Monthly Archives: April 2016

abortion law relax

Liberal Christians say the darnedest things – a response to Rev. Lesley Carroll’s comments on abortion

By Dinosaur Dave.

In light of the recent abortion pill court case – brought against an unnamed women who bought drugs on the Internet to procure her own abortion, then left the resulting body in a bin – you would think that the spotlight would have been shone upon the guilty party. Like, you know, what normally happens when human remains are found in a bin.

However, as society continues to sink into subjective moral madness, even some Christians are confused. Instead of standing up for the weakest and most defenceless members of the human race, as Christians are called to do, some Christians – media darlings of the liberal kind – are stepping off the bench to bat for Team Abortion. The media darling, in this case, happens to be Rev. Lesley Carroll, styled by the newspapers as a “senior Presbyterian cleric”.

As part of the research carried out by the Belfast Feminist Network, Rev. Carroll said:

“While I am not in favour of a blanket extension of the 1967 Act, I do think there needs to be more discussion with an emphasis again on choice and on the fact that we can draw lines where we want them to [sic].”

When pressed by the News Letter on her beliefs regarding whether life begins at conception, Rev. Carroll replied:

“These are very technical debates, but we are already in a situation where women can go and get the morning-after pill. So we’ve already made that judgement, if you like. Society has already made that judgement even by allowing the morning-after pill.”

Now, I know I’m a regressive old dinosaur (a Theolosaurus Rex, to be exact), but I happen to know that science establishes human life begins at conception (more on that later). It matters not what society judges. And her views, despite what some liberals will have you believe, are at complete odds with Christianity in general. Indeed the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, Rev. Carroll’s own denomination, was moved to issue this statement on the following Monday morning, reaffirming:

“[T]he Presbyterian Church in Ireland holds a strongly pro-life position. We believe that the current law attempts to protect both the life of the mother and the unborn child.”

There are numerous reasons why the vast majority of churches take this stance, namely the compelling scientific and philosophical arguments in favour of the pro-life position, but since Rev. Carroll claims to be speaking for Christianity, let’s look at what the Bible says. Now, I know Rev. Carroll prefers to go by what society says, and society, mostly, couldn’t give two crusty fossils about what the Bible says, but I’m going to quote from it anyway:

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”                                                                                    

– Psalm 139:14-16

In addition, the New Testament writers believed that the unborn were fully human and valuable. The birth of Jesus and John the Baptist were examples of this (Matthew 1 and Luke 1).

But if Rev. Carroll isn’t persuaded by the biblical arguments, she should take a look at what cold, hard science has to offer. Hymie Gordon (BSci, BM, BSurg, MD, FRCP), professor emeritus of Medical Genetics at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, said this at a US congressional hearing on individual life:

“But now we can say, unequivocally, that the question of when life begins is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute. It is an established scientific fact. Theologians and philosophers may go on to debate the meaning of life or the purpose of life, but it is an established fact that all life, including human life, begins at the moment of conception.”

And in the stages after conception, even leading abortionists admit that abortion kills a human being. Dr. Warren Hern, author of Abortion Practice – the medical text that teaches abortion procedures (!) – told a Planned Parenthood conference:

“We have reached a point in this particular technology [D&E abortion] where there is no possibility of denying an act of destruction. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”

The science is crystal clear, even for a regressive old dinosaur like me. Science has placed a window into the womb and given us indisputable evidence for the humanity of the unborn. It is a fact that a fertilised human ovum is wholly human, because, from the very moment of fertilisation, all genetic information needed for an individual human being is present. It is also a fact that abortion ends that human life. The abortionist who informs all other abortionists says so.

So, for the Christian, Psalm 139 is no glib quotation of Scripture – science backs it up. The words of Psalm 139 are an old-fashioned way of confirming that the frame of our body, our characteristics, our being is all contained in the secret place of the womb, under the sight of God – the God that Rev. Carroll claims to believe in.

For the good of human life, then, the spotlight must swing back from abortion-choice to pro-life. If it is wrong to take the life of a born human being in the name of ‘choice’, then it follows that it’s wrong to take the life of an unborn human being in the name of choice. A human being’s geographical location (the womb) is irrelevant. Human value is not determined by location (or any other arbitrary criteria), it is determined by humanness.

But Rev. Carroll disagrees. She thinks that society gets to decide. She claims that the question of when life begins is a “very technical debate”, despite what science and scripture says. She believes there should be “more discussion with an emphasis again on choice”. In Rev. Carroll’s book (which I don’t think is the Bible), human life is not necessarily fearfully and wonderfully made.

The only thing that Rev. Carroll seems to believe is truly fearfully and wonderfully made is her own opinion. I don’t know about you, but this dinosaur thinks she’s scientifically and, crucially, biblically wrong.

abortion pills northern ireland

People of NI – if you find a body in your bin, should you call the police?

In today’s postmodern world, nothing is black and white. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are manmade categories, and truth is not absolute. It’s understandable, then, that when a body was found in a bin, Northern Ireland was thrown into a state of moral conflict and confusion. Some believe that reporting the body to police was the right thing to do, others think it was the worst thing imaginable to do.

So what should someone do if they find human remains in a bin? Go to the police. Just kidding, only a woman-hating religious fundamentalist tyrant would do that. We live in a tolerant and progressive society now. The answer is campaign relentlessly – using half-truths and made-up non-medical terms like “fatal foetal abnormality” – to change the law so that professionals can throw the body in a bin for you.

Sure, some people will say, “there’s nothing wrong with a law that stops you from taking an innocent human life and throwing it in a bin”. Well, you can tell those people to shut their oppressive faces.  Firstly, that “law” dates back to 1861. Secondly, it was probably written by a man. Any tolerant person knows that a law predating Twitter and / or written by a man is obviously wrong. (Except the laws against rape and child labour, which were also written ages ago and by men).

The same regressive nut jobs will also claim that the body found in the bin belonged to a person, but of course us enlightened people know better; it was a foetus, not a person. The unenlightened might say that that’s a fallacy known as ‘making a distinction without a difference’ – a bit like saying, “jogging isn’t exercise, it’s physical exertion” – but don’t listen to their silly rhetoric. If they accuse you of poor logic and Newspeak, ridicule them by calling them a dogmatic dinosaur on social media.

Besides, you don’t need to appeal to science; the difference between a foetus and a person is blatantly obvious. Foetuses are not alive and they’re not human persons. Well, they’re kind of human and sort of alive, but they’re not persons. We know this to be a fact because some highly-educated, scientifically-minded freethinkers invented a special category for humans that aren’t persons called “Lebensunwertes Leben”. If you look up the meaning of this phrase, you’ll find it describes the foetus perfectly.

Now, I know some of you are concerned about the reports that this particular foetus had features and limbs consistent with what most sane people would consider to be an actual human being. That’s just lies from the mouths of our patriarchal dinosaur overlords. How can a blob of cells have limbs and facial features?! It’s absurd! And you can definitely ignore the claims that the foetus was male. These days, ‘sex’ is something that gets assigned at birth. How can it have a sex if it hadn’t even been born yet!

Most important of all, if there’s only one thing you take away from reading this, make it this: you need to ignore the fact that procuring your own abortion and dumping the corpse in a bin is illegal in backwards Northern Ireland. If you know someone who breaks this law, even if you are the one who discovers the human debris in the bin, don’t ever inform the police. And if someone does tell the police, you must hold them responsible instead of the person who broke the law.

So, no, if you release yourself from the bonds of coherency, science, logic, truth, and the law, you don’t need to tell the police that you found a body in your bin.

good person atheist billboard

Can atheists be good without God?

The journalist and atheism populariser Christopher Hitchens once stated that atheists are as good as Christians, going so far as to challenge believers to name one good deed they can do that an atheist can’t. Indeed, the atheists I know say similar things, and some atheist organisations in America even put up billboards to make sure everyone knows it. 

And they’re not wrong; it is perfectly possible to be good without God. It is demonstrably true that there are many virtuous and loving and kind atheists in the world. No thoughtful theist would say otherwise.

But that’s not the argument. There’s a much deeper issue at play here – the grounding issue. And this is where Hitchens and the billboards fail in their understanding of a rather basic theist argument.

Dylan2

Nobody is saying you can’t be. How much did this thing cost?

The theist is primarily concerned with the ontology of morality – that is, the nature and existence of morality – not whether theists are nicer than atheists (because they’re not). In other words, theists want to know how atheists can ground morality given that the universe has no particular thing guiding the designation of what behaviour is good and what is bad.

On atheism, humans are nothing more than the accidental byproduct of time plus chance plus matter, skin-sacks of recently-evolved atoms fizzing around a tiny speck of cosmic debris called Earth. Some humans fizz violently, some fizz peacefully – all of them destined to be cooked alive at some point by global warming/climate change or something. So, within this framework, it’s hard to think how anything can be objectively good. Why is human flourishing more of a good than mosquito flourishing? With atheism, it can’t be.

Atheism, then, when taken to its logical conclusion, has a crisis of value. In other words, human beings are just animals – no more or less valuable than any other living thing – and animals have no moral obligations. We don’t arrest cats when the mutilated corpse of a mouse turns up on our doorstep. Cats kill mice, they don’t murder them. There is no moral dimension to animal behaviour.

In response, an atheist might say that certain actions such as murdering babies for fun and incest may not be biologically and socially advantageous, and so over the course of human evolution have become ‘not good’. Fair enough. But that tells us nothing about the actual wrongness of these acts, it only tells us that cultural opinions change over time – and could change again (if incest apologists like this guy have their way).

So when atheists use the word ‘good’ to describe themselves, they beg the question: what do you mean by ‘good’? If the term ‘good’ is a manmade social convention to aid survival, then the categories that make up good are also manmade. But here’s the thing: different people have different ideas about what is good and what is bad. In some cultures they love each other, in other cultures, they eat each other. Which do you prefer?

So, yes, an atheist can mimic all the behaviours of what their particular time and culture calls ‘good’ – and they can do it rather well. But if atheism is true and there’s no God to ground morals to begin with, then – just like like the rest of the animal kingdom – human beings have no objective moral duties. Judging an action based on ‘good’ or ‘evil’ would be like expressing a preference for what type of Danish pastry is the more superior (maple and pecan plait, obviously).

Therefore, on atheism, the word ‘good’ has no meaning. Or, as the captain of Team Atheism Richard Dawkins eloquently put it: “There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”