Intelligent Design

The Woeful State of Modern Debate

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In debate after debate I’m sure we’ve all noticed that some people continually recycle the same statements over and over as if those statements represent something more than emotion-laden rhetoric that hasn’t already been factually and logically refuted or otherwise sufficiently responded to.  While this is hardly surprising, what has piqued my interest are discussions involving the election of Donald J. Trump and abortion, I suppose because those subjects carry a great deal of emotional weight for many people. I think the reaction to these subjects reveals something extremely interesting and dangerous to society.

I’m not just talking about atheists/materialists here, but people in general. In every single discussion I had with anyone not supporting Trump, their reaction to Trump was not one of cool political discourse, but of outright hate.  They hated Trump.  However, not a single one of them could give me even a single policy position of the candidate.  Not a single one of them could tell me anything whatsoever about his history other than that he was a rich businessman and star of The Apprentice.  None of them had ever even watched a single, whole Trump rally video. Having a discussion with them brought out all the negative characterizations of Trump you find/found everywhere in various media outlets, including comments about his “orange” skin and  comb-over hair.

Similarly, when having a “debate” about abortion, the same emotion-laden polemic is used over and over.  Recently, on this blog, some commenters offer supposed “righteous indignation” about how pro-life advocates act (or rather, in their eyes, refuse to act appropriately) in response to what they refer to as a “holocaust” – the mass-murder of the unborn.  Others react with emotional, “shaming” and “virtue-signalling” talking points about “reproductive rights” and “patriarchical oppression”. Ignoring the scientific fact that human life is known to begin at conception, they talk about other points of the growth of a human from conception that they personally feel would be better marks for granting human right protections – like where they think the fetus might be self-aware, or feel pain, or upon birth.  While birth, unlike the other points, is not a vague marker, it suffers from other, logical problems as far as being the best marker fo application of human rights, rendering it simply an arbitrary point after conception with respect to application of human rights.

Now, what do these rhetorical responses and positions have in common? They are all based on subjective feelings and arbitrary points of factual reference that support those arbitrary feelings. In other words, it is the personal, subjective feeling that grounds many views, not relevant facts, grounded principles and logical examination.

For example, attacks on Trump and protests against him are not based upon substantive principles, relevant facts and logical examination; if they were, one would realize that unless they have known a person for many years, they are not likely to have a good understanding of that person’s character or views. Certainly, there is no logical or principled basis for taking a few minutes of snippets of what anyone says – especially in private in certain situations – and using those snippets to form a supposedly valid opinion of a person’s entire history or character.  Also, ignoring the relevant facts – the actual entire history of that person in word and deed, and their official statements and policy points unfiltered by perhaps biased interpretation – is at best an unconscious effort to protect one’s negative feelings about that person.

In our other example, some here have made the claim that making abortion illegal might not, in the long term, reduce the number of abortions. If we assume it is a fact (and it is hardly that), it is an irrelevant one with respect to the arguments actually being made about abortion – that accepting and promoting the killing of innocent human life is corrosive to a decent culture based on unalienable human rights.  Pointing out that they themselves would act violently to stop the killing of an innocent and so pro-lifers cannot actually consider abortion the killing of an innocent because they are not reacting violently is nothing more than emotional, self-righteous rhetoric and a false comparison.

There is a principle involved here: that all humans have unalienable rights.  Defenders of abortion make the claim that there are some situations where humans should not have such rights.  This reasoning necessarily opens the door to the subjective view that this group of humans or that group of humans are not protected by human rights.  One might say that a human without apparent self-awareness doesn’t deserve that right; but what is the “self-awareness” marker other than an arbitrarily-assigned category?  Post-birth humans – another arbitrarily assigned category.  How about the comatose?  Severely autistic?  Deformed? One can make the case that if you are missing a limb, then you aren’t “fully” human. Who gets to define what is “human” enough to be deserving of human rights?  Whatever government is in power? Whatever the majority decides?

If we go down that path of reasoning, then the holocaust is – according to that line of reasoning – no different than abortion; government and society defining a category of human life as “not human enough to deserve the basic protection of their right to life” and thus creating the legal and moral freedom to exterminate that class of human life.  Moral subjectivism only exacerbates the hypocrisy of the abortionist argument; if it is society that decides what is and is not human life, then abortion is exactly like the holocaust.

This post-modernist moral relativism renders all “social justice” positions inherently absurd and hypocritical; if I can identify as anything and expect acceptance and tolerance for my position, how then does one justify spewing hate and intolerance for those who self-identify even as racists, misogynists and homophobes? If they can hate Trump, I can hate Clinton.  If they can hate patriarchy, I can hate equality. If they can hate homophobes, then by post-modernist moral subjectivism I am certainly entitled to hate homosexuals.

If there are no fundamental principles or relevant facts from we all agree to submit to and from which we agree to draw rational conclusions, all one is left with is the whim of subjective feelings and arbitrarily organized references to support those feelings.  What that ends up looking like is reliance upon rhetoric, invective, intimidation and, ultimately, violence.  It also ends up looking like what we have on this site – a plethora of people utterly incapable of making a rational argument based upon logical inference derived from principle and relevant fact, ending up in self-conflicting absurdities and hypocrisies.

I’m at a loss at how to begin debating those who have absolutely no understanding of critical reasoning; it’s not like you can educate them in such skill during the debate; they have no idea what you are objecting to.  They don’t comprehend arguments based on principle.  They think any fact that feels like it supports their view actually helps their argument or actually rebuts the other person’s.  They think a comparison of feelings  and hypothetical personal reactions is a valid argument.  They think mockery and personal insult is a valid form of debate.  They think shaming and virtue-signalling is the be-all and end-all of public discourse.  They think some ideas should not be discussed and actually think free speech is “hate” speech.  IOW, as soon as you argue for Trump, or against abortion, you are automatically beyond the realm of civil discourse and the only appropriate response is shaming and ridiculing.

It’s bizarre.  At times, the responses are so orthogonal to rational debate that it requires a massive effort just to explain how their point is entirely irrelevant, but doing so makes no difference because their position is entirely rooted in subjective feelings and arbitrary associations.

Armand Jacks and RVB8 don’t even understand that they have just shown, by their own reasoning, under their own worldview, and according to their own subjective, post-conception, arbitrary ideas about the application of human rights, that the Holocaust and abortion are morally, ethically and legally the same exact thing, even while insisting (because of their feelings) that they are not. This is the woeful state of modern debate.

236 Replies to “The Woeful State of Modern Debate

  1. 1
    Armand Jacks says:

    In debate after debate I’m sure we’ve all noticed that some people continually recycle the same statements over and over as if those statements represent something more than emotion-laden rhetoric that hasn’t already been factually and logically refuted or otherwise sufficiently responded to.

    In this, I absolutely agree with your astute observation. If you will permit, here are a few of the more obvious examples of this:

    March of folly to ruin.

    We are at the crumbling edge of a terrible cliff here.

    Our civilisation is heading over a cliff

    Can we turn back from this crumbling edge of a cliff before it is too late?

    This entails that conscience-guided reason is pervaded by grand delusion and lands you in the infinite regress of Plato’s Cave worlds.

    Then, you miss the readily demonstrated points that such is both self-falsifying through self-referential incoherence and has long been known to be utterly amoral, thus a gateway to nihilism.

    Sorry. The devil made me do it.

    But seriously, I presented sound and concrete steps that have been demonstrated to seriously reduce the abortion rates. Yet all that you and fellow travellers centre on is the fact that I am not in favour of making early stage abortions illegal. And I provided scientifically and sociologicaly supported rational for that opinion. There was absolutely no support for my approach to significantly reduce the abortion rate other than a very vague comment from someone saying that they weren’t opposed to sex education.

    Before Roe v Wade, the rates of illegal abortion were as high as they are now. And, because access was harder to get, they were often at much later stages of pregnancy.

    The debate has never been about when human life begin. It is about human rights. The fact is, our rights have always been age and ability defined. The rights of children, although extensive, are not as extensive as those of adults. The rights of people with severe mental disabilities are often severely restricted.

    If a fetus’ right to life is equal to that of an adult, or a child, why are pregnant women not isolated unmediated after conception and prevented from doing anything that might be potentially harmful to the fetus. Why are they allowed to fly where they are exposed to higher radiation levels? Why are pregnant women who smoke and drink and eat junk food not locked up until after birth? The answer is obvious. The fetus’s right to life is and never has been greater than many of the rights of the pregnant woman.

    WM talks about the use of emotionally laden rhetoric. And this is definitely more prevalent in the abortion debate, for obvious reason. It is an emotionally difficult decision. And the emotions abound on both sides. But I have tried to provide comments that are as emotionally neutral as possible so that the debate can be about the facts. However, the response to this is often even more emotional.

    I am not pro abortion. I am anti criminalization of it. They are not the same thing. i am in favour of not allowing abortions after the first trimester based on scientific grounds and our knowledge of embryonic development. So, yes, I believe that an embyo’s rights increase with pregnancy stage. To the point that it is my opinion that once the fetus is viable that it has the same rights as a child.

    In everything I have written, I have been consistent and supported my rationale. Yet, I get rediculous responses like, support your assertion that a person with no brain can be conscious or alive. If that is an example of the logic supporting your side, you will never be successful in your goal of making criminals of all women seeking abortion. (See, that is an example of emotionally laden rhetoric).

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Strong words, but sobering ones providing food for thought (whether or not one agrees with every jot and tittle). We need to go back to first principles of right reason and to sound history, and build from that but too many have been conditioned not to respond to such. That’s a sad pass, but I fear it is exactly what those who have dominated key media and educational institutions have long aimed for. Again, all of this points to the need for reformation. I fear, we will need to go over the cliff for enough pain to be there that a critical mass for reform can have good effect. The cost will be horrific, perhaps fatal to our civilisation in its current relatively free form. Those who take liberty and turn it into licence will lose their freedom. That is what I can see ahead, and that hurts too deeply for words. KF

  3. 3
    PaV says:

    Armand Jack:

    If a fetus’ right to life is equal to that of an adult, or a child, why are pregnant women not isolated unmediated after conception and prevented from doing anything that might be potentially harmful to the fetus. Why are they allowed to fly where they are exposed to higher radiation levels? Why are pregnant women who smoke and drink and eat junk food not locked up until after birth? The answer is obvious. The fetus’s right to life is and never has been greater than many of the rights of the pregnant woman.

    To quote WJM:
    This is the woeful state of modern debate.

    So, yes, I believe that an embyo’s rights increase with pregnancy stage. To the point that it is my opinion that once the fetus is viable that it has the same rights as a child.

    Do you think this was also true of your mother?

    The heart begins beating in the human embryo at 5 weeks—about the time that a mother realizes for the first time that she’s pregnant. What about that?

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ,

    It seems I need to pause and point you to exactly why I have long held that our civilisation is following a march of folly to ruin, one that if we do not turn from, will take its due effect.

    Democracy, historically is an unstable form of government and has a history of telling failures, with Athens and the Peloponnesian war as case study number 1.

    So much is this the case that the US founders and framers carefully distinguished their work and their intent from democracy. There are democratic elements but they carefully erected many stabilising buttresses, and plainly stated that the character of a people was absolutely critical. And on the whole they made it plain that the Judaeo-Christian, scriptural, gospel-based tradition was a linch-pin to the system.

    In time, the success of that experiment made “democracy” popular, even as across the world the underpinnings of a sober culture were being undermined.

    Often, by evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers, dressed up in the lab coat. That snowball has now reached avalanche proportions and our civilisation is in collapse on many fronts, showing the sort of manipulated march of folly I discussed here. (Which has been pointed out to you, but which in haste to form turnabout projections, to snip remarks out of context, to sneer, to dismiss and to otherwise push your rhetorical talking points, you have plainly paid not the slightest heed.)

    As we look around now, our state is one of peril, demographic collapse, indebtedness to a horrific level, gross miseducation, mobs roaming the streets, laws twisted this way and that to suit power agendas, and more. With a holocaust of posterity eating out our souls and minds with blood guilt.

    Meanwhile, geostrategic perils stare us in the face which we refuse to heed.

    We are in a state that reminds me all too much of Horne’s summary of France across the twenty years leading up to May 10, 1940.

    You may not like to hear such words or may hate the concept that our civilisation is marching off a cliff, but that does not mean that such a view is merely empty noise to be used in turnabout accusation rhetoric.

    Indeed, you have managed to substantiate why WJM’s OP is very timely.

    KF

    PS: On the self-referential incoherence of evolutionary materialism, I start with this from J B S Haldane, a co-founder of the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis, at the turn of the 1930’s:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. (NB: DI Fellow, Nancy Pearcey brings this right up to date (HT: ENV) in a current book, Finding Truth.)]

    –> See, if you can provide a sound answer to this and to the far more elaborate forms of the core concern here.

    PPS: On the inherent amorality and utterly ruinous nature of such thought, I again point you to Plato, who wrote in the aftermath of the collapse of Athens:

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,350+ ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

    –> Again, see if you have a cogent reply that leads to a world-root IS capable of grounding OUGHT as more than might and manipulation make ‘right’ i/l/o evolutionary materialism or its fellow travellers.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: Heine’s prophetic warning to Germany c 1830 — yes, over a hundred years before the holocaust and decades before what was done in Namibia and in Belgium etc — will also be well worth pondering:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered [–> the Swastika, visually, is a twisted, broken cross . . do not overlook the obvious], the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame [–> an irrational battle- and blood- lust]. …

    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …

    Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world.

    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead [–> cf. air warfare, symbol of the USA], and lions in farthest Africa [–> the lion is a key symbol of Britain, cf. also the North African campaigns] will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll. [Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831]

    Where, before you brush this aside, note Provine:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

  6. 6

    WJM,

    Your post made me think of Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. Experts at interruption, invective, and rudeness. Mere novices at actual debate.

  7. 7
    Armand Jacks says:

    PaV:

    Do you think this was also true of your mother?

    I have no idea. She is dead so I can’t ask her. Why do you ask? But she chain smoked all through her pregnancies if that means anything.

  8. 8
    PaV says:

    AJ:

    It’s easy to talk about abortion in the abstract, but when we begin to talk of specific, individual lives, it’s a bit different.

    So, I’ll ask you this, instead: Would you have been willing to give Albert Einstein’s mother the “choice” of having, or not having, her child in the womb?

  9. 9
    harry says:

    WMJ,

    … what has piqued my interest are discussions involving the election of Donald J. Trump and abortion, I suppose because those subjects carry a great deal of emotional weight for many people. I think the reaction to these subjects reveals something extremely interesting and dangerous to society.

    Trump, in promising to appoint Supreme Court justices who will reverse Roe vs. Wade, has connected himself to the abortion issue. I think you are seeing two manifestations of the same phenomenon. The apoplectic seizures some people immediately have at the mention of Trump or the abortion issue are a reaction to the same thing: a challenge to an evil they have wholeheartedly embraced. Deep down they know “legal” child killing is an evil rooted in lethal, buffoonish bigotry. They have willfully embraced the diabolical evil of our times and react to any serious challenge to their doing so almost with the attitude of the demons towards Christ:

    And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”

    That is to say, they react with inflammatory, highly emotional and irrational rhetoric.

    The truly ignorant and deceived would just ask questions, learn about the issue and be changed. I have seen it happen many, many times. Those committed to the evil — and know deep down that it is evil — are the ones who become impossible to communicate with and “dangerous to society.”

  10. 10
    JoshRob says:

    Who can say how history and science would change if Einstein had been aborted? This might be engaging in the same sort of dry pragmatism that supports the pro-abortion stance. Ultimately, whether Einstein or an unremarkable man in a nameless village somewhere, no unborn child should be aborted on principle, not because abortion is inconvenient or inefficient.

    If we were discussing the lives of 5-yr-old children, I should hope no one here would argue in favor of legal euthanasia for kindergartners simply because their society was already hellbent on killing them. Might as well make it safer, right?

    No, not right. When something is abhorrently evil, it must be opposed. The truth is, I’ve spent all my life being desensitized to abortion, and I’m not sure what I can effect, personally, to change it. It is quiet murder protected as a matter of “women’s rights” or “healthcare.” But then again, this evalutation comes from objective morality, instead of subjective morality (or self-righteousness).

    Self-righteousness and self-importance are proliferating, because a relativistic, atheistic world necessarily rules out any objective righteousness or objective importance.

    Essentially, such a world produces two sorts of person: the honest nihilist that disavows all pretense of meaning or virtue in the world, or the deluded nihilist that endlessly presents flowery arguments about “meaning” and “progress” derived from a strange sort of misanthropic humanism that simultaneously shrugs at human exceptionalism and exalts human wisdom.

  11. 11
    rvb8 says:

    WJM,

    as for emotive debate on the abortion issue I point you to Kairos and his 800 or 500 million ‘murderd’, and the ongoing ‘holocaust’. Is that emotive and deranged enough for you?

    As to Trump. Well, I am not an American and I was truly surprised by hus election, as I believe were most Americans. I can’t stand Hillary, and her ‘snowflake’ entourage, and feel that out of two woeful choices America chose the dumbest.

    But my opinion is not the unthinking hatred you appear to be characterising.

    As to abortion? Here is the reality. It is part of human society, and human culture, a long as there has been human society and human culture. The absurd position of trying to outlaw it, is right up there with the absurd position of trying to legislate a person’s sexuality.

    Although I loath some on my side (liberal universities in the US and UK are spitting out the most thin skinned children ever), they are right whn they say, ‘get the hell out of my bedroom, family, and life!’

    The most poisonous, obnoxious invective on this topic is largely restricted to Christian zealots. I remember clearly going with my girlfriend’s girlfriend to a free clinic in Auckland so that she, a 16 year old at the time, could get an abortion. I spent most of the previous evening talking her and my girlfriend into the abortion. They said we’ll put it up for adoption. I said it will just be a constant pull on your emotions, start again. The women in question, now with their own families never cease to thank me.

    My advice to all girls in the same predicament remains the same. Thankfully most girls follow this logic without having to be told the obvious consequences of an unwanted pregnancy.

    WJM,

    It appears the election of Trump has given a boost to leftwing parties in Europe. They have looked across the pond and collectively said, ‘errr, no thanks!’

    They, ’emotional, subjective feelings’; We, ‘rational, clear thinking.’ Heh:) Good one!

  12. 12
    JoshRob says:

    rvb8,

    Here, too, a bit of reality: murder and theft are a part of human society, and human culture, as long as there has been human society and human culture. We still take the apparently “absurd” position of trying to outlaw it. Why? Certainly not because it effectively eliminates murder and theft.

    A possible answer: the victim in such cases can fight back. Abortion victims are helpless. And they are not like some comatose person never to wake again, no. They are, rather, soon to wake for the first time. Their inevitable life is ended to sate emotional need or for convenience’s sake, without any hesitation about morality. It must be “right” because a large enough group of people say so.

    Of course, that stands to reason if morality is honestly just some coincidental heuristic planted by instinct in the human mind. It would seem, from that standpoint, that the only “right” is “emotional, subjective feelings,” which would mean “rational, clear thinking” about morality would perfectly intersect with such emotions. Morality would amount to making as many people as comfortable as possible, regardless of the means.

    The most rational position would be that which emotionally satisfies the majority. Emotional satisfaction is, unfortunately and all too frequently, achieved through self-excusing and impulsive decision, not by rational thought. By making one a synonym for the other, one can make an emotional claim while sincerely believing he is making a rational one. Emotions are the only purpose a nihilist can serve.

    If there is such a thing as the objective sanctity of human life, then it follows that we should do our utmost to respect anything which even appears to be a human life. Endless argument about what constitutes humanity stems from the need to have one’s apathy about human life accepted by those who respect human life. If we can all agree that the victim is not human, it becomes emotionally acceptable across the board. This is the essence of pro-abortion. Why else is there a need to argue the inhumanity of the fetus? Emotional satisfaction is the ultimate “good” being served here.

  13. 13
    rvb8 says:

    I agree murder and theft should be reduced as much as possible by law and punishment. I agree abortions should be reduced as much as possible too; but not by laws, and certainly not by punishment; as no crime has been committed. I’ll go with very early, academic schooling in the human reproductive process; organs, functions, cycles, prevention of disease, protection from unwanted pregnancies, condoms their use etc, from at least the age of five.

    When we were hunter gatherers, sex was an open book, religion came along and made it disgusting and a sin outside wedlock; now that is sick and peverse.

    There is no argument as to what humanity is, at least not in modern law. The child at birth is considered human. We can argue over the first three months, or is a fertalized egg human, or are late term abortions murder, but the plain fact is the law says it is when the child enters this world, and not before.

    I agree with that position, as does the legal system in my country. I realize it differs from state to state in the States, but they largely agrees with this defintion as well.

    WJM has suggested the pro-abortion (I loathe pussy footing around names, pro-choice is so feeble), side is over emotional and not rational. I’m not emotional on this topic as I am on the side that has won, and am supported by the law, which says, ‘sorry the unborn fetus is not human, yet!’
    That being the case, and it is, it does not have human rights.’ That makes perfect sense to me, and thankfully to the majority of politicians in my country.

    Feel free to argue against that, as I’m sure you will, just keep your emotions in check, they let your side down every time.

  14. 14
    jstanley01 says:

    If human life begins at conception, making abortion murder, then every woman who aborts a pregnancy — whether by a morning-after pill or by a partial-birth abortion at full term — qualifies for the same legal consideration as Andrea Yates: Either she is a murderer or she is criminally insane. Given the premise, there is no rational third alternative possible at law. Are you sure you want to go there? And if not, why not?

  15. 15
    PaV says:

    jstanley01:

    Someone kills another person. Was it self-defense? Premeditated? Accidental? Hate-filled? Foreseen, but not prevented?

    The list can go on. Objectively, the termination of life is killing, but the circumstances dictate how it’s viewed. No reductio ad absurdum, please.

  16. 16
    asauber says:

    I’m at a loss at how to begin debating those who have absolutely no understanding of critical reasoning

    WJM,

    Indeed. I’ve been attempting to dialog with pro-aborts for close to 3 decades. The segment of them who are religiously devoted to aborting innocent humans won’t accept any idea that opposes their beliefs. They are mindwashed children of the machine.

    Andrew

  17. 17
    Florabama says:

    Nothing could have made WJM’s point better than the responses on this thread. It is both fascinating and painfully sad to watch materialists run away from science and contort basic logic on a regular basis on these pages.

    Human life begins at conception. That is a scientific, biological fact, far more certain than anything in the Darwinian creation myth that they routinely call “fact.” The absolute fact of the humanity of the unborn child, is why the “death for profit” crowd has always tried to center the debate around the subjective and ill defined term, “person,” at least until it became clear that they really didn’t care if the baby in the womb was a person or human. They just want sex without consequences and if that meant chopping up innocent little babies and flushing them down the drain, then so be it.

    The Darwinist Nazi parallels are unmistakable and the materialists don’t even recognize it. The exact same Darwinistic argument were made to justify chattel slavery. The Black man was sub-human therefore he could be kidnapped and put in chains. The unborn baby is sub-human therefore the scalpel. The pro-abortion crowd is just the pro-slavery crowd in modern clothes.

    When materialists dispute that human life begins when an ovum is fertilized, it reveals either ignorance of science, or as has been made woefully clear on these pages, a willingness to ignore the science when it conflicts with materialistic ideology. Of course, this consistent tendency, to ignore science when it conflicts with ideology, puts the lie to the materialists claim of a high view of science. Science for them is just a tool to be brought out when needed and ignored when not — consistency be damned. When a DarwiNazi says an unborn baby is not human, therefore I am justified in directing it without anesthesia while it writhes in pain, I always ask, what species is it then, and can I do that to sea turtles who are messing up my sunbathing, which usually draws invective or deflection or both, which is to WJM’s point. Our culture has devolved to the point that logic and reason, the supposedly highest ideals of humanism, have been lost to an entire generation, perhaps never to be regained again in American culture. Thank you Charles Darwin.

  18. 18

    AJ,

    This thread is about the deplorable nature of modern debate and how it has moved from a rational, logical nature to rhetoric. Let’s look at what you have presented us.

    But seriously, I presented sound and concrete steps that have been demonstrated to seriously reduce the abortion rates.

    You and I both know you did nothing of the sort; you presented argument that at best would show a correlation between those steps and reduced abortion rates. Logically, we know that correlation is not evidence of causation – yet here you are strongly reiterating this correlation as if it demonstrated causation.

    Further, it was pointed out to you that even if we accepted that correlation as causation, it has nothing to do with the actual issue we are arguing about – yet, you once again repeat this same claim as if it addresses what the argument is actually about.

    This is one aspect of what I’m talking about in the OP.

    Yet all that you and fellow travellers centre on is the fact that I am not in favour of making early stage abortions illegal.

    No. We’re focusing on more weighty matters than your personal views on the matter. When we first started going into the abortion debate on KF’s agit-prop thread, I said this to you: “I understand that as an atheist with little or no spiritual comprehension or framework you might think the phrase “Pro-Life” is entirely about saving the lives of the children and that this is what drives your false equivalence and profound misunderstanding about what “pro-life” is really all about. It’s not even mostly about “saving the children” (because their souls will be just fine), it’s about saving the soul of civilization and preventing it from anti-life, nihilistic moral subjectivism and cultural self-annihilation.”

    … yet here you are, still trying to make the main issue one of “reducing the number of abortions”, still arguing as if the Pro-Life argument is entirely or mainly about reducing the number of abortions, and even bringing that mypoic, errant issue of yours into a thread about the deplorable nature of modern debate.

    And I provided scientifically and sociologicaly supported rational for that opinion.

    You can find scientific and sociological support for virtually any opinion. So?

    This is what I meant in the OP about referring to arbitrary, factual points of reference to support your personal, subjective feeling about abortion. If I personally, subjectively feel like I should be able to abort my children up to 18 years old, I can find all sorts of science and sociology to support that feeling – such as their incapacity to take care of themselves, their financial and emotional burden (if they aren’t behaving), their potential for causing me harm (both physical and legal), etc. All of that would be scientifically and sociologically true, and it would all support my personal, subjective feeling.

    This is the big nothingburger of your and RVB8’s position; your methodology can be used to justify just about any position morally and legally – including rounding up everyone that doesn’t meet some arbitrary set of standards and aborting them.

    There was absolutely no support for my approach to significantly reduce the abortion rate other than a very vague comment from someone saying that they weren’t opposed to sex education.

    I said: “I’m not against the availability of most contraceptives nor am I against proper sex education.”
    However, you’re apparently immune to the fact that your approach is entirely irrelevant to the issues being debated. You seem to think that the debate is about reducing the number of abortions. That’s not what the debate is about.

    Before Roe v Wade, the rates of illegal abortion were as high as they are now. And, because access was harder to get, they were often at much later stages of pregnancy.

    Are you so enamored of these statements that you will continue to use them no matter what the debate is actually about? Do you even understand what this thread is about?

    Again – the deplorable state of modern debate.

    The debate has never been about when human life begin. It is about human rights.

    Actually, the abortion debate is about a specific right – the right to life. So, when human life begins is actually a necessary aspect of that debate. Let’s note how you now attempt to draw yet another false equivalence that specific right and other human rights.

    The fact is, our rights have always been age and ability defined. The rights of children, although extensive, are not as extensive as those of adults. The rights of people with severe mental disabilities are often severely restricted.

    Are you really trying to draw an equivalence between terminating an innocent human life, and restricting the freedom of people either for their own safety or for the safety of others? Is that really the road you want to drive down? Because if it is, you’ve just made the argument for terminating all sorts of people. Why? Because killing humans and restricting their freedoms are – according to this argument – equivalent.

    Cue chorus: Deplorable condition of modern debate.

    If a fetus’ right to life is equal to that of an adult, or a child, why are pregnant women not isolated unmediated after conception and prevented from doing anything that might be potentially harmful to the fetus.

    I imagine the same reason we don’t isolate any child, elderly, disabled or sick person from their caregivers or guardians. We don’t interfere in the lives of people based on their brute physical or situational capacity to harm others. Our legal system, you know, likes to wait until an actual crime has been committed or, at least, there is evidence someone is about to commit a crime.

    You should really think through the logical ramifications of an objection or point before you post – but, that’s another problem with modern debate; people just say whatever pops in their head without really thinking it through because it feels valid to them.

    Why are they allowed to fly where they are exposed to higher radiation levels? Why are pregnant women who smoke and drink and eat junk food not locked up until after birth? The answer is obvious.

    Yes, it is. None of those things are a crime whether they are done to a fetus or to a child or to anyone else. They may not be advisable or healthy, but they’re not crimes. The only crimes here are your crimes against rational discourse and logic.

    I am anti criminalization of it. They are not the same thing. i am in favour of not allowing abortions after the first trimester based on scientific grounds and our knowledge of embryonic development. So, yes, I believe that an embyo’s rights increase with pregnancy stage. To the point that it is my opinion that once the fetus is viable that it has the same rights as a child.

    Well, unless you can point to something other than “I believe” or “I feel”, the same principle of “I believe” and “I feel” as a basis of deciding where the right to life applies and and does not apply can be used to justify killing any group – including genocide.

    This is one of the problems with modern debate; people like AJ and RVB8 think that as long as their position is widely held and/or supported by law, then it is a rational belief. So they keep spouting off the same statements over and over as if those statements represent a sound, logical argument when in fact they really don’t boil down to anything other than expressions of how they feel.

    In everything I have written, I have been consistent and supported my rationale.

    “Supporting your rationale” is not the same as “rationally supporting my position”. If it was, you wouldn’t keep claiming that correspondence = causality. Also, “supporting your rationale” doesn’t necessarily mean you are even addressing the salient points of those you are debating against.

    Yet, I get rediculous responses like, support your assertion that a person with no brain can be conscious or alive.

    I can see how “supporting your assertion” would be problematic for one who has no idea how to carry on a rational debate.

  19. 19
    asauber says:

    Maybe Armand or rvb8 or any pro-abort out there reading can answer this question:

    What’s the difference between an abortionist doctor and a bird egg smasher?

    Andrew

  20. 20
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    As we look around now, our state is one of peril, demographic collapse, indebtedness to a horrific level, gross miseducation, mobs roaming the streets, laws twisted this way and that to suit power agendas, and more. With a holocaust of posterity eating out our souls and minds with blood guilt.

    Yet your doomsaying ignores the facts on the ground. Violent crimes have declined dramatically. Legal abortions have dropped dramatically. Even to the point they are now as low or lower than the abortion rates before Roe v Wade. And there are hundreds of other examples of how our lives are better now than they were a few decades ago.

    I understand that you see secularization of society as a negative. But, unfortunately for you, that sentiment is an ever decreasing one.

    See, if you can provide a sound answer to this and to the far more elaborate forms of the core concern here.

    His argument boils down to, ‘I don’t understand how the brain works so it can’t be the result of material processes”. Lack of understanding is not proof of anything other than a lack of understanding. But, what we do know is that we can alter the state and nature of the mind by purely material means. That is not proof the mind is the result of purely material causes, but it is a very strong and sound logical inference. Much more logically sound than inferring that it must be non material. Even the latest research on quantum effects and the mind is still a physical effect.

    Again, see if you have a cogent reply that leads to a world-root IS capable of grounding OUGHT as more than might and manipulation make ‘right’ i/l/o evolutionary materialism or its fellow travellers.

    You are pre-supposing that there must be a world-root IS capable of grounding OUGHT. As such, your reasoning is circular. The more appropriate way to examine this issue is to propose two scenarios:

    1) a world-root IS exists that is capable of grounding OUGHT.

    2) a world-root IS does not exist that is capable of grounding OUGHT.

    Now, given these two options, examine human civilizations today and throughout recorded history and assess which of these options best fits the data. It would be impossible to conclude that option one is the best fit unless you impose so many required assumptions on the option such that it is indistinguishable from option two.

    Your insistence on the existence of objective morality, absolute moral truths, etc. is that you are afraid of the implications and possible consequences of them not existing. frankly, they scare me too. But being afraid of something is not going to make it go away. But humans have one big advantage in this scary game. We have the capability of rational thought, abstract reasoning and intuiting and predicting possible consequences if our actions. It is certainly not perfect but it has allowed an otherwise fragile and poorly equipped animal to become the arguably dominant organism on this planet.

  21. 21
    Armand Jacks says:

    PaV:

    AJ: It’s easy to talk about abortion in the abstract, but when we begin to talk of specific, individual lives, it’s a bit different.

    No, I would argue that it is orders of magnitude more difficult.

    So, I’ll ask you this, instead: Would you have been willing to give Albert Einstein’s mother the “choice” of having, or not having, her child in the womb?

    I would be willing to allow her to abort it in the first trimester. But I would prefer she didn’t. As I would prefer that no women would would opt for abortion.

  22. 22
    Armand Jacks says:

    PaV:

    Someone kills another person. Was it self-defense? Premeditated? Accidental? Hate-filled? Foreseen, but not prevented?

    The list can go on. Objectively, the termination of life is killing, but the circumstances dictate how it’s viewed. No reductio ad absurdum, please.

    This is not reduction ad absurdum. JS01 is correct. An abortion is a premeditated act. Therefore, if a fetus from conception on is entitled to full human rights then any woman who is found to have aborted a fetus must be charged with first degree murder. There can be no exception. She will either be acquitted, found guilty or found not guilty by reason of insanity. There are no other options. Her state of mind can be used to mitigate sentencing but in the US there are mandatory minimums. If found guilty, the best she can hope for is 25 years.

    And what do you do about all of the women who had abortions when they were legal? If the right to life is an objective human right, as many here assert, it was also an objective human right when abortion was legal and all of these women and doctors would have to be rounded up and charged. And if guilty, 25 years minimum or execution depending on the state. And before you claim that I am being absurd, that is the argument that was and continues to be used against those responsible for the holocaust (Crimes against humanity). If abortion is a holocaust then it is a crime against humanity. Since KF and WM insist that abortion is a holocaust even worse than the Nazi holocaust, then they must also be in favour of the jailing and execution of the thousands of women who had legal abortions. And any politician that voted in favour of current abortion laws. And the judges that ruled on Roe v Wade. You can’t have one without the other.

  23. 23
    Florabama says:

    “This is not reduction ad absurdum. JS01 is correct. An abortion is a premeditated act. Therefore, if a fetus from conception on is entitled to full human rights then any woman who is found to have aborted a fetus must be charged with first degree murder.”

    Ridiculous and just plain dumb. First, your straw man. No is arguing that an unborn baby is entitled to full human rights (they can’t vote or Democrats would all of a sudden be pro-life) but not being entitled to full adult human rights, should not mean that they are not entitled to the most basic and fundamental human right — to not be deprived of life without due process of law (which happens by the way to be spelled out in the body of the Constitution — not the nebulous “penumbras” where the right to kill an innocent human being was conveniently found. If a human being is not entitled to the right to not be killed, what other right matters? If they are not entitled to not be killed unjustly, why do you suppose you are entitled to that right?

    Secondly, murder is not always first degree murder and certainly a woman in fear of any number of things due to an unwanted pregnancy has extenuating circumstances and may not be committing first degree murder under our current court system. To the point of the OP, we have lost the ability to reason.

  24. 24
    PaV says:

    AJ:

    This is not reduction ad absurdum. JS01 is correct. An abortion is a premeditated act. Therefore, if a fetus from conception on is entitled to full human rights then any woman who is found to have aborted a fetus must be charged with first degree murder. There can be no exception. She will either be acquitted, found guilty or found not guilty by reason of insanity. There are no other options. Her state of mind can be used to mitigate sentencing but in the US there are mandatory minimums. If found guilty, the best she can hope for is 25 years.

    Don’t be hysterical. Use your mind.

  25. 25
    JoshRob says:

    rvb8 @13

    I agree murder and theft should be reduced as much as possible by law and punishment. I agree abortions should be reduced as much as possible too; but not by laws, and certainly not by punishment; as no crime has been committed.

    This is twisted logic. A crime is only committed when a law is violated. Is murder a crime outside of law? Or are you arguing that murder is objectively evil and that abortion is objectively benign?

    I’ll go with very early, academic schooling in the human reproductive process; organs, functions, cycles, prevention of disease, protection from unwanted pregnancies, condoms their use etc, from at least the age of five.

    Comparable to anger management and ethics courses to prevent kindergartners from growing up to be murderers. Does this mean that we make attempts to “soften” murder while trying to prevent it with education? There is no moral conviction here, but that would be consistent with nihilism. Whatever “works.”

    When we were hunter gatherers, sex was an open book, religion came along and made it disgusting and a sin outside wedlock; now that is sick and peverse.

    The usual Darwinist rhetoric depicting the evils of religion and making striking moral judgments about how someone chooses to view sexuality. By which standard is this sick or perverse? Your own? Should I care what other humans think? Why or why not?

    There is no argument as to what humanity is, at least not in modern law. The child at birth is considered human. We can argue over the first three months, or is a fertalized egg human, or are late term abortions murder, but the plain fact is the law says it is when the child enters this world, and not before.

    If the law were an ultimate authority here, this would suffice to end the conversation. I am not unaware of the legal system’s current perspective. Yes, the law has allowed baby killing until the point at which the baby in question has emerged from his/her mother. It’s sick and perverse, if I may make a moral judgment here.

    WJM has suggested the pro-abortion (I loathe pussy footing around names, pro-choice is so feeble), side is over emotional and not rational. I’m not emotional on this topic as I am on the side that has won, and am supported by the law, which says, ‘sorry the unborn fetus is not human, yet!’

    Essentially, you have said that your position could not possibly be emotional, because you have “won.” Then you state the position of the law with an exclamation point, to add to what clear satisfaction you draw from your agreement with it. Nothing here has anything to do with your position’s rationality. I’m not sure how this was supposed to demonstrate that you aren’t being emotional; it reads like a celebration of triumph.

    Feel free to argue against that, as I’m sure you will, just keep your emotions in check, they let your side down every time.

    Well, you don’t seem upset here, but you’re definitely speaking with plainly emotive language. A tone of incredulity that anyone would oppose your position runs throughout, that and a solemn homage to your evolutionary ancestors’ tribal, bestial attitudes toward sex. Are you the sort of person that foregoes his own advice? I’d prefer less storytime about noble caveman sex, less striking moral judgment, less jumping up and down in victory, and more plain rationality, please.

    It might suffice to simply demonstrate the underlying evil of murder, i.e. why murder is “wrong.” I would like to know the material basis for such a judgment. From there, you can demonstrate that abortion isn’t murder and you’ll have “won.” You do seem to like winning, after all.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Armand Jacks says:

    F:

    Secondly, murder is not always first degree murder and certainly a woman in fear of any number of things due to an unwanted pregnancy has extenuating circumstances and may not be committing first degree murder under our current court system.

    If a murder is planned in advance, it is first degree murder. Second degree murder and manslaughter are only used when the premeditated planning can’t be conclusively demonstrated. Since abortions involve more than one doctor’s appointment and the signing of a waiver acknowledging that you were made aware of what you are doing and how the procedure will take place, you would be hard pressed to argue that it was not premeditated.

    Extenuating circumstances do not get you out of a conviction. They only mitigate the sentencing. And there are minimum sentences for murder.

    Self defence might be possible but that typically only applies if the person you kill has an intent to do you harm or you have a strong reason for thinking that they intend to do you harm. You would have a hard time arguing that a fetus with no brain is intentionally planning to do you harm. Temporary insanity would be your best defence. Again, a difficult defence for something you planned in advance and went out of your way to do.

    Ridiculous and just plain dumb. First, your straw man. No is arguing that an unborn baby is entitled to full human rights…

    No, but you are arguing that they are entitled to the right to life. Anybody who premeditatively kills a person against their will, from birth to the minutes before they would have died of natural causes, is guilty of first degree murder. If fetuses also are entitled to the right to life, the same laws would apply. If the death was premeditated and planned, it is first degree murder. If you are suggesting that a woman should not be charged with first degree murder for having an abortion then you are admitting that the fetus does not have the right to life. Or you are admitting that the right to life increases throughout the pregnancy. Good luck with suggesting either of those here.

  28. 28
    Armand Jacks says:

    PaV:

    Don’t be hysterical. Use your mind.

    Rather than tossing ad hominems, why not try addressing my logic.

  29. 29
    PaV says:

    It’s not logic; it’s hysteria. “There are no options.” This is just your opinion, and not a well-thought out one.

  30. 30
    Pindi says:

    PaV, I would love to hear what the options are. KF and others here think that a fetus (actually a fertilised egg) is a human being and that to kill it is murder. Applying the same logic why should a woman who chooses to have an abortion not be treated as a murderer by the law?

  31. 31
    JoshRob says:

    AJ @ 27

    Or you are admitting that the right to life increases throughout the pregnancy.

    What does it mean for the right to life to “increase,” exactly? I suppose it actually means an increase in rights, plural, not some mysterious “quantity” of the right to life.

    The right to life is not quantifiable; a human simply has the right to life or he/she does not. What are the criteria? I say any living being in the womb with its own human DNA (i.e. distinct from the mother’s) has the right to life by default; his/her right to life must be somehow forfeited at a later point, e.g. the fetus matures into an adult human and commits first degree murder (if one supports capital punishment – otherwise, the right to life is immutable).

    But can materialist rationale determine the basis of this right? Is your answer really grounded in science somehow? I might assert that there is no material basis for rights (or morality). And if there is, it does not suffice to say so. I will require a rational demonstration of that material basis, not an appeal to intuition.

    I’d actually like a more full discussion about which rights a person has and at which point they are granted each one, from both perspectives, just out of curiosity. I’ve never felt the need to enumerate the personal milestones a human must reach to be granted particular rights.

    Extenuating circumstances do not get you out of a conviction. They only mitigate the sentencing. And there are minimum sentences for murder.

    I must confess, I do not know why people I suspect are deontologists of some fashion or another are arguing with this. Yes, abortion would be first degree murder in the grand majority of cases, as far as I can tell. Hopefully many women could be said to be genuinely ignorant of any murder taking place. It may well be overwhelmingly difficult to prosecute every perpetrator of an abortion if it were made illegal, but this is not a valid argument about whether or not it “ought” to be illegal.

    To sum up the objection at play here, an evil that is too difficult to oppose must be given exception – or perhaps, that which is not feasible is not morally imperative. I say, if there is such a thing as “right,” we have to fight for it in some capacity, regardless of our seeming capacity to win that fight. I will never stop objecting to evil, no matter how commonplace it becomes or how difficult it is to effect change.

    That’s not a valid materialist position, of course. To one so persuaded, morality must be no more than sound and fury that signifies nothing, or a striving after the wind. Just some controversial ideas that homo sapiens is constantly revising, ideas that carry some baseless authority for a moment.

    Can this conversation honestly benefit either side? I suppose, at the least, some of us hope so.

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ,

    You have dodged aside and failed to address the root of morality, apart from subjectivism and relativism reducing to might and manipulation make ‘right.’

    A comparison of the above with here on with context and onward links will quickly show that by dodging from one thread to the next you played at knock-over the strawman rhetoric.

    On track record, unsurprisingly.

    I suggest as a start-point for a sounder approach:

    1: Our consciences testify to our being under moral government (even in our reasoning process), even as say Ruse and Wilson admit when they argued (1991):

    The time has come to take seriously the fact [–> This is a gross error at the outset, as macro-evolution is a theory (an explanation) about the unobserved past of origins and so cannot be a fact on the level of the observed roundness of the earth or the orbiting of planets around the sun etc.] that we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day . . . We must think again especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how. As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will … In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. Once it is grasped, everything falls into place.

    [ –> And everything instantly falls apart as this would set grand delusion loose in our mental lives. Even logical reasoning is guided by the conscience-driven urge to truth, right and justice, so once such a grand delusion is let loose it undermines the general credibility of conscious mindedness, setting up a cascade of shadow-show worlds. The skeptical spider has enmeshed himself in his own web. Thus, any such scheme should be set aside as self-refuting.]

    [Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics,” Religion and the Natural Sciences: The Range of Engagement, , ed. J. E. Hutchingson, Orlando, Fl.:Harcourt and Brace, 1991. (NB: Cf. a separate discussion on the grounding of worldviews and ethics here on, which includes a specific discussion of the grounding of ethics and goes on to Biblical theism; having first addressed the roots of the modern evolutionary materialist mindset and its pretensions to the mantle of science. Also cf. here on for Plato’s warning in The Laws, Bk X, on social consequences of the rise of such a view as the philosophy of the avant garde in a community.]

    2: This of course lets grand delusion loose in our conscious mindedness, also demonstrating that I am not just picking notions out of the air when I point to the problem.

    3: Alex Rosenberg amplifies, digging in deeper:

    Alex Rosenberg as he begins Ch 9 of his The Atheist’s Guide to Reality:

    >> FOR SOLID EVOLUTIONARY REASONS, WE’VE BEEN tricked into looking at life from the inside. Without scientism, we look at life from the inside, from the first-person POV (OMG, you don’t know what a POV is?—a “point of view”). The first person is the subject, the audience, the viewer of subjective experience, the self in the mind.

    Scientism shows that the first-person POV is an illusion. [–> grand delusion is let loose in utter self referential incoherence] Even after scientism convinces us, we’ll continue to stick with the first person. But at least we’ll know that it’s another illusion of introspection and we’ll stop taking it seriously. We’ll give up all the answers to the persistent questions about free will, the self, the soul, and the meaning of life that the illusion generates [–> bye bye to responsible, rational freedom on these presuppositions].

    The physical facts fix all the facts. [–> asserts materialism, leading to . . . ] The mind is the brain. It has to be physical and it can’t be anything else, since thinking, feeling, and perceiving are physical process—in particular, input/output processes—going on in the brain. We [–> at this point, what “we,” apart from “we delusions”?] can be sure of a great deal about how the brain works because the physical facts fix all the facts about the brain. The fact that the mind is the brain guarantees that there is no free will. It rules out any purposes or designs organizing our actions or our lives [–> thus rational thought and responsible freedom]. It excludes the very possibility of enduring persons, selves, or souls that exist after death or for that matter while we live.>>

    4: This immediately leads to an infinite regress of Plato’s Cave style delusions as there is no basis for trusting level 2, then level 3 etc perceptions as credible. Reduction to absurdity.

    5: That is where evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers end up when they take up the notion of reducing the testimony of conscience to delusion. That is, they let grand delusion loose.

    6: A saner approach is to recognise that while we may err as much in moral reasoning as we do in general or arithmetical or scientific or mathematical reasoning, this does not indict the core realities being perceived as inherently delusional.

    7: We are under moral government as a law of our nature as responsible, rational, significantly free individuals necessarily being in community.

    8: The issue then becomes, what sort of world grounds that, where we know post Hume et al, that it can only be resolved at world-root level.

    9: That is the context in which I put up a serious candidate IS that inherently grounds OUGHT, not as assumption but as a candidate for worldview level inference to best explanation. (Worldviews are evaluated on comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power.)

    10: I asserted then and still do, that this is the only adequate candidate after centuries of debate: the inherently good creator God, a necessary, maximally great being worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature. To test this, simply put up another that is explanatorily adequate: ____________ (That is, without falling into incoherence as seen above and accounting for the moral government we find ourselves under.)

    11: As is predictable, you distorted what I argued into a strawman caricature [an IBE argument is not a case of question-begging) and you dodged the challenge, refusing to draw out and face the sort of direct implications as can be seen above.

    12: WJM is dead right to point to the sad state of public discussion.

    KF

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Wilberforce is a key exemplar (as BTW was Ep. Philemon — source of the anti-slavery society’s key motto), where we now recognise that the kidnapping-based chattel slave trade was a major, holocaust level, crime against humanity. But at that time civilisation was in the grip of delusions manipulated by powerful interests — e.g. Wilberforce et al were among other things characterised as attacking the recruitment pool of the Royal Navy (when death rates for sailors on those ships of horror may have been up to 25% IIRC from my history books). Reformation opens the way to moral growth of the community through its return to sanity. One step of the current process is that we are going to eventually need an international truth and reconciliation commission on the mass abortion civilisational kulturkampf, which should be associated with tribunals capable of censure and recommendation of loss of credibility for cases of gross ethical violations of the same natural laws that answered to the defendant’s claims to be acting under lawful orders at Nuremburg. But no, I see no reason to bring back the hangman; let our shame as a civilisation and let our shame on record as key enablers, promoters and practitioners be enough — though some may need to be held in protective custody on long term suicide watch. The judgement of history against our era will be grim. KF

  34. 34
    JoshRob says:

    KF,

    I have seen you accused of writing “interminable screeds” by some that are either unwilling to read your arguments or who have difficulty following them. I, for one, very much enjoy the comprehensive approach you take.

    It is for no better reason than your very mention of God, among other things, that your opponents could not even pretend to understand your stance. Atheism has a dedicated following, to be sure, and it would be spiritually intellectually dangerous for them to agree with something a theist proposed. After all, an honest confession of atheism apparently amounts to transcending the apish hoi polloi.

  35. 35
    Armand Jacks says:

    PaV:

    It’s not logic; it’s hysteria. “There are no options.” This is just your opinion, and not a well-thought out one.

    No, it is the opinion of the legal system. If you plan and execute the murder of anyone, it is first degree murder and punishable by execution in many states. If the fetus enjoys the same right to life as a newborn baby, as KF, WM and others here insist, then intentionally terminating the pregnancy is first degree murder. If you don’t like that idea, take it up with KF and WM. I am just taking their assertions about the rights of the fetus to the inevitable conclusions.

    If you disagree with me, try presenting rationale as to why I am in error. So far you have not done so.

  36. 36
    Armand Jacks says:

    JR@31, thank you for having the honesty to admit that a woman aborting a fetus would be commiting first degree murder. Others here, I suspect, will dance around this logical conclusion of insisting that the fetus has a right to life. Just one little quibble. You mentioned that you hoped that many women would be ignorant to the fact that an abortion is murder. This may be true in reality, but ignorance is not accepted as a defense.

  37. 37
    harry says:

    Armand Jacks @35,

    it is the opinion of the legal system.

    The opinion of the legal system is wrong and evil in so far as it allows the murder of innocent humanity:

    — Humanity precedes the state and brings it into existence.

    — Therefore the state exists for humanity, not humanity for the state.

    — Therefore it is humanity that bestows and withdraws the state’s right to exist, not the state that bestows and withdraws humanity’s right to exist.

    — Therefore the state simply has no authority to “legalize” the murder of innocent humanity.

    This is why there were defendants at the Nuremberg Trials who demonstrated that they had done nothing illegal according to Nazi Law — but were still hanged. This was because murder is intrinsically illegal. There is no such thing as “legal” murder for the civilized.

    With roots in Aristotle’s “The state comes into existence that man may live” and in the “First, do no harm” medical oath of Hippocrates which explicitly prohibited abortion, the traditional ethic of Western civilization acknowledged the inestimable dignity and worth of all human life.

    The medical oath of Hippocrates has been rejected only twice in modern history: By the Nazi medical profession during the twelve years of the Third Reich, and in contemporary society. Similarly, the state claiming for itself the authority to “legalize” the murder of innocent humanity as a matter of social policy is also a reemergence of the irrational Nazi assumption of god-like authority for the state.

    When man pretends to be a god he becomes a ghastly beast, a savage buffoon, a subhuman monster instead.

  38. 38
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    You have dodged aside and failed to address the root of morality, apart from subjectivism and relativism reducing to might and manipulation make ‘right.’

    I have not dodged this at all. I addressed it head on. All of history has shown that might and manipulation AND SOCIETAL AGREEMENT make “right”. It is and always has been a tug of war between those who want to profit from manipulation and force, and those who want to develop consensus and agreement. Have you not been watching the news, or read any history books?

    That is the context in which I put up a serious candidate IS that inherently grounds OUGHT, not as assumption but as a candidate for worldview level inference to best explanation.

    This still is based on the assumption that a world level IS exists and is necessary. Only then would your candidate IS possibly be the best explanation.

    But what if this hypothetical world level IS does not exist? What are the implications and consequences of this possibility? What would our societies and civilizations look like? Pretty much like what we see in the news every day. Pretty much like what we read about in history books.

  39. 39
    Armand Jacks says:

    Harry@37, then you also agree that if the right to life applies to the fetus, and we make abortion illegal again, that women who have abortions should be charged with first degree murder and suffer the consequences if found guilty (life in prison or execution). And based on your Nuremberg comment, you also agree that when we make abortions illegal that we should round up all the women who had abortions when it was legal and charged with first degree murder.

    Given that it was KF who insists that abortion is a worse holocaust than the one perpetrated by the Nazis, and since WM fully supports KF’s view, I would be interested in their opinions on charging women who have (and had) abortions with first degree murder.

  40. 40
    jdk says:

    Hey Armand Jacks – continued good job. Very good comments at #38.

  41. 41
    harry says:

    Armand Jacks @39,

    The laws of every state in the Union for roughly a century reflected the intrinsic illegality of murdering the child in the womb. In Pre-Roe America women weren’t charged with first degree murder for obtaining an abortion. They won’t be in Post-Roe America. Abortionists were generally the ones prosecutors went after.

    I won’t be suggesting that we should “round up all the women who had abortions when it was legal and charged with first degree murder.” The women are very often victims of diabolical propaganda such as that which you promulgate. It might be people like you who are rounded up and put on trial for crimes against humanity. But the women? No. They are most often victims, too.

  42. 42
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF

    8: The issue then becomes, what sort of world grounds that, where we know post Hume et al, that it can only be resolved at world-root level.

    Are you really unaware that Foundationalism is an epistemological view? Are the criticisms philosophers level against it completely unknown to you?

    I’m asking because the part of your argument I quoted depends on holding that philosophical view and assuming it’s true. Foundatinoaism includes the belief that a foundation to “ground” things is necessary. It’s part of the theory itself, not epistemology in general.

    IOW, why is an argument for why foundationaism is true absent from your posts, as opposed to merely assuming it is true or obvious?

  43. 43
    rvb8 says:

    Actually harry,

    Armand Jacks logic is sound and yours is irrational. Either abortion is murder and the fetus is a person, or it is not murder and the fetus is not a peron.

    AJs logic is unarguable; where do you stand? Actually I know where you, Kairos, WJM, and others here stand, they say the fetus is a person, and abortion is murder.

    Let’s take it one logical step further. If, as you believe, abortion is murder (I most certainly do not, I think it’s an unfortunate procedure), then why oh why, are you doing nothing.

    Shouldn’t you be out there ending this crime rather than pointlessly writing on a blog with a readership of two?

    Those who killed the guards at Bergen-Belsen, Sobibor, and Treblinka, are today hailed as heroes; what have you done?

    I’ll tell you why you don’t resort to felony murder to solve this supposed injustice, it is because you like me, don’t actually see the fetus as human, pre-human sure, but not quite there yet.

    If you lived next to a Catholic orphanage, and new the priests were raping and murdering the children, but no one would believe you, you, and hopefully I, would do something. But fetuses? Nothing. Just pointless gas bagging, and more pointless psudo-outrage.

  44. 44
    Armand Jacks says:

    H:

    In Pre-Roe America women weren’t charged with first degree murder for obtaining an abortion. They won’t be in Post-Roe America. Abortionists were generally the ones prosecutors went after.

    If a mother makes arrangements with a third party to kill her one month old baby, she will be charged with first degree murder. We do not make any allowance for whether or not she was a victim, whether she was beaten as a child, or whether the child was the result of being raped by her father. These factors will certainly be taken into account in the sentencing but not in the charges themselves. Given that the fetus has a right to life that is equal to other humans, why should the mother who arranges with a third party to kill her two week old fetus not be charged with first degree murder? Where is the difference?

    All I am trying to do is point out the inconsistency between the assertion that all stages of human life, from conception to natural death, have an equal right to life, and the reluctance by the very same people to state that all women who seek and have an abortion should be charged with first degree murder. The charges and penalties for killing a human being, regardless of age (one day old baby to 100 year old), is the same. If you do not afford the same charges and penalties to a woman aborting her fetus then you are admitting that one is not as serious as the other. That the fetus’ right to life isn’t equal to that of a baby or a 100 year old.

  45. 45
    EricMH says:

    A common pro-choice argument is that abortion rates were the same before and after legalization. Thus, if we really want to lower abortion rates, we should focus on contraception and sex-ed instead of making abortion illegal. This argument is verifiably false on many levels.

    First, there is the argument that abortions reduce the crime rate (ignoring that abortion itself is a crime). If this is true, then a significant reduction in crime rate due to abortion means the abortion rate has risen significantly since legalization. You cannot have it both ways.

    Second, we know that the abortion rate in 1973 was 700,000 abortions per year. It had more than doubled by 1990 to 1,600,000. At the same time, births only increased by 1/3 from 3,000,000 to 4,000,000. Clearly legalization significantly increases the abortion rate.

    Finally, as far as we have records, the basic premise that abortion was high prior to legalization is only true for a few years, and beyond that very speculative. If we go back to 1970, we have about 200,000 abortions on record. But, what if we go back a few more years? In 1966, less than a decade prior to legalization, there are only 1,000 recorded abortions.

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.ne.....tates.html.

    If you look at the dates for when the abortion rates begin to climb significantly, after a brief bump (tens to hundreds per year) during WWII, it began in the mid 1960, after oral contraception was approved by the FDA. The abortion rates really began to climb after 1965, when Griswold v. Connecticut legalized contraception for married couples. Then, in 1972, contraception became legalized across the board, causing abortions to jump by 150,000 the next year.

    So, rather than claiming an enormous number of unrecorded back alley abortions, the data much better supports the theory that the introduction of contraception into American culture caused an absolutely unprecedented increase in the abortion rate by as much as 70000%.

    This theory is borne out by Planned Parenthood’s own research through its Guttmacher Institute. They show the introduction of contraception into a culture can cause the abortion rate to increase, one demonstrative case study specifically in America. Furthermore, today they show that over 50% of the women getting an abortion were using contraception the month they became pregnant.

    There is a clear causal mechanism for the positive impact of contraception on abortion rates. No form of contraception is 100% effective. Yet, most of us have great difficulty understanding probabilities, as evidenced by the lottery’s popularity. This means people will use contraception thinking they will not become pregnant, have sex a great deal, and then become pregnant. However, now they were not planning for the pregnancy and it is unwanted. In our quick fix, disposable culture, the obvious answer is abortion. And thus, contraception has a tendency to significantly increase the number of unwanted pregnancies, even if it may decrease the overall pregnancy rate. Even more so if abortion is financially lucrative, as Cecil Richards $1 million salary indicates.

    In summary, while the claim that contraception can lower abortion is true in a limited sense, the evidence strongly supports the alternate conclusion that contraception significantly increases the abortion rate, which it then may lower a little.

    As a postscript, this argument entirely ignores the other troubling issue that the chemical contraceptives themselves are potential abortifacients. The medical board in America famously changed the definition of pregnancy, so they would not have to list this side effect on the packaging. This means the true abortion rate could be an order of magnitude above the recorded abortion rate. In which case, even if all the other points are wrong, contraception inherently magnifies the abortion rate in a culture, and merely hides us from the reality.

    So, there are many reasons to be skeptical that legalization has no effect on abortion and contraception/sex-ed are the answer.

  46. 46
    rvb8 says:

    Any statistics on this topic are going to be woefully off. Especially considering the taboo that was sex prior to the sixties in the west.

    The figures mentioned above are speculativeat at best, and rife with hearsay, anecdote.

    So I’ll offer my nieces and daughter as an example. They are all 17 and sexually active I suppose, but I don’t ask and they don’t tell, which makes me very comfortable. I and partner have been explaining sex, periods, condoms and orientation since they were 8.

    They are healthy, happy, and well adjusted, I think, at least they appear to be. Their various boyfriends also seem clued up on the subject, but once again ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, leaves everyone easier.

    They know enough not to get pregnant, and despite what the poster above asserts, condoms are damn effective. If daughters are denied a natural, human pleasure like sex, I know the kind of women they become.

    Please don’t characterise my female reltives as sluts. They are intelligent, gentle, sensible members of society. Now, if they did not enjoy sex, then I really would be upset.

    They also know that in the unlikely event of pregnancy it will be me that escorts them to and from the clinic, hopefully to encounter some inbred, puritan, retards who believe sex, or pleasure really, is a sin.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, societal agreement can be manipulated or coerced or simply delusional, as I noted with respect to the slave trade as a key relevant example. Notice, we now recognise that this trade was a holocaust-level crime against humanity (complete with a shockingly similar death toll, through it is even harder to pin down). At the time, it took great courage to stand up and cry foul, then endure the counter-attacks and keep going until a critical mass woke up and then the jig was up. So, appeal to society is little more than appeal to subjectivism in a cultural relativism context. Which was already answered in the thread, but I suppose some were too busy trying to imagine how Wilberforce could not provide a relevant exemplar. KF

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    CR,

    you could label a worldview foundationalist and suggest that there are ever so many who reject it, as though that answers. Such, however, is little more than dismissive rhetoric that is selectively hyperskeptical instead of addressing comparative difficulties on the relevant set of worldview core issues.

    If you really wish to know, I am some sort of broad sense foundherentist, look up Haack et al (and a moderate Skempian constructivist on understanding and learning . . . ); that is I think both major approaches have a point but don’t tell the whole story. And Neurath’s raft that is ever under reconstruction or the like actually smuggles in a hidden “foundation,” i.e. the raft rests on the ocean and the principle of flotation. (It also needs to be strong enough to stand storms and to be big enough to protect from the big sharks that swim in such seas. Or, to change metaphors to a classic comparison, there was once a man who built his house upon sand without foundations. All seemed fine and he saved a lot of money, until the big storms came. This was discussed by ONE who rose from death with 500 witnesses, in proof that he is the foundation who can stand all storms. )

    It is worth clipping the just linked review article:

    Evidence and Inquiry, Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology, by Susan Haack, is the kind of book that is sorely needed in an age when principles of scepticism and the rejection of the possibility of knowledge have become all but truisms to many people, both inside philosophy and outside. Indeed, one might even say that the “standard analysis” of knowledge is no longer something like “justified true belief” but instead “the construction of power relations.” This would mean that the quest for knowledge is over. All has become a quest for power, which is then, when acquired, to be used to express one’s race/class/gender consciousness. This dismal recipe for solipsism and tyranny seems to be the heritage of a generation that was educated on radical politics, with great care and expense, in an era before the fall of communism and the general failure of Marxism as either science, history, politics, or economics posed any kind of cognitive problem for academic anti-anti-communists. Utopian indoctrination took hold upon those who didn’t have to face the consequences of Utopianism in practice and who are now insensible or unconcerned to learn the truth. Neither philosophy or English departments are the kinds of places where evidence contrary to a self-contained ideology is likely to be encountered just along the way . . . .

    Since criticisms of foundationalism tend towards coherentism, and criticisms of coherentism tend towards foundationalism, Haack concludes that elements of both must be true and so the proper theory is “foundherentism.” This, indeed, must be the case. Coherentism does require some non-inferential cognitive connection to experience, and foundationalism does require the compromise of that connection to other beliefs that influence the Gestalt of the experience itself. Haack’s “Foundherentism Articulated” seems to be the substantial foundation of a theory, and her analogy of the crossword puzzle is suggestive and illustrative . . .

    But on this thread’s focal matters the issue is that we do actually need an ontological root of the world or reality.

    A real nothing, non-being has no causal powers. Were there ever utter nothing, then such would forever obtain. if a world now is, something always was that is independent of others for its reality, it is the root of reality. The issue then is what is this. It is an ontologically necessary being, independent of others for its existence, it is so as it is framework-level integral to any world existing (even as there can be no world without two-ness and/or distinct identity in it, they are much the same).

    Any serious candidate necessary being of this order will be either impossible as a square circle is, or else it will be actual. Nonsense like flying spaghetti monsters need not apply, such is a composite entity and a material one, thus instantly not a serious candidate. Sq Circles are impossible as core characteristics stand in mutual contradiction and no being can satisfy them.

    In our context, we need a NB at world-root level, as the IS that grounds the one and the many of our world, including OUGHT, moral government. The God of ethical theism is such a serious candidate, the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    Which evident nature starts its career in the Fallopian tubes at conception and then is present as implantation and development happen, being manifest in an unborn growing child with a beating heart by what 5 1/2 weeks, about the time many women realise that they may be pregnant. Roughly half the time, such a child is not even the same sex as his mother.

    Let us hear an alternative serious candidate that does not rapidly collapse into incoherence or the like: __________ .

    The persistent absence of a cogent answer to this speaks for itself.

    KF

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    JR, thanks. I suggest that many would profit by taking up the point made early in Plato’s The Laws, Bk X: who is pressing hard upon us, it is advisable to prefer the better argument instead of simplistically the shorter argument (often the one that turns on clever barbed talking points or metaphors or half-truths or appeals to fashionable prejudices and notions, etc.). A focus on the balance of material facts, on the force of deductive and/or inductive and/or abductive logic [do we even understand the differences?], core principles/assumptions and careful drawing out of prudent conclusions would make a huge difference to an era impatient of sound instruction and hell-bent on having its ears tickled with what we want to hear. KF

    PS, Job:

    Job 28English Standard Version (ESV)
    Job Continues: Where Is Wisdom?

    28 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
    and a place for gold that they refine.
    2
    Iron is taken out of the earth,
    and copper is smelted from the ore.
    3
    Man puts an end to darkness
    and searches out to the farthest limit
    the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
    4
    He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;
    they are forgotten by travelers;
    they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.
    5
    As for the earth, out of it comes bread,
    but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
    6
    Its stones are the place of sapphires,[a]
    and it has dust of gold . . . .

    “But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
    13
    Man does not know its worth,
    and it is not found in the land of the living.
    14
    The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
    and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
    15
    It cannot be bought for gold,
    and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
    16
    It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
    in precious onyx or sapphire.
    17
    Gold and glass cannot equal it,
    nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
    18
    No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
    the price of wisdom is above pearls.
    19
    The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
    nor can it be valued in pure gold.

    20
    “From where, then, does wisdom come?
    And where is the place of understanding?
    21
    It is hidden from the eyes of all living
    and concealed from the birds of the air.
    22
    Abaddon and Death say,
    ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

    23
    “God understands the way to it,
    and he knows its place.
    24
    For he looks to the ends of the earth
    and sees everything under the heavens.
    25
    When he gave to the wind its weight
    and apportioned the waters by measure,
    26
    when he made a decree for the rain
    and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
    27
    then he saw it and declared it;
    he established it, and searched it out.
    28
    And he said to man,
    ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
    and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    I think the 1st para in the just clipped review speaks tellingly to the theme of this thread:

    Evidence and Inquiry, Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology, by Susan Haack, is the kind of book that is sorely needed in an age when principles of scepticism and the rejection of the possibility of knowledge have become all but truisms to many people, both inside philosophy and outside. Indeed, one might even say that the “standard analysis” of knowledge is no longer something like “justified true belief” but instead “the construction of power relations.” This would mean that the quest for knowledge is over. All has become a quest for power, which is then, when acquired, to be used to express one’s race/class/gender consciousness. This dismal recipe for solipsism and tyranny seems to be the heritage of a generation that was educated on radical politics, with great care and expense, in an era before the fall of communism and the general failure of Marxism as either science, history, politics, or economics posed any kind of cognitive problem for academic anti-anti-communists. Utopian indoctrination took hold upon those who didn’t have to face the consequences of Utopianism in practice and who are now insensible or unconcerned to learn the truth. Neither philosophy or English departments are the kinds of places where evidence contrary to a self-contained ideology is likely to be encountered just along the way . . .

    There will be a terrible price to pay for that folly.

    KF

  51. 51
    timothya says:

    KF:

    “One step of the current process is that we are going to eventually need an international truth and reconciliation commission on the mass abortion civilisational kulturkampf, which should be associated with tribunals capable of censure and recommendation of loss of credibility for cases of gross ethical violations of the same natural laws that answered to the defendant’s claims to be acting under lawful orders at Nuremburg.”

    OK, great idea, let’s suggest a list of potential members:

    Noam Chomsky
    Gloria Steinem
    Daniel Dennett
    Tracey Enim
    Salman Rushdie
    Bassem Youssef
    Malala Yousafzai
    Pete Singer
    Kathleen Petyarre
    Richard Dawkins

  52. 52
    timothya says:

    And, by the way, would this “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” that you propose be able to over-ride the laws of any particular country?

    Montserrat, for example?

  53. 53

    Armand Jacks said:

    All I am trying to do is point out the inconsistency between the assertion that all stages of human life, from conception to natural death, have an equal right to life, and the reluctance by the very same people to state that all women who seek and have an abortion should be charged with first degree murder.

    RVB8 said:

    AJs logic is unarguable; where do you stand? Actually I know where you, Kairos, WJM, and others here stand, they say the fetus is a person, and abortion is murder.

    Oh, the deplorable state of debate!

    First, WJM never claimed that abortion = murder. I only ever stated that abortion = the deliberate killing of an innocent human life. I may differ from other opinions here because from my perspective “murder” is a legal term, so current abortion is not “murder”.

    Second, both AJ and RVB8 are making an elementary logical mistake by insisting that if two people have an equal right to life, then killing one or the other must result in an equal criminal charge. This is simply not true. The circumstances of the crime can call for varying charges. While the charge would certainly fall in the category of “homicide”, there are many different types of “homicide” that generate different criminal charges.

    It is therefore a logical mistake to insist that pro-lifers must all be in favor of bringing capital murder charges against either the doctor or the woman or else they are being inconsistent. A pro-lifer might advocate that they should be charged with a different type of homicide – perhaps one created specifically for abortions – that does not carry the same penalty provisions as capital murder. That doesn’t mean anyone is making a de facto admission that the unborn have a lesser right to life than anyone else; it just means that this category of homicide carries with it its own unique charge and set of penalties.

    I would be in favor of a set of anti-abortion laws that provide for care, services and workplace protections of pregnant women who do not wish to keep their child and which delivered that child into a vetted adoption process, making “having the baby” instead of aborting it as safe and as non-problematic (financially) as possible. This could work with current adoption systems that provide extensive financial and logistics support for mothers that will carry their baby to term for the adoption process.

    In that environment, I would set penalties for pre-birth infanticide at a term of 5 years probation for the doctor and loss of medical license, repeat offenses ending up in prison time, and a loss of reproductive rights for the mother.

    I’m open to discussion and changing my mind on any of those penalties, but the point in me putting it out there is to show the foolishness of AJ’s and RVB8’s irrational argument. They first insist that Pro-Lifers must be in favor of an extreme position, and then irrationally insist that if they are not, they are being inconsistent, when there is no factual or logical basis for that claim. It’s all invented, emotion-based, irrational rhetoric.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    TA, such a commission would not over-ride laws of any country but would be a way forward on truth and facing what was done. Most of the folks you mention would be to answer before the panel, not sitting on it. Essentially every public figure for the past generation has much to answer for. KF

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I have likewise avoided using a legally specific term, but have focussed on the moral issue of the shedding of innocent blood. I have also pointed out the material circumstance of a civilisation gone insane and drawn attention to a very sobering historical parallel, the slave trade. Just for one pointer, the survivors of the middle passage in C18 reportedly had a life expectancy in some territories of about five years. That is on top of horrific death rates in Africa and in the passage. The trade whether trans-Atlantic or trans-Saharan, was of genocidal character. KF

  56. 56
    timothya says:

    KF:

    “TA, such a commission would not over-ride laws of any country but would be a way forward on truth and facing what was done. Most of the folks you mention would be to answer before t/he panel, not sitting on it. Essentially every public figure for the past generation has much to answer for. KF”

    OK, such a commission would not actually have members, and can’t tell any country what to do. Which raises the question: How could such a thing ever make a decision? What would be the point of such a thing?

  57. 57
    jstanley01 says:

    PaV @ 15

    jstanley01:

    Someone kills another person. Was it self-defense? Premeditated? Accidental? Hate-filled? Foreseen, but not prevented?

    The list can go on. Objectively, the termination of life is killing, but the circumstances dictate how it’s viewed. No reductio ad absurdum, please.

    There is a word for it, when “someone kills another person.” It is called “homicide,” of which there are two kinds, justifiable and unjustifiable. Of the latter, from negligent homicide to first degree murder, all are crimes.

    If abortion is homicide, then a mother who seeks and obtains one is criminally liable if the abortion is unjustifiable in line with current laws regarding homicide.

    It’s not even arguable.

  58. 58

    If abortion is homicide, then a mother who seeks and obtains one is criminally liable if the abortion is unjustifiable in line with current laws regarding homicide.

    It’s not even arguable.

    Nobody claimed that current laws should be the laws that determine the penalties for illegal abortions. Nobody is even claiming that all abortions should be crimes. If the mother’s life is at greater than normal risk due to some condition, I’d be in favor of allowing legal abortions in that scenario under a rule similar to self-defense. A similar argument can be made to terminate the pregnancies of rape victims – the mother did not willingly put herself into even the normal risk parameters associated with giving birth. I don’t think she should be forced to undertake that risk by force of law – it might be similar to having to meet a lower standard self-defense.

    That might require some more serious debate, though.

    [Edited to make more sense. – WJM]

  59. 59
    Armand Jacks says:

    WM:

    First, WJM never claimed that abortion = murder. I only ever stated that abortion = the deliberate killing of an innocent human life.I may differ from other opinions here because from my perspective “murder” is a legal term, so current abortion is not “murder”.

    That is just equivocation.

    Second, both AJ and RVB8 are making an elementary logical mistake by insisting that if two people have an equal right to life, then killing one or the other must result in an equal criminal charge. This is simply not true. The circumstances of the crime can call for varying charges.

    With respect, the error is on your part. Yes, the circumstances of the killing can influence the charge. Killing in the heat of passion typically results in a charge of second degree murder or manslaughter. Killing to protect yourself or other is typically treated as self defence and charges not laid. On very rare occasions, killing someone out of a misguided belief that it is the compassionate thing to do, may result in charges of manslaughter of second degree murder. But other than this, when a person plans and executes the death of an innocent person, and there is clear evidence to support this, the person is charged with first degree murder.

    In the case of an abortion, you can’t claim that it is done in the heat of passion. The women are certainly emotional, but it is not a spur of the moment decision taken without thinking. In some cases, like when the fetus is deformed or has a known genetic disease, you might be able to argue that the women believes that it is in the best interest of the fetus. In which case a charge of manslauter or second degree murder would be more appropriate.But the vast majority of abortions are of fetuses that are, to the best of the woman’s knowledge, healthy. In that case, it can only be classified as first degree murder. Society can certainly create a new class of killing and have less harsh penalties, but in doing so they are acknowledging that the right to life of the fetus is not at the same level as the right to life of a baby, adolescent, teen, adult or the elderly, who are all “protected” by the existing classifications and penalties of killing.

    It is therefore a logical mistake to insist that pro-lifers must all be in favor of bringing capital murder charges against either the doctor or the woman or else they are being inconsistent.

    I didn’t say that they all had to be in favour of this. In fact, I asserted that most of them weren’t. That is where the inconsistency in their argument comes in. Assuming, of course, that their opposition to abortion is a belief that the fetus has the right to life that is equal to all other innocent humans.

    A pro-lifer might advocate that they should be charged with a different type of homicide – perhaps one created specifically for abortions – that does not carry the same penalty provisions as capital murder. That doesn’t mean anyone is making a de facto admission that the unborn have a lesser right to life than anyone else;

    Yes it does.

    it just means that this category of homicide carries with it its own unique charge and set of penalties.

    I would be interested to understand the rationale behind your thoughts on this. Are women somehow weaker and deserving of special treatment and special considerations when they plan and execute the killing of an innocent person? Or only if that innocent person is a fetus? If the same women decides to have the baby and then plans and kills it ten days after birth, should she also receive this special treatment that you are suggesting? At what age of the victim does this special consideration stop?

    I would be in favor of a set of anti-abortion laws that provide for care, services and workplace protections of pregnant women who do not wish to keep their child and which delivered that child into a vetted adoption process, making “having the baby” instead of aborting it as safe and as non-problematic (financially) as possible.

    But you wouldn’t be in favour of such provisions if they weren’t part of an anti-abortion law? Even if it resulted in the same reduction in abortion?

    In that environment, I would set penalties for pre-birth infanticide at a term of 5 years probation for the doctor and loss of medical license, repeat offenses ending up in prison time, and a loss of reproductive rights for the mother.

    How Orwellian of you. Maybe we should make her wear a big letter “A” on her dress.

    I’m open to discussion and changing my mind on any of those penalties, but the point in me putting it out there is to show the foolishness of AJ’s and RVB8’s irrational argument. They first insist that Pro-Lifers must be in favor of an extreme position,…

    Except that we never insisted this. At least, I didn’t.

    …and then irrationally insist that if they are not, they are being inconsistent, when there is no factual or logical basis for that claim.

    There is nothing irrational about it. It is the necessary implications of insisting that the fetus’ right to life is the same as that of a breathing human being.

    It’s all invented, emotion-based, irrational rhetoric.

    Unlike the assertion that abortion is a worse holocaust than that of the Nazi’s? The main difference is that my emotion-based arguments with respect to charges and penalties for women having abortions is the logically sound implications and consequences of making abortion illegal based on the concept that the fetus has a right to life that is at the same level as that of a breathing human being.

  60. 60
    Axel says:

    Armand, mon pauvre vieux, so you’re saying that breathing trumps life ? You need to get a ‘breathing’. Breathing is ancillary to life.

    Getting oxygenated blood from his/her mother no more detracts from the value of the life of a human being at the foetal level of development, than an adult’s receiving oxygen from a cylinder does.

  61. 61
    asauber says:

    a breathing human being

    Armand,

    So while you hold your breath, you are less human?

    Andrew

  62. 62
    harry says:

    rvb8 @ 43

    Shouldn’t you be out there ending this crime rather than pointlessly writing on a blog with a readership of two?

    Those who killed the guards at Bergen-Belsen, Sobibor, and Treblinka, are today hailed as heroes; what have you done?

    Myself and many others were arrested many times and spent months in jail for blocking the entrances to baby-murdering clinics. My wife and I took in unwed, pregnant teenage girls who needed a place to stay while carrying their baby. Just to mention a few items.

    The real question is, why am I letting myself be interrogated by a murderous barbarian? I don’t have to answer to a savage killer.

    Let’s get real about this. Google up

    abortion trash

    and then click Images. Do the same with

    abortion victims

    Now let’s talk about the brutal, diabolical murder of children that Nazis like you advocate.

  63. 63
    asauber says:

    Shouldn’t you be out there ending this crime

    rvb8,

    And what crimes are you out there stopping?

    See, these abortion devotees are not interested in an honest discussion. Brainwashed children are they, playing games.

    Andrew

  64. 64
    Armand Jacks says:

    Andrew:

    So while you hold your breath, you are less human?

    If I hold it for more than ten minutes, I certainly will be. 🙂

  65. 65
    asauber says:

    If I hold it for more than ten minutes, I certainly will be.

    What if you hold it for less?

    Andrew

  66. 66
    Armand Jacks says:

    Andrew:

    What if you hold it for less?

    I get winded running to the bathroom. Holding it for less than ten minutes would probably have the same outcome.

  67. 67
    Pindi says:

    I don’t know about the woeful state of modern debate, but this thread does illustrate the inconsistencies at the heart of the pro life position. On the one hand you have a holocaust involving the slaughter of millions (a “brutal, diabolical, murder of children” in Harry’s words), on the other hand you don’t really want to do anything practical about it.

    You shy away from applying the usual laws around murder to the women who committing these brutal, diabolical murders. Why is that? You don’t think women should be subject to the same legal sanctions as men?

  68. 68
    Armand Jacks says:

    Pindi:

    You shy away from applying the usual laws around murder to the women who committing these brutal, diabolical murders. Why is that? You don’t think women should be subject to the same legal sanctions as men?

    If you will forgive my terseness,

    DUH!

  69. 69
    EricMH says:

    @Harry, bravo sir! You are indeed a hero.

  70. 70
    Armand Jacks says:

    Harry:

    My wife and I took in unwed, pregnant teenage girls who needed a place to stay while carrying their baby. Just to mention a few items.

    As have my wife and I. And we probably will again. But I have also accompanied a woman to an abortion clinic because that is what she decided. Does that make me an evil person? Does that make me a murderous barbarian?

  71. 71
    EricMH says:

    @rvb8 it is interesting that you counter the stats from CDC and Planned Parenthood you claim are anecdotal and speculative with your own speculative anecdote. Be that as it may, if you have substantive counter evidence I am interested to see it. Even though raised a Christian, I used to be ambivalent regarding abortion myself until my conscience couldn’t take it anymore.

  72. 72
    EricMH says:

    @AJ, there are multiple components to an action’s morality. Since you are morally confused regarding the issue, you do not have the same culpability as, say, an abortionist who unmistakably knows he is dismembering a little child. However, that does not negate that you are an unwitting accomplice to murder and abuse of women.

  73. 73
    Pindi says:

    Harry, we used to have unwed teenage pregnant girls staying with us when I was a kid growing up. The reason is that it was regarded as shameful and humiliating to her family for a young unwed women to get pregnant. They had to go and hide with some strangers in another town. Luckily that’s not the case anymore.

    EricMH, given your graphic and emotive language, surely you would put your hand up and say that women who have abortions should be charged with murder and sentenced accordingly?

  74. 74
    EricMH says:

    @Pindi, the same criteria apply as I mentioned to AJ. The act itself is murder, but the individual’s culpability depends on other factors. Many women procure abortion under duress and in ignorance about what they are truly doing. The punishment must be accordingly lenient towards them. The weight of the law should rather fall on the man who is often responsible for pressuring the woman for sex and then failing to take responsibility for his actions, or even forcing her to have an abortion. However, women who become pregnant and kill their child with full volition and knowledge of what they are doing, and under no duress, should be tried for murder.

  75. 75

    This conversation has become pathetic.

  76. 76
    Armand Jacks says:

    EricMH:

    AJ, there are multiple components to an action’s morality. Since you are morally confused regarding the issue, you do not have the same culpability as, say, an abortionist who unmistakably knows he is dismembering a little child. However, that does not negate that you are an unwitting accomplice to murder and abuse of women.

    So, a woman who voluntarily and willingly seeks an abortion is an abused woman? Do you really have such a low opinion of women?

  77. 77
    Pindi says:

    EricMH, many people commit murder under duress. And ignorance of the law is never a defence or a mitigating factor. Does that fact that you apply a different standard of law to this scenario not suggest that perhaps abortion is not really murder?

  78. 78
    rvb8 says:

    The title of this piece is ‘The Woeful State of Modern Debate’, catchy and it rhymes.

    The only rational arguments have been put by the pro-abortionists, ‘the right to lifer’s’ arguments are indeed ‘woeful’. Mired as they are in emotion, fervor, passion, and religion.

    If, as you argue, the fetus is a full member of the human race then any action taken against it must bring to bare the same laws that protect you; another full member of humanity.

    Taking that argument to its logcal conclusion means, at least, jailing women and doctrs complicit in this, ‘crime’.

    harry says @62,

    “The real question is, why am I letting myself be interrogated by a murderous barbarian? I don’t have to answer to a savage killer.”

    Wow! I am a ‘murderous barbarian’, and a ‘savage killer’? News to me and my family.

    ‘The Woeful State of Modern Debate.’ Indeed! But why is it always the religious, and IDers, that lose their rag?

    Also harry, getting locked up for intimidating young women is not something I would bandy about, at least not in my country, we tend to sympathise with the young women, not the religious zealots terrorising them.

  79. 79
    rvb8 says:

    And one more practical objection to anti-abortionists:

    Who pays? These unwanted children don’t just pop into the world fully formed. They need rearing, affection, human contact, schooling, housing, feeding, medical care; who pays?

    A new ‘unwed mother’s children tax.’ The mother doesn’t want the child, nor do the ashamed relatives, therefore it falls to the state. Tax payers should pay this colossal bill.

    I assume most posters here are ‘small government Republicans’. How does this new tax, so that the state can give genuine care to this unwanted, unplanned for huamanity,sit with you?

    And if we can give all the unplanned for children a good life in the US (fat chance, as it fails massively here already), what about the millions upon millions of miserable unwanted children world wide?

    Abortion should be avoided, but thankfully in modern enlightened soceties it is easily available and free. You have to go to the deepest darkest Middle East and Africa to find the blissful lands where it is illegal; because of religion of course.

  80. 80
    Marfin says:

    To rvb8, AJ,Pindi.How do you guy know if abortion is right or wrong, good or evil , is there some scientific test you did or read about which explains why it is right or wrong.
    If you say what is in the womb is not yet a person the same question apply`s what test in science says what a person is who devised this test, is this test absolute in its findings.
    I await your science based response.

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: For those not locked into the sort of truly dysfunctional thought on display above, it is probably worth the while to clip some of my earlier remarks above which have been wrenched into a strawman caricature, then brushed aside:

    4: >>It seems I need to pause and point you [AJ] to exactly why I have long held that our civilisation is following a march of folly to ruin, one that if we do not turn from, will take its due effect.

    Democracy, historically is an unstable form of government and has a history of telling failures, with Athens and the Peloponnesian war as case study number 1.

    So much is this the case that the US founders and framers carefully distinguished their work and their intent from democracy. There are democratic elements but they carefully erected many stabilising buttresses, and plainly stated that the character of a people was absolutely critical. And on the whole they made it plain that the Judaeo-Christian, scriptural, gospel-based tradition was a linch-pin to the system.

    In time, the success of that experiment made “democracy” popular, even as across the world the underpinnings of a sober culture were being undermined.

    Often, by evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers, dressed up in the lab coat. That snowball has now reached avalanche proportions and our civilisation is in collapse on many fronts, showing the sort of manipulated march of folly I discussed here. (Which has been pointed out to you, but which in haste to form turnabout projections, to snip remarks out of context, to sneer, to dismiss and to otherwise push your rhetorical talking points, you have plainly paid not the slightest heed.)

    As we look around now, our state is one of peril, demographic collapse, indebtedness to a horrific level, gross miseducation, mobs roaming the streets, laws twisted this way and that to suit power agendas, and more. With a holocaust of posterity eating out our souls and minds with blood guilt.

    Meanwhile, geostrategic perils stare us in the face which we refuse to heed.

    We are in a state that reminds me all too much of Horne’s summary of France across the twenty years leading up to May 10, 1940.

    You may not like to hear such words or may hate the concept that our civilisation is marching off a cliff, but that does not mean that such a view is merely empty noise to be used in turnabout accusation rhetoric.

    Indeed, you have managed to substantiate why WJM’s OP is very timely.>>

    33: >>Wilberforce is a key exemplar (as BTW was Ep. Philemon — source of the anti-slavery society’s key motto), where we now recognise that the kidnapping-based chattel slave trade was a major, holocaust level, crime against humanity. But at that time civilisation was in the grip of delusions manipulated by powerful interests — e.g. Wilberforce et al were among other things characterised as attacking the recruitment pool of the Royal Navy (when death rates for sailors on those ships of horror may have been up to 25% IIRC from my history books). Reformation opens the way to moral growth of the community through its return to sanity. One step of the current process is that we are going to eventually need an international truth and reconciliation commission on the mass abortion civilisational kulturkampf, which should be associated with tribunals capable of censure and recommendation of loss of credibility for cases of gross ethical violations of the same natural laws that answered to the defendant’s claims to be acting under lawful orders at Nuremburg. But no, I see no reason to bring back the hangman; let our shame as a civilisation and let our shame on record as key enablers, promoters and practitioners be enough — though some may need to be held in protective custody on long term suicide watch. The judgement of history against our era will be grim.>>

    47: >>societal agreement can be manipulated or coerced or simply delusional, as I noted with respect to the slave trade as a key relevant example. Notice, we now recognise that this trade was a holocaust-level crime against humanity (complete with a shockingly similar death toll, through it is even harder to pin down). At the time, it took great courage to stand up and cry foul, then endure the counter-attacks and keep going until a critical mass woke up and then the jig was up. So, appeal to society is little more than appeal to subjectivism in a cultural relativism context. Which was already answered in the thread, but I suppose some were too busy trying to imagine how Wilberforce could not provide a relevant exemplar.>>

    See if you find above a cogent response on the substantial merits, and if not, ask yourself if that does not tend to underscore the point from the OP on.

    KF

    PS: I am in part highlighting that many are acting in a delusional state, not fully realising what they are doing with their enabling of or involvement with abortions, and the very involvement and enabling lead to benumbing the conscience, which undercuts our ability to think straight. But eventually, patient exposure of the truth will tell, which is exactly why this is being ridiculed, distorted and dismissed, denigrating those who refuse to play the part of clinic bombers. In the end, those who will be held most responsible are those who have put up the agit prop and shadow shows that are necessary to sustain the delusion and the resulting war on posterity leading to the worst holocaust in history, 800+ million victims, growing at another million every week. No wonder, those caught up in this do not want to hear such a hard truth, but just what is it that is being killed in the womb still lies unanswered, with a Planned parenthood Vice President being publicly exposed as unable to frankly face the question publicly only a few days ago — and notice how the enablers reacted when this was posted here at UD complete with the video. And, a day of reckoning is coming.

  82. 82
    timothya says:

    So, let me understand WJM’s thinking.

    First he wants the law to force unwilling pregnant women to have babies.

    Then later, he wants the law to force non-pregnant women who want to have babies not to have babies.

    Sorry for the tortuous prose, but as far as I can understand what he says, it means that he wants a government to regulate women’s biology.

    Fact 1: WJM is a man and can’t have babies. That might be a clue to the construction of what might loosely be called his thought.

    As my women comrades used to say: “Get your laws off my body”.

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    TA, you have wrenched what WJM has said: a child in the womb is a human being with his or her own right to life, which needs to be taken very seriously on pain of the sort of havoc we see all around. And BTW, such a child is genetically distinct from his or her mother, indeed half the time the child is not even the same sex as his mother. Men obviously do not have wombs, but men — just as women — were once nurtured in the wombs of their mothers, too, so we all have a vested interest in protecting posterity in utero. Men are also the fathers of our in-utero posterity [doesn’t s/he look just like daddy?], and I think we should all be very concerned about alienating men from their children while putting the state in a substitute parental role. (In case you miss my point, historically that was one of the things routinely done to slave fathers on the plantation; the consequences of which haunt us down to today.) The perverse thinking and acting we have gone through over this past generation to sustain what is going on under false colours of law and rights is having telling consequences, consequences that point to a serious breakdown of our civilisation. KF

  84. 84
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF

    you could label a worldview foundationalist and suggest that there are ever so many who reject it, as though that answers. Such, however, is little more than dismissive rhetoric that is selectively hyperskeptical instead of addressing comparative difficulties on the relevant set of worldview core issues.

    The topic of the OP is The Woful State of Modern Debate. I’m pointing out the woeful absence of your argument for a need to “root” things and the philosophical assumption that there can be no knowledge – moral or otherwise – without it. Yes. That is what the theory says. No foundation, no knowledge. But you are projecting that assumption on everyone else.

    From the review:

    Evidence and Inquiry, Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology, by Susan Haack, is the kind of book that is sorely needed in an age when principles of scepticism and the rejection of the possibility of knowledge have become all but truisms to many people, both inside philosophy and outside.

    I’m not a skeptic. In that we have no way to select from theories. Nor do I claim there can be no knowledge. I’m suggesting truth exists, just not in the form you think it does. Nor have you addressed the criticisms leveled at it. We must accept it, despite all of it’s problems, because that’s all we supposedly have, is not an argument.

    But on this thread’s focal matters the issue is that we do actually need an ontological root of the world or reality.

    The question of why there is something instead of nothing could just as well be asked in the inverse: Why would there be nothing instead of something? The Big Bang could have been the result of a Big Crunch. We simply do not know. Yet you have build an entire “argument” about a necessary being to “ground” it. This is another example of the woeful state of debate.

    Let’s not forget that God – a supposedly all powerful being with a near infinite number of options at his disposal – supposedly decided that his people should kill women and children with the sword. Including those that were pregnant. Yet, today, we know the impact of war on those that wage it. Difficulty re-integrating with families and communities. Desensitization to violence agains others, etc. And when civilians are killed the impact can be devastating.

    When faced with that moral problem, why would a maximally great, all powerful being demand that particular solution given the options he had? Did God lack the moral knowledge we have today? The best explanation is that moral knowledge genuinely grows.

    At the time, gods rewarded their people with victory in battle and the spoils of war, such as land and even women. When later faced with defeat, the Israelites creatively decided that Yahweh had used other gods to punish them, rather than assume the loss was not intentional. It is thought that this decisions is where monotheism started to take hold.

    If maximal goodness is just whatever God happens to do, because that is his maximally good nature, then what does it mean to say that God is good?

    IOW, what you’re doing right now can be distilled down to conjecture and criticism. In this case, the criticism is woefully bad philosophy, but the OP is lamenting the kind of criticism being leveled. That’s my point. The idea of how to avoid the two horns of the dilemma of God’s moral role is the result of such a process, regardless of how poorly implemented.

    Knowing how to make progress is moral knowledge which we can make progress on. Denying progress can be made in this sphere is immoral.

  85. 85
    critical rationalist says:

    I’d point out that this entire issue is a concrete moral problem to be solved. Again, knowledge would play an important role in such a solution.

    If something is not prohibited by the laws of physics, then it is merely a matter of knowing how. This includes transferring unwanted pregnancies to artificial wombs or woman who want to have children.

    Yet, I’m not sure everyone here thinks the problem of unwanted pregnancies is really a problem to solve, as opposed to a demand to be followed.

  86. 86
    Marfin says:

    CR- Please give your definition of moral and how you know this definition is correct.

  87. 87
    asauber says:

    And to continue Marfin’s thought-

    How did these pro-aborts arrive at the hysterical devotion to a procedure that is clearly violent and destructive to a little being?

    Where and how does one derive the morality that compels this devotion?

    Maybe one of them will share their journey to that dark place with us.

    Andrew

  88. 88
    Armand Jacks says:

    Marfin:

    To rvb8, AJ,Pindi.How do you guy know if abortion is right or wrong, good or evil , is there some scientific test you did or read about which explains why it is right or wrong.

    Since there is no objective right or wrong, this question is not relevant. Whether it is subjectively right or wrong is something that society decides. Right now, it does not consider it to be wrong, at least at the early stages of pregnancy.

    If you say what is in the womb is not yet a person the same question apply`s what test in science says what a person is who devised this test, is this test absolute in its findings.

    Nothing in science is absolute.

  89. 89
    Marfin says:

    AJ – Once again how does A J know there is no objective right or wrong, if I disagree with you what scientific test will you point me to, to show me the error of my ways.
    If you are right and there is no objective right or wrong then this discussion is a complete waste of time as it just comes down to feelings, emotions, and these thing can change like the weather.
    Society in Ireland decided that gay marriage is right, it also has decided that abortion is wrong, so is society in Ireland right on these two counts.

  90. 90
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    See if you find above a cogent response on the substantial merits, and if not, ask yourself if that does not tend to underscore the point from the OP on.

    All of your points only highlight the subjective nature of morality. You are quick to reference history to make your points but you ignore history when examining the idea of morality and the so-called IS OUGHT gap. Your argument presupposes the existence of an IS (your god). But if you examine what the implications and consequences are of an IS not existing, you would see something very similar to what we see around the world today and what we see throughout history. Your entire argument is based on the fact that you don’t like the idea because it can be manipulated by power and by force. I don’t like it either. But sticking your head in the sand does not change the conclusion that the world is exactly what we would expect if there was no IS.

    PS: I am in part highlighting that many are acting in a delusional state, not fully realising what they are doing with their enabling of or involvement with abortions, and the very involvement and enabling lead to benumbing the conscience, which undercuts our ability to think straight.

    You are mistaken. We fully realize what we are doing. We are protecting the rights of women to make informed decisions about their bodies during a time when the affected life (fetus) is not self aware, not conscious, cannot perceive pain, and could not survive outside the womb. Nobody likes abortion but you will never get rid of it by legal means.

    Different jurisdictions have different laws around abortion. Some allow it on demand up until a certain stage of pregnancy. And others, like Canada, have absolutely no legal restriction on abortion at all; it is legal to conduct an abortion up until the baby takes its first breath. In spite of this huge variation in restrictions, very few abortions are conducted after the first trimester, and this is usually due to serious health concerns for the mother or the fetus So, even with no restrictions, people and the doctors profession self govern when abortions can be done. Personally, I would prefer some legal framework around abortion, but evidence shows that it is not absolutely necessary.

    But eventually, patient exposure of the truth will tell, which is exactly why this is being ridiculed, distorted and dismissed, denigrating those who refuse to play the part of clinic bombers.

    Nobody is ridiculing anyone. Well, myself rvb8, CR and Pindi are frequently ridiculed, but we wear big boy pants. We have simply pointed out the inconsistency between what many pro-life proponents use as arguments against abortion and what they are prepared to do about it. You call abortion murder and a holocaust but refuse to treat the women who have abortions as we do all other murderers and people who take an active part in a holocaust. And

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, simply false. I pointed out how the logic of being and non-being points to the need for a root-level reality of adequate causal capability to account for a world, the issue is which candidate accounts for a world in which moral government is real. KF

  92. 92
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    TA, you have wrenched what WJM has said: a child in the womb is a human being with his or her own right to life, which needs to be taken very seriously on pain of the sort of havoc we see all around.

    Then why are you opposed to charging women who have abortions with first degree murder? Your argument is not consistent. If the fetus has the same right to life as a baby and a senior, anyone who plans ahead to end that life, and carries through with this plan, is guilty of premeditated murder. The only exceptions to this that I am aware of are legally sanctioned executions and war. An abortion is neither of these. It can’t even fall under the more recent laws of doctor assisted suicide because these require the prior approval of a patient with sound mind. You keep dancing around this inconsistency but have never addressed it.

    Men are also the fathers of our in-utero posterity [doesn’t s/he look just like daddy?], and I think we should all be very concerned about alienating men from their children while putting the state in a substitute parental role.

    I am aware of at least one country that requires the father’s approval before an abortion can take place. The same country does not allow a woman to walk around unaccompanied or drive a car.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, all you are doing is repeating the already falsified claim of subjectivism. The subjectivism, as outlined above and linked in more details elsewhere, is tantamount to morality being grand delusion, and so this lets grand delusion loose in the conscious mind. We dare not dismiss the general reality of our being under moral government, on pain of absurdity. But this, you will not acknowledge as it is fatal to your worldview; so you resort to selective hyperskepticism to cling to absurdity. KF

  94. 94
    Armand Jacks says:

    Marfin:

    AJ – Once again how does A J know there is no objective right or wrong, if I disagree with you what scientific test will you point me to, to show me the error of my ways.

    I don’t. But until I see any evidence of it, I will stick with the easiest explanation.

    Society in Ireland decided that gay marriage is right, it also has decided that abortion is wrong, so is society in Ireland right on these two counts.

    I agree with their view on same sex marriage and disagree with their view on abortion. In some countries same sex marriage is not allowed but abortion is, others allow both and some don’t allow either. If you can find any objective right or wrong in this dog’s breakfast, you are a better man/woman than I.

  95. 95
    asauber says:

    So what Armand is saying is that his position is in no way demonstrable that it’s any way superior to anyone else’s. Why he’s devoted to abortion in particular, though, remains a mystery because, according to him, there’s no way for him to demonstrate it’s a superior position, at all.

    Andrew

  96. 96
    Marfin says:

    AJ – Asauber has made my point for me, your position is based on what you feel on any given day,and everyone else on that basis is entitled to do the same , your policy is not to do unto others as you would have them do unto you , but do unto others what ever feels right to you according to how you feel , hence the mess the world is in.

  97. 97
    Armand Jacks says:

    Andrew and Marfin:

    So what Armand is saying is that his position is in no way demonstrable that it’s any way superior to anyone else’s.

    Superior and inferior are subjective terms and can only be measured agains some defined set of goals. With regard to abortion, my goal would be to significantly reduce the incidents of unwanted pregnancies and, therefore, abortions. And at the same time not criminalize women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy and opt to terminate it. In that respect, my approach is superior to those suggested by KF and WM.

    Why he’s devoted to abortion in particular, though, remains a mystery because, according to him, there’s no way for him to demonstrate it’s a superior position, at all.

    If you have actually read my comments rather than simply react to them you will note that I am not devoted to abortion. In fact, I would prefer that no woman saw the need to have one. The only way to effectively do this is to minimize the rate of unwanted pregnancies.

    …your position is based on what you feel on any given day,…

    Not even close. But if putting words in my mouth is the only way you can defend your position, I guess you should stick with your strengths.

  98. 98
    asauber says:

    If you have actually read my comments rather than simply react to them you will note that I am not devoted to abortion.

    I have read your comments and from them I do see that you are devoted to abortion. It’s apparent that you operate from the position that there is nothing wrong with abortions if that’s what a person desires (Marfin’s point), rather than that there is something wrong with them to begin with.

    The question remains as to why you picked abortion to be devoted to, and trolling on the internet on behalf of, rather than say, adoption, for example.

    Andrew

  99. 99
    Armand Jacks says:

    Andrew:

    I have read your comments and from them I do see that you are devoted to abortion.

    Then you have a serious reading comprehension problem. I am not pro-abortion, I am anti-criminalization of first trimester abortions, for reasons I have repeatedly explained. Your logic suggests that because I do not favour making the consumption of cigarettes and alcolohol illegal that I must advocate for their use.

    It’s apparent that you operate from the position that there is nothing wrong with abortions if that’s what a person desires (Marfin’s point), rather than that there is something wrong with them to begin with.

    I think that it is “wrong” to perform abortions after the first trimester except in circumstances where the woman’s heart is at serious risk. In the first trimester, I would prefer that women did not opt for abortion but I don’t think that a woman should be jailed and have a criminal record if she opts to have one. In the first trimester the fetus is not self-aware, is not conscious and cannot perceive pain.

    The question remains as to why you picked abortion to be devoted to, and trolling on the internet on behalf of, rather than say, adoption, for example.

    Again, I am not devoted to abortion. Whether or not you believe me is your concern, not mine. If you think what I am doing is trolling, then you have a strange definition of trolling. I have been respectful and presented arguments for my positions. And if you read all of my comments you will note that I have proposed an approach that I think will result in fewer abortions than criminalizing it will, and has the benefit of making abortions when they are performed as safe as possible for the woman without giving her a criminal record. Enhanced support for woman who are willing to carry to term and place the child up for adoption is included in my suggested approach.

  100. 100
    asauber says:

    making abortions when they are performed as safe as possible for the woman without giving her a criminal record

    So, you have carved out a hypothetical safe space for abortion procedures that you don’t intend to relinquish. That’s devotion.

    Andrew

  101. 101
    asauber says:

    Superior and inferior are subjective terms

    BTW Armand,

    Your worldview is admittedly subjective, so I’m not sure you can use this as an objection.

    Andrew

  102. 102
    Pindi says:

    asauber @98:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a mullet haircut if that’s what a person desires. Does that mean I am “devoted” to mullet haircuts? Your logic is wrong.

  103. 103
    asauber says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a mullet haircut if that’s what a person desires.

    So, do you have a hypothetical safe space for mullet haircuts where people who get/give them won’t be criminalized? Do you troll the internet telling people your position? Do you hold your position with great loyalty?

    Andrew

  104. 104
    Pindi says:

    Andrew, way to miss the point. Probably deliberate. Which makes you the troll.

  105. 105
    Armand Jacks says:

    Andrew:

    Your worldview is admittedly subjective, so I’m not sure you can use this as an objection.

    I think my objection would apply even if morality was objective. Superior and inferior require a comparison against each other with respect to a stated goal. For example, is making abortion illegal superior to comprehensive and early sex education, unrestricted access to contraceptives and support for women who want to take an unwanted pregnancy to term? Without specifying the goals, there is no way to measure it.

    If the goal is to eliminate abortion, then neither is superior or inferior as nether will ever meet the specified goal. But if the goal is to reduce/minimize abortion rates then objective measures could be brought to bear (bare?). But is minimizing abortion the only goal? What about the impact of both scenarios on women. There should be some goal established for this as well if we are going to say whether one is superior to the other. And it is possible that one is superior to the other for one goal, and inferior for the other.

    So, you have carved out a hypothetical safe space for abortion procedures that you don’t intend to relinquish. That’s devotion.

    No, that’s accepting reality. If you can convince me that making abortion in the first trimester illegal will prevent abortion, or even significantly reduce it, I would be willing to listen. But history suggests that this is not the case.

  106. 106
    asauber says:

    Andrew, way to miss the point.

    I don’t think I missed the point. The point is, we have devoted abortion advocates/trolls stringing out this thread, and then denying they are devoted to their pro-abortion position.

    Andrew

  107. 107
    Pindi says:

    Not only a troll, but a mind reader.

  108. 108
    asauber says:

    Pindi,

    It’s all in the comments, dude.

    Andrew

  109. 109
    Armand Jacks says:

    Andrew:

    It’s all in the comments, dude.

    Can you show me the comment where I said I was devote to abortion. Or was pro-abortion. Or where I said that abortion was a good thing. I have been very clear on this point. I want to significantly reduce the number of abortions. I just don’t think that jailing women is the way to go about it. History and examples from other countries support my arguments.

  110. 110
    rvb8 says:

    Misquoting, reinterpreting, quote mining, welcome to Christian/ID debate. Also tarring with the same brush, dilution of the facts, and deliberate false reading.

    asauber,

    “we have devoted abortion advocates/trolls stringing out this thread, and then denying they are devoted to their pro-abortion position.”

    I’m not denying I am pro-abortion, I most certainly am, if the women in question requests it. The first three months is the ideal time, but late term abortion for the right reasons, (fetus viability, mother’s health), are also ok with me, and my government, and my country’s electorate.

    You see, in your very deceptive Christian way you are attempting to make me ashamed of my position, I’m not! Women must, and do have this right, and I will defend this right openly and clearly, and unlike you, calmly.

    Like Pindi, and AJ, I also believe abortion should be the last option, and that it is better for the woman to have the child. She should have zero pressure in this personal decision, and certainly no input from any religious advisers. The doctor, and the mother decide.

    Now that is what I believe, and thankfully a sane polity agrees with me.

    You believe the fetus is a human being, and abortion is murder. However, there is no rationality to your position as you refuse to treat the women as a murderer; a well planned, intended murder, with a clear victim.

    Now, if anything I have said is unclear I can only surmise you are being deliberately dense.

  111. 111
    Seversky says:

    I believe that the right to life should be extended to cover the whole lifespan of a human being. Not any other rights, mind, just the right to life. I assume that everyone participating in this discussion is human – or some reasonable facsimile thereof. That being the case, every one of us was, at some point, a blastocyst or embryo or fetus. No, we weren’t, at that time, fully developed adults, but were we any the less human? The right to life is, first and foremost, a human right. All you need to be to qualify for that right is to be human.

    It follows, therefore, that if pro-lifers want to establish the whole-of-life right to life, they need to have the law changed and that means persuading enough people that this should happen.

    But history teaches us that simply criminalizing abortion is unlikely to stop it happening. Rather, it will simply drive it underground again with known consequences.

    The better solution is, I believe, twofold. First, as AJ and others have argued, there should be better and more comprehensive sex education and much wider availability of contraceptive measures. Second and more difficult, there should be some sort of campaign to persuade all potential parents – there’s no reason why the whole burden and the opprobium should fall only on the woman – indeed, the whole of society that the little cluster of dividing cells in the womb is not the same as a benign tumor. It is not just a growth that will do nothing but become a bigger growth to be excised surgically and tossed in an incinerator. Given the right support it will become another human being like you and me. Why shouldn’t it have the same opportunity as you and I had?

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On long, saddening experience, the typical Darwinist and fellow traveller debate pattern online is the trifecta of fallacies, as we can see above. First distractive red herrings led away from the track of inconvenient truth, here, cf. WJM’s focus in the OP. The red herring is dragged away to a forest of strawmen duly set up and soaked in ad hominems. Then, incendiary rhetoric is used to set them alight, clouding, confusing, polarising and poisoning the atmosphere. Thus, frustrating serious and sober discussion. The above has now reached the third stage, with attempts to set up stereotypical, strawman caricature Christians as scapegoats. Thanks for revealing your underlying bigotry-driven hate — it has long passed mere hostility and suspicion — as to be forewarned is to be forearmed. KF

  113. 113
    Marfin says:

    AJ,RVB8,Pindi. I asked for evidence ,I got opinion.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Folks, ask yourself why Wilberforce did not seek indictments against slave traders on charges of murder (where the slave trade was associated with a holocaust level death toll and was based on kidnapping). Then compare how those who have popped up to play objector rhetorical games have responded to this key exemplar of a modern reformation movement. Then see their reaction to the suggestion that at some point our civilisation has to come together to face the truth together regarding the 800+ millions aborted since the 1970’s, in a truth and reconciliation commission — explicitly not a new Nuremberg Trial. This pattern should tell us a lot about what is going on with issues and with debates. KF

  115. 115

    Serversky said:

    But history teaches us that simply criminalizing abortion is unlikely to stop it happening. Rather, it will simply drive it underground again with known consequences.

    I appreciate your measured and thoughtful contribution from a perspective that is IMO, poorly represented here. I applaud your recognition that human life begins at conception.

    However, surely you recognize the problem with the above statement and the logic that extends from it. Criminalizing anything doesn’t stop that thing from happening.

    Criminalization serves two purposes; first, to establish a formal social and cultural rule that establishes a common value based upon a shared principle. In this case, first and foremost, that the right to human life is our most fundamental right. All other rights are meaningless without that right.

    Second, to show our commitment to those values and principles as a society, violators of those laws are punished.

    Third, such punishments – inasmuch as they can – serve as a deterrent. To claim that punishments for one activity can serve as a deterrent but that punishment for another activity does not serve as a deterrent is, on the face of it, a faulty position.

    The better solution is, I believe, twofold.

    The question is, solution to what problem? If increasing education and contraceptive availability reduces the number of abortions, that does absolutely nothing to solve the problem that I, KF and others here are primarily concerned about – a culture that accepts the treatment some humans as a commodity that can be disposed of for the sake of convenience.

    I applaud your effort to actually address this point when you say:

    Second and more difficult, there should be some sort of campaign to persuade all potential parents – there’s no reason why the whole burden and the opprobium should fall only on the woman – indeed, the whole of society that the little cluster of dividing cells in the womb is not the same as a benign tumor. It is not just a growth that will do nothing but become a bigger growth to be excised surgically and tossed in an incinerator. Given the right support it will become another human being like you and me. Why shouldn’t it have the same opportunity as you and I had?

    There’s nothing wrong with that proposal. It sounds to me like a great public awareness campaign to help correct the cultural narrative and strengthen a pro-life social contract. You left out, however, a logically necessary component: a law that punishes those that engage in the activity we are seeking to discourage.

    Let’s look at another social ill and follow your logic. We have many local and nationwide social media campaigns that attempt to (1) educate people about drunk driving, (2) establish a narrative that it is not socially acceptable, (3) show the dire consequences of drunk driving, (4) provide assistance to those who need a ride if they are inebriated. Should we also not punish those who still insist on drunk driving?

    Following your logic, there are all sorts of crimes that should be removed from the books and replaced with public awareness and prevention campaigns. There would be no reason for homicide or theft laws – just awareness and prevention campaigns.

    This is why I suggested that along with criminalizing most abortions, there should also be laws that (1) protect the woman’s job through birth and recovery, and (2) eliminate any financial hardship of a pregnancy that is going to end up with the child being adopted.

    I also agree that pregnancies with risks above a certain threshold or are the result of rape should be considered a “self-defense” exemption under an extended “self-defense” law.

    This would, within reason, protect the life of the woman and greatly mitigate the inconvenience of carrying the pregnancy to birth, giving them every opportunity and reason to comply with the law instead of seeking an illegal abortion.

    As I also said above, I would be in favor of a first-time offense of loss of reproductive rights for the woman and loss of medical license for the abortion performer and probation, with even stiffer penalties for non-licensed abortion providers.

    None of this is egregious and the pro-life laws and services I outlined help establish a cultural appreciation for life and a compact with society that we hold life as our most precious right which is to be protected as much as possible.

    However, without making abortion a criminal offense, we are just not taking the matter seriously. Do you not see the logic here? Are you seriously saying that while we should have laws against drunk driving (primarily because a drunk driver **might** harm or kill people), but not have a law against actually killing an innocent human life?

  116. 116

    RVB8, AJ & Pindi,

    You keep saying that abortion should be a last resort. Why should abortion be the last resort”?

  117. 117
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF

    CR, simply false. I pointed out how the logic of being and non-being points to the need for a root-level reality of adequate causal capability to account for a world, the issue is which candidate accounts for a world in which moral government is real. KF

    Then what roots this being that provides a root for a world? Surely, something that can root an entire world needs something with adequate causal capability to account for it. Right?

    Deciding to just “give up” the need of an adequate causal capacity in the case of this world rooting being is arbitrary.

  118. 118

    CR said:

    Then what roots this being that provides a root for a world? Surely, something that can root an entire world needs something with adequate causal capability to account for it. Right?

    There are three possible models for the origin of causation: (1) Infinite Regress; (2) Effects without cause (a beginning from nothing); and (3) Causal origination from a fundamental uncaused cause. The very nature of #3 is that it doesn’t need to be causally accounted for because it is the ultimate origin of causation.

    Deciding to just “give up” the need of an adequate causal capacity in the case of this world rooting being is arbitrary.

    This is a category error. We’re talking about fundamental causal system premises. The causal system is either a system of infinite regress; or it started from nothing – no cause, just an effect; or it began from an uncaused cause. The third option isn’t “giving up” or ‘stopping” at an arbitrary point; it premises a logically necessary condition of existence in order to avoid (1) infinite regress and (2) an uncaused effect (something from nothing).

    In other words, unless you accept infinite regress or uncaused effects (something from nothing), you are left with an uncaused cause, a fundamental, uncaused root of existence and the causal chain.

    It’s not arbitrary; it’s a logically necessary premise that accounts for the causal chain of existence without resorting to infinite regress or something from nothing scenarios.

  119. 119
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    First distractive red herrings led away from the track of inconvenient truth, here, cf. WJM’s focus in the OP. The red herring is dragged away to a forest of strawmen duly set up and soaked in ad hominems. Then, incendiary rhetoric is used to set them alight, clouding, confusing, polarising and poisoning the atmosphere. Thus, frustrating serious and sober discussion.

    Now, this is just blithering nonsense. I have not made a single criticism of Christians. I have presented a logical and concrete course of action. I have provided real-world examples of how this approach has significantly reduced unwanted pregnancies and abortions. I have pointed out the inconsistency between claiming that a fertilized egg has the same right to life as a baby, adult or old person, and the refusal to examine the implications of this necessitating charging women with homicide if they have an abortion.

    I have pointed out that the world today and throughout history more closely resembles what we would expect if there was no world level IS to ground OUGHT than one in which IS was grounded by OUGHT.

    If you were not including me in this criticism then I apologize. But might I suggest that you be more specific in your criticisms rather than lump everyone who disagrees with you into the same pot. As you can see, Seversky and I disagree on when the right to life begins, but on many other things, we agree.

  120. 120
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    F/N: Folks, ask yourself why Wilberforce did not seek indictments against slave traders on charges of murder (where the slave trade was associated with a holocaust level death toll and was based on kidnapping). Then compare how those who have popped up to play objector rhetorical games have responded to this key exemplar of a modern reformation movement.

    But I will be willing to bet that he expected charges to be laid and jail time given to those participating in the slave trade after it was abolished. So his example is totally irrelevant with the refusal to admit that women who have abortions after it is made illegal should be charged with murder and receive the same penalties if they planned and executed the murder of a baby, an adult or an old person.

    I admit that my example of rounding up women who had abortions when it was legal was an extreme, but it is not without precedent.

  121. 121
    Armand Jacks says:

    WM:

    Let’s look at another social ill and follow your logic. We have many local and nationwide social media campaigns that attempt to (1) educate people about drunk driving, (2) establish a narrative that it is not socially acceptable, (3) show the dire consequences of drunk driving, (4) provide assistance to those who need a ride if they are inebriated. Should we also not punish those who still insist on drunk driving?

    We do. In Canada, for your first offence your licence is suspended for a minimum of one year followed by an interlock device when your licence is returned. Not to mention the fact that your insurance rates go through the roof. Repeat offences result in jail time. If you kill someone while drunk driving, you are charged with manslaughter or criminal negligence causing death. In other words, you are charged and sentenced according to the consequence of the crime (death) and your intentions (was it premeditated, accidental, negligent, etc.).

    If the reason for making abortion illegal is that you believe that human life has the same right to life from conception to natural death, then the only charge and penalty that acknowledges this right to life of the fetus is first degree murder and life in prison. The same as we would apply to anyone who plans and kills any human from one minute of age until just before death by natural causes.

    This is why I suggested that along with criminalizing most abortions, there should also be laws that (1) protect the woman’s job through birth and recovery, and (2) eliminate any financial hardship of a pregnancy that is going to end up with the child being adopted.

    I would certainly support your options 1 and 2. In fact, I mentioned them as part of the approach I suggested. This being said, what chance do you see this happening in the US. A country that does not mandate paid maternity leave for any women. Do you really think that your government would approve to pay women who have an unplanned pregnancy? The puritanical streak is still too strong in the US for that.

    I also agree that pregnancies with risks above a certain threshold or are the result of rape should be considered a “self-defense” exemption under an extended “self-defense” law.

    This is not consistent with your assertion that the right to life starts at conception. Self defence can only be used as a defence when you honestly believe that the person you kill intends to do you physical harm. Surely an innocent fetus does not fall into this category, regardless of whether it was the result of failed contraceptive or a rape. The fetus, surely, is still an innocent life.

    As I also said above, I would be in favor of a first-time offense of loss of reproductive rights for the woman and loss of medical license for the abortion performer and probation, with even stiffer penalties for non-licensed abortion providers.

    Aside from the Orwellian nature of this penalty for the woman, you still have not explained how the premeditated killing of a fetus is different than the premeditated killing of a baby or an adult, given your assertion that the fetus has the same right to life as a baby. I am not trying to be pig-headed on this issue. But I simply can’t see how you can have two different penalties for the premeditated killing of an innocent person. We do not have different penalties for the premeditated killing of any innocent human from birth to natural death, how is the premeditated killing of a fetus any different?

  122. 122

    AJ said:

    If the reason for making abortion illegal is that you believe that human life has the same right to life from conception to natural death, then the only charge and penalty that acknowledges this right to life of the fetus is first degree murder and life in prison.

    AJ, this has already been answered. Equal right to life doesn’t logically entail equal charges/punishment for every homicide, no matter how many times you insist it does. It’s not true factually, and we’re not making that case no matter how many times you insist we should be.

    A country that does not mandate paid maternity leave for any women.

    That’s part of Trump’s platform and part of the reason I voted for him.

    Do you really think that your government would approve to pay women who have an unplanned pregnancy? The puritanical streak is still too strong in the US for that.

    We already have all sorts of private programs that provide this service for those that wish to carry their pregancy to term – financial assistance, paid prenatal, etc. I think you have a rather distorted view of the US; we’re one of the most liberal countries in the world.

    This is not consistent with your assertion that the right to life starts at conception. Self defence can only be used as a defence when you honestly believe that the person you kill intends to do you physical harm.

    Incorrect. You do not have to prove intent; you only have to show that you felt your life or safety was in jeopardy, which is certainly the case for high-risk pregnancies. The self-defense laws are just that – laws. We can easily amend the law to provide a lower burden of self-defense for rape victims, since all pregnancies carry with them some risk. Being forcibly and unwillingly put even at that risk could be part of self-defense statutes.

    But I simply can’t see how you can have two different penalties for the premeditated killing of an innocent person.

    Because categorizations of homicides, and categorizations of punishments, do not end at simply at the words “premeditated” and/or “innocent”. This is neither logically true nor factually the case in current law, where charges/punishments are enhanced or mitigated by all sorts of conditions.

    I realize that it is good, perhaps even essential in your attempt to label us hypocrites and patriarchal zealots that just want to control women, but some of us do not want to make abortion a first-degree capital murder crime. There is no logical or factual reason why abortion cannot be ensconced in law as its own form of of homicide – prenatal infanticide – with its own set of charges and its own range of punishments.

    There is nothing about that which logically diminishes the fetus’ right to life. Your insistence that it does is irrational.

    The goal here is to set civilization back on the pro-life course in the best, most helpful way possible, not to wreck lives and hold a hammer over the head of women.

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, you know both what happened in thread above and what is happening in the wider world, so the pretence just now that nothing is wrong (cf. RVB8 at 110) cuts no ice. KF

  124. 124
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    AJ, you know both what happened in thread above and what is happening in the wider world, so the pretence just now that nothing is wrong (cf. RVB8 at 110) cuts no ice. KF

    If you are going to criticize someone for something they have said, it is usually wise to make sure that they actually said it. Can you point to the comment where I said that nothing was wrong? I believe that there are all sorts of things in this world that are wrong, including the current situation with abortion.

  125. 125
    Pindi says:

    WJM @116:

    where did I say that?

  126. 126
    Pindi says:

    WJM re your 122, I am also still unclear why all human beings do not have the same protection of the criminal law. If a one day old fetus is human being with the same right to life as any other human being, why should its “brutal” and “diabolical” murder not be dealt with as any other murder? Or to put it in your words, why does an “equal right to life” not “logically entail equal charges/punishment”? Bear in mind we are not talking about different categories of homicidal. We are talking about the deliberate killing of a human being without any issue of self defence or other mitigating factor recognised by the law.

  127. 127
    steveh says:

    Because categorizations of homicides, and categorizations of punishments, do not end at simply at the words “premeditated” and/or “innocent”. This is neither logically true nor factually the case in current law, where charges/punishments are enhanced or mitigated by all sorts of conditions.

    Is this really what pro-life advocates mean when they talk about a ‘”holocaust” – the mass murder of the unborn?’ Did mitigating circumstances apply to the Nazi holocaust too?

    Are there any cicumstances where abortion should be considered first degree murder and punished accordingly? How about a young woman who plans to finish her education, start a career, marry, and then start a family a few years later, but becomes pregnant despite using contraceptives and aborts in the very early stages because she’s not ready to start a family yet? What should happen to her?

  128. 128
    Armand Jacks says:

    WM:

    AJ, this has already been answered. Equal right to life doesn’t logically entail equal charges/punishment for every homicide, no matter how many times you insist it does. It’s not true factually, and we’re not making that case no matter how many times you insist we should be.

    I’m afraid that you will have to support this assertion. Can you provide me with some examples of charges less than first degree murder being laid against someone when there is incontrovertible evidence that the person planned the killing in advance, followed through with the plan, clearly understanding that the killing would end a life, when the individual killed had done nothing intentionally to harm the killer, when the motive for the killing was for largely selfish reasons?

    That’s part of Trump’s platform and part of the reason I voted for him.

    Good luck with that. And mean that sincerely, although I am skeptical that it will happen.

    We already have all sorts of private programs that provide this service for those that wish to carry their pregancy to term – financial assistance, paid prenatal, etc. I think you have a rather distorted view of the US; we’re one of the most liberal countries in the world.

    Yes, women employed in reasonably paid jobs often have insurance programs available to them that will cover much of this, some partially or fully paid by the employer. But 75% of abortions are performed on women who are poor or of a very low income bracket. I doubt very much that they can avail themselves of any of these programs. There best hope would be support from churches or other community groups.

    Incorrect. You do not have to prove intent; you only have to show that you felt your life or safety was in jeopardy, which is certainly the case for high-risk pregnancies.

    I didn’t say that you had to prove intent. I said that you had to prove that you believe that the person you killed intended to do you harm. Any lawyer who’s client honestly believed that the fetus intended to do her harm would not be using self defence as a defence. He/she would be using not guilty by reason of insanity. Do you honestly thing that the majority of women having an abortion believe that the fetus is out to intentionally cause her harm? If so, you have a very low opinion of the intelligence and sanity of women.

    We can easily amend the law to provide a lower burden of self-defense for rape victims, since all pregnancies carry with them some risk. Being forcibly and unwillingly put even at that risk could be part of self-defense statutes.

    And we could pass a law that green is now red. If the woman killed the rapist she could use the self defence out. If you amend the self defence law to include the killing of someone who never had any intention of doing you harm and who you never believed had an intention to do you harm, then it is not self defence.

    Because categorizations of homicides, and categorizations of punishments, do not end at simply at the words “premeditated” and/or “innocent”. This is neither logically true nor factually the case in current law, where charges/punishments are enhanced or mitigated by all sorts of conditions.

    I didn’t say that premeditated or innocent were the only two options. There is manslaughter and second degree murder, but these require either no premeditation or insufficient evidence for premeditation. There is also criminal negligence causing death. but again, it doesn’t apply when premeditation can be proven. There is self defence, but we have already talked about that. And there is not guilty by reason of insanity. There is no way that the majority of women having an abortion would qualify for this. So that leaves you with first degree murder.

    I realize that it is good, perhaps even essential in your attempt to label us hypocrites and patriarchal zealots that just want to control women, but some of us do not want to make abortion a first-degree capital murder crime. There is no logical or factual reason why abortion cannot be ensconced in law as its own form of of homicide – prenatal infanticide – with its own set of charges and its own range of punishments.

    There is nothing stopping us from enacting any law we see fit. But if we develop a new category of homicide that covers the premeditated murder of something that we consider to have an equal right to life as all other humans wirth a penalty that is little more than a slap on the wrist, then we are being hypocritical. I don’t see how you can call it anything else. While we are at it, why don’t we have a different category of homicide with a lighter penalty for the premeditated murder of anyone over seventy. This makes far more logical sense than what you are proposing. After all, killing someone in there seventies is taking away less quantity of their life than if you kill a baby.

    No matter how you look at it, if a fertilized egg has the same basic right to life as a baby or an adult, then planning to kill it and following through with the killing for selfish reasons is a premeditated murder.

  129. 129
    Armand Jacks says:

    Steveh:

    Are there any cicumstances where abortion should be considered first degree murder and punished accordingly? How about a young woman who plans to finish her education, start a career, marry, and then start a family a few years later, but becomes pregnant despite using contraceptives and aborts in the very early stages because she’s not ready to start a family yet? What should happen to her?

    According to WM, forced sterilization and the inability to ever have a family.

  130. 130
    rvb8 says:

    WJM,

    I’m afraid that when you write a statement such as this,
    “we’re one of the most liberal countries in the world.”, you do realise your opponents sit back gob smacked.

    ‘One of the most liberal’? Really? You do actually know that all of the countries east of Greenland-Iceland, west of Poland, North of Africa (including Catholic Italy), and south of Finland are far more liberal than the US. They all have some form of Paid Parental Leave. (Not sure about Britain.)

    NZ, Australia, and Canada, are far more liberal than the US, and your statement, ‘we already have all sorts of PRIVATE programs…’

    Yeah, charity from firms is a big backstop for the mostly poor women who become pregnant. Apple, and Uber, Coke, and Nike are well established in this area of social progress; they’re everywhere.

    Wait a minute, you mean charity from Churches etc, do you not? If you do they are doing a, ‘band aid, on a severed aorta job.’

    To come out with that statement about America’s liberal credentials is only possible if your statrting position is conservatism, slightly to the right of Ghenghis Kan.

    No1 The US may have been liberal in the 60s, and 70s, but that liberality is standing on erroded feet.

    Don’t use those ‘snow flake’ nut jobs as an example of liberality, they are the antithesis of liberality. Their desire to lock down debate, enforce their ideas, and generally intolerance of opposition, are actually the hall marks of staunch conservatisim, bordering upon attempted thought control.

  131. 131
    Armand Jacks says:

    WM:

    You keep saying that abortion should be a last resort. Why should abortion be the last resort”?

    For the same reason that any invasive procedure should be the last resort.

  132. 132
    Armand Jacks says:

    Now that we have resolved that pro-life supporters do not believe that planning and killing an innocent defensless human being is a crime worthy of incarceration, let’s move on to other legal matters.

    When abortion is made illegal, what charges should be brought against women who use the morning after pill? What charges should be brought against women who have an IUD? These only have one function. To kill a human life shortly after conception. The tricky part is that there is no practical way of proving that the death of any human being actually occurred, even though there is clear intent on the part of the woman to do this.

    Attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder seem the most appropriate. But I am not sure.

    What about a man who has unprotected sex with a woman who has an IUD? Obviously if he is unaware, there would be no charges laid. But what if he was aware that she had an IUD. Surely he is complicit in the possible murder of a human being and should be charged accordingly.

  133. 133
    Pindi says:

    AJ, also, practices that are known to have a risk of causing a miscarriage or endangering a fetus, such as eating seafood when pregnant should have criminal sanctions. At best, its criminal negligence.

  134. 134
    Armand Jacks says:

    Pindi, and what about a car accident where a woman loses a fetus. Should the at-fault driver be charged with vehicular homicide? And what if the at-fault driver is the woman? Or her husband? Making abortion illegal is obviously a very slippery slope that will lead civilization over the cliff, to ruin on the rocks below. A March of folly if I ever saw one.

  135. 135
    mike1962 says:

    Armand Jacks,

    Abortion was illegal for a long time.

    Humans survived just fine.

    But tell me, are you in favor of allowing abortionists to slice apart a third trimester “fetus” just because the mother feels like it?

  136. 136
    rvb8 says:

    I believe also that strenuous exercise, (running, cycling, football, gymnastics etc), also increases fetal damage, possibly miscarriage, (swimming is fine).

    Pregnant sports stars, farmers, and active wome generally, better be aware; “we’re watching you!”

  137. 137
    rvb8 says:

    Mike,

    No! Not because, ‘she feels like it.’

    Yes, because it could endanger her life; Yes, because she is a rape victim; And yes, ecause she was religiously, or culturally put in an awkward position.

    Either way, it is hers, and her doctors decision: Get out of her life.

  138. 138
    Pindi says:

    AJ, yes a march of folly for sure.

    I just did a bit of research and found that women who work in certain environments, including farms, operating rooms, dental offices, and hospital laboratories, have a higher risk of miscarriage. We should be subjecting women who work in those areas to random testing to ensure they are not pregnant, and if they are, they should be dealt with accordingly.

  139. 139
    Armand Jacks says:

    Mike:

    But tell me, are you in favor of allowing abortionists to slice apart a third trimester “fetus” just because the mother feels like it?

    Even in jurisdictions where it is technically legal to have an abortion on demand in the third trimester, it is almost never done. But if you had of read any of my comments you will have noted that I am opposed to abortions on demand after the first trimester.

  140. 140
    Marfin says:

    AJ- re 139, why are you opposed to abortion on demand after the first trimester.

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ & Pindi, do you understand what you are revealing about your mentality, level of reasoning and intent in the face of willful mass killing and outright holocaust — 800+ millions and counting at a million more per week — of innocent human life; tainting law, medicine, nursing and other health professions, media, education, government and even society as once did the slave trade? Do you understand what happens when something very wrong and destructive is embedded into a civilisation such that only a reformation can return us to sobriety and soundness? Has the example of Wilberforce sunk in? Are you aware of just how inherently unstable democratic government has been since the days of the Peloponnesian war and why a whole panoply of cultural buttresses is needed to stabilise it? As for marches of folly based on manipulation of the public, this micro-cosm should give you pause if your consciences are not so benumbed that you cannot understand clearly enough to think straight. I suggest as well that we all take time out to read and ponder Plato’s parable of the ship of state in The Republic. I also recommend to one and all that they read Horne’s To Lose A Battle on the years from 1919 – 1940, and vol I of Churchill’s 6-volume work on WW2 on how Britain slept while the storm gathered force. Marches of folly to ruin are real, and are going on as we speak so we would be well advised to learn from lessons of history bought with blood and tears lest we pay the same price again, with interest. KF

  142. 142
  143. 143
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let me lay it out:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

    A warning from nearly 2400 years ago.

    KF

  144. 144
    mike1962 says:

    Armand @139,

    Fair enough. Thanks.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    Armand Jacks says:

    Marfin:

    AJ- re 139, why are you opposed to abortion on demand after the first trimester.

    I explained this in detail in an earlier comment but I will provide the Coles notes version.
    I don’t oppose abortion in the first trimester because the fetal nervous system is not sufficiently developed to be self-aware, conscious or perceive pain. Please note that I said that I don’t oppose abortion, not that I condone it, endorse it or that I am devoted to it. Some here like to put words in my mouth, thoughts in my head and assign intentions to by opinions rather than address the actual issue. After the first trimester, there is enough brain development that we cannot be certain about these. As such, I give the benefit of the doubt to the fetus and that at that stage abortion should only be used when the health of the women is a serious risk.

  147. 147
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, the various hair-splitting rationalisations and timelines fall apart on one single test: human life has an intrinsic right to live from conception to natural death, on pain of letting loose the forces of chaos starting in our very souls. We are not God and must not get into the game of playing God and commodifying human life. One robbed of his or her life is robed of all else. KF

  148. 148
    Marfin says:

    AJ re- 146 I know you dont oppose abortion, but do oppose abortion on demand , you best be careful with that as you will be accused of interfering with women’s wombs and their freedom to choose.
    To you then humans are just animals but during the gestation period they become more self aware animals and more perceptive of pain.
    If we are just animals then whats the big deal we kill animals for sport, fun, protection, food, why care if we kill just one more animal, when there is no moral objectivity anyway, and it just comes down to choice, and that choice is not a freewill choice but a product of evolution.
    I hope you realise that your believe you view is correct , but you have no concrete basis for knowing its right, and your opinion only matters to you.

  149. 149
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    AJ & Pindi, do you understand what you are revealing about your mentality, level of reasoning and intent in the face of willful mass killing and outright holocaust — 800+ millions and counting at a million more per week — of innocent human life;

    Further:

    AJ, the various hair-splitting rationalisations and timelines fall apart on one single test: human life has an intrinsic right to live from conception to natural death, on pain of letting loose the forces of chaos starting in our very souls. We are not God and must not get into the game of playing God and commodifying human life. One robbed of his or her life is robed of all else. KF”

    Allow me to clip a significant point from the OP that is relevant:

    In debate after debate I’m sure we’ve all noticed that some people continually recycle the same statements over and over as if those statements represent something more than emotion-laden rhetoric that hasn’t already been factually and logically refuted or otherwise sufficiently responded to.

    Now, that is food for thought.

    Do you understand what happens when something very wrong and destructive is embedded into a civilisation such that only a reformation can return us to sobriety and soundness?

    So, does this mean that you are in favour of outlawing smoking and drinking? Not making something illegal and condoning the action are not the same thing. There are many actions that the government allows and at the same time does not promote or condone. Abortion is one of those.

    Has the example of Wilberforce sunk in?

    The fact that you continue to repeat this in spite of my corrective does not speak well for you.

    Are you aware of just how inherently unstable democratic government has been since the days of the Peloponnesian war and why a whole panoply of cultural buttresses is needed to stabilise it?

    As are communist, Marxist, Monarchist and theocratic governments. Further evidence of the lack of a world-root IS that is capable of grounding OUGHT. But we have been over this before.

    As for marches of folly based on manipulation of the public, this micro-cosm should give you pause if your consciences are not so benumbed that you cannot understand clearly enough to think straight.

    Further evidence of the lack of a world-root IS that is capable of grounding OUGHT. But we have been over this before.

    Marches of folly to ruin are real, and are going on as we speak so we would be well advised to learn from lessons of history bought with blood and tears lest we pay the same price again, with interest. KF

    Yes they are real, but you have failed to provide sufficient evidence that we are headed towards ruin at this time. I understand that you are not happy with the fact that people in ever increasing numbers are questioning the teachings of their respective religions. But if the teachings of a faith cannot withstand scrutiny, maybe the problem is with the teachings.

  150. 150
    mike1962 says:

    KF: the various hair-splitting rationalisations and timelines fall apart on one single test: human life has an intrinsic right to live from conception to natural death, on pain of letting loose the forces of chaos starting in our very souls.

    Maybe not. Why is it rational to think that an embryo has any conscious “spirit” attached to it when it’s nervous system is not fully developed? Or at least before any brainwaves are detectable?

    We allow people to die in the hospital all the time when there are no brain waves remaining. Standard procedure. Is this wrong? Or should we keep the body alive forever despite the lack of brainwaves?

    We are not God and must not get into the game of playing God and commodifying human life.

    Humans play God all the time when they defend themselves against an attack or go to war with a perceived enemy, or “pull the plug” on brain dead person lying on a hospital bed. We play God all the time in lesser ways when we set up laws and courts and judge people for societal crimes and lock them away or execute them. Should we do away with all of this because by these we are “playing God”?

    I suspect you derive most if not all of your morality from the Bible, but even amongst Bible believers (Jews and Christians) there is much disagreement about what is moral or not. Not all of us derive our morality from the Bible or other religious text. (It would appear from Exodus 21:22-25 that the unborn are not on par with borne humans.)

    For what it’s worth, my view of abortion is similar to Armand Jacks’s. I am OK with it up to the point of brainwaves being detectable, and that’s about 40 days. Without brain waves, the embryo is no more human than a brain dead person lying in a hospital bed.

  151. 151
    Armand Jacks says:

    Marfin:

    AJ re- 146 I know you dont oppose abortion, but do oppose abortion on demand , you best be careful with that as you will be accused of interfering with women’s wombs and their freedom to choose.

    I do not oppose abortion on demand in the first trimester. A decision completely made by the woman upon consultation with a doctor. After the first trimester, it is my opinion that it should not be available on demand and only be used when the woman’s health is at serious risk.

    To you then humans are just animals but during the gestation period they become more self aware animals and more perceptive of pain.

    Yes.

    I hope you realise that your believe you view is correct , but you have no concrete basis for knowing its right, and your opinion only matters to you.

    My opinion is based on objective evidence. And I will modify my opinion if presented with contradictory objective evidence. Those are pretty solid grounds to base opinions on. Yes, opinions are personal. But when enough people share the same opinion, it often gets imbedded in law. At that point, it matters to many others a well.

  152. 152
    critical rationalist says:

    @WJM

    This is a category error. We’re talking about fundamental causal system premises. The causal system is either a system of infinite regress; or it started from nothing – no cause, just an effect; or it began from an uncaused cause. The third option isn’t “giving up” or ‘stopping” at an arbitrary point; it premises a logically necessary condition of existence in order to avoid (1) infinite regress and (2) an uncaused effect (something from nothing).

    None of those scenarios pose a insurmountable problem in making progress.

    Regardless of why, you still end up with unjustified premises, which means justification doesn’t work. It’s irrational. Saying you are justified because you have to stop somewhere is part of justifications and ignores a fourth option, which is to give up the quest for true, justified belief. Truth and knowledge exists, not just in the form you think it does.

    Second, you have arbitrarily decided when to stop looking for a cause. It’s unclear how you known which phenomena in question is uncaused and cannot be explained, etc. Our current, best theory of gravity conflicts with quantum mechanics and breaks down inside a black hole. Does that mean we give up on trying to improve and unite them? Why should we do so with “God” or whatever you consider an ultimate cause.

    IOW, the problem with the current conception of physics is that it must start with some initial conditions, which can be unknowable, untraceable, etc. This is why Deutsch’s constructor theory is such an important fundamental development, because it’s about what’s possible and what’s not. Unless something is prohibited by the laws of physics, it’s possible given the right knowledge. Saying we cannot make progress without a foundation it is denying that we can make progress. That is immoral.

    Third, not only is it not possible, but it’s undesirable because it limits theories to what we can supposedly justify in some way. We wouldn’t be where we are now if that were actually the case.

    What we want from theories is their content, not their source.

  153. 153
    critical rationalist says:

    Why is foundationism undesirable?

    From this paper on constructor theory…. (Emphasis mine)

    Consider an automated factory for producing goods to a particular specification. Though its purpose may only be to produce those goods, the laws of physics imply that it must transform something into them and, typically, also use other resources and produce waste products. Very few such transformations happen spontaneously; that is to say, almost all require a constructor, which I shall define as anything that can cause transformations in physical systems without undergoing any net change in its ability to do so. I shall call those physical systems the constructor’s substrates:

                                          Constructor
    input state of substrate(s) ——————> output state of substrate(s). (1)

    A transformation, regarded as being caused by a constructor, I call a construction.
    Constructors appear under various names in physics and other fields. For instance, in thermodynamics, a heat engine is a constructor because of the condition that it be capable of ‘operating in a cycle’. But they do not currently appear in laws of physics. Indeed, there is no possible role for them in what I shall call the prevailing conception of fundamental physics, which is roughly as follows: everything physical is composed of elementary constituents such as particles, fields and spacetime; there is an initial state of those constituents; and laws of motion determine how the state evolves continuously thereafter. In contrast, a construction (1) is characterised only by its inputs and outputs, and involves subsystems (the constructor and the substrate), playing different roles, and most constructors are themselves composite objects. So, in the prevailing conception, no law of physics could possibly mention them: the whole continuous process of interaction between constructor and substrate is already determined by the universal laws governing their constituents.
    However, the constructor theory that I shall propose in this paper is not primarily the theory of constructions or constructors, as the prevailing conception would require it to be. It is the theory of which transformations

    input state of substrate(s) ——————> output state of substrate(s). (2)

    can be caused and which cannot, and why. As I shall explain, the idea is that the fundamental questions of physics can all be expressed in terms of those issues, and that the answers do not depend on what the constructor is, so it can be abstracted away, leaving transformations (2) as the basic subject matter of the theory. I shall argue that we should expect such a theory to constitute a fundamental branch of physics with new, universal laws, and to provide a powerful new language for expressing other theories. I shall guess what some of those laws may be, and explore the theory’s potential for solving various problems and achieving various unifications between disparate branches of physics and beyond, and propose a notation that may be useful in developing it.
    Causation is widely regarded by philosophers as being at best a useful fiction having no possible role in fundamental science. Hume (1739) argued that we cannot observe causation and therefore can never have evidence of its existence. But here I shall, with Popper (1959, 1963), regard scientific theories as conjectured explanations, not as inferences from evidence, and observation not as a means of validating them, but only of testing them. So Hume’s argument does not apply. Nor does the argument (e.g. by Russell 1913) that the fundamental laws of physics make no reference to causes – for that is merely an attribute of a particular way of formulating those laws (namely, the prevailing conception) not of the laws themselves. Moreover, the prevailing conception itself is not consistent about that issue, for the idea of a universal law is part of it too, and the empirical content of such a law is in what it forbids by way of testable outcomes (Popper 1959, §31 & §35) – in other words in what transformations it denies can be caused to happen, including to measuring instruments in any possible laboratories. Explanatory theories with such counter- factual implications are more fundamental than predictions of what will happen. For example, consider the difference between saying that a purported perpetual motion machine cannot be made to work as claimed ‘because that would violate a conservation law’ and that it won’t work ‘because that axle exerts too small a torque on the wheel’. Both explanations are true, but the former rules out much more, and an inventor who understood only the latter might waste much more time trying to cause the transformation in question by modifying the machine.

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    M62, we are not God, do not know more than that we are dealing with a distinct human life from conception. This is a case where arrogating to ourselves the benefit of such a doubt with willfully imposed death of the innocent on the line, is utterly corrosive. WJM is right, it is not the fate of the innocent child alone, it is what we do to our souls/ consciences, communities and institutions. We play with fire here, hellish fire. KF

  155. 155
    Phinehas says:

    AJ:

    I do not oppose abortion on demand in the first trimester. A decision completely made by the woman upon consultation with a doctor. After the first trimester, it is my opinion that it should not be available on demand and only be used when the woman’s health is at serious risk.

    After the first trimester, do you believe it should not be available because it is the taking of a life? Or is there some other reason it should not be available?

  156. 156
    kairosfocus says:

    CR et al:

    I simply refer you here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....s-science/

    and here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....m-aquinas/

    also (perhaps, ESPECIALLY), here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....tionality/

    Your root quarrel is with first principles of right reason and — ironically — with rationality.

    It is a saddening measure of the woeful state of thought, discussion and debate in our time that these issues have to be on the table.

    G’day,

    KF

  157. 157
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF #143

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    You’ve inadvertently given an example of how knowledge is independent of anyone’s belief.

    To illustrate this, what did and will happen? The idea that might makes right, manipulation makes right, justice, etc., was a conjecture by the crew. And, under that guise, those that lack the knowledge to sail will try to pilot the boat. And when they fail, assuming that failure is not fatal, it will be passed to some other sailor that clams to be mightier or even more of that false assumption, but lacks knowledge as well. And, assuming that too is not fatal, etc., eventually the idea that might makes right, manipulation makes right, justice, etc., which was supposedly the explanation for successful sailing, will become suspect. Assuming they are not completely lost by then, they will return to the idea that that knowledge of how to pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, etc. , is the explanation of how to pilot the ship and the error will corrected.

    In that sense the knowledge of how to pilot the ship plays a causal role in it being retained in the brains of sailors and books used to train them.

  158. 158
    rvb8 says:

    AJ,

    you are boxing yourself into a corner with your, ‘after the first tri-mester it becomes complicated’, argument.

    No! It is not complicated. The fetus is not self aware, it does not know it is human, it does not know this for up to 6-7 months after birth. When it first realises it is looking in the mirror at an image of itself, it is ‘self-aware’. At which point it is human.

    Do I support after birth infanticide? No! Why? Because the hormones of the protective father, and nurturing mother, are at this point in ‘evolved’ hyper-drive, and murdering the new born becomes incredibly complicated. But, at any point prior to this epiphany, sure.

    This supposed moral complicated argument is just so much self indulgent narcissism. It is an ongoing fact that our intellect lets us predict, guess, and plan the future, many years in advance. This being the case humans will always imagine their futures, and women will always imagine their futures. As women predict their futures, and predict that a baby is not at present deirable, they, and their partners will imagine ways to end this ‘not desired’ outcome.

    End of Moral story!

  159. 159
    Armand Jacks says:

    Rvb8:

    …you are boxing yourself into a corner with your, ‘after the first tri-mester it becomes complicated’, argument.

    That may be so. I’ve never been much of a boxer. But I don’t agree with your argument over what self-awareness is. Just because you don’t recognize yourself in a mirror doesn’t mean that you are not self aware. This being said, I agree that there probably isn’t much in the way of self-awareness in the second trimester, but as the brain becomes more developed, the potential increases. The other aspect is the ability to perceive pain. Which definitely starts developing in the second trimester. I prefer not to inflict pain.

  160. 160
    JoshRob says:

    Wow, this thing has really grown. Lost my internet service for a few days.

    AJ @36,
    Long ago (as far as this thread is concerned) you were pleased that I admitted abortion would be first degree murder. While I essentially defend that position, your wielding it as an argument against the prosecution of abortion wasn’t particularly earth-shattering, as many have already discussed the legal stipulations that have been and could be put into law. The law is not inflexible; it can be adjusted to more feasibly serve any purpose, whether one argues that the purpose is good or evil. We may elect to change laws regarding first degree murder, even, if there is a movement to do so. This may have already been dismissed or otherwise put to rest, but I only felt a need to make some final addendum.

    As to your quibble about my hope that the women would be ignorant, it has more to do with the nature of moral culpability than with law. I suspect you would not relate, as you seem to be very comfortable with the notion that objective morality is a farce. No one has ever felt guilty for a wrong they did not realize they had committed; this is a demonstration of the very nature of guilt. I would have a hard time blaming a child, for instance, for doing something terrible if he did not understand what he was doing. Essentially, I am merely hoping for their innocence at heart in what is to my moral, reasoning mind an act of murder committed against a most helpless and innocent victim.

    rvb8,

    …murdering the new born becomes incredibly complicated.

    I must imagine this is the sum of your thoughts about killing newborns. It’s complicated. If only it were simpler, we could just punch the baby a couple of times and avert all sorts of expenses and obligations.

    This supposed moral complicated argument is just so much self indulgent narcissism. It is an ongoing fact that our intellect lets us predict, guess, and plan the future, many years in advance. This being the case humans will always imagine their futures, and women will always imagine their futures. As women predict their futures, and predict that a baby is not at present deirable, they, and their partners will imagine ways to end this ‘not desired’ outcome.

    Self-indulgent narcissism… hmm. You mean like killing someone because their ongoing existence is undesirable? Let’s ignore abortion for a moment: suppose a woman evaluates her future and sees that her little 2 yr old toddler is going to really hamper things. Well, if not for the “complications” of human emotion and hormones, she could just drown the kid in the bath tub and move on with her life. Empowering, wouldn’t you say? But of course, you wouldn’t support her; she’s clearly ignored the “complexity” of her situation.

    I think the endless accusations that morality is narcissism comes from the sort of morality you may have experienced in your life or witnessed in social justice warriors. Morality is only a means to “feeling good” when you invent your own system of morality that carefully approves one’s own history and behaviors. That sort of morality is more rampant among relativists, adopting a system of morals that never besets them with guilt. Amorality is a fantastic way to acquit oneself, too.

  161. 161
    rvb8 says:

    Josh,

    your silly, ‘suppose a women evaluates’ non-example is just that, silly, and inhuman. What about the ‘sentient’ ‘self aware’, two year old’s rights? Do you value human life so poorly that you do not consider the rghts of the two year old?

    Take your poor understanding of ‘self aware humanity’ elsewhere.

    AJ,

    we are largely in agreement, and I don’t wish to antagonize an ally, but you are splitting haires. Either abortion is ok because the fetus is not a complete human, or it is not; your words.

  162. 162
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, knowledge in many cases is objective; which means that it is independent of any particular person’s subjectivity. And that exactly holds for the moral absurdity of nihilism and that which tends to it. It also holds for how ascribing (or simply implying that . . . ) moral government as testified to by conscience etc is merely subjective and/or relative to the power games of a community at a given time and place [etc, etc] lets loose grand delusion in mindedness. This leads to an infinite regress of shadow-show worlds, and thence to collapse in absurdity. including the absurdities that have robbed 800+ million members of our posterity of their lives over the past 40+ years, on excuses that are flimsy at best and clearly tend to the entrenching of ever widening corruption of conscience, law, government, professions and community, leading to nihilism. Which we see all around us, and yes that is a march of folly on the mutinous ship of state.. We have every good reason to understand that we are under moral government and that by and large conscience is capable of accurately perceiving our moral status and options; guiding our reasoning process. That in turn means that playing ideological games with conscience is intellectual suicide. But also it points to a world in which such makes sense and that raises the issues you are loath to address. Starting with the rooting of the world in an IS that inherently also grounds OUGHT. KF

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    JR (attn AJ and RVB8):

    Self-indulgent narcissism… hmm. You mean like killing someone because their ongoing existence is undesirable? Let’s ignore abortion for a moment: suppose a woman evaluates her future and sees that her little 2 yr old toddler is going to really hamper things. Well, if not for the “complications” of human emotion and hormones, she could just drown the kid in the bath tub and move on with her life. Empowering, wouldn’t you say? But of course, you wouldn’t support her; she’s clearly ignored the “complexity” of her situation.

    I think the endless accusations that morality is narcissism comes from the sort of morality you may have experienced in your life or witnessed in social justice warriors. Morality is only a means to “feeling good” when you invent your own system of morality that carefully approves one’s own history and behaviors. That sort of morality is more rampant among relativists, adopting a system of morals that never besets them with guilt. Amorality is a fantastic way to acquit oneself, too.

    Such are the matches we have been playing with in our civilisation for a very long time now.

    Koop and Schaeffer long ago warned about the chain from abortion-ism to infanticide-ism to euthanasia-ism. They were brushed aside, but their warning is coming true before our eyes as a conscience-benumbed civilisation becomes ever more and more hellish and foolish, marching hard for the cliff-edge.

    And, how dare you talk about marches of folly or mutinous sailors seizing control of the ship of state and in folly carrying on without regard to consequences.

    KF

  164. 164

    CR said:

    None of those scenarios pose a insurmountable problem in making progress.

    That depends on how you define “making progress”, and whether or not such progress ultimately depends/depended on some form of justification. Using the structure that justificationism built while spouting anti-justificationist views is self-defeating.

    Regardless of why, you still end up with unjustified premises, which means justification doesn’t work.

    It “doesn’t work” that way because some premises are necessarily unjustifiable; they are self-evident. They are what you use to justify other statements/views. Without justification, all you are doing is spouting rhetoric. If you want to redefine rhetoric as “knowledge” or “truth”, I can’t stop you.

    It’s irrational.

    Without the foundational principles of logic (principle of identity, etc.) as self-evident justification, the phrase “it’s irrational” has no interpersonal meaning or knowledge value. It’s just emotional rhetoric.

    You can’t carry on a conversation without implying it is somehow ultimately justified.

    Saying you are justified because you have to stop somewhere is part of justifications and ignores a fourth option, which is to give up the quest for true, justified belief.

    Only, I didn’t say “because you have to stop somewhere”; I said because the other two options are irrational. You know, actually irrational, not the emotional, unjustified pretend-irrational term you use.

    Truth and knowledge exists, not just in the form you think it does.

    For your statement above to have any meaningful value, truth and knowledge must exist in the form I think it does, otherwise your words don’t refer to anything other than your personal feelings and your personal definitions of terms. See how that works?

    Second, you have arbitrarily decided when to stop looking for a cause. It’s unclear how you known which phenomena in question is uncaused and cannot be explained, etc.

    It’s apparent that your post-modernist anti-realism has made you unable to understand the meaning of words and phrases grounded in rational justification. I haven’t arbitrarily decided anything nor have I pointed at any particular phenomena to make any particular claims.

    But, what do you care? Truth and knowledge don’t exist; you respond as if I said things I didn’t because it serves your purpose to do so.

    Our current, best theory of gravity conflicts with quantum mechanics and breaks down inside a black hole. Does that mean we give up on trying to improve and unite them? Why should we do so with “God” or whatever you consider an ultimate cause.

    You talk about non-justificationism, but speak about everything as if your claims can be justified and as if the rest of us shouldn’t just dismiss what you say as entirely unjustified.

    When you can actually discuss things as if justification is unnecessary, then I’ll have no reason to respond to you at all, because your phrasings will explicitly demonstrate there is no justification for your views.

    See how that works?

  165. 165

    Without the agreement that some knowledge is objective and without an agreement about how such knowledge is justified and how arguments should be legitimately made and how conclusions are justifiably reached, then we’re all just spouting personal feelings and emotional rhetoric.

  166. 166
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, a real mess indeed. KF

    PS: Onlookers, I still point us here on, to see how to set things straight.

  167. 167
    JoshRob says:

    rvb8,

    Do you value human life so poorly that you do not consider the rghts of the two year old?

    Did I do that good a job of imitating your own language? You didn’t seem particularly disgusted with killing newborns; after all, you merely said it became “complicated.”

    Here’s another question in much the same vein: do you value human life so poorly that you would carelessly draw a line between “fetus” and “human” where it is most convenient to you? What about any concern that your evaluation is incorrect? I suspect there can be no concern, since you feel you may freely dictate what is or is not human.

    Take your poor understanding of ‘self aware humanity’ elsewhere.

    I have no such poor understanding, but you might educate me on another point:

    Why are self-aware beings morally necessary to preserve? You seem more than willing to judge those around you if they even disregard self-awareness while speaking hypothetically. Sounds like a strong moral absolute; from where is it derived? What credibility do your morals really have? Why are you right?

  168. 168
    Armand Jacks says:

    JR:

    Long ago (as far as this thread is concerned) you were pleased that I admitted abortion would be first degree murder. While I essentially defend that position, your wielding it as an argument against the prosecution of abortion wasn’t particularly earth-shattering, as many have already discussed the legal stipulations that have been and could be put into law.

    I think you misunderstand my argument. If it was because of how I worded it, I apologize. I wasn’t trying to use the lack of will to penalize the woman as we do all others who commit first degree murder as argument against charging them. My argument was with the inconsistency between the insistence by many here that the fetus (from conception to birth) has the same right to life as any other human being, and the unwillingness by the same people to treat the woman who has an abortion in the same way that we treat all other first degree murderers. We do not modify the penalties for anyone convicted of first degree murder based on the age of the victim. The best the person can hope for is the minimum sentence (life in prison with no parole for 25 years). Why should we have a different minimum sentence for the premeditated murder of a human being who’s only crime is not to have been born yet? The only reason that makes any sense is that it is because we are acknowledging that the right to life of the fetus is NOT the same as that of post birth human beings.

  169. 169
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    And, how dare you talk about marches of folly or mutinous sailors seizing control of the ship of state and in folly carrying on without regard to consequences.

    Get over yourself and this stupid self righteous hyperbolic nonsense. Nobody is suggesting that there are not consequences to decisions that we make as individuals or as governments. Everything we do has a consequence. All we can hope for is that the positives outweigh the negatives for the majority of people. And many times we are mistaken in our decisions. It would be nice to have some set of objective rules that we can all adopt to maximize the quality of lives for everyone. Unfortunately, if there is a god he has, for some inextricable reason, opted to hide these from us and allow us to blunder on the best we can.

    You keep taking examples from history to make your points, which is always a smart thing to do. But you cherry pick these historic events and people. The fact is that the greatest atrocities have occurred as the result of concentrating on what we think is best for society in the future without thinking about the consequences to the individual. And many of these were done with the best intentions. The crusades, the inquisition, Marxism, communism, eugenics, the holocaust (the real one, not your fabricated abortion one), the residential school system, forced Christian conversion of indigenous peoples, colonialism, the criminalization of homosexuality, the criminalization of early stage abortions…The list is endless. All of these ignored the consequences to the individual in favour of some misguided and often incorrect belief that they would benefit society.

    If we concentrate on how our decisions impact the individual rather than how it impacts the amorphous society, society will work itself out. What you rediculously call a march of folly, in many cases, is nothing more than people and governments attempting to make decisions that benefit individuals with the minimal negative consequences to other individuals. They get it right, in my opinion, more often than they get it wrong. I suspect that your biggest complaint is that Christianity is losing its historic and histrionic strangle hold on the decision makers in the west. Many of us, including many Christians, see this as a good thing.

  170. 170
    JoshRob says:

    The only reason that makes any sense is that it is because we are acknowledging that the right to life of the fetus is NOT the same as that of post birth human beings.

    I suspect a larger motivation for those arguing against charging all of those that have sought abortions with murder is their realization that such might be a practically impossible approach, or they feel some weight at the thought of so many people charged with murder. Otherwise, they may in fact not think of abortion as being as heinous as murder, but I rather doubt that. There is a difference between what someone would have in an ideal world and the solutions one may suggest in reality. I still think it is reasonable in very many cases to compare it to first degree murder, even if it is not perhaps feasible to treat it as such in the real world.

    I would hate to think that any woman would get an abortion if she believed her unborn child were really another human being; if she did that, she has all the mind of a murderer in the first place. By arbitrarily choosing one life sign or criterion or another to determine full human status, one makes it easier to commit an abortion, but it has never been demonstrated what absolute validity or bearing these criteria have.

    One might ask the same of those that say life begins much earlier than birth. But I should think the natural position is to assume that which has its own blood, its own DNA, its own heartbeat is its own being, and if that DNA is human, it is a human being. Really it should suffice that the entity has human DNA and will develop into a human child if left alone.

    How is it that I would cease to be human without self-awareness? Is a lion not a lion unless it roars? Am I any less human if I can’t see or hear? Do our abilities describe us, or are they the sum of humanity? If they merely describe us, a fetus is a human being that has yet to mature into its full set of abilities. If they are the sum of humanity, then indeed we may as well consider those that find themselves beset with crippling ailments “less human” for whichever perceptions they lack.

  171. 171
    Armand Jacks says:

    JR, thank you for discussing this reasonably even though we disagree.

    There is a difference between what someone would have in an ideal world and the solutions one may suggest in reality. I still think it is reasonable in very many cases to compare it to first degree murder, even if it is not perhaps feasible to treat it as such in the real world.

    The penalty of a crime has two purposes, one of them is to set an example to those thinking of doing something illegal, and the other is to provide some level of perceived justice to the general public. The deterrent factor really doesn’t have much impact on things like manslaughter which tend to happen without much advanced thought. But for things that require significant advanced planning, it is difficult to assume that it doesn’t have a deterrence affect. As such, a harsh penalty is likely to have a significant impact on abortion whereas the types of punishments suggested here would not.

    How is abortion any different than someone killing an elderly sick parent because the medical bills are bankrupting them. They are both killings for the purpose of making the killer’s life easier. But the killer of the elderly parent still gets the minimum sentence for murder. If the fetus is considered to be a human being with the same right to life as the elderly sick person, I still don’t see how you can rationalize a lesser punishment for the killer.

    I would hate to think that any woman would get an abortion if she believed her unborn child were really another human being; if she did that, she has all the mind of a murderer in the first place.

    Of course the majority of women who have abortions know that they are killing something that will develop into a fully functioning human being. That is why it is such a difficult and emotional decision for a woman to make.

    By arbitrarily choosing one life sign or criterion or another to determine full human status, one makes it easier to commit an abortion, but it has never been demonstrated what absolute validity or bearing these criteria have.

    But I am not talking about arbitrary distinctions. We have very good knowledge and understanding of human development. In the first trimester, the fetus is little more than a mass of differentiating cells. There are no thought processes, no perception of pain or pleasure or any other senses that humans enjoy. If we are going to allow abortions, with the full knowledge that it is not practical to prevent them anyways, selecting the first trimester as the cut off makes sense.

    You argued that punishing woman with the same penalty as we do other murderers is not practical so a much lesser sentence makes more sense. Using the same logic, knowing that making them illegal is not going to reduce the numbers, doesn’t also make sense to allow them and ensure that they are performed as safely as possible?

    How is it that I would cease to be human without self-awareness?

    I have not been arguing about more or less human, although that could be an argument for another day. I have been arguing about whether the right to life is absolute and starts at conception, or wether that right to life increases throughout gestation.

  172. 172

    AJ said:

    The only reason that makes any sense is that it is because we are acknowledging that the right to life of the fetus is NOT the same as that of post birth human beings.

    AJ’s “logic” continues to fail him.

    We do not have various different charges and sentences when it comes to homicide because those who have been killed have a greater or lesser right to life. We have those varying degrees of charges and penalties because of (1) the circumstances of the crime and (2) the state of the individual committing the crime.

    Any idiot can see that abortion is a unique situation because of both (1) circumstances and (2) the state of the individual committing the crime. As such, IMO, it would be deserving of a corresponding unique set of charges and punishments.

  173. 173
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF

    Excerpts from comments I’ve posted on another thread….

    …there are many claims of divine moral truth. Assuming at least one of them is accurate and complete, how does Barry know it correlates with what the Christian God supposedly values and demands? And, even if that was the case, how does he know he is correctly intepreting Christian moral texts? Unless he can infallibly identify and interpret any supposed divine moral truths, Barry must have first used human reasoning and criticism, which is the very thing he claims is inadequate, to determine which divine truth to follow and how to interpret it.

     

    Theism is a form of philosophical foundationalism that assumes that knowledge comes from authoritative sources. It says there must be some refuge of last resort we can appeal to that will not lead us astray from truth. However, it’s unclear how this would actually work in practice. Is that God speaking to you or is it your personal beliefs about what you think God would tell you?

    How do you infallibly identify those voices as coming from God, demons, your own thoughts or a neurological condition? You use human reasoning and criticism to draw conclusions from your experiences because the conclusions are [not] out there for us to experience. Human reasoning and criticism always comes first.

     

    Yes, the Bible says that its contents came from God. However, I could write a text that said that it too came from God. The experience you have reading either claim doesn’t include the validity of either having come from God or how to interpret them. That comes from a theory you bring to the table, so to speak.

    For example, one such theory is that God would not use human beings to create an Even Newer Testament. (The Mormons disagree) Or that he wouldn’t use a nonbeliever, or that the Bible itself claims it is complete is correct, or that other claims in the document are not in line with what a perfectly good being would value or demand, etc. None of those things are present in the experience of reading either claim.

    My point isn’t that we’re completely lost or that there can be no knowledge, but that human reasoning and criticism always comes first. So, I fail to see how you’re in any better position than the non-theists you are criticizing.

    IOW, it seems that at best, when faced with the problem of unwanted or dangerous pregnancies, you could say there is some objectively correct moral values or duties that would apply, but you cannot know what they would be because human reasoning and problem solving is supposedly inadequate.

    Apparently, you’re not taking your own theory seriously.

    The idea that God somehow preserves the truth in specific texts or by “writing it” on human hearts is yet another conjecture. Nothing in your experience tells you the truthfulness of that conclusion. You having accepted that idea is due to human reasoning and criticism. So are all of the conclusions of theological scholars and interpretations of Biblical teachings, etc.

    What you seem to be suggesting is that unless we have objective moral sources that cannot lead us into error (infallible identification and interpretation) then we cannot have any moral knowledge and we must fall into nihilism. But this is basically holding morality hostage unless we accept your epistemological views. It’s immoral.

    Nor does it actually solve the problem. From another thread…

    It’s as of someone said. “Hey, I have this problem. I believe that X is morally correct. But that’s not enough because it would be “just an opinion”, so no one is actually bound to abide by it. I know! What if some transcendent authority values and demands X, so everyone must abide by it. Problem solved!”

    However, they are still let with the very same problem. This is because the claim that this supposed transcendent authority actually values and demands X would be “Just an opinion” as well, so no one is actually bound to abide by it, either. IOW, they just pushed the problem up a level without actually solving it.

    Even if an argument from undesired consequences wasn’t fallacious, you still end up with undesired consequences of the fallibility of moral knowledge.

    There is no foundation to knowledge, moral or otherwise. Yet, it still grows. Moral knowledge grows via conjecture and criticism.

  174. 174
    Armand Jacks says:

    WM:

    AJ’s “logic” continues to fail him.

    Possibly. But not in this case.

    We have those varying degrees of charges and penalties because of (1) the circumstances of the crime and (2) the state of the individual committing the crime.

    Agreed. Where have I questioned this?

    Any idiot can see that abortion is a unique situation because of both (1) circumstances and (2) the state of the individual committing the crime.

    Actually, only an idiot would claim that it is unique. First degree murder is defined as any death that was planned and deliberate. Abortion is clearly planned and deliberate where the only purpose is ending the life of the fetus. Clearly the definition would include abortion. No new category is required if the current categories cover it.

    And, yes, the state of mind of the killer can affect the charge. If the person cannot tell the difference between right and wrong with respect to the act, they are criminally insane. One of the telling signs of legal insanity is when the perpetrator makes no effort to hide the act or avoid capture. The example of the guy who decalitated a stranger on a Greyhound bus and ate his flesh would be a clear example. Clearly most women seeking out and having an illegal abortion would not fall into this category.

    If she firmly believes that the victim intends to do her harm, self defence comes into play. Clearly any woman who thinks that the fetus intends to do her harm is covered under the insanity plea.

    Second degree murder/manslaughter come into play when the death is not planned and deliberate. Again, an abortion does not fall into this category.

    Once a conviction is made on the most appropriate charge, extenuating circumstances are used to inform the sentence. But in many cases there are mandatory minimums.

    I have been saying that the only reason for accepting penalties less severe for abortion is that the fetus does not have the same right to life as post birth humans. But I guess there could be another reason. If pregnant women are somehow less capable of discerning right from wrong, or are less mature and intelligent than others, they could have different punishments. Much as we do now for juvenile offenders. Do you really want to go down that road?

  175. 175
    critical rationalist says:

    @WJM

    Using the structure that justificationism built while spouting anti-justificationist views is self-defeating.

    Except, nonjustificational criticism doesn’t use “the structure that justificationism built”.

    It “doesn’t work” that way because some premises are necessarily unjustifiable; they are self-evident.

    You seem to have confused (1) something for with we currently have no good criticism of with (2) something that is immune to criticism. For example, we currently have no good criticism that our memories are somehow based on reality. However, if aliens showed up in orbit and revealed a technology that created highly realistic, yet very false memories, then we would have just such criticism. However, even then, those false memories would have some resemblance to reality, in that they would approximate things from the physical world. IOW, what is self-evident would only be self-evident in the sense that no new criticism could be leveled against it, ever, including that which we haven’t conceived of yet. It’s unclear how you know this.

    Without justification, all you are doing is spouting rhetoric. If you want to redefine rhetoric as “knowledge” or “truth”, I can’t stop you.

    Now you are trying to equivocate between a philosophical theory of knowledge and having a reason to choose between theories.

    From the Wikipedia article on Critical Rationalism

    William Warren Bartley compared critical rationalism to the very general philosophical approach to knowledge which he called “justificationism”. Most justificationists do not know that they are justificationists. Justificationism is what Popper called a “subjectivist” view of truth, in which the question of whether some statement is true, is confused with the question of whether it can be justified (established, proven, verified, warranted, made well-founded, made reliable, grounded, supported, legitimated, based on evidence) in some way.

    According to Bartley, some justificationists are positive about this mistake. They are naïve rationalists, and thinking that their knowledge can indeed be founded, in principle, it may be deemed certain to some degree, and rational.

    Other justificationists are negative about these mistakes. They are epistemological relativists, and think (rightly, according to the critical rationalist) that you cannot find knowledge, that there is no source of epistemological absolutism. But they conclude (wrongly, according to the critical rationalist) that there is therefore no rationality, and no objective distinction to be made between the true and the false.

    By dissolving justificationism itself, the critical rationalist regards knowledge and rationality, reason and science, as neither foundational nor infallible, but nevertheless does not think we must therefore all be relativists. Knowledge and truth still exist, just not in the way we thought.

    Without the foundational principles of logic (principle of identity, etc.) as self-evident justification, the phrase “it’s irrational” has no interpersonal meaning or knowledge value. It’s just emotional rhetoric.

    In regards to the principle of identity, haven’t you heard of The New Riddle of Induction?

    If we define “grue” as being green until the year 2100, at which time it become blue, observations support emeralds being both green and grue according to all possible tests we can possibly apply. There is no way to distingue between them. Rather identify in the case of emeralds is baed on explanations and theories, such as optics, etc. So, we’re back to conjectural knowledge.

    I wrote:

    Regardless of why, you still end up with unjustified premises, which means justification doesn’t work. It’s irrational. Saying you are justified because you have to stop somewhere is part of justifications and ignores a fourth option, which is to give up the quest for true, justified belief. Truth and knowledge exists, not just in the form you think it does.

    You wrote:

    Only, I didn’t say “because you have to stop somewhere”; I said because the other two options are irrational. You know, actually irrational, not the emotional, unjustified pretend-irrational term you use.

    Option three is irrational because where you stop is arbitrary. Saying you have to stick with it regardless, because the other two are irrational, ignores the forth option, so It’s irrational as well.

    It’s apparent that your post-modernist anti-realism has made you unable to understand the meaning of words and phrases grounded in rational justification.

    I’m neither a post-modernist or anti-realist, so you seem to be in denial or confused.

    You talk about non-justificationism, but speak about everything as if your claims can be justified and as if the rest of us shouldn’t just dismiss what you say as entirely unjustified.

    Again, nonjustificational criticism is not justificationsism.

  176. 176
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, CR et al, you have long since been pointed to the key historical parallel of Wilberforce on the slave trade. That wicked, kidnapping based trade was associated with holocaust level death tolls. Why didn’t Wilberforce invest in a privateer fleet and attack the slavers directly? Why did he not press in parliament for them to be tried as kidnappers and murderers? And more? The answers are obvious, were outlined above from multiple directions and expose the hollowness of your rhetoric for what it is. I think that instead of that sort of rhetorical gamesmanship, you would be far better advised to ask your self what sort of horror are we enabling, that mounts up from a base of 800+ million unborn killed in the womb in the past 40+ years, at the current rate of a million more per week? KF

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    CR,

    I see you are still imagining that by attacking foundationalism, you can in effect dismiss concerns and evidence and reasoning put before you on self evident truth etc.

    First, I need to point out that philosophy is a discipline where even the definition of phil itself is open to debates and objections. And across time any number of patently absurd views were stoutly defended by the committed.

    To soundly address matters relevant to the woeful state of discussion today, we need to go elsewhere.

    First, the dynamics of argument. I have long pointed out that when one puts up a claim A, then the challenge, why occurs. This leads to B, maybe a claim of evidence or observation or an underlying set of premises that warrant or are said to warrant A. Why B? C.

    Thence, C, D, etc.

    We now have three choices: infinite regress of argument [dynamically impossible and logically absurd], a question-begging circularity where some P leads to Q and Q back to P [grand question-begging], or else we stop at a set of first plausibles, F, defining our faith point that can hold its own on comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power. Which first plausibles will in the normal case include key self evident truths such as the first principles of right reason, some version of a rational principle of being (thus of possible vs impossible, contingent vs necessary and linked concept of cause and effect), etc.

    That allows us to hold a reasonable, responsible faith.

    We are now at the core of worldviews and also are looking at the roots of actual reality.

    For, a given actualised being A is either going to be causally rooted in something else B (it is contingent, like a fire), or it is such that no possible world can be without A (e.g. 2-ness and/or distinct identity — a necessary being). the chain of contingent beings cannot continue to infinity as cause-effect chains are finite, strepwise processes. That is, we look at how temporal succession (and support) occur. No stepwise chain can continue until it traverses the transfinite. It can only be potentially infinite, increasing for all we know without onward terminus.

    This is sufficient to show that the [quasi-] physical world — beyond the big bang — has a causal root involving inter alia necessary beings. For, non-being has no causal powers and were there ever utter nothing, that would forever obtain.

    The need for a world root is established, save to those who choose to be hyperskeptically dismissive.

    Enough for now, RW calls for instant action.

    KF

  178. 178
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    AJ, CR et al, you have long since been pointed to the key historical parallel of Wilberforce on the slave trade. That wicked, kidnapping based trade was associated with holocaust level death tolls.

    I have responded to this on several occasions and you have not addressed my comment other than to parrot the same thing over and over again.

    Why didn’t Wilberforce invest in a privateer fleet and attack the slavers directly?

    In effect, he did just that. As a very politically influential individual in the most powerful country in the world at the time, he was able to get the government to pay for the naval actions to attack the slavers. This from brother Wiki:

    The Royal Navy established the West Africa Squadron (or Preventative Squadron) at substantial expense in 1808 after Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807. The squadron’s task was to suppress the Atlantic slave trade by patrolling the coast of West Africa.[1] With a home base at Portsmouth,[2] it began with two small ships, the 32-gun fifth-rate frigate HMS Solebay and the Cruizer-class brig-sloop HMS Derwent. At the height of its operations, the squadron employed a sixth of the Royal Navy fleet and marines.

    Between 1808 and 1860 the West Africa Squadron captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans.

    .
    KF:

    Why did he not press in parliament for them to be tried as kidnappers and murderers?

    Possibly because the general belief amongst Europeans in that time were that Africans were savage and less “human” than caucasians. And, possibly because there was no precedent in that day for doing such a thing. Neither you nor I know his real motivation for not doing so. But he was definitely in favour of charging slavers after the abolition act was enacted. Which raises the question of why you are not in favour of charging women who have abortions after you are successful in making abortion illegal with murder and receiving the minimum sentence according to the law if found guilty.

    I think that instead of that sort of rhetorical gamesmanship, you would be far better advised to ask your self what sort of horror are we enabling, that mounts up from a base of 800+ million unborn killed in the womb in the past 40+ years, at the current rate of a million more per week? KF

    Yet I have proposed an approach that has been shown to significantly reduce abortion rates while you have only proposed making abortion from conception to birth illegal with all of the consequences that entails. A strategy that history has shown does not actually reduce the abortion rate but will increase the mortality and health risks of women.

  179. 179
    Phinehas says:

    Armand Jacks:

    Perhaps you missed this earlier. I will post it again just to be sure. (If you ignore it again, one might suspect that you are doing so deliberately, potentially because you see an inconsistency in your own position that you are loathe to admit or address.)

    I do not oppose abortion on demand in the first trimester. A decision completely made by the woman upon consultation with a doctor. After the first trimester, it is my opinion that it should not be available on demand and only be used when the woman’s health is at serious risk.

    After the first trimester, do you believe abortion should not be available because it is the taking of a life? Or is there some other reason it should not be available?

  180. 180
    Armand Jacks says:

    Phinehas, I apologize if I didn’t respond. I thought I had.

    After the first trimester, do you believe abortion should not be available because it is the taking of a life? Or is there some other reason it should not be available?

    I don’t think that it should be available on demand after the first trimester. But it should be used if the woman’s health is at serious risk. The reason is simple. Before the second trimester, the fetus is not self-aware, is not conscious and cannot perceive pain. As such, it does not suffer if aborted. After the first trimester, however, the brain is starting to develop and at some point, but definitely not before the second trimester, it can perceive pain. When it becomes self aware and conscious is less well understood but the perception of pain is.

    This being said, I have also said that the best possible world is one in which no woman is ever in a position where they believe that an abortion is the best option for them. Simply making abortion illegal will not achieve this. It will just push it back into the corners where it survived and thrived for as long as humans have existed. I have even provided an approach with real world examples that will significantly reduce the rates and numbers of abortion but nobody will respond to these. They only concentrate on criminalizing women.

  181. 181
    asauber says:

    As such, it does not suffer if aborted.

    Armand,

    I think you are being deliberately obtuse again here. The first trimester baby does suffer if aborted. He or she is being deprived of all the moments of life that he or she has naturally coming to him or her. It’s the same concept as some meanie removing your legs, so from that point forward you are unable to run naturally. If you were painlessly deprived of your legs, do you think that would be fair to you?

    Andrew

  182. 182
    Phinehas says:

    AJ:

    No worries. Thanks for responding.

    After the first trimester, however, the brain is starting to develop and at some point, but definitely not before the second trimester, it can perceive pain. When it becomes self aware and conscious is less well understood but the perception of pain is.

    What is it that is perceiving this pain? A human life? Or something else? Is the reference to being self-aware and conscious an appeal to criteria that could indicate life? Or something else?

    Causing pain is not illegal in many cases, else my dentist would be in jail. Why should it be illegal in this case?

    What if the fetus were anesthetized before the abortion? Would you then have no issues with it?

    This being said, I have also said that the best possible world is one in which no woman is ever in a position where they believe that an abortion is the best option for them. Simply making abortion illegal will not achieve this. It will just push it back into the corners where it survived and thrived for as long as humans have existed. I have even provided an approach with real world examples that will significantly reduce the rates and numbers of abortion but nobody will respond to these.

    The best possible world is also one where women are never put in a place where they are sexually abused. Simply making sexual abuse illegal will not achieve this. Thus we should have no such laws? I do not see how the one follows from the other.

    They only concentrate on criminalizing women.

    LOL! In reading through the thread, it looked more like they couldn’t tear you away from concentrating on charging women with first degree murder. Most of the pro-life crowd seemed to want to concentrate on criminalizing the ones performing the abortions.

  183. 183
    john_a_designer says:

    Phinehas citing Armand Jacks quote,

    I do not oppose abortion on demand in the first trimester. A decision completely made by the woman upon consultation with a doctor. After the first trimester, it is my opinion that it should not be available on demand and only be used when the woman’s health is at serious risk.

    (emphasis added)

    Armand Jacks opinion is not at argument. It is just an arbitrary subjective opinion which carries no interpersonal moral obligation. If all we have in the moral realm are subjective opinions then there is no possibility of finding moral truth or even any kind of common ground. It that’s true the very idea of universal human rights completely collapses. Indeed I think that is what we are seeing is the west. Already in the U.S. there are numerous example of fundamental human rights being undermined or abridged for the sake of new made-up rights. For example, florists, bakers and photographers being fined for not participating in a same sex wedding.

    “Same-sex marriage” is an idea that has been arbitrarily made up whole cloth by the secular progressive left in that last 50 years. It has absolutely no basis in history, tradition or biology– neither two men nor two women cannot make a baby. However, it is a way for the secular progressive left to carry out its anti-religious agenda. After all where do most people get married? In churches, don’t they?

    As for abortion, in the 1970’s legislation in the U.S. was passed that protected the conscience of pro-life doctors (they could not be coerced into performing abortions.) That may be changing.

    AJ’s opinion is nothing more than an irrational rationalization by an irrational “rationalist.” Why does he need to rationalize? I have no idea but maybe he can “enlighten” us. However, I doubt he really cares. If he doesn’t believe in moral truth, why should he?

  184. 184
    Armand Jacks says:

    Phinehas:

    What is it that is perceiving this pain? A human life? Or something else?

    Human life.

    Is the reference to being self-aware and conscious an appeal to criteria that could indicate life? Or something else?

    It is only an appeal to something that might be self aware and conscious. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Causing pain is not illegal in many cases, else my dentist would be in jail. Why should it be illegal in this case?

    You need a better dentist. Except in cases where the person is not capable of giving informed consent to necessary medical procedures (eg, babies, children, etc.) causing pain to someone without their approval is illegal.

    What if the fetus were anesthetized before the abortion? Would you then have no issues with it?

    You would still be killing something that might have had self awareness and was conscious. A first trimester fetus never had either.

    The best possible world is also one where women are never put in a place where they are sexually abused. Simply making sexual abuse illegal will not achieve this. Thus we should have no such laws? I do not see how the one follows from the other.

    Sexual assault does harm to a self aware, conscious and unwilling individual. A first trimester abortion does not.

    LOL! In reading through the thread, it looked more like they couldn’t tear you away from concentrating on charging women with first degree murder. Most of the pro-life crowd seemed to want to concentrate on criminalizing the ones performing the abortions.

    Is the woman not the one making the decision? If I hire someone to kill someone, I am charged with first degree murder. But if a woman hires someone to kill someone, she should not be charged with first degree murder? As I said before, this is completely inconsistent with the claim that a fetus (from conception to birth) is a human being with the same right to life as you and I. As far as I can tell, there are only two possible explanations for this: 1) KF, WM and others really don’t believe that an early stage fetus is deserving of the same right to life that you and I enjoy, or; 2) they do not feel that pregnant women are intellectually or emotionally capable of discerning right from wrong. I honestly hope that it is the former.

  185. 185
    Armand Jacks says:

    JaD:

    Armand Jacks opinion is not at argument.

    Then you haven’t read my other comments where I explain the rationale that forms the foundation of my opinion.

    If all we have in the moral realm are subjective opinions then there is no possibility of finding moral truth or even any kind of common ground.

    You are half right. We can’t find moral truth. But we can certainly find common ground.

    It that’s true the very idea of universal human rights completely collapses.

    Correct. But that doesn’t have to stop us from developing consensus on human rights that all countries must abide by or suffer the consequences. Just like we do now.

    Already in the U.S. there are numerous example of fundamental human rights being undermined or abridged for the sake of new made-up rights. For example, florists, bakers and photographers being fined for not participating in a same sex wedding.

    These laws were enacted because businesses were using religious freedom as an excuse to refuse service to different races, inter-racial couples, etc. Sorry, I have no sympathy for these knuckle-draggers.

    Same-sex marriage” is an idea that has been arbitrarily made up whole cloth by the secular progressive left in that last 50 years. It has absolutely no basis in history, tradition or biology– neither two men nor two women cannot make a baby. However, it is a way for the secular progressive left to carry out its anti-religious agenda. After all where do most people get married? In churches, don’t they?

    Are churches being forced to conduct same sex marriages? If you live in a country with separation of church and state (eg., US and Canada) the church is entitled to maintain its intolerant traditions within the walls of its churches. Is anyone forcing you to marry a man?

    As for abortion, in the 1970’s legislation in the U.S. was passed that protected the conscience of pro-life doctors (they could not be coerced into performing abortions.) That may be changing.

    Sorry, but I am pretty sure that my orthopaedic surgeon will not be forced to perform abortions. Any doctor not trained and qualified to perform them will not be forced to perform them. All that is being required is that the doctor refer the patient to someone else.

    AJ’s opinion is nothing more than an irrational rationalization by an irrational “rationalist.”

    Except for the fact that I have laid out my logic and reasoning for my opinion and aside from one or two people here, nobody has made an attempt to address my arguments with compelling counter arguments.

  186. 186
    Phinehas says:

    AJ:

    Phin: What is it that is perceiving this pain? A human life? Or something else?

    AJ: Human life.

    Uh-oh.

    Well, that would mean that, in the case of an abortion after the first trimester, a human life is being killed, wouldn’t it? Deliberately killed, right?

    AJ: Is the woman not the one making the decision? If I hire someone to kill someone, I am charged with first degree murder.

    You really, really want to charge women with first degree murder, don’t you? But why, oh why, Armand Jacks, are you not doing even more to prevent the holocaust of abortions performed after the first trimester?

    PS: To be fair, rvb8 did warn you.

  187. 187
    Armand Jacks says:

    Phinehas:

    Well, that would mean that, in the case of an abortion after the first trimester, a human life is being killed, wouldn’t it? Deliberately killed, right?

    And during the first trimester, according to KF and WM.

    You really, really want to charge women with first degree murder, don’t you?

    Not at all. I am in favour of abortion on demand in the first trimester, and only if the woman’s health is seriously at risk after that. I though I was clear on this.

    But why, oh why, Armand Jacks, are you not doing even more to prevent the holocaust of abortions performed after the first trimester?

    Because it is not a holocaust. The vast majority of abortions now occur in the first trimester. In Canada, there is no legal restriction on abortion at any stage. Yet later stage abortions are limited to situations where the woman’s health is at serious risk. In short, it is self policed.

  188. 188
    Phinehas says:

    AJ:

    And during the first trimester, according to KF and WM.

    But we’re only talking about you and your beliefs. There’s no need to deflect.

    Because it is not a holocaust. The vast majority of abortions now occur in the first trimester.

    But we are not talking about the vast majority of abortions that occur in the first trimester. Only those murders that occur in the second and third trimesters. For these, will you be advocating for the death penalty? Will you support rounding up women retroactively and charging them?

    Because it is not a holocaust.

    Well, I’m not sure what constitutes a holocaust, but I would think just the 140,000 second and third trimester abortions performed in a single year in the US ought to qualify. That’s nearly ten times the number of other murders nationwide for most years. Once you start taking past decades into account, surely that number rises to something you would be hard-pressed to deny as a holocaust.

    What are you doing about all these murders, Armand Jacks?

  189. 189
    Phinehas says:

    *crickets*

    The hypocrisy rings through just as clearly with the silence. I won’t belabor the point.

  190. 190
    Armand Jacks says:

    Phinehas:

    But we’re only talking about you and your beliefs.

    No, we are talking about me and my opinions based on the arguments that I have made.

    But we are not talking about the vast majority of abortions that occur in the first trimester. Only those murders that occur in the second and third trimesters. For these, will you be advocating for the death penalty?

    For abortions that are done to save the woman’s life, no. If the woman has an unnecessary abortion after the first trimester, she should be charged with the crime that society deems appropriate. And, if convicted, receive the punishment dictated by the crime. If the fetus is deserving of the same right to life as KF, WM and others claim, the charge would have to be first degree murder and the punishment would be anything between 25 years and death.

    Well, I’m not sure what constitutes a holocaust, but I would think just the 140,000 second and third trimester abortions performed in a single year in the US ought to qualify.

    And how many of these were abortions on demand and how many were the result of a serious risk to the health of the woman?

    What are you doing about all these murders, Armand Jacks?

    I have proposed a detailed approach that has been shown to significantly reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. What have you done other than insist that abortions be made illegal even though that has been shown not to work?

  191. 191
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ you are still failing to face the issue: killing posterity in the womb, typically for reasons that cannot stack up in the face of the issue of life. Commoditising and dehumanising then killing should be ringing loudest warning bells.That it is not is flipping even bigger warning bells. KF

  192. 192
    kairosfocus says:

    Phineas, AJ is trying to desensitise us to the reality of global abortion. 800+ millions killed in the womb since the 1970’s and mounting at a million more per week. The worst holocaust in history. KF

  193. 193
    Phinehas says:

    AJ:

    If the woman has an unnecessary abortion after the first trimester, she should be charged with the crime that society deems appropriate.

    Huh. This is sounding a lot like what everyone else has been saying. Why are you suddenly getting all reasonable when the shoe is on the other foot, AJ?

    If the fetus is deserving of the same right to life as KF, WM and others claim, the charge would have to be first degree murder and the punishment would be anything between 25 years and death.

    Wait a second. This looks like more deflecting instead of sticking with what you believe. You’ve already admitted that the fetus is a human life and that this life is being killed. And you’ve said that abortions where the mother’s life isn’t at risk are a crime. Why would it be a crime if the fetus had no rights? What right does the fetus possess that makes abortion a crime? What kind of crime are we talking about here if not deliberate homicide?

    And how many of these were abortions on demand and how many were the result of a serious risk to the health of the woman?

    Less than 1% of abortions are performed in an attempt to save the mother’s life. The vast majority are performed for other reasons. I find it curious that, on the one hand, you defend abortion because, “The vast majority of abortions now occur in the first trimester,” while on the other, you defend abortion despite the fact that the vast majority of abortions are not about saving the mother’s life. You appear to be able to use the “vast majority” argument or not with a high degree of flexibility.

    Even so, have it your way. Let’s drop that number of murders down to 124,000 in the US annually. Do you think that gives you a lot of traction to continue denying the holocaust? As someone once said, “As far as I can tell, there are only two possible explanations for this.” Since you are very familiar with those two explanations, I won’t repeat them. But I still think hypocrisy has the inside track as a third possible explanation for what we’re seeing from some posters in this thread.

  194. 194
    Armand Jacks says:

    Phinehas:

    Huh. This is sounding a lot like what everyone else has been saying. Why are you suddenly getting all reasonable when the shoe is on the other foot, AJ?

    I have been very consistent on this. If society deems that the fetus has the same right to life as you and I, anyone who kills the fetus should face the same punishment as if that person killed you or I.

    Wait a second. This looks like more deflecting instead of sticking with what you believe.

    The only people deflecting are KF, WM and others who believe that the fetus has the same right to life as you or I, regardless of stage of development. I have always said that this right increases with development.

    You’ve already admitted that the fetus is a human life and that this life is being killed.

    Yes.

    And you’ve said that abortions where the mother’s life isn’t at risk are a crime.

    No. I’ve said that I think that late term abortions where the mother’s life isn’t at risk are a crime.

    Why would it be a crime if the fetus had no rights?

    Where did I say that the fetus had no rights?

    Less than 1% of abortions are performed in an attempt to save the mother’s life.

    And less than 1% are conducted after the first trimester. Could there possibly be a link?

    Even so, have it your way. Let’s drop that number of murders down to 124,000 in the US annually. Do you think that gives you a lot of traction to continue denying the holocaust?

    Are you seriously suggesting that 124,000 second and third trimester abortions are on demand abortions? You should really check your numbers. They are wrong.

  195. 195
    kairosfocus says:

    Phinehas (attn AJ), see how seared — as with a hot iron — and so how soberingly benumbed our consciences have become? How else are we ever so willing to ponder willfully imposed death of the innocent (whom we dehumanise) as a solution to personal, social and economic problems. No wonder Schaeffer and Koop pointed to the three linked issues, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia [and all its even more wicked extensions]. Infanticide is now also an established practice, and so is euthanasia. Something, we once recoiled from in horror when we saw it at work in the hands of the Nazis — we forget that in many cases, it was medical practitioners who championed such so-called solutions in Germany at that time. We have sown the wind and wonder that we are beginning to reap the tornado-force whirlwind. Blood guilt-seared consciences, herein lies one of the reasons for the woeful state of modern discussion of morally freighted issues capable only of moral evidence and warrant. Where, we are morally governed creatures under the law of our manifest nature that in the first instance is perpetually brought to our attention by conscience, when such is sound. Diagnosis: unsound consciences. Prognosis: if unchecked, march of folly (even, iniquitous folly) to ruin. As Plato’s Socrates warned in his parable of the mutinous ship of state, and as the equivalent of those ill-advised sailors today would have us forget. KF

    PS: The ever wise Simon Greenleaf:

    Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [–> Greenleaf wrote almost 100 years before Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction. [–> that is, his focus is on the logic of good support for in principle uncertain conclusions, i.e. in the modern sense, inductive logic and reasoning in real world, momentous contexts with potentially serious consequences.]

    Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd. [–> the issue of warrant to moral certainty, beyond reasonable doubt; and the contrasted absurdity of selective hyperskepticism.]

    The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them. [–> moral certainty standard, and this is for the proverbial man in the Clapham bus stop, not some clever determined advocate or skeptic motivated not to see or assent to what is warranted.]

    The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to be proved. [–> pistis enters; we might as well learn the underlying classical Greek word that addresses the three levers of persuasion, pathos- ethos- logos and its extension to address worldview level warranted faith-commitment and confident trust on good grounding, through the impact of the Judaeo-Christian tradition in C1 as was energised by the 500 key witnesses.]

    By competent evidence, is meant that which the very-nature of the thing to be proved requires, as the fit and appropriate proof in the particular case, such as the production of a writing, where its contents are the subject of inquiry. By satisfactory evidence, which is sometimes called sufficient evidence, is intended that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind [–> in British usage, the man in the Clapham bus stop], beyond reasonable doubt.

    The circumstances which will amount to this degree of proof can never be previously defined; the only legal [–> and responsible] test of which they are susceptible, is their sufficiency to satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man; and so to convince him, that he would venture to act upon that conviction, in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own interest. [= definition of moral certainty as a balanced unprejudiced judgement beyond reasonable, responsible doubt. Obviously, i/l/o wider concerns, while scientific facts as actually observed may meet this standard, scientific explanatory frameworks such as hypotheses, models, laws and theories cannot as they are necessarily provisional and in many cases have had to be materially modified, substantially re-interpreted to the point of implied modification, or outright replaced; so a modicum of prudent caution is warranted in such contexts — explanatory frameworks are empirically reliable so far on various tests, not utterly certain. ] [A Treatise on Evidence, Vol I, 11th edn. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1888) ch 1., sections 1 and 2. Shorter paragraphs added. (NB: Greenleaf was a founder of the modern Harvard Law School and is regarded as a founding father of the modern Anglophone school of thought on evidence, in large part on the strength of this classic work.)]

    A word to the wise . . .

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Let me again refresh our memories, as 143 was long since buried in the comment chain:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State[ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable, and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  197. 197
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    Phinehas (attn AJ), see how seared — as with a hot iron — and so how soberingly benumbed our consciences have become? How else are we ever so willing to ponder willfully imposed death of the innocent (whom we dehumanise) as a solution to personal, social and economic problems.

    Yet you are not prepared to punish the people responsible for murdering these 800+ million and counting.

  198. 198
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF

    We now have three choices: infinite regress of argument [dynamically impossible and logically absurd], a question-begging circularity where some P leads to Q and Q back to P [grand question-begging], or else we stop at a set of first plausibles, F, defining our faith point that can hold its own on comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power.

    We? No, as a foundationalist, you have three choices. The need to choose from one of those three, and only those three, is a philosophical position. Your failure to acknowledge this is my point.

    The need for a world root is established, save to those who choose to be hyperskeptically dismissive.

    Hyperskeptical? Again, why do you assume I think I am a skeptic, in that there can no knowledge? Oh, that’s right. You’re projectingting your foundationalism on me. The lack of a foundation for knowledge is a problem for you, not me. You’re the one stuck with those three options.

    Again, what I’m suggesting is that we conjecture solutions to moral problems, then criticize them. Moral knowledge is objective, we just do not have access to it as a source of knowledge that you’re implying. We end up with approximations of moral truths that get is closer.

    At best, you could say there must be some values or duties an objective source of moral values would impose, but it’s unclear how you know what they would be unless you had a way to infallibly identify and interpret that source. Human reasoning and criticism always comes first. That we supposedly have no other option is not an argument.

    But, by all means. Please provide an explanation as to how that would be possible.

  199. 199
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, again, you refuse to pay attention tot he significance of the example of Wilberforce. You have then set up a strawman trarget to pummel. This shows a failure to address how reforms work. You have also refused, repeatedly, to acknowledge the force of other explanations from all sorts of directions. KF

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    CR,

    Your remarks are again characterised, unfortunately, by failure to engage the actual issues on the table, which leads you to set up and knock over strawman targets.

    For example, you clearly have not addressed the case for moral self-evident truths as plumbline truths that help us frame a coherent and well-grounded moral structure. And because you do that, you end in the morass of subjectivism and/or unfettered relativism which boil down to might and/or manipulation make ‘right’ ‘truth’ etc.

    Amorality opening the door to nihilism, in short.

    Indeed, by implying that our consciences mislead us on our being under moral governance, you inject grand delusion into mindedness, which radically undermines all function of mind through responsible, rational freedom.

    I again draw your attention to MY1, a SET of moral character that opens up the world of discussion of moral government among humans, a yardstick test case that I have linked for you but which you have so far not seriously and cogently engaged:

    it is self-evidently wrong, bad and evil to kidnap, torture, sexually violate and murder a young child (and to further focus, consider the case where this is for the sick pleasure of the monster in question — as it was, real world . . . sadly, this is not a hypothetical example). Likewise, by corollary: if we come across such a case in progress, it is our duty to try to intervene to save the child from such a monster.

    Such a child has no strength, skill, eloquence of capability to fight off or plead with such a monster. Are we left to I can get away with it?

    Think again on where this points, including the US DoI of 1776 in its context.

    As for picking on a term, “foundationalism,” and pretending that by attacking it you can shift burden of proof to such and then pose on whatever you prefer, you greatly err.

    I again point you to the principle that there are self-evident truths that serve as plumblines, as a first note, starting with the triple first principles of right reason tied to there being distinct identity. Try to reason and communicate without relying implicitly on distinct identity, for instance even something as simple as the distinct identity of the elements in the strings of characters you must use to communicate here.

    Going up a notch, consider some claim we may label A.

    Why accept it? Because of B, some further claim, some observation etc, which sufficiently supports it on some criterion. But why accept B, in turn? C, D . . .

    Beyond this point it is not up to your rhetoric, but the force of the logic of chains of warrant involved that we face three options: [a] infinite regress of steps of warrant (impossible to traverse), [b] question-begging circularity at some level, [c] a finitely remote point of first plausibles, F for convenience, which is sustained on comparative difficulties across competing possibilities and embeds SET’s as plumbline criteria of test. Such first plausibles are not further proved, they are where proving starts from. And yes, it is a faith-point. All men live by faith, the issue is in what, why, and how justifiably so: responsible, reasonable faith that both reckons with the possibility of error and accepts that some things are indeed self-evident and serve as yardsticks to help us address the rest of the system. So, for example relying on coherence and critique in turn rests on implicit belief in the issue of coherence as a criterion of truth in a system as no two truths x and y can successfully describe reality accurately if y is the denial of x. Coherence is a facet of the first principles of right reason rooted in distinct identity.

    And as for Neurath’s Raft that is always under repair, standing on some part while adjusting another and then repeating the favour for where we once stood, the implications are obvious after a moment’s thought. The raft must be dynamically and logically coherent [which relies on the first principles of right reason as a basis], and it rests on a sea (the implicit, slipped in by the back-door foundation point in such a scheme), and also the principles of flotation. Which last applies even if we were to speak of a rocket hurtling through space, there is an implicit or explicit foundation of coherence with laws of the relevant nature at work, mechanical or moral etc.

    We all have faith points that are of foundational character, whether or not we like it. And that is where comparative difficulties across factual adequacy [including relevant SETs], coherence and balanced explanatory power come to bear. That is our real challenge, to use comparative difficulties to avert falling into question-begging imposition of arbitrary unaccountable principles that are either poofed up from nothing but our wishes or are in the question-begging situation of P depending on Q and Q on P.

    The need for a world-root rests, in turn on an analysis of being, which you have again not seriously addressed.

    I again link here on for a 101.

    One that starts with SETs and goes on to deal with being and roots of reality, also with grounding morality.

    KF

  201. 201
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF

    For example, you clearly have not addressed the case for moral self-evident truths as plumbline truths that help us frame a coherent and well-grounded moral structure.

    I haven’t? Why don’t you start out by explaining how do you determine which truths are self-evident, and which are not? Please be specific.

  202. 202
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, there we go again, unfortunately; you too often have acted as though evidence and argument in front of you or just a click away is not there. In 200 — having given up that you will do the courtesy of clicking on links, I cited a specific moral SET as Yardstick truth 1. Where, I have long since discussed, echoing many others, that SET’s [a] accurately describe the world (= are true), and [b] are seen as necessarily true by those who by experience of the world understand them, [c] that necessity of truth being on pain of immediate, patent absurdity on the attempted denial. (In this way SET’s differ from analytic truths that may require arduous demonstration.] The first principles of right reason are tied to distinct identity and to try to deny them you have to imply acceptance of such distinct identity: undeniably true. That error exists is likewise, where to try to deny it instantly demonstrates its truth. In the moral sphere, MY1 challenges us to deny it without revealing ourselves to be monstrous nihilists and enablers. Indeed, so strong is this that in the years of discussing it, I found that the usual attempt to blunt its force was by deflection and distraction. I dare you to openly deny that it is manifestly and monstrously evil and wrong to kidnap, sexually torture and murder a young child for one’s sickening pleasure, or that if we encountered such in action, we have a manifest duty to try to rescue or get help to try to stop the monster. The point being, here is a demonstration of a class of truths denied, suppressed, dismissed, and yet there it stands. KF

  203. 203
    critical rationalist says:

    And I’ve said that what you call self-evident truths are ideas that we currently have no good criticism of and play an important role in many of our current, best explanations.

    Are you saying that explanation is somehow incompatible? If so, why?

    For example, do what you call self-evident truths not play important, extremely hard to vary roles in a great many of our current, best explainations? Do we not lack good criticisms of them?

    In fact, the very process by which you would distinguish which “truths” are supposedly immune from criticism, in relation to all other candidates, would be to, well, try to criticize them. Right? Furthermore, are you suggesting that pointing out how an idea plays an important role in many of our current, best theories is not a criticism of the idea that they are mistaken?

    Even then, I’ve pointed out criticisms of the supposed use of a law of identity in regards to the new riddle of induction.

    IOW, it’s unclear how the explanation of the growth of knowege by variation controlled by criticism, absent of a foundation, is not compatable with what you call self-evident truths or the fundamental role they play in our current, best explanations.

  204. 204
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    AJ, again, you refuse to pay attention tot he significance of the example of Wilberforce.

    KF, your repeated and intentional misrepresentation of what I have said, rather than addressing the content of my comments, is there for all to see.

    I have addressed the Wilberforce issue on numerous occasions. He was a factor in the ending of institutionalize slavery. One of many. But the death blow of slavery was the result of the bloodiest period in US history.

    You have then set up a strawman trarget to pummel.

    Calling everything that you can’t rationally argue against a strawman is a childish tactic akin to putting your hands over your ears and yelling “I CANT HEAR YOU”. Why don’t you make an attempt to actually answer my question. If a fetus has the same right to life as you and I, why don’t you think that someone who plans to kill this person and carries through with that plan, should not be charged with first degree murder?

    You have also refused, repeatedly, to acknowledge the force of other explanations from all sorts of directions. KF

    This is an outright lie. I have acknowledged the explanations and explained their weaknesses.

  205. 205
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, you have set up and knocked over a strawman caricature of what a self-evident truth is. Start with: distinct identity is a SET, that to object to requires you to use language and symbols that are based on said distinct identity. You just wrote a text in English, using ASCII code or the like, all of which critically relies on distinct identity, the start-point and pivot of the first principles of right reason. To toss in disputes over induction, you did more of the same: this illustrates how you are sawing away at the branch on which we all must sit. And of course, Moral Yardstick 1 appears nowhere in your remarks. KF

  206. 206
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, I stand by the accuracy of my summary of what has happened across what, several threads now. Your behaviour at this point is a clear instance of projective turnabout accusation that might confuse the naive or superficial onlooker but only succeeds in the end in showing that something is deeply wrong with your response to the 800+ million unborn children killed since the 1970’s and mounting up now at a million more per week. I and others have shown why the path of reformation pioneered by Wilberforce is the sound one to take in response; at each stage you and others have tried to deflect, distort, dismiss. Not even pointing out that the slave trade had a holocaust-level death toll that makes the parallel, why didn’t Wilberforce hire a privateer fleet, and how did the Royal Navy shift from opposing W as undermining recruitment to spending a century in anti slave trade patrols highly relevant got through to you. Further enabling behaviour for the worst holocaust in history on your part simply inadvertently underscores the way mass guilt of blood has warped consciences, minds, professions, institutions, governance and our civilisation at large. The bitter fruit of the so-called sexual revolution are here all too evident and manifest. Good day, KF

  207. 207
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF.

    Start with: distinct identity is a SET, that to object to requires you to use language and symbols that are based on said distinct identity. You just wrote a text in English, using ASCII code or the like, all of which critically relies on distinct identity, the start-point and pivot of the first principles of right reason.

    Still not incompatible, as identity plays a fundamental, hard to vary role in all of our current, best explanations. Yet it is still not immune to criticism.

    Again, the very process by which you picked identity from all other possible candidates is that you tried to criticize it and came back with none. So, you’re a fallibilist, even though you don’t realize it. IOW, being immune to criticism and currently having no good criticism is not the same thing.

    In respect to the law of identity via induction, from an earlier comment…

    If we define “grue” as being green until the year 2100, at which time it become blue, observations support emeralds being both green and grue according to all possible tests we can possibly apply. There is no way to distingue between them. Rather identify in the case of emeralds is based on explanations and theories, such as optics, etc. So, we’re back to conjectural knowledge.

    So, I’ll ask again: how is variation and criticism, in the absence of a foundation, incompatible with what you call self-evident truths?

  208. 208
    Phinehas says:

    AJ:

    Phin: Why would it be a crime if the fetus had no rights?

    AJ: Where did I say that the fetus had no rights?

    Great! So we agree that abortions after the first trimester are a crime and that the fetus has rights.

    But then you stopped answering the questions right where it got interesting. Why?

    Phin: What right does the fetus possess that makes abortion a crime? What kind of crime are we talking about here if not deliberate homicide?

    Care to answer?

  209. 209
    Phinehas says:

    KF:

    Phinehas (attn AJ), see how seared — as with a hot iron — and so how soberingly benumbed our consciences have become? How else are we ever so willing to ponder willfully imposed death of the innocent (whom we dehumanise) as a solution to personal, social and economic problems.

    Indeed. We are willing to ponder it for one reason only: We want sex to somehow be freed from the responsibility of parenthood. But instead of the kind of freedom bought through self-sacrifice that we enjoy in our everyday lives, we look to purchase this sexual freedom through the blood of innocents.

    God have mercy on us all.

  210. 210
    Phinehas says:

    AJ:

    Phin: Less than 1% of abortions are performed in an attempt to save the mother’s life.

    AJ: And less than 1% are conducted after the first trimester. Could there possibly be a link?

    Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that your numbers are close to being correct. Since we are talking about possible homicides, shouldn’t we be working hard to know whether there is a link or what exactly it is? Where the numbers don’t line up, we should be charging women with murder, right?

  211. 211
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, I did not arbitrarily pick distinct identity from a field of candidates. The point is this is tied to a triple cluster self evident truth and grounds both communication and reasoning. Long ago now St Paul pointed out that even a bugle has to give distinct sounds so soldiers can be ready for battle. But then, in our time, we have not been taught the significance of SETs, and may even have been taught to despise and dismiss them; e.g. the oh quantum objection that fails to reckon with how the objectors and the developers of the quantum theory had to implicitly rely on distinct identity starting with the proverbial scratch-marks on chalk boards; cf. here in the UD WACs. More sawing off of branches on which we must all sit. KF

  212. 212
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF,

    [CR], I did not arbitrarily pick distinct identity from a field of candidates. The point is this is tied to a triple cluster self evident truth and grounds both communication and reasoning.

    Actually, I said deciding that some ideas are immune from criticism, while others are not, is arbitrary. This is implied in the dichotomy of basic (self evident) beliefs that can play the role of a foundation for non-basic beliefs. However, it’s not arbitrary if we tentatively adopt hard to vary explanations that we currently have no good criticism of.

    Specifically, when I suggested that all ideas are subject to criticism, why did you selected identity as an example of a supposedly self-evident truth, as opposed to other possible candidates? It was an idea you tried to criticize, but came back with none. If it was immune to criticism, you would have no reason to have selected it as an example as opposed to other ideas. The fact that identity is a useful idea that plays a hard to vary role in all of our current, best explanations, including communication, is a criticism to the idea that the idea of identity is itself wrong. IOW, this is just more criticism.

    Again, not having a good criticism of an idea not the same as assuming it is immune to criticism, which is what is necessary to be a foundation of knowledge that plays a unilateral role.

    But then, in our time, we have not been taught the significance of SETs, and may even have been taught to despise and dismiss them; e.g. the oh quantum objection that fails to reckon with how the objectors and the developers of the quantum theory had to implicitly rely on distinct identity starting with the proverbial scratch-marks on chalk boards; cf. here in the UD WACs. More sawing off of branches on which we must all sit. KF

    Pointing out there are other epistemologies that lack the problems of foundationalism is the opposite of being ignorant or dogmatically predisposed to rejecting it. Nor do I think they are unimportant.

    IOW, I’m still waiting for you to show how variation and criticism, without a foundation, is incompatible with what you call self-evident truths. It’s not that I think they are unimportant, but since they are not actually immune to criticism, they cannot be a foundation in the sense that you are implying.

  213. 213
    critical rationalist says:

    Again, even if we assume we are somehow “under moral governance”, for the sake of argument, it’s unclear how this helps you in practice. When actually faced with a concrete moral problem, how have identified what part of your conscious is from this moral governance? How do you know you have interpreted it correctly in your current situation? You use human reasoning and criticism, that’s how. It always comes first.

    The parable of the ship pilot is an argument for why the philosopher-king should rule. I’m suggesting that’s the wrong question. All of our ideas start out containing errors because they start out as guesses. So, we should setup institutions that make it easy to remove bad ideas without violence. The argument that things will always become corrupt is based on the idea that we started out with some perfect knowledge in the first place. We never truly discover knowledge, we just “remember it”, because it was always there in some perfect form in the first place. That’s a philosophical view of knowledge, including moral knowledge. And that ignores the problem of having to identify and interpret knowledge. Even if you could somehow identify it was God that spoke to you, you’d need to figure out what he meant by that in the context of your specific moral problem. Directly revealing the truth into your brain using divine means leads to the the question of distinguishing what God divinely revealed from your own ideas. Nothing in your experience of that tells you which is which. Many people disagree about what God supposedly reveals to them in ways that are mutually exclusive, so some of them are mistaken.

    The problem of society becoming corrupt when it wasn’t before assumes that morality started out in some perfect state from which can only degrade. I’m suggesting that’s immoral because it implies that original state cannot be improved upon. It denies our ability to correct errors and make progress. From this principle of criticism, we can get to approximations of moral truth, such as the immorality of slavery, torturing children, etc.

    Note, I’m not saying we do not face a problem. Problems are inevitable, but solvable. Holding morality hostage is not the solution. From the podcast I referenced earlier…

    Well, I see human history as a long period of complete failure—failure, that is, to make any progress. Now, our species has existed for (depending on where you count it from) maybe 50,000 years, maybe 100,000 to 200,000 years. But anyway, the vast majority of that time, people were alive, they were thinking, they were suffering, they wanted things. But nothing ever improved. The improvements that did happen happened so slowly that geologists can’t distinguish the difference between artifacts from one era to another with a resolution of 10,000 years. So from the point of view of a human lifetime, nothing ever improved, with generation upon generation upon generation of suffering and stasis.

    Then there was slow improvement, and then more-rapid improvement. Then there were several attempts to institutionalize a tradition of criticism, which I think is the key to rapid progress in the sense that we think of it: progress discernible on the timescale of a human lifetime, and also error correction so that regression is less likely. That happened several times and failed every time except once—in the European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries.

    So you ask what worries me. What worries me is that the inheritors of that little bit of solitary progress are only a small proportion of the population of the world today.

    It’s the culture or civilization that we call the West. Only the West really has a tradition of criticism, a bit institutionalized. And this has manifested itself in various problems, including the problem of failed cultures that see their failure writ large by comparison with the West, and therefore want to do something about this that doesn’t involve creativity. That is very, very dangerous. Then there’s the fact that in the West, what it takes to maintain our civilization is not widely known.

    In fact, as you’ve also said, the prevailing view among people in the West, including very educated people, is a picture of the relationship between knowledge, and progress, and civilization, and values that’s just wrong in so many different ways. So although the institutions of our culture are so amazingly good that they have been able to manage stability in the face of rapid change for hundreds of years, the knowledge of what it takes to keep civilization stable in the face of rapidly increasing knowledge is not very widespread.

    In fact, severe misconceptions about several aspects of it are common among political leaders, educated people, and society at large. We’re like people on a huge, well-designed submarine, which has all sorts of lifesaving devices built in, who don’t know they’re in a submarine. They think they’re in a motorboat, and they’re going to open all the hatches because they want to have a nicer view.

  214. 214
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, before saying anything else, I must note that just to post a comment here you implicitly relied on distinct identity, in order to communicate. Which should give you a clue. I must also note that your pretence in another thread that your above remarks tacked on to a faded thread were somehow willfully ignored, in order to pile on to a false accusation, does not speak well of your standards. G’day. KF

  215. 215
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    I must also note that your pretence in another thread that your above remarks tacked on to a faded thread were somehow willfully ignored, in order to pile on to a false accusation, does not speak well of your standards. G’day. KF

    The fact that you continue to spread the falsehood that I made a false accusation certainly does not speak well of your standards. AJ

    Most people do not take kindly to being falsely accused of lying. Why do you think that it is OK for you to do so? Are you somehow special?

    Again, please point to the comment where you answered my question. If you can not, please apologize for falsely accusing me of lying. To remind you of my question, I will repeat it again:

    Assuming that a world-root IS does not exist to ground OUGHT, what do you think the resulting world would look like?)

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    AJ, your regrettable trollishness is on display for all to see; now spinning out in cross-threaded complaints that I happened to pick up in this dead thread as I had left a tab open; note above how CR commented twice THREE DAYS after the last comment, i.e. this thread had faded. He then misrepresented it in the thread I am about to link as a piling on on how I don’t answer questions. That in a thread where that was your talking point when in fact answers were there from the OP on. Also, earlier you tried much the same in this very thread and another one, in which despite answers to your questions that turned on the historical example set by Wilberforce, you pretended and proclaimed that your questions were not answered. I trust you have taken time to now notice what happened when someone imagined that a world of relativist indoctrination fulfills the demand you made for providing a world in which there is no grounding for OUGHT. As a clue, one form of Kant’s Categorical Imperative is that evils cannot be universalised, that is the attempt will end in incoherence, chaos or outright impossibility. From the ground up a possible world will need to be coherent, and a world that has genuinely rational creatures in it will have to address the need for genuine, responsible, morally governed freedom and computational substrates cannot effectively substitute. A robot world or even a computational simulation thereof, will need to be in detail, complex, coherent and functionally integrated, thus fine tuned and chock-full of your un-favourite: FSCO/I, pointing to a need for intelligently directed configuration. Designs like that come from sophisticated, highly logical and rational designers. where such rationality requires responsible freedom for it to be effective. It is not for nothing that in the OP you have largely ignored and trollishly distracted attention from, I pointed to the issue of necessary being founder of a world, and to the only serious candidate after centuries of debates. FYFI, a NB is going to be required in any possible world as it is a requisite of its framework. Stated for corrective record, not to feed trollishness. KF

  217. 217
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    That in a thread where that was your talking point when in fact answers were there from the OP on.

    Repeating this obvious fabrication does nothing more than reinforce the fact of your dishonesty. Your OP and subsequent comments did not come close to answering my question. All you did was repeat your same tired talking points about a world-root IS that grounds OUGHT and that your personal flavour of god is that necessary being. I asked you to describe the type of world that would exist if there was no world-root IS. Such a world is possible and not incoherent. It may be one that we would not recognize, but it it is possible.

    When I asked you to answer it, you repeatedly spewed the same lie about already answering it, and then claimed that I was making false accusations against you. A claim that is patently false and without warrant.

    Also, earlier you tried much the same in this very thread and another one, in which despite answers to your questions that turned on the historical example set by Wilberforce, you pretended and proclaimed that your questions were not answered.

    Again, you continue to make false accusations. This is becoming quite the habit with you. That discussion centred around the inconsistency between your belief that an early stage fetus has the same right to life as you and I, and your opposition to charging women who have abortions after it is made illegal with murder. You kept bringing up Wilberforce and his preference not to retroactively charge slavers. But this analogy is not relevant to the abortion issue, as I repeatedly pointed out. Although Wilberforce was opposed to retroactively opposed charging slavers, this immunity did not apply to slavers caught after the anti-slavery act was passed. But rather than acknowledge the irrelevance of the Wilberforce analogous to the charging of women who have abortions with murder, you double and tripled down and amped up your use of false accusations against me, as you have repeated again here.

    I still welcome you to answer any of these questions. Or simply admit that you have no intention of answering them. Either option has the benefit of displaying a level of honesty that has been sorely lacking from you of late. Alternately, you could continue to spew false accusations and hurt your reputation as an honest man even further.

    That hole you have dug yourself must be very deep by now. But look on the bright side. Your upper body strength must be significantly increasing with having to throw that dirt higher and higher.

  218. 218
    kairosfocus says:

    CR,

    Today being Saturday, and with the linked political crises here, in the UK and St Helena being on hold for the moment until a trigger event anticipated early next week (if we are lucky . . . ), I have time to do a point by point dissection (not just a response to key-seeming highlights that strike my eye for what seems pivotal) under the spirit of the theme of this thread:

    >>>>>>>>>>

    >> [[KF–> } CR], I did not arbitrarily pick distinct identity from a field of candidates. The point is this is tied to a triple cluster self evident truth and grounds both communication and reasoning.

    Actually, I said deciding that some ideas are immune from criticism, while others are not, is arbitrary.>>

    1 –> Just to comment you are forced to rely on the distinct identity of symbols in character-strings, illustrating how the self-evidence of the triple-consequences arises: LOI, LNC, LEM.

    2 –> And FYI, self-evident truths, precisely, are not ARBITRARY and picked as immune from criticism in an arbitrary fashion. They are truths that once we have the experience to understand will be seen as so, as necessarily so and this on pain of patent absurdity on attempted denial. They are not proved, they are the plumbline tests that proofs insofar as we can construct, must start from.

    3 –> However, this reality clearly cuts so cleanly across your ideological scheme that you keep constructing a strawman caricature, as I objected to.

    4 –> It is also evident that you have never seriously reflected on the triple first principles of right reason. As an aspect, let me introduce you to someone who has, St Paul — and yes this is from the just linked longstanding discussion you have often been pointed to:

    [KF in NCST, U2:] . . . though it is quite unfashionable to seriously say such nowadays (an indictment of our times . . .), to try to deny the classic three basic principles of right reason — the law of identity, that of non-contradiction, and that of the excluded middle — inevitably ends up in absurdity.

    Why is that?

    Simple: to think at all, we must be able to distinguish things (or else all would be confusion and chaos), and these laws immediately follow from that first act of thought.

    A builder’s plumb-line allows him to test whether a wall
    is true (straight) and plumb (accurately vertical).
    Cf. Amos 7:7 – 9 for a prophetic rebuke and warning.
    The apostle Paul, in dealing with a church discipline problem in Corinth, by way of illustration, gives some profound insights on just how important distinction and clear identity in the midst of diversity are for understanding, reflecting on and communicationg about our common world.

    We can term this the plumb-line principle, the one we use to test the quality of our work, even as a plumb-line tests the quality of a wall.

    It will help us to bear Paul’s thoughts in mind as we proceed:

    1 Cor 14:7 If even inanimate musical instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone [listening] know or understand what is played? 8 And if the war bugle gives an uncertain (indistinct) call, who will prepare for battle?

    9 Just so it is with you; if you in the [unknown] tongue speak words that are not intelligible, how will anyone understand what you are saying? For you will be talking into empty space!

    10 There are, I suppose, all these many [to us unknown] tongues in the world [somewhere], and none is destitute of [its own power of] expression and meaning. 11 But if I do not know the force and significance of the speech (language), I shall seem to be a foreigner to the one who speaks [to me], and the speaker who addresses [me] will seem a foreigner to me. [AMP]

    Here, we are very close to seeing how the power of self-aware, self-moved mind, language and distinct related symbols and signals that can be communicated from one party to another, work together to enable rational thought and intelligible communication and mutual understanding.

    All of which crucially rests on the concept of distinct things with particular, distinct identities.

    So, now, a diagram showing the world split into two distinct labelled parts, A and NOT-A . . . or we could symbolise

    { A | NOT-A }

    . . . will help us see how naturally this happens once we can recognise some distinct entity A:

    [DIAG, World, W = {A | ~A }, A some distinct thing]

    If at a given moment we distinctly recognise, identify and label some thing, A — say, a bright red ball on a table — we mark a mental border-line and also necessarily identify NOT-A as “the rest of the World.” We thus have a definite separation of the World into two parts, and it immediately and undeniably holds from such a world partition that:

    (a) the part labelled A will be A (symbolically,

    [A => A] = 1),

    (b) A will not be the same as NOT-A

    ( [A AND NOT-A] = 0); and

    (c) there is no third option to being A or NOT-A

    ( [A OR NOT-A] = 1).

    Or, to be clearer about the significance of the dichotomy in World, W = { A | NOT-A }, let’s instead explicitly use the Exclusive OR, AUT not VEL:

    [A Ex-OR NOT-A] = 1.

    That is A, or not A but not a third option such as A AND NOT-A, and no fourth such as neither A nor NOT-A.

    So, we see how naturally the laws of (a) identity, (b) non-contradiction (or, non-confusion!), and (c) the excluded middle swing into action.

    This naturalness also extends to the world of statements that assert that something is true or false . . . .

    So, we can state the laws in more or less traditional terms, regarding distinct things — objects, phenomena, states of affairs and the like:

    [a’] A distinct thing, A, is what it is (the law of identity);

    [b’] A distinct thing, A, cannot at once be and not-be (the law of non-contradiction);

    [c’] A distinct thing, A, is or it is not, but not both or neither (the law of the excluded middle) . . . .

    UD blog contributor Stephen B sometimes gives an apt, three perspective summary of the pivotal law of non-contradiction, e.g. here:

    [If] an object has an essence or a nature, we do, in fact, know what it is by virtue of having abstracted its universal “whatness” from the particular we encounter through our senses.

    In other words, the law of non-contradiction is true

    – ontologically–a thing is what it is and cannot also be something else at the same time and in the same way.

    – logically–a proposition about that thing cannot be true and false at the same time and in the same way.

    – psychologically–a proposition about that thing cannot seem to be true and false at the same time and in the same way.

    5 –> To suggest this is arbitrary while using distinct symbols in S-T-R-I-N-G-S to try to communicate is outright patently absurd.

    6 –> To see this, just try to communicate your claims without using anything that holds a distinct identity. You cannot, your whole argument has collapsed at the outset. Collapsed into absurdity.

    >>. . . I said deciding that some ideas are immune from criticism, while others are not, is arbitrary

    This is implied in the dichotomy of basic (self evident) beliefs that can play the role of a foundation for non-basic beliefs.>>

    7 –> No such implication (a logical operation crucially dependent on distinct identity) obtains.

    8 –> What has again been demonstrated is that there are natural truths that are self-evident and as a result foundational.

    9 –> Your problem is, due to ideological hostility you will not acknowledge such.

    >> However, it’s not arbitrary if we tentatively adopt hard to vary explanations that we currently have no good criticism of.>>

    10 –> Kindly, try to tentatively use distinct identity to communicate your notions, then on exercise B do the same communication without using this principle. The absurdity leaps out at once.

    >>Specifically, when I suggested that all ideas are subject to criticism,>>

    11 –> Try to criticise an idea without using distinct identity as assumed, accepted, implicitly, unquestioningly true, please: _________ (You cannot, you have just spewed talking points without seriously thinking through the issue, landing you in public absurdity, demonstrating WJM’s point from the OP and the issues in the thread.)

    >> why did you selected identity as an example of a supposedly self-evident truth, as opposed to other possible candidates?>>

    12 –> I made no arbitrary selection, I pointed to a primary principle of coherently accessing and addressing reality. The absurdities compound, as all this time you are using distinct identity in order to try to cast rhetorical doubts about it. Sawing off the branch on which we all must sit.

    >> It was an idea you tried to criticize, but came back with none. If it was immune to criticism, you would have no reason to have selected it as an example as opposed to other ideas.>>

    13 –> More, zip, zip, zip, CRAACK!

    >> The fact that identity is a useful idea that plays a hard to vary role in all of our current, best explanations, including communication, is a criticism to the idea that the idea of identity is itself wrong.>>

    14 –> and all along, zip, zip, zip, CRAACK!

    >> IOW, this is just more criticism.>>

    15 –> again, zip, zip, zip, CRAACK!

    >>Again, not having a good criticism of an idea not the same as assuming it is immune to criticism,>>

    16 –> Drop the strawman, I have nowhere spoken of immunity to criticism, that is projection. I have spoken to self evident truth and have pointed out that trying to deny such lands in patent absurdity, as you are unwittingly illustrating: zip, zip, zip, CRAACK!

    >> which is what is necessary to be a foundation of knowledge that plays a unilateral role.>>

    17 –> This expression seems to be ill-formed, but it uses distinct identity so: zip, zip, zip, CRAACK!

    >> [Citing KF:] But then, in our time, we have not been taught the significance of SETs, and may even have been taught to despise and dismiss them; e.g. the oh quantum objection that fails to reckon with how the objectors and the developers of the quantum theory had to implicitly rely on distinct identity starting with the proverbial scratch-marks on chalk boards; cf. here in the UD WACs. More sawing off of branches on which we must all sit. KF

    [[CR:} Pointing out there are other epistemologies that lack the problems of foundationalism is the opposite of being ignorant or dogmatically predisposed to rejecting it. Nor do I think they are unimportant.>>

    18 –> Here we go again, using distinct identity, an undeniable first and foundational plausible of rational discussion to try to cast it into rhetorical doubt: zip, zip, zip, CRAACK!

    19 –> Did you notice that you have failed to lay out one of your alternatives to the despised foundationalism, so that we may proceed with a clear comparative process using comparative difficulties? Why are you so coy? _______

    20 –> Let’s try by pointing to the issue I have always started from (and which you have never cogently answered), chain of warrant. Let’s see, give a claim A and ask, how do we provide adequate warrant for it. Oh, B, some further claim or claims, observations, inferences etc that ground accepting A as a rational response. But then, why accept B? C, then D etc. So, we face three alternatives:

    1: infinite regress:

    . . . . D > C > B > A

    2: circularity:

    [J –> K AND K –> J} > . . . D > C > B > A

    3: a finitely remote set of first plausibles:

    F > . . . D > C > B > A

    (Where F_k is sustained on comparative difficulties among F_1 to F_n, as a reasonable faith-point.)

    21 –> We cannot traverse an endless span in finite stage steps so 1 is absurd, regardless of what certain advocates have said. The real issue is to avoid question-begging circularity as in 2 [also fallacious] and this leads us to 3, finitely remote first plausibles at worldview level.

    22 –> Such will include not only incorrigible beliefs and perceptions such as being conscious but also self evident plumbline truths and other elements that are postulated as providing coherence and stability per the logic of warrant by inference to the best explanation i/l/o comparative difficulties, that is a worldview is inherently of inductive character.

    23 –> Comparative difficulties tests include factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power (simple but not simplistic nor an ad hoc patchwork.)

    24 –> all of this has been repeatedly laid out and or is available just a link away, starting here on, just it has been studiously ignored and repeatedly replaced with strawman caricatures and the empty use of the in this context straw term, foundationalism.

    >>IOW, I’m still waiting for you to show how variation and criticism, without a foundation, is incompatible with what you call self-evident truths.>>

    25 –> All of this is essentially meaningless, once we see that you have to implicitly rely on distinct identity as an unacknowledged necessary start point, just to say this.

    >> It’s not that I think they are unimportant, but since they are not actually immune to criticism, they cannot be a foundation in the sense that you are implying.>>

    26 –> Oh yes, kindly explain in specific steps why what I have again pointed out fails: __________

    >>Again, even if we assume we are somehow “under moral governance”, for the sake of argument,>>

    27 –> Notice the rhetoric of distancing and denial of the self-evident fact of conscience and its compass-needle function?

    >> it’s unclear how this helps you in practice.>>

    28 –> Let me again cite someone who has actually thought about the matter and made serious observations, St Paul:

    Rom 2: 1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed . . . .

    14 . . . when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . .

    13: 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
    11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. [ESV]

    29 –> When I previously pointed this out to you as reflected in Locke’s citation of Hooker in his 2nd treatise on civil govt ch 2 sec 5, you set up a veritable wall of strawmen and utterly confused the issue. Now, you misrepresent me as not having addressed the matter seriously.

    30 –> In fact, I have actually worked out down to how we get to a responsible democratic order of society, e.g. here, and elsewhere I have used the sustainable development principle, the categorical imperative and the golden rule as a framework that allows formulation of national development policy and good governance policy.

    >> When actually faced with a concrete moral problem, how have identified what part of your conscious is from this moral governance?>>

    31 –> Shifting the subject, but already answered.

    >> How do you know you have interpreted it correctly in your current situation?>>

    32 –> We have long since gone over the issue of warrant in an inductive situation. Perhaps, another person who has thought this through, John Locke in the Intro to his essay on human understanding, sec 5, will help you to see how far you have gone quite far wrong:

    Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 – 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 – 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 – 2 & 13, Ac 17, Jn 3:19 – 21, Eph 4:17 – 24, Isaiah 5:18 & 20 – 21, Jer. 2:13, Titus 2:11 – 14 etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 – 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly. [Text references added to document the sources of Locke’s allusions and citations.]

    33 –> This has of course often been brought to your attention, just willfully ignored.

    >> You use human reasoning and criticism, that’s how. It always comes first.>>

    34 –> That we are rational, responsible creatures able to reason is of course a truth that is either self evident or next to it. Such is now being abused rhetorically to try to pretend that nope, SET’s are not significant.

    >>The parable of the ship pilot is an argument for why the philosopher-king should rule. I’m suggesting that’s the wrong question.>>

    35 –> off on another tangent but let’s respond. In plato’s day, that was the only reasonable sustainable solution, even democracies were actually oligarchies of the most privileged men, the hoplite class responsible not to issue a cheque with their mouths that their spears and swords and ships could not cash. Alcibiades et al manipulated them into just that blunder, leading to the issue, who is fit to lead the state in counsel and in battle.

    36 –> Plato’s answer in that time was first to critique democracy, pointing out the problems it faced and the problems faced in trying to raise up sound leaders — BTW including said Alcibiades who hung around with Socrates and was a friend though a frustrating one.

    37 –> The issue I focussed was of course the dangers of ill informed body politics [the ship owner], manipulated by the selfishly ambitious and dangerously unwise [the mutinous sailors], and denigrating or doing worse to those who would do better. I also backed this up by making reference to a microcosm case, from Acts 27 — I bet you have not spent a good fifteen minutes pondering the issues I raised. If you have kindly give a cogent response: _______

    37 –> What I have further argued is that modern liberty and democracy only became possible when the critical mass of reformation, printing, newspapers and linked ferment over good government came together in a new configuration across the late C17 – C18, and issued in the first modern democracy c 1776 – 1787. Then as that experiment succeeded against all odds over the next 150 or so years, its principles were adopted and adapted elsewhere, first mostly in the English speaking world, then the wider world.

    >> All of our ideas start out containing errors because they start out as guesses.>>

    38 –> Does this claim also contain an error? Remember you have said in effect error is universal, this even undermines ability to correct error, as there is only an empty set there to begin with.

    39 –> this illustrates a real error, an ill-fored assertion.

    >> So, we should setup institutions that make it easy to remove bad ideas without violence.>>

    40 –> This does not depend on the previous, and no one of consequence objects to the need for human institutions to be self-correcting.

    41 –> of course, you face the problem of finding something to serve as plumbline to correct. And if you play the Neurath’s raft game, stand on part A to fix part B then the reverse, that leaves hanging the fact that the raft needs to be coherent dynamically and logically, and also that it rests on the ocean and the principle of flotation, i.e. it simply distracts from the issue of foundational commitments.

    >> The argument that things will always become corrupt is based on the idea that we started out with some perfect knowledge in the first place.>>

    42 –> Strawman. No one has asserted that a cluster of e=self evident truths humans arrive at or recognise is adequate to construct a world or an institution or a system of government etc. Instead things like the first principles of right reason are testing principles, plumbline truths that allow us to recognise and correct errors.

    >> We never truly discover knowledge, we just “remember it”, because it was always there in some perfect form in the first place. That’s a philosophical view of knowledge, including moral knowledge.>>

    43 –> Knowledge is warranted, credibly true belief, it is relative to us as finite, fallible, morally struggling and ill willed. It seems you have conflated three things: reality, truth that accurately describes reality and knowledge which denotes our well warranted credibly true beliefs about truth and reality.

    >> And that ignores the problem of having to identify and interpret knowledge.>>

    44 –> Again a strawman target, no one has implied that we have cornered the market on knowledge or its meanings or its applicability. Have you forgotten that you are disucssing with someone who has argued in the main discussion I use for these worldview matters that the first self evident truth of consequence is that error exists?

    >> Even if you could somehow identify it was God that spoke to you, you’d need to figure out what he meant by that in the context of your specific moral problem.>>

    45 –> it seems that you have confused God’s knowledge and ability to communicate with our struggles to recognise and follow the truth and the right.

    >> Directly revealing the truth into your brain using divine means leads to the the question of distinguishing what God divinely revealed from your own ideas.>>

    46 –> Has anyone argued this, no, this is another strawman set up to be conveniently knocked over.

    >> Nothing in your experience of that tells you which is which.>>

    47 –> Actually, were God to speak audibly to you, you would sense the compass needle pricking, i.e. there is a way God can and does often speak to all of us, conscience. but the problem is we can break or blunt conscience through our deliberate behaviour.

    >> Many people disagree about what God supposedly reveals to them in ways that are mutually exclusive, so some of them are mistaken.>>

    48 –> And it is a first self-evident truth that Error exists. The issue is principles of correction, hence SET’s both general and moral.

    49 –> Moral yardstick 1 as discussed, with all sorts of implications to be drawn out through use of another divine deposit the freedom and responsibility to reason: it is self-evidently evil to kidnap, bind, torture, sexually abuse and murder a young child for sick pleasure.

    50 –> See if you can find a denial of this that is not at once absurd and utterly revealing.

    >>The problem of society becoming corrupt when it wasn’t before assumes that morality started out in some perfect state from which can only degrade.>>

    51 –> More strawman caricatures. Where did you ever see us arguing that human civilisaitons full of us finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill willed people started out in a state of moral perfection?

    52 –> Are you trying to suggest oh there was a garden of Eden and foreparents sinned? that was not a civilisation, and it would if anything illustrate the significance of responsible freedom and consequences of wrong choice. Where those who imagine moral innocence in the account implied ignorance should pause to see that Adam was in a position to do a huge biological job: assign names to the fellow creatures, a task of genius.

    53 –> Where of course, nowhere in the argument until you hinted at it has this sort of thing come up.

    >> I’m suggesting that’s immoral because it implies that original state cannot be improved upon.>>

    54 –> Why was Adam tasked to tend the garden if not to add his own creativity to improve it?

    55 –> In short, more strawmen.

    >> It denies our ability to correct errors and make progress.>>

    56 –> Bait and switch, Adam in original state was not morally struggling etc. by contrast we struggle with being finite, fallible, struggling and ill willed, so as I discussed from the outset the first corrective SET is to recognise that error exists.

    57 –> So again a strawman and it looks like a turnabout projection.

    >> From this principle of criticism, we can get to approximations of moral truth, such as the immorality of slavery, torturing children, etc.>>

    58 –> Kindly explain to me how the evil of kidnapping abusing and murdering a child for pleasure is a mere approximation to truth?

    59 –> Again, sloppy thinking that sets up and knocked over strawman targets.

    >>Note, I’m not saying we do not face a problem. Problems are inevitable, but solvable. Holding morality hostage is not the solution. From the podcast I referenced earlier…>>

    60 –> More strawmen, here also ad hominem abusive, through a false accustion. Where are we hjolding morality hostage to anything? Nowhere. We are pointing out that there are self evident corrective truths including moral ones.

    61 –> Actually this strongly suggests that you do not really believe it is wrong, period, to abuse a child for pleasure like that.

    >> Well, I see human history as a long period of complete failure—failure, that is, to make any progress.>>

    62 –> Ill informed, including on morality.

    >> Now, our species has existed for (depending on where you count it from) maybe 50,000 years, maybe 100,000 to 200,000 years. But anyway, the vast majority of that time, people were alive, they were thinking, they were suffering, they wanted things.>>

    63 –> And whatever time we have lived we have been under the moral test. You are implying that suffering, thought and desire are evils in themselves. Sloppy wording at best.

    >> But nothing ever improved. The improvements that did happen happened so slowly that geologists can’t distinguish the difference between artifacts from one era to another with a resolution of 10,000 years.>>

    64 –> Confused at best.

    >> So from the point of view of a human lifetime, nothing ever improved, with generation upon generation upon generation of suffering and stasis.>>

    65 –> Oh people did not do better across their lifetime. And how did you know this? From whatever material traces you can find and insert into a model dating scheme and model reconstructed community? It seems you have at best conflated progress with material progress.

    >> Then there was slow improvement, and then more-rapid improvement.>>

    66 –> more incoherence.

    >> Then there were several attempts to institutionalize a tradition of criticism, which I think is the key to rapid progress in the sense that we think of it: progress discernible on the timescale of a human lifetime, and also error correction so that regression is less likely.>>

    67 –> Riding a hobby horse without legs, as shown above.

    >> That happened several times and failed every time except once—in the European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries.>>

    68 –> You of course left off the Reformation and the rise of printing starting with that little hated book, the Bible, and many other things.

    >>So you ask what worries me. What worries me is that the inheritors of that little bit of solitary progress are only a small proportion of the population of the world today.>>

    69 –> irrelevancies

    >> It’s the culture or civilization that we call the West. Only the West really has a tradition of criticism, a bit institutionalized.>>

    70 –> neatly silenced by word choice, the West for cause was known to one and all as Christendom in the relevant period.

    >>And this has manifested itself in various problems, including the problem of failed cultures that see their failure writ large by comparison with the West, and therefore want to do something about this that doesn’t involve creativity.>>

    71 –> irrelevancy to the issues at stake.

    >> That is very, very dangerous. Then there’s the fact that in the West, what it takes to maintain our civilization is not widely known.>>

    72 –> Continued irrelvancy

    >> In fact, as you’ve also said, the prevailing view among people in the West, including very educated people, is a picture of the relationship between knowledge, and progress, and civilization, and values that’s just wrong in so many different ways. So although the institutions of our culture are so amazingly good that they have been able to manage stability in the face of rapid change for hundreds of years, the knowledge of what it takes to keep civilization stable in the face of rapidly increasing knowledge is not very widespread.>>

    73 –> True enough but irrelevant to the focal issue.

    >>In fact, severe misconceptions about several aspects of it are common among political leaders, educated people, and society at large. We’re like people on a huge, well-designed submarine, which has all sorts of lifesaving devices built in, who don’t know they’re in a submarine. They think they’re in a motorboat, and they’re going to open all the hatches because they want to have a nicer view.>>

    74 –> True enough but irrelevant to the focal issue.

    >>>>>>>>>>

    See why I only rarely do this sort of point by point response anymore, it takes far to much time and is likely only useful for record. But you will never be able to truthfully say beyond this that I did not respond, step by step, point by point.

    Now, I gotta get up and get to the day, at 10:25 am.

    KF

  219. 219
  220. 220
    kairosfocus says:

    Point by point response to CR uploaded a day ago.

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    Two days and counting.

  222. 222
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    Point by point response to CR uploaded a day ago.

    I hate to break the news to you, but putting a number at the front of each of your sentences doesn’t make it s point by point response to anything. Other than a response to the question of your sanity. It answers that question quite nicely.

  223. 223
    kairosfocus says:

    Re AJ: It is noteworthy that this objector has spoken with dismissive animosity and bigotry — as in if you dare disagree with the party of Darwin etc you must be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked — without cogent response on substance; yet another spin on his pretence that answers are not answers. In reply I point out that to speak as he has plainly consistently done (i.e. with disregard to truth in hope that what he has said or suggested will be taken as true) is to LIE. Further to this, it also seems it has never dawned on this trollish commenter that enumeration of points is a means to enable onward discussion point by point. KF

  224. 224
    timothya says:

    KF:

    “Re AJ: It is noteworthy that this objector has spoken with dismissive animosity and bigotry — as in if you dare disagree with the party of Darwin etc you must be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked — without cogent response on substance; yet another spin on his pretence that answers are not answers. In reply I point out that to speak as he has plainly consistently done (i.e. with disregard to truth in hope that what he has said or suggested will be taken as true) is to LIE. Further to this, it also seems it has never dawned on this trollish commenter that enumeration of points is a means to enable onward discussion point by point. KF”

    Can you point me to any post by Armand Jacks where he/she implies that anyone disagreeing with him/her “must be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked”.

    I can’t find one, but perhaps I missed it.

  225. 225
    kairosfocus says:

    TA, perhaps you have failed to follow his rhetorical pattern across time. And I actually cited Darwin’s Rottweiler on the underlying attitude, not AJ. Do you disown the attitude? If so kindly explain why you repudiate Dawkins et al, and let us know how you have set out to correct this bigotry. if you wish to join a pile on on an accusation that only a qualified practitioner should make, on the strength of my having taken time to answer CR point by point, kindly substantiate how and why exactly the points of response indicate such. Or, for cause I will hold you to have joined in a slander. KF

  226. 226
    timothya says:

    KF:

    “TA, perhaps you have failed to follow his rhetorical pattern across time. And I actually cited Darwin’s Rottweiler on the underlying attitude, not AJ. Do you disown the attitude? If so kindly explain why you repudiate Dawkins et al, and let us know how you have set out to correct this bigotry. if you wish to join a pile on on an accusation that only a qualified practitioner should make, on the strength of my having taken time to answer CR point by point, kindly substantiate how and why exactly the points of response indicate such. Or, for cause I will hold you to have joined in a slander. KF”

    I see. So your complaint is with Richard Dawkins and not with Armand Jacks. Now I understand.

  227. 227
    kairosfocus says:

    Obviously, I am concerned with both and particularly with the specific point of intersection of their remarks, which suggests a common bigoted attitude. Now, your own intervention raises the question of a slanderous pile-on that side tracks a substantial issue; though it may actually be inadvertently illustrative of the theme of the overall thread. And FYI, part of why I took time Saturday morning is that CR tried to pile on in another thread, pointing to his comments above as though they proved evasion of issues on my part. I highlighted there how he posted in a faded thread here and when I had time I answered his arguments above point by point. Now, the issue of substantiation on your part still obtains. KF

  228. 228
    timothya says:

    KF::

    “TA, perhaps you have failed to follow his rhetorical pattern across time. And I actually cited Darwin’s Rottweiler on the underlying attitude, not AJ. Do you disown the attitude? If so kindly explain why you repudiate Dawkins et al, and let us know how you have set out to correct this bigotry. if you wish to join a pile on on an accusation that only a qualified practitioner should make, on the strength of my having taken time to answer CR point by point, kindly substantiate how and why exactly the points of response indicate such. Or, for cause I will hold you to have joined in a slander. KF”

    Jeez mate, I just asked a question. You decided not to answer it. What am I supposed to conclude?

  229. 229
    kairosfocus says:

    TA, I did give an answer, which you just disregarded. KF

  230. 230
    timothya says:

    KF:

    “TA, I did give an answer, which you just disregarded. KF”

    The question was:

    “Can you point me to any post by Armand Jacks where he/she implies that anyone disagreeing with him/her “must be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked”.

    I can’t find one, but perhaps I missed it.”

    You didn’t answer. Where is the post by Armand Jacks claiming that he/she implies that anyone disagreeing with him/her “must be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked”.

    If it is true that he/she posted such a claim, it can’t be too hard for you to produce the post.

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    with all due respect, it was and is a reasonable expectation that you would be able to scroll up a short distance, and that you would read context before trying to pile on. And still, this is tangential, apart from inadvertently exemplifying WJM’s theme in the OP. KF

  232. 232
    Barry Arrington says:

    AJ,

    Your childish taunts (see 222) are going to lead to your ouster from these pages yet again. Last warning.

  233. 233
    hammaspeikko says:

    timothya: ““Can you point me to any post by Armand Jacks where he/she implies that anyone disagreeing with him/her “must be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked”.”

    Well, there is this one: “I hate to break the news to you, but putting a number at the front of each of your sentences doesn’t make it s point by point response to anything. Other than a response to the question of your sanity. It answers that question quite nicely.”

  234. 234
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, it is now the following Thursday after last Saturday. You have not even acknowledged that I took time to go through your arguments presented after this thread faded (and which you then used elsewhere to pile on on a false accusation that I don’t answer questions). The above highlights that your core problems lie in the area of serious misunderstanding of the first principles of right reason and the linked structure of worldviews. As you had accused me elsewhere, I decided to take time to answer point by point all the way through for record. In response, you are evidently studiously avoiding both the correction and the demonstration of what answering in toto would look like. Your sustained evidently evasive behaviour since then (the above having been repeatedly pointed out to you where you HAVE popped up) begins to suggest that the merits have not been your focal concern, but instead that you set out to push an argument that is deeply questionable. I suggest, you need to reconsider. KF

    PS: I note, from elsewhere, a further point of serious concern about your argument that has come up, namely evident utter self-referential incoherence:

    CR,

    did you really ponder the source you cited above with approval, when it said:

    According to the stance of critical preference no position can be positively justified but it is quite likely that one, (or some) will turn out to be better than others are in the light of critical discussion and tests. This type of rationality holds all its positions and propositions open to criticism and a standard objection to this stance is that it is empty; just holding our positions open to criticism provides no guidance as to what position we should adopt in any particular situation. This criticism misses its mark for two reasons. First, the stance of critical preference is not a position, it is a metacontext and as such it is not directed at solving the kind of problems that are solved by adopting a position on some issue or other.

    Including the position just cited?

    Do you not see the gross self-referential incoherence and so also self-falsification implied in the highlighted?

    There is a world of difference between being critically aware and going to the extreme of reification that erects being aware that errors exist into the core of the system and denying that essentially anything can be justified beyond reasonable doubt.

    I suggest to you that as a start for each of us it is undeniably true and evident to us that we are conscious, once we are.

    Second, The Josiah Royce proposition that error exists is not only a matter of fact but can be demonstrated to be undeniably so, as the attempted denial leads straight to a case in point.

    More broadly, there are significant numbers of self-evident propositions beyond these two, that serve as plumblines for rational, responsible discourse. Starting with distinct identity and its corollaries the triple first principles of right reason, LOI, LNC, LEM. Just to object to such you have to implicitly rely on them, bringing your whole scheme into self-referential incoherence and self-falsification.

    Such has been pointed out to you any number of times across literally years, here at UD. I don’t doubt that others elsewhere have tried to set you to rights also.

    I suggest you are clinging to a system that is utterly and irretrievably self-falsifying, and that you would do better to take a reasonable time out and reconsider your worldview from the ground up.

    I suspect, I am simply writing for the record, given your track record, but this point of reference will always be there to point you to if and when you insist on popping up with the same again and again.

    FTR,

    KF

    This seems to strongly indicate deep incoherence in your schemes of thought. It would be advisable for you to reconsider.

  235. 235
    timothya says:

    Hammaspeiko:

    “timothya: ““Can you point me to any post by Armand Jacks where he/she implies that anyone disagreeing with him/her “must be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked”.”

    Well, there is this one: “I hate to break the news to you, but putting a number at the front of each of your sentences doesn’t make it s point by point response to anything. Other than a response to the question of your sanity. It answers that question quite nicely.”

    Fair enough, that deals with a charge of insanity. Now what about the other three.

  236. 236
    kairosfocus says:

    TA, your rhetorical game fails. Given that there is a toxic underlying context of a longstanding false accusation by a leading spokesman for Darwinism, simply to see objectionists coming from the list is more than enough warrant to challenge them about it. And in this case the accusation was made in the context of my having taken pains to go through CR’s remarks precisely to correct fundamental problems with first principles of right reason, in the further context of his attempted piling on elsewhere to accuse me of not answering his questions. The result is highly instructive. I have answered, point by point. I was falsely accused of insanity and have seen CR studiously avoiding the correction. Meanwhile, your own onward commentary indicates you tried to pile on without seeing close context and have continued in a distractive path. Save, that on fair comment you inadvertently illustrate the point WJM was making in the OP. G’day. KF

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