This morning I fell through the looking-glass when I heard Senator Hatch being interviewed on KCPW. It is a strange world, where you can accuse the other side of partisanship and obstructionism while claiming you have never done it yourself.
Lara Jones, the interviewer, asked Senator Hatch if he was going to debate his opponent. I was looking forward to his answer because in spite of requesting a debate via registered letter, I’ve heard nothing in response. The closest thing to an answer is Hatch campaign manager Dave Hansen fumbling the ball in response to Ethan Millard at SLCSpin. Even though Senator Hatch has most of August off, campaign season apparently hasn’t started yet.
Senator Hatch’s answer? “I’ve never refused a debate in my life.” I suppose that is accurate. He didn’t refuse my request for debate, he ignored it. I gave him opportunity to debate anywhere, anytime, and this is written off in the same breath as, “We’re not going to do it to the ridiculous extreme.”
The seven Lincoln/Douglas debates started in August and were held all over the state of Illinois. I ask Senator Hatch to merely match this effort. Instead of waiting until the last week of October to have one or two, let us allow the public to ask us questions in several open debate forums. Note that Democrat Jim Matheson has already agreed to six debates with his Republican challenger. The Utah State Fair falls in Dave Hansen’s “campaign season”, I see little reason not to have the first debate then.
In any case, Senator Hatch and myself are not the only candidates in this race. The other candidates have graciously agreed to debate this Saturday, August 12th, at 10:30 AM in the Salt Lake City Public Library. I hope to see you there.
In the last 2 years, since we last elected the house representatives, the national debt has balooned by 1 trillion dollars! For a family of 3, that is $10,000. Isn’t one of the primary duties of our elected representatives to mind our collective resources? Our Federal pension plan is 15 Billion dollars in the hole? How does this happen? If those guys had any shred of self respect, they would have resigned in disgrace.
I have no idea why any thinking person would support your opponent; this frustrates me greatly. I have to think the federal budget fiasco could possably convince a few to vote for a change. Good luck.
PS – I’ve got an old Mac 5300 with a spreadsheet from 6 years ago that logs and thus shows how badly he let judicial nominations sit without action while he was chairman of the judiciary committee (The average was years). It basically shows that he failed to do his job – I felt warrenting impeachment since anyone in businees with such a poor record would have certainly lost their job. It’s old, maybe not of much value, but you can have it if you like.
Did anyone get or find a recording of the debate on 08/12 in the Library, I was working and I wanted to listen to it?
There is an audio recording, as well as video. We hope to have the audio on the website early this week, the video sometime thereafter.
Audio recording of the debate. (~29 megs)
Each candidate must run their own campaign with the intent to win. There is no way, if I were Sen. Hatch, that I would debate you. You are unknown, have no name recognition, have a low amount of funds in your war chest, and your a Democrat. A debate would only serve to give you name recognition, and would ad a seblence of legitimecy to your campaign. It is not in his best interest to debate you. By the way, your web page says that the constitution grants a woman the right to make the decision on abortion. Funny I dont remember “abortion” being written ANYWHERE in the constitution, maybe you could point out exaclty where that is?
What is “liberty” and “freedom”? Is the the ability to eliminate agency and impose will and morality on others? If so, whose vision of morality should be imposed? Some believe all medical intervention is wrong, that sick children deserve no modern medical treatment because it is against the will of God. Others believe that women are inferior to men and should be hidden from society and beaten severely for transgressions.
Freedom is not measured by our own liberty but by the liberty of those who we disagree with. I would never recommend an elective abortion to anyone, yet I will not enforce my will upon others who disagree. A literalist interpretation of the Constitution protects little beyond the sphere of 1789. For example, it does not grant us the ability to care for veterans and pay for an Air Force. I do believe that our founding fathers would groan a sigh of indignation upon us returning to their feet to ask for guidance on every topic. My interpretation of the Constitution grants limited powers to the government and broad liberty to the individual. That means keeping the government clear of decisions best made by individuals in conjunction with their doctors, their families and their faith.
Of course Senator Hatch does not want to debate me. As you aptly stated, it is not in his best interest. America is not served by politicians working for their own best interest. I will not respect that attitude now, nor will I ever express that attitude upon election.
Your own argument is EXACTLY why abortion SHOULD be outlawed with a few exceptions. The argument of “you can not legislate morality”, if faulty, my friend. SOMEONES morality is going to be legislated regardless of who’s it is. For example, if abortion is legalized, then those who have the morals of pro-abortion will have simply legislated their morals on everybody else who disagrees, regardless SOMEONES MORALS are being legislated.
In an extreme example, NAMBLA the (North American Man-Boy Lovers Association) which is a group which supports legalizing child-adult sex wants those who dont share their views to “stop imposing their morality on them”. Well, simply by WANTING to legalize child sex they are trying to impose THEIR morality on others. So because we have established that regardless of whose it is, someones morality is going to be enforced and imposed on others, then we come the the question that YOU asked: “Who’s morality do we legislate?”
The answer comes from looking at the basis for almost every law in the United States. It is a absolute fact that the U.S was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, those who argue otherwise are lacking an education on history and what our founding fathers have said. Therfore the morality we look to is that if the basic Judeo-Christian beliefs, which HOLDS LIFE AS SACRED.
Evil can not and should never be imposed on others, or do you not believe in good and evil anymore? I am sure you do, as I believe you are a good man. I have the absolute highest respect for you. You are putting your name, family, views, and life out their for others to judge, and I am certain no one but you could understand how stressful that has got to be. But your arguement is wrong and faulty.
Also, I hate to point this out, but you did not answer my question. WHERE IS ABORTION DISCUSSED IN THE CONSTITUTION? (The answer is: It’s not, you simply have mis-spoken on your website)
Thank you sir for listening,
I do not believe in abortion as contraception.
I believe in the protection of minors even though it is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.
The absence of laws enforcing one view of morality does not imply the absence of individual morality, nor does it impose a lack of morality upon anyone. There is a difference between law banning a practice and no law at all. Personal responsibility does not entail the Constitution or the government enforcing responsibility.
Jim, you stated a “few exceptions”. We probably agree on those exceptions. Do you believe a woman who is raped should carry the baby to term or be allowed to end the pregnancy safely early on? How do you propose a small, non-intrusive, self-limiting government divine the difference between rape and promiscuity without further victimization of the woman?
Pete Ashdown maybe bound as a gentleman and a potential candidate for the US senate, and for this he may too gracious to your position, Jim. Your claims have some validity, but sometimes assume too much. Let us take a look at the root of your arguments and move up.
â€œIt is a absolute fact that the U.S was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, those who argue otherwise are lacking an education on history and what our founding fathers have said. Therfore the morality we look to is that if the basic Judeo-Christian beliefs, which HOLDS LIFE AS SACRED.â€
This is the type of polarizing, anti-intellectual statement that is dominate and harmful in todayâ€™s arena of politics. This statement implies that no one with a college education could ever disagree with you. Your belief in this has shown us that you indeed do not understand the climate or the discourse in which the founding fathers lived in. Needless to say, your statement would reflect only some of the founding fathers of nation; certainly not a majority of the important or influential ones. (Thomas Jefferson and George Washington to name two)
Second your statement that, â€œthe basic Judeo-Christian beliefs, which HOLDS LIFE AS SACRED.â€ is an oversimplification. Where it is true that the Judeo-Christian belief calls for some sacredness of life, it does not call for the sacredness of all life, as your statement might imply. Some demonstration of this is that fact that most sects of Christianity are not vegetarians. In fact, this claim is not even supported by limiting you claim down to â€œHuman life is sacredâ€. As seen, by war both then and now practiced, and slavery which was acknowledged in the constitution (not to mention womenâ€™s rights); thought many framers disagreed with it, including Ben Franklin. (darn, there is that pesky discourse again!) The question even in todayâ€™s Christianâ€™s discourse is, â€œWhat in human life should be considered sacred and in what circumstances are up for question?â€
One thing is clear; the words â€œLife, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happinessâ€ certainly do appear in the constitution, which reflect a mix if the liberal philosophies of both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke (among others). The framers clearly wanted a government that took the used the claims of Social Contract Ethics, to enable the Philosophy of Liberty.
The Idea of legislating morality is tricky one at best. I would agree with you in sense, but, only with your words not with your intention. Because sovereigns are enabled by social contract ethics to choose a morality, you are correct. It is clear that a lot of the founding fathers were worried about people losing their liberties to an overbearing government. Because of this they wanted to take away the governmentsâ€™ ability to legislate any popular or religiously dominated morality, and disable the government to take away people rights to liberty and values so long as they donâ€™t impose of the life liberty, and to an extent property of others. Some people would have you believe, that the morality to of the sovereign is â€œup for grabsâ€ (which technicality it is under the law of nature) but, in order to do this in our current political arena would be impossible with out first denounce the what are framers said as wrong or not good enough.
The Context of which use your Nambla argument is valid, but not significant, this could not happen because morality of the sovereign has already been chosen and it would conflict with it. (The Philosophy of Liberty demand informed consent, which minors donâ€™t posses, with makes man-boy love a violation of the boyâ€™s rights) Also your reference to Nambla is kind of a passÃ© appeal to pathos.
I agree with you when you say, â€œEvil can not and should never be imposed on others.â€ But think in this case the reason we should continue the to let women chose an abortion if she pleases if only for the for the sake of being anti-choice (which is a violation of liberty) avoid the evils of Forced Pregnancy which is been officially renounced by the UN, which we are a member of. I wonâ€™t pretend that there arenâ€™t valid arguments invoking the Philosophy of Liberty, which are against abortion. On the contrary, there are some compelling ones. But this last paragraph is my opinion, and I think it be more important to protect the liberty of the life we know exists now, as opposed to the life we all conceptually think might fall under the Philosophy of Libertyâ€™s graces.
I hope that, even though you may not agree with me, you will at least understand that I or anyone who disagrees with you is not dumb moral-less barbarian.
I was born before contraception was widely practiced and remember well when illegal abortion was all that was available. Oh– except for those that had money– like my Southern Baptist deacon grandfather who took his youngest daughter to Dallas for a “procedure” before World War II. The earliest abortion I know of was in 1765 when a granny was fined in Somerset county, New Jersey, for meddling with an unwed mother. (She must not have been a Judeo-Christian unwed mother.)
I always come back to the point that pro-life seems to end at birth. That seems fairly universal. Didn’t Huntsman fund a 60 million dollar parking structure and cut low-income dental care last year? Seems to me I read that somewhere. But I’ll be damned if I read that a Pro-Life contingent mobbed the Capitol about it. But, hey, we live in the most wonderful country in the world and no child in this country goes to bed hungry, goes without medical care or without a warm and loving family. Right? There’s not one single child from Maine to California waiting for the right family to adopt them, is there? Well, except those that have medical and mental problems or maybe those born the wrong color or those who are too old or too difficult or maybe even the wrong gender. Pro-lifers certainly would not let that happen. No way.
Still, we must have morality. Let’s have lots of morality and teach abstinence-only in our schools. Let’s not let girls have HPV shots because it might send a message that they control their bodies. Let’s have really strong morality and keep the minimum wage at 5.15 so families who make that wage can really take good care of their children. That, by damn, is really moral and will teach those lazy slackers a lesson or two. Make no mistake about it: it has to be Judeo-Christian morality because we can’t have Native American or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist morality in the land of the free and the brave. Noper.
So what to do about this impasse? If abortion is immoral, then all conception must be limited to only desired conception. It’s the conception that must be controlled, not birth. I suggest that all men have a mandatory vasectomy at age 18. That should take care of the problem. Sperm samples could be stored against future family planning. What do you think? I can’t imagine that any pro-lifer would have an objection.
And if some weird objection (say like reproductive freedom or freedom of choice) could be raised against that plan, then yes, let’s make abortion illegal once again. We can then use one of the pro-life approved methods of getting rid of children. We can drop bombs on them. We can starve them. We can let them die of neglect or illness. Or, like the very Catholic women of the Rio barrios, we can say that God called the child in the night. Strange how that plan works so well for them. Have unwanted child: God calls it in the night. Cool.
Me? I go for the ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ plan of morality.
I guess I get tired of all this “banning”, like that is really going to stop the process from taking place. The irony in all of this, of course, is that hardcore Republicans constantly portray themselves as being “less government” when in fact it’s quite the contrary if you see how they get bogged down by the theocratic, far-right, meddling sect that is the Christian coalition. Has banning ganja really stopped our society from smoking ganja? The statistics don’t seem to support it. If we were to outright ban abortion do you really think that is going to stop the practice? It’s only going to drive it underground and make it a bigger mess than it already is. Instead of banning I think we need to be educating… and not just the wave-of-the-hand gratutious variety… I mean real, hard core education. It seems to be the only positive treatment in getting people to change and/or at least deal with the consequences. Because I think you are an idiot if you think out and out banning something is going to stop the madness… Just more of the same from small thinking myopians.
I am not a zealot in any way, but until you get your fact on history correct, I can not have a debate. It is like debating a child, who throws things out there in hopes that others will believe them and not check the facts. So with that said, here are a few quotes from your aformentioned non Judeo-Christian Founding Fathers (Jefferson and Washington) or “framers” as you so put it.
“Almighty and eternal Lord God, the great Creator of heaven and earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from heaven in pity and compassion upon me Thy servant, who humbly prorate myself before Thee.” George Washington’s prayer at Valley Forge
“Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.”–George Washington, ca. 1789, Maxims of Washington, ed. John F. Schroeder (Mt. Vernon: Mt. Vernon Ladies Association, 1942), p. 106.
“The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man, will endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.” General George Washington, July 9, 1776
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . And let us indulge with caution the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion . . . Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle.” From President George Washington’s Farewell Address
Of all systems of morality, ancient of modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to be so pure as that of Jesus.” Thomas Jefferson To William Canby, 1813
I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent and sublime which have ever been preached to man…” President Thomas Jefferson
â€œI have always said and always will say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, better husbands… the Bible makes the best people in the world.” President Thomas Jefferson
My views- – – are the result of a lifetime of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-Christian imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference of all othersâ€”” Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush On April 21, 1803
“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a cisciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator.” Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his Bible.
“I am not a zealot in any way, but until you get your fact on history correct, I can not have a debate.
I have never claimed this, and it makes question if you are really truly trying to understand what I am trying to say. Furthermore have not entered into a debate with you, debate has winners and points. I hope to learn from you as I had at one time hope you would learn from me. Let us better one another for the sake of a strong understanding and thus, a stronger Democracy.
You said: “a few quotes from your aforementioned non Judeo-Christian Founding Fathers (Jefferson and Washington) or â€œframersâ€ as you so put it.” Again, you have not read what I have said. I did not claim that the were “non Judeo-Christian”. I simply disputing what you said which, “It is a absolute fact that the U.S was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs.” This is a false equivocation. If you must know both Jefferson was a self-avowed deist. While Washington had more Christian leanings (though most historians argue he was a deist as well), yet he had disgust with alot of things in religion, but was none-the-less a very spiritual person. Both believed strongly in Liberty.
While these at least some of these quote may be real, (and I can assure you the Smithsonian Inst. has disproved at least one of the quotes off the top of my head) These quotes have a context, a place, and a time. I too can find quotes that support my claim as well, but since quotes are worth not much alone, we go nowhere. Any quote you find would not dispute my claims about these two and liberty, and that is my claim.
I encourage you to find and read general histories of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, instead of scouring the internet for a position that is favorable to yours. (It turns out that just about anyone can post whatever the heck they want on the internet) This will give broader understanding of who these people are. Do not do this in the spirit prove either me or yourself right or wrong. Try a couple books, at the library or start with the http://www.wikipedia.org articles. (I’ve read them both) Wallow in the complexity of who these people were and what they stood for.
I guess I am just use to people wanting to debate this issue, I am sorry. I hate to reveal too much about myself on a Blog, but I will let you know that all but two of the quotes that I refer to above come from MY PEROSNAL LIBRARY, not some cut and paste internet job like you assert. I am a member of a national group of historical fact finders, who hate the revisionist attitude so many have today. If you were educated in the public schools today you will hear the false statements that the Founding Fathers were Deist’s. This is not true. A deep study of the writings of the founding fathers THEMSELVES disprove the asertion that they are deists.
For example, as President of the United States, Jefferson signed a treaty with the Kaskaskia tribe wherein he providedâ€”at the government’s expenseâ€”Christian missionaries to the Indians. In fact, Jefferson himself declared, â€œI am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.â€ While many might question this claim, the fact remains that Jefferson called himself a Christian, NOT A DEIST.
Jefferson was also known to sign presidential documents, closing them with the appellation, â€œIn the Year of our Lord Christ.â€ There are many similar surprising facts about Jefferson that are fully documented historically, but that have been ignored for the past 50 years.
Yet many folks look to other writings, or studies INSTEAD of looking at what the F.F did and wrote themselves! I have over 100 historical books on the founding of our country, one set of which is arguably the most comprehensive collection of George Washingtons writtings, (compiled into 12 volumes) By Jared Sparks.
In one of the books Jared Sparks looked into the religious character of George Washington, and included numerous letters written by the friends, associates, and family of Washington which testified of his religious character. Based on that extensive evidence, Sparks concluded:
To say that he [George Washington] was not a Christian would be to impeach his sincerity and honesty. Of all men in the world, Washington was certainly the last whom any one would charge with dissimulation or indirectness [hypocrisies and evasiveness]; and if he was so scrupulous in avoiding even a shadow of these faults in every known act of his life, [regardless of] however unimportant, is it likely, is it credible, that in a matter of the highest and most serious importance [his religious faith, that] he should practice through a long series of years a deliberate deception upon his friends and the public? It is neither credible nor possible.
Jacob, you have not re-written history, but you have bought the deceptions of those who have. Yet the “Deist” assertions are VERY easy to counter and prove as false, with the founders OWN WORDS, WRITTINGS, and LIFE HABITS! I appologize for my sharpness before, I am usually pretty defensive of this issue, as you can tell. I hate what political correctness has done to education and history in this country.
Since you sir, gave me some reading assignments, I too will give you some. Many of the writtings mentioned are also in my library:
For much more on George Washington and the evidences of his strong faith, examine the following sources:
The Writings of George Washington, Jared Sparks.
George Washington, The Religious Opinions of Washington, E. C. M’Guire.
William Johnson, George Washington The Christian (1917).
William Jackson Johnstone, How Washington Prayed (New York: The Abingdon Press, 1932).
The Messages and Papers of the Presidents, James D. Richardson.
George Washington, The Maxims of Washington (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1855).
It is clear to me now that you have indeed “done your homework”, and are not the ignoramus I had thought you to be. Though I remain skeptical as to you conclusion in the matter, I am not closed to it. It does strike me that I MAY have bought into a revisionist history as you might have suggested. (Though, I think this requires some research to make sure that you are not the one buying the revisionist history.)
Even though I bow to your knowledge, (respectfully) I still question your ability to approach the question neutrally, which either means of two things: 1. I am wrong, and you are so well read that your knowledge puts you close to writing your own book. (in other word, you are just right and I am just plain wrong) or 2. You find or seek any evidence to support your original claim, disregarding the objective rhetorical analysis. I do not suppose one or the other, which is why I choose do more studying.
For example your Jefferson quote: â€œI am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.â€ Somebody who wanted to believe that Jefferson was a Christian would say to themselves “See, here’s the proof” but an more objective POV might question why Jefferson just didn’t say “I am a Christian”. Why would he tack on the phrase “that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus”? Why would go so far as to specifically redefine what he called a Christian? One motivation would be that he a politician, and he wanted people to know that even though he isn’t a Christian in the sense that he believe that Jesus was a god who saved all mankind and therefore should be worshiped, but, He may want to convey to the receiver of the statement, that he believe that Jesus was a good guy, with good ideas and he agrees with him. This would warrant the phrase “a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus” instead of “a disciple of Jesus” which is why he might go so far as to give a non-standard definition of a Christian. You may be skeptical of this consideration (which is just fine) but consider the fact Gandhi said almost the same thing word for word, and yet maintained his devout Hinduistic beliefs. This too could apply Jefferson and Deismâ€¦ There are also other ways to analyze this statement, not just the way I have proposed.
“If you were educated in the public schools today you will hear the false statements that the Founding Fathers were Deistâ€™s.” Are you implicating that public school is engaging in an anti-Christian conspiracy to cover the true nature of founding fathers? If you are, you are just going to have to take that up in a different form.
Though we have far flown from our original topic, (for which, I bear no malice) to topic more to your forte’ I still want it to be clear that even if you are correct. It does nothing to either help or hurt my original position which is: (and I quote)
“One thing is clear; the words â€œLife, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happinessâ€ certainly do appear in the constitution, which reflect a mix if the liberal philosophies of both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke (among others). The framers clearly wanted a government that took and used the claims of Social Contract Ethics, to enable the Philosophy of Liberty.”
I am pleased with the level of discourse that you and I are having, you are well read and I hope that with some work on my part I can participate on a similar level with you. I will endeavor to educate myself, perhaps in the end I will end up agreeing with you.
Your conversation with Jacob is an interesting one. If you don’t mind, there are a few things I’d like to add:
“I hate to reveal too much about myself on a Blog, but I will let you know that all but two of the quotes that I refer to above come from MY PEROSNAL LIBRARY, not some cut and paste internet job like you assert.”
I have to begin with this. This Link contains every quote you cited. Not only does it contain all the quotes, but it lists them in the same order and lists them identically. Is it your wish that we would believe you personally uncovered each of these quotes and it is merely a coincidence that they are so listed? When viewed in their original setting it’s clear to see what these quotes are. They are not, as you say, a result of your tireless research into the religious beliefs of our founding fathers. Rather they are a collection of quotes compiled in a one sided fashion so as to lead the reader to a predetermined conclusion. This is hardly charitable argumentation. Shame on you.
“Your own argument is EXACTLY why abortion SHOULD be outlawed with a few exceptions. The argument of â€œyou can not legislate moralityâ€, if faulty, my friend. SOMEONES morality is going to be legislated regardless of whoâ€™s it is. For example, if abortion is legalized, then those who have the morals of pro-abortion will have simply legislated their morals on everybody else who disagrees, regardless SOMEONES MORALS are being legislated.”
I’d like to respond to this specifically. You assert that someone’s morality will inevitably be legislated and therefore they might as well be yours as the founding fathers agree with you. I’m not sure I can get behind this reasoning.
First, you gave two examples of this inevitable moral legislation: The legalization of abortion and NAMBA. You claim that if abortion is not outlawed, then Pro Abortion advocates will have legislated their morality “on you” but I disagree. By legalizing abortion, we merely allow those who participate in society to make this decision for themselves. The legalization of abortion would not require you to have an abortion. Please explain to me how society allowing me to make such a private and personal decision for myself imposes my morality on you. As for your NAMBLA argument, I have little to add to Jacob’s original refutation. Our society recognizes that a child is not yet mature enough to make certain decisions for themselves. This is why an 8 year old could not, for example, enter into a legally binding contract. Because children lack the ability in many cases to understand the implications and consequences of their actions, it is not difficult for older and more worldly individuals to prey on their naivetÃ©. NAMBLA would not be imposing their morality by legalizing adult/child sexual relationships. They would be victimizing children.
I disagree that morality must inevitably be legislated. It is our duty as a society not to legislate morality. People have a right to pursue happiness in whatever way they see fit so long as they are not unjustly imposing on your rights to do likewise. You have a right to follow the teachings of your god and believe what you wish, but you do not have the right to impose these views on others, nor use the force of law to punish those who act in a manner you find offensive no matter how many people share your beliefs. In a just society, I would likewise have the right to do as my conscience dictates so long as I cause no harm to you. Is this not a preferable system to the one you propose?
In a number of your posts you challenge Mr. Ashdown to show you where in the constitution abortion is discussed. After receiving no responses to your challenge, you indicate that he is mistaken in his claim that the constitution allows a woman to make this decision for herself. I do not presume to speak on his behalf, but this is my response.
In 1791, ten amendments were added to the United States Constitution for the purpose of protecting the people from unjust treatment by their Government. This Bill of Rights, as it was called, explicitly enumerated a number of rights to be retained by the people. The freedom to practice one’s religion for example, as well as the right to bear arms. As you are a historian, you are no doubt aware that there was not unanimous agreement concerning whether or not the Bill of Rights should be added to the constitution. Alexander Hamilton in particular was troubled that by explicitly stating some rights. It might be implied that our government had the power to infringe on rights not protected and lead to an unnatural perception of the role of government. This, in part, is why the ninth and tenth ammendments specifically provide that those powers not explicitly granted to the Federal Government are reserved for the people or the state. It is not necessary for the constitution to explicity provide for a “right to abortion” as the Federal Government has not been granted the power to make this decision. This is one of many rights that are reserved for the people. The very fact that the constitution does not mention abortion would seem to indicate that this is among the many rights I have not abdicated to my government. Is there a reason I should not think this is so?
Anyway, these were just some thoughts off the top of my head after having read your arguments. I’d be interested in hearing your response.
I’m ashamed to say that, until recently, I hadn’t heard of you. After having played with your wiki a bit, I’ve been pleased to discover that we share many of the same views. While I don’t agree with you on everything, your views are a breath of fresh air in our current political environment and I am most anxious to see how your campaign will develop in the coming months. I wish you all the best.
It seems when I added the link to my last post I didn’t do so correctly. It’s also possible that Mr. Ashdown has wisely chosen not to allow posters to include HTML content. In any event, here is the link I was talking about.
All of these comments seem to be carefully spoken after much thought. No doubt that all involved have good intentions. I wish to share my opinion in response to Joel’s response to Jim’s statement.
Joel said, “People have a right to pursue happiness in whatever way they see fit so long as they are not unjustly imposing on your rights to do likewise. You have a right to follow the teachings of your god and believe what you wish, but you do not have the right to impose these views on others, nor use the force of law to punish those who act in a manner you find offensive no matter how many people share your beliefs. In a just society, I would likewise have the right to do as my conscience dictates so long as I cause no harm to you. Is this not a preferable system to the one you propose?”
You mention force, harm, and a just society. To me, a mother who is willing to kill her child (and a government who supports her in that action) is using the most extreme force and is causing the ultimate harm. I believe she is removing that child’s god-given right to pursue happiness, which she has reserved for herself. You speak of people imposing their will on others. Is there a more blatant example? I believe a just society must draw the line somewhere, which is why we incarcerate and prosecute murders. Having said that, I agree there are some situations where abortion should be allowed.
This is a difficult problem, because it pits moral agency against the right to live. It’s not absolute wrong versus absolute right. It pits right against right. I appreciate the calm, respectful and dignified manner in which both sides have presented their point of view. We need more of this, instead of extremes and increased polarization.
Welcome to the discourse, I see by your contributions that seem to be a well reasoned individual. I appreciate your foresight to see that this is indeed a complex issue.
Your response is the type pro-life argument I can consider to be reasonable, and consistent with liberty and humanity. But, in a reason such as this, one must consider the premises that you are implicating. Indeed, I do agree with what you said, but perhaps, not with what you have meant. This is where the complexity sets in.
There is an unsaid premise that makes me question your otherwise sound argument, that is to say, a question of equivocation. It seems for your argument to apply to abortion there needs to be an unsaid premise that says something along the lines of: A fetus is a child; the same personhood applies to a four-year-old apply applies to a fetus regardless of the fetus is one cell or five trillion cells. It then follows that have the same rights as any child.
This challenges the very boarders of what we consider to be a person. What rigors do we subject our criteria to determine if you fall underneath self-ownership? The Philosophy of Liberty is a set of values that I have embraced to be right/good; though I realize that they are not written down in some semi-intelligent stone floating around in space somewhere. The â€œlineâ€ what is deserving of the right of self-ownership is arbitrary, both now, and in times past. Now-a-days most people would agree that after a baby is born, it is then, that a fetus becomes a baby, with the rights of personhood and citizenship. There are also those who believe that the fetus is a person before it is born. This is the real dilemma.
As I have said before, simply to be alive is not enough to qualify. This disqualifies viruses, tapeworms, flowers, termites and cows from preserving their rights to self-ownership and us protecting it.
How much does it mean to be a potential human, should that apply? To me this also has also little value, my seamen for instance (and excuse my vulgarity) does not have any right to special right to exist, yet is distinct from me and contains billion of potential little lives.
A being of full human-genome, should this count? Each cell in your body contains a full human architecture from start to finish. If I were to cut off my finger, should it retain self-ownership now that it is distinctly human and separate from me? The implication of this particular â€œdraw in the lineâ€ point has interesting implications involving identical twins, clones, and even cancerous clusters in terms of self-ownership and rights.
But, all of these things (or combinations of these thing) up until this point seem somewhat odd and â€œmissing the pointâ€ of the things that we should and shouldnâ€™t apply. Let me propose that the line in the sand should be a little more closer to the â€œrational agentâ€ category. May I suggest that rational agency is the key and necessary ingredient from all the other qualifications that give us the right of self-ownership? But, what do we define as rational agency? Is there a threshold to rational agency, or is a â€œyou have it or you donâ€™t sort of thingâ€? I do not know the answers to these questions.
These questions complicate the issue even more, and this is also where science can help us out. To me (and I can only stress enough that this is my personal opinion) it is the small amount of rational agency achieved plus the potential for more rational agency that provides and obligates our protection self-ownership to personhood. To apply that reasoning to the question at hand, I would say that (at least according to findings of scientist) that an abortion can be safely performed during some of, but not all of, a pregnancy and still preserve all rights of the mother and the fetus.
Now if it were to be true that a fetus should retain all the rights and protections of self-ownership provided from conception. (and I certainly do not think that it is) It is shaky ground to suppose that there are some circumstances that fetusesâ€™ could be aborted ethically. A personsâ€™ life should not be taken from them in the circumstance of rape/abuse or incest, their body belongs to them(the fetus), not motherâ€™s nor the governmentâ€™s. In this view rape is not a reason to justify murder, incest is not a reason justify murder; there is the exception of motherâ€™s health, though. Literally speaking that fetus would be waging war/theft by use of force on a mother, who has her own rights to defend as well.
This is only the beginning of this argument; it does not end here. There are still some arguments still to be made on the rights of mother being violated by the rights of the newly found person, in terms of force of life, liberty, and health. But, enough of thisâ€¦
There is much that has been said, I will think on this.
Agreed, usually when these topics arise on a blog, the conversation quickly de-evolves into mud slinging. Though I applaud the civility of this thread, I also usually take issue with those that claim to speak for our fore fathers by selective use of their writings. I had hoped that Mr. Thorpe would return to continue this conversation. I find myself thinking if our founding fathers truly wanted this country strictly founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, why didnâ€™t they just come out and say it in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights?
I have to agree with Joelâ€™s statement, “People have a right to pursue happiness in whatever way they see fit so long as they are not unjustly imposing on your rights to do likewiseâ€¦” which seems to align nicely with Mr. Ashdownâ€™s position. Attacking it with the most extreme examples, NAMBLA and abortion is a bit obtuse and obvious. The NAMBLA example has already been shot down. Mr. Ashdown has already said that he believes that abortions should be rare and limited but not illegal.
Being the youngest of my siblings, my parents learned from the school-of-hard-knocks, and taught me not only about abstinence at a young age, but birth control as I got older. Being a little older myself now, I feel it’s a very balanced approach to not only help prevent teen pregnancies but also abortions. This approach did not tempt me into promiscuity as I have seen many anti-abortionists claim. Also many of them are very concerned for said child prior to birth, but then seem unconcerned for the child.
I canâ€™t say what the correct answer is for everyone, but as Joel said so well, “By legalizing abortion, we merely allow those who participate in society to make this decision for themselves. The legalization of abortion would not require you to have an abortion. Please explain to me how society allowing me to make such a private and personal decision for myself imposes my morality on you.”