If only the Bible didn’t clearly indicate that a foetus is not a person

If you’ve listened to any fundamentalists lately, you might think they’ve always held that a foetus is the same as a human being, with full human rights, and that this is what the Bible says about it.

Fred Clark points out that that’s bullshit, and until the late 1970s, non-Roman Catholic Christians regularly argued with the Vatican position on the subject:

Keep in mind that this is from a conservative evangelical seminary professor, writing in Billy Graham’s magazine for editor Harold Lindsell:

God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: “If a man kills any human life he will be put to death” (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22-24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense. … Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.

Christianity Today would not publish that article in 2012. They might not even let you write that in comments on their website.

Yes, but mainstream Christians of the 1970s were really heretics.

The Bible is the inerrant word of God, and apparently sometimes we need to change it and then pretend our new version is the inerrant word of God.

Advertisements

100 responses to “If only the Bible didn’t clearly indicate that a foetus is not a person

  1. narcoticmusing

    It’s like those really irritating and inconvenient verses like, ‘all are equal in christ jesus’ and that ‘god doesn’t see man, nor woman, nor jew nor… etc’ or ‘judge not lest the be judged’ or ‘there is no condemnation’ or ‘love thy neighbour’… so many inconvenient bits.

    fortunately i know many christians who believe and act on the inconvenient bits or else i might be a little cynical about it all 😉

  2. The interpretation of whether a foetus is a human is extremely dicey; the most relevant passages admit differing translations.

    Which makes it strange some people end up so convinced about the issue that they’ll murder doctors. Truly humans think in mysterious ways.

  3. This argument does assume that the Bible is internally consistent, which is a big call.

  4. Have you read the scripture Fred Clark puts into question? Exodus 21:22-24 says this, “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”
    In other words, if a pregnant woman is harmed and she goes into labor early, but the child is okay, the person who harmed her will be fined. If the child dies then the just penalty for the person who harmed the fetus, is death. Funny, how it says, you pay life for life. This scripture does assume the fetus inside the woman is in fact living. I guess the Bible is consistant in saying the fetus in the womb (at any stage of gestation) is a life.
    As a Christian I am well aware that some evangelical Christians can take scripture out of context, but the solution is not to react against this by doing the same. We should seek truth whether we like what we find or not. If you care to know the full scope of what the Bible actually says on this matter, check out, http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/ten-reasons-why-it-is-wrong-to-take-the-life-of-unborn-children.
    Many blessings to you on your quest for truth.

  5. Many blessings to you on your quest for truth.

    Well, to be fair, I wouldn’t be starting a “quest for truth” by digging around in an ancient book of fairytales.

    so that her children come out

    That’s a highly debatable translation. The other one – and the one more consistent with the technology of the time – talks of miscarriage.

    Here’s another reference for you – Numbers 5, in which the priest is told by God to inflict involuntary abortions:

    here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the LORD cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

    …When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry

    I believe that’s the only time abortion is explicitly mentioned in the Bible at all.

  6. As for your link… it opens with “this is not a defense of the humanity of the unborn.”

    Since that’s the main issue, it’s not a very useful link.

  7. I’ve never understood the pointless and ongoing argument over whether a foetus is a person. It’s almost as though some pro-choicers have bought into the idea that the morality of their position rests solely on the accepted definition of a word!

    Personally I think that foetuses arepeople.

    But I’m still pro-choice.

  8. narcoticmusing

    hisgracemygrowth – quoting out of context is an interesting statement you made there considering what that passage is quoted with.

    First, the passage is talking about a FIGHT that causes miscarriage. It is not talking about a medical procedure. It is not in dispute by pro-choice groups that if two men were fighting and it causes a woman to have a miscarriage, that that is reprehensible. Funnily enough, this is a specific criminal offence in Victoria (and most likely other jurisdictions, I’m too lazy to check): See the Crimes Act 1958 section 16 and (more likely in a fight b/w two people and the women gets hurt) section 17. The definition of serious injury (s15) includes causing the loss of a foetus regardless of whether there is harm to the mother). Even an abortion by someone who is not authorised is a criminal offence (s65). So you are not comparing apples and apples – you are comparing a serious crime – where a person who has chosen to carry the child has had that life stripped from them – with a person choosing to abort.

    But, if we give Freddy the benefit of the doubt and say we are talking about CONSENSUAL abortion, we really need to take the passage IN ITS CONTEXT rather than conveniently free of context.

    Let see, immediately before it is a law that says if you beat your slave with a rod, its all good as long as they don’t die. Should we stick with that rule? Note, as you pointed out so passionately that Ex 21:23 says ‘life for life’, we need to apply ‘beat = ok; seriously injury = ok” Anything other than death of the slave is a-ok This sort of compassionate attitude towards slaves is confirmed later in Ex 21:32 – (28-31 talks about what happens if a bull gores someone but 32 is great for slave owners because it means you just pay a small fine rather than face any penalty, even if this is like, normal behaviour for your bull and the penalty would have otherwise been death).

    That same chapter, you know, just so we get a feel for the context of the entire chapter, also says that if you curse your parents you should be put to death. DEATH. For cursing your parents. (Exodus 21:17). So, should we be following that rule too? Just wanting to be consistent here. Again, on the ‘life for life’ analysis, this is ‘curse for death’. So if a teen has the nerve to tell his/her dad to piss of, he/she should be put to death.

    And don’t get me started on the misogynistic bollocks in Ex 21:7.

    Nice chapter to quote from. Full of grace and mercy that one.

  9. narcoticmusing

    As for your link… it opens with “this is not a defense of the humanity of the unborn.”

    Because that scripture is not a defense of anti-abortionists killing doctors who perform abortions. That scripture speaks entirely about beating a woman and causing her to lose her child. This is COMPLETELY different.

  10. Jeremy, all of this is not really to do with religion but with politics, particularly that perversion of it that infects the USA. The Chicago Statement (1978) and the Manhattan Declaration (2009) were political statements designed by the conservatives to create a wedge with the progressives. Much of what Fred Clark blogs about has this as the background. It is all designed to create a voting bloc to include Roman Catholicism, Mormonism and evangelicalism to defeat the progressives at election time. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Truth or Justice but everything to do with The American Way

  11. I’ve never understood the pointless and ongoing argument over whether a foetus is a person.

    If a foetus were a person then I’d object to killing it, obviously.

    (Although separating it from the mother if she no longer wishes to carry it would still be justified, even if that would result in its death. Her right to bodily autonomy trumps its right to sit in her womb for nine months.)

  12. jordanrastrick

    If a foetus were a person then I’d object to killing it, obviously.

    What’s right is right, and does not change with how we define a vague concept like “person.”

    Hisgracemygrowth, as a (pro-choice) Christian I wish to thank you for putting your biblical case for your pro-life position in a civil and honest fashion in this thread. While this is obviously a hard issue to consider on either side, due to the enormity of the differences of moral opinion, it is heartening to see that we have not gone the way of America on this issue, and can debate it with one another and with non-Christians in the fashion I believe Christ would have wanted us to settle our differences.

    (FWIW, by the way, I think Jeremy’s exegesis of scripture the more likely translation to yours; I am NOT in favour of abortions except where truly needed, but given the uncertainty of the situation, I as a man say it is for women to consult their own consciences, not for me to use the power of the state to tell them one way or another how to make such a tough decision.)

  13. If a foetus were a person then I’d object to killing it, obviously.

    It doesn’t matter what you call it Lefty.

    You’re terminating a human life – arguing over whether the word “person” is an apt descriptor for that life may have legal relevance but it’s surely not significant to the morality of the act.

    Better, I think, to simply accept it for what it is and have the courage to defend it: we’d rather end millions of lives each year than endorse a society that forces women to have children against their wishes.

    That’s the reality of both your and my politics. Refusing to use the word “people” to describe the lives we’re ending doesn’t change anything.

  14. jordanrastrick

    Well, I think the semantic debate does play to intuitions people have about the idea. I don’t think anyone would propose killing a twelve year old if that were necessary to prevent a woman having a child against their will. We (where we are pro-choice) don’t ascribe the same moral weight to fetuses as to human children and adults; one way to acknowledge or describe this value judgement is to say we do not believe in the personhood of the fetus.

  15. narcoticmusing

    I disagree with your summation of the issue Mondo. It makes many assumptions (including that all of these ‘lives’ would definitely come to term); it doesn’t consider many of the realities (which contribute to why people debate when the life is a life, for example the natural abortion rate far exceeds any chosen abortion or the level of autonomy of a blastocyst).

    I’d also argue that using the word people is just as strategic as not using it – it attempts to personalise / be emotive rather than give actual reasons.

    I agree with Lefty’s summation that it is a balancing of rights and a woman has more autonomy and rights over her own body than a bunch of cells that may or may not come to term anyway.

  16. Splatterbottom

    What balancing of rights, Narcotic? There is no balance in Jeremy’s position.

    A balanced position would be to allow the baby to be born if it was capable of surviving. That balances the rights of the mother not to have to carry the baby any longer and the right of the baby to live.

    A totally crazy murderous position would be to adopt the one Obama took as a state senator which is to allow a baby which survived abortion to be killed.

    Choose Life.

  17. I don’t think anyone would propose killing a twelve year old if that were necessary to prevent a woman having a child against their will.

    Huh? When would killing a 12 year old ever be an effective way of preventing a woman from being forced to carry and give birth to a baby? That’s a weird example Jordan.

    it is a balancing of rights and a woman has more autonomy and rights over her own body than a bunch of cells that may or may not come to term anyway

    Well that’s effectively what I’m saying Narc. Our society has (correctly in my view) chosen to prioritise a woman’s right to control her own body over a foetus’s right to be born.

    We didn’t have to make that choice – we could have prioritised the foetus’s rights but we didn’t.

  18. jordanrastrick

    I should have been clearer. Its a thought experiment. If it turned out (against all the scientific odds) that killing 12 year olds could in some way prevent women from carrying unwanted pregnancies to term, I think few if any people would consider that moral – the 12 year old’s right to life takes precedence. A fetus’ life, on the other hand, does not; well, to me, an zygote or an embryo certainly doesn’t (I don’t weigh fertilised human eggs as being particularly more morally significant than unfertilised eggs) and then it starts getting greyer the more development takes place….. which is precisely why I defer the question of abortion to the judgement of the mother’s conscience, at least within the kinds of bound Roe vs Wade established in America.

  19. Splatterbottom

    Apparently babies are not even people after they are born. While there might be a case for after-birth abortions for morally defective ethicists, this is generally a very bad idea. Now that “progressives” have given up on the idea of eugenics, this cause will no doubt be taken up with alacrity. And given the influence of idiots like Singer on the Greens I suspect this will soon be party policy. It fits right in with their “humans are evil” playbook.

  20. Stop being an arse SB.

    No progressive will take up this ’cause’, nor will it ever be party policy.

    Argument by strawman is boring and pathetic.

  21. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, Peter Singer, who was influential in Greens circles and who co-authored (with Bob Brown) “The Greens” in 1996, certainly supports infanticide. Further, the logic of the authors is valid, given their premise. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the idea doesn’t find favour with other influential Greens.

  22. returnedman

    I get extremely worried when a supposedly more intelligent paper like the SMH shows such a staggering lack of understanding of the philosophical approach that appears to be reflected in wider society. What would Socrates have made of this?

    Contrast this with the at-times obscene comments by members of the current list of Republican contenders that are somehow excused because they are a reflection of the speaker’s religious POV.

    BTW “infanticide” is a poor term for what is being described.

  23. Splatterbottom

    RM: “BTW “infanticide” is a poor term for what is being described.”

    OK. Murder then?

    It is hard to imagine anything a Republican might say that is as depraved as this proposal.

  24. Why is killing a child one day after its birth (currently illegal) less morally reprehensible than killing a child one day before its birth (currently legal)?

    Surely the “personhood” approach to abortion morality is exposed as insipid by this study?

  25. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Why is killing a child one day after its birth (currently illegal) less morally reprehensible than killing a child one day before its birth (currently legal)?”

    It’s not. You are perfectly correct in your observation.

  26. returnedman

    It is hard to imagine anything a Republican might say that is as depraved as this proposal …

    … if your mindset is as equally twisted as a Republican’s is.

  27. returnedman

    killing a child one day before its birth

    (currently, theoretically impossible)

  28. Splatterbottom

    Yep RM, I must be a twisted Republican as I don’t believe in murdering babies.

  29. returnedman

    **yawns**

    Sorry, not “murder”. Moving on …

  30. narcoticmusing

    In what jurisdictions is it legal to abort a child one day before it is born?

    Abortion was only decriminalised in 2008 (note, this only means it is not a crime, it is however a heavily restricted and regulated practice). The Abortion statute (the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008) only allows medical practicioners to perform abortions on women less than 24 weeks pregnant. Greater than that and a whole raft of other prohibitions kick in. Most other jurisdictions still criminalise or prohibit in some way abortion.

    The irony here is that when the Vic LRC and the Dept of Health were looking at abortion, they surveyed a stupid amount of civilians. You know what they found? Overwhelmingly, people thought it was already legal (this was the case irregardless of the view of it being right/wrong – ie even those that disagreed thought it was legal). The law was updated to be consistent with community views.

    What you are speaking of (killing the child when born), is illegal and is not in the current scope of debate by pro-life advocates, regardless of a few people with extreme views (who the SMH deliberately highlight in order to purposefully mislead and polarise people). Ergo, SB, you fell for the SMH’s ploy.

  31. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, in practical terms abortions were legal and readily available in NSW and Victoria after activist judges decided they should be in Menhennitt and Levine.

    The pro-killing lobby certainly campaigns for unrestricted abortions until the moment of birth. Obama even voted for legislation sanctioning the killing of babies that survived abortion. It is not surprising that “philosophers” favour after-birth abortions because that is the logical extension of the pro-killing argument.

    It is a strange world indeed where animals have more rights than unborn babies.

  32. currently, theoretically impossible

    That is a bloody good point RM! But, logical inconsistency aside, I think it’s still interesting to ask the question of when a baby becomes something that our society should protect as a human being.

    Narc – that’s definitely new information for me. I thought abortion had been legal for a long time, certainly longer than four years, and I don’t know much at all about the restrictions on late-term abortions.

    It seems I’ll need to do more research if I am to hold forth anything close to an informed position on this topic.

  33. narcoticmusing

    SB, your jibe at ‘activist’ judges aside (i’m not sure if you are for or against, or if it just depends on if they are being activist in favour of something you agree with or not) those two cases show a distinct situation where judges were weighing up the concept that the human body is inviolate – battery is even the slightest touch. How can we have such inconsistency where we have a society that condemns females to not have any control over their fate.

    A man can have sex with a woman and walk away, he has no obligation to assist her unless she can prove he is the father (and please don’t show the ONE case that the media made a show over of a father who wasn’t the father – ONE exception does not suddenly make out some ‘oh poor men’ case against the limitless number of women left high and dry).

    Until we have a system that is even remotely equal – right down to cultural aspects (ie a man can fuck as many people as he wants and he’s a hero, a woman sleeps with 2 people and she’s a slut – or, if she just disagrees with a man she can be called a slut too apparently).

    The reality is that the man carries no risk. The woman carries all the risk, including her own life. At any point, the man can opt out. Why can’t the woman?

  34. narcoticmusing

    Narc – that’s definitely new information for me. I thought abortion had been legal for a long time, certainly longer than four years, and I don’t know much at all about the restrictions on late-term abortions.

    Indeed, that is what the Law Reform Commission said – everyone thought that. And it wasn’t “effectively” legal as SB distorts. There were certain situations where there might be capacity to perform an abortion. The issue with those cases is, if the condition wasn’t met but at the time with the knowledge they had it was, should we now imprison everyone? It is a similar dilemma with suicide – when it was a criminal act (and it only very recently was decriminalised) was it really in the best interests of the party who just tried to kill themselves to send them to jail? Really? Of course not. We want to discourage suicide, but that doesn’t mean imprisonment is the answer.

    SB, you act as if abortion is some light hearted decision a woman makes over a coffee. It is an extreme situation, no woman wants to be in that spot. No woman makes the decision lightly. It is a serious surgical procedure and – do you go into an invasive surgical procedure lightly? Especially when you know there might be another way? Of course not. It belittles woman and treats them as if they are too stupid or as if they are evil. Next thing you’ll use the ‘rule of thumb’ huh.

  35. Splatterbottom

    “SB, you act as if abortion is some light hearted decision a woman makes over a coffee.”

    Don’t be an offensive turd.

  36. narcoticmusing

    Then why compare the decision a woman makes to these idiots writing an academic paper as if the consideration for the woman is the same in each case?

  37. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “Then why compare the decision a woman makes to these idiots writing an academic paper as if the consideration for the woman is the same in each case?”

    I didn’t do that, did I? Get your facts straight before you start lecturing me with feminist cant.

  38. Interesting to note, all those in favour of abortion are already born, the side effects of a abortion, it always proves fatal to the child.

  39. Don’t be an offensive turd.

    Nothing offensive about referring to people who support women’s right to abortion as the “pro-killing lobby” then, hey?

  40. Splatterbottom

    Not at all, Buns. It was not offensive to Narcotic as it wasn’t directed at Narcotic at all. I didn’t say something like “Narcotic, you act like abortion is a trivial matter”.

    Secondly, It is an apt description of those who want to be able to kill babies after they are born. Like Obama.

  41. Incredibly lame weaselling on your part, SB. Your comment about the “pro-killing lobby” is directed at everyone who supports abortion, which includes narcotic as his/her comments in this thread clearly show.

    And your comment that Obama wants to kill babies is just inherently silly. If you don’t genuinely believe Obama wants to kill babies, don’t troll. And if you do, you’re delusional. Really immature stuff for a man pushing 60.

  42. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Incredibly lame weaselling on your part, SB. Your comment about the “pro-killing lobby” is directed at everyone who supports abortion, which includes narcotic as his/her comments in this thread clearly show.”

    It’s not your ability to reason that is in question here, so much as your ability to read. I clearly described what I meant by that term i.e. proponents of unrestricted abortions. Narcotic was speaking about restricted abortions. But you are a twisted hate-filled troll and, as such, totally impervious to logic.

    And the fact is that Obama voted for legislation to allow babies who survived abortions to be killed. How is that not supporting the killing of babies, Mr Delusional?

  43. But you are a twisted hate-filled troll

    Projection. It’s what to expect from right-wingers such as yourself.

  44. And the fact is that Obama voted for legislation to allow babies who survived abortions to be killed

    I don’t believe this to be true. Let us know where you are getting this from. There was legislation which expressly authorised the deliberate killing of live infants, and Obama voted in favour of it. That is your claim. Please give us a cite for this.

  45. And the fact is that Obama voted for legislation to allow babies who survived abortions to be killed. How is that not supporting the killing of babies, Mr Delusional?

    The same way voting for legislation allowing assisted suicide wouldn’t be the same thing as supporting murder.

  46. returnedman

    Hang on, what did the original legislation say, then? That foetuses who survived abortions MUST BE allowed to live?

    Wow, I’d love to meet someone who survived that. They must live such healthy, meaningful lives after such an experience.

  47. Wow, I’d love to meet someone who survived that. They must live such healthy, meaningful lives after such an experience.

    That’s just standard Right-wing fundie thinking. “Life” is rare, precious and to be protected at all costs until it exits the vagina. After that it’s unimportant and expendable.

  48. Splatterbottom

    Buns: :I don’t believe this to be true.”

    You are right. But the reality is just as bad. What he did is oppose a “Born Alive” amendment which would have obliged doctors to provide assistance to a child born alive following an abortion procedure. Usually in such cases the baby is “shelved” and left to die. Obama was the only Senator who spoke against the bill. He didn’t believe that a baby born as part of an abortion procedure was entitled to constitutional protection.

    DrSmithy: “The same way voting for legislation allowing assisted suicide wouldn’t be the same thing as supporting murder.”

    Not really. Allowing doctors to kill people for profit is bad enough, but at least the victim in that case consents.

    RM: “Wow, I’d love to meet someone who survived that. They must live such healthy, meaningful lives after such an experience.”

    Mocking people with disabilities, or wishing them dead, is not what I expected from you RM.

  49. Mocking people with disabilities, or wishing them dead, is not what I expected from you RM.
    Disingenuity without a hint of shame or irony, however, is exactly what I expect from you – and you continue to deliver it in spades.

  50. narcoticmusing

    Mocking people with disabilities, or wishing them dead, is not what I expected from you RM.

    Oh, please you know that is not what RM was doing. The reality is that the conservative anti-aborition advocation (and the ‘revive’ aborted foetus scenario) also advocate for no/reduced welfare, no services, limited redistribution of wealth etc. So in their view, the aborted foetus has the right to be revived in a hospital/clinic, but after that it is worthless.

    About the only way a woman could have any rights over her own body in a conservative’s brain is if she incorporated herself.

  51. Wow a lot of projection going on here. Thankfully there are commenters who “get” nuance and therefore understood the point I was making.

    I’m pretty sure there are extreme right-wing Republicans who are actually in favour of abortion. That is, it’s OK to abort if it’s discovered that the foetus will probably turn out gay.

  52. Splatterbottom

    I don’t believe that RM would be deliberately nasty, but what does this mean, exactly:

    “Wow, I’d love to meet someone who survived that. They must live such healthy, meaningful lives after such an experience.”

    Narcotic: “About the only way a woman could have any rights over her own body in a conservative’s brain is if she incorporated herself.”

    Stereotype, slime and slam seems to be your MO lately. It is not nice and it is certainly not logical.

    We are talking about a situation where the baby has been born alive and is no longer dependent on its mother to survive. It should not be just “shelved”. Do you really think at that stage it is about a woman’s control over her own body?

  53. You are right. But the reality is just as bad. What he did is oppose a “Born Alive” amendment which would have obliged doctors to provide assistance to a child born alive following an abortion procedure. Usually in such cases the baby is “shelved” and left to die. Obama was the only Senator who spoke against the bill. He didn’t believe that a baby born as part of an abortion procedure was entitled to constitutional protection.

    Right, so you’re a liar. And you called me delusional for believing something that you knew wasn’t true, namely, that Obama voted in favour of legislation that allowed babies to be killed. It’s two lies in one: he didn’t vote in favour, and the legislation does not allow babies to be “killed”. And you knew this all along.

    And as you must know if you’ve read the link you gave, the reason Obama did not support the legislation was that it purported to give constitutional rights to foetuses that haven’t gone to full term, which is at best questionable as a matter of law. That was the reason he expressly gave in his comments in that pdf to which you linked. Whereas you dishonestly said above that he “wants to kill babies”.

    So to recap: you lied – as you now admit – and made some intentionally very offensive claims in the process. The reality wasn’t anywhere near as bad as your lie. If it was, you would’ve just gone with the reality and not had to troll us with bullsh*t.

  54. And he didn’t “oppose” anything. More lies.

  55. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Right, so you’re a liar.”

    Fuck off.

  56. The truth hurts, huh? You sound hate-filled.

  57. Splatterbottom

    Nah Buns, you’re just projecting. I could call you a liar for accusing me of saying that Obama “wants to kill babies” because I did not say those words which you put in quotation marks and attributed to me. But why bother?

  58. That’s the best you’ve got? Here are your actual words:

    Secondly, It is an apt description of those who want to be able to kill babies after they are born. Like Obama.

  59. Splatterbottom

    That’s precisely my point Buns. You lied. I did not say the phrase you claimed I did.

  60. returnedman

    What? Did someone kill Obama after he was born?

  61. narcoticmusing

    We are talking about a situation where the baby has been born alive and is no longer dependent on its mother to survive.

    Nope, I was responding to a blog post. You brought up that example to (I presume due to you attributing it to a group) derail reasonable discusssion in the same way the Hun brought it up.

    Stereotype, slime and slam seems to be your MO lately.
    Maybe sometimes, reason seems lost.

    You raised this ridiculous example, designed to generate hysteria. It is NOT representative of the pro-choice position in ANY way shape or form. You know this, and yet you are happy to generalised/stereotype it across an entire group (say, all the ‘Greens’ supports or pro-baby-murdering groups).

    Then you have the call to say I stereotype and slime? What was it you called me? A turd? Not a slime at all huh?

    No, you never do that, oh no. No you just directly insult people and pretend that a reasonable inference from what you’ve said is that person lying about what you’ve said. If you don’t like how something was interpreted, perhaps explain what you meant to mean. Have I EVER been so unreasonable as to not change my mind if a convincing argument is presented, or to apologise if I have misinterpreted something when the correct interpretation is provided? Really, SB – have i witheld apologies when I’ve misinterpreted something? Instead, rather than explaining perhaps why the reasonable inference I made from your statement was wrong, you directly insult me.

    Another example:
    “Secondly, It is an apt description of those who want to be able to kill babies after they are born. Like Obama.”

    Suddenly doesn’t mean:
    Obama is an example of a person who wants to be able to kill babies after they are born.

    Explain to me how this is Buns lying for drawing this conclusion. I do not understand how these aren’t the same thing.

  62. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “Nope, I was responding to a blog post.”

    That is one way of avoiding an answer to the question I asked.

    Your original comment came in the middle of a discussion of, and in response to, comments about after birth abortions. I accept that you may have been thinking of the broader issue when you made your sarcastic and stereotyping comment, but it was still a slimy thing to say.

    “You brought up that example to (I presume due to you attributing it to a group) derail reasonable discusssion in the same way the Hun brought it up.”

    Don’t presume. I certainly hope you are right that this issue will gain no traction with pro-choice groups. So far they have not really spoken out loudly against it.

    “You raised this ridiculous example, designed to generate hysteria. It is NOT representative of the pro-choice position in ANY way shape or form. You know this, and yet you are happy to generalised/stereotype it across an entire group (say, all the ‘Greens’ supports or pro-baby-murdering groups).”

    I don’t “know” that. I do know that there is organised opposition to legislation designed to stop the “shelving of live babies”. As you should know, Singer supports infanticide and Singer is a philosopher with some respect in Greens circles, having co-authored a book called “The Greens” with Bob Brown. It is not unreasonable to think that Singer’s philosophy may be influence the Greens or that they might adopt a policy he approves of, especially now other Australian philosophers support “after birth abortions”.

    “What was it you called me? A turd?”

    You said: “SB, you act as if abortion is some light hearted decision a woman makes over a coffee.”

    I find that highly offensive, especially since you had no basis for making that statement. I find it really, really offensive. My reply “Don’t be an offensive turd” may have been slightly over the top, but it was not nearly as offensive as your comment which provoked it.

    It is true that you have apologised in the past (as have I) and that you are generally a reasonable commenter. Sometimes I think we are destined always to misunderstand each other. But that comment you made was by far the most offensive thing you have said to me.

    “Explain to me how this is Buns lying for drawing this conclusion.”

    Buns’ approach to discussion is equivalent to a sliding studs-up tackle in football. He is more interested in abuse than in engaging in reasoned discussion. When I admitted that I had got the facts wrong (but not so as to negate the substance of my claim) he called me a liar. The approach he took was to conclude I was a liar even where I made an honest mistake of recollection and muddled the facts slightly. If that is his approach, then it should be applied to him. He attributed a direct quote to me but he muddled his facts. I didn’t say those words. By his own definition he is a liar, even though we both know there was no lying involved in either case. I was trying to show him by example the fallacy of his approach.

  63. returnedman

    Guys, I don’t want to step in where Jeremy would probably prefer to be intervening, but I think the conversation here has gone beyond what could be called “useful”.

    SB is obviously more emotionally connected to this issue than in other situations, where he generally shows himself as being more level-headed and engaged in the discussion. Without wanting to be condescending, I don’t think it’s fair to keep provoking him.

    The fact that he hasn’t used a scatalogical joke in this thread shows me that it’s hard for him to keep a cool head on this one. (I really intend for that to be taken in good humour!)

    If this discussion were in person and face-to-face, I think all parties would have thrown up their hands and walked away by now. Perhaps that’s what we should also do in the online version.

    Agreed? Friends? Shake hands?

  64. What is it with the Right and false equivalencies?

    You said that it was an “apt description” of Obama that he “want[s] to be able to kill babies”. I quoted you as saying Obama “wants to kill babies”. There is no difference in substance between these two propositions. By pretending otherwise, you are only embarrassing yourself further.

    By contrast, your claims about Obama weren’t true and you knew it at the time you made them. It is not abuse to call you a liar in those circumstances; someone who engages in lying is a liar, as a matter of fact. You said Obama voted for legislation which allowed babies surviving abortions to be killed. This was two lies in one, as I said earlier: the legislation did not provide for babies to be “killed”, and Obama never voted for the legislation.

    Buns’ approach to discussion is equivalent to a sliding studs-up tackle in football. He is more interested in abuse than in engaging in reasoned discussion.

    That’s rich, considering the abuse you’ve dished out yourself in this thread. You told me to “fuck off”, remember? And you called narcoticmusing a “turd”. Perhaps you should hold yourself to the same standards you desire of others, lest you be seen as a hypocrite.

    Similarly:

    You said: “SB, you act as if abortion is some light hearted decision a woman makes over a coffee.”

    I find that highly offensive, especially since you had no basis for making that statement. I find it really, really offensive. My reply “Don’t be an offensive turd” may have been slightly over the top, but it was not nearly as offensive as your comment which provoked it.

    After you imply that Obama is a member of the “pro-killing lobby” and assert that he wants the ability to kill babies, claims you knew to be false at the time you made them and which are about as gross a sliming as could be imaginable, it’s hard to take you seriously when you accuse others of making statements that are “really, really offensive” and feign outrage. I think people reasonably entitled to assume from the really, really offensive things that you have slightly thicker skin than that. Again, it is hypocrisy to denigrate others for doing the exact same thing you yourself do regularly here.

  65. narcoticmusing

    If it will assist, SB, I will explain where I drew the inference from your words that made me conclude you did not take the decision a woman makes in these predicaments seriously.

    First. This thread was about a child before birth and the contradiction of the ‘pro-life’ movement who base their arguement on scriptures. It suggests that they should not pick and choose which scriptures to obey or else find another rationale.

    2nd. You equated the decision to abort with the decision to kill after birth.
    This was done by first even raising the idea as if it were some tie in to this blog post (which i disagree with – it may be a debatable topic in its own right but it is not relevant to pro-choice). You hi-jacked that, i have been trying to bring the dicussion back to the actual topic. Rather than consider that, you insult me. Then you say I am the one preaching slime. I don’t appreciate that at all – I tried reason, you ignored it and gave only distorted hysteria. So I tried sarcasm and for that I get insulted again, despite that you have resorted to ‘spice’ in almost every response. But I suppose if you don’t believe people should have a choice over their own body, then perhaps I shouldn’t have a choice to change my tone or approach huh?

    Then there was this:
    Mondo: “Why is killing a child one day after its birth (currently illegal) less morally reprehensible than killing a child one day before its birth (currently legal)?”
    SB: It’s not. You are perfectly correct in your observation.

    Again, you equate these decisions as one and the same. So obviously by this, any mother who aborts is the same a the ‘crazy murderous’ person who kills a newborn infant out of inconvenience. It was you that linked these two concepts and said it is little wonder philosophers would see these as one and the same, ergo inconvenience is a rationale to kill babies. This can infer you think that the “pro-killing” crowd (defined as those that are pro choice or who choose to abort) consider the decision to kill a child is haphazard and/or light, because it need not have any significant weight.

    And: You seem to not grasp the pro-choice argument, which is why you use terms like “pro-killing” and “crazy murderous position”.

    Then, you say things like this: Secondly, It is an apt description of those who want to be able to kill babies after they are born. Like Obama. And when someone questions you on it you simply insult them and don’t address that a reasonable interpretation of that is you are saying Obama wants to be able to kill babies after they are born.

    Lastly, You have repeatedly tried to use one nutcase, Singer, as if he were representative of a party who have distanced themselves from him and for some time.

    I hope this explains where I drew such inferences from. I do not take what you say in isolation but as a whole, one thing in context with the next. Unlike you, I do not set out to offend. I was legitimately distressed by the inference, that i believe could be reasonably drawn, from the sum of your arguments. I apologise for getting it wrong, but I still have not had a reasonable explanation from you beyond insults – I think I deserve more. I put forth reasonsed argument.

  66. assume from the really, really offensive things that you post here

  67. Gah. That last post applies to an earlier one currently awaiting moderation.

  68. Splatterbottom

    Buns, Obama opposed legislation designed to require medical assistance for babies that survived abortion. As opposed to “shelving” them. He opposed that legislation on the basis that those babies should not have constitutional protection. He thought that might somehow undermine Roe v Wade. When amendments were put forward to address this he voted against them in committee (of which he was chair).

    Now, I mistakenly said that Obama voted in favour of legislation allowing the babies to be killed whereas he opposed legislation to prevent babies being left to die. Not much of a difference at all.

    “By contrast, your claims about Obama weren’t true and you knew it at the time you made them.”

    That is just not true. I believed I was making an accurate statement and, in any event, I wasn’t far off the mark at all.

    “You told me to “fuck off”, remember?”

    You called me a liar, even after I admitted the error I made and corrected the facts. What reply did you want? A kiss?

  69. Hmmm my comments not getting through …

  70. Personally my support of abortion is based entirely on the premise that a woman should have complete autonomy over her own body, and so the issue of live abortions is a tricky one for me.

    Because once the baby is out of the woman’s body then I can’t think of a single compelling reason not to try to save its life.

    Where it gets even tricker for me is the knowledge that, as technology advances, our ability to “save” foetuses may well progress to the point where we can save them at 5 months, or maybe even 1 month.

    How will we then view the issue? Is it in our interests as a society to save these babies and if so, what do we do with them?

  71. You called me a liar, even after I admitted the error I made and corrected the facts. What reply did you want? A kiss?

    Don’t pretend not to understand my point. Which is that it is hyopcritical of you to say that I’m more interested in abuse than reasoned discussion, when most of the abuse in this thread has come from you. You are the most abusive person here.

  72. narcoticmusing

    RM – I’m in the same boat.
    I posted at about 11am – still no sign of it and I really haven’t the energy to attempt to re-engage – it was a reasonably long post where I explained the rationale for inferences I made from the whole of SB’s comments – which I found that when read together were really quite alarming. I accept that SB may not have intended that inference, but he’s yet to provide a differing explanation beyond insulting me. I don’t see why I should continue to engage.

  73. narcoticmusing

    Mondo – that is exactly right. Hence, the inference of SB not respecting the decision women make when he lumps them with these stupid ideas of terminating a baby post-birth as if it is the same thing (recall he said it was the same thing).

  74. narcoticmusing

    Mondo – I’d also add that if we had legislation that said anyone who supports ‘saving’ a live aborted foetus should have to be personally responsible for them, I dare say the room would get pretty fucking quiet pretty fucking quickly.

  75. I don’t know about that Narc – I think there would be more people than you think who would happily adopt kids that came from an abortion background. My understanding is that there are more parents out there looking to adopt than there are babies ready for adoption.

    Re SB – well I have little to say other than that he’s reaping what he sowed. Characterising late-term abortion advocates as people who want to kill babies was a deliberate provocation.

  76. returnedman

    Reposted from this morning – somehow didn’t get through

    Guys, I don’t want to step in where Jeremy would probably prefer to be intervening, but I think the conversation here has gone beyond what could be called “useful”.

    SB is obviously more emotionally connected to this issue than in other situations, where he generally shows himself as being more level-headed and engaged in the discussion. Without wanting to be condescending, I don’t think it’s fair to keep provoking him.

    The fact that he hasn’t used a scatalogical joke in this thread shows me that it’s hard for him to keep a cool head on this one. (I really intend for that to be taken in good humour!)

    If this discussion were in person and face-to-face, I think all parties would have thrown up their hands and walked away by now. Perhaps that’s what we should also do in the online version.

    Agreed? Friends? Shake hands?

  77. narcoticmusing

    The point being Mondo that the ‘pro-life’ advocates are also the same group that increase the reasons a person might have an abortion due to the lack of any support post birth.

  78. narcoticmusing

    I should clarify that was a mass generalisation based on voting patterns etc, not based on views expressed here.

  79. Splatterbottom

    Buns, the only personal insults I’ve used here have been in response to personal insults directed at me. You started it and then blamed me for responding. Nice.

    Narcotic: “I accept that SB may not have intended that inference, but he’s yet to provide a differing explanation beyond insulting me. I don’t see why I should continue to engage.”

    I don’t know which bit to explain. I made no statement about the nature of the decision women make in the case of abortion. You would have had to infer it from something I said, but I can’t work out what that was.

    Mondo: “Characterising late-term abortion advocates as people who want to kill babies was a deliberate provocation.”

    Your interpolation of the word “babies” is provocative as it misdescribes what I said. I have used “babies” in this thread to refer to babies who have survived abortion.

    I referred to late-term abortion advocates as the pro-killing lobby. Certainly they want to allow the killing of something which is alive and which is human and which is more than a mere clump of cells and which is no longer dependent on its mother in that it could survive quite well outside the womb if it wasn’t killed as part of the abortion procedure. You might see this as provocative whereas I see it as making a legitimate point that is glossed over with the “pro-choice” euphamism.

  80. Splatterbottom

    RM: “Agreed? Friends? Shake hands?”

    Agreed, RM.

  81. Buns, the only personal insults I’ve used here have been in response to personal insults directed at me. You started it and then blamed me for responding. Nice.

    I called you a liar, after you lied. That’s not abuse so much as an observation of fact. It would only be an insult if you hadn’t lied. But you admitted it.

    And I couldn’t care less if you told me to “fuck off”. I’m just pointing out your gross double standard in, on the one hand, objecting to abuse, and on the other, freely engaging in it. Your perception of who started makes no difference to this simple point. Again, stop pretending not to understand.

  82. Splatterbottom

    Buns, I didn’t lie. I admitted to have been mistaken, which is in fact the case.

  83. I have used “babies” in this thread to refer to babies who have survived abortion.

    It’s not the word “babies” that’s provocative SB – it’s your use of the word “want”, as in: “He wants to kill babies”.

    Nobody in the pro-choice camp “wants” to kill babies mate, nor are we “pro-killing”. We accept the killing of babies as an unfortunate outcome that is necessary in order to protect a woman’s right to choose.

  84. narcoticmusing

    Well said, Mondo. There are a lot of things we don’t necessarily like doing in a democracy, but we balance rights. Rights are qualified. For example, free speech is qualified by things such as defamation and contempt. Battery is qualified by normal exigencies of life and consent – even the slightest touch is a battery but if it is just someone passing you on the train it isn’t battery. Or if you consent, say to your lover’s kiss, it is not a battery. In a similar way, we qualify the right of the foetus to impose itself on the mother, when she often has no choice as to its initial conception. Indeed, even if she did, an initial wrong does not suddenly invalidate any other right where consent might be required.

    We change these standards as we increase the value of certain rights. Women were once property, so there was the old ‘rule of thumb’ (this utterly offensive rule is still used as a common saying despite what it refers to); rape was a property offence against the father/husband (not the wife/daughter) and was qualified by her chastity. Rape within marriage was a-ok and even as recently as the late ’90s we had judges saying it was ok to ‘rough up’ your wife to procure sex.

    As we slowly grow out of these archaic ideas and realise it isn’t for men to make decisions about the imposition on a woman. We qualify the right of a man to touch a woman, despite it once being his right to do with her as he will. Similarly, we qualify the right of a foetus, that it cannot abide without her consent. We of course start with the assumption she consents in this scenario but just as there is an implied licence to walk up to someone’s doorbell, that licence can be revoked.

    Who here has the right to demand that a woman should have such a physical imposition without fundamentally endorsing removing her rights from any imposition. Why not just bring back the rule of thumb?

  85. Splatterbottom

    Nondo: “It’s not the word “babies” that’s provocative SB – it’s your use of the word “want”, as in: “He wants to kill babies”.”

    I used that language to describe those who are in favour of after birth abortions or those who refuse to support legislation banning the “shelving” of babies who survive abortion. In either case it is apt. By that stage it is not a matter of the mother’s “choice”.

  86. So to clarify, someone who doesn’t support preservation of, say, a one-month foetus that survives abortion is a person who “wants to kill babies”? A one-month foetus isn’t a “baby”. And not working to preserve a life is not the same as killing. Not at all. You know this, of course, but choose to pretend they’re the same so as to smear those who disagree with you as baby killers. That’s dishonest and disgusting.

  87. I can really sympathise with both sides of the debate (here, and in general) – there’s a good reason this topic sparks strong emotional and political reactions.

    I can’t ascribe any more moral rights to an ova in the second after it is fertilised than in the second before. It makes no sense to me.

    And on the other hand, I do ascribe moral rights to a child.

    My intuition wants there to be a “line in the sand”, some point before which there is no person, and after which there is a person – so that I can make clear judgements based on weighing up people’s rights.

    But the reality is – there is no such point. We develop gradually from a sperm and egg into a fully realised human being; it is a continuous process, and every attempt at delimiting such a point is going to be at least somewhat arbitrary.

    So my moral judgement, if it is to make sense, must be as messy and continuous as reality demands of it. This is why I continue to advocate a pro-choice position, at least for the earlier stages in pregnancy; not because I think all of the pro-life camp is clearly wrong about how we should value foetuses, but because, in the end, who am I to tell a woman that I can judge such a difficulty question better than her? It is her body, and if she chooses to keep the pregnancy, it will be her baby; her conscience on the matter must take primacy over my own.

    I DO think its really unfortunate how bitter this debate has come in the Western world; and I wish more pro-choice and pro-life advocates both could be as graceful and dignified as hisgracemygrowth (although I can understand Splatterbottom reacting strongly, especially in the context of everyone else piling on; kudos to RM for interjecting a bit of civility back into the thread.)

  88. I DO think its really unfortunate how bitter this debate has come in the Western world;

    It’s bitter because both sides have a lot at stake. For insecure men it’s one of their few remaining way to control women and for women it’s a serious matter of health and a nearly as serious matter of life quality.

    To try and suggest, however, that the “bitterness” is sourced from anywhere except the anti-abortionists, however, would be laughably absurd.

    The simple fact is the vast, vast majority (high 90%s) of abortions are carried out in the first trimester (ie: pretty much as soon as the woman finds out she’s pregnant, plus some decision time) , long before any possibility of foetal survival. Of the few remaining, the vast majority are due to either significant problems with the baby or risk to the mother. This is why – as seen above – anti-abortionists generally resort to disingenuous, if not outright deceitful and sensationalist, methods and rhetoric to formulate anything remotely resembling an argument. The facts do not even vaguely represent the picture they desperately want (and try at nearly every turn) to paint, that abortion is a an orgy of “killing babies” gleefully undertaken by irresponsible, promiscuous, unwed women.

  89. To try and suggest, however, that the “bitterness” is sourced from anywhere except the anti-abortionists, however, would be laughably absurd.

    Ugh, proofreading fail. Strike one of the “however”s.

  90. A man can have sex with a woman and walk away, he has no obligation to assist her unless she can prove he is the father (and please don’t show the ONE case that the media made a show over of a father who wasn’t the father – ONE exception does not suddenly make out some ‘oh poor men’ case against the limitless number of women left high and dry).

    Actually, there’s a non-trivial percentage of men who are not the father of the children they think are theirs. It’s something like 5%, from memory, and higher amongst men who are paying child support.

    The reality is that the man carries no risk. The woman carries all the risk, including her own life. At any point, the man can opt out. Why can’t the woman?

    The man absolutely carries risk. Not medical, of course, but financial, and it’s not insignificant. It’s not going to be hard for the average woman to track down who the father is, and I’ve little doubt the law would be on their side, as it usually is in any situation to do with children.

    Indeed, one of the weaknesses in the current system is the difficulty for a man to genuinely “walk away” from a conception he doesn’t want. *Comparatively speaking*, for a woman it’s pretty simple.

  91. narcoticmusing

    Indeed, one of the weaknesses in the current system is the difficulty for a man to genuinely “walk away” from a conception he doesn’t want. *Comparatively speaking*, for a woman it’s pretty simple.

    That could quite possibly be the most repugnant thing anyone has ever said on this forum. You are suggesting that the decision to abort is comparatively easy compared to bearing the financial burden of something that you have more control over than the woman (condoms are more effective as contraceptives than anything a woman can use and many women can’t use contraceptives due to the side effects).

    I’ve little doubt the law would be on their side, as it usually is in any situation to do with children.

    Your sexist colours are showing Smithy. I’ve been involved in the family court and seen them again and again deny paternity tests. Where is your evidence of this beyond sexist sensationalist bullshit.

  92. You are suggesting that the decision to abort is comparatively easy compared to bearing the financial burden of something that you have more control over than the woman (condoms are more effective as contraceptives than anything a woman can use and many women can’t use contraceptives due to the side effects).

    No, I’m really not. I’m saying that if the emotional decision of whether or not to proceed with a confirmed pregnancy is assumed to be equally difficult for both parties, the _practical_ ability to opt out of the whole subsequent “raising of the child” thing is easier for a woman.

    The contraceptive options for women are more effective in actual real-life use (>99% in theory, same as condoms), because they don’t require the man to remember to tarp up. I’ve never met a woman in my life who would use condoms as their only contraceptive measure, and most of them laugh at the very idea (though the same women are happy to rely completely on the pill or and IUD once the STI risk is minimised).

    It might shatter your preconceptions, but there are plenty of women out there for whom abortion is an easy choice. I personally know two who had made appointments for one within hours of finding out they were pregnant. (These were women who had decided by 20 they weren’t ever going to have children.)

    Which is not to say it’s easy for everyone (or even more than a minority), but this fantasy that every woman agonises over abortion is patently false.

    I’ve been involved in the family court and seen them again and again deny paternity tests.

    You can’t be too involved with the family court if you think they don’t have a massive bias towards women when it comes to children and custody. Of the half dozen or so blokes I know who have had this misfortune of going through the system in some way, only one has had an outcome he’s satisfied (I wouldn’t dare to use the word “happy”) with, and that was after the better part of a decade and tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars fighting with his poisonous ex-wife for access to his children, at least one of which is almost certainly not his biological child.

  93. narcoticmusing

    I’m sure of the ‘half dozen or so blokes’ you’ve known who have gone through the ‘system’ have been completely truthful and not at all biased in their representation of the situation. [scoff scoff]

    A harsh reality for you – The reality is that most men aren’t willing to take majority custody but then want to dodge the financial obligations too. Men are also over-represented as perpetrators of abuse.

    Contraception for women being ‘more effectively’ simply because it means that men don’t have to ‘suit up’ is exactly the point I was making – men have full control of this situation but a minor inconvenience for them is apparently more important than the risk of a significant procedure for the woman and/or a child.

  94. narcoticmusing

    Smithy – read some of the cases. They don’t have a ‘massive’ bias towards women. Just read some of the judgments before making such massive assumptions. That women get custody in most situations is NOT indicative of bias. Outcomes do not translate into the reasoning used.

  95. I keep my Bible on the top shelf along side Andrew Bolt’s book, Still Not Sorry,

  96. I’m sure of the ‘half dozen or so blokes’ you’ve known who have gone through the ‘system’ have been completely truthful and not at all biased in their representation of the situation. [scoff scoff]

    Oh, classy stuff. You want to insult not only me, but people I’ve known for 20+ years, just because they’re men, and in your eyes, apparently, all men are irresponsible bastards.

    I feel compelled to extend a hearty “get fucked” in your direction, as well. You need to partake of a bit less of the narcotics, and a bit more of the musing. Might help with that anger management problem you have.

    Contraception for women being ‘more effectively’ simply because it means that men don’t have to ‘suit up’ is exactly the point I was making – men have full control of this situation but a minor inconvenience for them is apparently more important than the risk of a significant procedure for the woman and/or a child.

    The biggest reason contraception for women is more effective is simply because it’s a lot easier to stop a single egg, once a month, than it is to stop a million sperm, once a shot. It doesn’t take much for a mistake with a condom.

    Pre-conception, women have at least as much “control over the situation” as men do. Post-conception, however, they have significantly more – a man cannot compel a woman to have an abortion, nor can he easily avoid paying support for a child he doesn’t want. On the flipside, he cannot compel a woman to carry a child she doesn’t want (but he does) to term.

    Smithy – read some of the cases. They don’t have a ‘massive’ bias towards women.

    Would you seriously try to argue that, all else being equal, there’s a 50/50 chance of custody being awarded to the man ?

    Just read some of the judgments before making such massive assumptions.

    I’m not making massive assumptions. I’m making observations based on experience, and that experience is that men are vastly more likely to come off second best after any run-in with the family court.

    That women get custody in most situations is NOT indicative of bias. Outcomes do not translate into the reasoning used.

    Heh. I look forward to you making the same argument about, say, black deaths in custody.

  97. Men may well be likely to come off second best in any run in with the family court.

    Once upon a time the opposite was true. Well not technically. cos most of that time was before the family court existed but you get the idea I’m sure. Maybe the pendulum has swung too far. Maybe not.

    One thing is for sure, if so many men weren’t abusive of their partners, kids and power in general then the bias you see, Dr Smithy, wouldn’t be there in the family court. The observations and experience you have/make are of a dynamic that has happened as a reaction to the previous dynamic. The one where men could act like complete bastards/spoiled little shits and get away with it. And did heaps.

    I’m not saying that system doesn’t treat men unfairly. Sometimes it does. Often it doesn’t tho, and given the history … well when its like hearing Clive Palmer complaining about the oppression he suffers, precious little national treasure that he is.

  98. narcoticmusing

    Oh, classy stuff. You want to insult not only me, but people I’ve known for 20+ years,

    My point about that being that you cannot help but be biased towards your friends, that is part of being a friend you want to defend them. That is not a bad thing, it is just what friends do. Also, people will always represent their own case in a light that makes them look good – again, they are human. And probably hurting. These are reasonable reactions to a sad situation. There was no intention to insult them or you and if that is how it came across – and I do accept that my phrasing was poor, please accept my apology.

    just because they’re men, and in your eyes, apparently, all men are irresponsible bastards.

    Please point to where I suggested, even remotely, that all men are irresponsible bastards. It is leaping to conclusions like that which is why you think the courts are biased towards women. You make an assumption based on some mates, which you reasonably feel sorry for because they are your mates.

    You ignore some of those really inconvenient statistics when you consider the court’s ‘bias’ – for example, things like how ofen men opt for low custody. Or, say, that the no. 1 preventable hospitalisation for women is domestic violence. You know, really biased things like that is why women end up with custody.

    All things being equal, then it will be up to what is in the best interests of the child. Not the best interests of the father. Not the best interests of the mother. Both parties have the opportunity to submit their case. On the rare occasion that things are close enough to being equal then yes, the chances of dad getting custody is the same as mum. I’ve represented plenty of good dads and they have retained sole custody. I’ve even seen father’s get custody to newborns who require their mother for breastfeeding but the mother was not suitable (I’ll not bore you witht he sordid details). I’ve also represented shitty dads who, despite it all, the courts give them access. We are talking seriously extreme cases of abuse to both mother and child – because you see, if you beat your wife the only real risk is financial. You risk maybe the house and kids and you get to bitch about paying child support. If you did the same to a stranger, you’d be in jail. But of course, the courts are biased towards women. Right.

    Pre-conception, women have at least as much “control over the situation” as men do.
    No they don’t. You really don’t understand that do you? It is NOT easier to control a single egg.
    1) “Controlling” that single egg can lead to infertility, either temporarily or permanently. The amount of hormones and chemicals required to ‘control’ that single egg. This can be significantly harmful to the woman and mild/common side effects include: hairloss, acne, nausea, bloating, high blood pressure, high susceptability to some cancers. These are the common ones. All reasonable still? Compared to a condom?

    2) Men don’t like wearing condoms, it is an inconvenience for them. Some women cannot use contraception. Period. The comparitive inconvenience for a female condom to a man’s is extreme. And an IUD is actually an abortive agent, so if the woman happens to not want to abort, then you are asking her to a) have an foregin object inserted into her body (show me a man that would do the same?) and b) abort any foetus/blastocyst that forms without choice, c) increase risks of cervical infection which can increase risk of cervical cancer.

    Do you think that is the same as slipping on a condom?

    Considering the level of control the man has and the level of comparitive inconvenience, why is it always the woman’s job/fault?

    To attempt to compare deaths in custody with this situation is at best naive at worst utterly contemptable. You’ve raised some very reasonable points thus far in this forum thread. This is not one of them, it is based on emotion and not evidence.

  99. Please point to where I suggested, even remotely, that all men are irresponsible bastards.

    That would be the part where knowing nothing of the people I talk about, other than that they’re men, you condemn them as (at the very least – I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt) liars.

    It is leaping to conclusions like that which is why you think the courts are biased towards women.

    You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t accept criticism about “leaping to conclusions” from someone who just did exactly that.

    You make an assumption based on some mates, which you reasonably feel sorry for because they are your mates.

    No, I draw a conclusion from some of my mates, who I know have been poorly treated by the court system, and also from several other friends who are lawyers (and all female, to boot) and agree with me.

    You ignore some of those really inconvenient statistics when you consider the court’s ‘bias’ – for example, things like how ofen men opt for low custody.

    Probably on the legal advice they receive about the system being stacked against them.

    Or, say, that the no. 1 preventable hospitalisation for women is domestic violence. You know, really biased things like that is why women end up with custody.

    This must be another one of those examples of you *not* leaping to conclusions because they’re men.

    We are talking seriously extreme cases of abuse to both mother and child – because you see, if you beat your wife the only real risk is financial. You risk maybe the house and kids and you get to bitch about paying child support. If you did the same to a stranger, you’d be in jail. But of course, the courts are biased towards women. Right.

    Ah. This wouldn’t be one of those “ONE cases” you wouldn’t accept anyone else using as an example, would it ?

    No they don’t. You really don’t understand that do you? It is NOT easier to control a single egg.

    Yes, it is. To argue otherwise goes way past idealism into flat-out silliness.

    You may wish to argue the methods available to women can have worse side effects, but to say it’s not easier doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    1) “Controlling” that single egg can lead to infertility, either temporarily or permanently. The amount of hormones and chemicals required to ‘control’ that single egg. This can be significantly harmful to the woman and mild/common side effects include: hairloss, acne, nausea, bloating, high blood pressure, high susceptability to some cancers. These are the common ones. All reasonable still? Compared to a condom?

    For someone who gets rather tetchy about people taking corner cases and extrapolating them to common cases, you sure as hell aren’t shy about doing it yourself.

    Men don’t like wearing condoms, it is an inconvenience for them.

    It may come as a surprise to you, but women don’t like men wearing condoms either, for much the same reasons as men.

    Do you think that is the same as slipping on a condom?

    I think there isn’t a woman out there who, outside of extraordinary circumstances, would trust a condom as the only form of contraception. There are plenty of entertaining ways a condom can be rendered ineffective or irrelevant, many just as much the woman’s fault as the man’s.

    Considering the level of control the man has and the level of comparitive inconvenience, why is it always the woman’s job/fault?

    At no point have I suggested that it is “always the woman’s job/fault”. I have made the point that women’s contraceptive options are more effective in real life scenarios for both biological and sociological reasons, and that they have the capability of being equally responsible for preventing contraception.

    Heck, even taking the “just a condom” scenario, how can you argue the woman has any less of a responsibility to ensure its use than the man ?

    To attempt to compare deaths in custody with this situation is at best naive at worst utterly contemptable.

    I wasn’t making any such comparison. I was highlighting an example of how your reasoning might be applied.

    This is not one of them, it is based on emotion and not evidence.

    Much like the point about leaping to conclusions, you’ll have to excuse me for not taking advice about “emotional arguments” from someone drawing an unsubtle parallel between IUDs and rape.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s