knobren wrote:I whole heartedly agree that there are extremists in every religion that gives the faith a bad rap. We can't judge the faith on a few doctor-killers or suicide bombers.
Equating the two is hardly accurate, of course. There have been only a handful of abortionist-killers, who went after specific abortionists, while there have been hundreds of suicide bombers, whose object were just to kill as many random civilians as possible. The Bible doesn't support killing abortionists - at least so long as execution is against the law - while it's a bit hard to read the Muslim holy texts and come to a conclusion that it's not
ok to kill non-Muslims. Moderate Muslims are in a minority pretty much everywhere except in the US.
Even the Old Testament doesn't say to make war on all non-Jews. It was certain nations that were especially evil (child sacrifice to idols, etc.) that were specifically chosen for destruction.
knobren wrote:The so called "partial birth abortion" is a valid medical procedure that is sometimes a better option for preserving the mother's health than other procedures. Also, it is usually performed only when there is a medical problem, not as a change of mind about having the baby. Laws banning this procedure don't include clauses allowing it to be performed when it is in the best interest of protecting the mother's health. Who do these laws protect? The fetus will be aborted by more tramatic means - disassembly in utero and subsequent extraction - that pose a greater risk to the mother because of religious beliefs.
Actually, there is no evidence showing that partial birth abortions are more effective at preserving the mother's health, and even in the vanishingly few cases where they might be, it's still the mother's duty to save her baby if at all possible, just like it's the man's job to put the women and children in the lifeboats first (read the actual account of the Titanic).
And even if you assume that abortions for medical reasons are ok (they're not), the fact is that the vast majority of abortions are solely for the sake of convenience. Women who don't want to go to the trouble of taking care of a baby (it might mess up their career!), or who don't want to admit they were sleeping around, or so on.
knobren wrote:I also can't see why anyone would force a woman to bear a child conceived of rape or incest. Ironically, the same people often advocate the death penalty for some types of criminals.
Why would you support giving the rapist maybe 5 or 10 years in jail, then execute the innocent baby? The rapist is the criminal.
knobren wrote:I also can't see the sense in forcing a young girl to have a child because of a lapse in judgment or a married woman to have another child because her husband wouldn't use or allow her to use birth control or because she thought she was beyond child-bearing years, but had an unintended pregnancy late in life.
Why does the baby have to die because of a bad choice someone made? Liberals are big advocates of "choice", but not of responsibility. Abortion is largely about evading
knobren wrote:Women are not incubators. History is filled with botched poisonings and back-alley abortions because of desparate girls and women who could not find safe sterile medical procedures. Have you seen "Cider House Rules"? One woman dies from a horrible infection resulting from a back-alley abortion. Another girl is not allowed to leave her incestrious father when she becomes pregnant. Luckily, the main character is there to help her out. The rules on the cider house wall tell the migrant workers that they can't do this or that, but we learn the lesson of the film - the rules are not written by those who must live by the rules. They aren't the ones breathing in the vinegar smell or trying to sleep in the stifling heat. The message of the story is that the rules are made by people who aren't in the situation that the rules cover - including abortion laws.
So, are you saying that you would support banning all abortions not involving rape, incest, or medical need? Liberals like to trot out impossible-sounding situations (the ol' lifeboat problem), then extrapolate from those to say that abortion is ok in all situations, but the real goal of Planned Parenthood is simply to eliminate as many babies as possible. In point of fact, the demographic that is most against abortion (the conservative middle class) is also the demographic that has the most babies, so it's hardly evading the rules.
Incidently, I notice you don't mention the long-term health problems related to abortion / birth control, such as cancer, infertility, depression, etc. It's a little inconvenient when you finally "choose" to have your one baby and discover you can't because your abortion sterilized you. Which choice is the important one?
knobren wrote:Abstinence should be advocated, but eventually these kids are going to have sex. Even if they wait until after marriage, shouldn't they be educated about how to prevent having unwanted children? Shouldn't they know how their own bodies work? I teach college freshmen. Even after we cover human reproduction and contraception, many of them answer questions on exams that indicate that they don't know how their own bodies work. Some tell me that conception occurs in the vagina! They must think that the fertilized egg goes back up to the uterus (womb) in order to implant. Some think that the sex of the child is determined by the egg, instead of by whether it gets fertilized by an x-bearing or a y-bearing sperm. Also, I recently read in the newspaper about a study that shows that adolescents that sign pacts to wait until marriage to give up their virginity end up participating in unprotected oral or -CENSORED- sex that exposes them to STDs, but which protects their "virginity" as defined by not having vaginal sexual intercourse. Is that protecting chidren?
If you assume that kids are going to do something and then teach them how to do it safely, you may as well just tell them it's ok. "We realize that some of you juvies are likely to rob apartments in the future, but you might get hurt on those dark fire escapes. Here are some flashlights." Yeah, that'll stop them!
knobren wrote:I don't like the sexual content of commercials or billboards either, because it isn't easy to avoid exposure to them. However, I wouldn't personally consider that "art". I don't think it is right to ban sexual explicit movies or books though because one can choose not to look at it. Unless the content includes children (or adults posing as children), in which case, it exposes children to harm.
As long as there aren't big advertisements outside the stores, and they aren't located near residential homes, I suppose that one can be conceded. The object is to keep the stuff away from children, and out of the sight of anyone who might be offended.
knobren wrote:But the problem is that ID (intelligent design) is not a scientific theory. It cannot be tested. Any negative results could be argued away by saying that a creator is just trying to fool us or that natural laws are not constant. Science mostly works by testing opposing hypotheses about how something works. Predictions are made as to what one would expect to observe if the hypothesis is correct. Experiments that provide the predicted data support a given hypothesis while disproving others. There aren't any data to support ID. In contrast, a scientific theory has lots of supporting data. If data arise that contradict the theory, then the theory is modified or abandoned. There are absolutely no scientific theories to present for students to chose between. Also, creationists seem to think that Christian beliefs about creation are the only "alternative" out there. What about the creation beliefs of other religions? Should those be presented in a science classroom, too? Absolutely not! All of these religious explanations about the origin of life should be discussed in a course on comparative religions or something. They are not scientific explanations, so they do not belong in a science classroom. Would you advocate teaching astrology in an astronomy classroom? That isn't a scientific theory either.
Creationists simply do their best to explain how the Bible is not contradicted by science, and if they can't figure something out, they just believe it until science advances to the point where they have a concrete explanation. The millions of years' worth of rock layers was a stumper until recently, for instance, but Christians knew there was an explanation somewhere - it just hadn't been figured out yet. Evolutionists are largely the same way, with the major difference being that they won't admit evolution is a religion.
knobren wrote:Anyone who approaches an argument with an open mind can be fun to debate with. It is people who who argue with closed minds that it is pointless to chat with. You aren't going to change their minds and they probably aren't going to change yours either. In fact, in college, I had a boyfriend who enjoyed debating evolution with a Jehovah's Witness. She had an open mind, so she was fun to debate with. However, it eventually became time for her to change routes. Her successor was no fun at all.
Open minded = converting to your point of view, I suppose. My problem with (macro)evolution is simply that it can't be observed, reproduced, or tested for - that's why it needs a nebulous "billions of years" to supposedly happen - therefore it's speculation, not science. There's just as much evidence for aliens seeding the universe with life as there is for us having evolved by random chance.