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Robert F. Smith

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  1. I cited Terryl's slanderous ad hominems, which you seem to think are cool, and by talking frankly about that and the same type of critique for hypocrisy which I find so prevalent in discourse on this question, I am then to be condemned. Sounds like a vicious cycle to me, Spencer. I expect all parties to such discourse to follow the same rules. Perhaps you don't.
  2. Of course. You'll notice, however, that most social media platforms practice censorship. I am very unhappy with that, since I see the monopolistic social media platforms as part of the public commons, the public street, where the First Amendment should be in full force. Those social media platforms are a huge threat to the free marketplace of ideas, and this is increasingly the case at colleges and universities. We are subject now to mobocracy and cancel culture.
  3. Sounds like there might be some room for negotiation on what form such laws might take. One of the reasons why no such negotiation usually takes place, is the intransigence of both sides. The all or nothing approach doesn't accomplish much. If one wants to reduce the number and types of abortions, there are legislative remedies. As with capital punishment (which I have always opposed), most people opted for it only because of the ridiculous tendency of courts and parole boards to release murderers from prison -- who would go out and do it again. When legislators were willing to allow
  4. Nor have I, and I appreciate the care with which Jewish rules of kosher slaughter minimize animal pain. Children or adults deliberately inflicting pain on animals is a sign of deep-seated psychological problems. Why shouldn't I be free to express my POV, even if it doesn't accord with someone else's? I feel free to call into question the sincerity of those who fail to abide by high moral and ethical rules, just as Jesus did. We are always free to call into question the sincerity of those who reject obedience to the law, just as I call into question the sincerity of those who legally
  5. We live in the flawed natural world. Spontaneous abortions are normal. Immortality is another matter, and I take it that spirit children are created far differently. Elder Nelson said "the Lord does not regard this transgression as murder." That was in the article cited by Spencer Macdonald (the same one you quote here, I think). As for John Calvin, like a lot of other hypocrites on moral issues, he was fully in favor of engaging in immoral acts, such as executing people by burning them at the stake -- for the crime of having the wrong theological ideas -- and he burned lots of the
  6. The animal rights people take very extreme positions on animal pain, and they are ignored by most people (such as you and me). As a child at 6 years of age, I thought nothing of catching a big bullfrog with my fly rod in the swamp and hitting its head on a rock to kill it, then taking it home to Momma, who served me frog legs for dinner. Same with a trout from a nearby stream. I carried my Daddy's hatchet when we went out to the hen house to select a couple of hens. I watched as he cut off their heads. Then he took them to Momma, who sat at the back porch with a large galvanized tub waiti
  7. I am not a shill for the yokels at the Guttmacher Institute, nor for their opponents. I was dealing with the argument from pain, which is only one argument against abortion. There are many others, as you should fully recognize. You find those limits applicable whenever broader implications are raised? Then that is the law, Spencer. Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is and is not legal in America (even if our particular religion or irreligion differs), and that is what it means to live in a politically diverse participatory democracy. The Law may
  8. As with most commentators, pro or con, there is a marked unwillingness to deal with the full implications of their positions. I am insisting that, unless the full implications are addressed, then the moral stance taken is meaningless. The Jewish mohel does not use anasthesia, and a major argument against circumcision (a religious ordinance) is the pain. You may not consider it enough pain, but a lot of people are exercised about it. In secular law, murder is the unlawful taking of a human life. Elder Nelson said specifically that it is not murder to abort a fetus. That is w
  9. *** for tat? The argument is tu quoque. Instead of allowing his case to be based on sound reasoning, he makes an ad hominem argument. That act alone brings his argument into disrepute, if not childish. He makes an argument from pain, which either is or is not a legitimate argument. If fetal pain is a problem to be avoided, then let us give weight to the full implications, instead of hemming and hawwing. If elective abortion is wrong because it causes pain, then is not pain to any living thing wrong? Or are the animal rights people wrong, and it is only a human thing? You seem to
  10. I was surprised at how deeply flawed Terryl's piece is, certainly not the typically profound comments I have come to expect from him. Right at the outset he showed his utter contempt for the opposing position by attacking the "general lack of thoughtful rationales for their embrace of the pro-choice position. Frequently, I found they were uninformed, unreflective," etc. In his very strong views on fetal pain and suffering, he ignored the pain many newborns undergo with circumcision, and did not bother to comment on how the animal rights people would be appalled at his cavalier consid
  11. Isaiah was a member of the elite, and has a larger Hebrew vocabulary than any other OT writer. All modern Israelis get 7 years of biblical Hebrew in their schools, and even secular Israelis can quote by memory whole chapters of Isaiah -- it is very poetic. Jesus quoted him more than any other prophet.
  12. No. You may be too young to recall, but back in James Brown's heyday, women were more likely to be housewives than career women. Now that a family cannot survive on a man's sole income, and now that women outnumber men in college, women are less likely to be doing housewifely chores, and even less likely to be mothers or married. Which leaves your comment on "the celestial equivalent of being pregnant, changing diapers, feeding hungry mouths, and taking care of skinned knees" less likely to be valid. Indeed, we may find that a celestial environment is completely different than we expect.
  13. That may all have been the case when James Brown sang his song in 1966, but things have changed a bit since then. So, while we all find fascination with the mysteries of heaven, the reality here and now is far more complex that the hue and cry might lead us to believe.
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