Another bend

susan juliette.jpgOn July 23 People magazine published "The former 'Pregnant Man' debuts his baby" with the first public photo of the beautiful little girl, who looks an awful lot like her... um....

As if the story of this baby's conception and prenatal carriage weren't strange enough, see if you can find a new plot twist in the story, not really a gender bender... I don't think... but still slightly confusing:

It's been three weeks since his blue-eyed baby debuted in this world, but Thomas Beatie - better known around the world as the Pregnant Man - can already say this about his daughter's personality: "She's easygoing and mellow and intelligent."...
On June 29 at 8:55 p.m., Beatie, 34, a former female beauty pageant contestant, made cultural history as perhaps the first legally transgender male to give birth, bringing into the world a 9 lbs., 5 oz. baby girl named Susan Juliette.

"She's so precious, I just can't stop staring at her," Thomas tells People in his first interview since he and wife Nancy returned with their bundle from Bend, OR's St. Charles Medical Center. "Just holding her is the best feeling in the world."

Susan - named after Thomas's mother and conceived through artificial insemination with donor sperm - arrived after 40 hours of labor, with Nancy at Thomas's side acting as his coach.

"When Susan finally came out, it was like in slow motion," says Thomas. "I was full of wonder." Echoes Nancy: "There were tears of joy."

Both father and daughter came through the birth in perfect health. "I weigh two pounds less than I did before I got pregnant," adds Thomas. "And I don't have a single stretch mark!"

At home, the couple is adjusting to their new nightly schedule: Nancy breastfeeding (by induced lactation, a process using hormones and physical stimulation with a breast pump) and Thomas keeping company while watching TV.

[HT: proofreader Laura Loo]


Comments:

Sperm - where's the sperm? Was it Thomas's own?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 24, 2008 10:27 AM


It's been three weeks since his (HER) blue-eyed baby debuted in this world, but Thomas Beatie - better known around the world as the "Pregnant Man" - can already say this about HER daughter's personality: "She's easygoing and mellow and intelligent."

susan juliette.jpg

On June 29 at 8:55 p.m., Beatie, 34, a former female beauty pageant contestant, made cultural history as perhaps the first legally transgender "male" to give birth, bringing into the world a 9 lbs., 5 oz. baby girl named Susan Juliette.

Susan - named after Thomas's mother and conceived through artificial insemination with donor sperm - arrived after 40 hours of labor, with Nancy at Thomas's side acting as HER coach.

"When Susan finally came out, it was like in slow motion," says Thomas. "I was full of wonder." Echoes Nancy: "There were tears of joy."

Both MOTHER and daughter came through the birth in perfect health. "I weigh two pounds less than I did before I got pregnant," adds Thomas. "And I don't have a single stretch mark!"

Posted by: Kay at July 24, 2008 10:28 AM


Chris,

This could lend itself to a revised version of "I'm My Own Grandpa"!!

Posted by: Kay at July 24, 2008 10:30 AM


Nancy breast feeding is the weirdest part for me. Nice name choice for the baby. If she decides to become a he, she'll be a boy named Sue.

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 10:36 AM


The little girl is adorable. It's such a shame her life will always be under a microscope. I hope they don't fall for the reality television sort of money and fame.

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 10:39 AM


Janet,
That was weird for me as well about the breastfeeding.

I hope they keep the baby off the talk show/magazine circuit but I seriously doubt it.

It will be enough for this baby just on the local level when it's time for her to go to school.

LOL "A Boy Named Sue"

Posted by: Kay at July 24, 2008 10:45 AM


I'm sorry, but if it so-and-so's like a duck, it's a freaking duck. Does it have a vagina? Did it give birth? It is a woman, no matter how much one would like it not to be so. The breastfeeding was a nice touch though. Anyone else think that the LAST thing these people need is more hormones?

Posted by: xalisae at July 24, 2008 10:46 AM


Oh man, she is soooo cute! I just want to pinch her little cheekies. I agree Janet, I really hope they don't make a spectacle of her life, although so far, it seems this is what they are doing.

Posted by: Elizabeth (Gabriella's Momma) at July 24, 2008 11:06 AM


"Nancy breastfeeding (by induced lactation, a process using hormones and physical stimulation with a breast pump) and Thomas keeping company while watching TV."
----------------------------------------

DANG! There are sooo many things wrong with this picture...it's like a science fiction horror story.

Sex change for the natural mom (but uterus/ vagina retained)...IVF from a donor sperm and then induced lactation by a woman other than the child's natural mom to feed the baby???

Are we thru playing God, yet?

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 11:39 AM


What do you think guys... can we get all the mockery and cheap shots out of our systems before this little girl is old enough to understand it?

She's got two parents who love her and were willing to do pretty much anything to have her. Thats more than a whole lot of kids can say.

If not for the fact that complete strangers can be so cruel, I'm sure she'd have a wonderful life.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 12:00 PM


Love isn't enough.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 12:02 PM


What do you think guys... can we get all the mockery and cheap shots out of our systems before this little girl is old enough to understand it?

Maybe that's the point. Maybe it's to deter other couples from getting into the same shenanigans. (Doing pretty much anything (unnatural) to have a baby is not something admirable, IMHO.

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 12:10 PM


So if she ends up killing herself at 15 because of all the cruel remarks and teasing and social isolation... it'll be worth it if it deters other couples from *gasp* WANTING to have children regardless of cultural barriers?

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 12:17 PM


It's ironic that unnatural contraception and other birth methods sprang from a time when "natural" everything was deemed to be BETTER (the 1970s).

Now it's HIP to be green. Are artificial contraceptives, petri dishes, fertility hormones and sperm banks green?

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 12:18 PM


Amanda:12:17: So if she ends up killing herself at 15 because of all the cruel remarks and teasing and social isolation... it'll be worth it if it deters other couples from *gasp* WANTING to have children regardless of cultural barriers?

With all due respect, aren't you putting the cart before the horse? Let's let this child at least reach her first birthday before relegating her to a life of misery.

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 12:23 PM


If she ends up killing herself at 15 that would be a tragedy. A horrible tragedy. I thought you just said she has two parents that love her. Shouldn't that be enough to get her through the teasing, cruel remarks and social isolation? They wanted a baby AT ALL COSTS didn't they? Did they think through the ramifications of it all? They are the ones putting themselves in the spotlight for this circus.

You lookin to start somethin, Amanda? :)

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 12:26 PM


Carla, sometimes love isn't enough? That sounds like you're promoting abortion. I believe love can do anything, move mountains, bring a nation to its knees, save our souls, anything. So are you saying even if you love your baby you shouldn't have her if you don't have a perfect life? What about people who were conceived during rape? That was very, very far from perfect and love isn't even involved, so are you saying they should just abort their kid or throw it into some orphanage?

Amanda, I agree completely with everything you said today : )

RSD, I've heard of drugs that induce lactation for women who might have trouble, I don't think that's anymore playing God then having a c-section.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:33 PM


"Shouldn't that be enough to get her through the teasing, cruel remarks and social isolation?"

No... suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for teenagers. One of the major risk factors is social isolation and low self esteem.

You think its fine to mock and chastise this family - think about at what expense.

"They are the ones putting themselves in the spotlight for this circus."

I don't think its those who read People Magazine they need to worry about. Their neighbors and anyone she goes to school with will be a different story. I don't think they needed to plaster themselves all over the media, but what did everyone do? They ate it up! Got ALLLLL worked up about it - on both ends. Whatever happened to minding your own business?

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 12:33 PM


"RSD, I've heard of drugs that induce lactation for women who might have trouble, I don't think that's anymore playing God then having a c-section.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:33 PM
---------------------------

Those drugs and the C-section are for the NATURAL birth mother...NOT the artificial one.

Now, who's playing God, now, Jess?

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 12:38 PM


Carla, I have depression. Should I never have children because they too might have depression? Or should I not have a baby because it might end up having some horrible birth defect? All we can do is love our children unconditionally, no matter what, and accept people who are different then us with love and understanding empathy.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:38 PM


RSD, what about a woman who adopts a newborn and want's to breast feed?

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:39 PM


"All we can do is love our children unconditionally, no matter what, and accept people who are different then us with love and understanding empathy. "

Indeed... or at least have the decency to keep the teasing and mocking to yourself and let them do their thing unless they're trying to force their decisions on you.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 12:41 PM


Carla you seem like you don't think people in less than ideal situations should have children. Wasn't that what the woman who aborted 7 times said? She aborted because the situation wasn't ideal?

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:42 PM


Again, that's NOT natural, Jess.

Breastfeeding/ Lactation is triggered by the natural birthing of the baby. It is a natural signal to the woman's body that it is time to feed the baby.


Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 12:45 PM


I had a bit of a speech impediment when I was little, well I still kind of have it when I say certain words (I just avoid saying those words, lol) and I got teased a lot in elementary school. Are you saying my parents should have never had me Carla? Are you saying they shouldn't have had me because I was teased?

Yes I was teased and I used to cry about it but I have so many other wonderful things in my life that I never think about it, except when people bring up teasing, lol : )

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:46 PM


RSD I think a mother should be able to breast feed her child whether or not her child is biological or adopted.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:50 PM


RSD I think a mother should be able to breast feed her child whether or not her child is biological or adopted.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:50 PM


Oops.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 12:51 PM


That's YOUR opinion/ wish Jess...but NATURE does not agree with you....hence the drugs to induce lactation.

Are we thru playing God, yet?

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 12:55 PM


Carla, you set yourself up for that one. "Love isn't enough" and previously "Every child is a loved child." I agree that love isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to raising the child, but it is perhaps the most important.

Posted by: prettyinpink at July 24, 2008 12:56 PM


"Again, that's NOT natural, Jess.

Breastfeeding/ Lactation is triggered by the natural birthing of the baby. It is a natural signal to the woman's body that it is time to feed the baby."


So you don't think adoptive mothers should be allowed to breastfeed? Loading them up with formula (which is full of...guess what?!? ARTIFICIAL ingredients) is better? Why? Because its less "weird" to you?

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 12:57 PM


"Are we thru playing God, yet?"

NEVER!!!!

And you're playing God to, loading your cows and such full of artificial growth hormones.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 1:08 PM


Pretty sure the internet isn't "natural" either, RSD. And yet you use it on a daily basis. Why? Because it improves the quality of your life.

Why do you get to pick and choose what non-natural things are ok and which ones are wrong?

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 1:15 PM


I didn't "set myself up." Where have I criticized this family? Called them names or made cruel jokes about them??

Amanda,
You are always ready to come out with guns blazing. Could you please just maybe pick one person and start a dialogue with them?
You assume too much and generalize and judge while telling us not to judge. Your grace extends to those who agree with you.

Jess,
You have gone from one extreme to the next, put words in my mouth and I can't make heads or tails out of what you are trying to say.

I find the whole situation of this family sad. Very sad. I won't call names or tease. I'll give my opinion which is what we all do here, isn't it?

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 1:28 PM


Well Carla why do you think it's sad?

Here's a new baby that came into the world with many people who love her dearly. I don't know why you think that's sad.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 1:32 PM


Who am I judging or making assumptions about?

Janet stated that the point of the teasing and mockery could be to "deter" other families from doing the same thing.

I want to know if its worth punishing this girl her whole life because of what her parents did just to "deter" other people from doing it.

And I want to know who gets to elect themselves the "Thats not natural" police, when you know perfectly well, every single one of us eats/uses/depends on unnatural substances/inventions/things to get through our daily lives.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 1:36 PM


Then ask Janet why she would say that.

Ask RSD why he would say that.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 1:40 PM


Carla, why isn't love enough?

And for anyone who doesn't think they should have had a baby because she will be teased, so should we abort all black people because statistics show they are more likely to grow up in poverty, be arrested or be involved in a gang?

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 1:43 PM


Umm.... I did.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 1:45 PM


Please stop Jess. You give me a headache.

This girl is going to need some help growing up. Handling questions, find the words to say. I am hoping and praying they have a strong support system of friends.

Love isn't enough. I have a hard enough time wrapping my brain around a woman cutting her breasts off and taking hormones and calling herself a man, but keeping her uterus to be impregnated by someone's sperm and now the "wife" is breastfeeding.

It's like Jerry Springer.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 1:47 PM


Carla,
I think I know what you mean by love not being enough. It seems that this woman goes to extremes to get what she wants without really thinking about what is good for the baby in the long run. Is this really love? But as I have said before, transgender issues are psychological disorders. People with transgender disorders need love and help , not the license to do whatever they want just because they want it.

Posted by: Eileen at July 24, 2008 1:47 PM


Eileen,

Gender identity is far more than psychological. Being transgendered is an internal manifestation of being a hemaphrodite. Should we deny hemaphrodites the surgery that would allow them to physically appear to be the gender they identify with internally?

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 1:52 PM


There's a difference between doing things naturally as opposed to artificial methods.

I, Personally, do not believe in tampering with the natural process of humans.

*why did the use of the internet come into the discussion?

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 1:53 PM


Well Carla, God loved us enough to send his son down to Earth, Jesus loved us enough to die for us, and love was enough for Mary and Joseph. Don't you think immaculate conception was at least as hard to explain as this?

How can you possibly doubt the power of love? How can you call yourself a Christian and doubt the power of love?

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 1:56 PM


Thanks Eileen. Why does it make me so sad? I don't know. Life is hard enough without all of this "stuff" to add to this little girls life. I will not embrace what they have done and say WOW! COOL! "Anything goes" is not my philosophy.

She is as cute as a bug by the way and I want to squeeze her too!! I want her to have a good life.

Amanda,
Do you in all reality find this completely fine? I mean what are your personal thoughts on the whole situation? No twinge of that's a bit much?I really want to know.
I don't have to lurve everything about homosexuality and transgender issues to talk about it.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 1:56 PM


RSD,

"I, Personally, do not believe in tampering with the natural process of humans."

So are you anti-medication, anti-surgery, anti-immunization, ect.?

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 1:57 PM


Hermaphrodite means having sex organs of both genders. Was that the case in this story??

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 1:58 PM


RSD, wouldn't you say CPR is interfering with the natural process of humans? If you're heart stops, shouldn't you die?

You are a cafeteria, naturalist? Whatever you just pick and choose what you think should be natural.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 2:00 PM


"Why does it make me so sad? I don't know. Life is hard enough without all of this "stuff" to add to this little girls life."

Isn't life hard enough without having Down Syndrome? Should we abort all those babies too? Should we just stop women over the age of 35 from having sex and procreating because they have a higher chance of getting Down Syndrome?

I believe love and empathy can overcome such obstacles.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 2:04 PM


"I, Personally, do not believe in tampering with the natural process of humans."

RSD, you're dodging the question. If a mother dies or abandons her infant and the child is adopted, whats better - hormonally stimulated REAL breast milk? or ARTIFICIAL formula?

And if you do not believe in tampering with the natural process of humans, may I assume you were opposed to the tracheotomy and insertion of a feeding tube that allowed Terri Schaivo to remain alive? May I also assume you are opposed to chemotherapy? What about pain killers and anesthesia?

My point in bringing up the internet is that you use it every day, and because its socially acceptable to do so in our culture, it doesn't bother you that its completely unnatural, even though you claim to be bothered by things that aren't natural. How are those 100% cotton and wool clothes treating you? A bit itchy?

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 2:04 PM


So far Jess you have managed to assume that I am promoting abortion(??!!)and how can I call myself a Christian?? Over this story??

God's love is not our love. His ways are not our ways. Thank you, Lord.

Hardly the same as a woman that mutilates herself and goes to great lengths to have a child because she wants a child.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 2:05 PM


Well actually love is understanding and empathy and honesty and everything that is good in the world. Love is everywhere and we just have to jump up and hug it.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 2:06 PM


Should we deny hemaphrodites the surgery that would allow them to physically appear to be the gender they identify with internally?
Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 1:52 PM

Yes, Amanda, surgery should be denied. I read not too long ago that psychiatrists are beginning to rethink this issue because it is causing more problems for the people that have gone through the surgery.

If she feels like she is really a man then why did she retain her female reproductive organs?

Posted by: Eileen at July 24, 2008 2:06 PM


You are all for killing babies with Down Syndrome in their mommies. Hardly loving, Jess.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 2:07 PM


I thought that was my CHOICE to make?

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 2:07 PM


No, Jess, love is wanting what is best for the other person even if it means that you may have to deny yourself.

Posted by: Eileen at July 24, 2008 2:10 PM


How am I all for it Carla? That's a lie. I'm all for love overcoming all obstacles, and I feel women wouldn't feel pressured to abort their children if we just showed them it wasn't so hard as most people make it out to be.

We don't need all this negative, "Love isn't enough."

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 2:10 PM


So, RSD, let's say you find out you have cancer. Will you just let nature take it's course and eat away at you from the inside, or would you choose to take advantage of the things artificial modern medicine can do for you?

Posted by: JKeller at July 24, 2008 2:10 PM


Aren't you prochoice, Jess?

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 2:10 PM


"God's love is not our love. His ways are not our ways. Thank you, Lord."

We are all God's children. We are made in God's image. Of course God's ways are our ways.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 2:11 PM


That's YOUR opinion/ wish Jess...but NATURE does not agree with you....hence the drugs to induce lactation.

Are we thru playing God, yet?

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 12:55 PM

......................

Are you opposed to artificially induced labor as well? Doctors play 'god' every day. You don't like it? Fine. You need not avail yourself of medical technology.

Posted by: Sally at July 24, 2008 2:11 PM


"Hermaphrodite means having sex organs of both genders. Was that the case in this story??"

No. Hemaphrodites have a physical manifestation of gender confusion. Picture the same thing, only its all in the brain - the body parts all came out as the same sex. The solution to hemaphrodites before we knew the importance of gender in the brain was just to turn them in to girls (only because surgically it was easier to remove the penis and/or testicles and give estrogen than vis versa). The result was that many hemaphrodites suffered their entire lives with gender confusion because their brains were wired as males, despite their lack of genitalia.

It's an absolutely fascinating and rare phenomenon. It's a completely separate issue from homosexuality. The vast majority of transgendered individuals knew something was different from their earliest memories. Its just some kind of disconnect from when sex is determined physically, to where gender is determined in the brain.

My personal opinion on THIS particular case? I raised my eyebrows. Because all of the transgendered people I know identify 100% with the other sex...meaning, someone born female who is gendered male, as this person claims to be, would have no interest in child bearing or an innate "maternal" desire. If it was up to me, they'd have adopted. But thats the thing - it ISN'T up to me, and as long as they're not harming anyone, I don't get why anyone cares so much. It's a cycle - people say they care because they know what this girl is going to go through socially, but if no one cared, no one would bother to chastise her, so it would be a non-issue from the get go.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 2:12 PM


"Aren't you prochoice, Jess?"

Sure why the heck not. The last time I said abortion was horrible and ought to be illegal I got a ton of crap from you pro-lifers about how an evil person like me couldn't possibly be pro-life.

If I told you I was pro-life you'd call me a liar.

So whatever, most of you pro-lifers here are hypocrites.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 2:15 PM


Well maybe not hypocrites but jerks I wouldn't want to share any special moments with.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 2:17 PM


What percentage of transgendered are actually hermaphrodites? OR do they just "feel like I should have been born a girl." Do you know what I mean?

What are the stats? I am really curious. I saw a tv special on it once and thought it was a rare condition. As opposed to someone wanting to be the other sex and going forward with hormones and surgery. It is fascinating and I can only associate it with having a child that was born with both sets of organs. Not sure what my husband and I would do.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 2:18 PM


"Yes, Amanda, surgery should be denied. I read not too long ago that psychiatrists are beginning to rethink this issue because it is causing more problems for the people that have gone through the surgery. "

Eileen, you mis-read. The study showed that when hemaphrodites were operated on as INFANTS, before they could express their gender, it did indeed cause a lot of problems.

The accepted method now is to wait until the child is a older and can communicate their gender identity. Then, the surgery and hormone supplements can compliment the gender the brain naturally wired itself to, rather than attempting vis versa.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 2:18 PM


No, Amanda, I didn't misread, I believe it was Paul McHugh who was with a university out east. I will try to look it up.

Posted by: Eileen at July 24, 2008 2:22 PM


I'm sorry Amanda, but I find the reason these people will not be good parents is NOT because of their gender or anything related to their sexuality.

I think they'll make crappy parents because they've chosen to make a spectacle out of themselves and essentially put THEMSELVES under a microscope for the whole world to point at. I'm sorry, but the only person I weep for is this baby who these people will use for their personal agenda. Then they'll act all offended when people criticize or go too far. Get over it..you don't want to be criticized? Don't sell yourself to every magazine/tv show that will have you. If they really cared about their child, they wouldn't be trying to make a statement about THEMSELVES, they would be trying to protect their daughter from all this media coverage, because we KNOW how GREAT the media is to people.

Really, turn off the hostility, people don't have to agree with what they do. I think these people have a lot of problems, and I just hope they don't find it necessary to drag their child through all their issues. They aren't doing a great job of it so far, though, by allowing the whole country to poke and prod them.

Posted by: Elizabeth (Gabriella's Momma) at July 24, 2008 2:22 PM


Elizabeth,
*poke poke*
*shake shake shake shake*

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 2:23 PM


"What percentage of transgendered are actually hermaphrodites? OR do they just "feel like I should have been born a girl." Do you know what I mean?"

There are no good stats because there's such a huge range. Transgendered is sort of a blanket term for anyone who doesn't identify with their physical sex. There a whole bunch of other categories within that. I mean, there are people who just enjoy cross dressing - usually gay - but still identify with their physical sex. Then there are transexuals - who literally have no connection from their gender to their sex. They may not be PHYSICALLY hemaphrodites at all - meaning they have all the parts they're supposed to have an not more, but the chemical/wiring in their brain doesn't match up. Being born like that is no more of a choice than being born with a penis and ovaries. Those are the people who usually seek out surgery or hormone therapy if they can afford it. Some can't afford it, and live as gender neutral or gay. If there were more accurate stats on it, I'd bet my life it would make up the highest population of suicide victims. I think Mary had talked about it too a while back when this first came up - that she had known or worked with some transgendered folks. The biggest misconception is that its similar to being gay...it really isn't at all. But beyond that, its still a huge mystery - and we have a tendency to be pretty harsh to things we just don't understand.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 2:28 PM


Which is why I'm asking. :) I really do try to seek first to understand but this seems all too much for me.

Agreed, Elizabeth.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 2:30 PM


But beyond that, its still a huge mystery - and we have a tendency to be pretty harsh to things we just don't understand.
Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 2:28 PM


Exactly, that is why some in the field of psychiatry are taking a closer look and rethinking some of their current positions.

Posted by: Eileen at July 24, 2008 2:33 PM


So......You are prolife, Jess? I am getting mixed messages. So what if you get crap? Don't we all? We can all "give it" can't we, at times?

I just am really trying to follow your train of thought.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my(God's)ways higher than your(Carla's)ways, and my(God's)thoughts than your(Carla's)thoughts.
Isaiah55:9

God is God. I am not.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 2:37 PM


Carla,

I meant no disrespect. I just think that although we agree that love isn't always enough (though probably most important), we have heard statements from you and janet about every child being loved (and therefore worth living) so it was only a matter of time before PCs called you on it. No worries :)

Posted by: prettyinpink at July 24, 2008 2:41 PM


so it was only a matter of time before PCs called you on it. No worries :)

No one is saying that this beautiful baby doesn't deserve a chance at life only that this couple may have a warped perspective on love.

Posted by: Eileen at July 24, 2008 2:47 PM


Jess, I'm sorry that you feel like you aren't welcome on the pro-life side. Trust me, you ARE!

There are lots of organizations for non-traditional pro-lifers like...

feminists for life www.feministsforlife.org

prolife alliance for gays & les. http://www.plagal.org/

democrats for life www.democratsforlife.org

libertarians for life www.l4l.org

athiests for life
www.godlessprolifers.org/home.html

I'm glad to hear of your transformation!

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 2:52 PM


Gosh Pip,
No worries at all!! I know I did not explain myself very well.
Without going all Jesus on ya, I believe what the Bible says. Each child is formed by God in their mother's womb. I love children. All children. Even the ones that are aborted. So when I say that all children are loved I mean it. They are loved by me. :)

In this little girls life it is going to take love(of course!)and a WHOLE LOTTA other things to get her through. Counseling for one, off the top of my head. Seriously, kids are cruel when someone has big ears.....

I used to think love was enough and then I got married. Realized it is not enough to say I love you. It really is sacrifice, commitment, respect, understanding, etc. My definition of love is probably different than yours though, ya know? I did not grow up with love and I am still learning.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 2:53 PM


PIP,

I think the pro choice uses that slogan to mean that if the child won't be loved then it shouldn't be born.

When we say every child should be loved, we mean that even if the parents reject the child someone, somewhere will love it.

While I agree that we have no idea what kind of parents these two will make, I also agree that they have given us clues.

As Amanda points out, the mom/dad has chosen to have his cake and eat it too, choosing to 'become a man" but retain his uterus.

So this isn't really a case of "Help, I'm a woman trapped in a man's body" or vice versa...it's really a case of "Hey, I want it all!"...

And the reason we question his/her parenting skills is not because this was a legitimate case of "who am I" but a case of "HEY LOOK AT ME!!!".

With every sin, heck with the abortion issue itself, we are looking at the behavior, not the person. Of course we are THRILLED that new life, any new life came into this world. It's the behavior that brought that new life into being that is being questioned.

A baby born to a woman that is raped does not justify the rape.

I agree Amanda, that if everyone just accepted this situation, then there wouldn't be a situation, (much like there wouldn't be racism if people wouldn't be racists) but this isn't something that this man couldn't control. Every step has been a choice, and we are questioning the prudence of those choices.

The facts are that people DO care, and these people chose to bring this little girl into the world anyway. They chose to place her and themselves in the spotlight, compounding an already difficult situation.

Do I, as a Christian, need to love this couple? Of course. But what does it mean to love them? Do I need to condone all behaviors, in order to love someone? To I need to condone Jeffrey Dahmer, or John Wayne Gacy? Or is truly loving them, pointing out to them things that they are doing that can harm them and their child.

I love my kids. But Lord knows, they test that love by engaging in all sorts of behavior that I cannot condone. Do I stop loving them? If I point out that their behavior is unacceptable, am I withholding my love from them? Or am I actually loving them enough, to disagree with them?

I guess it's all in how you define love. I love this baby enough to know that it's life will probably be filled with heartache and challenges that most children will not have to go through. Not a birth defect that no one could control, not poverty, not illness, but something that was put upon her by choice. That's what is so sad.

I love these parents enough to say, "hey, maybe you guys need to rethink what you're doing here (granted it's a little late for that). I love them enough to want better for them. I don't want to see them laughed at and I certainly want their souls to end up in heaven...

At this point, the best way I can show that love, is to pray for them. Which I do.

Posted by: mk at July 24, 2008 2:57 PM


mk, beautifully explained.

Posted by: Eileen at July 24, 2008 3:01 PM


Well said, MK.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 3:05 PM


I think Eileen and MK have made very valid comments about love and what is true love.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 3:18 PM


But isn't love more of an individualized thing that one can best define for him/herself?

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 3:21 PM


"So, RSD, let's say you find out you have cancer. Will you just let nature take it's course and eat away at you from the inside, or would you choose to take advantage of the things artificial modern medicine can do for you?"

"Are you opposed to artificially induced labor as well? Doctors play 'god' every day. You don't like it? Fine. You need not avail yourself of medical technology. "
-----------------------------

Well, first off, ladies....I am NOT opposed to all things artificial...Heck, my thesis was on Artifical Intelligence and I work in the IT industry (how much more artifical can you get?)

I was stating my opinion that I personally prefer letting nature run it's course with minimal artificial assistance, if possible.

...in this case, the pregnant woman WAS a woman who gave birth...she didn't NEED to be a surgically-modified "man" for that.

She did an IVF, to get pregnant..Why? What's wrong with the "usual" method? She was more than equipped to handle the process.

Her partner had to take drugs to induce lactation...if the "man" retained her mammary glands, they wouldn't need to.

These people are trying very hard to simulate the natural process of birthing and child rearing with all that technology has to offer...What for?

These people are trying to pretend be something they're NOT...and you get on my case for stating the OBVIOUS???

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 3:22 PM


Jess is a pro-lifer, now?

When and How did that happen?

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 3:39 PM


Love is allied to the truth - the objective truth.
If you do not believe in an objective truth then there will be no point to this discussion.
THe truth in this case is that we have a woman who is pretending to be a man.
The truth is that we have the media going along with this and promoting this lie.
The truth is that we have a little human being born into a relationship that is seriously disordered, in which one or both of the adults have some issues with gender.
The truth is that all of the above are not in the best interests of this child - who BTW deserves and should have a mother and a father.
Lying to these people and telling them that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing is not LOVE. It is an omission.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 3:42 PM


But isn't love more of an individualized thing that one can best define for him/herself?

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 3:21 PM

You mean like right and wrong? See above post.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 3:44 PM


Patricia,

So what is objective truth? And how do you know that it is actually objective truth and not simply what you would subjectively prefer to believe?

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 3:45 PM


RSD - you're still dodging all of my questions.

What makes inducing lactation more unnatural than formula?

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 4:03 PM


Amanda said: What do you think guys... can we get all the mockery and cheap shots out of our systems before this little girl is old enough to understand it?

Janet said: Maybe that's the point. Maybe it's to deter other couples from getting into the same shenanigans. (Doing pretty much anything (unnatural) to have a baby is not something admirable, IMHO.

Amanda said: Janet stated that the point of the teasing and mockery could be to "deter" other families from doing the same thing.

I want to know if its worth punishing this girl her whole life because of what her parents did just to "deter" other people from doing it.

And I want to know who gets to elect themselves the "Thats not natural" police, when you know perfectly well, every single one of us eats/uses/depends on unnatural substances/inventions/things to get through our daily lives.

Amanda, I certainly do not condone people teasing this girl the rest of her life. Maybe my comment about a boy named Sue was out of line, but I stand by the rest of my comments. Isn't the purpose of a blog to make people think? As you admit, this child has a tough row to hoe. I hate to see that happen, but you can't blame her troubles on a couple of comments by me. Maybe other parents will second guess their desires to follow in this couple's footsteps. I don't think the Beaties' thought things through very well.

Amanda said: 2:12: My personal opinion on THIS particular case? I raised my eyebrows. Because all of the transgendered people I know identify 100% with the other sex...meaning, someone born female who is gendered male, as this person claims to be, would have no interest in child bearing or an innate "maternal" desire. If it was up to me, they'd have adopted. But thats the thing - it ISN'T up to me, and as long as they're not harming anyone, I don't get why anyone cares so much. It's a cycle - people say they care because they know what this girl is going to go through socially, but if no one cared, no one would bother to chastise her, so it would be a non-issue from the get go.

It's a cycle? Huh? How do you suggest making this a non-issue so one bothers to chastise her? By the way, you may be one of a handful of reading this blog who know any transgendered people, and you admit that if it were up to you you'd have preferred they adopted. What gives you the right to object so vehemently when I state my opinion?


Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 4:08 PM


A.

You're talking to someone who told me she thinks its better for a girl to languish in an orphanage in Africa than be adopted by a single parent, gay couple, or celebrity.

(located under the "adoption" topic track-back - it was a post about Madonna)

Any one who doesn't meet Patricia's definition of a "traditional" family shouldn't be able to have children. It is most certainly HER version of the truth - and about as far from being objective as anyone's version of truth I've ever encountered when it comes to this topic.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 4:08 PM


A. @ 3:45 PM Is truth real?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 24, 2008 4:09 PM


I wasn't objecting to your opinion about them Janet. I was objecting to your mocking it and then saying that mocking and chastising them may serve some kind of purpose. I think thats HORRIBLE to be honest. Let's permit the mockery of this little girl, who cares if it comlpetely ruins her life, it might deter someone else from doing the same thing??

And how do you end the cycle? Well thats an easy one. By not mocking them. Maybe if we make fun of them enough, they'll take it back and not have this little girl!! Or wait, since thats impossible, why not try to approach this with a little kindness and empathy seeing as they can't un-do what's been done? Isn't that the whole crux of being pro life to begin with?

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 4:13 PM


Chris,

Once again, it depends upon one's definition of truth.

For me, there are many different levels of truth--some internal, some external.

I would also argue that while objective truth exists, we will never know it because we are all too caught up in our subjective interpretations of it.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:16 PM


Right Patricia @3:42: Natural law, objective truth, and all that good stuff which most people reject without even investigating it.

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 4:16 PM


Janet,

" Natural law, objective truth, and all that good stuff which most people reject without even investigating it."

What is this natural law and where does it come from?

What is objective truth and where does it come from? Why is it objective and how do we know that it is so?

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:18 PM


FYI - it doesn't require hormones to induce lactation. A little Reglan (metoclopramide -used for reflux) and regular breast pumping is all that is required - this is a commonly used regimine for motivated adoptive parents. Let's not forget it was not long ago that wealthy women routinely used wet nurses. Midwifery books today still recommend using someone else's baby to provide nipple stimulation to start contractions. Intensive care nurseries increasingly have 'milk banks' of donated milk from other mothers to give to high risk infants whose mothers choose not to breastfeed. The 'unnatural' and 'normal' of one generation can quickly become the reverse for the next.

Posted by: green at July 24, 2008 4:20 PM


A. @ 4:16 PM

Okay - that's good. But just for clarification, are you stating that there is a sense of faith employed to be able to make such statements such as truth exists and is real?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 24, 2008 4:20 PM


You're talking to someone who told me she thinks its better for a girl to languish in an orphanage in Africa than be adopted by a single parent, gay couple, or celebrity.

(located under the "adoption" topic track-back - it was a post about Madonna)

Any one who doesn't meet Patricia's definition of a "traditional" family shouldn't be able to have children. It is most certainly HER version of the truth - and about as far from being objective as anyone's version of truth I've ever encountered when it comes to this topic.

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 4:08 PM

Thank-you for being my mouth piece AMANDA. YOu can kindly keep to expressing YOUR opinions and not attempting to misrepresent me on this discussion board just because I don't happen to agree with you!
Your proabort stance, I might remind you, colors everything you write.

Now to address someone who actually WANTS to discuss:
A: you can know objective truth through reason

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 4:20 PM


Patricia,

"you can know objective truth through reason"

But people reason differently and come to different conclusions. For instance, using my reasoning, I have come to the conclusion that there is no God and that the individual is supreme (I'm a radical individualist). For me, these are my interpretations of objective truth.

Using your reasoning, you have come to remarkably different conclusions.

So how can reasoning lead to objective truth? Is some reasoning right while other reasoning is wrong? If so, why? What makes it this way?

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:25 PM


Chris,

"Okay - that's good. But just for clarification, are you stating that there is a sense of faith employed to be able to make such statements such as truth exists and is real?"

I cringe away from the word faith--it just has too many different meanings. I've had a number of arguments where everything has boiled down to that both the person that I was arguing with and I were using different interpretations of the word faith.

There are elements of belief involved.

I would also say that "truth" varies by person--what is true for you is not necessarily true for me and vice versa. That does not make it less real but does limit its reality.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:28 PM


To bring the discussion back to love:
To love a person means to want what is best for that person - what will make them whole and more fully able to reach their potential and what respects their dignity as a female person or as a male person.
Although I am no expert in this area of transgendered disorders, it appears that Beattie is a very conflicted young woman.
The treatments she has undergone, to my mind, simply further her delusions that she is a man. They are experimental. Research has shown that transgender operations in no way improve the lives of these people. Mutilating a person's body because they perceive themselves to be something they are not somehow does not seem appropriate to me.
However, because it is so politically incorrect to "treat" gender disorders in what would be considered a rational manner, we will never know if Beattie could have been helped to live life as a woman, which is what she genetically is and will remain all her life.
As I have maintained on other posts if this were any other situation, the social services would have removed this child from the home. But because this family is perceived as "pushing the envelope" on what constitutes a family they are left alone.
Example: in Canada children of homeschoolers have been removed from the home for having the same beliefs as their parents. Child services is of the opinion that children should make up their own minds and not be indoctrinated in the values of their parents.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 4:29 PM


A. 4:18: I think Bobby and Chris and Patricia are much more qualified to discuss the intricacies of natural law, etc., than I.
I'm sure with a little reading on your own, you could come to understand it yourself. I will defer to them.

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 4:31 PM


Patricia,

"Canada children of homeschoolers have been removed from the home for having the same beliefs as their parents. Child services is of the opinion that children should make up their own minds and not be indoctrinated in the values of their parents."

I think that's a little extreme, but I do agree with the sentiment. I would NEVER condone an action such as removal however. I believe that children should be allowed to make up their own minds and should not be forced to believe whatever their parents believe.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:33 PM


Janet,

"I think Bobby and Chris and Patricia are much more qualified to discuss the intricacies of natural law, etc., than I."

If that's how you feel, I won't force the issue (not that I could in any case). However, I do think that it is a little disingenuous to claim the support of natural law and objective truth and then not be willing to discuss why your beliefs are justified.

"I'm sure with a little reading on your own, you could come to understand it yourself."

Reading can never and will never replace debate.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:38 PM


A. @ 4:28 PM

I agree - faith is overloaded. Maybe to refine your statement:

There are elements of belief involved.

We could say that those elements of belief are related to a sense of trust?

I would also say that "truth" varies by person--what is true for you is not necessarily true for me and vice versa. That does not make it less real but does limit its reality.

Well for reasons of argument, we'd have to agree to a common "truth" that is real with that sense of belief and a sufficient level of trust - otherwise I don't see how valid arguments could be made!

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 24, 2008 4:38 PM


But people reason differently and come to different conclusions. For instance, using my reasoning, I have come to the conclusion that there is no God and that the individual is supreme (I'm a radical individualist). For me, these are my interpretations of objective truth.

People also reason incorrectly A! Because you have no faith you have no way of knowing if your reasoning is in error. You have no signpost or lighthouse to confirm your path. It is truly subjective.
Because I believe in a loving God who has shown us right and wrong I have these signposts.
This is why faith and reason work together to help us know the truth. Each supports and confirms the other. Faith confirms and is a kind of touchstone for reason.
It was once assumed by most Western philosophers that these two went together - while ojbect truth can be achieved through faith even in our sinful state, faith can guide us. If we arrive at a conclusion that is different from faith, it is likely we have erred in our reasoning.
a quote from JPII"faith purifies reason and it liberates reason from presumption"

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 4:40 PM


A. It's pretty much impossible to "force" another person to believe anything.

I was raised by a radical, pro-choice feminist and I became a pentecostal housewife.

Parents definitely influence their children's beliefs, but they can't control them.

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 4:41 PM


Chris,

"We could say that those elements of belief are related to a sense of trust?"

I think so.

"Well for reasons of argument, we'd have to agree to a common "truth" that is real with that sense of belief and a sufficient level of trust - otherwise I don't see how valid arguments could be made!"

True. That statement was more directed towards other ideas discussed on this thread--the "ideal" family situation and the "ideal" of true love.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:42 PM


Reading can never and will never replace debate.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:38 PM

NOT TRUE. I would suggest you are possibly afraid of what you might discover if you read.
I would suggest John Paul II's Fides & Ratio encyclical which I will link here for your easy access:
http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0216/_INDEX.HTM

Please do not reject him because he is Catholic. JP was a brilliant philosopher and scholar. We can all learn much about ourselves from this man.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 4:44 PM


Amanda, I am objecting to circumstances of this case...as I mentioned in my post, I'm for minimal artificial intervention, if possible.

Lactation is achieved naturally by the sucking motion of the newborn. I should know, I have 3 kids.

This "case" is an ABUSE of technology. Just because it can be done does not mean they should.

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 4:44 PM


Lauren,

"It's pretty much impossible to "force" another person to believe anything."

Not actually true. It depends upon how one is raised--if one is given the sufficient materials to become self-sufficient and room to explore their own minds one cannot be forced. Some children, however, are not given that option--being "brainwashed" (for lack of a better term) so severely that they are incapable of any though beyond a few proscribed lines.

"I was raised by a radical, pro-choice feminist and I became a pentecostal housewife."

Because your parents gave you what you needed.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:46 PM


Parents definitely influence their children's beliefs, but they can't control them.

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 4:41 PM

Absolutely. But HOW do they influence their children - mostly by example.
It is through bad example, that many children grow up to live lives full of problems through bad choices. For many it is a learned behaviour that comes directly from the home.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 4:47 PM


That statement was more directed towards other ideas discussed on this thread--the "ideal" family situation and the "ideal" of true love.

So - would true love have those same common elements of belief and trust?

I think they would.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 24, 2008 4:48 PM


Some children, however, are not given that option--being "brainwashed" (for lack of a better term) so severely that they are incapable of any though beyond a few proscribed lines.

This to suggest that these children have no free will. I don't think there are too many children that fall into this category. These people would be highly dysfunctional. Even severly dysfunctional people can be helped with proper treatments and God's grace. I know of this personally through an acquaintance.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 4:50 PM


Patricia,

"I would suggest you are possibly afraid of what you might discover if you read."

I never said that I didn't read (please tell my parents that--I think they might fall over laughing) but that I believed in the value of debating as well.

Trust me, I have nothing to fear in an idea. I LOVE engaging with contrary points of view--life would be boring if one isolated oneself into only engaging with those who shared one's own beliefs.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:50 PM


Chris,

"So - would true love have those same common elements of belief and trust?"

You'd have to define what you meant by "true."

All love had elements of belief and trust.

For the record, I don't believe in "true" love--the idea that there's only one person out there who's right for you and that you'll always love him/her.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:54 PM


Patricia,

"This to suggest that these children have no free will."

Anyone will lose their free will if not allowed to posses it.

"I don't think there are too many children that fall into this category. These people would be highly dysfunctional. Even severly dysfunctional people can be helped with proper treatments and God's grace. I know of this personally through an acquaintance."

If they are able to escape those circumstances which made them that was to begin with.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:57 PM


A. Children raised in cults have been able to escape and lead productive lives. Obviously there is more to brainwashing than simply person A being able to control anyone who happens to be under his influence.

While brainwashing exists, I do not believe it comes in the form of a family passing down their values.

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 4:58 PM


Name a circumstance in which a person as an adult has no free will. All children grow up A - into adults.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 4:59 PM


A.

If not "true love", what would you call a couple who have been happily married to each other for 50 years?

I'm not trying to quibble on semantics, I'm just trying to get an idea of what you think.

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 5:03 PM


A. @ 4:54 PM

I wasn't thinking along the lines of "True Love" as in the romantic notion of the one ideal person, but more like agape - a pure kind of love.

I think it requires belief, and a fair sense of trust, but it must also be a common experience or reality - it would be an ideal, but in the sense of an abstract ideal.

I have to go - this has been interesting.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 24, 2008 5:04 PM


All--I have to go as well.

Lauren-to answer that, you need to give me a definition not an example. What is "true" love to you?

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 5:07 PM


I think that's a little extreme, but I do agree with the sentiment. I would NEVER condone an action such as removal however. I believe that children should be allowed to make up their own minds and should not be forced to believe whatever their parents believe.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 4:33 PM

And how is a child to decide this? part of the reason of raising children in families A, is to pass on the values of the parents. Or are you against that too, including families.
Sounds like you are a libertine. We have more than enough of these.
Children require guidance and discipline. They do not have the emotional maturity and their brains are not developed sufficiently until the mid-20's to understand actions and the consequences they entail. Who better to guide a child than their parents who strangely enough usually LOVE them?

BTW, this action could be applied to you to. If your children parrot your idea that they are free to think whatever is best for them, then under the conditions above, you also could lose your children. Don't think that it might just apply to libertine parents, A!!!

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 5:07 PM


Too bad you can't answer the questions put to you A
Sorry it got to hot to handle!

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 5:08 PM


Patricia,

"Too bad you can't answer the questions put to you A Sorry it got to hot to handle!"

Enough.

If you want me to treat you in a respectful manner you will treat me in exactly the same way. I have no interest in debating someone who does not even have the emotional maturity of a fifteen year-old.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 5:10 PM


Oh my we are touchy. You leave but haven't answered any of the questions put to you A.
Why?
Don't engage people if you don't want to be pushed alittle outside your comfort zone.
Do try JP II. YOu will like what you read.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 5:14 PM


A,

I believe that children should be allowed to make up their own minds and should not be forced to believe whatever their parents believe.


I certainly do NOT mean to sound rude, but the statement you just made could only be made by a person without children. Or a person with few if any, personal convictions.

An episode of the Baby Borrowers or Nanny 911 should cure you of that notion...lol.

Posted by: mk at July 24, 2008 5:18 PM


I have no interest in debating someone who does not even have the emotional maturity of a fifteen year-old.

Posted by: A. at July 24, 2008 5:10 PM

And I have no interest in debating someone who asks all the questions but provides no answers.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 5:18 PM


A. I define "true love" as the sacrificial love that puts another person's interest ahead of your own.

I contrast this with infatuation, in which *you* feel giddy and warm around the other person, but don't yet have the relationship development to care for the other person above yourself.

I think most marriages start at some level of infatuation, and after a series of trials and life experiences, grow to "true love".

Of course, there are other relationships that never get past the infatuation stage, and begin to disolve as quickly as the warm fuzzies.

So I guess I don't believe in "true love" as fairy tale love either, but rather the commitment and responsibility that comes with sharing your life with another person.

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 5:19 PM


I certainly do NOT mean to sound rude, but the statement you just made could only be made by a person without children. Or a person with few if any, personal convictions.

I think the latter is mostly likely accurate.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 5:19 PM


"For the record, I don't believe in "true" love--the idea that there's only one person out there who's right for you and that you'll always love him/her."

YES!!! Finally! There are about 1000 people within 100 mile radius of all of us that we could marry and fall in love with and be perfectly happy. Sweet, I'm glad we agree on this point, A.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 24, 2008 5:29 PM


Lauren,

Agree wholeheartedly. And there seems to be a lot more of those that don't mature...hence the high Divorce rate.

Posted by: RSD at July 24, 2008 5:31 PM


Okay, Bobby - know any 50 year old men that are looking for a good Catholic wife?!! (just kidding, sort of.....)

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 5:44 PM


A. said: "For the record, I don't believe in "true" love--the idea that there's only one person out there who's right for you and that you'll always love him/her."

Bobby said 5:29: YES!!! Finally! There are about 1000 people within 100 mile radius of all of us that we could marry and fall in love with and be perfectly happy. Sweet, I'm glad we agree on this point, A.

Those are pretty good odds you give. I guess some people are looking in all the wrong places!Lol!

Seriously though, I heard a counselor once say that women in general have a capacity to love (agape, I believe?) more people at a given time than men do. In marriage it can be a problem if a man doesn't understand this, because he expects his wife to give all of her attention to him. Ring a bell with anyone?

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 5:48 PM


I just saw this on lifesite news - it seems to suggest that PP in South Dakota is gone.
Wow, they can't bring themselves to admit the truth - I note the OBJECTIVE truth: a baby is an unborn human being!

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jul/08072402.html

What South Dakota needs is a ton of prayer and fasting! Anyone game?

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 5:53 PM


Seriously though, I heard a counselor once say that women in general have a capacity to love (agape, I believe?) more people at a given time than men do. In marriage it can be a problem if a man doesn't understand this, because he expects his wife to give all of her attention to him. Ring a bell with anyone?

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 5:48 PM

uh, yeah. And especially if the man did not get the love and care from his mother in the first place. This can make a HUGE difference.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 5:59 PM


What does South Dakota have that the rest of the states don't that allows them to make this monumental achievement?

Patricia: How much fasting are we talking about? :)

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 5:59 PM


Man, I missed a lot of really good convo. on this thread...

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 24, 2008 6:09 PM


months Janet! lol
BTW: you should all know that I'm not allowed to fast by my spiritual director! (What a cheap excuse eh?)
I loose weight too easily and as Bobby can attest, since he's seen my ugly mug elsewhere, I am very slight of build!
Can't donate blood either! In any way shape or form! So death or sacrifice is out also!

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 6:14 PM


Man, I missed a lot of really good convo. on this thread...

Me too, Bobby. Stupid job! :shakes fist:

If the convo doesn't pick back up then maybe I'll tell you about my awful day! Since we both missed out on the fun stuff.

Posted by: Alexandra at July 24, 2008 6:28 PM


Well, nothins goin on. Let's hear about it Alexandra.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 24, 2008 7:03 PM


Patricia: BTW: you should all know that I'm not allowed to fast by my spiritual director! (What a cheap excuse eh?)

Well, you get me all excited about fasting and then you tell me! Thanks a lot! :)

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 7:10 PM


yeah I know Janet. Too bad I can't participate in the fasting part. (hehe)
Bobby: MY job was fun today!
I worked in the children's dept and it was bedlam!
But on the positive side, I got to see a few really beautiful babies (of course, Gianna is MUCH prettier) and help children find some good books to read! :-D

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 7:15 PM


Wow Patricia!
How wonderful about the PP in SD!!!
I wonder when all of the blood will be running through the streets of SD with hundreds of women choosing illegal abortions.

Maybe this situation will force women to make better choices about their sexual lives and take responsibility for preventing an unplanned pregnancy.

Don't ya just love how the PP office left their patients hanging?? What no advance phone call to alert these women there would be no abortions provided????? With the price of gas now-a-days you'd think they would at least reimburse them for their wasted time and fuel. Just more of the tacky and unprofessionalism PP continues to exibit.

Interesting how all it took was for an impromptu appointment at the CPC for some women to change their hearts and choose life.

This absolutely proves that if PP were AT ALL interested in reducing abortions, they would provide the same type of counseling on site.

Yeah SD! Congratulations to all who worked hard to pass this legislation!!!!!!!

I hope it stays closed for good!!!

Posted by: Sandy at July 24, 2008 7:30 PM


Well, Bobby. Here goes! First I got a flat tire, which was less than awesome because it happened during an absolutely torrential downpour. So I had to change the tire and I got soaked. But I soldiered on, reminding myself that if I never got wet then I would forget to appreciate being dry, or some other pollyanna stuff. I changed the tire, changed clothes, and went back to work.

THEN, a couple hours later, I was driving around again when out of nowhere, my muffler fell off! Well, only partially. It was still hanging on by its little arm, but was dragging on the asphalt making a horrific sound, so I pulled into a gas station. I stared at the muffler for a few minutes, getting down on my knees and peeking under the car a couple times for good measure, hoping that by some miracle it would just magically re-attach itself. But it didn't, so I eventually crawled under the car and took it all the way off. I didn't have an extra cloth in the car but I didn't want to just throw the muffler in there all dirty and gross, so I had to wrap it in my sweatshirt, which was sad, as I compete against myself in an unofficial (and never-mentioned) game to see how long I can possibly go without doing laundry, and dirtying up a sweatshirt is kind of like falling off of the balance beam.

I figured that as long as I was apparently having the worst car-ma ever, I would be proactive and check everything else before leaving the gas station. Checked the oil, the tires, etc. One tire was a little bit low on air, so I went to the air hose thing to fill it up.

As I put my quarters in and grabbed the air hose, a hornet buzzed around me in a couple circles, but I resolutely ignored it. There was no way I wasn't getting my $0.50 worth of air, because by that point I was in a stubborn and rapidly-worsening mood. And clearly the best way to cheer up a bad mood is to stand right next to a full-blown hornet's nest! Perhaps the fates decided I needed a refresher course in the meaning of 'Pyrrhic victory,' because while I did get my money's worth of air, I also got stung.

In my defense, I didn't catch on to the fact that there were dozens of hornets until I was well into filling my tire with air. They all kind of snuck up behind me. Like in a horror movie where you're in the audience going, "Look behind you! Look behind you!" If there had been a dead-end stairway for me to run up, I probably would have done that too.

I said a few choice words, hastily put the air hose back, and jumped into my car -- only to slam my ankle in the door in my hurry. By that point all I could do was laugh, because it was like, what next? So I pulled out of the gas station, drawing angry glances from pedestrians and fellow drivers alike because I was THAT person, the one with the really loud, un-mufflered car. I wanted to be like, "I didn't do this on purpose!" but all I could do was silently apologize to all the un-mufflered cars before me, the ones I had hated listening to with nary a thought as to how they got that way.

I wish I was a guy, because then Steve Carrel could play me if they ever made a movie about my life.

Posted by: Alexandra at July 24, 2008 7:31 PM


I hope it stays closed for good!!!


Posted by: Sandy at July 24, 2008 7:30 PM

Me too, but I ain't holding my breath!

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 7:31 PM


The end!

Posted by: Alexandra at July 24, 2008 7:32 PM


Alexandra,

"But I soldiered on, reminding myself that if I never got wet then I would forget to appreciate being dry"

There's that great attitude! But wow, what a crappy day. At least you only got stung once (right?). Sounds like Patricia had I much better day (I hope those books you gave the kids were published by Ignatius). Well, tomorrow's a new day, ehh? Probably can't be much worse than today, so there's a plus!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 24, 2008 7:45 PM


Indeed, Bobby! I figure, it's far more likely to go up from today than to go down, and I survived today just fine so think how great I'll feel after tomorrow! lol

Posted by: Alexandra at July 24, 2008 7:47 PM


Sorry about the day, but love how you told it. Wish I could have helped you laugh. Personally, I would have sworn I think and then cried and then got in bed.

Posted by: Carla at July 24, 2008 7:48 PM


Haha ... Alexandra, don't you love the way people give you dirty looks when you're having any kind of noticeable car trouble...as though you're doing it on purpose, just to piss THEM off?

We had the same rain here today. Its been unbelievable. I have really curly hair...ran up the street to get lunch, and was on my way back when the sky just opened up. Of course I had no umbrella. My hair looked...really...uhh...special for the rest of the day at work.

But I don't think thats nearly as rough as your day!!!

Posted by: Amanda at July 24, 2008 7:56 PM


Alexandra, I'm so sorry about your day!

I agree with Carla that the way you told it was great! Hopefully tomorrow will be better, but if not, at least it gives you something to write about!

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 8:02 PM


Alexandra,

That was HILARIOUS...er..um...I mean...wow, bummer.

Posted by: mk at July 24, 2008 8:06 PM


Alexandra: well you kept going right? That's the best attitude.
My brother and I were driving home from classes at university late one night (years ago this was) and we were driving a orange plymouth with a V-8 engine (great for taking off when the lights changed at intersections, I tell ya) and our entire exhaust system - tail pipe and muffler was dragging. My brother got out, kicked and pulled and ripped the entire thing off the car, leaving by the side of the road!
It WAS a very noisy drive home, esp. with the V-8 engine!

NO Bobby. I did not give the children books from Ignatius! Sheesh! I did find one boy a couple of great books on Greek mythology - he was so excited! Awesome!

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 8:14 PM


Ha, Patricia! I have a little VW Cabrio, kind of old by this point but it still looks okay, so I think people were surprised to see it making so much noise. My tiny little car got to roar like a lion for a day!

Carla, mk, Amanda, lauren -- I think the best part of a bad day (because there are sooooo many good parts of bad days) is that they're so fun to laugh about when they're done. But it doesn't work if no one's laughing with you! So thanks.

Posted by: Alexandra at July 24, 2008 8:21 PM


Alexandra,

I just..love you. lol. That was the best story ever..and you do sound like the female of version of Steve Carrel. :)

Posted by: Elizabeth (Gabriella's Momma) at July 24, 2008 8:21 PM


Ha, Patricia! I have a little VW Cabrio, kind of old by this point but it still looks okay, so I think people were surprised to see it making so much noise. My tiny little car got to roar like a lion for a day!

Sweet!

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 8:21 PM


Oh man...my best friend in highschool had a Cabrio, and we *loooooooooved* her car. Unfortunately, it died an untimely death during hurricane Katrina :(

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 8:49 PM


Lauren: ewwwww
We are told here in Canada not to buy used cars from the US because many of them are "victims" of Katrina.

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 9:06 PM


lauren @ 5:19 PM

Excellent observations - of course sacrificial love is much easier to discuss than live!


Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 24, 2008 9:13 PM


@Chris: who would know that better than a mom!

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 9:32 PM


Oh Alexandra!
*gives delicious virtual cupcake*

Posted by: Wichita Linewoman at July 24, 2008 9:32 PM


Alexandra, I once got stung by a hoard of hornets. I was finishing up a run with my team (it was a really great run for me) and I walked under a tree and I guess another runner got them angry so they all just attacked me. I had like, legit 25 hornets on me. There were like clumps of them so I started pulling them off with my hands and they started stinging my hands. So I'm flaring and screaming covered in blood and one of my teammates asks, "are you ok?" I screamed back, "Of course I'm not ok I got attacked by a bunch of bees!"

I probably should have gone to the hospital but I didn't and I still have scars from the bites.

I understand your pain : (

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 10:21 PM


P.S. I'm going to send you a cookie through my cd drive. I hope it works this time, they usually get stuck.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 10:23 PM


Jess...OUCH!

Posted by: lauren at July 24, 2008 10:24 PM


hey guys! Bought the maternity clothes today! The lady was so nice. Although, she asked my due date and I froze a little because I didn't bother to do the math beforehand (I said I was 8 weeks, luckily another girl was 8 weeks and gave a due date and I went off that one...I have strong stomach muscles encased in a small layer of fat, so I have an uncanny ability to make myself look pregnant--with concentration I can do different sizes). She gave me info about a credit card that puts money in a savings account to help with college/mothering expenses. She also said, 'do you get morning sickness?' and I said, 'yea. It's more like night sickness. And it gets worse the more tired I get.' And she recommended these cough drops that help.

I am SOOO excited for my project now. The clothes are so damn cute, kudos to the sales lady for helping me out.

Posted by: prettyinpink at July 24, 2008 10:24 PM


I've also been plagued by hiccups today. Maybe I'll die from them =(

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 10:25 PM


Lol PIP, I have a perpetual beer belly even though hardly drink alcohol. My Mom has the exact same stomach though, it runs in our family. On the Irish side. I've had a few people look at me and say, "You're pregnant?" I reply, "No, I'm fat! No more ice cubes for me!"

Has anyone asked you about the father yet? Tell them he's some guy named Jess. Sweet : )

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 10:31 PM


Every morning I have morning sickness. I'm hyper (or hypo) glycemic and I needs like bread or cereal or something before I get going.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 10:34 PM


haha Jess not yet! I haven't made my bigger belly yet so at this point for most it's conjecture, unless..you know...I"m in a maternity store :P

I used to have a version of morning sickness when I was on the pill and didn't take it with food. It sucks. Actually I am a bit hypoglycemic and I feel gross when I don't eat for a while, but it has always manifested itself in nausea coupled with grumpiness.

Posted by: prettyinpink at July 24, 2008 10:38 PM


Jess,
My eldest girl gets hiccups alot. And they hurt too. Mostly though when she is hungry. Are you hungry?
BTW, after once asking a lady when she was due and being told she was "not pregnant, thank-you very much!" - I am very cautious about doing this!
I usually wait for the other person to make the first move - "I'm expecting"

Posted by: Patricia at July 24, 2008 10:40 PM


I'm not hungry but I'm always up for s'mores.

The best response for that are you pregnant question is "No, but the night is young!"

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 10:58 PM


Jess @10:58: You're terrible!
:)

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 11:46 PM


What happened to the WIC-ked thread? No commenting?

Posted by: Janet at July 24, 2008 11:48 PM


I commented on that thread, a really good comment and this blog just ate it.

It was something along the lines of, parenting is a 24/7 every day of the year job you should love your kids no matter what... Well it sounded a lot better the first time I wrote it.

Posted by: Jess at July 24, 2008 11:57 PM


PIP,

It will be interesting to read what you find out..

Posted by: Jasper at July 25, 2008 12:54 AM


mk 2:57 *mwah*!! Och, that was brilliant.

As for the discussion that ensued later (which I, too, sadly missed), all I have to say is that it reminded me of the scenario where the teenager says, "There IS no absolute truth!" And the question one must then ask in reply is, "Is that statement absolutely true?" :D

PIP, I forgot...when did you say you are going to start this "pregnancy project" of yours? When school starts up again?

Posted by: Kel at July 25, 2008 1:42 AM


OH, and I forgot to mention... the C.S. Lewis book "Mere Christianity" is also an excellent read for anyone.
I keep wondering why people debate reason and yet don't bother to ask how we got the ability to reason in the first place. *shrug*

Okay, bedtime for all the ill people in this household! Goodnight.

Posted by: Kel at July 25, 2008 1:45 AM


Happy 40 year anniversary of Humanae Vitae!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 25, 2008 7:10 AM


Bobby: go to the First Things website. They have an open access article by Mary Eberstadt, "The Vindication of Humanae Vitae" in their Aug/Sep 2008 issue, online.

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 7:15 AM


Here's hoping for a long and happy life for mother and child.

Remember, everyone: Something can make us feel wierd and icky and still not be wrong.

Posted by: DRF at July 25, 2008 7:20 AM


DRF: you don't determine whether something is moral wrong by how you feel. I realise most of the population in the West functions this way today (It feels good, therefore it must be right)but it wasn't always this way.

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 7:24 AM


I'm there Patricia!

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 25, 2008 7:27 AM


Good! I had to hunt up the article when I saw your comment this morning - I printed it out and it was on my desk along with 4 or 5 others I've been reading!
Pope Paul IV has been definitely vindicated. Woe to our bishops in Canada who did not side with the Pope in 1968. We are trying to get them to retract the Winnipeg Statement and replace it with one fully supporting Humanae Vitae.
The Philippine Bishops apologize to their Catholics in 1990.

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 7:37 AM


Janet @ 11:48 PM - We encountered a strange bug that stopped comments just on that thread. I've been working on it.
_____

Jess @ 11:57 PM - My apologies - I should have edited the entry to notify folks comments weren't working while I worked on them. It was sort of like having an auto-mechanic working on your car (a detached muffler perhaps??!) while you are driving it down the road.

Also Jess - just some free Technical Adviceâ„¢: when you send cookies via the internet: you are trying to send them whole - that's the "whole" problem - you have to smash them to bits. Then they don't get stuck...(And cookies really are sent through the internet, but not the edible kind - unless you are a webserver. ;-)
______

Alexandra @ 7:31 PM - Do it again - we want to see it! - this time have a video crew available, and post it to YouTube as a comedy short! ;-)

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 25, 2008 8:14 AM


Chris: I had problems on several posts yesterday with comments, including this one in the morning.

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 8:21 AM


Actually it was Pope Paul VI. My parish is doing a series for talks for the 40th anniversary of Humane Vitae.


There is no such thing as a pregnant "man" -- that is the creation of hollywood (can anyone say "Junior" with Arnold Swartzenager?).


This child should grow up with normal mother and father -- not a mother who suffers from an identity crisis, thinking she's a man. And anyway, the **father** wasn't even HER father! This baby's father is **another** man, that she will never meet.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at July 25, 2008 8:28 AM


Hey,

Anyone know where Doug is? He hasn't been on in ages!

Posted by: mk at July 25, 2008 8:31 AM


Patricia - what happened this morning with comments on this thread?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault Author Profile Page at July 25, 2008 8:35 AM


Not this morning Chris - yesterday. On several posts it seemed like everything was working but then when the page refreshed my comment wasn't there!
By the afternoon it was working.
Sorry Liz - I had a brain freeze! Even Bobby didn't pick up on that!
You are very lucky. Who is doing the talks?

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 8:44 AM


Okay - I was doing a lot of testing yesterday on several bugs.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault Author Profile Page at July 25, 2008 8:53 AM


I don't have the leaflet about it handy, but its various guest speakers. I think one of them might be someone who teaches NFP.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at July 25, 2008 9:03 AM


Kel,

Yeah, pretty much when school starts up. But I am going to do a few "test runs" in public first. I'm also collecting testimonials, if you know anyone who has gotten pregnant or was parenting in college!

Posted by: prettyinpink at July 25, 2008 9:04 AM


MK,

Doug was on just a little bit at least a few days ago. He posted on the "Obama chatter 7-21" post. He's probably just really busy.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 25, 2008 9:18 AM


Bobby: I just emailed First Things to thank them for Mary Eberstadt's brilliant article.

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 9:24 AM


Hey PIP,
What type of project are you doing??? I'm intrigued. I assume you will be diguised as a pregnant college student to solicit response????

Posted by: Sandy at July 25, 2008 9:37 AM


Yes Sandy,

I will be a "pregnant" student for two weeks at the beginning of school, and find out how people treat me differently. I will then write an article for the UNews (I'm assuming the UNews will print it--they've helped me out that way before) and a copy will also be posted here. In the article I will also be addressing the policies at SLU (and other colleges) that are unfriendly to pregnant and mothering students. I found one mothering student the other day who gave an interesting story. So I will be adding testimonials too. Hopefully this time Fr. Biondi will listen and answer to these objections!

I've noticed I have never seen a pregnant student on campus. Not one. And I know people are getting pregnant every year. So that means they are either dropping out or aborting, and when I did some research, the pressure is hard so no wonder. Some pro-life campus!

Posted by: prettyinpink at July 25, 2008 9:55 AM


hey pip,

I'll do a testimonial!!

:)

Posted by: Elizabeth (Gabriella's Momma) at July 25, 2008 11:01 AM


All--

My views on children really got misconstrued.

I do not advocate allowing your children to decide whether or not they want to get immunized, if they want to go to school, ect.

I believe that children should be allowed to decide things like religious belief, political views, philosophical issues, ect. on their own.

I do have convictions, but most of them deal with not imposing on others.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 11:30 AM


Family values cannot constitute brainwashing?

But about all those children whose families and churches teach them how to hate and then go out and blow up others in the name of faith.

What about all those children who drank kool-aid laced with cyanide because it would usher in a better world?

What about all those children who learned on their parent's knees that a dark skin color made one less than human?

Some children do break free as adults--others, however, cannot.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 11:35 AM


I'm with you, patricia.

Posted by: RSD at July 25, 2008 11:57 AM


So my unwillingness to impose my own personal convictions on others means that I don't have them at all. Interesting logic there--a bit flawed and imprecise, to be sure, but still quite revealing.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 12:08 PM


A. I'm not saying that parents can not influence their children's thinking, just that they can not ultimately control it.

Someone may be raised to hate anyone with a different skin color and even embrace this hatred. However, once they go into the world and have interactions with different people, their views are likely to change.

Unless a child is completely sheltered from the world into adulthood and beyond, they will have experiences that will conform their beliefs in ways their parents can not control.

Posted by: lauren at July 25, 2008 12:09 PM


Lauren--

There are different levels of the phenomenon I'm discussing, of course.

It does not have to be that extreme and you are correct in that many people are able to change how they think once exposed to other opinions. Some, however, get so fixated in that mindset that their parents taught that they literally cannot comprehend and cannot engage with any point of view other than their own.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 12:14 PM


Elizabeth, please do!

Posted by: prettyinpink at July 25, 2008 12:19 PM


A. said: Some, however, get so fixated in that mindset that their parents taught that they literally cannot comprehend and cannot engage with any point of view other than their own.

A., Maybe they are happy that way. Is that wrong? There's a saying, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything".

Some children do break free as adults--others, however, cannot.

Break free? Sounds extreme. What percentage of children do you feel are under their parents' spell? Did you have this experience?

Posted by: Janet at July 25, 2008 12:54 PM


Janet,

"Maybe they are happy that way. Is that wrong? There's a saying, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything"."

In my opinion, the problem lies when the children never actually think about what they've been taught and simply accept it as gospel truth (no pun intended).

Not being able to comprehend or engage with other points of view is a problem. How does one function is the world without being able to do this?

Some children do break free as adults--others, however, cannot.

"Break free? Sounds extreme. What percentage of children do you feel are under their parents' spell?"

No idea--personally, probably more than I think we'd like to think.

"Did you have this experience?"

Heh. No. My parents knew what they had and dealt with it; they didn't try to change me.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 1:07 PM


DRF: you don't determine whether something is moral wrong by how you feel. I realise most of the population in the West functions this way today (It feels good, therefore it must be right)but it wasn't always this way.

Patricia, I was saying, "Just because it feels bad, doesn't mean it's wrong." I agree with you that feelings alone shouldn't determine the moral standing of a given action, but a lot of people seem to be condemning Mr. Beatie just because his choice to become male creeps them out.

Posted by: DRF at July 25, 2008 1:52 PM


Hey MK and Bobby (Bobby, you're right) - have been travelling and working a lot this week. VA, MD, and now a couple PA locations.

Posted by: Doug at July 25, 2008 2:55 PM


I do have convictions, but most of them deal with not imposing on others.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 11:30 AM

Oh you mean you stand for nothing because that is exactly what that statement means. At some point your beliefs will impinge to some degree on others.
It could be argued that if a person believes in abortion, they are imposing their beliefs on another (the unborn baby) to the point of death.

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 3:20 PM


Patricia, I was saying, "Just because it feels bad, doesn't mean it's wrong." I agree with you that feelings alone shouldn't determine the moral standing of a given action, but a lot of people seem to be condemning Mr. Beatie just because his choice to become male creeps them out.

Posted by: DRF at July 25, 2008 1:52 PM

Miss Beatie's attempt at being male does not creep me out - it is just disordered and dishonest, that's all.
I don't condemn Miss Beatie as it is obvious she is not well, but I do not support her actions, nor that of the media in perpetrating this lie.
Glad we agree

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 3:23 PM


sorry DRF i hit the post button
meant to write: Glad we agree on the feelings stuff.

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 3:29 PM


Patrica,

"Oh you mean you stand for nothing because that is exactly what that statement means. At some point your beliefs will impinge to some degree on others. It could be argued that if a person believes in abortion, they are imposing their beliefs on another (the unborn baby) to the point of death."

I absolutely love it when people who have never met me and have absolutely no idea what I believe or apparently what anything I "say" actually means.

There is also no such thing as an unborn baby.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 4:23 PM


"There's no such thing as an unborn baby"-A.
-----------------------------

You can argue that until Jess' cows come home...and only you and your pro-abort ilk will believe that lie.

Posted by: RSD at July 25, 2008 4:39 PM


I absolutely love it when people who have never met me and have absolutely no idea what I believe or apparently what anything I "say" actually means.

There is also no such thing as an unborn baby.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 4:23 PM

Glad to see that you live in the real world A! Do you even have a reality or is that up for grabs to honey?
You twist and turn and the fact that you do so, tells me that you do in fact KNOW what is objectively right and wrong otherwise you would not feel the need to deflect a point.

Have a nice evening - I prefer to debate individuals who at least have one foot in the real world. :-D

Posted by: Patricia at July 25, 2008 5:07 PM


I will be a "pregnant" student for two weeks at the beginning of school, and find out how people treat me differently. I will then write an article for the UNews (I'm assuming the UNews will print it--they've helped me out that way before) and a copy will also be posted here. In the article I will also be addressing the policies at SLU (and other colleges) that are unfriendly to pregnant and mothering students. I found one mothering student the other day who gave an interesting story. So I will be adding testimonials too. Hopefully this time Fr. Biondi will listen and answer to these objections!
I've noticed I have never seen a pregnant student on campus. Not one. And I know people are getting pregnant every year. So that means they are either dropping out or aborting, and when I did some research, the pressure is hard so no wonder. Some pro-life campus!

PIP, I am very interested to hear the results...I am glad that you are going to be working to change things at your campus! Please keep us updated on your work. Maybe Jill will even do a post on it.

Posted by: Bethany at July 25, 2008 8:24 PM


"There's no such thing as an unborn baby"-A.

LOL

Posted by: Bethany at July 25, 2008 8:27 PM


A. said: "There's no such thing as an unborn baby"-A.

Bethany: 8:27:LOL

Amazon has 6,862 different books listed under the heading "unborn babies". All you need to do is look at a picture of an aborted baby to know the truth. Do you refuse to believe what your own eyes tell you?


Posted by: Janet at July 25, 2008 8:48 PM


Lauren @12:09 pm,

That reminded me of the movie "Life is Beautiful." A very wonderful, powerful movie I highly recommend. Anyway the basis of it is this father and son are in a concentration camp and the father is convincing his son that the Holocaust is really a special game that they signed up to play. You know that the father is telling his son this because he doesn't want to expose him to the horror that is all around them. The question people ask though, does his son really believe his father that it's a game (because children believe what their parents tell them), or does he just go along with it to make his father happy?

It's a really good movie.

Posted by: Jess at July 25, 2008 8:55 PM


Jess, I;ve seen it. It was a really good movie. I personally think the son probably figured it out at some point, but kept going with it because it gave him a sense of hope/ a bond with his father.

On a totally unrealted note, did you happen to go to any of those "non-traditional" pro-life sites I posted awhile back? I think they might have gotten burried amongst the comments, but I really want you to see them.

Posted by: lauren at July 25, 2008 9:08 PM


Janet,

"Amazon has 6,862 different books listed under the heading "unborn babies"."

This proves what, exactly? Last time I checked, simply because something had appeared in a book didn't mean that it was true.

"All you need to do is look at a picture of an aborted baby to know the truth. Do you refuse to believe what your own eyes tell you?"

Okay, now I'm confused. On this site, certain individuals are constantly claiming that "it's a baby from the moment of conception." Yet even they admit that an embryo does not look like a baby. And now you tell me to use "the evidence of my own eyes" to determine whether or not the aborted entity is a human baby. Am I missing something here? Is being a human baby somehow contingent upon how something looks? If not, why do you use this argument as though it means anything? It's actually contrary to your point of view.


Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 9:16 PM


"You can argue that until Jess' cows come home."
I love cows. In a non-eating way.

Yes Lauren I went to the Feminist for Life one. I find I agree with a lot of what they say. I find abortion is kinda thrust on a lot of women, like society says you shouldn't be having this child if the situation isn't picture perfect. And we know if that were the case there would be like 15 kids in this world. Also I don't feel a lot of women really know the truth about abortion, what exactly it is, how developed the baby is, etc. So yeah it's something I'll probably check out more.

P.S. We had severe storms and tornados hit around my home two days ago (go figure). The storm brought rain (which my Mom unsuccessfully tried to keep from running downhill into our basement) but alas, the tornado didn't bring any flying cows.

Posted by: Jess at July 25, 2008 10:20 PM


"Amazon has 6,862 different books listed under the heading "unborn babies"."

A: This proves what, exactly? Last time I checked, simply because something had appeared in a book didn't mean that it was true.

This proves that many people think like I do.

Just so you know...I believe there is such a thing as an unborn baby. Personally I believe that the moment of conception is when a baby's life begins.

There's plenty of evidence out there pointing to this view; the question is whether or not you want to see it and believe it. It's kind of that way with religion too. You need to open your mind a bit. I can't explain how to do it. You just do.:)

Posted by: Janet at July 25, 2008 10:20 PM


Jess, cool! I'm glad you liked feminists for life. They do *alot* to help women facing crisis pregnancies. I really like that they help pregnant/parenting students who are often cast aside.

Speaking of which, PIP, you should look into the H.R. 1088: Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2007 for your paper!

Its goal was "To establish a pilot program to provide grants to encourage eligible institutions of higher education to establish and operate pregnant and parenting student services offices for pregnant students, parenting students, prospective parenting students who are anticipating a birth or adoption, and students who are placing or have placed a child for adoption."

Right now it's held up in committee.

Posted by: lauren at July 25, 2008 10:30 PM


Janet,

"This proves that many people think like I do."

Consensus does not breed truth.

"Just so you know...I believe there is such a thing as an unborn baby. Personally I believe that the moment of conception is when a baby's life begins."

And I choose to believe otherwise. You still didn't answer my point about using contradictory evidence to support your claim.

"There's plenty of evidence out there pointing to this view; the question is whether or not you want to see it and believe it."

So we have evidence that, depending upon the view one begins with, can be interpreted to support either position. Strangely enough, I agree. Now how do you determine which point of view is the correct one?

"It's kind of that way with religion too. You need to open your mind a bit. I can't explain how to do it. You just do.:)"

Then would you be willing to open your mind to atheism and a pro-choice position? If not, I do not see how you can make the previous assertion in good faith.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 11:15 PM


So we have evidence that, depending upon the view one begins with, can be interpreted to support either position. Strangely enough, I agree. Now how do you determine which point of view is the correct one? ..... Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 11:15 PM

So then it boils down to making a choice between life or death ... I think that I will err on the side of choosing life.

"Yet even they admit that an embryo does not look like a baby."

That is what a human being looks like in its earliest stages. Are you going to look the same at the age of 75 as you did at 18 months?

Posted by: Eileen at July 26, 2008 6:20 AM


Eileen: 6:20:"Yet even they admit that an embryo does not look like a baby."

That is what a human being looks like in its earliest stages. Are you going to look the same at the age of 75 as you did at 18 months?

Bingo! (Eileen - I think one has to be over 40 years old for this to hit home! Lol.)

Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 7:54 AM


A: 11:15: PM Then would you be willing to open your mind to atheism and a pro-choice position? If not, I do not see how you can make the previous assertion in good faith.

I already have. That's the whole point of why Pro-lifers are here commenting. We are not looking to find the TRUTH as you are. We KNOW the truth and want others to see.

In good faith? What do you mean? Are we lawyers now as well as philosophers? Let's talk issues instead of debating style, please!

Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 8:07 AM


Eileen,

"So then it boils down to making a choice between life or death ... I think that I will err on the side of choosing life."

And I would prefer to err on the side of respecting the sanctity of life and the sanctity of the individual.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:17 AM


Janet,

"I already have. That's the whole point of why Pro-lifers are here commenting. We are not looking to find the TRUTH as you are. We KNOW the truth and want others to see."

So the fact that you're here means that you're open to the opposing position, but the fact that I'm here means that I am not. Contradictory, no?

What makes you think that I am looking to find truth?

"In good faith? What do you mean? Are we lawyers now as well as philosophers? Let's talk issues instead of debating style, please!"

To me, the two are inseparably entwined.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:20 AM


Lauren

"A. I define "true love" as the sacrificial love that puts another person's interest ahead of your own.

I contrast this with infatuation, in which *you* feel giddy and warm around the other person, but don't yet have the relationship development to care for the other person above yourself.

I think most marriages start at some level of infatuation, and after a series of trials and life experiences, grow to "true love".

Of course, there are other relationships that never get past the infatuation stage, and begin to disolve as quickly as the warm fuzzies.

So I guess I don't believe in "true love" as fairy tale love either, but rather the commitment and responsibility that comes with sharing your life with another person."

Then there is nothing contradictory about our views; we simply use different terms to define the same thing.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:22 AM


A,

The statement that was being refuted, I believe, is that there is no such thing as an unborn baby. Janet was simply pointing out that you could see with your own eyes that this is untrue. She did not say that ALL unborn babies look like unborn babies, nor did she imply that. You inferred it.

She simply stated that you could look at an ultrasound and see for yourself that unborn babies do exist.

This does not mean that only babies that look like babies are babies. Only that past a certain point, you could see an unborn baby.

From the moment of conception, a baby exists. I can't show you that in a picture. But I can show you a 4 month old fetus, and there is no question that it is a baby.

Saying one does not negate the other. She never claimed that only babies that you can see are babies...

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:23 AM


MK,

Fair enough.

I still dispute her)(and your) assertion.

I see a human fetus.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:25 AM


Consensus does not breed truth.

Nothing breeds truth. We don't create truth. We discover truth. Truth already exists. But a large concensus, can, not does, but can, be an indication that the truth has been discovered.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:27 AM


A,

I still dispute her)(and your) assertion.
*
I see a human fetus.

So do I. And what is a human fetus?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:29 AM


MK,

"Nothing breeds truth. We don't create truth. We discover truth. Truth already exists."

That depends on your definition of truth. If one believes only is a subjective form of pre-existing truth, this is correct. I, however, do not share this view.

I believe that, while objective truth exists, we can never know it because we are too caught up in our subjective interpretations of it. I also believe that some truths are self-created.

"But a large concensus, can, not does, but can, be an indication that the truth has been discovered."

But how do you know when this is the case or when a large quantity of people are simply deluded into believing something that isn't true (here I'm thinking of something indisputably true, like the earth is round).

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:31 AM


A,

You once said something along the lines that you have a truth, and I have a truth, and what makes my truth, or your truth more valid.

I guess we need to start at the beginning.

What is truth?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:31 AM


Hah! I was posting my question about truth, before yours came up...ahhh, great minds.


So, I gotta ask again, What is truth?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:33 AM


MK,

"What is truth?"

Well, as I said above, there are different levels of truth.

One is terms of reality: bringing our beliefs in line with what actually exists.

Another is in terms of social truths: these are those elements and prohibitions which must hold across a society in order for it to survive (ie. murder is wrong).

There are legal truths: arguments which conform to the set standard of the law.

There are also personal truths: these are the thoughts and convictions which are so important to and such an integral part of a person that this individual holds them to be true

There are probably more kinds of truth, but I think they probably wouldn't be pertinent to the discussion.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:37 AM


A,

I believe that, while objective truth exists, we can never know it because we are too caught up in our subjective interpretations of it.

I assume we are talking strictly about moral truths here, no? Because obviously, we can know certain physical truths.

I would say, that if we can't find the objective truth, that the fault lies with us, not the truth.

The truth doesn't change, simply because we humans, can't agree on it. Or because we are too subjective.

Do we just give up trying to find it?

I'd say that we start with the most basic truths, and work from them.

We know that one of the truths, is that human life is different that animal life, correct? (other than Jess, who still hasn't gotten that one).

The next question is, what makes us different?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:37 AM


I see a human fetus.
Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:25 AM
-------

A - could you please describe for us a human fetus. What is it?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 26, 2008 8:39 AM


A,

One is terms of reality: bringing our beliefs in line with what actually exists.

Okay, let's start with that one. We know that a human life exists in the womb. We agree that that is a "truth"...what actually exists. The moral question is, do we have the right to take that life?

Do we need to bring our beliefs in line with that reality? Or do we fiddle with the reality until it fits our view?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:41 AM


MK,

"I assume we are talking strictly about moral truths here, no? Because obviously, we can know certain physical truths."

Correct.

"I would say, that if we can't find the objective truth, that the fault lies with us, not the truth."

I'm not arguing that the fault lies with the truth; all that I believe is that our own preconceptions and biases mean that we can never look at it with an objective eye.

"The truth doesn't change, simply because we humans, can't agree on it. Or because we are too subjective."

I never said that it did.

"Do we just give up trying to find it?"

No, we do the best that we can to discover truth while knowing that objective truth is ultimately beyond our grasp.

"We know that one of the truths, is that human life is different that animal life, correct? (other than Jess, who still hasn't gotten that one)."

In terms of what, exactly? I could argue brainpower, but certain other animals (ie. dolphins) are thought to be nearly as intelligent as we are. I could argue language, except that I believe that we have a very human-centric understanding of the term. I could argue a sense of self-awareness and death, except elephants appear to have this as well. I could argue an opposable thumb, but certain apes possess this in addition to humanity. I could argue a sense of morality, except we don't know that animals don't have this. Ultimately, I think what I'm going to have to go with is that we developed a system of food cultivation that allowed us to, once we had secured a steady supply of food, devote ourselves to other pursuits.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:43 AM


Chris,

"could you please describe for us a human fetus. What is it?"

A human fetus is a human at a certain stage of development. The period stretches from, I think, around two months post-conception until birth.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:45 AM


A,

Another is in terms of social truths: these are those elements and prohibitions which must hold across a society in order for it to survive (ie. murder is wrong).
*
There are legal truths: arguments which conform to the set standard of the law.

But aren't both of these, just extensions of the first one? Don't we make our laws based on what we think reality is? Are you saying that legal truths can be true even when they contradict reality?

Or that social truths can be true even when they contradict reality.

I've posted this before, but it begs repeating.

You yourself have stated that one of the social truths, is that murder is wrong.

Let's look at your logic.

Murder is wrong. It is the taking of an innocent human life.

Abortion takes an innocent human life.

Therefore abortion is wrong.

Your view says...

Murder is wrong. It is the taking of an innocent human life.

Abortion takes an innocent human life.

Therefore, murder must not be wrong.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:46 AM


MK,

"Okay, let's start with that one. We know that a human life exists in the womb. We agree that that is a "truth"...what actually exists. The moral question is, do we have the right to take that life?"

We don't know that human life exists in the womb until a set point. Cellular life and a heartbeat are not indicative of either personhood or human life.

"Do we need to bring our beliefs in line with that reality? Or do we fiddle with the reality until it fits our view?"

Ultimately, humanity does both.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:47 AM


Then would you be willing to open your mind to atheism and a pro-choice position? If not, I do not see how you can make the previous assertion in good faith.

Posted by: A. at July 25, 2008 11:15 PM

ANyone opening their mind to atheism and prochoice quickly determines that these are irrational and illogical positions since the empirical evidence is present everywhere.
It is irrational to claim that a fully human person does not exist from the beginning of conception till natural death. The DNA of the being indicates it is human.
Your argument A, has been abandoned by the prochoice position for some time now. They have had to admit that a living human baby is present because the prolife side has been able to demonstrate this scientifically and it is continuing to be taught in medical schools in textbooks etc. They've stopped stating publicly at least, (maybe not in the abortion chambers)that a baby is a blob of tissue at 8, 9, 10 12 weeks because most women have seen the pics.

What the prochoice side now argues, and only because they have been backed into a corner, is that the unborn human BABY simply is not a person and does not have the same rights as the born mother. To argue this position, proaborts have fallen back to arguing the human qualities of the unborn or using innocuous medical terms to describe it. BTW A, your use of the term fetus, tells me that in fact you do KNOW that it is a baby, otherwise you would not go to this length to use medical terms that are not part of the vernacular.

"What makes you think that I am looking to find truth?"

Well A, we had good faith that you were looking to learn the truth. However, based on this discussion, it does not appear so.

Which means discussing with you is likely a waste of time. You are just arguing for the sake of arguing. Pointless and a waste of time.

Posted by: Patricia at July 26, 2008 8:48 AM


A,

As far as personal truths are concerned, are you saying that truth can change, depending on ones subjectivity?

Because if you are, then I think you have just discredited your definition of truth. Truth just is.

If your "personal truth" contradicts what is, then it is not truth, it is opinion.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:48 AM


MK,

"But aren't both of these, just extensions of the first one? Don't we make our laws based on what we think reality is? Are you saying that legal truths can be true even when they contradict reality?"

Yes. Legal truths are not connected to reality but only the laws of a society. Those, in turn, should be connected to reality but often are not.

"Or that social truths can be true even when they contradict reality."

Please give an example of a social truth that contradicts reality. To me, social truths are what enable a society to survive.

"Murder is wrong. It is the taking of an innocent human life."

No, murder is not the taking of an innocent human life. Murder has nothing to do with innocence: it is the unlawful taking of another individual's life.

"Abortion takes an innocent human life."

Debatable. The fetus would first have to have attained actual human life. I would additionally argue that the fetus is not innocent as long as it is imposing upon another's body.

"Your view says... Murder is wrong. It is the taking of an innocent human life. Abortion takes an innocent human life. Therefore, murder must not be wrong."

Nope. Sorry, not my view.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:53 AM


A,

I highly doubt that scientists think dolphins are as intelligent as us. They are highly intelligent as far as the animal kingdom goes, but you don't seriously believe that they are a intelligent as us?

What about the ability to "reason", or to think in moral terms. Do you think any other animal, could think in abstract terms about the morality of something. Do you think any of them could be discussing in whatever language they use, whether or not truth exists?

No. Why? Because they lack the very subjectivity that you say keeps us from knowing the truth. They know the truths that apply to them, because they are only capable of being objective.

It is that very subjectivity that separates us from them...

Do they have imagination? Can they "create" anything? For the sake of creation? Can they understand concepts like beauty? Truth? Love? Honor? Virtue????

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 8:53 AM


MK,

"As far as personal truths are concerned, are you saying that truth can change, depending on ones subjectivity?"

Only because not all truths are held to same types of objective, unyielding standard.

"Because if you are, then I think you have just discredited your definition of truth. Truth just is."

I never said that truth just is, or if I did I misspoke slightly. Objective truths do not change but those that we construct can.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:55 AM


A. @ 8:45 AM:

A human fetus is a human at a certain stage of development. The period stretches from, I think, around two months post-conception until birth.

Is it human before two months?

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 26, 2008 8:56 AM


A,

We don't know that human life exists in the womb until a set point. Cellular life and a heartbeat are not indicative of either personhood or human life.

We aren't discussing personhood. No one said murder was taking a personhood. We are discussing life. And that cellular life with a heartbeat is human life. That is not debatable. That is fact. That is a truth that can be known. Personhood is debatable. But not human "life"...

"Do we need to bring our beliefs in line with that reality? Or do we fiddle with the reality until it fits our view?"

Ultimately, humanity does both.

I realize that humanity does both. The question is, if we want to know truth, should we change our beliefs, or attempt to change reality?

Yes. Legal truths are not connected to reality but only the laws of a society. Those, in turn, should be connected to reality but often are not.

But then they are not "truths"...they are laws based on falsehoods. Truth is immutable, remember? So anytime personal truth, doesn't line up with reality, it ceases to be truth. Any time legal truth doesn't line up with reality, it ceases to be truth. Any time social truth doesn't line up with reality, it ceases to be truth.

So what do we change? Our subjective views, or reality?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:00 AM


MK,

"I highly doubt that scientists think dolphins are as intelligent as us. They are highly intelligent as far as the animal kingdom goes, but you don't seriously believe that they are a intelligent as us?"

I am not a scientist but there are theories that dolphins are not as far apart in terms of intelligence as we would like to think.

I would additionally argue that much of our understanding of intelligence is deliberately human-centric because we like to think that we are special.

There is an additional concern of how we could adequately measure the intelligence of another when we cannot really communicate with him/her.

"What about the ability to "reason", or to think in moral terms. Do you think any other animal, could think in abstract terms about the morality of something. Do you think any of them could be discussing in whatever language they use, whether or not truth exists?"

I have absolutely no idea but I will not discount the possibility. Elephants are known to mourn and show an understanding of death. That's just based on what we can see. So who's to say what else they are capable of?

"Because they lack the very subjectivity that you say keeps us from knowing the truth. They know the truths that apply to them, because they are only capable of being objective."

But how do you know this?

"Do they have imagination? Can they "create" anything? For the sake of creation? Can they understand concepts like beauty? Truth? Love? Honor? Virtue????"

Being able to create is not contingent upon intelligence. Dolphins could be ten times smarter than us, but they have no hands. How are they supposed to create. We could be a million times smarter than we are, but if all we were was a physical brain, we could not create either.

Can animals understand abstract concepts? I don't think we that we have proven that they cannot.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:01 AM


Patricia,

"Well A, we had good faith that you were looking to learn the truth. However, based on this discussion, it does not appear so."

How egotistical of you. So the reason that I come here is because I'm like a little lost lamb and I've come to you for guidance. Right @@

"Which means discussing with you is likely a waste of time. You are just arguing for the sake of arguing. Pointless and a waste of time."

Discussion and debate is never pointless because generally one can learn from it and is better for it. Well, I say generally. I don't think that you are capable of it.

I highly doubt that scientists think dolphins are as intelligent as us. They are highly intelligent as far as the animal kingdom goes, but you don't seriously believe that they are a intelligent as us?

What about the ability to "reason", or to think in moral terms. Do you think any other animal, could think in abstract terms about the morality of something. Do you think any of them could be discussing in whatever language they use, whether or not truth exists?

No. Why? Because they lack the very subjectivity that you say keeps us from knowing the truth. They know the truths that apply to them, because they are only capable of being objective.

It is that very subjectivity that separates us from them...

Do they have imagination? Can they "create" anything? For the sake of creation? Can they understand concepts like beauty? Truth? Love? Honor? Virtue????

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:04 AM


A,

Yes. Legal truths are not connected to reality but only the laws of a society. Those, in turn, should be connected to reality but often are not.
*
"Or that social truths can be true even when they contradict reality."
*
Please give an example of a social truth that contradicts reality. To me, social truths are what enable a society to survive.

Do you not see the inconsistency in those statements. First you say that social truths SHOULD be connected to reality, but that often they aren't.

Then when I point out the same thing, you say they are. Which is it?

Okay, here is one. We (at least I) believe that it is morally wrong (an objective moral truth) to marry or have sex with an eight year old. And yet some societies believe this to be morally acceptable.

No, murder is not the taking of an innocent human life. Murder has nothing to do with innocence: it is the unlawful taking of another individual's life.

So are you saying that if there were no laws against it, then murder would not exist? If there was a society that was neutral on whether or not you could arbitrarily take another persons life for no reason, what would you call it? It can't be murder, because it isn't unlawful.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:05 AM


Chris,

"Is it human before two months?"

It is a member of the human species, yes.

But it has not attained those attributes necessary to posses human life. It simply has physical life.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:06 AM


Only because not all truths are held to same types of objective, unyielding standard.

Then they cease to be truths. You said that you believed that objective truth exists. Are you saying that objective truth is subjective?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:07 AM


MK,

"We aren't discussing personhood. No one said murder was taking a personhood. We are discussing life. And that cellular life with a heartbeat is human life. That is not debatable. That is fact. That is a truth that can be known. Personhood is debatable. But not human "life"..."

That depends on how you define life. To me, the term life merely denotes physical, cellular life. It is quite seperate from my understanding of human life; ie. simply because one is human and possess physical life does not mean that this individual also possess human life.

"I realize that humanity does both. The question is, if we want to know truth, should we change our beliefs, or attempt to change reality?"

Which kind of truth are you interested it?

"But then they are not "truths"...they are laws based on falsehoods. Truth is immutable, remember?"

Only those truths which we do not construct are immutable.

"So anytime personal truth, doesn't line up with reality, it ceases to be truth. Any time legal truth doesn't line up with reality, it ceases to be truth. Any time social truth doesn't line up with reality, it ceases to be truth."

Not according to my understanding of truth.

"So what do we change? Our subjective views, or reality?"

You're assuming that all truth already exists in reality. In my opinion, this is simply not true.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:10 AM


A,

Okay, you're proving my point. Intelligence, per se is not what determines our humanity. Which is why I brought up creativity.

You say that dolphins can't create because they don't have arms...

I don't have wings, but many figured out how to fly.

There are artists that don't have hands, but manage to paint...

That's my point. Creativity, depends upon something more than tools. Animals don't create, because while they may have a brain, they do not have a mind...

Even if you could prove that some animals, in some instances, are able to do some things that humans do, you aren't showing me that they are the same as humans.

Chimpanzees have arms. They are self aware. They communicate. The reason. They use tools.

But after how many millions of years, they are still living the exact same way. They do not progress. They do not build on what they have learned. We don't have chimpanzee cities, hospitals, libraries...because they are animals.

There is a heirarchy in the animal kingdom. No one is duputing that chimpanzees and dolphins are light years ahead of the cockroach...but surely, you are not suggesting that humans are not lightyears ahead of the most intelligent animal?

What makes us different? What "something" causes that huge leap, from extremely intelligent animal, to human?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:14 AM


MK,

"Do you not see the inconsistency in those statements. First you say that social truths SHOULD be connected to reality, but that often they aren't."

We have fundamentally different understandings of social truth. Yours is much broader than mine. To me, social truth is only concerned with those rather extreme elements which a society would collapse without. It is not concerned with other, less essential, matters.

"Okay, here is one. We (at least I) believe that it is morally wrong (an objective moral truth) to marry or have sex with an eight year old. And yet some societies believe this to be morally acceptable."

This does not fit into my definition of a social truth.

"So are you saying that if there were no laws against it, then murder would not exist?"

Legally, yes. Morally, no. However, I would still not subscribe to your definition of murder. To me, murder would be death without justification. Justification itself does not directly speak to innocence.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:14 AM


A,

Being able to create is not contingent upon intelligence.

That's my whole point. It is contingent upon something else. Now what would that be?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:17 AM


A,

But it has not attained those attributes necessary to posses human life. It simply has physical life.

On one hand you argue that animals and humans are not that different. And on the other you say that there are not enough attributes to prove it is human life...

What are these attributes? If there is no difference between human and animal life, then what difference would attributes make? By this reasoning, we could only determine if something is human by it's physical attributes, and yet you say that it is only physical life.

What kind of physical life is it, if not human?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:20 AM


MK,

"Okay, you're proving my point. Intelligence, per se is not what determines our humanity. Which is why I brought up creativity."

Intelligence does not determine humanity, but neither does creativity.

"I don't have wings, but many figured out how to fly."

Because we have hands which are capable of designing planes.

"There are artists that don't have hands, but manage to paint..."

But they couldn't design a plane.

"Creativity, depends upon something more than tools. Animals don't create, because while they may have a brain, they do not have a mind..."

How do we know that animals are not creative? We may simply not understand their creations.

"Even if you could prove that some animals, in some instances, are able to do some things that humans do, you aren't showing me that they are the same as humans."

I never said that they were the same as.

"But after how many millions of years, they are still living the exact same way. They do not progress. They do not build on what they have learned. We don't have chimpanzee cities, hospitals, libraries...because they are animals."

Really? I would argue it's because they don't have a system of cultivating food.

"There is a heirarchy in the animal kingdom. No one is duputing that chimpanzees and dolphins are light years ahead of the cockroach...but surely, you are not suggesting that humans are not lightyears ahead of the most intelligent animal?"

This is not proof.

"What makes us different? What "something" causes that huge leap, from extremely intelligent animal, to human?"

An system for agriculture.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:21 AM


How egotistical of you. So the reason that I come here is because I'm like a little lost lamb and I've come to you for guidance. Right @@

It's a wonder you can get your head through a door, A. No A, but we assume that all of us are here to debate and LEARN. Of course, you must be above THAT! Oh great and all knowing MASTER!

No. Why? Because they lack the very subjectivity that you say keeps us from knowing the truth. They know the truths that apply to them, because they are only capable of being objective.


"Only those truths which we do not construct are immutable."

Thou shall not murder is not a truth we constructed. It was given by God to man. Oh, I forgot, there is no God for you. You see that's why faith and reason work together A!

Posted by: Patricia at July 26, 2008 9:21 AM


A,

That depends on how you define life. To me, the term life merely denotes physical, cellular life. It is quite seperate from my understanding of human life; ie. simply because one is human and possess physical life does not mean that this individual also possess human life.

A minute ago you said not much separates us from the animals. Now you say that human life is different than cellular life.

If there is no difference between human life and animal life, then what exactly is personhood?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:23 AM


MK,

"That's my whole point. It is contingent upon something else. Now what would that be?"

Intelligence combined with physical ability. I should also mention that one has a hierarchy of needs and will indulge in those higher needs until the earlier ones are taken care of.

"But it has not attained those attributes necessary to posses human life. It simply has physical life. On one hand you argue that animals and humans are not that different. And on the other you say that there are not enough attributes to prove it is human life..."

I never said that it had animal life instead.

"What are these attributes?"

Human life is determined by brain function and, in most cases, consciousness.

"What kind of physical life is it, if not human?"

I told you, cellular.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:25 AM


A,

I mean, when does a kangaroo achieve kangaroohood?

Or a penguin achieve penguinhood?

Obviously, personhood means something to you. Something that is specific to human beings. Define that something and you'll be getting somewhere.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:25 AM


Patricia,

Did you deliberately ignore the part where I said that I was here to learn and grow or are you simply to unintelligent and uncreative to realize that there are different forms of learning than those endorsed by the all great and knowing Patricia?

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:28 AM


MK and Chris,

As much fun as this is, I really do have work that I need to get done. That's why I'm up this early in the first place.

Have a great day, both of you.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:30 AM


MK and Chris,

As much fun as this is, I really do have work that I need to get done. That's why I'm up this early in the first place.

Have a great day, both of you.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:32 AM


A,

I never said that they were the same as.

The original question that I asked you, is was "We know that one of the truths, is that human life is different that animal life, correct?"

And your response was:"In terms of what, exactly? I could argue brainpower, but certain other animals (ie. dolphins) are thought to be nearly as intelligent as we are. I could argue language, except that I believe that we have a very human-centric understanding of the term. I could argue a sense of self-awareness and death, except elephants appear to have this as well. I could argue an opposable thumb, but certain apes possess this in addition to humanity. I could argue a sense of morality, except we don't know that animals don't have this. Ultimately, I think what I'm going to have to go with is that we developed a system of food cultivation that allowed us to, once we had secured a steady supply of food, devote ourselves to other pursuits."

You said "I could say" but I'm asking you not to say what you "could" say but to say what you mean, or else these conversations are going nowhere.

You're answer leads me to believe that you are arguing that there is no perceptable difference between animals and humans.

If that is not your argument, then please answer my original question which was:

"What makes us different?"

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:33 AM


But it has not attained those attributes necessary to posses human life. It simply has physical life.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:06 AM
----

Remember what I said before about you having gnostic beliefs - you are proving my observation correct: you're stating that humans have attachable attributes, such as personhood.

You're asserting humans are a container - a physical body and there are detachable attributes such as personhood which are then "attached" to the body somehow.

There is no other rational way to explain your statement: One cannot "attain" essential attributes unless one does not have those attributes to begin with. (Which is what you are claiming.)

Do you possess those detachable attributes you believe are necessary to make you human? If so, where and whendid you and your human personhood originate from?

Please do not go circular on us. I contend that people who generate circular arguments are actually arguing with themselves. I tend to bow out of such conversations - you can ask Doug, who provides a similar self-refuting argument. In other words, I won't discuss the issue with him. Shame.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at July 26, 2008 9:33 AM


A,

"What are these attributes?"
*
Human life is determined by brain function and, in most cases, consciousness.
*
"What kind of physical life is it, if not human?"
*
I told you, cellular.

Cellular only describes which stage of life it is in. It doesn't tell me what species it belongs to. If it is not human cellular life, then what kind of life is it? What species does it belong to?

There is no kind of life on earth, that we cannot determine the origins of, through DNA testing.

I can determine that a piece of hair came from a human being 2 million years after that person died.

I would call it "human" hair. This cellular life...it it is "Human" cellular life. Cellular is an adjective. It defines the human life stage. But it doesn't define the life.

If I look at the DNA of a living rat embryo, I will know that it is rat life, at it's most rudimetnary. If I look at the DNA of a living horse embryo, I will know that it is horse life.

If I look at the DNA of a living human embryo, I will know that it is human life.

There really isn't any arguing this one.

To place an "A" in front of human life, enters into personhood.

So I ask again, what does kangaroohood begin?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:40 AM


A,

That's cool. We'll pick this up later. I have to go to block party anyway, and my mom is gonna kill me because now I'm running late...

Peace.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:43 AM


Did you deliberately ignore the part where I said that I was here to learn and grow or are you simply to unintelligent and uncreative to realize that there are different forms of learning than those endorsed by the all great and knowing Patricia?

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:28 AM

Now I'm certain your head IS stuck in the doorway.
Please read Chris' post at 9:33am, A. This is why I don't believe what you wrote. It's pointless to debate with you since you go in circles and apparently are here only to argue (only God knows why - darn it, I keep forgeting NO GOD)

If that is not your argument, then please answer my original question which was:

"What makes us different?"

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:33 AM

This won't happen mk, because she didn't answer my questions much earlier in this post. Like somg, and doug they leave when backed into a corner.
I can answer it though. There is no difference between animals and man. This is the position of most liberal, atheists. This is the dominant viewpoint today and has spawned the entire draconian man-hating eco-movement. Not only are babies parasites in their mothers wombs, but we are parasites on the earth. It leads to a hatred of man, that reeks of the influence of satan.

Posted by: Patricia at July 26, 2008 9:43 AM


Patricia,

I know "A" from awhile back, and honestly, I think she is sincere. Frustrating, but sincere. I believe she does desire to seek the truth, and unlike Doug, believes that there IS an objective moral truth.

I know it can seem like she is arguing for arguments sake, but I really don't think she is.

I think she is searching. And this is the way she works, very cerebrally. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. Only time will tell.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 9:47 AM


mk: well if she can't break out of her thinking habits, she'll go nowhere. Her circular reasoning is crazy. Is she young or old? Just wondering because I'm betting she's a product of the liberal school system.
Even my 16 year old can work around her.

Posted by: Patricia at July 26, 2008 9:51 AM


Tomorrow I am going to the zoo.

While there, I will "attempt" to observe the chimps, alligators, and possibly even the emu's in their creative design endeavors...
That is however, unless they are engaged in debate over truth...in which case I hope they have a translator available to share their deep thoughts with the visitors.

Posted by: Mike at July 26, 2008 10:36 AM


Blast, I'm procrastinating. I'm NOT supposed to be here and will not respond beyond these few posts because I'm supposed to be working on some stuff.

MK,

"What makes us different?"

In terms of innate differences, its matters which animal species you are comparing humanity to. Speaking in terms of the entire animal kingdom, I would argue that humans have no innate differences which set them apart.

“I mean, when does a kangaroo achieve kangaroohood? Or a penguin achieve penguinhood?”

To me, these are meaningless statements because personhood is linked to constructed societal truths. We have no such truths for penguins or kangaroos.

I'm revising my opinion on societal truth because I feel my definition was too limited. Societal truth contains both those unconstructed elements which are necessary for a society to survive and constructed elements which are pertinent only to the society which they were created for.

“Cellular only describes which stage of life it is in. It doesn't tell me what species it belongs to. If it is not human cellular life, then what kind of life is it? What species does it belong to?”

Human cellular life. Human cellular life, however, does not indicate that a person is alive.

“If I look at the DNA of a living human embryo, I will know that it is human life.”

You will know that the cells possess cellular human life. You will not, however, know that the fetus as a whole possess human life.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 10:47 AM


Chris,

I realize that arguing with me can be frustrating because I often don't have previously defined views on a given topic. So I am therefore deciding what I believe while we argue, which often does involve retractments and redefinitions of terms. It is not intentional and ultimately, I believe, not a weakness to be able to revise one's opinion in the face of new evidence. This is why I like to debate.

“You're asserting humans are a container - a physical body and there are detachable attributes such as personhood which are then "attached" to the body somehow.”

Yes. A physical body does not a person make.

“Do you possess those detachable attributes you believe are necessary to make you human? If so, where and whendid you and your human personhood originate from?”

I understand personhood as related to brain function or cognitive ability. In my opinion, that's where my—and everyone else's—personhood came from. When—not entirely sure.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 10:48 AM


Patricia,

“This won't happen mk, because she didn't answer my questions much earlier in this post. “

Did you ever stop to think that I could have missed your questions? I am far from infallible.

I've also detected a certain, shall we say, lack of respect, in your posts directed towards me. I believe that one must show respect to be worthy of receiving it. If you debate me in a respectful manner, I will have no problem discussing things with you. If you choose not to, I have absolutely no problem trading insults. I have a long-standing intellectual game which involves finding creative ways to insult people (quite rare, since I prefer to be respectful) or objects when they annoy me. It's actually much more with objects, but if you want I can expand it to people too.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 10:50 AM


A,

Human cellular life. Human cellular life, however, does not indicate that a person is alive.

You keep jumping the gun...we are discussing whether or not this is human life, and you keep arguing that it is not a person. We're nowhere near there yet.

So, you are saying, that there is nothing that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom?

I just want to make sure, because when I said that you said this before, you responded that you hadn't said it.

On the whole, you think that there is nothing that makes us inherently different than the rest of the animal kingdom?

We could change the question, if it would help, to, do you think there is something that makes us different than chimpanzees? Which is as far as we know the next highest animal form on the ladder. We could use dolphins or whales if you like, but they would be harder to compare (arms and all that)...

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 11:34 AM


A,

I'm revising my opinion on societal truth because I feel my definition was too limited. Societal truth contains both those unconstructed elements which are necessary for a society to survive and constructed elements which are pertinent only to the society which they were created for.

But aren't the "Constructed elements" just another word for the legal elements?

How is it possible to have different truths for each one, when they differ, and yet still call them truths?

We're trying to get to the heart of objective moral truths here. Objective, meaning unchangeable.

So, when two constructs contradict themselves, we have a problem. One must be wrong.

Personal truth, might mean that you can pick and choose which of the other truths you yourself might want to adhere to, but personal truth, by definition, is not objective truth.

So, in essense, it's useless to an argument about objective truth.

For instance, Doug bases everything on personal truth. Sometimes society agrees with him. Sometimes the law agrees with him. He has no problem with that because he only recognized personal truth, or subjective truth. He holds that there is no such thing as objective moral truth.

You stated that you DO believe that there is a moral objective truth, adding that it can't be known.

Can you and I agree, then, that personal truth has no bearing on this discussion of objective moral truth?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 11:42 AM


Patricia,

I think what "A" says is true. She is in the process of forming her opinions and they could easily be changed. The key is to approach it as a learning experience.

Your 16 year old might indeed be able to find flaws in her arguments, but he had you as a teacher, and a Catholic upbringing. A is coming at this from a different place...patience is needed.

I give her great credit for desiring the truth. So many of those brainwashed young people aren't even aware that they have been brainwashed. (Not saying you're brainwashed A, just saying that you're open minded enough to be willing to "ask"...and that's a good thing).

I don't know how old A is, but I'd guess fairly young...23-27...but that's just a guess.

Our way of thinking is new to her. She hasn't really been exposed to it all that much. I say we cut her some slack. Give her the benefit of the doubt.

Unlike Doug, I don't think her mind is made up.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 11:56 AM


A, a human being has to start somewhere. I think that you are simply splitting hairs. The more that science, medical research and technology advances the more that abortion rights advocates have to scramble to redefine when a human being has a right to life. I will err on the side of giving a potential "human being" or fetus a chance at life.

Posted by: Eileen at July 26, 2008 12:12 PM


M.K.

YAY!!!! I finished part of what I had to do. Now on to the next bit.


"You keep jumping the gun...we are discussing whether or not this is human life, and you keep arguing that it is not a person. We're nowhere near there yet."

That's because I believe that we have fundamentally different meanings of the same term. I cannot count how many of my arguments have come down to this: "well, you're using that term differently than how I understand it."

"So, you are saying, that there is nothing that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom?
I just want to make sure, because when I said that you said this before, you responded that you hadn't said it."

I apparently took you to mean something else. No, I do not believe that we different.

"On the whole, you think that there is nothing that makes us inherently different than the rest of the animal kingdom?"

Correct.

"We could change the question, if it would help, to, do you think there is something that makes us different than chimpanzees? Which is as far as we know the next highest animal form on the ladder. We could use dolphins or whales if you like, but they would be harder to compare (arms and all that)..."

I see what you're trying to do, but I don't think it will work. Of course humans are different from chimpanzees because all animal species are different from one another (and yet all are related). That does not mean, however, that there is some huge blanket difference which separates man from the beast.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 12:34 PM


MK,

"But aren't the "Constructed elements" just another word for the legal elements?"

No.

"How is it possible to have different truths for each one, when they differ, and yet still call them truths?"

Because they are true on a different level.

"We're trying to get to the heart of objective moral truths here. Objective, meaning unchangeable."

Which I believe can never be known.

"So, when two constructs contradict themselves, we have a problem. One must be wrong."

Not if they are true on different levels.

"Personal truth, might mean that you can pick and choose which of the other truths you yourself might want to adhere to, but personal truth, by definition, is not objective truth. So, in essense, it's useless to an argument about objective truth."

Agreed.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 12:39 PM


Eileen,

"A, a human being has to start somewhere. I think that you are simply splitting hairs. The more that science, medical research and technology advances the more that abortion rights advocates have to scramble to redefine when a human being has a right to life. I will err on the side of giving a potential "human being" or fetus a chance at life."

I agree that I am simply splitting hairs, especially since I do not believe that the human life (or lack thereof) of a fetus matters when discussing whether or not a woman has a right to procure an abortion.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 12:43 PM


That does not mean, however, that there is some huge blanket difference which separates man from the beast. A

A, I am assuming that you don't believe that a human being has a soul but what about an intellect and a will? Human beings don't function purely by instinct.

Posted by: Eileen at July 26, 2008 12:43 PM


I do not believe that the human life (or lack thereof) of a fetus matters when discussing whether or not a woman has a right to procure an abortion.
Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 12:43 PM


So a woman's right trumps all others' when it comes to whether a potential human being has a right to live or not. Simply because she is bigger and stronger.

Posted by: Eileen at July 26, 2008 1:01 PM


A,

"That does not mean, however, that there is some huge blanket difference which separates man from the beast.

That really floors me. I mean, to me, the differences are so obvious...

Okay, go back to the question of subjectivity. Do you think that animals can be subjective.

If you throw a piece of meat on the floor in front of two dogs, do you think they reason out who should eat it? Or do you think that instintually, the alpha dog gets it? Or two equal dogs share it?

Or virtue. Do you think animals are capable of actually trying to achieve good for goods sake?

Are they even capable of understanding the concepts of good/bad...other than what their instincts tell them. We would say the dog thought it was good to take the meat, but did the dog actually think to himself, this is "A" "good"...

There is a difference between doing behavior that has a good effect, and actually choosing to do it because it is good. Do you see?

So are animals capable of knowing that there is a good and that there is an evil. If so, why? If not, why?

Or beauty? Yes, I suppose you could argue that a dog thinks a meaty bone is beautiful, but we aren't talking about appealing to base instincts like hunger...I mean beauty, for beauties sake.

Goodness, for goodness sake. Love, for loves sake. Can animals lie?

Even in children we don't believe they achieve the higher thought process of reason until they reach the age of 5 or 6.

So do you still honestly, and I say honestly, not for the sake of playing devils advocate, believe that humans do not possess abilities that no other animal possesses?

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 1:26 PM


A,

Because they are true on a different level.

I just don't this different levels thing. Either a thing is true or it isn't. Either it is wrong to kill an innocent human being or it isn't. Regardless of what the law says. Or what an individual says. Or on what level we are discussing this...the truth does not change. Let's go back to the question I asked a few posts back.

You said that murder was the unlawful taking of a persons life.


When I asked you if there could be no murder if there was no law you said:

Legally, yes. Morally, no. However, I would still not subscribe to your definition of murder. To me, murder would be death without justification. Justification itself does not directly speak to innocence.

But justification is subjective. It won't help with objective truth. What is justified to you may not be justified to me.

I hold that taking innocent life is ALWAYS wrong. That objective truth tells us that there IS no justification for taking an innocent life. This is not justice (a concept only humans can understand by the way, not chimpanzees).

BTW, you say that the ability to cultivate food made us evolve...then why didn't animals cultivate seeds inadvertently all the time. So physically they are capable. So are chimpanzees.

I gotta go to the block party NOW! I'll be back.

Posted by: mk at July 26, 2008 1:39 PM


"What is taking place in America," she said, "is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another." "Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants." "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Posted by: Eileen at July 26, 2008 2:35 PM


A
I wrote NOTHING disrespectful to you when I first posed my questions much earlier about faith and reason.
I find however, that you have a certain knack, shall we say for twisting the meaning of everyone's post.
To be quite honest, it is tedious to argue with someone over the meaning of each and every word. You called me an 15 year old, but this behaviour of yours is in fact, very adolescent. An adolescent will argue over the meaning of each and every statement an adult makes. Tedious.
If MK's up to it, all the best. Godspeed.

BTW, if you ARE so open, then I suggest you in fact read Fides & Ratio which has the link on this thread. I think you'll find it brilliant. Now that would be being open to new ideas in my mind.

Posted by: Patricia at July 26, 2008 5:03 PM


Thanks Lauren! And if you could send me a testimonial at strycker@slu.edu please do ;)

Posted by: prettyinpink at July 26, 2008 5:05 PM


A
The other encyclical you should DEFINITELY read is The Splendor of Truth.

http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0222/_INDEX.HTM

Peace

Posted by: Patricia at July 26, 2008 5:08 PM



A: 9:01: AM: Can animals understand abstract concepts? I don't think we that we have proven that they cannot.

So, let me ask you this: Does God exist?

Using your logic I would conclude: I don't think that we have proven that He does not. (Therefore, God may exist)

Do you agree?

You mentioned types of truth earlier in your discussion with mk. Did you explain the difference between types and levels as you understand them? If you did, I'm sorry, I must have missed it.

Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 8:25 PM


mk said: : "What makes us different? What "something" causes that huge leap, from extremely intelligent animal, to human?"

A:9:21: An system for agriculture.

One could argue it's not a system for agriculture that makes us more intelligent than lower animals. For example, I could argue that it was a survival technique that humans developed so they did not have to continually move from one place to the next to search for food (as most animals do). It may have been out of laziness, or difficulty in finding a safe habitat each time they moved.

Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 8:35 PM


Eileen,

"I am assuming that you don't believe that a human being has a soul but what about an intellect and a will? Human beings don't function purely by instinct."

And do all animals operate solely by instinct?

I'd also add that humans probably act purely on instinct more often than they would like to admit.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:43 PM


mk said: "On the whole, you think that there is nothing that makes us inherently different than the rest of the animal kingdom? "

A:12:34: Correct.

mk said: "We could change the question, if it would help, to, do you think there is something that makes us different than chimpanzees? Which is as far as we know the next highest animal form on the ladder. We could use dolphins or whales if you like, but they would be harder to compare (arms and all that)..."

A: said: I see what you're trying to do, but I don't think it will work. Of course humans are different from chimpanzees because all animal species are different from one another (and yet all are related). That does not mean, however, that there is some huge blanket difference which separates man from the beast.

Aren't your two answers contradictory?

You first say there is no inherent difference between us and the rest of the animals, but then you say humans are different from chimps because all animal species are different from one another.


Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 8:47 PM


Eileen,

"So a woman's right trumps all others' when it comes to whether a potential human being has a right to live or not. Simply because she is bigger and stronger."

It has nothing to do with who is bigger or stronger; rather, it has to do with imposition and one's fundamental right to control one's body and who has access to that body.

I should also add here that my views qualify me as a radical individualist.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 8:47 PM


I should also add here that my views qualify me as a radical individualist.

A., How do you define radical individualist? Where did the term originate? Why do you choose to call yourself that over another label?

Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 8:51 PM


A,

"That really floors me. I mean, to me, the differences are so obvious..."

Yes, but you believe in a God and that humans have souls. I do not. In my opinion, we are just another animal.

"Okay, go back to the question of subjectivity. Do you think that animals can be subjective?"

Some of them, yes.

"If you throw a piece of meat on the floor in front of two dogs, do you think they reason out who should eat it? Or do you think that instintually, the alpha dog gets it? Or two equal dogs share it?"

This is a bad example to try to prove what you're trying to prove. Simply because dogs behave in one particular fashion does not mean that all animals behave in a particular fashion. Based on personal experience, I also know that this is not true of dolphins.

"Or virtue. Do you think animals are capable of actually trying to achieve good for goods sake?"

They could be.

"Are they even capable of understanding the concepts of good/bad...other than what their instincts tell them. We would say the dog thought it was good to take the meat, but did the dog actually think to himself, this is "A" "good"..."

We'd have to figure out how to as before we could know this for sure. Once again, based on my own personal experience, I would argue that some animals are capable of this realization.

"There is a difference between doing behavior that has a good effect, and actually choosing to do it because it is good. Do you see?"

Yes.

"So are animals capable of knowing that there is a good and that there is an evil. If so, why? If not, why?"

We have no way of knowing if they even think in those terms. Why are you so quick to condemn?

"Or beauty? Yes, I suppose you could argue that a dog thinks a meaty bone is beautiful, but we aren't talking about appealing to base instincts like hunger...I mean beauty, for beauties sake."

Once again, we'd have to ask. And the technology for that doesn't exist. Elephants in zoos can paint and appear to enjoy doing so. Do they appreciate beauty and are they trying to produce something beautiful? I don't know, but they could be.

"Goodness, for goodness sake. Love, for loves sake. Can animals lie?"

Animals can indeed lie. That has been proven.

Can they love? Can they seek goodness? Once again, we'd have to find a way to ask. I would say that they can indeed love.

"So do you still honestly, and I say honestly, not for the sake of playing devils advocate, believe that humans do not possess abilities that no other animal possesses?"

Many kinds of animals to some degree possess capabilities which are unique to particular type of animal. Humans likely are no exception. However, I do believe that humanity has a very human-centric view of the world and is far too ready to discount any evidence that we are not as "special" as we would like to be.

"I just don't this different levels thing. Either a thing is true or it isn't."

That is your opinion. It is not, however, mine.

"Either it is wrong to kill an innocent human being or it isn't."

Really? Even most pro-lifers admit that in case of a tubal pregnancy, an abortion is acceptable because the goal in said case is not to kill but to save a life (using your terminology, not mine). However, a life is still destroyed to preserve another; it doesn't matter what the intent was, the outcome is still the same. So why is it okay to kill an innocent human being here, if you believe that it is ALWAYS wrong to take an innocent life.

"But justification is subjective. It won't help with objective truth. What is justified to you may not be justified to me."

Innocence is also subjective.

"I hold that taking innocent life is ALWAYS wrong."

See above.

"That objective truth tells us that there IS no justification for taking an innocent life. This is not justice (a concept only humans can understand by the way, not chimpanzees)."

You have not either convinced or shown me that this objective truth exists. This statement also does not hold even within your mind (see above).

"BTW, you say that the ability to cultivate food made us evolve...then why didn't animals cultivate seeds inadvertently all the time. So physically they are capable. So are chimpanzees."

No, I did not say that the ability to cultivate food made us evolve. The ability to cultivate food meant that we didn't have to spend every waking hour trying to make sure that we could eat enough in a day to live. That meant that humanity had time to develop in other areas.

Why didn't animals learn to cultivate? Some of them can't (dolphins, ect.) and, as to the others, I don't know. I would, however, like to mention that we no longer give them that option.

"I gotta go to the block party NOW! I'll be back."

Have fun.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:02 PM


Patrica,

"I wrote NOTHING disrespectful to you when I first posed my questions much earlier about faith and reason."

And I didn't start insulting you until you had gone after me.

Did you ever think I might have missed a post? That does happen you know.

"I find however, that you have a certain knack, shall we say for twisting the meaning of everyone's post."

I'm not alone in that.

"To be quite honest, it is tedious to argue with someone over the meaning of each and every word. You called me an 15 year old, but this behaviour of yours is in fact, very adolescent. An adolescent will argue over the meaning of each and every statement an adult makes. Tedious."

I'm sorry, that's what philosophers do. You question the assumptions and the meanings of words. The first is because people often do not examine their assumptions or because they base their arguments on assumptions which all parties do not adhere to. In this case, it makes no sense to continue with the argument because it go in circles. In the second case, it's because words in the english language are often overloaded and people can use the same word to mean different things.

"BTW, if you ARE so open, then I suggest you in fact read Fides & Ratio which has the link on this thread. I think you'll find it brilliant. Now that would be being open to new ideas in my mind."

Is the link in a post or on the article?

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:06 PM


Janet,

"So, let me ask you this: Does God exist?

Using your logic I would conclude: I don't think that we have proven that He does not. (Therefore, God may exist)

Do you agree?"

Yes. I am an atheist with agnostic tendencies. One can hold a belief without have definitive proof of the rightness of it.

"Did you explain the difference between types and levels as you understand them? If you did, I'm sorry, I must have missed it."

I thought that was implied (a really bad and longstanding assumption of mine) but I'll run through quickly.

I posted them pretty much in order of the levels as I see them and will do so again below.

Objective Truth
Societal Truth (the unconstructed ones)
Societal Truth (the constructed ones)
Legal Truth
Personal Truth

Again, there may be more kinds of truth.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:10 PM


Janet,

"One could argue it's not a system for agriculture that makes us more intelligent than lower animals. For example, I could argue that it was a survival technique that humans developed so they did not have to continually move from one place to the next to search for food (as most animals do). It may have been out of laziness, or difficulty in finding a safe habitat each time they moved."

I never said it made us more intelligent. I think I've clarified my statement in an above post to MK and really don't want to retype everything (sorry, I guess I'm one of the lazy humans from your example). :)
Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 8:35 PM

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:12 PM


Janet,

"Aren't your two answers contradictory? You first say there is no inherent difference between us and the rest of the animals, but then you say humans are different from chimps because all animal species are different from one another."

I'll try to clarify. In my experience, when people say that humans are different from animals they're generally implying religious difference, ie. that we have a soul and that god gave us greater understanding. I do not believe that this is true--we may be dominant among the animals because of our abilities and how we have used them, but we are a part of the hierarchy. In my opinion, there is no division.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:15 PM


Janet,

"How do you define radical individualist? Where did the term originate? Why do you choose to call yourself that over another label?"

For me, personally, I use the term because, in my opinion, everything is contingent upon the rights of the individual.

Where did the term originate--I have no idea. I used it to describe myself before coming across it in literature.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:17 PM


I'm sorry, that's what philosophers do.

You are a philosopher? Really?

Posted by: Patricia at July 26, 2008 9:34 PM


For me, personally, I use the term because, in my opinion, everything is contingent upon the rights of the individual.


What if your perceived rights impinge on mine?

Posted by: Eileen at July 26, 2008 9:42 PM



"What makes us different? What "something" causes that huge leap, from extremely intelligent animal, to human?"

An system for agriculture.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:21 AM

There's proof right there of what you said. (And your statement to mk didn't clarify it in my mind or I wouldn't have asked you again.)
- - - - - - - - -

"Aren't your two answers contradictory? You first say there is no inherent difference between us and the rest of the animals, but then you say humans are different from chimps because all animal species are different from one another."

I'll try to clarify. In my experience, when people say that humans are different from animals they're generally implying religious difference, ie. that we have a soul and that god gave us greater understanding. I do not believe that this is true--we may be dominant among the animals because of our abilities and how we have used them, but we are a part of the hierarchy. In my opinion, there is no division.

Posted by: A. at July 26, 2008 9:15 PM

I don't think religion is pertinent to the argument so far because we have to work with what you believe is true, not what others may believe. You still haven't clarified your contradictory remarks.

Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 9:52 PM


everything is contingent upon the rights of the individual.

In other words, everything is contingent upon opinion since there is no objective truth. Help me understand what that means. It sounds like a way do glide through a life that has no real meaning other than what you want it to be. Is the world just a bunch of people and animals tossed together by accident?

Posted by: Janet at July 26, 2008 9:58 PM


It has nothing to do with who is bigger or stronger; rather, it has to do with imposition and one's fundamental right to control one's body and who has access to that body.

A, yes, it does have something to do with who is bigger and stronger -- a baby doesn't ask to be conceived, it isn't looking to impose itself on some unsuspecting woman. If a woman wants to have complete control to the exclusion of allowing a baby access to her body then she should abstain from sexual relations.

Posted by: Eileen at July 26, 2008 10:13 PM


A. Says "I'll try to clarify. In my experience, when people say that humans are different from animals they're generally implying religious difference, ie. that we have a soul and that god gave us greater understanding. I do not believe that this is true--we may be dominant among the animals because of our abilities and how we have used them, but we are a part of the hierarchy. In my opinion, there is no division. "


A, The presence of a soul is not necessary to diferentiate us from animals. The difference between humans and animals is the unique human ability to improve our situation. Humans have the capacity to learn at a rate far above any animal. We have the capacity to change our environment, which no animal can accomplish.

The catch is that we can not access this potential on our own. We must be raised in society in order to unlock our superior reasoning. Because of society being necessary to unlock the potential of each individual, each individual that make up that society have inhearant value.

Posted by: lauren at July 26, 2008 11:59 PM


A,

I'd also add that humans probably act purely on instinct more often than they would like to admit.

I haven't read the rest of the posts yet, so someone may have addressed this but:

People have two choices. To operate with God IN their lives, or to operate WITHOUT God.

When people operate WITH God, they become more than animals. God is able to show Himself through them and their actions.

But if you remove God, then I believe that you do indeed, lower yourself to simply animals.

Look at sex. If you look at the sexual act the way God wants you to, it becomes an act of selfless giving, a melding of two souls into one, a sacramental act, and a way to create new life, which is a physical expression of that love. It reflects God, and transcends instinct.

But if you remove God, contracept, remove it from the marriage bed, abort...you are no better than animals. Many people are okay with this. We are not. We want to elevate ourselves to something more...something higher.

We are not beasts, but we often act as though we are. When you say that we act on instinct more often than we'd like to admit, you're right. If we do not allow God into our lives, we do indeed, become just another animal.

Granted a more intelligent one, but an animal just the same. It is in reaching for the divine, aspiring to be more like God, that we can begin to see the differences that we are talking about.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 7:31 AM


A,
This is a bad example to try to prove what you're trying to prove. Simply because dogs behave in one particular fashion does not mean that all animals behave in a particular fashion. Based on personal experience, I also know that this is not true of dolphins.

Yes, but ALL humans at any given time, have the capability of reasoning out ANY action. What you are saying is that dogs cant, but in SOME instances, dolphins can. This is my point. Animals don't have a choice as to who or when they can reason. Just because some animals at some times can do some things that appear to be human, does not mean that they have the same facilities that we do. We are ALWAYS capable of reason. We are always capable of choice.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 7:39 AM


Eileen,

"What if your perceived rights infringe on mine??

In my opinion, all individuals have exactly the same rights and prohibitions, so this infringement would not happen unless rights be being violated.

I know what you going to say, so I'll address it now. In my opinion, the fetus (once it has obtained human life) has the exact same rights to life as anyone else. It simply doesn't have the right to infringe upon another's body.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 7:41 AM


A,

You have not either convinced or shown me that this objective truth exists. This statement also does not hold even within your mind (see above).

Then you have changed the rules. We did not start out arguing whether or not objective truth exists. We started out agreeing that it does. This whole debate has been about whether or not we can KNOW what that objective truth is, but we agreed straight out that it DOES exist. If you're going to change in the middle of the conversation, at least give me a heads up.

How are we supposed to have a reasonable debate, if you can change what we are debating on a whim?

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 7:44 AM


Janet,

"I don't think religion is pertinent to the argument so far because we have to work with what you believe is true, not what others may believe. You still haven't clarified your contradictory remarks."

In my opinion, humans are different from chimpanzees in the same way as chimpanzees are different from aardvarks. All three species are animals, distinct and different from one another while still retaining their place in the animal kingdom.

Does that clarfiy? Because if it doesn't, I actually don't know if I can put it any other way.

We may simply have too different of an understanding to reconcile.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 7:45 AM


Janet,

"In other words, everything is contingent upon opinion since there is no objective truth. Help me understand what that means."

Nope; all individuals have the same rights and prohibitions. Remember when I said above that even though we could never know objective truth, we should still strive for it? This is my version.

"It sounds like a way do glide through a life that has no real meaning other than what you want it to be."

Don't we all make our own meanings?

"Is the world just a bunch of people and animals tossed together by accident?"

Evolution is far from accidental.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 7:48 AM


Eileen,

"yes, it does have something to do with who is bigger and stronger -- a baby doesn't ask to be conceived, it isn't looking to impose itself on some unsuspecting woman."

Nope--if you read above, in my interpretation of truth, a fetus has exactly the same rights as the woman. It doesn't matter whether it asked to be conceived; if the woman is unwilling, she has no obligations to continue to provide unfettered access to her body.

"If a woman wants to have complete control to the exclusion of allowing a baby access to her body then she should abstain from sexual relations."

This may be your morality, but a good portion of the world does not share it and I see no compelling reason why it should be forced upon the unwilling.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 7:50 AM


Lauren,

"The presence of a soul is not necessary to diferentiate us from animals. The difference between humans and animals is the unique human ability to improve our situation. Humans have the capacity to learn at a rate far above any animal. We have the capacity to change our environment, which no animal can accomplish."

There's no proof that we can learn at a rate far above any animal. As mentioned above, capacity to change the environment is based on more than intelligence and I see no reason why anyone should be faulted for lacking this ability. (If you extend my argument to people, you'll notice that many pro-lifers actually agree with me, arguing that even severely physically handicaped babies have a right to be born into this world).

"The catch is that we can not access this potential on our own. We must be raised in society in order to unlock our superior reasoning."

How do you know we have superior reasoning abilities? (Though I do agree that we have to be in a society).

"Because of society being necessary to unlock the potential of each individual, each individual that make up that society have inhearant value."

I don't think premise A leads to conclusion B, though I do agree with premise A.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 7:55 AM


MK,

"People have two choices. To operate with God IN their lives, or to operate WITHOUT God."

I'm sorry, in my opinion you've just made a meaningless statement in the context of this debate. We are not discussing God and using said entity will not further the debate since I dispute the existence of said entity and thus will reject any arguments based solely upon Him.

"When people operate WITH God, they become more than animals. God is able to show Himself through them and their actions. But if you remove God, then I believe that you do indeed, lower yourself to simply animals."

That is your opinion. I simply chose not to share it.

"Look at sex. If you look at the sexual act the way God wants you to, it becomes an act of selfless giving, a melding of two souls into one, a sacramental act, and a way to create new life, which is a physical expression of that love. It reflects God, and transcends instinct."

Sex is exactly what you make it. If sex is all of these things in "God-full" marriage, then why is there a higher divorce rate in the Bible Belt?

I also dispute your contentions about souls, since I believe humans have none.

"We are not beasts, but we often act as though we are. When you say that we act on instinct more often than we'd like to admit, you're right. If we do not allow God into our lives, we do indeed, become just another animal."

What would be your definition of acting like a beast? You've said that it's when one rejects God, but without further clarification that's a circular argument.

"Granted a more intelligent one, but an animal just the same. It is in reaching for the divine, aspiring to be more like God, that we can begin to see the differences that we are talking about."

Isn't this a self-defeating argument? Humanity is this way because of God, but we need to first accept God to see it? Neither of those assertions are capable of standing alone and the logic here is a bit screwy.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 8:01 AM


MK,

"Yes, but ALL humans at any given time, have the capability of reasoning out ANY action."

No, we don't. Babies cannot reason and severely mentally handicapped individuals are not able to do so either.

"What you are saying is that dogs cant, but in SOME instances, dolphins can. This is my point. Animals don't have a choice as to who or when they can reason."

So because some animals can't reason and others can it somehow proves that there is a blanket difference between humanity and the rest of the animal kingdom? This logic doesn't hold.

"Just because some animals at some times can do some things that appear to be human, does not mean that they have the same facilities that we do."

I never said that they had the exact same facilities, I simply said that it was possible and that we have a far too human-centric view of the world. If animals do have these same facilities, they are likely to be far different from our own in any case because we are different species and likely have different understandings of the world.

"We are ALWAYS capable of reason. We are always capable of choice."

Disproved above.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 8:06 AM


MK,

You misunderstood me. I said, "You have not either convinced or shown me that THIS objective truth exists. This statement also does not hold even within your mind (see above)."

When I said "this objective truth," I was speaking of your stated interpretation of objective truth; I was no disputing the existence of a objective truth.

"How are we supposed to have a reasonable debate, if you can change what we are debating on a whim?"

I didn't and I apologize if you think I did.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 8:09 AM


Patricia,

Once again, that would depend upon your understanding of the term.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 8:10 AM


A;
I'm really not interested anymore. You can play your obtuse games with MK.

Posted by: Patricia at July 27, 2008 8:11 AM


A,

Every time I ask you can animals...?, you respond with maybe, but we don't know, or we haven't figured it out or we've taken the option away...

Do you not see that by making these statements you are inadvertently agreeing with me? You are in essence, placing the responsibility on us? The humans? Why is that? Why, if we are not inherently different, didn't you place the blame on another species.

I can't speak dolphin. No. But why is that my fault? Why can't I send in $19.95 plus shipping and handling and get a CD teaching me dolphin speak, order now and get a recording of whale songs free? Why is it our fault that chimpanzees don't cultivate? Why is it even possible for us to have taken away that option? If we are all the same, then why were we able to take anyones options away? There are plenty of animals living in places that no human being has laid eyes on, and yet, no farms.

We all started out on a level playing field. You say we have arms, so we could build planes. Monkeys have arms. Why didn't they build them?

You say we can't know if animals have the same capabilities as us...I say, sure we can. Pyramids, the sears tower, the telephone, mozart, stiletto heels, ferraris, campbells soup, and onion rings...

The fact that we DID, proves that we could, and the fact that they DID'NT proves that they can't.

Even if they didn't create the same inventions, they would have created something. There would be something, somewhere that you could point to that says animals are just as capable as we are...not isolated instances, but consistent examples.

But you can't, and when you can't you place the burden of proof on us. If we were truly the same, you'd place the burden of proof on them. But you didn't, because in your heart you know that they aren't capable of "teaching" us how they work, but we ARE capable of "learning" how they work.

There is not one instance of animals "using" people in a consistent fashion the way we use animals.

Dolphins don't have us penned in yards, plowing the sea bottom. Ants don't have us gathering food in stockpiles for them. Snakes don't have a warming rocks for them every night.

We are different. Inherently different. I never once used the word special. You did. I simply said different. Something separates us, from them. You are the one that put a value on that separation, not me.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 8:15 AM


A,

"We are ALWAYS capable of reason. We are always capable of choice."

Disproved above.

No, it isn't disproved. You can't pull out an example of a extraordinary circumstance to prove that in ordinary circumstances this statement isn't true.

When everything is working properly, and human beings have developed properly, there comes a point, where in ordinary circumstances ALL humans can reason at ALL times.

Using the exception to the rule to prove the rule doesn't exist won't cut it. If we're gonna go that route, we could be here forever.

There is NEVER an instance, where in ordinary circumstances, any animal can reason all the time.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 8:29 AM


MK: go have a coffee with your wonderful husband and be glad you have him!
You are wasting your precious time on a lovely Sunday.

Posted by: Patricia at July 27, 2008 8:29 AM


Patricia,

Actually I'm going to Mass and Adoration in a few and have a lovely chat with my "imaginary" friend and beg Him to open the eyes of blind people...;)

Then I'll have coffee...and maybe a donut. Because I can drive to the bakery and purchase one. Because as a human being, I can drive a car, which was created by people, to a bakery which was built by people, and purchase a donut which was made from a recipe created by people and baked by people...

I thought about going to the dolphin place down the street, but their donuts taste like fish.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 8:33 AM


A,
Animals aren't capable of satire either.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 8:34 AM


A,

"How are we supposed to have a reasonable debate, if you can change what we are debating on a whim?"
*
I didn't and I apologize if you think I did.

Well, all righty then, because I was a tad confused there...

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 8:36 AM


Sweet MK!
What is YOUR definition of blind people? What you mean by bakery?
And that depends upon your definition of donut. (spelled doughnut here in Canada - another illusory place! in which doughnuts are a whole other thing)

Posted by: Patricia at July 27, 2008 8:46 AM


A,

"When people operate WITH God, they become more than animals. God is able to show Himself through them and their actions. But if you remove God, then I believe that you do indeed, lower yourself to simply animals."
*
That is your opinion. I simply chose not to share it.

It is your opinion that it is my opinion.

It is my opinion that it is objective truth.

This conversation is about objective truth and how to know it. While I didn't want to bring God into it yet, invariably, I will eventually have to. For now, we can go back to Non-God debate...

Isn't this a self-defeating argument? Humanity is this way because of God, but we need to first accept God to see it? Neither of those assertions are capable of standing alone and the logic here is a bit screwy.

Why is it that neither statement can stand alone?

Humanity is the way it is because that is how God created it. You don't have to agree, but the statement stands alone.

In order to understand this, one must first accept that God exists. Seeing it is a gift from said God. I didn't say if you didn't believe it ceased to be true. Only that if you didn't believe, you wouldn't be able to see it. If you don't learn Italian, then you won't be able to understand Italian. Italian will still exist, but you'll be out of the loop, in any conversation that is in Italian.

Until you accept that Italian exists, (which for obvious reasons, doesn't take any great leap of faith) you won't be able to learn Italian.

If I show you page of Italian, and say this is Italian, and you say, I don't believe you...that is just gibberish, you'll hardly go through the trouble of learning the language. First you need to accept that Italian is a language, and that what I am showing you is indeed Italian and not Swahili.

If you accept that it IS Italian, only then can you begin to learn Italian. And only then will you begin to understand what is written on that page.

Your belief or disbelief does not effect whether or not Italian exists, but only effects your ability or inability to understand it.

Many of us here speak "God". Not only don't you speak it, you haven't even accepted that what we are showing you is "Godspeak"...Doesn't change whether it is or not (objective truth), only means that at this point in time, you have no chance of deciphering it.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 8:47 AM


A. says "There's no proof that we can learn at a rate far above any animal. As mentioned above, capacity to change the environment is based on more than intelligence and I see no reason why anyone should be faulted for lacking this ability. (If you extend my argument to people, you'll notice that many pro-lifers actually agree with me, arguing that even severely physically handicaped babies have a right to be born into this world)."

Really our supiority isn't the primary point of my argument, but rather the societal factors that influence our ability to reach our capacity. That said, I do believe that it is important that we have potential that no other animal posesses regardless of if it based on "intelligence" or a plethora of combined advantages.

However, I'm glad you mentioned the handicapped and how they play into society. While you contend that pro-lifers agree with you and your stance on animals because we belive that even the most severely handicapped have rights, you miss the reasoning behind our argument. No animal has the capacity to change his environment, they have no inborn potential in this area. Conversely, humans have this innate ability regardless of if it can be accessed.

A handicapped individual is unable to *reach* her potential, but that does not mean the potential does not exist. In lower animals, there is no potential. No chimpanze will build a skyscraper or instal central air. While I may not ever attain these particular credentials either, someone within my species has and will.

You say you disagree with the conclusion that societal rights should be extended to all within the society, but do not explain why. Explain your reasoning so that I can refute the pertinant points.

Posted by: lauren at July 27, 2008 8:56 AM


A., Just a quick comment on your comment back to me:

Janet said: "In other words, everything is contingent upon opinion since there is no objective truth. Help me understand what that means."

A: Nope; all individuals have the same rights and prohibitions.Remember when I said above that even though we could never know objective truth, we should still strive for it? This is my version.

OK. Then these would be defined as objective truth. We must somehow be able to discern them or we can't implement them. If you don't agree with me, then I defer to my original statement, and we'll have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: Janet at July 27, 2008 9:26 AM


mk: 8:34: A., Animals aren't capable of satire either.

Have you ever read "Animal Farm"? :)

Posted by: Janet at July 27, 2008 9:40 AM


Eileen, Janet, MK, and Patricia,

There has been some great discussion on this board. And I know it may seem a little silly, but this method of defining terms and deep probing questions is part of the Socratic method, a tried a true method which seeks only truth. It's also consistent with JPII's new evangelization; we start where the person is at. That may mean trying to define terms and defend propositions that we have always considered self-evident or obvious. But this sharpens our own apologetics and deepens our faith when we are forced to intelligently defend what we thought were the foundations of our knowledge.

Just think about it; if it weren't for the gnostics, nestorians, and other early heretics, we wouldn't have nearly as much understanding of Christ (the development of Christology) as we do now because it forced great thinkers to say what was wrong with what they were proposing and what the truth is. This is a great opportunity for learning. God love you all, my friends.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 27, 2008 10:03 AM


Thanks, Bobby. Every time that I put myself into a philosophical discussion, I tell myself that I really need to read more! There were some goofy things going on with the curriculum when I was in high school and college so I feel my education was a little lacking. But that is not to say that you can't continue to learn! God bless you!!

Posted by: Eileen at July 27, 2008 10:47 AM


"fetus (once it has obtained human life) has the exact same rights to life as anyone else. It simply doesn't have the right to infringe upon another's body."


Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 7:41 A

How else is the fetus going to enter the world (and be given the same rights to life) unless it is "infringing" upon someone's body to begin with?

"In my opinion, all individuals have exactly the same rights and prohibitions, so this infringement would not happen unless rights be being violated."

You assert the rights of the individual -- one individual could perceive their rights to be different from another's. How would you reconcile that?

"If a woman wants to have complete control to the exclusion of allowing a baby access to her body then she should abstain from sexual relations." Eileen

"This may be your morality, but a good portion of the world does not share it and I see no compelling reason why it should be forced upon the unwilling."
Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 7:50 AM


My point was that intercourse can result in a pregnancy even when using bc so if a woman wants complete control over her body to the exclusion of a pregnancy then simply abstain from intercourse.
I can see why the Catholic Church teaches that one cannot divorce the procreative aspect from the unitive aspect of intercourse from a spiritual viewpoint but also from a practical viewpoint: no matter how much people try to separate the two and focus only on the pleasurable aspect, a potential human being may still possibly be conceived.

Posted by: Eileen at July 27, 2008 11:13 AM


Sorry! Forgot to enter my name, etc. Anon is me!!

Posted by: Eileen at July 27, 2008 11:15 AM


Bobby that may be so but I don't see that this discussion is going anywhere.
Sorry, too tedious for me and I still doubt A's motives.

Posted by: Patricia at July 27, 2008 12:30 PM


A,

This thought also occurred to me. On the one hand you say that we aren't "special". That we are just another animal in the chain...albeit at the top of the chain...

But at the same time you say that there is no God. If there is no God, then aren't you the one that is saying that we are "special", there is nothing greater than us?

We aren't the ones that say we are at the top. We know that we are in the middle. There are many creatures above us, continuing the heirarchy. But for you the chain stops at us.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 12:49 PM


A,

Next thought:


If it is true that you believe that there is an objective truth, then where did this objective truth come from?

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 12:51 PM


Last thought,

It is often pointed out to us that we cannot use God in our arguments because nonbelievers don't accept God as a truth...

But to separate God from one thing is to separate Him from all things. I don't think I can, nor want to argue as if God doesn't exist.

That's not fair to me. I'm not asking you to argue as if God does exist. Why is it the believer that must accommodate the non believer?

The response, that we are proving the negative or whatever that whole thing is not the point.

God is real to me, and every breath I take, every thought I have is God centered. Asking me to leave Him out of the argument is like asking me to stop breathing. I am incapable of leaving Him out of anything.

This conversation is about objective truth and how one can know it. Well, obviously my answer is that in order to know objective truth, you must know God, it's author.

Jumping through hoops, trying to prove moral truths, without using God, is a lie. To you and to myself.

Not only do I agree that it can't be done, I don't believe that it should be done.

I know, yes know, the same way I can know anything, that God exists. You can't prove what you know any more than I can prove what I know. All we have is our own experiences. Unfortunately for you, the nature of God is such that He cannot be proven through typical methods. The only way to know that God exists is to see the evidence He presents YOU with. You can't see the evidence He presents me with. This is not a avoidance of giving proof, this saying that the very nature of what we are discussing, the supernatural, allows no proofs. Because of what it is.

The supernatural by definition, means that it is NOT ordinary. Therefore ordinary means of proving it will not work.

You say we don't know how to think like a dolphin, so we can't prove what a dolphin thinks. Okay.
You say it is possible that they are as if not more intelligent than us, and you are willing to believe THAT without proof. Why? Because, given theirs and our nature, and this time, we do not have the tools to prove it one way or the other. And yet you choose to believe that they think, create, feel and reason.

I say the same thing about God. Due to the circumstances of His supernatural nature, I do not have the tools needed at this time, to prove His existence. But I choose, as you do with animals, to believe that He is what He claims to be, even without objective proof.

At this point in time, all we have is subjective proofs, which are no proofs at all, and certainly no good to you, and I guess that leaves us at a stalemate...unless you wish to continue this argument, suspending your disbelief, and allowing me to use God in my arguments...

At least that's how I feel right now...

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 1:06 PM


mk: The supernatural by definition, means that it is NOT ordinary. Therefore ordinary means of proving it will not work.

Oh, I like that!

Posted by: Janet at July 27, 2008 3:03 PM


MK,

"Every time I ask you can animals...?, you respond with maybe, but we don't know, or we haven't figured it out or we've taken the option away...
Do you not see that by making these statements you are inadvertently agreeing with me? You are in essence, placing the responsibility on us? The humans? Why is that? Why, if we are not inherently different, didn't you place the blame on another species."

This is where the physical capabilities come in. For instance, if dolphins or whales wanted to communicate with us, I doubt they'd be able to. They don't have vocal cords, we don't understand whistles, and they lack the physical attributes necessary to build something.

"Why is it our fault that chimpanzees don't cultivate? Why is it even possible for us to have taken away that option? If we are all the same, then why were we able to take anyones options away? There are plenty of animals living in places that no human being has laid eyes on, and yet, no farms."

For the same reason that the Neanderthals no longer walk this earth; because humans are the dominant species.

"We all started out on a level playing field. You say we have arms, so we could build planes. Monkeys have arms. Why didn't they build them?"

You assume that they would want to. Different cultures have different values and consider different things to be important. The Aborigines in Australia also had arms, but they didn't build airplanes either.

"The fact that we DID, proves that we could, and the fact that they DID'NT proves that they can't."

False. You cannot prove a negative; just because something does not exist does not mean that it can't exist.

"Even if they didn't create the same inventions, they would have created something. There would be something, somewhere that you could point to that says animals are just as capable as we are...not isolated instances, but consistent examples."

And maybe that they, but we're too obtuse to see it.

"But you can't, and when you can't you place the burden of proof on us. If we were truly the same, you'd place the burden of proof on them. But you didn't, because in your heart you know that they aren't capable of "teaching" us how they work, but we ARE capable of "learning" how they work."

I'm sorry, there's no way that you can know the state of my heart or what I believe.

"There is not one instance of animals "using" people in a consistent fashion the way we use animals."

Yes, perhaps because they're more humane.

"We are different. Inherently different."

All species are inherently different from one another--that does not mean that there is some great divide between us and the animal kingdom.

"No, it isn't disproved. You can't pull out an example of a extraordinary circumstance to prove that in ordinary circumstances this statement isn't true."

It isn't an extraordinary circumstance; you just discounted the fact that EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING WHO EVER LIVED (caps for emphasis) could not reason at some point in their lives. That's pretty significant. And it isn't even like there was some deficiency with them then that kept them from being able to reason--they were in a perfectly normal and healthy state.

"When everything is working properly, and human beings have developed properly, there comes a point, where in ordinary circumstances ALL humans can reason at ALL times."

Not true, for the simple fact that humans can't reason all the time because of instinct.

"There is NEVER an instance, where in ordinary circumstances, any animal can reason all the time."

And that statement includes the human animal.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 4:15 PM


Lauren,

"Really our supiority isn't the primary point of my argument, but rather the societal factors that influence our ability to reach our capacity. That said, I do believe that it is important that we have potential that no other animal posesses regardless of if it based on "intelligence" or aplethora of combined advantages."

It depends on what you mean by potential. If you mean the potential to do whatever we want, then yes, I agree that no animals possess it in the same way that humans can. If by potential you mean intellectual ability or the ability to create, I dispute this notion.

"However, I'm glad you mentioned the handicapped and how they play into society. While you contend that pro-lifers agree with you and your stance on animals because we belive that even the most severely handicapped have rights, you miss the reasoning behind our argument. No animal has the capacity to change his environment, they have no inborn potential in this area. Conversely, humans have this innate ability regardless of if it can be accessed."

What makes it an innate ability? And how can you argue that someone who is in a vegetative state permanently (pretend for a moment that we can prove this definitively for one particular case) still has potential?

"A handicapped individual is unable to *reach* her potential, but that does not mean the potential does not exist."

Where did this potential come from?

"In lower animals, there is no potential. No chimpanze will build a skyscraper or instal central air. While I may not ever attain these particular credentials either, someone within my species has and will."

This has never been proven, that animals have no potential.

"You say you disagree with the conclusion that societal rights should be extended to all within the society, but do not explain why. Explain your reasoning so that I can refute the pertinant points."

I did not disagree with your above statement but with this: "Because of society being necessary to unlock the potential of each individual, each individual that make up that society have inhearant value."

Within it, it contains a few premises which I dispute.
A.) That every individual possess an innate potential.
and
B.) That all of these potentials are inherently valuable.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 4:25 PM


A,

You assume that they would want to.

I'm sorry, there's no way that you can know the state of my heart or what I believe..

In one breath you tell me what I am thinking, and in another, you tell me that I may not do the same with you...lol

I believe, that in your heart you know there is a difference. Is that better?

Just as you believe you know that I am assuming?

Distractions...

Okay. Then I guess we are at an impasse. Because I believe that we are lightyears above animals the way they are lightyears above plants. You could say that maybe plants are the same as animals too, and that we just don't understand their language...but it would be pointless.

I believe we are a totally different type of creature than the rest of the animal kingdom and you do not.

I believe that there is something in us, some indefinable something, that separates us from beasts. You don't.

So this is not going to lead anywhere, and I'm going to have to bow out. Sorry. I gave it a shot.

As you said, sometimes the premises are so contradictory that it doesn't leave you anywhere to go...

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 4:28 PM


"There is not one instance of animals "using" people in a consistent fashion the way we use animals."

There kind of is. Some ants kind of "farm" aphids -- they protect them and ward off their natural enemies; and they collect the aphid eggs, protect them all winter, and carry them back to the grass they need for nourishment in the spring. They do this because the aphids excrete something sweet that the ants like to eat (that all rhymed but I didn't mean for it to. But of course now I can't figure out how else to say it). The ants milk the aphids by stroking them somehow.

Both species benefit from this relationship, but the ants control it. Sometimes an aphid will try to get away and the ants will seize it and bring it back.

Here's the wikipedia on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphid#Mutualism

My favorite part:

Queens that are leaving to start a new colony will take an aphid egg with them to found a new herd of underground aphids in the new colony.

HOW AWESOME IS THAT!

I'm mostly just happy to have something to say besides "Dolphin bakeries would rock."

Posted by: Alexandra at July 27, 2008 4:31 PM


A,

Where did this potential come from?

LOL

Well now that would be the $24,000.00 question wouldn't it?

It came from the same place that objective truth comes from...sorry, I couldn't help myself.

I also hope that you didn't take my joshing with Patricia too seriously. I was just letting out a little frustration. I'm truly sorry if that hurt your feelings. It was one of those pull your hair out bash you're head on the computer screen moments. The joke wasn't really on you, it was on the subject...which is immensely frustrating, to all of us, I'm sure...

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 4:33 PM


Wouldn't it be weird if the ants were civilized, building little ant bakeries, making aphid-honeydew lattes, plotting to take over the world -- all of it underground and thus hidden from our view?

I guess it's a good thing we came up with insecticide before they got a chance to create a similar product to exterminate us.

Just kidding, I think humans are 'beyond' animals as well. But wow, it's really cute to think of ants making lattes.

Posted by: Alexandra at July 27, 2008 4:36 PM


MK,

"It is your opinion that it is my opinion. It is my opinion that it is objective truth."

But it's still an opinion.

"This conversation is about objective truth and how to know it. While I didn't want to bring God into it yet, invariably, I will eventually have to. For now, we can go back to Non-God debate..."

I ask people to leave God out of it because anyone who does not share your views of God will invariably not accept any arguments which you base upon Him. I attempt to go to the root source of the disagreement and begin there as opposed to sticking with arguments that arise because the unstated premise is disputed.

"Why is it that neither statement can stand alone?"

This was the original statement: "Granted a more intelligent one, but an animal just the same. It is in reaching for the divine, aspiring to be more like God, that we can begin to see the differences that we are talking about."

You argued that we were like animals (which is because we are animals) until we accepted God's gifts and began "[reach] for the divine" and that we wouldn't be able to see the changes within ourselves until we did so.

The argument is self-defeating because it is self-fulfilling: "we act like A, but look, when we try to act like B, we act differently, which means that we're accepting entity C's plans for the world." If someone acts differently, of course they're going to see changes in themselves--that doesn't mean that those changes were divinely inspired.

"Humanity is the way it is because that is how God created it. You don't have to agree, but the statement stands alone."

That was not your original statement.

"In order to understand this, one must first accept that God exists. Seeing it is a gift from said God."

Backwards logic: A is true, but you won't believe it is true until you believe in it.

"I didn't say if you didn't believe it ceased to be true."

Nor did I.

"Only that if you didn't believe, you wouldn't be able to see it."

Belief should not precede proof; that's called gullibility and is not generally considered a beneficial trait.

"If you don't learn Italian, then you won't be able to understand Italian. Italian will still exist, but you'll be out of the loop, in any conversation that is in Italian."

Of course Italian exists--there is proof.

"If you accept that it IS Italian, only then can you begin to learn Italian. And only then will you begin to understand what is written on that page."

There's actually no need to believe that it is Italian in order to learn it; I could just as easily think I was learning Spanish and learn just as well.

"Your belief or disbelief does not effect whether or not Italian exists, but only effects your ability or inability to understand it."

My belief or disbelief does nothing of the sort. I can believe it exists and not be able to understand it, or I can believe that it doesn't exist and yet be able to understand it perfectly well.

"Many of us here speak "God". Not only don't you speak it, you haven't even accepted that what we are showing you is "Godspeak"...Doesn't change whether it is or not (objective truth), only means that at this point in time, you have no chance of deciphering it."

What makes it objective truth?

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 4:42 PM


MK,

Fair enough and no, you didn't hurt my feelings; I'm made of tougher stuff than that.

And I need to go in any case--procrastination will not get my work finished.

Posted by: A. at July 27, 2008 4:46 PM


Alexandra,

That is pretty fascinating. Ants also bury their dead. BUT, I said a case of animals using humans, not animals using lesser animals. A's assertion is that we are all equal, and that nothing makes us different. Nothing makes us "special".

You're right tho, dolphin bakeries would rock. So would chimpanzee toy stores!

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 5:03 PM


A,

Once again, you are asking me to accept that animals might have the potential to do everything humans do, without being able to produce one iota of evidence.

Yet when I propose that God exists, you say you don't believe it because I have no evidence.

If animals could do what you say they could do, there would be evidence of it. There isn't.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 5:06 PM


BUT, I said a case of animals using humans, not animals using lesser animals.

Alexandra: 0
Poor reading comprehension skills: 1

Posted by: Alexandra at July 27, 2008 5:16 PM


A,

I realize you have left, but as I said you need to believe to see. And yes this is perfectly logical, because as I pointed out, we are not dealing with the physical, but the spiritual. The rules are not the same. You keep trying to work with the nphysical rules, and I'm trying to tell you that they don't apply.

I'm not saying that A should try to act like B, because C says so...I'm saying A should act like B, because B created A. There is no C.

It is a whole different set of laws that rule the spiritual realm. But if you don't believe in the spiritual realm, and insist on using physical methods to prove or disprove God, we're not going to get anywhere.

Eyes don't apply. Ears don't apply. Smell doesn't apply. You can't see, hear or smell the spiritual world, unless something in the spiritual world chooses to use the physical world to manifest itself. As God did, when He took on human form.

He can enter our world. We can't enter His. But we can know what is revealed to us. But not if we keep using our physical senses...

Which is why this conversation will go nowhere. Because you are not capable of entering our world. And we are not capable of controlling it.

You either walk through the door with us, so that we can show you, or you stay on that side of the door thinking we're nuts. But we don't have the power to bring that world into this world. So you can't see, if you don't believe. Spiritual law.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 5:16 PM


Alexandra,

It's okay. If you hadn't misread I'd never have known about ants and aphids, nor imagined (something only humans can do) chimpanzee toy stores or dolphin bakeries. Or ant lattes! And that was quite fun. Thank you veddy much! Now go read your emails.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 5:19 PM


Just kidding, I think humans are 'beyond' animals as well. But wow, it's really cute to think of ants making lattes.

Alexandria, LOL! I love that.

Posted by: Bethany at July 27, 2008 5:20 PM


BETHANY!!!! How goes the playhouse? Find the book yet? And the Pneumonia? All better? and the spiderwebs...and...and...well, I miss you.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 5:34 PM


Haha MK, sorry I left there for a minute! I was cooking supper for the kids!
The playhouse is coming along great...I can't wait to have it finished! The kids are really looking forward to it. The pneumonia is over! Yay!!
Aww I miss you too!!

Posted by: Bethany at July 27, 2008 6:06 PM


By the way, if you had been in the proliferations thread you would have seen me sooner! I've been posting there since yesterday! :) I see you've been pretty busy in this thread though!

Posted by: Bethany at July 27, 2008 6:08 PM


MK: Let's look at your logic.

Murder is wrong. It is the taking of an innocent human life.

Abortion takes an innocent human life.

Therefore abortion is wrong.

MK, that's not anybody's logic, there. That's not logical, period.

That's like saying a diesel pickup truck is a motor vehicle, that a Honda Civic is a motor vehicle, and thus a Honda Civic is a diesel pickup truck.

Posted by: Doug at July 27, 2008 6:45 PM


Chris: Please do not go circular on us. I contend that people who generate circular arguments are actually arguing with themselves. I tend to bow out of such conversations - you can ask Doug, who provides a similar self-refuting argument. In other words, I won't discuss the issue with him. Shame.

Once again, you're the one who is confronted with the fact that your position is the circular one. Mine's linear, and I start with what is true for all of us, not what is only a matter of unprovable belief for some of us.

Posted by: Doug at July 27, 2008 6:48 PM


Patricia: This won't happen mk, because she didn't answer my questions much earlier in this post. Like somg, and doug they leave when backed into a corner.

:: laughing ::

As if.

Posted by: Doug at July 27, 2008 6:50 PM


MK: For instance, Doug bases everything on personal truth. Sometimes society agrees with him. Sometimes the law agrees with him. He has no problem with that because he only recognized personal truth, or subjective truth. He holds that there is no such thing as objective moral truth.

Now that's just silly, MK. There is physical reality, etc., things which in no way are matters of subjective belief.

Morals are subjective by definition, i.e. they are internal to the mind, not external to it, etc. They are ideas, ideals, etc., so yes - they are subjective.

That is not "everything" though, and in no way is "everything" a matter of personal truth.

Posted by: Doug at July 27, 2008 6:53 PM


Doug,

If it weren't for the fact that waaaaaay up there we clarified that for practical purposes we would agree that whenever we used the phrase objective truth it would be understood to mean objective moral truth, you'd be right. That would be silly. But as we did clarify it, it's not silly at all. A knew that I meant moral truth and not physical truth.

Do you have like a thingy that lets you know when your name gets typed or something??? lol

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 7:04 PM


Doug,

WHile you may not agree with the statement it is not illogical.

IF we agree that the definition of murder is the taking of innocent life (which if you continue reading you'll see that we did not, BUT IF WE DID)

and we agree that abortion takes an innocent life (which we also did not agree on, as A contends that we have no way of knowing if the unborn life was innocent or not...which if it doesn't have consciousness is quite a stretch...)but IF WE DID agree,

Then it would follow that Abortion is murder.

And every pro lifer here DOES INDEED think that.

The flaw was not in my logic, but in the fact that we didn't agree on the premises.

Posted by: mk at July 27, 2008 7:08 PM


Hi Doug,

Physical reality can be subjective. I call the place I live a house. My friend in Mexico calls it una casa. I can tell my Mexican friend one hundred times that his casa is a "house" and it will not be true for him.

The fact that morals are subjective to some people (like you) does not mean that they are subjective to all people (like me). Every day and hour of my life I know that killing a baby by abortion is murder, I will never waver on that, so for me it is objective truth.
What you believe to be moral truth has no bearing on what I believe to be moral truth, therefore moral truths are subjective only for those who desire them to be.

Posted by: Janet at July 27, 2008 7:14 PM


I'm not sure if my comment at 7:14: makes sense, but it sounded good at the time!

Posted by: Janet at July 27, 2008 7:23 PM


Patricia: This won't happen mk, because she didn't answer my questions much earlier in this post. Like somg, and doug they leave when backed into a corner.

:: laughing ::

As if.

Posted by: Doug at July 27, 2008 6:50 PM

totally dude which Is why I'm never on when you are!
have a nice night!

Posted by: Patricia at July 27, 2008 8:41 PM


I feel like this thread has been pretty much abandoned, but I still feel that I should make a few comments.

Janet,

"OK. Then these would be defined as objective truth. We must somehow be able to discern them or we can't implement them. If you don't agree with me, then I defer to my original statement, and we'll have to agree to disagree."

They are my version of objective truth and everything returns to the rights of the individual. Each individual has exactly the same rights and they are based on individual sovereignty. That is how we discern them.

"Physical reality can be subjective. I call the place I live a house. My friend in Mexico calls it una casa. I can tell my Mexican friend one hundred times that his casa is a "house" and it will not be true for him."

I'm sorry, this example does not show what you're trying to demonstrate. Un casa translates into the word house and vice versa. There is nothing subjective about it--you and your friend are simply using different words that mean that same thing in order to describe the same sort of item.

MK,

"This thought also occurred to me. On the one hand you say that we aren't "special". That we are just another animal in the chain...albeit at the top of the chain...But at the same time you say that there is no God. If there is no God, then aren't you the one that is saying that we are "special", there is nothing greater than us?"

In my opinion, we are not special because there is nothing that distinguishes us from the rest of the chain save for our position. Is a runner who places first in a contest somehow better or more special than the runner who placed last?

"Once again, you are asking me to accept that animals might have the potential to do everything humans do, without being able to produce one iota of evidence. Yet when I propose that God exists, you say you don't believe it because I have no evidence. If animals could do what you say they could do, there would be evidence of it. There isn't."

I am asking you to consider the possibility. For the record, I accept that possibility that some form of divine entity exists while believing that it does not.

"You either walk through the door with us, so that we can show you, or you stay on that side of the door thinking we're nuts. But we don't have the power to bring that world into this world. So you can't see, if you don't believe. Spiritual law."

What makes you think that I haven't been through that "door," as you call it? I've seen what need to be seen and found nothing. Well, apart from realizing that the strength and fortitude that I needed came from within me and was not the git of some eternal being.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 9:36 AM


Eileen,

"How else is the fetus going to enter the world (and be given the same rights to life) unless it is "infringing" upon someone's body to begin with?"

Inconsequential. As a fetus, it has the same right to the life as the woman. It simply doesn't have the right to impose upon her in order to sustain that right.

"You assert the rights of the individual -- one individual could perceive their rights to be different from another's. How would you reconcile that?"

Because, in my opinion, it is not a perception of rights. Everyone has the same rights, which do not infringe upon the individual sovereignty of others.

"My point was that intercourse can result in a pregnancy even when using bc so if a woman wants complete control over her body to the exclusion of a pregnancy then simply abstain from intercourse."

It is true that intercourse can almost always result in pregnancy (excluding infertile individuals and gay couples), but I see no reason why that minuscule risk should dictate how everyone has to behave.

"I can see why the Catholic Church teaches that one cannot divorce the procreative aspect from the unitive aspect of intercourse from a spiritual viewpoint but also from a practical viewpoint: no matter how much people try to separate the two and focus only on the pleasurable aspect, a potential human being may still possibly be conceived."

Why can't we separate them? Humans separate actions and natural consequences all the time--it's what we do. Why should sex be any different?

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 10:55 AM



Janet said: "Physical reality can be subjective. I call the place I live a house. My friend in Mexico calls it una casa. I can tell my Mexican friend one hundred times that his casa is a "house" and it will not be true for him."

A.: I'm sorry, this example does not show what you're trying to demonstrate. Un casa translates into the word house and vice versa. There is nothing subjective about it--you and your friend are simply using different words that mean that same thing in order to describe the same sort of item.

But, when I say "house", I'm describing my average middle class structure in the U.S. When my friend in Mexico says "casa" he could be describing his tin shack with dirt floors and no electricity or running water.
While the name "casa" translates to "house" the reality of each is quite different (physically).

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 11:29 AM


"Why can't we separate them? Humans separate actions and natural consequences all the time--it's what we do. Why should sex be any different?

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 10:55 AM"
---------------------------------

Because there is a little something called "responsibility" that creeps into any decision we make. Specially true for sexual intercourse.

Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 11:35 AM


A. said: It is true that intercourse can almost always result in pregnancy (excluding infertile individuals and gay couples), but I see no reason why that minuscule risk should dictate how everyone has to behave.

Why is it that a person will go to Las Vegas to gamble - where the odds of winning the jackpot are miniscule, but that same person will use BC thinking they can't get pregnant - when the risk of getting pregnant is actually much greater than winning the jackpot in Las Vegas?

It's not very logical, is it?

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 11:36 AM


RSD,

"Because there is a little something called "responsibility" that creeps into any decision we make. Specially true for sexual intercourse."

So would you tell a rock climber who has broken his arm that he has to take "responsibility" for his actions and not seek medical attention?

Would you tell a girl who gets drunk and is raped that she has to take "responsibility" for her actions in getting drunk and is therefor responsible for the rape?

I would additionally add that there are multiple forms of taking responsibility; one of which includes abortion.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 11:38 AM


Janet,

"But, when I say "house", I'm describing my average middle class structure in the U.S. When my friend in Mexico says "casa" he could be describing his tin shack with dirt floors and no electricity or running water. While the name "casa" translates to "house" the reality of each is quite different (physically)."

Absolutely irrelevant. The name "house" or even "un casa" is a catchall phrase which can refer to any number of structures built for a similar purpose.

The term house can mean anything from a hundred-room mansion to a tin shack with a single lightbulb.

"Why is it that a person will go to Las Vegas to gamble - where the odds of winning the jackpot are miniscule, but that same person will use BC thinking they can't get pregnant - when the risk of getting pregnant is actually much greater than winning the jackpot in Las Vegas?"

Your example doesn't hold weight--the personalities of people who typically engage in the two types of acts (especially if you're referring to compulsive gamblers) are quite different.

Many people who also go to Lax Vegas for a recreational weekend go with the assumption that they won't win.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 11:42 AM


"So would you tell a rock climber who has broken his arm that he has to take "responsibility" for his actions and not seek medical attention?"
-----------------------
No, he should be responsible enough to get medical attention and not do it again.
But he is still responsible for his action (rock climbing)

"Would you tell a girl who gets drunk and is raped that she has to take "responsibility" for her actions in getting drunk and is therefor responsible for the rape?
--------------------------------
She is still half-responsible for placing herself in that situation...

A,
For mature individuals, those situations/activities involve accepting "risks" to certain behaviors....by continuing the act, you are, technically, accepting the consequences that may or may not happen.

And whatever happened to "common sense"?

Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 11:47 AM


RSD,

"No, he should be responsible enough to get medical attention and not do it again.
But he is still responsible for his action (rock climbing)."

Not do what again? Either rock climb or fall?

"She is still half-responsible for placing herself in that situation..."

Really? A woman is never, repeat, NEVER responsible for being raped. I don't care if she's walking around a frat house naked stoned out of her mind--nothing gives any man that right, ever. Period.

"For mature individuals, those situations/activities involve accepting "risks" to certain behaviors....by continuing the act, you are, technically, accepting the consequences that may or may not happen."

Not really. One can engage in the act without consenting to those consequences which may or may not happen.

"And whatever happened to "common sense"?"

And what ever made you think that only your definition of this term was valid?

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 11:52 AM


"I would additionally add that there are multiple forms of taking responsibility; one of which includes abortion.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 11:38 AM"
-----------------------------------

There are multiple CHOICES in life and taking the life of another individual (in this case, your own flesh and blood) is NEVER a responsible move.

Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 11:53 AM


"Not really. One can engage in the act without consenting to those consequences which may or may not happen."
------------------------------------------

Really? Well, then...I definitely understand where all your reasonings come from...


Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 11:56 AM


RSD,

"There are multiple CHOICES in life and taking the life of another individual (in this case, your own flesh and blood) is NEVER a responsible move."

I dispute that the fetus (at least until viability) possess a life to take.

"Really? Well, then...I definitely understand where all your reasonings come from..."

And where do you think that my reasonings come from?

Before you answer, I would like to make a few points.
A.) You know absolutely nothing about me.
B.) You know absolutely nothing about how I live my life.
C.) You have an amazingly minuscule idea (because all you can know is what I've said) of what is important to me in life.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 12:02 PM


"I dispute that the fetus (at least until viability) possess a life to take. "
---------------------------

A Federation of OB's and Gyn's recently stated this:"Science teaches that human life begins at conception," the declaration states.  "If it is also true that it is affirmed by religion, it does not for that reason cease to be a strictly scientific truth, to be transformed into a religious opinion.  He who denies that human life begins with conception does not need to contend with religion, but science.  To deny this certainty of biology is not to express a lack of faith, but a lack of basic knowledge of human genetics, something that is even known by the general public."


Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 12:18 PM



Before you answer, I would like to make a few points.
A.) You know absolutely nothing about me.
B.) You know absolutely nothing about how I live my life.
C.) You have an amazingly minuscule idea (because all you can know is what I've said) of what is important to me in life.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 12:02 PM

Not true. Everything a person write is a glimpse into their soul. Corny, but true.

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 12:19 PM


Oops! I meant "writes". Obviously I didn't proofread, that says something about me! Lol.

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 12:21 PM


And where do you think that my reasonings come from?

Before you answer, I would like to make a few points.
A.) You know absolutely nothing about me.
B.) You know absolutely nothing about how I live my life.
C.) You have an amazingly minuscule idea (because all you can know is what I've said) of what is important to me in life.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 12:02 PM
-----------------------------

I agree with all of the above....and given the miniscule info I know about you, your statement that "One can engage in the act without consenting to the consequences "... tells a lot more, to me, about your mindset, values and morals than what you thought.

Given that, explaning/ debating the pro-life position with you will be an exercise in futility.

As McCain said to Ellen: " I wish you all the Happiness"


Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 12:27 PM



RSD: A Federation of OB's and Gyn's recently stated this:"Science teaches that human life begins at conception," the declaration states. "If it is also true that it is affirmed by religion, it does not for that reason cease to be a strictly scientific truth, to be transformed into a religious opinion. He who denies that human life begins with conception does not need to contend with religion, but science. To deny this certainty of biology is not to express a lack of faith, but a lack of basic knowledge of human genetics, something that is even known by the general public."

Amen!!!!!

A., With all due respect, you are so smart, I don't understand why you just don't get it. (From day one it's a human life.)

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 12:29 PM


RSD and Janet,

You're sighting the statement of an Ecuadorian organization which is unequivocally opposed to abortion as definitive proof? Am I missing something here?

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 12:33 PM


Janet,

It's not A.'s intelligence I doubt/ question (she's very intelligent, I can tell)...it's the wisdom.

Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 12:34 PM


Janet,

"Not true. Everything a person write is a glimpse into their soul. Corny, but true."

Not everything.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 12:35 PM


Ecuadorian organization of OB's and GYN's...would you know anybody else who know more about it than them?

Or is it because they're Ecuadorian? Are you a racist, too?

Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 12:36 PM


A. 12:33:,
Well, you are addressing another problem in this argument. There's no such thing as an acceptable source from either side. I think it was Bobby who said the other option is to look at it philosophically. Good luck.

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 12:38 PM


RSD,

Last time I checked, Ecuador was not particularly reknown for their its medication or its science.

I'm got to go--back later.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 12:43 PM


Sure A...talk to you later..I have to attend a symposium, too...

Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 12:44 PM



J. said: "Not true. Everything a person write is a glimpse into their soul. Corny, but true."

A. said: Not everything.

Yes. Everything. (You enjoy debate and or like to have the last word?)

Should we keep going with this? :^)

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 12:45 PM


Last time I checked, Ecuador was not particularly reknown for their its medication or its science.

You can't assume their finding are wrong just for that reason. Isn't it wise to research many different sources so you can discern the truth? (Of course you have to be willing to accept that there is such a thing as objective truth first.)

Here's a link to the Ecuadoran doctors: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061714.html

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 12:55 PM


A.: Well - you enjoy debate. :)

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 12:57 PM


RSD,

"I agree with all of the above....and given the miniscule info I know about you, your statement that "One can engage in the act without consenting to the consequences "... tells a lot more, to me, about your mindset, values and morals than what you thought."

I highly doubt that.

"Given that, explaning/ debating the pro-life position with you will be an exercise in futility."

Perhaps. Which is why I prefer to go to where the heart of the disagreement lies.

"As McCain said to Ellen: " I wish you all the Happines"

You too.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 1:57 PM


Janet,

"You can't assume their finding are wrong just for that reason. Isn't it wise to research many different sources so you can discern the truth? (Of course you have to be willing to accept that there is such a thing as objective truth first.)"

No, I can't. I checked, the entire organization is unequivocally pro-life and many of their findings are at odds with respected medical science in more scientifically and technologically renowned countries.

Of course they are going to conclude that the science supports their argument, because they are science people. Does that mean that anything they say is true? No

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 2:01 PM


Janet,

"Yes. Everything. (You enjoy debate and or like to have the last word?)"

Really? So that paper I wrote in 9th grade arguing that Juliet and Romeo were infatuated as opposed to in love revealed something about my soul? I don't think so.

Humans also don't have souls.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 2:05 PM


A.:2:01: Of course they are going to conclude that the science supports their argument, because they are science people. Does that mean that anything they say is true? No

That goes for all scientists, no matter what country they are from or ideology they have. We're back to the point about philosophy being a better way to go I think....
- - - - - - - -

Janet said: "Yes. Everything. (You enjoy debate and or like to have the last word?)"

A. said @ 2:05: Really? So that paper I wrote in 9th grade arguing that Juliet and Romeo were infatuated as opposed to in love revealed something about my soul? I don't think so.

Humans also don't have souls.

Yes, from that I glean at least two things. 1) You are interested in love/infatuation 2) You think we don't have souls, which one could equate to your innermost being. (Which I already knew, by the way. You just confirmed it.)

I have to run, but I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2008 2:18 PM


"Inconsequential. As a fetus, it has the same right to the life as the woman. It simply doesn't have the right to impose upon her in order to sustain that right."

A, that doesn't make sense to me. You are saying that a fetus has the same right to life as the woman but then you are saying that the woman can take the life of the fetus?!

Posted by: Eileendd at July 28, 2008 2:21 PM


Janet,

"Yes, from that I glean at least two things. 1) You are interested in love/infatuation 2) You think we don't have souls, which one could equate to your innermost being. (Which I already knew, by the way. You just confirmed it.)"

Really? I think both Romeo and Juliet were incredibly whiny and very annoying. I chose that topic because I couldn't think of another one--I disliked the book just that much.

"I have to run, but I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!"

You too.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 2:32 PM


Eileendd,

"A, that doesn't make sense to me. You are saying that a fetus has the same right to life as the woman but then you are saying that the woman can take the life of the fetus?!"

Essentially. The woman and the fetus have the exact same right to life--what neither of them have is the right to impose upon the other against the other's will because no human has that right. If denying access results in death, that is unfortunate, but not a violation.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 2:34 PM


Okay, something was messed up with that. That was to Eileendd, not by Eileendd.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 2:36 PM


A,

Are you saying the 2:34 post should say "Posted by A" not "posted by Eileendd"? Would you like me to change that?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 28, 2008 2:41 PM


Bobby,

Please do. If you could change who it's addressed to as well (if that's possible) that would be great.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 2:45 PM


"Humans also don't have souls.

Posted by: A. at July 28, 2008 2:05 PM
--------------------------------

For a self-described atheist, I can imagine that would be a very difficult thing to accept.

Let's wait 'till the end, shall we?

Posted by: RSD at July 28, 2008 3:31 PM


A. This tread is about to be bumped off the page. If you'd like to continue discussing with me, email me at pope7446@gmail.com

To briefly respond to you:

"A.) That every individual possess an innate potential."

I don't entirely understand how you can deny this. We all, by the nature of our genetic makeup, have the same base potential as the rest of humanity. Now, we may have something that blocks our ability to access this potential, but it doesn't change the fact that it is written into us.

Perhaps we aren't defining the terms in the same way.

I define "innate" as existing in one from conception.

Perhaps instead of "potential" I should use the term "capacity" since "potential" might connotate that an action wil occur.

What I am really trying to say is that humans are like a vessel that can be filled. While certain conditions must be met in order for the vessel to be filled, and certain things might prevent the vessel from being filled, there is still a vessel. No other member of the animal kingdom can be this type of vessel.

I'm not sure I'm being entirely clear, but I hope that helps.

"B.) That all of these potentials are inherently valuable."

This is indeed debatable because it gets into the rhelm of asking if life itself is valuable. If we agree that it is, then we can move forward with the discussion, if not then we will have reached a road block. However, I believe that we can agree that there is some value to another's life, so I hope we delve further into the issue.

Posted by: lauren at July 28, 2008 7:12 PM


"Essentially. The woman and the fetus have the exact same right to life--what neither of them have is the right to impose upon the other against the other's will because no human has that right. If denying access results in death, that is unfortunate, but not a violation."

But the woman is imposing her will upon the fetus. It wasn't the fetus's choice to come into the world yet it is being punished for it.

(Sorry about the typo -- should have been Eileen -- not Eileendd :)

Posted by: Eileen at July 28, 2008 7:20 PM


MK: Animals aren't capable of satire either.

Janet: Have you ever read "Animal Farm"? :)

Some animals are more capable of satire than others.

Posted by: Doug at July 29, 2008 9:05 AM


Physical reality can be subjective. I call the place I live a house. My friend in Mexico calls it una casa. I can tell my Mexican friend one hundred times that his casa is a "house" and it will not be true for him.

Janet, what is subjective is your pick of terms to describe it. The physical reality of the house doesn't change.
.....


The fact that morals are subjective to some people (like you) does not mean that they are subjective to all people (like me). Every day and hour of my life I know that killing a baby by abortion is murder, I will never waver on that, so for me it is objective truth.

It's your subjective opinion. It is subjective to you, however vehement your feelings.
......


What you believe to be moral truth has no bearing on what I believe to be moral truth, therefore moral truths are subjective only for those who desire them to be.

Not true as stated. In many (probably most) cases, what I wish for is the same as what you wish for, so my morality will be the same as yours there. There is no "objective moral truth," period, because it's all internal to the mind, not external to it, (meets the definition of 'subjective' and most certainly doesn't meet the definition of 'objective.')

Posted by: Doug at July 29, 2008 9:10 AM


Patricia: totally dude which Is why I'm never on when you are! have a nice night!

Heh - P, I'll be around more, but just have to get through a very busy couple weeks here. Lots of driving, working, then driving more in a given day - get to the motel and am I really gonna set up the computer....?

Posted by: Doug at July 29, 2008 9:13 AM


If it weren't for the fact that waaaaaay up there we clarified that for practical purposes we would agree that whenever we used the phrase objective truth it would be understood to mean objective moral truth, you'd be right. That would be silly. But as we did clarify it, it's not silly at all. A knew that I meant moral truth and not physical truth.

Sorry, MK - so yes, there is personal truth as far as morality. I'd also throw in group morality, etc. Overall, it's subjective to the entity which holds it, be it the individual or otherwise.
.....


Do you have like a thingy that lets you know when your name gets typed or something??? lol

Ha! Heck yes - I just press Ctrl + F for the "Find" function and then type in 'Doug' or whatever I want to search for. Again, I'm sorry for not reading enough of the posts - I hadn't been online for a few days and was just blasting through it all.

Posted by: Doug at July 29, 2008 9:19 AM


MK: WHile you may not agree with the statement it is not illogical.

It was illogical, MK.
.....


IF we agree that the definition of murder is the taking of innocent life (which if you continue reading you'll see that we did not, BUT IF WE DID)

That's still backwards. For it to be logical, you'd need to state the premise as any taking of innocent life is murder, not a characteristic of murder, since that leaves it open for other things - not murder - to also be the taking of innocent life.
......


and we agree that abortion takes an innocent life (which we also did not agree on, as A contends that we have no way of knowing if the unborn life was innocent or not...which if it doesn't have consciousness is quite a stretch...)but IF WE DID agree, Then it would follow that Abortion is murder.

Still backwards, but I'd argue that we really can't say the unborn are "guilty" since there's no capacity for guilt, rendering the guilty/innocent thing fairly moot. It's not like the unborn are really "blamed," but rather just unwanted at least relative to the alternatives) when abortion is willingly chosen.
......


And every pro lifer here DOES INDEED think that. The flaw was not in my logic, but in the fact that we didn't agree on the premises.

I don't even think that every pro-lifer here thinks it's murder. Many pro-lifers know that abortion is not murder, regardless of how much they may not like it.

The flaw in the logic was having murder be one of a set that includes "the taking of innocent life," rather than murder being any taking of innocent life.

Posted by: Doug at July 29, 2008 9:29 AM


A,

"Because there is a little something called "responsibility" that creeps into any decision we make. Specially true for sexual intercourse."
*
So would you tell a rock climber who has broken his arm that he has to take "responsibility" for his actions and not seek medical attention?
*
Would you tell a girl who gets drunk and is raped that she has to take "responsibility" for her actions in getting drunk and is therefor responsible for the rape?
*
I would additionally add that there are multiple forms of taking responsibility; one of which includes abortion.

First off, getting pregnant is not the same as breaking an arm. It's not an illness. It's not something "going" wrong with the body, it's not something "broken"...it's actually the body working exactly the way it is meant to... so that analogy doesn't work...

But beyond that. If a woman finds herself in a crisis pregnancy, should she be able to make decisions? Of course. No one is saying that taking responsibility means raising the child. There ARE alternatives. Some of them are right. and some of them are WRONG. It is never okay to choose an evil to fix a problem. There are other options that are morally right.

As to a woman getting raped because she was drunk...while she is not responsible for the rape, only the rapist can be responsible for that, she IS responsible for putting herself in a dangerous situation. It is irresponsible for ANYONE to get so drunk they aren't making good decisions...and getting that drunk comes with risks. So while she is not responsible for the rape, she did choose to place her self in a risky situation...she gambled, and lost.

You ask if she should be made to pay for the rape. I ask you, does she have the right to kill the rapist? After all, HE is the one that caused the problem. Not the unborn child that resulted from the rape.

Hopefully, your answer is no, she does not have the right to kill the rapist. She can use the law to punish him, but she cannot take the law into her own hands.

So, why does she have the right to kill her child, who didn't get drunk, didn't act irresponsibly and didn't rape her? But she does not have the right to kill her rapist, and you do not hold her accountable for what happened at all?

Pregnancy is what happens when you have sex. It is not an illness, it is not an aberation...it is a womans body doing exactly what a woman's body is supposed to do. THAT is why it is her responsibility. Not societies. And certainly NOT the babies.

THAT is why, treating it like a broken arm or cancer is ridiculous.

It brings us back to the eating too much cake example.

You eat too much cake. You become obese. You don't want to give up the cake, even tho you know it is the responsible thing to do. So you become bulimic. By your reasoning, becoming bulimic is a viable option. It let's her have her cake, and eat it too. But the METHOD she is choosing is morally WRONG. The SOLUTION she is choosing is morally WRONG. Just as the method/solution of abortion, while a choice, is NOT A MORALLY RIGHT choice, and must not be taken.

Unless, of course, you have no problem with bulimia.

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 9:46 AM


"Ha! Heck yes - I just press Ctrl + F for the "Find" function and then type in 'Doug' or whatever I want to search for."

Hmmm, we should start referring to him as 'Dg' then...

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 29, 2008 9:50 AM


Not really. One can engage in the act without consenting to those consequences which may or may not happen.

Then one is lying to oneself. And they are a fool.

I can jump off of a building without believing that 20 stories later I was going to be in a whole hell of a lot of pain, or worse, but by jumping, I WAS consenting to the consequences. If I refused to acknowledge the probable/possible outcome, then I'm an idiot.

Sure, I can have sex but not consent to pregnancy, but then I am being IRRESPONSIBLE!

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 9:51 AM


Lauren,

"I don't entirely understand how you can deny this."

Babies who are born without brains lack potential. Severely mentally handicapped individuals lack potential.

"We all, by the nature of our genetic makeup, have the same base potential as the rest of humanity."

Not true. An individual's potential is related to his/her genetic makeup. People do not all have the same set of potentials.

"Now, we may have something that blocks our ability to access this potential, but it doesn't change the fact that it is written into us."

If it is written into us, what does this writing?

"I define "innate" as existing in one from conception."

But why does it exist from the moment of conception?

"Perhaps instead of "potential" I should use the term "capacity" since "potential" might connotate that an action wil occur."

Either term will suffice

"What I am really trying to say is that humans are like a vessel that can be filled. While certain conditions must be met in order for the vessel to be filled, and certain things might prevent the vessel from being filled, there is still a vessel. No other member of the animal kingdom can be this type of vessel."

Why not?

"B.) That all of these potentials are inherently valuable."

"This is indeed debatable because it gets into the realm of asking if life itself is valuable. If we agree that it is, then we can move forward with the discussion, if not then we will have reached a road block. However, I believe that we can agree that there is some value to another's life, so I hope we delve further into the issue."

You misunderstand my reasoning. You seem to think that all potential is inherently good--I, however, would disagree. A potential to be a truly prolific murder or to be an excellent rapist would not be a good thing.

I would argue that it also depends on what you define as "life." I would not argue that physical life in a human individual (ie. heart beating, lungs breathing) is of any value unless it is accompanied by what I would call "human life"--a form of life which is distinguished by the functioning of the brain.

Posted by: A. at July 29, 2008 9:51 AM


Eileen,

"But the woman is imposing her will upon the fetus. It wasn't the fetus's choice to come into the world"

Absolutely irrelevent. One does not have to choose in order to impose.

"yet it is being punished for it."

It is not a punishment so much as a restoration of rights.

Posted by: A. at July 29, 2008 9:54 AM


Doug,

MK: WHile you may not agree with the statement it is not illogical.
*
It was illogical, MK.

No it wasn't, Doug.

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 9:59 AM


MK,

"First off, getting pregnant is not the same as breaking an arm. It's not an illness. It's not something "going" wrong with the body, it's not something "broken"...it's actually the body working exactly the way it is meant to... so that analogy doesn't work..."

First off, something doesn't need to be an illness in order to either cause problems in someone's life or to be treated. Whether or not something is working in the way it is intended to do is also irrelevant when speaking of what one wishes his/her body to do.

"But beyond that. If a woman finds herself in a crisis pregnancy, should she be able to make decisions? Of course."

So you say that she should be able to make decision and yet would deny her the most fundamental one--that doesn't seem like much of a choice to me.

"No one is saying that taking responsibility means raising the child."

Because that would, quite frankly, be stupid. The fact that one can give birth to a child does not qualify one to raise that child. Abortion is not not concerned with unwanted children--it is concerned with unwanted pregnancies.

"There ARE alternatives. Some of them are right. and some of them are WRONG. It is never okay to choose an evil to fix a problem. There are other options that are morally right."

If one believes that there are absolute morals and that's one interpretation of them is correct.

"As to a woman getting raped because she was drunk...while she is not responsible for the rape, only the rapist can be responsible for that, she IS responsible for putting herself in a dangerous situation. It is irresponsible for ANYONE to get so drunk they aren't making good decisions...and getting that drunk comes with risks. So while she is not responsible for the rape, she did choose to place her self in a risky situation...she gambled, and lost."

She was irresponsible, no question, but she is not responsible for the actions of another.

"You ask if she should be made to pay for the rape. I ask you, does she have the right to kill the rapist? After all, HE is the one that caused the problem. Not the unborn child that resulted from the rape."

Actually, I do advocate for the execution of rapists.

"Hopefully, your answer is no, she does not have the right to kill the rapist. She can use the law to punish him, but she cannot take the law into her own hands."

Sorry.

"So, why does she have the right to kill her child, who didn't get drunk, didn't act irresponsibly and didn't rape her? But she does not have the right to kill her rapist, and you do not hold her accountable for what happened at all?"

Because the fetus is imposing upon her body and is thus in violation of her bodily rights.

"Pregnancy is what happens when you have sex. It is not an illness, it is not an aberation...it is a womans body doing exactly what a woman's body is supposed to do. THAT is why it is her responsibility. Not societies. And certainly NOT the babies."

Simply because something can happen and is natural should give it no special immunities. And abortion does not effect babies.

"You eat too much cake. You become obese. You don't want to give up the cake, even tho you know it is the responsible thing to do. So you become bulimic. By your reasoning, becoming bulimic is a viable option. It let's her have her cake, and eat it too. But the METHOD she is choosing is morally WRONG. The SOLUTION she is choosing is morally WRONG. Just as the method/solution of abortion, while a choice, is NOT A MORALLY RIGHT choice, and must not be taken."

Why the heck is bulimia morally wrong? In my opinion, it falls below the level of morality.

And you left out another perfectly viable option--liposuction.

"Unless, of course, you have no problem with bulimia."

I do, but it's not a moral issue.

Posted by: A. at July 29, 2008 10:03 AM


Doug,

The flaw in the logic was having murder be one of a set that includes "the taking of innocent life," rather than murder being any taking of innocent life.

So you're saying you agree with this statement? If not, then my original argument stands...the flaw is that we are not beginning with the same premise, whether it's murder takes and innocent life, or any taking of innocent life is murder.

You and A don't agree with either statement.

And for the future, when arguing with me, I only use the term the INNOCENT, to mean that the child has done nothing to DESERVE death, as opposed to the taking of lives of people that have done things to DESERVE death.

And unborn child is not guilty of anything for obvious reasons. Therefore it is wrong to kill them, and by my definition of murder, it IS murder.

If you kill in self defense, or capital punishment, you have found the person being killed guilty of something, thereby justifying killing him.

It is when you kill someone with NO JUSTIFICATION, brought about by something that the person being killed has done, that we say you are taking an innocent life.

It doesn't matter whether or not the person is capable of understanding guilt. It only matters that they didn't do anything to warrant their death, and therefore they are innocent of any crime, whether they were capable of any crime or not.

THEY ARE INNOCENT. Not in guilty or innocent as charged, but as in they have not done anything to deserve death!

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 10:06 AM


A,

Babies who are born without brains lack potential. Severely mentally handicapped individuals lack potential.

Wow! and you call us judgmental. Who died and left you to decide what potential a person has? You mean they wouldn't live up to your standards, but that's hardly objective!

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 10:09 AM


A,

If it is written into us, what does this writing?

you're killin' me here.

We have an answer to that, one that you don't accept. But we do have an answer.

This is our question. You are the one that doesn't have an answer.

The answer is the same person who authored objective moral law. The same person that brought you into existence.

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 10:12 AM


MK,

"THEY ARE INNOCENT. Not in guilty or innocent as charged, but as in they have not done anything to deserve death!"

I realize that this is how you use the phrase "innocent," but there is a problem with your logic here.

A while back, you told me that my definition non-legal definition of murder was flawed because justification was necessarily subjective.

Your statement--"having done nothing to deserve death" is also necessarily subjective.

So tell me, what must one do to be deserving of death?

And then tell me why your definition is any better than that of other people who believe that some actions which you do not believe of as meriting death deserve to be answered with swift execution

Posted by: A. at July 29, 2008 10:13 AM


Doug

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 10:14 AM


A,

Other than self defense, I don't really believe there is ever justification for taking a life...I do however, understand that it can be justified in most peoples minds...ie: rapists, murderers, child molesters...

My point was that, like you, I felt I needed to clarify what I meant by innocent, so we don't get sidetracked on yet another "We have different defintions" wild goose chase....

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 10:33 AM


A,

Actually, I do advocate for the execution of rapists.

I didn't ask you if she had the right to request the execution of the rapist, through legal means, (actually, I clarified that), but if she had the right to kill him herself.

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 10:35 AM


A,

It is not a punishment so much as a restoration of rights.

But it's the restoration of one persons rights at the expense of anothers. The obvious question is why is the right to life not the most important right?

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 10:59 AM


A,

Because the fetus is imposing upon her body and is thus in violation of her bodily rights.

So is the rapist.

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 11:02 AM


A,

Why is bulimia morally wrong? Because it is inflicting damage/harm to our body, something that has inherent dignity and must be treated with respect.

There are morally acceptable ways to address the problem of obesity. Most of them involve personal responsibility. Bulimia is trying to avoid responsibility, self control, and is a way to "solve" the problem, while maintaining the ability to continue the disordered behavior that led to the problem to begin with.

responsibility:

Main Entry:
re·spon·si·bil·i·ty Listen to the pronunciation of responsibility
Pronunciation:
\ri-ˌspän(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē\
Function:
noun
Inflected Form(s):
plural re·spon·si·bil·i·ties
Date:
1737

1: the quality or state of being responsible: as a: moral, legal, or mental accountability b: reliability, trustworthiness 2: something for which one is responsible : burden

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 11:10 AM


re�spon�si�ble �audio� (r-spns-bl) KEY �

ADJECTIVE:

1. Liable to be required to give account, as of one's actions or of the discharge of a duty or trust.
2. Involving personal accountability or ability to act without guidance or superior authority: a responsible position within the firm.
3. Being a source or cause.
4. Able to make moral or rational decisions on one's own and therefore answerable for one's behavior.
5. Able to be trusted or depended upon; reliable.
6. Based on or characterized by good judgment or sound thinking:

Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 11:12 AM


MK,

"Other than self defense, I don't really believe there is ever justification for taking a life...I do however, understand that it can be justified in most peoples minds...ie: rapists, murderers, child molesters..."

As long as you realize that innocence, of lack thereof, is subjective, we have no problem.

"I didn't ask you if she had the right to request the execution of the rapist, through legal means, (actually, I clarified that), but if she had the right to kill him herself."

She has that right as long as the violation is ongoing.

"But it's the restoration of one persons rights at the expense of anothers."

No, it is not. The two sets of rights are not related and do not infringe upon each other.

The woman has a right to life and to bodily autonmy.

The fetus (post-viability) has a right to life and to bodily autonomy.

Neither has any more rights (well, valid in this case) than those stated above. Each has the right to exert those rights but not to impose upon the other. The woman is not imposing upon the fetus' rights, she is restoring her own. If, as a consequence of that restoration, the fetus loses it's right to life, it is unfortunate but not the fault of the woman.

"The obvious question is why is the right to life not the most important right?"

Because no right gives another the right to impose bodily upon the unwilling.

"So is the rapist."

Which is why I advocate for death.

"Why is bulimia morally wrong? Because it is inflicting damage/harm to our body, something that has inherent dignity and must be treated with respect."

That depends upon your definition of morality. In my opinion, we have no moral imperative to treat our bodies in any particular way.

Responsibility is also a term which we appear to differ on.

Posted by: A at July 29, 2008 1:54 PM


Okay A,

Instead of me trying to second guess everything that you say, why don't you tell me, what your definition of moral behavior is, immoral behavior is and responsibility is. Because, obviously we have very different ideas.

Remember, this whole conversation started with you saying that you believed that there IS an objective moral truth.

You still haven't answered where that truth comes from...

If you wish to change your mind and say that you now do not believe that there is an objective moral truth, that's fine.

But I thought this conversation was about the inability to KNOW this truth, having already agreed that it exists. Your arguments are all centered around claiming that YOU know what the objective moral truths are, and that I do not.

So let's answer the basics first. Do you believe that knowable or not, there is in fact, an objective moral truth.

What is your definition of morality?

What is your definition of immorality?

What is your definition of responsibility?

Where does objective moral truth come from?


Posted by: mk at July 29, 2008 10:11 PM


MK,


"Remember, this whole conversation started with you saying that you believed that there IS an objective moral truth."

And I still do.

"You still haven't answered where that truth comes from..."

Because I don't know, as I admitted above (or at least I think I did, though I don't have time to go through all the posts now).

"But I thought this conversation was about the inability to KNOW this truth, having already agreed that it exists. Your arguments are all centered around claiming that YOU know what the objective moral truths are, and that I do not."

No, I argue that we both have our subjective interpretations of objective truth and that we based our understandings of morality/immorality and the proper modes of behavior upon our different interpretations. I never claimed that my subjective view was objectively correct.

"What is your definition of morality?"

My definition of morality is related to my interpretation of objective truth. I believe that morality is contingent upon behaving in a manner that respects the inherent rights of each individual. It is also moral to help people.

"What is your definition of immorality?"

When one acts in a way which denies the inherent rights of each sovereign individual and/or hurts people (in this, I include environmental damage, since destroying our earth hurts us all).

"What is your definition of responsibility?"

The only reason I differ from you is because I believe seeking an abortion is responsible.

"Where does objective moral truth come from?"

I never claimed to know.

Posted by: A. at July 30, 2008 9:32 AM


A,

When one acts in a way which denies the inherent rights of each sovereign individual and/or hurts people (in this, I include environmental damage, since destroying our earth hurts us all).

But this doesn't include hurting oneself?

The only reason I differ from you is because I believe seeking an abortion is responsible.

That's not a definition.

Posted by: mk at July 30, 2008 4:50 PM


MK,

"But this doesn't include hurting oneself?"

In my opinion, no. One has no moral imperative to treat oneself in any particular manner.

"That's not a definition."

I agree with the stuff that you pulled from dictionary.com

Posted by: A. at July 30, 2008 8:55 PM


"The flaw in the logic was having murder be one of a set that includes "the taking of innocent life," rather than murder being any taking of innocent life."

MK: So you're saying you agree with this statement? If not, then my original argument stands...the flaw is that we are not beginning with the same premise, whether it's murder takes and innocent life, or any taking of innocent life is murder.

Nope, your premise doesn't logically continue to your conclusion.

It's not enough to say that murder is the taking of innocent life. You'd have to say that "any taking of innocent life is murder." They are not the same.

Posted by: Doug at July 30, 2008 11:20 PM


A.: That depends upon your definition of morality. In my opinion, we have no moral imperative to treat our bodies in any particular way.

That's right - we often see people pretending that "responsibility" is doing what the group or even the individual wants.

Posted by: Doug at July 30, 2008 11:23 PM


Doug,
I love you, but until you stop using words like pretending or imagining I'm not gonna respond to any posts where you use them....You could just as easily say claiming or believing. I've explained to you a thousand times that pretending has negative connotations and is very condescending. It's your right to use these words, but it's my right to refuse to participate.

Posted by: mk at July 31, 2008 8:25 AM


Doug,

Focus.

I said that even IF I agree that it should be any taking of innocent life, we still don't agree on THAT premise.

The argument is NOT whether or not we agree to the exact way to phrase what I'm saying, but that no matter WHICH way I phrase it, YOU don't agree...

And I don't see any difference between "taking of innocent life" and "Any taking of innocent life"...what are you trying to say?

I asked you if you agree that "ANY taking of innocent life is murder"...do you? I don't think so. (and it is assumed that we are talking about HUMAN life...)

Posted by: mk at July 31, 2008 8:29 AM


mk: The idea is to speak in the vaguest terms possible, combining the same few words, and phrases in different combinations, because after all, what's real and true (except for physical reality, of course) is just a figment of our imagination and life is a series of hypotheticals occurring one after another until we die. Then, on balance, it's all over, except for a given few.

Right, Doug? :)

Posted by: Janet at July 31, 2008 1:01 PM


Janet,
that might be the first time Doug doesn't correct what someone says about him. By Jove! I think you've got it!

Posted by: mk at July 31, 2008 1:47 PM


mk: I wouldn't bet the house on it!

Doug?

Posted by: Janet at July 31, 2008 1:58 PM


I love you, but until you stop using words like pretending or imagining I'm not gonna respond to any posts where you use them....You could just as easily say claiming or believing.

MK, there is a pretense there - "reponsibility" is just tossed out as if it's a given that the speaker's desire is reflected in what is "responsible."

A.'s point that some things depend on one's definition of morality is a good one.

Posted by: Doug at August 1, 2008 2:36 AM


Janet: The idea is to speak in the vaguest terms possible, combining the same few words, and phrases in different combinations, because after all, what's real and true (except for physical reality, of course) is just a figment of our imagination and life is a series of hypotheticals occurring one after another until we die. Then, on balance, it's all over, except for a given few.

Right, Doug? :)

:: chuckling ::

No.

The idea is to look at what's true for all of us, versus just some of us.

Going with us being separate consciousnesses - there is physical reality that exists independent of our opinions.

Seeing that some things do depend on opinion is not saying they are merely a figment of your/our imagination.

The point with "on balance" is that many things are a mixture, rather than the presence of only one thing, or the complete lack of a thing.

Posted by: Doug at August 1, 2008 2:42 AM


MK: I said that even IF I agree that it should be any taking of innocent life, we still don't agree on THAT premise.

MK, that wasn't the argument. I was just saying that your premises did not logically lead to your conclusion. If you have that any in there, then it's logical. Without it, it's not.
......


The argument is NOT whether or not we agree to the exact way to phrase what I'm saying, but that no matter WHICH way I phrase it, YOU don't agree...

This wasn't about my agreement - all along you've said "if we agree..." and that's proper, correct, good, etc., as far as the logical proposition. When we get to you asking me if I agree that any taking of innocent life is murder, then no, I don't agree, but surely you knew that anyway. All along I've just been talking about a point of logic that caught my eye.
......


And I don't see any difference between "taking of innocent life" and "Any taking of innocent life"...what are you trying to say?

Okay, let's go through it:

Murder is wrong. It is the taking of an innocent human life.

This is like saying that "A Chevy is an automobile." (No argument so far - on either sentence.)

Abortion takes an innocent human life.

"A Ford is an automobile" - still no argument on either sentence.

Therefore abortion is wrong.

"Therefore a Ford is a Chevy." Now I do disagree with both sentences, because they don't logically follow.


I'm saying that you'd have to state it as "any taking of innocent human life" for your conclusion to be logical. Otherwise, while we can agree that murder is the taking of an innocent human life, it's doesn't necessarily follow that all taking of innocent human life is is murder, just as it doesn't follow that all automobiles are Chevys.

Posted by: Doug at August 1, 2008 3:15 AM


No Doug.

You are leaving out the first sentence.

MURDER IS WRONG. Murder takes and innocent life.
Abortion takes and innocent life. Therefore it is murder.

Abortion is wrong.


If abortion is murder and murder is wrong then abortion is wrong.

All cars have wheels. A chevy is a car.
A ford is a car. Therefore it has wheels.

I don't know how you're getting to a chevy is a ford.

They are both cars.

Abortion and murder are both wrong.

I'm not proving abortion is murder. I'm proving it is wrong.

I'm not proving that ford is a car. I'm proving that it has wheels.

Posted by: mk at August 1, 2008 8:00 AM


You are leaving out the first sentence. MURDER IS WRONG. Murder takes and innocent life. Abortion takes and innocent life. Therefore it is murder. Abortion is wrong. If abortion is murder and murder is wrong then abortion is wrong.

MK, that doesn't matter - murder is wrong by definition, in the first place. Doesn't matter if we state it or not.

Here's what you said:

Let's look at your logic.

Murder is wrong. It is the taking of an innocent human life.

Abortion takes an innocent human life.

Therefore abortion is wrong.

Your conclusion is not logical, from what is stated. You'd have to put that "any" in there, as in the taking of "any innocent human life," or reversing it to say that "the taking of innocent human life is wrong.'

then your conclusion would be logically correct.

As you stated it, you are not saying that all the "taking of innocent human life" is wrong, nor that there can't be other types of that "taking" that aren't wrong - that has been my point all along.

All cars have wheels. A chevy is a car. A ford is a car. Therefore it has wheels.

There you go - that time you put in the "all." What caught my eye the first time, with your "Let's take a look at your logic" statement, was that you didn't. The first time around, the analogy would be:

A car has wheels. A skateboard has wheels. Therefore, a skateboard is a car.

You can see how that's false, since it wasn't stated that everything that has wheels is a car. Again, it could be turned around to make the syllogism true. The typical form is "“All A is C; all B is A; therefore all B is C.” You gotta have those "alls" in there.
......

I don't know how you're getting to a chevy is a ford. They are both cars.

I did it the same way you got to "Therefore abortion is wrong."
......


Abortion and murder are both wrong.

That "abortion is wrong" is your opinion. Your original premises didn't prove it.
......


I'm not proving abortion is murder. I'm proving it is wrong. I'm not proving that ford is a car. I'm proving that it has wheels.

You didn't prove abortion is wrong, since your premises weren't stated as they'd have to be.

Murder is wrong; is the taking of innocent life

Is analogous to:

A Ford has wheels; is a car.


Then:

Abortion takes an innocent life.

Is analogous to:

A Chevy is a car.


If we go your route and then say that abortion is wrong because of the above, the same logic holds that a Chevy is a Ford.

Now obviously, the makes of vehicles are not the same, though they both are cars (or both have wheels). That is because there are other things with wheels that are not cars, and because merely having the characteristic in common - being a car - does not make them the same.

Likewise, you left it open for there to be other takings of innocent human life that are not wrong, are not murder. Gotta have the "alls" in there for it to be right.

Posted by: Doug at August 1, 2008 3:08 PM


Janet: The idea is to speak in the vaguest terms possible, combining the same few words, and phrases in different combinations, because after all, what's real and true (except for physical reality, of course) is just a figment of our imagination and life is a series of hypotheticals occurring one after another until we die. Then, on balance, it's all over, except for a given few.

Posted by: Janet at August 1, 2008 3:41 PM


Doug, My response at 3:41: was cut off. I'll have to get back to you later....

Posted by: Janet at August 1, 2008 3:44 PM


Janet, I believe you.

Posted by: Doug at August 1, 2008 7:52 PM


Doug, Gee, thanks. :)

Do you believe I have to read and run again? Basically, I wanted to let you know your chuckle and "No" made me chuckle too. That's all. ;^)

Posted by: Janet at August 2, 2008 1:57 PM


Janet - ha! (I was laughing when I wrote that.)

Posted by: Doug at August 6, 2008 6:46 PM