Abortion is murder

MattShizzle
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Abortion is murder

Saying that an abortion is the equivalent of murdering an actual person is very, very irrational. By the way, to Christians, the Bible actually says life begins at birth.

http://www.ffrf.org/nontracts/abortion.php

But seriously, a fetus is not a person, especially very early - as Sam Harris pointed out, a blastocyst actually has fewer cells than are present in the brain of a fly. Why are christians only concerned with life when it is either a fetus or brain dead? Maybe they only like people of similar intelligence to them.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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StMichael wrote: Killing

StMichael wrote:
Killing that is wrong is unlawful. It breaks the natural law, hence it is unlawful.(It also breaks the eternal law)

No. Then I guess a jury of twelve that convict an innocent man to death because they truly believe the evidence to show him guilty of murdering thirty two toddlers are all unlawful murderers. It is certainly wrong to kill him if he is innocent. 

 

Quote:
Also, again, this leads to the absurd consequences I outlined earlier. Nazis and Stalinists and Maoists and every dictator and genocidal maniac in history was acting perfectly lawfully in killing their citizens and did not commit murder.

If they broke international law or laws of the state then it is murder, if not then it is a horrible atrocity that should not happen and should be stopped by whatever means necessary, but no, it is not murder. Don't blame me, I don't make up the terms and the context in which they are properly used. You however also don't decide and in this instance the term murder as referring to abortion which is perfectly legal is not appropriate regardless of what consequences you think it leads to. It simply is not murder. There is no debating that.

Quote:
I am not trying to act superior. I am maintaining that your position has absurd consequences.

Now you are lying before your non-existent god and everybody as evidenced by the following quote:

Quote:
Recognize the absurdity in your statements before you make them.

To scold someone in this manner, even though you are incorrect, is acting superior. You must think your knowledge superior before you can consider it necessary to, not ask, but order someone to recognize the absurdity in their statements before they make them. If you did not think yourself superior in this instance you would say something more along the lines of, "Don't you believe that statement to lead to an absurdity?" indicating that you were openly discussing the matter. 

I lose more faith in the goodness and honesty of men daily.

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


StMichael
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Quote: OK, the people

Quote:
OK, the people killed by Nazis, dictators, etc were actual people, capable of thought and emotion not clusters of cells incapable of living on their own. Just because they are capable of developing into people so what? With cloning technology, we could very soon create a person from every cell in the body - by your logic every time you scratch your nose you are guilty of mass murder!

We have not determined why embryos are not persons. Even if we could never know certainly who is right, we must refrain from acting, as to act would be murder. You never answered my arguments above.

Second, a liver cell is not a person, nor is a skin cell, nor is a hair follicle. An egg cell that joins with a sperm is a person. From the moment of conception onward it carries all dignity and duties inherent.

Third, if your standard of personhood is being able to live without external aid, you have a poor standard. Are people living on iron lungs persons? They cannot breathe, eat, or live without aid of medical professionals. Are retarded men persons? They depend more than children on their parents for a great deal. Are children persons? They depend on their parents for life. Are older men and women persons? They cannot survive often without aid at a nursing home, ect. Are you a person? You depend on society for a great deal, such as clothing and shelter and food production and electricity and heat. 

 

Quote:


No. Then I guess a jury of twelve that convict an innocent man to death because they truly believe the evidence to show him guilty of murdering thirty two toddlers are all unlawful murderers. It is certainly wrong to kill him if he is innocent. 

It is wrong to do so, but it is not of the same genus of murder. You are shifting the topic. Further, even in this event such an action is unlawful in a greater sense because it violates what the law intends by allowing a trial. It is also an injustice in a greater sense. Even if it violates no human law directly, it violates the natural law.

 

Quote:

 

If they broke international law or laws of the state then it is murder, if not then it is a horrible atrocity that should not happen and should be stopped by whatever means necessary, but no, it is not murder.

Now we are shifting the topic again. Breaking the natural law remains a crime, which is how an action can be wrong in the first place. It would be false, of course, if we define "murder" as purely a breaking of the positive human law. But it is not defined that way, and to push that definition is just sophistry. The act remains a crime, but not a crime against the law of man, but against natural law and against God.

Further, then let's make up a term for "great crime that ought to be prevented." Say, X. This term now applies to all actions committed with break the human law law or don't break the human law which violate the natural law in terms of violating another person's right to life. X applies to abortion, regardless of your sophistry.

 

Quote:

To scold someone in this manner, even though you are incorrect, is acting superior. You must think your knowledge superior before you can consider it necessary to, not ask, but order someone to recognize the absurdity in their statements before they make them.

I challenged you to consider your arguments before you present something so clearly absurd. It has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority. It has to do with critically examining statements. It was no personal attack.

 

 Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 


 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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Quote: Vessel wrote: No.


Quote:
Vessel wrote:
No. Then I guess a jury of twelve that convict an innocent man to death because they truly believe the evidence to show him guilty of murdering thirty two toddlers are all unlawful murderers. It is certainly wrong to kill him if he is innocent.

It is wrong to do so, but it is not of the same genus of murder. You are shifting the topic. Further, even in this event such an action is unlawful in a greater sense because it violates what the law intends by allowing a trial. It is also an injustice in a greater sense. Even if it violates no human law directly, it violates the natural law.

I am not shifting the topic. By your definition of murder I can not see why the above scenario would not apply.

When I entered and made my comment the only thing I was saying is that the term murder can not be applied to abortion if it is legal. I offered no statement on whether abortion was right or wrong. You then told me I was wrong. You seem to have automatically assumed that I was trying to say there is nothing wrong with abortion by saying that it was not murder, but that was not my point at all.   

 

Quote:
Vessel wrote:
If they broke international law or laws of the state then it is murder, if not then it is a horrible atrocity that should not happen and should be stopped by whatever means necessary, but no, it is not murder.

Now we are shifting the topic again. Breaking the natural law remains a crime, which is how an action can be wrong in the first place. It would be false, of course, if we define "murder" as purely a breaking of the positive human law. But it is not defined that way, and to push that definition is just sophistry. The act remains a crime, but not a crime against the law of man, but against natural law and against God.

Crimes are only acts which break international laws or the laws of states. There is no crime if you do not break the law. You can act in a way that is morally wrong but you can not commit a crime removed from societies laws. Laws are defined by men. You must assume your god before you say that there can be a crime against god's law and I make no such assumption so to attempt to make that point in a discussion with an atheist is ridiculously idiotic. Surely you are smarter than that. 

Quote:
Further, then let's make up a term for "great crime that ought to be prevented." Say, X. This term now applies to all actions committed with break the human law law or don't break the human law which violate the natural law in terms of violating another person's right to life. X applies to abortion, regardless of your sophistry.

If X is a term that applies to removing a person's right to life and not law specific and the aborted cells, blastocyst, fetus, what have you fits the definition of life then X would, of course, apply to abortion. I never claimed different. My point was simply that the whole 'abortion is murder' terminology is flawed as it is not murder if it is not illegal. When holding discussions like this it is best to use correct terminology so that everyone is working from the same concept.

Whether or not you consider this sophistry, I could not care less.

 

Quote:
Vessel wrote:
To scold someone in this manner, even though you are incorrect, is acting superior. You must think your knowledge superior before you can consider it necessary to, not ask, but order someone to recognize the absurdity in their statements before they make them.

I challenged you to consider your arguments before you present something so clearly absurd. It has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority. It has to do with critically examining statements. It was no personal attack.

You were intentionally being rude, acting superior, it was a personal attack, and now you are lying about it. At least be honest enough to admit it instead of just compounding the dishonesty. On top of all that, you were undeniably wrong. I am saddened by your lack of integrity. 


“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


StMichael
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Abortion is murder because

Abortion is murder because it breaks the natural law and the eternal law. Murder is murder whether it breaks human laws or not, because it breaks a higher law.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:

Abortion is murder because it breaks the natural law and the eternal law. Murder is murder whether it breaks human laws or not, because it breaks a higher law.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

I hope you are never put into a position where you have to defend yourself to the point where you'd have to use lethal force.

Then again, martyrdom is a virtue of the Church, isn't it?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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StMichael
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Use of force in that

Use of force in that context is justified for different reasons; it is legitimate self-defense. The doctrine of double effect.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: Use of

StMichael wrote:

Use of force in that context is justified for different reasons; it is legitimate self-defense. The doctrine of double effect.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

However, that sits in direct contradicton to your statement, "Murder is murder whether it breaks human laws or not, because it breaks a higher law."

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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StMichael
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Yes, but self-defense does

Yes, but self-defense does not break a higher law.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


triften
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FACT: Abortions were

FACT: Abortions were performed during the time that the Bible was written.

FACT: The Bible talks about many "evils" and what is "good" and what is "bad".

FACT: The only time anything close to abortion is mentioned is: Matthew 21:22

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

A fine is paid.

Elsewhere in the Bible, the penalty for murder is death. Death is not proscribed here, therefore causing a woman to miscarry is not murder according to the Bible.

We can also conclude that abortion was not seen as a problem by the authors of the Bible.

-Triften

EDIT: Do'h, that's what the ffrf.org link was about. Nevermind. 


StMichael
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First, I have no idea what

First, I have no idea what you are referring to in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, where you reference this phrase: "And all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing, you shall receive."

 Second, I would point out that the question is not whether the Scriptures explicitly prohibit abortion, but whether a person exists from the womb. This, the Scriptures clearly maintain in speaking, for example, of Saint John who leapt in the womb. Likewise, it speaks many times of unborn children as precisely children. 

Third, I quote a much more comprehensive treatment of this passage than I can give from the website of the Priests for Life:

"Exodus 21: 22-25. The passage as cited in the NIV reads: "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the courts allow. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye…." [...]

First, assuming the pro-abortion interpretation of this passage is correct (i.e. that the unborn's death is treated differently than the mother's), it does not follow that the unborn are not fully human. The preceding passage presents a situation where a master unintentionally kills his slave and escapes with no penalty at all (the lack of intent being proven by the interval between the blow and the death.). Yet few liberals would argue that Scripture considers the slave to be less than human. Likewise, it does not follow that the unborn entity is non-human simply because the penalty for its death is less than that given were its mother to die. It might be argued that both the slave and the unborn child had a lesser social status in Hebrew society, but it cannot be demonstrated from this that a lesser social status meant that one was less than fully human.

Second, even if abortion advocates are correct about this passage, it cannot be used to support abortion on demand. Liberals argue that any woman should be able to kill any baby at any point in the pregnancy for any reason or no reason. This passage, however, does not even remotely suggest that a woman can willfully kill her unborn child without justification. At best, it only shows that there is a lesser penalty for accidentally killing her unborn offspring than there is for accidentally killing her. "To move from this truth to the conclusion that abortion-on-demand is justified is a non sequitur," writes Beckwith in Politically Correct Death. (p. 143)

Third, this single passage cannot be used to invalidate other Scriptures which confer full human status on the unborn. As mentioned earlier, passages such as Job 3:3,10-16, Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15, etc. all treat the unborn as persons. The abortion advocate must somehow reconcile his own interpretation of this passage with these other Scriptures which are clearly not supportive of his view.

Finally, the pro-abortion interpretation of this passage (that a person who kills an unborn child only incurs a fine) has come under heavy fire from many Biblical scholars. There is a great deal of discussion about the phrase, "no serious injury." "No serious injury to whom?" asks theologian R.C. Sproul. Liberals, of course, argue that the phrase only applies to the mother. But only a few translations, such as the Jerusalem Bible, actually interpret the verse in this way. When read in the original Hebrew, the passage seems to suggest that both the mother and the child are covered by the lex talionis -- the law of retribution. The Hebrew term ason (harm/injury) is clearly indefinite in its reference, and the expression lah (to her), which would restrict the word "injury" only to the mother, is missing. Hence, the phrase, "no serious injury" seems to apply equally to both mother and child and if either is harmed the penalty is "life for life, tooth for tooth, hand for hand," etc. According to Hebrew scholar Dr. Gleason Archer, "There is no second class status attached to the fetus under this rule. The fetus is just as valuable as the mother." (Cited in J. Ankerberg and J. Weldon, When Does Life Begin, Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1989 pp. 195-6. See also, Meredith Kline, "Lex Talionis & the Human Fetus," Simon Greenleaf Law Review 5 [1985-1986] pp.73-89.)
"

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


MattShizzle
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Sorry, "eternal law" and

Sorry, "eternal law" and "higher law than human law" are complete fiction.


StMichael
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That leads you straight into

That leads you straight into the error pointed out earlier. You would then have to accept that all actions of every dictator, like Stalin, Hitler, and Mao are perfectly and completely morally justified and that I can make ice cream good for my teeth merely by passing a law.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: That leads

StMichael wrote:
That leads you straight into the error pointed out earlier. You would then have to accept that all actions of every dictator, like Stalin, Hitler, and Mao are perfectly and completely morally justified and that I can make ice cream good for my teeth merely by passing a law.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

As humans wrote the "higher than human law" you attribute to your Deity, I really don't see an error.

Or do you think the precepts cited in the Bible are the originals?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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StMichael wrote: That leads

StMichael wrote:
That leads you straight into the error pointed out earlier. You would then have to accept that all actions of every dictator, like Stalin, Hitler, and Mao are perfectly and completely morally justified and that I can make ice cream good for my teeth merely by passing a law.

Are you hard of reading? Because something is not illegal does not mean it is not morally wrong. Jeez H. Christ on a popscicle stick, you just keep saying that if killing as Hitler did wasn't illegal then it would be morally justified as if you hadn't been corrected repeatedly. It borders on insanity. Morality exists regardless of laws. Murder is the illegal taking of human life. But just because the taking of a life is not illegal, and therefor not murder, does not mean it is not immoral. Even if Hitler's actions broke no laws they would still be immoral, even though they would not be murder. They would not be morally justified. Immoral they would still be. There would be no moral justification. Moralo justificationo still no existo. Hitler - bad, Mao - bad, Stalin - bad; we don't need laws enacted that make the act of the taking of human life in such a manner and for such reasons illegal to consider it immoral. Enacting a law or not enacting a law does not change the designation of an act from moral to immoral, from right to wrong. If killing humans for enjoyment is made legal by a crazed world enacting a law to legalize it, it does not suddenly become moral, and if a society enacts a law forbidding donating blood, donating blood does not suddenly become immoral. Have I said it enough times in enough ways to keep you from making the same ridiculous unsupported comment or would you like me to repeat myself some more?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


StMichael
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First, I never claimed the

First, I never claimed the higher law was exclusively derived from Scripture. There is the eternal law, which is revealed in Scripture, but I never expected you to accept that de facto. The higher law is the natural law.
Second, murder is the unlawful taking of human life. It is an infringements of rights, not just of the state, but of nature. This is even found in secular laws which designate that people has rights, regardless of the state's designation of them, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Murder is unlawful because it infringes upon these rights - the natural law.
Third, when I was writing that, I was obviously referring to Matt's statement that no higher law exists.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: First, I

StMichael wrote:
First, I never claimed the higher law was exclusively derived from Scripture. There is the eternal law, which is revealed in Scripture, but I never expected you to accept that de facto. The higher law is the natural law.
Second, murder is the unlawful taking of human life. It is an infringements of rights, not just of the state, but of nature. This is even found in secular laws which designate that people has rights, regardless of the state's designation of them, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Murder is unlawful because it infringes upon these rights - the natural law.
Third, when I was writing that, I was obviously referring to Matt's statement that no higher law exists.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Uh, no.

Natural law is the one that most thinking people loathe - "might makes right" or "the law of the claw" or "an eye for an eye". It's the one that lower order animals operate under.

The rights you call natural law came later as humans began to form societies.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Abortion is Murder; So What?

I find it helpful to consider what, exactly, is wrong with murder. I mean, ask yourself, why isn't it a perfectly legal thing to go around doing? And if you answer something about the Ten Commandments, you'll get a "BZZZT! Wrong!"

Once you have considered exactly why the taking of a human life is considered unacceptable in any civilized society -- and has been since long before Jesus was born or the Bible was written -- you'll better appreciate how those standards should be applied in such cases as abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, etc.

-- Kirbert


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Quote:

Quote:
This is all irrelevant. I don't have a "right" to live inside someone else off their energy and consumption against their will. Not more than I have a right to be in someone else's house without their consent. They can legitemately shoot me in self defense and kill me...a mother can legitemately have an abortion and kill the fetus.

Agreed. In fact, this and many other issues could be settled in the US today with the enactment of one amendment to the Constitution that grants each individual domain over his/her own body. Basically, that any adult citizen of the US in good standing has the right to decide what is put into or taken out of his/her body. Hence, a woman can at any point insist that anything -- including a fetus -- be removed from her body posthaste. She cannot necessarily insist that it be killed upon removal, but she has the right to not have any more to do with it.

This amendment would also legalize all drugs, prescription and otherwise.

-- Kirbert


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First, the natural law is

First, the natural law is not the same as the colloquial "law of the jungle." Natural law is the natural order of human affairs and human rights which flows from their nature. Murder is wrong because it violates a natural right of human beings to life.
Second, in response to the abortion post, I've already outlined why abortion is always and everywhere an evil (which also applies to stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, abortofacient contraceptives, and any other intentional action that would destroy embryos).

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: First, the

StMichael wrote:
First, the natural law is not the same as the colloquial "law of the jungle." Natural law is the natural order of human affairs and human rights which flows from their nature. Murder is wrong because it violates a natural right of human beings to life. Second, in response to the abortion post, I've already outlined why abortion is always and everywhere an evil (which also applies to stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, abortofacient contraceptives, and any other intentional action that would destroy embryos). Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom, StMichael

As natural law proceeds from humans by their nature (your own admission) it is a human law. Your "natural law is higher than human law" idea is dead by your own hand.

Do you not check your previous posts to see whether you contradict yourself? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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It is not human law,

It is not human law, however. It is law which proceeds from the nature of man himself; what he ought to do from right reason. Human positive laws are those which man creates to order society by decree and promulgation. These can and sometimes are in contradiction with this law of nature.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: It is not

StMichael wrote:
It is not human law, however. It is law which proceeds from the nature of man himself; what he ought to do from right reason. Human positive laws are those which man creates to order society by decree and promulgation. These can and sometimes are in contradiction with this law of nature. Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom, StMichael

When did man stop being human? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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StMichael
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I am merely outlining the

I am merely outlining the difference between positive law (the US Constitution, the traffic regulations, the laws of international treaties) versus natural law (a law/moral code that is "inherent" in human nature). The one does not necessarily reflect the other.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


Yellow_Number_Five
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I would just like to say, I

I would just like to say, I have not read a fucking page of this thread, nor do I intend too.

I'm sure all the lame, standard arguments have been hashed out. It's not like we haven't all discussed this before.

At any rate, I wanted to make a simple point. What we are debating here is when personhood begins, NOTHING else.

None of us, not even the people supporting pro-choice (and let's be honest, it isn't pro-choice, it's pro-abortion) would ever support killing a full fledge person who had rights and autonomy simply via the mother's choice (life-threatening pregnecy, maybe, but that's another matter).

And none of us, not even the pro-life people (and let's be honest, it isn't pro-life, it's anti-abortion) would tell a person she did not have authority over her own body unless they honestly thought the life of another actual person was at stake.

So in that regard, we ought to be on the same page and simply asking: what the hell constitutes a PERSON. NOT A HUMAN. A human and a person are different things. A human would be a body without a head, with no mind, or even a lump of skin. A person on the other hand has rights, has voilition, lots of stuff - it's more than a lump of human DNA. So when does a human become a person? Is it at conception? The first trimester? The third? At 18? That's the question, and the ONLY important question in this argument.

Below is a sum up of my thoughts on the subject. The only two cents I'll be contributing to this discussion, because I've had this discussion way too many times. Take it for what you will.

 

I believe that it is ethical to abort an embryo/fetus, but not a person. The question is, when does an embryo/fetus become a person?


 
I dug out an old cognitive psychology book a little while ago for use in another thread and read up on the developmental studies of neonate imitation conducted by Meltzoff and Moore (1977, 1983, 1989, 1994). This research shows that the human neonate already has a complex, although still primitive consciousness. A review of the experimental data shows that, at least, the following five aspects of consciousness are functional just after birth:
[1] A proprioceptive awareness that constitutes a primitive body image. This involves a sense of how parts of one's own body are structurally related. In other words self awareness.

[2 ] A perceptual system that includes the capability of an organized visual awareness of the environment. This system is sophisticated enough to register (a) a perceptual differentiation between self and other, and (b) a cognitive recognition that the other is of the same sort as oneself..

[3] A capacity for intermodal communication between [1] and [2].

[4] A primitive self consciousness understood as a combination of [1], proprioceptive awareness, [2a], a perceptual differentiation between self and other, and [2b] a recognition that the other is of the same sort as oneself all of these elements apparent in events of neonate imitation.

[5] A capacity for semantic memory -- defined as the capacity to represent states of the world that are no longer perceptually present.

Many cognitive shrinks think it possible to trace these aspects of neonatal conscious experience back into very late prenatal life. Studies support the idea that the late term fetus is conscious, and that late term fetal consciousness includes, albeit in more primitive forms, and with some qualifications, all of the aspects listed above except [2b].



Personally, I'd probably call a human that possessed the above aspects of conciousness a person, not a person with rights such as you and I would have, but still a person. Rights, I think are requisite on the ability to reciprocate them, but this is beside the point of actual personhood, IMO. This would be a person that would require constant supervision by parents or asylum staff, and never be allowed to drive a car or handle sharp things, but still I think a person none the less.

Now the traits I've describe do not, in fact can not manifest until VERY late in gestation. Which is why I'm OK with unrestricted abortion up until the third trimester at a minimum. I'm OK with abortion to save the mother even after that - afterall, even if I considered the fetus a person at that point, the fetus's rights cannot usurp the mother's. Still, by the third trimester, you should have made a fucking decision already.

My two cents, well more like dollar twenty.

 

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Well invested $1.20,

Well invested $1.20, Yellow.


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I repost my original

I repost my original argument why this is still wrong:

If we cannot agree that an embryo in a mother's womb is a person, we still have a clear moral obligation to reject abortion as murder. To propose an example, consider that we are driving a car. On the way, we hear a story on the radio that a crazed murder has placed boxes in the middle of the street, some filled with tied-up school children and some not. Inside the box, he may have hid a busload of school children, but we don't know. We look up and see a large cardboard box in the middle of the road. Do we swerve away? YES! To act in such a way as to possibly commit murder is as bad as to commit murder itself. If I decided that, because I don't know whether it's filled with people or not, I ram every cardboard box I see at 98 miles per hour, I would be guilty of murder.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
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We already told you why that

We already told you why that argument (like 99.99% of yours) was irrational. Sad


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And why would that be? I see

And why would that be? I see no reason it is irrational.

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StMichael

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Quote: Murder is wrong

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Murder is wrong because it violates a natural right of human beings to life.

 Well, no.  Human beings don't actually have a natural right to life.

 --  Kirbert 


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Protection of the Individual -- Society's Standpoint

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So in that regard, we ought to be on the same page and simply asking: what the hell constitutes a PERSON. NOT A HUMAN. A human and a person are different things. A human would be a body without a head, with no mind, or even a lump of skin. A person on the other hand has rights, has voilition, lots of stuff - it's more than a lump of human DNA. So when does a human become a person? Is it at conception? The first trimester? The third? At 18? That's the question, and the ONLY important question in this argument.

Actually, no, it's not. The issue you describe lies at the crux of the legal argument -- how and when to distinguish between a living entity that can be destroyed without legal consequences and one that is protected by law. A very important issue, to be sure, but actually not the main issue that needs to be resolved.

The real crux of the argument is: When is it beneficial to society to protect the life of an organism? There are, after all, costs and downsides to providing such protections, so society must have compelling reasons to do so.

In the case of adult human beings, the general case is fairly clear-cut. A considerable investment of time and resources has been expended in bringing that human being to the point of being a contributing member of society. Allowing him to be destroyed willy-nilly would not only be a waste of such time and resources, but it would also discourage similar expenditures on other individuals in the future. This can be observed in some third world societies where human life has become so cheap that families have many, many children in hopes that one or two will survive, and they put very little effort into raising any one of those children -- no proper schooling, not even sufficient food in many cases.

In the case of adult human beings who have already demonstrated that they are a scourge to society rather than a contributor, there becomes little or no reason for protection. The resources spent raising this person have already been wasted, there's little hope of recurring that expense now. Some argue that it's worth the effort to try and turn these people's lives around, but I'd argue that statistics indicate it is not. The effort would be better spent raising new specimens better.

In the case of an unborn fetus, society hasn't contributed any time or resources at all yet. The parents may have, but if they choose to discard the results of those efforts, they probably should be permitted to do so. If brought to term, they will be expected to contribute considerably more time and resources to raise this human being to the point of adulthood.

It's perhaps worthy of note that, when the Bible was written and when several others of our time-honored notions of murder and protection were established, every human being was potentially a valuable addition to society. Societies desperately needed every helping hand they could get. That is not the case today. Today every additional human being is actually a detriment to society; the world is overpopulated by a factor of at least 10 and possibly by a factor of 100 or more. From a benefit to society standpoint, we should be encouraging any policies that result in fewer human beings being born. And religions are doing mankind a grave disservice in failing to recognize this development.

-- Kirbert


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This Discussion is Murder!

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Killing can be morally wrong and not be murder. Murder is strictly killing that is unlawful.

Actually, I heard once that, at the time the Bible was written, "murder" was defined as "the killing of a guest within your house." I have no idea if that's true.

Of course, it shouldn't matter to Bible-thumpers, because the Commandment says "Thou Shalt Not Kill". It doesn't say anything about "murder". Any true believer won't own a flyswatter and won't use Listerine.

-- Kirbert


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Fourth Trimester?

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Now the traits I've describe do not, in fact can not manifest until VERY late in gestation. Which is why I'm OK with unrestricted abortion up until the third trimester at a minimum.

Here's an opinion that's likely to cause consternation:

If I were the one establishing the policy, I would permit abortions on the mother's directions, without question or qualification, up until about three weeks after birth. That's right, I'd allow her to kill off her newborn baby if she sees fit.

This would allow such practical benefits as calling the whole thing off if the baby turns out to be massively deformed, or if its brains were seriously damaged during a difficult childbirth. Really, it would be better if such horrible developments were not a life sentence on the parents to care for a hopelessly debilitated child. Everyone involved would truly be better off if this child were euthanized immediately and the parents moved on to have another child.

And, up until this point, society as a whole has very little invested in this child. Society doesn't really need more children, and if the mother chooses to terminate this life now rather than subject herself and society to the costs of supporting it, I'm with her. Even if the child appears to be perfectly healthy.

And it's not as though this isn't consistent with "natural law". Many animals kill their newborn young, often for no better reason than they have more offspring than they can support.

-- Kirbert


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I'm glad we have decided to

I'm glad we have decided to just come out and openly declare our baby-killing tendencies. Now, if only you could just declare this on national television, I'd be set.

Further, what ground do we have for personhood or the lack of killing at all? It does not seem that there is any reason to hold to that opinion for any other reason than convenience. Thus, I could kill you now without any supposed moral implications, as such are merely convention to be dispensed with at will. If this is the case, do right and wrong answers exist to moral questions? If not, how can we decide at all what to do in any situation? If it depends on some reason, that counts as a form of moral reasoning. You must, then, defer to merely instinctual reaction to pleasure and pain. Is this your solution?

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StMichael

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Morals vs. Ethics

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Now, if only you could just declare this on national television, I'd be set.

I'd be happy to. Where will the cameras be set up?

Quote:
Further, what ground do we have for personhood or the lack of killing at all? It does not seem that there is any reason to hold to that opinion for any other reason than convenience. Thus, I could kill you now without any supposed moral implications, as such are merely convention to be dispensed with at will.

Many a Christian has come to that same conclusion, and many millions of non-Christians have died at their sword as a result.

Quote:
If this is the case, do right and wrong answers exist to moral questions?

Well, here I must take a time out to discuss the meaning of the word "moral". My own personal definitions of "moral" and "ethical" differ in that morals are societal conventions and routinely vary from one society to the next. As an example, whether or not it is moral to take more than one wife. Morals are often established by the reigning dominant religion of the society.

Ethics, on the other hand, are universal, and can readily be appreciated by anyone of any religion. For example, it may be moral or immoral to take more than one wife, but it is clearly unethical to take a second wife without telling the first!

Now I readily admit that I may be the only one who recognizes such a distinction between ethics and morals. Theists often express the opinion that the two words are synonymous -- which makes sense, since to their minds anything that goes against the teachings of their church would be considered unethical. But to those of us that think rationally, there is a universal right vs. wrong that doesn't require Biblical teachings or the fear of eternal damnation.

Now back to your question, "do right and wrong answers exist to moral questions?" My answer would be that, yes, the right answers would be the ones that coincide with ethical responses, while wrong answers would include any that serve no purpose other than the personal gain of individuals at the expense of others -- and that includes those individuals passing around the silver plate on Sundays.

Quote:
If not, how can we decide at all what to do in any situation?

That's easy: You decide to do what is best for all involved, not just yourself.

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If it depends on some reason, that counts as a form of moral reasoning. You must, then, defer to merely instinctual reaction to pleasure and pain.

I must confess I'm not sure I understand that statement. "Pleasure and pain" might relate to the question of what is best for all involved, I guess -- the most pleasure, the least pain might qualify as the definition of what's "best".

-- Kirbert


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Quote: Many a Christian

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Many a Christian has come to that same conclusion, and many millions of non-Christians have died at their sword as a result.

Christians have never used that standard. Ever. Further, you seem to hold it, not I.

Quote:

Well, here I must take a time out to discuss the meaning of the word "moral". My own personal definitions of "moral" and "ethical" differ in that morals are societal conventions and routinely vary from one society to the next. As an example, whether or not it is moral to take more than one wife. Morals are often established by the reigning dominant religion of the society.

Ethics, on the other hand, are universal, and can readily be appreciated by anyone of any religion. For example, it may be moral or immoral to take more than one wife, but it is clearly unethical to take a second wife without telling the first!


I find this distinction clearly contradictory. There are social conventions and so-to-speak imbibed morality, because we do learn first about what is moral from society. However, these things are based in what is, in your notion, "ethical." I likewise see no grounds in which to base ethics, assuming your premises. I agree with you in not placing morality in fear of hell. But I do not see how you can justify that such universal ethical knowledge exists. It would have to be, following your other arguments, purely convenience or personal pleasure.

Quote:
Now back to your question, "do right and wrong answers exist to moral questions?" My answer would be that, yes, the right answers would be the ones that coincide with ethical responses, while wrong answers would include any that serve no purpose other than the personal gain of individuals at the expense of others -- and that includes those individuals passing around the silver plate on Sundays.

OK, but I agree with you that ethics is independent of culture and of revelation. One does not need to know Scripture to know moral truth. I never said that it did. But I still see no reason why you reject my concept of personhood or murder as being merely a social construct, when your own notion of the badness of using other people for material gain has no unique reason for not likewise being equally socially constructed. If it does, tell me.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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kirbert, why three weeks?

kirbert, why three weeks? why not 8 years, 15 years, etc.

 

it seems to be well thought out, but the implications for eugenics' arguments are worrisome.


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StMichael wrote: I'm glad

StMichael wrote:
I'm glad we have decided to just come out and openly declare our baby-killing tendencies. Now, if only you could just declare this on national television, I'd be set. Further, what ground do we have for personhood or the lack of killing at all? It does not seem that there is any reason to hold to that opinion for any other reason than convenience. Thus, I could kill you now without any supposed moral implications, as such are merely convention to be dispensed with at will. If this is the case, do right and wrong answers exist to moral questions? If not, how can we decide at all what to do in any situation? If it depends on some reason, that counts as a form of moral reasoning. You must, then, defer to merely instinctual reaction to pleasure and pain. Is this your solution? Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom, StMichael

 Would you like to decalre yours now? I daresay you follow the precepts of the majority of Christians I've had dealings with. 

These are the ones who say that abortion is wrong under any circumstances but have no problem with having the kids die the slow deaths of poverty, lack of proper medical care, parental neglect or abuse, etc. That's why they complain about their taxes going to social programs and won't adopt or support those agencies.

It seems like they're saying, "You've alrready been born, you little freak. You have to fend for yourself. I'm here to save the pre-born".

I hope I'm wrong about you. 

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Quote: Would you like to

Quote:
Would you like to decalre yours now? I daresay you follow the precepts of the majority of Christians I've had dealings with.

The major precept is that intentional killing of innocent persons is always and everywhere wrong. From conception until natural death, innocent people ought not to be killed.

Quote:

These are the ones who say that abortion is wrong under any circumstances but have no problem with having the kids die the slow deaths of poverty, lack of proper medical care, parental neglect or abuse, etc. That's why they complain about their taxes going to social programs and won't adopt or support those agencies.

I support charity all the time. Don't assume the contrary. Christians have a great problem with lack of medical care, poverty, neglect, and the like. There is just a BIG problem with killing children, euthanizing retarded men and women, and killing people to "save" them. I am not denying that poverty is bad. I am not denying that many children are brought up in bad homes. But one can NEVER use an evil means to achieve a good end. You cannot use a greater evil to eliminate a lesser.

Quote:
It seems like they're saying, "You've alrready been born, you little freak. You have to fend for yourself. I'm here to save the pre-born".

There's a reason that Catholic Charities, and other Catholic organizations, exist.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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StMichael wrote: "There's a

StMichael wrote:

"There's a reason that Catholic Charities, and other Catholic organizations, exist."

Helping those who need help, bribing/threatening people into conversion/building attendance rolls, putting a pleasant public face on a church or Christian organization as a distraction. 

It depends on which reason takes priority. I've seen too much of the latter reasons to buy into believing in religious organizations that actually operates from truly altruistic motives. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Social Constructs

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Christians have never used that standard. Ever.

Tell that to all the Muslims killed in Iraq this week.

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I likewise see no grounds in which to base ethics, assuming your premises. ...I do not see how you can justify that such universal ethical knowledge exists.

And therein lies one of the problems facing society today. People who are raised as atheists have perhaps the strongest code of ethics of any citizen. But those who are raised as theists often see no basis for ethics whatsoever other than their chosen religion. Once it occurs to them that their religion is a sham -- as it often does in this day of worldwide communication and free exchange of ideas -- these people end up floundering with no moral compass whatsoever. If they manage to muddle through for a while, they often develop a viable code of ethics on their own eventually, but a great deal of consternation can develop in the meantime.

Quote:
It would have to be, following your other arguments, purely convenience or personal pleasure.

In a sense, yes. It involves a sense of pride: "What kind of person do I choose to be?" I, personally, take great pride in being honest to a fault and taking responsibility for my own actions.

Of course, many religions do their level best to eliminate any semblance of pride or responsibility -- Christians, I believe, teach that pride is a sin -- which is another reason that theists who falter in their faith tend to flounder. Among other things, they are often ashamed that they ever believed any of that malarky, which just makes it all that much more difficult to develop a healthy case of pride.

Quote:
But I still see no reason why you reject my concept of personhood or murder as being merely a social construct, when your own notion of the badness of using other people for material gain has no unique reason for not likewise being equally socially constructed.

First off, you might have me confused with someone else here. I'm not entirely sure that I disagree that personhood and murder are social constructs. Does a lion killing an antelope consider it murder? Does he consider that antelope a "person"? I guess I haven't thought it through, but offhand I think I'd agree that they are social constructs.

When it comes to legal issues, social constructs are, and should be, the basis for law. This is part of what constitutes a "civilization".

Of course, the question then becomes what social constructs are appropriate and what ones should be altered or abolished.

I think I'll stop there, see how that floats.

-- Kirbert

 

 


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Fourth Trimester

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kirbert, why three weeks? why not 8 years, 15 years, etc.

Remember that the argument involves the time and resources that society -- as opposed to the parents -- are putting into the development of the eventual contributor. Up until birth, society has contributed little or nothing, and would in fact be better off without another member, so writing one off is essentially neutral -- if the mother herself wishes her child to be destroyed, the rest of society has no real basis to argue with her.

OTOH, once the child is out of the womb, then society does begin to invest time and resources. Once the child enters public school, the time and resources become quite significant. To put this on a more personal level, if that child were destroyed, more and more people would have a real sense of loss.

The reason I chose three weeks is merely to provide enough time for medical tests to be conducted to confirm whether or not the particular specimen is, in fact, defective. Frankly, I don't expect many mothers would ever opt to destroy a newborn infant if it is healthy (although I know that it does happen), especially with abortion clinics and adoption agencies doing their jobs. But I expect that a considerable proportion of mothers of severely disabled babies will choose to have them destroyed. Even so, such a decision should never be rushed. Perhaps one week, perhaps two months, I'm easy, but some definite time constraint probably should be established.

I suppose it could be argued that a mother should always retain the right to have her offspring destroyed. Like, when the child is 25 and has grown up to be nothing but a criminal and a slimebag. The mom saying, "OK, I guess I really did a lousy job raising that one, let's throw him away" would certainly save the justice system a lot of paperwork. It'd be an interesting topic for discussion to be sure, but offhand I probably wouldn't support it. For one thing, it would enable a mom to forever hold her children hostage, making whatever demands of them she pleased under threat of death.

Quote:
it seems to be well thought out, but the implications for eugenics' arguments are worrisome.

I suppose I could also stir the pot here by pointing out that I am an ardent supporter of eugenics. Anybody wanna get that discussion going, or do you wanna put that one off until another time? Or does it need to get moved to another forum?

-- Kirbert


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I think that a fetus is a

I think that a fetus is a person but I still think that women should be able to have abortions.

The right to life is not absolute. If the thing you need to live is something that you have no right to in the first place then you don't have a right to live. 

What if I was dying and the only thing that could save me was sex with my neighbor's wife? If my neighbor's wife wants to come over and let me throw a shot into her then that's great, that would be very generous of her. But I don't have a right to sleep with her just because that's what I need to live.

Her right to decide what goes in or comes out of her body would trump my right to live. And she wouldn't be doing me any injustice if she didn't give me what I needed.

If what you need to live is to parasitically grow in the body of another person then they can either allow you to do it or not but they are not morally obligated. 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
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Evils and other pastimes

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The major precept is that intentional killing of innocent persons is always and everywhere wrong. From conception until natural death, innocent people ought not to be killed.

Fair enough, and clearly stated. How do you feel about people who don't hold the same precept? How do you feel about people who agree that it is wrong, but balance it against other wrongs and choose differently than you might?

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I support charity all the time.

Boy, you guys do have a way of getting me started! I oppose charity almost all the time, support it in only very limited cases. Wanna get that discussion going? Or does it need to move to some other forum?

Quote:
But one can NEVER use an evil means to achieve a good end. You cannot use a greater evil to eliminate a lesser.

Actually, I'd probably agree with both of those contentions. We'd probably disagree on what's an evil, though, and which evils are greater than others.

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There's a reason that Catholic Charities, and other Catholic organizations, exist.

Yes, and that's to funnel more money and influence through the Church.

-- Kirbert


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Quote: Helping those who

Quote:
Helping those who need help, bribing/threatening people into conversion/building attendance rolls, putting a pleasant public face on a church or Christian organization as a distraction.

Catholic Charities has no goal for conversion or building Catholic churches. They run hospitals and welfare agencies in other countries. Also, even if they were corrupt, that proves nothing. We are trying to help others and we are the only ones doing so. You accused Christians of ignoring temporal needs. Here we go, helping temporal needs, and you accuse us of not being effective. Make up your mind!

Quote:

Tell that to all the Muslims killed in Iraq this week.

There is no problem with military combat in general. And, further, the war was not a religious war. Also, the Catholic Church did not support the war. Lastly, the war was not justified by saying that Muslims were not persons.

Quote:

And therein lies one of the problems facing society today. People who are raised as atheists have perhaps the strongest code of ethics of any citizen....

And? That still doesn't answer how you create an ethical system.

Quote:

In a sense, yes. It involves a sense of pride: "What kind of person do I choose to be?" I, personally, take great pride in being honest to a fault and taking responsibility for my own actions.

OK, but asking "What kind of person do I choose to be?" is not a moral standard. It might help you make moral decisions on some level, but it is not a good standard for moral activity.

Lastly, if murder and the like are all merely social constructs, I see no basis for any morality in your system whatsoever. You still have yet to give me a cogent foundation for your system.

Quote:

Fair enough, and clearly stated. How do you feel about people who don't hold the same precept? How do you feel about people who agree that it is wrong, but balance it against other wrongs and choose differently than you might?

I know that they are wrong. Period. I feel no animosity toward them for that.
I balance wrongs against one another, because in this life you are only presented with a choice between evils and must tolerate the lesser evil. But that neither makes the lesser evil good, nor is it a justification for one to use an evil means to a good end.

Quote:

Yes, and that's to funnel more money and influence through the Church.


Totally unfounded assertion. It's slanderous if you say things like that without any evidence. The Catholic Church supports these charities at cost to itself.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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Helping those who need
"Helping those who need help, bribing/threatening people into conversion/building attendance rolls, putting a pleasant public face on a church or Christian organization as a distraction.

Catholic Charities has no goal for conversion or building Catholic churches. They run hospitals and welfare agencies in other countries. Also, even if they were corrupt, that proves nothing. We are trying to help others and we are the only ones doing so. You accused Christians of ignoring temporal needs. Here we go, helping temporal needs, and you accuse us of not being effective. Make up your mind!"

1) Do you know the goal of this organization for a fact (researched it yourself) or has one of the popes merely said it and thus it is so?

2) Your claim that "We are the only ones doing so" is a lie on its face. I know of other Christian (non-Catholic) organizations who help others. I don't claim to know their true motivations ( I strongly suspect non altruistic motives) but they are there as well. Does God approve it when you lie in the name of church propaganda?

3) If you actually believe that a church organization doesn't have as a goal behind any of their actions putting butts in their churches, you are delusional. Granted, you aspire to have a church that you will need to fill so I don't really blame you for the delusion. I can list several organizations that make attending religious services a condition of getting help. You seem to only be able to list one that you claim does not and have no proof of that besides "They said so".

All I said was that helping people needs to be a primary goal for these organizations. Far too often is doesn't even make it as a goal - just an incidental. They weren't meaning for it to happen (indeed, some would prefer it didn't) but it happens anyway.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Etc.

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There is no problem with military combat in general.

Oh, so "Thou shalt not kill" has disclaimers and qualifications on it? Who gets to decide that enemy combatants are exempted while unborn fetuses are not?

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And, further, the war was not a religious war.

Tell THAT to all the Iraqis killed this week!

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Lastly, the war was not justified by saying that Muslims were not persons.

True enough. It was justified by saying that they had weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, Israel, right nearby, actually has weapons of mass destruction, and we didn't attack them. What's the difference?

Quote:
That still doesn't answer how you create an ethical system.

Fair enough. Start with this: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. See how far you get. I'm not sure anything else is needed, might be able to derive everything needed for a complete code of ethics from that.

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OK, but asking "What kind of person do I choose to be?" is not a moral standard. It might help you make moral decisions on some level, but it is not a good standard for moral activity...

I guess I may be talking about two different things here: the basis for ethics, and the reasons an individual chooses to adopt them. I gave one good basis above. I contend that the pride that comes with choosing to be an ethical person is an excellent reason to choose to be ethical.

There is another reason that has been proven to work well in Japan: An individual will choose to be an ethical person because his actions reflect on his family. People who have no pride and couldn't care less what others think of them will nevertheless straighten up and fly right when convinced that their mother will be mortified by their misbehavior. IMHO, the US has completely missed the boat by insisting that families should not be ashamed of actions by their relatives.

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How do you feel about people who agree that it is wrong, but balance it against other wrongs and choose differently than you might?
I know that they are wrong. Period. I feel no animosity toward them for that.

Yet you feel no hesitation in attempting to force your beliefs on them?

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Yes, and that's to funnel more money and influence through the Church.

Totally unfounded assertion. It's slanderous if you say things like that without any evidence. The Catholic Church supports these charities at cost to itself.

Actually, no, it's not. I am only too familiar with the Catholic Church and their ways. While there are many truly selfless individuals involved, the church itself is always out to spread its influence. Always has been, always will be.

And the contention that the charities are a cost to the church is laughable. There hasn't been any money coming OUT of the Vatican in recorded history. The Catholic Church doesn't do anything productive, doesn't earn a living, it doesn't have any money of its own to be spending on these charities. They are ALL funded by the sheeple.

-- Kirbert


StMichael
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Quote: Oh, so "Thou shalt

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Oh, so "Thou shalt not kill" has disclaimers and qualifications on it? Who gets to decide that enemy combatants are exempted while unborn fetuses are not?

They are not "not persons," as you define children in the womb.

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Tell THAT to all the Iraqis killed this week!

OK. To all Iraqis: "It was not a religious war."

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True enough. It was justified by saying that they had weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, Israel, right nearby, actually has weapons of mass destruction, and we didn't attack them. What's the difference?

I am not arguing for a specific war to be just. I am arguing that warfare can, absolutely speaking, be just.

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Fair enough. Start with this: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. See how far you get. I'm not sure anything else is needed, might be able to derive everything needed for a complete code of ethics from that.

Totally arbitrary. Let's kill the Jews because we don't like them, eh?

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I contend that the pride that comes with choosing to be an ethical person is an excellent reason to choose to be ethical.

I don't see a justification for it.

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There is another reason that has been proven to work well in Japan: An individual will choose to be an ethical person because his actions reflect on his family.

Again, this has no basis in reality. It would then boil totally down to culture and make all ethics subjective decisions without right or wrong answer.

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Yet you feel no hesitation in attempting to force your beliefs on them?

It's not animosity. It's a compassion for their lack of having the right answer. Or, just a desire to see the truth defended in reality.

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And the contention that the charities are a cost to the church is laughable. There hasn't been any money coming OUT of the Vatican in recorded history.

Are you crazy? Where are you getting your statistics? Look up the Holy See's budget! It's been negative for a good long time!

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1) Do you know the goal of this organization for a fact (researched it yourself) or has one of the popes merely said it and thus it is so?

I know it both from experience and from looking at it myself. There is no goal for conversion in Catholic Charities. It is an organization without evangelical ideals.

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2) Your claim that "We are the only ones doing so" is a lie on its face. I know of other Christian (non-Catholic) organizations who help others.

I never denied that there were. I might have seemed to overstate the fact. I meant, in context, that Catholics and theists in general were the ones who were operating hospitals and the like, not atheists.

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3) If you actually believe that a church organization doesn't have as a goal behind any of their actions putting butts in their churches, you are delusional.

Just saying I'm deluded is no argument.

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I can list several organizations that make attending religious services a condition of getting help.

Catholic churches/charities are not one of them.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


Kirbert
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Religious War

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Who gets to decide that enemy combatants are exempted while unborn fetuses are not?

They are not "not persons," as you define children in the womb.

Does that mean they are persons? Persons that it's OK to kill?

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To all Iraqis: "It was not a religious war."

I'm sure they feel better. No, wait, they're still dead!

I suppose you'd argue that Vietnam wasn't a religious war, either.

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I am arguing that warfare can, absolutely speaking, be just.

That might be grounds for starting a new forum topic. One way or another, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what makes a war just. I have some, too, but I have a feeling we might not agree.

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The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Totally arbitrary. Let's kill the Jews because we don't like them, eh?

How did you get that from "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"?

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I contend that the pride that comes with choosing to be an ethical person is an excellent reason to choose to be ethical.

I don't see a justification for it.

You don't see a justification for what? For being an ethical person? Or for having pride?

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There is another reason that has been proven to work well in Japan: An individual will choose to be an ethical person because his actions reflect on his family.

Again, this has no basis in reality. It would then boil totally down to culture and make all ethics subjective decisions without right or wrong answer.

We are talking about civilization here. What constitutes a "right" answer is what is best for everyone concerned. And, sorry, it is reality, it's been the reality in Japan for generations, and they have the crime rate to show for it.

Civilizations evolve the same way organisms do. Eventually, civilizations with superior traits win out and civilizations with unworkable traits disappear. Unfortunately, the successful traits are not always those that we, as thinking, compassionate human beings, would necessarily prefer to succeed.

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Yet you feel no hesitation in attempting to force your beliefs on them?

It's not animosity. It's a compassion for their lack of having the right answer. Or, just a desire to see the truth defended in reality.

Well, first off, it's not truth, it's opinion. Nobody minds you having opinions. It's your inclination to force your opinions on others, at great detriment to them as well as to society as a whole, that is at issue.

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I meant, in context, that Catholics and theists in general were the ones who were operating hospitals and the like, not atheists.

Actually, I think you'll find that there are a great many atheists running hospitals and the like. They're just doing it for profit.

There is no question that theists are far more into charitable causes than atheists. That might be simply due to a lack of organization on the part of the atheists -- we don't see the need to get together once a week, so there aren't as many opportunities to say "Hey, why don't we all pitch in and help so-and-so?"

For my own part, though, I don't participate in charitable causes because nearly every one of them is gravely detrimental to society as well as to the individuals they purport to "help". One man's charity is another man's enabling, and whenever a charity is organized to the point of having any sort of established policy, it is always enabling.

-- Kirbert


StMichael
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Persons who were not

Persons who were not murdered. It was not unlawful to kill in self-defense or warfare. The death of the enemy is not the primary aim. The cessation of warfare is the end. This is the same in self-defense. You don't directly intend to kill the offender. You intend to use whatever means necessary to prevent harm or repell an attack.

Vietnam was most certainly not a religious war.

From "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few," Hilter used this to infer that it was correct to massacre the Jews. The Jews were argued to contribute nothing to human society and to merely act as a parasitical race that fed off the Aryan peoples. The Jews were thus less than refuse and all their property was confiscated by the state - back into the hands of those the Jews "stole" it from. Lastly, the menace of the Jewish "infestation" posed a great harm to society, so that it was perfectly legitimate to kill such sub-human creatures. I see no reason why your reasoning could not follow the same path.

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You don't see a justification for what? For being an ethical person? Or for having pride?

How pride is an adequate justification for any action. And, how to temper pride. And what pride means. Maybe Aryan pride in the nation calls for the death of all other people. Or, maybe my pride is so great that it doesn't matter what other people think or say; I can kill anyone I like in order to further my self-esteem. Or, pride might lead exactly in the opposite direction. I gain nothing from honor in society and nothing from moral actions. I will then ale, whore, and bludgeon my way to the top in this life, damned be the consequences.

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We are talking about civilization here. What constitutes a "right" answer is what is best for everyone concerned. And, sorry, it is reality, it's been the reality in Japan for generations, and they have the crime rate to show for it.

So right answers in moral truth are based merely on civilization's benefit? What if it is to the Rawandan's benefit to commit genocide against the nextdoor peoples? Obviously, this will be a moral choice. Or, what is the moral choice for a Huttu living in the Tuttsi village? Their nation is different from the Tuttsi. Does the Tuttsi morality or the Huttu apply? Ought to Huttu to murder the Tuttsi, or start murdering the Huttu?

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Civilizations evolve the same way organisms do. Eventually, civilizations with superior traits win out and civilizations with unworkable traits disappear. Unfortunately, the successful traits are not always those that we, as thinking, compassionate human beings, would necessarily prefer to succeed.

Nonsense. Many civilizations have awful traits that survive. Also, no human civilization has survived in the way you speak of; all have collapsed. Other than the Catholic Church, no human organization has continued for very long. Are all social traits gone? Have humans just failed?

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It's your inclination to force your opinions on others, at great detriment to them as well as to society as a whole, that is at issue.

First, I don't think my views do any damage to society. In fact, if everyone accepted them, society would be a great deal better off.
Second, I do not intend to force my opinions on anyone else. I intend to persuade them and have them see the truth themselves. I have not been threatening you to accept my views, "OR ELSE!" I have been calmly discussing why your views are flawed and why my views are the only correct answer to many of the problems outlined. I do not deny that you have some truth in your views. It's just that the views of the Catholic Church are correct entirely, containing what truth you already profess.

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Actually, I think you'll find that there are a great many atheists running hospitals and the like. They're just doing it for profit.

Then it is not charity. I doubt there is any good and convincing reason to run a charitable organization outside of faith. There is just no incentive. For profit hospitals turn away people who don't have insurance. For-profit institutions are not founded to help the poorest of the poor, but people who have the means to help themselves.
Charity cannot exist in that context.

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There is no question that theists are far more into charitable causes than atheists. That might be simply due to a lack of organization on the part of the atheists -- we don't see the need to get together once a week, so there aren't as many opportunities to say "Hey, why don't we all pitch in and help so-and-so?"

Because there is no such incentive available to an atheist. You can't agree first on any moral premises. Then, you lack any good reason outside of vague self-interest to do any thing. Then, you also lack the incentive beyond that to care for those who offer no benefit to society or who cannot help society (read: poor and elderly, retarded, ect.). I'm not saying it to insult you. I just think there is no incentive (or, at least, a good one) in atheism for the vast charitable aid that Christianity is obligated by faith to give. Which is why atheists are not very often found in purely altruistic ventures.

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For my own part, though, I don't participate in charitable causes because nearly every one of them is gravely detrimental to society as well as to the individuals they purport to "help".

I see no such reason to assume this. How is "every [charity] gravely detrimental to society?" Also, doesn't that include the large number of secular charities that exist without religious affiliation? Aren't you trying to have your cake and eat it too? Atheism can lead to charity, but all charity is detrimental to society.

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One man's charity is another man's enabling, and whenever a charity is organized to the point of having any sort of established policy, it is always enabling.

I have no idea what you mean by "enabling." Religious charitable organizations, for example the Missionaries of Charity houses, have no benefit to the sisters who run it. They live in poor conditions and take care of the poorest of the poor. They gain nothing from the poor they take care of, they own no property.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


jcgadfly
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St M wrote: "Because there

St M wrote:

"Because there is no such incentive available to an atheist. You can't agree first on any moral premises. Then, you lack any good reason outside of vague self-interest to do any thing. Then, you also lack the incentive beyond that to care for those who offer no benefit to society or who cannot help society (read: poor and elderly, retarded, ect.). I'm not saying it to insult you. I just think there is no incentive (or, at least, a good one) in atheism for the vast charitable aid that Christianity is obligated by faith to give. Which is why atheists are not very often found in purely altruistic ventures."

Wow.

It's not like I've never heard the "You can't be be a good person and actually give a damn about the human condition without a belief in a Sky Daddy" before. Like the other times, you have no proof for this assertion.

Do theists get together and lay out their talking points ahead of time? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin