When Pigs Fly

Some of my readers may remember from part three of the Get A Life series, a syllogism that had been offered to me from someone defending abortion.  The following is the detailed version of the simplistic syllogism that was very loosely presented to me in the CARM chatroom by a regular who goes by the name Lance.  This argument was part of a larger comment presented on Get A Life, Part 3 along with comments of his own in response to others who commented on the post.

Get A Life, Part 3 was addressing personhood defenses of abortion overall, and Lance’s syllogism was mentioned in passing as an example of the depths some people will go to defend elective abortion.  To be fair, the syllogism I mentioned was what Lance offered, an argument worthy of being out of hand dismissed.  In Lance’s defense, due to the limits of a chatroom format, he did not offer this thorough version of his defense of elective abortion.  The following is the unedited version of Lance’s defense of abortion that was removed from his larger comment.

______________________________

Hello all, I am the person who offered this fellow the syllogism he speaks of, though he gave a slight misrepresentation (which does not make it unsound it but makes the argument slightly weaker). I will submit my version of the argument in quite a bit more detail than he gave;

(1) A human fetus (before the age of two trimesters) possesses less person-like qualities than an adult pig.

An adult pig demonstrates intelligence, agency, language abilities, some level of an understanding of moral obligations, sentience, ability to suffer, etc. Of course we can’t actually look into the mind of a pig, we are only observing it’s behavior and extrapolating these conclusions. Now this fellow claims that this closed list of qualities is rather arbitrary, and I would agree if that were the case but unfortunately for him I don’t present a closed list. In my argument I only speak of a few qualities that I am quite certain are seen as essential to personhood to people in general. I would not object to more qualities being added to the list, nor would I object to qualities being taken off the list if there was good reason to do so. Also I would like to point out that I never tried to define personhood nor will I. I think that philosophy of mind is in a sorry state and instead of trying to deal with it, I am claiming that we all share these intuitions on how to discern whether an object is a person or not as common ground, and from there am trying to show that a fetus does not possess rights.

(2) People, in general, believe they are morally justified in terminating the life of an adult pig for petty reasons, as personal pleasure. We do not receive any necessary nutrients from eating the flesh of a pig, the only benefit we get from it is that it tastes good.

(3) Persons are the bearers of moral rights.

You can not do evil to a rock or a tree, you can’t murder a blade of grass even though it’s just as alive as you and me. You can’t rape a sex doll or any other inanimate or animate sexual object.  You can murder a dog, you can rape a cat and you can do as much evil as your black little heart desires to most human beings. What have these objects got in common that the previous ones don’t? The first set did not possess (to our knowledge) any person-like qualities where as the second set did. Now this is not to say that a dog and a cat are just as much persons as humans are, I personally believe that personhood is somewhat of a fuzzy scale. It’s difficult to determine exactly how endowed with moral rights an object is, but I think we can look at our intuitions to get a sense of it. We do give animals rights, generally the more intelligent and the greater capacity for suffering, the more rights these creatures get.

If this analysis of our behavior doesn’t work for you in showing that humans are not the only type of thing which we intuitively believe possesses moral rights, then the next thought experiment I think shall be the nail in the coffin.

Consider a zombie. A living, breathing zombie. Now this zombie is a human being. It possesses every biological quality that you and I do. It has the same genetic structure, it looks like us, it even behaves some what like us. What is the difference between Mr. zombie and ourselves? This living animated human body is not intelligent, it is not sentient, it has no language abilities, does not have the capacity to suffer, and among other things demonstrates absolutely no understanding of moral reality. I don’t think anyone will argue that Mr. zombie has the right to life, or any rights for that matter. This zombie, though being human, is not a person.

Now consider a spirit (maybe a little woodland nymph), a robot (possibly C3PO), and an alien (why not ET?). These entities all demonstrate intelligence, sentience, knowledge of good and evil, etc. Maybe they don’t behave like us, spirits and robots don’t need to eat or sleep or go to the bathroom. The alien and spirit may have superhuman powers beyond our wildest dreams. Most importantly though, none of these entities are human. None of these entities look like us, have similar genetic structure (or even a genetic structure at all), or are of the human species.
Yet despite being nonhuman entities, all three of our little friends (if they existed) would have rights. Even the robot who couldn’t be said to be alive in any biological sense would have the right to have it’s functional existence protected from those who would seek to terminate it. These three entities are clear cases of nonhuman persons.

Now to draw this thought experiment out further, what would happen if we saw our zombie attempting to attack our alien? Would we try to protect the alien, even at the cost of killing the zombie? Yes we would of course.  What about protecting the alien at the cost of our own lives?
Well maybe some of you are selfish and wouldn’t die for another, but I think many  agree that it would be virtuous to die protecting the life of this nonhuman which demonstrated person-like qualities.

So then where do these thought experiments take us? If you share similar sentiments as me, you will see that it is possible for there to be entities which are not human but do possess moral rights, as well as it being possible for there to be entities which are human but do not possess moral rights.

(4) If one is justified in terminating the life of X for reason R, and X is less of a person than Y, then one is justified in terminating the life of Y for a reason as good as R or better.

(5) If one is justified in terminating the life of an adult pig for pleasure (which is a petty reason), then one is justified in terminating the life of a two trimester old human for convenience (which is an equally petty reason).

Comments

  1. That seems justified, I’ve never understood how one can define the age of a person starting with birth yet their life with conception. How can a collection of cells with no nervous system be human? My own opinion is that as long as the foetus depends on its mother for survival (i.e. the placenta is still attached) it must be considered part of its mother’s body.

    • Unfortunately the fetus is a whole genetically unique living human being in and of itself. If you visit the Abortion tab I argue why the embryo/fetus is its own entity worthy of protection, and not merely a part of the mother.

  2. It is not a living human being in of itself. It cannot live without its mother and I see no difference between it and any other part of the mother’s body. Its genetic variance from its mother is no different from the genetic difference of her red blood cells from her white blood cells. Her eggs are also genetically different from her, in fact the majority of cells insdie the human body are not even ‘human’ but live in a symbiotic relationship with their host.

    • Rowan

      Your description is medically inaccurate. You also confuse the parts with the whole. Blood cells are but a mere component of a larger whole organism. An embryo/fetus is a whole (though not fully mature) organism. If you think an embryo is part of the mother in the same way blood or an organ is, then you are arguing that a pregnant woman has two heads, four arms, four kidneys, etc.

      Read the series I wrote called Get a Life. I address all your objections there and in past posts on abortion.

  3. Terrance H. says:

    Whoever wrote that argument is the stupidest sonuvab*tch since Nero.

    There are multiple problems with it. For one, his understanding of legalese is sorely lacking. You can’t murder a dog, because a dog is not a person. Only a person can be murdered, legally speaking.

    There are essential nutrients found in pork. But that’s not even the main issue. We don’t define humanity based on ability or level of intelligence, and boy should old Lance be thrilled about that.

  4. Terrance H. says:

    Rowan,

    Do you know how stupid your argument is? Geez.

    By your logic (if you can call it that), any person on mechanical life support, a pacemaker, or a medication necessary to keep them alive is not a human being in and of himself. Why don’t you test that theory by meandering around hospitals unplugging people.

    Your understanding of symbiosis is pathetic, as well. Symbiotic relationships usually are beneficial to both organisms, but they don’t have to be. In the case of the cells in our body, they have to be, else they and the rest of the human being would die. Not only that, but it’s a relationship between different species anyway. You’re not seriously suggesting that our cells are a totally different species, despite the fact they have human DNA, are you?

    And the genetic variance is QUITE different. The red and white blood cells have the same DNA as the mother; the child does not.

    I’m done arguing with these halfwits, John. This is precisely the reason I gave up on arguing the issue on my blog because it attracts some of the stupidest people the Internet has to offer.

    You say what rowan said was medically inaccurate. Ha! You’re being too generous. It’s nothing but meaningless noise that makes no biological sense whatsoever. He’s posturing. He’s trying to justify his brutal, disgusting position with lies, misrepresentations, and utter nonsense.

    You have fun playing with the children, John. I’m gone.

  5. Wow, someone came up with their own criteria for what “really” makes a human being a person?! Gee, nothing could go wrong with that . . . except perhaps genocide, slavery . . . . and abortion.

  6. Marshall Art says:

    What makes a human fetus a person is that it is a human fetus. It is not an alien, a pig, a robot or a puppy. What is so hard to understand about this?

    As to why we define age as beginning at birth, there are two easily observed reasons for this:
    1) It has always been done this way since the time when mankind did not have the biological info that now should be obvious.
    2) There’s no doubt about when a person is born. There always is regarding the exact day one is conceived, especially if the parents are particularly promiscuous. Considering also how common due date predictions are wrong, trying to determine age by date of conception would make age determination unnecessarily complicated.

  7. Ok, so I’m not a doctor but what I remember from GCSE Biology is that red blood cells have no nucleus therefore are genetically different to other cells in the blood. The symbiosis I was talking about was between bacteria in our gut and us (thats what I meant by not human). A person on life support does not need to be inside another human being, we may one day have the technololgy for artificial pregnancy but until then that is another argument. A virus can only display signs of life when it is in a host, much like a foetus. In some Eastern cultures they do base age on conception not birth.

    All of my arguments are based on the premise that there is nothing special or better about human life. We have no more right to exist than any other form of life. We use our powers of empathy to project feelings on to others and this becomes our basis of deciding who or what may live or die. My own moral views are based on selfishness, my empathy and my ability to predict consequences.

    I don’t want children to be brought up in an unloving family, where thay are more likely to become victims and/or perpetrators of abuse. Why force a mother to do this? I know because your make believe god tells you what must be done so you have to do it then find a way of justifying your sickening bigotry. I know there’s no point in trying to convince you people but I though you might at least be reasonable.

    • Rowan

      The fact that you think there is nothing different about human beings than any other form of life is the root of all your problems with this issue. When you compare bacteria and viruses to a fetus you do so incorrectly. Bacteria and viruses are of a kind of thing from its “host”, where a fetus is of the same kind of thing.

      I also find it mind boggling that you are opposed to children being raised in an abusive home but not opposed to dismembering and killing them. Doesn’t that strike you as odd?

      P.S. I have never argued against abortion from a religious point of view. Funny how you are the one to introduce it into the discussion, and for the sake of name calling no less. And you say you were interested in a thoughtful discussion?

  8. The arguments Lance uses get to be so absurd that they would be laughable if he wasn’t serious!

    He discusses a non-existent creature called a “zombie” as if it was real! And he discusses other story-book creatures such as wood nymphs, C3PO, and space aliens as if they exist. He refuses to grant that a human fetus is a person, yet he allows personhood for non-existent story-book creatures!

    Then, he anthropomorphizes pig behaviors to claim they are of more personhood than a fetus.

    The guy’s ideology is just plain immoral and downright evil.

  9. cindyrsandifer says:

    pigs, zombies, woodland nymphs, robots and aliens? seriously, is this a serious argument? it is not difficult to understand how this guy cannot fathom the personhood of a fetus! he is not in touch with reality and appears to be spoofing the entire issue, in my opinion. he is probably chuckling at the computer screen while reading the replies to his ridiculous argument. i would say arguing with this guy, or even discussing a serious matter with this guy, is a classic example of casting your pearls before swine. just my humble opinion. i would not humor him by discussing the issue with him.

    • Cindy

      I know, it almost looks like an argument you’d read in The Onion, but when I first had the discussion, it did not seem like he was kidding. A bit hyperbolic, but not kidding.

      But I have never believed men have no standing in the abortion debate. I realize your point, and in principle, I think it’s valid. Many pro-abortion advocates try to say men can’t have an opinion because they can’t get pregnant. I wonder then if they should think RvW should be over turned then, since it was nine men deciding abortion in the court. Oh, wait, men have no say if they are opposed to abortion.

      • cindyrsandifer says:

        john,
        yes, i totally agree that what men think matters….unless they tell someone it’s okay to kill their child. i know there are men who are have dealt with a woman aborting a child that they wanted. i guess what i meant by my comment was that men do not have the actual experience of pregnancy and childbirth and all of the accompanying emotions. i do not see how a person who could not bear a child could possibly tell one who can that the child she is carrying is just a blob of tissue attached to her uterus! it just seems so sexist and inhumane! but i do agree with you that men should be involved in the discussion. too bad we can’t limit it to men who are capable of thinking with their hearts and some compassion. unfortunately, some people learn a few medical “facts” (for lack of a better term) and become so puffed up with this knowledge that they no longer care about anything BUT their precious knowledge. anyway, as long as we are on this earth, people will have their opinions and try to force them on others by means of their “superior intellect”. :)

  10. cindyrsandifer says:

    oh and by the way, speaking as a mother of three, a child is already nine months when it is born. to all of the men commenters who are “for” abortion and/or believe that a fetus is simply an extension of the mother: go get pregnant and carry a child for 40 weeks, or more, go through the excrutiating pain of giving birth, love, raise, and sacrifice for your child and THEN you might have an “educated” opinion (i hope). otherwise, you are simply blowing hot air about an issue that you have never experienced and never will, because you are a MAN!

  11. Marshall Art says:

    Cindy,

    As we’ve also argued, these who learn a few medical facts don’t actually express the facts without their own slant attached, very much like a parasite sucking all reason and logic out what the facts mean. If you get my drift.

  12. I agree with most of what has been said about the syllogism above. It’s bad. It makes me facepalm, and I’m pro-choice.
    I hope that is not (well, I assume it’s not) a common argument in the pro-choice camp. Certainly we can dismiss that argument- and we should all take pains to point out when an argument is bad, even if it supports our position.
    You know, like claiming that the argument better rests in the hands of women who have been pregnant- and that a man can’t possibly argue about a fetus because he’s never been pregnant(well, he can come to the right conclusion for the wrong reasons).
    A bad argument is a bad argument, whether your conclusion is right or not.

    • George

      Personhood is becoming a popular argument, but not comparing humans to animals. This was the first time I had heard it and thought it was about as nonsensical as anything could be. Like I said, I posted like this because it was offered sincerely and it was a clarifyer to my rendering at the end of the Get A Life Part 3 post. I thought I’d give him his time to defend it.

      For the life of me, I still don’t understand why you are pro-choice. You (if I remember correctly) hold every view of the situation that a pro-lifer does, except when it comes to the final position, you can’t commit to the life of child.

    • cindyrsandifer says:

      obviously, george, you did not read my entire comment. either that, or you have chosen to ignore what i actually wrote. (but that seems to be a common problem with people who are simply so interested in proving their own point that they use others’ comments out of context). i never said that only women have an interest in this issue.
      nevertheless, there is one fundamental difference between my stance and yours. and here it is: i am not argiung a point! i am stating a FACT based on the Word of God which, it just so happens, IS the standard for truth, no matter who agrees or disagrees.
      now, a person does not HAVE to accept the truth, but that does not change the fact that the truth is the truth. therefore, i do not need to present an airtight argument for the perusal or examination of others. what i gave was a response, not an argument.

  13. I have told you this before, I am unbelievably torn on this issue. You are right, I am likely closer to the pro-life position than I am to the standard pro-choice position.
    I hate almost every pro-choice argument. I hate that anyone can’t see that a fetus is a person. This false line between a human being and a person is philosophical masturbation.
    I wouldn’t ever, and I don’t think presented with the facts that anyone, would make that argument in good faith.

    I obviously need to write a rejoinder to my previous post on abortion. I thought I explained my position relatively clearly.

  14. Ohh, Cindy.
    Don’t take that position. Arguing that abortion is wrong because God says so is the moral equivalent of signing the death warrant of a million innocent babies.
    That argument is reason #1 why abortion is legal in the U.S. and why no-one will ever take pro-life people seriously.
    Take that how you will. Call me names. But it is the honest truth.
    If John is going to be honest, he will agree with me. I know that Terrence does. If John is really honest, he’ll tell you that I have defended more pro-life arguments than pro-choice ones.
    I understand your emotion concerning this issue. I’m emotional about this issue. Arguing from honest conviction just proves that you have honest convictions- it won’t stop people who don’t share those convictions from aborting their child.

    There is a reason personal testimony and experience can and should be nothing more than an aside to a real debate.

    • George, personally, I don’t think an argument from religious convictions is improper or misplaced. The only liability it carries is that of the skeptic’s commitment to naturalism, so it’s not even the theist’s problem at all. The skeptic demands only presumed-Godless-discourse, a presupposition that always goes unsubstantiated.

      The only reason I avoid making my case from religion is it is an easy dismissal from skeptics. They never argue it as invalid, they just hand-wave it off. I don’t afford them that opportunity. I make them defend killing babies — I don’t let them off that easy.

      You, George, on the other hand are a pro-life abortion defender. I don’t mean that pejoritively either. Like I said earlier, you hold every position of the pro-life view, but in the end can’t bring yourself to say abortion should not be legal. You fully admit your view is inconsistent (that it is an innocent human life, but it should be legal to take it through abortion), which is rather brave — and to a degree, commendable. At least you see you are inconsistent.

  15. cindyrsandifer says:

    okay, george, humor me! :)
    explain to me just exactly WHY religious convictions do not count when discussing abortion. and also, call me obtuse, but please explain to me how this stance is the same as signing the death warrant for a million babies.
    personally, if someone had presented it to me that way, i may have changed my mind and NOT had an abortion when i was 23. i think there are women and men our there who are starving for the truth.

  16. You really want to defend Cindy’s whole comment? Really?
    If I made an argument that I knew God did not exist because I believe in a materialistic universe- and knowing that this is true I am not obliged to back up my claim- would you accept that argument?
    I just want to see some consistency here.

    Yes, John, I am pro-life and a defender of choice. I know you can’t bring yourself to separate being pro-abortion and being pro-choice, but I can. I don’t defend abortion, I oppose a system that makes abortion a logically defensible and morally ambiguous act. Our society is sick.
    I admit, and will continue to admit, that my position is at odds with itself. I also believe that my position is no more inconsistent than the classical pro-life position. The difference between myself and everyone else that I know of is that I can be honest about it.

    • cindyrsandifer says:

      george,
      again: i am not making an argument. i am taking a stance. what, you might ask, is the difference?
      well, an argument is meant to persuade others that you are correct in your assessment of a situation. i am not attempting to do that.
      a stance is taking a stand on an issue and it does not require convincing others. in fact, i actually believe that God Himself is gonna have to reveal the truth to you about this matter because you are looking through the lenses of unbelief and cannot see it for yourself.
      a stance does not require fancy, oratical skills. it simply requires being willing to speak the truth into a situation.
      i am and will be praying for God to reveal the truth to you in this matter.

  17. Cindy,
    I’m not saying that your religious convictions are meaningless. If you came to a pro-life position from a biblical perspective that is perfectly good for you.
    Did you read Terrence’s post? I linked to it in my comment.
    I respect more pro-life people in these conversations than I do pro-choicers.

    We live in a society where a growing number of people either do not believe in God, believe in a different sort of God, or believe in “God”- they think that God’s Law is negotiable. Judging by the number of abortions happening in America- I’m willing to bet that it is better than half of Americans.
    Your “response” (argument?) does nothing to meet those people “where they are”.

    You are saying that people don’t have to accept the Truth, but they have to accept the Truth.

    You can’t simultaneously argue, as you did in those exact words:

    a person does not HAVE to accept the truth, but that does not change the fact that the truth is the truth.

    and then say that a person has to accept that abortion is wrong. It is all fine and dandy to say abortion shouldn’t happen- I agree. That is the truth. You are telling people that they have to accept something as true that they don’t have to accept as true.
    If you can’t make a rational case to that person- in their own context- that abortion is murder- then it is still murder- but it isn’t going to stop them. You are never saving lives, you are just stating facts.
    That is what John is trying to do.
    If pro-life becomes a Christian issue, as opposed to a human issue, then it is doomed to failure. Each and every one of us who wagered the lives of children on a cultural schism is culpable for the lives we squandered on principled conviction.
    If I need to accept an arguably false claim in order to see the truth, then it isn’t true at all. I’m not willing to double down with the lives of children. I don’t want you to either. You don’t HAVE to accept the truth, but that doesn’t change the fact that the truth is the truth.

  18. My personal opinion, Cindy, is that if you are just taking a stand, then you are not pro-life, you just don’t like abortion. That is fine too.
    Someone who is pro-life is proactive, they want to persuade- because persuading saves lives. That is pro-life.
    Saying “abortion is wrong” is an opinion, saying “abortion is wrong and I can persuade you with a simple, rational argument” is pro-life, saying “abortion is wrong, here is why, and here is how we can take steps to save lives” is where I would like to get to.
    Anyhow, enjoy your opinion. I agree with it for the most part, I just wish you believed it enough to fight for it…..

  19. cindyrsandifer says:

    george,
    abortion is wrong and that is true. there are people who do not choose to believe the truth. how is that so hard for you to understand? people do not always choose what is right.
    why are you assuming that i am not proactive? i have, in fact counseled women, using God’s Word as truth, to convince them not to abort. but guess what? when i did that, i relied on the Spirit to convince this woman of the truth, not myself! believe it or not, if two people can agree that the Bible is the truth, then they can quickly come to an agreement on the fact that abortion is wrong. being proactive involves dealing with real people one-on-one, not just standing in front of abortion clinics protesting or “arguing” on the internet. i don’t know how active you are, nor would i presume to know. but i wish you the best in whatever you do.
    truthfully, i just minister to whoever God puts in my path. i don’t need a rationale. and neither do women who are considering abortion. they need to know that there are other options and that there is hope in a God who loves them and sees them right where they are.
    not everyone approaches matters from the same angle,george. we are all individuals and have different gifts. God can use us all. my thoughts on this matter may not be “orthodox” or “logical” enough for you, but they sure are good enough for my Savior, who has led me to minister to several young women and help them see that aborting their child is not the answer.

  20. cindyrsandifer says:

    oh and george i do agree with you that a simple, rational agrument is of the essence. it just so happens that my simple, rational argument exists within the pages of my Bible. :)

  21. George, you err. You say pro-life is proactive. How do you come up with that subjective opinion and then claim it as a fact?

    I am pro-life. But other than writing commentaries/articles against abortion, I do nothing active. Your defining pro-life as needing to be proactive – actively involved in the movement – is just your subjective belief and not based on any truth.

    • Glenn and Cindy

      I would gather what George means is if someone truly believed abortion was the horror that we make it sound like, we would be doing something more than giving our opinions online about it. I actually agree with that sentiment, if that’s what he means. Sure, a person who opposes abortion is pro-life, but someone who is pro-life does more than make a verbal stand. Like James says, even the demons believe… Show how much you are pro-life and act on the conviction.

      • cindyrsandifer says:

        agreed, john. and when i say i take a stand, i mean a spiritual, verbal AND physical stand. furthermore, sometimes we must STAND in the gap for those who need us to be strong for them: this includes not only innocent lives that are in danger of being aborted, but also women who have had abortions and now realize they made a huge mistake. we need to lead these women to Christ so they can receive the grace, forgiveness and redemption they need to forgive themselves. it is a terrible thing to realize you have killed your child, not some blob of tissue.

      • Not everyone has the opportunity, time, etc to do anything specifically “pro-active” other than teaching others about it. I write letters to the editor, to congressmen, blog articles, etc. I also provide funds to the local “Aid to Women” which provides alternative care to women, etc. But I don’t do protests, I don’t try to shut down clinics, etc. So that, according to George, means I’m not pro-life. Not everyone has the same gifts, by the way, and my ministry is apologetics and Christian counseling.

        • I think we’re all getting a little too offended here. It sounds like we are all pretty much on the same team, we should probably see that as a good thing.

          • cindyrsandifer says:

            hey john,
            i am not offended. i am just trying to understand why george thinks he is so superior to others. perhaps it is because knowledge puffs a person up. i think perhaps george should deflate himself and get real. stop hiding behind the facade of intellect and the childish expectation of everyone conforming to your preset notions of how things “should be”.

            • Cindy

              George’s personality takes a little while to get used to, but you will find he is one of the more reasonable atheists on the internet. Of course is not a christian and thinks we are all wrong, but he does not bash christianity or mock believers just for believing in God. But you will have to bring a substantive argument.

              The more frustrated he gets the more snarky the comments become, but he is not a bad guy

              • cindyrsandifer says:

                gotcha john! well, at any rate, i am learning a lot and i enjoy reading your entries and the comments. thank you, and everyone else, and you as well, george, for a lively discussion. i enjoyed being included.

  22. cindyrsandifer says:

    and also, claiming that someone is not proactive just because they have a different source of truth from your own is an unsubstantiated statement.

  23. What John said. That is exactly what I’m saying.
    Cindy, I don’t know you from Adam. (well, actually, Eve)- I don’t know what you do to live your convictions. Not knowing you, I can only go by your words, and saying things like “a stance is taking a stand on an issue and it does not require convincing others” or “therefore, i do not need to present an airtight argument for the perusal or examination of others. what i gave was a response, not an argument.” or “you are simply blowing hot air about an issue that you have never experienced and never will, because you are a MAN!“-and these are all direct quotes from you- leads me to believe that you have honest convictions, but that you are unconcerned if they are shared by others.
    I’m not saying that your position on abortion is wrong- I’m saying that the opinion you have to this point expressed that you owe no explanation is dangerously wrong. Whether or not you feel you are making an argument, your words have to mean something.
    Abortion is wrong. You and I agree on this. But you are wrong that people don’t need to accept that. You are wrong that we don’t have a duty to change minds.
    I appreciate the spirit of your ministry to women at a dark place in their lives. I appreciate that for you the ultimate goal is to bring people to Christ. I believe that as noble as you feel your actions are, ultimately taking an all or nothing stand- that women either find Jesus or not- is killing babies. We need to convince people rationally and materially- and I think we can- that abortion is not an option. Writing off every child in the womb of a mother failing on her walk is reckless and frankly, asinine.
    You might be proactive- but so is the guy trying to smash through a wall when the doorway is right beside him.

    • cindyrsandifer says:

      okay, george. let me see if i have this straight. because i am not just like you and do not approach this issue the way you do, i am an asinine idiot who is smashing her head against the wall? that’s awesome!

  24. I’m not telling you that you are asinine, Cindy. Unless you honestly believe in writing off babies because the mother isn’t receptive to the Word- which I don’t think you do. If you do, then that opinion is asinine- and by extension- so is the person who holds it.

    I’m not trying to “puff myself up”. I’m talking about the lives of children. Real, tangible lives. I’m not discounting what you may be doing to help save those lives. Do I believe I have a better way? You are damn right I do. Has 40 years of fighting abortion resulted in less abortions? I don’t think it has. Is there a better way to save those lives? There has to be….. There-Has-To-Be.
    So you know what? Call me arrogant. Write off what I have to say because you have too much pride to admit that we aren’t doing enough. Pride isn’t about conviction that you can make a difference, or change a system that is failing us- it is being sure that something that has failed us for 40 years is somehow going to work this time, because this time you believe it.
    Ahh, the arrogance of trying to save babies. I’m glad you pointed that out to me, I knew I was doing something wrong.
    You’re damn right I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated because pro-choice people don’t want to wake up, and neither do pro-life people. I’m frustrated because I can’t get through to either one of those camps- they both tell me to mind my own business.
    Meanwhile, people are dying.
    Children are dying.
    Babies are dying because we need to stick to our principles. I’m sure all the dead babies are ever so glad that you stood your ground.
    Was that arrogant? Rude? Fine.

    • cindyrsandifer says:

      george, i think that what you are doing and what you stand for is admirable. and you are def not without hope or lacking in determination. i wish you the best. right now, i am so busy raising my three that i do not have the time to do any more than i am doing, but i am grateful for people like you who do! i will leave it there. :)

  25. So, god is the truth because, god is the truth. And your god especially. Interresting argument, but not propably the first or last time we will ever hear it.

    I think if someone presents imagined characters such as zombies, spirits or fairies and recognizes their imagined state should be at least at the same level as someone who presents a nother imagined character such as a god, and does not recognize it as an imagined character.

    Aliens and spirits have very little to say about abortion, but god does not interfere in the conversation either. It is propable that there are aliens on other worlds in the wide universe, and maybe spirits have no interrest in abortion issues, but why does the god not use those alledged supernatural powers and interfere with the conversation? Instead we have this old book that most people in the world during its existance have barely heard of. Does that book state somewhere “abortion is wrong”? Or is that just some form of interpretation, that you have come to this conclusion? What about all those people who had no possibility to get that “truth” from the book? Are they sent to eternal suffering just because they did not know better. Abortion is not some new innovation of the modern western society, you know. Women have aborted children for ages by many different methods and still do. Not all of those methods are very safe even to the mother. But they do it because they have to. If you want to stop abortions change the society into such that there is no need for such. Do not claim that there is no need today. You know there is.

    Abortions are like war. It is a human enterprize where for the benefit of the society the right of some human individuals to live is seen as less than others. Personhood is an exeptionally good argument to justify such action (especially so, in comparrison to those used to justify wars), because it shows that there is a stage between conception and birth where the offspring of a human being is not yet an actual person.

    The line between men and animals is not so obvious. But it means animals should be treated humanely not that humans should be treated as animals. Who is to say a fish has no personality? Is it a sentient being? The examples of intelligent robots may not be essential for the time being, but if we compare to animals let us talk about animals that actually have nervous system and brainpower comparable to humans, such as the seamammals. How do you know they do not have what you would call a soul? There is no doubt that they have personas, while a fetus half way through pregnancy does not yet hold the capacity for such. In that respect the fetus is just a piece of tissue. Like a separated finger, it is essentially human, but it has no capability to be sentient or to even live without the person where it was cut of from. Certainly it has no persona. It is only when the fetus developes into a stage where it can exist as a separate being, when it actually becomes such and by that time the nervous system also allows for a proper personhood to start to develope. As to what emotions we project to it, is a different matter, but that is the point of pro-choise as opposed to pro-abortion.

    If my country was suddenly taken over by worshippers of Moloch who wanted to sacrifice their first born sons, and arranged the society so that they could do it legally, I would defenately take up arms against it. Hence, I would evaluate the lives of innocent babies, more valuable than those adults that would stand against it. I would not think I could change the situation just by talking sense to them, as religious fanatics are not the sort of people who are willing to listen to reason, but of course I would hope and try to make them see their error.

  26. Terrance H.
    Your response shows a complete misunderstanding of my work. This is an argument showing the (allow me to stress) moral inconsistency in the pro-choice movement. The legal status of killing a dog is entirely irrelevant.
    And again you’re missing the point because I wasn’t trying to define humanity or anything at all. I was speaking of person-hood without giving it a definition, but ‘axiomatizing’ it in giving a set of rules by which to determine what is a person and what is not. How then, though, would you define person-hood if I have gotten it so wrong? Also I am very skeptical of your claim that there are essential nutrients in pork considering that I almost never eat pork and I am very healthy, as well as most of my family. And considering the vast numbers of people on this earth who never eat pork (all practicing Jew’s for example) I have a very hard time believing that this nutrient is really that important to our health.

    Neil,
    That is a massive red herring. I will assume that you agree with the conclusion of the argument though, since you did not provide any reason to reject it.

    Marshall Art,
    So the word person is synonymous with human then? What does human mean in that case? If by human you mean our species, then I think you are most definitely wrong. Like I said in my argument, a human zombie does not have any rights what so ever. Chopping it down is no more evil than cutting your grass. If you disagree then you have some very strange intuitions which I do not believe are shared by many rational people. And my argument does not take into consideration the point where one’s age begins.

    Glenn E. Chafield,
    These entities are logically possible and thus, could exist. It is of no consequence that they do or do not exist (though it would matter if they could not possibly exist), my argument holds regardless as it’s based on our intuitions concerning these hypothetical situations. I take it you have little to no experience in philosophy, if you would like to talk about this argument further I would be happy to put more effort in explaining it to you. Also please show where I anthropomorphized pig behaviors, I think you either don’t know what anthropomorphizing is or you really don’t understand the argument. If you believe that the qualities I attributed to pigs can in fact be found in pigs, then no anthropomorphizing has been done. If you think I was wrong about some of the person-like qualities an adult pig might possess, point them out and explain why.
    Also I am curious to see where exactly you’re learning so much about me, as I never proposed any ideology. My argument was not in support of abortion being legalized or morally permissible either, an anti-abortionist could easily accept the implications of my argument. I thought I was being clear enough and going into a sufficient amount of detail, next time I’ll try even harder to dumb it down for you.

    cindyrsandifer,
    As you seem to be having the same hangup as Glenn, maybe read my response to him if you’re interested in understanding your error. And no I am actually rather unimpressed at the quality of responses thus far.
    I think it should be noted that you did not actually respond to my argument. You at best committed an ad hominem fallacy. I am a charitable chap though, and despite your rather rude disposition towards me am willing to put some effort into helping you see the truth of the matter.

    John Barron,
    Nope not kidding.

    George W.
    No it’s definitely not a common argument, and I greatly encourage criticism.. so where is it? Why is the argument bad? So far no one has given any worthwhile rebuttal. Which premise do you reject and for what reasons? Come on! Give me a counter argument!

    rautakyy,
    Like I said to the others, [b]I am not proposing that zombies, spirits, aliens, ect. actually exist[/b]. Their ontological status is irrelevant to the argument, what [b]is[/b] of consequence is our intuitions on these hypothetical situations by which we can explore the concept of person-hood. I thought I was being very clear in saying that I was proposing thought experiments, not actual facts. Gosh it’s like you people have never read before.
    And from one fellow who lives in fear of Moloch and his omnimalicious ways to another, I feel you. :P

  27. “Neil,
    That is a massive red herring. I will assume that you agree with the conclusion of the argument though, since you did not provide any reason to reject it.”

    It wasn’t a red herring at all (“Wow, someone came up with their own criteria for what “really” makes a human being a person?! Gee, nothing could go wrong with that . . . except perhaps genocide, slavery . . . . and abortion”). I was just pointing out the logical conclusions of your argument.

    I actually like when pro-aborts make bizarre arguments like yours. It advances the pro-life position with the middle ground as well or better than pro-life reasoning can. Please keep telling expectant mothers that pigs have more rights than their unborn children.

    My comment pointed to the underlying problem with the “personhood” rationalization used to crush and dismember innocent but unwanted human beings: Since the definition of personhood is so elusive (“ethicist” Peter singer uses it to justify infanticide, for example, while others use the equally elusive “viability” gambit) it is meaningless.

    I’ll just stick to the scientific fact that the unborn are human beings from conception and the moral reasoning that we shouldn’t kill innocent human beings for 99% of the reasons given for abortions (the 1% of cases to save the life of the mother are consistent with the pro-life ethic).

    Please go back to spreading your pro-abortion “logic” far and wide.

    • Cindy Sandifer says:

      good answer, neil. i fear that your brand of thinking may be far too concrete for this man to grasp! he prefers to dehumanize humans in order justify killing them, a “philosophy” which leads to, as you said, abortion, infanticide, genocide.
      let’s forget the airy-fairy philosophical b.s. tell me, sir: have you ever personally known anyone who has had an abortion? and if so, was this a joyous and momentous occasion in her life? one to be remembered and celebrated, like the birth of a child? why don’t we talk about real life instead if silly, childish, fantastical, impersonal, nit-picking, and (might i add) ridiculous, however-be-they logical, arguments? i’m starting to believe that it is philosophy who is the real “killer” here. it certainly does create an argument that is painful to listen to, to say the least!

  28. Lance,

    No, aliens cannot logically exist any more than little fairies can exist. If you want to believe in aliens and zombies that is your prerogative, but don’t base any arguments on their possible existence. The discussion is what makes a person, and a person is a human; only a human – not an animal and certainly not an imaginary being.

    I have some experience in philosophy, but the version you are playing is the type I despise; Scripture calls it “professing to be wise,” while I call it “out-house philosophy.”

    When you assign human attributes to pigs you anthropomorphize. You look at them with a biased lens which says their behavior is “person”-like, but in reality it is pig-like. All animals have some sort of intelligence programmed into them; intelligence is not an attribute only of a person. The rest of your argument for the person-hood of a pig can be similarly dismissed.

    The ideology you display in your comments is what I know about you. Your comparison of an unborn human with a pig, and your assigning of personhood to animals, tells me all I need to know about your ideology.

  29. eMatters/Neil,
    If you want to claim that any particular thing has moral rights, then you are doing the exact same thing I am, are you not? For you to say that you have moral rights, must you not have a criteria for what “really” makes a human being a person? Even if your comment wasn’t double edged (meaning that if you really want to say this, then you are cutting down your own ability to claim that things have moral rights), it IS a red herring as it’s completely irrelevant to the truth of any of the premises, or the validity of the argument. My argument is still sound whether or not defining personhood can have nasty consequences.

    Ignoratio elenchi (also known as irrelevant conclusion or irrelevant thesis) is the informal fallacy of presenting an argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question.
    – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring_(fallacy)

    This outlines exactly what you did.

    I suppose you didn’t read my argument very well, as it does not support the pro-abortion position. I would encourage you to attack the argument after re-reading it a little better. Try to show that one of the premises are false or the structure of the argument is invalid, I would be very happy to receive a well thought out critique.

    Cindy Sandifer,
    He gave a horrible answer. Not only does he not know what a Red Herring fallacy is, but he still has not responded to the argument in a non fallicous way.
    Like I said to the others, I am not proposing that zombies, spirits, aliens, ect. actually exist. Their ontological status is irrelevant to the argument, what is of consequence is our intuitions on these hypothetical situations by which we can explore the concept of person-hood. I thought I was being very clear in saying that I was proposing thought experiments, not actual facts. Time and time again you just show that you really have no idea what you’re talking about, and that my argument has gone well over your head. Please read it again, you may ask if you need clarification.

    To answer your question (have you ever personally known anyone who has had an abortion?) No I have not. If you are going to try and make an appeal to emotion though, save it. I am not very interested in your feelings.

    Glen E Chatfield,
    You clearly don’t know what logical possiblity is.

    A logically possible proposition is one that can be asserted without implying a logical contradiction. This is to say that a proposition is logically possible if there is some coherent way for the world to be, under which the proposition would be true.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_possibility

    Like I said to the others, I am not proposing that zombies, spirits, aliens, ect. actually exist. Their ontological status is irrelevant to the argument, what is of consequence is our intuitions on these hypothetical situations by which we can explore the concept of person-hood. I thought I was being very clear in saying that I was proposing thought experiments, not actual facts.

    If you believe you can derive a contradiction from the existence of such entities, please do. I need a good laugh.

    So now you’ve made a claim to what a person is, Neil has a lot to say about how one ought not do that lol. Also could you please provide support that your claim is correct?

    You realize that by “person” I do not mean “human” right? Forget what ever you think person means, it has no barring on this discussion as I’m the one proposing the argument thus I define my terms. I am claiming that any such object which satisfies the description I laid out is a person, therefore yes intelligence is an attribute only of a person and any thing which displays it is in some degree a person. You’re speaking in complete ignorance of the terms I outlined in my argument. And since your dismissing my argument on an account of not understanding it, I suppose now that you understand you will give a new and hopefully better critique of it.

    I am merely proposing an argument concerning the moral justification of abortion, if you think you can abstract an ideology from that; well that’s really quite silly.

    Also even though I’ve already shown that your answer is not at all very good, I will give it a second refutation anyway (just because telling you guys over and over again that you don’t understand basic concepts is getting boring).

    (1) Person-hood has been previously said to be the barer of moral rights. This is the whole reason we are arguing over it because if only persons bare moral rights and fetus’ are not persons, then fetus’ do not bare moral rights.
    (2) Now you have claimed that “a person is a human; only a human – not an animal and certainly not an imaginary being”, and thus person is synonomous with human so you are in fact claiming that only humans can bare moral rights.
    (3) God is not human, therefore not a person, therefore does not possess moral rights
    (4) One of Christianity’s core docrtine is that every human has done evil against God
    (5) But if God has no moral rights, then how can we infringe on his moral rights and do evil against him?
    (6) Therefore, that core doctrine is false.

    I assume you are a Christian since you spoke of scripture. Anyways I need not profess to be wise, I think my argument speaks for me.

    • Cindy Sandifer says:

      lance,
      i do have one question for you. why do you care about the issue of abortion?

    • Lance,

      I know what a “logical possibility” is – I just deny that it is a logical possibility for aliens, zombies, etc to exist. It is a matter of what objective truth is. Objective truth says there are humans only who are persons, because the words are synonymous. Objective truth says it is impossible for those other entities to exist.

      Your misuse of the word “person” is your problem. You can’t just give the word your own definition and expect everyone to play your game. A person is a human being. It can be nothing else. Therefore “person rights” are the same as “human rights.”

      I fully understand your argument, but it is invalid because you redefine words. Intelligence is not an attribute of a person – all animals have intelligence yet no animal is a person.

      Your ideology as expressed is that animals are the same as persons, and that there is no moral difference between killing one and killing the other. That is an evil ideology.

      To compare the personhood of God and say he is not human is to not understand the theology. The reason only humans – of all creation – are persons is because we are in the image of God. Also spiritual entities are “persons.” However, this was not the context of the discussion as to what are persons. Our discuss was in regards to humans and other inhabitants of earth make-believe entities. No where was the context of the discussion inclusive of God and the spiritual realm. So let’s stick with the context of the discussion.

  30. Cindy Sandifer,
    I don’t particularly care about the issue, there are much more important and interesting things to spend my time thinking about but I chose to come here and explain this so that you guys may see the truth and because I enjoy proposing and discussing arguments.

  31. @Lance and Glenn E Chatfield, I think there are aliens. It is by far more logical conclusion to assume there is life in the vast universe, than to jump into an assumption that humans are the actual images of an entity that originated the universe. That is not much like giving the proper respect to the information of universe we have. Wether they or the zombies, fairies, dragons, demons, angels and what have you are for real (and there is a bunch of people to everyone of these that has “faith” in them), they serve as a good example of personhood just like @Lance described. We are discussing not just things we can verify here, but also things that are supposed to exist only because some people havefaith they do, like gods.

    It is by far more logical conclusion of possibilities, that in time our skill of robotics developes onto a stage where the AI can reach self awareness and even have emotions, than to assume some guy a couple of thousand years ago was actually the flesh and blood son of the creator entity and that the entity of creating the universe is somehow unable to contact us, every one of us, by no other means than a particular compilation of laws and stories from one culture of the past.

    @cindy Sandifer, I do not think emotions make for poor arguments, but that door swings both ways. If the mothers who had to have an abortion, did feel remorse and certainly were not happy about it, it only proves how much they needed to get it done. That it was a choise made in the most serious set of minds. The birth of a child is not a joyous moment to all people. Of course it is sad that is so, but that is the thing that should be changed, not the fact that people have abortions. The most effective way to have less abortions in a society is increasing sexual education, and to increase the general equality of the society so, that the need for abortion is less. Denying legality of abortion will not stop it from happening it only makes more unhappy stories, unwanted children, childbirth deaths and unhealthy, or even dowright dangerous forms of abortion.

  32. lance,
    why do you bother arguing about something that you do not care about? simply for the pleasure of “proving” yourself right through philosophical techniques? i mean this with all sincerity: there is more to life than philosohpy. seriously. there is also more to life than advancing and winning arguments. i know, i am a philosophical ignoramus! but think about this: just because you can prove something through a valid and sound argument does not mean that what you have “proved” is necessarily true! do not fall into the trap of considering yourself superior to others simply because you have studied and practice the art of arguing.

  33. Terrance H. says:

    Cindy,

    Lance merely provided yet more evidence of his stupidity.

    Your response shows a complete misunderstanding of my work.

    You mean that poorly written balderdash above? Oh.

    This is an argument showing the (allow me to stress) moral inconsistency in the pro-choice movement.

    If you’re saying the pro-choice movement is wrong, or inconsistent, then I agree. But you’re not saying that.

    The legal status of killing a dog is entirely irrelevant.

    Perhaps it is; perhaps it isn’t. But if you’re going to make statements, even margin filler statements, ensure they are correct, hmm?

    And again you’re missing the point because I wasn’t trying to define humanity or anything at all. I was speaking of person-hood without giving it a definition, but ‘axiomatizing’ it in giving a set of rules by which to determine what is a person and what is not.

    Personhood has already been defined, i.e., “the quality or condition of being an individual person.” At the earliest stages of development, unborn children are unique individuals at the genetic level. Why isn’t that sufficient? Why do we have to talk about intellectual ability, self-awareness, and the like?

    In the past, abortion, they said, was acceptable because the unborn child wasn’t really a human being. As science advanced and proved beyond all doubt that unborn children are, in fact, unique individual human beings, you charlatans moved the goal posts again and started waxing philosophical beliefs regarding neurological development. Now you halfwits are talking about farm animals and ghouls. Where does it end? Honestly, where does the absurdity end?

    Nowhere, it would seem.

    But the reality that you cannot escape is that from the very moment of conception a genetically unique individual has come into existence and will grow and develop, as we all do, until natural death. That’s the reality. Another reality is this: the pro-choice crowd supports the arbitrary denial of rights to a human being based on their current stage of development. Nice. Perhaps we should meander our way through history and discover where this has been tried before…

    Also I am very skeptical of your claim that there are essential nutrients in pork considering that I almost never eat pork and I am very healthy, as well as most of my family. And considering the vast numbers of people on this earth who never eat pork (all practicing Jew’s for example) I have a very hard time believing that this nutrient is really that important to our health.

    Yet another example of your stupidity. I never said that you cannot live without eating pork. I said there are essential nutrients found in pork (e.g., iron, B12, etc…). They are found elsewhere, too. But that’s not the point. You said that there are no essential nutrients found in pork and that was incorrect.

    • terrance,
      i think you are my new hero! lol
      very well explained!
      in my opinion, philosophical arguments about fairy tale creatures, zombies and aliens are meaningless! seriously, what does that have to do with defining personhood? i understand that you can TECHNICALLY create and advance an argument in which they are used in the premises, but what is the POINT??? if you are going to argue, argue about things that matter. and according to lance, my thoughts on this matter have already branded me a waste of flesh, so does that mean i have been denied personhood by the great Lance-Almighty?
      forgive me, but i am just a real person, living a real life down here on earth! lol

  34. rautakyy,
    i agree with you that in some cases a baby is not welcome. some women live in countries where the political situation is so hostile or controlling, that they feel compelled to abort. there are some women whose partners urge them to abort and will not “allow” them to have a child. there are so many individual circumstances.
    murder is illegal (in democratic countries, that is. in other countries, murder is condoned if it is a woman you are killing and you are killing her for “honorable” reasons!) but abortion is not illegal; because when you murder, you kill a person, but abortion kills a fetus, which is only “attached” to his mother, and therefore not a person, according to some. i understand all of that and that there are medical “facts” to prove that a fetus is not a person. but think about all of medical facts throughout history that were considered correct at the time and have since been proven wrong. we could go back to the ancient chinese, indians, egyptians, greeks, romans, etc. and recall how many of their medical “facts” were not facts at all. they were operating with the knowledge they had at the time. but, they were not privy to the knowledge we have today. there is much medical knowledge still unknown to us today. and to assume that abortion is okay, based on the knowledge we do have, which is lacking and can obviously be twisted and misused, is the heighth of arrogance.

  35. @Glenn E Chatfield, you deny the logical possibility for aliens and zombies to exist. Did you not know there are zombies in the Bible? Yes, I also think the story was hardly a likely version to hold any “objective truth” in Matt 27:52-53. In fact it defies every bit of logic there is.

    What is the logic you use to deny the existance of aliens? Is there a logic that denies the possibility of aliens, but does not deny the possibility of a god? I really would like to learn about it.

    I deny logical possibility of a benevolent, omni poverfull all-creator to exist, and you know what? No wrath of god is smiting me down. I wonder why? Because your god is so benevolent, perhaps. But not so benevolent it would do something concrete to stop the abortions, you think your god sees as such an abomination. Now, do not say I do not understand theology, because it is logic we are discussing here, not blind faith in gods, faeris, angels, dragons, demons or zombies.

    @ Cindy Sandifer. I agree with you that in some cases abortion is not necessary. However, some women live in countries where the political situation is so hostile they feel compelled to give birth. There are some women whose partners urge them to have the child and will not “allow” them to abort. Hence, it has to be the choise of the woman. And as it is ethically based on the freedom of the individual and the fetus not actually being a person, that freedom is given to women in countries where women have other rights as well and are considered persons. Abortion is legal in allmost all the western democratic nations.

    We humans can only act on the knowledge we have. In ancient times religions defined the knowledge. That is no more the case. Science gives us answers now. No, they are not absolute knowledge from a supreme being, but they do not even intend to be that. It is better to act on knowledge we have than on blind faith. Faith is such an ambiguent cultural phenomenon. Even you christians can not agree on what your religion teaches about abortion, though there were women who had to have an abortion even in Biblical times.

    I have faith in a better world in the future, where no woman has to have an abortion and no son has to go to war, nor any mother and child is killed by bombing runs. To achieve that world we must first act to make it so, to act against the reasons why there are wars, or abortions untill these things become obsolete. Untill that we sometimes need to take up arms, or have an abortion, no matter how bad it feels.

    @Lance, I think your analogy of robots, aliens and animals was wasted here, because this audience is not willing to have a conversation on the inner meaning of that metaphor. If Jesus had met such a crowd that would not listen to his metaphors and would have argued him by saying his metaphors are impossible suggestions, he would have committed a suicide. Oh, wait he did and he did… ;)

    • rautakyy,
      the conversation about abortion is a never-ending one. while i think it is wrong, i can also realistically see that just the fact that it is wrong will not stop women from doing it. there are so many reasons why they do it and, you are right, it is a personal choice. i do NOT think that it is one that many women take lightly after it has been done. i know quite a few women who have had abortions, some that have had multiple abortions, and all of them still regret what they did. BUT, that regret is attributed to their viewpoint. they have had a major life change that caused them to see it a different way.
      also, you pointed out that abortion is legal in almost all western democratic countries. that was my point, exactly: just because something is legal, does not make it the right thing to do. old men marrying young girls is legal in many countries with islamic governments but that does not make it right. many people in western, democratic countries see this as child molestation (which we have laws to prohibit). and, correct me if i am wrong, but aren’t honor killings legal in many islamic countries, too? that would not work in democratic countries.
      regarding science:
      yes, it was driven by religion for many centuries by people who were sought to understand creation. however, science is not completely divorced from God today, as you seem to assume. do some research and you will discover that there are many scientists, in many fields, who provide evidence for intelligent design.
      you said it is better to act on the knowledge we have than blind faith, but that door swings both ways as well. because faith leads to knowledge. as you pointed out earlier, science began in a religious context. so, the search for knowledge stemmed from faith; faith that there was knowledge there to be gleaned and that God had given us the mental capacity to understand how things were designed.
      you said you have faith in a better world in the future. is your faith blind? do you believe the world is steadily becoming a better place?
      oh, and one other thing. Jesus did not teach using metaphors. He taught using parables. there is are several differences between parables and metaphors. metaphors have no moral meaning. parables do. metaphors are a literary device. parables are a teaching tool. and one big difference between Jesus and lance: Jesus values life, because He understands it origins!
      rautakyy, Jesus did not commit suicide. He willingly laid down His life, and, you might not know this, but He did that for YOU.

  36. @Cindy Sandifer, thank you for discussing this in civil tone and for not being agravated by my playfull approach to the serious subject. The point about western democracies was there to note what kind of societes have deemed abortion legal. The open and democratic ones, where priesthood of any particular religion can not stem the sense of justice of the people.

    The situation is just the opposite in most of the other kind of countries regardless what religion we are speaking about. If there is a god, the connection between a person and god is private. When there is a strong monocultural church taking part in politics, they count the numbers born under their banner as absolutely positive, and that is the real reason why those countries where the priests get to have a say, have not made abortion legal.

    Smaller religious sects have powerhungry leaders also who care about how much people they controll, and abortion as a question of conscience is a good way to controll the flock to grow, by deeming abortion as something inherently evil. It is easy to get people on that bandwagon, especially people who have never been and can not percieve themselves as ever ending up in a situation where the abortion is required. No, I am not accusing you of being one of those, but you propably know what kind of people I mean, since you have also had dealings with those who had to have an abortion? It is the same as with some pacifists, who can not percieve themselves ever ending up in a situation they need to protect themselves or their loved ones from violence.

    I do not know if there are actually countries where the so called “honour murders” are regarded legal, but it would not surprice me if there were such. I bet it is because religion has too much power in those countries, that such an act can be seen as acceptable. For sure the obvious lack of education and democracy are reasons for such customs. There are a lot of christian countries for example in Latin America and Africa, where similar customs are tolerated. That the virginity of the daughter is such an issue for the whole family that she must be killed. By demanding abortion to become illegal, the so called “pro-life” people are asking for just that kind of society. Unknowingly I suppose in most cases, but never the less that is what they ask for. The strict sexual controll, in favour of sexually and otherwise liberal society.

    The ID is completely a nother matter, but after looking into it lately, I must say that it is just a great big hoax. A propaganda stunt, that has very little to do with any science, or scientific research. But it has a lot to do wiht controlling masses. Just like the nazi ideology it uses scientific methodology outdated allready when put use, to support a certain kind of ideology. Yes, there is a legion of christian actual scientists at work in many countries, but they are not people who try to discredit the theory of evolution. I do not know wether or not nor how often if ever, they feel their faith threatened by the results of their work, but a true scientist accepts the results of his/her work regardless if they contradict their personal faith. So did Charles Darwin, who remained a christian to his death.

    My faith in a better future is more like a hope than actual faith. I trust humanity to do better in the future, because the information awailable to us is growing, so we can make yet more informed and ethical choises. But I am also painfully aware that my faith on humanity may be futile, and it is possible that we will succumb back to the dark ages of ignorance when religions ruled. It may even be that we shall destroy the one world we inhabit in our greed and by procreating our own species too rapidly. So, no my faith is not blind as it is not actual faith, in the sense a true believer would understand the word.

    Well, since what and how Lance explained his point of view, it must be a parabel, for I can find quite an obvious moral meaning from what he wrote. Why is it that you people can not? I can find moral meaning from what Jesus taught even though I think gods are imaginary characters. But everyone here seems to claim against what Lance put just because you people do not believe in Zombies. Well, neither do I, but it is a solid theoretic claim about morality and ethics, even though we can not verify the existance of gods or zombies.

    Many people have laid down their lives for others. Often in a much more obvious way, than Jesus. Why did one mans suffering mean so much? Was it not a suicide what Jesus did, because he beforehand knew he would be saved? Was he only affraid of pain that night in Getsemane, or did he have doubts as to really being a son of a god? These are rethorical questions, and if you want to discuss them I am sure John Barron Jr would apprecieate it, if we took the conversation to his special discussion page.

  37. rautakky,
    I agree with you, my words are falling on deaf ears. And I didn’t give metaphor’s or analogies, I gave thought experiments (which are supposed to be taken literally) :P but I know what you mean.

    @ everyone else,
    Like ratuakky (kinda) said, I am wasting my time here as none of you are interested in actually addressing about my argument. You’re all bringing up mostly irrelevant information, or fallacious reasons to reject it. I came here because I was interested in talking about my argument, not abortion in general. I found it rather pathetic that a lot of you assumed I believe abortion is morally justified from my argument, since it’s impossible to derive such a value from it. The conclusion of my argument is a conditional, which merely shows an inconsistency in the mainstream pro-life position not that abortion is morally justified. I found the insult-laden straw men quite distasteful and was disappointed when no one even tried to attack my argument as I proposed it. Some of you genuinely don’t understand it and some of you, as it seems, don’t want to understand it.
    I created my own wordpress blog (I assume you can access it from clicking my name) and posted this argument on it, it’s liable to change in the future as this was a pretty rough draft. If you’d like to further discuss the argument as it stands now or the form it may take in the future, I would gladly respond to your responses. I shall not be coming back to this page though.

    So long and fair well.

  38. Terrance H. says:

    Hallelujah!!!!!

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