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Are there clear biblical passages about Abortion, or is it political?

Discussion in 'Controversial Topics' started by Ent, Mar 29, 2012.

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  1. nittiley

    nittiley Banned

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    i don't know.. too many other good ones around!!
    & can't even keep pace with a count of the non-humour variety of great ones you, wino, (yes, even hood :rolleyes:), pyritechips..etc. have
     
  2. Ent

    Ent Josiah Trusted Advisor Thread Starter

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    A TCK, or Third culture kid, is an individual who spent a substantial proportion of their childhood years in a culture (or more than one culture) different from that of their parents. The result is that they have a wider than normal view of the world, and generally form their own "third culture" as a conglomerate of their parent's and adopted cultures. For some strange reason TCKs tend to get on with each other, even if the cultures they've been exposed to are different. Other than that, the only stereotype you can apply to them is that they tend to shatter stereotypes.

    In my case I've lived about half my life in Sub-Saharan Africa. That includes 3 years in Zimbabwe, 4 in Mozambique, and one in Malawi. My father is Irish, my mother Welsh, and most of the remainder of my life has been spent in England.



    You know what they say about there's lies, black lies, and statistics? :D
    I like to consider myself at least a competent Mathmatician, and trying to use that as evidence flies in the face of responsible statistics usage. It's not just the problem of translating from a different era into the modern day, though that itself weakens your case. It isn't just a biased source, though that weakens your case. It isn't even that it's false and 20% is a better figure, though that too weakens your case. The big problem is that there aren't any hard numbers. 50% of what? If there are only 2 maternal deaths, that's 1 due to an illegal abortion. If there were 20 000 deaths, that's 10 000 due to an abortion. Proportional statistics can only be used when they're compared against one another, not just to make an impact.


    OK, so they're considered. I agree that quality of life is important, and one should strive to improve people's quality of life where possible. Does this justify murder? On what grounds do you choose which children get a chance?



    What is poverty? In the UK it is defined as living on an income lower than 60% of the median income. In other words, it's having less than everyone else. Now I don't dispute that there are people in the UK in abject poverty, but there aren't that many of them. Again this is a case of using statistics without actually considering what they mean.
    Nonetheless, your point itself is valid; children do need protecting and caring for after they're born just as they need it before they're born. Children in the UK are supplied with free education and free health care. Those in povery also benefit from a fairly generous benefits system and a generally good social security net. Life isn't necessarily easy for them, but it is perfectly possible to help them through life instead of killing them before they get a chance at life.




    It seemed to be the most comprehensive and commonly cited paper I could find, and if it has a bias it's toward your argument, so I'm confident in using it.



    Absurd. You assume me an idiot then, trying to prove that abortion is murder and therefore wrong by presupposing that exact statement. Murder is wrong. It is also sinful, but I'm not arguing about sinful in this case.


    I'm sorry, but I don't know quite what you mean here. I don't think we're disputing the existance of a fetus.


    Absolutely. What should happen though, is that I (and society in general) recognizes something as inherently wrong and therefore considers it immoral. I am confident that this is the case with murder.





    Being attached to something and being part of something are inherently different things. Every cell in the woman's body has two X chromosomes. Every cell in her son's body has one X and one Y chromosome. Every cell in the woman's body is supplied by her bloodstream, every cell in the body of the fetus is supplied by the bloodstream of the fetus. If a fetus is kicking inside the womb, or exploring his own face, or stroking his twin brother, it is the nervous system of the fetus that is controling the action. The mother's body, including her reproductive system, is controlled by her own brain and nervous system.



    2 distinct issues here.
    I agree with your point about privacy and autonomy on principle. I wouldn't dictate, in a like for like fashion, what a woman should do with her
    ova.
    The other issue is this "precursor of life" thing. I don't think it's a point you could actually hold down, because there is a difference between killing off something that could become (or rather contribute to) a full human in the future, and killing off something that is genetically fully human and fast developing toward full cognitive, emotional, and physical prowess. Even so, if you actually believe it try to make a point of it.
    Meanwhile it doesn't change the moral status of killing something that is human. Either redefine human in some way that excludes the unborn, or explain why this particular case of killing a human isn't wrong.





    What grounds? What gives you such a right?



    Yet another red herring. I have said that animal rights is a completely seperate issue. If you think that animals should be protected to a greater degree than they are now, you can make that argument. That doesn't change whether abortion is morally acceptable or the moral equivalent to murder.

    Why?



    OK, suppose for a moment that you're right. What about those situations makes abortion morally different from murder?



    Irrelevant. That isn't my church, and the theology of my church isn't being used in this debate anyway. We're not talking about dancing, we're talking about abortion.

    Your stereotypical religious person, while amusing, is off target and doesn't help your case. This is not the position of scripture, which from the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem in Revalation speaks frequently of blessing and joy.



    Please stop telling me what I think or what I wish for. You are welcome to tell me what I SHOULD think if you can back it up with something, but presupposing something false is just going to irritate both of us. Especially when I've already made abudantly clear that it is incorrect. I'm well aware that the situation isn't simple.
     
  3. valis

    valis Moderator

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    Ent, you don't have to answer if you don't wish to (obviously), but were your parents missionaries? Have a very good friend of mine (of the best) whose parents were missionaries, and he spent a ton of time in Africa......your travels sound eerily similar to his.

    Ever get down this way, first thing I'll do is have your head checked. After that, I'll introduce you two.


    FWIW, he and I have some cracking good theological discussions. :)
     
  4. Drabdr

    Drabdr Moderator

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    I was wondering the same thing. But too, no need to answer. :)
     
  5. Ent

    Ent Josiah Trusted Advisor Thread Starter

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    Yes.
     
  6. Drabdr

    Drabdr Moderator

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    (y)
     
  7. valis

    valis Moderator

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    small world. :)
     
  8. LauraMJ

    LauraMJ Administrator

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    By that logic, then you are also saying that conjoined twins must be one entity, not separate human beings. I would imagine a lot of conjoined twins would disagree with this logic.
     
  9. Ent

    Ent Josiah Trusted Advisor Thread Starter

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    In fact, you can justify that much more readily than you can justify the mother-fetus version. At least conjoined twins are genetically identical.
     
  10. nittiley

    nittiley Banned

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    (y) expanding one's horizons has many benefits :)

    yes, the narrow focus of them is quite similar to trying to narrow down abortion to being "only about murder of a fetus" while avoiding the rest of its complexity.


    i'm certain you're a far superior mathematician than i am :). the fact that by enacting anti-abortion laws you will double the murder rate of a subset (the women that will seek abortions regardless of legality) & thus result in 2 murders instead of 1 is a fact you can't ignore. it doesn't justify anti-abortions laws, if the sole intent of the law is to protect life.

    however, the impression i'm getting here is that only fetal life matters.. the life of women doesn't, other children, other lives (animals). that is the blatant hypocrisy i see with anti-abortions laws & those who defend them.

    unless i'm misunderstanding something, it appears that a fetus in utero trumps all other lives. i disagree with this.. i feel other lives must be given consideration when choices are being made.

    you & all who support anti-abortion laws are attempting to remove that choice. i know you mean well, you believe you're a champion of something that cannot defend itself. it also comes across that you doubt women are capable of deciding something so important (i.e. you felt most were doing something out of convenience & the necessity of a job promotion or such). you are mistaken.


    on your micro-scale, no. on the macro-scale, yes.

    i would give priority to the children already born simply because they are already here. are you going to let them starve? are you going to keep increasing the population to create more hunger, more children that can't be sustained?

    until you show a world to me where all children's needs are currently being met, you will never justify a reason to produce more that can't be cared for.

    see above paragraph


    i like to see a variety of valid sources over a period of time before i begin to conclude something is correct. & even then it's subject to change.. some new information could be produced.


    i don't believe you're an idiot at all. i think you're misguided, & there is a difference.


    again, when you're carving up that pork chop on your plate, you've murdered an innocent animal. do you see how i framed that statement? i didn't say, "my that was a tasty pork chop. thank you god for this meat."

    applying that to abortion.. old, redundant example of let's say, a single mother with 3 young children, no husband, low income. she responsibly uses birth control, yet becomes pregnant. no, she was not sinning having sex, but naturally, there are judgmental individuals who would say, "tsk! tsk! you shouldn't have been doing any of that nasty in the 1st place!" :rolleyes:

    then many of religious persuasion insist she should not be allowed to abort her fetus at (i'll say 8 weeks, but irrelevant anyway). let's say she allows the religious to persuade her. she has the baby. the church prays for her & gives her a bag of diapers. if you know anything about the cycle of poverty, regardless of whether this woman & her children are getting social services (welfare), the odds (apply your mathematical abilities here) are that the quality of life for this family are extremely low. resources are stretched too thin, funding is always being cut here on the grounds that these people are "leeches" of society & should fend for themselves. even though they fend with a deck that is incredibly stacked against them. in other words, they don't have a bloody freaking chance. a few manage to crawl out.. your beethoven's & your drabdr's -- but a paltry few compared to the many that don't.

    look around if you doubt that.. go to those impoverished areas & take a stroll down the street (in a car perhaps depending on the neighbourhood). i would assume you witnessed poverty in the areas you lived in already.

    it would take too long to delve into crime, mental health, gangs, drug & alcohol abuse, & the host of issues that poverty breeds & sustains.

    there, take a peek at what you have just potentially contributed to by saving that fetal life. or that zygote if we're covering the morning after pill.

    now, let's say our single mother decides to ignore the religious excrement & realizes that she simply cannot provide for another child. she can't provide well for the ones she already has. she gets an abortion. the fetus is killed (or you would say murdered, as it's a much more inflammatory word & the connotation is immorality).

    that was my point. the fetus is attached to the mother in spite of it being a fetus & genetically distinct. it is attached to/ part of the mother's body. the mother has dominion over what is inside of her body, as it's her body. her fetus. women are, generally speaking, in charge of the children, & this include their fetuses.


    then you can understand why many woman say to mind your own reproductive parts instead of theirs :).


    that is precisely it.. it isn't fully developed yet. the children that are already here have fully developed. & they're hungry. hunger & homelessness affects children to a greater degree here in the states.. i don't want to see their numbers increasing. so does the fetus get killed, or are you going to turn your head to a potential lifetime of misery for all those other children in poverty?


    see above paragraph


    what do you think gives you the right to take away rights? god?

    if so, as i mentioned before, promote it all you wish in your sphere. but do not try to force it on others

    we're back to reiteration once again.. 1) woman possess the both the means of reproduction & the unborn. 2) women generally, & historically, are responsible for caring for children 3) women are capable of making decisions about their own bodies, & what is developing inside them 4) it is a basic right of any woman to make a decision that affects her life (& potentially her family's life) in that situation.

    you, nor any church, nor any political operation, do not have primacy over women. women have primacy over themselves, & many of us will not tolerate this kind of nonsense, whether you believe you're doing a noble deed or not.

    your fellow mammal that became your dinner had a life too. it can feel pain, it breathes, it has eyes. it's fully developed, is it not? why yes, it is! is it innocent? why, it's that as well! is it defenseless regarding its outcome with humans? it is that also.

    it is not a red herring. it is something i brought up because you insist on the taking of an innocent life to be called murder. so i point up the hypocrisy of you saying it's immoral to abort a fetus because it is an innocent life that can't defend itself.

    yet if you consume meat, every day you're responsible for the murder of an innocent life whose defenses will fail it. i chose an animal since it's a mammal (as opposed to a fish) because of the similarities they share with us humans:

    ".... air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young. Most mammals also possess sweat glands and specialised teeth, and the largest group of mammals, the placentals, have a placenta which feeds the offspring during gestation. The mammalian brain, with its characteristic neocortex, regulates endothermic and circulatory systems, the latter featuring red blood cells lacking nuclei and a large, four-chambered heart maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have.."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammal

    so until you stop murdering innocent mammals (you can thrive on a plant based diet) don't come to me saying murdering a fetus isn't the same basic act, save for a few details (non-human, consumption for food..). it's rather hypocritical, don't you think?

    i'm not suggesting you stop eating meat. i don't feel it's immoral, & even if i did, it's not my right to tell you how to sustain yourself.

    abortion is ending the life of unborn human fetus. it isn't born yet.. if it was fully developed, it would've been birthed already, no? that is difference. i've already extensively covered about the circumstances of the children that have already arrived.

    my point was how churches have condemned & considered actions such as dancing to be a sin. & immoral.. something no decent person would do. the reason it's relevant is because it points up how church can be dead-on wrong.. many times. many, many times over the course of history you will find religion & churches being rather counter productive.

    they shame those who do not accept their dictates. shame on you for dancing, for aborting, for ______ fill in the blank. it's utter nonsense. if you believe in those things, that's fine. go on & enjoy your restrictions.. but don't foist them upon others. fair enough? :)

    all well & good then. i'd like to see more demonstrations of joy.. bring it.

    i said what you wished for because you keep trying to micro-focus on simple questions, simple statements, & simple "solutions" to a complex problems. it really does seem as if you feel (or wish for) simplicity here. if you don't, my error & apology.

    conjoined twins are obviously not a single entity :rolleyes:. i've acknowledged a fetus as being genetically distinct. my point was whether it's twins, or a single fetus, it was housed inside, & attached to, the mother's body. the mother (99th time.. & counting) retains her right over her own body & what is inside of it.. whether that's her uterus, her fetus, or what have you. you don't have any jurisdiction over my body, nor any other female's. nor the situation with any pregnancies women may have. not you, not your neighbour, not your church :).

    i doubt i'll be able to clarify this much more for anyone that isn't comprehending it thus far :).

    abortion is something where i'm sure many women would prefer the situation to be different (i.e. no need for it). i would love a world where abortion wasn't necessary, yet life isn't a disney movie, now is it?
     
  11. Ent

    Ent Josiah Trusted Advisor Thread Starter

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    I've missed over and deleted about half of your post as it was full of internal repetitions. If you feel that I've missed out on an important point, feel free to bring it up again.

    Indeed it does. One of which is that you don't just fit in with what everyone else tells you, which means that every time you try to push me into a category of people you're almost certainly going to be wrong. Aside from everything else, you're trying to build your entire argument on the view that each situation is different because people and their lives don't fit into neat little boxes. Stop doing it.


    Statistics when used properly is one of the most objective and wide reaching tools available, when used poorly its potential for deception is unrivalled. Your comparison itself is a very superficial argument from analogy, and has no weight whatsoever.
    Meanwhile, why are you narrowing down the argument to the extenuating circumstances while refusing to actually grappel with the primary issue of whether it is wrong in the first place?




    Again, you use relative numbers instead of absolute ones, and fail to provide other values relative to the same base. If 1/3 of women who would have an legal abortion had an illegal one, and as much as half of those die from it, you've increased the death toll by 1/6 (being the mothers) and reduced it by 4/6 (the infants who weren't aborted. The net effect is to halve the number of deaths. Of course these figures are entirely arbitrary. We've already decided that neither knows quite what proportion would go for the backstreet abortion.
    You also still don't grasp the concept that death is not equal to murder. Murder must be intentional.


    I'd rather not have to resort to pulling out Latin falacy names, but it's the only effective way of responding to attacks such as that one. What you're trying to pull is called a Tu Quoque fallacy, in which you try to suggest that since your opponent is just as bad or worse, their argument is invalid. This doesn't work even if true; i.e. even if I were a woman who had had an abortion, that would not reduce the validity of the arguments I'm using (though it would mean that I had acted immorally).

    Moreover the accusation you're making is not true in the first place. 1) I haven't at any point said that the lives of women, children or animals are unimportant. 2) Even if I had, for example, dismissed animal lives as unimportant, that would not make me a hypocrite in defending human life from a position that human lives are to be protected. 3) Even if I had said that and were a hypocrite, it is surely better to protect some of them than to abandon them all!

    When you later say
    You basically surrender the whole argument. You're trying to prove hypocrasy on the grounds of something you don't even think is wrong!


    There you go again, trying to put people in boxes.

    I would suggest that very few people are capable of forming an objective moral analysis when dealing with a literally life and death issue that cuts so close to their own lives. I don't dispute that they know their own situation better than most, but that doesn't mean they'll arive at the morally acceptable response. In the same way, even though you may know that your own circumstances make it critically important to get a job, it isn't acceptable to murder the other applicant for that job.




    Throughout this discussion I've been working on a large scale. For example, that's why I've made such a point about being responsible with statistics. Now that you apparently want to reverse roles, what exactly do you see as the difference between "micro" an "macro" scales?



    On those grounds, should a woman be forced to abort because the world cannot sustain any more children? If not, your argument falls on its face.
    On the other hand, I don't think you can justify killing the helpless instead of looking for appropriate ways to resolve the situation.


    See above response. :D



    A single woman having sex is sinful, against God, but we're not debating that point. It is starting to get very annoying when the only person trying to push sin into the issue is the one who wants to deride the concept.

    What kind of deck is stacked against them if you kill them before they're born?
    Who is calling them a leech and saying they should fend for themselves? I'm saying they are human beings and should be cared for both before and after birth.

    Cycle of poverty: The poor have typically bad health, limited education, and other deliberating conditions that make it difficult for them to break out of poverty.
    I've met people (people with teaching qualifications no less) who had to sell vegetables in a market to provide for their families. Even so, hard as their life is, these people do such work to provide for their families. I also lived next door to an orphanage on an Anglican mission station between the ages of 7 and 10 while my Mother was working as the only doctor in the hospital there. Perhaps those institutions, not abortion clinics, should be considered the route to breaking that cycle of poverty.




    Regarding the Bold: Not to the point of being permitted to kill them. I'll deal with the rest at the bottom.




    No, because once you start infringing on the rights of others privacy is no longer a concern. If a man comitted rape, he couldn't justify it on privacy grounds. If you murder someone, you cannot tell people to keep their nose out of your business on privacy grounds.




    This point falls apart because it is based on a simple falsehood. Children are not fully developed. Physically, mentally, and emotionally they certainly cannot be considered fully developed until the end of adolescence, and even then it is arguable that development continues. What distinguishes them from a fetus?




    There isn't a right to take away in the first place. Unless/until you can argue otherwise you don't have the right to kill another human being.



    You know, you could stop reiterating and make a justified point. :eek: Actually that isn't half bad analysis (y).
    1: Women possess part of the means of reproduction; I don't have to go into the mechanism for sexual reproduction to explain what I mean. They do not "possess" the unborn; we tend not to believe in owning our fellow human beings these days. However, the first objection is just being contrary and I'll accept that the second probably wasn't what you meant. So, I'll let it stand.
    2: Correct.
    3: A woman's capacity to make such a decision depends on her level of mental health and general knowledge, but we'll assume those are intact and of good quality. Therefore they are capable of making a decision.
    4: This is not true. Having the capacity to do something and having an interest in doing it does not grant the moral right to make such a decision and perform that action. By way of example, I am capable of deciding to steal something, and probably capable of stealing it. That doesn't mean that it's morally right to do so.



    This is not a rational objection. Allow me to fill in the blank with the word "fraud".
    Shame on you for dancing, shame on you for fraud. If there is nothing wrong with dancing, that doesn't mean that there's nothing wrong with fraud. Of course that isn't true. (By the way, it's called the Association fallacy)

    _________

    I don't think you've quite grasped what was said. If being biologically joined together means that a fetus becomes part of a woman's body and she can revoke even its right to life, then logically two twins who are physically joined together have similar rights over each other's bodies. Also by the same logic as you were using, the woman is part of the body of the fetus.
     
  12. nittiley

    nittiley Banned

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    i have to table your post for another time.

    for later on, if you could answer why comparative analysis (i.e. using animal lives in order to define what murder is) called a red herring? so what if it distracts.. it should distract & broaden the scope of a situation. merely taking your definition of murder without expanding it seemed incomplete.

    anyway, enjoy your easter! here’s an egg () ;).
    i’ll leave jellybeans for everyone else :)

     
  13. buffoon

    buffoon

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    Well it's your debate (and Ent's:)) but I proffer that animals have nothing to do with it. Killing them isn't murder, killing humans is (can be).

    I posited earlier that the crux lies in the disparity of agreements on whether a fetus is already a person and thus thru killing could be deemed as murdered. The law, at least in most Western countries, says no.
    But your bringing in animals doesn't expand it. It serves merely to obfuscate.:)

    Apples and oranges:p

     
  14. Ent

    Ent Josiah Trusted Advisor Thread Starter

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    Please do join in. The more the merrier after all (and Laura has)

    The law generally imposes some sort of age restriction on what point the fetus becomes human, though there doesn't seem to be a concensus on what age that is. By the way, it would be better to say "The North" rather than "The west", just look at the map.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abortion_Laws.svg
     
  15. buffoon

    buffoon

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    Indeed.(y)

    Force of habit.

    One also needs to exclude Ireland which, where Europe is concerned, is pretty much the most Western. Like Poland, very much a Catholic Christian nation.
     
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