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Author Topic: Abortion / Rape  (Read 2763 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 05, 2012, 11:49:13 PM »

Recently I was engaged an argument with a fellow over aborting a child because the woman was subject to rape. I thought I made a pretty convincing argument on why still aborting the child was wrong, but he wasn't convinced enough to accept I was right.

Anyway my question is, and perhaps this may become political, is how would society abolish abortion without envoking God? Or is it impossible? I'm having trouble fleishing out a pro-life argument without using God, and I know alot of members on this site have alot more knowledge about abortion than I do.

In regards to rape, am I correct in saying that aborting a child because of rape is wrong, based on the merits that the child did not choose how to be conceived? Or is this a much more complicated issue that goes into gray area?
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 11:54:04 PM »

Anyway my question is, and perhaps this may become political, is how would society abolish abortion without envoking God?

Why would you want to?
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 11:56:38 PM »

I'm having trouble fleishing out a pro-life argument without using God....
There's always "you reap what you sow".
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2012, 01:55:44 AM »

Some women who are raped and become pregnant (though this is EXTREMELY unlikely to happen, women rarely become pregnant from rape) do have the child.  Imagine such a woman has the child, and it is a boy, and grows up.  Imagine it looks like her attacker.  Does she have a right to kill her teenage son because he reminds her of her attacker?  That is what this really amounts to: the claim that because a woman may suffer psychological harm because of her attacker, she has a right to kill her attacker's child.  Does that sound, in any way, logical to you?  If a person is already against abortion in some cases, I don't see how they support abortion in the case of rape or incest (nor do I understand why incest should get a special category when it is either consensual incest or rape and should therefore fall either under the category of rape or consensual sex, in terms of a discussion on abortion).  In the United States of America, we do not condemn children for the crimes of their parents.

I don't believe one can really make an argument against abortion without a belief in God.  The most someone could do is say that the father must consent to the abortion, on the grounds that - under the law - he may be compelled to give financial assistance to the child if the woman chose to have it (I really do not understand how the law can require a father to pay child support when he was never married to the mother, but not require the mother to have permission of the father to get an abortion).  Because, without a belief in God, there is no legitimate reason to not kill people who complicate your life and become an obstacle to something you desire.  This is especially so when they are too weak and helpless to do anything about it.
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 01:55:44 AM »

Anyway my question is, and perhaps this may become political, is how would society abolish abortion without envoking God?

Why would you want to?
Why wouldn't you?
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 11:26:02 AM »

Abortion in the case of adultery is sanctioned in the Bible, so why not in the case of rape?   
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 01:37:42 PM »

Abortion in the case of adultery is sanctioned in the Bible, so why not in the case of rape?   

Where?
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2012, 01:57:19 PM »

Numbers 5
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2012, 02:18:13 PM »

Numbers 5

That's not about abortion. The woman is to take the bitter water, and if she has been unfaithful, the bitter water will curse her and she will miscarry. But it's not the priest or anyone else who kills the child; it's God who does it as a sign to the woman of her sin. God has the authority of life and death over every creature.
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2012, 02:22:25 PM »

Numbers 5

That's not about abortion. The woman is to take the bitter water, and if she has been unfaithful, the bitter water will curse her and she will miscarry. But it's not the priest or anyone else who kills the child; it's God who does it as a sign to the woman of her sin. God has the authority of life and death over every creature.
Does HOTCA still use this ritual, "when the spirit of jealousy cometh" upon the pious  men thereof?
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2012, 02:24:47 PM »

Numbers 5

That's not about abortion. The woman is to take the bitter water, and if she has been unfaithful, the bitter water will curse her and she will miscarry. But it's not the priest or anyone else who kills the child; it's God who does it as a sign to the woman of her sin. God has the authority of life and death over every creature.
Does HOTCA still use this ritual, "when the spirit of jealousy cometh" upon the pious  men thereof?

Are you trying to be funny? It's Great Lent, you know; humor is forbidden.
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2012, 02:25:41 PM »

Numbers 5

That's not about abortion. The woman is to take the bitter water, and if she has been unfaithful, the bitter water will curse her and she will miscarry. But it's not the priest or anyone else who kills the child; it's God who does it as a sign to the woman of her sin. God has the authority of life and death over every creature.
Does HOTCA still use this ritual, "when the spirit of jealousy cometh" upon the pious  men thereof?
In HOTCA you mean?

Are you trying to be funny? It's Great Lent, you know; humor is forbidden.
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2012, 02:26:48 PM »

Numbers 5

That's not about abortion. The woman is to take the bitter water, and if she has been unfaithful, the bitter water will curse her and she will miscarry. But it's not the priest or anyone else who kills the child; it's God who does it as a sign to the woman of her sin. God has the authority of life and death over every creature.
Does HOTCA still use this ritual, "when the spirit of jealousy cometh" upon the pious  men thereof?
In HOTCA you mean?

Are you trying to be funny? It's Great Lent, you know; humor is forbidden.

Sheesh. Now you're putting words in my mouth.
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2012, 03:47:28 PM »

There is also a perfectly valid scientific argument against abortion. You just have to start from the premise that murdering a person is wrong (If there is no agreement at this point, walk away). Then the question becomes whether or not abortion is murder--terminating a human life for no good reason, such as self-defense. Abortion here would be defined as terminating a pregnancy by killing the human being inside the mother's womb. It all boils down to definitions at this point. Some people have argued that the fetus is not a human person until it is viable, with viability defined as being able to live on their own after delivery/birth. However, others argue that personhood is not dependent on biological viability but on the possession of human traits, such as reasoning, etc...Indeed, I just read about two ethicists toying with the idea that babies even after being delivered should not be considered human persons until a certain stage in their development (Slippery slope here, as this argument could end up affecting persons with intellectual or emotionally deficits). In any case, the only value-free definition ends up being the biological argument. It is clear that a new biological entity comes into being at the moment of conception (that is when the egg becomes a zygote after insemination). So, it is at this earliest developmental stage of the embryo that what we have is a brand new being. If this new being is terminated willfully than it would be aborting the life of a nascent human being--that is, terminating any possibility that the embryo will develop into a fetus, be born as a baby, grow up as a child and adolescent into adulthood, possibly live a fully human existence, and even produce offspring. So, the termination of a zygote is extinguishing human life at its earliest stage; it is only a matter of timing.
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2012, 03:55:23 PM »

Of course, I agree with your position, but I wonder: how can you have a "scientific" argument for or against any moral position? Science tells how things are; it doesn't tell how things ought to be. You can't reason logically from "is" to "ought". Proponents of abortion don't have "science" on their side; they've simply redefined personhood in accordance with newly popular philosophical norms. It's not as if it's news to everyone that barely formed embryos are not really conscious or self-aware. That didn't prevent the Church from treating abortion as murder from the very beginning, and not just "late-term" abortions.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ethicists-argue-in-favor-of-after-birth-abortions-as-newborns-are-not-persons/
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2012, 03:57:48 PM »

Of course, I agree with your position, but I wonder: how can you have a "scientific" argument for or against any moral position? Science tells how things are; it doesn't tell how things ought to be. You can't reason logically from "is" to "ought". Proponents of abortion don't have "science" on their side; they've simply redefined personhood in accordance with newly popular philosophical norms. It's not as if it's news to everyone that barely formed embryos are not really conscious or self-aware. That didn't prevent the Church from treating abortion as murder from the very beginning, and not just "late-term" abortions.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ethicists-argue-in-favor-of-after-birth-abortions-as-newborns-are-not-persons/

This argument does rest on a moral position that murder is wrong. As for the rest, the strength of the argument lies in its claim that is the most value-free argument there is.
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2012, 04:11:05 PM »

Of course, I agree with your position, but I wonder: how can you have a "scientific" argument for or against any moral position? Science tells how things are; it doesn't tell how things ought to be. You can't reason logically from "is" to "ought". Proponents of abortion don't have "science" on their side; they've simply redefined personhood in accordance with newly popular philosophical norms. It's not as if it's news to everyone that barely formed embryos are not really conscious or self-aware. That didn't prevent the Church from treating abortion as murder from the very beginning, and not just "late-term" abortions.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ethicists-argue-in-favor-of-after-birth-abortions-as-newborns-are-not-persons/

This argument does rest on a moral position that murder is wrong. As for the rest, the strength of the argument lies in its claim that is the most value-free argument there is.

How would an ethical argument be stronger by being "value-free", given that the very topic of discussion is about values?
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2012, 04:19:39 PM »

Of course, I agree with your position, but I wonder: how can you have a "scientific" argument for or against any moral position? Science tells how things are; it doesn't tell how things ought to be. You can't reason logically from "is" to "ought". Proponents of abortion don't have "science" on their side; they've simply redefined personhood in accordance with newly popular philosophical norms. It's not as if it's news to everyone that barely formed embryos are not really conscious or self-aware. That didn't prevent the Church from treating abortion as murder from the very beginning, and not just "late-term" abortions.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ethicists-argue-in-favor-of-after-birth-abortions-as-newborns-are-not-persons/

This argument does rest on a moral position that murder is wrong. As for the rest, the strength of the argument lies in its claim that is the most value-free argument there is.

How would an ethical argument be stronger by being "value-free", given that the very topic of discussion is about values?

It would be of value for those who want to use "religion-free" or value-free arguments, don't you think? ff the ground rules were such that ethical argumentation is prohibited, this is a good fall back argument IMHO.
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2012, 04:37:25 PM »

Of course, I agree with your position, but I wonder: how can you have a "scientific" argument for or against any moral position? Science tells how things are; it doesn't tell how things ought to be. You can't reason logically from "is" to "ought". Proponents of abortion don't have "science" on their side; they've simply redefined personhood in accordance with newly popular philosophical norms. It's not as if it's news to everyone that barely formed embryos are not really conscious or self-aware. That didn't prevent the Church from treating abortion as murder from the very beginning, and not just "late-term" abortions.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ethicists-argue-in-favor-of-after-birth-abortions-as-newborns-are-not-persons/

This argument does rest on a moral position that murder is wrong. As for the rest, the strength of the argument lies in its claim that is the most value-free argument there is.

How would an ethical argument be stronger by being "value-free", given that the very topic of discussion is about values?

It would be of value for those who want to use "religion-free" or value-free arguments, don't you think? ff the ground rules were such that ethical argumentation is prohibited, this is a good fall back argument IMHO.

I'm not convinced that opposition to abortion makes any sense apart from our faith. Unless you take as axiomatic that human life starts at conception, and that we not authorized to take another life into our own hands, I don't see how you can convince a non-religious believer in abortion to change his or her mind, at least not by purely logical arguments. Slippery slope arguments, like the example of those Australian ethicists who have now openly endorsed infanticide (i.e. killing the newborn children), can have an effect, but they're not really logical arguments (they're actually textbook examples of logical fallacies in freshman writing classes); they're more emotional ones. Of course, I think often our emotional response to manifest evil can save us where our coolly logical heads fail us.
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2012, 05:22:37 PM »

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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2012, 05:29:08 PM »

I'm not convinced that opposition to abortion makes any sense apart from our faith.

On an individual level I agree that it is difficult.  On the other hand I can't think of a society with a high abortion rate that I would consider healthy.  So it isn't too hard to make the case that the abortion rate (societal) ought to be low.   
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2012, 05:33:12 PM »

I'm not convinced that opposition to abortion makes any sense apart from our faith.

On an individual level I agree that it is difficult.  On the other hand I can't think of a society with a high abortion rate that I would consider healthy.  So it isn't too hard to make the case that the abortion rate (societal) ought to be low.   

I've seen that kind of argument, e.g. Russia committing demographic suicide partly because of an astronomical abortion rate. But you must admit that it's one thing to keep abortion "safe, legal and rare" and another to ban it completely. We all know that the Church doesn't think abortion is OK in small amounts; it's never OK. You could probably make a coherent argument that the government should allow a moderate amount of abortion (or infanticide or euthanasia) in order to ensure demographic health, i.e. cull the weak and sick and unproductive, in order for the rest of society to prosper. Would anyone here be OK with that? I doubt it.
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2012, 05:40:18 PM »

I'm not convinced that opposition to abortion makes any sense apart from our faith.

On an individual level I agree that it is difficult.  On the other hand I can't think of a society with a high abortion rate that I would consider healthy.  So it isn't too hard to make the case that the abortion rate (societal) ought to be low.   

I've seen that kind of argument, e.g. Russia committing demographic suicide partly because of an astronomical abortion rate. But you must admit that it's one thing to keep abortion "safe, legal and rare" and another to ban it completely. We all know that the Church doesn't think abortion is OK in small amounts; it's never OK. You could probably make a coherent argument that the government should allow a moderate amount of abortion (or infanticide or euthanasia) in order to ensure demographic health, i.e. cull the weak and sick and unproductive, in order for the rest of society to prosper. Would anyone here be OK with that? I doubt it.

On the other hand I think supporting measures that will lower the abortion rate is something we can support.  On a practical level it is impossible to ban euthanasia (essentially suicide).  In the same vein, we can support things that will help lower this - better mental health care, etc.  But I think you are right that especially in extreme cases it is hard to make an entirely secular argument.  In general though making an argument for lower rates of "culture of death" types of things seems straightforward. 
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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2012, 05:44:54 PM »

I'm not convinced that opposition to abortion makes any sense apart from our faith.

On an individual level I agree that it is difficult.  On the other hand I can't think of a society with a high abortion rate that I would consider healthy.  So it isn't too hard to make the case that the abortion rate (societal) ought to be low.   

I've seen that kind of argument, e.g. Russia committing demographic suicide partly because of an astronomical abortion rate. But you must admit that it's one thing to keep abortion "safe, legal and rare" and another to ban it completely. We all know that the Church doesn't think abortion is OK in small amounts; it's never OK. You could probably make a coherent argument that the government should allow a moderate amount of abortion (or infanticide or euthanasia) in order to ensure demographic health, i.e. cull the weak and sick and unproductive, in order for the rest of society to prosper. Would anyone here be OK with that? I doubt it.

On the other hand I think supporting measures that will lower the abortion rate is something we can support.  On a practical level it is impossible to ban euthanasia (essentially suicide).  In the same vein, we can support things that will help lower this - better mental health care, etc.  But I think you are right that especially in extreme cases it is hard to make an entirely secular argument.  In general though making an argument for lower rates of "culture of death" types of things seems straightforward. 

Perhaps. I certainly agree it can't hurt to provide means of support for people who may be tempted to have an abortion without it.
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« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2012, 05:59:03 PM »

I'm not convinced that opposition to abortion makes any sense apart from our faith.

On an individual level I agree that it is difficult.  On the other hand I can't think of a society with a high abortion rate that I would consider healthy.  So it isn't too hard to make the case that the abortion rate (societal) ought to be low.   

I've seen that kind of argument, e.g. Russia committing demographic suicide partly because of an astronomical abortion rate. But you must admit that it's one thing to keep abortion "safe, legal and rare" and another to ban it completely. We all know that the Church doesn't think abortion is OK in small amounts; it's never OK. You could probably make a coherent argument that the government should allow a moderate amount of abortion (or infanticide or euthanasia) in order to ensure demographic health, i.e. cull the weak and sick and unproductive, in order for the rest of society to prosper. Would anyone here be OK with that? I doubt it.

On the other hand I think supporting measures that will lower the abortion rate is something we can support.  On a practical level it is impossible to ban euthanasia (essentially suicide).  In the same vein, we can support things that will help lower this - better mental health care, etc.  But I think you are right that especially in extreme cases it is hard to make an entirely secular argument.  In general though making an argument for lower rates of "culture of death" types of things seems straightforward. 

Perhaps. I certainly agree it can't hurt to provide means of support for people who may be tempted to have an abortion without it.

Right.  Let the government do its part to lower the rate of abortion, and then it is the role of the Church to try and convince those who would still have an abortion to not do so. 
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2012, 06:09:16 PM »

Looking at abortion rationally, without invoking God.

There are two related questions, with four possible answers. Question one is: 'is abortion murder?' The second is: 'do we know for a fact whether it is, or whether it isn't murder?'

If abortion is murder, and we know it is, then there is no excuse, it is murder.

If abortion is murder, but we don't know it is, then killing the child is manslaughter.

If abortion isn't murder, and we don't know it isn't, it is like a hunter shooting into rustling bushes; where they might get their deer, or they may kill a person, too. This is essentially a form of criminal negligence.

Finally, if abortion isn't murder, and we truly know it isn't, then abortion is perfectly justified.

Without having definitive proof (scientific/legally accepted proof, that it) that the child is a person, or that it isn't, we are left with only two possibilities: manslaughter or criminal negligence.

So, it is really on the abortion advocate to scientifically prove that the pre-born children they plan on killing aren't persons.


To answer the question, 'why would we want to discuss abortion without invoking God?'

A: To save the holy innocents.
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2012, 06:35:36 PM »

I'm not convinced that opposition to abortion makes any sense apart from our faith.

On an individual level I agree that it is difficult.  On the other hand I can't think of a society with a high abortion rate that I would consider healthy.  So it isn't too hard to make the case that the abortion rate (societal) ought to be low.  

I've seen that kind of argument, e.g. Russia committing demographic suicide partly because of an astronomical abortion rate. But you must admit that it's one thing to keep abortion "safe, legal and rare" and another to ban it completely. We all know that the Church doesn't think abortion is OK in small amounts; it's never OK. You could probably make a coherent argument that the government should allow a moderate amount of abortion (or infanticide or euthanasia) in order to ensure demographic health, i.e. cull the weak and sick and unproductive, in order for the rest of society to prosper. Would anyone here be OK with that? I doubt it.

On the other hand I think supporting measures that will lower the abortion rate is something we can support.  On a practical level it is impossible to ban euthanasia (essentially suicide).  In the same vein, we can support things that will help lower this - better mental health care, etc.  But I think you are right that especially in extreme cases it is hard to make an entirely secular argument.  In general though making an argument for lower rates of "culture of death" types of things seems straightforward.  

Perhaps. I certainly agree it can't hurt to provide means of support for people who may be tempted to have an abortion without it.

Right.  Let the government do its part to lower the rate of abortion, and then it is the role of the Church to try and convince those who would still have an abortion to not do so.  

Well, I didn't say the government shouldn't at the same time outlaw abortion completely, but that the government should also address those socioeconomic problems that encourage abortion.
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2012, 06:37:19 PM »

I also think that it's too much to concede to the secularists that all arguments about public morality should have no reference to God or religion. Morality is inseparable from faith for Orthodox Christians. Why should the secularists get to impose their atheistic assumptions on the terms of the debate? Why shouldn't we proceed on the assumption that there is a God and that God is concerned with how we live our lives?
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2012, 06:54:40 PM »

I also think that it's too much to concede to the secularists that all arguments about public morality should have no reference to God or religion. Morality is inseparable from faith for Orthodox Christians. Why should the secularists get to impose their atheistic assumptions on the terms of the debate? Why shouldn't we proceed on the assumption that there is a God and that God is concerned with how we live our lives?
Don't be silly, we do proceed on the assumption that there is a God and that God is concerned with how we live our lives. It isn't conceding anything to point out basic rationality.
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« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2012, 07:10:50 PM »

Recently I was engaged an argument with a fellow over aborting a child because the woman was subject to rape. I thought I made a pretty convincing argument on why still aborting the child was wrong, but he wasn't convinced enough to accept I was right.

Anyway my question is, and perhaps this may become political, is how would society abolish abortion without envoking God? Or is it impossible? I'm having trouble fleishing out a pro-life argument without using God, and I know alot of members on this site have alot more knowledge about abortion than I do.

In regards to rape, am I correct in saying that aborting a child because of rape is wrong, based on the merits that the child did not choose how to be conceived? Or is this a much more complicated issue that goes into gray area?
It can be done.  I do it all the time (arguing from the basis of religion when the person doesn't realize the grounding of reality wastes time, so I just go a few levels above ultimate reality and go from philosophy, which only presupposes a minimum of awareness).  I won't do it here until it goes political, lest it be misconstrued.
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« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2012, 07:10:50 PM »

Abortion in the case of adultery is sanctioned in the Bible

where?
so why not in the case of rape?   
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« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2012, 07:10:50 PM »

Numbers 5

That's not about abortion. The woman is to take the bitter water, and if she has been unfaithful, the bitter water will curse her and she will miscarry. But it's not the priest or anyone else who kills the child; it's God who does it as a sign to the woman of her sin. God has the authority of life and death over every creature.
Does HOTCA still use this ritual, "when the spirit of jealousy cometh" upon the pious  men thereof?

Are you trying to be funny? It's Great Lent, you know; humor is forbidden.
LOL.  Then Augustin is forever in Great Lent.
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« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2012, 10:56:10 PM »

I also think that it's too much to concede to the secularists that all arguments about public morality should have no reference to God or religion. Morality is inseparable from faith for Orthodox Christians. Why should the secularists get to impose their atheistic assumptions on the terms of the debate? Why shouldn't we proceed on the assumption that there is a God and that God is concerned with how we live our lives?
Don't be silly, we do proceed on the assumption that there is a God and that God is concerned with how we live our lives. It isn't conceding anything to point out basic rationality.

What?
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« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2012, 10:58:48 PM »

Numbers 5

That's not about abortion. The woman is to take the bitter water, and if she has been unfaithful, the bitter water will curse her and she will miscarry. But it's not the priest or anyone else who kills the child; it's God who does it as a sign to the woman of her sin. God has the authority of life and death over every creature.
Does HOTCA still use this ritual, "when the spirit of jealousy cometh" upon the pious  men thereof?

Are you trying to be funny? It's Great Lent, you know; humor is forbidden.
LOL.  Then Augustin is forever in Great Lent.

LOL +1
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« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2012, 11:03:42 PM »

Question: is there an Orthodox patron saint of the victims of crime?  Undecided
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« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2012, 11:12:40 PM »

Anyway my question is, and perhaps this may become political, is how would society abolish abortion without envoking God?

Why would you want to?
Why wouldn't you?

It legitimatizes the idea that secularism is valid in anyway whatsoever when it is not.
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« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2012, 11:26:49 PM »

Anyway my question is, and perhaps this may become political, is how would society abolish abortion without envoking God?

Why would you want to?
Why wouldn't you?

It legitimatizes the idea that secularism is valid in anyway whatsoever when it is not.

Well, secular voters aren't going to care about the religious reasons we bring forward. So I guess he's thinking of a way to convince everyone, religious or not, that abortion is wrong. Though, other things besides banning abortion can be done to help stop it: encourage adoption, for one thing, which will give the woman an extra motive to have the child. Just a thought.
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« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2012, 11:31:41 PM »

Anyway my question is, and perhaps this may become political, is how would society abolish abortion without envoking God?

Why would you want to?
Why wouldn't you?

It legitimatizes the idea that secularism is valid in anyway whatsoever when it is not.

Well, secular voters aren't going to care about the religious reasons we bring forward. So I guess he's thinking of a way to convince everyone, religious or not, that abortion is wrong. Though, other things besides banning abortion can be done to help stop it: encourage adoption, for one thing, which will give the woman an extra motive to have the child. Just a thought.

Well, from my perspective, abortion only exists in the staggering amounts we see today because of secularism. Hence the Soviet Union being the first nation to legalize it (which should really indicated something to people). Ending abortion while preserving secularism would be destroying a particularly nasty symptom while keeping the disease, imo. It'd be kind of a hollow victory and it'd leave the door open for "intellectuals" later on to reinstate it.
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« Reply #38 on: March 07, 2012, 12:01:11 AM »

If framed properly, some secularists will acknowledge that a "slippery slope" exists when eliminating life due to utilitarian considerations.  They may argue that the unborn will be unwanted, born into poverty, unloving homes, etc.  They may further argue that they will later be a drain on society.  These cases are both immediately present for most prisoners and mentally ill, and even the elderly. 

Many will also support euthanasia for the elderly, but only for terminally ill people who specifically request it.  As a society (some have differed), we don't decide to kill the masses of criminals, invalids, etc.  Why?

When bringing these up though, please don't conclude that if A happens, B and C will also happen; they may not, but it is a similar consideration at play.  It's a very sensitive topic, and we frequently fail to convince people our side of the issue.  Logical fallacies and hyperbolic analogies aren't usually helpful, but they are particularly damaging in debates like this.
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« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2012, 02:22:53 AM »

Depends on the definition of a human being. We all know that murdering a human is murder, no question about it. The question is, is a zygote a human being? There is no doubt that if it is a human being, then it is murder. But this is the problem; so many people have their own definition of what a human being is. And many times, it is simply personal opinion. For example, some people do not consider a fetus to be a human being because it has not been born yet or because it is non-volitional with little to no consciousness, however, I think it is fair to mention that many people who make up these definitions are guilty of the No True Scotsman Fallacy and these reasons are not even satisfactory because, if we go by these definitions, then one could also argue that the really mentally disabled people or small children are not human beings because they are incapable of volition and total consciousness. So once again I ask, what is the true, scientific definition of human life? I would personally argue that a fetus is a human, but in a different stage. In the same way, the incomplete hunk of junk in the junkyard is still a car even though it is not entirely put together yet. I think the tricky part to abortion topics is that, even if we can prove that a fetus/zygote is human life, is it really human life worth saving? Many people would argue it is not because of the consequences of making a woman carry out the child. But I believe that all of these reasons fail because no innocent person should have to suffer or die simply because of the burden they put on their parents. Going even further, many of these reasons are not even substantial when you really examine them. For example, some people start to say well what if the baby is born into poverty or the mother is really young? Does that mean we should start conducting mercy killings? No. And I am sensitive about this because my mom got pregnant with me at fifteen but was still able to birth, raise, love and care for me even though she was just a poor Mexican living in the ghetto. And I appreciate her for that. Some people say that abortion should not be outlawed because people will just do it illegally and harm themselves. But that is like saying that murder should not be outlawed or else people will just do it behind the law's back and become more dangerous. But at least if wee outlaw it we can still punish them from it. Just some food for thought.

Question: is there an Orthodox patron saint of the victims of crime?  Undecided

St. Monica, the mother of my patron St. Augustine. She is the patron for victims of domestic abuse and women with bad husbands and sons, so in a way she is a patron for victims.
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« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2012, 02:30:26 AM »

Anyway my question is, and perhaps this may become political, is how would society abolish abortion without envoking God?

Why would you want to?
Why wouldn't you?

It legitimatizes the idea that secularism is valid in anyway whatsoever when it is not.

Well, secular voters aren't going to care about the religious reasons we bring forward. So I guess he's thinking of a way to convince everyone, religious or not, that abortion is wrong. Though, other things besides banning abortion can be done to help stop it: encourage adoption, for one thing, which will give the woman an extra motive to have the child. Just a thought.

Well, from my perspective, abortion only exists in the staggering amounts we see today because of secularism. Hence the Soviet Union being the first nation to legalize it (which should really indicated something to people). Ending abortion while preserving secularism would be destroying a particularly nasty symptom while keeping the disease, imo. It'd be kind of a hollow victory and it'd leave the door open for "intellectuals" later on to reinstate it.

Don't forget that many pagans also had no problem with infanticide.
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« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2012, 08:49:34 AM »

So once again I ask, what is the true, scientific definition of human life?
...as opposed to, say, chimpanzee life?
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« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2012, 10:01:28 AM »

Quote
So once again I ask, what is the true, scientific definition of human life?
Life =

1. Growth
2. Consumption
3. Discernable anatomy
4. Reproductive ability
5. Response to stimuli
6. Adaptation
7. Homeostasis (I think this is one)

EDIT: I would also ask, does the genesis of a child determine his/her worth? Does a child born to a family have more value to a rape baby? Does a baby born to a woman who did not want kids have the same importance as a rape baby?

PP
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« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2012, 10:09:12 AM »

Quote
So once again I ask, what is the true, scientific definition of human life?
Life =

1. Growth
2. Consumption
3. Discernable anatomy
4. Reproductive ability
5. Response to stimuli
6. Adaptation
7. Homeostasis (I think this is one)

EDIT: I would also ask, does the genesis of a child determine his/her worth? Does a child born to a family have more value to a rape baby? Does a baby born to a woman who did not want kids have the same importance as a rape baby?

PP
Under that definition, every cell in my body would be an example of 'human life'.
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« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2012, 10:12:51 AM »

Quote
So once again I ask, what is the true, scientific definition of human life?
Life =

1. Growth
2. Consumption
3. Discernable anatomy
4. Reproductive ability
5. Response to stimuli
6. Adaptation
7. Homeostasis (I think this is one)

EDIT: I would also ask, does the genesis of a child determine his/her worth? Does a child born to a family have more value to a rape baby? Does a baby born to a woman who did not want kids have the same importance as a rape baby?

PP
Under that definition, every cell in my body would be an example of 'human life'.
Hey thats not me, that 8th grade science class Smiley

PP
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