William : Its better to “get a life” than “take a life.” (hey I just made this up)
Is abortion taking a life?
Well, in a weird sense, celibacy is taking a life, and the first commandment in Genesis is, be fruitful and multiply. And smoking and drinking is taking ones own life prematurely. I was primarily thinking of all those situations when we tell people “get a life”, versus all the people around the world who die each year from military and police … violence (as well as the actions of suicide bombers). But why beat the Bible over abortion, when Jesus never said boo about abortion or homosexuality. Jesus DID say that divorce is unacceptable EXCEPT on the grounds of adultery, and Jesus DID NOT say that remarriage was permitted, so perhaps he meant that you should put away the adulterous spouse and live the remainder of your life in celibacy. But why not agitate for the criminalization of divorce, if America is such a Bible based “God loving” nation. I find it somewhat hypocritical that no one is on the bandstand giving stump speeches on that one. And, you know what, if people WERE concerned enough to criminalize divorce, then they would probably be so self-controlled that abortion would rarely become an issue, because they would only be sexually active for the purpose of procreation. Karen, you pose your post as a question. But I doubt that it is a sincere question in your mind. You have your own agenda, and you approach it in a dishonest fashion by pretending that you have a question. I do not know how such disingenuous tactics could ever truly occupy moral high ground.
Is it not the hall-mark of a Johnnie to present one’s opinions in the guise of a question? Further, if a matter is of moral question, how can we excuse it by pointing to equivocation on other matters of moral question?
We know where all this stuff is REALLY coming from (the conservative Republican religious right), and we know where it is headed. No one person in the history of the world has so far come up with ALL the answers (unless of course you consider Buddha, Jesus or Mohammad to be the final word.) Hume supposedly awoke Kant from his “dogmatic slumber”. Yet Hume is famous for “Hume’s gap” that no IS implies an ought. Yet Kant went on to sketch out a form of ethics. And then the Roman Catholic Church placed Kant (and Pascal and many others) on a banned book list. McCain never seemed to worry about bombing fetuses in Hanoi in an illegal undeclared war, nor the fact that said war had “free fire zones” which included women, children and anything that moved (and I understand why such zones were felt to be necessary.) Yet McCain feels it is important to criminalize abortion. For some strange reason, the European Common Union is very casual on the question of abortion but is adamant that no member nation may practice capital punishment. I am not really trying to equivocate so much as to point out how obviously half-witted so many in the nation are regarding their “values.” I could take the rhetorical tactic that Jesus took on at least one occasion, when asked by the Sadducee/Pharisee if his words were his own or came from God and Jesus cleverly answered “Tell me if John the Baptist is of man or from God” knowing that they would not dare answer one way or the other because of the problems it would cause in public opinion. Therefore I say to Karen, “how many grains of sand constitute a pile or heap? If you give me an excellent answer to this, then I shall give you an excellent answer regarding whether abortion constitutes taking a life. But if you CANNOT give me a good answer to such a simple question, then how shall you be capable of understanding a far more complex moral question about abortion? There are questions and answers and styles which are simply crafty sophism. And then there are questions and points which highlight profound dilemmas regarding the limits of our understanding. Alcohol and tobacco are obviously destructive, yet it is equally obvious that Prohibition CREATED more problems than it solved. Abortion is not the best form of birth control, but prior to Rowe vs. Wade when abortion was criminalized, MORE problems were created than were solved, and many years of Republican conservative government did not seem improve the moral fiber or the economy of the nation.
How then would *you* ask a question concerning the morality of abortion?
William: Timothy and Karen, congratulations, you have spent a lot of money on your educations and have learned the marvelous art of one-line repartee. You demonstrate it right here in this thread. You say nothing of substance. You simply toss of one or two sentences as a reaction to my sincere effort to say something of substance. If you really have values and insights and convictions which are of any value at all, then use the note section of Facebook, or a WordPress blog, and write 5 or 10 pages where you succinctly get off your backsides and lay down point by point what you think, feel, believe, and why you believe. Pick whatever issue is a pressing one for you, be it pro-life/pro-choice issues, or environment, or whatever. Don’t make it ad hominem (dont make it about me). Write about the issues and draw upon all that you remember from everything that you have read.
Timothy, you appear like too much of a coward to even write a simple declarative sentence. You wrote “Is it not the hall-mark of a Johnnie…” You dont even have the guts to declare “everyone knows that the hallmark of a Johnnie…”
I went through 4 years of St. John’s (and I would do it all over). I met a few people who were truly intellectually honest and would directly and aggressively take a stand on something important. But I met a lot more phonies who made it through 4 years just wrinkling their nose in seminar and saying “but I dont GET it, how can you say….”
All of the world is basically divided into LIMB CRAWLERS and LIMB SAWERS. A limb crawler has the courage and ambition to crawl way out on a limb, and TAKE A RISK, assembling together many and various points and passages in order to assert something new, something important.
LIMB SAWYERS are a parasitic species. They cannot exist without a LIMB CRAWLER. They hack away at whatever constructive effort the limb crawler is making. If they succeed, what they succeed in is simply refuting the limb crawler.
Wittgenstein talks about a ladder which we construct to arrived at some higher plain or plateau, and once we have arrived, we caste away that ladder (or limb) just as the person who finally reaches the other side of Samsara and enters Nirvana pushes his vehicle adrift and does not carry it about on the shoulder like Odysseus’ oar, waiting for some limb sawer to ask “what the hell is THAT.”
And as for Karen’s lone question “Is abortion taking life”.. well many things involve taking life. Eating a hamburger involved taking the life of cattle. Plowing a field involves taking the life of worms and other soil dwellers. That is why there is an entire religion, the Jain religion, which forbids a fire after dark because it will take the life of insects attracted to the flame. If you truly find all life sacred, I suggest you become a devout Jain. But that isn’t what Karen meant to ask. She meant to make a statement about abortion, but she has learned cowardly indirect techniques, just like you Timothy. Timothy, if you are so smart, and you seem to feel you are, then why don’t you write a nice long essay enlightening us all in detail about the wisdom of your views. If you cannot do any more than Henny Youngman one-liners, then what have you really done with your life that is of some value?