The Embryo Eaters:
Part 2 — PZ Myers and McEmbryos

General Bioethics — By on January 23, 2006 at 1:53 am

When I wrote the



  • Eric & Lisa

    Heh,
    that is pretty observant of you Joe. Of course, you won’t get a straight answer from any of those here who agree with Mr. Meyers.

  • Eric & Lisa

    Heh,
    that is pretty observant of you Joe. Of course, you won’t get a straight answer from any of those here who agree with Mr. Meyers.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    With reminiscinces of chuckles – nah, memmories guffaws- unleashed in the gastronomic sancta of some very good but moderatly priced restaurants in Asia- I am reminded of Mary Roach’s book Stiffs: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and especially the chapter entitled “Eat Me,” which is of particular relevance to this discussion, in which it is made known that the stories about aborted babies being made into food in China was a made-up-from-whole-cloth story by the religious right (as was the Reuters story about two brothers, one of whom worked at a crematorium and another who worked in a Restaurant). But that doesn’t mean that some medications in China are embryo-free.
    It’s possible they’re not, according to Roach.
    As long as fetuses are dead, why waste them? Because your “yuck factor” entitles you to be greedy?
    Well, let’s leave that question there, and consider whether your yuck factor would go into overdrive- as my dear wife’s did – when she saw 2 dozen eggs at a very attractive price in the new Asian market that just opened. Only they were labelled Balut eggs.
    Not knowing what Balut eggs are (after all, it’s not a Chinese word), my wife bought the eggs, and returned home to make her rice cakes. She took out a mixing bowl, poured in the rice flour, the milk, but when it came time to crack the eggs, she noticed that the eggs had chicken embryos in them.
    What my story illustrates, is, despite your misanthropism, (“P.Z. Meyers would do it for a million bucks!”) is that if you’re making rice-cakes, Balut eggs or human fetuses simply won’t do, and even someone who knows about the concept of consumption of the placenta of homo sapiens will be taken aback when a chicken fetus appears in the mixing bowl.
    So I would have to say, it most certainly depends on the cuisine and method of preparation. As Iron Chef, has shown, add enough truffles and caviar to a dish, and Asako Kishi will praise it to high heaven every time. And you know caviar are eggs, too.
    In the bible, its passages that don’t-condemn-eating-babies don’t go into any great detail about the method of preparation, and so we can’t really know what they tasted like.
    Now if that arouses your yuck factor, and righteous indignation, perhaps you can imagine how a vegan raw foodist like Tre Arrow might feel. Or not.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/2006/01/beware-of-balut-eggs.html Notes in Samsara

    Beware of the Balut Eggs…

    if you’re making rice-cakes, Balut eggs or human fetuses simply won’t do, and even someone who knows about the concept of consumption of the placenta of homo sapiens will be taken aback when a chicken fetus appears in the mixing bowl.

  • http://allthings2all.blogspot.com Catez

    Interesting post Joe. If anything it shows how cheap advertising gimmicks are put forward as a measure of how we value things – a tacky attempt at equalising a human embryo with junk food.
    Superficiality and objectification. Some think it is cool and amusing to be callous I guess. It isn’t the human embryos that are being eaten – it’s self-respect and the preservation instinct.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Of course, let’s not forget that this is around the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the Bush administraiton has been remarkably consistent in their viewpoint on human life.

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Joe, this is an excellent post.
    I agree with the point that P.Z. Meyer makes, that very young human embryos are not exactly the same, morally speaking, as a newborn baby, a child, or a human grown-up.
    But your response is dead-on target. You point out that embryos, no matter how young, are not mere playthings or disposable objects. I too would be very curious to hear Mr. Meyer’s response to your question about eating human embryos.
    My own response is that embryos are people, and it ain’t right to eat people. We should do everything that is reasonable and appropriate to defend and protect all people, especially those who are particularly defenseless and vulnerable.
    Now that doesn’t mean abortion, for example, is unreasonable and inappropriate in all circumstances. It just means that abortion is a very, very serious matter, a true moral dilemma that has to be handled as intelligently and as compassionately as is humanly possible.
    But like I said, I’m very curious to hear what Meyers himself has to say about it. He strikes me as somebody who has a firm grasp on certain aspects of reality, but with a deep reluctance to focus on other aspects of reality that are emotionally sensitive to him.

  • http://sixteenvolts.blogspot.com Ilkka Kokkarinen

    I once thought of a similar hypothetical scenario by asking whether someone who believes that animals are only very complex machines (i.e. Rene Descartes) would be able to beat a cute puppy to death with a baseball bat. Would the refusal to do this prove that he doesn’t really believe that animals are only machines?
    Not necessarily, since such a person would also know that he lives in a society where beating puppies to death is frowned upon, and for this reason it is smart to refuse to do it, for his own safety and future.
    Similarly, PZ Myers would be rational to refuse to eat a human fetus in our society, even if he doesn’t believe that fetuses have any inherent value. You might counter this with the question “What if the test was organized and done in secret?” but then we are entering a territory how a person can believe that the test will remain a secret, and it would still be prudent to refuse it.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I agree that both abortion and fetuses are serious matters. Sometimes it is useful to use ‘shock value’ in these discussions. The pro-life community, for example, would not be beyond depicting experimentation on embryos as equal to experimentation on live babies with photos to match.
    As I have argued before most pro-life discussions come down to two sides talking past each other not even aware what their disagreement really is. There’s two broad schools on when human life begins.
    The process school holds that non-human life becomes human gradually over the term of some process. There is agreement that the beginning is non-human and the end is human but the middle ground is held to be a grey zone where the entity is considered to be becomming more human.
    The moment school seeks to tie it to a specific moment such as conception or implantation or quickening (when the baby’s first kicks can be felt which earlier Christians thought was the moment when an unborn baby was ‘ensouled’).
    Most will be surprised to know that you’ll find religious and non-religious groups in both camps. The original feminist argument in Roe, for example, would have put the ‘moment’ at birth…an argument that Roe rejected. Jewish religious thought, for the most part, seems to veer more towards the process school. That doesn’t mean abortion is OK but it is not equilivant to infanticide.
    The disagreement here is coming from two different schools putting the mile marker in two different locations. For example, no one holds an unfertilized egg is a human beign. A therapy based on eating unfertilized eggs would raise no ethical issues beyond the question of where the eggs are going to come from.
    The problem with the whole embryo eaters analogy (as well as another Joe issued, Soloman’s Veil) is that it assumes the conclusion. It assumes we all belong to the same school of thought (we don’t) and it assumes we all belong to the same denomination inside that school (we don’t). So the hypothetical exercise does little to convince either side of anything other than reinforcing their belief that the opposite side either consists of lunatics or inhuman monsters.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    …why assume only religious people can fall back on ‘speculative metaphysical categories’?
    I don’t make such an assumption. Everyone eventually falls back on “speculative metaphysical categories” whether they acknowledge it or not. I just don’t think Meyers would acknowledge it.
    Now let’s assume that we agree somehow that no-human beigns will be killed for this ‘embryo eating entertainment’.
    Well, that’s the crux of the matter. You can only get human flesh from human beings. So if the embryo is not a human being then you’re not eating human flesh, and so it shouldn’t be an issue.
    Most will say that well known cases such as that soccar team that ate fellow victims of a plane crash when they were starving did not behave unethically.
    I would certainly disagree with anyone who said that.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    I would certainly disagree with anyone who said that.
    Let’s get that straight: you would say that folks who ate fellow (deceased) victims of a plane crash were being unethical?
    It’s clear that Boonton’s right for those who value human life that there is something deeply immoral about treating zygotes and embryos as born people- but legal issues aside, why waste a corpse, as Mary Roach points out?
    Why is it OK to uses corpses for research in say, automobile safety, but not for nutrition, other than the risk of koro and cultural factors?

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com Jim Anderson

    Myers. Myers. Myers Myers Myers.
    Why is it that everyone spells his name wrong?

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Mumon Let’s get that straight: you would say that folks who ate fellow (deceased) victims of a plane crash were being unethical?
    Yes.
    Why is it OK to uses corpses for research in say, automobile safety, but not for nutrition, other than the risk of koro and cultural factors?
    Because it dehumanizes the person who is eating his fellow human. If you cling to life so desperately that you’d eat your fellow man, then you are probably unclear on what it means to be human.
    Jim Why is it that everyone spells his name wrong?
    Good question. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the guy that I haven’t misspelled his name. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • KAM

    The soccer players who survived by eating deceased in the Andes were Catholics. They said afterward that at the time they drew a parallel between Christ’s sacrifice for them, and the Eucharist, and what they did.
    Thoughts, Joe?

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    KAM Thoughts, Joe?
    First, let me say that while I find their actions immoral, they were under extreme duress. Most people are capable of being immoral without the slightest provocation so I don’t want to judge them too harshly.
    Second, people will go to ridiculous links to rationalize their behavior. If you’re going to eat your dead teammates then own up to the behavior. But to compare it to Christ’s sacrifice is disgusting and borders on blasphemy.

  • KAM

    Joe, I know about these details because I happened to catch something about it on the History channel (gotta be true!).
    Assuming that it is true, I wouldn’t assume that rationalization and borderline blasphemy is the only explanation. I remember finding it so counterintuitive and so weird as to have plausibility.
    Remember, these were friends and teammates.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Me:
    Why is it OK to uses corpses for research in say, automobile safety, but not for nutrition, other than the risk of koro and cultural factors?
    Joe Carter:

    Because it dehumanizes the person who is eating his fellow human. If you cling to life so desperately that you’d eat your fellow man, then you are probably unclear on what it means to be human.

    I am reminded of this passage from Catch-22, which seems ever so apt, especially these days:

    “Anything worth living for,” said Nately, “is worth dying for.”
    “And anything worth dying for,” answered the sacrilegious old man, “is certainly worth living for. You know, you’re such a pure and naive young man that I almost feel sorry for you. How old are you? Twenty-five? Twenty-six?”
    “Nineteen,” said Nately. “I’ll be twenty in January.”
    “If you live.” The old man shook his head, wearing, for a moment, the same touchy, meditating frown of the fretful and disapproving old woman. “They are going to kill you if you don’t watch out, and I can see now that you are not going to watch out. Why don’t you use some sense and try to be more like me? You might live to be a hundred and seven, too.”
    “Because it’s better to die on one’s feet than live on one’s knees,” Nately retorted with triumphant and lofty conviction.
    “I guess you’ve heard that saying before.”
    “Yes, I certainly have,” mused the treacherous old man, smiling again. “But I’m afraid you have it backward. It is better to live on one’s feet than die on one’s knees. That is the way the saying goes.”
    “Are you sure?” Nately asked with sober confusion. “It seems to make more sense my way.”
    “No, it makes more sense my way. Ask your friends.”


    And so I’d say:
    Not using corpses for nutrition- especially in the case of those soccer players would dehumanize the person who would starve himself to death by refusing to eat the corpse of a no-longer-human being. If you cling to the notion of what it means to be a human so desperately that you’d equate a corpse with a fellow man, then you are probably unclear on what it means to be human

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    I have it on good authority that Christian churches serve cannibalistic meals to their members every Sunday. They take a little wafer and some cheap red wine and do a magic trick that turns them into the actual flesh and blood of their savior Jesus, and then they chow down.
    I personally don’t engage in cannibalism, but it seems to me that anybody who does isn’t in a position to criticize other cannibals for their eating habits, real or imagined.

  • http://www.soupskitchen.blogspot.com/ Soup

    As I’ve mentioned before, human life is a continuum from conception to death. When we start making distinctions about what qualifies as human life then all sorts of bad things start happening such as abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, etc.
    You may argue that it’s the old slippery slope argument, but it holds true.
    I wonder what would happen if 100 people were selected at random from your local neighborhood grocery store, business, or school and were placed into a room and were asked by a show of hands who wanted to die.
    My guess is that zero hands would be raised. If a hand (or hands) were raised then those people would probably be referred to mental health professionals to be put under suicide watch and evaluated for being mentally unstable.
    Why are those who are suicidal prevented from harming themselves (if possible) by our system, yet no protection is afforded to the most vulnerable, the unborn?
    Why is it considered abnormal for a person to seek to kill himself, but it’s okie dokie for mommy to murder her unborn child? Why is it illegal for mom to decide she wants junior dead after he’s 1 minute old? 1 month old? 1 year old? Is a one month old self-aware? Can a one year old tell you he wants to live? If not, can we really be sure they do?
    It’s just absurd. Why is it difficult to comprehend that killing human beings is wrong regardless of their position on the developmental spectrum?

  • Cheesehead

    Richard: At times I really enjoy reading your blog because you can be very cogent with your remarks, and I probably agree with you more often than I disagree, but this entry really is beneath you.

  • ex-preacher

    Suppose you thought you had just enjoyed a delicious veal cutlet, only to find out that you had actually eaten a four-month old Golden Retriever puppy. Four month old puppy – yuck! Four month old calf – yummy! Personally, I don’t eat any fellow mammals. I think it’s wrong. And yucky.
    Also, while I favor same sex marriage, I think man-on-man sex is yucky (girl-on-girl, not quite so yucky). I’m with Larry David on not seeing Brokeback Mountain for fear of those voices in my head. Yet, I also am totally grossed out at the thought of my parents having sex (especially anything other than “normal” sex).
    The “yuck” factor should cause us to pause and consider. But ultimately, reason should prevail. As much as I hate the thought, I probably would drink my own urine or eat a dead fellow human (or other mammal) to survive (by the way, it was a Uruguayan rugby team). Wikipedia has an interesting article on cannibalism.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    I don’t think any “yuck factor” has much to do with serious life-and-death decisions.
    If it comes down to a case where you have to choose between eating the flesh of a human corpse and dying, it would be wise for people to remember that the religions tend to be pretty strongly opposed to suicide.
    And Cheese, my prior comment was appropriate to the post, which was one of the more distasteful contributions I’ve yet to see in the blogosphere.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com Mumon

    Well, so Joe Carter has a problem with eating human cadavers even if he’s starving to death (odd for someone who claims to be “pro-life.”)
    But what about chimpanzees?
    I mean, how far does the genome have to diverge before it’s what’s for dinner?

  • Gordon Mullings

    All:
    Joe has raised a provocative issue — I have to remind myself not to peek ahead too often, or I will get addicted . . .
    Matt Goggins has spoken well, like a man of decency:

    My own response is that embryos are people, and it ain’t right to eat people. We should do everything that is reasonable and appropriate to defend and protect all people, especially those who are particularly defenseless and vulnerable.

    While we do need to look at the underlying implications, i.e. what is the fundamental reason we value humans morally, etc., we should not let such debates crowd out common decency.
    Kudos to MG.
    Grace
    Gordon
    PS It is interesting to see that B has at least in part recognised that metaphysics is common to us all: why assume only religious people can fall back on ‘speculative metaphysical categories’? So, that means that the issue is to use comparative difficulties . . . and of course that leads straignt to the ethical challenges faced by evolutionary materialist worldviews [the underlying issue in Joe's remarks].

  • http://thebronxblogger.blogspot.com Matthew Goggins

    Good morning Gordon!
    Thanks for the kind and very sporting words. I appreciate it.
    Good to exchange comments with you again, sir.
    Matthew

  • Nick

    It’s not clear to me that discussion of cannibalism and the eating of embryos provides any moral guidance on the issue of using embryos and stem cells in medical treatments.
    Most people have no moral problem with transplanting a human heart or liver by a surgical procedure. Most people would be revulsed by the thought of those same organs fried with onions and brown gravy. Either cannibalism has no bearing on the morality of other uses of human tissue, or we should reject all organ transplants.
    Ex-preacher:
    The “yuck” factor should cause us to pause and consider.
    Yes, but not because it provides any moral guidance as Joe seems to think. The “yuck” factor is sometimes a useful way to identify practices that are dirty or dangerous. It is perfectly useless for identifying immoral practices. Many immoral practices are seductive and attractive, and many yucky practices are morally admirable
    Cheesehead, regarding Richard’s comment about communion and cannibalism:
    this entry really is beneath you.
    Nevertheless, it is a very old claim, dating back to the Romans who were repulsed by what they perceived as Christian cannibalism. It is another example of why the “yuck” factor is unreliable as a guide to morality.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Well, that’s the crux of the matter. You can only get human flesh from human beings. So if the embryo is not a human being then you’re not eating human flesh, and so it shouldn’t be an issue.
    True but I asked you to assume no human beigns would be killed to obtain flesh. So flesh would come from either humans that weren’t killed for it (say amputees or those willing to donate flesh that will not harm them….similar to how many donate blood today) or humans that were killed for other reasons (say from terminal disease & other natural causes or from victims of wars, capital punishment, etc.).
    But it seems that the hypothetical remains unhelpful. You seem to be saying that human flesh should not be used for trivial purposes. So doing research on the body of an accident victim is ok but using that body as a prop on some type of off-the-wall game show would be disrespectful & dehumanizing (though your verdict on eatin g the body in an extreme situation like starvation seems inconsistent to me).
    But that’s not the real question here, the real question is have we killed a human beign or not? To my knowledge no one has advocated killing what they consider to be human beigns even if the results could cure diseases and save many more lives. You are arguing with those who do not consider either of the two pictures you posted to be pictures of human beigns. Neither of your hypotheticals really does much of anything to close the grounds between the two schools of thought or reveal one school to be more correct than the other.
    Regarding the soccar team that ate people:
    I would certainly disagree with anyone who said that.
    Why? Keep in mind that they did not kill anyone, the bodies that they consumed had already been killed by the plane crash.
    Because it dehumanizes the person who is eating his fellow human. If you cling to life so desperately that you’d eat your fellow man, then you are probably unclear on what it means to be human.
    Interestingly I don’t think you’d find much Biblical support for that. There are the Jewish dietary laws which probably forbid that but Jewish law looks at the context of the situation as it relates to higher laws. So a rabbi will probably tell you it is ok to eat pork to save a life because preserving life is a higher law. As for it ‘dehumanizing’ the corpse, I don’t see why that wouldn’t logically apply to the use of bodies for research as well.
    Second, people will go to ridiculous links to rationalize their behavior. If you’re going to eat your dead teammates then own up to the behavior. But to compare it to Christ’s sacrifice is disgusting and borders on blasphemy.
    Christ did sacrifice his body but he also emphasized the need to feast on his body in the last supper. He made it very clear that the bread and wine were his flesh and blood and his followers needed to eat that. Even if you don’t accept the Catholic Church’s position that the eucherist is literally the body and blood of Christ (disguised to look at taste like normal food), even taking it symbolically leads one to suggestions of a odd type of cannabalism.
    soup
    Why is it considered abnormal for a person to seek to kill himself, but it’s okie dokie for mommy to murder her unborn child? Why is it illegal for mom to decide she wants junior dead after he’s 1 minute old? 1 month old? 1 year old? Is a one month old self-aware? Can a one year old tell you he wants to live? If not, can we really be sure they do?
    Isn’t it interesting how soup unintentionally slipped up a bit. It’s illegal for a mom to kill junior after he’s 1 minute old? OK, so how old is junior if she aborts him 9 months before? Negative 8 months, 29 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes?
    Gordon:
    PS It is interesting to see that B has at least in part recognised that metaphysics is common to us all: why assume only religious people can fall back on ‘speculative metaphysical categories’? So, that means that the issue is to use comparative difficulties . . . and of course that leads straignt to the ethical challenges faced by evolutionary materialist worldviews [the underlying issue in Joe's remarks].
    To a child with a hammer all the world’s a nail. To Gordon with some time to write about philsophy all the world’s evolutionary materialism. You’d think someone who has such a poor grasp of either evolution or materialism by themselves would pause before trying to talk so much about the two together!
    Let’s be clear what ‘speculative metaphysical categories’ are:
    Speculative – Something we are not sure is true, a guess. That world is not inherently religious & in fact some religious people will probably (if they think about it) pause before describing key elements of their faith as ‘speculative’.
    metaphysics – Not an easy term to really define in a way that gives us a good sense of what it means. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics says “Metaphysics (Greek words meta = after/beyond and physics = nature) is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of “first principles” and “being” (ontology).”
    Categories – groupings of things that share a common property or properties.
    I’m not sure why Gordon would find it notable that I recognize that this is common to us all. Indeed a truely religous person might object to 1/3 of the above phrase, insisting that speculation was not necessary!

  • http://www.soupskitchen.blogspot.com/ Soup

    “They sought to ban a late-term procedure in which the doctor delivers a second or third-term baby, feet first, until only the head is left in the birth canal. The base of the infant

  • http://www.soupskitchen.blogspot.com Soup

    Isn’t it interesting how soup unintentionally slipped up a bit. It’s illegal for a mom to kill junior after he’s 1 minute old? OK, so how old is junior if she aborts him 9 months before? Negative 8 months, 29 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes?
    It’s not an intentional slip-up, is the normative way we celebrate birthdays around my house.
    Perhaps in your family you celebrate conception days? If so, good for you!
    Either way let’s celebrate life, not destroy it.

  • http://www.soupskitchen.blogspot.com Soup

  • Mike O

    If four of us are trapped in a burning building and the fire department manages to get a bucket up to us that can only hold three people, I as a Christian should be the one who waits for a second trip by the bucket. I will either come down in the second bucket with a good witness for God as to the level of my belief or I will go to heaven having made the same good testimony.
    It appears that Joe and I would at least like to think that were we stranded with the soccer players we would refrain from canabalism. We’re not commiting suicide with this descision. We’re leaving God the option to get us rescued or take us home. For a nonChristian eating the dead is an understandable option but not for a Christian.

  • http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/YoungHomemaker shari

    richard christians dotn do taht catholics do and they answer to the pope

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    It’s not an intentional slip-up, is the normative way we celebrate birthdays around my house.
    Errr, you said 1 minute old and not 1 minute after his first birthday. In normal English old is used to measure how long something has been in existence.
    Either way let’s celebrate life, not destroy it.
    True however a person with another point of view will point out that traditionally a miscarriage has rarely been treated as the death of a born child…even though they logically should be equilivant if we take your position to its logical conclusion. Of course we also have Larry’s now somewhat famous hypothetical where you rush into a burning building that has a person & a thermos filled with 1,000 frozen embryos (I cleaned this up a bit from his original). You only have time to save one, what is your call? It would seem the ‘moment school’ that sets the clock at fertilization would logically have to say the thermos but most tried to bend over backwards to avoid saying that when the hypothetical was presented to them.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ PZ Myers

    It’s an easy answer. Cannibalism is a bad idea because conspecifics carry compatible pathogens — so don’t eat people in general. Mammalian embryos at that age are also minute, so there isn’t going to be much point to eating them, anyway, and as I mentioned, I don’t think there’d be much flavor to them.
    There are also much better things to do with human embryos: pass them on to somebody to do research with them.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ PZ Myers

    By the way, Scott Adams doesn’t agree with me about evolution — he’s closer to your position. Time to reconsider your tactics!

  • http://www.soupskitchen.blogspot.com Soup

    Errr, you said 1 minute old and not 1 minute after his first birthday. In normal English old is used to measure how long something has been in existence.
    In a normal world people have little fuzzy blankets made that have their children’s birth date, time, weight, and length; I’m blessed to have three such cute little fuzzy blankets and three wonderful children to whom they belong.
    I don’t know if you live in a normal world or not Boonton, but if you want to bicker about “how long something has been in existence” merely because I didn’t word my post in a manner that suited your high standards for preciseness, then you’ll just have to bicker alone.
    Babies are being slaughtered by the millions and people like you want to argue about the preciseness of language in a blog post. Get over yourself man!
    I’m saying that if SOMETHING isn’t killed (aborted) then there is NO ABORTION sweetie.
    Precisely what do you think is being aborted during an abortion? An apple pie? A unicorn? It’s a baby for crying out loud! A tiny innocent baby!
    Let me ask you a question, why would an evil hack like Howard Dean – or Hillary Clinton for that matter – solemnly proclaim that abortion should be safe, legal and rare if it’s just a blood clot?
    Why would anyone feel uneasy about “aborting” a blood clot? Why should abortions be rare, or carefully considered decisions to be made in consultation with a physician? Why aren’t there corner abortuaries with walk-in outpatient service? I mean, it’s a profitable business enterprise and it’s legal, right?
    The logic is absurd on its face. No one would care if abortions weren’t about taking a life. No one cares if you want to have a mole removed or a cancerous tumor cut out of your abdomen.
    The simple reason that even those most perverse, wicked, vocal defenders of nationally subsidized infanticide claim it should be “rare” is because it’s about killing a child. It’s about taking a life.
    There’s no way around it. We can dress the pig up and we put lipstick and perfume on it, and call it Lucy, but it’s still just a pig.
    Abortion is about killing. It’s stopping a life from following its natural course just like any other form of premeditated murder. It’s no different than them killing me, or you, or my three precious little children who make me leap for joy and weep for those whose little fingers clasped and toes wriggled as the base of their skull was crudely punctured with a pair surgical scissors in order that their brains might be vacuumed out like so much lint from the floor.
    How can the body of Christ sleep at night? How can we sit back and wag our heads and say “tsk.. tsk such a shame “and DO NOTHING? It’s abominable. It’s unconscionable.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    It’s no different than them killing me, or you, or my three precious little children who make me leap for joy and weep for those whose little fingers clasped and toes wriggled as the base of their skull was crudely punctured with a pair surgical scissors in order that their brains might be vacuumed out like so much lint from the floor.

    Whoa, dude. S0-called “partial birth abortions” are performed on babies so seriously deformed that they’re going to die in a week or two, and whose birth poses a major health risk to the mother on account of their oversize heads.
    You may not be very smart, but to say that such a baby is just like you isn’t even remotely true.
    The choice with a baby like that is to endanger the mother’s life and see the baby die shortly after birth, or so kill it in the birth canal and save the mother. If that’s the essence of the abortion controversy, there’s not much of a battle.

  • http://www.soupskitchen.blogspot.com Soup

    Posted by: Richard Bennett at January 24, 2006 10:00 PM

    You can believe whatever you want about the circumstances surrounding partial birth abortion or “regular” abortion issue (wherein the child is ripped limb from limb and removed in pieces or else sucked out like a dust bunny) but the facts are that fewer than 1% of abortions are due to risk to the mother’s life.
    The rest are just for convenience sake.
    Sleep well.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Let me ask you a question, why would an evil hack like Howard Dean – or Hillary Clinton for that matter – solemnly proclaim that abortion should be safe, legal and rare if it’s just a blood clot?
    Leave aside soups whiny arrogance, let’s assume for a moment you belong to the ‘process school’ of thought on this matter. Since an individual human life forms as a process abortion is an ethical issue for two reasons.
    First there’s a danger if done too late what is aborted may be more human than ‘average’. An analogy I’ve often used is the change from childhood to adulthood. It is often set at an arbitrary point of 18 years but we all recognize it is really a process and a 17 year old is not a complete child and a 19 year old is not a complete adult. So in treating someone just over 18 as an adult or someone just under as a child we run the risk of getting it wrong even though we are legally within the guideposts we have set.
    Second along the lines of the process school the closer the fetus comes to the point of full human rights. To use the analogy again you may be legally entitled to treat a 17 yr old like a 5 yr old but everyone knows its a foolish idea. So even if abortion is not killing a human life it is not free of any moral consideration.
    Finally, often the best way of resolving a moral question is to avoid it entirely. Naturally if no one ever was in a situation where they wanted or felt they needed an abortion it would not be a question we’d have to put any time into. Hence it’s not surprising that both Clintons did well with the ‘safe, legal and rare’ policy.
    You can believe whatever you want about the circumstances surrounding partial birth abortion or “regular” abortion issue (wherein the child is ripped limb from limb and removed in pieces or else sucked out like a dust bunny) but the facts are that fewer than 1% of abortions are due to risk to the mother’s life.
    Almost all statistics on abortion are untrustworthy but it’s rare that you can so easily detect the untrustworthiness so easily. Notice how soup begins talking about partial birth abortions and then uses a statistic referring to all abortions. A person reading this quickly might think 1% applied to partial birth abortions but while we have few good numbers on abortions of any type we know that partial birth abortions are a very tiny portion of overall abortions and that they are relatively risky for the mother. Add to that the fact that they are more difficult, complicated and expensive than a typical abortion and one is lead to the reasonable suspecision that when they are done they are done for reasons that are more serious than a typical early term abortion.
    “Risk to the mother’s life” is also, unfortunately a term that can be fudged to generate desired results depending on who is doing the survey. Statistically a gun shot wound has a pretty fair survivial ratio. Set the definition strict enough and you’ll create a situation where a mad man shooting wildly into a crowd isn’t considered a ‘risk to life’!

  • Ed Darrell

    So, Joe, I take it you couldn’t tell the difference, eh?
    Yeah, there’s some dark humor there — but the point is that people who rail on about moral differences often don’t know what the devil they’re talking about.
    Which one would you save, if you could?

  • Ed Darrell

    No, seriously, the question is, can you tell the difference? See, ID advocates and other creationists have been arguing that posting photos that show those similarities between embryoes of different chordate speces is “false.” It’s a canard developed by creationists to complain about science and evolution theory.
    If you can’t tell the differences such that you’d even think the proposal was to eat humans, well that doesn’t say much for the operability of the anti-evolution argument.
    How could you take such a simple question and try to blow it into a completely different moral issue? The moral issue is whether creationists should argue that those embryoes aren’t similar at all.
    Which one is which, Joe? Can you tell without a score card?

  • ex-preacher

    Soup writes: “Abortion is about killing. It’s stopping a life from following its natural course just like any other form of premeditated murder.”
    Are you in favor of arresting women who have abortions and charging them with murder, or being and accessory to murder?

  • http://www.soupskitchen.blogspot.com Soup

    Soup writes: “Abortion is about killing. It’s stopping a life from following its natural course just like any other form of premeditated murder.”
    Are you in favor of arresting women who have abortions and charging them with murder, or being and accessory to murder?
    Posted by: ex-preacher at January 26, 2006 10:49 AM

    Arrest them? Charge them? I suppose that’s one option, but it sounds too clean and procedural for the aborticians. I’m probably lacking a bit in the “mercy” department when it comes to those who make their living killing innocent babies.
    All I can say is I hope these dark twisted souls make amends with Jesus while they’re still sucking air because I can’t help but think there’s an especially hot place in hell for baby killers.

  • ex-preachers

    I’m not talking about those who do the abortions, I’m talking about the women who get abortions. It’s not like anyone forced them to get an abortion. If you’re right, we should put the women in prison or shoot them, then let them rot in hell eternally.

  • http://TheEverWiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I think ex’s question was very clear the first time he asked it. Again soup tries to use diversion and distraction as tools to mount an argument.

  • http://mojowire.blogspot.com/ s9

    Joe Carter writes: When the guy who pens the Dilbert cartoon agrees with you about evolution yet still thinks you aren

  • Terence Moeller

    Richard :
    “Whoa, dude. S0-called “partial birth abortions” are performed on babies so seriously deformed that they’re going to die in a week or two, and whose birth poses a major health risk to the mother on account of their oversize heads.”
    No, you whoa dude! Soup was right. They are no not just “so called” partial birth abortions, they literally deliver everything but the head. Why? It is not because they have “oversized heads, are deformed, are going to die in two weeks, or because the “mother’s life” is in danger. If that were the case then a C – section would suffice in almost every concievable circumstance. The do it because of their metaphysical belief that if the entire body is not delivered it is not m-u-r-d-e-r. The AMA has publically stated that partial birth abortion is “never necessary to save the life of the mother.” One of the most notorious abortionists (who had done thousands of these “procedures”) stated publically at a Senate hearing that 65% of them involved healthy, viable babies. These are not rare. It occurs several thousand times a year.
    ” . . . but to say that such a baby is just like you isn’t even remotely true.”
    The only difference between a healthy newborn baby and one that has undergone partial birth abortion is that one has had its brains sucked out of the back of its head.
    “The choice with a baby like that is to endanger the mother’s life and see the baby die shortly after birth, or so kill it in the birth canal and save the mother. If that’s the essence of the abortion controversy, there’s not much of a battle.”
    Even in the rare cases where a severly deformed baby may endanger the life of the mother if carried to term, it only makes sense that a C-Section would be less traumatic than this barbaric procedure. The ethical dilemma they avoid is with what to do with a live baby that is severly deformed.
    Since infanticide is still illegal, partial birth abortion, which is nothing less than infanticide, is used.
    Soup . . .
    Thanks for standing up for life!