462 Comments
Apr 11, 2023·edited Apr 11, 2023

In 10 years you'll be saying Republicans will always lose if they don't embrace LGBT ideology. We've had decades of non-stop pro-choice promotion by all the most powerful media institutions and we'll have decades of non-stop pro-LGBT promotion.

You have zero sympathy or understanding of the pro-life position. I'm not going to abandon my principles to sign on to your bullshit transhumanist techno-utopia. Block me, whatever.

That said, you're right. This issue will probably cause a massive wave of GOP losses.

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I think Richard's point was that if Republicans run on a 6-week abortion ban platform, they will lose. It matters not whether you're pro-life or pro-choice. And if you lose, then you can't implement any policies at all.

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It is terrifying to realize that there are many women in the country that would gladly give up all their individual liberties in order to maintain the right to murder their unborn children. This, among other reasons, is why the country is doomed.

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Something a lot of pro-lifers and vegans have in common is that they twist themselves into living in a world where everyone else secretly agrees with them and is just too selfish to stop committing murder, and thus can't help but conclude that everyone but them is deeply rotten to the core. Unfortunately for them, that also makes them incapable of persuading anyone who doesn't already agree, since it's hard to take the perspective of a monster.

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Very true.

Pro-lifers will always claim that their position is obvious and reasoned off of purely secular principles when their movement is comprised of roughly 99.9% religious Christians.

They'd be better at handling the politics of abortion if they would just admit to themselves that their underlying precepts aren't shared by most people.

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Vegetarian here. I don’t think vegans should be lumped in with pro-lifers like that. A few pieces of evidence:

1. It’s quite common for people to tell me or for me to read online that people hate factory farming but just like the taste of meat too much.

2. I myself feel this way about my milk and egg consumption. I am morally uneasy about this but self-interest and defeatism keeps me doing it.

3. This Reddit thread asking what normal thing we do will be regarded in the future like slavery has factory farming as the top answer: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/45w1bm/comment/d00jnhe/. I believe the same thing’s happened in other similar Reddit threads, though this was the only one I could find.

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Off topic, but maybe an interesting article for you. https://thingofthings.substack.com/p/on-ameliatarianism if you want to help animals you should stop eating meat but can continue eating wild fish or beef.

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Thanks, that was an interesting read, though I will need to spend some time understanding the math there before taking it seriously

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Apr 17, 2023·edited Apr 17, 2023

You should also consider Bernard Williams' arguments re moral self indulgence and be sure you're truly doing it for the sake of the virtue in itself as opposed to your desire to see your self as morally upstanding. I get the sense that for the vast majority of vegans it's typically the latter.

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Is your argument that my assertion is false or that it's justified in the case of vegans?

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The latter. They have good evidence that a lot of people do agree that factory farming is terrible and shouldn’t be happening, but don’t want to make the sacrifice they do.

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Did you, like, even read his post? About, ya know, the balancing of those individual liberties, and how insensitive or outright ignorant many men seeking to control them are? This comment basically says "I lack the capacity to engage with Richard's point, but I'm angry about it, and can't support that with any reasoning! Waaahhh!"

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This is a superb example of how a comment can directly and completely prove the author's point. Hanania just explained how it's perfectly understandable why women would find the male pro-life obsession with their wombs obnoxious, demeaning, and creepy - especially when coming from the low IQ parade of male mediocrity that is today's republican party. And then here you are, suggesting that literally 10's of millions (or more) of pro-choice American women - every one of which, by the way, has a deeper connection to child rearing than you can ever have - are self destructive child murderers in the making. Go ahead and keep talking about pro-choice women that way, and do us all a favor and vote in republican primaries for candidates who say the same things. The pro-choice movement and the Democrats will yoke pro-life candidates to these repugnant, bigoted views so thoroughly that abortion will eventually be enshrined in every state constitution except for hopelessly ass-backwards states in the deep south.

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People with poor reading comprehension are my favorites.

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There's nothing bullshit about a transhumanist techno-utopia.

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Correct, EVERYTHING is bullshit about said “Utopia” IMO

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A "utopia" is no place at all but only a pipe dream. So go with techno-eutopia (techno-goodplace) instead. Alas, the main problem with the TG is that it's likely to be a safe place for totalitarian governement. We can see the signs of this everywhere, even in Russia which is the new Leader of the Free World, as Putinolaters are fond of explaining. This totalitarianism, to be imposed in the name of freedom, will make your precious Heaven into a techno-dystopia, like the oceans already for gullible animals who gobble plastic only to choke and die.

A consolation prize is that humans will soon circumnavigate the Moon and set boot upon it, too. The moment will offer an excellent opportunity for discussions which were neglected after Apollo. The Moon (and Sun) are supposed to be attached to the firmament aka heaven (Gen. 1: 16-18, iirc). Apollo 8 would have crashed if ugly Abrahamism's heaven were real, so the obvious conclusion about heaven follows.

This is a major problem for sects which preach belief in Elijah ascending in a fiery chariot, or Jesus ascending like Superman, later to return. The RCC even declares that the Ascension is "the concluding work of redemption" (Hardon, SJ, in Moderern Catholic Dictionary). Well, even if we pretend that JC ascended, he couldn't be more than 2,000 l.y. from Earth—in a galaxy thought to be about 100 l.y. across. All Abahamic supremacists, esp. the Jews, need to have this awkward truth rubbed up their pig snouts frequently until they have been broken forever.

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I ordered a burger, not a word salad.

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What "word salad"? You just won't follow along plain language.

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It is. Religious people try to get us scared about living longer, healthier, stronger, happier lives with obvious nonsense. Time to just call it what it is.

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The techno-utopia ain't going very well so far.

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Some European observing Shays' Rebellion: The democracy fares ill thus far.

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Apr 12, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023

When exactly did humanity have more soul than it does now? In 1970 when the two superpowers poured their treasure and young men's lives into Southeast Asia's destruction, and plotted coup and countercoup ravaged the developing world? In 1950 when the revenue from extortionate income taxes went to preparations to blow up the world, and dark-skinned people around the world were lynched and machine-gunned for resisting an order that oppressed them? In WWII, when families were gassed for who they were? In WWI, when young men were slapped into featureless identical uniforms and sent off to die for old men's greed and folly? In the Gilded Age, when children were mangled by machines because that was the cheapest option? In the 19th century, when Europeans slaughtered, pillaged, and enslaved their way across the world, and the rest of the world would have done the same to them given the technology? Before that, when horrific atrocities were committed against millions for not believing in the Prince of Peace or in Muhammad's teachings, or doing so wrongly? When kings ruled in luxury while peasants starved? When the then-greatest civilization in the world routinely nailed people onto crosses to die in slow agony?

This is the best time in human history to be alive. Our ruthless pursuit of progress and contempt for tradition has made it so. And if you cannot realize that, you are a fool.

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Wow, that's some good prose.

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Juan Guatemala wrote earlier in the thread, "You have zero sympathy or understanding of the pro-life position."

This is the issue, exactly. And Juan's prediction of what will happen in 10 years time is underway as we speak.

The dissonance for understanding the deeply held beliefs of life beginnning at conception, the sanctity of such life, and our responsibility to protect the unborn, comes through loud and clear. Richard's descriptions of the hazards of childbearing could all have been delivered with a befittng dignity and respect for women. They are factual, and women are generally not given our honor and due for what we go through in bringing forth the lives we carry. But his assessment is that pregnancy and childbirth are vicious assaults. Rather than a list of the timeless truths of what we have endured since the first child born to mankind, his portrayal conveys a trial best avoided at all costs. Spoken like one who completely misses the gravity of the sacrifices made, for him and for all of us walking this earth.

I was appalled by 'Sir' Richard's lumping pro-life men into such a box: "conservative legislators are usually males that tend to be perceived as low status by wealthier and more educated Americans." I suppose he counts himself in among the latter. Low Status? I don't know how anyone can expect to be heard as balanced and impartial after denigrating others so. The lofty, categorical dismissal of pro-life men is mocked as the author draws a lurid word picture in graphic political cartoon, "The image of the fat, greasy, backwoods country lawyer in suspenders talking about the “baby in your belly, young lady” fills most women with revulsion." Beautiful, heartbreaking pictorial assassination.

He could well have closed this piece with the tragic line found in his descriptive lampooning of pro-lifers' morality, "For decades, it has been sharing photos of bloody and dismembered fetuses. This certainly isn’t pleasant to look at, but most people simply don’t care all that much." Ironically, this contrast betrays the heart of the pro-choice position.

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It is disappointing to see people (Richard included--all abortion advocates tend to do this) resort to petty, mean-spirited insults rather than engaging honestly with the morality of abortion. "You just oppose abortion because you're a fat retarded redneck that wants to rape women." I might as well go around saying that all pro-choicers are fat blue haired feminists and that my opposition to abortion is thus rooted in my hatred for this stereotype that I have conjured up in my head. It's the sort of thing I expect from Twitter trolls, and not befitting of someone who wants to be taken seriously by their opposition.

I don't want to suggest that abortion advocates tend towards this behavior because they wish to avoid a much more difficult discussion about biological reality and the morality of destroying human life, but the only other alternative is that they are actually just malevolent and stupid. Some are, because in any broad group of people some will turn out to be that, but many are smart enough to know better and simply don't want to confront the core issue.

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His point was that for decades the politicians most aligned and vocally supportive of pro- life policies restricting abortion were republicans-and mostly men. And the ranks of this group are littered with examples of misogyny and poor treatment of women, from the numerous affairs of Newt Gingrich in the 90’s to more recent displays of their utter hypocrisy on the issue like former PA congressman Tim Murphy who paid for his mistress to have an abortion. At the state level, it’s even worse and the caricature of the greasy country politician sadly applies. The fact is that most men, in general, have no business telling a woman how they should feel about child rearing, or making broad triumphant claims about how restricting access to abortion is a way of “protecting women.” Unless the men doing this are volunteering at a battered women’s shelter or at an adoption agency each week, their sanctimonious pledges of “protecting the unborn” and “protecting women” are more about feeding their own need to feel morally superior. If you say you care about women and the life of children but spend your weekends yelling “hook em horns” or “roll tide” at the TV rather than actually, you know, trying to make life better for single mothers struggling to make ends meet, then you’re a fraud. There are undoubtedly sincere pro-life men out there. They’re just mostly not the Republican politicians claiming to speak for women. And this is why this issue will be a major political loser for the Republican Party for the foreseeable future.

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Are you volunteering at a battered women's shelter, or "trying to make life better for single mothers struggling to make ends meet"? Or are these only moral imperatives for men who believe that human fetuses are human?

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Nov 8, 2023·edited Nov 8, 2023

Tu Quoque argument... don't see how that brings anything to this discussion...

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Well yes obvs if your Christian god is real then abortion is the biggest issue and you deffo shouldn't back down on it. But most Americans and most dissident Right people don't seriously believe in Christian teaching on the topic. Reasoning from a secular startpoint, 1st trimester abortion bans are indefensible. There is no brain activity - a person has not yet be created. So the fetus at this stage does not have anywhere near the same moral status as a newborn. Given that there's a majority in this country who hate the Left on Affirmative Action, pro-crime bullshit, and trans issues, the fact that we're going to be consigned to deal with it cos a minority of religious fundamentalists are going to tank the Republicans is ofc frustrating.

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How is it self-evident that "brain activity" determines who counts as a human being or not? Animals have brain activity, and there is little to suggest that the brain activity of an infant is fundamentally different from that of a cat. Why don't we treat infants as animals and reason that it is acceptable to simply put them down if they are unwanted and considered burdensome?

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Because when there is no brain, there is no one there. When the brain is damaged, often the person is different. All evidence points to you are your brain. We make changes to the brain, we make changes to who you are. Weve never seen a functional, walking talking person without brain (though many act like it). Until there is evidence to suggest something otherwise, we go with what we have actual evidence for.

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You didn't answer my question, first of all.

Second, suppose that someone has passed out in an unresponsive stupor due to drug use. Is it now acceptable to murder them because their apparent lack of brain activity, as measured by non-response to stimuli, means that they are no longer a person or a human being?

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Because we know how to measure brain activity and what it corresponds to.

Your second question shows a vast misunderstanding of our knowledge of a brain. Being in an 'unresponsive stupor due to drug use or any other reason does not prevent brain activity. The closest you can get to that would be someone in a vegetative state which is something we admittedly dont understand as well as wed like, though that does depend on the precise nature and location of the damage to their brain and the cause of their vegetative state.

But thats frankly irrelevant, as we are talking about something that has not even developed their brain yet or to the level of having anything resembling conscious thought yet.

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>Because we know how to measure brain activity and what it corresponds to.<

Explain. This is an assertion of what, exactly?

>Your second question shows a vast misunderstanding of our knowledge of a brain. Being in an 'unresponsive stupor due to drug use or any other reason does not prevent brain activity.<

But we need evidence, correct? That was your contention. I have interacted with people rendered unconscious in a drug/alcohol induced stupor. The evidence certainly seems to suggest that, at least until that state wears off, they are completely non-responsive. Their self/personhood ceases to exist until their bodies have recovered from the effects of the various chemicals they have imbibed. At least, that would be the case according to your logic. All evidence would suggest that they are certainly not "functional, walking talking" persons for that period of time.

>But thats frankly irrelevant, as we are talking about something that has not even developed their brain yet or to the level of having anything resembling conscious thought yet.<

Likewise, good luck showing that an infant has developed anything resembling conscious thought. Shall we allow infanticide now, on the basis that an infant is no more a person than a cat? I mean, at least the cat can be shown a litter box in which to do its business. The infant cannot even do that much. So why do we still distinguish between the two?

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“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.” - Stephen Colbert

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With all due respect, these are unbelievably different issues. The horrors of total abortion bans have been well known going back to Romania's experiment back in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

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Many of us do understand and we still disagree and think you are in the wrong. I can understand how you feel its murder, but atleast half the country, if not more, disagree. You view it that way due to your religion's influence. This country should make NO law solely based on religious justifications, be it Christianity or any other religion. People who do not share your religion or religious beliefs should not have to live under its rules. Would you like to be forced to live under Islamic rules? No. It also violates conservative principles. I control my body, not you. You have no say over what I do with my body. Government has no right to say what I can and cannot do with my body.

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Except when a pandemic comes along, then the government can control all aspects of your body, correct? Not every anti-abortion advocate is uber religious, many just see it as the physical barbarism that it is, like any old regular murder of a human being.

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>Except when a pandemic comes along, then the government can control all aspects of your body, correct?

No. I have bodily autonomy. If I do not have control over my body then I am not free.

>Not every anti-abortion advocate is uber religious, many just see it as the physical barbarism that it is, like any old regular murder of a human being.

The vast majority are. And you have every right to view it that way. However, you do not have the right to make that decision for other people and force that on other people who do not share that view. For many its physical barbarism to force a woman to carry their rapists baby or carry to term a fetus that is dead or will not live.

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Republicans will absolutely lose if they don't embrace LGBT ideology, at least in a national election. That's already happened.

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C’mon man

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assisted suicide isn’t eugenic because the people it kills are almost universally past reproductive age. it has zero direct impact on fertility

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those deaths are not statistically significant

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He definitely seems like someone who would be into eugenics, but I'm sure his libertarian philosophy wins in the end.

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Come now. You don't really think America needs more black babies, do you? Especially if the mother actually wants to have an abortion instead of just filling out another welfare form? Why would anyone stand in her way?

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Maybe so, but some people are smarter, more productive, more law-abiding citizens than others, and all the evidence we have suggests that socially desirable traits are not equally distributed across racial groups.

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I'm a bit in shock that De Santis is going to sign a 6-week (!!) abortion ban. If he does so, he might as well save his time and energy and stay in Florida. He will have just kneecapped himself nationally, and possibly permanently.

I know Richard says that Americans wouldn't go for a European-style 12/15/16 week ban, and I understand his points, but I still feel like this would at least signal that Ron wasn't a zealot beholden to the fetus fetishists, and would make moderate normies less hesitant to vote for him.

Republicans are the dog who caught the car, and once again be careful what you wish for: they will have achieved their multigenerational goals of banning abortions in the jurisdictions they control, plus unlimited guns everywhere, while Democrats will have to console themselves with a lock on the executive branch, as well as ownership of the entire culture and most of media and academia.

The greatest strength of the Democratic Party by far is the Republican Party.

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They spent multiple decades poisoning their own well by shrieking “baby murderer!” every time they heard the word “abortion”.

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Will Trump hammer him on it in the primary? It would make a lot of sense to do so, but it might alienate his support? This could get weird.

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the federal level is pointless anyways at this point. the right needs to focus on state and local Elections, not National.

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I am all for federalism, but the fly in the ointment here is that the federal tentacles extend into just about every aspect of existence now, from the car you drive to who's allowed in your daughter's high school locker room. the exec branch, most esp through its funding, has a million different ways of bending opponents to its will, from starving them of funds to decertifying accredited institutions to siccing the FBI/IRS on your ass.

Ceding that to the Dems is ceding a certain level of autonomy.

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its bascially impossible for an actual right winger to win a National election at this point. you got to just tell the federal government to fuck off. make your state as self sustainable at possible.

a centrist isn't going to do shit to stop the things you're talking about anyways so it's moot point.

obviously it doesn't matter because the donors are going to keep donating to federal elections no mater what i say. however Washington is far too currupt at this point to make any meaningful change for ordinary people. they'll change things for the big money donors who control our politians but that's about it. working and middle class are screwed.

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Republicans still have a certain amount of blocking power in the legislative branch at this point, which isn't nothing. Gridlock at the Federal level is an important starting point for state governments to reach out and try to establish more power for themselves.

There's an expectation that Dems will kill the Senate filibuster once and for all the next time they get more than 52 or so seats. But that's still not a done deal, there's a reasonable chance that there will be more a few more holdouts than the obvious Manchins and Sinemas of the world. The Executive can keep trying to seize more power for itself, but it's easier for state governments to justify direct opposition to an overreaching Executive branch than if both the Executive and Legislative are against them.

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Why do Republicans want to lose? Is it because US conservatives (like British socialists) enjoy a feeling of purity that flows from being able to say how terrible everything is? Which requires ensuring you're never able to change the terrible everything?

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Me too. He can’t be that dumb can he?

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Never put your hopes in a politician!

I've been fantasizing Ron and Chris Rufo going all Hercules in the Augean Stables on the federal bureaucracy (most esp its DEI wing)...oh well, i'm too old for political fantasies anyway....lesson learned!

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Great - we will trade one set of moralizing moral scolds whose ideas are buttressed by bad empirical beliefs as stand-ins for a will to power and the desire to control people for another. If you really dislike wokeness, the Chris Rufos, James Lindseys and Matt Walsh's are making things worse. Most normal people are going to always think the "God Hates Fags/Groomer!!" slippery slope is worse than the "transwomen are women" slippery slope when the latter is so obviously for most people not really a propositional claim, but a way of saying "lets not give gender blending weirdos such a hard time". While the God Hates Fags people really believe that shit in a far less amorphous way. We are never going back to that via any electoral majorities. If you want to defeat wokeness, stop with the "civilizational war" shit and actually try to get people to care more about woke madness for its actual dangers rather than these hyperbolic Book of Revelation fantasies than they care about evangelical Christian madness. Both sides never learn - you can't escape the voters forever by capturing institutions. All politics is Leninism now.

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"Who cares about women swimmijng....etc ..." what world do you live in? Women's sports was exceedingly hard won. Men taking them over doesn't matter to women? ? Where do you live, and who do you actually read? But then, you're a guy, so I guess that explains your attitude toward the unfairness of trans in womens sports....jesus. I mean, just whut?

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He signed it under cover of darkness like the chubby little low status cockroach he is. Tick Tock, GOP.

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Wow, Richard, so well thought out. I’m a mother currently pregnant with my 4th child, and I’m a traditionalist Catholic. And I’m adamantly pro-choice, although it goes without saying that I would never chose this for myself, even under extreme circumstances or risk to my own health

Until Dobbs, I never really thought about how my pro-choice position is completely at odds with my entire belief system. You hit the nail on the head when you write, “women react so strongly to abortions bans is that they have certain intuitions about the kinds of men who want to take their choices away from them in this area of life.” So true. This is a women’s issue, for women to decide.

I appreciate how you were able to put yourself into our shoes when it comes to the risk and vulnerability that comes with pregnant and childbirth. For some women (especially religious women like me), we can’t even articulate why abortion bans bother us so much, but we still have an “intuition” about these men who want to control us and our bodies. Very well written piece, you articulated what most women feel on a gut level

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A traditionalist Catholic who does not believe in the Catholic doctrine? I think this comment is fake.

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Carlos, not all traditionalist Catholics are sheep, some of us can think for ourselves

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That's literally called being a cafeteria Catholic, it is not being a traditional Catholic.

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Why is it almost always the men? Carlos, you are literally proving Richard’s point right now

I answer to God, not to you or my pastor or the Pope. You don’t say what I am or am not

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Men are more combative, that's why it's almost always us. And truth is truth, the choice to abort does not come from the best part of someone. Choosing abortion is choosing the Nothing, it's obvious neither Jesus nor God would accept it, though of course, they may forgive.

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Honest question: if you don't take the Pope's doctrines to be correct, why not be a protestant?

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I never said the Pope’s doctrine is incorrect. In fact, I said that my pro-choice stance is in opposition to my personal beliefs. Although respect for church hierarchy is very important, I don’t blindly obey the Pope. The majority of the practicing Catholic women I know are also pro-choice to some extent, it is possible to hold contradictory beliefs if you are not a black and white thinker... which speaks to RH’s point that this is a 3rd rail issue for Republicans, even women who “should” be pro-life don’t want men (who can’t truly understand or experience what comes along with pregnancy and motherhood) legislating about women’s bodies

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https://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/respect-for-unborn-human-life

"The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law" (No. 2271)."

This claim that you can be a "traditional Catholic" while endorsing abortion just seems like utter nonsense. It is not quite as ridiculous as telling people that you are a vegan who eats meat, but it's close. You may be able to describe yourself as Catholic (though even that would be called into serious doubt), but you certainly aren't traditional about it.

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Wrong! As a Catholic I may agree that a procured abortion is a moral evil, but not believe that the state should enforce that belief on people who do not share it. THAT is where the usccb goes wrong.

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Your concern trolling is fooling no one.

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Not at all. Church teaching about abortion does not logically lead to political support for criminalizing abortion. DeSantis, presumably a "traditional Catholic" understands this about capital punishment.

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But outlawing abortion prevents murder, where capital punishment is murder by the state. They seem to have nothing in common to me, and in fact are total opposites. Unless I'm misunderstanding your point.

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But even if I believe that abortion is murder and that it would be a mortal sin for me to carry one out, this does not imply that I must vote for a law to prevent someone else from carrying out an abortion. I do personally think that capital punishment is so prone to misuse and abuse in the United States in 2021 that it should be abolished, but I cannot accept that I have a moral obligation to try to prevent capital punishment on some kind of absolutist grounds. Legislation is inherently a prudential matter.

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I mean your right, you don't HAVE to, but a pro-murder candidate would have to be pretty compelling in their other policies to trump the murder part.

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What is it with this idea of "control?"

No one is controlling you. You choose to have sex. You choose not to use a condom or the myriad of other birth control methods out there.

Then you have a baby and act all surprised that other people don't want you to kill it. Because it's a human being. And say that we are being "controlling" without the slightest bit of introspection on yourself.

It's baffling honestly, but I guess thats typical for a woman.

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I don’t personally know any women who show signs of internalized misogyny, so I’m not sure it’s really a thing. Plus, once someone told me that I have internalized misogyny, which is def not the case, so I think it’s a term that people throw around. Anyways, women who are pro-life don’t bother me, I don’t think they’re coming from a place of trying to control other women. Like I said, it’s a women’s issue for women to decide

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Why in the world would child murder be something that only women get a say in? If I have a one year old and my wife wanted to kill him, would I be expected to allow it?

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The most pro-life women I've ever met were women who desperately wanted kids but couldn't conceive for some reason or another

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What’s a financial abortion?

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Interesting. I have to think, at first reading, I don’t have an opinion on the financial abortion topic. But you are correct, I don’t want to control men. In general, I don’t interact with many men besides my husband and brothers/cousins, so I don’t have a chance to control men. I suppose if I was 20 years old again and had an unplanned pregnancy, I would be sad if the father wanted to financially abort, but I would accept his decision

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Haha. And you’re a low status male.

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Religion is conservative wokeness. Why anyone can't see this is beyond me. Belief in truth claims without evidence that stand in for moral values of increasingly niche cultural competitive utility paired with claims of identity victimhood/oppression if asked for evidence before we enslave public policy to said beliefs. And regular people rebel against this kind or moralizing certainty and probably do so at the voting booth while saying otherwise in public.

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Anytime an atheist says Christianity is belief in claims without evidence they show themselves as not serious, thoughtful, or having read much outside of their bubble.

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Apparently you missed the "stand in for moal values" part of the sentence.. We have talked about this many times for years amd I've read everything you have read and when religion, like wokeness, moves from milquetoast compartmentalization and vague moralism to aggressive policy activism its appropriate to hold it to the empirical claims it justifies itself with. We both know that most wokeness such as gender identity nonsense is also not strictly an empirical claim without evidence and has the same fact/belief dynamic as religion but when they start claiming biological sex isn't a relevant quanta for policy, we go straight to holding their evidence accountable. I assume most people who say things like "Transwomen are women" are making a statement similar to "I have a personal relationship with Jesus" in form and function with regard to how much of a propositional claim is actually being made.

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im a deist myself not a Christian but Christians are the moat likely people to be fighting for right wing values and against the left so I side with them over the atheists. the reality is if it wasn't for the left dictating culture many people who call themselves atheists or agnostic today would be Christian.

this is something many people don't understand. facts dont really matter that much. What matters is what is seen as normal to most people.

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Has it occurred to anyone that cultural values are situationally useful and maybe right wing values just don't deliver the goods like they used to? I assume culture is about trading off mutually exclusive but mutually compelling social goods and we start indulging one more when the other stops doing what it used to. I want to get as much social utility as possible with the fewest tradeoffs possible and neither menu of values adopted wholesale would do that optimally. The idea that the left is "dictating values" seems to suffer from the same weaknesses as leftist belief in patriarchy brainwashing or something. Conservative social constructionism etiological explanations are as lame as progressive etiological social constructionism is. People don't get brainwashed around cultural matters of self interest import like this.

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what evidence is there that Christ rose on the third day? get real

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Some guy wrote about it and made it sound like it happened! And he was, like, divinely inspired. Told me so himself, he did.

Besides, there's precedent. Ra the Sun God's son died and was resurrected. There's some God in Norse mythology that was nailed to a tree, died and got resurrected. Dozens of pagan societies can't be wrong!

(I'm a lot of fun at my family's easter parties)

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I know who thinks you are the funniest! :)

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So you have evidence then? What year did you receive your nobel prize?

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The idea that abortion is a religious issue is one of the most successful tricks played in maintaining support for the practice. The fact that a fetus is a human being is directly observable as a biological reality. The religious position happens to line up with science here, while the liberal position prefers to ignore the inconvenient reality in favor of emotional appeals and stereotyping.

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Even framing the question in this way is religious. The idea that there’s this objective thing called “human life” that exists as a binary and determines whether something has value or not. This is theological thinking. Appeal to consequentialism or intuitions, not religious concepts.

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This is precisely the problem in even trying to discuss this issue, lol.

It’s obvious to anyone with a brain (and who isn’t afflicted with a wild, *stupid* surfeit of pathos) that sapience is what matters. And normie instincts are completely in line with this.

Without thinking, in times of disaster, people will abandon cherished pets to save a stranger’s child. Animals don’t matter, period, full stop. People aborted pregnancies to save living children in times of famine. A blastocyst doesn’t matter.

Yet… even then, the elderly routinely killed themselves or allowed their relatives to abandon them to death, torture, and rapine in times of strife so that parents and children could flee faster and carry the potential for more sapience to enter the world.

So the potential for sapience matters, too. But the law must be a binary. One action in the correct side of an arbitrary line is permissible, another action barely different but falling on the other side is not.

So between blastocyst, which you can “kill” out of hand, and which nature routinely disposed of, and infant, which you cannot, where do we put that line?

Most folks will say a 6-8 month viable fetus that could easily take its first breath outside the womb today and which must be birthed anyway, living or dead, is inviolate. It’s basically sapient, the only possible reason to harm it is to save the life of its mother, and no one takes that decision so lightly that the state must intervene.

The GOP, meanwhile, would have me believe that the mere potential for sapience wrapped up in a 6-week old, quarter-inch long blob of mostly undifferentiated cells, lacking any more neurons than a jellyfish, is worth according all the protections of a living child.

Given the insane, draconian, police state measures required to have any hope of enforcing that law, no shit the mushy middle wants none of that.

I’m not sure there’s a clear and obvious answer as to where that line must fall, but for me “viability” is the only/least bad answer we have.

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Surely there needs to be a legal definition of human life for any law that involves the ending of one. The question itself is completely reasonable, though arguing that the answer is clearly at conception is pretty silly. If a drink driver kills a pregnant woman can he be charged with two counts of manslaughter? That obviously wouldn't make sense if that same woman could legally abort the fetus. Having a legally defined point at which a person is guaranteed human rights seems like a pretty important thing for a lawful society to have.

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If it isn't conception, then what is it? Biologically speaking, conception is the beginning of the human lifecycle.

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Human life starts at implantation but unless you have some sort of particular religious motivation there's no particular reason to think the embryo or a fetus is a person that should have rights. There's nothing magical about it.

Once it's born, we establish the legal fiction that it is a person but it's still about as aware as the family dog.

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So you are smart enough to realize that being "pro-choice" would logically include infanticide, but you actually come down on the side of defending infanticide?

I mean, if we are going to be absolute materialists, there is nothing "magical" about adult human beings either. They are still just big clumps of cells at the end of the day. Why bother preserving any of their lives or rights or whatever either?

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Who told you life begins at implantation? What magic happens then?

Family dog? Is biden a person? Is someone in a coma a person?

I may be missing something here, but you do not appear to have a firm foundation in what you're trying to talk about.

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I think I agree that a human life starts at conception, but some human lives have more moral value than others. We already implicitly accept this among adults, we treat adults who've committed crimes as of lesser moral consideration. I don't think it's a stretch to say a fetus, though a human life, could also deserve lesser moral consideration given that it is not yet fully formed.

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Infants certainly are not fully formed either. You could claim that humans are not fully formed until the age of majority, or possibly even later, since from my understanding the brain continues developing well into the twenties.

We do give criminals lesser moral consideration because they have by their actions forfeited their humanity to some extent. Obviously a fetus cannot possibly have done any such thing yet.

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Nothing that makes me "me" was in place in the days following conception. If we really believed that, who would risk the 10-20% chance of miscarriage inherent in every pregnancy? Foisting life on potential people without their permission (that is, exposing them to inevitable suffering and death that could have been avoided) is questionable enough - even more so when they face such an immediate risk. I would have been no more harmed at 12 weeks from an abortion than I would have been harmed if my parents had banged on a different day, resulting in some other sucker entering the ponzi scheme.

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Ah yes, good old anti-natalism. If the purpose of existence is to merely "avoid suffering," and escaping from existence itself is considered a worthy means by which to do so, why don't we all simply off ourselves? After all, extinction of the species is by far the most certain way to eliminate all human suffering, once and forever.

>I would have been no more harmed at 12 weeks from an abortion than I would have been harmed if my parents had banged on a different day, resulting in some other sucker entering the ponzi scheme.<

By this line of thinking, nor would you have been harmed had your parents walked up to you in your crib and fired a pistol into your head as an infant. Why don't we allow parents to do that, if they see fit?

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Well, the reality is that, absent experiences which occur throughout your lifetime and change you from time to time, EVERYTHING that makes you "you" was in place in the days following conception.

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Actually, the drunk driver can be charged with manslaughter and can and has lost on that account...

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That would depend on when the law says a "human being" begins. In Canada and in most states, a fetus is not a human being. Abortion may be a crime, sure, but it can be the crime of murder only if the fetus is a "human being" or a "person" in the law of that jurisdiction.

Now if a fetus was injured, e.g., a pregnant woman was stabbed in the abdomen and the knife penetrated the uterus, the Crown would wait to see if the fetus survived (and the mother, of course.) If it was born alive, but subsequently died from its injury, then the assailant would be prosecuted for manslaughter (plus the aggravated assault charge in respect of the mother.) We had a conviction in Canada on this very example. Boy was the violent boyfriend ever surprised!

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Thanks for the information on Canadian law. In the US I don't believe the system is patient enough to wait and see what happens; I'm not sure what would happen in that case.

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That legally defined point is birth.

A couple GOP states have recently started trying to give tax credits to fetuses as an attempt to own liberals but no one actually thinks of an unborn child as a separate legal entity.

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That certainly makes sense in a lot of ways, but I think that to most people, the difference between a baby five minutes before being born and five minutes after is an incredibly arbitrary thing. Personally I favor a definition that centers around when it starts to be aware of it's surroundings, but I think that having it clearly defined under the law is more important than when precisely it is defined as.

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Apr 12, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023

The reason we proscribe murder is not because a human life is somehow sacred. It's just to prevent the social chaos that comes from everyone killing each other over turf and women.....oh, like happens in the inner cities now. Hmm. I'll try again some time.

Seriously, under this framework of human life, there is no reason not to kill fetuses because they can't kill you back. Killing a newborn child is problematic because you would have to say it's OK if the mother does it but not if a stranger does it to mess up inheritances etc. So you would have to have a police investigation to make sure it was just the mom who killed the infant. Presumably a mom who kills her own infant isn't likely to kill anyone else, so no need for her to go to prison. But someone who would kill someone else's infant might kill anyone, so he needs to be locked up to protect society.

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......Of course there's an objective definition of human life? Just like there is an objective definition of a cat, a dog, or a horse? If the definition of human isn't objective and it's just like, a matter of your feels, what's to stop people from claiming, as they did in the past, that certain races aren't human? Denying the existence of objective reality is usually a leftist thing as seen with concepts like transgenderism ("well there's really no objective definition of gender, it's not a binary!").

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"If the definition of human isn't objective and it's just like, a matter of your feels, what's to stop people from claiming, as they did in the past, that certain races aren't human?" There is no way to argue against it depending on your definition of human. Most NWEs define a human way too charitably to include substantial proportions/majorities of many races/ethnicities/sexes/ages, but pretend that it includes everyone. For example, NWEs often define a human adult as someone with the ability to reason, for informed consent, take moral responsibility for one's actions, self-control, recognize oneself in the mirror, etc. All of these concepts have major disparate impact between the races/ethnicities/sexes/ages, so calling all races human is usually a morally self-righteous, smug, virtue-signaling statement from some leftist to show how lovely they are compared to some "horrible bigot", not some objective scientific statement that can be falsified by experiment. However you define human, adult human, or person, different races will have different proportions of hominids fitting that definition. You can create an expansive definition of human that includes all races/subspecies, just like you can for all other species, but that technical definition isn't politically or morally relevant or useful since it can't inform our behaviors with respect to different races.

Transgenderism is similar since people are trying to define what it's like to be a member of a specific sex. Subjectively, it is scientifically unfalsifiable and thus pointless. The clearest problem with transgenderism, in addition to its logically incoherent and empirically unfalsifiable nature, is that it conflates the objective biological definition of sex (gamete type and everything that follows from that: primary and secondary sexual characteristics, which can be objectively measured by others and don't depend on one's self-image) with some diaphanous, airy-fairy, religious, soul-like definition of subjective sex (i.e., gender, or what it feels like to be a member of a sex, what qualia each sex has, how can one know without looking at or doing tests on your body which sex you are if you are just a mind in a vat, etc.). The latter concept is stupid and intricately confusing, causing many defective, ugly, mentally il freaks to conflate sex and gender, and then add basically all of the human mind's properties into the "gender box", including personality. Hence, they start acting like what they think members of the opposite sex act like and feel like. They tell people that they feel like a member of the opposite sex, so they are one, etc. Transgenderism thus, I think, is ultimately a semantic phenomenon. People who are too stupid to understand the definitions of sex, gender, and personality, and how they differ get confused and start carving themselves up and claiming that men and women and personalities are all the same, so please be nice to me, etc.

I hope this made sense.

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Then what is it? Never mind "human life", what's the objective definition of "life"? If I say a virus is alive and you say it's not, how can you prove that I'm wrong?

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If I say a human adult isn't alive and you say it is, how can you prove that I'm wrong?

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....if the anti-abortion crowd really thought that a zygote/embryo is a human life like a neonate, why would any of them risk a 10-20% chance of a death right off the bat? Reproducing at all would be a monstrous act (if it isn't already, ala David Benatar). So I guess they would say a 20% chance of death, which is a moral bad, is worth it for the upside of...? My mom had two early miscarriages before I was born. If I had been the third, I would not have been harmed. If I would have been harmed, isn't my mom morally suspect for exposing me to such predictable risk?

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I myself am confused by the idea that this is a religious issue, but for a very different reason. The bible never once mentions it, and in case anyone hasn't noticed it, the bible says a lot of things about a whole lot of subjects. This politico article describes how and when abortion became a big issue in the evangelical movement. It's pretty recent. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/05/10/abortion-history-right-white-evangelical-1970s-00031480

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This is a myth commonly told by the left. Both Calvin and Luther were morally opposed to abortion and insisted on the personhood of the unborn from an early stage, and this remained the longstanding norm among Bible-believing Protestants through the centuries. If some would-be "traditional" Protestants in the immediate aftermath of Roe found no cause for opposing abortion, they were not traditionalists at all but in discontinuity with both the early church and Protestant understanding since the Reformation.

Also note that the writer of that article deceives when he implies that the SBC has always been a bulwark of theological conservatism. The Southern Baptists had a large and powerful liberal contingent (e.g. Jimmy Carter) until conservatives began to take full control in the late 1970s.

Here's what the PCA wrote in 1978, which isn't really different from conservative Protestant thought today:

https://pcahistory.org/pca/studies/2-015.html

The idea that everything is permissible if I can't cite chapter and verse saying "thou shalt not..." is ignorant of how Christian moral doctrine is formed. Rather, we seek to conform to the consistent all-encompassing ethic that pervades Scripture.

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Isn't the whole Protestant schtick precisely that you justify doctrine based on direct, literal interpretation of Scripture as the inerrant Word of God?

We Catholics are the ones with an unbroken lineage of Popes, stretching back to Saint Peter himself, able to infallibly pronounce, ex cathedra, the very Word of God. This provides the theological justification for the role of Tradition in setting doctrine, with all the endless possibility of reinterpretation which that allows.

How the hell the Protestants wound up being the innovative, endlessly schismatic, profoundly changeable ones is... an amusing accident of history.

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Well, as I see it, it's really just two things going on. The first is that the precedent set by schism lays the groundwork for further schism over minor theological differences. Of course, sometimes the effect of these schisms is overstated -- in practice, there is a single mainstream "Evangelical" culture in the US that to at least some degree encompasses most conservative Protestants.

But another factor is that Conquest's Second Law has shown itself to operate powerfully on Protestant denominational bureaucracies, both in the US and Europe; they are subject to leftist capture like all bureaucracies that are not explicitly defined by their opposition to leftist capture.

So faithful Protestants are left with two choices: be open to periodic schisms from existing denominations that have gone heretic, or abandon the idea of denominations entirely in favor of congregational polities. There has been a lot of both in the past several decades.

Conquest's Second Law is clearly operating differently against the RCC. Vatican II and the current papacy show that the Vatican isn't immune to it, but the lack of a precedent for sharp doctrinal change, compared with the in-built conservatism of a centuries-old (or millennia-old) bureaucracy, makes it harder to achieve the same sorts of sharp changes overnight. I'll still be curious to see where things are a few papacies from now. If in 20-30 years Roman Catholicism has managed to hold the line on the controversial topics of the day, I'll consider it a point in Rome's favor.

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Apr 12, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023

Not really buying the broad framework here, as I think O'Sullivan's First Law (Conquest was referencing it) is crap, but I will point out that most of the "innovation" in the Roman Catholic Church of late has come from the American conservatives and their rightist ideas on economics, which are just wildly out of the mainstream of Church thinking and doctrine.

The Papacy is already clawing back power from them; if Francis lives another five years he'll have appointed an outright majority of the Cardinalate and the Americans will have lost.

So I'd discount economic thinking from your analysis in the last paragraph; if the Church returns to a more anti-capitalist stance that will be a small-c conservative move, if not an outright reactionary one.

I am much more interested in seeing how, and how much, the Vatican reaches an accommodation with the modern conception of sexuality and reproduction. As a small-c conservative on most of these matters, I am curious how they intend to integrate the Church's self-conception as a universalist institution with the rising tide of liberalism in even the trailing parts of the world with many faithful Catholics.

To my mind the American Cardinalate have doubled down on outright reaction in response to a changing world, and on opacity and unaccountability in response to the Church's own profound failure to protect and nurture its flock. This has crippled the Church in America, and I count myself among those who were sent reeling out of the Church in response.

Yet, I am conscious that the liberal Protestant denominations who have simply bent with the wind have fared worse still.

And the evangelical, conservative, and reactionary Protestant denominations which have splintered from the former have fared only marginally better.

Whatever it is that the Mormons do, you still-faithful folk had best figure out how to bottle it and distribute widely. And that sort of pro-social, highly engaged, communally-centered, civically responsible faith is the sort that I am most at home with, so if you do, maybe I'll be there for it.

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That's quite misleading. Luther barely mentioned abortion and when he did he put it in the same category as preventing birth, does that mean you are anti-birth control as well? Early church teachings often viewed abortion as wrong (though many didn't) but the idea that it is equivalent to murder is a fairly modern idea. Standard doctrine for most of Christian history was that a fetus didn't have a soul until quickening. And it certainly wasn't a primary issue the way it is today. Promiscuity is a sin, but we don't pass laws making it illegal.

So when the SBC had a "strong liberal contingent", that made them illegitimate? The author is misleading us because clearly if the liberals are in charge then it doesn't count? It only counts when the people you like are in charge? How is it misleading to say that the Evangelical church in the early 1970s was pro abortion and before that they didn't really care all that much?

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Pick one of those points that you sincerely want me to address. You started by acting as if you didn't understand the conservative position; now it sounds like you want to argue just to argue.

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In reality it is an "add costs to short term mating because rampant short-term mating isn't good for my personal mating self interest" issue and religion is like a support group for such people. https://pleeps.org/2015/01/12/sexual-politics-and-self-interest/

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Even if it were true that people only advocate against abortion out of self-interest (which I find highly questionable), why does their presumed underlying motivation invalidate any actual logical arguments they might make? You do realize that essentially everything that anyone does in politics is done at least partially out of a desire to further one's own self-interest, right?

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Apr 12, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023

The values of wokeness tear society apart. The values of major religions bring their societies together and strengthen the social order, ensuring the religion's survival.

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The Thirty Years War begs to differ

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How about the Taiping Rebellion? Non dare call that a Christian religious insurrection, which it clearly was. Bloodier than Mao. " The values of major religions bring their societies together and strengthen the social order" yes, you can tell how great theocracies are by how so many people are fleeing the unsuccessful secular countries for the utopias where everyone is constantly thinking about God.

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I wouldn't call the Taiping Rebellion an insurrection. They didn't try to take over the state until they were persecuted, which sort of forces you into an insurrection goal. When the state wants to destroy you, the natural response is to be rebel. If the state had left them alone I don't think the war would have even happened.

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Both Religion and Wokeness win. Its rationalist autists who always lose.

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All epistemologies and teleologies have an inherent circular logic. What is true and what is good in each worldview’s perspective is 100% circular, for atheists, hindus, and christians alike

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this isnt woke ideleogy, this is human nature.

wokeness is about flipping the script on social hierarchies. Anyone historically seen as having lesser statues is artificially propped up by those who support wokeness while those perceived to have high status historically is artificially pushed down.

just seeing someone as a victim or an oppresser is just how people think. hell the founding fathers even saw themselves as victims and the British as oppressers. This is nothing new and its not always a bad thing.

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If wokeness is about flipping the script on social hierarchies it is a huge failure. No scripts have been flipped at all. No systems of oppression are anywhere close to being dismantled, even by the woke's own strained definition. If anything it is a new script for the same old social hierarchies. You don't seriously think say Harvard's woke admissions standards have changed any social hierarchies do you? https://freddiedeboer.substack.com/p/why-the-fuck-do-you-trust-harvard

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Greater individualism and human rights have favorable results. In what possible way is a person in North Korea better off than an American citizen here?

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Amusing how there's no one on earth that the illiberal right hates more than the post-liberal left.

Let them fight, I don't really give a fuck which party seizes the commanding heights of the normie middle so long as one of them does it with enough gusto to marginalize its own idiots.

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Apr 11, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023Liked by Richard Hanania

As a foreigner, I note that your political parties have no identifiable leaders who exert control over what their candidates can say during political campaigns. In Canada or the UK, if a party leader—that’s the guy who will be Prime Minister if his party wins enough seats in the House of Commons—doesn’t want his candidates to talk about abortion because it’s a vote-loser, he tells them not to talk about it. No one can run on any substantive issue that bucks the official party platform—the leader kicks them off the local ballot. [Edited for clarity:] If an MP goes rogue once elected, he gets kicked out of caucus, keeping his seat as un-re-electable Independent. That’s how Canadian political parties prevent “bozo eruptions” that kill their electoral chances. Unless the GOP can somehow purge the strong pro-lifers, the Dems will have a blank cheque forever to ruin the country.

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If the Republican party purges the pro lifers, it would purge over half its membership and it

lose its chances at majorities almost anywhere for a couple cycles.

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That’s a good point, David. I think I really meant that it needs to purge its pro-life *candidates*, the ones who can’t talk about anything else and attract the most extreme views during primaries. True, you don’t want to purge any of your members or potential voters, I get that. But if there was some way to keep them from putting extreme pro-life candidates in front of the voters every time, that would help win elections. The optimistic view is that abortion need not be a national issue anymore—federal elections can be about something else.

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Apr 13, 2023·edited Apr 13, 2023

No thank you. Your conservative partt is more left wing than our left wing party. Even then your conservative party can't win without your left wing movement being split between two parties(Libs and NDP)

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deletedApr 12, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023
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Well, yes, John. The parties designed the system to help them gain power by ejecting local candidates and MPs with views likely to damage the brand in a national vote. It doesn’t care that you hate it. A kooky outlier from some Saskatchewan backwater can’t damage the party’s electability in Toronto because he’ll be gone. The current Prime Minister is a master at defenestrating candidates, MPs, and even Cabinet Ministers who buck him, as was the last one. They’re all control freaks.

The system doesn’t pretend to be democratic or to solicit input from local voters. It’s representative government, not an Athens-style democracy. But it does keep crazy ideas like heartbeat laws out of the political mainstream where they would prevent conservative governments from ever being elected. Most of the electorate doesn’t know what they want anyway, except more free stuff from the Treasury. Besides, it’s never going to change because the gold prize in FPTP is a chance at majority government once the small parties disappear.

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What exactly is conservative about the Conservative Party of Canada? Sure, they can theoretically get elected(still managed to lose 3 times in 8 years despite the left being split between 2 parties) by promising to cut taxes by 0.0001%, while supporting insane levels of immigration and conceding to every social issue on the side of the left. Thats not my idea of "conservative" and whaterver it is its just defeat by another name.

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Canada is not and never was a democracy technically where the people directly make the laws. It is a constitutional monarchy where the executive functions an essentially a dictatorship or oligarchy in the Prime Minister’s Office that has to stand for re-election every five years, though by tradition four.

When we talk of democracies in the modern world we mean the degree to which there is rule of law and consent is granted to the government by the governed through elections whose results the government must respect. More democracy than that is probably unwise, else the people who don’t pay taxes, now a majority in Canada, vote to plunder the well-off by raising taxes without limit. It’s the undemocratic features of our system that prevent this. This looks to be what San Francisco and California are both slipping toward with slavery reparations.

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Strong whiff of ‘please may I have a crumb of pussy’ here. What makes you such a rank beta on this subject? Now you take marching orders from the likes of Jessica Valenti?

I’m an atheist and opposed to the vast majority of abortions. This is because the murder of children is exceptionally bad. When you say people prefer infanticide to treating miscarriages like crime scenes, this is not convincing. In fact, the rank insanity of this position (even if they were the choices available, which they are not) makes me even more certain I am correct. I am certain about very little. I am quite certain that murdering children is bad.

I don’t disagree, necessarily, that this is the balance of popularity. The popularity of a position is not related to its correctness.

I say this subject requires leadership, true leadership, and a whole lot of innovation. Artificial wombs and surrogacy, plus of course birth control (pre-conception) on demand are the way forward. I don’t know when these technologies will be mature, but it will be one day.

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You say RH is not convincing when he says that people don’t want to treat miscarriages like crime scenes but I think it’s telling that your solution involves some giving up of the humanity of childbirth and conception to a colder reality of artificiality to succeed.

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1. RH' main worry is imo: If R goes for a policy most voters DO NOT WANT, then GOP loses. Which will be bad for pro-lifers and bad for a lot of less silly positions, RH cares about.

2. One might agree with "Abortions are usu. a very, very bad thing". That does not have to lead to: "The government should have the right to put women in prison for not having that baby + the docs who helped her do it safely on top. For life, for 25 years or just 10: we shall discuss later. Best would be the electric chair." That idea still sounds to me ... wrong ... to say it very politely.

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If condoning mass child murder is considered an acceptable price for winning elections, that would surely be the best argument in all of history against democracy as a political system.

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Apr 12, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023

Infanticide (killing of a child after birth) was a very common thing in Malthusian societies, ie. in nearly all until the Industrial Revolution really took off. Movie: 300 Spartans. Kings seldom objected. If wanting to execute around a million women and medics a year is considered an acceptable price one has to pay for being a true Christian, that would surely be one of the best arguments in all of history against Christianity as a religion/moral based community. - I am fine if s.o. wants to have sharia in the US: Found a party, try to get votes. If you fail to win: C'est la vie.

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Hold on. People killed babies in the past, so we should..... keep killing babies today? Is that your viewpoint? Maybe you can expand on that a bit more. Seriously, help me understand that logic.

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It was just an information. Your logic still stands proudly: "If A is evil, but most people decide the state shall not execute people who do A, that means democracy stinks". - Oh, it certainly does. I simply shrug and remember all the other forms of society and their stance on A. Historically a constant in human life after birth even. In modern times most massively practised in non-democracies: USSR/Russia: 7 abortion per woman on average in some generations. Anyone here old enough to remember China's one-child-policy? Forced abortions in the last trimester included. India tried something along that lines, resulting in electoral defeat. Cheers democracy, you stink much less than all the others!

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Well, I reject the idea of supporting abortion just to win elections, so democracy remains compatible with my system of values. The position that one must choose between either supporting an unspeakable evil or losing elections forever is the argument being put forth by the "pro-choice" perspective here. The immediate response would be to claim that abortion isn't evil, but if so, why not lead with that argument, given that it then renders any other concern irrelevant?

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Perhaps it would be different if the king decreed abortion legal. Would that be the best reason hereditary monarchy is bad? The system of government isn’t relevant to the discussion, it’s along for the ride.

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A bad king is easy to overthrow with a well-executed coup. A bad democracy? That requires a lot of dismantling governmental and paragovernmental bureaucracies to reshape public opinion in support of the new and improved democracy.

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This is strong “good democracy is things I like, and not things I don’t like” vibes. There’s an established consensus in this country about abortion law, and rightfully punishment for challenging it. It’s Persuasion or capitulation, those are the only two feasible long term options

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I think you overestimate how much thought the average person puts into political and moral beliefs and underestimate how fickle they can be - Prohibition might be a good example of how fast people change their minds.

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I agree, but the main point of this article is "defending abortion is electorally impossible," as opposed to "here's why abortion is morally right (or wrong)."

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And the former is exactly the way a political commenter should frame it. There are lots of things that maybe we would like more people to do, or fewer people to do. But unless you can put together some kind of electoral coalition to get political support you can't make a law compelling it or forbidding it.

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I think a political commenter might try actually changing a few minds. You know, use that whole freeze peach thing that is theoretically supposed to matter. Is that allowed?

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No state prosecutes pregnant women for having, or attempting to have, an abortion. The penalties all apply to the person doing the abortion or, in some states, assisting or facilitating. The reason is simply practical. Threaten a doctor with jail, he does something else or leaves the state. Abortions stop. No doctor will do illegal abortions, it's not worth it. Criminalizing the woman doesn't work because she may be desperate and will break the law. Also, if she has kids, the state has to look after them while she's in prison. Not worth it.

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No US-states at present? Hopefully true (not historically true for all places at all times). - Will it remain so IF the hard-core pro-lifers will succeed further? IF they manage (practical or legal) bans in most or all states? "Person online" et al want to END the abomination of abortions, not leaving easy loopholes open. When no US-docs will do this mostly simple procedure (vacuum aspiration - most lay-women could do it after a weekend-course) anymore, when pregnant women are not allowed to leave the country for Canada or any other "evil" places anymore, when they still dare to order abortion-pills: You show me a pro-choicer that is 100% sure no woman will ever be fined for "slaughtering an American baby" if PO's gang wins. See his comment below: "Yes, we CAN: force them!"

- Well, the GOP in the self-mess it is, we are glad it will not win important elections before the war we have in Europe is over. The US deserves better than Biden, not: even worse.

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Apr 12, 2023·edited Apr 12, 2023

>No US-states at present?

I should qualify, I meant only those laws that prohibit doctors (or other third parties) from performing abortions. All the ones I've looked at--and I haven't looked at all 50 states, just that no one has brought any exceptions to my attention-- say that the pregnant woman is specifically immunized from prosecution if she has someone else abort her pregnancy. She's not an accessory in other words.

Also no law prohibits a pregnant woman from traveling out of state to have an abortion where it's legal. This would be enormously complicated to enforce. The Idaho law makes it illegal to take a minor out of the state for an abortion *without the consent of the parent(s)". This is much easier to enforce because a parent would report her child missing and this would prompt an Amber Alert. But even there, the minor herself is not charged, only the "abortion trafficker".

However, there could well be laws on the books that criminalize her attempts to perform an abortion on herself. One hears of stories. If the fetus was defined as a person, then there wouldn't need to be specific law. The law of manslaughter or murder of another person would apply. I haven't looked into this in depth. There have been cases where child protection services have tried to put pregnant women into custody to keep them from abusing drugs or smoking or not eating properly or not taking their vitamins etc.

You will all be better off I think, not just women, if you can simply decriminalize abortion and just roll with what happens. That's my advice as a foreigner.

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This is interesting because I have heard it repeated ad nauseum that "well, women are going to have abortions anyways, you can't stop them." Thanks for dispelling that myth for us.

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I'm not dispelling any myth. You are straw-manning. A woman who really wants an abortion will go to an illegal provider -- they will spring up, they just won't be doctors -- or she will try to do it herself. Or she will contrive to obtain mifepristone clandestinely. Or she'll travel. All I'm saying is that if you pass a law making abortion illegal, medical doctors with families and licences to think about will just stop doing them. Other people will step in if there is a demand and a price. You can find just about anything on the Internet.

In the olden days, doctors who would do abortions in secret were often compromised in some way, same as dope doctors who prescribe illegal steroids and blood doping and epo to professional sports teams. They couldn't get hospital privileges or set up normal medical practices because of some stain on their records. So they let the word go round that for a good price they will help the members of the country club get their daughters out of difficulty. You do one, then you have to do every one they ask you to, else they out you to the police.

It's like being in the Mafia or working as a double agent. You can't get out. That's not the kind of life anyone who graduates in the era where abortions can be done in at least some states. So they go to those states to work legally and do normal medicine as well, even obstetrics (ironically.)

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Given the incredible ease with which abortifacients can be produced and distributed, I'm inclined to think that it's extremely obvious, or have you somehow missed the last several decades of successive pharmacological black markets?

Even if you succeed in eliminating surgical abortion as an option, you're going to be playing whack-a-mole with the chemical variety forever, doubly so given that the GOP seems to want birth control on the chopping block as well.

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Or perhaps people come to understand that child murder is wrong. Maybe that's an option.

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Meh. Not going to happen. Have fun trying, though!

I'll be happy, as a small-l liberal center-left-type, to take advantage of your dogmatism, fight off the post-liberal/woke leftists while the GOP oh-so-helpfully makes itself unpalatable enough to be unable to exploit those divisions, and then enjoy complete political hegemony for a couple generations.

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I'll bet you just actually have sine interest in promoting long term.iver short term mate markets since that is the strongest predictor of anti-abortion belief. I would not have been harmed if my mom had an abortion at 12 weeks. And with a 10-20% chance of miscarriage what monster would risk getting pregnant if they really thought this was killing a baby. Would you expose a neonates to such risk?

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It's always weird to see a dude be like "sure, you may save the lives of thousands of babies, but you will....lose political power!!", and act like we haven't thought of that.

Like, surely, if we were mongering power, we'd be lefties, yeah? We are not confused about whether rainbow flags or American flags are more profitable merchandise. The grifters who want to make their nut sell pussy hats, not maga hats.

There's always another election, but the left winning doesn't go back in time and kill the kids who escaped the womb. Those lives stay saved, even if the pro death dudes seize power and restart the killing.

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I guarantee you can make more money selling maga hats than pussy hats. There is way more money to be made in merchandising for the Right than the Left.

Richard is just mad that the political position he doesn't care about makes it harder to accomplish the positions he does care about. If the GOPs position on taxes or foreign policy was making it harder to get pro-life politicians elected I imagine you wouldn't be happy about it.

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Anti abortion belief isn't about saving children. It's about adding costs to short term mating. Just look at the values/beliefs/life choices it correlates with. Not other life valent ones.

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The issue is that there's now an electoral trolley problem. The outcome of laws such as those in Florida is almost guaranteed to be a backlash against the Republicans and a wave of Democratic victories, which will inevitably result in looser abortion laws.

In many states it really does come down to this very simple question:

1) Do you want six-week restrictions, knowing that you will save X number of babies for the limited time before you are voted out and they are replaced with very lax restrictions;

or

2) Do you want slightly less restrictive laws (15-weeks, say), knowing that you will save X-Y number of babies, but are likely to have longer in power to retain that law?

It's a trolley problem, and I think the pro-lifers have picked option 1. I don't grudge them this choice. But I want them to be aware that they have made this choice.

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poltical power is important but if you dont do anything meaningful with yhat poltical power its pointless. might as well have let the left have that power.

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I think most people would rather get rid of Net Zero than get rid of abortions. To do that you are going to to yield on pro-life. Sorry.

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>Whenever I’ve talked to a person who believes this, they don’t try to convert me to their religion but tell me that it is possible to come to agree with them through secular reasoning.<

This shows a profound misunderstanding of the pro-life position, one which I have to assume is willful. Who counts as a human being, and why? Pro-life people believe that fetuses are people i.e. human beings, usually from the point of conception, although I suppose there might be some squishier ones who pick an arbitrary cutoff point at a certain number of weeks (I can't remember seeing any such person describe him or herself as "pro-life").

How people vote on the issue has nothing to do with this question. How women feel about the issue has nothing to do with this question. Whether or not you are religious has nothing to do with this question. The question of who counts as a human being is just as important to the secular as it is to the faithful--or at least, so one would think. People's feelings and votes do not determine truth. You might have noticed that people often vote in favor of complete nonsense for one reason or another.

It is thus entirely possible that abortion is a permanent electoral loser for the right, and yet the right also holds the morally correct position on the issue. It's disappointing that you refuse to seriously engage with the topic by investigating the real question at its core: Who counts as a person and why?

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What good is holding to a pure moral position that abortion should be a crime if you can never get elected to enact such a law? No matter how much you moral folks believe in your cause, if voters shut you and the GOP out of one State House after another, what good have you done toward saving fetal lives? The voters are telling you, We don't buy what you're selling.

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If only the left took this attitude back when their views were unpopular. Odd that it only seems to apply to beliefs one already disagrees with.

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I would like to see centre-right governments get elected to unwind other leftist policies. That won't happen if they can't leave abortion alone.

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I suppose I could support a plan of get power first, ban abortion after. But we have to actually agree that abortion needs to be banned first.

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This seems wrong to me. Gay marriage was far from agreed among the Left, and lost electorally everywhere it was tried, prior to Obergefell. It was the policy that led to the consensus.

The problem here is that the Republicans have tried this with abortion and it's backfired. Now, I am personally fine with the abolition of Roe v. Wade because it was awful jurisprudence, ridiculous on its face, and should never have been decided the way it was. But that's different from saying "we needed to agree to elect candidates to seat judges who want to ban abortion, and now that we've done it we're home free." The exact opposite has happened: the Republican desire, decades in the making, to have a SCOTUS conservative enough to repeal Roe has ended with, at best, a temporary reduction in abortions. The results from Kansas and Montana now make it *inevitable* that the pro-life position is a losing one on a national scale and at virtually every state scale as well; the net outcome is that the same judicial fiat used to make gay marriage happen nationwide is going to *prevent* abortion bans nationwide!

You just need to reconcile yourself to the fact that, however deeply-held your views on abortion are, and however sincere they are, they are vastly and dramatically unpopular, and will cause electoral losses almost everywhere they are on the ballot, and the net result on this will be a strengthening of abortion access. You are saving the fetus in order to destroy it - and you can't say you weren't warned.

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You would do that only if you didn't want to get re-elected.

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So we are not allowed to ever actually acknowledge that abortion is wrong? How convenient for people who don't believe it is wrong.

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Your solution makes equally zero sense. So one should accept abortion in order to win elections for then finally to be able to outlaw abortion in the end? What happens then in the next election, or the one after that?

If you're not able to sway minds you won't go anywhere, regardless of the political system, since any political body ultimately consists of people. This sort of practical "realpolitik" way of thinking is not as 4D-chess as it seems, and has been tried many times before, with always the same bad outcomes.

The "Person Online" has realized a quite important lesson from the last century, which is that the left won because it ultimately was more intellectually successful, not because it was better than the Right in terms of realpolitik.

That being said, there are certainly huge electoral issues for a "pro life" standpoint, but on the other hand, there is also a huge welfare-state issue in terms of TFR for the "pro choice" side. Anyways, I think that the most effective way in which a right winger can wage war today are in the intellectual realm, not in the electoral.

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Few people chose their values through a priori reasoning. Those who are inclined to debate are more likely to use “logic” to justify their preferred policies than to use it to decide what policies to prefer.

Further, the idea that life begins at conception is at odds with our evolved psychology. Half or more of all fertilized eggs are naturally aborted. Often, this happens before the woman even knows she is pregnant. However, early miscarriages are far less traumatic than the death of a young child. Very, very few people experience a miscarriage of their week old embryo as a tragedy. Most people experience the death of their six year old boy as truly and profoundly awful.

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>Few people chose their values through a priori reasoning. Those who are inclined to debate are more likely to use “logic” to justify their preferred policies than to use it to decide what policies to prefer.<

This may be true, but if you then use this as a reason to give up on logic and objectivity entirely, what does that make you? A post-modernist, a leftist usually.

>Further, the idea that life begins at conception is at odds with our evolved psychology.<

Our evolved psychology also involved raping the other tribe's women after we slaughtered their men in a war. Should we keep that practice around in modern times as well?

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> Who counts as a person and why?

It seems to me that the main reasonable answer, from a secular perspective, is that a mind with certain qualities or abilities, such as consciousness, intelligence, & agency, is a person. (If you consider personhood a rule that helps organize society rather than a purely logical criterion, you may want to draw the category a little more widely to make it more simple & thus more easily agreed on & enforced, e.g. including all living humans even if this includes those rendered irreversibly unconscious & unintelligent by severe brain damage. Also, most people do not consider nonhuman animals people at all, but I am not sure how often this is an informed conclusion, an unprincipled exception, or a mere lack of though about this issue.) However, a human embryo right after conception is literally a single cell; for the first 2-3 weeks of pregnancy it's a cluster of cells without any defined organs; neurons only develop in the 5th week, synapses in the 17th week, & there isn't clear evidence of consciousness until about the 30th week. (I am basing this on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_development since I am not an expert on fetal development; it matters for my purposes here only that these times be approximately correct.) Thus, for at least the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, a human embryo lacks a functioning brain & so cannot be a person by the mental-qualities definition. It could be argued that despite this our society should treat even early-stage embryos as people, but then one would have to find some instrumental basis to justify a drastic abridgment of pregnant women's personal freedom that fails to protect any more actual human minds than, e.g., a ban on abortion after 16 weeks.

If you know of a non-religion-based argument to justify considering early-stage fetuses as people, I would be interested to hear it.

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>If you know of a non-religion-based argument to justify considering early-stage fetuses as people, I would be interested to hear it.<

Because they are human beings. "Consciousness, intelligence, & agency"--an infant certainly lacks the latter two, and is highly questionable on the first one. Certainly you would have trouble showing how an infant is conscious in a way that a fetus isn't, or that an animal isn't. Yet we do not generally allow infanticide. Why is that?

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There are lots of ways to show that an infant is conscious in a way that a fetus (at least in the first trimester) isn't. An infant can react to the world. Pinch it and it will cry. Stick a boob in its mouth and it will suck. Stick a finger in its hand and it will grab. Unborn babies beyond a certain period can also do this. They can react to lights and sounds. But at the very beginning it's just a heart beat with no brain or anything else we would describe as human. You can cut off someone's finger and the finger clearly isn't a human being even though it's made up of human cells. When I hear a heartbeat or look at a sonogram I see a baby just like you. I don't see a collection of cells. But I can't make a rationalist argument for why a blob with a heartbeat is deserving of human rights at the expense of someone else's. The law must be based on something rational, not on our emotions.

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I agree, but the rational perspective is that a human life begins at conception. This is the observable point in time at which an individual human being passes into existence from previous non-existence. The emotional viewpoint is to say "well, I don't feel like that's really a human being, so I'm going to pick an arbitrary number of weeks later on in the development cycle based on political convenience."

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I don't know many rationalists who would agree with you. Most of them would agree that a thing cannot be considered human if it has no sentience and awareness. Otherwise there would be no difference between a person who is alive or dead. In each state they contain the same number of cells. A leg obviously can't be considered human and no person would argue that it is deserving of human rights after amputation. I can see the argument for conception but I don't think very many rationalists and scientific thinkers would agree. That's not an emotional viewpoint, it's based on reason. For what reason do you think that a lump of flesh with no brain can be considered human? Not only human, but deserving of full human rights? You can believe what you want, but I think you should acknowledge that there are plenty of rationalist arguments that would reject your view of human life.

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>For what reason do you think that a lump of flesh with no brain can be considered human?<

Because it is a human, biologically speaking. If you take one of those cells from the "lump of flesh" and observe it closely enough, you will be able to discern that it is a human cell and not any other species, and also that it has its own unique and individual DNA not shared by any other human being in existence. If you use chemicals or surgical instruments to destroy the "lump of flesh," you are then literally cutting short a human life.

The "lump of flesh" may not have a fully developed brain yet, but it most certainly is the same continuous organism that will later have a fully developed brain if not murdered before it has the chance to grow into one. Again, the idea that we can murder a child simply because they aren't sentient yet would clearly justify infanticide. Which I mean, if you are in favor of infanticide too, okay, but let's go ahead and make that clear.

>Otherwise there would be no difference between a person who is alive or dead.<

Corpses are interesting because we do still recognize their humanity in important ways despite the fact that their life has ended. Rituals such as funerals, norms around defiling corpses, et cetera. We can obviously recognize the differences between a body that is alive and one that is dead, but we also still recognize the dead body as a human being.

>You can believe what you want, but I think you should acknowledge that there are plenty of rationalist arguments that would reject your view of human life.<

I rarely see any, if ever. Every abortion defense seems always to boil down to some variation of "well, actually, a human being is just whatever I feel like it is, based on emotions and political biases." There is nothing rational about that.

Abortion advocates seem perpetually unable to settle on an adequate definition of human life, instead being more concerned with simply insisting that it can't be conception. A serious attempt at analyzing the issue rationally would actually put some effort into finding the objective best definition of human life, without considering anything off-limits due to pre-conceived political concerns. Starting one's analysis with implicit, unquestioned assumptions is not scientific.

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The main reason I supported overturning Roe v Wade was simply, its terrible law. The supreme court shouldn't have decided what is a political question, and now we are playing 40 years of political catchup.

Stratigcally, it will be an L for the republicans, but overall its having elections on these large questions is what we should have been doing since the 1950s, and NOT having 9 judges ruling from the bench.

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