A Helpful Note To President Passerby: Let’s Try A Little Federalism

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We have been writing about the solution to all the liberal whining about the government just being too big for Obama to control…We can fix this for President Passerby.

I just engaged in this exchange on FaceBook:

  • Kenneth Bruns we need some sort of executive officer to take charge of running the government, why don’t we make an office like that? Seems like it’d help….
  • Michael Smith We already have them…they are called “governors”. This is one of the reasons that the Founders designed the Constitution and the enumerated powers the way they did.

From November of last year:

Federalism gets everybody what they want without secession. This idiotic attempt to govern a country of 312,000,000 people with a inefficient, ineffective and unresponsive central government run from Washington is the idea that is unworkable and is the problem, the Constitution is the solution…

What do you say we give true federalism a whirl?

You know federalism, it’s established by that dusty old document that you think stops America from becoming a collectivist nirvana (the Constitution); it is what all those papers were written about in the late 1700’s by those old, white, Christian men.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines federalism as:

Federalism is the theory or advocacy of federal principles for dividing powers between member units and common institutions. Unlike in a unitary state, sovereignty in federal political orders is non-centralized, often constitutionally, between at least two levels so that units at each level have final authority and can be self-governing in some issue area. Citizens thus have political obligations to, or have their rights secured by, two authorities. The division of power between the member unit and center may vary, typically the center has powers regarding defense and foreign policy, but member units may also have international roles. The decision-making bodies of member units may also participate in central decision-making bodies. Much recent philosophical attention is spurred by renewed political interest in federalism, coupled with empirical findings concerning the requisite and legitimate basis for stability and trust among citizens in federal political orders. Philosophical contributions have addressed the dilemmas and opportunities facing Canada, Australia, Europe, Russia, Iraq, Nepal and Nigeria, to mention just a few areas where federal arrangements are seen as interesting solutions to accommodate differences among populations divided by ethnic or cultural cleavages yet seeking a common, often democratic, political order.

So what do you say that we work the original plan and throttle the national government back to its enumerated powers, put the Commerce Clause genie back in the bottle, reduce the power of the Congress, SCOTUS and the Executive to matters of true national import like defense, protection of our borders, a common currency and interstate highways and utilities? We then restore the power of the states and allow them to decide just exactly what their people want them to be…MassCare – totally cool – if that’s what Massachusetts folk want. Vermont wants to go full-on Marxist, there you go. New Hampshire votes for pure capitalism, OK by me. New Yorkers want state funded abortion on demand – killer idea (pun intended), if that’s what all the feminists want. Mississippi wants the Christian faith taught in schools – hallelujah! The people of Texas want every citizen to carry a side-arm, no problem. California wants a 75% tax on the “rich” and Utah wants to abolish taxes altogether? I smell a referendum coming.

What do you say?

Look at anything we have written on distributed government or Joe’s fantastic series of posts on secession – there is a very easy answer to the issues we are facing at the federal level and it isn’t to add more bureaucratic layers.

75 thoughts on “A Helpful Note To President Passerby: Let’s Try A Little Federalism

    • Yeah. So far, they have not proven to be as effective as 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World – it will look like Obamacare.

  1. Seems simple enough.

    Florida could decide to provide free healthcare for all, abolish all taxes other than on consumption, and guarantee everyone a job paying a living wage via an unfettered free market economy. Every American with an ounce of sense would move to Florida, leaving the rest of the country as a nature preserve for the Jeremiah Johnson types, but could the promises be fulfilled?

    The short answer is no, because the next big hurricane would bankrupt us (Citizens Insurance). However, if we suddenly returned to a true constitutional form of government, citizens of individual states would be prone to concentrate more on local issues, rather than national issues. The states accomplishing the best outcomes would attract more people, set the standard for other states to emulate, or a combination of both.

    I think part of our problem stems from the same forces of greed and corruption, which now exist on the national level, on local levels forced people to seek redress of their grievances on the federal level, thus shifting the balance of power over time.

    • Steve,
      Sincerely & respectfully & humbly;
      You should read the “constitution posts on this blog. Start here;
      https://therionorteline.com/2012/06/10/u-s-constitution-can-i-really-read-it/

      The design and keys to liberty AND prosperity were provided to Americans in our Constitution.

      When mere men and women operate in their personal interests, also known as “force their will upon others,” everyone else’s liberty is destroyed…

      I cannot understand how anyone can honestly believe it is “ok” for them to decide what is best for all others … And then order what they can and cannot do. Such ignorance and arrogance. Maybe evil.

        • I think that Steve tries hard to be one of these so-called “liberalitarians” looking for a “third way”. While I share his disgust of the parties and government in general, he seems to want to replace it with equal parts of anarchy and rigid government control and I just can’t understand how that works. We have the perfect set of instructions in the Constitution, we don’t need to change them because we aren’t using them – we just need to use them.

          Maybe I just don’t understand what he is saying but the only consistent thing about him is that he is consistently all over the map.

          • I have been called a fascist in other circles. LOL

            I am sometimes intentionally obtuse in order to see what responses will be evoked. Y’all seem to be in a bubble. It’s a screwed up mess we have, but if only we would follow the Constitution everything would be peachy keen. You blame our woes on not following the Constitution, but never have any suggestions on how to make things better. Just follow the Constitution. Sorry, but I think it’s a cop out.

            States’ rights is a big deal, and was incorporated into your post.

            ” We then restore the power of the states and allow them to decide just exactly what their people want them to be…MassCare – totally cool – if that’s what Massachusetts folk want. Vermont wants to go full-on Marxist, there you go. New Hampshire votes for pure capitalism, OK by me. New Yorkers want state funded abortion on demand – killer idea (pun intended), if that’s what all the feminists want. Mississippi wants the Christian faith taught in schools – hallelujah! The people of Texas want every citizen to carry a side-arm, no problem. California wants a 75% tax on the “rich” and Utah wants to abolish taxes altogether?”

            My only point was that even in a perfect world (Constitutionally speaking) there would still be the same difficulties faced within the individual states.

      • Reread it recently, along with the Bill of Rights. A good refresher, but the only thing that really stood out, this time, was that Congress is unable to raise its pay in a current session. I didn’t see anything restricting them from cutting their pay. LOL

      • “When mere men and women operate in their personal interests, also known as “force their will upon others,” everyone else’s liberty is destroyed…

        I cannot understand how anyone can honestly believe it is “ok” for them to decide what is best for all others … And then order what they can and cannot do. Such ignorance and arrogance. Maybe evil.”

        Not sure where all that is coming from.

  2. Utah: Federalism isn’t a “third way,” it is the Libertarian approach to governance which seeks to locate the actual power of government as close as possible to the individual American. The US Constitution limits the powers of the Federal government to very specific areas of life, while reserving most authority to the states and individual citizens. Alexis De Tocqueville’s detailed study of American society in the 1840’s highlighted how actual governance in the US mostly took place at the township level and allowed our citizens to retain control of most areas of their lives. He saw this localization of government and the freedom it created as essential to America’s uniquely successful society. The US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and supporting documents (like The Federalists Papers) are essentially Libertarian in philosophy, although at the time they would have been regarded as “Classical Anglo-American Liberalism.” The Liberal label is the US was coopted by collectivists who should be more appropriately called “Socialists” or in many cases “Marxists” or “Communists.” There is no room in our founding documents for collectivism of any name, and it is the unique combination of free market capitalism and limited national government that long sustained American strength, both economic and political. Hayek, Friedman and other economists and political theorists and practitioners have often speculated that free maket capitalism and limited national government are substantially linked and together have prevented the emergence of totalitarianism or economic malaise in America.

    Our Dear Leader’s current regime has been attempting to attack both essential pillars of the Founders’ vision. The results so far are the gradual loss of our Constitutionally delineated rights and the impending implosion of America’s private economy, brought on by the excessive size of the bloated Federal bureaucracy and the resulting attempt to regulate all aspects of Americans’ lives. In implementing his statist vision, Barack Hussein Obama is violating his oath to defend and protect the US Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. In order to achieve his nefarious objectives, Our Dear Leader has unleashed the enormous power of the Federal bureacracy and turned it into a weapon against American citizens and against our rights under the Constitution and Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the Bill of Rights. The extent of this White House guided campaign has slowly begun to emerge publicly. We are governed by a tyrant, who while incompetent, is no less dangerous because of it. There is no need in America for any “third way.” There is a critical need that we return to our first principles.

    • Charles: You are preaching to the choir of Utah and the majority of those commenting here. Although, I agree with the premise, I am often viewed as an interloper, because I see no appreciable benefit from simply arguing that we need to return to the Constitution. We need to do something about it.

    • Ahhh. There is nothing I enjoy more than a lecture by someone who hasn’t read what we have been writing about here for three years.

      I’m not advocating a “third way” but what I read from some who claim to be libertarian don’t really seem to be…and the founding documents – the Constitution, the Declaration and the Federalist Papers – are not “essentially libertarian”, they are classic liberalist and these two are not the same.

      I’ve never said anything different than a return to “first principles” – but when people use “progressive” code words like “access to safe and legal abortions”, that tells me that the person uttering them is not a classic liberal at all.

      • Utah: I guess we can work in the issue of abortion under the states’ rights column.

        Personally, I am more in line what the Arkansas than North Dakota. If there wasn’t a federal law, we would duke it out in the states. I have no problem with that. I would still come down on the side of “safe, legal abortions” primarily for the same reason I am against reinstating a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

        There does not have to be a constitutional amendment in order to employ reason. If reason = progressive, in your book, so be it. How does being a classical liberal give you rights and power over others?

        • “Utah: I guess we can work in the issue of abortion under the states’ rights column.”

          In my mind, Steve, I would say that there would be no “guess” in matters concerning the bastardization of the language contained in the U.S. Constitution. We’ve seen ramifications of this bastardization over the years (i.e., exploitation of the General Welfare clause), and just look where it has gotten us today.

          You are correct, if there was no Federal law, we would duke this issue out, and many others on the state level … right where it should be duked out.

          We are a Federalist-Republic for a reason. 🙂

          • Just trying to stay on topic. Utah took it from my example of the problem of Florida’s Citizens Insurance (existing individual state issue) straight to abortion.

      • Hi Steve/Utah…Sorry if I violated any local rules. I just found the site and am still exploring a bit, but have been studying and following Libertarianism for over 35-years. I’m a big Rand fan and have seen a growing number of parallels between ATLAS SHRUGGED and the Obama Regime since 2008. The Rio Norte Line reference caught my attention. While I agree with you Utah that the Founders would probably have thought of themselves as Liberals in the Classical sense, it is my opinion that while they are not identical Libertarianism is the intellectual descendant of Classic Anglo-American Liberalism. I don’t see any alternative to Libertarianism today. Certainly the Conservative Movement has far less in common with the Liberalism of the Founders. You may have seen a really interesting essay by Hayek, “Why I Am Not a Conservative,” which makes the case pretty well. Just a final question, Utah, what does your statement about abortion reference?

        • Hey Charles,

          I don’t see where you broke any rules. Utah was likely just a bit sensitive, because he has been faithfully espousing pretty much what you said in your first post.

          I think Rand Paul is selling his soul. I say this not because of any ideological purity on my part (I am unaffiliated), but because the strategy of changing the Republican Party from within is a failed strategy. The “conservative” media would have to get on board, and that would require the big dogs in the media circus to give up their positions. That will not happen without a fight, and they wield as much power, if not more, than the politicians.

          • Hi Steven

            Thanks for your response. I try to avoid offending people unintentionally, and there was no intent to be offensive in my original post. It is really nice to find some kindred spirits with whom I can engage in more substantial discussions. I originally came out of the academic world, so many of my friends and colleagues are reflexively Liberal/Progressives and that means I often find myself speaking slowly and using small words in making even basic arguments from a Libertarian perspective. Apologies to you, Steve, and to Utah, if my first post was a bit windy.

            BTW, we had a disconnect on my “Rand” post. I am a big fan of Ayn Rand, although I have been trying to follow Rand Paul a bit, since he seems to be a fairly articulate spokesman for my perspective. That’s where my “Rio Norte Line” reference came from. Possibly dumb question (I have many of these): Do you happen to know whether Rand Paul was named for Ayn?

            On the abortion issue, my position on abortion has recently experienced a categorical change, and a big one for me. For a long time I was horrified by the whole abortion phenomenon…60MM murdered babies, the slide toward late term infanticide, the Culture of Death and related issues. But the Gosnell trial caused me to rethink my whole approach, which had arrived at the position that Abortion should be returned to the states by the nullification of Roe v Wade. I am now convinced I was making a logical category mistake for decades. As a Libertarian, I focused on the individual rights issue to conclude that the rights of the mother should take precedence until some point in the gestation process, after which the baby’s right to life should control the decision. Most people examining the issue now conclude that 20-weeks is the point beyond which abortion should be considered murder, except when the life of the mother is at risk. I reviewed my thought process fairly deeply and have concluded I cannot identify a point in the gestation process, other than conception, where “human life” could be identified as beginning. Ergo, if an unborn child is a full human being at conception, how could the child’s right to life be subject to termination based only on the decision of another? I don’t think it can be, from a logical and moral perspective. This position appears to be incontrovertible, on any but an emotional basis. I’m a pragmatist when it comes to American politics and I know this will be impossible to implement in the short term, especially with over 50MM women still trying to justify their guilt over taking their own baby’s lives. But I don’t see an alternative position at this point. What am I missing/

            • As I stated earlier, there is no need for apologies.

              I have a tough time with the abortion issue. On the one hand, I happen to believe that it is logically supported to say that life does begin at conception and now that we can perform fetal in-utero surgery to correct defects at around 16-18 weeks, and there was a surviving baby who was born at 22 weeks, there is no question in my mind that if abortion remains legal, it should never be conducted after the first 12 weeks. On the other, I also believe that it is the right of the individual to do whatever they want with or to their own body, so the definition of when life begins and when the fetus actually is capable of becoming a human is relevant.

              I think this is where science reaches its limits and faith has to take over.

              Science has never been able to explain “life” – what it is, when it begins or whether there really is a soul. They can explain all the physical and chemical processes that support the creation of it but there has never been true life created in a laboratory without simply combining pre-existing components. I can’t see life without seeing the hand of God – and that is where my faith kicks in but I understand that there are people who do not share that faith and see the fetus as nothing but a clump of cells.

              But for me, nature rules – if left alone, that clump of cells will turn into a human – not a frog or a donkey or an elephant, it will turn into a child.

              I have little issue if abortion was truly limited to a medical procedure of necessity – in the case of danger to the life of the mother, incest or rape but what is clear is that it has become an acceptable form of birth control and is used as such by many. That, I cannot agree with because there are so many ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy these days – including the oldest method known to man – abstinence.

              My bias is to err on the side of safety and say that the child is a child at the moment that the cells start to divide to form a human. When you think about it, it is remarkable that we live for 80 years or so and it only takes seconds to fertilize an egg and only 9 months to incubate it. That is a ratio of 1:106.7 or for one month of gestation, we get 106.7 months of life.

              • Hi Utah…You raise some very interesting issues vis a vis the abortion issue. For me religious issues should not enter into abortion discussions, largely because personal faith is only accessible internally by the believer and I do not presume to impose my beliefs on you or any other believer or non-believer. I should state clearly that while I have strongly held personal spiritual beliefs which have evolved over time, I regard my beliefs as among the most private of my convictions. Comparative religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Atheism, and Agnosticism, is an interesting topic for another day. For some people, religious beliefs are controlling for abortion decisions and I respect that approach completely. I also can respect people who make the pro-abortion case from an atheist or agnostic world view. In order to find common ground I find it necessary for myself to restrict consideration of abortion to a framework that is essentially logical and moral, rather than to attempt to operate from any specific religious posture…Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheistic or Agnostic.

                Having established those parameters, I have examined closely the basic defenses of abortion in the post-Roe world and found them to be entirely unconvincing. The arguments by abortionists have largely consisted of “rebranding” an horrific act that has finally been exposed by the Gosnell Trial, and piling up one ineffective defense upon another. All the pro-abortion arguments are essentially variations on the argumentum ad passiones, or the argument from emotion. Having had endless discussions with very bright, very knowledgeable abortionists who are also very good personal and professional friends, the discussions proceed in a remarkably predictable manner. First, I never move the discussion to abortion because I know where it will end. My friends, for reasons I don’t understand, finds it interesting to open an abortion discussion, often over a pleasant dinner or lunch. After I attempt to shift the conversation elsewhere, my friend begins reciting the abortionist litany. I politely destroy each argument until we end at the argument from emotion and the fairly self-evident fact that I am not a female (I wasn’t during the last five times we had the same argument, err conversation) . The final remaining argument seems to be that American men are ineligible to make moral or logical judgements about abortion, despite the fact that men are intimately involved in the conception of children, will have absolute responsibility for any children that develop out of the pregnancy and a little less than half of all aborted children are male.

                There is a final line of argument on the abortion issue regarding the nullification of logical arguments by emotionally overbearing tautology (AKA: Shouting one’s opponent down). The whole point of requiring intellectual arguments to flow through Aristotelian logic is to provide an objective platform for discussion. If subjective argumentation must be abandoned, then logical analysis is absolutely essential, if any reasonable conclusions are to be drawn on the pro and anti-abortion arguments. To summarize, setting aside any religiously-based arguments, the pro-abortion case as currently made stands without any logical support and consist of specious, emotionally-based points usually screamed rather than delivered in a rational manner. The anti-abortion case is essentially a case against government-sanctioned murder of the most helpless of Americans. I welcome any observations identifying any failed logic in this post. As Stan Lee would have said, I offer a special, deluxe No-Prize to the first one who can dispute my logic.

              • An old friend of mine has a new grandson. He was born 9-10 weeks prematurely. When he was born, my friend shared on Facebook, and there was a prayer chain, of sorts, established. After 6 weeks in the hospital, he went home with mom and dad and is thriving. The science and technological advances have increased the odds of success in these cases, but we give praise to God.

                For those who believe that because life begins at conception and thus constitutes a new human being entitled to individual rights, there can be no negotiation; no compromise. I can understand that, and can even live with that. Their beliefs are their beliefs, but when they desire to enforce those beliefs on everyone else, I have to draw the line.

                Even when majority rules (pre-Roe vs Wade), outlawing abortion did not stop abortions from being performed, just as outlawing guns will not stop psychos intent on killing large numbers of people. I also do not approve of abortion as a convenient form of birth control (which it has become for many), but I have to accept some give and take. Rather than outlawing it again, I would rather see more emphasis placed on other forms of birth control. Unfortunately, a large block of abortion opponents also oppose other forms of birth control.

                I wish “shotgun” weddings were still popular, but even if they were, the divorce rates are such that it would no longer be an effective solution. So, I am left to reason and pragmatism. Is it possible to compromise? It has to be, or else we remain stuck in neutral; neither going forward or backward.

                I have no problem with it being kicked backed to the states. Sometimes, like what is going on with marijuana and gay marriage, once one state adopts a certain position, other will move in the same direction. We may eventually end with near consensus, but it will be more palatable since there was no edict from the federal government.

                I think North Dakota’s action of limiting it to 6 weeks is unrealistic, but I have no problem with Arkansas’ 12 week limit. The 12 week limit gives the woman enough time to discover the pregnancy and to think about her options. The stage of development will still be a point of contention for many. Those who are opposed at any stage will still balk, and many will want to keep a longer cutoff, but like I said, I think we need to find a compromise. On a purely unemotional level, do we split the difference and make it 16 weeks? Personally, but perhaps for different reasons, I agree with Charles. We are not likely to see any movement, any time soon.

            • Yes Charles, the disconnect was may bad. I had just come out of another discussion related to Rand Paul. I do not know if he was named after Ayn Rand, but I always assumed so. Ayn Rand, and especially “Atlas Shrugged”, has been a continuing topic of debate in our local community, so you were rightly attracted here by the Rio Norte reference.

              I will respond later to the issue of abortion.

              • Hi Steve – Thanks for your clarification re: Rand. It is quite exciting to me that Ayn Rand and AS are frequest topics here. I’ve enjoyed all Rand’s fiction but regard AS is particularly prescient. I’ve also enjoyed her more overtly philosophical works including especially THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS and CAPITALISM. You’ve made my day.

            • I don’t think you are missing anything Charles. I think anyone thoughtfully dissecting the issue does so by a similar process, and although we may think we are drawing conclusions based upon objective analysis, every individual will be influenced by events that are subjective in nature.

              In my case, I have always believed that a human being comes into existence when a baby takes its first breath outside the mother’s body. It is at that point that an infant becomes separated, and takes on an “identity” of its own. That is why I still maintain that a decision should remain with the woman.

              If we say a fetus, at any stage of development, has rights as an individual, we open up the possibility of a multitude of other laws and government intrusions. I think women are already being bombarded with enough well-intentioned messages about acceptable behaviors during pregnancy, and don’t need additional laws to add to the stress of the experience. By the same token, the ongoing battle over abortion needlessly impacts the psyche of women in a negative manner. If a woman feels guilty about having an abortion, or thinking about having one (I’m sure many do), why is it necessary to exacerbate those negative emotions by branding them murderers, when the procedure is legal. Freedom of speech. Gotta love it, but shouldn’t we save that type of condemnation for the Gosnells of the world?

              I have never been affiliated with a political party, and am a pragmatist above all else. IMO, for the past forty years, the battle has been counterproductive. Not only has it added to the stress of each of us (not just women), but as an emotionally charged divisive issue, it has been used by politicians lacking sincerity.

              I will continue in response to Utah’s related comment.

              • “I have always believed that a human being comes into existence when a baby takes its first breath outside the mother’s body. It is at that point that an infant becomes separated, and takes on an “identity” of its own.”

                I find this a bit interesting Steve. I pronounce death of a human after cessation of blood circulation (i.e., the heart stops beating). It’s my job.

                So if, by that logic, then why does not life begin with the first circulatory contraction of the cardiovascular system?

                How about an active central and peripheral nervous system? If the ‘fetus’ can move extremities, why is it not alive?

                How about when organs, such as the liver. begin to function (ex: the liver produces bile)? How about if the urinary system is functional?

                How about when the fetus becomes aware of it’s environment, and begins to react to sounds, etc? Is it alive then?

                What if the ‘fetus’ can hiccup?

                These are all common traits of “alive’ humans; Cardiac Cycle, Respirations, Voluntary movement, awareness of environment, etc …

                But yet you say that a ‘fetus’ takes on an “identity of its own’ after it becomes “separated”, is that right?

                If so, in your vast clinical experience, please quantify your statement for all of us ‘non-clinical’ types, please and thank you.

                • augger… My conclusion at this point is that the pattern of when unborn children become “human” and thus the recipients of “human rights” is moving gradually closer to the moment of conception. I don’t think there is a defensible position that falls short of conception…any other point is arbitrary and indefensible in logical terms, which I think is the point of your last post. Am I wrong in that assumption?

                  • Precisely. And I am asking Steve to do a bit of research (I know he’s not a healthcare provider), and following his research of the science of medicine, look inward. If he wants to make an argument for abortion, that is fine. The problem with the argument he offered is that there is no data to support his claim.

                    Time will tell, but I think we’ve heard the last from Steve on this current topic of abortion.

                    • augger: The problem with your comment is that you quote me, but then go off on a rant. I fail to see anything in your remarks which relates directly to the statement quoted. Some things never change.

                      My belief, is as stated, and you have said nothing to counter it. You, like so many others, are attempting to argue that something other than a human being should be called a human being, so you can hang a murder label on abortion. I agree that human life begins at conception, but the gestation process does not constitute a human being.

                      I can come and go, as I please, unless Utah should decide to block me, but my hope was that this blog had become more than a self-congratulatory social circle where like-minded people meet to reassure each other.

                    • Well Steve, you are right about one thing; I did quote you. That is a start I suppose. Maybe the rest was a bit over your head, so I shall try again and maybe narrow it down a bit for you.

                      “a human being comes into existence when a baby takes its first breath outside the mother’s body”

                      This is your assertion, correct?

                      Correct. Now science tells us that Human embryos, whether they are formed by fertilization (natural or in vitro) or by successful somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT — i.e., cloning), do have the internal resources and active disposition to develop themselves to the mature stage of a human organism, requiring only a suitable environment and nutrition. In fact, scientists distinguish embryos from other cells or clusters of cells precisely by their self-directed, integral functioning — their organismal behavior. Thus, human embryos are what the embryology textbooks say they are, namely, human organisms — living individuals of the human species — at the earliest developmental stage.

                      So that argument can be made scientifically, and not based on any religious bias, either way. But let’s not get caught up on conception yet, or at least until I am certain that you will be able to understand cell mitosis, and beyond.

                      In the spirit of good faith, and further understanding of what it is that makes you clinically alive, we’ll examine those definitions.

                      In order for you to be alive, just a few conditions have to be met, and those are:

                        A circulator function.
                        A respiratory function.
                        A Brain function.

                      Now the rest we can call optional conditions for human life: voluntary movement, and awareness of environment (our cognition).

                      We can now agree on what human life is, yes? Assuming that you agree, we can now wrap this part up by examining what criteria is used clinical to pronounce clinical death.

                      In 1979 the A.M.A, set the following criteria/conditions that have to be met for a physician to pronounce clinical death:

                      [Determination of Death.] An individual who has sustain either (1) irreversible cessation of circulator and respiratory­ functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, are dead. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.

                      Of course, each state may set its own standards, and most have followed the recommendations of the A.M.A. So now we are all clear on what criteria makes for ‘human life’, and ‘human death’. Are we still in agreement? We have to be, this much is really not up for debate. It’s actually a law of medical practice.

                      Ok, so now that the background work has been done sir, can you tell me now how your parameters support your assertion about when human life begins? Any clinical correlation would be greatly appreciated.

                      (side bar: How’d I do this time? Still a rant?) 😀

                    • Much better augger. Thanks, but the actual quote was, “I have always believed that a human being comes into existence when a baby takes its first breath outside the mother’s body. It is at that point that an infant becomes separated, and takes on an “identity” of its own.” This is my opinion. You have yours.

                      I beg to differ about the known science concerning human development. It makes no difference whether fertilization takes place in vitro, or otherwise. After a fertilized egg is implanted, the stages of development remain the same. Nothing has changed in that respect. There are no new developments, except perhaps in the area of caring for preemies. Surely, you would not suggest that science will advance to a point where we will have home kits to revive and replace the typical miscarriage? Sorry if this seems crass, but that is what you are essentially saying. Is it not?

                      Perhaps we should change the subject to “climate change”. We will never agree on abortion, and neither will the nation at large. I know it, you know it, and you better believe the politicians know it.

                    • Steve,

                      With all due respect, you completely dodged the question. Maybe it’s the insurmountable science I offered as evidence to the point. I am not sure. I also am not quite inclined to read you my resume as further evidence either. Let’s just say that I am in the business, and leave it at that.

                      You should also note, that I never asked you for an opinion, but rather twice I have asked if you could agree with the science, and the law that I have offered. Then I asked you to support your opinion with some evidence based facts, which you also have failed to do.

                      So now my question is, do you have any evidence to support your claims, or is this just a belief you have conjured up as so to make your position a bit more comfortable?

                      Either way, your choice. After all, I can prescribe a pill, it’s up to you to fill it, and then take it.

                      Good evening …

                    • Sorry augger, but if you go back to the beginning of the thread, I’m sure you will agree that I am not the one dodging. I merely continued the conversation hoping that some would realize the futility of it all.

                    • No apologies needed, but you are not answering the questions I posed. If not dodging them, then what is it?

                      You see, I already know the answer(s). I just would like for you to overtly address the science either way, and then defend that position.

                      This is how we learn, Steve,

                      hint: it has nothing to do with K. Reeves, or “The Matrix”.

                    • I know I am wasting my time, but the science was taught at Bay High in 10th grade Biology class. I have not disputed science, I have merely stated that the “pro-life” lobby has tried to change the definitions by renaming things, i.e. “pre-born” children. A rose by any other name…

                      Furthermore, the original issue of individual liberty and government intrusion conveniently went right out the window.

                    • (resume stricken from comment to maintain privacy)

                      I believe I am qualified to opine on Biology Sciences. 🙂

                    • “I can come and go, as I please, unless Utah should decide to block me, but my hope was that this blog had become more than a self-congratulatory social circle where like-minded people meet to reassure each other.”

                      Far be it for you to play the victim, Steve. Certainly you could not have conceived anything I wrote as a threat of banishment from this blog … unless I have underestimated your intellectual prowess drastically. So I am left to assume that I have backed you in to a corner with little left for you to do than play the victim while setting up your straw men to knock down?

                      Victims, aren’t we all? 🙂

                    • Steve; this is not a self-congratulatory circle (there have been quite a few rows…) I shall counter your argument. We’re not talking about an egg or a zygote, (the whole “gestation” b.s.;) we are talking about a human being. There is a reason some vegans won’t eat eggs…..

                    • The comment related to my activity on this site was not directed at anything you wrote. It was more like an acknowledgement that things can get a bit dicey when differing opinions are expressed. Unlike Charles Edinger, I am not a newbie. I even checked out pcrefugeesforum a couple of times after the split. In case you don’t subscribe to the NH, here’s a good article from today’s paper.

                      http://www.heraldsun.com/opinion/x1592160829/Stafford-Are-you-carrying-the-fire

                      I hope to see you on the road. 🙂

                    • “Today, we live in a blasted moral and ethical landscape that is growing progressively colder, where it is hard to find real sustenance- food for the soul. It is a dimming world where the light of the Son is obscured. Moreover, we are surrounded by functional cannibals, who survive figuratively by devouring us.”

                      Particularly good analogy of what we are witnessing before our very eyes; especially from this administration who seems to have taken the Bush policies, and applied crack cocaine to their implementation.

                      Things can get a bit dicey when differing opinions are expressed. I am fine with that. As a healthcare provider though, I am accustomed to those opinions having a factual scientific base, but I am also willing to accept a peer who would say; “I have a gut feeling about this, let’s try it.” The debate that we ended up having however, does not lend itself well to gut feelings. The science of the matter is pretty clear, and compelling … such is why I am asking for evidenced based opinions. Surely you can respect that.

                      As far as Mr. Edinger; I am not exactly certain context you mean when using the term “newbie”, but I believe you mean as in a new addition to our blog site. So yes, new here might he be, but that does not diminish or discredit the work he’s provided here. I cannot say that I remember every sentence of his offerings thus far, but I can tell you that I have read his posts, and I find them thoughtful. I also am left with the feeling that his work is genuine, and offered in good faith.

                      What torques me off however, is the apparent ease in which he expresses his thoughts in his writing. There’s a nice flow to it … an ability that I lack.

              • Hi Steve – A quick comment & more later. In the past 40-years we have allowed 55 – 60MM American children to be ripped out of their mothers’ wombs and murdered (or killed), often through horrific methods (see Gosnell) and mostly for convenience rather than necessity. We have for a long time been an abortion-on-demand society. While I’ve heard all of the arguments defending abortion on the basis of the child not being “human” when murdered, none stand up to even limited scrutiny, although in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve held several of those positions until I recognized their fatal flaws. Given where medical science has brought us and what we now know about pre-born children, the “non-human” arguments have gotten progressively weaker. Abortion may now be equated with euthenasia, another practice popular with those unwilling to defend the rights of the vulnerable…euthenasia without the consent of the victim. Interesting.

                • I do believe you are wrong Charles, for the reason stated in my response to augger. I think it logical to say that human life begins at conception. However, I think it is illogical to say that because one statement is true, it automatically proves the other is also true.

                  Since your argument is not based upon religious beliefs, but rather logical deduction, or reason, let me approach this from another angle. The question has already been asked and answered, as a matter of law.

                  I have spoken about this in other posts, but essentially, I believe we give up total individual freedom due to our mutual consent to live communally. In so doing, we accept the need for laws. One of the most basic, universally agreed upon laws, is a prohibition of murder. Murder is defined as one person killing another. So far, so good.

                  What has happened since Roe vs Wade was decided, is that there has been a propaganda war initiated based upon semantics. Because human life begins at conception, a potential human being is now being cast as an “unborn child”, or “pre-born child” by the “pro-life” (the opposition is anti-life?) lobby. The opposition uses terms such as zygote, embryo, or cells multiplying in utero.

                  While not every law will be universally accepted, we still agree to live by the laws, or accept the consequences when breaking them. For 40 years, most have not broken the law. There is nothing wrong with those not agreeing with the law seeking to change it, but to say what you have said, based upon your individual opinion, fails to recognize the validity of law.

                  IMO, inflammatory rhetoric and equating abortion with euthanasia does not help your case.

                  • Hey Steve, not to throw a wrench in your cog, but to throw a wrench in your cog … I would remind you that science has advanced quite a bit since Roe vs Wade. If memory serves you well, you’ve jumped on the side of the fence that uses the same argument to support that some constitutional matters have changed since the writing of the U.S. Constitution, so why not hold the science of biology (hell, medicine for that matter) to the same standard?

                    Gotta love those slippery-slopes, but man that fall is a bitch. 🙂

                    • augger…Just an observation from someone who enjoys ardent, fact-based discussions. I am finding that I benefit from virtually all your posts. They are particularly helpful to me as my various studies and experiences have been focused in economics, history, philosophy, religion and business, while it appears you are particularly strong in the areas of biology and physiology. I’m sure you have other strengths, but those are of special interest to me. Thanks.

                    • Charles,

                      Thanks for the kind words. My area of expertise is quite limited though, with writing not being among those strengths. My best offerings come when we address issues of healthcare; now that is my field.

                      Other than that, research is a must for me to follow along with some of these threads. (and why I set up a dual monitor system … LOL).

                      Listen to Utah though. I have expensive habits. 🙂

                      -Augs

                  • Sorry Steve, but while I am completely open to having flaws in my logic pointed out, I don’t think your analysis actually gets that done. BTW, I don’t regard drawing a parallel between abortion and euthanasia as “inflammatory rhetoric” in the least. What your observation does show me however, is that you fail to grasp the inhuman horror that is human abortion. But that is something you can remedy if you choose to do so. Abortion is far, far more inhumane than euthanasia. Euthanasia is about adults, often in the throes of extreme physical pain, making a conscious decision to end their pain and their lives rather than continue their suffering. While euthanasia is illegal in most nations on earth, it has become legal in some places in recent years. The irony of your comment is that while euthanasia, assisted suicide, carried out by consenting adults, is almost universally censured and illegal, the unjustified murder of innocents has been declared “legal” but remains monstrous.

                    Which brings me to your primary point, which I’ll call your ” argumentum ad auctoritatem” or your argument from authority, since you are apparently referring to “Roe v. Wade” as the “law” which has somehow justified the murder of 60MM defenseless children. Let’s rip that argument to shreds slowly. First, have you ever read the Roe decision? Somehow, Justice Harry Blackmun and a pathetic collection of somewhat limited associates who were basically Liberal political hacks (William O. Douglas? William Brennan? Thurgood Marshall? Really?) managed to write one of the least comprehensible and pathetic decisions I have ever read. The right to abortion on demand, clearly found nowhere in the Constitution for 200-years, suddenly sprang from “penumbras” found in the “due process clause” of the 14th Amendment. Really? Bad, illogical law is bad, illogical law, whether written by Harry Blackmun or Moses himself. As you may have noticed, the Supremes have had a rather mixed record on really important issues. Do Dred Scott and Plessy v Furguson ring any bells. African Americans were relegated to slavery and then the Jim Crow Laws by the great wisdom of other Courts. So, the Supreme Court’s Roe ruling was purely a political ruling with no foundation in the US Constitution or Common Law…a dreadful decision that has brought about the murder of 60MM innocent children, mostly because they have been somehow “inconvenient.” BTW, the Nazis’ murder of 6MM Jews and countless others was completely “legal,” signed off on by Germany’s highest courts. And the monsters tried at Nurenberg made their case for innocence with an argument from authority. One of the advantages of looking at issues rationally is the argument from authority has no authority. If a court issues bad decisions those decisions are not made good by the fact that the decisions are rendered by judges that should know better.

                    On the individual freedom issue, your comment does not represent a view with American roots. As Americans, our view is that government derives its powers from the agreement of the governed, not the reverse. Each of us possesses freedoms that derive from natural law and we are free to act as we choose, provided our actions do not impinge on the freedoms of others. Government exist only to ensure that all our citizens observe that common sense law, and to protect all citizens from the overreach of the government itself. As government expands our freedoms as Americans are infringed upon. This was a concern of our Founders, which is why our Constitution and Bill of Rights contain the strong protections that they do. Roe v Wade and the Obama Regime are both powerful arguments against the growth of government. To close on this issue, you are free to elect to limit your freedoms if you choose to do so, and Liberal/Progressives like Our Dear Leader base their rather poorly argued policies on forcing average Americans to surrender their freedoms to an all-knowing state. To Lib/Progs, Dewey, Roosevelt, and Wilson are somehow infinitely wiser than Madison, Jefferson and Franklin, just as Federal bureaucrats are better suited to raise children than parents. I don’t choose to surrender my American freedoms to some ill-defined collective and I have arranged my life accordingly.

                    Finally, your argument that concern for the millions of murdered children that has resulted from Roe is somehow a propaganda triumph for those who view abortion as murder seems a bit confused. You accept the fact that human beings are human being at conception, which is the only logical position, but then you begin referring to the same as “potential” humans. I don’t believe you’ve followed that statement by a defense of when unborn children move from being “potential” to human. Someone else devastated that argument last night, and I don’t think it bears repeating. Science continues to confirm that children are fully human from conception…everything that will ever be there is present at that point. So the potential v humanity argument does not appear to stand up to scrutiny.

                    Finally, as I’ve stated previously, I do not argue from emotion and have a basic distrust of authority, hence you will never find me citing any higher powers, human or otherwise. My arguments are based on facts and the logic that flows from them. As always, please let me know where my facts are wrong or my logic fails as I’m always interested in learning from my mistakes. Regards.

                    • “I don’t regard drawing a parallel between abortion and euthanasia as “inflammatory rhetoric” in the least.”

                      Inflammatory language: “… ripped out of their mothers’ wombs and murdered…”

                      ad hominem: “Somehow, Justice Harry Blackmun and a pathetic collection of somewhat limited associates who were basically Liberal political hacks…”

                      faulty analogy: “BTW, the Nazis’ murder of 6MM Jews and countless others was completely “legal,” signed off on by Germany’s highest courts.”

                      putting words in my mouth: “You accept the fact that human beings are human being at conception…”

                      begging the question: “…concern for the millions of murdered children…”
                      Abortion is murder, since killing a baby is an act of murder.

                      “Finally, as I’ve stated previously, I do not argue from emotion and have a basic distrust of authority, hence you will never find me citing any higher powers, human or otherwise.”

                      Fair enough, but in the interest of full disclosure, I view my world through a prism that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I accept it in totality. Although I also do not discuss my religious beliefs in detail, in public, they do impact my thinking on every issue.

  3. Two-celled zygotes are not children. Many developing embryos die, and are re-absorbed by the Mother’s body. Sperm are living cells, and each sperm is half of a potential human.
    To all the people who cannot understand that a woman has more rights than her appendix…..
    So, let’s carry this idiotic argument, that a sixteen-celled organism is a human being out to its conclusion. Once it is established that a woman is pregnant, shouldn’t she have to register the ‘child’ with the authorities? That way, she cannot secretly induce a miscarriage, as all end-of-pregnancy situations would have to be treated as a police matter.

    A girl of 12 becomes pregnant, you would force her to undergo a nine-month ordeal for a body that is barely out of childhood. And what if a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape? Making a woman have that child against her will is Nazism at its finest. Hey, you brought it up.

    Either you consider these questions irrelevant, and you are a misogynistic SOB, or you have not thought through the consequences of your self-righteous, self-congratulatory, phony morality.

    • Gee…and those that don’t die, what happens to them?

      Oh, right…we call them children…

      Curious that you are unwilling to give other batches of cells the same chance to live that you had.

    • Easy Mel. 🙂

      You bring up a very good point about registering pregnancies. I alluded to such things above, and it is not a stretch to imagine such things. I find it curious that proponents of smaller, less intrusive government, even go there.

    • Lets extend your argument – in your godless world, we are all just cells anyway, right? So why not just kill anyone who is not deemed productive to society at any age? THAT is Nazism…and since you brought it up, your ideas parallel those far more than mine do.

      You speak do “rights”…what if a wife decides not to have a baby that her husband wants? Does he have any right’s to the half of the cells that have his DNA?

      I would expect such a comment from a soulless, secular humanist because to you we are nothing but cattle to be used and discarded, slaves to our base desires and with no regard for the future generations.

      Curiously, I’m game to agree with your position…as long as you are the first volunteer for the adult abortion process.

      • Anyone who would force a woman to undergo nine months of a pregnancy that she does not want is a Nazi, Utah. Wear the helmet proudly, Siegfried

        • I didn’t force her to have sex, now did I, nutsack? The potential result of sex has been known for as long as three has been a human. Your comment betrays the point, a pregnancy she didn’t “want” implies that the abortion is a choice, not a medical necessity.

          If she didn’t “want” the child, here is an easy way to avoid it.

          Own your immorality and ignorance, fool.

    • “Two-celled zygotes are not children.”

      I believe the term used here was ‘Human embryo’, however if ‘children’ helps you wrap your mind around mitosis, then by all means, use that instead.

      “Many developing embryos die, and are re-absorbed by the Mother’s body.”

      Many humans die, and are buried in the ground where the Earth reabsorbs them. What’s your point? The scientific argument for life is that the embryo is distinguished from other clusters of cells by their organismal behavior. What is your evidence based retort?

      “Sperm are living cells, and each sperm is half of a potential human.”

      Why certainly they are. That’s not for debate. But what changes once somatic-cell nuclear transfer occurs Greg? Then what have we made?

        • “Augger, you are one dumb bastard”

          Actually, you are wrong again. I know who my father is. Are you displacing anger again Greg? Did your momma have a ‘baby daddy’? I might not have ever claimed you either … especially if you favor your mother.

  4. Hi Steve…

    For some reason I find myself unable to respond to your last post, so I will address the points on which you apparently take issue as repeated below. I would have preferred to hear your views, but as you choose to remain mysterious I’ll do my best to read your mind.

    1. “I don’t regard drawing a parallel between abortion and euthanasia as “inflammatory rhetoric” in the least.”
    You actually do need to help me with this one since in any comparison I can make between abortion and euthanasia, abortion represents the murder of innocents while euthanasia is the reasoned decision of an adult to take his or her own life usually to escape what is terrible suffering. So in drawing a parallel between abortion and euthanasia, I actually did a disservice to euthanasia as abortion is a far more barbarous atrocity. Do you differ with my statement? On what basis?

    2. Inflammatory language: “… ripped out of their mothers’ wombs and murdered…”
    Here we come back to one of the key defenses often deployed by abortionists…the ignorance of most Americans as to the gruesome details of how abortions are actually performed. It is fascinating that abortionists, and those sophisticates who don’t wish to appear emotionally unbalanced by vocally opposing the politically correct practice, work so hard to discredit anyone who attempts to reveal the barbarism and unbelievable cruelty that abortion always is. Abortion in America today is not a routine procedure performed in an antiseptic operating room environment by competent medical professionals. Abortion in America today is Kermit Gosnell, ripping fully viable children out of their mothers’ bodies and chopping up their vulnerable bodies like some daemonic delicatessen. Those who defend abortion as a “right” somehow sanctioned by our US Constitution need to at least come to terms with the horror being committed daily with their support. To understand fully the inhumanity that is abortion should be to recoil from everything it represents. To do otherwise is to deny one’s own duty as a human being to protect the innocent. Yes, the details of abortion are inflammatory, but to sanitize abortion is to deceive oneself and to endorse the practices that I find reprehensible. You may, of course, choose to support any position you regard as consistent with your own values. But I suggest you not fool yourself as to what you are supporting.

    3. ad hominem: “Somehow, Justice Harry Blackmun and a pathetic collection of somewhat limited associates who were basically Liberal political hacks…”
    To assess the competence of any professional, judge, justice or lawyer, is not tonecessarily engage in an ad hominem attack, as long as the statements are accurate. You have not answered my question as to whether you have ever read Roe. I have and it is one of the most poorly reasoned decisions I have ever read. It is the work of someone who should not have been a county Justice of the Peace, let alone an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. I read Douglas’s POINTS OF REBELLION at the age of 13, and even then I found it difficult to believe the author was an American, let alone a judge. Brennan was a Liberal political hack and Marshall enjoyed his productive days long before he was appointed to the Supremes by Lyndon Johnson, in a move calculated to help Johnson secure the African American vote. I’ve read decisions authored by all of the crew and none are any more impressive than Roe. So should you choose to examine the records of the Justices as I have, you would then have the right to judge my assessment as an ad hominem attack. But as it is actually not a substantial part of my argument, we may not want to spend additional time discussing it. It is basically a judgment call and if your conclusion from mine that is not a big issue to me.

    4. faulty analogy: “BTW, the Nazis’ murder of 6MM Jews and countless others was completely “legal,” signed off on by Germany’s highest courts.”
    Given your basic argument in your previous post was an appeal to the authority of Roe v Wade and my contention is that Roe represents a bad law, I don’t see how the often immorality of the “law” is not a perfect analogy to the Nazi’s very legal pattern of atrocities in Germany in the 30’s. Virtually everything Hitler and the boys did in murdering their political enemies and moving on to the systematic extermination of over 10MM Jews, Gypsies and other vulnerable groups was completely legal according to the judges and magistrates of Germany. Manipulation of the “law” to serve evil purposes has a long history and Hitler and Roe are but two examples of how law can be twisted to commit crimes against humanity. Hitler murdered 10MM, Mao may have murdered 50MM, but Roe has already murdered 60MM innocent children and the horrible count grows every day. No, my analogy is perfect in a very dreadful way.

    5. putting words in my mouth: “You accept the fact that human beings are human being at conception…”
    Sorry if I misrepresented your position on when human life begins, but I’ve read many of your previous posts and I honestly thought your view was that human life begins at conception, which by the way is the only logical position I can see. If that’s not your position, what is?

    6. begging the question: “…concern for the millions of murdered children…”
    Abortion is murder, since killing a baby is an act of murder.
    Don’t understand your objection here. The fact that abortion has already taken over 60MM American lives is not in dispute. Can you clarify what you’re not saying here?

    7. “Finally, as I’ve stated previously, I do not argue from emotion and have a basic distrust of authority, hence you will never find me citing any higher powers, human or otherwise.” Fair enough, but in the interest of full disclosure, I view my world through a prism that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I accept it in totality. Although I also do not discuss my religious beliefs in detail, in public, they do impact my thinking on every issue.
    I have a number of rules that I’ve held over time, and one of the most important to me is that I will never question the faith of another human being because I view an individual’s faith as the most personal of his or her possessions. I have my own strongly held beliefs, but as I have stated before, I don’t think that anyone’s religious beliefs should be the basis of public policy. Your beliefs could conflict with mine and the judgement regarding whose belief system should be controlling runs directly into the 1st Amendment’s requirement that the government shall not permit the establish a specific faith as a national religion. I know the words attributed to Jesus quite well and believe that his teachings have much to contribute to the improvement of human beings. BTW, there is considerable common ground between Jesus’ teachings and those of the Rabbi Hillel, who overlapped with him historically. While I respect your beliefs as a follower of Christ, I am somewhat confused regarding how your faith aligns with what seems to be a non-committal position on abortion. While I find abortion to be abhorrent based on rationality, logic and respect for innocent human life, my knowledge of Jesus teachings and the teachings of the Rabbis places an absolute value on human life as well. We may understand these teachings differently and I make my observations based on no special knowledge, but if you are willing I’d appreciate hearing how you reconcile these two issues.

    I hope these clarifications help to better explain my thinking on this difficult topic. I look forward to hearing your ideas.

    • This will be my last response on this thread, after which you may have the last word. However, don’t confuse having the last word as somehow “winning” the argument. As augger, who I now am beginning to suspect is possibly a physician with a God complex, 🙂 resorted to waving his credentials as a last ditch effort in a failed argument, you appear to have the same problem.

      ” I actually did a disservice to euthanasia as abortion is a far more barbarous atrocity.” Unless, I’m missing something, there is no parrallel.

      “…I find reprehensible.” Gosnell has been appropriately convicted of his crimes. A clinical description of abortion, if you were to entertain one, may still be reprehensible to you. Your language is inflammatory, and you display a lack of objectivity.

      “To assess the competence of any professional, judge, justice or lawyer, is not tonecessarily engage in an ad hominem attack, as long as the statements are accurate.” I guess they are indeed “liberal political hacks”, because you say so. 🙂 And, no, I have not read the decision, but what I have read, related to the decision, leads me to believe it was based more on women’s health than the murder of “pre-born” children.

      I do not equate laws of Nazi Germany with those of the U.S. If you want to engage in a discussion about how right wing politics led to fascism in Germany, that would be the subject for another thread.

      I have consistently said that, while I agree that human life begins at conception, I do not view a fetus the same as a fully-formed, separate individual. I view the fetus as a part of the mother until delivery. My opinion does not agree with yours. That is all that is going on here. Consequently, your original premise negates any attempt to argue that abortion is murder. You see, two can play that game.

      I have a little vanity press of my own, and you may be interested in this:

      http://www.newsherald.com/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/can-a-christian-vote-a-pro-choice-position-1.107405

      • Steve…Thanks for your comments, and I agree we probably should wrap up our little piece of this thread. While I have enjoyed our exchanges, I have found myself learning the most from augger, possibly because we have been wandering through areas where he or she (I don’t know much about augger) has particular expertise. Just to clarify, however, I don’t begin or end a discussion such as we have been engaged in with the intention of “winning.” A long time ago, in a far away city, I learned to participate in formal debate in which there was always a winner and a loser. After a while I noticed the winner was often not the debater with the best ideas or the truth as some might say, but rather the one with the most skill at the process of debating. What I look for today in engaging in iterative discussions such as we are concluding is to understand a bit more about the logic of those who disagree with my views and to learn some new things if that’s possible. This thread has provided me with both.

        If you are interested, and I am, I would like to conclude our discussion by responding to your remaining challenges to my position. Of course you need not accept anything I have to say, but something may trigger a new thought for you. If you are willing to do the same for me I will appreciate it, but that is purely my request. I will thoroughly enjoy reading your piece, and again thanks for the discussion.

        Onto your questions.

        1. ” I actually did a disservice to euthanasia as abortion is a far more barbarous atrocity.” Unless, I’m missing something, there is no parrallel.
        A little hard to follow why you can’t see this one, Steve. Abortion and euthanasia are two unnatural forms of death where human beings choose to play God. That is a very powerful parallel. The difference is that in abortion, one human being chooses to take the life of another in a violent, unnatural way, with the aborted child having no input into the decision to take his or her life. Abortion represents the ultimate degradation of human life and the denial of life to one’s own offspring. The fact that abortion in America today is carried out for convenience rather than the health of the mother or rape in 99+% of all cases is even more repellent. Euthanasia, for me at least, is somewhat defensible as the reasoned choice of a human being who is usually in extremis, having exhausted all possible attempts to control his or her pain. So abortion and euthanasia share one powerful common and important parallel…the replacement of God’s will with human will.

        2. “…I find reprehensible.” Gosnell has been appropriately convicted of his crimes. A clinical description of abortion, if you were to entertain one, may still be reprehensible to you. Your language is inflammatory, and you display a lack of objectivity.
        Here you make a category mistake by attributing the horror of the act of abortion to the description of the same. It is also my contention that abortion is an atrocity such that to maintain “objectivity” is to lose one’s humanity. Should one remain objective about the crucifixion of Jesus? about the murder of 6MM Jews? About the genocide of the Tutsis by the Huttus? My contention is that some acts are so evil and inhuman that “objectivity” is attitude which is never appropriate. I will always support the victims and strive to limit their number.

        3. “To assess the competence of any professional, judge, justice or lawyer, is not tonecessarily engage in an ad hominem attack, as long as the statements are accurate.” I guess they are indeed “liberal political hacks”, because you say so. And, no, I have not read the decision, but what I have read, related to the decision, leads me to believe it was based more on women’s health than the murder of “pre-born” children.
        On this one you attribute to me a level of authority that I do not claim. Having thoroughly researched the people involved I am quite comfortable in my assessment of the weakness of the Roe decision and the generally low level of competence represented in the Associates who comprised the rump-end of the infamous Warren Court, But you have no need to accept my conclusion at face value. So read the work of the Supremes who opened the door to mass murder on an unprecedented scale and read the Roe decision. If you find it somehow better reasoned than I do, we can agree to differ. On your final point, however, I think you are either misinformed or are choosing to overlook the reality that is present. Roe was not nor has it ever been concerned about the health of the women seeking to abort their unborn children. Upwards of 99% of abortions in America are for the convenience of the parents, not for medical necessity. Roe was from Day 1 a political decision foisted on our society by Progressives, whose twisted philosophy seeks to diminish the sanctity of human life.

        4. I do not equate laws of Nazi Germany with those of the U.S. If you want to engage in a discussion about how right wing politics led to fascism in Germany, that would be the subject for another thread.
        Here you miss the parallel and apparently are a bit short on your Nazi knowledge. I chose Nazi Germany because it is a well know example of how the “laws” of a nation can be perverted to sanction evil. Everything Hitler did was legal within the perverted laws of his society, which at the time was greatly admired by Joseph Kennedy, Charles Lindberg and other American notables of the time. Your argument from authority, which you advanced in your earlier post, cannot be sustained since it presumes the laws of the society do not violate natural law. Clearly the “legality” of the Nazi’s crimes was not “legal” even though the judges of Germany deemed it so. The Nazis themselves were not a “right wing” movement or party. The National German Socialist Workers Party was a movement of the Socialist Left that vied with the Communists for the control of Germany in the 1920’s. The Nazis were Fascists, sometimes called “Corporatists,” who differed from the Communists insofar as they believed the State should control the means of production but not own them outright. FriFreidrich von Hayek’s classic assessment of collectivist movements, THE ROAD TO SERFDOM, examines Naziism in great detail.

        5. I have consistently said that, while I agree that human life begins at conception, I do not view a fetus the same as a fully-formed, separate individual. I view the fetus as a part of the mother until delivery. My opinion does not agree with yours. That is all that is going on here. Consequently, your original premise negates any attempt to argue that abortion is murder. You see, two can play that game.
        I’m not sure what game you imagine I’m playing, but I have examined the issue of where human life actually begins and see no logical alternative to the belief that it begins at conception. The idea that a child attains status as a human being when it leaves the womb does not hold up for several reasons. We now know scientifically that unborn children are complete in terms of their DNA at conception. They don’t acquire anything additional throughout the gestation period, but merely follow the developmental map imbedded in their genetic code at conception. I’ve always seen human development as a process that begins at conception and ends at death, as changes occur constantly at the cellular level and above. We also know scientifically that unborn children develop much faster in utero than previously believed. We may differ on this issue, and that’s fine, but I’ve seen the case for birth as the beginning of “humanity” weaken consistently over the last 30-years.

      • Steve … making that your last post on this was the most wise thing you have stated throughout the course of this discussion. However, there is two points I need to close with:

        1. You opine on a topic with no working knowledge of the biological sciences to support your claims. I get it that you are passionate, but for the sake of your own soul … next time at least attempt to bring a modicum of knowledge to the discussion, thanks.

        2. I almost never divulge my profession here, and never had until I wrote a post called “Aligning Incentives with Reality in Healthcare” (I believe that was the title) here on the RNL. Following that, by request a topic was started concerning Circumcisions in males and females. From that point, forward … those that did not know what I do for a living, never found out until you came along with this ridiculous statement: “I know I am wasting my time, but the science was taught at Bay High in 10th grade Biology class.” That was most likely the weakest supporting position I have ever read here. I think Eric Holder actually defends himself better when he repeatedly states: “I don’t know.” You were right about one thing though, you were wasting your time. Surely now, you can see why.

        So yes, I fed you my education, and then omitted it after I was certain you read it. As far as the “God complex” statement … ad hominem. Now I do not mind ad hominem attacks, and will gladly dish out a few of my own. All fine with me pal, but just don’t go bellyaching all butt-hurt the next time someone shreds you, and your confused conundrum of divergent conflicted logic.

        Good day. 🙂

      • Hi Steve…I clicked through to your link and enjoyed reading your article. What is your role at the paper? Would like to share a bit about my background, but would prefer to do so in an email, if you have interest. Drop me a note at cdejazz@gmail.com if you’d like to continue.

        I certainly will understand if you prefer to keep things here.

        Warm regards,
        Chuck Edinger
        Stamford, Connecticut

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