I do not often write “response” posts to people of WordPress, but what the hell. Also (since the question will inevitably come up), I did not write this to “steal” traffic from OM. Read this entry, browse if you wish. Or leave and don’t come back. I don’t care.
Now, to the nitty gritty.
I find myself again in a bit of an abortion debate with OM. This is nothing new (we have had past twitter and comment feuds that one could call, epic). And I find myself in the same position as I was last time.
Most of what you will see here is visible in the comment section (link above), but WP has horrible comment formatting, so I will paraphrase my main concerns here.
I will start with my views on abortion. At this point, I don’t know that I really have any. I have had many “debates” on the subject, most recently with a Deist coming at the argument from a secular prospective.
Everyone has their opinion on the subject, it seems. But it is something that ultimately I would prefer to steer clear of. Because I do not see it as any of my concern, if it is not directly involving me. If I did not plant the seed, or (and this is even a stretch) if I am not in the close family of said parties, it is not my concern.
I have the same feeling when it comes to euthanasia (even suicide, to a degree). There are things one must consider, for example if the person whom wishes euthanasia is being coerced by a party who would gain from their demise, or if someone contemplating suicide is clouded by mental illness (99% of the time, a valid possibility). But ultimately, the life you live is yours, and no one should have any say in the matter. Not my concern.
Now, on to the “debate”.
Some may wonder why I bothered initiating the commentary on the thread (or this post) if I have no opinion. That is because, even if I have no opinion, I also feel a need to challenge people whom verbalize strong opinions, but don’t want to back them up. In the case of OM and in the case of my deist friend, it was just saying “abortion is evil” and leaving it at that.
Me and OM have had this argument before . He operates Rolling Stone magazine style, I prefer to back up anything that is not explicitly my opinion with links to external sources. Ok fine, he has better standards then Rolling Stone (ive been itching to say that somewhere lol). But he still hates showing his work.
As for the debate. I come at this from a largely secular prospective. Him, a religious (Christian) prospective.
I think that the best way to boil this down, is how one values life itself.
When it comes to the value of life, most people put human life ahead of all other forms of life. Though there is a religious angle to this belief, it can also be unconscious. The human prospective is unique, and its unsurprising that humans would value themselves more then all else.
But though I may have had that unconscious belief before, I now see all life as more or less being on an even level, at least in terms of importance. The life of humanity is no more important then, any other life forms (such as lions or fish). Many can (and will) disagree. But as far as I am concerned, that is just arrogance.
When it comes to OM, we are right away in different world, because we differ when it comes to even this, the importance of life. I see everything evenly, he prioritizes humans over all else. His reasoning being religiously based around the concept that “humans have souls, but animals do not”.
For the purposes of this post, I am an Atheist. I don’t normally openly wear the badge (or the t-shirts), and would prefer to remain ambiguous. But since its impossible to converse without first putting this to rest, there it is, MB man’s admission to Atheistic tendencies.
As an atheio-secularist, such an argument is, terrible. Because it is not even really, legitimate (being that it is based on the illegitimate logic of religious dogma).
Just for the hell of it, I asked Google if animals had souls. I was amused by the result.
Animals have souls–and so do plants.
But rest assured OM, your partially right.
Rest assured we’re not saying animals and plants have souls like ours.
The source for the amusing material above was Catholic Answers. Their moto, “To Explain And Defend The Faith”. More brilliant material:
Animal and vegetable souls are dependent entirely on matter for their operation and being. They cease to exist at death. (There’s no “doggie heaven.”)
Human souls, by contrast, aren’t material. They’re spiritual. Only a spirit can know and love, a spirit’s two chief faculties being the intellect (which knows) and the will (which loves). We know human souls are spiritual since humans can know and love.
We also know human souls are immortal because spirits can’t decompose. They have no parts: Only a thing with parts can fall apart. A spirit is a unit. It has no top or bottom, no left or right, no inside or outside.
Well there you have it OM. Your WRONG! Animals (and plants apparently), have souls to! They are just, material like the animal itself, or our bodies. As opposed to our humanoid souls, which are immortal and a defined unit with no definable characteristics.
I give these people credit for having a great imagination. Damn. You should be in Hollywood writing scripts. Secular scripts, that is (we don’t need anymore Noah, Left Behind, God’s Not Dead or Heaven Is For Real look a likes. Or anything that Kirk Cameron or Kevin Sorbo would approve of for that matter).
But either way, I can not take such a claim as “humans have souls, therefore . . .” seriously, because it is based on illegitimacy to begin with. I don’t think I can think of an anymore illegitimate set of texts then those that make up the bible. Well, besides the texts of Judaism, all the other off shoots of Judaism (including subcategories such as Catholicism, Protestantism, and Shia and Sunni (2 categories under the Islam umbrella) ), and any other scripture or text that is written by man but “divinely” inspired.
And of course there was the part of the argument that OM kept ignoring. That is, those verses in that book that OM seems to find so dear, that contradict his seemingly biblically inspired viewpoint.
If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. — Exodus 21:22-23
And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. — Numbers 31:15-17
(Some of the non-virgin women must have been pregnant. They would have been killed along with their unborn fetuses.)Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. — Hosea 9:14Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. — Hosea 9:16Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. — Hosea 13:16
Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. — 2 Samuel 12:14
The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. …
And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. — Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28
Fine, using a book that I just finished calling illegitimate against someone else in an argument is a bit, condescending. But on the other hand, so is just ignoring these uncomfortable verses. Im thinking, because they do not fit into your personal “reality” of what religion looks like to you.
The goal of this post, is not exactly to make you do a 360 on your views on abortion. And its not really to make you drop the faith and join the secular side (though that would be nice 🙂 ). Its more, to try and encourage you to make an argument on this topic that is your own, not something based on your chosen book of nonsense.
When it comes to an argument, what side you are on does not really matter to me. So long as the road to that conclusion was genuine thought process.
OM, what I see in you (and in most of the thoughtless back patters in the comment area) every time abortion comes up, is not genuine thought. I just see regurgitation of religious dogma.
You have a brain, a brain that is sharp enough to put to use on a platform that involves much reading and writing (a skill that is often lacking with generation youtube). USE IT!
Also, Allah is indeed an Arabic translation for the word God. Allah and God are one and the same. That is the Harsh Reality, even if it annoys many a Christian.