The writer over at Eternity Matters take pro-homosexual theology for a test drive:
People who hold to pro-gay theology* (i.e., God doesn’t consider it a sin and that he approves of “same-sex marriage”) use all sorts of fallacious arguments to make their case. In this post I am taking the pro-gay theological reasoning out for a test drive, so to speak, to see how it applies to other passages. After all, if their principles are sound they should work in other situations as well.
Ideas have consequences. Anyone who is concerned about truth should be concerned with being consistent. Unfortunately, it’s most often not the case. But this is one test for whether or not an idea is sound. Does it make sense in contexts where the logic carries over?
It’s a good read. You can check it out here [link].
I mentioned that I had a discussion on Twitter about abortion. I had posted a link to an article about Oregon’s suspension of the death penalty (that had nothing to do with abortion) and an acquaintance of mine posted a reply stating he didn’t get pro-lifers (though he used the term “anti-choice”) who supported the death penalty. Was only some life sacred?
Now, first of all, it struck me as an odd way to phrase an objection. Especially since by any scientific definition of life, an embryo meets the criteria for being alive. Some may argue that it’s not a person, but stating out right that it’s not alive is simply false. So unless he holds that the unborn isn’t alive at all, then he’s just cut his own legs out from under him. Because he supports the killing of the unborn life but not the guilty criminal. Is only some life sacred?
Given the choice between arguing in favor of the death penalty and against abortion, I’ll take the abortion debate every time. Simply because I think it’s a greater evil to kill the innocent than let the guilty go free. And that’s really the key issue for the “I-don’t-get-the-pro life/pro-death penalty” position. The issue is innocence and guilt. If those terms have any meaning, there is no contradiction. You might not agree with it, but it’s not hard to understand. When someone makes this type of statement, it tells me that they really haven’t listened to the other side. You should be able to articulate, accurately, the position you disagree with.
We went back and forth for a while, and since Twitter is a bit of a disjointed medium to begin with (making longer points requires more posts, but the other person can post in between your points, making it one hot chronological mess) I’m piecing together his main points from the conversation. I should note first of all that it was a very civil conversation.
His main arguments in response to me were:
1) Society determines who has value.
2) The unborn is not human until it is born and breathes oxygen on its own.
3) It would be wrong for society to start saying killing toddlers is okay, because that would be moving backwards.
4) Killing just one innocent person through the death penalty makes us all murderers.
Some quick thoughts about these. If society determines who has value, then society can say who lives and who dies. They are beholden to nothing and no one but themselves. But to make points 2 & 3 contradict this. #2 states it’s wrong because of a property of the baby itself, not because it’s what society determines on its own. #3 implies a larger standard outside of society. Otherwise “forward” and “backwards” have no meaning, since there’s no external reference point to measure those “movements.”
Furthermore, 2 is extremely problematic since the baby is processing oxygen from the mother, and when born begins to take in oxygen to process through his/her lungs. The only difference is the source of oxygen. Nothing intrinsically about the baby has changed. Only location. By this definition the moment you need insulin or kidney dialysis, you cease to be human since you’re not able to survive without aid. If that sounds ridiculous, it is. But it follows logically from the position. Reductio ad Absurdum.
#4 strikes me as odd because if one mistake in the death penalty makes us all murderers, what does a wrong judgement about abortion make us? We’ve killed over 40 million unborn babies since Roe v. Wade alone. And yet this seems to be one of the least thought out issues, yet most dividing.
Throughout the conversation I was trying to demonstrate the weakness of these points, but was told that I kept “shifting parameters.” It took me a day or two afterwards to figure out how I was the one shifting parameters, but finally I think I understand. This particular person’s worldview is so compartmentalized into different areas that incoherence doesn’t matter to him. It’s very relativistic. So whereas I’m applying logic and taking his reasons seriously (and to their logical conclusions) he simply treats them as totally unrelated situations.
Not every pro-choice proponent holds to these particular arguments or holds to such a relativistic, compartmentalized worldview. But in this particular case, when you hold a philosophy that insulates you from having to face the logical implications of your positions, it is by definition, irrational.
Last week the self-proclaimed “99%” occupiers occupied Atlanta.
Democrat Senator John Lewis wanted to address the crowd and since democracy is supposed to rule at these things (I’m assuming) they put it up to a vote. (See the video below. It’s a bit long, but enough of a train wreck that you can’t look away.)
Setting aside the creepy call-and-response between the MC and the crowd, the whole thing reminds me of meetings I have been in where there’s no clear leader, no clear purpose, and everyone’s opinion is given equal value. Except for John Lewis. People in the video seem willing to listen to opinions about hearing the senator, but not to the senator himself.
The thing that struck me (read: annoyed me) the most is the profound misunderstanding of human value. If you listen to the video you’ll hear several people object to the senator speaking because “he isn’t more valuable than anyone else” and since he’s not more valuable then not allowing him to speak is no big deal.
All human beings have value because of what they are (i.e. humans beings) But not everything a particular person does is necessarily of the same worth as what someone else might do. Not everything one person knows is necessarily the same value as what another might know.
Does my doctor have the same value as a human as my barber? Yes. Will I take my barber’s advice about my cholesterol over my doctor’s? No. Because the doctor’s achievement (his M.D.) his experience (at his practice) and his knowledge (medical) correspond to the need (medical advice and direction.) In the grand scheme of things, the doctor is doing a more valuable service even though as a human he is worth the same as another human.
When talking about value, categories matter. I would recommend that the “99%” next occupy a philosophy class.