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Imaginarynumber1

Adam Savage at the Reason Rally

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Science isn't sure when life begins. Or even death, for that matter. No amount of assertion will change that.

If embryos aren't alive, how do they grow into fetuses and then toddlers, teenagers, and so on? Dead objects don't grow.

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Science states that all cells are alive no matter the nature of the simplicity. However it is science that can say when a fetus is actualy a being and not a cell. It is of opinion that one thinks a cell or a multi cell being no matter what is a human. When I have sex and use a condom does that mean I`m killing a million humans, no.

Science says it's alive and has human DNA, and since its DNA is distinct and not that of its mother or father, it's a separate entity from its parents. Who says an embryo is simply a cell?

As far as the US goes some estimates go as far as 83% of americans being religios however lets use your 60% and then use the population of 350 million and then compare that to Israel or Iraq or Afganistan. See what I mean ;) Oh and try being elected into any form of government in the US stating there is no god or being agnostic for that matter. Good luck.

83% claim to be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. Whether they actually follow the religion they affiliate with is debatable.

If you're talking pure numbers, rather than percentages, then the title of most religious nation would have to go to China. ;)

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If embryos aren't alive, how do they grow into fetuses and then toddlers, teenagers, and so on? Dead objects don't grow.

Read my post again.

I'll wait....

.

.

.

.

.

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Done?

Good.

Can you point out the part where I said that embryos aren't alive?

No?

Well that's probably because I didn't say that.

I said that science isn't sure when life begins. Blastocysts and zygotes are just clumps of cells. They have no toes, no fingers, no brains. They are just cells. Just like a woman's eggs or a man's sperm. These are both technically 'alive'. Should we be protecting every sperm? Every egg? Should we outlaw m********ion and menstruation because it's killing unborn children?

Clearly an embryo is incapable of surviving on its own. Same with zygotes and fetuses up until a certain point. So do we define human life by the ability to survive outside of the womb? Or does conception count as the point at which human life starts? But a clump of cells has no brain with which to be sentient. Are you even a human if you are just a mass of cells and DNA? I can take a swab and rub it on the inside of my check and get some cells from which I can extract my own DNA. If i put those cells on a slide am I looking at a human being?

The definition of life is a complected one that cannot be easily defined. And it doesn't just apply to humans. The question is far reaching for everything from humans to viruses to prions.

There is no generally accepted nor agreed up moment when life begins. Genetics tells you one thing while neuroscience tells you another. If you can prove when the moment is that life begins, please, publish a paper and end the questions that science still has.

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Science says it's alive and has human DNA, and since its DNA is distinct and not that of its mother or father, it's a separate entity from its parents. Who says an embryo is simply a cell?

83% claim to be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. Whether they actually follow the religion they affiliate with is debatable.

If you're talking pure numbers, rather than percentages, then the title of most religious nation would have to go to China. ;)

Science can not deny that a cell lives nore could it. Science can not say that a human embro is not an embro I agree. However it is not science that says a rape victime must come to term it is not science that states one can not make decisions over ones own body. An embroy is a potential human but until it is human it is a parasite as hard as that is to understand.

China really, China has many religions.

Religion in China has been characterized by pluralism since the beginning of Chinese history. The Chinese religions are family-oriented and do not demand the exclusive adherence of members. Some scholars doubt the use of the term "religion" in reference to Buddhism and Taoism, and suggest "cultural practices" or "thought systems" as more appropriate names.[1] The questions of what should be called religion or religious in China, and who should be called religious is up to debate.[2] Generally, the percentage of people who call themselves religious in China has been among the lowest in the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_China

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*snip* but whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, you're still forcing your personal opinions on other people. It's a double standard to single out religious people and criticize them for something that everyone does.

I'm afraid you are wrong here, Parsip.

In the Pro-Life pov, no-one is allowed to have an abortion even if they want one*. In the Pro-Choice pov, it is down to the individual's personal choice to have an abortion or not.

So, it is not a double-standard. The Pro-Choice movement does not force a personal choice on another.

*I do understand that, even the Pro-Lifers might concede certain situations where abortion is allowable.

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Posted (edited)

Read my post again.

I'll wait....

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Done?

Good.

Can you point out the part where I said that embryos aren't alive?

No?

Well that's probably because I didn't say that.

I said that science isn't sure when life begins. Blastocysts and zygotes are just clumps of cells. They have no toes, no fingers, no brains. They are just cells. Just like a woman's eggs or a man's sperm. These are both technically 'alive'. Should we be protecting every sperm? Every egg? Should we outlaw m********ion and menstruation because it's killing unborn children?

Clearly an embryo is incapable of surviving on its own. Same with zygotes and fetuses up until a certain point. So do we define human life by the ability to survive outside of the womb? Or does conception count as the point at which human life starts? But a clump of cells has no brain with which to be sentient. Are you even a human if you are just a mass of cells and DNA? I can take a swab and rub it on the inside of my check and get some cells from which I can extract my own DNA. If i put those cells on a slide am I looking at a human being?

The definition of life is a complected one that cannot be easily defined. And it doesn't just apply to humans. The question is far reaching for everything from humans to viruses to prions.

There is no generally accepted nor agreed up moment when life begins. Genetics tells you one thing while neuroscience tells you another. If you can prove when the moment is that life begins, please, publish a paper and end the questions that science still has.

You're talking about the first developmental stages of the embryo. Of course there's life at this point, and it's not the same thing as your sperm or skin cells. You see, this is what I was talking about in another thread. Atheists constantly deride theists for being anti-science, even though the atheists are every bit as unscientific, if not more so. My friend, you seem reasonable - take your own advice and reread the post you're replying to. An unborn human is a separate entity. Your skin cells, or sperm, or what have you, have your DNA, and unless you're talking about suicide, then no, m********ion or exfoliating your skin isn't killing any human. Whether the unborn are sentient or can survive on their own has no relevance to the undeniable scientific fact that they are live humans separate from their creators.

This is science. Then comes politics. If you're pro-abortion (legalization), you're forcing your personal opinions (that the unborn have no right to life) on the unborn. And if you're anti-abortion, you're forcing your personal opinions (that the unborn have the right to life) on pregnant women.

This is for you too, Silver Thong. As for the China bit, yes of course there are many religions there. The point is that the religious in China number in the hundreds of millions.

Edited by Parsip

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I'm afraid you are wrong here, Parsip.

In the Pro-Life pov, no-one is allowed to have an abortion even if they want one*. In the Pro-Choice pov, it is down to the individual's personal choice to have an abortion or not.

So, it is not a double-standard. The Pro-Choice movement does not force a personal choice on another.

*I do understand that, even the Pro-Lifers might concede certain situations where abortion is allowable.

The pro-choice people are forcing their opinions on the unborn.

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The pro-choice people are forcing their opinions on the unborn.

Those 'unborn' are not legally recognised as people, so your argument is moot. The only people who are forced into a choice, are forced by the Pro-Life lobby. The Pro-Choice lobby does not force people into a choice.

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Posted (edited)

The pro-choice people are forcing their opinions on the unborn.

So are the pro-life people. Last I heard, no one asked the fetus for their opinion. Didn't you ever get mad at your parents and say...."I didn't ask to be born!"?

Some people have no business having kids and kids and kidsed

PEARLAND, TX (KTRK) -- We have an update to a story we first told you about last week. A 911 call has been released from a mother who forgot her 5-year-old girl during a birthday party at a Chuck E Cheese restaurant in Pearland.

Related Content

Video: Birthday girl forgotten at Chuck E Cheese

Story: Birthday girl, 5, left at Chuck E. Cheese

More: Got a story idea? Let us know!

Operator: "911 can I help you?"

Caller: "Yes I think I left my child at Chuck E Cheese last night. She's 5."

Operator: OK, can you contact Brazoria County Sheriff's Department ma'am?"

That short 911 call happened just after the mother realized she had left her 5-year-old daughter at Chuck E Cheese the previous night.

The mother has 10 children in all and forgot the birthday girl at the restaurant. Investigators say the mom claims she only realized the girl wasn't home when she woke up to get the kids ready for school. She then called 911.

The child has since been handed back over to her mother. So far, no charges have been filed in the case.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8578158

Edited by ChloeB

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I just stumbled upon another video about the reason rally that contradicts the other thread about it. This one was made by someone that attended it. Kind of walks through his experience of it.

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I have to disagree. To use an example from the other thread, the journalist said something about a woman who held up a sign saying "stay out of my panties" (I think that's what it said, from memory). And though I agree that this wasn't a reference to sexual molestation (as the other article tried to imply) this does equate religious belief with the argument about pro-choice/pro-life. What isn't made clear is that there are quite a few non-Christians who don't believe in pro-choice. Yes, not all pro-lifers are Christian, believe it or not. But some people are so ensconced in their views that they cannot see this and believe that pro-life is a "Christian" view just as much as a person who thinks stem-cell research is wrong (another view that is not entirely championed only by religious folk). I still maintain my original statement - most people were thoughtful in their response/s, especially the guest speakers (of whom Adam Savage is the only person I have actually seen a video of). But outside of that are the "darker" elements of militant atheism, who are not there to promote reason but rather to promote anti-religion. That is a distinction I think some militant atheists are unable to distinguish between. Pro-reason, anti-religion - they are NOT the same thing, though some seem to think it is :yes:

~ PA

Robbie, as an Atheist I am Pro life only for my self, because I want and am capable of molding the next generation. Yet, I am pro choice for all others and will not advocate anything but having a choice.

Roe Vrs Wade is the law of the land for the west, so if for what ever reason one chooses to terminate a pregnancy based on the tenets of this law ( which I think does a good job of considering many things.)

I just do not think they are ( pro choice) wrong or less then either. I think that in pro choice it honors by default the choice to stand for pro life. And I actually respect that if that is what works better for the person.

I can even see that Religion takes a stand on valuing life and I actually agree with this for myself( for these reasons: I have the means and the desire to be a parent )but if I did not, I would not want my choice to be stripped from me, if I felt I was not suitable to the commitment for what ever reasons . Stripping one of choice by devaluing them when they are within their rights legally concerns me when religion approaches this matter (for those that do, not everyone who is religious does) and I am not saying you do, I am addressing this type of approach only..

Your thoughts?

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Posted (edited)

You're talking about the first developmental stages of the embryo. Of course there's life at this point, and it's not the same thing as your sperm or skin cells. You see, this is what I was talking about in another thread. Atheists constantly deride theists for being anti-science, even though the atheists are every bit as unscientific, if not more so. My friend, you seem reasonable - take your own advice and reread the post you're replying to. An unborn human is a separate entity. Your skin cells, or sperm, or what have you, have your DNA, and unless you're talking about suicide, then no, m********ion or exfoliating your skin isn't killing any human. Whether the unborn are sentient or can survive on their own has no relevance to the undeniable scientific fact that they are live humans separate from their creators.

This is science. Then comes politics. If you're pro-abortion (legalization), you're forcing your personal opinions (that the unborn have no right to life) on the unborn. And if you're anti-abortion, you're forcing your personal opinions (that the unborn have the right to life) on pregnant women.

This is for you too, Silver Thong. As for the China bit, yes of course there are many religions there. The point is that the religious in China number in the hundreds of millions.

^^ How can you prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, absent your own belief system, which one of these is correct?

You simply cannot.

Parsip, are you a scientist? Do you actively study science as a career or for any formal education purposes?

I ask because I do both. In fact, I just returned from a lab where we cultured mice blastocysts. I can tell you from the many years I have been in biology and from the many professors that I have had the great opportunity to work with that there is no generally accepted definition of when life begins. You can have your own precepts about what constitutes human life, that's fine, I'm not trying to take that away from you, I'm just trying to explain to you how it is seen scientifically. The concept of life is a tricky thing to pin down.

There are at least four distinct moments that can be thought of as the beginning of human life. Each can be said to be biologically accurate.

The genetic view (the position held by the Roman Catholic Church and many religious conservatives) holds that life begins with the acquisition of a novel genome; it is a kind of genetic determinism.

Those who hold the embryologic view think life begins when the embryo undergoes gastrulation, and twinning is no longer possible; this occurs about 14 days into development. (Some mainline Protestant religions espouse a similar view.)

Proponents of the neurological view adhere to brainwave criteria; life begins when a distinct EEG pattern can be detected, about 24 to 27 weeks. (Some Protestant churches affirm this.) Interestingly, life is also thought to end when the EEG pattern is no longer present.

Finally, one can say that life begins at or near birth, measured by fetal viability outside the mother's body. (Judaism affirms something close to this position.) After all, somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of all embryos conceived miscarry.

I happen to be pro-choice simply because I do not believe that the government has a right to regulate a woman's body. The government does not and should never have the right to control people's bodies.End of story. There should be no further discussion.

Does that mean I'm pro-abortion? Not entirely. Pro-choice is just that. A choice. In some cases, I'm all for it. Should it be regulated? Of course.

I've been with a woman that had an abortion. The fact remains that it is not a big deal to some people and regardless of your moral objections, it is not an area where the government should have any say, nor should any religion. (Especially if the recipient is not religious.)

Edit: Added info.

Edited by Imaginarynumber1

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Reason Rally...

"Everything that we have - that makes our lives possible - exists because human beings have tested the things they found in their surroundings, made predictions based on those tests and then improved upon them. This is reason...!!!" ADAM SAVAGE

Arrogance? Smug? Free will? Human ingenuity? Age of reason? Human truth?

"You have nothing in your hands - any power you have - comes to you from far beyond." JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

"I wash my hands of it." All of the above. Just lost many precious "things" in my life... I just watch nowadays, see the story of my life unfolds. Click Click's song "Whirlpool" also comes to my mind at this moment.

LYRICS:

...Catch my breath as I board the van

And I take my seat by the window side

With a cigarette and another coffee

I can shut my eyes and see the world go by

Whirlpool, this is some existence

Never sure of the place I'm in

Bags packed and I'm up and leaving

Match my scowl with another's grin

Somewhere new, there's no explanation

Just a word or two from the big command

And the window's fogged from the condensation

From the air that's hot

Here, inside the van

Whirlpool...

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Those 'unborn' are not legally recognised as people, so your argument is moot. The only people who are forced into a choice, are forced by the Pro-Life lobby. The Pro-Choice lobby does not force people into a choice.

Yes, I should've said humans rather than people. In my opinion the unborn are people.

Not too long ago slaves were considered humans but not people. You're proving my point, Leonardo. "Personhood" is a political opinion, but humanity and life are scientific. By declaring the unborn to be non-persons, you are forcing your personal beliefs on them. It is not at all different from declaring a certain group of humans to be non-persons and then legalizing enslaving and killing them.

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So are the pro-life people. Last I heard, no one asked the fetus for their opinion. Didn't you ever get mad at your parents and say...."I didn't ask to be born!"?

The right to life is an inherent right to remain alive. It's not a decision. Your argument is basically that if someone doesn't tell you not to kill them, it's acceptable to kill them. Do newborns say they want to live? Do unconscious people? No, but we don't think it's all right to murder them.

Some people have no business having kids and kids and kidsed

PEARLAND, TX (KTRK) -- We have an update to a story we first told you about last week. A 911 call has been released from a mother who forgot her 5-year-old girl during a birthday party at a Chuck E Cheese restaurant in Pearland.

Related Content

Video: Birthday girl forgotten at Chuck E Cheese

Story: Birthday girl, 5, left at Chuck E. Cheese

More: Got a story idea? Let us know!

Operator: "911 can I help you?"

Caller: "Yes I think I left my child at Chuck E Cheese last night. She's 5."

Operator: OK, can you contact Brazoria County Sheriff's Department ma'am?"

That short 911 call happened just after the mother realized she had left her 5-year-old daughter at Chuck E Cheese the previous night.

The mother has 10 children in all and forgot the birthday girl at the restaurant. Investigators say the mom claims she only realized the girl wasn't home when she woke up to get the kids ready for school. She then called 911.

The child has since been handed back over to her mother. So far, no charges have been filed in the case.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8578158

Oh dear. :blink: Well, there's nothing we can legally do about that. It's their right to have as many kids as they please. At most it's the responsibility of the family or society to convince them not to have children if they can't handle them.

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Posted (edited)

^^ How can you prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, absent your own belief system, which one of these is correct?

You simply cannot.

Parsip, are you a scientist? Do you actively study science as a career or for any formal education purposes?

I ask because I do both. In fact, I just returned from a lab where we cultured mice blastocysts. I can tell you from the many years I have been in biology and from the many professors that I have had the great opportunity to work with that there is no generally accepted definition of when life begins. You can have your own precepts about what constitutes human life, that's fine, I'm not trying to take that away from you, I'm just trying to explain to you how it is seen scientifically. The concept of life is a tricky thing to pin down.

No, I'm not scientist per se, but I am scientific, something that many scientists these days aren't.

Where is the quoted text from, by the way?

There are only two possibilities regarding unborn humans. They are either alive, or lifeless. And since we can observe them develop and grow into full adults, there's no doubt they are indeed alive.

I happen to be pro-choice simply because I do not believe that the government has a right to regulate a woman's body. The government does not and should never have the right to control people's bodies.End of story. There should be no further discussion.

I agree. But an unborn human is separate from the mother's body. She has the right to do whatever she wishes with her body, but who gets to decide that right of hers is more important than the unborn human's right to life?

Does that mean I'm pro-abortion? Not entirely. Pro-choice is just that. A choice. In some cases, I'm all for it. Should it be regulated? Of course.

I've been with a woman that had an abortion. The fact remains that it is not a big deal to some people and regardless of your moral objections, it is not an area where the government should have any say, nor should any religion. (Especially if the recipient is not religious.)

Edit: Added info.

Very well, I don't want to discuss morality and politics here. I'm just saying regardless of where you stand on the issue, you're forcing your personal beliefs on other humans, and it's hypocritical to criticize political Christians for doing something you yourself do.

Edited by Parsip

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I should've said humans rather than people. In my opinion the unborn are people.

Not too long ago slaves were considered humans but not people. You're proving my point, Leonardo. "Personhood" is a political opinion, but humanity and life are scientific. By declaring the unborn to be non-persons, you are forcing your personal beliefs on them. It is not at all different from declaring a certain group of humans to be non-persons and then legalizing enslaving and killing them.

No, "personhood" is a philosophical opinion. The pertinent point of which is, at what stage of our foetal development are we capable of self-awareness to the point of establishing a 'human identity'?

While it is a point of some controversy, there is little debate that there is a point at which this occurs - and it is not (imo) at the time of conception or until the embryonic development has at least reached a stage where the brain is recognisably a 'human brain'.

Similarly, we do not consider animals 'people' (or persons) because they do not have a recognisably human brain, and so cannot have a 'human identity'.

Edited by Leonardo

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Posted (edited)

No, "personhood" is a philosophical opinion. The pertinent point of which is, at what stage of our foetal development are we capable of self-awareness to the point of establishing a 'human identity'?

While it is a point of some controversy, there is little debate that there is a point at which this occurs - and it is not (imo) at the time of conception or until the embryonic development has at least reached a stage where the brain is recognisably a 'human brain'.

Similarly, we do not consider animals 'people' because they do not have a recognisably human brain, and so cannot have a 'human identity'.

It is a political opinion, and the belief that self-awareness is necessary for humanity or personhood is a personal opinion as well.

The reason we don't consider animals to be human is because... they are different species. :/ This is a scientific fact.

Edited by Parsip

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Posted (edited)

It is a political opinion, and the belief that self-awareness is necessary for humanity or personhood is a personal opinion as well.

I'm not going to get into a "Yes, it is"/"No, it isn't" argument with you.

Politicians and other lawmakers define the laws for our societies. They base those laws on science and philosophy (which encompasses ethics and morality).

The reason we don't consider animals to be human is because... they are different species.

No law that I know of which attempts to define, or otherwise relates to, the state of 'personhood' - whether that be named as 'citizenship', 'people', etc - incorporates a requirement of said state for the holder to be a member of Homo sapiens sapiens.

If you know of such a law, I would appreciate you pointing it out to me.

Edited by Leonardo

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I'm not going to get into a "Yes, it is"/"No, it isn't" argument with you.

Politicians and other lawmakers define the laws for our societies. They base those laws on science and philosophy (which encompasses ethics and morality).

It's not impossible for something to both a philosophical matter and a political matter. Personhood is certainly political, as it has been defined by courts or parliament and used to justify denying legal rights to certain groups of human beings.

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Abortions should be a personal choice and not a legal one.

A fetus is most definitely a person with the potential to become an adult. Animals on the other hand lack this potential.

It really comes down to whose rights trump the other's, mother's or child's, and our society has chosen it is better to err on the side of the mother's.

Christians would do well to focus on giving things instead of taking them away. While they are trying to save a life by taking rights and personal choices away from others there are plenty of other ways to try and save lives.

Pro-choice people would also do well to remember there is a life involved regardless of how the legal definition is written those always change from time to time. It really is about choosing who has greater rights, both are living beings, and while that is a tough choice for some, there is no justice gained by pretending a fetus is just a mass of tissue, so are we in that case, but we are all much more

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No law that I know of which attempts to define, or otherwise relates to, the state of 'personhood' - whether that be named as 'citizenship', 'people', etc - incorporates a requirement of said state for the holder to be a member of Homo sapiens sapiens.

If you know of such a law, I would appreciate you pointing it out to me.

What non-humans are considered to be people, with equal rights to humans?

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There are the same group of people in religions.

I agree in totality. I didn't say they weren't. I simply pointed out that there were likely atheists of the "darker" sort that tarnished the overall image of positivity that the Reason Rally intended to convey. I don't think that is an inaccurate picture of how things turned out, though I would put money on the positivity being the overwhelming majority (if I had to put money, at least).

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Posted (edited)

Which Christian denominations have in their tenet/doctrine that abortion is a permissable act, not 'sinful'?

What major religion, in 'Western countries', is throwing it's weight behind the Pro-Life movement?

Or are you suggesting the person was making a personal argument to each Christian individual, rather than arguing against the various Christian movements interfering in secular law?

Which isn't terribly relevant to the argument. In your hypothetical example, the person focussed on a religious group which was enabling (through it's influence with politicians and lawmakers) the Pro-Life Movement to influence law. Why, in a secular society, should that be allowed - especially for so sensitive an issue?

Do you think the Pro-Life movement would have anywhere near the influence it has without being backed up by major religions - such as Christianity?

I never said they were the same thing. I am focussed on one particular example you gave which painted a person who was stridently libertarian as 'the opposite' of what you saw as "the good" at the Rally. I simply pointed out what I believe to be a flaw in your argument.

The fact is that you don't have to be religious (particularly Christian) in order to be pro-life. I can point to non-Christian members here on UM (not just non-Christian, but non-religious) who morally oppose pro-choice. We all tend to gravitate towards beliefs that support our ideals, do you really think that those who are pro-life would suddenly change their minds if they were cut off from their religious ideology? Edited by Paranoid Android

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Organized religion is corupt to the core and saying that it takes a militant atheist to point that out is maybe going to far as I see nothing wrong with being anti religious. Now if the message from these so called militant athiests stated they were anti faith I would slap them myself. Being anti religious due to the actions of religion is just and commendable, any action against faith is not. That is the difference.

I attend an Anglican church in Sydney, Australia. Technically I should be asleep now because I'm supposed to be up and going in 8 hours from now. It is an organisation. It is part of a larger group spanning the globe. But is it corrupt to its core? If it were, I wouldn't attend.

Sorry, in this I have to 100% disagree with you. Organised religion can be corrupted. But is it automatically corrupted just by its existence? Not at all.

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