Wednesday, October 8, 2008

THE FACES AND BODIES OF ABORTION

Democrats, stop kidding yourselves. Abortion is murder --not a difficult choice that a woman sadly makes. I'm not for criminalizing those who have done it, but we need to to stop doing it.

http://www.priestsforlife.org/resources/photosassorted/




"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

81 comments:

crusader09 said...

This has nothing to do with the content of the website, but I always find a bit of humor in the names of pro-life groups:

Students for Life (who really wants to be a student forever?)

Feminists for Life (well, I guess if you're that sure your political ideas won't change, then go for it)

Priests for Life (isn't that the idea, you're entering the priesthood for the rest of your life?)

And I'm sure that I am the only one who thinks its funny enough to mention.

Don said...

If you really believe abortion is "murder," then why should there not be criminal penalties for abortion, as there are for any other murder?

Or are you simply saying that PAST abortions should not be punished, but future ones should?

Barb said...

Hi Don
After seeing the photos, what do YOU think abortion is? Looks like atrocity and death to me.

I think we should make it illegal again, recognizing the humanity and right to life of the fetus. I think we should prosecute by the new law, the abortionists in particular. I'm not sure what should be done with a woman who solicits abortion on herself. What did we do before Roe? There just weren't that many abortions compared to now and there weren't that many unwed, thus unwanted, pregnancies.

Chastity and birth control are the ways to avoid abortion. Women have choice before they hop in the sack.

If they don't, as in rape, that's another matter, where I am not opposed to a D & C or starting the period or whatever is involved in the hospital rape kit to prevent pregnancy immediately after a rape. I would tell girls to go straight to the hospital if raped --for several reasons.

Barb said...

Students for Life --never thought of it like that! We ARE students for life, aren't we???

Don said...

"I'm not sure what should be done with a woman who solicits abortion on herself."

Well, that's my point. If you believe abortion is "murder," then the answer is simple. A woman who seeks out an abortion is guilty of either aiding and abetting a murder, or at a minimum, conspiracy to murder. In our criminal law system, she would be as guilty as the person carrying out the abortion.

If you are not willing to go that far with the punishment, then maybe on some level you realize that abortion (at least in some circumstances) is something LESS than murder.

Barb said...

I'm more interested in knowing what we did with women who were caught having an illegal abortion before Roe vs. Wade. Democrats think they all died by the millions, of course, but a study of death records and cemetaries did not provide evidence of so many young women dying.

IT used to be against the law --and no respectable doctors did it then --or today, for that matter.

If you make abortion unavailable, more women will either be chaste or use birth control.

I guess we can send the others to jail. The law-abiding will find other options than abortion--as they used to.

crusader09 said...

Don, I think your position on this doesn't make sense, and here is why:

Passing legislation to outlaw abortion would not be a retroactive action. To say that as of today, for instance, anyone who solicits or performs an abortion is committing a crime is not to say that those who have already done these things were doing something illegal, as it was not illegal at the time. So, your concern isn't really concerning at all :)

Furthermore, sentencing guidelines could and would have to be established after this kind of legislation. Maybe it would be jail time for the doctor, or suspension/revocation of their medical license. For the woman who solicited it, it might be mandatory commitment to a mental health facility where she could be counseled and cared for. Maybe that would be weird, now that I've typed it, but maybe she would need jail time. I don't know, that would be up to the law and the legal system. It would not necessarily be called "murder," as a legal term, it would be whatever the legislature called it and made it to be. I bet the language "terminate a pregnancy" would be used rather than "murder." It could be a felony or a misdemeanor, that would all be written into the law.

I think that, more importantly than outlawing abortion, is the need for more resources to be available to young women in this position. Sure, the resources are out there, but are any of them as prominently promoted as Planned Parenthood? Nope.

Abstinence first education is vitally important, but I believe that the damage to my generation's ideas of sex has been done and is irreversible. Hopefully, and I pray that this is the case, there has not been the damage to my generation's children and we can change things and turn it around.

Women and children have been de-valued here. Married or unmarried parents, a baby is always a blessing. The end. The circumstances surrounding their entrance into the world might be less than ideal, but the baby him or herself is not to blame for that. Women have been taught that they don't have anymore than they can give, and if they want to be of worth to a man, they'll give him sex. That's sick. And then, though they are expected to have sex with men, they are taught to be ashamed when a baby (almost inevitably) arises out of the situation. Even sicker.

Those things are the real root of the problem that has come to a head with the ruling in Roe v. Wade. I don't think its necessary to arrest the women who have had abortions before, but if its made illegal, then there will be consequences for those actions.

Don said...

"Don, I think your position on this doesn't make sense...your concern isn't really concerning at all..."

C09, I have set out no "position" on the issue. I'm simply asking Barb a question about HER stated position. And, having read what appears to be your position, I'll ask you the same question:

If abortion is a crime, on your view, why should the woman seeking the abortion be punished any less than the doctor performing the abortion? Why punish the hitman, and yet show mercy for the person who HIRED the hitman?

Don said...

C'mon Barb,

You are sidestepping a very interesting question. Here it is again:

If you believe abortion is "murder," then the issue of punishment is simple. A woman who seeks out an abortion is guilty of either aiding and abetting a murder, or at a minimum, conspiracy to murder. In our criminal law system, she would be as guilty as the person carrying out the abortion. If abortion is "murder," you should not hesitate to support such a system of sanctions.

If you are not willing to go that far, maybe that is cause for reflection. WHY aren't you willing to go that far? Maybe labeling ALL abortion "murder" is hyperbole.

matthew said...

Everyone here is debating what the civil authority should do if abortion is ever made illegal.

The answer seems obvious to me but it's really not even the important question. Of course neither the doctors nor the mothers would be guilty of murder on the civil level for murders committed before this particular type of murder was outlawed. Just look at any other laws that are changed over time. Tax law, for instance. Credit card interest used to be tax deductible but is not currently. Can the IRS go back and collect taxes that were deducted legally twenty years ago? Of course not.

The question, though, should not be whether a mother who had an abortion is guilty before the civil authority but rather whether she is guilty before God.

She is guilty of murder before God and should turn to His Son for forgiveness. Our courts do not have the ultimate authority over her; God does. But God will forgive her if she turns to Him in faith. That's the only hope any of us have.

steve said...

I totally agree with Mathew, abortioin is a moral issue that should be debated in the church. It shouldn't be a policy / political / legal issue because of such wide oppinion on the dopic (Democracy rears it's ugly head). I respect everyones oppinion from a moral standpoint, but you can't craft public policy based on these narrow moral oppinions that only favor a small minority of citizen's views. That's why I feel a politically charged push toward ecumenical (sp?) activism only hurts the church in the long run.

kateb said...

I won't sidestep. Abortion is premeditated murder.

As for pro-choice, if you are over the age of consent, living in America the land of public sex education and county health departments - and you were NOT RAPED...you made your choice.

To say that you are willing to end another human life because you don't like the consequence (which you knew may happen) is the act of an animal.

Like Christ - I believe that people should be responsible for their own actions. He never passed laws or mandated that people not sin. I feel that unrepentant physicians and mothers will be dealt with very harshly on the last day. Very harshly indeed.

African women are frequent targets of rape. In Darfur, for example - the janjaweed rape women who try to get to a water supply. The men don't go with them because they are not raped - they are killed. A woman who is raped by janjaweed military is either killed in an honor killing or discarded by her husband. This is how aids is spreading in that area.

To withhold any humanitarian aid is unconscionable in an area where people are suffering in this manner.

matthew said...

Steve,

I must not have written clearly if you think you and I agree.

I think that all abortion is murder and we should have laws defending unborn humans and laws prosecuting everyone involved in their murders.

I was saying that it wouldn't make any sense at all to prosecute someone after abortion is outlawed for a murder that was sanctioned at the time by the state.

My other point was that even if they are not liable to the state, they will be liable to their Creator.

So I don't mean to diminish the consequences of these murders. I mean to say that we should hold them accountable in this life but, if we don't, God will hold them accountable in the life to come.

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Don said...

"I won't sidestep. Abortion is premeditated murder."

Okay, but that is a sidestep.

My question is not whether or not abortion is "murder." Nor am I asking what the religious, otherworldly implications of having an abortion may be.

Rather, I am asking a simple question about criminal law. If we assume that all abortion is "murder," then does it not follow that women who seek an abortion are guilty of murder, and should therefore be punished in the same way we punish other murderers?

Furthermore, why should it matter if the unborn is a product of rape? Is the "murder victim" any less innocent in those circumstances?

Don said...

Hey, allright! Matthew answered my question:

"I think that all abortion is murder and we should have laws defending unborn humans and laws prosecuting everyone involved in their murders."

A few follow-up questions for Matthew:

1. Is abortion ever justified if the pregnancy resulted from non-consensual sex? If your answer is "yes," then why is such an abortion NOT murder? Is an unborn equally innocent, whether or not a woman consents to the act of conception?

2. Can endangering the unborn ever qualify as murder? For example, what if a woman drinks during pregnancy, and a miscarriage results? Murder?

3. Would you support laws criminalizing conduct during pregnancy with well-documented detrimental effects on the unborn? Smoking? Drinking? Poor diet?

4. Can you imagine a hypothetical where a woman is criminally culpable for a miscarriage resulting from her decision to stay with a physically abusive mate? Would you support a law placing a legal duty on pregnant women to remove themselves from physically violent domestic situations? Should failure to fulfill such a duty carry criminal penalties, particularly where death of an unborn results?

Antipelagian said...

Follow up questions for Don:

1)Does a child have a right to live if the occasion of his implanting into his mother's uterus was the result of non-consensual sex? If your answer is "no," then why not abort every child that is the product of rape?

2)Can endangering the life of anyone qualify as murder? For example, what if a woman drinks to the point of inebriation then gets into a car accident resulting in the death of another except for herself? Is this murder?

3)Would you support laws criminalizing the operation of motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs since there are well documented relationships between impairment and car accidents?

4)Can you imagine a hypothetical where a woman is criminally culpable for the deaths of her toddlers resulting from her decision to stay with a physically abusive mate?

5)Seeing that there are any number of ways people can die...and certainly will die, do I have the right to purposefully take another person's life?

kateb said...

Don it surely is not a side step when you altered your question after a direct answer. A maneuver I often see politicians use.

However I will answer your second question just as directly.

Legally the laws very all over the country. And that is a fact that I have little to no control over. In fact, Jesus himself I do not believe would approve legislative control over a purely moral question. But if that sort of pass time interests you - again that's out of the scope of my control.

I answered you with a Biblical reply. Abortion is surely murder and Jesus said, as quoted by Matthew in the 19th chapter and 14 verse:"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for it is to those who are childlike that the Kingdom of the Heavens belongs."

He also said, as quoted by Mother Theresa at a breakfast in 1994 where she begged that people stop murdering unborn children, Jesus said to the people, ""Whatever you neglected to do unto one of the least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"

These are the words of Christ himself. If you are having a dialogue that is counter to these teachings, maybe you should stop and ask yourself why you would set yourself against the word of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Barb said...

Don --yes, there should be prosecution for women who seek abortion, soliciting an abortionist (same as seeking a hit man for her husband)

And well publicized help for rape victims, encouragement to go straight to the ER if raped.

The penalties should be WELL KNOWN TO ALL once the law goes back to what it used to be --abortion as illegal --so no young lady could say she didn't know.

ALL the alternatives to abortion should be known--there should be plenty of compassion and help for people who didn't want to get pregnant--and plenty of knowledge about how to avoid pregnancy --starting with teaching abstinence until marriage. And many encouragements to adopt out --to marry --but not huge cash settlements from gov't -- We don't want to once again make a cottage industry out of teen age girls and their complicit mothers and grandmothers making babies on purpose for cash.

There should be help for the late teen couples who are willing to marry and raise the child --help with the healthcare costs through Medicaid and Hill Burton funds and charity resources. Help from their parents who shouldn't cut them off for school aid, e.g., because of marriage.

All those adopting out should have all their medical expense covered by those adopting.

Knowledge of contraception? and availability --as through planned Parenthood--FINE --just don't be condoning of premarital sex in any sex ed program. The Boston sex educators lead in this sort of evil --having a big conference now and then to show how to teach teens to have sex play, sex fun --with reduced risk --dental dams for oral activities, e.g. And various methods of mutual masturbation. FOR GOODNESS SAKE --THIS IS CRAZY. We want none of this in our schools. But that's a liberal's idea of sex ed.

Instead we need to teach chastity as a virtue --as an advantage in life --as superior to promiscuity --and as possible.

We don't need to go back to The Scarlet Letter days when women paid and men didn't for pre-marital sex and pregnancy --we need to hold the boys accountable when they make someone pregnant. And teach them BEFORE they are sexually active that they will harm their economic future if they make babies with many women --therefore, if you don't have self-control, use a condom.

And parents need to chaperone, chaperone, chaperone. Teach character early --and chastity and self control as two of those character traits.

Try to control the exposure to temptation and harm in the neighborhood --and encourage all homes to be closed to other people's children if there are no adult chaperones at home. It is easier to raise kids in a neighborhood that doesn't have other children. I never knew what to expect when these little boys invited my little girls to go to their house and play. When they told me the teen age brother wanted the girls to sit on his lap, I decided their little friends would come to OUR house to play.

kateb said...

Interesting you mentioned the Scarlet Letter, Barb. We really have a version of this going on today.

A man can get a woman pregnant, make any promises of support etc. and then just walk away. If the girl has the child, if she's willing to go through a lengthy and embarrassing process she can force child support if the father is willing to work.

But the largest similarity is the shame. A pregnant girl is taught through the advocacy of abortion that her unborn child is not worthy of being born. And that's a moral lesson society wants our young girls to believe. That their offspring are not of value.

Rather we should teach them to wait until marriage, until after the contract has been made. To demand respect for themselves and their unborn children.

And people have to be willing to adopt children if they advocate against abortion. That's the other half of this equation. It's easy to talk the talk....

Don said...

Hi, Antepelagian

I'm not sure how these are "follow-up" questions. I must have missed the part of the conversation where you asked me a question and I responded. Absent such an exchange, what are you "following up" from?

But, in the spirit of free discourse, I'll do my best to answer your mostly off-point inquiries.

1)Does a child have a right to live if the occasion of his implanting into his mother's uterus was the result of non-consensual sex?

Maybe. How far into pregnancy are we talking here, because I think that is relevant. If the woman wants to terminate the pregnancy immediately upon learning she has been impregnated by her rapist, I would argue that the woman's liberty interest should prevail. But, what if the woman, fully aware of the pregnancy, waits until the third trimester, and decides then she wants to abort the pregnancy? In those circumstances, I'd say that the child's right to life outweighs the woman's liberty interest, because the child has reached the point of viability, and the woman has no valid excuse for seeking an abortion so late in the pregnancy.

"If your answer is "no," then why not abort every child that is the product of rape?"

I don't follow the logic of your question. Even if one believes that a child begotten of rape has no right to life (and I do not believe that), in no way would it follow from that proposition that all pregnancies resulting from rape should be aborted. If a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, she may not WANT to terminate the pregnancy. I see no reason to deprive a woman of the opportunity to make this decision.

"2)Can endangering the life of anyone qualify as murder?"

I don't see how mere "endangerment" qualifies as murder. By definition, murder requires a death.

Your hypothetical, however, is a bit different. Reckless conduct resulting in death or injury to another often gives rise to both civil and criminal liability. The law recognizes reckless homicide and "depraved heart" murder. That seems like sensible public policy. My question is, should such provisions apply to pregnant mothers vis-a-vis their unborn? If so, to what extent? That's something to think about.

"3)Would you support laws criminalizing the operation of motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs since there are well documented relationships between impairment and car accidents?"

Yes.

"4)Can you imagine a hypothetical where a woman is criminally culpable for the deaths of her toddlers resulting from her decision to stay with a physically abusive mate?"

Sure. Depends on the facts. What was the magnitude of risk to the children? Was serious injury or death reasonably foreseeable? What practical options did the woman have to escape the abusive environment?

"5)Seeing that there are any number of ways people can die...and certainly will die, do I have the right to purposefully take another person's life?"

Again, the logical structure of your question eludes me. True, it is a fact that humans are mortal, and death occurs due to a wide variety of causes. I'm not sure how those facts add up to a right to take another person's life.

There are other circumstances in which you might have the right to purposefully take the life of another. Self-defense, for example. Soldiers in combat are expected to intentionally take the lives of others. State agents carrying out a death warrant also intentionally take life.

Don said...

"Don it surely is not a side step when you altered your question after a direct answer."

LOL...Kateb, in all seriousness, I think I've really been asking the same question all along. We're not connecting because I want to rap about criminal law, and you want to rap about the New Testament. We're talking past each other.

Matthew got right down to business, and staked out a firm position -- abortion is premeditated murder; women who seek abortions are as guilty as the medical personnel involved; and all should be punished as other murderers are. Is anyone else willing to go that far?

Don said...

Barb and Kateb,

A few points of agreement:

Our society must do more to hold men accountable for the children they produce.

More should be done to encouraging adoption as an alternative to abortion.

Our society must be willing to reach out and help young women who unexpectedly find themselves pregnant.

We need to do away with Scarlet Letter-style social stigma associated with unmarried pregnancy.

To the greatest extent possible, we should try to convince young adults to save sex, if not for marriage, at least for some sort of committed monogamous relationship.

A point of disagreement:

Barb, forgive me for questioning your beliefs, but there is nothing "crazy" about mutual masturbation. Or solo masturbation, for that matter.

I hope.

Antipelagian said...

Don,

I was "following up" as an exercise...mostly of showing how your questions had no bearing on the issue of abortion or rested upon unargued bias...upon reflection, some of my questions were misplaced, so I'll respond to a couple of your answers:

Maybe. How far into pregnancy are we talking here, because I think that is relevant.

Yep...you're simply functioning off of an unargued bias...primarily that the unborn child is *not* a child.

I don't follow the logic of your question. Even if one believes that a child begotten of rape has no right to life (and I do not believe that), in no way would it follow from that proposition that all pregnancies resulting from rape should be aborted.

I only brought this up to point out that the fact the woman was raped really has no bearing on the child's right to live...remember, you seem to think rape provides a weighty reason to murder the unborn. So, from your own assumption, how does it follow that an instance of rape makes abortion "more" of a viable option?

I see no reason to deprive a woman of the opportunity to make this decision.

Again, this follows from your unargued bias that an unborn child is not warranted rights until arbitrarily deemed viable. If you can make a non arbitrary case, then your circular argument will carry some weight.

I don't see how mere "endangerment" qualifies as murder. By definition, murder requires a death.

If you don't see how mere endangerment qualifies as murder, then why should I when it comes to a woman abusing drugs or drinking alcohol while pregnant? It would come down to intent, however...some do induce abortions through drugs and also with herbal "remedies"...that would be premeditated murder. A child dying as a result of drug abuse or alcoholism would likely be a charge of manslaughter or criminally negligent, in my opinion.

But again, your question was related to "mere endangerment"...if someone did not intend to kill, the clearly this is not a case of murder...so this question of yours was immaterial to the subject...you realized that when I asked you.

Again, the logical structure of your question eludes me. True, it is a fact that humans are mortal, and death occurs due to a wide variety of causes. I'm not sure how those facts add up to a right to take another person's life.


I was mostly seeing how you'd respond here...my own personal reasons ;)

By what standard do *you* measure right and wrong? That's really what we're talking about here.

kateb said...

I will also agree with that position Don.

Where I draw a difference from many is that I don't believe salvation can be legislated. And I think that acts such as these will be decided on the last day.

If I had my wish there would be NO legislation regarding abortion. Women would be encouraged to be chaste and to value their sexuality and their children. Men who violated a woman's trust would be incarcerated like the animals that they are. Just like any other predator. Of things that are valued, that is.

Antipelagian said...

Oh yeah, Don asked:
Is anyone else willing to go that far?

I would.

Don said...

"...your questions had no bearing on the issue of abortion or rested upon unargued bias..."

Well, I think you have misinterpreted my intentions. My interest here is to explore an idea, specifically, the notion that all abortion is per se "murder." What I am suggesting is, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that all abortion IS murder. What are the logical consequences of that assumption, and if we are consistent in applying the principle to public policy, what would the resulting legal framework look like?

On my view, such a discussion is much more interesting with a group of people who strongly assert the "abortion is murder" position. Are people who hold this view willing to actually punish as murderers women who seek abortions? As an extension of that inquiry, if the unborn have full human status from conception onward, what other laws should be put in place for their protection, in addition to laws forbidding abortion?

I was intrigued by the diversity of responses. Matthew set out a firm position that abortion is murder, and woman and doctor are equally culpable, deserving criminal punishment. Barb started by laying criminal culpability on the doctor, and said she "didn't know" how the woman should be dealt with. Barb later firmed up her position to include criminal liability for both woman and doctor (I'd be interested to hear more about Barb's thought here). Keteb expressed a preference for employing religious values and persuasion as a means to avoid abortions.

Say what you will, but I think it is an interesting exercise to explore the outer bounds of an idea.

Don said...

"Don asked:

Is anyone else willing to go that far?

I would."

Okay, next step. Would you support a law imposing the death penalty on any person participating in or offering material support to termination of a pregnancy?

Antipelagian said...

Don said:
Well, I think you have misinterpreted my intentions.

I understand what your initial intention was...but your follow up questions went deeper than merely exploring the consistency of those that are anti-abortion...you seem to have in your mind what would be more consistent for people like myself...and I actually agree with you on some of that consistency...but questions 2-4 that you raised showed a bit of your legs when it comes to your assumptions.

If I'm going to have to show my deck of cards, you gotta show a little more leg ;)

I will answer your question, though, and ask that you answer my question:

Okay, next step. Would you support a law imposing the death penalty on any person participating in or offering material support to termination of a pregnancy?

I would support the death penalty for any person who knowingly and willingly gives support in the murder of an unborn child.

My question:
By what standard are you deciding right from wrong?

Barb said...

This is getting over my head --takes more time than i have tonight -- MY, you all are so intellectual!

HOWEVER, DON, my point about dental dams and mutual masturbation was the fact that sex educators in Boston want to teach what they consider "fun ways" for teens to explore their sexuality without risk.

THAT'S what is crazy. People in bed together don't have a lot of self-control and mental wherewithal to stay within boundaries. Girls are lucky if the guys will wear condoms --which is the only protection from disease --and not a really good protection from either disease or pregnancy. Does your daughter KNOW that he'll use that condom as promised??? or use it correctly? Or will it be old and holey? Does she know how many people he's been with and what diseases he has?

Better to stay out of bed, Daughters --until marriage.

that's what we need to teach--respect yourself and your future enough to say no to the men.

WOMEN, UNITE! IF ALL THE WOMEN ARE CHASTE, THE MEN WILL MARRY US! THEY WON'T HAVE ANY OTHER OPTIONS BUT TO CHOOSE WIVES AND SETTLE DOWN --IF THEY WANT ANY SEX. WOMEN NEED TO START A MOVEMENT!

ShitStirrer said...

Antilope,

"I would support the death penalty for any person ... blah blah blah"

In other words you are a murderer yourself. Right along with your Christian precepts of love and forgiveness, presumably.

Barb said...

SS and others: Once we really define abortion as the deliberate murder of the innocent, then manslaughter penalties, at least, should apply.

We need to see, once again, as we used to, the humanity of the fetus. Look at the pictures on my link.

EVERYBODY needs to see such pictures --then only the calloused who deserve penalty will be aborting.

EVERYBODY needs to know what penalties are for crimes. In Toledo schools they are stressing more to the kids, starting in Jr. High? I think, what the penalties are for various crimes --because kids need to be afraid of those penalties --and thus, afraid to get into gangs doing crime and then time.

So it is with sex --guys need to know what's at stake if they impregnate a girl --and girls need to know what's at stake when they get into bed with a guy--and what's at stake if they choose abortion.

The abortion choice is a dead end.

If we know abortion is a crime --and we do it anyway, we'll do the time. It's not worth it. have the baby!

Again, I'd tell all girls that if they are raped, go to the hospital for the rape kit IMMEDIATELY. The womb will be cleansed and evidence taken for the police. No pregnancy.

Barb said...

Christian involvement with young people, Biblical teaching--that's the best thing we can do to deter premarital sex (at least delay it), and any desire for abortion.

Parents do need to tell a girl --when she learns how babies are made --that if she ever DOES get pregnant before the wedding, the parents would not want her to abort. That they will always love her. That she can get married when she thinks she can't wait any longer to have sex. And they should slow down the intimacy time table for their dating kids as long as they can by not letting them have unlimited access to the opposite sex.

That usually happens in college --and that's when a lot of abortions happen, i bet. It's important that parents encourage marriage over sleeping around and taking chances that Romeo will marry you--leading some girls to go from one relationship to another --in search of permanency. Too often, the guys in college are just users. But more and more, our girls think that the wild image is what will attract true love. (look at Myspace, e.g.) I hope the girls haven't really gotten as hard and cynical as they look --I hope they still want true love and marriage.

Don said...

"By what standard are you deciding right from wrong?"

I've thought about this, and frankly, I don't know what you are asking me.

Do you want me to set forth my own ethical methodology on the question of abortion, or are you asking me to present some unified ethical theory which is the basis for all of my decision-making? I don't know that there is some single "standard" for "right and wrong." If you have formulated such a standard, you have one hell (sorry Barb) of an important philosophy paper to write.

So far, you've accused me of "bias" and presenting "circular" arguments. I don't know what to say. I've made a deliberate effort here to avoid judging the views of others, and avoid presenting my own views. These abortion discussions almost invariably end up devolving into judgment and name calling. I thought I'd mix things up a bit by playing the role of interlocutor, and let others expand on their views. Isn't that more interesting and useful than another run-of-the-mill liberal v. conservative thread on abortion?

Don said...

"DON, my point about dental dams and mutual masturbation was..."

I understood your meaning, I was just being a jackass.

Your point is well taken. Once a couple gets to the point of mutual masturbation, they won't be satisfied with that for long. I don't believe in "gateway drugs," but I sure do believe in gateway sex-play.

Antipelagian said...

Don,

I don't think the discussion has devolved at all...I realize you want to be objective, but questions 2-4 exposed a bit of where you are coming from. No one is objective in a certain sense.

When I say you're employing circular reasoning, I'm not insulting you...sorry if it came across that way.

When I ask you by what standard you are judging right and wrong, I am asking you to give me *something* that would resemble a consistent approach to ethics.

You may write a ton...or you could simply talk about your take on abortion a bit and do so consistently. So far, we know you at least think abortion is wrong during the 3rd trimester. It also seems you think rape would provide a weighty reason for leaving abortion as an available option. How did you come to those sorts of conclusions?

When discussing abortion it is impossible to ignore the moral aspects of our worldviews.

Barb said...

When the abortion choice might seem "moral" to average folks --when the rape victim is young and innocent, your sweet daughter, and traumatized by the rape experience.

I've heard the reasoning that such a child might be "healed" through giving birth but I know that being pregnant and giving birth are no trips to Cedar Point --nothing a child's body should have to go through. At this point, I'm thinking the child should have a choice against the foreign invasion of the rapist.

And so I recommend that trip to the hospital immediately after a rape to wash out the foreign invasion ---to start the period or do the D & C or whatever it is they do. To right a wrong against the girl.

This is so rare and gives no justification to the wholesale abortion we have today killing 1.6 mullion children per year as a means of birth control for irresponsible actions.

Barb said...

We have such bad law today that a rapist would probably be given parental rights over his child.

I don't know that --but stranger things have happened in these United STates.

Barb said...

Crusader, are you coming to the Truth Project? HOpe so.

Don & wife welcome, also
Steve & wife

and all of you.

Don said...

"When I ask you by what standard you are judging right and wrong, I am asking you to give me *something* that would resemble a consistent approach to ethics."

Okay, and at some point are we going to see you do the same thing? Or does your requirement of setting forth some overarching ethical theory apply only to me?

In a nutshell, I think that the abortion issue involves a number of questions. First, at what point does human life begin? Or, phrased a bit differently, at what point does the unborn achieve "human" status? At what point do rights vest in the unborn? Are there other rights or values that come into conflict with the rights of the unborn, and are there circumstances in which competing rights or values override rights of the unborn?

Then, once one settles on a personal ethical position, there is an additional important question: To what extent should one impose one's ethical framework on others? For example, you have indicated support for a complete ban on abortion, and advocated the death penalty for those who violate the prohibition. In contrast, consider Kateb's reluctance to impose his views on others, despite his strong opposition to abortion.

For obvious reasons (specifically, I'd rather spend Friday night with my family), I cannot give a full treatment of the topic in this forum, but will offer a thumbnail sketch of my views.

A lot depends on where one draws the line between the biological precursors of human life and human life. I have no doubt this is a point where you and I will have a difference of opinion. On my view, our ethical obligations to the unborn begin once the capability of sentience develops. Beyond this point, I have a serious problem with abortion, absent a very compelling reason (probably only to save the life of the mother). On the other hand, I am much less troubled by abortion carried out in earlier pre-sentient stages of development.

Hence, I am very troubled by late-term abortion. At that stage, there is no question that a sentient human being is present. By contrast, I have little or no ethical concern if a woman takes a "morning after" pill, defeating the implantation of a fertilized egg. I have no reason to believe that a fertilized egg, or subsequent early stage of development, possess any capacity to experience anything. So, there is little doubt in my mind that the liberty interest of our hypothetical rape victim wins out, assuming she makes the decision to abort in the very early pre-sentient stages of development.

Antipelagian said...

Don
Okay, and at some point are we going to see you do the same thing? Or does your requirement of setting forth some overarching ethical theory apply only to me?


It applies to both of us ;) My standard is God's Word.

First, at what point does human life begin? Or, phrased a bit differently, at what point does the unborn achieve "human" status? At what point do rights vest in the unborn? Are there other rights or values that come into conflict with the rights of the unborn, and are there circumstances in which competing rights or values override rights of the unborn?


"Rights" are not first things first...having a notion of rights assumes a framework for ethics already. You're discussing whether or not the unborn are human before you are even accounting for whether or not humans have rights.

On my view, our ethical obligations to the unborn begin once the capability of sentience develops.

Why sentience? How do you know when someone else is able to perceive or experience anything?

Further, how does one's ability to experience things have anything to do with a right to live?

Don said...

"My standard is God's Word."

LOL!!

How can I possibly compete with that??

Well, I'll try tomorrow sometime. If It's my own half-baked ethics against the word of God, maybe I'll benefit from some advantage on His day of rest.

Until then...

Barb said...

I just saw the first dvd of The Truth Project --I thought "ho hum" at first --and then it got REALLY meaningful with the Word of God --which Antipelagian considers his source for ethics, etc.

I think it's going to be an excellent experience for the people who come tomorrow night.

You should bring the missus, Don!

Crusader09 said...

On my view, our ethical obligations to the unborn begin once the capability of sentience develops.

Would it then be the case that if one murders a pregnant woman, it would no longer be considered two murders if the baby wasn't "sentient" yet?

Don said...

"Would it then be the case that if one murders a pregnant woman, it would no longer be considered two murders if the baby wasn't "sentient" yet?"

That depends on how the legislature of a particular jurisdiction defines "murder." Assuming, for the sake of argument, that we have no ethical obligation to pre-sentient unborn does not necessarily mean that the law cannot be written to offer protection to the unborn that exceeds our ethical obligations. Murder could be defined to include the intentional (or even reckless) termination of pregnancy absent the consent of the mother.

BTW, that is just an example off the top of my head, not an addition to the law I am advocating.

Don said...

Well, Antipelagian,

I've given this some thought. I've decided it would be a waste of everyone's time to further discuss my views on ethics. I cannot reasonably expect any ethical system of my own design to be superior to an ethical system set forth by God. Since you have access to the "Word of God," I eagerly await your explanation of what the "Word of God" is, and how the "Word of God" resolves the issues we've been discussing. I will then defer to God's position on the subject.

Barb said...

You really would find our DVD interesting, Don. Why don't you come?

It's on the subject of what is truth--and the Word of God --etc --and the presenter is excellent -

Antipelagian said...

Don,

I'm sorry you'd rather not discuss your own worldview.

It's kinda scary to find your own ethical assumptions are firmly planted in mid air. That's what happens when men elevate their wisdom above God Himself.

Typically the unbeliever is left relying on ethics being a products of:

1) Consensus.
2) Legislated by the State.
3) Dependent upon the individual.

Of course, none of those positions offer an actual standard that can be trusted.

Don said...

"It's kinda scary to find your own ethical assumptions are firmly planted in mid air. That's what happens when men elevate their wisdom above God Himself."

I agree entirely. I certainly do not want my ethical assumptions to be "planted in mid air," nor would I presume to "elevate [my] wisdom above God Himself." For precisely these reasons, I have suspended discussion of my views, and yield the floor to you.

Please, share your methodology. Consider me your pupil. Surely you are not so cruel a man that you would refuse to share such essential knowledge. Or, is the ethical system of which you speak something not easily taught to others?

Don said...

Barb, I appreciate the invite. However, if Antipalegian comes through for me, viewing the DVD will be superfluous.

Barb said...

The DVD series is good for anyone --even Antipelagian. Who might not have his mind changed by it in any way--but the series is very inspiring.

Antipelagian said...

I agree entirely. I certainly do not want my ethical assumptions to be "planted in mid air,"

Then would you mind sharing more of your worldview? I'm not trying to pick on you...I'm not an Ogre, or anything like that.

nor would I presume to "elevate [my] wisdom above God Himself." For precisely these reasons, I have suspended discussion of my views, and yield the floor to you.


But Don, you're simply shifting the whole discussion toward me when the whole point was to discuss *both* my views and your own. Who knows, maybe you'll change my mind.

My methodology comes by way of studying the Bible...using the historico-grammatical method. I believe God's Moral and Civil Law as revealed in the Old Testament are applicable to today in *principle*.

Or, is the ethical system of which you speak something not easily taught to others?

It's rather simple...though many would like to complicate it. It doesn't mean it's "easy" to come by all the time...but measuring things by "ease" is only relative to individuals, and is not a trustworthy measure. If God's Word is true, then it is true whether or not people can easily understand it.

I'm confident in your abilities though, Don...I see you're a student of law, and I'm an old man pushing the ripe old age of 30.

steve said...

This issue is kind of like the Israeli Palistinian issue, it's never going away. Unfortunately it's the 5000 Lb. elephant in the room that we as a nation need to come to grips with in order to restore unity to the nation. I think both sides need to comprimise a little. The left needs to come to terms with the idea that at some point there is a baby in the womb and to purposfully kill it is murder. The evangelicals need to be a little more open to the idea that maybe "life" in the context of person hood.. maybe there's some leeway as to when a fetus actually becomes a sentient being. Because you can throw out all the inferences you want, but the bible doesn't have an explicit verse saying life begins at conception. So I think as far as science and theology go, there is a lot of room for comprimise.

Don said...

"But Don, you're simply shifting the whole discussion toward me when the whole point was to discuss *both* my views and your own."

LOL...true, I am shifting the discussion towards you. However, I think the original direction of the thread was an exploration of a view other than my own, and then YOU shifted the discussion toward my views. Two can play at that game.

My most recent comments are certainly loaded with sarcasm, but don't mistake that for a lack of sincerity. I am genuinely curious to learn about the system of ethics you describe. And, if you are able to convince me that the "Word of God" is knowable and can function as the basis for an ethical system, I would have to seriously consider adopting that system.

The fact of the matter is, I do not have some overarching ethical theory that I apply to all circumstances. I am somewhat of an ethical skeptic. To put it simply, I think that terms such as "right" and "wrong" are probably undefinable -- when people use these terms, they refer only to personal value judgments.

So, short story, I don't really have a theory of ethics worth setting out to defend. Hence my efforts to playfully goad you into setting out yours.

So are you gonna pony up some "Word of God," or what?

Antipelagian said...

Don
LOL...true, I am shifting the discussion towards you. However, I think the original direction of the thread was an exploration of a view other than my own, and then YOU shifted the discussion toward my views. Two can play at that game.

I was bringing out your unargued assumptions that were loaded into your questions...there's no game.

The fact of the matter is, I do not have some overarching ethical theory that I apply to all circumstances. I am somewhat of an ethical skeptic.

Herein lies the real game...the Christian is forced to "prove" everything...the skeptic sits back, kicks his feet up on his desk not having to return the favor...his standard is taken forgranted.

This is the best game of all, Don. I think I'll join you. Please prove your case (which you claim you don't have). Meanwhile, I'm going to down some cheeze-whiz

And, if you are able to convince me that the "Word of God" is knowable and can function as the basis for an ethical system, I would have to seriously consider adopting that system.

I'm not sure your worldview would allow you to know anything...how can I prove anything when your worldview isn't likely to afford you the luxury of "proof"?

Barb said...

The Bible does say that faith pleases God --faith in things unseen.

For me, earth and its beauty and balance, its very existance, its hospitality to life are proofs of an intelligent designer

Our bodies and brains, self-healing skin, eyes and heart (to name the obvious without all the scientific lingo) are miraculously designed, male and female to procreate --and these, to me, prove an intelligence behind our existance.

Our apparent uniqueness in a vast universe (I'm willing to believe earth isn't the only blessed planet with intelligent beings on it --but we sure seem to be pretty alone in our vast universe --miraculous)

And we have this Revelation --in a Book, telling us about the Creator and the first people, the first disobedience to Him, the subsequent death and misery and violence and hatred on the earth --the worldwide flood which fossil record supports --and finally the coming of Jesus Christ - a miracle worker who raised people from the dead, including himself. Who wrote nothing about himself

About whom records were kept --
after whom a miraculous event occured in the life of a Christian-hater, Saul of Tarsus --who become St. Paul. His stories and writings are remarkably wise, instructing the early church.

Today, this assurance that there is a Creator, that JEsus Christ was God, the Son, that the Holy Spirit is God's abiding presence in the world today, convicting us of sin, assuring us that God is, assuring us that we can be saved for eternity --

The Holy Spirit reinforces in us this FAITH --as we trust that the Bible is a Book of Eternal Truth

and find that "his spirit bears witness with our spirits."

such that we are SURE --the Gospel of Christ is TRUTH. And the Bible is a true account of God's dealings with man on the Earth.

Barb said...

I think the Conception of Christ, Don, is a Biblical example of life beginning at conception. The child was predicted to be a special conception in the Angel's announcement --from God's planning before the foundation of the earth.

same with John the Baptist.

And there is the passage about God knitting us together in the womb.

Where is the license to assume otherwise?

Don said...

"Herein lies the real game...the Christian is forced to "prove" everything..."

Wow, I'm sorry, I did not realize that this heavy burden was for Christians alone to bear. I thought that other systems of religious belief and secular ethics were generally held to similar standards of proof.

"Please prove your case..."

The only difference between you and I is, I believe that all ethical systems are fatally flawed, and you appear to believe that all but one ethical system is fatally flawed. If I have yet to encounter the one ethical system that is truly justifiable, how can you possibly criticize my skepticism?

"Please prove your case..."

I cannot "prove" my case. Skepticism is an inductive argument, not a deductive argument. I do not hold that there is no possible foundation for ethics. I simply have not found one yet. If something comes along that survives scrutiny, I will gladly abandon skepticism in favor of that ethical system.

Moreover, you will not allow me to test your theory. How can you reasonably expect me to abandon skepticism if you will not share with me what you believe to be the only ethical system that survives logical scrutiny?

Remember, according to you, the only valid system of ethics is yours. If this is true, aren't I on the right track by being skeptical about everything else?

kateb said...

Don - you said this "And, if you are able to convince me that the "Word of God" is knowable and can function as the basis for an ethical system, I would have to seriously consider adopting that system." and not to me - I might add. But I think it's a fair request.

My ethical system, which I fall short of on an ongoing basis - but it is what I strive for - is simply to be the hands and feet of my Lord Jesus Christ.

The overview of what he told us is that we are to love one another as he has loved us. We are to reach out to people who are in jail, in need and minister to their needs in his name.

Now - the Jesus that I know is not really a meek Lord. He not only threw merchants and money changers (bodily) out of a temple - but he broke up their goods and their tables. He does understand justifiable and righteous anger.

And he promised that when he comes again, it won't be as a quiet carpenters' son. He's going to come in all his glory as the King of ALL Kings. :-)

It's a winning gig....y'know? We follow the big ten and try to live up to the order of service.

Then we go to paradise. It's a win-win. Most of the time. Every once in a while you run into somebody who is so counter to the Lord, and some who say they even come in his name, that you just want to smack the snot out of them. But you don't. You try to refocus and get your eye back on the ball.

I was in Westerville, OH years ago. They have a great ice cream shop there. I was sitting with my kids on a bench or a planter or something. I remember looking over and seeing a homeless looking man, very out of place in Westerville, OH I can tell you. Just as I was going to go over to him, two young men came down the street, hotly debating Biblical 'anger'. That's all I remember, because I was so shocked to hear these two guys coming down the street fighting over what Jesus would say as they both stepped over this needy mans' legs and continued on without missing a step. Now that shocked me, in the north end of Col's there is a seminary.

But how can you possibly say you know the nature of Jesus and not help a homeless person? It's an impossibility.

So, my belief system comes from having a relationship with Jesus. Reading his words, understanding what he said was our role in this world and trying to avoid 'religious' people so that I can keep that relationship.

Again, I try. I fall short all the time but then I have to try again!

Don said...

I appreciate your thoughts Kateb.

Although I am not a Christian, I am also moved by the story of Jesus and his teachings. Honestly, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is far and away the best ethical principle I have ever encountered. In one simple sentence, we get an easily applicable principle, a built-in justification for the principle, and an imperative to act. That is nothing short of genius.

Barb said...

Don, the Truth Project points out the following:

John 18:
37"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

there are two world views, two sides --the Truth side --and the Deception side --and nothing between. And it has been so since mankind was deceived in the Garden by Satan posing as a Serpent. Jesus warned of false prophets in sheep's clothing.

And in the King James Version--
37Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

We have a song , "Open my eyes Lord.... I would see Jesus"

And the same goes for ears, "Open our ears, Lord, that we may hear Jesus."

Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find."

and He said:
"If an earthly father knows how to give good gifts to his children, how much more will your Heavenly Father be williing to give the Holy Spirit (His presence) to those who ask Him." "Ask and you will receive."

Antipelagian said...

The only difference between you and I is, I believe that all ethical systems are fatally flawed

How do you mean "all" are fatally flawed? What are you measuring all the false systems by? It's almost like you believe you have a consistent standard to measure other systems against.

Skepticism is an inductive argument, not a deductive argument.

Just to see if I'm following you...are you saying that your skepticism of any ethical system rests on the fact no ethical system can be tested via the scientific method? If that's not what you're saying, could you elaborate?

If something comes along that survives scrutiny, I will gladly abandon skepticism in favor of that ethical system.

This where I'm scratching my head again...what are you measuring ethical systems by? Perhaps you do mean the scientific method?

Moreover, you will not allow me to test your theory. How can you reasonably expect me to abandon skepticism if you will not share with me what you believe to be the only ethical system that survives logical scrutiny?

Don, I'm not going to write a monologue. I've got better things to do and there are books by better and smarter people. I am inviting you to a discussion.

Also, I'm not telling you to just abandon your skepticism...I'm simply asking the *reason* for your skepticism. So far, I know it's related to induction...but that needs unpacking.

If you'd rather not discuss, that is fine. If you are simply interested in my point of view, I invite you to watch my videos on youtube: www.youtube.com/antipelagian

Don said...

Antipelagian,

Apparently, I'm not playing your game the way you'd like. I'm sorry, but I do not owe it to you to "unpack" anything if there is no reciprocal effort on your part.

It seems to me, you are advancing a much stronger set of claims than I have, such as:

1. There is in fact a "God,"

2. God has a "Word,"

3. This "Word" is accessible for human understanding,

4. The "Word of God" can provide a meaningful basis for a system of ethics.

5. Further, Christians have a "monopoly" on rationality.

So far, you have done absolutely nothing to back up any of these claims. Rather, it seems like what you really want to do is engage in a Socratic dialogue, with me attempting to advance a position, and you playing the part of Socrates.

If you believe you have the only valid ethical system, then why on Earth do you want to discuss MY methodology? Why not cut right through my crap and show me the real deal?

"...I invite you to watch my videos on youtube..."

Fine, because this discussion is going nowhere fast.

Don said...

BTW, how was the Cheeze-Whiz?

Antipelagian said...

Don,

all you have to say is "you know what, I don't want to have a discussion".

I asked you to simply explain at least one aspect of your worldview...i.e. how do you arrive at abortion being wrong in the 3rd trimester of abortion...you appealed to sentience...I then asked what sentience has to do with something being wrong...no answer. You deny any ethical framework is true and make assertions...I ask for elaboration so that I can make sure I understand you...in return, I get evasion.

I'm saying God does exist, He is the Triune God of the Bible, and He has spoken in His Word. I derive a moral framework from God's revealed Word.

In order for any ethical system to be binding over all men it must be that there is an immaterial Law. To have an unchanging, immaterial Law that is communicable to us, there must be an eternal, immaterial entity that is personal.

At this point, I'm sure you'd want me to prove God exists and then prove He can reveal Himself, etc. As of yet, you have not been able to produce an argument that should make me think otherwise. Again, this is the modus operandi of the unbeliever: employ selective skepticism, assume your own worldview without arguing for it, ask the Christian to make an argument...then ask him to argue for that argument. When the favor is asked in return...silence.

I'm not merely using the Socratic method on you...you asked me to give you my standard...I did: The Bible. I asked you to give me yours...instead, I get a tap dance routine.

Don said...

"When the favor is asked in return..."

Indeed, the favor has been asked, but in return for what? If you have made an "argument" on this thread, at least prior to your most recent comment, I must have missed it.

Now, you say this:

"I'm saying God does exist, He is the Triune God of the Bible, and He has spoken in His Word. I derive a moral framework from God's revealed Word."

But this is not an argument, these are merely conclusions without premises. You also said this:

"In order for any ethical system to be binding over all men it must be that there is an immaterial Law. To have an unchanging, immaterial Law that is communicable to us, there must be an eternal, immaterial entity that is personal."

This is the first thing you have presented on this thread that qualifies as an "argument." However, your first premise is not necessarily true. For example, an ethical system could be binding over all men if they consent to be bound by that system. But, even granting the validity of the first premise, it does not follow that there ACTUALLY IS an "immaterial law." It would follow rather nicely from your first premise, however, that if there is no immaterial law, then there is no ethical system binding on all men.

Your second premise also fails to take us to where you seem to want to go, for similar reasons. It is an exercise in circularity.

"At this point, I'm sure you'd want me to prove God exists and then prove He can reveal Himself, etc."

Not at all. I am willing to grant you the existence of God, and that God has a "Word" that is comprehensible to sentient beings. I think your "ethical system" falls hard on its face for different reasons.

I asked you to give me yours...instead, I get a tap dance routine."

You already know my point of view. Or at the very least, you think you do. You have expressly stated that you assume that I am guilty of "assuming my worldview." You have labeled me an "unbeliever," which on your part, necessarily involves assumptions about my worldview. You have also claimed that questions I have posed to others have at least partially revealed my worldview. So, it sounds like you've got me nailed down. Why do I need to restate to you what you have clearly already revealed to yourself through your powers of deduction?

And, perhaps more importantly, you have failed to explain why it is even worth our time to examine my views. Consider the following:

P1. Christians have a monopoly on rational thought.

P2. Don is not a Christian.

Conclusion 1: Don is not capable of rational thought.

I'm just taking your premises for granted, Antipelagian, and the logical consequences seem obvious. Any ethical system formulated by me is, by necessity, the product of irrational thought. Unless there is value to an irrational system of ethics, we probably should not waste our time analyzing anything I attempt to cobble together.

Antipelagian said...

*Sigh*

Don, I am willing to argue...truth be told, but I did not say I was trying to argue my position in our *discussion*...I really, truly wanted to get an idea of your position.

I'm left to make assumptions where you *purposefully leave gaps*.

But this is not an argument, these are merely conclusions without premises.

I realize that. This is simply my belief...which was followed up with an actual argument (as you noted).

This is the first thing you have presented on this thread that qualifies as an "argument." However, your first premise is not necessarily true. For example, an ethical system could be binding over all men if they consent to be bound by that system.

By "binding" I mean obligatory whether or not everyone consents. After all, child predators do not consent with the majority assumption that adults having sex with 4 year olds is wrong.

So I stand by my premise:
Normative ethics *must* be undergirded by unchanging, immaterial law...otherwise you do not have *necessary* ethics.

Why do I need to restate to you what you have clearly already revealed to yourself through your powers of deduction?

As I said before...fill in the gaps, Don.

And, perhaps more importantly, you have failed to explain why it is even worth our time to examine my views.

You are the one that posed questions with an assumed foundation...yet you've denied there is a foundation for your ethical views...is there a reason you should not have to explain your views when you require logical ones from me?

P1. Christians have a monopoly on rational thought.

P2. Don is not a Christian.

Conclusion 1: Don is not capable of rational thought.


I did not argue that...I would say the Christian worldview is the only one that provides the necessary preconditions for a world where logic is intelligible.

But people, by and large, are very logical (or try to be). That is because we are created in God's image.

Seriously:
Please provide some answers to my questions...or just say you don't want to discuss. It's rather tiresome exchanging comments when you refuse to say anything. I purposefully gave you an argument just to see what you'd do...you interacted with it (which is great), but you didn't return the favor.

I find myself wanting to say the same thing you did to me a number of comments ago (with a minor edit):
Okay, and at some point are we going to see you do the same thing? Or does your requirement of setting forth some ethical theory apply only to me?

This exchange so far has been somewhat revealing...you came in here to do this:
I thought I'd mix things up a bit by playing the role of interlocutor, and let others expand on their views. Isn't that more interesting and useful than another run-of-the-mill liberal v. conservative thread on abortion?

Looks like we've traded seats a bit...yet you'd rather not expand upon your own views. Granted, you acknowledge you are unable to do so...yet you function off of an assumed standard (as I've pointed out more than once which you have ignored). In an attempt to understand you, I ask for more details concerning your view (i.e. is your standard the scientific method? I'm not sure what precisely you are referring to when you say your skepticism is grounded in induction...heck, you could be referring to the problem of induction for all I know which is may be why you are a skeptic).

I enjoy people asking me questions...I don't mind answering when it's a two-way street. In my experience, it is always the Christian defending his position without the "skeptic" putting forward positive stance...it seems the selective skeptic will always be the intellectual hypocrite.

Don said...

"It's rather tiresome exchanging comments when you refuse to say anything."

I disagree. Until very recently, you haven't really "said anything," yet I have been enjoying the exchange. You see, I am a second-rate philosopher...so for me, dicking around is 95% of my routine, and I certainly appreciate a well-developed ability to dick around when I see it in others. This is probably a symptom of my years in law school.

Sorry if you feel that time has been wasted. However, I'd say you are at least partly responsible with your insistence on mutual exchange. Whether you think it is fair or not, you were free at any time to advance your arguments without waiting for me to do so first.

"This exchange so far has been somewhat revealing...you came in here to do this...

Yeah, I asked people to "expand" on their views. However, the way I asked them to "expand" their views was very different from the way you are asking me to "expand" on mine. My questions were directed towards measuring the impact of the belief that "abortion is murder" on peoples' public policy preferences. My intention was not to force people to justify the underlying belief that "abortion is murder." I merely wanted to see the extent of legal support people would afford that belief.

In contrast, the inquiry you propose is, philosophically speaking, much more substantial and involved than anything I have asked of others on this thread. So much for your cheap accusations of hypocrisy.

Also, notice how what was once an abundant GROUP discussion has dwindled to a discussion between you and I? Unlike what you have been trying to do here, my exercise was intended to encourage group exploration of an idea, while avoiding the typical liberal v. conservative dust-ups that inevitably surface on these threads.

"...which was followed up with an actual argument..."

An actual argument with some serious flaws, thereby reinforcing my position (at least, creating the appearance of "reinforcing my position," in my necessarily irrational non-Christian cognitive functionings).

To date, I have not encountered an ethical theory that rests on an unchallengeable first principle. "Induction" comes into play, because no amount of individual failure to establish a sound ethical theory entitles me to the conclusion that no sound ethical theory is possible. So, when I say that there is no foundation for ethics, I do not mean to say that I KNOW there is no sound first principle for ethics. Rather, I am making a weaker claim, specifically, that I do not BELIEVE there is a sound first principle of ethics because I have not found one yet, and I have not encountered anyone else with one, either.

"Normative ethics *must* be undergirded by unchanging, immaterial law...otherwise you do not have *necessary* ethics."

Okay, but this is just an argument that a thing must be so merely because of its definition. This is like the old argument that God necessarily exists because His alleged attributes render His existence necessary.

And again, this premise takes us nowhere. If we accept that "normative ethics must be undergirded by unchanging, immaterial law," so what? Maybe there is no unchanging, immaterial law, rendering futile attempts to develop normative ethics.

Don said...

And furthermore, you did not answer my question about Cheez-Whiz.

"Tex-Mex" is my personal favorite, although the "Salsa con Queso" is not without its merits.

Antipelagian said...

Don,
However, I'd say you are at least partly responsible with your insistence on mutual exchange.

For some reason, I'm not sure what's going on...feels more like a pinching contest than anything. For whatever it's worth, I've merely insisted that there be dialogue *if* I'm going to be exchanging comments with you...that's all. Part of the dialogue would include answering questions when raised.

My questions were directed towards measuring the impact of the belief that "abortion is murder" on peoples' public policy preferences. My intention was not to force people to justify the underlying belief that "abortion is murder."

Unfortunately, it was clear you had assumptions about abortion...for instance, that rape is good enough reason to have abortion available...also, you said abortion during the third trimester is wrong...further, you were seeking greater *consistency* from those opposed to abortion. Either you are forgetful about that or your years of law school have done you well in the arena of misdirection.

So, you asked for consistency on our part...I'm asking for it on yours.

I gave you the option of simply sticking to abortion or going into a deeper philosophical discussion...I always prefer a more focused discussion, which is why I asked what "sentience" has to do with the wrongness of aborting babies in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy...you did not answer.

I disagree. Until very recently, you haven't really "said anything," yet I have been enjoying the exchange.

I'm still waiting on you, Don...you have said *less* than me. I'm not sure what you'd like me to go on about (other than cheeze whiz...I'm a cheddar fan, myself). I have asked you maybe 3 questions...and have asked a few times for responses...I'm not asking for a tome or anything.

"Induction" comes into play, because no amount of individual failure to establish a sound ethical theory entitles me to the conclusion that no sound ethical theory is possible.

I'm following you now...but something seems a bit off...for instance, what would constitute a sound ethical theory? You said all you've encountered fail, but I'm not sure how you're measuring that. I realize you were trying to answer my question here...but I'm wondering about the ruler you're holding in your hand, after all...you seem to already have a measure for ethics to evaluate any ethical system by.

An actual argument with some serious flaws, thereby reinforcing my position

I fail to see the flaws...after all, I explained what I meant by "binding". Further, there's a difference between logical necessity and necessity by compulsion or contract (which is what you seemed to think "undid" my argument).

Okay, but this is just an argument that a thing must be so merely because of its definition. This is like the old argument that God necessarily exists because His alleged attributes render His existence necessary.

So I have to wonder...why do you say abortion in the third trimester is *wrong*? Is it wrong for a woman to abort her child at 8months?

If you say "no" (thus being consistent with your presupposition that there is no normative standard for ethics), then the unsavory conclusion that rape, incest, necrophilia, serial killing (to name a few) aren't "wrong"...if you say "yes", you are far less consistent than an anti-abortionist who doesn't believe the death penalty is due to those that participate in aborting children.

Moving along...For a term such as "normative ethics" to have *meaning*, it must refer to the standard God has set forth. I'm not arguing for ethics based on the definition, rather, I acknowledge the binding nature of ethics because of the Christian God.

You seem to reject the existence of God (or you're an agnostic...maybe not, I don't know)...so are more consistent to deny there is such a thing as normative ethics. What I still don't understand is why you would think aborting a third trimester pregnancy is wrong...

steve said...

I like Bono's philosophy:

What you don't have you don't need it now

What you don't know you can feel it somehow

What you don't have you don't need it now.. Don't need it now..

It Was a beautiful day

(Bono)

Don said...

"Unfortunately, it was clear you had assumptions about abortion..."

Yes, I did come to the table with "assumptions about abortion." So what? Why is that "unfortunate?" What unargued biases lead you to the conclusion that the scenario was "unfortunate," requiring your intervention to rescue the dialogue?

Not to belabor the point, but I was not asking others to justify their underlying assumptions about abortion. Rather, I was asking where that assumption should lead in terms of PUBLIC POLICY.

"So, you asked for consistency on our part...I'm asking for it on yours."

Above, you say, "I'm not sure what's going on..." But we both know exactly what's going on, don't we? It is "us" and "them," and I'm the "them." I set out to find some points of agreement, and you are drawing lines in the sand. My suspicion is, and I may be wrong, but you disrupted the previous trajectory of the dialogue to "protect" Barb, Kateb, and others from what you view as anti-Christian, pro-abortionist sophistry.

"...what would constitute a sound ethical theory?"

As I said above, what I am looking for is an ethical theory "that rests on an unchallengeable first principle." I assume that is your standard is the same, and in your worldview, the unchallengeable first principle is the existence of God.

"you seem to already have a measure for ethics to evaluate any ethical system by."

Not at all, unless the Socratic method counts as an "ethical system." If someone is advancing an ethical theory, I start asking "why," and if you ask "why" enough times, every ethical theory I've seen devolves into circularity.

It seems to me, you attempt to solve this problem by assuming God. That's all well and good, but why should we assume God? Maybe I'm just being dense (very possible!), but I'm not seeing how any argument you've presented so far makes God logically necessary.

"You seem to reject the existence of God..."

Why do you assume this? What is your analytical method for drawing this conclusion?

All I've said is, I am not a Christian.

Perhaps this is a symptom of the "us vs. them" mentality you've expressed above. If Don's not a true Christian believer, he's probably a godless heathen, I guess.

"For a term such as "normative ethics" to have *meaning*, it must refer to the standard God has set forth."

WHY "must" it? And even if your premise is valid, it leaves room for the possibility that "normative ethics" ultimately has no meaning. If I understand your claim clearly, you are assuming that normative ethics MUST have meaning. Why does normative ethics necessarily have meaning? Unless I am misunderstanding you, it seems like you reach that point by simply defining normative ethics as necessarily having meaning.

Help me out here. Where does the circularity of your position end? You didn't fix anything by tweaking your definition of "binding." I've been treading water long enough. Where is the dry land of which you speak?

Don said...

I realize I have not addressed every point in your most recent comment. It's not a dodge this time...I'm at work, so I stuck to what I could answer quickly.

Don said...

Hey, Steve!

Thanks for sticking with us...

"What you don't know you can feel it somehow..."

Yeah, I think there's a ring of truth to that.

kateb said...

Barb, you say women unite. There is something going on, a dialogue at least, that my 21 year old and her peers have been having that is of concern.

Several of them are intrigued by artificial insemination and the idea that they won't take a husband. Most of these girls are from divorced homes as is my daughter.

I think the men better unite and get better game. Or learn to do their own laundry.

Antipelagian said...

Don
Yes, I did come to the table with "assumptions about abortion." So what?

When I said "Unfortunately", it was in direct reference to this statement of yours:
My questions were directed towards measuring the impact of the belief that "abortion is murder" on peoples' public policy preferences. My intention was not to force people to justify the underlying belief that "abortion is murder."

It is not unfortunate that you have certain assumptions (we all do, after all), rather, it was unfortunate that your questions lacked the neutrality you seem to think they had..."Unfortunately" also refers to the fact you did not ask questions to simply discuss public policy (as you said in that quote)...you were seeking *consistency* on the part of those that are anti-abortion.

What I'm belaboring on is your own inconsistency when it comes to abortion...you seem to think it a problem that some opposed to abortion do not want the death penalty for those committing abortion...is it not a problem when *you* say abortion is wrong in the 3rd trimester yet cannot explain why it is "murder" at that point, but not before? The deeper problem beyond that comes in when you also state your belief that there is no valid system of ethics.

I'm not sure what value there is to consistency on the part of those opposed to abortion when you exempt yourself from consistency.

Above, you say, "I'm not sure what's going on..." But we both know exactly what's going on, don't we? It is "us" and "them," and I'm the "them."

No...up until now, I wasn't sure what was going on...specifically with our exchanges. On the one hand, you continue writing...on the other hand, until that point you hadn't really said anything. We were exchanging quips and nipple twists.

To be clear: I have not couched this discussion as "us" vs "them".

I'm not defending Barb...I'm not defending KateB...I am asking you questions...questions related to consistency.

My suspicion is, and I may be wrong, but you disrupted the previous trajectory of the dialogue to "protect" Barb, Kateb, and others from what you view as anti-Christian, pro-abortionist sophistry.

You'd be quite wrong...Barb (I've known Barb since I was born) would argue her position far differently than I would...she'd likely find our exchanges boorish and technical. I doubt she's sees me as doing her any favors here, and she would be correct. She is an able thinker and writer. I am not defending her...in fact, I agree with *you* that a more consistent position would be the death penalty for abortionists, and all accessories to the murder. I agree with Matt this should not be retro-actively applied since the "doctors" and accessories were within the limits of law at the time...I will leave their end to God.

To date, I have not encountered an ethical theory that rests on an unchallengeable first principle.

That's a bit tricky...anything is "challengeable" in a certain sense...but that is different than "refutable".

I assume that is your standard is the same, and in your worldview, the unchallengeable first principle is the existence of God.

God is "challengeable" in a certain sense...but He's not refutable. And yes, the Christian God is my foundational assumption.

Not at all, unless the Socratic method counts as an "ethical system." If someone is advancing an ethical theory, I start asking "why," and if you ask "why" enough times, every ethical theory I've seen devolves into circularity.

Not all circular reasoning is fallacious...I would say my argument will ultimately be circular, though not viciously circular (which would make it fallacious).

It seems to me, you attempt to solve this problem by assuming God. That's all well and good, but why should we assume God? Maybe I'm just being dense (very possible!), but I'm not seeing how any argument you've presented so far makes God logically necessary.

In all fairness, I haven't given a particularly detailed "defense", let alone detailed argument. If you look back to my simple argument, I said this:
In order for any ethical system to be binding over all men it must be that there is an immaterial Law. To have an unchanging, immaterial Law that is communicable to us, there must be an eternal, immaterial entity that is personal.

Why would this make God necessary? Well, God is not contained by the Universe. He is immaterial and unchanging. For His Law to be apprehended by man, He must be Personal...and by "Personal" it follows also that we bear an ontological analogy to Him, otherwise we'd have an epistemic problem when it comes to acquiring knowledge of an eternal Law from an Entity with no communicable attributes.

Apart from this God, there can be no ethics, or no knoweable ethics...as I've pointed out, your assertion that aborting 3rd trimester pregnancies is arbitrary given what you've already said about ethics.

Why do you assume this? What is your analytical method for drawing this conclusion?

In all fairness, I said "seem", and I also said: "maybe not, I don't know"...which you left off of the quote.

I "suspect" you are an agnostic because the pieces of your epistemology you've shared lend one to think that agnosticism would be your position.

Why does normative ethics necessarily have meaning? Unless I am misunderstanding you, it seems like you reach that point by simply defining normative ethics as necessarily having meaning.


Normative ethics would not have meaning apart from God...if there is no God, for example, "normative ethics" would be meaningless.

If there is no God, I say chuck meaningless words out of the dictionary (which would be easy, just throw out the whole dictionary).

Help me out here. Where does the circularity of your position end? You didn't fix anything by tweaking your definition of "binding."

I didn't "tweak" my definition, I clarified it for you. If you don't think it's fixed, please feel free to explain why.

kateb said...

hhhmmmmm.....Don your position flip flop's in reaction to people answering the questions that you postulate. Why do you keep changing your question? You are a dishonest person.

This is not an honest philosophical discussion or debate tactic. And one thing that I do know for sure, and I purchased with much pain and frustration, is that you cannot hold an honest debate with a dishonest person.

At the point that Don stated this: "If you are, indeed, a I understood your meaning, I was just being a jackass." it no longer became a service to the Lord to dialogue with him.

Anyone who chooses to neglect conduct that serves the Lord to spend time with one who has received and rejected the Gospel is engaging in sin.

steve said...

^^^ SASSY!!!

Antipelagian said...

KateB-

No discussion you get into is complete until you ride in on your high horse accusing me of being in sin.

And one thing that I do know for sure, and I purchased with much pain and frustration, is that you cannot hold an honest debate with a dishonest person.

Don't forget, you said I was a dishonest person not that long ago...so it seems fitting that I'd carry on a discussion with someone that's dishonest as well.

Anyone who chooses to neglect conduct that serves the Lord to spend time with one who has received and rejected the Gospel is engaging in sin.

If I took any of your self-righteousness as a dictate from God, I'd ask you to baptize me into Pharisaical School. This will be my only comment toward you, KateB.

Every flick on your keypad is a demonstrable act of intellectual masturbation.

Don said...

Don stated this: "If you are, indeed, a I understood your meaning, I was just being a jackass."

LOL!! Is that a quote from me? Good grief, it's not even a coherent sentence...

But seriously, KateB, re-read the exchange you reference. In all honesty, I thought we had a nice discussion and found several points of genuine agreement. I ended with a joke as a gesture of friendliness, and also to show that I don't take myself too seriously.

More importantly, you cannot reasonably argue that Antipelagian is offending God by engaging me in philosophical discourse (even as substandard as it may be from my end). Maybe he will convince me I've been mistaken about some very important matters.

Don said...

Hey Antipelagian,

Frankly, it is very obvious to me that you have put a lot of time and serious thought into your position, and have also had some practice defending it. I, on the other hand, have not put nearly enough time and serious thought into my own position, and have not attempted to defend it against the scrutiny of someone with philosophical skill, such as yourself. As such, I have been trying to peek at what you've got, while minimizing my own exposure. But you knew that.

That being said, I will do my best to describe what ethics I think I am entitled to hold, and the underlying rationale. I will do this even though I think it is all probably bullshit and you will no doubt tie me in knots as I attempt to defend my views.

For a variety of reasons, I cannot get my act together all in one sitting, so my next posting may take a day or so.

Until then.

Antipelagian said...

Don
I will do my best to describe what ethics I think I am entitled to hold, and the underlying rationale...For a variety of reasons, I cannot get my act together all in one sitting, so my next posting may take a day or so.

No problem...I'll look forward to it.