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January 22, 2006

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Ya we only lost 2,986 on 9-11. Abortion kills 1.3 million americans a year.

If Christians really believe that these "beings" are human, then damn do they have their priorities out of wack. We are deffinitely pointing our guns at the wrong place and getting pissed at the wrong people.

Why do we point to the splinter in the eye of the middle east, when we do not recognize the beam in our own?

Tony, criminal prosecution is carried out against people who violate the law; military offense is carried out against people who seek to eliminate the law (in this case, in favor of their own law).

That's why the guns are pointed at the middle east.

-Billy

William,

Tell that to Lincoln.

Tony, explain please.

I think Tony is pointing out how Lincoln in many ways "broke" US Law during the Civil War.

Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, spent money without congressional authorization, and imprisoned thousands of accused Confederate sympathizers without trial.

However, that really has nothing to do with your comment.

Sometimes it helps to think things through.

Couple of questions guys:

If full citizenship happens at conception then an abortion is capital murder. That means life without parole or execution for the mother and the doctor and anyone assisting. Do you believe that's going to happen?

If the life or health of the mother is at stake, an abortion would become a judicial process. The fetus would get a court appointed attorney and due process would have to be observed. Does this bother anyone besides me?

Alan, in response to your questions:

1) No, I don't think that will happen. Remember also that not all people convicted of killing are sentenced to the penalties you offered. A court/judge takes into account circumstances and other factors before deciding penalty. This is, however, immaterial, since the issue of penalty and the issue of legality are independent. That is, we don't decide what should be legal based on what public opinion is of certain penalties that might be assigned.

2. If the health of the mother is legitimately at stake, it seems like it would be fairly simple for a doctor to file a report to that effect, with proper documentation. I don't see why it needs to involve the judicial process, but then I'm not bothered by the judicial process being involved in a case where one human being is going to be killed. How many appeals do we give to convicted murderers on death row?

Well William my man lets see.

Imagine you're living in the pre-civil war era and the law in your town allows for the burning of city waste in the village dumping grounds. You also note that in this particular part of the universe, the local magistrate has deemed that blacks are not persons, they are property, and hence may be maintained or discarded at will.

Now suppose farmer Bobs notices that his plantation is realizing diminishing marginal returns on his slave investment due to prosperous times and a burst in breeding of his black slave stock. Hence, Bob decides to burn ten of the weakest slaves (the younger kiddies say) to compensate.

He hauls them to the city dump, ties them to 10 poles, picks up a lit torch and, as the kids flail about screaming and crying and praying to God to save them, a local hunter named Hunter Will here’s their call.

Now hunter Will (never being to fond of slavery) quickly accesses the situation and decides he’s had enough. He picks up his rifle and shoots slave holder Bill between the eyes, just before he was to light the first slave on fire.

Will turns to leave but is tackled by the local popo who send him to jail and put him on trial.

Let’s all chime in now. If you’re on Good Will Hunting’s judge/jury, what do you convict him of?

Note: Since Christians equate zygotes with kiddies, this scene plays out 3000 times a day – except, you know, with vacuums not fire.

Note 2: If you want to get Greg’s take on the matter, you might try the below links. Except, I’m the first to admit that, after reading all four several times, I find them extremely confusing, contradictory, and blasé. I can’t make much sense out of them…

http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5390
http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5507
http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5516
http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5642

no one's even going to try??????????

Come onnnnn don't be a wuss!

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If full citizenship happens at conception then an abortion is capital murder.

I assume you mean "humanity", not "citizenship". But your conclusion does not follow; "capital murder" is Murder One where I live, and there are many times when a human could be killed without earning Murder One.

-Billy

Tony, do you have any doubt that the slaveholder was doing something wrong? Do you believe that what he's doing should be safe, legal, and rare?

Or are you advocating for his right to choose?

-Billy

Ugh, my reply to alan got mangled. The first paragraph, "If full citizenship happens at conception then an abortion is capital murder." was a quote, not my words. In fact, I don't agree with it.

William,

What in tarnation is with your posts? I cant' tell if they are directed at me but lets try the one with my name:

your question: do you have any doubt that the slaveholder was doing something wrong?

Hmm. Ok, lets say i answer yes - the slave holder was doing something wrong. So of course in this analogy the slave holder is the abortion doctor.

The only question I would ask Christians is why they don't support the efforts of those who would shoot the slave holder (abortion doctor)???????


Possibly it's because killing abortion doctors isn't the most effective or moral means of stopping/reducing abortions. In the case of Good Will Hunting, he is the last line of defense for those victims, so his moral decision could be argued for...but he should be willing to submit to the government and pay for the crime. The more efficient manner, in the long-term, would be to seek to enact change in the minds of society and government. That's what Lincoln cultivated, using tactics to appease both sides while moving forward to abolish slavery. It was only until the South was willing to tear the country apart that he made the moral decision to fight the battle of slavery on an actual battlefield.

Dustin,

“…In the case of Good Will Hunting, he is the last line of defense for those victims, so his moral decision could be argued for”

Well, tomorrow an abortion doctor will drive to work and perform 10 abortions. How is his walk up the steps different than the slave owners lighting of the torch? Perhaps you have a plan to make abortion illegal in the next 8 hours – if so I hope you hurry.

“…it was only until the South was willing to tear the country apart that he made the moral decision to fight the battle of slavery on an actual battlefield.”

Absolutely. There is a line at which it becomes strategically feasible to murder abortion doctors, just as there is a line at which it becomes strategically feasible to murder southerners. In fact, Lincoln murdered 260,000 southerners to free about 4 million slaves (as per the census of 1860).

So right now the line is at 3,561 dead kids a day (1.3 million dead kids a year). Since RvW in 1973, the number of abortions performed is around 40 million to date.

I’d like people to start submitting their own personal lines in the sand. i.e. is it ok to take action when the number gets to 4000 dead kids a day? How about 5000 dead kids a day? Or 10,000, or 15,000, or 20,000?

Where is the point at which it is ok to pull the trigger and prevent the death of the innocent?

Well, I’ll answer the question for you. There is no point. Because despite their arguments, Christians really DO NOT equate zygote life with adult life. This is so easily illustratable via many scenarios like this one.

Abortion will be with us for a long time. Default human intuition is just not on your side here guys.

p.s. just imagine if a muslim nation was producing troops that took out 3,561 Americans a day in our own backyard. Oh the triggers we would pull.

p.p.s: Note to Governing Agencies and NSA web spiders: I’m not a Christian and don’t condone violence. I write this to illustrate inconsistencies within the Christian pro life movement and that I think they’re nuts. Peace. - Tony

Tony, what do you mean by nuts? Crazy? Illogical? If Christian pro-lifers are nuts, why don't you quit trying to reason with us? Don't you find it futile to reason with crazy people?

We've hashed Tony's "why don't you Christians get to the killin'?" question quite a bit, but let me just add:

1) Abortion is legal. I don't have the right to break the law because I don't like it, unless I'm willing to accept the penalties for my "civil disobedience." Most "civil disobedience" is peaceful (e.g., a sit-in at the abortion clinic to prevent patients/doctors from entering). Nevertheless, I'm not willing to be executed for a "civil disobedience" act of killing a doctor, for reasons stated below (keep reading).

2. Abortion providers are numerous and widespread. Killing one doctor wouldn't do the trick, since the patients would just go to another doctor, and I thus haven't prevented anything. (Tony's next question: "why not get organized kill them all?") Because that still wouldn't stop it -- hospitals and other doctors would just be coerced into performing them, so you'd have to kill every doctor and nurse in the country. Seems like a cutting off of one's nose to spite one's face.

3. Killing doctors would only push public sentiment and courts away from the pro-life position, effectively killing more babies in the long run.

Killing doctors is also not civil disobedience. Civil disobedience breaks only the bad law, never good ones.

Paul,

my question was WHEN does it become strategically feasible?

Give me a number of babies killed per year.

P.S. Come on Paul look at your arguments they suck. Imagine a northerner making those same appeals to Lincoln to NOT go to war.

Tony, whether it’s morally justifiable or not, the best course of action is not for me to go to an abortion clinic and (censored). Christianity is a movement of passive resistance…there is almost always a better way than violence. I might be able to save a few lives, but in the grand scheme of things, I could very well do more harm than good to the pro-life cause. Whether Lincoln’s decision to go to war against the South was the “right” thing to do or not, that was the difficult moral decision he had to make. His decision was also quite different from mine, because he had power to make institutional changes. Also, although slavery was the major issue, Lincoln was fighting to keep the country together. Perhaps he made the wrong decision and should've let them secede?

Also, just because I’m not willing to kill (I don’t think it would be murder, by definition, because I would be saving innocents), doesn’t mean that I don’t care about unborn children as human lives, nor does it mean that’s automatically the position that God holds or supports. It’s also hard for me to disagree with you when you say that Christians don’t place equal value on people in the womb vs. people out of the womb, but I believe a large part of that is because of how hidden abortion is. It’s the same concerning those starving and dying in other countries. Yes, we should all care more, and generally the best way to save lives, in both cases, is to change minds and gradually enact institutional change.

Note: Even if people think (value of people out of the womb) > (value of people in the womb), it doesn’t follow that (woman’s right to choose) > (value of people in the womb).

Your comments are challenging and definitely make me think through my positions. However, you aren’t offering a better point of view…rather, you’re making outlandish comments concerning the pro-life position (not to mention telling Paul that his arguments suck...that's really convincing). I understand that you’re trying to take a pro-life position to its logical course of action, but I think we’d both agree that the object is save as many lives as possible in the long-term. How we get to that point isn’t the obvious conclusion you might think it is.

Ah Paul knows I love him.

Anyway, all these questions just involve getting the Christian to admit that it is indeed RIGHT and GOOD and MORAL and GODLY to sniper an abortion doctor in the head oh his way to work in the morning IF one has REASON TO BELIEVE that it will do MORE GOOD than BAD. If I can get you guys to go along with that conditional than that’s cool.

Currently you all have been arguing that you have reason to believe that it will do more bad than good.

Ok fair enough. But I was just asking for a point at which that tide would change. For Lincoln, the point was four million slaves. But we’ve lost 40 million kids since 1973. Hmm. Interesting ratio differential.

NOTE: that i'm not suggesting that you yourself have to carry out the action. Just asking at what point you would consider said action GOOD and MORAL and GODLY. - Much like how we all look to the hunter saving the slaves to be a "noble act," but when we map the scenario on to the abortion issue, we grimace a little.

p.s. Consider a scenario in which our hero hunter was weighing the strategic feasibility of the situation. Perhaps he had reason to believe that his action would make it harder for all the slaves of his community. Should he then let them burn?

Realistically, humans just don't tend to think in these terms. The mind definitely instigates a "you can cross that bridge when you come to it – SAVE THOSE PEOPLE NOW” response by default. The souls in front of us are attended to way before the souls in the periphery (yes – i.e. Africa).

It would take a mighty amount of pro-don’t_shoot evidence to convince the average person to not see the rationale in our hunter’s action. A VERY MIGHTY amount. And even then, most would still support his actions - I am convinced.

Funny how, with the abortion issue, this kind of resolve is simply not present.

Good or bad, right or wrong, fallen state of man or not, I for one am certainly convinced that the pro-lifer’s biggest obstacle in their work to instigate the Christian God’s moral code, is the fact that Christian God’s moral code simply doesn’t jive with the one we’re all born with.


OK NOW HERE'S THE ONLY QUESTION FOR YOUR.

I DREW THE ARGUMENT IN PICTURES TO SIMPLIFY IT.

ONLY ONE QUESTION: DID PAUL HILL MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION THAT DAY.

THE PROBLEM IN PICTURES:
http://www.gregiswrong.com/site-gregiswrong/sandwich_board/ok_to_murder_abortion_doctors.htm

Tony, you claim "Currently you all have been arguing that you have reason to believe that it will do more bad than good." This isn't anything close to what I mean.

We don't restrain ourselves from shooting doctors because it's ineffective. We restrain because it's wrong.

We disagree with the law that allows them to act as they do. Therefore we agitate to get the law changed.

-Billy

Tony, it's odd that you're BEGGING us to do things that we both know are clearly wrong (shoot doctors), on the grounds that you claim an analogy to another situation. It sounds like a bizzare twisting of the classical "slippery slope" argument. As with most uses of the slippery slope, your argument is badly incomplete; unlike most uses, you have a lot more of the burden of proof, since you have to not only argue that the slope is slippery, but also that we are morally obligated to jump on it and slide down.

The problem with abortion is that it's killing an innocent human. Killing a guilty human doesn't undo that horror; it just adds more, even if only (for the sake of argument) because the "guilty" doctor might not be as guilty as the vigilante thinks. As I mentioned, not all manslaughter is Murder One.

-Billy

Billy

“…we don't restrain ourselves from shooting doctors because it's ineffective. We restrain because it's wrong…”

But how come shooting an abortion doctor is WRONG but shooting our slave owner is RIGHT?

“…we disagree with the law that allows them to act as they do. Therefore we agitate to get the law changed…”

What if the law called on Billy to kill one jew a day at a crematorium. Ought Billy keep pressing the button each day until the law is changed? P.s. assume the law says you can’t not show up for work or quit either.

“…tony, it's odd that you're BEGGING us to do things that we both know are clearly wrong (shoot doctors)…”

Absolutely Not. On the contrary, if I was a Christian and believed that zygotes got souls at totipotent_1 and hence were valuable human beings, and I had good reason to believe that military operations could indeed limit the number of abortions performed, then I can DEFINITELY see abortion doctor slayer Paul Hill’s logic. Paul Hill would be a martyr and a noble man and someone who is with God now. A brave man who did what was right and paid the ultimate sacrifice – a sinful government put him to death for doing the right thing.

Given the scenario outlined on the website, I really just don’t see a way around that for you guys.

“…the problem with abortion is that it's killing an innocent human. Killing a guilty human doesn't undo that horror…”

Uhm. Well ya it does. In this scenario it will save 20 million kids from the horror of vacuum death.


Interesting. It seems you're making the assumption that Mr. Hill's one action would saved 20 million babies. Why, because that one doctor would have done all those? Seems ambitions. What if (as I said) his action led to a delay in the abolition of abortion, and his act of killing actually made 20 million MORE babies be killed?

I can understand your objection to my arguments, but the distinction is that Lincoln was acting as an agent of the government. Pro-lifers are already making appeals to lawmakers to change the laws regarding abortion. To make your "Lincoln" analogy work, it would seem that the president would have to wage war on a segment of society that wanted to cede from the union so it could freely abort babies, in which case I would enlist.

"But how come shooting an abortion doctor is WRONG but shooting our slave owner is RIGHT?"

The fundamental problem here has already been answered. Abortion is wrong.

Your issue isn't even a side issue; it's a red herring. There may or may not be situations and cases in which killing slaveowners or abortion doctors is morally acceptable (in the normal case it certainly is not). I haven't hashed those out, because it's clearly not morally obligatory to kill either, and therefore I will not waste brain cells parsing out fine distinctions which I will not need to apply (and about which, due to the hair-splitting fineness of the moral reasoning required, I would likely be wrong anyhow).

Obligation is an important concept. I have a duty to protect everyone, but that includes a duty to keep the peace. My duty to protect some people (my own children) goes beyond that. If someone else fails in their duty to protect, I must do my best to solve the problem, but the violation is theirs to deal with and not mine. Revenge in particular is not mine.

-Billy

Paul,

"...what if (as I said) his action led to a delay in the abolition of abortion, and his act of killing actually made 20 million MORE babies be killed?"

Of course, then, if i was a christian, I would say he did THE WRONG thing.

But that's not the scenario. Are you Paul, willing to say that he DID THE RIGHT THING in the outlined scenario?

Billy Billy Billy,

"...there may or may not be situations and cases in which killing slaveowners or abortion doctors is morally acceptable (in the normal case it certainly is not). I haven't hashed those out, because it's clearly not morally obligatory to kill either, and therefore I will not waste brain cells parsing out fine distinctions which I will not need to apply..."

well ok. i don't know why you're here then.

"If someone else fails in their duty to protect, I must do my best to solve the problem..."

Keep in mind that i'm not asking you to pull triggers and 'do your duty'. I'm letting you get out of that one - though i think one could make a biblical case for it.

I'm only asking if the abortion doctor killer DID THE RIGHT THING in this scenario?

COME ON PEOPLE - YES OR NO?

Tony, it's incredible how many times we've had to repeat ourselves here. NO, the doctor-killer did not do the moral thing. But that's not because the eventual results weren't what he hoped for. It's because his means were immoral.

"...NO, the doctor-killer did not do the moral thing."

did the farmer who shot the slave burner do the moral thing?

yes or no.

Tony, you'll have to convince me first that there's some usefulness in my answering. Do you believe that there's some kind of parallel between the cases? Why?

I don't see it. Aside from the fact that both the slaveowner and the abortion doctor are people who treat an entire class of humans an non-human, up to and including killing them... That alone is not enough to justify killing on sight (or do you believe it is?).

-Billy

Oops, let me be clear. I do believe it's likely that Will acted morally. However, given what you've described, there's no parallel between the cases. Let me enumerate.

Will was:

- on public ground (not trespassing)
- witnessing a murder (not having previously heard about it)
- in a position to stop the murder
- (possibly) killing was his only option for stopping the murder

(I'm not sure about the last point -- your description left it out, but I'll assume it for the sake of argument. If Will had some other reasonable and effective means for stopping the murder, killing was NOT moral.)

Can you draw up a scenario that is actually parallel in these ways?

Ok.

- on public ground (not trespassing)

Sure, assume it all happened in a park.

- witnessing a murder (not having previously heard about it)

Sure, assume that this was the first abortion for the 10 ladies at the clinic that morning.

- in a position to stop the murder

Of course. He owns a rifle.

- (possibly) killing was his only option for stopping the murder

Sure, the Doc got stats from the future and already illustrated that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Really you didn’t need me to do all this. You can answer your own “ya buts.” Even the mere fact that your trying so hard further buttresses my claim that you just don’t see zygotes as equals.

Tony, I don't have "yabuts". These are the questions a jury would need to have answered (your original scenario put us on the jury of Wil, if you recall).

And frankly, this isn't working. You seem to think that Wil couldn't possibly have done the wrong thing by shooting the slaveowner, and his modern counterpart is doing exactly the parallel thing. Neither is true.

By the way, if Wil shot the slaveowner because he believed that more slaveowners would change their actions because of the killing, he's guilty of murder. Ditto for the abortionist.

-Billy

So Wil is guilty of murder and did the wrong thing that day.

ok fare enough.

i dont think for a second that you believe that. but ok

No, Tony. Read my post. If Wil isn't guilty of murder, it's because of special circumstances.

Obviously, there's neither premeditation nor preparation (your idea of justifying the killing by claiming positive later effects is counterproductive, because if Wil performed the killing because of the later effects, he's admitting to premeditation); also, the event he observed was obviously heinous (note that most slave-owning communities had laws and/or traditions against extreme mistreatment of 'chattel' humans; such traditions could conceivably earn a known non-abolitionist jury nullification in such an extreme case).

In a court trial, you'd also have to ask what Wil saw. He saw a chaotic scene where a bunch of people were tied to stakes while another person lit fires under them. Screams filled the air. What would a reasonable person assume? Would a reasonable person wait to check for a certificate of ownership?

When Will II enters the city dump (remember, you have to at least try to keep the cases parallel) and sees your hypothetical abortionist plying his trade, what does HE see? If Wil were totally pro-abortion and even thought that it ought to be encouraged and increased, would he support what he saw?

Again, you seem to want us to premeditate the killing of all abortion doctors simply because there are imaginable circumstances where a slaveowner could be morally killed. Your argument is untenable because the cases aren't parallel, can't be made parallel (I tried to get you to do it), and most importantly, because you overreach in trying to pretend that a special circumstance in one hypothetical and specific case with the slaveowner extends to all cases of abortion doctors.

-Billy

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