Saturday, March 28, 2009

Obama's Insatiable Desire

PREACHER: Personally I think that Mr. Obama is just another Jimmy Carter.

SKEPTIC: Well, at least you don't think that he's Hitler or the Antichrist, like these two ministers.

PREACHER: We are in agreement that there are religious wackos out there. I am quite aware that Pat Robertson thinks he gets a Word from the Lord and the "prophesies" almost always are wrong. My main problems with Obama are his insatiable desire to kill unborn infants and his overindulgence of the gay community. Even so, maybe the world will be a better place after four years. We will have to see.

SKEPTIC: Obama has an "insatiable desire to kill unborn infants?" Really? You don't think that language is just a tad over-the-top? I support Obama because he won't allow the government to force women to give birth, no matter the circumstances. He believes that medical decisions should be left to the woman and her doctor, not the government. For conservatives who say they are against government regulation and in favor of less government interference, it's amazing how they ignore their ideology when it comes to abortion rights.

PREACHER: I see your point. But, then should the government also stop having laws about murderers, thieves, rapists, and child molesters? Accordingly, should decisions to do such acts be left up to the individual and his or her personal counselor? From my world view or perspective, abortion still remains the intentional taking of an innocent human life. There might be some rare cases where that is justified.

SKEPTIC: I know that you consider abortion to be murder, but that is only based on a religious belief, not a scientific one. What is your bottom line when it comes to abortion? Do you think it should be completely outlawed? Do you want to put doctors who perform abortions in prison? Do you want to put women who receive abortions in prison? And when you say that "there might be some rare cases where it is justified," when would it be justified in your mind? And if you really believe it's murder, how can it ever be justified?

PREACHER: I agree that my religious belief is involved. Science will always be partial knowledge, so it can't be the end-all for such issues. One has to return to their religious beliefs because science doesn't go that far. It was never supposed to be a system of right and wrong. My religious beliefs lead me to think that abortion is murder, while yours don't. So, in a pluralistic society the government should not take a stand one way or the other. When president Obama had his interview with Rick Warren, he said that the issue of abortion was "beyond his pay grade." To be consistent with what he said then, he shouldn't be implementing policies that make abortion more available, like offering government funds to those who perform abortions. I'm not thinking about putting people in prison or forcing my opinion on those who believe differently than I do. I would just like our president to respect the opinions and beliefs of those (there are a lot of us) who believe abortion is point blank morally wrong.

SKEPTIC: When you talk about the "overindulgence" of the gay community, I'm not sure what you mean. How is it overindulgent to give them the same rights that other Americans enjoy?

PREACHER: How soon do you think the pedophiles and those with other less known sexual orientations will be asking for their "civil" rights, too. Why shouldn't they be given rights, too? Who are you to deny them? I think that history is the best commentary we have on sexual (pardon me for being politically incorrect) perversion. It is the prerequisite for the disintegration of a society.

SKEPTIC: So you're equating gays with pedophiles? Really? You're comparing two consenting adults who love each other to adults who sexually victimize children? Is it your belief that being gay is a perversion? To me, that's a little like calling someone who is left-handed "deformed."

PREACHER: Here again the issue is religious. According to my religious beliefs, being gay is immoral. I know that many former gays have been able to overcome their sexual orientation and others haven't been able to. I don't condone the violence perpetrated on gays or anyone else because of the way they are. I would like to make a distinction between those who have a gay sexual orientation but respect those who are repulsed by their behavior (not because it is just gross, but because it is in violation of Biblical morality) vs. those who want to change society to give their lifestyle preferred treatment.


  1. You should have brought up the outrageous hypocrisy of supporting a President with an insatiable desire to kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. The value system of the religious right is just so totally and utterly hypocritical and screwed up, which can only happen when your values are blindly based on something as illogical, contradictory and hypocritical as only fundamentalist religion is.

  2. Anonymous should get a real education.

  3. I don't know if anybody goes back and reads the comments on posts this far back, but I want to put my two cents in.

    I think that much of the above discussion (not just in this post, but all through the whole blog) would be greatly simplified by recognizing that it is essentially a discussion about authority.

    Something I think is crucial, in any discussion about authority, is to determine what kind of authority you're talking about. Science IS an authority, in that it can uncover reliable truths about the world we live in. Science can tell me what will happen if I drop a bowling ball off of a tall building, or what medicine to take if I have a headache, or even how my brain works. Science has the power to AUTHORITATIVELY determine these things, inasmuch as they can be determined at all.

    But here's the problem with all of that: science tells me that If I don't eat, I will starve to death, but it absolutely does not have anything to say about the moral nature of that fact. In other words, science can describe and explain reality, but it has nothing to say about any values that may or may not be attached to that reality. It can't tell me if It was a good thing that I starved, or if it was an evil thing, or somewhere inbetween the two. Modern psychology can describe, explain and treat the "undesirable" symptoms that my friends and relatives will experience as a result of the grief they feel over my death. But to say that something is "undesirable" begs the question: "why?" A scientist could respond to that question by explaining the "pain" of loss in neurological terms, but such an explanation merely delays the question. "Why is (death, pain, grief, whatever) undesirable?" is a question of conceptual value. To answer it requires a valuational authority.

    The Skeptic said: "I know that you consider abortion to be murder, but that is only based on a religious belief, not a scientific one." My response to that, is this: Christ claimed to be a moral authority. Those who follow him claim his authority over moral issues, such as abortion. Science claims no moral authority at all. How can you argue a moral issue from a scientific authority?

    I'll stop there, but I'll just say that this is some of the philosophical groundwork that has to be done in order to talk about something as explosively charged as abortion in a reasonable manner. From this point, we can go on to discuss the scientific dimensions of what constitutes a "human being" and what moral dimensions that concept has, as well, and where exactly the intersection of the two is located...

  4. >Christ claimed to be a moral authority. Those who follow him claim his authority over moral issues, such as abortion.Well, I guess you claim anybody to be a moral authority. I claim Frank Zappa. But when it comes to making abortion law, the only authority is the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court. Jesus doesn't get a vote.

  5. I've noticed that President Obama is being a little more toward the center on the abortion issue in recent news that I have read and the pro-choice people are not happy.

  6. Doug, In my post, I did not in any way take a stand on either side of the abortion debate. I'm simply trying to move the debate onto a more rational playing field. In any debate both parties need to play by certain agreed upon rules, or chaos happens. I feel like you're responding to me negatively even before I've addressed the real issue of abortion.

    What do you mean when you say I claim anybody as a moral authority?

    I never said that Jesus should get a vote, and I didn't say anything that denies the authority of the constitution or the supreme court.

    All I'm saying is that if we're to have a reasonable, rational discussion about abortion, I think that both parties need to agree upon the kids of authority that are involved.

    In a discussion about abortion, there are certain resources that both parties will have to draw on: scientific facts about conception and child development, for example. But also, both parties, in addition to scientific facts, need to cite some kind of moral authority in order to verify their claims. Granted, that's only true if moral claims are being made. It seems to me that they are. Pro-choice people assert that it's WRONG to "force women to give birth" as you said. Pro-life people assert that it's WRONG to abort unborn babies, no matter what stage of development they are in.

    Can we agree that Since moral assertions are being made, that moral authority is required to verify the validity of those claims?

  7. I think that the problem is that I don't accept using Jesus as a moral authority in a matter of law. Last time I looked, this is still a secular nation. We haven't become a theocracy yet.

  8. Allright, that's fine. You reject Jesus as a moral authority. Who or what DO you accept as a moral authority?

    The legal aspect of abortion is irrelevant. The laws are not what people are arguing about, really. What people really argue about is the ideas about right and wrong that are reflected in the laws.

    So when you say "I don't accept using Jesus as a moral authority in a matter of law" you're still confusing the issue. No one is trying to use Jesus as a legal authority. Does that make sense?

    It all comes down to your claims. You can't claim that abortion is okay because it's legal. That's a moral claim backed up by a legal authority, which is an unintelligible argument. You can claim that abortion is okay because (Insert moral authority here) validates it.

    So, to summarize, the big question is this: Do pro-choice activists make the moral claim that abortion is wrong, and if they do, by what authority do they make that claim? I guess I'm directing this question at the Skeptic, since he seems to be the closest thing to a representative of the pro-choice side of the discussion.

  9. You say that "the legal aspect of abortion is irrelevant," but that's what I'm addressing. We can argue the moral position until we're blue in the face, but the bottom line is whether or not women will continue to have access to this particular medical procedure. Feel free to cite Jesus as your moral authority, but don't expect that to be considered vis a vis the law.

  10. why is it important that women be allowed to have access to this particular medical procedure?

  11. It's important because we as a society have decided that a woman's body belong to the woman and not to the government. And we know what happens when access is denied. Women die at the hands of butchers. That's why it's important.


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