Hey, that’s me he’s talking about!

Christian, anti-abortionist and capital punishment supporter, Neil:

If people want to make jokes about inconsistencies, a better example would be those who don’t mind [legalizing] the [early term] crushing and dismemberment of innocent human beings (without anesthetic) but protest when a convicted murderer is to be executed and who want to ensure he dies as painlessly as possible.

I thought Neil’s microscope on Reality was a little smudged, so I added the two sets of bold box brackets to temper his emotional plea. I didn’t subtract anything though his wording was a little sloppy joe. For instance, a large percentage of abortions are done 6 weeks or less into gestation so “crushing and dismemberment” might not be the most accurate description for all abortion. I left “innocent” in there because technically speaking, a human fetus lacks the mental requisites to be anything other than harmless…even though being told so is awkwardly redundant. And while “human being” is a poor word choice (it overgeneralizes) when speaking of abortion, an embryo/fetus, though not a person is taxonomically speaking, still a human being. But other than those minor details, he’s talking about people like me!

Oh, and the “Christian” part? Normally I wouldn’t bother mentioning if someone believes in God or not as that isn’t necessarily relevant. But in Neil’s case, he is clearly someone who not only believes in God, but speculates as to what “God” thought. He then uses that speculation to convince others of his views:

Remember, God thought that the death penalty was ok as some point in time.

I thought it was important that readers understand the angle he’s coming from.

Advertisements

Tags:

12 Responses to “Hey, that’s me he’s talking about!”

  1. Neil Says:

    In Genesis 9:6, God said: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.”

    I think that if someone says something specific it is a fair interpretation to say he “thought” it.

    On the other hand, I suppose it is quite possible that you wrote your post and arrived at your views on abortion without thinking.

    Since you inserted “early term” into your piece, perhaps you could enlighten us with exactly what that means? Or are you one of those who, when pinned down, concedes that “early” means “as long as 10% of the body is left in the woman you can stick a fork in the baby’s head and suck her brains out?” Or even, “Infanticide is ok up to X months.”

  2. Neil Says:

    “Innocent” is included as a modifier to highlight the difference between victims of abortion and those rightfully executed by the death penalty. If one reads the piece in context I think that “minor detail” becomes rather obvious. But then, where’s the fun?

    “And while “human being” is a poor word choice”

    It is only a poor word choice if someone is anti-science – http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/life-begins-at-conception/

  3. Peter Rock Says:

    “Innocent” is included as a modifier to highlight the difference between victims of abortion and those rightfully executed by the death penalty.

    Come now, Neil. One can find multiple instances of your “innocent human being” redundancy in reference to abortion and without comparison to the death penalty. Here’s one…

    abortion kills an innocent human being

    Here’s another…

    tell me how abortion doesn’t kill an innocent human being.

    And another…

    Abortion kills an innocent human being.

    Shall I go on? I found others.

    As for “enlighten us with exactly” what “early term” means, I’m not sure what it is you are asking. As in…not late term? Neil, you’re an adult, right? When “exactly” did you become an adult?

    And finally, how is my claim – “human being” is a poor word choice (it overgeneralizes) when speaking of abortion “anti-science”? I read the link, but don’t understand how I’m being “anti-science”. Isn’t the term “human being” applicable right from the embryonic stage all the way into old age just before death? That’s my understanding of the term. I’m not saying you are wrong, but if you know the context is abortion, why not use the (just as scientific) terms embryo and fetus?

  4. Peter Rock Says:

    Btw Neil, you might be interested in chiming in on this post.

  5. Adrienne Says:

    @Peter
    Wow… you really felt like picking a fight, huh? :-) I fail to understand how anyone can claim to be anti-abortion and pro-capital punishment and call himself pro-life (just the mis-use of terms, for starters), but I know it’s an argument beyond reason, and one that I will never understand. Nor, really, do I care to waste any more time attempting to understand it (been there, done that). And so I’m wondering what your goal was in this post…? Simply to “let us all know” of Neil’s angle? *slightly confused*

  6. Peter Rock Says:

    how [can] anyone claim to be anti-abortion and pro-capital punishment and call himself pro-life[?]”

    I bet Neil can throw you a few links where you can get into the psychology of that. Clearly, it is a result of his belief in God when stacked with further beliefs. For instance, a fundamental one is the belief that the Bible represents the word of the God he believes in.

    Wow… you really felt like picking a fight, huh? :-)

    It’s not personal. But hey, I’m a man. I’m stupid that way. Don’t worry though, I no longer implement my testosterone in any sort of physical way. My childhood is another story.

    And so I’m wondering what your goal was in this post…?

    To learn.

  7. Tobias Says:

    Erm — wait a sec. Didn’t Neil pick the fight? He wanted to “make jokes” of what he sees as “inconsistencies” in people who hold the view he described. Peter is one of those people so really, Neil initiated this. Neil is totally to blame that someone like Peter was bound to come upon his words.

    But let’s focus on what’s really important question… will there be a round 2? :)

  8. Neil Says:

    “Clearly, it is a result of his belief in God when stacked with further beliefs.”

    As with most hot topics I don’t need the Bible to support my views. I’ll debate the pro-life view all day long without it, and only pull it out when debating Christians. Yes, I believe in God. He is the author of life. I find that the way Jesus describes the world is the way it really is, and that by following his commands things really do go better. That is what makes it so easy to proclaim the pro-life view.

    Capital punishment, properly applied, discourages murder. That is why it is pro-life: It values life. In anticipation of someone trying to say it isn’t a deterrent, all I can ask is if you think driving behavior would change if speeding tickets were a nickel or if they resulted in an automatic 5 years in jail. Does capital punishment prevent all murders? Of course not, as people will commit crimes regardless of the laws in place. But it puts a premium on life and discourages the behavior.

    Having said all that, I do have reservations with how we apply capital punishment today. Perjury is not taken seriously. If we followed the Biblical model, where you had to have two eye witnesses and perjury brought about the same punishment as the accused, then we’d have a fair model.

    Yes, I use “innocent human being” a lot. It is a completely accurate description. I just pointed out that you took it out of context here since the comparison was abortion vs. CP.

    “As for “enlighten us with exactly” what “early term” means, I’m not sure what it is you are asking. As in…not late term? Neil, you’re an adult, right? When “exactly” did you become an adult?”

    You used the phrase “early term,” and I asked you to define it. Isn’t that a reasonable thing to do when seeking to understand someone’s position? I don’t like to mischaracterize what someone says, so I asked for clarity. Oddly, you dodged the question and tried to make it look like I had used the phrase and had the burden of proof to explain the vague term. I’m not taking the bait.

    “I’m not saying you are wrong, but if you know the context is abortion, why not use the (just as scientific) terms embryo and fetus?”

    If you are not saying I’m wrong then I suppose we agree that the unborn are human beings at all those stages. She is a human embryo, human fetus, human toddler, human teenager, etc. I’m emphasizing the connection that she is a human being at every stage. In fact, she’s the same human being, with unique DNA and all, just at a different stage of development. If you destroy her at any point of development she won’t go to the next stage. That’s the whole point of abortion, and why it is morally wrong.

    Finally, I don’t have time to search now but I’d like to see your support for the “large percentage” of abortions that occur during the first 6 weeks.

    Peace,
    Neil

  9. Peter Rock Says:

    Capital punishment, properly applied, discourages murder.

    Many studies have been done and not surprisingly, there exists no definitive evidence to support this claim.

    all I can ask is if you think driving behavior would change if speeding tickets were a nickel or if they resulted in an automatic 5 years in jail

    Are you aware that you are drawing a behavioral analogy between the apples of a mentally disturbed person wanting to murder and the oranges of those (rational and calm folk) desiring to get across the city faster?

    Yes, I use “innocent human being” a lot. It is a completely accurate description.

    True, redundancy doesn’t negate accuracy, but in this case it leaves open only 2 possibilities. Either you enjoy sounding foolish or you purposely put the word “innocent” where it need not be in order to influence your audience emotionally. I suspected the latter but since you are insisting on “accuracy”, I will trust that your intent is to (strangely enough) speak redundantly.

    She is a human embryo, human fetus, human toddler, human teenager, etc. […] If you destroy her at any point of development she won’t go to the next stage. That’s the whole point of abortion, and why it is morally wrong.

    While the significance of the ethical question does indeed increase as the human being ages, it is absurd to believe that aborting an embryo has moral significance. Though declaring all human beings the same – no matter what their state of development – makes taking a position easy, I don’t find life and this issue quite that simple. But then again, you’re really after the easy, prescribed answer, no?

    by following [Jesus’] commands things really do go better. That is what makes it so easy to proclaim the pro-life view.

    By the way, here’s a study you were asking for. The largest group is the 6 or less weeks of gestation. In fact, that group accounts for almost 25% of abortions. That is, abortions that definitely don’t qualify as “crushing and dismembering”. By the 8th week, most women who undergo an abortion have done so. Regardless, you should probably stick with that language, reference Jesus, and throw in a few bloody pictures of late-term abortions. Since you’re otherwise unconvincing, that might be your best strategy.

  10. Adrienne Says:

    Well, considering that Neil’s original post (the one Peter references above)was more than 18 months ago, I’d say that Peter picked this one. And I’m curious, Peter — what do you want to learn from all of this?

    I also fail to see or understand how capital punishment values life. I know not all think the way I do, but I do not see any one person’s life being more valuable than another’s. Even convicted murderers / rapists / whatever.

    I find this curious, though, Neil. In your explanation of human beings at different stages (embryo through to teenager) you say that she is a human being at every stage, and that “If you destroy her at any point of development she won’t go to the next stage.” What if you destroy her at age 23, in the most “humane” way possible, because she has committed an heinous crime? You are destroying her at a point of development, and she won’t go to the next stage. She is a human being.

    Unless, of course, you assume that adults cannot develop, evolve, change… use whatever word you choose. Are you the same person you were at age 23?

  11. Peter Rock Says:

    What do I want to learn? How the abortion debate is framed by anti-abortionists and the rhetoric they use to debate the finer points. Every time Neil speaks he teaches me. He clearly has much more experience in this debate than I do.

  12. Neil Says:

    “Unless, of course, you assume that adults cannot develop, evolve, change… use whatever word you choose. Are you the same person you were at age 23?”

    Hi Adrienne – I really don’t understand the question. We change as humans, but I don’t see how that is relevant to the discussion of whether it is OK to destroy innocent human beings at any stage of development. Again, that is my premise, and it is very consistent: Absent any just conviction of an adult for a capital crime we should not be killing any human beings. If you commit a crime at 23 and they arrest you at 25 you can’t claim you were a different person then.

    “I know not all think the way I do, but I do not see any one person’s life being more valuable than another’s. Even convicted murderers / rapists / whatever.”

    I think we have some agreement there. I think all human beings at all stages of development have equal inherent worth, just because they are human. The value doesn’t change based on age, appearance, skin color, intelligence, etc. The only exception I make is for people who have ignored this premise and taken innocent human life and were justly convicted (and even then I have strict standards for the justice system).

    “While the significance of the ethical question does indeed increase as the human being ages”

    I don’t agree with that. Are 10 year olds more valuable than 1 year olds? 40 year olds more valuable than 5 year olds? 90 year olds more valuable than 20 year olds? Human beings have worth because they are human beings, not because we get to arbitrarily assigned worth to them based on personal criteria. That leads to all sorts of bad things.

    Re. innocence – I encourage other readers to read the original post and not just the bit quoted above. Peter is nit-picking and in error to say it is redundant. The unborn are human beings. They are guilty of no crime – though the pro-legalized abortionists often use emotional language to de-humanize them (interloper, etc.).

    Peter, thanks for the survey link. According to your data 75% – the vast majority – occur after 6 weeks. So you have actually made my point that my terms were accurate. But even if the figures were reversed, exactly how does one destroy life at 6 weeks?

    “I don’t find life and this issue quite that simple.”

    You are the one making the claim that it is OK to destroy these human beings. You are the one who can’t define when life begins, but that even though we aren’t sure then it is OK not to err on the side of caution. So faced with “reasoning” like this then my position is easy to arrive at. But your statement is really just more rhetoric designed to dismiss my view without making an argument.

    “What if you destroy her at age 23, in the most “humane” way possible, because she has committed an heinous crime? You are destroying her at a point of development, and she won’t go to the next stage. She is a human being.”

    That doesn’t support your position in this debate. If she is found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death then she is obviously not innocent.

    And she won’t be destroyed at 23. It will be more like 33 or 38 by the time the appeals are through. How about if we compromise and treat abortion and capital punishment the same: Just agree to give the unborn 10 years of appeals before aborting them.

    I know you use “anti-abortionist” as a pejorative, but I’m glad to be labeled as such. I am firmly against the crushing and dismembering of innocent human beings. To be intellectually honest, of course, you’d have to refer to yourself as pro-abortion.

    By the way, thanks for reminding me of this old post. As I considered your points I realized I should add this to the post:

    Finally, consider how many pro-legalized abortionists wax philosophical about how we just don’t know when life begins. Aside from the scientific fact that life begins at conception, they never consider erring on the side of caution. If you aren’t sure where life begins, wouldn’t it be prudent to err on the side of life? But here’s the bigger irony: While they ignore that rather obvious point, they have no problem saying we should never use capital punishment because we might be executing someone who is innocent.

    I realize that there can be legitimate concerns about whether capital punishment is always applied fairly, but that is a topic for another day. Just for the record I do have concerns about how it is applied in the U.S. If we used a Biblical model for justice (i.e., two eye witnesses and punishments for perjury equivalent to the crime in question) then I’d be more comfortable with it.

    “Either you enjoy sounding foolish or you purposely put the word “innocent” where it need not be in order to influence your audience emotionally.” “But then again, you’re really after the easy, prescribed answer, no?”

    You claim to not know rhetoric well, but I’d say you have the ad hominem attacks of the pro-legalized abortion lobby down pretty well. You’ve trotted that out a few times while dodging your responsibility to define your own phrases such as “early term.” And saying I’m after the easy answer is not only wrong but totally irrelevant. I’m really not interested in wasting more time with people who reason this way so this will be my last comment. If you want to be serious, then come by my blog some time and you’ll be welcome there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: