Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Abortion Debate: A Muslim, a Catholic and an Agnostic

Broadcast on Truth Jihad Radio
Tuesday, September 1, 2015





























At the 38:20 mark of last week's False Flag Weekly News, co-host Jim Fetzer and I argued about Planned Parenthood, the breakdown of the family, and related issues.

So I thought it would be interesting to bring Jim face-to-face with some even MORE opposing views: Those of Catholic historian-activist E. Michael Jones.

I had hoped for a philosophical discussion of family values issues, using Planned Parenthood as a touchstone. But what I got was mainly an exchange of utterly incommensurable views on abortion.

Catholic historian E. Michael Jones and secular humanist philosopher Jim Fetzer seem to speak completely different languages that go right past each other. Was that because Jim wasn't listening and responding to what he heard, but just reading pre-scripted boilerplate, as Mike said at the end of the show, when things devolved into a shouting match? Or does philosophy require that kind of elaborately organized and outlined approach, as Jim claims?

Listen and decide.




36 COMMENTS:

  1. Fetzering

    Noun:

    1. The act of making an unfounded or unsubstantiated claim.
    2. In philosophy, a method of debate or discussion based of the premise of: I think, therefore I am. I think you're wrong. therefore you are.
    3. The act of disagreeing by employing rancor, name calling, ad hominem attacks or straw man argument.

    Etymology: Fetzering began in earnest in the late 1960's, being implemented by a JFK conspiracy theorist and has since expanded it's use in the 9/11 debate arena.
    1. Without evidence your claim is simple fetzering.

    2. He should rely on his data instead of fetzering.

    http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/aa326/Jefffolkman/FetzerAnimalFarm_zps50a89338.jpg
    Reply
  2. Oh come on - where were the women? Michael Jones claiming that he represents the majority viewpoint?
    I was very glad Jim was there but no one told Jim that many abortion clinics will purposely delay abortions to later term so they can get the stem cells.

    All the degradation of family values is a shame but it didn't happen because legislation changed - it happened because culture changed and that all happened on TV.
    Laws allowing gay marriage or not, laws allowing abortions or not will not affect family values barely at all.

    Michael Jones ideas to keep these things illegal shows a real lack of compassion for the down and out. Where is his Christianity? Interesting that the unreligious person had attitudes that reflected the greatest compassion.
    Wendy
    Reply

    Replies






    1. I'll do another show on this issue with Barbara Honegger next month.

      Mike Jones isn't JUST arguing about abortion and gay marriage laws, but also about culture. His magazine is called Culture Wars. Laws and culture often do work together - if something is viewed as unacceptable to the majority of a culture, typically there will be some laws, not just vigilantism, to keep a lid on it. Mike is a big fan of the Iranian approach, where the laws reflect the culture's view that sexuality is a purely private matter (so public dress and deportment, advertising, media, etc. must be modest) and sex is only acceptable within traditional marriage.

      I’m sure he would argue that anyone who’s not trying to restore family values, and is willing to live with the current family-breakdown culture and the unbelievable human suffering it creates, shows tremendous lack of compassion.
    2. Laws command respect. In the words of mewling beta "old-fashioned guy" Republican John Kasich in response to queered marriage, "The court has ruled, and I said we'll accept it".

      Media is probably the main problem though, which is why we need to take it back from the tiny paranoid hostile alien 2% minority that currently controls it.

  3. Kevin, Emmanuel Goldstein is widely believed to be the pseudonym of Judy Wood, who has been running an odd vendetta on me since I asked John Hutchison a simple question about his background and education, which he tossed off by saying he had flunked crayons and coloring books.

    She cut off communications since then and has made many bizarre attacks, such as this absurd definition of "Fetzering" since anyone who has read or listened to my work knows I am precisely the opposite, building cases on logic and evidence, typically which lots of citations to other studies for those who want more.

    I thought Michael "lost it" at the end, where he went ballistic--virtually hysterical. Every point I made was from my own research and publications, where I have written about these issues, including THE EVOLUTION OF INTELLIGENCE (2005) and RENDER UNTO DARWIN (2007). He should check them out and see the absurdity of his claim that I was "giving Planned Parenthood boilerplate". Unreal!

    There are many ways to approach this, but it requires drawing distinctions between LIFE and PERSONHOOD and a graduated theory of rights, where different rights obtain at different stages of development. It seems to me that he was simply not prepared to deal with the issues at this level of detail and precision, which he attempted to cover up by intemperate and emotional expressions at the end.
    ReplyDelete

    Replies






    1. Mike's point was precisely that "Every point you made was from your own research and publications," which made us feel like we were talking to a proverbial brick wall.
    2. Well, even that claim is not true. At the start of each of my four contributions, I responded to the key points you and he had made. You cannot have been listening very carefully to make this claim. In fact. I was laying out the distinctions that have to be understood to appreciate the full conceptual and philosophical dimensions of these issues.

      I began by endorsing the principle of the ethics of belief, which asserts that we are not morally entitled to believe anything for which we are not logically entitled to believe on the basis of sufficient evidence. That includes the kinds of unscientific and untestable religious propositions that you and Michael have adopted. Where did either of you respond to that crucial argument?

      And the distinction between LIFE and PERSONS is absolutely fundamental, insofar as, without understanding the difference, we may be gullible enough to buy into the indefensible claim that abortions are murder or that zygotes, embryos and early stage fetuses are entitled to a "right to life". Where did you are he respond to that crucial argument?

      And I spent a fair amount of time elaboration upon the theory of graduated rights, where human beings in all societies are granted more and more rights appropriate to their age and level of development, where the strongest case that can justifiably be made for a "right to life" is that it beings at the end of the second trimester, where viability and the onset of the capacity to feel pain occur. Where are your arguments attempting to rebut those important arguments?

      The issues involved here a complex and subtle, which is why I went to great pains to lay them out with precision and in detail. Neither of you were responsive to my arguments, which supports the inference that you were simply unprepared to deal with the issues at this level of exactitude. You cannot excuse your and Michael's failure to respond to the crucial aspects of these issues by suggesting that I was "a proverbial brick wall".

      These issues are incapable of resolution between parties who are unwilling to abandon their religious commitments, which are not based on reason or science but upon theology and faith. I knew that, if I did not explain the most basic distinctions with precision and detail, it would be for naught--because you and he would simply rest on your religious beliefs. I am sorry to say, but that is how it played out. I recommend to listen again to appreciate that you and he were unable to come to grips with the issues, which was disappointing but not therefore surprising. 
      Delete
    3. It is easy to demonstrate logically that the current version of "science," which is by definition value-neutral, can have nothing whatsoever to tell us about questions of values, which are inherently "unscientific and untestable." If we are "not entitled to believe" anything that has not been "scientifically" proven, then we are not entitled to have any values, since they cannot be scientifically proven. Therefore we are not entitled to have any morals or morality. (No wonder the insane fundamentalist religion of scientism has produced a culture of psychopathy.)
    4. That's a perfect example of a straw man, by exaggerating a position to make it easier to attack. Science has proven itself to be our most reliable method for ascertaining truth and acquiring knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. What would you recommend in its stead? Crystal ball gazing? Random guessing? Consulting "authorities"?

      I would be glad to debate the nature of morality with you and Michael Jones, but I would have no more expectations that you could come to grips with the crucial distinctions in that case any more than you have in the present instance.

      I long since contemplated that there should be objective criteria for establishing the most rational and defensible theory of morality on the basis of criteria that parallel those for establishing the most rational and defensible theory of science on the basis of objective criteria.

      In the case of science they, include the clarity and precision of the language in which they are expressed, their respective scope of application for the purposes of explanation and prediction, their degree of empirical support, and the elegance, economy or simplicity with which they attain that objective.

      The criteria I have proposed as counterparts for theories of morality--which I elaborate and defend in THE EVOLUTION OF INTELLIGENCE (2005) and RENDER UNTO DARWIN (2007)--are parallel.

      They include the clarity and precision of the language in which they are expressed, that they must not degenerate to the corrupt principle that "might makes right", that they classify uncontroversial cases of "moral" and of "immoral" conduct recognized by all human societies--such as murder, robbery, kidnapping and rape, on the one hand, and honesty, candor, integrity and charity, on the other--as "moral" and as "immoral" on the basis of the theory and that they shed light and clarify controversial cases, such as abortion, cloning, and stem-cell research.

      I apply those principles to eight theories, including four traditional theories--subjectivism, family values, religious-based ethics, and cultural relativism--and four philosophical theories--ethical egoism, limited utilitarianism, classic utilitarianism and deontological moral theory--and demonstrate that the most defensible conception of morality is the deontological theory of always treating other persons with respect and never merely as means.

      The uncontroversial cases of immoral acts, such as murder, robbery, kidnapping and rape, for example, are properly qualified as "immoral" on deontological grounds, because they involve using other persons merely as means. And the reasons why uncontroversial cases of morality are "moral" are similarly explained by this theory.

      Most strikingly, it is the only account that clarifies and illuminates controversial cases such as abortion, stem-cell research and cloning. I made several reference to this approach during our exchange, but I knew it would be impossible to elaborate and justify within the confines of a one-hour debate on abortion with Michael and you.

      So you miss the mark again, because while it is not possible scientifically establish the difference between right and wrong as normative rather than descriptive concepts, that does not mean we cannot establish the difference between moral and immoral conduct on other-than-scientific grounds, which are philosophical, as I have shown. Another consequence that follows is that we don't need religion to understand morality and to act as ethical human beings.
      Delete
    5. That's a perfect example of a straw man, by exaggerating a position to make it easier to attack. Science has proven itself to be our most reliable method for ascertaining truth and acquiring knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. What would you recommend in its stead? Crystal ball gazing? Random guessing? Consulting "authorities"?

      I would be glad to debate the nature of morality with you and Michael Jones, but I would have no more expectations that you could come to grips with the crucial distinctions in that case any more than you have in the present instance.

      I long since contemplated that there should be objective criteria for establishing the most rational and defensible theory of morality on the basis of criteria that parallel those for establishing the most rational and defensible theory of science on the basis of objective criteria.

      In the case of science they, include the clarity and precision of the language in which they are expressed, their respective scope of application for the purposes of explanation and prediction, their degree of empirical support, and the elegance, economy or simplicity with which they attain that objective.

      The criteria I have proposed as counterparts for theories of morality--which I elaborate and defend in THE EVOLUTION OF INTELLIGENCE (2005) and RENDER UNTO DARWIN (2007)--are parallel.

      They include the clarity and precision of the language in which they are expressed, that they must not degenerate to the corrupt principle that "might makes right", that they classify uncontroversial cases of "moral" and of "immoral" conduct recognized by all human societies--such as murder, robbery, kidnapping and rape, on the one hand, and honesty, candor, integrity and charity, on the other--as "moral" and as "immoral" on the basis of the theory and that they shed light and clarify controversial cases, such as abortion, cloning, and stem-cell research.

      I apply those principles to eight theories, including four traditional theories--subjectivism, family values, religious-based ethics, and cultural relativism--and four philosophical theories--ethical egoism, limited utilitarianism, classic utilitarianism and deontological moral theory--and demonstrate that the most defensible conception of morality is the deontological theory of always treating other persons with respect and never merely as means.

      The uncontroversial cases of immoral acts, such as murder, robbery, kidnapping and rape, for example, are properly qualified as "immoral" on deontological grounds, because they involve using other persons merely as means. And the reasons why uncontroversial cases of morality are "moral" are similarly explained by this theory.

      Most strikingly, it is the only account that clarifies and illuminates controversial cases such as abortion, stem-cell research and cloning. I made several reference to this approach during our exchange, but I knew it would be impossible to elaborate and justify within the confines of a one-hour debate on abortion with Michael and you.

      So you miss the mark again, because while it is not possible scientifically establish the difference between right and wrong as normative rather than descriptive concepts, that does not mean we cannot establish the difference between moral and immoral conduct on other-than-scientific grounds, which are philosophical, as I have shown. Another consequence that follows is that we don't need religion to understand morality and to act as ethical human beings.
      Delete
    6. I sympathize with your long winded, complicated position. To justify the killing of infants takes a vast amount of camoflage, and the best method is to accuse your opponent (right off the bat) of anti-Americanism. But of course, it is you, Jim who are no American, because you deny the primary tenet of our rights, viz., that they are God given; that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. So. No God, no rights. That's as subversive and traitorous a position as possible.

  4. Hi, Kevin -- Haven't had a chance to listen yet, but suppose the 'Catholic, Muslim and Secular Humanist' abortion debate was triggered by the Pope's announcement that during 'the holy year' priests can forgive women for abortions? You only need to ask 'What would Jesus do?' to know why. In fact, Pope John Paul believed that Jesus told him to do the same thing. I don't know if you're aware, in the lead up to The Millennium, that Pope 'met' alone with the Shroud of Turin, after which the front page of the New York Times reported that he had kissed the blood on the image of the feet on the Shroud -- as literal a communion as you can get -- after which the Pope announced that the Shroud would be put on public display, during which time women who asked during confession would be forgiven for abortions. The clear sense was that the Pope believed the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus and that His Spirit personally told/moved the Pope to declare the forgiveness for abortions. So it's happened before, and should have long ago -- and not just for a few months, or even just one holy year, at a time. If you wanted a dynamite show, I was the highest ranking presidential appointee for Women's rights in the Reagan White House and Justice Dept., in which I was a relentless and passionate pro-choice advocate surrounded by Christian fundamentalist misogynists -- probably misspelled that. At his request, I researched and wrote up the only argument the chief domestic policy adviser said he'd ever seen "that could change Reagan's mind on abortion." If you'd like to know what that argument, and the data that support it, is, let's do a show ... after the 9/11 Anniversary and a bit of time to recuperate ... Barbara
    Reply
  5. "Traditinally marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman"

    Are you saying Prof. Jim Fetzer's marriage is not valid ?. Isn't that discrimination, blatant human right violation ?.
    Reply
  6. I listened to the abortion debate just yesterday with great interest. Good interaction. Fetzer appealed to “viability” and “science” to make his case, but I’m pretty sure he knows that there is philosophical and scientific evidence against both. Has he read Francis J. Beckwith’s Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)? How about Christopher Kaczor’s The Ethics of Abortion: Women's Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice?
    In any event, Fetzer is a reasonable person and has made great points in the past. But his argument here is untenable precisely because it leads to cultural suicide. I mean, just take a look at what has happened to the WASP ruling class in America when they started to implement Fetzer’s ideology. Also, I wonder what Emmanuel Kant would say to Fetzer here. I would highly suggest anyone to pick up Kant’s Groundwork on the Metaphysics of Moral. Kant would have almost certainly reject Fetzer’s point out of hand. 
    Reply

    Replies






    1. Jonas, I am dumbfounded. For an intelligent man, you have missed the boat completely. Deontological moral theory is Kantian, where I regard Kant as one of the three greatest philosophers (along with Aristotle and Charles S. Peirce) of history.

      According to the Second Formulation of his Categorical Imperative, we must always treat other persons as ends-in-themselves (as intrinsically valuable) and never merely as means. I have simplified this as the maxim of always treating other persons with respect, but it is based on Kant's conception.

      Not only would Kant not have "rejected by point out of hand", my position is rooted in the work of Kant. You have committed a blunder here by your ignorance of Kantian morality, to which you make an appeal that is not only inconsistent with Kant but even incoherent.

      You cite other sources without explaining what it is about their position that is supposed to matter. The key issue is the distinction between LIFE and PERSONHOOD. Unless they acknowledge the difference, I cannot imagine that they have anything substantial to contribute to this debate.
      Delete

  7. Kevin,
    I have decided.
    Not only are you and E Michael Jones imbuciles, but you are assholes, too.
    And the "music";
    another indication of your befuddled brain.
    Couldn't get you off my radio fast enough.
    Sincerely,
    Lucy
    Reply

    Replies






    1. Wrong. Mike and I were defending women/civilization; Jim was defending men/psychopathy.

      Short version: Allowing sex outside of marriage benefits the psychopathic side of men, who crave sexual variety without emotion or responsibility, and harms women, who want a companion and protector.

      Long version:

      Many women I know, including my wife, think “women’s liberation” is slavery, and would prefer the old-fashioned rule that men must never, under any circumstances, be allowed sex except with a woman to whom the have made a sacred promise (marriage) of full lifetime financial support as well as financial support to all of her children.

      Without this rule, men - especially young testosterone-addled men - tend to exploit and discard women.

      Throughout virtually all of human history, the only men who ever had the kind of sexual variety that is commonly available today were emperors with concubines (slaves) and battlefield rapists (who survived enough battles to accumulate a lot of rapes). So today’s rules favor the sexually psychopathic side of men, which is a major reason why we’re seeing so much psychopathic behavior as the civilization declines. Sexual psychopathy leads to similar predatory behavior in economic life and in other areas.

      As for the Sex Pistols, they’re a glorious symptom of the terminal decline of Western civilization.

      -K
    2. Kevin,
      Some of what you say and e michael said is true.
      But neither of you listened to and addressed Dr Fetzer's points, either.
      In your old age you have forgotten or maybe you never knew the sexual drives of teenagers, both male and female.
      Sometimes it's unstoppable.
      Like slugs on the lawn, it goes on.
      If I want an aborton, you, in your religious rightiousnes,shouldn't be allowed to make me act according to your personal religious beliefs.
      If you don't want an abortion, don't get one.
      Keep your self-rightious hands off my life, Mr Libertarian.
      Sincerely,
      Lucy
    3. I hear you.

      My argument was not for criminalizing all abortion. I don’t believe in “law” as currently practiced. I think the rules that govern our lives should be religious/spiritual, and should only very rarely be enforced - and then mainly informally by families and communities, not cops and courts.

      My point was that the technological separation of sex from reproduction (like so many other technological “advances”) is destroying our humanity. Jim seems oblivious to the problem. Mike doesn’t.

  8. By the way, I’ve read Fetzer’s Render Unto Darwin. He has made some good points here and there as an agnostic, and he certainly parts company with people like Richard Dawkins and even Michael Ruse. But there are some fundamental and metaphysical flaws in the book. I was planning to address them at VT, but I aborted the project. If Fetzer is willing, we can do a written interaction, where evidence and logic will be examined.
    Reply

    Replies






    1. Sure. That's a great idea. We could publish it at both VT and VTN. You are welcome to initiate the exchange. Since it was your idea, compose a draft introduction and your first question for me and we can go from there. I like the idea.
      Delete

  9. Hello Jim,

    Thanks for the response. I too am quite shocked to hear that your position—and here I am talking about abortion as a moral right— “is rooted in the work of Kant.” If that is the case, then I must insist that you have missed Kant’s overarching point in Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. Perhaps we can talk about this later in our written dialogue.

    Now, if you insist that “we must always treat other persons as ends-in-themselves (as intrinsically valuable) and never merely as means” (I agree with you here), then the fundamental question is this: Who is going to determine who is and is not a person? Who is making “the distinction between LIFE and PERSONHOOD”? The court system? Fetzer? “Viability”?

    E. Michael Jones has tried to draw your attention to the point that the court is actually irrelevant in this regard precisely because 1) Planned Parenthood preceded the court’s decision and 2) the court has historically “ratified the social engineering schemes of the elites.” This is a historical point, and it cannot be easily dismissed by repeating what the court actually said with respect to abortion, which supports your view. This is perhaps why Jones threw in the towel at the end because you actually did not deal with those two important issues.

    I cited other sources because I would hope you have read them, since you are interested in this important debate. I did not want to write a dissertation in a chat room about those books?

    In any event, I have enough on my plate this fall, but let us plan the written dialogue for the winter, where I will have some free time. I will send my review to you, and we can go back and forth. Leaving this aside, I really did enjoy reading the book. I was really disappointed with people like Dawkins and Harris and Hitchens when it comes to morality. I was quite exhausted with Michael Ruse’s inconsistency and internal contradiction, but I did find some common ground in your book. What’s your email address?
    Reply

    Replies






    1. The Court was right in its determination that the onset of PERSONHOOD corresponds with the end of the second trimester, which corresponds to viability and the capacity to experience pain.

      He threw in the towel because he was simply not prepared to discuss these issues at the level of precision and clarity I was advancing. And that also appear to be true of you.

      It both surprises and disappoints me that you do not seem to understand The Categorical Imperative, especially in its second formulation, but then I am fairly stunned by the positions of Kevin, Michael and (I now infer) you.

      Let's engage in a written exchange when you have the time and opportunity. As for my email address, jfetzer@d.umn.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.
      Delete

  10. Prof Fetzer's reference to zygotes etc is disingenuous.The simple physiological point is that this is a human being in process of full development - it doesn't become a frog, an ant, or a whale, but a human being whose negative liberty not to be harmed is grossly violated. That cannot be avoided unless some intervention prevents it. You say that intervention can be allowed but nowhere in science, law or anywhere else can you justify it.
    Reply
  11. OF COURSE it is a stage in the development of a human being, but it is not at a stage where it is entitled to a right to life. How can you have so completely missed my key point?

    The debate should not be over whether or not we are talking about stages in the development of a human being. WE ARE! The question is whether that stage has reached the point of qualifying for PERSONHOOD.

    Go back and listen again. I discuss three sources of information to determine the answer to this question: (a) ordinary language; (b) morphology; and (c) law, where I contend that (a) and (b) are insufficient but that the Court had the right idea.

    The Court's determination, as I see it, is equivalent to determining that the end of the second trimester, when viability and the capacity to experience pain set it, represents the stage of development at which the "right to life" initially applies.

    It remains in place from that time forward and can only be overridden by conflicts with the life or the health of its mother. So there was nothing elusive about what I said about zygotes and embryos or fetuses. You just did not understand it.
    ReplyDelete
  12. Here again you are positing the very point that Jones was trying to refute. The Court has played fast and loose with the facts already. As Jones pointed out, The Dred Scott decision was a classic example. Since The Court was manipulated then by “polite” people, namely the elites, it does not help your cause to continue to quote what they said about the abortion issue at all. One has to go back to the beginning and see what the fundamental issues were in the first place, and this is what Jones was trying to do, and apparently this is where you did not want to go. Jones kept saying “Let’s talk about Planned Parenthood,” but you kept brining in The Court.

    Once again, how do we know that The Court was right or wrong during the Dred Scott case? And if you agree with us that they were wrong then, what are the parameters? Is it because The Court agreed with Fetzer?

    In any event, it will be better if we discuss these issues in a much rigorous way. I am hoping to delve into them either at the end of fall or early winter.
    Reply

    Replies






    1. This is an astonishing response that reflects a complete misunderstanding of my position. I am NOT saying that the Court was right because it rendered its decision in Roe v. Wade, which would be a trivial appeal to authority (though not a fallacious appeal, since the Court is an expert in making decisions; but it is not therefore infallible).

      My point was that, by considering resources such as ordinary language, embryology and the Court, we can search for reasons to draw whatever distinctions are appropriate to gain insight into whether or not the Court made the right decision in Roe v. Wade. As you and others have observed, the Court's decisions are not always right.

      My argument is that, once you consider the crucial distinction between STAGES OF LIFE and PERSONHOOD, the graduated theory of rights and the nature of morality, the Court DID MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION. I am not argument that, BECAUSE the Court decided, it was right, but that the Court's decision WAS THE RIGHT DECISION on the basis of the grounds that I have elaborated.

      Frankly, I am dismayed that you present yourself as some kind of authority in matters philosophical. You say I make some good points here and there, but also commit blunders. An assertion of superiority is not an argument. I have yet to see any argument from you that supports your contentions: none! I hope that you can do better during our written exchange.
      Delete
    2. I did not accuse you of saying that “the Court was right because it rendered its decision in Roe v. Wade…” I made it clear that it is pointless to cite the Court’s decision in the early stage of the discussion precisely because there are some fundamental issues that need to be dealt with first, such as how the elites ended up manipulating the Court’s decision.

      Again, this was what Jones was saying, and one simply cannot deny or dismiss or ignore this crucial historical backdrop which has been at the heart of the issue. Once this historical strata is unpacked, then the Court’s decision becomes very easy to understand. And on that note, it is pertinent to bring the following point out. If we are talking about a “democratic society,” can the elites really ignore the opinions of the majority?

      Now, if you want to talk about the metaphysical basis for morality, I think this is where our discussion will be fascinating precisely because in order to make “the crucial distinction between STAGES OF LIFE and PERSONHOOD,” then we are going to be talking about worldviews and the fundamental basis for those worldviews. Like Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, Russell and others, I don’t believe you can establish an objective morality on atheism or agnostism. Notice that I did not say that atheists or agnostics can’t be moral. Nor did I say that they cannot recognize morality. This isn’t the issue at all. What I am saying is that on atheism or agnosticism, there are no objective moral values. This is the issue that we will be dealing with at length in our discussion.

      Yes, I said you made some “some good points here and there” in your book, and we will surely talk about this later in the discussion. But I could not help thinking about a statement you made during the discussion. At the beginning of the show, you said that eugenics is a bad thing. Ideologically, Darwin would have disagreed with you. Here is what he said in the Descent of Man:
      “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor-laws and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

      Of course, Darwin was against things like slavery, but he could not support this on his own metaphysical claims, which the eugenic movement quickly picked up and spread all across Europe and America in the 1920s.

      Second, the word agnosticism does not seem to rest well with the position that you were advancing earlier, namely, one can “consider the crucial distinction between STAGES OF LIFE and PERSONHOOD.” As we all know, the alpha in Greek means the negative and ginosko is associated with “to know.” So, how would you defend that position on agnosticism? Moreover, can that position be universal on agnosticism? 

  13. Thank you for your reply.
    Why does it not have a right not to be destroyed when it has within it every active principle DNA etc that will produce a fully formed human being? It has integrity. You deny it even what Berlin called 'negative liberty' the right to to be free from someone aborting it.
    A severely disabled child may not be able to live independently of its mother in any real sense but on your analysis there is nothing to stop its destruction.
    Your 'solution' is based purely on a descriptive analysis. Science can only describe, fine, but it cannot thereby be a source of values, ethics. You seek to derive values from the law but the law has been subverted over the last 40 years.
    The law is an engine of the Revolution and cannot supply a description of rights because in the west we are all free born individuals (800th anniversary of Magna Carta) who need to be granted nothing by governments and their lackeys in the courts. You need to reconsider your view of the law and history. Language can be sharpened, true, but then there very competent people on the pro-life side whom liberal abortionists completely ignore.
    Life is not a continuum. It can show entropy as much as it can show development. This is utter philosophical rubbish. The only argument that holds any kind of water is that life begins at conception which you cannot deny because it has to start somewhere. You then say somewhere along the line that liberals will determine it can in fact be liquidated. This is revolutionary and the revolution consists in liberals who say 'We will determine who shall live and who shall die.'
    The flaws of JSMill-type liberals who seek to overturn what might be called the view of humanity down the ages is astonishing.
    Reply

    Replies


    1. What entitles you to deny the obvious stages in the development of a human being (beginning as a zygote, proceeding to an embryo, then passing through further stages as a fetus) and treat them as though they were morally and ethically the same?

      You have simply staked out a position and are unwilling to acknowledge the crucial distinctions at the core of my position about LIVE vs PERSONHOOD, the graduated theory of rights and the basic principle of morality of always treating persons with respect and never merely as means.

      Planned Parenthood, by the way, is an aside since we cannot determine whether the assistance they provide to women--of which abortion counseling and practices--are only a tiny part. We are a nation of laws, which you and others would upend by imposing your own personal religious beliefs upon others and thereby turn women into reproductive slaves.
      Delete

13 comments:

  1. THREE MEN debating abortion?? Listen very carefully.....

    YOU DON'T HAVE A VAGINA! YOU DO NOT GET TO DICTATE WHAT A WOMAN DOES WITH HER BODY!!

    Here's an idea! If you want to prevent abortions....FORCE MEN TO HAVE VASECTOMIES!

    What you say? You cannot force a man to have a vasectomy??

    BUT it's perfectly fine to FORCE a woman to have a baby she can't care for?

    How hypocritical is that?

    Look at all the men on this thread commenting! Get real.

    Until you require the MEN to take responsibility for their penises,, please stop debating. It's not your body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Three men debating the reproductive rights of women (with two advocating enforced motherhood and the third arguing for women’s freedom) is something to be criticized in its self. Society doesn’t need religion; we know this because both the Soviet Union and Maoist China (a quarter of the world) had no use for religion, and those societies worked just fine. Who cares what scholars from the Iron or Bronze Age, --a time before science--, has to say about controlling the lives of women? Those entities didn’t even have a biological understanding of women’s reproduction. Moses, Mohammed, or Jesus’ writing were full of woman hating sentiments and anti-scientific pronouncements. Abortion on demand without apology, for any reason a woman decides. Enforced motherhood is slavery. Jim won the argument hands down. Ben Akerley, in his book 'The X-rated Bible' writes: "I insist that if the Bible is inspired, the passages relating to sex should reveal great enlightenment and exceptionally advanced knowledge and understanding. What we encounter instead are superstition, fear, primitive thinking and gross misunderstanding of even the most basic sexual functions."

      Delete

  2. Reason, Christian TRUTH Precludes Pharisaism, Moralism, Mysticism, "Good-Evil" Fallacy/Heresy (Pelagianism)

    Abortion issue is strictly political, and question is simply regarding the SOCIAL CONTRACT--and note fetuses cannot have rights, they not being parties to social contract. Q.E.D.

    BUT, it is legitimate issue regarding extermination and genocide of people (Agenda-21), that pretext being provided--even if illegitimately--by abortion.

    But strictly speaking as legal issue, abortion is right of individual, as all rights are. To remove the rights of individual is aim of dictatorship, pretext provided by abortion issue.

    But now, let's take-up issue of "morality"--WHAT IS IT?--for there's no "good-evil" (Pelagian heresy), and morality, properly understood is mere logic btwn ends and means. Ends determine means. Thus if means is consistent w. ends, means are necessarily, by definition, "moral," "morality" properly understood.

    Note then, all dictatorship, tyranny, despotism ALWAYS justify dictatorship/tyranny by means of "moralism," pretended, non-existent "good-evil" Pharisaism and Pelagian heresy. "Good" is worst enemy, the most pernicious lie, of TRUTH (= Christ, Gosp. JOHN 14:6).

    Mystic moralism (Pharisaism) is simply "wild-card" issue/tenet introduced by irrationalists and subjectivists in order to subvert reason/logic. For as reality is objective, it must be determined in accord w. absolute cause-effect, there being no perfectly "free" human will--which perfectly "free," God-like will is HUBRIS and satanic--which satanism is steadily taking-over the world, if u only observe.

    And note abortion issue can well be treated as by means of financial rewards for giving birth, then giving-up parenthood for adoption by willing parents.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mike Jones did argue that there is no coherent way of holding that there are human beings that are not persons and Jim Fetzer did not come up with any rational way of distinguishing the two. Nor is there one it seems. We are bodily beings. The philosophical argument for Mike's position is made here: http://uffl.org/vol12/pruss12.pdf Unless this kind of argument is refuted you'd have to say Mike is right and that the onus of proof is on Jim Fetzer. Nothing he said refutes what is stated in the linked to article.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If There's "Argument," It Needs Be Stated

    U need to state the argument urself and not merely give a vague ref. and say someone else now has to refute it, ho ho ho ho.

    Not being able to simply state the argument in ur own words indicates what u know, ho ho ho ho

    Fetuses cannot have any rights under a soc. contract they're obviously not parties to, genius, ho ho ho ho

    ReplyDelete
  5. Heaven forbid you might be expected to actually read a short and clear article on the issue. You could have read and learnt something rather than waste time on your infantile post. You chose not to - your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Excellent, Prof Fetzer! We shall wait for Dr Barrett's human science, but I fear he is too old to develop anything introspective. Those molested or otherwise attacked at Roman Catholic schools know what to hold of the Jesuit talk of . That name-dropper is right he needs a philosophy tutor. Unfortunately, Prof Fetzer doesn't bother to explanation his understanding of where the privation to a+gnotic (Thomas Huxley) in his own epistemology originates - not in the difference between biology and psychology, but another, more fundamental difference he seems to overlook?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Height Of Absurdity Demanding Someone Else Work To Make One's Argument

    Anon of above at 3:11 pm: ur problem is ur inability to make an argument of ur own--which only indicates u have no idea for what to say or talk about.

    Only reason one might ck a ref. u give is if u can make any sense in the first place on ur own--which u obviously can't. So ck-ing a source given by one so incompetent as u obviously are is a waste of time.

    Essentially ur plea is to go and read this, at the ref. u give, in order to make any sense for ur part which u're incapable of making on ur own. "Infantile"?--ho ho ho--that's u, buddy, ho ho ho ho, along w. incompetent and absurd, ho ho ho ho, pathetically begging someone to going to trouble of making ur argument for u, ho ho ho ho Get a life, buddy, ho hoho ho

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dr. Jones has my vote. I appreciate the important point Dr. Barrett made regarding the Satanic program of the elites.

    "...many arguments which deny personhood to the unborn do so out of a mistaken reliance on accidental qualities as the criteria of personhood, such as viability, sentience, consciousness, physical appearance, or other characteristics, and confusing them with essential qualities, i.e., those things that make something to be what it is. "

    Book Review
    Defending the Defenseless: A Case Against Abortion
    Siobhán Maloney



    Beckwith, Francis , Defending Life: a Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

    Dr. Beckwith is a philosophy and jurisprudence professor at Baylor University and convert to Catholicism


    http://humanumreview.com/articles/defending-the-defenseless-a-case-against-abortion



    Artticle 29 of The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights

    states..

    "Article 29

    Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

    In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

    These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations."


    In other words, you have the human rights the U N says you have.

    In "The First Global Revolution," published by The Council of the Club of Rome, an international
    elitist organization, the authors note that:
    "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with
    the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine, and the like would fit the
    bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention ...The real enemy, then, is humanity itself."

    From
    The Population Control Agenda
    Dr. Stanley K. Monteith, M.D.


    The "pope" is going to dialog to consensus with these U N devils next week or so.

    We are basically talking about the "nature" or characteristics of God. Only then can we have a true understanding of the nature of man.


    Suggest everyone become inspired an elevated to their higher nature by taking in 7 part series by Hugh Owen and others of The Kolbe Center

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFwEyZ0g3D0

    Traditional Catholic Doctrine of Creation (1 of 7)

    Sensus Fidelium


    God bless us each and every one in the Name of the One Who is Truth

    ReplyDelete
  9. How can anyone claim that Michael Jones maintains that there is "no coherent way to distinguish between life and personhood" when most of my arguments were directed to drawing that very distinction? I am dumbfounded.

    Even in my replies to the comments posted on Kevin's blog, I went to pains to emphasize (a) the ethics of belief, (b) the nature of deontological morality and (c) the difference between STAGES IN GESTATION and the ONSET OF PERSONHOOD.

    So the complaint that I did not respond is misconceived. I laid out the difference--an entirely coherent set of distinctions based upon attaining viability and the capacity to experience pain--to which he did not respond. I am afraid the shoe is on the other foot, not mine.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Once again, Jim Fetzer shows that he is a giant among men.
    He not only posts, on his blog, a debate against two people who mightily disagreed with him, but the comments as well.
    And in those comments are huge diatribes arguing against his position.
    Mr. Fetzer, I am astounded at your knowledge and intellect, your eloquence and your reason.
    It is becoming more clear that the imposition of peoples subjective religious beliefs is one of the fundamentally most dangerous and disruptive disciplines on this planet.
    Dolphins are polyamorous and bisexual. Does that make them "immoral" in the eyes of God? They seem to propagate just fine without a monogamous structure such as championed by Kevin Barrett.
    I am sorry the issues of a person's right not to endanger their own life in order to "save" another, and the obvious reverse slippery slope of why sperm as half a life, are not sacred as well were not addressed.
    Perhaps we could all use a bit of a laugh and could google "Every Sperm Is Sacred" by Monty Python.
    I look forward to your live show Monday Night.
    Angel

    ReplyDelete
  11. Friends,
    Jim makes the statement that stem cell research has the greatest potential to deal with some of the most debilitating of human problems like alzheimers, parkinsons, diabetes and other inherited diseases.
    I would suggest that Jim read the work of Dr Joel Wallach (http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Adr%20joel%20wallach) , especially Dr Wallach's latest work "Epigenetics: The Death of the Genetic Theory of Disease Transmission" (http://www.amazon.com/Epigenetics-Genetic-Theory-Disease-Transmission/dp/1590791495/ref=sr_1_4/182-2189392-4097638?ie=UTF8&qid=1442284194&sr=8-4&keywords=dr+joel+wallach).
    Dr Wallach makes the case that alzheimers, which is only one of several different kinds of dementia, is a physician caused disease caused by statin drugs. Other forms of dementia are caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. See my paper on dementia: (http://kateswaffer.com/2013/02/09/dementia-can-be-reversed-naturally/).
    Dr Wallach also says that diabetes is not an inherited disease but is caused by a mineral deficiency. Dr Wallach says he can reverse diabetes in a matter of weeks : (http://us.yhs4.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hspart=iry&hsimp=yhs-fullyhosted_003&type=csp_otbrw5_15_28&param1=1&param2=cd%3D2XzuyEtN2Y1L1QzutDtDtCzzzz0ByCzyyByC0AyCyDtBzz0BtN0D0Tzu0StCtBzzyBtN1L2XzutAtFtCtCtFtAtFtCtN1L1CzutN1L1G1B1V1N2Y1L1Qzu2SyBtDyC0FyB0F0A0EtGyBtDyC0AtG0EzyyCtBtGyD0A0AtBtGyB0F0D0CyB0AtDyC0ByDyDtA2QtN1M1F1B2Z1V1N2Y1L1Qzu2S0D0EyEyD0E0DtC0FtGzz0AyC0BtGyEtCtCtAtGzztAzy0AtGtA0BtA0F0C0ByB0D0Fzz0EtC2QtN0A0LzuyE%26cr%3D1040073219%26a%3Dcsp_otbrw5_15_28%26f%3D4%26cat%3Dweb%26sid%3D665b5d529bc82ea4cb0169422d2e979c%26sesid%3D12865517fe8a7963cc48b59d5fe35610%26ip%3D67.58.249.206%26b%3DFirefox%26bv%3D40.0%26os%3DWindows%2B7%26pa%3Dcassiopesa&p=Dr+Wallach+Alex+Jones+program+cure+diabetes+in+weeks).
    Dr Wallach's work would suggest that stem cell research into conditions like alzheimers, parkinsons and diabetes would be wasted time and money because the causes of these diseases are not genetic but based in deficiencies of vitamins and minerals.
    I would be happy to provide more links to the work of Dr Wallach to anyone who is interested.
    Thank you for the debate.
    sincerely,
    David Collins

    ReplyDelete