6 Questions with which to Stump Conservative Christians

by Luke Muehlhauser on September 4, 2010 in Christian Theology

From Skeptical Eye:

  • A man can marry a woman, and a woman can marry a man, but who can a hermaphrodite marry?
  • Does the Bible prohibit cannibalism? Please include chapter and verse.
  • If you are 8 months pregnant and the rapture occurs, will your baby rapture with you, or will it be left behind, unsaved?
  • The Bible says to worship God (obviously) and to obey your mother and father, but what do you do if your parents tell you to worship other gods?
  • Where in the Bible does it say that raping someone is wrong?

Also, my personal favorite, from lolabortion:

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

MC September 4, 2010 at 6:26 am

As to the latter question, many pro-life men whom I’ve asked this are unflinching advocates of the death sentence or any other punishment for murder. The video above features the question(s) being directed at one male, who statistically would be more likely to be retributive for an act understood as murderous.

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a Nadder September 4, 2010 at 6:27 am

For point 3, there is a clear answer even if it’s not one most people will trumpet.

Deut 13:6-9
If your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end), you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

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Justfinethanks September 4, 2010 at 7:40 am

A man can marry a woman, and a woman can marry a man, but who can a hermaphrodite marry?

Dr. Craig (actually one his “volunteers”)tried to tackle this one on his website.

“Fortunately, there is good reason to think that a sex is determined genetically. Hermaphrodites suffer, as you are aware, a birth defect of having at least both sex organs partially developed [...] If it is, then a person is either a male or a female, and in either case, a homosexual relationship is morally prohibited. This implies that hermaphrodites cannot choose to date both sexes; they must date the person who has the opposite sex as them. Medical procedures could aid in restoring persons to their appropriate sex.”

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6857

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Márcio September 4, 2010 at 8:07 am

“…raping someone is wrong?”
Deuteronomy 22:25-26

“…but what do you do if your parents tell you to worship other gods?”
Deuteronomy 5:7-10

“…what should the punishment be for women who have illegal abortions?”
I don’t think it will be too difficult for the government to define some kind of punishment.

“…will your baby rapture with you, or will it be left behind, unsaved?”
Saved. 2 Samuel 12:19-23 indicates it.

“…but who can a hermaphrodite marry?”
At least in my country “hermaphrodite” is not a gender. Legally, the person is a HE or a SHE.

“Does the Bible prohibit cannibalism? Please include chapter and verse.”
Don’t think there is a verse that explicity prohibit it, but please, don’t start to eat everyone in front of you because of this, ok??? And, at least in my country, it is illegal.

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Brian September 4, 2010 at 8:08 am

To answer number 5. 25) “But if the man meets the engaged woman out in the country, and he rapes her, then only the man must die. 26) Do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no crime worthy of death. She is as innocent as a murder victim. 27) Since the man raped her out in the country, it must be assumed that she screamed, but there was no one to rescue her.

Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. (2nd ed.) (Dt 22:25–27). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers. (Deut. 22:25-28).

And remember when we have difficulty with sin and ask why God allows such things. The answer is He has delivered us from sin through his son. 16) “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17) God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. (2nd ed.) (Jn 3:16–17). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

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RA September 4, 2010 at 8:23 am

What happens to a fetus when it is aborted? Since it is life and is without sin, does it go to heaven? If so, isn’t it a good thing since the odds are 95% that they will go to hell if born?

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Robert Gressis September 4, 2010 at 8:26 am

RA wrote, “What happens to a fetus when it is aborted? Since it is life and is without sin, does it go to heaven? If so, isn’t it a good thing since the odds are 95% that they will go to hell if born?”

Do you think it’s conceptually possible that some act could be prohibited even though it has good consequences?

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RA September 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

@Robert,

It’s very hard to figure God’s mind out. When doing so, it’s best to give him your own ideas.

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Brian_G September 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

“What happens to a fetus when it is aborted? Since it is life and is without sin, does it go to heaven? If so, isn’t it a good thing since the odds are 95% that they will go to hell if born?”

I’d be curious where you get the statistic that there’s a 95% chance of a person going to hell? What’s the evidence for this?

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Hermes September 4, 2010 at 8:43 am

RA: It’s very hard to figure God’s mind out. When doing so, it’s best to give him your own ideas.

Do you expect a response?

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RA September 4, 2010 at 8:54 am

@Brian,

That’s my own calculation. What’s the correct number?

@Hermes,

Not necessarily. Just a response to Robert.

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Brian_G September 4, 2010 at 8:55 am

* A man can marry a woman, and a woman can marry a man, but who can a hermaphrodite marry?
I don’t know.

* Does the Bible prohibit cannibalism? Please include chapter and verse.
I’m not aware of any verse, but so what? Where does the Bible say that it will answer every moral question?

* If you are 8 months pregnant and the rapture occurs, will your baby rapture with you, or will it be left behind, unsaved?

The rapture is a protestant invention.

* The Bible says to worship God (obviously) and to obey your mother and father, but what do you do if your parents tell you to worship other gods?

It’s well accepted theology that your only obligated to obey when told to do something morally permissible.

* Where in the Bible does it say that raping someone is wrong?
Deuteronomy 22:25-28

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Brian_G September 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

@RA
I don’t have any stats on who’s in hell. In my Catholic upbringing I was always taught that this is something we just don’t know. We can’t even be sure if Judas is in hell. The reason is that it’s difficult to judge someone’s moral culpability and we can’t be certain that someone didn’t repent at the last moment.

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MichaelPJ September 4, 2010 at 9:32 am

The abortion video is gold. You can just see the cognitive dissonance going on in those people’s minds. Props to the girl who said “maybe life imprisonment” for at least being consistent.

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lukeprog September 4, 2010 at 10:29 am

Michael PJ,

Indeed.

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al friedlander September 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

It’s like what Luke said in previous posts; many of these types of decisions are emotion-based. Most of the time it’s not about rational arguments (hence the common response, “I’m not a lawyer”); in this case, it’s more about the image of an aborted fetus and/or my Savior loves me and He says so.

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Robert Gressis September 4, 2010 at 11:03 am

I don’t understand your response, RA. Are you asking me to say whether it’s conceptually possible that an act could be morally prohibited even though it has good consequences? I’m not a consequentialist, so I think so. For instance, I think it may be morally prohibited to force one of your friends to refrain from smoking even though her refraining from smoking would have the best consequences for her.

Alternatively, maybe you’re saying that we shouldn’t wait for God to answer that question, but should answer it ourselves. If that’s what you mean, then maybe. I suppose it depends on your beliefs about what would constitute an answer from God.

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John September 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm

# If you are 8 months pregnant and the rapture occurs, will your baby rapture with you, or will it be left behind, unsaved?
RESPONSE – There never will be a RAPTURE for Christ asked the Father to not take them out of the world, and if the rapture is said to be like in the day of Noah than you guessed it…Noah was Left behind. ha ha ha bye bye rapture

# The Bible says to worship God (obviously) and to obey your mother and father, but what do you do if your parents tell you to worship other gods?
RESPONSE – The Bible also tells the parents to not provoke their kids to anger. There is balance is things. Parents can still be respected when you refuse to do what you honestly think it wrong.

# Where in the Bible does it say that raping someone is wrong?
RESPONSE – adultery and covet the Bible forbids which you can also find in the TEN Cs # 7 and 10

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Madeleine September 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm

1. Pick a sex and stick with it, marry the opposite sex.
2. Genesis 9
3. The rapture is rubbish.
4. Ignore your parents.
5. The fact there are penalties at law for it shows it it condemned.
6. Death.

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Jeff H September 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Wouldn’t cannibalism be covered under the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment? I mean, maybe you could get around it if you eat the person alive, but at some point they are clearly going to be killed in the act of eating them.

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lukeprog September 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Madeleine,

Death to women who have abortions?

You’re kickin’ it Old Testament, yo.

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Pedro Amaral Couto September 4, 2010 at 2:46 pm

«Where in the Bible does it say that raping someone is wrong?»
Deuteronomy 22

«
23 – If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her,
24 – then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
25 – But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.
26 – But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.
27 – When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.
28 – If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,
29 – then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
30 – A man shall not take his father’s wife so that he will not uncover his father’s skirt.
»

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Kaelik September 4, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Am I the only one who finds it funny that the Deutronomy quote used to support believing in God even if your dad tells you not to actually doesn’t, because instead it says “If X, Y, Z who are not your father try to get you to believe anything your father doesn’t, fucking stab them.”

Which means that if your dad tries to get you to believe something, you still have a goddam existential crisis about God vs Daddy.

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Lee A.P. September 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Is heaven populated chiefly with the souls of embryos?

http://reason.com/archives/2004/12/22/is-heaven-populated-chiefly-by

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lukeprog September 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Lee A.P.,

Good one. Not a place I want to spend eternity.

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ThomasLantern September 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm

1. There are no true human hermaphrodites, so I would say the should probably marry the opposite sex.
2. I’m not sure, but I don’t think so.
3. If rapture occurs to a pregnant woman, it seems reasonable to think that the baby goes with mommy.
4. Worship God, obviously.
5. Rape is an act of violence and can be inferred to be contradictory to morality given by God.
6. I’m not sure why this is supposed to stump anyone more than, say, “What is an appropriate punishment for stealing someone’s wallet?”

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a Nadder September 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Pedro — thanks for providing the full Deuteronomy quote, I was about to. Yes, the distinction between a betrothed and a single rape victim is made explicitly so those who quoted just the first few verses from Deut 25 are either using disingenuous sources or are editing it out themselves.

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Asparkman September 4, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I’m not really sure why any of these questions would be particularly successful at “stumping” the Christian.

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Madeleine September 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Luke wrote:

Madeleine,
Death to women who have abortions?
You’re kickin’ it Old Testament, yo.

Abortion is a form of homicide. Intentional, thought-out, planned and executed homicide warrants the death penalty. Therefore…

I would disagree that I was kickin’ it OT, I’d say I was kicking’ it biblically – there is nothing in the NT to suggest my position is incorrect.

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Nick September 4, 2010 at 7:32 pm

(1) I’m pretty sure “hermaphrodite” is crazy offensive. It’s the equivalent of “negro.” I believe “intersexed is the preferred term.

(2)While the video makes it clear that a lot of the anti-choice movement hasn’t really thought through their position, there’s an easy way to solve the contradiction between not wanting to punish the women and wanting to make it illegal: Punish the person who performs the procedure.

(3) Is that Deuteronomyy passage really saying that if a man rapes a virgin, he’s forced to marry the woman? That sounds like about the worst fate imaginable for the victim.

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Ginx September 4, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Thanks for getting the word out on my questions. Just a few points on why I think most of these answers are invalid:

1. Hermaphrodites exist. If you are born with 2 X chromosomes and a Y chromosome, you are genetically both male and female. Thanks for sleeping during science class… Also, there is no “pick one” option. And last I checked, gay people couldn’t just “pick one” and be done with it, even if they feel they are not the gender that matches their genitals. Hermaphrodite is not offensive, nor is “intersexual” some empowering term that makes their difficult lives any easier. If anything you might use a term such as “one who suffers from Klinefelter’s,” but that would probably soar over the heads of most Christians, so I went with the colloquial terminology.

2. Again, I don’t see any explicit mention in anyone’s evidence that cannibalism is against the rules (unless you coutn the fact that it isn’t kosher, but that just puts it on par with crabs and shrimp and bacon… mmm… bacon…). Cannibalism is even discussed in the Bible: Deuteronomy 28:53-57
Leviticus 26:29
Jeremiah 19:9
Ezekial 5:10
2 Kings 6:26-29
Lamentations 4:10

And if you think you can’t kill people… you have a lot of explaining to do for several parts of the Old Testament. You just can’t murder people, warfare is totally fine, and obviously a man who has sex with another man must be put to death (Lev. 20:13), so why waste perfectly good meat?

3. I think the best answer is “the rapture is a protestant invention.” Too true.

4. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the people who think you should side with God are right, and bonus points to those who realized you should kill your parents as well.

5. The repeatedly quoted verse (Deut. 22:25-26) pretty much ensures you can rape women, so long as they don’t have an engagement ring on. After all, if you want to have sex with her, and you’re supposed to treat people the way you would want them to treat her, you almost have to rape her, right?

6. Unless the woman performs the abortion herself, it’s the doctor who would have to be put to death, which makes Scott Roeder a Christian hero. Also, since “potential humans” are alive, and God knows us “before we are in the womb” (Jer. 1:5), I think it’s also safe to say that jacking off is genocide (which sort of explains Onan’s situation).

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Ginx September 4, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Just to clarify an error in #5:

“After all, if you want to a woman to have sex with you, and the golden rule states that you should treat people the way you want to be treated, you almost have to rape her, right?”

Also thought I’d give you guys my next question early, since you guys get so many more responses here.

Stump the Christians #6

According to Matthew 15:11, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” Since it’s no longer an abomination to eat crabs or swine, shouldn’t a man be able to blow another man, so long as he swallows? It’s not like he’s lying with another man as he would a woman (Leviticus 20:13 and 18:22 only seem to ban cuddling)…

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Feldman September 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Stump the Christians #6 has me crying i’m laughing so hard.

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lukeprog September 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Feldman,

Alas, this is not a laughing matter. Madeleine Flannagan, for example, believes that women should be put to death for having abortions (see above).

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fraukus September 4, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Luke: “You’re kickin’ it Old Testament, yo.”

Your response had me laughing at first, but then I realized that Madeleine was serious. It is people who think like her who are responsible for the sentence of death by stoning for adultery in Iran. I mean, an eye-for-an-eye, correct?

http://www.rferl.org/content/Fear_For_Iranian_Woman_Facing_Death_By_Stoning_/2075376.html

I realize that this is off topic, but people should be aware of the seriousness of her intentions.

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Feldman September 4, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Luke,

I agree that Madeleine’s position is quite troubling. But #6 reminds me of one my most missed comedians. George Carlin and his famous “not every ejaculation deserves a name” comedy bit. I have to find comedy in situations because Madeleine’s position on the matter makes me loose hope in humanity.

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James Gray September 5, 2010 at 12:24 am

What about, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these?” Mark 12:31

That seems to eliminate most moral problems (e.g. rape) as long as anyone can count as a “neighbor.”

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Garren September 5, 2010 at 2:55 am

Why is it ridiculous to call for the death penalty for killing a human five minutes before birth, but presumably not so ridiculous five minutes after birth?

(Or if you’re against the death penalty in general, substitute whichever punishment you think is appropriate for a mother choosing to commit infanticide.)

It’s almost like most religious skeptics have traded ensoulment at conception for a dogma of ensoulment at the moment of birth. I consider this an unjustified over-correction.

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Ginx September 5, 2010 at 3:29 am

If you “love thy neighbor as thyself,” that doesn’t stop rape.

Anyway, if a woman has no sovereignty over her own body, that makes females nothing but concubines (which is particularly unfair in a religion where rape is okay).

And it is a laughing matter. People who think abortion deserves the death penalty can act as “serious” as they want, they’re still a joke.

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Brian_G September 5, 2010 at 3:50 am

“Why is it ridiculous to call for the death penalty for killing a human five minutes before birth, but presumably not so ridiculous five minutes after birth?”

Well said. We might also ask what should be the punishment for infanticide if the baby was one month premature? It would seem that for consistency, if your pro-choice you should at least give the women a lesser punishment. It should at least be less wrong to kill a preemie then a fully developed infant.

We all agree that murder is wrong. At what point does a human get the property of being the kind of creature that ought not to be killed? Is it the soul? or brain waves? What? We can debate these questions until the cows come home. I think a very sensible principle is that we should error on the side of not murdering anyone.

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psocket September 5, 2010 at 4:44 am

Of course we all agree that murder is wrong. However, what we define as murder is exactly what is under question right now — it isn’t always and strictly the taking of human life (e.g. self defense, just war).

No matter what either side says, as with the nature of human moral choices, this is NOT a black and white issue. Here are a few examples and questions to illustrate my point.

Is abortion wrong when the fetus threatens the health of the mother?

Is abortion wrong if the fetus is known to have a congenital or genetic defect that may preclude it from ever surviving outside the womb?

Is God committing murder by creating a system of procreation where the body naturally and spontaneously miscarries?

Is a small collection of cells really a human person? If so, then should all IVF be outlawed since many extra fertilized eggs are typically thrown away. Should sperm and egg be considered sacred too, since they are the direct progenitors of human life?

If we take the position of doing no harm, how do we know exactly when a fetus is capable of experiencing suffering or harm? Is this the point at which abortion should be illegal? Should we allow late term abortions? If yes/no, what is the criteria we should use in determining this?

There are many more questions that one can ask, but again the point is that this is NOT an either or situation. If you want to claim an unbending and unwavering support of either extreme, be prepared to accept the implications of such a choice. You may not be able to save your wife from dying during pregnancy (both killing the baby and mother). You may not be able to have children if you can’t conceive naturally. You may have to allow the last 5-minute abortion. Or, you may in fact be harming a viable human life that can feel and suffer.

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Kaelik September 5, 2010 at 5:24 am

1) We do treat women who commit infanticide better than regular murderers. They are almost universally found to be “insane” and therefore receive mental treatment instead of the death penalty.

2) The defining aspect of a fetus vs human is not how developed they are, it’s whether they can maintain life outside the womb.

Thus, at 9 months, very few abortions are justified by the principle of “mother doesn’t want a child” they are justified based on “if mother has child, she may die.”

As a moral error theorist, I think the line should be drawn in a way that is most clear, and prohibits most things we want prohibited and does not prohibit most things we don’t want prohibited, and that seems to be birth, because anything in the womb is not very clear, and anything arguing no abortions after conception is a) stupid, and b) means we have to punish everyone who spontaneously aborts or falls down the stairs.

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Brian_G September 5, 2010 at 5:43 am

There certianly are difficult cases. There are plenty of difficult ethical dilemmas outside the abortion issue. I doubt whether our legal system could ever solve all of them. How about the following as a reasonable solution / compromise. Make laws for normal cases. When someone is in an impossible moral dilemma where either choice or even the choice to do nothing all seem equally wrong, the person should not be prosecuted for his or her decision.

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Brian_G September 5, 2010 at 6:06 am

@Kaelik
“anything arguing no abortions after conception is a) stupid, and b) means we have to punish everyone who spontaneously aborts or falls down the stairs.”

Your comment seemed reasonably thought out, I was disappointed when I read the last line. Calling your opponents stupid doesn’t make you look smarter. Drawing the line at conception is reasonable for several reasons.
1) It’s the least arbitrary.
2) It errors on the side of not taking a human life. (which seems a pretty good principle to follow.)

As far as punishing people for falling down the stairs. People are not normally punished for things outside their control.

“2) The defining aspect of a fetus vs human is not how developed they are, it’s whether they can maintain life outside the womb.”

For a sensible legal system the relevant question is how much harm has one person done to another. So unless there was evidence that a fetus suffered less harm when it couldn’t survive outside the womb, I don’t see the relevance.

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Hermes September 5, 2010 at 6:19 am

Brian_G, undifferentiated cells in a blastocyst are human in the same way that other undifferentiated human cells are. This is not the 1800s, and from what we know now clearly conception is not a clear enough line.

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Kaelik September 5, 2010 at 7:36 am

“Your comment seemed reasonably thought out, I was disappointed when I read the last line. Calling your opponents stupid doesn’t make you look smarter.”

Calling people stupid isn’t supposed to make me look smarter. It’s a shorthand for all the things that I consider so obviously wrong that my audience will already know it is wrong, and I don’t have to waste time. If someone wants to bring up something as not being obviously wrong, I will happily demonstrate why it is obviously wrong, to whit:

“Drawing the line at conception is reasonable for several reasons.
1) It’s the least arbitrary.
2) It errors on the side of not taking a human life. (which seems a pretty good principle to follow.)”

Drawing the line at conception is completely arbitrary. Because we never know when conception occurs. We can only be even reasonably certain weeks later. Drawing the line at conception means prosecuting every morning after pill, even when the vast majority of them are not actually doing anything to any conceived zygote.

Conception is the most arbitrary line of all. Birth on the other hand, is incredibly not arbitrary. Is it in your stomach? No. Congratulations, don’t destroy it.

2) It errors so far on the other side that it is retarded. Technically, disallowing surgery at all is erring on the side of not taking human life, because sometimes surgeries kill people. The problem is that what you get for risking those few deaths is worth much more.

Likewise, since we know that zygotes are not human persons in any meaningful way, we can jack them up all day without bothering ourselves about it, and since we still aren’t taking human life even 6 months in, who cares. (Rhetorical, people who care more about what their god thinks than about the quality of life of actual people care.)

“As far as punishing people for falling down the stairs. People are not normally punished for things outside their control.”

And how does the law determine whether you fell down the stairs out of your control, or unlawfully through yourself down the stairs (or punched yourself in the stomach) to kill your fetus?

Oh right, by a completely arbitrary process involving you lying or telling the truth, and other people deciding whether they believe you or not based on their feelings about your character.

The law can’t tell the difference.

“For a sensible legal system the relevant question is how much harm has one person done to another. So unless there was evidence that a fetus suffered less harm when it couldn’t survive outside the womb, I don’t see the relevance.”

For a legal system you prefer, that may be the relevant question. For a legal system I prefer, they should balance the question of how much harm does one person do to another with the equally important question of how much harm would the legal system do to everybody.

In which case all we have to show is that enacting laws that prevent women from killing parasitic life forms that may one day become human persons causes more harm than it prevents.

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Kaelik September 5, 2010 at 7:38 am

EDIT: And oh yeah:

“For a sensible legal system the relevant question is how much harm has one person done to another.”

The point being that a legal system has to determine what is and is not a person. And since zygotes and fetuses are not people, the answer to that question is “None.” for every abortion.

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Eric September 5, 2010 at 10:25 am

psocket –
If we take the position of doing no harm, how do we know exactly when a fetus is capable of experiencing suffering or harm? Is this the point at which abortion should be illegal? Should we allow late term abortions? If yes/no, what is the criteria we should use in determining this?

A fetus will feel no pain before 24 weeks. Not sure how much this factors into “harm” though.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jun/25/human-foetus-no-pain-24-weeks

Kaelik –
2) The defining aspect of a fetus vs human is not how developed they are, it’s whether they can maintain life outside the womb.

This is interesting because it brings up the fact that killing a fetus before it is viable is basically a result of separating it from the mother. Should a person be forced to give up their body for the life of another. Is it necessarily immoral for someone to choose their body / well-being over the life of another. For example, should a person be FORCED to donate a kidney to someone in need? Is it moral for you to not donate a kidney when you know there are people out there that need it? If not then why have you not gone out and donated a kidney? You can survive with one.

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Gabriel September 5, 2010 at 11:11 am

Leviticus 11:2

“These are the living things which ye may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.”

Humans are not listed.

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Garren September 5, 2010 at 11:35 am

The way I see it, pro-life arguments are at their most ridiculous near conception and pro-choice arguments are at their most ridiculous near birth. People on both sides can easily reassure themselves at how “obviously” wrong the other is by focusing on the other side’s dividing line.

I don’t believe in God or substance dualism, but I do think rationality demands that our moral distinctions be justified. Neither conception nor birth justify the very strong, sudden distinction their advocates typically want them to represent. This is why society won’t stabilize on one extreme or the other.

…and in the spirit of the “six questions” list, I always wonder why Christians are so interested in keeping already-damned health workers from guaranteeing eternal life for aborted children. Could they just be upset someone found a more effective means of salvation than faith in Jesus? Or is this evidence they don’t fully believe in the whole afterlife thing?

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James Gray September 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Ginx,

If you “love thy neighbor as thyself,” that doesn’t stop rape.

No moral rules stop rape, but presumably you believe that loving a neighbor is perfectly compatible with raping them. I have no idea why you think that. I wouldn’t call that a loving neighbor and the word “love” here has to do with behavior rather than feeling (not that feeling love would be compatible with rape either).

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fraukus September 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Garren: “Why is it ridiculous to call for the death penalty for killing a human five minutes before birth, but presumably not so ridiculous five minutes after birth?”

Can you provide an example of a woman in the final stages of labor that walked into an abortion clinic and asked for an abortion and was promptly serviced? I mean, the woman was obviously in labor. So, I don’t see why an abortion clinic would grant such a request. Not to mention she would deliver while filling out the necessary paperwork in the waiting room. I realize that you were trying to make a point, but it’s an appeal to emotion that doesn’t make realistic sense. You do understand late-term abortion laws in the U.S., correct? If so, then I’m certain you know that the vast majority of those abortions must be performed out of medical necessity. You must have a physician’s consent; unless of course, the woman is wealthy and can pay her family physician to “doctor” the paperwork so-to-speak or can fly to a no-questions-asked country.

As far as infanticide goes, I guess you could refer to the practice as zygoticide, embroyicide, or feticide if you wish depending on at what stage of the pregnancy the abortion was performed. In a case of actual infanticide in which a viable and autonomous *infant with personhood and legal rights* is killed, then each occurrence should be taken on a case by case basis with intent used as a premise. Same as it is when any other *person* is killed. Is there only one legal definition of murder? Obviously not, unless one lives under a fascist regime like Iran. I think that rehabilitation is far better than our current “incarceration” methods are in many cases of criminal conduct anyway.

I find it quite disconcerting that people feel justified in calling my sister a murderer because she had an abortion during the first trimester (two weeks into the pregnancy) under the advisement of her physician because of her present medical condition (MS, diabetes, ovarian cancer) and it is even more disconcerting that they think she should be sentenced to death for procuring said abortion. This issue is far from black and white no matter how many people want it to be.

For instance: what should be the proposed punishment for miscarriages, whether they be “intentional” or “natural”? How about birth defects due to consumption of fast food, drinking, or smoking? Can those cases be considered failed attempts at abortion and/or negligence? What if the pregnant women flies to another country where abortion is legal and has the service performed? Should she not be allowed to fly or arrested upon landing back in the U.S.?

Garren: “It’s almost like most religious skeptics have traded ensoulment at conception for a dogma of ensoulment at the moment of birth. I consider this an unjustified over-correction.”

Ensoulment? We’re talking about personhood here. Most of my pro-choice friends are in fact, Christian. I also know many pro-life skeptics.

I see judging by your post two posts above this one that we probably agree on this issue in many respects. I just didn’t want to leave your initial post unaddressed in all its intentions.

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Great points, Eric! I’d like someone to provide a case in which the use of someone’s body and/or organs to save the life of another is mandatory and/or forced by law (in the U.S.). No one has the right to the use of my body and/or organs even after I’ve died unless I consent to their use. They cannot use my organs without consent even if it is to save the life of another. Would we even be having this discussion if the z/e/f could be removed and placed in an incubator? I think that we still would, so what does that mean exactly?

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Kaelik September 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm

The way I see it, pro-life arguments are at their most ridiculous near conception and pro-choice arguments are at their most ridiculous near birth. People on both sides can easily reassure themselves at how “obviously” wrong the other is by focusing on the other side’s dividing line.

I don’t believe in God or substance dualism, but I do think rationality demands that our moral distinctions be justified. Neither conception nor birth justify the very strong, sudden distinction their advocates typically want them to represent. This is why society won’t stabilize on one extreme or the other.

You’ll note that I specifically called out birth as a particularly non arbitrary line, in that no action taken after birth to kill a child can be 1) accidental result of your normal day, or 2) in any way necessary for you to live your life as normal, and chose to focus on it, before someone else claimed conception was less arbitrary.

That said, please take note that at no point did I justify my claims based on the morality of any action, as I am an Error Theorist, and don’t do that in general. So I do not need to justify any moral distinctions, only practical ones.

I think my points make clear my justification of practical concerns that weight birth as a dividing line superior.

I also think that for legal reasons, it is not problematic whatsoever to define personhood in terms of birth, since we already define many things about people in terms of birth.

For example, children born either in the US or to US citizens are US citizens. But any attempt to argue that legally, personhood applies before birth is going to have to come up with some silly rationalization for why children of US citizens are not citizens, but are persons, and then become citizens magically on birth, but definitely not because they are worth more after birth, heavens no, it’s for some entirely different reason.

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Brian_G September 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I’m surprised anyone thinks that giving birth to a baby is the same as being forced to donate an organ. Yes it’s true that you cannot force someone to donate a kidney. But if I donate a kidney, I can’t force the person to give it back to me later. Most people become pregnant through consensual sex. This might be an argument for someone who was raped, but this wouldn’t apply to the vast majority of abortions. The numbers I got from some quick googling are that there are 1.3 million abortions in the US each year and there are about 25,000 women who become pregnant each year from rape. So even if ever single rape victim who becomes pregnant were to have an abortion, the vast majority of abortions are on pregnancies due to consensual sex.

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Brian_G September 5, 2010 at 5:39 pm

@Kaelik,

Just because drawing a line at birth is easily identifiable, doesn’t mean it isn’t arbitrary. I say birth is arbitrary not because people have difficulty determining when it happens, but because it’s unclear that the harm done by killing a human shortly before and shortly after birth is significantly different and thus having significantly different punishments is unjust.

You said that as an error theorist, you want a clear line. I don’t know anything about error theory, but it seems like your confusing a lack of epistemological clarity with arbitrariness. There are a lot of arbitrary lines that are easily identifiable. For example, speed limits are arbitrary, but easily identifiable. Now if the punishment for going 55mph was 10 years in prison, but going 50 mph was only a $10 fine, I would see this as an arbitrary and dumb law. Why? The harm done to your fellow citizens (by putting them at risk) doesn’t substantially change between those two speeds. It makes no difference how easily or accurately you can measure the speeds, but about the relative harm done in each case.

(I’m assuming that one can harm another person merely by putting him at risk, if you don’t like that just substitute “potential harm.”)

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Kaelik September 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

@Brian_G

So just to be clear, I’m not allowed to consent to something without automatically consenting to everything that could ever possibly happen because of that action?

Condoms have a 97% success rate. Which means they have a 3% failure rate. Have you had sex 100 times? I have, and I’m 22.

Does that mean I was consenting to children?

Well then, I guess tomorrow when I ram someone at 60 miles an hour in my car, I’ll take solace knowing that by getting in a car they consented to dying in a car crash.

Also, I suppose that whole “it’s murder to give someone else AIDS” thing is off the table. Seeing as how anyone who has sex is consenting to getting AIDS.

It’s not about being able to get it back. The fact is, nine months of my life are actually pretty important. Would you seriously argue that I am legally required to be someone’s slave for 9 months just because it’s the only way to keep them alive?

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Kaelik September 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

@Brain_G

Just because drawing a line at birth is easily identifiable, doesn’t mean it isn’t arbitrary. I say birth is arbitrary not because people have difficulty determining when it happens, but because it’s unclear that the harm done by killing a human shortly before and shortly after birth is significantly different and thus having significantly different punishments is unjust.

As I explained earlier. It’s not about the change in potential harm to the fetus vs baby that’s the important distinction here.

The potential harm their changes very little, since for any given child, the chances are very high that inducing labor 24 hours earlier would have resulted in a perfectly survivable child.

The important change in potential harm here is the harm the law inflicts on the mother.

Any line besides birth inflicts a great deal of harm on the mother, for a great many reasons. Not just the harm of having to give up ownership of her body for 9 months, but also the harms of women throwing themselves down stairs to abort, and women having to endure trials every time they spontaneously abort, because they might have intentionally murdered that poor innocent human being.

You said that as an error theorist, you want a clear line. I don’t know anything about error theory, but it seems like your confusing a lack of epistemological clarity with arbitrariness. There are a lot of arbitrary lines that are easily identifiable.

Well when someone tells you they are an X, you should maybe google X before you make a comment about how they are clearly confused if you don’t know what X is.

An Error Theorist is someone who believes that there are no moral facts. In my case, because whenever people talk about “morals” they are defining it such that it is something that doesn’t actually exist (IE not reasons for action) and therefore the discussion is based on false premises, and therefore of no value in proscribing actions.

So to be clear, the way that relates to the discussion on hand is that I consider human life and human personhood to hold no intrinsic value, and instead deal with the practicalities of what makes for a functioning society when discussing law. Therefore, practical considerations such as a bunch of trials for no reason are more important than “the sanctity of life” or whatever other code phrase.

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Brian_G September 6, 2010 at 1:24 am

Failure rates of birth control are defined by the chance of pregnancy after a year of normal sexual activity.

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Kaelik September 6, 2010 at 5:34 am

So yes or no Brain_G, Sex == Consent for AIDS?

If no, why does sex == Consent for Giving up body control for 9 months.

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Brian_G September 6, 2010 at 9:31 am

Kaelik,

No sex isn’t consent to have aids. My argument isn’t that anything that could possibly result from an action is consenting to the possible result. My argument is that if something is a natural result of an action, one should be prepared to accept that natural result. Babies are a natural result of sex. So if someone is engaging in sex he or she should be prepared to raise a child.

Now I have a question for you. You believe that legally a women should be allowed to kill a fetus prior to birth, but after birth she should not be allow to kill it. Your defence of this is that one shouldn’t be able force someone to give up control of her body for the life of another. Did I get that right? It seems to me that if 9 months is excessive inconvenience, then 18 years would be even worse. I know men who are forced by law to pay child support. This is 18 years of effectively forced labor. Suppose they take 20% of a persons pay, that person could have work 20% less (theoretically) and lived the same lifestyle. So it’s forcing someone to provide for a child for 18 year. Do you believe that this is these 18 years are less difficult then the 9 months? And if not what would you propose to do about obligations to a child after birth? If the obligations before birth are sufficient justification to kill a fetus, why are the obligations after birth not also sufficient justification to kill the child.

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Kaelik September 6, 2010 at 9:53 am

My argument is that if something is a natural result of an action, one should be prepared to accept that natural result. Babies are a natural result of sex. So if someone is engaging in sex he or she should be prepared to raise a child.

Getting Aids is a natural result of having sex. Therefore, having sex is consent for aids.

Getting into a Car accident is a natural result of driving, therefore, getting into a car is consent to a car accident.

Also, WTF! Now you want to take away the right to put children up for adoption too? What the hell is wrong with you?

Now I have a question for you. You believe that legally a women should be allowed to kill a fetus prior to birth, but after birth she should not be allow to kill it. Your defence of this is that one shouldn’t be able force someone to give up control of her body for the life of another. Did I get that right?

No, you didn’t. 1) I think the law should permit women to obtain abortions before birth, but 2) should prohibit killing of children post successful birth.

The reason I think that is 1) that the onus on women in general, specific women, men who don’t want to be fathers, and the courts created by laws banning abortion is greater than the benefit gained. Part of the reason I believe this is because I see absolutely no benefit gained by having a bunch more kids born and generally punishing people for sex, because I am not a prudish fool, or someone who sees moral worth in human beings.

2) I think the law should prohibit the killing of children post birth because it is useful for society to condemn murder, and once the child is born, there is no need for any specific person to bear the burden of taking care of them, so no benefit is gained by allowing people to kill them.

It seems to me that if 9 months is excessive inconvenience, then 18 years would be even worse. I know men who are forced by law to pay child support. This is 18 years of effectively forced labor. Suppose they take 20% of a persons pay, that person could have work 20% less (theoretically) and lived the same lifestyle.

1) Adoption exists. This covers if neither parent wants the kid at some point.

2) Child support, ignoring for the moment that many people “forced by law to pay” actually just don’t pay, is not about the child. It is about remanding the cost the missing party would be expected to contribute to the raising of the child to the person who is taking care of the child. It is about a contract between two adults, not about person X supporting child Y.

That said, do I support child support legislation? I don’t know. It’s beneficial effects to society are pretty clear though, and so I support child support when I’m in the mood where I support welfare. And when I get pissed off, sometimes I don’t support either.

But the reason to support or not support child support legislation has nothing to do with whether someone is forced to give up some facet of their life. It has to do with whether the benefits of the law outweigh it’s drawbacks, which is the same thing I use to judge abortion.

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Dale701 September 7, 2010 at 6:33 am

Topic, how to stump a christian.

I think that it is interesting that Christians were quoting the old testament for the answers.
Do you believe the old testament is still valid or not?
I know the answer to that, only when it serves your purpose.

I was also very disappointed to see all the debate about abortion. When the bible says nothing about it directly.
First things first, figure out the position of women and children.
They were the property of men, either father or husband.
If they are virgin then they are their father’s property, but the second they get raped they pass to the rapist. You rape a married woman and you have damaged a man’s property, and he has a right to justice.

It is easy to figure out how abortion laws would work under a system like this.
If a wife wanted an abortion and the husband did not, and she got one, he would have the right to kill her.
If the husband wanted an abortion and the wife did not, the husband could force her to have one, no problem.

God had no problem telling the Jews to kill women with child. But he did have a problem killing virgins, they were to be divided up to be raped.

Read the tale of Sodom, Lot is willing to give his virgin daughters to the crowd, to do as they will, then later he has sex with them. But his poor wife gets killed for the serious crime of looking back at her home.
(They always left out the incest part in church.)
Not to mention the drinking, never could figure out where they got the booze up in the hills.
Cafeteria Christians I call them.

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Dale701 September 7, 2010 at 7:13 am

And by the way, it is an insult to women to say, if they don’t cry out while being raped, they should be killed!
Like they are enjoying it if they do not cry out!
They do not cry out, if the man has a knife or gun to their throat, but that is not the criteria, it is if someone is around to hear them.
Was it murder when the 42 little kids made fun of Elisha’s bald head and he cursed them in the name of the lord and 2 bears attacked and killed them. Kings 2 23-25?
I think that pretty takes care of the abortion debate as far as how god views children.

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rammr September 7, 2010 at 11:45 am

seriously guys? these are supposed to be big stumpers, faith shaking questions? for who, the handicapped? people in kindergarten? seriously dudes, step up the game! conservatism is retarded, but these questions make conservatives look intellectual by comparison.

the last one reads, “what should the punishment be for someone who breaks the law?” how does that stump anyone? you decide a damn penalty. it happens all the time.

hermaphrodite? come on dudes, anyone rational isn’t going to go off the deep end over this one, and if your beef is with people who would go off the deep end, then you probably aren’t arguing with real conservatives. at least most of them.

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Hermes September 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

Rammr, if you don’t like those questions, how about these;

10 questions that every intelligent Christian must answer

Before you blow them off, take a look here for how others have answered.

These questions — the 6 here and the 10 I’ve linked to — aren’t as simple as they seem up front. If you disagree, then read and see if that disagreement is justified or if things are not as simple as they initially appear.

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James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil November 26, 2010 at 10:07 am

These are a lot of pointless questions because you are expecting logical, intelligent answers from theists. Accepting any religion first requires rejecting facts and rational thinking. Either of these are fatal to any religion so why bother?

If theists were capable of recognizing truths and engaging in independent thought, they would not be theists.

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James Gray November 26, 2010 at 10:48 am

James Smith João Pessoa,

You are just spouting prejudice. There are intelligent theists and there have been for thousands of years. That said, they might not have thought their theism through “sufficiently,” but no one is perfect. Most atheists aren’t atheists because they are so smart. Many of them haven’t thought about theism sufficiently either.

The main arguments for theism is that theism is possible given the facts. If theism is impossible given the facts, then it must be rejected for anyone who attains that realization. However, I find it unlikely that theism is impossible and there are few beliefs that “must be accepted” by all intelligent people given the facts. Most beliefs are optional.

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James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil November 26, 2010 at 11:10 am

James Gray Oddly enough, I went to high school with someone of that name. Did you attend H.S. in Sylacauga, Alabama?

I am not spouting prejudice. I am stating observed facts. Explain to me exactly how theism is possible given the facts. It is by examining the facts that people become atheists. It is by denying the facts that people remain theists. That’s why questions are discouraged and answers are of the “You must have faith” variety. Then let’s not forget the circular reasoning, dissembling, distortion, and evasions religions use to defend their delusions.

Are you stating that atheism is a “belief”? By that reasoning, not playing baseball is a sport.

You are generalizing about atheists with no evidence at all. “Many of them haven’t thought about theism sufficiently either.” Easily observable evidence points to the opposite. You can read many testimonies by atheists starting it was when they learned more about religion and thought rationally about it, they realized it was all a scam. Then there is the recently-released study that shows that atheists score higher on religious knowledge than “true believers”. But those are facts and not appreciated by the religious reich.

I agree that most beliefs are optional. But facts are not. Anyone is entitled to their own beliefs but not to their own facts. Even more important, they are not entitled to impose those beliefs and pseudo-facts upon others by threats or force of law. If anyone can persuade others to their point of view by presentation of verifiable facts and logic good for them. But brainwashing children and forcing obviously ridiculous “facts” into public schools is evil and wrong.

Theists have stated and often demonstrated that is exactly what they wish to do; force everyone to follow their delusions, no matter what their personal opinions.

Most of the problems of the world are, and always have been, caused by religion. Mankind will never truly be free until the back yoke of religion is lifted by the clear light of truth and rational thinking.

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James Gray November 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

James Gray Oddly enough, I went to high school with someone of that name. Did you attend H.S. in Sylacauga, Alabama?

No.

I am not spouting prejudice. I am stating observed facts. Explain to me exactly how theism is possible given the facts.

God could be non-omnipotent, for example. The Bible could be mythology, and so on. Only assumptions about God make theism impossible.

It is by examining the facts that people become atheists. It is by denying the facts that people remain theists. That’s why questions are discouraged and answers are of the “You must have faith” variety. Then let’s not forget the circular reasoning, dissembling, distortion, and evasions religions use to defend their delusions.

Not always.

Are you stating that atheism is a “belief”? By that reasoning, not playing baseball is a sport.

No.

Some people can decide that evolution is false based on poor reasoning and someone can become an atheist based on poor reasoning. Atheism is no different. A theist can become an atheist using poor reasoning.

You are generalizing about atheists with no evidence at all. “Many of them haven’t thought about theism sufficiently either.” Easily observable evidence points to the opposite.

I disagree. Very few people know anything about the arguments for God or philosophy or logic or good reasoning.

You can read many testimonies by atheists starting it was when they learned more about religion and thought rationally about it, they realized it was all a scam.

Testimonial evidence is not scientific evidence. It’s a fallacy known as “anecdotal evidence.” Religions may or may not be a scam, but theism is not religion. You could believe in God without a religion.

Then there is the recently-released study that shows that atheists score higher on religious knowledge than “true believers”. But those are facts and not appreciated by the religious reich.

What exactly do you want to say that proves? Everything I said is perfectly compatible with that fact.

I agree that most beliefs are optional. But facts are not. Anyone is entitled to their own beliefs but not to their own facts. Even more important, they are not entitled to impose those beliefs and pseudo-facts upon others by threats or force of law. If anyone can persuade others to their point of view by presentation of verifiable facts and logic good for them. But brainwashing children and forcing obviously ridiculous “facts” into public schools is evil and wrong.

I agree with that.

Theists have stated and often demonstrated that is exactly what they wish to do; force everyone to follow their delusions, no matter what their personal opinions.

Sometimes atheists do that too. People like to force others to agree (or manipulate them) when it benefits themselves personally. That’s what propaganda is for and it helps governments get support for wars and so on.

Most of the problems of the world are, and always have been, caused by religion. Mankind will never truly be free until the back yoke of religion is lifted by the clear light of truth and rational thinking. James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil(Quote)

I don’t know if that’s true, but religion is not theism anyway. There have been some wonderful theists and some of them are philosophers and find there to be good reason to believe in theism. Their reasoning might be flawed, but my point was proven in a couple of sentences. You seem to want to read more into my argument than was there.

You said, “If theists were capable of recognizing truths and engaging in independent thought, they would not be theists.” This is what I think is prejudiced. I explained why. There are counterexamples.

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James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil November 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I have noticed how you disagree without furnishing proof.
I did not provide “anecdotal evidence” I quoted a poll conducted by an established, recognized authority. True, most theists did not like the results. But likes or dislikes do not alter facts any more than do beliefs.

I asked you directly to provide any proof at all of the existence of any god. As I expected, you ignored that completely. That’s a tactic of the religious reich. Not to say you are one, but it is still how they, and you, operate. Pretend the question was never asked, make a few generalized unverifiable statements, and declare victory.

I am disappointed, but not surprised, that you have nothing of substance to offer. Evasions and ignoring direct questions is hardly a way to bolster your credibility. I decline to participate with someone that is this boring and predictable. Enjoy your delusions. They are clearly more important to you, as most peopl,e than truth and reality or even family and acomplishments.

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James Gray November 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I have noticed how you disagree without furnishing proof.

So do you.

I did not provide “anecdotal evidence” I quoted a poll conducted by an established, recognized authority. True, most theists did not like the results. But likes or dislikes do not alter facts any more than do beliefs.

You used “anecdotal evidence.” You said so yourself. A poll does not say that all theists are idiots and all atheists are smart.

I asked you directly to provide any proof at all of the existence of any god. As I expected, you ignored that completely.

I used an argument from authority to disprove your claim that intelligent people can’t be theists. I never said God exists. I never said I am a theist. I said that it is quite possible that sufficient examination of the evidence would show theism to be untenable. My point is merely that “sufficient examination” is not something that happens very often with people.

That’s a tactic of the religious reich. Not to say you are one, but it is still how they, and you, operate. Pretend the question was never asked, make a few generalized unverifiable statements, and declare victory.

It was you who did that when you said that “If theists were capable of recognizing truths and engaging in independent thought, they would not be theists.” You are basically saying that all theists are idiots. I merely disagreed with this one statement and explained why it’s false.

I know that people know very little about philosophy, logic, good reasoning, etc. based on my own experience as a philosophy student (ignorant of such things myself) confirmation from others (almost no one I talk to understands much about these things because they don’t have very much experience with logic, philosophy, etc., as a philosophy teacher whose students needed to be taught about such things because they lacked information, confirmation from other philosophers, the simple fact that such things are taught little to not at all in high school, and the simple fact that college education neither requires philosophy nor do people who attain a college degree tend to take many of the relevant classes.

The reason don’t justify all of my claims is because they are either fairly irrelevant or so well known that I figure you would agree with me. You never provided any reason to think anything I said was false at all. If you agree with what I say, then there is no point in trying to persuade you.

When I talk about something you do disagree with, I do provide evidence.

Here is my original argument:

1. You said, “If theists were capable of recognizing truths and engaging in independent thought, they would not be theists.”
2. However, there are theist philosophers who have engaged in independent thought.
3. If there is a single theist that “is capable of engaging in independent thought” then what you said is false.
3. Therefore, what you said is false.

We then had the following exchange:

Me: Many atheists haven’t thought about theism sufficiently either.

You: Easily observable evidence points to the opposite.

Me: No, most people don’t know much about “good reasoning.”

You: Prove it!

One, even if most atheists do know much about “good reasoning,” it wouldn’t prove your original claim that all intelligent people are atheists and none of them are theists.

Two, see above. It’s quite clear that most people don’t know much about good reasoning based on the poor quality of education in this area.

Three, let’s consider the possibility that I’m wrong. Perhaps only some atheists don’t have good reasoning. even then my point is proven. Sometimes poor reasoning can lead to the same results as good reasoning. I could believe in evolution just because my parents do. The fact that I believe in evolution no more proves that I am reasonable than the fact that I don’t believe in god.

Four, the fact that atheists don’t always use good reasoning is not controversial. The fact that atheists could use poor reasoning to lead to their conclusion that theism is probably false is also uncontroversial. I mentioned this because you seem so prejudiced against theists. Do you really disagree with what I am saying here?

If you disagree with what I am saying, then you must agree with the following: Atheism is always caused by good reasoning and anyone capable of good reasoning must be an atheist. That is such an absurd position that I would start to suspect that you are nothing but a troll.

I am disappointed, but not surprised, that you have nothing of substance to offer. Evasions and ignoring direct questions is hardly a way to bolster your credibility. I decline to participate with someone that is this boring and predictable. Enjoy your delusions. They are clearly more important to you, as most peopl,e than truth and reality or even family and acomplishments.

You demand that others are much more reasonable than you are. You never did anything to support your conclusion. You totally ignored my argument. It was quite clear.

It is true that some of my points weren’t fully justified, but all arguments make use of assumptions. If you see an argument and say, “but such and such premise needs to be justified! You are a complete fool!” then you can go on and on doing that forever. Every premise can be justified, but every justification must also be justified. That goes on forever. At some point we need to be content with having highly plausible and uncontroversial premises. I thought you would accept some of my simple points as such and you didn’t. That doesn’t prove that I am totally unreasonable.

Additionally, you certainly don’t justify all of your arguments and premises either.

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Joel W May 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Whoever wrote this has no knowledge of the bible. All of these questions are rediculusly easy to answer with the Bible. I personally find this website almost comical to view. The Bible has the answers to all of life’s questions. Too bad athiests dont…

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Universalist November 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Amateurs. Only the first question is acatually a stumper. For people raised in an evangelical Christian background (as I was) the answers to the other questions are easy and well known.

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asdf January 7, 2012 at 6:56 am

(2)While the video makes it clear that a lot of the anti-choice movement hasn’t really thought through their position, there’s an easy way to solve the contradiction between not wanting to punish the women and wanting to make it illegal:Punish the person who performs the procedure.

Women have been performing abortions on themselves for many years. Hell, my own grandmother had an accidental abortion by taking diet pills when she didn´t know she was pregnant.

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GrowUp! January 18, 2012 at 10:55 am

OMG; I’m stumped! What do I do now? My whole belief system has been completely shattered by these unanswerable and theologically crippling questions! Oh well, I guess I was a fool to believe in that silly book! Thank you for showing me the light Skeptical Eyes! Now I can go on and live my empowered and enlightened life free from the shackles of those oppressive Christians!

BTW, I feel like I must state that this is sarcasm, because I honestly question your ability to get it.

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