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The Irish Referendum – the Repercussions

When it became clear that the death warrant for hundreds of thousands of Irish babies was about to be signed, it broke my heart.  When I saw the grotesque pictures of people dancing in the streets in celebration it was like a scene out of Dante’s Inferno.

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 10.45.49.png
Angels of Light celebrate their victory

My article yesterday Ireland Regresses; Sunday, Bloody Sunday  has been widely circulated and got the predictable response – although with a degree of viciousness which shows that the Dante’s Inferno image might not be out of place at all.

Politicians React

Let me share with you some of the reactions which show how, with very few exceptions, almost all our politicians (of right or left – which have largely become meaningless terms) have bought into this culture of death.

Firstly the Prime Minister –

@10DowningStreet
22h22 hours ago
“The Irish Referendum yesterday was an impressive show of democracy which delivered a clear and unambiguous result. I congratulate the Irish people on their decision and all of #Together4Yes on their successful campaign.” – PM @theresa_may #repealedthe8th

Some people tried to defend her by saying that she was just congratulating them on the referendum but as you can see from the above she congratulated them on the decision.  Can I just point out to those of my atheist friends who like to bait me with the taunt about our ‘Christian’ Prime Minister, that Mrs May has given no evidence whatsoever of being a Christian – at least not in the Biblical sense of the word.  She, like most of our leaders, is firmly in the secular humanist camp.  The Prime Minister, the First Minister, the leader of the Opposition, the leader of the Greens, the leader of the Lib Dems – are all the same when it comes to these issues.   Take for example this from another Tory minister –

Penny Mordaunt, Britain’s women and equalities minister, said the victory to legalise abortion should now bring change north of the Irish border.’A histo id. ‘That hope must be met.

The SNP, Tories, Labour, Lib-Dems, Greens are united in their support of the culture of death.  There are however exceptions – one of the few politicians to stand up for the unborn children is Jacob Rees- Moog

Then lets come to Scotland and let me share with you three interchanges that occurred in the past 48 hours.

Firstly Ruth Wishart, the journalist, got involved with an interchange with me.  She said she was celebrating the right of women to control their own bodies.  When I pointed out that there was at least one other body involved, she went silent.

Meanwhile Maree Todd, MSP tweeted

What is beyond perverse is that it took the deaths of so many adult women to bring about this change.

When I asked her how many women had died, she could not answer.  When I pointed out that the tragic death of Savita was as a result of a medical misdiagnosis and not the Irish abortion law, and that under the proposed new law (abortion up to 12) weeks, this would not have made any difference (because she was 17 weeks when the tragedy happened and would therefore have still needed a medical diagnosis) – she also went silent.

I was then asked by a government minister to remove my comments about people celebrating because they were ‘offensive’.  When I pointed out that they were true and that it was the people who were celebrating who were being offensive, I was met with a storm of invective and accusation.  I stand by the comments and will not remove them because they upset government ministers.

The point about saying all of this is just simply to point out that these are the people who are governing our country.  They do not like people standing up to their absolutist certainties.  They largely show an inability to defend their viewpoints and a limited grasp of the complex issues involved – and they far too often rely on emotion, invective, threats and abuse.   These are not internet trolls.  They are our leaders.   Little wonder that their supporters far too often copy and mimic their tactics and language.

I won’t depress you with the more abusive and ugly messages that some of our enlightened and loving liberals have sent.   We are turning into an ugly and totalitarian country where anyone who dares to stand up against the social views of the progressive elites is subject to the most vitriolic abuse – and I suspect, before too long, the law courts.

Next on the List

Meanwhile several Tory MPs are demanding that the Prime Minister use the opportunity to enforce abortion on Northern Ireland (something it appears she is going to resist, thankfully).  But the progressives have their next victims in sight.

 

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Sinn Fein leader and deputy leader letting us know….

 

What about the churches?

We can’t leave everything up to SPUC.

There is not a thing on the Church of Scotland website – they are very quick to respond about the situation in Gaza, or numerous other issues.  Will they say anything on this most vital of issues.

I looked at the Catholic Media Office website – nothing so far – although I have seen several excellent comments by leading Catholics.  There was this from the Catholic Church in Ireland.

What about the Church of England?   I havn’t come across anything from the Archbishop of Canterbury yet.

The Baptists?  Free Church? Others?  I have been searching but not finding anything. It may be that we don’t have the mechanisms for this kind of thing and we just leave it up to individuals, but we really need to be speaking as united bodies.

Why are we all so silent?  Are we not supposed to speak up for the unborn?  for the weak and the defenceless?  I think we agree in theory – its just we are not very good at the practice – I’m sure there will be things coming from various bodies including  the above and EA, CARE and other churches, but I have a suspicion that we far too often speak after the fact – when everyone else has moved on.

What does Jesus say?

Meanwhile thanks to all those who have written to me privately and on social media in support.  There are many millions who have not yet bowed the knee to Baal.  Ultimately we know that there is only one King and one victor.  I am glad to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – and I absolutely trust the Lamb to deal with those who destroy the lambs.  These words of Jesus should be read to the celebrating crowds – as well as to paedophile clergy in the Church and to those professing Christians I mentioned yesterday – U2.

Matt. 18:1    At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.    “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

 

229 comments

  1. The death toll of babies will amount to precisely zero.

    For sure there will be the sad end to many foetuses under 12 weeks and a few over that in exceptional circumstances. 12 week foetuses are not even remotely babies.

    But there will be much happiness in that many millions of women in the future can end a dangerous pregnancy without it endangering their own lives.

    1. Again note the way that you present your case without evidence or scientific fact. If you can look at the photo of a 12 week old that I posted in the article and still state that she is not a human baby – then your ideology has blinded you to a frightening level of irrationality. Millions of women are not in danger of pregnancies endangering their lives – only a handful are (you are aware that the current Irish law allows abortion if the life of the mother is in danger?). Your case is built upon irrationality and falsehood.

      1. David – definitions are pretty clear. It is you who is blinded by your own ideology.

        “An infant (from the Latin word infans, meaning “unable to speak” or “speechless”) is the more formal or specialised synonym for “baby”, the very young offspring of a human. ”

        ie Baby is post-partum.

  2. To be fair David, I for one agree with you that the celebrations were not the tone required for the occasion. But lets not forget the hideous crimes the RC church perpetrated on the Irish over the centuries. Is it any wonder some would react like that.

    But do have a think about what happens when religious organisations win political battles /freedoms…

    1. Mark,
      you are right that the celebrations were not about the abortions that can now take place. I mean there would have to be something seriously wrong for a woman to get pregnant, simply in order to have an abortion. Nobody wants abortion per se but it has become so identified with rights, choice and freedom that we get this inappropriate outburst of celebration.
      Since alcohol is what fuels the perceived need for abortion, Scotland’s minimum price policy may yet turn out to be as big a life saver as was the gin tax in early eighteenth century London. It would be a step in the right direction if measures to alleviate the perceived need for abortion were celebrated as a good thing.
      It is obvious that there is a cost to abortion even when the lowest value possible is placed on the newly-formed zygote. In the heat of the Irish Referendum victory, that cost may have been ignored or been considered to be well worth paying, hence the celebration. But unless the wrongful behaviour is dealt with that leads to abortions — including heaping all the shame of having a child on to the unmarried mother as though there were no father — the victory will prove to be pyrrhic. I’m not optimistic, myself.
      You are right of course that many campaigners will see the result as a victory over Irish Catholicism. The hideous crimes they will be thinking of, though, will be those perpetrated by individual members of the clergy. There is a danger that concentration on those crimes might draw attention away from things that the RCs ought to change, even if whether or not they are hideous things is a moot point.
      I think that there might be more agreement here about the separation of Church and State than you imagine but, for all that, refusing to implement a measure that has everything going for it just because the idea came from a religious organisation, would be to cut off ones nose to spite ones face.

      Yours,
      John/.

  3. Well said sir. I’m in the north here and already I can hear them storming the door at the border. I fear for the future of our children. Those shinners (Sinn Fein) are a disgrace. They have lost any right to call themselves Catholic. Shame on them. Since the results started trickling in from around Saturday lunch time I have been angry, so angry. Unfortunately I can’t see any way back from here. The sad truth is that we are only a remnant and our voice is being drowned in the ocean of insanity. Jonah 4.9. Angry enough to die.

  4. One editorial comment, caption should read Angels, not Angles.

    And do you think they are aware of the hubris of the name of their organization?

    2Co 11:14* And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

  5. Thank you again for your true and wise articles. We are living in sad times but again there is nothing new under the Sun. Tragically, those who voted ‘yes’ think they are being ‘modern’ and ‘progressive’ when they are being the direct opposite. For not the first time we pray for our Lord to show mercy to our Nation(s).

    1. Again – not the issue. A zygote lasts four days. We are talking about killing a 12 week old baby in the womb – for any reason whatsoever. Maybe it would be better for you to avoid using your limited knowledge of biology as a rhetorical device – and stick with what we are actually talking about.

      1. Actually a zygote lasts about 30 hours before turning into 2 daughter blastomeres. It is the blastocyst which takes 5 days to fully form.

      2. I would venture that my limited knowledge of biology is equal to the average person who has an interest in this particular subject.
        Out of interest, are you familiar with the abortion ritual references commanded by your god in the Old Testament?

        So do you not consider life begins at conception?

        As for your tag …. ”for any reason whatsoever”, do you include rape, and incest in your judgment?

      3. God says:

        “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
        “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”

        Life is from before……

        (Jeremiah 1:5)

  6. I was extremely offended by those in the video of the so called ‘celebration’ yesterday. But most of all I was heart-broken for all the young, mostly women, celebrating what is effectively the murder of babies. You said it all in your piece. The ministers in our church did speak about it at the services yesterday, and we prayed. But I fear it seems that those prepared to lead a great revolt against these so-called elites, are few – or perhaps they are too scared! You know yourself, it is hard to be vilified for speaking the truth.

    O that the Lord would send us government leaders worthy of the name. The present lot all sing from the same song-sheet!

    May God give strength and courage in abundance to all those who DO speak out – especially here in Northern Ireland at the present.

    This is going to get worse……

  7. GREAT!
    I have not stopped shacking with anger at the sight of thousands of people dancing and rejoicing at the right to kill babies.

    I spent much of my working life dealing with sick children, and the utter devotion I witnessed in parents of very handicapped children often moved me to (silent) tears.

    Yet to think that carelessly disposing of an inconvenient foetus is a matter of freedom and choice is … well words fail me.

    SHAME SHAME SHAME ON THEM

  8. The biblical quote you have chosen is misleading and you have twisted it to suit your agenda, just remember when Jesus was talking of bringing little children to him he was of course referring to live children. There was no such thing as abortion back then in a surgical sense. There was likely a medicinal herbal remedy that would have been hit and miss.
    And further more remember that Jesus also told us many things.
    Let him without sin cast the first stone.
    Do not judge others.

    1. Yes – there was abortion (have you read the Hippocratic oath?). Are you saying the baby in the womb is not alive? Care to tell that to any pregnant mother? Yes – I know that Jesus said do not judge others. I also know that it does not mean you can never in any circumstances make any kind of judgement – not least because you are judging me right now – but more importantly because Jesus did not contradict himself and after he said this – immediately went on to say ‘do not cast your pearls before swine’. Seems pretty judgemental. I personally judge that killing children (in or out of the womb) is wrong.

      1. To ‘judge’, in the way Jesus said, means to ‘pass sentence. ‘
        I dont see David passing sentence on anyone.
        It’s one thing to pass sentence, I.e. Determine the consequence/punishment of ones actions, it is another to observe as a jury and compare actions and lawfulness, to recognise guilt and unlawful conduct.

      2. Biblical judgement (we are Christians after all) does indeed not mean what our detractors tell us it means. Jesus asks us to use the same ‘measure’ to judge as that by which we hope to be judged, which is clearly god’s Word, which is clearly opposed to the killing of the innocent. (Matthew 7)

  9. David, can you say which government minister asked you to withdraw those comments? I’d understand if not (haven’t revisited your original post so perhaps it’s there, I’ll look), but things are heating up on the Freedom of Speech front right now and others are interested.

    Thanks for being so fearless. Thanks for being so honest and thoughtful. And thanks for demonstrating the Faith, which I find inspiring!

  10. Thank you. We had SPUC visit our church back in November, I put up a poster outside advertising it and within a day it was ripped down. Not being daft I had several posters, and in a week we got through about 4. This is in a ‘nice, middle class’ area, but one where liberals rule the roost. Not a single person from the immediate area joined us for the talk. When I went up to oppose the euthansia bill with prayer and presence (outside Westminster, and briefly in the Lords gallery) my intentions were not in the slightest appreciated.

    We truly do live in a nation dominated by a culture of death.

    1. P.S. The PTS will have something to say about the sad vote, and the shocking support from Mrs May, on our website in due course, but we’re not the quickest getting items up.

  11. The Lament of the Aborted ones We envy you, children of Ephrata. You shouted your greeting to the world As you burrowed your way From the cradle of the womb. And Grandpa and Grandma came to dote, And the neighbours came to see And exclaim that you had your mother’s eyes Or your father’s smile. You were given a name And they recited your family tree back to David, or Judah, or Abraham; And your smile was sealed on the memory Of those who would not forget you. In the darkness of night A warm bosom came To soothe your crying with a lullaby, And you satisfied your instinct Suckling, suckling the milk Until you fell asleep again quietly, securely. ​ And though Herod’s sword Destroyed you before time, A lament for you was heard above the hills of Judah, “Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted.” Someone wanted you. How we envy you As our silent cry, that no one wants to hear, Echoes Through the hospitals and clinics of our land. ​©Dafydd M. Job

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  12. As long as we start from the wrong end, in banning the inevitable consequence rather than challenging the wrongs that drive and constrain “choice”, we will not be heard.
    A society which, far from welcoming children, is relentlessly hostile and exploitative under a surface coating of sugary sentiment;
    A society where women “just about managing” simply dare not risk an unexpected child who could lose them the job and/or relationship that feeds her existing children;
    A society where the rights of women have been taken by men to mean “Mummy will fix it” when they take whatever they can grab, and that they have gone above and beyond any duty owed if they offer to pay to “get rid of it”;
    A society where the old, the weak and the disabled are increasingly abused, accused and denied the means of basic survival – and are only spared more active violence because of the persisting faint stench of the last actual worked example of eugenics. Richard Dawkins was only more honest than most when he made that infamous Tweet about it being “immoral” not to abort for disability.
    And a society whose chosen representatives seem to think there is no problem that cannot be solved – and cheaply if not actually profitably – by killing something.
    Money is not the only factor – how we spend it betrays our attitudes and what we value – but it’s the second easiest place to start. A Tweet I saw this morning challenged an Irish anti to donate to their national Down’s charity and while his response was that it would be wasted when 90% of Down’s pregnancies were terminated, I think the first person was dead right (and what about the 10% who will survive? We are not yet at what the satirist Tom Sharpe’s spoof training course “Post-natal Abortion for Nursery Nurses”…)
    It was your Scottish Cardinal Winning who showed the way decades ago – and if more Churchmen and others in positions of power had followed we would be in a much better position than just standing in the street and shouting “Murder!” now.
    I would probably have voted Yes, given the actual alternative both now and in my childhood: but with a heavy heart, and certainly not dancing. And with thanksgiving that at least *one* famous “gal in trouble” risked death by stoning to make a different choice #Mary

  13. The silence is a stunned silence, not an apathetic silence.

    Enough of us had said that the repeal of the 8th would be a disaster, and had prayed for God’s will to be done, on earth, as it is in heaven, believing that the projection of God’s will upon this situation would have been a “No” vote.

    I have been asking God why he allowed this, and what it means, for Ireland and the world, especially Northern Ireland. I can think of plenty of things I could say, as immediate reactions, off the top of my own head. But I haven’t got a message, other than “oh dear”, that I feel authorised to send out, as though I was one speaking the very words of God.

    At a time like this, it is good to remember that hearing God comes first. Speaking out what one hears from God, and discovering that the message isn’t heard, needed, or well-received, is better than guessing what God’s message is, or guessing that God has a message at all that he wants to deliver through oneself. Better than blogging that less-than-prophetic personal opinion of one’s own, even if one is praised to the skies by people who hear what they want to here.

    I am glad if you have heard from God afresh. I shall not treat your prophecy with contempt, but shall test it (read it again, more slowly and prayerful), and try to hold on to as much of it as I believe to be good.

    The only thing I did notice, which I felt was of God, was that the whole Brexit thing has been hyped up beyond belief, as a potential threat to peace and good relations between the two countries of Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain for that matter. In contrast, the far greater threat that this referendum poses seems not even to have registered.

    This referendum result, on top of the one about same-sex marriage in Eire, set back the prospects of Irish unity far more than Brexit, in my opinion. The reaction in Great Britain to the result threatens the Good Friday settlement, if not the Union.

    If Theresa May attempts to impose abortion on Northern Ireland, I went on to reason, I would not be surprised to see Sinn Fein MP-elects finding a way to take up their Westminster seats, as the DUP withdraw its support for the Tory government.

    #WeLoveTheDUP
    https://twitter.com/John_Allman/status/880551076856049665

    1. “If Theresa May attempts to impose abortion on Northern Ireland, I went on to reason, I would not be surprised to see Sinn Fein MP-elects finding a way to take up their Westminster seats, as the DUP withdraw its support for the Tory government.”

      Oh I really hope you are right there. Ive been predicting / hoping for such an outcome for over a year.

  14. Thank you David for another excellent wee flea article. I praise God for you. Please continue writing the way you do and do not tire. May God raise up many more to join you in this vital work of exposing the myths and lies which are destroying our nation.

  15. “The Prime Minister, the First Minister, the leader of the Opposition, the leader of the Greens, the leader of the Lib Dems – are all the same when it comes to these issues.“
    I suspect that while that is broadly true it may not be entirely true. Thus Vincent Cable, for example,
    Voted for a ban on creating animal-human hybrid embryos in 2008
    Voted against the Third Reading of the Religious Hatred Bill on 11 July 2005
    Voted for preventing euthanasia
    Voted against research using human cloning in 2000
    Carline Lucas voted for legalising assisted suicide.
    Nicola Sturgeon did not support assisted suicide.

    What is Vince Cable’s attitude towards abortion? The best indicator is his voting record in the House of Commons but the issue seems not to have come up much while he has been an MP and on several occasions was absent when a vote was taken. The only time I can find when he did cast a vote on an issue relating to abortion was in 2006. On that occasion he voted against reducing the legal time limit for abortions to 21 weeks and introducing compulsory counselling for women seeking abortions and a “cooling off period” before any termination takes place. That might be taken to show that he is pro-abortion. Is there any other conclusive evidence?

    “I stand by the comments and will not remove them because they upset government ministers.” Absolutely wonderful to read. Just who, exactly, do these government ministers think they are. I think that it’s probably the case that the more annoyed these people get the more right people are to say the things that annoy them. But we must be grateful to David that he is willing to go public with his views despite knowing that he will receive such unpleasant comments. Thank goodness that somebody is willing to do that.

    PS. Sorry that there has been no comment on the Scottish Catholic Media Office website. But on Monday 28th May there is at the Immaculate Heart of Mary church in Balornock a vigil of prayer of reparation for Ireland from 8pm until midnight.

      1. Hi, mgordon42! Yes, really, in a small way (gentle) I’m an iconoclast. As a former Catholic I’ve posted about the Evangelical disobedience to the Second Commandment in our use of images of Christ and movies of His life.

      2. Good for you. Gentle iconoclasm is much needed.

        (Spoken as a saved RC priest who now remembers with horror the idolatry rife in the churches in which I served).

  16. Ireland’s only hope is summed up in the words of the Christian Endeavour hymn and it applies to Scotland, England and Wales in equal measure!

    “Ireland for Christ!” the martial chorus
    Echo near and far.
    While the banner floating o’er us
    Bids us forth to war!
    Ancient land of saints and sages,
    Circled by the sea,
    From the slavery of ages
    Rise to liberty.

    Peal it over hill and valley
    Tell it out thro’ street and alley;
    This the song to which we rally–
    “Ireland for Christ!”

    Bring forth the harp, so oft’ in sadness
    Touched by bards of old,
    Sweep its chords with psalms of gladness,
    Hail your age of gold!
    Fairest Isle of all the ocean,
    All your tribute bring,
    Pour it forth in full devotion
    To your rightful King!

    Once more let Erin’s sons and daughters,
    For her own dear sake,
    Join her children o’er the waters
    In the vow they make;
    By the Grace of God we’ll never
    Break our solemn tryst;
    Brightest hope of our Endeavour,
    Ireland won for Christ!

    Soon shall the Royal Proclamation
    End the long campaign,
    Soon o’er our united nation
    Christ shall come to reign;
    Then throughout our ancient sireland
    Man to man shall call–
    “Crown Him King of dear old Ireland!
    “Crown Him Lord of all!”

    Rev. Dr. John Pollock, St. Enoch’s Belfast, 1899.

  17. David, many thanks for your articles regarding the abortion referendum in the Republic of Ireland. I grew up in Dublin but I now live in Northern Ireland. I lament the developments in my homeland in recent years – gay marriage and now abortion. I grew up at a time when the Roman Catholic Church scandals were beginning to emerge and I feel that both referendums were as also an attack on that church. I am a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and our Moderator, former Moderator and Clerk of the General Assembly issued a statement on Saturday night expressing their profound sense of sadness regarding the result of the referendum. I want to thank you David for your articles which I have gladly shared on Facebook for a wider audience to read that hopefully some of my more liberal friends might see and read and be challenged in their own views, Roman Catholic people with a degree of devotion to their church but not when it comes to issues like gay marriage and abortion. Keep up the good work!

  18. David, I suspect the pro abortion crowd bases their pro view based on a perception of oppression against women? They don’t even evaluate the biology of their view. What about the oppression against the beginning of a defenseless human life? Ask them, “Is it human or animal?” And does that make a difference? It should. Not so funny that “liberals” are so angrily fascist these days. Can’t even discuss an opposing view without being torn up and hated. Doesn’t sound very liberal to me. Btw: I believe in the right to hate things – I’m so American ;). I hate keep off the grass signs , doing dumb things etc :). Keep speaking out David.

      1. A human being can “die.” Do you know what the legal, medial, and scientific definition of human “death” is?

        The simple fact is this: At no stage does “life” magically appear in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. For this reason, the only true method we have to distinguish the onset of a distinct, functioning human being is when the brain begins to exhibit sustained EEG activity, and this begins at around week 25, although it is not until 28 weeks till we see full bilateral synchronisation. That is when you may call the foetus “On.” After week 28 it can therefore be turned “Off,” and meet the legal, scientific and medical definitions of death.

        So, unless you can actually tell me how you “kill” something that cannot “die” I feel the arguments (and deliberately inflammatory language) being presented here are entirely absurd.

      2. And so you win an argument, John,
        but miss the point, actually.
        There has to be reasoning like this, in order to absolve doctors from breaking the hippocratic oath. It is of absolutely no use when comforting a woman who has just suffered a miscarriage.
        Yours,
        John/.

      3. Hi John

        It’s not a ‘win’ lose’ argument. There are simply the facts.

        The reasoning is bound to the facts: Until full bilateral synchronisation (week 28), nothing is being “killed.” There simply isn’t a human organism. Potential exists, yes, absolutely, much like a chassis has the potential to become a functioning car.

        As Professor Goldenring (a staunch anti-abortion advocate) wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Development of the Fetal Brain”:

        “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

        I, like virtually all countries, err on the side of extreme caution and think week 20 (excluding absolute medical emergencies) should be the legal cut-off date, even though sustained neural activity doesn’t begin for another four weeks (week 24).

        This is why it’s absurd for pro-forced birth advocates to use deliberately emotive language like “kill” and “murder.” Using such language demonstrates that they’re not actually interested at all in addressing the matter honestly.

        As to your point about miscarriages, following the facts, there’s a very good reason why the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. National Library of Medicine call natural abortion after week 20 “preterm deliveries,” while before that date it is labeled “miscarriages.” Like myself, they are erring on the side of caution and drawing a very real line demarking the onset of a human organism. At week 23, just 17% of foetuses survive (with full artificial life support) outside the womb if naturally aborted.

      4. Either ‘it’ is alive from the point of conception or ‘it’ is an inanimate object. If ‘it’ is the latter then at what point does ‘it’ become animate, and how?

      5. Very succinct, Dominic. That is the challenge I used to put out, and until this John Z came along, nobody had an answer to it that wasn’t sheer mumbo-jumbo, a recycling of the doctrine of ensoulment. That’s why I wrote “The mumbo-jumbo of choice” 5 years ago.
        But John Z actually has provided an answer to that question that isn’t the usual mumbo-jumbo. He’s claiming that nowadays we can measure a transition over the period 24 to 28 weeks gestation scientifically. For the first time, the new human becomes able to die in the sense in which dying is defined in the present day – brain death. Before that, he reasons, destroying that human isn’t therefore killing him or her. It is a very clever argument, which is new to me.

      6. Dear John,
        I’m not even engaging with this chap – he has entirely missed the point I made. Whatever he wants to call it, it is alive. And ending that life is to kill whatever it is. He may deny that it is human using big scientific words and lots of them, and I may protest that it is using God’s Word, but arguing about that won’t get to the heart of the matter.

        Even if it is a blade of grass it is having its life ended, and therefore it is being killed. Simples. No-one with any claim to intelligence can claim otherwise.

      7. Hi Dominic

        Life does NOT begin at conception. I’ve repeated this point numerous times, but it seems no one here really wants to address the truth of it: Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and has not been interrupted since. The egg and the sperm are already parts of the living system; a system that began 3.8 billion years ago. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly became organic.

        Animate/inanimate? The entire 3.8 billion years old system is animate. What I think you’re trying to ask is what is a human being? It’s an interesting question. Full bilateral synchronisation certainly signals the beginning of the complete human organism, but one might argue that memories are the ‘human being.’ If this is true, then the human being only truly begins after aborisation starts to slow, and the brain can start to finally store and retrieve memories.

        You see, much unlike the lights on a Christmas tree, 23,000,000,000 cerebral neurons (85,000,000,000 throughout the entire nervous system) don’t just come online all at once. Neurologically speaking it takes ten months, give or take, for a newborn to even discover that it is separate from its environment. It takes another twenty-four months for that same infant to get a fair handle on that environment, and most importantly, themselves. Before that moment, for the first three years of our lives, our brains are busy in a process called aborisation, meaning tree, where oceans of bulbous neurons and their branchlike axons spur on the growth and subdivision of an expanding universe of twiglike dendrites to make contact with up to 50,000 paths each to form a nearly unimaginably complex storage, retrieval, and sequential image processing apparatus. Before this process is complete, for those first 36 months, we do not participate in conscious life as we adults understand it. It’s rather the case that we enter it by increments; small baby steps as connection after connection is made and the brain literally hooks itself up.

        The Swiss developmental psychologists, Jean Piaget, noted that until an early developmental stage a child watching a toy train disappear into a tunnel will witness the event and perceive the train to have simply vanished. In the infantile mind, a mind that experiences the world as parcels of constant novelty, what emerges magically from the other side is an entirely new train. Piaget observed that it was only after a sufficient number of the right connections had been made in the infantile frontal cortex, connections that allowed a sequential ordering of events, did a child instinctively glance forward after seeing a train enter a tunnel and wait for it – the same train – to emergence from the other end. He called this ability to predict “conservation,” and it appears in us all bit by little bit. Month after month the dendrites branch out in a massive public works program until finally stabilising at about the 36th month, and with that begins the age of memory: the age of self.

      8. Simply put, God believes life begins BEFORE conception. Jeremiah 1:5. I’m happier with following God’s judgement (the creator of all things), than yours, one of the created beings that you so belittle.

      9. God believes life begins BEFORE conception

        Well, that’s exactly what I said, isn’t it: life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since.

      10. You haven’t read the reference or you wouldn’t come back with such a silly reply.

        God believes human life begins BEFORE conception. Jeremiah 1:5

      11. Yes, I heard you the first time.

        You’re quoting a line from the Pentateuch.

        That influences this discussion how, precisely…?

      12. No I’m not, Jeremiah isn’t in the Pentateuch. This lack of knowledge of the simple basics of your opponents position says to me that you’re in over your head.

      13. I suppose the reason we say ‘it’ is because we don’t know the sex. When is the sex determined? At conception. Those who find out the sex of their pre-born surely would refer to them as ‘he’ or ‘she’? Fetus or foetus means ‘little one’. Now that sounds pretty human to me.

      14. As I said, John,
        you won the argument and by missing the cardinal point you failed to get across the point you wanted to make. As it happens, I also think that ‘murder’ is the wrong word; abortion is legal so, to my mind, it can’t be murder because ‘legal murder’ is an oxymoron. However, I think you overstate your case when you dismiss the use of ‘kill’ as ‘ deliberately emotive language.’ Maybe you destroy it completely by labelling self-styled pro-lifers pro-forced birth advocates for that is also deliberately emotive language. Maybe.
        Be that as it may — and you may castigate the invincible ignorance of your opponants here all you like — you will never pursuade most people that you can’t kill living cells even if you can get across the notion that technically they’re not alive.
        The question of so-called forced birth is one where legislation is unhelpful, in that you cannot possibly legislate whether or not it would be better for an unviable pregnancy to run to term or be aborted. But, IMHO, it is counter-productive to oppose what you will think of as forced birth intransigence with what not only pro-lifers will think of as a classroom trick that does not deal with the reality of the matter.
        Yours,
        John/.

      15. Classroom trickery, John,
        ranges from harmless paradoxes such as the fly-stops-train paragraph in one of my school textbooks — was it really called Physics is Fun? Surely I must have imagined that. No, right enough — to really dangerous stuff like Holocaust Denial.
        Your explanation is a tour de force. As you say — given the way the facts are defined — it’s a fact. It is also a fact — if you can take the analogy — that Pluto isn’t a planet. So what! How does the fact comfort the bereaved woman who blames herself? A classroom trick is not the real world and this is a matter of life and death even if your conjuring trick shows that it can’t be.
        Yours,
        John/.

      16. Hi John

        My apologies, but I still don’t see where the “trick” is that you’re accusing me of. I have tried my best to present the facts in as straightforward a manner as possible, and I assure you there are no semantic games being played.

      17. You pose the contrived question, as though it was a necessary question to pose outside end-of-life medical ethics in the modern age, and of broad application. What “constitutes” a human? You offer the reply, a human is an instance of certain type of EEG. Then you claim that this question and answer of yours express some sort of “fact”. You try to insist that unless and until somebody else provides an alternative answer, to the question you posed, he or she is asserting a doctrine of ensoulment, whereas your doctrine, as far as I can see, is just an ensoulment doctrine, in which EEG is taken as the biological marker of the arrival and departure of the human soul.

        And that isn’t a trick? One that almost had me fooled for a while? And you can’t see how it is a trick? Even though several people have explained that to you, painstakingly and politely, including (now) myself?

      18. You pose the contrived question

        Not contrived at all.

        You insist on using words like “kill” “murder” and “homicide,” and the question challenges you to defend such language.

        To-date, you have not answered the question.

        It appears your failure to address the question in a rational manner is the source of your growing frustration, anger, and accusations.

      19. No sir, you are the one who is using contrived language. It matters not what you call it, whether it be a foetus, or a baby, or a zygote, or whatever. IT IS ALIVE, just as surely as a leaf or a fly or a bird is alive. Therefore it can die, just as surely as a leaf or a fly or a bird can die. To make any other claim is to pervert language and meaning so far as to become utterly meaningless.

        You claim such cleverness, but in fact it isn’t that, it is no more than a fog of words which mean only what you want them to mean, not what they really mean.

      20. If you believe using words like “kill” “murder” and “homicide” are accurate then surely you can rationally justify that.

        How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        I can re-post the legal/scientific/medical definitions of human death if you need.

        And also consider this: Theoretically, I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You cannot do the reverse of this experiment.

      21. 66

        You insist on using words like “kill” “murder” and “homicide,” and the question challenges you to defend such language.

        To-date, you have not answered the question.

        99

        Presumably, an abortion after the onset of EEG at 28 weeks gestation DOES (in your opinion) kill a human, and therefore is a homicide. (Not sure in what context I used the word “murder”.)

        What question do you say I have not answered, nor rejected as contrived?

        Are you referring to the question how it is possible to kill what cannot die? Or the question what is a human, if he or she is not, as you claim, merely an EEG signal? I haven’t answered those questions, because I reject your assertions that a human is nothing but an EEG signal, that a human death equates to the extinguishing of such an EEG signal, and that the human’s life begins at the onset of his or her EEG signal.

        Roughly speaking, you equate a human with an EEG signal, for the sake of a specific argument you want to make. Boldly, you declare this rhetorical equation of yours to be a simple “fact”. Notwithstanding that this “fact” of yours is far from universally believed, is incapable of scientific proof, and is not a tautology. Your argument fails, if its very first premise is rejected.

        Humans who survive long enough, are all observed to develop EEG that continues until they die. That is not to say that a human is his or her own EEG, and that he or she is nobody before his EEG begins, and only becomes somebody when his or her EEG begins.
        It is not to say that before a human has EEG, he or she cannot die, cannot be killed, and cannot become the victim of a homicide, none of which (incidentally) are emotional terms at all.

      22. Hi John

        I haven’t answered those questions, because I reject your assertions that a human is nothing but an EEG signal, that a human death equates to the extinguishing of such an EEG signal, and that the human’s life begins at the onset of his or her EEG signal.

        You’re certainly free to reject any forwarded argument, but after the rejection it is generally considered good form to then present a logical, rational, defendable, demonstrable counter-argument.

        You haven’t done this.

        You haven’t presented a single node of evidence to counter the legal/scientific/medical definitions of human death as presented in UK, Australia, New Zealand, and US law.

        You haven’t presented a single node of evidence that even suggests there might be some previously unrecognised element that constitutes the human organism, ie. a soul.

      23. And John, just to let you know, I did respond to your lengthy comment (the one that was ‘misplaced) but it appears that comment has disappeared.

        I will repost it below

      24. I have tried my best to present the facts in as straightforward a manner as possible.’
        Of course you have, John,
        and that’s where the trick lies. A straightforward, matter-of-fact presentation is the best way of defending a position when your opponents think your reasoning to be counterfactual. You did slip up a couple of times to reveal your hidden agenda.
        Yours,
        John/.

      25. counterargument
        ˈkaʊntəˌɑːɡjʊm(ə)nt/Submit
        noun
        noun: counter-argument
        an argument or set of reasons put forward to oppose an idea or theory developed in another argument.

        At least we’ve progressed beyond the early stage of your time here, when you denied presenting any sort of “argument”, insisting instead that all you were doing was presenting “facts”, and that we needed to present similar “facts”

        Disputing your premise, most notably your assertion that a human is his own EEG, on which you found your entire argument, is my argument. In reply, you simply reassert your disputed premise, completely ignoring my objections to it, accuse me of being emotional in rejecting them, and demand from me a different counterargument, based upon a doctrine of ensoulment that I do not believe in, because that is your straw man.

        John Zande, I think you are wasting everybody’s time here. I have formed the impression, and I doubt I am the only one, that you wouldn’t be capable of recognising a counterargument if one jumped up and bit you on the nose. If that assessment seems unfairly ad hominem, then please review the whole thread, and see just how deaf you are to counterarguments.

      26. Disputing your premise, most notably your assertion that a human is his own EEG, on which you found your entire argument, is my argument.

        Yes, I know you are disputing it. What I’m waiting for is for you to detail the rationale for disputing it.

        Other than your continued objections, you haven’t actually presented anything yet. In fact, I’ve asked you twice already, As you seem to be simply ignoring every word I write, perhaps I can ask you: What is a human being?, but you have, to-date, avoided addressing this question.

        I would honestly and sincerely like to hear your counterargument, rather than simply reading over and over again that you disagree with me.

        If it is not sustained brain activity (or more correctly, full bilateral synchronisation), then what, exactly, constitutes a complete human organism?

      27. I haven’t used the term “human being”. A human is an organism that is an individual specimen of the species homo sapiens.

      28. I avoid using the term “human being” myself. If you want to know what the term means, I suggest you ask those who use it what they mean by it, or look at a dictionary definition. I have tended to suppose that it means an individual human organism.

      29. Why does anybody have to have a “reason” to dispute an unwarranted assumption, other than pointing out that the assumption is unwarranted?

        My counter-argument is that you have made an unwarranted assumption. That is putting it at it best.

        Like any other placental mammal, the individual human begins his existence as a single cell organism. That is science. Your alternative doctrine isn’t. Everybody knows this.

      30. What is “unwarranted”?

        A cell is not an individual human being. It cannot breathe, it cannot speak, it cannot think, it cannot experience and retain memories.

      31. A human, even when he (or she) is still only a single cell, does indeed “breath”. He absorbs sugar and oxygen, through his cell wall, and metabolises these to produce CO2, water and energy, using metabolic pathways that used to be called the Krebbs Cycle and either Oxidative Phosphorylation, or the Electron Transport Chain.

        This is such basic biology that I am surprised you seem not to have known it.

      32. Your respect noted, John,
        and thank you, but I have no intention of presenting a counterargument. I’m not disputing your reasoning, I’m saying that it misses the point. You could have reasoned with those who thought/still think that there is a counterargument but you chose not to, preferring to bait them with repeated assertions of your ungainsayable ‘Fact.’ Fair enough, they weren’t getting it but you couldn’t let it lie either. Armed with an argument that supplies a threshold and a ‘safety margin’ to the already accepted wisdom that an early abortion is better than a late abortion you tried to use it in a round about, backhanded way to justify very late abortions also. (Remember the ‘forced-birth’ jibe? Hidden agenda!)
        Then, I wonder, did you betray the real reason you are so unwilling to help those who won’t just swallow your early abortion justification? You said ‘You quoted the bible. The same book says to stone witches and disobedient children to death.‘ Mark Gordon shares your aversion to the Bible having a voice in the matter and asks, ‘Why in the 21st century are we still referring to scripture to inform our interpretation of science?‘ Why indeed? But he has already given us part of the answer: ‘Unfortunately they [by which he means us] don’t realise that all moral boundaries are arbitrary.‘ (Again: hidden agenda.)
        A good thing for Science that we don’t realise that, since Scripture has its own voice and Science doesn’t.
        [Micah 6:8]
        He has told you, O man, what is good;
        and what does the LORD require of you
        but to do justice, and to love kindness,
        and to walk humbly with your God?

        Yours,
        John/.

      33. I’d like to know how the EEG data of the CNS of a human foetus is collected, as John Zande implies.

        Though this is completely off topic, proving EEG telemetry was a bit of an Achilles Heal in a paper entitled “Ethical and societal implications of capacity for privacy-invasive remote interrogation and behavioural influence applications” that I gave in 2009 at the 5th European Symposium on Non-Lethal Weapons, based on the work of John McMurtrey which I web-publish at

        CAMS science page
        http://slavery.org.uk/science.htm

        JZ’s argument is messy, with lots of obiter dicta that make it almost rambling, but at its core is a bold claim, none other than the measuring scientifically the onset of ensoulment. One of my most important essays (as follows) argues that ensoulment is “mumbo jumbo”, which can never be observed in a laboratory. JZ almost claims that ensoulment is a real thing not the myth I said it was, and that it can be watched, by monitoring EEG. Wow!

        The mumbo-jumbo of choice
        https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/the-mumbo-jumbo-of-choice/

        John McMurtrey’s treatment of EEG telemetry, which I think needs beefing up, is this:

        Remote EEG discussion
        http://slavery.org.uk/RemoteEEGDiscussion.htm

        John Z, what ARE the definitions of death used in the law, “science”, and medicine, please, which you asked if we knew, but then didn’t tell us?

      34. Hi John

        EEG studies are done on premature babies. An EEG involves measuring varying electrical potential across a dipole, or separated charges. To get scalp or surface potentials from the cortex (that which represents the human organism) requires three things: neurons, dendrites, and axons, with synapses between them. Since these requirements are not present in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation, it is not possible to record “brain waves” (an erroneous term, but one often used) prior to 20-24 weeks. The physical structures simply aren’t there.

        Here is the medical, legal, and scientific definition of death:

        In 1979, the Conference of the Medical Royal Colleges, “Diagnosis of death” declared: “brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead.”

        This was updated in the 1980s and 1990s to state that brainstem death, as diagnosed by UK criteria, is the point at which “all functions of the brain have permanently and irreversibly ceased.”

        Further still updated in 1995 (to present), “It is suggested that ‘irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe’ should be regarded as the definition of death’

        This is mirrored in US law:

        U.S’s Uniform Determination of Death Act (§ 1, U.L.A. [1980]) states: “An individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory function, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.”

        It is also mirrored in Australian law:

        The Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Statement on Death and Organ Donation define death as: a) Irreversible cessation of all function of the brain of the person; or b) Irreversible cessation of circulation of blood in the body of the person.

        So, the question stands: Before full bilateral synchronisation, how can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        Not sure what you’re calling “messy.” If the facts bother you, then I would say your thinking is what’s confused, as facts can only ever simply be facts.

        As posted to John Kilpatrik, this is Professor Goldenring (a staunch anti-abortion advocate) writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Development of the Fetal Brain”:

        “When the coordinating and individuating function of a living brain is demonstrably present, the full human organism exists. Before full brain differentiation, only cells, organs, and organ systems exist, which may potentially be integrated into a full human organism if the brain develops. After brain death what is left of the organism is once again only a collection of organs, all available to us for use in transplantation, since the full human being no longer exists.”

      35. What was “messy”? The bit about 3.8 billion years was unnecessary. Now that you have developed your argument without that or other red herrings, you present a real challenge.

        I have never before come across a defender of early abortion who presented your evidence-based argument, as to why it might be possible, even for a moment, to think of elective abortion rationally as anything other than homicide. On the contrary, every single pro-choice person who has argued with me, has eventually resorted to sheer mumbo-jumbo, not science.

        I wish you had been amongst those who had responded on my 2013 piece “The mumbo-jumbo of choice”. That would have given me five years to prepare to defeat your argument here, if I can.

        I need time to think about what you’ve said. See what you’ve done!

        Most pro-aborts spout mumbo-jumbo that amounts to no more than an assertion of a superstitious doctrine of ensoulment. Most of pro-aborts are simply vicious, and irrational, in my experience. Typically, they are feminists. They peddle a gynocentric elitism that is self-evidently morally inferior to the egalitarianism of the pro-life, which was expressed in the 8th Amendment recently rejected by Irish voters. You are the first pro-abortion person I have come across who actually has a valid argument, or an argument that I haven’t already learnt to refute with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back in less than a minute.

        Yet, what you teach *is* close to what the angry pro-choice morons teach, namely ensoulment (or enpersonment, which amounts to the same thing). Except that in your case, you claim that ensoulment is *measurable* and DOES happen, at a particular stage of pregnancy, with its own biological marker! I have hitherto rejected the doctrine of ensoulment as unscientific superstition. Your attempt to place that doctrine onto a scientific basis, is a serious challenge to my own, entirely secular pro-life position.

        The mumbo-jumbo of choice
        https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/the-mumbo-jumbo-of-choice/

        Well done!

      36. Hi John

        Defeat my argument? It’s not “my” argument. I’m simply presenting the facts. Before week 28, there is no moral dilemma… although as I mentioned, I think erring on the side of caution is wise, meaning we should (and do) mark week 20 (still four weeks before sustained brain activity is even possible) as the legal cut-off date for terminations.

        The only way you can break this subject open for debate is if you can demonstrate the existence of some previously unknown element (a soul, for example) which is part of the human organism. If you can prove the existence of the soul then I will have to adjust my thinking in light of the new information. I’m not afraid to do so.

    1. This is scientism in full flow, and the point is disingenuously missed or avoided through seeking to misappropriate definitions to advocate for a predetermined position.
      The point is not over whether there is a baby or a foetus, but whether there is human life. Whether it is capable of independent life, nor fully formed, is irrelevant. Human life will, in the natural way of things, develop into a human being and human flourishing, so complete human development is ABORTED., even if a brain has not been formed. There is, therefore, a termination of human life, whether that is legally or scientifically defined as death is irrelevant.

      Is there such a thing as a conscience? And how about visceral abhorrence?

      Didn’t science, at one stage, believe that a human foetus could develop into different forms of animal life, not restricted to human beings? What is good science today is bad science tomorrow?

      Of course, only those of us who are progressive are not aborted, so that humanity can benefit from our progress.
      What does it mean to be civilised? Is that determined, defined, exclusively by science? Science would permit the eating of human beings or even aborted humans, from a conflated ideology of scientism, choice and personal “taste.”

      1. Do we consider everything that happens to us as the will of God?
        How are we supposed to view miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy in this light?

        A sperm has the potential to form a human life – it could also be regarded as a life in,its own right.

        Were the Catholic Church correct to consider masturbation a sin?

        Are we still to view contraception in a similar light?

        At what do we draw the line?

      2. Hi Geoff

        The point is not over whether there is a baby or a foetus, but whether there is human life</em?

        That was exactly my point. Did you actually read what I wrote?

        Firstly, using the word “life” is erroneous. In fact, it’s meaningless. As previously stated, at no stage does “life” magically appear in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic.

        What we are talking about is a human organism. A human organism can die, and it is simply not until full bilateral synchronisation (week 28) until the human organism fully, and absolutely, exists.

        Defined Human Life begins at the moment its twin, Death, also springs into existence. Without death there is no life. The former begets the latter. The latter assigns meaning to the former. One delineates the other, and the definition of death is not in dispute. Death is when electroencephalography (EEG) activity ceases. That’s it. That’s death. It follows quite naturally therefore that the onset of defined human life is when foetal brain activity begins to exhibit regular and sustained wave patterns, and that occurs consistently at around week 25, although it is not until 28 weeks till we see full bilateral synchronisation. That is when you may call the foetus “On,” and only after something is “On” can it be turned “Off,” meeting the legal, scientific and medical definitions of death. To argue anything to the contrary is patently absurd.

        If you wish to break this debate open to meaningful discussion you will have to demonstrate the existence of some previously unknown element (a soul, for example) in the human organism. If such a thing can be demonstrated then the entire subject has to be re-examined. Until then, however, facts are simply facts.

      3. (apologies, messed up the formatting on original comment. Let me try that again)

        Hi Geoff

        The point is not over whether there is a baby or a foetus, but whether there is human life?

        That was exactly my point. Did you actually read what I wrote?

        Firstly, using the word “life” is erroneous. In fact, it’s meaningless. As previously stated, at no stage does “life” magically appear in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic.

        What we are talking about is a human organism. A human organism can die, and it is simply not until full bilateral synchronisation (week 28) until the human organism fully, and absolutely, exists.

        Defined Human Life begins at the moment its twin, Death, also springs into existence. Without death there is no life. The former begets the latter. The latter assigns meaning to the former. One delineates the other, and the definition of death is not in dispute. Death is when electroencephalography (EEG) activity ceases. That’s it. That’s death. It follows quite naturally therefore that the onset of defined human life is when foetal brain activity begins to exhibit regular and sustained wave patterns, and that occurs consistently at around week 25, although it is not until 28 weeks till we see full bilateral synchronisation. That is when you may call the foetus “On,” and only after something is “On” can it be turned “Off,” meeting the legal, scientific and medical definitions of death. To argue anything to the contrary is patently absurd.

        If you wish to break this debate open to meaningful discussion you will have to demonstrate the existence of some previously unknown element (a soul, for example) in the human organism. If such a thing can be demonstrated then the entire subject has to be re-examined. Until then, however, facts are simply facts.

      4. John Z and Ark,
        I’m unsure whether this will be posted in the right order.
        1 John: I did read and understand what you wrote. I had a law lecturer who thought you didn’t understand if you didn’t agree with what he was saying. I don’t agree. with you. You tie yourself in knots in your use of words “life”, “organic” “inorganic”, “death”…”life is meaningless…” And yours is what? A meaningless (from eternity to eternity) organism? (I doubt that you are talking about “zoe” – eternal life from God). But of course “bios” – life- a study of biology. What is the point of YOU? Of your life, your death? (Of any of us?). If you had been aborted we’d not be having this meaningless exchange…pointless. The discussion here is about species, homo sapiens, and value, worth, of lives, lived (other than mere economic) and you are seeking to shunt it down an arid, detached, philosophical scientism dead-end siding.
        2 Ark, you hit the nail on the head about drawing of lines.
        3 Definitions, whether legal or scientific, draw lines. Legal definitions are drawn up by legal drafts people for a predetermined purpose to cover societal concerns and structures. (such as “death”). This is a jurisprudential question, not a scientific one, (unless social science is included) Both law and science may redraw lines with new definitions, due to applications in human life and lives. But here we are leaving behind pure science and entering into underpinning, foundational philosophies, including a philosophy of science. Science, of itself, says nothing about abortion “rights” or any human rights, of lives lived day by day, says little about what sort of politics to espouse, about deeper questions of life, of why? Science said little about why women wanted to change the law on abortion (with new legal definitions to follow).
        And about the points I made in my last two sentences.

  19. Somewhere down the line, the church needs to be able to embrace the mother who has aborted, not in celebration, but in the brokenness of her repentance. A large art print from a number years ago comes to mind, but changed to depict bloodied woman slumped and held up in the the nail pierced hands of Christ, with her arms dangling down holding blood covered hammer and nails. The original had a young man at the peak of his life, in blood covered jeans and tee shirt, being upheld. Not one of us is beyond redemption.

  20. To John Kilpatrick. I’m popping up where you’ve popped up again. Sad but true, it’s a baby if you want it and a fetus if you don’t. Related to your comment re. miscarriage, it is a very celebratory view of the fetus (little one) that can help the woman properly grieve a miscarriage, especially if she is a believer that each life is eternal. God did create a life in her womb which for whatever reason didn’t physically survive beyond 6, 8, 12 or more weeks but doesn’t cease to exist eternally. She can remember with joy and excitement she felt when she found out she was pregnant. She can rejoice that she nurtured this life while it lasted and actually enjoyed the experience, however long it lasted. The reason she is devastated is because of the huge contrast. She was delighted and celebrating new life and now maybe very quickly she has the emotional turmoil of switching gears from life to death. She was devastated when it ended because it died. The excitement she felt every morning on waking is replaced by the harsh reality of death descending on her every morning. None of our children are guaranteed to outlive us! But the hope for the Christian is that death is not the end and a cute and funny thought is that I will meet the 3 babies I lost through miscarriage and wow, God used my body to create their lives. To those who aborted theirs, there is forgiveness. But as a society we can only heal if we celebrate life and always encourage a pregnant woman to celebrate life. Celebrating life is a mindset, not a scientific formula which dictates what life is and claims to be science while it is actually geared towards the rights of the carers. Be it the tiny life of the existing blastocyst (wow the blastocyst is amazing!) or the very needy life of the disabled whose life can be full of love and laughter, or the poor innocent beautiful life produced by rape, or the decrepit, dribbling, incontinent life of the most ill or the most elderly. We have a huge problem in our world because we are living in a world which puts a price on care. We don’t want to spend the time or the money on anything that we don’t see as valuable. As women and mothers we can be very selfish and see a career or a baby or both as a right. But true motherhood requires sacrifice of our perceived rights. I am challenged by Hannah who prayed to God and he gave her Samuel. Rather than be possessive of her cherished child, she gave him back to the Lord, physically and literally. Our prayer for our children should be that we lay down our own agendas for them and ask God what we can do to nurture and direct the life He created, lives that ultimately belong to him, that we gave our bodies to create. Mary let God use her body to create Jesus, willingly. “Be it done to me according to your word”. Praise God, the maker and giver of life.

    1. Thanks, Martha,
      as I said — roughly — under David’s other post on the subject —
      https://theweeflea.com/2018/05/27/ireland-regresses-sunday-bloody-sunday/comment-page-1/#comment-21302
      Women’s stories — at least the stories that were heard — had a major impact on the outcome of the Referendum, but now those other stories of midwives, abortion survivors and above all of mothers ought to be heard before the implementation.

      Yours,
      John/.

      1. Hang on – what exactly are you suggesting , that only one side of the story was heard? Not sure why that would be true during any lead-up to a referendum.

        And now what? Before the result of the referendum is implemented there should now be a separate forum of some sort where stories from midwives etc should be related – to what end exactly?

        The result is in John.

      2. No new referendum, John,
        nor a new forum; broadcast, print and social media are all in place. Basically, it’s time to turn attention to what was actually being celebrated and poverty-driven injustice in Ireland will not be answered by not having to travel to England for an abortion. IMO a sensible minimum price on alcohol would prevent more abortions than any amount of legislation could.
        Abortion is a grotesque ‘solution’ to problems that, left unaddressed will only be made worse by the social acceptance and easy availability of abortion. It’s time for the other stories to be heard.
        Yours,
        John/.

  21. John K. There were stories from both sides to be fair. But the powers that be, Taoiseach and minister for health, Simon Harris, knew the result they wanted. The church’s voice was weak because the RC church has lost the moral high ground in Ireland. I think the most vicious attack on the streets was against the pro-life although the behavior of both sides could be bad. Pro-choice is the ‘trendy’ view too. People who are unable to use their own minds and go along with those who appear to be ‘in the know’. Lack of real information too. The propaganda war is in the hands of the media who are usually liberal. If people really knew what they were voting for and had seen with their own eyes baby’s legs and arms being ripped off, or skulls crushed where the baby’s brain spills out the birth canal, they would not vote ‘yes’. People were largely ignorant. So much weight was put behind the Yes vote by the powers that be. This was the same in the last Irish referendum which really included intimidation and bullying. When will we wake up? Referendum is the tool by which a government enforce their will on the people by controlling the propaganda and listening to the voice of loud minorities. And then keep on having referendums until they get the result they want. Rev Kenneth Stewart says “Democracy is the velvet glove of tyranny”. Isn’t that what we are now seeing?!! But is it any wonder? Jesus said “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” We know the warning “bad things happen when good people do nothing” The voice of reason or common sense is no longer heard! Maybe anonymously but people are too afraid. The Christian voice is silenced at every turn. We will reap what we sow.

    1. I have to confess, Martha,
      that my view of what stories were heard, etc. has been formed at a distance but it did seem that the story that had most resonance was the recurring theme of the injustice of having to come to England or about not being able to afford to do so.
      You say: “If people really knew what they were voting for … they would not vote ‘yes’.” but the carnage that I’ve replaced with an ellipsis is actually what people were voting against when you think about it. The reasoning is: Much better to have an early abortion with no shame at an easily accessible and hygenic site in Ireland than to have to skulk off to get a late abortion in an unfriendly English city. It was never the intention of the Pro-life campaign to make early abortion seem attractive but that’s what happens when we claim all the virtue for ourselves.
      IMHO we ought to proceed with a call to protect the weakest and most vulnerable in society, including children conceived as the result of rape and perhaps especially those conceived incestuously, for who but they are the most vulnerable? Nevertheless, we live in a fallen world and there ought to be a tariff to discriminate against late abortions without — if at all possible — making early abortion the attractive alternative, ever.
      Hope does not lie with people realising what they have done; or at least not entirely so. Hope lies with people realising that we haven’t done nearly enough to prevent people from thinking in simplistic and deadly alternatives in the first place.
      Yours,
      John/.

      1. @John Kilpatrick

        Out of curiosity, would you be ”for” any sort of medical research that sought to eliminate this highly emotional issue altogether by developing a unisex full-proof, 100% effective and safe method of contraception?

      2. Hi John K, I replied to you yesterday and my reply ended up at the bottom of the comments instead of immediately after your reply to mine. So it’s somewhere down the line. regards Martha

      3. You miss my point, Martha:
        if more people had been aware of how gruesomely awful a late abortion is, even more of them would have voted ‘yes’ in the referendum. We might talk about ‘The visual proof we have of how horrific abortion is‘ but with just one word the visual impact can be hijacked to become ‘The visual proof we have of how horrific late abortion is; and an increasing number think they are doing the right thing by voting for early abortion instead.
        We might think in terms of battle-lines but in this case the battle lines don’t even face one another: Life and Choice are not antitheses! It is the soft answer that turns away wrath and I think the soft answers are being drowned out.
        Yours,
        John/.

  22. Just read an article by one Una Mulally in the Irish Times: ” There have been some excellent pieces written in the aftermath of the referendum. But a blinkered analysis also persists. One that sidelines or does not place at its centre the feminist, women-led movement which fought for, ran, and won this referendum. Any analysis that does not place that movement in the foreground is bereft.”

    Guess what ladies. You gave them what they wanted, and days later, you wonder that they don’t want to know?

  23. Response to Referendum.
    While I disagree with many of the points he makes, there is an excellent piece from Matthew Paris in today’s Times (UK) newspaper, written with reason and sanity by a self described gay, childless, male, atheist.

  24. In reply to John Zande’s response to Dominic Stockford. Dominic said “God believes life begins BEFORE conception. Jeremiah 1:5 . ” Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” John, you said he is quoting a line from the Pentateuch (prophets actually, now you really should become more familiar with your Bible) and “That influences this discussion how, precisely…? Technically speaking you cannot influence a ‘discussion’, you can only influence people. If you are talking about ‘controlling’ the discussion, i.e. the content and the direction it takes, then that is a different matter. Dominic’s statement which he believes is God’s statement, alluding to God’s foreknowledge of every single human being that lives and has ever lived, is the most profound that has been made in this whole discussion. If it is an untrue statement, i.e. not the Word of God or there is no God so He cannot speak anyhow, then it would be a statement of no consequence whatsoever. Seeing as Dominic is saying that He believes the Bible is God speaking here and saying that He foreknew you before you were even born, then his opinion as well as yours should be laid on the table for discussion. All your many words, throughout this discussion John, are only your opinion or the opinion of others who have formulated their own criteria for what can be regarded as true. You have chosen to extensively quote those who’s opinion back up your opinion. You cannot ‘prove’ any of what you say is true, you have only mined it from the teachings of certain scholars who use their own selective criteria of what constitutes ‘truth’ and rely on the likes of you to bandy about their claims and put those claims into the hands of ignorant trusting people who use those claims to attack Christians. The only ‘proof’ you and the other militant atheists have is the ‘name’ of selected so called ‘experts’. Who says these scholars are experts? Their findings are not even conclusive. The use of proper ‘reason’ is always missing from their case because under scrutiny, their criteria NEVER stand up. Their criteria are easily wiped from the table. It is only ‘reasonable’ people who can be in a discussion. Are you a ‘reasonable’ person John? Now, on the other hand, if God is real and the Bible is His word then the verse Dominic has quoted doesn’t just ‘influence the discussion’, it wipes the whole discussion completely off the table! I like your style Dominic, because you are not arguing with God’s word, you are simply stating it and you have reminded me, and I am very thankful for that, that God has spoken! Kudos to you Dominic! Actually I don’t even believe you would receive that praise, that is how convinced I am of your simple but profound belief. So Kudos to God! “Let God be true and every man a liar” Romans 3:4

    1. Hi Martha

      Not ‘opinion’ at all, rather 1) the facts of foetal development, and 2) the published legal/scientific/medical definitions of death.

      You’re free to fact-check both if you have any doubts.

    2. As you put it (very kindly), so I believe. Thank you for expounding it so well.

      1. With some sadness your inability to see the revelance of this demonstrates to me that you are a man who has no hope in life, and lives towards others without any corporate moral boundary beyond those you arbitrarily choose yourself.

        We will pray for you. I will get my church prayer group to pray for you, by name. We will pray for you in my church, by name. And maybe God will choose to replace your heart of stone with a heart of flesh.

      2. Nice ad hominen, but relevant how, exactly?

        You quoted the bible. The same book says to stone witches and disobedient children to death.

  25. John Z,

    Perhaps you are arguing a little too well! Based on your comments I could well imagine a strong case for infanticide up to the age of 36 months, simply because up to that point the patterns of activity of the child’s brain are dissimilar to an adult’s. So whether brain activity is the single defining significant factor for the purposes of this discussion is probably what you need to prove. (I wonder in passing why the expert you cite as the authority on foetal brain development is so passionately anti-abortion?)

    I don’t think you can just assert that because the death of an individual is legally defined by the cessation of brain activity, then the beginning of the individual’s life must coincide with the beginning of a particular pattern of brain activity, for at least the following reasons:
    1. It assumes that the disintegration / deterioration of an entity must be a negative reflection of its construction. Does the process of the death of a tree unfold in some sort of corresponding order to its growth as a sapling? Probably not. If I build a snowman, adding the arms last (look kids, now it can be defined as a real snowman!), do the arms have to be the first part to melt?
    2. It entirely disregards the complexity of the human ‘contruction’ process and how dissimilar it is to the circumstances of death. (It would make much better sense if human beings came into existence as fully formed bodies lying on a slab which just need the zap of brain activity to turn them into functioning people).
    3. It relies on a rather mechanistic view of human functioning, which you betray with your reliance on the on/off switch metaphor.
    4. It takes no account of the intimate physical relationship of dependence, nurture and protection between the body of the mother and the systems of the developing child. The process of dying, by contrast, seems to be a solitary one: no other human body need be involved.
    5. This one is probably a philosophical question which I’ve never thought about, but why search for an opposite to death (fairly clearcut and observable in most historical human cases) in a moment which is unobservable to most humans and relies on sophisticated and expensive technology? Being dead is the opposite of being alive – OK. But if you are looking for an opposite of the death event as such, why not the birth event? Those are the two dates you’ll get on your tombstone.
    6. Assuming that you are correct and the baby at an earlier stage of development is not ‘alive’, why does it still not merit any protection? Does it consist of human tissue? (The flourishing and gruesome industry in foetal body parts certainly indicates that it is.) Even if you have the most materialistic and anti-supernatural position on human life, you might hesitate to go along to the local graveyard and dig up somebody’s remains. The bodies of the dead merit protection even although the brain activity is long gone, even if the people were unloved in their lives and are now completely unremembered. In mechanistic practical terms, they are useless. Why should their bodies get protection from society?

    Maybe that’s enough for now….

    1. Catherine. what you have written to John Z is more than enough. He seems to prefer respond to those who appear not to understand his argument, which he calls “the facts”, denying that he is making an argument at all, rather than those who do.

      1. Hi John

        My apologies, but I’m confused as to what you’re trying to say in that I “respond to those who appear not to understand his argument.”

        What does this mean?

        I have tried to present the argument as clearly as possible, and you’re more than free to analyse “the facts” as presented.

      2. 66
        … I’m confused as to what you’re trying to say in that I “respond to those who appear not to understand his argument.” … I have tried to present the argument as clearly as possible, and you’re more than free to analyse “the facts” as presented.
        99

        I thought it was on Thursday evening, but in fact it was after Friday midnight, i.e. Saturday, when I replied to an earlier message of yours in which you had denied presenting an argument, instead claiming merely to have stated facts. You had written:

        66
        It’s not “my” argument. I’m simply presenting the facts. … The only way you can break this subject open for debate is if you can demonstrate the existence of some previously unknown element (a soul, for example)
        99

        I replied to that, but my reply wasn’t published for some reason. At the bottom of this post, I’ll quote what I tried to say on Saturday, for you to reply to belatedly if you wish.

        Your failure to respond to that attempted post of mine which, it turns out, you had never had the opportunity to see, was only PART of the reason I accused you of responding only to those who appeared not to have understood your argument. There are others, notably Geoff, who have proved a match for you, but whose arguments you eschew trying to rebut.

        The following, then, are my comments to you on Saturday, which failed to get published.onmly slightly edited to improve clarity:

        66

        I must rebuke you for saying to me: “It’s not ‘my’ argument. I’m simply presenting the facts.” You are presenting facts *and* constructing an argument that is to some extent based upon those facts.

        I think your argument runs along the following lines. (Please correct me if I am wrong about this.)

        Nowadays we often need to diagnose death in adults by observing that the sort of electrical activity of the CNS that we expect to observe in still-living adults has ceased. A very young human organism in whom that sort of electrical activity has not yet even commenced, cannot be diagnosed as having died by making the same observation that we sometimes use to diagnose death in adults. Therefore he or she cannot die. He or she therefore cannot be killed. Therefore abortion before the onset at 24 weeks gestation of adult-like electrical activity in the human’s CNS, cannot be homicide.

        There are embellishments to this, in the “3.8 billion years” doctrine and the appeal to the asserted elegance of the time symmetry that consists of “defining” the start of a human organism’s life as the start of (sufficiently) adult-like EGG, the end of which will accompany his death, if he lives long enough. But those embellishments are cosmetic, not vital to your argument, which stands or falls depending upon the core of it summarised in the previous paragraph.

        When I had paid you the compliment of admitting to you that I found yours to be a challenging argument, it was insulting for you to imply that I am a fool for thinking I recognise that there is an argument there at all, because all you are doing (you say), is presenting me with “the facts”, which I have no choice but to accept. You know that you are doing significantly more than just presenting the “facts”.

        EEG enables death to be diagnosed. In that sense, it “defines” death, in some circumstances. However, if someone is decapitated, we do not bother to perform an EEG on his severed head, to make sure that he is really dead, as we define dead. The idea of death pre-dates that of EEG, and the fact that you might be able to find supportive quotes, does not establish that death *equates* to the cessation of EEG, as your argument requires, because you have built an argument upon that “axiom” (so-to-speak).

        There is scope for a rational man to reject your argument, even though one might accept the “facts” upon which it is in partly founded, though not the inferences drawn from those facts.

        Your doctrine, is one of ensoulment, detected by the first capture of EEG data. (That’s what threw me at first. None of the other believers in ensoulment reference biology in purported support of their doctrine.)

        It is an important milestone, I grant you, in the development of the human organism, when he or she passes from not having EEG as we know it, to having it. But it is ensoulment mumbo jumbo (I say) arbitrarily to insist that that human was nobody before he or she acquired EEG, and somebody afterwards, so that before EEG, he or she may be destroyed perfectly ethically, but after he or she has EEG, he or she deserves to be protected.

        99

    2. Hi Katherine

      It is a curious thing, I agree, that the age of self doesn’t begin until 36 months. But it’s not that the ‘patterns’ are dissimilar, all the structures are in-place and working, rather that the brain simply can’t store (and therefore retrieve) any memories while busy with arborisation.

      So whether brain activity is the single defining significant factor for the purposes of this discussion is probably what you need to prove.

      It’s been proven, which is why we have near uniform legal/medical/scientific definitions of death across the western world. A human being can “die.”

      If you wish to argue that there is some other, previously unknown element that constitutes a human being (a soul, for example), then I believe it is up to you to demonstrate that.

      I don’t think you can just assert that because the death of an individual is legally defined by the cessation of brain activity, then the beginning of the individual’s life must coincide with the beginning of a particular pattern of brain activity

      Here is the so-named “Father” of the anti-abortion movement, Jack Willke, saying exactly this:

      “Since all authorities accept that the end of an individual’s life is measured by the ending of his brain function (as measured by brain waves on the EEG), would it not be logical for them to at least agree that individual’s life began with the onset of that same human brain function as measured by brain waves recorded on that same instrument?” (Dr. Jack Willke, Abortion: Questions and Answers)

      This particular quote is interesting because Willke is repeating a factoid based on a mistranslated Japanese research paper from the early 60’s. What he’s pointing to was information presented by Dr. Hannibal Hamlin in a speech (Section on Nervous and Mental Diseases) delivered at the 113th Annual Convention of the American Medical Association in June 1964, printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association, October 12, 1964 (Vol 190, No 2, pages 112-114). Hamlin wasn’t even talking about abortion, but he cited this (mistranslated) Japanese paper that implied brain activity was recorded at 4 weeks (if I remember correctly). Curiously, though, what Willke has done is he has admitted (albeit accidently) that before week 25 nothing is being “killed.”

      I appreciate your six points, but don’t really see anything that requires specific attention. Please don’t take that as a flippant dismissal. I truly don’t wish to offend, and am more than willing to address any and all tangible concerns, but if we agree that “life” never magically appears in a in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus, then the discussion really only comes down to the existence of the human organism. You hit on this by using the word “construction,” and that’s a good way to look at it. As to was your snowman analogy. How many pieces can we remove before it ceases to be? How many pieces do we need to say it exists?

      1. I have had conversations galore with children under two years old, in which they used the English language fluently, including personal pronouns referring to themselves, to me, to others both present and absent, and even to “we” and “us”, and “they” and “them” to collectivise groups in which they were included, and not included. They have named body parts, and identified their owners. (My hand, your foot, etc.) They have distinguished between inanimate objects, humans and other animals.

        Young children can want, like and dislike objects in their environments, and tell you so.

        If none of this linguistic dexterity reveals what you or Jean Piaget would call a sense of self, then what is a sense of self, and how is it measured?

        I have also struggled to have any sort of conversation with children considerably older than two and a half, mind you. Some are early talkers, some are slower. But we cannot assume that early talkers are exceptional, in their self-perception, just because the late talkers don’t talk about it.

  26. @ Geoff

    Re your part 3: It took me a while to see what the trick was in John Z’s clever argument, which almost turned my own argument against me. I got there in the end. My objection to John Z’s clever trick is similar to yours.

    John Z is not engaging with people who demonstrate an understanding of his argument, and who proceed to dismantle it.

      1. Unfortunately, it appears that a long post I composed last week, dismantling your argument, exposing the “trick” in it, has either not been published, or has disappeared. I do not wish to have to compose it all over again. I hope David locates it, and publishes or re-publishes it. In the meantime, there are others who have addressed your argument, exposing the linguistic trick on which it is based.

        See if you can work out for yourself where you went wrong. The clue is that the trick lies in the area of the range of meanings of the expression to “define” death, or to “define” anything, for that matter.

    1. John A,
      Yes, the points I made which drew no response are simple.
      He is seeking to throw up a smokescreen, dealing with when, where, what and how, but not the why question. The why question is paramount. Why is it even necessary to even define, legally or scientifically, what is or isn’t human life or death, if not for some reason society requires (such as crimes,who does what and to whom, when to celebrate, or mourn). Humanity has existed for so long without these scientific and legal definitions and scientific processes. What is proposed by Jon Z, is a mere process of construction and deconstruction of human beings, mere organic matter. But that is indeed, little more than a philosophical trick, such as ” when is a heap not a heap?”. What does it mean to be human? Science, here may contribute to the debate, but human, homo sapiens is not quantifiable by science alone. And John Z knows it. He knows that science doesn’t exist in the abstract, in a vacuum. It has a philosophical Base to it, a reason, for it’s existence and continuance and it is not merely human knowledge and understanding, as the totality of his comments here provides certain factual evidence that he is using what he describes as facts, using science for his predetermined purpose. And he is also conflating definitions with descriptions of process. (Don’t definitions, in fact, stop at a particular place or point in a process? Eg “death”)The bottom line is always, why? Why get involved? John Z is advocating for a position. As such he is, he is going beyond pure science, beyond the test tube. And stepping into, philosophy and social science.
      He studiously avoids answering the questions I’ve asked. They are beyond him as the narrowness of his contributions have rendered him unable to step outside the corner he has painted himself into.
      But he thoroughly enjoys the painting process.

      .

      1. Thank you Geoff.

        I was tired and busy when I extolled the cleverness of John Z’s argument. He insulted me in return, by claiming that it wasn’t an argument at all, it was simply “the facts”. Soon after, I managed to refute his argument soundly. Unfortunately, our host David seems to have mislaid that refutation, and it may never have been, and if not is certainly no longer, published on this blog page.

        I’d just been reviewing some of the search results for “death definition”, and I no longer find John Z’s contribution as impressive as I did, in terms of the amount of rethinking I need to do, still less adjustment of my arguments.

        Over five years ago, I threw down the gauntlet, in a blog post you can still retrieve, for pro-aborts to justify, if they could, their “mumbo jumbo”, superstitious, unscientific doctrines of ensoulment (or enpersonment, which amounts to the same thing). I was alarmed when John accused anybody who resisted his logic, based on “definitions” he called a “fact” of believing in ensoulment himself, and being challenged to justify a belief I didn’t have in the first place.

        I wish now I’d kept a copy of the comment that appears not to have been published. (Perhaps I did.)

      2. Hi Geoff

        What is proposed by Jon Z, is a mere process of construction and deconstruction of human beings, mere organic matter. But that is indeed, little more than a philosophical trick, such as ” when is a heap not a heap?”

        I fail to see where the “philosophical trick” is.

        If you know of some other element that constitutes a human being, then by all means demonstrate that. If you can’t, then we have only the things I have identified here…. without even a hint of “trickery.”

      3. Click on his name, which will take you to his website, where he seeks to show how clever he is with rather childish anti-Christian one-liners, the like of which most teenagers have moved on from.

        I note his website is rather lacking in similar anti-Islamic one-liners. Can’t think why!

  27. “I was then asked by a government minister to remove my comments about people celebrating because they were ‘offensive’. When I pointed out that they were true and that it was the people who were celebrating who were being offensive, I was met with a storm of invective and accusation”

    I had a good laugh at this. Don’t they realise people have diverging views? Diverging ideas of what is and is not offensive?

    Instead they want to censor / use intervention to destroy what they perceive as offensive, while ignoring what others may perceive as offensive. This is why free speech is needed. Free speech is needed to facilitate exchange of views, facilitate debate, and in the end is needed to ascertain truth.

    Putting in blanket bans results in only a limited view. It is by nature authoritarian, and distorts truth.

    The fact the government minister so immediately jumped to the conclusion of demanding you remove your comments, because they’re offensive, just shows the sheer contempt they have towards opposing views.

    As a foreign policy analyst I follow tweeted the other day:

    “With sadness we have to recognize the gulf between Western and authoritarian societies is getting smaller every day. We no longer live in the golden age of free enquiry. Most often the West now stands for rigid ideology. When free thought rises again it may well be elsewhere…”

    The ability to intellectually enquire / argue freely in the West is a bygone era in the Western world. The West today, is not too dissimilar to CCP controlled China in various regards.

  28. Here here Borat! I wish you would tell that to the British Government and the SNP. What we call the ‘nanny state’ is a guise for exactly what you expose. Like the nanny, the government have the power to do what they like to their children. But oh what bad parenting! If the nanny state only listen to the whingers, be it women complaining of a forced pregnancy ( yeah right!? ) or men in high heels running down the street crying “he hurt my feelings” (grow up!); punish the protests of the voice of reason (abuse) ;pay little attention to weakest voice i. e. the victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, of rape, those with genuine gender confusion, the elderly and infirm, (neglect), they legislate to permit the murder of those with no voice i.e. the UNBORN (barbaric); legislates against those who proclaim the word of God who warns against behaviour which brings about our own destruction; (oppressive). But be encouraged because it is still the daytime and there is work to be done!! Jesus said John 9: 4 “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” May God help us and give us courage to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified and urge people to come to the cross where there is forgiveness for any sin, comfort , and life abundant, even life everlasting (a prayer)

  29. John Allman

    I see. So you were accusing me of trickery for not responding to a comment I never saw. Okay.

    You are presenting facts *and* constructing an argument that is to some extent based upon those facts.

    It’s an argument based solely on the facts, hence the original question: How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

    Therefore he or she cannot die. He or she therefore cannot be killed.

    Again, How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

    It is a critical question because it exposes the deliberately misleading—patently fallacious—language deployed by pro-forced birth advocates, words like “Kill” and “Murder,” or “Homicide” as you have used here in your comment.

    But those embellishments are cosmetic

    Not “cosmetic,” and certainly not an “embellishment.” Stating the fact that life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago, and hasn’t been interrupted since, is essential in debunking the pro-forced birth advocates proclamation that “life” begins at conception. It doesn’t. Period. End of story.

    it was insulting for you to imply that I am a fool for thinking I recognise that there is an argument there at all

    My apologies if you thought it insulting, but I was only stating the truth of the matter. It is no more “my” argument than gravity and aerodynamics is “my” argument for why I can’t beat my arms and fly. Granted, I might be your first exposure to these facts, but I have shaped none of these facts. They are what they are.

    it “defines” death, in some circumstances

    It is the measure by which all death is determined, should the need arise.

    does not establish that death *equates* to the cessation of EEG

    Yes, it does. The manner of death is not important.

    Theoretically, I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You cannot do the reverse of this experiment.

    Your doctrine, is one of ensoulment, detected by the first capture of EEG data

    No, it’s not. I am not talking about souls or some other magical (independent) spark. All life on earth is powered by chemiosmosis, where the rechargeable chemical battery for life, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), is first broken down and then re-formed during respiration to release energy used to drive every living reaction.

    I am talking about the emergence of a biologically viable human organism. If you wish to propose the existence of something akin to a soul, then it is up to you to demonstrate that thing.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. Although I believe it one based on nothing but existential death anxiety, it’s a perfectly valid hypothesis, and as such, it deserves to be tested. If you can prove the existence of the soul then I will have to adjust my thinking in light of the new information. I’m not afraid to do so.

    Now, regarding this hypothesis, I know for a fact that the Templeton Foundation (a Christian research group with over U.S.$4 billion in its research fund) has spent over 30 years and over U.S.$1 billion specifically looking for the “soul.” They have funded actual research (some good, some not so good), but the important thing is that this very well-funded organisation is active and actively investigating the hypothesis.

    That’s a good thing. I support any and all research. To date, however, their efforts have returned exactly zero positive results. Zero.

    Now, we’ve been talking about the physical development of the foetal brain as the (correct) measure for determining the onset of the complete human organism (an entity that can ‘die’), but as an aside, are you aware of the scaling of the speed of metabolism? It’s especially interesting as it presents another biological fact regarding the onset of a distinct individual.

    I’m not presenting the following as an argument, I believe full bilateral synchronisation determines the beginning of the living human being, but to put it simply, a baby in the womb behaves as if it were a part of the mother, not a unique entity. Its cells have about the same metabolic rate (the same speed of life) as its mother’s organs. It’s a part of a bigger whole, rather than an individual… Until it’s not anymore. The very moment a baby is born a switch is flipped and all its internal processes speed up rapidly, and at 36 hours after birth, the baby’s cells have the same activity rate as a mammal its size. In this sense, babies literally transition from being an organ to being an individual in mere hours.

    It’s a curious fact, but a fact it is.

  30. Pardon my misspelling Borat, what I meant of course was ‘Hear Hear’ !! But ‘here here’ is applicable too because we could do with someone here in Scotland to influence government, who actually has an idea of what they are talking about.
    Oh, and another correction in my reply to Borat’s comment, in case anybody is in the slightest bit interested, is that after my long list of political woes, there should have been a ‘God help us!’ (a prayer!)

  31. I agree with you John and you write more eloquently than I ever could (I had to look up ellipsis!) What I was referring to, which I didn’t qualify actually (sorry) was that if people ‘saw’ what they were voting for they wouldn’t have voted yes. The visual proof we have of how horrific abortion is, is what the militant pro-choicers want to be rid of by saying these images and videos are upsetting them and terrifying little children and thereby keep those images away from the majority of the electorate who are ordinary people with fairly reasonable views and less callous hearts than the few brazen enough to seek to protect their rights over the life of a child. Our mother’s instincts are largely stirred by the sight of our tiny vulnerable baby. Instincts to nurture and protect. Take away the visual reality of abortion and highlight the mother’s needs instead and you have a devilish attack on women. You are so right, we must continue to fight for the protection of the unborn. John Zande on this discussion would have us reinterpret the visual image of the unborn through his ‘science’. Amazing what you can call science these days! David Roberson is so right. ‘Godlessness dumbs down society’ The conversation continues……. Pardon my clumsy English. You’re not an English professor by any chance? Blessings, Martha

  32. To John Zande: “Nice ad hominen, but relevant how, exactly?
    You quoted the bible. The same book says to stone witches and disobedient children to death.”

    John, again, be reasonable! You have enquired regarding the relevance of Jeremiah 1:5. Must you now require that Dominic place these other random references above (whether they are even biblical…witches?) into the context of the whole Bible ,drawing out the relevance to this discussion, in the context of the comment section of David Robertson’s blog? These are entirely different considerations so stick to the one at hand. The Bible was written over a very long period of time (over 1000 years) and has been around for a lot longer and is I believe one of the most purchased books ever printed in the whole world and you think you can wipe it off the table with one sweep of your hand! Dominic is a minister of the word of God, his belief, so the verse quoted is entirely relevant to him.

    I was at church on Sunday and the preacher expounded the Bible more than I had heard anyone do in a while. I spoke to him afterwards and he said something that stuck with me. He said “In discussing Christianity with unbelievers, use the Word of God as much as you can. Because that is what they will remember”. He’s absolutely right! You cannot let this go John Z! Perhaps God is speaking to you John “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” God foreknows each person. This verse wipes the abortion argument off the table!
    I was reminded of something else too and I hope you see it too in Dominic’s style, because it is marvellous! Note Dominic didn’t defend the Word of God when you called him to explain the relevance. That would indicate that he believes God’s word needs no defence. He has simply and meekly placed it, as God’s servant, on the table in black and white for you and all to see. Good move Dominic! “So as the Holy Spirit says: “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” Heb 3:7 “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” Matt 5:5

    1. Hi Martha

      so the verse quoted is entirely relevant to him.

      I’m not doubting that it is. What I’m asking is how is it relevant to 1) me, 2) how we measure foetal development, and 3) how we write laws based on evidence and facts?

      1. “how we write laws based on evidence and facts?”

        Laws should be based upon principles, first and foremost. Regimes that have based law on bad science have been some of the most heinous in recent history.

        We should write laws about the foetus based upon the Equality Principle, the same way we wrote laws abolishing slavery, or ensuring equal pay for men and women doing the same work.

        What happens if we disallow your disputed, pseudo-scientific axiom, that it is impossible to kill somebody who hasn’t yet exhibited EEG, because (you merely assert, controversially) he or she is not yet human? We fall back to the rational default position, that having killed an individual intentionally at (say) 12 weeks gestation would have been capable of being equally morally wrong to killing him or her now that she is 100 years older than that. It is equally wrong, because it’s exactly the same individual who is the victim of both hypothetical homicides , with an unbroken CV joining the two hypothetical crime scenes, a hundred years apart.

      2. Hi John

        You didn’t answer why it was relevant to me (or anyone else, for that matter), or how it was relevant to how we measure physical foetal development.

        Laws should be based upon principles, first and foremost

        Laws should be based on reality first, for it is reality that shapes ultimately our principles.

        We should write laws about the foetus based upon the Equality Principle, the same way we wrote laws abolishing slavery, or ensuring equal pay for men and women doing the same work

        Sure, and advanced nations already use the only measure we have to determine the onset of a human organism. As mentioned earlier, I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You CANNOT do the reverse of this experiment.

        And again, if you wish to argue that there is some other previously unknown element that constitutes a human being (a soul, for example), then I it is up to you to demonstrate that.

        You keep avoiding this. Why?

      3. EEG isn’t “the only measure we have to determine the onset of a human organism.” The onsets of the human organisms who are my children were all determined using pregnancy test kits sold in Boots.

      4. Hi John Z. I can see that I have caused confusion with my careless phraseology in the above mentioned quote “so the verse quoted is entirely relevant to him” I can only apologise. Let me clarify what I actually meant, if I may. To do so we need to go back a few steps and once again put the aforementioned verse in the context of the discussion.

        The verse : “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5
        Quoted by Dominic Stockford: The fact he quoted it implies that he believes that a) God exists b) the identity of God is the God of the Bible and c) the Bible is the Word of God and therefore d) that it has relevance to the discussion.
        So in reply to your question 1) what is the relevance to you? –
        The relevance of the verse, implied by Dominic’s quoting it, is ,of both an objective nature (the God of the Bible has spoken on the matter) and therefore, of a subjective nature also (relevant to Dominic as well as you and everyone else, and ESPECIALLY to the unborn, IF indeed it is true. Obviously if it can be proven without a shadow of a doubt there is no God at all, then the rest of that argument comes crashing down and then the verse is indeed of no relevance at all. But that has not been proven, so the verse remains on the table for now.
        Perhaps more pertinent at this stage though, would be to clarify the aim of the discussion. On reflection, I believe your question 2 above (though not at first sight) is entirely irrelevant but, for fairness, we will keep it on the table for now. I believe question 3 is entirely relevant. The ultimate question here is quite a bit more profound though than any of your questions . It is not surprising at this stage that things have gotten a bit fudged, as the discussion has been meandering for quite a while now and taken in a vast array of considerations. But the train of thought has not been completely obscured and is relatively easy to pick it up again. So, I think we would have to agree a concise statement, which espouses the view/s reflected in David’s article and, first-past-the post to reply with an opposing view, which was the catalyst for the discussion. So, if I may, I would like to attempt to define the parameters.

        David’s view: Summed up in a concise statement

        “Abortion at any stage is murder”

        First opposing view espoused in the following comment posted in the comments section of David’s blog:

        “The death toll of babies will amount to precisely zero.

        For sure there will be the sad end to many foetuses under 12 weeks and a few over that in exceptional circumstances. 12 week foetuses are not even remotely babies.

        But there will be much happiness in that many millions of women in the future can end a dangerous pregnancy without it endangering their own lives”.

        This view summed up in a concise statement: “A foetus/fetus isn’t a human being”

        Seeing as murder is currently defined as the killing of a human being, and is enshrined as such in law (pertinent to your 3rd question), the task at hand is to define what it means to be human. Should David be proven right – i.e.“the unborn at any stage is human”, then yes, abortion is murder. Should the opposing view be proven to be true – i.e. “a fetus isn’t human”, then abortion cannot be murder, until such time as it can be proven when precisely a fetus begins to be human.

        So the question is the adage old question: “What does it mean to be human?”

        We have had comments from numerous sources:

        John Z has extensively and eloquently presented us with what he calls the “scientific facts”. We are very familiar with the facts and they are easily revised by re-reading his presentations. Other contributors include, off the top of my head:- Katherine, who has argued expertly from relevant current socially accepted norms as enshrined in law. She also has astutely been the voice of caution, exposing the potential dangers, should John Z’s ‘facts’ even be considered for discussion by governing bodies and legislators; John Kilpatrick who has also been decisively insightful as to the pertinent dangers of passing laws based on mutable criteria which he has most eloquently expressed in impeccable English; John Allman who has been the moral voice of visceral abhorrence and has identified that there is a‘trick’; and Geoff (Who-says-men-can’t-multi-think?) has, with the mind of a lawyer, taken a multi-disciplinary approach to expose the ‘trick’ and who identified for our enlightenment, off the top of my head, jurisprudence and scientism. (Who-says-you-have-to-go-to-university?-Just-get-an-education-from-the-comments-section-of-David-Robertson’s-blog).

        There has been much thought, time and work given to the task. But there’s another consideration. We are oft to forget those who do the ‘menial’ jobs behind the scenes. Let’s not forget the invisible workers, undertaking the work of ‘prayer’! Could this be the force that guides the conclusion of the argument? We don’t even know the identity of the workers but they could well be made up mostly of those whom we would consider the most insignificant in society – the elderly. I myself have called for prayer for the direction of this and other arguments, undertaken in the ‘comments section of David Robertson’s blog’. Dominic has expressly promised he and his congregation would pray for John Zande by name.

        Oh, and how could I forget my friend Arkenaten?! Well, he has consistently been the devil’s advocate, except we haven’t identified who the devil is yet!

        And so the question remains:

        “What does it mean to be human”?

        I will borrow a line from Katherine to finish. I love the way it resonates with impending doom. (John Kilpatrick, what would be the grammatical term for such a line?)

        Maybe that’s enough for now……

      5. (Apologies… First attempt to reply to this comment appears to have disappeared)

        Hi Martha

        Thanks for that.

        What does it mean to be human?

        With all due respect, but isn’t that precisely what I’ve been detailing?

        If we take a purely and absolutely physiological position, then we see that until birth the foetus/baby is simply an organ of the mother, sharing the exact metabolic speed. A mammal it’s size has a far, far, far speedier metabolic rate. At birth a switch is thrown and the baby’s metabolic rate goes through the roof (becoming that of a mammal its same size) and it transitions from being an organ to an individual. And indeed, with its first breath it starts chemiosmosis, where the rechargeable chemical battery for life, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), is broken down and then re-formed during respiration to release energy that drives every living reaction. That is not happening independently in the womb. Once this starts, though, the individual is powering itself.

        That’s all interesting, but it’s not the measure we should (or do) use because we know more about foetal development.

        Is it the heart? No. The heart is a muscle. It twitches when electricity is passed through it. I can remove the heart from an adult human, and for just as long as I keep blood flowing, that person will remain being a living person because their brain is still functioning naturally. You CANNOT do the reverse of this experiment.

        That leaves us the brain, and we know exactly how the foetal brain develops. The neurons, dendrites and axons with synapses between them are simply not formed in the human cortex before 20 weeks of gestation. That literally means the physical structure for thought simply aren’t there. It is at week 20 when we have the first intermittent activity, but that does not become sustained until week 25. It is not, however, until week 28 until we have full bilateral synchronisation (both hemispheres communicating, the brain now complete). When the brain is “On” it can therefore be turned “Off,” and brain death is the legal/scientific/medical definition of human death across every industrialised nation.

        Hence the question: How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        Although I’m certain you all mean well, none of you have actually presented a counterargument. Instead, you all seem more preoccupied with calling me names and accusing me of trickery.

        I have presented the facts as to the onset of a complete human organism. They are not “my” facts. They are what they are. If you wish to break this discussion open then it is up to the people here to demonstrate that there is some other element that constitutes a human being.

        If you can demonstrate this, then I will absolutely adjust my thinking according to this new information. I’m not afraid to do so.

      6. The human is an organism even when he or she remains a single-cell organism. Just as tadpole and a frog are not specimens of different species, nor a caterpillar and a butterfly. That is the fallacy on which your entire argument is based, including habitual final the plea that if we have a better version of your fallacy to propose than yours, you’ll consider that instead.

        In biology, nobody ever became human. He or she was always fully human, ever since he or she began to exist as a distinct specimen.

      7. The human is an organism even when he or she remains a single-cell organism. Just as a tadpole and a frog are not specimens of different species, nor a caterpillar and a butterfly. That is the fallacy on which your entire argument is based, including the habitual final plea that if we have a better version of your fallacy to propose than yours, you’ll consider that instead.

        In biology, nobody ever became human. He or she was always fully human, ever since he or she began to exist as a distinct specimen.

      8. “a single cell is no more a human organism than a blueprint is a working car.”

        It is no “respect” to me to resort to a metaphor, let alone one that fails as badly as that one does. That piece of ridiculous, empty rhetoric – about a mythical blueprint that grew up to become a car – is a departure from your claim to rely upon “science” and logic, from which I don’t think you stand a chance of resuing yourself now. The cat is out of the bag now.

        You know perfectly well that every mammal specimen is just a single cell organism that grew, and eventually grew up, just as every frog is just a tadpole that grew legs and became able to jump, and every moth is a caterpillar that grew wings and became able to fly.

      9. A tadpole is the complete, functional organism for that (aquatic) stage of the organism’s lifecycle. A caterpillar is the complete, functional organism for that (leaf eating) stage of the organism’s lifecycle. A single cell is NOT a complete, functional human organism.

        Perhaps we should conclude this conversation, John.

        It’s clear you have no intention of actually answering the questions put to you. It’s also clear that you’re growing increasingly angry, and that is interfering with your ability to think rationally.

      10. Plenty of sick and handicapped born humans are not aware of themselves. We do not yet terminate their existence – and few yet dare openly argue they are not, or have ceased to be, human.

  33. John Z,
    Your trick is at least twofold.
    1 you haven’t answered the questions I posed
    2 While you are adamant you are grounding all your arguments in scientific fact, you are in fact trespassing into philosophy. In particular you swamp your arguments with philosophical paradox, without any acknowledgement. It is a parardox, however, that in reverse it could support the idea (logic) that Homes sapiens could be fully homo sapiens at any stage of cellular development from C1 to C n and in reverse, so 90 year old would equate to
    It is a paradox from the 4th century, which fell into being ignored, until the 1970’s and atheistic deconstructionism.
    3 As you are seeking to belittle human and societal development, with self regarding classroom cleverness, with no regard to lives broken and torn apart, I am drawing a line now, aborting your comments, even though they’ve not developed beyond comment (c1) they are fully formed (c +n). Sad really. Stuck. No possibility of change, development.
    Goodbye John,
    Geoff

    1. Hi Geoff

      1 you haven’t answered the questions I posed

      My apologies, but I don’t recall seeing any questions. I assure you, I did not ignore them consciously. Is it possible to post them again. Thank you.

      Point 2: I’m sorry, but I’m not following what you are calling a paradox. Could you elaborate, please. Might it be the case that the thought experiment you’re pointing to (but which I don’t understand) fell into disregard because it was found to be fallacious?

      Point 3: How am I “belittling” human and societal development?

  34. David, if you could please hold on a bit. I’m not sure we’re done. It is always possible to dismantle the argument not based on ‘reason’. Just give us a little more time. Have faith! Martha

  35. I don’t interpret Jeremiah 1:5 as saying that, because a foreknown human “exists” in the mind of God before his or her physical existence, contraception frustrates and negates God’s forekowledge.

    There comes a season in a child’s development, in my experience much earlier than 36 months, at which he knows himself to be human, and that others are humans like him but not him. He recognises himself in a mirror, or nowadays in a photograph viewable instantly on a cell phone.

    As a human learns about human reproduction, he sometimes learns to recognise himself in himself as the foetus he was before birth.

    Alas, some humans, including John Z and many of the angry, celebrating feminists of Ireland, have not matured sufficiently to recognise human foetuses as fellow humans. Nor has each such person learnt yet to recognise himself when he contemplates himself as he was when he was still a foetus.

    Jeremiah’s declaration, expresses awe at the continuity of identity. For Jeremiah, the roots of continuity of identity go deeper than for most, because of his theistic determinism.

    For John Z, whose meditations on human life, I have discovered, seem to be exceptionally shallow, the roots of continuity of identity peter out at the onset of EEG as he meditates backwards in time. When he thinks about who was in the womb before that, he cannot perceive his fellow human in a present-day pre-EEG human, nor even conceive of himself when he was a foetus without EEG as once he surely was, as having then been human. In other words, he postulates an ontological discontinuity at that point, when (he teaches) a nobody became a somebody. He claims that this discontinuity is a “fact” and that it is “science”. He demands that those who reject his doctrine tell him where the discontinuity really is, if not there. He seems unable to get his head around the idea that there is not necessarily any discontinuity, and that it is not simply a matter of placing the discontinuity at the right stage of human development.

    1. He demands that those who reject his doctrine tell him where the discontinuity really is, if not there.

      Not my “doctrine,” rather the facts of foetal development. You seem to be getting angry at the facts of life, which is rather odd.

      And considering you are rejecting these demonstable facts of life, why is it *unreasonable* for me to politely ask you to support your position?

      Seriously, why is it unreasonable?

      I’ve repeated this many times: if new information comes to light, I will adjust my thinking accordingly. I’m not afraid to do so.

      1. I referred to Jeremiah 1:5 because Dominick had referred to that verse from the bible previously. Thereafter, John Z had been persistent in his requests to have somebody explain the relevance of that verse to the present topic. So far, nobody on this thread has referred to that or any other scripture in order to “inform” any “interpretation” of “science”. Absolutely not. But (if you wish), I’ll do that now.

        I can see that the doctrines of God’s foreknowledge and/or theistic determinism, which I find problematic sometimes for other reasons, do at least resolve the paradox of the divisible individual that arises (for example) when a zygote shows itself to have been a divisible individual (so-to-speak), if and when it splits, leading to a pair of monozygotic twins.

        As a thought experiment, these religious doctrines get believers in them out of the paradox that science poses, “When is an individual not an individual?”, by answering, “When God knows or plans for him or her to become two individuals in the near future?” But I wouldn’t expect you to value that theological answer into the philosophical problem that known science poses, concerning identical twins and individuality.

        However, since the resolution is determinism, rather than necessarily theistic determinism, presumably science could one day discover a measurement that could be made on a zygote, which would *predict* (for example) its fission into two twins, or its stability as a single individual, enabling a scientific resolution of the zygotic twin paradox (not to confused with Einstein’s twin paradox). A zygote that not only God knew was going to split, but which science had predicted would split might one day enable us to characterise a single human zygote as two or more human individuals waiting to happen.

        I do not know whether the paradox of the divisible individual is one that anybody other than myself has noticed. I made that name up. But I doubt I am the first to have noticed the paradox.

        Without resorting to non-science, it is impossible to say whether a zygote is a single individual specimen of its species (e.g. human), or two or more individuals waiting to happen. That is, until the window of opportunity for twin formation has elapsed.

        I won’t now address the issue of conjoined or “Siamese” twins, if you don’t mind.

        I hope that helps.

      2. Since nobody had referred to scripture to assist his interpretation of science until I did, when I explained how determinism, which can be theistic or mechanistic, can solve the zygotic twin paradox of the divisible individual that science throws up, you ought not to have been asking why we were still referring to scripture to inform our interpretation of science, because, until I did that, we hadn’t been.

      3. Dominic referred to scripture, but not in order to assist anybody’s interpretation of science. However, I found Dominic’s scripture helpful in inspiring my solution to the twin paradox (q.v.) which science throws up.
        ________________________________
        From: “TheWeeFlea.com”
        Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2018 13:17:29 +0000
        To:
        ReplyTo: TheWeeFlea.com
        Subject: [New comment] The Irish Referendum – the Repercussions

        john zande commented: “Dominic did.”

      4. Dominic quoted scripture, but not for the purposes of interpreting science. Dominic’s scripture inspired my thoughts on the “twin paradox”. Until then, nobody had used scripture to interpret science on this thread.

      5. Dominic referred to scripture, but not in order to assist anybody’s interpretation of science. However, I found Dominic’s scripture helpful in inspiring my solution to the twin paradox (q.v.) which science throws up.

      6. Your doctrine that the human individual cannot die until he has an EEG isn’t a scientific hypothesis that can be tested using a suitably designed experiment. If you deny this, then I challenge you to devise an experiment, to test the hypothesis, and tell us about it. If you admit it, then I request you stop pretending that your doctrines are merely scientific “facts”, and that anybody who denies this, has to prove a doctrine of ensoulment, even if he eschews any such doctrine, regarding ensoulment as superstitious claptrap.

      7. I don’t know what a human “being” is. A human is a living organism, an individual specimen of the mammalian species homo sapiens.

      8. Same question, same answer. I don’t know what a human “being” is. A human is a living organism, an individual specimen of the mammalian species homo sapiens.

      9. A human is a living organism, an individual specimen of the mammalian species homo sapiens.

        A human being has the capacity for thought, yes?

        And where is personality?

      10. When you were a single-celled organism, you did not yet manifest the capacity for thought, or any personality. But just look at you now. That was then, This is now. Both were or are you. There is no discontinuity, no ensoulment., not even the “switch on” of EEG, the doctrine you preach. Same individual from start to finish. You. It is amazing that you can have lived so long, not yet learning this elementary fact of not just human life, but about the individual lives of every animal species.

  36. Hi John Z,
    At the risk of stretching David’s patience…
    1. I’m not offended in the least.
    2. Interesting about Dr Willke, of whom I’d never heard, but I’m prepared to believe everything good about him. I’m not sure if you’re considering this an appeal to authority for yourself or for me. For me, I don’t really care if he asserted that measurable brainwaves should be considered the beginning of human life/identity; I am in agreement with him that the pre-born should be protected, but we may not have necessarily back up those views with the same arguments. (I do respect that Dr Willke played an enormous role in the 20th century, but there were anti-abortion advocates long before him – perhaps you know of some of the early Christian writers who explained that Christians could not practice abortion or exposure of infants, unlike the surrounding Roman culture. Rodney Stark’s book on the early history of Christianity is interesting in this regard).
    3. I like the Attenborough-esque reminders that life has been around on the planet for a very very long time, but as you know this issue relates to the limited biological life of the individual human being, so it doesn’t add terribly much to the discussion except to give us all a welcome sense of humility and awe.
    4. I see in your comments to others you’re still using your mechanical metaphor (on/off switches). A great deal depends on the metaphors we use, doesn’t it? Many people, for example, think of the womb as the mother’s property (I can’t even begin to list the problems with that concept) and consequently of the baby as a tenant which she can evict if she wants to (conveniently we do not associate the eviction of a tenant with violence and dismemberment). The metaphor you seem to be using is of ‘life’ as a kind of mega-mechanism which both gives rise to and makes use of millions of individual instantiations, none of which have any personal meaning. Hope that’s not a distortion. If followed honestly and stringently, of course, such a model would lead to many more ethical challenges than abortion.
    5. I think this was in your comment to someone else, but should anyone be surprised that the child’s metabolism (of course you know ‘foetus’ can mean ‘child’ in Latin) would be in synch with that of the mother until s/he is born? Does anyone claim that the life of the unborn child is not dependent on its mother? And do you think calling the child an ‘organ’ is quite scientifically accurate? What purpose does it serve in the mother’s body?

      1. I think Katherine, ‘accuracy’ is a pertinent word .I’m no scientist but I’m not stupid. For science to be science it has to be accurate. Right? There shouldn’t be any contradictions in the different branches of science. The different branches of science should agree where the subject matter is concerned. They should at the very least support or compliment each other. Would forensic science agree with fetal science? In forensics the human is identified by its DNA. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but the DNA of a zygote is immediately identifiable as different from the mother’s? Also, using your experiment of removing a person’s heart, and so long as I can keep the blood pumping the person is technically alive and the opposite to this is not possible. But what is the opposite? Let’s say I remove the person’s heart and don’t keep the blood pumping. Is there measurable EEG activity AFTER the heart has stopped beating. At precisely the point after I have removed the heart, he is not dead. Technically speaking I have I killed the person by removing their heart, just caused grievous bodily harm? Or technically is he not dead because we can still measure EEG activity? I am probably not explaining this very well, but you can see where this leads us. Science as John Z describes it, i.e. the facts, can be put to good use or bad use. I could use DNA evidence to assign full human status to the fetus but I could also use DNA evidence to accuse a man of rape and have him convicted and sent to jail and ruin his life. This tells me that we are not talking about facts, we are talking about evidence ‘for the purpose of’ – i.e. agendas. Agendas can be multi faceted . Good, bad, useful, morally neutral or downright evil. The prospects using the ‘facts’ you cited as science John Z are chilling. Taken to its nth degree, not only could the science you cited be used to justify infanticide up to 3 years of age, as Katherine explained, but if life began whatever…38 million and a half years ago…and has continued uninterrupted ever since, I could make case for assigning you no more status than a bacteria. Curious fact, but a fact nonetheless.
        Maybe that’s enough for now…….

      2. Hi Martha

        DNA is not a complete human organism.

        Is there measurable EEG activity AFTER the heart has stopped beating. At precisely the point after I have removed the heart, he is not dead.

        Clinically dead, not biologically dead. Clinical death precedes biological death. Clinical death can be reversed. Biological death cannot.

      3. Well, in your reply to Martha on June 7 starting ‘If we take a purely and absolutely physiological position..’ you say ‘it transitions from being an organ to an individual’. I mention it just because you seemed to be placing some value on precision.

      4. True, I did say that. If it wasn’t clear (and I apologise if it wasn’t), I was detailing another purely physiological way of looking at foetal develpment. It’s a curious thing, metabolic rate, but (in the absence of any other measure) brain function is the primary measure we should use.

      5. Your unwarranted assumption is that we have to use any “measure” at all. You attempt to insist repeatedly that those who reject your measure, must suggest a different measure. You accuse those who refuse to play that silly game, of failing to refute your argument. I refute your argument by telling you that your most basic of assumptions is unwarranted, and I reject it.

      6. Your unwarranted assumption is that we have to use any “measure” at all.

        Why is that unwarranted?

        To remind you, this discussion concerns abortion. It’s a reality, and if we’re to *discuss* it, and the applicable laws, then we REQUIRE a measure.

      7. The assumption that that there must be a measure is an assumption that abortion has no victim, provided that it is executed early enough, and that we therefore need to have a measure in order decide how early is early enough. Your argument assumes right from the beginning the very thing which it sets out to prove. It is circular.

      8. We do not ‘require’ the killing of unborn humans, so we don’t ‘require’ a definition.

      9. We do not ‘require’ the killing of unborn humans, so we don’t ‘require’ a definition.

        You most certainly do, if you want to know what a human is.

    1. John Z,

      I actually think that your perspective on the long chain of life is quite a helpful one (perhaps without agreeing on some salient details). I remember a quotation, possibly from Attenborough, saying ‘Life is a process which is deeply committed to its own continuance’. One of the reasons that abortion troubles me is that it seems a massive violation of that most deeply-embedded instinct. I watched some Australian magpies recently – a very intelligent and interesting bird – wandering around with a chick just as large as themselves, carefully supervising it with the utter devotion that most birds and probably all mammals instinctively exhibit to the sacred task of producing the next generation. (Scorpions, surprisingly, are apparently devoted mothers). Of course, the ethical frameworks of human beings should be greater than Australian magpies, but it looks like instead they are becoming less. A sense of connectedness and possible obligation to our people of the past, together with sacrifice and commitment to our people of the future, would just be an obstacle to the real purpose of the climax of this multi-generational chain, which is for each unconnected human, with loyalty only to the state, to work for money, buy stuff, watch it break, get more money, buy more stuff, repeat and die.

      1. Hi Katherine

        but it looks like instead they are becoming less

        I think you might have missed a colossal part of the entire abortion debate here. Economics. Others are far more adept and knowledgeable than me on this subject, but many young people terminate pregnancy’s precisely because they are not in a position to be good parents, they cannot provide for a child… economically or emotionally.

        I’m Australian (and yes, maggies are wonderful birds), but I live in Brazil and see the terrible poverty cycle that this country’s strict views on abortion produces. 13/14 year old girls having babies. This is insane. It’s a poverty trap.

      2. Brazil, John,
        was on BBC news this week, about this exact issue and complainants called the Newsreader out for placing the blame as you do. There is a terrible injustice in thirteen year old girls being made pregnant and it would be insane to say that they got pregnant because of laws on abortion.
        Brazil has excellent medical facilities for those who can afford them but if abortion was legalised, the country could not possibly produce adequate facilities to meet the demand. Rather than preventing unsafe abortions there would be an increase. It is not virtuous to point poor people to a ‘solution’ that would just make things worse.
        Yours,
        John/.

      3. Hi John K

        I fully agree, the subject is not a simple black and white one. There are numerous factors at play, education being a big one.

  37. At the risk of offending David, I would say that it would be a good thing for him if his patience were tested.
    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”
    Keep the faith brother!
    psst we’re not done yet

  38. to mgordan 42
    “Why in the 21st centruy are we still referring to scripture to inform our interpretation of science?”
    Hi mgordan. 42. Are we doing that? If we did that we would to be either have to be a) completely insane or b) complete fools. That’s like a psychiatrist asking a rock to use words to explain the meaning of life to a group of students and the students then using that information to create a moral code.

  39. If it isn’t a term of abuse, it’s good to see contributions from ladies, on David’s blog. It also must enhance his equality rating.

  40. Dear John Zande
    I can see, from your point of view, that I am responsible for the position you are in, where the mob are poised with spear-hook and pruning shears to dish out to you the just punishment spawned in the courts of the fundamentalist Christians through the means of demonization serving up the verdict of ‘epitome of evil’ as a result of ….bad theology!

    But swap places with me for a minute. Could you not also see the counterpart where I could be at the mercy of the mob, your supporters, branded with the label of ‘fundamentalist Christian’ and it’s accompanying labels of bigot, hater, inciter to hatred, judgemental, irrational, paranoid, …..’?

    Now the ellipsis (thanks John Kilpatrick!)
    For those who don’t know what an ellipsis is, here it is randomly selected, (where have I heard that phrase before?) copied and pasted from google but I understand the description is sufficiently accurate : “the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues.” I think that is the old fashioned version of what we now call the “throwaway comment”. It’s very important. Here’s a principle: “What is not being said is far more important than what is being said but it is always enshrined in the “throwaway comment”. Enough of that for now.

    By the way John Kilpatrick, I think you may have got your Johns mixed up. I think you may have replied to John Zande in response to what John Allan said. But that is a good illustration of the problem we are dealing with: confusion. It’s counterpart is not truth it is clarity. Definitions are fundamentally essential. Because communication is the basis of all good relationships and confusion confounds relationship. But not just any communication, and not even honest communication because honesty can be the enemy of love, the ideal aka ‘a principle’. Some of our worst opinions and insults are dished out by giving our honest opinion. Enter a worthy tool: ‘linguistics’ It’s definition, randomly selected by google, copied and pasted, haven’t even named the source: “the scientific study of language and its structure, including the study of grammar, syntax, and phonetics. Specific branches of linguistics include sociolinguistics, dialectology, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, comparative linguistics, and structural linguistics”. Now I don’t immediately understand some of the categories above so I might be quick to say I am neither clever or educated enough and thereby be intimidated. People do use big words to intimidate. If I were to take the time to investigate the meaning of these three words “sociolinguistics, dialectology, psycholinguistics”, I know for certain that it would take too much time so I might as well give up before I start. Is someone trying to put me off trying? I’m not stupid, so I can see socio (to do with society) dialect (I understand) and wow Psycholinguistics. Now that’s really intimidating. I might as well just shut the laptop now and eat a packet of biscuits. But I’m just going to cut to the chase and I suspect there is an agenda. So my principle, “the agenda is always enshrined in the ellipsis, aka the throwaway comment. So is there something missing? No it’s not missing, it’s concealed. I’m going to put my theory to the test. I’m going to take the word ‘honest’ from above and test it with my theory. So randomly copied and pasted from google: honest means –

    1.
    free of deceit; truthful and sincere.
    “I haven’t been totally honest with you”
    synonyms: truthful, sincere, candid, frank, direct, open, forthright, straight, straightforward, genuine, blunt, plain-spoken, plain-speaking, matter-of-fact, outspoken, as straight as a die, straight from the shoulder; More
    adverbinformal
    1.
    used to persuade someone of the truth of something.
    “you’ll like it when you get there, honest”

    I’m a bit confused. If honesty is truthful and sincere, why can it be used to bring someone down.
    I’m not satisfied with that. I’ve got to get to the root of this. A principle: ‘root’ aka the origin (origins! Now where have I heard that word before? ) There’s something contradictory at work here. Enter the ellipsis: What’s missing? Ah, there it is not missing but concealed. If I click on the down arrow under the definition it gives me seemingly dispensable information, but there is is “origin”. Origin of honest Middle English (originally in the sense ‘held in or deserving of honour’): via Old French from Latin honestus, from honos (see honour). Honour. But what could me telling my friend “your haircut is disgusting” (my ‘honest’ opinion) possible have to do with honour? Enter evolutionary speak: the evolution of language. Can language evolve all on its own? Do random words just pop up from nowhere with no identifiable origin and come out of our mouths in the passive sense? Language adapts by its usage to suit the needs of a generation. We adapt it. Language is not a science it is a means, a tool essential for human flourishing, no, survival!
    Enter: caveman. Origins: ? He didn’t need to speak and they survived through grunting and making hand gestures. But I’m not stupid and Richard Dawkins knows this. I don’t even need to research this because I know well it is a theory and the theory came before the evidence. How does that work? Could I have a hunch that my son stole £10 from under my mattress where I keep £1,000,000,000 in new notes, stuffed in with lots of other notes from different currencies, a few roman coins, and guess what I have a shekel!? But I set out to find the evidence. That’s working backwards from the wrong starting point. It’s impossible! So I set out to find the evidence and I go into his room and there on the desk is £10. Evidence! So now I can dish out his punishment without a trial. Because this is what it is “evolution on trial” Evolution degrades man. How is that expressed? We should see it in the language used to describe him. So what is the word used for man? Human. What are the origins of that word? Let’s see. Enter Wikipedia: No don’t tell me Wikipedia isn’t reliable, this one is easy. The name is Latin for “wise man” and was introduced in 1758 by Carl whatever..blah…blah..blah..blah..blah Humans (taxonomically Homo sapiens) are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina. What’s with the Hu? Maybe that’s why we portray caveman as going “huh huh huh huh”!? fudge..fudge…fudge. Cut to the chase. This time it’s not what is left out, it’s what’s added.
    So herein lies the “trick”. It’s a transaction concealed in subtle steps.1)Conceal an agenda by fudging over it (deceit) 2) lift the right leg and hold it ready to move while simultaneously – distracting us by drawing our attention to something that is a legitimate need (something good ), 2)(exploit our ‘trust’ in the good thing by offering us a better thing through the means of envy (temptation) and 3) we do the last step ourselves and the transaction is complete and we become the “wise guy”. Where have we heard that phrase before? I thought he was intelligent. He traded intelligence not for wisdom but for the appearance of wisdom and gave ground to the enemy. Professing themselves wise they became fools. Where have we heard that before? And these same steps have been going on since the beginning of time. We are not travelling in the direction of enlightenment and sophistication (professing themselves wise they became fools) , we are travelling in the opposite direction! We are heading towards caveman? No, he’s just a distraction. We are heading towards something worse. Exchanging the image of God,( man), for an animal. And the prospects of that are beyond our wildest imaginations. We are not the tricksters, we are being tricked, and step by step we are perpetuating the trick.
    Now John Zante, who looks like the most vulnerable one? Me or you?
    You have the mob on your side now and this is all I have.
    The Word of God. The Bible
    But John Zante knows, and so does Richard Dawkins that in order for a society to survive, it must have something absolute, otherwise we plunge into utter despair. And there’s nothing worse than despair. It is to have no hope. But I think Dominic Stockford will have to apologise to you and ask your forgiveness John Z because you are not a person with no hope. You are not a dishonest person reflected in your ‘not being afraid’. I think you are a very loving person. Because “the wicked flee when no-one pursues” and hate is not the antithesis (thanks John Kilpatrick) of love. Fear is. But in order to cast out despair we need the antithesis ‘hope’. Hope in someone absolute, unchanging, unmalleable. We cannot make our own God. From where we’re standing – He is. From where He is ‘I am’ and come here. An invitation. The transaction is made in reverse through the same means ‘trust’ but we don’t lose anything at all. We gain everything.

    1. Hi Martha

      I’m fine with holding multiple threads, and I don’t think I’ve once labelled anyone here a “fundamentalist Christian.”

      I can appreciate your beliefs, but when they intersect with the operation of our secular societies I will ask you to rationally justify that interference. That’s only reasonable, I think you’d agree.

      1. Hi Martha

        I’m fine with holding multiple threads, and I don’t think I’ve once labelled anyone here a “fundamentalist Christian.”

        I can appreciate your beliefs, but when they intersect with the operation of our secular societies I will ask you to rationally justify that interference. That’s only reasonable, I think you’d agree.

        John Z
        You don’t have the multiple threads, I have. You have a myriad of paradoxical incoherant fragments travelling further and further away from each other into the abyss; and you call that rational? Of course you haven’t labelled anyone here a fundamentalist. You will leave that to the mob.

        You don’t have the ability to appreciate my beliefs. My beliefs don’t intersect with the operation of our secular society. Hang on, an ‘operation’? I think at this stage you would like to see me invoke the language of evolve speak and ask “What on earth is going on?” Why would I invoke an inanimate earth to tell me what is going on? The ‘throwaway comment’ has become so integrated into our everyday speech, unnoticed, that we are forging our own destiny by what we say. So I’ll just dispense with another of the throwaway phrases and replace ‘cut to the chase’ with the coherent version and simply establish the facts by asking a simple question? What is going on?

        My beliefs cannot intersect with ‘our’ secular societies. You have presented ‘your secular world view’ under the false premise of ‘our’ thereby implying that the ‘majority’ hold your view, without a single scrap of evidence. I would call that a veiled threat! You would need official statistics to back your claim and you don’t have them. This is not the right time to ask for them. Because if it were highlighted that certain minorities were looking for statistics, not to establish the facts but to form a weapon, then the government might just have to use their power to protect the vulnerable and establish ‘justice’ in a rational form paying proper attention to checks and balances. Then we might actually see a return towards the direction of civilization from which we have so far strayed. We are at the point where elderly women are not safe in their own homes. How long can we turn our backs on the gut wrenching callousness witnessed in the violent beating of a 90 year old woman by a bunch of young depraved men, expressing the strength of their masculinity as a brute force against the most vulnerable instead of using it for good, as God intended: to protect. For them then to go to McDonalds and be seen laughing about it. That is an alarming level of depravity displayed in a country which was the ‘cradle of civilization’. I fail to see the correlation between this and what we boast of as ‘British values’! A young woman, pleading for mercy, where a moped mugger stealing her handbag and phone punished her attempt at resisting with a punch to the face that sent her reeling to the ground, knocking her unconscious and has left her in hospital in a critical condition. What of the plight of countless elderly men and women at the two ends of violence: abuse and neglect. Sitting in their own urine and excrement helpless in their own homes with dementia, a toll put on their care and offered to the lowest bidder and what do we know of checks and balances in that respect? They don’t know which is the safer option; the unknown of the depersonalised institution called the ‘care’ home where yes, they may get wonderful staff who have caring hearts and who show kindness but are so undervalued, underpaid and overworked that they simply cannot cope. The upwardly mobile often offering the least reward for the care of their parents, their responsibility, with a slave driver mentality with nothing but contempt for the worker. And what of the ‘soft sciences’? Exploited to conceal a hidden agenda , where the weapon is concealed until the right moment where it is craftily passed through legislation in the form of ‘rights’ then used as a weapon to steal, kill, and destroy at both ends of life the elderly and the unborn in a sickening mix of lies, greed, evil lust and desire and the silent majority are confused
        because this was passed through law and the law is to protect. Step by step,turning desire to envy, to greed, to insatiable lust to blood curdling depravity. No sooner is the transaction is done the rights are taken up as a sword in the hands of the strong and powerful waved high above their laughing faces and brought down with brute force on the heads of the elderly, rammed into the wombs of mothers to chop their unborn to pieces ; sickening depraved doctrines of gender confusion, same sex marriage, planted into the minds of kindergarten children where the poor children are plundered of all goodness to serve the rights of the depraved. Sexualizing the smallest of children, teaching children how to masturbate, followed by the recommendation that they do, and probably next the insistence that they do while the depraved look on licking their lips stirring up their devilish lusts and hail! The right to rape! The combination of violence and sex equals the epitome of evil. Masturbating a small boy is to destroy his dignity and bringing a small girl to orgasm is all but to destroy her. It is satanic. Married couples with sexual intimacy problems offered the violent depraved ‘solution’ of pornography, not to love each other, but to abuse each other. And this is relationship counselling? The good God given desire and gift of sexuality, perverted and summed up in the phrase ‘whatever turns you on’. Men, do you not see the great damage you do to each other when you spill the seed of life into the passage for excrement? What dignity is there for a woman when a penis is put into her mouth. Women and men, do you not see the damage and indignity mutually worked out when you bring a woman to orgasm with your hands and mouth? It’s to do damage to her emotions. Women do you not see the damage you do to men when you mock him and ridicule him and belittle him and assert your independence from him. Because he is frightened for you because he won’t force you to submit, you have to submit and in submitting you are under his protection , you will be tempted and lured out from under his protection and exchange the place of safety for status which is a lie. One step at a time. Your identity was not evident on the addressed envelope, not because you were plundered of your dignity but to protect you. But I will repent and be the first to do it and enable him protect me by staying in my place.
        I am not being kept in my place because that would be imprisonment I am staying in my place for my own safety and survival and to make his job easy and not bring him harm and cause him to fear for his life, and mostly to bring glory to God. For the glory of God is man and the glory of man, woman. Now there it is the beautiful truth. The reason it was written ‘man’ was because he was standing in front of her guarding her diligently all the days of his life. So the question isn’t even formed yet. It’s not “what does it mean to be human? or “what is a human”? or “What is a man”? It’s “What is man? Man is the image of God. And anyone wants to ridicule by claiming I should be ashamed of being included in the term ‘mankind’, tradition also serves to reinforce Scripture. Man is called the “Crown of God’s Creation. Oh but where is woman then? She is the crown jewels. And that’s more than good enough. God saw all that He had made and behold it was good. Because better is the enemy of good not worse. “Better” leads to “worse” through deception.
        Because it leaves you with no protection and then you are open to being plundered , your trust destroyed, reduced to an animal , a multi-tasker, what a hideous term, a little higher than a monkey ready to be raped, and whipped, and beaten and used for forced pregnancies. Where did we hear that term?
        What’s hiding behind that? Are there forced pregnancies? Because it is not the Christians who are doing that. There was a term that you used that chilled me John Z. “Curious fact. But a fact it is” What sort of a trick is concealed there. If it is a fact it is not curious. The word curious for some reason, conjures up the image of an insane scientist plotting something in the laboratories . Because Jesus said that those of you who judge do the same things. It’s a principle. And the law is always made after the behaviour has already started. Because it is not a question of “if they can they will”. It’s always if the can they are already doing it and the next step is to get it enshrined in law. So what’s the future? One thing they cannot make is a womb they need a woman for that. So is the future, the sex robot (depersonalised sex) concealing something, only the wealthy can afford while the vulnerable are raped by the mob, and the woman reduced to a laboratory for experiments?

        But when the enemy comes in like a flood God always raises a standard. Marriage is the reflection of Christ’s relationship to the church and behold the beauty: Reflected in the true meaning and the act of the man knowing his wife. It is possible to be married and misuse sex. The foundation has to be mutual respect and love, not mutual anything else. The marriage bed undefiled .The marriage bed holy and pure. An orgasm is not sex. An orgasm is the reward for sex The woman has to be held tightly in the strong arms of a man she can trust as he paces his thrusts , nobly protecting her trust, never plundering her trust for his needs but always putting her need to feel safe, above his need for respect, while she honours him by respecting his needs, never mocking him but honouring him , while he seals this trust with a kiss, the purity is protected, nothing defiling the marriage bed, her lips drop sweetness like the honeycomb, he whispers sweetness into her ear, he places his need for respect above her need to feel safe, and the rhythm is intuitively balanced on those principles and as she trusts her joy and laughter builds and she experiences peace and joy and laughter, peace and joy, protected by the covenant of marriage , the promises made in public, the marriage bed protected no, defended by law. And if she has to cry she will but in the safety of her husbands bosom as he wins her heart and trust and love and she gives him respect and nurtures his masculinity, doesn’t mock, her strength grows and her mourning turns to laughter, and these principles are lived out in the home where there are no raised voices, a home built on love and trust and correction, growing in obedience to God and increasing their dignity and increasingly restoring the image of God in man and giving God glory and she is protected by man so she doesn’t need a separate identity. And human is a hideous concept. To exchange to truth of God for a lie. And exchange the glory of God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves because, they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever, Amen.
        But at the rate we are spiralling out of control how long will it be before we are at the gates of hell? Will we be reduced to 3 concepts in 3 words. I pray to God not, but that is the direction in which we are currently headed. ‘Huh’ ‘Duh’ and the ‘f’ word.

        Repentance is the return journey back towards the full restoration of the image of God: man

        In finishing John Z. My beliefs cannot intersect with ‘our’ secular societies they can only expose your worldview. By saying ‘our’, I presume you mean that you represent the view of the majority. You would need a statistician to determine that and you would need to frame your question in a fair way. What sort of answer would you expect to get out of asking the question “Is there a God?” , if it were asked under the controlled conditions of threat and intimidation. I don’t see you challenging Islam, Hinduism or New Age spirituality in the open forum, only Christianity. And up pop the results of supposed polls and demographics out there on the internet for all to see to intimidate the Christians into believing , not that we are in the minority, but that you are now in the majority. Next step go to the ‘soft sciences’ to make a case, go to the government pleading rights, get it enshrined in law to remove all protection from not only Christians but people and starting with the most vulnerable at either end. Your suggested possible definitions of what it is to be ‘human’ are getting more and more remote but you are determined to keep them under the umbrella of science while you and your ilk get to create sciences, that are not sciences at all, crafted in irrational minds frighteningly pitting meaning and science against each other by using the ‘soft sciences’ concealing the agenda to steal, kill and destroy. Your science is not only like the impersonal computer science using divide and conquer to look on man as a bag of systems and organs that you find ‘curious’and make his value so remote as to be indefinable except by you.
        Next step, the political science of divide and rule, absolute power, a system crafted in the hidden laboratories of the minds of evil men, something called ‘open debate’ under absolute rule , the iron rod poised to bring it down on anyone who dares open their mouth, threat and intimidation, and last step take hold of power under the guise of democracy and transparency, and then we are totally at the mercy of your ideology which is merciless, because it exploits the rights of the vulnerable to satisfy the insatiable lusts of the wicked.
        I’ll put a full stop for you John after ‘secular societies’ because it doesn’t naturally flow into the next part of the sentence. You’re not asking me to rationally justify ‘that’ interference because I don’t represent a collective view. I’m asserting my own view. Neither are you asking me to rationally justify ‘that ‘ interference, you’re questioning my rationality, and I take that as a very real threat! The severest punishments would be meted out first on those showing rational thought and twisting it by ‘psyco-science’ – to paste on a label of “criminally insane” and under the guise of ‘protecting society’ they would be hidden away under lock and key at the mercy of the merciless state. Your convoluted phraseology is getting increasingly frequent John and it is getting tiresome to unpack, so I’ll just finish up. You say that “that’s only reasonable, I think you’d agree” The question mark is conspicuous by its absence! You’re not asking me if I agree and you’re not capable of reason. I’m not interfering but the use of the word implies that there is something going on. I’m not interfering. I’m challenging, and that makes you feel just a bit uncomfortable, doesn’t it?

        In conclusion, I asked you John what the antithesis of of bad theology was?
        Thank you Ark, for giving me the answer because I’m not sure I would have worked it out myself and you show yourself Ark to have a surprising level of clarity considering you have been robbed of your world view, the only thing that gives meaning to life.

        So the antitheses of bad theology, as Arks says is indeed “no theology”

        And there it is – NOTHING. No science. No theology. No meaning. No hope

        Goodbye

      2. Hi Martha

        Curious, where have I been incoherent?

        Operation, yes. Our societies ‘function,’ do they not? We have laws, and those laws determine the boundaries of our activities.

        You have presented ‘your secular world view’ under the false premise of ‘our’ thereby implying that the ‘majority’ hold your view, without a single scrap of evidence.

        I’ve been providing evidence, and would be more than happy to link to studies if that helps. There are many.

        What have you (or anyone for that matter) provided by way of actual evidence?

        There was a term that you used that chilled me John Z. “Curious fact. But a fact it is” What sort of a trick is concealed there.

        Yes, curious in the context of personhood. Until birth, the foetus has the same metabolic rate as the mother. I’m assuming here you don’t actually understand what that means. That’s OK, it’s a quirky part of biology. You see, all mammals get about 1 billion heartbeats in a life, and this is reflected in the metabolic rates inside our cells. A shrew’s heart, for example beats at about 1,500 beats per minute, and correspondingly, it lives for 2 to 3 years. An adult human heart beats at about 100 beats per minute, and we live for about 80 years. Same for rabbits, monkeys, possums, every mammal. It’s an individuating factor of biology and it all comes down to body size. In the womb, the foetus is behaving as an adult human, which of course it’s not, so in reality it is indistinguishable from an organ in the mother. At birth, it’s metabolic rate speeds right up and in a matter of hours it has the same metabolic rate as, say, a possum… a creature its own size. From a purely biological perspective (using only the individuating measure of metabolic rate), it transitions from being an ‘organ’ to being an ‘individual.’

        You don’t find this curious? I do.

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