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Monday, December 8, 2014

Which came first, the atheism or the support for abortion?

Polls consistently show that a strong majority of self-identified non-religious Americans call themselves pro-choice. That's in stark contrast to the American public at large, which is roughly 50-50, though leaning pro-life in recent years.

Some pro-choice atheists use this polling data as evidence that the pro-choice position is correct. The argument, in a nutshell, is that atheists become atheists because they are logical thinkers, and then become pro-choice for the same reason. Pro-life atheists are explained away as being still, partially, under the influence of religion.

While some people do become atheist and then become pro-choice, atheist author and Pitzer college professor Phil Zuckerman suggests that it's more commonly the other way around:
With an emphasis on seeking to make abortion illegal . . . conservative Christians have found a warm welcome within the Republican Party, which has been clear about its openness to the conservative Christian agenda. . . . What all of this has done is alienate a lot of left-leaning or politically moderate Americans from Christianity. Sociologists Michael Hout and Claude Fischer have published compelling research indicating that much of the growth of “nones” in America is largely attributable to a reaction against this increased, overt mixing of Christianity and conservative politics. The rise of irreligion has been partially related to the fact that lots of people who had weak or limited attachments to religion and were either moderate or liberal politically found themselves at odds with the conservative political agenda of the Christian right and thus reacted by severing their already somewhat weak attachment to religion.
The key here is to understand that while people on the fringes are the loudest, most people don't take their religion all that seriously. People don't necessarily take their churches as authorities on moral and political issues, and where church teachings deviate from their personal views, they may leave one religion in favor of another or of none at all. (Zuckerman focuses on liberals, but I note that this works for conservatives as well; in recent years, reconsideration of same-sex marriage by church leaders has threatened schisms in the Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations.)

That's not to say that logical reasoning doesn't play a role in what people believe; it absolutely does. I am an atheist myself, and Christianity's unanswered questions had a lot to do with that. But the decision to publicly identify as an atheist—to lose your church community, expose yourself to scorn from the general public, and possibly damage family relationships—is a highly emotional one. And it's a lot easier to do if you already disagree with your church about abortion.

Conversely, if you've lost your faith in God but remain pro-life, and are part of a pro-life denomination,* there's less reason to publicly identify as an atheist. You might as well just remain another doubter in the pews, invisible to the pollsters.

*My own secular identification was made easier by the fact that I belonged to the Methodist Church, which disagreed with me both on abortion (pro-choice) and same-sex marriage (opposed).

504 comments:

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secularprolife.org said...

And your argument is this:


Women implicitly consent to gestate when they have sex because ONLY women can get pregnant


Women have an ethical obligation to give life because ONLY women can get pregnant


Men do NOT have an ethical obligation to give life through bodily donation at any time, because men are not born with uteri.


You're making a biology = destiny argument, or rather, the is/ought fallacy - that because women CAN give birth, they SHOULD give birth, because if a woman has sex, being a woman, she automatically onsents to birth, because she has a uterus.


The fact that you give men an 'out' from bodily donation and risk to life and health shows that you are 1) discriminating against women based on their gender 2) special pleading for prenates, as you do not require men or women to donate body parts once the child is born

secularprolife.org said...

"The pro life position is that a fetus is a human baby and for that reason killing a fetus is killing a human baby."


I agree, but it seems to me that you then proceed as follows:


1. You imply that a pro-lifer would never condone the killing of any unborn baby.


2. You say that most people want less abortion, implying (correctly, I think) that those people want to outlaw some abortions, and you speak of those people as "pro-choice."


3. You imply that "killing" is the same as "murdering."


4. Your last sentence seems to conflate people who would murder babies with people who would permit the murder of babies (where "murder" has already been equated by you with "killing").

It seems to me that all of these things can be questioned. Even if we allow for possible semantic disagreements about "pro-choice" and "pro-life," some questions remain.

secularprolife.org said...

Stop trying to pretend that because it is difficult for some is difficult for all

Yes, pregnancy takes a toll on the body, this is a fact:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science_of_longevity/2013/09/death_in_childbirth_doctors_increased_maternal_mortality_in_the_20th_century.html

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/01/health/multiple-pregnancies-mother/

Too many pregnancies will kill a woman, they are that hard on her body. Pregnancy has also been the top killer of women throughout history, and approximately 1% of women have died since h.sapiens has been around.

As I said, since we don't know which women will suffer irreperable harm, and which will not, to say that ALL women must undergo the painful process, just because *some* have it easy is to gloss over the risks, and to deny ALL fertile women the right to be free of slavery and torture, and to basically tell them that their fate = a roll of the dice. And believe me, the fact that some women have it easy isn't going to be a help to the woman who suffers an obstetric fistula and is incontinent for the rest of her life, now is it?

Unless there is nonzero risk, you cannot ethically obligate someone to risk life and health, sorry.

Sex is (biologically speaking) the first step in the process of human reproduction.

Which is incorrect, actually. It starts with the egg:

http://discovermagazine.com/2004/may/cover

And once again, consent to sex does not = consent to torture. That is patently absurd.

secularprolife.org said...

Should rape victims be ethically obligated to gestate and give birth, yes or no?

secularprolife.org said...

Your logic is flawed. To be prolife begins with the premise that human rights can only be surrendered by consent. The right to life is the apex of human rights. Autonomy is a lesser right that we all consent to surrender some aspects of on a regular basis. The existence of government and law is proof of that. In the case of consensual sex resulting in pregnancy, the consent to pregnancy was implicit, so long as both parties understood that was possible, and the woman is not the only to surrender any portion of autonomy. Her burden is greater, but so is her autonomy. She has final say in the decision that will affect the level of the man's autonomy for at least 18 years. As for using another person's body for our own gain, we ALL do it regularly to different degrees. So long as it is consensual, there are no ethical implications.

secularprolife.org said...

There is no 'right to life'. There is only a right to not be unjustly killed. And abortion is not unjust killing because the prenate has no right to the woman's organs.

Autonomy is a lesser right that we all consent to surrender some aspects of on a regular basis

And if that was actually true, blood donation,, which is relatively risk free, would be mandatory. It isn't. In fact, if life trumped all other rights, people's wages would be garnished in order to pay to save every life that needed it. Dollars are placed ahead of lives, sweetie.

secularprolife.org said...

already proven wrong a dozen times. Stop using the Gary Busey scientific method (i.e. making crap up and calling it a fact)

secularprolife.org said...

The only birth I've been present for was that of my nephew. And in that case it took 36 hours from start to finish. From my point of view, Floid and DeWitt is not being dramatic. Rather, Floid and DeWitt is actually underplaying labor and childbirth.

Be it as it may, it is one thing to voluntarily undergo the process of gestation, labor, and childbirth when you want the end result. It is an entirely different thing to force them on women. Seriously, are you going to go through "being viciously punched in the stomach for 20 hours and then having a melon violently inserted into your rectum" without there being an end goal you really desire? Are you going to be happy about it if someone did this to you against your will? I think not.

If you are like most people, I'm sure you get into your car and drive nearly everyday knowing there is the possibility you will be injured in an automobile accident. So what say you? Do you give implicit consent to being injured in a car accident?

secularprolife.org said...

To be prolife begins with the premise that human rights can only be surrendered by consent.

Nonsense. By definition, prolifers do not believe that girls and women can be allowed to consent to pregnancy and childbirth: prolifers believe that human rights for women can be removed by the state to permit the forced use of human bodies without consent.

In the case of consensual sex resulting in pregnancy, the consent to pregnancy was implicit,

An absurd claim that prolifers are far too fond of. It is ridiculous, because it' s clear that if consent to sex equated to consent to pregnancy, we'd never have developed contraception and abortion.

Yet some of the oldest writings of human civilisation are recipes for contraception, demonstrating that for so long as we have been able to think about sex, we have never equated "consent to sex" with "consent to pregnancy".

Her burden is greater, but so is her autonomy. She has final say in the
decision that will affect the level of the man's autonomy for at least
18 years.


A man, like a woman, has the option of using contraception to prevent himself from accidentally engendering pregnancy. That's up to him, because that's his bodily autonomy.

If a pregnancy is engendered, what the woman decides to do is entirely and exclusively her responsibility: that's her bodily autonomy. Only a rapist would ever think that because a man had sex with a woman he got to control the use of her body thereafter.

If a baby is born, then yes, the man generally has a lifetime responsibility as a parent, same as the woman does: if the man objects to the idea, he really needs to get used to using condoms, each time, every time, and confirming with his sexual partners that they're also using contraception, each time, every time.

As for using another person's body for our own gain, we ALL do it regularly to different degrees.


Yeah, prolifery is really, psychologically close to the white slaveowners....

secularprolife.org said...

How many times do I need to answer this. NO. there was no consent. I think there is still a conflict between autonomy and life, but the woman did not consent so she has no expectation of surrendering any autonomy. Personally I think the woman still has a difficult choice to make, and I would still place the right to life above autonomy, but that's not my call. She will have to decide if her autonomy, which was already violated in the most horrible manner, should outweigh the right to life of another human being. I couldn't fault her ethically either way.

secularprolife.org said...

How many times do I need to answer this.

You never answered it, for me at least, not even once. I get updates through disqus and in my email, and I never saw a reply.

I think there is still a conflict between autonomy and life, but the
woman did not consent so she has no expectation of surrendering any
autonomy


Please explain why consent matters so much, if life is so very precious. If the right to life overrides all other rights, it shouldn't matter whether or not the rape victim consented, furthermore, if the prenate has an inherent right to life as you argue, then how it was conceived should be irrelevant. Why does it's value suddenly go up if the woman *chose* to have sex?

secularprolife.org said...

Absolute nonsense, and please don't resort to calling an argument you don't like a fallacy. That's Russell's lame strategy. There is no reasonable expectation of a toddler demanding a father's kidney. Sex is ABSOLUTELY part of the human reproduction process. Initiating it is ABSOLUTELY consent to the continuation of it. Notice I don't bother bother trying to dismiss your argument by calling it some form of named fallacy, I just point out the inconsistency in the logic. Calling your opponents argument this fallacy or that fallacy, is probably a rhetorical fallacy itself, but it's more honest to just point out why you find the logic flawed.

secularprolife.org said...

To be prolife begins with the premise that human rights can only be surrendered by consent.
----
Then the premise is flawed. I may not choose to speak in a given situation, but that does not mean I've waived my right to speak.
====

The right to life is the apex of human rights.
----
Is it? Why do we allow so many exceptions then?
====

She has final say in the decision that will affect the level of the man's autonomy for at least 18 years.
----
Are you seriously saying this is just? Just how many other situations do we force someone to pay for a third party's decisions?

secularprolife.org said...

By not speaking in a given situation, you aren't giving consent to deny anything, unless the situation in question involves some "speak now or forever hold your peace" clause. You don't seem clear on my statement. You have human rights in the ethical sense, they are not given to you by law. Law is a means of depriving rights, it CANNOT grant them. We all consent to that by being part of a larger society. The right to life is the most basic and fundamental right there is. Without it no other right matters. We make far fewer exceptions to this than lesser rights like autonomy that we surrender almost unthinkingly on a daily basis.

secularprolife.org said...

Don't presume to speak for your opponent. I am prolife, and I assure you, you have no idea what I believe. You don't seem to grasp the basic concept of human rights in the ethical sense, so there's little point in further discussion. You seem to be full of hostility and dogma. A rational discussion would be pointless.

secularprolife.org said...

As for the man being held liable for the woman's choice, it is absolutely just. He consented to the same thing she did. He assumes less burden, so has less autonomy regarding the decision.

secularprolife.org said...

Well, then, if you don't think the pains of labor and childbirth aren't torture, then I'm sure you would be willing to undergo it.

secularprolife.org said...

No, he didn't. All either of them consented to was sex. Period.

secularprolife.org said...

It is absolutely a fallacy because you are saying that "nature" creates an obligation, thus exempting men, toddlers, and discriminating against women.

If LIFE is as precious as you claim, then location, age and gender should all be irrelevant.

secularprolife.org said...

If the right to life is the most basic and fundamental right there is, they why can't we be forced to keep people alive? Ethically, I am permitted to refuse to donate so much as a drop of blood to someone, even if their lives depend on it. I am not morally required to jump in after a drowning victim, even if the victim will die. I am ethically permitted to kill in self-defense. The right to life has so many exceptions that I can't even begin to list them all.

secularprolife.org said...

I'm just glad I voted for Greg Abbott!! Remember when all the people here in Texas said Wendy Davis had it in the bag? That was hilarious.

secularprolife.org said...

It would only be a fallacy if calling an argument a fallacy really is a fallacy. And what you are engaged in is special pleading.

What do you mean there is no reasonable expectation of a toddler demanding a father's kidney? If the problem is the result of something the father did, such as begetting a child genetically inclined to kidney problems, is he not responsible? After all, he had sex knowing there is a possibility he would pass on his bad genes. By the terms of your own argument, he implicitly consented to give up his kidney. So why is it that you fail to force him to do so when you require women to give up their entire bodies to prenates? Why does the prenate get special rights that no other person has?

secularprolife.org said...

I answered it a few comments prior, at least I thought I did. Consent is the cornerstone that rights are built on and the only means by which they can ETHICALLY be deprived. In the case of rape, the woman did not consent to take part in the reproductive process. The ethical conflict is no longer about her willingness to participate in a process that involves a loss of autonomy. She can't be expected to concede that right. She can make a choice to, but it can't be ethically expected of her. The right to life does override all other rights, in as much as they are irrelevant without it. However, we deny it for many reasons, and some of them have an ethical argument. I'm less inclined to buy any of them. When I say I am pro-life, I included war and the death penalty in the same reasoning, even though there is a consent argument to be made for each. Here's where I differ from someone like Russell, and even a lot of pro-lifers, I don't consider my ethical conclusions empirical. I offer them as something to consider, not as scientific or philosophical law. I certainly don't advocate basing any sort of legislation on them. I believe honest discussion has more impact on society than legislation. Making abortion illegal only makes it unsafe and criminal. Talking about it honestly can have a far more profound effect. That is exactly why Russell's "laws" infuriate me so much. He is trying to change the facts of the discussion to fit his opinion. Stating his opinions as scientific fact is, in MY opinion, a major ethical infraction. He is denying people (or trying to) the right to make an informed decision for themselves, by misrepresenting information that has no scientific merit as fact.

secularprolife.org said...

I can't even pretend to make sense of that last part. Again it comes down to consent. If the woman knew the likelihood, and decided to initiate or take part in the process of human reproduction (sex being the first step in that process), she has no legitimate ethical argument to claim that her autonomy supersedes the right to life of the human being that resulted from that process. Since there has never been any expectation of donating body parts to the born child, there is no consent there. No consent means no right to expect either party to forego any right. Personally I think you'd find most fathers would gladly donate an organ, but there is no ethical conflict to resolve.

secularprolife.org said...

I am prolife, and I assure you, you have no idea what I believe.


Really? So the comment to which I replied, in which you assert that it's okay to force girls and women through pregnancy and childbirth against their will, removing their basic human rights without their consent, did not represent what you believe?

Glad to hear it, but why did you bother writing it as if it was what you believed?

secularprolife.org said...

You are comparing apples and oranges. Consent to sex means you consent to take part in the process of human reproduction. Sex is by EVERY definition the first part of that process. You can make an effort ethically to block conception, because there is no human life to infringe upon at that stage. Once there is, it's ethically unjust to cut the process short. You did consent to gestate, if you understood that it was a likely outcome.

secularprolife.org said...

If there is no expectation of donating body parts to a born child, there is no expectation of donating body parts to an unborn one, either.

secularprolife.org said...

if the outcome was bringing a child into the world, yes. I've already experienced several of the pains women have listed as being worse than childbirth, and some for more extended periods of time. Broken ribs hurt intensely for months, and nearly every pain chart puts the pain involved above child birth.

secularprolife.org said...

Please formulate a complete and coherent statement before replying, or at least read the comment you are replying to. I already addressed that.

secularprolife.org said...

I never said anything even remotely like that. Rights aren't removed (ethically), they are surrendered by consent. If you can't make an honest argument, don't make any.

secularprolife.org said...

Greg Abbot has a choice also, like you he chooses to let innocent babies die. You are with your kind.

secularprolife.org said...

I think it is reasonable to debate anything that anyone says, including me. I think from your perspective you will read into what I say anything that makes you look good and from my position I will do the same t make me look good. The difference is that they are my words and I know what I really mean.

secularprolife.org said...

I certainly don't advocate basing any sort of legislation on them. I believe honest discussion has more impact on society than legislation.

I appreciate that Greg.



Consent is the cornerstone that rights are built on and the only means by which they can ETHICALLY be deprived.


Yeah so, if you leave your car unlocked, you have implicitly consented to having it stolen, and should never get it back, yes? You lost your right to your car when you messed up and left it unlocked.

secularprolife.org said...

Consent requires knowledge. If the father knew he might be in that position then YES he has an ethical obligation, if he didn't he doesn't. I would also like you to find one time ANYWHERE in any of this discussion where I said anything about forcing anything.

secularprolife.org said...

Sex is by EVERY definition the first part of that process

No, it isn't. Zygotes don't come out of nowhere. They come from sperm and eggs. No sperm and egg = no reproduction. And an unhealthy egg = a successful conception, but a spontaneous abortion 100pct of the time, because the zygote will fail to thrive if the egg has certain defects.

You can make an effort ethically to block conception, because there is no human life to infringe upon at that stage

So if a mad scientist goes back in time and kills the sperm that is about to fertilize the Greg Kells ovum, that would be ok, right? No harm done?

You did consent to gestate, if you understood that it was a likely outcome.

A more likely outcome is spontaneous abortion, in close to 80% of cases, so when you have sex you consent to abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

When did I ever mention anything about forcing anything? Try to keep up or stop wasting both of out time.

secularprolife.org said...

What, precisely, makes you think I haven't read the comment I was replying to? And what, precisely, renders saying what is good is good for the gander incoherent?

secularprolife.org said...

Since there has never been any expectation of donating body parts to the born child

Which is, as I stated, irrelevant. Technology exists to help us save lives. If the father had a hand in creating the prenate, then he has also consented to be deprived of his bodily autonomy, and that should apply outside the womb, as a toddler is no less valuable than an embryo. And the man carries the same responsibilities as the woman re bodily autonomy irrespective of the age, size or location of his child.

secularprolife.org said...

"1. You imply that a pro-lifer would never condone the killing of any unborn baby."
Pro lifers intentionally murder real life babies.

"2. You say that most people want less abortion, implying (correctly, I think) that those people want to outlaw some abortions, and you speak of those people as "pro-choice.""
Those people allow abortions according to what they think the choice entails. They are pro choice no matter what they call themselves.

"3. You imply that "killing" is the same as "murdering.""

No, I make4 it clear that pro lifers commit "murder by omission."

"4. Your last sentence seems to conflate people who would murder babies with people who would permit the murder of babies (where "murder" has already been equated by you with "killing")."
You need to read the Scientific Abortion Laws. You are confused about my beliefs.

"It seems to me that all of these things can be questioned. Even if we allow for possible semantic disagreements about "pro-choice" and "pro-life," some questions remain.



Ask your questions.

secularprolife.org said...

Irrelevant. You are making excuses, and basing the VALUE of the life on OTHER PEOPLE'S actions, and then deciding whether or not those actions qualify on minor technical grounds.


1) men know that sex can result in pregnancy


2) men know that their children can get sick


3) men know that organ and tissue donation exists


It's not that far out, at all.

secularprolife.org said...

You are with him too. Sorry.

secularprolife.org said...

Nature does create an obligation, but only if you consent to it. Women know their obligation is greater than the man's. They choose to take part in the biological process of human reproduction (sex being the first step in the process). I simply don't see an ethical argument for ending a process you consented to when it takes it's natural course, particularly when the ethical rights of another become involved.

secularprolife.org said...

No, I will do what I can to stop his abortion agenda. He a sick puppy that murders babies.

secularprolife.org said...

Nope. Nature is irrelevant where life is concerned.

Also: is/ought fallacy.

secularprolife.org said...

Sex is the first step in the biological process of human reproduction. So your argument is that they consented to only the first step in the process? The consented to drop a ball, but not to having it fall or hit the ground?

secularprolife.org said...

Life is nature, that statement makes absolutely no sense.

secularprolife.org said...

What do you think you are advocating by requiring women to go through pregnancy if not forcing them to keep someone alive?

secularprolife.org said...

If the man knows that he is genetically prone to creating a situation that require him to donate tissues or organs, then he has an ethical obligation. If he doesn't know, he can't consent.

secularprolife.org said...

If the father knew that was a reasonable possibility then sure. If he didn't know or couldn't be reasonably expected to, you can't argue consent.

secularprolife.org said...

"Those people allow abortions according to what they think the choice entails. They are pro choice no matter what they call themselves."


If people are in a position to allow or disallow abortions, that clearly shows that it is society, and not the pregnant woman alone, making the decisions.


The key difference between "pro-life" and "pro-choice" as normally used is not about in which cases abortion is appropriate. It is about who will make the decision. "Pro-choice" means the woman should have the right to choose, i.e., the woman alone should make the decision. "Pro-life" means that society should make the decision.

secularprolife.org said...

If both parents are responsible for the life of their child, and if bodily autonomy is surrebdred when people have sex, then none of what you wrote matters.

Rights are not based on the actions of third parties. You are arguing that a child has an inalienable right to life, but then creating conditions that will, supposedly, ethically deprive that child of their life. If the right to life of the child is non negotiable, and if the parents surrendered their bodily autonomy when they had sex, then little details like what is natural and reasonable expectations do NOT count.

Think carefully about what you are arguing for Greg.. That a child's life is precious up until dad might be inconvenienced by having to donate bone marrow, which is way way way safer and less invasive than pregnancy.

secularprolife.org said...

Whether or not something is natural is irrelevant if we are talking about sustaining PRECIOUS LIVES.

Are toddlers not just as precious as embryos?

secularprolife.org said...

Do you know the difference between and ethical obligation and a legal obligation?

secularprolife.org said...

So what if sex is the first step? Are we always required to follow through the whole process once we've started something? That we have no right to change our mind once we've started something? Regardless of any intent we had when we started the process? Even if something happens that we didn't intend?

secularprolife.org said...

So the precious life of a child is negotiable? So the right to life is not inalienable, especially if dad might suffer a very MINOR inconvenience?

secularprolife.org said...

You are ethically obligated to follow through if the process creates a new distinct human life. Intent is not the same thing as consent. You can't say that you knew and accepted the possibility of something, but didn't intend it so shouldn't be held accountable for it happening.

secularprolife.org said...

"any person . . . weaker than themselves" is a moral principle that we could argue about, but it is not itself an argument for or against the principle or for or against anything.


Not being an argument, it can't contain a fallacy.

secularprolife.org said...

A father can't argue that in this day and age. It has been general knowledge for quite some time now that father's pass their genes to their child and that sometimes those genes cause conditions that might require the father's body parts to fix. If the right to life is such that a woman is required to give up her body parts because she had sex, the right to life demands the same thing of men.

secularprolife.org said...

Nothing I said would indicate they weren't. Are you gonna use one of Russell's silly laws here? It all comes down to one simple belief, that I have been completely clear about. Rights cannot be taken ethically, they must be surrendered by consent. If you choose to argue that an embryo or fetus has no claim to rights, argue that. I will disagree, but at least it would be consistent. If you choose to say the mother's rights trump everyone else's I would call you a sexist, and disagree, but at least it'd be consistent. You seem to be arguing two or three different angles, and you keep ignoring the root of my argument. Consent.

secularprolife.org said...

"If people are in a position to allow or disallow abortions, that clearly shows that it is society, and not the pregnant woman alone, making the decisions."

No it doesn't.

The key difference between "pro-life" and "pro-choice" as normally used is not about in which cases abortion is appropriate. It is about who will make the decision.

No it is not.

"Pro-choice" means the woman should have the right to choose, i.e., the woman alone should make the decision. "Pro-life" means that society should make the decision.
No matter what happens the woman will make the choice and if she is forced, the
State must let a baby die to save the fetus.

secularprolife.org said...

Why not? This is something we do all the time! In fact, you are already doing it when you exempt parents from following through with their body parts once a child is born.

secularprolife.org said...

Greg, I think that you are reading more into my arguments than is there. It is pretty simple:

If a man and a woman have sex, they surrender their bodily autonomy to their child

If the above principle is true, then men are as obligated as women to donate their bodies to their children, even if through unnatural means

The principle - that parents owe their bodies to their children - should not change based on the location or age of the child, or on the method of donation. What matters is that a donation is made to sustain the life of the child. Full stop.

Either the child is ethically entitled to the bodies of its parents or it is not. Full stop.

secularprolife.org said...

Bear with me Greg, been typing on my phone, so brevity is my goal.

secularprolife.org said...

Of course I do. You do realize that saying someone must do something is saying they have an obligation that is enforceable? You may not be willing to enforce it with the law, but that hardly means you are unwilling to enforce it at all.

secularprolife.org said...

The melon example is crude but...it gets the point across.

Have you been reading about the torture report? Forced rectal feeding...and many things that are actually less physically damaging than pregnancy but are still torture due to pain, discomfort and psychological distress.

secularprolife.org said...

Why should the outcome matter? If you really think labor and childbirth aren't torture, then I'm sure you'd be willing to go through it just for shits and giggles.

secularprolife.org said...

Your argument, however, is that having sex implicitly means consenting to pregnancy. But by using birth control, one is explicitly saying that they do not consent to pregnancy.

secularprolife.org said...

One time I hurt my chest so bad because I took an anti histamine for the flu. I coughed every 15 seconds for two whole days, and after that, for the next six months, I felt like I was getting stabbed every time I breathed. Really weird, and very very painful.

The other time, I severed my ulner nerve, and the doctors poked around inside my elbow for hours without painkiller. I was 5 years old.

I have zero tolerance for pain.

secularprolife.org said...

I never said anything even remotely like that

Really? So all that wordy stuff about how you believe that once a woman consents to sex she's "consented to surrender her autonomy" was actually intended to be understood as "I believe all women should have free access to safe legal abortion" ....and you absolutely oppose all laws that prevent women having access to safe legal abortion on demand?


Just checking. Because while it's possible I misunderstood you, I did not read the comment to which I initially replied as a ringing endorsement of women's basic human rights, which include the basic human right of safe legal abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

Clearly you didn't understand a goddamn thing I said, and I'm not interested in clarifying for the sake of someone so obviously devoid of reason and commone sense they would equate an elective medical procedure for a basic human right.

secularprolife.org said...

once again you are ignoring consent, and confusing ethical for legal rights.

secularprolife.org said...

You know, I have learned that one thing bad communicators always do is get really, really angry at people who are better communicators than they are, and who restate what they said in shorter, clearer language - especially when this restatement betrays the brutality of the thinking that could hide behind bad communication.


If you believe in free access to safe legal abortion, it's simple to say so.


Abortion is a medical procedure, true. It is "elective" because women get to choose it, true. Abortion is the means by which girls and women get to decide how many children to have, and when.


Free access to safe legal abortion is a basic human right because anything less means human beings are being subjected to forced use of their bodies.


Only someone devoid of reason, common sense, and basic humanity would suppose that forced use of another human being's body was compatible with basic human rights.

secularprolife.org said...

He's a great man full of compassion for his fellow human beings. He will lead our state well. He will curb the slaughter of helpless unborn humans at the sick hands of people like you.

secularprolife.org said...

He will murder real babies in an attempt to force the birth of fetuses that are not even human. You are a murderer and he is a murderer. It is proven by scientific law.

secularprolife.org said...

You know what I've learned about bad readers, and folks whose dogma overrides their reason. They usually have no idea what they are talking about. My language couldn't be clearer. You are just dumb as shit. Don't mistake that for anger, I find you hilarious, and a little sad at the same time. I just happen to not be super nice person to people who've demonstrated they aren't worth the trouble. As for access to safe legal abortions, the point is irrelevant to my argument. If you knew how to parse a simple statement, you could tell the difference between an ethical and legal argument. There are plenty of things I find ethically repulsive that I don't advocate a legislative solution to.

secularprolife.org said...

Mayhaps Greg Kells would be more willing to undergo that if he really thinks the pains of labor and childbirth are not torture?

secularprolife.org said...

Pro lifers have a choice. They can save toddlers or they can let the toddlers die and save embryos. They make the intentional choice to let innocent toddlers die from lack of medical care, starvation and sometimes, child rape and murder. Pro lifers are genuinely sick. They have a mental block that denies them the ability to understand the fact that they could actually save human life and not just pretend to save human life.
Pro lifers are cold blooded, blinded by religion and set upon intentional murder. They will never admit to the murders they commit. But they cannot avoid the responsibility for the children that die.

secularprolife.org said...

That's what we are insisting on--consistency.

secularprolife.org said...

No, you're jumping into a rather long discussion, and apparently not reading the whole thing. I have been consistent through the entire discussion. Rights, including autonomy cannot be ethically taken, they must be surrendered by consent. The entire discussion could be summed up in that single comment, which has not changed.

secularprolife.org said...

BTW, I'm not accusing you of this particularly, but I think you might have been on the cusp of it a couple times. Argumentum abusi fallacia actually is a thing. I suspected as much, considering how often people claim fallacy without being able to explain how they came to that conclusion. It is in fact a form of fallacy.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Essay:Argumentum_abusi_fallacia

secularprolife.org said...

Thanks Greg, I appreciate it.

I don't always enact the labour to explain in detail when I am on my mobile, as too much typing = pita.

BTW, IMO, you are being uncharitable. EdinburghEye is clearly a highly intelligent individual, as is Timothy Griffy. Cut them some slack, please.

secularprolife.org said...

Timothy,
Sex is consent to abortion, not to pregnancy. So you are wrong there. 70 percent of conceptions end in natural abortion, so any consent to sex is consent to abort 70 percent of any life created. . And if the sex was intentional, then the abortion was intentional.

secularprolife.org said...

**Bacteria and cattle are not human. My point about brain function was pretty clear**

Epic fail. You specifically stated that brain function was not the measure of humanity or rights. If that is the case, exactly what are your grounds for denying rights to bacteria and cattle?

**. If no brain function means no rights, and we all know brain function develops incrementally, do you believe rights are assigned incrementally as well?**

As a matter of fact, yes. So do you, unless you think a 3 year old has a 'right' to get a job as a hooker at the Mustang Ranch.

**At the earliest stages of brain development, preferences and emotions etc. are still not possible**



That's because the brain isn't functioning at the earliest stages. As for the early stages of when it IS functioning, you really can't make the statement that you did unless you have psychic powers.

secularprolife.org said...

**Brain function doesn't have to be the measure of humanity to exclude bacteria and cattle from (now pay close attention to this next word) H U M A N ity.**

You are still handwaving, like most forced gestationers. Fine, we will play that game. Admittedly, bacteria and cattle are NOT the same species as homo sapiens.

That said, what reason OTHER than BRAIN FUNCTION, do we have for not giving rights to bacteria and cattle? Did God spin a roullete wheel, and 'humans' just 'happened' to come out as the winner?

**BTW, brain function is able to be detected and monitored at 20 weeks,** Probably true.

**the necessary equipment is present a little earlier.** Debatable, and you're deliberately being fuzzy. What do you mean by a 'little earlier'? A few days? Or handwaving back to the time of conception.

** About the only basic human right that is incrementally increased with capacity for reason is autonomy,** Provably false, or it would be illegal to harvest organs from brain dead patients and deny care to anencephalic infants.

**The basic right to life trumps the right to autonomy, providing the person understood that there was a reasonable chance of that being the result of their actions.**



Sorry, no, or you would be required to donate blood and bone marrow, unless you could prove that you were unaware that being in decent health meant you produced more of both substances than you require. You would also have to give up any extra money you had beyond that needed for survival in a crowded shelter on a subsistence diet.

secularprolife.org said...

Where do I try to pretend that?

secularprolife.org said...

Oh, don't think I haven't been paying attention to the whole thing. As it so happens, I've been finalizing a blog post of my own responding to arguments like the one you are making, while responding to you and to posts on another blog. That part is finished, and I now have time to reply more fully to you and your argument. For the blog post, see http://tagriffy.blogspot.com/2014/12/bodily-rights-vs-responsibility-argument.html.

Now then, let's take some of the specifics of your particular argument. You're not exactly proposing anything new. Your "tacit consent" argument has already been dealt with by Holly Smith in her "Intercourse and Moral Responsibility for the Fetus" (http://philosophy.rutgers.edu/dmdocuments/Intercourse_and_Moral_Responsibility_for_the_Fetus.pdf). David Boonin also dealt with it in his A Defense of Abortion, p. 148-167. I've have relatively little to add to their arguments. At the risk of repeating myself at certain points, here are some things to think about when it comes to your tacit consent argument.

1. Granted your argument that autonomy can only be surrendered by consent, you are reserving to yourself the right to determine what, exactly constitutes consent.

So, you assert that the act of having sex constitutes implied consent to pregnancy. But, as of the time I started working on this post, you haven't answered my question about whether driving constitutes consent to being injured in a car accident, I could very well just gratuitously deny your gratuitous assertion.

2. "Implied consent" only obtains when the action can be clearly recognized as intending to grant consent to something--as clearly as if one gave explicit consent. For example, when my sister gets home from work before I have to leave, she will often simply hand me the keys to her car. I think there would be near-universal agreement that her action does constitute permission for me to use her car.

This is not the case with having sex, particularly when birth control is being used. The most we can say about someone consenting to sex is that they consented to sex. This applies to both parties.

3. You have failed to consider the scope of consent, even assuming tacit consent has been given for something. By giving me the keys to her car, my sister is granting me permission to use it. Is that also permission to drive the car through the house and kill her with it?

4. You are also arguing that consent cannot be revoked. That is a big assumption to be making when we are talking about explicit consent, let alone when we are talking about tacit consent. All you've done is to assert, not prove, that an action that "creates a new distinct human life" serves as a valid exception to the rule that consent can be revoked.


5. Can one tacitly waive their rights to someone who does not exist? Perhaps, but that is something that has argued, not assumed.

secularprolife.org said...

Are you drunk like myintx? READ YOUR OWN POST!!

secularprolife.org said...

'Innocence' does not magically create rights. Neither does being 'small', 'weak', or 'vulnerable'. If it did, Christmas tree ornaments would have more rights than any human being alive.

secularprolife.org said...

You must understand "continuum fallacy" differently than I do. What is your definition of it?

secularprolife.org said...

We do give animals some rights, though not many, and none for microscopic organisms at all. But we are talking about HUMAN rights in this discussion. We don't give HUMAN rights to anything that isn't human. There are a number explanations for why only humans have human rights, but the easiest is probably the best. We look out for our own. God has nothing to do with anything in my book. I don't have anything against deists, but I am not one. I wasn't waving anything. I was stating an incidental point. It's just to say that brain function isn't something we have set in stone exactly, but it's definitely earlier than 6 months in. It's not really a big point in my argument, since I don't make the argument that brain function is tied to the right to live. The right to live is an absolute, there is no incremental option. You either have it or you don't, and without it you have no rights. It's by that virtue, the most important and first basic human right.

secularprolife.org said...

Hey didn't Watson & Crick come up with some of that DNA stuff before you? IF so, why did you rename it, capitalize it, and say you authored it?

secularprolife.org said...

I hate to interrupt but this one is approaching Russ in the lunacy dept. She doesn't have her own set of Laws made up, but she does refer to unborn humans as "widdle embweyos " to emphasize her disdain for unborn babies.

secularprolife.org said...

**We don't give HUMAN rights to anything that isn't human. There are a number explanations for why only humans have human rights, but the easiest is probably the best. We look out for our own.**

So, what you are trying to claim here, is that if aliens with an average IQ of, say, 105 or so landed tomorrow, it would be just fine to kill them without provocation? Or are you just desperately trying to avoid mentioning brain function with your handwaving about 'looking out for our own'?

** but it's definitely earlier than 6 months in.**

Sorry, no.

**The right to live is an absolute, there is no incremental option. You either have it or you don't, and without it you have no rights. It's by that virtue, the most important and first basic human right**



In which case you would have to advocate forced kidney donation, since dialysis patients need a kidney for their 'very lives' and you can get by just fine with one kidney.

secularprolife.org said...

My language couldn't be clearer. You are just dumb as shit.

Aw, bless. Abuse is the last resort of those who know they lost the argument.

As for access to safe legal abortions, the point is irrelevant to my argument.



You're on a prolife site, claiming to be prolife, and you think access to safe legal abortions is "irrelevant"? No, Greg. Women's lives, health, and wellbeing are never "irrelevant".

secularprolife.org said...

Russell Crawford asserts (based on his 6 Laws) that a consent to have sex is a consent to abortion. What do you think about that?

secularprolife.org said...

I think he is wrong, at least in the form he makes that assertion. Consent to sex is just that: consent to sex.

secularprolife.org said...

NO.

You are attempting to avoid the subject.

You have a choice, you can choose to save innocent babies or you can let them die and save a fetus instead. Your choice is to let innocent babies die. You are a murderer.

secularprolife.org said...

According to your fictional "laws". There is nowhere else in the known universe that you could find that ridiculous claim, and it doesn't hold up to closer scrutiny. You seem to be using the Goebbels method of just repeating the lie until it's true.

secularprolife.org said...

Sorry Russ, but once again, saying something over and over in your head doesn't make it a scientific law. Consent requires knowledge. Unless a woman knows the rate of early term miscarriages (which many don't since they go undetected in most cases) AND knows that in some medical texts those are referred to as spontaneous abortions, AND equates a spontaneous abortion with just "abortion" (typically meant to represent a MEDICAL abortion), there was no consent to abortion. At best you could argue consent to miscarry, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who considers miscarriage and abortion the same. Calling your half baked idea a scientific law doesn't make it true. Even if you changed the wording to be less ambiguous by using the correct term for the specific type of abortion you claim consent to, you'd need to show evidence that a good majority of women knew and accepted that as fact before you could establish any form of consent.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't know why you continue to debate with Greg. He is a proved liar and bails when the going gets tough.
Why not just drop him?
The fact is that he is willing to lie and deceive. Why put up with that?

secularprolife.org said...

Russ seems to think she's a genius because she finished an inane comment with a self aggrandizing statement about her slightly elevated reading level in the 5th grade. I'm seeing no evidence of that here, but I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure that even with her predisposition to one argument, she'd dismiss Russ's "laws", as everyone else has. Maybe that would be worthwhile since Russ seems to think her IQ is "off the charts".

secularprolife.org said...

Don't let Greg get too you. It is an ad hominem fallacy to avoid conversation by inserting personal opinion of a person's character. If a discussion has merit, the a person must discuss the merit and not try and win points with personal attack. Here is a clarification from a reputable site:

The ad hominem attack is usually fallacious, and becomes reasonable only when the consideration being advanced is directly relevant to whether the other person is generally truthful or reliable, or whether he is telling the truth in this instance, or whether he is engaged in a logical fallacy of his own. The usual case occurs when the other person is engaging in special pleading.[2] Exposure of special pleading is a valid counterargument--so long as the accusation itself is valid. Technically, this is not an example of ad hominem, because it is an attack on the specific argument and/or the evidence advanced to support it.
In the modern legal system, most judges allow the prosecutor to attack the credibility of those who testify on the stand; such witness impeachment can call into question the character, impartiality, honesty, or competence of a witness. Again, however, this is not technically an ad hominem argument.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Ad_hominem

When Greg makes disparaging remarks and uses them to bolster his argument, he has offered an ad hominem fallacy. If he had a real valid argument he would not have to depend on personal attack.

secularprolife.org said...

I just noticed Greg jumped in again to debate with himself. I do not put up with his lies and distortions. I don't even read his posts anymore.
It is a fact that whatever comes out of his mouth will be a lie.

secularprolife.org said...

Consent to sex is consent to abortion in every case. Greg knows that and is guilty of consenting to abortion on a frequent basis. He knows that it is a Scientific Fact that any choice to have sex will result in the abortion of 70 percent of all conceptions that occur. He has no problem murdering what he believes are "babies" so long as he get to have sex.
His arguments on this page are meant to confuse people and have them ignore that he murders babies by his own definition.
I don't know why anyone debates with Greg.

secularprolife.org said...

Sure, the abuse originated from my side. It couldn't possibly have been your insistence on projecting your own interpretation over my statements and your refusal to engage in an honest dialogue. You have no idea what my beliefs are, maybe in the future you should ask people instead of projecting your own definition of the argument on to them. If you bothered to ask, you would have known that I do not advocate any laws restricting abortion. I advocate sound ethical reasoning, believing that people can and do create more social change than laws. MOST people are capable of coming to their own decision if we get rid of the dogmatic bullshit arguments from both sides. Those who aren't capable wouldn't be swayed by laws either, so they are pointless. You seem too caught up in the dogma of the "pro-freedom and choice vs. the forced birther" bullshit to have a reasonable discussion, so I decided not to waste my time.

secularprolife.org said...

Judging by the bullshit dogma "No.Greg.Women's lives. health, and wellbeing are never irrelevant" I wasn't wrong. You really are dumb as shit.

secularprolife.org said...

Close, but not quite. I don't recognize sanctity in anything. I do believe in personal responsibility and sound ethical reasoning. I'm not really concerned with protecting children as much as you would think. It's just plain ethics. I have kids, and I love them, but I don't place any greater ethical value on a person based on their stage of development.

secularprolife.org said...

Why is it "bullshit dogma?'

*Is* it true that female health and life are irrelevant?

secularprolife.org said...

So its all about holding people responsible for their actions?

secularprolife.org said...

I didn't say they were, I said "access to safe legal abortions is irrelevant to my argument", because I never argued to limit it. That was clear dogmatic bullshit. I didn't say anything ANYWHERE in ANY of this discussion about denying women access to anything. She is trained to recognize and counter one argument, I didn't give it to her, so she went ahead and argued it anyways.

secularprolife.org said...

I can't seem to find the post with the blog link. If you repost it, I'll respond there.

secularprolife.org said...

Though I agree with you line of reasoning, the issue is not that complex. The primary result of sex is natural abortion. Pregnancy is a secondary possibility. With any consent to sex comes the attached fact that most likely (70%) the product of conception will abort. Therefore, any person that consents to sex consents to abortion. Intentional consent is intentional abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

That assumes conception actually occurs. But as I'm sure you are well aware, sex, though perhaps necessary, is not a sufficient for conception to occur. At most, when one has sex, one only foresees that conception and the resulting processes that will end in either birth or abortion will occur. Only if one intends for conception to occur can it plausibly said that one consent to the results of the process that then plays out.

secularprolife.org said...

Thanks. The blog is http://www.NoTerminationWithoutRepresentation.org/
Most relevant to things we have been discussing, and therefore most appropriate for continuing our discussion, are the latest post, "Moral Intuition, Logic and the Abortion Debate," and section 7 of "Dismantling the Bodily-Rights Argument without Using the Responsibility Argument."

secularprolife.org said...

Correction: section 5, not section 7.

secularprolife.org said...

Also my theory about the responsability objection:

agriffy.blogspot.ro/2014/12/bodily-rights-vs-responsibility-argument.html#sdfootnote1sym

secularprolife.org said...

To some extent. It's really more about getting people to recognize their responsibility. I don't have the authority to hold anyone to anything, and I don't presume to say my ethical conclusions are the only valid ones. I just make an attempt to explain my own conclusions and encourage people to form their own without prejudice. Of course I would like it if their beliefs coincided with my own, and like to think a lot of them will. I am crass and not particularly compassionate sometimes, but I am not arrogant enough to think I have all the answers, or liberal enough in my view of government to think more laws are a solution. I see too many people making the same arguments about abortion being simply a woman's choice about her body and nothing else. I am just trying to show a reasonable argument to the contrary.

secularprolife.org said...

You mean getting "women" to recognize their responsibility.

If a woman has an ethical obligation to 1) permit a prenate to use her organs 2) support that child once born

Then by all rights, a man should have the same responsibilities. If his child needs his organs or tissues, he has the same responsibilities as the woman - bodily donation along with financial support.

secularprolife.org said...

To be prolife begins with the premise that human rights can only be surrendered by consent.

So do you think that voluntary slavery is ethically right?Since you believe that rights can be surrendered by consent.

secularprolife.org said...

"Autonomy is near the bottom"
Here --

http://www.noterminationwithoutrepresentation.org/bodily-rights-the-concept/

-- I came to a similar conclusion by a deductive process. Would appreciate your opinion.

secularprolife.org said...

Slavery by the normally accepted definition isn't voluntary. If you are talking about indentured servitude, as long as the terms are clear and agreed to it's not an ethical conflict. If you consent to surrender your rights, even temporarily, you have no claim as long as the terms were cleat and agreed to. Of course there are situations where a different ethical conflict comes up. If the person is deprived of other basic human rights and consents to surrender autonomy to gain other rights that should have been inherent to begin with, it's a different story.

secularprolife.org said...

We've been over all of this. It's all a matter of consent. If he knew that there was real likelihood of his tissues or organs being required, he consented, if not he didn't. And YES the man has ethical responsibilities, including but not limited to what you mention. Even if there were no consent, I would gladly surrender any organ or tissue necessary to any of my children, including the two that I assumed responsibility for by marrying their mother. Fathers assume a lot more responsibility than just financial ones. We are ethically obliged to guide, protect, and provide for them in ANY way required, even at the expense of our own fundamental rights. Our rights immediately become secondary. Granted not all fathers live up to that. But I sincerely believe they are ethically obliged to. The mother shares that burden, but that in no way diminishes the obligation of the father.

secularprolife.org said...

If he knew that there was real likelihood of his tissues or organs being required, he consented, if not he didn't

I know we have, and that is irrelevant. If parents create a child, they create a being that is needy - that will need either their bodies, tissues and/or their financial support to survive.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

If women are ethically obligated to provide bodily donation + wallet, then the same should be asked of men, it is only fair.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't necessarily disagree, but the terms of the arrangement aren't equal, and can't be. Women have the greater burden when it comes to pregnancy. That is a natural fact, and one that both the man and woman are aware of when they initiate the reproductive process. The woman consents to a different set of terms than the man, but retains a greater deal of control over the situation. If she doesn't feel those terms are equitable, amend them or don't agree to them. You can't fault nature for the inequity.

secularprolife.org said...

I don't necessarily disagree, but the terms of the arrangement aren't equal, and can't be.

No, but if called upon to donate his organs and tissues to sustain the life of his child, he should be just as ethically obligated as the woman.

You can't fault nature for the inequity.


Which is why we override nature through technology.

secularprolife.org said...

We don't really ever override nature. Technology is human, humans are nature. We attempt to subvert nature, but speaking strictly philosophically, I don't think we ever do. Personally, my take on tissue or organ donation is simple. If you can prevent your child from preceding you to the grave, you should even if it means heading there early yourself. Honestly it's probably more of a selfish belief than an ethically pure belief. I couldn't imagine burying one of my kids. As big of an asshole as I am already, I would an absolute sociopathic nightmare, and of no practical use to the world. If my son needed my heart or lungs, I'd cut them out myself. Aside from saving him, it would save me from losing him, and the world from having another raging sociopath to deal with. In my opinion it would be the only logical and ethical route. I can't expect everyone to share my conclusion.

secularprolife.org said...

We don't really ever override nature. Technology is human, humans are
nature. We attempt to subvert nature, but speaking strictly
philosophically, I don't think we ever do


Indeed, it can be argued that our technology is really just an extension of nature, as we are a part of nature.

But, we do 'override' it in the sense that if we get an infection, we take antibiotics to kill it. If we ingest a parasite in a burrito, we take an anti-parasitic to kill the parasite, and so on.

In my opinion it would be the only logical and ethical route. I can't expect everyone to share my conclusion.


I can't fault you for that.

secularprolife.org said...

We kill infections in the same manner that apes pick lice from each others body. We're just better at bending nature to our whims than most animals. Or at least we like to think we are. Of course every action has a reaction. We kill viruses or parasites, and they evolve. We can stave them off for so long, but we wind up creating drug resistant strains like MRSA. Each attempt to subvert nature comes with a consequence. In the end it's hard to say we really change the equation much. We keep several thousand people from getting a mild to moderate staph infection, in exchange for several hundred getting a deadly serious one that doesn't respond to treatment. Don't ask me what the answer to that conundrum is, I couldn't begin to guess.

secularprolife.org said...

Each attempt to subvert nature comes with a consequence.


I wish people would realize that. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that we should just let nature take it's course, either, as that can also have dire consequences. But, for example, overuse of antibiotics can have unintended consequences.

secularprolife.org said...

Overuse of HAND SANITIZERS can have dire consequences. Overuse of antibiotics has produced near catastrophic consequences. I have to take a Bloodborne Pathogen, Infection Control, and Universal Precaution (aseptic technique) course every year. Each year there is a new strain of Hepatitis, Staph or some other form of infectious disease to worry about. When I first took the course 15 years ago, it took a couple hours and there was a ten minute exam to get certified. It's an all day affair now and the exam takes as long as the course used to.

secularprolife.org said...

This may be totally inappropriate, and is not intended as a jab at anyone, but I wonder how long it will take for humans to evolve abortion resistant fetuses. There have been abortion survivors. If they breed, it's just a matter of time. Of course we will probably be wiped out by skynet before that happens.

secularprolife.org said...

You mean like, embryos that can survive and grow without the use of a uterus?

secularprolife.org said...

I am totally OCD about germs, but I stopped using antibiotic handwash when I learned about antibiotic resistance. You want clean hands, a good thorough wash will remove any germs. Also, antibacterial tends to give people a false sense of confidence, which isn't good.

secularprolife.org said...

There's a pretty major difference between the scenarios, aside from one being biological and the other not. The reproductive process has a specific design. The entire purpose of the reproductive process (biologically speaking) is to create a new organism. Regardless of why you choose to initiate the process, you do so knowing the biological design. The reproductive process is MEANT to make more people. Driving typically has an intended design as well. We drive to get where
we want to go. The type of consent is not the same. In one scenario you're hoping to avoid the outcome the process is meant to produce, in the other you are hoping to avoid an outcome that is not the purpose of the process.

secularprolife.org said...

Also, it kills bacteria that is meant to be present. We were told that it could lead to faster colonization of unwanted bacteria like staph as well as increased risk of contact dermatitis.

secularprolife.org said...

The supposed "purpose" of an act is irrelevant to a discussion of what acts can be presumed to constitute consent to what consequences. If the only function of sex was reproduction, then you might have a case for saying consent to sex implies consent to the loss of body or property rights. But sex does not, and therefore it cannot be assumed that having sex constitutes consent to the loss of body or property rights on all the grounds I've already discussed--most of which you didn't actually address.

secularprolife.org said...

There is only one objective purpose for sex. You can cite love, recreation or other motivations, but they are not the purpose. The purpose is and always has been procreation. Before we had elaborate constructs about love and marriage or the time to do anything recreational we had sex. Animals that lack the cognitive ability to have complex emotions or recreational activity have sex. There is only one legitimate, objective purpose for sex, reproduction. The rest of your argument hinges on a belief that there is, so I didn't address it.

secularprolife.org said...

Nonsense. If sex were only for procreation, humans would go into heat and only have sex when they were fertile, just like every other animal.

secularprolife.org said...

Nonsense. As Jennifer pointed out, if the only purpose for sex among humans was reproduction, then we'd only have sex when the female is fertile. The fact is that sex among humans serves a number of legitimate, objective purposes. To single out any one of those purposes and call it the only legitimate function is completely arbitrary. Hence, the rest of my argument still stands.

secularprolife.org said...

The entire purpose of the reproductive process (biologically speaking) is to create a new organism.


No, not at all. Again, you could say that this is true for animals that go into heat, but in humans reproduction is so fraught with flaws that it would appear that the *design*, for lack of a better word, is to NOT get pregnant 99% of the time. This is because sex is primarily for social bonding. We are a lot like the bonobos in that regard. Human females, and bonobo females, are always receptive, because sex builds social bonds within the group.


And in fact, simply reproducing is not a positive net gain. People often say 'the best thing that an organism can do is reproduce', but that is hogwash, because until your offspring is of reproductive age, your genes will have gone *nowhere*. Simply being able to shit out babies all the time = worthless, and in fact, can kill off your entire group if you outbreed the carrying capacity of your environment.


In humans, reproduction is so iffy precisely *because* we are not meant to have a baby every time we have sex, as that would be disastrous. Sex has two roles - social bonding and reproduction, and when people have sex, they can certainly consent to one or the other.

secularprolife.org said...

You're claiming that a member of a species can change its species. That's mildly interesting, but stunningly unpersuasive.



It's all about your anti-life feelies, 'Ann'.

secularprolife.org said...

Ah, an 'unspecified life form'. How convenient. You claim to be a nurse? That's a laugh.

secularprolife.org said...

I never claimed that a member of a species can change it's species. Either show where I claimed that, or apologize and retract.

secularprolife.org said...

I didn't read that. You are bringing up false facts in an effort to cover up for your murders. You are a murderer of innocent born babies.
You have a choice, you can save babies or you can let those babies die and save a fetus instead. Your choice is to look at and support the rape and murder of months old children and help the rapist. You could choose to look at the poor bloody baby and stop the rapists. But you don't. In fact when it comes to the rape of adults, you want to force the birth of the rapists baby so that it can be raped as well.
Now you have that pesky choice that won't go away. You could choose to save the babies and stop the rapist and abort the fetus of the rapists so they are not rewarded, but you won't. You will continue to murder innocent babies and help rapists. -----AND CLAIM TO BE PRO LIFE----
You are an ordinary pro life guy.

secularprolife.org said...

Actually, I can see why exactly someone might support infanticide in the hypothetical event of a shortage of qualified adoptive parents. Frankly, I would *not* consider such an individual to be scum as long as he or she also supported legalized abortion.

secularprolife.org said...

"Logic and history can tell us that the price of saving widdle pwecious embwyoes will be infanticide."

This does *not* appear to be a good justification for legalized abortion, though.

secularprolife.org said...

"Nobody has abortions because "that's what they truly want." Likely all women who have abortions resent being in that position, whether they wanted the pregnancy or not. For instance, there's a long list of things women who have abortions would rather spend that $500 (or more) on. It's expensive, painful and decidedly not convenient. In other words, not fun."

I think that you might be missing the crux of the anti-abortion argument here; any decent anti-abortion person would *not* have any program with, say, removing a dead fetus from a woman's uterus even though I am presuming that no woman would want to undergo that either. Rather, anti-abortion people are concerned about prenatal lives, which is probably something that some/many pro-choicers don't care much about (just like I don't care much about the deaths of, say, amoebas) considering that I have heard some pro-choicers refer to embryos and fetuses as "oblivious collections of tissue and cells."

secularprolife.org said...

That's the most coherent argument I've heard to counter my belief, but I still contend that reproduction is the primary role, and sole purpose (biologically anyways) for sex. There are many motivations for sex, social bonding, pleasure, status, etc. I don't consider those the purpose, but the motivation. The fact that our reproductive process is so inefficient is precisely why we need motivators. I don't think either argument can be considered empirically correct, and yours is certainly as valid as mine. I just see it a bit differently. We are programmed to procreate. Our roles in the process are certainly not the same. A man can easily get two or more women pregnant at the same time. From a biological perspective, his sex drive should be higher to produce more of the species. Nature tends to make that the case. Men have an innate need to copulate that begins as soon as they are able. Of course the result of every copulation doesn't result in reproduction. If it did our planet would be overrun by human/sock hybrids in a matter of days. Men are driven by nature to copulate. Women have an innate need to form social bonds. Women are receptive to sexual intercourse that doesn't lead to reproduction for the same reason young men masturbate relentlessly. I'm sure someone is gonna jump on that and call me a sexist or worse, but it's not a value judgement or a stereotype, and it isn't meant to imply men have NO desire for social bonds or that women have NO desire for sex for pleasure alone. Let's be honest about it though. Men are piggish about their sex drive far more often than women, and women are more likely then men to nurture close interpersonal relationships. It's part of the process, not the reason for it. As far as I can tell the only actual reason is still reproduction.

secularprolife.org said...

American Indians who made long treks routinely killed infants that were born at the wrong time of year.

secularprolife.org said...

I have sex to get an orgasm. I never in a long lifetime have had sex to get pregnant.

secularprolife.org said...

I covered that in another comment to Floid and Dewitt. I'll give you the abridged version. There are several motivators for sex, but only one purpose. The fact that the process is so inefficient is exactly why we need motivators. Men tend to be driven to copulate as often as possible, women tend to be driven to form social bonds. Those aren't the purpose for sex, they are the motivation that makes sure it happens frequently. BTW, humans (or our distant ancestors) did have a estrus cycle at one time, and evolved away from it. There are a number of theories on why. I tend to think it's for precisely the reason Floid mentioned about bononos and humans forming social bonds. However, studies have shown women have a higher sex drive when fertile, and men are more attentive to fertile women. Most people attribute it to pheremones or the ability to subliminally detect minor physiological changes. Regardless, men seem to know when a woman is fertile. Men are also more likely to revert to alpha male behaviors when their partners are fertile. They tend to view other men as a threat to their dominance etc. As much as we like to think we are so removed from the animal kingdom, we really are just smart apes. The only purpose of ANY species is to propagate. We all live so that we can pass life on, there really is no other purpose to anything.

secularprolife.org said...

What does a basketball have to do with my vagina?
Or the law of gravity with sex and orgasm?
What a crappy analogy.
I mean it might work if you got pregnant every single time you do the nasty. But we do not.

secularprolife.org said...

Already covered that in two other comments, but here's a short version. Humans have motivations for sex, but motivation is not purpose. Women ARE more sexually active when they are fertile, and men are drawn naturally to women who are fertile. Men become territorial around fertile women, and so on. We are smart apes, that's all. To think otherwise is arrogant. Just like any other species, we are programmed to procreate. Men are driven to copulate, and women to form social bonds. They are innate drives that guide the reproduction process. Sure sex is fun, and it creates bonds, but those aren't the purpose, they are part of the process.

secularprolife.org said...

BTW, Jennifer stated in a previous comment that she agreed with Russell Crawford's "laws". So it's kinda hard to take her serious here. His "law of consent" states that consent to sex that may result in pregnancy is consent to abortion. I'm not sure how you read that, but it seems to imply consent to the pregnancy as well. No pregnancy=no abortion. Her comment about the estrus cycle is noted, and addressed. I just wonder if her argument is based more on a predisposition to disagree with me based on her own "us vs. them" mentality.

secularprolife.org said...

Orgasms are a motivation, not a purpose. People are motivated to have sex for all sorts of reasons, but the human reproductive process only has one purpose, and sex is the first step in the process.

secularprolife.org said...

If you really want to see me work to make my point, bring up homosexuality. That's where my argument might have a hole. I'm still trying to figure out the objective way to address that. It's clear that homosexuality isn't an aberration, it isn't unethical, and is consistent with the behavior of other species. I just have yet to figure out it's biological purpose. It clearly isn't reproduction. I'm surprised nobody else brought that up.

secularprolife.org said...

I'm not going to make the obvious "your vagina is like a basketball because..." joke here. You're welcome.

secularprolife.org said...

I think this is where I lost you, I'm backtracking because I think we have a fundamental difference of opinion (which is fine) but we aren't communicating exactly where it is. This is it. I do NOT believe that all people are held to a universal set of ethical obligations. I believe they have to come to their own conclusions on some matters of ethics, and then be consistent (or at least make an honest effort) in living up to their code of ethics. I may disagree with their logic, and attempt to explain why, but I do not believe in an absolute and immutable code of ethics. There are certain matters that have a widespread consensus, but that's typically only the most base principles like theft, murder etc. More complex issues like abortion don't have a single universal conclusion. Yet another reason I find Russell's "scientific natural laws of abortion" so completely ludicrous.

secularprolife.org said...

You did not answer my question.

secularprolife.org said...

The only purpose I have in mind when I do coitus is orgasm.
I never once had the purpose of getting pregnant. Not once.
I have done I would say about 100 different men, many of them more than once. My purpose is doing them was orgasm. The women I did were for orgasm too.
Orgasm is the purpose of sex. Pregnancy is an occasional side effect. Kind of like booze. Hangover is only an occasional side effect. I only drink for the orgasm, so to speak.

secularprolife.org said...

Why do you think young boys are prone to masturbating relentlessly?

............
Orgasm.

secularprolife.org said...

You asked two questions, I assumed both to be rhetorical. Unless you really want to know what a basketball and your vagina have in common (lots of guys dribble it for a while and throw it away), or why I chose an analogy you didn't like. If you mean I didn't address your statement, I did, in detail. Your motivation for engaging in the human reproduction process is NOT the purpose of the process. The process (including sex as the first step) is called HUMAN REPRODUCTION for a very explicit reason. The fact that is horribly inefficient requires added incentive, like orgasms, heightened sex drives, expectations of bonding, love, status or even money. None of those are the REASON for the process they just ensure it happens.

secularprolife.org said...

And if I arrange it well and/or I am infertile, I can have lots of orgasms and no reproduction.
Because orgasm is the only purpose and motivation I have in mind when I have sex.

secularprolife.org said...

Once again you are addressing your motivation, not the purpose. The purpose of drinking is to get drunk. Some people will tell you they drink to be social, or to relax, or just like the taste but the actual and only purpose to drink alcohol is to get the intoxicating effect. The only objective purpose to put a penis inside of your vagina and stimulate it to ejaculation is to fertilize your eggs. Granted, that rules out a lot of sex, and probably most of the good sex, but it is still a fact. It is the first step in the human reproductive process. If you consent to start the process, you consent to the possibility of it continuing.

secularprolife.org said...

I see where our problem is. I'm not concerned with what you have in your mind. That is your motivation. The purpose of the process is not determined by what you have in your mind, it's determined by what you have in your vagine.

secularprolife.org said...

Nope. Maybe you are led around by your twig and berries. I know who, what, when, where and why I have sex. Orgasm.

secularprolife.org said...

This might be true if every time I had an orgasm, I got pregnant.

secularprolife.org said...

That's all fine and good, but it doesn't change the purpose of the human reproduction process. Hell, it's in the title. I'm a little old, and way too tired from raising kids to be led around by my twig and berries, but I assure you as a younger man I wasn't just led by it, I was absolutely dominated by the relentless drive to ejaculate. I got a little chuckle out of you previous comment about having 100 partners. I learned to play guitar, started a band, recorded an album and went on tour, with sex being the primary motivation (drugs and booze a close second, but probably directly related). Practically everything a young man does can be attributed to

his desire to ejaculate into someone else. That's the strength of the biological drive to procreate. Of course I didn't think blasting a trail of semen from Cleveland to Tulsa was me trying to procreate. I thought I was having sex because to get off. In reality, I was having sex because it was my biological design. I was a young man, I had sex because it felt good, which ensured that I had lots of sex. That's the natural design, regardless of what I thought my reasons were.

secularprolife.org said...

I do not give a shit why an asexual pedantic person has sex. I have sex to get an orgasm.

secularprolife.org said...

Whatever you say, I guess you aren't subject to the normal hormonal or natural influences the rest of world has to deal with. Must be nice to exist outside of the natural world. Thats probably why your vagina had it's own waiting room.

secularprolife.org said...

Talk about my vagina all you like. Come anywhere near it and I will hurt you.

secularprolife.org said...

In your case they are both a let down.

secularprolife.org said...

and it's just sheer coincidence that the product of that orgasm is reproductive material?

secularprolife.org said...

The analogy was to illustrate a process, not an inevitability. Get past it already. The point was that you can't consent to begin a process but not the possibility of it continuing.

secularprolife.org said...

Correct. Pregnancy is not inevitable. I can consent to sex. I can end a pregnancy at will.

secularprolife.org said...

I'll give you pedantic, it's not something I'm actually ashamed of. That's like complaining about someone being too organized or meticulous. Asexual though? I just see sex for what it is biologically. I'm a 42 year old father of three, sex isn't my priority anymore. I've already ensured my genetic material has been passed on.

secularprolife.org said...

When did I say that?

secularprolife.org said...

I am not interested in your issues getting wood. They have pills for that.

secularprolife.org said...

Did I express any interest in spelunking? I'll take you at your word, I'm sure your vagina is very menacing.

secularprolife.org said...

That was a question, hence the question mark at the end.

secularprolife.org said...

"If you bothered to ask, you would have known that I do not advocate any laws restricting abortion."

Well, since that's the exact reverse of the prolife position, and since you began by claiming to be prolife...?

You see the difficulty?

If you believe girls and women should get to choose for themselves whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy, and that they should have free access to safe legal abortion so that they can make that choice... well, then you're not prolife at all: you are prochoice.

Welcome to the human rights side of the fence.

secularprolife.org said...

Sure, push the poison blue boner pills knowing full well that your voice is the only antidote.

secularprolife.org said...

Nope, you are just caught up in dogma. You have an 'us vs. them" mindset and make wild assumptions based on your own bigotry. I am pro-life in EVERY regard. I oppose abortion on ethical grounds and apply those same ethical principles to the death penalty, war and violence in general. The fact that I don't think laws are the solution to all of our problems does NOT make me pro-choice. It isn't an issue of choice at all. The whole "pro-choice" or "pro-life" argument is juvenile. EVERYBODY is pro-choice and EVERYBODY is pro-life. The argument against abortion from a legal standpoint isn't about choice anymore than the argument against theft is anti-choice. They see it as a moral absolute. I just happen to disagree with absolutism, and even more so with legislation based on it. It sure as heel doesn't put me in camp with you. Your "welcome the human rights side of the fence" is yet another example of your raging dogmatic idiocy. Sorry, you are still dumb as shit.

secularprolife.org said...

I rest my case. Unless you have given up sex entirely, you are not having sex to get pregnant.

secularprolife.org said...

Thank you. About time.

secularprolife.org said...

You have no argument. Pregnancy is natural. To which I say, so what? So are hemmorhoids.

secularprolife.org said...

hemmorhoids? Come on. Try a little harder than that. I apoligozed already for making crude jokes, you just keep setting them up. I'm not taking the bait this time. Talk about lame analogies though. Hemmorhoids have NOTHING in common with pregnancy, unless you got them from consensual sex, and expect them to grow up and become hemmorbabies. Look, we are never gonna find any common ground here. I'm not some dumb kid with half formed ideas, and neither are you. I can't stand the empty platitude about "agreeing to disagree", but I think we can both agree that the one of us is wrong, and neither of us is likely to convince the other one it's them. As much fun as it is making ignorant jokes (becuase your provide ample ammo) I have to bow out of this discussion, it's going nowhere.

secularprolife.org said...

**This does *not* appear to be a good justification for legalized abortion, though.**


Unless you propose to explain exactly how and when angels are going to descend from the sky, and reverse what has been historically true, which would involve, btw, curing all genetic defects, drastically altering the psychology of most human beings, eliminating all medical problems involved with pregnancy. eliminating all poverty, causing the Earth to have an infinitely large land area and produce an infinite amount of food, I'd say it IS a 'good justification'. It is not, however, the only justification. Learn to deal with the disappointment.

secularprolife.org said...

Your analogy does not work because humans are not slaves to their biology. You have a mind so literal that you cannot understand humor nor see inferences.
But you want, nevertheless, to be in charge of my pudenda. Like all zealots.

secularprolife.org said...

I tried to be nice. Trust me nobody wants anything to do with your rotten old pudenda. Why would I want to be in charge of a dirty sock with no elastic stuffed full of month old roast beef? I picked up your inferences, they were about as subtle as a festering cold sore. I just tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. Humans are absolutely constrained by biology, just like every other animal and every other living thing. The fact that you think we (and you in particular) are special is your own hubris. Have fun, and please try to stay downwind.

secularprolife.org said...

Why not? As I pointed out before, we do it all the time.

secularprolife.org said...

Tell that to a bulimic.

secularprolife.org said...

When I say "can't" I mean that in the ethical sense, but I'm pretty sure you knew better. As for "we", no "we" don't. Maybe you do. We've been over all of this, and it's not getting anywhere. You have a fundamentally different interpretation of ethics than I do. That's fine, but don't expect me to bend mine to fit yours. You've made your case, and I explained in detail where my reasoning and yours will not reconcile. I find it ironic that so many folks who generally consider themselves open minded, enlightened and pro-choice tend to only tolerate someone else's ideals if they are a carbon copy of their own.

secularprolife.org said...

The motivation doesn't exist just so reproduction can occur. The motivation arises because sex = social and emotional bonding. Plum seeks an orgasm because it feels good because feeling good is an end in itself because it is healthy for her to feel good.

secularprolife.org said...

Sexual pleasure = end in itself.

secularprolife.org said...

And right there is the roadblock in our conversation. I just don't believe that. The biological impulse to procreate is innate, the external motivating factors are just that. Social bonding isn't necessary for the survival of the species, it's a bonus and it helps, but it isn't necessary. If anything it just promotes more breeding. I know you're probably thinking, "Greg's wife is one lucky woman to have such a romantic son of a bitch," but she knew going in that I was a pragmatist, not a romantic. Notions of orgasms as an end in itself, or romantic love and social bonding as the purpose for sex just make no biological sense. Orgasms certainly serve no purpose biologically other than motivation to have sex. I sincerely believe that every aspect of the human reproductive process is designed, or rather left over through the process of weeding out, by natural forces (evolution) to produce more people. The innate drive to procreate exists in EVERY species. We are not special, not even a little bit. At any rate. I respect your opinion on the matter and think you've made an honest and reasonable case for it. I don't think you are wrong necessarily I just disagree. I don't think there's credible science to prove either case empirically so it just comes down to what makes sense to you I suppose.

secularprolife.org said...

Greg, if you must know, this very discussion about sex, and it's role, and reproduction, and homosexuailty etc, has interested me for quite some time.

To be honest, we don't yet know all that there is to know, and I would still be careful, if I was you, to unequivocally say that the purpose of sex is reproduction therefore we are bound to it should we engage in the behaviour. There is still a lot we need to learn, not just about *why* and *how* sex evolved, but about why internal gestation, specifically, evolved, and why fun from sex is, in fact, an end in itself.

Here are some links that you might find interesting, and if you have the time, I would advise that you check them out:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/decoding-desire-shows-men-and-women-are-animals-too/article21461847/

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/ID/2589614818/

How pregnancy evolved:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/doublex/2011/09/pregnancy_evolution_a_new_nature_genetics_paper_may_explain_why_.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110925185434.htm

Evolution, adaptation, exaptation - it is all terribly complicated, and it could even be argued that social bonding came before the reproductive process, and was in fact necessary, at least in humans, because human offspring cannot be raised without help. There is another article about this, somewhere, but I have to find it, type it out, and I am lazy atm:P

secularprolife.org said...

Social bonding isn't necessary for the survival of the species, it's a bonus and it helps, but it isn't necessary

It is though, at least in humans, because, as I stated, if your offspring are incapable of reaching reproductive age, your genes will go nowhere. And there is a lot more to survival than simply shitting out kids. The social bonding role of sex is hugely important, and it could be argued, that without that social bonding and healthy side effects of sex that humans could simply drive themselves to extinction.

BTW, any ideas on why rape isn't the preferred method of reproduction amongst humans?

I don't think there's credible science to prove either case empirically
so it just comes down to what makes sense to you I suppose.



Yep, as I just explained, we have a *lot* more to learn about the evolution of pregnancy/sex and so on.

secularprolife.org said...

Meh, Plum's vagina is like a football field!


Zing!

secularprolife.org said...

Bullshit. We all know you've got like 500 kids locked up in a basement somewhere.

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