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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pro-Life Conversation...The Worm Turns...Part II

Continuing the conversation with Darcy from two days ago, it continues to make turns to the surreal...Again, Darcy will be in red.  I will be in black.  There is another entrant, J.c.  He will be in blue.  Read on:'re an obviously intelligent person, and rather than harboring any animosity toward you via this debate, I'm actually starting to like you. :) My goal in continuing this thread is, again, not to change your views - it's apparent that you've been too powerfully indoctrinated for me to do that - but simply to point out a few fallacies in your arguments that may make you question them. 

RE: AIDS, overpopulation, and death in childbirth, my actual statement was this: "The harm that the pro-life, anti-contraception movement has wrought on the world through furthering the spread of AIDS, overpopulation, and death of women in childbirth is undeniable." Upon reading this, you then accused me of "blaming the pro-life movement for the spread of AIDS. You are blaming the pro-life movement for overpopulation. And you are blaming the pro-life movement for the death of women in childbirth." Can you distinguish between what I actually said and what you conflated that to mean in your own mind? If you can't, then I really am wasting my time, because I refuse to have someone put words in my mouth that I did not say. I did NOT say that the pro-life movement CAUSED these problems. I did say that it is making them all much worse. 

RE: abstinence. If an organization wants to promote abstinence only education and policy, then that organization MUST prove that it actually WORKS. The article I shared with you cited the evidence proving that, at best, abstinence only programs had very little effect, if any. Can you find any data that proves that such teachings actually do lesson the frequency of sexual encounters on a large scale and over the long term? If you can, I would be happy to review it. If, as the evidence seems to show, they do not lessen the frequency of sexual encounters, then the anti-contraception movement IS causing direct harm by denying condoms to populations affected by AIDS. The CDC, among dozens of other reputable organizations, all cite evidence that correct condom use is highly effective in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. By denying them this powerful tool simply because of your unsubstantiated rhetoric, you are part of the problem, not the solution. 

RE: Margaret Sanger and birth control pills. You quoted her as saying "no one can doubt that there are times when an abortion is justifiable but they will become unnecessary when care is taken to prevent conception. This is the only cure for abortions." I disagree that it's the answer for all abortions, because birth control can fail. (Before you jump all over this and claim it proves your argument against it, no on ever said birth control was infallible, but statistically it's disproportionately more effective than abstinence only at preventing both unwanted pregnancies and STDs.) But how can you argue against the fact that birth control pills prevent unwanted pregnancies, thus reducing the need for abortion? 

For the sake of argument, let's assume that you're right that Margaret Sanger had questionable ethics regarding eugenics and racism. Do you have ANY proof that birth control today is being used for these purposes? Most of the founding fathers of our country owned slaves. By your reasoning, we should throw out the Constitution simply because of their flaws. One of my husband's favorite opera composers is Richard Wagner, a noted anti-Semite. Does this mean that my husband himself is anti-Semitic? Show me any kind of a link between Margaret Sanger's views and today's use of the birth control pill, proving with evidence and facts that people are using it to reflect that kind of racism. 

In closing, Andy, I am not at all saying you shouldn't encourage people to strongly consider life. I believe there are ways to empower and encourage women so that abortion becomes unnecessary and perhaps even extinct. Wouldn't that be amazing? What's worse, birth control or abortions? Is it really realistic to expect any mammalian species to completely abstain from a biological, heavily hormonally programmed survival instinct, simply because the thought of them having sex is unpalatable to us? And by realistic, has it EVER been proven that that abstinence works? We need to examine the actual, international data of population, mortality, and disease prevention/spread. If you were arguing for women to choose or consider alternatives to birth control, I would have no problem with your position and we could go our merry ways. But when you, as part of the pro-life/anti-contraception movement, work to impede women's access to other options that you might happen to disagree with but that have been shown to be highly effective, then you are, once again, part of the problem.

Darcy,  When you speak of the harm of the two movements, that is blame. When one speaks of blame there must be causality. Otherwise there is nothing to blame. Your logic doesn't follow. I also didn't say that you said that they caused these problems either. What I said was that you are blaming the the two movements. Let's be honest about that.

Regarding AIDS, let me ask you this point blank then, if you think that I am conflating your words. Brass tacks.

What is the undeniable harm that the pro-life, anti-contraception movement has wrought on the world through furthering the spread of AIDS, overpopulation, and death of women in childbirth?

Answer that question without laying blame on the two movements. Just sayin'....

Regarding abstinence, the definition is this: any self-restraint, self-denial, or forbearance. So, let me ask you one question that you must certainly be able to answer....if one denies himself from having sex, what is the percentage that a pregnancy will occur? 0%. There doesn't need to be any scientific study. To not have sex will lead to not having an unwanted pregnancy.

Everything that I've said regarding Margaret Sanger is 100% accurate. The information I have given you is directly attributed to her. It is all verifiable. If you doubt my claims do the research. If you choose not to do the research, well, that is your prerogative, but don't bemoan my statements. I don't need to go on about who she was or what she advocated.

Finally, you ask: Is it really realistic to expect any mammalian species to completely abstain from a biological, heavily hormonally programmed survival instinct, simply because the thought of them having sex is unpalatable to us?

I'll answer. Yes, it is realistic. We are not just any mammalian species. We have the ability to reason and because we have the ability to reason (which no other species, mammalian or not does not have), we must realize that there is more to any given action than just the instinctual. And because of our ability to reason, we have the obligation to be responsible. Also, where did I say anything about completely abstaining from sexual relations? I've been talking about being responsible in the use of it. And I've been talking about the moral aspects of it. But nowhere have I said anything about the complete abstinence of it.

J.c. enters the conversation thusly;

 This debate has become quite bizarre to watch, mostly because of the absolutist positions being asserted by Andy, taking into account now options for gray areas and different realities from your own. For example:

1) Not everyone believes as you that "life begins at conception" or believes it unqualifiedly. You may have a strong feeling on the issue, but that does not give you or others sharing your belief the right to legislate on top of those who disagree with what constitutes human life.

2) The Supreme Court does not legislate. Constitutional Law 101. And using that language is something both parties and many others cling to as a marketing mantra to piss off the other side... and it's meaningless.

3) Some people - some I know - have been perfectly content with their decision to end a pregnancy. Asserting that Abstinence is the only means of pregnancy avoidance is true... but naive and controlling. You may think sex without potential consequence is fine, but others think that sexual conduct is a beauty that makes us uniquely human, and commonly mammal. If you educate people - educate them well - about what sex IS, and it's possible consequences and why they may occur, instead of making sex a boogeyman, or worse, that it's restricted to only your taste of situation, is so controlling I think you may not be able to receive that notion.

4) There are people who are not like you. There are people who think people have souls, people who don't, people who believe the soul comes at birth, people who love their spouses and don't want to lose them to pregnancy, people who want to live through a pregnancy that could kill them and believe they have a RIGHT to live. We are not in any way supposed to feel beholden to your disagreement or those like you. The purpose of a government set up as ours is to have the majority rule while PROTECTING the rights of the minority... even if yours becomes the minority.

5) "Birth Control Pill" or "The Pill" is a colloquialism; Marina, or IUDs or other items are merely trade names and marketing gimmicks. But ALL can serve psychological, and physiological ends, not just your narrow (and I presume indoctorate) translation.

6) I'm not as calm as my friend Darcy at times; and believe it or not, I actually don't like the idea of abortion. But I’m not arrogant enough (sorry to be so harsh) to believe I must therefore tell others how to live, or worse how to die. Which is why I'm against war, guns, and the death penalty; are you against those as well? 

7) Life is precious; but I'm not so awesome I can tell you or anyone else how to define it. But as much as I know I have my opinions, and I think my assertions are relevant, I'm a man. And we have no damn business meddling in a woman's body without her express permission. That includes telling her she must remain pregnant; I may not like the idea of abortion, but as a Man, I view telling here what to do with her body in those conditions tantamount to rape - forcible control of her without her consent. You may equate Sex with a desire/permission/consent to procreate, but sex is not the only kind of rape.

J.c., My position is not absolutist. Not in the slightest. It is logical. Big difference. I would like for you to prove that life does NOT begin at conception. I am asking you to prove the negative, because that is what must be done. I don't have to prove what is, however you do have to prove that which you believe is not. So, while you offer a platitude as to my "absolutist" position, it really isn't. What it is, is a logical and medical position which is, in fact, provable.

I am very well aware that SCOTUS does not legislate, but in this matter they have, de facto. Politicians and lawmakers use the Roe v. Wade decision as a law. It is not. So, while they don't techinically legislate, in this instance...they did. So, if we stop speaking about abortion as "law of the land" and start speaking about it as a mere decision, then we can start talking about SCOTUS not legislating. BTW, if you think that I was imprecise by not making that distinction, you'd be wrong. It is an assumed position on both sides of the argument. One in favor and the other against.

How is being abstinent controlling? IDGI. What I do get is that abstinence is a choice made by one or both of the parties to NOT have sex. This isn't a control mechanism, this is the most effective way NOT to have an unwanted pregancy. It is also incredibly mature and responsible. If there is a control mechanism involved, it is self-control. Not oppression.

At no place have I talked about sex being a "boogeyman." To the contrary, sex is a necessary action to perpetuate the species. But, it is more, because we are rational beings. Sex is also involves fidelity and fecundity. When those aspects are joined with the procreative nature, then sex is properly ordered, philosophically, morally and responsibly to the human person. Any other way is to limit the rational aspect, which is just as important to the human person as the instinctual nature.

I am very well aware that there are people who are not like me. However, that doesn't mean that I can't have a conversation with another person and get them to understand an objective truth. Because they don't or won't understand said truth doesn't mean that I demonize them, but rather it means that I must attempt to continue the conversation until such time as they do understand. At that point they can either accept or not, what the view is that I hold. You seem to think that I'm using some sort of chains to hold a person down. Hardly. What I'm doing is to give him a different view and one that is logically valid and logically sound. It's called right reason. It isn't political, it isn't religious. It simply is the proper way to think objectively in the world.

My indoctorate view of "the pill." That's an interesting way of putting it, but my view of the pill is one which is supported in many medical and philosophical circles. So, while you might think that it is "indoctorate" (which btw, I'm not sure is an actual word; I looked in two dictionaries and online and couldn't find it), there are more than a few who understand that "the pill" is ordered primarily to one thing. Regulating births. And this regulation is not natural, it is drug induced and therefore it is an unnatural means by which one regulates said birth.

Arrogance. Nice, another ad hominem. I'll say it again, this time to you. To start name calling doesn't do anything to support your position. You were doing ok until then, but as you can see, I've not resorted to calling you, Darcy, Andrea, or anyone else names....yet, I'm being treated in a libelous way.

Obviously, I'm a man as well, but last time I checked it takes a man to procreate. Once his seed (I'll keep it clean on facebook) inseminates a woman, he has as much right to what goes on, because it is as much his DNA as it is the womans. It is a grave misconception to say that a man loses that right.

As for the rape analogy that you are trying to pass off, well, that is just absurd. The defintion of rape is: the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse. That is what is meant by rape. What you're trying to equate is a use of the word which by definition is considered to be an archaic definition and one which is not used any longer. I consider that, for this discussion to have no weight. Otherwise, my "abolutist" views must also be considered with the same weight.

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