Ray Comfort’s “180″ turns out to just be my “360″ back to abortion – By Godless Teen

December 9, 2012 in General, Sunday Commentary

Yes, yes, I spent the whole 33 minutes watching Ray Comfort’s (aka “The Banana Man”) misleading video about abortion. In my defense, I only bore through the brain-rotting experience because I have a debate about abortion tomorrow in school, and I could easily be on one side or the other. So far, I’ve found the “pro-life” (a silly euphemism) position to be rather lacking. Who would’ve knew?

Anyhow, the video itself begins by describing the Holocaust, and then involves Q&A sessions to various people pulled off the streets about abortion. It also featured a supposed atheist (I say supposed because Comfort asked him questions that seemed to suggest that he thought the guy was an atheist) with a big blue mohawk, tattoos covering his entire body, piercings everywhere, and a rather colorful vocabulary that, like, all of those purposeless atheists must have, right? -_-

Comfort asks some pretty basic questions that lead these people to oppose abortion. Some examples of questions might be

“Do you believe that what is inside the mother’s body is a baby?” [Technically speaking, it's a zygote/fetus/etc.]

“Don’t you think it’s wrong to kill babies?” [That's a leading question, based on the assumption that a fetus/zygote or whatnot is the same as a baby, and that everything that applies to a born baby applies to a fetus... No, I would say it's wrong to kill something when doing that will produce less happiness in the world than more happiness. Killing a blob of a few cells does not make that blob go through excruciating pain, considering that it doesn't have a nervous system to feel pain, experience happiness and sadness, and the like. It's practically no different from burning a piece of wood. Neither can feel pain from being burnt/destroyed; nor can either have the capacity, at the time, to experience happiness. Because an action is only immoral if it promotes less happiness than unhappiness, and the fetus/zygote/whatever cannot feel pain and unhappiness prior to the third trimester of pregnancy,abortion cannot be immoral simply because it destroys a few cells with no actual conscience.]

“Do you know what the 6th Commandment says?” [Do you know what 2 Kings 2: 23-24 says?]

Anyhow,  you get the idea. I’ve gotten to the point that I feel like exploding whenever I see an atheist incapable of explaining their method of determining what is moral and what is not- not because I’m necessarily angry at the atheist, because it results in the theists think “OMG ERMAHGERD THIS ARGUMEANT MUZT BE LIEK SUPEERRR EFFEXTIVE”. At which point I have to go off again and explain to them why they’re wrong. And they usually completely ignore the question they asked in the first place.

Speaking of morality, expect to see some major page changes within the next few days, including a page about atheistic morality. I literally forgot that those pages ever existed, but since I now know, I’ll edit them and post some fairly useful content on them that you guys can use from time to time.

Until then, adios!

6 responses to Ray Comfort’s “180″ turns out to just be my “360″ back to abortion – By Godless Teen

  1. Interesting answer you provide to the following question: “Don’t you think it’s wrong to kill babies?”

    “That’s a leading question, based on the assumption that a fetus/zygote or whatnot is the same as a baby, and that everything that applies to a born baby applies to a fetus”

    Correct, because that is the core of the argument for both sides as pro-life assumes it does, pro-abortion assumes it doesn’t.

    So the question to you is when is a human a human, at conception or sometime later? Below, you seem to imply possibly after the third trimester.

    “No, I would say it’s wrong to kill something when doing that will produce less happiness in the world than more happiness.”

    And how do we know when these cases are? Quite broad and open to speculation. Seems that this could truly only be known AFTER the fact, thus we wouldn’t know if killing “something” was wrong until after we killed it. But as long as it increases happiness in the world killing is okay?

    I could make a case that killing my neighbor will increase happiness in the world. If so, killing my neighbor is not wrong – according to you.

    “Killing a blob of a few cells does not make that blob go through excruciating pain, considering that it doesn’t have a nervous system to feel pain, experience happiness and sadness, and the like.”

    You are at least admitting you are killing something – but would like to call it a blob of cells and not a baby, or a human? These cells may become something else? Say a chicken? And if not something else…when do they ACTUALLY become a human – what’s the exact point in development where this transformation from “blob of cells” to human occur?

    But you seem to imply as long as something doesn’t feel pain or experience emotion is it morally okay to kill it. Even if it IS human?

    “It’s practically no different from burning a piece of wood. Neither can feel pain from being burnt/destroyed; nor can either have the capacity, at the time, to experience happiness.”

    Actually it’s quite different. A piece of wood has come from something that IS or was living was then removed from the life source (tree). And only AFTER it’s been removed it is no longer living and just a piece of wood.

    Whereas the “blob of cells” are connected to a life source and through abortion are the cells then removed from the life source.

    So, yes, quite different indeed.

    “Because an action is only immoral if it promotes less happiness than unhappiness, and the fetus/zygote/whatever cannot feel pain and unhappiness prior to the third trimester of pregnancy,abortion cannot be immoral simply because it destroys a few cells with no actual conscience.”

    Here we get an idea of what you find to be immoral. But this is a very broad and open to interpretation.

    You now say that there is a term limit (prior to the third trimester)…where above you say “…applies to a BORN baby applies to a fetus.” Well, are you now saying that you would apply the same to a born baby to that of one past the 3rd trimester?

    But back to your def. or immorality: your argument rests on the fact that a fetus/zygote/”whatever” cannot feel pain or experience emotion it is morally okay to kill it. In fact it’s okay to kill ANYTHING that cannot feel pain or experience emotion. As well as said killing’s ability to increase/decrease happiness in the world.

    To put simply: It is morally acceptable to kill anything as long as one of two criteria are met. 1) said “thing” cannot feel pain or experience emotion. 2) the killing of said thing will increase happiness in the world.

    Remember you said: an action is ONLY immoral if it promotes less happiness than unhappiness. (so in reality, number one cannot be considered – as one could argue that while said “thing” may feel pain, it’s death would promote more happiness).

    And number two (which is all we are now left with) does not take into consideration potentiality.

    Case in point: How do we know the baby, once come to full term won’t promote MORE happiness to the mother and world at large?

    Certainly it could, yet you say and it can be killed despite this potential.

    As I said, the increase/decrease of happiness is usually an AFTER the fact determination. So while we might think killing something won’t cause unhappiness, we won’t truly know until after it’s killed. In which, the case may actually be that it’s killing DOES increase unhappiness – thus the killing would be immoral.

    Also ability to feel pain and experience emotion: unconscious people fall into the category, while in said state, thus can morally be killed. If you wish to keep that as part of the equation.

    And in the end, your definition doesn’t go beyond opinion and speculation as to conclusions (ie. something ending with more/less happiness).

    Fine as opinions are, they are no authority for morality.

    Lastly, please expand what you are trying to imply with the 2nd Kings quote. No doubt you are trying to make some sort of connection with the pro-life argument and OT stories, but you fail to do so.

    I would be interested in this connection.

    • Oh, Chris, you entirely decided not to even bother interpreting my writing.

      Just saying that something is human *isn’t enough*. Hitler was human, but (for obvious reasons) he didn’t deserve to live like other humans. Similarly, whether or not a zygote is a human- it’s irrelevant. If it can’t think, it can’t feel, it’s no different from killing a dandelion. So simply saying “killing humans is wrong” isn’t enough. I can come up with thousands of examples to prove this idea wrong.

      Also, you completely misunderstood my wood analogy. Neither a zygote nor a piece of wood feel anything. Thus, their destruction is not immoral in regards that it causes either pain.

      We know what cases promote happiness and what doesn’t through a variety of sources: past experience, observing human desires, and the like. *sigh* you’re practically asking me how we know something makes us happy at this point. Maybe you need to go back to preschool.

      Then you take the neighbor idea and totally twist it. Well, unless your neighbor is a tyrannical, evil dictator, there is virtually no possible (predictable) way that killing them will promote more happiness than less. Maybe they’re annoying, so you get peace of mind. But does that outweigh the grief, pain, suffering, and so forth that the neighbor and their relatives/friends/etc feel? Of course not.

      *sigh* again, saying something is human isn’t enough… Rather, the ability to experience happiness and the reverse of happiness is the determining factor. I must’ve written this so many times by now that you’re clearly little more than a troll.

      No, I don’t believe that pain is the only factor in deciding what is immoral. I usually just cite pain with abortion because it’s the main value being talked about.

      I consider abortion killing… But then again, picking a dandelion is killing it. “Killing” seems like a far too loaded word in this regard, as it’s no different from destroying a dandelion.

      Yes, I believe that destroying a baby once it can experience happiness and the reverse of happiness is wrong… But only 1.3% of all abortions even occur after the 20th week of pregnancy. That’s not accounting for life-threatening births, and such.

      Again, in almost every circumstance, murder is wrong because there is virtually no possible way that it could produce more happiness than unhappiness (in the predictable future)… This is so basic.

      On the other hand, killing trees is generally ok… But once the Earth starts running out of trees, it stops being ok, because destroying more trees will start to harm everybody.

      Potentiality is worthless in this regard. You can’t predict how the baby will affect the world. It could bring more happiness, but it could also be the next Stalin. Plus, we know its birth will create some unhappiness, as the result of overpopulation and not being wanted by the mother.

      Happiness can be predicted up to a certain point, and that’s how we determine what to do in the moment. I can’t predict that eating a pizza, on the other hand, will create a ripple effect that results in nuclear war… Or the colonization of other planets.

      My conclusion is not opinion, it is based on millennia of evidence that happiness is the ultimate desirable commodity. I explain this thoroughly in my email to you, as well as why my theory of morality is correct.

      On the other hand, you believe in a god to do all your moral work for you. You don’t care if banning LGBT marriage makes people extremely unhappy, it’s what god says, end of story. That is abhorrently lazy, and absolutely disgusting. It is an appeal to authority (an authority who can’t even be proven to exist). It is an appeal to another being who can supposedly determine what is moral and immoral- which you characterize him with, even after the 2 Kings incident. Absolutely disgusting. Absolutely sick.

      And finally, my point is that you Christians cherry-pick the Bible. You ignore the crap, and take out the slightly better stuff. If you really want to be a Christian, read the damn Bible, and then tell me that your god is moral and that atheists aren’t.

      • Also, to quote JT Eberhard:

        “…All the atheist must realize is that if a world with moral rules would be better, then that’s all the motivation we need to make them up. If we see, based only on how the world works, that telling the truth, not stealing, not killing each other, etc., makes people happier, then that’s all we need in order to suggest that “good” people ought to do those things. I think we can very easily defend that the world really works in these ways.”

  2. Well, this answer was certainly more enlightening. Your values shine bright, my friend, as well shall see.

    “Just saying that something is human *isn’t enough*. Hitler was human, but (for obvious reasons) he didn’t deserve to live like other humans. “

    Here, you show how you value humans – to you, humans do NOT have a inherent value, yet a value that is placed, assigned. You claim that Hitler didn’t deserve to live like other humans. Well, who gets to decide this? You? Me?

    “Similarly, whether or not a zygote is a human- it’s irrelevant.”

    Here your value of the human is shown again – no inherent value. In fact you make the case that whether or not someone is human is, “irrelevant.”

    Again, I would ask: according to who? I would argue that it IS relevant.

    I believe all humans DO have inherent value that is NOT lost. You differ. To you, a humans value is meaningless until you place value on them.

    “If it can’t think, it can’t feel, it’s no different from killing a dandelion. So simply saying “killing humans is wrong” isn’t enough. I can come up with thousands of examples to prove this idea wrong.”

    Correct, because you place an opinionated value upon a human life. It isn’t valuable to you if it doesn’t fit YOUR criteria – your opinion. So certainly you can come up with any number of reason to kill someone, which is exactly my point. At least you show that you extend your killing to beyond conception and birth.

    To you, human life has NO INHERENT value. Only assigned value which can be added and taken away at will based upon whichever criteria you would like to use.

    “Also, you completely misunderstood my wood analogy. Neither a zygote nor a piece of wood feel anything. Thus, their destruction is not immoral in regards that it causes either pain.”

    No I did understand it, I just showed you your flaw in it. Quite different than not understanding. I wholly understand your “non-feeling” argument, I dealt with it and will so again.

    “We know what cases promote happiness and what doesn’t through a variety of sources: past experience, observing human desires, and the like. *sigh* you’re practically asking me how we know something makes us happy at this point. Maybe you need to go back to preschool.”

    Why is a joke funny?
    How do we know a joke it funny?
    Because it makes someone laugh. But only AFTER the joke is told do you know that it was funny. In fact, above you prove my point that we usually only know what causes happiness AFTER the fact. “Past experience…” Etc.

    However, past experience doesn’t always work does it? (past experience = predictability – remember this word)

    As for human desires. Not all desires lead to happiness – many adults can tell you this.

    In addition, what makes one person happy doesn’t equate to ALL persons happiness. Big Bang Theory (tv show) makes others annoyed. Not everyone likes that show do they? In fact, more people DON’T watch the show than do. Thus, it only adds happiness to a minority of the population. Think we should kill it.

    “Then you take the neighbor idea and totally twist it.”

    No, I kept you to your wording. And below we see you actually support my argument.

    “Well, unless your neighbor is a tyrannical, evil dictator, there is virtually no possible (predictable) way that killing them will promote more happiness than less.”

    Ah, not so fast. Here again YOU are being arbiter of value. I can think of many possible ways that killing him would promote more happiness, according to your def.
    1) child molestor.
    2) Child killer
    3) Serial rapist
    4) Torturer of peoples pets
    5) Wife and child abuser.

    I could make a pretty strong argument that any of those are good enough reasons to kill him. His death would mean no more children being molested (which as history shows, some of these kids with then go on to be molesters themselves) killed, abused (again, many abused kids turn out to be abusers themselves) etc.

    Quite a snowball effect.

    But, hey it’s YOUR morals, you don’t have to include the above…you can just stick with your “evil dictator” if you wish – though I bet some might disagree with you and WANT them included – so will you?

    Ah, but isn’t calling someone evil – as you have above, imparting your morals upon them? Where do you get this authority to do such a thing? Why is YOUR morals better than the evil dictators?

    Increase in happiness for humans? Meaningless, since a human’s value is subject to your whim.

    “ *sigh* again, saying something is human isn’t enough… Rather, the ability to experience happiness and the reverse of happiness is the determining factor. I must’ve written this so many times by now that you’re clearly little more than a troll.”

    What I’m showing you is that you do not give humans an inherent value. To you, a humans value can be gained and lost depending on your mood, opinion, IE morals. And thus, to you a human ONLY has value if it can feel pain and experience emotion. Well, what about those humans who can’t feel pain? Are they fully human to you, or can they be killed without issue?

    “No, I don’t believe that pain is the only factor in deciding what is immoral. I usually just cite pain with abortion because it’s the main value being talked about.”

    I understand. In fact to quote you: “Because an action is only immoral if it promotes less happiness than unhappiness”

    Though, as I made the argument that you do not take into consideration potential of happiness. And I just showed that your def. is myopic and falls short in some cases.

    “I consider abortion killing… But then again, picking a dandelion is killing it. “Killing” seems like a far too loaded word in this regard, as it’s no different from destroying a dandelion.”

    Of course you think it’s loaded because you are having a hard time defending it. It is killing. That is a human living and growing inside the mother. Removing it from the mother, the life source is killing it – and again here you decide that a fetus is no more valuable than a dandelion.

    So when does the fetus gain your value then?

    “Yes, I believe that destroying a baby once it can experience happiness and the reverse of happiness is wrong”

    But your okay with not even giving it a chance to experience happiness…it’s worthless to you. No more valuable than a dandelion or a piece of wood.

    Value, GT.

    So then, when do humans get their value according to you?

    “Again, in almost every circumstance, murder is wrong because there is virtually no possible way that it could produce more happiness than unhappiness (in the predictable future)… This is so basic.”

    Who’s happiness? You don’t say. Mine or theirs? Plus, why is it murder? You haven’t yet established when human value is attained by anyone – since we don’t start out with any value, when does this value come to be?

    And during our life, according to you, we can lose this value.

    As to be “murder” this implies a value (since you were okay with killing Hitler, you wouldn’t call that murder I suppose). So you wish there to be “okay killing” and “murder”.

    Yet, with arbitrarily assigned and fickle values, how do we know who is valuable and who is not?

    “In the predictable future…” Interesting.

    “On the other hand, killing trees is generally ok… But once the Earth starts running out of trees, it stops being ok, because destroying more trees will start to harm everybody.”

    But why does that matter to us? You have yet to establish a value for humans – only assert that at conception we do not possess any, and whenever we are given our value it can be taken away.

    “Potentiality is worthless in this regard.” You can’t predict how the baby will affect the world. It could bring more happiness, but it could also be the next Stalin. Plus, we know its birth will create some unhappiness, as the result of overpopulation and not being wanted by the mother.”

    (there’s that word: potentiality)

    No, you just want potentiality to be worthless – to defend your position. However, watch carefully as you contradict yourself in a bit. You DO care about potentiality of other things (say ordering a pizza): just not humans.

    Regardless, you’re okay with never giving the baby a chance – since it has no value to you, that’s understandable.

    And while not being wanted by the mother could be an issue for the mother, there could be people that would want and love the baby – sadly not enough, I admit.

    “Happiness can be predicted up to a certain point,”

    CORRECT! Thanks for FINALLY agreeing with me. And do you know when that point is? When our prediction fails. I’ll show you.

    “and that’s how we determine what to do in the moment. I can’t predict that eating a pizza, on the other hand, will create a ripple effect that results in nuclear war… Or the colonization of other planets.”

    Here’s the pizza more valuable than babies in predictability!

    But let’s do something more simple: will winning the lottery make you happy? You have no idea, but based on the POTENTIAL that it will make you happy, you play the lottery (if you are legally able to do so).

    In fact, it’s exactly because of the potential for happiness you do actions and make choices. You watch a movie because you are pretty sure it will make you happy. Though it may suck.

    So, thank you for showing that potentiality DOES play a role in happiness and thus contradicting your above statement – or at least at it pertains to baby’s.

    However, you are willing to toss this aside when it comes to a human.

    “My conclusion is not opinion, it is based on millennia of evidence that happiness is the ultimate desirable commodity.”

    It is your opinion that this is how we should do things. Using happiness are your unit of measure. However, as we have seen – this is a faulty measuring rod. What makes some happy doesn’t always make everyone happy.

    YOU think this is what we should do – however, you can’t beyond your opinion show me why. Since none of us have inherent value (as you have shown) and our value can be taken away – OUR happiness is irrelevant. As you are willing to take away 1) potential for this happiness, 2) someone else’s happiness as well.

    Now, here’s my favorite part – and I could have predicted this: You go to irrelevance to try and bolster your argument:

    “On the other hand, you believe in a god to do all your moral work for you. You don’t care if banning LGBT marriage makes people extremely unhappy, it’s what god says, end of story”

    GT you no NOTHING of my belief. You no nothing of my stance on GLBT marriage.

    “That is abhorrently lazy, and absolutely disgusting.”

    No, making statements about someone’s beliefs when you actually know nothing of their beliefs is lazy. Disgusting? Naw, but sure as heck lazy.

    “It is an appeal to authority (an authority who can’t even be proven to exist). It is an appeal to another being who can supposedly determine what is moral and immoral- which you characterize him with, even after the 2 Kings incident. Absolutely disgusting. Absolutely sick.”

    Irrelevant, to whether or not your morality stands. Such statements usually reserved for those who wish to not look deeper into theirs lest they find fault.

    “And finally, my point is that you Christians cherry-pick the Bible. You ignore the crap, and take out the slightly better stuff. If you really want to be a Christian, read the damn Bible, and then tell me that your god is moral and that atheists aren’t.”

    And here again, you make an accusation without ANY knowledge about what I do/don’t believe in. (and yeah, atheists NEVER cherry pick the Bible to suit their case)

    Again, lazy – at least I ask and read your replies, you GT just say stuff like the above. I guess hoping it’s true.

    However, if you really want to talk Bible, let’s do it. I love talking about the Bible – yes even the crap parts!

    I don’t shy away GT.

    But again, your above is irrelevant to whether or not your morals are true beyond opinion and your whim.

    Many unanswered questions GT, love to know your answers.

  3. It’s really not about increasing wordly happiness. It is about the autonomy of the woman in whose body the fetus is growing. The mother may remove the fetus if she desires. It is her body, after all. Done.

    • I certainly agree with this idea, to an extent, although I must (embarrassingly) admit I’ve always had difficulties deciding whether or not the “murder” of an unborn child is moral, even given that it is an “extension” of the mother. Not to say that I don’t think that women have rights or anything, but I just find it much easier to establish that, because the child cannot experience pain up until the third trimester (at which point only an extremely small proportion of abortions occur), that virtually all abortions are ethical.

      However, to an extent, I certainly do already agree with this idea, it’s just not my argument of preference, personally. But hey; there isn’t just one side to an argument, of course. I just use the part of the argument that, personally, I like the best.

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