Your Body, Not Your Body

81 comments

Scientific fact:

And to learn when science says human life begins…click here.

81 comments Add comment

Isis May 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

How about “My mind, my heart, my life, my decision” over the woman and “Not your decision” over the arrow?

Anita May 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

What heart?

Jacobitess May 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm

More like “not my decision.” You *made* your decision when you had sex. Are you an independent, informed woman who can make her own decisions, or are you an immature, infantile female who wants to scarf down all the cake in the pantry and not gain the weight resulting from her gluttony? You don’t want to gain weight? Don’t pig out. You don’t want to be responsible for another life? Stay out of bed.

lozen May 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

This is the cartoon I’d like: Over the woman “Between me and my God.” Over the arrow; “None of your business.”

Slane May 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Yeah I was gonna say the same thing as lozen.

Ridiculous cartoon :P

JoAnna May 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm

So… if I want to kill my 13-month-old, I should be able to do that because it’s between me and my God, right?

Apophis February 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

“Over the woman “Between me and my God.” Over the arrow; “None of your business.””

Yeah we could try that with a pro-life POTUS using an expansion on the Patriot act, throwing the abortive mothers ass in jail. Have an arrow over it saying “none of your business” also.

Phil Steinacker May 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Sorry, folks – those lies won’t fly any longer. The unvarnished truth is ““NOT your mind, NOT your heart, NOT your life, and most decidedly NOT your decision.” All that belongs to the life inside your belly, and you are only a caretaker charged by God to protect the life you brought about because you couldn’t keep your pants on.

You know the old dramtic line: “Be afraid…be very afraid”?

That applies to you. You are losing the public on this one, and it’s only going to get worse for you. Come to Washington next Jan. 22 and witness firsthand how our strength with young people has grown by quantum leaps. You’ll be shocked to realize it is those young people who make up the overwhelming bulk of those of us at the Annual March for Life. You don’t know this becasue theliberal media refuses to report this but on the ground the reality will shock you.

You have lost their hearts and minds to pro-life prindiples before you can poisin their hearts by politicizing their “rights” to have sex at the expense of the lives it creates.

Oh, and you’re partially right. For nine months disposing of that life in your belly is noneof your business. Your business is to bring that life to fruition. Anything less is selfish murder.

Mother Teresa said it best: It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.

You are no better than slave owners.

Bill May 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm

In the uniformed days of my youth I thought that abortion was something new. I also didn’t understand the unforeseen consequences on our society that things like abortion and contraception would have on us all. I pray it’s not too late. Then I began to read history and especially church history… that led me to the discovery of a document from the first century. IT was passed around to the different churches and was truly regarded as “scared” teaching. There were a number of People who thought it should be included in the cannon of scripture. But the actual document was lost and later found in about 1675 in Asia, after the Reformation. This document was dated to the year 100, but more recent discoveries and citations date it somewhere between 50AD and 70AD; While we still had a few of the last Apostils on Earth. This document is called the “DIDACHE”. Often referred as “the Twelve” or “The Teachings of the Twelve” YES, that means the Apostles. IT is not a long document, but discusses “the Way”. There are lists of how to live and how not to. There are also directions about “The Thanksgiving” the “Eucharist”. I would like to tell you about the Second Chapter. IT was really an eye opener for me. REMEMBER… these are the teachings of the ACTUAL TWELVE APOSTLES. But, before giving you the link to and a quote I should ask you to first read the following scripture from the Gospel of John. (Would recommend that you read them both entirely. I would want you to be sure that I am not taking it out of context)
“This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” — John 21:24-25
Now let’s look at the Second Chapter of the “Didache” (so that you can read the whole document yourself… here is a link: http://newadvent.org/fathers/0714.htm
“And the second commandment of the Teaching; You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, Exodus 20:13-14 you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, Exodus 20:15 you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten. You shall not covet the things of your neighbor, …”
This document was authored by the APOSTLES and does not ONLY say that we should NOT murder a child by abortion, but that we should NOT kill that which is BEGOTTEN. I think that refers to ‘conception’; do you think? Maybe? that is a big YES!
Life begins at conception. And it is confirmed throughout scripture and church teaching. Remember Mary said… “Let it be done unto me according to thy word” and then…. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Additionally read Psalm 139, if you have never read it.
Finally, I must say one more thing. IF a woman thinks that it is her right to an abortion because it is her body… I say… OK. But, understand that with every freedom, every ‘right’, comes responsibility. IF you choose to have sex… maybe you should consider abstaining during your times of ‘fertility’. That is the responsibility part. THIS is how you should responsibly CHOOSE to control your body. (Or… if you can’t use protection!) THAT … protection is the lesser of two evils. The Church also forbids contraception. BUT, if you don’t think abortion is ok… I am sure you already know about contraception. ONCE you decide to have sex…. You have already made the CHOICE to cooperate in God’s plan of procreation. ONCE a child is begotten… you must carry out your responsibility, for the life within you IS NOT YOUR BODY, but the body of your unborn child. ABORTION is the MOST IRROSPOSIBLE form of contraception on the planet. BE RESPONSIBLE and don’t murder because you were not acting responsible.

Petrus May 3, 2011 at 2:01 am

I couldn’t agree with the cartoon more, and I’d like to add something. For some reason there is an opinion that sex should be a thing without consequence, we should be able to enjoy it, and it should be a privileged activity. I say privileged because just about any action we do in this world, apart from the most simple ones, bears consequences. Sex is no different, unless we artificially make it stand apart. The consequences of having sex are sometimes grave ( or joyful, depends who you ask).

In this light, the “my body” argument is absurd. For what it really should sound like is ” why couldn’t I have sex without consequence”. Well I could ask the same thing, why can’t I drive my car as I like without consequence, and if i hit a pedestrian why must my body suffer in prison? Why can’t I, as a man, have sex without consequences, and If in 2 years i find out that i am a father of a child, why must I pay alimony? Even more, a pregnant woman has to bear child for 9 months ( give it up later, it is infinitely better than killing it , while alimony paying father has to do it for 18(?) years?

I’m sorry, but my body argument is ridiculous.

Augusto May 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I have made an “italian version”: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150573885095367&set=o.2397004314&type=1

I hope there are no copyright problems! In case, let me know; thank you!

Lilith May 4, 2011 at 10:27 am

Mr. Steinaker, (Or perhaps you would be more comfortable if I address you as Mr. God?) When is your book “Burn Sl-tty Women at the Stake” coming out?

Bobby Bambino May 5, 2011 at 7:58 am

Hi Lilith.

Suppose Phil Steinacker thinks all women are “sluts” and wishes them to be burned at the stake. How does it follow from this that abortion is not the unjust taking of an innocent human life?

Melissa Bergonso May 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Hi! I’m from Brazil and I have a Catholic Blog too, called “Catholic Woman” (Mulher Católica in portuguese). I just loved this image that you made and I posted it in my blog. I hope you don’t mind.

God bless you!
In Christ, Our Lord,
Melissa

Boris May 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

How does it follow from this that abortion is not the unjust taking of an innocent human life?
Reponse: It’s only a POTENTIAL life with a 25 percent chance that it will be aborted by God… uh I mean miscarried. Really people, your God is the biggest abortionist of all time.

Anita May 15, 2011 at 10:02 am

Since you acknowledge that God has the power of life and death over each one of us, that would seem to be a reason for you to fear Him and obey Him rather than scorn Him.

Bobby Bambino May 16, 2011 at 7:39 am

Hi Boris.

“Reponse: It’s only a POTENTIAL life with a 25 percent chance that it will be aborted by God… uh I mean miscarried. Really people, your God is the biggest abortionist of all time.”

Okay, great. My above point was that Lilith’s argument is question-begging; that is, she assumes without ever even mentioning it, that teh unborn are not persons worthy of life, the very thing that we pro-lifers claim. Thus her argument does not at all address anything we claim, but assumes what we claim is false. By acknowledging that the real question about teh unborn is where or not they are persons, you have admitted that Lilith’s argument is question-begging, which was my only point.

Now as far as your response goes, let us first begin by asking, in your opinion, what does it take for something to be considered life? You claim that the unborn is only potential life. What is it that distinguishes the unborn from actual life?

“25 percent chance that it will be aborted by God… uh I mean miscarried”

This is such a spurious statistic, but that is besides the point. Even if only 5% of the unborn survived, your argument is an example of the naturalistic fallacy. That is, you seem to be arguing that if something happens often in nature, then it is morally permissible. Is that the principle you are basing your assertion on? This seems principle quite incorrect; for all of us at some point will die. Does that mean that human life has no value? Furthermore, in many parts of teh world, infant mortality rate is extremely high. Does it therefore follow that we are morally permitted to kill newborn infants because X% of them will only survive anyway?

Finally, if you have an actual argument that God does not exist I would be happy to entertain it. I’m not terribly impressed with quotes. They tend to be soundbites with very little substance behind them, although if you would like me to address the particular quotes you gave I would be happy to. TAKE CARE.

Boris May 15, 2011 at 10:09 am

Anita,
There is no God and I can prove it.

Anita May 15, 2011 at 10:12 am

You just said God is the biggest abortionist of all time. That’s a pretty neat trick for Someone Who doesn’t exist.

Boris May 15, 2011 at 11:10 am

“Theology is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system.” – Baron d’Holbach

“Nobody – except those who believe, on no evidence at all. That an immortal soul really is implanted in the embryo at the moment of conception, thus endowing it with complete humanity – can say at what point an embryo turns into a human being. The innocence of fetuses is not in doubt. But it is irrelevant: lettuces are innocent too.” Robert Hughes

Anita May 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Yep…that’s ironclad proof of the non-existence of God, if ever I have seen it. What HAVE I been thinking all these years?

Boris May 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Now as far as your response goes, let us first begin by asking, in your opinion, what does it take for something to be considered life?

Response: Scientists tell us that the line between life and non-life is fuzzy.
You claim that the unborn is only potential life. What is it that distinguishes the unborn from actual life?

Response: The unborn are inside another human being.

Does it therefore follow that we are morally permitted to kill newborn infants because X% of them will only survive anyway?

Response: What does killing infants have to do with anything? The issue here is that a woman’s body does not belong to a fetus she may be carrying nor does her body belong to the government. To give a fetus rights superior to those of a pregnant woman is to eradicate the woman’s right to her own body. Any right that contradicts the right of another cannot be a right, as rights form an integrated whole. Contrary to the opinion of anti-lifers (falsely called “pro-lifers” as they are against the life of the actual human being involved) a woman is not a breeding animal.

Finally, if you have an actual argument that God does not exist I would be happy to entertain it. I’m not terribly impressed with quotes. They tend to be soundbites with very little substance behind them, although if you would like me to address the particular quotes you gave I would be happy to. TAKE CARE.

Response: Even if God did exist nothing would change. That’s how we know there isn’t one.

JoAnna May 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Scientists tell us that the line between life and non-life is fuzzy.

Scientists tell us no such thing. Reputable scientists acknowledge that at conception, a new organism with unique DNA is created. There’s nothing “fuzzy” about it.

One example among many:

“Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).
“Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.”
[Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]

Bobby Bambino May 17, 2011 at 8:27 am

Hi Boris. Thanks for the reply.

“Scientists tell us that the line between life and non-life is fuzzy.”

Joanna beat me to this, but she is quite correct to point out that science is not at all fuzzy on this point. That is why Alan Guttmacher, former President of Planned Parenthood, was able to write in his 1931 book “Life in the Making” that

“We of today know that man is born of sexual union; that he starts life as an embryo within the body of the female; and that the embryo is formed from the fusion of two single cells, the ovum and the sperm. This all seems so simple and evident to us that it is difficult to picture a time when it was not part of the common knowledge.” (Alan F. Guttmacher. Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation. New York: Viking Press, 1933. p 3.)

I can provide many, many more quotes (in addition to the excellent ones provided by Joanna) from scientific texts that confirm the fact that science is crystal clear when it comes to answering the question of when the life of the human organism begins. If you have any science texts or quotes that seem to imply that it is NOT a scientific fact that all human beings were once embryos, then I would be happy to respond to it. But actually, this is all a moot point because your defense of abortion seems to rest on the location of the fetus- or the rights of the mother. I’m actually not sure which one because (as will be a theme in this reply) you have not carefully spelled out your arguments, and I am left guessing as to what you mean and what your arguments really are. In fact, here is a good example.

“Bobby Bambino: You claim that the unborn is only potential life. What is it that distinguishes the unborn from actual life?

You responded response: The unborn are inside another human being.”

As I pointed out, you have not carefully spelled out your arguments, and given this single line response of yours and my question, I can only infer that you believe that human beings have value and intrinsic worth/dignity in light of the fact that they are not inside another human being. In other words, what makes someone valuable, in your worldview, is not what they are, but WHERE they are located. This is very counter to our intuition. For why can’t I kill (morally, not legally speaking) the man in the office next to mine? Most people would respond that I cannot kill him because he is a human being. In your worldview, you might seem to respond by saying that it is wrong to kill him because he does not reside in the body of another. That is what gives moral value and worth to beings. It is thus hard to see why any and all living things that are not located in someone else’s body are not equally valuable as human beings. Why isn’t a dog or worm who is not inside another’s body not worth as much as a human being?
Furthermore, this leads to absurd conclusions. In your view, objectively speaking, a fetus inside a woman’s body does not have dignity and moral worth in light of the fact that it is located insode a woman’s body. This means that not only is the unwanted fetus lacking in dignity, but so is the wanted fetus. The wanted fetus of a woman 38 weeks pregnant is just as worthless as an unwanted 2 week old embryo because they both lack the characteristic feature of having dignity; namely, being outside of a body. Hence, if I were to punch a 38 week pregnant woman in the stomach, causing her to miscarry, I should not be guilty of any moral crime other than punching a woman. Because her unborn objectively has no value, causing her to miscarry would be akin to kicking a man in the crotch and causing him to lose semen. So this thesis that what makes human life is the lack of a being inside a body isn’t even as sophisticated as the right to an abortion from bodily autonomy (which you seem to somewhat defend below). This also leads to conclusions like a 24 week old human being has dignity and moral worth while a 39 week old human being does not, the only difference being that the former is outside the womb while the latter is not.
The metaphysical implications of holding such a view are also problematic. For you seem to claim that a being gains dignity and moral worth by LOSING a characteristic; namely, being located inside the mother. But how can a being’s essence change by losing something? The kind of thing that the unborn is can’t change by simply leaving a certain place. What about leaving a certain place changed the ontological status of the human fetus? And are there other places that us human beings can travel to where we lose our dignity and moral worth? Location does not at all seem to be a good criteria for what gives us our inherent dignity and moral worth.

“What does killing infants have to do with anything?”

Again, Boris, I was responding to your “It’s only a POTENTIAL life with a 25 percent chance that it will be aborted by God” argument which, again, you did not expound upon nor explain carefully. Thus I was left guessing as to what your argument was supposed to be saying. If you were not trying to argue that abortion is morally permissible because the body naturally miscarries all the time, then I apologize. But then I don’t know what your actual point was.

“The issue here is that a woman’s body does not belong to a fetus she may be carrying nor does her body belong to the government.”

Okay, so now this is a completely different argument then the argument that the unborn is not life. Really Boris, if the unborn really isn’t a life, why do you need to appeal to bodily ownership? Who would argue with you if you could convince them that the unborn is only potential life? So just to be clear, you are now using the argument for abortion from bodily rights, one which for the sake of argument, can assume that the unborn is a human being with dignity and moral worth just like you or me, but that the mother has a right to remove the person. Okay, so this is a separate argument. If the unborn isn’t a person, then there is no need to bust out this argument.

“To give a fetus rights superior to those of a pregnant woman is to eradicate the woman’s right to her own body.”

No one wishes to give the fetus rights superior to the mother. Rather, we are claiming that it is a conflict of interests. On the one hand, the woman’s bodily rights are at stake. On the other hand, the fetus’ right to life is at stake. When a conflict of interests of rights arises, the law should fall on the side of the one with more to lose. In the case of abortion, it is ALWAYS the fetus who has more to lose. But you don’t believe that the fetus has any rights because he is only a potential person? Ah, okay, so now we’re back above arguing about what the fetus is.

“Any right that contradicts the right of another cannot be a right, as rights form an integrated whole.”

There is no “contradiction” of rights here- I think you mean conflict. But rights conflict all the time. Suppose someone is about to drive through a green light and sees a pedestrian illegally crossing the street. Does the driver have the right to go ahead through the green light, running over the person in the process? Of course not. Here we have a conflict of rights; the driver’s right to drive through the green light, and the pedestrian’s right to life. The driver would certainly be wrong to plow through the pedestrian, even though under normal circumstances he has the right to go through a green light. Or change the example to a car and a police car with its lights on who goes through a red light. Examples can be multiplied, so I see no reason to believe that a conflict of rights implies that one of the supposed “rights” was never actually a right to begin with.

Finally, let us take this domain that women have over their bodies to its logical conclusion. Let us consider the following thought experiment. In some parts of Africa, the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is quite rampant. Sometimes those parents who practice it on their children come over to the US and would like to have it done on their newborn daughters. Of course, this is a horrific and brutal act of mutilation, as I am sure many pro-choice feminists would agree. There should be no tolerance for FGM in our civilized society.

However, there is a compromise. Since the fate of the unborn in the womb is subject to teh woman’s wishes, as long as the mother wished, she could (hypothetically) have her unborn daughter’s genitals mutilated while teh daughter was still INSIDE her mother. Though we probably don’t have the science behind doing this down yet, I’m sure we could figure it out. It would probably be easiest to do right before birth, the time at which the fetus gains rights. Thus, since the fetus has no rights, there should be no moral qualms about mutilating a female fetus’s genital while it is still in teh womb.

Does that make sense? Do you support in utero FGM? It is difficult to see why this would be problematic given the view that “To give a fetus rights superior to those of a pregnant woman is to eradicate the woman’s right to her own body.” For by telling a woman that she can not mutilate the gentiles of her unborn (and only potential life, as we saw above) would be to give the fetus rights (the right not to be mutilated) which are superior to those of the woman. So it seems that on this view, there would be no problem with in utero FGM.

“Even if God did exist nothing would change. That’s how we know there isn’t one.”

Let me make sure I understand this. To do so, I will put your argument in the form of a syllogism. Please let me know if I have this correct (AGAIN, you haven’t spelled out your argument carefully so I’m left guessing as to what you mean).

Major: If God exists, nothing would change.
Minor. God exists.
Conclusion: God does not exist.

Clearly I concede (and hold) the minor. My first question is, how does the conclusion follow from the premises? Suppose I grant the major as well. The conclusion does not at all seem to follow logically. I other words, your argument seems to be invalid (and of course, also unsound which we will get to below) So I would like to see how you see the conclusion following, even if I concede that the major is true.

But of course, the major seems extremely wrong. You have given no reason whatsoever to believe that it is true, and I can think of many reasons why it is patently false. Thus this argument seems extremely unsound. I can imagine that even most atheists would not be willing to grant the major. If God exists, then it seems that everything changes. Now we have the possibility of a relationship with him, eternal life, heaven, etc. How you plan to show that that stuff does not follow from God’s existence, I will be most eager to hear. So rather than guess as to what reasons there are to hold that the major is true, I will kindly ask you to defend the major. But honestly Boris, I am not trying to be mean, but this is one of the strangest arguments I have ever heard to show that God does not exist. I was expecting something like the problem of evil or the hidenness of God or incoherence of theism; something that at least on the surface seems plausible. But this was just simply bizarre. Take care.

Boris May 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I wasn’t talking about when human life begins. What I was referring to is the fact that nowhere in current physics, biology or chemistry is there any sign of any fundamental life principle, something that distinguishes life from non-life.

The reason you cannot kill the man in the next office is because he has rights as a citizen. If the man in the next office assaults you, thereby contradicting your rights then you do have the right to kill him. I hope it doesn’t come to that and you two learn to get along. However if it did it would not be considered murder would it? It would be self-defense. Murder is a legal term and neither self-defense nor abortions are murder. A potential life, or fetus does have value and intrinsic worth/dignity. What it doesn’t have is a right to be in the womb of a woman, but is only in there by her permission. The woman can revoke this permission. Rights are not permissions; permissions are not rights. The woman gives this permission, because it is her body and not the fetus’s body, and definitely not the government’s body. It isn’t just the location of the fetus that is important but the fact that the fetus is attached to, feeding off of and requires another human being to exist at all.

Your driving analogy doesn’t fly because no one has a “right” to drive. Driving is a privilege given by the state’s permission, which is why you need a permit to drive. You have to fulfill certain requirements including becoming familiar with the law that says that no matter what color any light is, pedestrians ALWAYS have the right-of-way. On the highway of life fetuses don’t have the right of way – UNLESS they get two-thirds of the way across the highway.

Male circumcision upsets some people too and I guess that could be a form of mutilation as well. However my research shows that women overwhelming prefer it.

For the sake of argument let me grant you that a god may or even does exist. How does it follow that we would then have a possibility of a relationship with him, eternal life, heaven, etc. with the etc. being things like angels, demons, Satan, hell, seraphs, flying fiery serpents, cockatrices and Jesus?

If there is a God who plays an important role in the universe it must have specific attributes that provide objective evidence for its existence. No such evidence has ever been found. Therefore we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that a God with these properties does not exist.

Bobby Bambino May 18, 2011 at 7:27 am

Hi Boris.

“I wasn’t talking about when human life begins. What I was referring to is the fact that nowhere in current physics, biology or chemistry is there any sign of any fundamental life principle, something that distinguishes life from non-life.”

I’m not sure what you are talking about here. Biology gives us a very definitive answer that human life begins at conception. Why is this not good enough? In fact, what is this “fundamental life principle” that you are talking about? What reason is there to believe that such a “fundamental life principle” exists? Again, biology is the study of living things and biology claims that a new unique human organism comes into existence at fertilization, as our quotes above show. Why argue with science?

In fact, Boris, if your assertion proves anything, it proves too much. For if we don’t know about the “fundamental principle of life” (again, having seemingly no reason to believe such a thing exists) we can’t say for sure that you are I are alive. Why can’t I kill the guy in the office next door? There is no fundamental principle of life discovered yet, so I have no reason to believe he is alive, right? But AGAIN, this is all a moot point because your defense of abortion rests on the location/bodily rights argument, not on anything intrinsic to the fetus. So I don’t know why we keep discussing life.

“The reason you cannot kill the man in the next office is because he has rights as a citizen.”

Boris, I realize that I mentioned it in parentheses above, but my question is why MORALLY, not legally. Let’s change the scenario. Suppose I and another person find ourselves stranded on a desert island after a plane crash. Would there be anything wrong MORALLY SPEAKING with me cutting him up just for fun? That is what my question means.

“Murder is a legal term and neither self-defense nor abortions are murder”

These kinds of soundbite statements do no good to further the discussion. I don’t care about what is legal. I am arguing that objectively speaking, abortion is the unjust taking of innocent human life and hence murder. Yes, it isn’t murder under the legal definition- who cares? But I agree that self defense is not murder, though I fail to see how that is relevant to the conversation.

“A potential life, or fetus does have value and intrinsic worth/dignity.”

Why? Why does something that is not even alive have any rights or dignity at all? You have given me no reason to believe that the unborn objectively speaking is worth anything more than some skin cells. In fact, at least skin cells are alive. The unborn, in your view, is only potential life, again, who knows what that means and it is derived from some conjecture about needing to find the “fundamental life principle.” Boris, you really need to think more about why you are pro-choice. You’re all over the place, and you do not at all have a well conceived case. You claim that the unborn are only potential life but that for some reason potential life has dignity. What reason is there to hold that something that isn’t actual human life but only potential is worth anything? But now we see below that you change your argument in favor of abortion to bodily rights.

“What it doesn’t have is a right to be in the womb of a woman, but is only in there by her permission.”

Now I already gave a scenario (the FGM) to attempt to refute this position below, which I don’t think you at all addressed, but we will get to that soon. So you claim that because the fetus does not have permission to be inside the woman’s body, then the woman has a right to directly and willfully kill an innocent human being as an ends or a means?

“The woman can revoke this permission.”

What principle is this based on? For it would seem that according to nature, if a fetus is inside a woman, it is precisely where it should be. If a fetus does not belong in a woman’s body, where does it belong? Is there no objective reality to the state of pregnancy?

“Your driving analogy doesn’t fly because no one has a “right” to drive.”

Though I still believe it is a right once you are driving that you can go through a green light, it is moot because if you don’t like this one, there are multiple, multiple other examples to show that rights conflict with each other all the time. Consider someone who is being chased by a murder and runs onto someone’s private property to hide. The one fleeing has broken the rights of the owners of the house by entering their private property without permission, but the one feeling also has a right to life. Which right wins out? Should the man fleeing be allowed to stay hiding in the house? Or may the owners of the property kick him out? What about smoking in public places? I have the right to smoke, yet in some places I can’t because my right to smoke conflicts with other people’s right to breathe healthy air. Or what about the right to life of the guy in the office next to mine vs. my right to be happy? He has a right to life, but I will only be happy if he is dead (I am of course using this for illustrative purposes- the guy in the office next to mine is a good friend). I want to be happy by killing him, he wants to live. Again, conflict of rights. In fact, isn’t the central dogma of modernism “you have the right to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody”? What is this “exception clause” on my right to do whatever I want? Well, my rights to do what I want ends where another person’s right to not be disturbed begins. The point is that rights conflict all the time. I don’t know how you can deny this. You can easily come up with other examples of your own.

But taking this even further, the point of bringing up whether or not rights conflict is because you claimed that rights can never conflict. What reason is there to believe this? You never defended this position or gave any reasons as to why someone should hold it. It seems intuitively obvious that legitimate rights can conflict with each other, even if it never happens in practice. It would be almost impossible to come up with some sort of legal system where there was never a case when two rights conflicted with each other. So what reason is there to believe that legitimate rights never conflict with each other, ignoring all the multitudes of examples where legitimate right do conflict with each other?

“Male circumcision upsets some people too and I guess that could be a form of mutilation as well. However my research shows that women overwhelming prefer it.”

This completely ignores the thought experiment, unless in your first statement you are saying that “yes, a woman may mutilate the genitals of her unborn daughter while she is still in her womb.” I have no interest in debating the morality of male circumcision, unless it somehow pertains to the abortion question. This is a devastating thought experiment, Boris. If one says “no” then they have essentially told a woman what she can and can’t do with her body, thus undermining the argument for abortion based on the fact that the unborn is “using” the woman’s body. If you say “yes” then my work here is done because you have embraced a conclusion that is so vile, so wretched, and so disordered that it shows that you take the right to an abortion as a first principle, from which any and all conclusions must follow. If you are willing to embrace absurdity, then there is no need to discuss it anymore. So which is it? Yes or no?

“For the sake of argument let me grant you that a god may or even does exist. How does it follow that we would then have a possibility of a relationship with him, eternal life, heaven, etc. with the etc. being things like angels, demons, Satan, hell, seraphs, flying fiery serpents, cockatrices and Jesus?”

Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, chief! All you said was that “nothing would change.” That was your original argument. I never claimed that the existence of all this stuff would immediately follow. Boris, you REALLY need to be more careful in your thinking. What you’ve done here is been extremely sloppy in your thinking, leading me to believe we were simply talking about theism, and now you’ve jumped to Christianity. The two are separate things, each requiring their own careful defense. Now I am happy to do that, but one thing at a time, please.

We’re discussing the existence of God, and once that is established, then we can ask if he has revealed himself to us in any way (in particular, Christianity). I will get to that momentarily. Before I do, I would like to discuss why just the existence of a God would “change” things. First of all, if God exists, then it is possible that he has revealed himself to mankind through one (or all possibly) of the world’s religions. Almost all the major religions teach that there is an afterlife, and that we owe God some sort of worship in this life, that we have to change our way of living, our morals, etc. So in that sense, once we assume that God exists, we should look into the truth claims of many of the world’s religions. Looking into their claims is a change from their being no God, for if God does not exist, then there is no reason to look at the world religions. They would most certainly be incorrect. But since he does (for the sake of argument) exist, our lives would change because we would look into the world’s religions to see if any one was true. If we were convinced that one was true, we would join it and then follow all its rules, and be rewarded with some kind of eternal life, as the religion teaches. If we were not convinced that any world religion was true, then that brings us to the next way that the existence of God would change things.

If God exists, we must exercise the virtue of religion, which is giving to God what is owed. That means that since he created the world and us, by definition of what it means to be God, we must worship him. This is called natural religion, and it is independent of Christianity or any other world religion. Perhaps we get some ideas about how to worship him from other religions, but if he only exists and we are not convinced that he has revealed himself to mankind through divine revelation, we still owe him some sort of worship, albeit person worship as opposed to organized. So there is a way that things change. If he exists, by definition of what he is, we owe God the virtue of natural religion since he made us.

Now to the question of Christianity. If God exists, then it is possible that he revealed himself to us in some way and that he designed a particular way he wants us to worship him, whether that be through a book, a philosophy, a way of life, a Church, etc. The evidence for Christianity is in the historical fact that Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be God and that he proved this by being raised from the dead. There are three lines of evidence that confirm that the best possible explanation for the events surrounding the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth is that he was raised from the dead. They are 1) the empty tomb 2) the post-mortem appearances 3) the origin of the disciples belief in the resurrection of the body. All three of these facts are well established historically; that is, we have no writing from the early centuries which claims anything but the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth was empty and many writings which say that it was empty. There are many people who claimed to have seen Jesus after he was crucified (we can discuss possible theories why this is the case). Finally, it is extremely bizarre that the disciples came up with this belief in the resurrection of the body. This would be unheard of to any first century Jew. Where did such a belief originate? It seemingly pops out of nothing as a belief in the first century.

Now I have not at all defended these three points, but I am happy to. However, many have attempted to explain the evidence away or come up with “hallucination” and other theories, but none of them do justice to the evidence. As William Lane Craig points out concerning the historical reality of the empty tomb

“A look at these [alternative to resurrection] hypothesis proffered to explain the fact of the empty tomb, it is striking that scarcely any modern historian or biblical critic would hold to these theories. They are almost completely passe. You may say to yourself at this point, ‘Well then, what explanation of the empty tomb do modern critics offer who deny the resurrection?’ The fact is that they are self-confessedly without any explanation to offer. There simply is no plausible natural explanation available today to account for how Jesus’ tomb was empty. If we deny the resurrection of Jesus, we are left with an inexplicable mystery.”

So there is a very brief sketch of how I would go from God’s existence to Christianity as the way in which God has revealed himself to man. Again, this isn’t some quick little one-liner that gets us there. It takes time, patience, and a lot of careful work to develop a foundation for Christianity.

“If there is a God who plays an important role in the universe it must have specific attributes that provide objective evidence for its existence.”

I’m not sure why this should be true. If God exists, how does it follow that God necessarily must have his attributes lying all over the place? Deism claims that God created the world and then left, leaving no trace of his attributes.

But of course, I agree that there is evidence for him all over the place. The problem, I am quite sure you will bring up, is that you have SCIENTIFIC or testable evidence in mind, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

“No such evidence has ever been found.”

Yeah, see, I think you have in mind scientific evidence, which is problematic. But I’ll leave that up to you. For now, I would like to offer the following line of evidence, a deductive argument for God’s existence.

Note that this is only an argument about the existence of a supreme being and that this does not address any particular religion’s truth claims; specifically, it says nothing about the truth or falsity of Christianity and the claims of Jesus of Nazareth, as we mentioned above.

I will give the syllogism below and discuss the two premises briefly afterward.

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

We define God as that cause. Observe that once we accept the two premises, the conclusion follows inescapably, so the soundness of the argument rests on the validity of the two premises. I will look at the second premise. It is based on big bang cosmology and the current big bang model. This asserts that the universe began as an initial singularity which began to expand at a very rapid rate. The universe, as well as all of space, time, and matter came into begin with the initial singularity. Without the initial singularity (notice, I can’t say “before” because there was no “before”) there was nothing; at least, nothing scientifically observable. Hence, whatever caused the big bang is outside of space, time, and matter. As scientists, we know that this is the generally accepted model of the origin of the cosmos.

Now onto the first premise. This is a first principle of metaphysics; that all effects have a cause. In fact, all of science is based on this principle. When we study a phenomenon, we ask “what caused this? how did this come to be?” So postulating that everything that begins to exists has a cause is completely consistent and indeed a cornerstone of all of science.

The alternative is that the universe popped into being, uncaused out of nothing. In other words, we have non-being causing being. But how can nothing cause something? For by definition, “nothing’ is that which has no properties- in particular, it lacks the property of causality. It also lacks potential. So it is a metaphysical absurdity to think that something can come from nothing. Let us take this further. I”m sitting here at my computer, alone in my room. But I have no fear that all of a sudden an elephant is going to pop into being in my room and eat my computer. And if something can come from nothing, I would be justified in being concerned that an elephant would pop into being in my room. Or a tiger, or a gun, or anything. But this is simply silly to worry about. We have no evidence of any such thing happening. Never in this world do we postulate that something came from nothing.

So when you consider the reasons for holding to these two premises, it seems we have in overwhelming amount of evidence to being that each premise is very plausible. Hence, it is very plausible that the cause of the universe, which we are calling God, exists.

“Therefore we can conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that a God with these properties does not exist.”

Again, I would like to note that you have completely abandoned your original argument in favor of the “hidnness of God” argument. However, you have given us no reason to believe that God must necessarily show his attributes in the world, and you have also ignored the many philosophical and metaphysical arguments for God’s existence.

Boris May 18, 2011 at 9:27 am

I’ll respond to the rest of your mistakes and blunders later. It’s amazing anyone could still make the First Cause blunder. Empirical observation tells us that mass-energy cannot be created or destroyed. So if we adhere to scientific method we must assume that the mass-energy that comprises the universe must always have existed in one form or another. If God could always have existed so could mass-energy. What caused the universe to suddenly expand? Probably vacuum fluctuation. Whatever caused the expansion must have been a natural cause. Prove it wasn’t. Perhaps now that you’ve seen your favorite argument crumble like a cookie you’ll take a look at how lame the rest of your arguments are. I mean really man. What empty tomb?

Matthew Warner May 18, 2011 at 10:23 am

Boris – like many scientists, you are thinking too small. You have to get outside of nature. What caused natural causes? What caused science? What created the vacuum? What created the space where a vacuum could occur? God is the being that is necessarily outside of all of that, yet not contingent upon it. It’s a philosophical and logical – not scientific – conclusion that there must be a non-contingent being at some point back. At some point “back” you get to a point where there is no such thing as “back”. Something bigger. Something outside of time-space. Something outside of mass-energy. It’s a difficult concept to grasp because we are finite beings who relate to everything through time and space.

Bobby Bambino May 18, 2011 at 11:46 am

Boris,

” It’s amazing anyone could still make the First Cause blunder.”

Actually that isn’t the first cause argument at all. I’m happy to share that one with you too, but here I am simply following metaphysical data to its logical conclusion. It is not a probabilistic argument, nor is it a god of the gaps argument, but follows by logical necessity.

“Empirical observation tells us that mass-energy cannot be created or destroyed. So if we adhere to scientific method we must assume that the mass-energy that comprises the universe must always have existed in one form or another.”

Yet big bang cosmology claims that all of space, time, and matter came into being at teh explosion of the initial singularity. Do you deny big bang cosmology? Do you deny that the universe began to exist? In order for you to deny teh conclusion that teh universe had a beginning, you must deny one of the premises, since the argument is logically valid. Which premise do you deny?

“If God could always have existed so could mass-energy. What caused the universe to suddenly expand? Probably vacuum fluctuation.”

That is something. What caused vacuum fluctuation to exist? Vacuum fluctuation is not nothing, but has a rich physical structure, adhering to certain physical laws. So by appealing to vacuum fluctuation, all you have done it one step back.

“Whatever caused the expansion must have been a natural cause.”

Why? Is this because you have an antisupernatural bias? I’m following the evidence where it leads.

“Prove it wasn’t.”

The cause of the universe is something that is outside of space, time, and matter. That which I assume you consider to be natural is that which is comprised of either, space, time, or matter. In fact, I don’t even know what you mean by natural here. Again, I’m following the two principles to their logical conclusion.

“Perhaps now that you’ve seen your favorite argument crumble like a cookie you’ll take a look at how lame the rest of your arguments are.”

Yum, cookies!

Actually, I think my favorite argument is slowly becoming Aquinas’ first way. Brilliant, brilliant argument.

“I mean really man.”

Yes, really man.

Oh okay.

Bobby Bambino May 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

“It’s amazing anyone could still make the First Cause blunder.”

Actually Boris, it’s amazing that someone can make a statement like this without even knowing what the First Cause argument even says, as you clearly demonstrated. The argument I gave is not the First Cause argument. It just isn’t. It’s a different argument. I’m happy to share the first cause argument with you, but really, how can you claim that the first cause argument is a blunder when you can’t even recognize it? Now I realize that this isn’t your fault, as all teh typical atheist talking points are sloppy on this point. Ed Feser clears this up quite well here http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/10/warburton-on-first-cause-argument.html and in great detail in his books The Last Superstition and Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide.

Boris May 19, 2011 at 2:57 am

I’m not sure what you are talking about here. Biology gives us a very definitive answer that human life begins at conception. Why is this not good enough?

Response: You can’t use science to support your arguments in a debate and then pick and choose what science you accept and what you don’t. Also in your post below and in the statement above you misstate what science actually tells us.

In fact, what is this “fundamental life principle” that you are talking about? What reason is there to believe that such a “fundamental life principle” exists?

Response: Right, you shouldn’t because there isn’t one. You missed my point entirely.

Boris, I realize that I mentioned it in parentheses above, but my question is why MORALLY, not legally. Let’s change the scenario. Suppose I and another person find ourselves stranded on a desert island after a plane crash. Would there be anything wrong MORALLY SPEAKING with me cutting him up just for fun? That is what my question means.

Response: I don’t know how anyone can ask such a ridiculous question. What is it supposed to prove? Like it or not, everyone has their own personal ideas about what is moral and what isn’t and why. For me anything that harms or destroys life is immoral. Apparently that isn’t the case for you and many other religious people. But morals are based on choices and those are your choices not mine.

These kinds of soundbite statements do no good to further the discussion. I don’t care about what is legal. I am arguing that objectively speaking, abortion is the unjust taking of innocent human life and hence murder. Yes, it isn’t murder under the legal definition- who cares? But I agree that self defense is not murder, though I fail to see how that is relevant to the conversation.

Response: Both sides of the abortion debate believe murder is immoral. Where they disagree is on the nature of the fetus – whether or not it is the sort of entity that can be murdered. In other words, moral disagreements are usually not about what is good or bad but about some other aspect of reality. Calling abortion “murder” is just the kind of willfully ignorant sound bite statement that does no good and is only made for the purpose of deceiving people. You don’t believe it anyway. Are abortions morally acceptable in the case of incest or rape? If yes, then why is it morally acceptable to murder a rapist’s or pedophiles child? See what I mean?

Why? Why does something that is not even alive have any rights or dignity at all? You have given me no reason to believe that the unborn objectively speaking is worth anything more than some skin cells. In fact, at least skin cells are alive. The unborn, in your view, is only potential life, again, who knows what that means and it is derived from some conjecture about needing to find the “fundamental life principle.”

Response: Abortion isn’t just some black and white issue where the fetus is worthless and the woman having an abortion is always blameless. It’s an uncomfortable subject to think about and a difficult issue to come to a decision about. I know, I paid for two of them and my current wife had two abortions before I met her. I have two daughters from a previous marriage and my wife has a son. People like you don’t want to have to think about these difficult issues so in order to avoid the oft-painful process of thinking for yourself you simplify issues into a battle of good verses evil. It’s just not that simple. There is no foolproof answer to this issue. Until abortion has affected your life in such a personal way you are not qualified to make any of your absolutist claims about the subject.

Boris, you really need to think more about why you are pro-choice. You’re all over the place, and you do not at all have a well-conceived case. You claim that the unborn are only potential life but that for some reason potential life has dignity. What reason is there to hold that something that isn’t actual human life but only potential is worth anything? But now we see below that you change your argument in favor of abortion to bodily rights.

Response: I am pro-choice because I am pro-freedom. I am pro-choice because the government has no right to force a woman to undergo a 9-month pregnancy she does not want to endure and then give birth to a child she does not want. Contrary to your beliefs, women are not breeding animals. You’re the one who should think about why you are anti-choice rather than just accepting dogma from a Church that is totally against contraception even for married couples! A Church that is against using condoms to help curb the spread of infectious sexually transmitted diseases. A Church whose priesthood and hierarchy are largely made up of closeted homophobic homosexuals and pedophiles that if they do know anything about sex, shouldn’t. I mean come on man. Who is not thinking here?

Now I already gave a scenario (the FGM) to attempt to refute this position below, which I don’t think you at all addressed, but we will get to that soon. So you claim that because the fetus does not have permission to be inside the woman’s body, then the woman has a right to directly and willfully kill an innocent human being as an ends or a means?

Response: The innocence of a fetus is not in doubt. But again, abortion is not killing a human being. If you don’t like it take a case to the Supreme Court. Oh what’s that? Seven anti-abortion justices won’t even hear another abortion case? There’s a reason for that and it’s called the U.S. Constitution.

What principle is this based on? For it would seem that according to nature, if a fetus is inside a woman, it is precisely where it should be. If a fetus does not belong in a woman’s body, where does it belong? Is there no objective reality to the state of pregnancy?

Response: The principle is the right to privacy guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Though I still believe it is a right once you are driving that you can go through a green light, it is moot because if you don’t like this one, there are multiple, multiple other examples to show that rights conflict with each other all the time.

Response: Do also you think you can go through a green light when a police vehicle is speeding through the intersection? Some of your arguments are just ridiculous.

Consider someone who is being chased by a murder and runs onto someone’s private property to hide. The one fleeing has broken the rights of the owners of the house by entering their private property without permission, but the one feeling also has a right to life. Which right wins out? Should the man fleeing be allowed to stay hiding in the house? Or may the owners of the property kick him out?

Response: The fact that you even have to ask this question proves my point. Rights cannot contradict each other and a court would have to decide, albeit after the fact, if the property owner was within his rights putting a fleeing subject in harm’s way by evicting him. That’s because rights cannot contradict each other. Yikes!

What about smoking in public places? I have the right to smoke; yet in some places I can’t because my right to smoke conflicts with other people’s right to breathe healthy air.

Response: Again, that is a legal question. My opinion about the morality of smoking is my opinion and yours is yours.

Or what about the right to life of the guy in the office next to mine vs. my right to be happy? He has a right to life, but I will only be happy if he is dead (I am of course using this for illustrative purposes- the guy in the office next to mine is a good friend). I want to be happy by killing him, he wants to live. Again, conflict of rights.

Response: That is insane. Your right to the pursuit of happiness does not allow you to infringe on other people’s rights. If you think that is a conflict of rights the courts will explain to you that rights cannot contradict each other and your conflict is imaginary.

In fact, isn’t the central dogma of modernism “you have the right to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody”?

Response: Modernism is not a religion and it has no dogmas that must be adhered to.

What is this “exception clause” on my right to do whatever I want? Well, my rights to do what I want ends where another person’s right to not be disturbed begins. The point is that rights conflict all the time. I don’t know how you can deny this. You can easily come up with other examples of your own.
But taking this even further, the point of bringing up whether or not rights conflict is because you claimed that rights can never conflict. What reason is there to believe this? You never defended this position or gave any reasons as to why someone should hold it. It seems intuitively obvious that legitimate rights can conflict with each other, even if it never happens in practice. It would be almost impossible to come up with some sort of legal system where there was never a case when two rights conflicted with each other. So what reason is there to believe that legitimate rights never conflict with each other, ignoring all the multitudes of examples where legitimate right do conflict with each other?

Response: Rights that are given by law do not contradict each other. If they did our legal system could not function. Sure people argue and take each other to court when they think their rights have been violated or conflicted as you put it. But each and every time the courts prove once again that rights cannot contradict each other when they reach a decision and decide whose rights have actually been violated and whose have not.

This completely ignores the thought experiment, unless in your first statement you are saying that “yes, a woman may mutilate the genitals of her unborn daughter while she is still in her womb.” I have no interest in debating the morality of male circumcision, unless it somehow pertains to the abortion question. This is a devastating thought experiment, Boris. If one says “no” then they have essentially told a woman what she can and can’t do with her body, thus undermining the argument for abortion based on the fact that the unborn is “using” the woman’s body. If you say “yes” then my work here is done because you have embraced a conclusion that is so vile, so wretched, and so disordered that it shows that you take the right to an abortion as a first principle, from which any and all conclusions must follow. If you are willing to embrace absurdity, then there is no need to discuss it anymore. So which is it? Yes or no?

Response: Your “thought experiment” is not very well thought out. For a woman to have her unborn daughter’s genitals mutilated the fetus would have to be at least six months along in development. Abortions after six months are illegal in the United States as they should be, unless the mother’s life is in danger from the pregnancy. So unless the woman can show that her life is in danger if she doesn’t mutilate her potential child’s genitals she shouldn’t be allowed to do such a thing. Of course this mutilation is done because it keeps women from enjoying sex when they reach maturity. I’m quite sure your pope thinks it’s a good idea and he’s supposedly infallible isn’t he? The fact is that this mutilation is done for religious reasons.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, chief! All you said was that “nothing would change.” That was your original argument. I never claimed that the existence of all this stuff would immediately follow.

Response: You most certainly did imply that those things would follow. I cut and pasted part of what you said in my answer and anyone can go back and check it out.

Boris, you REALLY need to be more careful in your thinking. What you’ve done here is been extremely sloppy in your thinking, leading me to believe we were simply talking about theism, and now you’ve jumped to Christianity. The two are separate things, each requiring their own careful defense. Now I am happy to do that, but one thing at a time, please.

Response: Why do theism and Christianity need their own careful defenses may I ask? Could it be because the arguments used to support them are so ridiculous? “The very need for a thing called ‘apologetics’ is an example of the weakness of the theistic argument. ‘God’ always needs apologies, rationalizations, explanations, equivocations, excuses.” – Mark K. Bilbo

We’re discussing the existence of God, and once that is established, then we can ask if he has revealed himself to us in any way (in particular, Christianity). I will get to that momentarily.

Response: Well I’ll get to it right now. The answer is no which is why so many people disagree about which God is real, what God is like, what holy book is inspired by God and most importantly it seems, what God wants especially when it comes to our sex lives.

Before I do, I would like to discuss why just the existence of a God would “change” things. First of all, if God exists, then it is possible that he has revealed himself to mankind through one (or all possibly) of the world’s religions. Almost all the major religions teach that there is an afterlife, and that we owe God some sort of worship in this life, that we have to change our way of living, our morals, etc.

Response: “Nearly every human group has created something in the way of a religion, no two of which are the same. When something is based on reality, like mathematics or scientific medicine, groups of people independently arrive at the same answers… This is one good way to tell the difference between $%(# and Shinola.” – Greg Irwin

So in that sense, once we assume that God exists, we should look into the truth claims of many of the world’s religions.

Response: Then after we find that all of the “truth” claims of all the religions are as bogus as a three-dollar-bill what do we do? Worship God in our own way or just ignore him the way he does us?

Looking into their claims is a change from their being no God, for if God does not exist, then there is no reason to look at the world religions. They would most certainly be incorrect.

Response: Even if God does exist it’s still just as likely that all of the world religions are incorrect. Especially yours.

But since he does (for the sake of argument) exist, our lives would change because we would look into the world’s religions to see if any one was true. If we were convinced that one was true, we would join it and then follow all its rules, and be rewarded with some kind of eternal life, as the religion teaches. If we were not convinced that any world religion was true, then that brings us to the next way that the existence of God would change things.

Response: The existence of a god would not change anything because there are no verifiable consequences either way.

If God exists, we must exercise the virtue of religion, which is giving to God what is owed. That means that since he created the world and us, by definition of what it means to be God, we must worship him.

Response: Why worship a God who created world with so much suffering and misery in it? What makes this God worthy of our worship rather than our scorn? Because he’s stronger and infinitely meaner than we are and so we should be frightened of him? Well I’m not.

This is called natural religion, and it is independent of Christianity or any other world religion. Perhaps we get some ideas about how to worship him from other religions, but if he only exists and we are not convinced that he has revealed himself to mankind through divine revelation, we still owe him some sort of worship, albeit person worship as opposed to organized. So there is a way that things change. If he exists, by definition of what he is, we owe God the virtue of natural religion since he made us.

Response: “Since it is impossible for me to have any positive, clear idea of that which is infinite and incomprehensible, I cannot conceive otherwise than He… expects or requires no worship or praise from us. “ Benjamin Franklin

Now to the question of Christianity. If God exists, then it is possible that he revealed himself to us in some way and that he designed a particular way he wants us to worship him, whether that be through a book, a philosophy, a way of life, a Church, etc. The evidence for Christianity is in the historical fact that Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be God and that he proved this by being raised from the dead. There are three lines of evidence that confirm that the best possible explanation for the events surrounding the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth is that he was raised from the dead. They are 1) the empty tomb 2) the post-mortem appearances 3) the origin of the disciples belief in the resurrection of the body. All three of these facts are well established historically; that is, we have no writing from the early centuries which claims anything but the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth was empty and many writings which say that it was empty. There are many people who claimed to have seen Jesus after he was crucified (we can discuss possible theories why this is the case). Finally, it is extremely bizarre that the disciples came up with this belief in the resurrection of the body. This would be unheard of to any first century Jew. Where did such a belief originate? It seemingly pops out of nothing as a belief in the first century.

Response: The story about Jesus claiming to be God, the stories about him being raised from the dead, that there was an empty tomb (How many angels were at the tomb exactly?), that there were post-mortem appearances, that there were disciples of Jesus and they believed in the resurrection of the body after witnessing these appearances, that there were other people who witnesses a risen Jesus exist in the Bible and NOWHERE else. This is VERY important. There are no writings from the first century that claim anything about any tomb because there are no writings from the first century that mention Jesus, any of his disciples or apostles or any of the supposed events mentioned in the gospels. [The entries in works of Josephus that supposedly mention Jesus did not exist until the fourth century when admitted forger, liar and Church propagandist Eusebius put them there.] Events such as Herod’s supposed slaughter of the innocents or dead people coming back to life and appearing to many other people in Jerusalem could not have gone completely unmentioned by first century historians had they actually occurred. So the explanation for the empty tomb is simple: the entire story is religious fiction and all of the characters in it fictional. There is no such thing as a historical narrative that contains dialog – word for word conversations between people speaking in complete sentences. Only fictive narratives contain dialog especially conversations between people and demons or conversations between two supernatural beings on a mountaintop. Who recorded that one may I ask? Was it magically given word for word to the authors of the gospels or is it just a story? I mean which is really the more likely scenario?
The gospels are definitely not even remotely historical and neither is any other part of the Bible for that matter. The Bible is written in the style of ancient fiction and so should be interpreted that way. It doesn’t matter that a bunch of silly, superstitious men got together and voted that a certain collection of religious fiction should be the literary basis for their church, it’s all still fiction until proved otherwise. At this late date that is quite impossible.

Now I have not at all defended these three points, but I am happy to. However, many have attempted to explain the evidence away or come up with “hallucination” and other theories, but none of them do justice to the evidence. As William Lane Craig points out concerning the historical reality of the empty tomb

Response: You cannot use the Bible to defend your three points. Now using any other contemporary literature you want tell me again about how Jesus claimed to be God, how he rose from the dead, how his disciples saw him and believed and then many other people also saw the resurrected Jesus and everything you can about this empty tomb. See what I mean? There was no tomb, there was no Jesus there were no disciples. History knows absolutely nothing about these people or these supposed events. Not a word not an iota, nothing. Jesus Christ never even existed. Go ahead let’s see you prove me wrong without using the Bible. That quest alone, should you decide to undertake it will be very enlightening for you. And it won’t take long either because there is absolutely nothing to find.

So there is a very brief sketch of how I would go from God’s existence to Christianity as the way in which God has revealed himself to man. Again, this isn’t some quick little one-liner that gets us there. It takes time, patience, and a lot of careful work to develop a foundation for Christianity.

Response: It took time for Christianity to create its own history of itself. Christianity is not some offshoot of Judaism. Christianity began right where it sits today, in Rome. The gospels and the epistles are all priestly forgeries and none of them date to the first century. The early dating of the New Testament books is based on nothing more than Christian wish thinking. The earliest witness to the gospels comes from Iraneus around the year 190 CE. These books were all forged for the purposes of settling arguments and discussing issues that didn’t even exist in the first century. Jesus and Paul didn’t invent Christianity and the Church, the Church and its priests invented them. I am SO glad modern mainstream scholars like Bart Ehrman have finally seen the light and have written about this. Gerald Massey, Harry Barnes and many others exposed the New Testament as a collection of frauds and forgeries over a century ago.

I’m not sure why this should be true. If God exists, how does it follow that God necessarily must have his attributes lying all over the place? Deism claims that God created the world and then left, leaving no trace of his attributes.

Response: So what? You don’t believe that. You believe that God has left plenty of evidence for his existence. Well, where and what is it? No more arguments. Let’s see some real evidence.

But of course, I agree that there is evidence for him all over the place. The problem, I am quite sure you will bring up, is that you have SCIENTIFIC or testable evidence in mind, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Response: Yes that would be correct real testable evidence and no more arguments. You’re never going to get to that bridge because it doesn’t exist.
Yeah, see, I think you have in mind scientific evidence, which is problematic. But I’ll leave that up to you. For now, I would like to offer the following line of evidence, a deductive argument for God’s existence.

Response: Below is not evidence, it’s by your own admission an argument and arguments are NOT evidence.

Note that this is only an argument about the existence of a supreme being and that this does not address any particular religion’s truth claims; specifically, it says nothing about the truth or falsity of Christianity and the claims of Jesus of Nazareth, as we mentioned above.
I will give the syllogism below and discuss the two premises briefly afterward.
1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
2) The universe began to exist.
Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Response: We know the universe in its present ever-expanding form had a beginning. But as I have already stated, since observation tells us that matter cannot be created or destroyed the mass-energy that comprises the universe must always have existed. THAT, like it or not, IS the scientific consensus. Do you believers actually think that scientists are just unaware of your arguments and that if they were only made aware of them they would all change their minds and believe the silly things you believe? I mean your arguments are just barely good enough convince someone who desperately wants to believe them anyway. In other words they aren’t any good at all.

We define God as that cause. Observe that once we accept the two premises, the conclusion follows inescapably, so the soundness of the argument rests on the validity of the two premises. I will look at the second premise. It is based on big bang cosmology and the current big bang model. This asserts that the universe began as an initial singularity which began to expand at a very rapid rate. The universe, as well as all of space, time, and matter came into begin with the initial singularity. Without the initial singularity (notice, I can’t say “before” because there was no “before”) there was nothing; at least, nothing scientifically observable. Hence, whatever caused the big bang is outside of space, time, and matter. As scientists, we know that this is the generally accepted model of the origin of the cosmos.

Response: You have misstated what the Big Bang Theory really says and doesn’t say. The theory does not say that matter was created by or during the Big Bang but already existed in a singularity. So your second premise fails.

Now onto the first premise. This is a first principle of metaphysics; that all effects have a cause. In fact, all of science is based on this principle. When we study a phenomenon, we ask “what caused this? how did this come to be?” So postulating that everything that begins to exists has a cause is completely consistent and indeed a cornerstone of all of science.

Response: First you need to prove that the mass-energy actually began to exist and hasn’t always existed. If you cannot your first premise fails as well.
The alternative is that the universe popped into being, uncaused out of nothing. In other words, we have non-being causing being. But how can nothing cause something? For by definition, “nothing’ is that which has no properties- in particular, it lacks the property of causality. It also lacks potential.

Response: Describe nothing. What is nothing? If it has properties then that makes it something. Cosmologists will tell you that nothing is still something to them. If you don’t believe me google, “A Universe From Nothing” by Professor Kravitz

So it is a metaphysical absurdity to think that something can come from nothing.

Response: Yet that is exactly what you theists claim happened – the universe was magically created out of nothing. The scientific consensus is that the mass-energy that comprises the universe always existed. So the universe in its present expanding form came from something – mass-energy. So it is you theists who are stuck with the absurdity. Again. Some things never change.

Let us take this further. I”m sitting here at my computer, alone in my room. But I have no fear that all of a sudden an elephant is going to pop into being in my room and eat my computer. And if something can come from nothing, I would be justified in being concerned that an elephant would pop into being in my room. Or a tiger, or a gun, or anything. But this is simply silly to worry about. We have no evidence of any such thing happening. Never in this world do we postulate that something came from nothing.

Response: That’s really funny because while an elephant or tiger popping into your room is beyond your imagination the appearance of an angel in your room is not. Yet you have just as much evidence for angels magically appearing as you do elephants and tigers appearing out of nothing. Perhaps you don’t see the humor in that.

So when you consider the reasons for holding to these two premises, it seems we have in overwhelming amount of evidence to being that each premise is very plausible. Hence, it is very plausible that the cause of the universe, which we are calling God, exists.

Response: Both of your premises failed and miserably I might add. If your “evidence” is so plausible then how come cosmologists don’t see it your way? Why don’t scientists believe that God is behind the existence of the universe? Because scientists base what they believe on evidence and they know what it would take to change what they believe and arguments just don’t cut it. And that is all you have, arguments. Arguments are NOT evidence.

Again, I would like to note that you have completely abandoned your original argument in favor of the “hidnness of God” argument. However, you have given us no reason to believe that God must necessarily show his attributes in the world, and you have also ignored the many philosophical and metaphysical arguments for God’s existence.

Response: It’s true, I look for evidence and I don’t give much weight to arguments because they are usually nothing more than elaborate smokescreens ESPECIALLY when they are made to defend absurd claims about the supernatural.

Boris May 19, 2011 at 3:00 am

Matthew
Scientists think small? What do theologians do? Which group has contributed more to the advancement of our civilization? For that matter what do philosophers do? “There is obviously an important difference between an establishment [i.e. science] that is open… and one that regards the questioning of its credentials as due to wickedness of heart, such as [Cardinal] Newman attributed to those who questioned the infallibility of the Bible. Rational science treats its credit notes as always redeemable on demand, while non-rational authoritarianism regards the demand for the redemption of its paper as a disloyal act of faith.” – Morris R. Cohen
Neither of us can get “outside of nature” because we don’t know if there is anything outside of nature. We can only imagine or in your case trust the imaginations of ancient backward superstitious sheepherders. People caused science because science is the human study of nature. It is neither a logical or philosophical conclusion God is necessary for anything but only a religious one based on nothing more than wish thinking.

Bobby Bambino May 19, 2011 at 7:34 am

“ You can’t use science to support your arguments in a debate and then pick and choose what science you accept and what you don’t. Also in your post below and in the statement above you misstate what science actually tells us.”
Please tell me what science actually tells us then using scientific sources.
“Right, you shouldn’t because there isn’t one. You missed my point entirely.”

What is your point then?
“I don’t know how anyone can ask such a ridiculous question. What is it supposed to prove?”

It is attempting to get at WHY we value human life. Why is it wrong to kill. I want to know what you think makes someone valuable.
“Like it or not, everyone has their own personal ideas about what is moral and what isn’t and why.”
I realize this, but we’re trying to figure out what the truth of the matter is.
“For me anything that harms or destroys life is immoral. Apparently that isn’t the case for you and many other religious people.”
How so?

“Both sides of the abortion debate believe murder is immoral. Where they disagree is on the nature of the fetus – whether or not it is the sort of entity that can be murdered.”
Yes, I realize this. In fact, this is somewhat what I have been trying to tell you, and now you all of a sudden seem to “get it.” Hmmm…
“In other words, moral disagreements are usually not about what is good or bad but about some other aspect of reality.”

Yes, I know. I’ve never accused you of being a murderer or supporting murder or anything like that. Again, I don’t know why you’re mentioning all this.

“Calling abortion “murder” is just the kind of willfully ignorant sound bite statement that does no good and is only made for the purpose of deceiving people. You don’t believe it anyway.”
Suppose it is true that I don’t really believe abortion is murder. How does that undermine all my arguments?
“Are abortions morally acceptable in the case of incest or rape?”

No, they are not, ever.
“ If yes, then why is it morally acceptable to murder a rapist’s or pedophiles child? See what I mean?”

No, I don’t because I answered no.

“Abortion isn’t just some black and white issue where the fetus is worthless and the woman having an abortion is always blameless. It’s an uncomfortable subject to think about and a difficult issue to come to a decision about. I know, I paid for two of them and my current wife had two abortions before I met her. I have two daughters from a previous marriage and my wife has a son.”

I’m very sorry to hear all this, Boris. I truly mean that. Had I know of this situation of yours, I would have been much more pastoral in my discussion with you. Sometimes we get so caught up in “winning” a debate that we forget that there are real people that we are talking to. I mean all this with the utmost sincerity.

“People like you don’t want to have to think about these difficult issues so in order to avoid the oft-painful process of thinking for yourself you simplify issues into a battle of good verses evil.It’s just not that simple. There is no foolproof answer to this issue. Until abortion has affected your life in such a personal way you are not qualified to make any of your absolutist claims about the subject.”

Boris, while I want to be very sympathetic to yoru situation, the problem is that your argument about “unless abortion has affected you, you are not qualified to make any claims” is an ad hominum. The truth is, you don’t have any idea in what ways abortion has affected my life. Suppose I tell you it hasn’t ever in the least. Is abortion therefore justified? Suppose I tell you it has affected me more so than it has even affected you? Would you then become pro-life? The problem with your argument is that it doesn’t at all address any arguments I put forth, but rather me. And I don’t think that you would come to any different conclusions if my situation was worse, so why make a statement like that?

“I am pro-choice because I am pro-freedom. I am pro-choice because the government has no right to force a woman to undergo a 9-month pregnancy she does not want to endure and then give birth to a child she does not want.”
No, I mean you aren’t able to give a concise and strong philosophical defense of the right to an abortion.

“Contrary to your beliefs, women are not breeding animals. You’re the one who should think about why you are anti-choice rather than just accepting dogma from a Church that is totally against contraception even for married couples!”

I’ve spent years studying this and thinking about it. In fact, I gave a long defense of the Catholic Church’s position on another post here on Fallible Blogma. I think it was under the title “Is the birth control pill an abortifacient?” or something like that. You can read about it there if you wish.

“A Church that is against using condoms to help curb the spread of infectious sexually transmitted diseases. A Church whose priesthood and hierarchy are largely made up of closeted homophobic homosexuals and pedophiles that if they do know anything about sex, shouldn’t. I mean come on man. Who is not thinking here?”

I would be happy to defend the claims of the Catholic Church here and apologize profusely for the sins of some of our priests and the poor way in which it was handled, but there is simply too much right now.

“The innocence of a fetus is not in doubt. But again, abortion is not killing a human being.”

So there is no problem with slicing up the vagina of a fetus in utero. Okay, that is all I need to know.

“ If you don’t like it take a case to the Supreme Court. Oh what’s that? Seven anti-abortion justices won’t even hear another abortion case? There’s a reason for that and it’s called the U.S. Constitution.”

Yes, that is correct. Again, not really interested in what the constitution says. It has been wrong before, and it is wrong again.

“The principle is the right to privacy guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”

Boris, AGAIN, I mean moral principle. Are you really defending the claim that the US constitution is the ultimate standard of right and wrong?

“Do also you think you can go through a green light when a police vehicle is speeding through the intersection?”

Right, and there is another example of conflict of rights. Good.
“ Some of your arguments are just ridiculous.”

Thanks!

“The fact that you even have to ask this question proves my point. Rights cannot contradict each other and a court would have to decide, albeit after the fact, if the property owner was within his rights putting a fleeing subject in harm’s way by evicting him. That’s because rights cannot contradict each other. Yikes!”

So I guess I don’t get what we’re arguing about anymore. Right, rights don’t contradict each other, but there are circumstances where they come in conflict with each other and the one with the greatest thing to lose gets the rights. Great.

“That is insane. Your right to the pursuit of happiness does not allow you to infringe on other people’s rights. If you think that is a conflict of rights the courts will explain to you that rights cannot contradict each other and your conflict is imaginary.”

Good, so this continues to be evidence for the fact that rights do not contradict each other (something I never argued) but that they can conflict.

“Modernism is not a religion and it has no dogmas that must be adhered to.”

Oh come on, Boris, I’m just being sarcastic, lighten up ?

“Your “thought experiment” is not very well thought out. For a woman to have her unborn daughter’s genitals mutilated the fetus would have to be at least six months along in development. Abortions after six months are illegal in the United States as they should be, unless the mother’s life is in danger from the pregnancy.”

Boris, for the 1000th time, I’m talking morally, not legally. I don’t care about the legal question. Would it be immoral?

“So unless the woman can show that her life is in danger if she doesn’t mutilate her potential child’s genitals she shouldn’t be allowed to do such a thing.”

So you ARE telling a woman what she can and can’t do with her body?

“Of course this mutilation is done because it keeps women from enjoying sex when they reach maturity.”

Yeah, it’s a horrible thing.

“You most certainly did imply that those things would follow. I cut and pasted part of what you said in my answer and anyone can go back and check it out.”

I see what you’re referring to here, and while I only said a relationship with him and heaven, I see your point. That was somewhat of an oversight on my part.

“Why do theism and Christianity need their own careful defenses may I ask?”

Because it is very possible that Theism could be true but Christianity false. Right?

“Could it be because the arguments used to support them are so ridiculous?”
No, it’s because it’s very possible that Theism could be true and Christianity false.

“The very need for a thing called ‘apologetics’ is an example of the weakness of the theistic argument. ‘God’ always needs apologies, rationalizations, explanations, equivocations, excuses.”

Wait, so because we defend something, it follows that it is indefensible? Don’t people spend their lives defending philosophical positions, political positions, etc? How does it follow that if someone defends something, then their position is weak?
“Then after we find that all of the “truth” claims of all the religions are as bogus as a three-dollar-bill what do we do?”

Natural religion, as I mentioned above.

“Worship God in our own way or just ignore him the way he does us?”

Probably our own way, though it would not be irrational to do so in a group.

“Since it is impossible for me to have any positive, clear idea of that which is infinite and incomprehensible, I cannot conceive otherwise than He… expects or requires no worship or praise from us. “ Benjamin Franklin

Why do we need positive and clear ideas of infinite and comprehensible in order to worship?

Boris, I should not have brought up a defense of Christianity because at this point, there is simply too much to respond to. I do apologize, but there are waaaaaaay too many issues in the discussion of Christianity to adequately address here. This was my fault for bringing it up, and I apologize. Perhaps we can come back to it some other time.

“So what? You don’t believe that. You believe that God has left plenty of evidence for his existence. Well, where and what is it? No more arguments. Let’s see some real evidence.”

What is the difference between arguments and evidence?

“Yes that would be correct real testable evidence and no more arguments. You’re never going to get to that bridge because it doesn’t exist. Below is not evidence, it’s by your own admission an argument and arguments are NOT evidence.”

So here is the question- what is science based on? How do we determine the scientific method which tells us that we can trust evidence?
“We know the universe in its present ever-expanding form had a beginning. But as I have already stated, since observation tells us that matter cannot be created or destroyed the mass-energy that comprises the universe must always have existed. THAT, like it or not, IS the scientific consensus. Do you believers actually think that scientists are just unaware of your arguments and that if they were only made aware of them they would all change their minds and believe the silly things you believe? I mean your arguments are just barely good enough convince someone who desperately wants to believe them anyway. In other words they aren’t any good at all.”

I don’t see how this is any different than what I already responded to.

“You have misstated what the Big Bang Theory really says and doesn’t say. The theory does not say that matter was created by or during the Big Bang but already existed in a singularity. So your second premise fails.”

You claim the universe did not begin to exist?

“Describe nothing. What is nothing? If it has properties then that makes it something.”

Nothing is that which has no properties.

“Cosmologists will tell you that nothing is still something to them.”

Yes, I do believe you, which is one of the reasons that physicist are the worst philopshers.

“Yet that is exactly what you theists claim happened – the universe was magically created out of nothing.”

Not quite. We believe it came MATERIALLy from nothing, not efficiently. In other words, there was no pre-existing matter, but it was efficiently caused by God, so in that sense, it is not nothing. Nothing observable/ material we would say.

“The scientific consensus is that the mass-energy that comprises the universe always existed.”

Mass-energy? I don’t think this is true.

“That’s really funny because while an elephant or tiger popping into your room is beyond your imagination the appearance of an angel in your room is not. Yet you have just as much evidence for angels magically appearing as you do elephants and tigers appearing out of nothing. Perhaps you don’t see the humor in that.”

This doesn’t really address my point.

“ If your “evidence” is so plausible then how come cosmologists don’t see it your way?”

I can’t account for why certain people don’t believe. There is either a metaphysical or moral something they may not want to give up. And actually, the truth is that most philopshers and cosmologists who hear this argument will always concede that the universe began to exist, but deny that everything that comes into being must have a cause. I’ve never heard the “mass-energy” before, and I’m pretty sure you’re in the minority there.

“Because scientists base what they believe on evidence and they know what it would take to change what they believe and arguments just don’t cut it. And that is all you have, arguments. Arguments are NOT evidence.”

What is the scientific method based on? Is it based on evidence?

“It’s true, I look for evidence and I don’t give much weight to arguments because they are usually nothing more than elaborate smokescreens ESPECIALLY when they are made to defend absurd claims about the supernatural.”

Isn’t this an argument? Hasn’t all of what we have been doing a giant argument?

Boris May 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm

It is attempting to get at WHY we value human life. Why is it wrong to kill. I want to know what you think makes someone valuable.

Response: Because we know life is valuable to us, we know it’s important to every other living thing. However not all life has the same value to us. Whether we want to admit it or not, some human lives are more important than others. The life of a loved one is more important to us than someone we’ve never met. We would likely risk our own life to save the life of a loved one, but perhaps not to save the life of an unknown person we’d never met.

No, they are not, ever.

Response: I didn’t realize just how evil and depraved a person you really are. People like you who want to force women to give birth to a rapist’s child are among the most dangerous, immoral, unthinking people on the planet. You want to force parenthood on people who do not want it or worse on people who are not ready for it. And that is the real issue in this abortion debate: forced parenthood. You falsely claim to be concerned about the unborn when your real concern is with the fact that many people are enjoying guilt free and happy sex lives and you, because of the sexual hang-ups caused by your religious beliefs cannot. We know this is true because you do not believe that a child has a right to be wanted by its parents. This is a VERY important point. You people are all the same and you are not fooling anyone but yourselves. Unless you are getting or paying for an abortion, abortion is none of your business. “Being Christian is no longer defined by doing good deeds [but] by an arrogant mission to tell others how they must live – who they can marry, who they can adopt, what they much teach in schools…” – Tom Gilroy

Boris, while I want to be very sympathetic to yoru situation, the problem is that your argument about “unless abortion has affected you, you are not qualified to make any claims” is an ad hominum. The truth is, you don’t have any idea in what ways abortion has affected my life. Suppose I tell you it hasn’t ever in the least. Is abortion therefore justified?

Response: It just means that your comments are baseless because you have no idea what you are talking about. You speak from a position of total ignorance, which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t willful ignorance.

No, I mean you aren’t able to give a concise and strong philosophical defense of the right to an abortion.

Response: Oh yes I did and that answer totally destroyed your position. That’s why you are pretending I haven’t already successfully defended my position. Again it is immoral to force a woman to give birth to a child she does not want. You, on the other hand, haven’t given any defense at all to your anti-abortion position. You have to distort the language and call abortion murder because without that, you have no defense and you know it too. Murder bad. Yes we know that but abortion is NOT murder. So why is abortion wrong? Answer up Bobby. No more games.

I’ve spent years studying this and thinking about it. In fact, I gave a long defense of the Catholic Church’s position on another post here on Fallible Blogma. I think it was under the title “Is the birth control pill an abortifacient?” or something like that. You can read about it there if you wish.

Response: Your Bible tells how to administer an abortificant to a suspected adulteress. So neither your holy book nor your God is pro-life. In fact the Bible is pro-choice which is why the Catholics got caught with their citations down during the Roe v Wade trial.

I would be happy to defend the claims of the Catholic Church here and apologize profusely for the sins of some of our priests and the poor way in which it was handled, but there is simply too much right now.

Response: I would never support an evil entity no matter what. However, it is quite obvious that my moral standards are much more stringent that yours are.

So there is no problem with slicing up the vagina of a fetus in utero. Okay, that is all I need to know.

Response: You are purposely misrepresenting what I said. At first I thought you were misrepresenting what I say and what science says out of ignorance but now I see you do it because you are intellectually dishonest and must rely on typical unethical Christian debating techniques to try to make your points. That’s par for the course because I have never met an honest Christian in my entire life. I don’t believe such a person can exist. Religion makes liars out of people. It never fails.

Yes, that is correct. Again, not really interested in what the constitution says. It has been wrong before, and it is wrong again.

Response: So, your Bible and your Church have been wrong plenty of times. In fact they are wrong about EVERYTHING. Why are you still interested in what they say?

Boris, AGAIN, I mean moral principle. Are you really defending the claim that the US constitution is the ultimate standard of right and wrong?

Response: There is no ultimate standard of right and wrong. Every one of us needs to figure that out for ourselves.
Boris, for the 1000th time, I’m talking morally, not legally. I don’t care about the legal question. Would it be immoral?

Response: Disfiguring a fetus is not as immoral as telling a small child that there is a God who can read his or her mind and will punish them for not believing it exists. Next to murder that is the most disgusting and immoral thing anyone can do to a child. Parents who raise their children to be Christians are child abusers, every one of them.
So you ARE telling a woman what she can and can’t do with her body?

Response: No, I’m just voicing my opinion. I don’t have any right to tell anyone what she or he can do with his or her body, and NEITHER DO YOU.
Yeah, it’s a horrible thing.

Response: Then why does your pope think it’s such a great idea?
Because it is very possible that Theism could be true but Christianity false. Right?

Response: No it isn’t possible that either one is true. Not a chance.
Wait, so because we defend something, it follows that it is indefensible? Don’t people spend their lives defending philosophical positions, political positions, etc? How does it follow that if someone defends something, then their position is weak?

Response: When you don’t have any evidence to back your position, and you do not, then yes your position is indefensible.

Probably our own way, though it would not be irrational to do so in a group.

Response: Yes believers always need strength in numbers to support their shaky belief systems. We don’t see atheists getting together once or more a week to throw their hands in the air and sing, shout, screech and listen to some babbling superstitious moron talk about what they are trying to believe. Only religious people do that and it’s insane.

Why do we need positive and clear ideas of infinite and comprehensible in order to worship?

Response: That’s right just worship because other people tell you to. There’s a good reason. Not.

Boris, I should not have brought up a defense of Christianity because at this point, there is simply too much to respond to. I do apologize, but there are waaaaaaay too many issues in the discussion of Christianity to adequately address here. This was my fault for bringing it up, and I apologize. Perhaps we can come back to it some other time.

Response: Yeah, I don’t think you want to go down the Jesus never existed trail because you would quickly learn what you do not want to know. This isn’t the thread for that anyway.

What is the difference between arguments and evidence?

Response: Here’s a good example. The existence of transitional fossils is evidence for evolution by natural selection. The creationist claim that transitional fossils do not exist is just an argument. Of course there isn’t any evidence that transitional fossils don’t exist because they do and they are on display in museums and universities all over the world. Understand now? In other words we have the fossils so we win.

You claim the universe did not begin to exist?

Response: You read what I said, how come you don’t understand? The mass-energy that comprises the universe must always have existed in one form or another.

Yes, I do believe you, which is one of the reasons that physicist are the worst philopshers.

Response: And philosophers produce what exactly? Compared to what scientists produce, philosophers are a big bunch of hot air.

Not quite. We believe it came MATERIALLy from nothing, not efficiently. In other words, there was no pre-existing matter, but it was efficiently caused by God, so in that sense, it is not nothing. Nothing observable/ material we would say.

Response: All cosmologies – whether secular or theological – are forced to contemplate an infinite regress, either in the form of mass-energy or in the form of a god. So the question reverts to whether this infinite regress harmonizes with the mass-energy conservation laws as I have been suggesting, or whether a god violated the mass-energy conservation laws through an ex nihilo Creation event. So you are right back where you started having made no forward progress whatever in your God did it argument.

Mass-energy? I don’t think this is true.

Response: Well it is. Maybe you can pray that it isn’t.

I can’t account for why certain people don’t believe. There is either a metaphysical or moral something they may not want to give up.

Response: Yeah there it is. The old people don’t believe because they don’t want to admit there is a holy God who will judge and punish them argument. If you can’t see how stupid that argument is then you are even more delusional and brainwashed than I previously thought.

And actually, the truth is that most philopshers and cosmologists who hear this argument will always concede that the universe began to exist, but deny that everything that comes into being must have a cause. I’ve never heard the “mass-energy” before, and I’m pretty sure you’re in the minority there.

Response: Unlike you I don’t just make things up. Once again the scientific consensus is that the mass-energy that comprises the universe must always have existed in one form or another. Of course you don’t like this because it leaves no room for any god but especially your god.

What is the scientific method based on? Is it based on evidence?

Response: Yes, it’s based on results. It doesn’t take faith to believe scientific method produces results.

Isn’t this an argument? Hasn’t all of what we have been doing a giant argument?

Response: I present evidence and you counter with spurious arguments. This is why I have debunked all of your claims and you haven’t been able to counter anything I’ve said. If I were you I’d just give up because you have absolutely no chance of winning this debate. You’re on the wrong side of it. But then when have Christians EVER been on the right side of social progress, medical progress or advancing science. Never and you never will be either.

Bobby Bambino May 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Boris,

The main problem is that you continue to bring up more and more issues without really resolving or even addressing adequately the other ones. Take for example the facts of biology that Joanna and I presented you. Those have been blown off, and you still act as if the unborn are not human or alive, and the discussion really can’t progress anywhere. In addition, you’ve brought up the case of rape and incest, contraception, infallibility of the pope, evolution, the bible, pedophile priests, the existence of God, abortion in general, and a whole host of other issues. It is simply too much to try and give solid, careful defenses of all of them. Thus I am going to try and shift the focus back to the main questions. If I left out any points that you made that you felt were particularly good, please let me know.

Also, I don’t know who you think all the “I win, you’re dumb” talk is impressing, but it is tiring, and I’m finding that as you post more frequently, the percentage of such comments is strictly increasing monotonically.

“Because we know life is valuable to us, we know it’s important to every other living thing. However not all life has the same value to us. Whether we want to admit it or not, some human lives are more important than others. The life of a loved one is more important to us than someone we’ve never met. We would likely risk our own life to save the life of a loved one, but perhaps not to save the life of an unknown person we’d never met.”

This does not ground the value of human beings in anything objective. That is the point I am trying to get at. Do human beings have OBJECTIVE, intrinsic value or not? You seem to be implying that the only reason any human being has value is because another human being decides to value it. Is this correct?

No, they are not, ever.

“We know this is true because you do not believe that a child has a right to be wanted by its parents. This is a VERY important point.”

Suppose a wanted child is born, and a year after his birth, he is not wanted by his parents anymore- do his parents have a right to kill him?

“It just means that your comments are baseless because you have no idea what you are talking about. You speak from a position of total ignorance, which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t willful ignorance.”

Again Boris, I have neither said that I have been involved nor not been involved in abortion. If I was involved in abortion, how would that change the validity of the arguments? How would it not?

“Again it is immoral to force a woman to give birth to a child she does not want.”

My claim is that it is prima facie wrong to directly kill an innocent human being either as a means or an end. We tried going through the conflicting rights discussion, and it went nowhere.

“You, on the other hand, haven’t given any defense at all to your anti-abortion position. You have to distort the language and call abortion murder because without that, you have no defense and you know it too. Murder bad. Yes we know that but abortion is NOT murder. So why is abortion wrong?”

Abortion is wrong because it takes the life of an innocent human being. I have already established that the unborn is a human being; that it is a scientific fact that each one of us were once an embryo. I value human life because of WHAT it is. I am trying to see why you value human life. You seem to be saying above (correct me if I’m wrong) that there is no intrinsic value in human beings. If that is the case, then we would be morally justified in killing a one year if we no longer valued the 1 year old, as I mentioned above.

“You are purposely misrepresenting what I said. At first I thought you were misrepresenting what I say and what science says out of ignorance but now I see you do it because you are intellectually dishonest and must rely on typical unethical Christian debating techniques to try to make your points. That’s par for the course because I have never met an honest Christian in my entire life. I don’t believe such a person can exist. Religion makes liars out of people. It never fails.”

This does not at all address the FGM scenario. So again, please. Is it morally permissible for a woman to perform FGM on her unborn daughter? Not legally, but morally. Will you tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her body?

“There is no ultimate standard of right and wrong.”

Now this is a strange comment coming from someone who says that “Next to murder that [telling a child about God] is the most disgusting and immoral thing anyone can do to a child.” If there is no standard of right and wrong, how can it be wrong to tell a child that God exists? Perhaps when you say immoral, it is only emotive? But okay, excellent. So, just to be sure, there is nothing wrong with rape. There is nothing wrong with torturing a small child for fun. There is nothing wrong with priests who molest little boys. There is nothing wrong with me lying and purposefully misrepresenting your views here on this blog. It’s all a matter of preference. Correct?

“Here’s a good example. The existence of transitional fossils is evidence for evolution by natural selection. The creationist claim that transitional fossils do not exist is just an argument. Of course there isn’t any evidence that transitional fossils don’t exist because they do and they are on display in museums and universities all over the world. Understand now? In other words we have the fossils so we win.”

First of all, I’m not a creationist. But what I’m trying to ask is what do you base the belief that evidence is strong justification for something in? In other words, my guess is that you have convinced yourself through argumentation that in order for something to be true, there must be evidence for it. But think about the claim “in order for something to be true, there must be evidence for it.” Is there evidence for that claim?

“You read what I said, how come you don’t understand?”

I’m just reiterating, Boris. Geeze, calm down.

“And philosophers produce what exactly? Compared to what scientists produce, philosophers are a big bunch of hot air.”

Again, the point I’m trying to get at is that good science is based on good philosophy.

“Yes, it’s based on results. It doesn’t take faith to believe scientific method produces results.”

No again, I’m talking about the philosophical underpinnings. What makes a good experiment? Why can’t I make up data? At what point can I conclude that a certain theory is true? These aren’t questions that have evidential evidence, but are based on philosophy.

I hope you have a nice day.

Boris May 21, 2011 at 8:16 am

Obviously any part of the human body is alive. Your nose is alive so it’s clear that a fetus is alive. When does life begin? You say life begins at conception. But isn’t an unfertilized egg alive? The question isn’t about when life begins or whether a fetus is alive. The question is whether or not a fetus has personhood and if it has any rights. Well it does, especially after six months of development. But a pregnant woman has rights too. You don’t believe that because your male dominated religion is bent on keeping power out of the hands of women and making them second class citizens like they were in the good ole days when your religion ruled the Western World with a bloody fist. I just wish you people would admit what your real agenda is and quit hiding behind this phony facade of pretending to care about the unborn. We both know you and the rest of your anti-choice fascists don’t give a hoot about the unborn. You all but admitted that when you said you don’t think a fetus has the right to be wanted by its parents. So we know how much you care about the fetus’s rights. It’s not about giving rights to a fetus at all, but just taking rights away from women. Stop lying and admit you are sexually frustrated and riddled with guilt every time you even think about having sex and are angry that the rest of us are not. Let’s get to the heart of this issue shall we? Do you think we unbelievers don’t know that this is your problem? Dude, there are just too many former Christians out there now telling us exactly how they really felt when they believed the absurd things you people believe. Don’t try to snow me any more. It’s okay to be more concerned with your own unhappy sex life than you are with the unborn. You have to realize that making other people miserable is not going to solve your particular problems with intimacy. You have to solve them yourself and you can’t do that until you realize that your religion has made you this way. Once you can admit that this is the root of your anti-choice stance we can move forward.

Boris May 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

Here’s a little gem I found on the Internet.
You name it. If it’s sexual,
the Roman Catholic Church is likely to have problems with it:
Jesus’ mother Mary couldn’t even be conceived like every other human being, she had to have an “Immaculate Conception”

Mary had a baby, but unlike every other woman who has ever had a baby, Mary had hers without any sex being involved. She was a virgin not just before, but during and after the conception of her child.
Jesus couldn’t have any brothers and sisters, despite the mention of such in the Gospels, as that would mean that Mary and Joseph engaged in the unmentionable.
According to the Catholic Church, Joseph, Mary & Jesus never had sex, John the Baptist didn’t have sex, the 12 apostles didn’t (at least after becoming apostles) , Paul of Tarsus didn’t. Nobody who mattered engaged in procreative activity.
masturbation is a “mortal sin”, reason enough to earn one eternal damnation,
birth control is a “mortal sin”, reason enough to earn one eternal damnation,
abortion is a “mortal sin”, reason enough to earn one eternal damnation,
artificial insemination is a “mortal sin”, reason enough to earn one eternal damnation,
divorce and remarriage is a “mortal sin”, reason enough to earn one eternal damnation.
stem-cell research is wrong.
women in the priesthood is wrong.
even priests being joined in holy matrimony to women is wrong (as they would then experience the unmentionable).
marriage between people of the same gender is wrong.
even marriage between one man and one woman, though one of its sacraments, is treated like a “necessary evil”, tolerated only for those not good enough to be called to “holy orders” or to becoming “brides of Christ”.
One of Roman Catholicism’a favorite bible verses seems to be I Corinthians: 7:7-9 where Paul of Tarsus wrote, “I wish that all were (celebates) as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better (i.e. a lesser evil) to marry than to be aflame with passion.”
H.L. Mencken could just as well have been speaking of Roman Catholic clerics when he spoke of fundamentalists having “a terrible, pervasive fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun.”

Boris May 21, 2011 at 8:59 am

A bunch of perverts who have sex with eac other ans with little boys have convinced you people that sex is only for procreation. I cannot think of anything more absurd.

Sage July 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I agree with many things Boris says. I do believe much of the pro-life argument is based on not being able to have enjoyable sex (God is watching you! Always!!!) and knowing there are people who do. That’s why so many jump in with “if you have sex then you have to be prepared to ‘suffer’ the consequence of having that baby whether you want one or not.” You really would like to see everyone follow the archaic, bronze age rules your church made up.
I don’t hear any of you arguing about the murder that takes place in other countries when our gov’t sends men there to kill. Why is that? Why is it so wrong for one woman to decide she isn’t going to take every pregnancy to term, but heroic for men to go to other countries to kill its citizens in the name of whatever appeals at the time, “Manifest Destiny, Democracy, whatever” ? Are you against war as much as you’re against sexual freedom and choice for women?

Matthew Warner July 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Sage – You’re all over the place. First, who said anything about not having enjoyable sex? The Church certainly doesn’t teach that. Quite the opposite actually.

And to answer your questions, the Church (as am I) is completely against unjust wars. And the Church (as am I) is not at all against the sexual freedom and choice for women. It is, however, against allowing one person’s right to “freedom” or “choice” infringe on another person’s right to life (a more fundamental right). I am free to choose as I please, until it means that my “choice” is to kill somebody else. Then it becomes immoral. And it also introduces a moral obligation on the part of the rest of us to protect the endangered life as much as we are able.

JoAnna July 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Sage,

“God is watching you!! Always!!”

Hmm, the problem there is that abortion is not a religious issue; it’s a human rights issue. See http://www.secularprolife.org.

“I don’t hear any of you arguing about the murder that takes place in other countries when our gov’t sends men there to kill.”

Legitimate defense and just war =/= the murder of innocent children.

Killing innocents is always wrong, regardless of if it’s in the context of war or abortion. If the military (or any country) or any individual in the military knowingly and deliberately targets and kills an innocent person, then it’s an evil just like abortion. I’ve yet to hear any pro-lifer claim otherwise. It is not, however, immoral to target enemy combatants for the purpose of self-defense when involved in a just war (google Just War Doctrine) for more info).

What you need to understand, Sage, is that killing is not always wrong, but murder always is. Abortion is never killing; it’s always murder.

Boris July 19, 2011 at 8:46 am

Abortion is NOT murder. You can say it is but it’s like saying the moon is cheese.

JoAnna July 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

All evidence is to the contrary, Boris.

Boris July 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

JoAnna,
I’d ask you to present this evidence but we both know there isn’t any. What you have to defend your absurd contention that abortion is murder is a bunch of fatally flawed arguments. You know the same kind of fatally flawed arguments commonly used to argue for the existence of God. You are welcome to present them to me and I will be glad to demonstare the flaws in them for you.

“In any case, the prevailing medical opinion is that, at least as far as the first trimester goes, there simply is not yet sufficient maturation of the developing brain and nervous system to give the fetus any real ability to achieve consciousness or self-awareness. The ethical conclusion that follows from this is inescapable: at least during the first trimester and possibly into the third, a fetus is simply not a “person;” and therefore an early-term abortion does not constitute “murder.”

Robert P. Tucker, Ph.D., Minister
Lake Region Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
3140 Troy Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33803

Matthew Warner July 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Boris – the fatally flawed argument here is yours. My goodness. For some one who pretends to be so logical, you certainly make some illogical arguments…and/or quote those who do. I know children who can point out the illogical fallacies of “Dr” Tucker’s conclusion.

Just because somebody is unconscious does not make them no longer a person. That’s absurd. If I lost consciousness right now, but was still alive, it would not be okay to kill me and treat me like I’m not a person. If you did kill me intentionally, it would be murder. That’s very simple.

There is overwhelming scientific evidence of when a human life begins (fertilization). I wrote more on that on this post here.

JoAnna July 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

As Matthew has already aptly pointed out, Boris, just because you refuse to accept the logical evidence doesn’t mean it ceases to exist.

I’ll see you’re quote and raise you over a dozen more by people just as qualified (if not more so) than Dr. Tucker (who has essentially said that if he is ever rendered unconscious, I am free to kill him): http://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html

JoAnna July 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm

*your quote… sorry… haven’t finished my coffee yet :)

Boris July 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Or demonstrate.

JoAnna July 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm

http://www.secularprolife.org

Check it out. Plenty of demonstration.

Boris July 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Your “evidence” obviously doesn’t fly with the Supreme Court now does it? And why do you think that is? Because arguments are NOT evidence.

Matthew Warner July 27, 2011 at 2:07 am

Boris – that makes no sense. There is plenty of evidence. Lots and lots of scientific evidence. There is no question about when a human life begins.

The Supreme Court can’t decide or determine that either. And, besides, they haven’t decided or ruled on when human life begins anyway. So I’m not sure what you’re talking about. They have ruled on a precedent (one set before a lot of this scientific evidence was available and understood) of when a human life has “civil rights” under the law. And that is at birth. Which is a shame. And wrong. But it doesn’t change the fact that there is a human life from fertilization and that human has natural and moral rights, regardless of whether or not 9 judges want to afford them “civil” rights.

You’ll also remember that the Supreme Court has gotten it wrong plenty of times before throughout history when it’s come to recognizing civil rights for certain classes of people.

JoAnna July 27, 2011 at 2:19 am

The Supreme Court decision used science from 1972 and before. Tell you what, Boris, why don’t you use science from 1972 and before, only, in any other scientific debate and see where that gets you.

Moreover, as Matthew aptly pointed out, they’ve been wrong before when it came to determinations of personhood (Dred Scott, for example).

Boris July 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Matthew said: Which is a shame. And wrong. But it doesn’t change the fact that there is a human life from fertilization and that human has natural and moral rights, regardless of whether or not 9 judges want to afford them “civil” rights.

All of that is simply your opinion. A pregnant woman has rights too. A fetus cannot be given rights that conflict with a woman’s rights. Contrary to your religious teachings, a woman is not a breeding animal.

Joanna,
You think fetuses have souls. What century does that kind of “science” come from? You don’t have any business appealing to science to support your archaic beliefs. We have seven, count them SEVEN anti-choice judges on the Supreme Court right now, a few of whom are religious fanatics. They are well aware of what modern science has to say about fetuses. Nothing has changed since 1973 that would make anyone change his or her mind about abortion. Besides the Bible is pro-choice. You’ve been caught with your citations down.

JoAnna July 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

Boris,

In the context of the secular pro-life movement, it is irrelevant whether or not fetuses have souls. The folks over at http://secularprolife.org don’t use that argument at all, for example.

I have never once, in this thread, used “fetuses have souls” as a pro-life argument. You are the one who has brought it up. Why are you bringing religion into a secular argument?

Are you honestly trying to argue that the sciences of maternal-fetal medicine, embryology, and related disciplines have not changed AT ALL since 1973? I think the thousands upon thousands of premature infants born at 26 weeks gestation who now have an astounding 90% rate of survival (compared to less than 30% in 1973) would argue with that.

You are being intellectually dishonest, Boris.

Boris July 29, 2011 at 8:44 am

Abortions at 26 weeks into a pregnancy are illegal unless the woman’s life is in danger. So who is being intellectually dishonest here? The religious wrong are always hinting and implying that many pregnancies occur late when the opposite is true and you KNOW it. Don’t think I didn’t notice that once again instead of presenting the new “evidence” that supposedly supports your case you once again posted an argument. Arguments are NOT evidence. Where and what is this new “evidence” that you are talking about?

“Nobody – except those who believe, on no evidence at all, that an immortal soul really is implanted in the embryo at the moment of conception, thus endowing it with complete humanity – can say at what point an embryo turns into a human being. The innocence of fetuses is not in doubt. But it is irrelevant: lettuces are innocent too. – Robert Hughes

Abortion is a difficult issue and there has to be some kind of compromise somewhere. Most of us don’t know exactly what that compromise should be. However we can always count on religious people to “know” what is best for everyone else because:

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cutural inferiority. The more uncivilized the person, the surer they are that they know precisley what is right and what is wrong.” – H.L. Mencken

sage August 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm

What I need to understand (who made you the expert Joanna?), is that killing is not always wrong! Murder is always wrong and abortion is murder!So you make an arbitrary distinction between killing and murder! Your 10 commandments say, “Thou shalt not kill” do they not? It does not say thou shalt not “murder”!
A real living, breathing woman is more important to me than a “possible life”, a fetus. I don’t understand why a fetus is more important to you than a living woman. I don’t understand why anyone in a country founded on “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” would ever wish to force any woman to give birth.
Throughout history women have tried various ways to control their lives by using whatever was available to prevent pregnancy, aborting unwanted pregnancies, and even leaving newborns somewhere exposed to the elements when they could not care for them. I don’t believe this has been easy for women to do and I don’t believe abortion is an easy thing for women to do. We are the only ones who can give life. We are the only ones who can make a decision about when we give life and when we don’t.
Until there is a 100 percent effective method of birth control, rational education about that birth control for all young women and men, there will be abortions. If abortion is ever illegal again, back street and unsafe abortions will return and women will die as they did before abortion was legalized.
Not everyone believes what you believe. There are more and more people who believe that we alone are responsible for our lives. We do not have to follow your beliefs about what we are supposed to do. Your religious beliefs are just your beliefs, that’s all, and you cannot impose your religious beliefs on the rest of us. That is what the supreme court recognized when abortion was legalized in this country.
No woman should ever be forced to give birth, not by any government and not by any religion. There is no “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for any woman forced to give birth against her will.

JoAnna August 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm

You’re making assumptions that I’m an “expert,” sage, and that’s a claim I haven’t made. Please feel free to do some independent research to verify what I say. In a Catholic context (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 2261), the commandment “you should not kill” specifies an INNOCENT or RIGHTEOUS person. This definition fits an unborn child, but not a criminal convicted via due process of law.

However, if you propose to give the unborn due process of law before executing them, I am in favor of that proposition.

Also, as I’ll elaborate on below, abortion is not a religious issue so it’s really irrelevant.

A real living, breathing woman is more important to me than a “possible life”, a fetus.

A fetus has actual life from the moment of his or her existence. An unborn child is not a potential person; rather, s/he is a person with potential. I believe their rights should be equal, and that one should not be valued over the other.

I don’t understand why anyone in a country founded on “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” would ever wish to force any woman to give birth.

In 99% of cases, a woman has the free choice not to get pregnant in the first place — it’s called abstaining from sex. If she elects to make the choice to have sex, then she is implicitly consenting to the consequences of that act. One possible consequence is conception of a child.

I don’t understand why anyone who believes in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” would deny those rights to innocent human beings.

We are the only ones who can make a decision about when we give life and when we don’t.

That’s right, and the time for that decision is prior to engaging in sexual intercourse, as all methods of birth control have a failure rate.

Not everyone believes what you believe.

Likewise.

Your religious beliefs are just your beliefs, that’s all, and you cannot impose your religious beliefs on the rest of us. That is what the supreme court recognized when abortion was legalized in this country.

Abortion isn’t a religious issue. See http://secularprolife.org. Why do you (and Boris) keep insisting that abortion is a religious issue when it isn’t?

As for Roe v. Wade, it was not based on religion but rather on an implied “right to privacy” (which does not exist in the Constitution). It was a poorly rendered decision, much like Dred Scott was, and I believe it will someday be overturned.

No woman should ever be forced to give birth, not by any government and not by any religion.

I absolutely agree. That’s why women (and men!) need to understand that if they don’t want to conceive a child, they need to abstain from sexual intercourse.

However, once a child is created, s/he is a living, developing human being who ALSO has a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and it is unjust for his/her parents to deprive him/her of that right.

Boris August 8, 2011 at 7:35 am

What’s the matter Matt? You didn’t like finding our just how uncivilized the rest of the world thinks you are because of your archaic and backward views? I guess I’m banned which means it’s time for me to declare another victory in a debate with unthinking people. That’s right Matt, I crushed you in this debate. You’ll have to live with that from now on. ROFL!

Matthew Warner August 8, 2011 at 8:32 am

Boris – I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I’m also not sure how I’m going to live with that from now on. It’s going to be tough. Thank you for the encouragement and the laughs along the way, though.

JNdoum June 10, 2012 at 12:21 am

Ah, Boris. Where do I begin? I will admit that when it comes to abortion, I am biased. I lost a brother and a sister to abortion, and was very close to being aborted myself. I love children, and think every person is special and deserves life. I am a Roman Catholic. I’m only 15 years old. However, I can see that your arguments are all short-sighted, biased, inconclusive, slightly insane, and very angry.

I don’t care whether life begins at conception. I don’t care when you think someone is a human being. I do care about how inconvenient it would be to a woman to bear the child of a rapist, or a child of incest. I also care about how unfair it would be to be placed in the womb of that woman, and killed for the sins of your father.

The fact that you compared unborn babies to lettuces shows a lot, in my opinion. Your horrendous butchering of grammar mized with your disregard for human life shows a lot as well. Your vast ignorance of Christian and Catholic theology, lies about Catholicism (such as the pope supporting FGM, and the nonsense about the Church’s teachings on sex), and general ungentlemanly tone to men and women alike show a lot as well.

You suffer from a poor understanding of God, my good sir. He does not condemn people to hell, and people are not condemned to hell, for singular sins. The Catholic Church has never taught this, nor has it ever been this way. Your denials of the existence of Jesus and the apostles are rather riddiculous. Your statements on the seeming ever-existence of matter makes no conceptual sense, and your scientific thinking is flawed. Science, by nature, observes phenomena in the natural world, and reports on it. How can it then claim to disprove something which has never been claimed to exist in the natural world, but rather in the spiritual, non matter based world (I include energy as matter, in case this is unclear)? Furthermore, you just appall me in every way, and I try to mean this as politely as it is possible to mean it.

You claim that Catholicism tries to suppress sexuality. This is untrue, rather it supports sexuality in it’s only healthy sphere, which is to say, within marriage. You claim that we believe that women are baby making factories, or something of that nature, and we most certainly do not. Women are not required or even necessarily expected to have babies, and women can serve many other functions in life and in the Church than childbearing.

You misunderstand the idea of the Immaculate Conception, which did in fact include sex. It merely states than the Virgin Mary was born without original sin, and concupiscience that goes with it. The idea that sex would be involved in Jesus’ birth is rather sick. The nature of Mary’s sex life after Jesus’ birth is rather irrelevant to anything relevant.

Basically, when it comes to sex we believe in self-control, because one simply cannot deny that it’s main function is reproduction, and (theologically) strengthening the marital bond. Contraception is frowned on because it is mostly abortifacients, and when it’s not it is either being used in a morally questionable way or it is an attempt to prevent the lifegiving attribute of sex, which I could go on and on about. The point is, whether or not you think masturbation, homosexual acts, or contraception are okay does not give you the right to harass other people for believeing otherwise. Heavens.

Now that the sex rant is over, I must say that you seem to be in love with yourself. You try to hide it behind so-called “free thinking,” but you believe that everyone who thinks differently from you (either by being a theist or by opposing one of your worldviews) is either inferior to you or infinitely hateful. It is evident from your few discussions on theology that you know nothing about it, and therefore you are hardly in a position to argue about it.

A really big question of mine is why you decided to come onto a decidedly Catholic website and harass the Catholics who dared show up on said website, but of course this is irrelevent. To point, you really should research a religion before making sweeping judgements on it (this goes for every faith, from Christianity to Zorastrianism to Buddhism to Vanic Paganism to Satanism). I mean really, how can you hope to be accurate if you know nothing about it?

More importantly, how do you believe you will get anyone over to your view of thinking when you insist on insulting our moral values, persons, history, traditions, lifestyles, and intelligence with every post you make? You have thoroughly convinced me to remain a Catholic, even if I were to lose all faith in God, Jesus, and the validity of the pope and magisterium. Your blind hatred, prejudice, bumbled arguments, inaccuracies, and rage make me seriously question your sanity. It’s an Internet discussion, and you’re making it into the war for Cuba’s independence from Spain.

As someone who has not only been spared of abortion, who has felt what it’s like to live a crappy life (I lived off of food stamps, welfare, and child support for the first twelve years of my life with my Mom, and lived in foster care for two years after that), and what it’s like to feel unwanted (my Mom had pretty much raised me to hate my Dad, and our relationship quickly became strained), I have to say that I appreciate and I appreciated life a lot more than I hated going through that. To give me nonsense about how it would be better for people like me to have died as opposed to living makes me sick to my stomach. To say this with a straight face, and claim to be caring about the mother makes me even more sick. Tell me, could you look me in the eyes and tell me my crappy life means I should never have been allowed to live? How about my parents? They are immigrants from Africa, and have several family members who die from curable diseases. My step-cousin recently gave birth to twins, and only one of them survived. Do they not deserve to live because their lives are hard? How about my baby sister? My step mother had medical issues as she carried her, so birthing her was by no means convenient. Does my infant, 116-month old sister deserve to die because of that? What is wrong with you, man? How do you justify this? How do you decide who gets the right to live and die? You say you hate God? You hate a false image you created of God, and you’re worse than that is.

Now that I’ve sufficiently ranted, and feel exactly the same as I did when I typed everything above, but a little less tense, I must say I apologise for any offense I may have given. I just felt I had to say this, and to tell you my side of things, the side of the innocent. If you dismiss my claims for whatever reason… well I think that says all that needs to be said. On that note, God bless you, and have a nice day.

Tyler August 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I think someone needs to study particle physics. Anyone ever notice how all of the higher IQs are skeptics?

Bobby Bambino August 18, 2011 at 10:07 am

Hi Tyler. I study the Lusternik-Schnirelmann category of a topological space. What follows concerning the morality of abortion?

Marcotte April 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Alright, I will solve this simply by following natural law.
Creation IS the evidence of the Creator.
To say we have to define God is argumentatively wrong because by definition God defined us. If God does not exist then we do not exist because we are therby not defined. We exist. If we define God as infinite then we must go further and define infinity. Then we must go further and say infinity exists because we have created it and now is defined as “something” yet the “something” that created us does not exist? The simple version is: “I” have created an idea, but I can not say it is a new idea because I have not existed for of existence and therefore “I am” not the creator yet the one who has existed for all of existence is the original creator and has merely allowed me to “see” this idea and communicate it.
Let us argue that we do not exist. “I” do not exist yet “I am” defining myself as not existing so I must admit that “something” exist to define me? It does not work because the “something” the becomes God. If we take that to the next level of saying, “I” do not KNOW if I exist therefore I do not exist then I still have defined “know” and “knowledge” exist.
Finally, the unknown does not equate to unexistence. I do not know if something exists does not equate to it does not exist… I simply do not know. Now, I DO know (which is to say I am aware either partially or entirely) me, therefore I exist.

On the subject of abortion, the simply proof of life is that after birth someone has to care and protect this being. Certainly a newborn to perhaps a 7 year old (I do not know the youngest age someone survived without aid) can not survive on it’s own. I’m willing to argue that very few adults could truly survive without relying on other humans if you take into account needing the basics of food, shelter, and water. We rely on each other to survive, a group of people farm our food, another group builds our shelter, and still another group cleans and protects our water source, etc. The point is that a child outside the mothers body has a zero percentage of survival without aid while the child INSIDE the mothers body (even by the stated rate) has at least a 75% chance of survival until it’s birth. The exception is that you can not simply abandon the child like you would after birth but you have to physically REMOVE the child in a very unnatural way. Secondly if you abandon the child after birth there is a chance that another human can care and protect this child. In the womb however, the child is totally reliant on the mother and is on a natural “life support” system. Just as a child outside of the womb would die if you do not feed him of her and allow him or her to breathe and protect him or her from the elements, the child in the womb needs these necessities of LIFE as well.
Finally murder is defined as taking anothers life. So legally self-defense is still murder it is just not punishable because it is justified. Abortion is murder as well because the courts have stated that a some point there is life it to is simply not punishable because the jury is still out on the actual terms of “life”. Now first degree murder and other acts of violence are punishable if you cannot justify you actions and the prosecution can not prove you are guilty, so legally you are not held responsible for the action but it does not mean you didn’t commit the action. If you act out of passion or insanity the jury still decides your responsibility but the action still happened and another human being is still dead.

Marcotte April 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm

The above statement is a judgement of MY opinion and not a judgement of the aborted, abortee or aborter. I believe my creator judges me on what I have done and not done during my existence here, therefore it also follows that He is judge and I cannot overrule his authority in that I along with everyone else is the creation and have no moral or natural way to judge his works. My role is to speak what I believe is true and allow Him to constantly convert me closer to Him.
A follow up response to: even if God exist nothing would change. The answer is: Everything changes because God does exist.

Marcotte April 4, 2013 at 11:55 pm

One more thought on the subject, who has ever been born without being conceived? You show me scientific evidence of LIFE that was never conceived, that just started living out of thin air and I’ll submit to your evidence. There must be conception and pre-natal growth prior to any such birth, now if you continue to take it back with science until the sperm fertilizes the egg, there is nothing to grow and the sperm and egg die off. Reproduction (reproducing another being) begins with fertilization. Why is this still an argument? If the mother has “rights” over the fertilized egg why not let her have “rights” over her child until she dies or the child dies and not allow the child to have any “rights”? The mother/child have conflicting rights all the time, the mother has a right to protect herself from an abusive child just as much as the child has the right to protect him or herself from an abusive mother. Now if both are abusive towards each other who does the court side with?

Sage April 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Hi Marcotte,
Just wanted to respond by saying that to me the existence of thousands and thousands of universes being born, existing for eons, and dying all the time in space seems a great deal bigger than your idea of a creator God.
But perhaps I misunderstood you. Which creator god do you believe in? East Indian peoples believe in thousands of gods. Are they defined by thousands of gods?

Marcotte April 7, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Sage,
I suppose we are both in a search of sorts, I know nothing about the East Indian Peoples or their god(s). So for the sake of being logical and reasonable, you know I can not comment on such matters. This however does not eliminate my argument of a Creator, for I did not create my self and I did not create my environment so some other Being must have. I am defined by much more than my God as is to say that there are many influences throughout life that I am defined by but I can say that I am allowed to be defined because of my Creator. In other words without a Creator then nothing would exist and so therefore I would not be defined at all. If other peoples believe in multiple gods then my only question would be one of logic, how can You have more than one god and recognize the differences and identify with multiple gods? As another note, when do you stop having gods? I mean if you have twenty than why not twenty one, twenty two, etc? The second logical response is that I believe in an infinite god and so in turn there is no other God because that would collapse my belief in an infinite God. To simplify this, One God is enough and my definition of God would expel any other power or being even close to him. For if my God is the Creater of ALL things and is the beginning and the end then there is no other way to have any other god equal to him. I suppose logically he could create anything, even something close to his power but in the frame of matter he is still the original Creator. All roads lead back to him, all questions can be answered by him, all of time answers to him, etc. Now this logic ends the “who created God question” simply by saying nothing. It’s a question that needs not be abswered for the mere fact that I am not God and I believe he created me so if anything He should answer that question because I simply can not and I am okay with that. Surely it is acceptable to ask why I do not seek further and my answer to that is that I love my life and don’t want to drive myself crazy asking more questions. That’s where my second belief of revelation comes in handy. Basically I belief God reveals himself more and more to me on his terms. Who and I to demand answers? I appreciate the life I have and I seek the truth as I live daily moment by moment but I enjoy being ignorant in most cases. I belief my God knows my past and my future but there are some things I would rather not remember and would rather not know. As I age I get all of what God wants me to get. I have had moments that I have experienced God without a doubt and could tell you for sure it was nothing less that supernatural. That does not happen often but when it has I feel as if i’ve been given a secret of what my life is all about. I pray everyone has this relationship with God and can individually say they have experienced aomething unmistakably God.
Finally, this mountain of knowledge about the universe seems to intrigue people but I would argue that since my God is infinite why can’t his creation be infinite, if fact to us it surely must be puzzling and really all we can do is stand in awe. I was raise way out in a country town that had zero artificial lights and in that place you could witness more stars in the sky than you could even dream to count. I fear we have lost such awesome moments as a society that we have become disconnected to the reality of an exterior space beyond our daily walls. Just because the universe may be expanding first make it any less of Gods creation, to me in fact it proves that God is alive and well! Certainly The Creator never runs out of creativity. In the end I look to a doctor when I am sick, not a high school biology student, I ask the aid of a mechanic to fix my car, not a four year old with a set of play wrenches, and when it comes to my Faith, I seek the advice of the Roman Catholic Church with it’s years of study, not a life coach fresh out of college. No offense to any startup life coaches out there, but my journey is continuing and my conversion is constant.

Boris May 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

“One more thought on the subject, who has ever been born without being conceived? You show me scientific evidence of LIFE that was never conceived, that just started living out of thin air and I’ll submit to your evidence.”

So Jesus Christ could not have existed, right? Because that’s what you just said. ROFL!

JoAnna May 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Uh, Boris? Jesus was indeed conceived in his mother Mary’s womb. See Luke 1:31.

Boris May 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Oh sure. I need some evidence from some source independent of the Bible that proves Jesus actually existed. No such evidence exists nor did it ever. Jesus Christ is as fictional as Tooth Fairy. Jeusneverexisted.com will straighten you out.

Bobby Bambino May 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

But Boris, the point is that your “So Jesus Christ could not have existed, right? Because that’s what you just said.” argument does not work because Christians have believed that Jesus was conceived, as we say in the Apostle’s Creed “… was conceived by the Holy Spirit…”. So whether or not Jesus existed is irrelevant as to whether or not your “conception” argument works, which it does not.

Boris May 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Bobby,
Conceived means sperm contacts an egg. It doesn’t have anything to do with your Christian boogy boogy magic. Sorry I’m right. Again. As usual.

JoAnna May 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm

And what is your proof that sperm did not meet egg in Jesus’ conception? Logically, an all-powerful God could easily create divine sperm with which to fertilize Mary’s ovum.

Bobby Bambino May 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Well I’m not really sure why that ought to be part of the definition of conception. It seems that it is not

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conceive

And even if conception requires sperm and egg to meet (which I have not been able to find a definition that verifies this), this is not what Marcotte’s quote was talking about. In fact, we can look at those who have come about as a result of SCNT where an enucleated oocyte is “fused” with the nucleus of a skin cell to create life in a petri dish. This life is certainly not the result of sperm and egg meeting, but the life was most definitely conceived. So I do not think you are carefully considering Marcotte’s point.

JoAnna May 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Also, Boris, the arguments presented at the site you cited are laughably bad. Please see http://www.patheos.com/blogs/philosophicalfragments/2012/08/29/did-jesus-really-exist/ for additional resources.

Boris May 2, 2013 at 7:31 pm

“And what is your proof that sperm did not meet egg in Jesus’ conception?” Uh, because Jesus Christ never even existed. And FYI there is no God. Wake up and take a whiff of some science and have dose of common sense and welcome to the Godless 21rst Century. Then take an inventory of all the stupid things OTHER PEOPLE frightened you into believing without presenting a shred of evidence.

Matthew Warner May 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Boris – I think you have a very narrow view of theism. You should check out this great new website where you can dialogue and learn a lot about these issues in more depth. God bless. Here is the website: http://www.strangenotions.com/

JoAnna May 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Been there, done that, Boris. :) thanks anyway.

Please take a look at these resources for ample evidence that Jesus Christ did indeed exist: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/philosophicalfragments/2012/08/29/did-jesus-really-exist/

Oh, and I second the website that Matthew recommended as well.

Marcotte May 6, 2013 at 12:36 am

Well it appears there are more questions still. First allow me to respond to Boris. Out of respect for your family as I do not know them, Boris do you or at least did you not have a mother and a father that had sex and concieved you and then carried you until the time of live birth? At the very least these things had to have taken place for you to exist. Now after you were born alive and well the world raised you. I know that is shocking but truly at some point in time others besides your mother and father took care of you. Just sitting for a meal you have acknowledged that many hands have dealt with that single meal, from the person who works on the tractor to the person that refines the gas for the tractor to run to the planter who plants to the person who produced to stove in order to cook that meal to the person who made the bag that held the food in the store to the other person who didn’t eat that particular food and passed it up to the person who studied food safety and set a standard on how it’s stored, etc. Now that’s just one meal. I could use that scenario for your sleeping arrangments, your work life, your breathing, your general hygiene, etc. I can tell you are struggling with this awesome connection we experience daily, but I will simplify it to this fact, without God the system collapses. When we as a creation lose our relationship with our Creator we lose our life because we lose our connection. If we become selfish forget about the rest of creation then we do terrible things to each other and our habitat. Just look at the environmental movement. There came a time in which we lost touch with creation as the environment and we became selfish with the blessing The Creator allowed us to have, so we got greedy and wrecked whole parts of the Earth in a very short time. We are finally more conscience of this and are becoming more aware of our place in the world. You see, this same thing can and does happen with our spiritual selves. For example, we become lackluster or burned out and then say well, why do I have to help charity, let someone else do that, I’m good. And the response after a few weeks becomes, I should just give up helping all together, which leads to, I am unhappy and unfortunate and deserve even more than what has been given to me, etc. Now to make my point, this greed leads to death and despair by way of disconnection. We spit ourselves out of the system and say we are above creation and no one needs us and we need no one and then we suffer and finally wake up with a different attitude or slowly and quietly slip off to spiritual and physical death. How many people do you influence every day? What good have you done for someone else today? How have your actions mattered? Did you do something that could potential change the world? I know it sounds childish but had Mary not say “yes” and had Not the Holy Ghost (figured I would give you some laughter and something to comment on) concieve the child Jesus and had Joseph not take Mary with child to Bethlehem (for the first Borns were being executed ‘historically true’) and the inn keeper not have a place besides the stable, etc. You see we all have a critical role and a unique oppurtunity to witness and serve our Creator by witnessing and serving creation. You can ROFL all you want but be thankful God has allowed that floor to exist and be mindful of God giving you that laugh and be wary not to take rolling for granted for God has sustained you long enough to roll. For he has allowed you to be a part of his creation by allowing creation to let you live. He has breath life and called it good. With a bit less cynicism may you recognize how fragile he has made his creation in order that we may know him. I have accepted your apology long before you offered it just as you will accept my love long before you experience it. Peace be with you my brother.

Marcotte May 6, 2013 at 1:10 am

Just as the system was in place before us, the system will go on after us however the system is affected by us by our very existence. The system recognizes an unborn and is affected and therefore that unborn is alive and not “nothing” (as I’ve heard someone refer to a fetus). We know we are working against the natural flow of creation by removing pieces from the system unnaturally. As we work against creation we must acknowledge we are therefore working against the Creator. If we can’t follow natural law and be obedient to our instinct as we currently are then we continue to be disconnected. It is simply a mystery that is man made and false. How do you argue with confusion that claims to be a major part of the natural system? It doesn’t make sense because it’s not supposed to, the pro choice movement is just a time delay scheme. The longer it confuses and the more time it spends changing the system, the more the system as a whole looks normal but in reality it is not any where near natural. This is how the haulocaust became a reality and is now in our history lesson.

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