We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

May Day is for Remembering

It is the First of May, a date traditionally associated with Marxism. Let us therefore pause today to remember that at least 100 million people were killed by Marxist governments in the 20th century, a number that dwarfs the predations of every other organized movement in human history.

146 comments to May Day is for Remembering

  • Regional

    You’ve forgotten to include abortion. In Australia it’s about 70-100,000 a year and if you extrapolate for America and Britain say 18 times it works out to 1,260,000 to 1,700,000 a year, so over a decade it’s something like 13-18 million. Stalin and Hitler were rank amateurs when it comes to genocide compared to the Anglosphere.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    You’ve forgotten to include abortion

    No I didn’t. I’m not a believer in the supernatural, and thus I don’t mystify mere groups of cells as having “souls”. An early stage fetus doesn’t have much of a nervous system — certainly not even one as advanced as a chicken has, and yet people seem happy killing chickens in bulk.

    (You will pardon me for presuming you must believe in the supernatural, but I’ve found that almost everyone who objects to abortion does so because they believe in the supernatural.)

  • The other Perry beat me by minutes to a functionally indistinguishable May Day posting :-D

  • Runcie Balspune

    “so over a decade it’s something like 13-18 million”

    That’s about one year’s worth in China, a country built on Marxist principles, where abortion and sterilization is enforced.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/30/china.abortions.millions/

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    The other Perry beat me by minutes to a functionally indistinguishable May Day posting :-D

    :-D

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    By the way, I really do think it is important that we set aside May Day to remember the victims of Marxism. I pass far too many fools on the street wearing T-shirts with red stars — the world clearly needs to be reminded.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes indeed Sir.

    The kindly day of tradition (of May Poles and flowers in the hair of ladies) has been disfigured by the socialists – by a 150 million murders.

    See “The Black Book of Communism” and so many other works.

  • Regional

    I apologise for raising the issue on abortion.

  • Regional

    Perry,
    I do not believe in the supernatural.
    I’ve read accounts of aborted foetuses in trays at abortion clinics wimpering before the abortionist plunges a scalpel through it to kill it.

  • Laird

    Apparently May day wasn’t always a socialist holiday.

    With respect to the “deaths by organized movements” comment, without intending to downplay in the least the wreckage and misery caused by Marxism and its offshoots, I’ve read that in the neighborhood of 50 million deaths can be directly attributed to Rachael Carson and her unscientific, anti-human and apparently unstoppable crusade against DDT. As mass killers go she is ahead of Hitler. Rabid environmentalism may not be particularly “organized” but it is nonetheless deadly.

  • Mr Ed

    May 1st 2014 is the 32nd anniversary of the imaginative Blackbuck One bombing raid on Port Stanley runway, unsettling the Soviet backed Junta in Buenos Aires remember those hammer and sickle flags in the cheering crowd) and the longest bombing raid in history (still the longest in which all aircraft took off from the same base). Cognescenti of this history will understand why I checked my car’s fuel guage and range today on the A1 in Nottinghamshire when passing through the village of Tuxford.

    The raid was also the brainchild of (now) Marshal of the RAF Sir Michael Beetham, 91 on the 17th of this month, a veteran of 10 Lancaster raids on the Berlin Express, and the Nuremburg raid, a man who helped to pound some other socialists into ruin.

  • Valerie

    Regional,
    Unfortunately, some Libertarian’s obsession against religion precludes them from recognizing not only the good that comes from ‘supernatural’ belief, but that many non religious people also find abortion repugnant and wrong. The ultimate insult is when some commentators, compare unborn children with mere chickens. As for the numbers, the U.S. is now in the 40-50 MILLION abortion range.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    The ultimate insult is when some commentators, compare unborn children with mere chickens.

    What is your evidence that an early stage fetus has any greater neural capacity? If you have none, are you then merely attempting to whip up emotion without evidence? That is, are you engaging in demagoguery?

    If you can state your case without referring to “ultimate insults” and other appeals to emotion, please do. If you cannot, perhaps your entire case is based in emotion and not reason.

  • Mr Ed

    What is your evidence that an early stage fetus has any greater neural capacity

    Pray do tell why that is a relevant consideration?

  • Regional

    Perry Metzger I have no trouble accepting you as my intellectual superior because I know I’m an effwit.

  • What is your evidence that an early stage fetus has any greater neural capacity?

    What is your evidence that it does not? But first, please define ‘early stage’, and please explain when does the exact moment occur where that early stage ends, and the next stage begins?

    FWIW, I neither support nor advocate abortion at any stage, for the simple reason that in order to make any kind of informed decision with regards to the neuro capacity and stages as above, I would have to violate the woman’s privacy, including intrusion into her very body (not to mention that of the fetus). I do take the view that past some crucial point in the development of the fetus abortion does amount to murder, but I claim no knowledge of the exact timing, and certainly no moral high ground regarding the woman’s considerations leading to her decision to maintain the pregnancy or to end it.

    Sorry for derailing the thread even further…:-/

  • The Wobbly Guy

    When in doubt, don’t kill. Applies to accused (juries) and foetuses (abortion doctors) both.

  • Regional

    Being an effwit I do not believe in the supernatural but I believe there is some thing in all of us Christians call the Holy Spirit that allows us to live in a peaceful society.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Let’s hope that both Perrys are consistent, and don’t celebrate what is becoming Star Wars day, on May the Fourth (inspired by ‘May the Force be with you!’). All those movies have supernatural themes intrinsically tied to the plot!
    (And as a side-issue, since Americans love to recycle their own history, I bet that the new Star Wars movies redo the American Civil War in space! Perhaps the big issue will be Robot Emancipation?)

  • Dr Weevil

    Something I read years ago and have always remembered, though I don’t know who said it: Isn’t it interesting that the international Socialist holiday is also the international distress call? Yes, I know the resemblance is a coincidence – the distress call ‘Mayday’ is just an Anglicized spelling of French “m’aidez” = “help me”, but it’s still wonderfully appropriate.

  • Laird

    Did you know that May 1 is also officially “Loyalty Day” in the US? That’s not at all creepy, is it?

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoth “Regional”:

    Being an effwit I do not believe in the supernatural but I believe there is some thing in all of us Christians call the Holy Spirit[...]

    I’m afraid that means you believe in the supernatural. Christianity itself entails belief in the supernatural — for example, it requires that you believe in an omnipotent and omniscient extraphysical creator which no scientific experiment can confirm the existence of, and in the existence of extraphysical souls which, although they can have no effect on human behavior (since no scientific experiment can even in principle confirm their existence they can have no visible effects of any sort) are none the less said to constitute some sort of seat for one’s consciousness and memory (even though any fool who has talked to a stroke victim or watched Alzheimer’s disease at work is quite aware that personality and memory are a neurological and physically founded phenomenon).

    So, yes, you believe in the supernatural. Perhaps no one has ever been so straightforward with you in describing your beliefs, but that does not change the underlying facts.

    I’m afraid my original presumption was correct, and you are indeed not a counterexample to my experience that those who are upset about abortion are nearly always people who believe in the supernatural.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoting “Mr. Ed”, in response to my claim that early stage fetuses have fairly little neural development, and are certainly no brighter than chickens (which they have less neural tissue than, trivially so if we talk about early enough stages where there are no neurons at all):

    Pray do tell why that is a relevant consideration?

    I would think this was obvious. Unless you believe in the supernatural, which I do not, the state of being a person has relatively little to do with having arms and legs and such (and indeed, a quadriplegic or a person with their arm amputated remains a person), and has nothing to do with being a mere collection of human tissue (a pile of human kidneys or livers are not a person and do not deserve any sort of deep consideration), but has everything to do with being a sentient and conscious creature.

    I thus would accord full legal rights to an intelligent alien or computer, and thus accord none to a body where the brain has died but where thanks to modern machinery the heart and lungs are kept functioning indefinitely.

    Note also that if chickens could have long conversations with you in a human language about philosophy or even gardening, you would be a monster for attempting to kill and eat one, regardless of species. However, real chickens have no such capacities, and it appears that we have decided, as a society, that they’re too stupid to be worthy of consideration or rights and may be killed and eaten at will without consequence.

    It is thus of considerable interest whether a fetus at a particular stage has anything like as much intelligence as a chicken. If it is stupider and even less self aware early on than a chicken (which if if we’re discussing young enough fetuses is doubtless true) then either you are making some sort of drastic and horrible mistake whenever you eat a chicken, or the fetus at that stage does not deserve particular consideration.

    (If you are, in fact, an ethical vegetarian, and believe eating chickens is immoral, now would be the time to chime in, though I’ve yet to meet an abortion opponent who is a vegetarian.)

    I realize that those who believe in the supernatural feel there is some sort of mystically endowed “soul” that we are required to be respectful of, lest the Great Anti-Masturbation Activist In The Sky become angered with us, but as I regard the Great Anti-Masturbation Activist as a sad and not particularly creative myth, I cannot give credence to such claims.

    I stick to definitions of “person” that involve things like “can it think sufficiently well”. If you don’t like my definition, you are free, of course, to supply another, but I’m afraid that if it involves mysticism and discussions of souls I feel there is no particular reason to respect your argument.

  • Chip

    Using the litmus test of a chicken, should we end the life of brain damaged people?

    And perhaps when people sleep.

    Don’t be daft, you say, sleeping people – along with some of the brain damaged – eventually regain consciousness.

    And yet so will a fetus within months.

    Personally, I’m a bit torn on abortion. But to draw the line at a chicken, as if there is little to be troubled about, is no less simplistic than citing the supernatural.

  • Laird

    Excuse me, but this May Day post was about the evils of Marxism, not abortion or religion. You’ve veered wildly off topic and have reached the point that you’re scaring the horses.

    Please give it a rest.

  • Barry Sheridan

    I am not sure why abortion entered this commentary but as for figures, since the SCOTUS handed down its judgement in Roe v Wade in 1973 more than fifty million abortions have been carried out in the US alone. In Britain, now that the safeguards that surrounded its introduction have been swept away, in practice, if not in legal terms, around 200,000 abortions are conducted yearly. This repugnant slaughter goes on everywhere, it is impossible to stop given that humanity has largely abandoned any form of checks on itself that might reduce the necessity for what is simply too ugly for words. Please, let us not enter into the fantasy arguments about when a cluster of cells becomes something more than that. We have no idea really, what we are generally sure about is in most cases these procedures do not take place that early, a few weeks after conception it is already beyond a cluster of cells. When it comes down to it abortion is driven by convenience as is much of modern life.

  • ragingnick@hushmail.com

    indeed the US has killed 50 million unborn people since 1972 – not far behind the death toll of Marxist governments.

    A lot of the same people who’ll cry over eating cows will scream about a woman’s right to kill her baby. These people are basically animal worshipers and innocent human life means nothing to them. The devil has blinded them. I know this – God hates hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16-19) and he will deal with those who do such accordingly.

  • indeed the US has killed 50 million unborn people since 1972

    No, the “US” (which is a political entity) has not killed 50 million unborn people/cell clusters/whatever. It is quite possible that 50 million private people who live within the USA have not been stopped by the US government from doing what those private people think is for the best however.

    Regardless of which side of the abortion debate you are on (and I am in the odd position of opposing late term abortion whilst also opposing the state having the right to decide if that is a reasonable thing to do, which usually annoys both sides), please do not conflate a common action amongst civil society with a state imposed policy of killing children/clusters of cells/whatever.

    And none of this has anything whatsoever to do with state organised mass murder carried out by the sort of governments often celebrated on May Day however. It is irrelevant to this and I should have simply deleted all abortion related remarks here.

  • Lucis Ferre

    May Day, i.e. 1 May is also Beltane, a Celtic holiday that “Witches” tend to love, and it is the founding day of the Bavarian Illuminati. You know…the one that actually existed. Their sworn enemies were paternalistic church and state.

  • Lucis Ferre

    [["indeed the US has killed 50 million unborn people since 1972 – not far behind the death toll of Marxist governments."]]

    Sorry, but the unborn currently DO have legally recognized rights when they reach the age where, in theory, they are persons, beings, rather than a mere zygote or collection of cells. All this nonsense about when “life begins” is a smoke screen. The question has NEVER been about the beginning of life, but rather the beginning of a person. Zits grow and have human DNA. Ditto for moles on your back, but they don’t have rights because they’re not beings. Killing a viable fetus after it’s legally deemed a person is currently categorized as MURDER.

    SO…the notion that the “US” has killed 50 million unborn people is utter hogwash. Please stop spreading untruths to bolster your religious convictions, thanks.

  • Lucis Ferre

    [["... The devil has blinded them. I know this –..."]]

    I’m not a religious nutjob, but here’s a few things for you to ponder.
    1. Lucifer comes from the Latin, Lucis Ferre, meaning bringer of light or enlightenment.
    2. It was the serpent’s suggestions that led to Adam and Eve’s eyes being “opened” unto the truth in Gen 3:7. Eyes which were previously left closed by ‘god’. Which has something to hide, the spreader of truth or the spreader of falsehoods?
    3. Morality requires moral choice, and moral choice requires knowledge of good and evil. Moral capacity on earth was created by Satan, not ‘god’. ‘god’ wanted people to remain in his gilded cage, eyes and minds closed, not even understanding the concept of good and evil, not being even intelligent enough to realize they were naked.
    4. A&E worked ‘god’s garden under punishment of death should they disobey. (Gen 2:15-17). In modern vernacular, we called this being a “field slave”.
    5. Christians call the slave owner a standard for morality itself, and they call the emancipator “evil” when all he did was share pertinent information for people to make independent decisions regarding their own lives.
    6. Individual rights and paternalistic gods are mutually exclusive. The alleged right to violate rights is a fundamental self-contradiction which usurps the entire concept of rights, ergo there can be no right to enslave human beings. Rights cannot be granted by any governing body or person, as that which is granted can be just as arbitrarily taken away, which contradicts the very meaning of rights. Rights are derived from the concept of earning. That which I earn is mine by right.

  • Mr Ed

    Laird,

    My honour is not loyalty.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Excellent posting Perry.

  • Jacob

    “SO…the notion that the “US” has killed 50 million unborn people is utter hogwash. Please stop spreading untruths to bolster your religious convictions, thanks.”

    I enthusiastically second that.

    The abortion debate is an endless and un-resolvable debate, and I think I can understand both sides of it.

    But the comparison of abortion to mass murder by the state is totally and irrevocably insane. I really cannot respect a person who claims this.

  • Barry Sheridan

    It is worth noting that abortion was formerly considered both morally and judicially reprehensible. By taking the decision to allow this openly the State does bear some responsibility for what has happened since. That said it is true that it is the female who ultimately determines the direction of this issue, it cannot be any other way, that they have chosen en-masse to favour the destruction of the unborn says it all.

  • Laird

    Nice post, Lucis Ferre. That’s pretty much what I think, too. Also, recall that God told A&E that if they ate of the fruit “you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17), which was entirely untrue as the serpent pointed out to them (Gen 3:4). So God is a liar as well as a slaveowner.

    Of course, it’s all a fantasy anyway. This is on a par with debating whether Spiderman would defeat Batman.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Great minds think alike:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/05/01/victims-of-communism-day/

    Unfortunately it does not seem to be true, however, that the commie body count dwarfs that of any other organized movement.
    I have seen an estimate of 70M people killed in India by Islamic conquerors (admittedly, in the course of several centuries) and that of course is not the total body count for Islam(ism). (Maybe this comment will enable me to collect compensation for false arrest.)
    I have also seen an upper bound of about 70M Chinese killed in the Manchu conquest of China.

    As for DDT, there are conflicting reports out there: the crusade that Laird (rightly) complains about, was originally against its agricultural use, which i understand led to the rise of DDT resistant mosquito strains; so, at least initially, the crusade was, objectively speaking, part of the fight against malaria.
    In any case it’s problematic to call somebody a murderer for writing a book: if so, then writers should be legally responsible for the consequences of what they write, which amounts to a pretty scary form of censorship.

  • James Waterton

    And thus we see why the social conservative mantra is electoral poison. Most people aren’t actually all that interested in their pet issue of abortion, and get more than a bit irritated when they raise it at every opportunity.

    Don’t we all agree communism sucks teh balls? Check the blog post’s title – why the fuck are we talking about abortion? You did this, SoCons. Your agenda stinks. You may be marginally more palatable than the communists, but I will never break bread with you.

  • Laird

    OK, this is (fundamentally) a thread about Marxism, right? So this isn’t entirely off-topic.

    I couldn’t help myself.

  • And I’m so glad you couldn’t :-D

  • Mr Ed

    Laird,

    If you can’t help yourself with that one, I don’t think even the ACA will provide treatment for you. ;-)

    I have to say that the cartoon might be a great way to fortify the resolve of those on low intake diets.

  • Let the record reflect that I harassed Perry into blogging this! I need to pester him into posting more here, having finally met him in person last week.

  • Lucis Ferre

    which was entirely untrue as the serpent pointed out to them (Gen 3:4). So God is a liar as well as a slaveowner.

    Of course, it’s all a fantasy anyway. This is on a par with debating whether Spiderman would defeat Batman.

    LOL, agreed! (I have to go with Batman.) :-)

  • Mr Ed

    Of course, it’s all a fantasy anyway. This is on a par with debating whether Spiderman would defeat Batman.

    The fight was drawn.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Of course, it’s all a fantasy anyway. This is on a par with debating whether Spiderman would defeat Batman.

    One is a Marvel character, one is DC. Non-overlapping magisteria.

  • Laird

    Perry M, doesn’t that make the argument even better?

  • I don’t think you need to believe in the supernatural to subscribe to the notion that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights by their creator. I don’t think it is terribly important who or what that creator is.
    I do think that those rights are endowed either at conception or at birth: any attempt to draw some line in between is arbitrary.
    I also think that attempting to draw that line based on cognitive ability is not only distasteful but leads inevitably to some alarming places when applied postnatally.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Some commenters have noted the death tolls arguably ascribable to Islam or the Manchus (or abortion).

    ISTM rather broad to describe “Islam” across 1,400 years as a single movement comparable to Marxist revolutionary socialism.

    Also, I think that one must distinguish between deaths resulting from actions motivated or enabled by specifically Islamic beliefs, and deaths resulting from actions that would have been taken whether or not the perpetrators were Moslems.

    For instance, the Moslem invasions of India resulted in millions of deaths by violence; but so did internecine wars between non-Moslem Indians. (And, for that matter, between Moslem Indians after the latter had become established. Is Islam responsible for the death toll from the several Mongol invasions of the Sultanate of Delhi?) Perhaps the Moslems were more aggressive and more bloody-handed than others, but IMO the difference would be much less than the total.

    On the other hand, the Soviet terror famine was unquestionably the result of Marxism. The Great Purge was not strictly Marxist in motivation, but it was made possible by the revolutionary ethos of Marxism. Similar judgements would apply to the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields of Cambodia.

    Then we can add the human cost of wars initiated by Communist states: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and by Communist movements elsewhere: Greece, Malaya, Philippines, Peru.

    On top of this, the enormous cost of trouble-making by Communist states during the Cold War, such as Soviet armaments to Arab and African dictatorships. And the enormous economic cost of the Cold War; these costs certainly cost millions of lives, and not just in Communist countries. Britain alone probably spent $100B on Cold War military expenses, wealth that would otherwise have gone for better private goods including food, housing, medical care, clothing, etc.

    Next, the destructive effects of the Communist revolutionary ethos on civil order in Communist countries, leading to dictatorship and entrenched corruption and incompetence.

    Finally, the huge cost of the mismanagement of Communist countries under Marxist-socialist ideas. Many Communists wanted sincerely to improve the lives of the people. They had a seriously wrong idea of how to do it, and they applied it to a third of the world for generations. This destroyed an immense amount of potential wealth – and wealth saves and extends lives.

    I don’t think any other movement, religion, or school of thought has done comparable damage.

    One last item: the revolutionary ethos of Marxist socialism was the parent of the revolutionary ethos of fascism and Nazism. The programs differed, but the underlying idea of perfecting society through revolutionary dictatorship is the same – and the Reds were the ones who came up with it. The anarchists had it too, to be sure – but it was the Marxist socialists who really sold it.

  • ragingnick

    PerryDH wrote:

    the “US” (which is a political entity) has not killed 50 million unborn people/cell clusters/whatever. It is quite possible that 50 million private people who live within the USA have not been stopped by the US government from doing what those private people think is for the best however.

    oh deary me. have you not considered that if the government turns a blind eye to the mass murder of a particular minority by ‘private citizens’, be it jews, kulaks or the unborn, then maybe they bear some culpability in said mass murder?

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    “wh00ps” writes:

    I don’t think you need to believe in the supernatural to subscribe to the notion that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights by their creator. I don’t think it is terribly important who or what that creator is.

    It would seem that the nature of a creator who you believe “endows” a human with rights might be of extraordinary importance. After all, without knowing what this “creator” might be, how would we possibly judge if the “creator” was even in a position to “endow” such rights?

    Of course, the belief that there was a creator rather than, say, an evolutionary process is not merely a belief in the supernatural (for what is an extraphysical creator but a supernatural entity?) but an actual appeal to things contradicted by the scientific evidence, since we know that humans evolved and were not in fact deliberately designed.

    Perhaps it is instead your claim that the blind and non-sentient force of selection pressure has somehow “endowed” us with rights, and most specifically at (you give us an arbitrary choice) conception or birth. I’m not sure, however, by what process a non-sentient force of nature might “endow” rights at a specific moment in time and not at some other moment.

    I do think that those rights are endowed either at conception or at birth: any attempt to draw some line in between is arbitrary.

    Are you not drawing an arbitrary line here, and indeed a capricious one? You yourself list two possible lines without giving us a mechanism to pick between them — is that not nearly an exemplar of the presentation of an arbitrary choice? I will note that the line I drew at least has an argument behind it.

    I also think that attempting to draw that line based on cognitive ability is not only distasteful but leads inevitably to some alarming places when applied postnatally.

    If we should not draw lines based on cognitive ability, then are you a strict vegetarian and a believer in animal rights? If not, then why not?

    After all, the only significant distinction between animals and people is that we’re smarter than them. It is not the lack of, say, hands, as we still accord legal rights to a double amputee and essentially none to a monkey or a raccoon. Indeed, I think you will find that virtually every distinction you can draw other than cognitive ability does not explain our distinct treatment of animals.

    If being able to reason and interact meaningfully with your fellows has nothing to do with the source of the distinct treatment we give people over animals, and you believe cognition has nothing to do with rights, then clearly you should consider all meat eating to be murder, shouldn’t you.

    Note, by the way, that I did not suggest that no mentally deficient person has rights. I suggested, rather, only that our society seems to have no trouble deciding that chickens have no rights, and that one might therefore conclude that something with vastly less intelligence even than a chicken might also have no rights. Certainly a blastocyst lacks even neurons, and does not have even the intelligence of an ant, let alone a chicken.

    I’ve made no mention of any particular point at which rights might appear, only that it would seem that most people seem to have agreed that this point is above the intelligence of ordinary poultry, if only because they’re willing to allow others to slaughter and eat poultry without consequence.

    (There are, of course, some people who believe in the supernatural and that a mysterious thing called a “soul” somehow attaches itself to every embryo at the point when it comes into existence and that this “soul” is the source of rights, but as no one can present me with any objective test whereby I can show that the “soul” hypothesis has any objective reality whatsoever, and no one can present me with a way to prove that humans have “souls” and animals that these same claimants are willing to eat do not have “souls”, and no one can describe what the property is of these “souls” that magically endows rights beyond appeal to other hypotheses that have no evidence in their favor either, I believe we can discount this idea for now, and also dismiss it as a reasonable explanation for the origin of legal rights.)

  • Lucis Ferre

    “All those movies have supernatural themes intrinsically tied to the plot!”


    I can’t stand Starwars. (King Arthur in space lacks imagination imo), but I seem to recall that all the “force” jazz, and being able to control it, was explained as certain people being born with an inordinate amount of somethings or others that one learns to control consciously, to use some sort of force that permeates space itself. It’s not as much supernatural as it’s a means of a mundane physical explanation for what would otherwise look supernatural, much like modern “witches” explaining magic (or ‘magick’) as auto-suggestion or placebo effect.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Wh00ps writes:

    I don’t think you need to believe in the supernatural to subscribe to the notion that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights by their creator. I don’t think it is terribly important who or what that creator is.


    Agreeing with Ayn Rand, I disagree with your statement on a logical basis. That is, we cannot be “endowed” with rights from any authority figure or governing body because that which is (arbitrarily) granted can be just as easily (or capriciously) taken away, which contradicts the very meaning of “rights”.

    Rights must be imperscriptable. And to say that we are endowed with rights by evolution seems a needless thing for one to suggest IMO. That would make man on par with an ameba. Surely rights are a matter of more than merely evolving into a living being. An ameba isn’t even conscious as far as I know.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Wh00ps writes:

    I do think that those rights are endowed either at conception or at birth: any attempt to draw some line in between is arbitrary.


    Ah, the magic birth canal theory. (smile) It seems to me that only beings can have rights, and the fetus, somewhere along the line becomes a conscious being. The definition is perhaps as arbitrary as, but no more arbitrary than, ones definition of “being” or “person”. To kill a fetus two days before it would have been born naturally, (work with me on this), to me, seems no different than killing the baby two days after it’s born. We’re talking 4 days here folks. There’s nothing magical about traveling through a birth canal or breathing oxygen into ones lungs. There idea that there’s a being or person when the egg is fertilized seems imaginative and strained at best. The idea that the unborn isn’t a being an hour before birth seems just as, well, insane to me. I agree that “somewhere during the gestation period” sounds a bit like the sorites paradox, dissatisfying at best, but it is what it is. (i.e. A is A).

  • Lucis Ferre

    OK, so the subjects in this thread have meandered from marxist commies, to abortion, to the nature of rights, undefined creators, souls and blastocysts. Me thinks the fairy godmother of the subject of Atheism is lurking somewhere in a hidden corner laughing her ass off.

  • oh deary me. have you not considered that if the government turns a blind eye to the mass murder of a particular minority by ‘private citizens’, be it jews, kulaks or the unborn, then maybe they bear some culpability in said mass murder?

    This is the point at which you join hands with the radical greenies who really do think that “meat is murder” and actually want to make it illegal to eat animals. The technical term is reduction to the absurd, sacrificing sanity for the sake of consistency.

    I am actually opposed to abortion myself but much as you might dislike it, the point at which a foetus becomes a ‘person’ is not self evident. A second after conception, the notion is utterly preposterous. One minute before birth, the notion is completely undeniable. So my only solution is to leave what is a legitimate matter of opinion for a very large portion of that process to the woman involved… because I don’t know and you sure as fuck don’t either. It really isn’t the state doing this, it is the messy reality of life doing this, one mother and her body at a time.

  • Jacob

    That’s what irks me most about “pro-lifers” – the mother disappears totally from their arguments, turns into a transparent, non existent entity.
    I don’t know about the fetus, but the mother sure is a human being, endowed by whomever (the creator) with rights too, especially over what happens inside her very own body. How can this elephant in the room be ignored by fetus worshipers? It cannot be done in good faith. (That is, it can only be done in “good faith” i.e. – in religion).

  • The Wobbly Guy

    [...the point at which a foetus becomes a ‘person’ is not self evident. A second after conception, the notion is utterly preposterous. One minute before birth, the notion is completely undeniable.]

    That’s where the point of ‘reasonable doubt’ comes in. Past an as-yet undefined point, what is merely a collection of cells turns into a viable cognitive entity.

    Shouldn’t we err on the side of mercy? And shouldn’t people be educated to recognise this distinction?

    I understand that sometimes, women don’t have enough money to afford cheap abortions before it becomes almost too late, or other sh*t happens in life (like getting a sudden and painful breakup with the father) and they decide to dump that mess before it gets born. I don’t have any easy answers to these problems.

    That’s why the role of the state was so entwined with abortion – it provides funds for many of these women. For those fetuses which get born as infants and are later abandoned by their mother, the state becomes their caretaker as well.

    A more consistent position might be:

    1. The state will not fund any abortions. You might get even more horrific situations like Gosnell. The free-market might correct for it – but this is not a guarantee. The best outcome would be privately funded abortion clinics providing for safe and efficient services.

    2. The state will also not take care of any abandoned infants. Philanthropy should also be encouraged to take care of these children.

    It could be my catholic upbringing, but I have an uneasy feeling that a civilization that places so little value in its unborn children may have doomed itself in the long run.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob, yes the mother has rights too, but once the unborn becomes a person, (an arguable point as to when that occurs), then her rights DO NOT SUPERCEDE the rights of the unborn. (That’s what ‘rights’ MEAN.)

  • Barry Sheridan

    One hundred million is a conservative estimate of the deaths that can be attributed to communism. Doubtless the cruel and arbitrary bloodletting of this ideology can stand on its own, but in fact it is directly linked to the same human indifference that shrugs its shoulders towards the abortion. Rather a contentious notion, but really rather important given the need for humanity to face up to its nature. Something it prefers not to do for much of the time.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Perry de Haviland writes:

    the point at which a foetus becomes a ‘person’ is not self evident. A second after conception, the notion is utterly preposterous. One minute before birth, the notion is completely undeniable. So my only solution is to leave what is a legitimate matter of opinion for a very large portion of that process to the woman involved… because I don’t know and you sure as fuck don’t either.

    Very strongly agreed.

  • 1. The state will not fund any abortions. You might get even more horrific situations like Gosnell. The free-market might correct for it – but this is not a guarantee. The best outcome would be privately funded abortion clinics providing for safe and efficient services.

    2. The state will also not take care of any abandoned infants. Philanthropy should also be encouraged to take care of these children.

    I regard that as manifestly the best solution. The state has no business telling a woman she cannot abort (for all but the final part of that process… feel free to debate where that is but it sure as hell ain’t the moment of conception), and equally it has no business paying for the consequences to abort or not to abort. Just as deciding to abort makes the mother responsible for that, so does not aborting. It works both ways or it is an incoherent position.

  • Oops, let me try that again:

    I am actually opposed to abortion myself but much as you might dislike it, the point at which a foetus becomes a ‘person’ is not self evident. A second after conception, the notion is utterly preposterous. One minute before birth, the notion is completely undeniable. So my only solution is to leave what is a legitimate matter of opinion for a very large portion of that process to the woman involved… because I don’t know and you sure as fuck don’t either. It really isn’t the state doing this, it is the messy reality of life doing this, one mother and her body at a time.

    Indeed, Perry.

  • ragingnick

    Barry Sheridan – good point. The modern day normalization of abortion is actually inextricably linked to the broader rise of cultural Marxism in the Western world. In fact the unborn killed through legalized abortion can be counted amongst the other victims of Marxist ideology.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Perry, personally, I think all abortions should be paid for privately, (by the person or charity), because the gov only legitimate purpose is the protection of rights, not the convenience of elective medical procedures. Why the f$#% should my tax money be used to abort the unborn?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Lucis Ferre
    May 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    “…[T]he mother has rights too, but once the unborn becomes a person … then her rights DO NOT SUPERCEDE the rights of the unborn. (That’s what ‘rights’ MEAN.)”

    Yes. That’s exactly right.

    The fundamental moral issue is crystal clear, if one believes (or understands) that it is proper for us to honor one another’s right to live unmolested, and, so far as is physically possible, self-directed.

    The practical issue is the difficult one: When, or in what circumstances, does this moral principle become applicable? It is to that question that people who seriously agree with the fundamental principle have varying answers.

    I wrote my analysis up twice on Samizdata, I think, if anybody cares. I’m too tired to hunt it up now though. :>(

  • Jacob

    “then her rights DO NOT SUPERCEDE the rights of the unborn. (That’s what ‘rights’ MEAN.)”

    But the rights of the unborn DO SUPERSEDE the rights of the mother. Correct? “(That’s what ‘rights’ MEAN.)”

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoth Lucis Ferre:

    personally, I think all abortions should be paid for privately, (by the person or charity), because the gov only legitimate purpose is the protection of rights, not the convenience of elective medical procedures.

    I don’t see how any libertarian could disagree. Indeed, I think any libertarian would oppose funding even of non-elective procedures with coercively extracted money.

    If the state has any legitimacy at all (and I doubt it does), then it exists to manage a minimal set of functions (mutual defense and the enforcement of law and contract) that it is claimed cannot be reasonably provisioned in a competitive marketplace because they are public goods.

    Public goods are defined in economics as goods whose benefits are non-excludable and which are non-rivalrously consumed. Health care is completely excludable, and is certainly rivalrously consumed, so there is no question of it being a public good.

    (It is claimed that, for example, the defense of my town from bandits would necessarily benefit all inhabitants and not just those who paid for the service, and it is thus a public good because benefits are non-excludable. Note that I am far from sure this is true, but there is at least some plausible argument to be made there.)

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Quoth “ragingnick”:

    The modern day normalization of abortion is actually inextricably linked to the broader rise of cultural Marxism in the Western world. In fact the unborn killed through legalized abortion can be counted amongst the other victims of Marxist ideology.

    This must explain why so many Marxist countries banned abortion. Indeed, in Nicolae Ceaușescu’s Romania, it was punishable by death, which must have been a ploy to try to encourage abortion through reverse psychology.

    (I will not deny that other Marxist countries such as China, have at times elevated abortion to nearly a sacrament, but I believe the only consistent thread here is that Marxists love telling other people what to do and enforcing their whims with guns — as, in fact, do many statist social conservatives, who also enjoy imposing their tastes through force.)

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    As an aside, I’m amused to no end by the claims of some that, since we don’t know where the line between personhood and non-personhood is, we must hew to the presumption that even a blastocyst is a person even though it lacks differentiated cells let alone neurons. Of course, claimants for this radically precautionary position are rarely if ever vegetarians, and yet they cannot “prove” that higher animals are not sentient and do not suffer even more than blastocysts do, and thus their precautionary presumption inevitably leads us to vegetarianism.

    (Note that I am not claiming that there is a moral obligation to be a vegetarian, I’m merely noting that if one takes the “we don’t know and can never know what is a person, so we must accept the most conservative possible claim as a precaution” position is clearly hypocritical for anyone who feels it is fine to eat pigs or cows.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    @Jacob:

    No. The unborn human’s rights do not supersede the mother’s, nor vice-versa, but GIVEN some particular criterion determining the state which qualifies an entity as a human being, there’s a pretty clear line of logic that applies, as follows.

    (This is a comment I posted on 4/22/13, in response to a posting by Natalie on 4/20/13 entitled “Thinking Aloud on a Mountainside,” which itself is well worth reading. In fact the whole discussion is worth reading. And by the way, you will recall our difference of opinion from that very discussion.)

    (I posted a short addendum regarding Point 1 of the analysis; included here.)

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Abortion

    Natalie, you wrote,

    “The pregnant woman does not have to permanently give up her body or her body parts….”

    Here is a recent comment of my own that turns on that very point.

    . . . .

    First, any sensible discussion about its permissibility has to begin with an agreement in principle as to when, in the developmental process from fertilization to full adulthood, human life begins.

    There are those “bioethicists” or “medical ethicists” who figure that anyone younger or very much older than 25 is not at his or her prime, so therefore is fair game for being killed off if it would free up resources to support the well-being or proper development of those in their prime. I won’t name any names…I feel the red mist settling over me!

    So for purposes of discussion, let us pretend we’re all agreed that we are talking about an organism which, though not fully developed, has the attributes which define it as being somewhere on the continuum of what is properly called human life (which could begin at conception, if one believes a soul attaches at conception, or a week or two later perhaps–I’d be very conservative about the estimate myself).

    Now. People generally argue for the permissibility of abortion on one or more of four grounds:

    1. The mother doesn’t want the baby.

    2. The child is the result of incest.

    3. The mother was raped.

    4. The mother is seriously at risk of losing her life or a major and possibly defining part of her human capacity.

    Analysis:

    I see two salient features here.

    First, all humans have the right to life (unless, usual caveat, they’ve given up that right by demanding the lives of innocent others). Therefore they have the right to defend their lives against unprovoked aggression. Thus, not only the mother but also the very young human in her womb has that right. The fact that the young being is not yet in a position to defend itself–the fact that it lacks a weapon, lacks the power to try, lacks even the mental equipment that would enable it to make moral estimates and choices–is neither here nor there.

    The other factor is the principle that rightful defense of one’s life does not include the right to yank an innocent bystander in front of one as a human shield against a speeding bullet.

    Now let us consider.

    1. The mother doesn’t want the baby. Too bad, Toots. You opened the door and you were aware of the possibilities. The new organism exists only because you opened the door. You have no right to do away with the potential kid, no matter how upsetting it is. Actions have consequences. (But as consolation, if you really don’t want it, it will almost certainly be adoptable.)

    2. Incest. You’re kidding, right? Incest is “taboo” mostly for reasons of not depreciating the gene pool, and partly (presumably) for psychological reasons. But where both parties to it are consenting adults, the gene business is immaterial because, again, it’s not the potential kid’s doing that he exists with his suspect, possibly defective genes; and with that out of the way, the argument for (1) above applies.

    3. Rape. I feel terrible for the mother in this case, I really do. But the fault lies not with the potential baby in her womb, who remains totally innocent and killing whom would accomplish nothing in the way of justice, but rather with the rapist. She doesn’t get to abort just because the rape was, well, rape–against her will, unless she was mentally feeble or so young that she truly didn’t understand. (In a case like that, it’s up to the parents or guardian; and the fact remains that they can look after the mother, but the baby is altogether innocent and has the same right to life as does the mother–and her parents or guardians). So this woman, too, should bear the baby and see that he or she is adopted at birth, if she cannot stand the thought of living with and caring for him or her for eighteen years or so.

    4. The mother’s life or human functionality is at serious risk. This, to me, is the only really hard case. But in this case, I come down on the side of the mother, who also has the right to her life, and to defend it. Here I think that since she is facing giving up, in essence, the whole of her remaining life, exactly as is the baby, she has the right to defend it to the utmost. She has the power; she may rightfully exercise that power.

    —-In all the other cases, at worst the mother is asked to give up not her whole life, but only whatever portion of her time, her attention, her effort–it takes, until the young one can navigate the adult world well enough to survive; by custom, let’s say until he or she is 18. After that the mom can go back to living her own life on her own terms, without further moral responsibility for the offspring*. But an aborted (killed) human has the entire rest of its life taken from it. In the last analysis, that’s the underlying reason why libertarians should oppose abortion in all cases save that of the risk to the life of the mother.

    . . .

    If that analysis is correct–and I think it is–there is still plenty of room for lots of details, where the Devil is famously said to reside. Nevertheless, even the non-religious among us should be thinking along these lines when we consider the morality of abortion.

    Addendum:

    Julie near Chicago
    April 22, 2013 at 4:00 am

    *Sigh*…I suppose for the sake of thoroughness, I should amend Reason 1 in the argument for abortion, thusly:

    1a. The mother simply doesn’t want the baby.

    1b. The mother may “want” the baby, but she does not want the responsibility, or to give up time that she’d prefer to spend in some other way.

    1c. The mother feels, or honestly believes, that she will not be able to provide properly for the child, whether emotionally, materially, or in some other way.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Julie, near Chicago,
    The rights of the viable unborn, to live, does indeed supercede the “mother’s” druthers and convenience. That is, given that the fetus is developed enough to call a person. Before this point however, a collection of cells have no rights.(I’m talking about a rational evaluation of rights, not what is recognized by irrational & capricious laws, which differ from place to place.)

  • Lucis Ferre

    Julie near Chicago
    April 22, 2013 at 4:00 am

    *Sigh*…I suppose for the sake of thoroughness, I should amend Reason 1 in the argument for abortion, thusly…


    One needs no reason (or excuse) to exercise one’s rights. That being said, there is also no right to violate the rights of others. There are no conflicts in ‘The Rights of Man’.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob wrote:

    “But the rights of the unborn DO SUPERSEDE the rights of the mother. Correct? “(That’s what ‘rights’ MEAN.)”


    There is a right to live. There is no right to evade reality or the consequences of ones actions.

  • People generally argue for the permissibility of abortion on one or more of four grounds:

    1. The mother doesn’t want the baby.

    2. The child is the result of incest.

    3. The mother was raped.

    4. The mother is seriously at risk of losing her life or a major and possibly defining part of her human capacity.

    Personally, I absolutely do not argue for the permissibility of abortion on any of these grounds. The only one on which I do so argue, is that revoking such permissibility and enforcing such a decision, would require objectively establishing a number of relevant parameters – such as the age of the fetus (let alone whether at that particular age it has or has not crossed that crucial threshold, however defined, which qualifies it to be considered a Human Being), the viability of the fetus (however defined), the mother’s health, her financial situation, whether the pregnancy is truly the result of rape/incest (however defined) as claimed, etc. etc. In turn, establishing any of these parameters would require such a degree of intrusion into, and indeed violation of the mother’s privacy, property and physical body, as to render such enforcement far worse, both from moral and practical POV, than the possibility that one or more of these parameters does not fit the exact situation deemed appropriate for Rightful/Legal Abortion as it may be defined by Society/State. That’s all there’s to it, as far as I’m concerned. Everything else, albeit very interesting, is purely academic.

  • …none of which is to say, of course, that I necessarily think of abortion as moral. It depends, in large part on those pesky parameters, as well as others.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Perry, maybe we should take our cue from Douglas Addams and breed cows & pigs that want us to eat them, LOL. Maybe a Jesus-Pig that wants to die for the sake of “the unworthy”. (wink).

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Laird & Lucis Ferre, you are both wrong. The serpent lied when he told them, “You will not die!”. It took a long time, but they both did die, and the process began when they ate the apple, or whatever fruit it was. (Literally speaking, only Adam’s death was recorded, but is anyone going to claim that Eve, and all the wives of the patriarchs, did not die, simply because it wasn’t recorded?)
    If you read A guide for the perplexed, by Maimonides, you will find an intellectual argument that Adam and Eve represent Reason and Sensation in each soul, and when they become unbalanced, disaster occurs. As a metaphor, Adam and Eve and Eden work.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Oh, and ‘Lucifer’ is first mentioned in Isaiah, when a king was compared to the morning star (Venus). His fame would be as fleeting as that of the light-bearer Venus, before the real light, the sun, arose.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Hi Nick, the Ancient Hebrew text says “muwth muwth”, i.e. to (certainly) die suddenly. It doesn’t mean to eventually die of old age 900+ years from now. I suppose the next Christian apology offered up will be that ol’ chestnut, “they died in spirit” or were separated from ‘god’. It’s pretty obvious that beings incapable of understanding what nakedness is or what constitutes good and evil wouldn’t be able to comprehend that sudden death is a vague metaphor for being separated from someone. It’s apparent that beings with diminished mental capacity, as described, would still be able to comprehend the threat of death, as even a rat or cockroach evades the threat of sudden death. Cheers.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick Gray wrote,

    ” As a metaphor, Adam and Eve and Eden work.”


    Oh yes, I think it does too, but not in the way you think it does. I think the Eden story operates as a synopsis of the evil of Christianity, that this alleged creator is a paternalistic tyrant, and Satan/Serpent serves as the same sort of antagonist as Emmanuel Goldstein did in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four. And if you’ll notice, whether Big Brother and Goldstein actually existed, or still existed contemporaneously, was a trivial point in Orwell’s story. The real story was about the tyranny and horror of a society which operated as if sacrificing people, truth, and the rational mind were virtues, as well as blind obedience & faith. Ego is Latin, meaning ‘self’, ‘I’, or (myself as an) ‘individual’. In Orwell’s dystopia and in the Abrahamic religions, Ego is the enemy, and anyone speaking the verboten word in the positive is deemed a deceiver or the father of lies.
    Have a great day.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick Gray wrote,

    “Oh, and ‘Lucifer’ is first mentioned in Isaiah, when a king was compared to the morning star (Venus). His fame would be as fleeting as that of the light-bearer Venus, before the real light, the sun, arose.”


    Yes, that’s the only time the Latin word “Lucifer” was in any version of the bible. (A Latin word in Hebrew text…that should give us pause, lol).
    We can blame St. Jerome for that, as he stuck the name for the Roman deity in the Vulgate. And the morning light you’re talking about arriving, well, that would be Lucifer’s mother, Arora. (The evening star was Lucifer’s brother, Vesper. They hadn’t quite figured out yet that the morning star and evening star were both Venus).
    Cheers.

  • Jacob

    The debate about abortion is impossible to resolve, therefore futile, like any debate about religion in general.

    The question: “when does a fetus become a person” is also not solvable, so, also futile.

    But I want to argue (futilely) thus: lets grant that the fetus is a person from day 1.
    The survival of this person depends on the mother’s will to carry him in her womb, and suffer some (not negligible) pain and inconvenience.

    I say: the mother’s natural rights entitle her to refuse this “person” the use of her body, for his survival.
    It doesn’t matter that she will survive a birth, while he won’t survive an abortion. She has an absolute right not to be forced to accept her bodily torment for the sake of another “person”. A right is a right. You don’t override my right by claiming that your’s is bigger.
    As for the “right” punishment for the mother, for getting herself into this mess: an abortion seems to me punishment enough.

  • Mr Ed

    She has an absolute right not to be forced to accept her bodily torment for the sake of another “person”. A right is a right. You don’t override my right by claiming that your’s is bigger.
    As for the “right” punishment for the mother, for getting herself into this mess: an abortion seems to me punishment enough.

    Let’s get Rothbardian. In fact, the mother is ‘falsely imprisoning’ the foetus after having seized the egg after conception. The mother has no lawful right to detain another inside her own body. Every mother is a kidnapper and criminal aggressor, forcing life into a helpless blastocyte.

    If the exercise of the mother’s natural rights involve the inevitable death of another*, you might find a Common Law court holding that the remedy sought, eviction and death, is disproportionate, and damages would be the alternative remedy, the rent of the womb and the inconvenience flowing therefrom. However, the mother may well be auteur de son tort, and indeed, in law, injury is not done to the willing, volenti non fit injuria.

    The foetus may counter-claim the mother’s claim for damages by citing false imprisonment and in any event, the foetus has not itself, forced any bodily torment on the mother, it is the mother’s body that torments itself.

    And as for punishment, that is not a civil law concept, it belongs to the criminal law, and the foetus is truly doli incapax (incapable of wrong).

    And then you might think that talk of ‘rights’ in this area can swiftly degenerate into Rothbardian daftness.

  • Jacob

    “can swiftly degenerate into Rothbardian daftness”

    That’s what you did.

  • Mr Ed

    Jacob, no I do not, I point out where you are coming from. I note that you fail to address my point this issue:

    A right is a right. You don’t override my right by claiming that your’s is bigger

    you might find a Common Law court holding that the remedy sought, eviction and death, is disproportionate, and damages would be the alternative remedy

    May I take it that you have no answer?

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob, I see two major flaws in your reasoning. The first flaw is in the sorities paradox, to assumue you’re rich from day one when receiving a penny a day and doubling each day. That simply makes no sense, nor does it make sense in the case of calling a zygote a person. A zygote is no more a person than the bump on my arm. Remember that ‘potential’ regards qualities one does NOT currently possess.
    The second major flaw is in thinking that one person’s right to life doesn’t supercede someone else’s inconvenience, as convenience in & of itself, IS not a right.
    Currently, one can receive an abortion in ample time before any blastocyst becomes a being in any rational, sane sence. I think this is the best scenario.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Whoops, I scewed that up. One’s right to life DOES supercede someone else’s convenience, as convenience is not a right.

  • Jacob

    “one can receive an abortion in ample time before any blastocyst becomes a being in any rational, sane sence.”

    Good luck with that argument. “Pro lifers” don’t buy it… Life is sacred. Period. All argument is futile.

    “someone else’s inconvenience”… bearing a fetus in the womb for 9 months, then giving birth – you call this “inconvenience” ?? I find this claim absurd. Utterly absurd. Ridiculous. It is much more than an “inconvenience”, and nobody has the right to force a woman to go trough it. She is the slave of nobody, not even of God. Nobody was endowed by the creator with the right to force a woman do it against her will.

    Mr Ed, I’m not speaking about “Common Law court” – I don’t see how that relates to our topic. I have absolute no idea what a common law court is and what it would decree, nor do I care. The subject is complicated enough without a side guess into “what would a common law court” decree.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Lucifer, the one major flaw in your argument is that the writer of Genesis must have meant long-term death, as he wouldn’t have left a major plot-contradiction in the narrative. Thus that old chestnut must have come from Eden itself.
    Note also that God expels them so that they won’t eat from the Tree of Life. This indicates that they were not built to be naturally immortal, but required maintainence.
    Also, your arguments seem to be comparing apples to oranges. Paternalistic people are other human beings- but God has no other next to Him, so finding fault with Him for being high and mighty is an oxymoron. With infinite brain-power, God really does know what is best for us. God respects our free will, and so leaves us free to suffer or enjoy the consequences of our actions, but He does warn us first.
    And if you choose to be named after a star that fades away, are you as smart as you think you are?

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    And another flaw- the Bible does NOT devalue the ego. It always declaims against massive egos. As proof, the major commandment of the law, so Jesus said, was the one ending in ,”..and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” You were not supposed to think yourself as superior to someone else, nor inferior, but equal. The parable of the good Samaritan was then used as a demonstration that good actions will get you into Heaven, regardless of religion (the Samaritans were heretics to the Jews).

  • Mr Ed

    Mr Ed, I’m not speaking about “Common Law court” – I don’t see how that relates to our topic. I have absolute no idea what a common law court is and what it would decree, nor do I care.

    If you are talking about rights, here in England you have to work within the framework of the Common Law, and to enforce or declare rights you go to a court of law or a court of equity. The Common Law applies in much of the Anglosphere, it’s just that what is ‘common’ may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction as precedents arise. If I was being ungenerous, I would think that you were attempting to dodge the question of damages as an adequate remedy and who exactly is the tortfeasor. Your current proposal is that A and B (mother and father) create C, a child. C is blameless in the scenario where C is ‘trespassing’ in A’s body.

  • Jacob

    I’m talking about rights, but not about the specific way they are implemented in England, or anywhere else, but about the theoretic framework – how would I (or you) define them.

    The problem is an old one – how do you define rights. The “negative” definition states that you have the right to be left alone by other people (i.e. to freedom). The “positive” definition states that you have the right to food, shelter, health care and so on.

    The simple question is: food or health care supplied by whom? Supplying food to A entails coercing B to give it to him. Therefore positive rights entail a contradiction. The same goes for the fetus. It has the right to live, but not the right to enslave it’s mother. It’s not a question of it’s (C) being guilty or blameless.

    A similar case is the incident where you see a drowning man. Would you advocate to give the state the power to force you to jump in and rescue him? I don’t ask whether you should go to the rescue, but whether you should be punishable by the state for failing to do so.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob, under current laws, the woman has plenty of time & opportunity to abort an unwanted pregnancy, so there is no slavery of the mother. However, your last point is an important one, & why I no longer call myself a libertarian. I’m an Objectivist. Libertarianism is all over the map & considers freedom an irreducible primary requiring no context. In the case of an apathetic man on a boat watching a child drown rather than tossing her a life preserver, libertarians would say it is wrong for the state to compel or “coerce” him to do so.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob wrote:

    “Good luck with that argument. “Pro lifers” don’t buy it… Life is sacred. Period. All argument is futile.”


    I don’t need to “sell” rationality to irrational people. The “soul upon conception” crowd aren’t interested in sound reasoning, demonstrable facts or reality. They’re interested in consoling stories & invisible friends. Sorry if this seems terse, but there is no need to sugar-coat it. :-)

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob wrote,

    “All argument is futile.”


    Which is to say that no reasoned position involves faith. (Thanks Dan Barker.)

  • Lucis Ferre

    Mr Ed, You seem to be conflating rights with the state’s recognition of rights. Those are two entirety different things, to the consternation of the U.N.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob wrote,

    “Pro lifers” don’t buy it… Life is sacred. Period”


    They don’t seem too concerned when the torturous death is called kosher or halel. ‘Interesting.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick. First, thanks for calling me Lucifer. Second, the Hebrew “muwth muwth” means what it means, and it means to certainly and suddenly die. All the rationalization and reading into plots cannot make this go away. The tree of life poses no contradiction in my presented interpretation. Third, I don’t fault this ‘god’ character for being high and mighty. I fault him for threatening to destroy people who don’t comply with his apparently capricious druthers; a behavior repeatedly exhibited in other parts of the Jewish bible, and a worse fate awaits the noncompliant in the Christian’s version. Consider ‘god’s zeal and glee at the thought of causing a famine in order to cause fathers to eat their children and children to eat their fathers in Eze 5. What does ‘god’ say about this in Eze 6:10? “And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.” (Yes, the word “evil” is the same Hebrew word used in “knowledge of good and evil” in Gen, and if feeling glee at forcing children to eat their fathers isn’t truly evil, then I don’t know what is).
    Cheers.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick, your friend Lucifer here. First: there is nothing in the the bible to suggest the Samaritan was allowed into heaven, and a lot of theory that suggests that he isn’t. Second, Judeo-Christians are supposed to have “humility”, i.e. self-humiliation. The Latin root for humility is humilitatem, which means lowliness, insignificance. The antonym of humility is pride, that “deadly” sin of feeling proud of oneself for accomplishing one’s achievements. You know as well as I do that a “good christian” is to blame all his faults on himself, and “give all glory to ‘god'” when he does something good. This ‘heads, ‘god’ wins: tails, I lose’ game is used to keep him “lowly”. No healthy sense of self esteem is possible under such a condition. Ego (self-ishness) is the enemy of “god”, Satan is ego.

    Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

  • Mr Ed

    Mr Ed, You seem to be conflating rights with the state’s recognition of rights.

    No I am not, you seem to be conflating common law courts with the State.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote,

    “the major commandment of the law, so Jesus said, was the one ending in ,”..and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”


    Commanded to love? Interesting concept. I suggest that causeless, unconditional love of strangers is as pathological as causeless, unconditional hatred of strangers. Both ignore the question of whether one possesses qualities worthy of loving or hating.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Mr Ed, Where do you think common law is recognized as precedent, etc? In court. Court is a state/gov function. We are talking about law rather than custom, right?

  • Jacob

    “Jacob, under current laws, the woman has plenty of time & opportunity to abort an unwanted pregnancy, so there is no slavery of the mother.”

    Sure,
    But, “pro lifers” on this thread claimed that the current laws (that permit abortion) caused the mass murder of 50 million people (fetuses) in the US. They claim that this is as horrible a crime as the murder of 100 million people by communist regimes. “Current laws” are depraved and criminal – in their view.

  • Jacob

    Mr Ed,
    I suppose common law permits abortion. Am I correct? (As I said, I know little about English common law). If so, and if that’s your highest authority, then we are in agreement.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Objectivists always take things out of context. A Jewish scholar asked Jesus who would get into Heaven, and Jesus gave the parable of the good Samaritan, and clearly indicated that the good Samaritan, a race despised by the ‘pure’ Jews, was worthy of getting into Heaven, as he had compassion on a victim of a crime. The whole context (St. Luke, chapter 10, verses 32 to 36) clarifies that deeds are what get you into Heaven.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    As for the apathetic human in a boat, why is the ‘state’ just watching, and not actively saving the child? Presumably this ‘state’, like all current states, is composed of human beings, who can themselves save people. Are they just apathetically watching?
    As for ‘muwth muwth’, I will leave it to scholars of Hebrew to tell me if you are correct, but I notice that you never use the adjective ‘immediate’ in your list of meanings. Adam’s death was certain, and it might have happened suddenly, for all we know, though not immediately.
    As for God handing out evil, I am an esoteric Christian, and I believe that reincarnation is in the Bible (Deuteronomy Chapter 5, verses 1 to 5, when put in context.) Therefore any souls which chose to be a part of the Covenant went in knowing the penalties and rewards of the system, and agreeing that God could actively use a carrot or stick. On occasions, God is shown as stern and unforgiving, but, whilst the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, it is not the end. All souls get more than one physical life, so your claim of excessive zeal is misplaced. I forgive you, and God forgives you.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Whilst i forgive you, I am fussy about who can call me a friend, so please don’t.
    Whilst I believe that souls wait for babies to be born before choosing which body suits them, this does not mean that abortion is good. Karma also operates, and if people choose to abort, this is remembered by the subconscious, which then incarnates into an infertile body, or it renders the body infertile when in it.
    And let’s not forget that May Day would have, originally, been a moment when workers were just becoming aware that they had bargaining rights, and that employers were not gods.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    And you shot yourself in the tail with that quote from Phillipians- vainglory means excessive pride, and everyone should be wary of ever having that! Also, if you bother to read what Jesus said, and the context of his sayings, he makes good sense. A lot of people of that time (and this) believed that only if God gave you riches on Earth were you blessed- an early version of the prosperity sermons which are still around! Jesus assured the materially poor that they also would get to heaven. Indeed, Jesus crafted his messages to appeal to the poor- mass marketing even then! How better to ensure the spreading of his message? And he taught humility in an age when prideful men, like the Caesars, were killing others because their pride demanded that they be worshipped as a living god.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob, “pro-lifers” can claim any number of irrational bits of nonsense. What does that have to do with reality, facts and reason? Any position predicated on faith has no demonstrable merit by default.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick, First, if Objectivists are guilty of anything, it’s in considering things in maximum context rather than “context dropping”. Context dropping is what evasionists do. On the second point, if “works” were all that is required to get into heaven, then the “passion of the christ” was completely needless torture of an innocent man, and there would be no purpose of Jesus being without Ancestral Sin, which would have been inherited from Adam if he were in fact fathered by Joseph. Obviously, if you’re going to call yourself a Christian, you should take a closer look at the gospels & epistles.
    And BTW, you’re wrong about the samaritan tale. The fellow asked him what is required, and Jesus asked him what do you think. He answered to love ‘god’ and love his neighbor and then asked who is to be considered his neighbor. THEN Jesus gave the, probably completely fictional story about the good man from Samaria AS AN EXAMPLE of what constitutes a neighbor. The story never suggested that the “good samaritan” was in heaven or even believed in the ‘god’ of the Jews.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick, as to the “state” being in the boat…I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. Secondly, as to “muwth muwth”…Gen 2:17 is says in the day (you) eat of it, ye shall surly die, in the King James Version, New King James Version, English Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, Revised Standard Version, American Standard Version, Young’s Literal Translation, Darby Translation, Webster’s Bible, Hebrew Names Version…etc.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote:

    “Whilst i forgive you, I am fussy about who can call me a friend, so please don’t.
    Whilst I believe that souls wait for babies to be born before choosing which body suits them, this does not mean that abortion is good. Karma also operates, and if people choose to abort, this is remembered by the subconscious, which then incarnates into an infertile body, or it renders the body infertile when in it.”


    You “forgive me” for calling me your friend, LOL. You christians are loonies. You “believe” souls look for bodies, reincarnation, magical infertility, etc. Why would you think that your unwarranted imaginings hold any weight whatsoever? People who conflate fantasy with reality are in dire need of meds.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick, you might as well get over “forgiving me” for bringing you face to face with reality. Forgiveness only has meaning when someone’s done something wrong. But if it makes you feel better to continue to forgive me for imaginary infractions, then knock yourself out.
    Secondly, your ‘god’ character LITERALLY ADMITTED his zeal and willingness to do “EVIL” in Eze 6:10. That is, the evil of intentionally causing a famine so that sons would be forced to eat the flesh of their fathers in Eze 5. If you are incapable of admitting that this would indeed be evil, (as your ‘god’ said), then I suggest that you’re legally insane. (incapable of discerning right from wrong). I can see no other rational assessment of the situation. I didn’t come here to call people names, nor to try the patience of moderators, so I’ll try to not dwell on this unavoidable assessment. You are making excuses for an imaginary friend who supposedly admitted to zealously enjoying the prospect of forcing children to eat their parents. Hint-hint; nudge-nudge. No further explanations from me need be forthcoming, as the point is analytically obvious. Have a great day.

  • Jacob

    “Any position predicated on faith has no demonstrable merit by default.”

    I wish it were so simple and trivial to separate positions based on faith from those based on reason. It isn’t. The abortion debate is a good example. Faith and reason are inextricably mixed. People claiming to use reason hold two diametrically opposed positions, which are mutually exclusive – and no agreement is possible.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote:

    “And you shot yourself in the tail with that quote from Phillipians- vainglory means excessive pride, and everyone should be wary of ever having that! Also, if you bother to read what Jesus said, and the context of his sayings, he makes good sense.”


    “vainglory”, in that sentence, was suggested to be anything where one doesn’t always consider others better than yourself. You’re simply strengthening my point.
    And as to what Jesus said, LOL, one is supposed to invite people who beat you in the face to beat the other side too. You’re suppose to be like the birds and lilies, don’t work (toil), but rather depend on heavenly welfare (i.e. divine providence). One is supposed to “give no thought for the morrow”, i.e. don’t plan for anything, abandon your family, wife and kids and follow him out in the desert. One is supposed to love one’s enemies and HATE one’s mother, father, wife, kids, brothers and sisters. (Luke 14:26). Wow, great plan. Great “teachings of Jesus” you got there.

    Luke 12:49, NLT “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!”
    Nice guy, eh? Does that sound like Jesus or Satan to you?

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jacob, faith and reasoning have nothing to do with one another. As Dan Barker so eloquently pointed out, no reasoned position involves faith. And I really don’t care about people “claiming” to use reason. I only care about demonstrable sound reasoning. Religionists can “claim” till the cows come home, and it won’t make the soul upon conception argument any more grounded in reality or reason. Reasoning is a demonstrable process and facts are presentable. Reasoning is not an arbitrary meaningless claim to be pulled out of one’s hat, with no basis in reality. Have a nice day.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    To destroy your antifaith argument, one need only realise that if an all-powerful GOD makes a promise, then you can reason that NOTHING would be able to stop that promise from coming true, so you can rationally have faith that it will happen. Thus reason leads to faith, quite logically.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    My statement about the apathetic man in a boat was a comment on an earlier argument of yours to Jacob about why you were an objectivist. Apparently it’s not because you’re just an objectionable person!
    As an ESOTERIC Christian, my views are not orthodox, so a lot of your arguments don’t affect me. And many Christian Scholars think that if you exclude John’s Gospel (the source of the Jesus=God quotes), because it is too polished, then you have the real Jesus. You should believe in the Trilogy of Mark, Matthew, and Luke- not the trinity!
    And as for God doing evil, this was only after they had broken the Covenant, and God had promised that these evils would befall them if they did that. The preferred outcome would have been that they obeyed God, and blessings would have happened to them. Oh, and God NEVER made them cannibals- they chose that because they were going through hard times. God exulted in the hard times as just reaction to their evil choices, because God always gets these things right. That is why WE are supposed to not react to provocations- let God keep a record instead!
    I realise that you might not be familiar with ‘mercy’, but God is. I am sure it was the merciful side of God’s Character which remitted the sentence of ‘certain and sudden death’ to spiritual isolation and exile from Eden.
    And the expression is ‘muwth t-muwth’, just to engage in nitpicking.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    I forgive you for your arrogance, not for falsely calling me a friend. A friend is someone with whom you share, at least, one common interest; someone you like being around, and chatting to. That is not us.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote:

    “I forgive you for your arrogance, not for falsely calling me a friend. A friend is someone with whom you share, at least, one common interest; someone you like being around, and chatting to. That is not us.”


    I’m terribly sorry to hear that someone’s holding a gun to your head and forcing you to have this chat. But on a lighter note, no one does insane passive aggressive victimhood & psychological projection like a Christian can. First you call me Lucifer, then when I jokingly respond, saying hi, it’s your friend Lucifer here, you chastise me…twice, for saying I’m your friend, and then YOU call ME “arrogant” and presume to forgive me for it. LOLOLOLOL. Hilarious! Believe me, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’m used to being called arrogant by Christians because (a) for the thought-crime of not agreeing with them, and (b) I back up what I say with bible references, quotes and original Greek and Hebrew text. Me not submitting and subjugating my mind to your wish-world mystery worship makes me “arrogant”…apparently. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended. I enjoy it when Christians implode as they hoist themselves with their own petard. This is for the voyeuristic enjoyment of other members, and I hope I’m not trying the patience of the moderators. Believe me, I wouldn’t bother discussing fictional lords & masters in private email. That would be a colossal waste of time.

    Good luck with the victimhood thing. Is this my cue to apologize to you for considering this a friendly exchange? Too bad. LOL. Get well soon.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick (Blame Lucifer) Gray wrote in one post,

    “I realise that you might not be familiar with ‘mercy’, but God is. I am sure it was the merciful side of God’s Character which remitted the sentence of ‘certain and sudden death’ to spiritual isolation and exile from Eden.”

    Then he wrote in a following post,

    “To destroy your antifaith argument, one need only realise that if an all-powerful GOD makes a promise, then you can reason that NOTHING would be able to stop that promise from coming true, so you can rationally have faith that it will happen. Thus reason leads to faith, quite logically.”


    Logically speaking, (just ask Quine), truth is absence of falsity in context, and false means contradiction. The two statements above not only contradict each other, they’re contrary as well, (they can both be false).

    Have a logical day.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Do you mean that Lucis Ferre is the name you were born with? If so, have you ever thought of suing your parents, since the name suggests itself as an alibi of Lucifer?

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick, one shouldn’t exclude the gospel of John because it’s too polished. One should exclude it because it’s self contradictory and fraudulent. As you say, in some passages it suggests that Jesus = ‘god’. In others, like in John 8, he says that he and ‘god’ are two entirely different persons (two different witnesses), then asks the interrogators why they don’t freaking understand what he’s repeatedly saying, calls them sons of Satan and then runs away like a frightened girl when they chase him through the streets.

    That being said, back to Eze 5&6. You want to interpret it your own convenient way, while, apparently, calling ‘god’ a liar when he says, “And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.” ~ Eze 6:10

    The eating your children and vise versa thing isn’t a mere unfortunate vague happenstance,. This what “god” is threatening to willfully do on purpose. In the quote above, “evil” is the hebrew word ra’, or ra’h, the same word in Gen’s phrase, knowledge of good and evil. And it’s translated as “evil” inn Eze 6:10 in the KJV, ESV, RSV, ASV, YLT, DBY, WEB, HNV and even the Latin Vulgate “malum”. This list is not exhaustive, merely more than adequate to make the point.
    Have a nice day.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick, no reasoned position involves faith because reason is “If A leads to B, & B leads to C, then if A then C”. Whereas faith is, “I’m convinced C, therefore C”. Proof makes faith completely superfluous.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    You seem to have forgotten that prophesy involves seeing the future. ‘Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers.’ This is a prediction about how bad the seige would become- nowhere does GOd say he is forcing them to do this. God is reacting to their evil. (Eze. ch 5, v 9) ‘..because of all thy abominations’. I am curious about one point- is it alright to eat dead people if it will preserve your own life, and is the only source of food available to you?
    When put in context, GOD is exonerated, as always.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    God is all-powerful. An all-powerful being is trustworthy (since nothing could stop him, and he would have no reason to lie). Therefore, God is trustworthy!
    You’re right, Lue! This reason stuff works a treat!

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote:

    “God is all-powerful. An all-powerful being is trustworthy (since nothing could stop him, and he would have no reason to lie). Therefore, God is trustworthy!
    You’re right, Lue! This reason stuff works a treat!”


    An almighty being would have nothing to fear by lying either. Maybe his reason to lie is that he enjoys it. But here’s the thing, if a limitless being is not without limit now and always, then he’s not truly unlimited, and if a truly unlimited being can do anything, then there is nothing it can’t do. But, there is something it can’t do, limit itself and be an unlimited being. Ergo, no unlimited beings can exist. There is no such thing as an all-powerful being. That is, there can be no being that can make a sandwich so tasty that it can’t resist eating it, or create a rock so heavy that it can’t lift it, or do A to such an extent that it can’t B it. There can be no existent “almighty” because reality, by definition, has rules.
    Have a chipper day.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote,

    “This is a prediction about how bad the seige would become- nowhere does GOd say he is forcing them to do this.”


    So, ‘god’ is lying in Eze 6:10, eh? Is that your final answer? Have you actually read Eze 5? It’s all about what horrible things ‘god’ is going to do, and he’ll do it enthusiastically, and causing sons to eat their fathers will bring him “comfort” as he does this with “zeal”.

    Eze 5:13: “Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.”

    ‘You speak English, right?

    Your therapy is coming along fine.
    Lucifer.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote,

    “God is all-powerful. An all-powerful being is trustworthy (since nothing could stop him…”


    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Your truly, Lucifer

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Absolute power corrupts humans absolutely. Once again, you are context-dropping.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote,

    “Absolute power corrupts humans absolutely. Once again, you are context-dropping.”


    Machiavelli excluded no ‘gods’. Damn, is this make up stuff day and no one told me? How did that sneak up on me like that?
    LOL, yours, Lucifer.

  • Lucis Ferre

    “Machiavelli”


    Actually, make that Lord Acton. I knew that. I’ve watched Find Me Guilty, lol.

  • Laird

    “This is for the voyeuristic enjoyment of other members”

    As one of those “other members”, I am enjoying it, Lucis. I gave up engaging in religious debates decades ago; they’re entirely pointless as neither side is going to be convinced, and I no longer have either the patience or the time to waste. But I appreciate your ability to quote chapter and verse, far better than I ever could.

    Personally, I simply rely on Laplace’s answer to Napoleon (“Sir, I have no need of that hypothesis”) and leave it at that.

  • I propose a change of subject, something that hasn’t been discussed recently – like, say, abortion?

  • Lucis Ferre

    Alisa, LOL.
    :-)

  • Lucis Ferre

    Laird wrote,

    “As one of those “other members”, I am enjoying it, Lucis.”


    I’m glad. I’m new here and don’t want to piss off whatever moderators might be around. I realize the topic’s been hijacked temporarily. I do this type of interaction with believers from time to time to highlight just how ‘out-there’ the average believer is. It’s not just quaint beliefs in question, but rather the process of just making things up and “believing” it that’s a bit shocking. It’s delusional, it’s destructive, not just to ones rational mind, but to one’s moral capacity IMO. People wonder just how everyday Germans could live right next door to NAZI concentration/extermination camps and blithely ignore it. I presume it’s much like how Christians can read Eze 6:10, a signed confession of an evil ‘god’, and ignore that as well. When I was a young atheist, I simply thought of religion as an incorrect myth to comfort people. Now I realize just how evil the Abrahamic religions really are and how evil and destructive the philosophy behind it is. It’s so extreme that they have to change it for it to be palatable to them, but still concepts like surrendering to a lord and master, and self-loathing get smuggled in. Not to mention the torture and death of an innocent whipping boy for the Christian’s undeserved profit. The sinner condoning HIS death penalty as payment for the sinner’s crime, so that the sinner can gain entry into a “paradise” he neither earned nor deserves…that’s positively unjust, immoral and evil I argue.

    I don’t expect any deconversions on my watch, just as I don’t expect to kick a crutch out from under the arms of a hypochondriac and expect him to walk without a limp. But perhaps being confronted now and again with written facts might have some lurking effect. One can only hope.

    Cheers, Lucis

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote,

    “Indeed, Jesus crafted his messages to appeal to the poor- mass marketing even then! How better to ensure the spreading of his message?”


    Christianity is a combination of heuristic development and conscious design, crafted to control the disempowered masses as a form of propaganda to be subservient “in this world” so one can inherit an imaginary kingdom in the next. (It’s worthy of note that virtually everyone was poor until the Industrial Revolution). It’s been overtly crafted by clergy, Roman emperors like Constantine, etc. It’s success lies in both it’s nature, (irrational consolation of wishful thinking), and in being spread by the point of the Roman sword all over the ancient world, and it survived in bleak times by insistence of cruel religious overlords during the middle (dark) ages. Even up to America’s early history, “the church” was burning people, torturing people, putting them in stockades if they displeased their religious overlords. One of Thomas Jefferson’s proudest accomplishments wasn’t being the president, but rather in musling the insane punitive church in Virginia with his Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. The latter, he requested be put on his tombstone, the former he didn’t.
    Cheers, Lucifer

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Ah the old cluster of cells argument. Almost no women know they are pregnant before 6 weeks, by which time babies have two arms, eyes, legs, a brain and so on. Outside of the topic of the morning after pill it is a non-issue. Now if you want to deny them humanity on some other grounds (not smart enough for example) that’s where I get really worried.

    Because that’s where libertarianism devolves into a members-only club where you profess to care about individual rights, but really you’ve got a whole list of criteria which makes the rights of whole groups of people “not count”.

    It’s surprising that all political movements can be distilled down to a single premise: how can we remove the people who are not us from the political process altogether? Libertarians it seems are frequently no better. If you’re not willing to speak up for the rights of the voiceless, the weak, the stupid and yes even your enemies, then what’s the point?

    The choice between different flavours of would-be tyrant might as well be settled by a coin toss. The outcome is always the same: mass internment, torture, summary murder and book burnings. It was wrong when Stalin, Mao and Ho Chi Minh did it but equally it wasn’t any less wrong when Pinochet did it to communists (although he was admittedly less prolific). There is no “right” group of people to single out as unworthy of the protections afforded by inalienable rights.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Absolute power, without absolute wisdom, does corrupt, of course. So does taking arguments out of context.
    Eze. 6,v10 is one part of God’s declaration. When taken out of context, as Lucifer does, it makes God out to be bad. If you read Eze. 2v3-4, which comes before god bringing calamities on these people, you will read about god declaring them to be a rebellious people. The same message is in Eze. 5, v5-11. This includes the part about bringing evil upon them- because they were evil first, and wilfully broke the commandments. These commandments are part of the Covenant of Moses. If you read Deuteronomy 28, the first 15 verses describe the blessings of obedience, and the rest promise evils for being disobedient.
    So I do not regard God as acting capriciously, but as someone giving just recompense to wilful evildoers.
    As for the argument that an unlimited God could not limit his own power, and therefore there are some things He can’t do, so He can’t be unlimited- If God chose, he could limit himself, and would then not be unlimited- but why should God mutilate himself this way? Just to please you?
    We are having a debate, not a friendly chat.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick, Eze 6:10 says

    “And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.”

    What additional context would make this mean something different? Uh…nothing. So, what you’re saying is, (and I’ve heard this dozens of times), the children DESERVE to be forced to eat the flesh of their fathers…because they didn’t follow the commandments of their angry sky emperor.

    Yes, you’ve done it my friend, exactly as I expected. You’ve proved that religion DESTROYS one’s moral capacity because in your mind your ‘god’ need no moral restraint whatsoever. This is your cue to tell us that ‘god’ is exempt from any moral restraint because it has soooo much power, (power that you covet). REAL spiritual teachings teach that power is not the goal line, and it doesn’t give one a free pass to commit moral atrocities, like forcing people to eat human flesh when they displease you.

    And just to show that this isn’t a textural anomaly,

    Jer 19:9, “And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness…”, Jer 19:15 “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.”

    Yes, this proves that religionists are DANGEROUS.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote,

    “We are having a debate, not a friendly chat.”

    Interesting that you think so. If so, you’re bringing a spoon to a gunfight. You saying that you believe in karma, that reincarnated souls look for bodies to inhabit and there can be magical reasons for infertility, etc…that’s a debate? Who knew? What are your hard hitting debate points on leprechauns?
    ;-)

    Lucifer

  • Lucis Ferre

    Jaded Voluntaryist, like it or not, one must be a being, a person, to have rights. No libertarian is trying to single out a group of people as unworthy of individual rights, since individual rights are predicated on first being an individual.

    Cheers.

  • Nick (Blame The French) Gray

    Real spiritual teachings? What are they? Since You have described yourself as an Objectivist, that probably means spirit-free morality.
    And you have confirmed my point- you keep refusing to quote from the full text, obviously hoping that your context-dropping will win you the argument!
    Nor have you answered one of my questions- is it okay to eat human flesh if you have nothing else to eat? Even if they are family members?
    And you still try to evade the fact that when Jesus was talking about the good Samaritan, he was discussing how to get into Heaven. (What must I do to gain eternal life?) Being a good neighbour, and having empathy for the victim of a mugging, would guarantee anyone a good afterlife. Even you, I suspect.
    And you are so wrong- God does have moral restraints, the ones He chooses to impose on himself. Mohammedans are the ones who think that God cannot even be bound by his own word, not Christians.
    As for Jeremiah, you left out important bits like Je 19, v4-5,’because they have forsaken Me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; they have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind’
    Seems to me that a God who didn’t do something about that would be a God who would have lost all His followers. Or should He have done nothing about what they were already doing?

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick, sorry Christian, but Lucifer has already won this debate. Ask any sane follower of this thread.

    A. I already provided context to my case. The people of Eze 5 violated the dictates of their morally unconstrained sky dictator, and he in turn threatened to take satisfaction in creating a famine and causing children to eat the flesh of their fathers.

    B. Your ‘god’ provided two signed confessions that he is indeed “evil”, in his own words. See Eze 6:10 & Jer 19:15.

    C. If taking satisfaction in forcing children to eat their parents and parents to eat the flesh of their sons and daughters isn’t evil, simply because they didn’t follow his every demand, then I don’t know what is.

    I USED you as an object lesson to prove my point. Ultimately, my point isn’t that there is actually an existent evil ‘god’, but rather than Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, are evil themselves, because they DESTROY ones moral capacity. I used to you illustrate that point, and you did so wonderfully when you defended an angry vengeful ‘god’ taking satisfaction in forcing innocent children to starve and/or eat dead people, including family. Legal insanity is to not know right from wrong, or, i.e. good from evil. Christianity drives good people insane. You just proved my point.

    Admit defeat. Lucifer.

  • Lucis Ferre

    Nick wrote,

    “Real spiritual teachings? What are they? Since You have described yourself as an Objectivist, that probably means spirit-free morality.”

    Objectivism does not hold to a marxist-like materialism. It recognizes the human spirit, which is manifest from the healthy human mind, but it does not hold to some nonsense belief about a self-energy which survives mortal death. “Real spiritual teachings” would be teachings that enriches and nurtures the human spirit, rather than preaching surrender, subjugation, self abdication and humiliation (“humility”), absence of pride, “selflessness”, and commandments to love everyone, including one’s would be destroyers, for no particular reason. That’s not about aiding the human spirit, that’s about crushing the human spirit. Sensible people already know this.

    Have a good day,
    Lucifer