejudices.

    You appear to be reflecting your own faults on me. I recognized that the church has done good and bad because they are basically just people. Shrug. It tells us nothing about whether God exists.

    Suffice it to say, you have erected a straw man,

    Not really, I’m just being a little sloppy with my words because it’s tedious to have to explain every little thing with apologists, but I think people understand what I mean. People for centuries have used religion/Christianity to commit outrages against others either to justify their outrages, or because they believed their religion/Christianity demanded it of them. I know, I know, you hide behind “but that’s not my religion.” Fine. You justify your belief however you need. It doesn’t change the fact that people have done precisely that.

    Reasoned argument will not work with someone who has chosen that path. Since you have prejudged Christianity and show no interest in learning the truth, I can see why Theodore gave up on you. If you can put your prejudices aside, I pretty much guarantee that earnest and honest study will show that you believe a great many things that are lies, in error, or where you conclusions rest on fundamentally flawed assertions.

    You presume I haven’t. I have every interest in learning the truth. That’s why I ended up leaving Christianity in the first place. I didn’t want to. I was perfectly fine with believing in a God. I went through deep study, prayer and introspection to keep my belief. It was the illogical twisting and turning of Christians to justify their actions and beliefs, much like you’re doing here, that made me question.

    I mean, gosh, God loves me, wants me to know him, and yet when you look closely, when you start questioning things that don’t really make sense, suddenly he can’t be found and has to be “deduced” and requires discredited 13th-century philosophy and much study, blah, blah, blah.

    Really? That makes no sense. As if that’s how the millions of Christians out there came to believe in God! That’s never how people come to God, is it? People aren’t convinced by arguments, or 13th-century philosophy, or “much study.” The much study always comes after you’ve been indoctrinated.

    Heck, people don’t even come to belief by reading the Bible. If they did, priests would hand them out and say, “Read this and call me in the morning. All will be clear.” It’s a bullshit excuse. “You don’t want to know the truth and you haven’t studied enough.” Tell that to all the people who are struggling right now with their faith. Oh, sure, a six-year old can know God, but you haven’t studied enough 12-century philosophy! Ha!

    So, why do you believe? Were you raised in belief, or did a particular argument convince you? Why?

  • Women are people

    My argument about the biological reality of gestation is scientific.

    Your statement that the primary “design” of sex is reproduction is culturally driven, not biologically driven.

    You guys are the bones blathering on about how the sexual revolution is full of lies and want to deny the actual purpose of sex, so that you can wring your hands and clutch at your pearls that people engage in all kinds of non procreative sexual congress.

    Ppssst, if the “design” of sex was reproduction, then why is there a clitoris, which plays zero role in reproduction, eh?

  • MR

    Sorry, but not true. The proofs of the existence of God are not circular, nor do they beg the question.

    Assuming you mean the five proofs, they don’t point to God, just to “we don’t know something.” Get me from there, to God.

    Which arguments?

    The five.

    when I drop the ball, it falls

    And you have nothing similar for God. Clearly, when you drop the ball, it will fall. That’s enough for me to deduce that the ball will fall when you drop it. I am in fact tied to the ground. For these I have evidence. Yet you have nothing similar for God. Apparently deduction only works when it’s imaginary.

    Yes, I do. Five ways, Contra Gentiles. Or, read up on the Aristotelian argument. Or the Kalam argument.

    You presume I haven’t. They don’t prove God. I read them and I see a presumption of God. It’s a huge leap to get to “and therefore God.”

    One does not deduce something by inductive reasoning.

    Only if you’re using the strict philosophical definitions. I can come to a conclusion (deduce) that something is likely true.

    Wrong. I used science and philosophy.

    No. You haven’t shown that it’s created, yet you use the term creation. You’re just as sloppy in your philosophy as I’ve been.

    I used science and philosophy…. The Standard Model of cosmology

    Proves creation? Wow. Wait until the scientists find about about that! Get back to me when they buy your snake oil.

    quote the passage out of Contra Gentiles that “just assumes God”, please?

    That’s my impression of the arguments. They don’t actually prove God. They feel jury-rigged to point to God, but there’s no actual proof there.

    So, why do you believe? Were you raised in belief, or did a particular argument convince you? Why?

  • MR

    I falsified every class of religion but one,

    Me, too! Well, I only really falsified one: Christianity. Makes no sense. If the other religions provided some compelling evidence, I’d give them a listen, but I don’t see a need to go out of my way. It’s pretty remarkable that you’ve really falsified every religion, though, wow, good on you. So, when were you first exposed to the one religion you belive?

    Then, when I was ready and open to it, I experienced God directly.

    Wow, it must really suck to only experience God directly after so much study. Most of the other people I know who make that claim don’t go through so much work. It almost makes it seem like you’re argument is a little overreaching.

    Love requires free will. God created us to love him, thus, he had to make us with free will, and create for us a place that gives us free choice (free will without free choice would be the most perfect form of slavery imaginable).

    And I should just take your word for it? An argument that sounds like it’s been contrived to explain why God is hidden. Sounds suspect.

    it logically follows that God has given us the chance to know him, but has left us free to deny his existence,

    Of course it doesn’t! That’s just made up bullshit! That’s the talk of cults. I picture a father never showing himself to his child and saying, well, I want him to have the free will to love me. How does knowing the existence of something preclude you from loving someone? Phht. Logical my ass.

    Now, as to God letting us know that he exists: that is what Divine Revelation is all about. God, literally speaking to us, to give us knowledge that unaided human reason applied to the creation cannot supply on its own.

    Does God literally speak to you? Do you hear a voice? If so, how would you distinguish that from, say, schizophrenia? Or did you not mean to say literally? How do you determine what is just you, your conscience, your own thoughts and beliefs, being regurgitated back to you? How can I determine that it’s not just you, your conscience, your own thoughts and beliefs, being regurgitated back to you? If you were wrong, would you want to deceive me? What steps are you taking to not deceive people?

  • MR

    Yet another unsupported assertion?

    What do you mean? They may give you certainty, they certainly don’t me. If they did, I’d believe them. They don’t give millions of other people certainty either. Most Christians don’t even bother with them. That’s hardly a case for certainty.

    Really? Which one, where? Please provide some evidence and arguments to support your assertion?

    Huh? They’re not my arguments. But, you raise a good point. They don’t point to a God, do they? Science doesn’t look at the Standard Model of Cosmology and go, “Oh, shoot, Aquinas was right!” You’ve got this huge gap and speculation.

    Hint: you’ve just proven you are ignorant of these arguments, as they never do any such thing. I know, because I’ve studied them in detail, repeatedly and with a critical eye.

    You must be really gullible then!

    Both

    So, indoctrination likely played some part. Good to know as I evaluate your claims.

    Amusingly enough, when I started the search, I said “God, if you exist…

    I had a similar prayer. I wanted desperately to hold on to my faith. I came to a very different realization.

    if there is a one true religion,and I can prove its truth, I promise I will follow it. Except for Catholicism, of course, because that would be just silly

    A Muslim could tell the same story substituting “Islam” for Catholicism and you wouldn’t buy his story either.

    God must’ve been rolling on the floor, laughing his ass off.

    “Oh, that Mohammed was just cracking up over my silliness!”

    Being highly resistant, it wasn’t one argument that convinced me, but literally hundreds of them, all piled up on me until I could no longer deny the truth. Not that I didn’t want to, of course, but the evidence was overwhelming, the arguments unassailable, and the theology provided all three signifiers that indicate truth.

    Seems like a lot of work if God really loves you and wants you to know him. Sounds like you’re justifying. Either way, you’ve given me no reason to believe. How silly would it be for me to say, “Oh, you just haven’t studied enough about aliens living among us to know yet.” Your method, is a method for self-indoctrination. People come to believe conspiracy theories by this method.

  • John Stevens

    “Me, too! Well, I only really falsified one: Christianity.”

    Then, not really “Me, too!”, right?

    How did you falsify Christianity?

    “It’s pretty remarkable that you’ve really falsified every religion”

    Every CLASS or CATEGORY. If one has falsified an essential statement of faith of a given category of religion, then one can, by simple logic, dismiss all instances of that category.

    “So, when were you first exposed to the one religion you belive?”

    About a decade before I finally converted. As I said, I was resistant.

    “Wow, it must really suck to only experience God directly after so much study.”

    Not at all. That was my choice. By my choice, I required God to satisfy the test of reason before I would open myself up to him. Had I started with belief, I would have had that experience much sooner, then I could have spent the time validating, instead of proving.

    I can’t rationally blame God for my choices.

    “Most of the other people I know who make that claim don’t go through so much work.”

    Each person comes to God in their own way. I happen to know of others who also “read their way into the Church”, though most were not as resistant as I was.

    “It almost makes it seem like you’re argument is a little overreaching.”

    Or like I am admitting to my flaws: stubbornness, the need for reasoned argument, the resistance to things based on prejudice and simple emotional reactions that were, in essence, irrational in their own right.

    Such a person has to work much harder, and will require more time to accept the truth.

    “And I should just take your word for it?”

    No. Explain to me the errors in the argument. Can love be forced? If I create an android, program it so that it has no choice but to act loving towards me, is that love, or just programming? Can there be true love, absent free will?

    Hint: love is “freely willing the good of others.”

    “An argument that sounds like it’s been contrived to explain why God is hidden.”

    Your reply is an emotional one, devoid of reasoned argument. “Sounds like” and “contrived” are judgements lacking a reasoned basis. Critical thinking is a good thing, but irrational skepticism is just a form of rationalization. If you have a reasoned argument to counter what I say, provide it. I’d be happy to see it.

    “Of course it doesn’t! That’s just made up bullshit!”

    Same as above: an emotional reaction, but no reasoned argument. It isn’t bullshit, and I gave you reasoning to back up what I asserted. If you have a rational response, not just an emotional one, please give it.

    “That’s the talk of cults. I picture a father never showing himself to his child and saying, well, I want him to have the free will to love me.”

    God shows himself to us all the time. We deny his existence, but he is not hiding himself from us.

    “How does knowing the existence of something preclude you from loving someone?”

    Did you mean what you wrote? Because that has no relationship to my argument what so ever.

    There is a difference between knowing something is true, and being forced to know something is true.

    “Does God literally speak to you? Do you hear a voice?”

    At times, he does, once I let him.

    “If so, how would you distinguish that from, say, schizophrenia”

    Luke 6:43-45 : “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit.”

    It really isn’t rocket science. I asked for wisdom, and when I am willing to receive it, I get it, “running over” . . .

    Luke 6: 38 : “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

    “How do you determine what is just you, your conscience, your own thoughts and beliefs, being regurgitated back to you?”

    Simple. I get what I do not already possess. If what God said to me were simply my own thoughts, then they would be something I already possess. They aren’t, so they aren’t.

    Are you familiar with the word “inspiration”? It means “the inbreathing of the Spirit.”

    When I finally said: “OK, you exist, this is true, you want to have a relationship with me, so . . . hit me. Give me this inspiration!”

    He did. In truckloads. So much that, at times, I felt nearly overwhelmed. Nearly, but not.

    “How can I determine that it’s not just you, your conscience, your own thoughts and beliefs, being regurgitated back to you?”

    Again:

    Luke 6:43-45 : “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit.”

    You are not ready, and from your emotional reactions, won’t be until you can get past what ever emotional block you are suffering from, but when you are ready . . . God will be there.

    Pax Christi

  • MR

    Along the way I tried and discarded a lot of other belief systems, including atheism

    Missed this. Atheism isn’t a belief system. I know religious people like to say that. It’s a popular tactic. It’s just a belief on the one question, “Does God exist?” I don’t. I’m happy to given some compelling evidence. That shouldn’t be hard for a loving God that wants me to know him.

  • MR

    Then, not really “Me, too, right?”

    That was sarcasm.

    How did you falsify Christianity?

    My basic beliefs about God were broken, so I started from scratch with fervent prayer, reflection and study, and came to understand why I believed: Because I’d been indoctrinated to believe, and that the basic sources of my belief, fellow Christian, Christian leaders and the Bible were flawed. There is a much better explanation. God, as I understand him, cannot exist. Perhaps there’s a God, Deism could be a possibility, but it seems to me that even that is contrived as people came to realize the incompatibility of religion with reality. The only reason I would believe in a deist god is because of other people. A deist god doesn’t care if I know him or not, so the point is moot. I’ve been told that the Christian God does [care], but he makes no sense.

    [I was exposed to Christianity a]bout a decade before I finally converted

    So, you’d not been exposed to Christianity before that, yet you were raised in it? I’m sensing something a little off, there.

    Not at all. That was my choice. By my choice, I required God…

    Sure sounds like self-indoctrination. How would I know the difference?

    “Not at all. That was my choice. By my choice, I required Allah….”

    Does that sound convincing to you?

    Each person comes to God in their own way.

    And yet you seem to be implying that I just haven’t studied enough. “Some people are just more gullible, not you and I, though, wink, wink. If you study enough, you’ll be just as indoctrinated as I am!”

    Or like I am admitting to my flaws…

    Humble hubris. You’re really winning me over here!

    Such a person has to work much harder, and will require more time to accept the truth.

    Yeah…, I just keep thinking that supposedly there’s another active agent out there who is all kinds of omni who supposedly loves me and wants me to know him. It’s not that hard. How do I distinguish you from a self-indoctrinated loon?

    Explain to me the errors in the argument.

    None of this is contingent on knowing the existence of something. It’s a made up argument.

    Your reply is an emotional one,

    No, it’s a rational one. I presume you wouldn’t believe in fairies no matter how much I told you that they remain hidden because “fill in the blank.” At least fairies don’t want to be found, but supposedly your God does. It. Makes. No. Sense. When I was emotional about it, that’s when I believed. Again, I have no problem believing in God if he existed because I would want to know the truth.

    irrational skepticism

    You believe in an invisible being that you cannot demonstrate. One that I myself believed in at one time. My skepticism is not irrational.

    If you have a reasoned argument to counter what I say, provide it.

    You haven’t actually provided an argument, except to point to Aquinas, whose arguments are not convincing to me, nor to millions of others.

    Same as above: an emotional reaction

    No, just incredulity that you think that is logical. And I already gave you the reasons.

    Did you mean what you wrote? Because that has no relationship to my argument what so ever.

    That is my point. There is no relationship between knowing God exists, free will, and loving or not loving him.

    There is a difference between knowing something is true, and being forced to know something is true.

    You’re equivocating. Anyway, describe for me how knowing that God exists would rob me of my free will to love or not love him.

    At times, he does, once I let him.

    And you quote a Bible verse as proof? In other words, you don’t know. You wouldn’t know if it’s schizophrenia, or a fervent desire to believe, or any number of other explanations. A Bible verse points to indoctrination.

    Simple. I get what I do not already possess. If what God said to me were simply my own thoughts, then they would be something I already possess. They aren’t, so they aren’t.

    Vague enough to be useless. This is the kind of talk psychics use. It doesn’t mean it’s real. I’ll promise you that God can’t give you something you don’t possess that can be verified.

    Are you familiar with the word “inspiration”?

    Yeah, I used to have those feelings, too. It was all me. It’s exhilarating, exciting, etc., but simply not true. It may be real in the sense you feel it, but face it, you wouldn’t believe your own tale if someone of a religious faith you disagree with told you a similar tale. You will never be able to demonstrate this [is God]. They’re feelings contrived to be unverifiable. Just because you feel them doesn’t mean you can know or demonstrate they are actually from God.

    Again:

    A Bible verse for someone who no longer believes still remains as unconvincing as the first time you used it.

    You are not ready, and from your emotional reactions, won’t be until you can get past what ever emotional block you are suffering from, but when you are ready . . . God will be there.

    You misread my reactions as being emotional. I just find your responses ridiculous, though I, too, had similar ridiculous thoughts. Your challenge is to consider that you might be wrong. I certainly could be. But the next time you hear God speaking to you, ask yourself, is this really God, or is this me? When he gives you something you “don’t already possess,” ask yourself if this is really the case. I’d ask you to ask for something to demonstrate this to be true, but I know you will make more excuses, so I won’t bother. But, hey, if you want to give it a shot, I’m up for a little experiment. Feel free to backpedal, though.

  • We are not in the same category as God

    We are not in the same category as Poseidon, but that’s kinda of irrelevant, since Poseidon doesn’t exist. If you’re saying that your point is different, because God does exist, explain why. I’m an atheist.

  • Circular reasoning.

    Take a step back and don’t assume God’s existence.

    When you make a god claim to me, I’m obliged to see if it makes sense. When you put God out of reach of criticism–whatever God does by definition is “right”–then you’re just speaking gibberish. That’s what someone would say if his belief were vulnerable–move it out of reach of arguments.

    Here’s some homework: look up “right” and see if the caveat you’ve carved out for God is in there.

  • I’m very familiar with “proofs” for the existence of God, thanks. You’re welcome to go to my blog and read what I think about them.

    But this might be a short conversation if showing me that God exists is like showing someone that gravity exists. Go.

  • MR

    “As if God can only be “deduced” by inductive reasoning.”

    Ah, yes, yes…, my bad on that. I see now what you are referencing, and I actually made that change before the exchange above, but I didn’t put together that you were referencing my error. That was a slip and I meant to say “‘deduced’ by deductive reasoning.” My point being that you’re limiting God in how we can come to know him. If God really existed, well…, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, send me a letter or stop by for coffee. God’s not one to be limited by such things.

    It makes no sense in the real world that someone who loves you and wants you to love them would hide their existence from you and expect you to love them. What does make sense is that the free will argument is contrived to make excuses for the hiddeness of God. And to say, “he does not force you to know or love him,” is just one of those, “What they hell are you even talking about” moments. You say “logic,” but the things you say aren’t logical.

  • Well? What’s the argument for God then?

  • Oh, right. That’s my bad. I forgot that whatever God does–one miscarriage or millions of drownings–it’s all good. He’s “good” by definition (which is lucky, because if we used common sense to judge his actions, he’d be in court for murder).

  • MR

    It’s a strange argument. All it does is make God even less likely. If you call into question something which you can demonstrate and which no one disputes, how much more less likely is something that you can’t even demonstrate!

  • Nicely put.

  • Phil

    “Been there, done that, listed all the logical fallacies” I doubt it. Care to share?

  • Phil

    Can’t be that classic as I have no idea what you mean.

  • MadScientist1023

    Then what has your god done to indicate he’s good, just, and moral? How do you know he’s good? His actions and lack thereof hardly justify that conclusion.

  • MadScientist1023

    Oh, you’re one of those people that doesn’t believe in the Theory of Gravity. Do you prefer Intelligent Falling, the idea that all things fall to the ground because God wills it so?

  • MR

    Isn’t this a presuppositionalist argument? It seems I ran into this once before with a presup. Someone recently told the old, Superman in a bar joke over, I think, at Cross Examined. Kind of reminds me of that. It might go something like this:

    An atheist and a theist walk into a bar. After agreeing to avoid a discussion on politics, they take up religion. The atheist says, “Prove to me that God exists.” The theist says, “Do you believe in gravity? You can’t really prove gravity exists, you know; haven’t you read Hume? But I bet you believe that gravity does in fact exist. The same is true for God.” From their seats overlooking the city on the rooftop bar, the atheist thinks about it for a moment, and says, “Ok, that’s easy enough to test. Go jump over the edge of this building and pray to God to save you. Report back on which theory best describes reality. I’ll watch your drink.”

  • MadScientist1023

    Yeah, it’s a pretty bizarre argument. Anyone who starts an argument based on the idea that Christianity is more reliable and rational than the existence of the physical world and the laws of physics has already lost.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Personally, I’m interested in your answer to this. Do you have one? Copied from above:

    “Perhaps no one ever sat down and explained the birds and the bees to you, but consent to sex is consent to the possibility of pregnancy, Yes it is.”

    Acknowledgment of the risk is not consent to the risk. Going out on a date with someone I don’t know that well has the risk of rape. Are you saying women who go out on dates consent to be raped? Nonsense.

  • Huh? Do you understand English? Rape by definition is not consent to sex. I said consent to sex is consent to the risk of pregnancy. Rape by definition is not consent, so no a woman is not consenting to rape, wherever you got that convoluted thought. If she (and he because it takes two) decided to go forward with a sexual encounter she and he take on the risk of getting pregnant and therefore have an obligation to the child.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Is consent to a date consent to something undesired (such as rape) happening on that date, even if it’s a possibility?

    Why is consent to one thing not consent to an undesired consequence, but consent to another IS consent to an undesired consequence?

  • Obviously logic was not one of your strong suits in college. Consent to a date has nothing to do with rape. When you go on a date, you are not consenting to rape, sex, or even a kiss. If the guy taking you on a date expects something in return, that is called prostitution. Has the nature of dating changed so much in thirty years that there are no gentlemen left? Or ladies who expect gentility? Let me give you some fatherly advice. Dump any guy that expects a return action for a date. He is a cad. And if you’re not sure what cad means – it seems to have gone out of the lexicon- please look it up.

  • I forgot to clarify the logic for you. The intent of a date is courtship, not rape. The intent of sexual intercorse is fertilization of an egg. If you fail to sidestep that intent you get pregnant.

  • TinnyWhistler

    People who have sexual intercourse for more reasons than getting pregnant. If that wasn’t the case, the Catholic Church wouldn’t need to advocate for NFP since no planning would be needed.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Aaaand having sex isn’t consenting to pregnancy any more than dating is consenting to sex!

  • Then why not go on a date and expect to be in a car crash? That can just as easily happen. Neither rape nor car crashes are the intent of dating. Your logic doesn’t follow.

  • Maybe so, but the purpose of sexual organs is to procreate. That is their end purpose. That is why they exist. In philosophy it’s called Telos. The primary purpose of a date is not to get raped.

  • Obviously I’m not going to convince you, no matter how flawed your logic is. Despite that, I pray you if you are ever in that situation you don’t take the life of the innocent, powerless, voiceless human being. It would be so morally wrong. Peace be with you.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Nah, the purpose of sexual organs is also pleasure and closeness with another person. Things can have more than one purpose.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Getting in a car means you assume some level of risk that you’ll get in a car crash, even if that’s not why you got in. You can mitigate the risks somewhat but the only way to 100% being in a car crash is to abstain from being in a car.

    Why is dating or driving different from intercourse in terms of consent to one thing meaning consent to another possible thing?

  • Secondary, not primary. The pleasure is a mechanism for carrying on the species. In short procreation.

  • Telos. The end function of the thing in question. Rape is not the end function of a date. Or it shouldn’t be, though God knows what goes on today. A car crash is not the end function of a date, nor of a drive in a car. It is an extrinsic phenomena. The primary function of intercourse is procreation. You cannot get around that.

    I apologize for getting testy up above. You seem like a nice young lady on a mission. Unfortunately a wrongheaded one. I know you see it as vindicating something for womanhood, but it’s just the opposite. An abortion is a denial of the fullness of womanhood.

  • TinnyWhistler

    No problem, I know this topic is very charged.

    It seems like we’re going to disagree on whether something’s “original” “primary” or “fundamental” purpose can change and whether morally it can be undesired. I don’t think that sex’s reproductive function necessarily overrides its other functions. If it did, I’d find it hard to argue for any form of family planning whatsoever. I think that’s the basic disagreement we have on why “Date is not consent to sex” should or shouldn’t be seen as an adequate parallel to “Sex is not consent to pregnancy

    Just so you know where I’m coming from: Due to medical reasons, I’m very doubtful of my ability to lovingly and adequately raise a child and so I don’t intend to become pregnant. This doesn’t bother me, nor do I believe that it will prevent me from reaching any “fullness of womanhood” to not become pregnant. My value is not in the past, present, or future occupancy of my uterus, nor in my womanhood.

  • I said having an abortion is a denial of womanhood, not not having children, so I should clarify. Lots of women don’t have children, that doesn’t mean they are lesser women. Some choose it that way – say Catholic Nuns – and some aren’t capable. Providence has a say in it, either through fate or through personal make up. For instance my wife was infertile. Ultimately we adopted, and late in life as it turned out. We became parents of an adopted baby boy at the age of 48. It was the best decision we ever made. Having a child has been wonderful. I’d adopt another if we weren’t too old. This is how providence shaped our lives, and we chose to cooperate with it as best we could. If providence places a pregnancy in one’s life – and this goes for either gender – an abortion is a denial of one’s womanhood for the mother and manhood for the father. From what I understand, the majority of abortions are actually pushed by the father. There are very few things I despise more than men who do that. I can understand the pressures a woman faces when pregnant. I do have some sympathy there. I have no sympathy for the father that tries to escape the responsibilities. That is the epitome of unmanliness. When we are dealing with innocent life, heroism is called for. What would you call a person who ran into a burning house to save a child? A hero. It’s no different for an unborn child.

    If you can’t have children, consider adoption some day. Not to pat myself on the back, but adoption is also heroic, though I acknowledge there was a selfish motive to it as well.

    I still cannot understand how you don’t see sex as primarily for procreation. There’s a term in biology for procreation being one of the primal drives, but the term escapes me. It’s one of those functions all living creatures must do. In fact most animals have a strong drive to procreate but they have absolutely no bonding element to it. And there are plenty of cads – homo sapiens of the male variety – who also don’t claim to have any bonding component to their sexual activities. What I’m trying to say is that procreation is rudimentary.

    With that Ms. TinnyWhistler (strange name but I like it!) I do wish you the best. This was an enjoyable exchange.

  • TinnyWhistler

    Here was my thinking re: parsing abortion as denial of womanhood:
    An abortion is terminating a pregnancy. The thing that an abortion is denying is staying pregnant. If an abortion is denying womanhood, then that means that pregnancy is being used as a fundamental, essential, or otherwise extremely important element of womanhood. If pregnancy is important enough to womanhood that terminating one is a denial of womanhood, then it must be pretty darn essential!

    It’s the caring for and raising of a kid that I’m very unlikely to be able to do well, not being pregnant itself, like I said above.

    I mean, I like to believe that humans, having souls and intelligence and all of that aren’t driven by our primal drives. See it as a gift from God that humans aren’t confined by animal drives.

    Thanks for the talk!

  • I realized that was the assumption you were making, and that’s why I had to clarify. As you can see, it’s a lack of manliness as well. It’s people avoiding their God given gender responsibilites.
    Peace. 🙂

  • TinnyWhistler

    Meh, still not sure how just saying, “lots of women don’t have children” means that abortion as denial of womanhood doesn’t lead to pregnancy as important to womanhood, but I’ll let it drop there.

  • E Hakenson

    No, the intent of sexual intercourse is usually pleasure.

  • And they say conservatives are anti science. Ive got no time for stupid people.

  • Women are people

    Becaue Manny would rather engage in the logical fallacy of special pleading in order to use pregnancy as a punishment for women for having sex. And only women. Men can have all sex they want and they aren’t required to donate any organs, even if it’s to save their own child’s life.

  • Women are people

    Manny, you keep saying that the primary function of intercourse is reproduction as if repeating this will make it true.

    For Homo sapiens, the primary function of sex is relationships. Reproduction is a byproduct of sex, not it’s main purpose.

    Compare our sexuality to that of other species. Gorilla’s have sex only about 12 times per birth. For them, sex is all business. No oral, anal, or non reproductive dilly dallying. They only copulate during esterase (ovulation for laymen).

    Humans on the other hand, have sex 1,000 times per birth. They have sex during all points of a cycle, and engage in all kinds of non reproductive dilly dallying.

  • I’m sorry but that is absolutely wrong and shows you how overly sexualized our culture has become. I keep repeating because it’s the truth and people don’t want to hear it. No, that dilly dallying is the side product, not the main objective. There would be no dilly dallying if reproduction was not needed. There would be no continuation of the species of there was no reproduction. My God, I can’t believe I’m seeing this at a Catholic blog. It’s unreal how low civilization has sunk.

  • Women are people

    That’s is absolutely a biological fact. Your cultural bias through which you wish it was doesn’t change the biological fact.

    I am an evolutionary biologist. I study this shit for a living. It is a biological fact that the sexual behavior of Homo Sapien is largely and mostly non procreative. Tough shit if this goes against your religious sexual dysfunction.

    Again, there would be no clitoris, which plays no role in reproduction, if the primary purpose of sex was procreation. Reproduction is secondary, a byproduct of sex, not the primary purpose.

    Why don’t you trust people who actually study this for a living?

    https://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Stray-Modern-Relationships-ebook/dp/B007679QTG/ref=nodl_

    Your silly sentimentality aside, you are a primate, and just as much a part of the animal kingdom as all others. You are not above it, nor do you rule over it. Nature rules you.

  • Women are people

    Manny – you are seriously stupid.

    “There would be no continuation of the species if there was no reproduction.”

    No shit. There would be no continuation of the species if I didn’t eat, but that doesn’t mean my mouth’s primary purpose is to shove food down it. My mouth’s primary purpose is communication.

    Needing to reproduce doesn’t change the fact that the way in which we do so is secondary to the primary goal. Establishing and maintaining relationships is the primary reason we have sex.

    You not liking this fact doesn’t change that.

  • Obviously you’re another of those low life Liberals who can’t engage in a civil discussion. You’re not worth my time. Begone.

  • Women are people

    “Can’t engage in a civil discussion”

    Coming from the same person who just claimed I am a representation of how low society has sunk and who advocates for women to have less rights than a corpse.

    You are clearly the lowlife you accuse me of being.

    You not liking scientific and biological facts doesn’t make me a lowlife. It just makes you a moron.

  • Ame

    Humans are evolved/made from mammalian gestation. There is no intrusion, just the DNA at work in concert with the unborn baby’s DNA to ensure the survival of the species. It’s the model of the youthful, strong, productive male body that is telling us that maternity is intrusion, disorder, and an enemy of woman.

  • Ame

    Consent to BDSM, porn, and abortion is consent to violence. More violence does not stop the violence of rape.

  • Women are people

    Ahhh yes, benevolent sexism.

    It’s sexism to assume that women want to have children, or this is the way a woman can be a productive member of society.

    Gestation is an intrusion. You understand that the embryonic cells literally invade the uterine lining, which the female body fights by clotting.

    Pregnancy is a biological war, so stop with your sentimental bullshit.

    Women are not broodmares. I don’t give a flying f what mammals do. We are higher thinking individuals with our own agency to determine if we want to reproduce or not. Animals abort their offspring or abandon their offspring all the damn time. Humans have figured out how to end a pregnancy, rather than abandon infants to the elements.

  • Women are people

    Porn is violence. What the hell are you on about?

    Neither is BDSM, when both parties consent to such activity.

    Abortion is also not violent, so save the theatrics. I took a pill and my embryo came out into the toilet with the rest of my uterine lining.

  • Women are people

    Pregnancy is not always the intent of sex. There are millions of people having sex right now who are not intending to get pregnant. The intent of an activity means nothing to risks associated with that activity.

  • Ame

    Didn’t say anything about not wanting children. With or without children are bodies will continue to go through the cyclic preparations for bearing more human beings from puberty to menopause unless disease, surgery, or chemical means of halting it occur. This is embedded in our DNA, and having two X chromosomes comes with a variety of health benefits and protections. This force of nature that we possess should be regarded as our greatest asset in developing a more humane, civil world.

  • Ame

    Yes.
    https://fightthenewdrug.org/how-consuming-porn-can-lead-to-violence/
    And even Washington Post is willing to publish this fact:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/

    Ending life is inherently violent. That you don’t feel the harm doesn’t make it less so.

  • Women are people

    Sorry, cookie, but your biased bullshit won’t fly here.

    There is absolutely no evidence that porn leads to violence. None.

    There is evidence that the availability of porn has DECREASED sex crimes.

    I guess there is a lot less frustration over the finger wagging from sexually dysfunction twits like you.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-sunny-side-of-smut/

    It’s not a life anymore than plucking a tumor off my skin is ending a life.

  • Women are people

    My body prepares to take a shit everyday. Let’s not pretend that I should be revered for it, nor should I be subjected to when someone else thinks I should shit or not.

    How about empowering women to make their own choices, and not basing that on their ability (or inability) to procreate?

  • Ame

    Actually, let’s revere taking a s***, without which we die from sepsis.

    Whether someone gives birth is not what I am talking about, but women’s health, perspective, experience is intimately tied to mammalian gestation, whether we have children or not. I don’t see any reason to make our bodies more like male bodies in order to achieve equality.

  • Ame

    A search through scientific articles in PubMed and JSTOR suggests otherwise. So please in form us all how porn is not violent. Even “mainstream” porn is a front curtain to sexual abuse and sex slavery.

    I can’t take seriously any “feminism” that makes women at war with their own bodies, makes children enemies of women, and adopts the patriarchal use of porn and abortion as a litmus test for freedom.

  • Women are people

    You posted crap that states porn leads to violence. Now you are moving the goalposts.

    Yes, porn can be exploitive . That’s why we need to empower women with education so they aren’t trapped in these situations.

    Feminism doesn’t make children enemies of women. Good fucking god, can you stop with the hyperbolic bullshit? What feminism does is strip away the idea that a woman’s value is her uterus and what she does or doesn’t do with it. It empowers the idea that women are full people, with rights to say no to being pregnant, just as men have a right to say no to organ donation, even to their own child.

    Feminism is the reason women have access to birth control. Feminism is the reason women can vote. Feminism is the reason that we have laws about equal pay, and discrimination laws on the basis of sex.

    Motherhood is a choice, and while it should be valued, it should not be exalted to the point that women feel pressure to have children they don’t want (making them pretty shitty mothers) and making women feel less than valued if she doesn’t want kids.

    Just look at how women are treated if they don’t want kids. Some people treat them if there is something wrong with them, that they are being selfish (when having kids is inherently selfish in of itself). Exalting motherhood to be this revered status only excludes women who don’t want or can’t have kids.

    So cut the shit, alright? You aren’t doing women any favors by suggesting that we should be empowered to be mothers when really we should just be empowered period

  • Women are people

    Oh my fucking god. Taking birth control is not like making our bodies more like male bodies. It’s about controlling our reproduction so that we aren’t tied to our bodies and can live our lives.

    Ovulation isn’t magic, honey. Stop pretending that my life experience is tied to it.

  • Ame

    Didn’t say anything about birth control. Oral contraceptives don’t block ovulation, just delay it up to several months, but much longer than that can put you at risk for ovarian cysts. Your body is made to expel unfertilised eggs, so you should allow it to happen at some point. If you really want to delay your ovulation by the body’ natural means of conservation of energy, become a competitive athlete.

  • Ame

    I am a Feminist. Your idea of feminism makes patriarchal goals the model for women’s equality. It’s an idea that often women of color and in developing nations see as disordered to addressing their particular needs at best and Western reproductive colonialism at worst. The sexist patriarch only sees childbearing useful for creating progeny, but what he really wants is a woman’s body to sexually objectify without all the hassle that comes with mammalian gestation.

  • Women are people

    You aren’t a feminist if you don’t want women to have rights over their own body and medical decisions.

    You have this idea that women don’t want sex without procreation. We do. That’s why 99% of couples use birth control at some point in their lives.

    Allowing women to plan their pregnancies, if any, allows them to participate in the workforce. Allowing her the financial freedom to leave abusive relationships and. It be dependent on a man to provide.

    When women are able to plan their pregnancies, if any, they are able to accept higher paying and higher responsibility jobs. Before birth control, there wasn’t a single woman CEO in any industry. Let that sink in.

    It’s not feminism to drive women back to the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant because she can’t control her reproduction. You make her a slave to her biology and her uterus.

    You are anything but a feminist.

  • Women are people

    That’s complete garbage. Women’s bodies are not made to expel eggs and nothing detrimental happens if they don’t.

  • Women are people

    Oral contraceptives do block ovulation, for as long as you take them. I haven’t had my period in years.

    Post menopausal women also don’t see any effects from no longer ovulating.

    You are making shit up whole cloth.

  • Women are people

    Show me ONE peer reviewed study that indicates that ovulation is necessary for a woman’s health, or that women who don’t ovulate experience problems from anovulation?

    In fact, you can’t, because there is zero evidence that ovulation has any benefits (aside from achieving a pregnancy) at all.

    PCOS or hormonal problems cause anovulation, but are not caused by anovulation.

    Hormonal birth control actually allievates PCOS by preventing ovulation. So sorry, you are full of complete shit to claim that a woman needs to ovulate and that by not ovulating, she is at risk for cysts.

  • Women are people

    Also “oral contraceptives don’t block ovulation.”

    They don’t “block”. Block implies being impeded. The LH hormone is simply skipped, so there is no hormone to trigger ovulation. Its not blocked, or impeded, it simply isn’t there to BE impeded.

  • Ame

    Delayed. The longer you take hormonal contraceptives the greater the likelihood of break through ovulation because the body just wants to do it’s normal thing. A relative had a break through ovulation after two years into her Norplant, and thus got pregnant. And then there is the risk for ovarian cysts, which happened to more than one member of my family. It’s worrisome that these things are in the fine print of warning labels and box inserts but doctors seem completely oblivious, so they don’t counsel patients properly and everyone is then surprised when problems arise. The decade I took the pill to “alleviate” my menstrual problems I believe exacerbated my anxiety disorder into a panic disorder.

  • Ame

    PCOS is a specific disease. It is possible to have ovarian cysts that do not rupture or cause pain but do cause fertility problems.
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cysts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353405

    The likelihood of ovarian cysts forming is low when you take oral contraceptives as prescribed, but increases the longer you go without having a period. Other hormonal contraceptives can also carry that risk. Sometimes nature overrides the artificial hormones. In fact, if you experience break through bleeding, consider yourself as having ovulated.

    In theory, hormonal birth control could prevent ovarian cysts if the dose is strong enough to prolong anovulation, but there are experienced doctor’s who see in the field women who do not fit the clinical trial experience. Why? Were the studies truly generalizable? What is a strong enough dose for one woman versus another? What if to get a strong enough dose or the right combination of hormones for one woman, you end up increasing her chances for embolism/strokes?There is a lot of trial and
    error that is done in the real world.

  • Ame
  • Ame

    There is more than one way to be feminist and your antagonistic way of a certain class and racial milleau likely doesn’t result in much progress for marginalized and women of color. You’re riding on the coattails of those who made progress, and many of them do not fit the rhetoric that the most important thing to women’s equality is so-called reproductive choice, especially among marginalized, third world, and women of color/womanists, let alone pro-life feminists.
    http://www.feministsforlife.com

    And abortion is not planning pregnancy. Using abortion as birth control increases the risks that can come with abortion, most commonly scarring from surgical abortion and sometimes uncontrollable hemorrhaging from chemical abortion, that can lead to other problems. If you want your contraceptives, fine but don’t glamorize them as they come with their risks, both health and environmental concerns, their real world effectiveness is not as high as clinical effectiveness, and may not be a solution for all women. Fertility awareness methods have become increasingly effective, but yes they too do not work for every woman’s needs. But at least they can be another option for women to choose from.

    Progress for women’s equality in the workforce is truly an uphill battle, true. Fortunately, the number of professions with a glass ceiling are slowly but surely declining. I have seen the most progress not in birth control, but through breaking stereotypes, normalizing the working mother, and antidiscrimination laws. Women like Justice Ruth Bader who did not postpone children until after establishing her career were the real trailblazers that get women, both with and without children in the door. Sure, she too is wrong about abortion but her own life is testament that you don’t need abortion to accomplish your professional goals. Such women prove that the male body model is not necessary for work. And this I love:
    https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Family/mom-meteorologist-wears-year-work-reporting-weather-forecast/story?id=58386494

  • Women are people

    I’m antagonistic because you are sitting here glorifying women’s fertility as if she must always want to be fertile. It’s dismissive and rude and capricious and benevolent sexism, as if women would do better chancing their futures on whether or not they have appropriately estimated the fertile period.

    Abortion is planning pregnancy. No matter how supportive society may be in allowing women to have children, at a certain point, you have to acknowledge what she wants. Abortion has very few risks, and it’s 16x safer than pregnancy and childbirth. If you are going to feign concern over women’s health, then you should be supportive of her choice to take a less riskier option (abortion) rather than carrying to term.

    Even if abortion was riskier, which it’s not, it should tell you something that women are STILL willing to risk it in order not to continue a pregnancy.

    I could have a millions of dollars and a full team of round the clock nannies and I still would not continue a pregnancy if by some extremely rare chance I got pregnant. I don’t want anymore kids.

    And you act, rather condescendingly, that I am somehow betraying other women by respecting their choices.

  • Women are people

    Are you intellectually challenged?

    From the link you just posted.
    “Menopause doesn’t cause ovarian cancer.”

    Not ovulating is not the cause of ANY problems. Not ovulating is the result of medical problems.

    I’m not wrong. You are.

  • Women are people

    There. Is. No. Evidence. That. Anovulation. Is. Harmful.

    Cysts form naturally. If ovulation was better for cysts, then women who ovulate regularly wouldn’t see them.

    Old age increases your risk of cancer. It has nothing to do with not ovulating.

    I really hate liars and willfully ignorant people.

  • Women are people

    Again, none of that demonstrated that ovulation is preventing the cysts. Or that the cysts are even always problematic.

    Demonstrate your claim or stop making it.

  • Ame

    The feeling is mutual.

  • Ame

    Did you really read it? What does it say about the cysts? Google “postmenopausal women and ovarian cysts” and see that the UK has developed a protocol for the treatment of ovarian cysts in postmenopausal women. This is why I often hesitate to take the time to post research articles from databases. People refuse to do their part to read!

  • Ame

    Again, I said nothing about wanting to have children. You are free to not have any. I am talking about the need of a cultural paradigm shift. Think bigger than bourgeois academia feminism.

  • Women are people

    There is no evidence to suggest that breakthrough ovulation is the result of prolonged birth control. Breakthrough ovulation is more the result of user error, although it does happen for a very small percentage of women (1%). For the 99% of other women, no ovulation occurs so it’s not “delayed”.

  • Ame

    In women’s health 1% matters, and for individual women, the risk may be greater. You do know about the design limitations of clinical studies, right?

  • Women are people

    What exactly are you suggesting? That women should take birth control because 1% experience breakthrough ovulation? Do you apply that to all medications?

  • Women are people

    Typo: That wouldn’t shouldn’t take birth control because some women experience breakthrough ovulation?

    Btw – I’m still waiting for you to substantiate your claim that ovulation is necessary for health, or that anovulation has negative effects. Or are you ready to admit you just made that up?

  • Women are people

    Yes. I read it. I’m extremely familiar with ovarian cysts, darling.

    None. Of. What. You. Said. Demonstrates. Your. Claim. About. Ovulation.

    I’m done with this ridiculous goal post moving.

  • Women are people

    Then why do you refuse to substantiate your claim that it’s ovulation itself that is of importance to women’s Health?

  • Women are people

    Claims you have made:

    1) porn makes people violent.
    2) women need to ovulate lest they experience negative health problems.

    1) zero evidence that porn makes people violent.
    2) zero evidence that ovulation is important to health, or that anovulation has negative health impacts.

    Let me know when you can substantiate these claims. Otherwise, I’m done playing your stupid goal post shifting.

  • Cynthia

    Doesn’t ovulation actually increase the risk of ovarian cancer?

  • Women are people

    No. Hormones increase cancer risk. Whether they are naturally occurring hormones or HRT doesn’t matter.

  • Women are people

    You have just posted a long winded pile of crap.

    During a D&C, the fetus is the size of a sesame seed to a pea when most abortions occur. It’s not cut to pieces. So stop with the histrionics.

    Also, a hysterotomy refers to the type of incision. Not abortion. A hysterotomy is used during a c-section, and also during fetal surgery.

    Saline hasn’t been used for more than a decade.

    And prostaglandins just refers to the type of hormones that induce labor, because those hormones are naturally occurring during birth, you moron.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/6099005/

  • Women are people

    “It interfered with work”

    Oh, you mean poverty. Not being able to feed, cloth, and pay for daycare is a pretty damn good reason not to have a child.

  • Ame

    According to prochoicers, women are not incubators and especially should not be exploited for the bearing of other people’s children, right? Gov. Cuomo says laws protecting women are discriminatory against people who can’t have their own kids: https://www.google.com/amp/s/nypost.com/2019/02/01/cuomo-proposes-law-to-end-ban-on-surrogate-moms/amp/

  • Women are people

    For some women, they DO need abortion to accomplish their professional goals because they DON’T want a child at that moment.

    What don’t you get? No one is saying women HAVE to get abortions to achieve things. The key thing here is that the woman needs to WANT to do these things with a child.

    Don’t kid yourself. Having a child DOES mean you don’t have time for other things. Some women WANT to be childfree until they are READY.

    So making sure women have all the options, including normalizing the working mother, AND the option to have a child ONLY when you WANT, is the only way for women to achieve equality.

    You keep blathering on like women are forced to have abortions. They WANT to end their pregnancy. Stop standing in their way and acting like you are doing them favors by doing so with your patronizing tone that you somehow know better than them.

  • Ame

    Submitting to the patriarchal male body model for work and advancement instead of revolutionising work culture.

  • Women are people

    No. It’s not submitting. Revolutionizing the work culture absolutely needs to happen. Respecting women by allowing them to control their fertility also needs to happen.

    You seem to insist that women need to embrace their fertility instead of controlling it. Or that a woman needs to ovulate for her health. She doesn’t.

  • Ame

    Embracing fertility (a series of health functions) and having children are two separate things. Of course a woman can decide when to have children. Don’t need abortion to do that.

  • Women are people

    Yes. When birth control fails, you need abortion if you don’t want to continue the pregnancy.

    Your presumption about what other women need is paternalistic.

  • Ame

    You mean womanist.

  • Women are people

    I’m sure you thought that sentence fragment was coherent.

  • Women are people

    Also, no woman needs to “embrace” her fertility. Stop with the condescending crap of telling women how to feel about their bodies.

  • Ame

    Stop telling women that abortion is the answer.

  • Ame

    You are not a feminist, but a troll parading as one, if you don’t know what womanist means.

  • Women are people

    I know what a womanist is. A womanist is a black feminist. Why on earth does that make sense in my context?

    “ You mean womanist” isn’t a sentence.

    its not trolling to call you out on your bullshit

  • Women are people

    For women who want abortion, abortion IS the answer.

    Stop presuming YOU know what’s best for complete strangers, dickhead.

  • Women are people

    I’ve had 6 abortions. They were definitely the answer for me.

  • Women are people

    Stop denying that abortion is an option.

  • Ame

    Out of concern for your health, you may want to have an ultrasound of your uterus. Maybe there is enough damage to warrant a hysterectomy.

  • Ame

    Stop presuming to know that abortion is the answer.

  • Ame

    There are better options.

  • Ame

    If you still have menses, you still have fertility and all that it entails for women’s health. So you are embracing fertility out of necessity every time you go to your ob-gyn despite your cognitive dissonance of what it is. You may want to study up on this some more.

  • Women are people

    How about you just substantiate your bullshit claims that women need to ovulate for their health?

  • Women are people

    Not when you don’t want to continue a pregnancy.

  • Women are people

    No damage done at all! Safest procedure! Safer than a colonoscopy! And 14 times safer than birth!

    Do you ask women who have given birth 6 times if they had damage and need to remove their uterus, you presumptuous cuntrag?

  • Women are people

    Abortion is the answer for women who want to have an abortion. It is literally that simple.

  • Ame

    Because resorting to misogynistic name calling is what feminists do? Abortion injury is real:

    https://www.deveber.org/womens-health-after-abortion/

    https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/795001-clinical

  • Women are people

    And? Abortion is 14 times safer than pregnancy and childbirth.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22270271/

    So given that, do you ask women who have birthed 6 times if they are damaged out of your faux concern for women’s health?

    You know that your second link is not limited to abortions? You can still hemorrhage after birth, parts of the placenta can be left behind causing sepsis, anesthesia complications occur during c-sections, etc.

  • Women are people

    I get my period. I don’t ovulate. Fertility is about being able to achieve and maintain a pregnancy.

    So no cognitive dissonance there, sweetheart. You are the only one making claims like women need to ovulate for their health, and women who don’t ovulate experience problems because of the anovulation. The claim is literally pulled out of your ass.

  • Ame

    Ovulation is one of many pieces to fertility, including progesterone vs. estrogen levels, thyroid function, post peak (approximately post ovulation) length before starting next period, stress factors, immunity health, STD status, obesity, exercise, health of uterine tissue, psychosexual problems that can lead to vaginismus, etc. Miss or misfit any one of those pieces, and the likelihood of being able to acheive and maintain pregnancy greatly diminishes, but not necessarily eliminates fertility completely.

    I am concerned about your health enough to wonder if your ob-gyn is really any good if she/he doesn’t see anything amiss if you have periods but allegedly can’t ovulate and yet had gotten pregnant at least 6 times followed by 6 abortions. That doc is missing clues to your total health picture. And if you can’t ovulate, shouldn’t your contraceptives be more effective than less effective? I would like to believe you and that your ob-gyn sucks than to start assuming a lack of honesty on your part. I went through five ob-gyns, two of them parading their credentials as experts in abnormal menstration and all of them paternalistic and insisting everything was normal, before finding a good one who helped fix me up with her knowledge of endocrinology and fertility awareness.

  • Women are people

    Again, no woman NEEDS to ovulate for her health. Her body functions quite well without the LH hormone

  • Women are people

    I’m also not talking about the ability to achieve and maintain a pregnancy, moron.

    You made a claim that women need to ovulate for health reasons.

    You cannot support that claim. Full stop.

  • Women are people

    You are the misogynist by dismissing the fact that women need access to safe and affordable options, including abortion.

  • Ame

    Nope. Between womanists, pro-life feminists and many third world feminists, there are many visions of feminism outside of white bourgeois academia feminism that don’t require abortion in the equality equation.

  • Women are people

    There is no such thing as a anti-abortion feminist. Requiring women to carry a pregnancy to term without her consent is not feminism.

  • Women are people

    Let’s start this conversation over, shall we?

    What exactly is your objection to abortion?

  • Women are people

    Nonsense. Gravity can be absolutely demonstrated.

    By that logic, that we can’t feel, see, taste, smell or touch air, but we can blow up a balloon to demonstrate it. We can force air into the lungs of people who don’t breathe to demonstrate its existence. The same with gravity. We can measure it. We can know how objects act in zero gravity or low gravity environments.

    Show me just one signal demonstration for god.

  • Women are people

    Not true. I’m skeptical, but when evidence has been sufficiently demonstrated, I will change my view if the evidence is demonstrable.

    For example, I used to think there was nothing wrong with spanking your kid. The studies came out that the risk of psychological harm outweighed the supposed benefit, so I changed my mind about spanking.

    Demonstrate that your god is real and I’ll change my mind. It’s really that simple.

  • Your existance is all the evidence you need. But of couse your skepticism blinds you to that evidence.

  • Women are people

    My existence is only evidence of my parents engaging in coitus. That’s literally all I can attribute my existence to.

    Calling me blind because YOU cannot back up your claims is rather pathetic

  • Women are people

    If I’m just blind, perhaps you can demonstrate how my existence is proof of god instead of proof of my parents bumping uglies?

  • Women are people

    Your article in no way demonstrates what you are saying.

    NY is the only state has that surrogacy illegal. Not allowing people to engage a willing surrogate, and compensate the surrogate for her time and labor is denying them the ability to have their own children.

  • Yep, blind as a bat. No understanding of basic probability, quantum mechanics, or a deterministic universe.
    You’re not smart enough to be an atheist, let alone a theist.

  • Women are people

    This is yet another example of how your ideology is blinding you to the ramifications of your beliefs.

    You infantile women, simply put. A woman must be protected from her CHOICE to be a gestational surrogate for compensation. A woman must be protected from her choice to abort.

    You act like infertile people are exploiting surrogates. They aren’t.

    Do you know why NY outlawed surrogacy to begin with? Because it used to be that it was the surrogate’s egg. Now, it’s a donor egg and sperm, and the surrogate has no genetic connection to them.

    Now all these embryos can be gestated, and surrogates can be rightly compensated for their time and effort. Why do you have any business stepping into that decision?

    This is why you aren’t a feminist. You won’t let women make their own decisions.

    And this is also why you talk outta both sides of your mouth. When women want to be pregnant, you still won’t allow them the choice.

  • Because you experience time, and without God, time doesn’t exist.

  • Women are people

    I missed this before.

    “What it we transform society to think of maternity as a woman’s power?”

    What if we transform society to respect a woman’s decision – ANY decision – as a woman’s power?

    That way, her power isn’t tied to her body. Her power is tied to her mind.

    You fail to see how saying maternity is “a” woman’s power, it carries the implication that anyone not maternal lacks power.

    Just leave women alone and let them make their own damn decisions about their own damn bodies. Whether that is to be pregnant, or to terminate that pregnancy, or be pregnant for someone else (surrogacy). Women don’t need protection from you over their own damn decisions.

  • Ame

    No infantilism. Exploitation reduces human beings into commodities regardless of who consents and gets paid for it. Either the objectification of women is always wrong or it’s okay as long as money is thrown at it. Sweden, which so many white bourgeois academia feminists herald as the beacon of women’s rights, banned surrogacy:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/25/surrogacy-sweden-ban

    You accuse me of reducing women to their fertility ( which is in no way true just a hyperbolic reactionist to ideas different than yours ) and yet you can’t see in front of you how surrogacy truly does exactly that? Is it really freedom and choice to consent to be a slave?

    Your breadth and depth of feminism is rather wanting.

  • Women are people

    You need to demonstrate that time cannot exist without god. Are you saying god exists outside of time? That’s nonsense, since that god wouldn’t be able to complete any actions. You need time to complete an action. So god would need time to create time, since there would need to be a before and an after, which only exists with time.

  • Women are people

    You seem to think stating a bunch of buzz words without explaining the underpinnings behind them is an argument. It isn’t. Nor is claiming I’m too stupid to understand it.

    I’m well versed in science, but let’s pick the first concept you stated: probability. How does basic probability prove god?

  • Women are people

    You still didn’t prove why surrogacy is exploitive. And it isn’t. My sister carried my child for me.

    She volunteered. Why should I be able to compensate her? How exactly, was she being exploited?

    You know, I get paid to donate my platlets. Why shouldn’t others get compensated for the rental of their uterus?

  • Women are people

    I surprised, if you are worried about human beings being reduced to commodities, why you don’t rally against private adoption of infants? Didn’t you know that is legalized human trafficking since the cost to adopt is based on supply and demand? White healthy babies go for a premium of $30,000. Healthy minorities cost less. Disabled? They are practically free.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1987/04/05/us/adoption-market-big-demand-tight-supply.html

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=91834&page=1

    Yet that is the option you prefer women do if they don’t want to parent a child instead of an abortion, right?

    Like I said, your ideology has blinded you to the reprocussions.

    Banning surrogacy means that women don’t have the choice to be one or utilize one, meaning that all those widdle precious frozen babeez go into the incinerator rather than be transferred to a willing uterus.

  • Women are people

    How is volunteering to be a surrogate make a woman a slave? It doesn’t.

    She can always say no, and always retains full autonomy over her body. No slavery there.

    Here are women (surrogates) who have embraced their fertility by using it for the benefit of others, yet these women are being exploited? Yet on the flip side, women who use birth control to control their fertility is being exploited by patriarchy.

    You talk outta both sides of your mouth, when what it really boils down to is that you object to women controlling their bodies in any way. So you rationalize that desire to control them and prevent them from making their own decisions (by eliminating those options), under the guise of “protecting” them. Get your boot of the necks of women and stop standing in their way.

    What I do with my body is my decision. I don’t need or want your patronizing and faux concern over my wellbeing.

  • I am saying not only that God exists outside of time, but that time cannot exist without God. Of course, you are not smart enough to understand the basic argument. Ignorance is always easier than knowledge

  • Women are people

    You know that bats aren’t actually blind, yes?

  • Just an analogy, but I am not surprised you would object to the very concept.

  • Women are people

    A bat has exceptional vision, so I guess if I’m blind as a bat, that means that I can see better than you.

  • Women are people

    That’s not an analogy. That’s a colloquial expression…a figure of speech…which just so happens to be based on myth.

    You shouldn’t be surprised that I object to falsehoods and myths. The idea that a bat is blind is a myth. As is your god. Just like alllllll the other god beliefs before it.

  • Women are people

    I think maybe you are just pissed because I called you out on something you believed without evidence, and it’s based on myth instead.

  • Women are people

    I’m still waiting…how does probability prove god?

    Let me preempt you because I’m pretty confident that you are going to delve into some bullshit about the probability of the universe existing, right? If this is your argument, I’m afraid that you will have demonstrated that it’s YOU that has no basic understanding of probability. In fact, it will demonstate that you have no understand of the difference between doing probability a priori and a posteriori. The probability of the universe existing is 1. I’ll show you.

    Just flip a coin ten times in a row. I just did it now and got TTHHHTTTHT. Now what was the probability of getting that exact sequence?

    Obviously that’s one over two to the ten. Less than a chance in a thousand of getting that exact sequence, that’s incredible. Very unlikely to happen. A skeptic would be right to doubt that it happened at all. A sequence of ten flips cannot reasonably have given that exact sequence, can it?

    The problem here is that we’re studying the probably of an event a posteriori, after it already happened. If it already happened its probability of happening is 1, not 1 in 1024. Yes the sequence TTHHHTTTHT is very unlikely, but so is any single sequence and we’re bound to get one.

    Obviously you tell me that 1/1024 isn’t that low an odd it works the same if we flip the coin a billion times, the sequence we will then get will be astronomically improbable, yet we will still get a sequence.

    Now if we do probability correctly a priori, that is before we do the experiment, then that’s another story. Let’s imagine I tell you : “I’m going to get the sequence of flips HTTHTHTHHT” and that I then flip a coin and get the exact sequence I announced. Now that’s fucking wizardry! No one can do that reliably, that’s incredible.

    The universe is already here, we can’t evaluate its odds of happening anymore (except by saying the probability is 1 since it already happened). Sorry, that’s too late to do probabilities, that maths just don’t work anymore once the experiment is done, kiddo.

    Now if I was before the universe, saying that a universe will come into existence with the very specifics of the universe we know. Now that would be wizardry, that’s the part that would be incredible, I would then be a God speaking the universe into existence! No one can believe that.

  • And you have no poetry in your soul. But that is as expected for an atheist who avoids knowledge.

  • Ame

    Wow, all of that sounds great….for the handful of privileged people who get to document on Facebook how lovely it is that they managed to find a couple that doesn’t challenge how the surrogate does the pregnancy, who don’t treat you more than a potential violator of their contract with full ramifications of family law, not reproductive rights law. Yes, that’s the hallmark version the surrogacy industry sells to make you feel the warm and fuzzies about “helping other families.” Oh and don’t notice how the sellers of that image are conspicuously white and middle class. The reality is that unless you get a family or friend involved,, the majority of surrogates are poor and marginalized. And unless state law explicitly addresses the rights of surrogates to say “no” and change their minds at any point, the courts overwhelmingly favor the couple that has privilege and money. People complain about how adoption can ugly but has nothing on surrogacy, where if a surrogate has one doctor who convinces the couple that bed rest is necessary to maintain that pregnancy, that couple can bring down the hammer of the law to force the consenting, paid woman to honour her contract despite no real evidence found in studies that bed rest actually is beneficial, but may actually be potentially harmful to the woman.

    Yep, wake up. Sweden gets it.

  • Ame

    Yes, it might work within families if you have a healthy relationship with your family member, but sometimes even money and the law can wreck that. The New York law is expands from volunteer surrogacy to commercial surrogacy. Women’s wombs become commodities to be rented. And people will take it out on the woman if they find her product “defective.”. I don’t think that volunteer surrogacy is any better, but commercial surrogacy is undoubtedly exploitative.

  • Women are people

    No. It isn’t. Again, surrogacy is legal in almost every state except New York.

    No one is seeing the exploitation you are worried about. These women are really damn happy to be earning $50,000 (which is the average cost of surrogacy) without going to work.

    The same way women really enjoy donating their eggs for $10,000 a cycle. Are women’s ovaries a commodity now?

    How about men who jerk off into a cup for $100 a pop? Is anyone exploiting them for their sperm? Get the fuck outta here.

    Seriously. Stay in your fucking lane and stop trying to advocate for women not to have any rights over their own body.

  • Women are people

    You are such a fucking phony. I guess that makes men, desperate for money, who jerk off into a cup for profit are exploited too eh?

    How about women who make $10,000 a month donating their eggs?

    Stop watching Law and order, lady.
    Again, the CSI version of women being held hostage to be surrogates is the fantasy. I’m sure it happens occasionally, just like some people exploit their farm hands.

    The rare occasion is not reason to ban it for everyone under the guise of protecting them.

    Where women are compensated

  • Women are people

    More unsubstantiated claims instead of demonstrating your claim that time doesn’t exist without time.
    You are establishing a pattern here.

  • Read Summa Theoligicae, this was all settled science by 1300 AD. That is why I say you are not smart enough to be a real atheist, you do not even have a basic education necessary to support ypur skepticism.

  • Women are people

    This happens with couples that have their own babies. They abandon them for being defective. To a system (adoption) that turns around and a makes a substantial profit off it.

    You should be fighting to outlaw adoption as literal human trafficking. There, the child is being bought based on supply and demand.

    With surrogacy, the child isn’t being bought. It’s belongs to the couple that conceived it. The woman is being paid for her efforts and literal labor.

    Oops, in addition to adoption being banned, because that exploits women to “give the gift of life” to an infertile couple through adoption.

    Oops I guess egg donation must also be banned. So should sperm donation.

    So should any unsavory labor that someone is only doing because they need money; like sewage or janitorial cleanup.

    Preventing people from making an income only hurts them, sweetheart. If I loved being pregnant, which I absolutely hated and didn’t want to do anymore, I would absolutely surrogate for someone else. Why should you get to decide what I do with my body?

  • Women are people

    Redirecting me to someone else’s words instead of defending your argument is really disappointing – albeit unsurprising.

    Basically, you have no idea how time needs a god. You just regurgitated the talking point without any understanding, which is why you keep accusing me of being stupid. That is called projection. You actually are feeling dumb that you don’t understand the talking point, and so you project and call others stupid instead of knuckling under to try to understand it yourself. It’s rather obvious when you call others stupid, without having any knowledge of what they know, is just you calling yourself stupid since you are the only one you actually know.

  • Women are people

    Money can wreck families, yes. That’s not reason enough to ban something. More families are wrecked by uneven inheritance…shall we ban the ability to pass money to your children in the event of your death because some families are ruined?

  • If you don’t understand the basics, why would you ever understand the geometric evidence for God?
    Time needs a God because every event needs a cause. Time is an event, so it needs a cause.
    I’m sure you didn’t understand that argument, so that’s why I am sending you to Summa Theologiae, to learn the basics of the science of theology. You claim you’ll believe when you see the evidence- but the evidence has been in existence for more than 750 years. Therefore, I must assume that you are so ignorant that you don’t know the evidence, and need to go back to school.

  • Women are people

    Ya know, it’s a little funny how the very thing you claim you want to avoid (exploitation of women), is the very thing your “solutions” increase.

    Countries the legalize prostitution, and regulate it, have a decrease of exploitation as well as fewer STIs.

    Same with recreational drugs. Countries that decriminalize it’s usage have less crime (like theft)

    Also, and this may shock you, but countries that have the easiest access to abortion (like your prized Sweden) also have the lowest rates of abortion. Turns out countries that embrace women’s choices also seem to embrace birth control and sex education – the only way to actually reduce abortion rates. But yet, here are women like you, who insist that the state needs to meddle in very personal medical decisions, while ignoring that your actions have the opposite effect of what you claim to care about.

  • Women are people

    If every event needs a cause, your god also needs a cause.
    Otherwise, you are just engaging in fallacious special pleading.

    So sorry, you still have failed to demonstrate why time needs a god. Stop blaming me because YOU can’t demonstrate it.

  • Women are people

    Geometric evidence? Such as? You keep throwing out buzz words, like probability (I already explained why probability doesn’t demonstrate a god), as well as a list of other things, yet in 10 comments now, you took the time to insult me rather than address your claims.

    Address them or admit you can’t demonstrate it.

  • Unless of course the Big Bang exists.

    Like I said, you’re not informed enough, not smart enough, to understand the evidence. AND you refuse to, as I said before, go read Summa Theologicae and bring yourself up to speed on basic theological science.

    It’s like a child arguing that 2+2=5 and then refusing to take any mathematics.

  • That is because you don’t understand the basics of theological science.

    And no you didn’t, because you don’t understand the basic mathematics of theology.

    You’re just being an idiot even trying to reply on a topic that you don’t have the philosophical basis of understanding. And you refuse to go out and do the basic education you need to understand.

  • And because I can’t demonstrate nuclear fusion in a comment, I suppose it doesn’t exist.

    You refuse to even do the basic education necessary for this conversation. We’re done, and you’ve proven that your skepticism defeats all evidence.

  • Women are people

    And yet you STILL refuse to demonstrate it. In the 11 comments, you could have demonstrated your claim instead of insulting my intelligence, which, I might add, is yet another unsubstantiated claim since you have no knowledge of my education, or my intellectual fortitude.

    Try less insulting, and more substantiating. Unless of course, you can’t, otherwise you would have done so already.

    Bottom line: you can’t substantiate your bullshit claims and can do nothing more than regurgitate talking points and buzz words without any real understanding of them. It would be pathetic, if it wasn’t so comical. Thanks for the chuckle.

  • Women are people

    Now it’s nuclear fusion that proves god? What does that have to do with probability? That’s the only one I even asked you to start with, yet you can’t even demonstate how basic probabilities work as a proof for god.

    Buzz words in faux sophistry is all you have. Pathetic.

  • Women are people

    Mathematics of theology? Sorry. There is no such thing.

  • Women are people

    You refuse to substantiate your claims. Substantiate them or stop making up bullshit.

  • Women are people

    The basics the basics the basics is all you keep saying without being able to remotely describe the basics.

    The hallmark of understanding is being able to take a complex subject and explain it to a “layman”. So you, with your vast knowledge, should be able to explain it to me rather easily.

    Go. I’m waiting to be dazzled with your knowledge.

  • Women are people

    Nuclear fusion does exist. It’s a strawman to say that because you can’t demonstrate it, it doesn’t exist.

    I’m not asking you to demonstrate that the concept exists. I’m asking you to demonstrate how the concept demonstrates your god.

    So light your own strawmen on fire, I’m not interested in your fallacious arguments.

    Demonstrate how basic probability demonstrates your god. If it’s so basic, this should be easy for you to accomplish.

    But since you clearly can’t demonstrate your claims, they are rightfully dismissed. You lose. Thanks for playing.

  • Women are people

    Respect is earned. Honor is earned. Your god has done neither.

  • Ame
  • Women are people

    I’m not refusing to see it. You still haven’t demonstrated your claim. Posting a bunch of other people’s opinions isn’t an adequate demonstration.

    I’m sure people have opinions that IVF is commercializing people. That is just an opinion and doesn’t comport with the facts.

  • Ame

    There are women who “embrace” their sexuality by consenting to sell their bodies for sex (the handful who get to parade is a faux show of female power that dupes the world from seeing the millions of poor and marginalized women who are subjugated to to the sex slavery industry that is fueled by legal porn).

    But by your logic we should sit down and shut up and mind our own business when a woman (Stormy Daniels) later regrets that decision enough to stand up to corrupt and powerful men (Trump) to expose the truth.

    Please go on, tell the women marchers to go home. Exploitation of women is apparently okay as long as the advertisement shows happy, consenting, equally privileged white faces and money is thrown at it.

  • Ame

    You refuse to see what has been investigated and argued. You refuse to hear and consider voices other than your own.

  • Ame

    Bourgeois academia feminism just loves to virtue signal about intersectionality and lifting up the voices of women of color and talk as nauseum about unity among women….but when it comes down to it, you declare anathema any woman who does not tow the line, that doesn’t make abortion/reproductive choice the capstone of feminism, nevermind that poor, marginalized, and women of color may actually have different experiences, perspectives, and concerns than your own. Nevermind if reproductive choice movement has a history of racism and eugenics behind its curtain. Nevermind that 40 – 70% of black women have their choices reduced to abortion because white feminism keeps selling them that solution to their poverty and institutional racism or even go as far as to imply that their lives are not worth living. Don’t dare to wonder how could any woman would become skeptical of prochoice feminism and come to desire other choices that do not pit them against the future generations of their people. Prolife women who spend their lives ending discrimination in colleges and the workplace and fight for laws that give aid and protection to women are literally kicked out of the conversation. Only women of color who submit to white privilege feminism on abortion are allowed to be represented. White feminists happily chastise others about racism but refuse to confront their own. No wonder the March for Women movement is falling apart.

    This is what it’s like to be a pro-life feminists woman of color, with all the paternalism and deaf ears and treatment we get that we’re just angry, divisive women-hater women who are too ignorant to represent themselves. Make way for the white saviour feminists:

    https://youtu.be/6eltYwqiBJc

    And you know what, apparently such racism is funny:
    https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/jewelry-party/2755299

  • Ame

    Of course adoption for profit and human trafficking is wrong. That is why we have the government get involved in adoption laws that even regulate private organisations. If you do not work with an organisation that complies with the law, then you’re a criminal and need to face justice. The US is way behind in enforcing those laws and attacking illegal adoption mills. Most people are still blind to the myriad of ways human trafficking is happening in their own neighbourhoods, especially in domestic servant slavery and sex slavery in some hotels that surround sporting events. But don’t forget the exploitation involved in surrogacy.

  • Women are people

    Oh shut up about porn. It, like any other industry, can be the target of exploitation but is not, in of itself, the causation of exploitation.

    Good god.

    You need to stop pretending that you are a feminist. A feminist doesn’t engage in a totalitarian mindset that eliminates any option from women except the ones they agree with.

    Either you support bodily autonomy or you don’t. Either you trust women to make their own damn decisions about their bodies, even if you disagree with those decisions or you don’t. There is no two ways about it.

    If a woman wants to sell her body for sex, it’s her body. As long as she isn’t being forced into doing so – not my business.

    You seem to think your opinion,and others that share your opinion, means it’s right, true, or demonstrated.

  • Women are people

    There is no exploitation involved in surrogacy. You keep saying this without demonstrating anything

  • Women are people

    Don’t you wonder why women still choose abortion? Why women of color utilize it more than any other demographic? Because poverty and abortion goes hand in hand. Because the sure fire way to ensure that women of color keep staying impoverished, is to browbeat them into having more children than they want or can afford.

    You claim to support black women, yet you infantile them as if their decision to terminate is the wrong one. That they are somehow victims that lack any agency for themselves.

    Women, especially black women, are more than capable of making their own reproductive decisions and fuck you for calling yourself a feminist by supporting measures that criminalize women’s choices about their own bodies and futures.

  • Women are people

    https://www.colorlines.com/articles/survey-black-women-overwhelmingly-support-roe-v-wade

    I can post opinions from black people as if that makes the argument valid too.

  • Ame

    In most states family law already has a built in preference for the biological mother. She is free to change her mind at any point. She is even free to abortion the child (There is not a shortage of couples who had done everything they could to help the mother that laws can allow only to lose the child to abortion…but that’s just the risk people who consider adoption have to take with humility. People have a right to decide to have a child or not but do not have a right to get a child at any cost.
    Adoption laws prohibit the sale of the child, fees can only go towards the legal process and medical care. Couples who do not comply with adoption law are criminals. Adoption agencies that do not comply are criminals. The biggest barriers to equity in the adoption world are the adoption mills that fly under the radar and biased judges who do rule in favor of privileged couples despite the law.

    Surrogacy laws largely leave aspects of the industry unregulated do not favor the rights of the woman, but the rights of couple, ESPECIALLY when the child in question is not biologically related to the surrogate. There are legal cases right now of couples demanding an abortion or “pregnancy reduction.” And some couples win for at least compensation in the breach of contract. Why? Because the child is the commodity, the fruit of the contract.

  • Women are people

    I think it’s adorable that you post a link chalked full of bias rhetoric, as if that makes it valid.

    From your public discourse link… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0564ca444588e3ba702247bf56d1af1832bd505dec5e19fb438e89bd8d323cd.png

    How about you stop feeding your bias and look into the actual peer reviewed studies to show me its explolitation. Because, frankly, it isn’t. You are the one refusing to see because you won’t look beyond your own echo chamber.

  • Women are people

    Also, Kathleen Sloan’s organization, NOW, for which she serves as a board of directors, has stated that her views do not reflect the views of the organization on surrogacy. That’s odd, isn’t it?

    Why would a feminist organization disavow her views? Hmmmm? Perhaps because anti- choice is anti-feminist.

  • Ame

    And once again. White bourgeois feminism silences voices. Congratulations.