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In response to:

Defining Life

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 24, 2014 10:57 AM
Annfan - You're evading the issue of when an entity is "human" in the sense of having indepedent individual rights. Does a blood cell have "basic protection under the law"? After all, it's alive and has human DNA. What about anencephalic infants? Should we keep a headless corpse perpetually alive artificially with a heart-lung machine and intravenous feedings? If not, why not?
In response to:

Defining Life

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 24, 2014 10:52 AM
annfan -- I believe most people have little trouble distinguishing between innocent human life, the lives of murderers and terrorists, and non-human forms of life. Under your formulation, a mosquito = a human since both are alive. Life doesn't "begin," it continues. A spermatazoa and an ovum are already alive when they join to form a zygote. Someone in a coma already had the right to life and all other human rights. They don't automatically lose all rights due to the coma. The permanently brain-dead (insert your own joke here) no longer have individual rights. Their legal guardians would then have the right to make all determinations, including life or death.
In response to:

Defining Life

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 23, 2014 11:42 PM
Squid - no one said otherwise. Do you think a zygote can generate a human on its own?
In response to:

Defining Life

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 23, 2014 11:33 PM
Flattus - you need to re-read. My post starts off by making the point that life does NOT begin, it continues. Rational life is the key to what it means to be human, not whether there is a heartbeat, which every rat and toad have. I nowhere demanded a high level of reason, but a total lack of capacity to reason means there is no independent right to life. Why do you think anencephalic babies almost never receive ventilator support?
In response to:

Defining Life

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 23, 2014 9:38 PM
Adams means well, but misconceives the issue. Life doesn't begin at conception, it continues. The ovum, sperm cell, and zygote are all alive. The real issue is: at what point does a zygote obtain an independent right to life? This isn't a scientific question (though science can inform our decision) -- it's a philosophical and legal issue. Aristotle defined man as "the rational animal," i.e., what differentiates us essentially from other life forms is our capacity for rationality, not cell chemistry. Until the onset of regular beta brain wave activity (around the beginning of the third trimester), the fetus lacks even the capacity for rationality. This seems to be a more reasoned approach to determine when an independent right to life commences. Prior to that, the decision is ultimately the mother's.
In response to:

The Coming Christian Revolt

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 21, 2014 4:30 PM
No one (atheist or theist) can logically "deny the existence of right and wrong" -- by what standard could they judge whether that statement itself was right or wrong?
In response to:

The Coming Christian Revolt

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 21, 2014 4:26 PM
Nothing moral about the so-called golden rule. Fanatical jihadists would rather be dead than to not believe in Allah. They are practicing the golden rule when they slaughter non-Muslims. Not my idea of morality.
In response to:

The Coming Christian Revolt

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 21, 2014 1:20 PM
Assuming theists are freedom-loving conservatives and atheists are liberal statists is absurd. First, the jihadists are fanatic theists, and hate atheists more than they hate Christians or Jews. Except for the abortion issue, the Catholic church is very liberal. The mainline Protestant churches are uniformly liberal. Religious Jews, Hispanics, and blacks overwhelming vote Democrat. The World Council of Churches and the Council of Catholic Bishops are leftist. Those espousing "liberation theology" are stridently communist. Do any current U.S. religious figures have a higher profile than leftist Reverends Jackson, Pfleger, Wright, and Sharpton? Was an atheist the Socialist Party USA presidential nominee in 2008? No, it was devout Catholic Brian Moore. Has there been a recent President more pious than liberal Jimmy Carter? And where are all the church rallies for gun rights, tougher penalties for criminals, strict enforcement of immigration laws, lower taxes, lower entitlement spending, ending welfare, ending "foreign aid," repudiating the U.N., adopting the gold standard, capital punishment for convicted murderers, school vouchers, terrorist profiling, reducing the power of the union bosses, rolling back the EPA and most other regulatory agencies, etc.? Oh that's right, the mainstream churches oppose those bedrock conservative positions. Statists are the problem, be they theists or atheists.
tg7211 - you fail to grasp the real issue. The First Amendment also guarantees freedom of association. Individuals do not lose their right of free speech when they choose to associate in the form of a corporation, union, non-profit, charity, political party, etc.
In response to:

Christians and Economic "Inequality"

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 18, 2014 12:34 PM
Economic inequality is a good thing. It provides motivation for living productively and a disincentive for living parasitically and wastefully. Look at the history of our own country -- the original Jamestown and Plymouth colonies nearly starved out of existence because their misguided leaders tried to impose the false god of "economic equality." It wasn't until they reversed course and announced that families and individuals would keep the fruits of their own labor that they became self-sufficient and even prosperous.
In response to:

Rand Paul and the Gutless Generation

Tacitus X Wrote: Jul 14, 2014 8:44 PM
Birdman -- Hoover and FDR were far from being libertarian. In a series of naval treaties in the 1920s, the United States and Great Britain worked to limit the size of Japan's naval fleet. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor Roosevelt declared a partial embargo of U.S. shipments of oil, gasoline, and metals to Japan. The actions of the victorious WWI powers in Germany were interventionist in the extreme, and were anything but "libertarian."
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