Open thread for episode 22.27: Tracie and Jen


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  1. Larry Cahoon says

    On the late call where there was a discussion about christian martyrs I’d suggest looking at Bart Ehrman’s new book Triumph of Christianity chapter 7 where he talks of Christian Martyrs. He gives a couple of examples.

    From there and elsewhere I believe it true that there were martyrs, but that they were uncommon. Later in Augustine’s time there were issues within the church on what to do with believers who recanted and then wanted to rejoin the church. It even evolved into a significant fight over the validity of baptisms and the like administered by those people were valid.

  2. John David Balla says

    For the caller who kept characterizing the abortion decision as “inconvenient”, it would have been interesting to get his take on what God’s position would be. Of course, we already know his proxy answer but what we don’t know is how he would justify it. And because his take on morality is theocratic, ‘because the big guy says so’ is all the justification that’s needed.

  3. dustnite says

    The whole issue with the first caller was he wasn’t listening, he was waiting for his turn to speak. This is not at all a theist-only issue and I would suggest to him to stop, take a breath, and listen to the other person before trying to respond. That would have saved him from having to claim that Yahweh doesn’t command genocide in the Old Testament.

    I love these pro-lifer people. Ask them any number of followup questions and their answers will surprise you. Where do you stand on capital punishment? Usually pro. Where do you stand on indiscriminate drone strikes? Usually pro. This guy needs to go back to Bible study.

  4. Daryl Lankford says

    Thank you for an insightful and eye opening show each week. As someone who agrees one hundred percent that faith is indeed not a pathway to truth, it’s increasingly frustrating when callers can’t seem to comprehend this simple and basic proposition.

  5. anti religion says

    I hate it when Christians try to prove a God by using morals like the first caller was doing. Using morals, science and evolution to try to prove that a God does exist is stupid. If Christians are going to call the show, I would like to hear them share a story of how a God has revealed himself to them in a way that is specific to him or her. Talking about morals, science and evolution is not really talking about why you believe in a God.

  6. Java says

    Here’s the relevant portion of what Jen actually said regarding AA:

    “There are actual science-based addiction programs that work much better than AA. AA doesn’t publish, officially, its numbers, so it’s hard to gauge how effective it is. But based on everything that people have been able to accumulate about AA, it’s worse than people who just decide to quit cold turkey, and don’t have any support system at all. Which you wouldn’t think would be the case, but in fact, it has a dismal track record. Most of the people that go into AA go back to drinking. They don’t actually quit drinking until they get into a different program, or at some point, they just decide it’s time to stop drinking.”

    And here’s where she said it (it was Atheist Experience 22.20 with Jen and John):

    https://youtu.be/yA8BZ8cO90A?t=1h46m15s

  7. says

    @Larry:

    I did a post about martyrs and why people would die for a lie. Link below. But on this call, I never said there weren’t Christian martyrs. I even mentioned the account of Stephen that’s in the Bible. The point though, is that this caller needs a very specific martyr: Someone who knew Jesus, can attest he was executed, and then claims to have seen him again, alive. Someone who was subsequently taken into custody in some way over this, and who was given a choice to be tortured/killed or recant. That’s a very specific martyr that caller needs–not just “a martyr.” And not even a martyr who says they believe in the truth of the story and refuse to recant their faith that it’s true. He needs an eye witness to the events, not just killed over their beliefs or testimonies, but ones that could have been released if they’d have recanted. He’s saying they were eye-witnesses who wouldn’t recant because they’d seen these events with their own eyes, and that is specifically why they were killed–even though they could have lived by retracting the story.

    >Later in Augustine’s time there were issues within the church on what to do with believers who recanted and then wanted to rejoin the church.

    This is the problem–by Augustine’s time, how many eye-witnesses to the resurrection were there? They aren’t the martyrs the caller needs. He needs eye-witnesses, not just people who believed the stories. As I said during the call “every religion has martyrs.” Simply having martyrs makes you no better or worse than any other religion. It’s not about people later on who believed the stories–it’s about eye-witnesses. These are the martyrs I’m telling him he won’t find.

    http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-martyrs.html

  8. says

    @Java:

    Thank you for posting the link to the relevant quote. To be fair, Jen did say that she may have stated it that way, and if so, it was incorrectly stated. But it doesn’t hurt to have the relevant quote/link.

  9. KarlfromVista says

    Great show Tracie and Jen,
    Tracie I think you’ve done a better job before explaining the moral rational for abortion:

    I believe that I’ve heard you use the term “use without permission”. Which I feel is more accurate for the case of a fetus. “Violate” would imply intent and a non-conscious fetus has no intent.

    Great show though, thanks.

  10. John David Balla says

    @Java I have done considerable research on AA as I am a former member but now a certified facilitator in SMART Recovery, a secular, evidence-based recovery program, and am currently writing a book on AA with the working title “Defective Characters”.

    Using AA’s own data, it has a 95 percent failure rate, i.e., only 5 percent of attendees continue to attend for at least a year. Implicit within AA is that AA meeting attendance equals sobriety, which itself is very problematic. Spontaneous remission, or getting sober on your own, has the same success rate AA, actually slightly higher (5.5%). And in my view, because AA places so much emphasis on staying in AA, including admonishing its flock that if they leave AA they will drink, there’s a real possibility of a nocebo effect taking place in the form of a personally apocalyptic prophecy.

  11. John David Balla says

    I would have preferred more time spent on Tracie’s proposed moral system which appeared (at least to me) to be a well-being/violation hybrid. These two metrics seemed to better resolve moral dilemmas than well-being alone. Obviously, Tracie’s own hypothetical, i.e., not enough food to feed everyone, so rather than violating some so that others can live, everyone would choose to starve to death. Or maybe that there is no well-being metric at all? By her hypothetical and collective choice to starve, that clearly wouldn’t enrich well-being. Hence my desire to understand this better. On second thought, maybe well-being has nothing to do with her proposed moral system. Hmm. In a way, this seems almost libertarian but I’m pretty sure Tracie is no friend of libertarianism.

  12. Java says

    Just an FYI to anyone who reads my former post: My intent was only to post and source Jen’s quote, and not to make a statement of my own. I was emphatically *not* presenting it in any sort of “Aha!” manner. I almost added a comment saying that Jen did *not* advise people to quit “cold turkey” (because, in fact, she did not), but decided not to editorialize. But I guess I just did!

  13. Java says

    I agree, John David Balla, that Tracie’s comments on morality were interesting. The simplistic example I thought of immediately afterward had to do with several men breaking into my home, intent on killing me. Let’s say I could either choose to let them kill me, or I could kill them instead. It seems to me that if my only rational goal were to maximize the well being of conscious creatures (and if I could suspend the survival instinct), I would let them kill me. Doing so would maximize well being, because several people would be happy for having killed me.

  14. Monocle Smile says

    @Java
    That last post is not correct.

    I would let them kill me. Doing so would maximize well being, because several people would be happy for having killed me.

    Would they be? I doubt it. It’s actually fairly rare that someone feels good about killing someone else. Also, why are they there to kill you? That certainly matters. Do you leave anyone behind who would mourn or suffer without you? Would things fail to get done because you’re not there?

    This is why I hate thought experiments. Real life decisions aren’t made in the colossal information vacuum that thought experiments live in. You can’t say there’s something wrong with a goal by creating a completely impractical situation with intentionally obscured information where that goal is somehow problematic. That’s not how situational ethics actually works.

  15. Killian Jones says

    The worst show to date. Clueless hosts that allow the show to be hi-jacked. Any topic is discussed and air time wasted. What has this show got to do with gods and belief? Bring back Matt or put up hosts who know how to host.

  16. sayamything says

    First off, I really like the way Tracie handled the abortion/consent paradigm and it’s a shame the caller didn’t get it.

    I stopped keeping track of names with the m,ultiple Johns, so I hope descriptions will suffice.

    Abortion vs Massacring people guy: John (not another one!) David Balla reminded me of a point that really irritates me on the abortion debate: convenience. I mean, I think the convenience argument is rather dismissive period, but the least invasive method of terminating a pregnancy that I’m aware of involves taking a pill which essentially causes a miscarriage and still carries with it health risks and I’m sorry, but I don’t see how that’s “convenience.”

    And using an example where someone didn’t use protection? I’m so glad that didn’t go any further. The whoe “consent to sex means consent to pregnancy” thing skeeves me out.

    Again, my opinion on abortion doesn’t change whether it’s done out of convenience or not, but it seems like a way of dismissing an issue he won’t have to deal with in his life. Miscarriages, from what I’ve been told, are not fun at any stage in a pregnancy.

    I’m also with Jen, because I don’t think any of my friends are calling me up to say “my baby has blue eyes so I’m aborting it.”

    Why Religion Controls People guy: I personally hesitate to call people evil, because like “convenience” above, it carries a certain connotation to a good number of people (n this case, some sort of negative entity or energy). However, I would call controlling roughly fifty percent of your population to be a serious moral failing and definitely not okay, even if there’s a level of reasoning behind it. I’d be curious to see if he’d be as judgmental about the use of slaves, since slavery has come up. There’s often a rationale, a reason these systems exist.

    Also, this system really didn’t do much to benefit the Jewish population. They were outbred and conquered numerous times through history. They have been spit on and persecuted in almost every corner of the world, and IIRC, the Jewish population is on the decline. The idea that this is beneficial is strange, since it only seems to have worked once it was co-opted by the already larger and more powerful Roman Empire. And I’m not saying that any of this is right, but this seems to make for a pretty poor reason to oppress half your people.

    Mormon Whisperer woman: Back before my building cracked down on solicitors, LDS and Watchtower advocates would come to my door and talk about their religion to me. I was up front with them: I’m an atheist, but if you really want to take the time…okay then. I asked them about issues I had with the literature they gave me, they didn’t seem offended. I mean, I’m not saying every Mormon or Scientologist feels this way, and I’m definitely onboard with asking them, but I think it’s probably a misnomer for the people around them to assume you’re doing something bad.

    I think that covers everything I wanted to comment in the show.

  17. sayamything says

    @Java: “I would let them kill me. Doing so would maximize well being, because several people would be happy for having killed me.”

    It’s not in society’s best interest to have people running around breaking into homes and killing people. If you and the pack of people intent on killing you are the only people, then maybe. But this is like the libertarian arguing it’s okay to set his apartment on fire because personal responsibility, ignoring that everyone else in the building stands to be impacted.

    You’re dead, you don’t have to care anymore. But the rest of us do. How does that maximise well-being, even before you get to Monocle Smile’s point about people who might be more familial and impacted?

  18. ML says

    During the first call and immediately after, there was an interesting topic that popped up in the chat section. Consenting to unprotected sex is not consenting to pregnancy, consenting to drive is not consenting to a crash and consenting to eat food is not consenting to food poisoning.
    Nobody who wants to drive, wants to crash, but what if he is driving a car with a 10% chance of malfunctioning(and he knows this for a fact)?. Nobody who wants to eat wants to have an allergy but what if the person eats something that clearly warns about allergies in 2% of the consumers? Nobody wants to have lung cancer, but what if he is smoking daily? I don’t think that the aversion for something simply takes away the responsibility. It simply does not make sense if someone says “I consent to eat chocolate but did not consent to have my blood glucose level increased”. This kind of reasoning could make atheists sound like angry 13 year old girls who go through a phase (Jordan Peterson fans seem to be very excited about this :p ).
    The abortion debate has nothing to do with atheism, but most theists don’t seem to recognize that fact. I think it finally boils down to person-hood and whether a fetus deserves it and when it deserves it. Any any other judgement has to made after answering that question.
    https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control

  19. anti religion says

    I liked Amanda’s call. I think that it is good for those who are trying to learn the truth as to whether or not there is a God to look into every religion and their God claim. I also think it would be good to look at every near death experience claim where people claim to see loved ones who have passed on or claim to see God when learning the truth as to whether or not a God exists.

  20. Justin says

    All Killian does is complain. Why is he allowed to continue to post insulting things? Where are the mods?

  21. Marcel says

    @14 Java (and 15 MS & 19 Sayamything)
    Continuing on with what MS and Sayamything brought up. Looking at well-being at the level of individuals can be too simplistic. You also need to consider the well-being of society as a whole.

    One example I’ve seen brought up before. A single healthy person can save 10 people by donating their organs. What if the government (or BigOrgan) started collecting people to harvest their organs. Using a simplistic view of well-being, this would be a good thing. But it does tremendous harm to society. Would you want to live in a society where people can be randomly picked up off the street to harvest their organs “for the greater good”?

  22. Gavin says

    The way I approach the abortion debate is that the fetus has a right to life. They do not, however, have a right to co-opt the mother into bearing them. If they can survive on their own they should be removed and allowed to do so. If they cannot survive on their own then removing them would be unnecessarily intrusive to the mother and cruel to the fetus that would have to suffer a quick and painful death anyway.

    An oversimplification, maybe, but that is the crux of the argument for me.

  23. Gavin says

    @Killian Jones.
    I disagree that this show has nothing to do with Atheism.

    1. Like it or not morality is directly interwoven with world belief in our society and will be as long as theism exists in any sort of commonality. Assessing moral beliefs that callers have allows a greater discussion about morality in both the context of Theism and the absence of it.
    2. When people are deciding on the nature of their beliefs and whether to share them that has relevance to the Atheist experience, and so the The Atheist Experience.

    I suggest you rewatch the show considering that it isn’t exclusively about debunking god claims.

  24. John David Balla says

    I really appreciate the critique of “‘well-being’ as moral foundation” by several above. Many good questions that demonstrate how nuanced morals are and the need to dig deeper as a matter of first step testing. Thank you Tracie for introducing your views here as it is proving to be very good “food for thought”, which is one reason I watch the show. The other is to learn, and the moral discussion does both. Definitely not a waste of time.

  25. John David Balla says

    @sayamything What I glean from your lengthy comment, among other things, is a tendency for more informed theist callers to challenge many tangential matters surrounding the god question but avoid defending their own positions on god directly. The same tactic was in plain view last week whereby the caller scrutinized Matt’s moral system but would not engage in his own moral views, let alone defend their own god claim as case-in-point. This tactic needs to be called out in a very overt and explicit way. I’m reminded of a defense attorney who knows their client is guilty but has a duty to defend their client’s position by casting as much doubt as possible because that’s all they have to work with. In other words, it’s one big deflection.

  26. seanj says

    With regard to Dylan, who was looking for advice on how to “come out atheist”, I agree with Tracie and Jen in part but disagree in part. I wouldn’t just bring up the topic out of the blue, although it really depends on your family dynamic/discussions. I would have asked whether he was going to church to ‘not make a big deal’ out of not believing, or ‘not making waves’, which is perfectly fine of course, I would say that he should really look at whether he truly does have no problem going to church or not. Also it’s ok to casually tell your mom you don’t believe/are an atheist, but again it’s all up to you and finding that ‘right moment’ where it makes sense.

  27. says

    Despite being a pro-choice atheist, I find the notion that a foetus “violates” the body of her mother by merely existing, therefore removing it is okay, to be very weak. Unwanted foetuses never asked to be conceived, and in most but not all cases, they exists because of their mothers’ bad decisions, so the idea that they deserves death for “violating their mothers’ bodies” is a hard sell. I don’t want people to think that atheists see it this way.

    The most convincing argument for legalizing abortion is to explain the consequences of not legalizing it. The perpetuation of poverty and crime and illiteracy across generations in communities with a high rate of unwanted pregnancies. The maiming and death of thousands of women, and thousands of babies born with brain damage and other crippling disabilities due to botched abortion attempts. Genetically disabled babies who have no chance of having good lives being born and forced to suffer through life.

    Pair this with the observation that the foetus probably doesn’t feel any pain until its nervous system is sufficiently developed, and you have an solid justification for fully legalizing early stage abortion of all unwanted pregnancies, at least.

    The best argument is that, while we absolutely hate abortion and would rather prevent unwanted pregnancies by promoting contraceptive use so abortions aren’t needed, we hate the consequences of not legalizing abortion even more. Abortion is the lighter grey.

  28. Rexlee says

    Dylan might face a dilemma if his mother asks him to pray, or if the church he attends ask him to pray for his fathers disability to be healed. Being an atheist he would not be able to do so and then he would be accused of not caring for his father. It is then better to say that he does not believe that prayer helps one iota, but be declare his steadfast love for his parents. Honesty always wins out. In the mean time, let sleeping dogs lie.

  29. Rexlee says

    The three Johns and Daniel, should appreciate that when you ask a question you have an expectation that you will be given a truthful answer BUT you are likewise obliged to listen to that answer. When the theist hear what they don’t want to hear they just go into rant mode. I believe that a a visual display of when three violations have occurred the calls should be chopped off. A technical solution could be say, Spaghetti monster having an erection of three of it’s appendages.

  30. Rexlee says

    I strongly agree with Nathan Roe! I enjoyed the whole show. I always do when Jen and Tracey are on together. I enjoyed the caller from Hungary. He was an organised speaker and a good listener!

  31. einyv says

    Sad to think John has 4 kids and they are going to grow up and be ignorant like him unless they can break free.

  32. Larry Cahoon says

    Back to evidence of a martyr. I had to listen again to the clip of what Issac said, what Tracie said, and the response above. I see a bit of confusion. Tracie in the response above was clearly thinking at the time of the show of a 1st century martyr who was an actual eyewitness. I see that coming across weakly in the show, but it is fair to see that as part of the thought process at the time.

    I took the comment about there never being a martyr who died for not recanting a resurrection story in a more general context. I saw the statement “that christian does not exit” within that context. I do not believe there is any credible evidence that Christians were killed under those circumstance in the first century. I think that there is evidence that it did happen later. And that was the evidence I was trying to point to in my original post.

  33. StonedRanger says

    Killian, if you don’t like the way the show is produced, why do you watch it week after week? All you do is bitch about how you hate the show yet somehow, you cant stop yourself from watching it. Perhaps instead of criticizing the show, you should stop and take a look at yourself and what you are doing here. Hosts have responded to you in the past and acknowledged your posts. They told you that the show will be run the way the hosts want it to go from week to week and not how you want it to go. They even advised (as have more than a few regulars posters here) that you should start your own show and then you can run it the way you want.

    Up to this point all you have done is return and whine, and then you leave, come back, and whine some more when you know that you have no support for your position from the hosts/show producers nor from the other viewers or people who post here about the show. What is it that you hope to accomplish, other than to bore people with your rants? Just saying the same thing every time you post is not productive so it looks like you just like to see your name on the forum. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s all youre trying to do then have at it, you are succeeding beyond your wildest dreams. But if you actually think that you are going to cause the show to change the way it operates by coming here and pissing and moaning, i hate to tell ya pal, its not working and its not going to work. Perhaps if you came here with some constructive points on how the calls went instead of how you think they should have gone someone might pay attention to what you say and try to engage you instead of merely telling you to fuck off. I don’t think you have what it takes to come here and actually engage in conversations with people. Please prove me wrong or go away because at this point youre boring the hell out of me.

  34. StonedRanger says

    And to whichever one of the johns that talked about abortion… Most abortions occur within the first 90 days of pregnancy. At that point the fetus is not capable of sustaining itself outside of the womb. It is barely 10cm long after 90 days. There is a great difference between that fetus and a fully developed, breathing, living baby. If you cant see a difference in your god ordering the killing of infants and a woman having an abortion in the first trimester, then you aren’t very smart.

    I heard you say something about sucking out brains to kill the fetus. That only occurs in a very, very small number of late term abortions and it is so dishonest of you to say that is how every abortion goes. Either you are just not very well informed about abortions, or youre lying out your ass to try and make a point. Maybe you just haven’t thought this whole argument out or youre not good at verbalizing your thoughts. It sounds like your argument is made up of religious talking points that you are just regurgitating without actually knowing if what youre saying is even true.

    And for gawds sake, could the theist callers stop talking over the hosts, and maybe actually listen to what the hosts are saying? Jesus H. Christ, when the host has to explain the same point three times, either youre not paying attention or you just want to hear yourself talk. So annoying. Almost as annoying as when you keep arguing the same thing when the hosts repeatedly told you they agree with you.

  35. The Wild Monk says

    The atheist has to show it is logically impossible for God to have morally sufficient reasons to allow suffering to occur.
    LMAO. They can’t.

  36. GumB. says

    @The Wild Monk #38

     
    Can you demonstrate for us whether pigs are flying because they use wings, or if it’s because they are filled with a lighter than air gas, or if it’s because of some other reason, such as maybe a gaseous jet being shot out of their ass?

     
    Exactly, it hasn’t even been established that pigs are flying in the first place, so it’s a nonsensical discussion.

     
    Oops, you lose again!

     
    I won’t laugh at you though, maybe just cock an eye.

  37. HegeS says

    I agree with a lot of what Seun O said.

    Saying a fetus is violating a woman’s body sounds rather grotesque and I don’t think it will resonate with a lot of people. I think it will more likely support the view some theists have that atheist are egotistical, cold, cynical etc.

    The thing that matters most to me in the question of abortion is that the sentience of a fetus is debatable and it doesn’t feel pain in the first, probably not even in the second trimester. It also takes quite some time for it to become conscious which tells me that it isn’t equal to an actual born person.
    I think it’s rather strange how most “pro-life” people still eat animals even though we know they’re sentient.
    I think this is more relatable to people and will make them see that we’re not baby-killers, but don’t oppose removal of something who doesn’t have consciousness. So I do wish this point was brought up maybe once at least when talking about abortion.

    I feel like when the theists are like “but you agree it’s a human right??!” And you say yes, they think human cells, DNA etc means someone with the experience of a born child or grown person. And I think it’s important to make a distinction.

    Here’s some reading on fetuses and pain if anyone’s interested
    https://www.livescience.com/54774-fetal-pain-anesthesia.html

  38. Dan says

    Regarding abortion and religion; decades ago I heard something that still rings true: “If men could have babies, abortion would be a sacrament.”

  39. retak says

    @ML #21

    Accepting that my actions can have unwanted consequences doesn’t imply that I won’t take steps against those consequences if they end up happening. If I smoke all my life and gets lung cancer as a result it does make it my responsibility but it doesn’t mean I won’t get treatment for it. And it certainly doesn’t mean society should force me to accept the full consequences of my actions – i.e. dying from cancer.

  40. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @ML #21:

    I don’t think that the aversion for something simply takes away the responsibility. It simply does not make sense if someone says “I consent to eat chocolate but did not consent to have my blood glucose level increased”.

    Would you deny insulin, to force a negative outcome and maintain a stigma?
     
    When there are mitigating actions that could be taken, it stops being amoral cause and effect. You’re equivocating ‘consent to pregnancy’. That’s nine months and a birth, not just the initial chemical reactions of insemination. There’s opportunity for further intervention if contraception fails, and for withdrawing consent, particularly if unexpected complications arise.

  41. t90bb says

    38. Wild Monk (ey?)

    Sugar, before atheists need to lift a finger to try to explain your Gods possible motivations….you need to establish it exists////…YOU CANT!!…..thanks for playing. Cant you prove its logically impossible for scooby doo to have a morally sufficient reason to shit on your gods head??

  42. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Seun O #30:

    in most but not all cases, they exists because of their mothers’ bad decisions

     
    Article: Contraception Journal – Reported contraceptive use in the month of becoming pregnant among U.S. abortion patients in 2000 and 2014

    The incidence of abortion has been declining since 1990 and has accelerated in recent years. The demographic profile of abortion patients has also changed, and between 2008 and 2014, the patient population has become older and more economically disadvantaged.
     
    One factor behind the recent decline in abortion is improvements in contraceptive use. In particular, more adolescents and young adult women have started relying on long-acting reversible (LARC) methods such as the intrauterine device (IUD) and the contraceptive implant, and there is also evidence that individuals have become better at using condoms. In turn, fewer women are having unintended pregnancies.

     

    Research suggests that most abortion patients want to obtain a contraceptive method at the time of their abortion […] Approximately half of the abortions in 2014 were accounted for by women who were not using a contraceptive method in the month they got pregnant. That half of women were using a contraceptive method does not mean that contraception is ineffective. Rather, it indicates that women and couples are imperfect.
     
    Thus, during postabortion counseling, nonusers might benefit from information about the times in their menstrual cycle when they are at highest risk of pregnancy, while both nonusers and individuals who experienced contraceptive failures might benefit from information about alternative methods or ways to use methods more consistently.

     
     
    @Seun O #30:

    while we absolutely hate abortion

    Must we?

  43. Ray Smith says

    I dislike using the term “violate” when referring to what a fetus does to its mother. The fetus did not make a conscious choice to be there, but the mother and father did choose to participate in sex knowing pregnancy is a possibility (excluding rape, of course). Saying you know the fetus is a human being while also saying it’s alright to destroy it is a very cold position to take. My view is that if a man and a woman both consent to have sex and the woman becomes pregnant, then they BOTH should be held legally responsible for the baby. They can choose to adopt the baby out or raise it themselves. Any other position is advocating irresponsible behavior. I wish more atheist would demonstrate accountability for their actions instead of choosing to ignore the rights of the unborn child who cannot speak for itself.

  44. Theisntist says

    I appreciated the fact that the abortion discussion went as long as it did, because it took most of that time for me to really understand Tracie’s point. If a rape is a violation of a body, and it is, an actual body growing inside of a body is quantitatively more of one, from a purely physical standpoint.

    Of course intent is a huge part of that equation as well, as the fetus has none and the rapist has harmful intent, which makes the rape analogy and use of the word ‘violation’ rather problematic. An earlier commentor’s suggestion of ‘use without permission’ might be better.

    I have always looked at it primarily from a greatest good point of view, since the fetus has no brain waves in the first trimester, it suffers less than the chicken did for my dinner. And in exchange for that non suffering death, the quality of life for everyone else is probably better, not only the mother, but the community and the planet, as legal abortion causes a huge reduction in crime rates since only wanted, properly cared for children are born and in a planet of 6 billion people it’s better to have less children overall.

    This all ties into atheism because religion sees each soul as sacred, and thus throws all those reasons out the window.

    Tracie’s body autonomy argument will now be an important part of my views on the issue.

  45. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ray Smith #45:

    My view is that if a man and a woman both consent to have sex and the woman becomes pregnant, then they BOTH should be held legally responsible for the baby.

    Sure, if there’s a baby when construction ends.
     

    Saying you know the fetus is a human being while also saying it’s alright to destroy it is a very cold position to take.

    That’s the result of one side insisting on the presence of a second agent (that side, at best, fixating on an exceedingly rare late term situation), and the other side showing that even granting the premise doesn’t work.
     
     

    Any other position is advocating irresponsible behavior.

    Do you understand that rape occurs if someone continues after any party withdraws consent?
     
    Do you understand that a mother is an active participant in pregnancy, for months, and needs not maintain that state of mind for the entire duration?
     
    Do you consider it cold or irresponsible to force someone through labor against their will and adoption proceedings, knowing there’s a chance that requirement will kill / traumatize them, when there are safer options, which won’t cost tens of thousands of dollars?
     
    Pre-natal care + delivery is particularly costly and dangerous in the US compared to other industrialized nations.

  46. GumB. says

    I’m in agreement with the arguments that it’s a woman’s right to choose, since she ultimately bears the risk of the pregnancy and also knows whether or not she’s prepared to make the appropriate commitments to this child’s long term development.

     
    However, my main argument for a woman’s right to choose actually stems from some very famous research by a psychologist named Harry Frederick Harlow best known for his maternal-separation, dependency needs, and social isolation experiments on rhesus monkeys. He showed how fundamentally debilitating the lack of a healthy maternal bond can be under various scenarios by controlling how much of an attachment bond rhesus monkey infants were allowed to form with their mothers, and also with various types of artificial replacements for mothers.

     
    The results were present along a spectrum according to the various levels of failing to experience emotional attachment during infancy. Some researchers even cite the experiments as a factor in the rise of the animal liberation movement in the United States, due to the distress and anxiety shown during the experiments by the monkeys who failed to form a maternal attachment (even to just a replacement object sometimes.) There is one video of his work I have seen where a monkey huddles shivering with anxiety in the corner of a cage, while the rest of his peers who DID have emotional attachment with their mothers cavort and play like cute little monkeys. The poor creature cowered in terror when any of the other peers even so much as approached it to come join in the fun. It was a broken creature.

     
    So, I roll my eyes at the mistaken folks who claim they’re looking out for the child by forcing it to be born to a mother that KNOWS she doesn’t want it. You can legislate who pays for diapers, and get social services in there to make sure there’s a proper bed and food and etc, etc, etc … but this isn’t about beating the child or abusing it … this attachment bonding is about all the coo coo ka choo’ing and smiling and not being able to get enough of the new baby stuff that often a mother forced to bear a child she knew she didn’t want just can’t bring herself to provide … because she doesn’t feel it herself (how about if it was the result of an affair within a marriage … think of the poor CHILD here, and not just the adults.)

     
    These are the kids that grow up to be homeless addicts, and where are the religious people then years after that child was born into a situation where the mother just couldn’t bring herself to emotionally attach adequately to that child (and therefore it to her either.) And remember, this also was shown to happen in degrees along a spectrum too. Oh right, the religious people then condemn that homeless drifter who is unable to hold a job due to socialization problems not unlike that rhesus monkey, and who may even be addicted to drugs by early adulthood as a way to cope.

     
    My main point is … are you sure you’re really doing that child a favor?

     
    I’m just surprised that I never ever hear this presented … ever … as an additional argument: truly caring about the well being of the child over the course of its life after being forced to be born into a home that didn’t really want it, and knew it, and wanted to terminate the pregnancy.

     
    I still never hear this brought up ever in the abortion debate though. You can force someone to have it, but there is no way to force them to love it (and they may even try, but just can’t muster it, or enough.) Mother’s know … let them decide. You may be condemning that child to a life of hell (and future judgement from all the asshats who interfered in the mother’s right to choose in the first place when the child grows up to be an addicted homeless person, which isn’t a fun thing to be … or always a person’s own choice or fault they didn’t get to form a deep attachment bond with their mother at infancy.)

     
    Oh, and when the bond doesn’t form … early … it doesn’t correct later on either.

     
    (This is just the simple wiki deal … but it really was quite a famous and revolutionary bit of research into attachment bonding.)

     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow

  47. ML says

    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain #42
    What causes a pregnancy is having sex. A pregnancy can have ill effects, but the initial statement still stands. When someone consents to have sex that person should consider the consequences of his or her actions and whatever the outcome is, they would be responsible for it(unless someone cheats in some way). I simply don’t see the way out of it. It would be true that one would not consent to experience the ill effects and if that is the case that person cannot by definition consent to perform the causal action. If a person can get rid of the ill effects or outweigh positive results or simply ignore the ill effects, they might consent to perform the action,but it still is their decision.

  48. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Tracie #9 (Sorry for the lateness; haven’t checked the blog until now:

    “The point though, is that this caller needs a very specific martyr: Someone who knew Jesus, can attest he was executed, and then claims to have seen him again, alive. Someone who was subsequently taken into custody in some way over this, and who was given a choice to be tortured/killed or recant.”

    Yes, and even if the caller had this very martyr, it wouldn’t be evidence for anything supernatural or divine; it would be evidence that someone believed in the supernatural or divine enough to die for it.

  49. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @ML #49:

    that person should consider the consequences of his or her actions and whatever the outcome is, they would be responsible for it

    Sure: take a non-zero risk, contract an STI, seek treatment.
     
    #21:

    an interesting topic that popped up in the chat section. […] consenting to drive is not consenting to a crash

    As Tracie put it in a Godless Bitches episode, “Consenting to drive is not consenting to bleed out on the pavement.” It would be responsible to wear a seat belt. An accident may still happen, but the debate is about denying intervention afterward.
     
    Do you recognize that seeking an abortion can be a responsible course of action?

  50. ML says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain #51
    “Do you recognize that seeking an abortion can be a responsible course of action?”
    Definitely and absolutely. My arguments were not meant to be pro life.

    P.S. I don’t know how to make quotes like you do.

  51. ML says

    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain #51
    “Consenting to drive is not consenting to bleed out on the pavement.”
    Definitely. But the abortion debate is about choosing between the life of a person (if you agree that a fetus is a person in the first place) and the other harmful effects on the mother. If the life of the mother is at risk then I guess even a pro life person would agree to save the mother. Saving a life bleeding on the pavement does not cost another life.

  52. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @ML #52:

    My arguments were not meant to be pro life.

    Ah. You were taking pedantic issue with the chat’s wording. Glad that cleared up quickly. I agree they were sloppy.
     
    I thought you were making the “anyone who has sex is to be held responsible by carrying to term and birth” argument.
     

    I don’t know how to make quotes like you do.

    <blockquote>yadda yadda yadda</blockquote>
     
    #54:

    If the life of the mother is at risk then I guess even a pro life person would agree to save the mother.

    You’d be (horrifically) surprised.
     
     
    Video: LastWeekTonight – Crisis Pregnancy Centers (21:08)

    Quoting Barbara Beavers (founder of a CPC namedCenter for Pregnancy Choices):
     
    Women are made to protect and to guard and to, to… DIE for their babies, not their babies to die for them.

  53. Honey Tone says

    Hey, folks. Longtime lurker, first time poster.

    The comments suggesting that a “choice” to have sex necessarily implies a responsibility to birth the unintended resulting fetus are off base. How many of you chose your gender? Did any of you choose to experience puberty? Is your sex drive completely your choice? Most people can’t and don’t choose any of those things. And with more than 7 billion people already on this planet it is no longer imperative for the species that every fetus be nurtured to birth. Neither women or men need to be slaves to biology. The use of a woman’s body to reproduce now can be properly considered completely her choice.

    Do we devalue fetuses/babies/children by allowing choice? I think it’s just the opposite. And, moreover, in 10,000 years of human history I don’t see where and when babies and children were ever considered such precious gifts from god(s) that wars and famine were stopped and corrected so as not to harm those innocents.

  54. says

    not really interested in another abortion debate, but will chime in to second sky captain’s point, one many pro-lifers fail or refuse to acknowledge:

    seeking an abortion can be a responsible course of action

    john the first, with his implicitly derogatory asides about “inconveniences”, eye color and “one percent are rapes”, seems to rejects this position.

  55. says

    >But the abortion debate is about choosing between the life of a person (if you agree that a fetus is a person in the first place) and the other harmful effects on the mother.

    No, it’s about physical autonomy vs. life. In other words, someone is dying, and I can save their life by donating a pint of blood, does the state step in and force me, because it’s a low risk act I’m being asked to engage in? No. I have to consent. If the person dies due to my lack of consent to allow them to use my body, blood, or tissue, I am not considered to have killed them, because it’s not about a contest of harm levels. In all cases where another’s life is pitted against a violation of someone else’s body, and nobody has committed a crime, we consistently choose physical autonomy, and risk to the person being asked to lend their body—in part or full—doesn’t even play into it. Because our state doesn’t coerce people to let others use their bodies, blood/tissue without their consent.

    >What causes a pregnancy is having sex. A pregnancy can have ill effects, but the initial statement still stands. When someone consents to have sex that person should consider the consequences of his or her actions and whatever the outcome is, they would be responsible for it(unless someone cheats in some way). I simply don’t see the way out of it.

    All biological parents have had sex. None of them are compelled by the state to donate blood or tissue to save their child’s life. People who choose to become parents and have born children, and who chose to have those children, and consented all the way, are not obligated to the point of state coercion to have their bodily autonomy and integrity violated, even to save the child’s life. When a child’s life is pitted against bodily autonomy of a parent who has consented to all the obligations of legal parenthood—the parent wins. If the child dies, the parent is not in violation of any laws. And they have merely exercised their rights under our laws. A pregnant person who has become aware of a pregnancy now has to decide whether or not they are willing to take on those same obligations—that is, they don’t yet have the same level of legal obligation, so why do they have a greater level of legal coercion, to the point they aren’t even given a chance to consent—they’re just forced to donate their bodies to another person, put their lives and health at risk, for nearly a year, without their consent even being a consideration—in fact, even against their will and without consent.

    >I appreciated the fact that the abortion discussion went as long as it did, because it took most of that time for me to really understand Tracie’s point. If a rape is a violation of a body, and it is, an actual body growing inside of a body is quantitatively more of one, from a purely physical standpoint.

    Absolutely. So, above, we see people saying a woman can be violated and forced to allow someone to violate her body by the state for nearly a year, in probably the most comprehensive way a body can be violated—and who cares if she doesn’t consent? Why should her consent matter?

    This is an example of how women are not viewed as human beings—we don’t (and I hope would never) put people in a situation where someone else literally has legal rights to violate their bodies nonstop for 9 months, putting them at risk of harm and death, and even going so far as to kill them—and no harm no foul, because she had sex. Sex, which is a legal action that violates no other person. She has committed no crime, but is being sentenced to what amounts to a form of slavery—where the state hands over someone’s body to someone else to use and put at risk for almost a year. If we mandated this for anyone, but pregnant person, people would think it was unthinkable. It would be considered monstrous. And yet, when it’s a pregnant person, suddenly people are unable to see what the problem is with doing this to them.

    And that’s just consent. As you point out—the fact that I got push back above for using the label “violation” demonstrates the other prong: How is having another body growing in your body, against your will, putting your life and health at risk, and being coerced into this by the state, not something that rises to the level of a violation of my body? How is “violation” too strong a term?

    The fact is, we don’t really consider the bodies of people who become pregnant to be the bodies of real human beings. We refuse to own the gravity of what is being said in the abortion dialog, which is it’s OK to violate a woman’s body. Her consent counts for nothing. And there is nearly nothing you can do to her body that is really all that egregious—even using all her organs, blood, tissue for almost a year—it’s nothing. Why is she so upset? Why can’t she just settle down and let someone else use her body and not make such a big deal about being forced to have her body used by someone else?

    Because historically women’s bodies have always been used by “someone else” and women’s consent wasn’t that important, and we simply have not come very far on that front.

    >Of course intent is a huge part of that equation as well, as the fetus has none and the rapist has harmful intent, which makes the rape analogy and use of the word ‘violation’ rather problematic. An earlier commentor’s suggestion of ‘use without permission’ might be better.

    Whether someone’s body is violated is not a function of what the perpetrator intended. It’s a function of whether someone else is violating my body, and whether I’ve agreed to it. If someone is intimately touching my body, without my consent, I’m being violated—regardless of what that person intends. And again, another example of how we don’t see women as people. She knows if she has agreed to allow her body to be used or not—and if not, she’s being violated. If she hasn’t consented, she’s being assaulted.

    If I wake up a 2 a.m. with a man on top of me trying to rape me, and I ultimately am raped, and the perpetrator is caught, and it turns out it’s a person with severe cognitive deficits that strip them of their capacity to understand the implications of what they’ve done, they may not be “responsible” for my body being violated, but it’s dismissive and incorrect to say that means my body wasn’t violated. Tell me I wasn’t raped, simply because the perpetrator didn’t *mean* to harm me. It’s not about his intentions. It’s about the fact someone used my body without my permission—which is just another way of saying I was physically violated.

    >Saying you know the fetus is a human being while also saying it’s alright to destroy it is a very cold position to take. My view is that if a man and a woman both consent to have sex and the woman becomes pregnant, then they BOTH should be held legally responsible for the baby.

    And they are—but you know what isn’t included in that parental legal obligation? Allowing the child to use your body, organs, blood/tissue, without your consent. That is not the obligation under law of any parent. But for some reason we think it’s fine to obligate a pregnant person to that. When people ask “what’s the difference between a baby in the womb and one that’s been born?” I want to say “You tell me. A baby that’s been born doesn’t have a right to use the bodies of its biological parents without their consent…so how does an unborn gain that sort of power?”

    >in most but not all cases, they exists because of their mothers’ bad decisions

    And this is a red herring. The fact is, I can go out on the street any weekend and ask men all day long if they’ve ever had sex without a condom when they weren’t trying to conceive. And I’ll get nearly 100% “yes” answers. The fact is, most people have had unprotected sex if they have any sexual history to speak of. And most of us didn’t end up facing a pregnancy. In fact, in a recent study of couples actively trying to conceive, it took 104 sex acts to hit successful conception/pregnancy. Pregnancy can occur with unprotected (or protected) sex, but the fact is, pregnancy is not the normal result of a sex act—even an unprotected one.

    But we don’t hold people to account for natural process, anyway. If two people decide to have a child and their child is born with a defect, we don’t slam them and say “how could you do that to your child? You knew birth defects occur, but you irresponsibly went out and *purposely* conceived regardless, and now you have a baby with problems, and you did that just as surely as if you abused that baby.” We don’t say “you consented to have a sick baby.” Of course people know a defect can occur. That doesn’t make them responsible for birth defects—even if they consented to conceive. And a woman who consents to sex is not “responsible” for a pregnancy. It’s a natural result that can occur, and would be unintended—like the birth defect. And if that child with the defect needed blood or tissue to survive, we wouldn’t say that the parents are responsible for the nonviable child and are now legally required to donate blood/tissue to ensure the child survives and reaches a viable status. But we sure feel pious enough to force that on a pregnant person. Because we suddenly become shining beacons of responsible sexual behavior when it comes to harshly judging a woman who finds herself unintentionally pregnant. She becomes the irresponsible slut that we can all look down on.

    The fact is, there are all sorts of gray areas around birth control. Again, I know few men my age with a perfect track record of condoms every time. In fact, I don’t know any, and I’ve polled my facebook wall on this issue in the past. People who use birth control might miss a pill… might miss two. But they’re only having sex a couple times during the month, and they’ve been on it for a while… and this is how people think and how they *actually* behave. Nobody lives up to the responsible model that pregnant women seeking an abortion are suddenly demanded to demonstrate.

    And for reasons noted above, none of this is even relevant, because even people who mean to have a child aren’t required to give up their bodies in the way she’s being told she should be compelled to do.

    It’s simply a way to shame a woman for being sexual. It has zero bearing on the conflict of rights, which always favors the physical autonomy of the person being asked for use of their body, even in situations where failure to volunteer results in a death, and even in situations where the person who needs the donation is the child they produced.

  56. rabecca says

    Tracie brought up in the call with Chase that the reason to lock down women is ensure they pass on their inheritance to their own children. Just wanted to point out Num. 36 5-9. The bible explicitly states that women should marry relatives in their own tribe for the purpose of keeping the property and inheritance in the family. Just one more example of how the bible controls women. Right on point Tracie and Jen!

  57. KarlfromVista says

    I’ve been trying out an argument strategy that I think has some legs against most pro-life advocates:

    Do you support abortion as an option to save the life of the mother?

    The answer seems to be “yes” for most and this is a logical problem. If a fetus is equal to any other human being then how can you actively kill it to protect another? (Best example: untreated cancer during a pregnancy; abortion in this case it’s actually supported by Catholic Church!)

    And since all childbirth has maternal death risks associated with it, EVERY abortion is justified. The pro-life, life of the mother advocates, have boxed themselves in with the black and white definition of life.

    I’d love your feedback.

  58. Serge Rubinstein says

    Theists always judge a moralwith moral arguments, not realizing it’s a circular reasoning .

  59. paxoll says

    Thank you Tracie, reading through these bad arguments was making my blood pressure raise thinking of the time it was going to take me to refute them. I think you covered them all. To expand on the ‘responsible’ issue with sex. The purpose of having sex is almost never with the intent to have a baby. It may be considered a desired effect, or not, but the reason people have sex is because it feels good. Going out in the sun is also good, lots of good things about fresh air and sunshine, it also causes cancer. When you go outside you are “responsible” if you get cancer. That doesn’t mean you have to live with the cancer as a consequence. We don’t force people to live with unintended consequences of their actions. The only time we do this is when that unintended consequence is a crime. Do we want to make getting pregnant a crime?

    The biggest obstacle to communicate in the abortion debate is the death of the baby is an unintended consequence of the abortion. Abortion is simply the stopping a process of something in this case a pregnancy. When people like Seun O says “deserves death for “violating their mothers’ bodies” they are misrepresenting the issue completely. The ethical issue is bodily autonomy, the rational argument is that self autonomy has primacy and the rights of one person end when they violate the rights of another. This is the basis of pretty much all laws. When you remove either of these you cannot argue against rape, or theft, or slander. If you say a woman loses her bodily autonomy during pregnancy, then how do you rationalize the bodily autonomy of the infant at any stage of life? What special pleading can you apply to one and not another? How can an fetus have more rights then a child, or an adult over the body of a woman?

  60. AC Seattle says

    Abortion:
    I’m with a few other commenters, that I either find Tracie’s autonomy argument unconvincing, or I don’t fully understand it. Does anyone here know where I might be able to find a fairly rigorous statement of this argument? Does the argument come out of rigorous ethical theory, or is it something Tracie or someone else came up with intuitively or informally? Does the argument have a name? Not saying it’s wrong, but I would like to understand it better before I make up my mind. Thanks.

  61. nude0007 says

    the first john said his moral intuition trumps theirs. I would have asked him why and how. He refused acknowledging his god said to kill children that were born and even a few years old, even though that IS what it says according to the scholars who obviously provided us with the translations of what he bible says. In other words he kept lying and I wish you had clalmed him out on it. I know, you can’t think of everything, but just a thought.

  62. Vic May says

    Is there anyone capable of more willful cruelty than a full of zelotry religious person?

    A person only becomes a person AFTER being born and AFTER developing personality and self-awareness. Before being born the fetus is just a blank, unconscious and unaware piece of biological mass.

    There is so much suffering and cruelty that unwanted or defective human beings experience in their life, potentially causing suffering and hard life to those around them. And instead to try to prevent the suffering or help to make their lives easier after birth, the overwhelming majority of a-holes aka “believers in God” fight hard to eliminate the social safety net, free access to health care and try their best to demonize, incarcerate or any other way to put down or persecute the unfortunate.

  63. Finny says

    I haven’t noticed anyone else mentioning this, so I will. At one point during the first call with John concerning abortion, Tracie was looking for a specific bible verse that mentions god commanding the slaughter of children and John made a condescending remark about if Tracie would “take your reading a step further and take it to Fourth Grade reading”. I don’t know that either one of them caught it and I wish they had cause he should have been hung up on for being such a jerk.

  64. Theisntist says

    Tracie, as I stated, I agree completely with your body autonomy argument, and agree that the word violation is technically accurate. My problem with the word is more an emotional and tactical one. On an emotional level, the idea of a fetus violating anything by simply existing is a tough one to swallow, it reminds me of vagrancy laws that some people can’t help but violate by simply existing. Tactically, using the word could potentially turn more people against your position that it would sway towards it. Perhaps being technically accurate is all that matters in some arenas, but if the goal is to persuade the public (which happens to be my goal), then tactics and emotions matter too.

  65. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Theisntist #63:

    the idea of a fetus violating anything by simply existing

    It’s not inert.
     
    heicart #58:

    The fact is, we don’t really consider the bodies of people who become pregnant to be the bodies of real human beings. We refuse to own the gravity of what is being said in the abortion dialog, which is it’s OK to violate a woman’s body. Her consent counts for nothing. And there is nearly nothing you can do to her body that is really all that egregious – even using all her organs, blood, tissue for almost a year – it’s nothing.

  66. speedofsound says

    On the AA comments. First of all ‘AA purports to be a treatment for alcoholism’. AA does not ‘purport’ anything. There is no such thing as a central body to AA that could do any ‘purporting’. Each group of people are self-governing. We have a cultural habit of trying to figure out how the 12 steps and other literature apply to us but this imagined central AA organization NEVER contacts us or has anything at all to do with what we do each time we create a meeting and attend.

    AA has soemthing that we adhere to very seriously, by cultural accident. The twelve traditions. look them up and read them. It’s a list of governing principles that insure a few things.

    1. No one tells us how to run a meeting.
    2. NO ONE is in charge.
    3. No one keeps tabs on our length of sobriety. Hence studies on so-called efficacy are difficult if not impossible.
    4. There is no structured treatment. Hence sobering up is entirely left to the individual. People who need more than that are encouraged to seek actual treatment for their issues.
    5. Religion is up to the individual. Atheism is just as accepted as chistianity. I lead each of my comments with the qualification of being a card carrying level 7 atheist and metaphysical naturalist. Never got tossed out or even frowned at.

    Now given the loose nature of the principles and the autopoietic governance of each group, and given the country we live in, there will be a lot of xtians. About 60%. They are STRONGLY encouraged to shut up about jesus and other specifics of thier god choices but of course this will vary by area and group. I hear California is a little nutty sometimes. Here in the midwest you will get frowns for jesus.

    The reality of AA is that it is a get together of people that really understand alcoholism and drug addiction and we try and help each other in order to help ourselves. I have NEVER heard from a thing that could be called AA as a noun. This is after 43 years of meetings.

    I am a tad distressed by comments on your show. We need MORE atheists and we need more specifically designed secular groups. Scaring away the atheists just makes me sad. I need this shit in my life and I really, really want to be in groups where the xtian/atheist ratio is better than it is at say the local WalMart. Right now it’s only a tiny bit better than WalMart. Drunks tend to hate organized religion so we fare a little better than the average population.

    so… Spirituality. What do you guys think about spirituality and atheism?

  67. chris m says

    Wow, “Violated”. It’s just a terribly poor and off-putting choice of words.
    It’s hysterical and reeks of playing the victim. The very fact that it’s needlessly turning off people
    who otherwise agree with you should be some kind of warning.

    If a woman went into a clinic and asked for an abortion and gave as her reasons;
    “This thing inside me is violating my body” and “‘It’s using my organs without my consent” she’d look like a total asshole.

    It’s clear that a woman can do what she want’s with her body and as far as I can see doesn’t even owe an explanation to anyone, so why set things back with this horrible line of reasoning?

    ehh… apart from that great show and sorry for being grumpy.

  68. Anders says

    So does Tracie’s argument extend to taxes? After all, if I give someone money with concepts, it’s a donation. If I am forced to give someone money without consent, it’s theft. Therefore, tax is theft. Is Tracie a libertarian?

    Am I allowed to let my kid starve to death if I do not consent to giving money to hir?

  69. Monocle Smile says

    @Anders
    Money is not part of you. I know libertarians act as if property is somehow an extension of your body, but they are wrong.
    Also, your definitions are incorrect.

  70. billkw says

    Jen, some time ago you did a thing on fan fiction. That really grabbed me and I think it’s worth doing again.

  71. Monocle Smile says

    @Anders
    If I buy a pair of sunglasses with money, I’m handing over money with consent, but that’s obviously not a donation.
    If I violate a contract and am successfully sued, I will be handing over money without consent, but that’s obviously not theft. There are other examples of both.

  72. Theisntist says

    Remember Anders, the name of the concept is “bodily autonomy”, not “financial autonomy”. Pretty much every civilized society on Earth has decided that taxes that go to providing a society in which to live is legally acceptable, but compelling citizens to give up their body for another is not, although some have a few blind spot, as Tracie has pointed out.

  73. Anders says

    Ok, I guess my analogy was too crude to be useful. Thank you for your comments and for being civil. There are too many places on the Net where this could have turned into a shouting match.

  74. Mobius says

    I was watching the program yesterday while I was at the library. When the comment about “you mean you don’t believe in ANY gods” came up I started to laugh out loud. I quickly covered my mouth, silencing myself, remembering that I WAS in a library. But the line was SO, SO funny.

  75. says

    mobius @ 73, yes, that was indeedy the money shot of the show, @1:56:10:

    tracie: why would i believe anything in a book full of whack stories is true? … ok, it defies everything we know about reality, right? we’ve got people coming back from the dead days later, we have people walking on water, which we know doesn’t actually work, we have people converting chemically water into wine, which we know doesn’t happen, there are tons of — there’s talking donkeys and talking serpents and fruit that gives you knowledge of good and evil, i mean what part of it isn’t whack, right? other than the “begats”, what part of this makes any sense at all? THE WHOLE THING IS BIZARRE.

    isaac [after a beat]: alright, then that means you don’t believe in a god, so ah–

    tracie [amid raucous laughter and applause]: thank you! i guess that’s why this is “the atheist experience”.

    jen: this guy’s a genius!

    tracie: wow.

  76. GumB. says

     

    isaac [after a beat]: alright, then that means you don’t believe in a god, so ah–

     
    I was going to point out something about this after the show, but then just let it go. But since people are picking up on how absurdly out of touch it seemed, let me give my perspective.

     
    I don’t think it was an epiphany he had. I think he just forgot himself and blurted it out as asocial accusation, not as a realization. In a social context, if he was in a group of his peers, this would’ve been calling the person out and publicly shaming them for not going along with the stupid groupthink. This form of public shaming is sometimes 9/10ths of how people are intimidated into going along with the whole delusion in the first place. The whole congregations gasps, “What? You don’t believe in god?” Sometimes when a person finds themselves isolated and in a group, the embarrassment of being singled out like this will get them to conform, rather than suffer the social shaming brought on by going against the beliefs of the large social group around them, who are suddenly very upset at them.

     
    He wasn’t having an epiphany about Tracie’s atheism. I think he thought he was going to shame her. In certain churches, that statement would be like sicking the dogs on you, like publicly humiliating you. There’d be a thousand eyes on you after that statement, and it might even embarrass you into going along with crowd in order to not get lynched or shunned in your own town. It really is sick and pathetic aggressive behavior, it’s clearly bullying.

     
    That’s what I saw in Issac’s reactionary remark. An attempt at shaming. But as if we care, bring it on dipptydoodle, lol. What a nutter. I despise people who try and intimidate other people. Benevolent people … my ass.

  77. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’m a little late to the party, but

    To Atom in 15

    The sophisticated answer is to invoke John Rawls’s Veil of Ignorance standard.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veil_of_ignorance

    If I could take the anti-abortion argument, and make it more clear, so that it might be better dissected. The argument by analogy is: If you are driving, and you close your eyes, and hit someone and injure or kill them, then you are morally responsible for that. You may not have intended to do so, but it was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of your action. Intent is partially mitigating, but intent is not magic. Concerning closing your eyes while driving, intent is the difference between a charge of manslaughter vs murder, but either way it’s still a crime.

    To Tracie:

    In other words, someone is dying, and I can save their life by donating a pint of blood, does the state step in and force me, because it’s a low risk act I’m being asked to engage in? No. I have to consent.

    I really don’t like this argument, actually.

    For example, if it could be shown that a policy of mandatory blood donations from random members of the general populace would save thousands or millions of lives per year in America, then I would be for such a law. Would you not?

    It’s quite obvious to me that this is morally equivalent to the policies of many states of almost-mandatory vaccination programs, which are also programs that I support. We know that these policies that require vaccinations for schoolchildren will kill some schoolchildren who would not have otherwise died through complications, contamination, impurities, allergic reactions, etc. Of course, we know that the the number of such deaths is incredibly small, like 1 out of 1 million per year or smaller, but we know that it still happens, and we still do it.

    I’m pretty sure that you are not going to sell me on the idea of absolute right to bodily integrity. I’m pretty sure that even you don’t buy it, given that you probably support government measures to ensure that children are vaccinated.

    Of course, I don’t mean to imply any positions about abortion from this argument. I’m just noting that your particular argument here is IMO flawed.

    PS:

    The fact is, most people have had unprotected sex if they have any sexual history to speak of.

    Are people really that irresponsible? I’m 33, and I’ve never done that.

  78. Monocle Smile says

    @EL

    Are people really that irresponsible? I’m 33, and I’ve never done that.

    Given the state of sex ed in this country, this shouldn’t be all that surprising.

  79. paxoll says

    @EL

    For example, if it could be shown that a policy of mandatory blood donations from random members of the general populace would save thousands or millions of lives per year in America, then I would be for such a law.

    I sure as hell wouldn’t be for that law, just like I wouldn’t be fore mandatory military service or conscription with a draft either. You destroy the rights of bodily autonomy when you do that.

    When it comes to childhood vaccinations this is not a good argument either, Strict bodily autonomy would not allow any medical treatment of children, which is why parents are given medical power of attorney. This is done anytime someone can’t make decisions on their own self interest. We don’t vaccinate children to protect ourselves (even if it does have that effect), we do it to protect them. This makes it a non issue with abortion, look to the answer on why you don’t describe it as killing a infant, because abortion isn’t an issue with the child but the mother and in no way can you claim that it is in the mothers interest to force her to remain pregnant or that she doesn’t have the capacity to make that decision.

  80. kulagin says

    Why you disabled comments on YouTube? That’s unfair. There are a lot of hilarious comments, look at this one for example:
    “My dog actually presented a sound argument for the existence of god that I couldn’t refute. The problem is, I seem to be the only one who can understand what my dog is saying. To everyone else, it just sounds like WOOF WOOF WOOF, which is why it isn’t on the news yet.

    That’s basically what this guy is saying.”

    This kind of jokes worth a laugh, and laughing worth enabling comments on YouTube.

  81. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    We don’t vaccinate children to protect ourselves (even if it does have that effect), we do it to protect them.

    This is both false, and not a rebuttal of the point.

    It is not a rebuttal of the point because state laws that require vaccinations for schoolchildren are still a violation of the right of bodily integrity of the child. Even assumed that the right is conferred to the legal guardian, the state law trumps the discretion of the guardian, which means that these laws are violations of the right of bodily integrity.

    It is also false because you misunderstand vaccinations. Depending on the vaccine, the actual immunization rate, the fraction of people who gain immunity from being vaccinated, is between 85% and 99%. It is true that getting a vaccine personally provides a personal benefit. However, there is another benefit from vaccination, and that is known as herd immunity. For each disease, depending on the social context, there is an approximate value of immunization rate whereby if the immunization level in the population is less than this number, then the disease can spread. Giving a particular child a vaccine not only protects that child, but it also protects all neighborhood children (and adults). This is not a negligible benefit. This is definitely part of why we target schoolchildren, and not people in general. It’s to protect other schoolchildren because by law parents are generally required to send their kids to school, and it would be irresponsible of the government to place these kids in close proximity with many other kids if they were not vaccinated.

    Moreover, there’s another angle that you’re missing. It’s called the freerider problem. As I stated above, there is a rough critical threshold of immunization rate so that the disease cannot spread in the population. Some parents and their children may forgo vaccinations, but they still reap the full benefits, beecause the disease is not present in the population, because everyone else is vaccinated. Herd immunity. These parents and kids who don’t get vaccinated are free-riding on the rest of society. It’s the classic “tragedy of the commons” problem, where in this case, the commons are the physical bodies of the schoolchildren, and whether or not they get vaccinated.

    In general, we don’t force schoolchildren to get vaccinated for their own benefit, and if it was that simple, there would be more religious exemptions. No, we force vaccinations to protect everyone else’s children. You are simply misinformed as to how vaccines work.

    I wouldn’t be fore mandatory military service or conscription with a draft either. You destroy the rights of bodily autonomy when you do that.

    This is just asinine. What’s next? Paying taxes or criminal punishments of community service are violations of bodily autonomy? What about jury duty? What about subpoenaing a witness to appear to give testimony? Your worldview is childish, and wrong. Your argument here against the draft is patently absurd.

  82. paxoll says

    @EL

    This is both false, and not a rebuttal of the point.

    The rebuttal of the point was that ANY medical intervention for children is violating bodily autonomy, we accept that as necessary since children do not have the capacity to make decisions on their best interests. The REBUTTAL was that in no way can forcing a woman to remain pregnant be for her benefit and women have the capacity to make that decision for herself. Which is NOT like children and vaccines. No state laws exist that do not have exemptions for children for multiple reasons. They penalize the children/family by denying them access to public school or some kind of benefit, but there are no doctors ANYWHERE forcibly giving vaccines against parents/children’s wishes.

    It is also false because you misunderstand vaccinations. Depending on the vaccine, the actual immunization rate, the fraction of people who gain immunity from being vaccinated, is between 85% and 99%. It is true that getting a vaccine personally provides a personal benefit Thank you for elaborating/repeating EXACTLY what I said

    We don’t vaccinate children to protect ourselves (even if it does have that effect), we do it to protect them.

    No clue why you bring up anything else on the topic as it is irrelevant to the issue of bodily autonomy. As for how vaccines work, I am far more educated then you on the topic unless you are a virologist for the CDC.

    This is just asinine. What’s next? Paying taxes or criminal punishments of community service are violations of bodily autonomy?

    Are taxes part of your body? Then they are not part of bodily autonomy. First, criminal punishments are losing your rights which is why I said

    The only time we do this is when that unintended consequence is a crime. Do we want to make getting pregnant a crime?

    The difference between forced military service and paying taxes, is you pay taxes on money you earn, you are choosing to participate in the economy and monetary system the government has set up. Next job you get ask to be paid in food and lodging and see if the boss is willing to hire you. Unless you are a slave and being beaten to force compliance your bodily autonomy is not being breached by whatever coercion you imagine is related to paying taxes. You can see exactly how forced military service makes you lose your bodily autonomy because in the military the force vaccinations on you, subject you to physical punishment. Even accepting jail you may lose your freedom and some rights, but you still retain your bodily autonomy. Prisoners are not beaten, or forced to perform labor like slaves, and they can’t be forcefully given vaccines or medical treatment against their will.

  83. kulagin says

    @Monocle Smile
    I sincerely hope you’re either 12 years old or not serious.

    I am sincerely sure you’re either retarded or not serious. I wonder how you would like it, if showrunners disabled comments here on the freethoughtblogs.com, huh?
    I’m an adult for a long-long time. Probably longer than you. And I am serious.

    It is a serious question and I would like to get an honest answer from showrunners. Disabling comments is a violation of freedom of speech of everyone who would like to write a comment. And no, I’m not on of those people that participate in holy wars about the existence of God in comments sections on YouTube. I watch this show for entertainment and I like to read comments of other people from time to time. And as I showed in my previous comment, comments section is worth enabling, sometimes people provide good arguments, sometimes good jokes, and disabling comments section is a violation of freedom of speech.

    Now, when you’re trying to promote an idea in the world, you want this idea to be communicated everywhere in the world, through all possible communication channels. That’s what theists did throughout history: they promoted their idea everywhere and silenced everyone who spoke against them, but not anymore.

    Now, when you close communication channel, you’re not promoting your idea as much as you could if you used that communication channel. Comments on YouTube is one small communication channel. There are theists in comments section and there are atheists. The thing is that when some idea is discussed long enough, common sense usually wins. And we have two perfect examples of that: slavery and Nazism.

    Conclusion: closing communicating channels is bad for promoting idea that you’re promoting, therefore closing YouTube comments is bad for atheism, therefore it is better to open YouTube comments to increase effect from videos showrunners upload to YouTube.

  84. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    The rebuttal of the point was that ANY medical intervention for children is violating bodily autonomy,

    Sure.

    […] we accept that as necessary since children do not have the capacity to make decisions on their best interests.

    No. We accept forced vaccinations for children as necessary because the benefits of forcing vaccinations on individuals to other individuals in society greatly outweigh the harms to the individuals. It is part of the basic minimum duty to society of each member. If it really was a matter of the children not being qualified to make that choice, it would default to their legal guardian, and the laws still force the legal guardian to vaccinate their child. Ergo, you are wrong.

    It is true that getting a vaccine personally provides a personal benefit Thank you for elaborating/repeating EXACTLY what I said

    Come on man. That’s some of the worst selective quoting, e.g. cherry-picking, that I’ve ever seen it. That sentence is just a preparation for a “however…” rejoinder which follows immediately afterward.

    Are taxes part of your body?

    What about military service involves injecting or extracting stuff from the body? I don’t see it. It seems that you were expanding “bodily integrity” to exclude forced labor – a rather curious thing to do.

    is you pay taxes on money you earn, you are choosing to participate in the economy and monetary system

    No. Go ahead and try to live in society without paying taxes. Get back to me. When something is extorted, it is not consensual. Just fuck you for saying something so asinine. Fuck you for asserting that something non-voluntarily is voluntarily. Fuck you for being an apologist for the exploitive capitalist system. Fuck you for being so confused and yet so confident for asserting that something is consensual when it is clearly not. Fuck you.

    Unless you are a slave and being beaten to force compliance your bodily autonomy is not being breached by whatever coercion you imagine is related to paying taxes.

    Fuck you for failing to admit to different degrees of extortion, to different degrees of freedom, and say that it’s either an entirely free choice, or it’s slavery. For every ounce of who I am, for every bit of Marxist and social-democrat that is me, for every bit of humanist and feminist and social justice warrior that is in me, fuck you.

    You can see exactly how forced military service makes you lose your bodily autonomy because in the military the force vaccinations on you, subject you to physical punishment.

    This is some patently dishonest bullshit. This is not why you said that the draft a violation of bodily integrity, and I know, and you know, and we both know that the other person knows it. We all know it. I am convinced that you were not thinking about vaccinations until I brought them up. You’re too ignorant of these issues. No, I am convinced that you brought up the draft entirely because of the forced labor component, and nothing more. This is a post-hoc rationalization, e.g. an excuse that you invented after the fact to defend your pathetic original assertion. In other words, to put in bluntly, would you have a problem with the draft if it didn’t include forced vaccinations?

    Prisoners are not beaten, or forced to perform labor like slaves, and they can’t be forcefully given vaccines or medical treatment against their will.

    lol
    Oh wait, you’re serious? Let me laugh harder.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_labor_in_the_United_States

    And, hey, motherfucker, you still haven’t answered about jury duty and subpoenaing witnesses to testify, other examples of forced labor. Should we end the practice of compelled jury duty and compelling witnesses to give testimony via subpoena?

  85. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ack.
    > It seems that you were expanding “bodily integrity” to include forced labor
    Fixed

  86. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Monocle Smile
    Thanks, but no thanks. I’m too mad arguing with f’ing Trump supporters, and I’m not going to tolerate some other asswipe who thinks that paying taxes is voluntary.

  87. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To EnlightenmentLiberal
    Not to mention, the extreme dishonesty and extreme confidence based on gross ignorance also set me off, while this person tries to claim the moral high ground, while pulling pure unmitigated bullshit directly out of their asshole. The implicit claim “we don’t have forced labor in prisons (in the United States)” also really set me off as something that is profoundly wrong, and yet this person asserted it with such confidence in order to make a moral attack on me. Of course I’m mad. They’re wrong on the facts, and they’re wrong on the morality. They even fucking cherrypicked me. They’re wrong at every conceivable level of analysis. If they said anything right and honest, it was by luck.

  88. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    I’m not suggesting you calm down because you’re wrong. I’m suggesting that you calm down for your sake, not paxoll’s.

  89. paxoll says

    @EL
    This is why the hosts have a fucken hold button so dumbfucks can’t simply endlessly spew garbage.

    Body autonomy, coercion, involuntary are different things. Just because a law says you can’t rape and police exist to stop rapes or capture rapists does not mean you lose your bodily autonomy because you WANT to rape. I’m going to repeat this really FUCKEN slowly for you. Coercion is not losing bodily autonomy, something happening to your body that you don’t want is losing bodily autonomy.

    Slaves lose their bodily autonomy when they are beaten, raped and shackled, not when they are coerced into performing labor. A pregnant woman loses bodily autonomy as SOON as she doesn’t want to be pregnant. NOT when the laws that prevent her from getting an abortion, NOT the religious nutbags coercing her to stay pregnant. The military uses coercion to violate the bodily autonomy of its soldiers with vaccinations and physical beatings, enemy soldiers violate their bodily autonomy with guns, and the military is responsible for coercing them into that situation by threatening their bodily autonomy with prison. Are you beginning to fucken understand what bodily autonomy means? Criminals LOSE their rights, they lose some of their bodily autonomy by being physically forced to go to prison. It’s still illegal to beat them, to rape them, to vaccinate them or any other medical treatment, to take their blood and organs without their permission. They maybe coerced into performing labor, but their bodily autonomy is not violated by beatings as part of that coercion.

    We accept forced vaccinations for children as necessary because the benefits of forcing vaccinations on individuals to other individuals in society greatly outweigh the harms to the individuals.

    Sorry, but you are wrong, fucken wrong, and stop spewing this fucken garbage. Doctors do not perform medical interventions on one person to benefit another. ALL medical intervention is done on a strict risk/benefit analysis for the patient. This is the core of the hippocratic oath. NO fucken doctor is forcefully vaccinating children. I will guarantee that EVERY FUCKEN doctors office gets consent from the parents before injecting their fucken children you god damn asshole piece of shit. I didn’t address this issue because it is a FALSE ANALOGY as I have pointed out.

    You are the one that has demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of this topic. This isn’t about free will, coercion, or involuntary action. This is about a persons body and what right others have to physically interact with their body.

  90. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Taxes are voluntary. The reasons for mandatory vaccination government policies don’t include herd immunity concerns. There is no forced labor in US prisons. – How can anyone be this wrong? The mind boggles. (To your credit, you admitted your error on that last one.)

    guarantee that EVERY FUCKEN doctors office gets consent from the parents before injecting their fucken children you god damn asshole piece of shit.

    Your view of the world is still laughably naive and childish. “Consent” under duress is not consent at all. That’s why paying taxes is not voluntary. For several US states, parents must ensure that their children are given state approved schooling, and to send their children to government schools, the children must be vaccinated. Homeschooling often requires certain college degrees or such which many parents do not have, or lots of money for a tutor which they often do not have. Private schools also require lots of money. For many parents, because of lack of money and lack of degree, the only available legal option is to send their kids to public schools, which means that the only legal option is to get their kids vaccinated. If they don’t, their kids will be taken from them, and put in foster care, and then vaccinated. There is nothing voluntary about this process. Yes there might be a so-called signed consent form, but the consent was not freely given, it was given under extreme duress, which means that it is not consent at all.

    And again, this is why paying taxes is not voluntary either. I suggest you look up the Marxism notion of “wage slavery”.

  91. StonedRanger says

    Kulagin You said “Disabling comments is a violation of freedom of speech of everyone who would like to write a comment. And the answer is: No, its not. Freedom of speech concerns the government, not a private website or forum. If it was a violation of free speech as guaranteed by the constitution, YouTube would not give its users the option. As it says right there underneath the video, it explains exactly why comments have been disabled and where to go if you want to comment on the video. You had no problem coming here and commenting, so whats the issue? Because you want the ease of commenting on YouTube instead of having to come here? Tough shit. You apparently read the comments on other YouTube videos, do you not see the shitstorm in the comment sections? I don’t see too many comments on YouTube that are funny or humorous. For the most part they are hateful, misogynistic, homophobic, childish, and add absolutely nothing to any conversation about anything because most YouTube comments are about people being able to wave their dick publicly and shout ‘LOOK AT ME! IM SO HIP!’ and frankly who cares. People who want to have a conversation about the show routinely come here from YouTube to engage and it seems just as frequently we get the whiney assholes who scream about “FREE SPEECH” without even understanding what it is.

    Now that youre here, would you like to actually comment on the show, or did you just come to whine and complain?

  92. paxoll says

    @EL
    Stop straw manning me asshole, I never said “taxes are voluntary”, I said participation in the US economic system is voluntary. Don’t like it? Get the fuck out. I never said “reasons for mandatory vaccination government policies don’t include herd immunity concerns” I said the government does not force people to vaccinate their children and herd immunity is not the purpose of vaccinations, it is a desired emergent property. I didn’t say “there is no forced labor in US prisons” I said “Prisoners are not beaten, or forced to perform labor like slaves, and they can’t be forcefully given vaccines or medical treatment against their will.” And with all your fucken confusing of the difference between coercion and bodily autonomy , every thing you have said is a false analogy and pointless to the topic of abortion. I’m done here, your dishonesty is unbearable.

  93. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I don’t understand what you are intending to say. It seems that at every step, you’re playing some disingenuous semantic word game and using particular esoteric and unusual definitions of the terms in order to avoid the obvious conclusions.

    Stop straw manning me asshole, I never said “taxes are voluntary”, I said participation in the US economic system is voluntary.

    I fail to see a noteworthy difference. This is not a strawman. Participating in the US economic system necessitates paying taxes. Ergo, if you believe that participating in the US economic system is voluntary, then you must also believe that paying taxes is voluntary.

    Don’t like it? Get the fuck out.

    Again, another non-option. For something to count as a free choice, there must be alternatives. “Leaving the country” is not a plausible alternative for many people, and especially the poor. I’ll spare you a lengthy explanation of how almost all countries will not let you emigrate to their country if you’re poor and without job skills. Moreover, every country on the planet throughout all of history has had taxes, which means that that the already difficult task to “get out” isn’t a real alternative even in hypothetical, because all other countries have taxes too. Again, you really need to work on your understanding of what “free choice” and “consent” means, because you are failing very badly at it.

    I said the government does not force people to vaccinate their children and herd immunity is not the purpose of vaccinations, it is a desired emergent property.

    The government does force people to vaccinate their children. I just explained in some detail the US state level policies of some states that require parents to vaccinate their children. You are factually wrong as to the matter of what laws are in place in many US states.

    And again, I can just say that you’re wrong about the reasons behind government mandatory vaccination policies. Several US states that have religious waivers. If these government programs were really about the well-being of the child, these religious waivers would not exist. Moreover, if it was really about the well-being of the child, the government would require vaccinations for all children, instead of the status quo which is to require vaccinations only for schoolchildren who attend schools. These particular facts are not consistent with your description of reality, and these facts are wholly consistent with my version of reality. Narrowly tailoring the requirement to schoolchildren is in large part so that the school can go to a parent and tell them that it’s safe to send their child to school because the school requires all other children at school to be vaccinated.

    I didn’t say “there is no forced labor in US prisons” I said “Prisoners are not beaten, or forced to perform labor like slaves, and they can’t be forcefully given vaccines or medical treatment against their will.”

    But again, they are forced to perform labor like slaves. They are forced to labor. I really don’t understand what sort of difference that you’re trying to make. Are you saying that “threats of being physically beaten” is a necessary precondition of being a slave? Solitary confinement is used today to coerce prisoners to perform labor for the state, and solitary confinement is also a form of severe psychological torture. It seems that you apparent position is “if someone is compelled to labor under threat of torture, but the torture does not include literal physical beatings, then they’re not a slave”, and I am utterly appalled by that position.

    More broadly, you seem to want to tie the definition of “bodily integrity” to “slavery”, and I will have none of this nonsense.

    Moreover, you seem to want to exclude certain violations to bodily integrity as not real violations of bodily integrity. For example, what happens when the prisoner refuses to go into solitary? They are put into solitary through the use of physical force, physical violence. The guards place their hands on the prisoner, and move him forcibly to solitary. And if the prisoner resists, there will be escalated physical violence from the guards to the prisoner, e.g. “physical beating”. This is how policing works in prisons, and it’s also how policing works more broadly – if you don’t obey a cop’s lawful order for long enough, and if you resist their initial mild-mannered physical attempts to get compliance, then you are going to suffer some severe physical distress and discomfort, e.g. loosely, a physical beating. You are going to be pushed to the ground. It is going to hurt. They are going to put their bodies on you, e.g. their knees, and that is going to hurt. They are going to wrench your arms behind your back, and that is going to hurt. They are going to handcuff you, and that often hurts.

    Violence and violation of bodily integrity is an inescapable truth of living. I’d like to reduce it as much as we reasonably can, but we cannot do away with it entirely.

  94. indianajones says

    @Stoned Ranger I entirely agree and would have said the same, but the repetition is EXHAUSTING. Thanks for doin’ the heavy liftin’ there.

    @EL I personally love it when you go on a tear. But look after yourself.. Also, if you ever start a blog here or anywhere, I will subscribe the shit out of it.

  95. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To indianajones
    ~blush~ Sure. Thanks. As I said to Monocle Smile and any other (decent) regulars here, if you’re in the San Fransisco area, hit me up. I’ll buy you sushi, or the inferior food or your choice, lol.

  96. indianajones says

    Wrong hemisphere,reciprocated if you ever wander down to Melbourne, one day maybe.

  97. speedofsound says

    @John David Balla
    Would love to have a conversation with you about AA and your book. Not sure how to do contact you in this venue.

  98. Shivaprasad Badiger says

    If two human rights conflict with each other how do you resolve this conflict?
    Obviously, some of you might know what these two are but lets keep it for later.

  99. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Shivaprasad Badiger
    Please see the FAQ:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2015/07/29/frequently-asked-questions/
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/moderation-policy/

    Freethought Blogs requires that you log in with an account before you can comment, and comments by new members will automatically be held for review by a moderator. If you’re not seeing your comments for a while, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been blocked.

    Also please notice that both of your posts have appeared.

    As to your post:

    If two human rights conflict with each other how do you resolve this conflict?
    Obviously, some of you might know what these two are but lets keep it for later.

    According to the usual values of secular humanism, including fairness, utilitarianism, and especially John Rawls’s Veil Of Ignorance standard.

  100. says

    The idiot caller about abortion kinda set me off; simplistic and arrogant.

    I would, though, like to put up a thought about the issue.

    We as a society have determined that death is the cessation of brain activity. Why then, do we need anything more complicated than life begins for humans at the onset of brain activity? From what I can find, that is about week 22 of pregnancy.

    100% genetically human is, to me, irrelevant. A tumor is 100% genetically human, too. Our development of reason is what defines us as human, so when the physical vesel for reason becomes active and evident, THEN we have a living human child, and not a human-like mass of cells.

  101. jindong says

    I won’t preface but rather postface..

    Did I hear correctly that Tracie said both viable and non-viable babies/fetuses/potential humans are violating the autonomy of the mother whether or not the mother wanted to be pregnant and therefore had the right to abort?!

    For instance: a man and woman have consensual sex and later they find out she is pregnant. They want to have the child together but then one day, say week 9, she decides she doesn’t want to have the baby. At that point, according to Tracie, the fetus is violating the woman’s autonomy and she can have an abortion, no questions asked….

    That is crazy. How can a baby/fetus/potential human, who has its own dna, who had no choice of being conceived, be punished by the whims of the woman? I can understand in cases of rape, which is an extreme case, but I still want to air on the side of life/adoption. I’m not a woman and will never know how it feels to be pregnant by rape and how it is a daily reminder but the baby had no choice in the matter.

    Did I understand her position correctly??

    Postface: I am an atheist but I’m still deciding my positions on these types of controversial issues..

  102. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Did I hear correctly that Tracie said both viable and non-viable babies/fetuses/potential humans are violating the autonomy of the mother whether or not the mother wanted to be pregnant and therefore had the right to abort?!

    Do you know what an abortion is called for a viable fetus? A birth. If the fetus is viable, the chosen abortion procedure does not kill it. Could you please get your facts straight instead of confidently spouting nonsense?

    Did I understand her position correctly??

    Yes. This is a common position among the pro-choice side.

    PS: Please see the post by Mark Brewster above for a rebuttal of your position which I really like.

  103. Honey Tone says

    > jindong says
    July 23, 2018 at 7:13 am
    “Did I hear correctly that Tracie said both viable and non-viable babies/fetuses/potential humans are violating the autonomy of the mother whether or not the mother wanted to be pregnant and therefore had the right to abort?!

    “That is crazy. How can a baby/fetus/potential human, who has its own dna, who had no choice of being conceived, be punished by the whims of the woman? I can understand in cases of rape, which is an extreme case, but I still want to air on the side of life/adoption. I’m not a woman and will never know how it feels to be pregnant by rape and how it is a daily reminder but the baby had no choice in the matter.”

    Not that hard to understand. At what point does an autonomous human being lose control of its own body? At what point does an autonomous female human being lose control of its own body?

    Whether or not a woman consents to the impregnation at some earlier point, there may come a time at which she no longer consents to the use of her body to develop and birth a fetus (a.k.a. an “innocent” unborn baby to you, I presume). It’s her body, it’s her life, it’s her fetus. At what point do you get to say to her: “No, you’re past the point of no return. I will not let you abort it. You have to see it through no matter what.”

    And why? Why do you get to decide that at some point her body is no longer hers to control and she has to allow its use and whatever its attendant risks? Are there any situations in which you would permit your bodily control to be taken from you as a result of your engaging in legal activities – better yet, while engaging in a legal activity that is an innate drive?

    In your post you already recognized that female bodily autonomy IS an issue because you hint that certain circumstances might justify an abortion – rape, where even though the fetus is still innocent, the impregnation itself was not welcome. If a woman can control her body so as to abort a rape fetus, why not in all cases when she has decided she no longer wants to host a fetus? How does its potential independent life override her actual life? And how do you get to decide?

  104. Jake Tate-Malone says

    I’m pretty late to the party on this one, but I just finished listening to the call around abortion and wanted to try writing out my thoughts.

    The crux of Tracie’s position on the morality of abortion seems to be that since carrying a child requires the continual donation of the woman’s body, that it is the woman’s prerogative, at any time, to remove the child from her body, without any consideration to the well-being of the child. The rape example seemed to imply that the moment the woman decides that she no longer wants to play host, the child is effectively violating the woman’s bodily autonomy and can be removed by any means necessary.

    I found this unpersuasive because it entirely ignores all of the consensual acts that led up to the pregnancy. I don’t think you can simply ignore any potential responsibility that the woman may have incurred by choosing to engage in sex when she knows that pregnancy is a very possible outcome. I think this is partly why the caller was so confused about the rape analogy, and repeatedly mentioned that he was not referring to pregnancies resulting from rape.

    Granted, this is entirely too personal to be legislated, but if we’re primarily talking about the morality of it, it is important to take the entire context into account.

  105. Zarih Sundberg says

    Women don’t become pregnant on their own. Why is the responsible hers to begin with? But even though, abortion is not immoral. The caller was really strange. Genocide is ok, killing childring is ok but abortion is wrong? I’ve listened to several episodes and I’m so glad to live in a secular country where women have rights and religious people are few. Religion has no basis where I live. Which is such a relief.

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