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The Forum > Article Comments > Abortion and the human person > Comments

Abortion and the human person : Comments

By Peter Sellick, published 9/7/2018

It seems impossible to refuse the conclusion that the foetus is a potentially self-aware human being and that it may not be disposed of as passive tissue or as animal life.

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In Truth & Reality, contrary to all of the idealist stuff about human beings being made in the "image of 'God'" Christian-ism communicates a very limited and Spiritually impoverished (mis)understanding of what we are as human beings, all wrapped up in one word, namely that we are all "sinners".

If you begin with the presumption of "sin" then everything that you do and say both individually and collectively is INEVITABLY and extension and re-enforcement of your sinfulness. How could it be otherwise!

To be a sinner is to be hell-deep Godless.
Sin is the presumption of separation from The Living Divine Reality. There is no Real Existence until sin is transcended. All actions and states of presumed "knowledge" and experience are empty, painful, problematic, and sinful until the presumption of separation from The Living Divine Being is utterly transcended.

What all beings require is Divine Communion. Without Divine Communion there is no True humanity, no responsibility, and no Real freedom. Without Divine Communion the usual dreadfully sane individual is simply an unconscious functional entity living a bewildered adventure of functional relations, without any sense of a Sacred or Divine Plane to his or her awareness.
Posted by Daffy Duck, Monday, 9 July 2018 9:36:57 AM
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Thanks Peter, I was fascinated by your insight into our human consciousness. "...Persons cannot be reduced to their descriptors because they are sentient beings, and as such are essentially unknowable. Indeed, we are unknowable to our very selves. We have no control over the thoughts that emerge in us, even those who attempt self-awareness are strangers to themselves. This is why "artificial intelligence" is a misnomer." We are truly God-like, unknowable, even to ourselves Alfred
Posted by Alfred, Monday, 9 July 2018 9:58:47 AM
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If you spend some time reading any of the billions of words written by Christians you will not get any sense whatsoever that the human body-mind-complex, and the World Process altogether is a psycho-physical Process. Nor, with rare exception will you any talk about the nature of Consciousness with a capital C, or of the paradoxical nature of Light, which is the Energy of Consciousness.

Nor will you find any hint of a suggestion what happens when we go to sleep every night - re spend a third of life sleeping.

The contents and significance of the dream state is never mentioned.

Nor is the nature and significance of the formless deep sleep state in which there are no objects, in which we are relieved of the inherent stress caused by objects and human others. This is why nearly all human beings quite readily go to sleep every night.

The formless state of deep state is actually the closest we come to our Real Condition - it has quite rightly been called the poor man's samadhi.

This essay provides a unique Illuminated Understanding of what we are as human beings and the Process that we are all involved in.

http://www.beezone.com/da_publications/unique.html

Re the all-important topic of sexuality the book introduced at this reference gives a very comprehensive description of the subtle psycho-physical yogic processes involved in becoming responsible for ones reproductive potential, and what it thus requires even to prepare one's own body-mind-complex before becoming a parent.

http://www.beezone.com/da_publications/small.html

There is more Wisdom communicated just in the Table of Contents of this book than all of the usual double-minded Christian blather on this very important topic
Posted by Daffy Duck, Monday, 9 July 2018 7:49:23 PM
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Dear Peter,

During WW2 my cousin’s boyfriend went off to war. Two months she got word that he had been killed in battle, and she found herself pregnant. She committed suicide apparently feeling there was no alternative. She was a wonderful person, and I think of her when I hear of the rights of the foetus.
Posted by david f, Monday, 9 July 2018 8:30:49 PM
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One of the problems of abortion is that it is seen as a solution. Sometimes seen as the only solution. If it wasn't for that, how wrong it really is would be seen more easily.

With that in mind, in order to fight abortion I think we need to fight for other solutions, and fight for other options to be known. Or even for more of the options to be readily available, like finical assistance to adopt or something simular.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 1:42:22 AM
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//With that in mind, in order to fight abortion I think we need to fight for other solutions, and fight for other options to be known. Or even for more of the options to be readily available, like finical assistance to adopt or something simular.//

But what if you make all those other options (let's face it, we're talking about adoption) available and women would still rather have abortions rather than give their kids up for adoption?

What's your Plan B in that scenario?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 1:51:21 AM
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.

Dear Peter,

.

You wrote :

« The fall of Christendom and the rise of secularism has profound consequences for our understanding of the human person »
.

As I am sure you are aware, Peter, secularism (the separation of the state from religious institutions) has not "risen" (increased). It is a principle that remains constant. Nor could you possibly ignore the fact that the "fall" (decline) of Christendom has nothing to do with secularism. It is due essentially to two factors :

• the lack of credibility of the Church’s dogma and teachings to an increasingly better educated public in the modern world of the 21st century.

• the falling fertility rate (births per woman) in all countries without exception, and in dramatic proportions in Western countries. In Australia, the fertility rate fell from 3.5 in 1960 to 1.8 in 2016 :

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN

It is quite naughty of you to misinform and mislead your faithful flock of followers in this way. I am sure you know better.
.

Even more surprisingly, you declare :

« We have no control over the thoughts that emerge in us »

Really ? That is a most astonishing statement. Do you really believe that we are incapable of reflection, of analysing our thoughts; of modifying or rejecting them? Perhaps, even, of realising that the exact opposite is true? Do you believe that we have no control whatsoever over them? Do we simply act on our uncontrolled impulses?

If so, I beg to differ.
.

Also, with reference to the equalitarianism ideal that is the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), you note that Iran declared that it would always choose Islamic law. Since then, Iran has led the struggle to modify the UDHR.

As you probably know, Iran is a founding member of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) created in 1972, with 57-member states comprising a total population of about 1.5 billion. Iran’s historic rival, Saudi Arabia, is also a founding member.

Ironically, it was an Australian Christian fundamentalist, Denis Michael Rohan, who ...

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 2:14:11 AM
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If adoption was compairable in price to abortion then it would at least be a start. Right now they aren't on the same playing field of it being a readily available option.

There are other issues that abortion is seen as a solution to though. Most of them stem around the idea that the woman's life is over because of the pregnancy, or because of the baby. ("It'll ruin your life," kind of thinking). That kind of issue isn't resolved in adoption alone but can be addressed by a culture shift away from shaming new mothers that descided to keep their baby, or by helping find resources (such as jobs or incouraging community and family assistance).

But yes adoption is the biggest solution that I am aware of, and should be more available. At least as readily available an option as abortion is.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 2:17:00 AM
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.

(Continued …)

.

... prompted the creation of the OIC when he set fire to the pulpit of the Al-Aqsa mosque, in Jerusalem triggering an uproar throughout Islam :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Michael_Rohan
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As for abortion, you have amply explained your reasons for opposing it, so I shall not add to that. On the positive side, I should like to quote from the speech of Simone Veil who presented the project of law legalizing abortion in France in 1974 : “No woman ever resorts to abortion with pleasure. You just have to hear the women. It is always a tragedy. It will always be a tragedy".

In addition, the following four reasons come to mind :

1. The right to choose

It’s her body, and it should be her choice. Abortion is never an easy decision. However, it should be a decision made by women themselves and not by (overwhelmingly male) lawmakers. Women know their own situation better than any judge or politician, and they are best-placed to make the difficult choice. The state should never force a woman to carry a foetus to term against her wishes

2. Banning abortion is condemning women to die

Every 11 minutes, a woman somewhere in the world dies from complications related to unsafe abortion. Making abortion illegal does not reduce the number of terminations taking place. Instead, it often drives women into the hands of black market abortionists, who perform illegal and unsafe operations

3. Legalising abortion does not mean more abortions

Several countries that have legalised abortion (such as Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands) actually have a lower rate of abortion than many countries in which the practice is illegal. This is because countries that ban abortion often also ban or heavily restrict access to contraceptives and sex education. If abortion is one option alongside a set of family planning measures available to women (and men), then it can be safe, legal, and rare

4. Obeying the supposed law of a hypothetical god can only be the personal choice of a woman who believes in a god who opposes abortion.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 2:20:45 AM
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Killing a human is wrong. Expecially killing an innocent person. If there was less focus on abortion being the solution, then the rational of it's only killing a feotus would dissipate as well. I'm confidant that if abortion wasn't seen as the only realible choice, then the rationalizations and excuses used to support abortion would die off too.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 2:31:35 AM
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There are no free rides for women or the aborted child, with abortion as the final solution.

As a convenient alternative to the Chinese solution of leaving the new born at the front gate overnight, to feed stray dogs, it has a more civilised and refined efficiency in the West.

But in the end it is all simply murder!
Posted by diver dan, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 6:18:52 AM
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The dream...

There appears to be a crying need for a bright young geneticist to modify women's bodies, to act in the reverse of their current and natural morphology.

This whole agonising question of wether or not to kill a foetus would be eliminated, if women could swallow a pill to become pregnant, rather than the opposite.
Posted by diver dan, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 6:58:52 AM
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If abortion was made illegal, if any woman who 'fell' pregnant was made to carry the foetus until birth, perhaps - as their part of the arrangement - the men responsible could automatically be required to raise the child. That may share the responsibility around a bit more.

Of course, many women would want to keep their child, so the financial costs of that decision could also be borne by the blokes responsible. A living wage could be paid to any woman by the father of their child until the child was eighteen.

Yep, that should solve the problem.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 9:09:45 AM
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I'm all in favour of Retrospective Abortion in some cases.
Posted by Is Mise, Tuesday, 10 July 2018 9:55:04 AM
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.

Dear Peter,

.

Here are some interesting facts and figures on abortion :

Legal restrictions on abortion do not affect its incidence. For example, the abortion rate is 29 in Africa, where abortion is illegal in many circumstances in most countries, and it is 28 in Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds. The lowest rates in the world are in Western and Northern Europe, where abortion is accessible with few restrictions.

Here are the top 5 countries with the highest abortion rates :

http://top5ofanything.com/list/292947b6/Countries-with-the-Highest-Abortion-Rates-(all-countries)
.

El Salvador (a staunch Catholic country) is the worst place in the world for women’s reproductive rights :

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/el-salvador-miscarriage-abortion-strictest-laws-in-world-sonia-t-bora-a7584671.html
.

« In the US, the risk of maternal death from abortion is 0.7 per 100,000 procedures, making abortion about 13 times safer for women than childbirth (8.8 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births).
While maternal mortality seldom results from safe abortions, unsafe abortions result in 70,000 deaths and 5 million disabilities worldwide, each year. Complications of unsafe abortion account for approximately an eighth of maternal mortalities worldwide. Secondary infertility caused by an unsafe abortion affects an estimated 24 million women. The rate of unsafe [illegal] abortions has increased from 44% to 49% between 1995 and 2008.

Countries with restrictive abortion laws have higher rates of unsafe [illegal] abortion and similar overall abortion rates compared to those where abortion is legal and available. For example, the 1996 legalization of abortion in South Africa had an immediate positive impact on the frequency of abortion-related complications, with abortion-related deaths dropping by more than 90%. Similar reductions in maternal mortality have been observed after other countries have liberalized their abortion laws, such as Romania and Nepal » :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion
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I can't help thinking that it is partly due the Church's intransigent and callous attitude to human tragedies such as abortion that the "fall of Christendom" is also attributable.

But then, I guess the Church is not human, is it ?

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 1:37:52 AM
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To Is Mise.

I'm against abortion to begin with, but retrospective abortions? The death penality for anyone should be something in the courts and only for a crime worth that degree of punishment. I don't know what retrospective abortions are but they sound like murdering your kids after they're born. Is that the jist of it? Or is it something like Court approved killing but without a crime worth a death penality kind of thing?
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 2:51:39 AM
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Religion or politics have separate our belief. It's like following two leaders that think about humanity and the other about morality. However, no matter which way we go killing is still killing. God lend this body and soul to us and no one has the right to take it. I cannot see abortion as a solution, its a destruction. Slowly and slowly our generation thinks no more about morality and maybe they will forget even humanity and that will be the time that we feared most that we raised our kids in a world that we created. If you are pregnant then let it be. You're the one who rush things so you must know the consequences you'll have. The idea of taking a precious baby's life is no good. Some girls reason is they cannot raise the kid in a wealthy life, then don't. Just let him/her live. If you had already aborted your baby think about what he became a football superstar? Or she became a doctor? Don't abort the child you can give birth to her/him an leave him in an orphanage house where he/she can see the beauty of the world. It is still a human being and making it live is the only thing you can do.
Posted by MandyMania29, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 6:34:50 PM
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Dear Mandymania,

When one aborts they may be killing another Einstein. They may also be killing another Hitler. In my opinion a woman has a right to terminate a pregnancy, and that right outweighs the right of someone else to interfere with her. It also outweighs any right of the foetus.
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 8:49:19 PM
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Hi David,

A man should have an equal say in an abortion decision IF he is prepared to take responsibility for raising a baby, say until it's eighteen, as a sort of compensation for a woman having to carry and bear a child. IF a bloke doesn't want to do that, then he should have no say at all in what a woman may have to do with her body.

Of course, if a bloke wants a woman to keep his baby and raise it while he pisses off, then of course he should pay her a living wage for the duration.

It's all simple really.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 9:37:47 PM
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Dear Joe,

It is not his baby, but it is their baby. If pregnancy goes to the end she will have to go through labour. If a baby is born she will probably have to do the caring, training and raising. Therefore she should be the one to make the decision as to whether she wants to go to term or not. Only if it was a joint decision before she was impregnated should he have a voice.
Posted by david f, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 9:54:09 PM
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Hi again David,

Well, yeah, that's my point :)

Cheers,

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 10:13:58 PM
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Having abortion considered as a valid solution is a sickness on society. There is too many excuses to justify abortion (it's a fetus not a person, it's a woman's choice, ect), and too many hard situtions to justify abortion (young mothers, hard family lives, poverty, or just inconvenience and "choosing" not to have the baby).

However any and all of these reasons fall flat on their face when talking about killing babies after they are born. At that point, there is an uprising for some action to resolve the issues. Whatever those issues could be. The inconvience of being a mother is not a resonable excuse to kill a child after they are born. But it is an excuse before the child is born.

With this in mind, I say it again. If other solutions such as adoption were readily available as abortion is, then I expect it would kill the rationalizations for abortion, to only 2. Was the woman raped, and is her health in danger due to the pregnancy. Outside of that, the consquence of a pregnancy is a hard consquence of not keeping your pants up. Facing that consquence by starting a family, might just be the change in culture needed to step away from loose and casual sex.

Of course the other option is to kill the unborn. A solution that is too tempting in my opinion, and shows a sickness in society. Who chooses death over responsibility? Apparently that's the world we live in. May the next generations be better then our own. The current stastatistic soft abortion is 1 in 5 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. May the next generation be better then our own.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 11 July 2018 11:38:52 PM
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Dear NNS,

I think you probably are a man who will never will be pregnant and can talk about a sickness of society. In my opinion we are a healthier society in giving a woman a choice as to whether to bring a pregnancy to term. You will never feel the desperation of being a pregnant woman who has no place to turn to like my cousin who was pregnant and committed suicide. Her life and the life of the foetus in her was ended. Adoption or being a single mother was not a choice for her. Her only choice in the absence of a legal means of abortion was death, but you can feel holy. You can feel self-righteous. All hail the foetus!

I agree with you that there is a sickness in society. Only I think the sickness resides with people like you who can feel self-righteous in rolling back the clock and denying a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy - people like you who would bring back the backyard butcher. I think this generation in which a woman has the freedom to terminate a pregnancy is better than the past generation in which my cousin's only choice was suicide.

Her young man went off to war and was not coming back, and moralistic monsters can talk about keeping her pants up. No feeling for the desperate woman!

All hail the foetus!
Posted by david f, Thursday, 12 July 2018 2:12:13 AM
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David F.

Two things to set the record streight.

1). I'm not just suggesting removing abortion. I'm suggesting to make adoption just as available. From that my figuring is that abortion rates and the reasons to abort would die off. If there are any other solutions like options for a military widow to have a one time payment after the news of their husband's death, a payment for the services that man died for to the woman he loved. That could potentially be enough to help give the woman some other options then kill herself. My question is why wasn't adoption available to her? Why was suicide her only option? Because of what happened to your cousin I can stand by my statement that there is a sickness in society. Blame it on me if you want, but there should have been other options.

2). I wish this wasn't the case, but I'm not innocent when it comes to abortion. My wife and I, before we were married, had a quick panic because of a condom. You don't need any details, but the result was we got a plan b pill just in case.

When I say we have a sickness in society I'm including myself in that assessment. We live in a world where sex is expected and encouraged as an act of love long before any act of commitment is given in a relationship. We live in a world where the shame and potential hardship of having a child out of marriage is a reason for killing the child. This would not be allowed if the child is born. It should not be be viewed as a respectable choice to tempt people with before the baby is born either.

We have a sickness in society. And personally I would like a better world for the next generation to grow up in. It has to start somewhere. Let's start by making adoption affordable.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 12 July 2018 2:39:08 AM
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Dear NNS,

The problem with my cousin was not the unavailability of adoption. The problem was having a baby. Adoption is a solution for you. It wasn't for her. She couldn't even tell her mother she was pregnant. She might have killed herself even if her boyfriend hadn't been killed and was willing to come back and marry her. Poison was available. Legal, medically approved abortion wasn't. She lived in a sick society. I think we have a healthier society now.

Adoption is not a solution when pregnancy is the problem. Lack of money was not the problem. I think I would have been willing to marry her if I had known of her situation before she killed herself. I think society is sick in some ways but not in allowing a woman a choice.

I think it is a sickness of society when Turnbull states that he would like to see Australia one of the top ten arms producers, and there is relative silence. That is money for blood. Arms kill people of all ages including foetuses, but apparently that is ok. All hail the foetus!
Posted by david f, Thursday, 12 July 2018 3:13:38 AM
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.

Dear Peter,

.

In my previous post on page 3 of this thread, I surmised that perhaps the “Church” might not be human. Here are some indications from the Catholic Encyclopedia and the OED :
.

Catholic Encyclopedia definition of the word “Church” :

« The definition of the Church given by Saint Robert Bellarmine is that usually adopted by Catholic theologians : "A body of men united together by the profession of the same Christian Faith , and by participation in the same sacraments, under the governance of lawful pastors, more especially of the Roman Pontiff, the sole vicar of Christ on earth"

Note :

Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church. He was inquisitor at three infamous inquisitions :

• The inquisition of Giordano Bruno, a Dominican Friar, philosopher, mathematician, and cosmologist, who was condemned for heresy and burnt at the stake

• The inquisition of Galileo who managed to have his sentence limited to “indefinite imprisonment” by abandoning Copernic’s theory which he had upheld : that the earth revolved around the sun and not the inverse

• The inquisition of Friar Fulgenzio Manfredi who was charged with the possession of forbidden books, contacts with heretics and autographed attacks on Catholic doctrine, the de-legitimisation of the Pope and the Council of Trent, and accusations of heresy. He was condemned as a “relapsed heretic” and burnt at the stake.
.

OED (Oxford English Dictionary) definition of the word “Church” :

1. A building used for public Christian worship.

2. A particular Christian organization with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines.

3. The hierarchy of clergy within a particular Christian Church.

4. Institutionalized religion as a political or social force.
.

Conclusion :

The “human” aspect of the “Church” does not appear to be particularly evident in either of these two definitions.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 12 July 2018 8:20:42 AM
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//With this in mind, I say it again. If other solutions such as adoption were readily available//

It is. I don't think the impediments to giving a child up for adoption are as vast as you imagine. Some countries even have baby hatches, which definitely takes the hassle away... people in those countries still have abortions rather than anonymously dropping their kid in the baby hatch.

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

You might want to have proper think about why that might be the case. And somehow, I don't think it's because a significant proportion of the female population are sick or wicked. Just from a statistical point of view, they can't possibly all be pyschopaths. If women who abort their kids are all evil monsters, we're missing an awful lot of evil monsters.

//might just be the change in culture needed to step away from loose and casual sex.//

What's wrong with casual sex, dude? Casual sex is awesome. If two (or more, if you're into that sort of thing) consenting adults wish to engage in the congress of the wombat, what is wrong with that? Why get so hung up about it? And why do you feel that it's anybody's business except the parties involved?

Just remember: if it's not on it's not on.

//Who chooses death over responsibility?//

A lot of women. A lot of normal, everyday, next-door neighbour type women who work and pay taxes and obey the law and are generally good, nice people. That you would so readily condemn says far more about your narrow-minded judgemental attitudes then it does about their supposed lack of morals.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Thursday, 12 July 2018 8:52:20 AM
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//May the next generation be better then our own.//

Women have been having abortions for a very long time, across a borad range of cultures, NNS. I can't see it changing in a hurry.

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

The difference is that these days we have safe, medically supervised abortions. I think that's a lot better than women having to go to backyard butchers like they used to.

//Let's start by making adoption affordable.//

Sure, great idea. If parents want to adopt, I think the Government could do more to make it less onerous and more affordable.

But I don't see how that's going to address the problem of women not wanting to give their kids up for adoption in the first place. I'm not sure you've really thought this through. You seem to have concluded that if it's easier for people to adopt children, that will spontaneously cause women to want to give their children up for adoption, as if by magic.

After all, if women can have children and then anonymously drop them in a baby hatch - no cost, no responsibility - but they choose to have an abortion instead, doesn't that suggest to you that this matter is little more nuanced than your simplistic solution suggests?

Maybe some women would simply prefer to have an abortion to having a child and then relinquishing it? Maybe they're actually rational, intelligent beings who make a carefully considered decision where they weigh up the distress having an abortion will cause them vs. the distress having a child and reliquishing it will cause them, and then make a decision based on what they feel is best for them.

And maybe they when they're making that very important and personal decision they really don't give a rat's arse what distress them choosing an abortion will cause to you personally... and why the bloody hell should they?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Thursday, 12 July 2018 8:53:25 AM
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Hi Toni,

Why are we talking about here ? A man and a woman have sex and the woman gets pregnant. If abortion was illegal, that leaves her in a far more difficult position than the bloke who might have pissed off and gone onto his next partner, perhaps to repeat the process. So how to either keep abortion legal or, as NSS may prefer, share the responsibilities ?

The woman, not the man, carries the baby to term, with all the inconveniences that brings, plus the chance of birth complications. If the bloke is still around, he is merely a spectator at that stage. Having gone to all that trouble, should a woman then have to look after the child until it's an adult while the bloke goes scot-free ?

So why not give her the option of passing the baby over to the bloke until it's eighteen, or looking after it herself with a living wage provided by the bloke - all under strict government regulation ? I recall that that used to be the legal situation, I knew quite a few blokes who had their pay 'garnisheed'. Of course, it may be difficult if the woman is unwilling to dob her partner in, but she may change her mind if the only other options are spelt out clearly: have the child adopted out, or look after it herself, on god-knows-what income.

But let's get back to the underlying issue: is an embryo a human being ? Most of us these days would say, not yet. At three months ? Okay, it's forming into a human being, but up until then, no. So abortion up until then is not really the ending of a human life.

And of course there may be complications for the mother-to-be after that, so abortion may be necessary later in the pregnancy to save her life, which many of us forget is, after all, the life of a living, viable human being.

So those may be the options: keep abortion legal, or pass the responsiblities onto the spectator.

Cheers,

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Thursday, 12 July 2018 10:08:57 AM
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Yep murder the unborn, leave the adoption list a mile long and import those who are happy to take multiple wives and have welfare pay. What a civilised mob we are.
Posted by runner, Thursday, 12 July 2018 4:21:38 PM
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.

Dear Peter,

.

The Christian Church buildings are often referred to as “God’s House”, never the “House of the Faithful” or the “House of the People” or any other appellation that might somehow suggest that they are dedicated to the ordinary men, women and children who frequent them.

After all, who are the churches built for ? God ? Why does God need buildings ? Isn’t God supposed to be “infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient” ? Aren’t churches built for the “faithful”, the adherents to particular religions, to create an awesome and peaceful atmosphere of sanctity, not for God – he doesn’t need that – but for the “faithful”, the ordinary men, women and children who (as you say) are “sentient beings” and believe there is a God ?

In the US, the “People’s House” is what the Democrats call the House of Representatives. No God there at all. He is in a completely different building, at another address.

Strange, isn’t it ?

It seems that, for the American Democrats, the House of Representatives is far more human than the Church.

Maybe the Grand Old Party has a different point of view.

I shouldn't be surprised if it did.

Would you ?

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Thursday, 12 July 2018 8:01:19 PM
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To David F.

This is going to sound harsh, but hear me out please. Suicide in my opinion is another very drastic symptom of the world, (or maybe more locally the nation or the culture that has suicides), that the world is sick. I take suicide as a serious matter and don't want my comments to be assessed as dismissing or lowering the value of suicide as an issue.

However with that said, why was the suicide committed, and in larger groups of people are there dynamic cultural structures that create reasons or conditions for suicide on a more massive scale?

With that in mind, you said your cousin couldn't tell her mother she was pregnant. But instead decided to commit suicide. This is a question not just for your cousin but for the larger society as a whole. Why couldn't she have told her mother she was pregnant? What was the underlying issue to stop her? I don't know your family dynamics but my first guess for her and those who face the same fear is the shame in telling her mom, and potentially the reaction the could come from it. If there are other reasons that you feel comfortable sharing, please go a head and do so. I know suicide is a very emotional time in which burdens become so huge for a person to face and deal with. Shame and the assumed backlash are huge burdens when in a situation where suicide wins out as a solution.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Friday, 13 July 2018 3:18:31 AM
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(Continued)

As for today, there are abortion programs for people to have abortions in secret away from stigma and shame. This might seem to be the solution but in it the solution calls for killing unborn babies. Murder is the wrong word here because that's a criminal offense and murder is not accepted by society as a whole. None the less this killing of unborn children is still killing. And it is viewed as acceptable. A solution to the problem of pregnancy. That in my opinion is as monstrous as suicide is tragic.

This "solution" is where much of my comments have stemmed from. The problem with abortion is that it is seen as a solution and therefore killing children (as long as we don't see them and acknowledge they are alive and human) is an acceptable socially recognized venue to another problem of an over sexed and sex driven issues. Love, sex, and all the emotions related to relationships are an unlooked at issue because the consequence of pregnancy is solved by socially accepted killing.

(I'll get back to that later Toni Lavis, and thank you for the link on baby hatches. For now this is all I have time to comment on).
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Friday, 13 July 2018 3:20:05 AM
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Hi NSS,

When's your birthday ? The day you were born, or the day when your mum's egg was fertilised by your dad's sperm ? When do you celebrate ? Has it ever occurred to you to calculate that DoF, the Date of your Fertiisation ?

As a bloke, I'm not sure that I have much right to tell any woman what to do with her body. I can have fun for a couple of hours, maybe three, while she must deal with the consequences of that ecstasy for perhaps nine months, or if she takes the advice of many spectating men here, for eighteen years. There are no real consequences for me, unless she dobs me in to the various authorities, but I've probably pissed off by then, which might be inconvenient for me, but not for eighteen years at a stretch.

It's her business, first and foremost. Keep offering advice though, although it's not really your business or mine.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Friday, 13 July 2018 10:06:22 AM
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Dear NNS,

I cannot tell you what was in my cousin’s mind. I know she didn’t tell her mother because her mother did not know she was pregnant until the girl was examined after her death. I can only assume that she thought life was no longer worth living in her circumstances. In her social milieu that was probably a reasonable judgment. I don’t think the social milieu that she was a part of has changed, but a girl in her circumstances now has an alternative, and that alternative is an abortion by a qualified medical practitioner.

In my opinion you and people like are part of the problem. You and people like think certain things are moral and certain things are immoral. I also feel that certain things are moral and certain things are immoral. However, I don’t feel that everybody has to have the same standards as I have. You apparently see your standards as standards everyone else should have.


To call a fetus an unborn baby is emotive language. A fetus does not necessarily become a baby even there is no abortion. Sometimes natural conditions terminate a pregnancy. You, I and other people will eventually die so all living people can be called undead persons. If you want to have a rational discussion about abortion you can start by calling a fetus what it is rather than call it an unborn baby.

Abortion is not killing children because a fetus is not a child. A fetus is human and alive, but it is not a child. If you want to have a rational discussion about abortion you can start by calling a fetus what it is rather than call it a child.
Posted by david f, Friday, 13 July 2018 8:30:59 PM
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Dear NNS,

To me it is a great social advance that a pregnant woman who does not want the pregnancy to go to term can get an abortion by a qualified medical practitioner. To me it will also be a great advance if a person who does want to live any more can be offered a simple non-painful end to her or his life. The person may be required to see a psychiatrist to determine whether it is due to depression which can be treated or whether it is a based on a rational judgment of the person’s circumstances.

In Japanese society if there is a great loss of face a person is expected to commit suicide. Should that mean that we have to feel the same about suicide? I feel no more bound by Japanese culture than I do by your religion.

You have already admitted your belief in a hell that people who don’t believe in your silly and stupid superstition get put into. It is a silly and stupid superstition because no reasonable religion would condemn people to an eternity of suffering for an opinion. You talked about a sick society. A religion that would condemn people to an eternity of suffering for an opinion is a sick religion.

Calling a religion silly and stupid is emotive language even if one judges it to be silly and stupid. Calling a fetus an unborn baby or a child is also emotive language. I’m sure you don’t like your religion called silly and stupid. Well, I don’t like a fetus called an unborn baby or a child. If you want to continue this conversation please try to stop using emotive language.
Posted by david f, Friday, 13 July 2018 8:33:58 PM
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.

Such is life,

.

Question : When does life begin ?

Reply (the astrophysicists) : On earth, it began about 3.7 billion years ago.

Question : At which point in time does an individual’s life begin ?

Reply 1. (Thomas Howell in New Sonnets and pretty Pamphlets, 1570) :

« Counte not thy Chickens that vnhatched be,
Waye wordes as winde, till thou finde certaintee »

Reply 2. (Samuel Butler’s poem “Hudibras”, 1664) :

« To swallow gudgeons ere they're catch'd,
And count their chickens ere they're hatched »

Reply 3. (proverbial words of advice that have withstood the test of time, 2018) :

« Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched »

Remark : And you can’t Christen “chickens” before they’re hatched can you ?
.

« A Bush Christening » :

On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
For the youngster had never been christened,

And his wife used to cry, "If the darlin' should die
Saint Peter would not recognise him."
But by luck he survived till a preacher arrived,
Who agreed straightaway to baptise him.

Now the artful young rogue, while they held their collogue,
With his ear to the keyhole was listenin',
And he muttered in fright while his features turned white,
"What the divil and all is this christenin'?"

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 13 July 2018 9:15:36 PM
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.

(Continued …)

.

He was none of your dolts, he had seen them brand colts,
And it seemed to his small understanding,
If the man in the frock made him one of the flock,
It must mean something very like branding.

So away with a rush he set off for the bush,
While the tears in his eyelids they glistened-
"'Tis outrageous," says he, "to brand youngsters like me,
I'll be dashed if I'll stop to be christened!"

Like a young native dog he ran into a log,
And his father with language uncivil,
Never heeding the "praste" cried aloud in his haste,
"Come out and be christened, you divil!"

But he lay there as snug as a bug in a rug,
And his parents in vain might reprove him,
Till his reverence spoke (he was fond of a joke)
"I've a notion," says he, "that'll move him."

"Poke a stick up the log, give the spalpeen a prog;
Poke him aisy-don't hurt him or maim him,
'Tis not long that he'll stand, I've the water at hand,
As he rushes out this end I'll name him.

"Here he comes, and for shame! ye've forgotten the name-
Is it Patsy or Michael or Dinnis?"
Here the youngster ran out, and the priest gave a shout-
"Take your chance, anyhow, wid 'Maginnis'!"

As the howling young cub ran away to the scrub
Where he knew that pursuit would be risky,
The priest, as he fled, flung a flask at his head
That was labelled "Maginnis's Whisky!"

And Maginnis Magee has been made a J.P.,
And the one thing he hates more than sin is
To be asked by the folk who have heard of the joke,
How he came to be christened "Maginnis"!

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 13 July 2018 9:20:29 PM
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Yep to call the unborn baby is as scientific as calling a jew a pig. Disgraceful with biology again ignored by the killers.
Posted by runner, Friday, 13 July 2018 10:40:00 PM
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//Yep to call the unborn baby is as scientific as...///

Use your words, runner.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Friday, 13 July 2018 11:34:18 PM
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Hi Loudmouth.

My day of conception seems to have been around late July. But I celebrate my birthday in April. A little interesting to look up, but not something I want too much detail on I guess.

As for rights of a man versus a woman about what to do with the pregnancy, I'm aware of the hard situation placed on many women. And this is in part what my reply to Toni Lavis was going to be on. Part of the problem is the willingness to have sex way too early in a relationship. Too often to have sex with no expectation of a relationship later. This feeds the dilemma of the burden on women. I get that, but how is it not sickening that death is one of the most accepted solutions. In my opinion a stronger sense of commitment should be taught to kids, for them to have before they are willing to have sex. In a culture where sex is expected way too early, I see casual sex as a problem. Not just for abortion reasons, but abortion is definitely one of the bigger reasons.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Saturday, 14 July 2018 2:20:31 AM
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To David F.

I'm sorry if I asked a hard question regarding what might have influenced your cousin to commit suicide. I have been in a relationship that at the time meant so much to me, when it ended I had to fight against suicide as well. I don't know if this will help you or anyone else if you find them in a similar state of mind, but one of the reasons that held me away from that horrible decision was knowing how hard it is for parents to lose their children. So I reasoned it was a horrible thing to consider to willingly choose death and put my parents through that. That reason kept the action at bay long enough for life to move on and eventually get better for me.

Today I take suicide as a serious matter, and if anyone has insight about what situations trigger it, it might help in strengthening people against those issues earlier in their life, before the situation comes up and is hard to deal with at that time. That's largely why I asked, but I'm sorry if it was unfair to ask you.

As for fetus versus unborn baby/ unborn child. I I'll stick by my word choice. I think the term fetus is our culture trying to hide behind a medical term to distance themselves from the choice to kill. Ask a woman who's had a miscarriage. Did she lose a fetus? Or did she lose her baby? Or better still don't put her through that, but instead don't let yourself hide the matter behind a medical term, instead of calling it for what it really is. A fetus is the medical term for an unborn baby. There's no reason to shy away from it being known as an unborn baby.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Saturday, 14 July 2018 2:22:13 AM
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To Toni Lavis.

You asked, what's wrong with casual sex. For one thing that pertains to this discussion it feeds the issues of abortion and the willingness to kill an unborn child. And in that people are willing and able to look for justification to that choice. From debates on if the fetus is a human yet, to officiating the issue by calling it a fetus in the first place. Without casual sex as being as acceptable, abortion might occur less often. (Regardless if it's legal and safe, or done in unsafe conditions). To really fix this issue though, it's not just that casual sex shouldn't be accepted, but also that life is more important then facing people's reactions to having sex outside of marriage. That way when casual sex does happen, it doesn't have to feed the issue to choose abortion.

Moving off the topic of abortion. What's wrong with casual sex is that it is often confused with love by at least one of the participants of the sex. Going back to heartbreak and suicide, if people held off on showing their love in the act of sex, they could fight off this reason for suicide. Wait until there's a commitment before getting into bed with someone.

Even without suicide as a result. The heartbreak you avoid giving, results in not having casual sex. It also can fend off adultery because those cheating on their spouse won't have the chance to have a casual fling if the other people to have a fling with expect more commitment before giving themselves up in the act. Without casual sex so many STDs can be avoided as well. A point earlier made by David F that abortion isn't the problem, pregnancy is. But if casual sex wasn't socially accepted (and largely expected) then pregnancy wouldn't be a problem that needed a killing solution for.

Not to mention how sex is used in unhealthy relationships. That's an issue on it's own, and hopefully too rare to count as a reason. But it is out there.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Saturday, 14 July 2018 3:30:19 AM
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(Continued)

There you go Toni. Reasons why casual sex should not be accepted, or promoted. That said I don't think my words will be enough to influence people away from our strong sexual desires. In my opinion having other solutions to abortion is one step. The baby hatch is one of those options and I approve of it. Unfortunately in the countries that have it practiced, not many have laws that support it. I wasn't aware of much of that info before you shared that link. So again I thank you. A second step might be stronger values towards unborn babies as being unborn babies. And with that more of the population having kids even though they had them out of marriage or had them in their teens. It can be done. One of my high school friends had a loving mother who had her as a teen. Personally I'm happy she's alive and wasn't aborted.

It might also discourage others from having sex too early because they watch their friend go through the pregnancy and the labor. Not to discourage having children, but to realize that they aren't ready for that yet. A solution that might be two generations away to change our culture of casual sex, but can start now with our generation valuing the life in them and going full term instead of aborting.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Saturday, 14 July 2018 3:32:15 AM
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Dear undead human aka NNS,

The right of a woman to have an abortion by a qualified medical practitioner has been a hard-fought right which is now the law of the land. I would like to see adequate information on preventing conception provided in the schools and other places, an adequate supply of contraceptives and encouragement of their use. That would make abortion less needed but would not eliminate it. Unfortunately many of those who are against abortion are also against the use of contraceptives. They are against people having sexual relations unless people go through certain formalities. H. L. Mencken described the ideology of these people as “Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”



A few years ago I attended an atheist's convention in Melbourne. It was a sedate affair with discussion. Some of the discussions involved the persecution and murder of people who openly proclaimed themselves as atheists. In some societies that happens. In Australia we have the freedom to have any opinion regarding religion. The atheists convention was a sedate affair- no drunks – no outrageous pranks or obnoxious behavior. Outside the building there were groups of Muslim and Christian pickets. Apparently they objected to the fact we didn’t subscribe to their theistic fantasies.

Nearby was a hotbed of vice – a casino. Casinos bring with a host of social ills such as bankruptcies and prostitution. However, the pickets didn’t seem concerned with the casino or the social ills connected with it. They were upset with us.

Some God-botherers not only have the fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy, they want to control both the minds and bodies of others who don’t share their delusions.
Posted by david f, Saturday, 14 July 2018 6:19:16 AM
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//From debates on if the fetus is a human yet, to officiating the issue by calling it a fetus in the first place.//

Foetus is the technically correct term for a human in certain phase of the prenatal development. It goes zygote -> blastocyst -> embryo -> foetus, if my memory serves me correctly. I shouldn't worry too much about it if I were you. It's technical jargon, intended for biologists and doctors and science nerds like me who to be technically correct about stuff. Regardless of what you call it it's still the same thing.

//Without casual sex as being as acceptable, abortion might occur less often.//

Yeah, but expecting people to just abstain from Cody simply isn't realistic. He has his own truck, does a hundred push-ups every morning and plays the guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKDlyjce-UM

Sorry, dude. Cody's really popular. And frankly, it's not hard to see why. I think that you'll be fighting a losing battle to make Cody less acceptable, even if it would reduce the abortion rate. I really think that a better strategy would be to educate people as much as possible about Cody, rather than wasting all your efforts of trying to make people not like Cody. Because mate, we've always liked Cody and we always will. It's hardwired in, I'm afraid.

//What's wrong with casual sex is that it is often confused with love by at least one of the participants of the sex.//

Yeah, perhaps, when they're young and naive I suppose. I rather suspect that even fairly thick people cotton on fairly quickly that there's a bit more to love than shagging a stranger. I feel sorry for those who don't... but what can you do?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 14 July 2018 9:03:14 PM
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//Going back to heartbreak and suicide, if people held off on showing their love in the act of sex, they could fight off this reason for suicide.//

Well I've had some bad sex in my time, but if it leaves you heartbroken and suicidal....

Hang on, you're not talking about casual sex at all, are we? You're talking about sex between committed, romantically involved couples. Not just two strangers hooking up for a shag. I don't consider the sort of sex you're talking about to be 'casual sex', NNS. Just because sex occurs outside of marriage, that doesn't automatically make it 'casual sex'. The technical term for sex outside of marriage is 'fornication', but it's not necessarily casual. An engaged couple fornicating could hardly be said to be just having 'casual sex', could they? They're engaged for Christ's sake.

//Wait until there's a commitment before getting into bed with someone.//

Why? Because IF the casual sex happens to be vaginal intercourse and IF the guy cums and IF his condom fails and IF her pill fails and IF all that results in a pregnancy then an abortion might be the result?

Lot of IF's there, NNS. And there's fairly simple way to stop that first domino falling. I'm surprised you're not familiar with it - it's called God's Loophole and it's very popular with some bible-bashers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ZF_R_j0OY

Nah, just kidding. That's gross. Good song though.

But everybody likes oral :)

//It also can fend off adultery because those cheating on their spouse won't have the chance to have a casual fling if the other people to have a fling with expect more commitment before giving themselves up in the act.//

We're not talking about adultery, but I'll give you points for trying.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 14 July 2018 9:04:59 PM
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//Without casual sex so many STDs can be avoided as well.//

Yeah, and if you spend your life in a sterile plastic bubble you can avoid all the non-sexually transmitted diseases as well. And a lot of them are lot worse.

BTW, did you know that you probably have herpes already and you just don't realise it because you don't have symptoms? You're welcome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU4VcOQzQm0

Alternatively you can do what most of us do when it comes to all the nasty diseases waiting to get us: take reasonable precautions, get your shots, practice good hygiene, have regular medical check ups and consult a doctor sooner or later about any symptoms that concern you.

//But if casual sex wasn't socially accepted (and largely expected) then pregnancy wouldn't be a problem//

No, it would still be a problem. A lot of women who have abortions are in married or in committed relationships.

//Not to mention how sex is used in unhealthy relationships.//

Sorry, no points for trying to conflate consensual sex and abuse. What are you, a third-wave feminist?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Saturday, 14 July 2018 9:06:32 PM
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Dear Banjo,

Thank you for the good poem!

Allow me to throw into the ring two Jewish answers to the question:

Q. When is a human organism considered to have a life of its own?

The Rabbinical Answer: On the 40th day since conception - until then it is "mere water", http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582082

The Jewish Mother's Answer: When it receives its doctorate, preferably in law or medicine.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Saturday, 14 July 2018 9:59:44 PM
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.

Thanks, Yuyutsu. I first published that poem in “The Bulletin” in 1893.

Thank you, also, for that article on “The beginning of human life”. I note with interest that :

“The consensus about the time when human life really begins is still not reached among scientists, philosophers, ethicists, sociologists and theologizes. The scientific data suggested that a single developmental moment marking the beginning of human life does not exist … ”.

.

To all and sundry,

.

As for abortion, there is no standardised national data collection on unplanned pregnancy and abortion in Australia.

Studies of Australian and New Zealand women seeking abortion have shown that over half of women presenting for abortion had been using contraception prior to becoming pregnant.

No contraception is 100% effective and contraception can fail even when used correctly and consistently. The World Health Organisation estimates that even if all contraceptive users used contraception perfectly in every sexual encounter, there would still be six million unintended pregnancies every year.

It is estimated that half of all pregnancies in Australia are unplanned and that half of those are terminated. Also, that between one quarter and one third of Australian women will experience an abortion in their lifetime. Despite this relatively high (estimated) abortion rate, the birth rate of Australia is not bad at all compared with that of much of the Western world.

Australia’s birth rate is 12.1 births/1000 population, the same as that of the UK and Sweden; New Zealand’s is well above ours at 13.2, followed by the US’s at 12.5, then France’s and Norway’s (both at 12.2).

It is interesting to note that, by comparison, China’s birth rate is 12.3 and that of Russia is 11. Saudi Arabia’s is 18.3 and Iran’s is 17.9.

The country with the highest birth rate is Angola’s at 44.2. The lowest is that of Monaco at 6.6. Of the total 225 birth rates recorded, Australia’s arrives in the 167th position.

Here is the list :

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?c=as&v=25
.

Here is the latest fact sheet on abortion, published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) :

http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/unsafe_abortion/induced_abortion_2012.pdf

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 14 July 2018 11:59:54 PM
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To Banjo Peterson.

The links in your post give some discerning numbers. One saying a ratio of 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetime is bad enough. But the birth rate in one of those sites shows the Australia and the US birth rates to be 12.1 and 12.5 births per 1000 population. But the abortion rate as indicated by the latest WHO report in the other link has the US at a higher rate of abortions. (As you've said no data yet on Australian abortion rates). If the US and Australia are similar in culture enough to be similar in abortion rates then this is a disconcerting ratio of higher number of abortions then there are of births.

I hope there are differences in how the numbers are crunched, as one says the birth rate is per 1000 population, and the other abortion ratio says it's a rate on a specific age range of women. Though that is still a disconcerting number reference. Wish they were able to be calculated in the same manner to see how much of the population is being born and how many are being aborted, based on the same standards of population sampled from.

Your points on abortion and contraception use is worth being said. Not to remove the practice of contraception to control risk, but if your numbers are right, 6 million abortions from those using contraceptives is a sickening number of deaths by abortion.

Thank you for the data in the links and the points you made.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Sunday, 15 July 2018 3:30:06 AM
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To Toni Lavis. I think we're differing on our use of casual sex. You seem to be sporting it mean one night stands only. While that is included in my meaning of casual sex, what I am talking about is a culture of sex early in relationships. From one night stands to the expected number of dates before sex is expected. If a relationship lasts less then a month and already has sex in the equation then I count that as casual sex. Adultery also fits into this sitution because often those who are having one night stands or in a sexual relationship that was pursued for longer, often they are unaware that the other person is already married until later in the relationship. Then they leave the cheater, or hold on to the idea that the married cheater will leave their spouse for the other person. Adultery kills marriages, and adultery is fueled by the larger issue of casual sex being accepted in our cultural norms and values.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Sunday, 15 July 2018 3:31:48 AM
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To David F. It's true, I'm Christian and you are atheist. That is not the point of this discussion, nor are there any reason to make my faith the focus of dismissing my points.

A few points in light of your assessment of Christians wanting to ruin other people's happiness, and based on a protest you were near at an atheist meeting.

1). The criticism of ruining people's happiness could be applied to causes that sought to stop drunk driving and driving under the influence. Some of those groups go further then just to not drink and drive, but also to not drink at all because of all the harm and deaths that are related to alcohol. Those that pushed for just not driving after drinking are not trying to ruin anyone's happiness, but are trying to reduce the auto accidents due to drinking. Most of those organizations aren't saying not to drink either just to drink responsibly. Like wise my views on sex and dating are not, "don't do it;" but to wait until there's a commitment to each other before having sex. The death rate due to abortions is large enough to compare to the death rate due to drunks on the road. It's a problem worth fighting against.

2) Regarding the protest. Was I in those protests? Then don't hold it against me that you were around a protest. Personally I don't see any point to protests now a days. They are ignored and not listened to, except to bring out fights between those who are protesting and those they are protesting against. They are useless except to fuel conditions for violence. As for atheists in general? What does that have to do with this conversation? Are atheists the only people having abortions? Are they the only ones who are having casual sex. This issue of sex and abortion goes beyond the borders of religions and beliefs. Therefore your worry that your an atheist and I'm against you having sex is meaningless. The issue is the death rate to unborn babies because we choose to kill them.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Sunday, 15 July 2018 3:40:15 AM
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Dear NNS aka undead human,

You wrote: "The issue is the death rate to unborn babies because we choose to kill them."

That is rubbish. That is your use of an emotional nonsense phrase so as not to discuss the issue in a rational manner.

There is no such thing as an unborn baby. A baby is not a baby until it is born. An entity unborn is not a baby. 'Unborn baby' is an oxymoron. That is an issue in your mind because you apparently can't see clearly enough to recognize that you repeat a nonsense phrase. It is a measure of your callousness and narrowness that there is no concern shown for the woman involved - only the fetus. That is the only thing that apparently matters to you. All hail the fetus.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 15 July 2018 8:39:37 AM
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//I think we're differing on our use of casual sex.//

Yes, I suspect we are. I think you're employing it as a euphemism for fornication - any sex outside of marriage. Whereas I consider casual sex to be a subset of broader category of fornication.

//Adultery also fits into this sitution...//

Round 2, eh? Sorry, NNS, I can only award you points for effort once.

There's a very, very big difference between adultery and fornication. Adultery is necessarily immoral. Fornication is not.

Everybody knows that adultery is wrong. It's wrong because it breaks the Golden Rule: treat other people the way you'd like to be treated. It is a form of betrayal, considered the worst of sins by Dante. If you wouldn't want to be betrayed like that, you shouldn't do it to other people. And if you do, you're a dick, pure and simple.

That applies to those within the relationship and to anybody outside the relationship, but only if the outside party is knowing accomplice. If they're in the dark and unaware that they are party to adultery, then the moral fault lies not with them but with the person who deceived them.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 15 July 2018 7:27:01 PM
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Fornication, as far as I can see, doesn't necessarily break the Golden Rule. Fornication does not have to involve treating people in a way that you wouldn't be happy to be treated. If it did, I wouldn't be up for it.

//The criticism of ruining people's happiness could be applied to causes that sought to stop drunk driving and driving under the influence.//

No, it couldn't. Anti drink driving initiatives don't seek to stop people enjoying the pleasures of alcohol; they seek to stop people behaving recklessly whilst drunk. They don't say 'don't have any fun' like puritans and wowsers do, they say 'go ahead and have your fun but stay safe and don't be a bloody drongo - here's some useful advice on how to do that'.

Which is pretty much the message of every safe sex program everywhere, except for the abstinence based ones which don't give any useful advice on how to stay safe and are, unsurprisingly, not as effective as the sensible ones.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 15 July 2018 11:07:58 PM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

Famine and food shortage kills more people every year than road accidents and abortion combined.

Despite that (or, perhaps, partly because of that) the countries that are most affected by famine and food shortage also happen to have some of the highest birth rates in the world.

Here is the list of the top 12 currently affected by food shortage :

Zambia ………………………………....... birth rate - 41.5/1000 population
Burundi………………………………………………. - 41.3
Somalia ……………………………………………… - 39.6
Madagascar ………………………………………... - 38.1
Nigeria ………………………………………………. - 36.9
Ethiopia ……………………………………………... - 36.5
Chad …………………………………………………. - 35.6
Timor-Leste …………………………………………..- 33.4
Eritrea …………………………………………………- 29.6
Yemen ……………………………………………….. - 28.4
Sudan ………………………………………………… - 27.9
Comoros ……………………………………………... - 26.1

The average birth rate of these twelve countries is 34.6, almost three times the birth rate of Australia (12.1).

It is reported that of the 870 million people who lacked food in 2014, it was estimated by the World Food Programme that 98% lived in developing countries :

http://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/the-worlds-10-hungriest-countries/

CBS News reported in 2017 that 20 million people in 4 countries (Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) were on the brink of famine :

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/20-million-people-in-4-countries-on-the-brink-of-famine/

The average birth rate of these four countries is 33.2 – again, almost three times the birth rate of Australia.

One would expect that the families of such poor countries, so badly affected by food shortage, would refrain from having more children, but that is not the case. They continue to have more and more children, many of whom die from malnutrition within the first five years of their birth.

Giving birth to children in such conditions can hardly be considered any better, morally, than having an abortion.

Communist China introduced strict birth control measures in 1979 with its one-child policy which became two-child policy in 2016. There are no reliable birth and abortion statistics, but it is thought that current annual births are in the region of 17 million and total annual abortions about 7 million. There is some speculation that China is now considering abandoning birth control altogether, given the persistently low birth rate and aging population :

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/prc/ab-prcp.html

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 16 July 2018 7:23:06 AM
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To Toni Lavis.

I'm glad we both agree on how bad adultery is. If you do it your a dick. Fully agree. As for fornication versus waiting until marriage. I'll say that waiting until marriage would be ideal. To my knowledge I don't know anyone who has waited until marriage. But at the very least I would stand by the idea to not have sex until you get to know someone and form a bond that has a lasting relationship to it. A commitment that can be more dependable. Can't garentee anything is full proof dependable because marriages too often end in divorce. But at least be in a relationship for a few months before having sex. At least 6 months would be great.

I looked up google's definition of casual sex, and Google seems to agree with you on what that term means. However in my opinion sex is too casual in it's occurrence. Back to back relationships lasting no more then a week, some no more then a day before a bitter breakup, to often still have a spark that leads to sex and just as easily a different issue sparks a fight ending everything with as much fireworks in anger as there was before in passion. This in my opinion is wrong. We give ourselves up to easily and in the end I think sex is worth more than that. Should be given to those that can be trusted with it more then just passing it out because your labeled yourself in a relationship for a day or 2 weeks.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 16 July 2018 7:57:56 AM
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(Continued)

With that said, I'm sure it's no surprise that I'm also against casual sex without a relationship. If it wasn't for the issue of abortion I could let it go easier and say it's not hurting anyone else, even though I think it's wrong and harms the people doing it. But because of abortion I can't just say two (or more) consenting adults having fun. To many babies die tragically without our choosing to add to that number willingly, by killing them before they have the chance to be born.

On the matters of casualness of sex in relationships, I stand by my views that I said earlier. And though I disagree with casual sex outside of a relationship also, I'll acknowledge there is a difference between sex in a relationship and and sex without relationships.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 16 July 2018 7:59:02 AM
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To David F.

You accuse me of only using the words I use to be emotional instead of having a rational discussion. Yet you are doing your best to avoid a rational discussion by your ranting of "all hail the fetus" and in your address to me the term "undead human." If you truly wanted a rational discussion you would not use this kind of approach. So by all means live by your own standards instead of being hypocritical about them. As for my wording I've explained my stance. Fetus is a medical term, and has been used to hide behind when unfolding other rationalizations to distance abortions from actually killing anyone. "If a fetus really a person yet" kind of discussions. It is sickening that a small change of a word can be the means of rationalizing and choosing to kill a person that a mother is pregnant with. If you would like to discuss the matter rationally, then here's your chance.

What is the difference in behavior or identity between a fetus (medical term for unborn baby), and a neonate (baby within the first 28 days of birth). Infant is the term for babies under a year old, though toddler is also used in this stage of development. I ask because there is some surprising findings of early fetuses behaving as neonate a and infants do. Such as sucking on their thumbs as seen in ultra sound scan pictures.

If you see no distinguishing difference between an unborn baby, and a newborn, then there's no rationality to make a fuss over my use of the term "unborn baby."

I'm sorry for your cousin, but suicide is not a good enough reason to kill by abortion.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 16 July 2018 8:08:28 AM
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Dear Banjo Paterson,

You wrote:

"One would expect that the families of such poor countries, so badly affected by food shortage, would refrain from having more children, but that is not the case. They continue to have more and more children, many of whom die from malnutrition within the first five years of their birth.

Giving birth to children in such conditions can hardly be considered any better, morally, than having an abortion."

Those 'immoral' people who are having children in such conditions probably do not have access to or knowledge of contraceptive measures, realise that many children die as infants and so may have children in the hopes that some of them will survive, have sex as one of the few pleasures in life available to them.

Christian missionaries are responsible for some of the consequences of the uncontrolled birth rate. Various means of preventing conceptions or inducing miscarriages were available in tribal cultures. The indigenous people were quite aware of the consequences of producing more people than the land could sustain. Some Australian Aboriginal tribes had the males actually bore a hole in the base of the penis. If the couple wanted to have children the man would hold his finger on the hole during intercourse, Lf not the sperm would simply leave via the hole. In Bougainville some of the plants can induce miscarriages. If a pregnant woman does not wish to have a child she would eat one of those plants and have a miscarriage. Christian missionaries promoted the idea that sex is immoral if engaged in solely for pleasure and not for reproduction. This idea was reinforced for government withholding handouts to tribal people who observed those aspects of their culture. Christianity in that case was opposed to common sense and promoted a social ill.

Dear NNS aka known as undead human,

One doesn’t hide behind medical terms. One uses them because they describe medical conditions. The term “All hail the fetus." expresses your callous attitude in regarding the woman as only a receptacle who should go to term regardless of the consequences to her.
Posted by david f, Monday, 16 July 2018 8:43:58 AM
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//But because of abortion I can't just say two (or more) consenting adults having fun. To many babies die tragically without our choosing to add to that number willingly, by killing them before they have the chance to be born.//

Sounds like you're doing it wrong, NNS. You should have a look into becoming a Protestant:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBjsFAyiwA

"That's what being a Protestant's all about. That's why it's the church for me. That's why it's the church for anyone who respects the individual and the individual's right to decide for him or herself. When Martin Luther nailed his protest up to the church door in fifteen-seventeen, he may not have realized the full significance of what he was doing, but four hundred years later, thanks to him, my dear, I can wear whatever I want on my John Thomas."
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 16 July 2018 4:35:28 PM
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To Banjo Paterson. That's a good point about the birth rate and famine. According to the first link malnutrition and hunger though isn't just because of famine, but also war and man made conflict. I don't think abortion will solve any of those issues, and think that instability of each of those countries is the more pressing element. I don't think compairing one tragedy to another tragedy resolves either. The instability and war in or surrounding each of those countries doesn't make the death count by abortion any better. If your number estimates on births and abortions are correct, then that's over 1/4th of all pregnancies are aborted. That is a sickening number and should be a symptom of something being very wrong. Regardless if abortions are legal and safe or are in unsafe conditions; 1/4th of the next generation being killed by their parents is a horrible number.

To David F.

You think I don't care about women? Or is that just your latest slander to try and discredit my points. Ignoring the points I give doesn't help your case. Especially when I address your points and still show how abortion is wrong.

Let's go back to my first point. If adoption was supported by grants or funding to the same degree that abortion is funded and pushed internationally, then I think that's a good first step to ending the evil that is abortion. It's not the last thing needed, but it would be a great first step.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 16 July 2018 5:31:58 PM
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Dear NNS,

Yes, I think you don't give a damn about women. You're the one who said she should keep her pants on. You're the one who condemns other people for their choices in sex. You're the one who talks about the evil of abortion.

Abortion is not an evil at all. It is a medical procedure which women who do not wish to give birth undergo, nd she has a right to decide on that procedure. It has been denied women in the past and still denied women in some societies. In any invasive medical procedure there is a risk. Therefore abortion should be limited. It can be limited by contraception, sex education and oral and other non-coital sex including homosexual acts.

I don't agree that abortion is wrong. I don't agree that sex between consenting adults is wrong unless it involves betrayal of another person. If we all agreed on what is right and what is wrong we would have a more peaceful world. However, you and don't agree and will not agree on what is moral and what is immoral.
Posted by david f, Monday, 16 July 2018 6:04:23 PM
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//Let's go back to my first point. If adoption was supported by grants or funding to the same degree that abortion is funded and pushed internationally, then I think that's a good first step to ending the evil that is abortion.//

You still haven't explained the point I raised four days ago:

//Sure, great idea. If parents want to adopt, I think the Government could do more to make it less onerous and more affordable.

But I don't see how that's going to address the problem of women not wanting to give their kids up for adoption in the first place. I'm not sure you've really thought this through. You seem to have concluded that if it's easier for people to adopt children, that will spontaneously cause women to want to give their children up for adoption, as if by magic.

After all, if women can have children and then anonymously drop them in a baby hatch - no cost, no responsibility - but they choose to have an abortion instead, doesn't that suggest to you that this matter is little more nuanced than your simplistic solution suggests?

Maybe some women would simply prefer to have an abortion to having a child and then relinquishing it? Maybe they're actually rational, intelligent beings who make a carefully considered decision where they weigh up the distress having an abortion will cause them vs. the distress having a child and reliquishing it will cause them, and then make a decision based on what they feel is best for them.//

http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=19834#350922

Were you hoping that you could just sweep that one under the rug and nobody would notice? If you can't explain to us how your brilliant idea is going to address the problem you claim it help solve, why should we entertain it for even a second? You're going to have to do better than that, mate.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 16 July 2018 6:13:42 PM
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.

Dear david f, Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

david f wrote :

« The indigenous people were quite aware of the consequences of producing more people than the land could sustain. Some Australian Aboriginal tribes had the males actually bore a hole in the base of the penis. If the couple wanted to have children the man would hold his finger on the hole during intercourse, if not the sperm would simply leave via the hole. In Bougainville some of the plants can induce miscarriages. If a pregnant woman does not wish to have a child she would eat one of those plants and have a miscarriage. »

As all human beings, including our Aboriginal compatriots, appear to have originated from various parts of Africa, I wonder if the contemporary African peoples in famine-affected countries are aware of those simple preventive measures – that have little to do with “expensive” modern, scientific, birth control measures.

Perhaps we should ask some of our Aboriginal friends to instruct them on these methods. It might even be a good idea to ask them to instruct future candidates and existing members of the priesthood as well.

It’s certainly worth considering.
.

As for famine, a food security crisis is considered a famine when, according to the United Nations :

• 20 percent of households face extreme food shortages with a limited ability to cope,

• acute malnutrition rates exceed 30 percent,

• the death rate exceeds two persons per day per 10,000 persons

The causes of famine are complex and often have several causes contributing to both its initiation and rapid spread. Aside from conflict, climate change and lack of international response, lack of response from the domestic government and rising prices of food also potentially contribute.

Clearly, the causes of famine range from local, to international, to natural or environmental.
.

On the subject of abortion, allow me to observe that all life forms are not always beneficial for mankind. Many are detrimental, even fatal. Some, such as malignant cysts, for example, usually have to be removed by surgery.

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 3:07:20 AM
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.

(Continued …)

.

A foetus is a life form that is “partly different from” but “totally dependent on” the female of the human species that nurtures it.

The formation of a foetus is part of the natural process of the reproduction of the species. The end result is the production of a new individual or “person”.

According to the experts, its development is both structural and functional. An important element is the human brain, which is particularly complex. Recent research reveals that the brain does not reach full maturity until the new individual or “person” reaches, at least, his or her mid-20s.

The specific changes that follow young adulthood are not yet well studied, but it is known that they involve increased myelination (i.e., enclosure of nerve fibres in an insulating sheath which increases the speed at which impulses are conducted) and continued adding and pruning of neurons.

As a number of researchers put it, "the rental car companies have it right." The brain isn't fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car.

Before forming a definitive opinion on the morality or immorality of abortion, I think we should acknowledge the fact that, as Yuyutsu reminded us :

« The consensus about the time when human life really begins is still not reached among scientists, philosophers, ethicists, sociologists and theologizes. The scientific data suggested that a single developmental moment marking the beginning of human life does not exist. Current biological perspectives on when human life begins range through fertilization, gastrulation, to birth and even after. The development of a newborn is a smoothly continuous process » :

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582082/
.

We would also be well-advised to carefully consider and evaluate the particular conditions, circumstances, environment and responsibilities involved in bringing a new “person” into the world, together with his or her future perspectives in life.

All of these factors are constitutive of a sound and just morality.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 3:15:59 AM
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.

Oops !

I wrote "perspectives in life" but, of course I meant "prospects in life".

Sorry about that.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 7:35:40 AM
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To David F.

Just because I don't support abortion doesn't mean I don't support women. Let that sink in a bit before you respond. Think of it like this. If you had a life and death sutution where you were rescuing people from a sinking ship. And at the end of it you had two people left to rescue. But only could take one. A mother and her young baby. Neither are conscience and choosing one will likely be the last person you can take. Who would you choose? I'm sure regardless of the choice anyone would take they would see this as a tragedy, and might haunt their dreams. The person they could not save.

This is the kind of tone that abortion supporters seem to have, choose the fetus or choose the mother. Except that it's usually not a life or death situation. The baby dies by the choice of abortion and that's the end of it. No mater what the sitution is or the hardships that are there the tragedy is on the side of the baby, not on the woman.

That said, take it a step back from the extreem tones that pro abortion arguments take it. The hardships of the women are not lost on me. And though I don't see abortion as a valid solution, that doesn't mean that I don't want to support the women who choose life instead of death.

Let that sink in for a brief second before moving on to the next point. Because it's important to note the difference between being against abortion, and being against women.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 5:46:19 PM
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(Continued)

The second point is regarding my point on keeping your pants up.

http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=19834&page=4

I was not talking about women as the blame of not keeping their pants up, but society as a whole for being loose. You might not see any issue with the casualness that people have sex in relationships (or even more casual without relationships attached), but on the other hand you also don't recognize a fetus as a living human being. Nothing worth consideration. So you miss the point entirely anyways.

When I say pregnancy is a consequence of not keeping your pants up, let's be clear, I'm talking about guys more then gals, because largely it seems it's the guys that want sex more often and expect it more often. Girls already have a culture to be little ladies of some kind or another, and to not be considered slutty or something. But guys on the other hand have no such reservations of shame. Thus in my opinion it's guys like you that need to keep their pants up. Pregnancy would still be the consequence non the less. At least it would be if life was considered more important.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 5:48:53 PM
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To Toni Lavis. I read the article you gave about baby hatches. They don't seem to be that prevalent or supported. In many countries they exist in spit of the law saying they shouldn't and mothers can be prosecuted for abandoning their babies. The one example that seems to exist, that is both wide spread and government sanctioned is the US's version of "safe haven laws," with letting women give up their babies at hospitals and fire stations. No questions asked and the babies would be put into the system for adoption or foster care.

The crutch of the matter is that people don't see abortion as killing. If adoption was as affordable (it isn't) then the worry about what life the child would have would be lessened, and many of the arguments for abortion would lose weight. The only reasons why abortion has reasons is because we've distanced ourselves from recognizing the fetuses to be alive. To be unborn babies. Thus rationalizations stem up for why to abort because it's not like your killing a baby. (If people realized what they were doing they would realize they are killing babies though. Their choosing their deaths before they have the chance to be born). Just because abortion is chosen doesn't make it a moral and good choice.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 6:24:12 PM
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Dear NNS,

We agree that abortion is killing the fetus. I think a woman has a right to kill the fetus if she does not want to go to term unless there was a prior agreement with the man involved. In that case his wishes should be considered. I think it was wrong when a woman did not have access to a abortion by a doctor. I say "all hail the fetus." because you seem to me to want to deny her the right to terminate her pregnancy and put the interests of the fetus above the interests of the pregnant woman. In order for adoption to be a solution a woman has to be willing to go through pregnancy, give birth and give the baby. For women who do not want to continue pregnant, do not want to go through labor and do not want give a baby away if there is a baby adoption is not a solution. I think if you did have a concern for a woman you would not seek to deny her the right to terminate a pregnancy.

You have stated that abortion is evil. I don't think abortion is evil.

In the United States about 16 years after Roe vs. Wade which granted women the right to abortion the crime rate started to go down. That to me meant that women knew the consequences of giving birth in their situation. They didn't abort Beethovens. They aborted those who were likely to become criminals.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 6:26:15 PM
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//They don't seem to be that prevalent or supported.//

They do seem to be mostly a developed world thing, and even then only in a few countries, although the tradition of leaving foundlings is as old as the hills. I think you kind of missed the point though. The point is that they do exist in some places... and women in those places still have abortions.

//If adoption was as affordable (it isn't)//

No, and it never will be. Children are expensive. Even if the government cover the costs of processing etc., people will still be left with the staggering expense of raising the kid. Government ain't gonna pay for that.

//then the worry about what life the child would have would be lessened//

Would it though? You have no idea where the child will end up. What if they get adopted by some paedo?

//and many of the arguments for abortion would lose weight.//

Yeah, I have my doubts about that.

//The only reasons why abortion has reasons is because we've distanced ourselves from recognizing the fetuses to be alive. To be unborn babies.//

Well, if it bothers you that much the best advice I can give you is to never have an abortion, then you won't have to live with the stain of that guilt on your conscience. Tell you what: if it makes you happy, I promise that I too will never have an abortion. I can't presume to make moral choices for anybody else, though. Not my place to do so.

I mean really, is there anything more pointless in all the world than a bunch of fellas sitting about discussing a medical procedure we're not anatomically equipped to undergo? You'll notice that the womenfolk seem to have better things to do with their time than devote page after page to futile debate on the morality of vasectomies. Sometimes you really have to wonder how we stayed the dominant sex for so long.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 9:19:29 PM
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But while you're considering the morality of abortion, I invite you to consider the real-life, historical case of Romanian Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his Decree 770 banning abortion.

"The direct consequence of the decree was a huge baby boom. Between 1966 and 1967 the number of births almost doubled, and the number of children per woman increased from 1.9 to 3.7. The generation born in 1967 and 1968 was the largest in Romanian history. Hastily, thousands of nursery schools were built.

...

In the seventies, birth rates declined again. Economic pressure on families remained, and people began to seek ways to circumvent the decree. Wealthier women were able to obtain contraceptives illegally, or bribed doctors to give diagnoses which made abortion possible. Especially among the less educated and poorer women there were many unwanted pregnancies. These women could only utilize primitive methods of abortion, which led to infection, sterility or even their own death. The mortality among pregnant women became the highest of Europe during the reign of Ceausescu. While the childbed mortality rate kept declining over the years in neighboring countries, in Romania it increased to more than ten times that of its neighbors.

Many children born in this period became malnourished, were severely physically handicapped, or ended up in care under grievous conditions, which led to a rise in child mortality."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decree_770

Is that really what you want?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 9:20:10 PM
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//Just because abortion is chosen doesn't make it a moral and good choice.//

Yeah, you've said already. But obviously the women who choose abortion feel that it's the right choice for them or they wouldn't choose it, would they? And it is their choice, not yours.

I know that bothers you. I know you'd like to make their choices for them because you're obviously so much wiser and better and more knowledgeable about their lives than they are. But hey, what can you do? We live in modern liberal democracies. Women get to make their own choices. Not much I can see that you can do change that, short of fomenting rebellion and establishing the Republic of Gilead.

I mean, I guess you can just keep trying to persuade them to make different choices by ranting and raving about killing babies, but people have been doing that for ages and it doesn't seem to have had much effect. I dunno, it's like these women think for themselves these days and just don't care that much about your opinions. Somebody oughta put a stop to it.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 17 July 2018 11:57:25 PM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

I have noticed that you are particularly fond of the use of metaphors in explaining your opinions. Allow me to do likewise on this occasion.

If we were to liken the production of a human being to the production of a brand-new model of a Formula I racing car for the forthcoming 2019 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, the process would proceed more or less as follows :

1 A good deal of time, money and effort would be spent in the preparation, before launching the actual production, i.e., conception and design.

2 Drafting of the manufacturing specifications

3 Production of all the constituent parts of the automobile

4 Reception of all the components from the various suppliers

5 The chassis : The car is constructed from the ground up (and out). The frame forms the base on which the body rests and from which all subsequent assembly components follow. The frame is placed on the assembly line and clamped to the conveyer to prevent shifting as it moves down the line. From here the automobile frame moves to component assembly areas where complete front and rear suspensions, gas tanks, rear axles and drive shafts, gear boxes, steering box components, wheel drums, and braking systems are sequentially installed

6 The body : The floor plan is the largest body component to which a multitude of panels and braces will subsequently be either welded or bolted

7 The paint : After the shell leaves the paint area it is ready for interior assembly

8 Interior assembly : After passing through this section the shell is given a water test to ensure the proper fit of door panels, glass, and weather-stripping. It is now ready to mate with the chassis

9 Mate (final assembly) : The chassis assembly conveyor and the body shell conveyor meet at this stage of production. Once the mating takes place the automobile proceeds down the line to receive final trim components, battery, tires, anti-freeze, and gasoline.

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 1:56:08 AM
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.

(Continued …)

.

10 End of production : The vehicle is complete (but remains to go through a long series of trials and tests before final delivery and green light).
.

This is a very carefully planned and prepared operation. Abortions typically take place for unplanned, accidental pregnancies. Women – many of whom are single – find themselves, alone, in the process of producing a “formula 1 racing car” which they had not expected.

It is not surprising that many of them seek to abandon the process before it is too advanced.

Formula 1 manufacturers, using their cars from the previous season as a basis, can produce a new racing car in about the same time as it takes a woman to produce a human being, i.e, 9 months – which is why I chose this metaphor.

It seems difficult to imagine that they can produce anything resembling a racing car until they reach stage 5 of the manufacturing process.

That indicates that there can be no racing car (or “baby”) for the first 3 months (one third of the manufacturing process or gestation period). Prior to that, there is nothing there except manufacturing specifications and material to make a car or “baby”.

There is neither car nor “baby”.

In Europe, the limit varies from 10 weeks from the woman’s last menstrual period, in countries such as Slovenia and Croatia, to 18 weeks in Sweden.

The average time limit in Europe is 12 weeks (3 months).

In the UK abortions are permitted up to 24 weeks of pregnancy if there is a risk of “physical or mental health” for the woman or her children.

The limit in Australia varies per state and territory. Abortion is a criminal offence in NSW. Queensland is currently preparing a 22-week limit.

In my opinion, all states and territories in Australia should adopt similar limits.
.

There is absolutely nothing immoral about having an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy, nor within the first 24 weeks if there is risk of “physical or mental health” for the woman or her children.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 18 July 2018 5:28:24 AM
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To Banjo Paterson.

I appreciate your outline of building a formula 1 race car to being pregnant. However there are some differences to note. In the first phase of building the race car is the preparation. If this is like a pregnancy, then this can be compared to people trying to have a child. Even the struggle of multiple attempts, and seeking pregnancy kits, or doctors visits to see if there is an issue. As well as parenting plans to make sure they are prepared before they try to get pregnant. This could overlap phase 1 and 2 of the race care comparison.

However there is one significant difference between the race car, and a similar phase of abortion (instead of planned pregnancy). Many of the instances of abortion aren't about a change of heart to have a baby, but that it was unplanned. Thus the first step in preparation might be compared to receiving in a will the plans for building a formula 1 car and being asked to build it in the will of someone who's passed on. From this point on it might be considered similar to an abortion passed on the intention of phase one.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 19 July 2018 2:55:51 AM
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(Continued)

A second difference is that when building a formula 1 car, it's known the intent from the beginning. However in pregnancies the time it's discovered ranges from woman to woman. Some realize it early from a missed period. Others it might take a sever weeks to a few months. And once it's discovered, that's when decisions begin to be made.

A third difference is that a fetus growth is more like a plant growth then it is like a car being built. If you google ultra sound pictures by the week can see that the fetus shows characteristics of a baby very early on. I'd say as early as 6 or 7 weeks. Phase 1-5 are already in process well before it 's discovered that your pregnant with a new formula 1 race car.

With that in mind, I would say it is arbitrary to give a date to allow abortions by how finished the fetus is to a newborn baby. The fetus is a baby from very early on. (Though it's not yet born, you can see it as a baby in it's growth).
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 19 July 2018 2:56:45 AM
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Toni Lavis. If it bothers you that I'm responding to the three people still in the conversation trying to justify abortion. What can I say about that? Perhaps it's an inconvenience to hear a continual debate, and so you count it as and and raving. So far I've heard many ways to say it's the woman's choice, but nothing to justify killing through abortion. So perhaps instead of it being ranting and raving, it could just be a point that has remained unaddressed and still stands true.

As for choosing abortion being the justification of abortion. Consider choosing anything else that is harmful. Would it be justified if a person chose theft? Chose murder? Chose rape? Chose adultery? Chose drug addiction? Chose to lie under oath to a court?

Just choosing an action doesn't justify it to be right. Many actions are wrong and considered wrong by the laws of the land to punish. But if it wasn't illegal does that action or that choice automatically become right and moral? A moral choice? If so what are your thoughts on honor killings in the countries that allow a family member to kill their sister or their daughter because of having sex or being raped?

Abortion is still killing. And it is seen as the only solution to a wide variety of social issues. This shows we are a lazy people that justify killing the next generation instead of seeking to correct many of the social issues the next generation (or their mothers) would be exposed to. Call me heartless and mock me for holding to my position, but so far I've addressed these issues in a conversation that starts out from an article focused on criticisms of abortion. Many of the points addressed are ignored. Then if we talk about them more we are accused of ranting and raving? So be it.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 19 July 2018 3:03:16 AM
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(Continued)

Here are 2 quotes worth mentioning from the article.

"It seems impossible to refuse the conclusion that the foetus is a child, ie a potentially self-aware human being and that it may not be disposed of as passive tissue or as animal life. These are not difficult arguments. While it is usual to dismiss pro-lifers as irrational religionists it seems to me that irrationality is more descriptive of the pro-abortion position."

.....

"Having said this, no one wants to return to back-yard abortions and death by haemorrhage or sepsis. It occurs to me that we support many people in our society, the unemployed, the disabled, the elderly and the dying we do not support women who find themselves pregnant and do not have the finances, the life skills or have not completed their education? We do not do this because we are still captive to a morality that labels unwed mothers as irresponsible sluts, their children as bastards and both a liability on social welfare. But these women and girls, their children and their fathers are members of our community. The child has devoted grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and maybe even siblings. By not giving the parents adequate support so that educations can be completed and new families formed we drive many to seek an abortion because there is no other option. For many, particularly if they go on later to produce families, the lost child will haunt them."
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Thursday, 19 July 2018 3:05:41 AM
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//If it bothers you that I'm responding to the three people still in the conversation trying to justify abortion. What can I say about that?//

Not 'bothers' so much as 'amuses'.

//This shows we are a lazy people that justify killing the next generation instead of seeking to correct many of the social issues the next generation (or their mothers) would be exposed to.//

Whatever, dude. Women who have abortions are all pure evil and you're such an unimpeachable moral authority that if you say it's wrong, it's wrong, damnmit! Happy now?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Thursday, 19 July 2018 6:14:17 AM
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Dear NNS,

I do not accuse you of ranting or raving. I think you sincerely have a position. However, you use words that are inaccurate.

You wrote: "It seems impossible to refuse the conclusion that the foetus is a child, ie a potentially self-aware human being and that it may not be disposed of as passive tissue or as animal life."

A foetus is not a child. Potentiality is not actuality. You can call the foetus a child and say it seems impossible to refute the conclusion that the foetus is a child, but the foetus is not a child. In order to be a child it has to be born and leave babyhood. It is a potentially self-aware human being, but that does not make it either a child or a self-aware human being. However, the woman who has the foetus within her is actually a self-aware human being. I think the wishes of a self-aware human being should take precedence over the fate of a potentially self-aware human being who does not have wishes. An abortion terminates pregnancy. Adoption is not a solution since there can be no adoption if pregnancy is terminated.

You, I, a foetus and an insect are animal life since we all are animals. An insect or a tree is not passive tissue. Anything that is alive is not passive tissue.

We both would like to do away with abortion, but I think we can't. We can reduce the number of abortions by sex education, provision of contraceptives and instruction in their use. That can promote casual sex, and you oppose casual sex.

I am glad you do not want to bring back the backyard butcher, but do you think casual sex is an evil? You have already stated that you think abortion is an evil. If you think casual sex is an evil which evil do you think is the greater evil, casual sex or abortion?
Posted by david f, Thursday, 19 July 2018 6:41:49 AM
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.

To all and sundry,

.

I think it would help if we all agree on what exactly a foetus is, how it develops and the rhythm of its development.

Also, it is not by mere coincidence that many (if not most) reputable jurists and medical practitioners around the world esteem, independently of any ideological considerations, that the “interruption of unwanted pregnancy” is both morally and medically acceptable during the first tier (trimester) of pregnancy.

The following articles provide the relevant details in an objective and trustworthy fashion :

• “Stages of Development of the Foetus”, by Haywood L. Brown, MD, F. Bayard Carter Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Duke University Medical Center :

http://www.msdmanuals.com/home/women-s-health-issues/normal-pregnancy/stages-of-development-of-the-fetus

• “A History of Key Abortion Rulings of the US Supreme Court”, by the Pew Research Center :

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/01/16/a-history-of-key-abortion-rulings-of-the-us-supreme-court/

While these judicial decisions only apply to the US, the principles on which they are founded are universal in nature, having also inspired the domestic laws of the 48 counties (including Australia) that adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 20 July 2018 12:54:56 AM
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Dear Banjo,

«I think it would help if we all agree on what exactly a foetus is»

An organism (during its early development stage).

This doesn't tell us much about its value: unless someone identifies with a given organism, that organism by itself is of less value than, say, a chair or an umbrella. The question is whether someone is identified with that organism, to what extent, and what have they to lose should the object of their identification be destroyed.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 20 July 2018 3:07:54 PM
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Hi Yuyutsu,

Perhaps a sub-organism ? Something dependent on an organism ? A non-independently-viable sub-organism ? Part of an organism i.e. part of the bearer ? After all, by definition, it can't exist on its own.

Women carry hundreds of eggs, each of which could be impregnated and become such a sub-organism, OR not be impregnated and so be expelled during menstruation. Even if a woman doesn't have protected sex during the period immediately preceding menstruation, this must drive the anti-abortionists a little bit crazy: an egg which isn't fertilised ?! An egg going to waste ?!

Either way, sex or not, abortion or not, it's a women's business what to do with each egg, fertilised or not. It's amazing how many men seem to assume that they have some over-riding say in what happens to each of them.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Friday, 20 July 2018 4:22:07 PM
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Dear Joe,

«A non-independently-viable sub-organism ?»

No organism is viable - they all die!

«After all, by definition, it can't exist on its own.»

It can, just not for long, so why should we give different names to organisms based on how long they can survive on their own, does it matter whether it is 20 minutes or 20 days?

«Women carry hundreds of egg...»

The same can probably be said not just for eggs, but for each and every cell in a woman's (or man's) body. The question is whether and if so, to what extent, does any soul identify with a single cell (whether an egg, fertilised or otherwise, or from some other body tissue). In my view, the chance for that is very small and even if that happens then the identification is very weak and short-lived.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 20 July 2018 5:20:02 PM
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.

Dear Yuyutsu,

.

You indicate :

« … a foetus is … an organism … unless someone identifies with a given organism, that organism by itself is of less value than, say, a chair or an umbrella. The question is whether someone is identified with that organism, to what extent, and what have they to lose should the object of their identification be destroyed »
.

You introduce the notion of “value” which is not the subject of this discussion. Peter Sellick defines the subject of the discussion as “abortion and the human person” and what he sees as the difference between the Christian and Jewish “understanding of the human person” on the one hand and what he calls the “secular” (non-religious) understanding on the other.

Not surprisingly, his “jumping off point” (his expression) is the assumption that there is a “God”. From that point on, no further discussion is possible. It’s a foregone conclusion.

For all intents and purposes, the article could have ended right there, at the end of the second paragraph.
.

That said, Yuyutsu, here are my initial thoughts on the question you raise.

The OED indicates no less than 9 different meanings for the word “value” as a noun, and 2 different meanings for it as a verb.

The meaning attributed to the term “value” in respect of an organism, depends on who is doing the evaluating.

For some, it could be the market value, for others it could be the sentimental value, for yet others it could simply be the interest, and so on. For the organism itself, it could be self-esteem.

The “value” you seem to have in mind invokes notions such as envy, desire, possession, conservation and perhaps, even, utility or monetary value (you mention chair, umbrella, identity, loss and destruction).

In the US, research labs pay upward of $850 (plus testing, cleaning and shipping charges) for an organism such as a fœtus, and over $20,000 for a vial packed with pure stem cells.

Perhaps this is the sort of thing you have in mind :

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/30/opinion/the-case-for-fetal-cell-research.html

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 20 July 2018 11:55:46 PM
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To David F. Though the two quotes in my last comment are things I agree with, they aren't my words. They are in this article the Peter Sellick wrote, which has opened up our discussion on abortion. In my opinions on these are points worth considering.

That 1) a fetus is considered less then human but more on the lines of animal tissue that has no rights or consideration, but in fact a human fetus is the opposite. It is human and is the early stages of life as a baby, as a child, as a human in any sense. 2). Pro-abortion proponents regularly call anti-abortion proponents as irrational, but so far pro-abortion perspectives ignore the human element of a fetus, and the issue of killing another human. What is rational about that? It sounds irrational to me, but is part of the mantra of a woman's choice and in that perspective to ignore any other counter point as irrational.

3) No one wants back yard abortions to return, but instead of giving support to a pregnant woman, we leave her be with a woman's "choice" while ignoring limited finances, life skills, or education. Yet we still have the gall to call it a choice when we fully support aborting the baby, even to offer financial assistance programs if abortion is chosen. Peter Sellick gives a few explanations for why people allow this reasoning, and they are fair points. 4) the women who are pregnant who are not married should not be at society's scorn but are our members of the community.

I encourage those points to at least be addressed instead of ignored in the discussions of abortion by those who rattle on how irrational I or anyone else might be for standing against abortion.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Saturday, 21 July 2018 5:29:20 PM
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(Continued)

That said though. David F you say you would not like abortions to happen as often either? That's quite a change in stance. Can I ask you to elaborate? My views on contraception is that it is a means to reduce pregnancy in a society that makes no intention to resist or reduce it's sexual output. Instead sex and themes of sex are promoted and in my opinion are an active role for young teens to seek out sex as a form of love. (Instead of actual points on what makes a healthy relationship). Abortion is in the same light a solution to a society addicted to sex. Except that abortion is actually killing. In this way I see both casual sex, (and casually having sex early in the relationships) as well as abortion as an evil in society. Abortion is the worse of the two, but casualness to sex feeds the issue of abortion. Does that answer your question?

To Toni Lavis. I don't see women as evil. But abortion is wrong. I've given reasons, to which you've avoided.

To Banjo Paterson. You mentioned that many if not most jurists and medical practitioners agree that abortion within the first trimester are morally and medically acceptable. My question would be why? Why is it acceptable at all, and why only for the first trimester? If a fetus is not a person yet till the moment it is born, then why isn't it acceptable to have an abortion moments before birth? Medically the answer might be due to health and complications of the woman. But morally? Why is it allowed at all. And why only for the first trimester?

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Saturday, 21 July 2018 5:31:56 PM
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(Continued)

The stages of development from fertilization to birth are a remarkable study, but in my opinion they don't justify an abortion at any time along the process. On the contrary, the study of the development to birth just shows how very much like babies the fetus is even at some of it's earliest stages. Hence why I refer to unborn babies as unborn babies. Their loss and deaths are a tragedy not a moral choice. Just as a miscarriage is a tragedy, so is an abortion.

Even the laws on abortion seem to give dates for when an abortion is allowed by an arbitrary number. At first it was later due to the age of viability (when a baby has a chance to survive outside of the womb) then it seems as more knowledge became known of the stages of pregnancy, the dates encroach earlier and earlier. The truth is that abortion at any stage of the pregnancy is choosing to kill the baby.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Saturday, 21 July 2018 5:33:50 PM
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Dear NNS,

I would rather not have abortions because it is a surgical procedure, and any surgical procedure carries risk. I would prefer supplying pregnant woman who wished to terminate their pregnancy with an abortifacient which would cause an expulsion of the fetus or a miscarriage. This would terminate a pregnancy as would an abortion. However, I think most abortifacients have side effects which make it riskier than a surgical abortion. The morning after pill is a safe abortifacient but apparently is only effective for a short while after conception. I hope a safe abortifacient will be developed. However, I think abortion can be limited by sex education and contraceptives. I think it is great that people have the option of having sex without the risk of pregnancy.

I have answered your question as to why I would try to limit the number of abortions. Now, please answer my question as whether you think abortion or casual sex is the greater evil.

I don't think society is addicted to sex. It is a normal human drive, and I see nothing wrong with it between consenting adults or teenagers who have no obligations to other parties. When I was younger I did not take advantage of all the opportunities I had for sex. At 92 I regret my loss.

If teenagers want to have sex, fine. They're probably have a greater capacity for it than they will have later in life. Let them use that capacity and enjoy themselves. They will enter the sober adult world soon enough.
Posted by david f, Saturday, 21 July 2018 7:55:21 PM
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Dear Banjo,

«In the US, research labs pay upward of $850 for an organism such as a fœtus»

So you prove me wrong, thus a fœtus is more valuable than an umbrella even when there is no soul to identify with it. Yet should there be someone who identifies themselves with this fœtus, then its value would obviously be much higher.

Yes, I'm talking of loss and trying to quantify it.

Scripture forbids murder, not as some arbitrary/blind whim of a god, but because it actually causes pain, suffering and loss to another.

Had I stolen a fœtus from a lab, then I would be causing them a $850 loss: that's bad enough and clearly immoral, but it's still nothing compared with the case when some soul was identified with a fœtus that I killed.

The difficult question is whether and to what extent, is some soul identified with a fœtus, then how much pain, suffering and loss would be caused to that soul had that fœtus been killed.

Not an easy question, and unlike your quote from the article, the Christian and Jewish views differ here, not to speak of other religions.

Another way to look at this is from the point-of-view of the soul who identifies itself with an unwanted fœtus: "Is my attachment to this yet-undeveloped body and desire to have it grow so I can express myself through it, worth the pain and suffering that I am causing to my mother?"

If, as Christians believe, each soul gets only one shot at life, only one chance to reach God, then obviously one should hold on to that precious fœtus/body no matter what its mother feels, no matter even if it damages her health.

If however, as we Hindus believe, each soul gets many chances to reach God, then as an unwanted fœtus, if I could speak then I would say: "no big deal, so I lost a few weeks or months, but at least I haven't lost any education yet - next time I could have a [natural] mother who loves and wants me".
Posted by Yuyutsu, Saturday, 21 July 2018 10:29:25 PM
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Interesting the way baby killers use the same deceit as the Nazis used with the Jews. Pretend they are not human and rename the obvious. Of course a simple 3d camera shows exactly what or whom is being butchered. Simple biology ignored.
Posted by runner, Saturday, 21 July 2018 11:22:01 PM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

You commented :

« You mentioned that many if not most jurists and medical practitioners agree that abortion within the first trimester are morally and medically acceptable. My question would be why? Why is it acceptable at all, and why only for the first trimester? If a fetus is not a person yet till the moment it is born, then why isn't it acceptable to have an abortion moments before birth? Medically the answer might be due to health and complications of the woman. But morally? Why is it allowed at all. And why only for the first trimester? »
.

Most reputable jurists and medical practitioners examine the problem from a holistic point of view, i.e., in the individual and joint interests of woman and foetus, independently of any ideological considerations or a priori judgments regarding the woman’s decision to interrupt the pregnancy.

We should not lose sight of the fact that, since time immemorial, women, all over the world, have sought to interrupt certain pregnancies, for one reason or another, rightly or wrongly – who are we to judge. Perhaps many of them are pregnancies induced by family members (incest), friends or close relations, irresponsible male partners, or complete strangers – all of which could have occurred with or without their consent.

Pregnancies occur in the woman’s body, not in the man’s. Where is the justification for considering that the woman is committing an immoral act in interrupting a pregnancy for which she is only half responsible, or not responsible at all ?

In fact, as it has been established that the sex drive in men is stronger than in women, it seems more likely that men are more often responsible for pregnancies than women – even if the pregnancy is “accidental”.

http://www.webmd.com/sex/features/sex-drive-how-do-men-women-compare#1
.

As abortion always has been and continues to be a scourge of society, world-wide, every country does whatever it can to contain and control it in the best possible conditions of health and morality, each in accordance with its particular lore and culture.

Nobody can achieve the impossible.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 21 July 2018 11:35:31 PM
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//but so far pro-abortion perspectives ignore the human element of a fetus, and the issue of killing another human.//

Is a creature's species all that counts in determining whether or not it is moral to kill it?

Is it OK to kill ET?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 22 July 2018 12:40:27 AM
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To David F.

I though I answered your question in my last reply to you. But here it is again.

Abortion is in the same light a solution to a society addicted to sex. Except that abortion is actually killing. In this way I see both casual sex, (and casually having sex early in the relationships) as well as abortion as an evil in society. Abortion is the worse of the two, but casualness to sex feeds the issue of abortion. Does that answer your question?

Regarding our different views of sex. It is a normal human drive. It is also marketed and promoted. Teasing the public on sexual themes to sell a product, and having love affair romances that the protagonists leave their marriages, for their "true love" (latest sexy adventure), or stories showing that love is really expressed in sex. Each of these takes a normal human drive, and pushes it beyond where it should go.

Anger is also a normal human drive. But it is a sign of maturity to remain calm. In the same way it should be counted as maturity to restrain sexual acts until there is a committed relationship.

To Banjo Paterson. Abortion is killing an innocent. But part of the problem is that abortion is seen as the only available solution. Not just a solution to a pregnancy. Look past that to ask why was the pregnancy a problem in the first place. Men not staying in a relationship and pushing the burden on the woman is very much part of the problem. (There are several other problems "fixed" with abortion. But again abortion is killing an innocent).

To Toni Lavis. There are laws protecting some animals, but killing an innocent human is usually called murder. (Killing in self defense, in an act of war, or as a capital punishment to the worst of crimes are not the same as killing an innocent person).
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Sunday, 22 July 2018 1:51:35 AM
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Dear NNS,

I agree that sex should not promoted as a marketing tool. It is a human drive that should be enjoyed freely as much as possible. Abortion is not unique to this society. It is practiced wherever a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy. You write as though abortion is something new. I believe the following quotes from H. L. Mencken are relevant to what seems to me to be your view of life.

"The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression."

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”
Posted by david f, Sunday, 22 July 2018 4:49:24 PM
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Dear NNS,

When I wrote of sex as being a normal human drive you wrote:

"Anger is also a normal human drive. But it is a sign of maturity to remain calm. In the same way it should be counted as maturity to restrain sexual acts until there is a committed relationship."

Anger is not a normal human drive. The human race can live without anger. Regarding anger as a normal human drive indicates a lack of understanding of basic human drives. Some individuals respond with anger rather than coolly evaluate a situation. It is interesting and a bit puzzling why anyone would mention anger in response to a remark about sex. Does the thought of sex make you angry? Are you bothered that people may be enjoying sex without the limitations you would put on that enjoyment? Possibly your anger stems from the fact that people feel free from your beliefs, feel free from your view of morality and feel free to reject the mumbojumbo you keep serving up.

I think a mature person is capable of enjoying sex without the constraints you would put upon that person. We have different definitions of maturity. I feel your Puritanism is a sign of immaturity. Relax. It is possible to enjoy living without controlling other people. Grow up.
Posted by david f, Sunday, 22 July 2018 5:21:53 PM
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//There are laws protecting some animals, but killing an innocent human is usually called murder.//

Right, but what about ET?

I asked if it's OK to kill ET.

ET as in 'ET the Extra-Terrestrial'. Weird looking little dude. He wanted to phone home. You have seen the film, right? It's a modern classic. I mean obviously ET is fictional, but that's of no concern when considering thought experiments in philosophy. If I had a dollar for every 'brain in vat' problem I'd considered.... nobody really keeps brains in vats, at least not the way philosophers do.

So now that we're both on the same page... ET: is it OK to kill him or not?
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 22 July 2018 6:54:57 PM
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I ask because I'm less interested in what people believe than why they believe what they believe.

For instance, I have no idea why anybody would be concerned about this:

//My views on contraception is that it is a means to reduce pregnancy in a society that makes no intention to resist or reduce it's sexual output. Instead sex and themes of sex are promoted//

Unless they started from the premise that sex (at least sex outside marriage) is something that is dirty and shameful. Which obviously you do; but I'm less interested in the fact that you believe that than why you believe it. It's not a particularly common view, from a historical perspective - most societies have been accepting of sex as a normal and healthy thing.

Not all of them, of course - the Victorians were very of much of a similar mindset to yourself. And in their case, I can form a plausible hypothesis as to why: the Industrial revolution pushing increasingly large numbers of people together in an age before antibiotics, latex condoms, etc... VD (along with every other kind of disease) would have gone through the roof, and if you caught the pox back then it was effectively a death sentence. No wonder they formed some strong attitudes against sex.

But I've no idea why those attitudes would persist into the modern day.... actually, now that I think about what I just said about the pox in the 19th century, one thought does occur to me. Were you sexually active when news of the AIDS epidemic first started to filter through into the mainstream media (once they'd got over the gay panic phase and started pointing out that any unprotected sex could be death sentence)? Because I can see why that sort of thing might turn a bloke off sex.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 22 July 2018 7:39:22 PM
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I'm interested in why you believe what you believe about abortion as well. I'm not interested in hearing you restate what you believe over and over again, I know what you believe already and repetition becomes dull and tiresome. I know you believe that you shouldn't kill any human except in self-defence, war or in cases of capital punishment (and I disagree strongly about the latter).

I'm interested in knowing why you think humans, in particular, shouldn't be killed. I mean, obviously there must be something special about us if it's OK to kill species that are remarkably similar to humans (all the great apes, but chimps and bonobos in particular), but not to OK to kill humans. What is the meaningful physical distinction betwixt us and bonobos that leads to that meaningful moral distinction that means they can be kept in zoos and we can't. There must be one, right? Or it wouldn't be OK to keep them in zoos, and I'd be out protesting for bonobo rights. So just what is that difference? Please, I'm curious.

Oh, and don't forget about ET.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Sunday, 22 July 2018 7:41:24 PM
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Toni Lavis. Are you familiar with the terms "ad hominem" or "red herring?" If not I suggest you look them up. The topic here has never been about ET, but about abortion and topics that relate to abortion.

On the other point you address. If you really don't know why killing humans is wrong then we have a whole separate issue here. Killing an innocent is considered murder. Don't ask for a further explanation as to why. If you need more of an explanation then seek the letter of the law. After all if you have no morals to protect the innocent from murder, then the legal punishments should be enough insight in light of your lack of good sense.

To David F.

The point about anger being a normal human drive is that it is also an impulse that as modern societies try to restrain. Like sadness, joy, hunger, sleep, and sex, anger is a normal human drive. It's something from an early age that parents teach their kids that their anger will not help the situation. Nor their tantrums. For a parent this comes in two ways. One is to love them when the child is angry and help resolve their issues, and the other is to be firm in their stance. "No means no," kind of discipline when a child throws a tantrum for not getting their way.

Now that we are on the same boat concerning normal human drives, can we continue? Or do you want to try and slander me again for no reason?
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Sunday, 22 July 2018 10:58:06 PM
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.

Dear Yuyutsu,

.

You wrote :

« The difficult question is whether and to what extent, is some soul identified with a fœtus … »

There is “falsifiable evidence” of the existence of a foetus, but not of a soul.

There is no consensus as to what a “soul” is supposed to be. It has meant various things to various philosophers and theologians down the ages :

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/

.

Dear Runner,

.

You wrote :

« Interesting the way baby killers use the same deceit as the Nazis used with the Jews. Pretend they are not human and rename the obvious. Of course a simple 3d camera shows exactly what or whom is being butchered. Simple biology ignored »

I couldn’t agree more – but, I shouldn’t say the same thing about a zygote (fertilised egg), a morula, a blastocyst, or an embryo during the first trimester of pregnancy – which constitute the various cells, organs and human tissue used in the production of a “baby”.

The biological question you raise as to the precise point at which a foetus becomes a baby is not known. As it is a complex process, perhaps there is no such defining point :

http://www.livestrong.com/article/496324-unborn-child-causing-pressure-on-mothers-bladder/

.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

You wrote :

« Abortion is killing an innocent »

In the case of a legal abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy, that is a belief, not an established biological fact, Not_Now.Soon. There is no “falsifiable evidence” to substantiate your statement.

Also, as I presume from your previous remarks on this forum that you are a Christian, am I not right in thinking that you believe that all babies are born guilty as per the Christian doctrine of “original sin” ?

As a foetus is not baptised, do you not consider that it is guilty ?

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 22 July 2018 11:57:51 PM
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Dear Banjo,

«There is “falsifiable evidence” of the existence of a foetus, but not of a soul.»

We could go into this if you like, but it is not needed for the purpose of this discussion:

Should no souls exist, then what could possibly be wrong about killing bodies: people, animals, babies, fœtuses, ETs, whatever? If all is just matter, atoms and molecules, then what possibly could be morally wrong about arranging them differently?

On the assumption of there being no souls, you cannot consistently claim for example for it to be OK to reorganise the atoms of a cockroach or of a pox germ, but not of a human.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 23 July 2018 1:24:20 AM
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Dear NNS,

Killing an innocent human being is not murder. Murder is a crime defined by law. If abortion is legal as it is now it is not murder. If abortion is made illegal and defined as murder under law reputable physicians will be reluctant to perform abortions. Rich women will still manage to get abortions. They will go where it is legal, pay enough to overcome a doctor's reluctance or get a surgical procedure such as a D & C which will have the same result as an abortion but is not defined as an abortion. Only those with less money will get abortions by the backyard butcher, but you have stated you don't want to bring back the backyard butcher. However, if abortion is defined as murder by law you will bring back the backyard butcher. Precisely what do you do you want to do about abortion? You cannot ban it without bringing back the backyard butcher.
Posted by david f, Monday, 23 July 2018 3:25:24 AM
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.

Dear Yuyutsu,

.

You wrote :

« Should no souls exist, then what could possibly be wrong about killing bodies: people, animals, babies, fœtuses, ETs, whatever? … On the assumption of there being no souls, you cannot consistently claim for example for it to be OK to reorganise the atoms of a cockroach or of a pox germ, but not of a human »

There is no need for a soul. It seems that the origin of morality can be traced back to primeval man even before he invented religion. What some anthropologists have suggested might be evidence of the earliest religious rite dates back 350,000 years ago, though this is disputed. Some researchers consider that abstract thinking only began about 50,000 years ago in modern humans :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2885663.stm

Dispositions to exert self-control, to defer to authority, to obey rules that uphold the social order, to punish transgressors, and to behave in altruistic and cooperative ways evolved because they helped early humans advance their biological interests and reap the benefits of group living. Old brain mechanisms that humans share with other primates engender primitive aspects of a sense of morality, such as feelings of moral obligation, sympathy, gratitude, guilt, forgiveness, and righteous indignation.

Psychologist Matt J. Rossano considers that religion emerged after morality and built upon morality by expanding the social scrutiny of individual behaviour to include supernatural agents. By including ever watchful ancestors, spirits and gods in the social realm, humans discovered an effective strategy for restraining selfishness and building more cooperative groups.

The following article entitled “Scientist Finds the Beginnings of Morality in Primate Behaviour” appeared in The New York Times :

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/science/20moral.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

As I indicated in my previous post, there is no consensus as to what a “soul” is supposed to be. It has meant various things to various philosophers and theologians down the ages. It is a relatively recent concept compared to morality that is shared by many animal species.

Like mankind, animals do not have a “soul” either.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 23 July 2018 3:58:32 AM
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//Are you familiar with the terms "ad hominem" or "red herring?"//

I am familiar with both those terms. I haven't used any ad hominems, and the question about ET is entirely relevant since it concerns the ethics of killing, and after all, isn't that what we're discussing here?

Or at least, trying to discuss, although you don't seem to be interested in holding up your end of the conversation. Why is that, NNS? Please, I'm curious.

//If you really don't know why killing humans is wrong then we have a whole separate issue here.//

Well, you certainly know what an ad hominem is.

Of course I know why I think killing people is wrong, NNS. So there's not really a lot of point asking myself, is there now? But I don't know why you think that killing people is wrong. That's why I asked.

//Killing an innocent is considered murder.//

Having an abortion isn't, according to the letter of the law. I guess that must make it OK then?

//Don't ask for a further explanation as to why.//

Why not? What is it that offends you so deeply about this line of questioning?

//If you need more of an explanation then seek the letter of the law.//

Oh? So the law is always moral then? But hang on, isn't abortion legal? And spousal rape used to be legal - was it ever moral? Was slavery moral before Abolition? Sharia law is a legal system; is it moral? I'm not sure that the law can be considered the best guide to what is moral - it is far to easy to find examples of laws which are or have been downright immoral.

//After all if you have no morals to protect the innocent from murder, then the legal punishments should be enough insight in light of your lack of good sense.//

[sigh] I see, NNS. Very well, if that's how you wish to be. There's more interesting ethical discussions on youtube anyway. Catch ya on the flipside.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPsUXhXgWmI
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 23 July 2018 7:21:48 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Assuming there is no soul, then the concept of morality is stupid and those people, 350000 or 50000 years ago, simply got it wrong.

OK, so a concept of morality (with or without supernatural agents) developed because living in an ordered group had a biological/evolutionary advantage - but if there is no soul, if there is, as we say "nobody home" in that body (human or animal), then why live in a society, why live at all? why bother arranging some organic molecules into an organism - it would be ridiculously stupid to do so and ridiculously stupid to make any effort to preserve these organisms.

A concept of "soul" could be relatively recent, but you don't need a concept of pain in order to feel pain: would you deny, for example, that babies feel pain despite having no such concept?

People may think of a soul in different ways, but the common factor in them all is that there is SOMEONE there who feels the pain when a body is hurt, as opposed to merely SOMETHING. If pain is real but all it is, is a rush of electrons along nerves and neurons, then the kindest thing to do would be to kill all organisms as quickly as possible, best using a vaporising nuclear bomb so there is no time for any pain to occur.

I obviously do not subscribe to the above line of action, but this is because I know that there is SOMEONE who feels the pain, not just something. Complex explanations abound, but for simplicity, I refer to that someone as "soul".
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 23 July 2018 10:39:51 AM
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Yuyutsu,

Without a belief in a soul, there is no morality ? I don't think so at all. I don't believe in gods, or heavens or hells, or souls, but I strive to live a moral life and to contribute back to society more than I take from it. I hope I'll be able to keep doing that until I drop. Without society, its good and bad, there is not much point to life, but I hope I can continue to see the promise and potential of society and its improvement, and add to it wherever possible.

I'm not particularly interested in whether or not I have a soul - the notion that one should do good only if one can get into heaven, or if one's soul can, or if one can be born again, is repulsive and grossly self-interested. It gives religion a bad name. If there is a god, he's surely smart enough to see what is in one's heart without the endless kow-towing and arse-kissing.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Monday, 23 July 2018 1:41:49 PM
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Dear Joe,

In this context, I never mentioned heaven or hell, god or religion, so please try to keep this issue simple without introducing new elements.

«Without a belief in a soul, there is no morality ?»

Why, morality does not depend on belief. Without souls there would indeed be no morality, but without a belief in a soul, well why not?

«Without society, its good and bad, there is not much point to life»

And without souls to experience life, there is no point in life whatsoever.

One can do good (or evil) only if there is good (or evil).

One may legitimately argue whether souls are like this or like that (e.g. whether they are born and die, whether they have colour, smell, shape, size or memory, whether they split and merge and a billion similar questions), but if there are no souls at all, then all that remains is matter - atoms, molecules, energy, other particles, etc.

Rearranging matter is neither good nor evil as it affects no one. In the absence of souls who can experience the world through organisms, whether molecules combine up to form organisms or not and whether those organisms combine up to form societies or not, is meaningless, inconsequential, neither good nor evil.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 23 July 2018 2:28:11 PM
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Kind of begging the question, Yuyutsu :) Yes, apart from the energy across the universe, " .... all that remains is matter .... " There is no physical or chemical equation, or biological evidence e, that there is or can be a soul. Move on, concern yourself with society as it is, and how its negative effects can be ameliorated, and positive effects enhanced.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Monday, 23 July 2018 3:37:08 PM
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Dear Joe,

Agreed: no physical, chemical or biological evidence for a soul.

So?

As I believe in the existence of souls, I have no problem with morality.
OTOH, if you believe in the non-existence of souls, then you cannot justify your morality.
You can still be moral (because souls actually do exist) and I do hope you are, only you cannot justify why you are so.

«Move on, concern yourself with society»

Society is only a tool - it serves (or disserves as the case may be) its member humans, and those humans serve (or disserve as they case may be) those souls that are attached to them. I should therefore concentrate on the well-being of souls and be concerned with the utility of society only to the extent that it impacts their well-being.

But then you implied so yourself:

«and how its negative effects can be ameliorated, and positive effects enhanced.»

[Negative/Positive] Effects on whom? Who is the affected? Obviously on the souls who are attached to bodies that belong to the society in question.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Monday, 23 July 2018 4:08:34 PM
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To David F.

You asked what I want to do with abortion. I'm glad you asked for once instead of only speaking for me and my views. (Though before you asked you already did that, so no real credit).

Regarding abortion the first step is to acknowledge that it's wrong. The reason it's wrong is because it kills another human being. Even if there is no legal crime attached to abortion, if it is acknowledged for the deaths it causes then that is a first step away from abortion being rationalized. It would be the start of a cultural change.

Second would be to attack the causes of abortion. A whore like society feeding the male's unending lusts is part of the problem. A culture shift to encourage to abstain from sex until there's stability in the relationship can curb the whore like nature that many here are arguing for when the topic of sex is brought up. With this in mind, if your cousin never had sex with the soldier that died, she might still be around. So on that level working for stable relationships instead of relationship highs could have helped several other issues aside from reducing abortion.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 23 July 2018 5:03:53 PM
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Along side with that would be the other side of abortion choices. That people are scared of the commitment and responsibility of a new child, or afraid of the shame of being found out that you're pregnant. To step away from that would need a cultural perspective to be able to step up to your responsibilities and to not shy away from the consequences of your actions. It would also need a society that instead of throwing shame on young mothers, or pregnant teens, they should be supportive of the women who went to full term and gave their child up for adoption, or they kept the child to raise on their own. Those women are shining examples of good people, regardless how they became pregnant.

Both of these changes in cultural attitude would be encouraged and supported by the acknowledgement that abortion is killing an innocent life long before the aborted person would ever have a say in the matter.

Third would be on government assistance. As of now there pro abortion programs that assist with abortion by reducing their costs or paying for it in full. If that same money was used to assist in adoption costs instead of abortion costs then adoption could be a viable option considered with the assurance that the baby will go to a good home once born.

These changes would only be a start, but if they reduced abortion rates, I'd count that as a mighty fine result.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 23 July 2018 5:04:42 PM
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To Banjo Paterson.

How can it not be considered a biological fact that killing an unborn baby is killing an innocent human being? In your reply to Runner you said:

"The biological question you raise as to the precise point at which a foetus becomes a baby is not known. As it is a complex process, perhaps there is no such defining point."

It is with this in mind that the question of when a fetus is considered a baby only muddies the waters and gives way to arbitrarily assigning when it is legal to abort and when it isn't. If there is no defining point to say it is a baby then arguable it should be assumed that it is always considered a baby.

Having only the first trimester legal for an abortion is a step in the right direction, however even that deadline is too late in my opinion. If you want to counter it though, please do a image search for the beginning stages of pregnancy. Medical pictures instead of illustrations would be what you're looking for, and determine when the fetus resembles a baby enough to not allow abortion any more. Between week six and eight are where I think the fetus shows characteristics of a living baby instead of cells reproducing and tissue forming. That said even that date might be too late, with new studies finding out how old a heart beat is found.

If we can't find a distinction to call a fetus something outside of being a baby, then it is my opinion that it should always be counted as a baby.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Monday, 23 July 2018 5:24:09 PM
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Dear NNS,

When I worked in the Netherlands there was a man named van Klinken I worked with. Van Klinken was part of a group that tried to persuade pregnant women not to have an abortion. If they succeeded his group provided for the women and baby until the baby reached maturity. Since most women went through with the abortion they could provide for those who didn't. As far as I know those Australian groups who harass women going to abortion clinics take no responsibility if the woman decides to continue pregnancy.

You wrote: "Regarding abortion the first step is to acknowledge that it's wrong."

In other words, you just want people to agree with you. I do not think it is wrong, but I do not expect you to change your views to agree with me.
Posted by david f, Monday, 23 July 2018 6:28:39 PM
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Dear David F,

We have different views about abortion. As what you said last time, We don't know if we are killing another Hitler or another Einstein. Yes, I do not wish you to change your views but killing an innocent child is not right. Abortion can't solve the problem. The problem just keeps on adding. If you can't discern what is wrong from this issue then maybe you needed a lot of help. If humans continue to legalize abortion in other countries then we can't differentiate ourselves from animals anymore.
Posted by MandyMania29, Monday, 23 July 2018 7:20:23 PM
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.

Dear Yuyutsu

.

You wrote :

« Assuming there is no soul, then the concept of morality is stupid … »

The OED definition of soul is :

« The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal »

Perhaps you would be kind enough to explain why you believe the animal kingdom (including us human beings) must have one of these in order to be capable of moral behaviour.

Might I just point out that morality is, of course, not only a concept but also a regular practice. – should I say a way of life.
.

You also wrote :

« A concept of "soul" could be relatively recent, but you don't need a concept of pain in order to feel pain: would you deny, for example, that babies feel pain despite having no such concept? »

By the same token that I do not know what you believe a soul is, I do not know exactly what you refer to as a baby (in the context of this discussion on abortion).

In the interest of clarity, allow me to recall that I indicated in my post on page 13 of this thread that I should like to see all the states of Australia adopt the same limit for abortion as Queensland is currently preparing for itself, i.e., 22 weeks of pregnancy.

There are essentially two reason for this :

1. The foetus cannot survive independently of the woman prior to that limit. It has no life of its own.

2. The stage of development of its biological structure does not allow it to feel pain prior to that limit

Here is what I consider to be a reasonably trustworthy (unbiased) article on the delicate question of the ability of a foetus to feel pain :

http://www.factcheck.org/2015/05/does-a-fetus-feel-pain-at-20-weeks/

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 23 July 2018 8:07:54 PM
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Dear MandyMania,

You wrote, "If humans continue to legalize abortion in other countries then we can't differentiate ourselves from animals anymore."

I don't differentiate myself from the other animals. I am a mammal of the genus and species, Homo Sapiens. I have never differentiated myself from the other animals. If you don't realize you are an animal, you have a problem. I suspect that is a problem that many of those who would ban abortion have. They think they are not animals.

It used to be that most humans differentiated themselves from the other animals. Linnaeus, the biologist who introduced the binomial nomenclature to designate forms of life was probably the first to designate humans as mammals. No species can increase indefinitely, but people who do not realise we are animals are against population control measures. MandyMania, whether or not you realise you an animal you are an animal and eat, are born, die, breed and are subject to the constraints that other animals live under.
Posted by david f, Monday, 23 July 2018 8:55:00 PM
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//A whore like society feeding the male's unending lusts is part of the problem. A culture shift to encourage to abstain from sex until there's stability in the relationship can curb the whore like nature that many here are arguing for when the topic of sex is brought up.//

Wow, sounds like somebody's got a bit of a fixation with whores ;)

Anybody else reminded of Norman Bates' mother?

Still not sure what's wrong with cunnilingus. I mean, I'm pretty sure saliva and sperm aren't the same thing. But hey, what do I know? Apparently I don't have any morals or good sense because I take an interest in moral philosophy. Or something. I dunno... NNS was as incoherent as usual and I doubt I'd be able to get any more sense out of him even if I could be bothered.

I don't think it's OK to kill ET. He's definitely not human - for all we know he doesn't even have DNA, the movie didn't really go into the hard sci-fi side of things. And I'm not sure if he had a soul or not; again, the movie didn't really cover that. But still... it'd be wrong to kill him. Human or not.
Posted by Toni Lavis, Monday, 23 July 2018 8:55:05 PM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

You ask :

« How can it not be considered a biological fact that killing an unborn baby is killing an innocent human being? »

The OED definition of a human being is :

« A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance »

Obviously, an “unborn baby” does not quite correspond to that definition – a foetus during the first two trimesters of its development, even less so – it cannot survive independently of the woman that bears it – it has no life of its own. It is not yet a human being.

Also, in my previous post to you on page 18 of this thread, I noted : “…as I presume from your previous remarks on this forum that you are a Christian, am I not right in thinking that you believe that all babies are born guilty as per the Christian doctrine of original sin ? As a foetus is not baptised, do you not consider that it is guilty ? ”

As, once again, you qualify “an unborn baby” as being “innocent”, should I understand that you are not Christian or, alternatively, that you reject the Christian doctrine of original sin ?

With regard to the fundaments of the question, innocence or guilt can only apply to a being endowed with consciousness. A chair can be neither innocent nor guilty. A foetus does not acquire consciousness until the third trimester of pregnancy which begins at the 27th or 28th week. Therefore it can be neither innocent nor guilty before that :

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-does-consciousness-arise/
.

You then indicate :

« Medical pictures instead of illustrations … determine when the fetus resembles a baby … Between week six and eight … where I think the fetus shows characteristics of a living baby instead of cells reproducing and tissue forming »

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 23 July 2018 11:59:57 PM
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.

(Continued …)

.

In my post on page 12 of this thread, I indicated, as regards the foetus :

« According to the experts, its development is both structural and functional. An important element is the human brain, which is particularly complex. Recent research reveals that the brain does not reach full maturity until the new individual or “person” reaches, at least, his or her mid-20s »

The medical pictures you are looking at are not the foetus – they are images. They represent the form (and, possibly, the movement) of the foetus. What you see are images of the structured elements (cells, organs and human tissue) that, assembled together, constitute the foetus.

Almost all organs are completely formed by about 12 weeks of pregnancy. The exceptions are the brain and spinal cord, which continue to form and develop throughout pregnancy (roughly 9 months).

So much for the structural (visible) aspect – but then there is the important functional (non-visible) aspect. For a foetus to become a baby it has to become fully functional. It not only has to look like a baby – it has to breathe like a baby breathes, think like a baby thinks, feel like a baby feels, cry like a baby cries, feed like a baby feeds, … in short, it has to be a baby.

For a baby to be a baby, it has to be able to survive independently of the woman that bears it. It must have a life of its own. That is usually not possible before the 24th week of pregnancy.

That said, strictly speaking, to ask a woman when her baby is due is correct when referring to the foetus in her womb but, to say that the foetus in her womb is a baby girl is incorrect. It is a female foetus. Only when it is born should it be called a baby girl – but, logically, not if it is still-born.

At least, that is my understanding.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:07:15 AM
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The one who knows best how a continuing pregnancy would affect her is the woman who is pregnant. I think it is great that she can have access to a legal abortion by a doctor. Nobody who does not know her has any right to interfere with her getting an abortion. Who in hell are all these ignorant yahoos who want to decide for her whether or not she should terminate her pregnancy? I think of my sweet cousin who was pregnant and committed suicide because of that. Somebody in her situation now with access to a legal abortion could get one and live on. It is much better now than it was then, but some want to turn the clock back to those bad days. The one who knows best how a continuing pregnancy would affect her is the woman who is pregnant. Think of her as an actual human because that is what she is. She is not a potential reasoning creature. She is one now, and she has a right to decide for herself whether she wants to continue a pregnancy..
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:51:23 AM
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Dear Banjo,

«The OED definition of soul is...»

Sloppy.

Humans/animals are pure matter and have no immaterial parts, so if this is your understanding of "soul", then I can understand very well why you believe that it does not exist.

However, souls do not depend on material bodies, they only use them.

«Perhaps you would be kind enough to explain why you believe the animal kingdom (including us human beings)[» (Ouch! We are not human beings) «]must have one of these in order to be capable of moral behaviour.»

1. I did not claim that animals are capable of moral behaviour (likely most aren't).
2. As above, humans/animals do not "have one of these" - rather it's the "one of these" that can have a human/animal.
3. Obviously, if moral behaviour does not exist, then neither humans nor animals, nor even angels or gods are capable of moral behaviour...
Now if there are no souls to experience pain, suffering and loss, then there cannot be moral behaviours either, then all is matter and for the pun, nothing matters.

«Might I just point out that morality is, of course, not only a concept but also a regular practice. – should I say a way of life.»

100% agreed!

«By the same token that I do not know what you believe a soul is»

Phew, this would take many pages and the details may vary anyway from what I personally believe/think and are not crucial for this discussion. In extreme brevity, "A subtler body of consciousness", but what is important here is that it is SOMEONE rather than SOMETHING, subject, not object.

«I do not know exactly what you refer to as a baby (in the context of this discussion on abortion).»

I was not referring to a baby in the context of abortion, I just happened to mention 'baby' as an example of one who feels pain despite having no concept of pain - sorry about the confusion. In fact, I haven't even discussed abortion as such here, but am only laying some groundwork for this discussion.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 1:52:38 AM
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To Banjo Paterson.

You asked if I am Christian and on my thoughts of innocence. I am Christian, and I try to let my understanding of my faith influence many of my perspectives and behaviors. Sorry that I didn't reply to that question. As for guilt or innocence. I think of babies as largely innocent. They are in their parents care to teach them right and wrong, and to instill values in them like to share, and to not hit. At this stage in life yes they can do wrong, but because of their age and their dependance on their parents to care for them and teach them, they are innocent. Unborn babies are in the same boat on the rationale of their innocence.

On that note though, many of my points can be addressed and scrutinized or agreed with without this turning into a focus on religion. David F already tried to change the focus away from the points being made to a Christian versus an atheist kind of thing. I don't see the merit in this kind of approach, and I hope you don't try to divide the issue towards that kind of direction. (I don't expect you to, but I just wanted to voice my concern for that direction).

The point on an unborn baby being innocent for instance can be a continuation of the perspective of babies being innocent. Which as far as I'm aware is not a view solely held by Christians, but held by many people regardless of religion.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 3:01:25 AM
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.

Dear Yuyutsu,

.

Thank you for clarifying what you consider constitutes a soul :

« it is SOMEONE rather than SOMETHING – they don’t depend on material bodies, they only use them »

I shall keep this for reference during our future discussions.

Perhaps just one further question : if a soul is someone, does that someone also have a soul who is someone and does that someone also have a … and so on ?
.

I note that you remarked, in passing :

« The OED definition of soul is... Sloppy »

« Ouch! We are not human beings »

If I have understood you correctly, Yuyutsu, I presume you mean that we are all souls and that we “use” the material bodies of human beings. Is that correct ?

If that’s so, I have remarked that mine is getting a bit old and … “used”. Perhaps there are a few young human bodies vacant somewhere I could “use”. If I adopt your theory instead of that sloppy old definition of the OED, please advise how it works. Do I have to purchase, if so how much does it cost ? Or, perhaps I could lease, rent or borrow for a few years if it’s too expensive. I’m not that rich. A short-term lease would be fine, or maybe an Airbnb – that would be great if it’s possible.

But, then, how would my wife recognize me ?

Boy, your system sounds more complicated than I imagined. Maybe I’ll just stick to the sloppy old definition of the OED. I’m not sure I want to be a soul anyway. Sounds a bit spooky to me …

At midnight in the museum hall
The fossils gathered for a ball
There were no drums or saxophones,
But just the clatter of their bones,
A rolling, rattling, carefree circus
Of mammoth polkas and mazurkas.
Pterodactyls and brontosauruses
Sang ghostly prehistoric choruses.
Amid the mastodonic wassal
I caught the eye of one small fossil.
"Cheer up, sad world," he said, and winked—
"It's kind of fun to be extinct."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuQM8SLatK4

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 7:46:53 AM
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Dear NNS,

innocent or guilty does not have meaning to a fetus. I have tried to change the focus not to atheist vs. Christian but to have some consideration for the wishes and well-being of the pregnant woman. She is a living, adult, reasoning human being. The primary consideration in my opinion should be for her. Most Christians have the humanity to give consideration for her. You don't speak for Christians. You speak for your narrow, fundamentalist view of Christianity. Australian is still primarily a Christian country. Abortion is legal in many Christian countries due to the decision of Christians. You do not speak for all Christians just for the narrow, fundamentalist view of some unenlightened Christians. If only atheists were for abortion no western country or any country with an atheist minority would have legal abortion. Legal abortion is a woman's right not an ateist's right.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 9:32:22 AM
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Dear Banjo,

«if a soul is someone, does that someone also have a soul who is someone and does that someone also have a … and so on ?»

Scripture tells of several levels/layers of souls, finite in number - Hinduism speaks of four, sometimes six (besides the physical body):

http://www.thekundaliniyoga.org/Vedanta/pancha_kosha_five_layers_of_human_existence.aspx#Soul%20atman%20wrapped%20in%20five%20layers%20Pancha%20kosha%20of%20Arishadvarga
http://fractalenlightenment.com/33744/spirituality/koshas-the-five-sheaths-that-wrap-your-soul

And Jewish Kabbalah speaks of five (Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chayah, Yechidah):

http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/380651/jewish/Levels-of-Soul-Consciousness.htm
http://www.safed.co.il/kabbalah-and-the-inner-spirit.html

Christianity seems to only differentiate between spirit and soul, but perhaps the Christians here may correct me:

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Believer%27s%20Corner/Doctrines/spirit_soul_body.htm

Most times we speak of "soul", we refer to the Manomaya Kosha, equivalent to the Neshamah of Judaism, because this layer normally remains and reincarnates when the physical body is gone (the Pranamaya Kosha, "Nefesh" or "Ruach" usually dissipate soon after), but depending on context one could be speaking of a different layer.

«I presume you mean that we are all souls and that we “use” the material bodies of human beings. Is that correct ?»

This is relatively more correct and less sloppy than seeing ourselves as material bodies, but even this is sloppy because ultimately what we are is God for there is nothing but God, including bodies, minds and souls. In other words, "my soul" and "your soul" seem to be different just as "my body" and "your body", but in truth they are one.

«Do I have to purchase, if so how much does it cost ?»

You get a new body to best suit the long-term course of your life: if you lead a good moral life, then you are more likely to get a comfortable body with which you can be rewarded and enjoy life; and if you lead a life of evil, then you are more likely to get a wretched body with which you can suffer for your previous actions. Nevertheless, it is best not to aspire for enjoyment, because that enjoyment will eventually expire - best is to aspire to permanently escape this cycle of birth and death altogether.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 3:11:41 PM
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To Banjo Paterson.

Sorry for the delayed response to continue on what was said before. Thank you for waiting though.

Two other points you mentioned I want to address. One is the OED definition of human.

<A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance >

This definition of human shares the same hole in it for young babies, premature babies that are born early, and unborn babies. All of which are unable to speak yet and do not have an upright stance yet without the help of an adult to hold them up.

Second point is regarding a fetus and the time they have a consciousness. If I can ask where is the data to pinpoint consciousness to the 27th or 28th week? I don't just mean this as a counter point, but I would like to know where that point stems from. As of now the point of consciousness seems like the personhood debate and the point when the fetus has a soul debate. Both of which are argued arbitrarily because neither has a defining way to determine the soul, or characteristics of personhood that would be met by a born baby protected by the laws and morals of the culture, but not met by unborn babies.

If consciousness is of the same arguments under a new term, then I don't hold them as reliable arguments. However, I think I can counter the idea of what week consciousness is developed by noting that premature babies can be born before the 27th week. With medical assistance they can also survive to grow up too. Without a defining characteristic of consciousness, I assume that these premature babies have a consciousness. (If there is data, then there might be more to stand on then the other two arguments at the point of having a soul or aquiring personhood.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 6:43:24 PM
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Dear NNS aka undead human,

There is no question that the woman whose body contains the fetus is an adult human being with the power of reason. However, you and other men who will never be pregnant feel entitled to say whether or not she should have an abortion. You have dismissed her with your remark that she should kept her pants on. As far as I can remember, on this thread I am the only one on either side of the question who has shown any concern for the pregnant woman and her needs and desires. You use the nonsense locution, unborn baby. The expression remains nonsense no matter how many times you repeat it. I really am disappointed that no one else, pro or con abortion, has expressed any concern for the woman. Does anyone else have any concern for her? Am I amid monsters?
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 6:59:51 PM
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To Yuyutsu.

As a Christian I can tell you that there are a few competing theories and theologies relating to the soul and the spirit. Some say the soul and the spirit are the same thing. Some say having a soul is something given to us after we're saved, and that is our eternal self. Some differentiate the soul to be the person, and the spirit to be outside influences, like having the Holy Spirit in them, or having an evil spirit plague them. (Both instances seem to portray a condition that is not the normal condition people are in but are an outside force that either leads them or drives them mad).

I can't say based on any reliable standard of what the difference between the spirit and the soul is, but it is my general attitude that our soul is our essence. Much like the way you've described a soul to be a who instead of a what. If I'm wrong though, it's the kind of thing that I don't think will make a difference in life or a difference in our destination after this life.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 7:22:23 PM
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.

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

.

You wrote :

« I am Christian … As for … babies … At this stage in life … they are innocent. Unborn babies are in the same boat on the rationale of their innocence »

Thank you for that precision. Clearly, though you are Christian, you do not believe in the Christian doctrine of “original sin” whereby all human beings are born guilty – not innocent – and only become innocent when they are baptised.

However, you add :

« On that note though, many of my points can be addressed and scrutinized or agreed with without this turning into a focus on religion … I don't see the merit in this kind of approach, and I hope you don't try to divide the issue towards that kind of direction … The point on an unborn baby being innocent for instance can be a continuation of the perspective of babies being innocent. Which as far as I'm aware is not a view solely held by Christians, but held by many people regardless of religion »

Three remarks :

1. The comments and opinions on this thread relate to the monthly sermon of Peter Sellick, an Anglican deacon. Peter has been posting sermons on OLO since 2002. Naturally, they are always eminently religious – which explains why the corresponding comments and opinions on this forum are also, inevitably, very much religiously oriented.

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 11:16:49 PM
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.

(Continued …)

.

2. According to the Christian doctrine of “original sin”, what you refer to as “unborn babies” – i.e., foetuses – are considered guilty, not innocent, until they are born as babies and baptized. This is peculiar to the Christian religion. For all other religions, agnostics, atheists, etc., as well as ordinary people such as myself, foetuses and babies are considered innocent.

3. Obviously, you do not agree with your religion on this point.

.

You ask :

« … where is the data to pinpoint consciousness to the 27th or 28th week? »
If you click on the link I provided where you read that in my post on page 21 of this thread, you will find an article in the Scientific American entitled “When Does Consciousness Arise in Human Babies?”. Then, under the sub-title “The Road to Awareness” you will find the phrase : “ Thus, many of the circuit elements necessary for consciousness are in place by the third trimester.”
And, as I indicated just above the link to the article : “ the third trimester of pregnancy … begins at the 27th or 28th week ”

.

Dear Yuyutsu,

.

Thank you for all that. I shall study it very carefully and in detail, with interest.
I have to admit that I am a curious “soul” (to employ the term in a colloquial sense, of course).

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 12:30:11 AM
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Dear David,

Since you asked, I do care for pregnant women and for their freedom to choose.

"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" [Deuteronomy 30:19].

It is impossible to choose good unless one can also choose evil.

---

Dear Not_Now.Soon,

Thank you, I appreciate the information.

«Some say having a soul is something given to us after we're saved, and that is our eternal self»

Well, they must be utterly confused: suppose a soul is given to you, which is your eternal self, then whom was that soul given to? Who were you before you got that soul? Have you then stopped being you?

What does make sense, however, is that when we are saved, our soul (not us) is renewed, in the sense of being filled with pure tendencies and cleansed of impure tendencies.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 1:39:28 AM
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To Banjo Paterson.

Fair point about the context that abortion was brought up. If it helps I'll explain my views a little more in the areas you brought up that pertain to religion. It has been my experience though that many people who aren't religious will turn away from any perspective that has a religious reference in it. Even if there are other points of the perspective that do not rely on religion to agree with or discuss. For instance the ideas to not kill and that fetuses are still people, (though unborn), have influences in them from my understanding in my faith, but being Christian is not necessary to see their merit. None the less. To answer your questions.

First though, I must confess, doctrine is not my strongest suit. When deciding to trust Christianity, I did so while reading the bible. And after that I struggled with many theological concepts I heard and came across that that conflicted with one another (or seemed to anyways) without as much background of the theological reasons for each stance. Eventually I came to the conclusion to test our perspective (especially religious perspectives) against the words in the bible. Some things even to say I don't know yet and hope to find answers in time with being more familiar with bible verses.

(Continued)
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 3:11:44 AM
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(Continued)

Regarding sin and innocence. I think Jesus was both born without sin, and remained sinless. But the way He died was a measure of taking on our sins and redeeming us. From life experience I can say there is sin, and an inclination towards sining, but we are not forced. It is each of our choice to do the actions we do. From that understanding I don't think of sin as being guilty or innocent until you fail to resist sin. It is always in us. Sometimes waiting for an opportunity, sometimes actively tripping us up.

It is an inner struggle, something that if we fail to resist then we are guilty of it. In that light, yes I still see fetuses and babies as innocent. They have not yet had an opportunity to sin and therefore are still innocent. If we could remain that way throughout our lives we would not need Jesus to come and save us, and redeem us from our guilt. But I don't think that is really possible. Without God's help we are weak. With God's help we ourselves are still weak but are made stronger by relying on God. This shows one of our needs that God helps us with.

Thank you for pointing out the link on consciousness. I read it, but it'll take some time to consider my conclusions regarding it. My initial thoughts are that I probably have a broader definition of being conscious then that article holds. Give me time though to consider it's points.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 3:13:23 AM
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I wonder where this idea as if babies are innocent came from - not from religion anyway, perhaps from humanism?

A soul would not identify itself with a body (human or animal) unless either:
1) It desires to experience and interact with the material world through that body.
2) It is God's will for that soul to come down and help the world.

#2 is very rare, so apart from those few, a baby is not innocent but tainted with desire and desires stem from previous impressions in previous bodies. Had they been innocent, they could have remained with God, but desire leads them into mischief.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 10:23:52 AM
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.

As souls and gods, angels and devils are hypotheses to which I do not subscribe, if you don’t mind, I shall politely take my bow and let those who do carry on with the discussion.

Many thanks to Peter Sellick who raised the delicate subject of abortion. It allowed me to crystalize my thoughts and firm up my position more precisely in terms of morally acceptable legislation for society.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 5:32:51 PM
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Thank you, Banjo, it was a nice discussion with you.

As for "morally acceptable legislation", how is this possible?

Legislation is a form of violence, imposed on us from the moment of birth. This is especially a point for thought for those who believe that babies are innocent.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Thursday, 26 July 2018 1:57:56 PM
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.

Dear Yuyutsu,

.

You wrote :

« Legislation is a form of violence, imposed on us from the moment of birth. This is especially a point for thought for those who believe that babies are innocent »

The OED definition of legislation is :

« Laws, considered collectively »

Despite the fact that Australia is a constitutional monarchy, the Queen of England being our head of State, it is, nevertheless, a democracy. The OED definition of democracy is :

« A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives »

The origin of the word democracy is the Greek word “demokratia”, from demos ‘the people’ + -kratia ‘power, rule’. The combination of these two ingredients means that it is the people who decide the rules to which they accept to submit themselves and therefore have a vested interest in those rules being implemented as equitably as possible.

The rules are derived from nature, culture, tradition, the predominant religious beliefs and morality, as well as from what has been termed the "social contract of human behaviour" as conceived by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau aimed at preserving individual liberties on an equitable basis and maintaining harmonious relationships within the community.

The objective of democracy is justice. Nothing is perfect but I know of no better system of government than democracy. If you do, Yuyutsu, I should like to hear about it.
.

With reference to my comment on abortion, you ask :

« As for "morally acceptable legislation", how is this possible? »

It is possible in the case where the pregnancy is no more than 22 weeks, for the following reasons :

1. The foetus cannot survive independently of the woman prior to that limit. It has no life of its own.

2. The stage of development of its biological structure does not allow it to feel pain prior to that limit

3. It does not acquire consciousness until the third trimester of pregnancy which begins at the 27th or 28th week

.

(Continued …)

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 27 July 2018 1:17:25 AM
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.

(Continued …)

.

Something that lacks consciousness (e.g., a chair) is neither guilty nor innocent. A foetus at no more than 22 weeks pregnancy is neither guilty nor innocent because it has not yet developed the faculty of consciousness.

For a foetus to become a baby it has to become fully functional and survive at birth. That is the point at which the foetus is no longer a foetus. It is a baby – and, in my view, a baby can be said to be either innocent or guilty.

I consider that all babies are innocent. However, according to the Christian doctrine of “original sin” all babies are born guilty. They only become innocent when they are baptised.

Babies are not the object of abortions. Only foetuses are the object of abortions.

I consider that legislation authorising abortions of foetuses at no more than 22 weeks pregnancy is morally acceptable for society for the reasons indicated above.

Babies cannot be aborted because a baby is not a baby until it is born. Before it is born it is a foetus.

The OED defines a foetus as follows :

« An unborn or unhatched offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human more than eight weeks after conception »

The OED defines a baby as follows :

« A very young child »

I trust that these explanations are clear, Yuyutsu, but, naturally, I do not expect you - or anybody else, for that matter - necessarily, to share them.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 27 July 2018 1:28:48 AM
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To Yuyutsu. The idea of the soul being given to a person is not a common Christian belief. I had a hard time trying to understand it when I heard it. In the end I don't think that logic makes sence or fits the narritive of the soul as it's given in the bible. I meant to tell you that much, just so you were aware of the differing views of a soul and a spirit. It almost sounded like you wanted a Christian perspective to see if your assessment of the Christian perspective of soul and spirit was accurately represented.

To Banjo Paterson. Sorry to send you off because of the talk of religion. This was one reason why I didn't want to tie in a lot of religion into the subject of abortion. (Not for you specifically, but that the topic of religion would either turn people away from this conversation, or become the focus and abortion is no longer discussed.)

Thankyou for the links, the points to consider, and the civility of your end of the conversation.
Posted by Not_Now.Soon, Friday, 27 July 2018 2:25:05 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Democracy, including democratic legislation, is one possible way for a group of people to manage and organise their affairs. It is not wrong, but first there needs to be a group over which democracy is applied, and if that group includes non-consenting "members" then any laws imposed on them amount to bullying. If you want to have a social contract, then everyone included needs to sign it, explicitly or implicitly, but that never happened.

If we had a morally-constructed society (democratic or otherwise), which we don't, then it could issue moral laws. In its absence, people can still legitimately organise themselves to defend against external threats: if necessary, a society may even kill outsiders who pose a threat to its members, but it may not legislate for them nor interfere in what they do between themselves so long as it does not adversely affect the society's members.

As babies and fœtuses never consented to be part of society, the only rationale allowing a society to include them on its protection-list, is that due to their inability to speak for themselves, their parents who have their best interests at heart, represent them for the time-being and truly believe this to be their wish. This means that should the parents decline to include their children (born or unborn) in a society, then that society has no right to "protect" them.

Bottom line: it is immoral for a state to legislate against killing anyone who has not consented to be part of it, and in the case of babies and fœtuses, without their parents' consent.

Obviously, this doesn't render killing (including of animals) moral, but leaves it as a matter between the parents and God, not the state.

---

Babies and fœtuses never gain consciousness - rather, at some stage, probably gradually, consciousness gains them!

Babies are dead as a chair, thus neither innocent nor guilty - rather, it is the soul who identifies with them which is sinful.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Friday, 27 July 2018 12:21:08 PM
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.

Dear Yuyutsu,

.

You wrote :

« If you want to have a social contract, then everyone included needs to sign it, explicitly or implicitly, but that never happened »
.

I beg to differ, Yuyutsu. It happens all the time.

The simple fact of being physically present in the territory controlled by some society, people implicitly give their consent to being part of that society subject to its laws and regulations.

The difference between tacit consent and explicit consent is that explicit consent is meant to leave no room for misinterpretation.
.

Apart from a handful of countries that oblige its citizens to obtain exit visas (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Nepal, Uzbekistan, North Korea, Russia, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Philippines), nobody is obliged to remain in a country against his will if he does not agree with the laws and regulations of that country or its government.

The US, of course, also has its “no fly list”, a list created and maintained by the United States federal government's Terrorist Screening Center of people who are prohibited from boarding commercial aircraft for travel within, into, or out of the United States – following the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001.
.

As I indicated in the first part of my previous post, no democracy is perfect but at least in a democratic regime, it’s the people who decide the rules to which they accept to submit themselves and therefore have a vested interest in those rules being implemented as equitably as possible, each generation being free to change and adapt the rules to keep pace with the evolution of society.

You conclude :

With reference to "killing babies and foetuses" : « … it [is] a matter between the parents and God, not the state. … Babies are … neither innocent nor guilty ... it is the soul who identifies with them which is sinful »

That’s fine, Yuyutsu, provided there is a God and there are souls. The fact is, that remains to be established beyond all reasonable doubt.

So far, it has not.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Saturday, 28 July 2018 2:52:30 AM
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Dear Banjo,

Most people live where they are because they were born there: what's being born on the face of this earth to do with giving consent to some gang that forcibly controls an area? What right to begin with has any group of people to control vast territories even without the consent of the inhabitants? That's violent, that's immoral!

Now asking someone to leave their home in an area that is controlled by one gang they never agreed with, to join some other gang, is not a solution either: what right has this cartel of gangs in aggregate to command life on earth?

What if you never accepted any of these gangs (or alternately you may have accepted some gangs but none of them accepted you)?

No, this whole thing is barbaric and even the mitigating factor of democracy doesn't make it moral.

«That’s fine, Yuyutsu, provided there is a God and there are souls. The fact is, that remains to be established beyond all reasonable doubt.»

God and souls are a sufficient condition for the immorality of legislation over non-consenting individuals, but not a necessary one - suffice that you are SOMEONE rather than SOMETHING. This you CAN subjectively experience and establish for yourself beyond all reasonable doubt.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Saturday, 28 July 2018 9:00:20 PM
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Dear Yuyutsu,

.

Given the circumstances you describe, I shouldn’t hesitate to move the family to a more hospitable environment if I were you. I did that once, in similar circumstances, many years ago, when the children were small.

If it had been necessary, I should have done it several times, until I found something acceptable.

If, for some reason, that is not possible, the only other thing I can think of is to contact your local mayor, or one of his assistants if he is not available, and discuss the matter with him. He may be able to do something about it or suggest a solution.

I note your comment :

« Now asking someone to leave their home in an area that is controlled by one gang they never agreed with, to join some other gang, is not a solution either: what right has this cartel of gangs in aggregate to command life on earth?

What if you never accepted any of these gangs (or alternately you may have accepted some gangs but none of them accepted you)? »

Every community has its rubbish dump, Yuyutsu, and, unfortunately, you have – no doubt unwittingly – pitched your tent and established your family right in the middle of one.

Despite all our lofty aspirations, quest for the grail, etc., we are constantly confronted with the harsh reality of daily life. It is part of our earthly condition and we just have to deal with it as best we can. That does not mean we have to accept it.

If we can’t change it, we have to protect ourselves, our family and loved ones by avoiding it.

There’s no use getting on our high horses and complaining about it or fighting proverbial windmills as “El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha” is reported to have done in 1605. That’s a waste of time and energy.

We have more important things to do in life than to frequent human rubbish dumps and allow them to monopolise our thoughts, block our vision, and determine the “weltanschauung” of our children.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Sunday, 29 July 2018 9:22:34 PM
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Dear Banjo,

We were discussing a moral issue: we must clearly distinguish between right and wrong, then tell an evil when we see one, even if we cannot do anything practical about it.

That these bullying gangs that forcibly control this whole planet legislate over others, including over those who never freely consented to be their members, is obviously immoral - yet this does not make me or you immoral: we did not personally do it, we did not personally contribute to this, we have no practical way of stopping this and so we cannot be held responsible for others' sins.

They can take my body, but nobody can monopolise my thoughts and block my vision.
Posted by Yuyutsu, Sunday, 29 July 2018 10:45:08 PM
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.

Dear Yuyutsu,

.

You wrote :

« That these bullying gangs that forcibly control this whole planet legislate over others, including over those who never freely consented to be their members, is obviously immoral … »

I can’t say I share your totally negative vision of society, Yuyutsu. You seem to regret having been born. I don’t.
.

Of course, I regret that our archaic colonial Constitution is still in force and that we have never felt the need to replace it with a new one that reflects the transformation of our nation. I regret that we do not have a constitutionally imbedded Bill of Rights. I regret the way we treat so-called “illegal” migrants by parking them disrespectfully, indecently, cruelly, immorally, illegally and indefinitely on offshore locations. I regret the way we perpetuate the injustices of British colonisation on our Aboriginal compatriots by treating them as an inferior race of bludgers living off State welfare, corrupting their youth with alcohol and drugs and locking them up in prison. I regret that we freely accept a foreign national (the Queen of England) as our Head of State but, at the same time, eliminate members of parliament who, for purely technical reasons unbeknown to themselves, suddenly discover that they have a second nationality in addition to their Australian nationality. I regret the persistence of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, gender discrimination and various forms of intolerance, deeply ingrained in our society and its institutions.

Nothing is perfect, but I know of no better system of government than democracy. Of course we can strive for perfection, but we can never achieve it. What I profoundly regret is that we don’t seem to be doing much striving at all.

We just bungle along as complacently as usual :

« It’ll be right, mate. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it ! »
.

Perhaps you know the “Serenity Prayer”. If not, here it is :

« God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference »

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Monday, 30 July 2018 2:20:32 AM
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Dear Banjo Paterson,

Winston Churchill said, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Perhaps, English democracy is like English cooking. [David F]. It is a democracy without Separation of Powers between the executive and the legislature. It is a democracy with a monarch. If Winston Churchill had died in 1925 he would be remembered like Saddam Hussein as a person who ordered the Kurds to be gassed.
Posted by david f, Monday, 30 July 2018 4:41:41 AM
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Dear David f,

.

You wrote :

« Perhaps, English democracy is like English cooking. [David F]. It is a democracy without Separation of Powers between the executive and the legislature. It is a democracy with a monarch »

As you say, David, “English democracy is like English cooking”. Let’s say it’s a sort of a porridge – not so easy to describe but easy to swallow, and with a little sugar, served nice and warm, it doesn’t taste too bad either. The Westminster system of government and judiciary is exactly that : a sort of porridge.

The UK, of course, does not have a written constitution and because there is some overlapping between the executive and the parliament (the Prime Minister and ministers are part of the Executive and the Parliament), the system is, in many respects, more a “fusion of powers” than a “separation of powers”.

However, in practice, it seems that, in recent years, the UK’s unwritten constitutional “porridge” (the ingredients of which are : statute law, common law, parliamentary conventions and “works of authority”) is sufficiently malleable to allow it to respect the principle of the “separation of powers” to some degree.

While Australia does have a written (colonial) constitution, and is also a constitutional monarchy on the Westminster model, the respect (to some degree) of the principle of the “separation of powers” is fairly similar :

http://www.peo.gov.au/learning/fact-sheets/separation-of-powers.html
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You also wrote :

« If Winston Churchill had died in 1925 he would be remembered like Saddam Hussein as a person who ordered the Kurds to be gassed »

I find your judgment a bit severe, David. I presume you are referring to Churchill’s decision to re-establish the gold standard as the basis of value of the pound sterling after he took up office as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

That caused economic turmoil in the UK and triggered a flight of speculative capital to Wall Street that helped fuel the 1929 “black Thursday” stock market crash. But that was not entirely his fault and he did not deliberately try to kill or harm anybody.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Tuesday, 31 July 2018 8:37:57 AM
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Dear Banjo Paterson,

I was referring to the allegation that Winston Churchill in 1924 ordered the RAF to gas the Kurds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alleged_British_use_of_chemical_weapons_in_Mesopotamia_in_1920

Apparently the use was considered.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 31 July 2018 8:50:36 AM
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//« If Winston Churchill had died in 1925 he would be remembered like Saddam Hussein as a person who ordered the Kurds to be gassed »

I find your judgment a bit severe, David. I presume you are referring to Churchill’s decision to re-establish the gold standard as the basis of value of the pound sterling after he took up office as Chancellor of the Exchequer.//

I suspect what he is actually referring is the alleged gassing of the Kurds in 1920. Churchill did sanction the use of gas, but it wasn't actually used. Conventional munitions were considered more effective.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill#Return_to_Parliament
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alleged_British_use_of_chemical_weapons_in_Mesopotamia_in_1920
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/605488?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Posted by Toni Lavis, Tuesday, 31 July 2018 8:55:03 AM
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.

Dear david f, Dear Toni Lavis,

.

The bottom line seems to be that while Churchill authorised the use of gas on the Kurds in 1920, it was, in fact, not used as it was considered less effective than conventional methods of warfare under the circumstances.

According to a Postnote published by the British Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in December 2001, the only occasion on which chemical weapons (CW) have been employed by British armed forces was in September 1915 when they used chlorine (presumably in WWI).

Here is the link :

http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/POST-PN-167/POST-PN-167.pdf
.

I see that the UK was one of the 140 signatories (including Australia) to the Geneva Gas Protocol in 1925 prohibiting the use (but not the stockpiling) of CW, subject to the following conditions :

(I) The said Protocol is only binding on His Britannic Majesty as regards those Powers and States which have both signed and ratified the Protocol or have finally acceded thereto.

(2) The said Protocol shall cease to be binding on His Britannic Majesty towards any Power at enmity with Him whose armed forces, or the armed forces of whose allies, fail to respect the prohibitions laid down in the Protocol.

See page 67 of the League of Nations Treaty document : No. 2138. - PROTOCOL FOR THE PROHIBITION OF WAR OF ASPHYXIATING, POISONOUS OR OTHER GASES, AND OF BACTERIOLOGICAL METHODS OF WARFARE. SIGNED AT GENEVA, JUNE 17, 1925.

Here is the link :

http://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/LON/Volume%2094/v94.pdf
.

I note that following the disaster of the Gallipoli Campaign in the Dardanelles, Churchill was demoted to an obscure cabinet post in May 1915.

It is reported :

« He resigned from the government, picked up a gun and headed to the front lines in France as an infantry officer with the Royal Scots Fusiliers. After several brushes with death, he returned to politics in 1917 as the munitions minister in a new coalition government headed by Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George » :

http://www.history.com/news/winston-churchills-world-war-disaster
.

He was obviously not responsible for the use of chlorine in September 2015.

.
Posted by Banjo Paterson, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 1:44:25 AM
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