Author Topic: State laws banning or limiting abortion - what to do about the federal courts?  (Read 636 times)

Offline Kirin

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Not quite. I would have just thought the pro-life movement would want to gather the most supporters and, if the lives of the unborn are as valuable as they claim, would put aside their bullheaded pride to achieve results.

This is a sterile accusation.

The pro-life movement is based on Christian religious principles.

Human life has no instrinsic value in an atheistic framework, much less any sanctity. To claim that the pro-life movement should downplay the source and foundation of its raison d'Ítre is ridiculous.

Considering there are pro-life movements in countries not based upon Christianity in which Christianity is a minority religion if present at all (Japan, Saudi Arabia etc) this is patently false. Abortion has been condemned in societies which were not and in some cases remain untouched by the reach of Christianity or any other Abrahamic faith for that matter.

Regarding human life having no intrinsic value in an atheistic framework implies there is some universally shared atheistic framework which there isn't, though needless to remind you Catholics themselves are not united and at no point in their history have ever been united in their metaphysical framework or doctrines despite claims to unchangeable dogmatic truths from one or several parties.

To select one at random, not one I subscribe to but a very popular one among younger anti-theists due to its simplicity is exhibited by Richard Dawkins within The God Delusion. Though he doesn't suggest following this line of thought he uses it for several other purposes.

1) Humans have evolved with the faculties to pass their DNA onto the next generation.
2) Living things exist with the impulse to propagate.
2) Abortion reduces the success rate of the transmission of genes.
4) Abortion is opposed to the propagation and survival of the human race

As I said, it's not one I subscribe to but it is one that is simple to explain in few words.

Considering that your deity is known to flood the earth and purge human and non-human life for the crimes of specific humans as well suggests existence itself is trivial and has no value in a Christian framework when at any moment the aforementioned deity can throw a tantrum and rain fire on cities because he finds it objectionable the creatures he designed to behave in specific ways knowing they will behave in these ways (omnicience) behave in the aforementioned ways.

It's very easy to throw cheap shots at doctrinal rivals, but you make it so much easier for your real opponents to walk all over you doing so.
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Considering there are pro-life movements in countries not based upon Christianity in which Christianity is a minority religion if present at all (Japan, Saudi Arabia etc) this is patently false. Abortion has been condemned in societies which were not and in some cases remain untouched by the reach of Christianity or any other Abrahamic faith for that matter.

There can be many reasons to condemn abortion.

The only reason that guarantees the sanctity of human life is based on revealed faith, even if it's duly manifested in the realm of the natural law to which all men can have access to. Retreating, however, to a reasoning based purely on the principles of natural law is pointless since what holds it all together is the value that God ascribed to the human race.

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Regarding human life having no intrinsic value in an atheistic framework implies there is some universally shared atheistic framework which there isn't, though needless to remind you Catholics themselves are not united and at no point in their history have ever been united in their metaphysical framework or doctrines despite claims to unchangeable dogmatic truths from one or several parties.

Of course there is no universally shared atheistic framework. That's not the point. There can be no absolute values in any atheistic framework, ergo life has no intrinsic value or sanctity in any atheistic framework you can think of. Condemnation of abortion (or any other crime) based purely on principles relying on a godless universe have no intrinsic value.

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1) Humans have evolved with the faculties to pass their DNA onto the next generation.
2) Living things exist with the impulse to propagate.
2) Abortion reduces the success rate of the transmission of genes.
4) Abortion is opposed to the propagation and survival of the human race

As I said, it's not one I subscribe to but it is one that is simple to explain in few words.

It also fails quite spectacularly to explain why one would have to be morally obliged to oppose abortion. The "survival of the human race" is not put in check because of abortion laws and, even if it were, there's no moral absolute that obliges one's conscience to work for the survival of the race.

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Considering that your deity is known to flood the earth and purge human and non-human life for the crimes of specific humans as well suggests existence itself is trivial and has no value in a Christian framework when at any moment the aforementioned deity can throw a tantrum and rain fire on cities because he finds it objectionable the creatures he designed to behave in specific ways knowing they will behave in these ways (omnicience) behave in the aforementioned ways.

This is not a cheap shot, it's a childish shot.

Human existence is absurd and trivial apart from God. It has no intrinsic value or meaning, only the one society or any given individual may want to randomly ascribe at some given point. You cannot get over this fact no matter how hard you try. Your initial accusation against the pro-life movement remains ridiculous.
"All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." ó (Matt. 11:27).
 

Offline Kirin

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You know what, I really haven't got anything better to do sat here at work today so why not...



There can be many reasons to condemn abortion.

The only reason that guarantees the sanctity of human life is based on revealed faith, even if it's duly manifested in the realm of the natural law to which all men can have access to.

All men cannot have access to it, because your deity has created this world knowing all too well, intentionally in fact with the full knowledge there would be parts of the world like North Korea and Japan where his message would never reach or be believed, or thought false due to the coming of a different prophet with a far more appealing message.

Retreating, however, to a reasoning based purely on the principles of natural law is pointless since what holds it all together is the value that God ascribed to the human race.

The deity you ascribe to ascribes no value to the human race, he created the vast majority of it in foreknowledge it would serve no purpose than to form the foundations of a bonfire to sate its own ego and need for self-validation.


Of course there is no universally shared atheistic framework. That's not the point. There can be no absolute values in any atheistic framework, ergo life has no intrinsic value or sanctity in any atheistic framework you can think of. Condemnation of abortion (or any other crime) based purely on principles relying on a godless universe have no intrinsic value.

There are no absolute values in a Catholic framework, so your accusation is curious at best.

Your absolute morality is by necessity not absolute; as it can and does change on the whims and fancies of a deity. Before Jesus came polygamous marriage was an allowance, now it damns one to hell. Your eternal fate rests on what actions your deity happens to take umbridge with that millennium, and potentially may change again at short notice.

Let us review some other faults with this claim. The Mosaic Law (in particular, the Ten Commandments) is often cited as a foundation for this absolute morality; , the Sixth and Eighth Commandments have all the appearance of being absolute prohibitions against murder and theft. However, right from the start the premise fails because it was recognized that they were not all that absolute — if God made exceptions to these laws, people could kill with impunity.

An example can be found in the Bible not too long after the Ten Commandments are handed down. Observe in the Book of Joshua how God commands the Israelites to go into the land of Canaan, which he has decreed belongs to them, and kill everyone in the thirty-one kingdoms therein, including women, children, and livestock. They do so. Of course, you may claim God would not talk to just anybody to grant an exception; so the usual practice in the rest of the Bible for leaders and aspiring despots across history has been if you wanted to kill someone was to grab a handy prophet and get him to transmit the divine sign-off. This was what King Josiah did in 2 Kings 22-23, embarking on a bout of holiness that involved killing large numbers of priests and posthumously executing others.

In short, the Christian take on "absolute morality" is quite frankly anything but; it simply makes such matters dependent on the whims of God (or whoever pretends to be speaking for him) rather than the whims of people in general. It is also not as if these things are binding on your God , If God were bound by the laws he would have quite a lot to answer for, such as killing almost the entire human population in the Deluge, or burning Sodom, Gomorrah, and two other "cities of the plain" to the ground.

Even allowing for the "God is exempt from the rules" argument, there are still numerous cases where the law doesn't seem to apply to people either. The Book of Joshua also features the story of Rahab, the Canaanite harlot who assists Joshua in his defeat of Jericho. As reward for her help, she is married off to one of his sons, despite this being explicitly forbidden in the Pentateuch: Deuteronomy 7:3 — Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. (i.e. the Canaanites, as identified in Deuteronomy 7:1)

Your morality is more relativistic than any secular code, at least we have to have a discussion or consensus rather than the man with the most powerful sword arm descending upon the masses to lay waste.


It also fails quite spectacularly to explain why one would have to be morally obliged to oppose abortion. The "survival of the human race" is not put in check because of abortion laws and, even if it were, there's no moral absolute that obliges one's conscience to work for the survival of the race.

If you're a hedonist, in the original sense of the word as being one who places the avoidance of pain above all else, you'd may well be oblidged to prevent it to the fetus.
If you're a darwinist, you may find the abortion of prime husbandry breeding stock henious and wish to seek retribution for weaking the race.
If you're an American pragmatist, you may take issue with reducing the workforce and see it as an unworthy economic cost.

There's a myriad of reasons one may choose to see in the expansion of the human races numbers, not purely an instinctual desire to breed.


Human existence is absurd and trivial apart from God. It has no intrinsic value or meaning, only the one society or any given individual may want to randomly ascribe at some given point. You cannot get over this fact no matter how hard you try. Your initial accusation against the pro-life movement remains ridiculous.

Existence is absurd full stop, and thats what makes it so enchanting.

The fact you picture all life as merely being the playthings of an oriental despot in the sky makes far more trivial in regards to human existence. To you we're all but insects, and whatever anyone thinks is worthless; slaves to the man with the most supernatural magic power to enforce his will. Had Satan won in your mythos I don't think it would take much imagination to consider who it would be you'd be praying to for salvation.

Might makes right is the basis of your "meaningful" existence, which in itself is rather base.

I'm quite right about the pro-life movement, for the reasons I outlined it will fail in Ireland despite the surveys suggesting the majority of the population not endorsing it and claiming they could not consider obtaining one themselves. Abortion is bad, but the return of the Church into the corridors of power is a far, far more heinous prospect to consider for many.

The pro-life movement did not have to lumber itself with that baggage in Ireland and the US, and will suffer accordingly for its choice in doing so.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 10:49:55 AM by Kirin »
 
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Offline An aspiring Thomist

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Even allowing for the "God is exempt from the rules" argument, there are still numerous cases where the law doesn't seem to apply to people either. The Book of Joshua also features the story of Rahab, the Canaanite harlot who assists Joshua in his defeat of Jericho. As reward for her help, she is married off to one of his sons, despite this being explicitly forbidden in the Pentateuch: Deuteronomy 7:3 ó Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. (i.e. the Canaanites, as identified in Deuteronomy 7:1)

But that law clearly was not absolute as in could never be changed or amended, so your counter example isnít all that great. The real question might be was it okay for an exception to be made for Rehab and by whose authority. Obviously God could have made an exception but Iím not sure if He did or if Joshua did etc.
 

Offline An aspiring Thomist

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Your absolute morality is by necessity not absolute; as it can and does change on the whims and fancies of a deity. Before Jesus came polygamous marriage was an allowance, now it damns one to hell. Your eternal fate rests on what actions your deity happens to take umbridge with that millennium, and potentially may change again at short notice.

But Christian marriages are no longer mere natural marriages hence the different rules. Thatís why a pagan marriage can be annulled in favor of a Christian one. Your rhetoric is high and mighty but much of it is fallacious underneath. Furthermore shouldnít you know basic distinctions like this after all of then polemics you have been involved with?
 
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Offline Sophia3

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Remove religion from the pro-life movement.

By all means believe what you wish and use that as your motivation for choosing a side, but the link to organized religion is itself toxic and totally counterproductive to any efforts in this area.

The pro-life (I think pro-birth is more accurate, another argument for another time) movement in every state today is inexorably directly led by religious conviction as the lead motivator against abortion, the very language of personhood itself is very Catholic, and that alone will send alarm bells ringing for many people.

There are many "nones", agnostics, pagans, Atheists and other groups who are more divided on these issues than you would expect from the most loud examples of them. However, almost all of them will not support pro-life efforts so long as they are led by religious apostolates. Take Ireland for instance with their upcoming vote, it's expected to pass despite most of the population agree on abortion is a negative thing. Some may view it as a necessary evil, but in a country, with a long history of being tyrannized by a corrupt theocratic government for the greater part of sixty years the very idea of ceding any aspect of law to a religious party is deeply unsettling. It's not so prevalent in the US, though the Bible Belt often creates a lesser though similar impression on the minds of the non-devout.

While it may seem unfair to draw a comparison, 9/11 changed everything for many non-believers and lukewarm. Religion is not to many a thing that makes men good, or even just a neutral thing; it's a dormant monster that can at any moment for the slightest reason turn to violence and genocide, after all; how can you reason with people who think God favours them above all others and who follow arbitrary dictates without reason or consideration? This may seem unfair, but this is very often how the majority of European and the American population view it.

The pro-life movement is doomed so long as it continues to be presented as a crusade or a work of religion, now if it could actually present itself as a secular movement, it won't lead to the abolition of abortion I don't think, the time for that has passed, but it most certainly could see the deadline for them brought closer to conception which is something.

While you may think you make some good points, separating God from anything is always a bad idea. He made all and keeps all in existence; not acknowledging that does nothing but harm.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 12:47:32 PM by Sophia3 »
 

Offline An aspiring Thomist

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I think the religious aspect of the prolife movement is good. That being said the religious prolife movement shouldnít reject support from secular or atheist prolife movements, just like Catholics shouldnít reject Protestant support. The enemy of my enemy is my friend at least where some common goals are shared. Even the crusaders often made allies with certain Muslims. However, in others areas like the existence of God or what the true Church is, there are major differences. Finally, the most effective arguments against abortion are arguments from natural law. Even if atheism gives no ULTIMATE basis for natural law and the immorality of abortion, most people donít think that deep. Itís more practical to argue from natural law where most people will share common premises than to try to convert people and then convince them abortion is against Godís law. About half of the American population is more or less against abortion and most of that group is only slightly religious. Beggars cannot be choosers. Uneasy alliances have to be made in desperate times.
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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All men cannot have access to it, because your deity has created this world knowing all too well, intentionally in fact with the full knowledge there would be parts of the world like North Korea and Japan where his message would never reach or be believed, or thought false due to the coming of a different prophet with a far more appealing message.

Natural law is accessible to all men. Full stop.

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The deity you ascribe to ascribes no value to the human race, he created the vast majority of it in foreknowledge it would serve no purpose than to form the foundations of a bonfire to sate its own ego and need for self-validation.

Another childish tantrum. How old are you?

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There are no absolute values in a Catholic framework, so your accusation is curious at best.

Factually incorrect and diverts from the point I was making.

There's no such thing as any absolute in any atheistic framework, nor an instrinic moral code all men must ascribe to.

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Your absolute morality is by necessity not absolute (...) Your morality is more relativistic than any secular code, at least we have to have a discussion or consensus rather than the man with the most powerful sword arm descending upon the masses to lay waste.

Your emotional fitsonly display the futility of your position.

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There's a myriad of reasons one may choose to see in the expansion of the human races numbers, not purely an instinctual desire to breed.

None of which is absolute. None may compel the consciences of men everywhere to oblige. Period.

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Existence is absurd full stop

So is this conversation.
"All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." ó (Matt. 11:27).
 
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Offline Kirin

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But that law clearly was not absolute as in could never be changed or amended, so your counter example isnít all that great. The real question might be was it okay for an exception to be made for Rehab and by whose authority. Obviously God could have made an exception but Iím not sure if He did or if Joshua did etc.

But if the law is not absolute, it is relativistic.

To use marriage as being indissoluble within its present incarnation, there is nothing preventing your deity from pronouncing monogamous matrimony a sin and declaring same sex acts to be a sacrament necessary for salvation.

If the Ten Commandments and the Moral law itself are up for adjustment as you suggest and it appears they are, it further conflicts with the very words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17-20 where he states the OT laws still stand. You, of course, may claim it is only the moral law which still stands, but the issue we address here clearly is an example of Moral law.

I wouldn't feel too bad, it's hardly a big thing for the Church to change the laws where an eternal unchanging omniscient God himself sets the precedent for the act and provides exceptions to the rule on fancy. It says little for perfect Justice, however, can you imagine if a judge decided every tenth person through the court was permitted to get away with murder?


But Christian marriages are no longer mere natural marriages hence the different rules. Thatís why a pagan marriage can be annulled in favor of a Christian one. Your rhetoric is high and mighty but much of it is fallacious underneath. Furthermore shouldnít you know basic distinctions like this after all of then polemics you have been involved with?

Until God changes his mind again, concubinage was barred to Jews but many an Israelite king indulged with the full favor and approval of God. Marriage was sacred then until it wasn't, it could well change again. Perhaps the Archangel Michael might appear next week and declare the new sacrament of incest and abolish the old law.

The Christian faith, nay the gospels themselves are not consistent in which cases an annulment may be procured and remarriage allowed. Matthew permits it in the case of adultery where Mark forbids it in all incidences. If God cannot make up his mind on such crucial issues, how could anyone else?

There's also further problems regarding the notion of indissolubility itself;     Genesis 2:24 is regularly touted with the language of clefting as one flesh that God intended marriage to be permanent, but then you've got the curious case in Corinthians 6:6 Paul uses the same phrase to describe a man engaging in sexual activity with a prostitute. Hardly an indissoluble union.

It all boils back to the same thing; Christian "absolute" morality is relativistic. The only difference being where modern western democracies rest upon debate and the input of many, yours changes on the whims and fancies on a singular being who is known to assassinate anyone who disagrees. If anything, a western democracy is less relativistic than your deity, since it takes time and review to change the law; whereas Jesus 2.0 could be sent tomorrow to announce the new sacrament of wearing red shoes and the grave sinfulness of eating cheese. 

While you may think you make some good points, separating God from anything is always a bad idea. He made all and keeps all in existence; not acknowledging that does nothing but harm.

Very well, may I ask what good has come from having faith within the pro-life movement? In a long and inglorious track record of complete and abject failure for the past seventy years across the globe, I am struggling to see a silver lining.

I think the religious aspect of the prolife movement is good. That being said the religious prolife movement shouldnít reject support from secular or atheist prolife movements, just like Catholics shouldnít reject Protestant support. The enemy of my enemy is my friend at least where some common goals are shared. Even the crusaders often made allies with certain Muslims. However, in others areas like the existence of God or what the true Church is, there are major differences. Finally, the most effective arguments against abortion are arguments from natural law. Even if atheism gives no ULTIMATE basis for natural law and the immorality of abortion, most people donít think that deep. Itís more practical to argue from natural law where most people will share common premises than to try to convert people and then convince them abortion is against Godís law. About half of the American population is more or less against abortion and most of that group is only slightly religious. Beggars cannot be choosers. Uneasy alliances have to be made in desperate times.

How do natural law arguments work in the secular legal system?

Truly, the concept of Thomistic natural law has been dismantled for a very long time and there aren't any western democracies who will accept an appeal to the theological or supernatural as valid evidence

The most effective arguments in Europe have been positivist and materialistic; drawing upon evidence of the capacity for a fetus to feel pain or survive an abortion. This is far more powerful an appeal to physical empirical evidence and emotion than any potential supernatural phenomenon.

It's far more effective to get what you want as a minority when you play by the rules, rather than trying to physically pulverise a vastly more powerful adversary.

 

Offline Kirin

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Natural law is accessible to all men. Full stop.

Please demonstrate as I have how this is so. The claim is not the evidence, there are many people in North Korea damned because your deity has decided to allow the Kims to remain in power.

"But Free will!". Not if you're a Canaanite or Solomon's descendants apparently

Another childish tantrum. How old are you?

A rebuttal would be preferable to an insult, though I clearly don't expect one to be forthcoming with the challenge it must pose to you to elicit such a response.


Throwing stones while in a glass house. Please demonstrate how I am incorrect rather making statements without backing.
Your emotional fitsonly display the futility of your position.

From now on, I think I shall take a shot of vodka each time you choose to insult me or refuse to answer the problem rather than face the problem.
None of which is absolute. None may compel the consciences of men everywhere to oblige. Period.

[Sip] There are no absolute ones in yours either, God will change his mind with no warning and provide exceptions as and when he feels like it.

God created Mary without original sin, perhaps tomorrow he'd like to create a magic talking leopard with the power to cure mental illnesses.
So is this conversation.

...I'm worried I don't have enough alcohol in the house to keep up if you deign to reply.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 01:33:36 PM by Kirin »
 

Offline Sophia3

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Kirin,
I am not sure exactly what you refer to when you say ďhaving faith in the pro-life movementĒ? I do think ďPro-lifeĒ is a bad name for it. ďAnti-MurderĒ would be better.
 

Offline Kirin

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Kirin,
I am not sure exactly what you refer to when you say “having faith in the pro-life movement”? I do think “Pro-life” is a bad name for it. “Anti-Murder” would be better.

When I say having faith in, I meant having religious organizations taking charge.

To contrast, While in the UK Steven Fry (a famous BBC personality) was an avid supporter of Same Sex Marriage becoming legal, no doubt because he was among the first to get married once it became an option, having him at the front of a Same Sex Marriage campaign would have been foolish due to his anti-theistic views. They wisely instead choose other more charismatic candidates who wouldn't alienate large sectors of the political block.

Anti-murder is rather strong and has a scent of extreme rhetoric about it, we might as call the pro-choice movement "Anti-Patriarchy" or "Anti-Sex Police". Pro birth does seem more fitting, however, and I say this as someone more inclined to more stringent abortion laws, as while immense efforts are put in to ensure full wrath is delivered against women who procure abortions, I can count the number of occasions I've listened to pro-life debaters actually consider and suggest solutions to how to support the new life once it is here on a single hand.

There's an unfortunate and rather popular trend especially within the American Pro-Life movement though not unknown here as well where interest in supporting this life ends as soon as it leaves the womb. We move from "Poor baby" to small government "parasite, why should I pay taxes for your upkeep?" arguments very promptly. Considering that the Pro-Life movement rides almost exclusively on the Republican party known for tight fiscal policies, this effect is only amplified.

For that reason, I do think it should be called pro-birth, as we've yet to see a genuinely pro-life movement focused on the continued welfare of children that considers anything in addition to the birth. After all, many, many abortions are not undertaken to "escape" the "consequences" of sex as many Christians during pro-life speeches have said, but simply because many individuals cannot afford it.

"But adoption!": With couples desiring their own offspring from IVF, and this not being a sin to other Christian denominations, the demand is increasingly falling to gay couples who cannot obviously concieve. Leaving hobsons choice for the devout indeed and one which I'd be interested to hear a pro-life advocate answer; which is more preferable? A dead fetus or a baby with a gay couple? It's an increasingly common scenario as the number of married same sex couples seeking to establish families steadily rises.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 08:02:48 PM by Kirin »
 

Offline An aspiring Thomist

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But if the law is not absolute, it is relativistic.

To use marriage as being indissoluble within its present incarnation, there is nothing preventing your deity from pronouncing monogamous matrimony a sin and declaring same sex acts to be a sacrament necessary for salvation.
Polygamy or divorce and remarriage is intrinsically evil in a Christian marriage because of the nature of Christian marriage. For monogamy to be a sin God would have to somehow elevate or change the nature of marriage to make it a sin. But to do that he would have to also change our natures since even in a purely natural marriage monogamy is good and in fact what was supposed to be. I am not a Divine command theorist. The same goes for same sex marriages. I hold given what we are God could not make them good. God could not make same sex marriages good for any rational animal whatsoever (say even for some alien race or something).

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If the Ten Commandments and the Moral law itself are up for adjustment as you suggest and it appears they are
They are not and Iím sorry if I said something which suggested this.

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it further conflicts with the very words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17-20 where he states the OT laws still stand. You, of course, may claim it is only the moral law which still stands, but the issue we address here clearly is an example of Moral law.

If you are talking about marriage then the moral principles havenít changed but the actual status of marriage.

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Until God changes his mind again, concubinage was barred to Jews but many an Israelite king indulged with the full favor and approval of God. Marriage was sacred then until it wasn't, it could well change again. Perhaps the Archangel Michael might appear next week and declare the new sacrament of incest and abolish the old law.
Where did God condone concubinage for kings? Give actual evidence that makes this claim reasonable otherwise you are being highly dishonest. After all it says in Deuteronomy that kings  shall not take concubines since it will turn the kings heart away from the Lord. It says in Kings that Solomonís heart was turned away from the Lord because he took concubines. Now, did He tolerate it in a certain way? Yes but He permits all evil in general. Grace builds on nature, it does not destroy nature or make something contradictory to the original nature.

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The Christian faith, nay the gospels themselves are not consistent in which cases an annulment may be procured and remarriage allowed. Matthew permits it in the case of adultery where Mark forbids it in all incidences. If God cannot make up his mind on such crucial issues, how could anyone else?

Yawn. We all know what the rebuttal to this is. It depends on where the ďcommaĒ is placed so to speak and yes I know there were no commas in the original.

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How do natural law arguments work in the secular legal system?

Truly, the concept of Thomistic natural law has been dismantled for a very long time and there aren't any western democracies who will accept an appeal to the theological or supernatural as valid evidence

The most effective arguments in Europe have been positivist and materialistic; drawing upon evidence of the capacity for a fetus to feel pain or survive an abortion. This is far more powerful an appeal to physical empirical evidence and emotion than any potential supernatural phenomenon.

It's far more effective to get what you want as a minority when you play by the rules, rather than trying to physically pulverise a vastly more powerful adversary.

I wasnít speaking exclusively for Thomistic natural law per se but natural law as in arguments from reason and not faith. But I think even you will eventually give very similar arguments if pressed (assuming your pro life). Letís examine the pain argument. Animals feel pain too but we eat them, so if anything letís just make them less painful. Rebuttal: but humans and animals are different in X way and a fetus is human so itís wrong to kill them. Appealing to pain is effective for emotional appeal which is effective for most. But it canít be a fundamental argument philosophically or ethically speaking.

ďan appeal to the theological or supernatural as valid evidenceĒ

That can largely be put aside as long as certain premises are accepted like all humans have the same fundamental nature and hence the same fundamental dignity. Even if that premise is rejected, it can still be largely argued for without appeal to God, directly at any rate.



 

Offline Kirin

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Polygamy or divorce and remarriage is intrinsically evil in a Christian marriage because of the nature of Christian marriage. For monogamy to be a sin God would have to somehow elevate or change the nature of marriage to make it a sin. But to do that he would have to also change our natures since even in a purely natural marriage monogamy is good and in fact what was supposed to be.

Your deity claims omnipotence does he not, is it beyond his capacity to change our natures from his original design?
God has created two individuals since the acclaimed at minimum free from the taint of original sin, Jesus and Mary. God always makes exceptions when it suits him, so why should altering something so relatively minor as the role of a marriage be so beyond his scope? Perhaps three hundred years hence he will institute marriage as an institution of pleasure, and sexual reproduction should take place outside of marriage.

Being omnipotent and the creator, after all, it's all within his scope. Meaning this absolute institution rests purely, entirely on what he desires personally and that seems subject to change.

It's for that reason I've always found ever since I was shown it by my niece the Sims to be a wonderful encapsulation of what a world with a monotheistic deity would actually be like. A world of chaos, where nothing, not even physics are stable (God, Mary or whoever might fancy taking the Sun for a dive as claimed at Fatima again).

I am not a Divine command theorist. The same goes for same-sex marriages. I hold given what we are God could not make them good. God could not make same-sex marriages good for any rational animal whatsoever (say even for some alien race or something).

Though if you affirm a same-sex marriage cannot be made good, then the next logical step is that there something outside your deities power. He birthed a power, several in fact, he is now unable to alter.

If God could not declare same-sex marriage (theoretically) to be good, then he is not omnipotent. He may simply not wish to, which would make his condemnation purely relativistic and a matter of his own preference.

 

They are not and I’m sorry if I said something which suggested this.

But they are, in the discussion we listed above we oversaw several cases where God either directly instigated acts of genocide or sent his elected chosen agents to institute slaughter on his behalf. Murder is bad, until God says you can murder this tribe then it's okay.

An omnipotent deity cannot be held to moral absolutes naturally, but if an omnipotent deity exists moral absolutes by necessity cannot exist; because if a power exists that can bend them upon whim they are not absolute and eternal.

If you are talking about marriage then the moral principles haven’t changed but the actual status of marriage.

Both in this instance, as both have changed. While still clearly inferior in the NT the status of the woman has increased, though not enjoying parity they have ascended to the role of an indentured servant to whom the master (the husband) owes a small number of services rather than of a chattel slave to be bought, sold and dismissed upon a whim.

The status itself is awarded by the grace and will of God, which may alter again at any instance at his whim. Should it not be so, then we cannot truly say he is omnipotent as there is a system of power above himself which he himself is subject to.

This is a problem the Gnostics faced, and Yaldabaoth the Demiurge is a good escape from it; God has a God above him, but the overgod doesn't have as much influence upon us as Yaldabaoth does. 


Where did God condone concubinage for kings? Give actual evidence that makes this claim reasonable otherwise you are being highly dishonest.

Kings 11:3 , Solomon (Gods chosen elect) had 300 concubines alongside his 700 wives and princesses alongside his vast hordes of horses and precious metals, utterly contravening Deuteronomy 17:14-20. The bible at no point condemns concubinage within the OT, it is a matter of moral neutrality and concubines held great status within Israelite society of the time.

For the entirety of Solomons life, Yahweh did not object to this, and the only thing he was ultimatley condemned for is to be observed within 1 Kings 11:7-8, where Solomon offered sacrifice to Molech. Yahweh likewise also clarifies he condemns Solomon purely for offerings to Molech in 1 Kings 11:11

Forgive me, I assumed you would be familiar with this narrative.

After all it says in Deuteronomy that kings  shall not take concubines since it will turn the kings heart away from the Lord. It says in Kings that Solomon’s heart was turned away from the Lord because he took concubines. Now, did He tolerate it in a certain way? Yes but He permits all evil in general. Grace builds on nature, it does not destroy nature or make something contradictory to the original nature.

God chooses in the OT when to take offence to sins. Observe other cases of concubinage within the pentateuch where four of Jacobs 12 sons were from servants of his two wives, and Abraham’s first child was from his wife’s slave.

In later Judaism, concubines are referred to by the Hebrew term pilegesh meaning "a mistress staying in-house". According to the Babylonian Talmud, the difference between a concubine and a full wife was that the latter received a marriage contract and her marriage was preceded by a formal betrothal. Neither was the case for a concubine.  Certain Jewish thinkers, Maimonides comes to be as being especially vocal on this subject, believed that concubines were strictly reserved for kings, and thus that a commoner may not have a concubine.

And yet they enjoyed the direct sponsorship and favour of God all the same. If Mamonides is correct it gives another stab to the chest to the notion that morality is not relative; fine for Solomon to have hordes of concubines, not for you.



Yawn. We all know what the rebuttal to this is. It depends on where the “comma” is placed so to speak and yes I know there were no commas in the original.

God couldn't dictate or inspire his gospel clearly enough that we could understand in which instance the break in the sentence was about to occur? I observe Catholics never call upon this notion when challenged by Protestants regarding Luke 23:43, perhaps you'd like to enlighten me how you choose so very carefully where commas should be placed in the not-so-clear word of God?






I wasn’t speaking exclusively for Thomistic natural law per se but natural law as in arguments from reason and not faith. But I think even you will eventually give very similar arguments if pressed (assuming your pro life). Let’s examine the pain argument. Animals feel pain too but we eat them, so if anything let’s just make them less painful. Rebuttal: but humans and animals are different in X way and a fetus is human so it’s wrong to kill them. Appealing to pain is effective for emotional appeal which is effective for most. But it can’t be a fundamental argument philosophically or ethically speaking.

Natural law works on the concept of there being universal metaphysical frameworks to which all human societies naturally adhere, this is patently incorrect. While many societies do share common features such as a condemnation of cannibalism, they are in no instance universal.

In regards to pain and suffering advertised like that it sounds like a baseless philosophical argument, but when used by the RSPCA, PETA etc and couched in the school of pragmatism and hedonism it takes on a real brute force which has led to a reduction in scientific animal testing.

Many atheistic pro-life individuals I've met are actually vegans, on the notion that life is to be valued and worth not ascribed purely to humans as the dominant race, so that would be another point to discuss another time that alters the premise above.


That can largely be put aside as long as certain premises are accepted like all humans have the same fundamental nature

Say I disagree, how do you plan to demonstrate this with a lack of universal sensibilities short of an appeal to imago dei?


 and hence the same fundamental dignity. Even if that premise is rejected, it can still be largely argued for without appeal to God, directly at any rate.

Clearly not, atheists do not enjoy the same liberties in western democracies as theists. I am compelled by law to observe and take part and occasionally even lead Christian collective worship in a non-religious school whereas non-Christian theist staff are not and do exercise the right to be elsewhere when it is conducted. The same is true for the US, one may retire from worship if one has a religious motivator, but not if one has no religion. Though even then, there's many a tale in the US of the rights of Buddhists, Sikh's etc finding their rights openly rode roughshod over by an allegedly secular system frequently hijacked by Evangelicals.

Nobody respects my right not to participate in a religion, we clearly do not have the same fundamental dignity in this society where my (and many other individuals such as homosexuals, divorcees to a lesser extent in certain professions etc) convictions are routinley trampled upon for the sake of someones elses.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 10:11:10 AM by Kirin »
 

Offline An aspiring Thomist

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This will be my last set of responses for the most part.

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Your deity claims omnipotence does he not, is it beyond his capacity to change our natures from his original design?

Sure it is at least in so far as viewing him as all powerful alone. That being said itís not powerful to make logically contradictory things. Marriage is only an institution for rational animals. I hold homosexuality to be intrinsically irrational and hence God cannot make a rational animal for whom homosexuality is legitimate. I donít want to argue why homosexuality is irrational. I can find an article by Dr Feser if u would like. A similar thing can be said about sex outside of marriage.

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Though if you affirm a same-sex marriage cannot be made good, then the next logical step is that there something outside your deities power. He birthed a power, several in fact, he is now unable to alter.

Or there is something ďwithinĒ God that stops Him from making same sex marriage good. That thing is His own goodness. Ssm is intrinsically wrong and God knows this.

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If God could not declare same-sex marriage (theoretically) to be good, then he is not omnipotent.

Except I hold ssm being good is like a square circle which an all powerful God could not make.

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But they are, in the discussion we listed above we oversaw several cases where God either directly instigated acts of genocide or sent his elected chosen agents to institute slaughter on his behalf. Murder is bad, until God says you can murder this tribe then it's okay.
This is an area that I donít know the answer. My working hypothesis is that we owe our very being to God so He is in His rights to take our lifeís when and how He chooses because of original sin and the fallen state of the world. Godís ends were good and His means were good for Him to use but would be evil for us to use on our own. Here is an analogy. Letís say the death penalty is okay for the state. It doesnít mean itís okay for a vigilante to use it, since he is over stepping his authority. A parent may punish his child but that doesnít mean you can.

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For the entirety of Solomons life, Yahweh did not object to this, and the only thing he was ultimatley condemned for is to be observed within 1 Kings 11:7-8, where Solomon offered sacrifice to Molech. Yahweh likewise also clarifies he condemns Solomon purely for offerings to Molech in 1 Kings 11:11

What???? Talk about reading into the text. No where does God say purely because of idols. And even if it did, that would just mean God was punishing here on earth for that one sin. It wouldnít mean Solomon never sinned in any other ways just because he wasnít punished on earth for all of them.

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God chooses in the OT when to take offence to sins. Observe other cases of concubinage within the pentateuch where four of Jacobs 12 sons were from servants of his two wives, and Abrahamís first child was from his wifeís slave.

Tolerance vs approval.

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God couldn't dictate or inspire his gospel clearly enough that we could understand in which instance the break in the sentence was about to occur? I observe Catholics never call upon this notion when challenged by Protestants regarding Luke 23:43, perhaps you'd like to enlighten me how you choose so very carefully where commas should be placed in the not-so-clear word of God?
So, Catholics hold that you need the magisterium and tradition to get the right understanding of scripture. God could have spoken more clearly but He has reasons for not. He also could have given us a vision of hell and said do X you go there. Then He could have said do Y and you will go to heaven. Where would the merit be in that?

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Natural law works on the concept of there being universal metaphysical frameworks to which all human societies naturally adhere, this is patently incorrect. While many societies do share common features such as a condemnation of cannibalism, they are in no instance universal.

There is a difference between how people and societies in general act and how they should act. If your logic holds you prove too much and show that objective morality is nonsense across societies and individuals alike. Replace Natural law in the first sentence with all objective moral theories including utilitarianism, deontology, ect.

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Say I disagree, how do you plan to demonstrate this with a lack of universal sensibilities short of an appeal to imago dei?

Well, all humans are in the same species according to science. If you start saying some humans have different fundamental rights or dignity because we all donít have the same fundamental nature or because we donít have the same abilities, then you will quickly find yourself in the company of nazis and racists and so forth. Why can we kill a fetus based off the inconvenience it will cause? Because it canít yet think and reason, it not fully human. Oh so we can kill granny too? After all at least the fetus will probably be a rational adult in the future.

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Clearly not, atheists do not enjoy the same liberties in western democracies as theists. I am compelled by law to observe and take part and occasionally even lead Christian collective worship in a non-religious school whereas non-Christian theist staff are not and do exercise the right to be elsewhere when it is conducted. The same is true for the US, one may retire from worship if one has a religious motivator, but not if one has no religion. Though even then, there's many a tale in the US of the rights of Buddhists, Sikh's etc finding their rights openly rode roughshod over by an allegedly secular system frequently hijacked by Evangelicals.

Nobody respects my right not to participate in a religion, we clearly do not have the same fundamental dignity in this society where my (and many other individuals such as homosexuals, divorcees to a lesser extent in certain professions etc) convictions are routinley trampled upon for the sake of someones elses.

This is just stupid. Can you not see things from my perspective at all? You have at least some rights or some amount of dignity in my view purely from the fact that you are human. Being an atheist or theist or being gay or not gay is more than just being human so your whole tirade is irrelevant.