Abortion

Alan Keyes Is Making License Plates: Serial Candidate Arrested at Notre Dame

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Don't make me get off this stage and play Billy Jack all over your head…

There's trouble brewing in Rudy Country because of Barack Obama's upcoming commencement address at the nation's the Midwest's Indiana's premiere football college (if you leave out Purdue and Indiana U). The AP reports that former and future presidential candidate Alan Keyes and Operation Rescue jefe Randall Terry have been jailed for peacefully protesting the looming presence of the president, whom Keyes ran against in a misbegotten Senate race. The crux of the discontent is Obama's pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research stance.

If the local cops are twice as tough as Notre Dame's offensive line, Keyes and Terry are already on the loose.

More here.

Reason.com on Alan Keyes, one of the most entertaining figures in American politics.

More on the lamented MSNBC (!) talk show, Alan Keyes Is Making Sense.

NEXT: "Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire."

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  1. Alan, why did you have to go after Dick Cheney’s daughter?? Why??? Why!!!! You might have actually had a slight chance of beating Obama. We might not have The One as our POTUS.

  2. Notre Dame is barely still better than Purdue and Indiana right now.

  3. Alan Keyes will protest everyday until Obama cancels or is un-invited to speak at NOTRE DAME.

    For more: http://aipnews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=4460&posts=13

  4. It is strange but in the movie Borat he Keyes actually looked sane.

  5. Keyes is certainly a far superior speaker and debater than the Kenyan.

  6. Acording to the Wikipedia link on Keyes’ MSNBC show:
    “The show’s cancellation led to an ongoing boycott of the network by 78,137 people, sponsored by the Jewish education group Mesora.org.[8]

    In the weeks following the cancellation, the Israeli government presented Keyes with an award for his integrity in journalism. This marked the only time the award had ever been presented.[9]”

    So, was the cancelation to do with his discussion of Middle East topics? What? This makes no sense to me.

  7. Obama could appoint Keyes to the supreme court. You know, a minority jurist would give the court more balance…

  8. I always wonder how someone as seemingly as smart as Keyes could be so insane. The guy is not a dumbass, but he acts like it sometimes…

  9. MNG-

    You have to admit that the guy is a much better orator than Obama.

  10. MNG,

    There are some very brilliant people who were insane in one way or another. A modern example would be chess champion Bobby Fischer. In pretty much any topic outside of board games the guy is a complete loon. Another example would be authors Frederick Nietzsche and The Marquis de Sade. Those two were brilliant writers and clearly genius – but loons.

  11. Notre Dame might be better than Indiana (and that’s debatable), but not better than Purdue (or maybe Ball State).

    Neutre Dame has no balls!

  12. Keyes can speak very well, but he’s also a little insane.

  13. How is being a good orator anything special?

  14. “How is being a good orator anything special?”

    It isn’t

  15. I don’t always agree with the guy either, but I would’ve watched, nay, even appeared on his talk show.

  16. KEYES: See what I find interesting, Peter, though, is that you say he hoodwinked me when he starts to talk in terms that actually are open to the kinds of things that the Palestinians say they would like to see. I’m supposed to believe that’s hoodwinking?

    BEINART: No, because …

    KEYES: Let me finish please.

    (CROSSTALK)

    KEYES: I haven’t finished my thought.

    BEINART: Go ahead.

    KEYES: I’m supposed to believe that’s hoodwinking. And yet, when Yasser Arafat and his buddies are out there killing children and nail bombs and so forth and so on, and yet out of their mouths come words condemning terrorism and professing to be interested in peace, that’s not hoodwinking the world?

    Now let’s get serious about this. It certainly is. And the question that’s in front of us is whether any progress can be made if we expect the Israelis to sit down at the negotiating table while people are outside chopping up their children and their spouses and their sons and daughters in little itty bitty pieces. And yet, they’re suppose to sit down and talk peace …

    JEFFREY: Alan …

    KEYES: … with people who are professing …

    (CROSSTALK)

  17. ACKERMAN: Alan, Alan, I just have to say something. What Ramsey just said is absolutely outrageous. To claim that if the U.S. expresses their opinion and doesn’t deal with who they want and doesn’t deal with who they don’t want to deal with that this is going to lead to more violence and rev up the action, that is an unconscionable thing to say. And that is the…

    ABDALLAH: Is it really absurd, Senator…

    ACKERMAN: …entire attitude…

    (CROSSTALK)

    ACKERMAN: … people who have a different opinion go ahead and start…

    ABDALLAH: … should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Is it really an allegation? Or has it really been proposed in passed as a resolution that the U.S. shall move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

    (CROSSTALK)

    ABDALLAH: Excuse me, Alan Keyes, let me finish up one second, please.

    KEYES: Ramsey, before you…

    (CROSSTALK)

    ABDALLAH: … that these are occupied lands. They have been occupied lands. And they have been recognized by the U.S. and the international communities…

    KEYES: … hold on, hold on, hold on, before you move the subject to another area, I think we need to focus on this question of responsibility for violence. And one of the problems that I see in the response that you and others give is that you want to say, “Well the U.S. gave the green light to violence.” No. The suicide bombers gave the green light to violence. The people who continually come into the midst of innocent people and kill them, they have given the green light to a response aimed at stopping this kind of destruction.

    ABDALLAH: Alan Keyes, how convenient it is for to you cut me off in the middle of my speech so that you may be heard. That is quite un-candid of a person who is even-dealing, as you put it…

    KEYES: You gave no particular facts…

    ABDALLAH: … to try to go ahead and cut off a person that you have invited to pursue a point of view…

    KEYES: … if you are not going to respect the protocol of the program…

    ABDALLAH: … from the Palestinian aspect. If you cannot address and you cannot handle the address and respect the fact…

    KEYES: … (UNINTELLIGIBLE)…

    ABDALLAH: … that I’m a Palestinian…

    KEYES: … see this is – cut him off. Cut him off. This is one of the problems. See, I want to take the floor for a minute because this is one of the problems.

    I think that it’s precisely this kind of attitude that is killing people in the Middle East. I have moderated many discussions in the course of this program. It does require that one person listen to other people and not constantly talk over them, as you were just doing.

    That verbal violence reflects the very kind of dictatorial violence that apparently is the strategy of Palestinians to impose on this process by any means necessary. And it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work in the world. And it’s not going to work on this program because I’ll tell you straight and front, if G.W. Bush doesn’t have the courage to stand up say we won’t tolerate it, then I have the courage to say it on this program. I won’t tolerate it…

    ACKERMAN: Alan…

    KEYES: … because I think that it’s absolutely out of line. I’ll give folks a chance to have their say. But you’re going to engage in a conversation, or you won’t engage. If you think that kind of verbal violence will win here, you’re wrong, anymore that it would win if I had an opportunity to do something about it in the world at large.

    Representative Ackerman, I’m sorry. I can’t but see a problem right here reflected. How is one to encourage a constructive discussion when one side is continually trying, by violent and overbearing means, to shut down the other?

  18. Keyes was arrested for trespassing on private property, not for exercising his right to protest, as the H&R post implies.

    You libertarians have only a situational respect for property rights.

    I will now return to the bliss of obamatopia.

  19. “Alan, why did you have to go after Dick Cheney’s daughter??”

    Maybe he got bored with treating his own gay daughter like crap and decided to start picking on someone else’s.

  20. Clearly, you have never seen IU play football. ๐Ÿ˜›

  21. “The crux of the discontent is Obama’s pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research stance.”

    No, the crux of the discontent is Notre Dame, a nominally Catholic institution, conferring honors on someone with a pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research stance, in direct opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  22. Rees,

    Didn’t ND beat Purdue in 3 of the last 4 seasons? Notre Dame is the best football school where the players have to attend class. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make for a good football team against SEC, Big 12 teams or USC.

  23. Notre Dame is the best football school where the players have to attend class.

    I don’t buy this. Boston College, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech are pretty tough schools (or so I’ve been told), but they have been at different points in recent history, better than the Fighting Irish. ND just needs to get over the hump (sort of like tOSU vs. USC +SEC schools).

  24. “You have to admit that the guy is a much better orator than Obama.”

    No, I don’t. He’s a smart guy, but not a better speaker than Obama. Obama is a tremondous orator whatever else anyone says about him…

  25. “No, I don’t. He’s a smart guy, but not a better speaker than Obama. Obama is a tremondous orator whatever else anyone says about him…”

    When he is using his teleprompter and it is in good working order.

  26. ‘No, the crux of the discontent is Notre Dame, a nominally Catholic institution, conferring honors on someone with a pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research stance, in direct opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church.’

    Indeed, and *Reason* could have covered this controversy as a Catholic catfight – nothing like discord in the Church to get the secularist juices flowing. This is a *major* controversy in the American Catholic Church – a controversy of which President Obama wants to take full advantage. Obama’s Catholic supporters, and the Catholic liberals, tend to favor the invitation, while traditionalist Catholics oppose it – a split with serious political implications. The bishops’ guidelines call on Catholic institutions not to honor outside speakers in such a way as to promote causes opposed to the Church’s teachings. A fair demand for an institution which professes Catholicism, but Notre Dame’s administration seems to prefer respectability among the secular academic world (a hotbed of libertarianism, that secular academic world).

    On that angle, seventy Catholic bishops have opposed, and none have endorsed, the Obama invitation.

    And prominent Catholic ethicist Mary Ann Glendon has turned down Notre Dame’s prestigious Laetare Medal, since Glendon’s planned presence at the commencement ceremony was being invoked by the college administration to whitewash Obama’s appearance.

    Of course there is a demonstration planned.

    This would be an excellent opportunity for an anti-Catholic blog to make some gleeful comments about ‘the Church in disarray.’

    For some reason, H&R missed that opportunity, focusing instead on Alan Keyes.

  27. For some reason, H&R missed that opportunity, focusing instead on Alan Keyes.

    Damn, Mad Max, for some reason the style of your post reminded me of The Lone and Wacky One. NTTAWWT.

    But it’s cool…you’re just into Catholicism like I’m into PopCulture.

  28. ‘Damn, Mad Max, for some reason the style of your post reminded me of The Lone and Wacky One. NTTAWWT.’

    Indeed, there’s nothing I would like better than to close off immigration (legal and illegal) from traditionally Catholic countries in Latin America.

    I was simply trying to help y’all out – here’s a story with useful fodder for Catholic-baiting.

  29. Mad Max,

    There is a difference between a blog being libertarian and a blog being “anti-Catholic”.

  30. Art-P.O.G.,

    Which parts of pop culture? Are you into The Lord of the Rings?

  31. Mad Max, I love the work of the Inklings, including Tolkien.

  32. ‘Mad Max, I love the work of the Inklings, including Tolkien.’

    Then I’m afraid I have some bad news.

    There is something of an overlap in this instance (and elsewhere) between Catholicism and pop culture.

    Not to mention the Golden Age of Hollywood, when films were vetted by Joseph Breen, a Catholic (who had more uncredited script work than all the blacklisted Stalinist hacks put together).

  33. Mad Max, whenever a novel is made into a film some of the story is lost – just the nature of the beast. This can be a good thing if you are trying to get children to read. “Hey, you liked the movie? Well there is more to the story if you read the book.” A recent example is the film Watchmen. There was a whole parallel storyline about Pirates, a story within the story, that was not in the film. There was a great deal more that did not make it to the silver screen. But it was a good movie overall and many people bought the novel who had never even heard of it before the film came out. Tolkien got far more readers because of the Peter Jackson film.

  34. Or was that not the bad news from the link?

  35. Oh those glory days when Papists censorship ruled Hollywood…

    “the crux of the discontent is Notre Dame, a nominally Catholic institution, conferring honors on someone with a pro-abortion, pro-embryonic stem cell research stance, in direct opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church”

    I’m not Catholic, but certainly the Catholic Church has many teachings on many subjects and any given world leader probably disagrees with some and agrees with others. I imagine they want him to speak because he is the President of the United States and, as the first African American one, a historical figure and an embodiment of how far this nation has come on the issue of race. One would think a Catholic institution could honor such a person for such things, despite the fact that they disagree with them on issues like abortion and stem cells.

  36. MNG, Bill Clinton was the First African American President.

  37. DHSTIAT,

    I was joking about the ‘bad news’ of Tolkien being a Catholic. Not a substantive point, just being silly.

    Yes, I envy those coming to LOTR for the first time thanks to the movie.

    ‘Oh those glory days when Papists censorship ruled Hollywood…’

    Have your read *The Censorship Papers?* It’s a book that came out right after the Hays Code was formally dropped. It discussed some of the censorship done during the Hays Code. The overall tone of the book was, ‘can you believe how the movie industry was so oppressed by these evil censors?’ A key theme of the book was that, now that Hollywood had been freed from the infamous Code, producers were finally free to have ‘realism’ in their movies.

    Say what you will about the movie industry after the Code, but I’m not sure I’d use the word ‘realism’ to describe the world portrayed in the post-Code movies.

    ‘I imagine they want him to speak because he is the President of the United States and, as the first African American one, a historical figure and an embodiment of how far this nation has come on the issue of race. One would think a Catholic institution could honor such a person for such things, despite the fact that they disagree with them on issues like abortion and stem cells.’

    Obviously, the ND administration *does* think that, but why do you think are they right? Based on your knowledge of Catholic teachings, including the encyclical Ex Corde Ecclesiae, what is the basis for a Catholic institution acting like this?

    I know people still have trouble getting over the fact that “OMG we have a *black* President, this is *so* significant!” but if you want to marinate yourself in the astonishing historicalness of that fact, a trip to the White House should suffice.

  38. And to return to the original post – if having an African-American President is Historically Significant, then it is also Historically Significant for Alan Keyes to be arrested. Perhaps this is the first time a black person was arrested for protesting a black President! Wow, man, it’s like history in the making!

  39. MNG,

    Obama says what he says very well, very clearly, in a good commanding voice. I’ll give you that. But that’s not all it takes to be a good orator.

    When he’s not being guided via teleprompter, he says some massively stupid stuff that would really come back to bite him were it not for the sychophantism of the press. I’m not talking about things I disagree with politically — though there’s certainly plenty of that too — but stuff that you scratch your head wondering how stupid he has to be to say something like that.

  40. I’m not Catholic, but certainly the Catholic Church has many teachings on many subjects and any given world leader probably disagrees with some and agrees with others.

    We’re not talking about disagreeing with a religious teaching, like disbelieving in the resurrection or something. This is a basic human rights issue the violation of which, if the Church is right, is directly responsible for the deaths of millions of people every year in this country. A basic human rights issue on which the Catholic Church is the only recognizable, established institution on the pro-life side.

    So you can forgive faithful Catholics for feeling strongly about sending the wrong message on this issue.

    One would think a Catholic institution could honor such a person for such things, despite the fact that they disagree with them on issues like abortion and stem cells.

    Especially one run by craven liberal Judas priests who don’t believe in any of the Church’s controversial teachings, but continue the charade of priesthood because it’s fun to dress up on Sunday, and there’s so much hot young tender meat waiting in the seminary that they can’t bring themselves to quit.

  41. “Say what you will about the movie industry after the Code, but I’m not sure I’d use the word ‘realism’ to describe the world portrayed in the post-Code movies.”

    The movies made now are simply far more diverse. And realistic in what way? Is a man and wife having two separate beds at all “realistic”? How about a hardened gangster who is shot in the leg saying “Oh, darn, that hurts”. Would that be at all realistic? The ratings system at least enables you to choose films you want to take your family to and avoid ones you do not wish to expose them to. A one-size-fits-all code would not enable that.

  42. I wasn’t defending the 100% realism of Code movies, but I was comparing them to post-Code films on at least one prominent Code critic’s standard – that of realism. The implication being that post-Code movies would be an improvement.

    Incidentally, the Breen biography I linked to discusses the origins of the two-bed rule: It’s from the British censorship board, and the American movie industry had to adhere to that standard in order to show its products in Britain. So, unless traditionally Protestant Britain was under the iron grip of the Catholic Church, you can’t blame us for the separate beds.

    Let me note that even in its heyday, the Code had loopholes. Joe Bob Briggs discussed one example in Reason. Then there was the arthouse-theater circuit. So there is a standard of comparison between the movies which suffered from the tyranny of the Code versus those bold, independend films that defied the shackles of clerical oppression.

  43. “So, unless traditionally Protestant Britain was under the iron grip of the Catholic Church, you can’t blame us for the separate beds.”

    This is an irrelevant distinction in my view. Both mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics were influenced by Augustine’s hatred of the human body. Whether the guy behind the pulpit is called a Priest or a Minister the basic concept is the same.

  44. Communists and atheist libertarians both don’t believe in God. So they are the same thing.

  45. “Communists and atheist libertarians both don’t believe in God. So they are the same thing.”

    Actually some Communists do believe in god. But, libertarians do not wish to use force to influence others so this is not a good comparison. A better comparison might be if Muslims and Orthodox Jews both voted for politicians who wanted to ban pork products. That is the equivalent of what I am saying here. Both Roman Catholics and Mainline Protestants supported similar kinds of censorship.

  46. DHSTIAT,

    Now we get to St. Augustine. He can speak for himself, although saying he hated the human body is unfair.

    It’s curious that St. Augustine’s baleful influence was felt in a Protestant, but not a Catholic, country in the matter of onscreen marital beds.

  47. Keyes is certainly a far superior speaker and debater than the Kenyan.

    I’ve never heard Mwai Kibaki speak so I’ll have to take your word for it. Though Keyes’ batshit insanity would make it seem unlikely.

  48. “Now we get to St. Augustine. He can speak for himself, although saying he hated the human body is unfair.”

    To say he hated the human body is not a stretch at all. He was an anti-Pelagian. He wrote that Original Sin was transmited by lust and he wrote highly of Plotinus, a very anti-sex writer. He did indeed hate the human body.

    “It’s curious that St. Augustine’s baleful influence was felt in a Protestant, but not a Catholic, country in the matter of onscreen marital beds.”

    Both John Calvin and Martin Luther were influenced heavily by Augustine. In fact, they took the Original Sin concept one step farther and it morphed into total depravity. This is why Calvinists are even more “puritanical” when it comes to sex than are Roman Catholics historically. There is another explanation as well, Augustine’s influence in the Catholic Church was to some degree moderated by the later teachings of Aquinas who was not quite so puritanical.

  49. For some comments on the realism of modern films, see Roger Ebert’s Glossary of Movie Terms.

    Some items from the glossary:

    Chase-and-Crash Scenes – Replaces the third act or any other form of plot resolution in the modern thriller. After the hero has left dozens of burning cars and trucks behind him, we never see emergency vehicles responding to the carnage. Despite working under a Wrong-Headed Commanding Officer, q.v., the hero cop is never called on the carpet because yesterday he drove his squad car through the walls of several warehouses.

    Climbing Villain – Villains being chased at the end of a movie inevitably disregard all common sense and begin climbing up something-a staircase, a church tower, a mountain-thereby trapping themselves at the top.

    Dead Teenager Movie – Generic term for any movie primarily concerned with killing teen-agers, without regard for logic, plot, performance, humor, etc. Often imitated, never worse than in the FRIDAY THE 13TH sequels. Required complete loss of common sense on the part of the characters. Sample dialogue: “All of our friends have been found horribly mutilated. It is midnight and we are miles from help. Hey, let’s take off our clothes, walk through the dark woods, and go skinny-dipping!”

  50. Mad Max,

    There is a difference between a blog being libertarian and a blog being “anti-Catholic”.

    There certainly is. I became anti-Catholic* long before I discovered libertarianism.

    * No hate, no demonstrating at St Peter’s, just at odds with the church over a few things.

  51. DHSTIAT,

    Ah, a favorable reference to St. Thomas Aquinas!

    I was wondering how you would account for the Sistine Chapel and other non-body-hating art of the Church.

  52. J sub D,

    I know that a blog can be libertarian without being anti-Catholic. I would think that H&R could absorb a little of that wisdom.

  53. “I was wondering how you would account for the Sistine Chapel and other non-body-hating art of the Church.”

    As opposed to the statues that later had fig leafs added to them to cover up genitalia.

  54. “I know that a blog can be libertarian without being anti-Catholic. I would think that H&R could absorb a little of that wisdom.”

    Could you give us your explanation of why you think it is anti-Catholic? Does coming out against laws barring gay couples from adopting children count as “anti-Catholic”? Does coming out in favor of gay marriage count as “anti-Catholic”?

  55. I was thinking of posts like this one (for a bonus, it links to other posts of a similar tendency.)

  56. Allow me to ask a somewhat personal question about the professed body-lovers on this forum – are there parts of your body you don’t display to the general public? Are there parts of the body which you would be uncomfortable seeing a friend or loved one expose to the public?

    Note that I’m not speaking of government regulation, but about personal attitudes.

    If you want to conceal certain body parts in public places, does this reflect a hatred of the body on your part?

  57. If someone doesn’t want to display their money in public, are they anti-wealth?

  58. Mad Max,

    So if I post something critical of Obama does that make me Anti-American? What if I post something critical of Bill Gates? Does that make me anti-computer? The Pope is a political leader, he is the leader of Vatican City, the smallest nation on Earth.

  59. “are there parts of your body you don’t display to the general public?”

    Yes, I live in Florida and don’t want to get sunburned – ouch – especially not in an area you are refering to.

    “Are there parts of the body which you would be uncomfortable seeing a friend or loved one expose to the public?”

    No, except perhaps to the degree it would be illegal if there were law enforcement around.

    “If you want to conceal certain body parts in public places, does this reflect a hatred of the body on your part?”

    This depends upon one’s motivation.

  60. “If someone doesn’t want to display their money in public, are they anti-wealth?”

    No, but if you were ashamed to even talk about the very concept of money – that would indicate you are anti-wealth. If you had a statue carved by a great Renaissance artist and you insisted on covering up part of that work because a coin was part of the painting – so you covered up the coin with a fig leaf. That might indicate that you are anti-wealth.

  61. I wish this thing would let you go back and make minor changes in posts. Change the word painting to statue and it will make more sense.

  62. I wish this thing would let you go back and make minor changes in posts. Change the word painting to statue and it will make more sense.

    That involves registration and rules and shit.
    Libertarians are nororiously bad at that kinda stuff.

  63. Notre Dame is the best football school where the players have to attend class.

    The WORST home opener loss in Notre Dame history.

    Just thought I would bring it up again, it seems to apply.

  64. Catholics are hardly the only group, not all of them religious, that get weirded out over the whole getting your rocks off thing. [/2 cents]

  65. MNG,

    Obama is a tremondous orator whatever else anyone says about him…

    Happy cinco de cuatro.

    Bullshit, I suck at oration and Im better than Obama. Well, we can call it a draw.

    Obama MIGHT be better than Bush 2, but Im not convinced of that yet.

  66. “Catholics are hardly the only group, not all of them religious, that get weirded out over the whole getting your rocks off thing.”

    So what non-religious group gets wierded out by that? Ingsoc is the only non-religious group like that I can think of and that one is entirely fictional.

  67. The WORST home opener loss in Notre Dame history.

    Highlights

    THWG

  68. Mad Max
    You’re missing the big picture, Obama’s election is of historical significance because about a generation ago his people were horribly oppressed, and our nation’s history is marred by this oppression running through most of it. His people were considered and treated as being hopelessly inferior. And then one of them becomes the most powerful person in the nation. That says a lot about how far this nation has come. One would think the Catholic Church, being an institution that talks a lot about social justice, would want to honor that significant milestone being reached.

    “and there’s so much hot young tender meat waiting in the seminary that they can’t bring themselves to quit.”

    I always love this from Catholics, the child molesting problem in the Catholic church is really one that comes from non-Catholics in the Church, not real Catholics. Sheesh.

    “So you can forgive faithful Catholics for feeling strongly about sending the wrong message on this issue.”

    Sure, I understand this. But I should think they should also be intelligent enough to see how this “murder of millions of innocents” is just not obvious to many of their fellow citizens, and therefore respect that while they think it is a horrible injustice that those who differ are not evil and can be honored for their rightful accomplishments.

  69. “I wasn’t defending the 100% realism of Code movies”

    So we’d love to hear you say how stupid and immoral the Code was. Full of stupidity (look how the original Oceans Eleven was marred by the requirement that lawbreakers must not succeed, the “darn it” gangster, etc). And immoral because it involved a group of people trying to limit the choices available to others.

    “I know that a blog can be libertarian without being anti-Catholic.”

    Certainly. But one can see why so many people that value liberty, decentralization and invidual empowerment would not like the Catholic Church, a huge, international, un-democratic bureaucracy that likes to tell its members what to do in nearly all matters of life…

  70. “Bullshit, I suck at oration and Im better than Obama.”

    robc and others with this view

    You’re crazy. The man delivers a very good speech.

    It amazes me how people cannot recognize talents in someone with whom they disagree with.

    I mean, like I said upthread, on the issues Alan Keyes strikes me as borderline nuts, but I can recognize that they guy is a good speaker. There are people that I agree with who I can say easily do not speak very well, and people I disagree with who I can easily say do speak very well.

    Hell, I even think many people whose ideas I disagree with are very smart!

  71. “It amazes me how people cannot recognize talents in someone with whom they disagree with.”

    Yes, it amazes me as well.


  72. You’re crazy. The man delivers a very good speech.

    Not extemporaneously he doesnt. And that is 98% of oration in my opinion. He does great with a teleprompter, but off the cuff…not so much.

    Keyes is great at both.

    I think its like rap. Some guys can do great with well rehearsed lyrics, but Obama cant freestyle.

    I notice you didnt respond to my cinco de cuatro comment. Keyes wouldnt do that. That is very Bush-like (except Bush wouldnt screw up spanish that bad – Im pretty sure English was his second [or maybe third] language).

  73. BTW, the “cinco de cuatro” mistake is the exact kind of mistake I would make. Brain gets ahead of itself and mixes up the thought before it reaches the mouth. Hence, me calling our oration a draw.

  74. MNG,


    It amazes me how people cannot recognize talents in someone with whom they disagree with.

    This is a bullshit point. Methinks you are projecting. Jesse Jackson is a great orator amongst those I disagree with. In fact, I think he was put on this Earth in order to read Green Eggs and Ham on SNL.

  75. I don’t think Obama does poorly extemporaneously. If one gets most of their news from right wing sources I could see how one would think that, because they of course go over every thing he says with a fine toothed comb and present only the mistakes. But a fair assessment shows the guy is well spoken, and as you admit a very good speech-maker (which is what I think oration means, a “formal ceremonial speech”).

    I think all politicians seem to hesitate when they speak these days because the way our modern world operates every word they say is under the microscope and people are looking for misstatements and such.

    “Jesse Jackson is a great orator amongst those I disagree with.”

    You think he is a great speech-maker or is he great at speaking extemporaneously? Because I’d agree on the latter, but not so much on the former, and you seem to think 98% of oration is the latter…

  76. I mean I’d agree on the former (that Jesse is a great speech maker) and not so much on the latter (speaking extemporaneously)

  77. MNG,

    I think Jesse is good at both. The fact is, sometimes I cant tell which he is doing, which may mean he is primarily doing the latter. Im not sure if he prepares speeches in the same way others do…he may just have a list of points to hit then makes up the details on the fly.

    I do some corporate training, I recently got a negative review because of this. I tend to follow some bullet points then talk about whatever pops into my head related to that bullet point (with some notes to cover specific items). My presentation order is generally logical, but doesnt necessarily follow whatever book Im using – mainly becuase I use so many different ones. Most of the time, this goes over well, I cover important points whether in the book or not, and may miss some minor point that is in the book (which is still available to the students). The negative review was because I wasnt following the book (which blew donkey dicks, btw) and the student felt she was lost. She was one of the few I have ever had who took notes directly in the book. Anyway, I think this is similar to JJ giving a speech – he has his points and then pontificates on them – although much more awesomely that I do.

    However, as the green eggs and ham reading indicates, he can work off a well written script too. I have a feeling his speech writers, in general, werent as high quality as Obama’s.

  78. I mean I’d agree on the former (that Jesse is a great speech maker) and not so much on the latter (speaking extemporaneously)

    My response above was before you posted this correction. I disagree, I think JJ is great extemporaneously, at least when he knows what he is talking about.

  79. ‘I think its like rap. Some guys can do great with well rehearsed lyrics, but Obama cant freestyle.’

    You racist, how dare you! The only reason you’re talking about rap is that it’s a stereotypically black art form, and our King-Emperor is black. You just can’t handle a strong black man, can you?

    ‘If you had a statue carved by a great Renaissance artist and you insisted on covering up part of that work because a coin was part of the painting – so you covered up the coin with a fig leaf. That might indicate that you are anti-wealth.’

    I suppose that, if I had a selective memory and forgot who it was who commissioned the statue in the first place, and if I forgot that the fig-leaf episode was only a small part of the history of the artwork in question, then, yes, I would say you were anti-wealth.

    ‘one can see why so many people that value liberty, decentralization and invidual empowerment would not like the Catholic Church, a huge, international, un-democratic bureaucracy that likes to tell its members what to do in nearly all matters of life…’

    OK, so *you’re* anti-Catholic, too. Fair enough. I was responding to the claim that H&R was *not* anti-Catholic.


  80. You racist, how dare you! The only reason you’re talking about rap is that it’s a stereotypically black art form, and our King-Emperor is black. You just can’t handle a strong black man, can you?

    The funny thing is, when I wrote that, I was actually thinking of Eminem. ๐Ÿ™‚

    However, I worried that using the Jackson example might be sticking too much to the black oratory community.

  81. ‘So we’d love to hear you say how stupid and immoral the Code was. Full of stupidity (look how the original Oceans Eleven was marred by the requirement that lawbreakers must not succeed, the “darn it” gangster, etc). And immoral because it involved a group of people trying to limit the choices available to others.’

    I would repeat my invitation to match up the movies produced under the Code and those which were produced during the same period in defiance of the Code. Under your hypothesis, the movies produced in defiance of the Code should have superior merit.

    Similarly, the movies coming forth from Hollywood after the Code should be better (under your hypothesis) than the Code-era movies.

  82. MNG-

    At one time, Jesse Jackson was a great orator.

    Keyes is, and has been, a better orator than Obama.

    Rev. Wright is another awesome orator.

    There is a lot about each of the above that I do not like. Please do not include me amongst those who you claim can not recognize talent in people with whom they disagree. Because I think that Keyes is a better orator than Obama doe not mean that I do not recognize talent in those with whom I disagree. I’ll go to bat for robc and assume the same applies to him.

    Besides-yeah, there is a huge besides-do you think that the world view of Mr. Keyes is some kind of close relative of my anarcho-free enterprise-individualism?

  83. ‘Obama’s election is of historical significance because about a generation ago his people were horribly oppressed’

    You don’t have to go back a generation to find a ‘horribly oppressed’ group of Americans. Just look at those Americans in the womb (or in the lab) whose very humanity is denied, and whose right to life is under assault.

    ‘ But I should think they should also be intelligent enough to see how this “murder of millions of innocents” is just not obvious to many of their fellow citizens, and therefore respect that while they think it is a horrible injustice that those who differ are not evil and can be honored for their rightful accomplishments.’

    The oppression a generation ago against African-Americans was ‘not obvious’ to many Americans at the time, many of whom sincerely believed that black people were *not* oppressed, and deserved what they got.

    By your logic, the abolitionists should have given a platform to Judah Benjamin, the pro-slavery Senator from Louisiana and Confederate Secretary of War, because he was Jewish and therefore an American success story whose glorious achievements as an oppressed minority should not be marred my a tacky debate on the disputed issue of the humanity of African-Americans.

  84. by a tacky debate

  85. MNG and robc-

    Heck, GWB delivered a dynamite speech on September 20. 2001. Do you remember? No, he was not, and is not, a very good orator. The point is that much as I knew what he and the neocons were up to, I could not pretend that he did not deliver a very good speech that night.

  86. One can not, in good conscience, ignore Obama’s annoying propensity to employ filler language. To the extent one does that, one is not a very good extemporaneious speaker.

    For example, Obama is not Eminem or Robin Williams. Sorry, MNG, he just is not. He is not as quick, sharp or rhytmical.

  87. ‘”Are there parts of the body which you would be uncomfortable seeing a friend or loved one expose to the public?”

    ‘No, except perhaps to the degree it would be illegal if there were law enforcement around.’

    And what about people who think differently from you? People who would be uncomfortable at the idea of their relatives, friends and loves ones parading around naked in public? Are such people neo-Manicheans who despise the human body?

  88. (Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that there was no danger of arrest).

  89. “Similarly, the movies coming forth from Hollywood after the Code should be better (under your hypothesis) than the Code-era movies.”

    They are. And this is true even though the comparison is a bit unfair as there are simply more movies being churned out now due to advancements in technology and the structure of the entertainment industry.

    Most Code era movies were just terrible. We tend to only think about the better ones because as time progresses it are those that make a mark that lasts, but if you just watch a random assortment of TCM for example most of what you watch will be insufferable. And the better films of that age are almost all marred by the Code (take Cagney’s gangster films which have nearly laughable code inflicted elements).

  90. “OK, so *you’re* anti-Catholic, too.”

    Well, yeah I am, to the extent that they champion things I think are wrong, but my point was it should not be hard to see why, as an empirical matter, many people who find libertarianism attractive don’t find Catholicism to be attractive.

    “By your logic, the abolitionists should have given a platform”

    Not an apt analogy, unless you are positing that the only thing that animates Catholicism is abortion/stem cell policy? Abolitionists were, by definition, united by this one thing, their opposition to slavery, Catholics are not united by this one thing, opposition to abortion.

    “The oppression a generation ago against African-Americans was ‘not obvious’ to many Americans at the time”

    We’ve discussed this before. Look at a black adult and a white adult. The similarities are rather obvious. Same number of limbs and digits, same neural system, same grey matter betwixt their ears. Now maybe if you have some strong interest blinding you to this (as many slave owners and racists did) then you can ignore these, but a fair assessment indicates the obvious similarities. Now take a look at an embryo five days after conception and yourself. What is immediately striking are the glaring differences. The former is microscopic in size, has no limbs and digits, no grey matter at all, etc. Now, perhaps you and other pro-lifers are correct that upon closer inspection there is some morally relevant similarity there (I think there is not of course), but you’d be a fool not to see how someone who is an intelligent and good person cannot get past the rather obvious differences. That is the stance pro-life people are in relative to the majority of this nation who does not think such an embryo deserves the full moral rights of a “post-born” human being.

  91. libertymike
    If you think Keyes is a better orator than Obama I have little trifle with you. I’ve said both are good. My issue was with those that say that Obama is a poor orator. That’s just being silly and/or ideologically blind. The guy gives a good speech, that’s his thing.

    And I don’t find him to be a bad speaker otherwise. Like I said, today’s politicians are taped speaking for hours and hours a day. Even the most intelligent person mis-speaks sometimes, if you speak a lot then you will have a greater overall number of gaffes if one wants to focus on, but the question is, is it the norm?

    One way to tell how good of a speaker someone is in politics is this: do their handlers put them in speaking situations a lot or not? These handlers are not fools. Obama has done all kinds of press conferences and press appearances since (and before) his election. It’s not like Bush or Palin where the handlers carefully limited such exposure. It’s because he does well at this that his handlers let him do that.

    Republicans tend not to like good speakers because they come off as elitist and make their base’s heads hurt with all the big words, logically cogent arguments and such. They want flag pins and opening prayers ;).

  92. ‘you’d be a fool not to see how someone who is an intelligent and good person cannot get past the rather obvious differences.’

    And how is it that you fail to see all the ‘intelligent and good people’ who believed in the inferiority of people of African descent, and the legitimacy of keeping these people in an inferior class position?

    Scientists, statesmen, jurists, historians, businessmen, farmers, intellectuals – people in all these categories – just as ‘intelligent and good’ as today’s pro-abortionists – were not only passionately convinced of black inferiority, they were indignant that other should even dare to opine otherwise (I’ve already cited the racist philosophers who denounced the Catholic Church for having a multiracial flock).

    What makes Thomas Cooper, Juan Gin?s de Sep?lveda, Woodrow Wilson, Jefferson Davis, or Margaret Sanger less ‘intelligent and good’ than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Arlen Specter, et. al.?

    (Note that I listed Sanger among the racists, not among the pro-aborts, because she claimed to oppose abortion even while she wanted to use birth control to reduce the black population. I don’t want to be unfair to Sanger, like her modern epigones, and call her a pro-abort).

    Could it be that Wilson, Davis, Cooper, et. al., were just as ‘intelligent and good’ by your standards as Pelosi, Obama, Specter, etc?

    Of course they are – but like ‘intelligent and good’ people in many times and places, they were simply wrong.

    And you mentioned the element of self-interest in supporting slavery. Are you claiming there’s no element of self-interest in supporting abortion and killing embryos in the lab?

  93. Allan Keyes… Possibly the stupidest Negro Alive.

    Well, outside of Obama.

  94. Actually, I believe they were arrested for trespassing, not protesting per se. We believe in our property rights here at Reason, don’t we?

  95. yeah, mo, what a load of horseshit – quoting someone who went there and had some football players in his class…. (who’s sitting right here with me now)

    that and the myth of their ‘tough schedule’. hell and the myth of being relevant since 1973 or so

  96. . . . and I suppose I should include Paleo Pat in the ranks of the ‘intelligent and good,’ as well.

  97. clarification – Sep?lveda believed in the enslavement of Native Americans, not Africans.

  98. Max
    You’re confusing two things here. You think that because “good and intelligent” people can be found on both the racist side and the pro-choice side that they must be making the same mistake for the same reasons, i.e. letting their interests or irrational prejudices blind them to what should be obvious. My point is that there is a very good reason why so many good and intelligent people are pro-choice, that is that the differences between five day old embryos and born human beings are enormous.

    While it’s certainly possible that in both cases people are blinding themselves to the actual moral truth because of irrational prejudice or self interest, it easily could be the case that there are two different reasons for their denying of rights to a given class, that is in the one case they did so because of irrational prejudice and self interest but in the other case they did so because one has to actually strain to see any relevant moral similarities…

    It astounds me that even a committed pro-life person like yourself cannot admit that there are actual enormous differences between a five day old embryo and a five year old child…I mean really, given that you think there is a similarity that makes the difference morally, you can’t also admit that the differences are, frankly, astounding? If you can admit that then you can easily see how moral and intelligent people can disagree with you…

  99. “Are you claiming there’s no element of self-interest in supporting abortion and killing embryos in the lab?”

    I’m sure there is. But my point is that one doesn’t need that to explain why so many people see things that way, one can just point to those enormous differences I’ve been talking about.

    I mean, I just returned from eating out, and the shrimp that I ate with no guilty conscience are more complex than a five day old embryo…Did I just deny the shrimp their rights to live and murder them because of self interest (because they are so damn yummy?), or could there be another explanation? Namely that I accord moral rights to things that have certain characteristics (like a complex nerve system and functioning brain) but not to things that don’t meet that threshold?

    I know some vegetarians who think that’s murder, cold blooded murder. And they would be the kind of people who would not want to speak at a Vegetarian College (if they had one). And to them I would say what I say to you: hey, maybe you are right ultimately, but holy cow you can see how someone would disagree with you, and given that a little more lee-way and forebearance with those that disagree with you is warranted.

  100. ‘It astounds me that even a committed pro-life person like yourself cannot admit that there are actual enormous differences between a five day old embryo and a five year old child’

    That’s a nice straw man you’ve got there.

    Would *you* deny that there are differences between a five year old child (with no job and very little understanding of the real world) and a 55-year-old business executive with responsibilities, a family, and a payroll to meet?

    If you admit these differences, then surely you acknowledge that the 5-year-old child has less of a right to life than the 55-year-old businessman!

  101. ‘I mean, I just returned from eating out, and the shrimp that I ate with no guilty conscience are more complex than a five day old embryo’

    A useful example of begging the question. *If* there are no morally relevant differences between human beings and other species, then your example might have some relevance.

    What is *your* opinion about the difference between human beings and other species? Is there any moral relevance in the distinction?

  102. Max, you’re being silly. The differences between a five and 55 year old are minute next to the differences between a five day old embryo and either. Both of the former have limbs. Both of the former have brains. You can see both of them without a microscope.

    Now think for a second about that last sentence. A five day old embryo is not even a speck you can see with your naked eye…It’s incredible isn’t it? And THAT is what you think has the same right to life as the five and 55 year old?

    And there is no question begging, in fact what’s going on is that I’m not willing to beg the question along with you. I’m pointing out that in terms of biological complexity a shrimp is more complex than a five day old human. You don’t think the shrimp has a right to life we should protect, do you? Well then, why the much less complex five day old embryo? Your answer must be “that it’s human” and there is your question begging, I’m asking what is it about “being human” (in the case of an infant, as to what makes “being human” for an adult enough for moral weight I can easily point to the common attributes of human adults I discuss infra that compel moral weight) that makes it morally relevant? Defining humans as things worthy of moral weight and then claiming that all humans deserve moral weight, now that’s question begging.

    Now if you ask me about my criteria for rights, things that have to do with this complexity, my answers are easy (a nervous system demonstrates a capacity to feel pain, and inflicting pain for no good reason is wrong; a functioning brain denotes sentience and reason, both of which can compel moral weight, etc).

  103. “What is *your* opinion about the difference between human beings and other species? Is there any moral relevance in the distinction?”

    There is certainly no moral relevance in the bare fact of membership in the species, or that it is the species we are members of, that’s for sure. If we are special (and I think we are) there must be some characterstic that compels moral weight and consideration that humans have and the shrimp does not have. And I put it to you that a five day old embryo has less of whatever characterstic that is than the shrimp…

  104. When you go to tell me what you think the morally relevant differences between members of the human species and other species are, remember, don’t give me ones that only apply to born humans (that they feel pain, that they can reason, that they have autonomy, or what have you), give me ones that only apply to what you are seeking to protect, such as a five day old embryo. And don’t waste our time with potentiality arguments (the embryo will naturally develop to have some characterstic that has moral relevance such as sentience, the ability to feel pain at a complex level, etc.,), because if that is the case then you have no argument for why we should protect, say, a terminally ill embryo or fetus that has little to no chance of making it to that point.

    As they say, “this I gotta hear!”

  105. What is immediately striking are the glaring differencesis the exact same DNA.

    FTFY

  106. There is certainly no moral relevance in the bare fact of membership in the species

    That is exactly where the moral relevance lies. Humans are not non-humans. And this is why the slavery/abortion metaphor works. In both cases, it is treating humans as non-humans.

    Now, the question as to when humanity starts is a good one. But, once we are past that point, whether it be conception or algebra*. the human life has all the rights/protections that a human has.

    *hat tip to PKD

  107. When you go to tell me what you think the morally relevant differences between members of the human species and other species are, remember, don’t give me ones that only apply to born humans (that they feel pain, that they can reason, that they have autonomy, or what have you), give me ones that only apply to what you are seeking to protect, such as a five day old embryo. And don’t waste our time with potentiality arguments (the embryo will naturally develop to have some characterstic that has moral relevance such as sentience, the ability to feel pain at a complex level, etc.,), because if that is the case then you have no argument for why we should protect, say, a terminally ill embryo or fetus that has little to no chance of making it to that point.

    This is easy. BTW, I hate the potentiality arguments too. At some point, a soul exists. After that point, whenever it is, abortion is murder*.

    *subject to standard yadda yadda yadda

  108. Also, as a counter question, what is the essence that white and black men share, that mules dont share, that allows me to use the latter as a pack animal, but not the others?

    I think the answer is the same, but if you deny the soul, I need to know what you think it is.

  109. Allan Keyes… Possibly the stupidest Negro Alive.

    What do you think, gang? Does joe’s memorial law apply to misspelled names, too?

  110. ‘if we are special (and I think we are) there must be some characterstic that compels moral weight and consideration that humans have and the shrimp does not have. And I put it to you that a five day old embryo has less of whatever characterstic that is than the shrimp…’

    Let the shrimp discuss their special characteristics on *their* blogs.

  111. If you want my take (which I’m sure you don’t) the abortion debate is not merely a utilitarian one but one that contains several complex and possibly insoluble ontological arguments. In the face of these, I tend to lean toward the side of the pro-life crowd.

  112. Let the shrimp discuss their special characteristics on *their* blogs.

    Could you imagine? The anti-krill screeds? The chummers (they wouldn’t have spammers)? What kind of keyboards the shrimp would use (waterproof, I assume)?

  113. “I suppose that, if I had a selective memory and forgot who it was who commissioned the statue in the first place, and if I forgot that the fig-leaf episode was only a small part of the history of the artwork in question, then, yes, I would say you were anti-wealth.”

    Like any government bureaucracy (before you say it is a church and not a government I would like to point out that it is the only church with a representative in the United Nations) there are different forces at work and one administration may reverse the policies of a previous administration. One White House may proudly display a bust of Winston Churchill given it by the people of Airstrip One and the next may give it back to the Airstrip One embassy. But the very fact there is a significant element within the structure of the government that has such views is significant and an indication of the thinking of pro-Censorship Roman Catholics.

  114. “And what about people who think differently from you? People who would be uncomfortable at the idea of their relatives, friends and loves ones parading around naked in public? Are such people neo-Manicheans who despise the human body? (Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that there was no danger of arrest).”

    Discomfort from merely looking at something is not a case of “thinking” it is a case of feeling. This would depend upon the person’s background and personal history. There may be a case in which someone was abused as a child or had some other traumatic experience – such a person I would have a great deal of sympathy for – I would try to honor such a person’s wishes. But people who avoid images of the human body for that reason are quite rare. In most cases (in the West at least) it is because of the influence of Manichean beliefs upon the religion inaccurately described as Christianity.

  115. “if we are special (and I think we are) there must be some characterstic that compels moral weight and consideration that humans have and the shrimp does not have. And I put it to you that a five day old embryo has less of whatever characterstic that is than the shrimp”

    Are strict vegans anti-abortion also? It would seem that they would almost have to be if ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.

  116. has Reason done a story on Obama’s BAIPA votes?

  117. DHSTIT,

    So if someone is uncomfortable with people going around naked in public – in the street, at the office, at the supermarket – then it might be because the person hates the human body, or it could be because of some childhood trauma.

    Are there other possible reasons? Because those two explanations don’t seem to account for the widespread practice throughout the world of wearing clothes in public. This habit is even observable in non-Christian populations, even in populations untainted with the Big Three Abrahamic faiths. This habit of public clothes-wearing has been widespread for many centuries, in many different communities.

    There would seem to be a lot of body-haters and abuse victims out there.

    Isn’t it possible that there can be people in this world who respect the human body, and who, precisely *because* of this respect, believe that there should be a degree of public modesty – for people in public places, and for characters in movies?

  118. “What is immediately striking are the glaring differencesis the exact same DNA.”

    I’d love to know how DNA is morally relevant. Explain.

    “as a counter question, what is the essence that white and black men share, that mules dont share, that allows me to use the latter as a pack animal, but not the others”

    Easy. The black and white man have negligble differences in their ability to reason, have sentience, exercise autonomy, and they both have it over and above mules. Note, mules seem to have some ability to reason, and exercise autonomy and be somewhat sentient, so they certainly get some moral weight, but not as much as a white or black man (who seem to have no differences worth talking about in those areas).

    “Are strict vegans anti-abortion also? It would seem that they would almost have to be if ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.”

    Animal rights folks either draw their reasons (when reasons they have) from the thinking of folks like Singer, who base their views in the capacity to suffer, or Regan, who has a more Kantian view. The latter has said that he thinks a consistent animal rights/welfare philosophy must accord more weight to fetuses than our law currently does.

    “Let the shrimp discuss their special characteristics on *their* blogs.”

    Let the five day old embryo’s discuss their special characterstics on *their* blogs.

    “Because those two explanations don’t seem to account for the widespread practice throughout the world of wearing clothes in public.”

    I don’t think one can chalk this up to some natural law (course I don’t think one can chalk up much to natural law, a silly concept imo): 1. as a matter of fact many cultures wear much less clothes than we do (you’ve seen National Geographic, eh? Or read European descriptions of Native American tribes bare-breasted and loin-clothed at best, right?) 2. how much clothes they wear could probably be better predicted by climate and better attributed to utilitarian concerns (not wanting to freeze of get skin cancer, or whatever) than “natural human modesty”).

    If modesty in the body were so natural then Catholics and their ilk would not have to push for laws, boycotts and screeds to push people into such a “natural” state…

  119. The very best you are going to get from DNA by itself is that “this thing falls into the same group we do.” And if THAT is your only basis for according rights, then man Max’s nod to the racists of yesteryear suddenly does seem more relevant, because that was certainly a criteria they would appreciate…

  120. “If you want my take (which I’m sure you don’t) the abortion debate is not merely a utilitarian one but one that contains several complex and possibly insoluble ontological arguments. In the face of these, I tend to lean toward the side of the pro-life crowd.”

    Art
    I’m curious to know what you mean here.

  121. ‘If modesty in the body were so natural then Catholics and their ilk would not have to push for laws, boycotts and screeds to push people into such a “natural” state…’

    First things first. I was discussing the claim that modesty (in clothes and on film) reflects a hatred of the human body, and that this hatred is caused by Christians who follow Saint Augustine.

    I was suggesting that modesty does *not* necessarily reflect a hatred of the human body. It can in fact reflect respect for the human body.

    Now, concerning modern disputes about modesty or the lack thereof:

    If modesty reflects hatred of the human body, then one might presume that immodesty reflects respect and appreciation for the body. Which would suggest that you can find the greatest respect and appreciation for the human body in the works of pornographers.

    (Incidentally, I see that you enclose “natural” and “natural human modesty” in quotation marks. Whom are you quoting?)

    ‘The black and white man have negligble differences in their ability to reason,’

    While I agree, Abraham Lincoln probably did not. He seemed to buy into the argument that black people were intellectually inferior to white people. By your logic, then, Lincoln should have accepted that black people can legitimately be exploited by whites without their consent. Yet here is what Lincoln said in his Fragment on Slavery:

    ‘You do not mean color exactly? You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule you are to be slave to the first man you meet with an intellect superior to your own.’

    Lincoln may have been a power-grabbing racist, but at least he didn’t buy into the absurd idea that human beings with a superior ‘ability to reason’ can exploit (or even kill) those with inferior ability in that regard.

    (For the moment, I am not going to elaborate lengths to defend my speciesist preference for human beings over other living things.)

  122. ‘Let the five day old embryo’s discuss their special characterstics on *their* blogs.’

    Or let their fellow human beings defend them.

    Or is the ability to blog a prerequisite for the enjoyment of human rights, like the ‘ability to reason’ (which is not, apparently, the same as the ability to blog)?

  123. “Because those two explanations don’t seem to account for the widespread practice throughout the world of wearing clothes in public. This habit is even observable in non-Christian populations, even in populations untainted with the Big Three Abrahamic faiths. This habit of public clothes-wearing has been widespread for many centuries, in many different communities.”

    Merely wearing clothing is different from being ashamed of the human body. Clothing can be used as protection from the sun or from extreme cold, or from desert sand etc. I do not accuse firefighters of hating the human body merely because they choose to protect themselves from going into a burning building. Even the Hijab was probably originally designed simply to protect women from the desert climate – of course it has come to have a different significance today.

  124. “If modesty reflects hatred of the human body, then one might presume that immodesty reflects respect and appreciation for the body. Which would suggest that you can find the greatest respect and appreciation for the human body in the works of pornographers.”

    There is a difference between nudity and pornography. Not that I find any shame in consensual sex, I am just pointing out there is a difference. In fact I would argue that pornography exists BECAUSE of these puritanical attitudes in the same way that teenage binge drinking exists because of the laws against drinking alcohol among people who are under 21.

  125. Sorry I didn’t get to this earlier:

    ‘One White House may proudly display a bust of Winston Churchill given it by the people of Airstrip One and the next may give it back to the Airstrip One embassy. But the very fact there is a significant element within the structure of the government that has such views is significant and an indication of the thinking of pro-Censorship Roman Catholics.’

    You’re shifting from modesty to censorship. There would be nothing to censor if the Church hadn’t commissioned this art in the first place.

    So the Church commissioned artwork from some of history’s greatest artists, displaying the human body in its full glory, then a later administration in the Church covered up *part* of the work of these artists, part of what (for the purposes of discussion) we presume to be excessive prudishness.

    And somehow this is worse than never commissioning the art in the first place?

    The Church has not only approved the visual depiction of the world, but many Catholics *celebrate,* every single year, the triumph over the Iconoclasts, who believed artistic representation of the saints and of Christ was evil.

    It is not the Church which, nowadays, uses “iconoclast” as a synonym for bold, courageous dissent.

    I’m afraid that you have been watering down your case against the Church. First you talk about St. Thomas Aquinas being a good influence against St. Augustine (and Thomism is *big* in the Church), then you talk about the Church commissioning unedited versions of the human body in the same way the White House may ‘proudly display’ a Churchill bust. With all the body-affirming Catholic leaders and philosophers you cite, you are diminishing the supposed influence of the body-haters.

  126. “I’m afraid that you have been watering down your case against the Church. First you talk about St. Thomas Aquinas being a good influence against St. Augustine (and Thomism is *big* in the Church), then you talk about the Church commissioning unedited versions of the human body in the same way the White House may ‘proudly display’ a Churchill bust. With all the body-affirming Catholic leaders and philosophers you cite, you are diminishing the supposed influence of the body-haters.”

    What “case against the Church”? My argument was never against **ALL** Roman Catholics who ever lived. That was never my point. This discussion began after you posted a link to a book for sale on Amazon called “Hollywood’s Censor: Joseph I. Breen and the Production Code Administration” in your post on May 9, 2009 at 10:51am. Before this discussion began I mentioned that I liked JRR Tolkien who, as you point out, was Roman Catholic. I am **NOT** Anti-Catholic, merely Anti-Augustine. If you can’t separate those two concepts that is your problem, not mine. From my perspective this is the equivalent of saying I dislike Mayor Bloomberg but there are some other New Yorkers who I do like. I even liked Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ! Imagine that, a non-Catholic who can appreciate artwork done by a not only a Roman Catholic but a Traditionalist Roman Catholic about a subject near and dear to Roman Catholics!!! Wow!!

  127. DHSTIT,

    I didn’t mean to offend you (except by my creative acronym of your name).

    I know that you’re not reflexively anti-Catholic in all situations, as indicated by your distinction between St. Augustine and St. Thomas. I was trying to point out these distinctions for the benefit of the H&R community, which may not be as charitable as yourself when it comes to criticizing Catholic people and ideas.

    As for Gibson’s work, that is truly a great movie – although perhaps, as events have shown, the person who made the movie is not a great person. But there’s time.

  128. “For the moment, I am not going to elaborate lengths to defend my speciesist preference for human beings over other living things.”

    I’ll bet you’re not. I’m not going to try to shoot laser beams out of my eyes anytime soon either. In other words, you can’t without some absurd notions about souls or potentiality or what not. Yawn. So your righteousness, one so strong you think folks that disagree should not be honored at an insitution like Notre Dame, on this issue is strangely founded on some weak, sand like ground…Pro-life folks have no greater leg to stand on than animal rights folks really, but since the latter makes some claim to tradition the former hate to have that demonstrated to them. Because what is considered boorish behavior in the latter (animal rights folks) has to be recognized as on equally firm ground as that engaged in by the former (pro-life folks)…One would think that would warrant a bit more humility and forebearance, but sigh…

    “Incidentally, I see that you enclose “natural” and “natural human modesty” in quotation marks. Whom are you quoting?)”

    No, I’m mocking the silly idea of natural law.

    “Which would suggest that you can find the greatest respect and appreciation for the human body in the works of pornographers.”

    Is that so? Are pornographers the ultimate or sole endorsers of immodesty?

    “Or let their fellow human beings defend them.”

    Ahh, but why is that classification important? I could just as well switch from shrimp to pigs and say “let their fellow mammals defend them.”

    “By your logic, then, Lincoln should have accepted that black people can legitimately be exploited by whites without their consent.”

    Of course not. Were there a class of people who have less of whatever characterstic bestows moral relevance it certainly would not follow that those with more of it can do as they please with that class. In fact, all that would be needed is to say that there is some minimum threshold which must be met before the full set of rights is granted.

  129. When someone asked you why white people couldn’t exploit black people like humans exploit mules, your reply included this:

    ‘The black and white man have negligble differences in their ability to reason,’

    That’s what I was responding to, not your new ‘minimum threshold’ argument.

  130. For example, I’m betting that even you don’t think embryo’s have the full panoply of human rights (like the right to vote for example). But on some things I’ve learned not to assume (I can imagine you guys advocating little voting booths for embryo’s, or probably you’d want a proxy to vote for them, someone who has demonstrated their best interests at heart, say someone appointed by the Catholic Church…).

  131. There is a right to vote?

  132. Yes Max, the neglible differences do not warrant different treatment. That’s not difficult, is it?

    Still waiting on your argument for why the human DNA or human membership of an embryo alone grants this moral weight and consideration; it must be a powerful insight or argument if it underlies the lack of humility and forbearance demonstrated by your ilk manifested in the fierce opposition to Obama’s appearance at ND. Otherwise you guys would be acting a lot like those PETA folks who walk out of a dinner party because a fellow invitee wore a fur coat…

  133. The fun thing about H&R is that one always gets called back to first principles. Why are human beings entitled to more rights than shrimp? What legitimate reason can anyone have for wearing clothe in public, other than a need to avoid cold/sunburn?

    In many forums, things like modesty and the preference for humans over animals are taken for granted. Here, these thing have to be defended.

    I happen to think that the human species (including the unborn members of that species) should have more rights under human law than the members of other species – to the extent that membership in that species is enough to confer (to coin a phrase) ‘human rights.’

    Alternate viewpoints tend to lead to bad places. Someone cited Peter Singer. He’s the guy who not only defended animal rights, but also said that human babies don’t automatically have the right to life, not even at birth.

    In the real world, equating human beings with other animals does not tend to uplift animals, but to lower human beings to the level of brute beasts.

  134. ‘For example, I’m betting that even you don’t think embryo’s have the full panoply of human rights (like the right to vote for example).’

    Do you think five year olds have the right to vote? You cited five year olds in contrast to unborn embryos.

    If people without the right to vote don’t enjoy the right to live, what about the five-year-olds you cited? Do *they* have the right to life? If so, on what basis, since you deny them the fundamental right to vote?

  135. DHS
    Well, not for embryo’s.

    Yet.

    But seriously, I mean: A right to participate in the choosing of your leaders or the making of the laws which govern you, (see Independence, Declaration of).

  136. From an earlier MNG post:

    ‘It astounds me that even a committed pro-life person like yourself cannot admit that there are actual enormous differences between a five day old embryo and a five year old child’

    Both are denied the right to vote, MNG. So what ‘enormous differences’ were you referring to?

  137. “The fun thing about H&R is that one always gets called back to first principles. Why are human beings entitled to more rights than shrimp? What legitimate reason can anyone have for wearing clothe in public, other than a need to avoid cold/sunburn?

    In many forums, things like modesty and the preference for humans over animals are taken for granted. Here, these thing have to be defended.”

    That is whatI love about it too. I like being challenged on the basics and to challenge other people’s assumptions. (((H&R)))

  138. “I happen to think that the human species (including the unborn members of that species) should have more rights under human law than the members of other species-to the extent that membership in that species is enough to confer (to coin a phrase) ‘human rights”

    Wow, and YOU are the one that dared bring up begging the question?

    Humans should have rights because humans have rights. That’s pretty compelling MM!

    “Alternate viewpoints tend to lead to bad places.”

    Hmm, there’s a fallacy to arguing the truth of proposition because of a fear that denying it would lead to bad things too, isn’t there Max, now what is that fallacies name? Hmmm…

  139. You’re right Max, we deny both the five year old and the shrimp the right to vote. Both lack the amount of sentience, rationality, etc., that would warrant that right.

    But one lacks it waaaaaay more than the other. And your embryo is even further behind it sadly.

  140. MNG,

    So if I could get a majority of people in your neighborhood to agree that your house should be auctioned on ebay and the proceeds equally divided among the remaining residents that would be moral in your view (assuming you also have a vote in this special election)?

  141. But, to help you here: why does being human confer these rights you speak of?

    OK, now you tell me what is special about humans that warrants their having rights and the shrimp not. And don’t say “because they are human”, because I’ll just have to repeat the question and say “and why does that matter” (this is what happens when you argue with someone question begging, their “answer” goes nowhere, hence the other name for the fallacy “circular argument”).

    And then tell me how the five day old embryo has that something that humans have (other than simply membership in the class) and the shrimp does not.

    And try not to link to a Lincoln quote…

  142. No DHS, I don’t beleive that. But surely you think people should have a right to participate in the making of the laws that govern them, right (even though I hope that you, like me, think there are many areas that such a government cannot interfere in no matter how many fellow participators think it should), right?

  143. “No DHS, I don’t beleive that. But surely you think people should have a right to participate in the making of the laws that govern them, right (even though I hope that you, like me, think there are many areas that such a government cannot interfere in no matter how many fellow participators think it should), right?”

    I reject the very concept of government(when used as a noun).

  144. ‘OK, now you tell me what is special about humans that warrants their having rights and the shrimp not.’

    To defend them against people like MNG who conflate tie rights of human beings with the rights of shrimp.

    ‘And try not to link to a Lincoln quote…’

    Sorry you couldn’t think of a good response to Abraham Lincoln, especially after he demolished your argument that the reason black people should have equal rights is (inter alia) that their ‘ability to reason’ is the same as that of whites.

  145. MNG,

    Let’s stick with the voting-rights issue. You seem to use the same factors used in determinining whether whether someone should have voting rights to determine whether they should enjoy the right to life and freedom. What, then, is the basis for allowing five year olds enjoy the right to life, since as you acknowledge they shouldn’t have the right to vote.

  146. ‘the lack of humility and forbearance demonstrated by your ilk ‘

    I am very sorry that I cannot attain to your high standards of humility. ๐Ÿ™‚

  147. Haha Max. It’s sad that the lack of humility and forbearance that you folks have and are demonstrating in your furor over the Obama invite, the same arrogance of the PETA activist, essentially rests on something you’re not sure about. You cannot defend.

    A matter of “faith” let us say…

    As to the Lincoln, thing, you’re hilarious. I agree with Lincoln, my position is consistent with his. It’s yours that has the conflict, because you want to at the same time hold the embryo up as having rights the shrimp does not. Take the question begging “human” out of your comment “that beings with a superior ‘ability to reason’ can exploit (or even kill) those with inferior ability in that regard” and you’re trapped in a quandry: you’re in no stronger position than the PETA activist is. You would be if you could explain why that “human” part is important, but you can’t. Unlike me you can’t come up with what it is about humans that protects them, whether white or black, highly intelligent or of lower intelligence, but does not protect the shrimp.

    I can. A man of high or low intelligence has vastly more power of reasoning, sentience, etc., than a shrimp, so much more that it makes the two from qualitatively different categories, one demanding a high level of moral consideration the other demanding virtually none at all.

    But of course, I recognize that the embryo is even further behind the shrimp. And that’s the hurdle you simply can’t jump, can’t even make it over that lil’ shrimp to bridge the embryo which is below it and the black or white man far above it…And your arrogance, your lack of humility and forbearance, rests sadly, ultimately on this inability.

    And that disturbs you. But you know, I find faith positions will let you down like that quite often…

  148. “Let’s stick with the voting-rights issue.”

    Haha, I bet you’d like that. But of course, as both of us would not grant voting rights to embryo’s but we differ on rights a bit more fundmental, let’s stick with that, shall we?

    Let’s stick with, what quality about humans that five day old embryo’s have grants them the moral consideration that would justify the rights you speak of? It’s been hours, surely you have something.

    At least man up like robc and just say “souls.”

  149. “What, then, is the basis for allowing five year olds enjoy the right to life, since as you acknowledge they shouldn’t have the right to vote.”

    That’s very easy, isn’t it? The right to life, and more rights, are justified for the five year old because he has the amount and kind of reasoning ability, sentience, autonomy, etc., that carries that kind of moral weight (of course this would be based on something like Kant’s idea that reason gives you autonomy and autunomy grants rights, or the utilitarian idea that complex organisms experience pain and suffering and loss at a level qualitatively above less complex organisms and the right act is that which minimizes such pain and loss, etc). But the five year old does not have those qualities in sufficient degree to give them a right to vote.

    An embryo and a shrimp on the other hand don’t have enough to qualify for the even more basic rights.

    What’s funny here is that if you were more fair to and familiar with Peter Singer’s ideas, he could actually help you out of this jam (a bit, not to your satisfaction of course).

  150. I’m sure you enjoy arguing with the religious fundamentalists in your head.

    ‘I agree with Lincoln, my position is consistent with his.’

    You don’t, and it isn’t.

    To justify equal legal rights for black people vis-a-vis white people, the first item you listed in the list of similarities between whites and blacks was ‘ability to reason.’

    Lincoln, in contrast, denounced in advance your ‘ability to reason’ formula. ‘By this rule you are to be slave to the first man you meet with an intellect superior to your own.’

  151. Say we could quanitfy the quality that confers moral consideration.

    The shrimp (A) has 10 units of that quality.

    The smart man (B) has 10,000,000,000 of that quality and the dumb man (C) has 9,999,999,999 of it.

    The embryo (D) has 2.

    So you can see why the difference between B and C does not warrant different treatment (it puts them essentially in the same class, and unlike your class [“all humans!”] a class defined by a justifiable moral distinction), but the differences between B and C and A and D does warrant some pretty vastly different treatment. Note that I don’t maintain that D and A have no moral consideration due to them, just very, very little.

  152. You’re 3:05 post was very nice (answered in my 3:06 post, but of course the answer should have been obvious, I’m trying to spell it out in as many and as simple ways possible until you see how you’re thwarted by it fully), but surely if you have the time to make such a post, you have the time to “elaborate” on what quality all humans, including embryos, have that grants them the moral consideration you advocate. Or is it not a time thing, but something you can’t do?

  153. You also, in your focus on the reasoning capacities of human beings, narrow your focus to particular human beings at particular points in time. If a human being is in a developmental state such that his ‘ability to reason’ is less than it will be at a later stage, then that human being may be denied fundamental human rights, according to your forumlation.

    Even by your own standards, wouldn’t you agree that if an individual human being has the potential to develop his or her ‘ability to reason,’ along the general lines of human development, then you might not want to kill him or her?

    If your focus is narrowed to ‘the individual human being at the present moment in time when we are contemplating killing him,’ then what about people who are sleeping? They don’t have much ‘ability to reason’ in the sleeping state, do they? And if we’re ignoring their potential to develop reasoning powers in the future (in this case, after they wake up), then what is to stop you, philosophically, from killing them in their sleep?

  154. Were we aliens, or just not religous fanatics, looking at all four (the shrimp, the dumb man, the smart man and the embryo) we would be able to distinguish very few differences between the dumb and smart man, but huge differences between them both and the other two entities.

    We’d be struck at how the size, shape, and structure of the brains of the smart and dumb man are virtually identical. We’d then be struck at the near utter lack of similarity between the brain of the shrimp and the two men, and the utter lack of brain in the embryo.

    We could then do the same in regards nervous systems, limbs, digits, digestive systems, and on and on and on.

    So it would be very strange indeed to postulate the smart and dumb man as having differences large enough to warrant much different treatment, and very strange indeed to posutlate that the shrimp and embryo have similarities with the dumb and smart man that would warrant few differences in their treatment.

    See Max, you’re aligned with PETA in all this, on similar (yikes, even weaker actually, but pretty darn close) footing.

    I know that makes you squirm, but embrace it dude! Some of those PETA chicks (modestly covered of course) are hot!

  155. Robert James Bidinotto makes the case against animal rights in such impecabbly Christian-bashing terms that even most fastidious H&R poster would approve.

    He traces animal-rights fanaticism back to the Book of Genesis, just as any reasonable secularist traces every human ill back to Genesis. But then Bidinotto gets to the real issues – the romanticism of Rousseau and the anti-rational bent of the intellectuals.

  156. Who cares where the animal rights movement, as an empirical historical matter, comes from? What matters is whether the propositions they put forward are correct or not.

    Don’t worry, I similarly dismiss my friends that argue against pro-lifers’ positions by pointing out how, as a historical empirical matter such folks have often been associated with a general concern of religious groups to control sexuality in general and women’s sexuality in particular. None of that matters as to the question of whether fetuses and embryo’s deserve the moral protection those advocates push for.

  157. ‘Were we aliens, or just not religous fanatics, looking at all four (the shrimp, the dumb man, the smart man and the embryo) we would be able to distinguish very few differences between the dumb and smart man, but huge differences between them both and the other two entities.’

    By your standards, an advanced race of aliens would already have such an advantage over human beings in the matter of ‘ability to reason’ that they would be entitled to exploit, enslave, or even kill human beings to promote their (the aliens’) own interests.

    To use your terminology, a smart human would only have 10 billion units of ‘the quality that confers moral consideration,’ and the aliens would have ten trillion. That would entitle the aliens to enslave and kill us, especially since the aliens would be the ones measuering the relevant quality.

    Either that, or Lincoln was right (and you are wrong) about entities of superior intelligence being entitled to enslave entities of inferior intelligence.

  158. That poor lil’ shrimp can do a lot of damage, eh Max? I mean, your inability to rise to his defense suggests that the moral shroud of defending the very weak that you often cloak yourself in has some rather large holes in it…I mean, if you nobly speak for the weak, the little and un-complex, then why so silent on the mass murder of millions of shrimp a year for the slimmest of reasons (because they taste so damn good dipped in butter, imo!)? Surely it’s not just because the shrimp is not “one of our kind.” Why Max, need I supply links to how many racists throughout time used that very same reasoning to justify their despicable deeds and positions? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  159. So if I could get a majority of people in your neighborhood to agree that your house should be auctioned on ebay and the proceeds equally divided among the remaining residents that would be moral in your view (assuming you also have a vote in this special election)?

    Vote? MNG is a utilitarian, he will give up his house (and his life, I presume) and soon as you prove it benefits mankind as a whole.

  160. “To use your terminology, a smart human would only have 10 billion units of ‘the quality that confers moral consideration,’ and the aliens would have ten trillion. That would entitle the aliens to enslave and kill us, especially since the aliens would be the ones measuering the relevant quality.”

    My goodness Max, you know you sound exactly like Peter Singer here, defending the poor shrimp from the mass murder we inflict…He uses nearly the exact same concepts and numbers!

    But I doubt you want to go there…See, you want to be able to confidently eat your shrimp and have it (well, a similarly complex embryo) too.

  161. We’d be struck at how the size, shape, and structure of the brains of the smart and dumb man are virtually identical. We’d then be struck at the near utter lack of similarity between the brain of the shrimp and the two men, and the utter lack of brain in the embryo.

    DNA.

    Once again. 3 of the 4 have the same DNA. The 4th differs. Once again, the embryo is OBVIOUSLY human while the shrimp isnt.

  162. robc
    I wouldn’t give it up nor agree, being human and all, but if giving up my house and life were the act that would maximize human welfare overall, then they would be right to ake it.

    For example, were a fire sweeping through my neighborhood from house to house killing hundreds and consuming hundreds of houses and likely to continue to spread and kill/consume hundreds more, and the only feasible way to stop it was for the authorities to hurriedly blow my house up with, sadly, me in it (in order to break the link and stop the spread), then yes, they should do it.

    Do you really hold otherwise? I mean, you don’t hold that low of a value on human life, do you ;)?

  163. robc
    please see post @ 9:49, 9:59, 1:53, etc

  164. The irony here is that I don’t even *like* shrimp.

    Tibor Machan points out one flaw in the ‘animal rights’ argument: If animals have legal rights, then they should also have legal responsibilities, and that would mean that (to give one of Machan’s examples) one bear killing another in a dispute over prey would have to be indicted and tried for murder.

  165. please see post @ 9:49, 9:59, 1:53, etc

    Moral relevance, where the fuck did I make that argument?

    Im talking scientific identification of species.

  166. ‘My goodness Max, you know you sound exactly like Peter Singer’

    OK, I need to give you credit for originality.

    The usual criticism against Christianity is that it justifies human exploitation of Mother Nature, etc., with its irrational emphasis on the special uniqueness of human beings.

    Now it seems that the earlier critics were wrong, and that the problem with Christianity is that it respects animals and the environment too much.

  167. MNG,

    the act that would maximize human welfare overall, then they would be right to ake it.

    hence the reason I was say: “Fuck Utilitarianism”.

    You just justified the holocaust, you fuck. I mean, maybe the world would be better without the Jews? If so, then utilitarians would all be “yeah Hitler!”

    Even if the world would be better without Jews, killing them is still wrong.

    I would not sacrifice your life to save the planet. And I would consider (after all, I am human, so I might not) stopping anyone else who tried.

  168. “If animals have legal rights, then they should also have legal responsibilities”

    Oh Max, you’re just getting worse. Replace “animals” with embryos, or heck, even infants!

    So, “Tibor Machan points out one flaw in the ’embryo rights’ argument” would be better put!

  169. “Im talking scientific identification of species”

    Sigh. And so why is that important? Only “our kind” gets the rights? What about “our kind” grants us these rights? Now, that thing about “our kind” that does this, do embryos have it?

  170. Dude, you just got Godwinned!

    And just to satisfy MNG’s curiousity, here are links to lots of anti-animal-rights material.

  171. “The irony here is that I don’t even *like* shrimp.”

    I do. Peel and eat, great with butter.

    But I’ll pass on embryos, unless they’re cooked with cajun spices they just are’nt worth the menu price…

  172. Oh Max, you’re just getting worse. Replace “animals” with embryos, or heck, even infants!

    Infants (not sure about embryos, legal status is clearly tricky) do have legal responsibilities. For example, they have to pay taxes (in the rare case of an infact getting taxable income). It is the guardians’ responsibility, but it in for the infant.

  173. “You just justified the holocaust, you fuck.”

    What Sir Godwin? Of course not, since the world would not be made better off by that, but much, much worse.

  174. ‘Oh Max, you’re just getting worse. Replace “animals” with embryos, or heck, even infants!’

    Embryos and infants generally grow up to enjoy legal responsibilities. Assuming they’re allowed to grow up in the first place.

  175. Now, that thing about “our kind” that does this, do embryos have it?

    No fucking clue. Read my post, it occurs sometime between conception and algebra* and that is as far as Im willing to narrow it down.

    (If I had to be pinned down, I would say absolutely no later than the start of brain activity, but possibly much sooner)

    *I keep using this reference, it isnt too obscure is it?

  176. Of course not, since the world would not be made better off by that, but much, much worse.

    That is an assumption, not clearly proven. I happen to agre, but Im not sure it is obvious enough to be assumed.

  177. Max
    I’m puzzled by your 3:38 post.

    First, I’m just pointing out that the same principle you invoke for why the aliens can’t abuse us is the one invoked by Singer et al for why it is wrong for us to eat shrimp, it’s based on the same footing. Surely you see that, right?

    Second, I don’t have a beef with Christianity but with something very different, namely Cahtolicism (I keed, I keed).

  178. I think I will get some shrimp out of the freezer.

  179. So Max, any embryo or infant that we know will not make it to this stage, I can eat, right? C’mon, just back away from Tibor’s terrible argument. I’m trying to help you here.

    robc
    Don’t tell me when, tell me what. What about being human, having this particular string of DNA, confers these rights?

  180. “Embryos and infants generally grow up to enjoy legal responsibilities. Assuming they’re allowed to grow up in the first place.”

    Left to thier own devices shrimp may one day evolve into superintelligent decapods.

  181. “generally grow up…allowed”

    Not that it’s all that relevant, but the rate of embryos that “naturally” don’t even make it to being born is quite high.

  182. Of course not, since the world would not be made better off by that, but much, much worse.

    I realized your response seems to agree with my point, replace the Jews with some group that would make the world better off by killing, and you seem okay with it.

    Pedophiles, Catholics, Drunk drivers, which ones are okay to wipe out?

  183. MNG,

    I answered that at 12:16 AM.

  184. Dudes, I gotta run, back in a few hours probably, maybe by then you can answer the ? from post @ 9:49, 9:59, 1:53 etc?

  185. “Pedophiles, Catholics, Drunk drivers, which ones”

    You mean they are three different classes? Could have fooled me! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Couldn’t resist, really gotta go now

  186. And here is another question, would it be moral for a human to eat a superintelligent decapod that was more intelligent than himself? If so, why? If not, why not?

  187. DHS,

    How tasty are they?

    Like Poppers?

  188. ‘the same principle you invoke for why the aliens can’t abuse us’

    No, I used *your* principles to prove that the aliens could enslave and exploit humans if it was in the aliens’ interest. Hence, there’s something wrong with your principles.

    ‘So Max, any embryo or infant that we know will not make it to this stage, I can eat, right? C’mon, just back away from Tibor’s terrible argument. I’m trying to help you here.

    You should focus on helping out your own arguments before offering your charitable assistance to others.

    For example, you still have not responded to my earlier point, which I will repeat for your convenience:

    ‘You also, in your focus on the reasoning capacities of human beings, narrow your focus to particular human beings at particular points in time. If a human being is in a developmental state such that his ‘ability to reason’ is less than it will be at a later stage, then that human being may be denied fundamental human rights, according to your forumlation.

    ‘Even by your own standards, wouldn’t you agree that if an individual human being has the potential to develop his or her ‘ability to reason,’ along the general lines of human development, then you might not want to kill him or her?

    ‘If your focus is narrowed to ‘the individual human being at the present moment in time when we are contemplating killing him,’ then what about people who are sleeping? They don’t have much ‘ability to reason’ in the sleeping state, do they? And if we’re ignoring their potential to develop reasoning powers in the future (in this case, after they wake up), then what is to stop you, philosophically, from killing them in their sleep?’

  189. robc,

    Assume these superintelligent decapods taste better than best Main lobster you have ever eaten.

  190. Assume these superintelligent decapods taste better than best Main lobster you have ever eaten.

    Do superintelligent decapods have a soul?

    As a general rule, I think eating them would be wrong, but that could turn me all utilitarian. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe they were bred to want to be eaten, a la Douglas Adams, in that case maybe it would be okay.

  191. Serve Man!

  192. It should be noted that in fact
    Chuck Norris was the first black president.

    Not Obama
    Not Clinton

    If you are of the belief that Chuck was never president, or that he is not black, then you are wrong, and it is time for you to stop being a racist!

  193. I’m curious to know what you mean here.

    I’m not going to rehash them, (robc and Mad Max make some pretty good Pro-Life arguments), but I just meant that in the absence of philosophical certainty about the morality of abortion, I’m inclined to not want to endorse abortion. That might be a weak agnostic sort of position but, well…

  194. “No, I used *your* principles to prove that the aliens could enslave and exploit humans if it was in the aliens’ interest.”

    Well, since my principle is that there is a minimum threshold of reasoning ability that makes autonomy meaningful and to be respected by the conferring of rights as you advocate (I stated this waaaay back in my 9:02 post 5/10) you actually don’t address my principle. It’s you that has the problem: why the shrimp and not the embryo? As I’ve shown just saying “it’s in the same class as me” is a horrible argument…

    “They don’t have much ‘ability to reason’ in the sleeping state, do they? ”

    Ability to reasoning was offered along with sentience, autonomy, etc., as common attributes used to justify moral consideration of the kind that would protect an embryo in the way you want. I didn’t say it was mine. My own view is that closer to Tom Regan’s and has to do with being a “subject of a life”, and complexity makes a “subject of a life” have more moral consideration. A sleeping five or fifty year old has brain wave patterns that are qualitatively different than an embryo, which has no brain at all much less brain wave patterns of a respectable (and I use that term meaingfully) level. Again, were we to hook them both up to something measuring brain waves the shrimp exhibits “more going on” in the brain than the five day old embryo.

    “you still have not responded to my earlier point”

    That’s ballsy, as you never answered my main question way back from the morning. You can’t tell me what quality the human embryo and five and fifty year old has that makes them special as compared to the shrimp, which you don’t want to protect. Based on this fundamental inability, this gaping hole in the edifice of your stance, I make my first point again: you and your ilk should exhibit far more forbearance and humility than is being demonstrated in the recent opposition to honoring Obama at ND. Remember, I’m not the one saying a pro-life person should be refused some honor.

  195. ‘That’s ballsy, as you never answered my main question way back from the morning. You can’t tell me what quality the human embryo and five and fifty year old has that makes them special as compared to the shrimp’

    Your 9:02 AM post said:

    ‘I mean, I just returned from eating out, and the shrimp that I ate with no guilty conscience are more complex than a five day old embryo…Did I just deny the shrimp their rights to live and murder them because of self interest (because they are so damn yummy?), or could there be another explanation? Namely that I accord moral rights to things that have certain characteristics (like a complex nerve system and functioning brain) but not to things that don’t meet that threshold?’

    I’ve explained that the difference between the shrimp and the human embryo is that the embryo is human.

    You profess not to know what is so special about human beings, but the very standard you propose for measuring an entity’s right to life is glaringly anthropocentric. You have stacked the deck in such a way that, at least, consccious, intelligent born humans have rights but precious few other species – even if they are at the peak of their intellectual potential – do not.

    You do it again in proposing your reasons why black people have more rights than mules:

    ‘The black and white man have negligble differences in their ability to reason, have sentience, exercise autonomy, and they both have it over and above mules.’

    You repeat the offense when you get into brain wave patterns.

    These are all tests designed for certain human beings to pass, but which few members of other species can pass.

    Don’t you think it’s a curious coincidence that your standards happen to privilege primarily members of your own species?

    For human beings, your default position is to assign them rights, while having exceptions for early embryos (and perhaps other humans). For nonhumans, your default position is to deny them rights (perhaps with exceptions for really intelligent apes, dolphins, aliens, etc.)

    You would assign rights to those who have characteristics which are distinctively human, yet you seem to assume that your principles are neutral as among different species. You’ve rigged the game.

    It’s like the old Grandfather Clauses – “we’re race-neutral when it comes to the right to vote; all we ask is that you show you have an ancestor who was able to vote in, say, 1866 (before most black people were enfranchised).”

    You certainly have a lot of nerve (endings?) accusing other people of anthropocentric bias.

  196. MNG,

    I don’t really have a dog in the abortion debate one way or another, but your reasoning seems flawed.

    1st you say that the ability to reason gives one rights as a human.

    Newborns don’t have much of an ability to reason, nor do retarded people, nor to people in a coma. All of the above have human rights.

    Then you say, something about two arms and two legs, and digits and whatnot, but really so do apes have all of that, and they don’t have human rights.

    As to why do humans have rights, and not shrimps, or apes.

    I don’t think anyone has ever logically answered that one. At least I haven’t seen it. But all of us here agree that humans should have rights, and that we should defend the rights of other humans.

    Being a human DOES give one rights. You believe so, and so do the rest of us.

  197. MNG also,

    I think I get Mad Max’s point, though I don’t agree with it.

    You like slavers of the day are arguing that one form of human doesn’t deserve life because it it not fully human.

    They were wrong, and you might not be. I don’t know where life begins, and when a human starts to have rights.

  198. Dear Reason comments board,
    While I’m sure Mad Max is a nice guy and all that, he is the LoneWakko of Catholicism, and debating him in this area is silly.

  199. “Keyes is certainly a far superior speaker and debater than the Kenyan.”

    Ignoring that you use the right-wing term “the Kenyan” when referring to a man born in Hawaii, I have to say that Keyes has debated Obama. When Keyes challenged Obama’s IL senate seat they had a televised debate. Had you seen that debate, you’d realize how stupid your comment is.

    As to “the Kenyan”. Do you refer to everyone by where their family originally immigrated from?

  200. Uh, no, it’s not about Obama’s positions on abortion and stem cell research. It’s about whether Notre Dame is going to behave like a Catholic university, or whether it’s going to suck up to power and honor those who flout Catholic doctrine.

  201. good topic for share thanks!

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