Sketches on Atheism

The Lies Evangelicals Tell

Lies 2David McDonnough, an evangelical apologist who writes at Applied Faith, penned a thoroughly interesting post on the language used in the abortion debate: Plan-B” and Other Twisted Words Of MurderThe opening salvo gets right to the point of the article and implores the reader to “use accurate and correct words,” to which all rational people exclaim, “Yes! A thousand Yes’s!”  He elaborates:

This article is not written to focus on the theology of using contraception.  It is written to focus on the right or wrong of correctly identifying the truth about words that describe abortion and abortifacient drugs.  It is about telling the truth to mothers facing a profound and life-altering choice.  It is about language that makes the difference between life and death.  Let’s stop accepting spin-words about abortion.

In a comment David expounds on this idea, cementing his plea by stating: “Honesty and accuracy is all I am advocating.” Honesty, accuracy, truth in the language used: this is David’s appeal to all, and so it is a shame then that David, like most evangelicals who dip their toe into this subject, can’t actually be honestaccurate, or truthful. In no uncertain terms, David is in fact the embodiment of the sin he is trying to smear others with. You see, in his wordy and rhetorical article—an article wholly given over to the language used in the abortion debate—David uses the words “kill” and “murder” with unapologetic abandon. In his article—an article on language—there are no qualifiers or room for conjecture: abortion, as David presents, is killing and murder. That is his language, but a simple question, however, reveals the dishonesty, falsehood, and lies of David’s chosen language:

How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

It is a question I presented to David which, somewhat predictably, he refused to address. He refused to engage it because he knew his entire post (an article which called for honesty, accuracy, and truth in the language used) would be exposed as nothing but an exercise in deceit masquerading as something “thoughtful.”

The simple fact is this: nothing is being “killed,” and nothing is certainly being “murdered.” To kill something means to end its life, and there is simply no legal, scientific or medical way anyone can argue that a foetus before week 25 (but more reasonably, week 27/28) can be “killed.”

At no stage does “life” magically appear in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. The definition of a distinct human “life” therefore is when its twin, “death,” enters the picture. One cannot have a defined ‘life’ without that life being able to ‘die.’ Without death there is no life. The former begets the latter. The latter assigns meaning to the former. One delineates the other, and the legal, medical, and scientific definition of death is not in dispute. Death is when electroencephalography (EEG) activity ceases.

In 1979, the Conference of the Medical Royal Colleges, “Diagnosis of death” declared: “brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead.” This was updated in the 1980s and 1990s to state that brainstem death, as diagnosed by UK criteria, is the point at which “all functions of the brain have permanently and irreversibly ceased.” It was further still updated in 1995 (to present) to state, “It is suggested that ‘irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe’ should be regarded as the definition of death.” This is mirrored in the U.S’s Uniform Determination of Death Act (§ 1, U.L.A. [1980]) which states: “An individual whose brain stem (lower brain) has died is not able to maintain vegetative functions of life, including respiration, circulation, and swallowing [is dead].” And this is equally mirrored in the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Statement on Death and Organ Donation, which defines death as: a) Irreversible cessation of all function of the brain of the person.

Lies 1Evidently, the legal, scientific, and medical definition of death is quite clear. Death is the cessation of sustained brain activity, and sustained brain activity only begins in the developing foetus at week 25, although full bilateral synchronisation is not established until week 27/28. By these simple and indisputable facts it is clear, therefore, that one cannot “kill” something that cannot “die.” Said in another way, something cannot be turned Off that is not On, and to argue anything to the contrary is patently absurd.

And with that, David is exposed for his deliberate lies. Alone, his purposeful dishonesty in a post which beseeches all to be honest and accurate and truthful in the language they use speaks volumes to the degenerate and deceitful depths the clouded evangelical mind will stoop to so as to present their perverted view of the world. Alone, David’s article is just another striking example of why no reasonable and rational person (official or otherwise) should listen to religious fundamentalists in matters concerning the execution of our secular societies.

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225 thoughts on “The Lies Evangelicals Tell

  1. Your post feels to me worse prevarication and false rationality than the post you are criticising. To use the definition of death for an adult or child in the discussion-argument about abortion feels like sophistry.

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    • Hi CB

      The post was about language. If you have any problems with the facts presented I’d be happy to review them.

      Can you, though, answer the question: How can you kill something that cannot die?

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      • Thank you for replying and I apologise for taking a while to respond. Weekends get kind of busy.
        Formally you are correct-but you made the definition of what is alive and I don’t necessarily agree with that. I guess that defining when ‘life’ begins as dependent upon stage of development of the brain is no more likely tobefruitful than trying to base it upon when the ‘soul’ enters. I sure agree that for practical purposes some legal definition might be necessary(I’m not sure I really think that).
        As someone else said abortion is a messy business and all the contrary feelings do not necessarily vanish just because you have a legal definition. Life is a messy and uncertain business and all the arguments about killing stem cells and gametes don’t strike me as particularly relevant. Impermanence and pain and conflicting feelings and ideas are unavoidable and our recognition of that need not result in legalized evasion of those truths or maudlin fundamentalism. People have or wish to have abortions for all manner of reasons-some of which seem very forgivable and some not so admirable(yes, who am I to judge).And later pregnancy abortions are more difficult to accept. We do have some sense of the sacredness of life, even as nonbelievers and that should be cultivated, I feel, rather than strictly rational arguments from narrow grounds. If you are a lawyer then laws are examined and not applied with unfeeling rationality. I don’t think you are a lawyer? The use of the word murder is out of line, somewhat scurrilous and designed to rouse knee jerk reactions. But let us try to act for future benefit not just try to ‘win’ any argument that comes along.

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      • Hi CB

        Good to see you back.

        I guess that defining when ‘life’ begins as dependent upon stage of development of the brain is no more likely tobefruitful than trying to base it upon when the ‘soul’ enters.

        We have to define it somehow, and this is how the legal, scientific, and medical professionals have decided it to be measured. If, as Hariod noted below, our definitions shift in the future then we must all shift in-tune.

        As someone else said abortion is a messy business and all the contrary feelings do not necessarily vanish just because you have a legal definition.

        Agreed, but once again, this post was principally addressing David’s post on truthful and accurate language used in the abortion debate. In that respect it was a clinical presentation of facts, and I apologise if it appeared I was dismissing other important issues. Ideally, the conversation should begin with a conversation regarding prevention, not access.

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    • Hey CB,

      If I can just interject here, John’s point addresses some of the legal definitions surrounding this issue. Because the original poster used the word “murder,” the entire discussion hinges on what that means. Murder involves, among other things, killing “human beings,” and according to medical definitions that the law frequently relies upon, human beings die upon cessation of brain function.

      Implied in this is the notion that before brain formation and activity beginning in the brain, a human fetus isn’t a “human being.” If it’s not a “human being” at that point, then it can’t be murdered. And if it can’t be murdered, then the original poster is wrong to assert that “murder” is categorically a more accurate word.

      What is not actively being discussed is whether or not humans have a moral duty to protect human life before it becomes a “human being.” Such a deficiency has been a glaring and gaping hole in common law jurisdictions for many years now. But this is a different question than the one being thrown about above and in the OP’s post.

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      • Thanks all. I still cannot quite swallow the symmetry of brain death as fully formed human with non or very minimal brain activity as a developing embryo. It is very disembodied logic that finds satisfaction in such a formulation. I have already agreed that some legal definition is necessary(most likely) just to keep society running relatively smoothly but I do not agree that it should be based on such a narrow idea. Yes, our brain seems to be the distinguishing feature of our differentiation from other animals and a definition of what it means to be human. But it does not sit well. I prefer the formulation of ‘is a fetus of a certain stage of development capable of independent life outside the mother’s body’. Albeit with massive medical intervention. Obviously there are many difficulties with this formulation also but it encompasses more aspects of what it means to be a human and I feel not as liable or subject to distortions. There are no hard boundaries in biology as we all know. All is process. The timing from your proposed definition fits pretty well with my proposed alternative so that is not an issue here but wording, again as we all know, affects how people perceive statements.

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      • Hi CB

        I prefer the formulation of ‘is a fetus of a certain stage of development capable of independent life outside the mother’s body’. Albeit with massive medical intervention.

        Yes, I tend to agree, and it’s then a matter of viability. That organism cannot survive by itself, but it can be kept going. And you’re right, the timing does line up pretty much, so we’re not actually dealing with any extremes here.

        I think this quote by James R. Goldenring (a staunch, staunch, staunch pro-life advocate) encapsulates the conversation:

        “I suggest that as physicians we should view human existence as a continuum from the first cell division of the fertilized ovum until the death of the last cell in the organism. When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.” (James R. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Journal of Medicine)

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      • Wording is of critical importance in the law. If you think about it, what you’re saying is that the definition for a born human’s death would not cover a developing human being in the womb. That difference is what has vexed lawmakers, philosophers, and people wishing to be part of an informed electorate.

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      • Oops, I guess I could be accused of veering off topic again. So to set the record straight I do in fact regard abortion even at early stages of pregnancy as killing. It is alive and therefore can be killed. Or become not alive. Somehow we do not feel so strongly about early abortions as later ones so even death does not have simple or definable boundaries except in ‘scientific’ terms.Emotionally – not. And trying to define it gets us into as much trouble as trying to define ‘soul’. At least for arguments sake ‘soul is an indivisible entity and therefore all we get to argue about is when it enters a being to be. The development of the brain is a process and not an entity and we could argue endlessly about when it is sufficiently developed to take over an acceptably large percentage of the behaviour of a being to be and therefore closer to conscious perception. Around 20-25 weeks I guess. Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and do what we think is right in a situation even if it seems cruel and even if we do not have a definition that can justify or rationalize it.

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      • Hi CB

        So to set the record straight I do in fact regard abortion even at early stages of pregnancy as killing.

        You’re entitled to that opinion, but I must draw your attention to the fact that that is simply a factually wrong opinion.

        As Goldenring states: “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

        And this is from another staunch, staunch, staunch pro-life advocate, Dr. Jack Willke:

        “Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual’s life is measured by the ending of his brain function (as measured by brain waves on the EEG), would it not be logical for them to at least agree that individual’s life began with the onset of that same human brain function as measured by brain waves recorded on that same instrument?” (Dr. Jack Willke, Abortion: Questions and Answers)

        These are the facts. Even the pro-life “experts” agree with the position I am presenting here.

        If you want to disagree (and use deliberately wrong language) then by all means present a coherent argument as to how you can “kill” something that cannot “die”? Before you answer I refer you to the legal, scientific and medical definitions of “death” posted in the article.

        The development of the brain is a process and not an entity and we could argue endlessly about when it is sufficiently developed to take over an acceptably large percentage of the behaviour of a being to be and therefore closer to conscious perception.

        There is no argument or room for conjecture here. Bilateral synchronisation is that moment.

        At least for arguments sake ‘soul is an indivisible entity and therefore all we get to argue about is when it enters a being to be.

        The Templeton Foundation, a Christian group, has spent the better part of last 30 years and over US$1.5 billion trying to find evidence of the soul. They have to date produced exactly zero positive results.

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      • I did not actually say that I think there is a ‘soul’. I do not. I only brought it up to compare the ways different formulations result in different arguments. I am not a pro-lifer, nor do I believe in a soul.i am no more convinced by the argument of the pro pro pro lifer than by the same point of view stated by you. And to Sirius I do clearly understand that I am saying the legally permitted death of a prefunctioning-brain fetus is different from the legally permitted death of a brain-dead born person. I am not categorically against abortion and I agree legal definitions are essential. the way in which the legal definition is worded has implications for how people perceive the regulation and the act of abortion itself, and interpret its impact. I cannot honestly say that a fetus is not alive before it has a synchronized brain. Nor do I think that consciousness is somehow a unitary entity- thinking that it is is closer to a definition of soul than I am comfortable with. I repeat I agree we need a defined time limit on legal abortion but any definition of that time limit in biological terms falls short. We make the stated basis for that law as humane and broad as possible and equating it with brain death in a born person does not in my view fill the bill. Nor,I feel I should say, am I categorically against late term abortion. It is a more troubling circumstance, occasionally necessary or justifiable. Life is messy and nobody promised a rose garden.

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      • Hi CB

        I did not actually say that I think there is a ‘soul’. I do not. I only brought it up to compare the ways different formulations result in different arguments.

        Apologies, CB. I thought that was what you were referring to. And yes, if, for example, Roger Penrose’s hypothesis on consciousness (existing at planck lengths between the synapses) proves right then this conversation gets blown wide, wide open. As new information comes to being we must shift with it. That’s all we can do, guided always by the single impetus of working forever towards reducing actual suffering.

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  2. John, the evening after posting the article was filled with actual counseling and ministerial work. Sorry if you didn’t get the attention you felt like you deserved. People who need help are a higher priority than your needy inner child. Had you not been an impetuous child, I may have been willing to answer you. Once again, you’re not worth my time commenting, and had you not linked my posting you wouldn’t get this.

    And no, I will not give you the satisfaction of addressing your questions now. Your effort to goad me into engaging your arguments doesn’t get rewarded. Go ahead, declare yourself “the winner” of a contest of ideas that never happened because your neediness and your personality turn people off.

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    • Hi David, thanks for popping in

      Unfortunately, your excuse here for not engaging the question presented to you doesn’t hold any water. Your first of two comments was: “Let’s see, do I want to argue abortion with an atheist. Nah.” To which I answered: “Wouldn’t make any difference to the validity of the question if I were a Hindu

      Your excuse doubly doesn’t hold water as the conversation went on for a few days, in which you had ample opportunity to address the issue put to you. You were commenting to others in this time, were you not?

      Now, David, this is not a matter of “winning.” It is a matter of being honest, accurate, and truthful… The very things you were demanding others to be. You wanted the correct use of language, but your use of language was dead wrong. In fact, it wasn’t just dead wrong, it was purposefully deceitful. You lied, and you are continuing to lie about abortion.

      Now, it speaks volumes to the validity of one’s argument, wouldn’t you say, when they must lie to present it.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. John
    I still find your reasoning difficult. Although the brain activity is not there as you say, it would be difficult and possibly unreasonable to say the fetus is not alive or the cells are not alive.
    I understand what you are saying, but can’t grasp the ‘not alive’ part fully.

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    • I see what you mean: all plants, for example, lack a central nervous system and so by this definition it appears plants are not alive. But, to be a little more precise, what we’re actually saying is that plants cannot be considered a living human, legally. The legal framework here is absolute (and I’d argue that it applies to a vast majority of animalia – however, meet the sea squirt; the animal that digests its own brain as a part of its lifecycle https://goodheartextremescience.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/meet-the-creature-that-eats-its-own-brain).
      To avoid this definition of life applying to a foetus–and thus allow the use of the word “kill”–we must first argue the the foetus is not a human. At which point, the ethical debate seems to apply to insecticides as well.

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      • but our genetics make us ‘human’ and that’s what many even non-religious on the other side of the debate are saying when they say ‘life’, human life, begins at conception and is developed in the womb till birth. as such, they would say it should be protected and unmolested and that we have the ‘responsibility’ to do so. prolife says that our responsibility to the potential of the unborn child outweighs the ‘rights’ to terminate the pregnancy (ie. ‘kill’ or more softly, end it’s life) for whatever reason we wish.
        no doubt these are difficult issues of both science and ethics.
        I am satisfied that I understand the other side more fully now because of the comments John Z has made. thank you for your input also. -mike

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      • Okay, so if the foetus is incontrovertibly human–as defined by genetics (and I’m not necessarily going to argue against that point)–then the same definition of life applies: it must have a brain that performs at least to vegetative state to be alive (and defined by the contrary: having the level of brain function cease). So, we are talking about a non-living human. Therefore we cannot kill it (nor can we end its life).
        I’ll play devil’s advocate and simply grant that the foetus is human (I think there’s ambiguity there), now we have to question what it means for a right to be extended to a non-living human. I think it gets complex here, but legally we terminate rights at death (unless a right is extended by an executor). Data Protection terminates at death unless there is an active executor.
        So, we’re asking now to make an exception and the exception is to be based in the premise of “potential” human life, I am sure. But as all haploid cells have the potential for human life, why isn’t every menstruation a murder and every male masturbation a genocide?
        I can an envisage an answer to that question, but my answer involves drawing an arbitrary line between “unlikely life” and “likely life” (a blastocyst being more likely to become life than a haploid cell — but still not guaranteed).

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      • Wow. I’m sorry but I don’t understand half of that. I’m going to pass on the discussion as I probably wouldn’t have the ability to keep up. Sorry again.

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      • Sorry if I rushed off ahead without you. I hate it when others do that to me. If you have any questions about what I just wrote, let me know; I’ll try to explain. I think it’s mostly the language, not the actual content.
        If not, have a good evening…

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    • Thanks, Bob

      I agree. It’s fine to have opposing views on any number of subjects, but that opposition must be based in reality, and it should be able to stand on its own without lies as its foundation stone. Where there are lies there is noise, and noise kills adult conversations, especially in this subject where any rational conversation should begin with (and be driven by) ideas as to prevention, not access.

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  4. As usual, your reasoning – utilizing the medical definitions of what constitutes human death – clearly draw a demarcation line between the potential for human life and the actuality of it. This clarity is much needed in the grossly distorted ‘debate’ by fungelicals currently underway that seeks by hook or by crook to reduce women’s legal rights and access to reproductive health care services in the name of ‘pro-life’ rather than what it truthfully is: the anti-choice campaign to bring about the punitive legal ground necessary for forced birth. And the primary assumption necessary for those who favour forced birth is to pretend that actual and not potential human life begins at the moment of fertilization and then conflates the potential of the divided cell to be legally equivalent to actual children.

    This fundamental dishonesty – practiced by those like ‘appliedfaith’ who avoid being responsible for their beliefs in the name of piety – needs exposure to the harsh light of reality. Asking the simple question about how one can kill something not alive fatally undercuts the fundamental assumption about conception as the time when human life actually begins and so it’s telling that those who claim to be pro-life (unconcerned making the actual lives of real women legally constrained and defined by the state of their uterus) avoid an honest answer and face the problems inherent with their reasoning… you know, like an adult. The childish and churlish responses I have read to your revealing and honest question demonstrates exactly this lack of intellectual integrity when it comes to yet another expression of irrational piety… played out in real life by harming not just the legal rights of women but the quality of and access to reproductive health care options.

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    • There’s a very good reason why the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. National Library of Medicine call natural abortion after week 20 “preterm deliveries,” while before that date it is labeled “miscarriages.” There is a distinct line.

      Regarding David, i simply found his article especially ludicrous because he wanted everyone to be “honest” in the language they used. He even says in the post:

      It is about language that makes the difference between life and death. Let’s stop accepting spin-words about abortion.

      Telling that he suddenly didn’t want to actually talk about the language he was using.

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    • And, there is not only the worry about women’s rights of access to abortion, but if that starts to be further restricted (anecdotes tell me it can be quite difficult in some parts of America, I think the last story I heard unsurpringly was Texas), then contraception will be further targeted. Again, taking away women’s rights to bodily autonomy.

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      • And this attack against contraception has profound and pernicious effect with global implications.

        As someone who has pointed out the hypocrisy of Popes generally and this Pope in particular who pretends that he – it’s always a he, let’s be reminded – is honestly and truthfully concerned about human caused climate change – but will not connect unrestrained population increase with demand for more greenhouse gas emitting energy – I find myself constantly under attack by natural allies even in the scientific community whose brains are so befuddled by misplaced piety that they too refuse to connect these linked dots. This attack against women’s autonomy has much broader and negative consequences for all of us – whether we’re willing to lift our vision from the crotches of others over the pious use of these gonads – whether we see the harmful anti-life effects or not.

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  5. Nice concise summary John of the scientific and legal position which we are exhorted to abandon in the face of other people’s irrational beliefs based on a rather old book (that does at one point endorse abortion, or so you all tell me! Don’t expect me to read it;)).

    Your point about ‘honesty, accuracy and truth’ is an interesting one though. As I understand it, all the evangelicals believe the only HAC comes from their holy book, or at least someone else’s interpretation, or maybe their interpretation. HAC is after all, relative, is it not? 😉

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    • Oh, the bible and abortion is another fun topic altogether. I limited the argument here to the language used, but if we look at the bible the Christian doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

      Nowhere in the bible does it outlaw abortion. In fact, if you actually read the bible you’d see that the Middle Eastern god Christians worship is quite definitively pro-abortion, personally and passionately performing many terminations and ordering countless more.

      In Hosea 9:11-16, the son of Beeri prays for his god to intervene in earthly affairs and wreak havoc on the unborn of an entire population. “Give them, 0 Lord: what wilt thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts… Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.” To paraphrase, Hosea pleads that the people of Ephraim can no longer have children, to which the Christian god dutifully obeys and makes all their unborn children miscarry. Now, terminating a pregnancy unnaturally is unmistakably what we today call an abortion.

      In Hosea 13:16 the Christian god is utterly diabolical as he dashes to “pieces” the infants of Samaria and orders “their pregnant women [to be] ripped open by swords.” This, self-evidently, describes mass abortions of such barbarity that it’s hard to even fathom.

      In Numbers 5:11-21 a bizarre and abusive ritual is described which is to be performed by a priest on any woman suspected of adultery; a ritual which results in an abortion. In the text a potion is mixed and the accused woman is brought before the priest who says, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.” As clear as day this is a definitive description of an induced abortion; an act where poison is forcibly given to ruin the foetus and rid a woman of another man’s child.

      In Numbers 31:17 Moses commands “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every women that hath known man by lying with him.” In other words, kill all women that are or could be pregnant, which is plainly abortion for the foetus.

      In 2 Kings 15:16 the Christian god again orders pregnant women to be “ripped open,” which is both abortion and homicide on a mass scale. “At that time Menahem destroyed the town of Tappuah and all the surrounding countryside as far as Tirzah, because its citizens refused to surrender. He killed the entire population and ripped open the pregnant women.”

      In total there are in fact twenty-six separate instances where this Middle Eastern god performs abortions on demand, conducts infanticide (the intentional killing of newborns), and murders toddlers en masse; acts recounted from 1 Samuel 15:3 to Isaiah 13:15-18 where this god not only smashes babies to death but also orders the rape of their mothers. In a word the Christian god is a heinous baby-killing, foetus-destroying monster, and as it turns out his son is also no friend of the unborn. In the Gospel of the Egyptians Jesus not only demands total abstinence but preaches for the outright separation of the sexes, stating that “sorrow” and what he repeatedly calls “error” will remain with man for just “As long as women bear children.” The statement is quite explicit: don’t ever get pregnant, and if you do then abortion is better than birth.

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  6. I suppose I shall have to wait to post my problems with the OP’s post until next week. Calling abortion “murder” raises a ton more problems than it solves. Sure, it’s a flashy bit of rhetoric, but ultimately it’s an appeal to emotion which attempts to shame women into obeying perceived religious doctrine.

    I will say that the most important issue in both posts is whether or not there’s a moral or legal duty owed to a human fetus (regardless of development). Even before the brain is formed and starts working, human beings begin as “living” single-celled organisms. They have a metabolic process, cell division and replenishment, etc. In that regard, the organism can be killed when its cellular processes cease to occur.

    Of course, this issue is more difficult to resolve to everyone’s satisfaction, and I recognize the difficulty in finding an answer people can live with.

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  7. A nebulous, hyperbolic journey down your imagined corridors of time to define the beginning of all life is just not germane to the discussion of abortion in 2015. I’m not the only commenter who sees this. The life-cycle of an individual human being is what was in view in my article, and that is what I’ll write about. If you’re responding to my article, let’s stick to the scope of my article.

    Human beings have an obvious and easy-to-define life cycle. Like countless other species in nature, it begins when gametes that are shed from a parent organism combine to become a fertilized “starter cell”. It ends when the organism can no longer sustain life as an organism. The organism dies.

    Anything that causes the death of the organism is said to have killed the organism. It may be lack of nutrition and hydration, chromosomal defect, or an intended act to end the life of the organism. The crux of the abortionist’s argument is that the intended act to end the life-cycle of a human being occurs before the organism is an organism. The entire basis of the abortionist’s argument rests on the notion that they are intentionally ending the life-cycle before it has begun. When the gametes combine to form the initial cell, the life-cycle begins. The abortionist’s argument is therefore absurd.

    The only word that I used that is worth questioning is “murder”. It is worthwhile to look at the definition and then put it into context. The technical definition of murder is “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.” Here, the abortionist would logically attack the words “unlawful” and “human being”. Let’s focus on those two.

    During the civil rights movement, the African American community asserted that in the U.S. they were denied many human rights. They organized, defined their grievances as “civil rights violations”, and they very rightly won. Even though the law at the present time did not call the denying of voting rights, education and equal protection under the law, these were still rightly called civil rights violations. It was prudent to use the term civil rights violation, even though the U.S. law at the time didn’t concur with the usage.

    Presently, human beings are being denied their most basic right, the right to life, simply because a more powerful force can destroy them in their defenseless, voiceless state. Were you to unlawfully and premeditatedly cause the death of the human being at any time after the term of the mother’s pregnancy, the word “murder” would be without question. Because of a slick parsing of words and disinformation, our present law permits violating the unborn child’s right to life. Not unlike the civil rights violators in the 20th century and before, abortionists are getting away with murder, not on principle, but rather on brute-force and legalistic technicality.

    Uninterrupted, the fertilized egg will exhibit each and every sign of life at some point in its life-cycle: movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition. Each of these signs of life occurs on a common schedule of development as the human being goes through the stages of its life-cycle. To propose that, simply because a human being is incapable of one or more functions of life at a particular time in the normal schedule of its cycle, that it is somehow less that the human being it is, is preposterous.

    And there is your answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, it’s not an answer because it assumes that “human beings are being denied their most basic right.”

      This is factually incorrect.

      No human beings are being denied their most basic right because they are not actual human beings… yet. What is being denied is the potential to become a human being… the same potential denied to stem cells you cast off by the hundreds of thousands every time you blow your nose. By no stretch of the imagination would I then call you a mass murderer and attempt to reduce and redefine your legal rights because, unlike you, I am willing to recognize the difference between an actual human being – you know, like an adult woman – versus cells that could potentially become human beings. The latter – cells – has no claim on legal rights and protections greater than the former – an actual human being – any more than if I advocate that you be denied ENT medical services because we must protect those stem cells on your nose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To may believe that you have a right to declare someone inhuman because of their age is, at its core, eugenic. One person should not to have life-or-death power over another without due process, unless that “other” shows intent to kill or do serious bodily harm.

        What is the motive for people to kill unborn people? (1) inconvenience, (2) lack of resources… both of these are solved by adoption. (3) the R/I/LoM motives are defeated in the value and voice of the defenseless child. LoM has some validity, in the viability of survival for both mother and child, but that extremely rare situation needs to be called by medical consensus on a case-by-case basis.

        If you give in on the semantics, people die. You don’t get to claim a person isn’t a person just because of their stage in life-cycle. To do so is just searching for an excuse to be a killer.

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      • To may believe that you have a right to declare someone inhuman because of their age is, at its core, eugenic.

        Now there’ some fine bit of clear language and honesty! I’m almost sure I actually said that!

        One person should not to have life-or-death power over another without due process,

        Presto! Now a divided cell becomes a ‘person’ by fiat! Very honest. And clear. Slip in ‘due process’ and now we’re talking about equivalent legal rights! How clear can it be? As ‘persons’, your stem cells from your nose lining up to lay charges of manslaughter even as we speak!

        You carry on your gross misrepresentation with the quick diversion What is the motive for people to kill unborn people?

        See? Now we’re ‘killing’ (an improvement over ‘murder’ but the switch amounts to the same distorted meaning) another ‘person’, which brings us back to the main question you will not answer, namely, how do you kill a ‘person’ (a human being) that is isn’t alive AS a ‘person’, (AS a human being)?

        Well, no matter; your point is not to be honest, not to be clear, not to use honest language, is it? Here’ my evidence:

        f you give in on the semantics, people die. (Yes, you’re very concerned with clear and concise ‘semantics’, aren’t you?) You don’t get to claim a person isn’t a person just because of their stage in life-cycle. You’re right… so let’s use the medical definition based on what constitutes ‘death’, shall we? Oh right… can’t do that because we have to ignore just how uncomfortable that compare-and-contrast method makes us feel. So… quick… let’s vilify those who make us think, shall we? To do so is just searching for an excuse to be a killer. Yeah, don’t listen to those who make us think, who provide clear and concise semantics, who use informed professional standards and expertise in medical knowledge, who question our bait-and-switch meanings; they’re just ‘killers’ or wanabe killers.

        Do you ever read the lies and deceptions and misrepresentations you write? Do you ever – even for a moment – consider your own motives for doing so, for rejecting intellectual integrity and respect for other human beings in order to vilify real people in the name of respecting and protecting and championing cells, for your willingness and eagerness to turn you into such an unethical and immoral person?

        Good grief. Where’s a painting shaking machine for your head when you so desperately need one?

        Liked by 1 person

      • That was a long screed. You treat the word “dishonest” as cavalierly as you do the concept of human life. Ending a human life-cycle is profoundly different than collecting cells from a living human being.

        If you’re going to be pro-murder, just admit it. You can split all the hairs you want, it makes murder no less wrong.

        Like

      • Hey, if you want to be identified as a murderer for blowing your nose, then so be it. I happen to think your definition of what constitutes murder is not just idiotic – and it is – but contrary to the very meaning of the term (you know, the honesty of the semantics that you say you hold in such high regard in principle – and misleading posts – but dismiss when it’s inconvenient to your misguided sense of being the Chosen Champion of some cells but not others in practice. It’s amazing you can know the difference which is which based on your expressed definition. You must be astoundingly intuitive to just feel your way through this semantic quagmire you have created).

        I apologize if the length and complexity of my sentences continues to be so very difficult for you to parse. Perhaps you’ll get better practice by not reading so much apologetic rubbish.

        Liked by 1 person

      • According to you, David, it murders thousands and thousands and thousands of real people with legal rights! And it does so because each of those stem cells contain the POTENTIAL – just like the split cell cell after fertilization – of being developed into human adults.

        MURDERER!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi David

      Thank you for trying to now mount a defense. This is not personal. It’s about facts and how they are presented in the public domain.

      The only word that I used that is worth questioning is “murder”

      So, in a post specifically about language you are admitting your language was wrong? That’s a start, but I have to say your other word, killing, is also far, far, far from being honest, accurate, or truthful. Killing (verb): cause the death of a person, animal, or other living thing. By the Cambridge definition: an occasion when a person is murdered.

      You spent 572 words and still haven’t addressed the question put to you:

      How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

      It’s really quite straightforward.

      I have given you the legal, scientific, and medical definitions of death. Explain to me how you can kill something that cannot, by the recognised definitions of death, die?

      Like

      • “Admitting your language was wrong” is a silly little lying tool you use in every attack-post, John. Can you learn a new trick? That’s getting old.

        Your premise of not being able to kill something that isn’t alive is so obviously false. Re-read the part about signs of life. You choose not to acknowledge your wrong, but that just means you are obviating your desire to be ignorant. No one an help you there.

        Your entire argument is based on a lie that no-one of sound mind would accept, so everything you wrote in support of it is a complete waste of digital paper. Go ahead… write more nonsense. It will still be nonsense. The egg was alive when it connected with the living sperm… they zygote was living when it was formed. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t believe it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi David,

        ad hominem attacks have no effect on me, but they do reflect badly on you. If, however, you were not admitting your use of the word, Murder, was in fact wrong then please do clarify that point.

        Your entire argument is based on a lie that no-one of sound mind would accept

        By “no one” you mean the legal, scientific, and medical establishments of four leading western powers, including your own country? Would you like me to post the legal, medical and scientific definitions of death from France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Italy? I’ve never looked them up, but I’m sure they mirror what I have already posted.

        Now, I don’t know why you’re writing that the egg, sperm, and zygote are part of the living environment. As I said, life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. Neither the egg, sperm, or zygote was ever inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. If you could demonstrate that “life” does in fact magically appear in a zygote then this whole conversation will be blown completely open.

        Can you?

        So, I have given you the legal, medical and scientific definitions of death. You have presented nothing. The question remains:

        How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        Like

      • So then you admit you are a murder-denier. O.k., if that’s the ground you want to own.

        You call people dishonest when you cannot possibly what is in their mind, and then complain of ad hominem… childish.

        The medical, legal, scientific communities are coming to realize that humans are humans, even when they are helpless and voiceless. It seems that, for some, realizing they have a conscience effects them. Some it doesn’t.

        Now that this argument is a stale-mate, which is exactly where I imagined it would be, I choose to spend my time where it would be useful. It doesn’t bother me one bit that the world according to John can’t accept killing children is killing children.
        .

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      • Hi David

        By “the world according to John” you of course mean the world where facts matter. Again, this is not personal. It is a matter of what is honest and what is real.

        Now, if there’s a stalemate then it’s you experiencing it as you have failed to advance your position one inch. Your language was and remains dishonest, inaccurate, and untruthful. You are committing the sin you are trying to smear others with.

        The question remains: How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        Now, if you could demonstrate that “life” does in fact magically appear in a zygote then this whole conversation will be blown completely open.

        Can you demonstrate that, David?

        Like

      • I have answered the question sufficiently. You can choose to be unmoved. I will fight for the rights of unborn people regardless who argues in favor of their murder, or how strenuously pro-abortionists argue. Unborn babies may be tiny and voiceless, but they don’t deserve to be murdered.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This video reflects the teachings of a false religion, christianity. There is only one God, and One True Faith: Islam. “The only true faith in God’s sight is Islam.” (Surah 3:19) Arguments from infidel christians are meaningless to God. He hears only the sounds of their lying, deceitful screams as their flesh burns away forever in the pits of hell for blaspheming His name and Religion. “The Jews and Christians say: ‘We are the children of God and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins?” (Surah 5:18) Read these truths and learn, or suffer forever. Allahu Akbar

        Liked by 1 person

      • David worships the king of genocide and mass murder — the inventor of hell, and wants to spend eternity with this Iron age war god. It’s absolutely laughable that he is all fuzzy wuzzy about the unborn. He’s not pro-life. He’s pro-birth so that he and his ilk can remind the born that they are corrupt and will burn in hell for eternity if they don’t submit to his genocidal god.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Couldn’t agree more. He needs to follow The True God: Allah. From the Qur’an: 5:73: “Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no god but Allâh. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.”
        Since we’re talking about language and honesty, we must talk about the honesty of the lying, blasphemous, evil known as christianity. How can a christian form an honest opinion, much less write one down legibly, when he is preparing himself for the torments of hell by worshiping a false god? Truly, we can not discuss reality, or truthful language with such infidels, as their understanding of reality is skewed by their blasphemous faith. There is no God, and no Truth but Allah, and Mohammad is His Prophet. To speak on any serious matter from the point of view of “faith” one must first have a true faith, which without any doubt, christianity is not. The only true language is that which is written in the Qur’an: 2:120: “Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, Islâmic Guidance is the only Guidance. And if you were to follow their desires after what you have received of Knowledge, then you would have against Allâh neither any protector nor helper.”
        Allahu Akbar

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi David,

        And again, if you insist on using factually wrong (deliberately false) language then I will continue to ask you: How can you kill something that cannot die? How can you turn something Off that is not On?

        It’s such a simple question, David.

        Of course, you can open this conversation right up if you can demonstrate to me when “life” magically appears in the inorganic zygote.

        Until then, you are simply being dishonest, inaccurate, and untruthful… and you know you are, which makes your ignorance willful.

        Like

      • Your question is based on a false premise. So, John, “When did you quit beating your wife?”, to borrow a teaching phrase from PR 101. You don’t have to get it… just let it bounce off like facts and other things you don’t like.

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      • Hi David,

        it’s not a trick question. You are trying to frame it as a trick question because it exposes your dishonest use of language. If you want to use words like “kill” and “murder” then demonstrate in a rational, adult, and coherent manner how those terms apply. How can something be “killed” when it cannot “die”?

        Like

      • Cells, yes, or in the case of 70% of all pregnancies, simply tossed out by the woman’s body.

        Do you call this mass of wasted pregnancies (70%) “murder,” David?

        Like

      • Don’t know what that figure is. Miscarriage at 70%. That’s a bit odd. And no, unintentional miscarriage isn’t murder.

        And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go watch the healing hand of God put lives back together at the church house. Remember? I get to witness that every day. Have a good night.

        Liked by 1 person

      • From the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

        “Around half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about 15-20%.”

        50 + 20 =

        That would be 70% of all pregnancies are murdered, in your opinion.

        Like

    • Methinks wee fellow is being just a bit selective—

      “Presently, human beings are being denied their most basic right, the right to life, simply because a more powerful force can destroy them in their defenseless, voiceless state. “

      Okay, a whole lot selective.
      Otherwise the motivated fellow would be storming the White House demanding that the US stop blindly bombing innocent weddings and funerals and stuff all over the place.—or is it okay when ‘we’ do it to ‘them’ (bloody infidels), in the name of Truth, Justice, Freedom for all* etc etc and other hogwash?

      And no—this is not a red-herring straw-man thing … it’s a serious and germane point. No?

      * So long as they are ‘free’ by my definitions …

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t recall this being a discussion about the ethics of war, but we’re you to develop a a position and post it I would be happy to respond. I recommend we do it elsewhere as I don’t want to hijack John’s blog.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t think John would mind, but you have manners. I like that. As for war—with due apologies to anyone I may be insulting: there are no ethics in war. When push comes to shove Ethics join Truth.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. John, thank you for calling a spade a spade. After reading David’s post, and the emotive language he used along with that last picture, it became quite clear to me what his real message is. It’s a subconscious (maybe even conscious) disdain for women. Even their god chose to greatly increase pain in labor and childbirth as punishment, therefore cursing motherhood from the get-go. If he was really pro-life, he and his conservative ilk would be voting to increase the social safety net, not the war machine.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Superb post and comment section, my friend. I always learn from your posts. BTW, this wouldn’t happen to be the David who murdered Goliath we’re talking about here, is it? As a distant relative of said Goliath, I take great offense at his murder. Yeah, Goliath MAY have had some anger management issues, but he was damn nice to women, which is far more than can be said for any evangelical bible-thumper I’ve ever met.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The biblical David was a turncoat, so I wouldn’t accuse this David of that crime. He’s just confused and full of misplaced emotion… and, I’m guessing, a need to see woman ostracized.

      Like

      • I turned-coat once. People kept laughing at me cause the label was on the outside of it, and it took me hours to notice. Silly me. I kept thinking, “Odd that the pockets on my coat are on the inside of it. Wonder why that is?”

        Liked by 1 person

  10. “Evidently, the legal, scientific, and medical definition of death is quite clear.”

    True enough, although for practical purposes it of course needs to be fixed at any one point in history John, and yet still will change both over the decades and in accord with national legislations, cultural settings, and so on. What holds in one place and time may well not elsewhere at another time, or even concurrently.

    I wonder though, is there not room to consider gradualism here? As far as I know, there is no legal, scientific or medical certainty about what animal consciousness is, let alone when its nascent condition arises. Is it no more than a brain and nervous system state? Some consciousness theorists say yes, others no. Nothing is proven; no one knows.

    It seems reasonable to take ‘life’ in the context under discussion to be synonymous with ‘animal consciousness’, accepting the human is an animal of course, and would suggest this arises gradually, and not at all as a measurable binary type of occurrence.

    Forgive me my friend if I am not sticking strictly to the semantics of the matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hariod, good to see you!

      Yes, definitions shift, and if they shift enough in this matter then we will all have to review our positions. As it is, though, at no stage does “life” magically appear in a zygote, so the only measure we have to determined the onset of a defined and distinct human life is EEG activity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fair enough John. Still, if people of the calibre of Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff and others, are positing that human consciousness may arise at the quantum level, then EEG monitoring may be no use whatsoever in deciding its presence or otherwise, and indeed may retrospectively be shown to be a rather crude measurement of brain activity. It’s complex. o_O

        As an aside, your link on my site to Urthecast has sent several people into paroxysms of delight. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glad to hear!

        And yes, if Penrose can establish some grounds to his hypothesis then we have to shift with the facts. As far as I know, so far he’s just coming under a lot of lambasting, which I don’t think is fair. If it’s found that consciousness lurks in the synaptic gaps then I for one will be celebrating.

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      • Hariod, was just chatting to Argus about Sir Roger and found this rather nifty video. You’ve probably already seen it, but in the off chance that you haven’t

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  11. What I don’t understand—am am hoping some Christian can explain—is why it is ‘immoral’ to kill something that has never been alive; but perfectly acceptable (even encouraged) to slaughter the snot out of the living?

    And that for no other crime than being of a different irrational belief system. Them Christians is weird … Islamists too (and the jolly Jews also are delighted to kill and maim for God) (same God, different profit).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. As soon as someone like David utter the words “honest” or “truth”, etc, one knows that what follows is anything but such things. It always seems that they are quite aware that their claims are nonsense and have to tell people that they are being honest and true, because no one would figure that out from what they have said, if it stood on its own. It’s like a poor writer who has to tell you that a character is a good honest person, but their actions do not demonstrate this at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: On Consciousness | FORESTALL

  14. Pingback: On the use of inflammatory language | Clouds moving in

  15. I’ll have to pop along and read that post. I get what you mean. But I find your argument a bit silly the other way. A fetus may not be fully conscious but it is certainly alive – growing, moving, sensing. I don’t think it’s wise to promote abortion so lightly, it’s not a pleasant procedure. Your point certainly has its place, but it just seems so detached from the reality of process. Much like the fundamentalist argument is so often detached from the reality of the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can appreciate that, but this post was a direct response to David’s post on “truthful language.” Read it and you’ll see what i mean.

      The thing is, though, the foetus (until, at the very earliest, week 24-28) is not conscious at all. There are no synapses.

      “But when does the magical journey of consciousness begin? Consciousness requires a sophisticated network of highly interconnected components, nerve cells. Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. Roughly two months later synchrony of the electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythm across both cortical hemispheres signals the onset of global neuronal integration. Thus, many of the circuit elements necessary for consciousness are in place by the third trimester.”
      Prof. Christof Koch (2009)

      http://www.svss-uspda.ch/pdf/brain_waves.pdf

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      • Of course you can eliminate periods (insert cheer) by taking the pill without interruption. But then that would mean permanent contraception which is at odds with the whole point of having sex according to the Christian god’s will, ie to breed endlessly.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I won’t read all of the comments, but I feel your argument that an abortion doesn’t kill because the fetus is not alive is incorrect. A heart beat starts at 6 weeks. If at any point that heartbeat stops the embryo/fetus will no longer thrive, will no longer grow. It will be expelled from the woman’s body, the reason, it’s no longer alive, it’s dead. An abortion stops the heartbeat… And not only that but rips or sucks the body apart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BTW, none of my reasons for being against abortion is based upon religion. It’s from seeing pictures of abortions (those are tiny human body parts), I’ve seen my own children in my body in first trimesters, kicking, sucking his thumb, heart beating… That is most definitely a living being. Also, many women abort after 27 weeks, do u feel she is killing a child then? I feel the abortion side tries to white wash their language so abortion doesn’t seem so barbaric. “choice” “women’s healthcare” “fetus” “terminate pregnancy”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Secret

        Also, many women abort after 27 weeks

        Not sure where you get that idea from but the fact is 99.9% of all abortions occur before week 21. The majority of that number, however, occur in the first 12 weeks.

        http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/

        This post wasn’t about abortion per say, not about pro-choice or forced-birth, rather it was centred on the post David published concerning language. By every legal, scientific and medical definition his language was dead wrong. Prior to full neural synchronisation there simply isn’t any sentience, no hint of consciousness for the simple reason that there isn’t the neural infrastructure in place.

        “But when does the magical journey of consciousness begin? Consciousness requires a sophisticated network of highly interconnected components, nerve cells. Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. Roughly two months later synchrony of the electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythm across both cortical hemispheres signals the onset of global neuronal integration. Thus, many of the circuit elements necessary for consciousness are in place by the third trimester.”
        Prof. Christof Koch (2009)

        It’s for this reason the definition of death is so important, and that is not in dispute: Death is the cessation of brain activity. So the question remains: How can you kill something that cannot die?

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      • There are approximately 1.2 mil abortions per year. Of those 1% are late term…. That’s 1200 a year, to me, that’s a lot. These are women that have carried the (whatever u want to call it) for over 4 months and also have felt it move and kick inside of them. Are they killing the fetus?
        Lol, forced birth??! Talk about playing with words!! When a woman gets pregnant, yes we have to birth it, is the process, so really, every pregnancy wanted or not is a forced birth….the baby can’t stay in forever.
        So, I’m trying to understand your argument. You’re saying that the fetus is brain dead, therefore can’t be killed. How does a brain dead human bring itself to life? How does something that is dead, grow? A tree doesn’t have brain activity, but a tree can die. What about a single cell organism? Plants and cells take in something for energy and expels something as waste. Fetuses do that, so why aren’t they alive but a plant and a single cell organism is?
        I’m on my phone, so please excuse typos lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Secret

        You’ll find the vast majority of all post week 26 abortions (the 0.01%) are performed in matters of extreme medical emergency. But again, this post isn’t about abortion, per say. It’s about the deliberately untruthful language in David’s post.

        You’re saying that the fetus is brain dead, therefore can’t be killed.

        No, I’m not saying that. The foetus has no brain so it can’t be “brain dead.” That’s the point, as exemplified in the quote above. There is no sentience, no consciousness.

        Now, you seem to be trying to argue along the lines of “life,” but you are mistaken. At no stage does “life” magically appear in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Ever. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. The only way we have to identify a distinct human life is, therefore, by EEG activity.

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      • There should never be a need to abort after 26 weeks since with medical devices, the fetus can live outside of the mothers body, so in cases of the life of the mother, let’s try to save both mother and child. Those that choose to abort late term for convenience (this does happen) have these women killed based on the fetus had brain activity?

        The fetus does have a brain, look at ultra sounds. By week 7 the brain starts to develop. The EEG requires the brain waves to be consistent before it’s considered valid, BUT brain the brain does have activity before week 25, it’s just not consistent, it has small bursts of activity.
        I’m arguing life because you’re asking how can you kill something that can’t die, so what exactly is the fetus? If it’s not alive then is it dead? Dead things can’t die or be killed. An abortion destroys the fetus to a point that it can no longer grow and develop. I think saying because the fetus Doesn’t have consistent brain waves it can’t be killed is devaluing human life in its early stages.

        Thank you for having a cordial conversation with me about this very touchy topic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Secret

        BUT brain the brain does have activity before week 25, it’s just not consistent, it has small bursts of activity.

        I’m sorry, but you’re citing false information here. This is a factoid promoted by pro-lifers. There is absolutely no activity before week 25. The article linked below explains how this misinformation got into the public domain. If you read the quote I posted above you’ll see there is simply no possibility of any activity until week 25. That said, full bilateral synchronisation of the foetal brain does not occur until much later.

        http://www.svss-uspda.ch/pdf/brain_waves.pdf

        If it’s not alive then is it dead

        Part of a living system, yes, certainly, but not a defined human being… a human who can “die.” Again, a foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. That’s just a fact. “Life” never emerges in the foetus. Ever.

        An abortion destroys the fetus to a point that it can no longer grow and develop

        Yes, much like a drinker on a binge kills millions of brain cells which cannot be repaired. Cells die all the time. Every 30 days you’ve replaced your entire liver. We are dealing here with cells, not a human being.

        Thank you for having a cordial conversation with me about this very touchy topic.

        No problem, and thanks for engaging it. It is a hard subject, and the noise generated by erroneous posts like David’s need to be addressed and the facts established. I’ve said it a few times already, but any conversation regarding abortion should be about prevention, not access.

        Like

  17. Yes, much like a drinker on a binge kills millions of brain cells which cannot be repaired. Cells die all the time. Every 30 days you’ve replaced your entire liver. We are dealing here with cells, not a human being.

    The fetus is not just one cell, like a brain cell or a liver cell. That brain cell will always be a brain cell and once it dies, it is no longer alive. The fetus will continue to grow and develop into a fully functional baby. You do not see pro-lifers fighting over making kidney removal illegal, why? Because the kidney is an organ, it is a bunch of living cells but it is not a human like a fetus.

    The fetus is part of the living system, so when one aborts it, its not longer a part of it. It is dead and will rot away just as every living system once it dies or is killed. An abortion kills the fetus because as you said, it is part of the living system. Just as if I poured gasoline into the ground, it will kill that tree. So a tree and a fetus can be killed because they are living organisms.

    It is illegal to destroy a bald eagle and golden eagle egg. The reason, bald eagles and the golden eagles are an endangered species and destroying the egg at any stage is destroying a bald eagle or a golden eagle. There aren’t animals rights activist saying you can smash the egg for the first two weeks because the eagle can’t be killed since it doesn’t have brain waves yet. Why can’t human fetus have the same protection as an eagle fetus? Granted humans are not an endangered species, but surely they deserve the same protection as an animal?

    I said in an earlier reply, pro-abortion uses language so people do not think abortion is all that bad. It’s a choice, it’s a woman’s body, it’s women’s health, it’s a mass of cells, it’s not alive.

    I’ve said it a few times already, but any conversation regarding abortion should be about prevention, not access.

    I believe one step closer to the prevention of abortions is to limit when a woman can get one. Maybe make it illegal after the point that brain waves are active is a great first step.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Secret

      I believe one step closer to the prevention of abortions is to limit when a woman can get one. Maybe make it illegal after the point that brain waves are active is a great first step.

      It is. That’s why we have well-defined abortion laws. It varies in the US, but the majority (26 states in your country) have the cut-off at 24 to 26 weeks, meaning they consider a conservative side to full bilateral synchronisation to be the threshold.

      I hope you realise now that there is absolutely no brain activity before week 25. That is a fact. This topic is full of misinformation and erroneous language tossed out by pro-lifers, your above comment is proof of that, and so we must endeavour to always deal only with facts. For that reason I hope you read carefully this following quote by Dr James R. Goldenring, a staunch, staunch, staunch pro-life advocate:

      “I suggest that as physicians we should view human existence as a continuum from the first cell division of the fertilized ovum until the death of the last cell in the organism. When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.” (James R. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Journal of Medicine)

      Like

      • I replied because of your question, How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”? and “Diagnosis of death” declared: “brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead.” This was updated in the 1980s and 1990s to state that brainstem death, as diagnosed by UK criteria, is the point at which “all functions of the brain have permanently and irreversibly ceased.” It was further still updated in 1995 (to present) to state, “It is suggested that ‘irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe’ should be regarded as the definition of death.”

        The fetus’ brain has not irreversibly ceased, as you have stated it will begin at 25 weeks. So, by that definition alone, the fetus is not dead because its brain has not irreversibly ceased. And the fetus does have a brain before week 25. So is the brain dead or alive? If we can kill brain cells and liver cells, why cant a fetus be killed?

        Dr James R. Goldenring, a staunch, staunch, staunch pro-life advocate I was unable to find where Dr. Goldenring is a staunch pro-life advocate. So, let’s just say that he is, I completely disagree with his statement. A brain dead person will stop breathing and their heart will stop beating. At that point, their organs will decay. The fetus is not decaying inside of the woman despite not having brainwaves, It is thriving and growing. So a fetus and a brain dead patient are not the same in the brain wave area. I feel that both are more than just a collection of organs. Doctors still have to get permission to use those organs, they can’t just say, he’s brain dead, let’s pass everything out. They are a human that deserves respect. Just as a fetus is a human that deserves respect. The fetus is at the early stage of its life where the brain dead patient is at the end of its life. And the fetal brain is not the same as a brain dead patient. A fetus can be killed because it is a living organism. The fetus is “On” because it is developing, growing and moving. It is taking in nourishment for energy and releasing waste (like cells and plants do)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Secret

        The fetus’ brain has not irreversibly ceased, as you have stated it will begin at 25 weeks. So, by that definition alone, the fetus is not dead because its brain has not irreversibly ceased.

        Exactly. The brain has not even begun.

        And the fetus does have a brain before week 25.

        No, it doesn’t. The neurons, dendrites and axons, with synapses between them, do not come online until week 25. The first electrical surges cannot occur until all these things are in place. And as demonstrated, bilateral synchronisation does not, in fact, occur until much later.

        So is the brain dead or alive?

        It is a developing organ that has always existed inside a living system.

        Dr James R. Goldenring, a staunch, staunch, staunch pro-life advocate I was unable to find where Dr. Goldenring is a staunch pro-life advocate.

        I assure you, he is, but if you want even greater confirmation, then this is the so-called “father of the anti-abortion movement,” Dr. Jack Willke:

        “Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual’s life is measured by the ending of his brain function (as measured by brain waves on the EEG), would it not be logical for them to at least agree that individual’s life began with the onset of that same human brain function as measured by brain waves recorded on that same instrument?” (Dr. Jack Willke, Abortion: Questions and Answers)

        The fetus is not decaying inside of the woman despite not having brainwaves

        The mother’s body is providing the impetus.

        A fetus can be killed because it is a living organism

        I’ll refer back to Goldenring, who clearly says: “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

        As he clearly states, without the brain the full human being no longer exists, just a collection of organs and cells.

        Like

      • For posterity, the Guttmacher Institute recently released the following report:

        43 states prohibit some abortions after a certain point in pregnancy.

        – 21 states impose prohibitions at fetal viability.
        – 3 states impose prohibitions in the third trimester.
        – 19 states impose prohibitions after a certain number of weeks; 11 of these states ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization or its equivalent of 22 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period on the grounds that the fetus can feel pain at that point in gestation.

        The circumstances under which later abortions are permitted vary from state to state.

        – 26 states permit later abortions to preserve the life or health of the woman.
        – 13 states unconstitutionally ban later abortions, except those performed to save the life or physical health of the woman.
        – 4 states unconstitutionally limit later abortions to those performed to save the life of the woman.

        Some states require the involvement of a second physician when a later-term abortion is performed.

        – 13 states require that a second physician attend the procedure to treat a fetus if it is born alive in all or some circumstances.
        – 9 states unconstitutionally require that a second physician certify that the abortion is medically necessary in all or some circumstances.

        Source: State Policies on Later Abortions (PDF) – as of August 1, 2015

        Liked by 1 person

  18. At week 5 the brain starts to develop…it is there!! It is not fully functioning just as many of its other organs. It takes time for everything to fully function, but just because it is not functioning as it will in a couple of months in no way means the fetus is a collection of organs. That is Goldenrings opinion, I am sure that there are other doctors that feel humans are more than collection of organs and brain waves, if that is all that we are, then we are just like animals and insects.

    The fetus is not decaying inside of the woman despite not having brainwaves

    The mother’s body is providing the impetus. It takes more than just the mother’s body to keep the fetus alive. If that was all that was needed then no woman would ever miscarry. A fetus could never die inside of its mother, but we all know that happens frequently.

    Is it at all possible that with the advancement of science and technology that 100 years down the road we will have devices that can measure the brain waves in fetuses before 25 weeks? What if there is more there but we are not advanced enough to see it yet?

    I will go back to your original question, how can one kill something that can not die, I have said over and over again, the fetus can die. A miscarriage is when the fetus dies. Cells can die. A tree can die. A fetus can die.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Secret

      That is Goldenring’s opinion

      Goldenring is a Professor of Surgery, the Paul W. Sanger Chair in Experimental Surgery, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and, as I have pointed out, a leading figure in the anti-abortion movement. He wrote the New England Journal of Medicine paper, “Development of the Fetal Brain.” I think he’s more than qualified to give something more than just an “opinion.”

      It takes more than just the mother’s body to keep the fetus alive.

      You’re talking here about viability, and the foetus stands zero chance of surviving outside the womb until after week 21, and for it to survive it requires full life support. In your country, the Supreme Court weighed the scientific, legal and medical facts and ruled:

      “Viability (the interim point at which the fetus becomes potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid) is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.”

      This, of course, corresponds to the beginnings of brain activity (week 25), and 28 weeks being bilateral synchronisation. There’s a very good reason why the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. National Library of Medicine call natural abortion after week 20 “preterm deliveries,” while before that date it is labeled “miscarriages.” There is a distinct line.

      A fetus could never die inside of its mother, but we all know that happens frequently.

      Yes, 70% of all pregnancies end in abortion. Like I said earlier, cells die all the time, sometimes naturally, sometimes through our own actions.

      Is it at all possible that with the advancement of science and technology that 100 years down the road we will have devices that can measure the brain waves in fetuses before 25 weeks?

      No, for the simple reason that there is no complete neural structure to make activity possible before that date. The brain is simply not On.

      A miscarriage is when the fetus dies.

      A miscarriage is when the zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or foetus is expelled from the woman’s body. As Goldenring so clearly states:

      “Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists

      Nothing is dying because there was no human organism.

      Like

      • It takes more than just the mother’s body to keep the fetus alive.

        You’re talking here about viability, and the foetus stands zero chance of surviving outside the womb until after week 21, and for it to survive it requires full life support. In your country, the Supreme Court weighed the scientific, legal and medical facts and ruled:

        I was not talking about living outside of the womb, I was talking about the first few months where the fetus is not viable. You said the fetus
        The mother’s body is providing the impetus.
        There is more than just the woman’s body keeping the fetus alive, if that was the case, no woman would ever miscarry because her body is the ONLY reason for the survival of the fetus.

        A miscarriage is when the fetus dies.

        A miscarriage is when the zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or foetus is expelled from the woman’s body.

        The body rarely expels a thriving fetus, the body expels it because something happened to the fetus and it died (heart stopped beating) the fetus was no longer developing and growing, so the body releases it or a doctor has to remove it. NOW, there are times that a woman’s hormones are off or her cervix is not strong enough to carry the child, then the body will expel a living fetus. It takes both the woman and a thriving fetus to carry the baby to term,

        “all functions of the brain have permanently and irreversibly ceased.”

        The fetus can not be classified as brain dead since it does not meet the criteria of having permanently or irreversibly ceased brain activity. The fetus is not the same as a brain dead person. If both are left alone, the fetus will eventually breathe on its own, the brain dead patient will never breathe on its own. Therefor under this definition, the fetus is not dead.

        is it at all possible that with the advancement of science and technology that 100 years down the road we will have devices that can measure the brain waves in fetuses before 25 weeks?

        No, for the simple reason that there is no complete neural structure to make activity possible before that date. The brain is simply not On.

        I am very impressed that you are so confident that we are as advanced as we are ever going to get on the development of the fetal brain. I tend to believe that science does advance and that we learn new things existed that we did not even know about earlier.

        “Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists

        Nothing is dying because there was no human organism.

        Notice his wording FULL HUMAN ORGANISM, he never says no human organism because he knows it is still a human organism, it just isn’t fully developed. But in no way is the fetal tissue not living, so it can die and it can be killed.

        Your original question was How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”? BUT here you say Yes, 70% of all pregnancies end in abortion. Like I said earlier, cells die all the time, sometimes naturally, sometimes through our own actions.

        So you are admitting that the fetal cells can die and that by abortion it is done through our own actions not through nature? Here you have answered your own question, the fetus can die because it is cells….therefor it can be killed by our actions…just as we can kill off our brain cells and our liver cells.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Secret

        The fetus can not be classified as brain dead since it does not meet the criteria of having permanently or irreversibly ceased brain activity.

        Did I ever call a foetus brain dead? What I have been repeating over and over is that there is absolutely no brain activity until week 25, with full bilateral synchronisation occurring around week 28. Brain dead would imply it once had a brain that has ceased functioning. That is not the case.

        I am very impressed that you are so confident that we are as advanced as we are ever going to get on the development of the fetal brain. I tend to believe that science does advance and that we learn new things existed that we did not even know about earlier.

        I have complete and absolute confidence that science and technology will keep advancing at increasingly faster rates. I have absolutely no confidence that foetal development will suddenly alter from its 1.5 million year old gestation pattern where brain activity commences at week 25.

        So you are admitting that the fetal cells can die and that by abortion it is done through our own actions not through nature?

        I have been repeating over and over that cells die. What you don’t seem to grasp is that cells do not equate to a complete human organism… a human being who can “die.”

        Listen SecretSally, it’s clear that I’m just repeating myself over and over. I’ve enjoyed this, but we’re not going anywhere. This post was a response to David’s deliberately misleading, factually erroneous article concerning “language.” If you want to use words like “kill” and “murder” then I cannot stop you. What I can do is simply point out that that language is factually (medically, scientifically, and legally) wrong.

        Like

      • I have answered your own question with your own words. In one breath you are saying that the fetus can’t die but admit cells can die and be killed and the fetus is a collection of cells. Just put 2 and 2 together. The fetus is not a collection or dead cells, they are living cells and can be killed. The abortion kills those cells….now granted, those cells are in the form of a human. I even gave you the definition of why trees and single cell organisms are alive and can be killed (taking in energy and expelling waste). Babies in the womb take in nourishment, use it as energy, and releases wastes.

        I did simply point out that you were wrong. The fetus can be killed and abortion does just that.

        Maybe when a woman miscarries and is heart broken, we should tell her to not be so upset. The fetus was never really alive because it didn’t have regular brain waves, so really she just passed a mass of organs in a skin casing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Secret

        To repeat: a foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. “Life” never emerges in the foetus. Ever. How then do we define an individual human life? For that answer, let’s look to the “Father of the Anti-Abortion Movement,” Dr. Jack Willke:

        “Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual’s life is measured by the ending of his brain function (as measured by brain waves on the EEG), would it not be logical for them to at least agree that individual’s life began with the onset of that same human brain function as measured by brain waves recorded on that same instrument?” (Dr. Jack Willke, Abortion: Questions and Answers)

        You see, this quote by Willke is really quite interesting. If you read the article I linked to you will have seen that Willke based this statement of his on the factoid which you, thinking it was also real, regurgitated earlier. So, what Willke has done here is shoot himself, and his movement, in the head. He has admitted (albeit accidently) that before week 25 nothing is being killed.

        Like

      • Dr. Wilke is asking if it is logical to use the same device that measures brain function in a dying person to also determine when life starts.

        Current scientific thinking regarding when “life” is considered to have started falls into five categories which are outlined below. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there are five possible “points” to choose from and you just pick your favorite. The reality is complex and these aren’t so much five different points as five different criteria leading to five different areas of change that could be defined as “life beginning.” The complexities are best demonstrated in the first category, where life doesn’t really “begin” at all.
        One of the main viewpoints, and the one that possibly best reflects the reality of the situation, is that there is no one point where life begins. Instead, the beginning of life is a continuous process. It may have a start where there is “no life” and an end where there “is life,” but there isn’t a clearly defined boundary. This can be a problem for people who want their world to be black and white and their morals to be absolute, and it is certainly a problem from a legal perspective, where as far as possible things need to be clear-cut and even. Bear in mind that the simple act of fertilization itself takes up to twenty hours to complete — there really is no “magic spark” that some people may like to think that happens instantaneously
        (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/When_does_life_begin%3F)

        The heart begins beating on its own. If at any point that stops, the fetus will no longer develops. So maybe we should use the heartbeat to determine when a person is alive or dead. A brain dead patient will not have a heart beat (breathing will cease and then the heart will) , but a fetus does have a heart beat even without brain waves. You are choosing to use brain waves as the determining factor because that makes your stance on abortion not sound so cruel. If the heartbeat is used as the determining factor, then the pro-abortion side would have to admit abortion kills pre-born babies.

        “So all that this research showed, and reported, about the brain development of 56-to-70-day embryos and fetuses is that they have live nerve cells present in their brainstems. This is not the same as “brain waves” (Willke), or “electrical waves as measured by the EEG, indicating brain functioning” (“The Pro-Life Advocate”), or “coordinating and individuating brain function” (Goldenring). ” (Margaret Sykes “Brainwaves When?)

        The fetus has live nerve cells in its brain stem. The brain is not fully functioning because it is still developing, but the brain cells are alive, the nerve cells are alive.

        “Define “Alive”

        Alive means that this being is growing, developing, maturing, and replacing its own dying cells. It means not being dead.

        Define “Human”
        Human means one of the biological beings who belongs to the species Homo Sapiens. Such beings are unique from all other beings in that they have 46 human chromosomes in every cell. Such beings do not belong to the rabbit family, the carrot family, etc.”
        (Dr. Jack Wilke Abortion: Questions and Answers)

        According to Dr Wilke, the fetus is an alive human. So, the abortion does kill the alive human growing inside of the woman.

        They found “electrical activity” in fetal brainstem cells from 10 weeks of pregnancy (56 days after fertilization) on, but that doesn’t mean much. An EEG involves measuring varying electrical potentials across a dipole, or separated positive and negative charges. Any living cell has an electrical potential across its membrane, and any living structure is a dipole, which explains why people have been able to put electrodes on plants, hook them up to EEG machines, and get “evidence” that plants have feelings. But this has nothing to do with “brain waves,” which are a nontechnical term for a particular kind of varying potentials produced by certain brain structures that don’t even exist in an embryo and associated with consciousness and dreaming as well as the regulation of bodily functions.

        The Bergstroms did not find electrical activity of a kind that had anything to do with “brain function” until 84 days (12 weeks) of gestation, or 70 days after conception. The activity then recorded was not in any way similar to what is seen on a normal EEG, which includes what people call “brain waves.” Rather, the Bergstroms stimulated the fetal brain stem and were able to record random bursts of electrical activity which looked exactly like the bursts they got from the fetal leg muscles when they were stimulated. (Margaret Sykes “Brainwaves When?)

        Earlier you were saying there is no brain, here states that the experiments done, there was electrical activity, granted that is not what an EEG measures, but it is definitely not some non living mass in the skull of the growing fetus. Does a brain dead patient respond to any stimuli? These experiments showed the fetal brain did respond to stimuli

        You are trying to use brain waves as the only determining factor as to if the fetus is alive. No where in science is that used. In fact, when life begins can not even be pin pointed. The fetus inside the woman is an alive human. The question really is, does it deserve the personhood that those of us that have been born have? I believe they deserve the same respect and protection that I have.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Sally

        You are choosing to use brain waves as the determining factor because that makes your stance on abortion not sound so cruel.

        No, I’m not choosing, rather the legal, medical, and scientific professionals have chosen

        The fetus has live nerve cells in its brain stem. The brain is not fully functioning because it is still developing, but the brain cells are alive, the nerve cells are alive

        All cells are part of the living system that began 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. Cells are not a human being.

        They found “electrical activity” in fetal brainstem cells from 10 weeks of pregnancy (56 days after fertilization) on, but that doesn’t mean much.

        This is Willke repeating the factoid. It’s wrong information, which is why Sykes quoted him there.

        In fact, I’m not sure why you made all these quotes as they simply verify the position I am presenting. Did you actually read the quotes?

        No where in science is that used. In fact, when life begins can not even be pin pointed.

        Isn’t that exactly what I have been repeatedly saying? Life never emerges in the foetus. Ever. How then do we define a distinct human life? When the brain turns On.

        Like

      • Since no one can agree when life begins isn’t it wise to be more conservative and more cautious with such a final decision as abortion? If I end up being wrong, unwanted babies would have been born and those can be given up for adoption. If you end being wrong, unwanted babies would have been brutally killed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Sally

        Life never begins. Ever. That is a simple fact of this world.

        Are you suggesting the zygote was once inorganic and magically becomes organic?

        The heart is a muscle. It performs a task. It is not a human being. Nerve cells in the leg start functioning quite early, much like the heart. These are action potentials. They react. Reaction is a task. What you have to bear in mind here is that the foetus does not (until fill bilateral synchronisation) have any means in place to recognise and process that reaction. There is no information flow. Have you ever seen the experiment where electrodes are hooked up to a dead frog’s legs and electricity passed through? The leg muscles expand and contract and the leg moves. That is something like what is happening in a foetus.

        As Goldenring states: “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

        Now, as I said to CB in a comment above, if, for example, something like Roger Penrose’s hypothesis on consciousness (existing at planck lengths between the synapses) proves right then this conversation should be reexamined. As new information comes to being we must shift with it. That’s all we can do, guided always by the single impetus of working forever towards reducing actual suffering.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BTW, I need to stop, lol. I have soooo much I need to do. We will not agree on this subject. I feel I am right and you feel you are right. We will have to agree to disagree. Have a nice week John! 🙂

        Like

  19. John,

    A most excellant post/article/rebuttal, as I completely expected from you. Well done Sir. Care to move here to the American South and help us “minorities” out? 😛

    Debates using terminology like truth vs. lies, God vs. Earth (Satan), perception vs. Nature, I find are all endless rabbit trails and holes when Fundy Evangers are involved in the discussion/debate. I don’t need to go into detail as to why you and I understand that, right? Nevertheless, what I find fascinating and comical with the mechanics of Fundy arguements like this is the human Ego’s condition/need for a sphere of influence of control over its environment… and people. Simply put, and please indulge me & my distant foregone years of Fundy seminary in the American deep South, there are only TWO positions of “exclusive truth” a Fundy can claim:

    1) General revelation which is open to ALL people on Earth, i.e. extremely fallible subjectivism unless it’s a 100% consensus. REPEAT: 100%! And…

    2) Special revelation which is subdivided into two: 2.a — Miracles/Paranormal and 2.b Holy Scripture.

    Think about those 2 sources for a minute. Need I say anymore? 😉 And for those reading who are not fully aware of condition 2.b, the claimed infallible ultimate source of “truth” found in scripture(s) has been well covered by thousands of appropriate historians, linguists, scientists, etc, etc, to be essentially Judeo-Christian mythological propoganda later turned into a Greco-Roman socio-political welfare system. And in its final form, the Canonical Gospels — and there are STILL various forms of this edited amputated canon(!) — are unsurprisingly a compilation of contradictions and religious mythology.

    Fortunately, or UNfortunately depending on one’s personal fears/perspective, that leaves the extremely subjective Miracles and Paranormal, or as I like to say Paranoia. 😛
    The Good News(?), if I can maniacally borrow the phrase, is that theology is wide open free for everyone and anyone to package it as it suits them. Which is ultimately what everyone does anyway, right? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Morning Professor, it’s always a pleasure to read your thoughts!

      Sure, I’ll pop up for a while. Can you set me up in Savannah? That’s a fun town 🙂

      And yes, Truth. Did you read David’s article? All sorts of red flags in a myriad of hues and intensities are launched when a fundamentalist starts talking about “truth.” The irony (hypocrisy) of the article was, though, mildly entertaining, albeit the subject is anything but. Words like “kill,” “murder” and “genocide” serve only to create noise. Such language is unjustified. It’s also clearly not even believed. I mean, if someone truly believed genocide was taking place that person would not be tapping away at a keyboard, penning passive-aggressive articles, would they? If you truly believed you’d be on the front lines stopping this genocide. It would override everything.

      Like

      • I mean, if someone truly believed genocide was taking place that person would not be tapping away at a keyboard, penning passive-aggressive articles, would they? If you truly believed you’d be on the front lines stopping this genocide. It would override everything.

        I read as much as I could stomach, but not the entire post. You’re spot on John. Simple, eh? In my many many encounters with Fundies here, the discussion/debate can always be deciphered into either two personality affects of the speaker/talker/proclaimer based on their terms and voice inflections:

        1. Superior, i.e. conveying elite exclusivity… or
        2. Homo Sapien humility, i.e. conveying warm team inclusivity.

        Imagine the difference. The words, inflections, phrases and terms are quite different. Now, I am not condoning passive inaction in the face of genocide, clear-cut murder as deemed such by a communal consensus (laws), but I also know the biological, genetic, and neurological science (even the quantum physics) of human consciousness and the debate/controversy as to WHEN it starts and begins developing. That is totally aside from the controversies surrounding what days/weeks a prenatal brain, heart, etc, are established. The controversy is by no means black-and-white, nor is it the least bit a theological or religious debate. To try and make it one is to argue that Dennis Rodman is the USA’s best envoy to North Korea. 😉

        The question that too often gets bypassed is… What does the mass of data reveal AND what does the largest consensus of data-interpretors conclude at this point in time? HAH!!! But I’d imagine my sort of question there would create MORE heated controversy… perhaps causing genocidal threats toward me and my kind! 😮

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I posted the following response (sitting in moderation) to his blog a few days ago:

    “A simple look at the plain language definitions of both words [contraceptive, abortifacient] shows the obvious, profound difference…”

    Except that scientists and medical professionals seldom use common dictionary definitions. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states a pregnancy is established only after implantation is complete. ACOG also defines the following:

    Contraceptive: An agent which prevents fertilization of an egg or prevents implantation of a fertilized egg, preventing a pregnancy from taking place.

    Emergency contraception: A drug or device used after intercourse has occurred, but before pregnancy is established, to prevent pregnancy. EC works much like traditional contraceptives, but provides protection after-the-fact in the event of contraception failure (i.e. a broken condom) or unprotected sex, including sexual assault. Plan B and ella are two FDA-approved emergency contraceptives.

    Abortifacient: an agent that disturbs an embryo already implanted in the uterine lining, after a pregnancy has been established.

    Source: http://www.acog.org/-/media/Departments/Government-Relations-and-Outreach/FactsAreImportantEC.pdf

    This definition of pregnancy is echoed by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Code of Federal Regulations (§46.202):

    (f) Pregnancy encompasses the period of time from implantation until delivery.

    According to the plan B website, their product:

    – stops ovulation temporarily
    – prevents fertilization
    – prevents implantation.

    So their use of the words “emergency contraceptive” falls entirely within the medical and legal definitions of those words.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Perhaps the title (“Plan-B” and Other Twisted Words Of Murder) was an honest admission of the tactics apologists should/must employ to frame the argument in their favor. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bingo. That is it, in a one beautifully succinct sentence.

        You must admit, though… The hypocrisy of the article is truly impressive. It takes serious talent to pull off something something like that, and come out of it still being able to look at yourself in the mirror.

        Like

    • That’s really helpful and it’s triggered memories from my youth. If you forgot to take the pill and you later had unprotected sex, you went for the ‘morning-after’ pill. I have no idea how fast those little eager boys swim up inside, but the MA pill sounded like a good idea to me. Everyone makes mistakes, some are costly than others, and helping to minimise them as easily as possible should be a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • One other thing I forgot to mention is that the plan B website explicitly advises that the pills should be taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, and warns that “plan B® is not an abortion pill. It won’t work and shouldn’t be taken if you’re already pregnant, or if you think you are.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • It appears David might have had enough of real-world facts interfering with his cartoon representation of reality.

        Oh well, your comment is here, and will remain here.

        Like

      • “Cartoon representation of reality” aptly sums up the bizzaro world he inhabits. I was accused of “spin-doctoring” just for asking questions. And he’s not the only one. Based on my observations, Internet apologists in general have abandoned the script entirely.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I replied to David in that little exchange. He’s deleted that comment. This is what I said, and which he doesn’t want the world to see:

        “David, with all due respect, it’s interesting that you accuse Ron of “spin” when the opening piece in this article was a blatant lie manufactured by unscrupulous people to create a false impression of the person you’re trying to foul.

        Of course, after showing you that that quote was a forgery you have removed it from the post, but as Roughseas pointed out, your other quote is taken deliberately out of context.

        So, truly, who is trying to “spin” here?”

        Like

      • The comments may not be visible on his blog, but they remain in plain view here.

        In any case, I keep score by the number of questions that remain unanswered. He might hide his failure to engage in open and honest dialogue from others, but he cannot hide it so easily from himself (or that imaginary, all-knowing, all-seeing friend inside his noggin)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nicely said, but it applies to all. This consciousness might be annihilated, but in time another will emerge to (hopefully) appreciate its former states and its long, long, long ancestry 🙂

      Like

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