Souls with bodies, souls and bodies or just bodies?

When faced with any two propositions, and how they work together, there are only four basic possibilities:

1) A + B
2) A not B
3) B not A
4) Neither A nor B

Now, in regard to the question of the human body and soul, this could be applies as

1) Body and Soul are coequal
2) Body but no spiritual soul
3) Soul but no body
4) Neither soul nor body

If there’s a radical Skeptic who advocates position 4, let me know. We’ll just disregard it.

Similarly, I doubt there are many radical idealists in the mode of Berkeley out there, but there are a great many people who believe that the soul is superior to the body, and that the body is merely a shell. Whether this qualifies as Idealism or Dualism depends upon the exact relationship described, but it is, as Chesterton points out, the predominant heresy of human nature. It is the basis of a great many belief systems including, but not limited to, Platonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, and Manicheeism, as well as the practical attitudes of many Christians.

Given my recent themes, Proposition 2 is the one I would like to focus on in this post as that is the one atheists ostensibly believe in.

Pro-abortionists often fall under proposition 3. They try to say abortion is OK because the soul isn’t there yet, or even that the soul will be reincarnated, or some such argument. Feminists, when they content “It’s my body,” are implying that their souls are separate entities from their bodies, and their bodies are merely material possessions of their souls. Indeed, Idealism is fundamental to radical feminism in general, because feminists ironically create a disjoint with their own womanhood. While they proclaim themselves “feminists,” they do not exalt womanhood, per se, but rather attempt to negate womanhood and achieve a superficial equality with men (there is a difference between equality of respect and equality in fact, which I will address another time).

Whether feminists overtly *think* they believe that, they definitely imply it with their rhetoric of ownership.

This creates an interesting paradox for atheist feminists. If there is no immortal soul, and if the soul as life-principle or consciousness is coterminous with the body, how can a person rightly speak of the body as “property.” The body is not something external to the self. In this respect, atheists should really be more in keeping with Catholic understanding of Natural Law.

Catholicism is one of the only belief systems that teaches proposition 1. Since we believe in the resurrection of the body, we believe that body and soul are equally coterminous with human nature. For a Catholic, like a true atheist, you can’t speak of the soul without speaking of the body.

In The Theology of the Body, John Paul II points out that, while we take the external characteristics of men and women as being what identify them as such, our internal differences are much greater than our external ones (hence, anthropologists and paleontologists can tell a male from a female by the bones). And while the external superficial differences of men and women are primarily associated with sexual attraction and intercourse, the *internal* differences that identify women have to do with motherhood. A woman’s entire body is designed for motherhood.

The atheist feminist cannot say “it’s my body,” because her purported metaphysical beliefs recognize no distinction between herself and her body.

That’s not to say that an atheist cannot be pro-abortion. It’s just to say that the defense of the position is self-contradictory.

The real question, as I keep trying to bring home, is how an atheist can justify *any* moral code without reference to an immortal soul and/or a higher power. C. S. Lewis begins Mere Christianity by arguing that even the most basic moral principles we can agree upon cannot be justified by animal instinct. He uses the example of saving a stranger’s life. It is understandable why we’d want to save the lives of those we love, but there is nothing in biology that really explains why we’d overcome our instinct of self-preservation to jump in the water for another person.

If there is no immortal soul, why does human life matter at all? Atheists have to be either completely pro-life or completely pro-death. They can’t have it both ways. C. S. Lewis makes this case in many ways; so does Flannery O’Connor. Ultimately, “the Misfit” in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” is right; Christianity is an absolute proposition, and so is atheism. If this life is all there is, you might as well get as much as you can out of it.

Atheists would try to say that we can develop new moral or ethical codes based upon evolution or biological imperative. This still carries with it several problems:

1. Again, as Lewis argues in Miracles, how can a person claim intelligence and insist that our thoughts are determined by genetics and brain chemistry? Atheists will insist that those who disagree with them are mentally deficient, mentally ill, etc.,. but they don’t consider the possibility that, by their own reasoning, they might be the ones who are out of touch with reality. They profess determinism in terms of genetics but apply it inconsistently: here insisting that homosexuals have no free will because they are compelled by nature; there insisting women need “freedom of choice.” But there really can be no such thing as free will if atheism is true.

2. Evolution, like all scientific data, can tell us many things, depending upon what we want to learn from it, and it has no inherent ethical meaning. Compare to the famous paradox of the alternate Spock in “Mirror, Mirror”: Spock always believed logic made Vulcans good, but his alternate self used perfect logic to justify evil.
A eugenicist can argue from evolution that it’s necessary to reduce the population, while a right to lifer can argue that those who survive are those who produce the most offspring.
If we’re arguing from evolution, why feed starving children in Africa? Why not let the natural course of evolution wipe them out?
Wouldn’t it benefit evolution to let people with genetic defects reproduce, in order to help other traits flourish.

In short, if behavior is all deterministic, and if everything can be traced to evolutionary impulses for survival of the species, then why have a moral code at all? Why judge anyone? Why not just let evolution run its course. If the Duggars are having more children than the Myers’s, so what? Aren’t they engaging in survival?

Why not just let people be what they want to be, and let evolution run its natural course? Why complain when Christians try to influence society, because we’re just following what evolution compels us to do.

Indeed, the way some atheists talk about evolution, it begins to start sounding rather like a god.

Positivism and utilitarianism, as I’ve noted before, beg the question. Pragmatism and utilitarianism base ethics on how something works in practice. “What promotes the greatest good for the greatest number of people?” But the response I’d make to that is, “What is the greatest good? Why should that be my standard?’

Atheists want an abstract moral code but they’re unable to make one without referring to some religious principle ultimately.

Positivism bases is morality on the laws as they exist, but why should I follow those laws?

If one chooses to be an atheist, what stops one from becoming a mass murderer? Maybe the evolutionary imperative compels you to wipe out those who are inferior, like Megatron or Sylar?

Why should I obey laws and conventions (positivism) if I can justify my own behaviors?

Atheists gladly apply this principle when it’s convenient to them (abortion, contraception, homosexuality, etc.), but they balk at its suggestion when it comes to principles they would like to force on other people (e.g,. “tolerance” or the need to “help the poor”).

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33 responses to “Souls with bodies, souls and bodies or just bodies?

  1. “If one chooses to be an atheist, what stops one from becoming a mass murderer?”

    Well, a lot of the time I think they simply don’t have the, pardon my saying so, balls to do anything like that. Nothing should stop them should they have the inclination to murder a bunch of people.

    But they don’t. Atheists fail to realize how Christian they are most of the time. Most of their typical complaints about religion (i.e. Christianity) strike me as disappointment that more people did not fully live up to Christian ideals. The vast majority of people do rotten things to one another on a regular basis, the vast majority of people also profess religion; either religion is the cause of evil, or at the least, it is ineffective to stop it.

    So they think their arbitrary ethics are going to do a better job. The problem is, their positions quickly devolve into justifications for mass murder to usher in a new age, whether they are communists or fascists, internationalists or nationalists, classists or racists. Materialism has never produced a true ideology of brotherhood and respect for life as Christianity did. How could it? Totalitarianism is materialism taken to its logical political conclusion; man is matter, a talking animal, with no greater significance than any other animal.

    America, Europe, Canada – and if we are honest, prosperous Asian countries such as Japan – have governments that ultimately have their intellectual origins, their conceptions about the rights and dignity of individuals, in Christianity. And it was Christianity that also criticized these societies when they went too far in the direction of laissez-faire and neglected the social dimension.

  2. Here’s a fifth possibility:

    Bodies yes, and WE DON’T KNOW whether or not there’s also soul.

    No EVIDENCE either way!

    • First, I am really getting tired of your propensity for “shouting.” Someone who claims to be so intelligent should at least know the minimal rules of netiquette.

      Secondly, implications are the same. You’ve said it yourself in another response: you do not believe in a Natural Law. Therefore, you believe whatever you want to believe about morality.

  3. GG, if you don’t like my use of capitals to emphasize or sharpen certain words, feel free to replace with some other indication, italics or underlines or whatever. I just use the SHIFT key because it is convenient.

  4. RE: “You’ve said it yourself in another response: you do not believe in a Natural Law. Therefore, you believe whatever you want to believe about morality.”

    You seem to think the only possible foundation for morality is some kind of “natural law”. That’s wrong! There is also MAN-MADE law.

    • Seem to? I do.
      Man made law means nothing in establishing morality. That is positivism, which I have specifically rejected as a cop-out.

      You say your only standard for morality is what nature supposedly prescribes, which is survival. Now, a Hobbesian argument can be made for a social contract, in the interest of survival, etc. Even then, why should the imperative to survive matter? Why does *anything* matter?

      If your only standard is survival and evolution, then why criticize religion? Why criticize anything? Why not just let evolution run its course?

      However, other than shouting, redirecting or condescending, you cannot address that fundamental challenge. I’ve never met an atheist who could.

      If the only standard for morality is survival, why would someone jump into a freezing river or burning building to save another human being?

  5. You can’t either. Not if your only strategy is appealing to natural law.

    How do you determine what natural law is? If I say “Natural law says no eating pork”, how do you prove I’m wrong? (I’m assuming you don’t have a problem with eating pork.)

    And evolution can actually explain altruistic behavior pretty well. A tribe which includes some altruists is more likely to survive the competition with other tribes and reproduce.

  6. First, you can’t just arbitrarily declare that natural law forbids pork (though I particularly can’t stand the taste of it).

    The standards of natural law are

    1. Moral principles that can be known regardless of religion (but they resume some Higher Power–for example, Muslims, Hindus and most pagans oppose contraception).

    2. Moral principles that philosophers can derive through reason (e.g., Plato says that physically expressing love between men is immoral because it’s intemperate).

    3. Moral principles that are derived from what is the best way for human beings to act towards their best physical and intellectual potential (in that case, if eating pork is unhealthy, natural law would recommend against eating pork).

    In that vein, evolution can be used as a principle in deriving natural law precepts.

    As soon as you start saying, “we can derive principles from evolution,” you are practicing a form of natural law theory.

    The problem is that, according to your view, there is no real reason to obey it. There is no Divine Lawgiver to enforce infractions (either by temporal punishment or eternal punishment), and there is no ultimate purpose either to human life or the universe itself.

  7. RE: “Moral principles that can be known regardless of religion”

    Well then, marriage-as-one-man-plus-one-woman does NOT count as natural law, because Muslims and Mormons (until recently) don’t recognise it.

    RE: Plato. It’s been a couple of decades since I went through the dialogues in detail. But it’s very hard to figger out what Plato thinks–everything is in the mouths of others! And Socrates certainly had no problem with gay sex…;-D

    RE: “Moral principles that are derived from what is the best way for human beings to act towards their best physical and intellectual potential”

    That’s circular. How do you determine what is the “best … intellectual potential”???

    RE: “The problem is that, according to your view, there is no real reason to obey it. There is no Divine Lawgiver to enforce infractions (either by temporal punishment or eternal punishment), and there is no ultimate purpose either to human life or the universe itself.”

    So your solution to this, you INVENT and IMAGINE a Divine Lawgiver. Wow, it’s great to be you! If you’re on a desert island, you don’t need to fear running out of food–when you get hungry, you can IMAGINE some.

    • I don’t “invent” the Divine Lawgiver: you invent the myth that He doesn’t exist so you can justify whatever atrocities suit your baser pleasures. You’ve already said it: abortion is OK because there’s no Natural Law.

      As for polygamy versus monogamy, it *can* be debatable about whether polygamy, per se, is against Natural Law–after all, even the Old Testament permits polygamy. However, the Catholic argument to that is that polygamy is an inherently unequal form of marriage: the dignity of the human person demands a completely exclusive relationship (of course, you don’t believe in the dignity of the human person; a concept you conveniently eliminate with your Darwinism so you can eliminate whatever unacceptable populaces you want to kill off).

      The point is not a kind of “democracy of cultures” or “plurality of religions” but that the point can be argued without need for reference to divine revelation.

      Obviously, you have had no proper education in Natural Law, which makes perfect sense given the fact that you’re the kind of person who confuses natural science with philosophy.

      Read C. S. Lewis’s _The Abolition of Man_ then get back to me. You started this alleged dialogue by attacking my understanding of science (which is mostly irrelevant to morality) and saying that my lack of an advanced science degree discredited me from discussing the morality or even discussability of abortion.

      Well, your obvious lack of philosophical training discredits you from offering an informed opinion of Natural Law. All you can offer is flippancy and circular logic: you think with your groin, and you deny God’s existence, and try to make yourself a sophisticated intellectual because of it.

  8. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, entry on “Homosexuality”:

    “Plato, in the Symposium, argues for an army to be comprised of same-sex lovers. “

  9. As I recall, the Republic was one of the most difficult to distinguish Plato’s opinions from opinions he put in other people’s mouths in order to examine them. I remember being sternly admonished that Socrates’ opinions were not necessarily the same as Plato’s.

  10. All that depends upon what critic/professor you’re listening to. The text is what it is.

    Regardless, the point is that one does not need to be a Christian to realize, for example, that homosexual acts go against the design of the human body. But if the body is not designed, then, well, who cares?

    Then again, how can it be argued that evolution would favor a behavior that does not propagate the species?

  11. RE: …You’ve already said it: abortion is OK because there’s no Natural Law.”

    LOL! That’s not my position at all! My position is, even if abortion is NOT “ok”, even still, you’re not allowed to prevent it by force nor by law, because that would be slavery, and slavery is contrary to a MAN-MADE, but now universal, legal principle. The fact that there’s no natural law has nothing to do with it.

    RE: “Darwinist”. I am not a “Darwinist”, whatever that means. I actually know very little about Darwin, have only read snippets and secondary sources. My overall sense is that if Darwin could time-travel to today and see some modern molecular biology I think he’d be pretty surprised.

    RE: human dignity. I believe very strongly in human dignity; that’s why I’m pro-choice! Forcing a woman to grow an unwelcome pregnancy and to give birth against her will to a baby she does not want, offends against (drum roll, please….) her human dignity.

    RE: Trained philosopher. Well you’re right, I have no advanced degree in philosophy, but it was my undergrad major (Ivy-League school), doesn’t that count for something?

    And I’ll decline the CSLewis invite. I enjoy his narrative but I find his non-fiction insufferable, I can’t stay focused on it at all. He’s so smug, so convinced he’s right about things, and he’s not nearly as complex as he thinks, and also, he’s not arguing in good faith. His fiction, although it’s very well written and fun to read, tips his hand. He’s a manipulator, trying to lead you by the nose while pretending not to. It’s most obvious in the Narnia books but also in the Space Trilogy (which is my favorite of his writing). At bottom it’s all oogety-boogety and mystical fetishizing of an imaginary past. He thinks the fact that some nouns are grammatically masculine and others feminine in latin has some deeeeeeeper meeeeeeening you could get if you just belieeeeeeeve hard enough. That land with a high copper-content in the soil is somehow associated with venus.

    His fiction is great tho. THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH features a demonic scientific research-institute with an all-female private security force, headed by a sadistic killer-lesbian! No joke, it’s true. Her name is Miss Hardcastle. He could have written screenplays for the tv show “The Avengers” if he’d lived long enough!

    • _That Hideous Strength_ is one of my favorite Lewis books–the fictional counterpart to _Abolition of Man_. “Am I nothing more than an animal in heat.” “More; but not less. Go. Have no more dreams; have children instead.”

      If the Natural law is no more than “universally accepted” Man-made laws, then that can be changed. If the majority of peoples or cultures should decide to outlaw abortion, then you’d have nothing to complain about.

      How can you claim to believe in human dignity without believing in a creator? If we’re nothing but chemicals, there’s no dignity there. In fact, liberals have invented an inverse Natural Law, where an inverse definition of “dignity” is the standard: the kind of dignity that says people should wimp out of suffering, that people should not have any challenges to higher behavior.

      Dignity, for someone prior to the Modern Age:
      1. Human dignity demands raising above the base animal instincts, which enslave the intellect.
      2. Human dignity demands staying strong in spite of hardship, practicing the virtues of perseverance and fortitude.

      The liberal/post-modern definition of dignity:
      1. Superficial respect that comes from “looking good”; avoiding suffering so as not to be ashamed of oneself or others. Kill the disabled. Kill incovenient babies rather than go through the inconvenience of childbirth. Kill babies to cannibalize their bodies for research so you can avoid naturally occuring health problems. All in the name of “dignity.”
      2. Moral license to “choose” whatever the baser impulses are compelled towards. Hanging on to the illusion of “choice” when you are really just enslaving yourself to your passions, not thinking of a higher standard of behavior.

      I am not going to play into your trap of getting overly vulgar.

      I wonder what your real issues are. You obviously have a deep-set hatred for Christians, pro-lifers, women, childbirth, and mothers. You have only a negative view of child-bearing.

      You go around the Internet attacking people while offering nothing of yourself.

      Again, my fundamental criticism of atheism is I see nothing positive in atheism as a philosophy. I see nothing worthwhile. Even if you are right, Pascal’s Wager tells me that life is far more worth living if I trust that God exists, and my own experience tells me that God does exist, because I have far too much evidence of the power of prayer in my own life.

      I am perfectly up front about the fact that, as a disabled person, I am completely repulsed by the “pro-choice” lie that is used to encourage elimination of “less desirables” like myself.

      But you just attack. You make death threats against people on your own blog and claim it’s “just speculation.” You publish people’s identities online. You are a very malicious person, and so far, your arguments have merely proven every assumption I have about an atheist, secular worldview: nasty, malicious, solipsistic and arrogant.

      Instead of just lashing out, why not reach out? You are obviously masking some deep pain.

  12. RE: “Design of the human body”.

    If the female reproductive system is designed, then either the Designer is not very good at His work, or else He’s a sadistic bastard.

    Actually gay sex is very much ACCORDING TO design. Why do you think the birth-canal/fertilization-orifice is situated midway between two excretory orifices? Because smell can be used as a powerful sexual stimulant! And for the same reason, well, you know, gay sex.

    (I use the word “design” not to suggest actual design by an “Intelligent Designer”, but rather as shorthand for natural-selection of random variations for reproductive advantage.)

  13. RE: “How can you claim to believe in human dignity without believing in a creator?”

    How can you ride a bicycle without carrying a fish in the basket?

    RE: “Again, my fundamental criticism of atheism is I see nothing positive in atheism as a philosophy. ”

    Just because you WANT to believe in something, or you see nothing positive in the absence of something, does not make the something TRUE. I see nothing positive in the fact that I’m not a billionaire, but I don’t think I’d get very far trying to convince a bank to give me a billion bucks for that reason.

    RE: “You go around the Internet attacking people while offering nothing of yourself.”

    Excuse me, I have already offered to share with you my unusual combo of skills–actual science experience, actual medical experience, and high-quality writing skills. You don’t seem very keen on the offer, but the fact remains that I have made it.

    RE: “I am perfectly up front about the fact that, as a disabled person, I am completely repulsed by the “pro-choice” lie that is used to encourage elimination of “less desirables” like myself.”

    Not “like yourself”. You’re already-born, remember?

    RE: “You make death threats against people on your own blog and claim it’s ‘just speculation.'”

    No I don’t claim it’s just speculation! My blog is incitement for the right reader to counterterrorize right-to-lifers. I say this with NO APOLOGY! If right-to-lifers don’t want to get counterterrorized, they should halt the REGULAR CONSISTENT PREDICTABLE PATTERN of answering every significant pro-choice victory with terror-murders.

    RE: “You publish people’s identities online. ”

    Anything the right-to-lifers have ever done to abortion workers, I do to right-to-lifers (all the legal things, that is. I’d do illegal things too but I have no aptitude for crime. I’ve never gotten away with a crime in my whole life. I’ve been arrested trying to buy grass in Washington Square Park.)

    If they want me to stop publishing their identities, they should do the right thing and convert to pro-choice. If they remain right-to-lifers, it means they WANT to be counterterrorized.

    • You yourself have said it.

      Your only standard for behavior is what you, personally, feel comfortable with doing.

    • Terri Schiavo was already born, and you people drooled all over yourselves about killing her so her husband could run off with the money he was supposed to use to care for her.

    • Also, again, I couldn’t care less about your alleged academic credentials. That wasn’t my point. You obviously have some deep set emotional pain underlying your attitudes towards human life, towards womanhood, towards children and childbearing and towards God. *That’s* what I was asking you to be honest about.

  14. RE: THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH as fictional counterpart to THE ABOLITION OF MAN

    See, a non-fiction counterpart to THS would be just goofy. Like a non-fictional counterpart to GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, or a non-fictional counterpart to THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. Too goofy for my palate, thank you very much.

    • _That Hideous Strength_ is illustrating in action the trends Lewis saw in society, the trends that he deconstructs philosophically in _The Abolition of Man_: the use of manipulated language to deprive concepts of meaning, and then to deprive human existence and morality of meaning.

  15. There you go again. IT’S A MISTAKE TO TAKE CSL SERIOUSLY!!!

    RE: “Your only standard for behavior is what you, personally, feel comfortable with doing.”

    And your only standard for believing something is, apparently, whether or not you feel comfortable with it or “see anything positive in it”. NEWSFLASH: the truth is not always a pleasant thing.

    RE : Terri Schiavo. Yes Terri Schiavo was already born, and, she was also already dead. (The brain was, anyway.)

    Seriously, you wanna know what you need to do in order to avoid ending up like her? MAKE A LIVING WILL. In other words, the “end-of-life counselling” which all the right-to-lifers are yapping and crying “death-panels” about because it’s in the health-care plan. If Terri Schiavo had made a living will, there would have been no debate about what she “would have wanted”. It would be right there in black and white!

    By the way, her name is properly pronounced “SKYAH-voe”. Not “Shai-voe”. First syllable rhymes with “Bah!”, not with “pie”. See: intro Italian.

    RE: “You obviously have some deep set emotional pain underlying your attitudes towards … children and childbearing and towards God. ”

    I LOVE childbearing! I especially enjoy those moments where the patient shits on herself during a contraction, and the contraction tears her cervix, and you get the shit and the blood forming a dark-red mixture on the bedsheet between her legs. Great fun! Seriously, how many childbirths have you watched???

    • I’ve watched 3 live childbirths–had to watch the older kids when the youngest was born, plus how ever many educational videos in childbirth class. Yes, parts of childbirth are unpleasant. So is changing dirty diapers. Being alive has all sorts of unpleasant aspects, and your mind, like that of a poorly raised ten year old, seems to dwell on them. Hence you have a poor view of human life. You focus on the vulgar and choose to be defined by it, rather than seeking something higher. This, again, is why I discredit atheists and pro-choicers as a class: your minds are in the gutter. You cannot claim to be enlightened and smarter than everyone else in one statement and then reduce human existence to its basest aspects in the other. You cannot claim to believe in human dignity while also believing that humans are nothing more than evolved primates. Your position is fundamentally contradictory, and you refuse to acknowledge any evidence or testimony that challenges your beliefs. Instead, you come up with logical fallacies to distract attention.

      No, my standard for behavior is what I’m taught is right and wrong. My standard for belief is what passes the logical test. Atheism does not pass the test of logic because existence loses all meaning. If there’s any doubt of God’s existence (there is none in my mind because I’ve experienced far too many personal miracles to doubt), it still makes sense to be a believer because atheism is an inherently hopeless belief system.

      There you go with the shouting again–you just arbitrarily throw Lewis out of the picture for *what* reason? *Why* can’t you take him seriously ? Maybe because he was an atheist of the most perverted kind and rediscovered Christianity, and his arguments undermine the very foundations–and more importantly, the pretenses–of your flawed non-belief system?

      The purpose of dialogue is to come to understand people’s first principles. It should be perfectly obvious from the name of my site and from my banner that I am a great admirer of Lewis. Indeed, I am a published Lewis scholar.

      Again, all you’re doing is showing your fundamental intellectual errors: you don’t like what Lewis has to say, so you dismiss him altogther and lob ad hominems. If you can provide an actual refutation, publish it.

  16. So you seem to be arguing that the good aspects of parenthood are sufficient to justify having GOVERNMENT compel pregnant women to endure the harm and dangers of childbirth against their wills, giving birth to babies they don’t want. Well, the rewards of donating a kidney are very great too, and the danger/harm of donating one are much less than the danger/harm of childbirth. So should government force people to donate kidneys? By your reasoning, yes.

    RE: CSL. I have already explained that my reason for dismissing him is that his fiction reveals him to be a manipulator, a trickster, not a good-faith arguer. He tries to make the reader believe, by using the same types of tricks one uses to get a child to eat the vegetables. Good reading for high-school debating-society members, but not for people with serious philosophical/theological questions.

    RE: “Atheism does not pass the test of logic because existence loses all meaning.”

    Nope. The idea that for existence to have meaning, there must be a supernatural entity, is wrong. Natural existence is plenty meaningful enough without fairy tales and without mumbo-jumbo, thank you very much. And even if it weren’t, that would not justify believing in a Supernatural Entity. You need EVIDENCE. Desire is not enough. If a supernatural entity is required for the world to have meaning, then maybe the world really is meaningless! In that case your choices are: leave with the meaninglessness (realism) or INVENT a supernatural entity, a fairy tale, to help you cope. You choose the latter; I choose the former. Well, CSL described it pretty well in THE SILVER CHAIR, with Puddleglum saying “Even if there’s no Aslan, I’m going to believe in him.” and “We can make up a play-world that licks your real world all hollow.” Self-delusion, deliberately and intentionally induced.

    RE: “If there’s any doubt of God’s existence (there is none in my mind because I’ve experienced far too many personal miracles to doubt),…”

    How can any personal experience prove the existence of a supernatural entity? “Supernatural” means it is ABOVE anything you experience. If you experience something, then it’s NOT supernatural, by definition.

    And even if some experience were enough to convince you that there must be a supernatural entity, you’re still a very long way from showing that it is omnipotent or omniscient or unitary or masculine or benevolent or manifested in the Bible. For all you know, it could be, well, a flying spaghetti monster.

    You do not seem to understand logic at all. (That’s a pretty serious problem for a teacher of philosophy and rhetoric!) Logic, correctly, means you reason from EVIDENCE to conclusion (INDUCTIVE logic), or from one principle to another (DEductive logic). Logic does NOT mean you get to believe whatever you think you need to believe in order to make the world seem meaningful, as you seem to think.

    Try this: look in the mirror and repeat: “No matter how much I WANT something to be true, I cannot BELIEVE in it unless there is good EVIDENCE for it, evidence which cannot be explained any other way.” Repeat this ten times per session, three sessions per day. Repeat it instead of praying–you’ll do yourself (and your students) more good that way.

    • No, I just think you have a twisted, evil mind. I never said that the beauty of childbirth was a reason it should be forced on women. I never said childbirth should be forced on women. I think the life of the child and the horrible evil of abortion are enough to warrant the government to punish those who would engage in such an evil act.

      I don’t think the government should “force” women to have babies. If people don’t want babies, the time to make that choice is before they engage in intercourse.

      Rape, obviously, is a trickier issue. A child should not have to die because of the sin of his or her biological father. Women who conceive in rape and keep the children–even giving the babies up for adoption–tend to find the child as a means of coping and learning forgiveness, while those who have chosen abortion end up traumatized by the abortion (and before you say anything, not only have I read extensively on this topic, I personally know women who have taken both paths, and ended up pro-life either way, whether in witness of what a blessing their daughters were or in witness of how deeply they regretted their own abortions).

      That said, even many predominantly Catholic and Muslim countries allow exceptions for rape and incest, and most allow exceptions for life of the mother. Only in Malta and Vatican City are all abortions illegal.

      And I would say that, even if all abortions are technically illegal, the law should recognize psychological/culpability issues on the mother’s part.

  17. RE: “I never said childbirth should be forced on women. I think the life of the child and the horrible evil of abortion are enough to warrant the government to punish those who would engage in such an evil act.”

    Can you understand that if you stop someone from preventing something, then you’re forcing the something on them, even if you didn’t cause it in the first place? For instance. I look up and see a piano falling out a window towards me. I try to get out of the way. You block me and the piano hits me and I die. Then you try to say “It’s not my fault– the one who pushed the piano out the window is the guilty party, your Honor!” No good. Both you AND the piano-defenestrator are guilty. So yes, if you want to punish abortions, then you ARE forcing childbirth upon pregnant women who would prefer to abort their pregnancies.

    RE: “If people don’t want babies, the time to make that choice is before they engage in intercourse.”

    The problem with that is: when they come in for their abortions they’re already pregnant.

    • That is perhaps the most inane argument for abortion I’ve ever heard. I know that, as a Darwinist atheist, you don’t think of people as being at all capable of even the most minimal virtue, but if liberals are willing to teach about leaky condoms and 99% effective birth control pills, why not just encourage Clintonian alternatives to sexual intercourse?

      People *are* capable of some level of self-control.

      How about teaching young people about NFP/fertility awareness? I am commiting NFP heresy by saying this, but schools ought to teach women who to identify the fertile times of the month, how their libidos are extremely high and difficult to control–*and* how they are extremely desirable to men–at that point.

      Teach young women that, if they *are* going to fornicate, to be aware of their cycles and hold off until fertility has passed. Even before the birth control pill, it was long a cliche of men’s minds that women somehow “force” pregnancy on them, that women somehow can control their fertility. Long before rhythm was first developed, there was some vague idea of women having cycles, that a woman’s period was similar to the annual process of going into heat that animals experienced.

      How many unwed pregnancies are the result of drinking and drugs?

      There are plenty of behaviors that should be fairly easy to curb, that even *if* someone is to be promiscuous, that person can still use a modicum of self-control to avoid pregnancy.

      You claim to be scientifically minded, you really should study NFP.

  18. RE: “Inane argument for abortion”

    You call it inane, but you cannot refute it! (Maybe you call it inane BECAUSE you cannot refute it.) Once again, how the piano came to be falling toward me is not the point. The point is that once it is falling toward me, if you stop me from avoiding it, then you ARE forcing me to suffer being hit by it, and you are responsible for the damage, at least partially.

    Here’s a better parallel: I take poison. I do it myself, because I’m a moron, or I’m self-indulgent and the poison is a pleasurable drug, and I overdose. (Strychnine was used as a recreational and performance-enhancing drug in the 1890s-1900s.) Then I realize I want the antidote. You block me and stop me from getting the antidote. Then you say “I didn’t kill OC; he killed himself by taking the poison!” Again, no good. OC and you SHARE responsibility for the death.

    RE: “Darwinist atheist”. I already told you I am not a Darwinist. You’re a teacher of philosophy and rhetoric, and you’re trying to win an argument by repeating de-bunked insults. That’s a first-grade recess-yard tactic. Is this how you teach your students to argue???

    And I’m not an athiest, either. I’m a radical agnostic rationalist. Maybe there is a god! Maybe many! Maybe he’s a flying spaghetti monster. My answer to any and all questions about the supernatural is “I don’t know and neither do you.”

    RE: NFP
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH oops split a gut must go get hernia-repair. Sorry but I know too many Catholic women who got pregnant using NFP (yes they had abortions, all of them).

    • I already did refute it. You won’t accept the refutation. Also, you made no argument. Pregnancy is preventable.

      There you go with the “stupid women who need abortions” argument. You just couch it in an analogy ot someone swallowing poison.

      Your analogies are stupid and irrelevant. When you can come up with an accurate analogy to what’s actually going on in an abortion, I’ll go with it.

      You say you admit the personhood of the unborn baby but that the unborn baby doesn’t have the rights. Nwo you’re arguing from the “it’s just the mother and no one else” argument. You’re not giving analogies where Person A wants to kill Person B and Person C intervenes to stop Person A from doing it. You’re giving analogies were Person C doesn’t save the life of Person A.

      If they “got pregnant using NFP and had abortions” (I don’t believe you, BTW), then they weren’t using NFP. They may have been using rhythm, but they weren’t using NFP. To be “using” NFP, one must be a) using it accurately and b) avoiding intercourse at certain times of month unless one consciously chooses to be open to a child.

  19. No sir, by the time the patient comes into the clinic for an abortion, the pregnancy is NOT preventable. It’s TOO LATE to prevent it!

    Besides, preventability is not a reason for withholding treatment when the preventable problem occurs. (e. g. Not many people would withhold cancer treatment even from life-long smokers.)

    You are obviously being willfully obtuse, pretending not to understand this. I think I know why: you don’t want to state your real position, which is: the patient should be PUNISHED for having had sex, by being FORCED to grow her pregnancy and endure childbirth. That’ll teach her to keep her legs together!

    It’s very difficult to see why else you would keep repeating “pregnancy is preventable”, which is neither true (by the time she comes in for her abortion) nor relevant (at any time).

    RE: saving lives. There are some things you are not allowed to do even in order to save lives. For instance, you could save lives by taking transfusable blood by force from unwilling donors, but you’re not allowed to do that, EVEN THOUGH it saves lives. In exactly the same way and for almost exactly the same reason, preventing an abortion by means of force or law is ANOTHER one of those things you’re not allowed to do even though it saves a life. Your right to save lives stops at the boundary defined by my skin.

    • Who’s being willfully obtuse?

      You’re presuming that “unwanted” pregnancies are inevitable. There is nothing palliative or preventative about abortion.

      Punish people for fornication or adultery? Why not? There should be no secret that’s my position. Why should such an idea be offensive? You act like I’m hiding something, but the subject has just never come up so far.

      But while I *do* think there should be punishments for fornication and adultery, pregnancy is not a punishment but a natural consequence and chance to bring good out of evil. The child should not be punished for the parents’ sin.

      You are the one, who like your Premiere Comrade Obama, sees pregnancy as a punishment, something to be avoided.

      There’s a difference between *saving* a life and actively *killing* a life.

      Instead of your silly analogies about falling pianos and swallowed poisons, how about your usual analogy?

      Person A leaves the door unlocked and hanging open. Homeless Person B comes in seeking shelter.
      Person A catches Person B in his or her home.
      Now, if Person B is legitimatelly threatening, Person A has the legal right (but not the moral right) to shoot Person B–Person A *only* has the moral right to shoot person B *if* Person B is clearly threatening his or her life, and Person A should try as best as possible to disable person B without killing him or her.

      But that is only if Person B is a danger.

      If B is harmless, and A shoots B, then A is guilty of homicide.

      And, no, the minor difficulties of childbirth do not constitute “danger” to anyone but an absolute sissy (which is why I keep saying you have a poor view of women, because you think women are sissies–and, yes, I know the term is ironic).

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