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March 18, 2006

Comments

Thanks for sharing that, Steve. If it matters, I support you to help encourage you. That took a lot of good ambassador training to handle that situation the way you did. Keep up the good work.

great job, steve! will we get to see your outline of your "secular case against abortion"?
i have lately been considering the value of the -secular- case both against abortion and evolution. (vs. injecting "religion" into the topics) any thoughts about that?

I'm sorry that young lady's aunt died of an abortion back in the 50's, people still die of trying to get an abortion today when it's legal. The problem is, infants die of abortions every day to the tune of about 4000, and I fail to see how that's a superior system.

Let me pop in with a sales pitch if I may. If you are not financially supporting Steve's work at STR, please do it. You are looking at the best guy in the country for doing these kinds of events and he deserves our help. Please, get behind him if you care about saving unborn lives.

Oh, one other thing--Melinda, your blog posts are just awesome. When can we expect the book deal?

"...another student and I clarified that science only gives us the facts we need (e.g. what kind of organism is this?) to THEN discuss our value claims, which are philosophical in nature..."

who made the "kinds"? i.e. categories of organisms.

Wow Steve...that's great news! I'm very impressed. I wish I could have been there for it.

Tony,

I thought of you as a pretty bright fellow, but if you can not distinguish what kind of organism the embryo is, that it is a human embryo, I don't know what to say.

Stephen,

Ask yourself what we do when we engage in the practice of speciation. We examine a construct of carbon nitrogen oxygen and hydrogen that we find particularly interesting that day, then we circle it, then we give it a name.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

The classification method currently in use is derived from Carolus Linnaeus’ method first published in 1735.

But how does ol’ Carl know which material constructs are “unique distinct organisms” and which are not?

He doesn’t.

To know so, would require a divine communiqué from God himself.


You're unable to tell organisms apart and see which are distinct from each other?

We need to take a lesson from the young man who had the courage to correct his fellow pro-choicer. We have more than a few squirrels in our midst as well who spout out half-truths and strawmen about the pro-choice position. We need to have the integrity to speak up and correct them, publicly if necessary.

"And if the decision to restrict abortion is ever returned back to the states, changing hearts and minds a few at a time, through a community dialogue that begins with common ground, is going to be key."

I wish this is what would happen but, after the Schaivo affair, I believe we need to be realistic. If Roe is overturned the next item on the agenda will be a push to outlaw abortion on a national level. And, as with Schaivo, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

chris,

Please write down chris's rules that make one circle of the universe distinct_from another circle.

Are we to take it that you cannot answer this question, Tony? It's pretty simple, are you incapable of distinguishing between two objects?

And Alan, I'll ask here what I asked below: What, exactly, do you think the government did in the Schiavo case? Details, please.

If its so simple then tell me.

What you have to do is make some rules.

For example:

RULE 1 - if one piece of matter is more than 6 inches apart from another piece of matter, then its distinct.

rules of that sort.

Try to write some down and you'll see that to insert distinction into the universe implies a creator.

Check out this:

http://glasskite.com/site-gregiswrong/thought_experiments/world.htm

and this:

http://www.gregiswrong.com/site-gregiswrong/home/videos/david_sosa.wmv

last will take a while to load but its worth it


What your doing is amazing Steve and is much needed within the pro-life movement. Pro-choicers need to understand that there are a multitude of reasons that people are pro-life and most of them have nothing to do with religion.

Of course, you will always have those that try to derail this discussion by introducing inconsequential arguments.

OK Tony I guess we'll have to let it go with your unwillingness to answer a pretty straightforward question.

See, here's the problem ordinary folks have with philosophers: they complicate the obvious and ignore questions to pontificate. Nobody can figure out how we're able to distinguish between a crowd of people and individuals, or find their eyes as distinct from their face - at a philosophical level.

But the fact is, we do. And Tony, you know we do, and you do. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to read and respond to posts. You have to distinguish between letters and words to do so.

Sounds like a great time, wish I could have been there. When you were at ASU, you made me not necessarily reconsider my views, but realize exactly what they were, which wasn't where I thought they were. Intelligent and reasoned debate is exactly what people need; why isn't there more of it in today's society?

of course the fact is that (in practice) "we do". As a matter of utility, we accept a lot of things as true_enough_for_now.

But this is a philosophy blog.

If you want to talk about productivity or utility, thats a different blog.

I'm not nitpicking - this is the answer to the abortion issue. Assume every biologist in the world said human life started at totipotent_1.

I only ask them, how did they come upon this knowledge?

understand - biology is NOT like geometry. Categorization of matter is NOT platonically axiomatic.

Hi Chris, the Congress passed, with much grandstanding by the Republican Congressional leadership and President Bush,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51402-2005Mar20.html,

S686, there were a number of related bills. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN00686:|/bss/d109query.html|. This was an outrageous intrusion into a state and family matter. It allowed Terri's family to go to Federal Court and file for a Habeas writ that would have resulted in the feeding tube being replaced should it have succeeded.

It also is why I believe that you all are going to go for Federal legislation should Roe be overturned. Earlier the Congress had passed legislation that would, in the future, limit access of some poor and disabled persons to Medicaid.

Is this what you were thinking of?

Alan :"It also is why I believe that you all are going to go for Federal legislation should Roe be overturned"

That will be the America's finest hour since its inception - The day cannot come soon enough. For in that day the merciless slaughter will be begin to assuage, and once the tide has begun, reorientation to the right understanding of what human life is will prevail. And those who at that point mercilessly continue thier bloody tirade (like that insane woman from Fla. who has made it her passsion to instruct others as to the proper methods for killing the unborn)will be put in prison for crimes against humanity. So let it be written, so let it be done!

Ah... well... Hi Patrick, how do you really feel? Actually this may be moot by that time as the majority may well change in the Congress and we will have a new President so we may be able to restore the Republic making federal criminalization impossible. Any attempt will seal a new political alignment.

Alan :"Actually this may be moot by that time as the majority may well change in the Congress and we will have a new President so we may be able to restore the Republic making federal criminalization impossible"

You may be right. I think not as the populace is not quite the convention that the liberal media elite has tired to create. Niether do I think Gov. Mitt Romney will stand aside so easily on the issue once he is President. (Pardon me while I dream the impossible dream!)

"Ah... well... Hi Patrick, how do you really feel..."

HAHHAHAHAHAAA

Well dont blame patrick too much. He told me its cool to climb a tree with a sniper rifle and shoot an abortion doctor in the eyes in this scenario.

http://glasskite.com/site-gregiswrong/thought_experiments/abortion.htm

And you know what. He's right. I'm not Christian, but in a Christian world view, once strategic feasibility has been illustrated, it IS proper to kill abortion doctors.

At least he has guts.

Tony :"Well dont blame patrick too much. He told me its cool to climb a tree with a sniper rifle and shoot an abortion doctor in the eyes in this scenario."

Silly Tony, tricks are for kids! For the record though, I would be wrong to kill an abortion doctor, for the same reason I would be wrong to shoot and kill a person who gets away with murder of an adult, even if I saw it.

Suppose the court does not allow certain evidence that would surely convict. The judge determines I have no right to call my photo of the person actually doing the killing evidence. Why? Because the photo print is just a combination of common chemical elements found in any old lab room or even drug store!!

You, Tony are guilty of faulty reasoning. I wonder if you would be comfortable with someone chosing to have an abortion only after they had consulted your reasoning. Your thoughts allowed them the extra space that thier consceince was having trouble finding. Coupled with your thoughts about carbon, etc., they proceed to kill the the life within them. Yikes! Ideas have consequencecs you mean???

Oops sorry,

I thought blogger Patrick was the same as blogger Agilius who, last month on this blog, said:

"Given that Paul Hill's motive was to save humans from a murderer, I would say that he did the right thing."

Hmm. You do sound alike though...

Well ok, while we’re here:

“I would be wrong to kill an abortion doctor, for the same reason I would be wrong to shoot and kill a person who gets away with murder of an adult, even if I saw it”

Ok, but the murders haven’t happened yet. Is it wrong to kill a man who is ABOUT TO murder 10 babies?

Thank you for answering Alan. Have you read the constitution? It specifically gives congress the power to decide what federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court have jurisdiction over. That's all congress did - extend jurisdiction of the federal courts over this case.

And your problem with that is what, exactly?

See, my position on abortion varies a bit from your attempt to caricature conservatives. Abortion violates the 5th amendment, which prohibits the taking of life "without due process of law."

However, that's not even neccessary. All I want at this point is for the Supreme Court to overturn the just lousy (from a legal standpoint if not moral) Roe v Wade decision and kick the decision back to the states. I'd fight as best I'm able - which isn't much - for states that legalize abortion to change that, naturally.

That something can be done doesn't mean that it should be done. Also there are 11th Amendment issues here perhaps.


http://legalaffairs.org/howappealing/SchiavoTRODenied.pdf

Your fifth amendment argument is problematic if one considers 1 U.S.C. The fifth protects "persons". Of course, ignoring the law and the Constitution is SOP for conservatives today.

TITLE 1 > CHAPTER 1 >

§ 8. “Person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual” as including born-alive infant
Release date: 2006-03-20

(a) In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the words “person”, “human being”, “child”, and “individual”, shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.
(b) As used in this section, the term “born alive”, with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being “born alive” as defined in this section.


Alan:"Your fifth amendment argument is problematic if one considers 1 U.S.C. The fifth protects "persons". Of course, ignoring the law and the Constitution is SOP for conservatives today."

Hello Allan - you never run out of bait, do you! Anyway, seen any non-human persons lately?


Tony: "Ok, but the murders haven’t happened yet. Is it wrong to kill a man who is ABOUT TO murder 10 babies?"

Great question. Of course it is wrong. Subduing him and locking him up for attempted murder - absolutely okay. Now if only our or consitutional reinterpretors would see it. Or better yet, if the congress would show the courage of thier convictions and clearly prescribe against the obvious affront to checks and balances inherent in the court systems present pratice of writinglaw from the bench. I would be weell within my rights, given the time and money, to violate any such law, and argue that said law was never made or passed, demanding that only congress can pass said laws. Of course Alan would then want me placed in reorientation camp!

I sure would like to sit down and eat pizza with you guys.

so patrick is living in pre-civil war america and comes upon a field where a man is about to burn 10 of his black slaves because of low productivity.

Patrick realizes that the only way to save the slaves from death by fire, is to shoot the man where he stands.

Is it wrong for Patrick to kill the man?

Patrick, Chris invoked the Fifth Amendment re: abortion. The Fifth Amendment refers specifically to "persons". The U. S. C. definition of "person" makes that theory impossible. 1USC makes the species "homo sapiens" and the condition of "born" necessary in order to have a "person".

Tony, I wonder whether in this case, the issue is "reasonable force". Patrick is justified in doing whatever he needs to do to protect the slaves from being illegally assaulted.

I don't know whether it was legal to burn slaves for poor performance; I will assume it was not.

The minute the man touches a flame to the fire, Patrick can act to stop him. I would think that to "shoot him where he stands" is excessive, unless it is a shot to injure and not kill.

Perhaps I have missed something, and I am certainly no legal expert, but this is how I see it.

This reminds me of "Knowing what you know now, would you kill Hitler as a child, if you could?"

Tony writes, "so patrick is living in pre-civil war america and comes upon a field where a man is about to burn 10 of his black slaves because of low productivity.
Patrick realizes that the only way to save the slaves from death by fire, is to shoot the man where he stands."

If you want to press the analogy to abortion, then the slaves were not persons, at least not in the sense the white man was. (Of course this is not true, but it is what those slave owners believed. Blacks were not equal with other men because they were considered not to be human in the sense that a white man was - he was somehow, in their minds, inferior, BIOLOGICALLY & ONTOLOGICALLY).

So, in that case, the slave owner would not be burning humans - at least not in the same way they would be burning white humans. And after all Tony, those slaves are only a combination of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen.

Also, shooting the slave owner would not have prevented the burning of the slaves, as the government would have immediately placed another slave owner in his place to continue the burning.

Lets dance, Tony.

The Constitution does not define humanity or personhood (the writers likely thought it was sort of obvious). Since my argument is based on the constitution and not Federal Law (as federal law is subject to and beneath the constitution), it doesn't matter what current law says. That can be changed with a majority vote in Congress and a signature by the President.

Thus I reject your argument that the 5th amendment does not protect babies, it does - unless you define babies as being not human. Since that's not scientifically possible (and is without scientific or logical merit), your position is without merit.

I notice you didn't bother responding to the fact that Congress was acting within it's constitutional powers in the way it acted with the Schiavo case. I hope that means you're thinking about it differently than you were.

I also never cease to be amused at people getting angry that the "government got involved in a private matter" when that happened.

What, exactly, do you think the courts are, if they aren't government?

Alan:"Patrick, Chris invoked the Fifth Amendment re: abortion. The Fifth Amendment refers specifically to "persons". The U. S. C. definition of "person" makes that theory impossible. 1USC makes the species "homo sapiens" and the condition of "born" necessary in order to have a "person".

The USC arbitrarily defined personhood right after it finished saying no one really has the right to qualify the same. Furthermore, another USC determined that blacks were not persons. The court was, and remains, wrong.

The point remains un-refuted. There are no non human persons.

Patrick,

worst answer i've ever received.

ok assume harriet tubman was standing next to you and she was ready and willing to take them north to freedom.

Tony:"Patrick,
"worst answer i've ever received."

Want to qualify that further, or do you ascribe to that statament the same force as your carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen avoider?

Tony:"ok assume harriet tubman was standing next to you and she was ready and willing to take them north to freedom."

I'd clear the brush ahead of her and wash her sore, tired, dirty feet along the way.


and let the other 10 slaves burn?

p.s. aiding harriet tubman is also illegal.

I'm getting confused, but here's another crack at it.

Tony, is the distinction here between morality and the law?

There are certainly times when one must break the law to do what is right. E.g., I have no problem with the people who used to stage protests in front of abortion clinics. They went to jail for what they did. Trying to protect the unborn was a moral choice that went against the law.

Killing an abortionist is different. As a Christian, I can't find a principle in the Bible that justifies it.

Perhaps some would equate it with war -- i.e., attacking another country in a pre-emptive strike if you think they are planning to attack you.

Hmm. I think there is a time for pre-emptive strikes but I don't approve of a pre-emptive strike against an abortionist. Am I being inconsistent here?

Regarding Tony's questions (tricky as they are), I just had a thought I would like to throw out. It just came to me right before I typed this so I've not carefully thought it through. However it's something to ponder...

I'm thinking, maybe location does matter. Not in how we value of the unborn, but maybe in how the killing of the unborn is treated. As a legal example, in the state I live, if you use deadly force against someone who is in your backyard attempting to break into your house and you kill them, you go to jail. But if you kill him after he breaks in (or haul his body in after you shoot him ;) you are justified in shooting him.

Perhaps morally it's similar with abortion. Maybe one is not justified using deadly force until they are born.

Also, to be really consistent wouldn't you really want to kill the mom instead of the doctor? She's the one actually giving the order to kill the baby. Of course if you do that, you've killed the baby anyway. Killing the doctor just seems to be a convenient scapegoat. I suppose you could be justified in killing the doctor if he was about to do an abortion on someone who didn't give her consent to one though.

But I digress...

Bryan,

assume the slave scenario is happening in your living room if you like.

"Also, to be really consistent wouldn't you really want to kill the mom instead of the doctor?"

no, its ok to shoot hitler AND a nazi. i.e. the orderer and the ordered.

Gravis,

how is the scenario in which 10 slaves are about to be killed, different to a scenario outlined on my website?

I believe in a federal system hence I believe there are limits to what the Congress should do. If there were abuses happening, if the several states proved themselves unable or unwilling to handle cases like Schiavo, then there would be an argument for federal intervention. That however was not the case. The case had been extensively and fairly litigated in the state courts as the federal courts found when they looked at it.

Tony:"and let the other 10 slaves burn?"

Read your own post and my response before misrepresenting me please. Yuur question involved taking "them". So was my answer. And you also did not qualify your personal attack as to"the worst answer ever". I do not think many were convinced by it.

Patrick,

ok now i'm confused. lets start over.

Patrick is standing on a field in the pre-civil war era next to Harriet Tubman. Looking over about a quarter mile down the field he notices that a farmer is about to burn 10 of his slaves for low productivity.

Patrick realizeds that the only way to save all 10 slaves is to shoot the white farmer.

Also Harriet Tubman volunteers to take the 10 slaves north with her (assuming Patrick fires and frees them).

The christian thing for patrick to do is ________________.

Actually, forget that, answer this question:

TRUE OR FALSE: A PERSON WHO CHOOSES TO FIRE HIS RIFLE IN THIS SCENARIO HAS SINNED.

Tony :"TRUE OR FALSE: A PERSON WHO CHOOSES TO FIRE HIS RIFLE IN THIS SCENARIO HAS SINNED"

False.

But the question presents a challenge as to why would it would not then be okay to smoke the abortion loving doctor. Yes, it is the taking of a life. SO why is there tension for me? Can't put my finger on it. But my confusion does not change the status of the unborn. They are 100% human and the innocent victims of society endorsed murder. The issues are seperate. And I have more thinking to do to figure out why.

Proponents of abortion are rather poor thinkers on the issue of abortion. That is unassailable.

Once the violence begins it never really ends. Save what you can when you can and if possible legally. In the old South you could cast aspersions on a slave owner's honor and he might challenge you to a duel, realize you are right or be branded a coward for not defending that honor. If he were about to kill his slaves I would do what I could to save them. Killing someone is to reserved for last on the list of options.

"assume the slave scenario is happening in your living room if you like."

Doesn't matter to me either way. I'd empty the clip, reload, and put a few more in the guy just to make sure.

"no, its ok to shoot hitler AND a nazi. i.e. the orderer and the ordered."

I agree. In fact, I think that if someone is going to shoot the doctor, they are not being morally consistent unless they also shoot the mother. But like I said, that's not going to achive the goal of saving the unborn.

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