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John McCain - The Keating Five

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JenniferMaxwell
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75 posted 10-06-2008 06:29 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Anyway, in response to my own suggestion that the thread topic see the light of day again, I offer the following:

John McCain wants you to forget about his role in our country's last major financial crisis and costly bailout: the savings and loan crisis of the late '80s and early '90s.

But voters deserve to know that the failed philosophy and culture of corruption that created the savings and loan crisis then are alive in the current crisis -- and in John McCain's plans for our economic future.

We just released a short documentary about John McCain's role in that financial crisis -- watch it now and share it with your friends:
http://my.barackobama.com/keatingvideo

JenniferMaxwell
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76 posted 10-06-2008 06:59 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

And there's this, deals with McCain's team's response:
http://www.crooksandliars.com/jon-perr/campaign-now-claims-mccains-admitted-keat

I'm beginning to get the feeling we might see some fireworks at the debate tomorrow night.

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77 posted 10-06-2008 09:03 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Before-birth?  two years old?

     My folks always said that a fetus became viable when it graduated medical school.  I still have a long ways to go.

     In Rome. if my memory works appropriately, Roman law mandated that the Father had absolute right of life and death over his children until he died.  It was all conditional until then.  I can't say if this remained true after Constantine became Emperor.  An interesting question.

     But my interest is in the Keating Five, and I thank J.M. for the reference.  I really don't know much about the scandal; sorry about that, Ron: I hate letting the old side down.  Thanks for the toleration, though.  

All my best, Bob Kaven
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78 posted 10-06-2008 09:32 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Going off topic, Bob, but have you read anything by Naomi Wolf? I watched a very disturbing video last night featuring her. I honestly couldn't get a real feel for what's she about, other than the obvious. I'll find the link and send it to you. It runs for about half an hour so you might not have time to get to it for a while. I just found her interesting, informed and was sort of wondering how credible she really is. But I also got a vibe that I found disturbing or something.

And I loved your medical school joke! Mind if I borrow it for the next abortion debate?


Edited to correct Naomi's last name.

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79 posted 10-07-2008 03:16 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Bob, I'd love to discuss with your parents what they meant when they used the word "viable"!  

Jenn, I totally promise to look up the Keating Five soon.
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80 posted 10-07-2008 10:36 AM       View Profile for WTBAKELAR   Email WTBAKELAR   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for WTBAKELAR

To be fair,  It is a free market that controls the price of fuel.  The government has stayed out of it as they should. The real problem with the price of fuel is the market demand, the week dollar and our massive requirments in this country. We need to save fuel any way we can, but,
  FIRST WE NEED FUEL.  We are importing 70% of our petroleum to this country.  IMPORTING !!!  That means our money is leaving this country to make other countries rich and our Dollar worth less every day.  That is why drilling and finding and using our own natural resources is so important.  We are paying more for a barrel of oil than other countries because our dollar is week. (Caused by the deficit)  We all need to Stop the BS.  
We enjoy our way of life in America, We are spoiled, and I am OK with that.  We have a right to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  BUT, We need to make sure we can continue our way of life and not be bought out by another country when we no longer have the means to support ourselves.
A country that is self-sufficient is a strong country.  Bottom Line.  
What do we do when the countries that we are beholding to start to call in their markers?
What if China decides it wants our land for the enormous debt we owe them? Say, Alaska?
What if Canada and Mexico decide to stop selling us oil?  How many days would it be before this country grinds to a sickening halt?   Remember, only 30% self-sufficient means only 30% of our country will be running.  Who gets it?   It wont be the general public.
Now tell me how important it is to find and use our own natural resources, pay off our debts, stop funding corrupt foreign governments, and start looking out for our country and our future. Final Question?
Who is better equiped to do this for our country?  Who has fought for our country and defended it? Who has the experience, judgment, and knowledge to accomplish this?

The answer is always NO, Until the question is asked.

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81 posted 10-07-2008 10:57 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:
Hello,  did nobody notice that when you raise the minimum wage that unemployment goes up.  Always has, always will.  Figure it out.

Umm, so what does that tell you about the sagacity of people who decided to raise the minimum wage at time when your economy was over borrowed, over heated and basically bust?  And anyway, hello!, you are totally wrong, mandatorily lifting wage levels doesn't mean that higher unemployment necessarily follows.  That is only so if politicians are selfish enough to do it for political reasons at a time when businesses are unable to absorb the extra costs or consumers are unwilling or unable to pay more.

quote:
Who has fought for our country and defended it?

You aren't seriously suggesting that there is some sort of correlation between being forced to kill people by your government and a greater expertise in governing a country?
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82 posted 10-07-2008 11:59 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
In summary it involves repeated temptations or invitations to the other party to expand upon something that they didn't say in the first place.

LOL. Moonbeam, I certainly don't want to put words into someone's mouth. That sounds very unsanitary! I much prefer to think of it as interpreting what someone has said into a wider context that, perhaps, they had failed to consider.

For example, your post seems to hint that your own stance on abortion has been shaped  -- or perhaps justified? -- by "society's reaction to the issue of abortion."

I'm guessing you haven't considered that in the wider context of history? I mean, aren't you rather glad that Lincoln didn't share your trust in his society's reaction to the issue of slavery? There's certainly nothing wrong with saying you agree with society's current view on abortion. I'm not sure how rigorous it is to contend you agree with society because of society, though?


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83 posted 10-07-2008 03:41 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ron!!  You are quite hilarious   .  You say you don't want to do it then you do it all over again in the very next paragraph!  I think you are a compulsive putter of words   .  Sure in your third paragraph you go on to do as you say you think you do, i.e. make me examine a statement in a wider context, but by that time you've already written you second paragraph which takes it upon itself, completely unjustifiably, to suggest that MY stance on abortion has been shaped by society.  

Actually I see I'm being unfair.  If you think that my "stance" on abortion begins and ends with my contention that abortion should not be illegal then I guess you might say that that position has been influenced by the attitude of society (and, as I said, other things).  The distinction from your Lincoln example is that I'm not necessarily agreeing with society at all, many societies and elements of societies don't agree that abortion should be legal as you know.  That's the whole point.  Anybody looking to crystallise their attitude to abortion by looking at what "society" believed would be utterly confounded.  It's actually that very conflict and indecision in society that's, as you put it, "shaping" my view.  But not really even my view.  Just the starting point, or the default, if you like.

All I was endeavouring to convey is that while the killing 2 yr olds is not a matter of great debate by society, the matter of killing foetuses is.  I would reference you back to the "reasonable man" of the legal world.  The reasonable man, it might reasonably be said, would regard a law making the killing of 2 year olds illegal, as being reasonable.  It is however by no means certain that the same  reasonable man would regard a law prohibiting the killing of foetuses as being reasonable.  More pertinently, given the place that this debate really started, the reasonable man would probably regard a law prohibiting the killing of foetuses purely on the basis of some "law of a particular god", as being barmy.  Anyway never mind that, the point is that empirical evidence shows society to be uncertain, divided about the issue, and all I was saying was that this, of itself, is prima facie evidence that the issue is therefore considerably more complex than the debate (or lack of it) as to whether 2 yr olds should be killed.  

With this as my starting point I have then tried to examine the types of issues that make it more complex, which I'm certainly not going rehearse here, and I have made my mind up (i.e. IMO) that less harm (don't ask me to define or expand upon "harm") will be done with a default position of legality than illegality.  That's just the beginning though, because for what it's worth I think the phrases "pro-life" and "pro-choice" lead to extremely unhelpful polarisations.  As I said way up above, life is a mess, and this issue is a particular muddle, a muddle which is not helped by people taking extreme positions and sticking to them in all circumstances.  And yes, if it was feasible, I'd like to see nearly every instance of proposed abortion examined by a sympathetic "tribunal" (parents, medics, clergy, friends), with a view to offering support and exploring all possible options.  But don't ask me to write a white paper on proposed abortion law because I ain't going there.
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84 posted 10-07-2008 05:32 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Anyway never mind that, the point is that empirical evidence shows society to be uncertain, divided about the issue, and all I was saying was that this, of itself, is prima facie evidence that the issue is therefore considerably more complex than the debate (or lack of it) as to whether 2 yr olds should be killed.

But that's not evidence of any such thing, Moonbeam.

If it was, then the issue of whether human beings should be slaves would be equally complex and troublesome. Probably a few hundred times more complex, in fact, since we ended up fighting a really nasty war over it. The alternative is to suggest that what was once very complex grew simple over time not because the issue changed but simply because society changed its views on the issue? I think, rather, that most people would agree that slavery was pretty simple all along, was completely wrong all along, but some people just didn't want to admit it.


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85 posted 10-09-2008 11:05 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

You're doing it again Ron, lol.  

What I actually said was that there is a debate about whether abortion is morally right or wrong, you won't deny that presumably; I went on to say that that debate was more complex than the debate as to whether 2 year olds should be killed, you probably won't deny that either (unless in the future you believe people might be as exercised about killing a one week old foetus to "save" a mother as they would be about killing a 2 year old girl).  So you are, amongst other things, conveniently ignoring the fact that I was making a comparison not stating an absolute.  

But never mind that.  I think what you just said inadvertently goes to the heart of what makes the abortion issue so interesting, i.e. the qualities of the debate which make it different to most precedents I can think of. Your analogy was not good, and I'm pushed to think of one that is, simply because at the back of many historic so-called moral dilemmas or disputes wasn't an issue of morality but the fact of threatened financial interests or territorial ambitions.  The war you mention would probably never have been fought had the issue simply been one of whether white was superior to black.  In 1976 I sat listening to an Afrikaans gentleman in the early hours of the morning on a train from Jo'burg to Nelspruit.  I have to admit I was astounded by his aggressive certainties about the respective positions of white and black in the "natural order", but nevertheless I still think that the driving force (i.e. the force that kept it alive even when most people knew it was wrong) behind apartheid was economic.  Therein lies a difference, perhaps you will suggest otherwise, but this is not the case as far as I can see in the abortion debate; it seems to me about as purely moral a discussion as you might get; there is no financial driver inducing people, as you put it, "not to admit" the wrongness of abortion.  For reasons you will be well aware of, the issue of whether a woman can be compelled by a state to sacrifice her happiness, health and possibly even her life for an unborn foetus is in my view possessed of a complexity which I suspect will stand the test of time.

In general though I would agree with you when you say that a society's division over an issue at one point in time doesn't necessarily mean that society at a different point in time will be divided over it, or that the issue will be regarded as "complex".   But so what?  What you are really pointing out to me is that society at one point in time can later be proved be "wrong" in its view by society at a different point.  Pretty indisputable, provided you accept that there is a high degree of social subjectivity in that statement, but it doesn't really affect the way I think about this particular issue.  What matters to me is that there IS division and uncertainty right now, and, taken in conjunction with my comments in the previous paragraphs I think it's reasonable to draw the inference that an inflexible yes or no to abortion would be irresponsible.  We really don't know what society will say a hundred years hence.  I somehow doubt it, but just maybe in the future people will look back and say: what the heck were they doing aborting a foetus just to save a woman from years of mental torment?  

Like I've hinted before I'm certainly not either rabidly pro-life or determinedly pro-choice.  I think that to adopt either of those positions in an inflexible way is to demean the whole issue.  Personally, as I've said, I'm inclined to go with a default law of legality.  But that doesn't imply a carte blanche to sleep around every night and then visit the clinic.  I have, for instance, a lot of sympathy with those people who would make abortion illegal and then seek to allow exceptions.  It's the people who, for various incomprehensible (to me) "moral" reasons, take up the extremes on both sides I have a problem with.
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86 posted 10-09-2008 12:01 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

For the pro-abortion folks, try this simple test:

tonight, look your daughter or son in the eye, look at their life shining back at you,
and think,

in a moment of weakness, what would have happened had you decided to terminate their chance at life?   Looking backward how could ANYONE say they would have chosen an abortion?  (in which case, your son or daughter would not be here.  Can you live with that possibility?)
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87 posted 10-09-2008 01:14 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
(in which case, your son or daughter would not be here.  Can you live with that possibility?)

Flippant answer:  "What-ifs" are irrelevant.  If the eyes never existed to look into, you'd never know what you were missing.

Serious answer:   Yes possibly, if, for instance, the alternative was a mentally ill, or physically ill, or dead, mother.
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88 posted 10-09-2008 01:45 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Therein lies a difference, perhaps you will suggest otherwise, but this is not the case as far as I can see in the abortion debate; it seems to me about as purely moral a discussion as you might get; there is no financial driver inducing people, as you put it, "not to admit" the wrongness of abortion.

Sure, Moonbeam, slavery was an economic issue.

On the one hand, there were people who didn't think human beings should be owned. There were other people, on the other hand, whose way of life and livelihood depended on owning human beings. In between the extremes, you had people who didn't rely on slavery but were nonetheless convinced Southern plantation owners deserved a right to make a living.

However, whether a person wanted to feel good about themselves or placate a Europe already condemning American slavery or increase their economic fortunes or just protect the price of cotton -- every stance was ultimately self-serving.

The abortion issue may not be economic, Moonbeam, but it is certainly no less self-serving than that of slavery.

Humanity is ultimately driven by far more than just simple economics, after all. We don't make it illegal to kill two-year-olds because it's going to make us money or because it will prevent someone else from making money. In my opinion, we don't even do it because it's "the right thing to do." We try to protect ALL two-year-olds because we recognize it's the best way to protect OUR two-year-olds.

The role of society, I think, is to help protect people from other people. That's not a moral issue, except perhaps to those who keep trying to make it one. It's a pragmatic issue. When a society fails to protect the weakest from the stronger, ultimately everyone is put at risk. Because there's always someone stronger. Again, that's not morality. It's survival.

quote:
... look your daughter or son in the eye, look at their life shining back at you, and think, in a moment of weakness, what would have happened had you decided to terminate their chance at life?

That's a strong emotional argument, threadbear. I hope you realize it applies equally well to birth control? It even applies to abstinence?  


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89 posted 10-09-2008 02:44 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Does it really apply to birth control and abstinence Ron?  Humm, in both of those instances, on the assumption that the control actually prevents the sperm arriving at the egg, the "life" never began.  I suspect that threadbear was working on the principle that you can't mourn something that never existed physically.  Which of course is highly debatable, as many childless couples will no doubt confirm, but perhaps casts doubt on your use of the phrase "equally well".

More on the rest later.
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90 posted 10-09-2008 02:46 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

You said, Ron:
"That's a strong emotional argument, threadbear. I hope you realize it applies equally well to birth control? It even applies to abstinence?"

Well, not exactly.  Abortion gets rids of a physical entity that IS a child, not a concept.  It lives, it breathes, it eats.  It fits the definition of alive.  Don't mean to be too flip here, but I'm not worried too much about mass-murderering a few million sperm(s).   And why are people so eager to defend abortion by putting the child in the same context as an unwanted weed and thereby fix the problem by just:  pull it?

As far as your argument, Moonbeam, unfortunately the incidences only happen in a rare 1-2% (within the United States of course- in other nations, illegal abortions harm thousands of mothers) of ALL abortion cases.  I've said this before, and I'll say it again:  do we really want a law that disregards God's law of life terminations simply to benefit the 1-2% of the public?  Make THAT the law:  that abortions are granted ONLY in specific circumstances.  Genocide is the systematic extermination of a certain group of people:  in this case that certain group of people are babies.

  The proof of the pudding is this:  have you ever asked anyone if they've ever had an abortion?  They won't tell you.  They're embarassed, they feel guilty, and most adults later on in life regret what they have done.  

Worldwide, YEARLY, yes, I said yearly: there are between 36 and 53 MILLION abortions performed a year.  That's like slaughtering the city of Chicago 17 times over.    In my humble opinion, I think abortion is the single most inhuman, most atrocious act that modern man has justified thru moral relativism.  Some folks don't even see it as amoral.  God help them.  seriously.  
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91 posted 10-09-2008 03:54 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Abortion gets rids of a physical entity that IS a child, not a concept. It lives, it breathes, it eats.

Ahh. FINALLY, someone gets to the real issue. In my opinion, the only issue.

In every one of my posts, both to Moonbeam and earlier to Jim, was the unspoken assumption of life at conception. Until that assumption is questioned, every pro-choice argument will lead only to paradox. So long as that assumption is embraced, either wittingly or unwittingly, the only options are to protect life, not protect life, or choose and pick which lives you think are worth protecting. In my opinion, that leads to arguments no one can ever hope to win.

quote:
It fits the definition of alive.

Whose definite, threadbear? Yours? What differentiates a fertilized egg from an unfertilized egg? Or from the millions of sperm you are so willing to kill?

Saying something doesn't make it true. Let's get specific.

quote:
... do we really want a law that disregards God's law of life terminations simply to benefit the 1-2% of the public?

You mean like eating meat on Friday?

We don't live in a theocracy, theadbear. God's law has to be between the individual and their god and, frankly, it's up to their god to enforce his laws if he wants. It's not up to me to enforce them for him.

The alternative, of course, is that you don't get to worship your god any more. You have to worship the god of America, of the people who make the laws.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with arguing for a law you believe necessary. Please, though, don't try to blame it on God?

quote:
The proof of the pudding is this: have you ever asked anyone if they've ever had an abortion? They won't tell you. They're embarassed, they feel guilty, and most adults later on in life regret what they have done.

So, if I find a person who will tell me they had an abortion, then you'll agree it's okay?

One of the funniest movie lines I've heard in a long time was in the recent Iron Man. When Pepper walks in on Tony Stark trying to remove his suit of armor, he hesitates a minute and then says something to the effect, "Let's face it, this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing."

Neither guilt nor embarrassment makes something inherently wrong. If it did, we'd all be in trouble.

Not incidentally, returning to an earlier point, I had a vasectomy when I was about 25. Trust me, people can regret birth control, too. People can regret anything, I think, that can't easily be undone. I don't think that necessarily makes something wrong. Just, well, regrettable.


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92 posted 10-09-2008 04:03 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Make THAT the law:  that abortions are granted ONLY in specific circumstances.

As I said, I have some sympathy with that position.
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93 posted 10-09-2008 04:19 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Ron, you are making this too easy for me:

God/Bible actually condones the killing of animals for food, but not people.  Your implication is that they are one and the same.

The conventional scientific definition of Life is the following:
Conventional definition: Often scientists say that life is a characteristic of organisms that exhibit the following phenomena:

Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, sweating to reduce temperature.
Organization: Being composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
Metabolism: Consumption of energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.
Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an animal chasing its prey.
Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms

A fetus exhibits all of the above except for Reproduction.  None of the above are considered universal definitions by any means, but they consititute the basis on which science determines life.  A newborn calf is 'life', but it can't reproduce...yet, either.

I caution you, from an offensive standpoint, to being so careless to suggest that 'the g*d of America' is someone we bow to.  There is no one 'g*d' of America, and I personally would never use such an offensive paraphrase.   You obviously believe in idolatry, then, if you believe there exists a 'g*d of America.'   Man's, that's distasteful even for me to write.  You said: "you HAVE to worship the 'g*d of America."  The hell you say!  I have only one God that I worship, and I bestow worship upon NO man or position.  You just dropped the equivalent of an 'N' bomb on my faith, and I'm sure that's not what you intended.  (at least, I hope so....)

I have a firm belief that
1) we all have consciences.  
2) our conscience is God speaking to us
3) ignoring our conscience causes regret

Science can't explain the existance of a conscience, or even how the spark of life exists, therefore an outside force of energy animates our watertight suit.  

Your argument about how regret, in this instance, is neither right or wrong, further underscores my point:
that abortion is made palatable
by moral relativism.  

In other words, by ignorning one's conscience, it is easy thru moral relativism, to justify even the aborhent act of abortion.    When my kids grew up, they asked me once:
Dad, how do I know if something is good or evil, or right or wrong?
I answered simply:
"follow your conscience first, and don't make excuses for not listening to it,later"

Ron, I am going to give you the last word, it is, after all, your forum!  and I must get some work done.  I'm retired at the ripe age of 51, but run my own business at my leisure.  In any case, I am grateful for the opportunity to voice concerns in previous posts.  I hope I have given you all some food for thought; pointed out some important items for further study.
Yours,
ShadowRider/threadbear
Jeff
(i forgot my old password and had to create a new ID.)
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94 posted 10-09-2008 04:32 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Ahh. FINALLY, someone gets to the real issue. In my opinion, the only issue.

In every one of my posts, both to Moonbeam and earlier to Jim, was the unspoken assumption of life at conception. Until that assumption is questioned, every pro-choice argument will lead only to paradox. So long as that assumption is embraced, either wittingly or unwittingly, the only options are to protect life, not protect life, or choose and pick which lives you think are worth protecting. In my opinion, that leads to arguments no one can ever hope to win.

Lol.  Sorry Ron, I was labouring under the impression that that was a given, all I've been doing from the start is arguing that a fixed position of "kill" or "not kill" is not sustainable/compassionate/sensible/rational, whatever!  (All emanating from the "against god's will argument").  Of course I think the assumption of "life" HAS to be embraced (given the inadequate state of our scientific knowledge), and of course if you go on to adopt an inflexible "kill" policy (what you call pro-choice) then, sure, paradox is the result.  That's so obvious it's not really worth debating .  Which leads me right back to the part where we were discussing "value" and I admitted that effectively by allowing a "kill" option in some instances, you would be attributing varying values to life; but then by NOT allowing the kill option you might also be said to be making value judgements.  But to be specific, sure, you are indeed picking a life.  I don't think anyone can particular "win" the abortion debate.  I'd just try to neutralise the two extreme views, and then discourage abortion wherever possible, while providing as much intimately tailored support/advice as the system would allow on a case by case basis.  

On your earlier post:
quote:
Sure, Moonbeam, slavery was an economic issue.

On the one hand, there were people who didn't think human beings should be owned. There were other people, on the other hand, whose way of life and livelihood depended on owning human beings. In between the extremes, you had people who didn't rely on slavery but were nonetheless convinced Southern plantation owners deserved a right to make a living.

However, whether a person wanted to feel good about themselves or placate a Europe already condemning American slavery or increase their economic fortunes or just protect the price of cotton -- every stance was ultimately self-serving.

The abortion issue may not be economic, Moonbeam, but it is certainly no less self-serving than that of slavery.

Humanity is ultimately driven by far more than just simple economics, after all. We don't make it illegal to kill two-year-olds because it's going to make us money or because it will prevent someone else from making money. In my opinion, we don't even do it because it's "the right thing to do." We try to protect ALL two-year-olds because we recognize it's the best way to protect OUR two-year-olds.

The role of society, I think, is to help protect people from other people. That's not a moral issue, except perhaps to those who keep trying to make it one. It's a pragmatic issue. When a society fails to protect the weakest from the stronger, ultimately everyone is put at risk. Because there's always someone stronger. Again, that's not morality. It's survival.

Ok, just so I don't get confused we've (you've) switched the focus a bit now, to the question of whether the abortion issue bears hallmarks that are significantly different from the slavery issue, apartheid and, let's add, hunting for enjoyment (just because I want to), also it seems, to the question of the role of society.  

Did I mention the "role of society"?  I must be crazy ...  No, I thought not, I didn't.  But let's see.  Does society have a "role"?  Does it HAVE to have a role by reason of its existence?  Margaret Thatcher would go further: society doesn't exist.

Is it THE duty of society, if it exists, to protect an unborn foetus from its mother?  Or its duty to protect the mother from the father and parents?  Or to protect the mother from the psychological pressure exerted by the foetus?  Or to protect her from herself?

Society: little more than an "aggregation of people" these days I'd say; possibly you could define it more mechanistically by reference to legal or political boundaries but social and cultural distinctions are becoming difficult imo.  And yes I think you're probably right.  I always remember a film called The Phoenix, or something like that, where a group of guys were marooned in the desert after a plane crash.  It kind of illustrates the idea of the "group" as an entity laying down parameters to protect individuals from each other and indeed from themselves.  I think perhaps the model gets highly complicated, perhaps even impaired to the point of irrelevance, in a world where power is very unevenly distributed and where leadership and paternalism introduce further "imperfections".  You might say I suppose that society in the act of trying to perform its role surrenders its ability to perform its role.  Which is why I suppose I feel that your point is academically right, but not of particular interest to a pragmatist (which I am probably not!).  I also have some sympathy with Thatcher's view, although I suspect she was thinking more of that enduring human quality you mentioned earlier in your post - selfishness - when she postulated the non-existence of society.  Which segues me neatly into:

The self-serving argument (I'm sure it's been done to death in 101): ultimately every single human action is driven by self interest.  As a result of which you can tie any number of scenarios together with the broad sticking plaster of selfishness.  I don't think its all that helpful to say that abortion and slavery are similar because they are both self serving.  I might just as well say that cutting my sandwiches for lunch and cutting the local bank vault open are similar because they are self-serving. I think you have to accept the broad underlying truth about humanity, and then look at degrees and the qualities of and reasons for that self-serving action.  


moonbeam
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95 posted 10-09-2008 04:43 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Your post is an intriguing mix of Dawkins and the Divine threadbear!

But, how aren't mammals the same as humans?

Ron
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96 posted 10-09-2008 06:17 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
God/Bible actually condones the killing of animals for food, but not people.  Your implication is that they are one and the same.

Where did I mention animals, threadbear?

quote:
A fetus exhibits all of the above except for Reproduction.

That isn't what I asked. I asked how does a fertilized egg differ from a spermatozoa or ooctye? Just about every living cell of your body exhibits most of those characteristics, too. And, indeed, just about every living cell of your body has the potential to be a human being. Why do you feel more strongly about one group of cells over any other similar groups of cells? They're all alive.

quote:
I caution you, from an offensive standpoint, to being so careless to suggest that 'the g*d of America' is someone we bow to.  There is no one 'g*d' of America, and I personally would never use such an offensive paraphrase.

I apologize if that offended you, threadbear, but I think you took it a bit out of context. I didn't claim there was a god of America; I said that was the alternative to freedom of religion. And that is the inevitable result of passing laws founded on nothing but religious contexts because, of course, someone has to privilege their religion over everyone else's for that to happen.

quote:
I have a firm belief that
1) we all have consciences.  
2) our conscience is God speaking to us
3) ignoring our conscience causes regret

And I firmly believe in free will. I don't believe God speaks to anyone unless first invited to do so, else there would be very little free will remaining. I believe a man's conscience isn't just one thing, but rather a combination of many things, including childhood conditioning and empathy. I don't believe that a man who commits murder and has no remorse necessarily makes murder right.

But here's the thing, threadbear: what either one of us believes about God or the human condition does very little to prove anything. It's interesting, and I think it's healthy to exchange and compare such opinions, but ultimately faith is only convincing to someone already sharing similar faith.

quote:
... all I've been doing from the start is arguing that a fixed position of "kill" or "not kill" is not sustainable/compassionate/sensible/rational, whatever!

And yet that's exactly what we have in just about every other human context, Moonbeam. Fixed positions are what we call laws. That's not to say flexibility and mercy don't exist in our system, because they obviously do. But we still need the fixed positions.

quote:
Of course I think the assumption of "life" HAS to be embraced (given the inadequate state of our scientific knowledge) ...

Are you suggesting that ignorance is then sufficient reason to err on the side of caution?

At some point, Moonbeam, you have to draw a line in the sand. If we keep pushing that line back because of scientific uncertainty, there isn't a single human cell that shouldn't be protected. Your barber is going to end up in a whole lot of trouble!

quote:
I don't think its all that helpful to say that abortion and slavery are similar because they are both self serving.

Nor did I intend to do so, Moonbeam. Any more, I'm sure, than you intended to argue earlier that they were markedly dissimilar because one is self-serving in a different way than the other?

(We'll save the role of society for another thread, perhaps?)
Bob K
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97 posted 10-09-2008 09:39 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Once again with the abortion discussion.  Well, why not?    

     I would like to meet one of these pro-abortion people some day.  I personally have never met one.  I think they are an invention of people who don't believe that women should have a right to choose.  I think that the very term is an insult.  It suggests that there are packs of wild murderers roaming the streets looking for people to murder, and if they cannot convince one person to murder a fetus, they will settle for forcing another to do so.

     This latest turn in the debate, spreading the smear of pro-choice folks to two year olds, seems in the usual spirit.  Now the suggestion seems to be that there are packs of wild liberals roaming the streets—as though nobody but a liberal would make the choice of having her pregnancy terminated in a safe and legal way—demanding that people make the choice of killing two year olds.

     Considering that this is the age many child development experts have called "the terrible twos" for its oppositional behavior, I can see why anti-choice fantasies might settle on this particular age group.  Nevertheless, I notice that the argument seems to be put forward by anti-choice people.  Why would antichoice people want to kill off two year olds?  

     And why then would they wish to attribute their somewhat unsettling fantasy lives to people whose position is limited to suggesting that women be allowed the right to make their own choices here?  This puzzles me.

     And Threadbear, with all due respect to your position about conscience, I must say it is one I wish I could share.  Having spent time working with folks with sociopathy, I think you are being unduly sunny.  I asked one guy about the seven teeth I found in a manilla envelope on his person.  It turned out he had pulled them from the body of a woman he had murdered.  His comment was that she had been a friend and that she had given him the teeth as a present.  He was wondering when he could get permission to wander the grounds again, and couldn't understand why I was against it.

Sincerely yours,  Bob Kaven  
Ron
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98 posted 10-09-2008 09:54 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I would like to meet one of these pro-abortion people some day.  I personally have never met one.  I think they are an invention of people who don't believe that women should have a right to choose.

Uh, Bob? I think you were the first to use the term? Nobody here has been talking about pro-abortion people.

quote:
And why then would they wish to attribute their somewhat unsettling fantasy lives to people whose position is limited to suggesting that women be allowed the right to make their own choices here?  This puzzles me.

Right. And the guy with the seven teeth in his pocket, Bob? Was he allowed to make his own choices, too?
Stephanos
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99 posted 10-09-2008 11:18 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Well since you've all opted to continue to discuss abortion ...

Ron:
quote:
I asked how does a fertilized egg differ from a spermatozoa or ooctye? Just about every living cell of your body exhibits most of those characteristics, too.


Most except its own unique set of diploid DNA which marks it as a separate human organism, no longer just a specialized haploid cell of the parent.  You are shrugging off the insight of embryology.  The word "Zygote" comes from a word which means to "yoke".  Your argument is about as sound as saying there's no difference between a married woman and a single.  You could pursue her anyway, but something would have to be undone that has already been done.  Likewise with conception something profound has happened that you are slurring over with the greatest of ease.  It doesn't change the facts.  


Stephen    
 
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