Where's the birth certificate

Free and Strong America

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Injecting Reason Into the Abortion Issue


Columnist David Harsanyi raises some good points in today's article on the abortion debate...

"There were about 18,000 late-term abortions performed in this country last year, despite the increasingly rare medical need for such a procedure, despite the fetus's advanced neural development (including the ability to feel pain) and despite the baby's viability. Yet because this topic is encrusted with layers of cultural and political baggage, it goes on. The entire debate suffers from the same problem.

Though you probably didn't hear much about it, this week thousands of people marched for the pro-life cause in Washington and elsewhere. There were folks I generally don't hang with: Catholics for Life, Baptists for Life, Lutherans for Life -- no denomination left behind.

It had me wonder how many Americans avoid an honest look at the abortion issue because of the cultural dimensions of the debate. How many Americans instinctively turn to the pro-choice camp because pro-life proponents aggravate their secular sensibilities?

..Does life really begin on the say-so of a single person -- even the mother? Does her position or mental state change what a fetus is or is not? That kind of elastic calculation grinds against reason. Even our intuitive reaction to motherhood agrees. As Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who is an ob-gyn, once explained, "people ask an expectant mother how her baby is doing. They do not ask how her fetus is doing, or her blob of tissue, or her parasite."

Most people, not very ideological to begin with, are probably too squeamish to reach decisive conclusions on abortion. They balance their views somewhere in the middle as they weigh societal costs and realities. Most, though, oppose late-term abortion."


Besides religious people who oppose the barbarity of abortion, a number of atheists and secular humanists oppose killing the unborn as well so it's not entirely a religious argument. Unfortunately, the state of discourse on the topic usually degenerates to criticizing caricatures of pro-life people/reasons rather than examining the issues involved as a whole.



For example, one of the worst arguments raised by pro-abortionists are of the "B-b-b-but, do you want wimmin dying en masse in back alley coat hanger abortions instead? kind which are as remarkably stupid as they are historically ignorant and serve no purpose other than to obfuscate the discussion with irrational emotionalism rather than facts.


"I think there is nothing beyond this life—but life in and of itself is unique and special,"..In abortion, a human being ends up getting killed for no other reason than he or she wasn't planned or wanted. One should always err on the side of innocent human life." atheist Matt Wallace Link






EDIT: Don't miss Mark Tooley's interesting article either if this topic is of interest to you. Quote "Liberal Mainline Protestant support for abortion rights, and rejection of the historic ecumenical Christian stance against abortion, partly resulted from the sexual revolution of the 1960s, partly from prejudice against Roman Catholicism, partly from exaggerated ecological scenarios about over-population, and partly from an elitist preoccupation with suppressing ostensibly unmanageable growth in lower income and racial minority communities. Ironically, although Mainline Protestant elites were often in the forefront of backing the Civil Rights Movement, they were often simultaneously dehumanizing the unborn in ways that would especially afflict racial minorities."





52 comments:

Jquip said...

The reason folks take the pro-choice stance is that it's the default. It's everywhere, on every corner, and taught by euphemism from a young age.

These same folks, once older and more savvy about the world, cringe away from the notion that man kills man. Be it war alone, or often even during the immoral course of self-defense.

And then they start to realize that they've been advocating bloody hands that would make Elizabet Bathory squirm. Probably when they're out shopping Hallmark for knocked-up friends and can't find a card that says "Congratulations! It's a tumor!" in either blue or pink.

How do you live as a promoter, or participant, in mass-murder if not by suckering your neighbor into it also?

JD Curtis said...

So you think the promotion/tacit approval of such an act involves a certain level of rationalization that is intellectually dishonest?

(Sounds good, just want to make sure I understand you correctly))

Arielle said...

Well I certainly believe support of abortion rights is intellectually dishonest. Science cannot prove (or disprove) the existence of a human soul, but what it can prove is that a human being is human from the moment of conception, so designating a human as having rights once it has emerged breathing from the womb is an arbitrary distinction.

GentleSkeptic said...

Abortion isn't murder, and nobody loves it.

JD Curtis said...

GS, would you say that "Abortion isn't murder" through all 9 months of a pregnancy? Just curious.

GentleSkeptic said...

Yes, I would, because "murder" is a legal term, and it's something we punish through the legal system. We don't punish, as murderers, women who have abortions, regardless of the term. We do punish as murderers women—or men—who kill their own children after they are born: in other words, once they are actually children.

I do not wish to appear cold. I have deep empathy for the 'pro-life' point-of-view. I also think that the facts on the ground are often complicated, that each and every case is different and needs to be approached with sensitivity and on its merits, and that Roe v. Wade was about as good a policy compromise as one could hope for between the totally irreconcilable positions on the issue. And compromise is what's required in a pluralistic secular democratic republic.

I also understand that 'spontaneous' abortions and miscarriages are more common than you might think—no fewer than 3 women I know personally have suffered through these—and that no-one thinks of this as ethically problematic. Biology is messy and fraught with danger, pregnancy is not to be undertaken lightly, and abortion should be an incredibly heavy and difficult decision.

I'm sure you've heard about this story, in which a nun suffered excommunication for approving a life-saving abortion for a woman who already had four children, and who—in the opinion of those who are qualified to make such decisions—would certainly have died in childbirth, leaving four children without their mother. These things do happen.

I also believe the the best defense is a strong offense, and that when it comes to reproductive health, information is our best weapon. I believe that abstinence should be taught to kids in sex ed, alongside effective methods for preventing unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs.

I strongly encourage you to take some time to read through some of the letters submitted to Andrew Sullivan's blog under his thread "It's So Personal." These are real perspectives, real people, real situations, and it's never easy. It's So Personal

I would also suggest that if you really care deeply about this issue, you would give full-throated support to secular governance.

"Increasing adolescent abortion rates show positive correlation with increasing belief and worship of a creator, and negative correlation with increasing non-theism and acceptance of evolution; again, rates are uniquely high in the U.S. Claims that secular cultures aggravate abortion rates (John Paul II) are therefore contradicted by the quantitative data. Early adolescent pregnancy and birth have dropped in the developed democracies… but rates are two to dozens of times higher in the U.S. where the decline has been more modest… In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies." Link

…………

Here's one for you, on the subject of murder. Would you consider the withholding of medical treatment for a child, for faith-based reasons, that leads to the death of the child… murder?

Jquip said...

JD: If they've once thought it about, yes.

GentleSkeptic: I wasn't speaking legally, of course. Legally, it's simply an allowed killing such as with the Castle Doctrine.

Theological Discourse said...

Abortion isn't murder, and nobody loves it.
Wrong again GS, wrong again.

http://jessicavalenti.com/2010/02/11/who-loves-abortion-now/

Yes, I love abortions. In fact, I’ll be sending abortion a Valentine’s day card and a box of chocolates.


http://www.4029tv.com/r/24444237/detail.html


He's wanting to get better and come back to work. He loves his work."


Why so something that is so easy to prove false?

Reynold said...

I commend JD Curtis for mentioning that there are atheist/secularist pro-lifers out there, but I must still point out that whenever any christian theist calls themself pro-life that it's complete bollocks.

Just point out that your own god allegedly had pregnant women and babies killed in the OT.

That position is made all the more ironic when JD says: So you think the promotion/tacit approval of such an act involves a certain level of rationalization that is intellectually dishonest?

(Sounds good, just want to make sure I understand you correctly))


Look at all the rationalizations apologists give for those actions in the OT; or even for spontaneous miscarriages today.

Theological Discourse said...


Just point out that your own god allegedly had pregnant women and babies killed in the OT.

Killing pregnant women =/= abortion. I suggest looking up the definition of what abortion means. I'll give you a hint, it has everything to do with killing an unborn baby and leaving the mother alive and absolutely nothing to do with killing a pregnant woman.

SmartLX said...

I'll give you a hint, it has everything to do with killing an unborn baby and leaving the mother alive and absolutely nothing to do with killing a pregnant woman.

So...what God allegedly did to pregnant women is actually worse than abortion?

Jquip said...

"Just point out that your own god allegedly had pregnant women and babies killed in the OT."

I agree, this is a very fine point. If some nonhuman agency ever killed humans then it absolutely bars anyone that acknowledges that agency from making political claims that humans shouldn't kill humans.

Now Dice and Darwin have killed everything without caution, escape, or reprieve. More to the point we are told, and teach children, that this is the proven reality or our times. Therefore none may call themselves Pro-Life. None may even, without hypocrisy, support any laws that punish the active increase in disorder in the universe. Murder, arson, and so on.

My good sir, you have completely solved the problem of Philosophy! Do you have a newsletter? I should very much like to read upon your views of graffiti.

JD Curtis said...

Right.

One thing I never see in making these types of arguments are Amalekite apologists.

If one were to launch such criticisms, then an explanation as to why letting Amalekite culture flourish would have been so much more preferable is in order.

Theological Discourse said...


So...what God allegedly did to pregnant women is actually worse than abortion?

Thank you for conceding the point that what God did wasn't abortion. Whether it was worse than abortion is another issue entirely and effectively serves as poor attempt at changing the subject from "God preformed an abortion" to "What God did was worse than abortions."

Arielle said...

As a teenager, I struggled with the notion of God ordering the destruction of entire societies, down to the last infant. My perspective shifted on that, however, when I came to see it in terms not of a vengeful and bloodthirsty god, but of a physician amputating a gangrenous limb so the entire body would not rot and die.

But it's a perspective that won't change the mind of those that are determined to prove God (and His followers) wrong and their own view of the world right.

GentleSkeptic said...

Nice try TD; here's the sentence that follows the one you quoted.

"Yes, I love abortions. In fact, I’ll be sending abortion a Valentine’s day card and a box of chocolates. Please. If pro-choicers “loved” abortion, we wouldn’t spend so much time trying to ensure that birth control and emergency contraception are affordable and accessible and that teens are taught about contraception."

Utterly deaf to sarcasm, I see. Can't say I'm shocked.

JD Curtis said...

GS, what did the post you say was submitted pertain to?

Feel free to resubmit.

JD Curtis said...

I think I found it in my Spam folder GS. I tried to post it just now. Don't if it went through or not.

GentleSkeptic said...

OH it looks like it appeared: and in sequence, too!

GentleSkeptic said...

My perspective shifted on that, however, when I came to see it in terms not of a vengeful and bloodthirsty god, but of a physician amputating a gangrenous limb so the entire body would not rot and die.

This is a fascinating mental gymnastic: dehumanize entire populations by changing the individual people, or a whole group of people, into body parts, so that wholesale slaughter is magically transformed into simple amputation.

Viewed through this lens, the Flood becomes simply the act of a physician amputating the entire body in order to save a handful of cells with which to regrow the body.

I have to say I never thought of it that way.

SmartLX said...

Whether it was worse than abortion is another issue entirely and effectively serves as a poor attempt at changing the subject from "God performed an abortion" to "What God did was worse than abortions."

All right then, if the welfare of the mothers is completely irrelevant to you, what about the partial-birth abortions or at least the mass infanticide God supposedly performed directly on any Egyptian boy born on the night of the Tenth Plague?

Theological Discourse said...


Nice try TD; here's the sentence that follows the one you quoted.

"Yes, I love abortions. In fact, I’ll be sending abortion a Valentine’s day card and a box of chocolates. Please. If pro-choicers “loved” abortion, we wouldn’t spend so much time trying to ensure that birth control and emergency contraception are affordable and accessible and that teens are taught about contraception."

Utterly deaf to sarcasm, I see. Can't say I'm shocked.

It wasn't sarcasm, it was a "I love abortion, but through their actions, anti abortion people show they love abortion as well." It was more of a 'we love the same things, you just don't realize it,' type of post.

More importantly, I gave two examples. Are you going to comment on the other example? or just ignore it like a typical atheist coward?

Here's another one. You going to ignore this as well?

http://abortioneers.blogspot.com/2009/11/matters-of-heart.html

I love abortion. ( I said it out loud in class) and had no idea I would get such a response. Even people who I thought were as "liberal" and "pro-choice" as me seemed to be rubbed the wrong way by my positive statement. Later at a wine bar, a girl in my "sex" class asked me, "What exactly did you mean when you said I love abortion?" Hmm....

What do I mean when I say I love abortion? To me, there is absolutely nothing wrong or surprising with the supposed "controversial" statement. I love women, therefore I love abortion. Abortion is a part of women's lives.


Again GS, why say something that is so ridiculously easy to prove false?

JD Curtis said...

This is a fascinating mental gymnastic: dehumanize entire populations by changing the individual people, or a whole group of people, into body parts, so that wholesale slaughter is magically transformed into simple amputation

Are you sufficiently familiar with the narrative in question to express what would have been better and why? (Between wiping them out or doing nothing)

Viewed through this lens, the Flood becomes simply the act of a physician amputating the entire body in order to save a handful of cells with which to regrow the body

"The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth" Genesis 6:13 (Link with greater detail)

if the welfare of the mothers is completely irrelevant to you, what about the partial-birth abortions or at least the mass infanticide God supposedly performed directly on any Egyptian boy born on the night of the Tenth Plague?

So after 9 other seemingly supernatural plagues, you think he would have let them go. Does Neferhotep shoulder any responsibility or no?

SmartLX said...

So after 9 other seemingly supernatural plagues, you think he would have let them go.

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
- Richard Dawkins

So no, He probably wouldn't have let them off. He might have thought of an alternative to murdering a group mostly comprised of innocents, though.

Does Neferhotep shoulder any responsibility or no?

Some, but that's not the point. You wouldn't excuse anyone else for performing an abortion on the grounds of something the baby's father had done.

Theological Discourse said...



All right then, if the welfare of the mothers is completely irrelevant to you, what about the partial-birth abortions or at least the mass infanticide God supposedly performed directly on any Egyptian boy born on the night of the Tenth Plague?

The welfare of the mothers isn't irrelevant to me, its irrelevant to the definition of what an abortion is, like I said, you clearly don't possess a clue as to the definition of abortion. On the subject of partial birth abortions, What partial birth abortion was preformed in Egypt? do you have an example? I suspect you don't even know what that is either. Infanticide? the responsibility of those deaths clearly rest on the pharaoh and not God. God gave a simple request, release slaves or every first born in Egypt dies, and this was after God gave him 9 other chances, and AFTER the pharaoh killed every first born of the Jews.

Theological Discourse said...


Some, but that's not the point. You wouldn't excuse anyone else for performing an abortion on the grounds of something the baby's father had done.

For the 2nd time it's not an abortion. Learn the definition of what an abortion is before opening your mouth, but your an atheist, who expects you to be the least bit educated in the topics you bring up?

Theological Discourse said...



"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
- Richard Dawkins

So no, He probably wouldn't have let them off. He might have thought of an alternative to murdering a group mostly comprised of innocents, though.

ROFL, so because richard dawkins said it, who is arguably more ignorant than you and GS and all the other skeptics that spew forth ignorance combined when it comes to Christianity, it must be true. Please provide better evidence than a dawkins quote that God wouldn't have let them go.

I, however, have wonderful evidence from God Himself that shows He would've let them go.


Jeremiah 18:2-10
2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

5 Then the word of the LORD came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

Now, I know you're an atheist and thus incapable of understanding anything without someone holding your hand, I will summarize it for you. God clearly says that if He plans disaster for a nation and the nation REPENTS OF ITS EVIL, God will not destroy that nation. Clear as day, black and white. If pharaoh would have just let the slaves go, God would not have done anything at all to the nation of Egypt.

JD Curtis said...

I think Dawkins utilizes some of the above adjectives for mere 'shock value' and nothing else. Some of them are subjective but a couple are more concrete ("misogynistic" for example) and a better reply would require it's own thread.

Some (responsibility), but that's not the point

Me personally? I would have folded and tapped out at the frogs. An overwhelming invasion of the nasty little critters immediately after I was warned that they would do so would have been enough for me to hang it up.

The point stands though that any judgement served was not immediate, but incremental. And Pharaoh had every opportunity to avoid the consequences of his pride and refusal.

SmartLX said...

...but your an atheist, who expects you to be the least bit educated in the topics you bring up?

Now, I know you're an atheist and thus incapable of understanding anything without someone holding your hand...

If you're going to resort to personal insults and bigoted generalisations, I have better things to do than interact with you. Goodbye.

JD Curtis said...

I don't think that what TD posted falls into the catagory of "bigotry", but if you prefer, then dialog with me.

Glen20 said...

And Pharaoh had every opportunity to avoid the consequences of his pride and refusal.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD."

Theological Discourse said...



If you're going to resort to personal insults and bigoted generalisations, I have better things to do than interact with you. Goodbye.

ah yes, focus on the "bigoted generalizations" insults instead of the points, easy way out. Cowards these days.

SmartLX said...

No, you're right JD, saying all atheists are stupid isn't the same as simple intolerance of them and therefore "bigoted" doesn't strictly apply and I'm sorry. It's still a generalised insult, and an actual example of the ad hominem arguments of which everyone seems to accuse everyone else.

The fact of a divine abortion, given the story, is a matter of mathematics and timing. The population of ancient Egypt reached about 5 million and by the first century it was about 7.5 million not counting Alexandria, so on the night of the supposed tenth plague at least hundreds of babies were being born. Whatever point at which you have to kill the baby for it to count as a partial-birth abortion, God did it to some unlucky kid that night. And if it doesn't count because for example God waited for the kid to be born before killing him, that's just a matter of semantics.

As for whether every bit of the responsibility is with the Pharaoh (whoever he was), not only did God tell Moses beforehand that the Pharaoh wouldn't listen until after it was done, but "the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart" personally, over and over. Why not soften his heart, just once, before innocent kids had to die?

Dawkins' passage is his one big piece of hyperbole in TGD, and of course it's been deconstructed many times over since (it's ripe for it, since every word refers to a specific incident). It's misplaced because I misunderstood the question; I thought you meant God letting the Egyptians off, not the Pharaoh releasing the slaves.

To be conservative about this, it would not have taken the death of every single firstborn in Egypt to convince the Pharaoh. God could for example have inserted some loophole and spared the child of just one poor native family on the southern border, such that the Pharaoh wouldn't have heard about it until well after Moses' people had left, if at all. The exodus would have unfolded in exactly the same way otherwise. Therefore, even if children had to die, some children died unnecessarily.

GentleSkeptic said...

TD, I didn't comment on the other stellar example you originally posted, not because I'm an "atheist coward", but because the doctor you referenced said he loved his work, which was helping women. And bully for you, you managed to find one loudmouth who says he loves abortion.

I won't be responding to you again—ever—because I am sick unto death of your f**king ad hominems. Until you can grow up and let your arguments stand or fall on their merits, you'll just have to argue with someone else.

I can't help but notice that no-one has anything to say about the Andrew Sullivan thread I linked to above, featuring real stories from real women about their decisions around abortion—some for, some against—or about the well-substantiated claim that prosperous secular democracies do a much better job than overtly theistic populations of reducing the number of abortions within their borders. I guess it's all just too real, and it's much easier to argue about interpretations of Old Testament myths.

Jquip said...

SmartLX: Enough nonsense. Unless you're claiming that each and every woman is a singular creator deity this is a complete distraction. We are talking solely about man killing man. Or tumor with man DNA. Or whatever. Bring the theology where it's appropriate -- and don't mistake me, your questions are a very valid thing to ask or be concerned over. However, they're simply not germane here.

GS: You're going to need to get thicker skin for color commentary if you plan to plow through life, bud. Duck, water's back, and all that.

Now, I didn't know I was required to respond to the notion that some people agonized over a suitable rationalization for murder. Some folks haven't these psychological flaws and are quite keen on taking a flo-bee to the blastocyst. It's all just anecdote on these measures.

Now, if you have a proper study showing a positive correlation between either religiosity or Christianity and abortion rates I should sorely like to see it. What you provided was not acceptable however. Lest you think I'm dismissing you offhand let me give you the argument in favor of your case: Christians, within the modern secularized and non-homogenous culture of America are going to quite likely trip and get a tumor. Given their social networks it would be unsurprising if they sought abortion at a greater rate than other cohorts. Whether this is correct or not? Who knows, but your cite doesn't settle the issue.

GentleSkeptic said...

What I provided is explicitly and manifestly correlative. What you're asking for is causal.

Theological Discourse said...


The fact of a divine abortion, given the story, is a matter of mathematics and timing. The population of ancient Egypt reached about 5 million and by the first century it was about 7.5 million not counting Alexandria, so on the night of the supposed tenth plague at least hundreds of babies were being born. Whatever point at which you have to kill the baby for it to count as a partial-birth abortion, God did it to some unlucky kid that night. And if it doesn't count because for example God waited for the kid to be born before killing him, that's just a matter of semantics.

It's not semantics. Look at Davida and Bathsheba, God waited until the child was born to kill him, plenty of evidence that supports the notion that God would wait until the baby was born.



As for whether every bit of the responsibility is with the Pharaoh (whoever he was), not only did God tell Moses beforehand that the Pharaoh wouldn't listen until after it was done, but "the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart" personally, over and over. Why not soften his heart, just once, before innocent kids had to die?

It doesn't take a smart person to tell when someone won't listen to advice. I am sure even an atheist understands that if he were to go up to a crack head and say 'crack is bad for you, stop using it,' the crack head wouldn't listen, so God telling Moses beforehand that pharoah isn't going to listen is evidence for what? your ignorance? most likely. Pharaoh hardened his own heart as well, multiple times, Exodus 8:15. Secondly, how can God 'soften pharoahs heart' when His actions are the thing that are causing pharaohs heart to be hard in the first place? oh wait, you, like every other logically void atheist that speaks on this subject, can't seem to grasp that God hardening pharaohs heart is akin to parents hardening the heart of their teenage girl when they tell her she can't see a boy she likes by taking away her car, her phone, her computer etc. etc. and in doing so, makes the girl 'hard' against her parents. The only way God could've 'soften' pharaohs heart is to stop the plauges, but then of course, the slaves would never have been free, but of course, we all know you thought that God affected pharaohs free will when He hardened his heart. Typical atheist.



Dawkins' passage is his one big piece of hyperbole in TGD, and of course it's been deconstructed many times over since (it's ripe for it, since every word refers to a specific incident). It's misplaced because I misunderstood the question; I thought you meant God letting the Egyptians off, not the Pharaoh releasing the slaves.

I could care less about your excuses. You used a dawkins quote for evidence to support your assertion. That is laughable.


To be conservative about this, it would not have taken the death of every single firstborn in Egypt to convince the Pharaoh. God could for example have inserted some loophole and spared the child of just one poor native family on the southern border, such that the Pharaoh wouldn't have heard about it until well after Moses' people had left, if at all. The exodus would have unfolded in exactly the same way otherwise. Therefore, even if children had to die, some children died unnecessarily.

Very interesting assertion there. What evidence do you have to support your assertion that it would not have taken every death to convince the pharaoh? on what authority can you say that? are you also completely oblivious to the fact that the 10th plague was pharaoh reaping what he sowed? are you complete void to instance when the pharaoh ordered all the first born jews killed? and you are obviously void to the fact that only all of the MALES were killed during the 10th plague(the word first born is masculine), all of the female babies were spared, and thus, according to your own logic, you should have no problem whatsoever with the 10th plague, since babies were spared.

Theological Discourse said...


TD, I didn't comment on the other stellar example you originally posted, not because I'm an "atheist coward", but because the doctor you referenced said he loved his work, which was helping women. And bully for you, you managed to find one loudmouth who says he loves abortion.

His work was aborting babies. It was the first paragraph, can't you read? oh wait, you are an atheist, can you read and comprehend at the same time is a better question.

For decades, William Harrison has been the outspoken doctor behind a Fayetteville women's clinic where abortions were performed. It was the only clinic to perform abortions in the area.


So yes, we can conclude that you didn't comment on it because you were an "atheist coward," and instead deduce you didn't comment on it because you're an "atheist with poor reading comprehension."


I won't be responding to you again—ever—because I am sick unto death of your f**king ad hominems. Until you can grow up and let your arguments stand or fall on their merits, you'll just have to argue with someone else.

My arguments do stand on their merits, it isn't my fault you're so logically inept that you can't separate the insults from the points. It really shows the extent or should I say lack thereof of your critical thinking abilities, but sure, take the easy way out and focus on the insults instead of the argument, not my fault, just another example of atheist hypocrisy and cowardice.

GentleSkeptic said...

Now, if you have a proper study showing a positive correlation between either religiosity or Christianity and abortion rates I should sorely like to see it.

Perhaps you missed the title of the linked paper: "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies".

If the data showed that the U.S. enjoyed higher rates of societal health than the more secular, pro-evolution democracies, then the opinion that popular belief in a creator is strongly beneficial to national cultures would be supported. Although they are by no means utopias, the populations of secular democracies are clearly able to govern themselves and maintain societal cohesion. Indeed, the data examined in this study demonstrates that only the more secular, pro-evolution democracies have, for the first time in history, come closest to achieving practical “cultures of life” that feature low rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex related dysfunction, and even abortion. The least theistic secular developed democracies such as Japan, France, and Scandinavia have been most successful in these regards. The non-religious, pro-evolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator. The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted. Contradicting these conclusions requires demonstrating a positive link between theism and societal conditions in the first world with a similarly large body of data - a doubtful possibility in view of the observable trends. link

Reynold said...

Theological Discourse said, quoting me:

Just point out that your own god allegedly had pregnant women and babies killed in the OT.


Killing pregnant women =/= abortion. I suggest looking up the definition of what abortion means. I'll give you a hint, it has everything to do with killing an unborn baby and leaving the mother alive and absolutely nothing to do with killing a pregnant woman.
Well, there's the little fact that she's carrying a baby inside her that she does not want to have killed??

What you defend is worse then abortion. For you to later say:

Whether it was worse than abortion is another issue entirely and effectively serves as a poor attempt at changing the subject from "God performed an abortion" to "What God did was worse than abortions."

is stupid, since the baby died also, anyone with a brain would realize that baby-killing is involved here too. Only the mother is also killed, and it's involuntary.


Jquip said, also quoting me:

"Just point out that your own god allegedly had pregnant women and babies killed in the OT."


I agree, this is a very fine point. If some nonhuman agency ever killed humans then it absolutely bars anyone that acknowledges that agency from making political claims that humans shouldn't kill humans.
Only those who hold that "agency" up as a moral standard for the rest of us who actually care about moral consistency.


Now Dice and Darwin have killed everything without caution, escape, or reprieve.
How many babies did Darwin kill then, please?

More to the point we are told, and teach children, that this is the proven reality or our times. Therefore none may call themselves Pro-Life. None may even, without hypocrisy, support any laws that punish the active increase in disorder in the universe. Murder, arson, and so on.
Entropy (the "active increase in disorder" that you mentioned) is a natural process. Having babies killed because some invisible boogy man in the sky demands it is not.

Neither is murder, arson, etc.

Ever hear of the slippery slope fallacy? You've just slipped on it.


My good sir, you have completely solved the problem of Philosophy! Do you have a newsletter? I should very much like to read upon your views of graffiti.
And you have horribly misused the art of sarcasm.

Reynold said...

JD Curtis said...

Right.

One thing I never see in making these types of arguments are Amalekite apologists.

If one were to launch such criticisms, then an explanation as to why letting Amalekite culture flourish would have been so much more preferable is in order.

How's about pointing out that the innocent among them, the babies and young children could have been spared and taken care of? After all, "god" allowed the taking of the sinful Midianite women (provided that they were virgins) for the Isrealites; I'm sure that babies and kids with few or no memories of their parents would have been less trouble.

After all, they have that "manna from heaven" that they could count on, right? Surely a god who values life would have helped out?

By the way, if you feel that the babies had to die because their culture (ie. their parents, etc) were evil, then what about the offspring of "evil" parents today?

We have resources to take care of them, but presumably, even back in OT times, your god could have provided resources, no?

Reynold said...

Theological Discourse
Now, I know you're an atheist and thus incapable of understanding anything without someone holding your hand, I will summarize it for you. God clearly says that if He plans disaster for a nation and the nation REPENTS OF ITS EVIL, God will not destroy that nation. Clear as day, black and white. If pharaoh would have just let the slaves go, God would not have done anything at all to the nation of Egypt.
Except for the fact that it was never god's plan. See the verses I list later.

You go on to say, with no justification whatsoever:
oh wait, you, like every other logically void atheist that speaks on this subject, can't seem to grasp that God hardening pharaohs heart is akin to parents hardening the heart of their teenage girl when they tell her she can't see a boy she likes by taking away her car, her phone, her computer etc. etc. and in doing so, makes the girl 'hard' against her parents.
That's bull. The parents have done nothing to her "heart". It's all her.

The bible even notes that god actively hardened Pharoah's heart for his own "glory"!
It's pretty much admitted to in Romans 9:17:
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

and Exodus 10:1-2:
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.”

See where your parent/daugher analogy falls apart, and where just letting the people go without Egypt suffering any punishment was never in god's plans?

He wanted an excuse to show his power, so god himself "hardended" pharoah's heart.

SmartLX said...

My arguments do stand on their merits, it isn't my fault you're so logically inept that you can't separate the insults from the points. It really shows the extent or should I say lack thereof of your critical thinking abilities, but sure, take the easy way out and focus on the insults instead of the argument, not my fault, just another example of atheist hypocrisy and cowardice.

One last interaction: when was the last time you actually brought an atheist round with an attitude like this? Or do you just do it to reassure or show off to other Christians, and yourself? Or do you simply take pleasure in telling atheists they're hopeless?

JD Curtis said...

How's about pointing out that the innocent among them, the babies and young children could have been spared and taken care of?

OK. Would their annoying habit of raiding killing and robbing other tribes and basically being a parasite culture have ended had this occured?

Are you quite sure that in the end, the scenario you describe did not happen?

After all, "god" allowed the taking of the sinful Midianite women (provided that they were virgins) for the Isrealites

Compare and contrast the threat posed by the Medianites as compared to the Amalekites.

Perhaps you might wish to expound upon the benefits of the effects of the Amalekite religion would have upon the Isrealites.

By the way, if you feel that the babies had to die because their culture (ie. their parents, etc) were evil, then what about the offspring of "evil" parents today?

Being that we arent living under a warrant from thousands of years ago, this analogy fails.

But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and ask what "parents" of today are engaging in the ritualistic sacrifice of children in order that we can make an apples to apples comparison.

We have resources to take care of them, but presumably, even back in OT times, your god could have provided resources, no?

Exactly how did you confuse resources with free will in your convoluted logic?

Theological Discourse said...


Well, there's the little fact that she's carrying a baby inside her that she does not want to have killed??

Well there's this little fact called pro choice and the definition of abortion. A dead woman cannot choose to kill the fetus, there's no choice involved. Secondly, you, like your ignorant atheist buddy, are completely oblivious as to what constitutes an abortion. Your lack of knowledge is so bad that it ISN'T EVEN AT THE LEVEL OF WIKIPEDIA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of a fetus or embryo from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death.

In the case of pregnant women being judged in the OT. Was the fetus killed and removed from the uterus by anyone? NO, it died with the mother and the location of the death was the uterus. So you're wrong, but that's because you're ignorant, I mean who expects an atheist to educate himself on the topic he is discussing anyway?


is stupid, since the baby died also, anyone with a brain would realize that baby-killing is involved here too. Only the mother is also killed, and it's involuntary.

Anyone with a brain that isn't an atheist would understand what I said wasn't stupid. I said the following:

1. "God preforming an abortion" and "what God did was worse than an abortion" are two different subjects. That is a FACT. They are two different subjects. Doing X and Y is worse than X are two different things.

2. I said he was trying to change the subject from "God preformed abortions" to "What God did was worse than abortions." FACT, he was talking about "what God did was worse than abortions" instead of talking about "God preformed abortions.

3. His attempt to change the subject was a poor one. OPINION, It is definitely my opinion that his attempt to change the subject from "God preformed abortions" to "What God did was worse than abortions" was a poor one.

That is all I said, 2 facts and 1 opinion, neither of which are stupid, but you, being logically void with poor reading comprehension obviously cannot grasp that.


Except for the fact that it was never god's plan. See the verses I list later.

Except, once again you reveal your glaring ignorance. It was Gods plan. I suggest looking at Exodus 7


2 You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land. 3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5

Look at that, it says it clear as day. God will harden pharaohs heart, He will multiply signs and wonders, Pharaoh won't listen, God will free slaves out of the land by GREAT JUDGMENTS. God had a plan for Egypt and that plan involved JUDGMENTS. If Pharaoh had repented and let the slaves go, then, according to Jeremiah, these are Gods OWN WORDS MIND YOU, He would not have destroyed Egypt. The slaves would've went free and Egypt would've been come out unscathed. Looks like you're wrong again, but like I said before, who expects an atheist to actually research and educate himself before he opens his mouth?

Theological Discourse said...


That's bull. The parents have done nothing to her "heart". It's all her.

Again, you're an atheist, so I don't expect you to understand things like parenting, logic, critical thinking nor do I expect you to research any of it. I guess you haven't heard the term "don't be too hard on them or you'll push them away?" your knowledge, or should I say lack thereof, isn't even at hte level of EHOW.COM.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5001276_better-parent-teens.html


The more you fight with your teens, the more they are going to want to do these things that are wrong. You can't always be the bad guy, even if you're right. You are just going to push them further away no matter what you do. Just to try to get back at you, or prove you wrong

What they're describing here is a teenager becoming 'hard' against their parents. This is like common knowledge, but again, you're an atheist.


The bible even notes that god actively hardened Pharoah's heart for his own "glory"!

I guess the concept of a father disciplining or "making an example" of one child so the rest of the siblings knows he means business never entered into your mind? I guess you've can't grasp the tactic of beating up a bully so badly that the rest of his crew won't mess with you anymore? the concept of 'making an example out of one person to get a reputation' is completely alien to you? but of course, you're an atheist....


See where your parent/daugher analogy falls apart, and where just letting the people go without Egypt suffering any punishment was never in god's plans?

He wanted an excuse to show his power, so god himself "hardended" pharoah's heart.

No, my parent daughter analogy doesn't fall apart. God hardened the heart of the pharaoh with his actions, akin to a parent with a troubled teen. God did this to 'make an example' out of pharaoh so that everyone in the land would know who He was. If Pharaoh had simply listened, then the slaves would've gone free and Egypt would've been left alone, according to Jeremiah.

Theological Discourse said...


One last interaction: when was the last time you actually brought an atheist round with an attitude like this? Or do you just do it to reassure or show off to other Christians, and yourself? Or do you simply take pleasure in telling atheists they're hopeless?

An attitude of telling them the truth during a debate? I never brought an atheist around like that, but who ever comes around during an debate? I suggest educated yourself. My job as a Christian is to tell people about hte gospel and if they reject it, to wipe the dust off my sandals. I am supposed to defend the gospel, plant seeds and water seeds, I might bring one to harvest, but God makes the seed grow. Right now I am defending the gospel, I am not doing it to reassure or show off to other Christians. I don't even call an atheist hopeless because there's always hope for an atheist. I do call you ignorant? why is that? because you are, I've provided plenty of examples of that. You don't like the truth? not my fault. Try educating yourself before you open your mouth and you won't be called ignorant or logically void, etc. etc.

Reynold said...

JD Curtis said, quoting me:

How's about pointing out that the innocent among them, the babies and young children could have been spared and taken care of?

OK. Would their annoying habit of raiding killing and robbing other tribes and basically being a parasite culture have ended had this occured?
How could it not have ended? They would have been raised by the Isrealites themselves. Or would those little kids and babies already be too "hardened"?

Are you quite sure that in the end, the scenario you describe did not happen?
Don't you think that your "holy book" would have mentioned it if they had taken the innocents in?

After all, "god" allowed the taking of the sinful Midianite women (provided that they were virgins) for the Isrealites
Compare and contrast the threat posed by the Medianites as compared to the Amalekites.
So what? Either way your god wanted both people's to be wiped out.

Rather, compare and contrast: babies vs. young virgin women (which the bible says that the soldiers were able to "keep for themselves") and I think you get the real reason that they were "spared".

Was your god not afraid that those almost adult women would be a corrupting influence upon the chosen people unlike the babies of the Amelekites? Those must have been a tough people.

Perhaps you might wish to expound upon the benefits of the effects of the Amalekite religion would have upon the Isrealites.
Sigh...how in hell could babies and little kids bring in their culture's religion? If you're worried about bringing in foreign religions, answer me why the young Midianite women were spared. There's a far greater chance of cultural contamination there. They would have been as much of a "threat" as the pregnant women that could otherwise have been spared, but weren't because they were not virgins. (same for pregnant Amalekite women)

And no rubbish about how not as bad they were in comparison to the Amalekites; every religion that doesn't worship your god leads to hell, right?

By the way, if you feel that the babies had to die because their culture (ie. their parents, etc) were evil, then what about the offspring of "evil" parents today?
Being that we arent living under a warrant from thousands of years ago, this analogy fails.
So we can ditch the "10 Commandments" then? Oh, why not?

Besides, this just shows how inconsitent xian "morality" is: Sometimes it's ok to kill babies and pregnant women, sometimes it's not.

But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and ask what "parents" of today are engaging in the ritualistic sacrifice of children in order that we can make an apples to apples comparison.
So it's only if the parents were actively killing their kids that they had to be killed? Ok.

Whoops. Didn't your god order the kids to be killed also?

We killed the kids because the parents were killing their kids?

WTF?

We have resources to take care of them, but presumably, even back in OT times, your god could have provided resources, no?
Exactly how did you confuse resources with free will in your convoluted logic?
I'm not talking about the reasons why the adults had to be killed, sherlock: I'm talking about why those too young to be infected with the "enemy" culture were also killed.

That reason which apologists like Robert Turkel gives, being along the line of not enough resources to take care of the young taken in, so just "mercifully" kill them quickly.

As a related aside, read from this point on. Interesting info.

Ross said...

The image in this post caught my eye. Victoria, Australia happens to be my home state. Our former Labor state government legalized late term abortions in 2008. As yet there appears to be no correlation between the changes in the law and increased abortion rates, but no doubt there's probably some research underway measuring the impact of these laws.

GentleSkeptic said...

It's hard not to dream fondly of a time when certain quote-mining, name-calling internet theologians might set aside their righteous certainty and shine a little light into the lives of their fellow men, in accordance with the mandates of their alleged savior. One can't help but wonder, however, what fits of firebreathing accusations and apoplexy the mere suggestion of such a change in tactics might invite.

I guess we'll never know.

So much for "injecting reason into the abortion issue."

Jquip said...

GS: "Perhaps you missed the title of the linked paper: "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies"."

Yes, it's a very nice title. However, the study itself tells you the study is bunk in the second para:

"[2] This study is a first, brief look at an important subject that has been almost entirely neglected by social scientists. The primary intent is to present basic correlations of the elemental data. Some conclusions that can be gleaned from the plots are outlined. This is not an attempt to present a definitive study that establishes cause versus effect between religiosity, secularism and societal health. It is hoped that these original correlations and results will spark future research and debate on the issue."

If that's not enough simply go read their conclusions about the `anti-evolution` South in the US. The bits they note as relevant to societal health are well known to be correlated both to race and SES. Likewise, throughout the study, they fail to note or control for homogenity in race within the various nations they note as being especially beneficial. This alone shows that the study is entirely unserious as it avoids these well known statistical correlates.

So again, for my own purposes, if you have a study that shows what you claim then I would sorely like to see it.

Theological Discourse said...


It's hard not to dream fondly of a time when certain quote-mining, name-calling internet theologians might set aside their righteous certainty and shine a little light into the lives of their fellow men, in accordance with the mandates of their alleged savior. One can't help but wonder, however, what fits of firebreathing accusations and apoplexy the mere suggestion of such a change in tactics might invite.

I guess we'll never know.

So much for "injecting reason into the abortion issue."

Back up your assertion of quote mining, the rest of your mindless drivel is nothing but rhetoric and ad hominems.