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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 1933 – 2020

I was doing something at my computer yesterday evening when my wife laid the news on me: Supreme…See More
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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Yet another piece I wrote a LONG time ago, but considering the current attacks on a woman's right to control her own body, I think the relevance of the following still maintains.  Let me know what you think.

==================

Tentatively stipulated:

  • Life is precious, none may be taken capriciously.
  • There are three possible outcomes of a pregnancy:
    1. Birth
    2. Abortion, due to human intervention
    3. Abortion, due to god's intervention (also stipulating an omniscient, omnipotent god; there are no accidents!)

Fact: In 1951, between my birth and the birth of my first sister, my mother had a miscarriage. The cause of the miscarriage, at the time, was unknown. My parents are by no means fatalists, but a comment about "god's will" would not have been unexpected. Had a doctor 20 years later looked at my parents' medical workups, he would have looked at this incident and shook his head. Why? My father was blood-type A-positive; my mother is O-negative. What had happened was a case of Rh mismatch, which has caused uncounted miscarriages throughout history. Sometime after this event, some researcher discovered an anti-agent to this syndrome, now known as “RhoGAM,” and since that time, a lot of mothers haven't had to go through the agony of a failed pregnancy.

So what about all those kids who didn't make it through the nine-month sub-lease because no one knew about RhoGAM? Sinners before their birth? Punishment to the parents for some other arcane sin? If so, what about all those who benefited from RhoGAM? Did god decide all of a sudden to reprieve them or was Man able to trump God's Ace (that one doesn't sound likely for an omnipotent god!)? And how many other pregnancies have failed throughout history, long before antiseptic abortion was available, because god decided they wouldn't go to term? The count would make the total number of abortions in the history of man, antiseptic and otherwise, look like a comparison between the Pacific and a glass of water. What kind of god capriciously disposes of life in this manner? No god I could worship!

The fact is, all of those failed pregnancies had reasons: failure to implant, Rh mismatch, hormonal imbalances, a million other reasons, some of which man is learning to control to the point of potentially eliminating failed pregnancies altogether. I have little doubt that we could potentially live to see the day when prenatal medicine develops to the point of being able to frustrate any agent which would prevent a pregnancy from running a full 40 weeks to successful delivery. Are those children spared god's wrath, or are they damned because of man's intervention? The plain fact of the matter is that there are those who bridle against god's taking of an unborn child for no discernible reason than "his will," then turn around and scream bloody murder when man does the same thing. Which is the greater sin? I have no answer for that one; I just do as I grok.

All I can see right now is people complaining about killing god's pre-born creations when he himself has wasted a vastly greater number with no more explanation than "His Will Be Done." Is each failed pregnancy a reflection of god's will or random chance? For myself, I cannot subscribe to a belief system which would have god so deeply involved at the pre-born level and simultaneously hold that man is a creature of free will. The concept is absurd to the point of being ludicrous. Does all of the above constitute an excuse or justification for abortion? Maybe, maybe not, but it DOES put the issue in a different perspective.

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Replies to This Discussion

Neither am I

Its funny Loren in my local market square, of a Saturday we have the evangelicals and Muslim both proselytizing but you pull them up on something they both use the same get out clause. Context. And like you I wont let them get away with it. But neither of them listen.

They don't dare listen.  It might cost them their faith.

Maajid Nawaz who co-wrote  Islam and the future of Tolerance with Sam Harris. Campaigning to become a member of Parliament in Kilburn Square Market.

This is the same square where we get the proselytizers at the weekend.

 

I like Maajid.  He's good people and knows his stuff.

Those who reject reason and rationality, and embrace an invisible genie in the sky who must be blindly obeyed, are not fit to be parents. Religion is a clear case of child abuse. I wholeheartedly encourage such perpetrators of nonsense to abort their unborn at the earliest time possible.

Some of the Abrahamics think intercourse is a sin. [And barely tolerable in certain regulated circumstances for the express purpose of making babies.] They think being human is a sin. 

It's one of the oldest control schemes. Take a primal drive in maybe 99% of us, set up impossible rules and conditions so we're guaranteed to "fail", make people feel dirty and shameful and worthless, then offer (temporary) forgiveness and cleansing from the same institution that caused the problem in the first place! Blather, rinse, repeat.

Much better: recognizing that sex feels good, and encouraging people to take care, respect themselves and each other (not in the redefined conservative religious sense of "follow our narrow rules"), and have fun!

Related: bioethics professor Alice Dreger live-tweeted her son's "sex ed" class that, despite the official curriculum, glorified abstinence, and was crammed full of scare tactics, misinformation and outright lies:

"A Woman Live-Tweeted Her Teen’s Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Class" (HuffPost)

Also related: "Condom Company Reacts to Christian Abstinence Trope with Chewed Gum Wall in D.C." (Friendly Atheist)

Two good comments from the second article are worth repeating:

San_Ban (replying to someone warning of "sexual addiction"):

"The myth of sex without consequences..." OFFS! It's 2019! We have developed the technology to spare ourselves all manner of "consequences" of normal life, including prevention and treatment for STIs and unplanned pregnancy. Just as we have technology that prevents us from freezing to death or dying from our teeth or drinking water. Because of this, we now live more than twice as long as our not-long-dead forebears.

That technology has "opened the door" to development of more and better technology to contribute to human thriving, and just might save us from the existential threats we now face.

And no, condoms don't "promote sexual addiction" and you've got ZERO evidence that it does.

TS:

One more way that Evangelicals demonstrate how much they prefer the Bronze Age over the Space Age.
Any pastor that calls us "Chewed Gum" is merely reinforcing antique misogyny -- that woman are *property* -- and that we can be "spoiled" for our buyer.

Good on Trojan for...

(wait for it...)...

Sticking it to them! ;-)

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