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Trent Collicutt
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Daniel, "Let's say that if you did not have sex then the same child would be born by another person." Then I'd say that I'm not sure you understand where babies come from. The violinist analogy does't not equate unless you physically assault the violinist and put him to the point where he will die unless you decide to allow him to live. At the very least you are guilty of assaulting the violinist. I'm not sure how assaulting the violinist to the point of dying, and then walking away, counts as merely exercising one's right not to help. Despite your objection, there was not a search and you are chosen. You created a situation, and now disavow any responsibility for it. This is the same issue many have with the flood. God created people, and then disavowed responsibility and destroyed the ones that he didn't want to keep around. Same issue. The difference is you are ascribing rights to those in the flood, anachronistically, that I'm not sure that they would would understand. Can you show that they would expect their personal desires would be understood to be more important than the decisions of a deity? The definition of person and the right to life seems to be what is operationally advantageous to meet the desired conclusion.
Daniel, "Like I said, you are cetainly the cause of death, but you are also the cause of life. The fact that you are the only one who can help the violinist is supposed to be isomorphic to the fact that the fetus would not be alive if it weren't for you anyway." Apply that to God and the flood. What is your conclusion to remain consistent?
Just my opinion, but ... "If I believe the locus of your rights are your personhood, and unborn human non-persons (according to random-pro choicer) have no rights by virtue of not being a person," So historically, you would argue that women should have been able to be killed as they were not persons under the law? Personhood is a legal status. It can be given and revoked. If the whole focus is on whether one is a "person", one merely needs to legally change the definition of person to exclude the group that you wish not to have rights. Presumably that is why we have bills of human rights, and not bills of person rights. My take on the violinist analogy, as I usually see it presented to me, is if you use it as a comparison to pregnancy that you intentionally did something that put that violinist in a position to require your help. In that case, removing the help is a direct cause of death. It is not the case that there is a search for where to put a violinist and you just happen to be the only one it can be connected to. You literally did something that insured that there is a violinist that requires being connected to someone or die. I'm reasonably sure that if I did something to you that put you in the situation that you could not live without my beneficence, and then decided I didn't feel like it anymore and walked off to let you die, the jury would not acquit me because I had the right to do whatever I wanted. It would depend on the prosecutor whether the charge is murder, depraved indifference, or just reckless endangerment. In the analogy of abortion, one cannot equate pregnancy resulting from consensual sex with being physically assaulted and forced to sustain another individual against your will. You did something that resulted in the dependence of another on you for continuing life and then you make the decision whether you feel like allowing the other to live or not. You are, in fact, determining whether the continued existence of another human is convenient to you. "that the flood killed adults who are clearly persons according to me," And to others the unborn are clearly people. To some (hopefully all) women were always people. But legally they were not. If I am not an ancient near eastern scholar, I can't say what person meant in that culture and if that granted any absolute right to life that was violated. We may be imposing a legal concept that may have been quite alien to those involved. What I do see is a human reserving for themselves the right to determine if the continued existence of another human is convenient to them, and at the same time the creator of the universe being told he has a responsibility to continue the existence of certain humans purely on the argument that it is evil not to make the choice to let them continue. "I would say that a flood does not equal a large scale post birth abortion. First of all, the authors of that article may be mistaken, most people who are for abortion are against post birth abortions, moth morally and legally." If what most people cared about was important, the decision would be made at the legislature or the voting booth, and not the judge's bench. And as for not being post birth abortion, the only difference is how long after birth. Cultures have differed on how long after birth a parent is allowed to kill the child. We still have cultures where the killing of adult children, if not approved of, is still tolerated.
":(1) Concerning the argument that there is a disanalogy between the violinist case that Thompson suggests and a pregnancy, since you choose to have sex whilst the violinist is kidnapped. The usual answer to this is to say that when it comes to the issue of legality at least, as long as you are the only person the violinist can be hooked up to, most people have the intuition that even if you chose to hook yourself up to him, you should still be legally able to unhook yourself later, that is, change your mind" If you hooked him up yourself, you are still directly responsible for the violinists death, and for putting them in the position that means they will die unless you continue to provide what they need. I think in any real case, the death of the violinist would be prosecuted as murder rather than just making a choice that you no longer wish to be hooked up. The key point to the analogy comes down to the fact that the violinist would not be there unless you had done things that (barring bringing rape into the analogy) would not have placed them in any danger if you had not decided to do them. The argument that you have the right to disconnect yourself is about as valid as shooting someone is merely deciding to make a finger movement, and there is no law against flexing one's finger. (2) In my experience metaphysics does not come into the argument as much as legality. It was my point, that humanness is not a factor. Once you get into the discussion, it is purely legal. The woman has a right. The unborn do not have a right. Therefore there is no reason the woman can't do whatever she wants for whatever reason she wants. The longer post was to show that this thinking is not restricted the the unborn only. The longer one argues to rename infanticide as post birth abortion, because of the authors feelings of what personhood should be. It becomes important as laws don't protect humans. Laws protect persons. In fact, the idea that laws protect persons and not humans, historically isn't true either. There was a time in the recent past where woman were not persons under the law, but it was not legal to kill them. Corporations are persons. How would you define murder in regards to them. In regards to Atheists, the existence of God is relevant in terms of the objection that God was wrong for the flood. The argument that one could not believe in a God that would kill children just because he wanted to makes such a God immoral. The comparison here is why pro-choice groups, that they may support, should be able to define personhood to support killing preborn humans (or it seems arguably post birth humans) and be perfectly within their "rights" but God is immoral. It is not an argument that God exists. It pointing out that if God exists we are saying that humans have more rights than he does, while arguing that the unborn have no rights, would appear to be inconsistent, considering the flood in this case would equate to a large scale post birth abortion.
Again, as to "Most people who hold pro-choice positions aren't advocating that it's ok to kill human babies." "The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual. Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal." "Those who are only capable of experiencing pain and pleasure (like perhaps fetuses and certainly newborns) have a right not to be inflicted pain. If, in addition to experiencing pain and pleasure, an individual is capable of making any aims (like actual human and non-human persons), she is harmed if she is prevented from accomplishing her aims by being killed. Now, hardly can a newborn be said to have aims, as the future we imagine for it is merely a projection of our minds on its potential lives. It might start having expectations and develop a minimum level of self-awareness at a very early stage, but not in the first days or few weeks after birth. On the other hand, not only aims but also well-developed plans are concepts that certainly apply to those people (parents, siblings, society) who could be negatively or positively affected by the birth of that child. Therefore, the rights and interests of the actual people involved should represent the prevailing consideration in a decision about abortion and after-birth abortion." "A possible objection to our argument is that after-birth abortion should be practised just on potential people who could never have a life worth living. Accordingly, healthy and potentially happy people should be given up for adoption if the family cannot raise them up. Why should we kill a healthy newborn when giving it up for adoption would not breach anyone's right but possibly increase the happiness of people involved (adopters and adoptee)? Our reply is the following. We have previously discussed the argument from potentiality, showing that it is not strong enough to outweigh the consideration of the interests of actual people. Indeed, however weak the interests of actual people can be, they will always trump the alleged interest of potential people to become actual ones, because this latter interest amounts to zero. On this perspective, the interests of the actual people involved matter, and among these interests, we also need to consider the interests of the mother who might suffer psychological distress from giving her child up for adoption. Birthmothers are often reported to experience serious psychological problems due to the inability to elaborate their loss and to cope with their grief. It is true that grief and sense of loss may accompany both abortion and after-birth abortion as well as adoption, but we cannot assume that for the birthmother the latter is the least traumatic. For example, ‘those who grieve a death must accept the irreversibility of the loss, but natural mothers often dream that their child will return to them. This makes it difficult to accept the reality of the loss because they can never be quite sure whether or not it is irreversible’. We are not suggesting that these are definitive reasons against adoption as a valid alternative to after-birth abortion. Much depends on circumstances and psychological reactions. What we are suggesting is that, if interests of actual people should prevail, then after-birth abortion should be considered a permissible option for women who would be damaged by giving up their newborns for adoption." "First, we do not put forward any claim about the moment at which after-birth abortion would no longer be permissible, and we do not think that in fact more than a few days would be necessary for doctors to detect any abnormality in the child. In cases where the after-birth abortion were requested for non-medical reasons, we do not suggest any threshold, as it depends on the neurological development of newborns, which is something neurologists and psychologists would be able to assess. Second, we do not claim that after-birth abortions are good alternatives to abortion. Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford." It would seem, that humanness is not a criteria. Especially since in terms of the time frame for an after birth abortion, "In cases where the after-birth abortion were requested for non-medical reasons, we do not suggest any threshold" http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/03/01/medethics-2011-100411.full In the question of morality of abortion versus the flood, since the criterion seems to be personhood rather than humanhood, and personhood is a legal term, the question is why a pro-choice movement has more right to define who is not a person than God?
"Most people who hold pro-choice positions aren't advocating that it's ok to kill human babies." I'm not sure of the percentages, but I have seen it. The end result is the arguer does not care. Personal bodily autonomy overrides any other consideration. The woman has a right to choose what to do with her body. The unborn has no rights. Therefore the woman trumps the unborn. Humanness isn't a factor. Usually happens after the "It's not a human" argument stops working. Or after the violinist who will die if you disconnect him from your body runs up against the rebuttal that you were the one that connected him so not disconnecting him isn't an externally imposed oppression.
Not being a linguist or an ancient near east scholar, this is just a question. Could mountains, mean high places as in ziggurats? Were they not sometimes referred to as representing holy mountains? Could we not be talking about local flooding that covered man made structures? There are some who think the flood was an event when water pressure at the end of the last ice age broke through barriers at the mouth of the Persian Gulf or the Black Sea. Could this not be an account of the rising water levels covering man made structures and the boat eventually coming to rest in an area that was at the new water line? Just asking.
I once told a materialist atheist that I was a amaterialist. I simply did not believe that materialism sufficiently explained the universe. Since normal matter only makes up 4% of the universe and the fact that at the end of the 19th century physicists thought they pretty much had everything sewn up, one cannot say that in 100 years our view of reality may make our current one look quaint. Apparently that is a sign of intellectual dishonesty and playing word games and proof was needed to hold that position. Burden of proof? I don't see why I should not believe a proposition based on another person telling me that they do not agree that I have sufficiently proved it to them. That may be relevant to whether they accept it, but not on whether I accept it. Whether it is true or not, does not depend on whether either one of us agrees. As for non-stamp collecting not being a hobby, my usual response is that if you make YouTube videos, run a blog or podcast, and/or write books about not collecting stamps then not collecting stamps is a hobby.
If one takes, for the sake of argument, the existence of God to be a given then to determine whether causing death is wrong requires a definition of what death is. If there is a God, death is not the same result as if there is not a God. If God chooses to allow someone into heaven, death brings reward, as I assume it is better than here. If God chooses to deny heaven, one is denied X years on Earth but it is merely an early arrival at their final destination, which they would have arrived at anyway. Either way you are only pushed to the head of the line to a destination that you were travelling to already. You just get denied the enjoyment of part of the trip. The objection seems to assume that death brings eternal punishment. It doesn't. Sin, unrepented, does. Whether on is killed or not does not determine the ultimate punishment. It merely reduces the harm that one can cause on Earth before one receives it. The only real question is why we equate death at the hand of God with death at the hand of another human in a world without God? When you create a universe, you can do what you want with it. For now, you are stuck as the creation of someone else, who had a plan in mind when he did it.
why were the religious authorities upset if they did not believe? Why are there not records to be pointed at showing that his closest disciples recanted? I would think the Jewish authorities would consider it quite the coup if they could trot out his best friends to discount a couple of troublemakers. Unless all records were destroyed, I'll make the assumption that such testimony wasn't available to them.
Saying that atheists become atheists by thinking really says nothing. Everyone thinks, but not everyone thinks well or arrives at the same conclusion. Many "atheists" I have met who claim to be so due to science are only as scientifically literate as sci fi TV teaches them to be. I dare say that someone who believes in Spirit Science but is non theistic would count as an atheist under the current popular definition of merely lacking belief in a god. It makes little progress in showing that it is a superior worldview.
Arguably true is not the same as actually true. Basically, it comes down to insufficient information. Until one knows what a soul is, it is hard to describe its construction.
"No more than you think that every action taken by a civil servant is his personal anti-Christian choice." I don't. Just anything that doesn't fit the Obama agenda seems to have a target on it.
". According to law. " You seem a bit naïve. Between Lerner at the IRS, and Clinton running her own private email sever to avoid freedom of Information requests, do you honestly believe, outside of rhetorical effect, that every action by the government is fair and legal? Much easier to say there is a separation of church and state, and that removes the IRS's authority as it is an agent of the state.
So, separation of Church and State means the State regulates religion and civil servants decide what is a legitimate religious expense? As I observed, there is not a good track record of fairly dealing with any non-profit that doesn't align with the Obama administration. The argument assumes that the government has an inalienable right to all money, and can decide how much that anyone is allowed to retain.
Most non-profits I have been involved with are HIGHLY regulated. Of course, I am in Canada and under another set of rules but we have federal legislation describing how we operate. There ain't no separation of non-profit and state. That said, your IRS hasn't got the greatest reputation when it comes to fairly treating certain types of non-profits.
If there is truly a separation of Church and State, why should the State profit from the activities of the Church? That said, if there is a movement to rethink tax exemption of churches due to public sentiment, why not list the organization that actively receive money from the government and have public sentiment decide? Do the vast majority of Americans support government giving money to Planned Parenthood, even if they do not object to their operation. Just because someone does not object to something does not mean they want to actively fund it.
I've done a quick search of atheist groups on Cal State to see what requirements they do have. Most of the listings I am finding are either defunct web links or closed Facebook pages. Can anyone point to an actual atheist group on campus that lays out membership/leadership requirements? Or it's name?
Breeds are genetic lines specifically bred for a purpose and in a controlled fashion to accentuate a particular set of traits which is different than natural selection of traits. I believe all humans are more genetically similar than many other species. I'd say all Homo sapiens sapiens would be considered a single breed, if you wanted to use the term, when compared to other hominids and Great Apes. I was raised in farm country, and was expecting that response.
Certain genes are more commonly found in some genetic lineages, but race is social. We do not speak of racial differences in cows. Race is an outdated concept, and with globalization and ethnic mixing will soon become meaningless as it will be difficult to find anyone who is pure anything.
kpolo, in your example of diversity, one would either have to accept the persons claim or refute it. What possible way would society accept in telling a woman that she isn't a woman, as she claims, but is actually a man? Would there have to be a set of legal requirements that must be met to be allowed to qualify as transgendered? Who would define what the accepted criteria would be?
We have been told for some time that gender and race have a certain equivalency. The struggle of LGBT individuals is constantly linked to racial struggles. Not being supportive of LGBT issues is often equated with not supportive with racial issues. Now is the test. If it is true that if how one sees themselves is different from how society sees them, then society must accept and celebrate the individuals view as true, then is it only true for certain categories? IF sexuality/gender is a continuum, then it seems that we should be able to define ourselves anywhere we feel fit. However, race is purely a social construct, which if it has any validity would seem to merely be a broad generalization of ethnicity. Since it is a purely social construct, why would one oppose giving individuals the same freedom to define themselves as one does in terms of sexuality or gender? Unless, of course, you wish to continue to put forward the idea that there are large groups of people that are so fundamentally different than "us" that they need to be classified differently.
"Of course it sounds awful, but if those people really want to cut off their own arms, what do you really care?" Would it not cost society, and employers, money due to a duty to accommodate their condition?
Can I be defined as transfinancial? If I believe the only way to self actualize my view of myself is to spend as if I was wealthy, should society not support me and not restrict my spending ability? Not spending in this way causes emotional pain by causing me to deny my true orientation.
"Even if it could be proven that there is a "gay gene" it doesn't mean that it is a good thing." It would bring up an interesting discussion. Is a woman deciding to abort because a fetus has tested positive for said gene homophobic, and should homophobia based abortion be allowed?