A very rich and heated conversation about abortion, the intrinsic value of human life, and the question of human dignity from the moment of conception, onward.  We begin the episode with a brief segment about the Brexit vote, and then dive into the conflict….I mean conversation about abortion

26 COMMENTS

  1. I believe Cal might benefit by putting himself in the victims shoes. How does he feel having the “privilege” of not being aborted, when the possibility existed that he could have been? Is he cool with that, fully experiencing his potentials in developing his character, talents, and working towards goals? He should contemplate the ripple effect. Had he been aborted, all that he has done would not exist. If he’s honest, which I believe him to be, he’d probably feel quite sad about “what never was.”

  2. I think abortion is barbaric, it is a true reflection of how far human beings have really come. The attitude towards the right to life, can some how be side stepped by the living. The horror of this is just so terrible.

  3. The problem is people wouldn’t vote for an honest person.  An honest person would tell us that we have the government we deserve.  We want the government to take care of us without our having to suffer any discomfort.  An honest person would tell us we have to suck it up and Americans are never going to accept that.  Look at the people who say they don’t trust Hillary Clinton but are going to vote for her anyway.  It’s a total delusional mindset.

  4. Cal, if someone assaults and kills a pregnant woman.  Would you consider it one murder or two?  If the mother didn’t die, but the baby died,  would you charge the perpetrator with murder?

  5. Wait a minute Cal.  You’re against getting abortions because you don’t like the sex of the child, but it’s okay to get one just because the baby would be an inconvenience?  What’s the difference?  If it’s the wrong sex, that inconvenience is wrong.  If it’s any sex and it’s an inconvenience, it’s fine.

  6. Cal, if it’s just a bunch of cells, why would you be upset about a miscarriage?  It wasn’t a person, so no big deal, right?  You’re rightly upset because that was a human being and the loss of a life is upsetting.

  7. ferritte I disagreed vehemently with Hitchens on the faith, but I always enjoyed listening to him.  It’s sad that someone with such intellect and talent used it in such a divisive way.

  8. The Gruntled Monk  “You’re against getting abortions because you don’t like the sex of the child, but it’s okay to get one just because the baby would be an inconvenience?”

    When did I say that it’s ok to get an abortion simply for the sake of convenience? And I must also point you to the part where I said that I don’t like the fact that there are so many abortions in Western society and that I wish people would simply take more responsibility for where they put their genitals.

  9. Guy’s I’m not trying to be funny here but did you guys actually listen to the show? I only ask because lots of the questions I’m seeing were answered in the show in quite a bit of detail.

  10. Sorry to be so blunt, but what point are you trying to make here? I already said during the show that I hate the fact that people sometimes use abortion as a form of birth control and I also said I don’t like the fact that there are so many abortions in the Western world. So when you say things like “I believe Cal might benefit by putting himself in the victims shoes. How does he feel having the “privilege” of not being aborted, when the possibility existed that he could have been?” I’m not quite sure what you think I would learn from this exercise, since I’ve already stated I don’t like abortion and would like to see less of it.

  11. Cal, as Tim pointed out, you seemed to be judging the personhood of an embryo based on their ability to think, feel, dream etc. and also whether or not they had consciousness. But if you took that idea to its logical conclusion, wouldn’t you have to say that if an adult didn’t have those abilities, then they also wouldn’t be people with rights?

    For example, say you had a baby boy who was born severely disabled. He’s not brain-dead – his vital organs are all functioning fine and he’s growing normally – but he’s unconscious, and unable to think or feel pain. He has all of the abilities (or lack thereof) of an embryo in the womb. But nevertheless, his parents love him and they take him home and care for him. If when he was five years old, someone murdered him, wouldn’t you have to concede that he was less of a person than, say, his twin sister who was born healthy, if you’re basing personhood/value on things like, “An embryo can’t dream or smile or write a sonnet” etc.? There are lots of adults who lack some of the same abilities as embryos, and embryos are even going to outgrow that state of being differently abled from, say, older children and adults. As you and Tim both say in the show, there might be different penalties for murder depending on the intention, cruelty of death etc. involved, but we would still say that it was a human person who was killed.

    Also, at least once you seemed to be saying something like (and I’m not sure if this is what you meant, or not), that an embryo can’t really be equal to a baby because, well, look at it, it just looks like a clump of cells. And it seems to me that that’s an extremely unscientific argument to make (again, not sure if it’s what you were trying to say). We know that scientifically, there’s no difference in humanity there. We’re now just judging based on something very subjective, which is how “human-looking” we perceive someone to be. It also doesn’t make sense, because of course, a four week old embryo DOES look human – it looks exactly like a four week old human being. That’s what they look like at that stage of development. It’d be like someone arguing that that monarch caterpillar doesn’t look like a butterfly – it doesn’t look like an ADULT butterfly, no, but it looks exactly like a baby butterfly.

    Another occasion when you were using the expression “clump of cells” (it was the time Vickie got all angry with you lol), I wondered if perhaps your use of the language is indicating a misunderstanding you have about how embryos develop. I only say this, because I’ve sometimes seen others fall into the same misunderstanding and use the same kind of phrases. Anyway, it seems to me that maybe, you’re looking at the development of an embryo as if it is constructed from without, instead of developing from within. (If I’m wrong, just feel free to ignore, but I’ll explain what I mean)

    To borrow an example from Scott Klusendorf, if you visited a car factory and you went right to the start of the assembly line where they were just putting down the first bit of metal on the conveyor belt, you’d be justified in saying, “That’s not a car, that’s just a bit of metal, it’s not a car until [and you can pick any future point in the manufacturing process you like]”. You’d be justified in doing so, because the car can’t build itself. If you suddenly decided to stop and take that bit of metal off the assembly line, you’ve not “destroyed a car”.

    But that’s not how embryos develop. They’re not being built up piece by piece by their mother’s body. They’re growing and changing of their own accord and power. All the mother’s body is doing is providing nutrition, just as a mother who’s breastfeeding a baby isn’t “constructing” him into a toddler, just giving him the energy he needs to do it. A human embryo is a whole and complete organism. At an early stage, it’s not that, for example,  that embryo’s heart hasn’t been given to it yet, or “built” yet, and that’s why it doesn’t have one. The embryo doesn’t have a heart because it is in the process of growing one, and in fact has been in the process of growing one since the moment it was conceived. The same is true of all the vital organs, including the brain, and the parts of the brain which allow it to think, feel pain, dream etc. If a zygote was conscious, you might imagine it saying, “Okay, my first job is to grow a bit bigger…Okay, next, let’s get my food sorted out…Next, let’s deal with getting those organs ready, because when I’m a bit older, I’m going to need them…” and so on. Kind of a silly example, but you get what I mean? There’s no “line” you can draw in human development where at one stage it’s just a bunch of cells, and at the next it’s suddenly a developing organism. Human beings continue to grow and change throughout their entire life, getting bigger and more complex.

    Anyway, I’ll leave it there (for now). Gosh, I’d love to debate you on this lol!

  12. JegsyScarr   “Cal, as Tim pointed out, you seemed to be judging the personhood of an embryo based on their ability to think, feel, dream etc. and also whether or not they had consciousness. But if you took that idea to its logical conclusion, wouldn’t you have to say that if an adult didn’t have those abilities, then they also wouldn’t be people with rights?”

    Well, what other way is there to judge personhood than the things I mentioed?

  13. CalKane Well, the definition I use and think works best (not sure who coined it, but I heard it from Josh Brahm) is that person is a member of a rational species. 

    So that means that you don’t exclude the unborn, infants, or those who are disabled,  since they’re all still human beings  – either they’ll soon be able to reason or they “should” have the use of reason but are prevented by disease/disability. And it’s also flexible enough a definition that it includes non-human rational species, for example, any future alien life. You can also apply it to fictional beings if you wanted to be able to make ethical judgements – so it’s immoral to murder Spock, and that little Hobbit baby with a severe disability is still equal in value to Bilbo and Frodo. And it also excludes animals – as much as people were upset by that gorilla getting shot, and as much as it’s fine to value animal life, too, we don’t count their death as “murder” the same as if a human being was shot.

  14. CalKane JegsyScarr Personhood, there it is, that word right there, Cal. You seem to argue personhood while we argue life and being and there are differences between the two.
    Personhood is relative to condition. In other words you are a person because we say you are a person according to conditions we have determined and not just because you are. And those conditions are movable and malleable.
    Being is just what we are. It isn’t conditional. Logically, the only product of human reproduction has to be human. By our  very existence our being is human. From conception to death at old age our being remains the same and does not change according to conditions.
    Personhood can be bestowed or removed. This is demonstrated in the removal of personhood in order to own slaves or kill Jews during the Holocaust.  Personhood as a criteria for or argument in determining a life usually breaks down into worthiness of life and we often find ourselves making determinations or judgements based on life that either is or is not worthy of life or one life that may be more worthy of life than another. Personhood is unreliable as a criteria because it is so subjective in its determination. It often relies on a consciousness argument and consciousness cannot be readily determined or measured. Cal, you admitted in our last discussion that nobody really knows what consciousness is or when it occurs.
    Being and life , however, can be readily determined by its very existence.

  15. CalKane The Gruntled Monk          Let’s be honest here.  Most abortions are performed because a baby would be an inconvenience.  It’s the rare case that’s it’s rape or incest.  Even the Supreme Court said in 1992 that abortion was the final form of contraceptive.   To say you wish people would be more responsible where they put their genitals is a bit of a cop out.  If you support abortion, you support abortion to get rid of an inconvenience.

  16. The Gruntled Monk CalKane  Again, when did I say I supported abortion for the sake of convenience? In fact, when did I sayI supported abortion at all?

    So it’s a cop our for me to say that I wish people would do things that lead to a world with less abortions. How exactly? lol 🙂

  17. JegsyScarr CalKane   “So that means that you don’t exclude the unborn, infants, or those who are disabled  since they’re all still human beings  – either they’ll soon be able to reason or they “should” have the use of reason but are prevented by disease/disability.

    I agree that the unborn, infants and disabled people should all be given some kind of worth but the moment you admit that there is crucial difference between those three examples, the idea that they all fall under the term “human beings” is a hard one to sell and calling abortion something along the lines of “something that kills thousands of children in the womb every year” doesn’t make any sense, since we just established that there is huge differences between me, life at the moment of conception and a child with disabilities. That was the main point I was trying to make, that Catholics need to stop calling abortion “child murder” in the same way they would call a guy who goes around snapping kids necks “Child murder” See, simple lol 🙂

  18. Vikarmstrong CalKane JegsyScarr  I agree with all that, what I don’t agree with is the idea that women who have abortions and abortionists are murderers and it would make no difference if they were to kill 5-year-olds. Luckily, me and Tim found some common ground on that one and I never really believed that Catholics really view abortion in that way. I always just figured it was lazy wording and I think I’m right 😉

  19. CalKane The Gruntled Monk It’s a cop out because the secular world that you seem to embrace does nothing to encourage any reining in of sexual license.  In fact, it does the opposite.  It basically  says stick your genitals into anything you can as often as you can. 
        
    The only voice counseling restraint on a consistent basis is the Church.  I won’t include you in this, but your fellow atheists are doing all they can to remove the Church, not only from public discourse, but from existence. 
    By the by, your oak tree analogy was interesting.  The thing is, whether you cut down a 1,000 year old tree, a sapling, or crush a seed, the outcome is the same.  No oak tree.   It’s the same with abortion.  Whether you kill a 25 year old, a 5 year old, or a 5 week old in the womb, the outcome is the same.  No more human. 
    I know a lot of people have been getting on your case.  I may have wrongly assumed that you supported abortion when you said that you were against abortions when the child is not the sex you want.  I thought you supported it in general.  I apologize if I misread you.

  20. The Gruntled Monk CalKane  No need to apologize man 🙂

    I agree that the outcome if the same (no more baby, or tree or whatever) but the point is that the moral implications of crushing an oak tree seed with your foot and cutting down a fully grown oak tree are different. Not that I’m comparing oak trees to humans but you get what I mean haha 🙂

  21. CalKane The Gruntled Monk That would depend on your intention.  If you look at it from the viewpoint of the 1,000 year old oak, it’s a shame to cut it down.  If your intention was to wipe out oak trees, the 1,000 old tree and the seed have the same moral implication. 
    You are right, oak trees can’t be equated with people.  The moral evil of eliminating a person is the same regardless of age.  With the former logic, it would be worse to kill a 100 year old person than a five year old.  As you can see, society doesn’t see it that way with it’s push for euthanasia.  What all this is really boiling down to is, some lives just aren’t worth living.  All that’s left is who gets to decide when a life is no longer worthy.

  22. @ 27:00 actually there are people who do that. Satanic cults have their human sacrifices at abortion clinics.

  23. You can call it whatever you want, taking away human life at such a vulnerable stage is still morally evil. If western first world countries keep up with their abortion numbers, we know for sure, they will no longer be first world countries in a little while. And I think you guys covered this at one point in your show. It’s no secret Muslims will overpopulate the world and most likely implement Sharia Law in Europe. 
    ” I agree that the unborn, infants and disabled people should all be
    given some kind of worth but the moment you admit that there is crucial
    difference between those three examples, the idea that they all fall
    under the term “human beings” is a hard one to sell”
    That argument does not make any sense at all. That statement contradicts science. There are different stages of life, and each stage is different in terms of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. There is suppose to be a difference between all stages of life, from the gestation stage to the elderly stage.

  24. Cal, you’ve come a long way baby!  I credit Tim for his strengths in dialogue!  This was my second time listening, and I am truly astounded at Tim’s continuous strength in quality listening to what Cal says, then explaining to him the difference between what he says and what is (i.e. Cal identifying ‘being’ as expressions of being, etc.) Tim Haines, you are one excellent teacher.  Additionally, your restraint at the end of the show was magnificent!  You absolutely must continue where Cal left off…please, please, please for even Cal will benefit from it.
    Finally, Tim was sharing about the barbaric murder of a young child by two women.  I couldn’t help think of the exposing of planned parenthood by David D. and Lila Rose’ brief films about abortions exposing how they remove the baby limbs one at a time before removing the baby from the mother’s body during the abortion.
    http://www.abortionprocedures.com/

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