William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Religious Leaders File Brief To Support Abortion

Sacrifices to Democracy.

Sacrifices to Democracy.

Here’s the story: “Nearly 1,300 Religious Leaders Sign Historic Brief Urging Supreme Court to Preserve a Woman’s Right to [Kill Their Unborn]“.

Why are women so special they get the “right” to kill and men don’t? Sexism, I say.

Anyway, that some religious leaders should band together and support abortion should not be a surprise. The priests of Baal and Moloch, for instance, were unanimous in agreeing for the need to sacrifice children to their demon. Roasting was the preferred method. Too, the clergy attending the Aztec gods thought it swell to flay or de-heart scores of citizens, many of which were children. And so on.

Incidentally, did you ever notice that the method of sacrifice is usually designed to be excruciating? Simple beheadings and the like are comparatively rare when humans attempt to appease demons. Even enwombed humans are vacuumed to death (try imagining this happening to yourself) or sliced apart. The intentional cruelty is interesting, no?

The strange thing about this new story is that a good chunk of the religious “leaders” call themselves Christian!

The faith-based amicus brief demonstrates that religious leaders and people of faith in almost every religious denomination in the U.S. support access to legal abortion. These religious leaders understand that in order for women to exercise their moral agency, access to abortion services cannot be denied. The brief was signed by leaders of several religious denominations and seminary presidents as well as clergy from congregations across the U.S…

The Religious Institute, as far as I can tell, is a landing page for apostates. Group members are extraordinarily fascinated by their genitals, with most (all?) articles alluding to or explicitly mentioning sex, sex, sex. For instance, in a discourse about Pentecost rapidly falls into a discussion of “the plight of LGBTQ people in Africa, who are regularly discriminated against”. Dude? Anyway, about that abortion thing:

The Rev. Debra W. Haffner, President of the Religious Institute, made the following statement:

“Millions of people of faith and religious leaders understand that abortion is a moral decision. The Texas measures that restrict access to abortion services are punitive and do nothing to promote moral decision-making. We call for the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the Texas laws that by causing clinics to close will effectively result in coerced child bearing. It is immoral to deny women safe, legal, and accessible abortion services.

So abortion is a moral decision and they recognize that, but then insist that this moral decision not be made by Texas but by themselves instead. But never mind, because the argument is obviously hash and nonsensical. It’s the phrase “coerced child bearing” that is wondrous.

Presumably (although I’m not convinced), Haffner understands how couples get pregnant. After all, her organization is sex mad and actively pushes couplings, triplings, and morelings. As far as I can tell, Haffner nowhere advocates chastity. Now people choose to have sex, and everybody knows what sex can lead to, thus everybody chooses their resultant pregnancy.

Therefore, the child which is created because of a willful act cannot be in any sense coerced. That leaves rape, but Haffner obviously does not mean rape. What therefore Haffner wants is not the “right” to abortion, but the “right” to act irresponsibly. Why? Don’t forget a “right” implies a responsibility, thus a right to abortion implies it is somebody’s responsibility to kill the lives inside women. Who will that be? The State? You?

Now even if you believe per impossible that the life inside mothers is not human, the right to abortion implies a burden on society to relieve the woman’s and man’s irresponsible act (it takes two to tango). And that is absurd. The burden could be met by requiring the woman and her man to pay the executioner. It also wouldn’t follow that the State must train and provide the executioner. Thus even if abortion is moral, it doesn’t follow that it’s a right.

Anyway, abortion is immoral, which the Christian religion well recognizes. Yet elsewhere Haffner claimed “the majority of religious Americans support abortion rights, a fact drowned out by the growing attacks on women’s health led by a handful of radical religious groups.”

This proves two things. If she’s right about the majority view (and she might be) the religion these people hold to isn’t Christianity. It’s something more on pagan lines. Lastly, abortion has nothing to do with “women’s health”; instead, it is about killing.

40 Comments

  1. Of course abortion has nothing to do with a woman’s health, except in very rare instances. It has always been about women having sex without consequence the way men are believed to.

    I believe there were plenty of Bible versus on false prophets and today there are many, many examples thereof. False prophets do seem to be popping up everywhere, even the Vatican. Just because something calls itself Christian does not make it so. Consider that males can call themselves female now, so labelling of an organization as Christian is meaningless.

  2. Where does it say abortion is immoral?

    JMJ

  3. “Founded in 2001, the Religious Institute is a multifaith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and society. ” “Our partners include the leading mainstream and progressive religious institutions in the United States, as well as the major SRH and LGBT advocacy organizations.”
    Pretty much all you need to know. A front organization with some useful idiot “clergy” members. Deviant sex and related issues are the only things they are interested in.

  4. There is a meme on Facebook that goes: “I am not Pro-Abortion; I am Pro-Choice.”

  5. Social conservatives are the worst sort of perverted voyeurs.

    JMJ

  6. JMJ: Where does it say murder is immoral? (Hint: The answer to that question is the answer to your question.)
    What is this voyeurs nonsense? You do know that applies to things like pedophilia (the heart wants what the heart wants), beating your children (why can’t people just raise their kids like they want???), animal welfare nonsense (It’s my dog, right? Who is the government to butt in?). Libs are the group that DEMANDED wedding cakes and flowers be provided even if the owners of the shop did not want to. I see—you libs are bullies, not voyeurs. So much better.

    Anon: Pro-choice IS pro abortion. The slogan “I am not pro murder, I am pro choice” would make no sense, same as “I am not pro theft, I am pro choice”. In both cases, if we legalized murder and theft, would the statements make sense/? No. Neither does the original statement.

  7. Sheri, I do not think abortion is murder, as long as it’s done in a timely manner. It’s just an unpleasant personal matter and really none of your business. You should focus on how to make the world around you a better place, so people would never want to have an abortion in the first place, rather than just throwing stones and minding other people’s private lives.

    JMJ

  8. Dear Jersey McJones:

    What is murder?

    Christi pax.

  9. Dear Mr. McJones:

    Is the killing of an innocent human being inherently evil?

    Christi pax.

  10. MJ: You asked “Where does it say abortion is immoral?” I answered the question. I guess you really do think of me as a god, since you think I can make the world around me so happy, carefree and responsible that women never need an abortion. Actually, that is the purpose of religion—to instill moral values—yet you constantly reject religion. So how can one make it not necessary to have an abortion, short of controlling one’s sexual urges and not making babies one really does not want? How does one convince people that a roll in the hay and a quick medical procedure is not desired over controlling one’s impulses when virtually all the media and left-wing politics say hump whatever moves. I’m open to suggestions on how that can be achieved. Saying “please” seems unlikely to work, you reject religion, so how can we do this? I am not minding other people’s lives, by the way. I’m refusing to pay for their behaviours. Plus, since I believe abortion is murder and murder is illegal, it stands to reason I oppose abortion. Otherwise, I need to just ignore all murder and not worry about it. No one has ever shown definitely that a baby magically becomes human by passing through the birth canal. Short of an answer to how that magic occurs, I’m sticking with my beliefs that abortion is murder of a human being.

  11. Interesting that the number of abortion and unwanted pregnancies are declining throughout the developed countries.

    Abortion rate are also highest were it is illegal and women health the lowest.

  12. There’s nothing in the Bible about abortion, and there’s no superior moral position that justifies raped little girls being forced to have babies. Nothing you believe, Sheri, is either true or good. Just backwards. All you conservatives are just plain backwards. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing keeping you guys from behaving like ISIS is the restraint from the rest of us.

    JMJ

  13. ‘religion’ is part of the problem Sheri.
    ‘religion’ is not God.
    Faith in God and belief or the need to believe in ultimate justice is what is important.
    For those with no faith or those who forget, laws are there to prohibit and protect everyone.
    ‘religion’ is not just innocent theory, it’s politics.

    JMJ is right in the sense real good starts with minute particulars. That starts with the conscience.

    It doesn’t do to claim membership of a ‘religion’ in any way protects against ultimate justice i.e. justice for oneself and for others.

    ‘Everyone must bare patiently the results of their own conduct.”
    Many religious people have abortions. Religion is not the answer.

  14. The Nazis were able to foist their final solution upon an otherwise civilised German population because they were able to convince them that the Jews were not human beings, but rather, in Himmler’s words, “less than animals”. Many Germans had strong misgivings about it but allowed it to continue as they rationalized that it didn’t concern them. Here in our own country, whites were able to rationalize the enslavement of blacks with the same reasoning, that they were sub-human and besides, it didn’t really concern them. I see a parallel with today’s attitudes towards abortion. My prayer is that some day abortion on demand will be consigned to the slag heap of history along with other discredited ideas such as Nazism and slavery.

  15. JMJ: You’ve been reading too much liberal propaganda again. The pregnancy rate from rape is estimated as 1 to 5% and at least half of those do not choose abortion. Using a tiny group to make your point in a no-no. I can disprove or prove anything if I only need a 5% occurrence and can keep working at choosing the group. I would also note that (1) morning after contraception has been out there for decades, and I’m not just talking about the morning after pill. For some unknown reason, the press and libs tell women abortion is the only option to prevent pregnancy after rape. That is a complete and utter lie—has been since 1963. (2)Dealing with the pregnancy and seeing it through can give a woman power over the rapist—she is stronger than the rapist. Of course, since Libs want pathetic rape victims, this is not at all appealing to them. Plus they see women as helpless little creatures that have to be taken care of, so letting a woman triumph is threatening to them.
    Speaking of believing backward, if believing people are weak and helpless and eternal victims is being forward, I’m staying backward. Turning people into emotional cripples and emotional and financial slaves is morally reprehensible, not moving forward.

    What keeps us from behaving like ISIS is we have moral character. As for you libs, if any group beheaded a few of you, you’d shut the h*ll up and run. Just like you do with ISIS. Christians are easy targets because they won’t behead you. Somewhere in your cowardice, you have to realize this. Wake up and get in touch with reality, assuming you have not reached the point of no return.

    Briggs: Interesting statement in one of the articles I was reading on rape and pregnancy: “In an interview, Dean. G. Kilpatrick, one of the researchers and director of the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, acknowledged that, given the sample size, it might have been appropriate to provide a confidence interval.”
    Of course, he did not do so and said most people were satisfied with the methodology, but for one fleeting moment……from the Washington post 6/13/2013

    Joy: Semantics again and I am NOT going there. It’s a deep, endless hole into nothingness. (Failure to follow a religious tenant does not make religion wrong, any more than people committing murder makes the law against murder wrong. Do you really believe the law against murder increases murders and is useless?)

  16. @Briggs:

    “Now people choose to have sex, and everybody knows what sex can lead to, thus everybody chooses their resultant pregnancy.”

    This is not germane to your main point, but the reasoning here seems to be that in every act we choose, we also choose its consequences. But this is a clearly false (e.g. it would imply that if my chosen act Y had unknown consequence X, that I chose X, but one cannot choose what one does not know).

  17. G. Rodrigues, it is one thing when a consequence is entirely unknown; it is another when one wilfully turns a blind eye to one that is clearly a possibility.

    The body politic today is infected with this faulty reasoning. Too many people act out of good intentions but refuse to accept the negative results which often follow, hiding behind said “good intentions.”

  18. @Steve E:

    “it is one thing when a consequence is entirely unknown; it is another when one wilfully turns a blind eye to one that is clearly a possibility.”

    I know, but that is not really relevant to my point.

    I should have added (since Mr. Briggs explicitly does it) that even if one adds the “known” qualifier to “consequence”, it is still a false principle. Now, this is a (slightly?) more controversial claim, but I would hazard the guess that Mr. Briggs would not disagree with me since the distinction between the object of intention and a known consequence is one of the basis of the principle of double effect.

  19. G. Rodriques: If one engages in an act knowing the consequences, he/she is responsible for those consequences. Sex leads to babies. Do not have sex if you don’t want a baby. If you have sex, you must accept the baby as part of the deal. To do otherwise is no different than stealing and then saying you should not be held accountable because stealing was fun and you liked it. You should not have to go to jail as a consequence for wrong behaviour if you liked the activity. Makes as much sense. Like it’s not your fault you’re fat just because you like to eat. Or that you’re poor because you won’t work.
    Briggs can cover that double effect thing (I don’t do Aquinas), but to me there is no “double effect”. It’s a matter of choosing between outcomes that are all bad but there are no good options. One choses the least bad. One cannot call the choice “good”, only the least of the bad choices. (This does not apply to having sex knowing you can get pregnant because in most cases, sex is voluntary and there was the good choice of not having sex if you did not want a baby.)

  20. @Sheri:

    “If one engages in an act knowing the consequences, he/she is responsible for those consequences.”

    Once again I know (and agree), but this is not really relevant to my point; I never even mentioned responsibility, moral or otherwise, for actions and their consequences. My point is a rather modest one, that the quoted reasoning of Mr. Briggs is, or seems to be, incorrect because it relies on a conflation between a choice as an object of intention and a (known) consequence.

  21. G. Rodrigues: I’m trying to understand here but I seem to be missing something.

    “Now people choose to have sex, and everybody knows what sex can lead to, thus everybody chooses their resultant pregnancy.” Briggs

    I’m looking at commentary on Aquinas and I find “In other words, the object of the action, more than anything else, tells us what the person is doing and thus allows us to judge the action’s moral worth”. Am I correct that the object of the sex is more important than the actual consequence? Why one has sex determines the action’s moral worth and indirectly, the acceptance of consequences?

  22. G. Rodrigues, I’m not following either. Are you suggesting that a choice must be consciously made in order for it to be valid? I chose Y and even though X is a possible consequence of choice Y (known or not) I cannot be said to have “chosen” Y. Is that what you’re saying?

  23. Oops…should have said: “I cannot be said to have “chosen” X.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  24. Sheri,
    You mean you don’t want me to go there.
    Follow the argument carefully.
    Making an analogy, whilst illustrating a point doesn’t prove the argument is true. In the above example you did rather switch as well between the law and religion to entirely miss the point.
    It’s reality and people that are again spoiling things.

  25. When one reader misses what one says, one can say that the blame probably lies with the reader; when more than one reader repeatedly misses, the blame most probably lies with the writer. English is not my primary language and I was always aware, painfully aware, of how broken and disjointed my English was. Or thought I was; for I did not thought it was *this* bad. So my apologies, and here’s hoping to having more success.

    @Sheri:

    “I’m looking at commentary on Aquinas and I find “In other words, the object of the action, more than anything else, tells us what the person is doing and thus allows us to judge the action’s moral worth”. Am I correct that the object of the sex is more important than the actual consequence?”

    Without more context for the quote I cannot say much. I have said nothing about judging the moral worth of particular actions, but in standard Catholic ethics (e.g. consult the catechism) in said judgment there are involved three things: the object, the intention or end of the act and the circumstances. A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end and of the circumstances. For example, certain acts are intrinsically wrong, and so the intentions and the circumstances can, at best, only diminish the culpability.

    @Steve E:

    “Are you suggesting that a choice must be consciously made in order for it to be valid?”

    What do you mean by a “valid choice”? What is a “not consciously-made choice”? Do you have something concrete in mind?

    “I chose Y and even though X is a possible consequence of choice Y (known or not) I cannot be said to have “chosen” Y. Is that what you’re saying?”

    Replace with the more accurate “I choose Y; X is a known possible consequence of Y; it is not necessarily the case that I have chosen X.”, yes that is what I am saying. The consequence X may be merely foreseen but not intended, not as an object of intentional choice. The distinction is made by Aquinas himself; for example, when discussing whether it is lawful to kill someone in self-defense — see Summa Theologica II-II, Qu. 64, Article 7 — and as I said to Sheri it is one of the basis of the principle of double effect.

  26. Joy: I said I was not going there. I don’t really care where you go.

    We are discussing what SHOULD be not, not what is. While my psych professor was right that we have to deal with what is, how we deal with it is based on what SHOULD be. Whether or not we succeed is a separate issue.

    G. Rodrigues: “I choose Y; X is a known possible consequence of Y; it is not necessarily the case that I have chosen X.” If you can forsee it, you are choosing it. Whether or not you intended it, that does matter. You chose Y knowing X could follow so you are in fact choosing X if it occurs. Even if X does not occur every time Y does, choosing Y still is choosing X if that happens. Like STD’s—you don’t always get one, but sex without condoms with multiple individuals is asking for an STD. It is a consequence you did choose. Even if you didn’t say “Hey, I’m going out and sleep with woman after women until I get an STD.”

    I did read Aquinus on the subject. It did not help. To be honest, Aquinus makes little sense and seems to contradict himself frequently. The double effect is one thing I simply cannot concieve of. As noted, I consider what he seems to be discussing the choosing of the lesser of two bad choices. I was surprised to find Aquinus said it was never okay to lie, no matter what the consequences and who got hurt, at least in the part I was reading. Perhaps that’s why I just don’t get it.

  27. G. Rodrigues, thank you for clarifying. There is nothing wrong with your English. 🙂
    Cheers

  28. Sheri, there is a logical difference between choice and responsibility. While X was not chosen it still resulted and the responsibility still lies with the chooser despite the fact that, technically, X wasn’t chosen. I think what Aquinas is getting at is degree of responsibility or culpability for consequences. G. Rodrigues uses the example of a death resulting from an action of self-defence (an imperfect example in my opinion) but nonetheless the defender didn’t choose to kill. He defended himself which resulted in a death and is responsible for that death, however, that death is not legally or in the eyes of the church viewed as murder.

  29. Steve E: That kind of makes sense. However, I still see it as choosing sex is choosing pregnancy. If one wants to get pregnant, they have sex. Yes, you can have sex and not want to get pregnant, but reality says that is not guaranteed. Perhaps I just see the original action as inextricably tied to the consequences/choices, as one continuum. If one looks at it as “If you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex”, maybe it makes more sense.

    Anyway, thanks for explaining further and I will ponder the idea. (I really can’t read Aquinas, so I’ll see what I can find elsewhere.)

  30. “Why are women so special they get the “right” to kill and men don’t? Sexism, I say.” – Briggs

    Sarcasm? Once again, very hard to tell. You never can tell with the extreme, ultra-Right.

    “Anyway, that some religious leaders should band together and support abortion should not be a surprise. The priests of Baal and Moloch, for instance, were unanimous in agreeing for the need to sacrifice children to their demon. Roasting was the preferred method.” – Briggs

    Baal and Moloch were Gods, not “demons”. Only Christians claim the ancients worshipped ‘demons’, in much the same way (and for the same reason) that I.S.I.S. now accuses its enemies of doing. If you can’t even be bothered to get something this basic correct, then there is not much point in reading the rest of this article.

  31. “Sheri, I do not think abortion is murder, as long as it’s done in a timely manner. It’s just an unpleasant personal matter…” – JMJ

    So you admit that it is an “unpleasant” matter, but if it doesn’t matter to you because, as you seem to believe, it isn’t actually murder, then why do you describe it as being “unpleasant”? Surely, if all we are doing when someone murders… oops, I mean “kills” – no, sorry, that’s not the word either – “terminates” – yeah, that’s it, terminates a child… no, I mean “foetus”, because it’s not a child, even though both parents are human… now where was I?

    I’m confused about this. According to JMJ, abortion isn’t murder if it’s done in a “timely manner”. What on Earth does this even mean? At what point can one truly say, “No, it’s too late now”? I would really like to know. Is it the point at which the foetus in question acquires his/her soul? It can’t be this, because the vast, overwhelming majority of members of the Pro-Murder movement are materialists who condescendingly scoff at the mere mention, the mere hint of, a supernatural order. They don’t believe in souls, because they think we are nothing but chemicals and electricity: in other words, soulless zombies. So why the (feigned?) concern about the welfare of those who are “too late” to be aborted? In their (nihilistic) world view, why would a time limit even matter?

    Maybe someone like JMJ can sort out this confusion, because I can’t.

  32. Peter A: “You can’t tell with the extreme, ultra-Right”. Really, Peter, give it a rest. Or at least try to come up with something original. It’s getting old and dull.

    Wow, there’s that ISIS thing. That should entitle you to “most clueless human on the planet” tattoo on your forehead. Better yet, a one-way ticket to ISIS territory so you can see how stupid that comment is—right before you’re killed by the radicals. That is actually delusional, as it can easily be shown that raping, beheading and torturing people has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Christianity. Yet the delusion continues. Again, a quick trip to ISIS territory should clear up any confusion.

  33. @Sheri:

    “If you can forsee it, you are choosing it. Whether or not you intended it, that does matter.”

    No, this is false, because in choice, the choice that matters for Ethics, intention *must* be involved. You are equivocating on what choice means.

    At any rate, if you are correct, this implies you disagree with the distinction between what is intended and what is merely foreseen, and so every foreseen consequence is also a choice. So for example, if you drive to work, you are also choosing to pollute the environment. Pollution has the known risk of causing diseases, even fatal ones; so you are choosing to kill innocent people. Persons that choose to kill innocent people are murderers, so you are a murderer. Maybe you are willing to bite the bullet in this and the numerous other examples that can be repeated ad infinitum, but Catholics cannot bite the bullet because of other core principles such as the one saying that no evil can be done so that a good may come about — the PDE is precisely a guiding principle in the cases where actions can have both positive and good effects and how to judge them as far as moral permissibility.

    “Like STD’s—you don’t always get one, but sex without condoms with multiple individuals is asking for an STD. It is a consequence you did choose. ”

    Once again this is false and is simply an equivocation on what choice means. IOW, you are simply relabeling “what is merely foreseen” with “choice” without addressing the, to me and countless others, rather plain and obvious fact that there is a distinction between the two (there are arguments as well that back up this claim, but I will not go over them). And then conflating the distinction with the issues of moral responsibility of which I said little more than a parenthetic “I agree”.

    The following was directed at Steve E but I will barge in as well, as it may enlighten the issue:

    “However, I still see it as choosing sex is choosing pregnancy. If one wants to get pregnant, they have sex.”

    This is not strictly true; first, because there are other methods of getting pregnant nowadays, and second because for a woman to get pregnant it must engage in sexual intercourse in a relatively small time window (Catholic natural family planning, quite apart from its efficacy, relies partly on this). In any case, yes, if one wants to get pregnant then one has sexual intercourse, but there is a rather plain and obvious sense in which one can engage in sexual intercourse without wanting or choosing to get pregnant, or even getting pregnant.

    “If one looks at it as “If you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex”, maybe it makes more sense”

    But I also do say that; there is no contradiction between what I said about the distinction between what an intentional choice is and the merely foreseen with this prudential principle governing our sexual lives.

  34. @Peter A.:

    “Baal and Moloch were Gods, not “demons”. Only Christians claim the ancients worshipped ‘demons’, in much the same way (and for the same reason) that I.S.I.S. now accuses its enemies of doing.”

    The Christians did not deny that Baal and Moloch were gods, in the sense that they had extraordinary powers; what they did deny was that they were God (this one is obvious; even if one stipulates that the Christian God is not really the true God, and is just god) and further claimed that these gods were demons in rebellion against the true God, as opposed to say, angels, and provided some rather straightforward reasons, some of which are even in the OP (applying the term god to beings other than God is common; there are scriptural examples). Christians may or may not be right about such a claim, but merely asserting without providing an argument and with misunderstanding thrown in the mixture just shows that you cannot even be bothered to get your facts right or even make a semblance of a coherent argument, so maybe, by your own criteria, you should just shut up?

  35. G. Rodriquez: Yes. I am doing all that you say and I see nothing wrong with it. I do not agree with yours or Aquinas’s assessments. My reason’s will not fit in a comment section. If further discussion is to be had, it will have to be elsewhere because this venue is completely useless for indepth philosophical discussions. Any suggestions where you want to go with this or should we just drop it? I’m game for either one.

    (I need proof that my car exhaust kills people. And again, even if it does, it’s the lesser of two evils. I am choosing to engage in an activity that can kill people or myself. I weighed not participating against participating, and find that a return to horse and buggy or walking will create more chaos, death and damage than car accidents do. It’s like banning DDT and having millions die in Africa so American darlings can be DDT free. If one can prove DDT was a bad choice in the first place.)

    I suppose it’s good I”m not Catholic then.

    Perhaps I need to reword this: If you engage in an activity, you are choosing to accept any known outcome of the activity should it happen. If you do not want to be pregnant, you do not have sex. If you don’t want an STD, you don’t have sex. If you don’t want to die in an driving accident, you don’t drive. In any activity, you are accepting any known outcome if you engage in the activity. The only way to avoid those outcomes is to chose not to engage in the activity. Choosing and accepting may not seem the same to you, but I see them as being virtually the same thing. Especially when choosing to not engage in an activity means avoiding the known consequences. This is far more clear if you look at what happens when one does not choose the activity.

    As noted, the comments section of a blog is not really the place for a complex philosophical discussion.

  36. @Sheri:

    “Yes. I am doing all that you say and I see nothing wrong with it. I do not agree with yours or Aquinas’s assessments. My reason’s will not fit in a comment section. If further discussion is to be had, it will have to be elsewhere because this venue is completely useless for indepth philosophical discussions. Any suggestions where you want to go with this or should we just drop it? I’m game for either one.”

    I suggest we drop it because (1) as I said at the start, my objection was not really germane to Mr. Briggs’ main point and (2) You said you were not Catholic. What (2) entails is that our disagreement over Ethics is probably quite fundamental, so we would have to first find out where it is exactly, and then engage in the dialectical process of finding out what is the best answer. But as you notice quite rightly, that would be a deep discussion and most probably a long drawn out one.

    But just as a gesture towards an amicable farewell:

    “If you engage in an activity, you are choosing to accept any known outcome of the activity should it happen. If you do not want to be pregnant, you do not have sex.”

    I do not know if I agree with the first sentence — there is one reading of it with which I agree and another with which I do not. But I certainly do agree with the second. But to repeat myself, such a prudential principle is not in contradiction with anything I said.

  37. G. Rodrigues: I’m good with dropping this. It would take many pages of explanation on both sides to even begin to understand why we disagree. I enjoyed the exchange and did look up the ideas. Not being Catholic, I have to research these things and I learn. So all is good.

  38. “The Christians did not deny that Baal and Moloch were gods, in the sense that they had extraordinary powers; what they did deny was that they were God (this one is obvious; even if one stipulates that the Christian God is not really the true God, and is just god) and further claimed that these gods were demons in rebellion against the true God, as opposed to say, angels, and provided some rather straightforward reasons, some of which are even in the OP (applying the term god to beings other than God is common; there are scriptural examples).” – G. Rodrigues

    …and the true G/god is? Allah? Yes, it must be Allah because the Quran says so. (sarcasm switch off)

    How, exactly, is Yahweh different in nature from every other god we have made up over the course of our long history on the planet? There is no difference between god/the gods and “God” (apart from the capitalisation of the letter G), and the claim that there is a real difference between the ancient thunder-god Yahweh and all the others is nothing more than an act of desperation, the hope of a group of people who want to believe that a book of lies is actually not what it appears to be. All gods are equally false, and if there is more to our reality than just what we can currently sense and comprehend, this reality will be so far beyond our current ideas about the supernatural as to render all our claims about it thus far to be utterly, hopelessly inadequate. In all probability the supernatural does exist, but anything else we can say about it is pointless.

  39. G. Rodrigues, how do you KNOW that the god (I refuse to capitalise the letter g) you worship is actually the right one among the many thousands that now exist, and have existed over the millennia? What objective evidence do you have that you have stumbled, purely by chance, upon the correct one?

  40. @Peter A.:

    “There is no difference between god/the gods and “God” (apart from the capitalisation of the letter G)”

    The reason the word “God” is capitalized is because it is a proper name. Proper names are capitalized. And the main reason it is, or has the function of, a proper name (in opposition to a title say), is because there can be only one God, if there is one. And this remains true even if it turns out that there is no God, that Yahweh is not God, or that Yahweh himself does not exist. In the same way as the word “Jesus” is capitalized — because “Jesus” is a proper name, even if it turned out that Jesus never existed and was nothing more than the fictional invention of a bunch of power-hungry monks from the fourth century. Your adolescent rebellion (“I refuse to capitalise the letter g”) is not an excuse for illiteracy.

    As to the quoted sentence, if you do not know the difference between God and gods, it follows you do not know in what sense Mr. Briggs is using the word “God”, that is, you are ignorant, and I am using the word in its etimological sense not as an insult. You are also clueless of why Baal and Moloch cannot be God. But you wrote: “If you can’t even be bothered to get something this basic correct, then there is not much point in reading the rest of this article.” So I repeat: by your criteria, if you cannot be bothered to get something this basic, why don’t you just shut up?

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