Consequences=Morality

Remember when we used to execute criminals in the public square?  We still have executions witnessed, but it’s from a separate viewing room, through a glass window, providing a level of separation, insulation.  Now we primary execute the most violent murderers.  Then we would hang every killer, rapist or horse thief, regardless of age.  If you were old enough to do the crime, you were old enough to pay the price.  The majority of the townspeople would gather to watch a young man die a horrible death.  I think the hood is a kindness to the people and to the criminal.

https://i2.wp.com/www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/newgat5.jpg

But then, maybe that is where we took a wrong turn, cloaking the consequences of our actions from ourselves.  Like many here, I hunt.  I usually eat what I shoot.  I know of sport hunters who duck hunt in S. America.  They will slay thousands of ducks each day.  I have seen the pictures of four men standing, shooting, next to piles of spent shells a couple of feet high.(The consensus is Europeans are more proficient than Americans)  The guides take harvest the game and donate it to to area villages, so it’s not wasted.  But it does make you wonder, is this moral behavior?  It’s not hard to picture the poor villager, who cannot afford a gun, being grateful for this bountiful gift.  Add to that, the duck population does not seem to be suffering.

I remember an email where a PETA airhead wrote about the un-necessary evil that is hunting.  After all, she mused, you don’t have to kill animals to eat, you can go to the store and buy whatever meat you want, so no animal has to be killed.  Ha, ha Illusion, but no one is that clueless.  Maybe not, but I have had a cop tell me about letting a young woman into her locked car.  She had called 911, he responded.  She explained her keyfob must be dead, pushing the remote unlock would not open her car and could he help????  He answered yes, took her key, inserted it into the door, unlocked the door, returned key to a stunned citizen.

As one of the stars of the Twilight Saga, Christian Serratos strips down for PETA.

I think this can be applied to larger issues.  Call it PETAthink.  When Clinton or Obama order air attacks on Iraq or Libya, the deaths are as real as a soldier shooting an individual, you just don’t see the deaths, up close and personal.  And that allows Americans to distance themselves from the actions our nation has taken.  We are actively killing people in a country that has taken no hostile action towards us in many years.  Is he someone in great need of lethal lead injection?  No question about it, but that should have happened under Bush, Clinton or Bush.  So why did Obama enter into this conflict?  Do any doubt that in part, it’s because there are no consequences for America?  One plane crashed, both crewmembers were rescued.  No Americans die, no consequences.  Even a few deaths would be accepted by our compliant media, Obama would praise their sacrifice to no more attention than is paid to duck hunters in S. America.

Another large issue, by my philosophy, I am a thief and a killer.  I support the death penalty.  I have looked at what others think and say and I have looked at what I think as a person, the moral issue of killing another person who has done me no personal harm.  Looking at my core values, I know I could be an executioner.  Timothy McVie, I would have had no hesitation in taking his life.  I think it’s important not to remove our personal responsibility from things.  We are Americans, with the good and bad that goes with it, and should try to be as responsible as we can.  Don’t like the death penalty?  Do you live in a state that allows it?  Have you been a part of making it illegal there?  Why not move to California?  Find your shared values?  I support the death penalty, morally that makes me a killer, the same as the person who injects the lethal drugs.  I support his actions as mandated by my government and offer no excuses.  I support a woman’s right to abortion, knowing it is murder.  It does not mean I like abortion, nor that I don’t want to move us to a place where it’s rare, even difficult.  I refuse to force my beliefs on a woman who has been raped or is to give birth to a sick child.  Sara Palin chose to have such a child, other women could not make that choice.  I think that should be their choice, not mine.  But I accept the responsibility of telling my government that they need to not interfere.  The harder thing now is telling my government not to expand abortion to drive-thru express services.  My/our government has removed or hidden, the consequences.

Why do I steal?  Other than you just left it laying there, almost begging me to take it…  Or more to the point, I think we gave our government the authority/right to tax.  Since some will not willingly give their fair share, that means I support government taking by force, or stealing from you.  morally, that makes me no different from any IRS agent.(I was more OK with being a killer)  But, when we gave our government that tax authority, it was severely limited!  Most of the taxes collected today would be illegal in 1800.  Support the general welfare does not mean provide welfare.  Ron Paul threw out an ideal during a speech, that people should be able to opt out of some taxes, forfeiting the benefits.  I think it was on SS.  How many here would make such a move?  Pay no SS, receive no SS?  I think most would almost have to stay, not because the want to, or agree it’s the best system, but the amount they have paid/invested over 20-40 years is too much to simply throw away.  But how many of the younger generation would bolt?

Isn’t it amazing the unions cannot survive if the members pay their dues voluntary?  Only when the dues are taken from their paycheck before each member is paid can the union receive the money each individual member pledged to pay.   No wonder they fight so hard to have the law force member to pay!  Without having done any research, I believe the small, local unions can survive and thrive without forced pay.  The large unions, which I feel represent the union interest, not the members interests, fail.  They fail to represent any real need to their members, so their member have little interest in supporting them until a local issue crops up, where they then want a statewide behemoth to bargain for them with their local school board.  Is there any doubt that every member of a large union would want to pay less?  That nearly every one would like some say in how those dues are used?  The consequence of the union leadership not representing it’s members has been removed by imposing a legal requirement of taking their dues out in the same manner as our government takes our taxes.  I was unhappy with a company once, and they did not respond to my complaint.  I withheld payment.  Their attitude changed.

And it may not be possible for me to write an article without the blaming the problem on Matt, or taking a shot at Buck, or give them credit for this article.  But, fair and balanced as I am, first a shot or two at BlackFlag.

Black Flag Says:
April 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

Buck

Your PHILOSOPHY is immoral and destructive.  Do try to keep up, please.

Your PHILOSOPHY is also with faults, walking past a child starving in the gutter.

I think Flag would respond, sorta..I do not force you to not render what aid you choose, it’s yours to offer or not.  I simply refuse for you to take from me to give to who you choose, and the where and how.

And I get that, I think all of us do.  That we do not agree does not mean we did not listen, nor a lack of understanding.  I may not see that starving child.  I want for a society where she is not left to perish.  I also understand a free society made up of people like you would not leave said child, any more than you would leave yours.  I could enjoy a very happy life in your world.  But where we seem to disagree, your society cannot exist in today’s world.  Be it a Hitler or Genghis Kahn, there are always those among us bent on using force have their way.  And some are able to amass sizeable followers, even whole nations.  Only a similar defensive group can defend itself from such threats.  Your philosophy, dear Flag, is like that of Marx, sounds good in theory, but has yet to prove itself in the real world.

  • Buck the Wala Says:
    April 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm But if I adhere to my philosophy….if I work towards seeing my philosophy come to fruition….then I myself must be immoral and destructive. Correct?
  • Correct!  Isn’t that a TV lawyer tactic, making a statement for the person you are debating, as if they had said it?  Buck, do you support the two Bush wars or the Libya air war?  Do you support the billions in loans we are supplying for foreign countries to drill off their coasts?  Do you support the actions of several government agencies that ended in Ruby Ridge?  As I see it, you favor a large government, a complex tax code, and are Ok with the results.  Do you support abortion?  Not pro-choice, abortion, as in every young person being conditioned that a girl having an abortion is not a big deal?  A gov. Dept. of Ed that promotes that view.  Gov, supported agencies that provide counseling that teach unwanted pregnancies are not the fault of the parents, and remove any and all consequences.  Take credit for all the good our government does, and yes, America does much good in the world.  Our poor live better than the majority of the rest of the world.  There is much we can take pride in!  But what about all the bad?  Do you accept your part in the evil done in your name?  With a government ever-expanding in size and expense, at the same time, using its increased power to deny any accountability.  What is the moral difference in a killer who takes one life, and the serial killer that murders a hundred?  None.  I stand beside you Buck, by my philosophy and yours, we are equally immoral.  Color me happy that I simply want to be less destructive.  My means to that end, small government.  Very Damn Small Government.
    • Mathius Says:
      April 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm Yes and, because you seek to use government to control non-violent people through the use of violence, that makes you evil and, de facto, a direct threat to their freedom. Thus, they are within their natural rights to shoot you in self-defense.FYI    Entertaining as always Matt, but I don’t think Flag would agree to that.  He has been consistent on most things, especially self-defense.  Now if/when government agents try to break down his door in the middle of the night, might be interesting…  And what do you think of the plight of the hundred or so Americans mistakenly killed by police serving no-knock warrants?  The transit cop that shot a kid laying on his stomach, not resisting, pleading for his life, was sentenced to two years in prison.  Do you think the riots that followed might have had some justification?  What happens when the law does not apply to a select group?  They lose moral authority.   People, children, no longer look at them as protectors, but as oppressors.   Consequences.

    Charlie, Charlie.  Forgive me for using you…in a story.  What if, you hit it big time, won the  lottery!  Now you’re a street-smart guy, you don’t let it out, but you go to your favorite watering hole and share the good fortune with longtime friends.  Drinks for everybody, keep them coming.  A few close friends, you palm a c-note to telling them to get a new tie or something.  What a great guy you are!  A few walk you home, even calling for an early night so you don’t get a hangover.  You are grateful to them for looking out for you, and go back the next night.  Funny, it’s a bit more crowded.  Old “friends” you haven’t seen in many years are there as you buy a round for the house.   The next night, people you don’t remember, but who claim to know you well are there.   More and more of them ask, plead and beg for a “small” loan, Aunt Sophie needs an operation, GodBless ya Chaz!!! 

  • Think about our entitlement society, that the more we give, the more they want.  And more and more people think, why should I work, the government “owes” me a living, same as all my friends who don’t work, just hang out all day?  That is the consequences of where both parties have been taking us.  They keep using our tax dollars to buy votes for election.  And the big unions have hitched themselves to those politicians.  Would you make sure your “friends” paid back a loan, even if you didn’t need it, but knew they could afford too?  You wouldn’t want to be made as an easy mark, someone to be taken advantage of, would you?  But you don’t seem to see the need to hold those we elect to any standards as long as they are champions of the poor.   What about the deadbeat child who has talent?  All he see’s around him are those who do the least, or are criminals.  So long as we reward the deadbeats, we doom our entitlement class to being virtual slaves.  We are making them totally dependent on the government.  That is used by the party in power to keep power.   Ever been asked how many slaves you own?  The consequence of supporting ever-expanding entitlements should change how you answer.

As a self-admitted thief and killer, I may not have much moral ground to stand on and throw rocks at others.  But I will anyway.  There is a difference in killing one or one hundred or thousands.  By supporting such a huge government, the cost is surely thousands.  With a small government, accountability would remain with reduced costs and increased prosperity.  What if, calling a young un-wed girl, “tramp” save millions of lives?  Would you be willing to hurt her self-esteem?

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Comments

  1. Whoa….LOI. Feeling a little combative today? I have read your article three times and will re-read it again and hope that it does not get nit picked to death. Very interesting points….all.

  2. “Feeling a little combative today? ” Not really, just another day to me. I wrote this the day after Flag/Buck/Matt had their discussion. I think Flag and JAC have written some good articles on philosophy and values, but I am always left with the impression some don’t get it in the sense they never really do the self examination. It’s not enough to look in the mirror, you have to look inside and examine why you think or feel how you do on what is right or wrong. And I think we are all guilty of this, at times. It’s not a sin, we are all human, but a big part of this blog is self discovery. We all have to take that critical look inside ourselves.

    Rethinking the combative, all the prison movies say when you go in, pick a fight with the biggest, baddest inmate. So I’m using the Three Stooges adaptation, slapping Moe, Curly and Larry, then ducking for cover.

    • Moe =BF
      Larry = Matt
      Curly = Charlie

      • Isn’t Matt more of a Curly?

        • Actually you should be Larry but I had to make a jab at Matt. Charlie is deff Curly.

          • Thank God for Anita … I even had my hair cut VERY short (karma) … I’m round and adorable … well, round anyway.

            I’m giving this one some thought LOI … but I have to tell you up front that your hypothetical with me is all wrong, brother. I win lotto, I’m OUT OF HERE (the US&A). I’d come back, no doubt, but I would live in Europe for at least the next 10 years or so (trying different countries a year or two at a time). Not for the politics, but the culture and history. I would also change my phone number …

            Quick story. I have a few cousins that qualify as lazy good for nothings … one, back in the day when I was into street finance (boy did I love capitalism back then) … I lent one cousin a fifty (he asked and I gave). The next morning he woke me up via telephone and asked for another fifty. I had a great answer I think most of yous would appreciate. “Johnny,” I said. “When you bring me back the first fifty, you’re welcome to the second one.”

            I didn’t hear from him again until some family funeral about 10 years later … the moral to this story? Street guys have all the answers …

            • I protest 🙂 If you won enough money to travel to all these countries-you have more than you need-you do not need to travel. You must give all the money that you do not need to the government immediately. And I as the official of this country deem you need very, very little.

              • When this country goes fully socialist, they can have my LOTTO winnings (then again, there would be no need for Lotto-which I consider the new American Dream). Until then, get a job!

              • Well how about we don’t go socialist-everybody who can gets a job-the government backs off on overbearing regulations that hurts business-and then maybe we would be able to afford through charity and governmental assistance if necessary to help those who really need it.

        • Mathius says:

          I’m Shemp.

          LOI is Larry.

          • V.H. I don’t trust charity enough to let people depend on it. Why not share the wealth? Send the lazy SOB’s who can but won’t work out of the country (one way tickets, a week’s supply of food and some spending cash–use my cousin’s phone call as a reference). They want back in, it has to be with working papers and a pre-arranged job. Otherwise, forgetaboutit … But we educate EVERYONE and provide them with universal HEALTHCARE … and we show that Bin Laden getting whacked film on pay-per-view to help fund it!

            See, street guys always have the answers …

          • SHEMP!!!!!!!!!! I’ll buy that

            rofl…:lol:

  3. Consequences=Morality A statement that holds such a huge truth with so few words.

    • “I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.”

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/05/cameron-diaz-marriage-an-outdated-institution/#ixzz1LULInHWi

      I’ve read where 70-80% of our prison population comes from a single mother home. Yet our pop culture still praise the single mother. The nuclear family has proven itself to be
      the best environment for child rearing. I would not advocate for our government to force or favor a traditional family, but I think their policies begun under the “great society” has eroded our values. They “reward” single, promiscuous mothers.

      • Mathius says:

        What about families with two fathers, two mothers, or Mormon configurations?

        How do you feel about those?

        • Shemp,

          As you have described them, indifferent. Do they support themselves or depend upon the government to provide for them? I think that is where the studies or info I have falls short on the primary causation of our prison population.

          • Mathius says:

            Some are mooches, some are not.

            I haven’t seen anything to suggest that a heterosexual couple is more or less likely to be on the dole than a homosexual one. Have you? I’d be very interested.

            Meanwhile, I would also ask you to ponder this: what percentage of single mothers whose children turn out to be criminals are single because their husband was locked up for a decade due to a draconian and puritanical drug law? Consider that what you’re suggesting to be a cause (the single-status of the mother) may actually be just another symptom of the underlying problem.

            • I am sure it’s a measurable percentage. I am not a fan of making non-violent people into criminals. The only objection I have to full legalization is:
              1)requiring taxpayer to pay for ER treatment of drug abusers
              2)drug laws should be phased out, not all eliminated at once

              And while you have a point, I think most in prison were violent. A lot of theft is to support a drug habit. Sometimes the thief gets rough.

              • Mathius says:

                Perhaps. Then again, take away the illegality and drugs should be pretty cheap. I mean, it’s not like there’s a patent to protect the sellers profits. So, if the price drops like a stone (hehe.. like gold is doing today) then there wouldn’t be as much need for crime to support drug habits.

                My 2 cents..

        • Bama dad says:

          What is a “Mormon configurations”?

          • Mathius says:

            Clearly you’ve never been to Utah….

            One man, several wives.

            Though I am very happy with one wife, that’s plenty for me. If I had a second one, I do believe I would put a bullet in my brain.

            And, while you’re pondering what life might be like with two (or three or four or five!) wives, consider this: women who live together frequently find that their “time of the month” syncs up with each other. That would mean that, after a few years of living together, all your wives would have “their time” at the same time.

            And having multiple wives is not, strictly speaking, optional in Mormonism. Admittance to heaven for males is contingent upon (among other thing) having more than one child by more than one wife.

            Aren’t you glad you’re not Mormon?

            • I have a feeling Bama dad has been to Utah, and you haven’t. And he knows a lot more about Mormons than you do. Am I right Bama dad?

              • Mathius says:

                My mother is from Utah, as is her family (a healthy number of whom were (all dead now) Mormon).

                What makes you think that I’m wrong?

              • Bama dad says:

                You are correct.

              • Mathius says:

                Oh? Oh really, now..?

                Mr. Bama Dad, what is your take on the Mormon requirement of polygamy as stated by the prophet Joseph Smith (whose word was held to be the word of God) regarding the multiple levels of exaltation in the celestial kingdom?

                And, far more importantly, how would feel about being married to several women at once?

              • Bama dad says:

                “what is your take on the Mormon requirement of polygamy”

                No requirement ever existed.

                “And, far more importantly, how would feel about being married to several women at once?”

                Could not, would not, and should not.

            • Bama dad says:

              Mat, there are no members of the “the Mormon” church that has more than one wife. You must be mistakenly referring to breakaway groups that carry close to the same name.

              “And having multiple wives is not, strictly speaking, optional in Mormonism. Admittance to heaven for males is contingent upon (among other thing) having more than one child by more than one wife.”

              Wow are you in error.

              • Mathius says:

                Oh goody.. a religious debate 🙂

                The LDS Church as worked hard (for PR reasons) to portray themselves as opposed to plural marriage, yet the religion was founded by the profit Joseph Smith who held (Link – see the footnote) that it was a requirement to attain the highest levels of exaltation.

                The “official” church is the one that has abandoned (for better or worse) the founding principle that the Prophet’s words and the words of God are one and the same. The splinter group(s) you refer to are the ones who are true to this. And note, by the way, that they typically refer to themselves as Mormons. The distinction you try to draw is between the “official LDS” and the “orthodoxy” but in reality they are both fairly referred to as “Mormons” in much the same way as it is correct to a “breakaway” Protestant/Lutheran/Adventist/Unitarian/Methodist/etc as a Christian despite their (in truth) relatively minor differences in doctrinal interpretation and fervor of orthodoxy with the formerly official “Catholic” church – that is to say, they’re all “Christian” despite being a breakaway/splinter group.

                Note, though, that I’d like to take a moment to point out that, to the best of my knowledge neither BY or JS ever condoned or engaged in forced or child marriages. And, though they did believe that the elders were correct to arrange marriages, refusal to submit was permissible (though it may be held against you by God in consideration of the layer of exaltation you attain).

              • Bama dad says:

                Your source, their disclaimer:
                The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.

                “Oh goody.. a religious debate”

                No Matt, I am not going to get into a religious debate. My beliefs are between me and god.

              • Mathius says:

                Bama.. are you LDS? Just curious.. feel free to tell me it’s none of my business.

                I just picked a source out of a hat, and be that as it may.

                Let’s back up a step though. Do you at least concede that, if not required, plural marriage was condoned by JS, and thus the Mormon religion, officially and originally?

                Do you agree that he had, at least, more than one wife at a time?

              • Jennie says:

                No, no, Matt, the requirement is for the new and everlasting covenant of marriage which is the type of covenant, not the number of people involved.

              • Mathius says:

                .. What’s new about it?

            • Mathius

              How ironic that the guy who wants us to judge Islam by its modern interpretation and practice by “most” Muslims wants us to judge Mormons on the teaching of Joseph Smith.

              • Mathius says:

                Touche, Jac, touche!

                There are two “fair” ways to judge a religion – doctrinal/original/orthodoxical and modern practice.

                If you look at my original claim which kicked this off “And having multiple wives is not, strictly speaking, optional in Mormonism,” you’ll see that this is true. According to the words of teachings of JS, a man must have multiple children by multiple wives (interesting caveat: if physically able) in order to reach the highest levels of exhalation (where men become “gods”.. no word on women becoming gods though).

                That is akin to pointing out that I’m not, strictly speaking, allowed to eat shellfish after playing football (pig-skin) on the sabbath. This is true, though it makes no distinction with regards to the fact that I’m so far removed from the orthodoxy as to do this anyway. The Hasidim are correct, in that they adhere to the teachings of the Torah, without regards to what is acceptable in the modern world (boy, I could tell you stories about that…). And I am, strictly speaking, in violation of my religious texts.

                And, while I am fairly considered to be a Jew, they are also fairly considered to be Jews despite the fact that, insofar as there is any type of “official” Judaism (which there isn’t), they’re way off the map.

                So, to sum up. Joseph Smith said it was necessary. The scriptures say JS speaks for God and everything he says is binding upon those who know of it. Therefore, “official” Mormon seems to require it, ipso facto. However, modern LDS Mormons, like reformed Jews have distanced themselves from aspects of their holy doctrine which they dislike. The splinter groups Bama talks about, like modern Hasidim, have simply decided to stay the course, regardless of what century they happen to live in.

              • Bama dad says:

                Ok one more time and I am done.

                “And having multiple wives is not, strictly speaking, optional in Mormonism,” you’ll see that this is true.”

                That statement is false. You use for your source Dennis Michael Quinn a former professor at BYU and former member of the “Mormon” church who was excommunicated for writing and teaching his false understanding of official church doctrine. That’s like going to the ford dealer to get information on a dodge.

              • Mathius says:

                Hahah.. well put.

                I guess we’ll just leave it there with you having one opinion and me having another.

              • Bama dad says:

                Ok for real one more time and I’m done.
                “Bama.. are you LDS?”

                Yes, but as I said my beliefs are between me and god.

                “Do you at least concede that, if not required, plural marriage was condoned by JS, and thus the Mormon religion, officially and originally?”

                In the early church history it was condoned and practiced by some until 1889.

                “Do you agree that he had, at least, more than one wife at a time?”

                Yes.

            • Mathius says: ” I do believe I would put a bullet in my brain.”,,,,,, heh heh,,,,,,,make sure you dont flinch….might miss what is up there and then you would be a veggie on government health care.

  4. I’d already admitted to myself that I was a thief because I do support taxes for things like paying hospital bills for those who can’t, etc. But a murderer, that’s a hard one but I guess when one gets to the bottom line-it’s true. My stomach tightens up a little when they say Laden didn’t have a weapon but at the same time -I’m glad he can’t create more death and destruction. Don’t know that I can convince myself that it was right but I acknowledge that I think it was for the best and that it was a punishment that he deserved. I don’t know-I just have a problem with black and white judgements-freedom is mega important but it isn’t the only thing that is important. Like you mentioned-letting people starve-just can’t see the morality of not stealing as more moral than the immorality of letting people starve. It’s gonna be an interesting day. Good article Illusion.

  5. Good article LOI. Kinda lost you when you started quoting BF, Buck, Matthius, et al at the end there, but maybe I was just reading too fast.

    Still, your main point is awesome. I had not considered before that the pansifying of our nation has brought, not only fear and laziness due to not having to deal with consequences. It is has, ultimately, brought immorality. Whether you support government dealing out death and being a thief or not, it certainly should never be hidden. no making stuff easier, just put it out there. If consequences are to be market and social enforcement only, it must also be done in the open and without quarter until the necessary points are made.

  6. One problem we have at the outset of this discussion is the concept of morality itself. We all seem to have very different opinions of it. Curly thinks to let people live in poverty without the aid of the government (taxes) to help them out of poverty is immoral. Likewise, someone earning $10,000 an hour (that’s for USW) is immoral unless the guy is typing (for instance) a gazillion words per minute with total accuracy. And just because a family is born into poverty, the children shouldn’t have to pay for it without health coverage, etc.

    Most of yous guys think the tax itself is immoral (an invasion/theft of that which is yours). I don’t know, brothers (and sisters), but I suspect it’s one gigantic impasse.

    The one thing I know won’t resolve it is NO Government at all; that would just lead to chaos and the mighty ruling the weak (sort of like capitalism, but more based on physical strength than duckets).

    • Bama dad says:

      Rephrase:

      “mighty government ruling the weak citizens”

      I think is more of the reality.

    • Charlie

      There is no problem with the concept of morality.

      The problems arise in deciding what the actual moral standards should be.

    • I will agree with you Charlie, that NO Government would be ALMOST as bad as the big-ass, bloated crap we have now.

      BUT!

      That is only because there will ALWAYS be someone out there in the world who has to have the power and rule it over the others.

      These folks go right now by the name of Politicians. I just refer to them as incompetent power hungry assholes. And getting rid of them is like trying to get rid of cockroaches in the PJ’s.

      And it doesn’t matter if it’s Capitalism, Socialism, or Communism. That’s the way it is.

      There are always going to be poor, indigent people in the world Charlie. Your ideas on it, while noble, are just not going to change it. Changing to another, different Government would only change the ratio of rich to poor. In Socialism there would only be a hell of a lot more poor. The elite uber-rich power hungry assholes would still be there.

  7. I agree with everything but the Abortion part. That I just cannot agree with. If you know it’s murder, then how can you support their right to commit it?

    There is a big difference between a grown person making a conscious choice to commit a capital crime that gets them the death penalty, and a baby who has done nothing wrong but was turned from a living person into a “choice”.

    But I’m quite sure we could talk and come to a compromise that while not satifying either side, we could at least live with.

    Got to go now. Will check in and read later.

    • Mathius says:

      I think he’s saying that it’s evil, but it’s also evil for him to impose upon women. And that, while he thinks we should do what we can do discourage it (something I agree with), he can’t morally get behind using government force on interactions between a woman and a fetus that does not specifically involve himself.

      LOI, how’d I do?

      • Better than I could, thanks. I would prefer the public disapproval lead to a change in behavior. And yes, that means some harsh things would be said. There would be consequences to that as well, but I think they would be much less than our current path.

        • As I said. A compromise that everyone could live with but no one would really be happy with.

          But one thing Mat and LOI. These days Harsh words and consequences are not allowed in our PC society. So now what?

          And LOI, I don’t think the Govt should be involved either. Either way. I just think that in the time when we have the morning after pill you can get at the freakin’ Wal-Mart. Why it’s so bad for a woman who gets pregnant should be able to use abortion for birth control. Raped or just a whore. You can stop it before it even gets started. Now for things like retardation, someone bigger than me would have to answer that.

          • BTW. I have 3 Retarded cousins. My Aunt would not have aborted them even if she had known before she had them. The Lord don’t give you more than you can handle. I love those boys like they were my brothers.

            Things like that just happen. They are still human beings.

            • Esom,

              It is a sad and complicated issue I don’t think any of us can resolve. And the government has only made it worse. There is nothing sadder than seeing a “crack baby” going home with it’s mother. You know the child has little chance for a happy life with the best parents, having severe mental and physical handicaps. Seeing a drug addict raising multiple such children makes you aware something is wrong, but again, there is no solution. Forced sterilization? I might wish someone would, but would never want anyone to have that power.

  8. DisposableCarbonUnit says:

    Small hijack…….
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/985610–liberals-seek-revenge-on-quebec-mp-who-won-without-campaigning?bn=1

    Seems voters are more gullible than we thought!

    I can almost hear BF snickering as he reads this.

  9. LOI
    BF:
    I do not force you to not render what aid[…..] [Y]ou choose, it’s yours to offer or not. I simply refuse for you to take from me to give to who you choose, and the where and how.

    Small corrections, but essentially correct.

    It’s called the “Pretense of Knowledge” – the root word of “Pretend”.

    To force others “pretends” you know more about the situation then the people in the situation.

    You pretend you know what the ‘victim’ needs.

    You pretend you know how much and what the ‘passerby’ has and needs and what he doesn’t.

    You pretend you have the answer to both, and force action.

    But it is merely conceit.

    I want for a society where she is not left to perish.

    There is no such “thing” as a “society”.

    It is an abstraction.
    It does not exist.

    Therefore “society” does not do “anything”.

    Individuals do things. People are real.

    If you do not want a child to perish, then YOU -LOI- do something

    To demand an abstraction do something merely is a justification for YOU -LOI- to force another human to do something.

    But where we seem to disagree, your society cannot exist in today’s world.

    It exists already, everywhere. In fact it dominates the world and thank gawd for that.

    People generally act in self-organizing ways to promote their own welfare, all voluntarily. It makes sense to do so.

    What is abnormal is your world view that distorts this.

    You operate as if the human world is all hostile and only by hostile force can tame it.

    Be it a Hitler or Genghis Kahn, there are always those among us bent on using force have their way.

    You example it here.
    You can mention by name the worse of humanity, because they are few.

    You cannot name the billions of those that do not operate in this way because there are billions of them

    And some are able to amass sizeable followers, even whole nations. Only a similar defensive group can defend itself from such threats. Your philosophy, dear Flag, is like that of Marx, sounds good in theory, but has yet to prove itself in the real world.

    “Government” is not organized because a group wishes to defend itself. You do not understand the roots of the creation of government, hence, you assign to it a task that in its operation actually creates the horrors you wish to defend yourself from.

    That is the irony of your position. You call to your defense the very evil you need defending from.

    People have in the past and present defending themselves from evil without recourse to evil called government.

    Since such things exist already today your comment is totally refuted.

    The real question in your mind that you do not articulate is:
    do I trust free men with my defense or do I submit to evil for my defense

    It is not a matter of existence of such things.

    It is a matter of faith.

    You would rather suffer horribly under the evil you know than risk the success of failure of the efforts of free men.

    You love evil too much to let it go.

    • You would rather suffer horribly under the evil you know than risk the success OR failure of the efforts of free men.

    • My well thought out answer. PS, sorry, busy workday.

    • BF

      “There is no such “thing” as a “society”.

      It is an abstraction.
      It does not exist.”

      Society is, like many things, a human concept. Therefore it does exist. It is inaccurate to say it does not exist because like many general and amorphous concepts its existence depends on the criteria used to define or describe it.

      So it exists, but it has no unique identity and thus purpose or ability to make decisions. Because it is an accumulation of people and not a person unto itself.

      “Therefore “society” does not do “anything”.

      Of course they do things. Lots of things. And that is the real point. They can’t do only a single thing that is purpose driven, because it has no single or concrete identity.

      I know this is being picky but I think it is important to recognize the existence of the abstract “society” just as with “culture” or “civilizations” which are also human concepts.

      The error is not in acknowledging the existence of society but in assigning it characteristics of a unique living person.

      • JAC

        “There is no such “thing” as a “society”.

        It is an abstraction.
        It does not exist.”

        Society is, like many things, a human concept.

        It is an abstraction
        Definition:
        the act of considering something as a general quality or characteristic, apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances.

        Therefore it does exist.

        It does not exist. You cannot touch it, taste it, measure it, see it. It does nothing, knows nothing nor act or reacts to anything.

        It is an ABSTRACTION.

        When we claim up on it, it is always within generalities as things that may apply to unidentified individuals in an whispy cloud of generalized group

        It is inaccurate to say it does not exist because like many general and amorphous concepts its existence depends on the criteria used to define or describe it.

        I can say it does not exist because…. it does not exist.

        Existence is measure by reality.

        Any claim upon “society” must always be generalized. What you are saying is “generally” this is the thing that “done”.

        “Society believes……” means a random select individuals within a general group will confirm this belief.

        Of course they do things. Lots of things.

        No. Society does not do a darn thing.

        People do things.

        All human action is individual

        I know this is being picky but I think it is important to recognize the existence of the abstract “society” just as with “culture” or “civilizations” which are also human concepts.

        Wow! Do I ever disagree!

        These ‘concepts’ are not abstractions, but descriptions.

        Civilization: intellectual, cultural, and moral refinement
        Culture: the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education

        Note how they are aligned.
        Culture is an “ACTION. Civilization is the CONSEQUENCE of that action.

        Society is neither a consequence or a cause of action.

        It is an abstraction so that we may talk in generalities.

        The error is not in acknowledging the existence of society but in assigning it characteristics of a unique living person.

        It is an error believing it “exists” as an entity to proscribe, assign or describe action.

        • BF

          Does a Phylum exist?

          Does a Genera exist?

          Does a specie exist?

          Society is nothing more than another type of grouping or categorization. It is another type of “description” of a group of people. As such it EXISTS just as much as any other category or grouping or classification.

          • JAC,

            I disagree.
            It is a massive generalization

            Society:
            broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests.

            This is wholly different to your examples.

            Further, your concept of “exists” is perverted to make an argument. It is exists as a word. So does the word “fairies”. Doesn’t make fairies real.

            Society -as I repeat- does not exist in reality.

            Attributing actions (a physical event) TO an abstraction, BY an abstraction, FOR an abstraction is a fallacy.

            • BF

              Your argument:

              Society, a broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests, does not exist in reality.

              • JAC,

                As unendingly explained – it does not exist in reality.
                You cannot touch, see it, smell it, talk to it.
                It does not think, feel, move, talk.

                It is a massive and gross generational and its only use is in that matter.

                It is a fallacy if one assigns actions to it, for it, and from it.

            • BF

              By the way regarding this:

              “Attributing actions (a physical event) TO an abstraction, BY an abstraction, FOR an abstraction is a fallacy.”

              If you would actually read and try to understand my original comment you would see that this is what I said.

              • JAC,
                I agree. But you are the one who -initially- attempted to infuse more into “Society” than a mere generalization.

                The point to LOI – Society does not act, nor can it act. In this context, it is used to justify human violence on other men.

                “Jesus” is used this way often, as in “In the Name of Christ or God or Allah”

    • “The real question in your mind that you do not articulate is:
      do I trust free men with my defense or do I submit to evil for my defense”
      Not at all, good sir. I do not trust free men to have the resources to keep ANWR a US resource from others with ambition. for ex.

      http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1897871,00.html

      • LOI,

        Why do you believe free men are incapable?

        Free men have built entire cities, the largest ships, the modern miracles of industry, technology and civilization all come from the efforts of free men.

        Free men have figured out how to get and turn a barrel of oil for some gawd forsaken place on Earth and into your gas tank for a few bucks a gallon. They discover plastic, the laser, the computer, communications -….

        …and yet, you do not believe they can figure out how to defend themselves from brain damaged violent men…..

        • “Why do you believe free men are incapable?”

          I’ve seen you dance once while spying on you.LOL
          I think free men lack the resources to compete with the amassed resources others would use to take what free individuals build and own. For that reason, I think the US must have VDLG, not the no gov. you propose. I do agree your vision would/could work in places, just not here, not now.

          • LOI,

            I think free men lack the resources to compete with the amassed resources others would use to take what free individuals build and own. For that reason, I think the US must have VDLG, not the no gov. you propose. I do agree your vision would/could work in places, just not here, not now.

            But this is not true at all, as I’ve already exampled.

            Another example:
            The largest single naval fleet on Earth is privately owned. It has more ships then the combined national navies of the USA and Russia.

            Maersk has 529 ships.

            The US navy has 289.
            Russian navy has 233.

            The tonnage capacity of Maersk is greater than all of NATO and Russia combined.

            This is exampled in every sphere of human endeavor except death and destruction.

            Killing and destroying is not fundamental to free men. Civilization, building and creating is fundamental.

            However, this does not mean free men would not be as massively capable of defending themselves against evil.

            They would defend and not build offensive death machines

  10. :of: should be “or”

  11. ::|

  12. LOI; “give birth to a sick child. Sara Palin chose to have such a child,”

    That is as far as I got in your article, and that is as far as I will go . . .

    I have just spent two weeks with two of my grandchildren, one who is Down Syndrome.

    HE IS NOT A SICK CHILD!

    You claim to be “enlightened” (my quotations, not your statement)? You claim to not be for abortions yet you would propagate the slaughter of the unborn for no other reason than the pregnant woman does not want to give birth?

    Therein lies your disgusting problem. You have no idea what it is that you claim to be.

    Am I angry when I write this? Damn right I am! And I do honestly believe that I have an absolute right to be!

    • G.A.

      It was not my intent to offend, but first, I have a right to my opinion. I should have said a special needs child? Would that have made any difference?

      “I think that should be their choice, not mine.”
      “But I accept the responsibility of telling my government that they need to not interfere. ”

      My belief is that the government should not be involved in these decisions. Most especially, Planned Parenthood and such organizations should never receive government funding. I think abortion is murder. I make no excuses nor do I evade my responsibility that I support for political office.
      They pass the laws and give out our money. I am very unhappy with how it has been spent, making abortion an common medical procedure instead of the life changing event it truly is, the taking of a life.

      But I am at the same moral or immoral position. I do not think I should force my morality on another. I will not stand before a girl raped and tell her she must give birth to her rapists child. Do I think she should? Different subject. If I say yes, will I adopt this child and raise as my own? No. If I am not willing to be responsible, I have no grounds to force my beliefs on another.

      And my main point is the government has taken an active role in this where they have removed the consequences.
      Without consequences, the moral outrage has been muted.

      • I find your stance on abortion contradictory-you say it is murder yet you have no right to force your beliefs on someone else-The only way you can believe it is murder is if you believe it is a life. So you are saying in essence that we have no right to stop people from committing murder unless we are willing to take on their responsibility.

        • “I find your stance on abortion contradictory”

          Two wrongs do not make anything right. Using a lesser wrong, forcing a rape victims to bear that child may be the less evil path compared to allowing that pregnant woman to have her child killed while still inside her. Abortion is popular because you never have to look into the face of the life you are choosing to take. I might support some laws (damn me to hell) requiring an expecting mother to view an ultrasound image of the child’s beating heart, where they make an informed decision.

          My stance is contradictory. How can it be anything other?
          Life and death have no gray area’s. If you support abortion for any reason, even the most extreme, you have supported taking a life. That, to be child, that living being, had no say in becoming or not. After the multiple articles others have written that touched on principals, I still think some of us evade our part in this(myself also). If I support a pro-choice Obama, and he expands abortion laws(which does mean more abortions), I share the responsibility. It is the same as being a thief for supporting taxes, even just a little tax is theft. If taken, it’s theft. If given, it’s a donation.

          Lets be honest, no one here has the wisdom or the right to decide for others what them must do in the extreme cases.
          And some will play Judas, wash their hands of any responsibility and let the government decide. There is no group of 435 who ever has, or ever will have enough wisdom. Realize that, they are not all knowing and no more likely to make a wise decision. Take personal responsibility, as if YOU were the only person granting each individual permission to abort a child, or requiring them to give birth to that child, likely also requiring them to raise that child for 18 years.

          My contradictory position is by my principals, it is wrong for me to force my will on any mother-to-be. And I would add to that, and support LAWS prohibiting late term abortions (state level). I would like abortions to become progressively more difficult to obtain. But I think that main effort should and must be change caused by moral outrage, not by force of law.

          • Mathius says:

            Abortion is popular […] Holy crap is this the wrong word..

            • Matt,

              A little help please? Would you explain to me the position of the President of the United States of America concerning abortion? After that, I might be able to think of a better word.
              Or I might stand by it, thinking the extreme left media and politicians have taken it from when women would sneak off in shame to where it’s no big deal and they post it on facebook.

          • You must stand by your principals-but I’m sorry if one thinks that killing a fetus is murder-one cannot say, one has the right to commit murder-just because it is hard on the mother. I agree with a lot of your argument. But we are talking about whether or not one believes it is murder-if one doesn’t believe it is murder than they can say it’s okay-I will strongly disagree. But one who deems it murder-cannot turn around and say it’s okay without saying committing murder is okay. As far as moral outrage-how can one inject moral outrage and at the same time say people have the right to murder. We aren’t talking about people having a right to do immoral things here we are talking about life and death-we are talking about the life or death of a totally innocent child.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            “It is wrong for me to force my will on any mother-to-be…[I] support laws prohibiting late term abortions…I would like abortions to become progressively more difficult to obtain.”

            Isn’t that imposing your will on mothers-to-be?

          • “Abortion is popular because you never have to look into the face of the life you are choosing to take.”

            Recently a college student wrote a paper on her experience from getting pregnant by her music teacher in high school. In that paper she describes in detail what she experienced during the abortion that he made her get. One sentence stands out; “I still dream at night of the sound the vacuum made as it did its work . . .”

            I have a niece who has had several abortions. She is now undergoing therapy for deep depression and suicidal tendencies(4 attempts) all related to the many abortions that she has had. Don’t tell me that abortion is guiltless.

            That high school music teacher is now in jail since the girl was 16 when he impregnated her. I honestly do not believe that my niece will ever recover.

      • My stand on abortion is, and always has been;

        Allowed only to save the life of the mother, or for victims of violent rape, drugged to be raped(rohypnol) or forced incest.

        Abortions should never be allowed for “genetical” reasons, or just because the pregnant female does not want to give birth. In this modern age we live in there are so many ways to prevent a pregnancy to have an abortion for reasons of birth control is completely absurd.

        I am the father of a child that was born with many birth defects, he died at the age of six, three months before his seventh birthday. Testing today would have revealed his pending problems, yet in a recent conversation both my wife and I would not have elected to have him aborted. No one would understand the statement; “I was privileged to see my son grow into a man of distinction in the six short years of his life.” That is no one who has not lived through that experience. I am a much better man today than I would or could have been without that young man in my life. And no, I do not expect anyone on this earth who have not been there to understand or comprehend my statements.

        FYI – My Down Syndrome Grandson is anything but disadvantaged. He is eight years old and yes, he has some problems, but low intelligence is not one of them. Yes, he is considered a “special needs child” because of his learning drawbacks and his inability to verbalize. He was also born with the exact same heart problem that took the life of his uncle, but thanks to our space program that problem was completely resolved by an open heart surgical procedure when he was five months old by doctors using techniques and tools developed through our country’s space program. He is growing up to be one very intelligent and very healthy boy. My daughter and my wife and I are very blessed to have such an intelligent and loving child in our midst. To prevent someone like that from ever having a life is nothing short of criminal.

        And yes, I am still angry. And rightfully so. In the Kumron Scrolls there is wording that differentiates murder from justifiable executions and the killing that takes place in war. It is believed by some that the Kumron Scrolls were the precedents of the Holy Bible that most Christians follow.

        • G.A.

          And yes, I am still angry. And rightfully so.
          I regret that, but do not dispute your right to anger at my poorly chosen words. You seem to think I support aborting special needs children. I do not. I support the parents right to make that choice. I admit to myself and all here, that makes me an accessory at the least. I am guilty. FYI, I have known about Duchenne MD for many years. Friends, not family.

          “My stand on abortion is, and always has been;
          Allowed only to save the life of the mother, or for victims of violent rape, drugged to be raped or forced incest.”

          I respect your position on this and agree with you, but see the contradiction. The child of rape has no say in your world. Are they less a human? Are they guilty of their fathers crime? It comes back to you would allow the rape victim to make that choice. I agree. I think that should apply to others as well. Not you, not I and for damn sure, not the government should make that decision. I am outraged that the removal of consequences of having an abortion have been removed, much because of our governments actions. Planned Parenthood makes most of their near billion dollars from abortions

          • Buck the Wala says:

            “Planned Parenthood makes most of their near billion dollars from abortions”

            FALSE.

            37% of PPs profits derive from income from health clinic which, while it does include revenue from performing abortions (a whopping 3% of the services it provides), also includes revenue from the PREVENTION OF ABORTION (i.e., contraception – representing 35% of the services provided).

            • I have read and posted many articles that do that agree with your figures-Not gonna go look for them again-am just gonna post an objection for the record. 🙂

              • Okay-work fingers -that do not agree with your figures.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Glad to hear you agree!

                I’ve seen numbers somewhere that show the largest single source of revenue (not enough to make it a majority) within the ‘health services’ category does come from abortions. However, this category still only accounts for 37% of their total.

  13. Mathius says:

    Falling like a stone…

    $147330 (-43.20)

    • Canine Weapon says:

      1470.40 (-45.93)

      34.37 (-4.9687)

    • Buying opportunity for those that delayed.

      What fundamental changed over the week?

      Quick synopsis of the “other headlines”

      U.S. data hints at slowdown in job creation

      U.S. House Republican Leader Eric Cantor said he told bipartisan talks on the U.S. deficit that tax hikes were off the table as far as the Republican-run House of Representatives was concerned.

      World Food Prices Rise to Near-Record High as Inflation Speeds Up, UN Says

      Mexican Central Bank Quietly Buys 100 Tons of Gold

      Marc Faber’s May Outlook: Beware the False Breakout in Stocks

  14. Off Topic-Just thought some might want to read this-I will be watching this-curious how this power struggle will play out.

    Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery

    Iranian power struggle between president and supreme leader sees arrests and claims of undue influence of chief of staff

    Close allies of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being “magicians” and invoking djinns (spirits).

    Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds”.

    The arrests come amid a growing rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei which has prompted several MPs to call for the president to be impeached.

    On Sunday, Ahmadinejad returned to his office after an 11-day walkout in an apparent protest over Khamenei’s reinstatement of the intelligence minister, who the president had initiallyasked to resign.

    Ahmadinejad’s unprecedented disobedience prompted harsh criticism from conservatives who warned that he might face the fate of Abdulhassan Banisadr, Iran’s first post-revolution president who was impeached and exiled for allegedly attempting to undermine clerical power.

    Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, a hardline cleric close to Khamenei, warned that disobeying the supreme leader – who has the ultimate power in Iran – is equivalent to “apostasy from God”.

    Ahmadinejad has so far declined to officially back Khamenei’s ruling over Heydar Moslehi, the minister at the centre of the row. In the first cabinet meeting since the president returned, Moslehi was absent.

    Khamenei’s supporters believe that the top-level confrontation stems from the increasing influence of Mashaei, an opponent of greater involvement of clerics in politics, who is being groomed by Ahmadinejad as a possible successor.

    But the feud has taken a metaphysical turn following the release of an Iranian documentary alleging the imminent return of the Hidden Imam Mahdi – the revered saviour of Shia Islam, whose reappearance is anticipated by believers in a manner comparable to that with which Christian fundamentalists anticipate the second coming of Jesus.

    Conservative clerics, who say that the Mahdi’s return cannot be predicted, have accused a “deviant current” within the president’s inner circle, including Mashaei, of being responsible for the film.

    Ahmadinejad’s obsession with the hidden imam is well known. He often refers to him in his speeches and in 2009 said that he had documentary evidence that the US was trying to prevent Mahdi’s return.

    Since Ahmadinejad’s return this week, at least 25 people, who are believed to be close to Mashaei, have been arrested. Among them is Abbas Amirifar, head of the government’s cultural committee and some journalists of Mashaei’s recently launched newspaper, Haft-e-Sobh.

    On Saturday, Mojtaba Zolnour, Khamenei’s deputy representative in the powerful Revolutionary Guard, said: “Today Mashaei is the actual president. Mr Ahmadinejad has held on to a decaying rope by relying on Mashaei.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/05/ahmadinejad-allies-charged-with-sorcery

    • Never occurred to me that we could just accuse Mr. Obama and Congress of witch craft and have them arrested.

      Gee whiz V., maybe there is something good in this Islamic Republic thingy!!! 🙂

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        OH, let me , let me! 🙂
        I have an ancestor who testified against a Witch in the 1600s. I also have at least 7 ancestors who were accused of witchcraft. 2 were hung and one died in prison.

      • Oh sure, now you all want Sharia law!!! 😉

  15. gmanfortruth says:

    SUFA, I had a great experience today. After I perked the truck heading into therapy for the back, I got out of the truck. As I crcled behind, heading for the stairs, a State Trooper, who was pulling out, stopped and said “Excuse me, can I ask a question?”

    My response was happily “Sure, what can I help you with?”

    He replied by saying he had been to the “Oathkeepers” website and wanted to know how I got the stickers on my truck. I replyed that me and Dad are members, and the stickers and much more comes with the package you get with membership. He replied that he really liked what it stood for. I explained how to become a member, via internet, or print a form from the site and mail it in.

    He thanked me, said to have a nice dat, of which I replied by thanking him for what he does everyday and to stay safe. We then parted ways.

    I can say, that short conversation made my day! 🙂 To know that there are LE’s out there who believe as I do in protecting the rights of our fellow Americans, just made me feel really good about our future prospects as a free nation.

    Sometimes, it’s the small things that we encounter, that makes a big difference in life. Today I had a small encounter, that made me feel good about the future! 🙂

  16. This is a challenging, yet interesting topic. I think it is worthwhile to consider our idea of morality and how it is coupled to freedom and human interaction.

    Without going deep into the debate, morality is only valuable if we are free to make our own decisions. If we are just a bundle of natural impulses and desires, then there is no morality, things just are the way they are. If we are free to make our own decisions, then we must think about morality. We may disagree about what that is, but there are some things for which there is general consensus. Doing harm to another human for example. Whatever morality you ascribe to then constrains your actions, but you are not necessarily going to be able to restrain yourself from immoral actions.

    For this reason we also need to think about our actions in the context of a community. If we are free to make our own decisions, then we may act immorally against a neighbor. If we are moral people, we are then beholden to that person and their actions will dictate our response to our own immorality. If they forgive the action after we express remorse, our morality is fostered and grows. If they withhold forgiveness, we are plagued by shame and doubt and may become more immoral. If they simple forget about the immoral act, it is as if we do not have freedom at all. We are not responsible for our actions, because we are just responding to physical impulses which we cannot control.

    If we truly desire to be a moral people and to foster morality in others, we must hold them accountable for their actions, but we must also be able to forgive them. This does not mean that we simply ignore the immoral act, it means that if the person is properly remorseful, and if reparations are made, we can foster their morality through forgiveness. In this way, it is not only our actions that are a part of our morality, but also our neighbors.

    I struggle with the idea of government involvement. I suppose I am a budding libertarian. Many of you say that the government should only be there to protect your rights. Should it not, then, protect the right of an as yet unborn human to live? If a mother may choose to kill her unborn child because she doesn’t want it, why stop there? Why not let her kill the child as long as it is under 2 years old? Why not just let her kill it at any time?

    Abortion seems like a simple issue to me. It should not be used as a means of birth control. The only time it is ok in my book is when the woman has been raped or if her life is in danger. Every other case is one that she has chosen for herself. Pro-abortion is not pro-choice, it is anti-responsibility.

    The death penalty is a little more complicated. If a person commits a heinous act on purpose and is without remorse, we have a responsibility to hold that person accountable to their actions. Murder is different than justice. If a court of law fairly judges a person and sentences them to death, I do not consider it murder. I think these cases should be rare and reserved, but I’m not sure I oppose them right out.

    The fact that not acting can also be immoral sets us all up for failure. There is not one person in the world who has done everything they possibly could to help other people, never acted selfishly or withheld money that could have fed a starving person. It is only be the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we are freed from the responsibility of these sins. With a repentant heart we are then freed from the guilt and doubt that comes with sin, and are able to grow. We can never repay the debt by acting moral, but we can show that the forgiveness freely given to us was worthwhile by trying to be good people.

    God’s blessings to you this day.

    • If a mother may choose to kill her unborn child because she doesn’t want it, why stop there? Why not let her kill the child as long as it is under 2 years old?

      Uh-oh … I’m reached a moral cul de sac. I something think retroactive abortions extending to 21 is a good idea too!

      • Terry Evans says:

        Sort of like Bill Cosby’s, “I made you, I can take you out, and make another one just like you”.

      • My point is that many people argue that it’s not really a human until [insert date here]. If we are willing to quantify human life because it is dependent on the mother, then we should have no problem with people killing their infants and toddlers. The fact that we see a problem with that should tell us something about the morality of abortion.

        • JB

          You have caused me to finally step in on this issue.

          You are stretching your logic far beyond limits in concluding that supporting abortion, prior to birth, can be used to rationalize killing after birth. Furthermore, the argument is not a “dependence on the mother” but the “inability to live outside the womb”. Granted even this argument has problems but it is not mere dependency as you have claimed.

          Think in terms of common law and eons old moral issues. Humans long ago reached agreement that a person born was a person and should not be killed without good reason.

          Humans have not reached that same level of agreement on a human not born. It is that simple.

          There is no “slippery slope” argument here. The issue is the status of the unborn and the rights and status of the person carrying the unborn.

          Lets not forget that if we impose a ban on abortion we may also be indirectly responsible for the death of a woman.

          • JAC,

            I do not agree at all with this statement.

            Lets not forget that if we impose a ban on abortion we may also be indirectly responsible for the death of a woman

            Simple moral substitution:
            Lets not forget that if we impose a ban on theft n we may also be indirectly responsible for the death of a starving man.

            This is not true in either case.

            “We” are not the cause of the pregnancy(lack of food) or the cause of her decisions to abort (to steal instead of earn).

            “Our” Rights are clear. And killing and stealing are fundamental and serious breach of human rights.

            She (Starving man) is -wholly- responsible for their own actions.

          • After reading all the comments you are obviously wrong-How many people have stated on here that it is murder YET it should be allowed. So it obviously has nothing to do with life -does it? It seems obvious that it is simply a matter of rights and life is a moot point. It has also been made very clear that the mother being forced to raise and support a baby that she didn’t want is so unfair it trumps the right to life, even if the baby is considered a human life. If you believe that these types of arguments which are being used to justify the killing of an unborn child are not evidence of how far this position can be taken. You are fooling yourself.

            • V.H.

              Are you talking to me?

              If you are I can’t figure out how your comments relate to mine.

              So please explain, if applicable.

              • 🙂 Yes I am talking to you-what do you not understand-

                You said “You are stretching your logic far beyond limits in concluding that supporting abortion, prior to birth, can be used to rationalize killing after birth.”

                I say this has been proven false by comments made on this blog-even people who believe this is an alive human being agree that people have the right to kill this
                person-so being alive has no true meaning in the decision of whether or not the living have any rights.

                You said “There is no “slippery slope” argument here. The issue is the status of the unborn and the rights and status of the person carrying the unborn.”

                I say this is wrong because so much of the arguments to support abortion are based on economics and fairness-that these arguments could and probably will, have in fact already been stated by some(not on here) to support the killing of children out side the womb.

        • “many people argue that it’s not really a human until [insert date here]. ”

          I think this goes only to the LEGAL (it’s Buck’s fault) argument.
          I think most consider fetus=baby not born. Fetus is a medical term sometimes used to remove the emotional consequences of discussing an unborn baby. No one asks a pregnant woman, how’s your fetus? Only when we talk about what is and should be legal for aborting a child is it ever considered.

          Why do we say a child has been molested, not raped? The emotional image is too painful, so we seek to reduce the terms, the consequences. We hide from the pain. I think, in the long run, this does us all more harm.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            As fun as it is to pile on the lawyers, this is not a LEGAL argument but a MEDICAL argument. The medical community disagrees as to when a fetus is a human being. The LEGAL community merely picked up on this debate and utilized viability (also a medical term) as a baseline point for protecting a woman’s right to free choice.

      • Charlie,

        Though you say in jest, this is the problem.

        If you can justify abortion based on development, the justification works for any development all the way through adulthood.

        • I agree, BF (that’s a few times now we agree on something). The difference is, I don’t think I could demand a woman have a kid she didn’t want (but have no problem demanding more taxes from the rich) … life is complicated, my friend.

    • Mathius says:

      If we are just a bundle of natural impulses and desires, then there is no morality, things just are the way they are. We ARE just a bundle of natural impulses and desires. Free will is a illusion created by a brain operating according to fundamental properties of physics. We are nothing more than very fancy wind-up machines. Input —> Output, and part of the “black box” that bridges input to output creates the artifact of consciousness which encompasses free will. You are the present expression of a lifetime (and more) of input processed by machinery built to spec according to genetic blueprints. Your morality/immorality is nothing more than a direct consequence of the interaction of physical forces, no different than a rock falling back to earth according to the pull of gravity.

      We are not responsible for our actions, because we are just responding to physical impulses which we cannot control. Yes and no. The truth is that we are just responding to those physical impulses, but your “consciousness” is part and parcel of the machinery. Insofar as it’s rather depressing to live in a world where we are constantly aware of this fact, we tend to believe that our consciousness is an expression of freewill rather than an illusion. But failure to use the control over your brain which your consciousness exerts is both (A) your choice and (B) not your choice.

      The best way I can think of explaining this in the the context of an employee who gets into a fight with his boss. The boss shouts “your fired!” and the employee responds “you can’t fire me, I quit!” Well the boss (the one who is really in control, ie the laws of physics that govern your physical brain) made the decision – there is no recourse, it is done. But the employee (the one who desires the illusion of control, ie your consciousness/free will) ops to pretend that it made the choice.

      Why not let her kill the child as long as it is under 2 years old? Why not just let her kill it at any time? A 12th term abortion? I know a few people with teenagers who would love to have a 68th term abortion. I know this is an extraordinarily unpopular position, and I’ve tried and tried to have a rational conversation about this and I seem to either get yelled at, deliberately or obtusely misinterpreted, or worst of all, talked to death by Black Flag. Just for fun, I’ll spell it out yet again here and you can take it for what it’s worth or argue it with me if you like:

      If we accept that a human being has certain specific rights, among these is a right to life, and we accept that such rights do not necessarily hold for non-humans, it follows that the right itself is grounded in something attribute of human-ness that a non-human does not possess.

      Just to think about this, consider that an inflated tire will give you a smooth ride, but a flat tire will not. Why? Because some attribute of the inflated tire (ie, that it is firm and round, etc) is missing in the flat tire. The virtue is rooted in the difference.

      So the right to life of humans, which most of us will agree does not exist for, say, bovines, must logically be due in some way to the differences between humans and cows.

      This forces me to list out the differences between humans and cows and to consider each with regards to whether it makes sense as a plausible explanation for the difference in rights.

      Stomachs:
      Cows: 4, Humans: 1
      But it doesn’t really make sense that a right to life is contingent on having fewer stomachs.

      Locomotion:
      Cows: quadrupedal, Humans: bipedal
      OK.. but it still doesn’t really make sense. Why should it matter if you walk upright?

      Flavor:
      Cows: delicious, Humans: unknown
      Probably not the right answer either…

      Intelligence:
      Cows: dumber than rocks, Humans: self-aware, tool using, language, art, science, blogging, etc
      Well now.. I wonder if this makes sense, and I just can’t escape it. This is the only thing that really sets humans apart from the rest of nature. Could it be that our minds are the definitive feature of what it means to be truly “human” and thus have a right to life?

      This has some very, very, very disturbing ramifications. First, it would seem to suggest that anyone with a “sub-human” intelligence is not guaranteed a natural right to life. I would say that while this may be true, I’ll be damned if I take it upon myself to decide what that term means. I would never suggest that downs, severe mental retardation, or traumatic brain injury means that you aren’t entitled to a right to life.

      But I would question something which has (A) brain death or (B) hasn’t yet had the opportunity to grow a brain that could reasonable be said to have human intelligence, ie a week-old fetus or (C) a Parkinson’s patient such as my grandfather whose brain had turned into a toxic sludge that was no more human than a Russet potato.

      It’s disturbing and problematic, but I think the conversation has to start in the very beginning. What about being human justifies/explains/creates the rights that we hold to be uniquely human?

      It is only be the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we are freed from the responsibility of these sins. Some of us don’t buy that one. But let me put my Christina hat on for the moment.. Ok, all set. Jesus wasn’t really absolving us of “responsibly of these sins,” per say, he was absolving us of our failure to not sin. Remember, “go forth, and sin no more.” Jesus wanted people to do their best and, having still sinned, he absolved them through his sacrifice.

      Remember that Jesus, in his only use of violence, threw out the money changers because they were immoral. Not for turning a profit and operating as businessmen, but for their refusal to try to be good and charitable. He absolutely, absolutely held that there is a moral requirement to help those in need (see, Matthew 19:21-24.. I wonder why I’m such a fan of the book of Matthew.. probably just a coincidence.. also, Acts 2:44-45), but he seems also to recognize that it wasn’t possible to do everything in one’s power, and so he didn’t require perfection, just an honest effort. And the gap between the honest effort and perfection was what he absolved.

      • Mathius,

        If we are just a bundle of natural impulses and desires, then there is no morality, things just are the way they are. We ARE just a bundle of natural impulses and desires. Free will is a illusion created by a brain operating according to fundamental properties of physics.

        Ah, Turing vs Godel.
        Turing believed as you did.

        Godel proved Turing wrong.

        (PS: I am a fan of Godel 🙂 )

      • Th

        • WTH was that? See? You got me stuttering!

          Matt..you seem to think we are all robots. Nowhere in your post did you include the human spirit. Or are YOU the computer program?

          • Mathius says:

            Actually, BF is the computer program.

            What evidence do you have to suggest such a thing as the “human spirit” exists? How do you define “human spirit”? And what do you attribute to it?

            Of course we’re all robots. The only difference is that we’re organic and build by genetic blueprints rather than on a factory floor out of circuit boards. Stimulus —> Response, nothing more, nothing less.

            • Mathius,

              What evidence do you have to suggest such a thing as the “human spirit” existss

              The fact that humans exist.

              No, we are NOT Stimulus-> Response, nor are we robots.

              Humans biology shows we can self-create our own stimuli.

              Indeed, what we THINK is what we feel

              • Mathius says:

                we can self-create our own stimuli. What we self-create is the result of a biological process in our brains. It is the result of machinations of input (some current, some delayed, some cumulative) and the layout of our minds (as determined by out biology, and molded by our inputs (both physical and experiential)).

                My computer will sometimes freeze up for no reason. It “self-created” these freezes since I certainly didn’t specifically cause them. Would you suggest that my computer is conscious because it self-created these, or would you suggest that this was a artifact of thing that I did earlier, of the design, of inputs, of the way it was programmed and processed data, etc?

            • Anita

              I bet your totally speechless now. My head actually hurt-I mean physically hurt when I read this. Geez Matt-how can you see any value in humans if this is your definition. I don’t define a bug as an unimportant piece of machinery.

              • You’re exactly right. There’s really no point in arguing back.

              • V.. Had he been in my sister’s shoes..he’d have been dead two years ago!

              • Mathius says:

                I actually find this view enlightening. It means the entire universe is one giant wind-up toy. We are tiny pieces of tiny specks of tiny bits of the universe and the whole thing, all of fate, all of causality is bound by the constraints of knowable, calculable, predictable, and understandable laws of physics.

                We don’t have the whole picture.. yet. But some day we may. That, to me, is the most wondrous thing of all.

              • What makes you want to continue living? Serious question.

              • Mathius says:

                I’m programmed to.

                My DNA said to survive, procreate, ensure survivability of my offspring.

                That’s what I’m doing.

                But you are confused by something. You think that I find this outlook depressing. I do not. I simply believe that it is what it is. Why should I be depressed by things which are beyond my control? Sure, I’d love to believe that I am somehow special, blessed with a spirit and free-will, that I am exempt from the laws of the universe, that there is a good and anthropomorphic god who loves and cares about me. But these things are not supported by logic, and that is the lens through which I view the world.

                Nothing depressing here. It’s like trying to figure out how a car’s engine works while driving in that car at 60 mph on the freeway. What could be more exciting?

              • Programed by what and why would you just automatically be programed to do anything if you just happened to come into existence.

              • Mathius says:

                I didn’t just happen to come into existence. I was built according to a genetic blueprint, raised by people operating according to their own programming, and influenced by the input of experiences.

                And back and back and back, biology and physics. That’s what it all boils down to.

              • What words you use “built” seems to imply there was a builder 🙂

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                Mathius, was the original blueprint a biological accident/series of accidents or was the original blueprint designed by intelligence?
                To my way of thinking, intelligence/god has to enter the equation somewhere. We are far to wonderfully complex to have been created by a series of biological accidents without intelligence being involved with this creation at least at some point in time.

              • Mathius says:

                We’re a genetic fluke.

                Evolution explains this pretty well, without the need for a God or Intelligence of which we have no evidence.

                And we are amazingly complex, it’s true, but we’re far from perfect. I have a hard time believing that such a wondrously powerful and intelligent being would design us with such basic flaws.

                Just think about our knees. How hard would it have been to design us so that we don’t wear out like this? Arthritis? Why would an intelligent mind give us feelings such as hate and greed?

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                So Mathius, you believe humans and all life was created without some form of “thought process”?

              • Mathius says:

                I do not see the need for a “thought process” in explaining how we got here, no.

                Evolution and chance is sufficient.

              • Well maybe it is to you-but many parts of it are still just theory-so the logic of determining that there is no logic in intelligent design is no more true than saying evolution and chance is enough.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                Ok, I understand Mathius.
                If I may be so arrogant for a moment, You being a very smart individual might be one who has an overactive conscious mind. You may find it difficult but try quieting your conscious mind long enough to connect with your subconscious mind (no coke). Your subconscious mind can connect you with The Universal Mind/God/Whatever. When you achieve this enough times you might “see the light”, you might not “see the light”. What you see or don’t see will be different than what I see, so don’t ask.

              • Mathius says:

                You’re talking about meditation? Or LSD?

                Either way, why should anything I perceive during such an exercise be given as proof of the divine rather the result a biological process?

                What about quieting my (admittedly very noisy and busy) mind should connect me to the universe? I have no radio transceiver in my head.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                Meditation.
                Not easy to answer your questions, but if you connect with the ‘Universal Mind’ you won’t require proof. You will be back for more.
                You won’t connect unless you do quiet your mind. We can only think one thought at a time, so any ‘conscious mind noise’ and you can’t connect.
                That’s the best I can do, and I need a nap.

      • Mathius

        Just wondering if your Christina hat is pink and if it has a big ostrich feather?

        • Mathius says:

          Saw that when I re-read.. meant to say Christian.

          Oh well, it was a glitch in my CPU, I guess.

          And, by the way, this is my Christina hat.

      • Thanks for your input, Matt. I think you represent a majority of atheists in this type of belief.

        If we accept that a human being has certain specific rights, among these is a right to life, and we accept that such rights do not necessarily hold for non-humans, it follows that the right itself is grounded in something attribute of human-ness that a non-human does not possess.

        Why do non-humans not possess a right to life? We kill animals in order to survive, but many people generally find it immoral to kill animals for no reason (or even for a reason, vis-a-vis killing elephants for ivory).

        While we’re on that topic, though, the quality that sets humans apart from animals (well… one of the biggest) is that we know we will die. If you hold a gun to a man’s head he begs for his life. If you do so to a dog, it licks it. Since a human understands that his life will eventually end, his actions are influenced by this knowledge. Our actions take on weight based on what we think is valuable. We don’t want to “waste our time.” This is a major influence of immorality. We feel an inducement to build ourselves up at the cost of others.

        One big point to combat the “bundle of nerves” theory is that human beings will perform selfless acts. My wife and I were once eating at a local restaurant. When we asked for the check, the waitress said an elderly couple has paid our bill for us. When I looked around to say thank you I noticed they had already left. They received no benefit from this action. They likely told no one, received no praise. They did not know us, or have any reason to care about us.

        I know I can never convince you of this. In the same way I can never convince you that God exists. They call it faith for a reason. If I could prove that God exists, there is no room for faith. In the same way, I could never prove that these people did not act as they did because they like the feeling they get from helping people. I would assume you believe there is no such thing as true altruism (as this would conflict with your input->output) theory, but I have seen enough in my short life to believe there is.

        Ok, anyway, I understand your argument about “it’s not human by this definition so it doesn’t have human rights,” but does that really mean we can just kill it for no reason? I don’t buy the excuse that many people just “aren’t ready to be mothers just yet.” It seems to me that if you say a fetus is not a human, but understand that given time it will, you should feel the need to protect it. Think about it this way. Is the thing growing in a woman’s belly alive? Yes. Take a look at its DNA, what species is it? Human. Does it have all of the characteristics of a human? Not yet, but it will.

        Evolution explains this pretty well, without the need for a God or Intelligence of which we have no evidence.

        A little quote for you:

        [I am greated challenged by] the extreme difficulty, or rather the impossibility, of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity for looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.

        – Charles Darwin

        • Mathius says:

          I think that very few people argue for the aborting of fetuses for “no reason.” The reasons are varried from the one you specifically reject (not ready to be a mother) to more viable reasons such as (A) it is dangerous to be to carry this fetus to term (B) this fetus has a defect which will kill it within hours of birth, etc. So that, while I agree that killing without cause can be immoral when applied to many (though not all) non-human life, I would suggest that there are reasons being used here and they are valid within the logical framework I apply.

          Note that not all non human life needs a (good) reason.. I am perfectly happy to swat a fly just because it’s a fly and it’s annoying. Likewise, my wife has made me kill many a spider despite the fact that they are no threat to me and they kill and eat insects.

          Regarding selfless acts, you are right that I do not believe such a thing as a perfectly selfless act can exist. At the very least, the couple you spoke up felt good about themselves, and for them that was enough. Their processing systems were set up in such a way that this input led to that output. Perhaps they believed that God would reward them for their generosity? Perhaps they both had terminal cancer, no family, and tons of money and it was no skin off their back? Maybe they wanted to impress the waiter? Who knows? Most likely they were just good people who did something that they felt was good because doing so made themselves happy.

          Darwin originally slated his book, The Origin of Species, to be published after his death. He was very afraid of the repercussions of publication – specifically that he would be perceived and punished for being un-Christian for his beliefs. Whether he believed this quote or not is the subject of some debate, but the fact that he said it alone does not prove it right. This is an appeal to authority. If I told you that a Founding Father said that slave-ownership was a moral right of all white men, would you just accept that?

          He was right, insofar as there does seem to be some requirement for a “first cause,” but to me, I see no reason to believe that that needs to be a sentient being rather than a physical force, courtesy for the fundamental physics of the universe and the Big Bang.

          Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
          Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait…
          The Earth began to cool,
          The autotrophs began to drool,
          Neanderthals developed tools,
          We built a wall (we built the pyramids),
          Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries,
          That all started with the big bang!

          • I have already said before that I believe there are some cases in which abortion is acceptable (danger to the mother’s life being one). What I believe is that abortion as a means of birth control is immoral.

    • JB,
      Morality is only valuable if we are free to make our own decisions.

      A truth very well said, sir!

      • Mathius says:

        Oh?

        Why’s that, now?

      • Mathius says:

        OK.. well let’s try it again.. why do you hold that to be a true statement?

        • Mathius,

          Oh~!

          Because if you are not free to make a choice, your actions are forced.

          Doing -by force- the bidding of others is not a decision of moral/immoral but one of coercion -life/death.

          A man forced to steal by a gun to his head is not acting immorally.

          The man holding the gun, who has the choice, is acting immorally.

          • Mathius says:

            So, to you, intent is what matters?

            If I am starving and I steal from you, that is moral since it’s life and death?

            • Mathius,

              No it is not moral because there are other choices.

              One choice is to steal, but it is not the only choice.

              A man with a gun to your head provides no other choice other than death or obedience.

              • Mathius says:

                If we’re in the middle of the desert and I run out of water, I have no choice but to steal from you or die.

                There are no other choices, so I’m moral in stealing from you?

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Wow…how could anyone walk away thinking Cain looked good as a Presidential candidate? I guess that just speaks to how bad the rest of the bunch were…

      • And your nominee is…who?

        • Mathius says:

          Buck is a big fan of The Donald.

        • Palin / Trump!!

        • Buck the Wala says:

          My nominee?

          OBAMA!

          • Why? Per YOU he hasn’t done what he promised-Per me He started another war. etc. etc. ect. that the left does not like. I would think you would want a different democrat.

            • Because he is in LOVE.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Because he’s much better than anything the GOP has come up with so far.

              Let’s see if any other Dems step into the ring. Then I’ll let you know who I support. Based on the current candidates though, I’ll go with Obama.

              • A lot of republicans felt the same way about Bush for awhile-then a bunch just didn’t vote at all because they figured McCain wasn’t much different-then they formed the Tea Party in protest over Bush’s policies and Obama’s-seems the dems. are just supporting Obama-a little talk against him in the far left camp but no actual actions to change anything. Most just support him no matter what. Another one of those democrat talking points down the drain. Both party supporters have our rationalizations. But at least the Tea Party is trying to stand up for what they believe and all they get out of it is being called racists. Which truly irritates me to no end.

  17. Buck the Wala Says:
    May 6, 2011 at 10:11 am edit

    “Planned Parenthood makes most of their near billion dollars from abortions”

    FALSE.

    37% of PPs profits derive from income from health clinic which, while it does include revenue from performing abortions (a whopping 3% of the services it provides), also includes revenue from the PREVENTION OF ABORTION (i.e., contraception – representing 35% of the services provided).

    Ok, withdrawn, but I think their numbers are bogus. If you look at the evidence gathered in the video stings, they push abortion for the profit they make.

    http://www.abort73.com/abortion/abortion_for_profit/

    The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), the research arm of Planned Parenthood, estimates that there were 1.21 million abortions performed in the U.S. in the year 2005. Of the 1.21 million annual abortions, approximately 88% (1.06 million) are performed during the first trimester. The other 12% (150,000) are performed during the second and third trimester. In 2005, the average cost of a nonhospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks of gestation was $413. The Women’s Medical Center estimates that a 2nd trimester abortion costs up to $3000 (with the price increasing the further along the pregnancy goes). If we take the $413 average for 1st trimester abortions and use a $3000 average for 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions, here’s what we get: $438 million is spent each year on first trimester abortions and $393 million is spent on late term abortions. That means that each year in the U.S., the abortion industry brings in approximately $831 million through their abortion services alone. If you add in the $337 million (or more) that Planned Parenthood (America’s largest abortion provider) receives annually in government grants and contracts for, the annual dollar amount moves well past 1 billion.

    Abortion, to put it plainly, is a very lucrative business, and this has been true from the beginning. By last count, Planned Parenthood (a tax-exempt organization!) has $951 million in total assets! Marvin Olasky observes and documents in his book, Abortion Rites, that there have long been doctors who supported abortion “if not for principle, at least for principal.” Like prostitution (which helped abortionists “flourish and grow rich” during the mid 1800’s), abortion offers the opportunity to get rich quick. For all of human history, the “blandishment of wealth” has led many to rationalize career choices that they would never otherwise dream of.

    What this means to the abortion debate is that the people and organizations who defend the morality of abortion the most vehemently are generally the very same ones who rake in huge profits from its continued availability. This sets up a significant conflict of interest and should immediately call into question any claims they might make about their desire to reduce the number of abortions. When Planned Parenthood argues that they’re working hard to reduce the frequency of abortion, the fact remains that their financial livelihood is built on abortion. Planned Parenthood, then, is just like the big tobacco companies. Does anyone really believe that tobacco companies want people to stop smoking? Does anyone really believe that Planned Parenthood wants people to stop having abortions? Follow the money.

    If we assume (for the sake of argument) that Planned Parenthood’s primary ambitions are financial instead of ideological, then much of their behavior suddenly makes perfect sense.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      No one is debating that PP makes money off of abortions. It is one of many services they provide and clearly draw profit from performing this service.

      But let’s quit with the demagoguery of how abortions is the majority of PP practice, or makes up most of their profit. This is just patently false, as you even admit by withdrawing the comment.

      • As of right now you may be right but that percentage is growing everyday. People are making a mistake in their wording. Abortion is a huge % of what they do for their pregnant clients. And those clients are going up-so whatever they are doing to try and lower these numbers isn’t working.

        Planned Parenthood Claims Their Own Figures Are Misleading
        Posted by John Jansen (March 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm)

        Former Planned Parenthood manager Abby Johnson appears in a new TV ad created by the Susan B. Anthony List

        This week a pro-life coalition led by the Susan B. Anthony List launched an anti-Planned Parenthood TV ad campaign featuring former PP manager Abby Johnson.

        Planned Parenthood spokesman Tait Sye claims the ad is “misleading.” Via HuffPo:

        Among the misleading statements in the SBA commercial, according to Sye, is the claim, made in voiceover, that “98 percent of [Planned Parenthood’s] services to pregnant women are abortions.”

        “They’re discounting all of the preventative care we provide,” Sye said. “They’re looking at the number of abortions compared to adoption referrals to come up with that number.”

        By “all of the preventative care we provide,” Sye means, of course, pushing contraception — which has reliably proven to be ineffective as a remedy for abortion, as even the pro-choice movement’s own figures indicate (per Guttmacher: “Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant”).

        But what about the claim that “98 percent of [Planned Parenthood’s] services to pregnant women are abortions”? Recall that PP spokesman Sye said that figure is arrived at by “looking at the number of abortions compared to adoption referrals.”
        “Misleading” Abortion Figures?

        Let’s check his math.

        Looking at a Planned Parenthood fact sheet [PDF] detailing their services for 2009 (the most recent year for which data are available), we see that PP’s abortion numbers were 332,278, while their number of adoption referrals was 977.

        That’s one adoption referral for every 340 aborted babies. And if you add the abortion and adoption numbers together, their abortion numbers account for 99.7%, and their adoption numbers for 0.3%.

        But wait a minute…Sye is claiming that it’s “misleading” for pro-lifers to claim that 98% of PP’s services to pregnant women are abortions, and yet according to his comments, their percentage of abortions should be even higher.

        Sye apparently forgot that the organization for which he is a paid spokesman provides prenatal care — an omission that self-evidently indicates how little of a priority it is for them.

        Planned Parenthood’s figures show they had 7,021 prenatal clients in 2009. It’s this number plus the 977 adoption referrals plus the 332,278 abortions that gives you the total number of services to pregnant women, of which abortions constitute 97.6%, which rounds up to 98%.

        What’s so “misleading” about that?
        PP’s Adoption and Prenatal Care Numbers Down, Abortion Numbers Up

        It’s also interesting to look at how Planned Parenthood’s numbers from 2009 compare to 2007 [PDF] and 2008 [PDF].

        Here are their numbers of prenatal clients:

        * 2007: 10,914
        * 2008: 9,433
        * 2009: 7,021

        Here are their numbers of adoptions referrals:

        * 2007: 4,912
        * 2008: 2,405
        * 2009: 977

        And here are their abortion numbers:

        * 2007: 305,310
        * 2008: 324,008
        * 2009: 332,278

        So as Planned Parenthood’s numbers of prenatal clients and adoption referrals have gone down over the past three years (36% for the former and a staggering 80% for the latter), their abortion numbers have gone up by 9% — and thus, their percentage of abortions as services to pregnant women has also gone up:

        * 2007: 95.1%
        * 2008: 96.5%
        * 2009: 97.6%

        These figures speak for themselves. When it comes to “services” to pregnant women, Planned Parenthood’s first priority is none other than abortion.

        http://prolifeaction.org/hotline/2011/98percent/

        • Terry Evans says:

          VH…not being familiar with PP whatsoever, are those 3 services all they offer that make them money?

          • No, they do tests for sexual diseases and they give out contraception. Not sure what else.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              Cancer screening, for one.

              • Terry Evans says:

                Adding, if PP has so many avenues to make money, what the hell do they need taxpayer funding for?

            • Terry Evans says:

              OK, just trying to gauge reality VS hyperbole. I would like to be a bit more informed before I form an opinion on PP..

      • “This is just patently false, as you even admit by withdrawing the comment.”

        My withdrawing does not constitute me admitting to making a false statement. I did not have the time to research and offer proof, so was willing to withdraw my statement. V.H., on the other hand, did the research and posted some interesting numbers. And you have ignored those numbers for a noticeable period of time.

        “But let’s quit with the demagoguery of how abortions is the majority of PP practice, or makes up most of their profit.”

        But that seems to be what V.H.’s numbers prove. Maybe you should admit to being “wrong”?

        PS, interested in a job? I will pay $1,000 for you to file a false advertising suit against Planned Parenthood. Based on V.H.’s information, they do very little business in helping people plan to be parents. Blatant false advertising. I would not expect to win, just looking to show publicly what they say and what they do are not the same thing at all.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Nope, sorry.

          VH’s numbers are comparing adoption referrals to abortions. Throw in some other ‘prenatal’ services and this represents the services provided to pregnant women.

          This says absolutely nothing about the services being provided to women who are not currently pregnant. Remember this: only 3% of PP’s services are abortion services. Three Percent. 35% of their services is providing contraception; 34% for STD testing and treatment; 17% for cancer screening. 3% for abortion services.

          And unfortunately I will have to decline taking your case for $1,000. (1) It is a frivolous claim – in my opinion – and I dont’ feel like having sanctions thrown against me and (2) $1,000 would not begin to cover my preparation of such a complaint.

          • Percentages can be so misleading.

            Why the Claim that Abortion is “Only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s Services” is so Radically Misleading
            April 15th, 2011 scoggins
            Share156

            By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., National Right to Life Director of Education & Research

            Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon is director of Education and Research for the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund.

            As attention has increasingly focused on the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, PPFA has repeated one statistic over and over, like a mantra, in its attempt to advance the notion that abortion is only a small, insignificant part of this billion dollar corporation’s business. This assertion appears in Planned Parenthood press releases, is advanced by Planned Parenthood spokespersons, and is uncritically repeated by their witting and unwitting defenders in the media.

            It is the claim that abortion represents “only three percent of Planned Parenthood’s services.”

            Sometimes it is expressed in the reverse, that 97% or “more than 90 percent of the health care Planned Parenthood provides is basic and preventive.” But presented either way, the claim is the same: abortion is a minor part of Planned Parenthood’s business or agenda.

            Is this true? Is abortion just 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services? Only if you present the numbers in an odd, twisted, and extremely misleading way. But a more straightforward way of looking Planned Parenthood’s data makes it clear that abortion is central, indeed critical, to Planned Parenthood’s mission and its bottom line.

            Where the 3% comes from

            To see how Planned Parenthood arrives at this claim, look at PPFA’s March, 2011 Fact Sheet, “Planned Parenthood Services.” [1] There you’ll see Planned Parenthood’s 332,278 abortions listed as 3% of the 11,383,900 services the organization says it provided clients in 2009. If you do the math, it comes out to 2.9%.

            But look closer at the page. You’ll notice that it lists every “service” Planned Parenthood does equally, whether it is a test, a surgical procedure, or handing someone a condom. Something that takes a couple of seconds and can be done by receptionist is put on par with what is supposed to be a serious operation.

            Clearly, not all these “services” are equivalent. Some involve medical skill, some are rather expensive, but others are neither.

            Moreover, as a matter of fact, the whole total of “services” that the percentage is based on is grossly inflated by the 3,864,842 receiving “reversible contraception” or “emergency contraception kits,” in many cases, “services” that consist of nothing more than the passing out a few packs of pills.

            Planned Parenthood says that it counts services in this way because it is “following government requirements for tracking and calculating services performed” (PPFA physician Deborah L. Nucatola, writing in The Hill’s Congress Blog, 4/6/11). Perhaps. But it never seems to trouble itself with explaining or correcting the false impressions given by these “professional protocols for its data reporting,” that make it appear that abortion is an inconsequential part of Planned Parenthood’s business. If anything, by repeating this ad nauseam without clarification, it helps to foster and perpetuate this misimpression.

            What other “services” do you get with your abortion?

            Another reason the 3% of services claim is so laughable is that a woman coming to Planned Parenthood for an abortion gets more than just her abortion. Bundled with that abortion may be a pregnancy test, an Rh Type test, an ultrasound, an antibiotic, a pack of birth control pills, a prescription for “the morning after pill,” and “Other tests as needed” [2]

            Some of these services may be included with the abortion, but others, such as the pregnancy test, the contraceptives, and some of the “other tests” are the sort that are listed separately on Planned Parenthood’s Services fact sheet. If the counts on the Services fact sheet are correct, they would include some services rendered to abortion patients.

            A higher percentage of abortion clients

            It does not publicize it anywhere near as much, but elsewhere, Planned Parenthood admits that the percentage of its clients receiving abortion is significantly higher than 3%.

            On a February 2011, fact sheet entitled “Planned Parenthood by the Numbers,” PPFA repeats the claim that 3% of its “health services” are abortions, but also admits that the percentage of its clients receiving “abortion services” is actually 12%. [3] That means that not one in every 33, but nearly one out of every eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion.

            Even this, however, does not count the numbers who visit Planned Parenthood thinking they might be pregnant and planning on having an abortion if they are. The 2009 PPFA services factsheet says that 1,158,924 women visiting Planned Parenthood clinics had pregnancy tests.

            Why were these women coming to Planned Parenthood for their pregnancy tests, considering how they could have gotten a cheap pregnancy test at their local drug store? It certainly couldn’t be for the prenatal care, since so few Planned Parenthood centers offer it (FN According to the Services fact sheet, PPFA clinics provided prenatal services just 7,021 clients in 2009 in the U.S.).

            A not so insignificant part of the bottom line

            To get a real idea of how essential abortion is to Planned Parenthood, instead of comparing all services equally, one does well to take a look at the relative revenue brought in by each service.

            While a pregnancy test may cost $15 and birth control pills may run $15-$50 a month, the average price a woman pays for basic first trimester surgical abortion in the U.S. is about $451, says a recent survey by the Guttmacher Institute (FN Rachel Jones and Kathryn Kooistra, “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services in the United States, 2008, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Vol. 43, No. 1 (March 2011), Table 6, p. 48).

            If so, and all 332,278 abortions performed at Planned Parenthood in 2009 are counted as these first trimester surgical abortions, then the revenue generated by abortion would be $149.9 million. This would represent a full 37% of the $404.9 million in “health center income” Planned Parenthood reported for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009 (FN, Planned Parenthood Federation of American, Annual Report, 2008-2009,”The Promise of Change,” p.29)

            Given that Planned Parenthood clinics advertise and perform more expensive chemical abortions with abortifacients like RU486 (average price paid $483) and later surgical abortions (average price of $1562 at 20 weeks), [4] the revenue stream generated by abortion and the percentage of clinic income it represents at Planned Parenthood is probably much higher.

            Put all this together, largely taken from PPFA’s own reports, and it is clear that the “3%” figure is a myth intended to mask Planned Parenthood’s deep, wide, and lucrative involvement in abortion.

            http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2011/04/why-the-claim-that-abortion-is-%E2%80%9Conly-3-of-planned-parenthood%E2%80%99s-services%E2%80%9D-is-so-radically-misleading/

            • Mathius says:

              I did wonder how they were calculating it. If true, that does seem misleading.

              Given this would you agree or disagree that, while 3% may be false, as Jon Kyle said: “[abortion is well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does”?

              Then again, he did later clarify that this was not intended to be taken as a factual statement.. despite the fact that he said it during a floor speech while looking down at notes.

              PolitiFact

            • Buck the Wala says:

              But that only proves the 3% figure is not a myth but completely factual.

              Taking each individual service provided, a grand total of just under 3% of such services is abortion itself. That abortion costs more, takes longer, involves more medical skill, etc. is completely irrelevant to this equation. The only thing that I will grant you here is that when a woman comes in for an abortion, other services are provided. Clearly these are not ‘abortion’ services (a pregnancy test for instance), but they are related to the abortion service being provided. But even if you add all of these tests into ‘abortion services’ you still won’t find a majority of services to be ‘abortion’.

              No one is arguing that only 3% of the profit is derived from abortions – I’ve even stated this myself earlier today.

              It is not false to say that PP derives a sizeable percentage of its profit from abortion. But it is patently false to suggest that MOST of its profit is derived from abortion services.

            • I would say from this I have no way of knowing what % anything is-I just know it’s higher than they are promoting. As far as Kyle-I think he heard all the statements about 90 + % for pregnancy patients and didn’t really know all the facts. He simply should have researched a little and he wouldn’t of had to make such a ridiculous statement in self defense.

  18. Black Flag

    “JAC,
    I agree. But you are the one who -initially- attempted to infuse more into “Society” than a mere generalization.”

    I did NO SUCH THING.

    I think perhaps you ASSUMED something that was not there.

    • JAC,

      I quote you here, regarding Society, from above, in your initial post vs. mine:

      Of course they do things. Lots of things. And that is the real point.

      I believe my complaint about you infusing more into “society” has merit.

      • BF

        Read the rest of the explanation please. As I have urged before. READ all the words don’t just pick out single or small groups to rationalize your mistake.

        • JAC,

          I think I was very clear regarding my complaint — that is proclaiming ACTION (doing things) upon, or on behalf of an abstraction is a fallacy, and will lead to the manifestation of EVIL.

          Your comment here says this, in the context because, as you said That is the real point. I wholly dispute that point.

          • BF

            Well then you obviously didn’t understand my point I guess.

            Just guessing here but given my past comments on Society, Todd, Ray, Mathius and Buck would have eaten my lunch for reversing my position, if they thought I was claiming that Society could form a singular and purpose driven action. Or if I was claiming someone could determine the needs of Society and then act upon that assumption on behalf of Society.

  19. Mathius,

    we can self-create our own stimuli. What we self-create is the result of a biological process in our brains.

    ….actually more than just the brain. It is created by “everything”.

    The whole is greater then the sum of the parts.

    My computer will sometimes freeze up for no reason.

    Ah, no. Unlike a human, everything in a computer is explainable. Whether we know at a particular moment maybe difficult, depending on the event, as the particulars of the event may have dissipated or, in the resolution, been reset or cleared.

    Your “freeze” for no reason is most probably (90%) a static discharge from a human called Mathius.

    You can pass 20,000 volts over your skin and not feel it. You touch your keyboard, and through it, short out the machine whose components operate -generally- a +/- of 5 volts.

    • Mathius says:

      The whole is greater then the sum of the parts.

      This may be true, insofar as the configuration of the parts in conjunction with the properties of the parts creates something greater than the sum of the parts absent that configuration.

      This is akin to arguing that a computer is greater than the whole of it’s parts (true) because those parts, absent that configuration are little more than scrap.

      Unlike a human, everything in a computer is explainable. I hold that, in a human too, all things are explainable. Regardless of whether, as you put it, “we know at a particular moment.” I just hold that we’ll have to figure it out in the future when we know more about how humans work.

      In ye olden tymes, people thought the heart was the source of love. Yet, now, we know that this is not true. Why? Because we’ve figured out what the heart is and how it works. What makes the brain so special? It’s more complicated, sure, but it’s just a bunch of pieces (neurons) in a special configuration. We’ll get it eventually. It might take a few hundred more years, but we will.

      As Agent Smith said: It is inevitable.

      And he would know, he was a sentient machine externally indistinguishable from a human being.

      • Mathius,

        Agent Smith lost.

        • Mathius says:

          Agent Smith didn’t lose. Agent Smith just didn’t understand his purpose. He was programmed by the Colonel Sanders guy to do enforce the rules. Then he was given input via the Oracle by way of Neo that changed his purpose. He was then slated to push the war to the brink so that Colonel Sanders and the humans would be forced to make a truce.

          Note that it didn’t matter what Agent Smith though or believed, he was nothing more than a function of his programming, just like the rest of us.

  20. Mathius,
    It means the entire universe is one giant wind-up toy

    Pointless speculation with no merit.

    We do not know why the Universe works in the manner it does.

    All we can know is that is does work in THIS manner as it does.

    • Mathius says:

      You seem to make the assumption that just because we don’t understand something, that we never will understand it.

      If that were true, we would never have learned to control electricity, or fly, or any of the thousands of things that people used to believe were permanently beyond our reach.

      • Mathius,

        No, what I am saying is we do not need to know WHY it does what it does to know how to USE it.

        Such as electricity. No one knows why it does what it does. But we know it does what it does, and can use it.

        An Aztec priest was precisely accurate in knowing exactly when the star of evil (Venus) appeared, so to prepare the necessary pograms to mitigate its evil. He moved pebbles from one container to others in a very mechanical way – which told him precisely the day when Venus would rise.

        He did not know why Venus moved through the sky as it does. He had no understanding of planets or orbits.

        But he could tell you to the minute when Venus appeared in the sky.

        USING vs. Knowing

        • Mathius says:

          Yes.. and eventually we figured it out.

          And some day, we’ll get at the very basic physics behind it all.

          • Mathius,
            Turing said what you said.

            Godel proved you will not.

          • You confuse theory with experiment. I can predict the gravitational force between two masses by using a theoretical model. The fact that the data fits the model makes me think I am right. The only problem with that is that I can come up with several models that will fit the data. Each has a different theoretical basis. I cannot say “this is why this happens” because all I know is that my model seems to fit the data.

            I understand what you’re getting at, though. The fact that physics can describe everything does not mean that it can tell us why.

            Consider quantum mechanics. The double slit experiment. When I shine an electron beam at a double slit, I get a diffraction pattern. If I set up the experiment so that I know which hole the electron went through, I no longer see the pattern. The diffraction pattern is only visible if I cannot know which slit the electron passed through. Why does this happen? Because an electron has a wavelength. Why does an electron have a wavelength? It just does.

            We can explain what happens, but not why it is the way it is.

  21. Wanna cut the national debt? Let Knucks handle it. And if yous were REAL American Patriots, you’d all LOVE Glee!

    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2011/05/glee-season-two-brittany-v-puck-cinco.html

  22. SUFA

    From Mathius

    We just may eat your lunch anyway.

    We liberals are a hungry bunch..

    Though he said it in jest, it is one of the most funamental truths about the Progressive Left.

    They survive solely on the ability to consume other people’s wealth and spend other people’s money.

    When they no longer are able to do this, they die quickly – like lice that have been removed from its host.

    This fundamental truth is an insight into their weakness

    • Actually, it is in response to greedy SOB’s looking to horde for yourselves at “other people’s expense” … so we take what you don’t give (Joey Zazza, Godfather III).

      It’s a beautiful thing …

      • Two wrongs don’t make a right. If you want to take from someone because you think they have wronged you, at least have the courage to call it what it is, immoral.

        (Note, I am not referencing taxation, just the imagery of theft because of hording, both of which I consider immoral)

  23. Abortion is a difficult debate. Those who have solidly picked a side or an opinion claim it is not, but it is:

    1) When does life start? At conception? Possibly, but is it life when it is supported by another life? Is it a seperate entity? It may indeed be, especially if it is embued with a soul, but physiologically, is it yet a life? If not, when does that start? When it can survive after disconnection? What about technology, does that change when life starts because standalone age is lower than it used to be?

    2) And even if life is at conception, when is it classified as human? It is certainly a potential human life whether it is recognizeable or not, but does potential count as human life? Does it grant it rights? What about miscarriages, were any rights violated? Even if not due to it being accidental, was a human life lost?

    3) Some say that breath is the start of life, even Adam was not human until God breathed the breath of life into him, he was merely a construct, a life form without life. Was this referring to the soul or to breathing itself? If it was referencing the soul, is the body designed to be built and then come to real life upon birth? Is that the moment of “ensouling”?

    4) Assuming you believe that life is at conception and that it is human life with all the rights afforded any other human child, then there is still the question of philosophical demand on another human being. Sure, the child has no say in life or death in the case of an abortion. The mother, however, is being imposed on by another person against her will. Is this acceptable? Certainly it could be said that it was a result of her choice, she engaged in sex thus she has welcomed the possibility of being imposed on by another human life. What if it was not her choice, however? In the case of rape, should she be coerced, not only into a sexual act by some monster, but into caring for a child as well simply because it is a life? Sure, the real monster was the rapist, but I would think he should stand trial for both the rape of the mother and, if she chooses abortion, the murder of a child. It was he who caused the problem. What about in cases of consentual sex where there was birth control involved that failed? Is a morning after pill immoral then? Is the very low risk associated sufficient to still require the mother to “bear the consequences”?

    I will say this, along the lines of the article, the removal of consequences is a problem. Abortion has allowed a removal of responsible sexual decisions. It is also easy because no one is made to see what they are really doing and to whom (or what) they are doing it. I do not like abortion. I support the visual imagery shown by anti-abortion activists to make people see what is really happening, to force the consequence. It is free speech after all. I do not, however think that I can get on board with making it illegal. I think it should be difficult, and there should be psychological examination involved as well. But to force someone to be subject to another that they did not choose to be in their life based solely on need is not acceptable anymore than it is acceptable to force me to pay for the health care of others via taxation or forced purchase of insurance.

    • Mathius says:

      3) Some say that breath is the start of life, even Adam was not human until God breathed the breath of life into him, he was merely a construct, a life form without life. Was this referring to the soul or to breathing itself? If it was referencing the soul, is the body designed to be built and then come to real life upon birth? Is that the moment of “ensouling”?

      Remember, there are two stories about the creation of man.. If you’re going to ground your concept of “life” in a bible context, you’re going to have to elaborate on this.

      • Indeed, but I will leave that to the “Some” who say this. I do not necessarily agree. You will note I put out several arguments to show that they are all reasonable ones, more or less. There are, in fact, a lot more than two stories about the creation of man. I am most familiar with Biblical theology because of my background, but I am aware of hundreds of “creation stories” not to mention the various non-deity theories on mankind’s existence. The idea of a soul is not unique to Biblical contexts, but those who focus on the idea of a soul and when it is a part of a human life do debate on when this occurs, even within circles of Biblical theology. I am sure there are similar debates in other theologies, altho I imagine there are pretty small circles debating the theology of say, the Aztec creation story…

    • “But to force someone to be subject to another that they did not choose to be in their life based solely on need is not acceptable”

      Why should a person be free from the responsibility that nature puts into play? If one has a baby-whatever the circumstances of their birth-do we not hold them responsible for their care. If one is born blind because of an accident at birth-are they free from any responsibility to take care of themselves because they did not choose to have this problem. Why should people be free from these responsibilities? Are we animals who can just discard our offspring and our responsibilities because we didn’t choose to have them?

      • Nature puts into play? A rape may initiate a natural process, but it not a natural thing. More importantly, the person truly reponsible escapes the consequences unless they are caught. No punishment fits the crime of rape, and it is a horrible crime, which is why I put it in the highest of categories for punishment. On the other hand. it cannot be allowed to be used as a tool of destruction as it has been in history, women using false accusations to harm men. Still, the occurences of this are insanely few compared to the occurrences of rape.

        As for freeing from responsibility, no one is ever freed from the responsibility of caring for themselves. Caring for another, whether by the will of nature or not, is a seperate issue. We should not be animals, but we should also not act out of guilt or obligation to the mutual destruction of all parties involved. There are occasions where you cannot survive caring for two and you decide to care for only one. That is not a choice to be made lightly, but it is a choice that may have to be made.

        Regardless, however, is it philosophically proper to have the rights of one override the rights of another? In the case of children, it may be, however, how far does that go? Do we take from the whole village for the sake of “the children”? It is confined to the parents? What about the fact that the mother is the one who truly bears the weight of that resonsibility? Do we use force to make sure that someone takes responsibility? Is that morally ok? We should be above animals, but can we use force to make sure of that? It is not an easy question unless you never ask it.

        • I have asked many questions-I simply have deemed them second in the line of importance. If there is life-can be argued about-but once life is established the arguing is over. You do not have the right to intentionally kill the innocent. I know that life is complicated and during war and such this line can get blurred. But in the case of abortion-it is the planned, intentional killing of an innocent. A woman doesn’t have a special license to kill because nature gave her the responsibility to carry children. So all the other questions are secondary to the first. Life trumps the philosophies- humanity can wrestle with the secondary questions. The first one is already answered. If one intentionally takes an innocent life it is wrong.

          • Mathius says:

            She she have an obligation to refrain from smoking and/or excessive drinking?

            Is she obligated to eat well?

            Just curious..

            • No more obligation than any other mother does. Nothing is easy Matt-I don’t think we are going to start putting women in jail and insisting they have to toe some line of what is good for baby. But we can at least stop the legalized killing of babies.

              • Mathius says:

                I’m just curious.. because drinking / smoking while pregnant is clearly linked to birth defects and other serious and life-long health and developmental issues.

                While I disagree, I do clearly understand your stance on the issues of abortions. So I’m a little hazy on why a mother should not be allowed to abort a fetus but she should be allowed the freedom to cause permanent and irreparable harm to it.

              • I’m not saying she should but society can’t and shouldn’t control everything. If a woman’s actions hurt the baby-I’m sure it will be addressed by society. It is another of those secondary questions. How does society handle it now?

              • Mathius says:

                I was just trying to understand your take on it. You see, there’s a frequent line thrown out there: “Republicans believe life begins at conception and ends at birth.” (not saying you’re a Republican or that you think that).

                But I do wonder how people square these kinds of things and where they draw the lines. You say it’s a secondary question, I say it’s also a primary question.

              • It is a problem but it is still not a justification to kill.

    • I agree with your point that it is challenging. Just a few thoughts.

      2. Miscarriage means that the baby was not viable. In other words, it died a natural death. There was no killing involved because no one took any action to bring about the death. If someone intentionally caused a miscarriage, then they have killed the baby.

      3. In terms of demand from another human. If this is the case, then we should be able to kill our children, no? They depend on us to provide for them. I think many people would agree that rape is a sufficient reason for an abortion, but I could be wrong. Birth control is not 100% is says so on the label. By using it and engaging in sex, a person has accepted pregnancy as a possible outcome. If you believe in personal responsibility, you have to take all possibilities into account.

      to force someone to be subject to another that they did not choose to be in their life

      But they did choose it, by doing the one thing that will induce pregnancy (outside of medical procedures). If you shoot your gun around in the air and someone is killed, can you say, “I didn’t mean for that to happen, I didn’t actually shoot at them”? No, you recognize the possible outcomes of your actions.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        But JB, WHY is rape a sufficient reason for an abortion?

        (That is, if you do equate abortion to murder and find it immoral, evil, etc. etc. etc.)

        • Aha, so you see, this is where I show I am pro-choice.

          If the woman did not have a choice, I don’t think she should have to bear the burden. I still believe it is murder, but I cannot blame her for it. In other words, I believe her actions are wrong but justifiable. Confusing I know. I don’t think I could explain it without contradiction…

          If a woman makes a choice to have sex, then she must accept the consequences of her actions. If she becomes pregnant, she has already made her choice.

          • Buck the Wala says:

            Gotcha.

            I’ve long been interested in the answer to this question among those who are anti-abortion.

            I guess its a fair distinction to make – this is, if it works for you. My issue would be what about the woman who chose to have sex in a safe manner, to take proper actions to avoid getting pregnant. I understand you see this as ‘too bad’ as she made the choice to have sex, but why should she have to suffer for this choice when she also made the choice to take all steps possible to avoid pregnancy?

            • Just read the pill box… 99.9% effective. That means, if you engage in sex there is a .1% chance you will become pregnant. That is a risk you take when you have sex. I do not believe that is a good excuse for killing a baby.

              • Mathius says:

                The problem you forget is that your DNA is screaming at you to have sex. You expect that people will make the “right” choice, but the conscious mind doesn’t win all the fights against the animal brain

              • Buck the Wala says:

                There is a huge difference between using abortion as birth control and utilizing abortion as a last resort.

                This is not to say that making this choice is an easy decision. Its not and I know no one who has had to make the choice that found it to be simple.

    • Jon,

      “along the lines of the article, the removal of consequences is a problem. ”

      Where else do you see it causing some of today’s problems? I think every entitlement, perhaps every subsidy is an example of the government acting to remove consequences that end up creating greater harm.

      The fed manipulating the money supply is done to attempt avoiding the consequences of spending more than the government takes in.

      Foreign aid seems to largely create welfare nations, asking for more and more while their standard of living is static or dropping.

      Education, the DoE has expanded it’s role, testing, teaching standards, etc. It used to be the parents and the student were held accountable.

      And lets face facts, if any government agency screws something up, they are largely not accountable. The FAA, TSA, homeland security, EPA, you name it, individuals working for the government are not accountable to citizens.
      They are shielded from the consequences all private persons face. How many teachers cannot be fired in NY?
      There are no consequences for poor performance, even sex with a student does not get them fired.

      Consequences=Morality A person without morals is not likely to do a good job. Remove consequences for all government employee’s, you see a drop in their job performance.

  24. I didn’t just happen to come into existence. I was built according to a genetic blueprint, raised by people operating according to their own programming, and influenced by the input of experiences.

    And back and back and back, biology and physics. That’s what it all boils down to.

    So with this line of reasoning then you will agree that someone isn’t born homosexual, it is a choice they make. Considering otherwise that you must show two homosexuals who directly procreated a human being in order to have that “choice” encoded into their DNA (and back and back and back, biology and physics). Thank you for proving the truth that it IS choice.

    • Mathius says:

      Um.. no?

      Genetics can be recessive. I make no claim as to whether homosexuality is nature or nurture, but I do think that both are possible. My suspicion is that it’s probably, like many things, both.

      In your statement, you’re saying that both parents must be gay in order to pass on a gay gene, but that doesn’t have to be the case. For example, both parents may be carriers of Tay Sachs, but not have it themselves, and then have a child who does have it. Similarly hair color, eye color etc.

      If homosexuality is (at least partially) genetic, it is the result of a mutation at some point in our past which has spread and is most likely recessive. Coupled with a societal (in my cases) repression, many “genetically gay” individuals procreated heterosexually anyway, passing along the gay-gene.

      I had a good friend in college who was (I suppose it depends on how you define it) gay – he had feelings and desires for another male friend of ours. He said that he would never have sex with another man, and he would probably marry a woman and have children and never tell them. If it’s genetic, he’ll pass that along and it may express itself more strongly in his offspring leading to a gay-er individual. This is, in my opinion, a case of nurture suppressing nature. Sometimes nature wins.. sometimes nurture wins.

      • For there to be a recessive gene I need to see the evidence – not some theory – that said gene exists in the first place.

        Simply put, foe me at this point – that dog don’t hunt.

        And to put it clearly, before anyone should jump to any conclusion – I think ALL sexual orientations – including heterosexuality – are choice.

        Which means I find no problem in people choosing – by whatever means – their sexual preference. It’s between them and God.

        • ::sigh:: and I type poorly. I meant “for” not “foe”

        • Mathius says:

          Why would anyone “choose” to be gay in, say, a culture where gays are hated?

          I never chose to like women, but I do. I don’t believe that I could “choose” to like men instead. Perhaps you hold that this choice is made early in life?

          • Perhaps you hold that this choice is made early in life

            Yes, actually I do. I believe the choice comes before we really understand the concepts of choosing. What plays into that early choice – outside of genetics that is – is a mystery to me at this point in my understanding.

            I came to this conclusion slowly, years after having the initial thoughts about it. For years my ex brother-in-law would have occasional discussions on his homosexuality (he “came out” at 16). He has, more than once over the years scoffed himself at the genetic/born that way theory. He will, very affirmatively, tell you it was his choice – there was in his mind no pre-disposition. He firmly believes that his choice was made at an early stage as well. I have found no reason to believe otherwise.

  25. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hi all

    I would like to take this time, to wish all mom’s here a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY this Sunday & hope you will have a wonderful day.

    Take Care

    Judy

  26. Mathius,

    If we’re in the middle of the desert and I run out of water, I have no choice but to steal from you or die.

    There are no other choices, so I’m moral in stealing from you?

    False dichotomy.

    You always have a choice when relieved of coercion

    You can trade.
    You can beg.

    • Mathius says:

      I have nothing to trade, and I’ve begged an you said no.

      There is no way to convince you because at this point because you do not have enough water to spare and ensure your own survival.

      Proceed.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Nothing to trade; my comrade in the desert already has enough sand, thank you very much.

      Begging didn’t work.

      Same question – Am I now moral to steal from him in order to obtain that life-or-death bottle of water?

      • Buck,

        As I posted before, creating a fantasy of bizarre and unreal circumstances does not prove or disprove a point.

        I can -as easily- make up circumstances.

        You can dig for water.
        You can trade your labor.
        You can beg and it can work (Your claim it does not work is refuted).

        There are ALWAYS choices other than doing evil.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          My question (actually, Mathius’ question) goes to but what about when these other supposed choices run out? In your world, is there ever a time (short of having a gun to your head) where it is moral to steal from another?

          And I most certainly did not venture into the desert without water. I’ve been in the desert longer than you and have already finished my water.

          • Buck

            My question (actually, Mathius’ question) goes to but what about when these other supposed choices run out?

            These choices never run out.

            I think you and Mathius have muddled two concepts.

            Choice

            Consequence of your choice

            You both want all your choices to turn out to be good for you.

            But this is a poor view point.

            You have choice. There are consequences. You make bad choice, bad consequences. Sometimes you make good choices and still get bad consequences.

            In your world, is there ever a time (short of having a gun to your head) where it is moral to steal from another?

            Never ever moral nor Right

            And I most certainly did not venture into the desert without water. I’ve been in the desert longer than you and have already finished my water.

            Then you made the choice to venture into the desert unprepared for the length of your journey.

            Not…my….fault.

        • There are ALWAYS choices other than doing evil.

          Hording = evil
          sharing = good
          starving vs. surviving = a form of sharing (only taking enough for oneself) = smart

          We win.

          • Terry Evans says:

            Stirring again?

          • Charlie

            Hording = a description of a person who has not prepared makes of a person who has prepared.

            Sharing (via Left) = stealing what another person earned

            Starving vs Surviving = a test of preparedness and effort.

            Yes, being prepared and learned increase the win percentage.

          • 1. Charlie comes by hungry and thirsty to force me to share because Charlie believes I have too much.

            2. I disagree and shoot Charlie dead.

            3. I win and Charlie feeds the local coyote population so they don’t starve.

            (Terry – thyat is stirring the pot)

          • 1. Charlie comes by hungry and thirsty to force me to share because Charlie believes I have too much.

            2. I disagree and shoot Charlie dead.

            3. I win and Charlie feeds the local coyote population so they don’t starve.

            (Terry – that is stirring the pot)

            • hmm…..double posting – computer has gotten infected weith a left virus me thinks. 🙂

              • Charlie is now double dead … but his ghost(s) come back and drink all the water … everybody is dead. Nobody left to watch Glee = Charlie is bummed.

              • Ha! Not so fast ghostly Charlie!

                plainlyspoken had Ute medicine man make big wampum ghost dance, scaring Charlie’s ghost back to haunt the streets of Manhattan (or whatever part of NYC Charlie lives in).

                Ghost flees, no water, no food (not that ghost needs either) and Charlie haunts TV repair shop watching Glee (what is Glee by the way?) all night/every night.

      • ….and remember, it was your choice to venture into the desert without water….

  27. Mathius

    And we are amazingly complex, it’s true, but we’re far from perfect. I have a hard time believing that such a wondrously powerful and intelligent being would design us with such basic flaws.

    Such conceit!

    We are absolutely beyond question “perfect”! Or we would not exist.

    You are merely applying your own weak subjective view over that of the Universe!

    • Mathius says:

      We are perfect or we wouldn’t exist? Huh?

      We’re “good enough.” That’s the evolutionary standard.. good enough to survive and procreate.

      I’m no super-intelligent god-like being, but if I’m going to design a race of beings with amazingly wondrous brains, fantastically complex inner workings, miles of DNA in every cell, etc.. how does it make sense that I’m going to simultaneously make such rookie mistakes as weak knees? Birth defects? Blindness? Aging? Parkinson’s? Muscular dystrophy? Why are our immune systems too weak in many cases? Cancer? Sickle cell? I could go on for hours. Why do we have feelings like hate and rage and greed and selfishness? Why can’t we re-grow lost limns? We know that starfish can do it, so why wouldn’t a creator include that?

      It’d be like building the pyramids (and then some), but forgetting a giant gaping and obvious hole in the side.. what? Did the creator just shrug and say “good enough”?

      • I wonder sometimes Matt, if you really believe that the idea of a creator isn’t logical or if you just don’t like the way that man was created. But the best answer I can give is that God wasn’t creating robots. We are suppose to see evil so we can learn what is right. To grow and become worthy. We weren’t meant to just be Gods perfect little play toys. We all have a purpose in this life and the next.

        • Mathius says:

          That’s just it, V.. we have no purpose.

          There is no purpose.

          There is no design.

          There is no plan.

          There just is.

          I think mankind is deeply and fundamentally flawed. I think the time will come when we know enough to correct more of the flaws. We use technology to replace weak knees, after all. Sooner or later, we’ll fix the underlying issues.

          To grow and become worthy.
          Why wouldn’t he just create us worthy?

          It makes no sense.

          • He created us worthy in the beginning-but he gave us the ability to choose-we chose poorly. It had to be our choice-to just be made good-would mean nothing. If he had done what you wish we would indeed be-worthless robots. But we are not-we have our faults-but we learn from our mistakes, we overcome our handicaps, we love and care for our families and friends. But always it is our choice and others choices that determine the situation we live in. If one chooses to do evil that evil will hurt others. But the good Matt, it is all around you-mixed in with the bad. If all we are is impulses and responses, we would already be extinct.

            • Mathius says:

              If we were worthy, we would have made the right choice.

              But now you’re into bible stories with the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Let’s back off an go back to question of general religious implications rather than a specific judeo-christian beliefs.

              The question is even simpler than one of morality, worthiness, etc. It is this: why would a super-intelligent being design us with magnificent minds and such versatile bodies, but make such rookie mistakes as giving us weak knees?

              It’s like designing a Maserati and forgetting one tire.

              • I have no problem with my knees-they bend perfectly for me to sit, to squat-what else would you like them to do.

              • Mathius says:

                I’d like them not to wear out. According to The Google, 773,000 Americans have a hip or knee replaced each year. Seems to me that there’s a serious design flaw here.

                Maybe I should just submit a bug report to the powers that be?

              • Well,maybe 773000 people abuse their knees-ask them to carry more weight than is reasonable. Or they abuse them through doing stupid stuff they weren’t meant to handle. Maybe they were made that way to encourage us to take care of ourselves and not do stupid things. But there is nothing wrong with there construction-they are quite amazing -in fact.

              • Mathius says:

                You know what’s amazing? A ball joint. With 360 degrees of motion? Come to think of it, metal alloys are better than bone (lighter, stronger, more durable).. why couldn’t we go that route?

                Would that be so hard? Seems that engineers are able to make this, but not the intelligent designer?

                I know a girl who was born deaf. She got a cochlear implant and now hears fine.. in fact, she can plug her iPod directly into her ear. How cool is that. Would it have killed the intelligent designer to give us just one USB port?

      • “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”

        Romans 8:20-21

        I don’t know why God created us this way. All I can do is speculate. I know I’ll never convince you, because you’ve already convinced yourself that God does not exist. I won’t waste my time arguing.

        • Mathius says:

          Actually I haven’t.

          I’ve convinced myself that I don’t know.

          But I have no evident to support your theory, and plenty to support mine.

          As always, like any good scientist, if new evidence comes along, I’ll be more than happy to reevaluate.

  28. Wow, I don’t think I have every participated this much. I guess this discussion is a dear one to my heart (which is, after all, the source of all love no matter what Matt thinks).

    I’m out for the day. Have a good weekend everyone!

    • Mathius says:

      Likewise, I fear that I’ve spent far too much time on this today. Have a good weekend.

      Adding, people without hearts, ie on bypass, are still capable of love, therefore you are wrong.

      Adding, hmm.. I wonder if a transplant would cause you to love the donor’s family instead of your own…

  29. Mathius,

    We are perfect or we wouldn’t exist? Huh?

    We’re “good enough.” That’s the evolutionary standard.. good enough to survive and procreate.

    Yep, the bar is very high. Very, very, very high. It is a real miracle we got this far.

    99.9999% of life failed to even get to a point of continued existence.. And that is on Earth.

    As far as the whole Universe, it has been calculated to be 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999….20 more “9”‘s rare.

    So, yeah, it is an incredible accomplishment.

    But, the jury is still out for us.

    I’m no super-intelligent god-like being, but if I’m going to design a race of beings with amazingly wondrous brains, fantastically complex inner workings, miles of DNA in every cell, etc.. how does it make sense that I’m going to simultaneously make such rookie mistakes as weak knees?

    Because the Universe is a measure of trade offs.

    Example:
    To protect from Malaria, you get anemia (Sickle cells).

    All action has consequences – all decisions cause mean you have to forgo one to achieve another (Root of the word decision means “to cut off or to cut away”)

    To have great flexibility means you suffer great variances.

    • Mathius says:

      Yep, the bar is very high. Very, very, very high. It is a real miracle we got this far.

      Someone has to win the lottery.

      • Mathius,

        True.

        But in the manners of the Universe, “chance” is the test, not the designer.

        Randomness tests the design. Can it withstand “asteroid strike” and then “flood”? If it can’t, what did survive?” – and that design gets multiplied, …. until it fails a differnt test.

        • Mathius says:

          Sure, add in the fact also that we’re evolving and adapting as the “tests” continue.

          So where in all of this is an intelligent designer necessary rather than random chance and genetic mutation and the process of evolution?

  30. Mathius says:

    Buck The Wala is a big fat doo-doo head!*

    *NOTE: this statement was not intended to be a factual statement

    (Just testing to see if this works in the real world or if you have to be a senator to get away with it..)

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Well I can’t really complain, since it clearly wasn’t intended to be a factual statement.

  31. The abortion issue fascinates me. I support a woman’s right to choose while also believing it is murder; life begins at conception (my opinion). I would also support ethical suicide parlors and the death penalty (but only when there is absolute evidence of a crime–like it’s on film, etc.). Not sure where that leaves me on the evil scale (or supporting evil scale), but it does seem to prove the universe seems to defy gravity all the time.

    • Charlie, please…..I told you not to eat Plutonium Cherries before noon.

      • It was the Plutonium Cherries or Pop Tarts, Colonel … I opted for the PC’s. Hope all is well, sir.

        • Suicide parlors is a stretch but I support Jack Kervorkian’s ideas..

          • Jack had/has it right. Why not? Why should people suffer when they can make their own decisions? Now, if there were ethical suicide parlors, the doctors wouldn’t have to fear lawsuits from greedy (capitalist) family members ….:)

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Charlie, Good morning Sir 🙂

          Getting old sometimes causes confusion. It’s easy to get confused by a subject when distarted. Note the short story below:

          Last night I was talking to young, good looking women!

          She asked me if I liked legs or breasts?

          I told what I treally like was a shaved snatch!

          Apparently I’m not welcome at KFC anymore.

        • Doing fine, my misguided friend, doing fine. Hope you and yors are well in the lands of OZ…(BTW….contrary to popular belief, Dorothy was not a virgin and the man behind the curtain was DPM in disguise). Wow….Dr Pepper kicked in.

  32. Following is a brief discussion I had with someone I occasionally debate and discuss with on HuffPo. Someone had commented that the Fed Govt needed to be limited to its “proper” role. Graf responded that politics was the arbiter of what is “proper” and therefore our current Govt was doing what is considered “proper”. Of course I had to butt in.

    “Graf

    My friend, that is exactly what is wrong with Govt. It is based on nothing but political haggling.

    The “proper role” of Govt needs to be based on RATIONAL PHILOSOPHI­­CAL PRINCIPLES­­.

    If you build the house from the foundation up, the arrangemen­­t of walls and the roof become much more evident.

    If one starts with Individual Freedom, Liberty and Justice, all in the traditiona­­l Liberal sense, then you would NOT have a Federal Govt like the one we have today. The Founders tried a hybrid, some on purpose and others by error, and we live with the result.”

    “Hi, JAC.

    Can’t agree with you here, really, in that you make the same error (if you call it that) sotiricon makes.

    “Rational philosophi­cal principles­.” Whose philosophy­? Which philosophy­? Yours? Mine? Why one and not the other? Is there only one philosophy in the universe whose “principle­s” are “rational?­”

    We DID start with Individual Freedom, Liberty and Justice, all in the traditiona­l Liberal sense, and we DO have a Federal Govt like the one we have today. A lot of people confuse “Freedom, Liberty and Justice” with autonomy, egocentris­m and self-indul­gence. What you’re suggesting­, even if you may not intend or realize it, is that a -lawful- society can’t be a -free- society; that we can’t have “freedom” and social responsibi­lity at the same time. Of course we can, and we do.

    Our problem is not that we have laws which restrict and direct behavior; it’s not a lack of commitment to “Freedom, Liberty and Justice.” It’s the corruption of those principles by those who can -buy- those things for -themselve­s-, at the expense of those who cannot. It’s the willingnes­s of those in a position to govern to be -bought- and -owned-, paid to serve their buyers and owners instead of their constituen­ts.

    Our problem is that political power derives from -money-, not -people-.

    “Logic clearly dictates,” Mr. Spock once told Admiral Kirk, “that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

    Have a great weekend.”

    Now my challenge to ALL SUFA is to interpret and explain his response to me. Can you find all the contradictions etc, etc, .

    This makes a good test of your ability to combat the arguments raised against freedom, liberty and justice. We have seen the same arguments raised here in differing forms. So lets see if you can pen a response that would cause the author, or his audience, to reconsider his points.

    Happy thinking.

    • His entire premise is based on an assumption of no corruption within politics. It is based on an assumption that what is sought by those who seek less government is a chance to be greedy and selfish and uncaring. It is based on blatant class warfare. It is based on the idea that the bad things in our current society are a result of freedom, as opposed to being the result of corruption, and even a result of the very government that they support.

      It also presupposes that a regulated system is better, and that the regulations are good and proper and have the proper effects and motivations. It further assumes that any problems with such socialist organizations are the result of greed and that somehow if we fully embraced their way of thinking that all such things would go away.

      It includes the contradiction that power derived from the people instead of from money would result from a society which reduces the power of the individual.

      That is a start, I am pressed for time or I would develop that a little better….

  33. Different subject but does anybody have any idea why the administration purposely mishandled the public presentation of the bin Laden situation. Because I personally can’t believe that any administration could be this stupid in handling the press releases and such without doing it intentionally.

    • V.H.

      Having worked for the Govt and knowing people who are dealing directly with THIS administration it is not that surprising.

      The common refrain I here is “these guys don’t know how to govern”.

      So I think bungling is entirely possible, especially given their drive to get in front of the camera to make their leader look good.

      Does this mean it is in fact bungling. NO! Only that it is entirely possible.

  34. V.H.

    Regarding slippery slopes. What you see as rationalization of murder, because some admitted they feel this way, I see as people conflicted at their core about the status of an unborn human. Mostly what I have seen in the arguments is an honest discussion by people about their inner conflict on this issue. But you will not find that conflict when you discuss killing those who are born.

    The point is that while people say this, they NEVER say it is OK to kill a born human. You can’t use the outliers of humanity to evaluate the moral principles of the majority of humanity. There will always be those who can justify almost anything.

    Many of those here who have said they feel it is murder have presented differing reasons they will not support making such illegal. I think that is because they have not eliminated the conflict within themselves regarding the status of the unborn vs. the born. This conflict is not so evident in about half the population who simply disagree with you on the status of the unborn. But those same people will not support killing a born human.

    Thus, my argument goes to those moral or ethical values that have in essence become common law among the vast majority of humans. If you removed govt laws making murder illegal the people would still deal with murders in some way to eliminate them. That is if govt didn’t intervene to protect them.

    I simply do not agree with the argument that opposing abortion but allowing abortion to remain legal is going to lead to killing children or others. Not unless there is a significant change in the accepted moral standards of humanity.

    Are there contradictions in many of the arguments? Yes! Are there even rationalizations in some? Yes!
    Do these contradictions and rationalizations pose a theoretical potential for expanding to the born? Yes!

    My point is that the risk is theoretical in that we assume any contradiction within a value system to pose a threat to expand. But what we see in real life is that humans have drawn a line in the sand regarding the life of the born. It has not drawn such a line for the unborn. Thus I see no real risk of a slippery slope.

    Now from a purely political point of view. Because the slippery slope argument is so remote, to most humans, those who use it to aid their argument for banning abortion only do harm to their cause. If the argument that an unborn human is a “person” can not be won among those born, then the ban on abortion can not be won. At least not without using the force of Govt to enforce the views of some on the rest.

    • The thing about this is that it opens a whole sector of human rights that I have long avoided discussing because I have no idea what I think, despite having thought about it a LOT. I have even started an article on it. Several times. I will probably make another attempt at it, but I want to throw the basic question out here first:

      What do we do with the children?

      Obvisously a child is a human being. However, they do not have the same rights applied to them as an adult because they do not have the maturity, or even the ability, to be responsible for themselves. So, with them being treated differently, the questions are: How differently and for how long.

      Do children, unlike an adult, have the right to demand assistance or obligation from adults to care for them? If you believe in a total block of abortion regardless of the reason, you generally do so because you put human life above any other priority in your philosophy. By that logic, it would seem that it is above economics, meaning that, to save a life, all costs and other concerns are irrelevant and none are too costly. The only argument possibly supporting not saving a life at all costs is that more lives could be saved by not saving a particular life or by a certain economic philosophy, socie-economic system, social structure, etc.

      If, on the other hand, those same persons do not apply that thinking to all human life, but to children only, because children are humans but are dependent on other humans legitimately. That means that adults are on their own, and children, being dependent or innocent or what have you, have the right to place obligation on others for their care.

      So then the question becomes, which adults can be placed under that demand and why. Does it take a village? Does the whole village have to pay to save the children or benefit them, etc.? Is it restricted to birth parents? In the absence of birth parents is other family obligated? In the absence of that, who does it fall to?

      Again, it is not a matter of just what should be done, but what should be legally enforced. No one SHOULD have an abortion in a perfect world, but does that mean we can legally restrict it? Is it murder or self defense? How much power do children wield? Why do they have this power? Is it simply an emotional thing? An instinctive thing? Certainly it would not behoove a society to remove all concepts of obligation to children so that someone can simply stop caring for a child whenever they feel like it. So I suppose a consistent thing would be that you are obligated once you decide to have a child. Does that mean you are obligated once you conceive a child? What if that was not your choice? Does the fact that an innocent child is now in existence automatically place an obligation on the mother? That makes a child more powerful than an adult, with the right to impose on others by their very existence. Is that a philosophy we want to have in society? Is that not in conflict with the core concepts of freedom? Is then, freedom and right to property really “good”? If not, then are we sure that “as free as possible” is the closest to good, or is the best path?

      What say you?

      • Jon

        Obvisously a child is a human being. However, they do not have the same rights applied to them as an adult because they do not have the maturity, or even the ability, to be responsible for themselves.

        I say your premise here is in error.

        Children have exactly the same rights as any other human.

        That why we say “human rights”, not “Some arbitrary age human rights”

        Further, Human rights are NOT dependent on responsibility. You still have your rights even if you are irresponsible.

        Consequences for some human actions are incredibly high.

        Therefore, we adults accept some apparent violations of the child’s rights that mitigate or prevent horrific consequences on the child should the child entertain certain action.

        Do children, unlike an adult, have the right to demand assistance or obligation from adults to care for them?

        No.

        If you believe in a total block of abortion regardless of the reason, you generally do so because you put human life above any other priority in your philosophy.

        Hard to act as a human if you are dead, so life is rather high priority.

        By that logic, it would seem that it is above economics,

        There is not one thing -not…one…thing- within the realm of human action that is above economics.

        What you are saying here is that there are different and diverging values placed on different things for different people and varies at different times.

        meaning that, to save a life, all costs and other concerns are irrelevant and none are too costly.

        This is not true.
        Costs are important in calculating human life.

        The costs you are willing to spend to save your life maybe be very high.

        The costs I am willing to spend to save your life will be much lower. Example: I will not cost me my life to necessarily save yours.

        The only argument possibly supporting not saving a life at all costs is that more lives could be saved by not saving a particular life or by a certain economic philosophy, socie-economic system, social structure, etc.

        So you are willing to kill 1 to save 2?

        Does it take a village?

        No, but it helps.

        Does the whole village have to pay to save the children or benefit them, etc.?

        No, but charity is welcome.

        Is it restricted to birth parents?

        No, anyone can pay for someone else should the wish to.

        In the absence of birth parents is other family obligated?

        No.

        In the absence of that, who does it fall to?

        No one.

        But that does not mean that no one will step up.

        Again, it is not a matter of just what should be done, but what should be legally enforced.

        The only legal enforcement is against initiation of violence.

        Break this concept here, and you will guarantee yourself eventual tyranny – and all your children will suffer worse.

        No one SHOULD have an abortion in a perfect world, but does that mean we can legally restrict it?

        If killing of innocent human life the highest order of human evil, then what is?

        Is it murder or self defense?

        Self-defense ….. from what?

        The consequences of freely chosen action?

        If you can justify killing another human merely to mitigate a consequence of your own action — you have justified the slaughter of anyone for any reason

        How much power do children wield?

        Power,…. or Rights?

        Little of the former, all of the latter.

        An instinctive thing?

        Probably.

        Any species that does not actively protect its young is doomed.
        The Universe says so.

        Is that not in conflict with the core concepts of freedom?

        Facing and dealing with the consequences of your own actions is freedom.

        To act means you demand consequences.

        If you want freedom to act, you are demanding to be subject to the consequences of your action.

        Freedom is NOT getting to be subject to ONLY the good consequences, and avoiding the bad ones.

        Is then, freedom and right to property really “good”?

        It is an absolute good.

        If not, then are we sure that “as free as possible” is the closest to good, or is the best path?

        Because most people assign freedom in manners that they only want the “good” consequences, and want someone else to suffer their “bad” consequences only demonstrates that most people haven’t a fog or a clue about what freedom means.

        But the massive confusion of people does not make freedom “bad”.

    • JAC,

      “Regarding slippery slopes. What you see as rationalization of murder”

      Let’s agree for discussion, any abortion is murder. And so abortion is banned. But what about the rare but real cases where the mothers life is threatened? Choosing the child results in the mothers death and the child is still likely to die.
      But we have a law that makes any and all abortions illegal.
      Therefore, the law decree’s both will die. We have also seen any exceptions will be expanded and twisted over time by future politicians and living document judges, so it must be all or nothing. Abortion is legal, or not.

      Which life does the government decide to grant?

      • LOI

        “Let’s agree for discussion, any abortion is murder.”

        OK, but if we are going to accept this assumption we must first decide whether to accept the core that supports it.

        So, what makes your claim valid? On what basis do you support the conclusion that it is “murder”?

        Even when we make assumptions for arguments sake we must explore the entire argument, not just a piece.

      • I’m gonna let you and JAC talk this out-but I see no reason we cannot have a law that makes an exception when the issue becomes life and death for the mother. Will some use this exception to give illegal abortions-I suspect so-but this would be less and less-if people viewed abortion as unacceptable and wrong. And if our children weren’t being taught that abortions are acceptable-the mindset would change-our societal norms would change.

    • “Regarding slippery slopes. What you see as rationalization of murder, because some admitted they feel this way, I see as people conflicted at their core about the status of an unborn human. “

      I realize there is a conflict-the problem lies in the fact that the conflict isn’t :
      Choice trumps –not a human life
      The conflict is :
      Choice trumps-a human life.

      In order to come to any other conclusion I would have to believe that they are unaware of what they mean-are some how confused-I give them more respect than that -they clearly have chosen a woman’s right to choose over the unborn babies right to life.

      “The point is that while people say this, they NEVER say it is OK to kill a born human. You can’t use the outliers of humanity to evaluate the moral principles of the majority of humanity. “

      I am not using the outliers to judge this generation-I am saying that the idea that choice, or development, or economics trumps unborn life in this generation-can easily be expanded to the born living in future generations. I suspect it would start based on development. The outliers of the past have become the majority(actually it didn’t take a majority) -that is why we have abortion now-something which I’m sure the majority of past generations would never believe was possible.

      “This conflict is not so evident in about half the population who simply disagree with you on the status of the unborn. But those same people will not support killing a born human. “

      Which is a totally different premise than choice trumps life-although there are those extremes who state a woman’s choice comes first up until a minute before birth. Tis sad to say but the basic premise is the same-Choice trumps Life. I think those who believe abortion is murder need to think about that fact.

      “I simply do not agree with the argument that opposing abortion but allowing abortion to remain legal is going to lead to killing children or others. Not unless there is a significant change in the accepted moral standards of humanity.”

      Again, not YET, first our children must learn that killing in the womb is acceptable before anyone will be able to convince them that it is acceptable to extend this to an actual living and breathing child. Which is the way that significant changes occur is it not.

      “Now from a purely political point of view. Because the slippery slope argument is so remote, to most humans, those who use it to aid their argument for banning abortion only do harm to their cause. “

      I don’t care if people think I am being extreme. My focus is to point a light at what they are saying and supporting when they say “I believe it is murder but who am I to tell other people what they can do” Well who you are- are the people who will help decide what is okay and acceptable in this country. What is taught to our children. Do you really believe that it is acceptable to destroy human life? Do you really believe that Choice trumps Life? Do you really want to help make it acceptable to kill off the next generation? To devalue LIFE which does lead to the expansion of evil. Which is something which I believe wholeheartedly. Although I will give one caveat –the next generation may well be so horrified at how far our society has gone in the killing of the unborn, on the basis of choice-they may change course. I truly hope so.

      As far as keeping it legal in some defense of Freedom-Freedom doesn’t give one the right to commit murder. So for those who believe it is murder they are supposed to keep it legal for what purpose?????

      • V.H.

        The conflict I see in many is this:

        “human life does not equal a person.”

        The other conflict is this:

        “Govt is evil thus using evil to stop evil will perpetuate evil.”

        For many commenting on SUFA it is not simply a matter of “I won’t impose on another”, or a persons “right of choice” but a recognition that once you start using Govt Law you create another slippery slope.

        I believe you have commented on the various nuances and exceptions required if you were able to make abortion illegal. Yet you fail to realize that the very existence of the need for an exception means that there is not absolute clarity in the underlying moral and ethical questions.

        As for your fear of future generations of euthanasia supporters, would not those generations have to be convinced that those born are not really people? Meaning that they would have to come to accept that they themselves, and their family, are not really people.

        Possible? Maybe. But I think it very unlikely.

        • “The conflict I see in many is this:“human life does not equal a person.”

          I see this conflict but is not the conflict we have been addressing. Those who view it as murder-are stating that development doesn’t matter.

          “The other conflict is this:
          “Govt is evil thus using evil to stop evil will perpetuate evil.”
          For many commenting on SUFA it is not simply a matter of “I won’t impose on another”, or a persons “right of choice” but a recognition that once you start using Govt Law you create another slippery slope.”

          Government is a reality-it has been used to change and promote both good and bad for a long time. So I have no issue with using it to stop Murder.

          “Yet you fail to realize that the very existence of the need for an exception means that there is not absolute clarity in the underlying moral and ethical questions.”

          I see and understand your point-Some would say we should not interfere at all-let nature take it’s course. But I do believe in individual rights and I don’t think it lacks clarity to say society cannot insist that a woman die for another.

          “would not those generations have to be convinced that those born are not really people?”

          No, not if you are teaching the young to value life based on development. JAC it really isn’t that far a jump from thinking one has the right to abort a fetus because one knows it is going to be handicapped to deciding that a child born with the same handicap would be better off dead.

          • V.H.

            We will just have to agree to disagree. I think the jump you propose is much greater than you think.

            But lets chase another point. “So I have no issue with using it (govt) to stop Murder.”

            1. Govt has NEVER stopped murder.
            2. Are you willing to use govt when half the population disagrees with your view of “murder”?
            3. What is the next thing you are willing to use Govt to stop?
            4. Where and how do you draw the line on the use of Govt to stop acting to prevent something?

            Now another: “But I do believe in individual rights and I don’t think it lacks clarity to say society cannot insist that a woman die for another. ”

            1. There is a conflict between the rights of two people. Why should a third party decide who wins and loses?

            2. This is nit picking but society cannot “insist” on anything. It is not a unique identity with rights or freedoms. I understand your comment but just making sure we don’t draw black flags. 🙂

            The hazard of course is that if we accept “society” can require anything, then it most certainly can decide to let the woman die for another. This goes to the slippery slope of govt again.

            • Sorry JAC-gotta go-it is mother’s day-and I don’t have time to give this the needed thought. But before I go

              Society=the vote -which leads to congress -which means Society can insist on a lot.

              I think not allowing murder or at the least discouraging murder is appropriate. Will have to address the rest later. Have a nice day!

      • V.H.

        And for the record, I think you are correct to challenge those who claim: ““I believe it is murder but who am I to tell other people what they can do” ”

        You are correct in what this statement means if expanded.

        All I am saying is that I am not convinced that what they think and believe is as flip as this comment intimates.

        After reading the numerous comments and running thoughts I simply believe the contradictions still exist for many at the very core level.

        This is one of the great moral questions of humanity. And those who are truly willing to think hard about it will suffer great conflict. But in the end, we humans will arrive at an “accepted” standard.

        But I am afraid, that time has not come. In terms of these kinds of issues, it is quite young in the solution process if you will. Lets not forget that abortion has been around for a very long time. It didn’t just materialize when it became legal in the USA. It did however become more prevalent. As for “acceptable”, I think that was true at first but is growing less so by the day.

        I still maintain, however, that in the end the argument will be won or lost on the issue of “person”, not just “life”. I could be wrong but that seems to be the crux at this point in time.

        • I hope it is becoming less acceptable-but I am not convinced that it is. So lets just say I am going to work towards that solution coming out the right way.

  35. To the Ladies of SUFA

    HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

  36. To all you mothers………Happy Mothers Day.
    To the rest of you….dont forget your mom.

  37. Judy Sabatini says:

    Thank you JAC & Col. very sweet of you both.

    I too want to say a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s here as well, & to those of you who are lucky enough to still have your mom’s with you. I know I am, she lives with us.

    • Happy Mudders Day Judy! Will be hanging out with her this afternoon. Another mother was served breakfast in bed. Looks to be a good day here.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Thank you LOI appreciate the wishes. Must be nice to have breakfast served in bed, I wouldn’t know what that’s like. LOL! Have a great day LOI.

  38. As a mother I thank you 🙂 and I extend a Happy Mother’s Day to every mother everywhere. 🙂 🙂

  39. Mother’s Day breakfast in bed = bacon on bread prepared by a 12 yr old…Ok I’ll buy that. 🙂

    Is it just me or is Mother’s Day NOT the day to be talking about abortion?

    Happy Mother’s Day ladies!

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Happy Mother’s Day Anita, & no, it’s not just you, bad subject for today I agree.

    • It is indeed depressing but I actually can’t think of a more appropriate time. Maybe by talking about it there will be more mothers next year and less dead babies.

  40. I wonder if there will ever be a “Happy D13 Day” ? I must submit that to the Texas Legislature.

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