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Belief Beat


On Roe v. Wade Anniversary, Pro-Life Christians Gear Up For 2012

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Today is the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, and predominantly Christian pro-life activists are gearing up for a March for Life in Washington D.C. and for political gains in 2012.

Some faith-related headlines:

Share your thoughts — keep them civil — in the Comments section below.

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pagansister

posted January 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm


Do the “pro-life” people think that by stopping the legalization of abortion—repealing Roe V Wade, that abortions will stop? No, it will just drive them underground as they were previous to the law. IMO, everything should be done to offer alternatives to a woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy—-but ultimately if she wants to go through with it, then it should be available,safe and legal. Accurate sex education, birth control methods (including abstinence) should be taught and perhaps that would reduce abortions. That would be preferrable, but just making it illegal again wouldn’t reduce terminations, IMO.



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pagansister

posted January 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm


The events causing the Philadelpha clinic to be closed were horrible and those that ran it should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. He was killing babies that were born alive—that is murder—plain and simple. He was taking advantage of women for profit. IMO, if a woman wants an abortion she should make up her mind BEFORE the 4th month is complete. Otherwise, carry and give birth—put the baby up for adoption if she doesn’t want it.



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Jester

posted January 22, 2011 at 10:46 pm


Good articles, Nicole. I wish I could be there in person for the march, instead of just in spirit.
I don’t believe it should ever be legal to kill children for any reason.



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Mordred08

posted January 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm


“Accurate sex education, birth control methods (including abstinence) should be taught and perhaps that would reduce abortions.”
Unfortunately, it’s easier and cheaper for pro-lifers to guilt people into agreeing with them.



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nnmnns

posted January 23, 2011 at 9:52 am


It isn’t legal to kill children for any reason.
Life is going to get tougher for women and families. Republicans will do what they can to take their rights away from them, or at least to seem to do what they can. Of course if they illegalized abortion they’d take away a lot of motivation for many of their voters, so likely they wouldn’t finish the job even if they could.



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Jester

posted January 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm


It isn’t legal to kill children for any reason
Embryos and fetuses ARE children, nnmnns, not organs or other nonsentient tissues. There’s no excuse for not knowing that with today’s medical imaging.



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Nicole Neroulias

posted January 24, 2011 at 12:35 am


Embryos are certainly not children, Jester. (At least, not legally, medically, and not as defined by a majority of our society.) If so, then fertility clinics are committing child abuse and murder every day.
As for fetuses, obviously that’s a matter of more debate, but your definition is neither the legal nor medical one at this time.
Assuming, however, that you’re speaking from a theological point of view — that’s understandable, but please note that your statement is based on your belief system, not on irrefutable fact.
Carry on!



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nnmnns

posted January 24, 2011 at 3:58 am


Children run on playgrounds and ride bikes. Babies nurse from boobs or bottles and cry and smile and are awake when you need to sleep. Fetuses and embryos don’t do any of those things. And I notice you totally left out zygotes and blastocysts.



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jestrfyl

posted January 24, 2011 at 10:43 am


There is on the beach of Sarasota Bay a dinghy that has as it’s name “Row v. Wade” I think “dinghy” is an apt description for this renewal of the battle. Religious people are not compelled to abide by a secular decision. So why must secular people be compelled to abide by a religious dogma? It makes no sense at all.



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Robert C

posted January 24, 2011 at 11:31 am


There is no irrefutable ‘fact’ either way. Legal definitions have been known to be very, very wrong many times in the past. This is not an exception. As Elizabeth Scalia writes in her extraordinarily cogent article on the Gosnell case “Finally – something really provocative and straightforward: The language of abortion is euphemism-heavy. Abortion proponents don’t like the word “abortion,” so they use “choice.” They refer to “products of conception,” and “clumps of cells.” Writer and activist Leticia Valesquez, whose daughter has Down syndrome, would prefer that “sensitive language” take a backseat to, you know…life!” Call the cells what you may to impinge the reality of what you are supporting, however those cells are unique. The DNA is unique, and does not duplicate the mother’s DNA. This is a seperate, sentient, budding life that feels pain. In the Gosnell case, they were born, alive, breathing on their own. I defy anyone to read that grand jury testimony and not conclude this was wrong on so many levels. The authorities across the board knew what was happening for years and were complicit in these wrongs. At least Pagan’s comments illustrate that she understands the complexities here and appreciates the heinious crimes committed.



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Jester

posted January 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm


Bravo, Robert. Too true.
Nicole and nnmnns, I don’t blame you for not knowing that fetal sentience and awareness exists. Abortion is a big industry, so it’s no surprise that with at least $270,000 at stake per year that the truth has been silenced here in the US for decades. And that’s just one of many reasons why people think it’s ok to take a child’s life.
Embryos and fetuses ARE sentient and ARE able to suffer. For everyone’s sake, I’m glad that at least the UK has admitted it in their medical literature. We have a long way to go.



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Nicole Neroulias

posted January 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm


Jester, the point was not whether embryos or fetuses respond to stimuli and/or feel pain, but rather that you stated that they are children. They are not. This is an inflammatory issue, and presenting opinion as fact only makes it harder to have a civilized discussion.



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pagansister

posted January 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm


jestrfyl: Excellent post—and good to see you!



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nnmnns

posted January 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm


Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, the bzef (zygote-blastocyst-embryo-fetus) may feel pain much as a worm feels pain when it’s put on a hook, but for a longer time, or may feel pain more nearly like a baby would, but again for a short time. And it would be incapable of feeling fear or have only a very short time to do so. A bzef is not a baby and its not a child. You are using loaded words with different meanings to take rights away from women and families.
If you want to complain about big industries that are hurting us, complain about big oil and big coal who are funding the lying global-warming deniers.
And if you’re concerned about powerless entities feeling pain complain about people who eat meat. Cows, hogs and chickens all do feel pain on a high level and do have plenty of opportunity for fear in the slaughtering process.



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Jester

posted January 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm


Ok then, let’s start at the top:
you stated that they are children. They are not… presenting opinion as fact only makes it harder to have a civilized discussion
A bzef is not a baby and its not a child
Then what is an embryo or fetus exactly? An unsentient, unfeeling lump of brainless tissue, i.e. a liver? As I cited before, medical research in the UK proves otherwise.
Yes, I know zygotes and blastocysts aren’t children; that’s not the problem. Nor am I going to go off subject to refute any claims about “big oil and big coal” or the meat industry here. I’m not interested in diverting off the subject.
And I’m sorry that I’m being seen as “uncivilized” and “opinion” based. Please show me where I have used any inflammatory language or personal attacks here.
Simply put, it’s everyone’s own choice whether or not to believe the proof; I shouldn’t be labeled as a bad guy for pointing it out.



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Robert C

posted January 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm


Sentience goes beyond pain. It envelops the realm of consciousness. The question being whether a developing being in utero, which is DNA unique, is conscious. Aside from Buddhist thought, the remarkable and oft overlooked treatise on this aspect was written by the late, remarkable Itzhak ‘Ben’ Bentov in his book “Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness” and further elucidated within “A brief tour of higher consciousness: a cosmic book on the mechanics of creation”.
http://www.merrynjose.com/artman/publish/article_99.shtml
Bentov states: “Realities are relative, dependent on the position and state of the observer.” It is quite probable that the fetal brain, as all brains are transmitters, not only feels pain but on its higher conscious level, is able to process the experience. In other words despite the developmental stages a human experiences, its’ higher consciousness is quite intact. In that sense the term ‘child’ is aside from the point. It has the full capacity within its nervous system to process physical stimuli. It comprehends on a higher consciousness level what we all comprehend on a higher consciousness level. Bentov expounded quite neatly on his theory without crossing into religious thought, basing his beliefs on his work as an MIT engineer and physicist.
Consciousness is a complex manifestation. Discussing other corporate structures or the consciousness of other species is aside from this topic, but no less worthy to explore, in another thread, as Nicole has pointed out. What is pertinent to the discussion is the unique DNA sequencing of the fetus which until now has not been afforded the inherent respect in our civil and legal process that it so fundamentally deserves.



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nnmnns

posted January 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm


A cow has a unique DNA sequence. And so far as any evidence for a “higher consciousness” it has as good a chance of having one as you or I. If anything does, it would surely be some dogs.
If talking about the consciousness of other species is aside, so are airy fairy kook fantasies.



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Robert C

posted January 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm


A unnique human DNA sequence apart from the mother’s making it a separate entity. As far as your lack of understanding of consciousness, that’s your personal limitation we can all sympathize with. What is your point about animal consciousness? That we should all refrain from consuming them? I would go father than that but then we are in another topic aren’t we.



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jestrfyl

posted January 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm


I hope the test of worth is not sentience. There are too many people already born who could not pass the test!
We trust and even expect the women to raise the children, but we don’t trust them with the decision about abortion? That is pure foolishness. Unwanted children often become abused, neglected, or worse. Some of the opponents try to make it seem like the women expend more energy determining menu or fashion choices. This is an agonizing and soul wrenching decision for most women – and men. Reducing this process to an intellectual rationality or a dispasionate act of legislation sterilizes what is a very human act. Abortion excedes dogmatic cliches or scientific limits. It is a choice and should not be anything less than that.



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pagansister

posted January 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm


Well said, jestrfyl!!!



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Jester

posted January 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm


Thank you, thank you Robert. You are a gentleman and a scholar.
Charles Dickens was an “unwanted child.” Some have said that “Oliver Twist” was a functional autobiography of his. Would the world have been better off without his literary masterpieces if his mother would have aborted him? Of course not. There are countless other examples. But on a deeper level, who are we to condemn someone to death based on whether their birth is one of convenience? I think Mother Teresa said it best:
“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”



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Nicole Neroulias

posted January 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm


Many people find it shocking that Mother Teresa, who worked with the poor and suffering people of India (of all places!), would call abortion the greatest destroyer of peace. There’s a reason that those specific remarks are not what she’s best known for, neither in India nor elsewhere.
Also, Jester has a point, but on the other hand, many people believe that an embryo does not yet have a soul; others may believe that the soul of the aborted fetus will move on to a wanted fetus. And still others may point out that for every Dickens, Tebow, etc. who was a potential abortion, there are examples of genocidal dictators, serial rapists, etc. that the world would have been better off without. And there are an infinite number of hypothetical and real examples that fall, more realistically, somewhere in between.
My point, throughout this type of discussion, is that personal beliefs are simply that. Recognize that others may disagree with you, and that you would not want their beliefs to dictate your actions, either. And most people probably fall somewhere in the middle on these polarizing issues, or may feel strongly about one side personally, but prefer not to impose what they would do personally — based on their socioeconomic circumstances, religious beliefs and cultural expectations — onto the rest of the world.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm


What bothers me about the eternal debate is that dogmatism on both sides assures that it will remain unsettled, eternally. Although I am pro-choice (not “pro-abortion” — no one is pro-abortion), I can respect the belief that elective abortion is wrong. I think everyone would prefer if there were fewer abortions; that should be seen as desirable even for someone who is staunchly pro-life, or maybe especially for that person. Therefore, we should be able to agree that prevention of unwanted pregnancy is the sensible strategy. But religious dogmatists oppose suggestions to make contraception more easily accessible, which makes me wonder if their real anger is toward non-reproductive sex. Meanwhile, dogmatists on the left oppose suggestions that there should be any restrictions to abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
I have to believe that there are many people who would be willing to seek the common ground of prevention of unwanted pregnancy, whether they approach it from a pro-choice or pro-life perspective. Their efforts are sabotaged by the dogmatists. Dogmatists, by definition, care only about their dogmatic obsessions, not about the real-world consequences of those obsessions.



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nnmnns

posted January 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm


Well said jesterfyl and Nicole.
I think sentience is very important in judging the worth of an entity. There’s a reason we assign little value to a worm and a lot to our dog. Granted there are people we need to grandfather in, and we should and do. That has as much as anything to do with not wanting to have to worry about being done in should we get sick enough to lose our reasoning.
Now if only most of us worried as much about people as they do about bzefs we could all have health insurance and a living wage.



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nnmnns

posted January 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm


Robert: “As far as your lack of understanding of consciousness…”
Robert you imply by that that you do understand consciousness. Since I don’t think any sensible person would claim to understand consciousness, though science is starting to make inroads, perhaps you’d elucidate. In particular, while the bzef’s and then baby’s brain is developing where is this “higher consciousness”? And for that matter why doesn’t it manifest itself when the baby is fed and changed but is tired but doesn’t go to sleep?
H4C I believe Roe v. Wade provides a good framework for compromise. It does allow the state to protect the bzef, with more protection being possible as it develops. As is sensible. And it’s good to see you’re still around.



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted January 25, 2011 at 1:53 am


Neither Roe, nor other abortion rulings, refuse the Right of the State to regulate abortion.



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Mr. Incredible, in Jesus' Name, the Name above ALL names!

posted January 25, 2011 at 2:10 am


Is an embryo in a clinic, frozen, a person?



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 25, 2011 at 6:20 am


nnmnns,
Roe v Wade is a compromise on when abortion can or cannot be performed, based initially on trimester and currently on fetal viability. What we need now is common ground on prevention of unwanted pregnancy.
Good to see you are still in there, too. Especially now, as I see (after a long time away) that we are graced with the presence of an individual who considers himself to be so incredible that he speaks for Jesus.
And to that incredible spokesperson for Jesus: Roe v Wade establishes that women have the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, within limits; and that states can regulate abortion, within limits. Limits are what allow some common-sense-based common ground between the absolutists who would rather see a woman die than obtain a life-saving abortion and the absolutists who insist that a pregnancy can be terminated up to the point that the umbilical cord is cut after the baby is delivered. Fortunately, such absolutism is rare; but it is also very loud. As for whether a frozen embryo in a clinic is a person, that depends entirely on the definition of person. That definition varies considerably from the perspectives of biology, philosophy, and law. In a setting where a corporation has been defined legally as a person, anything goes.



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Robert C

posted January 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm


Your welcome Jester. Glad you mentioned Teresa since she is an example of an individual who didn’t require some inadequately legislated ‘right’ to abort to define her as a fully integrated woman of inestimable power and nobility. I have been contemplating the apologists language on the day of the march and considering that we have just seen a man who could be the largest mass murderer in the history of the nation, with victims possibly now running into the tens of thousands, and with severed babies feet kept to adorn the walls of his offices, one needs to compare the tiresome ‘language’ in the wake of this atrocity to that purported to have inspired the Tucson rampage. Where one instance had no real cause and effect, the other, i.e.’ just a ball of cells’, gave tacit permission to fully deliver thousands of viable children, slice their throats, and then collect their limbs as ghoulish trophies, all under the aegis of the National Organization for Women, a startling thought indeed.
We cannot understand the mechanics involved within the well of souls anymore than we can prove that the soul exists. Bentov comes closest theoretically and technically without religious connotations to illustrating that it does. Would an aborted soul recycle? Who knows? But in the lingo of the decade of the sixties however, causing it cannot be ‘good karma’. Bentov also adeptly answers questions about consciousness in his books and lectures. For those with the ability to listen and an open mind to explore the realm of possibility, here is a link to a series of ten taped lectures on the concepts by Mir Tala called from Atom to Cosmos, the first two the famed interview with Bentov himself and Hubert Jessup.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_4W-72WUvE&feature=related
It should be simple to recognize that within many systems of thought, apart from the realm of purely personal beliefs; the concept of abortion is an unconscionable act. That at this moment in time our culture has sanctioned it, philosophically if not chronologically corresponds to another period in time when human sacrifice made to the ’gods’ was not only state sanctioned and an absolute requirement, but deemed appropriate, necessary to the survival of the state, an inalienable right of the priesthood, for the benefit of the public welfare, and a public event to be acclaimed by all. Unfortunately, not much has changed, except the headgear. The state’s right to appease is no less a grandiose fallacy than an individual’s ‘right’ to abort.
That the tide of sentiment and recognition is turning is no secret. The pendulum is swinging and that is a good thing. A newer generation looks at this issue through differing lenses and the hard reality of too much choice has wizened many of us older folk. One nasty little secret is that equal to those women who have agonized over making a decision, there are an equal number who have regretted having made one. Heretic’s presumption of prevention is a fine position within its narrow effects. To some, prevention will never be considered a necessity while an abortionists’ remedy is handy. Roe v. Wade requires revision. Blackmun concluded the Roe would never have been adjudicated if the presumption of ‘personhood’ could have been established. The science of DNA has now progressed to the point where the uniqueness of that DNA reaches that threshold. In the end it should be no easier to attain an abortion than it is to commit someone, and that is far from an absolute.



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pagansister

posted January 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm


H4C: Long time no see—-welcome back! Good reading your well thought out posts again. And you have been “introduced to “I”. :o)



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted January 26, 2011 at 2:21 am


No surprise that no one will take on the question, “Is the embryo, kept frozen in a clinic, a person?”



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 26, 2011 at 9:55 am


Incredible, isn’t it, how some people — even incredible people — can’t read?
I answered the question of whether a frozen embryo is a person. But in a display of either incredible illiteracy or incredible dishonesty, the sneering claim is made that no one took on the question. So I will repeat: “Person” is a made-up concept. It can be interpreted in different ways:
1. Biologically, a person is a human being: genus Homo, species sapiens, with DNA characteristic our species. But even here, questions can be raised. Is a human who has received surgical grafts of tissue from a different species still “human”? How much human tissue can be replaced by non-human tissue before we start thinking in terms of this individual in terms of chimerism instead of humanity? Oh? Even with extensive non-human tissue, the individual who still thinks and feels and remembers and has self-awareness is still human? This brings us to…
2. Philosophically, if self-awareness and memory define personhood, then a frozen embryo is not a person, but a sentient animal is. And finally…
3. Legally, personhood is defined by having rights and responsibilities, which means that corporations are, according to the law, persons. (Not being a lawyer, I find this definition stunning.)
So, if a term can be defined in so many contrasting and mutually exclusive ways, we are dealing with a made-up concept rather than an objectively definable reality. However, some people are so incredibly dogmatic or incredibly deceitful that they think their own notions are inescapably and uniquely correct.



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Robert C

posted January 26, 2011 at 12:22 pm


I would suggest that you have significantly narrowed the spectrum of thought in all three of your arbitrarily selected categories, missed many possibilities and overlooked other completely viable concepts. As an example; Is DNA the sole marker? Is a clone a person? Is R2D2 a person? Was Alex the African Grey a person (he exceeded all of White’s criteria did so better than many college grads)? Does a legal definition really define a person (the Us constitution states that blacks are only 3/5′s a person)? Are little green men persons? Does a frozen embryo legally equal a medically defined “unconscious” person? Does consciousness equal personhood? If so, by Bentov’s postulations, everything in existence is therefore ‘a person’. The word originally Etruscan, derives from the Latin ‘persona’, for ‘mask’. I would suggest that the ancients probably hit the nail on the head since all of reality is a hologram. So Heretic strikes out on the answer, and to attempt an answer to The Incredible One I would say this. Incredible, if you wear glasses, looking through only the right lens that embryo is a person; looking through the left, it is not. If you look through both, you will get disoriented by the lawyers and the self appointed moralists before you see anything. Just take them off entirely and use your intuition the answer will come to you.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm


Robert C,
The concept of personhood is indeed complex, and I gave just 3 dishwater-simple examples of the different ways it can be considered. I would disagree with you only in your final sentence. Intuition will lead different people to different answers, and that is exactly because there is no single objectively and exclusively defined answer that can be called right and all others wrong. Personhood means whatever people want it to mean. If a word can have any meaning, it has no intrinsic meaning.



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Robert C

posted January 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm


ah. But those who can attune themselves to their intuitive perceptions can reach a more complete understanding of the question at hand. If there are different answers found for each, so be it. But there really is no answer to anything, is there? Everything in the greater scheme of things is mutable. Better then to err on the side of caution, if one deems that caution is a mandate. If its not then all rules are off and might as well let the bombs drop.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm


The fact that certain concepts, such as personhood, can mean different things to different people, does not lead to the conclusion that there is no answer to anything. If the question is, “Can I flap my arms and take off and fly like a bird?” the clear and definitive answer is “No.” Even in realms outside of physical law, there are certain truths that have been held so widely and independently by diverse cultures at diverse times in history that they have a kind of “natural law” authority to them (the Rule of Reciprocity would be an obvious example).
As for erring on the side of caution, okay. But here, as in defining personhood, the answers are individual. Suppose, for example, that caution dictates to you that a frozen embryo — or for that matter, an embryo in utero — should be considered a person and afforded the rights and protections due to a person. That’s fine — no argument. But then I ask, is it not possible that sentient non-human animals have self-awareness and the capacity for suffering? If so, then erring on the side of caution would dictate that we should not exploit animals by using them as food, for entertainment, or in laboratory research. Do you agree? It is the cautious perspective. Maybe you do agree — but many who would agree on caution with respect to embryos would disagree with respect to animals. Which all just proves that people believe whatever they want to believe.



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Robert C

posted January 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm


Well that was indeed a dash of gobbledygook, if you narrow the scope of the perception of the question enough. Even Einstein ‘revised’ his concepts of physical laws, being subject to the laws of Correspondence. If you’re speaking outside of physical law, then all that is left could be defined as emanating from Universal Law/Divine Law. Reciprocity is the least obvious of the corollaries and no exception. The Law of Divine Oneness maintains that everything is connected to everything else, as Bentov brilliantly illustrates. Ergo, it is irrelevant under universal law if an embryo is legally a person, destroying it negatively affects the reality for those connected to it well beyond the narrow scope of US legal (positive law) thought du jour. Natural right influences natural justice which permeates natural law which inspires jurisprudence which forms the basis of positive law, a hat tip to the Stoics. Under Natural Right all entities that exist are entitled to exist. Amusing as it is to try to capture the concept of animal rights into the discussion to deflect from the insightfulness of Incredible’s question, I will certainly go farther. Yes indeed, sentient species of all kinds could and should be afforded rights and protections under positive law; a thought supported by no less a legal mastermind than Alan Dershowitz. So yes I agree. However, I would extend your hypothesis father. Since under natural justice and Universal Cause and Effect the human species owes a substantial debt to the rest, that any act that interferes with the inherent right of those species to exist should be mitigated, and that the human species should subject itself to the effects of the potential of extinction before it subjects the rest. Let them disagree, but people believing what they want doesn’t change the truths inherent in the Akashic Records.



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pagansister

posted January 26, 2011 at 3:11 pm


“I”- We are assuming that the embryo was created in a dish. If the embryo is implanted into a woman, does that change it’s status and it suddenly becomes a “baby” or was it a baby (even frozen)before? As mentioned above, the defination of a person varies depending on just who is doing the defining.



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted January 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm


Who defined “3/5 of a person”? Did others disagree? Yes, but so what? The Negro was then defined as a whole person. Who defined him such? These are the same ones who can define the unborn as persons.
The embryo frozen in a clinic came from a woman impregnated by a man. That embryo was born. So, by the standard of the pro-kill-the-unborn crowd, that embryo a person.



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted January 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm


Corporations are what the law calls “jural persons” — that is, they are treated as persons.
Those who define corporations as persons can define the unborn as persons, and, as “luck” would have it, they have. It just has to be implemented. It will.



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pagansister

posted January 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm


“I”- The embryo was born just because it was made by a sperm and an egg put together in a dish? It was FROZEN! BTW,does that mean they froze a live baby?(person?). Being born happens after approximately 9 months gestation, sometimes earlier, during which time the embryo grows so it can be born, hopefully screaming. Does the frozen embryo feel, is it alive? If they froze you, a living, breathing person, what would you feel? NOTHING. The frozen embryo has the potential for life if it is thawed out properly and placed in a womb. Not thawed out properly—no life.
Termination of a pregnancy is a personal matter for the woman. She is the only one who should and can decide what to do, hopefully taking other options into consideration.



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Mr. Incredible, in Jesus' Name

posted January 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm


The pro-kill-the-unborn crowd says that, if the unborn person is born, he is a person. The embryo was born, then frozen and stored in a clinic. So, the embryo, according to you, was alive at birth/separation, then, again according to you, frozen into non-life.
The embryo is a person, by the standard of the pro-kill-the-unborn fanatics.
Nine months’ gestation is not one of the elements of the standard of life, neither of persnhood. A child can be pre-maturely born and be alive and be a person, all at the same time.
Termination of the pregnancy is personal for the woman, IF there is no other person involved. The unborn child is involved.



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted January 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm


As I say, the embryo, pre-frozen, started out thawed.



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Mr. Incredible, in Jesus' Name

posted January 26, 2011 at 10:46 pm


So, pagan says that the embryo is frozen and, thus, not alive.
Trouble is that when the child was born, in the embryonic stage, he was not frozen. He was frozen later. So, if we are to believe pagan, freezing the embryo took life from the embryo and made it non-life, that the clinic stopped the life potential of the embryo.
This means that members, like pagan, of the pro-kill-the-unborn crowd are moving into kill-the-born-child territory.
Also, no one can create life from non-life. Either the embryo is alive from beginning to end, or it is not. Animation may be suspended, but the embryo is alive, its cells alive. It is alive and it is separated from its mother [birth]. Even to the pro-kill-the-unborn, by their own, expressed standard, that makes the embryo a person.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm


Robert,
My profession, for the past 36 years, has been in medical communications. I write highly technical material, and what I write must be clear and accurate for the physician audience. I mention this fact because clarity of communication is extremely important to me — but it seems to be less important to you than the opportunity to indulge in scholarly name-dropping. As near as I can determine, you are saying that the personhood of an embryo is irrelevant, and also that Incredible’s question about the personhood of a frozen embryo is insightful. Well, not being a philosopher, I don’t respond well to self-contradiction. If you mean that an embryo matters in a moral sense, irrelevant questions of personhood aside, then just say so, clearly. (See? It’s not difficult; and it doesn’t require any pretentious academic references.) As I said, I don’t dismiss the moral concerns of those who take this view.
As for the analogy to animal rights, it was not (as you well know) an attempt to evade the personhood question but to determine whether your moral sensibilities about non-sentient human embryos extend to sentient non-human animals. You say that you agree. Okay! Now, do you take the principle seriously enough to inform the way you live? I am a vegetarian, for combined reasons of health, environmental issues, and animal rights. Within the limits of my own long catalog of imperfections, I try to live in a way that may help to reduce the suffering in the world. Do you? If so, I respect your convictions. If not, then I would regard your moralistic statements as vain posturing.



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted January 27, 2011 at 12:19 am


If, as the evolutionists say, all life began with one cell, why is it so fantasic that life in the womb should begin with one cell?



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Robert C

posted January 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm


Heretic. That’s quite lovely. I am sure you perform your job nicely, and as a former VP non clinical for a large metropolitan acute care center I would have appreciated your clear and analytical writing. However, you should work on accuracy and context. If mentioning Ben Bentov’s name is name dropping, then you’ve taken that post out of the context of the entire thread, since I have mentioned him several times throughout in relation to his books on consciousness. His theorem marvelously refutes the position that an embryo is simply a collection of cells. If you fail to find the pertinence in that illustration then we are simply endlessly circling the wagons to no point.
I believe that the other name I ‘dropped’, excuse the thud, was Alan’s. You yourself raised the point concerning the authority of natural law. Then inelegantly segue, using my discretionary advice towards caution much like a can opener, in an attempt to position a logical conundrum to brand me a poseur, if I could not correspondingly find common ground in your postulation within positive law of the sacrosanct nature of other species . Alan has written extensively on the topic and in his Rights from Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights (2004), he writes that, “ in order to avoid human beings treating each other the way we treat animals, we have made the somewhat arbitrary decision to single out our own species for different and better treatment…..Does this subject us to the charge of speciesism? Of course it does, and we cannot justify it, except by the fact that in the world in which we live, humans make the rules. That reality imposes on us a special responsibility to be fair and compassionate to those on whom we impose our rules, hence the argument for animal rights.” A terribly pertinent position considering your concern not to “exploit animals by using them as food, for entertainment, or in laboratory research.” So, your question was not so far off topic that I would refuse to follow you down that path, and the citation of Dershowitz’s name/work, not so much name dropping as corroborating your own presumption before I ventured a reply, despite the fact that my personal ‘ moral sensibilities’ are also irrelevant.
If my own life style and convictions somehow offer you solace that someone who finds a position differing from yours viable on one topic could also magically agree with you on another that’s fine but yet again totally irrelevant. However I’ve lived as sometimes Vegan, sometimes vegetarian on and off for many years, however I am not militant. I share my home with 41 living, non human creatures. I dispute your claim of health benefits though, as dependant on the individual, and environmental questions are subject to the species in question. Now, all of which hopefully, brings us back to embryos, positive law and Roe v, Wade. Since advances in DNA research can illustrate sufficient legal ground to impinge the sustainability of Roe as law, I maintain that it’s only a matter of time before its revision, and that revision will be the correct next step ethically. Morally that position is still justifiable vis- a- vis limited rights yet to be afforded other species by referring to Bentov’s ( ah that name dropping again) scale model of consciousness and the greater potential inherent at various points on that scale, and no less importantly on the simple ability to effect legal change on each issue. Now I need to go shovel yet another foot of snow, happy days.



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus

posted January 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm


Actually, I want Roe NOT to be taken away…not just yet, if at all.
About two-thirds of the way down in the ruling, Justice Blackmun says that the Court would-a had to rule the other way had the personhood of the unborn been before the Court. Even the appelant agreed.
This is a gift, telling us how to reverse the effects of Roe.
“Human” is scientific [46 chromosomes]. It can be found by Science.
“Personhood” isn’t a scientific finding. It isn’t a discovery. It’s a determination. “Personhood” is found by social/legal/legislative/judicial means, just as it was with Negroes in the past century.



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Mr. Incredible, in Jesus' name

posted January 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm


I have just spoken to my congressman’s office to urge him to help put Planned Parenthood high on the spending cut list. I have also e-mailed nearly fifty talk show hosts to urge them to push this cut.
It’s time to cut Planned Parenthood off.



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pagansister

posted January 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm


Whatever “I”. I’m not pro-abortion, I’m for a woman beng allowed to control what she does with her own body, including whether she wishes to reproduce. So your cute little label (pro- kill- the- unborn) really doesn’t upset me, as it is totally inaccurate. I understand that you can’t understand that.
BTW, I did say that not all gestations are 9 months, but you obviously didn’t catch that.
Birth is the live expulsion from the female mammual of it’s young, which includes humans. Sometimes, of course, that birth isn’t live. (no, I’m not talking abortion, but an unfortunate death of a fully developed early or full term baby). In the case of humans, sometimes that birth is a C-Section. Birth is the combining of the egg and sperm in a dish according to you. Then frozen, thus life is put on hold? If left out of the womb, and not frozen, would that life continue to grow into a full baby to be born? No. Would you be considered alive if you were frozen for a long time, since, unlike an embryo, you have or do, live and breath and eat and sleep?
In your mind, abortion at any stage of pregnancy is wrong, killing life. In my mind, that “life” isn’t sustainable outside the womb until at least the 5th (early and not likely) month. However, IMO, as I have stated before, terminations should be preformed before the 4th month or even better, earlier. Best is birth control, and alternatives to the termination, but the right for a safe, clean termination should never be taken away.
Are we supposed to be impressed that you have contacted your congressman to attempt to stop funding of PP, and you have gotten in touch with 50 talk show hosts to push the cut? This is America, so you are allowed to. Have fun. Even if you succeed in cuting off PP, private doctors also do them. I know this, so the legal sources for safe and clean will not go away.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm


It is worth considering the mindset of the incredible self-appointed spokesperson for Jesus. In identifying Planned Parenthood as the driving force behind abortion, maybe he doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the fact that PP’s main activity is not abortion but promoting safe and effective contraception and family planning (you know, activities that would prevent unwanted pregnancies and thus reduce the rate of abortion). In any case, I don’t believe he has endorsed contraception, even though that would reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies that currently end in abortion, which makes me suspect that he opposes contraceptive education, services, and products. And that in turn leads me to wonder whether he really cares less about embryos and more about punishing women who are sexually active but do not want to become pregnant. Possible?
Maybe, maybe not. Maybe all this supposition is wrong, and he is merely incoherently angry about something, and figures that if he is angry about it, Jesus must also be angry about it.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm


Robert,
Does Bentov really have a “theorem” about consciousness? A theorem is an evidence-based model that has not been shown to be false; subject to later refutation or adjustment based on additional data that may be obtained in the future, it is accepted in the present as scientific truth. (A hypothesis is a model for which evidence is currently lacking but could, in principle, be obtained; and a speculation or conjecture is a model for which there is no evidence and no conceivable way to obtain evidence.)
Consciousness is an extremely contentious subject — and I still have scars from a time, a few years back, when I innocently wandered into a fierce debate whose participants included some devout worshippers of Daniel Dennett. The fact that someone suggests a model for consciousness doesn’t make it a theorem — evidence is needed for a theorem. (This is why creationists are either ignorant or deceitful when they try to equate their faith-based model — a speculation for which there is no evidence no way to obtain evidence — with the evidence-based scientific model called The Theory of Evolution.)
Is Bentov’s model really an evidence-based model that is widely accepted as scientific truth? If so, why has the topic of consciousness been the focus of so much intense (and often fascinating) debate?



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Robert C

posted January 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm


May not be the sole driving force but it is a prime driving force and as such has blood on its hands. Further investigation into the Gosnell case will determine whether PP had a hand in the cover up of murder. If so it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.



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Robert C

posted January 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm


I’ve given the link. Go judge for yourself.
BTW “The derivation of a theorem is often interpreted as a proof of the truth of the resulting expression, but different deductive systems can yield other interpretations, depending on the meanings of the derivation rules. Theorems have two components, called the hypotheses and the conclusions. The proof of a mathematical theorem is a logical argument demonstrating that the conclusions are a necessary consequence of the hypotheses, in the sense that if the hypotheses are true then the conclusions must also be true, without any further assumptions. The concept of a theorem is therefore fundamentally deductive, in contrast to the notion of a scientific theory, which is empirical.”



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus Who does not hide from His own !

posted January 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm


pagansister says:
I’m not pro-abortion…
Mr. Incredible says:
If you stand around letting abortions happen without saying something against them, you allow them to happen. Silence as acquiescence.
pagansister says:
…I’m for a woman beng allowed to control what she does with her own body…
Mr. Incredible says:
Hitler used euphemisms, too. “Killing” became “cleansing.”
You’re for a woman being allowed to control what she does with her own body; but whose body is the unborn child?
pagansister says:
… including whether she wishes to reproduce.
Mr. Incredible says:
She had that choice BEFORE she had sex.
pagansister says:
So your cute little label (pro- kill- the- unborn) really doesn’t upset me, as it is totally inaccurate.
Mr. Incredible says:
It’s accurate, all right.
pagansister says:
Birth is the live expulsion from the female mammual [sic] of it’s [sic] young, which includes humans. Sometimes, of course, that birth isn’t live. (no, I’m not talking abortion, but an unfortunate of a fully developed early or full term baby). In the case of humans, sometimes that birth is a C-Section.
Mr. Incredible says:
Birth can happen at any time from conception on. Any separation from the mother, at any stage of development, is birth. The Born Alive Infants Protection Act says that.
pagansister says:
Birth is the combining of the egg and sperm in a dish according to you.
Mr. Incredible says:
No, NOT according to me. I didn’t say that.
pagansister says:
Then frozen, thus life is put on hold?
Mr. Incredible says:
It’s suspended animation.
pagansister says:
If left out of the womb, and not frozen, would that life continue to grow into a full baby to be born? No.
Mr. Incredible says:
Irrelevant. That embryo needs the womb.
pagansister says:
Would you be considered alive if you were frozen for a long time, since, unlike an embryo, you have or do, live and breath and eat and sleep?
Mr. Incredible says:
In suspended animation, there isn’t the kind of activity that needs breath, food and sleep.
pagansister says:
In your mind, abortion at any stage of pregnancy is wrong, killing life.
Mr. Incredible says:
Well, correct is correct. The Constitution protects ALL persons.
pagansister says:
In my mind, that “life” isn’t sustainable outside the womb until at least the 5th (early and not likely) month.
Mr. Incredible says:
Beginning at conception, the unborn child CAN live outside the womb. It may be for seconds, or hours, or even weeks. During that time, he’s alive. Life isn’t defined by how long one lives.
pagansister says:
However, IMO, as I have stated before, terminations should be preformed before the 4th month or even better, earlier.
Mr. Incredible says:
Again, strange how you continue to use euphemisms for killing.
pagansister says:
Best is birth control, and alternatives to the termination, but the right for a safe, clean termination should never be taken away.
Mr. Incredible says:
VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT! VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT! VALUE JUDGMENT ALERT!
As long as another person is involved, the Constitution protects that life.
pagansister says:
Are we supposed to be impressed that you have contacted your congressman to attempt to stop funding of PP, and you have gotten in touch with 50 talk show hosts to push the cut?
Mr. Incredible says:
I don’t care whether you’re impressed, or not. I didn’t ask for a show of hands.
pagansister says:
This is America, so you are allowed to.
Mr. Incredible says:
Gee, thanks.
pagansister says:
Have fun.
Mr. Incredible says:
I will.
pagansister says:
Even if you succeed in cuting off PP…
Mr. Incredible says:
Oh, it’s GONNA happen.
pagansister says:
… private doctors also do them.
Mr. Incredible says:
We’ll stop them, too, from killing persons protected by the Constitution.
pagansister says:
I know this…
Mr. Incredible says:
You hope to know this.
pagansister says:
…so the legal sources for safe and clean will not go away.
Mr. Incredible says:
In time, they will. Oh, it’s GONNA happen.

EVERY valley FILLED ! EVERY mountain and hill BROUGHT LOW ! The crooked MADE STRAIGHT ! Rough ways MADE SMOOTH ! All this AND MORE in El Shaddai — through Christ ! WHAT A DEAL !



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pagansister

posted January 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm


Bye “I”. You have your opinions and I have mine. All your bible quotes won’t change mine and my responses won’t change yours. Do you know any other way to respond besides carrying on a conversation with quotes? TOOO long to go through.
H4C: Your post today (27th Jan at 5:26 PM) with regard to one who thinks he/she is really special and his/her opinion on this subject is, IMO, right on! The mindset is more like lockjaw!



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Mr. Incredible, in the Name of Jesus, the LORD of lords, KING of kings!

posted January 28, 2011 at 2:02 am


“ABIDE IN ME, AND I IN YOU !” – CHRIST

pagansister says:
Bye “I”.
Mr. Incredible says:
Buh byyyye.
pagansister says:
You have your opinions and I have mine. All your bible quotes won’t change mine and my responses won’t change yours.
Mr. Incredible says:
At least we can thank you for admitting that you have a closed mind. It’s a start. Understanding that you have a problem is half way to solving it.
pagansister says:
Do you know any other way to respond besides carrying on a conversation with quotes?
Mr. Incredible says:
I respond to specific things people say, things that I believe require a response.
Now, I don’t criticize your method, and you have no business criticizing mine.
pagansister says:
TOOO long to go through.
Mr. Incredible says:
Too bad that this is all just some game to you. It isn’t a game to me. I take it seriously, and that’s why I pick apart posts the way I pick them apart. No detail of a post escapes my notice.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 28, 2011 at 9:04 am


Hmmm! Last two incredible postings really illustrate the concept of a man talking to himself. And saying nothing more than: “Abortion is wrong” and” Jesus saves.” The first is arguable;the second is a statement of dogmatic faith that Jesus himself would have found alien. But to the committed bibliolater — the person whose faith is not in God but in the Bible — there are no questions in life, only absolute answers. It is hardly surprising that one who is convinced of possessing absolute answers displays absolute arrogance.
On topic: Abortion CANNOT be resolved by analogies to other moral-ethical questions, because pregnancy is a unique situation. Protecting human life is desirable; so is respecting a woman’s autonomy over her own body. I am pro-choice NOT because I like the idea of abortion (again, no one is “pro-abortion,” and those who use that phrase are damned liars) but because I am appalled at the thought of a woman being the involuntary walking incubator for a fetus she does not want. I am also appalled at the idea that if women are prohibited from obtaining abortion to end an unwanted pregnancy, may they next be prohibited from endangering the fetus by smoking during pregnancy? Failing to get regular medical examinations during pregnancy? Eating poorly during pregnancy? Not getting enough sleep during pregnancy? Do we put pregnant women on trial and imprison them for conducting their lives in a way that is sub-optimal for the wellbeing of the fetus? In short, does pregnancy reduce a woman to being nothing more than the servant to her fetus?
To argue that a woman SHOULD want to protect and promote the wellbeing of the fetus she carries is as revealingly arrogant as the Christian anti-abortionist’s claim that everyone SHOULD accept Jesus as lord and savior.
If, as it seems to me, there is no definitive answer to the question of unwanted pregnancy, then the only areas in which the discussion can be fruitful rather than futile are: Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed? And, more importantly, how can we reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies? The answer to the second question is obvious: improved contraceptive education and improved access to contraceptive services and products. Yet I still hear no support for this idea from the incredible born-again devotees of fetal wellbeing.



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Robert C

posted January 28, 2011 at 9:53 am


You go in circles again. You make the presumption that a woman has “autonomy” over her body in order to make the decision to end a life. There is no current discussion over “autonomy” aside from exercising the fallacious right to abort. Once pregnant it is no longer simply and solely her body. The autonomy argument is faux reasoning. The fact that the embyro’s DNA is seperate and distinct from the mother mitigates that canard. A woman has a right to contraception. Nothing else.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 28, 2011 at 10:21 am


No, Robert, it is you who have missed the point entirely. A woman’s autonomy IS real. So is a fetal life. This is, as I said, exactly why abortion cannot be logically argued on the basis of what is right and wrong in other moral-ethical situations. Pregnancy is a unique situation. It is your dogmatism that leads to faux reasoning. Answer my questions from the previous posting. If a woman can be compelled to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, can she be compelled to alter her lifestyle so as to avoid any possible risk to the fetus? If not, why not? If so, have we not reduced her to the status of a living, walking incubator for a fetus?
Ultimately, our disagreement is that you offer an easy answer based on a single perspective, that the embryo is a distinct being with its own DNA; I do not have any easy answers. That was the point I made, which you missed entirely; my pro-choice stance is not based on any belief that abortion is “good” but on the sense that since I can’t make a universal moral judgment on this unique question, I leave it to the individual woman to make her own judgment. I have no doubt that you will call that morally evasive; it is not. And the fact that you do unhesitatingly make the universal moral judgment that I cannot make does not mean that you are clear instead of evasive; dogmatism is always clear. But a dogmatic stance cannot be a moral stance, for morality implies a decision made in the absence of established law that requires or forbids a certain action; to the dogmatist, there is no conscious decision that exists where the law is mute, for dogmatic belief itself becomes the law. And when the rightness or wrongness of a decision is pre-determined by the law (actual statutes or dogmatic insistence), morality never even enters the picture.
Robert, you have a right to regard abortion as wrong, and I respect that. But I sneer at your pretentious efforts to argue this difficult question in terms that denigrate the intelligence or morality of those who view it differently.



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Your Name

posted January 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm


Corrected for the mispellings:
Ah here we go. Now the true colors and the name calling emerge. Smears of dogmatism ring out when the argument can’t be won. Of course it can be argued on a moral ethical basis. Of course we can compel her if the law is passed that does so. In many situations we compel the father to alter course and adhere to legal guidelines. We compel the school districts, the food providers, etc to adhere to guidelines for the welfare of the child. The political dogmatism of the left is nourished on imposing rules and regulations on the rest of society. Look in the mirror to view the true dogmatist. I leave room to compromise on the issue. You do not. You fail to recognize that there are differing standards and definitions of ‘morality’ dependant on culture, philosophy, religion, chronology or codes of conduct. It does not mean 2011 US left leaning versions of what is moral. Try not to spout your narrow definitions at me; they will be repudiated through simple common sense. Your cognitivist position is the one held by the moral nihilist. Wallow in it if you will, however one good sneer deserves another, and this discussion is now at an end.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted January 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm


Suit yourself, Robert. On another board, I saw that you described yourself as formerly a “flaming liberal” who now sees The Truth and has “moved to the center.” Flaming liberalism is a form of dogmatism. So is flaming anti-liberalism. You are not in the center; your stridently anti-liberal stance places you far to the right, where there is no positive agenda but only bristling hatred for the left. As one who is politically eclectic, seeing some valid arguments from and criticisms of each end of the spectrum, all I see in your words is a knee-jerk dogmatist who has traded in one form of dogmatism for another.



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pagansister

posted January 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm


Interesting that one who claims to have all the answers can accuse another of having a “closed mind”. Self recognition is important.
I know I’ve said this before, but good points, H4C. No easy answers and never will be to this sitution. (except for those who claim to have ALL the answers, with no possibility that their TRUTH is not necessarily TRUTH to all.)



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NPR PRN

posted January 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm


I think everyone can agree that each fetus is unique. No question. And that almost all embryo will eventually be a newborn, the child and an adult. But that doesn’t change the idea that it is wrong for pregnant women should have no say in the matter. Right now one person can give up 40% of his liver to be transplanted and save another life; 2 problems -pricey and about 5% of the time can several injury or kill the donor. Not unlike the circumstance of alot of pregnant women who live in poverty. I have a feeling that most of the gentlemen who have prolife views would be extremely upset to be told that they are a match for a transplant and must come right now to save someone life by going through a painful surgery- oh and they need to pay for it also. Probably most people would be willing, but it should be each person choice and not something forced.



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Robert C

posted January 29, 2011 at 10:38 am


I know a flaming liberal when I see one and you are not anywhere near the middle. You can try as you will to make simplistic statements to impinge another’s credibility but that only shows you are the dogmatic leftist and no where near balanced as you say. I notice you are quick on the draw to name call, and the like minded foot soldiers are quick to come to your support.



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Devil's Advocate

posted May 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm


If a fetus is such a treasured and undeniable example of human life, then why, when a woman loses a pregnancy (due to nature, not abortion) and is forced to labor a partially developed stillborn, will most churches refuse to hold a funeral for and bury the “child” in a Christian cemetary? My cousin lost a baby at 4 months, and when she passed the remains the hospital would not allow her to take them. She then called her preist, who told her that to bury a “fetus”, as he called it, would be an abomination, and that a proper Catholic church would simply not allow it. He was quite disgusted by the request. Thinking this may have just been one person’s discomfort with the idea, she then contacted another, and was given basically the same answer. Why was this fetus not considered a child when it was lost before birth due to natural causes? If a child is a child from the time of conception, so much so that it deserves to have rights, then why, if that life is lost, do religious organizations not feel it has the right to a proper Christian burial? Seems a little hypocritical to me.



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