Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama's Spending Frenzy and the Cult of Child Sacrifice

"…for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. I will very gladly spend and be spent for you…" (2 Corinthians 12:14)

"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing… (Matthew 13:15)


By now most Americans not willfully assuming the three monkeys pose acknowledge that the present mad frenzy of bailouts, pork binging and budgetary abandon are driving the nation into the depths of a Mariana trench of indebtedness. Despite the self-serving prognostications of the politicians and purported economic geniuses driving us into this madness, it looks increasingly like the desperate thrashings of a drowning victim compulsively sucking deep into his lungs the water that will seal his fate. Once water fills the lungs the only question is, how long the body can sustain itself without air? For our body politic that means wondering whether the bankruptcy of the nation will hit us now, or not until the overhang of debt breaks off to crush another generation. The dead weight of debt destroys us either way, but our heedless willingness to live on the hope that our children will be the ones destroyed by it reveals the essential nature of our depravity. We have exchanged the parents' natural sense of duty toward their children for an unnatural willingness to make of them an offering to the fierce gods of our ambitious pastimes.

Many people who profess to be Christian are actually supporting and applauding this mentality of child sacrifice. I guess that, with the easygoing smorgasbord mentality too often characteristic of some self-described believers in our time, they choose not to have ears when they get to Scriptural passages like the words of Paul quoted above. Apparently God's lesson to Abraham, most emphatically confirmed in the life and fate of Jesus Christ, has no power to instruct them. It does not warn them against their sacrifice of new Isaacs on the altar of what they claim is dedication to good things like charity, compassion and justice. "We serve the god of love, in this sacrifice," they seem to say "therefore it is righteousness." But if their god demands this of them, what they worship is not truly the God who revealed Himself through the book they profess to believe in. For He made it clear that no offering can save us but only the one that He wills, and has provided, begotten from eternity in the love that informs all of Creation.

Quietly, and perhaps sometimes without being conscious of it, such believers sympathize with those who chide folks like myself for unequivocally rejecting the political idol they have set up as their totem of change and progress. We are unreasoning fanatics who insist upon a false perfection, unwilling to balance good and evil in the scales of rational calculation. They do not remember the wisdom of Solomon, who understood that the willingness to sacrifice the lives of our children gives the lie to our professions of kindness. True human kindness acts with loving respect for their wholesome existence. Like Paul and Jesus Christ true parents would rather lay down their own lives than offer up their children's, even to serve their sense of righteousness.

Tragically for these idol worshiping believers, the chief distinguishing feature of their new age totem openly flaunts this abandonment of wholesome respect for life. He advocates and consistently promotes the cultish ritual of abortion, appointing to power those who have assiduously promoted and proclaimed its central mystery, the redemptive efficacy of child sacrifice. Women are blessed by it with relief from the punishment of carrying their offspring. Health is blessed by it, with the specious advances promised by embryo destroying stem cell research. The world is blessed by it, through U.S. funding of programs that promote abortion for population control and social engineering.

If we could resurrect our offspring, as God did, perhaps we might excuse with power our rejection of His redemptive offering. But for all its Dr. Frankenstein pretensions, our technological prowess can destroy, distort and exploit human life, but its creation remains beyond our capacity. We deny, but cannot solve, its mystery. However if, as Christians profess to believe, God's Word reveals truth, there is no mystery about the evil involved in the destruction of innocent life. Are the Christian idol-worshipers like the Israelites, falling down before a golden calf in the very presence of God's Word? Perhaps they are, even down to the treasure they borrow to enamel it, secured by the aborted hopes not just of one child, or even a multitude, but of our whole posterity. "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew, 13:9)

33 comments:

The Silent Consensus said...

Wow, an attempt to link the debt to abortion. Puh-lease. If the embryo is a human life, then even the most pro-choice people today will say that one has no right to kill it. If the embryo is not a human life, then even the most pro-life people today would likely say that it's the woman's to do with as she pleases. It's not a debate over parents duty to their children; nearly everyone (pro-choice and pro-life) recognizes parents are obligated to take care of their children. The question isn't whether parents should sacrifice for their children, the question is whether the embryo is their child or will potentially become their child. I also find it funny that pro-life groups got mad at Obama for saying "punished with a baby" when in fact he was mocking the very rhetoric of pro-lifers that implies just that (i.e. "they are escaping responsibility"), and the entire basis for some antiabortionists' position.

To quote Ayn Rand, who I think says it very eloquently:

"Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a 'right to life.' A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable . . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings."

-“A Last Survey,” The Ayn Rand Letter, IV, 2, 3.

Somehow careless sex is irresponsible because of the possibility of pregnancy when they can't afford it, and then somehow having a child they can't afford to take care of becomes "responsible?" I don't think so

As for embryonic stem cell research. That debate is completely separate from abortion. The opposition is not to embryonic stem cell research, but to in vitro fertilization. As Orrin Hatch and many other pro-lifers have pointed out, these are frozen embryos that would otherwise be destroyed. I get the consistency and logic of those who are against in vitro fertilization and embryonic stem cell research, but those who are just against embryonic stem cell research are saying it's ok to destroy embryos, but not to use them for research that has the potential to save lives.

As far as Mexico City policy, I find it different too. The debate is not about whether we use tax dollars to subsidize an organization performing or promoting abortion for family planning; that is already against the law (Helms Amendment, Foreign Assistance Act in 1973). The debate is whether an organization's performing or promoting abortion (legally in their country, and through their own funds) should automatically disqualify them from any family planning assistance unrelated to abortion. To me that sounds ridiculous. I don't dispute government's ability to attach any provisions they want to receiving funding, but that doesn't mean it's always a good idea.

Dick said...

Well said Dr. Keyes. It always amazes me that pseudo intellectual snobs like Silent Concensus spews mindless drivel paragraph after paragraph in some vain attempt at rationalizing selfishness. I cannot believe that she had the audacity to quote Ayn Rand who has been consistently ignored and even denegrated by academics for her mindless treatist on what she called the Virtue of Selfishness. Oh yea I want to learn more about this babe. Uh..Yea sure. Lefties like Silent Concensus enjoy linking nonsensical terms like "Rational Selfishness" (Another Ayn Rand bogus axiom) to justify their radical beliefs. Here is some free advice for you SC Proverbs 14:9. Look it up genius.

Shannon said...

Dick,
I think The Silent Consensus may be onto something. It (i.e. The Silent Consensus) asserts that no one can know with certitude whether an embryo is life or a potential life. Of course, we clear-thinking people know that there is no such thing "potential life".

Anyone who has taken a mere introductory biology class (at least when it was actually taught) knows that life is definable. A living being shows certain characteristics not found in non-living things. That is why trees - despite their inability to speak, run, or feed themselves - are nevertheless considered living things. If we allowed ourselves to define life as The Silent Consensus (and It's ilk) define life, then we must admit that an embryo is far more living than a tree. But I bet dollars to doughnuts that The Silent Consensus would sooner chain itself to a tree (to save it from the threat of chainsaws) than to stand in front of an abortion clinic to save the life of a child (I mean embryo).

However, as strange as it sounds, The Silent Consensus - I believe - does prove It's argument about potentiality. Consider this: Perhaps The Silent Consensus is a potential human being. After all, only a non-human would write the drivel that It has. Perhaps, The Silent Consensus has the potential of a brain. Clearly there is no indication that a brain was used to write what It did. In fact, what It wrote has been written in Pro-Abort talking points, so it isn't too much to assume that no thinking went into this diatribe. Perhaps The Silent Consensus has the potential for compassion, love, and respect for humanity. Let us pray for this potential as if life depended on it.

Allan said...

Abrahaham's test was to see how much faith he had in G-d. It was not actually to sacrifice Isaac. As an Orthodox Jew, I am not familiar with all of these Christian analogies.

However I do not support Comrade Obama's outrageous spending and powergrabs.

Alan Keyes said...

Allan,
Very true. But there would have been no test without Abraham's real intention to perform the sacrifice. By forestalling that intention and Himself providing the substitute, God revealed one of His unique attributes as the true God- He looked rather to the heart and will as the final proof of righteousness. Yet this did not preclude the fulfillment of the sacrifice, which went forward by God's provision. Abraham's obedience to God was therefore justified by a provision that ultimately made the sacrifice not just a test of Abraham's obedience, but a sign of his grateful humility, which accepted the substitution when a prideful heart might have been resistant to its significance. Sometimes we humans cling stubbornly to our suffering, which Abraham did not. He accepted relief that only God could offer.

Lungfungus said...

The link between abortion and debt is selfishness and irresponsibility.

Ultimately the discussion here boils down to what defines 'Virtue'. Merriam-Webster defines virtue as a "conformity to a standard of right" or "a particular moral excellence". By what set of moral standards is selfishness a virtue? Why is it acceptable for one to refuse to take responsibility for one's own actions? Where did this 'standard of right' come from?

By Christian moral standards, selfishness and irresponsibility are not virtues. If you do not subscribe to the moral standards upon which our country was founded, by what standard do you judge right from wrong? Without a moral standard, without solid rules, one must be guided either by emotion or by how others around him behave.

The stand that The Silent Consensus takes could be based one either his emotions or surroundings, but it originates from a selfish, emotionally driven movement. A movement of 'ME'. It is a movement to be 'free' from the 'yoke' of morality, to be free to do whatever satisfies ones own urges and lusts. The freedom to be selfish and immoral cannot coexist with liberty for liberty requires rule of law and respect for law comes from fear. We are exchanging fear of God for fear of man. How foolish to trade the love of God for the selfish and corrupt motivations of man.

Silent Consensus argues that when limited to the choices of a hard life and no life, that no life is the noble choice. I was raised in a family of eight on a low, single income. My parents embraced their responsibility. When the first child was born, my father was working as a stock room employee at JC Penny making a buck or two an hour. Because he did not shrink from responsibility, my father worked his way up from his next job of bicycle repair to where he is now, a leading systems analyst for Xerox. Supporting the family and the many unexpected medical expenses was a never ending struggle. My parents didn't say, "Oh, our budget is really tight, we can't afford this next child, let's kill it." To the contrary, they showed selflessness. Dad often neglected his own physical needs, performing dentistry on himself and enduring physical pain and illnesses without treatment so that he could provide for the well-being of his children. Fairly early in the pregnancy of my brother, my mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer. All the doctors were in consensus that if she did not abort her baby and get treatment immediately, she would likely die. Despite the urgings of the medical staff and my father, her love for her children, even if unborn, was so great that she chose to risk her own life so that her child might live. She miraculously survived the ordeal and is in good health today.

Today, the example set by my parents is labeled 'crazy' or 'fanatical'. How does the movement that promotes killing unborn children claim to have the monopoly on love and then spit on true unselfish displays of love? Not being able to 'afford' a child or not being able to give a child a 'good life' are not excuses to deprive that child of life.

As a people we should be advocating selflessness and responsibility, not the opposite. As a result of my parents' selflessness, I now have far greater opportunities and comfort then they had. Our nation's greatness is due to selfless moral people, not selfish cowards who shrink from their self-imposed responsibilities.

The Silent Consensus said...

Shannon,
An embryo is a life, but it's not a human. Big difference. And no, I would not tie myself to a tree to save it.

Lungfungus,
Selfishness IS a virtue. Nothing is wrong with being rationally selfish. Selfishness is simply concern with one's own interests. And don't go off and equate someone who pursues self-interest with robbery and one who pursues it with work. A robber's evil is what he chooses to value, what he regards as his own interest, and the fact that he wants to live on a subhuman level. A robber is not evil for pursuing his own interests, his values, and wants to live.

A robber isn't selfish, a robber is greedy. They are fundamentally different. Selfishness is a refusal to sacrifice yourself to others. Greed is demand others sacrifice themselves to you. If I am defining selfishness different from you are, then that reflects adversely on selflessness. You are saying selflessness does not permit one to support his life by his own efforts and neither sacrifice himself nor others.

Do not think for a second that I mean caring for your children is unselfish and a sacrifice. Carrying a pregnancy to term or adopting a child should be done because the couple values having a child. Parenthood should not be felt as a duty and a sacrifice.

Sacrifice is a surrender of what you value more in favor of what you value less. If parents give a loaf of bread to their starving child, that should not be a sacrifice; it would only be a sacrifice if they value their child's life less than a new pen anyway. A parent putting money aside for their child's higher education should not be a sacrifice; it would only be a sacrifice if they don't already have a high value on their child's future. If they are doing these things out of sacrifice and duty, it's clear they don't place a high value on their child's life or future and shouldn't be parents to begin with.

When it comes to abortion, if one believes it's an actual human life and puts a high value on caring for a child, then not getting an abortion shouldn't be a sacrifice. If they believe it's not a human life but put a high value on caring for a piece of protoplasm (which is a life but not a human) which has the potential to be a human, then not getting an abortion shouldn't be a sacrifice. But, if they don't believe it's a human life, it's likely they won't value a potential human over the freedom to determine the course of their own lives, then not getting an abortion is a sacrifice.

I'm not going to entertain this idea that women who get an abortion early are heartless greedy murderers. They simply do not want to sacrifice their actual humanity for a potential human and nothing is wrong with that. If you want to try convincing them that it's a human life, go ahead, and if they are convinced it is and still want an abortion, then they are greedy murderers.

Foxwood said...

You talk about the greedy. It's big government that's greedy. Stop the taxing and spending NOW! It's my money! I know better how to spend it!

chiu_chunling said...

"Life is pain, your Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

I probably could have picked from a plethora of more authoritative and eloquent scriptural quotations, but didn't feel the need. As scientifically inaccurate as the quoted statement may be, it does point to a very fundamental truth of sentient existence. To exist without suffering is meaningless. I have no special interest in the question of whether an embryo is alive and human in the strictly biological sense. The answer is too obvious to even merit a reply from any remotely educated person. And I don't believe that the mother who chooses to kill her child for convenience has any lasting power over the ultimate destiny of that child's eternal existence.

But everyone presented with that marvelous opportunity for self-sacrifice and struggle on behalf of another, who then chooses to discard that highest and most divine of blessings...damns themselves to a smaller and less meaningful existence. I can't favor trying to force anyone to choose a more fulfilling life over the lure of contented insentience, but if we encourage and even enforce that choice we cannot evade some responsibility.

There is a reason that Ayn Rand has always been held up, by one side or the other, as being the antithesis of morality. She was a Nietzschean to the core, who valued only the attainment of power. On the one hand that enabled her to think clearly about the practical effects of the kinds of policies that "compassion" might suggest to those determined to avoid thinking about the consequences of their actions. On the other it doesn't make her the most reliable guide to any discussion of morality.

She didn't confine her contempt for human rights to the rights of the unborn, in her mind the only rights that mattered were the rights of the intellectually superior category to which she assigned herself. The weak, compliant, masses were just as liable to be considered expendable in her view. Sadly, a society in which the able prevail to the detriment of all others is feasible, unlike the socialist utopias that are peddled by more popular demagogues.

Her insights into the inevitable future of all attempts to ignore the fundamental laws of economics and human nature were formidable, and earn her a certain amount of praise, even though they were less profound and far-sighted than those of many thinkers with better morals.

The Founders of America coined a telling phrase to describe a concept they ranked with life and liberty. "The pursuit of happiness." This is no practical sop to the limitations of happiness, for life and liberty are just as elusive in practice. The men who made bold to forge a new nation understood something. To have some good without effort takes away from the goodness of it. It is the pursuit that makes happiness attainable in the end.

It is, perhaps, easier to understand the evil of abortion in terms of the horrific carnage involved, the tiny human bodies brutally slain by crude implements, chemical or surgical. It is easier to explain our objection to fiscal irresponsibility in terms of the descent into poverty, squalor, and even anarchy that we see resulting throughout history.

But what if those superficial evils could be removed? What if the dream of a society which made personal sacrifice and effort unnecessary were really possible?

Would there really be any point in living?

I believe that there is a reason that God created a world in which humans must struggle for what they desire. Because anything obtained without effort is worthless in the eyes of those who receive it.

Lungfungus said...

Per Marriam-Webster:

Selfish: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

Greed: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed

Sacrifice: a: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else b: something given up or lost

Silent Consensus, you say nothing is wrong with being rationally selfish. Who defines 'wrong' and who defines 'rational'? You claim greed is not selfish. Is that right or rational when that contradicts common use of both words and their accepted definitions?

If everyone makes up their own definitions of words, then no one will be able to communicate. Communication is based on rules of language just as liberty is based on concepts of rights.

Right: being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper : acting or judging in accordance with truth or fact

If we all make up our own definitions of truth and reality, how can we expect to have rights? We are sacrificing (as defined above) rights for self-indulgence. This is not rational.

tjmarz said...

the hollow men (revisited)

these men
of power
are hollow
like
piggy banks
filled w/ money
i choose
to fill
my void
w/ the most
powerful stuff
i know of
The Holy Trinity
penny for
your thoughts
Jesus
on the
cross

-tj marz

The Silent Consensus said...

Per American Heritage Dictionary:

Sacrifice:
1. To offer as a sacrifice to a deity.
2. To forfeit (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value.
3. To sell or give away at a loss.

Selfish:
1. Concerned chiefly or only with oneself: “Selfish men were . . . trying to make capital for themselves out of the sacred cause of human rights” (Maria Weston Chapman).
2. Arising from, characterized by, or showing selfishness: a selfish whim.

Greedy:
1. Excessively desirous of acquiring or possessing, especially wishing to possess more than what one needs or deserves.
2. Wanting to eat or drink more than one can reasonably consume; gluttonous.
3. Extremely eager or desirous: greedy for the opportunity to prove their ability.

I'll boil down what I'm trying to say without getting into semantics. Being concerned with one's own interest and refusing to sacrifice oneself to others is not a bad thing. Demanding others sacrifice themselves to oneself is a bad thing. The two are very different. Raising a child should not be a matter of giving up what is of a higher value to something that's of a lower value. Parenting should come from love and care for the child, not from "duty." They should be parenting and raising a child not because they think they have to, but because they value having a child and want the best for it. If that's where their heart is, they wouldn't even consider an abortion. To suggest I should believe an actual human has to give up something they value (the ability to determine the course of their life and future) for a potential human, would not be suggesting I should love the embryos, but hate the pregnant women

Now I will use these words as defined. Love is not selfless and is not self-sacrificial. The person one loves is of much personal and selfish importance to one. If love was selfless, it would mean one has no personal pleasure and happiness from the other person's company, and is just sacrificing oneself for the other person's need of one. I don't know about you, but I certainly would not accept that kind of relationship with anyone. One's own happiness is why one needs the person he/she loves, which is the biggest honor to the other person.

gilbertabrett said...

Dr. Keyes, you know I was at the end of your second paragraph and I found myself reminiscing about watching you speak at a (I think?) Renew America Conference a few years back. It was when Dr. Kennedy was still here. That was the first time I had heard you speak and thought, “WOW! I would go to his church!” I had heard you for years on the political scene and knew you were a believer, but did not know GOD had blessed you with such knowledge, wisdom and understanding - because you searched HIS WORD and HE revealed HIMSELF to you. Thank you for keeping such a classy and intellectual conversation going here; all the while being informative AND entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining, if sadness can be considered entertainment, I feel for the silent person who commented at the beginning here and gave me a slight headache by the third paragraph. If it don’t line up with the WORD, you are just wasting yours…

To help you out, silent person, here is why we know what we know:
(Psalm 139:13-14) For you created my innermost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

In other words, you should not mess with GOD while HE is busy making a baby in the womb! That is HIS business.

And as to selfishness, more on the abortion issue and several other things you all have mentioned above:
(II Timothy 3:1-5; or read the whole chapter) But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

See, here you will get the WORD and we will not pass the plate. All you are required to do is think about it and when you realize GOD is right, go share HIS WORD with someone else. You can argue and disagree with humans, but GOD ALWAYS gets the last word.

Hope you all have a good weekend!

PS – DR. Keyes, you sure are keeping some late hours? That last post… wow…

Terry Morris said...

The Silent Consensus wrote:

I'm not going to entertain this idea that women who get an abortion early are heartless greedy murderers. They simply do not want to sacrifice their actual humanity for a potential human and nothing is wrong with that.

In other words, you're saying that every woman who has ever had an (early) abortion, and that every woman who eventually will have an (early) abortion, does so for precisely the same reason that you would/have; that their justification for doing so follows your justification precisely. And here I thought that some of them are trying to do their small part to save the planet from overpopulation, that others still claim to have the best interest of the [potential] child, not their own, at heart, etc. Silly me.

We can agree on one thing, not every woman that aborts her child is a heartless murderer. Many of them don't see the wrong in abortion at any stage of pregnancy, which is a failure of society (or a success, depending on your worldview) as much as it is an indication that the woman in question is morally deficient.

chiu_chunling said...

I don't disagree with the idea of choice.

But I have to make choices as well. Should I be forgiven for leading away others into paths I know will lead to insentience, because I judge them unready to suffer the burden of love?

Let God judge what His children are ready to bear.

Spirit of truth said...

Hi Dr. Keyes,
Although I am not a catholic I certainly agree with you and stand along side you. What came to mind after reading this thread was this; In 1963 we allowed government to remove prayer from our schools. This act started our country down a very slippery slope toward immorality. We in essence said ,"G-d we no longer want you to take care of our children", this is of course my opinion. Than ten years later we the people allowed roe vs wade to speak for the American people and started allowing the murder of innocent unborn babies. Look back in the old testament we see every time Israel turned it's back on G-d collectively they fell and when the repented as a nation they flourished. G-d well treat us in like manner if we don't repent collectively as a nation through prayers and fasting. The silent majority of the US has sat in the pews and in the their comfort zones far too long; it's time we got busy fighting the evils we have allowed to over take the nation. We are now suffering the consequences of our own as a nation allowing the murder of so many unborn babies.The duly elected man that sets in the white house is simply another of the results of our own sins as a nation. We are in a spiritual battle for this nation not a political one!

FulghumInk said...

I am reminded of the Civil Forum 'debates' where Rick Warren asked Hussein Obama, "When does life begin?" This citizen was astounded at Hussein's answer, knowing his radical culure of death and destruction mentality. Hussein Obama's answer was, "That is above my pay grade."

It was immediately evident to this citizen that Hussein Obama's answer mockingly pointed to God while hiding the venal deception that the killing of our unborn citizens, and born alive children was not above his pay grade.

With the sustenance of the news media and other liberal rot, Hussein Obama floats to anywhere he is 'present' from a culture of death and destruction.

The Silent Consensus said...

Spirit of truth,
So you are essentially saying that the only way to raise moral children and have a moral nation is for us to unite around something that has no logic or reason. As I have said before on here, I happen to believe in God, but I will say again that I realize I have no logical basis for it, and no reason or evidence to support this belief. My belief is simply faith, and faith by definition requires a suspension of logic and reason. The argument that our schools and society has gone down from "driving God out" is saying that our survival and strength depends on our suspending logic and reason. I don't see how on earth that can be the case, and I would think the opposite is true.

jadavison said...

Life does not begin again. It can only end. It is a continuum going back to the first of our ancestors. Both the sperm and the ovum are very much alive and did not die when they fused. From that fusion more sperm and eggs derive. While the number of independent Creations is unknown, one can be certain that there has been a living continuum since the one that produced Homo sapiens.

The Silent Consensus said...

jadavison,
Agreed. I haven't disputed that it's a life, I've just disputed that it's a human.

Dick said...

The Silent Consensus said:
I haven't disputed that it's a life, I've just disputed that it's a human.
Your lack of understanding about when life begins is almost childlike.
Perhaps this will help, Mommy provides 23 chromosomes and daddy provides 23 chromosomes during procreation which make up 46 of them total. This is from the moment of fertilization and is a complete number all the way through pregnancy. From day one to the ninth month it is still 46, the number doses not grow just because the baby does.
Now if I am following your skewed logic the difference is intellect.
So a 12-year-old boy or girl is more human than a 1-year-old child? Then the question arises is a politician or athlete more a human than a wheelchair-bound paraplegic? Is it your intent to stratify intrinsic human dignity and worth? Are you then suggesting that human equality is a myth? If this is what you are contending then you are demeaning entire classes of people.
I like what Geneticist Jerome Lejeune said many years ago:
"…each of us has a unique beginning, the moment of conception … As soon as the 23 chromosomes carried by the sperm encounter the 23 chromosomes carried by the ovum, the whole information necessary and sufficient to spell out all the characteristics of the new being is gathered … a new human being is defined which has never occurred before and will never occur again … [it] is not just simply a non-descript cell, or a ‘population’ or loose ‘collection’ of cells, but a very specialized individual …"
And then Dr. Kischer, emeritus professor of Anatomy at the University of Arizona, observed,
"The first thing learned in human embryology [is] that the life of the new individual human being begins at fertilization (conception)". We should respect a microscopic human embryo because at that time it is an integrated whole organism, just as the human is at every moment in time until death. Every human embryo deserves as much respect as you or I because it is formed as a new individual human life within the continuum of life …" To deny this, is a trivialization and corruption of the science of human embryology."
Silent Consensus reminds me of so many others who I observed while studying for my PhD and summed up so eloquently in 2 Timothy3:7 “Ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth”.

jadavison said...

Whatever else he is, man is an animal.

The Silent Consensus said...

Dick,
You are confusing potential and actual. If we are going to confuse the two, we can all be considered corpses and burying someone alive is justified. In its actual form during the first trimester, it is a cluster of primitive cells that exist as part of the woman (I'll go even further, an embryo is more primitive than a dog or a cat). Every single human cell has the 46 chromosomes, including our tonsils, appendix, and skin cells. If you've ever had your tonsils or appendix taken out, you're a murderer by your logic. If you've ever showered, you've killed some of your skin cells. Do you morally condemn yourself everytime you shower?

As far as your 1 year old vs. 12 year old, no, they are equally human. They are both independently existing beings possessing the faculty of reason. Do not go off for a second to think I am saying that the mentally-challenged are not human. When we are talking about definitions, we are talking about in principle, or fundamentally. Mentally-challenged people who don't possess the faculty of reason, those cases are incidental. With an embryo, it's impossible in principle. This logic is similar to Ambassador Keyes's logic about marriage being irrelevant and not needed when procreation is impossible in principle, but that assertion does not apply to infertile couples because that's incidental, whereas two people of the same gender cannot procreate in principle. They can incidentally through other means, but not in principle. I happen to disagree with his position on marriage equality, but it's the same logic. He even disagrees with the premise of my logic on human life, but the logic employed is the same.

Bottom line: A few human cells =/= person.

Dick said...

Whatever else he is, man is an animal.

Wow! What an estute observation and so replete with empirical evidence.

chiu_chunling said...

Meaning that it is irrational to suggest that we should try to define "human life" in terms other than what is supported by biological science?

I happen to agree with that.

As a matter of simple biological fact, a pre-natal child, from the moment of conception, is both fully human and unarguably alive. This has less importance to me than to some, since I regard the unique value of human life as arising from its potential for sentient development. Sin, at least as commonly understood in Western tradition, is identified with behaviors that limit sentient potential (generally, actions which reflect a reflexive choice of short term pleasure over longer term gains in sentience, or a deliberate attempt to destroy sentience). So it is not inconsistent for me to use the language of sin and repentance (meaning "thinking again", an important sentient activity) in describing the moral value of human life. Some lives only have the potential for sentience, some express active sentient development, some demonstrate an entrenched behavior pattern characteristic of loss of sentience.

Still, from my perspective, innocent human life has higher value than depraved human life. Even so, I cannot recommend a resort to Utilitarian style arithmetic in justifying courses of action which would be, on the face of it, morally unacceptable (meaning incompatible with a general desire to promote moral accountability and freedom). I do have a basic desire to protect and develop my own sentience as well, after all.

This is why I am not an absolutist about abortion. I believe it is generally wrong, and making such a choice would usually lead to a deterioration of sentience (in addition to the removal of sentient potential from the embryonic life), and that it is incumbent on us to end practices which distort the fundamental cybernetics of that decision by removing the current structure of incentives and deceptions designed to prevent young women from understanding or taking responsibility for the action of terminating a human life.

If a woman, fully understanding the exact nature of what she is doing (including all pertinent medical dimensions), chooses to terminate the life of her pre-natal child while taking full responsibility for her action in doing so (rather than passing it off to some "service provider"), then the basic cybernetic requirements of freedom are fulfilled. If, in addition, she has made her decision based on a serious intention to promote sentience (rather than self-gratification) in light of the fact of limited resources, I would rather limit my interference in her choice to argument, even presuming I believe her wrong.

In a practical sense, I recognize the cybernetic utility of making this action a crime, though tacitly permitted by lax enforcement. But at the same time I cannot approve of the broad practice of creating laws that are intended to be interpreted in a manner contrary to their face value. So I would rather be cautious in making laws going beyond outlawing adverse third-party interventions in pregnancies. If a significant abuse of abortion remains and cannot be corrected by moral suasion, then perhaps a law would be justified.

But I believe that simply removing the perverse legal and financial incentives in favor of abortion will be enough to allow education and moral persuasion to practically eliminate the practice without unduly interfering in the rights and responsibilities of pregnant mothers for their own children.

The Silent Consensus said...

I noticed Ambassador Keyes's thoughtlet about Obama using taxpayer money to bring Palestinians to the U.S. I would be as disgusted as everyone else who posts here if that was the case, but thankfully it isn't. The money in this case is being used for humanitarian aid, not migration assistance. http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_pay_for_hamas-affiliated_terrorists_to.html

Alan Keyes said...

Silent Consensus:
Just FYI I served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations during Reagan's tenure. I have first hand knowledge of how UN organizations actually function. The UNRWA works closely with Hamas in Gaza. Any monies given to Hamas are fungible (what is given in one area frees up funds for use elsewhere.) UNRWA is also notorious for ignoring the actual use to which funds are put. That's why it's reasonable to assume that any money given to Hamas through UNRWA can and will be used to support their terror work, including sending cadre to the US. I therefore stand by what I have written. (I did not approve of the Bush administration's willingness to work (directly or indirectly) with the terror groups either, by the way.)
As others have pointed out, no one on this site is taken in by your citing of factcheck.org as if it is an unbiased source of information. It is Annenberg Foundation funded and therefore Obama connected. In this case they are also just spouting the usual uninformed swill put out by the pro-Palestinian propagandists at the UN and yes, sadly, the US State Department.

The Silent Consensus said...

Ambassador,
I am aware you served a significant role under Ronald Reagan, hence the title Ambassador.

You're doubting the unbias of FactCheck.org. Please. But then again, I'm not surprised, as it's the same logic you just used that's the logic of the notion that Evolution claims we descended from monkeys. It doesn't, it says we share a common ancestor with monkeys. Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the Annenberg Public Policy Center were both started with a grant/endowment from The Annenberg Foundation. The Foundation is not owned or controlled by Obama, and it's ridiculous to imply otherwise.

The Foundation was started by Walter Annenberg and they are a charitable organization. They have contributed a lot of money for education in America http://www.nytimes.com/1993/12/18/us/clinton-hails-annenberg-s-500-million-education-gift.html?scp=1&sq=annenberg+%24500+million+schools&st=nyt and more. If you want to refute their logic and reason then fine, but I hope you do not need to discredit an honorable charity organization and suggest they have connection to Obama when they don't.

Yes, UNRWA has problems related to Hamas, and I have no love for them or any of the UN. Regardless, they are not bringing Palestinian refugees to the United States

Alan Keyes said...

Silent Con:
I didn't say anything about refugees. The phrase was "Hamas Loving Palestinians." I try never to apply the term "refugees" to the Palestinians. That's a propaganda fiction perpetrated by the Arab countries to escape their responsibility for the aftermath of their efforts to destroy Israel.

The Silent Consensus said...

I can agree with that but my main point remains

chiu_chunling said...

Your main point remains...what on earth is your point?

Since none of the money given to Hamas ever ends up actually being used for genuine humanitarian purposes (discounting the indiscriminate murder of Jews, which much of the world still apparently considers a service), I find it hard to understand how anyone would actually think that money given to Hamas, whatever the nominal purpose, was actually going to end up being used for humanitarian aid.

It'd be like somebody giving me money to pay off my mortgage. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't have a mortgage to pay off.

Whatever, I know Hamas is just doing their job, just as you are. But if that counts as a defense, then I would like it applied to myself. Be sure and tell everyone, "Chiu's just doing his job." You'll know when.

Maybe.

The Silent Consensus said...

who said it's going to Hamas?

chiu_chunling said...

Please, please "don't" send me hundreds of millions of dollars. Choose whatever method of "not" sending it you like.

Hmmm, on second thought make that a few hundred tons of gold, in light of what Obama is doing to the dollar.

Post a Comment

Be advised that this comment section is moderated in order to assure respect for civil proprieties. Posts that use obscenities, scurrilous epithets or that are gratuitously disrespectful of others will be removed ASAP. If you think a comment offensive in this way, report it in an email to alan@loyaltoliberty.com.