By Matt Ford
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin vetoed a unprecedented bill Friday that would have made it a felony for physicians to perform abortions in the state, saying the proposed law would not survive the […]
May 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm
The implication is that secularists and atheists have to believe in abortion. Why?
Atheists don’t have to believe in anything, but rational atheists should be evaluating issues on their merits in terms of anticipated effects on human individuals, families and populations.
There are clear cases where the future prospects of mothers and babies are very poor, so abortions may be appropriate in their best interests.
Supernatural dogmas do not normally play any part in atheist judgements, although some may unthinkingly carry over cultural memes from the religions of their families or cultures.
May 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm
The implication is that secularists and atheists have to believe in abortion.
Of course the main theme of this discussion is about the stupidity of ill informed local state legislators interfering with federal legal rights and medical judgements on the basis of their personal superstitions.
The implication is that Republicans who are “pro-life” continue to be irrational, hypocritical, greedy and stupid – supporting a reactionary, sick bill like this (which won’t pass) while feeling not even a modicum of compunction about sending drones to kill our eternal enemies and killing innocent real human lives along with it, or about being neo-cons (fascists) and supporting immoral wars of expansion and power, or about supporting capital punishment, or about opposing universal health coverage which would save many lives.
Or about supporting Trump who doesn’t believe in climate change, something that will eventually destroy us all, all of “God’s children.” No, the Republican party –the religious right, in particular – is serving the Devil. No question about it.
May 25, 2016 at 3:21 pm
The implication is that Republicans who are “pro-life” continue to be irrational, hypocritical, greedy and stupid
Most of those who claim to be “pro-life” are simply anti-abortion dogma parrots, who have no idea what “life” is, but think it starts with soul-woo at conception!
I wonder if anyone’s studied the correlation in viewpoints there, and the reasons why.
i.e Why should someone who is “pro-life” statistically be more likely to be pro-capital punishment (and hawkish warmongers and anti-“socialist medicine” and the rest of the package)?
There’s no obvious reason why one’s views on the economy should not be made independently of one’s views on reproductive issues, and yet it’s clear that the majority of people do not form these views independently, because one can be predicted from the other.
Is it “peer pressure” perhaps, the clubbability of saying “I’m a Republican” or “I’m a Democrat” and then going with the party line on a package of issues?
Look at Trump, he’s batshit-crazy far-right on almost all Republican issues (or says he is), but because he appears tolerant of LGBTs he’s just not Republican enough for his party 😉
I would suggest googling Noam Chomsky; his interviews, lectures, articles, etc. I don’t know what you think of him, but I think he is probably the person best qualified to address the complex question you’ve asked.
(In a recent interview he said that the Republican party is no longer a political party; it’s a radical insurgency. He then quoted someone named Ornstein: “You can tell that even by the votes. I mean, any issue of any complexity is going to have some diversity of opinion. But when you get a unanimous vote to kill the Iranian deal or the Affordable Care Act or whatever the next thing may be, you know you’re not dealing with a political party.”)
May 26, 2016 at 11:27 am
Sure ethical issues should be judged logically, and personally I can quite see the logic of a view -the physiological truth- that a child before he’s born is no different from a child afterwards;
It is of course a fallacious circular argument to pretend that a zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or early stage foetus, is a “child”!
the physiological truth- that a child before he’s born is no different from a child afterwards;
There are very clear biological differences at all stages of development, so an assertion of “truth of no difference” is nonsense!
I assume no-one is advocating legal infanticide.
Infanticide is a legal term which means illegal killing, so if destruction of human tissue is legal, it is not by definition “infanticide”.
“Legal infanticide” is oxymoron semantics!
Whether religious people also hold this view or not is irrelevant to whether the bill should be passed. It’s an ethical not a religious issue
The whole assertion that zygotes are “children” is an unscientific argument based on the religious claim of “ensoulment at conception”.
Science based ethics looks at the merits of the development stage, foetus viability, and future life prospects of the prospective child and mother.
You make no case on those ethical issues concerning the potentially interested parties.
May 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm
No, I mean the demand appears to be that secularists
First of all secularists are people of religion or none, who do not support any one religion dictating the drafting of law according to their own dogmas.
should support abortion for no other reason than that some religious people oppose it.
I realise it is difficult for those who blindly follow dogma, to understand those who think through issues for themselves on the basis of resolving conflicts of interest between various parties on an equitable basis, but excluding the requirements to afford “rights” to any imaginary gods.
It is the mistaken theist view that there is some “default god or beliefs”, which require only faith – no evidence or proof, and that atheists are some how in denial of this god.
Atheists do not accept the existence of ANY supernatural gods – so recognise ancient mythology for the human writing which it is.
Atheists do not generally make judgements on the basis of taking an opposite line to dogmas. They simply regard the dogmas as irrelevant to the decision making process.
After all there are thousands of religions and denominations with thousands of conflicting dogmas, so why would atheists even be interested in these superstitious dogmas, unless their followers were intruding in their lives or in the law-making processes of their societies.
When I make decisions about biology or medicine, I consult modern studies on biology – not theology from bronze-age preachers!
May 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm
No, I mean the demand appears to be that secularists should support abortion for no other reason than that some religious people oppose it.
You may have noticed, that in this discussion and similar discussions, others have provided very well informed detailed information, on how and where medical and ethical issues are dealt with, while you have provided nothing credible to support your claims.
It would be difficult to derive a material viewpoint from taking an opposite view to one which has only semantic circular rhetoric and no evidenced substance.
May 26, 2016 at 4:28 pm
No, I mean the demand appears to be that secularists should support abortion for no other reason than that some religious people oppose it.
The whole basis of a series of your posts, appears to hinge on some belief in an unstated, assumed “default view of morality”, which others are allegedly challenging.
In this OP unconstitutional attempt at legislation, it is quite clear that religiously motivated individuals, are attempting to contradict national laws, because they share your similar faith-based preconceptions, and like yourself, make up pseudo-facts and fallacious arguments in attempts to justify this.
May 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm
The thalamus is formed by 20 weeks. The child is thus no different at this point from a child after birth, it just puts on more body weight.
Such assertions are utter nonsense as my earlier link to medical information on foetal development shows!
Your fallacious arguments seem to assume, that denial of stages of foetal development, doubt-mongering about the evidence based reasoned ethical views of others, or disputing on-the-record legal requirements, will somehow cause views revert to some asserted self-evident “default” theological anti-abortion viewpoint.
caelon – I assume no-one is advocating legal infanticide.
As I explained earlier, “infanticide is the illegal killing of children.
Therefore your statement actually says: –
caelon – I assume no-one is advocating legal illegal killing of children.
Which is a nonsensical oxymoron, combined with a question-begging fallacy of trying to slide post birth laws into the different area of law covering pregnancies.
Semantic shufflings, pretending that lumps of human tissue are sentient humans, is simply nonsense, while disregarding the rights and interests of actual mothers and families, is immoral!
I also note, that when challenged with clear cut evidence, you do not attempt to revise your views, by correcting your mistakes – perhaps a well known effect of “faith-thinking”!
There are two sides to every argument. If the RDF opposes this law on religious grounds – ie any religious rationale is by definition invalid – then it should say so.
Can you rephrase this. Expand on what you are trying to say. I don’t understand what this means and so can offer no response.
It is impossible for politicians to act outside the law, but changing the law is part of their job.
The Oklahoma politicians who enacted this law did act “Outside the Law” by ignoring the Supreme Court decision in Roe V Wade. That set out the law in the USA on this issue. Any departure from that is Outside the Law.
Politicians are there to make laws for all of the people. If the politicians Make a Law, based on what their personal god is telling them to do, then try through legislation to Force the rest of the citizens to obey that particular god, then how are they any different from ISIS, who want to force people to obey their personal god, only they use a gun, instead of an act of parliament.
Never enact a law, based on what your personal god tells you to do because not everybody is a fan of your personal god, who is just one of millions of gods.
May 29, 2016 at 6:36 pm
There are two sides to every argument.
This is one of the flaws in thinking based on dogmatism!
The dogmatist can only see “two sides to a question”. – The dogma, and opposition to the dogma!
A scientists can examine evidence and see a whole range of possible answers which have various implications and merits which need to be evaluated.
If the RDF opposes this law on religious grounds – ie any religious rationale is by definition invalid – then it should say so.
RDFS supports scientific methodology which includes testing evidence to establish reality as far as possible, and then using evidence based reasoning to arrive at conclusions. This is a very different process to blindly accepting dogma on faith!
RDFS opposes the notion that laws can be conjured out of thin air without examining the evidence and expert opinion on the evidence. This has nothing to do with opposing religious views per-se. If some religious view happened to get it right by chance (rather than process) and come up with the same answer derived by evidence based reasoning and consideration of the interests of the parties involved, it would not be opposed, simply because some religious group supported that view. As I pointed out earlier, competent secular decisions are made on their merits, regardless of some religious people considering their faith-based dogmas as a central feature of the world and societies.
It is impossible for politicians to act outside the law, but changing the law is part of their job. If the majority in Oklahoma want to change or outlaw abortion then that’s their choice.
It is not their choice to legislate in Oklahoma, matters which are constitutionally decided in Washington by the federal government. They may campaign if they like, but the Roe V Wade court ruling has already definitively answered this question.
– whatever the rationale. It is merely for science, including the RDF, to present the facts
Science offers expert advice, and competent politicians are expected to seek and act on expert advice.
This bunch of clowns cannot even act on the clear-cut long standing legal ruling that it is outside their jurisdiction, let alone competently evaluate scientific evidence.
and let people make up their own minds
Er no! The world does not run systems of law in large technical societies, by allocating important decisions to any scientific and legal illiterate Tom, Dick or Harry, “making up his own mind” on behalf of everyone else!
Areas of competence and responsibility are defined, in order to keep clueless interfering incompetents away from important features of the administrative structures.
Unsurprisingly, in civilised countries, the main input for medical ethics, comes from doctors’ expert professional bodies.
Exactly right, Alan!
May 30, 2016 at 4:12 am
What I mean is that the RDF should say on their site something like what you yourself are saying viz “Never enact a law, based on what your personal god tells you to do.”
You really are totally focused around decisions based on voices in the head from god-delusions, or regurgitated from indoctrinated preconceptions.
RDFS says base your decisions on science, evidence and reason, along with empathy for others.
This implies that irrational or delusional processes should not be used, as they have been consistently shown to produce unreliable results and negative outcomes.
Fine. Instead, the blurb I got from the RDF in my email inbox was all about legal precedents as if rationalists were under some sort of obligation to support it.
I explained earlier, that this is a legal question which has been definitively answered.
This may be a perfectly sensible approach for the individual to take, but has nothing to with science
Apart from science and constitutional rights absolutely being the core basis of the Roe V Wade High Court decision.
and is therefore irrelevant to the stated intentions of the RDF.
Your “faith-interpretation-blinkers” really do look lame propping up your position of denial. As I pointed out earlier, it is common for the faith-based fallacious thinking to assume that disputing or doubt-mongering on the record information, will somehow cause a default shift to some unevidenced dogma! If you have any credible scientific or moral argument against early stage abortions (or contraception), you have yet to present it.
I’m not American, but I would imagine it’s quite constitutional for Roe versus Wade to be challenged.
It was the definitive step in a long line of challenges, but an effective challenge requires credible evidence, and “my god-delusion’s voices in my head told me this wrong”, is not credible evidence. Neither is, “some bronze-age scribe, dark-age chronicler, or would be infallible pope, said so”!
Hence the long string of failed challenges.
What the RDF should say is something like; “These are the facts about pregnancy and the development of the unborn child” etc etc, and leave the electorate and their politicians to make up their own minds. That’s Freedom of Thought.
Those who seek abortions are already able to make up their own minds, while RDFS debates the merits of various options. (Unlike the theistic black or white dichotomous thinking.)
What the RDF should say is something like; “These are the facts about pregnancy and the development of the unborn child”
As I recall, that is precisely what I did @11 and @15, but you have made no attempt to follow up and debate these issues or correct you mistakes.
What you seem to advocating is ignoring this evidence and sticking with indoctrinated preconceptions, based on blind faith in the face of the evidence.
What anti-abortion busy-bodies are not allowed to do, is interfere in other people’s arrangements with medical services, preventing those who require abortions, from obtaining them within the legal and ethical framework based on carefully considered expert advice.
That’s Freedom of Thought.
Theists are free to think what they like.
They are not free to irresponsibly impose their confused thinking on other people’s lives.
@ Alan4D. At your cogent best Alan.
May 31, 2016 at 3:29 pm
IF the information is properly presented with all available evidence then of course people can make up their minds.
Perhaps you should try reading a peer reviewed research paper on a specialist subject in a scientific journal some time. – Perhaps an engineering paper including chemical formulii and complex mathematics! It could be very educational in illustrating what cannot be readily understood by the public at large.
Richard Dawkins once remarked somewhere that if someone presents an argument that is not clear and comprehensible, it’s not worth any attention.
I am impressed by your standards of accurate citation in a style which ensures correct contexts!!! 🙂
If an “expert” presents his arguments in such a manner that people cannot follow it then he’s no expert.
Perhaps you could explain the basis of that claim, to designers of Radioisotope thermoelectric generators, and VASIMR rocket engines, so any Tom, Dick, or Harry can be employed in their construction!
it being unthinkable that the plebs should actually be permitted to influence public policy.
Speaking personally, if I require the services of an airline pilot, or a cardio-surgeon, I won’t be asking a barman who has read a summary of the procedures, to do the job!
Similarly for medical advice, I ask doctors and biological researchers, rather than conducting and exit poll of crowd opinion at a football match!
That’s free-thinking -and democracy
Nope! It’s wish-thinking cluelessness, trying to seek authority from the ad populum fallacy I mentioned earlier.
All opinions are NOT equal, and all individuals do NOT have an equal capacity to learn or understand complex issues.
The collective opinions of twenty ignoramuses do not add up to an intellectual work of genius!
It is also the rationale behind religious dogma, which Prof Dawkins claims to deplore.
The rationale behind religious dogma is the posturing of pseudo-authority, which is the fallacy of an argument from “authority” which is not backed by evidence.
Expert authorities can back up their advice with supporting evidence, and retrospectively with predicted results. The technology of the world runs on this basis.
Doubt-mongering expertise in general, still makes no case for your shuffling position on the illegal activities of these politicians, or for any claims you may wish to make about abortion! !
Jun 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm
Well fine but the email I got from the RDF said;
“Flying in the face of Roe v. Wade and a host of other Supreme Court rulings Oklahoma lawmakers somehow think they can get away with making abortion providers felons.”
Legislators pass laws -that’s their job. If the message had stated for example something like “lawmakers somehow think they can get away with using FAITH to make abortion providers felons” it would have been more credible.
This subject is not their job!
I think the point that their thinking was based on the confused process of faith based wish-thinking, has been made very clear,and is entirely credible!
“This laws does not apply to me, because I don’t like it and have stuck a religion badge on my views“, is very much a feature of delusional faith-thinking!
Local state legislators, local councils, boy scout committees, golf club committees, knitting circle committees, barrack-room lawyers, or debating clubs, cannot overturn national laws regardless of what resolutions they may pass!
Why do you find this so difficult to understand?
The tone of this message
We haven’t come down to vacuous tone-trolling in the absence of a coherent argument – have we?
The tone of this message implied there was something objectionable about the mere fact that Oklahoma’s government was proposing to legislate about abortion.
Of course there IS something objectionable!
Their actions are illegal, and they are exceeding their terms of reference and area of jurisdiction! They have no authority to legislate on such matters, and no right to try to pervert the law of the land.
Unfortunately faith-thinking tends to make people impervious to evidenced reasoned arguments and legal requirements!
Citizens and official bodies are required to obey national laws, and cannot simply pick and choose which ones they would like to obey or which ones they wish to ignore!
I thought I had made that absolutely clear in this earlier comment @27!
@27 – It is not their choice to legislate in Oklahoma, matters which are constitutionally decided in Washington by the federal government. They may campaign if they like, but the Roe V Wade court ruling has already definitively answered this question.
@OP- a direct violation of Roe v. Wade that was virtually guaranteed to be struck down by the courts.
Clearly these wish-thinkers either believe, that if they keep asking the court the same question, maybe someone will pluck a random answer out of the air, and tell them what they want to hear! –
OR maybe they are just trying to use tax-payers’ money to make a nuisance of themselves in court.
Anyway, their own governor has vetoed their silly illegal actions.