Saturday, September 24, 2011

Smile.

What a beautiful video. Watch her eyes at the end.

60 comments:

  1. Well,
    That's 3'20 I'll never get back again. I don't see the point of the video. She had a disfiguring cleft lip and palate inflicted by a merciful and caring god (actually due to the complex embryological development, which mostly goes right), cured by medical science. The music is very irritating too. I looked at the video wondering if it was to illustrate the difference between a Pan Am smile and a genuine smile.

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  2. @bach:

    Lighten up, bach. I still get tears watching it. Healing is a profound expression of God's love, in a fallen world.

    Maybe you can get your 3'20 back by not reading Pharyngula or something.

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  3. Michael,

    Before we worked out how to correct cleft lip and palate, before we worked out anathaesia and asepsis, humans were being born for thousands of years with cleft lip and palate.

    We, humans, managed to work out how to treat it. God had nothing to do with it. His sacred book doesn't contain anything primitive humans would not have thought true, and nothing that primitive humans could not have known, but which would have been very useful, such as the existence of microscopic lifeforms causing disease, and that washing your hands is more useful in preventing infectious disease than, for example, not ordering a census, as King David is supposed to have causing a plague taking off 70,000.

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  4. @bach:

    The origins of modern science and medicine are deeply Christian.

    Catholics and evangelicals today are probably the greatest source of medical care brought by developed world to the third world.

    Show me atheism's role in medical science.

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  5. Michael,

    Rubbish.

    Show me something that a believer does that an atheist wouldn't.

    It's a logical fallacy to claim that just because most people in the past were believers, whether out of personal conviction or because it had unpleasant consequences (such as being burned at the stake) in admitting to doubt, then any good they did was because of their religion (and any evil they did was because they weren't faithful enough).

    Catholics and evangelicals have done more damage in the third world by their discouragement of condoms and birth control, causing HIV infection to progress without restraint and condemning countries to continual poverty owing to larger families the parents aren't able to adequately feed.

    The godless Chinese aren't bad at providing medical assistance to poor African countries. Medicines sans frontiers is also a secular medical aid group.

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  6. Bachfiend,

    Even though you are right, there is more to life than mathematics. I find it somewhat revolting I play on your team.

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  7. Bach,
    You cannot avoid the role of Christianity in medicine worldwide. The various Churches missions, hospitals, outreach groups etc etc.
    No one can deny the serious need these purpose driven men and women fill in the developing world. Even here in North America and in Europe they have a real impact (positive) on the entire system.
    To try to paint a picture where material medicine is the only factor is typical of the monism you claim to adhere to.
    You apparently see only the shadow on the cave wall, not the object casting it - or the entire world of light that is the cause of the contrast.
    Open your eyes - and your HEART - to LIFE, Bach.
    This is a child, for God's sake.
    This little child's life is much more than a statistic. She MEANS something. Not just to her mum and dad, OBJECTIVELY. She is.
    This is not just about Chemicals, sharp objects and the education to use them correctly.
    What she went through before, during, and after the surgery MATTERS. That is the element you seem to miss, Bach.
    I know what the materialist solution would be: ABORT cleft babies. Note the controversy in the UK. The moist view is that she should spared the 'pain' of her entire life. Only the shadow is seen by tghe monist. But ABORTING her would have prevented her WHOLE life. That life, of course, includes her first big smile (video) and all the things that follow. First kiss, graduation, wedding day, kids weddings...you name it.
    That has been avoided by a faith and belief in PURPOSE. She has been helped from the shadows into the light.
    This little life has purpose.
    Her condition was correctable. People who recognized BOTH these facts helped realize a miracle for this little ambassador of light.
    You can make your juvenile arguments about rubbers in Africa all you want... but you cannot deny the facts: Christianity (of ALL brands - not limited to just your hated RCC) are a HUGE positive influence on the medical sciences and charities GLOBALLY.
    Your creed has no such reputation.
    In fact even ISLAM puts you lot to shame in this department.

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  8. @Iko,
    Thanks for being human.
    We may have our many differences, but at least I know I am communication with a compassionate being.
    I am glad you can feel that disgust. There is another HUMAN out there.
    Thanks for keeping it real.

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  9. PS.
    To be absolutely fair, I am often revolted by folks on my side of the debate too.

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  10. CrusadeRex,

    What are you going on about? Where did I state that a fetus with a cleft lip and palate ought to be aborted? I noted that it was humans, not god, who worked out how to surgically correct cleft lip and palate. If god exists, which I strongly doubt, cleft lip and palate had been allowed to exist for thousands of years, making the sufferers miserable, and probably being considered by the rest of the community as being cursed by god. Two good images was all that was necessary, a before and an after treatment one.

    There are secular charities and countries helping with poverty and inadequate health care, I mentioned Mediciens San frontiers and the Chinese government, but there are others. Church based charities often also spend some of their 'aid' on proselytizing.

    And the churches discouraging the use of condoms and birth control for religious reasons is a crime against humanity.

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  11. @bach:

    [And the churches discouraging the use of condoms and birth control for religious reasons is a crime against humanity.]

    Nonsense. There are strong reasons to discourage such things. They help to create a culture of promiscuity and disrespect for basic human good that in the aggregate is more harmful than any immediate good they might do. And the Church asks; it does not force.

    We can debate the effect of the widespread use of birth control and condoms on society. When these issues were being debated in the 20th century, secularists argued that they would bring enormous good to human sexual relations. The Church argued that things would get much worse, because they would encourage promiscuity and breakdown of the family.

    The facts show that the Church was exactly right.

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  12. What I am on about a human LIFE...about your callous response to a child's struggle - it literally made me shudder. You want your minutes back? 'Irritating music'?
    Comparing China's self promoting efforts to those of any-charity does NOT lend weight to your argument.
    China does not deserve to be in the same sentence with MSF or any charity, religious or otherwise.
    The ONE CHILD nation? The backer of North Korea? The war/revolution engine of Asia? CHINA?
    Talk about pronoia!
    As for the abortion issue, I direct you to any source of media in the UK (or west) in the last several years. I suggest google news as an engine.
    It was one of those 'issues' outside the Plato's Cave and was probably not a widely reported subject for lefty media.
    But do look it up.
    You also (half) note there would be no little girls, doctors,  or cleft palates without a God(in my view). None of them would exist without a creator (again, in my view). At least I think that is the point you are (half) making.
    Well, when flushed out: You are correct.
    Though, I am not sure what your observation is supposed to rationalize about your original comment, or how that justifies that nasty sneer at a child's struggle.
    Further, I suggest you WILL get your three minutes and change back.
    You'll get everything back.
    We all will.
    It's the nature of things.

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  13. You people are insane. Atheists refuse to see that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is everywhere; Christians make up stories about "Jesus" and "God" because they hate Him.

    No murderer in the history of humanity believed in the FSM (pbuh). Is it a coincidence that nobody ever murdered in His name?

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  14. Anon's argument is a soft noodle.
    "...the Flying Spaghetti Monster is everywhere..."
    GNUs sure like that soft and cheesy spaghetti.
    Maybe it is because their logic is toothless and their tastes rather bland?
    Or...
    Maybe it's just because it's an easy dish to serve and those lazy...er crazy kids love it.
    Whatever the case may be, they sure love the limp linguine in the land of the philosophically challenged.
    Bon Appétit, Anon.

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  15. @bach...
    Catholics and evangelicals have done more damage in the third world by their discouragement of condoms and birth control, causing HIV infection to progress...

    Again a blatant lie!

    Quote: A short examination, however, of the HIV/AIDS rates of those African countries that have a large Catholic population shows that the Church’s accusers have not done the homework or are deliberately misreporting the facts. The available statistics show that countries with a large Catholic percentage population, show significantly lower rates of HIV/AIDS infections than countries with mostly non-Catholic populations.

    Do you realize how misinformed you are?

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  16. @bach...

    What Impact Does Catholic Teaching Have on AIDS in Africa?

    Quote: It's grimly ironic that the atheists... ...have such a dogmatic aversion to looking at actual empirical data...

    Harvard AIDS Expert Supports Pope's Contraception Comments

    Quote: There is a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the US-funded 'Demographic Health Surveys,' between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates...

    Do you want me to continue spoon feeding you, Bach?

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  17. Michael wrote: "The origins of modern science and medicine are deeply Christian."

    This is correct. Most of the greatest scientists, such as Kent Hovind and Ken Ham, are Christians.

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  18. Pepe (sorry I can't use the accents in your name),

    Correlation doesn't mean causation. Countries with a high proportion of Catholics doesn't mean that the population are practicing cathololics or following the tenets of the church in eschewing condom use. HIV infection in African countries is considerably under diagnosed and underreported.

    Control of HIV spread depends on abstinence, fidelity to a single partner and condom use, where all else fails.

    CrusadeRex,

    As an adult, I am always embarrassed when family members bring out the family portraits of me when I was a toddler and younger. I wonder how the girl will feel when she's older and realizes that there is a YouTube video of her potentially in worldwide circulation showing her pre- and post correction of a cleft lip and palate.

    Most medical texts attempt to provide anonymity of putting a bar across the person's eyes when they show images of people.

    It's good that her cleft lip and palate has been corrected. It was due to an accident in the complex embryological development of the head and face, not due to a god or a devil. It was corrected by medical science, not by a mythical god.

    If the parents have in any role in it, and I agree that it's an enormous one, then it's in providing a supportive home for the child, accepting her for herself and having her have the corrective surgery when appropriate. They deserve a lot of praise, but not for putting a YouTube video of their daughter on the web.

    Surgical correction of cleft lip and palate has been around for a long time and it's very good. So why put a video on the net to mention again that the surgery is good?

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  19. Bach wrote,
    "It was due to an accident in the complex embryological development of the head and face, not due to a god or a devil. It was corrected by medical science, not by a mythical god."
    Well, as long as YOU say so, Bach.
    LOL
    The development of the palate, the science, the operation, the medical staff, the girl, the Devil, and your argument would not exist without a starting point. Get it? That is the philosophy people like me live by.
    I am a Theist, Bach - in case you did not notice.
    I don't believe in a mythical God, but a practical one. You keep confusing us with Deists. Either that or you are deliberately attempting to mis-characterise entire faith groups.
    Look: Mythology is neat stuff, but that is not what we are discussing here.
    We are talking about a child. A little PERSON.
    You also note:
    "As an adult, I am always embarrassed when family members bring out the family portraits of me when I was a toddler and younger."
    Really? Why is that?
    I stopped caring about my baby pictures when I was about 13. I mean who cares? We are all babies and our mum's all like showing off the pics. Who are they going to show? Your wife or kids?
    I honestly don't think most adults care about that stuff, Bach. Now show off pictures of me as a teenager.... then we might have an issue - a fashion issue.
    "Surgical correction of cleft lip and palate has been around for a long time and it's very good. So why put a video on the net to mention again that the surgery is good?"
    Why not? Maybe they want to say THANKS? Maybe they just feel they have had a miracle occur in their lives and want to share it with the world. Either way, it is their business - and fine by me.

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  20. Oh, and just out of curiosity...
    DO you agree with the abortion of cleft palate babies, Bach? Or do you think that is an abuse of that procedure?

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  21. CrusadeRex,

    You probably won't believe this, but I NEVER had any doubt that you were a theist.

    And abortion for cleft palate is NEVER ethically right. Cleft palate is an eminently treatable condition. Any country with a medical system capable of diagnosing cleft palate antepartum has a medical system capable of correcting it.

    Why diagnosis cleft palate prenatally if you aren't going to do anything about it? Well, actually you are. The parents are going to be pre warned and counseled. Given information about cleft palate and its treatment. Shown photos pre- and post treatment. Given support. Finding out at birth would be devastating.

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  22. @Bach
    "You probably won't believe this, but I NEVER had any doubt that you were a theist."
    AWESOME! Then please stop talking about walk away, semi functional gods with me! :P I am NOT a Deist or Pantheist. Aplha AND Omega ;)

    "And abortion for cleft palate is NEVER ethically right."
    Glad to hear that is how you feel. 'NEVER' is exactly how is see it too. It is a real shame many pro-eugenics types and abortionists do not see it that way.

    "Why diagnosis cleft palate prenatally...Finding out at birth would be devastating."
    I Agree. If the tech is available, why not observe the baby's physiology while still in the womb? In fact if the tech is available why not show women contemplating an abortion what their baby looks like BEFORE they decide on the procedure?
    The 'termination' (killing) of cleft palate babies (not treatment) is the key issue to me.

    I am glad we can at least agree on that.

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  23. Alpha*** Damn this TEENY TINY display :@

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  24. @bach:

    [And abortion for cleft palate is NEVER ethically right. Cleft palate is an eminently treatable condition. Any country with a medical system capable of diagnosing cleft palate antepartum has a medical system capable of correcting it.]

    So abortion because a woman doesn't want the kid, or because some bureaucrat decides that she's overpopulating the world, is ok, but if the kid has a cleft palate, it's NEVER ethically right? What a confused ethics.

    How about this: abortion is never ok, because it's killing. It's not ok to kill unwanted kids, or kids with cleft palate, or any kids.

    Life is the fundamental right, on which all other rights depend. It is a right held by each person, from conception to death. It cannot be rescinded for illness or for inconvenience.

    What's so hard about that?

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  25. @mike,
    There you go! One thought seems to flow from the next. Excellent points, all. Kudos, Doctor.
    I see a 'NEVER' as pretty objective and quite a concession. I am glad to see Bach draw that line.

    Bach & All,
    If killing / aborting a cleft palate baby in the womb is wrong because there is nothing so wrong with the child that cannot be treated (this seems to be Bach's reasoning), then is not reasonable to assume aborting any child that was not diagnosed with an untreatable and fatal condition would ALSO be wrong. Objectively wrong - a 'NEVER'.
    Does that make some sort of sense?

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  26. And abortion for cleft palate is NEVER ethically right.

    But if the kid is healthy, go ahead and pull the trigger. You, Bachfiend, just made a statement of absolute moral genius.

    I am most interested to see how you'll back out of this one.

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  27. CrusadeRex,

    Showing a person an ultrasound of an early pregnancy before a termination is just a method of making it more difficult to have an abortion. For a layperson to interpret an image which is just a sound shadow is difficult and probably meaningless.

    Michael,

    I think that it's never ethical to terminate a fetus because of a cleft palate. But I also think that it's unethical to force a person to carry to term an unwanted early pregnancy. Each person has to be given the right to make decisions concerning his or her body, and an early pregnancy isn't a person, not an independent person anyway.

    Why do you feel the need to control other people?

    I agree, forced abortions are distasteful, on an ethical scale, well on the way to the no-no end of the scale.

    But China has a one child law, because China is overpopulated. Laws unfortunately have to be followed until they're changed, and breaking laws have to have penalties, otherwise they will be broken with impunity. Having financial penalties for having more than one child will just be punishing the poor and their children. Paying parents more who have just the one child does the same thing; it takes money from poor families with more than one child.

    I don't feel the personal need to dictate to other people whether they should or should have an abortion. That is their decision, and it's their bodies.

    A fertilized ovum isn't a person. It doesn't have the right to life. It's not a person until birth. The rights of the person carrying an unborn fetus are paramount.

    You Americans are great at killing innocent adults because of inconvenience, ranging from killing Iraqi civilians with cluster bombs in an unjust war, to killing Afghan families with remotely controlled missiles, to executing prisoners for whom the guilt was never certain. America hasn't had a particularly good record in supporting ruthless dictators and starting needless foreign wars.

    China's military hasn't fired a shot in anger for 25 years. What is America's record in that period? And America's selfinflicted death rate from guns and drugs is amazing to the rest of the world. America is an enigma. Such a civilized and religious country with such a bloodthirsty nature.

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  28. So what Bachfiend is saying, in essence, is that it is ALWAYS ethical to terminate a fetus because of a cleft palate (being that it is ethical to terminate one for any reason whatsoever, what with the rights of the "person carrying the fetus"--by which I believe he means what regular, unsophisticated folks would call "mother"--being paramount and all).

    He just expresses it by using the words "It is NEVER ethical..."

    A strange subterfuge is afoot, which irrelevant chatter about Yanqui imperialism and the enlightened totalitarian Chinese is not going to hide.

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  29. Matteo,

    No you don't get it.

    A woman who has antenatal screening wants to have a healthy baby. That's why she's having screening. If something turns up that's serious and untreatable, such as trisomy 21, then it's quite ethical to have a termination and try again.

    If an ultrasound shows a cleft palate, then I, personally, don't think that it's ethical to ask for a termination because a cleft palate is eminently treatable, resulting in a normal person at the end of treatment.

    I also don't think that it's ethical for a woman to be forced to carry to term a pregnancy she doesn't want. I think a person has the right to make decisions concerning her own body.

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  30. @bach:

    [I also don't think that it's ethical for a woman to be forced to carry to term a pregnancy she doesn't want.]

    The choice is between carrying the baby and killing the baby. The ethical choice is obvious.

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  31. Michael,

    Except a fetus isn't a baby, so it's not obvious. A fetus before 20 weeks gestation (when must elective terminations are performed) is not independently viable. I'd have qualms about an elective termination after 20 weeks, unless there were definite medical reasons for it.

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  32. @Bach
    "Showing a person an ultrasound of an early pregnancy before a termination is just a method of making it more difficult to have an abortion. For a layperson to interpret an image which is just a sound shadow is difficult and probably meaningless."
    I knew you would respond with something like that, Bach.
    You picked the wrong guy to pass that line off.
    Look: My son is 23, but my wife is now pregnant (heavily) with our second son.
    Big break, I know.
    We have been watching the ultrasounds since the last week of trimester one. My wife, being 40ish, we are being very attentive and careful. You can CLEARLY see the child's fingers, face, eyes etc. Early into the second trimester we printed some very nice shots of HIM (now identified as a boy) sucking his thumb. A layman can see exactly the same thing as the radiologist, the big difference is the does not have some currently approved embryology chart to do neck measurements with etc. The Layman cannot see the signs of illness that a professional can SOMETIMES detect.
    Thank God, it seems our little guys is healthy and looks to be more or less on time. We are expecting our little miracle in November.
    So you see, telling a guy like me - who has JUST been looking at ultrasounds of his unborn child - that a layman will not see is just not going to fly.
    So, again I ask: If a woman is seeking a abortion, why should the attending doctor show them the problem/reason for it in Ultra Sound? If the child is healthy, the surely that falls into your 'NEVER' category, no? So that would not be a problem. Right?

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  33. @bach...
    Correlation doesn't mean causation.

    Your are absolutely right!

    The next time you blame the Catholic Church for any problem in the world, ask yourself if you are not making this same logical fallacy.

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

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  34. PS.
    Here is a 3d scan of a 12 week old baby in the womb.
    Please keep in mind that most legal abortions in Canada (rules vary) are preformed just prior to the 20 week mark - almost twice as developed.
    THAT is why pro abortion lobbyists do NOT want women to see these scans. They fear the women would decide to keep the child - because it IS a child.
    Also, I should note the question (scans for women considering abortion) was put to ME by an OB/GYN and tech we had a conversation with.
    They both suggested that 'abortionists' (they felt Dr is an abuse of the term) should be forced by law to show women these images BEFORE proceeding. While it is an interesting idea, I cannot claim it as my own.

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  35. @bach:

    [Except a fetus isn't a baby, so it's not obvious. A fetus before 20 weeks gestation (when must elective terminations are performed) is not independently viable.]

    A fetus is a human being (homo sapiens). Really young human beings are colloquially called "babies".

    [A fetus before 20 weeks gestation (when must elective terminations are performed) is not independently viable.]

    None of us are independently viable, bach. If no one farmed or processed or distributed your food, it's unlikely you would survive. Can you build a house, or make clothing, or grow crops (no seeds, no tractor), hunt animals (no guns- you've got to be independently vaible!).

    We all depend on others, always and everywhere. We all depend on others utterly as children. Babies in the womb are just more dependent, but it is a quantative difference, not a qualitative difference. Without others to help us, we all would die.

    Do you really want an ethical system based on independence? A system in which rights are based on how strong you are?

    People who need help (babies in the womb, the poor, the sick) ought to get more of our he0lp, not less.

    I despise your ethical system.

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  36. Someone pointed out a while back (John C. Wright?) that we used to live in a culture where it would be a supreme dishonor for an adult not to be willing to lay down his life for the sake of children. But now we've progressed to the point where certain enlightened folks insist that it is the duty of children to lay down their lives for the sake of adults.

    Because the rights of adults against children are "paramount".

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  37. @Matteo:

    Excellent point. Chilling.

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  38. CrusadeRex,

    You're probably talking about 3-D ultrasound, which is more expensive, involves more ultrasound (and potentially more risk) and isn't available everywhere. Requiring a woman to have a standard 2-D ultrasound which gives shadows of sound introduces a minor inconvenience. Requiring a 3-D ultrasound which gives pictures a layperson can understand is a major inconvenience, and it will disadvantage the poor more than the well-off.

    I wonder, as an aside, whether you and your wife are having too many ultrasounds. One at about 17 weeks should be enough for screening. It's not to replace standard antenatal care and it's not for entertainment purposes to give a series of images to add to a scrap book.

    Michael,

    Still the same. A fetus isn't a baby. There's a difference between nonviable and being dependent on a functioning society to have a pleasant life. Agreed, the disadvantaged in our society need assistance. That's a point which is recognized and followed more in other Western countries than in America, which the rest of the developed world still regards as an enigma. For all the money America spends on health care, there are still tens of millions of American citizens who don't get adequate health care. Australia spends much less per capita than America, but manages to get better health care (although the conservative Victorian state government has recently cut funding of lung transplants forcing that program to be put on hold for the rest of the year).

    CrusadeRex would probably agree that the Canadian system is superior too.

    Pepe (I apologize that I can't use the accents),

    Agreed, correlation doesn't imply causation. Most of the time, I don't think about the catholic church, I find it irrelevant. I only commented on it in response to Michael's response to my comment that the surgical correction of the young girl's cleft lip and palate was done by humans, the procedure was devised by humans, her operation being done was due to humans ((her parents, the doctors, the nursing staff, the other hospital staff), and that God had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Michael, in his way, claimed that western medicine is Christian, the doctors are Christian, so therefore anything good that a Christian does is due to God, and the Christian shouldn't get any credit for it. By extension, that would mean that if a Christian does anything bad, then that person wasn't a real Christian.

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  39. @bach:

    [Still the same. A fetus isn't a baby.]

    An embryo, a fetus, a baby, a child, a teen, an adult are all human beings, which is the point.

    It's morally wrong to kill human beings. It's especially wrong to kill human beings because they're not wanted and they are weak.

    [There's a difference between nonviable and being dependent on a functioning society to have a pleasant life.]

    A fetus in the womb is quite 'viable', if you don't kill him/her. A fetus depends on his mother in a very intimate way, which in a sane culture would be reason to protect him, not kill him.

    We are all dependent on others for life, just in different ways.

    Sanctioning the killing of a certain group of human beings because they are particularly dependent is evil. Raw evil.

    [Agreed, the disadvantaged in our society need assistance.]

    Who could be more disadvantaged than a child in the womb who is unwanted?

    As Matteo pointed out, it's a particularly sick society in which children are sacrificed for the benefit of adults.

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  40. Pepe,

    I forgot to add that Michael had brought in the Catholic church at the end of argument chain by stating that Catholic churches do more good in running hospitals in third world countries and that there are no atheist charities (there are secular one's though).

    Michael,

    Colloquially speaking, your use of baby to describe embryos and fetuses is just meschugge. I regard forcing a woman to carry an early fetus to term as being nonethical. The woman has the right to decide what she does with her body. You don't have the right to dictate to her what she can't do.

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  41. bach:

    [The woman has the right to decide what she does with her body. You don't have the right to dictate to her what she can't do.]

    You're talking nonsense. All laws are limitations on what we can do "with our own bodies". We can't use our bodies to kill others, to steal, to rape, etc.

    We have responsibilities as well as rights. Each of us has a right to life, and a responsibity not to kill others.

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  42. Michael,

    You really are talking nonsense. The examples you're citing are a direct infringement on others. A fetus doesn't become a person until it leaves the mother's body.

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  43. @bach:

    [A fetus doesn't become a person until it leaves the mother's body.]

    So killing a baby during labor,before he/she has left mom's body, isn't killing a person?

    [And abortion for cleft palate is NEVER ethically right.]

    Why not? You claim that a fetus with cleft palate isn't a person, so what's the problem with aborting--- 'tissue' with cleft palate?

    Your ethics is sick.

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  44. A fetus doesn't become a person until it leaves the mother's body.

    My, my. I've read a lot of arguments against abortion, and whenever it's been brought up, I've always regarded this particular pro-abortion "argument" to be a mere caricature that no sane person really held, and merely a strawman.

    It astonishes me that Bachfiend would use it, especially after bloviating about viability and that executing those with cleft palate is NEVER ethical.

    Absolutely astonishing.

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  45. Michael,

    I'm very pleased that you and I disagree on the ethics of abortion.

    Many years ago, the Medical Journal of Australia had a long article on animal rights written by an ethicist, the argument being that since (non-human) animals don't have responsibilities then they also don't have rights.

    A fetus doesn't have responsibilities, therefore it doesn't have rights.

    A woman has responsibilities, therefore she has rights.

    The rights of a woman to decide what she is going to do with her body outweigh the nonexistent rights of a fetus, particularly one that would be nonviable ex utero.

    A woman has antepartum screening of the fetus to ensure that there's nothing major wrong with the fetus. If an ultrasound is done just for entertainment, to add a picture to the family album, and regardless of whatever abnormality is
    detected, the pregnancy is allowed to proceed to term, I'd regard that as medical malpractice.

    I'd also consider that if prenatal screening showed for example trisomy 21 or some other major genetic abnormality such as Turner's syndrome, then that would be reason enough to have a termination.

    A woman who has an ultrasound obviously wants to have a healthy neonate at the end of the pregnancy. If cleft lip and palate is demonstrated to be the only abnormality, then I personally consider that it wouldn't be ethical to have an abortion because it's eminently treatable. It would be almost as bad as gender selection for social reasons.

    A woman who wants an abortion, and I insist that it's her body and her right, then she's obviously not going to be having a prenatal screening.

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  46. @bach:

    [A fetus doesn't have responsibilities, therefore it doesn't have rights.
    A woman has responsibilities, therefore she has rights.]

    Just another way to assert that rights depend on strength. An odious assertion.

    What responsibilities do infants have? What responsibilities do elderly people in the terminal stages of Alzheimer's have?

    Do they have no rights?

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  47. Bach,
    No I was not talking about 3d ultrasound, although I did post a 3d ultrasound so the folks can see even MORE clearly.
    My wife and I have reasons for the extra scans - the same reason we are calling him a miracle. I do not feel comfortable discussing them here. Sufficed to say despite all the caution, Baby Col is looking great in there. Thanks for the concern :)

    My point is that with NORMAL up to date scan technology you can clearly see details in the child's anatomy. movement, and even behaviour in a TWELVE week old baby/foetus. If women considering (not determined to) have an abortion were shown these images they would reconsider other options, such as adoption. This is an easy 'escape hatch' for a lot of women who are being PRESSURED into aborting their child by MEN.

    Now, as for a woman's right - you seem to have forgotten the OTHER two thirds of the equation. The biggest slice is obviously the CHILD's right to live. Killing a baby is to take away all his potential of being. It is homicide, local laws and customs aside (baby's not being 'people' until leaving the womb etc).
    But what about DAD? Does he have the right to pressure mum into killing baby? Does he have the right to stop her from aborting? The foetus, after all, may be his ONLY chance to ever reproduce- the SINGLE purpose to a Darwinian existence. HE created the zygote with his sperm. There could have been none without his 'input'. So, does he not have the right to decide with who and how that happens, or if they can stop it once already begun?
    I don't expect an answer, Bach. I am just illustrating what a moral MINEFIELD killing is. Killing is ALWAYS extremely hard to justify, and in the case of defenceless infants it is objectively wrong, as in 'NEVER'. I think you feel that too. I think you have that intuition, but that it clashes with a specific set of political beliefs.
    It is in such cracks between the stones of monistic scientism that reason and morality may push through and reduce such stone to fertile soil.
    My suggestion is to embrace that intuition: 'Use the force', Bach!
    Look, there is a reason all the moral dilemmas pop up. They pop up because this abortion is WRONG.
    It is a moral black hole. The further you go in, the more the morality breaks down and the visceral fear and instinct takes over. 'MY body', 'MY rights', 'Terminate', 'it' etc.
    If showing a woman a picture of the baby is a hazard to abortion, then SHOW IT. Elective abortion is not an endangered species that needs to be preserved, it is a horrific piece of Malthusian baggage from the century that brought us Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

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  48. Now on to the medical system. I could agree that Ontario and a handful of other Provinces have/had excellent medical programs. They are Provincially rune here (like a state to state thing) and vary quite a bit from coast to coast. I have some issues with certain regions, and my own (Ontario) is an overtaxed system. This problem is mostly in the urban areas and has a great deal to do with MISUSE of the system and the pricing of medical supplies. The misuse is a real problem in urban/immigrant rich areas, but can be fixed through education.The pricing problem is a real issue. The medical supply company KNOW they will sell their products to a guaranteed buyer - so they incrementally increase the prices to fluff their margins. This is done at the expense of the patient/taxpayer.
    This is something our little family has experience first hand in care giving from my Grandparents.
    All that said, I like what we have - I just think it needs a good tune up. Superior? I am not sure. Different, sure. I have had some excellent medical care in the US over the years, and have plenty of American friends that do routinely.
    I DO take issue, as do about HALF of all Canadians, with my tax money to fund abortions. THAT is the problem here in this country. ELECTIVE procedures are usually PAID - but not a woman's 'right' in Ontario. It is FREE. THAT makes me feel sick.
    So to sum it up.
    I would agree that our system is good, but it is not national. I would suggest it is miles better in certain areas, and has serious failings in others. Swings and slides.
    Our Provincial plan is CERTAINLY better than the UK's NHS which (as the name implies) is NATIONAL like Obama-Care is supposed to be. Our federal government sends the money, and the Provinces/Territories decide WHAT best to do with it. "Transfers" is the term used.
    It is worth noting that all such systems in Canada are at least two tier, and invariably what would be described as 'universal' in US media.
    Maybe the US could do something like it in SOME states. I think Mass and HI have some sort of plan...but don't quote me on that.
    Population is the key difference, I should think, Bach.
    We could fit BOTH our national populations into one coast of the USA.
    We just have more resources and less people currently.

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  49. CrusadeRex and Michael,

    I still stand by my assertion that a person has the right to determine what is done with his or her body. A woman has the right to determine whether she has an abortion. A man has the right to decide whether he's a conscientious objector in a war. A man doesn't have the right to force a woman to carry 'his' child to term (she could turn around and insist that it isn't). A conceptus inherits rights by being wanted. It has the responsibility of making the parents happier. Parents with Alzheimer's disease also have rights, albeit one's that are progressively disappearing as their neurological condition deteriorates and they are less able to fulfill their responsibilities.

    The important point is that rights aren't all or nothing. A fertilized ovum doesn't have the same rights as a mature adult woman. They progressively increase then precipitously decrease.

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  50. Bach wrote
    "A fetus doesn't become a person until it leaves the mother's body."
    You must mean legally?
    @ALL:
    Perhaps we could remedy this legal position by forcing a choice?
    Choice A) Woman and unborn child are both Human and so both legally 'people'.
    Choice B) The unborn child is not a person because they do not meet the 'norm' described by science as 'viability' and 'uniqueness' of being. The child could not be torn from the mother and live (without help). The mother would also die (without help). Therefore the MOTHER is not a person either. She is neither a unique being from the child, nor independent of it (without help).
    I think most (humans) women would prefer A. This little comparison may provide the reality check some of the more militant promoters of abortion-as-aright need.
    @All: Is in not somehow strange this conversation should arise from a video of a little girls smile.
    God bless her, she is an inspiration in so many ways.

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  51. Bach,
    A fertilized ovum is not what is destroyed in an abortion - at least not in this country.
    Here most abortions occur between about 19-22 weeks.
    Here is a 3d scan of a 20 week old. in the womb. This is what is killed in an abortion - not a zygote. Morning after pills and 'quick fixes' (like physical trauma) are another issue entirely, if related.
    I stand by my position, Bach. NOBODY has the right to kill. Not even women. Not even their own child. Hell, ESPECIALLY their own child.
    Women should and do, however, have the RIGHT to keep their LEGS CLOSED if they don't want kids. Responsibility is key.

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  52. CrusadeRex,

    Yes, but Michael insists that humans start at conception. True from the point that conception is the point at which the unique genome that makes up each conceptus arises, but meaningless because at least one third of all conceptuses will be spontaneously aborted.

    Can you cite your source for your claim that most abortions in Canada are between 19 and 22 weeks gestation. A brief google search indicates to me that that's wrong, both for Canada and Australia. I suspect that you've taken a subset of terminations (prenatal screened abnormalities leading to a termination) and used it for the entire group.

    Contraception occasionally fails, so it's necessary to have a backup.

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  53. ...but meaningless because at least one third of all conceptuses will be spontaneously aborted.

    You see, since people die in accidents anyway, it's okay to purposely kill them.

    Contraception occasionally fails, so it's necessary to have a backup.

    There must be a Final Solution...

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  54. Matteo,

    I am amazed that someone can't see the difference between an adult - conscious, self aware, of considerable value to friends and family - being killed in an 'accident' (most of which are avoidable) and an unwanted 10 week old fetus.

    Anyone who brings up the Final Solution on an Internet blog always loses immediately (Godwin's Law).

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  55. "Yes, but Michael insists that humans start at conception."
    So do I. That is the point at which it all begins. Sperms and eggs do not grow on their own.

    "...but meaningless because at least one third of all conceptuses will be spontaneously aborted"
    Only meaningless to a nihilist. Only 'conceptuses' on paper. For the rest of us outside Plato's cave it about the struggle of life and about real peoples hopes and dreams.

    "Can you cite your source for your claim that most abortions in Canada are between 19 and 22 weeks gestation. A brief google search indicates to me that that's wrong, both for Canada and Australia. I suspect that you've taken a subset of terminations (prenatal screened abnormalities leading to a termination) and used it for the entire group."
    You mean they don't advertise they are in the business of killing babies? NO!!!??? YOU DON'T SAY!?
    I am referring to all surgical abortions in this comment. Chemical/medical abortions (ie the morning after pill and other such methods) are typical before / up to 4 weeks as I understand it.
    The OB/GYN at the LFB, the 'Women's care clinic' in Toronto, and several other first hand sources tell me the 'optimal' time for a surgical abortion is in the 19th - 22nd week. Why? I prefer not to even speculate. Sufficed to say: I find it easier to hit a large target than a small one.
    It is 'optimal' for a strike when the target is most visible.
    The OB/GYN explained to me that this is partly because of 'nature' may 'take care' of 'the problem', and that if it did not - then the abortion is much easier to perform at that stage.
    In the case of one young woman officer grad, they had wanted her wait from the 8th week to the 18th. She miscarried the week before the procedure.
    The whole thing changed her. She is now a mother and VERY pro life, if still very 'liberal' in other ways.
    All that being said a young woman in our family had one done at 12 weeks. It IS done earlier, it is just 'optimal' to kill unborn children during those weeks.


    416-256-4139 - info@womenscareclinic.ca

    I sincerely hope Australia is better in this way.

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  56. Oh and Bach,
    You use fallacist's fallacy when accusing Matteo of breaking Godwin's Law. We are talking about Eugenics programs here ('unwanted' populations, abortion etc). His observation is legit.
    Or...are you inferring there is something more final than death?

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  57. Godwin's Law...I was unaware that it means one lost the argument, being that the definition is:

    "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

    There's nothing in there about losing the argument.

    Are you saying, in effect, that you can advocate Nazi kind of stuff, but if anyone calls you on it, they lose?

    Most interesting...

    The very idea that you champion--namely that it's A-OK for parents to kill any offspring that get in the way of their sexual jollies--does not even rise to the level of barbarism.

    The proper term is not "barbaric", but "demonic".

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  58. CrusadeRex,

    Then you're wrong. All the statistics indicate that most terminations are performed before the 12th week of gestation. Deliberately waiting till the 20th week is dangerous risking higher complications and more invasive procedures such as hysterotomy. It applies to Canada as well as Australia.

    The 'Final Solution' refers to the deliberate categorization of an entire group of people as being inferior and to mark them out for elimination. That is completely different to a woman deciding that owing to circumstances she doesn't desire her genes to be reproduced at that particular time. It's a different matter for a woman to make a voluntary decision concerning herself and a political group making a compulsory decision about others.

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