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  1. #241  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythic View Post
    A human fetus has the capacity to become what you describe as a human person. A fetus will ALWAYS become a human adult, a person. Always. A tree will never become a person. A dog will never become a person. A piece of metal will never become a person. A mosquito will never become a person. A cow will never become a person. A human fetus will ALWAYS become a person.
    You say that a "person" has the right to live. Well, the source of every person's existence is a human fetus. Going off of your points, no other "non person" will become a person. A fetus, which you believe is not a person, will ALWAYS become one. Yet you fail to take note of this fact.
    Unless it doesn't die. You've been saying this for pages, Mythic, and its just not that relevant. Capacities are the very features that cause us to sympathize and empathize with a being's suffering or joy. Without those capacities there is no being to consider from a moral standpoint. Its flesh, not a being. Potential to attain these qualities is something to consider... but its subordinate to the person who must lend her body to the process.
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-22-2009 at 11:51 PM.
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  2. #242  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    Circle, circle, circle. In your moral framework, why does mankind have the right to use animal products and kill animals to live if it's all about capacity? What is it about human capacity that creates a greater right to life than any other capacity? What "intuition" teaches humans these "obvious rights and wrongs"...and please recall that in some human societies, these "obvious" rights and wrongs are completely different from our society despite the fact that those humans have all attained their "personhood." Before you answer, you may want to brush up on the rights and wrongs agreed to by most in India, for example. Be careful, because you may end up discovering that all the "obvious rights and wrongs" you reference are founded upon Christian values.
    You toyed with the idea of engaging in a conversation with your last post, but have now resumed the interrogation game..... until you offer up some answers in turn... to the questions I have been asking you for pages now... I don't see any reason to respond. It's just not that entertaining to constantly answer the same questions over and over while you sit back hoping to trip me up, while not participating yourself.
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  3. #243  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    You toyed with the idea of engaging in a conversation with your last post, but have now resumed the interrogation game..... until you offer up some answers in turn... to the questions I have been asking you for pages now... I don't see any reason to respond. It's just not that entertaining to constantly answer the same questions over and over while you sit back hoping to trip me up, while not participating yourself.
    Especially when you have no answers. You base your human right to life on Western civilization's laws...based on Christian values...and then find "reasons" to deny that right to your chosen segment of "not-human-enough" humanity. When faced with the fact that your moral framework has no foundation outside those laid by Christian values...since many other human cultures live within a completely different set of "intuitive" rules, you have to fall back on your idea that I should allow the subject to get sidetracked onto some hypothetical situation. Sorry, wil, the fact is that your little exercise in philosophy just isn't good enough until you can find a moral foundation outside that laid by God.
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  4. #244  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    Especially when you have no answers. You base your human right to life on Western civilization's laws...based on Christian values...and then find "reasons" to deny that right to your chosen segment of "not-human-enough" humanity. When faced with the fact that your moral framework has no foundation outside those laid by Christian values...since many other human cultures live within a completely different set of "intuitive" rules, you have to fall back on your idea that I should allow the subject to get sidetracked onto some hypothetical situation. Sorry, wil, the fact is that your little exercise in philosophy just isn't good enough until you can find a moral foundation outside that laid by God.
    I'll be happy to resume when you show some sort of penchant for actually discussing things. I've asked you far more things than just that one hypothetical that you claim is off-topic (but isnt) and you ignore them every time. Discussion is a two way street, not an interrogation/lecture. You don't get to claim victory because you did all you could to avoid conversation, till I tired of playing your game.

    To assume my worldview is based or stolen from Christianity is obtusely ignorant.... I can't say nothing has come from Christians... but so many things have cross pollinated and mingled throughout the ages, you can't say any of this comes from any single source. Philosophy of the enlightenment, and other ideas reaching as far back as ancient Greece and Rome... humanity doing things the wrong ways for centuries and centuries.... some things even from Christianity, and Judaism before that. To try and usurp credit for all the wonderful ideas in morality, government and human rights as purely or even mostly Christian ideals is typical revisionist history BS and not even remotely true. When you consider what a patchwork of other ancient philosophies and cultures that Christianity itself contains, it becomes all the more silly.
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-23-2009 at 12:15 AM.
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  5. #245  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    I already explained this by saying that animals with some capacities DO HAVE A NATURAL RIGHT TO LIFE. In other words... it DOES make the case for both human and animal rights, and I have no bones about that at all.

    I would posit that on a philosophical level, rights exist regardless of what is enumerated by founding documents and law.... ie natural rights.
    But natural rights aren't applicable to animals, since they are incapable of reciprocating. A human cannot kill another human for food, but an animal can kill another animal. A human is capable of creating and owning property, which is used to sustain life. Animals do this to a lesser extent, but there is no concept of ownership beyond the most basic territorial instincts, and no contract capability. Animals cannot make agreements, transact trade or make commitments beyond instinct.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    So what? Medical students desperately need cadavers because they are human. Many scientists study other cells of the body besides embryos and culture them because they are human. Once again, you aren't saying anything new. The point that embryos are human in a certain sense was never contested. What's your point?
    With the exception of Burke and Hare, do not kill living people to make cadavers for medical school. By the same token, the cells that people cast off be they organs removed during surgery or biopsies, are not fertilized embryos. They will not, left to their own devices, become full-fledged human beings, but will simply remain .

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Until there is a person there is only the rights of the mother.
    And since the pro-choice movement denies the humanity of the fetus, it's not part of the equation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mythic View Post
    The whole clothing thing is ridiculous because you dont have to kill animals for clothes and many clothing materials are artificial. And all of these animals take up land as well which could be used as farmland instead. Money is also not an issue considering it also takes money to raise cattle etc. But this entire point you made is irrelevant.
    Except that the artificial clothes are usually based on nylon, spandex or some other petroleum derivative, and oil prices drive up those costs as well. But, other than that, it's a moot point.
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    To assume my worldview is based or stolen from Christianity is obtusely ignorant.... I can't say nothing has come from Christians... but so many things have cross pollinated and mingled throughout the ages, you can't say any of this comes from any single source. Philosophy of the enlightenment, and other ideas reaching as far back as ancient Greece and Rome... humanity doing things the wrong ways for centuries and centuries.... some things even from Christianity, and Judaism before that. To try and usurp credit for all the wonderful ideas in morality, government and human rights as purely or even mostly Christian ideals is typical revisionist history BS and not even remotely true. When you consider what a patchwork of other ancient philosophies and cultures that Christianity itself contains, it becomes all the more silly.
    Ah, but Christianity incorporated and adopted those philosophies. Would you have had access to the thinkers of the Enlightenment, the Renaissance and the Ancient Greeks and Romans if you'd been raised in Saudi Arabia, China or the Soviet Union? The point is not that what we call the Judeo-Christian tradition has inputs from other sources, it's that only the Judeo-Christian tradition has nurtured and passed along these inputs. The Christian monks of the Medievel era had a mission to preserve the knowledge, both religious and secular, that came before them. We do not see that preservation among the Moslem or East Asian cultures, much less the free inquiry that followed their reintroduction to the modern world. East Asia sought to isolate itself from the west as much as possible, which led to their exploitation by the west until they chose to break that cycle, with the resulting economic and individual growth that only western ideas encourage. Islam continues to seek isolation, and only expands its influence through conquest or bribery, with the result that the Islamic world has produced no scientific or philosophical advances in centuries. Whether you like to admit it or not, you are a child of the west, and the west is what it is because of its canon of great thinkers whose works were preserved by the church that you disdain as backwards and reactionary.
    --Odysseus
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  6. #246  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    I'll be happy to resume when you show some sort of penchant for actually discussing things. I've asked you far more things than just that one hypothetical that you claim is off-topic (but isnt) and you ignore them every time. Discussion is a two way street, not an interrogation/lecture. You don't get to claim victory because you did all you could to avoid conversation, till I tired of playing your game.

    To assume my worldview is based or stolen from Christianity is obtusely ignorant.... I can't say nothing has come from Christians... but so many things have cross pollinated and mingled throughout the ages, you can't say any of this comes from any single source. Philosophy of the enlightenment, and other ideas reaching as far back as ancient Greece and Rome... humanity doing things the wrong ways for centuries and centuries.... some things even from Christianity, and Judaism before that. To try and usurp credit for all the wonderful ideas in morality, government and human rights as purely or even mostly Christian ideals is typical revisionist history BS and not even remotely true. When you consider what a patchwork of other ancient philosophies and cultures that Christianity itself contains, it becomes all the more silly.
    You have repeatedly failed to show any basis in your moral framework for the human right to life, depending upon a completely lame argument that "human" experience grants human rights. You endlessly preach "capacity," yet can't find any explanation in your framework for the right to life that you grant infants that possess very little capacity. You quote "intuitive" laws that are most certainly not intuitive to many human cultures. You are so grounded in the basic laws given by God, the laws upon which Western Civilization is based, that you can't name any foundation for your beliefs that does not depend upon those God-given laws.

    When, and if, you take any time to study Eastern Culture or the culture prevalent in India - especially before Western Civilization began to change those cultures - even you should be able to see that your foundational beliefs come straight from the Bible (if you can force yourself to be honest with yourself)...and that you've done nothing except warp them. You are right about one thing, it's pointless trying to discuss this issue with you until you actually take the time to figure out your own moral framework and find it's foundation. Otherwise, you'll just spend the next 20 pages endlessly quoting nonsense.
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  7. #247  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    You have repeatedly failed to show any basis in your moral framework for the human right to life, depending upon a completely lame argument that "human" experience grants human rights. You endlessly preach "capacity," yet can't find any explanation in your framework for the right to life that you grant infants that possess very little capacity.
    Its really really hard to take a civil tone with you MrsSmith.... I have explained these points several times over, and your responses are "thats lame" or "nuh-uh" or just flat out denials that I even responded to your points... two of which you do right here. In the meantime you sidestep offering up alternatives of your own when asked. Its a little tiring typing things out to you, when you show a demonstrated inability to actually comprehend what you read or stay on topic.

    All this nonsense about my moral framework coming directly from the Bible really is neither here nor there. You obviously disagree with what I'm saying so it can't be all Biblical then can it?
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-23-2009 at 05:04 PM.
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  8. #248  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    Ah, but Christianity incorporated and adopted those philosophies. Would you have had access to the thinkers of the Enlightenment, the Renaissance and the Ancient Greeks and Romans if you'd been raised in Saudi Arabia, China or the Soviet Union? The point is not that what we call the Judeo-Christian tradition has inputs from other sources, it's that only the Judeo-Christian tradition has nurtured and passed along these inputs.The Christian monks of the Medievel era had a mission to preserve the knowledge, both religious and secular, that came before them.
    Perhaps they felt guilt for sacking Alexandria and destroying the greatest source of knowledge that humanity had ever seen?

    We do not see that preservation among the Moslem or East Asian cultures, much less the free inquiry that followed their reintroduction to the modern world. East Asia sought to isolate itself from the west as much as possible, which led to their exploitation by the west until they chose to break that cycle, with the resulting economic and individual growth that only western ideas encourage. Islam continues to seek isolation, and only expands its influence through conquest or bribery, with the result that the Islamic world has produced no scientific or philosophical advances in centuries.
    Islam used to be the scientific hub of the world... they gave us algebra while Christians were groping around in the dark, trying to make their way through the dark ages that they partly caused. Islam, once the scientific light of the world, fell prey to fundamentalists and literalists... the MrsSmiths and the Policons of their day.... and made them regress to what they are today....decrepit, savage and primitive. That is the future MrsSmith, Policon and other fundamentalist literalists are working to carve out for us.

    Whether you like to admit it or not, you are a child of the west, and the west is what it is because of its canon of great thinkers whose works were preserved by the church that you disdain as backwards and reactionary.
    I have no problem with knowing and understanding that many great beliefs and philosophies have come from Christian sources... but Christians tend to overstate the importance of their own belief system.. and refuse credit to all those people, and events that led THEM to where they, and the west are today.
    Last edited by wilbur; 01-24-2009 at 12:14 AM.
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  9. #249  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Perhaps they felt guilt for sacking Alexandria and destroying the greatest source of knowledge that humanity had ever seen?
    Hmmm... So you blame that on Medievel Catholic monks? That's a stretch, especially since the four main theories of the destruction of the library either predate the establishment of the monastic orders or have nothing to do with Christianity. Julius Caesar's Fire was in 48 BC, Aurelian's attack was in the Third century AD (and both were Roman pagans), the decree of Theophilus was in 391 AD (but he was an advocate of the Nicean creed, which predates the Catholic/Orthodox schism, and his decree was not to destroy the remainder of the library housed in the Serapeum, but to attack the pagans who had taken sanctuary thereafter they had rioted, the damage was incidental) and while the Muslim conquest of 642 AD may have been after the founding of the various monastic orders, even you have to admit that there's no connection between them and the Benedictines. Still, for a vague, somewhat confused attack on Christianity, it was about par.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Islam used to be the scientific hub of the world... they gave us algebra while Christians were groping around in the dark, trying to make their way through the dark ages that they partly caused. Islam, once the scientific light of the world, fell prey to fundamentalists and literalists... the MrsSmiths and the Policons of their day.... and made them regress to what they are today....decrepit, savage and primitive. That is the future MrsSmith, Policon and other fundamentalist literalists are working to carve out for us.
    Your knowledge of the history of the Islamic Caliphates and their culture is a collection of shallow PC revisions of the actual record. In fact, the Caliphs didn't "give" us Algebra, although several Moslem scholars, mostly Persians, contributed greatly to it. The origins of algebra go back to the ancient Babylonians' positional number system, which included quadratic and cubic equations and flexible algebraic operations with which they were able to add equals to equals and multiply both sides of an equation by like quantities. But even that overstates the issue. Islam didn't encourage scientific development, the caliphates simply absorbed the knowledge of those who settled in Islamic lands or that they conquered, and continued due mostly to the indolence and inefficiency of Islamic rulers, as well as the chaotic political climate that their rule induced. Whenever one caliph or one sect within Islam gained supremacy, all others were suppressed violently, and the culture of learning would come to a sliding halt. It wasn't fundamentalism that brought them down, it was the basic assumptions within Islam that a world that exists day-to-day according to the will of Allah is unknowable and the lack of competition between ideas once the Sunni gained pre-eminence. By the time the last Abassid Caliph was killed by Hulagu Khan in the eleventh century, the Islamic world was in a scientific and social decline from which it has never recovered.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    I have no problem with knowing and understanding that many great beliefs and philosophies have come from Christian sources... but Christians tend to overstate the importance of their own belief system.. and refuse credit to all those people, and events that led THEM to where they, and the west are today.
    Not true. Christianity has always had a spirit of inquiry. The Inquisition and the witch trials are the exception, rather than the rule. The university system in Europe was founded by the church, and the Renaissance and Enlightenment happened because scientists pursued their faith through inquiry into creation, not in spite of belief, but because of it. Pick any field of inquiry and you will find its roots in the religious fervor of its earliest pioneers, whether physics (Isaac Newton), genetics (Gregor Mendel), music (Bach, Mozart, Handl, Beethoven), philosophy (Thomas Aquinas), art (Caravaggio, Michaelangelo, Donatello, Da Vinci), you name it. Atheists tend to dismiss all religious sources of knowledge as superstition and claim the mantle of defenders of science, but their knowledge of history is filtered through their prejudices to a far greater degree than Christians.

    Oh, and as a Jew, and a highly lapsed one, I don't have a dog in this fight, so I'd say that I'm fairly objective on the subject.
    --Odysseus
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  10. #250  
    Senior Member Mythic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur
    Unless it doesn't die.
    That makes no sense. Unless it doesn't die? So unless the fetus lives it is a person? What? I will assume you made a mistake and meant unless it dies. A fetus will always become a person unless it dies. It can be killed accidentally by the mother, which is not a good thing. It can also be killed by abortion. That is the whole point. A fetus will ALWAYS become a person, and no other thing on this world will ever become a person. You are ending the process of a developing person by aborting a fetus.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur
    You've been saying this for pages, Mythic, and its just not that relevant. Capacities are the very features that cause us to sympathize and empathize with a being's suffering or joy. Without those capacities there is no being to consider from a moral standpoint. Its flesh, not a being.
    I notice you say things are not relevant when you have no actual argument. A fetus has the capacity to become a person, and it WILL.[/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur
    Potential to attain these qualities is something to consider... but its subordinate to the person who must lend her body to the process.
    Potential can now be considered? For the last several pages of this debate you have denied the relevance of potential completely.
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