The fault line concerning abortion

Discussion in 'Abortion' started by pjohns, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    I seriously doubt that we will come to any consensus as concerning the ethical (or non-ethical) nature of abortion-on-demand--at least, anytime within this generation. So I will not approach the matter directly.

    But I will ask this:

    Do others agree that one's stance on the matter is really determined by whether one believes that our country should be entirely (and unapologetically) secular, or should be underpinned by Judeo-Christian thought?

    To reiterate, I am not asking for a re-litigation of the matter. I am merely asking if others would agree that this is the fault line.
     
  2. Daniel Light

    Daniel Light Well-Known Member

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    God (or THE Gods) are not against abortion. The day every uterus is perfectly formed, every egg implanted and fertilized perfectly - the day every woman has perfect health when pregnant - that is the day I will be convinced that the omnipotent gods care in the slightest bit about any particular fertilized human egg reaching maturity.

    I think it's more about control of women rather than religion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
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  3. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I'd say very much no. I don't see how an individual opinion on the rights and wrongs of abortion (especially one that has actually had some thought put to it) would or should be influenced by individual opinions on secularism and religious influence on the law. They're two different topics. The secularism question may impact how a person believes their opinion should influence the wider question but not what that opinion actually is. If anything, making it an issue of how much religion should influence the law renders individual personal opinions on abortion itself irrelevant.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  4. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    This is a digression.

    I am not--repeat, I AM NOT--asking whether one approves of abortion or not. That is a different subject.

    I am merely asking whether one's stance as regarding the matter--whatever it may be--is determined by whether one believes that this should be an entirely secular country, or whether it should be underpinned by Judeo-Christian ethics.

    That is the question--and the only question--that I am asking.
     
  5. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for responding directly to my question.

    Do you not believe, however, that the Judeo-Christian ethic places an emphasis upon the sanctity of human life, whereas secular thought places more of an emphasis upon convenience--and especially the convenience of those already born?
     
  6. DaveBN

    DaveBN Well-Known Member

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    I’d like to offer a reply to this line of questioning.

    I see Judie-Christian ethics as placing more emphasis on the concept of life than they do on actual people.
    I see Secular thought as valuing highly the autonomy of the individual.
     
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  7. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Both the belief than an Embryo or Zygote are babies and the belief in an omnipotent but invisible super being require the decision to ignore observed and documented realities, in this way they have similar mindset and could be linked to society if desired.
     
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  8. edna kawabata

    edna kawabata Well-Known Member

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    Abortion like the death penalty is a difficult ethical question whether your ethics are based on secular beliefs or Judeo-Christian beliefs. There are pro-life atheists and pro-choice Christians. There are strong arguments on both sides of the issue and most people's opinion come down to an ethical compromise; examples are allowing abortion after rape or restrictions after viability.
     
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  9. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    No. The "Judeo-Christian ethic" places an emphasis on a reading and, significantly, interpretation of some or all Biblical scriptures (though often not directly). "Secular thought" places an emphasis on government and the law treating all people equally regardless of religious belief (or lack thereof).

    I suspect you're making the classic error of seeing these labels as defining a type of person rather than defining individual characteristics which, along the thousands of other ones, any given individual can have.
     
  10. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    You appear to be confusing "the Judeo-Christian ethic" with Jewish or Christian religious beliefs. These are hardly interchangeable.

    Some people, who are neither Jews nor Christians, embrace the Judeo-Christian ethic as the proper basis for our society.

    You may not. But that is an entirely separate matter.
     
  11. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    How is it possible to value "the autonomy of the individual" while simultaneously dismissing (as irrelevant, perhaps) the very concept of life?
     
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  12. K9Buck

    K9Buck Well-Known Member

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    No. I am a Christian but I believe in laws and governance that are secular in nature. My opposition to abortion is based on it harming an innocent, third party and has nothing to do with my Christian beliefs.
     
  13. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    What makes an ethic Judeo-Christian if it isn't based on Judeo-Christian scripture and teaching? If it isn't based on that, should it be called Judeo-Christian, even if it is (or appears to be) very similar? I mean you were really agreeing with my point. An individual's ethics isn't defined by such simple labels and, as is so often the case, such labels are more trouble than good, creating unnecessary divisions and conflict.

    Ultimately I think your question is fundamentally flawed given the modern development of what you might call "the Judeo-Christian ethic" incorporates secularism. Some religious people might argue against secularism but they have no exclusive claim on the concept of "Judeo-Christian ethic".
     
  14. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    Well, our country was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles. But that in no way vitiates the fact that there were some atheists among the Founders.

    Neither does it conflict with the utterance of John Adams: "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion."
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  15. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The point is that if you're going to claim them as specifically Judeo-Christian, you can't separate them from the Judeo-Christian scriptures as the basis and inspiration.

    Of course, the truth is that the kind of fundamental moral principles we're talking about are both wider and older than this would (and is intended to) imply. My point is that your initial question isn't really asking about two entirely distinct concepts, that any societies ethics will be a developed combination of what came before and outside influences (that's why you're talking about Judeo-Christian ethics rather than specifically Jewish or Christian ones after all). Even if we wanted to, we couldn't only have a basis of Judeo-Christian ethics or secular ethics, we can only have our current ethics, which are unavoidably influenced by and evolve from those previous ones.
     
  16. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Donor

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    If by 'country' you mean our laws, then yes, absolutely, they should be 100% secular. I say this as a Christian.

    If you mean society, then no. I think members of society should definitely promote their religious values. In the context of abortion, I support any and all voluntary, noncoercive means to reduce it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  17. DaveBN

    DaveBN Well-Known Member

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    We dismiss the concept of life everyday. Ever intentionally step on a bug?
    Now, have you ever killed a human being?
     
  18. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    I will reiterate that quote from John Adams:

    "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion."

    I agree. Totally.

    But that does not prove that it is not the product of Judeo-Christian principles.
     
  19. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying, then, that our country's laws should not be influenced by Judeo-Christian thought?

    Are you suggesting, perhaps, that such thought is insufficiently enlightened?
     
  20. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I should have been a bit less careless, and incorporated the modifier human ahead of "life."

    No.

    And that, of course, is what I was really talking about.
     
  21. tecoyah

    tecoyah Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Once outside of the mother the term "Human Being" can and is used, up to that point there are other an more descriptive terms in use for medical and societal reasons in order to avoid the confusion being displayed here. Just as the terms puppy, Kitten, Calf, Egg and chick are used when appropriate.
     
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  22. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Donor

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    Our laws should be based on maintaining a minimum degree of stability so society can operate in a free and voluntary manner. I believe Judeo-Christian values founded this emphasis on voluntary participation. I don't believe that Judeo-Christian values should be the goal, but rather individual liberty should be the goal. If we make it so, Judeo-Christian values will be relevent so long as they promote that individual liberty.
     
  23. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I never suggested otherwise (though I'd say it's more complex than simply saying either "is" or "is not" alone and it's always been the case that just because a politician says something doesn't necessarily mean it's true :cool: ).

    Again, I never suggested otherwise because it isn't a simply binary. I'm only pointing out that you can't talk about "Judeo-Christian principles" but completely ignore the religious principles and scripture they're (purportedly) based upon. You certainly can't ignore the fact that a lot (not all) of the people who promote "Judeo-Christian principles" as the basis for government do so because they think that means the principles of their Judeo-Christian religion.

    As I originally suggested, if it wasn't for that specific theocratic aspect there'd be no basis for any conflict between "Judeo-Christian principles" and secularism.
     
  24. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    That is a fair analysis.

    Would you go, then, with secular values--which "maintaining a minimum degree of stability so society can operate in a free and voluntary manner" would appear to be?

    Would that be a fair conclusion?

    (Note: There is no "right" or "wrong" answer to the matter of which one prefers. It is just food for thought.)
     
  25. pjohns

    pjohns Well-Known Member

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    I cannot say that I agree with that final sentence. The broad principles known as Judeo-Christian thought are not interchangeable with anyone's individual religion--or even with Judaism or Christianity, generally. And I simply cannot imagine how anyone might think otherwise.
     

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