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Source: (consider it) Thread: Hell: She's only nine years old! (abortion thread)
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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A "sensible discussion" that still hasn't impacted enough on you about the vulnerability and preciousness of the raped child. So I'm getting furious because she is not ready to have a child and you don't seem to understand it.

Most pro-lifers I know would find some flexibilty to allow them to save a little girl from such pain, even if it meant them taking responsibility for doing something they regarded as wrong, because not to do it would create a greater wrong.

Couldn't you bear the burden of guilt to help her?

Again, do you realise how young, small and vulnerable this pregnant child is?

I have friends who were married at fourteen and pregnant immediately. They all say they were too immature to have a baby. It was shocking to them even within their culture.

This is a child who has been raped and made pregnant. God never IMO expects children to bear children. Their bodies, minds and psyches are not ready for this.

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London
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Posts: 11224 | From: London - originally Dundee, Blairgowrie etc... | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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I hereby nominate Merseymike and Jesuitical Lad for the title of Ship's Biggest Pains in the ______. (Shipmates can choose which part of the anatomy is most appropriate.)

You two are making it extremely difficult for other shipmates to discuss this topic.

Please start a thread of your own where you can fight it out. With luck, neither of you will survive.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20365 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
This applies even in those tragic cases where the chances are that both lives will be lost. The situation must be accepted "as is", without recourse to immoral pseudo-remedies.

Holy crap. That's possibly the scariest thing I've ever read here.

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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Louise
Shipmate
# 30

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quote:
an innocent
Here's the crux of JL's argument, pick a crappy emotive term for a 12 week unborn baby and take it from there.

The term is meaningless when applied to things which are basically non-sentient.

To apply it to a 12 week pregnancy and say that that makes the unborn potential child more important than the prodigious suffering of a nine year old actual child carrying it, is just crap and double speak.

Your mileage may vary, but I'm not impressed. This sort of thing just ends up making pro-life advocates seem as dopey and fanatical as the animal rights idiots who think planting incendiary bombs is justified in the cause of their 'innocent' lab rats. A pox on all your houses.

L.

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Posts: 6918 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Merseymike
Shipmate
# 3022

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Arabella : I'm a bit disturbed that you seem to be bracketing me alongside JL. I do not support the anti-abortion movement. Like most people, I support alternatives to abortion, but I believe in the legal availability of abortion. JL thoroughly disagrees with me on this matter.

However, in this instance we are talking about a nine year old child, which I think casts a particular light on the matter at hand - JL doesn't think this is a significant factor.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

Posts: 3360 | From: Walked the plank | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Laudate Dominum
Shipmate
# 3104

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Laura and Daisymay,

Jesuitical Lad was correct in his statement of the pro-life position. What frightens you about this? Our consistency in logic? Consider what we believe about the life of the unborn child. His statement logically follows from that belief. It is not compassionless. Sometimes it must be accepted that there is no right path, there is nothing we can do. The case of both the lives of the mother and child being threatened is a situation which, following our reasoning, nothing can be done about. You simply cannot murder a person to save another person.

(Please do not be like Merseymike and shout out "it's not a person" because that is unlikely to have any effect--it's just as bad as the pro-lifers who scream "it's a child" over and over and never say anything else. Yes, I know I sometimes do this too, but I'm working on it.)

We do care about the life and mental health of this poor girl, but with what we believe about the baby she carries, we cannot in good conscience give one preference over the other. You say that not to perform an abortion is to prefer the life of the baby to life of the girl, and we say that to perform an abortion is to prefer the life of the girl to the life of the baby. My conclusion is that there is no good solution, and we should pray that everything comes out as well as is possible.

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"They think us barbarians because we cling to the past. We think them barbarians because they do not cling to the past." --G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 518 | From: Lala Land | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Newman's Own
Shipmate
# 420

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
Frankly, though, whether or not I would want to abort is entirely irrelevant. If I were a sociopath, I might want to go on a blood-drenched rampage. But it would still be wrong, regardless of my wishes - since I'd be working under incorrect assumptions about the worthlessness of human life.

I do not know why I even have followed this thread, with how irate your arrogance (and Merseymike's responses) have made me. This statement was the one that made me want to shout "Enough!!!" Defend the pro-life position all you want, to to the gates of hell for it if you wish, but (and you are far too intelligent for me to assume that this was not deliberate) knowing your fellow Christians disagree with you and thereby classing them with sociopaths by implication is a disgrace.

I recall your mentioning that you are not a Jesuit - but, considering your 'name,' do you want to be a priest? What sort of effect do you think you would have on people, making statements of this type - classing those who are torn at the thought of a little child who has been faced with horrible trauma now facing childbirth with the likes of Jack the Ripper?! I am not suggesting you compromise your beliefs, but you will send people running away not only from yourself but possibly from Christ's Church (and, yes, I know I define that differently than you would) if you continue to act like a self-righteous street fighter. And, to top it off, you give others the idea that, were an unbaptised child to die, God would not welcome the child to intimacy with him!

Anger, calumny, whatever, can all too easily masquerade as zeal. When you first began posting on these boards, I was very impressed by your knowledge, historical perspective, and inclination towards scholarship. But, quite frankly, much of what has followed recently sounds like a hate fest - and it seems very far from Jesus of Nazareth. If you believe someone is in sin or error, certainly pray for him - but one is in dangerous waters indeed when one thinks, let alone says, that others would agree with oneself if one could only see the light (or anything to that effect.)

This is not any apologia - but is a brief explanation before JL's postings give the impression that moral theologians who have debated matters such as this treated them with such arrogance and pomposity. Especially in the days when Caesarian sections could not be done in emergencies, one standard procedure to save the life of the mother was that the baby's skull (wedged in the birth canal) would be crushed. The moralists' position was that, if one died as the result of childbirth, it would be a natural death - where, if the child's skull were deliberately crushed, it would be a murder. (And I'm sure that they had enough pastoral experience to realise that most fathers, faced with that decision, were more worried about a living wife and mother than a dead baby. I'm not saying that to be cruel - I'm just reminding you that all the dogma on earth is worthless without pastoral sensitivity.)

I hope everyone will excuse my going on in this fashion. It is by no means my habit to reprove others, but this was an absolute disgrace.

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Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

Posts: 6740 | From: Library or pub | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Basket Case
Shipmate
# 1812

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I’m fascinated with the focus on the idea of “innocence” in the whole equation.

Surely sinfulness is part and parcel of being human. Maybe if I were fascinated with theoretical concerns, I could concoct a seemingly logical argument that if a human life is truly “innocent” it is therefore not human, since “it is written” that all have sinned.

JLs views make me shudder.

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Merseymike
Shipmate
# 3022

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I'm sorry if I offended you, Newman. JL's views made me angry, and I should not have responded in a flippant way, I think I found it hard to countenance what he was saying.

Apologies.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

Posts: 3360 | From: Walked the plank | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Xavierite
Shipmate
# 2575

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quote:
Originally posted by Newman's Own:
I do not know why I even have followed this thread, with how irate your arrogance (and Merseymike's responses) have made me. This statement was the one that made me want to shout "Enough!!!" Defend the pro-life position all you want, to to the gates of hell for it if you wish, but (and you are far too intelligent for me to assume that this was not deliberate) knowing your fellow Christians disagree with you and thereby classing them with sociopaths by implication is a disgrace.

Although we disagree on a lot of issues all over the place, and I know my tact in recent posts has been rather limited, I really do think you missed my point here. I promise you I was NOT trying to imply that pro-choice Christians belong in the same bracket as sociopaths. What I was trying to show is that a person's wishes with regard to a particular scenario are entirely irrelevant to the morality of the situation; the sociopath was just the first example that popped into my head. I would say they belong in different categories, because as far as I can see pro-choice Christians are speaking from a position of ignorance with regard to the status of the unborn, or a failure to consistently apply certain principles they might otherwise hold, whereas the sociopath is operating from wishes arising from mental disorder. Once again, I assure you that it was not my intention to imply a connection between sociopathology and pro-choice Christianity.

quote:
I recall your mentioning that you are not a Jesuit - but, considering your 'name,' do you want to be a priest? What sort of effect do you think you would have on people, making statements of this type - classing those who are torn at the thought of a little child who has been faced with horrible trauma now facing childbirth with the likes of Jack the Ripper?!
Like I said, that was never my intention.

quote:
I am not suggesting you compromise your beliefs, but you will send people running away not only from yourself but possibly from Christ's Church (and, yes, I know I define that differently than you would) if you continue to act like a self-righteous street fighter. And, to top it off, you give others the idea that, were an unbaptised child to die, God would not welcome the child to intimacy with him!
I did not give that idea. I simply pointed out that I'm not sure that the fate of unbaptised children is a settled matter; if it is settled, I'm not sure it's settled in favour of the idea that God welcomes them to his intimacy.

quote:
Anger, calumny, whatever, can all too easily If you believe someone is in sin or error, certainly pray for him - but one is in dangerous waters indeed when one thinks, let alone says, that others would agree with oneself if one could only see the light (or anything to that effect.)
But don't we think this about non-Christians all the time? I would not hold the beliefs that I do if I did not think they were true.

quote:
This is not any apologia - but is a brief explanation before JL's postings give the impression that moral theologians who have debated matters such as this treated them with such arrogance and pomposity.
I'm sorry for the arrogance and pomposity.

quote:
Especially in the days when Caesarian sections could not be done in emergencies, one standard procedure to save the life of the mother was that the baby's skull (wedged in the birth canal) would be crushed. The moralists' position was that, if one died as the result of childbirth, it would be a natural death - where, if the child's skull were deliberately crushed, it would be a murder. (And I'm sure that they had enough pastoral experience to realise that most fathers, faced with that decision, were more worried about a living wife and mother than a dead baby. I'm not saying that to be cruel - I'm just reminding you that all the dogma on earth is worthless without pastoral sensitivity.)
Agreed. But pastoral sensitivity entails combining truth with comfort. Not buckling to the clouded judgment of those who are directly involved in the situation, and may fail to recognise the principles involved. (In the example you cite, the moralists were, I think, right.)

quote:
I hope everyone will excuse my going on in this fashion. It is by no means my habit to reprove others, but this was an absolute disgrace.
I agree that some of my posts in this thread have had an almost zero charity quotient. The fact that I find pro-choice Christianity very difficult to deal with explains why, but it doesn't excuse those posts. For them, I apologise - and a special apology to Merseymike for hurling abuse at him, however repugnant his views on certain issues may strike me as being. I didn't mean the sociopath example to be seen as implying any parallel, but if sloppy wording or phrasing - or a culpable failure to think about how it would come across to others - led it to then I'm sorry for that too.

Louise,

I don't see what murderous animal rights campaigners have to do with this. I haven't recommended the deliberate taking of life anywhere in this thread - rather, I've argued against it.

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Louise
Shipmate
# 30

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[JARRING CHORD]

[The door flies open and Cardinal Ximinez of Spain [Laudate Dominum] enters, flanked by two junior cardinals. Cardinal Biggles [Jesuitical Lad] has goggles pushed over his forehead. Cardinal Fang [a recently suspended poster] is just Cardinal Fang.

Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Pro-life Inquisition! Our chief weapon is logic!...logic and consistency ...consistency and logic.... Our two weapons are logic and consistency...and a total lack of compassion.... dammit! Our *three* weapons are logic, consistency, and a total lack of compassion...and an almost fanatical devotion to 12 week fetuses as opposed to nine year old girls.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as logic, consistency.... I'll come in again.

[The cardinals burst in again]

Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Pro-Life Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: logic, consistency, a total lack of compassion, an almost fanatical devotion to the fetus, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!

[the strange moaning and knocking sound is everyone else on the thread banging their heads repeatedly off their keyboards and wailing aloud]

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Posts: 6918 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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quote:
Originally posted by Laudate Dominum:
Laura and Daisymay,

Jesuitical Lad was correct in his statement of the pro-life position. What frightens you about this? Our consistency in logic? Consider what we believe about the life of the unborn child. His statement logically follows from that belief. It is not compassionless. Sometimes it must be accepted that there is no right path, there is nothing we can do. The case of both the lives of the mother and child being threatened is a situation which, following our reasoning, nothing can be done about. You simply cannot murder a person to save another person.

Not "the consistency of logic" but the refusal to sully yourselves with the necessary painful duty of making a decision and carrying it out to make a horrible position a bit less horrible.

And to call choosing between a mother and child in order to save one "murder" is ridiculous. There is no vindictiveness to the unborn, just the necessity of helping the little girl - and it is a necessity.

Unless you are willing to help her, you are not showing compassion. You are sticking rigidly by rules.

As to praying that things will work out as well as possible, that is avoiding the responsibility we have to actively protect children.

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London
Flickr fotos

Posts: 11224 | From: London - originally Dundee, Blairgowrie etc... | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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JL,
quote:
as far as I can see pro-choice Christians are speaking from a position of ignorance with regard to the status of the unborn, or a failure to consistently apply certain principles they might otherwise hold, whereas the sociopath is operating from wishes arising from mental disorder. Once again, I assure you that it was not my intention to imply a connection between sociopathology and pro-choice Christianity.

What makes you think we are speaking in ignorance (and what makes you think we are pro-choice?) It is perfectly possible to believe an unborn baby is a human being and make a compassionate choice to sacrifice that life because it is necessary to save another's.

And if you're still worried about whether God will accept the aborted one, then a quick baptism through the belly of the child carrying him/her would be in order. God does not work to rigid rules. God works through compassion.

There are all sorts of things wrong in this world, and we are, as gracia said, none of us innocent. But we are supposed to work to improve people's lives, not avoid helping in case we dirty our hands.

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London
Flickr fotos

Posts: 11224 | From: London - originally Dundee, Blairgowrie etc... | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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It seems to me that many "pro-life" people have a fundamental problem with how the world really is. Some seem to live in a state of denial that death exists, and worse seem to elevate the importance of some insensate clusters of cells with human DNA to ridiculous levels.
Posts: 15274 | From: Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Basket Case
Shipmate
# 1812

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from JL:
quote:

Not buckling to the clouded judgment of those directly involved in the situation , and may fail to recognise the principles involved. (In the example you cite, the moralists were, I think, right.)

the moralists JL refers to think they have the right to take away from the parties directly involved (father & mother) the right to decide to save the mother's life - even if that means taking the life of a fetus or baby.

JL, I happen to be directly involved in every single decision i make - who should i get to make my decisions for me, since my vision is inevitably clouded??? Because it's very important to me that i always make, the ONE, RIGHT choice!

Words fail me, they really do. I don't know what world you live in - don't existing lives and relationships take precedence over your vaunted principles?
What good is a principle, if it doesn't value existing human lives and relationships and dignity?
And Louise, did you think you were being rhetorical when you mentioned shipmates letting out a moan???? That's exactly what i did when i read the words i quoted above.
I am in a state of shock, I really am.

Posts: 1157 | From: Pomo (basket) country | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zeke
Ship's Inquirer
# 3271

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Sure, sure, let 'em both die, it would be the will of God, wouldn't it? How could we presume to interfere?
[Mad]

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No longer the Bishop of Durham
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If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be without it? --Benjamin Franklin

Posts: 5259 | From: Deep in the American desert | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
KenWritez
Shipmate
# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
[JARRING CHORD]

[The door flies open and Cardinal Ximinez of Spain [Laudate Dominum] enters, flanked by two junior cardinals. Cardinal Biggles [Jesuitical Lad] has goggles pushed over his forehead. Cardinal Fang [a recently suspended poster] is just Cardinal Fang. <snip>

[Not worthy!] [Killing me] [Not worthy!] [Killing me] [Snigger]

Laura, kudos to you for one of the funniest posts I've ever read! Woohoo!

I think this post is hilarious. [Killing me] (Totally wrong about the pro-life position, of course, but hilarious nonetheless.)

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"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

Posts: 11102 | From: Left coast of Wonderland, by the rabbit hole | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Elizabeth Anne

Altar Girl
# 3555

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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
[JARRING CHORD]
NOBODY expects the Pro-life Inquisition! Our chief weapon is logic!...logic and consistency ...consistency and logic.... Our two weapons are logic and consistency...and a total lack of compassion.... dammit! Our *three* weapons are logic, consistency, and a total lack of compassion...and an almost fanatical devotion to 12 week fetuses as opposed to nine year old girls....

[Not worthy!] That was great! And very true, I think.

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Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in my eyes...

Posts: 974 | From: New York | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Laudate Dominum
Shipmate
# 3104

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Louise, I appreciate your sense of humor--I love Monty Python.

But I dare you to come tell me I have a total lack of compassion. Tell me this when I am playing piano for my friends at the nursing home and answering the same questions I answered last week, because they don't remember they asked them. Tell me this when I am reading Scripture with kids my own age who are in juvenile hall. Tell me I have no compassion when I am helping to organize a 24-hour fast to raise money to buy food for people who are starving.

The pro-life group I belong to here does most of their work in helping single mothers to care for their children. We raise money, organize donations of clothing and baby items, and babysit for some of the students and professors here who are single parents. I dare you to come here and tell me to my face that I have no compassion.

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"They think us barbarians because we cling to the past. We think them barbarians because they do not cling to the past." --G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 518 | From: Lala Land | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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Well fine, and I dare JL or anyone else to say that my position in favor of legal access to abortion is not well-thought-out. Bloody hell. I just disagree with you. If my nine year-old daughter were pregnant, I'd fly her anywhere necessary to have that abortion -- it's simply not open to debate. Further, I'd give her no say in it whatsoever. As a parent, my obligation would be clear. That obligation is to do my best to ensure the health and well-being of my child.

But then, as I've said elsewhere, I believe the fetus is a human being with no rights at all as against a born being. I don't understand the so-called pro-life position that says no abortion if the mother would die at all. Catholic theologians have justified war, and justified killing in self-defense. What's the difference?

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

Posts: 16883 | From: East Coast, USA | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Laudate Dominum
Shipmate
# 3104

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Laura, your position is well-thought-out. So is mine. We started from different premises, that's all. And I think the thread for that discussion is in Purgatory.

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"They think us barbarians because we cling to the past. We think them barbarians because they do not cling to the past." --G.K. Chesterton

Posts: 518 | From: Lala Land | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Mid

Officer and a gentleman
# 1559

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I wonder what JL would do if he had a nine year old daughter who was raped and impregnated. Would you keep the baby and live with it - a constant reminder of the brutality and horror and consequences of rape, or would you come down off your high horse and use a bit of common sense? I wonder how your sick disgusting views would hold up then?

You never ever want to wish something like this on someone, but in this case I almost do....

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For God so loved the world She got involved

Posts: 3022 | From: The Wardroom | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
Those who consider adoption as bad as abortion are, frankly, fools.

Are you adopted? There was a huge stink in mental health circles a few years ago regarding adoption, with the end result that adoption is hardly recommended any more in NZ. The trauma experienced by adoptees was considered to be too great.

That said, I personally would agree that adoption is a better option than abortion, and in many cases it does work out. But in a system where children are bringing up children because the state thinks it's better for them than having older, more settled parents, abortion is often more of a sensible option for those pregnant teenagers or overstressed wives of arrogant fathers who think the number of children they have is a great reflection on their virility.

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

Posts: 3702 | From: Aotearoa, New Zealand | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gracie
Shipmate
# 3870

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quote:
Originally posted by Laudate Dominum:
Sometimes it must be accepted that there is no right path, there is nothing we can do. The case of both the lives of the mother and child being threatened is a situation which, following our reasoning, nothing can be done about. You simply cannot murder a person to save another person...
We do care about the life and mental health of this poor girl, but with what we believe about the baby she carries, we cannot in good conscience give one preference over the other. You say that not to perform an abortion is to prefer the life of the baby to life of the girl, and we say that to perform an abortion is to prefer the life of the girl to the life of the baby. My conclusion is that there is no good solution, and we should pray that everything comes out as well as is possible.

LD and JL both seem to think that it's wrong to choose to save one life over another, when in fact if the life of a pregnant mother is in danger, the lives of both the mother and the unborn baby will be lost. It seems to me that sometimes difficult choices have to be made to minimise loss of life. For example, after serious accidents or disasters, I think that triage is done to decide which patients are going to receive priority and be treated and therefore live. Others die who if they had suffered similar injuries in another context would have been saved.

Laudate Dominum and Jesuitical Lad, can you see any situation where you might choose to save one life rather than lose them all?

Gracie

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When someone is convinced he’s an Old Testament prophet there’s not a lot you can do with him rationally. - Sine

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3M Matt
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Louise....Superb post earlier..all I can say in response is "NI NI NI!!!!!!!" [Not worthy!]

Mike said:
quote:
What is warped is anti-abortionism and those who value a clump of cells as much as a nine year old child.
A theme in many of Mike's posts on this subject is his "clump of cells" argument. The problem with it is that surely the 9 year old girl (or any of us) is just a "clump of cells"?? Sure, she's a bigger clump.

Now, of course, I understand what Mike is getting at, but I think he believes something to be very simple which is in fact not. If one starts to pin him down on what emergent quality of being raises an entity from "clump of cells" he will have trouble explaining it. I predict he will, because no philosopher since Decarte attempted to define man from beast has come up with a satisfactory separation.

quote:
I don't believe that rights shouuld be afforded to humans until birth. That does not mean that we do not have some responsibility to the foetus, but I do not believe that it is life unless it can breathe unaided.
This will cause some head scratching amongst ethicists Mike. It's an axiom of ethics that if X has a responsibility to Y, then Y has a reciprocating expectation of responsibilty from X...commonly called a "right".

quote:
Before you ask, no, I'm not in favour of keeping premature babies alive at all costs. Sometimes - usually - it may be best to let them go.
I find it strange how certain people on this board can chuck out a statement like this with profound ethical and moral consequences for all of us and the same group of people who would normally be throwing their hands up in horror about "inhumanity" can fail to bat an eyelid at this comment.

Mike, would you like to come down to the Special Care Baby Unit at my hospital with me, and explain to the parents in there, explain to the dedicated doctors and nurses there (SCBU staff are by far the most dedicated of any hospital staff I have ever met), explain to them why, if you had your way, you'd pull the plug on the department?

Louise said:
quote:
The term is meaningless when applied to things which are basically non-sentient.
Again, we have this same fallicy creeping in. The idea that sentience and conciousness (the two are different) can be easily determined is profoundly flawed.

No doubt Louise is being sucked in by the "clump of cells" idea, unfortunately there is no philosophical weight behind the idea that complexity is in any way a correlation to sentience.

For example, few philosophers believe that computers will ever be sentient. They may come to mimick humans perfectly, but in reality they will be "dark inside".

My wrist watch is a dumb beast, So is a Cray supercomputer. No amount of adding additional transistors or components will ever make computers sentient, because sentience is a qualitatively different property, not a quantatitvely different one.

Hence, to believe that sentience is a property that arises out of the developing complexity of a fetus, while it is a superficially attractive idea, is in fact extremely doubtful.

Finally, on the whole question of "God's will" in all this, I assume that where ever we are on the Christian spectrum we would all agree we want to see God's will done?

I would also assume that nearly all of us believe a human being has both a physical aspect and a Spiritual aspect to their being (a soul)?

Now, we are all aware that the physical aspect of creation of a new life may very well lie outside of God's control. Two people may have sexual intercourse that God did not intend, and that intercourse may lead to the physical fertilisation of an ovum with a sperm.

However, as Christians, we presumably all believe that somewhere along the line (Whether at conception, implantation, development or Birth) an additional, God ordained act of "ensoulment" occurs (or "Spiritual fertilization" if you will).

Now, while in the case of the first type of fertilisation, this may or may not be God's will, (because God does not deterministically control every physical event), the second act is surely entirely under God's control??

Given that an act of physical fertilisation has occurred, presumably, whether or not God spiritually fertilizes that zygote is entirely in his hands?

If every act of physical fertilisation led to an ensouled being, then one might argue that for some reason God was compelled to perform a Spiritual act of ensoulment once a physical act of fertilization had taken place, (even though I can see no good reason for this).

However, we know that is not the case because such a thing as natural miscarriage and failed implantation can occur.

This leads me to the conclusion that the act of ensoulment must surely be entirely in God's hands as to whether he performs it or not? If he doesn't want to, then presumably the zygote/fetus will miscarry (hence no need for an abortion) and if he does, then who are we to interfere?

This is not at all the same thing as arguing that in the general case we shouldn't intervene in any situation because "God's will be done". In general day to day events, God presumably cannot always directly intervene without damaging the continuity of physical cause and effect.

However, in the case of conception of an ensouled human being, it seems to me we have an entirely supernatural element (if you like, Miraculous act) occurring in every case. Every act of creation of an ensouled human being requires an intervention into the natural cause/effect paradigm by God.

It seems fairly straightforward, that if human beigns are what we are because we are not merely flesh and blood animals, but in fact have a soul, that at some point, an entirely supernatural, wholly God ordained, event took place and that the physical act of conception no more forces that event to occur than any other physical act can force a particular miracle to occur against God's will. Hence any time it does occur, it must be because God intended it.

matt

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3M Matt.

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Merseymike
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So God oredained a nine year old to become pregnant, Matt.
Funny sort of God. There are plenty of things which happen which have nothing directly to do with God ; one of the best things I ever realised was that the view of a God which directs and controls everyday life is a myth and all evidence confounds it.

I should clarify that I was referring to premature babies who have little chance of either recovery or good health if kept alive at all costs. I do have some personal connection with this ; which I can't really talk about here, but my conclusions are, as you would expect, very different to yours.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Xavierite
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# 2575

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You can all celebrate now.

God help the children.

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coffee jim
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# 3510

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Don't think anyone's celebrating, JL, although I for one am relieved.
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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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Jesuitical Lad, I have a question for you.

What do you think would have happened to the soul of the unborn child if the girl had died during the pregnancy because her body couldn't handle it?

Moo

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Obnoxious Snob

Arch-Deacon
# 982

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
You can all celebrate now.

God help the children.

The fact that you can speak of celebrating about anything to do with this absolutely tragic event and the fact that you believe those with whom you disagree are celebrating, makes me sad, bewildered and ultimately completely unable to understand your perspective or even wish to understand it. God help us if this is the kind of dialogue that purports to be an honest and respectful exchange of christian views. [Disappointed] [Disappointed] [Disappointed]

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'The best thing we can do is to make wherever we're lost in Look as much like home as we can'

Christopher Fry

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Xavierite
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# 2575

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Arch,

Those who thought abortion in this case was a moral imperative will surely be glad to see that it has been carried out. And to be lectured on tone, after someone saw fit to turn this thread into a Monty Python pastiche, is truly bewildering.

You can [Disappointed] all you want.

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Xavierite
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# 2575

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
Jesuitical Lad, I have a question for you.

What do you think would have happened to the soul of the unborn child if the girl had died during the pregnancy because her body couldn't handle it?

Moo

I don't know.
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Tom Day
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# 3630

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
Arch,

Those who thought abortion in this case was a moral imperative will surely be glad to see that it has been carried out. And to be lectured on tone, after someone saw fit to turn this thread into a Monty Python pastiche, is truly bewildering.

You can [Disappointed] all you want.

People were not, at the beginning, trying to turn this into a moral debate - there are two of those going on at the moment in Purg. Abortion was not a moral imperative - it was a necessary option to save the life of an innocent girl.

Noone will be celebrating the fact that there had to be an abortion - however, as that news report said the girl is fine, and people will be happy she has surived the ordeal.

The girls life has been saved, and yes, she will be scarred for life because of what happened - so noone will celebrate that.

I think, as christians, whatever our viewpoint, our moral and spiritual imerative is to pray for the girl and the girls family.

Tom

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
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Well, I'm celebrating that there were three doctors with the guts skill and compassion to take the initiative to help the girl. And that her parents were wise and strong enough to keep asking for that help. And for the people with banners who were supporting them to get it.

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Elizabeth Anne

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I hardly think anyone's celebrating. But I'm just relieved. Somewhat. It's not over for her by any stretch of the imagination, but at least now she won't have to go through a life-threatening labor at nine years old.

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Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in my eyes...

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Lou Poulain
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# 1587

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
You can all celebrate now.

God help the children.

JL,

That's a truly crappy thing to say. Have you been listening to the emotional content of this thread AT ALL??!!!

In 1997 my niece was hospitalized for a period of about 20 days. She had one heart attack while in the hospital, and was throwing clots into her lungs one after another. As it turns out, she has a somewhat rare blood disorder. When she became pregnant whe went into a medical crisis. It was a near thing, and we almost lost her. Medical opinion was that the pregnancy would kill her. Reluctantly, she consented to an abortion. After the pregnancy was terminated, her system stabilized, and a few days later she was able to be discharged from hospital.

There was no celebration, JL. She and her husband had been trying for years to conceive. My niece grieved for months.

Personally, I am grateful that she is alive and has been able to adopt a little girl and enjoy the family life she has always wanted.

So think what you will, JL, but don't be shocked at the lack of sympathy for your tone of arrogance.

Lou

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Xavierite
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# 2575

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Lou,

Is it really?

quote:
Originally posted by daisymay:
Well, I'm celebrating that there were three doctors with the guts skill and compassion to take the initiative to help the girl. And that her parents were wise and strong enough to keep asking for that help. And for the people with banners who were supporting them to get it.

Since the OP's story has now come to its conclusion, I'm not sure there's much else left to say.
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Merseymike
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Other than that common sense has prevailed, and the militant anti-abortion lobby has revealed itself in its true colours on here,perhaps not.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Melon

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# 4038

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Believe it or not, I actually feel less in favour of abortion at the end of this discussion than at the beginning.

At the start, I was working on the basis that the anti-abortionists had an inflexible and legalistic approach to pastoral decisions, and the discussion appears to have borne this out.

What I wasn't expecting was so many people talking as if abortion is some kind of life-enriching experience and/or something that must be practised at all costs. I always thought that the opposite to pro-life was pro-choice, not pro-abortion, but now I'm not so sure [Confused] .

I don't know if JL has a young daughter, but I do, and I spent a while thinking about what we would do if our family was faced with this situation. And, while the arguments for an abortion carry a lot of weight, and would prove decisive if my daughter's long-term health was in danger, I think we would at least look at the option of keeping the baby. Sure, that would mean that we couldn't forget what had happened (like the child in question is really going to forget anyway), but, equally, I think any 9 year-old is going to understand what abortion means, and that isn't a great thing to live with either.

I suspect that, long term, the hardest thing to live with would be the reactions of ideologues from both ends, the pro-lifers who are more comfortable with the theory of valuing life than with the practice of dealing with 9 year-old motherhood, and the pro-choicers who, in practice, seem to consider that only one choice is valid.

The gospel is about grace. It seems to me that 'grace' is quite close to 'inconsistent' in meaning. People who can boil human tragedy down to a simple black and white statement worry me, whether or not I happen to agree with their conclusions.

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French Whine

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Laura
General nuisance
# 10

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quote:
Originally posted by Jesuitical Lad:
You can all celebrate now.

God help the children.

There was never anything to celebrate here, whichever way the decision went.

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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Melonman,
I have not been arguing pro-abortion. I have been arguing against the idea that abortion is never right, never to be considered, never is the least of two evils. It is not something I reckon should be done at all costs without serious thought.

I do not believe that we are to live our lives by a set of rigid, immoveable rules. Nor are we to force others to do so. That is a distortion of truth and justice.

This was about a little girl and her parents who were being controlled and not given a choice, in appalling circumstances.

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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jedijudy,
quote:
That poor little girl. That nasty, hormone-controlled filthy scumbag of a rapist needs to be taken care of the way Seminole Indian women take care of that kind of worm-ridden filth.
Let me do it.

What would they do? I might like to help.

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by melonman:
What I wasn't expecting was so many people talking as if abortion is some kind of life-enriching experience and/or something that must be practised at all costs. I always thought that the opposite to pro-life was pro-choice, not pro-abortion, but now I'm not so sure [Confused] .

Point out one post on this thread that portrayed abortion as a life-enriching experience. Point out one post that claimed abortion must be practiced at all costs.
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Laura
General nuisance
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Thanks, Ruth, I meant to pick that up, too. Noone here has said that abortion is life-enriching. What ridiculous nonsense. Further, as someone who supports legal access to abortion, I can see where it's gotten out of hand, in countries where it has become the primary method of birth control. Apparently, as jusr reported in the Washington Post, many Russian women are finding themselves sterile from repeated abortions, and Russia's birth rate is suffering. In Russia's case, this has to do with crappy birth control and the way the Church and the State have handled the issue made the situation worse. Russians feel abortion's complications

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Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. - Erich Fromm

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Fen
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# 4052

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quote:
The Mid:
a constant reminder of the brutality and horror and consequences of rape

Or a constant reminder of how God can actually bring life and goodness out of the most utterly screwed-up circumstances? But there's no chance of that happening now.

This girl will be scarred for life by that brutality and horror anyway. Or will she?

quote:
From the BBC article:
"She is happy. She is in an excellent state of health. (The parents) are very happy also to have this situation resolved."

It's just so much neater and nicer and tidier now she's not pregnant anymore, isn't it? We don't have to worry about it, and that's good.

Wow, abortion is so great! I can't believe I ever thought it was a bad idea!

[Mad]

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KenWritez
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# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
Other than that common sense has prevailed, and the militant anti-abortion lobby has revealed itself in its true colours on here,perhaps not.

You're a piece of work, MM. You never stop twisting the knife, do you?

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"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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3M Matt
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# 1675

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quote:
So God oredained a nine year old to become pregnant, Matt.
No, I think you'll find "getting pregnant" is a physical act, and, as I said, God does not necessarily ordain all physical acts. I think if you read my post, you'll see I said that.

quote:
Funny sort of God. There are plenty of things which happen which have nothing directly to do with God ; one of the best things I ever realised was that the view of a God which directs and controls everyday life is a myth and all evidence confounds it.
Funnily enough this is what I said in my post??

The point is that, while I entirely agree with you Mike, that God doesn't necessarily directly intervene in every single physical event, one cannot put the total 9 month process of conception to birth of a human being entirely in the catagory of "physical event".

Now, we may argue for different positions on which parts of the process we see as being merely physical, (mere clumps of cells as you would say), and which parts are in some way spiritually ordained, but I assume we would all agree that by the time a baby has been born into the world God has ordained it's life?

You may like to despiritualise the moment of conception and say that no "ensoulment" takes place at that moment, but unless you are saying you do not believe human beings have souls at all, you are merely passing the buck further down the 9 month line from conception to Birth.

In nearly any form of Christianity bar a kind of Christianized atheistic materialism, a spiritual event of God creating and inserting a spiritual life-form into the physical life-form is seen as intrinsic and necessary to the process of forming a human being.(note: The preposition "inserting...into" is crude, but need only be metaphorical)

While God may not ordain the physical act which started the ball rolling,(in this case a rape) you can't say God does not ordain the spiritual aspect without essentially chucking the doctrine of each person being an individual, unique, intentioned act of creation by God.

Maybe that's a doctrine you're willing to ditch, I'd rather not. Hence, for me, (and any Christian who believes God made them as an individual) the creation of a soul is not something that "just happens" blindly out of the natural consequences of the physical events, it is an active intervention into the process by God, without which, no living human baby will come into existence.

I admit this leaves us with a disturbing proposition to face:

In most physical events, we can say God has "power of veto", which he may choose to exercise, but may not.

So for example, God could have sent down a thunderbolt to kill the man who was about to rape that little girl just before he committed the act. In that sense, God has power of veto over our physical actions.

However, there are any number of reasons, as I'm sure you are aware, (freewill etc) why God will not exercise this veto in every case.

However, in the creation of a life, which requires active input from God, we have precisely the opposite state of affairs to the "veto" situation. It is not us proposing a action for God to either allow or oppose, rather the action originates from God himself in the first place.

Unless God directly acts, a life will not be created.

Asking God for the girl to miscarry is not asking God to perform an act. it is doing the precise opposite. It is asking God not to act. It is asking not for his intervention in the creative process, but rather his withdrawl.

It is asking God not to create an ensouled spiritual/physical being out of the "clump of cells" currently in the girls womb. It is asking, not for an exception to the rule, but for the rule itself. It is asking for the default state of affairs rather than the miraculous one.

The deception comes that the creation of life is truely an "everyday miracle". It is the single exception to the general rule that miracles are rare.

This is, philosophically, a whole new ball game. Where God is essentially passive (ie. Not sending down the thunderbolt), that need not exclude the possibilty of it being his will for us to be active.

eg. Suppose I see someone about to rape this girl, and pray for God to send down a thunderbolt on the rapist. No thunderbolt comes. God has been passive. That doesn't necessarily mean it is wrong for me to pull a gun from my pocket and shoot the bastard. It may in fact be a sign that it is God's will that I should be his tool.

However, when God is demonstrably active to act in active contrast to his actions surely cannot be in accordance with his will?

matt

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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Fen,
You said,
quote:
Or a constant reminder of how God can actually bring life and goodness out of the most utterly screwed-up circumstances? But there's no chance of that happening now.
This girl will be scarred for life by that brutality and horror anyway. Or will she?

When a child has been abused, if she can have sensible and helpful adults around her, helping her to get over the sexual asault and the physical consequences, she has more of a chance of recovery.

I think God has had those people (three doctors getting together to make the abortion possible [Not worthy!] ) helping to bring life and goodness out of these terrible circumstances by removing from her what the rapist put inside her. And hopefully, the governments and legislators who think they can stop abortions or other sensible resolutions from happening will change their mind, so great was the support for the parents of the girl.

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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Matt ; sorry, but I don't accept any of that. I'm a theistic evolutionist, and I don't believe in that sort of view of personal creation by God, at all.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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3M Matt
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# 1675

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quote:
Matt ; sorry, but I don't accept any of that. I'm a theistic evolutionist, and I don't believe in that sort of view of personal creation by God, at all.
Well, Mike, in that case, your view is entirely consistent with your worldview. I can't fault your consistency or integrity.

I would only ask what exactly the "Theistic" bit can possibly mean, if it doesn't mean believing human beings are individually intentionally created by God?

There doesn't seem to be very much for God to do in your worldview, and even less for him to care about.

Either you choose to believe in individuals created by God uniquely or you choose to believe abortion is ok. But you cannot do both.

Quite reasonably, you have chosen the latter, I wonder how many of the other pro-choice individuals on the thread are that clear cut, and how many are fence sitters?

I assume you agree with me then that the two are mutually exclusive alternatives?

matt

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3M Matt.

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