Corrected Article

comments form first comment

As comments 4 and 5 indicate, I wrote this article without checking facts first as I should have.  

The core of this particular argument was based on my belief that large proportions of Planned Parenthood government funds were used for abortions. That is not correct.  

I stand firmly with my position that abortion in general is self-centered and a sin against the next generation.  It’s mostly a matter of teens and adults killing defenseless children for the sake of satisfaction without obligation.

The specific form of self-centeredness I wrote of, however, was inaccurately stated.

It is not false to regard government funding of Planned Parenthood as a major form of support for a major driver in the abortion industry. All funds sent to PP therefore support that industry. Had I written my article on that basis it would have been accurate, but I didn’t word it that way.

There’s a judgment call associated with errors caught this early on a blog post. Do I leave the original article on the page and issue a correction, or do I remove it to limit any possible offense caused by the eror?

(There’s a third option I reject, which is to delete the whole thing so I don’t have to admit any error.)

In his case I think it’s better for me to admit the error, with apologies, and remove the article.

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129 Responses to “ Corrected Article ”

  1. More funding for contraception and real sex education => less funding for abortion.

    More funding for public childcare, infant health and nutrition => less funding for abortion.

    I mostly agree with your third-to-last paragraph. If we educate people better, then the number of abortions will drop.

  2. More funding for contraception and real sex education => less funding for abortion.

    More funding for public childcare, infant health and nutrition => less funding for abortion.

    More social stigma against having an abortion -> less abortions.

    More social stigma against premarital sex -> less abortions.

    When people talk about how more funding and money is the best way to stop abortion, I wait for them to follow it up with ‘Maybe if we gave men more money and entertainment, less of them would beat their wives. Maybe if we made divorce less economically painful for men, they’d be more likely to split and there would be less spousal abuse’.

    Because it’s ultimately the same kind of thinking.

    Thank you, I’ll settle for appropriate legal solutions and treating the acts as they deserve to be treated. That someone believes that won’t lead to the optimal solution in their utilitarian calculus concerns no one of moral sensibility.

  3. That sounds really harsh, Crude. It’s true indeed that social stigma can reduce the number of abortions, but only at the cost of great unhappiness. Why can’t we find a better solution where everyone is happier?

    I wasn’t talking about more funding overall – just diverting the funding from abortion to more constructive things.

    Christians so often say we must grit our teeth and bear these earthly sorrows, only taking hope in the next world. What about actually doing something now to improve our earthly lot?

  4. For the years 2009 to 2015, based on a few simplifying assumptions on federal interest rates, PP funding is responsible for about $3 billion of the national debt.

    All those billions of dollars? That’s money we don’t have, being spent to kill babies we do.

    Wow. That is wrong on pretty much every conceivable level. Only a tiny fraction of that money is used to pay for abortions, because abortions make up only 3% of the services that PP provides, and even for those 3%, federal money cannot be used except in the limited circumstances allowed under the Hyde Amendment. So, it´s not “all those billions of dollars”, not even “most”, not even “a lot”. And an embryo or a fetus is not a “baby”, and that is completely independent of whether you think that a fertilized human egg is just as much a human being as you are – it would in any case be wrong to call it a “baby” because that is simply not what the word means.

    Btw, religious tax exemptions cost at least 142 times as much – I guess that means that we spend hundreds of billions that we don´t have to subsidize to obscene wealth of people like Creflo Dollar, eh?

  5. Asura, thank you. It does seem to be the case that I developed this article on the basis of partial information and impressions that I should have researched for accuracy.

    I appreciate the opportunity to right something I have sone wrong here.

  6. Hi Crude,

    “More social stigma against premarital sex -> less abortions.”

    I’m pretty confident this is wrong by 180 degrees. Stigmatising premarital sex doesn’t stop kids having sex. It stops them from learning about, and being prepared to have safe sex. I would be interested in any data from a study that showed “Shaming” was an effective tool in preventing unwanted pregnancies.

    Sincerely
    Shane

  7. Shaming is no way to correct sin. I doubt Crude really meant “stigma” to be taken as “shaming.”

    The gospel way involves recognizing objective guilt, not manipulating people into emotional shame. Emotional shaming has erratic effects. Real awareness of real guilt can lead to real repentance and the experience of God’s grace.

    Recognizing in advance that an act is really wrong can deter people from doing it. That’s the reason I never had sex before marriage.

    Laws and other cultural messages that promote abortion do nothing to promote awareness of real wrong or real guilt, in fact they interfere with it.

  8. because abortions make up only 3% of the services that PP provides,

    This is, for all practical purposes, a lie. Immediately below from Slate.

    it’s been so long since I’ve seen a reference to the claim that abortions make up only 3 percent of the services that Planned Parenthood provides that I thought maybe they’d stopped trying. It might not be a technically incorrect number, but it is meaningless—to the point of being downright silly— for several reasons. Not the least of which being that Planned Parenthood “unbundles” all of its services so that a pack of pills, an STD test and an exam are three separate services.,

    The fact of the matter is that 51 percent of Planned Parenthood’s yearly clinic income – their only self-sustaining revenue source – comes from abortion, 329,445 abortions.,

    link

    link

  9. This ius, for all practical purposes a lie.

    No, it is rather completely accurate – abortions do make up just 3% of the services provided by PP.

    But it’s easy to calculate, as the Weekly Standard did, that Planned Parenthood gets at least a third of its clinic income—and more than 10 percent of all its revenue, government funding included—from its abortion procedures.

    So those 3% of PP´s services generate 10% of their revenue, and none of the government funding that they get is used to cover abortions except for the limited circumstances allowed under the Hyde Amendment.
    And how exactly does any of this contradict my earlier comment?

  10. It’s a lie Asura. Even an far left site like Slate says it’s a lie. Saying an abortion, a pack of pills, an STD test and an exam are separate and equal services is ludicrous and more than a little insulting for you to try and peddle here.

  11. BillT,

    Saying an abortion, a pack of pills, an STD test and an exam are separate and equal services is ludicrous and more than a little insulting for you to try and peddle here.

    Well, since I did not say that, I guess that makes you the liar here.

  12. That’s how the 3% figure is calculated Azura. What? You’re citing statistics that you don’t know the origin of or how they’re calculated or what they represent?

  13. BillT,

    That’s how the 3% figure is calculated Azura.

    Nope, that is actually calculated by counting the number of abortions, dividing it through the total number of services, and multiplying with 100. Saying that this allegedly makes “an abortion, a pack of pills, an STD test and an exam [] separate and equal services” is completely your fabrication, please stop lying.

  14. You’re saying the same thing with different words. It’s right in the Slate article. An article that says the 3% figure “is meaningless—to the point of being downright silly—” Yet, you continue try and insist it’s meaningful. We’re not as stupid as you obviously think we are.

  15. BillT,

    You’re saying the same thing with different words.

    No, I do not. When I say that 3% of all services provided by PP are abortions, then I am not saying, nor even implying, that all services provided by PP cost exactly the same. English is not your first language I presume?

    It’s right in the Slate article. An article that says the 3% figure “is meaningless—to the point of being downright silly

    The OP, before it was retracted, was based on the assumption that 100% of the federal funding for PP is money being spent on abortions. I pointed out that this is completely wrong for two reasons:
    1. Most services provided by PP are not even abortions in the first place.
    2. The Hyde Amendment prevents federal funding being used to cover abortions for most cases.
    Both points by themselves completely contradicted the OP, and *nothing* of what you are saying here changed that. Your entire point is that the 3% figure does not represent the revenue that is being made by abortion services – which is completely irrelevant, because no matter how expensive abortions are compared to other services, they cannot possibly account for all of PP´s revenue (which the OP assumed) and the 3% figure is completely sufficient to demonstrate that . And even if we take 10% instead of 3% (i.e., the revenue instead of the raw frequency), both my points mentioned above still stand exactly as they are and the OP would still be wrong for exactly the reasons I pointed out.
    This really is not very hard to understand and you are either being deliberately obtuse or really should look for an easier topic to discuss if this is beyond your comprehension.

  16. Asura, cool it with the lying charges and gratuitous insults, okay?

    The OP was retracted. You accused BillT of lying, not me. He didn’t write the OP, but he did explain how that 3% was calculated. Your explanation is exactly the same as BillT’s. He wasn’t lying when he issued the same explanation you did, was he?

    BillT also explained why the 3% figure is not to be taken at face value. You accused him of obtuseness for that. What was wrong with his analyis? You don’t say. You merely say that it’s wrong to conclude that abortions don’t account for all of PP’s revenue, which he never claimed.

    The OP was wrong for the reasons you pointed out. I’ve admitted I made that mistake. You don’t need to hammer BillT until he admits he made the mistake of writing it too. He didn’t write it. What he did write was accurate as far as I can see, and as I’ve already noted, your objection to what he said has nothing to do with what he actually said.

    Let’s have a genuine conversation here without bringing in clubs to beat up on other people, okay? You have read the discussion guidelines (above the combox), haven’t you?

  17. Moving the goalposts now Azura. You’re the one who tried to peddle the 3% figure as meaningful to the discussion. It’s not and never was. What percentage of the services PP provides that are abortion is similarly meaningless as it’s abortion that provides the lions share of its revenues and drive the entire business. The 10% of total revenue figure similarly questionable. It’s really somewhere between 30% and 50% of clinic revenues which is the relevant measure. PP is completely dependent on abortion for it existence. Without abortion, five and a half million of them since it’s inception, it would be out of business tomorrow.

  18. It’s easy to see you’re angry, Asura. I’m asking you to remember you’re dealing with fellow human beings. I wasn’t really expecting you to answer “you’re welcome” after I thanked you in #5, but you might at least have calmed down a bit with us here.

  19. BillT,

    You’re the one who tried to peddle the 3% figure as meaningful to the discussion. It’s not and never was.

    You can repeat that as often as you want, still won´t make it true.

    What percentage of the services PP provides that are abortion is similarly meaningless as it’s abortion that provides the lions share of its revenues and drive the entire business.

    Calling 10% a lion’s share is ridiculous.

    The 10% of total revenue figure similarly questionable. It’s really somewhere between 30% and 50% of clinic revenues which is the relevant measure.

    No, the most “relevant” measure would be the fraction of *federal* funding that is being used to pay for abortions, because that is what the OP was criticizing (that fraction is unknown btw, but much much smaller than 10% because federal funding cannot be used for most abortions). And no, clinic revenues in isolation is not more relevant than total revenue, it is less relevant.

    Without abortion, five and a half million of them since it’s inception, it would be out of business tomorrow.

    That is also ridiculous because we are only talking about 10% of the total *revenue* here, not 10% of the profit (i.e. revenue minus expenses), and even a loss of 10% of the profit wouldn´t put them out of business.

    Tom,
    I know that BillT didn´t write the OP – and I´ll point out that it was him who tried to pick a fight by calling me a liar.

  20. Tom,

    It’s easy to see you’re angry, Asura. I’m asking you to remember you’re dealing with fellow human beings.

    Looking back at comments #9 and 11, I can only wonder why you are addressing this only to me instead of addressing it to BillT – who started with the hostility – or both of us.

  21. He said it was “for all practical purposes, a lie.” I think that statement is supportable.

    There’s a difference between saying that kind of thing and responding with the kind of direct character attack you answered with.

    You can quit criticizing the OP now, too. I’ve already pulled it down. I wasn’t expecting you to say thank you, but I thought you might at least notice it wasn’t there any longer.

  22. Asura @21,

    The difference is in the level of personal character attack, as I said in #17. BillT said something antagonistic to a purported statement of fact. You insulted him repeatedly and personally.

  23. You say, “calling 10% a lion’s share is ridiculous.”

    Immediately after that you acknowledge what he had said: that he wasn’t talking about 10%, he was talking about the number he considered more accurate than 10%: 30% to 50%.

    Don’t you think it’s odd to criticize him for trying to communicate one thing, when the next thing you point out is that he was trying to communicate something else instead?

    Your only rebuttal to “30% to 50%” was to call it irrelevant, which you did by deflecting the discussion into a truly irrelevant re-rebuttal of an OP that’s already been pulled down. What if those numbers are accurate, though? Then Bill’s point in #18 would stand, wouldn’t it?

    It would be nice to see you deal with that question, rather than trying to keep proving my OP wrong.

  24. Without abortion…. (PP) would be out of business tomorrow.

    This is what is relevant in this discussion. PP is an abortion mill. It depends on abortion to survive. The majority of the other services it says it provides are ancillary to abortion. When a woman comes to PP for an abortion they, of course, do perform a number of other tests and services. In their calculation the abortion is only one of a half dozen or more services they will count as having provided to that person. That means that for a person coming in for an abortion, and an abortion only, they would say they 85% of the services they performed for that person were other than abortion. It’s simply ludicrous and dishonest.

    As far as the percentage of revenue. The relevant percentage is the percentage of clinic revenue that abortion provides. That number is reportedly somewhere between 30% and 50%. But like the use of the 3% figure PP makes it a point to hide percentage the revenue that abortion accounts for.

    And this doesn’t even broach the subject of the reasons behind PP founding and who their “business” has targeted. PP was founded by Margret Sanger was a self admitted eugenicist. Here is a lovey quote from a letter she wrote in 1919:

    It seems to me from my experience…that while the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts.

    We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal.

    We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members. (Emphasis mine)

  25. P.S. And, of course, black Americans have abortions at multiple the rates of other ethnic groups and PP has it’s clinics predominantly located in the inter-cities.

  26. Hi Tom,

    “Shaming is no way to correct sin. I doubt Crude really meant “stigma” to be taken as “shaming.”

    Crude is welcome to reply to clarify but for the moment I cannot think of a way Stigma can be added to something without adding Shame.

    But that is by by the by as their assertion was that increasing stigma of premarital sex will result in less abortions. This is not backed up by any study of abstinence sex education. Education on the correct use and effectiveness of contraception results in less unwanted pregnancy.

    I understand that you are against two issues here, premarital sex and abortion. But trying to stop the first doesn’t result in a decrease in the second. Because the truth of the matter is that a smaller number of people having unsafe sex are going to result in more pregnancies than a larger number of people that are using contraception.

    So the question becomes are they both equally bad in your eyes or is abortion worse than premarital sex? If you believe abortion is worse than you should be for education on the use of contraception. If your believe they are equally as bad then by all means keep trying to stop the premarital sex, but you must accept that in doing so your actions will result in an increase of abortions.

    Fully a third of Planned Parenthoods interactions are to do with contraception. Each of those interactions is potentially an abortion that never had to be performed. Why in the world would any person truly against abortion want to put an end to that?

    Sincerely
    Shane

  27. You don’t know how to add stigma without shame because you don’t know the Gospel. It’s pretty cool. I wish I could explain it more effectively to you.

  28. Fully a third of Planned Parenthoods interactions are to do with contraception. Each of those interactions is potentially an abortion that never had to be performed. Why in the world would any person truly against abortion want to put an end to that?

    I won’t speak for Catholics, who oppose contraception. I’ll speak only for myself here.

    Here’s my answer: I don’t see any huge need to put an end to those contraception services, so it’s probably accurate to say I don’t particularly want to do that.

    That was simple, wasn’t it?

    I do want to put an end to their abortion “services.”

    That’s simple too, right?

    The priority I put on the latter is mountains higher than the priority I put on the former.

    This still isn’t hard yet.

    I knew a man who was a very outstanding leader in his community, but who was also guilty of serious misbehavior with minors. No one at his sentencing asked, “Who would want to put an end to his great contributions to the community?”

    That should clarify the answer even further. It wasn’t hard, either.

  29. Education on the correct use and effectiveness of contraception results in less unwanted pregnancy.

    You’re in fantasy land Shane. Education on the correct use and effectiveness of contraception has been going on for decades. Result? What you see today which certainly isn’t less unwanted pregnancies.

  30. That education might have the result Shane imagines if it were to take place in a cultural vacuum, but it doesn’t. It’s an integral, necessary piece of an overall culture that seeks to free sex from all responsibility, obligation, and (increasingly) meaningfulness.

  31. Hi Tom,

    “I knew a man who was a very outstanding leader in his community, but who was also guilty of serious misbehavior with minors. No one at his sentencing asked, “Who would want to put an end to his great contributions to the community?”

    If this was an apt analogy then P.P. would be friendless and being prosecuted for their crimes. Neither of these things is happening because child molestation is “universally” hated and illegal and abortion is neither of those things. A better analogy might have been a story about getting a grocery store closed down resulting in a lack of goods available to the community because one of the products they sold was cigarettes which killed members of the community slowly and painfully. Not perfect either, but closer. There needs to be something about the grocery store selling nicorette patches and those plastic cigarettes that help people stop smoking as well. Anyway …

    Tom, I understand how vile you think abortion is, before your comparison to child molestation. But it is legal. So it happens other places. P.P. provides contraception which, I think you agree, decreases the number of unwanted pregnancies. Therefore closing down P.P. and removing that service of contraception could result in more unwanted pregnancies than already exists, and could therefore result in an increase in abortions performed.

    Sincerely
    Shane

  32. If you can’t see the aptness of the analogy to the question you asked, Shane—not to every person’s opinion about abortion, but to the question you asked—then I suggest you try again.

    Your objection here amounts to a complaint that my analogy explaining x fails because it isn’t analogous with respect to y.

    But I doubt that did any good to say that. Here’s nothing wrong with the analogy I gave, it’s clearer than that explanation just now, and I’m fairly stunned you can’t see that.

    So let me try it this way. You think we should support PP because they perform a service that can reduce abortions.

    That’s self-evidently silly.

    In case not everyone can see the obvious I’ll keep going.

    You think we should support PP in one area of its activities because that activity could reduce the demand for its flagship activity, its one single greatest source of revenue, the “service” in which it holds a commanding market share.

    You seem to think we should uphold and support PP for its contribution to limiting abortion.

    Let me phrase it yet one more way.

    Are you insane?

  33. Hi BillT

    “You’re in fantasy land Shane. Education on the correct use and effectiveness of contraception has been going on for decades. Result? What you see today which certainly isn’t less unwanted pregnancies.”

    In the two decades since a peak in 1991, teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates have been steadily declining. In 2010 it was the lowest since 1946 (the CDC only began tracking it in 1940) http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/2014/05/05/

    Teen birth is highest among states that have no mandatory sex education and/or stress abstinence only (Mississppi has 55 per 1000 females aged between 15-19) and lowest in states that have mandatory comprehensive sex education (New Hampshire has 16 per 1000). http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/10/u-s-teen-birth-rate-drops-to-a-record-low/

    Comprehensive sex education results in less unwanted pregancy.

    Sincerely
    Shane

  34. Anticipating the objection, “Abortion is only part of PP’s health services, not really its flagship”:

    If an organization has one product or service that (a) provides it more revenue than any other product or service, (b) is extremely visible in the public eye, (c) is vigorously defended by that organization in the face of controversy, and (d) is a service or product for which that organization holds a commanding market share, then that product or service is by any sane definition its flagship.

  35. Hi Tom,

    “You seem to think we should uphold and support PP for its contribution to limiting abortion.”

    Assuming you want to have the minimum possible number of abortions performed each year, and eliminating a business will increase the number of abortions performed, then it makes sense to not eliminate that business.

    I understand you want zero abortions performed each year, so you either need to try and make the procedure illegal. In the mean time why not do everything possible to support the contraceptive arms of P.P. To decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies, and thus, abortions?

    Sincerely
    Shane

  36. Hi Tom,

    “Dhane @35, last paragraph: ecological fallacy, fallacy of correlation/causation, fallacy of the hidden (third) variable.”

    Do you find those same fallacies in the statement of BillTs that I was responding to? I mean beyond the fact that the graph I quoted shows his statement is incorrect.

    “Education on the correct use and effectiveness of contraception has been going on for decades. Result? What you see today which certainly isn’t less unwanted pregnancies.”

    Sincerely
    Shane

  37. Hi Tom,

    “Anticipating the objection, “Abortion is only part of PP’s health services, not really its flagship”:

    If an organization has one product or service that (a) provides it more revenue than any other product or service, (b) is extremely visible in the public eye, (c) is vigorously defended by that organization in the face of controversy, and (d) is a service or product for which that organization holds a commanding market share, then that product or service is by any sane definition its flagship.”

    I have no interest in squabbling over definitions. I want to minimise the number of abortions performed every year, as do you. I would certainly be happier if none were being performed. I just believe education and the access to resources is the way to make this a reality as opposed to stigma, ignorance and the denial of services.

    Sincerely
    Shane

  38. Usually I prefer to address the question, but his time I have intentionally addressed the questioner. Shane, I’ve answered your questions clearly and adequately yet you continue your line of questioning, which in this case is nuts.

  39. BillT,

    This is what is relevant in this discussion. PP is an abortion mill. It depends on abortion to survive.

    Nope, it doesn´t.

    The majority of the other services it says it provides are ancillary to abortion.

    The “majority” of those other services are STD tests (roughly 4.5 million per year), contraception services (3.6 million per year) and cancer screenings (1 million per year). You literally could not be more wrong.

    When a woman comes to PP for an abortion they, of course, do perform a number of other tests and services.

    Indeed, doesn´t change the fact that there are three times as many cancer tests than abortions carried out at PP, and twelve times as many contraception services and fifteen times as many STD tests.

    As far as the percentage of revenue. The relevant percentage is the percentage of clinic revenue that abortion provides.

    Because if we use that number, we get a much higher number than we would get if we would look at ALL their revenue – and we want a much higher number, even if it is completely meaningless because it doesn´t tell us anything about how much this means wrt their total revenue because propaganda ftw amirite?!

  40. Azura,

    Are you equally supportive of Margret Sanger’s racism. Are you equally supportive of PP targeting the inter-city residents with their “services”. Are you equally as proud that PP is the reason that inter-city residents have abortions at multiple the rates of other socio/economic groups. So much to be proud of when it comes to PP founding, mission and impact.

  41. Shane,

    How do your statistics hold up when it comes to the rate unwanted pregnancies in the inter city? Not so well I think. They have had education on the correct use and effectiveness of contraception and it’s been going on for decades.

  42. Because if we use that number, we get a much higher number than we would get if we would look at ALL their revenue – and we want a much higher number, even if it is completely meaningless because it doesn´t tell us anything about how much this means wrt their total revenue because propaganda ftw amirite?!

    The thing is none of us have to argue over the reliability of such statistics. Rather, we simply have to look at the number of abortions PP preforms each year.* If one is convinced that abortion – in particular elective abortion – is the unjust killing of innocent human people then the numbers are pretty stark. All this talk of PP harvesting body parts is a sideshow to the big questions like what is a person?

    *And PP happens to be the fall-guy simply because the preform the most abortions.

  43. BillT,

    Are you equally supportive of Margret Sanger’s racism.

    Nope, thanks for asking!
    Now, you seem to be a Christian, so, given how enthusiastically Christians back in Sanger´s time supported eugenics, may I ask if you support it as well?
    “Rev. Osgood told his congregation, you will come across a man quietly toiling over a charcoal brazier. He is a refiner, bent on his task of purging dross and alloy from his bubbling concoction of metals to reveal pure silver or gild. So, too, are we refiners, Osgood said, but with a very different task: improving the human race. “We see that the less fit members of society seem to breed fastest and the right types are less prolific,” Osgood preached, but he emphasized that a practical solution to this alarming problem was at hand. “Taking human
    nature as it is and not ignoring any legitimate emotion or tendency, eugenics aspires to the refiner`s work.” Decrying the “insane and criminal specimens of humanity” whose “slatternly daughters” and “idle, ignorant” sons strained social institutions, Osgood warned his flock, “Until the impurities of dross and alloy are purified out of our silver it cannot be takes into the hands of the craftsman for whom the refining was done.” The Kingdom of God required eugenically fit believers, Osgood said: “Grapes cannot be gathered from thorns
    nor figs nor thistles.”

    In 1926, hundreds of Osgood`s fellow clerics, representing nearly every major protestant denomination, as well as several Reform rabbis, preached eugenics across the country…”
    From the introduction of Christine Rosen´s “Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and the American Eugenics Movement” (2004) Oxford University Press.

  44. Azura,

    If you can’t see the difference between Sanger, whose organization is currently carrying out her mission under the goals she founded it with, and some racist Christians from a century ago who have been thoroughly discredited and disavowed by their own churches, I feel sorry for you.

  45. BillT,
    so PP and people that support it have to agree with everything Margaret Sanger ever said, but Christians obviously do *not* have to agree with everything that earlier generations of Christians said – sounds legit!

    Btw:
    “The disparities in unintended pregnancy rates result mainly from similar disparities in access to and effective use of contraceptives. As of 2002, 15% of black women at risk of unintended pregnancy (i.e., those who are sexually active, fertile and not wanting to be pregnant) were not practicing contraception, compared with 12% and 9% of their Hispanic and white counterparts, respectively. These figures—and the disparities among them—are significant given that, nationally, half of all unintended pregnancies result from the small proportion of women who are at risk but not using contraceptives.”
    https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/11/3/gpr110302.html

  46. Again, we seem to be loosing focus. It doesn’t matter if Sanger was a ranging racist or if Osgood was her ardent supporter. What matters is the answer to the following question:

    What is the unborn?

    We already know they are distinct human lifeforms so the answer has to be a focus on something else – something that I think is pretty arbitrary and intangible like personhood.

  47. Billy Squibs,

    What is the unborn?

    We already know they are distinct human lifeforms so the answer has to be a focus on something else – something that I think is pretty arbitrary and intangible like personhood.

    You think the concept of personhood is arbitrary and intangible? If your assessment would have been “ill-defined” or something like that, I would be inclined to agree – but “arbitrary and intangible”? On what grounds would you then call anyone a “person”? (or do you think that no one is a “person” because the concept of personhood is meaningless?)

  48. so PP and people that support it have to agree with everything Margaret Sanger ever said, but Christians obviously do *not* have to agree with everything that earlier generations of Christians said – sounds legit!

    Azura,

    Just what part of the “…. whose organization is currently carrying out her mission under the goals she founded it with…” and “…. some racist Christians from a century ago who have been thoroughly discredited and disavowed by their own churches…” did you not understand?

    Christians currently don’t believe in eugenics and have disavowed those who did. PP is currently carrying our Sanger’s mission, the way she envisioned it, to the very people she envisioned it being carried out to. And you support it, too.

  49. We already know they are distinct human lifeforms so the answer has to be a focus on something else – something that I think is pretty arbitrary and intangible like personhood.

    Billy,

    I don’t see where it’s so arbitrary and intangible. I’m sure Azura can answer these questions similar to the ones I posed to DougJC:

    And just when does personhood begin and how is it defined. How do you know if an unborn child has personhood or doesn’t. How do you know if a born child has personhood or doesn’t. Can you give me a specific time either during of after gestation when personhood begins. When did you get your personhood. Just what branch of medical science is tasked with determining personhood and what test determine it. Seems that all the above are legitimate questions given you think personhood is the dividing line between life and death. Can you answer any of them?.

  50. Can you point to where Planned Parenthood has publicly repudiated Sanger’s racism and eugenics?

    Rather than, say, name their top award after her and give it to their most prominent supporters as a token of their appreciation. Just saying.

  51. Nope, it doesn´t.

    Which mean outlawing or defunding the abortion side of the business won’t result in PP being shut down. Sounds like a win-win.

  52. Hi Tom,

    “Usually I prefer to address the question, but his time I have intentionally addressed the questioner. Shane, I’ve answered your questions clearly and adequately yet you continue your line of questioning, which in this case is nuts.”

    My unanswered question is “Do you want to shut down a business who performs abortions in your country if the Net result is more abortions are performed in your country?” Because that to me is nuts.

    Sincerely
    Shane

  53. Shane, read #30. I answered that question a long time ago.

    Then drop this embarrassingly inane line of questioning. Got it?

    I’m stunned—utterly, jaw-droppingly astonished—that you haven’t let go of this. The obvious answer has been stated repeatedly, and you can’t see it? Why are you so blind?

    Don’t answer that I’m the one who’s blind. I’m not projecting on you here. The answer you’ve been provided here is more than enough for anyone to see if they had the capacity.

    Please open your eyes and your heart. Please. Don’t settle for this blindness.

  54. (By the way, you changed your wording on your question this time. Try not to call us out for not answering that one, okay? The principle by which I’ve answered your previous versions applies to this version. You’re nuts anyway to think that shutting down the dominant supplier of a service would result in that service being performed even more.)

  55. Hi BillT,

    “Are you equally as proud that PP is the reason that inter-city residents have abortions at multiple the rates of other socio/economic groups.”

    “How do your statistics hold up when it comes to the rate unwanted pregnancies in the inter city? Not so well I think. They have had education on the correct use and effectiveness of contraception and it’s been going on for decades.”

    While I am happy to hear what you think I am much more interested in actual data. I am not sure what ‘inter city’ means as a demographic I am going to guess it means minorities. Black teen pregnancy rates in 1990 were 232.7 per 1000. In 2002 they had dropped to 138.7 per 1000. Hispanic over the same time period dropped from 167.4 to 135.2
    http://www.glowm.com/section_view/heading/Pregnancy%20in%20Adolescence/item/413

    Abortion rates in these minorities are much higher than in white teenage females because the instance of pregnancy is much higher. Why do you think there is no correlation between the standard of education the average white teenager receives compared to the average minority teenager? What do you think is the cause?

    Sincerely
    Shane

  56. Hi Tom,

    “You’re nuts anyway to think that shutting down the dominant supplier of a service would result in that service being performed even more.”

    Well that’s an answer. You believe that closing down the biggest supplier of a legally available service will stop that service being supplied. I think that other suppliers will fill the void. New providers will arise. That’s what capitalism is. And I also think that if abortion is the big money earner you say there would be no need for the next company to come along to focus at all on any of the services that P.P. supplied. So less contraception in the community, more pregnancies, more abortions.

    Sincerely
    Shane

  57. Well, congratulations. You read something I wrote.

    Something parenthetical.

    Something off to the side, not essential to the main answer to the question you have (mercifully) quit asking, but whose answer you have tragically chosen not to see.

    Cancel those congratulations after all.

  58. You think the concept of personhood is arbitrary and intangible? If your assessment would have been “ill-defined” or something like that, I would be inclined to agree – but “arbitrary and intangible”? On what grounds would you then call anyone a “person”? (or do you think that no one is a “person” because the concept of personhood is meaningless?)

    I wrote that comment in a hurry so I think clarification is in order. I was writing my last comment from a POV that assumes there is no God – perhaps you could call this atheistic naturalism or some such.

    As a Christian I don’t believe that personhood is arbitrary and intangible. Rather, I can turn to the idea of the Imago Dei as the grounds for the inherent worth of all humans irrespective their stage of development. Secular pro-lifers – who I really appreciate as allies – don’t have such a unifying belief. From what I gather their belief in the value of human life from conception onward is largely axiomatic and not something worth arguing over. (Though it’s very possibly that I’m unaware of their more powerful arguments in favor of human exceptionalism from conception onward).

    Then we come to the other side, pro-chice. This is the side that was writing from in my last comment. I believe that the strongest argument the pro-choicer has is when they argue that:

    a) personhood is the determining factor for when human life becomes sacrosanct and b) personhood only begins with certain measurable brain functions and cognitive abilities.

    Again, I see this as your strongest argument – one that I’ll admit causes me some discomfort). However, my original assertion remains. Personhood is an arbitrary and intangible concept because it is based – at least as I’ve hears it argued – upon other intangible concepts like consciousness and sentience.

    Does that better explain my position?

    @Bill – I posed those exact same question to DougJC before.

  59. SteveK,

    Which mean outlawing or defunding the abortion side of the business won’t result in PP being shut down.

    Absolutely! Because “defunding the abortion side of the business” has long happened and PP is still here.

  60. Christians currently don’t believe in eugenics and have disavowed those who did. PP is currently carrying our Sanger’s mission…

    If by “mission” you mean “providing reproductive healthcare”, then yes, absolutely!

  61. @Bill – I posed those exact same question to DougJC before

    Billy,

    Think there is any chance we’ll get an answer from Doug or Azura?

  62. Actually, Asura, that was kind of greasy on your part.

    Actually Tom I’d disagree. Isn’t that just the kind of answer we’d expect after his failure to reply to your question in #57 or the kind of questions Billy and I asked him in #54 and #56. Lots of peripheral info, nothing of real substance.

  63. @ BillT #70

    To be fair DougJC and BillL have attempted to answer the question in the past. Still, perhaps it’s better that I read people like David Boonan who widely regarded by pro-life proponents as somebody who offers somne of the best challenges to the pro-life cause. His book In Defence of Abortion is damn expensive though.

    I was thinking about all of this issue of personhood yesterday and what popped into my mind was the film adaption of Kazuo Ishiguro’s book Never Let Me Go. (I would encourage you to at least read the plot summary.) Ishiguro may (or may not) beg to differ but I think that a story

    in which the protagonists desperately attempt to demonstrate their humanness (that they have souls) and therefore that they have inherent worth is very relevant to the question of personhood and humanness

    One other thought struck me. Let’s say that we grant Asura’s claim that personhood is at worst “ill-defined”. To my mind this means that by Asura’s own standards there are grey areas in which human persons have been unjustly killed.

    I understand that in the US alone there have perhaps been upwards of 50 – 60 million abortions since the 70’s. How many of these by Asura’s own nebolous understanding of personhood where human persons? That’s not a gotcha. I think it’s just the brutal reality of abortion even by pro-choicer’s own standards.

  64. How many of these by Asura’s own nebolous understanding of personhood where human persons? That’s not a gotcha. I think it’s just the brutal reality of abortion even by pro-choicer’s own standards.

    Billy,

    My point exactly. Now where is Azura to show us why we are wrong or agree we are right.

    P.S. Bill L and Doug’s past attempts never answered the questions we asked in any satisfactory way.

  65. Tom,

    Actually, Asura, that was kind of greasy on your part.

    I meant greasy as in evasive and slippery, with intentionally negative connotations on it. Was it unexpected? No.

    Ah, “slippery” like being proven wrong and then just dropping the original subject to something completely different? You know, like BillT did in #47?

  66. Billy Squibs,

    I wrote that comment in a hurry so I think clarification is in order. I was writing my last comment from a POV that assumes there is no God – perhaps you could call this atheistic naturalism or some such.

    I don´t think naturalism has much relevance here – it´s not logically entailed by atheism and many atheist belief systems subscribe to idealist positions wrt the mind, not to physicalist / naturalist positions.

    As a Christian I don’t believe that personhood is arbitrary and intangible. Rather, I can turn to the idea of the Imago Dei as the grounds for the inherent worth of all humans irrespective their stage of development.

    Hmm… I doubt that grounding human personhood / moral worth in the concept of Imago Dei is as clear and tangible (as opposed to “arbitrary and intangible”) as you seem to think it is. I can think of some challenges to this view:
    If we spell out the logic for why “Imago Dei” grounds human personhood / moral worth, it would look something like this:
    1. There is a God.
    2. God is intrinsically morally valuable.
    3. God created humans “in his image”.
    4. From #1-3 it follows that humans are intrinsically morally valuable.
    Do you disagree with this? (and if so, how would you spell out the underlying logic instead?).
    If you agree with the reasoning as spelled out here, do you think that you can demonstrate *all* of premises 1-3 to be true? I´m sure you can come up with arguments that aim to show that there is a God, but can you also provide arguments for the truth of premise 2 or is this just considered to be axiomatic? Because if it is axiomatic, then I would point out that an alternative to your Imago Dei idea, which simply axiomatically declares that sentient life is intrinsicallly valuable, is equally intellectually unsatisfying but much more parsimonous.

    A second challenge would be, that the concept of “Imago Dei” is not very precise. Specifically, how exactly do you know that “Imago Dei” applies to human life from the moment of conception on, not later and not earlier? Why doesn´t “Imago Dei” apply, say, after 45 days and 90 days for males and females respectively? (Aristotle thought that this is the moment when ensoulment happens and the church adopted this view for many centuries) Or why doesn´t “Imago Dei” apply already to the unfertilized human egg and human sperm cells?
    There is only one *tangible* consequence of conception – you change the genetic and epigenetic makeup of an egg cell and you thus end up with a cell that is genetically distinct from the mother, period. That is literally all there is wrt to tangible(!) changes that happen during conception. Now, I strongly doubt that you believe that “Imago Dei” can be reduced to genes, but if “Imago Dei” indeed cannot be reduced to genes but rather entails something intagible (like a “soul” for example) – then you either need an argument for why conception indeed is the moment where “Imago Dei” applies, or you have just selected an arbitrary point in human development without any intellectual justification for it.

    A third challenge – how do you know which species “Imago Dei” applies to? Lets take an extreme example: how exactly do you know that an amoeba is not created “in the image of God”? If you say that is because an amoeba doesn´t have a mind, then I would point out that the same applies to humans in early stages of development and to humans that are brain-dead or born with anencephaly. If you say that it because the Bible doesn´t mention amoeba being created “in the image of God”, then I would point out that the Bible doesn´t actually say *anything whatsoever* about microorganisms and interpreting complete silence on this matter as a definitive “no”, is not valid reasoning.
    Or, to take a less extreme example, why isn´t a chimpanzee “created in the image of God”?

    Again, I doubt that “Imago Dei” is as clear and tangible as you think it is.

    I believe that the strongest argument the pro-choicer has is when they argue that:

    a) personhood is the determining factor for when human life becomes sacrosanct and b) personhood only begins with certain measurable brain functions and cognitive abilities.

    Again, I see this as your strongest argument – one that I’ll admit causes me some discomfort). However, my original assertion remains. Personhood is an arbitrary and intangible concept because it is based – at least as I’ve hears it argued – upon other intangible concepts like consciousness and sentience.

    Does that better explain my position?

    Yes, thanks for spelling it out so clearly. I disagree with your assessment of the secular position being “arbitrary and intangible”, I´ll go into the details about why in my answer to your next comment.

  67. Billy Squibs,

    One other thought struck me. Let’s say that we grant Asura’s claim that personhood is at worst “ill-defined”. To my mind this means that by Asura’s own standards there are grey areas in which human persons have been unjustly killed.

    I understand that in the US alone there have perhaps been upwards of 50 – 60 million abortions since the 70’s. How many of these by Asura’s own nebolous understanding of personhood where human persons?

    Alright, lets start with what “personhood” is. That the concept is “ill-defined” is IMHO obvious, given how philosophers have thought about it for (literally) thousands of years, yet still never managed to come up with one definition that everybody agrees on. And it´s not a matter of theist philosophers vs. atheist philosophers. I´ll illustrate it with some examples:
    – For Locke, a “person” was ““a thinking intelligent Being, that has reason and reflection, and can consider itself as itself, the same thinking thing in different times and places; which it does only by that consciousness, which is inseparable from thinking, and as it seems to me essential to it.” ”
    – In early Christian thought:
    “Christianity is the first philosophical system to use the word “person” in its modern sense. [93] The word “persona” was transformed from its theater use into a term with strict technical theological meaning by Tertullian in his work, De Trinitate (“On The Trinity”), in order to distinguish the three “persons” of the Trinity. Subsequently, Boethius refined the word to mean “an individual substance of a rational nature.” This can be re-stated as “that which possesses an intellect and a will.”” (from Wikipedia´s article on “personhood”)
    – For Searle, it means “…inner, qualitative, subjective states, and processes of sentience or awareness.” This includes “one’s autobiography and mental time” together with the capacity to introspect and report about one’s mental state by verbal and nonverbal means.”

    More examples could be provided ad nauseam. And *all* those definitions have one thing in common, they rely on a human (or human-like) mind, on mental functions. Therefore, despite the concept of “personhood” being ambiguous / ill-defined, one can still clearly conclude that entities that do not have a human (or human-like) mind can consequentently also not be “persons” – no matter which exact definition of “personhood” we subscribe to. So, the crucial question becomes – does developing human life have a human mind from the moment of conception? And the answer IMO is a clear “no, it certainly does not”. And I claim that this answer can easily be defended no matter which stance we take on the philosophy of mind. I´d happily grant you that naturalism is certainly false and that an idealist or dualist account (pick whichever you prefer) of the mind is true – it is easy to show that a zygote doesn´t have a human mind either way. But maybe we don´t even disagree here – do you agree that human life indeed does not have a human mind immediately after conception or do you disagree? If you disagree, then I´ll go into the details about why I think this is certainly false in my next comment.

    Now on to your question:

    I understand that in the US alone there have perhaps been upwards of 50 – 60 million abortions since the 70’s. How many of these by Asura’s own nebolous understanding of personhood where human persons?

    I don´t think that personhood is something binary (like “pregnant” – you can´t be “a little pregnant”, you either are pregnant or not). The mental properties that definitions of personhood (including the Christian ones) refer to, develop gradually – there never is a moment in human development where someone gets all these properties at once in fully developed form. So, this becomes an instance of the sorites paradox, meaning that there is no single and objective answer – just like the question “when does day turn into night” does not (and cannot have) a single and objective answer.
    However, this is nothing too problematic and actually extremely common in ethical thought. We have the same problem when we ask “when are people intellectually mature enough to vote, consent to sex, drive a car etc.pp.” – there is no objective one-size-fits-all answer to any of those questions, but we can still come up with reasonable answers.
    Wrt human development and abortion, the “grey area” between “not a person in any sense” and “fully a person in every sense” does not begin at the moment of conception – a zygote doesn´t have any of the attributes associated with personhood in any degree and is still far away from even *starting* to develop them – the grey area rather starts when the thalamo-cortical complex is in place (and that is in the early third trimester), that is the earliest moment where one could reasonably say that the attributes associated with personhood *start* to develop. An elective abortion before that kills human life, but it doesn´t kill a “human person” in *any* sense of the word “person” and thus causes no harm. You could argue that eliminating the chance of a human being coming into existence is “harm”, however, note that the exact same could be said about you not having sex right now with the first willing and fertile woman you can find – every opportunity for having unprotected sex with any fertile woman that you do not use, eliminates the possibility of a human being coming into existence, yet no Christian thinks that this makes an argument for hyper-promiscuity for everyone.
    And that´s why I think that abortion in the first two trimesters is always permissible, while restrictions for abortions in the third trimester are reasonable (in other words, I agree with the solutions that many western countries have adopted wrt abortion). And, based on what I spelled out here and in my previous comment, I think that the secular view is actually much less “arbitrary and intangible” than the Imago Dei view.

  68. Asura, your article was helpful, and it was close to what I requested. It repudiated racism and eugenics. It whitewashed Sanger, but at least it repudiated those principles. Thank you for pointing us tomit.

    Your request for a Christian repudiation of Luther’s anti-Semitism is laughable. It would take months to compile them all, and days for you to print the list of book and article titles and skim through it.

    We’ve backed that up in actions. Other than Israeli and Zionist Jews, there is no group that is more pro-Israel an American evangelicals. This is widely known and broadly reported.

    Meanwhile the principle you say PP has repudiated is one of limiting black population growth. How is PP demonstrating it has rejected that principle?

    Along with the rest of the industry of which it is the acknowledged leader, Here’s how.

  69. Asura @76, if you have a complaint against me, spell it out. I can handle it. I’m not reading everything closely enough to know whether BillT did what you say.

    Realize, though, that a tactic like “But Bill did it too!” really does come off looking childish.

    It’s also a deflection, an evasion.

    Hint: one who is trying to defend against a charge of being slippery and evasive should not rely on transparently evasive tactics to do so.

    You’ve proved my point.

  70. Billy Squibs,

    He’s trying to tell you there’s a “more parsimonious” view that says if we can show there is God, it’s still likely that sentient life has intrinsic moral worth than God.

    My advice: if you want to engage the argument, do it by defining the term “God,” which Asura is using without the slightest awareness of its meaning.

    If however you decide that he’s demonstrated himself to be overly convinced of things of which he knows little, and if you decide thst arguing with that kind of unknowing incompetence isn’t worth the time, I would certainly support that.

    Anyone who thinks it’s possible that the Imago Dei could apply to amoebas really ought to take the time to do his own homework, instead of expecting us to do it for him.

    Asura, there is literally no argument there. I wouldn’t bother rebutting it, because there’s nothing to rebut. You have words lined up in positions where words are often positioned in arguments, but the words don’t mean what you think they mesn and they don’t produce any argument as you think they do.

  71. Tom,

    Your request for a Christian repudiation of Luther’s anti-Semitism is laughable. It would take months to compile them all, and days for you to print it he list and skim through it.

    We’ve backed that up in actions. Other than Israeli and Zionist Jews, there is no group that is more pro-Israel an American evangelicals. This is widely known and broadly reported.

    Supporting Jews today is not exactly what I asked for. I asked for a specific acknowledgment of Luther being a virulent anti-semite and a repudiation of his vile views on this matter. I would be very surprised if your church actually published such a statement, and I also don´t actually believe that your church is obliged to publish such a statement (just like PP is not actually obliged to explicitly repudiate Sanger´s views on eugenics – but if it´s fair to ask PP to repudiate Sanger, it´s just as fair to ask protestants to repudiate Luther).

    Meanwhile the principle you say PP has repudiated is one of limiting black population growth. How is PP demonstrating it has rejected that principle?

    Along with the rest of the industry of which it is the acknowledged leader, Here’s how.

    I said it before and I´ll say it again:
    “The disparities in unintended pregnancy rates result mainly from similar disparities in access to and effective use of contraceptives. As of 2002, 15% of black women at risk of unintended pregnancy (i.e., those who are sexually active, fertile and not wanting to be pregnant) were not practicing contraception, compared with 12% and 9% of their Hispanic and white counterparts, respectively. These figures—and the disparities among them—are significant given that, nationally, half of all unintended pregnancies result from the small proportion of women who are at risk but not using contraceptives.”
    https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/11/3/gpr110302.html
    If you are worried about the disproportionally high rates of abortion among minority women, there´s an easy solution – comprehensive sex ed and easy access to contraception.

  72. Asura, there are so many such repudiations out there, the fact that their existence would surprise you is testimony to the fact that you’re disputing that of which you know virtually nothing.

    Is it your usual practice to take a strong stand on matters you have never studied?

    I never said it was unfair for you to ask for a repudiation of Luther’s anti-Semitism. I say instead that your asking was a demonstration of your ignorance.

    Do your own homework. It’s easy.

  73. Tom,

    He’s trying to tell you there’s a “more parsimonious” view that says if we can show there is God, it’s still likely that sentient life has intrinsic moral worth than God.

    I guess you were trying to summarize my views, but this attempt at sumarizing something I said is just word salad.

    My advice: if you want to engage the argument, do it by defining the term “God,” which Asura is using without the slightest awareness of its meaning.

    You can “define” as much as you want, I´m only interested in what you can argue for.

    Anyone who thinks it’s possible that the Imago Dei could apply to amoebas really ought to take the time to do his own homework, instead of expecting us to do it for him.

    Did your homework so far include learning the difference between a “definition” and an “argument”?

    Asura, there is literally no argument there. I wouldn’t bother rebutting it, because there’s nothing to rebut. You have words lined up in positions where words are often positioned in arguments, but the words don’t mean what you think they mesn and they don’t produce any argument as you think they do.

    Well, that is a possibility. Another possibility is that you are simply unable to come up with a rebuttal, but you are not willing to admit that, so you try to substitute a vacuous cocktail of confidence, arrogance and condescension for actual counterarguments.
    So far, you´ve given me no reason to believe in the former and every reason to believe in the latter possibility.

  74. It’s rather surprising besides, the way you dismiss actions and insist on words to demonstrate a changed attitude.

    Does anybody else here find that unusual?

  75. Tom,

    Asura, there are so many such repudiation out here, the fact that their existence would surprise you is testimony to the fact that you’re disputing that of which you know virtually nothing.

    Cool. But you are not linking to the one from your church (or any other for that matter) because…. ?

  76. It’s rather surprising besides, the way you dismiss actions and insist on words to demonstrate a changed attitude.

    Then why the hell did you ask for a statement from PP re Sanger?

  77. I asked for a statement on Sanger because I was curious whether there was one. I thanked you for it when you provided it, and I thank you again now.

    I never said words were nothing. I said it seems odd to dismiss actions and insist on words instead.

  78. Tom,

    Your alternate possibility at the end of 84 is belied by the transparent fact that you do not know the meanings of seversl terms you are using.

    Your only example for terms that I allegedly do not understand was allegedly the term “God”. And here, I will point out that there is not one single definition of this term – there are actually plenty. Even among those that explicitly subscribe to the God of classical theism, there are varying definitions (example: classical theism usually entails divine impassibility, but many Christian philosophers deny that God is indeed impassible). Any my point was, that arguing for the existence of “God” doesn´t automatically establish that God is morally valuable (not even that there is any such thing as moral worth to begin with!). Take, for example, the argument from motion – nowhere in this argument is it established that there is such a thing as “moral value” and that the “God” that is proven by the argument from motion is morally valuable. So, if you think that a divine creator exists and that this divine creator is morally valuable, then the argument from motion (and pretty much every other argument for God) would only be a justification for the former, not for the latter.
    I am perfectly aware of the classical definitions of “God” (and many of the more modern and obscure definitions of “God”) and your response to my comments is completely baseless and vacuous.

  79. By the way, I’ll freely admit I was ignorant of whether PP had published such a statement. The difference between that ignorance and yours is that there’s a difference in the number of resources available to fulfill the request, and the magnitude of that difference can be measured in libraries, not just books; there’s a well-known and widely reported behavioral demonstration of the attitude on our side of this question; and I merely asked for the information, I never suggested it would be surprising if it existed, whichis to say, I asked for information to discover what the facts were before I took a strong stand concerning them.

  80. Tom,

    If there’s no such thing as moral value, Asura, then why do you value full term babies?

    So my subjective feelings about x being valuable indeed do establish that there is objective value in the first place and that x has objective value? Cool, then I guess Imago Dei is completely superfluous to establish human moral worth because by subjective feelings are good enough. Are you sure you want to go with that or do you want to try again?

    (You also misunderstand “Imago Dei.”)

    Well possible, and the correct understanding for the context of this discussion would be…..?

  81. Asura,

    You say we can’t use motion to look into morality?

    Huh?

    Isn’t (actual) motion amid Self-Other housed in love’s ceaseless (and actual) reciprocity?

    But if ceaseless, causeless, without first, without last, whence love’s (actual) motions amid (actual) Self/Other?

    Love houses movement.

    You seem uninformed on Christian Metaphysics.

  82. Here’s where definition is essential to argument. You wrote,

    I´m sure you can come up with arguments that aim to show that there is a God, but can you also provide arguments for the truth of premise 2 or is this just considered to be axiomatic?

    The arguments for the God of classical theism would perforce be arguments for a God with infinite moral worth, for the God of classical theism is (by definition and by reasoning) a God of infinite moral worth. In other words, if you grant that we can come up with arguments for the existence of God, you are by definition granting that we can come up with arguments for a God of infinite moral worth. If you had understood thatr definition you never could have thought to ask that second question. The fact that you asked the second question shows that you did not understand the meaning of the term under discussion.

  83. Asura, I read your comment 94. I can’t imagine how you came to think that it was relevant to my question.

    I’ll ask again. Would you like to explain why you value full term babies if there are no moral values? Thanks.

  84. As for the meaning of Imago Dei, rather than educating you on that, I’d rather educate you on the silliness and intellectual dishonesty of developing strong statements or arguments against or even about things of which you obviously know nothing.

    Do your own homework.

  85. Tom,

    The difference between that ignorance and yours is that there’s a difference in the number of resources available to fulfill the request, and the magnitude of that difference can be measured in libraries,

    And I´ll note again that you haven´t yet linked to even just a single repudiation. I have indeed seen some discussions about Luther´s anti-semitism coming from Christians, but those were academic and the average protestant, afaict, knows who Luther was and what he did, but is also blissfully unaware of his “On the Jews and their Lies” (and every single person that I have shown the infamous section IX of this book, which essentially spells out the Nazi Endlösung four hundred years before it actually happened, was positively shocked that they have never heard this about Luther before). And, judging from the programs for the Luther year 2017, it looks like pretty much everyone wants to celebrate his life without mentioning the ugly parts of it.

    not just books; there’s a well-known and widely reported behavioral demonstration of the attitude on our side of this question

    And PP and its supporters have a long history of being anti-racist. That you try to interpret the fact of black women choosing abortions more often than white women, as an act of racism by PP, is just ludicrous.

  86. Did I say it was an act of racism? Where?

    I had asked whether PP had demonstrated it had repudiated racism. I gave this as an answer. I didn’t say this proved racism. I said this was a poor demonstration of repudiating racism. There’s a difference.

  87. I haven’t linked to a single repudiation because I’m not pandering to your manifest ignorance.

    The homework is easy to do. That’s my answer. If you don’t like it, see #98.

    I have other things to do now. Have a good day.

  88. Asura,

    You don’t seem up to speed on the Christian’s metaphysical paradigm.

    Arguements from motion and arguments from love both inform us on the seamless and singular simplicity that is the Self-Giving God. Each argument has much to say about the other, each informs the other. In fact, almost all of the semantics and ontological nuances in the argument from motion show up as we dive into the semantics of love’s ceaseless reciprocity within the Necessary Being. In fact, that is one (there are others) of the avenues where Trinity becomes unavoidable. Then in the reverse direction we see the same sort of thing happening.

    It’s almost palindrome-ic.

    To assert that Nature (the created order) does not inform us in such ways is to misunderstand the Christian’s metaphysical paradigm.

  89. Tom,

    The arguments for the God of classical theism would perforce be arguments for a God with infinite moral worth, for the God of classical theism is (by definition and by reasoning) a God of infinite moral worth. In other words, if you grant that we can come up with arguments for the existence of God, you are by definition granting that we can come up with arguments for a God of infinite moral worth. If you had understood thatr definition you never could have thought to ask that second question. The fact that you asked the second question shows that you did not understand the meaning of the term under discussion.

    Here are the articles about divine attributes according to Christian thought from Wikipedia and the Catholic encyclopedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attributes_of_God_in_Christianity
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02062e.htm
    – and, who would have thought, “infinite moral worth” (or a synonym of this) is not included.
    And here is article about the most famous arguments for the God of classical theism, Aquinas’ five ways:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinque_viae
    – again, no mention of God being infinitely morally valuable.
    Here´s a specific example of such an argument:
    “1. Some things are in motion.
    2. A thing cannot, in the same respect and in the same way, move itself: it requires a mover.
    3. An infinite regress of movers is impossible.
    4. Therefore, there is an unmoved mover from whom all motion proceeds.
    5. This mover, everyone calls God.”
    – A classical argument for the God of classical theism and no explicit or implicit notion of God having infinite moral value what-so-ever.
    You literally could not be more wrong here.

    As for the meaning of Imago Dei, rather than educating you on that, I’d rather educate you on the silliness and intellectual dishonesty of developing strong statements or arguments against or even about things of which you obviously know nothing.

    Well, based on the consistent vacuity of your comments so far, I strongly suspect that you know as much about the meaning of Imago Dei as you know about what the arguments for the God of classical logically entail – nothing whatsoever.

  90. One more thing.

    Ther is a way to respond to the discovery that one’s argument is less than fully informed. It’s demonstrated in comment 5 and the OP. Behind the scenes I did my homework, too.

    I recommend you consider this as an example.

  91. Asura,

    Your #103 nonsense conclusion that the argument from motion is metaphysically silent on the argument from love (and in the reverse) only affirms your superficial level of understanding here.

  92. And finally for the morning, I note that you think you’ve done your homework by referencing a couple articles, one of them from Wikipedia, and all I can say is how sad it is to see someone thinking that qualifies them to make further strong statements on a matter.

  93. Tom,

    And finally for the morning, I note that you think you’ve done your homework by referencing a couple articles, one of them from Wikipedia, and all I can say is how sad it is to see someone thinking that qualifies them to make further strong statements on a matter.

    you give the impression that you have never given any of these matters any thought at all and instead just repeat your preconceived ideas like a broken record. You certainly do not even try to support your claims with *anything* at all beyond your confidence that you must be right.

  94. Asura,

    What your sloppy straw man version of Christian Metaphysics is missing is the fact that we do not find contingencies in God. If you understood what that entailed then you’d see one (there are *many* more) of your misguided caricatures of the argument from motion as such relates to the moral argument from love, as briefly alluded to in the previous few comments.

    You clearly have homework to do.

  95. Asura,

    Since you’re so far afield in your confusion where Christian metaphysics is concerned, we’ll simplify it: Is there (actual) motion amid (actual) reciprocity?

    Now, that’s an intentional oversimplification but, as per #95 and etc., it seems necessary at this point. The whole causeless and uncaused lines we’ll have to just drop for now….. homework and all.

  96. Another quick moment came available.

    Asura, if you think I haven’t thought about these things, use the search box here and look up “image of God” or “God’s image” and “moral argument.”

    This, too, was a conclusion you reached without knowledge. It’s pretty sad to me.

  97. Tom,

    Asura, if you think I haven’t thought about these things, use the search box here and look up “image of God” or “God’s image” and “moral argument.”

    This, too, was a conclusion you reached without knowledge. It’s pretty sad to me.

    No, it was actually a conclusion based on the consistent and thorough vacuity of your comments in this thread right here. Maybe you are just having an extremely bad day, but you have not given me any reason to check your earlier writings to see whether they actually contain some thoughtful bits. I´ll wait for Billy Squibs answer, because he actually does seem to be interested in having a thoughtful conversation about this matter instead of just repeating his preconceived ideas.

  98. You looked up two or three articles on God, found nothing on moral perfection in them, and concluded that classical theism says nothing about God’s moral perfection.

    You have engaged in a few minutes of conversation with me here, found that I was unwilling to engage with you on some topics, and made a strong statement in conclusion that I must not have ever given those matters any thought at all.

    Do you see how in both cases your evidence is inadequate to support your conclusions? Can you see how it’s possible that there could be other conclusions consistent with that same evidence?

  99. Tom,

    You looked up two or three articles on God, found nothing on moral perfection in them, and concluded that classical theism says nothing about God’s moral perfection.

    And you concluded that based on me linking to three articles. Protip:
    “x links to three articles about y” => “those three articles are all that x has read about y”
    – is a so-called “non-sequitur”. That means that the conclusion is not logically entailed by the premise.
    Btw, it is not about “moral perfection”, but rather about whether moral value exists at all and whether God is morally valuable assuming that it does exist. So you got that wrong as well.
    And it is also not about whether classical theism has something to *say* about it – but rather whether classical theism has *arguments* that demonstrate this to be the case (you can claim and define all day long, the only thing that matters is what you can argue for). And none of the arguments for capital-G God actually do this job. The five ways are completely silent on this matter, and not even the argument from morality establishes that there is moral value to begin with. One version of the argument from morality is:
    1. If morality is objective and absolute, God must exist.
    2. Morality is objective and absolute.
    3. Therefore, God must exist.
    – note that the existence of objective moral value is a *premise*, not a *conclusion* of this argument.
    You are wrong on every conceivable level and evidently unwilling to learn.

    You have engaged in a few minutes of conversation with me here, found that I was unwilling to engage with you on some topics, and made a strong statement in conclusion that I must not have ever given these matters any thought at all.

    Oh, you were willing to engage me – just not with any thoughtful comments.

  100. Asura,

    The Lutheran Church formally denounced Luther. Several times.

    It took 15 seconds to find.

    The next 60 seconds began to dip a toe in an ocean.

    You’re failing on that point.

    Also:

    The argument from motion clearly informs the argument from morality – and vice-versa. Your attempt at Christian metaphysics isn’t Christian at all.

    You’re failing on that point too.

    Rather than broaden your knowledge base, you just repeat false conclusions based on fallacious premises.

    You’re failing on that point too.

  101. Ah, “slippery” like being proven wrong and then just dropping the original subject to something completely different? You know, like BillT did in #47?

    This is complete nonsense. I didn’t chage subjects. The subject was PP and the abortion and other series it provided and who they provided it to. And your assertions didn’t “prove me wrong” they were just a list of services that PP provided and certainly didn’t prove (or really even try to prove) PP could survive if deprived of its single greatest source of revenue and the loss of the ancillary services associated directly with it. It was more obfuscation than proof.

  102. And you concluded that based on me linking to three articles. Protip:
    “x links to three articles about y” => “those three articles are all that x has read about y”

    I didn’t draw that conclusion, Asura. Rather I assessed the argument you gave, which was an argument based on those three articles, and I commented on how those three articles are inadequate for the conclusion you drew.

    That’s not a non sequitur (which by the way is not hyphenated).

    Btw, it is not about “moral perfection”, but rather about whether moral value exists at all and whether God is morally valuable assuming that it does exist. So you got that wrong as well.

    Moral perfection is the category under which the relevant discussion can be found. I didn’t get that wrong.

    What you’re continuing to demonstrate, Asura, is that you don’t know how to draw conclusions by following a chain of reasoned discourse from initial evidences or premises, and you also don’t know when you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re in a condition I’m starting to call by the name checkmate ignorance, from the chess player who doesn’t know enough about the game to know he doesn’t have what it takes to play, but thinks he’s winning anyway.

  103. BillT,

    This is complete nonsense. I didn’t chage subjects. The subject was PP and the abortion and other series it provided and who they provided it to.

    Yup, until you dropped that subject and changed it to something that could be paraphrased as “but, but… Margaret Sanger was a really terrible person!”

    And your assertions didn’t “prove me wrong”

    You made two claims:
    1. “PP is an abortion mill. It depends on abortion to survive.”
    2. “The majority of the other services it says it provides are ancillary to abortion.”

    #2. is completely false – the *vast* majority of other services are not ancillary to abortion. As I pointed out in #44, there are:
    “…three times as many cancer tests than abortions carried out at PP, and twelve times as many contraception services and fifteen times as many STD tests.”

    #1. is a mere assertion, and a rather ridiculous one. You tried to argue for it by claiming that abortion is responsible for 30-50% of the revenue, but you only get 30-50% by taking a cherry-picked subset of all of PPs revenue and would have merely 10% if you looked at ALL revenue. And you also ignore that revenue is completely irrelevant to begin with because you do not know how much *profit* this translates to (could be 1%, could be 20%, the data to calculate this is not publicly available afaict) – but it is just silly to assume that removing just 10% of the revenue would kill PP, especially given that there are already PP clinics that don´t offer any abortions but rather only contraception services and / or STD + cancer screenings.

  104. Asura,

    I’d encourage you to use the Internet where Luther is concerned.

    I’d also encourage you to explore the Christian’s metaphysical paradigm behind love’s ceaseless and uncaused (no First, no Last) reciprocity vis-a-vis the Necessary Being. The argument from motion carries us into something categorically triune as all its semantics flow seamlessly into the argument from love, from morality. Contingency is non-entity in God and that will help you avoid your (currently) superficial and even *Non*-Christian claims about Christianity’s *actual* arguments.

  105. Tom,

    I didn’t draw that conclusion, Asura. Rather I assessed the argument you gave, which was an argument based on those three articles, and I commented on how those three articles are inadequate for the conclusion you drew.

    Actually, I presented those articles very late in the discussion, and you didn´t address my actual argument at all, beyond declaring it wrong by fiat even though you were never able to even just summarize anything I said with any degree of accuracy. Also, you didn´t “comment[] on how those three articles are inadequate” – that would mean that you actually argued anything, but you rather declared them to be inadequate by fiat.

    What you’re continuing to demonstrate, Asura, is that you don’t know how to draw conclusions by following a chain of reasoned discourse from initial evidences or premises, and you also don’t know when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    You say so, so it must be true! Notice a pattern here? Vacuous blather backed up by nothing beyond your unshakeable confidence that you are right – Argument by fiat, literally(!) the *only* thing that you have so far offered in this thread.

    You’re in a condition I’m starting to call by the name checkmate ignorance, from the chess player who doesn’t know enough about the game to know he doesn’t have what it takes to play, but thinks he’s winning anyway.

    You say so, so it must be true! (Notice how many comments you wrote, how many opportunities you had to *argue* for something – yet all you have is your unshakeable confidence and ad nauseam declarations that you are right because you are right because you say so)

  106. Asura,

    Also, you didn´t “comment[] on how those three articles are inadequate” – that would mean that you actually argued anything, but you rather declared them to be inadequate by fiat.

    Actually Asura, it’s manifestly obvious that the absence of some topic in three articles is insufficient to prove that nothing has been said on that topic. That’s not fiat. That’s my answer to the question I posed to you:

    Do you see how in both cases your evidence is inadequate to support your conclusions? Can you see how it’s possible that there could be other conclusions consistent with that same evidence?

  107. Going three times? No. Gone.

    Goodbye, Asura. I’m walking you away from this table. I can see you’re declaring victory. You don’t think your king is even in check, when in fact it’s in checkmate.

    Have a great day, and please, please, please before you try this kind of thing again, do some study on what you’re talking about. Okay?

  108. BillT, do you have anything to add in defense following Asura’s withering “maybe you’re WRONG!” attack?

    Nope.

  109. Wow. A lot appears to have happened since I last posted.

    Asura, hopefully I will get a chance to reply tomorrow. I have a 10 month old daughter that is keeping me awake at nights and I just don’t have the mental wherewithal to read your comments let alone formulate a response today.

  110. Asura,

    On the topic of the silence of the classical arguments for God and moral value, you really need to understand the underlying metaphysics. For Aquinas because being, goodness etc are convertible, so God who is being itself is also goodness itself etc.

  111. Asura, you won’t find many Protestant churches today actively repudiating Luther, because they don’t have anything other than a very vague link to Luther from hundreds of years ago.

    Lutheran churches, on the other hand, certainly do by virtue of their name, and it’s easy to find their statements on Luther, e.g. here.

  112.