Open thread for episode 22.19: Tracie & Don


Don talks more about his “Failures of Christianity” series, with this episode’s installment, “They don’t believe that!”  Our phone system was not working today, so we took questions from the Internet and the studio audience.

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General useful resources

Comments

  1. Theisntist says

    Seasoned, well versed host and cohost with a lot of extra time to fill, harkens to a couple of baseball announcers in the late innings of a slow game, an informative, easy going conversation. And hearing the audience questions was a nice addition.

    That makes me curious why we never see the audience. I’m sure there are technical and quality issues, and then there is the matter of whether people was their faces shown, but it would certainly add to the show to sometimes see the audience, which seems to be bigger and more engaged these days.

  2. kathh says

    The bit where Don explained what Exodus has to say about how god wants to be worshipped cut out. Any chance he could fill us in here, please?

  3. bdez90 says

    Currently listening to the part about the Bible not being divinely inspired.

    When I was a kid I had this image in my head of a bunch of old dudes sitting in a room and an entity (the holy spirit) literally sweeping in the room and making them write the bible as if they were possessed. This is the type of stuff casual Christian children get in their heads growing up with dishonest religious teachings.

  4. Meggan says

    I grew up a MK (missionary kid) born and raised overseas. Fundamental baptist. I’m now grown and an atheist. I know better than to tell my family. It’s better to lie until they die.

  5. Gabriel Pereira Vaz de Carvalho says

    Here are the best reasons in my opinion for allowing abortion:

    The formation of the baby is a process that has many steps. We will have to grant the right of life in one of those steps. So the question becomes: What is the purpose of giving that right and when is the best time to give that right? You can analise each step and all it’s features, but one step stands out from most: On birth, the baby is now detached from his mother and can now be separated from her without dying and taken care by another person. In no other step this is the case.

    If we give the baby this right before this step you will have to remove a right of the mother in the process: The right of not being forced to go through all the bad things associated with pregnancy like pains, nausea, fatigue, changes on the body, hormones, etc…

    But maybe its worth it, after all it feels better to save the life of someone than relief someone of pain and suffering. So lets go back to the beginning: Why do we grant this right in the first place?

    To achieve a functioning society we need to make a few rules. Nobody wants to live in a place where they can be killed at any time, nobody wants their children to get murdered, it would not be a functional society. But how does abortions affects the society? It reduces the amount of undesirable children, it reduces suffering of their members, it helps to reduce poverty and misery, and nobody walks around afraid of being aborted or having their children aborted. The only effect that could be considered negative is the pissing religious people off effect (some would even say it is a good effect).

  6. Gabriel Pereira Vaz de Carvalho says

    About the teleporter question

    The question boils down to: What makes you, you?

    If you are defined by your body, than it would mean that in the teleporter example, you would not be you. You would also not be you after a few years when all the matter in your body is replaced by new matter. This definition is clearly not what people mean by you.

    If you are defined by the information in your brain and the proprieties of the machine that contains this information, than in the teleporter example you would still be you since all the information would be transferred and the machine that it operates on would have the same proprieties. This seems like a workable definition since for you and everybody else, nothing would have changed but your location.

    But lets go a bit further and think about what if the teleporter duplicated you? Would the copy still be you? Would you be you? Lets think about the consequences of this. The copy would have the same atributes, the same memories and act and behave like you in all sense of the word. They could live different lives from this point forward but they have a common past. The only difference between them is their position in space. We do not have and do not need a label for this yet, so all you have to do is focus on the facts and think about how to deal with them: Will both be able to have the same job? how does this affect his relation to his partner? how is the relationship between the copies? which copy should be given priority in case there is no room for both? and why?

  7. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @heicart (1:15:10):

    I am not educated enough on this […] I couldn’t find anything that said atheists had higher rates of depression.

     
    Repost from 22.16 #159:
     
    Article: Epiphenom – The science is in, and God is not the answer
     

    In fact, although evidence from the USA links religiosity to mental benefits, in many places the direction of the link is exactly opposite. For example, here in the UK non-religious kids are the least likely to be emotionally disturbed. Incidentally, emotional problems peak in those with weakly held beliefs
    […]
    In Chile, Estonia, The Netherlands, Portugal, UK, Spain, and Slovenia, spirituality has been found to increase the risk of depression […]. And evidence from elsewhere in the world shows that the link between religion and reduced risk of suicide is patchy at best. In South Africa, holding religious beliefs actually seems to increase the risk of suicide!

     

    Just supposing the premise is right and religious believers are happier. Any conclusions about cause and effect are hopelessly confounded by self-selection.
     
    What I mean is this. If you’re a sociable person in the USA, then you’re under tremendous pressure to also be spiritual. Spiritual people in the US get more social support – although that’s because, in the US, sociable people are more likely to spiritual.
     
    But atheists in the USA are excluded from mainstream society. They are highly mistrusted.
    […]
    [Regarding spiritual people being happier…] It isn’t religion that has this effect – except insofar as it makes atheists unhappy.
     
    If we really want happy and healthy kids (and adults), then we need to focus on the real issues: social support and social inclusion.

     
     
    Article: Epiphenom – The happiness smile

    [A study done by Luke Galen, psychologist and former host of the ReasonableDoubts podcast] contradicts the widely held assumption that religious people are happiest. What he points out is that, because studies on happiness usually include few atheists, they are often lumped in with the ‘undecideds’.
     
    But what his study suggests is that it’s precisely these fence-sitters who are the unhappiest. People who are firm in their convictions – either firmly religious or firmly non-religious – tend to be happier.

     
    The first article links to the second, adding, “If you don’t take this into account, then you’re going to get screwy results.”

  8. says

    gabriel @ 4:

    They could live different lives from this point forward but they have a common past. The only difference between them is their position in space. We do not have and do not need a label for this yet …

    <lcars>
    the unofficial term is “transporter clone”.
    </lcars>

  9. Monocle Smile says

    @Liam
    Don does his presentations for a reason. What would you rather him do?

  10. paxoll says

    @Gabriel, Right to life can be granted at day 1 of conception, that doesn’t change the right of the woman to autonomy over her own body. One person’s rights end when they infringe on another. A rapist is infringing on a womans bodily autonomy, she can kill that rapist in self defense. Just like Tracy was saying, a doctor does not have the right to take blood from someone to save another life without permission. Abortion, is the termination of a pregnancy, it is not the killing of a baby. If the baby dies in the process that is a shame, but regardless the womans right is to choose whether she wants to be pregnant or not.

  11. says

    @Theisntist
    Your assumption is correct. We can’t/don’t show the audience due to privacy concerns. Unfortunately, “atheism” is still quite a stigma in the U.S. in many places, and many people still are not “out” to family, friends, coworkers—any of which could be problematic for them.

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain
    Thank you for looking that up and posting your results.

    @Gabriel
    “Right to life” is a phrase from the Declaration of Independence, which holds no legal weight in U.S. law. The Constitution contains that phrase not at all. It’s a phrase religious people appeal to in abortion discussions which is horribly ill defined. SCOTUS ruling on Roe v Wade had nothing whatsoever to do with the concept of “right to life,” and everything to do with what they called “personhood”. Their basic thinking was that until a fetus could self-sustain in the womb, the state had no stake in the decision, because this entity was not an independent person. The result was a backward ruling that suggests that if someone needs my body to survive, I can legally deny it, but if they don’t need my body to survive, the state can compel me to donate my body to them, anyway.

    As Paxoll states, it doesn’t matter if the unborn is a “person” to me, or not. No person, in any other situation, even one who has committed mass murder and put to death in this country, is compelled to donate blood or tissue to keep anyone else alive, or to help them survive, or for any other reason. You cannot put someone else’s life/health at risk without their consent by violating their body—unless you’re an unborn human. Then you suddenly have the legal right to violate another person’s body without their consent, to use it for your own survival, without their consent, to put them at risk of death and substantial harm, without their consent, and the state will force a pregnant person to endure this. We treat no other citizens this way—not even people who *have consented* to take on all of the legal obligations of parenthood. Only pregnant people are so compelled under our laws. They lose their agency and bodily integrity—the foundation of our humanity.

    I have sometimes asked it this way: If I were dying of kidney failure, and my mother was a match, and she refused to donate, would I support the state going in and dragging her to the hospital, sedating her, and forcing her to give up a kidney for me? The answer is “no”—I would not do that to my mother. I would not do that to anyone. I wouldn’t do it to a convicted serial killer. I would not wish to live in a state that treated people like nonhuman objects. My physical state being unable to sustain my own life may be a sad and unfortunate fact of nature—let’s say I was born with a kidney defect that runs in my mother’s family—but we don’t compel other people to take such risks and make such sacrifices to save my life. And the fact my mother won’t donate isn’t illegal, and she is not killing me. What’s killing me is the natural state of my kidneys–the fact that bodies don’t always self-support, either because we haven’t reached that stage of human development, or due to nonstandard developments. If I try to take someone else’s blood or tissue without their consent, they have a right to defend against that, even if the only way of doing so is to kill me.

    Saying we regard the life of the unborn as being equal to that of other citizens in no way necessitates stripping the mother of any rights–why would it? It means that unborn has no more right to use another person’s body without consent as I have—which is none at all.

  12. Theisntist says

    Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan were asked to research and write an essay on the morality of abortion from a scientific perspective. They concluded that before brain waves begin (early in the second trimester) there can be no pain or consciousness, therefore that is the most important dividng line, more so than conception, viability or birth. That lines up with present law, abortions during the first trimester are the least restricted, later they are only allowed for medical reasons.
    It’s a quick read and available online.

  13. Monocle Smile says

    @Theisntist
    Early in the second trimester? That’s a stretch. The EEG isn’t even mostly formed until like 22 weeks and not online until 26. Sagan and Druyan were correct about the assessment, but the turning point isn’t until closer to the third trimester.
    Furthermore, only about 1% of abortions occur after 20 weeks, which makes the religious screaming about endless babies being killed right at birth all the more ludicrous.
    https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states

  14. uglygeek11 says

    @heincart
    I think it is horrible that somebody could even think that a woman should not have the possibility to have an abortion if the pregnancy was a risk for her life, at any stage of the pregnancy. Having said so, I guess it could make sense to make abortion illegal in the last weeks of a pregnancy, if there are no health issues for the woman. I imagine everybody would agree that it would be quite extreme to allow abortions in the final days of a pregnancy only because the woman just changed her mind about having a baby.
    At some points, once ruled out the taliban ideas of Christian fundamentalists, which despise women and consider life sacred only from conception to childbirth, what remains are political ideas which have little to do with religion and are quite orthogonal to atheism.

  15. uglygeek says

    @7 Gabriel Pereira Vaz de Carvalho
    Nobody cares about teleporters 🙂 The hosts are more interested in talking about political subjects like feminism, identity politics, abortion…

    But, as the now disgraced atheist Lawrence Krauss once explained, a teleporter could not work but by transmitting information and not matter. Therefore it would actually create a new copy of a person, and it would have to destroy the original copy in order not to duplicate it. Which, as you say, raises the question: what makes a person, a person? The matter or the information?

  16. uglygeek says

    @12 heicart
    >> We can’t/don’t show the audience due to privacy concerns.

    I am really stunned by the fact that in 2018 in a Western country like the U.S. people can be so afraid to come out as atheists… It is really difficult to accept such backwardness for an European person like me. In Europe really nobody cares if you are religious or not and this is one of the things that makes me want to go back and live in a modern, civilised countries like France or the UK or Italy.

    But is the situation slowly changing in the U.S. as well? I don’t have any evidence, but I have this impression. The internet was a very bad invention in many ways, but it also has positive sides, and one of these is that it made atheism more accessible, less marginal, more mainstream even in this country. Also the fact that Christian fundamentalists elected one of the least religious presidents in the history of the U.S. make me believe that many opinions are more influenced by political ideology rather than by true religiosity.
    I might be wrong, of course, but comparing recent episodes of AXP to episodes that aired 10 years ago I find some differences: there was much more incredulity and intolerance, in the past, from Christian that could not accept that someone could “evangelise” atheism on TV. Today’s Christian apologists sound less aggressive, on average. But maybe this is just because on the internet everybody lives in his echo chamber, so religious people leave us in our atheist chamber and don’t care to change our minds so much anymore?

  17. says

    uglygeek @ 17:

    The internet was a very bad invention in many ways, but it also has positive sides, and one of these is that it made atheism more accessible, less marginal, more mainstream even in this country.

    the democratic nature of the web has made all fringe folk, good and bad, less isolated and more mainstream than ever. a rising tide lifts pirates too.

  18. Bruce Smith says

    @uglygeek

    In Europe really nobody cares if you are religious or not and this is one of the things that makes me want to go back and live in a modern, civilised countries like France or the UK or Italy.

    Where I live in Canada we also don’t care much about other’s religious beliefs because it just doesn’t come up in conversation much. I’ve had friends for years and never discussed religion with them and still have no clue what, if any, religious beliefs they have. I’m not even sure what any of my relatives believe.

  19. Murat says

    @paxoll
    Broadly, I agree.
    I am “pro choice”.
    But there are a few things about the “advocation” of this position that I don’t really buy.
    Many people apply logic in the light of “rights” when talking about abortion, however, the very same data and principles can easily be reversed and used against some other rights once that path is taken.
    Doctors need permission to draw blood, hence, the fetus (or its fanbase) does not have a right to use the mother’s body against her will…
    Meh…
    By saying that, we establish the fetus not as a “natural part of the woman’s body”, but as an “external agent” that requires to be welcome at all stages in order to successfully transform into a human being.
    How about “embryonic stem cell research”, then? The mother has the right to donate the embryo based on what? If it is not part of her body but an external agent as argued in the case of abortion, and for it can not declare to donate itself or not, then there should be no authority to act on it as a piece to donate.
    A woman should not be forced or pressured to carry a baby to which she doesn’t want to give birth, but, come on, once we get into this like that, the whole thing becomes a court case where both sides have really cunning lawyers who can pick up or ignore any piece of evidence using various loopholes in the related laws.

  20. Murat says

    @uglygeek #17
    She mentiones “privacy”, not “security”.
    These are two very different concepts by nature.
    There may be (and are) people who have no problem with being known as atheists, but would prefer not to have it made clear on a TV show.
    People’s concerns differ.
    Maybe there’s a pastor there who is still not detached from the church due to economical reasons, and he would just not like to be exposed that way, especially not at the expense of shocking his flock.

  21. Ed Goodman says

    Oh no! The teleporter question! They beat that to a very humorous death on non prophets.. very good nerd fight over like three episodes.

    My favorite privacy story about not getting your face photographed is from my home town of Columbus Ohio. A guy was on the front page of the sports section one spring, going over a small waterfall in a kyak. Fantastic picture, taken somewhere in Pennsylvania. Turns out the guy called in sick…from his job in Columbus Ohio..to go kayaking. Total coincidence that this photographer happened to be with the Columbus dispatch.

  22. Latanya says

    I’ve been wondering is there any evidence like archeological and etc concerning the story of Exodus? Some people say there is and some say there isn’t. I’m skeptical about the whole thing.

  23. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    uglygeek #16:

    The hosts are more interested in talking about political subjects like feminism, identity politics, abortion…

     
    uglygeek #17:

    the fact that Christian fundamentalists elected one of the least religious presidents in the history of the U.S. make me believe that many opinions are more influenced by political ideology rather than by true religiosity.

     
    Article: Vox – The racial demons that help explain evangelical support for Trump

    when white conservative evangelicals feel threatened by cultural change, the old demons of racism and misogyny, which lurk at the heart of the American evangelical tradition, return with a vengeance.
    […]
    most politically conservative white evangelicals actively fought every racial inclusion effort from abolitionism to affirmative action.
    […]
    In fact, it is arguably not the battle to defend Christian schools in the 1970s that launched the modern Christian right – the narrative that evangelicals themselves, including Gerson, embrace – but resistance by Jerry Falwell Sr., Bob Jones, and others to desegregating those schools in the 1960s.
    […]
    in search of economic opportunity, Southern evangelicals left the South […] organized support for Nixon and, in turn, became leaders of the evangelical wing of the Reagan revolution. Among the former Southerners who served the cause were Christian right architects Tim LaHaye (of Left Behind series fame), Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, and the strategist Richard Viguerie.
     
    From there, evangelical mobilization supported, endorsed, or tolerated the racial dog-whistle politics
    […]
    evangelical support for Alabamans George Wallace ([1960s]) and, last year, Roy Moore, are bookends of a consistent narrative. With race brought back into view, Moore and Trump are not anomalies. While the nationalist white racial politics of Wallace and Trump may not be explicitly faith-based, in all its forms, it has certainly had no shortage of champions among the white evangelical faithful.
    […]
    the liberal wing of Protestantism seems finally to be rising as a clear alternative, making concerted efforts to take stands against police violence, the scapegoating of immigrants, transgender rights, and protests against the racist right.

     
    For more on the entanglement of race and abortion in conservative religious politics…
     
    Videos: Sam Bee – The Religious Right, Part 1 (10:04) and Part 2 (7:13)

  24. uglygeek says

    @Murat #22
    Let’s not exaggerate, when I wrote that I was stunned that today in the U.S. people can still be so afraid to come out as atheists of course I did not mean that they are afraid for their physical security. This is not Bangladesh where atheist bloggers are regularly killed, after all. I meant that they are afraid for their reputation, which still looks quite egregious to me. Even privacy should not be such a concern, nobody would be worried to appear in the audience of the taping of a normal TV show, even been seen at the taping of the AXP should not be such a problem, in a normal country.
    And your pastor once discovered, could still say that he was there “To study the enemy!” 🙂

  25. uglygeek says

    @Sky Captain #24
    I understand that conservative evangelicals are motivated by racism and misogyny, they are very bad people. But these are not religious concerns, however, these are political ideas. It’s different.
    And the moment they choose a candidate like Trump, who is clearly neither a practising Christian, nor an evangelical, they are anyway sacrificing their religious values in the name of their political ideas. In other words, it cannot be a problem coming out as an atheist in a land where the religious fundamentalists rely on a man without values.
    But if you notice, we are talking more and more about politics and less and less about religion here. After all nothing says that an atheist must be a leftist or that a religious person must be right wing.

  26. says

    # 2 Liam Dunne says
    Hey Don, please be more positive with your presentations.

    Why should an atheist host, on an atheist show, “be more positive” about Christianity? Stay in your own sealed bubble if you do not want to hear of the harm Christianity has done, and the contradictions and lies the religion has told.

  27. Murat says

    @Jeanette
    I suspect Liam Dunne was making some kind of word play there, given that in the episode Don as usual exposed several negativities regarding Christianity, while later mentioning how they interpret the “positive atheism” which the ACA has been practicing.

  28. paxoll says

    @Murat
    The part about stem cells is a similar but separate issue. Yes the fetus is a separate individual, it is also the progeny of the woman and father. Like all progeny the medial power of attorney defaults to them. Since the fetus is unable to make any medical decisions the parents can make the decision to donate tissue after death.

  29. Gabriel Pereira Vaz de Carvalho says

    @heicart
    I’m using the term “Right to life” colloquially, I’m talking about the generic laws that prohibit murder in every country. What I was trying to explain was that there is no reason to grant this right to an unborn since the usual consequences of letting people be killed are not present. Inflicting pain and suffering on people just to make religious people feel better is completely stupid.

    Here is the thing, just because on the US you have this “no one should donate organs” policy, doesn’t mean anything. We are talking about the reason the rules are there, not the reasons rules are consistent with eachother. Here in Brazil for example there is a law where you have to enlist in the army, you are literally forced to put your life in danger for the benefit of other people. This is highly debatable.

    That is why I try to make my point as objective as possible, focusing on the consequences of abortion. If aborting does not have negative effects, outlawing it just because religious people have weird objections to it. Violating a person’s body could be justifiable if the cost benefit is really good, but in this case there is a high cost and no benefit.

  30. Gabriel Pereira Vaz de Carvalho says

    Correction:

    Outlawing it just because religious people have weird objections to it is a really bad idea.

  31. Joe says

    In response to post #12 by heicart (but turning it toward a different issue, progressive taxation). I tend to follow you line of reasoning, however, I extend it to the issue of taxation — why are people who have native talents, skills, and abilities that are in high demand and thus command high incomes have to be forced via progressive taxation to support those who do not have such abilities? Why do the most economically productive have to fork over a disproportionate share of the fruits of their labor to support the ne’er-do-well and slackers of the world (e.g. on Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc…)?

    I simply take a part of your post and restate it and extent it as: No person should be compelled to donate blood or tissue or the fruits of their labor to keep anyone else alive, or to help them survive. I’m sure you now agree totally we me and you will drop any support you had for government enforced redistribution of income via progressive taxation.

  32. Robert, not Bob says

    @Uglygeek, #27
    The segregation you speak of, between religious and political beliefs, is not a thing. Any belief can be political, almost any belief can be religious, and there’s lots of overlap. The whole idea of religion and politics being different things is foreign to billions of people: saying “this is religious, that is political” isn’t meaningful regarding people like that. You can’t untangle them, and it’s pointless to try.

    Atheists do face risk coming out in many parts of the US. Not death-not yet-but death threats, vandalism, loss of jobs, harassment and ostracism.

  33. Monocle Smile says

    @Joe

    Why do the most economically productive have to fork over a disproportionate share of the fruits of their labor to support the ne’er-do-well and slackers of the world (e.g. on Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc…)?

    1) Because the idea that people on Medicaid and food stamps are “ne’er-do-wells” or “slackers” is classist bullshit with no basis in reality
    2) The ones who “command high incomes” benefit exponentially more from the societal structures that are funded by taxes than low-income people. Food stamps cost taxpayers a pittance, essentially.

    No person should be compelled to donate blood or tissue or the fruits of their labor

    One of these things is not like the others…
    Do you really expect us to put “fruits of labor” (whatever the fuck that means outside of libertarian propaganda) in the same category as body parts?

  34. Murat says

    @paxoll
    You just proved my point.
    In such arguments, concepts and labels are being applied in whichever way one prefers to show as the better one among two positions.
    Even if the kind of reasoning and the selection of data ends up with what I personally favor, I can see that the path constructed in the effort to reach there is no different than that of religious people who cherrypick revelations in order to get the result or approach that they have already decided on.

  35. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    No person, in any other situation, even one who has committed mass murder and put to death in this country, is compelled to donate blood or tissue to keep anyone else alive, or to help them survive, or for any other reason. You cannot put someone else’s life/health at risk without their consent by violating their body—unless you’re an unborn human.

    Don’t get me wrong – I support abortion on demand, without limit, no questions asked, because of several reasons. However, I have to take issue with what you just wrote. It’s the standard rhetoric, but I think that this standard rhetoric, taken at face value, is deeply flawed. It’s indistinguishable from what a libertarian would write. No, sometimes society can demand things from the individuals in society for the betterment of other individuals, including taxes, jury duty, military duty (the draft), and having proper vaccinations, regardless of their consent. To require consent for everything is to be a libertarian. To require consent for everything is one of the two pillars of libertarianism, otherwise known as the “non-aggression principle”, and it’s morally indefensible in the absolute. (The other pillar of libertarianism is the absolute protection of private property, which is also morally indefensible.)

    For example, if I was in a hypothetical world where I could save thousands, or millions, of lives in the US every year by mandating a simple blood donation from everyone, I would be in favor of such a policy.

    For example, in the real world, I support policies for mandatory vaccinations for some vaccinations, knowing full well that this policy will kill someone who would not have otherwise died. Vaccination complications are exceptionally rare, but they still happen. For a more visceral example, consider the earliest vaccinations against Polio – there was a bad batch that caused a bunch of vaccinations people to contract Polio. IIRC, hundreds dead, many more permanently paralyzed. And yet, I am still in favor of mandatory vaccinations for some vaccinations.

    I think that there are ways to defend abortion access without using libertarian principles as the starting point.

    PS:
    And look at that. A live-one, a libertarian shows up, and makes much the same points that I do. (Except I abhore libertarianism.)

    Do you really expect us to put “fruits of labor” (whatever the fuck that means outside of libertarian propaganda) in the same category as body parts?

    I am uncomfortable with the notion that it’s categorically different. I’d much rather live under a regime with mandatory blood donations than live under a regime where I am a slave but with the enforced guarantee that they won’t violate my body except through forced labor.

  36. Murat says

    @EL
    Remember the scene in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, where Felicity Huffman asks Woody Harrelson why he simply could not collect DNA from everyone in town to see if any matched with that of the rapist / murderer of her daughter.

  37. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Murat.
    No, I don’t remember that scene. I don’t think I’ve seen that movie / show / sketch. I also think that a plan as described is bad, dangerous, but for other, unrelated reasons.

  38. Monocle Smile says

    @EL

    I am uncomfortable with the notion that it’s categorically different. I’d much rather live under a regime with mandatory blood donations than live under a regime where I am a slave but with the enforced guarantee that they won’t violate my body except through forced labor.

    I think it’s perfectly fine to handle them as two issues instead of one issue.

  39. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    What I mean is that we can separate “fruits of labor” into a different category without lighting anything on fire.

  40. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To MS
    If you mean that “laws requiring progressive taxes” is entirely defensible and “laws allowing slavery and laws forbidding abortion” are morally indefensible, then I agree. Beyond that, I’m still not sure what you’re saying.

    Again, I will stand by my hypothetical where I would support a policy of mandatory blood donations if it saves thousands of lives yearly, and I stand by my real-world example where I support a policy of mandatory vaccinations for children even though I know that this policy will result in the death of at least one child who would not have otherwise died, when the policy is enacted over many years. The hypothetical mandatory blood donation and the realworld mandatory vaccinations are violations of this supposed principle of absolute bodily autonomy and integrity that we should do for the betterment of all individuals in society.

  41. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    I agree, but I don’t believe that supporting progressive taxes necessarily entails supporting mandatory blood donations. I don’t think there’s a real link there.

    The libertarian above was essentially saying that because AXP is in favor of bodily autonomy, they must therefore oppose taxation. I dispute that.

  42. Robert, not Bob says

    “They get to keep the fruits of their labor” sounds nice, until you realize it’s mainly “the fruits of a lot of other people’s labor” and frequently “the fruits of the labor of great-great grandpa’s slaves”. How much “labor” is “telling somebody to invest Daddy’s money” anyway?

  43. foundmylife2008 says

    My entire life was ruined because of being brought up in Christianity.I was one of those who followed closely to the commands of Jesus.Especially those that told us to not prepare for the future.Most Christians think they can just go about their lives without being obedient.The parable of the rich man who built bigger barns(retirement savings)was one. Take no thought for tomorrow was another .Do not store up treasures on earth.(so sad)A big one was’he who loses his life for Jesus’ sake will find it’.(not really)I lost faith after 40 years believing in Jesus.I did what He commanded and now reap the consequences.The Atheist Experience is a great resource to refer those we know who are doubting their faith. Thanks for all you do!!!!!!

  44. paxoll says

    @Murat, No it has nothing to do with presenting the ” arguments, concepts and labels are being applied in whichever way one prefers to show as the better one among two positions.” You have ONE issue. Bodily autonomy, that applies to BOTH woman and fetus. The fetus has no right to the womans body, therefore the woman has the right to abort the pregnancy. Full stop, end of argument, no “better among two positions”. Then you have separate different issue, do parents have the right of medical power of attorney over the fetus. HOWEVER you want to argue that it has zero bearing on the first argument. You can say a fetus has full bodily autonomy and parents should not be able to do anything medically to a child before or after birth, that does not change the first argument at all. Religious people may think that part 2 has an influence on part 1, but its bullcrap. To do so logically leads to women not having bodily autonomy, meaning they have less rights then men, making pregnancy akin to slavery and women property.

  45. Murat says

    @paxoll
    “You can say a fetus has full bodily autonomy and parents should not be able to do anything medically to a child before or after birth, that does not change the first argument at all.”
    How come not???
    It completely erases all the argument on acknowledging a woman’s right to abort the fetus. Because cutting off its life support IS the ultimate thing to be done medically to the potential offspring.
    And the other two sentences following that do not even correspond to any kind of logic. Saying “religious people may think so but it is bullcrap” has no explanatory power over WHY it is so.

  46. says

    Regarding Should Children Be Taught Religion in School & Authority | Atheist Experience 22.19
    It is important for children to learn about it in context (a favorite word of religious apologists lol). In history for instance. How religion was used in history to enslave people and further their agenda. How the colonial powers used religion to conquer the world. And also how it is used today in the muslim world to control and subjugate women also catholics and birth control. So just like kids in germany learn how the nazi party used patriotism and fascism to further an anti-semetic agenda, kids should be taught how religion does the same today to further an anti-woman thus patriarchal agenda. Also the positives can be taught, like some of the commandments and the stories that have a moral message, stressing that they were stories and myths after all and not to be taken literally. Another thing to teach kids is the connection between religions which show how one influences the other throughout history. It will show them the truth about it.
    Hope this is coherent, first time poster btw because the youtube comments were disabled.

  47. paxoll says

    @Murat I stated WHY it is bullcrap in the following sentence. You cannot uphold the bodily autonomy of a fetus while denying the bodily autonomy of the woman without considering the women having less rights then a man or a fetus. This is why it is important to understand that the death of the fetus is not the objective of abortion. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, it is 100% within the purview of the woman to NOT be pregnant. The autonomy of the fetus has no bearing on whether the woman has that right. Just like you don’t have the right to someones blood or kidney, the autonomy of the fetus is only valid when it is not violating the autonomy of someone else. Since most abortions end with the death of the infant, the only autonomy rights it has at that point is to be treated with the same dignity as any other dead person.

  48. Theisntist says

    In completely unrelated news, my wife and I attended Matt Dillahunty’s magic and skepticism show in SF last night, and we highly recommend it!

    Religion wasn’t mentioned (aside from a Ray Comfort banana bit), but the critical thinking skills we all need to apply in daily life were entertainingly demonstrated through some impressive magic tricks.

    Kudos to Tracie and the others who have stepped up and taken on the extra hosting duties so Matt can pursue this avenue!

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