The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Choice at sea
Europe is in a demographic death spiral, so what does a Dutch group, called Women on Waves, want to do? Why, send a floating abortion clinic on a cruise around the continent, of course.
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lwestin: I was under the impression that the belief that there is no God was called Atheism. But okay...for the record, by your definition, no I'm not a secular humanist. God(s) exist(s) for everyone for whom he/she/they is/are important, and he/she/they go(es) by different names, depending on the culture/language. On the subject of an afterlife, I'll have to get back to you, okay? Not anytime soon, though...lol.
Yes, I'm a little self-centered. All of us are. I think the me-first thing is a survival instinct. I'm not the me-only type, though. I'm just not an altruist, in the self-sacrificial sense of the term.
Why would you not believe that I can care about people without there being something in it for me? The reason I comment on (almost) every thread where choice is the topic is that I think it's absolutely crucial that individual reproductive rights be chiseled in stone. This is not a silly issue for me. Until every woman has the right to choose for herself whether or not to accept pregnancy...and when...no one has any real freedom.
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-29 7:38:45 PM
And what truth is that obc? That the greed, murder and racism is more "grown up".
H2O, do actually read my posts, or do you just throw out senseless banter?
Posted by: lefty_99 | 2007-04-29 7:39:23 PM
"Why would you not believe that I can care about people without there being something in it for me?"
HA! You said just the opposite the other day - that you (and all others) just go for what you want and take it, regardless how it affects others.
Posted by: obc | 2007-04-29 7:41:52 PM
Actually, I spend my time contributing to society and raising the next generation of citizens. Between my advanced education in PHYSICS and COMPUTER MODELLING and the cost of raising children, I don't have the time or money to surf and save Africans.
BTW, in the last several hours you have been on line arguing, I wonder how much CO2 has been emitted creating the electricity for your frugal lifestyle.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-29 7:44:11 PM
Sure, we're all racists, sexists, homophobes, killers, thieves,and rapists. Talk about a closed mind!
Posted by: obc | 2007-04-29 7:44:54 PM
"BTW, in the last several hours you have been on line arguing, I wonder how much CO2 has been emitted creating the electricity for your frugal lifestyle."
The rules are for others - not the global elite, h20.
Posted by: obc | 2007-04-29 7:48:53 PM
I don't think raising a bunch of neo-facists qualifies as "contributing to society".
Posted by: lefty_99 | 2007-04-29 7:49:15 PM
I don't know their politics...they are only children. Have you been indoctrinating them again.
Tsk Tsk. Let the children be children.
BTW, my contributions to the global optical telecommunications network has obviated the need for large amounts of business travel. I wonder if I can claim carbon offsets for that?
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-29 7:53:05 PM
Of course not! You must raise brain-washed Leftoid robots.
OOOPS! Leftoids rarely raise kids. They're out surfing and preaching.
Posted by: obc | 2007-04-29 7:53:33 PM
BTW, I'm here in my hotel room with the air conditioning on (It was 29 degrees in this city today), 3 incandescent light bulbs burning, my computer slavishly sending out my posts, and the TV is on to FOX NEWS Channel.
Tomorrow I'll be driving 600 miles, burning lots of gas to greatly increase my carbon footprint.
Posted by: obc | 2007-04-29 7:57:46 PM
If you are capable of caring, surely you would care for the innocent.
That's why I question your motive - what's in it for you? I wouldn't go so far as to suggest that you get paid. (Your arguments are not good enough.)
I find it weird that you selected 'reproductive rights' to be passionate about. Surely the right to be born trumps the right to unlimited sex? why choose something as grotesque as a mother killing her own child, to stick up for? Its a warped idea of freedom and responsibility that decides ones own freedom is more important than another's life.
The 'silly' argument you've been using, that the baby is not a person, isn't even used by planned parenthood et al anymore. Too many people everywhere already know it is. They directly appeal to the person's self interest. (They're professionals).
So again I ask, what's in it for you?
Posted by: lwestin | 2007-04-29 8:04:19 PM
Sorry H2O, by the way he writes and what he says, I was under the impression that obc was your child. Where did you get the impression that I'm down here for work??
Posted by: lefty_99 | 2007-04-29 8:05:29 PM
"Sorry H2O, by the way he writes and what he says, I was under the impression that obc was your child. Where did you get the impression that I'm down here for work??
What impression? I thought you were surfing.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-29 8:09:05 PM
The weed is taking effect.
Posted by: obc | 2007-04-29 8:14:03 PM
You said earlier that I was traveling for work and that it being more important than african children. But you're right, I'm here to surf and to further expand my education on the plight of third world nations. If you people could see what I saw in the slums of Managua and the highlands of Guatemala, then it might even warm your frozen hearts just a little bit.
Posted by: lefty_99 | 2007-04-29 8:14:20 PM
I apologize if I gave the impression that you travel for work. Please forgive me. Carry on with your surfing and emitting CO2 by arguing online with us.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-29 8:19:48 PM
I will actually, thank you.
Posted by: lefty_99 | 2007-04-29 8:22:16 PM
I knew I could count on you. Atta boy!
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-04-29 8:25:17 PM
"Surely the right to be born trumps the right to unlimited sex?"
Ah...now this is a sample of diabologic if I ever saw one. I think you're counting on me to say either yes or no to this, but the problem is one of the abstract versus the actual.
Nothing and no one has the "right to be born" because it (the being) does not yet exist. And once it does exist, it has no more need of that nebulous right, since it has become a fait acompli. There is no such thing as the right to be born. So this is not even an answerable point.
As for unlimited sex...yes, as long as your partner(s) is/are willing, and your energy holds out, why not?
"The 'silly' argument you've been using, that the baby is not a person, isn't even used by planned parenthood et al anymore."
I don't care who uses it or doesn't use it. I don't form my opinions based on what the "professionals" are saying. I use language judiciously and accurately, employing the terminology that conveys my precise meaning...precisely. I don't like buzzwords and political correctness, and I general eschew them. You cannot read between my lines because there are no hidden meanings.
What's in it for me? I dunno where you're drivin' this point, but yer wheels are spinnin' and yer clutch is disengaged. Either you're not getting that I'm not concerned about there being anything in it for me on a personal level, like some kind of reward, or I am misunderstanding your question. Would you like to try and put it a different way?
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-29 8:34:01 PM
I don't believe you. The impression of you as intellectually dishonest comes from you insisting on using an argument you can't possibly believe to be true. Noone else, including SCIENCE, believes it. You are tying yourself to a dead horse.
Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. (Actually, you can see it if you want to.) Its there. Its real. Its human. It has a right to be born, given to it by its CREATOR, who , by the way is not the mother alone.
Keep your head in the sand.
Its your choice , and with that choice will come a consequence (as with every choice.)
Oh yeah, God does not only exist for those who believe in Him. We did not create Him, He created us.
pax and goodnight
Posted by: lwestin | 2007-04-29 9:57:33 PM
I'm still waiting for Chimera to answer the question about which committee of human beings created the mountains, all the animals and determined the paramaters of the oceans.
Still no answer, but I'm a patient man.
Posted by: Set you free | 2007-04-29 11:17:53 PM
"I don't believe you."
Your choice. Welcome to it. If you choose to negate something because you don't understand it, that's up to you.
"The impression of you as intellectually dishonest comes from you insisting on using an argument you can't possibly believe to be true."
If you're talking about the fetus's being not yet a person, you're wrong. A person is a legal entity that has become completely independent from its (now) mother's body through the process of birth. Previous to the birth, it was a fetus, dependent on the (then) host body of the woman for such basic essentials as sustenance and waste elimination. A person takes in nourishment and breathes on its own. A fetus does not.
Calling anyone "intellectually dishonest" only because you don't like the point they make, or their reasoning behind the point, is a mug's game. You're attacking the person behind the argument, not the argument itself. That's not only just plain lazy, it's not worthy of you.
You believe that a diety created you and the world in which you live. I believe that the dieties -- all of them -- were created by humans for the purpose of handy scapegoat for when things don't go according to the way we planned them. That's "we" in the personal, not global, sense.
Dieties come in very handy from time to time. Right up until the point where different groups of people attack and kill one another over their personal interpretations of what constitutes a diety...and what its name happens to be in any language at any given time...and whom it loves best...and to whom it listens...and for whom it grants favors and wishes. If your interpretation of God is the correct one, and did all the creating you say it did, don't you ever wonder why it doesn't fix all those other people who have the wrong ideas? Or is God a wargamer?
SYF: "I'm still waiting for Chimera to answer the question about which committee of human beings created the mountains, all the animals and determined the paramaters of the oceans."
??? Whence came this, please?
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-30 12:10:31 PM
You obviously have a mistaken impression of God.
This is not a pre-determined world with predictable outcomes.
People have been given the gift of free will and through that free will make their own choices.
The consequences of those choices are the individual's, not God's.
Posted by: Set you free | 2007-04-30 12:32:25 PM
"You obviously have a mistaken impression of God."
My impression is not mistaken. It is merely different from yours.
"This is not a pre-determined world with predictable outcomes."
But, according to some religious groups, it is pre-determined that if one does not behave in accordance with that religious group's dictates, rules, laws, cautions, taboos, etc., one will forever after death inhabit a nasty place called hell. Seems like a predictable outcome to me, if they're right...
"People have been given the gift of free will and through that free will make their own choices."
We both agree that people have free will -- or should have it if they don't already -- and choices. The only thing on which we disagree is whence it comes. You say it is a gift from the diety in which you believe. I say it is mandated by other people who have proven to themselves the value of free choices.
"The consequences of those choices are the individual's, not God's."
Agreed. Although this makes the god sound like a petulant infant that builds a maze full of traps that always lead to death for the mice and then refuses to take responsibility when the mice die. And they always die. There is no escape.
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-30 12:54:24 PM
On pre-determinism: Then those religious groups are incorrect in their understanding. It would seem apparent you come from such a tradition in which human beings either willingly or unwillingly could not see the truth and only sought power over other human beings.
There is no coersion involved in this, only an invitation to discover universal truths that span over thousands of years and have been proven correct by the Test of Time.
It is not God who set the traps (temptations), rather it is his former most trusted angel Lucifer, who believed the laws of God did not apply to him and seeks to find slaves among human beings who willingly turn away from the pursuit of truth for momentary pleasure.
Lucifer was abolished to the earth and was given dominion over it where the Unseen Warfare for the soul (or more precisely spirit) carries on to this day.
The choice then, in stark terms, is to accept creation and attempt to be in harmony with it or to fight against it.
BTW, there is only one truth. I'm not claiming I understand it fully and am sure that I will not be fully connected with the creator on the day that I die, but I do understand the rhythms of nature, the stage that was provided for us to play out our struggle between embracing good and evil.
Posted by: Set you free | 2007-04-30 1:27:32 PM
"And they always die. There is no escape."
Well, actually, there is an "escape": Who will set me free from the body of this death?
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-04-30 1:29:13 PM
The exact correct passage which lays out our choices and their consequences in no uncertain terms.
Posted by: Set you free | 2007-04-30 1:47:43 PM
I'm not talking about an afterlife -- a concept with which some people agree but I do not. At least, it has not yet been proven to me, and I take no one else's unsupported word for it.
I have no interest in a religious interpretation of what constitutes an "escape" from death.
There is no escape from physical death. And that is the only point I was trying to make.
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-30 1:53:37 PM
Just because you refuse to acknowledge the truth does not mean it does not exist.
Can you prove it doesn't exist?
Posted by: Set you free | 2007-04-30 1:56:54 PM
I don't have to prove it doesn't exist. It's not important to me whether or not it exists. It does not affect me one way or another.
If, after death, I find that an afterlife is a reality, I'll deal with it then, okay?
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-30 2:18:14 PM
Good luck to you!
Posted by: Set you free | 2007-04-30 2:20:36 PM
Thank you. And to you.
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-30 2:39:13 PM
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-04-30 2:53:04 PM
"There is no escape from physical death. And that is the only point I was trying to make."
Your previous comment attracted my attention for I presumed that you are somehow blaming God for the existence of death in this life. You have revealed enough about what you believe that I think it is safe for me to further presume that you do not respect Scripture. I think we both know that you are not the only one to think in such a manner. However, it seems to me that you should at least represent the theology of Scripture correctly and then criticize that theology or state what you think of the value of that theology. It seems to me that you are not doing that but are criticizing a belief system that is not represented in Scripture. I am also aware that you did not specifically mention Scripture but but implied it (and perhaps other texts that others consider sacred).
I was referring to the death of the body in this life as well. If you were referring to the idea that each person will face death in this life that is correct. Everyone who has been alive so far has passed through it or expects to pass through it. (Scripture indicates a specific group within one future generation will escape death but this is unimportant to this discussion.) However, your statement that there is no escape indicates to me that you feel that that is the absolute end and that God has somehow designed and desired the "system" to work this way. Perhaps I presumed too much when I presumed you think God designed this to be the end....??
Scripture does indicate that the body from this life will be raised back to life. As such, this constitutes an eventual escape, or freeing, or redemption, or salvation from this death.
There are others...
I repeat that I understand you may not be convinced of either the sincerity or the accuracy of Scripture. My point is to demonstrate that Scripture has an answer to the question you present. Or at least to the one I presume you are presenting...
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-04-30 2:56:56 PM
You are welcome.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-04-30 2:58:43 PM
"...I presumed that you are somehow blaming God for the existence of death in this life."
Not at all. Actually, your first presumption is that I place any value on this concept you call God. Your second presumption is that I see death as an event for which there must be blame. You tie these two errors together in your mind and make an assumption which has no weight.
"You have revealed enough about what you believe that I think it is safe for me to further presume that you do not respect Scripture."
Not that safe, no. It's not that I have no respect for scripture -- it's that it has no value for me. It clearly has value for you, and that is fine with me. If you wish to tie your life to the philosophical writings in a book that was published who-knows-when and was written by who-knows-whom, I have no argument with that. Your choice, and you're welcome to it.
What I do have no respect for is the idea that anyone has the right to regulate anyone else's life based on their interpretations of those philosophies in whatever edition of that book.
And please...don't show me links to biblical passages or interpretations of those passages. Don't quote from any version of religious writings. They are all someone else's words and ideas, not your own. If you really want to get my respect, do your own thinking and your own writing.
And as for reincarnation...well...I'll have to get back to you on that one, as well. But not for a long time, yet.
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-30 3:33:45 PM
"Not at all. Actually, your first presumption is that I place any value on this concept you call God."
This from someone who claimed to be a clergyman to get credibility on the SFU thread 2 months ago.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-04-30 3:40:08 PM
Let me spell this out for you once again: read my exact words without trying to "interpret" them. "...this concept YOU call God." There is a very specific meaning in the way that particular phrase is written.
And it does not change my status as a member of the clergy. By now, many of you may have figured out that I am not a Christian. But Christians do not have a monoipoly on clergy any more than they have a monopoly on truth.
And I will anticipate what is possibly your next question by saying that my specific religion does not matter.
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-04-30 3:49:59 PM
You are not clergy if you do not believe in God.
Posted by: Speller | 2007-04-30 3:52:38 PM
We use the term resurrection rather than reincarnation as that is another matter entirely.
Anyway, thanks for your clarifications on my presumptions.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-04-30 4:06:01 PM
"You are not clergy if you do not believe in God."
Never said I didn't. You're not paying attention, Speller. The phrase I wrote reads: "...this concept YOU call God."
If I really need to translate for you what should be clear in what is possibly your own mother tongue, it means that I do not believe the SAME as you. Not that I don't believe at all, but I just don't put the same interpretation on the concept of diety that you do. I have quite a different take on the purpose and identity of diety.
By your insistence in not seeing (or perhaps not wanting to see) that this being/construct you call God (and when are you going to give it a name?) can be interpretted many different ways, depending upon one's culture, you are revealing yourself to be one of those people who will not only allow religious wars to continue, but you will be one of those who actively seek to keep the wars fully staffed and seeking victims.
Brent: Resurrection is not a new concept. Several of the major religions, and most of those that predate Christianity, also use that myth for their most important gods. The dying-and-rising-god-figure is as old as the very idea of religious mythology.
Posted by: Chimera | 2007-05-01 1:24:21 PM
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