I observe :
- that these things look like a “religion” to people who claim to be a-theist.
“Roe v Wade”
(They do not debate rationally about this.)
- that others who are theist (of some sort or other) also hold some of these items in such fervent regard that they too see them as “religion”
- that some cannot or will not discuss whether rights come from a common agreement that we collectively write called law or some semi-deity called “law” because perhaps they know the rebuttal to either would undermine their religion (An instance would be that the word “born” in the 14th amendment means that no one can, should or ever can have rights before birth. Another is that a baby is a baby in utero when the woman decides it is but is a fetus otherwise.)
- that some honestly think that the bible says homophobic, abortion-condoning, Jew-hating things that are still required conduct for modern Christians especially Catholics (Numbers Ch 5 is an example.)
- that because some bishops, their chanceries and seminaries should have known better about reassigning pederasts and about ordaining homosexuals (and heteros) who are not demonstrably committed to chastity (agreed) and
- that because some prevented enforcement ostensibly to 1) prevent scandal to the faithful 2) to rehabilitate the predators per then-current psychological methods but in part to cover their clerical backsides (agreed)
- that bishops and the Pope should be tried in criminal court for conspiracy, fraud, sexual abuse and other crimes (disagree)
- that because of this, the Inquisition, the Crusades, an evil perpetrated on them personally or (fill in misunderstanding of history here) the Church has no business telling anyone what is moral
- that data presented by a Pro-life person not only is suspect but moreover cannot be unbiased (an example is a discussion of the method failure and the use failure rates for NFP vs that of condoms.)
- that sex is for fun and a human right and that any connection between sex and pregnancy is an inconvenient biological event like poison ivy or high cholesterol to be treated with medicine
- that news articles berating the Pope stand on their own merits and cannot be debated based on the Italian, Latin or German original text that say different than the article
- that “scientific” articles remotely supporting abortion stand on their own merits and cannot be debated based on anything even other scientific articles
- that any statement espousing a belief based on traditional religious teaching especially Catholic teaching even one supported by the evidence of science is not allowed in “rational” conversation
I do need to write what I’ve learned about pro-lifers. They are of 4 sorts.
One kind who make one or two posts then leave because they don’t need the hostility. (What does that say about me other than I’m not getting enough sleep lately?)
Another kind writes that “God will damn you all.” One actually made no fewer than 50 one-word posts in reply to various posts; he wrote “Anathema!” I wrote to him that we agree but he’s not convincing anyone. (See www.deliberateengagement.wordpress.com/how-to-debate)
A third is folks like me; we’re not too numerous and we take lots of ad hominem comments. I wonder if I’m convincing anyone either.
A fourth is a goad; they’re humorous and deliberately provoke the ProChoicers. One used to address any prochoicer as “killer” conversationally not as a salutation.
I would appreciate any thoughts or ideas on how we can do better at this.