# More ugliness laid bare

I missed one example of ugliness in my last post. I already thoroughly detest Christianity, but if I didn’t, one way I’d learn to hate it would be by standing outside of Planned Parenthood and witness the faith on display in the horde of abortion clinic protestors.

If we want to encourage more atheists, maybe one way would be to organize days of service as an abortion clinic escort. It might be a little unfair, though: that really does expose you to some of the worst Christians on the planet.

1. Patrick says

To be quite honest I’d be more than happy to assist, however thankfully in Australia we don’t have such issues with demonstrations at family planning clinics.

2. julian says

If we want to encourage more atheists, maybe one way would be to organize days of service as an abortion clinic escort.

This sounds like a magnificent way to increase atheist (what’s the word?) morale. It gives us a common enemy, a cause we can easily rally behind and as an added bonuses it helps galvanize us in our resolve in opposing the spread of fundamentalist sentiments and sympathies.

If we really wanted to go all out we could could each bring a middle of the road believer and have them confront the uglier elements of their faith. It might have the drawback of strengthening their belief but it would make them a strong ally against those who want to do away with abortion rights.

3. says

No Planned Parenthood in my town. Madison would have to be the place, but that’s an hour away from here. Still, escorting sounds interesting. Even standing there and getting into the protester’s faces with my video camera would be good.

4. says

Recently I have thought of being an escort at the women’s clinic near my house. However, it doesn’t seem that the protesters are that vocal, and (maybe due to an ordinance) they cannot really stand that close to the center. The parking lot puts quite a lot of distance between them and the patient.

It also seems like it is the same three elderly people out there too…

5. says

NO. Do not volunteer to be an escort if your goal is to get in the face of the protestors. The job of the escort is to get the patient safely to the door with a minimum of drama.

6. PZ:

that really does expose you to some of the worst Christians on the planet.

It does indeed. Sometimes, escorting allows you a window into their hypocrisy as well. I saw more than one set of self-righteous lifer protesters hustling their daughter in the back door of the clinic where I used to escort. It’s different when it’s them.

7. A3kron:

Still, escorting sounds interesting. Even standing there and getting into the protester’s faces with my video camera would be good.

You aren’t escort material. Escorting is not about antagonizing people, regardless of how loathsome they may be. It’s about protecting those who require clinic services.

8. Hazuki says

I ran into one of these, a priest, in Boston on the way to a supermarket. It was down the block from the PP, and he jumped me as I was going by. “Are you going to get an abortion? Are you?!”

Leaving aside that gays and lesbians are, as Carlin mentioned, the least likely people on earth to get abortions, I looked him straight in the eye and said “I’m on my way to the store. I’m picking up eggs, so maybe there are some abortions involved, but we call those omelettes when they happen to chickens.”

The creepy fuck jumped on me AGAIN on the way back and went on about how he was consistent because he was also anti-war, anti-death-penalty, etc. All I could do was ask if he were interested in far-reaching social programs for the babies “saved” from abortion as well. He looked constipated >>;

9. jamessweet says

I have a friend (a Quaker, BTW — one of the least shitty religions by a long shot) who does the PP escort thing. Depressing work, but very important.

10. Muse says

I escort regularly. I’ve got to agree with Caine and PZ here. If you are doing it to antagonize the anti’s you’re in the wrong place. We do a lot of work to de-escalate, I swear there are days by job is to keep companions from punching the anti’s. We take a lot of shit (I had Randall Terry call me a fat cow who should eat fewer Twinkies, which I wear as a badge of honor) and keep our mouths shut. We walk with these women – we give them a way to get to the door, through the protesters. My job is to make these women’s medical appointment go as smoothly as possible. When someone riles up the anti’s, they stay that way and make ti that much harder for the next woman to walk past them.

11. says

Another reminder of just how fucked-up people can be when they think that they are entitled to force their beliefs on others.

Actually this isn’t a million miles away from the actions of animal rights extremists that PZ discussed a few days ago, indeed there are striking parallels between the tactics used by both sets of extremists.

http://speakingofresearch.com/2010/11/15/we-must-reject-extremism/

It wasn’t much of a surprise for me when I visited AR extremist Camille Marino’s website recently and found a post which was a reproduction, without condemnation of any kind, of an article on protests outide clinics.

As it happens a student newspaper at the University of Florida, the Independent Florida Alligator, has posted a very strong editorial condemning the AR extremists who have harassed students and scientists.

http://www.alligator.org/opinion/editorials/article_06cec5d6-e40e-11e0-b156-001cc4c03286.html?success=1#user-comment-area

It’s good to see young people standing up for civilized behavior, gives some hope for the future.

12. chigau (...---...) says

I did some google-lite and apparently we don’t have abortion clinic protests in Edmonton.
I find this strange.
—–
Most grocery store chicken eggs come from hens who have never met a rooster.
Unfertilized eggs are not abortions, they are just eggs.

13. Ing says

The creepy fuck jumped on me AGAIN on the way back and went on about how he was consistent because he was also anti-war, anti-death-penalty, etc. All I could do was ask if he were interested in far-reaching social programs for the babies “saved” from abortion as well. He looked constipated >>;

probably eats too many eggs

14. says

Most grocery store chicken eggs come from hens who have never met a rooster.
Unfertilized eggs are not abortions, they are just eggs.

Basically it’s chicken menstrate

15. Otrame says

Re: 16
Ing, I know I’ve said this before, but I love you. Always did have a soft spot for a smartass.

(besides, wiping coffee off my iPad is much easier than getting it off my regular keyboard)

16. Gregory Greenwood says

I hate the laughably entitled ‘pro-lifers’ with an intensity that I find hard to articulate.

These cretins really don’t give a damn about women’s rights and freedoms, only in the unformed foetus. A few thousand cells mean more to them than the bodily autonomy of a woman, because they honestly view women as nothing more than incubators-on-legs, delivery mechanism for more ‘souls to save for teh Lard!’

They really are the misogynist, doctor-murdering scum of the earth.

“Hey you, guy with the earrings. Are you gay? Is that why you have the earrings?” He pokes around on his smartphone for a few minutes and comes back to the edge of the property, about ten feet from me. His rugged face nods at me, and he waves. Then he tips his black wraparound sunglasses down on his nose as he waves the phone screen in my direction. There’s a picture of a pale, flaccid penis on the screen. “Hey, you’re a fag, right? Come look at the pictures of dicks with me! You like dicks, don’t ya? Isn’t that why you’re here?” So that’s my boyfriend. He’s a catch.

Oh, and homophobic too. Why am I not surprised. T-minus 10 until wraparounds finds (and pays) some likely lad to ‘lift his luggage’…

17. binjabreel says

I think we should do what that biker gang did to Fred Phelps’s gang at a funeral:

They just stood in their way with huge cards blocking the people at the funeral from seeing the protesters. I think that would work at Planned Parenthood, just a couple dozen people holding up blank cards and sheets so the people going into the clinic won’t ever even have to see them.

18. Matt Penfold says

“Hey, you’re a fag, right? Come look at the pictures of dicks with me! You like dicks, don’t ya? Isn’t that why you’re here?”

She should have said what someone I knew once said to a flasher. She pointed, and said that looks just like a penis only much much smaller.

19. Muse says

@binjabree

You’d think that would work – it doesn’t. All it does it get them riled up – also, they move around and try and “counsel” so you’d be verging on assault to block them.

20. Nea says

Do not volunteer to be an escort if your goal is to get in the face of the protestors.

Thank you, PZ! That is the first lesson in escort training – that we are not there to counter-protest, we are there *for the women.* Counter protest elsewhere and elsewhen. The state house and the election booth are excellent alternatives.

That said, we could use all the escorts we can get; people interested in training can google “abortion clinic escort ” to see what groups are operating in your area and join. I’m going to out myself as a member of http://www.wacdtf.org in the DC/MD area.

Many of my friends have lauded me for escorting but said they couldn’t keep silent; for them, I point out that these are always volunteer groups, so they need people behind the scenes too, maintaining email lists, printing flyers, etc. (And I point out that until I learned to remain zen, I kept rice crispie treats or caramels in my pocket; whenever I opened my mouth to yell back, I gummed my teeth shut until the urge passed.)

@binjabreel at 19,

A couple of states are trying to pass laws making it illegal to block protesters. Some of the laws are even trying to make it illegal to have escorts talking and walking with the patients. The people trying to pass them claim it’s an infringement on the free speech First Amendment rights of the protesters to try to protect the freedom of assembly and freedom of religion First Amendment rights of the patients. (The vast majority of our protesters are Catholics, rosaries and all, and their biggest argument is that their God doesn’t want the abortion.)

21. iiii says

The Patriot Guard is not exactly a biker gang. http://www.patriotguard.org/

They started out getting between the Westboro Baptist Church and soldiers’ funerals; their mission has expanded since.

Their counter-demonstration tactics are admirably suited to the kind of demonstrators they typically counter, which is to say, carpetbagging fanatics of the WBC stripe who pop in to town to be obnoxious and are gone the next day. I do not think their tactics would be as useful when countering the sort of perma-protest that settles in outside a clinic.

22. Rey Fox says

Had to skip this thread today so as not to freak myself out on the way to my first day as an escort. It was pretty sedate overall, only about a dozen protesters and I typically couldn’t hear much of them over the noise of the busy street that they’re not allowed off the sidewalk of.

23. elronxenu says

#2 Patrick,

We do have these issues in Australia, although not at the same scale as the USA.

I helped out at a counter-protest a few months ago. The most common sentiment expressed by the many passers-by who stopped to offer their support and sign our petition, was how pissed off they were at the bad behaviour of the antis. They told of women being physically and verbally harassed at the entrance to the centre. Also the antis would target women who were just passing by.

24. Pierce R. Butler says

There is a role for aggressive escorting in certain circumstances.

I spent years doing this at a local clinic (one which was set up with a parking lot in the rear, so we could get patients inside without them having to run a gauntlet).

A friend played good escort, I played bad escort: between us we had the antis’ heads spinning, and produced a very high rate of turnover in their ranks.

At another clinic, we were outnumbered >100/~10, and found that hardass tactics worked well there too. Our two most effective defenders were a gay man who flirted with the male antis, and a pagan who told them about Teh Goddess – both always accompanied by bodyguards. It took several weeks, but not only did (most of) the creeps go away, the church which sent them closed down.

Take care of the patients first, and don’t get busted – but if opportunity allows, don’t let the antis go home happy either.

25. says

I did a single stint as an escort. It was in Kansas. I was escorting a woman slightly older than myself in Topeka and I was grabbed in an inappropriate place by one of the protesters. Unfortunately, my Aikito training kicked in before my brain did and said protester was lucky I didn’t break something. From what I understand, the protesters in Kansas are rather bold.

I was asked to leave because the incident set the anti hate mongers off. The escorts were very sympathetic, but the #1 rule was not to engage and I did.

I admire anyone who does escort duty. I definitely don’t have the temperament for it, but I do donate. Now I know I can do other behind the scenes stuff.

26. paleobarbie says

I took a friend to the PP clinic in Providence for an abortion several years ago, and one of the escorts was a woman in her 80s. I asked her what motivated her to become an escort, and her reply was “I have 4 daughters”.

On a lighter note — when I went to pick my friend up, I stumbled over the front steps, and announced to the people watching (just passers by) — “Oh, I’m a fallen woman”. Nobody laughed :<

27. Pierce R. Butler says

Another useful tactic: set up a fund-raising drive to help poor women get abortions, with donors pledging a certain amount for each anti picketing the targeted clinic(s).

Give each anti a running update on how much their activity helps more women achieve control over their own bodies. Publicize.

28. Bjarni says

Elronxenu #25

We do? I always assumed we were too sensible or something. I’m in Melbourne (inner suburbs), what are the organisations here I should know about?

29. demonhype says

@Nea:

Good to know! I really admire escorts, but these people fill me with such a potent mix of fury and nausea when I simply read about them that, no matter how much I might tell myself I could behave, I know I won’t get more than an hour or so in before I let out a steady stream of profanity. And/or flatten someone’s fucking nose against their cheeks. I know my limitations and yes, I know that’s not good for escorting. But it’s also good to know there are other behind-the-scenes things one could volunteer for too, where I could be less of a liability to the cause! I was actually just wondering about that before reading your comment!

As for outlawing escorts–how vile are these godbots anyway? Somehow they think their First Amendment rights extend to blocking someone’s path or intimidating them physically or getting directly in their faces screaming their epithets? They really think free speech means they have some kind of right to harrass and intimidate, or any right to force people to listen to their message against their will? They really think their free speech rights extend so far that any effort to mitigate the hate should be illegal, to the point of outlawing any form of vital protection for these women? What the fuck is wrong with these people? See, this is exactly the kind of thing that would be going through my mind when I bust someone’s skull open.

30. Ava, Oporornis maledetta says

Here in Boston, after John Salvi shot up two women’s clnics, killing and wounding several, the state passed the “buffer zone” law, requiring protestors to stay 6 feet from patients.This “bubble zone” moved with patients. Antis screamed that it infringed on their 1st Amendment rights. With heavy lobbying by Ted Kennedy, the law stayed.

More recently the buffer zone was expanded to 35 feet from the clinic entrance. The antis compalined again. So did businesses neighboring the clinic–not against the clinic, but against the protestors. Now that they have to be 35 feet from the clinic door, they line the sidewalk, sometimesblocking the entrances of other businesses.

Security costs the clinics a lot of money.

Did anyone else hear about how, a decade ago or more, pro-lifers prevented a clinic from being built at all in Austin, TX by threatening any cement pouring cos. that worked on it with a boycott? They learned that it takes an hour for concrete to set in the mixer truck, and told every concrete guy within an hour’s drive of Austin that they (pro-lifers) would drive them out of business. It worked.

Sigh.

31. Nea says

@demonhype

They really think free speech means they have some kind of right to harrass and intimidate

But of course! They’re doing God’s work and saving the innocent unborn babies, after all.

Seriously, as far as the antis I’ve been dealing with are concerned, they have all the rights and the women they are harassing have none. Eeyore truly cannot understand that she’s not allowed to run into the parking lot, not supposed to follow women down the block, etc. She’s doing something IMPORTANT. God TOLD HER TO. And that trumps any nonsense that she could possibly be in the wrong. Even the day she ran into the parking lot and bounced off someone in her way, even the cop (who she called to try to arrest us all for assault) couldn’t get it through her head that trespass was *also* a crime which *she* had just confessed to. Any attempt on his part to explain was met with “Tell them they can’t touch me! Tell them!” and after he left “You’re all going to jail!”

Somebody’s going to jail. I was there when she showed up, there when she started to call to people, there when she started running into the lot, and I may be there when they haul her off in a jacket with extra-long sleeves. She once fought with her friend “Fraulein” about whether the escorts were servants of Satan or actual demons, taking the “actual demon” side.

But it’s not just one nutball. Look at the way antis are protesting the Justice Dept. going after Dick Retta. He’s an old man! He doesn’t hit people! He’s so determined to harass women going into Planned Parenthood DC that he followed literally on their heels, once pulling off a shoe. Or the protests in Baltimore about the law (not passed) that crisis pregnancy centers have to post a sign saying that they don’t give abortions. Or (and how I don’t love this) the laws saying that doctors must recite unmedical scripts about “unique human beings” and “might cause breast cancer” or force women to take sonograms. All of it, every single bit, screams that the antis have unlimited rights to harass, intimidate, lie, interfere… and that the doctors and the women do not have rights to avoid any of that. The bottom line is that there’s only one “right” decision here, and if some bint decides she’s going to have bodily autonomy, she just needs reminding that complete strangers of a different religion know better how her life should go than she does.

It doesn’t stop at the abortion, either. Eeyore and Fraulein catch the women coming out, try to get information on the type of abortion performed, and offer their unlicensed counseling services for the “inevitable” post-abortion depression.

32. Keanus says

Nea, PZ and several others have it exactly right. Escorts are not counter protesters but people who shield patients and their companions in and out of the clinic, countering the efforts of the protesters to frighten, scare, intimidate, and misinform them. Remaining calm and silent in the face of verbal, or worse, abuse is mandatory.

I’ve escorted at the same PP clinic for almost eight years now. And little in my life has been as rewarding, especially when the patients and/or companions express their thanks for our being there. Although it’s a bit disconcerting to get thanks from some tattooed 6’6″, 250 lb, bruiser.

Our escorts come in all sizes, ages, and sexes. Our oldest until recently was an 82 year old woman, who weighed probably 95 pounds dripping wet, but she was fearless, and our youngest are in college.

We’ve seen the same core of protesters for the entire time I’ve escorted, with others showing up and/or dropping out regularly. A few are close to civil, but the worst are ugly, smug, mean-spirited, self-righteous liars. And for all their effort at dissuading patients from entering the clinic, I’ve only seen two or three leave without entering the clinic and not return later; that’s out of around 9,000 patients during that time.

But, if you have the temperament for escorting—meaning keep your mouth shut when taunted unrelentingly—then contact your nearest PP or woman’s clinic. Most can always use more volunteer escorts.

And, if you’re female, you may find an opportunity to be a hand holder, someone who’s not a medical professional to stay with a patient through recovery, which frees up the physicians and nurses. Many young women undergoing an abortion have little or shaky support and find comfort in a steady, calm reassuring woman to talk to, someone who understands their very normal anxieties.

33. I will try to post this, as I couldn’t log into my account before but now I could. Sorry if this is a double-post! Here:

Hello, this is the author of the post in question, Letter from an Abortion Clinic Escort Pt. 1. If you would like to escort for a clinic, please read my post on how to get involved, found here: For Those Interested in Abortion Clinic Escorting.

I am also developing a campaign to create a decentralized atheist abortion clinic escorting effort in the vein of the RDFRS Out Campaign–though this comparison is only to highlight the community-oriented, autonomous nature of the chapters. This campaign will serve the needs of the clinics and the women, not as a form of political speech but a declaration and practice of our support for reproductive rights. If you would like to be involved in this effort, whether it is helping organize, financial support or any other involvement, please write me at resistingthemilieu@gmail.com or visit my web page. Share your stories as a clinic escort with me as well, as I am writing at least one piece about the stories escorts have to share.
Ben
http://resistingthemilieu.wordpress.com/

34. binjabreel says

Maybe it’s different here in CA, but the Planned Parenthood only does abortion counseling on certain days, and the protesters move in to demonstrate only on those days. They pass around schedules of when the different Planned Parenthoods have their clinic days and migrate around the Bay Area. Plus, they’re required to stand across the street (we’ve got buffer zone laws, too, and this puts them right outside the YMCA, who, ironically, hate the Christians for it) so… I still think it’d work.

I think the real problem is we’d have to have enough people with so little to do in their lives that they can do this every other week, and, let’s face it, usually only churches have access to that sort of resource.

35. Really, my idea is to make it more of a self-regulated volunteer program, where people pledge a certain number of days or hours. If 8 people in a city can pledge 1 day a month, then between the 8 of them they can divvy up enough human resources to place 2 people at a clinic every weekend. Usually a clinic needs four people tops, but two is a perfectly comfortable number for most clinics.

36. Dianne says

So, about these required scripts. Question 1: Are they constitutional? I’m not sure requiring someone to tell a lie is free speech. Question 2. Is it ok to say, “I’m legally required to read you this script which says that abortion may be linked to breast cancer. However, I also feel obliged to tell you that it’s complete BS and multiple large, well designed studies found no link and, in fact, a possible decreased risk of uterine cancer associated with abortion.”?

37. KingUber says

Hey I’m anti-abortion but I wouldn’t go to an abortion clinic to harass people, I also wouldn’t try to help people get abortions either

38. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

Hey I’m anti-abortion but I wouldn’t go to an abortion clinic to harass people, I also wouldn’t try to help people get abortions either

Well clap clap clap for you KingUber.

39. John Morales says

KingUber:

Hey I’m anti-abortion but I wouldn’t go to an abortion clinic to harass people, I also wouldn’t try to help people get abortions either

Hey, what a coincidence!

I’m anti-religion but I wouldn’t go to an church to harass people, I also wouldn’t try to help people get religion either.

40. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

I’m not necessarily pro-abortion, but I am very strongly pro-choice. I’m not the one potentially having to deal with a lifetime commitment. Let them decide, and help them with their decision. Oh, King Uber, fuck off troll.

41. plien says

You allways need to watch the Rachel Maddow show (because Rachel is awesome!), but on friday 23 sept 2011 it aired a segment on this issue, so go over to http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/ and click on “missed the show?” it will be worth it if you wish you could do something back to those anti-abortionprotesters.

Todd Stave is GREAT.
Go support him at http://vochoice.org/

42. kristinc says

We asked her, “Well, what would you do if you were pregnant and 3 or 4 doctors told you that you’d die if you tried to have the baby?” She paused a moment, and said:

“Well, if that’s what happened then it wouldn’t be an abortion and they’d do it in the hospital. I wouldn’t have to come down here to get it.”

That’s how detached from reality these people are. That’s how detached from reality you have to be to embrace anti-choice ideology. How the fuck can we fight against that?

43. YesYouNeedJesus says

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort?

44. YesYouNeedJesus, does it trouble you to have such a poorly functioning brain? Does it trouble you to be so far removed from reality?

You don’t need Jesus, Cupcake. Nor do we. You need to exercise those little gray cells and have a personal relationship with reality.

45. Dhorvath, OM says

YYNJ,
What the hell? Real people with hopes and dreams being destroyed in industrial complexes is nothing like potential people being prevented from developing.

46. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

YesYouNeedJesus, you present actual proof that religious anti-choice fuckwits are demented, delusional fools on this subject. Beside Godwinning the thread, which means we win. No reality whatsoever in your analogy.

Next you will claim the oxymoron of unborn baby. That is why your side is delusional, demented idjits. Your logic is illogical, and unsupported by facts. Like your deity is imaginary, and your babble a book of mythology fiction.

47. 'Tis Himself, OM says

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort?

YesYouNeedJesus, does it trouble you at all that you’re a troll asking a stupid question which makes no sense?

48. Dhorvath, OM says

Gah, my gast is flabbered. The person who is aiming at turning thinking breathing people into commodities isn’t us. Piss off.

49. KG says

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort? – YesYouNeedJesus

YYNJ, does it trouble you at all that you are a loathsome piece of filth who insults every victim of the Nazis? Who, by the way, had very much the same attitude to women you do, regarding them simply as machines for breeding more Aryan ubermenschen.

50. starstuff91 says

YesYouNeedJesus;

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort?

Fucking intelligence, how does it work?

51. YesYouNeedJesus, just for you, I’ll repost part of a post I made here:

You can sit in your closet all day and pray, it will do no good and no one cares. If that god of yours actually cared about abortions, there wouldn’t be so many spontaneous abortions happening every hour of every day, now would there? It amazes me that it never seems to occur to you folks that your god is one weak entity, as it never seems to be able to fight its own battles.

I do have a full understanding of what an abortion is, much more than you do. I’ve had an abortion. I do not regret it in the least, it was the very best decision I could make. I’m grateful it happened in the ’70s, before morons such as yourself decided my private life and medical decisions were your business. Visit http://www.imnotsorry.net/ – I’m in there somewhere. Do some more reading – the only moral abortion is my abortion.

Have you ever bothered to read all the heart-rending stories of women so desperate they went ahead with back alley abortions? See, this is what you want, for women to die. You’re so invested in seeing women judged and punished, their deaths are, in your view, perfectly acceptable and right. Not only that, you don’t care in the least about the quality of life a child will face when unwanted or born into a life where it simply cannot be afforded financially.

My mother was too terrified of dying to have an abortion in 1957. So instead, I was duly carried and born. My life was a fucking nightmare and I will always carry the scars and effects of being unwanted. Yes, I know if I had been aborted I wouldn’t exist. That’s the point. I wasn’t an “I” then; there would have been no pain, there would have simply been non-existence. In a great many cases, it’s for the best. It would have been for the best in my case, for all involved.

It’s never about good sex education, proper health care and access to contraception for you folks, even though those things would help to make abortion safe and rare. No, you see, there’s no happiness in that, because you can’t purse your mouth in judgment of those awful sluts and you can’t pretend you are ever so righteous in fighting for potential children and you don’t get to pretend that everything would be so much better if your sociopathic god was in charge, which of course wouldn’t happen in any case, because there’s that little problem of your god not existing. If you’re so convinced of your god and so convinced abortion is murder, let your god handle it. After all, that god of yours didn’t seem to have any problem showing himself in the old testament, eh? Ah, but you may not want that – your god was rather fond of slaughtering children left and right, along with pregnant women.

It all comes down to keeping women under a thumb – a god’s thumb, a man’s thumb or if those don’t work, your self-righteous, judgmental thumb.

52. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort?

Does it trouble you that you have exactly zero grasp on reality?

53. chigau (曇) says

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort?

In or out?

54. YesYouNeedJesus says

I was warned that posting on this site leads to ad-hominem attacks and very little substance. I guess they were right. They also warned that if I argued with intelligence that I would be kicked of the site. Let’s find out if I’m intelligent then, shall we?

Dhorvath, OM said, “What the hell? Real people with hopes and dreams being destroyed in industrial complexes is nothing like potential people being prevented from developing.”

Would you mind telling me whose standard you are using to come to your definition of “real people”?

What is the exact moment that a potential human being becomes a human being?

You claim that abortion prevents (potential) people from developing. Are you saying that the boys and girls in the ovens at Auschwitz and the men and women in the showers at Hadamar were no longer developing?

55. raven says

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort?

Does it trouble you that a few centuries ago, you would be burning witches, heretics, and scientists at the stake? And bragging about it.

Does it trouble you that your kooky made up religion has spent the last 2,000 years persecuting and killing Jews, Moslems, and each other by the tens of millions?

Silly rhetorical question. This is a xian death cultist. Killing is what death cults do.

56. raven says

YesYouNeedJesus

Oh really? I don’t know why. It’s not even clear that he ever existed. It is clear that he had as much supernatural power as my cat.

BTW moron, most of us, including myself, are ex-xians.

I was a member for nearly 5 decades. We know all about kooky death cults. We used to be in them.

You need to say NO!!! to toxic religion before what is left of your mind turns to oatmeal.

57. YesYouNeedJesus:

I was warned that posting on this site leads to ad-hominem attacks and very little substance.

I see you’re going to stick to lying. Not a good way to start. No substance? Try my post at 53. That is, if you have any interest in being honest, which I rather doubt. You start with a false equivalence and Godwinning and want to accuse us? Please. Don’t be such a cupcake.

Now, as to ad hominem. Please, don’t be just another dumbfuck who thinks they know how to use that phrase when they don’t. An insult is not an ad hominem.

58. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

What is the exact moment that a potential human being becomes a human being?

Easy, when it is outside of the mother, and breathing on its own. The state even gives the baby a certificate. Simple if you know biological facts. That is why we celebrate birthdays, not conception days. Show us some more of your alleged intelligence…

59. YYNJ:

What is the exact moment that a potential human being becomes a human being?

When it’s born. :yawns: You need biology 101, cupcake.

60. pelamun says

They also warned that if I argued with intelligence that I would be kicked of the site. Let’s find out if I’m intelligent then, shall we?

Buahaha..

So tell me, what’s so intelligent about

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort?

other than it betrays your total lack of historical knowledge and logical reasoning skills?

61. raven says

I was warned that posting on this site leads to ad-hominem attacks and very little substance.

By the voices in you head no doubt.

You are just a troll driving by and dropping off some trash.

Time for the usual. Pascal’s wager and Lewis’s fake Trilemma. Maybe we can even get some more death threats.

62. raven says

PZ, does it trouble you at all that if you lived in the 30s in Nazi Germany, you would organize days of service as a concentration camp escort?

other than it betrays your total lack of historical knowledge and logical reasoning skills?

It’s not even faulty logic. It’s just an insult.

Hey troll!!!

Does it bother you when your cults sacrifice children to your Imaginary Clown Monster god? Which they do all the time by faith nothealing.

Does it bother you when xian terrorists kill a bunch of people? Which they do occasionally. The two current leading xian terrorists are Timothy McVeigh with 180 dead, and Anders Breivik with 80 dead.

63. YesYouNeedJesus says

Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls said, “Easy, when it is outside of the mother, and breathing on its own.”

A few questions if I may…

The developing fetus prior to birth…is it living or dead?
The developing fetus prior to birth…what species is it?

Of course you don’t get to make the rules (neither do I), so I hope you don’t expect me to believe that it is so just because you say so. Someone may differ with your opinion at the exact moment a potential human being becomes an actual human being.

The laws of science do not tell us right and wrong. Who gets to decide when a “potential” human being becomes a human being?

64. says

They also warned that if I argued with intelligence that I would be kicked of the site.

Well now, you’ll never know, will you?

65. YesYouNeedJesus says

Caine, Fleur du Mal said, “When it’s born. :yawns: You need biology 101, cupcake.”

You evolutionists are the science experts right? Let’s talk science. (Maybe you can help me out because I need Biology 101)

What species is the fetus prior to birth?

What scientifically changes at birth to bring this “potential” something into an actual human being?

66. starstuff91 says

@ YesYouNeedJesus
When do you think that a fetus is person with the same rights as me (actually, from what many anti-choicers say, I’d guess that they think it has more rights than I do)?

67. KG says

YYNJ,

I was warned that posting on this site leads to ad-hominem attacks and very little substance. I guess they were right.

Anothe lackwit with no idea what an ad hominem is. Look it up. Your post, in any case, was simply a personal atttack on PZ, devoid of rational content. You made a personal attack, and others reciprocated – so stop whining you little creep.

They also warned that if I argued with intelligence that I would be kicked of the site. Let’s find out if I’m intelligent then, shall we?

Oh, the suspense… But no, you might be kicked out for trolling or godbotting, but not for intelligence. We do occasionally get intelligent Christians here, and two of them have been awarded the OM (Order of the Molly, see “Mollies” above) by vote of the contributors. But they’re pretty rare.

Dhorvath, OM said, “What the hell? Real people with hopes and dreams being destroyed in industrial complexes is nothing like potential people being prevented from developing.”

Would you mind telling me whose standard you are using to come to your definition of “real people”?

That of people whose minds have not been warped by religious propaganda and lies. Dhorvath didn’t say “human being”, dolt. A fertilised human egg is a member of the species Homo sapiens, i.e., a human being. It is not a person, because it has no thoughts, feelings or social relationships.

What is the exact moment that a potential human being becomes a human being?

Birth is the moment at which a biological member of Homo sapiens becomes a person. Rather simple, really: you see, at that moment, it can live independently of its mother, and start to have thoughts, feelings*, and personal relationships.

You claim that abortion prevents (potential) people from developing. Are you saying that the boys and girls in the ovens at Auschwitz and the men and women in the showers at Hadamar were no longer developing?

Dhorvath said quite clearly that abortion prevents potential people developing into actual people. Can even you really be so stupid that you think this in some way implies that actual people do not continue to develop? If so, you’ve answered your own question: no, you are most certainly not intelligent. The alternative, of course, is that you are simply dishonest.

*Liars for Jesus frequently claim that foetuses, and even pre-implantation embryos, can feel pain. This is quite impossible for the latter, which have no nervous system, and unlikely for the latter, as pre-birth brain oxygenation levels are far lower than those of a neonate.

68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

The developing fetus prior to birth…is it living or dead?

It is a parasite draining energy from the woman.

The developing fetus prior to birth…what species is it?

Human fetus. But it isn’t fully human until it is born and living and breathing in the normal human environment. You see, it also isn’t separate until it is no longer taking nourishment from the woman.

Any more idjit questions? Better hurry, the Redhead wants to go out to eat.

69. pelamun says

One thing this site has taught me: the substance of this discussion doesn’t lie in the question of defining the beginning of human life (the opinions are quite varied on this one, as has been demonstrated by PZ himself as well, I can’t remember which thread though), but in the pregnant woman’s right to self-determination and self-preservation. This is what conservatives like our esteemed troll want to have, the control over the female body…

70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

OH, I forgot to mention, but wanted to add before we leave, in case of tie, the woman, who is a full human being which isn’t it doubt, always wins over a potential one that can’t be readily confirmed to exist without invading the woman’s body in some fashion.

71. YesYouNeedJesus says

Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls said, “It is a parasite draining energy from the woman.”

You didn’t answer the question (for obvious reasons) and I think you need Biology 101. I just asked a simple scientific question.

Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls said, “Human fetus. But it isn’t fully human until it is born and living and breathing in the normal human environment.”

Wow, what laws of science did you use to reach your conclusion?

That’s quite a list there. It’s so easy to pick apart, I don’t even know where to start. Let’s start here:

Who gets to decide when a “potential” human being becomes an actual human being?

You said to be fully human, you must be born “in the normal human environment.” So if you were born in space, when do you become “fully human?”

You said you must be “breathing” to be “fully human.” Have you heard of a water birth? It’s where a mother gives birth in a tub of water. The fetus is completely born, but does not drown because he/she has not breathed air yet. So you believe this obvious tiny male or female human being, completely separated from the mother’s body, is still a “potential” human being because it hasn’t taken a breath yet?

72. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

Who gets to decide when a “potential” human being becomes an actual human being?

God!
Where do I get my cookie?

73. starstuff91 says

@ YesYouNeedJesus

“laws of science” LOL! Does saying that repeatedly make you feel smarter?
You never answered my question. When does a fetus become a person?

74. YesYouNeedJesus says

pelamun said on “the question of defining the beginning of human life…the opinions are quite varied on this one, as has been demonstrated by PZ himself as well.”

Great point. Then why is everyone acting as if it’s basic easy science?

pelamun mentioned, “the pregnant woman’s right to self-determination and self-preservation.”

Where exactly do rights come from again?

75. says

Rights come from humans setting up a society which recognizes that the population is better off as a whole when each person is understood to have rights.

Claiming any other source is silly.

76. YesYouNeedJesus says

starstuff91 said, “When does a fetus become a person?”

Scientifically speaking, an embryo, fetus, newborn, baby, child, toddler, teen, etc. (whatever particular name you care to use for that stage of development) are all human. I do not believe you can separate human and person. All humans are persons.

So a human doesn’t ‘become’ a person, it is one. When does a human become a human? At the beginning of biological development, which is at conception.

77. says

I do not believe you can separate human and person. All humans are persons.

Luckily, reality does not depend on what people believe.

78. starstuff91 says

@ YYNJ

You just love semantics. It stops you from actually having to answer questions.
How about this question (which was my original question that you failed to answer): When does a fetus have all the rights of a citizen?

79. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

Y. Y. N. Jesus said:

When does a human become a human? At the beginning of biological development, which is at conception.

Are you sure it is not at oogenesis?

80. YesYouNeedJesus says

myeck waters said, “Rights come from humans setting up a society which recognizes that the population is better off as a whole when each person is understood to have rights.”

You have a couple problems. First, you contradicted yourself. You start by saying that rights come from humans, but you then submit those humans to a higher authority, saying that they must set up a society which recognizes…” Is it absolutely true that a society must recognize the better of the whole of population?

Second problem. What is the basis for determining “better off”?

Third problem. Where do rights come from in the middle of the ocean where there is no set up society?

81. chigau (曇) says

The human body is merely a vessel to contain, temporarily, the soul.
The soul of an aborted “human” goes straight back to God, right?
So what is the problem?

82. starstuff91 says

When does a human become a human? At the beginning of biological development, which is at conception.

I’m going to assume that you think this is when that “person” has full rights as a human, because I’m tired of waiting for you to respond (I know it’s difficult for you, all of that thinking, but I’d like to finish this argument before Doctor Who comes on).

What makes that one cell any different from any other cell? If I bump into you and kill a few of your cells, have I committed murder? You’re quite the speciesist. Just because it’s got a bit of human DNA, does not make it a person.

You’re against abortion, but what about the morning after pill? Or even birth control pills? How do you feel about them?

83. YesYouNeedJesus says

starstuff91 said, “When does a fetus have all the rights of a citizen?”

Citizen rights vary based on age, circumstance, etc. Convicted felons lose rights, young citizens gain rights as they reach certain ages and abilities. The right to life is for all persons, no matter what stage of biological development.

Where does the right to life come from?

84. starstuff91 says

Third problem. Where do rights come from in the middle of the ocean where there is no set up society?

Wow… You are the dumbest religious troll I’ve ever encountered. Society doesn’t just mean government, dipshit. It means any system of rules and regulations, of taboos and expectations, set up by humans, for humans. So, on a ship in the ocean (I’m assuming you mean that they don’t come from another society, and where born there or something) they set up their own society just by deciding how to treat each other.

85. Rey Fox says

Wait, no one pointed out to our magic-thinking guest that the Nazis threw atheists into the concentration camps too? I’m disappointed.

86. Rey Fox says

You’re against abortion, but what about the morning after pill? Or even birth control pills? How do you feel about them?

I’m going to take a wild stab and say anything that might be harmful to the Sacred Cells is bad. Or whatever position minimizes the rights of women.

87. YesYouNeedJesus says

Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian said, “Are you sure it is not at oogenesis?”

Quite. A human has 46 chromosomes.

88. John Morales says

Hey Jebusite, when does an egg become a chicken?

89. What the Bible says about Abortion

Abortion is not murder. A fetus is not considered a human life.

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. — Exodus 21:22-23

The Bible places no value on fetuses or infants less than one month old.

And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. — Leviticus 27:6

Fetuses and infants less than one month old are not considered persons.

Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. — Numbers 3:15-16

God sometimes approves of killing fetuses.

And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? … Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. — Numbers 31:15-17 (Some of the non-virgin women must have been pregnant. They would have been killed along with their unborn fetuses.)

Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. — Hosea 9:14

Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb. — Hosea 9:16

Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. — Hosea 13:16

God sometimes kills newborn babies to punish their parents.

Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. — 2 Samuel 12:14

God sometimes causes abortions by cursing unfaithful wives.

The priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. …
And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.
— Numbers 5:21-21, 27-28

God’s law sometimes requires the execution (by burning to death) of pregnant women.

Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. — Genesis 38:24

How to have a biblical abortion (the priest does it, as detailed in Numbers).

90. Forbidden Snowflake says

What scientifically changes at birth to bring this “potential” something into an actual human being?

A lot changes, actually. A newborn can breathe on its own, instead of absorbing oxygen from its mother’s bloodstream. It can be fed by anyone, instead of absorbing nutrients from its mother bloodstream. Other people can care for it and communicate with it directly. It becomes possible to protect its human rights without trampling those of the mother. It has, in short, a biological existence separate from the mother’s, it can connect to the world without quite literally going through the mother. All and all, seems just about right to say that the fetus becomes a member of society, a person, when it gains exposure to the world and ceases to function as a biological parasite within its mother, i.e., when it becomes a neonate.

By the way, YYNJ, did it even occur to you how offensive it is to Jews, for instance, that you would compare the suffering of their kin while being tortured and murdered to the utter lack of suffering of a blastocyst that doesn’t get to be born? The Holocaust is just a rhetorical device to you, isn’t it?

91. starstuff91 says

Citizen rights vary based on age, circumstance, etc. Convicted felons lose rights, young citizens gain rights as they reach certain ages and abilities. The right to life is for all persons, no matter what stage of biological development.

Where does the right to life come from?

And you’re back to semantics. Of course you are. I’d expect nothing better. When I say rights, I don’t mean the rights that come with age or social status, I mean the basic rights that we grant every person in our society. Any you know very well that’s what I meant, I wasn’t exactly being unclear (or evasive, like you are). You just don’t want to answer the question. As for where basic human rights come from, that’s already been explained (society). Also, you’re not going to fool me into saying “the right to life”. I’m a little quicker than you are, sorry.

92. KG says

YYNJ,

I do not believe you can separate human and person.

So what? You believe all kinds of stupid crap, as is obvious from your chosen nym.

So a human doesn’t ‘become’ a person, it is one. When does a human become a human? At the beginning of biological development, which is at conception.

How about twins, moron? The zygote that gives rise to them is two people, is it? The opposite happens too: two zygotes merging into one. Each one was half a person, maybe?

Or how about the huge numbers of fertilised eggs that fail to implant, or abort spontaneously? Nature (or “God” if it existed) is the biggest abortionist of all. Why aren’t you picketing churches screaming that God is a Nazi?

93. starstuff91 says

YYNJ:

Quite. A human has 46 chromosomes.

Aw, look, he can use google. How cute.

94. starstuff91 says

Me at #94:
that first sentence after the blockquote was supposed to be inside the blockquote. Although, I doubt I need to tell any of you that I wouldn’t use the phrase “right to life”.

95. David Marjanović, OM says

Most grocery store chicken eggs come from hens who have never met a rooster.
Unfertilized eggs are not abortions, they are just eggs.

Chickens and turkeys, and probably birds in general, are capable of parthenogenesis; a few cases have been documented.

The outcome is always male, because birds have the opposite sex-determination system from placental and marsupial mammals.

What scientifically changes at birth to bring this “potential” something into an actual human being?

Completely beside the point.

Let me put it this way:

– Sometimes a pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. I deliberately say “mother” here for the sake of the argument. That can have all kinds of reasons: the baby’s part of the placenta – again, I deliberately say “baby” here for the sake of the argument – can grow too agressively into the uterus, causing the mother to bleed to death if nothing is done; the mother can be ill, malnourished, whatever; the mother or the baby can have all kinds of deformations; or the baby can simply be in the wrong place, like an oviduct or the abdominal cavity. Murphy’s Law, you know.* In such cases, granting for the sake of the argument that there’s a baby in there, there are two options: do we kill one person to save the life of the other, or do we watch to persons die?

– Sometimes a pregnancy threatens the long-term health of the mother. That can have the same reasons as above (except for out-of-place pregnancies), but also others. For instance, some people (men and women alike) know they can’t deal with children; some of them freak out at the thought of having one, including being pregnant. And, well, any contraception can fail.

– Sometimes a pregnancy threatens the middle-term health of the mother. You know morning sickness? Usually it passes quickly, and some mothers never get it. But some have it for all 9 months nonstop. Come on, that’s torture. That’s cruel & unusual punishment.

– Children cause huge expenses; pregnancy isn’t for free either. Over here, the state figures it has an interest in the production of new taxpayers, so it invests tax money into these expenses. In benighted countries like the USA, there are tens of millions of people who don’t even have health insurance because they can’t fucking afford it. FFS! Can you imagine having a child under such conditions? Can you imagine being a child under such conditions?

– Imagine being an unwanted child.

– Adoption is difficult (for good reasons!), and it can only take place after a pregnancy has been carried to term.

And I only got started.

* There you have your “laws of science”.

One thing this site has taught me: the substance of this discussion doesn’t lie in the question of defining the beginning of human life (the opinions are quite varied on this one, as has been demonstrated by PZ himself as well, I can’t remember which thread though),

It’s very simple: as far as we know, life has only begun once, about 4 billion years ago (crude estimate).

but in the pregnant woman’s right to self-determination and self-preservation. This is what conservatives like our esteemed troll want to have, the control over the female body…

Spoiler alert for YYNJ! That’s what I’m driving at.

96. KG:

Or how about the huge numbers of fertilised eggs that fail to implant, or abort spontaneously? Nature (or “God” if it existed) is the biggest abortionist of all.

Which was pointed out by me in #53. YYNJ accused us of substance-free posts, yet blithely ignored my post @53.

97. KG says

A human has 46 chromosomes. – YYNJ

So you consider people with Down syndrome, Kleinfelter’s syndrome, monosomy X, etc., not to be human. Disgusting.

98. Forbidden Snowflake says

Third problem. Where do rights come from in the middle of the ocean where there is no set up society?

Where there is no society, rights do not exist as a concept. Try going to the African savanna and explaining to some lionesses that the freedom of movement means you have the right to be there, the same as them. See how that works for you.

99. YesYouNeedJesus says

Gotta run to UFC 135. This was fun. I can’t wait to take part on this site more often and talk about the fairy-tale idea that all the matter in the universe came from nothing! LOL

I found this site because I listen to Bob Enyart Live and PZ Myers turned down an offer to debate Bob. It’s a good thing he did, because he would have been destroyed!

Talk to you guys later!

100. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

Y. Y. N. Jesus said:

A human has 46 chromosomes.

Now, I also heard that a human is a multicellular organism. However, zygotes, produced right after conception, are not.

101. Forbidden Snowflake says

Quite. A human has 46 chromosomes.

So, you’re not opposed to aborting fetuses with Down syndrome?
I’ll save you some googling: people with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes.

102. Rey Fox says

A couple meta notes.

One, I think KingUber should be banned. Now normally, I only support bannination for extremely persistent trolls violating various rules of the blog. But I find the drive-by one-post people just as annoying. Particularly KingOblivious.

Two, I think that coming into this den of atheists with a handle as obnoxious as “YesYouNeedJesus” should be grounds for immediate suspension of the three-comment rule. But I guess I didn’t need to tell that to anyone here.

103. starstuff91 says

@YYNJ
Don’t count on it. You’ll be banned before too long.

104. John Morales says

Jebusite:

talk about the fairy-tale idea that all the matter in the universe came from nothing!

(But sure, come back — we like punching-bags like you)

105. Forbidden Snowflake says

I can’t wait to take part on this site more often and talk about the fairy-tale idea that all the matter in the universe came from nothing! LOL

Admirable that you want to come back after the beating you just took, but wouldn’t you want to finish your line of oh-so-clever gotcha questions about abortion before you move on to having your ass kicked on the cosmology front?

106. starstuff91 says

Note how the crazy xian flees when it feels its beliefs to be threatened by logic and science. Also observe how it maintains its false cheeriness when it is actually wounded. Quite an amazing creature.

107. Rey Fox says

Gotta run to UFC 135.

Ah, we have a real sophisticate here. I’m curious, is there any point to the way they number all their matches, or is it pretty much just empty pomposity?

By the way, not that I believe that you really give even a rat’s fart about human life born or unborn, but every would-be fascist like you just strengthens my resolve to provide my services to the local Planned Parenthood office and protect the rights of women.

The advantage I have in being a clinic escort is that the protesters mostly just make me laugh.* Particularly the old guy holding the “Life Is Precious” sign and glowering at me.

* Not out loud, though. I know to be professional.

108. Rey Fox says

Also observe how it maintains its false cheeriness when it is actually wounded.

It’s all about puffery and bloviation. He has a LIFE, you see, watching people beat the shit out of each other, we could never aspire to that sort of fulfillment ’cause we’re all basement-dwellers. Or orgy participants, depending on the issue debated.

109. David Marjanović, OM says

I do not believe you can separate human and person.

I like the Star Trek usage of the word people.

When does a human become a human? At the beginning of biological development, which is at conception.

By “a human”, do you mean “one human”? Beause that’s not the case. Early embryos can, and fairly often do, split and merge. Repeatedly, even.

You have a couple problems. First, you contradicted yourself. You start by saying that rights come from humans, but you then submit those humans to a higher authority, saying that they must set up a society which recognizes…” Is it absolutely true that a society must recognize the better of the whole of population?

Silly question. Societies that fail to recognize that don’t last long, because too few of its members have an interest in propping them up. Just this year, two such societies collapsed, a third is almost gone, and a fourth has entered civil war.

Second problem. What is the basis for determining “better off”?

How about asking people whether they feel better off? how they feel will, after all, decide how they act – in other words, whether they’ll help keep the society up.

Quite. A human has 46 chromosomes.

Or 45, or 47 or more. Or do people with Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, trisomy 21, and I forgot how all the others are called, not count as humans?

110. By the way, YYNJ, Jesus didn’t have any problems with killing, whether fetuses or children of any particular age. That Daddy of his was quite the baby killer and well, ya know, he couldn’t go against the Godfather.

Matthew 5:17, Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn’t the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament.

Matthew 10:21, “Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.”

Matthew 15:4-7, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not killing their disobedient children – But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

Just a tiny example, they go on and on and on.

111. YYNJ:

So a human doesn’t ‘become’ a person, it is one. When does a human become a human? At the beginning of biological development, which is at conception.

Uhm, biological development started around 4 billion years ago, and hasn’t stopped since.

“Life” doesn’t begin at conception. Both the egg and the sperm were alive. And the egg and the sperm are just as human as any other cell in your body.

112. says

I think I have been classified as a basement-dwelling orgy participant, except that, in the minds of trolls, I’m always having an orgy with myself.

YYNJ, you did not respond to the link provided in comment #55. I think that is the site that most directly addresses your over-dressed and under-factual questions.

113. starstuff:

Don’t count on it. You’ll be banned before too long.

I doubt that. Chew toys are chew toys, and there have been many like YYNJ before. David Marshall has been hanging around being annoying for ages (I forget when he invaded over at sciblogs).

Besides, PZ doesn’t care much for people making banning predictions.

114. starstuff91 says

@ Caine
Well, now I know.
Anyway, that person is a complete idiot. I doubt he’ll ever come back (which is what I should have said in the first place).

115. GODISNOWHERE says

starstuff91 says:

“Don’t count on it. You’ll be banned before too long.”

Hey, now that’s tolerant for a supposed “free thinker”!

John Morales says:

So indulge me how you have ascended to the level of critical thinking that the universe came from nothing, or a big bang, or singularity, or, or, or…Can matter really make itself? Perhaps a more appropriate examination would be to relate to this nonsense in this way, it is a fairy-tale for adults. What’s my evidence? Just look at the new journalistic blockbuster by Dawkins!

116. Phalacrocorax, not a particularly smart avian says

Y. Y. N. Jesus said:

I can’t wait to take part on this site more often and talk about the fairy-tale idea that all the matter in the universe came from nothing! LOL

Oh my golly, YYNJ! I thought Christians believed that the universe came from nothing! Or, at least, so was argued by D. B. Marshall, a Christian scholar and an ‘istorian specialized in all things Communist, who was trying to prove that science confirms Christian dogma.

You’d better get your theological facts straight, YYNJ, lest you become one of those dreaded No True Christians™.

117. starstuff91 says

@GODISNOWHERE

Freethinker doesn’t mean that I have to listen to the same stupid, tired arguments over and over again. I’ve yet to meat an anti-choicer with an original argument or with real scientific evidence backing them up.

118. YYNJ thinks that asking questions and saying absolutely nothing else is debating. YYNJ, a woman will always have more rights than a fetus, period. If you cared at all about human life, you would be volunteering in a soup kitchen, training in medical science to try to help cure cancer, or somehow contributing to society. So-called “pro-lifers” have never used their ideology to help a single person. Your ideological comrades are anti-women’s rights crusaders, period. When you make a contribution to the quality of human life in the living world, not the fetal world, then you will have become a pro-life advocate. Until then, you have only hurt people. Period.

119. Lynna:

YYNJ, you did not respond to the link provided in comment #55. I think that is the site that most directly addresses your over-dressed and under-factual questions.

Lynna, over the years, I’ve found goddist lifers avoid that site like the plague.

120. demonhype says

@Caine

That is so true, that they just want to demonize what they consider to be unworthy whores. And they don’t care one whit about the quality of life an unwanted child or a child one can’t afford will suffer as a result of their ignorance and self-righteousness.

I remember when I was a little girl in the eighties and I overheard two adults talking about abortion. One was pointing out how women will just bleed to death in alleys if you deprive them of safe legal abortions and the other, with a vile hatred I’d rarely heard even attending Catholic school for nine years, stated “Good for the whores. They deserve to die in the alley like the trash they are!” That made one hell of an impression on me that eventually led to me being pro-choice. I was technically raised with anti-choice views, and even my parents were somewhat pro-choice while leaning toward anti-choice–sort of “legal, but with massive restrictions, because those sluts can’t be trusted” attitude. When I heard the truth come out, plain and simple, from the mouth of one of those anti-choicers, it didn’t change me immediately but it sowed a seed of doubt in what I’d been raised to believe.

My mom was unwanted–which is why she had some pro-choice leanings. Her mom, BTW, actually was a “slut”, for lack of a better term. She married lots of men, divorced them eventually for someone else, and dropped unwanted kids all over the landscape, my mom being the first. I’ve got a bunch of half-aunts and half-uncles I never knew. My mom is in her sixties but still cries sometimes when she thinks back to being an unwanted child, dumped into her hyper-religious aunt’s and drunken uncles house as a child because her mom didn’t want her anymore–too much of a barrier to getting a new man–and her dad was too stinking drunk to take care of her. And her aunt only took her in because she felt she had to “as a Christian”, but she and others made my mom feel it ever day (once, when she was a child, a family member came in and gave her two cousins a dollar and some candy right in front of her and gave her absolutely nothing, and she cried her eyes out because it was to make it clear she was an unwanted charity case) and even expected my mom to turn out to be a “slut” too, and in her paranoia even accused her of “seducing” her uncle at one point. And she even cries over all those half-sibs who went through the same kind of thing. She has often said that she would have preferred to be aborted if her parents didn’t really want her. She struggles between this and the preconceived notion that pregnant women need to be micromanaged, though–personal experience vs. cultural prejudice.

My sister knows a woman who was adopted, and it turned out she was the product of incest which resulted in many of her various medical problems, some of which are painful and debilitating and some of which make social acceptance difficult (to put it politely). She was saying she would have rather been aborted and some stupid anti-choicer started arguing with her that she actually had a wonderful fun-filled life of love and joy because someone had at least adopted her, therefore abortion would still be wrong. Never mind that she lives every day in medical and social misery this idiot has never and likely will never have to suffer through. Never mind that this woman is telling you point-blank that her life is and has always been a miserable never-ending stream of pain, anguish, and despair. No, that can’t be true, because then abortion might not always be wrong. So therefore, she actually lived a magical happy life. Case closed.

My sister was quite indignant because the woman called the anti-choicer an idiot and my sister seemed to feel that was out of line. I told her that idiot deserved to be called a hell of a lot worse. And so does any idiot who has the gall to dictate to someone else whether or not their lives are full of joy or pain just so they can feel free to continue to push their religious (and, occasionally, political or philosophical) view onto the lives and bodies of others.

121. GODISNOWHERE:

So indulge me how you have ascended to the level of critical thinking that the universe came from nothing, or a big bang, or singularity, or, or, or…Can matter really make itself?

Why not? It happens all the time. Virtual particles are constantly popping in and out of existence.

A universe can come from “nothing” (whatever that might be) as long as its sum energy is equal to 0.

Consider: you’re out playing in the back yard. You dig a hole, and pile the dirt next to the hole. Where you had “nothing” before, just flat ground, you know have two somethings, a hole, and a mound of dirt.

122. John Morales says

Goddist:

So indulge me how you have ascended to the level of critical thinking that the universe came from nothing, or a big bang, or singularity, or, or, or…Can matter really make itself?

I made no proposition; I merely stated that that’s what you Jebusites believe. Do you dispute that?

123. ChasCPeterson says

The number 46 wasn’t the point; the nondisjunction gotchas were deserved but irrelevant. Clearly, the real point was that diploidy is the, or a, key criterion of personhood.
Gametes aren’t people!
But a zygote is.
If you buy the idea that diploidy is a key criterion of personhood.

124. amphiox says

What scientifically changes at birth to bring this “potential” something into an actual human being?

The separation of the fetal circulation from the maternal circulation, for one.

The emptying of the lungs of fluid, allowing the baby to breathe air, for another.

The closure of the ductus arteriosis (most of the time), for another.

Quite. A human has 46 chromosomes.

Seeing as DNA synthesis in preparation for mitosis begins almost immediately upon fertilization, even if you consider a zygote a human, a human being has 46 chromosomes for all of a few seconds, and has more than 46 chromosomes for the rest of life.

Trillions of chromosomes, as it were.

125. starstuff91 says

The number 46 wasn’t the point; the nondisjunction gotchas were deserved but irrelevant. Clearly, the real point was that diploidy is the, or a, key criterion of personhood.
Gametes aren’t people!
But a zygote is.
If you buy the idea that diploidy is a key criterion of personhood.

So I guess any pluripotent cell has full personhood to those crazies.

126. Godisnowhere:

So indulge me how you have ascended to the level of critical thinking that the universe came from nothing, or a big bang, or singularity, or, or, or…

This your first time here? First time at any science based site? We aren’t here to provide you with an education, although a fine one can be had by reading and using your brain.

If you go to http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ and scroll down, on the right sidebar you will see all the archives linked, dating back to ’06.

You can also read about all manner of science by going to http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/science/

Or maybe you need something like this: The Big Bang for Dummies

127. amphiox says

Clearly, the real point was that diploidy is the, or a, key criterion of personhood.

But of course, the sperm and eggs were diploid, prior to the meiosis at their final stage of development. And then after fertilization, they’re diploid again. In the course of their existence, they’re only haploid for a brief interval (eggs longer than sperm, in general).

(And they, and a lot of other body cells too, spend a good fraction of their existence in S and M phase, during which they are some fraction between diploid and tetraploid….)

128. amphiox says

So indulge me how you have ascended to the level of critical thinking that the universe came from nothing, or a big bang, or singularity, or, or, or…

If something cannot come from nothing, then neither can god, since god is something too. If god could come from nothing, then so could the universe. If god can be eternal, then so can the universe.

Whichever way you slice it, the universe does not need god to come into being. And everything else, from singularity to man, follows automatically afterwards.

129. Demonhype:

She has often said that she would have preferred to be aborted if her parents didn’t really want her.

I’m so sorry to hear of yet more women who ended up with so much to deal with because of prevailing attitudes and laws.

I loathe the “but you’re alive, so you’re better off!” people. They’re considerably lower than slime in my eyes. (Not to say nasty things about slime).

To say I was unwanted is one hell of an understatement. A (my mother) didn’t have an illegal abortion because she didn’t want to die; I’m pretty damn sure she didn’t murder me after I was born because she didn’t want to go to prison.

I was dumped on family who took me as an obligation, a duty – they didn’t want me either. The rape started when I was three years old and went on for years. There was a lovely stew of other abuses throughout my childhood as well, including A showing up now and then and insisting I live with her for a while and dumping me in mental institutions from the time I was seven years old because she was convinced I’d be a paranoid schizophrenic like my father.

Yeah, I was so better off. :spits:

130. raven says

So indulge me how you have ascended to the level of critical thinking that the universe came from nothing, or a big bang, or singularity, or, or, or…Can matter really make itself?

Wrong question because the troll is a scientific illiterate.

A better question is, Can space-time make matter?

It does all the time. The entire universe is a sea of particle anti-particle pairs that spontaneously appear from nothing, exist, and then annihilate each other and go back to nothing.

Nothing or what we call space time is not the lowest energy state that exists and it is unstable.

It’s thought that our universe most likely was quantum tunneling event that just kept going. There is one key piece of data that this is the case. The total net energy of the entire universe is zero. It could have been anything. The fact that it is zero means something.

131. 'Tis Himself, OM says

Our anti-abortion playtoy thinks a discussion is it asking questions, making accusations and ignoring questions put to it.

132. Sally Strange, OM says

But of course, ‘Tis: to a propagandist, “discussion” means that they talk and you agree.

133. 'Tis Himself, OM says

Sally Strange #135

Too true.

134. raven says

dumb troll:

or a big bang,

WOW!!! This guy is really dumb. This is middle school astronomy that any well educated 14 year old would know.

We know that the Big Bang happened because we can see it. Our space telescopes look back in both time and distance.

We also see the remains of the Big Bang in the cosmic microwave background, complete with predicted variations and also in the large scale distribution of the galaxies.

It’s an empirically observable FACT.

135. KG says

It’s amusing how YYNJ’s idiocies chime with Sastra’s point on the “magic of denying reality” thread today, that it’s the soul-believers who are the real crude materialists – so love, they think, can’t be real unless it’s a kind of ethereal substance. Similarly, YYNJ has a crudely biological idea of what it means to be a person: nothing to do with being able to think, feel and relate to other people, you just need to belong to a particular species and have the right number of chromosomes.

136. amphiox says

The total net energy of the entire universe is zero. It could have been anything. The fact that it is zero means something.

It means that not only did the universe come from nothing, it still is nothing, and that nothing and something are actually two variants of the same thing.

137. Again, I ask that any “pro-lifer” name a single pro-life activist, fundamentalist Christian doing science to cure diseases or improve life for people. Not Mother Theresa crap (the Friend of Poverty), but actual contributions towards improving socioeconomic upward mobility. Just one fundamentalist at the clinics who intimidates patients and then gets in the car to go to the lab and analyze test results on an experimental vaccine for an STD. They do not exist because “pro-lifers” are death-fetishists and patriarchs. Nothing more, nothing less. They contribute nothing to society.

138. amphiox says

YYNJ has a crudely biological idea of what it means to be a person: nothing to do with being able to think, feel and relate to other people

Well, he’s probably using himself as a model for other people, and since he can’t do any of those things, he just assumes no one else can, either.

139. amphiox, that’s too hilarious and true.

140. chigau (曇) says

re: godisnowhere
god is now here
god is nowhere
.
troll
old joke
should be ignored
.
compare
.
lastnightisawabundanceonthetable
last night i saw a bun dance on the table
last night i saw abundance on the table

141. KG says

chigau@143,

Reminds me of the shortest poem I ever wrote (I no longer write poems):

Nirvana
Is neither here,
Nor there

142. plien says

You really should start to listen to the women having abortions. The i’m not sorry-site was allready linked for you convenience.

Little personal story;
My mum hardly knew her mother because when she was 4 years old her mother literally BLED to death because of a botched abortion. Can you imagine being a little girl an having your mum carted out of the kitchen under a white sheet?

She and her older brother were carted of to the orphanage, because a male obviously can’t take care of children… She went to the nuns and her brother to the friars, well you know how good those christians are with children, don’t you? }:->

So until my grandpa remarried several years later, she hardly saw any family. And when he did, to a widow, her stepmother put her own children continuously & abusively first.

All this has marked my mother pretty badly and has even invaded her relation with me.

Illegal abortion hurts. Not only the women, but also their families.

To the others in this thread; this was (or should be) about what we can do to help.
I know some have the policy to donate to Planned Parenthood when xian deathcultist drive by. (YYNJ, thanx man, you helped PP gain some extra bucks today!;-)

http://everysaturdaymorning.wordpress.com/how-to-get-involved/

And in my überenthousiastic post #43 i talked about Todd Stave who is awesome! He talks about the harassment that everybody faces and what can be done about it.
See http://vochoice.org/

Has anybody done this? How does it go & do you like it? What more can be done?

Can’t we have a nice discussion about these topics (right over the heads of the anti’s? :-) instead of getting again sucked into this?

Don’t argue with idiots. They’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

143. John Morales says

[meta]

plien, yes, good points about the abortion issue.

Your concern about Pharynguloid treatment of idiots, however, is misplaced (and factually wrong).

(You don’t like us arguing with idiots? Either elsewhere or cope; expressing your concern is futile)

144. Plien:

What more can be done?

Actively campaign for and support comprehensive sex education, health care and access to contraception.

A lot depends on where you live. Many states have imposed so many laws that abortion is illegal in all but name and damn near impossible to obtain by a woman in need. I live in ND and the situation in South Dakota is particularly dire* – all but one PP clinic has been shut down and it’s a long way from a whole lot of women, the ‘conscience’ law was passed years ago, allowing pharmacists to refuse to carry contraceptives or fill scrips, fake clinics proliferate and the mandatory 3 day wait, “counseling” and ultrasound was put into place almost two years ago.

In such states, Jane collectives are needed again. People who can provide places to stay, transportation, money if needed, etc.

*ND isn’t quite so draconian, but it isn’t a hell of a lot better, either.

145. Plien:

Can’t we have a nice discussion about these topics (right over the heads of the anti’s? :-) instead of getting again sucked into this?

Nope. We can have a nice discussion, however, what we do with chewtoys here is chew on them. This serves more than one purpose: we keep our fangs sniny and as you never know who might be reading, it furthers education and often changes minds.

146. plien says

John, i know you’re a regular and i’m barely more than a lurker, but damn, that was quite a cupcake moment.

I said to argue over the heads of the dummy’s. There are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many threads that try to beat some semblance of sence into these idiots.
Yes, it must be done & yes it is amusing, but dammit, facepalming and headdesking can be pretty fucking tiring.

I just said that maybe we could talk about what can be done to help, especially because that was the discussion at the beginning of this thread…

@ Caine, i’m in Europe, but don’t let that stop you, others may benefit from your knowledge & links.

147. Sally Strange, OM says

Other things we can do: be activists and politicians. Organize. Elect more women, elect more pro-choicers. It can be done. Donate money. Volunteer to escort or drive women needing abortions. Make a ruckus. Have rallies. Protest. Stop traffic. Picket the fake clinics, protest their fundraisers. Expose them in the local media. Come out of the “abortion closet.” Don’t buy into the shame and guilt.

Use any/all of the above where appropriate, as needed.

148. Dianne says

Have you heard of a water birth? It’s where a mother gives birth in a tub of water. The fetus is completely born, but does not drown because he/she has not breathed air yet.

Can we just have the spirit of Amy Tuteur come eat this idiot alive for that particular vacuous statement? YYNJ doesn’t have the prerequisites for bio 101.

149. chigau (曇) says

Caine

Yeah, I was so better off. :spits:

Some of the rest of us are “better off” because you are here.
Want some cyber-rum?
or fresh pesto?

150. Chigau, thank you. Fresh pesto sounds absolutely fabulous!

151. Dianne says

A human has 46 chromosomes.

So you consider women with Turner syndrome, men with Kleinfelter’s, people of either gender with Down syndrome, etc, etc to be non-human? Nice.

152. Dianne:

YYNJ doesn’t have the prerequisites for bio 101.

In YYNJ’s case, I suspect that’s one hell of an understatement.

153. John Morales says

Plien, I’m in Australia, where the situation ain’t perfect, but is sure as hell far, far better than in the USA.

[meta]

Being a regular here just means other regulars are familiar with one’s style; it conveys no authority nor credibility in itself (other than the aforementioned).

154. says

YYNJ #83

You have a couple problems. First, you contradicted yourself. You start by saying that rights come from humans, but you then submit those humans to a higher authority, saying that they must set up a society which recognizes…”

It only looks like a contradiction to people with brains too feeble to understand societies.

Is it absolutely true that a society must recognize the better of the whole of population?

Since this is entirely irrelevant, why bring it up? Are you too dim to actually debate a subject?

Second problem. What is the basis for determining “better off”?

That may be a question for the people of the society in question. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what we were discussing.

Third problem. Where do rights come from in the middle of the ocean where there is no set up society?

Are you really living a life that sheltered? Have you never heard of the social contract? Seriously dude, we do this stuff EVERY DAY when we interact with people. It’s not rocket science.

You keep saying other people have problems, but the only problem here is your complete lack of understanding.

155. Dianne says

The developing fetus prior to birth…is it living or dead?
The developing fetus prior to birth…what species is it?

Counter questions, just in case YYNJ comes back: The unfertilized gamete: is it living or dead? The unfertilized gamete: what species is it? Conclusion: Abstinence (which prevents fertilization and leads to the death of untold numbers of gametes, especially in men) is murder. Mass murder even. The holocaust in your balls.

156. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

The fetus is completely born, but does not drown because he/she has not breathed air yet.

Until it breaths air, which humans survive on, it isn’t fully human. DUH fuckwit. You have no intelligence, for example, your fuckwitted question:

So if you were born in space, when do you become “fully human?”

Think about that for five seconds. You will have the answer. When it breaths oxygen and continues to live without taking all nourishment and oxygen from Mommy. Same definition I used before, but you are too stupid to apply. DUMB.

So you believe this obvious tiny male or female human being, completely separated from the mother’s body, is still a “potential” human being because it hasn’t taken a breath yet?

DUMB question. See my previous answer. And no matter what you try to invent, the same answer applies. Separate from the woman and breathing on its own. Period, end of story, no equivocations.

Where exactly do rights come from again?

She is fully human. Go back to basic definitions. You can’t prove she is pregnant without invading her privacy. And you need to show where you get to make that decision for her. A recent signed letter from your imaginary deity, equivalent to a power of attorney, would be a good start. Put up that letter, or shut the fuck up.

Where does the right to life come from?

Not from your imaginary deity, for sure. You can’t prove it exists. The right to life is for those already born. There is no such thing as an unborn baby. Hence, no right to life.

When does a human become a human? At the beginning of biological development, which is at conception.

Nope, all cells were human going in, and human going out of conception. You do realize your imaginary deity is big fan of abortion. About half of fertilized eggs never implant. The big guy disagrees with you. But then, you can’t think it through.

It’s a good thing he did, because he would have been destroyed!

Well, you are a delusional fool, as your inane posts continue to show.

Oh, and if you really want to reduce the number of abortions, this is what you have to do. You and like minded anti-choice zealots take up a collection and offer every woman going into the clinic half the cost of raising a child to 18. At the moment, that is around a quarter of million dollars, so you need to pony up \$125,000 in escrow. But then, that requires you to put your money where your mouth is, and stop being a hypocrite. So that simple solution won’t happen.

157. Diane highlights the nonsense of Christians trying to use the very science they both don’t believe in and don’t study to prove their points. When most of us criticize religion, we may not believe what the texts claim but we do read the texts. I’ve heard of lots of ex-Christian scientists, but few Christian ex-scientists. Gnaw mean?

158. Dianne:

+1 I do love a smart-ass physician. :D

It’s like I pointed out in #53, that if one believes in God, and that God created humans, then god is the biggest abortionist of all, bar none. Having zero understanding of just how your own body works is so far below biology 101, it’s difficult to describe the wrong.

159. kristinc says

Hey, stupid troll, I HAD a water birth. They still had to take my daughter OUT of the water at some point, dumbass.

160. Sally Strange, OM says

“The holocaust in your balls” reminded me of a video an older community activist showed us, where “Ladies Against Women” went to allegedly support Phyllis Schlafly but of course were really spoofing her…

She had a similar line, something about how terrible it is that we allow condoms to be sold on every street corner, “little rubber concentration camps,” she called them.

161. kristinc says

Also, ignorant shit, there’s no such thing as a “fully born fetus”. Either it’s born OR it’s a fetus. Duh.

162. Dianne:

Mass murder even. The holocaust in your balls.

*a-HEM*

“Do you know what that means? I have wiped entire civilizations off of my chest with a grey gym sock. That is special. Entire nations have flaked and crusted in the hair around my navel. That is special. And I want you to think about that, you two-egg-carrying beings out there with that holier-than-thou, we-have-the-gift-of-life attitude. I have tossed universes, in my underpants, while napping. That is special.” — Bill Hicks

163. demonhype says

@Caine

Your story is absolutely horrific–even worse than my mom’s, actually. And still I’m sure there are plenty who do tell you your life was filled with sunshine and roses in reality. I would really love to stamp on their foot with my jobsite boots with their brick-sized soles and, when they jump about and howl with pain, insist that they’re just being dramatic and they’re not only in pain but having a fantastic orgasm or something, no matter how they try to insist otherwise. Something tells me they still won’t get it.

I think people just have that attitude that women lose their autonomy when they become pregnant and their bodies become public property, as if being pregnant means you no longer have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. Kind of like that poor woman in Indiana they want to try for murder because she tried to commit suicide while pregnant. Recently I got in a sort of fight with a co-worker over this, and it wasn’t even about abortion, just pregnancy and prenatal care. She started talking about all the tests that are “mandatory”, I expressed doubt that anyone could force you to submit to any particular test against your will as well as expressing some indignation at the idea of being given a medical itinerary and then being told to strip naked, get on the gurney, spread my legs and shut my mouth while the doctor and insurance companies make all my decisions for me, including all risk assessment, as if I have no part in this.

At least, I would have liked to get that far. The moment she detected a hint of disagreement in my tone, she cut me of with hatred and arrogance, then the second time I tried she cut me off with hatred, arrogance, and smug self-righteous insulting behavior, then the third time she was hatefully, arrogantly, self-righteously, smugly and insultingly screaming at me, at which point I left the break room and let the door slam behind me. I’m not interested in talking to someone who will only tolerate agreement and will begin screaming hatefully at the moment she senses dissent–simply no point to it. It’s like arguing with my brother’s abominable wife and her equally abominable mother, who have only traditional assumption to support their views but will get smug, hateful, arrogant, and even scream you down in force before letting you make a single argument that might contradict their preconceived and unexamined ideas.

And that was just over the idea that I, as the hypothetical pregnant woman in question, should have the final say over what needles, probes, and whatnot are applied to my personal flesh, that the risk assessment for both myself and the pregnancy should be my own to make, that I should continue to have the right to physical autonomy and the right to take an active role in my own medical care while pregnant. Obviously, if I’m going to prenatal care I care about the pregnancy, and I contend that I will care more about that pregnancy than an insurance company bean counter who might decide that it’s worth testing for a disorder that happens maybe three percent of the time with a test that has a ten percent spontaneous abortion rate. Those numbers are pulled out of my ass for the purpose of illustrating the different interests I might have than an insurance company bean counter, BTW, but an insurance company would think that if you aborted it’s no skin off their balls, especially compared to having a kid with a disorder to pay for for the next few decades or more. You, on the other hand, might not be at high-risk for that disorder and maybe feel the spontaneous abortion rate is too much of a risk to test for something you have very little risk of facing. The insurance company will make risk assessment not in favor of your health or interests but in favor of their bottom line, and in many cases those two are mutually exclusive. Some doctors–not all, but some–might be a bit greedy and just want to do as many tests or prescribe as many meds as they can because that means more money for them too, and in the end even the well-meaning doctors are not the ones experiencing what happens to my body.

My mom actually raised me to understand that my body is mine, not my husband’s or father’s or neighbor’s or government’s or doctor’s or insurance company’s, and I have some responsibility to know what I’m taking, what I’m agreeing to, and what the risks are. I was also raised to understand that not everything your doctor wants you to do is as safe as candy or a walk in the park, and that sometimes the doctor or nurse can fuck up and that paying such attention can save your life. This attitude irritates doctors, but it saved her from being damn near poisoned a couple times when she was in the hospital, and it prevented me from getting ear tubes or taking freaky problematic steriods when I was a kid, and it saved my father from taking Vioxx. Sure, the doctor needs to be responsible too, but no doctor is an omnimax god and it does no harm to take an active role in the things that happen to your body, because in the end you are the one who will have to live with the results.

Somehow, even a hint at that idea was enough to set this woman off like a maniac when the hypothetical patient was pregnant. Sometimes I think some people would be happier if every woman was equipped with a chastity belt and placed in a special pregnancy center immediately when impregnated, where they can be held in pods like in the Matrix, with their brains disabled and every part of their bodies mechanically and chemically micromanaged until they finally give birth. That way, no uppity preggo can get an abortion, or question or object to any particular test or medication they find suspect, or have a glass of wine or cigarette, or eat the wrong kinds of foods, or do anything other people have decided they shouldn’t do, without that inconvenience of their misguided notions of personal autonomy getting in the way.

164. Sally:

She had a similar line, something about how terrible it is that we allow condoms to be sold on every street corner, “little rubber concentration camps,” she called them.

I remember that. Yeah, rubbers will be the end of the world. :eyeroll:

Like I have said, way too many times, It’s never about good sex education (and general education), proper health care and access to contraception when it comes to lifers. Instead, they keep extending their “holocaust” crap to where birth control is every bit as evil and against god as abortion.

It’s all about controlling women, no matter what rhetoric they use as wrapping.

If every woman had access to an education, health care and contraception, abortion would be rare. It’s always telling that is not their goal.

165. demonhype says

@Caine

Your story is absolutely horrific–even worse than my mom’s, actually. And still I’m sure there are plenty who do tell you your life was filled with sunshine and roses in reality. I would really love to stamp on their foot with my jobsite boots with their brick-sized soles and, when they jump about and howl with pain, insist that they’re just being dramatic and they’re not only in pain but having a fantastic orgasm or something, no matter how they try to insist otherwise. Something tells me they still won’t get it.

I think people just have that attitude that women lose their autonomy when they become pregnant and their bodies become public property, as if being pregnant means you no longer have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. Kind of like that poor woman in Indiana they want to try for murder because she tried to commit suicide while pregnant.

In fact, recently I got in a sort of fight with a co-worker over this, and it wasn’t even about abortion, just pregnancy and prenatal care. She started talking about all the tests that are “mandatory”, I expressed doubt that anyone could force you to submit to any particular test against your will as well as expressing some indignation at the idea of being given a medical itinerary and then being told to strip naked, get on the gurney, spread my legs and shut my mouth while the doctor and insurance companies make all my decisions for me, including all risk assessment, as if I have no part in this.

At least, I would have liked to get that far. The moment she detected a hint of disagreement in my tone, she cut me of with hatred and arrogance, then the second time I tried she cut me off with hatred, arrogance, and smug self-righteous insulting behavior, then the third time she was hatefully, arrogantly, self-righteously, smugly and insultingly screaming at me, at which point I left the break room and let the door slam behind me. I’m not interested in talking to someone who will only tolerate agreement and will begin screaming hatefully at the moment she senses dissent–simply no point to it. It’s like arguing with my brother’s abominable wife and her equally abominable mother, who have only traditional assumption to support their views but will get smug, hateful, arrogant, and even scream you down in force before letting you make a single argument that might contradict their preconceived and unexamined ideas.

And that was just over the idea that I, as the hypothetical pregnant woman in question, should have the final say over what needles, probes, and whatnot are applied to my personal flesh, that the risk assessment for both myself and the pregnancy should be my own to make, that I should continue to have the right to physical autonomy and the right to take an active role in my own medical care while pregnant. Obviously, if I’m going to prenatal care I care about the pregnancy, and I contend that I will care more about that pregnancy than an insurance company bean counter who might decide that it’s worth testing for a disorder that happens maybe three percent of the time with a test that has a ten percent spontaneous abortion rate. Those numbers are pulled out of my ass for the purpose of illustrating the different interests I might have than an insurance company bean counter, BTW, but an insurance company would think that if you aborted it’s no skin off their balls, especially compared to having a kid with a disorder to pay for for the next few decades or more. You, on the other hand, might not be at high-risk for that disorder and maybe feel the spontaneous abortion rate is too much of a risk to test for something you have very little risk of facing. The insurance company will make risk assessment not in favor of your health or interests but in favor of their bottom line, and in many cases those two are mutually exclusive. Some doctors–not all, but some–might be a bit greedy and just want to do as many tests or prescribe as many meds as they can because in the short run that means more money for them too, and in the end even the well-meaning doctors are not the ones experiencing what happens to my body or living with the consequences. And even the well-meaning ones aren’t perfect.

My mom actually raised me to understand that my body is mine, not my husband’s or father’s or neighbor’s or government’s or doctor’s or insurance company’s, and I have some responsibility to know what I’m taking, what I’m agreeing to, and what the risks are. I was also raised to understand that not everything your doctor wants you to do is as safe as candy or a walk in the park, and that sometimes the doctor or nurse can fuck up and that paying such attention can save your life. This attitude irritates doctors, but it saved her from being damn near poisoned a couple times when she was in the hospital, and it prevented me from getting ear tubes or taking freaky problematic steroids when I was a kid, and it saved my father from taking Vioxx. She didn’t just outright refuse any treatment, but made informed decisions with the doctor to ensure good medical care in which she had made the cost-benefit analysis based on her own family’s interests and no one else’s. Sure, the doctor needs to be responsible too but no doctor is an omnimax god and it does no harm to take an active role in the things that happen to your body, because in the end you are the one who will have to live with the results.

Somehow, even a hint at that idea was enough to set this woman off like a maniac when the hypothetical patient was pregnant. Sometimes I think some people would be happier if every woman was placed in a special forced labor center immediately when impregnated, where they can be held in pods like in the Matrix, with their brains disabled and every part of their bodies mechanically and chemically micromanaged until they finally give birth. That way, no uppity woman can get an abortion, or question or object to any particular test or medication they find suspect, or have a glass of wine or cigarette, or eat the wrong kinds of food, or pretend that this pregnancy actually involves them in any way or that their role is anything greater than “chunk of incubation meat”.

And they’ll get their way if no one fights. There is no virtue in apathy.

166. demonhype says

Double post fuckup. Sorry about that. I accidentally hit “submit” then tried to escape. It seemed to work at the time, so I didn’t think anything of it. How irritating.

167. Demonhype, yeah, it’s autonomy which fuels the the lifers. They think the only autonomy which matters is that of the zygote, fuck the woman, she doesn’t count. I’ve heard every disgusting ‘argument’ out there over the last 30+ years. I’m sick to death of them.

As for your co-worker, most of the tests involved in pregnancy aren’t covered by insurance (in the U.S.) and if you have reason to be concerned about specific problems coming up, you have to pay for those tests out of pocket. No one straps your ass down and forces tests on you.

168. demonhype says

@Caine

Yes, she seemed to be under the assumption that you had to by force, and then she started arguing that you had to or you’d lose your insurance when cornered on that. She didn’t seem to think that women are actually strapped down and forced today (though her tone and attitude suggested she thought it would be a good idea), but she believed that there was some kind of agency enforcing it, judging by her use of the word “mandatory”.

My gut feeling is that her daughter’s doctor gave her a medical itinerary, she just went along docilely as a lot of people do without question or objection, and both she and her mom assumed they were all essentially necessary and therefore mandatory. And this is likely because of the pregnancy factor. I mean, there are options of treatment for cancer or you could even refuse treatment, but I doubt she’d use the word “mandatory” to describe any of those. Because medical procedures are only “mandatory” for pregnant women, apparently.

My mother was given an itinerary too, and she questioned and informed herself on every single thing and discovered that some were things he just assumed she’d want and they weren’t really necessary–but they were painful and did cost money. One doctor was very put out that when she cornered him and made him admit he only wanted to sew her up post-labor so she’d “look neater” down there and not because it was medically necessary. And he was even more upset when she said no. How many women just went ahead with it because the doctor said so, thinking it must be something they need to do for the safety of future pregnancies, never dreaming it was because the doctor felt her genitalia should conform to a man-pleasing aesthetic shape? Of course, he was equally pissed when she wouldn’t let him alter her child’s genitalia to his liking either–but that’s another subject. :)

The co-worker is also under the impression that that procedure with the needle they stab into the uterus is completely 100% safe now with absolutely no risk “not like it was in the old days, before it was mandatory”. I’m pretty sure that’s wrong on a number of levels.

169. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

Forced-birthers are the epitome of hypocrisy. Few if any of them (and that’s being charitable – let’s face it, probably none of them anywhere on earth) are making huge efforts to support sex-ed, education for women generally, and the availability of reliable, free contraception – which as experience all over the world has shown are the best ways to reduce the abortion rate in reality; few if any are making any effort at all to support children and their parents. They couldn’t care less about children being born into hardship, being unwanted, having parents who knew themselves they couldn’t cope with the enormous demands of parenthood. They couldn’t give a flying fuck about actual children; all they care about is foetuses and their own satisfaction.

Has there ever been a single one of these miserable little would-be dicatators who would put their own bodily autonomy, physical and mental health, life for the next 18 years or so or even their financial survival last and a blastocyst, an embryo or a foetus first? But they go into paroxysms of ecstatic self-righteousness when trying to force others to do so, just because they fondly imagine a blastocyst, an embryo or a foetus is somehow magically the same as a person with thoughts and feelings.

Would they refuse to have a tumour removed? Hey, it’s living, it’s growing, its cells are human cells …

As the old saying goes – if men could get pregnant, contraception would be a sacrament (and the right to abortion would be unquestionable).

170. GODISNOWHERE says

@ starstuff91 who said…”I’ve yet to meat an anti-choicer with an original argument or with real scientific evidence backing them up.”

That’s odd, I’m Pro-choice! I just choose life!

Perhaps you missed the question. “Can matter really make itself?” For this thread, I will claim this as an “original argument”. Rather, can the un-scientifically supported belief that the universe made itself, be proven scientifically, without reducing the laws of Physics to mere theory?

Why would I need evidence to back up my belief that the universe appears to be designed, fully knowing I wasn’t there to see it designed, and therefore cannot produce the evidence to support my belief, no more than you can produce evidence of the universe creating itself from an explosion? That’s just your BS (belief system).

171. amphiox says

no more than you can produce evidence of the universe creating itself from an explosion?

Well, the universe didn’t create itself from an explosion.

That’s not what the Big Bang theory states.

172. GODISNOWHEREb says

@ nigelTheBold, Wagering against Pascal who stated…”Why not? It happens all the time. Virtual particles are constantly popping in and out of existence.

A universe can come from “nothing” (whatever that might be) as long as its sum energy is equal to 0.

Consider: you’re out playing in the back yard. You dig a hole, and pile the dirt next to the hole. Where you had “nothing” before, just flat ground, you know have two somethings, a hole, and a mound of dirt.”

Huh? That’s “sum” energy it takes to produce matter from complete nothingness. Perhaps my public education failed me in reasoning away reality and accepting fantasy. I’m just not yet to think, and act like the minority…

Oh, my only question about the illogical conclusion of dirt and holes and mounds of dirt is, are we starting with something that exists, or does the dirt first make itself?

173. John Morales says

GIN:

That’s odd, I’m Pro-choice! I just choose life!

The term doesn’t mean what you think it means; it’s not about your choice applying to everyone, but about allowing each person their own choice.

Rather, can the un-scientifically supported belief that the universe made itself, be proven scientifically, without reducing the laws of Physics to mere theory?

You are very, very confused. Fractally so.

Why would I need evidence to back up my belief that [blah]

Why indeed? :)

174. hotshoe says

God Is Nowhere –

Learn to blockquote, you insipid dumbfuck.

175. John Morales says

GIN:

Oh, my only question about the illogical conclusion of dirt and holes and mounds of dirt is, are we starting with something that exists, or does the dirt first make itself?

This, from someone who believes people were made by the breath of an uncaused magical person upon some dirt?

(Goddists are unintentionally funny)

176. GODISNOWHERE says

@ John Morales who stated…”I made no proposition; I merely stated that that’s what you Jebusites believe. Do you dispute that?”

Ouch, OW, what a punch you have big John! I know what I believe and can freely admit it. What about you? Can’t you just admit that your un-scientifically supported fairy-tale, is really no different than my un-scientifically supported fairy tale? Or, have you arrived in the camp of non-existence already?

If your position is that your theories are “yet to be scientifically supported”, then consider mine the same.

Does the thought, “I don’t know, I really don’t know” ever occur to the Myers’ minions (followers)? Do you believe this clash of world views will ever be resolved on discussion threads such as this? Well, other than for yourself and the minority of followers inflating PZ’s ego?

Here’s a thought, if you had a theory about the various ages of specimens collected from varying regions and depths in the earth and did a blind test on, say ten completely different specimens, and the test data produced results contrary to your belief system, would you

A. Report the actual test data,

C. Apply for a grant to further study why the data just won’t support your theory?

Punch away…

177. GODISNOWHERE says

@ hotshoe who stated…”God Is Nowhere –

Learn to blockquote, you insipid dumbfuck.”

Sorry, I must claim public education did this to me. Actually, knowing this enrages you so…

Any other helpful hints and tips before you drink, or medicate yourself to sleep?

178. says

Rather, can the un-scientifically supported belief that the universe made itself, be proven scientifically, without reducing the laws of Physics to mere theory?

Oh I see, one of those.

That’s just your BS (belief system).

To not believe in gods, say, does not require a leap of faith, applying Occam’s razor, the principle of parsimony or whatever you want to call it, this is just the default position. What does require faith and belief, is to assert or assume that something exists without evidence. As to the universe, it’s here, we are in it after all, and at the same time we lack evidence for supernatural beings. So the logical conclusion is that the universe did not come into existence by a supernatural creator, who by the way would have herself had to be created by something at some point. The fact that we do not know for sure how the universe came into existence doesn’t mean, “therefore god”. It means that we don’t know for sure, but at least science can come up with more interesting theories than POOF. Now please go and read up on what a scientific theory is.

179. John Morales says

GIN:

Ouch, OW, what a punch you have big John! I know what I believe and can freely admit it.

What you believe: A magical, uncreated spirit being got bored and decided to make an universe; the which was done by separating the waters that already existed.

What I believe: I don’t know the genesis of the universe, but I’m too intellectually-honest to accept bullshit and pretend it’s an answer.

(You admitting to such a ludicrous belief may be honest, but pitiful. If I were a nicer person, I’d pity you for it.)

Can’t you just admit that your un-scientifically supported fairy-tale, is really no different than my un-scientifically supported fairy tale?

What part of $Z \equiv \langle 0 | \exp\left ( -i \hat H T \right ) |0 \rangle = \exp\left ( -i E T \right ) = \int D\varphi \; \exp\left ( i \mathcal{S} [\varphi] \right )\; = \exp\left ( i W \right )$ do you think is “un-scientifically supported”*?

(I myself can’t dispute it, not being up to speed on the path integrals for virtual particles; but then (and unlike you), I’m not so vacuously vain as to dismiss it from ignorance)

If your position is that your theories are “yet to be scientifically supported”, then consider mine the same.

I don’t pretend to know via the mythos of primitive people; your position is hardly the same, since you do.

Well, other than for yourself and the minority of followers inflating PZ’s ego?

You really are feeble at communication, aren’t ya?

Yes, the minority of followers is so minor it’s zero. :)

Here’s a thought, if you had a theory about the various ages of specimens […]

You don’t know what a theory is, do ya?

(Hint: one can have a theory of what the process of ageing entails, but not about the age of specific specimens!)

Punch away…

I’m no scientist, but I know enough about them that I realise that withholding data is bad, and fudging data is the kiss of death to a scientist.

* The probability amplitude for the creation, propagation, and destruction of a virtual particle (via Wikipedia)

(It may not be un-scientifically supported, but, luckily, it’s scientifically supported — kinda implicit in that scientists derived it!)

180. hotshoe says

hotshoe who stated…”

God Is Nowhere –

Learn to blockquote, you insipid dumbfuck.”

Sorry, I must claim public education did this to me. Actually, knowing this enrages you so…

Any other helpful hints and tips before you drink, or medicate yourself to sleep?

Learn to blockquote.

Someone who’s the cream of the crop – like you – and who can “handle the rest” – like you – can surely educate himself how to use such a minor little bit of technology as blockquote.

Unless you want to prove yourself the fool … the uneducable idiot … the worthless member of the underclass who won’t even qualify for a job stocking shelves …

181. John Morales says

GIN:

Any other helpful hints and tips before you drink, or medicate yourself to sleep?

Sure: if you ate less shit, your breath would be less stinky.

182. GODISNOWHERE says

@hotshoe, who stated…”Someone who’s the cream of the crop – like you…” AND “…the worthless member of the underclass who won’t even qualify for a job stocking shelves…”

Why, Thank-You!

Sorry, but relegating myself to the demands of a punk would never have contributed to me becoming a respectful person. I respect what you have to say when you actually say something. So far, you’ve insulted the very idea of this blog.

This would be enjoyable to continue, but I’ve never been late for my 5 a.m. shift stocking shelves and trucks for food distribution to the homeless…

183. amphiox says

Sorry, but relegating myself to the demands of a punk would never have contributed to me becoming a respectful person

So, he refuses to learn something very quick, very easy, very simple, which would enormously improve the quality of his postings, the cogency of the presentation of his ideas, and his all-round ability to communicate effectively. He refuses to add to his own store of skill, ability, and knowledge. He refuses to engage in a simple task that would enormously benefit himself.

All because he doesn’t like the person who suggested to him that he do so.

I don’t know about the “becoming a respectful person” part, but in terms of “becoming a respectED person”?

EPIC FAIL.

184. GODISNOWHERE says

@John Morales, who stated “I’m no scientist, but I know enough about them that I realise that withholding data is bad, and fudging data is the kiss of death to a scientist.”

An admission worthy of the Pharyngula HOF.

And yet these very scientists die a long and profitable death. Global Warming or Climate Change? Choose your flavor of climate models based on the largest piles of BS since I was taught that vertical trees found in strata somehow survived hundreds of millions years of weathering and erosion while waiting to be buried bottom to top.

I, and perhaps yourself, have engaged and departed from textbooks, lecture halls, the media, philosophers, and theorists to search for answers to the many questions on origins.

While I do appreciate the effort to demonstrate your beliefs, or support for them, from the Wikipedia article, (and out of respect I read it before commenting – yes, it gave me a headache) I think assuming what I believe is a false premise from which to lecture me.

The following is your misrepresentation of what I believe… “What you believe: A magical, uncreated spirit being got bored and decided to make an universe; the which was done by separating the waters that already existed.”

Please demonstrate where I even inferred on this blog what you assumed is my belief. Never mind, you can’t find it. And no, I am not feeble, and yes I do understand what a theory is, without your inverted explanation.

While I enjoy looking at stars (suns, planets, galaxies, nebula…), others enjoy theorizing on the makeup, trajectory, and distance of those stars. I see them and study them, as does the more critical mind. Am I less ascended from this admission, or is the scientist theorizing about stars less ascended merely from lacking the capacity to design and build a structure as I can?

A well thought out post John, but not much punch for the ol’ punching bag, yours truly.

185. GODISNOWHERE says

@ John Morales, who stated…”The term doesn’t mean what you think it means; it’s not about your choice applying to everyone, but about allowing each person their own choice.”

This in response to my posting that I too am Pro-Choice, I just choose life!

John, your answer is circular. We both know the political game of words used to trap the unsuspecting mind into a belief that leads to an emotional response. That’s clearly identifiable to many posting on this blog that regularly use “anti-choicer”. As if we all fall for the very idea that if I am not for the wanton killing of unborn human beings somehow I am now against choice!

If redefining the word choice is somehow acceptable in the mind of anyone in order to glaze over the reality that “choice” now means the destruction of a human life, then perhaps we can redefine the term “evolution” to mean “politically correct science”.

Over and out.

186. ichthyic says

And yet these very scientists die a long and profitable death

what in the fuck does that even mean?

do you listen to yourself when you say this shit?

187. ichthyic says

If redefining the word choice is somehow acceptable in the mind of anyone in order to glaze over the reality that “choice” now means the destruction of a human life

the only person trying to redefine the word choice is you, fuckwit.

Over and out.

Oh, how we all wish you were.

188. Gnumann says

do you listen to yourself when you say this shit?

All-caps nym and double-posting on a tread that’s been dead for days. I’ll say those are signs that he doesn’t listen to anyone, not even himself.

189. GODISNOWHERE says

@Gnumann who stated…”All-caps nym and double-posting on a tread that’s been dead for days.” and “do you listen to yourself when you say this shit?”

Moron LAB test complete. Gnumann successfully demonstrated that the topic of discussion is no match for his inability to lash out at insignificant and irrelevant typographical behavior. Primal!

Fact study complete. Gnumann has come to the realization that someday when scat becomes valuable the poor will be born without rectums. Poor Gnumann…

190. GODISNOWHERE says

@ichthyic who predictably and improperly stated…”the only person trying to redefine the word choice is you,” AND who also made up a new word for all the kids in evolution class to clap over, “fuckwit.”

Thanks for demonstrating for all to see the effectiveness of mental masturbation with the affable Mr. Myers.

191. hotshoe says

God Is No Where
Fuck off and die, you worthless waste of oxygen. If the world had fewer of your kind in it, we’d have room for plenty of those innocent lives you pretend to want to save. So get out of the way, you selfish asshole, and make some room!

192. Ichthyic says

AND who also made up a new word for all the kids in evolution class to clap over, “fuckwit.”

yes, sorry, I shortened it.

it should have been:

demented fuckwit.

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