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August 19, 2011

Comments

Trent,

>> "Again my position is to err on the side of life."

You're probably right. Hence, we should draw the point at which human life begins at the ovum stage.

Not the zygote stage.

You're merely stating a rule that you have elected to believe.
So what if I am? Everyone believes it and that is the point of the OP.
First, as even Trent admitted, if evolution is true, then this rule is not always true.
It is always true.
Second, you have not provided a reason as to why you have adopted this rule.
It is self-evident.
The question, however, is where did your rule come from?
Common sense, common experience, scientific induction, etc.
Why can't I just say:

"If the parent has a large vocabulary, then the child is human."

You can. And then you can see if anyone but a gang of pro-abortion sophists will agree with and support you in your definition. They won't because philosophy is not about telling us what we can know, but, rather, is a way of trying to coral what we already know we know.

How do we know you are human?

It has been defined. if both your parents are human, and there is no sufficient cause to say you are not human, you are defined as human.

if you wish to change the definition of human, then the burden of proof is on you, as well in this context explain how a genetically identical pair of organisms can simultaneously have one human and one not.

Again, this line of argument is being pulled off into mere sophistry to avoid the question.

If you have two things that are for all intents and purposes identical, how do you differentiate between them. In this argument, the only measurable difference is location. Does the difference in location of a few millimeters or centimeters constitute enough of a difference to allocate worth or humanity? Without additional information, it is a distinction without a difference.

Daron,

>> "So what if I am? Everyone believes it and that is the point"

: )

oh...

I know a few philosophers who will be happy to hear the issue is closed -- and everyone has come to consensus on this issue... I guess I must be the last one in the world...

I shall have to notify everyone listed here.

>> "First, as even Trent admitted, if evolution is true, then this rule is not always true. - It is always true."

it is?

So where did Trent and I go wrong with our thinking?

>> "It is self-evident. Common sense, common experience..."

YES!

This is really the only answer the prolife community can give.

You believe in your rule because you feel the whole issue is merely a matter of: 'self-evident, Common sense, common experience'

That is really all it comes down to.

You simply feel its true.

The pro-choicers feel otherwise.

>> "scientific induction"

Please use scientific induction to argue your point.

it is?

So where did Trent and I go wrong with our thinking?

You went wrong in your ignorance of evolutionary theory.

Trent,

If your mom was standing in front of me right now, devise a method by which I could determine if your mom was human or not?

YES!

This is really the only answer the prolife community can give.

It's the correct answer at the bottom of most regresses. And it is sufficient and demolishes the pro-abortion arguments that "it is not a human, it is a mass of tissue/it is not a human, it is equivalent to a worm/ it is not a person / oh very well,it is a human, and it is homicide, but it is justified".

Daron,

>> "You went wrong in your ignorance of evolutionary theory."

Enlighten us.

You simply feel its true.

The pro-choicers feel otherwise.

No they don't. That is the point of the OP and that is the point of Greg's strategy. They rationalize and ignore the truth. They say that embryos are not human except when they are desperate to give birth, then they admit that embryos are. They weave silly stories about Neandertal souls and then dishonestly go to the other end and claim unfertilized eggs are human beings. Then they disingenuously chide others for not adopting and then they cry about over population. Anything to deny what they know is true.

Please use scientific induction to argue your point.
Sorry, science doesn't justify science.
: )

oh...

I know a few philosophers who will be happy to hear the issue is closed -- and everyone has come to consensus on this issue... I guess I must be the last one in the world...

I shall have to notify everyone listed here.

Notify away. Then ask them if they think that definitions are prescriptive and what they are actually trying to enunciate with them

Wesley

"We refuse to call it what it actually is, so it does not seem as bad. But no matter what we call it, it is what it is. "

Never were truer words said. We should not allow embarrassing truths to be swept under the rug. The apostles didn't do that, but there are some who are all too eager to do just that these days and not all of them are unbelievers.

Enlighten us.
No members of one species have offspring of another species.
If your mom was standing in front of me right now, devise a method by which I could determine if your mom was human or not?
Why on earth would he want to do this? If you are so blind that you cannot see it what good are you?

Daron,

Yes!

Ultimately the ONLY thing the prolifer can say to the question:

"Which material constructs in the cosmos are of the set of humans?"

is this:

"I know which ones are, and so do you."

This is indeed all you can ultimately offer.

The entire prolife position has absolutely NOTHING to do with genetics or biology. Rather, it merely comes down to a conviction you have that, you have an innate ability to examine a construct of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, and determine if said construct is of the set of humans.

Moreover, you believe that anyone who examines the same material construct, and comes to a different conclusion, is simply delusional or evil.

Daron,

>> "No members of one species have offspring of another species."

interesting,

then how do Phylogenetic trees work?

The entire prolife position has absolutely NOTHING to do with genetics or biology
Yes and no. If you had read the previous thread, or reread when you said, you would know the answer to this. It does have SOMETHING to do with genetics and biology - just like I showed you previously, it uses them to SHOW what we already know. It clears the path of the sophist who says "it's not a human" when he clearly already knows it is.
Moreover, you believe that anyone who examines the same material construct, and comes to a different conclusion, is simply delusional or evil.
Wrong. They are usually misled or mistaken. They usually have not thought through their own rationalizations yet. That's why you show them that they know full well that the fetus is a human baby when it is one they wish to carry to term, see graduate highschool, get married and have a happy life. That's why you point these things out to them - to make them realize what they ought already have seen. That's what philosophy does- it builds upon known principles to establish other knowable facts.
then how do Phylogenetic trees work?
I think they lie flat on pages in textbooks.

ToNy

"Ultimately the ONLY thing the prolifer can say to the question:

"Which material constructs in the cosmos are of the set of humans?""

I was under the impression that the Christian would rather have the following question:

"Which immaterial construct in the cosmos are of the set of humans?"

Back in an hour. Don't miss Louis' 8:19 comment in the flurry.

Daron,

>> "It does have SOMETHING to do with genetics and biology"

do tell

who do you think we should use as the benchmark genome? And can you use your above-described innate abilities to provide a tolerance value by which we may determine if any given genetic sample is, or is not, of the set of humans?

>> "I think they lie flat on pages in textbooks."

Cute. This is the fourth time i've asked you to describe why you think Trent and my rendition of evolution is incorrect. I shall assume you are clearly ignorant of this issue unless you render a response.

Louis,

>> "I was under the impression that the Christian would rather have the following question: Which immaterial construct in the cosmos are of the set of humans?"

Indeed they would.

Like I said above, for the Christian, ultimately, the issue really isn't about biology and genetics at all.

I have read this thread and others involving ToNy and his debate style. In my estimation, he does not try to "win" these debates in the usual sense of winning a debate. What I see him doing is attempting to change the topic of the debate by blocking and deflecting everything posted to him. This tactic is done not to "win" the debate in a traditional sense, but to "win" in the same way that Data from Star Trek won the game of Strategema in the episode "Peak Performance". Time and time again ToNy demands that everyone else produce their arguments for winning the debate with a never ending list of questions about how something is or should be defined, only to then dismiss any of the arguments given to him without having to make a firm argument of his own. So, like Data, he is not trying to "win" the debate, so much as not lose it by simply blocking and deflecting to play for a stalemate that frustrates his opponents so much that they give up, thereby giving the "win" to ToNy. What you all need to realize, is that there is no way to "win" a debate with someone that uses that tactic, but there is no way for that person to truly "win" either.

do tell
I did tell. Read.
who do you think we should use as the benchmark genome?
Not required.
And can you use your above-described innate abilities to provide a tolerance value by which we may determine if any given genetic sample is, or is not, of the set of humans?
Not required. We are talking about convincing people of good faith, not sophists.


This is the fourth time i've asked you to describe why you think Trent and my rendition of evolution is incorrect. I shall assume you are clearly ignorant of this issue unless you render a response.
We've seen the value of your assessments - why you need scientific proof that Trent's mother is a human being.
In the meantime, I've already shown you why your view of evolution is incorrect. The theory rejects Goldschmidt's Hopeful Monster Hypothesis and, as you'll tell any ignorant creationist who asks, it does not postulate the birth of one distinct species from parents of another. You can't hide behind the vagaries of definitions of words like species to claim we can't even recognize a species and then hide behind them again to claim we know so well that we can say "this is a new species born of that species". This is why your sophism is so dishonest and why your arguments can't be taken seriously - you'll say anything whatsoever to be contradictory and have no interest in dialogue or truth.

Like I said above, for the Christian, ultimately, the issue really isn't about biology and genetics at all.
Like I said, you are misusing the argument.

Deedub,

the issue is on which constructs in the universe are of the set of humans.

you can add to it or not.

What you all need to realize, is that there is no way to "win" a debate with someone that uses that tactic, but there is no way for that person to truly "win" either.
Spot on, Deedub. This is why I bring up the absurdity of ToNy making this claim, and then demonstrate that this is his only goal.

ToNy

"Indeed they would.

Like I said above, for the Christian, ultimately, the issue really isn't about biology and genetics at all."

Yes, but the reason behind that is because the kind of question that is, makes those avenues, based on materialism, lead away from the answer to the question. So, it is really the only legitimate question to ask if you are genuinely trying to find an accurate answer. You have already admitted that the purely materialistic approach will not yield the answer. In fact, that was your challenge.

Daron,

>> "Not required."

You said genetics has "something to do" with your method to determine which constructs are human.

When we analyze samples, we need a benchmark and a tolerance value.

I think you should use your above described "common sense" method to get these.

Then we could solve the species problem right now. And you could be famous.

>> "it does not postulate the birth of one distinct species from parents of another"

Then, may I ask how the creatures in these branches came to be?

Louis Kuhelj,

>> You have already admitted that the purely materialistic approach will not yield the answer.

Exactly!!!!!!!

One cannot take a "materialist approach" to answer the question:

"Which material constructs in the cosmos are of the set of humans?"

I of course agree with you.

But most pro-lifers do not.

They mistakenly use biology to try to make their point. When ultimately, all of these material tactics have not the tools to bring the point to fruition.

Now I want you to be sure you tell people that on the next debate here Louis.

BTW,
Since it doesn't work for you but does for me, here's your link for how DNA is used in the argument - once again, it is not used to prove that the human baby is human.

Oh, fun times.

Then we could solve the species problem right now. And you could be famous.

I was hoping you'd embrace both defeaters to your arguments.

So here we have you boasting about Phylogenetic trees, claiming, therefore, that we can tell species when we see them. And you make this claim because we can see that one species gives birth to another species. And then you turn around, and for purposes of obfuscation, hide behind the known fact that we have a "species problem". That problem is, of course, that we can't define species in the manner that you demand of the pro-life advocate - that is, in a materialistic, scientist sense.

I love when a plan comes together.

Then, may I ask how the creatures in these branches came to be?
There are no creatures in the branches of a phylogenetic tree. The tree is a construct, and it is a useful fiction that helped get biologists on board with evolution and can now be abandoned. And what exists of it is at odds with trees constructed based on molecular analysis, and they contradict one another in turn.

You don't get to hide behind the vagaries of language, definitions, and science and then appeal to scientific rigor any time you want. Either we know something or we don't. You clearly don't.

Exactly!!!!!!!

One cannot take a "materialist approach" to answer the question:

"Which material constructs in the cosmos are of the set of humans?"

I of course agree with you.

But most pro-lifers do not.

They mistakenly use biology to try to make their point. When ultimately, all of these material tactics have not the tools to bring the point to fruition.

Now I want you to be sure you tell people that on the next debate here Louis.


Then you be sure to tell the pro-abortionists that the fetus is, in fact, human and that, biologically, it is nothing else, and never will be. If they do not pretend it is a lump of tissue, a worm or something akin to a fish or a cancer then nobody would have to refute them on their own turf.
Make them admit, as per the OP, that it is a human baby and that when they are killing it they are making a conscience decision to put some other consideration above that of a human life.

>>the issue is on which constructs in the universe are of the set of humans.


No, ToNy, the issue is why fetal reductions bother pro-choicers. You only want the issue to be about which constructs in the universe are the set of humans so that you can engage in an endless string of deflections.

Daron,

>> "So here we have you boasting about Phylogenetic trees, claiming, therefore, that we can tell species when we see them."

I haven't taken a position on whether or not the classes of species objectively exist.

You have. You think they do.

You went on to say that one species never gives birth to another.

Hence, I merely ask, if this is the case, then how does a new species come to be in an evolutionary framework.

You said me and Trent were wrong. You have yet to say why...

it is rather amusing though

Deedub,

but answering this one question is the key to the abortion issue.

You might enjoy this download by Greg Koukl on this issue.

ToNy

"They mistakenly use biology to try to make their point. When ultimately, all of these material tactics have not the tools to bring the point to fruition."

I understand your position on this. I should clarify one point and that is that while the end-game cannot be found in "material tactics", it does to a limited extent support the final conclusion. The shortcoming is that it only points to the general direction. It is a lot like the kalam cosmological argument in that respect.

Further, simply because the answer is not arrived at through materialistic means, does not invalidate either its method or conclusion. Even further, I think it stands toe to toe with science on the simple basis that it describes a world as it really is.

Louis,

Exactly.

And that's whats such a shame here.

Most ProLifers really do firmly believe that there exists a method (based purely on science) by which one can examine a construct and determine if it is of the set of humans.

They appear to have some romantic notion of biology -- and believe that the one pure and objectively true definition of human, is solved, complete, and written out somewhere -- perhaps in the basement of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard.

For example, If you read Trent's comments, it appears he's of this belief.

(I dunno what Daron believes...)

You went on to say that one species never gives birth to another.
Not so. You asserted that this happens. I asserted that it doesn't. I'm right. Show me that I'm not.
Hence, I merely ask, if this is the case, then how does a new species come to be in an evolutionary framework.

You said me and Trent were wrong. You have yet to say why...

it is rather amusing though

When you don't write "heehee" I can't tell that you are amused.

There are two choices - saltation/Hopeful Monsters - which is rejected by MET and gradual accumulation of variation, as in the ring species. As in that case - where you said one species still births another - no species births another.
You said it still works for ring species and it plainly doesn't; this provides no evidence that a human being can have non-human offspring.

Daron,

Yes, the line of reasoning being taken by ToNy is approaching the absurdly funny. He takes issue with how a human is defined as a species, but then has no problem trotting out the phylogenic tree of life detailing the relationship between species. Absurd.

To further use the absurd to illustrate the absurd: Why don't we just go to ToNy's house and take all of his belongings? I am sure that he would not have an issue with that as long as we did not view what we did as stealing, because, after all, stealing is just a human construct and who's to say that the idea of what stealing is is true or not? Oh, wait. Humans are just a human construct too, so I guess I don't know where the idea of stealing actually came from and whether or not idea of what stealing is is true or not and if that is the case then.........Oh, no, I've gone cross-eyed.

Daron,

"Make them admit, as per the OP, that it is a human baby and that when they are killing it they are making a conscience decision to put some other consideration above that of a human life."

Firstly, I agree with your position wholeheartedly. However, ToNy is not discussing the actual position, but how one arrives to the ultimate conclusion that the unborn is or is not a human being that is worthy of our protection or not. I think that there is biological evidence that points to affirmation of humanity, but it is likely that it is Greg's position that has often been stated that points to the fact that the answer is not to be found in materialism. The thing I refer to is the information that is unique to the child and distinct from both mother and father. As has often been stated here, information is not material in nature and it is, I think, one of the most compelling pieces of evidence of the humanity of the unborn. The full thrust of the argument for the humanity of the unborn must be made through the inclusion of both the materialistic and non-materialistic evidence, with the immaterial carrying the heaviest load of the argument in favor of humanity. Both play a role, but it is clear that one holds more weight. I hope that if you think I am in mistaken on this, you will feel at liberty to show me where I have strayed from the path of the truth. Please feel free to give me a piece of your mind. :)

Deedub,

do you think the species problem and the philosophy of biology is "absurd"?

BTW, when I said "Not so. You asserted that this happens. I asserted that it doesn't. I'm right. Show me that I'm not"

The fact is, you can't show me I'm wrong because you've already cut off the branch you would have needed to be sitting on - you've denied we can recognize species. Then you claimed we could. While denying we can.

Deedub - you are exactly right.

Daron,

I have yet to make a comment on the ring species.

the premises in this (very bizarre) ancillary evolution issue were:

A: evolution is true
B: species exists.

Given this, when a new species comes to be, what is Daron's position on how the first creature of said species got there?

ToNy,

I have yet to make a comment on the ring species.
Wrong as always. You said that your species-beget-other-species works for ring species as well as for Hopeful Monsters.

Given this, when a new species comes to be, what is Daron's position on how the first creature of said species got there?
Your new attempt to force fit your conclusion only highlights your ignorance. It is called a continuum - it's how Dawkins thinks you get up the backside of Mt. Improbable.

Daron,

>> "You said that your species-beget-other-species works for ring species as well"

quote me.

okay lets try again:

The premises in this (very bizarre) ancillary evolution issue were:

A: evolution is true
B: species exists.

Given this, when a new species comes to be, what is Daron's position on how the first creature of said species got there?

Who brought species into this?

While I have met people who will deny the humanity of a fetus, and even it's status as a separate entity, this is the first time I have seriously been discussing what species it is.

I think everybody except one is quite comfortable with the idea that in any practical sense we can make the assumption that human parents produce human offspring, and in the situation that they do not it is rare enough that it can be ignored for the sake of this discussion.

That being said, what I'd the difference between fetal reduction and regular abortion? In what way does the determination of the status of each fetus differ and why?

Hi Louis,
I think we are in complete agreement, although I am not quite settled on the exact meaning of this sentence - especially in its last half. Sorry.

I think that there is biological evidence that points to affirmation of humanity, but it is likely that it is Greg's position that has often been stated that points to the fact that the answer is not to be found in materialism.

But I can continue:


The thing I refer to is the information that is unique to the child and distinct from both mother and father. As has often been stated here, information is not material in nature and it is, I think, one of the most compelling pieces of evidence of the humanity of the unborn.
Agreed.

What I was stating is that we do know a human when we see it. There are, of course, biological indicators, as per my Egnor link (he avers that no biologist would mistake a human baby for, for instance, a cancer) along with the non-materialistic facts. But biology, like all science, is really just glorified observation - it is empiricism (yes, with hypotheses and tests). And I am already saying that's how we know a human: we apprehend this. We can apprehend it with biological evidences at more or less informal levels.
I don't think I am saying anything different from what you are saying. I am definitely saying it in a very truncated and quippish manner, though.
Indeed, I have to run now for a lengthy meeting. Let me know if I have been too abrupt or unclear.

Where I disagree with you is that I don't think ToNy is arguing anything in particular. He has set himself against Christianity and thinks he has difficult problem here to pose (requiring the inexactitudes of science language) and he thinks this puts the Christian (or in this case the pro-lifer) on the defensive. That is his only goal. He is not trying to argue for anything, or find any truth, or come to any understanding. He's just "winning" - in the best Charlie Sheen way.

quote me.
Later. If you can't do your own work and your porous memory has failed you again.
Given this, when a new species comes to be, what is Daron's position on how the first creature of said species got there?
Asked and answered. What time does it get dark?


Trent,

>> "human parents produce human offspring, and in the situation that they do not it is rare"

Daron thinks its not only rare, but actually never happens...

:)

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