BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME.

"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Abortion, And Other Sundry Religious Amusements

How to Get Laid at an Anti-Abortion Rally

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not posting on my blog for a while. I have been lazy and should be severely chastened. So, if there are any regular readers left out there please accept my apology for not being here to discuss the controversial subjects which you know I do like to do.

Anyway, back to the game at hand. This response of mine on a blog triggered a few responses.

"It amazes me sometimes that theists will fight tooth and nail to protect a bundle of cells, but dropping thousands of bombs on sentient adults doesn’t seem to pose much of a problem."

Is an acorn the same as an oak tree? Should we ascribe the same rights, value and meaning to a bundle of cells as we do to a fully formed sentient human being? I think that the majority of people who are opposed to abortion are opposed to it because of a religious belief that a clump of cells contains a soul. People do disagree with abortions for many reasons, but the primary reason I think is because of a religious belief associated with the idea that a clump of cells has a soul. Under those circumstances of belief, I would suggest that those people who believe that should not have abortions. However, if their primary reason for opposing all abortions is a religious one, then they are by default, requiring that everyone share that religious belief if they demand abortions to be illegal on that basis. I agree that there are times when it is right to take life. And so do most people on the planet. War certainly wouldn’t be as popular as it is, if human beings didn’t find ways to justify it. Capital punishment wouldn’t be as popular if people didn’t believe for various reasons, (many of them religious ones) that they were doing the right thing.


There may be reasons why I would oppose the termination of pregnancy but a religious one wouldn’t be persuasive for me. And I suspect that the reason that the majority of people oppose the termination of pregnancy IS a religious one. So, any ideas other than religious appeals to the supernatural, would be considered - but not perhaps accepted. If, you believe that there is NEVER an instance where it is appropriate or right to kill another human being including that of self-defence, capital punishment or during times of war, then I can accept the consistency of your position even though I may not agree with it myself. I don’t believe that people have souls. So, if you oppose all killing on that basis, then I wouldn’t agree with this reason - perhaps I would find some other reason acceptable though.

If the major reason you have for all abortions being illegal is your belief that a soul inhabits each or most human beings, then you are in effect demanding that I also have faith in said supernatural concept. It is within your rights to believe that demons inhabit trees, rocks, and people if you so desire. I have no legal desire to remove this delusion from you. If, however your major reason for opposing abortion is because of your faith that human beings have an incorporeal mind which survives death you may not demand that I also consider this to be a valid or true reason to ban abortion. Otherwise, you are in effect demanding that religious beliefs which I do not share, should be able to decide for me.

If a belief in the supernatural is a persuasive argument for you, then you really should be doing your outmost to make sure that not only men, but women also lead responsible sexual lives. But the argument that tikki tikki tembo inhabits a bunch of cells is not persuasive to me. As abortion in the majority of circumstances is legal, it is not up to me to provide reasons why it should be illegal. That job is for those who disagree with it. Until then, no supernatural appeals to souls will be considered a persuasive argument by myself.

And what does the Bible have to say about abortion?

Very little, except:

22 “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [or, as the endnote says, she has a miscarriage] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.
23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,
24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. (Exodus 21:22-23)

And God doesn’t seem to have any trouble with abortions, as Numbers 5 says.

Perhaps in its crudest terms of expression, the topics of abortion, euthanasia, suicide, infanticide and rape are basically asking the question - “who owns what?” (A crude way to express it perhaps, but I think it may devolve to this concept.) A person who believes in a god would probably say that god owns us and our individual lives. A person who believes in god and the state reflecting the wishes of said god, might believe that god owns our individual lives and that the state acts on god’s behalf. A person who doesn’t believe in a god or gods might say that the state, as highest authority, owns our individual lives. For me, I don’t believe that a god owns my individual life, nor do I believe that the state can act on a supposed god’s behalf. I also don’t believe that the state can own my life. As a result, I would neither support laws (either from a god or the state), which made abortion compulsory or illegal.

What authority outside of yourself, do you believe has the ultimate say over your life, if any? If you do not own your own life it would seem to me that you are in servitude to either a god or the state. Neither of those ideas appeals to me much.



Link

38 Comments:

Blogger Jonzie said...

Bloody hell! It's nice to have you back!
The video was funny and freaky.
I agree more or less with everything you say.
Plus, an embrio at the first developmental stage is life as much as a sponge is.
On the other side, I really think nowadays we've gone a bit too far with it and abortion is becoming more and more an easy way out of troubles. What I mean is that a child is often seen as a trouble even in situations where it shouldn't be, which is kind of worrying, and people go and have abortion without a real knowledge of the consequences.

29/7/07 8:28 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

jonzie,

Thanks for the welcome back. :)

30/7/07 1:43 pm  
Blogger sacred slut said...

Hey welcome back.

I am all for abortion on demand, at least through the first trimester. After that, as medically necessary. I don't have any qualms about allowing abortion of defective fetuses, either, and I would consider those "medically necessary". OTOH, it is up to the individual if they want to care for a retarded child. I know I couldn't do it, and I would consider it immoral to knowingly bring one into the world. Bad genetics.

It seems to me the paramount concern should be the people who already actually exist and the effect of bringing a child into their lives. Many times continued reproduction causes great financial and physical harm to the families.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think abortion is a GOOD thing, it's simply the rational choice in some cases. The lesser of two evils.

As for "god's" view on abortion, somewhere between 25% and 50% of all conceptions end in spontaneous miscarriage. That should tell you something.

30/7/07 2:52 pm  
Blogger CyberKitten said...

Good to see you back. I've been worried that you had stopped posting [sigh of relief].

30/7/07 9:16 pm  
Anonymous John P said...

People do disagree with abortions for many reasons, but the primary reason I think is because of a religious belief associated with the idea that a clump of cells has a soul.

Let's assume that there is such a thing as a soul. Souls are incorporeal, right? They have no substance. And they survive the death of the body they are attached to.

So what is the harm of aborting a mass of cells, with a soul, if the soul cannot be harmed in any way by the death of the body?

If one argues that it is the potential being that is terminated, and that potential being is sacrosanct, well then, to be consistent, what about all of those unused sperm? Only one gets to fertilize, yet they all have potential, and they all die in the process of conception.

And don't even get me started on masturbation.

31/7/07 5:24 am  
Blogger DiscordianStooge said...

What a great show. That was a Top 5 episode.

31/7/07 3:23 pm  
Blogger Thinking Ape said...

Agnostics, atheists, and liberals should be pro-life champions. Abortions do not take place when a human being is just a "clump of cells" (this is to say that us "sentient" beings are more than a clump of cells).

The problem is that the propaganda of the pro-life and pro-choice sides have made it a discussion between some protection of the soul versus the women's freedom to choose what is best for her body. This is rubbish. We should be championing both the right to life and the right to choose. Instead of pro-lifers picketing clinics and pro-choicers accusing their opposition as anti-feminists and religious fanatics, the discussion needs to be focused solely on what stage of development we become human.

Pro-choicers do not support murder. Pro-lifers do not support stripping women of rights. Only when we drop the rhetoric and see past the false dichotomy created by the propaganda of both sides will we be able to have rational discussion.

1/8/07 1:32 pm  
Blogger Thinking Ape said...

John P said,
"So what is the harm of aborting a mass of cells, with a soul, if the soul cannot be harmed in any way by the death of the body? "

John, are you anything more than a mass of cells?

1/8/07 1:33 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Ape:
We should be championing both the right to life and the right to choose.
Damn straight.
Refreshing, actually. I'm pro-choice AND pro-life. No contradictions, no dichotomy involved.
Time to echo Clinton: "Safe, legal, & rare."
the discussion needs to be focused solely on what stage of development we become human.
I say it's when the quickening happens: the child kicks.
Too late then.

1/8/07 2:56 pm  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

“who owns what?”

Crude, or not, that is precisely what it comes down to. If we own our own bodies, then anything which grows within them is ours as well.

O/T; I'm betting the reason for such a "lapse" between posts is that you're still recovering from learning how OLD you really are. I know that that 220,000,000 year figure woulda shook my self-concept up just a bit, eh!

1/8/07 8:42 pm  
Blogger Keebo said...

It's "Mama's egg." She can hatch it, or crush it, as she chooses. It's under her jurisdiction.

At what point does it become human?

It gains the rights that society affords citizens at the point where it is born. Up until that point, it exists at the pleasure, will, and continued good health of the mother.

If the fetus and the mother both want the birth, NO PROBLEM.

If there is a disagreement between Mama and fetus, one wants the birth and the other does not, PROBLEM.

The Mama is a citizen of this society. It IS in the interests of society to protect her rights, her health, and her welfare. It is NOT in the interests of society to force her to gestate a child against her will.

Until that fetus is fully viable outside the womb, and some person, or group, or society is ready to take on the entire burden of it's care, Mama chooses its fate. Even late-term, if Mama wants to be rid of the fetus, she will find a way (possibly to the detriment of her own health or welfare), and she should NOT be prosecuted.

Women should be encouraged to use birth control.

Women should be encouraged to make a decision as early as possible, as to whether, or not, to abort.

Women should be encouraged to follow good pre-natal health care guidlines.

Women should be encouraged to use adoption.

Women should have access to "Safe harbor" places to drop-off unwanted newborns. (Hurting a newborn is quite different from aborting a fetus. A newborn IS a citizen of the society in which it was born, and thus, a newborn's rights, health, and welfare must be protected by society, just like Mama.)

But, just like her arm, or her unfortunate tattoo, or her massive tumor, or her ruptured appendix, or her finger nails, . . . . a fetus is a part of HER body, and no one should force her to decide what to do with it. She may regret cutting off her own arm, but she may. (She should be counseled that there are better ways to be rid of her unfortunate tattoo :) , but, ultimately, it is HER choice.)

Any conflict between the desires of the Mama, and the perceived desires of the fetus, must be resolved in favor of the one that actually HAS rights.

2/8/07 7:14 am  
Anonymous John P said...

John, are you anything more than a mass of cells?

No, I don't think so. In my present state, I am a multifunctional mass of cells. A walking, talking, breathing, thinking, copulating mass of cells. But a mass of cells nonetheless.

What's your point?

2/8/07 7:19 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Oh, & welcome back, darlin', BTW.

2/8/07 2:59 pm  
Blogger DiscordianStooge said...

KA said: I'm pro-choice AND pro-life

Which makes you pro-choice. The pro-life crowd has equated pro-choice with pro-abortion. It doesn't matter if you personally find abortion to be repugnant, if you believe a woman has the right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, you are pro choice.

2/8/07 7:01 pm  
Blogger Lexcen said...

Let's follow the argument to its logical conclusion beginning with the embryo as a potential human being. The zygote is also a potential human being. So is the female egg that is shed at menstruation a potential human being. Not to forget the male sperm that will penetrate the egg is also a potential human being. In other words a potential human being isn't the same thing as an actual human being. Those who contemplate the philosophical concept of when the embryo actually becomes a human being should consider birth as a good starting point.

3/8/07 7:08 pm  
Blogger BEAJ said...

I use this logic on abortion: If the fetus can survive outside the mother without the mother's help and using the whatever means science has to offer, and the fetus has a more than reasonable chance of surviving into a normal child, then the abortion should not be performed.

4/8/07 3:59 am  
Blogger Dikkii said...

Welcome back, Beep.

Some nice blogging, as always.

5/8/07 1:39 am  
Blogger breakerslion said...

We hold these truths to be self-evident: All men are created equal, and rich, elitist, white conservatives are more equal than others. They are endowed by their creator (parents?) with certain inalienable rights ("Inaileinable", "unalienable", what's the difference?) and among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ... or property, depending on your source. They also have the right to be eaten by a bad-ass preditor, unless they can properly defend themselves.

Bottom line: it's all rhetoric, and the "right to life" crowd should change their name to "right to birth", since they are obviously snowed by the "pious respect for the fallen hero" crowd. Apparently, right to life is questionable once you are actually born.

The sad truth is, that most of this "right to life" bullshit is motivated by racism. The assholes that wind these follower zombies up are mostly concerned with the idea that advanced cultures are allowing abortions while backward cultures, which they identify with "inferior" races, are continuing to breed.

Really glad you're back by the way, and you can ignore my comment on "world of woo". Things seem to have corrected themselves.

5/8/07 5:48 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

discordianstooge:
Which makes you pro-choice. The pro-life crowd has equated pro-choice with pro-abortion. It doesn't matter if you personally find abortion to be repugnant, if you believe a woman has the right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, you are pro choice.
Oh, great, dichotomy time again. I could care less about what labels pro-lifers insist on. It ain't that black 'n white.

6/8/07 11:11 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

And the anti-abortionists are not pro-life, they are just anti-abortion.

7/8/07 7:49 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

They are anti-abortion and anti-choice.

7/8/07 7:50 am  
Blogger Eclectic Infidel said...

More specifically, the anti-abortion crowd is "pro-birth." Ever notice how "pro-lifers" rant about the choice of the fetus? It's not about life, it never has been. It's rarity to meet a true blue pro-lifer, because to be one, one has to be anti-war, anti-death penalty, anti-suicide, and anti-euthanasia in addition to opposing abortion.

Beaj makes a good point too; one that really sticks it to the anti-abortion crowd.

11/8/07 5:36 am  
Blogger Tommy said...

Funny video Beep!

I look at it this way, for women and teenage girls who are pregnant and are not prepare to handle the awesome responsibility of raising a child, an abortion is the best of a limited choice of bad options.

Then there's this, an 18 year old girl finds herself pregnant. Maybe she was at a college party and someone slipped her a date rape drug and she can't remember a thing. A month or so later she finds out she's pregnant. According to the so-called "right to life" argument, this 18 year old girl has to put her dreams of getting a college degree and career on hold and be forced to carry the pregnancy to term and raise the child. Forcing her to give birth has ramifications for her that are permanent. On the other hand, terminating the pregnancy means she is free to continue with her education, get a job, and wait until she meets the man she really loves and cares for and has children when she is ready. And hopefully she will learn from her experience to be more careful who she hangs out with and what she does.

15/8/07 12:32 pm  
Blogger Simon said...

Hi Beep!! Welcome back. Good post and that video was GREAT!!
As far as the issue du jour I agree with everything Keebo said...and I trust women to make the right decisions.
And it sickens me when men try to criminalize them or make it sound like having an abortion isn't always a painful choice.If men could get pregnant I'd listen to the...but since they can't I don't.
Anyway....I'm sorry to use your comment box to ask a question. But we are having a bit of an abortion debate up here these days...and I want to write something and link to a brilliant post you did about how for so long men thought that life sprang from THEM...and that women were just like flower pots.
If you could tell me what story that was I would appreciate it... :)

20/8/07 11:52 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Simon:

I think the articles you are referring to are these 2. Hope they help in your discussions.:)

BIBLICAL CREATION OR "THE SEED AND POTTING MIX SAGA."
http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/2007/04/biblical-creation-or-seed-and-potting.html

It's All About Sex Baby...
http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/2007/01/its-all-about-sex-baby.html

21/8/07 6:44 pm  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

Beep, an few questions: How would you define "Human"? What is it exactly that gives a human the right to life? When and why does it occur?

Please don't side step any of these questions, just answer them (1,2,3) as you believe.

26/8/07 2:34 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

HUMAN

1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people: human frailty.
2. consisting of people: the human race.
3. of or pertaining to the social aspect of people: human affairs.
4. sympathetic; humane: a warmly human understanding.
–noun 5. a human being.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/human

2. Human beings decide who lives and who dies aparts from the factors of disease, injury and death from natural circumstances.

3. Human life occurs when people have sex and the the 2 gamets fuse to form a zygote. If the process coninues throughout pregnancy, barring spontaneous abortion, or the deliberate termination of a pregnancy, then a baby is born.

4. Human life occurs because it can.

29/8/07 3:39 am  
Blogger Keebo said...

Rather than the question "When is an embryo human?", I've always prefered the question "When can we, as a society of humans, afford an embryo the rights and privileges that human society affords its fellow human citizens?"

And the answer is: When the embryo's rights and perceived desires can no longer conflict with the rights and expressed desires of another citizen, a citizen without whom it will cease to exist.

When the embryo separates from the woman, the citizen whose body of which it is a part, then it becomes a citizen itself. At that point, society is able to step in and advocate on behalf of the infant, WITHOUT trampling on the rights of the mother. At that point, we can legally call it a human. A fellow citizen.

At birth.

Until that time, that embryo is entirely under the woman's control.

Societies that try to afford rights to a baby that is still a part of the body of its mother are, absolutely, removing rights from the mother.

Who's rights is it in society's best interest to protect? One of it's own citizens? Or a cluster of cells that is a part of that citizen's body? No contest. Mommy wins.

Should we grant citizenship, rights, privileges to embryos? Just picture that legal nightmare!

"All rise! The Court will now hear the case of Embryo vs. Mommy. Speaking on behalf of Citizen Embryo . . . . ."

Forcing women to gestate unwanted pregnancies against their will is in no one's best interest. In a world that is absolutely overrun with humans --humans who are destroying more and more of the environment every day -- WHY is forcing women to gestate unwanted children a good idea?

It's not.

30/8/07 6:43 pm  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

Beep: with the exception of #3, you did an amazing job of answering my questions directly while still avoiding them completely.

"Human life occurs when people have sex and the the 2 gamets fuse to form a zygote."

This seems a rather interesting statement, have you changed your views?

Keebo: I congradulate you on one of the best defences for abortion I have ever heard.

However, as studies have proven that unborn babies are alive and feel pain just like we do, I submit that once a woman has chosen to concieve, or take the chance, and pregnant she becomes responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the child within her. It is now her duty to keep that life which she has begun, if not for moral obligations, then only out of respect without which, i think you will agree, society would crumble.

7/9/07 3:42 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

under:

RE: "Human life occurs when people have sex and the the 2 gamets fuse to form a zygote."

This seems a rather interesting statement, have you changed your views?

Human life does not occur when this happens, under?

As per usual, whatever point you may have formulated in your own mind, stays there and is not expressed succinctly here.

8/9/07 7:36 pm  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

An interesting thing to say in light of the following taken from your post:

"It amazes me sometimes that theists will fight tooth and nail to protect a bundle of cells, but dropping thousands of bombs on sentient adults doesn’t seem to pose much of a problem.
Is an acorn the same as an oak tree? Should we ascribe the same rights, value and meaning to a bundle of cells as we do to a fully formed sentient human being?"

As for your last sentance, it is one of a few possibilities.

9/9/07 8:58 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

under:

You repeat what I say, and then assume that you have made a point. You haven't.

9/9/07 1:52 pm  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

Wow.

these two statements do not seem contradictory to you??

"Human life occurs when people have sex and the the 2 gamets fuse to form a zygote."

"It amazes me sometimes that theists will fight tooth and nail to protect a bundle of cells, but dropping thousands of bombs on sentient adults doesn’t seem to pose much of a problem.
Is an acorn the same as an oak tree? Should we ascribe the same rights, value and meaning to a bundle of cells as we do to a fully formed sentient human being?"

11/9/07 8:33 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

under:

Obviously you did not read my post. I believe there are times when it is ok to kill human beings. Understand now?

11/9/07 2:01 pm  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

"lol"

15/9/07 4:32 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

One of these days I am going to be astounded that under actually makes a logical point.

15/9/07 4:53 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

But, I will not be holding my breath.

15/9/07 4:53 am  
Anonymous turist said...

Hope you're very well. And we know you are.
I have been very distant, but let me confess you... you have already convinced me... I'm atheist!

After you, I followed Dawkins, and then many others... is cool.

Hard at the begining, and harder with two increidible kids with ears that can catch every sound in their context.. (catholic context)
I'm trying always to keep good things from religion (a few) and then...I try to show my rational, skeptic and creative option. Just to show them (my kids) that there are other way of thinking.
Thanks for everything, and you have to see my last post, and new look. Ciao

Thanks good

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29/3/08 9:47 pm  

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