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May 13, 2006


I see that the term "valuable" is used pretty freely here. Based on what? having 46 chromosomes? For example Saddam's two sons were, beyond dispute, worthless. All of us can probably list a least one person who could also be valued as worthless. Sorry Steve but you can't slip that one past us. If you want personhood from conception on, amend the Constitution.

I'll dispute that. I don't agree with anything that the Saddam regime did, but I would never call two human beings "worthless". At what point do we give up on people? I guess you can hope that the line is always drawn on the correct side of yourself.

I think you are equivocating punishing evil and eliminating inconvenience.

As a pro life person I recently was faced with the reality of my stance.

I saw the numbers of poor black babies being aborted every year. I still dont think abortion is right, but I have taken on a new view.

The new view is, whoever bans abortion better have a REALISTIC plan on what to do to keep the poor minority birth rate low. Otherwise the load would break our social support system. And its not realistic to think all those black babies would be adopted. There are not enough wealthy blacks to do all that adopting, and there are not enough TRULEY non-racial whites to do all that adopting either.

And please no discussion that they would naturally pick other means of birth control. I am not talking about educated people that make educated decidions. I am talking about non educated people and children (teens).

xselder, you're right that there would be pretty serious consequences to the illegalization of abortion. Certainly that shouldn't stop us from defending human life.

I read an article a few weeks ago talking about the high out-of-wedlock birth rate among inner-city blacks (about 70%, IIRC). The woman writing the article said that a lot of it had to do with the fact that marriage was no longer seen as a prerequisite for having children. Unfortunately, most of these children grow up without fathers. A lot of problems in the inner-city have their roots in the collapse of the nuclear family. Stastically, American society as a whole is also following this trend....

Xselder, I fear irony isn't your strong point. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/04/AR2006050400820.html

The issue, of course, isn't keeping poor womwn from getting pregnant, it's providing access to good health care to everyone.

Dru, help me here, of what value were Uday and Qusay? Can you keep a straight face and honestly say that the world woundn't have been better off if Mrs. Hussein had a couple of abortions? Better yet their grandmother should have had one.

As for punishing evil, we simply disagree on what's evil. Abortion may be a mistake for some or even wrong but isn't inherently evil. It is your right to try and convince others that abortion as a means of avoiding inconvenience is wrong but the state has no role in providing negative sanctions.

I guess I give up on folks when they start throwing others into chippers and making rape a hobby.

If one draws the line in the wrong place one pays the price. I don't think things turned out so well for Hitler and Germany.

Help me out here, where was I being ironic?

As for abortion "isn't inherently evil" I am not so sure. How do we know whats right and wrong, supposedly its built into us and that is why we feel guilty. (It cant be only the law because that only covers so many things, like the Biblical Law didnt cover the internet, etc. My point, I have never met a woman that has felt good about an abortion. It tends to scar them, change them inside. This makes me think it may be an inherent evil.

If one person could, should he go back and to something to cause Hitlers mom to have a miscarriage? If you did, would you be interfering with Gods will? If it wouldnt be going against his will, then why wouldnt God have forced a miscarriage upon her?

Hmm, maybe God uses miscarriages to prevent even worse people than Hitler from being born. Maybe if he didnt, things would be even worse than they are today.

According to the article that you posted (that was a waste of my life to read) God refused to let 1.1 million tyrants be born in 2001. '

Now thats irony.

Ok, if you weren't being ironic I'm not sure where you are coming from. The article was on point. Unintended pregnancies are up among lower income women and down among moderate to upper income women. At the same time services that educate and provide birth control to lower income women have been cut. Race is immaterial here and regret or ambivalence does not necessarily mean that something is evil.

This is fundamentally a health issue and making access to reproductive health a class issue does not serve our society well.

Your speculation about miscarriages is interesting. It is hard to believe that there are worse possibilities than the likes of Hitler, Saddam or Karl Rove but if your god has saved us from them I suppose that's a good thing.

The article wants you to infer a link between between welfare and pregnancy.

How about this, we replace " At the same time services that educate and provide birth control to lower income women have been cut." with :

"At the same time church attendence of lower income women has declined."

See, I can make vague references to cause as well. Like I said, "waste of my life."

How about because there is no relationship between church attendance and unintended pregnancy while there is a direct connection with access to birth control.

Defining access to health and social services as welfare is a non-productive way of thinking. Would you rather prevent unintended pregnancies and hence abortions or hew to some ideological line?

Can you prove this??? "How about because there is no relationship between church attendance and unintended pregnancy."

Can you prove this??? "while there is a direct connection with access to birth control."

This is merely your opinion: "Defining access to health and social services as welfare is a non-productive way of thinking."

I can't "prevent unintended pregnancies and hence abortions." I tried once to form a sex patrol, but it didnt work out to well.

Who told you I had an ideological line? Certainly not me!!!


You could go postal tomorrow. Should I kill you now to avoid the damage and pain that you will cost the innocent families whose loved ones you take away? As far as I can tell, you are saying we should abort children because of what they could potentially do. I am going to guess that Uday and Qusay didn't show signs of the type of evil that they would commit in utero. What you are proposing, Aron, is very Big Brother-ish.

Sorry Bob, I'm not proposing, only observing. Steve tried to slip in the proposition that simply being human meant you had great value without justifying it. I objected and simply pointed out the obvious - value varies with the individual and some of us are worthless. Nothing follows from that simple observation taken alone. Your value system may allow for the actions you fear I advocate however mine doesn't.

You also confuse bad and worthless which are overlapping categories not synonyms. Most really bad folks show clear signs of that badness while they are quite young. Cruelity to non-human animals is a clear marker. For example, one could predict that a child who delighted in "blowing up frogs with firecrackers" would end up a criminal and that is the way it seems to have turned out (if you are curious, google the words in quotes and see what you get).

Actually, it seems like you are proving my point in your second paragraph. These kids who blow up frogs and show clear signs of badness are doing it when they are young. ie, they have been born. And even then, are you saying that society should terminated the lives of these children because they have done these things? How much rehab should they get? If they are bad at this age, why not kill them then before they grow into full Uday-ness? All of those things may work in your worldview, but you have not actually addressed the issue that you originally raised. You said it would have been better to abort Uday when he was in utero. How did you do this? You reflected on what they did later in life and applied that same value to their pre-born life. This is fatalism, essentially. You believe that he was destined to do what he did. If not, then he did some good at some point (I would guess that he made his mother smile and laugh, was kind to other children at some point or another) and at some other point things took a turn for the worse. I don't believe that this was inevitable, so he is not a worthless human being. He is a human being who made horrible, awful choices. But how do you know that before he is born? Answer is, you don't. And it is wrong to assign the value of the contribution to society that someone could potentially make to them before they can actually do it.

And Steve doesn't have to establish the value of human beings every time he posts since he has done it in many other forums. You can interact with those on this website.

But you are making your own assertions here. I think it is fairly obvious as well that Udays are the exception to the rule. Even kids who blow up frogs (yes, i get it: Bush is evil) are the exception to the rule.

Am I shedding any tears about Uday now? No, I think that justice has been served in that area. But that really has nothing to do with the abortion argument. It has to do with Uday's actions as an adult. That is a question of justice, not value of human beings in general. Your observation about Uday was that he was worthless not because of who he was, but what he did. Unless you believe that he was genetically determined to the things he did. If so, then you are being consistent but your thinking would still be faulty.

To one of your other points, I am certainly not looking for a nice little package and it is presumptuous of you to try and read my mind like that. I recognize that life is complex. That doesn't mean that everything about life is complex. I can look at the issues that come up in my own life and come to that conclusion. I just happen to think that abortion is one of those things/ issues that is fairly cut-and-dry.

Bob, I understand that you want neat little packages but that isn't life. Pointing ot that the world would have been better off had Uday been aborted at six weeks or run over by a date truck at six years isn't a prescription, only an obervation on the obvious.

In the end my point is that a state that enforces inherent value from conception would not be a good place in which to live.

Life is messy and some little boys who blow up frogs grow up to regret their actions while others grow up to be war criminals and the downside of executing all of them precludes that as a solution.

I notice you write about the value of a person's contribution and since my objection was to Steve's assertion of inherent value perhaps we don't have a that much of a difference here.

That Uday may have made his mother smile is a sentimental consideration and besides the point.

Alan, I cant believe how dumb you are. Your posts here are worthless. I am able to judge you and see right thru to the person that you are based on what you have written in this site so far.

You should keep coming here and reading the posts that others put up. You should come to the same conclusions that these others have because they are right and you are not. You will be a much brighter, wiser, and more well adjusted person if you conform to their views.

You should think of coming here more as an educational experience than a social interaction.

Please, I beg you, please feel free to take notes. You might want to do this on your computer so that you can save the data and refer to it later.

Feel free to send friends and family as well. That way this site can have an impact on your whole community. It will change all your lives for the better, trust me.

Most of the people that come here leave really happy with their lives. So that is proof that this site will elevate your happiness in life.

Xselder, that last post was out of line. I know there are no mods on here, but you have gone against what this board stands for regarding "character" in saying the things you said about Alan. You need to apologise for being rude.

Alan, somehow my response to your post appears before it. Not sure how that happened. Perhaps a wormhole.

Actually Robert, its not Alan that would be deserving the apology.

It was subtle, I know.

How does calling someone "dumb" and calling an article offered to the forum a "waste of my life" helpful to constructive dialogue? Why would Alan want to come to this site and interact with its ideas if he is treated like a little boy who knows nothing and only has things to learn?

I submit that we all have things to learn and anyone offering up ideas is worth my time, even if his ideas turn out to be false in the end.

I agree with Robert that I shouldn't be expected to defend the claim that the unborn is a valuable human being every time I utter it. If that's a reasonable expectation, and we apply it consistently, no discourse would ever get off the ground. We would always be defending and qualifying everything we say that could possibly be taken as controversial by anyone. In fact, to be consistent, we should not only defend each idea, but also each statement, phrase, and word. Perhaps we should also defend the use of language to communicate truth, which is a VERY controversial premise in some circles.

In fact, though, the claim that the unborn are valuable human beings appears nowhere in the blog we're discussing. I had a very modest point to make. I was calling on pro-life people to hear what abortion-choice folks are actually saying when they offer abortion as a solution to unwanted children and poverty. They are not saying we should kill people. They are assuming the unborn are not a “people.” I was simply pointing out that there is an implicit assumption the pro-choice side is making. And of course, some pro-lifers make statements that implicitly assume the unborn is human too. But my post assumed no such thing. It merely mapped the pro-choice argument as one that assumes the unborn is not the sort of human being that should be protected from a violent assault.

I’m curious though. Your original post implies that personhood (I assume you mean the quality of some humans that gives them value and the basic right to life) is determined by the Constitution, such that if we amend that document, the unborn would suddenly become persons. Is that what you mean? And if so, if we amend the Constitution so that it says the disabled or newborns or women or some oppressed class are not persons, would those human beings somehow lose their value and rights?

Golly, I guess I started something. I'll take Steve's point that he doesn't need to write a book with each post as long as it is understood that valuable applied to humans qua humans is problematic to some of us. As I have stated before I don't accept the concept of a soul so, to me, we are dealing with a process and person hood is a legal concept and wholly a construct of the culture. I guess that was my only point. Had "valuable" been used only once I probably wouldn't have written anything.

I actually don't like the tone of the letter in question although I agree that WND has spun it badly: it is too eugenics-like and big-brotherish for my taste. Ron Weddington’s comment about Democratic social programs and Reagan spending all our money is just weird considering what the economy did in the 1990s.

I disagree that "what is the unborn?" is a good way to approach things. If we seek common ground "safe, legal and rare" will get you the most agreement. Even those who would never support criminalization will back programs to accomplish that goal and this is one area where education and applied resources produces a good return. By programs I mean everything from contraception to early childhood education.

If the Constitution were amended to remove person hood for the classes you mentioned then that is what would happen. It would be wrong and (like the Nuremberg Laws) would de legitimize the government that did it. As a practical matter I don't see how the Constitution could be so amended. Of course if things keep on like they have been and we keep getting governments that play fast and loose with the Constitution, who knows what will happen. All the more reason to restore the Republic before it is too late.

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