You made some good points. I made up that list based on the people with whom I have interacted. Most of your responses to them was correct, but not what I meant. One example is someone in my quantum mechanics class judging the intelligence of a professor because he was religious. I was right behind him. I’ve spoken with people who appear to know what they’re saying, but further conversation proves they’re just blowing smoke. That’s pseudo intellectualism.
But the fact remains: you made a general judgment based on particular interactions. In my opinion, pseudo-intellectualism is a petty insult. But you’re entitled to your opinion on what I consider a non-matter.
I know atheism is not an organized religion. I was pointing out the similarities, however. Obviously not all atheists believe exactly the same, hence “denominations.”
There are inherent similarities and differences in all humans. This divisive thinking is what’s the problem. Some atheists are similar to fundamentalists, for example; however, that similarity doesn’t back your case. Atheists are also freethinkers; thus, you can expect us to be different. However, unlike Christian denominations, our differences of opinions are not based in this or that dogma or interpretation of some holy text. Our differences are political, sociological, psychological, philosophical, etc. Such differences do not constitute denominations.
And, unless you are pro-life, let’s not talk about killing children.
I’m not pro-life. Pro-life is an erred position. I’ll share my points from a previous response to a pro-lifer who’s too much of a coward to defend his position. Here are my points:
Prochoicers do not ignore science. You’re misrepresenting us. To the contrary, most prolifers ignore science. Most prolifers blatantly ignore the fact that most abortions happen at or before the eleventh week. This implies that embryos are aborted; fetuses are not. Thus, the plethora of ads attempting to appeal to emotion are misleading because the majority of them show fetuses; some of them even show infants.
Prochoicers also distinguish between the thing developing and the thing developed. This is consistent with science. A tiger zygote isn’t a tiger. The zygote is developing into a tiger. In like manner, a human zygote, though containing the DNA of a possible individual, isn’t a human. Furthermore, it isn’t an organism. An organism is a living system capable of responding to stimuli, growth, development, reproduction, homeostasis, and self-maintenance. An embryo isn’t capable of any of those requirements and is thus, not an organism.
Also, I want to call attention to this curious reduction—a reduction that Christians would deny in every other case except this one. That reduction is the reduction of a human to its DNA. Why the double standard? When atheists raise arguments against free will, for instance, some of them will reduce our actions to genetics and neurobiology or in short, to our DNA. The Christian’s response is that we are more than our DNA. However, when concerning abortion, this reduction is suddenly not so blasphemous. Speaking of reduction, there’s a problem.
I’ve dubbed it the Problem of Reduction. How far do you reduce a human? If a human is nothing more than its DNA, then technically, an individual can be reduced to his/her parents. My DNA already existed in my parents years before I was born. It existed in my grandparents and so on. This will sound absurd, but since that’s the case, prolifers should be against female menstruation. They should be against masturbation. Potential individuals, on the prolife view, die when millions of sperm cells fail to fertilize the egg.
Given all of that, it is safe to say that science isn’t on your side. We don’t ignore development. We simply distinguish between the thing developing and the thing developed. We understand that a zygote, which is the cell that forms from the union of two gametes, isn’t the same as a fully developed human being—which contains roughly 100 trillion cells. If you think the opposite is the case, try removing a zygote from the uterus and see what happens. A human isn’t a human until it is sufficiently developed.
There are also philosophical and theological issues with what you said. ”Choice” is suddenly abstract. So just like that you get to sweep your precious free will under the rug? Once again, these double standards are quite curious. Then there’s the fact that spontaneous abortions, stillbirths and SIDS outnumber induced abortions year after year. What’s more is that mothers who endure the suffering stemming from stillbirth, for instance, are, in some cases, mothers who were ready, willing, and able to be mothers. The theological issue here is that god, in his sovereignty (Psalm 139:13-16;Jeremiah 1:5), decided not to form these people—decided not to knit them in their mother’s womb; or, which is perhaps more damning to your view, he decided to form and knit dead children. It is clear, given what I just said and given Yahweh’s utter disregard for children and infants in the OT, that prolifers worship a celestial anti-lifer.
Then there’s the fact that prolife is an inconsistent view. Prolifers are inconsistent in that they actually don’t care about children (read here). ”But I care” isn’t a response; that’s a fallacy of composition (what is true of an individual is true of a population). Prolifers are inconsistent in that most of them are Christian; most of them place zero value on our current life because this life is simply a trial run that decides which afterlife we inherit. Once again (!), the level of care just isn’t there. Let’s assume Zack isn’t aborted. Now there’s a possibility of him leading a life of sin and going to hell, whereas the possibility would be an impossibility had Zack been aborted. The usual assumption is that infants go to heaven; thus, if embryo Zack is aborted, he goes straight to heaven. Given these assumptions, why should Zack be born into a life of hardship, suffering, etc. given that there’s a possibility he won’t go to heaven? Also, rather than inheriting heaven after the hardships, suffering, etc., isn’t it more humane to prefer that he inherit heaven without having to live such a life?
Ultimately, your view is not scientifically informed. It’s philosophically lacking. It’s theologically inconsistent. It’s morally inconsistent. It appeals to emotion. It misleads. It lies. It’s misogynistic. Given the myriad problems your view presents and given the cogency of my view, it is safe to conclude that women should have the right to abort. Pro-choice is simply more cogent.
Those were my points—points that were not responded to. In the end, you’re actually changing the topic; that’s called a red herring and though I’m not obligated to chase it, I chose to because you implied confidence in your view. In other words, you stated it thinking it was some rhetorical haymaker that would cripple the points I previously made. Unfortunately for you, my counter punch is much stronger that you probably anticipated.
A good goal, I think, would be to get religious folk to recognize the separation of church and state (I’m American), not that they shouldn’t believe as they wish.
Perhaps a good goal, but a demonstrably impossible goal. In general, Christians don’t see a line between church and state—and some would argue and others have argued that separation of church and state is unconstitutional—since the First Amendment establishes freedom of religion and because the notion of separation of church and state comes not from the Constitution of the United States but from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. Moreover, most Christians—though all Christians should believe this based on scripture—believe that the church is superior to the state. They will cite verses like Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-17, and Matthew 22:15-22. I’m not saying they’re right, but they will definitely say that you’re wrong.