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  1. #81  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger
    He did not answer the question at all. He avoided it in a most eloquent manner. I take it you read the interview this weekend where he said something like he lived his values - well, that is completely opposite of what he stated below. What he states below is that he will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. I do not believe there is any mainstream faith that supports abortion.

    Ben

    --------
    There is a difference between living one's values and using the power of one's office to impose those values by force on those that one cannot persuade to share those values. There is a difference between opposing abortion and murdering abortionists, even if one believes that aborting a fetus and shooting a physician are morally equivalent. There is a difference between opposing abortion in all instances and outlawing it.

    I am equally opposed to those who want to outlaw it and those who want to use tax dollars to enable it. Both are trying to use the power of the state to impose their moral values on others.

    There is a difference between believing that the leader of another country is evil and going to war to remove him.

    There is a difference between believing in prayer and worship and using the power of the state to indoctrinate children in that belief, even if only a small minority opposes it.

    There is a difference between believing that cohabitation between people of the same gender is evil and using the power of the state to shame, ostracize, and tax those consenting adults who do it.

    The state is the only institution in our society that we permit to use force and coercion. That power must be used with caution, restraint, and only in support of goals on which there is broad social agreement. Our Constitution rests on the proposition that there must be limits to the power of the state.

    Throughout the twentieth century we saw the results of putting the power of the state into the hands of true believers of any stripe. The results were independent of the beliefs held.

    I understand that there are those who believe that if they are elected to office that such election makes it permissable, even mandatory, to enforce their moral values, their belief system, on the rest of us. That conviction rests in part in the portion of the belief system that says that those beliefs are so morally superior to other beliefs as to justify anything in their name. I think that that is what this thread is about. It may be necessary for those here to assert what their belief system is but it is not sufficient. I came to this thread not merely to assert my beliefs, not merely to try and persuade others to my beliefs, not merely to try and reconcile my beliefs to those of others; I am here to try persuade all that, whatever our beliefs, no matter how morally superior our beliefs are to those of others, there are limits to what we can do in their name.

    I think that one of the candidates for president and his supporters more clearly understands those limits than does the other candidate and his supporters. Because I fear the power of the state in the hands of true believers, I will exercise my one vote accordingly.
    Last edited by whmurray; 10/12/2004 at 08:13 PM.
  2. #82  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger
    He did not answer the question at all. He avoided it in a most eloquent manner. I take it you read the interview this weekend where he said something like he lived his values - well, that is completely opposite of what he stated below. What he states below is that he will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. I do not believe there is any mainstream faith that supports abortion.

    Ben

    --------
    This is such a divisive issue with so many arguments it seems we all have a difficult time getting our arms around it.

    I feel there really are just three positions one can take, and just like most things that cause passion and argument, there are two extremes and a middle of the road, common sense take on things.

    On one extreme you have people that do not support abortion in any instance, the public funding of abortion and the prosecution of medical professionals that perform them. We can call them Pro-Life.

    On the other extreme you have people that want abortion on demand, funding from tax dollars if necessary and the freedom of medical professionals to carry our their jobs. We can call them Pro-Abortion.

    In the middle we have many people that believe abortion is wrong on moral grounds and do not support it as a form of birth control. They also don't want tax dollars spent to fund these abortions. But these people also recognize that this is a decision best left to the people personally involved in the decision. And that decision should rest with them and their doctor. We can call these people Pro-Choice.

    Just like every emotionally charged issue there are many other things that have to be considered. Rarely are these issues so cut-and-dried that it is easy to come to a middle ground.

    There are situations that simply can't be covered in the extreme situations. For example, if you are Pro-Life (as stated above) with the belief that all abortions are wrong, how do you reconcile the issue that an abortion, to save the life of the mother, requires one to decide which human being will die? Because one of them must, either the mother or the unborn child. If you choose, aren't you automatically violating your position of being Pro-Life?

    And, what if the unborn child lives, is severely disabled and requires years and years of 24 hour medical care? Who will pay for it? Should the government be required to pay for the healthcare since it prevented the physician (who btw is in a better position to make the decision on what's best -- sounds sort of Republican to me) from performing the abortion?

    Since those in poverty can't afford an abortion how do we factor in the costs of raising children in a society that doesn't provide affordable daycare so parents (often times a single parent) can go out an work? Does it make sense to force these families, especially the children, to live in poverty for their entire life, perhaps for several generations?

    Personally, I do not believe abortion used as birth control is right. I do not believe we should offer it on demand and that it should be reserved for very special situations. I would hate to be in a position where I would have to choose between my wife (not that I have one right now) or my child (I do have one and can't imagine life without her). It would be pure agony for me.

    I also believe that we need to provide affordable daycare and job training for people that want and need it. We need to have effective adoption programs so women can safely have their children and have them placed in loving homes, if that is what they decide. We need to have healthcare available to all so that we can raise healthy families.

    It never is a simple decision and there are many issues about this debate that I haven't even begun to think of or discuss.

    Senator Kerry has a better handle on this than does the President. He understands the fact that it never really is something that is easy or predictable and can't be boiled down to a single 5 second sound bite.

    Two more points before I close this post.

    First, the President talks out both sides of his mouth on the "either you are for life or you aren't" statement. How can you take this argument (after all, it is an absolute one isn't it?) and reconcile it with putting Texas in the Express Lane when it comes to executions? He signed more death warrants than any other governor in the USA -- EVER. Wow, that really illustrates you are for life or you aren't, doesn't it?

    Second, if, as the Republicans insist, that life begins at conception, then you should be able to list your unborn child on your 1040 as a dependent, and take the full deduction, shouldn't you?
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  3. #83  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    The state is the only institution in our society that we permit to use force and coercion. That power must be used with caution, restraint, and only in support of goals on which there is broad social agreement. Our Constitution rests on the proposition that there must be limits to the power of the state.
    Indeed.

    In fact, I would suggest the "State," as it were, is given the power of force/coersion because it is the entity that is entrused with the responsibility of enforcing the mores of our society. Those mores are capsulized into laws, which serve a two-fold purpose:

    1. Establish expectation - that is, I know how my neighbors, as represented by the "state," will respond to my decisions/actions

    2. Enable evaluation - that is, we have criteria for determining if a person has indeed commited an act that is in violation of one of the laws, and we have remedies that the "state" can implement when such a violation occurs

    NOTE: Laws can only accomplish these two things. They do not govern behavior. They influence decisions, but only of those who desire to remain within the law. No matter how well crafted or drafted, it is impossible to legislate behavior. We can only legislated how we will respond to behavior.

    One of the dilemmas we face is that we as a society no longer share a common set of values/mores. As such, it is difficult to establish laws because there will always be some faction that is opposed. A democratic republic has at its foundation, an assumption of a basic set of rights and wrongs. However, in this present age in the USA, if not the world, that common set of rights and wrongs is under heavy debate.

    For example, for the most part, we agree that murder, the taking of another's life by force without justification, is wrong. Thus, every state has laws against murder. However, many have various circumstances (justifications) under which they will accept or endorse the ending of another's life.

    For some, when individual "A" threatens the life of individual "B", the defense of B's life is a just cause for ending A's

    For some, when the quality of individual A's life is so diminished, it is considered merciful to end A's life

    For some, if individual A has massacred many other individuals, it is considered fitting to end A's life

    For some, if individual A's life is an inconvenience to individual B's life, it is considered acceptable to individual A's life

    For some, there is no circumstance under which any individual's life should be ended by another individual/group.

    And, I'm sure there are a host of other nuances.

    How do you reconcile all these?

    Current approach: work with reckless abandon to get people that think like me into positions of power and influence so that the laws that are enacted will reflect my thinking about the world.

    Another approach: Have the discussion apart from the process of enacting laws and come to agreed upon standards. Then enact laws to re-enforce those agreements.

    Our system of government assumes the latter.
  4. #84  
    Quote Originally Posted by Eurokitty
    The difference is that I actually have a brain, and you are a kool-aid drinker.
    REMINDER:
    Personal attack are not allowed on TC,
    besides that, namecalling is kind of childisch don't you think?
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  5. #85  
    back on topic:
    I am a strong supporter of seperation of state and religion.
    Also I am for seperation of religion and education.

    Religion is a personal thing the people have to decide for themselfs and if they choose it it is for them they should practice it in their home or in their appropriate place of worship..
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  6. #86  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    Religion is a personal thing the people have to decide for themselfs and if they choose it it is for them they should practice it in their home or in their appropriate place of worship..
    How much of that view is a response to the atrocities and abuses carried out in the name of [enter god of choice] throughout history? Seriously, what other aspects of a person's belief system are they asked to keep at home? Why is it that math theories can be openly discussed but god theories have to stay home? What other philisophical views are asked to be kept behind closed doors?

    I think what we need is to restore the art of civil interaction.

    If religion is a personal choice (and I agree that it is), how else can it be informed except it be exposed to the scrutiny of others?

    Not to mention, if a person's religion espouses the destruction of owners of Treo's, I would sure rather that be out in the open so that I can govern my self accordingly.

    OK, so that was way out there. But, my point is, what a person believes about the world and his or her place in the world informs EVERYTHING that person does, including how they interact with me.

    So, I plead, bring your views out to discuss. Work to convince me of the same. Stop short of requiring that I adopt the same.
  7. #87  
    Wow. Well put, shopharim.
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  8. #88  
    Math theories are not taken personally. Nor do they govern ones way of life and thinking. Bad anaology... apples and tomatoes.
    .
  9. #89  
    Quote Originally Posted by skillllllz
    Math theories are not taken personally. Nor do they govern ones way of life and thinking. Bad anaology... apples and tomatoes.
    Apples and tomatoes are both fruits. Perhaps apples and carrots would be better.
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  10. #90  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    If religion is a personal choice....
    ...then how does one account for the fact that most people choose the same religion as their parents?
  11. #91  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    ...then how does one account for the fact that most people choose the same religion as their parents?
    Because parents (and culture) influence many personal choices. Are you implying that religion is not a personal choice?
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  12. #92  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    Because parents (and culture) influence many personal choices. Are you implying that religion is not a personal choice?
    In some (some may argue a lot) cases it there isnt much choice...
    50 years ago in holland most people were protestants, if you decided to step out of the church you basically cut yourself away from the whole community..
    Lots has changed since.. but I can imagine in the middle east things are a still a lot like those times, where you only have a hypothetical choice..
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  13. #93  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    How much of that view is a response to the atrocities and abuses carried out in the name of [enter god of choice] throughout history? Seriously, what other aspects of a person's belief system are they asked to keep at home? Why is it that math theories can be openly discussed but god theories have to stay home? What other philisophical views are asked to be kept behind closed doors?

    I think what we need is to restore the art of civil interaction.

    If religion is a personal choice (and I agree that it is), how else can it be informed except it be exposed to the scrutiny of others?

    Not to mention, if a person's religion espouses the destruction of owners of Treo's, I would sure rather that be out in the open so that I can govern my self accordingly.

    OK, so that was way out there. But, my point is, what a person believes about the world and his or her place in the world informs EVERYTHING that person does, including how they interact with me.

    So, I plead, bring your views out to discuss. Work to convince me of the same. Stop short of requiring that I adopt the same.
    Let me clarify, goverment power should not be (ab)used to force ones religious beliefs on others (hence the seperation between religion and state).
    It is very hard though to draw the line where religion ends, which is the tricky thing most morals in western countries are loosly based on christian/jewish principles..
    Therefor I dont judge a politician on his religion, but on his actions/stances. I wouldnt care less if a politician is a muslim, hindu or christian as long as I agree with his policies..
    The over use of references to religion in US politics ('god bless the US', 'i pray' etc etc) allways anoys me and I also thing you are sending out the wrong message.. it is basically sending out a similar message as bin laden (in a much milder form, but the priciples are the same) i.e.: my religion is the best and you should conform.
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  14. #94  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chick-Dance
    They are both good for you... Perhaps Republicans and Democrats?
    Are you the muffin woman?
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  15. #95  
    Quote Originally Posted by heberman
    Because parents (and culture) influence many personal choices. Are you implying that religion is not a personal choice?
    I think that the level of commitment may be one of personal choice. However, the tenets, the beliefs, are culturally imposed. Religion is one of the mechanisms of inculturation.
  16. #96  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chick-Dance
    Do you know the muffin man?
    Well, I live on Drury Ln .... SOOOOOO ... I am Batman, no, er, um, the Muffin Man!!!!!!
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  17. #97  
    Muffin Mule?
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  18. #98  
    Do you know the muffin mule?
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  19. #99  
    The Muffin Mule?
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       #100  
    [QUOTE=shopharim]... abuses carried out in the name of [enter god of choice] throughout history? ;...my point is, what a person believes about the world and his or her place in the world informs EVERYTHING that person does, including how they interact with me.
    [QUOTE=Gasmeister]

    If there were no religion do you think that these atrocities would never had happened?
    Could it be that if there were no pigmentation on our skin prejudice would disappear.?
    I wonder if that forty year old man would have stopped himself from molesting that young girl if there were no religion.
    Do you believe that Family Plan give a woman an alternative when profits are the motive?
    Are we a society who want to harvest out seed of life as we do grass.
    Character and Morals should not sway on the trends of today. Is it important say what they mean and believe what they say.
    It is important
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