An abandoned church in Rathcormac, County Cork, Ireland. Photo by Alison Killilea/Creative Commons

Why the Catholic Church lost in Ireland

Yes, the Church was severely compromised by years of revelations of sexual abuse by priests and of the mistreatment of "fallen women" in Magdalene laundries. Yes, the Irish people had become more secular by years of membership in the EU and growing economic prosperity.

But what seems to have turned a narrow margin into a landslide was the case of Savita Halappanavar, the dentist who in the midst of a miscarriage died of sepsis because she could not be given an abortion while there was still a fetal heartbeat. Halappanavar became the emblem of the movement to strike down the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which insisted, like the Catholic Church, that the unborn's right to life is equal to the mother's.

That position conflicts with the visceral human understanding that an early-term miscarriage is not the death of a person; that the mother's life and health are more valuable than the life of the unborn; that a woman who becomes pregnant by rape or incest should not be required to carry to term.

The Church has always opposed abortion, but there was a time when its doctrine reflected that visceral understanding. According to no less authoritative figures than St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas Aquinas, there is no life in the womb until the body is "ensouled" or animated, with ensoulment considered to take place at "quickening"—when the woman feels the fetus move. Until the middle of the 19th century (with one brief exception), an abortion procured prior to quickening was treated as a less serious sin than one procured afterwards.

Fetal monitoring is judged by some to have disproved the animation concept. After all, if heartbeat and brain function can be detected earlier, then quickening seems less of a marker of life in the womb. But no amount of fetal monitoring can determine when a body receives a soul. That's a question for the theologians.

A religion should be wary of being out of step with visceral human understanding. In Ireland, polling showed that of the 31 percent of those who voted to retain Amendment Eight, just 38 percent opposed permitting abortions in cases of rape or incest. Altogether, on that issue less than 12 percent of Irish voters adhered to the Church's position.

On other issues, they saw things differently. Making abortion available was favored by 71 percent in cases of fatal fetal abnormality and 67 percent if the woman's health was threatened between 12 and 24 weeks' gestation. But only 52 percent supported abortion on demand in the first trimester.

Meanwhile, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that, as with contraception, the Catholic Church has lost its old ability to make nice moral distinctions, and boxed itself into an intellectual corner.


  1. The Church has always opposed abortion, but there was a time when its doctrine reflected that visceral understanding.

    Very true, and the biggest telltale sign of that is the fact that for centuries miscarried fetuses were not given a full Christian burial – that is, until rather recently. I’m no theologian, but I’d like to hear from Catholic theologians as to why that is.

  2. Though I won’t disagree with you, Mr. silk, I think that what was more important was a century of building resentment against the church, not merely for the sins of the abuse of priests and nuns, but for the sins of the abusive church.

    I was in Ireland last year. While in Dublin, I saw a rather wonderful show at the Abbey Theatre, founded by Yeats and Lady Gregory a century ago. The show is entitled Jimmy’s Hall, from a time between the Irish Civil War and the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1937. The entire cast was amazing, and could not only sing, dance, and act, but play several musical instruments. They received a standing ovation, which they richly deserved. What was intriguing about it is just how much the Easter Uprising of 1916, the Irish Civil war, and the struggle with Britain for independence still figure in the Irish mentality even today. One of the things that was very clear was another theme of the play, another figuration in the Irish consciousness today. This was the resentment against the local priest, who decided that he was the boss of everybody. He colluded with Republican thugs to close the hall in question, and get Jimmy deported to America, even though Jimmy was an Irish citizen. He did this because he opposed the establishment of the hall, which was really more of a community center that it was anything else. That would have been competition in the community center business, and he wanted no competition. The priest was definitely the Man in Black and in many, many ways.

  3. “But no amount of fetal monitoring can determine when a body receives a soul. That’s a question for the theologians.”

    They can’t even show that a soul exists and survives death. How are they going to resolve this question?

  4. The same way they always do– smoke, mirrors, and a large dollop of lethe.

  5. St Thomas Aquinas wrote that the body receives a soul at conception. There are also a number of references in the Bible.
    How can you prove that a soul doesn’t exist?

  6. Please give us those references in the Bible. It’s easy the say, “The Bible says it.” It’s something else to actually show us chapter and verse.

  7. I recall reading long ago that St. Augustine wrote that life begins around 40 days after conception.

    Yet the Catholic church appears to ignore this, as well as those famous OT passages that suggest that a fetus is NOT in the same category as a male or female that has actually been born.

    And as we know, there are numerous instances of people dying, all over the world, because of the church’s policies.

    I’ve long suspected that a key aspect of the church’s opposition to abortion is the desire to see young girls and young women shamed for having sex outside of marriage.

  8. LOL! Asking someone to prove a negative. Do you understand that your comment reveals that you need to read more about clear, accurate thinking?

  9. What Mark Silk says in this essay sounds exactly right to me:

    Meanwhile, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, as with contraception, the Catholic Church has lost its old ability to make nice moral distinctions, and boxed itself into an intellectual corner.

    This is true a fortiori for a tradition of moral thinking that claims to give a very high role to reason and to natural law — to observing what’s actually there in nature, how nature actually behaves, what the behavior of nature tells us about the purpose of nature.

    A tradition of moral thinking with all those emphases does, indeed, box itself into a tight dogmatic corner when it allows all those emphases to fall by the wayside as it pronounces, dictates, hands down imperatives from on high — but doesn’t listen, consult, think, and dialogue with the folks being preached down to.

  10. Of course the Catholic Church did not “lose” in Ireland, nor did Savita Halappanavar die because she could not be given an abortion.

    A generation ago Ireland ceased being “Catholic” in any real sense.

    And Savita Halappanavar died from medical incompetence.

    One might make the argument that right reason and natural law have passed their “sell by” date, but the proponents of that position endorse nearly every perversion of human nature that comes down the pike, which is where that position ultimately leads.

    Sadly Silk drags out this old sophistry:

    “According to no less authoritative figures than St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas Aquinas, there is no life in the womb until the body is ‘ensouled’ or animated, with ensoulment considered to take place at ‘quickening’ – when the woman feels the fetus move.”

    That, of course, has nothing to do with the morality of abortion in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    What it had to do with is a side discussion by scholastics as to what sort of sin abortion was, not whether or not it was sinful.

    The very first command God gives Adam and Eve as they exit Paradise is to go forth and multiply.

    That the primary purpose of mankind was to populate and cultivate the world was so fundamental to Jewish thought that everything opposed to it – abortion, sodomy, adultery, and so on – was considered a capital offense. And that moral thinking carried directly over into Christianity.

    It had nothing to do with “ensoulment” or any of the other nonsense that these discussions get clogged with when they are held in Christian contexts.

    Procreation made mankind a partner with the deity in the creation of human life.

    Interfering with it was sinful, period.

    A religion should be out of step with “visceral human understanding” if it purports to be a revealed religion and not simply Man writ Large. That last position leads to a race to the bottom, which is exactly why Western Europe and North America are experiencing moral disintegration.

  11. The resolution of the question is irrelevant to the morality or immorality of abortion in the Judeo-Christian thinking.

  12. It is important to remember that for the Church, “natural law” does not mean what we mean by natural law in modern times. For the Church, “natural law” is a system developed by medieval Schoolmen.

  13. No kidding – brilliant insight on your part. Just responding in kind to the constant line of reasoning used by the non-believers on these pages who use the same technique to challenge our statements.
    Jim Johnson states that “they can’t even show that a soul exists”…
    Jim Johnson can’t show that it doesn’t.

  14. No, natural law was developed in Greece by folks like Aristotle.

    It reemerges in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity as they begin to study anew the Greeks.

    But it is also reflected independently in the Judeo-Christian tradition in theSeven Laws of Noah (Sheva Mitzvot B’nei Noach), usually called the Noahide Laws or the Noachide Laws, which were given to all mankind.

    Paul refers to these when he writes (Romans 2:14) of the laws written in the hearts of the gentiles.

  15. In modern times “natural law” is invoked to make axiomatic statements and pretend assumptions rise to the level of facts beyond criticism.

  16. “How can you prove that a soul doesn’t exist?”

    No evidence exists for it.

  17. That was silly and dead wrong.

    All you did is bring up the kind of garbage statements non believers criticize you guys for. Assuming your claim is correct and expecting evidence to disprove it. It is an infantile and arrogant way to support your belief. Dishonest too, in the you pretend your belief has rational support when in reality it is entirely based on faith.

    Rational thinking requires you to prove your affirmative claim with evidence. Religious belief merely requires faith.

    Nobody has to disprove god or a soul. It was never proven to exist in the first place. Merely assumed and believed on faith.

  18. You’re right, alwayspuzzled — Spuddie is very right when he says about what has been made of the notion of natural law.

    In any case, whether we’re talking about natural law as understood by medieval Scholastics or later in the Catholic tradition, one of its foundational premises is that nature is patent to human reason, there to be examined and studied carefully, to draw theological-philosophical conclusions about.

    The notion that reason can lead us down a trustworthy path to correct moral intuitions is inbuilt in the theology of natural law. And I think Mark Silk is absolutely right to propose that “the Catholic Church has lost its old ability to make nice moral distinctions, and boxed itself into an intellectual corner.”

    It has done so because it has stepped away from its traditional way of doing moral theology in favor of an apodictic, dogmatic, catechetical-formulaic approach that has had dismal consequences for Catholic moral theology and Catholic theology in general.

  19. My best guess about the RCC, based on many years of reading about it, and learning about human behavior, is that it seeks power and wants to impose its views on everyone. Sometimes, the priests at the lower levels do good things, plenty of times they do bad things; from what I’ve read, my best guess is that the Irish people, having suffered under the hypocrisy of the church for decades, are finally in revolt against it. Good for them!

  20. Natural law as understood by medieval Scholastics or later in the Catholic tradition may be what you’re talking about, a sort of medieval strawman, but it assuredly is not what the discussion is about.

    There is nothing in “nature is patent to human reason” that is not part of the Greek natural law, the Islamic natural law, the other than Catholic natural law.


    “…. the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    was not written by a Catholic or a medieval Scholastic.

    Obviously as an individual espousing a particular lifestyle the notion of natural law of any kind creates some problems for your script.

  21. In modern times “natural law” is the subject of ridicule by individuals who can define neither “natural” nor “law”, but who scurry off to assert “minority rights” that inure to them by virtue of natural law:

    “…. the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

  22. No scientific evidence exists for it.

    That is true by definition since science involves the measure of physical realities only.

  23. What non-scientific evidence is there outside of the Bible? Why should we even entertain such a concept?

  24. Natural law is just a nicer way of saying “seems good to me.”

  25. A priest was interviewed on the news after the vote and talked about how the church needed to change its focus to preventing the need for abortions with education and access to birth control. He talked as though this idea was his original idea!

    This is what Planned Parenthood has been advocating for years and from which they have faced strong opposition from the Catholic Church.

    Better late than never!

  26. So, in short, the soul is not physically real, or even shorter, real in any sense of th word except by the very same assumptions that create “natural law”.

    “It’s what I think.”

  27. Or it is a way for the control freaks to control their faithful flock.

  28. That was one of the points of the play,

  29. Ok – fine. Direct your comment to JJ who made the original statement.

  30. “It’s what I think”

    Not to be picky, but this may be an over-simplification. Strictly speaking, “natural law” is what God thinks, and fortunately we have the control freaks in the Church to tell us what God thinks.

  31. How about “Seems good to me, and this is what I think?”

  32. OK, but it still doesn’t have the gravitas of “This is what God thinks”.

  33. The Greeks had theories about the soul.
    Also, regarding the constant need for evidence in order to accept/entertain that something exists; doesn’t this limit your ability to think/reason outside of your known library of knowledge?
    ie: I can’t prove that black holes exist; therefore they don’t. When in fact they have existed forever, but we didn’t have the technology to “prove” they existed.

  34. So, in short, if there is a soul, it is not physical.

    Since natural law is philosophical that creates no problems at all for the reality of the soul or natural law.

    “There are more things in heaven and Earth, (Ben),/ Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

  35. I understood that. But the point of any dramatic play is to engage people, perhaps get them angry, get them to think, not necessarily to offer some “truth”. . I was thinking of the wider picture.

    It is no accident that throughout history and throughout the world, the RCC has been in bed with dictators–perhaps most notoriously Franco, but plenty of others, e.g. in South America.

  36. Gravitas, what god “thinks” and $1.95 will buy you a cup of coffee at starbucks. :0)

  37. Says the guy who thinks that a fetus has more rights than a full-grown human being.

  38. Planned Parenthood faces strong opposition from a lot more than the Catholic Church.

  39. Spoken from the perspective of someone who know nothing at all about it.

  40. No one is using Einstein’s relativity equations to deny access to basic health care.

  41. That actually fairly describes your personal moral code.

    And have you found the source of minority rights yet?

  42. Strictly speaking a deity is not necessary for natural law.

  43. But, but. but, if we don’t take into account what “God thinks” as reported to us by the Church, how would we know that the Girl Scouts are a danger to girls.

  44. The concept of reincarnation and rebirth in Hindu and Buddhist religions come to mind. 🙂

    But that has nothing with denying personhood to women

  45. A muddle headed and ignorant article, followed by appallingly idiotic commentary, and before I finally decided to leave the page concluding I had wasted ten minutes of my life, I find this astute, clear, and spot on commentary from you. Thanks, Bob. Other than your comment here, I have no idea why Pewsitter linked to this article.

  46. The idea of “moral law” is nonsense. “Moral laws” are whatever the church, or denomination X,. wants them to be at any given point in time. After all, these “laws” are not spelled out anywhere, and in fact have changed over time.

  47. No, you want to ignore the rights of full-grown humans, in favor of those of fetuses.

  48. You’re coming into the middle of a conversation.
    FYI -abortion is not healthcare.

  49. Yes, it is, for pregnant people. Ever had an ectopic pregnancy? You are butting in on other people’s decisions about their own bodies, and no one cares.

  50. Except for pregnant people, according to you, who only care about the contents of their uteruses.

  51. As my catholic neighbor used to say when I was a kid, “that’s the mystery of itall.”

  52. The Catholic church faces strong opposition from those who don’t believe in molesting children or brainwashing them to believe in fairy tales, like virgin birth.

  53. As Abraham Lincoln once wrote “For those who like this sort of thing, this is exactly the sort of thing they will like.”

  54. Shouldn’t the pregnant person care too? Oh, I guess not….

  55. Nor does laws restricting abortion.

  56. I got it – this would be a safety issue. How about the other 99% that are for convenience?

  57. That’s BS statistic that you made up. How about all the unintended pregnancies that result from rapeor incest? You don’t care about the rights of rape victims at all.

  58. No, no one should be forced to carry a fetus to term, if they don’t want to. You have clearly never become pregnant as a result of rape, have you?

  59. Christians like forcing people to breed against their will, apparently.

  60. I suppose you could just make it up.

  61. Stop raping people, thereby interfering with their procreative process, then they won’t need so many abortions, now, will they?

  62. Except in the case of rape/incest, no one breeds against their will.

  63. American Catholics have largely learned to ignore the parts of Catholic doctrine that are inconvenient to them, and still consider themselves Catholics. The Church might want to pause before trying to crack down on ‘heretics’ while they still have some members left in developed nations.

  64. That’s true, there are plenty of evangelical screwups and fools as well.

  65. ..and therefore no reason to believe that they did exist until we uncovered empirical evidence for them. See how it works?

    “The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.” –Thomas Paine–

  66. According the Roman Catholic theory (in practice raised to a doctrine) of Natural Law, the Catholic church is OBLIGED to impose its views on everyone. Catholic Natural Law decrees that Nature is built on some immutable laws, and that the Pope is the sole and supreme discener/judge of those laws, and that those laws, being DICTATED absolutely by Nature, and defined as absolute by the pope, are binding on all individuals of any or no faith, and on all governments.

  67. Equal rights for all people. Those born. Until a fetus comes out of its mother’s body, it exists only by her will.

    You clearly don’t consider a woman’s rights at all. Somehow she becomes personal property of you, the church or the state upon pregnancy.

  68. Nope. Fairy tales and mythology are not a reasonable basis for such considerations.

  69. Not to mention mind mavens and atheists.

  70. You are deceptively conflating Jefferson’s belief in Natural Rights (which he called Natural Law) with the Catholic theory of Natural Law. which is not based on Natural Rights (originally called The Rights of Man) but in the case of sex, on a weird belief that body organs have their own end purposes (teloi) separate form the person of which they are a part. The organs, as interpreted by the Pope, dictate what the person can or cannot do. Natural rights starts with the human person, not the person’s organs.

    In addition, citing Jefferson is of dubious merit. He cerainly did not believe that slaves are born equal, and if you read the while declaration he makes some rather racists remarks about Native Americans too.

    According the Roman Catholic theory (in practice raised to a doctrine)
    of Natural Law, the Catholic church is OBLIGED to impose its views on
    everyone. Catholic Natural Law decrees that Nature is built on some
    immutable laws, and that the Pope is the sole and supreme discener/judge
    of those laws, and that those laws, being DICTATED absolutely by
    Nature, and defined as absolute by the pope, are binding on all
    individuals of any or no faith, and on all governments. That is why one pope condemned Liberalism and Democracy as against the “naturall hierarchy” dictated by Nature, a hierarchy that decrees obedience of the lower classes to their Lords and the lords to their monarch and all to the Pope. No concern for Natural rights, just blind obedience and totally privileged authority.

  71. All true, but Noahide Laws are ethical in their basis and they deliberately leave out all the Jewish commandments relating to God. And they are not obsessed with sex, forbidding only adultery. They do not impose all the sexual rules imposed by the Catholic church’s version of natural law.

  72. They don’t deliberately leave out the Jewish commandments relating to God, they predate the Jewish commandments relating to God.

    And the Jews considered them to forbid incest, sodomy, fornication, and any other sexual activity other than marital union to form a family.

    They made a distinction between righteous gentiles who kept the Noahide laws and those who did not.

    It is not the Catholic Church’s “version of natural law” that I am discussing. At this point that church is probably the most prominent defender of it, but it is not alone.

  73. Hmm, no, I don’t know any atheists silly and misguided enough to oppose reproductive healthcare. Please share with the class.

  74. You are deceptively trying to construct a strawman of what you call “the Catholic theory of Natural Law”, when in fact it was everyone’s theory of natural law until the rise of German “higher criticism” and opponents of natural law per se.

    Citing Jefferson demonstrates that natural law is not the possession of Catholicism.

    According to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic theology all mankind is OBLIGED to follow their views with some caveats and exceptions for ignorance.

    Natural law theory, which underlies what modern science, posits that everything follows immutable laws, including human beings.

    The suggestion that the Catholic version has no concern for natural rights, just blind obedience and totally privileged authority, indicates you’ve read nothing later than 1870 or thereabouts.

  75. I did earlier when you tried to palm off the mind mavens as the Second Coming.

  76. “Obviously as an individual espousing a particular lifestyle the notion of natural law of any kind creates some problems for your script.”

    Would you care to explain what that means Mr. “Arnzen”?

    And while you’re at it, would you care to explain what “lifestyle” you espouse in the real life hidden behind the pseudonym you use to mount cowardly personal attacks against others posting here?


  77. So, you’ve got nothing but your own imagination. What a surprise. You can sit down and let the grownups talk now.

  78. Thank you for this very interesting reply.

    On the other hand …perhaps I should curse you, because your message gives me an idea: I’m gonna do some research into this idea and see what I can find on reversals of RCC thinking on this matter, “natural laws” that others have disputed, etc…I guess I;m not doing anything between 3 AM and 4 AM most mornings….

  79. Here you go:

    The last two have similar stats; just search on the websites.

    Let me know how your bs call works out.

  80. “… the Catholic Church has lost its old ability to make nice moral distinctions, and boxed itself into an intellectual corner.”

    It is certainly the Catholic church but it is not just the Catholic Church that has “boxed itself into an intellectual corner.” It is most fundamentalist religions who have boxed themselves in. That is why there is Reform Judaism, why there are various versions of Baptists, Anglican/Episcopal, Lutheran, and yes, even Catholicism. I have to wonder if Islam won’t also divide itself again but this time to respond to democracy, women’s rights, new scientific discoveries.

    I hope that many of those in Ireland who voted “Yes” will continue to identify themselves as Catholic and continue to live their own version of Catholicism, making their own decisions about how they will live their lives as seekers of what is good and right and of God. How they live may not conform itself to all the bishops say is required – but God know the heart and the bishops don’t.

    I hope people brought up in, and/or nurtured in the Catholic faith will continue to claim the label of “Catholic” and don’t let someone else define them out. The Catholic Church also belongs to the Catholic people, not just to priests and bishops.

  81. So, you’re surprised to find someone other than yourself has an imagination.

    Of course, I am one up on you – I have facts. Make that two up on you – I can put them together in a coherent argument.

  82. “Would you care to explain what that means Mr. ‘Arnzen’?”

    Well Mr. “Lindsey”:

    I have nothing to add to that.

    And there were no “cowardly personal attacks against others posting here”. You know it, and I know it. That’s why you don’t cite any.

    You simply do not like being contradicted, which is why you rarely post where you will be.

  83. “Scientism” is the classic accusation made by people who are unfamiliar with science, or who don’t want to accept scientific reasoning or findings, against others who argue for rational, logical analysis of claims.

    If you are such a strong believer in god or religion or whatever, and are opposed to “scientism”, then may we assume that you pray for various things, instead of, for example, seeing a lawyer or a doctor or other professional, when you need something?

  84. It’s always seemed to me that the key elements of almost all religions–soul, afterlife, god, etc–are never supported by data, which means they are non-falsifiable, which in turn means they are useless in the real world–and perhaps even more importantly, can be twisted to suit whatever needs a believer holds. .

  85. So, does that mean that you accept everything the Bard of Avon has written, or are you a Cafeteria Shakespearian?

  86. Savita would be alive if she had received an immediate abortion. Doctors let her suffer for days and become increasingly ill because it was illegal to perform an abortion and they faced decades in prison of they provided proper medical care.

  87. The inquest says otherwise.

    The inquest made nine specific recommendations to improve medical care to avoid missing an infection as happened in her case.

    I have posted the url to it a number of times, but will be happy to do it again.

  88. If you have a strong stomach, look up people who were declared Catholic saints as a result of rape. In every single case, the rape wasn’t consummated, usually because the girl fought to the death or killed herself by jumping out of a window. (In one case, the girl survived and became a nun.) In every case, the saint’s description confirms she was still a virgin after the attack.

    One specifically said that the autopsy confirmed the intact hymen. Another said killing yourself to prevent rape isn’t suicide. Preventing rape is more important than life.

    According to the catholic church, an intact hymen is of far more value than a living girl. If you can only choose one, choose the intact hymen.

    Yep, I don’t take moral guidance from the morally bankrupt.

  89. I don’t have to – the burden is on you.

  90. But I’m not trying to use the soul to determine when a fetus is human. That requires some medical proof.

  91. You’re basing your belief and actions on a 3,000 year-old book states without a modicum of external evidence or even a reason to assume such a thing outside of religious texts.

  92. I don’t restrict truth to science alone. But no amount of reason can lead to the conclusion that I have an immortal soul that leaves my body after death to go to paradise, hell or into a frog.

  93. Well apparently many great minds have disagreed with you over thousands of years.

    Given their credentials, and yours, I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  94. “I can put them together in a coherent argument”

    This is truly something to look forward to. How soon will you be doing this?

  95. As soon as you post something intelligent to respond to.

  96. I would be interested in support for “killing yourself to prevent rape isn’t suicide”.

    I would also be interested in a citation for “According to the catholic church, an intact hymen is of far more value than a living girl.”

    Usually when anti-Catholics start trading “stories” with each other, the stories are imaginary.

  97. “making their own decisions about how they will live their lives as seekers of what is good and right and of God”

    Really, really good. Thank you. It is entirely possible that the “seekers” are the Church, not the institution or the dogma-addicted who claim to be the Church.

  98. Medical proof would involve taking some DNA, seeing if it is human, and then considering the organism it was taken from as a whole.

    I think that’s been done.

  99. And you’re basing your belief and actions on your tastes.

  100. Why don’t they simply identify themselves as “Jesus Christ” and give themselves dispensations from all moral restrictions?

    Or identify themselves as “saved” and skip the dispensations?


  101. So, that ends the father’s responsibilities. It’s her problem because the child exists only in her will, sort of a Nietzschean Superwoman.

  102. “As soon as you post something intelligent to respond to.”

    So since, in your view, I have not posted anything intelligent up to now, that means you have not posted anything coherent up to now.
    BobBob, you probably should put your brain in gear before you start typing.

  103. For some reality for all sexually active Irish men and women:

    o Bottom Line #1:

    The failures of the widely used birth “control” methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions (~one million/yr) and STDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and STDs.

    Bottom line #2-

    Currently, a perfect barrier system does not exist. Time to develop one! In the meantime, mono-masturbation or mutual masturbation are highly recommended for heterosexuals who need a contraceptive. Abstinence is another best-solution but obviously the sex drive typically vitiates this option although being biological would it not be able to develop a drug to temporarily eliminate said drive?

    Percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy

    Some examples


    Pill (combined)……… 8.7 (resulting in ~one million unplanned pregnancies/yr.)
    Tubal sterilization ……0.7
    Male condom ……….17.4 (resulting in ~one million unplanned pregnancies/yr. and 19 million cases of STD’s/yr. )
    Vasectomy…………… 0.2
    IUD ……………………….0.2-0.8
    (Masturbation mono or dual)………. 0
    (Abstinence) 0

  104. Your stats are BS. Abortion is not a matter of convenience: for many, it is a matter of life and death.

  105. “Thanks for demonstrating my point”

    Only in BobBob’sWorld.

  106. First, a correction. It’s BobWorld, not BobBobWorld. Thus saith the most holy bob, in the word according to bob, known as the Holy Boble..
    Second, at least he hasn’t called you a big poopy head. Well, he has, but in bobWorld, you never actually say what you totally said so that you can deny ever having said it.

  107. No they don’t.

    When someone makes a claim it is up to them to validate it.

    If you claim that there is a “soul” you are required by logic and equity to demonstrate a justification for that claim.

    If I were to claim that we all have an invisible 6″ high unicorn sitting on our shoulder and telepathically directing our thoughts you would, I hope, ask me to prove my claim – or would you feel obliged to accept my claim as valid despite my lack of justification and believe that I am innocent of any crime I commit since my body was merely acting, without recourse, under the control of my personal unicorn?
    Try telling that to the judge.

    Similarly, were I to claim that there is no “soul” the responsibility to support the claim would be mine. Since I know I cannot prove (though reason provides very strong support for it) the non-existence of the soul I make no such claim.

    It is reasonable to point out the absence of proof for souls and request verification – you are unable to provide that verification so the existence of souls is unproven. Add to “unproven” the total absence of evidence and the absolute lack of reasoned support for the idea and the reasonable conclusion is that souls, almost certainly, do not exist.

  108. What the hell is a “mind haven”? Is that Christian for “people who think”?

  109. AIUI – you have to accept as real the irrational and un-evidenced – it’s called faith. And then you receive wisdom from part of the (still) irrational and un-evidenced.

    The wisdom seems to exclude a realisation that sunk-cost and confirmation bias exist well enough without any divine revelation.

  110. Fascinating! Many thanks for this info.

    Some years ago a top-ranking guy in the Mormon church (redundant–only men are top-ranking) stated something similar–that a female at risk of rape should consider suicide, or maybe it was fighting to the death to prevent it–something stupid like that. I believe that idea changed when Elizabeth Smart (daughter of some high-ranking Mormon, or maybe just a rich Mormon) was kidnapped and raped and did not kill herself.

    Immediately below, Bob Arnzen makes a good point about having a citation.

  111. You are talking about an organisation that holds, as a matter of fact, that women can have children via a natural birth and still remain virgins.

  112. “the Holy Boble”

    Good one!!

  113. Of course, that raises another, very interesting question, and one which I’m sure no religious organization is eager to explore: how do you decide WHAT to accept on faith? How do you determine what is “real” in faith, and what is false?

  114. Are you asking me or BobBob? It is his term.

  115. I don’t know how people make that decision – but it seems that it invariably amounts to believing that which supports the believer’s mix of hope, fear, kindness, bias and bigotry and justifies (sanctifies?) the behaviour that results.

  116. First of all, they’re not my stats. Second, I’m sorry they don’t support the falsities you’ve been preaching.

  117. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now. It seems like the only response you can make to someone who is always right, and on occasion, actually is.

  118. Perhaps you can’t. St. Thomas Aquinas and the Bible however are not proof that it does.

  119. But those great minds based their belief in a soul on faith alone. I don’t know if there is or isn’t a soul but someone else’s faith wouldn’t incline me to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  120. David, but even if those verses were found, so what?

  121. They based their belief on logic, deduction, and other sources of knowledge that preceded and underpin science.

    That something is not scientific does not mean that it is faith.

  122. There is no intellectual defense for abortion. The killing of a human being in the womb is murder. There is no way around this fact.

  123. So you believe you are just a meat machine? Without an immaterial soul you are just a meat machine.

    NDE experiences prove that there is an immaterial soul that can exist without a physical body.

  124. Human life begins at conception

    “Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).” Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition.

    “Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.” Signorelli et al., Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation, Cell Tissue Research.

    “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte” (emphasis added; Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Mueller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition.

  125. Don’t confuse him or her with facts.

  126. If you don’t have an immaterial soul then you are just a meat machine. All your thinking, desires, wants is just due to the chemicals in your head.

    BTW-NDE’s proves the existence of a soul.

  127. Its amazing that those who deny the soul make themselves out to be meat machines.

  128. A fetus is a human being at one stage of its growth throughout life. Why do you think some states will convict a person who murders a pregnant woman with double homicide? Its because the state considers the fetus to be a human being.

  129. Those mothers that deliberately murder their babies in the womb are murderers.

  130. Paine must have been talking about atheism and not Christianity.

  131. I have been commenting here off and on for going on five years, I think, and in all that time you are the ONLY other commenter I’ve seen here who actually understands the Noahide underpinnings of the Jerusalem Council’s decision recorded in Acts 15. The perennially brain-dead whining about bacon/shellfish/fibers gets very tiresome. Thank you for contributing.

    Although I can tell you from experience that most of our resident anti-Christians are here to complain and not to learn anything. You can explain the history to them patiently and exhaustively and they will come back the very next day with the selfsame bacon/shellfish/fibers nonsense.

  132. “All your thinking, desires, wants is just due to the chemicals in your head.”

    And the vagaries of biology, environment, upbringing and experience. How it all works is wonderful enough without appeals to mythology.

    NDEs prove the effects of oxygen deprivation on the optic nerve and memory. Geez you are ignorant!

  133. What logic and deductive arguments are there for the soul? How can such a thing be proved? Without reading Aquinas and others my guess is that their reasoning is based on shared assumptions about the world that they took for granted/as fact (eg there is a god and a spiritual realm). If those foundational assumptions are questioned, the rest of their argument is on shaky ground.

  134. That abortion is a health care procedure? Too bad you don’t care about the rights of pregnant people.

  135. That is a religious viewpoint, which has no place in a democratic government.

  136. People have miscarriages all the time. Fetuses have life-threatening defects all the time. Those religious fanatics who restrict or outlaw abortion to suit their own beliefs, while ignoring the health and well-being of pregnant people, are murderers.

  137. No, they go over to JoeMyGod, or FriendlyAtheist, or

    Progressive Secular Humanist, or some other half-baked website, scribble some things down, and show up here as though they actually know what they’re talking about.

    They are not here to learn, they are not here to discuss, they are here because their parole officers told them to stay off the streets.

  138. I think he blocked me. He stopped responding a while ago. I guess I hurt his feelings.

  139. Well, PP and the Girl Scouts are closer than many people feel comfortable about.

    But one rarely finds a more mendacious organization.

  140. None of those verses have anything to do with when the soul enters the body!

  141. Why are you here, exactly? Because abortion clinics told you to stay off their lawns with your religious bigotry?

  142. Unfortunately they live like meat machines.

  143. I just want to see what verses he thinks state what he believes. So many folks just say, “the Bible says…” and they have no idea if it does or doesn’t.

  144. I will take a look at them but since you sound familiar with the arguments I’ll ask again if there aren’t basic theological assumptions being taken for granted on which the rest of their arguments are based? Since they are trying to prove the unseen/non-physical at some point their argument has to take a leap of faith.

  145. Thats right. Keep in mind that if there is no soul then thinking is not done by any will of a person but just by the chemicals in the head. The only way they can change the way they express themselves is only if the chemicals in their head are re-configured.

  146. No. Not ignoring anyone’s health and well being. The pro-aborts do that to babies in the womb. They don’t care about the health of the baby in womb. The mother should be allowed to kill it if she deems it desirable.

  147. Not appealing to any mythology but just giving you the facts of your view.

    Oxygen deprivation on the optic nerve and memory does not explain many of the proven experiences of those who have had NDE’s.

  148. I suggest you actually look at the material.

    The Yale is an actual lecture by an instructor and there is more than one available.

    I don’t see accepting non-scientific evidence as faith, per se.

  149. You left out “dishonest” from your usual denigrating remarks.

    The chemicals in your head may be out of balance.

    Add some electrolyte.

  150. What particular significance does “when the soul enters the body” have?

  151. It’s a particular topic being discussed in this thread.

  152. Well First Name: Ben, Last Name: In Oakland, the only poster who has used “poopy head” in an actual post is First Name: Ben, Last Name: In Oakland.

    You must be so proud.

  153. Too bad you don’t care about the rights of the unborn.

  154. Why?

    It has no significance at all.

  155. One that has no bearing on the legality of abortion at all.

  156. Indeed. The mother’s rights trump those of the fetus.

  157. They are immaterial, compared to the rights of the born. Get used to it.

  158. Neither do NDEs give anyone the right to control another person’s uterus, obviously.

  159. I suspect you’ve got it exactly.

  160. Says you. You speak only for yourself.

    It appeared to have significance to those who were discussing it or they wouldn’t have started the conversation.

  161. You’re correct. The legality of abortion is the will of the people of the Republic of Ireland in this situation.

  162. Neither should a mother have the right to murder her unborn child.

  163. Typical selfish statement. I would expect nothing less from those who place themselves above others.

  164. Ok. Well I guess there you have it then.

  165. Indeed. That is why these mothers that do murder their unborn babies are really murderers themselves.

  166. Ok genius. Where does the 1st amendment prohibit a person expressing herself from her religious convictions?

  167. You clearly have no clue how to get beyond your self-centered man-centric view of the universe. You are the one who views women as objects; assigning value to them in the same way you assign no value to the unborn – pitting one object against the other where one wins and one loses. That is your game.
    You use simplistic statements and sterile reasoning to make your assertion that one is greater than the other. In order to do this, you move the line to to the point where one is called zygote, mass of cells, unviable; etc. by doing so, you provide cover to the conscience; because after all, a mass of cells has no value.
    What you fail to admit, that left intact, properly nourished, the mass of cells will have a heartbeat, fingers, a face and be recognizable as a human being; it is just a matter of time.
    What you fail to acknowledge because of your arrogance is that there is immeasurable value when one sacrifices for another. I am NOT saying that the women should die for the unborn. I am saying that the use of abortion for convenience is a horrible tragedy.

  168. Wow-impressive quote. I guess it’s settled then based upon the opinion of one guy. I would think Aquinas, Augustine, Ambrose, Leo and More would beg to differ.

  169. Not a human being…not for you or any speculative God to make the call !!

  170. The only soul that exists is musical…e.g. he Blue’s Brothers’ “Soul man” !!

    The soul is increasingly a concept that even the religious are embarrassingly leaving behind. We understand how personality can be split or changed due to brain injuries…making any soul incoherent.

  171. Some think it is an unborn child…but others equally think it is a invasive parasite to be removed. Nobody has to have an abortion…that solves the problem.

  172. When it imposes on another’s religious convictions, about their own body, for instance.

  173. No, they are simply expressing their religious convictions about the contents of their own bodies.

  174. Too bad, she does. Get used to it.

  175. Just those who fit inside my uterus.

  176. All these old religious guys from ancient history…Augustine, Aquinas, et-al. basically didn’t know much. The Greeks already worked through the major philosophical ideas pre-Christianity. The Christians just tried to dance around justifying their incoherent religion.

    Now, even uneducated people no have much more knowledge on there fingertips. Those old Catholic guy’s views can be discounted compared to our modern sophisticated science and communications. Either get Jesus back down here to show us he is real…or stop wasting our time.

  177. Ughh,,,we figured this out back in the time of Socrates…People making God claims have the burden of proof…not the unbelievers.!

    You could just as easily ask someone to prove pink-Unicorns and Werewolves don’t exist!

  178. You’re probably one of those who would let a infant die in a burning building if there were save 50 embryo’s to cary out instead.

  179. Hmmm…thinking of visiting Ireland myself soon…my Grandmother’s old 19th century farm house is still there I believe. Love to see Dublin too. You make it sound worthwhile.

  180. And if one is right too many times, then “R.A.” blocks his fellow blogger.

    “R.A.” first has a conniption fit, then threatens to leave the game, then retrieves his catseyes and other marbles (, stands up, and leaves the game.

    “R.A.” is a sore loser (and that’s badder than just a loser).

  181. Trust me, you did (hurt his feelings).

  182. I’m glad I don’t live in the distorted soulless world where it’s considered an invasive parasite. What a horrible existence that must be.

  183. Hi alwayspuzzled! It’s so good to be able to read your comments, again. I miss all the people from NCR.

  184. I disagree. Short of the sun rising in the West; whatever proof I offer will never satisfy the non-believer. I cite the universe as proof of a creator. The non-believer cites from the known library of human knowledge to “prove” otherwise.
    I say again, 500 years ago no one knew what quantum physics was – yet it existed. You want to say that God does not exist because I cannot show you his footsteps. I say that he is all around us; we just do not yet have the technology or comprehension to see.

  185. For 35+ years, it was all about “control[ling] their faithful flock.” At least the current pope is trying to stress God’s mercy (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13 and 12:7) rather than canonical judgment.

  186. Really? Since you are so educated, please explain exactly where the old guys fell short. At least they could spell and write a coherent sentence. All you do is write a bunch of salty nonsense.

  187. This is not my particular area of interest, but I think it’s a stretch to arrive at specific moral solutions to concrete human problems by appeal to natural law.

  188. “You simply do not like being contradicted,” says a blogger with this problem :o)

  189. No. Those who engage in abortion are guilty of murder.

  190. Nonsense. Those who let women die of ectopic pregnancies, because they care more about fetuses, are guilty of murder.

  191. Tell that to the women who die of complications from pregnancy every year.

  192. You are just butthurt because you can’t force people to breed against their will anymore.

  193. You shouldn’t tell people what to do with their own bodies or the contents of such.

  194. I don’t. I pray that they choose properly.

  195. You think that you can bully people into breeding: obviously, you are mistaken.

  196. ummmm…. news flash… they did just fine with the breeding part. It’s the consequences they can’t handle.

  197. The Greeks didn’t “work through” the key element upon which rest the human rights which western civilization so take for granted that they are in danger of losing them — and that’s the Imago Dei. To the Greeks — indeed to all ancient pre-Christian peoples, one’s “personhood,” so to speak, and entitlement to basic rights such as life and liberty were dependent upon their familial/tribal/national ties and not simply upon humanity alone. Which is of course why it was quite in order, even a positive good, to allow a (usually female) newborn repudiated by the family to be put out for rats to eat but not a newborn formally accepted by the family. Or for a subjugated provincial to suffer an execution featuring torture but not a Roman citizen. Or for the sick to die in the streets in the event that family was unwilling to nurse them. Or for the low-born or conquered to be enslaved but not aristocrats.

    Justice is equality, but only for equals. — Aristotle

    Speaking of dancing around… we have seen quite a bit of that around here from those who profess a moral system sans God or natural law but can produce no basis for it which would make it obligatory upon anyone other than the individual espousing it.

    For so much knowledge on there fingertips [sic] ?, there is certainly precious little of it being displayed by our resident God-haters . The internet is a source of both facts and garbage, but can only do so much for those without sufficient background to tell the difference between the two — or without the logical thinking skills to process the facts once they do manage to ascertain them.

  198. No one who writes a juvenile comment like that is going to be able to tell you.

  199. Says the guy who thinks that abortion is murder, but doesn’t give a damn about people once they’re born.

  200. But the photograph is of the interior of the abandoned Christ Church, which is Church of Ireland.

  201. As soon as you post something substantive to respond to.

  202. David, you were asked what it significance was.

    Your response seems to indicate “nada”, which I take to be what you got out of it.

  203. Says the bitter woman who has no clue.

  204. Sure, they have every right to fantasize and pretend the stuff they make up is real. But why should anyone else accept their claims? See, that’s why we developed science in the first place–to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

  205. I found all these stories from catholic “lives of the saints” type sites. None were anti Catholic.

    That’s what makes them so revolting. The girls were made saints for fighting to the death to prevent rape. The message from the church is clear.

    I’ll try to find the exact links again. But google “saints who were raped” or something similar and read the results. Decide for yourself why every single article on every single dead-girl-made-saint emphasizes that she died a virgin.

  206. So, what you’re saying is that you sourced your comments from unofficial websites that reflect the personal opinions of their authors.

    That explains it.

  207. Well that was a load of garbage.

    Unlike yourself, I am not the one narcissistic enough to think all women must do as I say. That is all you.

    If you bothered to read what I have been saying, you would know my stance is that women make their own decisions about what goes on in their bodies. If you want a say in the life of the fetus, tough luck. You are not part of the process. Not your body, never your decision.

    I don’t ever have to give a crap what you think a fetus is or is like. As long as it exists physically attached to a mother for its existence, it is not a person with its own independent and autonomous existence. The mother is. Her body is not your property. If her will is that a pregnancy terminate, so be it. You are not part of the process here. She is not your property.

  208. Did you Google it and decide for yourself?

  209. From

    Antonia Messina. While gathering firewood on 17 May 1935, she was murdered by a teenager when she resisted his rape attempt. Her body was examined and it was found that she had not been sexually violated.

  210. But it is from basic biology. We should protect all of our brothers and sisters at every stage of their lives. No god involved only basic human decency.

  211. That’s a stupid simplistic comment. As a person of science one would think that you are open to all lines of thought; even those that don’t fit into your infinitesimal bag of human knowledge.
    As I stated above, and you seem to ignore; the fact that we can not touch it, or see it, or prove it with our limited tools does not mean it is not there. It may be just beyond our level of understanding.

  212. Not at all. You are terrible at honestly representing views other then your own. Least if all from non believers.

    “Oxygen deprivation on the optic nerve and memory does not explain many of the proven experiences of those who have had NDE’s.”

    Of course it does. Especially when your proof is the glorified hearsay of people woozy from a prior operation.

    Might as well be claiming LSD trips open up other dimensions and promote astral projection. Same level of proof.

  213. Yep… reboot to your same starting point. Regurgitate the same talking points. Wash, rinse, repeat. You are so closed minded that any argument contrary to your own is labeled garbage. You prove my point about your man-centric view of the world with every keystroke.

  214. Which applies equally well to a cornucopia of fairy tales, myths, legends, suppositions, assumptions, and imaginary things. The question is, how to choose? And why? Which brings us right back to evidence.

    Belief without evidence is what’s stupid and simplistic.

  215. Well it didn’t get through to you the first time and you dishonestly described my position in such a nonsensical way last time. You needed a refresher.

    My argument doesn’t reduce people to personal property. Yours does. You don’t respect beliefs other then your own but you want me to he open minded to yours. Get bent. It doesn’t work that way. Plus I have no respect for beliefs which dehumanize people such as yours does.

  216. Still missing my point – and angrily so. Just so we can conclude and move on:
    I understand your beliefs; I don’t agree with them.
    You dehumanize the unborn; I do no not.
    I value the life of the mother in the same way I value the life of the unborn; I do not discount one over the other.
    I feel sorry for those who have to decide to choose death over life.
    I do not view anyone as property. I hope that instead of choosing death the woman would be willing to sacrifice of herself to bring life into the world. I understand that this is an incredible burden to be placed upon a human being.
    I understand that the last few statements are the most difficult for people to accept/agree to; especially in a man-centric world.

  217. When other people try to tell me what to do with my own uterus, it is a problem to me.

  218. I won’t disagree. He doesn’t block me, however. I’m sure HE will say it’s because I am never right, so there is no need. I suspect other reasons, myself. But who can know the mind of The Most Holy Bob? His ways are not our ways.

  219. Good to hear from you, Cassie. I hope you will be contributing to the comment sections here.

  220. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my Irish trip, and I do a lot of traveling. The Irish were warm and wonderful, the countryside pretty. Contrary to legend, although the food wasn’t wonderful, it certainly wasn’t bad either. I do have to say that Dublin was a little bit on the boring side. There are certainly things to see and do there, but I probably spent one day too long.

  221. There are many cases of a person in a NDE state who were able to accurately describe people and events that happened while in that state.

  222. It is one thing to die from a ectopic pregnancy and another for the mother to kill her baby because she doesn’t want it.

  223. I am not criticizing you.

    I am trying to comprehend how either you misinterpreted orthodox material, or the source of the unorthodox material.

    For example your account of Saint Pelagia of Antioch is inconsistent with any hagiography that I’ve ever encountered, and the red flag is “Rather than be arrested and risk losing her virginity, she hurled herself from the roof and died.”

    That would appear to endorse suicide, which Christianity assuredly does not endorse.

    seems to be the accepted version, and this article is based largely on Alban Butler’s work. Butler is considered the hagiographer par excellence.

    The Antonia Messina account does not raise similar flags because it does not describe her committing an immoral act.

    And, yes, resisting a rape would be considered virtuous. But there was more to her account than that:

  224. Your argument reduces the foetus to personal property.

    It is personal property one minute before it exits the birth canal.

  225. Too bad. Her body, her choice. No one cares about your opinions at all.

  226. Thank you for that unsupported and unargued diatribe.

    It does make it clear you cannot be part of a discussion on abortion based on any facts or moral considerations.

  227. Indeed. That’s why abortion is an option throughout, to protect the life of the mother. A fetus is not more valuable than a full-grown human.

  228. Most abortion have nothing to do with protecting the life of the mother. A fetus has just as much right to live as the mother.

  229. Its not a hallucination when a person in a NDE state accurate describes events and people in other rooms and places that they were not there physically. Many of these cases have been verified.

  230. She will give an account of this murder in the Judgement.

  231. No, it doesn’t. Only the mother’s rights matter, under the law.

  232. You will give an account of all the people who died from complications during pregnancy because they couldn’t get legal abortions, or because they were forced to resort to illegal, back-alley abortions. Ignorance kills.

  233. I understand your point and consider it an irrelevance.

    As long as a fetus is physically attached to its mother, you can’t do anything without attacking her as a person. You think it’s worth it. I find your view narcissistic, reductive and immoral.

    I don’t have to consider the unborn in the sane way as the mother. It is not a person. It has no independent and autonomous existence. It lives at her will. That us just biology here.

    It is interesting how you dishonestly avoid all talk of the mother as as person. You do not value the life of the mother at all. You consider her your property to command. You do not value her as a being with her own life, choices and will. Her life is of little consideration to you. Of course if women die or are horribly injured by unsafe abortion (as is common where it is banned or obnoxiously restricted) you consider it rightful punishment for not doing as you command.

    “I hope that instead of choosing death the woman would be willing to sacrifice of herself to bring life into the world. ”

    That’s nice, but it is immoral of you to think you have a say in such choices and that such choices should not exist except on your terms.

    You are not a moral person. You are not concerned with actual life. You are simply worshiping a fetus and aggrandizing yourself. Pretending that being self righteous entitled you to force others to do as you say. You are treating women as property. I am treating them as people with their own lives to consider.

  234. Then the correct answer is “I don’t know” if there is a God.. Let’s investigate more. Atheism or agnosticism does no rule out the possibility of a God…but will not affirm a belief until real evidence is provided…not speculation.

    God was blamed for volcanoes, earthquakes and thunderstorms in past centuries, but now we know better. However, religious people just shift the goalposts…Ahh, we don’t understand how the universe was created billions of years ago…must be God !! But that is the same as saying odin and thor are responsible for thunder and earthquakes.

    I do note that whenever science discovers new solutions…the answer is never a god or a religious result.

  235. Of course it is. They are seeing things which only occurred in their mind. A vivid dream is not a real event because you remember it.

    Also let’s be even more honest here, there is a ton of sensationalizing and exaggeration to these stories long after the fact.

    Religious folk bring especially likely to do so or take such stories in a more credulous nature than they should. They have a vested interest in making their belief something greater than faith.

    NDEs are a lot like UFO sightings and abduction stories. Popular culture has a nasty habit kg shaping narratives and making them more and more alike.

    Check out my prior link about a secular NDE.

  236. You think that other people’s uteruses are your jurisdiction, because you are a religious bigot and nothing more.

  237. Facts. you can prove any thing with facts.

  238. Oh, the irony from Bobber as usual.

  239. Actually, it is directly relevant, BobbyJo. If the claimed entities of the Christian tales don’t exist (they obviously don’t), the whole Christian hodgepodge and mythology collapses, as it eventually will.

  240. Speaking for yourself there, with your usual insults, Bobber.

  241. Yours are more feeble, and wrong.

  242. Reason alone is sufficient to show Christianity to be utter hogwash.

  243. Thank you for using the term “mythology”, which will make it easier to identify the poster.

    No, the resolution of the question only points to which of two sins the act might be, both of which are sinful.

  244. If the Foo s-ts, wear it.

    Btw, blocked. Have a nice life.

  245. You’re pretty lacking in the credentials, and credibility, and morality categories yourself, Bobber. Nicely typical ad hominem from you there though. Par for the course for ya…

  246. “If you actually are completely unfamiliar with logical and deductive arguments”

    The remarkable irony from ole Bobber just never ends.

  247. You and Bob seriously need the chemicals in your heads reconfigured.

  248. Blocking me is perfect, Bobber. Almost everyone else sees my comments, but you can’t.

  249. False as usual from you there, Bobber.

  250. Well, if you want your deeply held beliefs about abortion respected…you will have to do the same for others who have deep beliefs that the unborn are something you don’t accept.
    Of course you apparently think your religion comes first…whn it comes to abortion the solution for a fetus that cannot sustain itself should be decided by the concise of the host woman…not somebody else.

  251. We have a major Christian splinter sect (Protestantism) which can fill you in on the problems given us by ancient Catholic thinkers. Salvation by faith alone …”Sola Fide”…not by works…Go tell Augustine and Aquinas.

    Many protestant denominations are pro-choice too.

    Salty nonsense is what fills up most of the Bible, so don’t complain about others.

  252. Yes, Christian superiority complex. Nonsense! Socrates, Epicurus, Democritus, etc. teachings were buried after the Christians put us into the dark ages.

    Once you resort to “God-Hater” — and “no basis for morality” — you lost the argument. Humanist values come from real empirically demonstrable people that exist. We are still waiting for a shred of evidence any god exists to pass us morality…which we still could not be sure was moral.

  253. We still have the teachings of Socrates, Epicurus and Democritus etc., Einstein. And the only reason we do is because CHRISTIANS spent thousands of hours copying and preserving the ancient texts that described them.

    The whole problem with humanist values, in case you haven’t noticed, is that they DO come from “empirically demonstrable people” — all of whom are on equal footing and none of whom can demonstrate any reason why their values should be taken any more seriously than anyone else’s.

    As for losing arguments, you did that the minute you decided to offer up “we’uns is so much more smarter than they’uns” as your argument. Sad.

  254. Yes, ‘we” as a society are much smarter than any speculative god(s), saviors, prophets or religious frauds.

    Oh yeah…that applies to Holy Ghost too — a brilliant concept. /S

  255. “His ways are not our ways.”

    That’s for sure!!!


  256. The “old religious guys” no doubt knew whom they had to thank for the preservation of the classical texts from which they studied. Which is more than you know, obviously.

    A thimbleful of actual knowledge (studied, processed and internalized) is worth a truckload of half-true half-garbage factoids “on your fingertips.” Which of course accounts for the astounding ignorance of the millennials.

  257. “The weed of organized crime bears ill fruit.” – Ted Baxter

  258. Actually Bobo, Karl Rahner holds the body and soul to be undseparated,indistinguishable from eachother.The council of Vienne also recognizes this,one of the few teachings medeval councils got right.Rahner believes the resurrection happens at death and I believe Raymond brown mentioned paul meaning this too. Greek phiolosophy hailed body and soul separate,early christianity was influenced by this,time for change

  259. Augustine and Aquinas believed in ensoulment.So until ensoulment took place it was not condidered a human beingnpegged at before 80 days..MOst of church history hailed this.St Antoninus of Florence—-a woman is raped and gets pregnant,if its before ensoulment you abort,if a woman gets pregnant and her life is in danger,before ensoulment you abort.Church teaching on the matter is recent.I dont believe in abortion in general but maybe when the womans life is in danger there is a exception.Also augustine,ambrose .aquinas and so many popes hailed sex in marriage as unworthy if not outright sinful.CAtholic church history is warped

  260. Buddy Popes have condemned democarcy and hailed slavery as moral(Pius IX),hailed sex in marriage a necessary evil tainted with sin(Popes Gregory the great,innocent II,siricus,sixtus etc),one pope Gregory the 16th condemned the invention of the railroad as the work of the devil.THroughout most of history,the church taught it was not abortion or murder before ensoulment pegged at 80 days. As history shows,the church is also the people,not popes or the hierarchy.When the people reject garbage—like usury being a excommunicable offense,its the pope that has to change,not the people

  261. Did Karl Rahner hold an ecumenical Council?

    Did he issue an infallible statement ex cathedra?

  262. And Shawnie5, the nasty god of your horrid bible repeatedly instructs its subjects to rape and to do incest. In fact, much of the early human history according to the silly fables of the bible is incest-ridden.

  263. Actually, Ben’s statements and tone have been reasonable and polite overall, especially so when compared with your own, generally.

  264. BobbyJo is being a poor widdle snowflake as usual.

  265. That is just an opinion, and a crude one. Consciousness makes us human and individual and capable of building human cultures and creating innovations. Consciousness is proven to exist. The existence of a soul, whatever that is, is a matter of opinion and conjecture.

  266. Residual Catholicism still exists in Ireland but that is fading to a great comfort with secularism and government without religious influence. Residual Christianity exists in most non-practicing Christian/Catholic countries of Europe, not just Ireland. Skepticism about the opinions of a pampered celibate authoritarian iclergy has always existed in Ireland but is now openly expressed. The excellent Irish TV series “Single-handed” (on Netflix) is an accurate portrayal of Irish society, with the church playing a peripheral role in the lives of most. Like Anglicanism in England, Catholicism in Ireland is becoming a form of western Shintoism for the laity, no doctrines, but with appreciated ceremonies marking important vents in one’s life. And some very nice temples.

  267. NDE’s have been demonstarted to be a predictable creation of the dying brain. We know that the brain is perfectly capable of creating hallucinations, including very pleasant ones. This brain fact does not disprove the existence of God or an afterlife, but NDE’s prove nothing too.

  268. Many of these experiences are not hallucinations. NDE’s prove some limited survival of soul outside the body.

  269. Tell that to Savita Halappanavar. Oh wait, you can’t.

  270. Ah yes. The typical reply to women that don’t keep their mouths shut.

  271. Great, we agree. We’re both pro-choice.

  272. There is a world beyond the self obsessed Millennials of the West. Your view is both parochial and shortsighted, as past history of the Church makes quite clear.

  273. Not at all, regardless of what human law settles on in the end, which remains to be seen, I’m at an age where such privilege has little personal effect.

  274. Do as you will, I’m addressing present trends in the law and the proper clinical definition of murder, I merely respond to the Freudian slip evident in your own remarks.

  275. “…. as past history of the Church makes quite clear. ”
    Could you explain what you mean by this – including a time frame for ” past history “.

  276. Stop murdering full-grown humans because you care more about fetuses.

  277. I have not, and do not endorse the murder of anyone. Further, reliable data demonstrates that women die all too frequently from legal abortions that are botched by incompetent physicians in approved clinics, substantially more suffer from significant injuries.

  278. Nonsense. Where’s your source, genius?

  279. The effort to destroy or marginalize Christianity has been with the Church from its very beginning, first by the Jewish Authorities in the 1st Century, then by Rome immediately following, until Rome essentially co-opted the Church in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Islam has certainly made efforts to silence, suppress, and constrain the Faith. As have the disciples of Stalin, Mao, and assorted other Materialists. The Church has survived all such attempts and will continue to do so until Her Lord returns in Glory. In fact, it is during those times of oppression that Church growth becomes most manifest. What is presently happening in the West does not reflect the greater Global picture.

  280. Please refrain from personal invective. Such facts are readily obtainable by making a simple query on any legitimate Internet search engine. The regular reporting, with documentation, of such circumstances as I describe can be found in any Pro-Life publication or Journal.

  281. If there were legitimate sources for such made-up nonsense, you would have searched for them yourself and posted them.

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